Fox News 2024-03-13 01:03:46


Hur fires back at Schiff in heated exchange over report that ‘disparaged’ Biden

Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff sparred with former Special Counsel Robert Hur during a contentious House hearing on Tuesday as the California congressman accused Hur of playing politics with his report on President Biden’s handling of classified documents, which earned pushback from Hur.

“I want to go back to your opening statement in which you said that you did not disparage the president, your report, but of course, you did disparage the president,” Schiff told Hur during Tuesday’s hearing.

“You disparaged him in terms you had to know would have a maximal political impact. You understood your report would be public, right?”

“I understood, based on comments that the attorney general had made, that he had committed to make as much of my report public, as consistent with legal policy and legal requirements,” Hur responded.

ADAM SCHIFF FACT-CHECKED ON SOCIAL MEDIA AFTER CLAIMING HOUSE SPEAKER COUNTS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL VOTES

Schiff then suggested that Hur “could have” simply commented on instances where Biden could not remember information about certain documents rather than make a “generalized statement” about his memory, referencing the much talked-about section of the report in which Hur characterized Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”

“Congressman, I could have written my report, theoretically, in a way that omitted references to the president’s memory,” Hur explained. “But that would have been an incomplete and improper report and that it did not reflect my analysis.”

Schiff continued to press Hur and accused him of knowing he would start a “political firestorm” with the language he used, to which Hurr said “politics played no part whatsoever” in the investigation.

“What you did write was deeply prejudicial to the interests of the president, you say it wasn’t political, and yet you must have understood,” Schiff said. “You must have understood the impact of your words. You must have understood the impact of your decision to go beyond the specifics of a particular document, to go to the very general, to your own personal prejudicial, subjective opinion of the president, one you knew would be amplified by his political opponent. When you knew that would influence a political campaign, you had to understand, and you did it anyway. You did it anyway.”

PRO-PALESTINIAN PROTESTERS INTERRUPT ADAM SCHIFF’S VICTORY SPEECH, DEMAND CEASE-FIRE IN GAZA

Schiff then attempted to discuss allegations against former President Trump, at which point Hur, a registered Republican, went back and again addressed the notion that his report was influenced by politics.

“I need to address something that you said in your prior question of what you were suggesting is that I needed to provide a different version of my report that would be fit for public release,” Hur said. “That is nowhere in the rules. I was to prepare a confidential report that was comprehensive and thorough.”

“What is in the rules, Mr. Hur?” Schiff said. “What is in the rules is you don’t gratuitously do things to prejudice the subject of an investigation when you’re declining to prosecute you don’t gratuitously add language that you know will be useful in a political campaign. You were not born yesterday. You understood exactly what you were doing. It was a choice.”

“You certainly didn’t have to include that language. You could have said vis a vis the documents that were from the university. The president did not recall. There is nothing more common. You know this. I know this. There is nothing more common with a witness of any age when asked about events that are years old to say, I do not recall. Indeed, they’re instructed by their attorney to do that if they have any question about it. You understood that you made a choice. That was a political choice. It was the wrong choice. Mr. Chairman, I yield back.”

During the next line of questioning, Hur went back and addressed Schiff. 

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“Congressman, what you are suggesting is that I shape, sanitize, omit portions of my reasoning, an explanation to the attorney general for political reasons,” Hur said. 

“No,” Schiff shot back. “I suggest that you do not shape [a] report for political reasons, which is what you did.”

“That did not happen, Congressman, that did not happen,” Hur said back before the next line of questioning began.

RFK Jr. considering NFL player, former WWE star as running mate

There’s an outside chance that Aaron Rodgers will be working overtime this year.

The New York Jets quarterback is working on getting healthy from his ruptured Achilles to suit up for the 2024 season after playing just four snaps.

However, Rodgers is also a potential candidate to be Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential running mate, a representative for RFK Jr. confirmed to Fox News Digital.

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A rep said that Kennedy is “considering” Rodgers as a running mate. 

The New York Times, which first reported that Rodgers and former WWE star and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura were on Kennedy’s list, said the four-time NFL MVP “welcomed” the idea.

Neither Rodgers’ agent nor the Jets immediately responded to a request for comment.

Rodgers has been outspoken about his support for Kennedy, even saying he would like to be in a tag-team match with Kennedy as his partner against Dr. Anthony Fauci and “Mr. Pfizer” Travis Kelce. When he dropped that bomb, he referred to RFK Jr. as “my man.”

