Also trending on your Tuesday: In Texas, Trump backs wall while O'Rourke rallies opponents, vulgar anti-Trump message in 'Non Sequitur' comic strip stirs anger and Fox News host says he hasn't washed his hands in 10 years because germs are not real.
Woman sues Lime after a scooter accident left her daughter in a vegetative state
Most days, when Ashanti Jordan's shift at Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., ended, she got a ride home from co-workers.
But on a sunny day in late December, the outgoing 28-year-old security guard decided she would make the 4-mile journey home on a Lime scooter, one of many littering the city's streets, according to family members.
Jordan, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, was about halfway home when she collided with a Toyota Corolla at an intersection in a residential area. The collision threw Jordan about 100 feet and left her with broken bones, rib fractures and a catastrophic brain injury, family members say.
Now, more than six weeks after the accident, Jordan remains in a persistent vegetative state and has begun suffering from seizures, forcing doctors to return her to the hospital's intensive care unit in recent days, family member say.
On Monday, Tracy Jordan, Ashanti's mother, announced plans to sue Lime — one of the world's largest electric scooter companies — on her daughter's behalf for negligence, according to her lawyer, Todd Falzone, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., personal injury lawyer.
Falzone said Lime's app includes language that specifically instructs people not to operate scooters on local sidewalks, pushing them onto city streets instead.
Operating a motorized scooter on the street is against the law in Florida and in Fort Lauderdale, though the city does permit e-scooters to be ridden on sidewalks.
Because she followed Lime's instructions, Falzone said, Jordan avoided the sidewalk and was catastrophically injured.
"To this day they are telling users to break the law and, as a result, people are doing that," Falzone said at a news conference Monday. "They are getting hit by cars, they are hitting pedestrians, they're having all manner of accidents that shouldn't be occurring."
"Unfortunately," he added, "Ashanti is going to pay for this with her life."
Lime did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit arrives about a week after a 21-year-old exchange student from Ireland was killed in an accident involving a Lime scooter and vehicle in Austin, Texas. The student, Mark Sands, appears to be the third person killed in an accident involving Lime scooters in recent months.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is studying the health risks associated with e-scooters by analyzing injuries to riders and pedestrians in Austin, Texas, over two months. Last week, a CDC spokesperson told The Washington Post that the study should be finalized in the spring.
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where e-scooters arrived in November, a series of high-profile accidents has raised controversy over the devices, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
"According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, between Dec. 1 and Jan. 31, there have been 40 incidents involving scooters," ABC affiliate WPLG reported. "A total of 31 of them required someone be transported to the hospital, and four of those were level-1 traumas."
Lime, which has admitted that some of their models have caught fire and broken in half while being ridden, has received hefty investments from Uber and Alphabet and, according to Bloomberg, is valued at more than $1 billion.
At the same time investment money was pouring into Lime, injured scooter riders began pouring into emergency rooms around the country, leading some doctors to accuse companies like Bird and Lime of spawning a public health crisis.
Falzone said Jordan is a tragic examples of that crisis.
Falzone provided The Washington Post with a screen shot that he said came from the Lime app's "Rules and Regulations." The rules — to which riders must "agree" to operate the scooter — included the following sentence: "Do not ride on the sidewalk."
In addition to being printed on the outside of the scooter, riders see that same message three separate times in the app, Falzone said. He accused Lime of violating its operating agreement with Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which requires the company to inform riders how to safely and legally operate their scooters.
"I'm worried about people around the country who are riding these things and not understanding whether they're supposed to be riding them on the street or on the sidewalk," he said. "You rely on the company to know the local rules."
Falzone said his client is seeking compensatory damages that cover potential disabilities, mental anguish, hospital expenses, as well as long-term medical care and loss of income.
Before she was injured, Falzone said, Jordan was an outgoing woman with an independent personality, with lots of friends and a love of hip-hop. After high school, he said, she decided she wanted work in construction. Despite her toughness, he said, she's always had a special connection with children, whether they were her four siblings or neighbors.
