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President Donald Trump endorses Mitt Romney in Utah Senate race

President Donald Trump has apparently endorsed one-time adversary and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney as Romney runs for Senate in Utah to replace Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is retiring.

Hatch, the longest-serving Republican in Congress, announced his retirement in January. That left room for Romney to take the front-runner’s spot in the race for Senate; Romney announced his candidacy for Utah’s Senate seat on Friday February 16, choosing to delay his announcement for 24 hours “out of respect for the shooting victims and their families in Parkland, Florida.”

>> Read more trending news

Romney’s announcement video promised to bring “Utah values” to Washington D.C., boasting that “on Utah’s capitol hill, people treat one another with respect.” Those close to Romney say as senator he is less interested in direct combat with President Donald Trump than he once was and more interested in promoting Utah — though the man grew up in Michigan and has deepest political ties to Massachusetts.

In a tweet of thanks to Trump, Romney swiftly pivoted to Utah voters.

The tweets — and support — makes odd bedfellows of Trump and Romney, who have a long record of openly criticizing each other.

President Donald Trump has blasted Romney for losing the 2012 election to then-President Barack Obama, saying he “had his chance to beat a failed president but he choked like a dog.” Trump has also called Romney “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics” and a “dope.”

In a 2016 speech, Romney hammered Trump for a litany of abuses, calling him a “phony” and a “fraud.” He also jumped on Trump for his comments in the wake of the weekend of bloody race-fueled violence in Charlottesville and his endorsement of Roy Moore in the Alabama special election.

23 members of a single family removed after brawling on cruise ship

If there’s one thing no traveler wants, it’s to be stuck on the same vacation with this family.

>> Read more trending news

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, at least 30 passengers aboard a Carnival Cruise Lines ship traveling to Melbourne were injured after a series of brawls. What is now being called the “the cruise from hell” led police to “remove a family group of passengers” when they left passengers scared and bloodied.

It was reported that 23 members of one family left the 10-day cruise in the South Pacific early because of their behavior. Six men and three teenage boys were removed by police while the other 14 passengers, women and children, followed suit.

“This is all over a thong, not a foot, a thong being stepped on and being instantly apologized for. What happened there and then was apologized for,” revealed a family member, who was identified only as Zac. “My nephew was threatened as he was returning a soccer … when four or five blokes walked up to him and said, ‘Don’t worry we’re gonna get ya.'”

Videos show men and women engaging in the fight, as well as security kicking the entangled men on the floor.

WARNING: The below video may be disturbing to some viewers.

The man argued that security on the ship aggravated the situation by following them at “every possible moment.”

“The first hit was thrown by security towards, not just my daughter and my sister-in-law, but my wife as well,” he argued.

WARNING: The below video may be disturbing to some viewers.

“They were looking for trouble from the minute they got on the ship,” a passenger identified as Katie told 3AW.

David Barkho told the station that his son called him from the ship after being injured.

“He said, ‘Please Dad, please, call the Federal Police,'” the father recalled. “I could hear a lot of screaming, crying in the background.”

The cruise line explained its actions in a statement:

We asked [New South Wales] Police Marine Area Command to attend Carnival Legend in Eden to remove a family group of passengers from the ship.

A video shows that the family remained rowdy even in the removal process. At least one man thought to raise his middle finger toward the cheering onlookers after being loaded onto a separate vessel by authorities.

Link to that video can be found here

Carnival initially released the following statement in response to the incident:

Safety is the number one priority for Carnival Cruise Line, we take a zero tolerance approach to excessive behaviour that affects other guests and we have acted accordingly on Carnival Legend. The ship’s highly trained security staff have taken strong action in relation to a small group of disruptive guests who have been involved in altercations on board. The ship’s security team is applying our zero tolerance policy in the interests of the safety and comfort of other guests.

Carnival Legend is currently on a 10-day South Pacific cruise scheduled to be completed in Melbourne tomorrow where the ship is currently homeported.

The cruise has reportedly offered the other passengers a 25 percent refund on their tickets.

These are the world’s most punctual airlines for 2018

We’ve all experienced the pains of crowded airports, unbearably long security lines, and cramped seating. But when it comes to flight delays, some airlines really are better than others.

>> Read more trending news

Analysts at travel intelligence firm OAG examined 57 million flight records from 2017 to find out which airlines are truly the world’s most punctual.

The U.K.-based firm defined on-time performance (or OTP) as flights that arrive or depart within 14 minutes and 59 seconds of their scheduled times.

