Fox News 2024-05-14 10:03:59


At least 14 killed, 74 injured after massive billboard collapses during violent storm

A large billboard collapsed onto a group of pedestrians in India late Monday evening, killing at least 14 people and injuring 74 others, officials said.

According to city officials, a 100-foot-tall billboard fell onto a gas station in the suburb of Ghatkopar in the western city of Mumbai on Monday evening. At least 47 people were rescued late into the night.

The collapse took place during a thunderstorm which included heavy rain and high winds.

City officials blamed the turbulent weather for the deadly collapse: “Yesterday (13 May) evening, in the Chheda Nagar area of Ghatkopar, a tragic incident occurred due to speedy winds, resulting in the collapse of a hoarding.”

BUS CARRYING EASTER WORSHIPPERS VEERS OFF BRIDGE AND PLUNGES NEARLY 200 FEET, KILLING AT LEAST 45

A rescue operation continued into Tuesday morning for those people who may still be trapped.

GIANT EXTINCT SNAKE DISCOVERED IN INDIA WAS 50 FEET LONG, SAID RESEARCHERS

“Medical treatment is currently being provided to 44 injured individuals, with 31 already discharged after receiving treatment. Unfortunately, 14 people succumbed to death in this mishap,” officials said.

Police are investigating the collapse and say the billboard may have been illegally installed, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. 

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India often experiences heavy rain and severe floods, especially during its monsoon season that typically stretches from June to September.

This season brings most of India’s annual rainfall. The rain is crucial for agriculture but often causes extensive damage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

GREGG JARRETT: Alvin Bragg made a crucial mistake with the Trump trial’s star witness

Michael Cohen raised his right hand on Monday in the Manhattan trial of Donald Trump and swore to tell the truth.  It was a meaningless gesture.  

Cohen has done it before and then proceeded to lie under oath. He went to prison for it after lying to courts, lying to banks, lying to Congress, and lying to the IRS. Yet, once again, Cohen insists that now he’s telling the truth. He wants jurors to believe him. This time.  

Cohen presents a contradiction about truth and falsity. In philosophy and logic it’s known as the “liar’s paradox,” and it bedevils juries whenever habitual liars take the witness stand and promise to tell the truth.  

The paradox is this: if a liar indeed lied, then his admission of his lies is truthful. Unless, of course, he is lying about the lie and everything else.  You can never really know. The search for truth becomes impossible.  In a court of law where the central witness is a chronic fabulist, the “liar’s paradox” equals reasonable doubt. 

NY V. TRUMP: COHEN TESTIFIES TO PAYING STORMY DANIELS FROM HIS OWN POCKET

It was on full display Monday when Trump’s one-time self-proclaimed “fixer” failed to connect the accused to any cognizable crime.  But Cohen readily confessed that he often lied and bullied people. He also deceived his own client, Trump, by secretly recording him shortly before the 2016 election.  

Without permission, Cohen then shared it with the publisher of the National Enquirer.  It was a sleazy maneuver that would merit disbarment for breaching the attorney-client privilege.  No matter.  Cohen was long ago disbarred over his criminal convictions.  

When the recording was played in court it seemed to help, not hurt, the defense.  Cohen refers cryptically to payments made to kill a story, which is not a crime. Trump appears somewhat in the dark and is heard asking, “What financing?” Cohen assured him that he was taking care of everything.  His boss didn’t need to know the details. “I’ve got it…I’m on it,” said Cohen.     

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg knows that he is teetering dangerously close to suborning perjury. But he is wholly committed to convicting Donald Trump for crimes not committed or fully revealed.

THE PROSECUTION’S STAR WITNESS AGAINST TRUMP, MICHAEL COHEN, IS A CHRONIC AND HABITUAL LIAR

It is bewildering why the prosecution ventured there, except to smear Trump with the illusion of some amorphous wrongdoing.  It was utterly irrelevant since the matter dealt with former Playboy model Karen McDougal who was never called as a prosecution witness and is unconnected to the charges. Trump refused to pay her money over a purported affair that he denies.  

Cohen then moved on to his tangle with ex-porn star Stormy Daniels, who was intensifying her apparent extortion scheme as voters were soon heading to the polls.  Cohen admitted that it was his idea to pay $130,000 for her silence accompanied by a lawful non-disclosure agreement.  As Trump’s lawyer, Cohen handled the negotiated contract which was later booked as “legal expenses” because that is what they were.  

MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE SECRETLY RECORDED TRUMP IN LEAD-UP TO 2016 ELECTION

In fact, Cohen confirmed the accuracy of the bookkeeping when he explained that the money he received was compensation for his work on the legal settlement with Daniels, reimbursed payments to him, plus a retainer for his legal services as Trump’s newly named personal attorney.  

So, where exactly is the original fraud that forms the basis for the 34 misdemeanor charges alleged by the prosecution? Nowhere.  

Cohen later testified that Trump was concerned about how Daniel’s story might impact his 2016 electoral chances. Not surprisingly, that nugget is contradicted by other witnesses who informed the jury that the candidate’s main concern was his wife and family.  

Either way, it doesn’t matter.  Bragg’s argument is legally flawed because Trump used his own money, not campaign funds.  The law imposes limits on the latter, but not on the former.  

TRUMP, DEFENDERS SHOW UP IN FORCE AHEAD OF COHEN TESTIMONY

That is one of the principal reasons why the Federal Election Commission (FEC) determined there was no campaign finance violation. The Department of Justice agreed.  No civil fine was levied or criminal charge rendered.  Those two entities have exclusive authority over federal elections.  Not a local prosecutor such as Alvin Bragg.  

But that did not stop the Manhattan DA from usurping federal jurisdiction by bringing a campaign case that he has no power to enforce and for violations that don’t exist.

Under normal circumstances, the DOJ would have intervened to stop it. Instead, Attorney General Merrick Garland tossed a going away party for his deputy, Matthew Colangelo, who abandoned his prestigious job at the Department to become Bragg’s lead prosecutor.  

Undeterred by the limits of the law, these ethically bankrupt prosecutors have cobbled together a lawless case by asserting that Trump falsified his own private business records with the felonious intent to conceal another crime that they still refused to identify.  Presumably, it’s campaign finance.  But it’s actually not.  

MICHAEL COHEN’S CREDIBILITY ISSUES, BRAZEN TIKTOK USAGE RAISE MEDIA EYEBROWS AHEAD OF TESTIMONY 

Former FEC Chairman Bradley Smith put it this way in his column for The Wall Street Journal: “The ‘crime’ that Mr. Bragg claims is being covered up isn’t a crime at all.”  

Even if the DA’s warped legal theory proceeds, he must still prove that Trump himself understood campaign finance laws and deliberately intended to violate them.  There’s no evidence of that.  Even experienced candidates struggle to comprehend the mind-numbing web of campaign regulations.  That’s why they depend on lawyers.  

Bragg wants to put Trump in prison for relying on the advice of his legal counsel. There’s a legal term for that. Nutty.  

On cross-examination, Cohen will surely be confronted with his myriad of lies, which I’ve recounted in earlier columns. One in particular is worth remembering.  In February of 2018, he told the New York Times, “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure.”  

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Shortly thereafter, Cohen changed his tune. It’s changing still. When he retakes the witness stand on Tuesday he’ll regurgitate more lies and misinformation.  None of it is worth a damn because Cohen represents the quintessential “liar’s paradox.”  He’s told so many fibs that even his recantations are self-contradictory.    

In the trial at hand, Cohen has a personal interest in lying —hatred and greed.  When he isn’t trolling for dollars on TikTok by trashing Trump, he’s hawking a proposed reality show that he calls, “The Fixer.” Cohen needs to fix himself.  

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg knows that he is teetering dangerously close to suborning perjury. But he is wholly committed to convicting Donald Trump for crimes not committed or fully revealed. By calling Cohen as his star witness, the DA has forsaken his duty to seek the truth. He is aiding and abetting a convicted perjurer by enabling more lies.  

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This is the worst kind of government corruption. Unscrupulous, dishonest, and amoral.  It is antithetical to justice and an embarrassment to our once respected legal system.  

It’s not a paradox. It’s a tragedy.  

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Blue state bars Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s charity from asking for more money

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Archewell Foundation is facing a major issue with its paperwork.

In documents obtained by Fox News Digital, the charity has been declared “delinquent” by the California Registry of Charities and Fundraisers for “failing to submit required annual report(s) and/or renewal fees.”

Per the document, “An organization that is listed as delinquent is not in good standing and is prohibited from engaging in conduct for which registration is required, including soliciting or disbursing charitable funds. The organization may also be subject to penalties and its registration may be suspended or revoked by the Registry.”

“Once you submit the delinquent record(s), you will be notified of the amount of any late fees that are owed,” it continues.

PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE PART WAYS WITH 2 TOP EXECS OF ARCHEWELL, LESS THAN 2 YEARS AFTER JOINING

Representatives for Archewell and California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who signed off on the notice, did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

A source told People that the charity did file on time but a check that was sent was never received, and Archewell only became aware of the issue when the notice was issued. Their sources report a new check has been sent, and they expect the issue to be resolved quickly and reflected in the state’s records within the next seven business days.

The letter, issued May 3 from the attorney general via the California Department of Justice, lists the foundation’s address in Beverly Hills and notes its last renewal was completed on Feb. 2, 2023.

The Archewell Foundation was first registered with the California Registry of Charities and Fundraisers in July 2021 with a summary of the organization’s primary activity.

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The document states, “Archewell Foundation is an impact-driven nonprofit created by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Archewell Foundation’s core purpose is to uplift and unite communities – local and global, online and offline – one act of compassion at a time.”

“Archewell Foundation believes that compassion is the defining cultural force of the 21st century and, through its work, Archewell Foundation supports a growing community of partner organizations fueling systematic cultural change. Archewell Foundation listens to people and their communities, helps them to tell their stories, puts real action behind its words, and spotlights a new generation of leadership.”

It also shows the organization had been granted IRS tax-exempt status at that time, with contributions to the organization being tax-deductible.

Prince Harry and Markle have been on a trip to Nigeria, invited by the country’s chief of defense staff, the highest-ranking military official. While there, they have been promoting mental health for soldiers and, according to People, highlighting the Invictus Games, which Nigeria participated in for the first time in 2023.

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The issues with the charity also come on the heels of a purported snub by Harry’s father, King Charles III, who bestowed a title once linked to Prince Harry to his brother, Prince William.

On Monday, the king bestowed the honor of colonel in chief of the Army Air Corps on William, making him the commander of Prince Harry’s former Army Air Corps regiment. Before Prince Harry stepped down from his royal duties, many believed the title would be given to the Duke of Sussex as a result of the time he served with the Army Air Corps in Afghanistan.

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The ceremony happened days after a spokesperson confirmed to Fox News Digital that Prince Harry wouldn’t meet with King Charles while in London due to the king’s packed schedule.

Blinken makes unannounced diplomatic trip after US vows to ‘accelerate’ weapons shipments

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ukraine on Tuesday on an unannounced diplomatic mission to reassure the country amid its war with Russia.

After arriving in Kyiv, Blinken is expected to meet with senior Ukrainian officials and “highlight the United States’ enduring support for Ukraine,” the U.S. State Department said. In the Ukrainian capital, he will also underscore the Biden administration’s commitment to Ukraine’s defense and assure Ukraine that it has America’s support against increasingly intense Russian attacks.

In a statement released after Blinken’s arrival, the State Department said he would meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to “discuss battlefield updates, the impact of new U.S. security and economic assistance, long-term security and other commitments, and ongoing work to bolster Ukraine’s economic recovery.”

“He will emphasize America’s commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and democracy in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression,” the statement added.

BLINKEN DELIVERS STRONGEST PUBLIC REBUKE OF ISRAEL YET: ‘GET OUT OF GAZA’

Blinken’s visit comes less than a month after Congress approved a long-delayed foreign assistance package that sets aside $60 billion in aid for Ukraine. Most of the aid will go toward replenishing badly depleted artillery and air defense systems.

Tuesday marks Blinken’s fourth trip to Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Despite his frequency to the region, Kyiv and Moscow are no closer to ending their fighting.

REPUBLICAN SAYS BIDEN HAS ‘STRENGTHENED’ HAMAS BY WITHHOLDING AID FROM ISRAEL: ‘COMPLETELY INCOMPETENT’

LIZ CHENEY JOINS OLD FOE TRUMP IN PUBLIC SLAM OF BIDEN’S LATEST MOVE IN ISRAEL: ‘WRONG AND DANGEROUS’

The unannounced visit comes after a White House briefing Monday, where national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the new aid package was “trying to really accelerate the tempo” of U.S. weapon shipments to Ukraine.

“What I am going to suggest is that the level of intensity being exhibited right now in terms of moving stuff is at a 10 out of 10,” Sullivan told reporters.

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President Biden signed the aid package late last month and the administration has already announced $1.4 billion in short-term military assistance and $6 billion in longer-term support.

Blinken’s last trip to Kyiv was in September.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The ‘scariest’ hitmen appear nothing like you would expect, expert warns travelers

With the high-profile murders of three surfers in Mexico grabbing headlines ahead of the busy American summer travel season, a private investigator is warning that killers in the country may not be who you expect.

