Correction: Veteran, glass artist falsified his military record

Oct 19, 2017 0

On Sunday, Oct. 8, Fox News Channel aired a story about John Garofalo, a glass artist who created a presidential glass seal in the hopes of gifting it to President Trump.

Garofalo claimed he was a Vietnam veteran, a member of the first U.S. Navy SEAL team, and a decorated war hero who was awarded two Purple Hearts.

Unfortunately, all of Garofalo’s claims turned out to be untrue. The fact is that he did not serve in Vietnam. He was never a U.S. Navy SEAL. Even though he showed us medals, Garofalo was not awarded two Purple Hearts or any of the other nearly two dozen commendations he claimed to have received, except for the National Defense Service Medal.

It is true that Garafalo is a glass artist and a veteran. He served in Spain and he gifted two presidential seals to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Over the last two weeks, we’ve worked with Garofalo’s family and the National Personnel Records Center to get to the bottom of a military past that Garofalo had claimed to be covert.

We apologize to our viewers, especially veterans and servicemen and women.

Politically fraught San Francisco murder trial gets jury

Oct 19, 2017 3

After being asked detailed questions about their views on Latinos, immigration and guns, a jury has been selected for the murder trial of the man who fatally shot Kate Steinle.

Six women and six men were seated as jurors Wednesday in the murder trial of 54-year-old Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. The dozen jurors said they didn’t have views of Latinos or persons who have entered the country illegally that would prevent them from keeping an open mind.

Opening statements are Monday.

The shooting touched off a political furor during the presidential campaign because Zarate was released from San Francisco’s jail despite a federal immigration request to hold for deportation.

Zarate said the shooting was accidental. His lawyer Matt Gonzalez said he was pleased with the jury selected. Prosecutors declined comment.

LFO band ask for 'prayers and good vibes' after member announces health issue, major surgery

Oct 19, 2017 4

Devin Lima, one of the musicians behind the band LFO, has undergone a major surgery to remove a recently-discovered massive tumor.

The musician appeared on a YouTube video alongside his bandmate, and brother, Brad Fischetti, to announce to fans that a tumor was discovered on the 40-year-old singer’s adrenal gland, which affects his kidneys and heart. In the video, Fischetti notes that the human adrenal gland is supposed to be the size of an acorn, while Lima describes his as “Hulk-sized.”

The video was posted on Wednesday night, announcing a major surgery to remove the tumor on Thursday morning. The duo asked fans for prayers and “positive vibes” as there is a possibility that the surgery could affect his kidney, spleen, part of his colon and more depending on the severity doctors see once inside. Fischetti specifically asked fans to hope that the tumor wasn’t cancer.

While there’s no information about the extent of the surgery or Lima’s recovery, the band’s Twitter page updated fans on how things were going, and the news was positive.

“Just got a call from a nurse in the operating room. She said Devin is under and he was happy-go-lucky as ever. She said he’s doing fine.”

There have been no further updates.

As Extra notes, the band, whose hits include “Summer Girls” and “Girl on TV” lost its lead singer, Rich Cronin, in 2010 after a long battle with leukemia. The group disbanded soon after, but Lima and Fischetti recently reunited for a tour. That tour is currently on hold pending Lima’s recovery diagnosis.

Pressure on NBC exec to resign after revelation he dined with sex creep Harvey Weinstein before spiking expose

Oct 19, 2017 6

NBC News is coming under increasing criticism for its failure to investigate why its embattled president, Noah Oppenheim, spiked a bombshell story that would have been the first to expose Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator. 

An NBC spokesperson says the network is not investigating the matter, despite new revelations that Oppenheim sat at small table with Weinstein at an exclusive New York gala in April, when Oppenheim reportedly already knew that his reporter, celebrity scion Ronan Farrow, had obtained damning audio recordings in which Weinstein admitted groping the breasts of an Italian model.