In recent years, Falzone said, Jordan took a job in security at Broward General Medical Center, the same hospital where her mother works. The job allowed the two women to say close to one another, he said.
At Monday's news conference, Tracy Jordan said her daughter is still young, which could aid in her recovery. She remains faithful, she said, but reminders of her daughter's accident are hard to avoid.
"I just can't even stand to see a scooter, it's so traumatizing at this point," she said. "I have to cover my eyes."
He went to an abandoned home to smoke weed. Inside, he found a tiger.
It took a little convincing before police believed the person who reported the strange discovery.
The concerned citizen claimed to have entered an abandoned Houston, Texas home to smoke pot and found a tiger.
So, naturally, authorities were suspicious.
"We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger," Sgt. Jason Alderete of the Houston Police Department's Major Offenders, Livestock Animal Cruelty Unit told CNN affiliate KTRK.
But once they arrived, police found a caged tiger in the home's garage, according to KTRK.
The home had been abandoned for some time, Alderete said. But several packages of meat were found with the animal, KTRK reported.
Officers tranquilized the large cat, pulled it out using a wrecker and transferred it to an animal shelter.
"We made arrangements for the tiger to be transferred to another facility that is licensed to handle exotic pets," executive director of the Center for Animal Research & Education Heidi Krahn told KTRK.
"Finding a forever home for a tiger is not easy," she said.
And that's because tigers don't make for great pets, Krahn said.
"They are basically a loaded gun pointed at anyone that encounters them," she said. "They can be extremely dangerous."
The case is still under investigation and it's unclear if the owner will face any charges.
In Texas, Trump backs wall while O'Rourke rallies opponents
President Donald Trump charged ahead with his pledge to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, skimming over the details of lawmakers' tentative deal that would give him far less than he's been demanding and declaring he's "setting the stage" to deliver on his signature campaign promise.
In the first dueling rallies of the 2020 campaign season, Trump's "Finish the Wall" rally in El Paso went head-to-head Monday night against counterprogramming by Beto O'Rourke, a former Democratic congressman and potential Trump rival in 2020, who argued that walls cause more problems than they solve.
The rallies across the street from each other served as a preview of the heated yearslong fight over the direction of the country. And they made clear that Trump's long-promised border wall is sure to play an outsized role in the presidential race, as both sides use it to try to rally their supporters and highlight their contrasting approaches.
Standing in a packed stadium under a giant American flag and banners saying "FINISH THE WALL," Trump insisted that large portions of the project are already under construction and vowed to fulfill his 2016 campaign promise regardless of what happens in Congress.
"Walls work," said Trump, whose rally was repeatedly interrupted by protesters. "Walls save lives."
O'Rourke, meanwhile, held a countermarch with dozens of local civic, human rights and Hispanic groups in his hometown, followed by a protest rally attended by thousands on a baseball field within shouting distance from the arena where Trump spoke.
"With the eyes of the country upon us, all of us together are going to make our stand here in one of the safest cities in America," O'Rourke said. "Safe not because of walls but in spite of walls."
More than a half-hour in his rally, Trump had scarcely mentioned immigration, offering just a passing suggestion that those chanting "Build the Wall" switch to "Finish the Wall." Instead, he mocked O'Rourke, insisting the Texan has "very little going for himself except he's got a great first name" and deriding his crowd size, even though both men drew thousands.
"That may be the end of his presidential bid," Trump quipped, adding: "You're supposed to win in order to run."
The rallies began moments after negotiators on Capitol Hill announced that lawmakers had reached an agreement in principle to fund the government ahead of a midnight Friday deadline to avoid another shutdown.