Cartels are increasingly using women and children to carry out violent acts, Jay Armes III, who specializes in kidnappings in Mexico and works cases all over the world, told Fox News Digital. 

Images and videos of cartel members in tactical gear with intimidating military-grade weapons are meant to instill fear, but “the scariest part” of violence in Mexico “is the bad guys don’t look like bad guys,” Armes said.

“When you capture these people and line them up, and you look at their faces, they look like your gardener, the waitress who served you dinner at a restaurant, the little old grandmother down the street,” he said.

SURFERS’ DEATHS IN MEXICO ‘EERILY’ SIMILAR TO SAN DIEGO COUPLE’S MURDERS FOR BEDDING: ‘ANYONE CAN BE KILLED FOR ANYTHING’

A man has been charged with “forced disappearance” in connection with the deaths of surfers Carter Rhoad, Callum Robinson and Jake Robinson, the BBC reports. Fox News Digital reached out to the state attorney general of Baja California’s office for the latest updates and information.

TRIPLE-MURDER SUSPECT IN MEXICO SURFER DEATHS ALLEGEDLY CONFESSED TO GIRLFRIEND HE KILLED ‘3 GRINGOS’: REPORT

Rhoad, a United States citizen who was engaged to be married in August, and the Robinson brothers from Australia were slain during a carjacking, according to the attorney general’s office in the Mexican state of Baja California. Their bodies were found at the bottom of 50-foot wells and their truck was torched. The suspects wanted the tires, the prosecutor said.

TROPICAL RESORTS POPULAR WITH AMERICANS NO LONGER ‘OFF-LIMITS’ FOR CARTEL KILLERS: ‘THE RULES HAVE CHANGED’

It’s unclear if the suspects in the surfers’ homicides are connected to organized crime, but Armes said the cartels are employing women and children as young as 7 years old as assassins.

Young kids are kidnapped and groomed to be killers, according to Armes, who rattled off names of several infamous Mexican female assassins, like Claudia Ochoa Felix, known as the Kim Kardashian of Mexican cartels. 

Felix was El Chapo’s “top assassin” and known for posing on social media with weapons. 

WATCH: REPORT ON CLAUDIA OCHOA FELIX’S DEATH

“It’s not new, per se, but it’s becoming increasingly more common,” the private investigator said. “Women and kids are basically prefect hit men because they don’t attract attention from anyone’s security detail.

“They’re not going to look twice at a child or a beautiful woman with the same scrutiny as a man. … A target could be in a restaurant or hotel, and a child or woman can get close enough to easily take out the target and get away.”

FIRST WOMAN TO RUN MAJOR DRUG CARTEL, ‘LA JEFA’ ARELLANO FELIX, NAMED TO US KINGPIN LIST

Research by the International Crisis Group (ICG) supports Armes’ personal knowledge from being on the ground and through his own sources. 

“Male crime bosses tend to value women for their perceived competence, respect for hierarchy and ability to evade police attention,” the ICG’s November 2023 report says. “Women’s presence in illegal groups has strengthened these organizations. It has also more deeply embedded crime in the fabric of Mexican society and within families.”

The ICG interviewed women in Mexican prisons and found that women charged with crimes connected to the cartels increased from 5.4% to 7.5% from 2017 to 2021. 

Armes says the number is still climbing, and as evidenced in the surfers’ homicides, women have killed or are involved in murders.

AMERICAN KIDNAPPED IN MEXICO, LEFT TO DIE IN JUNGLE WITH EYES, WRISTS TAPED

As summer vacations and honeymoon season starts, Americans circle the white-sand beaches of Mexican resorts in places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and others.

The strip of tourist destinations along the coast used to be off-limits to violence, but the rules have changed and warring cartels see tourists as potential customers, or visitors can end up as innocent bystanders killed in the crossfire, Armes said.

It’s important to “be hypervigilant” when traveling, he said. 

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“If people walk into a place, and you get a really bad vibe and something’s just not right … and your instincts tell you to get out, you should get out,” Armes said.

The final stages of Trump’s veepstakes are nearing completion

“I’m calling it” declared Commentary Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief John Podhoretz on the magazine’s Monday podcast. Podhoretz then went on to detail at some length, egged on by Commentary’s Washington columnist and American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Matt Continetti, as to why North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum would be former President Donald Trump’s running mate. They received support for their choice from Commentary Managing Editor Abe Greenwald and Commentary culture and arts commentator and another AEI fellow, Christine Rosen, in a very enjoyable meditation on Burgum-mania.  
 
