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Seven people are in critical condition and several more were hospitalized after a gas leak in a northern Chicago suburb early Thursday morning caused a toxic cloud to linger for several hours, officials said.

A tractor towing two, two-ton containers of anhydrous ammonia about 4:30 a.m. sustained a leak in one of the tanks, creating a chemical cloud that lingered over Beach Park, a suburb 40 miles north of Chicago, Lake Forest Fire Chief Mike Gallo said.

Police say about two dozen law enforcement agencies responded to the leak, causing many of them to be hospitalized.

Police and emergency personnel respond to a hazardous materials situation that blocked off roads and closed schools in Beach Park, Ill., on Thursday, April 25, 2019, (Joe Shuman/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Police and emergency personnel respond to a hazardous materials situation that blocked off roads and closed schools in Beach Park, Ill., on Thursday, April 25, 2019, (Joe Shuman/Chicago Tribune via AP)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anhydrous ammonia is a colorless gas that can cause breathing difficulties, burns, blisters and is fatal if breathed in high concentrations. Farmers use it to add nitrogen to soil.

Thirty-seven people were hospitalized after the leak, many suffering breathing problems. Eleven firefighters were among those sent to the hospital and one was listed in critical but stable condition, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Three law enforcement officers were in good condition and several others were in serious but stable condition.

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Authorities have not released what caused the leak but said it was contained within a few hours.

During the leak, residents within a one-mile radius were urged to stay indoors and shut their windows while schools were closed for the day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich said Thursday, “I think he is right” after President Trump vowed to fight any subpoenas from House Democrats, asserting there are “no crimes by me at all” following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Gingrich, a Fox News contributor and author of the new novel “Collusion,” made the statement on “America’s Newsroom” the day after Trump vowed that he would go all the way to the Supreme Court if  “partisan” Democrats try to impeach him.

“It’s one thing to say – and people tend to forget this, when Ken Starr reported on Bill Clinton he found him guilty, used the word ‘guilty’ on 11 different charges. It’s a totally different thing to have somebody do two years of investigation, come back and say there’s no proof, there’s no criminality and then suddenly have, on a purely partisan basis, the Democrats jump up and hunt for new things to start fighting over,” said Gingrich.

DOJ REJECTS SUBPOENA FROM HOUSE DEMS FOR TESTIMONY FROM TOP OFFICIAL JOHN GORE

“There’s no grounds as a private citizen for pre-presidential candidate Trump to have to give them all this stuff. And notice what they’ve gone after, they’re basically saying, ‘We’re going to dig through the family basement until we find something.’ And I think the president is right to just close it down, tell them to do the best they can and just ignore them. And have his lawyers fight their lawyers from now until the election.”

He added, “Let the country decide in 2020. You want real growth, lowest black unemployment, lowest Latino unemployment, a real chance to fix healthcare or do you want this kind of investigating baloney?”

The president’s pledge came as congressional Democrats debate whether to initiate impeachment proceedings against him. During a conference call on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., along with her leadership team, was clear that there were no immediate plans to move forward with impeachment.

Meanwhile, also on Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify publicly next month following last week’s release of Mueller’s Russia report.

Nadler described McGahn, who stepped down as White House counsel in October 2018, as “a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Special Counsel’s report.”

When asked about congressional Democrats potentially pursuing impeachment, Gingrich said, “It won’t work.”

Citing his reasons, Gingrich said, “First of all, you know in the Senate, which the Republicans control, that there is zero possibility that they would ever convict.”

“Second, I think for Democrats from marginal districts, districts that Trump carried or Clinton barely carried, to have to go back home and explain, you’re not working on healthcare, you’re not working on economic growth, you’re not working on education but here is investigative hearing number 73, I think that weakens the chance of re-election for an entire class of Democrats who are going to be very uncomfortable if that’s how their party is defined.”

PROGRESSIVE GROUP TAKES AIM AT BIDEN SOON AFTER LAUNCH

Gingrich also weighed in Thursday on former Vice President Joe Biden officially announcing his 2020 bid in a video saying, “We are in the battle for the soul of this nation.”

Biden added, “I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time. But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.”

“I agree with Joe Biden, we are in a battle for the soul of the nation,” said Gingrich in response.

