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    He died Sunday in Key West, Florida, his family said Monday. Deford was a six-time Sports Writer of the Year and a member of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. He wrote and spoke with a lyrical touch and this month retired from NPR's 'Morning Edition' after 37 years as a contributor. 'Frank was dealing with an audience that doesn't turn to the sports pages first thing,' said Tom Goldman, an NPR sports correspondent who recently spent time with Deford in Key West. 'And he was proudest of the many comments he got over the years from people saying, 'I don't really like sports, but I like what you did, and you made me more interested in it.'' He was the first sports writer awarded the National Humanities Medal. In 2013, President Barack Obama honored him for 'transforming how we think about sports.' 'A dedicated writer and storyteller, Mr. Deford has offered a consistent, compelling voice in print and on radio, reaching beyond scores and statistics to reveal the humanity woven into the games we love,' Obama said at the time. Deford called the award the one he is most proud of. His long profiles, covering all corners of sports, were for years a showcase in Sports Illustrated. 'He could watch the grittiest game and zoom in on the moment that made it important,' said Jim Litke, a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. 'Nobody was better at connecting sports to the culture at large. He dressed up every event he attended.' He also dressed up in a more literal way, always sharply attired and cutting a debonair figure at 6-foot-4 with his shock of dark hair and thin mustache. Deford was a prolific book author, including several novels, and contributed commentaries to HBO's 'Real Sports' program and hosted documentaries on the cable network. Among Deford's books were 'Heart of a Champion,' which chronicles the career of athletes who appeared on Wheaties boxes, and a biography of tennis great Bill Tilden. His wit always was on display. Among Deford's gems: 'I believe that professional wrestling is clean and everything else in the world is fixed.' And he understood why the games have such a hold on so many. 'To see the glory in sport, where somebody comes from behind and does something, sinks a shot in the last second or throws a touchdown pass or hits a home run, there is a beauty in that, and at the end of the day, that's why we love sports more than anything else.' Deford grew up in Baltimore and graduated from Princeton. He joined HBO Sports in 1995 and his first report chronicled life in Augusta, Georgia, outside the Masters. It was called 'The American Singapore.' He delivered 119 segments for the show and was a feature reporter at Wimbledon in the 1990s. He was editor-in-chief of The National, the nation's first sports daily that was founded in 1990 and folded the following year. Its final front page read: 'We Had A Ball: The fat lady sings our song.' Bryant Gumbel, host of 'Real Sports,' said Deford joked with him a week ago about finally being released from the hospital. 'In addition to being an immense talent, he was a consummate gentleman, a dear friend, and a beloved, original member of our 'Real Sports' family,' Gumbel said. 'Frank was a giant in the world of sports. His loss is immeasurable.' Deford is survived by his wife, the former model Carol Penner; two children; and two grandchildren.
  • The murder trial of the only two suspects arrested in the assassination of the North Korean leader's half brother was transferred to another Malaysian court Tuesday. Armed escorts accompanied the women, Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam and Siti Aisyah from Indonesia, as they arrived for their morning court appearance in Kuala Lumpur. Both smiled at their embassy representatives as they were brought to the dock and wore the same clothes as they did at earlier court appearances. Their case was formally transferred to the High Court as the lower court had no jurisdiction to hear a murder case. Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad said the date for their first appearance in the High Court would usually be within a month. The suspects would then enter pleas and the trial would have to start within 90 days, Iskandar said. The two women are accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face at the Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13. Kim died soon afterward. The women have said they were duped into thinking they were playing a harmless prank for a hidden-camera show. Yusron Ambary, counsellor at the Indonesian Embassy, said Siti wrote a letter to her parents recently, asking them not to worry about her. 'I am in good health. Just pray. Don't think about me too much. Keep healthy and pray at night. I have a lot of people helping me. The embassy officials always come to see me, my lawyers also. Don't worry. Pray for me so that the case will be over soon and I can go back home. Send my love to my son Rio,' he read from the letter to reporters outside the courtroom. Police have said four North Korean suspects fled Malaysia the day of the attack. Defense lawyers previously expressed fear the women will be scapegoats because other people believed to have knowledge of the case left the country. Although Malaysia never directly accused North Korea of carrying out the attack, speculation is rampant that Pyongyang orchestrated a hit on a long-exiled member of its ruling elite. Although Kim was not an obvious political threat, he may have been seen as a potential rival in the country's dynastic dictatorship. Norht Korea has denounced such speculation.
