News You Need: Happy Birthday Giraffe

WEATHER

Morning showers then cloudy today the high is 53


NATIONAL

White House Is Holding An Opioid Crisis Summit -

The White House is scheduled to hold a summit today on the drug crisis facing the nation with an emphasis on opioids. President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a "health emergency" back in October. Since that time however, there have been complaints from some local state and city officials that the administration hasn't taken enough action or dedicated enough money to adequately tackle the problem.

New drug “czar” Jim Carroll, who heads the ONDCP will make his debut during the meetings. First Lady Melania Trump will give opening remarks and more than 200 people affected by the painkiller and heroin epidemic will ask questions and interact with administration members.

Source: Washington Times


*Lottery Winner 3 Times In 1 Day - A Michigan tow truck driver won the lottery three times in just one day, netting more than $325,000, Michigan lottery officials said. Mark Maltz bought his winning tickets at a BP gas station in Commerce Township, Michigan, last Friday. “I work for a tow company and we stop at the BP to fill up our trucks,” Maltz told Michigan Lottery officials. “I was in the store on Friday after filling up my truck and I bought a scratch-off and won $10. I decided I’d buy a Fast Cash ticket and won $15. Then I bought a $5 Fast Cash Black Jack ticket and the $10 Jackpot Slots Fast Cash ticket, and the rest is history.”


Putin Claims Russia Has A Nuclear Missile That Renders Defenses “Useless” - 

Russian president Vladimir Putin just made international relations a lot more strained.

During his annual address to the nation, Putin said Russia has developed an intercontinental ballistic missile that renders defense systems “useless.” He noted it has a longer range than any in existence and can reach almost any target in the world.

Putin added Russia would use nuclear weapons if it, or any of its allies, came under nuclear attack. He accused the West of "ignoring us. Nobody listened to us. Well listen to us now." He did add Russia had "no plans to be an aggressor." "We are not going to take anything away from anybody. We have everything we need. Russia’s strong military is a guarantor of peace on our planet.

"Source: NBC News


*Disneyland may bill itself as the "happiest place on earth," but apparently that doesn't hold true for the theme park's 30,000 employees, according to a new report published by the Los Angeles Times.

Though Disneyland's attendance, daily ticket prices and revenues have gone up since 2000, its employees' pay has dropped 15 percent in real dollars.

According to the survey (conducted by Peter Dreier, a politics professor at Occidental College, and Daniel Flaming, the president of the Economic Roundtable), 85 percent of Disneyland employees -- including food service workers, hair stylists, costumers, candy makers and others -- are paid less that $15 an hour. Even 54 percent of full-time employees who have worked that the theme park from more than 15 years, make less than $15 an hour and 13 percent are paid less than $11 an hour.

Los Angeles Times


*Walmart became the latest retailer to change its policy on guns on Wednesday evening. The company announced that it will no longer sell guns and ammo to anyone under 21 and will stop stocking toys and airsoft rifles that look like assault weapons.

The company said in a statement, "Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way."

Walmart's change comes after Dick's Sporting Goods made a similar move. That company also announced it was immediately halting the sales of all assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines. Walmart stopped the sale of assault-style weapons in 2015.

The changes come two weeks after 17 people died in a shooting spree at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, at the hands of a 19-year-old with an AR-15-type rifle. 

The New York Times


Donors And Recipients In 12 Person Kidney Swap Meet Up For The First Time- 

Large organ transplant chains are rare, but one in Chicago is in the spotlight.

Friends and family members of some patients in great need for a new kidney weren’t matches for their loved one, but turned out to be for someone else. They opted to help and the chain was born.

The chain includes three sets of friends, an aunt and niece, second cousins and one Good Samaritan who all came together to make the elaborate swap possible.

The surgeries, staffed by dozens of nurses, doctors, and support staff, took place at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Kidney Transplantation Department between Wednesday and Friday last week. Dr. Joseph Leventhal, Director of Kidney Transplantation at Northwestern stressed how important living donations are. "I think it speaks to the power of living donation," Leventhal said. "That it can really create access to transplant that can otherwise be very difficult."

Source: ABC 7 Chicago


Amazon Is Good At Skirting Taxes 

Despite making five-point-six-billion-dollars, Amazon says it paid no federal income taxes last year. In its latest annual report, Amazon says it will pay roughly 769-million-dollars in taxes for the year, but 724-million of those will be foreign taxes.

"Seattlepi.com" says Amazon used a complex system of credits and deferments to accomplish this. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also is getting a personal windfall from the Trump administration's U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Critics of the U.S. tax system have long said that loopholes and maneuvers keep many companies from actually paying most taxes.

Source: Seattle Pi


SPORTS

*The Blues beat Detriot 2-1, they are off until Saturday

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