“You have Democrats now who favor killing babies after they’re born. You have Democrats who favor allowing terrorists and bombers to vote while they are in prison. You have Democrats who are for open borders, letting anybody in who wants to. You have Democrats who want to take away your right to have private health insurance. Let’s go down the list.”

He added, “this is a fight over the nature of America and the future of America. And the difference, the choice next year is going to be the widest choice maybe in modern times and I think Biden is going to find it difficult to navigate because he would like to be a good old guy, just a general nice person. But everybody on the left is going to say to him ‘where do you stand on all of these issues?’ And he’s pretty rapidly going to discover this is a much tougher environment for a Democrat than it was while Barack Obama was shielding him from any kind of hard questions.”

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When asked if he thinks Biden can beat President Trump, Gingrich answered, “Conceivably. If the economy would go really bad. If the president would have a bad campaign. You don’t know.”

He added, “The question is going to be, can the Democrats offer an alternative that people decide is better? If it’s Trump versus perfection, I think President Trump has problems. If it’s Trump versus the most likely Democrats on their ticket vowing for the things they claim they favor, I think he’s going to beat them by a surprisingly big margin.”

Source: Fox News Politics

A Coast Guard lieutenant who investigators said espoused white nationalist views and compiled a hit list of prominent Democratic politicians and media personalities was granted pre-trial release by a federal magistrate Thursday.

Christopher Hasson, 50, had been held since his Feb. 15 arrest on drug and gun charges in the parking garage of the Coast Guard’s Washington headquarters. U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Day noted that Hasson had not been charged with any terrorism-related offenses, but added that the defendant would “have to have a whole lot of supervision.”

It was not immediately clear what conditions Day would impose on Hasson, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges. It also was not immediately clear when Hasson would be released.

In a court filing following Hasson’s arrest, prosecutors described him as a “domestic terrorist” who “intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” According to the documents, Hasson compiled a spreadsheet of so-called “traitors” that he subdivided into three categories: A,B, and C. So-called “Category A” traitors included Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut (labeled “Sen blumen jew” in the spreadsheet), Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (labeled “poca warren”), Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

Also listed in “Category A” were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., MSNBC personalities Joe Scarborough, Chris Hayes and Ari Melber as well as CNN host Don Lemon. Names in the “Category B” list included Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., CNN personalities Chris Cuomo and Van Jones and the Democratic Socialists of America.

At a bond hearing in February, prosecutor Jennifer Sykes said Hasson also would log on to his government computer during work and spend hours searching for information on such people as the Unabomber, the Virginia Tech gunman and anti-abortion bomber Eric Rudolph. Hasson also allegedly Googled topics including “most liberal senators,” “best place in dc to see congress people,” and “civil war if trump impeached.”

Investigators removed this cache of guns and ammunition from Hasson's Maryland apartment. (U.S. District Court via AP)

Investigators removed this cache of guns and ammunition from Hasson’s Maryland apartment. (U.S. District Court via AP)

Prosecutors’ motion for pre-trial detention also included extracts from draft emails in which Hasson wrote he was “dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth.” In a separate draft letter to a neo-Nazi leader, prosecutors said Hasson “identified himself as a White Nationalist for over 30 years and advocated for ‘focused violence’ in order to establish a white homeland.”

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Following the February bail hearing, Day agreed to keep Hasson held in custody but said he was willing to revisit his decision if prosecutors didn’t bring more serious charges within two weeks. Hasson’s attorney, Liz Oyer, wrote in a court filing last week that prosecutors recently disclosed they didn’t expect to seek any additional charges.

Investigators found 15 guns, including seven rifles, and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition at Hasson’s basement apartment in Silver Spring, Md., prosecutors said. Hasson’s Feb. 27 indictment also accused him of illegal possession of tramadol, an opioid painkiller.

Hasson faces up to 31 years in prison if convicted on all charges. No trial date has been set.

Fox News’ Bill Mears and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

Ten Georgia elementary school students were recovering from non-life-threatening injuries on Thursday after being shot by a BB or pellet gun while playing outside, officials said.

