via CNN:

Trump and co. somehow managed to make the phone call controversy worse

President Donald Trump has a unique talent — and taste — for making bad situations worse. For making wild claims, then failing to back them up. He was at it — once again — on Wednesday morning when he tweeted about his now controversial Tuesday evening conversation with the widow of an American soldier killed in Niger.
That last sentence alone would’ve been enough to set off a five-alarm fire in any past White House. “Damage control mode,” or whatever you want to call it, exists for a reason. But the Trump presidency approaches that concept with disdain. Where his predecessors wielded fire extinguishers, Trump prefers a flame toss

Maryland shooting suspect arrested after killing 3 at his job

A massive manhunt that started with a man allegedly killing three people in Maryland ended with the suspect’s arrest hours later as he smoked a cigar near a high school in Delaware.

Police arrested Radee Labeeb Prince, 37, Wednesday evening, hours after he allegedly opened fire at his workplace in Edgewood, Maryland.
In addition to the three people killed in the shooting rampage in Maryland, an additional two others were wounded, authorities said.
But that was just the first incident in a deadly mayhem that started in Maryland and ended with another shooting about 40 miles away in Delaware.

McKayla Maroney alleges USA Gymnastics doctor abused her at 13

Former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney alleged Wednesday that former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar repeatedly molested her, starting when she was 13 years old.

On her verified Twitter account, Maroney made the allegation under the “#MeToo” hashtag, saying that Nassar abused her under the guise of providing “medically necessary treatment.” That “treatment” began when she was 13, continued during her stellar performance at the 2012 London Olympics and only ended when she left the sport in 2016, Maroney said.
“It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated.’ It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver,” she wrote.

Billy Joel expecting third child

Billy Joel is going to be a dad for the third time.

The 68-year-old told The Belfast Telegraph that his fourth wife, Alexis Joel, is pregnant with their second child and the couple is due next month. Billy Joel’s spokesperson confirmed the baby news to CNN.
The “Piano Man” and his wife welcomed a daughter, Della Rose, in August 2015. Their bundle of joy arrived a month after the couple got married.

Spain to trigger direct rule on Catalonia to crush independence bid

The Spanish government said Thursday it would begin the process to impose direct rule on Catalonia in an unprecedented move to crush the region’s independence bid.

In a statement from Madrid, the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said it would invoke Article 155 of the constitution, a provision that allows the central government to suspend the autonomy of the Catalan regional administration.
Rajoy’s Cabinet will meet on Saturday to agree measures to “restore the constitutional order” in Catalonia, where a banned referendum on independence took place earlier this month. The plan will then be put before the Senate, where Rajoy’s Popular Party has a majority, for approval.
The statement did not spell out what steps would be taken under Article 155, but the provision gives Madrid the power to take over the running of Catalan institutions and force new elections. It has never been invoked before.

‘Project Runway’s’ Mychael Knight dies at 39

Fashion designer and popular “Project Runway” contestant Mychael Knight has died, family spokesman Jerris Madison told CNN on Wednesday.

Knight, 39, died Tuesday outside Atlanta, said Madison, a photographer and founder/creative director of Obvious magazine.
No cause of death was released.

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