University of North Carolina Associate Professor Lois Boynton teaches ethics at UNC’s School of Media and Journalism. She feels that Oppenheim sitting with Weinstein “certainly raises ethical concerns,” and while attending an event with a “Hollywood peer” may seem innocuous, the head of NBC News should have known better. Boynton pointed to the Radio Television Digital News Association and Society of Professional Journalists ethics codes, which are both clear about the need for journalists to work independently, be transparent and avoid conflicts of interest.

“Although Noah Oppenheim isn’t in the reporting rank and file, the impact of even perceived conflicts of interest on his part as NBC News president can affect not only his own credibility but also that of the company… It would have been wiser for Mr. Oppenheim to distance himself – literally — from Mr. Weinstein,” Boynton told Fox News. “Perception carries a lot of weight. Human nature leads us to ask what conversations transpired between the two men during the gala.”

The revelation — which came from Hollywood mega producer Gavin Polone, who fingered Oppenheim as one of Weinstein’s “accomplices” — has been confirmed by Fox News and increased skepticism about NBC’s insistence that Oppenheim had no relationship with Weinstein prior to the screenwriting executive killing Farrow’s investigation, which Farrow would later take to the prestigious New Yorker magazine.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 1: Noah Oppenheim participates in a panel discussion after the premiere of Fox Searchlight Pictures “Jackie” at the Newseum on December 1, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Fox/PictureGroup)  (2016 FOX)

An NBC spokeswoman repeated that, “Noah has never had any relationship with [Weinstein], business or personal,” but it appears the pair were socializing in black tie at a star-packed event after Oppenheim became aware of damming evidence obtained by his own news organization. NBC did not disclose this fraternization when it issued its original denials last week that Oppenheim had any ties to Weinstein. 

“It is problematic when those who are in charge of reporting the news in a fair and balanced manner appear in any way to be aligned with, or supportive of, news figures on whom they may have to report,” Canada’s Western University journalism professor and ethic expert Romayne Smith Fullerton told Fox News. “I think the very appearance of bias can be read by audiences as problematic.”

Oppenheim moonlights as a Hollywood screenwriter, and has screen writing credits on three produced films, including “Jackie”, which was nominated for three Academy Awards (Oppenheim himself was not nominated). He is currently writing a screenplay about the escape artist Harry Houdini, to be produced by Lionsgate. He has told numerous colleagues that he’s bored by his NBC News role and may return to Hollywood full time at any moment. 

Some NBC insiders who spoke to Fox News on condition of anonymity, for fear of retribution by Oppenheim, say he had a clear conflict of interest and should have recused himself from the Weinstein investigation. 

Oppenheim and NBC News have also been accused by Farrow and many others of lying when Oppenheim claimed that Farrow’s piece did not meet NBC’s reporting standards at the time they spiked it.  

“One of the finest publications on the planet took a look at whatever Oppenheim took a pass on and felt it was worth the effort,” Poynter Chief Media Critic James Warren wrote

NBC News is not even exploring why Oppenheim spiked the story, despite numerous calls from outside NBC (and anonymous murmuring from within) for him to step down.

“Executives at NBC knew exactly what Weinstein was doing nearly a year ago,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on Monday. “Instead of reporting it, they did their best to keep that information hidden from public view.”

Producer Harvey Weinstein poses during a red carpet for the movie “Philomena”, directed by Stephen Frears, during the 70th Venice Film Festival in Venice August 31, 2013. The movie debuts at the festival. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi (ITALY – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) – GM1E991053G01

The pressure on Oppenheim has increased even as the Weinstein headlines have faded. Forbes published a story on Wednesday titled, “Should NBC News head Oppenheim lose his job over Weinstein expose debacle?” Breitbart Editor-at-Large John Nolte wrote that “hopelessly corrupt establishment media infested with Oppenheims is the problem,” noting that the system is set up for privileged and connected individuals like Oppenheim to remain exalted and remunerated. Evening TV news watchdog Andrew Tyndall called Oppenheim’s rationale “lily-livered” and liberal CNN even quoted a source calling NBC’s decision “indefensible.” 