  • ___ BASEBRAWL Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and Giants reliever Hunter Strickland are certain to soon get penalized by Major League Baseball after their fight in San Francisco. Hit in the hip by a 98 mph heater, Harper charged the mound, flung his helmet and traded punches to the head with Strickland. They both were ejected, but no injuries were reported after the benches and bullpens emptied. They had not faced each other since Harper hit two home runs off Strickland in the 2014 NL playoffs. 'You never want to get suspended or anything like, but sometimes you just got to go and get them and can't hesitate,' Harper said. 'You either go to first base or you go after him and I decided to go after him.' TROUT DOUBT Angels star Mike Trout might decide on whether he'll undergo surgery for a torn ligament in his left thumb. The two-time AL MVP was hurt Sunday making a headfirst slide on a stolen base in Miami. Trout has been put on the disabled list for the first time in his career, and surgery could sideline him for eight weeks. The 25-year-old outfielder is hitting .337 with 16 home runs. CAUSE FOR CONCERN Dustin Pedroia is heading back to Boston to get tests after the second baseman injured his left wrist stopping a fall on a close play. He tumbled over White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, who lunged to tag the bag on Pedroia's grounder. The Red Sox are calling it a sprain, but manager John Farrell was uncertain about the severity. 'It's hard to say right now, and I think until we get the information, we'll know more then,' Farrell said. 'But I think anytime you're dealing with a position player's wrist, a hitter's wrist, that's always cause for concern.' SOX SALUTE A day after receiving a warm welcome back in his old home, Red Sox ace Chris Sale will make his first start against the Chicago White Sox since being traded away over the offseason. The White Sox saluted Sale with a highlight video during the first inning Monday, and the pitcher waved to the cheering crowd, pointed to the home dugout and patted his heart. 'I had a lot of good times here — a lot of friends still over there,' Sale said. Sale (5-2, 2.34) will square off with Jose Quintana (2-6, 4.82), who has struggled atop Chicago's rotation in Sale's absence. GOING PLACES The Astros have baseball's best record, and that's no surprise to manager A.J. Hinch. 'I didn't put any limitations on this team,' Hinch said. 'So I don't really have a baseline of how many games I expected to win.' Houston won its fifth in a row and improved to 36-16 by overcoming a six-run deficit with an 11-run eighth inning Monday, beating Minnesota 16-8. This, star shortstop Carlos Correa says, is exactly what he envisioned entering the year. 'We've got a lot of talent in this room,' he said. 'I feel like everywhere you look in the lineup there's talent, there's potential and we've got leadership now in this clubhouse. So we're heading somewhere.' HAPPY BIRTHDAY A day after turning 27, right-hander Tyler Pill makes his first major league start for the Mets, at home against the surprising NL Central-leading Brewers. 'It will definitely be exciting,' he said. 'I'm really looking forward to it.' Pill was called up from the minors Friday and lost in relief during his big league debut the following night at Pittsburgh when he gave up the winning run in the 10th inning. He was a combined 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A and Double-A.