You should listen. Actually, you should follow and rate the Commentary podcast with as many stars as are available on your podcast platform of choice because it is simply the best podcast available on a day-in, day-out, Monday-through-Friday basis. My exercise time is usually immediately following the conclusion of my own broadcast, so my sole complaint about the Commentary pod is it sometimes doesn’t post until half-way through my trundling, which obliges me to go farther and longer than I had intended because I won’t not finish a Commentary pod. (I would also like a weekend edition of the pod to listen to, but none of the really excellent pods except occasionally “Call Me Back” hosted by Dan Senor, post on the weekends.) 
 
The Commentary pod really is a model for other magazines and newspapers. Get your four or five very best talents and throw them on a conference call every morning at around 8:30 and push it out fast. The world needs more serious and funny, smart and well-argued podcasts. Here is your model.  

MASSIVE TRUMP BEACH RALLY IN DEEP-BLUE NJ DRAWS STARK CONTRAST TO BIDEN’S BEACH WEEKEND: ‘BIDEN COULD NEVER’

That said, I am not so quick to declare Burgum as the running mate for the former president. Burgum is indeed impressive on the stump, comforting to “normie” Republicans, and wealthy. He’s also very, very smart. A formidable entry in the Veepstakes yes, and maybe the favorite today, but not a mortal lock. Did I say very smart? I want to repeat that. If Trump tasked Burgum with figuring out what to do about AI and social media’s destructive effects on the culture, Burgum would come up with constructive, well-reasoned policies.  

A quick word for four others (and two “not likely but maybe” entrants) in the lists. In alphabetical order of the serious contenders: 

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is, like Burgum, razor-sharp smart and knows how to crush left wing media as it comes after Trump or attempts to prop up President Joe Biden. Cotton displayed that last week on ABC when Jon Karl hosted “This Week” and where Karl dropped any pretense of being a neutral journalist. The pro-Biden apologist pattern continued on this Sunday when Margaret Brennan hosted Cotton on “Face the Nation,” and like Karl a week earlier, Brennan wasn’t going to conduct an interview, but rather debated Cotton on PBiden’s arms embargo on Israel.  
 
Cotton dispatched both Brennan and Karl with ease. Harvard trains its lawyers well. Actual combat in Iraq, where Cotton led a platoon during “The Surge,” leaves a senator indifferent to lefty hosts’ attempts to muddle facts and prosecute absurd arguments. Cotton is simply unflappable. This is a skill set Trump values highly: the ability to “do the shows.” Cotton has it, and he’s young, and the “new generation” of leaders argument is a powerful one, not unlike the dynamic that led Ike to tap California Senator Richard Nixon as his running mate in 1952.  

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Nixon had made a mark running the Soviet spy Alger Hiss to ground while in the House, and ran a brass-knuckled campaign to defeat an incumbent Democratic senator Helen Gahagan Douglas in the 1950 California senate campaign. Nixon was a young veteran of World War II, as Cotton is a young veteran of the long wars. The classic role for a VP is to attack, attack, attack. That’s what Ike wanted and got with RN and which Trump may want in his vice president. Cotton knows that battle and has carried it on for a decade inside the Beltway. 

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is also a warrior — and a woman warrior from the heartland. If the polling shows that a woman on the ticket provides a measurable, enduring advantage, Ernst seems to me to be the best choice open to Trump.  

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is another veteran and a West Point grad to boot (where, as Trump likes to note, Pompeo ranked first in his class of cadets.). Trump knows exactly what he is getting with the former CIA Director and Kansas Congressman (and another Harvard Law grad.) Trump may want Pompeo at Defense or back at State and Cotton as Attorney General or over at DOD. But the old shoe fits the easiest and Trump worked very well with Pompeo for four years and Pompeo kills “the shows” and partisan media with the same effectiveness as Cotton.  

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Finally, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin brings enormous charisma, maybe at shot at carrying light blue Virginia, and a signature issue of huge importance this cycle with his efforts to restore sanity in left-wing public-school districts. Youngkin like Burgum enjoys great wealth. He’s been mentioned a lot by The Great Mentioner too, as has Florida Senator Marco Rubio. I worry that Rubio, unlike Dick Cheney in 2000, lacks a credible claim on any other state residence or that the former president is willing to establish his residency at Bedminster in New Jersey, but we will see. Like Youngkin, Rubio carries with him buckets of charisma to spare.  
 
