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The Inquisitr offers a constantly updated mix of the latest stories to hit the web, covering news, entertainment, technology, news, sport, health and everything else.
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    Frozen river in NYC

    The East Coast of the USA should start bracing itself for a cold spell after meteorologists confirmed that the polar vortex has split into three parts. The change is likely to result in plummeting temperatures for much of the eastern United States.

    So far, much of the eastern U.S. has enjoyed a relatively mild winter. But that is all set to change with arctic temperatures likely to reach as far south as Nashville, according to the Washington Post.

    The polar vortex is an atmospheric circulation pattern that usually sits above the poles, in a layer of the atmosphere known as the stratosphere. It can weaken when temperatures at the poles become warmer and on occasion, this causes it to break up into smaller “sister vortices” that can travel great distances from the poles. These “sister vortices” typically bring with them stormy weather and extremely low temperatures.

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    Donald Trump and Mike Pence stand together.

    On Wednesday, top officials from the Kremlin dismissed the idea that Donald Trump could be working as a Russian agent, and criticized American journalists for discussing the issue at all. These allegations come in light of two new reports that raise serious questions about the level of involvement Trump has with the Russian government, in particular with President Vladimir Putin.

    According to Bloomberg News, the New York Times claims that as far back as 2017, there were questions about who Trump was working for. In a new report, the New YorkTimes asserts that the FBI actually opened an investigation into Trump to determine whether he was being used — knowingly or unknowingly — by the Russian government. But Kremlin officials were quick to shut down discussions on the topic, calling it “nonsense.”

    “That’s stupid,” Yuri Ushakov, foreign policy aide to President Vladimir Putin, said to reporters on Wednesday. “How can the president of the United States be an agent of another country? Just think about that.”

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    Vladimir Putin faces Donald Trump

    Donald Trump has now met face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin on five separate occasions, as the New York Times has reported, with no public record existing of what was discussed in any of those meetings. But after one such private meeting in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017, Trump took the extraordinary step of personally telephoning a Times reporter to defend Putin against charges that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

    Trump frequently refers to the paper as “the Failing New York Times” — 22 times on Twitter alone since his inauguration.

    The July 7, 2017, meeting was an impromptu, unscheduled one between Trump and Putin during a formal dinner at the G20 Summit in Hamburg. In the video below on this page, Trump can be seen gesturing toward Putin during the dinner, pointing at Putin, then at himself, them pumping his fist, as Newsweek reported.

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    Miniature model home sitting on top of an orange calculator

    As the longest partial shutdown of the U.S. government in history continues, low-income families – including the elderly and disabled – face eviction scares as affordable housing funding for assistance programs such as Section 8 begins to run out.

    According to the Huffington Post, renters in select states are already facing threats of eviction from landlords as the shutdown has cut off funding to the federal rental assistance program that chipped in a portion of their rent.

    “Until the government opens again, you are responsible for ALL of your rental amount,” a property manager penned in a letter to tenants in the state of Arkansas.

    The director of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Diane Yentel, said she found it “appalling” that landlords were already threatening tenants with eviction because of the shutdown.

    She, however, also recognizes the blame possibly falls on Trump’s administration who currently refuses to sign any government funding bill that doesn’t include the funding for the border wall.

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    President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Governors elects on December 13, 2018.

    Many people have expressed concern about some of the actions taken by Donald Trump during his presidential tenure, and now former CIA director John Brennan has offered his thoughts, agreeing with the assessment that the president is a “clear and present danger” to the country’s national security, Newsweek reported.

    Brennan’s thoughts echoed those of David Laufman, former counterintelligence chief of the Department of Justice, who gave his analysis of the commander in chief while appearing on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show on Monday night.

    Laufman told show host Rachel Maddow that there was a “culmination of things” that backed his assertion that the president “is a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States,” including the “unbelievable acquiescence to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki,” Newsweek previously reported.

    Brennan made an appearance on the same news network on Tuesday, January 15, when he was asked by Chris Hayes if he agreed with the former DOJ official’s evaluation.

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    Manatees swimming in Cristal River, Florida.

    Wildlife photographer Michael George captured an adorable video of a baby manatee that’s going viral on Instagram. The National Geographic shutterbug was at SeaWorld working on his book, Life at the Zoo: The Secret World of Your Favorite Animals, when he was given the opportunity to see the unique bond between rescued baby manatees and the woman who bottle-feeds them.

    Per WSVN7, George’s book is for children, and it’s filled with imagery that helps showcase the importance of zoos for animal rescue, breeding, and conservation programs. The manatee in question was being fed inside SeaWorld Orlando’s Manatee Rehabilitation Area. The woman providing the hungry manatee calf with sustenance is clearly a big fan of these creatures, as evidenced by the manatee tattoo on her arm.