  • Edinson Volquez pitched six innings to earn his first win of the year after seven losses, and the Miami Marlins forged their first two-game winning streak since April 23 by beating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Monday night. Volquez (1-7), who leads the majors in defeats, allowed one run and three hits to earn his first victory since Aug. 25 with the Royals — when he beat the Marlins. The former All-Star went 0-8 in his next 16 starts before his breakthrough. Marlins nemesis Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) allowed four runs in six innings. The Phillies (17-32), who have the worst record in the majors, lost for the 23rd time in the past 29 games, and fell to 7-19 on the road. Volquez has an ERA of 4.44 and went into the game with the second-worst run support in the majors. This time he had all the runs he needed by the third inning, thanks to an RBI double by Dee Gordon and a run-scoring single by Giancarlo Stanton. Derek Dietrich hit a two-run homer, his second of the year, to make it 4-1 in the sixth. A.J. Ramos completed a four-hitter, striking out the side after a leadoff walk in the ninth for his sixth save. Volquez retired 13 in a row before he started the sixth by walking Hellickson, who came around to score on a single by Aaron Altherr. The Phillies had runners at the corners with one out, but Altherr was thrown out trying to steal second and Tommy Joseph struck out. CLOSE CALL The ball popped out of Stanton's glove when he tried to make a sliding catch crossing the right field foul line with two runners on in the sixth. The ball was ruled foul, and the call was upheld by a replay review. ROSTER MOVE Before the game, the Phillies activated OF/INF Howie Kendrick (abdominal strain) from the 10-day DL, and he went 1 for 4. He missed 37 games. TRAINER'S ROOM Phillies: OF Daniel Nava (left hamstring) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Marlins: LHP Jeff Locke (left shoulder) will be activated to make his 2017 debut Thursday when he starts against Arizona. RHP Vance Worley will go to the bullpen. UP NEXT RHP Vince Velasquez (2-4, 5.55) is scheduled to start Tuesday for the Phils against LHP Justin Nicolino (0-1, 5.40). ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • The Latest on militant violence in a southern Philippine city (all times local): 8 a.m. The Philippine military chief says three Malaysians, an Indonesian and possibly Arab extremists have been killed in a southern city that Islamic militants planned to burn entirely in an audacious plot to project the lethal influence of the Islamic State group. Gen. Eduardo Ano told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that the military has made advances in containing the weeklong siege of Marawi city. He says a top Filipino militant is believed to have been killed and the leader of the attack was wounded in the fighting. Ano also told AP that the extremists plotted to set Marawi ablaze and kill as many Christians in nearby Iligan city on Ramadan to mimic the violence seen by the world in Syria and Iraq.
  • Tampa Bay right-hander Erasmo Ramirez became the first pitcher since 1984 to start a major league game the day after recording a save, then didn't make it out of the third inning Monday night. A day after pitching a perfect 15th inning on 12 pitches in the Rays' 8-6 win at Minnesota, Ramirez allowed four runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings at Texas while throwing 31 of his 43 pitches for strikes. Ramirez was the first pitcher since Cleveland's Steve Farr in June 1984 to have a save one day and the start the next day for his team, the Elias Sports Bureau said. The last player to record a save and then start his team's next game was Dennis Martinez, a fellow Nicaraguan who was Ramirez's childhood hero. Martinez saved a game for Montreal on July 11, 1993, and started four days later in the Expos' next game after the All-Star break. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • The NHL is heading to Asia next season. Just not the Olympics. Commissioner Gary Bettman emphatically reasserted the league will not take a break next February to participate in the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea next February. The league previously announced it would skip going to Pyeongchang earlier this spring, a point Bettman bluntly reiterated on Monday just hours before Pittsburgh and Nashville met in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. '(We've seen) a number of comments from the (International Ice Hockey Federation) and player reps suggesting it was still an open issue, it is not and has not been,' Bettman said. IIHF President Rene Fasel said the governing body was touching base with the NHL Players' Association two or three times per week, hoping to work out a solution. Lee Hee-beom, head of the Pyeongchang Organizing committee, said in London earlier this month he was 'ready to cooperate' with the NHL to make sure the best players in the world could participate in the games as they've done in every Winter Olympics since 1998. Nope. While saying the NHL is not 'anti-Olympics,' Bettman said league owners are no longer interested in having their arenas go dark in the middle of winter while some of their best employees traveled to the other side of the world, particularly if the International Olympic Committee wants no part of picking up the insurance cost. Bettman said the league 'never negotiated' with the IOC, saying the league didn't have 'the appetite to continue participation.' Some players, like Washington star Alexander Ovechkin, have indicated they will play for their home countries regardless of whether the league takes a break or not. Bettman doesn't see that happening. 