So listen to the Commentary gang discuss the impressive North Dakota governor, but keep in mind that there are no “mortal locks” in politics, And there is always the dark horse, very surprising choice. (This year that horse is named Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.) 

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Hugh Hewitt is host of “The Hugh Hewitt show,” heard weekday mornings 6am to 9am ET on the Salem Radio Network, and simulcast on Salem News Channel. Hugh wakes up America on over 400 affiliates nationwide, and on all the streaming platforms where SNC can be seen. He is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel’s news roundtable hosted by Brett Baier weekdays at 6pm ET. A son of Ohio and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, Hewitt has been a Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law since 1996 where he teaches Constitutional Law. Hewitt launched his eponymous radio show from Los Angeles in 1990.  Hewitt has frequently appeared on every major national news television network, hosted television shows for PBS and MSNBC, written for every major American paper, has authored a dozen books and moderated a score of Republican candidate debates, most recently the November 2023 Republican presidential debate in Miami and four Republican presidential debates in the 2015-16 cycle. Hewitt focuses his radio show and his column on the Constitution, national security, American politics and the Cleveland Browns and Guardians. Hewitt has interviewed tens of thousands of guests from Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump over his 40 years in broadcasting, and this column previews the lead story that will drive his radio/TV show today.

Toby Keith’s daughter shares patriotic message from him before his passing

Toby Keith’s legacy is still leaving a mark on family, friends and fans months after his death from stomach cancer in February.

On Saturday, during the University of Oklahoma’s commencement ceremony, Keith’s daughter, Krystal Keith, accepted an honorary degree on his behalf.

“When he learned last fall that he was being inducted to Sooner Nation on this high of a level, he was so excited, and he was so proud,” Krystal said during her speech while accepting the degree. 

She continued, “I actually made a joke about how many hours I spent here getting my bachelor’s degree, and he joked that he didn’t have to work that hard to get his. But we all know he earned it and spent many more hours dedicating his life to earning it this way. He loved his family (he loved all of us), God, our country, and Sooner Nation.”

OKLAHOMA HONORS TOBY KEITH, AN AVID SOONERS FAN, WITH HEARTFELT TRIBUTE BEFORE BASKETBALL GAME

Krystal went on to describe Keith’s love and dedication to the college, beginning as a young teen.

“His passion started far back before he was 12 and 13. He sold Cokes at the stadium just to be able to see the OU games. He joked that he would sell them for half the game, and then he would go sit and watch the game and sometimes got in trouble for not finishing his job.”

Keith was so dedicated to the Sooner team that “He broke his ankle playing a celebrity OU Alumni game in the ’90s. For as long as I can remember, he took our family to bowl games and was on every sideline or courtside of every OU event that he possibly could, regardless of sport or gender. He wanted to be at all of them. He supported them wholeheartedly. He simply bled Crimson and Cream.”

The work ethic continued into his music career.

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“Throughout his life and career, he made sure to work hard to have the best, to be the best. He often said, ‘They may write better than me, they may sing better than me, and they may look better than me, but they will NEVER outwork me,’” Krystal recalled. “And that made all the difference. He was a larger-than-life legend, he was an icon, he did things his own way, his songs inspired nearly everyone in country music and beyond.”

Krystal also highlighted her father’s patriotism, something he proudly encouraged in his children, saying, “He always said, ‘Never apologize for being patriotic,’ and practiced what he preached through his work with the USO [United Service Organizations].”

Recounting some of his 11 tours, she recalled, “He was going into the most dangerous zones, where guys that never got those entertainers to come to them, were housed and were sitting, and he would go and boost their morale. And that’s who he wanted to go see. We called him Captain America. And that’s something he earned.”

TOBY KEITH WAS ‘GOD, FAMILY, COUNTRY’: COUNTRY STAR JOHN RICH PRAISES LATE ARTIST’S PATRIOTISM

Krystal concluded her speech, saying, “My dad taught me everything: singing, writing songs and … most of what I know about life. And I hope the graduates that are here today can learn from him, too. He fought hard to live his dream.”

“He had faith and believed in himself. He never gave up the fight, even when the odds were against him. He would want me to tell you to never give up on yourself. As you start your next journey in life, know that you have strong roots here at the University of Oklahoma. Work hard and be the captain of your own ship. Believe in yourself and live your dream.” 

Keith’s honorary degree is just one of several honors that have been bestowed on the singer since his death.

The “Red Solo Cup” singer died on Feb. 6 after a nearly two-year battle with stomach cancer.

“Toby Keith passed away peacefully last night on February 5th, surrounded by his family,” a statement posted to his website read at the time.

