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ABC News(Chris Christie denies rift with Jared Kushner, says pair 'get along just great'

(WASHINGTON) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie denied there was tension between him and Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, as the two prepare to team up in a new White House initiative to combat the nation's opioid epidemic, saying on Good Morning America Wednesday that they "get along just great."

When he was the U.S. attorney of New Jersey, Christie prosecuted Kushner's father, real estate mogul Charles Kushner, who was sentenced to prison in 2005 on 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign contributions.

Now, Christie is set to lead a new White House commission tasked with tackling opioid addiction nationwide. The commission will fall under the White House Office of American Innovation, which Trump unveiled Monday. The president appointed Kushner, his son-in-law and a senior aide, to lead the office.

“The Office of American Innovation will bring a creative and strategic approach to many critical issues and intractable problems that affect Americans’ quality of life,” Kushner said in a statement issued by the White House on Monday. “We have an opportunity to identify and implement solutions by combining internal resources with the private sector’s innovation and creativity, enabling the Federal Government to better serve Americans.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 91 Americans die every day from opioid overdose, which includes prescription opioids and heroin. Deaths in the United States from prescription opioids, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone, have more than quadrupled since 1999.

In addition to addressing the drug and opioid epidemic, the White House Office of American Innovation will create task forces to focus on other initiatives, including reforming care for veterans.

When asked on GMA Wednesday morning whether things were tense with Kushner given their history, Christie replied, "Not at all."

"That stuff is ancient history," he added. "Jared and I have worked incredibly well on this issue and, by the way, on a whole bunch of other issues during the campaign ... Jared and I get along just great."

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Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — They can never be forgiven for killing off raw umber.

According to the Official Crayola Crayon website, Friday, March 31 is National Crayon Day, but it will also be a funeral.

For the first time in its 100-year history, Crayola will retire a color from its 24-count box of crayons.

Crayola isn't saying which crayon is getting the ax, but will make the announcement on Friday morning.

In 1990, Crayola retired green blue, orange red, orange yellow, violet blue, maize, lemon yellow, blue gray and raw umber from its 64-count box. Thirteen years later, they did it again to blizzard blue, magic mint, teal blue and mulberry.

The 24-count box currently features red, yellow, blue, brown, orange, green, violet, black, carnation pink, yellow orange, blue green, red violet, red orange, yellow green, blue violet, white, violet red, dandelion, cerulean, apricot, scarlet, green yellow, indigo and gray.

Crayola hasn't yet said what they will replace the retired color with.

The doomed crayon will be buried Friday morning at Times Square in New York City.

Crayola should bring back the classic 64 with the bonus eight fluorescent that were available from 1972 – 1990 to satisfy Gen X nostalgia.

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Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — On Monday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes confirmed that he traveled to the White House last week in order to meet a source and view information related to surveillance that "incidentally collected" information about associates of President Donald Trump.

Nunes' visit to the White House last Tuesday, his move to personally brief President Trump on the matter on Wednesday -- before sharing the information with members of his committee -- and his prior position as a member of Trump's transition team have led to calls for his recusal from his post leading the House investigation into Russian interference into the presidential election.

The top Democrats on Capitol Hill: Senate and House Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, as well as the House Intelligence Committee's Ranking Member, Adam Schiff, all called for Nunes' removal from the probe Monday. Even some Republicans, like Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain questioned Nunes' actions.

Both Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Nunes himself said there would be no recusal, with Nunes saying Tuesday he has "no idea" why Democrats would call for his removal from the investigation.

Nunes has not provided the answers to a few outstanding questions about his activities:

What is in the documents Nunes viewed?


Nunes has provided limited details about the information he obtained over the course of his investigation, but said there are "dozens of reports" showing that "incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition" was gathered during the course of "normal foreign surveillance."

Last week, it was revealed that Nunes was unsure whether associates of Trump participated in the intercepted communications or whether those persons were simply mentioned or referred to by others.

The information seen by Nunes has not yet been shared with others, though the congressman said Tuesday that he hopes to share it with other members of the intelligence committee.

Who cleared Nunes into the White House?


All visitors to the White House, even members of Congress, must be cleared into the complex by someone with access to the area, such as a White House staffer. This process includes submitting personal information to Secret Service to ensure there is no security threat and to keep a record of visitors.