'We have an expectation that none of our players are going,' he said. 'But I don't want to get into the gymnastics involved in what that means. There's no reason to pick that fight right now.' The league is hardly abandoning efforts to expand its global footprint. The league will host events on three continents during the 2017-18 season. The Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings will play a pair of exhibition games in China in September. Ottawa and Colorado will meet in a regular season game in Stockholm in November and Tampa will host to the All-Star game for the second time next January. The Canucks and Kings will play in Shanghai on Sept. 21 and in Beijing on Sept. 23. Beijing will welcome the world for the 2022 Winter Olympics, yet Bettman said the topic of NHL players tagging along never came up. 'I think the focus is more about long-term developing the sport, not what happens for two weeks in 2022,' Bettman said. Other takeaways from Bettman's annual state-of-the-league address: VEGAS BABY The expansion Las Vegas Knights will have 72 hours - and not the initially announced 48 - to review each team's protected list. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league is 'very pleased' with the city's response to the arrival of its first major professional sports franchise. UNDER REVIEW There are no plans to expand what is covered by the newly introduced coach's challenge but Bettman said the league is thinking about using a clock to limit the window on when coaches can alert officials they want a play reviewed. RAISING ARIZONA The league continued to back the Arizona Coyotes' ownership in its quest to find a permanent home. The team is entering the final year of its lease with Gila River Arena in Glendale, a significant haul for fans from Phoenix. 'We have a lot of patience for the Coyotes,' Daly said. 'We're confident there are a lot of good arena opportunities available to them there. Our ownership is focused on cultivating one of those opportunities. There's every sense that they'll be successful in doing that. So we support their efforts.' CATCH ME OUTSIDE The NHL will play at three outdoor games during the 2017-18 season. Ottawa will face Montreal in the NHL 100 Classic at Landsdowne Park in Ottawa on Dec. 16 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first NHL game played on Dec. 19, 1917. The Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers will play at Citi Field - the home of baseball's New York Mets - in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 and Washington and Toronto will play a Stadium Series Game on March 3 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. ___ More AP NHL: http://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey
  • 1. 'HE LOVED ME ENOUGH TO TAKE SOME BULLETS FOR ME' Caleb Edwards, 15, recounts how his cousin Jordan Blackwell was killed while using his own body to shield Caleb from gunfire in a Mississippi shooting rampage where seven others also died. 2. IRAQ CAR BOMB KILLS OVER ONE DOZEN PEOPLE Some 24 others were also wounded in the blast outside a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad. 3. WHAT TIGERS WOODS BLAMES FOR DUI CHARGE The pro golfer says an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine — not alcohol — led to his arrest over the weekend. 4. 'WORDS CANNOT MEASURE THE DEPTH OF THEIR DEVOTION' President Trump honors the nation's fallen military men and women during a Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetery. 5. THOUSANDS PAY TRIBUTE ON JFK CENTENNIAL On what would have been the late president's 100th birthday, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston holds a celebration that capped a long holiday weekend of events. 6. WHY SOME VIEW 6-DAY WAR AS PYRRHIC VICTORY FOR ISRAEL Fifty years after Israel greatly expanded its territory in the lightning-fast conflict, it faces charges that its treatment of the Palestinians is a form of apartheid. 7. WHERE SUMMER AIR TRAVEL COULD HIT RECORD Thanks to a stable economy and decent gas prices, U.S. airlines are expected to carry 234 million passengers this summer — which would be up 10 million from last year. 8. WHO FLEXES DIPLOMATIC MUSCLES AGAINST RUSSIA Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron says he had 'extremely frank' and 'direct' talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 9. AWARD-WINNING SPORTS WRITER DEFORD DIES AT 78 Frank Deford, columnist for Sports Illustrated and contributor to NPR, 'was a giant in the world of sports. His loss is immeasurable,' says broadcaster Bryant Gumbel. 10. DJOKOVIC OPENS DEFENSE IN PARIS No. 2-seeded Novak Djokovic was not always at his clean-swinging best while beating Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