>> Related: Naked passenger prompts Seattle-bound plane to return to Anchorage

With 90.01 percent of OTP flights, the most punctual mainline airline in the world is Latvian flag carrier airBaltic, the report found.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines came in at No. 11 on the mainline list with an OTP rate of 82.76 percent.

>> Related: Emotional support peacock banned from United flight, even though it had a seat

However, when it comes to the most punctual airlines with 30 million-plus seats (also referred to as mega airlines), Delta ranked third overall.

Last year, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics also ranked Delta third in on-time performance with an overall on-time arrival rate of nearly 86.5 percent in 2016. Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines took the top spots in the federal ranking.

>> Related: Delta passenger caught on video complaining about baby has been suspended from her job

Other U.S. majors among OAG’s top 10 mega airlines by OTP include United Air Lines (No. 7) and American Airlines (No. 9).

In addition to being highly punctual, many of the top-ranked airlines are also low-cost carriers. "This year, six of the Top 20 airlines are LCCs, up from four last year and two in 2015," OAG reported.

Here are the top 10 mega airlines by OTP, according to OAG:

  1. Japan Airlines (85.27 percent)
  2. All Nippon Airways (83.81 percent)
  3. Delta Air Lines (82.76 percent)
  4. IndiGo (81.22 percent)
  5. Alaska Airlines (81.06 percent)
  6. SAS (80.90 percent)
  7. United Airlines (79.86 percent)
  8. LATAM Airlines Group (79.39 percent)
  9. American Airlines (78.97 percent)
  10. Southwest (78.55 percent)

And the top 10 mainline airlines by OTP:

  1. airBaltic (90.01 percent) 
  2. Hong Kong Airlines (88.83 percent)
  3. Hawaiian Airlines (87.24 percent)
  4. Copa Airlines (86.39 percent)
  5. Qantas Airways (86.18 percent)
  6. Japan Airlines(85.27 percent)
  7. Aer Lingus (84.46 percent)
  8. Singapore Airlines (84.07 percent)
  9. All Nippon Airways (83.81 percent)
  10. Qatar Airways (82.95 percent)

Explore the full study and its methodology at OAG.com.

Pastor and family assault, rob Sunday school teacher, police say

A church pastor, his wife and 19-year-old daughter are accused of robbing a Sunday school teacher minutes before a Sunday’s service at the St. Paul Zion Church in Toledo, Ohio.

>> Read more trending news

Police in Toledo said that Nickema Turner, 39, was grabbed from behind by her hair by the daughter of the pastor, Kamali Morris. She then punched Turner and the pastor, Anthony Morris, 49, pushed the victim to the ground, police said.

The wife of the pastor, Zelda Morris, 46, allegedly emptied the purse belonging to Turner and grabbed the victim’s iPhone, according to WTVG. According to the Toledo Blade, Turner attempted to get her belongings back from Zelda Morris when Anthony Morris pulled out a gun and pointed it at Turner. She also told police that he threatened to kill her.

According to WTVG, the police report included that Zelda Morris stated to Turner’s daughter following the attack:

"You wanna know why this happened? It happened because your mom slept with my husband."

The Morris family fled the scene before police arrived.

Anthony Morris with his wife Zelda were later arrested but their daughter, Kamali had not been located as of Monday afternoon according to the Toledo Blade.

The police report indicates that in addition to the cellphone, a Taser and prescription medication were taken from her purse. The iPhone was later recovered but the screen was broken.

Zelda Morris and her daughter Kamali Morris are charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, a first degree felony.

NY state troopers fly friend of school massacre victim to Florida for funeral

Two New York state troopers are being credited with an immense kindness after they paid for the flight of a young woman to Florida to say goodbye to her friend, one of the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. 

Jordana Judson, 23, told NBC News that she was devastated to learn that her childhood friend, Meadow Pollack, was among the victims of the Valentine’s Day shooting at her alma mater. Former Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz, 19, is accused of killing 14 students and three faculty members with an AR-15 rifle. 

>> Read more trending news

Pollack, an 18-year-old senior, and Judson were lifelong friends, NBC News reported.

“They were like our second family our whole lives,” Judson said of the Pollacks.

Judson said she showed up at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, the day after the shooting, frantic to get a flight home to Florida, where she’d grown up. 

“As soon as I got out of the car at the airport, I started hysterically crying,” she said. 