Nunes insisted that a secure location at the White House complex was used because the information he went to view was already available to the executive branch and not to Congress. However, this would not preclude Nunes from using a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in another location to prevent his conversations or classified information from being breached by those without access.

Who is his source?


Nunes has declined to name the person he met with at the White House complex, but told Bloomberg that it was a member of the intelligence community, not a White House staffer. This information further raises the question of why the meeting was held on the White House grounds. SCIFs are located in the offices of each intelligence agency.

Unless Nunes' source works out of the White House complex, they too would require to be cleared to enter the grounds. However, Nunes later briefed Trump on the information provided by the source, a move that press secretary Sean Spicer said wouldn't make sense if the information originated from the White House -- seemingly indicating that the source works elsewhere.

Given that the source was not someone employed by the White House, it is possible that an additional person was involved in securing Nunes' access to the grounds and to a SCIF. Nunes told CNN Monday that "nobody was sneaking around" and that he wasn't hiding his presence at the White House. Spicer pushed back against suggestions at Monday's press briefing that the administration cooperated with the representative's actions.

What does the White House know?


On Friday, before it was publicly known that Nunes visited the grounds earlier in the week, Spicer was asked if the chairman received the documents showing "incidental collection" from the White House.

"I don't know where he got them from," said Spicer, who didn't mention Nunes' visit.

Asked again about the source of Nunes' information on Monday, Spicer said he was unaware, adding, "I know in his public statements he’s talked about having multiple sources. And so I don't know how he derived the conclusion that he did."

Pressed on whether the details could have come from the White House, Spicer said "anything is possible" despite his earlier claim that the circulation of information from a White House staffer to Nunes and back to Trump wouldn't be logical.

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iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Severe thunderstorms and damaging winds in parts of Texas overnight left nearly 200,000 residents without power as of early Wednesday morning.

Much of the power failures centered around the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, according to the Oncor Electric Delivery utility company, which put the total number of statewide outages at 197,221 as of 4:46 a.m. local time.

The weather damaged houses, blew over trees and caused multiple car accidents across Texas.

There was significant damage reported in the Dalton Ranch Community in Rockwall, Texas, where multiple homes were damaged and five houses were reportedly destroyed, according to ABC affiliate WFAA.

Dalton Ranch in Rockwall #wfaaweather pic.twitter.com/OJ0pyQ2In4

— Brian Abraham (@AbeDPT28) March 29, 2017

In Arlington, Texas, wind gusts were reportedly strong enough to take down part of a brick wall.

Winds strong enough to blow over several sections of a brick wall near Ponselle Dr. and S. Matlock Rd in Arlington. @NWSFortWorth pic.twitter.com/UEDpnzCkDK

— DFW Scanner (@DFWscanner) March 29, 2017

The poor weather in Texas continued from Tuesday, when three storm chasers were killed in a car accident after their vehicles crashed on a rural road in West Texas. Tornadoes and heavy rain had been reported nearby at the time of the crash.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May has triggered Article 50, formally starting the process for Britain to leave the European Union -- but what happens next?

Here’s what you need to know.

What is Article 50?


Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty allows any EU country to leave the EU and outlines the plan for the exit.

What happens after Article 50 is triggered?


It’s unclear exactly what will happen because no country has ever used Article 50 before. Once Article 50 is triggered, the U.K. and the EU have two years to reach an agreement -- unless they can agree on an extension. On April 29, leaders of 27 EU countries will meet without the U.K. to give the European Commission a mandate to negotiate "Brexit," as it is colloquially known.

What will be the focus of negotiations?


The U.K. will have to pay the EU when it leaves the union and that will be subject to negotiations, said Dr. Andrew Blick, a lecturer in politics and contemporary history at King’s College London.

"It's pretty clear that the U.K. will have to pay something," he told ABC News. "The question is how much and over how long a period of time. This is not the only issue but [it is] a significant one."