Last April, Rodgers wrote #kennedy2024″ on his Instagram story, and supported him in another post on what was then Twitter.

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Over the summer, when Kennedy and Dr. Peter Hotez exchanged words, Rodgers said Kennedy “would mop this bum.” Hotez, who has long advocated for the COVID-19 vaccine, admitted he is “not as cautious about my diet as I should be,” adding he is a “junk food-aholic,” which is “terrible for my health.”

Kennedy is an independent candidate in the 2024 election — he has promoted anti-vaccine commentary, similar to Rodgers, who has said there is an ingredient in the vaccine he is allergic to.

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Rodgers recently called Kennedy’s “State of Our Union” video X, “presidential.”

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Whoopi Goldberg goes off on Trump over his comment on social security

“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg said Tuesday that former President Trump should be thrown in jail following comments he made about mismanagement of Social Security benefit programs.

Trump was asked on CNBC this week whether he had considered changes to “entitlement programs” such as Medicare and Social Security.

“There is a lot you can do in terms of entitlement, in terms of cutting and in terms of also the theft and the bad management of entitlements,” Trump said.

“I know that they’re going to end up weakening Social Security because the country is weak,” he added.

‘THE VIEW’ CO-HOSTS ANGRILY SUGGEST BIDEN DOESN’T NEED TO ‘LOWER HIMSELF’ TO DEBATE TRUMP

Responding to the clip, Goldberg said, “Yeah, we could put you in jail for all your entitlements.”

“Social Security is not an entitlement. We paid for that,” she said as the crowd cheered.

According to the Social Security Administration, the Social Security benefit programs are “entitlement” programs. This means that workers, employers and the self-employed pay for the benefits with their Social Security taxes. The taxes that are collected are put into special trust funds.

It is considered an entitlement program because American citizens and their employers pay FICA taxes to pay for a certain number of quarters or until the employee reaches a specific age, at which point they are “entitled” to that benefit.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom faced backlash Monday after posting a truncated clip of Trump’s remarks on CNBC and posting it to social media.

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“Here is Donald Trump himself telling the American people he will slash Social Security and Medicare,” Newsom wrote on X. “Remember this in November.”

According to the most recent findings published by the Social Security and Medicare Trustees, the Social Security retirement fund could run out of money as soon as 2033, a year earlier than previously projected.

Unless major changes are made before 2034 to shore up the entitlement program, more than 66 million Americans would see a benefit reduction between about 23% to 25%.

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The future of the program has emerged as a contentious issue between Republicans and Democrats after President Biden accused GOP lawmakers of wanting to slash funding for Medicare and Social Security.

Fox News’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.

Kate Middleton photo data reveals new details about editing of controversial picture

Metadata from Kate Middleton’s Mother’s Day family photo revealed the image had been digitally altered multiple times before it was published on the official royal social media platforms, Fox News Digital confirmed.

Information included in the photo data showed timestamps indicating the photo was first edited at 9:54 p.m. on Friday, March 8, in Photoshop. On March 9, the image was altered once again at 9:39 a.m.

The data does not indicate who exactly altered the image, although Middleton issued an apology for the confusion surrounding “editing” the family photo.

“We don’t have anything to add,” the palace confirmed to Fox News Digital when asked for comments about the digitally altered photo.

KATE MIDDLETON SEEN WITH PRINCE WILLIAM BEFORE HE JOINED QUEEN CAMILLA AT COMMONWEALTH DAY EVENT

Middleton had previously shared her love of photography in 2020 while launching the Hold Still campaign, a joint project with the National Portrait Gallery.

She told “This Morning” that she was an “amateur photographer” who was “learning along the way.”

“One of the fantastic things about photography is really capturing that moment so it is not staged setting, it is not setting it out perfectly, it’s not clearing your house away so you’ve got a perfect studio set-up, but it’s really capturing those moments that feel real to you and that capture the moment or an expression or a feeling I suppose,” Middleton said.

“That’s the power of photography – it can capture a moment and tell a story.”

According to the metadata, Middleton’s photo was taken with a EF50mm lens, which is attached to a Canon SLR-style camera, the New York Post reported.

Read how Kate Middleton’s photo scandal started here

On Sunday, the Princess of Wales shared a photo with her three children – Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte – to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom on the royal social media accounts. 