Troopers Robert Troy and Thomas Karasinski spotted the distraught young woman and asked if she was all right. She tearfully explained that a friend was killed in the school shooting in Florida and that she needed help figuring out where to buy her ticket. 

The troopers led her inside to the JetBlue counter, where an agent told her a one-way ticket to Florida would be almost $700, Judson told the news station. Unable to afford the cost, she begged the agent to lower the price or allow her a bereavement discount.

The agent could not accommodate her, and was about to give the ticket to another passenger when Troy and Karasinski stepped in.

“I look up, and the state troopers are standing there and they’re both handing over their credit cards,” Judson told NBC News. “I’m telling them that they don’t have to do this. This is crazy. They said, ‘It’s already done. We want you to be home with their families.’”

A rabbi who sat Shiva with the Pollack family confirmed that Judson made it home to be with the family and to attend Meadow’s funeral on Friday, where the Miami Herald reported that she was described as a star with “a smile like sunshine.”

Meadow’s father, Andrew Pollack, and her older brother, Hunter, both lamented the fact that they couldn’t protect her when she needed them.

“This piece of (expletive) killed my kid, and I couldn’t do anything about it,” Andrew Pollack said, according to the Herald. “That’s never happened to me in my life. I’m always able to protect my family in any situation.”

Hunter Pollack said he always looked out for his sister. 

“I wanted to be the over-supportive brother my whole life, and I feel like I failed,” Hunter said. “So all I can do is hope that (her killer) gets what he deserves.”

Judson told NBC News that the troopers’ gesture to get her to the funeral made her heart “full and heavy at the same time.”

New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II told the news station in a statement that, as law enforcement officials, all troopers take an oath to protect and serve. 

“We also instill in our members the importance of acting with respect and empathy for the people they encounter,” Beach said

Troy told the news station that he sympathized with Judson’s dilemma.

“The sense of just being there for your family and friends, you want to be there for them,” Troy said. “You’re going to go through anything to get there.”

Explaining that he has five younger sisters, the trooper said it was a “sigh of relief” to be able to help Judson.

“If that was one of them, I’d want someone to help them out,” he said. 

Uber Eats driver accused of killing customer turns himself in

An Uber Eats driver who police said shot and killed a customer turned himself in Monday afternoon.

>> Read more trending news

According to WSB-TV, Robert Bivens, 37, arrived at the jail with his attorney. The Atlanta Police Department's Homicide Unit secured an arrest warrant for felony murder Monday.

The shooting happened Saturday night at a condominium on Pharr Road in Buckhead, Georgia.

Police said Ryan Thornton ordered food from Uber Eats and the driver delivered the food around 11:30 p.m. At some point, authorities said words were exchanged between Thornton and the driver.

The Uber Eats driver then shot the 30-year-old, police said.

Thornton died at Grady Memorial Hospital. 

Uber said in a statement on Monday, saying Bivens no longer has access to the app:

“We are shocked and saddened by this senseless act of violence and our hearts go out to Ryan’s friends and family. We have been working with the Atlanta Police Department, and the driver can no longer access the app.”

A spokesperson for Uber told WSB-TV Bivens passed a background check and had only been an Uber Eats driver for about a week. Bivens was an Uber Eats delivery partner only and did not drive passengers.

Uber is working closely with the Atlanta Police Department on this investigation.

Florida gun owner surrenders assault rifle after Parkland high school massacre

A Florida man spurred by the massacre that killed 17 people at a Parkland high school last week has “put (his) money where (his) mouth is” and surrendered his assault rifle to authorities.

Ben Dickmann, 40, wrote on Friday, in a Facebook post that has since gone viral, that he decided to lead by example.

“I own this rifle,” Dickmann wrote, sharing multiple photos of the semiautomatic AR-57 as he turned it in at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s a caliber variant of the AR-15.”

The suspected gunman in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, former student Nikolas Cruz, is accused of using an AR-15 to gun down 14 students and three faculty members on Valentine’s Day. 

“I am a responsible, highly-trained gun owner. (I am not a police officer or sheriff’s deputy),” Dickmann wrote. “However, I do not need this rifle.”

Dickmann wrote that no one without a police badge needs an AR-57.

“This rifle is not a ‘tool’ I have use for. A tool, by definition, makes a job/work easier,” Dickmann wrote. “Any ‘job’ I can think of legally needing doing can be done better by a different firearm.”

Dickmann wrote that, although he enjoyed shooting the weapon, he has other types of guns that he can shoot for recreation. He could have sold the rifle, he wrote, but “no person needs this.”