Republicans tentatively agreed to far less money for Trump's border wall than the White House's $5.7 billion wish list, settling for a figure of nearly $1.4 billion, according to congressional aides. The funding measure is through the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
Three people familiar with Congress' tentative border security deal have told The Associated Press that the accord would provide $1.375 billion to build 55 miles (90 kilometers) of new border barriers — well below the $5.7 billion that Trump demanded to build over 200 miles (320 kilometers) of wall along the Mexican boundary. The money will be for vertical steel slats called bollards, not a solid wall.
The talks had cratered over the weekend because of Democratic demands to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities, but lawmakers apparently broke through that impasse Monday evening. Now they will need the support of Trump, who must sign the legislation.
But Trump appeared oblivious to the deal, saying that he'd been informed by aides that negotiators had made some progress but that he had declined to be fully briefed because he wanted to go on stage.
"I had a choice. I could've stayed out there and listened, or I could have come out to the people of El Paso, and Texas, I chose you," Trump said. "So we probably have some good news. But who knows?"
Trump, who has been threatening to declare a national emergency to bypass Congress, added, "Just so you know, we're building the wall anyway."
The countermarch began at a high school about a mile from the baseball field in the shadow of Trump's rally, its participants streaming past part of the border and the towering metal slats lining it. Marchers waved handmade signs reading "Fire the Liar," ''Hate Is Not What Makes America Great" and "Make Tacos, Not Walls." They chanted "No wall!" and "Beto! Beto! Beto!"
Many marchers, and those in the crowd at the ballpark, carried flags reading "Beto for President 2020" or black-and-white "Beto for Senate" yard signs from his closer-than-expected November race against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that had been modified slightly to read "Beto for President." The Democrat said the event wasn't only about him — or Trump — but meant to tell the true story of life in El Paso.
"It is going to be the people of the border," O'Rourke told the crowd before beginning the march, "who will write the next chapter in the history of this great country. Ensuring that our laws and our language and our leaders match our values."
Trump has insisted that large portions of the border wall are already underway. But the work focuses almost entirely on replacing existing barriers. Work on the first extension — 14 miles (23 kilometers) in Texas' Rio Grande Valley — starts this month. The other 83 miles (134 kilometers) that his administration has awarded contracts for are replacement projects.
Trump has repeatedly pointed to El Paso to make his case that a border wall is necessary, claiming that barriers turned the city from one of the nation's most dangerous to one of its safest.
"You know where it made a difference is right here in El Paso," he said Monday, adding: "They're full of crap when they claim it hasn't made a big difference."
But that's not true.
El Paso had a murder rate of less than half the national average in 2005, a year before the most recent expansion of its border fence. That's despite being just across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a city plagued by drug violence. The FBI's Uniform Crime Report shows that El Paso's annual number of reported violent crimes dropped from nearly 5,000 in 1995 to around 2,700 in 2016. But that corresponded with similar declines in violent crime nationwide and included periods when the city's crime rates increased year over year, despite new fencing and walls.
Vulgar anti-Trump message in 'Non Sequitur' comic strip stirs anger
At first glance, Sunday's "Non Sequitur" comic strip just showed bears dressed up like Leonardo da Vinci. The syndicated strip opens with Bear-Vinci holding a picture of a Virtruvian Bear. It ends with the ursine artist painting a Mona Lisa, who is also, you guessed it, a bear. They are all characters in the "Bearaissance," and the format invites readers to color in the drawings.
But much like Leonardo himself, Wiley Miller, whose work often tackles politics and has occasionally drawn controversy, inserted a secret message into his latest work. Hidden at the bottom right corner of the second panel, beneath a drawing of the Italian inventor's flying machine, a semi-legible scribble appeared to read, "Go f--- yourself Trump."
Miller has since apologized, saying he never intended for the public to see the statement. On Monday, multiple newspapers said they dropped the comic.
The Butler Eagle, a family-owned newspaper north of Pittsburgh, decided to pull the strip after an irate reader alerted the newspaper.