PRINCE WILLIAM, KATE MIDDLETON’S FAMILY CALLED OUT FOR ALLEGED PHOTOSHOP FAIL IN HOLIDAY PHOTO

“Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months,” she wrote online. “Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. C”

After the photo was released, eagle-eyed followers soon noticed the image appeared to be distorted. The Associated Press and other news agencies began pulling the image from their websites over concerns that it was “manipulated.”

The Princess of Wales apologized one day later and admitted that the image shared online had been edited.

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Middleton took to social media to issue a statement, writing, “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused.”

“I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day.”

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Middleton has remained out of the public eye since Dec. 25. She was admitted into the hospital for a planned abdominal surgery on Jan. 17, and has only been spotted once since her hospitalization.

Earlier this month, a spokesperson for Kensington Palace, which handles the household for the Prince and Princess of Wales, told Fox News Digital: “Kensington Palace made it clear in January the timelines of the Princess’ recovery and we’d only be providing significant updates. The guidance in January stands that the Princess would be recuperating at home in Windsor.”

The spokesperson reiterated the princess is “doing well.”

The statement came amid a flurry of conspiracy theories that emerged on sites like X, formerly known as Twitter, and TikTok, with users speculating about the royal’s whereabouts and health condition. The hashtag #WhereisKate previously went viral on the social media platforms. 

As Kate recovers, Prince William continued royal duties with Queen Camilla and other members of the royal family at the 75th annual Commonwealth Day Service of Celebration at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

King Charles was absent from the event, but addressed his cancer diagnosis in a recorded video message, saying, “In recent weeks, I have been most deeply touched by your wonderfully kind and thoughtful good wishes for my health and, in return, can only continue to serve you, to the best of my ability, throughout the Commonwealth.” 

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Congressman rescues US citizens trapped in Haiti, says Biden ‘deserted them’

FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., helped rescue a group of Americans from Haiti, marking the third rescue of U.S. citizens during a foreign crisis under the Biden administration. 

“I am proud to report that my team and I were successful in evacuating [and] rescuing a trapped and at-risk group of Americans from Have Faith Orphanage in Haiti last night,” Mills told Fox News Digital.

“This mission reiterates a disturbing reality under President Biden’s leadership: American lives are continually jeopardized,” Mills said. “I have led missions to rescue Americans multiple times when Joe Biden has deserted them.”

“There’s a clear pattern of abandonment,” Mills said, citing his rescue missions in Afghanistan following the U.S. military drawdown in 2021 and the rescue of Americans from Israel in late 2023. “Yet again, this group was left behind by Biden and his State Department after requesting their help in-country.”

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The 10 Americans evacuated from Haiti had worked at the Have Faith Orphanage in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. The U.S. military sent forces to Haiti over the weekend at the request of the State Department to bolster security at the U.S. Embassy and airlifted non-essential personnel – such as family of diplomats – who had remained after an order for such individuals to evacuate last summer. 

The State Department had previously told Fox News Digital that it would continue to monitor the situation and consider its options, including the deployment of forces to help with security at the U.S. Embassy. 

“We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson said, adding, “The U.S. Embassy remains open with limited staffing and will continue to provide assistance to U.S. citizens as necessary.” 

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In a briefing on Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said he did not have a firm number on the total number of Americans still in Haiti who are trying to leave. 

“U.S. citizens wishing to depart Port-au-Prince should monitor local news and information on security conditions from commercial transportation providers and should arrange to leave Haiti when security conditions and commercial transportation options permit doing so,” the spokesperson explained. 

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the U.S. “welcomed” the decision taken by Caribbean leaders during a meeting in Jamaica, which saw Haitian Acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry announce his resignation in order to facilitate a transitional presidential council and a new leader who might better grapple with the immense unrest and violence across the country.

“The government that I’m running cannot remain insensitive in this situation. There is no sacrifice that is too big for our country,” Henry said in a recorded statement. “The government I’m running will remove itself immediately after the installation of the council.”

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Sullivan also said that “ultimately, decisions about Haiti should be made by the Haitian people,” applauding Henry’s resignation for taking into account “the best interests of the Haitian people.” He continued to note that the discussions about operations and efforts to aid Haiti have proven positive and encouraging, with officials “hopeful” Kenya’s police coalition from Eastern Africa will eventually occur and help bring order to the island nation.

The Jamaica conference agreed to provide $100 million to help fund Kenya’s police coalition and $33 million for additional assistance. Sullivan said the leaders agreed to other contingencies but that the current agreed measures remain the main focus. 