The status of EU citizens currently in the U.K. and U.K. citizens in EU countries is expected to be discussed as well, he said. While the U.K. is member of the EU, U.K. citizens can live and work in any other EU country without a visa -- and EU citizens also don’t need a visa to live in the U.K. That is likely to change once the U.K. leaves, but what about EU citizens who already live and work in the U.K.? The U.K. government has said that it wants to recognize the rights of EU nationals currently in the U.K., but that it wants reciprocal rights for the millions of U.K. nationals living in Europe.

The U.K. is also hoping to negotiate what the future trade relationship will be with the EU, which is the U.K.’s largest trading partner -- but that might not be possible.

“It’s going to be very difficult within the two years to actually finalize a free trade agreement,” Blick said. If no agreement is made within the two years, the EU and the U.K. can still continue to negotiate -- but once the U.K. leaves it will not be part of the free trade agreement with the EU until a new deal is in place. In the meantime, the U.K. can trade via the World Trade Organization, but that’s not as favorable, said Blick.

Will the U.K. definitely leave the EU once Article 50 is triggered?


Experts don’t agree on whether the U.K. can change its mind and remain in the EU after triggering Article 50, but it might be possible, said Blick.

“I suspect that if the U.K. says ‘we realized this was a really bad idea’ the E.U. might say ‘we are not pleased, but OK,’” he said. But that could only happen if the political situation in the U.K. changes, he added. That could be a shift in public opinion, with more people wanting to stay in the EU, or if something changes within May’s Conservative Party, he explained.

Voters in Scotland are in favor of remaining in the EU, and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon is calling for a referendum on independence for Scotland so that Scottish voters can decide if they want to leave the U.K., which would, in turn, allow them to remain in the EU.

The Scottish Parliament has backed Sturgeon’s call for a referendum, but the U.K. government has said it will block it until the process to leave the EU is finalized. Even if the referendum doesn’t happen, the debate about it could have an influence on public opinion, said Blick.

“It could contribute to a general sense of, ‘We better think again about this,’” he said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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NBC/Will Heath(NEW YORK) -- Alec Baldwin has revealed that he almost passed on playing President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.

The actor told Vanity Fair for its April cover story that he originally passed on SNL producer Lorne Michaels' offer to play Trump but changed his mind after a film role fell through.

"I was supposed to do a film. And the people who were doing the film were supposed to escrow money to guarantee that I would get paid," he said in a video accompanying the cover story. "And they didn’t put the money in escrow. And that’s when I hung up and said I’m not going to go do the movie and I’m going to go do the thing with Lorne. And I think to myself, 'What if I hadn’t done that?' ... It’s turned out to be this incredible opportunity."

Baldwin's impression has been so popular that he has parlayed it into an upcoming satirical book and made his record 17th appearance as host of SNL earlier this year.

In the magazine, he talks about playing Trump, working with SNL stars Kate McKinnon and Tina Fey, and starring in the best role of his life in his new memoir Nevertheless, due out next month.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Baltimore 5, Atlanta 4
Houston 7, Miami 3
Texas 4, Colorado 3
Milwaukee 13, Cleveland 12
Arizona 15, Seattle 6
Boston 9, Pittsburgh 2
Toronto 10, Philadelphia 4

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Minnesota 1, Tampa Bay 0
Kansas City 7, Chi White Sox 4
L.-A. Angels 14, Oakland 3
Detroit 6, N.-Y. Yankees 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE

St. Louis 3, N.-Y. Mets 3
San Francisco 10, Chi Cubs 7
L.A. Dodgers 3, San Diego 1
Cincinnati 9, L.-A. Dodgers 3
Miami 4, Washington 2


NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Milwaukee 118, Charlotte 108
Minnesota 115, Indiana 114
Atlanta 95, Phoenix 91
Miami 97, Detroit 96
Philadelphia 106, Brooklyn 101
Golden State 113, Houston 106
Portland 122, Denver 113
Washington  119, L.A. Lakers  108


NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Carolina 4, Detroit 1
SO/Philadelphia 3, Ottawa 2
SO/Winnipeg 4, New Jersey 3
Columbus 3, Buffalo 1
Boston 4, Nashville 1
Montreal 4, Dallas 1
Toronto 3, Florida 2
OT/Washington 5, Minnesota 4
Edmonton 2, L.A. Kings 1
Anaheim 4, Vancouver 1
OT/San Jose 5, N.-Y. Rangers 4

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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