The shots were fired at Wynbrooke Elementary Theme School, according to a statement from the DeKalb County School District. The children were on the playground when they were hit at the school located in Stone Mountain, which is located roughly 20 miles east of Atlanta.

The BBs or pellets that were fired “appear to have come from a position away from the school grounds,” the district stated, and noted that while there was never a threat of someone gaining access to the building, they’re beefing up security to ensure the safety of students.

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The 10 students who were injured were transported to a hospital to be treated, or picked up by their parents.

Both county and district law enforcement are investigating the incident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

It’s a nightmare hard to fathom.

Former New York investment banker Matthew Linsey, 61, has spoken out in grief about the painful split-second decision he was forced to make on Sunday after a suicide bomber tore through the breakfast buffet in the Shangri-La Hotel in Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo.

“My son looked worse than my daughter, I tried to revive him,” Linsey, who survived the attack with facial lacerations, told the Times of London. “People were screaming. I was with my children. I couldn’t tell whether they were all right, it was dark. I was worried there would be another blast.”

AMERICAN FATHER MOURNS THE DEATH OF 11-YEAR-OLD SON IN SRI LANKA ATTACK

His children Amelie, 15, and Daniel, 19 – dual citizens of the U.S. and the U.K. – were both severely wounded by shrapnel in the blast. Amid the chaos, Linsey recalled how he had to leave his daughter behind in the wreckage, believing that she had a better chance of survival, as another survivor pledged she would take her to the hospital.

SRI LANKA SUICIDE BOMBERS BECAME DISTANT, ‘TOTALLY CRAZY’ IN YEARS LEADING UP TO EASTER MASSACRE, SIBLINGS SAY

He carried his son’s lifeless body downstairs to a waiting ambulance, but doctor’s efforts to revive him failed and he later learned that Amelie also did not make it.

“Amelie was really fun. She was smart, beautiful. Very loving, very caring, understanding. She cared about her family and her friends. And the same with Danny,” the former Chase Bank vice president said. “They loved traveling abroad. That’s a very important part of who they were.”

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Linsey, with the help of the U.S. Embassy, was able to travel back to the U.K that day and now is left to pick up the pieces of life alongside his wife and two other sons while attempting to repatriate the bodies of his son and daughter.

Amelie and Daniel were two of four U.S. citizens killed in the coordinated Easter terrorist attack, which claimed the lives of more than 300 people and severely wounded some 500 churchgoers and hotel guests from all corners of the globe.

Source: Fox News World

Democrats on several top House committees launched an investigation Thursday into the massive shakeup in leadership at the Department of Homeland Security due to allegations that President Trump removed top officials for refusing to carry out his desired immigration policies.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.; and Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Thursday seeking documents related to recent immigration-related actions by the president and White House aide Stephen Miller “to remove senior leaders throughout DHS who reportedly refused orders to violate the law.”

WHITE HOUSE DECLINES CUMMINGS’ INVITATION FOR STEPHEN MILLER TO TESTIFY ON TRUMP IMMIGRATION POLICIES

The request comes amid a staffing shake-up at the agency which began earlier this month with the resignation of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

“We are deeply concerned that the firing and forced resignation of these officials puts the security of the American people at risk,” they wrote. “We are also concerned that the President may have removed DHS officials because they refused his demands to violate federal immigration law and judicial orders.”

They added: “Moreover, we are concerned by reports that, even as he has removed the Department’s leadership, the President has sought to empower a White House aide, Stephen Miller, to ‘be in charge of handling all immigration and border affairs.’”

The letter was sent to DHS just hours after White House Counsel Pat Cipollone notified the House Oversight Committee that Miller would decline Cummings’ invitation to testify before the panel, and instead, offered cabinet secretaries and other agency officials to appear instead.

“In accordance with long-standing precedent, we respectfully decline the invitation to make Mr. Miller available for testimony before the Committee,” he wrote. “The precedent for members of the White House staff to decline invitations to testify before congressional committees has been consistently adhered to by administrations of both political parties, and is based on clearly established constitutional doctrines.”

He added: “In light of the Committee’s interest, we welcome the opportunity to discuss the Administration’s immigration policy priorities and note that many Executive Branch officials, including cabinet secretaries and other agency leaders, have testified on multiple occasions regarding the Administration’s efforts to secure the border.”