On the congressman’s mission to evacuate the 10 Americans, Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., told Fox News Digital in an exclusive statement that she is “eternally grateful” to Mills for rescuing the Americans, some of whom live in her constituency. 

“Those stranded in war-torn Haiti were left hopeless and without options,” McClain said. “The State Department’s answer was to sign up for a notification system and wait for alerts: They offered no real assistance, no opportunities to be rescued, and no plan whatsoever.”

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“That’s why Rep. Mills and I had to take the matter into our own hands and save stranded American citizens,” McClain added. “We worked around the clock to do the work the Biden administration was unwilling to do, and I am eternally grateful for the heroic actions my friend Cory Mills took in traveling to Haiti and physically rescuing Michiganders that were left behind.”

“I am pleased that we were able to save so many, but countless more remain,” McClain wrote. “I am infuriated that the State Department has so carelessly left so many Americans to die in Haiti.”

Mills, a combat veteran, helped evacuate an American family overland from Afghanistan with help from a team of military veterans – Mills said his original plan of an air evacuation could have rescued more than two dozen Americans – and pulled 32 Americans out of Israel while travel was shut down and countries scrambled to get their citizens out of the country. 

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Mills served in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division before winning his House seat in 2023. In an op-ed for Fox News Digital, Mills chastised the administration for making a “promise to never” leave behind Americans but prioritized other concerns at the time. 

Asked about Mill’s criticism, neither the State Department nor the National Security Council responded to a Fox News Digital request for comment by the time of publication.

Fox News Digital’s Lawrence Richard, Bradford Betz, Charles Creitz and Amy Nelson contributed to this report.

Woman vows to never have kids: ‘Couldn’t think of anything worse’

A 35-year-old woman claims the fear of teenage pregnancy years ago has made her not want to have a baby, ever. 

Adelaide, Australia-based Samantha King refuses to get pregnant after she said her mother put the “fear of God” into her at age 15, British news service SWNS reported. 

Ever “since I was younger, [my] mom put the fear of God into me and told me to not get pregnant at 15 or 16,” she said. 

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She added, “The fear has just grown as I’ve grown.”

She said the idea of being pregnant — just knowing that a baby is “moving inside of you” — gives her the “heebie-jeebies.” 

“The whole idea of giving birth is gross and scary,” she continued, as SWNS reported. 

Tokophobia is defined as the “pathological fear of pregnancy and can lead to avoidance of childbirth,” per the National Institutes of Health.

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The fear, said the NIH, can be classified as primary or secondary, with primary meaning the fear can come from a woman who has no previous personal experience with pregnancy.

King — who has a dog — said she also doesn’t love the idea that pregnancy could change her body forever, adding that she would also “get stuck with the child forever,” too.

“It’s the whole process of being pregnant and having to deal with all the side effects, like the morning sickness and the pains,” she said. 

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She added, “I just couldn’t think of anything worse.”

While King said she is happy for others who choose to become pregnant and have babies, she said that urge has simply never been hers. 

“I look at a pregnant person and think they look nice, and glowing and happy,” she said to SWNS. 

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“But I’ve had friends that are pregnant, and I don’t want to touch their belly or get involved in any of that,” she said. 

Instead, King spends lots of time with her dog and also enjoys traveling.

“I just couldn’t think of anything worse.”

She said she’s upfront about her fears of having children to potential suitors — and that most have been understanding. 

“I’ve only had one guy that got a little upset as he wanted children, but [he] respected my choices and we parted ways,” she said.

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She also said she would never want to stop others from having children if they choose to do so.

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8-year-old boy is preparing for life without vision: ‘It’s heartbreaking’

Grayson Naff, 8, is preparing for life without vision.

The Ohio second-grader was diagnosed last year with Batten disease, a rare genetic disorder that causes vision loss, seizures, cognitive decline, impaired mobility and, ultimately, death.

As the disease progresses and his vision further declines, the child — with the support of his mother, Emily Blackburn, and a host of educators and experts — has started the necessary training to navigate the world without eyesight.

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Naff’s current vision is around 20/200-20/300, which is considered legally blind. 

He sees best about 5 to 10 inches in front of him, Blackburn said.

Recently, the boy began “white cane training.”

A white cane is a critical mobility tool for the blind or visually impaired. It scrapes along the ground as the person walks, allowing the individual to gather important information about the surroundings.

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“White cane training is important for certain individuals with vision loss to increase their independence while traveling throughout their environment,” Rhianna Witt, an orientation and mobility specialist with Montgomery County Educational Service Center (MCESC) in Dayton, Ohio, told Fox News Digital.