Farrow had begun reporting on Weinstein in January of 2017 and by March he had “acquired a damning and much-coveted audio recording in which Weinstein admits to having groped an Italian model,” according to HuffPost. The same story alleges that Farrow landed an on-camera interview with actress Rose McGowan, during which she accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her, prior to uncovering the audio.

“By April, NBC News had two big scoops in its pocket: an on-record interview with McGowan and the explosive audio of Weinstein admitting to sexual assault,” the HuffPost wrote. “But Farrow was told by multiple NBC News executives and producers that the reporting and interviews he had conducted weren’t sufficient for a televised story.”

The Time 100 gala, which is packed with celebrities, occurred on a rainy April evening, after NBC News executives presumably knew about Farrow’s investigation. NBC News employees are given multiple invitations to the exclusive gala in exchange for promoting Time’s “The Time 100” magazine issue on the “Today” show. In addition to Oppenheim, “Today” hosts Megyn Kelly and Willie Geist represented the NBC cohort, along with NBC News chairman Andy Lack. Also there were Ronan Farrow himself and his mother Mia, the star of “Rosemary’s Baby”.

“I would say that yes it was unethical, both to sit with Weinstein and to pass on the story. Weinstein’s ability to continuously harm women over the years depended on the complicity of other people in positions of power, who had the ability to draw attention to Weinstein’s conduct. Refusal to work with him in light of that conduct would have brought this to an end long ago. The complicity is unethical; someone who turns a blind eye to a harmful act does something reprehensible, effectively facilitating it, especially if they gain from that complicity. Weinstein should have been stopped years ago, and many people are at fault for their passivity in the face of his actions,” author and ethics expert John Hacker-Wright told Fox News. 

An insider familiar with the Time event told Fox News that seating assignments are carefully made, and that if Oppenheim scored a seat at Weinstein’s table, it was probably a favor by Time’s public relations department. An NBC representative tells Fox News that Oppenheim did not specifically ask to sit with Weinstein. Time did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

TV historian and journalism professor Robert Thompson doesn’t think Oppenheim and Weinstein simply sitting at the same table is necessarily a conflict of interest, but it all depends on what was discussed.

“I don’t know what happened at that table, I don’t know if there were conversations at that table… that might be another story,” Thompson told Fox News. “I’m not sure we know the details yet about what went into the decision not to go with that Ronan Farrow story.”

Thompson said he needs more information to proclaim that Oppenheim violated “journalistic standards” by sharing a table with the man his news division was investigating.

“Then, of course, there are standards as to, when you are in the middle of that, how you interact with the subject of your investigation. These are delicate things,” Thompson said. “I don’t know how the two of them ended up at the same table, was it just where they happened to find their nameplate? If the two of them were colluding about not running this story… that would be one thing.”

Boston University journalism professor Jon Klarfeld said Oppenheim’s decision “certainly was unwise” and called it “another notch in the list of problems” that TV news organizations currently face. 

Andrew Lack, NBC’s President and Chief Operating Officer, answers questions from reporters during NBC’s Summer Press Tour July 20, 2001, in Pasadena, California. AL/JP – RP2DRINKOOAA

Meanwhile, Oppenheim isn’t the only influential member of the Comcast/NBC family to have ties to Weinstein. Back in 2013, the movie mogul attended an Obama event at the Martha’s Vineyard home of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. The Weinstein Company has had TV programs on NBC Universal stations, and Weinstein reportedly begged NBC Universal executive Ron Meyer for support when the harassment allegations began to surface.

Oppeheim’s boss, powerful NBC News Chairman Andy Lack, has remained silent as his subordinate takes heat for quashing the Weinstein story. Oppenheim’s role at NBC is far smaller than that of his counterparts at other networks, since so much of NBC’s news operation reports directly to Lack. “He doesn’t do much other than spiking stories,” said an NBC News insider of Oppenheim, who was also in the middle of NBC’s decision to sit on the explosive Donald Trump “Access Hollywood” tape. That recording was eventually leaked to the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold, who is Oppenheim’s friend from prestigious Harvard University.