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    Jimmy Kimmel pokes fun at Donald Trump's "hamberders" tweet

    Jimmy Kimmel was one of the several late-night hosts who took a jab at Donald Trump after the president tweeted the word “hamberders” instead of “hamburgers” before quickly deleting his post, joking that he appeared to have “had a stroke or something.”

    Trump ordered huge amounts of fast food when he welcomed the Clemson Tigers football team, who won the college national championship last week, to the White House on Monday night — including servings from Burger King, McDonalds, and Wendy’s. And on Tuesday morning, the president took to Twitter to describe the event and gush about the football team, but he accidentally misspelled the word “hamburgers.”

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    The New Mexico border

    As the government shutdown continues, with funding for the president’s proposed border wall the main point of contention, many news outlets have been going to the border to interview those close to where the wall would be built.

    One such report Wednesday, by the Washington Examiner, alleged something shocking: that ranchers and farmers along the border have been finding Islamic prayer rugs in the area. This indicates that Muslims — and, by implication, Muslim terrorists — have been crossing the border illegally. This echoes rhetoric from the president, per the New York Times, that terrorists are entering the country by crossing the border, and therefore a wall is needed to stop them.

    The story features a female rancher from New Mexico, interviewed in a 97-second video, talking about how many of the people crossing the border in recent months have been from countries other than Mexico.

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    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Camp David after holding meetings with President Trump

    It’s unclear if Vice President Mike Pence was just late to the news that ISIS has taken responsibility for a suicide bombing this morning in Syria, or if he’s just toeing the Trump administration line that says the terrorist group has been defeated.

    The Daily Beast says that Pence boasted on a conference call this morning with Global Chiefs of Mission that “ISIS has been defeated” hours after the attacks by a suicide bomber in the Syrian town of Manbij, killing 15 people, four of whom are said to be United States soldiers.

    “The caliphate has crumbled and ISIS has been defeated.”

    Pence also doubled down on his support for Donald Trump and his leadership in announcing the military exit from Syria despite the controversy.

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    Image of crime scene tape

    When Jayme Closs, 13, escaped the clutches of her kidnapper after 88 days in captivity, she flagged down a woman walking her dog and asked for assistance. That woman, along with others, helped to keep Jayme safe until the police arrived. Now, the husband of the woman who initially called 911 to report Jayme’s safety suggests that Jayme should receive the reward money being offered in her case.

    According to Fox News, Peter Kasinskas, the husband of the woman who called 911 after Jayme appeared, Jayme should be the person to receive the reward money. This news comes after it was suggested that they receive the $50,000 on offer regarding information pertaining to the Closs case.

    According to 13 WIBW, the reward money — and who should receive it — is currently being reviewed. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says that the beneficiary of the reward money is currently being discussed between themselves and the FBI.

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    Donald Trump and his staff

    In a new book to be published at the end of this month, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — who in February of 2016, as CNN reported, became the first of Donald Trump’s Republican rivals to drop out of the presidential race and endorse Trump — describes Trump as his “friend,” but has far less kind things to say about the staff members Trump has hired to surround him during his post-election transition and in the White House.

    In fact, according to an excerpt published by the news site Axios from Christie’s upcoming memoir Let Me Finish, Christie describes Trump’s staff as “a revolving door of deeply flawed individuals — amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons — who were hustled into jobs they were never suited for, sometimes seemingly without so much as a background check via Google or Wikipedia.”

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    infant in car seat

    Chad “Cheddar” Mock was cruising along a busy Minnesota street when he rounded a corner and couldn’t believe what happened right in front of his vehicle.

    Thankfully, his dashcam captured the entire ordeal. Mock was driving in Mankato when a black four-door car harrowingly pulled out in front of him. Undeterred, Mock kept cruising along at a safe pace of 18 miles an hour, according to his dash cam.

    As he maneuvered the bend in the road, something pink and black goes flying out of the tan sedan in front of him. It was a car seat!

    Even more shocking was that a little girl wearing a pink coat was strapped into that car seat. The vehicle continued on and Mock slammed on the brakes. He leaped out of his truck and ran up to the car seat. He flagged down oncoming traffic so the motorist wouldn’t hit the child as she laid there on the center line.

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    peeping tom

    When former Tennessee Titans football player Tony Beckham stepped out of his Wellington, Florida, home at 6:40 a.m. to head off to work, he noticed movement at the side of his house. What he saw sickened and infuriated him instantly.

    Beckham spied a man crouched in some bushes alongside the home. He was peering in the window and had his hands in his pants, reported CBS12. The man, Geoffrey Cassidy, 48, was intensely staring into Beckham’s 15-year-old daughter’s bedroom window.

    “I waited for a second and I looked again,” Beckham told WPBF. “And I see a white male and he’s standing by my window and he’s trying to get a better position. I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘Is this for real?’ I thought I was getting ‘Punk’d.'”