“Testimony by such Executive Branch officials with responsibilities defined by statute would be a reasonable accommodation to the Committee’s questions and legislative goals,” he wrote.

The White House’s decision comes after President Trump vowed this week to fight “all” subpoenas against the administration.

TRUMP, AGAIN, SAYS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WILL BE ‘GIVEN’ TO SANCTUARY CITIES, STATES

But the Oversight Committee did not subpoena Miller. Cummings invited Miller to testify on why he believes it is “good policy for the Trump administration to take the actions it has. Cummings noted the administration’s unofficial policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, “transferring asylum seekers to sanctuary cities as a form of illegal retribution” against political adversaries, and “firing top Administration officials who refuse orders to violate the law.”

The invitation from Cummings came after Trump announced that illegal immigrants would be “given” to sanctuary cities, pending official decisions from the Department of Homeland Security. Also, earlier this month, Trump said that the administration has no plans to revive the controversial policy that allowed for family separations at the border.

That announcement came amid a massive shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security. Earlier this month, President Trump announced that Nielsen would be resigning, and replaced with former CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, who would serve as acting secretary of the agency.

Since then, McAleenan appointed John Sanders to serve as acting CBP commissioner; former head of the Transportation Security Administration David Pekoske to be his acting deputy secretary at DHS; and Patricia Cogswell as acting TSA administrator. The White House earlier this month announced that James M. Murray would become head of the U.S. Secret Service—replacing Randolph “Tex” Alles.

Fox News’ Kristin Brown contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News Politics

Former Vice President Joe Biden has not only snagged the limelight from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., with his announcement that he is joining the 2020 Democratic presidential field, but he also snagged away some of Sanders’ former staff.

Biden, who made his long-awaited entry into the race for the White House on Thursday, has hired former Sanders’ staffer Symone Sanders to be one of his senior campaign advisers, his campaign announced.

Sanders served as the Vermont lawmaker’s spokeswoman in the 2016 presidential race and is a well-known Democratic strategist and political commentator on CNN.

PROGRESSIVE GROUP TAKES AIM AT BIDEN SOON AFTER LAUNCH

The hiring of Sanders is another indication of the expected tough fight that Biden and Sanders are in for as the two frontrunners battle a deep Democratic field.

While Sanders himself didn’t torch Biden as he jumped into the race, it’s clear that many of his progressive supporters view the former vice president as a threat.

Biden’s entry into the race – at least in the early going – sets up a battle between himself and Sanders, who thanks to his fierce fight with eventual nominee Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination, enjoys name ID on the level of the former vice president.

Justice Democrats — who also called Biden “out-of-touch” – is an increasingly influential group among the left of the party. They’ve championed progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York as well as Sanders. The group was founded by members of Sanders 2016 presidential campaign.

Biden has pushed back against the perception that he’s a moderate in a party that’s increasingly moving to the left. Earlier this month he described himself as an “Obama-Biden Democrat.”

And Biden said he’d stack his record against “anybody who has run or who is running now or who will run.”

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Highlighting his early public push for same-sex marriage, he said, “I’m not sure when everybody else came out and said they’re for gay marriage.”

Former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile – a Fox News contributor – highlighted that “Joe Biden can occupy his own lane in large part because he’s earned it. He’s earned the right to call himself whatever.”

But she emphasized that “elections are not about the past, they’re about the future…I do believe he has the right ingredients. The question is can he find enough people to help him stir the pot.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell on Thursday praised Joe Biden’s video announcement he was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination and said he believes the Maryland politician is the first candidate who can realistically beat President Trump at the polls.

“I thought his video was spectacular,” Rendell told Fox News’ “Outnumbered Overtime.”

 JOE BIDEN OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL BID

Biden entered the crowded Democratic field as the frontrunner but questions remain on how he would fare against a very diverse group of challengers and whether his centrist brand is out of step with the Democratic Party.

Rendell believes Biden’s message strikes the perfect note and will resonate well with all Democrats.