“Andy will try to throw Noah under the bus for the Weinstein and the Megan Kelly situations,” said one industry insider, referring to the troubled roll-out of Kelly’s new daytime show. “But Noah is far more shrewd and connected than Andy realizes.” 

NBC representatives did not respond to requests for comment from Lack. Farrow also did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment. When Fox News reached out to NBC for additional information, a spokeswoman responded, “We continue to believe Fox News’ coverage of this matter is motivated by competitive concerns.” 

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News.

Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.

Republicans who won't be coming back to Congress after 2018 midterm elections

Oct 19, 2017 6

After first announcing that he wouldn’t seek reelection, embattled Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., resigned from Congress Thursday afternoon. 

Fall retirement announcements are nothing new. On average, 22 House members retire each cycle without seeking another office, Roll Call reported.

Here’s the list of Republicans, in the House and Senate, who have announced they will not seek reelection.

Tim Murphy

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., resigned his position in October.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

GOP Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania announced on Oct. 5 that he would resign his position in Congress. The news came after reports that the lawmaker, who has publicly been staunchly anti-abortion, had an affair and asked his mistress to get an abortion when they believed she was pregnant.

Murphy, 65, said he will “take personal time to seek help as my family and I continue to work through our personal difficulties.” 

Bob Corker

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., announced last month that he will not run for a third term.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., announced on Sept. 27 that he will not seek a third term in 2018.

Corker, 65, had previously said that he “couldn’t imagine” serving more than two terms.

Dave Trott

Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., said he will not seek reelection, potentially paving the way for the Republican-leaning district to flip.  (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., announced on Sept. 11 that he would not seek reelection.

Trott, 56, will retire at the end of his second term. His district is Republican-leaning, but analysts told the Detroit News that a Democrat could flip the seat.

Charlie Dent

Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who has been openly critical of President Donald Trump, announced his retirement in September.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent said on Sept. 7 that he would not seek reelection. The seven-term moderate congressman told Fox News that he made the decision both from personal reasons and because “the polarization around here is pretty severe.”

Dent, 57, has been openly critical of Trump. He voted against party lines and a repeal of ObamaCare earlier this summer.

Dave Reichert

Rep. Dave Reichert served seven terms in congress.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

After serving seven terms in Congress, Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., said he would not seek reelection on Sept. 6. A former sheriff, Reichert, 67, represents a district that is being targeted by Democrats in 2018. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the area in the 2016 election.

Reichert said the decision to retire from Congress was “the right one for my family and me.”

Jimmy Duncan

Rep. Jimmy Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., announced in July that he would not seek reelection.

In announcing his retirement, Duncan, 70, thanked conservatives who supported him against “recent attacks against me from the far left.”

“I love my job, but I love my family more.”

– Rep. Duncan

“I have decided I wanted to spend less time in airports, airplanes and traveling around the district and more time with my family, especially my nine grandchildren, who all live in Knoxville,” Duncan said. “I love my job, but I love my family more.”

Roll Call reported that Duncan’s sister, state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, could launch a bid for his empty seat.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was not a strong supporter of President Donald Trump.  (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., announced on April 30 that she would not seek reelection. Ros-Lehtinen, 65, has been a congresswoman since 1989.

“The most difficult challenge is not to simply keep winning elections; but rather the more difficult challenge is to not let the ability to win define my seasons,” she said.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Ros-Lehtinen is considered a moderate Republican who was not a strong supporter of Trump.

Lynn Jenkins

Thought to be a candidate for governor in Kansas, Rep. Lynn Jenkins instead said she’ll be returning to the private sector.  (Reuters/Mark Kauzlarich)

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., announced on Jan. 25 that she would not seek reelection or run for another office.

Jenkins, 54, said she wanted to return to the private sector although she was highly rumored to be a possible gubernatorial candidate in Kansas.

Sam Johnson

Longtime Rep. Sam Johnson, 86, announced his retirement in January.  (Reuters/Jason Reed)

Longtime Texas Rep. Sam Johnson announced his retirement on Jan. 6.