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    A man bites his nails while holding a large needle

    After suffering from back pain, a 33-year-old man decided to treat himself. Using a rather unorthodox method, he chose to inject himself in the arm with his own semen in an attempt to cure his ailment. Over the course of 18 months, the man injected himself 18 times before finally admitting defeat and going to the hospital.

    According to Gizmodo, the unnamed man from Dublin, Ireland, ended up in the hospital with “severe, sudden onset lower back pain” after lifting a “heavy steel object” three days prior. However, after an examination, a reddened swelling described as a “small, red papule” on his right arm was discovered.

    The man then admitted to injecting himself with his own semen using hypodermic needle he purchased online in an attempt to cure his back pain.

    “The patient disclosed that he had intravenously injected his own semen as an innovative method to treat back pain,” the report states.

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    John Engler speaks during a news conference that is part of a 'Day of Action for Immigration Reform'

    Larry Nassar will likely go down in history as one of the worst child molester of young girls in U.S. sporting history. In his role as the U.S.A. Gymnastics team doctor, Nassar is accused of having abused at least 250 girls and young women dating back to 1992.

    In a landmark victory for the victims, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison in July 2017, with another 40 to 175 years later added to his sentence in January 2018 for sexual assault on minors, and just a month yet another 40 to 125 years for an additional three sexual assault charges.

    While most have condemned Nassar for his heinous actions against young and vulnerable girls, some have spoken up with sympathy for the pathological sex criminal. According to a report by the Detroit Metro Times, the interim president of Michigan State University, former governor John Engler, is in hot water for accusing Nassar’s victims of “enjoying the attention.”

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    A branch of Domino's pizza takeaway

    To paraphrase the iconic Snickers commercial, it seems like some aren’t really themselves when they’re hungry.

    As reported by Fox News, a mother of three in the United Kingdom made a call to the police after a local Domino’s Pizza failed to deliver the pizza that she had ordered. In her call to law enforcement, she accused the restaurant of letting her kids “go hungry.”

    The mother, Clair (whose last name was not published), explained that she had placed an order for £37 of pizza, which roughly equates to $47.50. She planned to feed her and her family, but after an hour of placing the order, her pizza had yet to arrive. Before long, a Domino’s employee reached out to her by phone.

    The employee explained that, unfortunately, the pizza oven at their location had broken down. Unable to fulfill Clair’s order, the employee promised that her money would be refunded — a process that can take up to 24 hours, if not more.

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    Actors Elizabeth Hurley and Justin Theroux with Alejandro Agag, CEO, Formula E during the Marrakesh E-prix, Round 2 of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship at Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan on January 12, 2019

    Justin Theroux and Elizabeth Hurley have been igniting romance rumors recently and several tabloids have speculated that the two actors may have become an item. It all started after they were spotted together last week at the ABB FIA Formula E 2019 Marrakesh E-Prix and at a cocktail party the night before racing day.

    Hollywood Life reports that Theroux and Hurley were seen heading to the E-Prix together. They also posed for photos together and Hurley posted one of them on her Instagram, as part of a series of snaps. HL writes that they were also seen chatting while Theroux enjoyed a drink.

    But while photos showed the actors looking very chummy, Gossip Cop is on the case and they claim that there’s no romance between the two.

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    Republicans laughing

    As the ongoing government shutdown drags on, rolling into its 27th day on Thursday, Donald Trump has shown no signs of a willingness to end the lockout that has left 800,000 government workers without pay — and affected another 4.1 million American workers who though in private industry rely on government contracts, according to a National Public Radio report.

    In fact, Trump on Wednesday told supporters on a conference call that “We’re going to stay out for a long time, if we have to. We’ll be out for a long time,” according to NBC News. At the same time, Republicans in Congress have shown little sign of breaking with Trump to pass legislation that would reopen the government.

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    Light illuminates the southern border wall.

    As the partial government shutdown drags on with no end in sight, many have spoken out in criticism of Trump’s border wall. The president continues to stand firm to his promise to continue the shutdown until Democrats reach a compromise in regards to border wall funding. As a result, many Americans remain out of work and many others will go without necessary food stamps this month. Among the many to criticize Trump are the border wall sheriffs themselves, according to Tuscan.com.

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    migrant caravan

    Approximately 2,000 migrants formed a caravan in San Pedro Sula on Honduras’ northern half and are headed toward the U.S.-Mexico border. But thousands of migrants from last year’s caravan are still there waiting for the chance to apply for asylum in the United States.

    The first caravan consisting of 7,000 migrants that departed from Honduras in October prompted President Donald Trump to push for funding to build his border wall.

    According to the Washington Post, Hondurans from across the country trekked to a bus terminal in San Pedro Sula in the hopes of being a part of the caravan. The departure was publicized in local news reports and via social media.

    Jimmy Senteno, 23, lugged a small backpack and carried his 5-year-old daughter on his hip.

    “I want to apply for asylum in the U.S., but I would stay in Mexico if I had to,” he said.

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