KAWHI LEONARD'S NEW BALANCE COMMERICAL IS TERRIFIC
Raptors star Kawhi Leonard isn't one for the spotlight, and he reminded us once again in his New Balance ad that dropped on Thursday. Leonard took some subtle shots at James Harden and other NBA stars in the ad, ending with the tagline, "the game speaks for itself." The former Finals MVP has flown under the radar throughout much of 2018–19, but his new ad and subsequent shoe release should draw attention during All-Star Weekend.
New Balance Teases Kawhi Leonard OMN1 PE: First Look
New Balance unveils images of 6 different Kawhi PEs.
New Balance teased images of the OMN1 Kawhi PE today, giving fans a taste of the high-top kicks.
In total, New Balance worked with Kawhi on six different colorways, though it remains to be seen which pair he'll rock when he takes the court for Team LeBron.
The 2019 All Star Game, taking place at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, will air on TNT on Sunday, February 16 at 8pm ET.
Check out some additional shots of Kawhi's first New Balance PE below, and tune in on Sunday to see how they look on the court.
(Image Via New Balance)
(Image Via New Balance)
(Image Via New Balance)
(Image Via New Balance)
(Image Via New Balance)
(Image Via New Balance)
Senate OKs border deal; Trump will sign, declare emergency
On Thursday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set a hugely important precedent on the relationship between the legislative and executive branches. Wochit, York Dispatch
WASHINGTON —Congress steamed toward lopsided approval of a border security compromise Thursday night that would avert a second painful government shutdown but ignite a major new confrontation — this time over President Donald Trump’s plan to bypass lawmakers and declare a national emergency to siphon billions from other federal coffers for his wall on the Mexican boundary.
Wall money in the bill, about $1.4 billion, is far below the $5.7 billion Trump has insisted he must have. The White House said he’d sign the legislation but then act on his own to get the rest, a move sure to bring immediate efforts in court and elsewhere to block him.
The Senate passed the legislation by 83-16 Thursday with both parties solidly on board. House passage was assured late Thursday night, with Trump’s signature coming on Friday.
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, voted in favor of the bill.
“This bipartisan agreement will keep the government open and invest in effective border security, instead of funding President Trump’s wall, which security experts say will not work,” he said in a news release. “President Trump’s national emergency declaration is a complete abuse of power. No president can be allowed to spend taxpayer dollars without authorization from Congress.”
Pennsylvania’s Republican senator, Pat Toomey, opposed the bill.
Shutdown averted: Lawmakers exuded relief that the agreement had averted a fresh closure of federal agencies just three weeks after a record-setting 35-day partial shutdown that drew an unambiguous thumbs-down from the public. But in announcing that Trump would sign the accord, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also said he would take “other executive action, including a national emergency,” prompting immediate condemnation from Democrats and threats of legal action from states that might lose federal money.
In an unusual joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said such a declaration would be “a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract” from Trump’s failure to force Mexico to pay for the wall, as he’s repeatedly promised for years.
Pelosi and Schumer also said that “Congress will defend our constitutional authorities.” They declined to say whether that meant lawsuits or votes on resolutions to prevent Trump from unilaterally shifting money to wall-building, with aides saying they would wait to see what he does.
Several Democratic state attorneys general said they would look at legal action to block Trump, and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello told the president on Twitter “we’ll see you in court” if he goes through with the declaration.
Conservative base: Despite widespread opposition in Congress, including from some Republicans, Trump is under pressure to soothe his conservative base and avoid looking like he’s surrendered in his wall battle with Congress.
The bipartisan pact provides enough money to build just 55 miles of barricades in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley — well short of the billions Trump has demanded to construct 200-plus miles as a down payment for an even longer and larger wall.
The uproar over what Trump would do next cast an uncertain shadow over what had been a rare display of bipartisanship in Congress to address the grinding battle between the White House and lawmakers over border security.
The abrupt announcement of Trump’s plans came late in an afternoon of rumblings that the volatile president — who’d strongly hinted he’d sign the agreement but never definitively — was shifting toward rejecting it. That would have infused fresh chaos into a fight both parties are desperate to leave behind, a thought that drove some lawmakers to seek heavenly help.
“Let’s all pray that the president will have wisdom to sign the bill so the government doesn’t shut down,” Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said after a chaplain opened Thursday’s Senate session.
Moments before Sanders spoke at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to announce Trump’s decisions to sign the bill and declare an emergency.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who is close to McConnell, told reporters that there were two hours of phone calls between McConnell and the White House before there were assurances that Trump would sign. In a surprising development, McConnell said he would support Trump’s emergency declaration, a turnabout for the Kentucky Republican, who like many lawmakers had until now opposed such action.
Democratic opposition: With many of the Democrats’ liberal base voters adamantly against supporting any of Trump’s aggressive attempts to curb immigration, four declared presidential hopefuls opposed the bill in the Senate: Cory Booker of New Jersey, New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota voted for it, as did Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, who is expected to join the field soon.