“For me, the Lord has made clear that the season of my life in Congress is coming to an end,” Johnson, 86, said.

Johnson is an Air Force veteran who was a prisoner of war at the infamous Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam.

Kristi Noem

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., is running for governor in her state.  (Reuters/Larry Downing)

Instead of seeking reelection in 2018, Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., announced in November 2016 that she will run for governor instead.

In her announcement, Noem, 45, said her gubernatorial campaign would officially kick off in 2017.

Raul Labrador

Rep. Raul Labrador announced he would run for governor of Idaho in 2018.  (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, announced this summer that he would finish out his current term but then run for governor of Idaho in 2018 instead of reelection, according to HuffPost.

Labrador, 49, is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus.

Steve Pearce

New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce opted to run for governor of his state instead of reelection in July.

Pearce, 70, has been a congressman for more than 12 years. He told the Albuquerque Journal that as governor he would focus on the exodus of young people leaving the state. 

Pat Tiberi

Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, announced Oct. 19 that he would be resigning from office in early 2018 to lead a business policy group.  (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi announced on Oct. 19 that he would resign from Congress in early 2018 to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable, as the association’s president.

Serving as a Republican Congressman for 17 years, Tiberi, 54, said Thursday that while he has “not yet determined a final resignation date, I will be leaving Congress by January 31, 2018.”

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

John Kelly 'broken hearted' by Dem rep's attacks on Trump

Oct 19, 2017 6

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Thursday he was “stunned” and “broken-hearted” after a condolence call President Trump made to the widow of a slain soldier turned into a public and political spectacle pitting the administration against a Democratic lawmaker. 

In a rare and emotional moment from the White House briefing room podium, Kelly condemned Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., for listening to that phone call and then criticizing the president’s tone in the press. 

“I was stunned when I came to work, when I saw what a member of Congress was doing, listened in on a phone call from the president,” Kelly told reporters. 

“It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation … I thought at least that was sacred,” he said.  

On Oct. 4, four Americans were killed in an ambush near Niger. The phone call in question was made to the widow of one of those soldiers, Army Sgt. La David Johnson.

Wilson criticized Trump for allegedly saying during that phone call that “he knew what he signed up for,” claiming the remarks were insensitive.  

But Kelly said Trump was only trying to say something akin to what Gen. Joe Dunford, now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told him when his own son died: That “he was doing exactly what he wanted to do … he knew what he was getting into.”

Shia LaBeouf's arrests and other controversies

Oct 19, 2017 5

Shia LaBeouf was sentenced to a year of probation on Thursday, after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction stemming from a July incident in Georgia. 

The Hollywood actor has faced a number of arrests and controversies. Here are some of the key ones.

November 2007 arrest

The former child star was arrested after allegedly refusing to leave a Chicago Walgreens while seemingly intoxicated, People reported in December 2007. Though LaBeouf was charged with trespassing, the charge was dropped because Walgreens declined to press charges, the report said.

LaBeouf later called the incident “complete and utter insanity” and “a mistake I’m still completely embarrassed about.”

March 2008 warrant

LaBeouf was ticketed for unlawful smoking while on a sidewalk in February 2008 in Burbank, Calif., and a bench warrant was issued after the actor didn’t attend a hearing, the Los Angeles Times reported. LaBeouf’s attorney was in court one day later, and pleaded not guilty for his client. The charge was dropped and LaBeouf was fined $500, the report said.

July 2008 DUI arrest

LaBeouf was involved in an early morning crash in California in which he injured his hand. Police arrested him on a drunken driving charge. Authorities said the actor wasn’t at fault, as another driver had run a red light.

In September 2008 a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge LaBeouf. 


2011 bar fights

LaBeouf was reportedly punched in the face by a man at a bar in Sherman Oaks, California, in February 2011. Police handcuffed both men, who each decided not to press charges, the Hollywood Reporter said. In October 2011, LaBeouf was struck by a man on a sidewalk in Vancouver, Canada. The man and Shia earlier may have “got into it” in a bar, TMZ reported. 