“I will be the change I want to see in this world,” Dickmann wrote. “If our lawmakers will continue to close their eyes and open their wallets, I will lead by example. #outofcirculation.”

Officials with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office praised Dickmann for his decision.

“We commend Ben for helping us get one more dangerous weapon off the streets,” a post on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page read.

The post also offered two ways for the public to turn in an unloaded, unwanted weapon. A citizen can call the department’s non-emergency line, 954-765-HELP, and inform a deputy that they have a weapon to surrender for destruction. 

“Leave the firearm in a location away from you in the home/business, allowing the responding deputy to retrieve it when they arrive,” the post read. “The deputy will take possession of the weapon (and) ammunition for disposal.”

The second way to turn the weapon in is to secure the gun in the trunk of a vehicle and drive to the nearest Sheriff’s Office substation. After parking in the visitors’ lot, a citizen can go inside and tell the deputy at the desk that he or she has a firearm and/or ammunition in the vehicle for surrender. 

“A deputy will meet with you and retrieve the weapon from your vehicle for disposal,” the post read

Dickmann, who lives about 30 minutes from Parkland in Fort Lauderdale, told NPR in an interview that the decision to give up his assault rifle came after “a lot of soul searching.” He said that, like others, he sees a lot of “thoughts and prayers” being offered, but not much else.

“I thought, ‘Well, this is something I can do that I think is right,” Dickmann said. “And it’s something I can do that might spark a change. You know, my whole goal was maybe to inspire one friend on my Facebook page to do the same thing. And maybe that friend would inspire one other person.”

Dickmann said he considered taking action after the Las Vegas shooting, but thought that his gun was not hurting anyone sitting in his gun safe. The Stoneman Douglas massacre, however, hit close to home. 

He said response to a Facebook post he wrote the day after the school shooting is what spurred that action. In that long post, Dickmann wrote that it was past time to do something about the mass violence undertaken with firearms in the United States.

>> Read more trending news

“I can now say I know people who have been directly affected by three of the most horrific gun violence events in our history (Northern Illinois University, Las Vegas, Stoneman Douglas), and a couple more single events,” he wrote. “This makes me sick. This makes me mad. I’m tired.”

In the Northern Illinois University shooting, which took place 10 years to the day before the Stoneman Douglas massacre, former NIU student Steven Kazmierczak walked onto the stage in an auditorium where class was taking place and gunned down five students before killing himself. More than a dozen more were injured. 

Commenters on Dickmann’s post, who numbered in the thousands, varied in their responses. Some thought he spoke common sense, while others accused him of being a paid lackey for the anti-gun crowd. 

Dickmann told NPR that it was sarcasm from one man who told him, “Well, if you feel this way, why don’t you go turn your gun in?” The man even offered to drive Dickmann to the station. 

“Even though he was being extremely sarcastic about it because he’s a very staunch conservative, gun rights activist person, it kind of spurred me to say, ‘You know what? Yeah, I’ll do that,’” he said

Dickmann said he’s glad that his actions sparked a debate.

“I hope somebody, be it the students, be it the next generation, picks up the torch and does something,” he said

Girl, 16, killed when UTV crashes into Georgia lake

A 16-year-old girl was killed when the utility terrain vehicle in which she was riding crashed and went into a lake, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news

Kate Jones, 16, of Athens, was submerged when the UTV rolled into the lake on private property, Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said on Facebook. The incident happened about midnight.

A deputy and a firefighter dived into the water, which was about 10 feet deep, and freed Jones from the vehicle, Berry said.

Four other people were in the vehicle when it crashed. One of them is being treated for serious injuries at an Athens hospital.

The crash was in the 5000 block of High Shoals Road in Bishop.

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash.

Fire department raffles AR-15 rifle, draws criticism

A California fire department is facing criticism after offering an AR-15 rifle as a raffle prize at a fundraiser just days after police said a 19-year-old used the same weapon to gun down 17 people at a high school in Florida.

>> Read more trending news

Allison Merrill told the Sacramento Bee that she was so offended by the gun, which was raffled Saturday during the Cameron Park Fire Department’s crab feed, that she and her friends walked out of the event.

“When we walked out, the flag was at half-mast in front of the community center, and it was just so striking, how tone-deaf the whole event was,” she told the Bee. “We walk out and there’s the flag at half-mast for all those kids.”