White House aides and congressional Republicans have said that besides an emergency, Trump might assert other authorities that could conceivably put him within reach of billions of dollars. That money could come from funds targeted for military construction, disaster relief and counterdrug efforts.
Congressional aides say there is $21 billion in military construction money that could potentially be used by Trump if he declares a national emergency. But according to the law the money has to be used in support of U.S. armed forces, they say.
The Defense Department has declined to provide any details on available money.
Warnings: Democrats say there is no crisis at the border and Trump is merely sidestepping Congress. And some Republicans warn that future Democratic presidents could use his precedent to force spending on their own priorities such as gun control.
Notably, the word “wall,” the heart of many a chant at Trump campaign events and his rallies as president, is absent from the compromise’s 1,768-page legislative and descriptive language. “Barriers” and “fencing” are the nouns of choice, a victory for Democrats eager to deny Trump even a rhetorical victory.
The agreement, which took bargainers three weeks to strike, would also squeeze funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, in an attempt to pressure the agency to detain fewer immigrants. To the dismay of Democrats, however, it would still leave an agency many of them consider abusive holding thousands more immigrants than last year.
Provisions like that were prompting some of the most liberal Democrats to vote “no.” Four progressive freshmen including Rep. Alexandria Octavio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said they were opposing the agreement to show “a rejection of the hateful policies, priorities, and rhetoric of the Trump Administration.”
The measure contains money for improved surveillance equipment, more customs agents and humanitarian aid for detained immigrants. The overall bill also provides $330 billion to finance dozens of federal programs for the rest of the year, one-fourth of federal agency budgets.
Trump sparked the last shutdown before Christmas after Democrats snubbed his demand for $5.7 billion for the wall. The closure denied paychecks to 800,000 federal workers, hurt contractors and people reliant on government services and was loathed by the public.
With polls showing the public blamed him and GOP lawmakers, Trump folded on Jan. 25 without getting any of the wall funds. His capitulation was a political fiasco for Republicans and handed Pelosi a victory less than a month after Democrats took over the House and confronted Trump with a formidable rival for power.
Trump has repeatedly vowed Mexico would pay for the wall, a suggestion that country has spurned. His descriptions of the wall’s size have fluctuated, at times saying it would cover 1,000 miles of the 2,000-mile boundary. Previous administrations constructed over 650 miles of barriers.
Associated Press Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro and reporters Padmananda Rama, Lolita Baldor and Matthew Daly contributed.
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom got engaged on Valentine's Day
It was an extra special Valentine’s Day for the couple, as the pop star, 34, and actor, 42, got engaged.
Sharing her first photo with her now-fiancé, Perry posted a close-up image of the pair surrounded by numerous heart-shaped balloons, while showing off her unique flower-shaped diamond ring, which features a colorful pink jewel in the center.
“Full bloom,” she sweetly captioned the image, using a play on her husband-to-be’s name.
Bloom went on to share the same image on his own Instagram, captioning the adorable snap, “Lifetimes.”
Reps for both stars did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
The singer’s mother also shared, then later deleted a few intimate snaps from the couple’s engagement party on her Facebook page, captioning them, “Look who got engaged on Valentines Day!!”
Seemingly teasing the big day to come, Bloom shared a heartwarming quote about love on his Instagram earlier on Valentine’s Day, hours before the couple shared their big news.
“A shallow person will have only shallow relationships. Real love is not one person clinging to another , it can only be fostered between two strong people secure in their individuality. Antoine de Saint- Exupery, author of The Little Prince wrote in a work called Wind, Sand and Stars, ‘Love is not two people gazing at each other, but two people looking ahead together in the same direction.”
Earlier in the day, Perry also shared a sweet shot of Bloom taking a nap beside their two dogs.
“Will u be my teenage dream?” she wrote alongside the snap, adding a left shark emoji, as she referenced one of her biggest hits.
Just under a month before the happy news broke, Perry shared a loving tribute to Bloom in honor of his 42nd birthday.
A source told PEOPLE that their holiday vacation rounds out “a very special year for Orlando and Katy,” adding that “they are doing incredibly well. They seem beyond happy and very serious.”
The couple’s love story dates back to January 2016, when they were spotted acting flirty at a Golden Globes afterparty. PEOPLE then confirmed the “Firework” singer and Lord of the Rings alum were dating, and by February they had introduced one another to friends, as well as Bloom’s 8-year-old son Flynn with ex Miranda Kerr.
Over the next 12 months, the pair would reach several more relationship milestones, including meeting one another’s parents: first, his mother in March 2016, then her mom and dad over Thanksgiving and Christmas the same year.
Perry and Bloom’s first shot at romance lasted about a year, before they announced their split in February 2017, when their reps told PEOPLE: “We can confirm that Orlando and Katy are taking respectful, loving space at this time.”
“HOW BOUT A NEW WAY OF THINKING FOR 2017!?” the singer wrote online. “U can still b friends & love ur former partners! No one’s a victim or a villain, get a life y’all!”
