News with a twist

Wisconsin Gazette - - News - By Lisa Neff and Louis Weis­berg


“Al­ter­na­tive facts” — the phrase used by White House aide Kellyanne Con­way to de­scribe the pres­i­dent’s po­si­tion on the size of his inau­gu­ra­tion crowd — is the “non-word” of 2017. A team of six lan­guage ex­perts at Darm­stadt Univer­sity in Darm­stadt, Ger­many, chose “al­ter­na­tive facts” from 684 sug­ges­tions. Each year, the panel sin­gles out a phrase that runs counter to the prin­ci­ples of democ­racy or hu­man dig­nity. Last year, the group chose the Ger­man term “Volksver­raeter,” which roughly means “traitor to one’s peo­ple” and was used by far-right groups to la­bel those with whom they dis­agreed.


The Ritz Carl­ton ho­tel in Riyadh, Saudi Ara­bia, may re­open in mid-Fe­bru­ary af­ter serv­ing for months as a pri­son for “the coun­try’s elite caught up in what the govern­ment has de­scribed as a crack­down on cor­rup­tion,” ac­cord­ing to The Associated Press. Reser­va­tions at the Ritz can be made on­line for Feb. 14, but call­ers to the ho­tel re­ceive a cau­tion: “Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties might ex­tend the ho­tel lock­out for se­cu­rity rea­sons.” Ritz Carl­tons are in the Mar­riott fam­ily.


A Philadelphia Ea­gles foot­ball fan de­nied en­try to a game for drunk­en­ness and lack­ing a ticket took out his anger out on a po­lice horse. He punched the horse in the face, neck and shoul­der. The 22-year-old also struck a po­lice of­fi­cer and was ar­rested for ag­gra­vated as­sault, tres­pass­ing and taunt­ing a po­lice an­i­mal.


One of Chris Christie’s last acts as gov­er­nor of New Jersey was to sign into law leg­is­la­tion ban­ning fly­ing a drone while drunk. The law pro­hibits peo­ple from fly­ing a drone when their blood al­co­hol con­tent is 0.08 per­cent or higher — the same as for driv­ing a ve­hi­cle. Vi­o­la­tions can re­sult in six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.


A self-de­scribed psy­chic was sen­tenced to 26 months in pri­son af­ter ad­mit­ting she failed to pay taxes on more than $3.5 mil­lion taken from a Mas­sachusetts woman for an ex­or­cism. The judge in Bos­ton said the wealthy client suf­fered de­men­tia and was taken ad­van­tage of by the psy­chic over a pe­riod of sev­eral years.


A Texas judge in­ter­rupted jury de­lib­er­a­tions to tell ju­rors that God said they should find in­no­cent a woman charged with traf­fick­ing a teen girl for sex. Judge Jack Ro­bi­son said, “When God tells me I gotta do some­thing, I gotta do it,” ac­cord­ing to the Her­ald-Zeitung in New Braun­fels. The ju­rors weren’t hav­ing it. They found the woman guilty and she was sen­tenced to 25 years in pri­son.


Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Al­bu­querque, New Mex­ico, in­stalled a new elec­tronic bell ring­ing sys­tem that prompted com­plaints from at least one neigh­bor who said the con­stant play­ing of “Amaz­ing Grace” cre­ated a liv­ing hell. The bells were ring­ing about 20 to 25 times a day un­til the church’s priest changed the mu­sic’s start time to 8 a.m. in­stead of 6 a.m. He also low­ered the vol­ume.


Dan­ica Pa­trick’s heart is rac­ing for Aaron Rodgers. Pa­trick, a Chicago Bears fan, con­firmed she’s dat­ing the Green Bay Pack­ers quar­ter­back. Rodgers ended a three-year re­la­tion­ship with ac­tress Olivia Munn in 2017. In late Novem­ber, Pa­trick ended a fiveyear re­la­tion­ship with fel­low NASCAR driver Ricky Sten­house Jr.


Don­ald Trump’s pick for chief of ex­ter­nal af­fairs at the Cor­po­ra­tion for Na­tional and Com­mu­nity Ser­vice re­signed af­ter CNN dug up racist, sex­ist, ho­mo­pho­bic and xeno­pho­bic state­ments he’s made in the past. Carl Hig­bie char­ac­ter­ized “the black race” as hav­ing “lax moral­ity,” said peo­ple with PTSD have weak minds and backed the right of Amer­i­cans to shoot im­mi­grants. And, he had this to say about Mus­lims: “Go back to your Mus­lim shit­hole and go crap in your hands and bang lit­tle boys on Thurs­day nights.” It seems the word “shit­hole” is be­com­ing a catch­word of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.


It’s been more than a year since Trump took the oath of of­fice, but mil­lions of dol­lars left over from his inau­gu­ra­tion still haven’t been do­nated to the cho­sen char­i­ties. His inau­gu­ra­tion raised a record $107 mil­lion. Now a govern­ment watch­dog group wants to know where the money went. We think it’s pretty easy to fig­ure out.


A pa­per cup al­legedly used by Elvis Pres­ley six decades ago in Ok­la­homa went up for auc­tion, and bids on eBay quickly sur­passed $1,200. Wade Jones, a North Carolina col­lec­tor of all things Elvis, said the crum­pled blue-and-white Dixie cup was snagged by a fan in April 1956, af­ter Elvis per­formed at the Tulsa Fair­grounds Pav­il­ion. Jones said an­other fan al­legedly re­trieved the cup “as a lit­tle me­mento” the day af­ter the per­for­mance.

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