  • Moments after the Eastern Conference championship banner was raised by the Cavaliers for the third straight time and the obligatory postgame interviews ended, Tyronn Lue slipped quietly away. Cleveland's coach ducked into the shadows, his preferred location. 'I don't like the attention,' he said. But Lue, once a journeyman point guard who steered the Cavs to an NBA championship last season, has grown more accepting of his frontman role. He'll again be at center stage this week as Cleveland meets Golden State in the third installment of their title trilogy. If the unassuming, easygoing Lue had his preference, the teams would duke it out for the Larry O'Brien Trophy on a playground court in a stifling hot gymnasium, with only a handful of onlookers present. A student of the game, he's old school with a fresh perspective. Of the many juicy subplots between the Cavs and Warriors, one that frequently goes overlooked is Lue, the former assistant who has blossomed in no time into one of the league's brightest young head coaches and a playoff savant. He's 28-6 in two postseasons with Cleveland. His players credit Lue's soothing, steady influence — on and off the floor — as nearly as vital to their success as a clutch Kyrie Irving 3-pointer. 'It's just his level of calmness no matter what's going on,' LeBron James said following practice. 'He always talks about, at the end of the day, he's already won in life, so whatever else happens after this is extra credit. And I feel the same way. That's why I relate to him so much. Lose here, or you win a game here, it's like, 'All right, cool. I've already done so much more than anybody ever gave me credit of doing or thought I can do, so there's no reason to get too high or too low.' 'So it's the even-keel mentality about our coach and it definitely helps us as players when we're going out into a war.' Lue has been preparing for the biggest battle of his basketball career this week. From the moment he returned home from Boston following the Cavs' win in Game 5 of the conference finals, Lue has immersed himself in the Warriors, a virtual All-Star team featuring two league MVPs (Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry), a dead-eye shooter (Klay Thompson) and a triple-threat performer (Draymond Green). Lue's defensive strategy to this point in the playoffs has been to neutralize the opponents' top player. The Cavs were able to do that with Indiana's Paul George, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan and Boston's Isaiah Thomas, who aggravated a hip injury in Game 2 and missed the remainder of the series. Cleveland blitzed, double-teamed and did all it could take away the other team's offensive threat. Lue was asked if it's more difficult to identify who that is on Golden State. 'Hell yeah,' he said, his voice rising. 'It's tough.' There are few weaknesses in these Warriors, the first team to head into the final round 12-0 and winning by an average of 16.3 points per game. 'They have so many weapons,' Lue said, 'having four All-Stars and now adding KD to the mix who I've always loved as a scorer, just how he scores so easy. They have a lot of options. It's going to be tough, but we have to lock into what we have to do defensively, and sometimes you can play great defense and it doesn't work. Steph is making tough shots, Klay is making tough shots and KD is making tough shots. But all you can do is play your defense, stick to your principles and just make it as tough as possible.' The Cavs know Lue won't panic. He stayed cool last spring when Cleveland fought back from a 3-1 deficit to win its first title. Lue made subtle tweaks to his rotation, drew up key inbounds plays, then isolated Irving late in Game 7 on Curry. The Cavs All-Star guard made his now famous go-ahead, step-back 3-pointer. Pressure intensifies in the postseason, when possessions, turnovers and rebounds are magnified. As the drama builds, Lue stays composed, setting the tone for his players. 'Throughout the postseason there's so many different emotions,' James said. 'Going high, going low. And if you're a coach able to just stay even-keeled throughout the whole thing, it relaxes the rest of the group.' Don't be fooled by Lue's cool. He can get fiery when needed. 'I always get mad when guys make shots in the first quarter, second quarter, pumping their chest and then the game on the line they miss,' Lue said. 'So you're doing all that for no reason. I always like to stay even-keeled and just play the game the right way.' Lue is a stickler for detail, and he won't cut any corners preparing for another dance with the Warriors. He'll have the Cavs ready, and they can also count on him to keep them relaxed. 'When you're prepared and you do the best you can do and you put it out there on the floor, you've just got to live with the results,' Lue said. 'I'm doing my homework, I'm doing every possible thing to put this team in every situation to win. When you're doing that, things you go over every day, end-of-game plays and things like that, either they work or they don't.' ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
  • Tony Romo is gainfully employed by CBS Sports and the Dallas Cowboys have hitched their wagons to Dak Prescott for the long haul at the quarterback position. With that said, Dallas does not exactly have an exciting backup QB situation and, with only one year of film on Prescott, there is more uncertainty than some would like to believe. To that end, Cowboys QB coach Wade Wilson was recently asked (via Scout.com) about the possibility that Romo could get “the call” should something happen to Prescott and, well, he didn’t avoid the discussion entirely. “It’s fun to speculate about that, if Dak were to go down in Week Two, would Tony come back? I don’t know the answer to that. I just don’t know. Do I think he’s capable of coming back and playing? Most definitely. Does he want to or what his commitment is to the network? I don’t know that, so it’s fun to think about, and it’s fun water-cooler topics to talk about [even without] information to make a definitive answer on that.” It seems (very) far-fetched that Romo would leave the TV booth midseason in order to replace Prescott. Let’s get that out of the way now. Still, it is endlessly entertaining to consider even the possibility and Jerry Jones might be desperate enough to make it worth Romo’s while in some way. This is more of a hypothetical than anything but Wilson’s description of “fun” seems apt.