Alleged rape comes to light, 2014

LaBeouf told Dazed and Confused magazine in its Winter 2014 issue that a woman raped him at his #IAMSORRY performance art show in Los Angeles in February 2014, where guests could meet him on an individual basis. 

“One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me,” LaBeouf recalled. He claimed the woman “walked out with dishevelled hair and smudged lipstick.”

“As soon as we were aware of the incident starting to occur, we put a stop to it and ensured that the woman left,” LaBeouf’s collaborators Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö tweeted in early December 2014.

February 2014 paper bag incident

LaBeouf made headlines for when he walked out of a Berlin Film Festival news conference for “Nymphomaniac Volume I.” At the film’s premiere, he wore a tuxedo – plus a paper bag on his head. The bag had openings for his eyes and featured the words “I am not famous anymore.”

June 2014 arrest

LaBeouf was watching a performance of the musical “Cabaret” at a New York City theater when he began to smoke cigarettes, yell at actors, and swear at security guards, according to court papers.

He had faced multiple charges, and would eventually plead guilty to disorderly conduct in November 2014 in a deal with no jail time or probation. A prosecutor said the deal was made because the star had “been in continuous treatment since his arrest.”

October 2015 arrest

LaBeouf was in Austin, Texas, in October 2015 when he was arrested in the city’s Sixth Street district for public intoxication around 7:30 p.m., Austin police said. He was booked into jail and released on his own recognizance.

“Obviously he gets arrested a lot, he came down here, he acted up and APD doesn’t put up with that,” Ben Blake, who saw the actor’s arrest, told KXAN. “So he got what he got, you know?”

“He Will Not Divide Us” project launch and arrest, January 2017

LaBeouf’s live stream project at the Museum of the Moving Image, called “He Will Not Divide Us,” began on January 20, the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. It invited participants to say “He Will Not Divide Us” in front of a camera set up outside.

LaBeouf was arrested outside the museum on January 25. He had yanked a man’s scarf, scratching his face in the process, and also shoved him, according to authorities. Assault and harassment charges were later dropped, the New York Post reported.

The museum shut down the project, saying Feb. 10 that it “resulted in an unexpectedly volatile situation and serious public safety hazards.” The installation was moved to Albuquerque, N.M., where it was vandalized, and was eventually taken on by the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool, the project website says.

April 2017 incident

Video showed LaBeouf yelling at bartender David Bernstein and calling him “racist,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Bernstein had reportedly refused to serve the actor alcohol. 

Bernstein later sued LaBeouf. LaBeouf’s lawyer has argued that LaBeouf’s comments were free speech. 

July 2017 arrest

LaBeouf was arrested early July 8 in Savannah, Georgia. At about 4 a.m. that day, LaBeouf had asked a police officer and bystander at an intersection for a cigarette, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan police said.

“When LaBeouf wasn’t given a cigarette, he became disorderly, using profanities and vulgar language in front of the women and children present,” authorities wrote. “He was told to leave the area and refused, becoming aggressive toward the officer.”

LaBeouf fled to a hotel when the officer tried to arrest him, and he was taken into custody in the lobby, police said.

At a police station, LaBeouf was caught on camera telling a black police officer that he was “going straight to hell, straight to hell, bro.” LaBeouf later said the man would go to hell “because he’s a black man.”

In a statement posted to Twitter, LaBeouf said, “I am deeply ashamed of my behavior and make no excuses for it.”

LaBeouf appeared before a Recorder’s Court judge on Oct. 19. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction and will spend the next year on probation. He also pleaded no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct. Prosecutors dropped a charge of public drunkenness.

His plea deal requires anger management counseling, and he must also complete a drug and alcohol evaluation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

First look at 8 prototypes of Trump's 'big, beautiful' border wall

Oct 19, 2017 6

As workers nearly complete the first prototypes of President Trump’s border wall, next week the Department of Homeland Security will begin testing which designs best deter and prevent illegal immigrants from entering the U.S.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection awarded eight contracts to six companies to build the prototypes.  Four are made of reinforced concrete, the others involve alternate materials, mostly steel.