"One of our readers has a young daughter who reads the comics. This family sits down with this comic, and they stumble across this hidden message," Ron Vodenichar, the paper's publisher and general manager, told The Washington Post.
He said the newspaper has been publishing the comic for a few years and received "Non Sequitur" in a package with other syndicated comic strips that was already laid out. The decision to pull the comic, Vodenichar said, was about the profanity and "has nothing to do with who it was aimed at."
Dallas Morning News editor Mike Wilson accused Miller of going "around his editors and even his own syndicate to publish something he must have known we wouldn't accept."
"We'll have no trouble finding a better way to spend the $8,000 we would've paid for that strip," Wilson said.
According to the comic strip's publisher, Andrews McMeel Syndication, "Non Sequitur" goes out to more than 700 newspapers, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Washington Post, which ran Sunday's comic in print and online.
Kansas City-based Andrews McMeel Syndication apologized for the "vulgar language" in a statement Monday.
"We are sorry we missed the language in our editing process," the company said. "If we had discovered it, we would not have distributed the cartoon without it being removed. We apologize to 'Non Sequitur's' clients and readers for our oversight."
Miller, who frequently criticizes President Donald Trump on his Twitter feed, says he forgot all about the scribbled profanity until Sunday.
"When I opened the paper Sunday morning and read my cartoon, I didn't think anything of it, as I didn't notice the scribbling that has now caught fire," Miller said in a statement to The Post, noting that the scribble had been done several weeks ago at a time when he was frustrated by a White House action and forgot to remove it.
"It was not intended for public consumption, and I meant to white it out before submitting it, but forgot to. Had I intended to make a statement to be understood by the readers, I would have done so in a more subtle, sophisticated manner," he said.
But on Sunday, he still teased the "Easter egg" in the "Non Sequitur" comic on Twitter, inviting people to look for a message.
GoComics.com, which hosts Miller's comics, had replaced the original cartoon with a version without the Trump insult by Monday afternoon.
Miller has faced controversy before for his work. In 2010, some newspapers decided not to run one of his cartoons depicting Muhammad, the founder of Islam who is seen as a prophet and holy figure by members of the religion. (The Post ran the edition online but not in print.)
"All I can do is surmise that the irony of their being afraid to run a cartoon that satirizes media's knee-jerk reaction to anything involving Islam bounced right of their foreheads. So what they've actually accomplished is, sadly, [to] validate the point," he told The Post at the time.
On Monday, however, Miller was more apologetic. "In all that time, I have never done anything like this, nor do I intend to do so in the future," he said.
His apology did not sway the editors at the Columbus Dispatch, who canceled the comic strip and said that they "must be able to trust that the people who provide content to The Dispatch will uphold the high standards we have set for this newspaper."
"Wiley Miller has lost our trust. Therefore, we will not publish his work going forward."
Fox News host says he hasn't washed his hands in 10 years because germs are not real
“Fox and Friends” weekend personality Pete Hegseth decided to share a little something-something about his personal hygiene habits on Sunday that left some folks - including his co-hosts - a little grossed out.
Hegseth was on the air with Ed Henry and Jedediah Bila when, after a commercial, they started talking about Hegseth eating day-old pizza during the break, reported Newsweek, which posted video of the exchange.
“Yesterday was National Pizza Day, which means it’s National Pizza Weekend, which means ... Pizza Hut lasts for a long time,” Hegseth informed his co-hosts.
Bila said that Hegseth would eat anything that’s not nailed down ... “take the mugs off the table,” she joked.
“As I told you my 2019 resolution is to say things on air that I say off air ... I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years,” Hegseth said, inexplicably.
Henry and Bila laughed. Off-camera, someone let out a loud groan.
“Really, I don’t really wash my hands ever,” Hegseth continued.
“Someone help me,” Bila said. “Oh man.”
“I inoculate myself. Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them. Therefore they’re not real,” Hegseth insisted.