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  • The box says “It's amazing what she knows,” but security experts say the My Friend Cayla doll also makes it easy for strangers to know your child. The doll uses Bluetooth technology to connect to a device with no PIN or password required.  >> Read more trending news “On a scale of one to 10 this doll was definitely one to hack,” Ken Munro with Pentest Partners, who discovered the vulnerability in 2015, said. “I don't think anybody takes this seriously enough. What bothers me is we're expecting parents to become computer security experts and that's not realistic.” Privacy groups are taking action. Last December the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington filed a complaint with the FTC about Genesis toys, the maker of My Friend Cayla and the robot I-Que. The complaint cites ease of access and how the app recordings were sent to a third party software company, Nuance Communications, without making it clear to parents.  RELATED: Germany bans talking doll due to security concerns The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or C.O.P.P.A, sets strict guidelines on how parents must be notified about information collected on their children.  “The parent has to actually know what is going on and then say, ‘Yes, I agree.’ The box cannot already be checked. It cannot be just hidden somewhere in the terms of service. It's supposed to be a moment where the parent realizes what's going on and says, ‘Yes, I'm OK with that,’” Munro said. RELATED: Do some toys threaten your child’s privacy? Even if parents are notified, understanding how the information is stored is key.  'It's going to the cloud. That's the basic thing for so many of our devices,' said Munro. Child user profiles and recordings collected by some other companies have also been compromised. In 2015, V-Tech Toys was hacked exposing over six million child profiles. Plus, security researchers recently discovered that people could access voice recordings of Spiral Toys Cloudpets. Munro said that the best way to make sure your children's privacy is secure is to not give out their information in the first place.  “It's really more of a problem of how we as Americans view our privacy, and we keep giving more and more information out,” Munro said. “Eventually, we're not going to have any more privacy if we don't stop.” The FTC would not comment on their investigation of complaints against Genesis Toys and Nuance. 
  • While the calendar says we are days away from the month of June, Republicans in Congress are already feeling pressure over their legislative agenda for 2017, as time is already growing short for GOP efforts to overhaul the Obama health law, which also puts a time squeeze on other major initiatives on Capitol Hill. There are no votes scheduled this week in the Congress; the Senate returns to legislative session on June 5, while the House is back in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Here’s some of what faces Republicans in the Congress: 1. Everything keys off of the GOP health care bill. Because the GOP is trying to use the expedited “budget reconciliation” process, which allows them to avoid a filibuster in the Senate, nothing involved with next year’s budget – or with tax reform – can move until health care is settled. GOP Senators have been meeting regularly in recent weeks to decide what to do on health care – but they don’t have a deal as yet, and no one is quiet sure when they might have a vote. “We’re a long ways from that,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-ND) told reporters this week. “Damned if I know,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said about when a deal might be reached. Writing their own bill takes time. Senate laying groundwork for own health care replacement bill — Rusty Arrison (@RustyArrisonXVJ) May 26, 2017 2. Why do you keep saying there isn’t much time? Two things are at work here – the Congressional calendar, and the limits on the “budget reconciliation” process. The authorization to use reconciliation for a health care bill expires on September 30 – the end of the 2017 Fiscal Year. So, the GOP has four months to figure out a bill, and get it approved and sent to the President. But, lawmakers won’t be here much of that four month period. In fact, between now and the end of the fiscal year – there are 43 scheduled legislative work days in the House, which mirrors the Senate schedule. That’s 43 legislative days in session spread out over 18 weeks. You could always get extra time by scrapping the August recess, or working some weekends. 