Police believe the shooter in last week’s deadly attack in Parkland, Florida, used an AR-15 when he killed 14 students and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“To have our first responders be the ones kind of offering a military-style assault rifle as a prize – putting that out into our community, especially right now – it was appalling,” Merrill told KOVR.

>> Related: Florida school shooting: Probe focuses on gunman's motives, victims' lives

Merrill told the news station that she spoke with the fire chief, who apologized and acknowledged that the gun raffle could be seen as insensitive. She told the Bee that event organizers refunded her and each of her three friends the $40 fee for the event, although she added to KCRA that “the money wasn’t really an issue.”

“I was deeply disturbed by it,” Nancy Lugo, who attended the event with Merrill, told the Bee. “Not only the timing of the recent shootings but also the fact that it’s that easy to get an AR-15.”

>> Related: Third-graders in Missouri selling raffle tickets for AR-15 weapon

Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean told KCRA that the Cameron Park Fire Department has held similar fundraisers since 2002. The fire department is under contract with Cal Fire, according to KCRA.

“These weapons are not any different than anything you could go into the gun store and buy,” McLean told the Bee, adding that the fundraiser was planned before last week’s deadly shooting.

The gun was taken to a gun store after the raffle, McLean said, where it will stay for a 10-day waiting period required by law as officials run background checks to ensure the winner of the raffle can legally own the firearm.

"I understand the concerns, by all means," McLean told KCRA. "No harm was intended."

’Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ celebrates 50th anniversary

It’s been “a beautiful day in this neighborhood” for 50 years.

Feb. 19, 1968, was the day that PBS aired the first episode of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and the lessons that Fred Rogers taught still resonate today. A re-imagined tales of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” several televised tributes and even a feature-length movie remind us of the legacy of Mr. Rogers. 

According to his official biography from the foundation that carries on his mission of education, Rogers was born in 1928 in the small town of Latrobe, Penn., east of Pittsburgh. After getting a degree in music composition, he was hired by NBC in New York as an assistant producer and eventually a floor director for some of the network’s programming in the ’50s.

History was made in 1953 when WQED in Pittsburgh asked Rogers to come up with their first schedule. He produced a show called “The Children’s Corner,” where he  introduced characters such as Daniel Striped Tiger, X the Owl and Henrietta Pussycat.

Those characters have found new life on “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” where children now learn those positive messages not in puppet form, but from cartoons. 

Fred Rogers’ belief in kindness led him to seminary, where he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. Instead of moving toward a traditional religious calling, his charge was “to continue his work with children and families through the mass media.”

In 1963, he was offered the opportunity to start a show in Canada called “Misterogers.” Three years later, he went back to Pittsburgh and created a new show called “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which went national 50 years ago, on what would become PBS.

Fred Rogers died on Feb. 27, 2003, in Pittsburgh and was survived by his wife, Joanne, and their two sons and three grandsons.

>> Read more trending news 

Rogers’ message of love and kindness still resonates today. When there is a national tragedy, memes or video clips of Fred Rogers telling children and adults alike to “look for the helpers” gives those who need it a moment of reassurance that everything will be OK.

“Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” also helped launch the careers of some current stars. 

Actress Ming-Na Wen, known for her role as Agent Melinda May on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and as the voice of Disney’s Mulan, appeared on the show.

Bill Nye the Science Guy appeared on an episode in 1997 to help everyone’s neighbor perform an experiment, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Rogers also introduced kids to various genres of music, thanks to guest stars who dropped by, including Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma and Tony Bennett, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Michael Keaton, who went by his original name at the time, Michael Douglas, had one of his first jobs working as a stagehand on the show. He helped operate the iconic trolley, CBS News reported. He was also one of the “Flying Zookeeni Brothers,” Parade reported.

Keaton will host a one-night-only PBS special that pays tribute to Rogers on March 6. “Mister Rogers, It’s You I Like” will feature Keaton and cast regulars, including Joe Negri, who portrayed Handyman Negri, and David Newell, who portrayed Mr. McFeely.

Rogers will also be remembered by guests Judd Apatow, Whoopi Goldberg and Sarah Silverman, according to PBS.

But that’s not the only remembrance planned for Mr. Rogers. Starting on Feb. 26, PBS Kids will run a weeklong tribute to Rogers, PBS announced

A forever stamp will also honor Rogers this year and is scheduled to be released on March 23, WPXI reportedAnd a biopic has been announced in which Tom Hanks has been slated to star as Rogers.

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