“The polls almost uniformly show that 70 percent of Democrats want someone who is moderate or left of center…. and 90 percent of Democrats say the most important thing for them is someone who can beat Donald Trump, who can stand up to Donald Trump,” Rendell said. “I think the message that Joe Biden was delivering is ‘look, polls show I’m the best candidate to run against Donald Trump and I’m not afraid to take him on.”

Rendell says that while Trump is “excellent at putting opponents on the defensive” by accusing them of being socialists who are trying to kill capitalism, he says the strategy won’t work on Biden.

Biden kicked off his third bid for the presidency Thursday morning by releasing a video in which he takes Trump to task over his handling of the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The video starts with Biden highlighting the violence at a gathering where white nationalists were protesting the city’s plan to take down a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I’d seen in my lifetime,” Biden said, adding that, “history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time.”

Biden said if Trump is re-elected, “he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.”

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Following Biden’s announcement, Trump took to Twitter to mock the former vice president.

“Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe. I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign. It will be nasty – you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!”

Source: Fox News Politics

Mexicans are being faced with legislation that would ban the sale of cold beer in stores across the nation’s capital.

On Wednesday, local politician Maria de Lourdes Paz Reyes proposed the ban of cold beers and other beverages with 7% or less alcoholic content in Mexico City’s convenience and grocery stores. She also outlined a rule for shop owners to display signs warning customers of public drinking penalties.

“In this regard, prevention measures are recommended, including policies aimed at reducing consumption in large quantities or prior to carrying out hazardous activities such as driving,” Paz Rayes told her colleagues.

Paz Reyes states in her proposal that the city’s public intoxication and drunk driving problems would decrease because consumers would be inclined to chill and drink the beer away from the stores and public streets.

BEER TRUCK OVERTURNS IN MEXICO, SPILLING CANS ONTO ROADWAY – AND CAUSING RUSH FOR FREE ALCOHOL

According to the National Victimization and Public Security Perceptions survey, over 75% of Mexico City residents considered “consuming alcohol in the street” as the main source of criminal and antisocial behavior in 2018.

With a country of 52% alcohol drinkers, there has unsurprisingly been a public backlash.

A Twitter campaign was launched just hours after the proposal was presented. Users began targeting the bill with the hashtag #ConLasCervezasNo, translated to ‘Don’t mess with our beers.’

“The brilliant deputies of Morena worry about cold beers or “time” instead of worrying about the insecurity of the country,” said one Twitter user.

BUDWEISER LAUNCHES COMMEMORATIVE APOLLO 11 MOON LANDING BEER

Social media responses to the bill were also quick to discuss how the city’s economy would suffer if beer sales decreased.

“I get angry when the authorities intend to decide what to do and what not to do, in addition to reducing the income of small businesses that already have it difficult competing with commercial chains,” another user tweeted.

Other users joked that the bill was a government-issued diet and that beer should be declared a universal right.

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The capital city known for its lax drinking laws could now face legal charges as the proposal moves forward to the Local Public Administration Commission for analysis and opinion.

Source: Fox News World

After allegedly leading police on a high-speed motorcycle chase, an Alabama man reportedly gave cops quite a shock when he grabbed a bag of meth and started trying to eat it — then the cops gave him a shock.

Marshall County Sheriff’s deputies spotted Toney Ray Johnson, 48, standing in the middle of the road next to his motorcycle. He appeared to be struggling to start his vehicle, authorities said.

When the deputy approached, Johnson allegedly hopped on his motorcycle and sped off. The deputy followed him and, after a short chase, Johnson pulled over, WHNT reported.

ALABAMA MAN DIES AFTER VEHICLE STRIKES HORSE ON COUNTY ROAD, POLICE SAY

Toney Ray Johnson, 48, was arrested after he trying to eat a bag of meth following a quick police chase in Alabama.

Toney Ray Johnson, 48, was arrested after he trying to eat a bag of meth following a quick police chase in Alabama. (Marshall County Sheriff’s Office)

The deputy said he saw Johnson attempt to eat something from a plastic bag, which was later determined to be meth.

After a brief struggle, the deputy used his stun gun on Johnson before the man could consume the drugs, officials said.

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Johnson was charged with drug possession, resisting arrest and attempting to flee from a law enforcement officer.

He was jailed on a $12,500 bail, AL.com reported.

Source: Fox News National


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