3. The budget is way behind schedule – more than usual. This past week, President Trump delivered his 2018 budget to the Congress. Normally that is done in February. The House and Senate only started having hearings on spending bills this past week. Lawmakers were supposed to approve the blueprint known as the “budget resolution” by April 15. As of now, that plan doesn’t even exist. Congress is supposed to pass all spending bills by October 1, the start of the new fiscal year, but that has not happened since 1996. With the schedule still showing five weeks off during the summer, there is no way that lawmakers are going to meet that spending deadline, which will pave the way for stop gap budgets, and then most likely a year-end omnibus spending deal. Sound familiar? @TheDCVince the congress cannot walk and crew gum at the same time. They haven't begun the FY18 budget.We will get more CRs and then omnibus — Bulldog 6 (@MC22554) May 24, 2017 4. Tax reform still hasn’t taken shape. Despite the Sunday tweet by President Trump about his tax plans, it was obvious in budget hearings last week involving Secretary of Treasury Stephen Mnuchin that a Trump tax plan is not ready to be rolled out any time soon. Remember – all we have right now is a one page document with some bullet points. Even if the White House put out the details this next week, Republicans couldn’t take it up under budget reconciliation rules until they get finished with health care legislation. And, as stated above, the GOP does not seem to be near a deal. Senate Republicans probably cannot let June go by without some kind of agreement on health care. The massive TAX CUTS/REFORM that I have submitted is moving along in the process very well, actually ahead of schedule. Big benefits to all! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2017 5. You can’t pass bills when you aren’t in DC. Whenever I point out how the Congress is going to be home for an extended break, I always hear from people who say, “If they’re not in DC, they can’t screw things up.” Yes, that’s true. On the other hand, it’s also true that when they aren’t working on Capitol Hill, they can’t pass any bills to fix things, either. And for Republicans right now, if you aren’t at work on the floors of the House and Senate, you aren’t passing any of President Trump’s agenda. Those Republican lawmakers having town hall meetings this week will get a lot of attention. If Republicans in the House and Senate were doing their job, Pres Trump could be returning home to sign laws for taxes, health care, etc. — Pat (@Pat170017001) May 26, 2017 It’s not even the end of May. But time is already running short for Republicans in 2017.
  •   An investigation is underway into the tragic death of a Navy SEAL in a parachuting accident Sunday during a demonstration for Fleet Week in Jersey City, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan. >> Read more trending news The SEAL, part of the Navy’s elite skydiving team, the Leap Frogs, plunged to his death in the river when his chute failed to open, according to a Navy spokesperson. The SEAL was immediately rescued from the water, but later pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center, the Navy said in a statement. The parachutist was not identified pending notification of his family. “Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and I ask for all your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today,” Navy Rear Adm. Jack Scorby said, according to The Associated Press.  The Leap Frogs have numerous performances scheduled throughout the rest of the year, according to their website.
  • It started as attempted retail theft and only escalated from there.   A St. Augustine woman is facing a felony charge, after an incident at a Jacksonville department store.   According to the arrest report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, employees at the Kohl's on Old St. Augustine Road spotted April Felder, 29, load up her cart with merchandise and then walk out of the store with that cart, without making any attempt to pay.   When store security confronted her in the parking lot, Felder allegedly ditched the cart, containing not only the stolen goods, but her young child as well.   Felder faces a felony charge of child neglect, after being arrested about a block away from the store.
  • President Donald Trump marked his first Memorial Day in office with a somber service at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday. >> Read more trending news The president first participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, before addressing a crowd of family members of the fallen gathered there to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. In his speech, the president recognized the Gold Star families at the service. 'To every Gold Star family: God is with you, and your loved ones are with him.' Trump said.  'I believe that God has a special place in heaven for those who laid down their lives so that others may live free.' Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence, who was also at the service, visited Section 60, where the military members who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 are buried chatting and shaking hands with the families of the fallen. The president took to Twitter this morning, posting several tweets about Memorial Day.  “Today we remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving,” he wrote early Monday before heading over to Arlington for the somber remembrance ceremony. “Honoring the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to America. Home of the free, because of the brave,” he tweeted even earlier Monday morning. >> Related: Trump approval rating hits new low in poll Also Monday, Pence and his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, helped kick off a bike race in Washington for Project Hero, a veterans and first responders group, according to CNN.  

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