Witt has been working with Naff on his white cane training.

“The white cane allows [the blind person] to detect changes in elevation, obstacles and changes in surface texture,” she said. “It is a tool used for previewing the environment.”

The white cane also signals to others that the person using it has low vision, Witt noted, which makes the person more visible in public places and street crossings.

“It’s important for students to learn to use their white cane with a certified orientation and mobility specialist,” Witt said. 

“Practicing using their cane in practical and age-appropriate environments will help them develop the skills needed as they get older and/or their vision changes.”

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Naff was introduced to the white cane in his elementary school gym, and then he walked the halls using it, his mother said.

“His favorite color is red, so he liked how the white cane had red [on it],” Blackburn told Fox News Digital. “He learned how wide to move it, how to hold it, how to use it to hear different materials on the ground and how to fold it up.”

Witt praised the boy for working hard on his orientation and mobility training. 

“The focus has been to ensure that he is navigating his school well and gaining the skills necessary to problem-solve when his vision may be affecting his ability to orient or navigate,” she said.

While the white cane training was an important step for Naff — it was difficult for his mother.

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“I was extremely anxious for him to be introduced to the white cane,” she said. 

“Losing vision can sometimes be an invisible disability, but when you have a white cane, it suddenly becomes real.”

“No one prepares you for this — I wake up every day and have to remember that this is our life.”

“Accepting that my son is legally blind — and that if he goes down the typical path of children with Batten disease, he will likely lose all of his vision — is heartbreaking.”

An even more difficult realization, she said, is that loss of vision is only the beginning of the disease’s devastating effects.

“No one prepares you for this,” Blackburn said. “I wake up every day and have to remember that this is our life.”

Her son has also started training in Braille, which allows visually impaired people to read by feeling a system of raised dots. 

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Becca King, teacher of the visually impaired at MCESC in Dayton, Ohio, has been helping the boy with his Braille lessons.

“Learning to read Braille is a lot like learning to read print,” she told Fox News Digital. “It’s important to have the fundamentals and to take it step by step.”

“Grayson is a pleasure to work with,” she told Fox News Digital. “He is enthusiastic about learning and is willing to do anything that I ask him to. He has an infectious personality, and he is truly the highlight of my day when I get to see him.”

She added, “He is a bright light to all who know him.”

Naff also has an aide at school who helps him scribe — meaning he writes down what the boy says. 

The young student also has a portable desktop magnifying device that magnifies and changes contrast to help him see his papers at school.

Ongoing care 

Every six months, Naff and his family drive seven hours to see his ophthalmologist at the University of Iowa, who specializes in juvenile inherited eye disease.

During each visit, “Grayson goes through a whole day of eye exams to test if his vision has changed,” Blackburn said.

Their next visit is scheduled for May. 

“The only way we move forward is with hope and the love we have for Grayson.”

“The anxiety and anticipation is challenging, because we want to accept Grayson’s vision however it may be, but our hope is that he’ll have his vision for as long as possible,” his mother said. 

Naff is also taking Miglustat, a medication that could help ease or slow down symptoms. 

Cost is a concern, though. Since the drug is not yet FDA-approved for use with Batten disease, it has a hefty co-pay.

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“If insurance doesn’t cover it, it’s about $100 per pill, or $9,000 each month,” Blackburn said.

There is currently no cure for Batten disease, with life expectancy typically in the mid-teens to early 20s.

“The only way we move forward is with hope and the love we have for Grayson,” said Blackburn.

“We take pictures, we make memories, we try to live life as normal as possible — but with a crack in our hearts and hope for the future.”

There are resources available through private agencies, schools and government agencies to assist with the difficult transition that comes with vision loss, Witt pointed out.

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“It is helpful to find a community of people who are going through a similar experience and can provide advice and stories of hope,” she added.

Anyone wanting more information about Grayson Naff’s journey and Batten disease can visit guidinggrayson.com.

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German shepherd looking for quiet home with big yard after rescue

The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons Inc. is looking for someone to take home one of their pups. 

Dale is a 1-year-old German shepherd who was recently found as a stray in Texas.

The roughly 54-pound boy was rescued by the Rescue Paw Foundation and then transferred to ARF in East Hampton, New York, shortly after.

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Although most of his story is unknown, the organization is spreading the word that Dale is available for adoption.

ARF describes him as a sweet but sensitive dog who is loyal to his bones.