TRIBUTES POUR IN FOR TOBY KEITH, LEGENDARY ‘COURTESY OF THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE’ SINGER DEAD AT 62

“He fought his fight with grace and courage,” it continued. “Please respect the privacy of his family at this time.”

Following his death, an outpouring of love from the country music community and beyond began.

In March, it was announced that Keith had been selected for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, just days before he died.

As Sarah Trahern, the chief executive of the Country Music Association, noted in the livestream event announcing his induction, “As we know now, we woke up that morning to the heartbreaking news that our friend, Toby Keith, lost his long battle with stomach cancer. What’s bittersweet is that just a few hours later, our team received word … that he’d been elected in the modern era category.”

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She continued, “My heart sank knowing we missed the chance to inform Toby while he was still with us, but I have no doubt that he is smiling down on us, knowing that he will always be ‘as good as he once was.’”

Trahern also explained that the rules typically state that someone can’t be inducted in the year in which they die, but Keith was selected before he died, though it was just days prior.

Voting closed on Feb. 2, and the final numbers were revealed to the Country Music Association on Feb. 6, the same day Keith’s family announced his death.

The induction ceremony will be held in October at the CMA Theater in Nashville, Tennessee, when Keith will join John Anderson and James Burton, his fellow inductees this year, and other hallowed icons like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Ray Charles.

“He always said, ‘Never apologize for being patriotic,’ and practiced what he preached through his work with the USO.”

— Krystal Keith, daughter of the late Toby Keith

TAYLOR SWIFT PRAISES LATE TOBY KEITH IN RESURFACED VIDEO FROM HER EARLY CAREER

Following that honor in April, stars like Sammy Hagar, Lainey Wilson, Roger Clemens and Brooks & Dunn collaborated at the CMT Awards to perform a handful of Keith’s songs in his honor.

Clemens called Keith his “true friend and patriot” during his introduction for the performances.

Hagar recalled the good times with his drinking buddy, telling the crowd, “Toby and I, we spent a lot of time in Cabo together over the years. I mean, we closed the Cabo Wabo down a lot more times than we even remember. It’s hard to get thrown out of your own bar, and we managed to do that.”  

On the red carpet before the show, Wilson told Fox News Digital, “I don’t know anybody in this business that doesn’t love Toby. He was truly the soundtrack to my childhood. … Seeing all of his stuff and all the visions that he had come to life, it made me feel like there’s nothing wrong with being fearless, there’s nothing wrong with going against the grain and standing up for what you believe in and being unapologetically yourself.”

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Later that month, Jelly Roll recorded a cover of Keith’s iconic song “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” assisted by T-Pain, released on Amazon Music Originals and performed live at the Stagecoach music festival.

Proceeds from the song benefited Keith’s children’s cancer charity, the Toby Keith Foundation.

Jelly Roll told Variety that he had the idea to do a formal cover of the song after performing it “for about a year now at most of my shows, just kind of honoring Toby as he was getting sick before he passed away. Then I really started chewing on, man, what better place to honor Toby than Stagecoach? Plus, Toby Keith was one of the artists that, from afar, even though he would never have known it, encouraged me to do country music.”

He continued, “He was an outlier. He was unapologetically Oklahoma. There are a lot of things he did that encouraged me and empowered me. He was very individualistic and carved his own path, and he did it his own way, from pillar to post. He never knew it, but he was a mentor to me, just watching him from afar.”

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“I’ve been covering the song and Toby’s son saw me at the CMTs and took me to the side and said, ‘Hey man, I want to let you know I’ve seen a video of you covering this song, and I think it’s one of the best versions of it ever. And I think you honor my father.’ And it just meant so much to me,” Jelly Roll added.

Keith had 20 No. 1 Billboard hits to his name, including “How Do You Like Me Now?!” “As Good As I Once Was,” “My List” and “Beer for My Horses,” a duet with Willie Nelson.

His studio album, “Peso in My Pocket,” debuted in 2019, but Keith made one final recording before his death.

He collaborated with Luke Bryan on a cover of the Joe Diffie song, “Ships That Don’t Come In,” featured on the album “HARDY’s Hixtape: Vol 3: Difftape,” a compilation album with other artists like Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker released in March.

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The lyrics of “Ships That Don’t Come In” tell the story of two men talking about life’s difficulties at a bar, but instead of being sad, they celebrate life’s chances and toast to those whose lives were cut short, including members of the military.