Each model is 18 to 30 feet high and 30 feet long. Contractors have until Oct. 26 to complete their design before testing begins. All of the construction is taking place a few miles east of San Diego.

border wall prototype 2

U.S. Customs and Border Protection awarded eight contracts to six companies to build the prototypes. Four are made of reinforced concrete, the others involve alternate materials, mostly steel.

Testing will include how long it takes to scale the barrier, or breach it using a concrete saw or jackhammer. Do the designs contain sensors? If so, can the prototype alert agents when someone is trying to breach, scale or dig beneath the wall?

Why is that important? Border patrol agents say a fence, wall or barrier – call it what you want – only buys time. Every wall can be breached. Agents need appropriate roads to reach any area along the border in a matter of minutes to interdict or apprehend an individual.

The question for evaluators will be: one, what design works best for the money and, secondly, where is it to be located? What works in the desert, say solid precast concrete, will not work in canyons where there is flash flooding. In that terrain, a design utilizing steel bollards may work best.

Compared to existing fencing along the border, which ranges from 10 feet tall steel mat installed in the 1990s, to 16-foot-tall steel mesh erected in 2006, the new designs at 30 feet tall are imposing.

border wall prototype 3

Compared to existing fencing along the border, which ranges from 10 feet tall steel mat installed in the 1990s, to 16-foot-tall steel mesh erected in 2006, the new designs at 30 feet tall are imposing.  (Fox News)

As for actually getting built, the politics is messy and some lawmakers purposely misinform the public as to what is being proposed.

One, the CBP is not proposing a 2,200-mile-all from San Diego, Calif, to Brownsville, Texas. That is not realistic, necessary or affordable.

Two, existing law calls for 700 miles of “double fencing.” The U.S. doesn’t have that. Under the 2006 Secure Fence Act, the federal government only completed 350 miles of fence, and only in select areas are there two fences.

Many argue, Congress has already authorized another 300 miles of barrier. Whether it’s called a fence or a wall, is politics.

'Fixer Upper' Season 5 will have two exciting celebrity guest stars

Oct 19, 2017 7

Although fans are already lamenting the end of HGTV’s breakout hit, “Fixer Upper,” hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines aren’t done just yet. The fifth and final season will reportedly get a little shot of star power to help close things out with a bang.

It was previously announced that the power couple will end the show after the 19-episode Season 5. They’ll continue to flip houses in their hometown of Waco, Texas to turn people’s homes from nightmares to dreams, and now Deadline reports they’ll do so with some celebrity guests.

Former First Lady Laura Bush and former NFL superstar Tim Tebow will reportedly appear on episodes of Season 5. Unfortunately for fans, there’s currently no news on when those episodes will air.

The Gaines couple announced the end of their show last month with a post on their blog.

“It is with both sadness and expectation that we share the news that Season 5 of ‘Fixer Upper’ will be our last,” the said, causing many people to wonder if the decision was motivated by rumors that the couple’s marriage was in trouble. They have since outright denied that rumor.

“Our family is healthy and our marriage has honestly never been stronger.”

As TV Guide notes, the end of Season 5 won’t be their last appearance on TV. They’re expected to return next spring for their spin-off series, “Fixer Upper: Behind the Design.” The show features Joanna’s design process throughout each episode of the flagship series. 

“Fixer Upper” Season 5 is currently set to premiere in November.

George W. Bush says bigotry or white supremacy in any form is 'blasphemy'

Oct 19, 2017 5

Decrying what he called bigotry, bullying and prejudice in politics, former President George W. Bush bluntly warned about dangers to democracy, both abroad and here at home.

He spoke at a New York City forum sponsored by his Dallas-based Bush Institute, called ‘The Spirit of Liberty At Home, In the World.’ He warned that democracy is weakening in the coarseness of current politics.