The German shepherd knows his basic commands, which may lead one to think he had a loving home prior to being found — and he can walk well on a leash.

NEW YORK DOG WHO LOVES TO PLAY FETCH AND GO TO THE BEACH IS UP FOR ADOPTION: MEET BO

Dale loves to play with his toys and is known to raid the organization’s toy bin often.

Although Dale is loving and sweet and gets along well with other dogs, he’s not a fan of cats, the organization said. 

Because of this, ARF recommends that Dale go to a home where no cats are currently living.

NEW YORK ADOPTABLE DOG KNOWN FOR ‘HUGE AND KISSES’ AWAITS A WONDERFUL NEW HOME

The 1-year-old dog would adjust well to a quiet home with a big backyard, per ARF.

Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons has been helping homeless and abandoned pets find their forever homes since its founding in 1974.

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Since then, ARF has saved more than 30,000 cats and dogs through partnerships with rescues across the country.

Anyone interested in learning more about Dale can visit the group’s website.

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The site arfhamptons.org has more information on the adoptable pet.

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Nick Saban recalls conversation he had with his wife before retirement

Legendary Alabama Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban was among a roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, to talk about the future of college athletics, specifically finding a balance in the new world with the transfer portal and name, image and likeness (NIL) deals. 

Saban surprisingly called it quits for his historic career after the 2023-24 collegiate season, which ended in a Rose Bowl loss to the eventual national-champion Michigan Wolverines, and the pay-for-play landscape that college sports has become seems to have played some role in his decision even if he has denied that was the case in past interviews. 

In front of the panel with Cruz, who is involved in drafting NIL legislation, and others like Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne, Saban provided an anecdote with his wife, Terry, who shed some light on his future. 

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“All the things I’ve believed in for all these years — 50 years of coaching — no longer exist in college athletics,” Saban said when asked by Cruz if the “current chaos” in college sports led to his retirement. “It’s always was about developing players, always been about helping people be more successful in life.

“My wife even said to me — we have all the recruits over on Sunday with their parents for breakfast. She would always meet with the mothers and talk about how she was going to help impact their sons and how they would be well taken care of. She came to me right before I retired and said, ‘Why are we doing this?’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, ‘All they care about is how much you’re going to pay them. They don’t care about how you’re going to develop them, which is what we’ve always done. So why are you doing this?’

“To me, that was sort of a red alert that we really are creating a circumstance here that is not beneficial to the young people, which is why I always did what I did. My dad did it, I did it. So that’s the reason I always like college athletics more than the NFL because you had the opportunity to develop young people.”

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Saban prefaced his story with his wife by explaining why he got into coaching. 

“Basically, I always did what I did so people would be more successful in life,” he said. “You’re trying to develop a value-based system just like a value-based business that would create opportunities for young people to be more successful. So, this started with personal development. This started with academic support to make sure guys graduated and prepared themselves for when they couldn’t play football. 

“Also, the whole concept of branding and making sure you had an image out there that was going to be something that would enhance your chances to be successful and create opportunities for your future. And see if you could develop yourself as a football player.

“What we’ve done between freedom to transfer and creating a free agency system where guys can transfer whenever they wanted to transfer. The whole idea that we’ve created a pay-for-play sort of model in college athletics has created some issues in being able to actually have a program and a system that would enhance those very values that I just talked about.”

Saban added that the “competitive balance” is nowhere to be found in college athletics because it’s all about who’s willing to pay the most money to these current and prospective student-athletes. 

“It’s whoever pays the most money, raises the most money, buys the most players — they’re going to have the best opportunity to win. I don’t think that’s the spirit of college athletics. I don’t think it’s ever been the spirit of what we want college athletics to be.

“I can attest that I’ve had two NFL coaches tell me — and this is a football deal because they’re concerned about the football part — that the players come to them less developed with more entitlement and less resiliency to overcome adversity.”

“If that’s true in the football development, is that true in other parts of their development?”

Saban said shortly after making his retirement announcement in January that NIL and the transfer portal were not the reasons for his retirement, repeating that during an ESPN interview earlier in March. He did, however, mention relationships with players being a factor. 

Now, Saban is not a stickler for NIL deals, as he reiterated how much he understands a brand can help improve “quality of life” for student-athletes. 

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“Name, image, likeness is a great opportunity to create a brand for themselves. I’m not against that at all,” Saban said. “To come up with some kind of a system to help the development of young people is paramount to the future of college athletics.”

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