At the time of Keith’s death, Luke Combs shared a simple message on X, writing, “Damn, RIP Toby. Can’t believe it.”

A few days later, Combs performed a private show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, where he happily played Keith’s hit “Should’ve Been A Cowboy.”

According to Taste of Country, Combs heard the audience shouting requests for a Keith song, and he replied, “I’m glad you guys asked, because we didn’t know if we should do a Toby song. It’s good to know you love Toby’s music as much as we do.”

Shocking number of people have landed dates on a website your coworkers are on

Single adults in the U.S. are scoring more dates on networking platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook than through dedicated dating apps, recent data shows.

A survey conducted by DatingNews.com this year found that more than half of the 20- to 40-year-old respondents – 52% – reported meeting people for dating on networking and other social media sites, making it the most popular method of finding a potential match in 2024.

Among 35- to 40-year-olds, the percentage was even higher, with 61% saying they had landed a date using a networking platform like LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft and used primarily as a platform for professionals to expand their contacts or find work.

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Dr. Wendy Walsh of DatingNews.com says it makes sense that LinkedIn “has exploded as an online mating marketplace.”

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She pointed to research from Gitnux.org indicating 22% of married couples in America met through work, and 52% of employees have been involved in a workplace romance.

On top of that, a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management found that 25% of U.S. workers reported that they are open to having a workplace romance.

Another survey commissioned by Forbes Advisor last year found that more than 60% of adults have had a workplace romance. Of those, 43% married someone they worked with.

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Walsh said there are clear benefits to looking for love on LinkedIn because it affords people the opportunity to vet potential partners using real-world common interests like a specific industry, charities or college.

She also noted that LinkedIn’s setup allows people to vet prospective dates because their professional network is “right before your eyes,” and as an added bonus, there are no human resources policies to worry about like there are in the workplace.

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“Since the advent of the #Metoo movement, workplace romances have become a nightmare for human resource departments, and many companies have enacted ‘love contracts’ or romance prohibitions in their employment contracts,” Walsh said. “So far, LinkedIn doesn’t have any HR hall monitor to get nosy about your noodling.”

Quintuplets achieve the impossible at college graduation

A set of New Jersey quintuplets achieved the impossible by graduating from the same university this week.

Victoria, Ludovico, Ashley, Michael and Marcus Povolo earned their diplomas from Montclair State University on Monday. In a press release, the school said that the siblings are likely the only quintuplets in the Garden State to have ever accomplished the feat.

“The milestone at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, is believed to be the first time quints have simultaneously graduated from a New Jersey higher ed institution, with the Povolos joining just a handful of other multiple siblings in the nation who celebrated their ‘quintessential’ college experience by graduating from the same college in the same academic year,” Montclair State said in a statement.

The siblings were born on July 4, 2002.  All of the quintuplets had different callings and graduated with different majors.

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Victoria and Ashley majored in biochemistry and English, respectively. Ludovico studied political science, while Michael studied food science and Marcus graduated with a degree in business administration.

The chance of having quintuplets is roughly one in 55 million – and all five graduating from the same university is even rarer.

But Montclair State sweetened the deal when, in 2020, they offered all five siblings Presidential Scholarships – saved only for the most high-achieving students. The Povolo family also qualified for need-based grants and additional scholarships.

“It’s so big we can’t even put words to it,” mother Silvia Povolo told Montclair State. “I always sit down with them and say, ‘You had four years of college that came to your table and you had the chance to take it with no cost. Whatever you learned in these four years, it’s a blessing… it’s a key to open a golden door.”

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The siblings all expressed gratitude for their time at Montclair State, which allowed them to meet up regularly for coffee and meals.

“Montclair helped us be together, but also helped us to become our own people, with our own majors, our own interests, our own friend groups,” Victoria explained in the press release. “We customized our own paths, but we got to the finish line together.”

“The support that they have for us, obviously, there’s a reason why we made it this far,” she added. “Our parents always encourage us to do our best, and the best doesn’t look the same for everyone, which I think is also something we learned growing up and explains why we’re all doing different things.”

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Before they graduated, Michael remarked that his mother was going to become emotional when watching them walk across the stage.

“We’ll need a tissue box for my mom,” he said. “She’s definitely going to cry.”

The father of the quintuplets called Monday’s graduation ceremony “a gigantic moment for them and for us.”

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“So basically, we’ve been saying, ‘when one door closes another one opens.’ In the sense that college is coming to an end, we have to think of the future, we have to think of what’s next … and that is in the making,” Paolo Povolo said.

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