“People of every race, religion and ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed, and it means that the very identity of our nation depends on the passing of civic ideals to the next generation,” he said. “Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”

Former U.S. President George W. Bush speaks at a forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute in New York, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Former U.S. President George W. Bush speaks at a forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute in New York, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)  (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

He warned that “we have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are strong than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily to animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions – forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.”

He also slammed what he called Russia and China’s aggression and challenging of the world order, but said here in the U.S. we must be on guard against isolationism and nationalism.

He also criticized the dictatorship of North Korea, and met with several North Korean escapees, American college students, who are the recipients of the Bush Institute’s North Korean Freedom Scholarship program. The effort, run by the George W. Bush Institute, provides $25,000 in scholarship money to eight students to “pursue higher education and build productive, prosperous lives as new Americans.”

Among those who met with the former President, was Grace Jo, a 26-year-old student at Maryland’s Montgomery College.
She addressed the gathering, earning applause when she told the group of several hundred people when she stepped up to the podium and announced, “My name is Grace Jo, and I am an American.”

Grace told Fox News that she and her family escaped three times to China, only to be caught and sent back. Her two younger brothers died of starvation and her father died from being tortured while in police custody for sneaking a bag of rice back from China. She says starvation was rampant while she was growing up, and that the family was occasionally given a bag of potatoes by the government. She recalled her family living for 10 days without any food, surviving only on water. That’s when her mother found six baby mice in a field and her grandmother made soup out of them in order for the family to survive.

She is a young woman of strong resolve who is bluntly clear about what she hopes will be the fate of Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Grace Jo speaks at a forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute in New York, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Among those who met with the former President, was Grace Jo, a 26-year-old student at Maryland’s Montgomery College.  (AP)

“The North Korean regime should not exist in this world any more, any longer. The U.S. government military force, or any independent force should stop the North Korean regime, because the regime is killing the innocent people in the country. Child, babies and moms are dying without any hope.”

She says from first-hand experience that tough talk is the only thing that the Kim Jong Un regime understands.

“I believe North Korean regime will not listen if we speak nicely. So I think it is time to take action to the North Korean government, because if we don’t have any action and only speak words and try to give something to them, like give a candy to a little crying kid, it can solve for the moment but it will not solve for the long run,” she says.

She does not think a military strike, with its predictions of a possible catastrophic loss of life in South Korea and the region, is feasible. “I don’t want to drop a bomb,” she said. Grace hopes the U.S. and its allies can conduct covert actions that will lead to the toppling of the regime. She does not think sanctions have or will work to deter Pyongyang’s nuclear programs and military aggression.

Bush also said it is a time that western democracies are being tested.

“We are gathered in the cause of liberty. This is a unique moment. The great democracies face new and serious threats. Yet, some seem to be losing confidence in their own calling and competence. Economic, political and national security challenges proliferate, and they are made worse by the tendency to turn inward. The health of the democratic spirit itself is at issue. And the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand.”

Former First Lady Laura Bush also spoke, and former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice, Madeleine Albright and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, participated in a panel discussion. Haley called Grace Jo an inspiration.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, left, and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice participate in a panel discussion at a forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute in New York, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, left, and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice participate in a panel discussion at a forum sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute in New York, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)  (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“Grace Jo you inspire us so much you are the reason we fight for what we fight for,” she said.

Ambassador Haley then warned that North Korea tops the list of threats against U.S. national security.

“We do have a lot of threats but we also have to remember that leadership matters so our biggest threats obviously: North Korea, Iran ISIS, those are the three because we have to always make sure we are doing everything we can to protect Americans and our allies,” Haley said.

President Bush warned that one of biggest problems facing the nation right was “a deficit of confidence.”

“But the cause of freedom justifies our all our faith and effort. It still inspires men and women in the darkest corners of the world, and it will inspire a rising generation. The American spirit does not say, “We shall manage,” or “We shall make the best of it.”
It says “We shall overcome.” And that is exactly what we will do, with the help of God and one another.”