“So you’re becoming immune to all the bacteria,” Bila replied.
“Exactly,” said Hegseth. “I can’t get sick.”
“My dad has that theory too,” Bila told him.
Meanwhile Henry invited the show’s viewers to sound off on what Hegseth had just shared.
“Look it, these hands look pretty clean to me,” Hegseth said, showing off his hands.
Then he apologized for “grossing” out viewers.
Anyone who couldn’t tell whether Hegseth was joking got an answer when he tweeted later: “DontWash.”
The declaration didn’t go over well with folks who commented on Hegseth’s Twitter timeline, some with this hashtag: #WashYourHands.
Browns give Kareem Hunt second chance, hope he stays inbounds
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — The lasting visual of Kareem Hunt's second NFL season wasn't him stiff-arming a linebacker, shedding a tackle or barreling over a cornerback at the goal line for a touchdown.
It was Hunt pushing a young woman and then kicking her while she was defenseless on the floor.
That disturbing moment caught on a surveillance camera mortified the sports world, and led to the Kansas City Chiefs making the decision to part ways with one of their best players, a move universally admired.
The Cleveland Browns found it offensive as well. However, they also believe it was a random act by a good-hearted young man who feels remorseful and deserves another chance.
On Monday, the Browns, who seemed to finally emerge from years of gloom, doom and dysfunction by winning seven games behind exciting rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield this past season, signed Hunt to a one-year contract.
The shocking signing came while the league continues to investigate Hunt's alarming behavior in an incident that took place in a downtown hotel lobby last February. It also came just weeks after Cleveland's turnaround season after a 0-16 calamity was followed by the hiring of new coach Freddie Kitchens, whose appointment created more momentum for a franchise that has spent the last 20 years spinning its wheels.
The Browns feel they're doing the right thing. Time will tell. Hunt remains on the commissioner's exempt list and could receive a significant suspension.
General manager John Dorsey, who drafted Hunt in the third round in 2017 while he was with Kansas City, said the decision to sign the 23-year-old was rooted in his Christian faith. Hunt has shown contrition, sought counseling and treatment and vowed to never make the same mistake.
That's enough for Dorsey, who said nothing is guaranteed and that he will have zero tolerance for further wrongdoings by Hunt.
"You guys always hear me talk about men of character," he told beat reporters, who met with the GM in a conference room for 25 minutes not long after the team announced Hunt's controversial signing. "I'll stand by that. I see a lot of men of character who commit egregious acts. But at the end of the day, they learn from those acts, moved forward and became better people. Again, I believe in second chances."
Dorsey was adamant that the Browns completed a "thorough" investigation — the league's inquiry is still not complete — before signing Hunt and that owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam approved the decision to add another troubled player (see Johnny Manziel, Josh Gordon) to Cleveland's roster.
However, Dorsey said the team's diligence did not include speaking with the alleged victim.
Later, standing in the lobby of the team's headquarters in front of a generic backdrop and not one that would typically feature one of the team's corporate sponsors, Dorsey was asked what his message would be to any female employees of the Browns.
"I think we're all appalled by it. It is an egregious act," he said. "We all understand that. But after doing our research, extensive research, analyzing the situation, we came to the conclusion that, you know what, I am willing to help a man from a second chance moving forward to be a better person, and that's all you can ask for in society, and that's all I'm trying to do."
Hunt, too, released a statement saying he regretted his actions and vowed to change.
"I would like to once again apologize for my actions last year," he said. "What I did was wrong and inexcusable. That is not the man I was raised to be, and I've learned a great deal from that experience and certainly should have been more truthful about it after the fact. ... I am committed to following the necessary steps to learn and to be a better and healthier person from this situation.
"I also understand the expectations that the Browns have clearly laid out and that I have to earn my way back to the NFL. I'm a work in progress as a person, but I'm committed to taking advantage of the support systems that I have in place to become the best and healthier version of myself."