Indeed, the pair — who both attended the Vanity Fair Oscars party shortly before revealing their breakup — remained friendly after the split.
“We’re friends, it’s good,” Bloom said of the split in ELLE UK’s May 2017 issue. “We’re all grown up. She happens to be someone who is very visible, but I don’t think anybody cares about what I’m up to. Nor should they. It’s between us. It’s better to set an example for kids and show that [breakups] don’t have to be about hate.”
Six months after announcing they split, Perry and Bloom were spotted together at an Ed Sheeran concert in L.A. in August 2017. “[Orlando] and Katy have been in touch since they broke up,” a source told PEOPLE at the time. “They ended things as friends. They continue to be friends.” Indeed, Perry later addressed the outing, telling SiriusXM Radio 1’s The Morning Mashup: “It’s nice to keep people you love around you. When you get older, lines get blurred.”
“After Orlando and Katy split, they stayed in touch. It wasn’t some awful split. They were just busy with their careers and it wasn’t working,” an insider told PEOPLE in March 2018.
“In the past few months, they have spent a lot of time together. They both love traveling and are trying to share as many fun trips as possible,” the insider added at the time. “They are dating, but not necessarily putting a label on it. They are not girlfriend and boyfriend. They do seem very happy together though. Orlando always had the nicest things to say about Katy. He loves spending time with her.”
Later in April, Perry visited the Vatican to meet the Pope with her mother — and Bloom! — and PEOPLE confirmed the pair were once again dating exclusively.
“Orlando and Katy are great. They are dating exclusively again and things seem more serious,” a source told PEOPLE at the time. “They are both excited about it and don’t want to hide, but at the same time they are trying to keep privacy as well. … It’s obvious that they both missed each other after their split. … It’s obvious that they both missed each other after their split.”
Both Perry and Bloom enjoyed a busy summer, as she wrapped her international Witness Tour while he filmed upcoming projects in Europe.
Then, in Sept. 2018, the pair reached another relationship milestone when they made their red carpet debut, posing for photos together at the Gala for the Global Ocean at the Opera of Monte-Carlo in Monaco.
“Orlando is doing well. He is still very happy with Katy. This has been an amazing year for their relationship. It was like they needed to split and get back together again to get to this point. Orlando is very excited about his life with Katy,” the insider said. “It definitely seems like they could have a future together.”
Lee, 54, shared the news in an Instagram post of two dogs wearing a wedding dress and tux respectively.
Furlan shared the same photo confirming she and Lee got married.
“It’s official!!!! We’re married!!! Mr. & Mrs. Lee Yahoooooooo,” she wrote.
The couple have been dating since 2017 before announcing their engagement last Valentine’s Day. The newlyweds did not share any photos of the wedding.
During Memorial Day weekend, speculation swirled that the two got married after Furlan, 32, shared an Instagram post of the two kissing in their hotel robes underneath an altar.
However, Furlan later told TMZ that they were just messing around.
“We were just messing around," Furlan told TMZ. “We just thought it was funny… It’s actually funny because they even changed it on Wikipedia, and they don’t believe us. It’s kind of funny.”
Furlan spoke to Fox News in January about his famous ex and the abuse that took place during Lee's and Anderson's relationship.
"I think he’s been a really good person this whole time, and I think what happened between them – only they will know the truth about that situation. And, that’s all I have to say about that. Tommy is very funny, he’s goofy, he’s my best friend. At his core, he has a really big heart – he really does," Furlan told us adding that Lee has "never" been physically or mentally abusive towards her.
Furlan also addressed the couple's 24-year age gap saying she feels "like I’ve lived a million lifetimes."
"I just don’t really care what they say. It’s not about them – it’s not their life, you know?" she said of her haters. "It’s my life and it’s my decision to be who I am and love who I love and to live my life how I want to live my life. It’s definitely not anything that I concern myself about."
Fox News' Julius Young contributed to this report.
Awise person once said that perusal of the day’s news requires an answer to the question “Is this crisis worth worrying about?” When it comes to the prospect of President Donald Trump invoking emergency powers to build a wall at the border with Mexico, the answer to that question is an emphatic yes.
The political logic for Trump to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall has become increasingly clear. He believes that the wall is an unbreakable commitment to his supporters, but negotiations with Congress over money to pay for it are at an impasse. It looks like an emergency is his only chance to get the wall—and securing funding for it in this way, outside the normal appropriations process, would allow him to start the process of building it, while also signing a bill that would reopen the full federal government. On Thursday, the President seemed to be leaning this way. “If this doesn’t work out,” he said, referring to budget negotiations with Congress, “probably I will do it—I would almost say definitely. This is a national emergency.” In some ways, the emergency option might suit Trump’s Democratic opponents in Congress, too. It would allow the government to reopen before the public starts blaming them, in addition to the President, for the shutdown.
It all makes so much sense—and it would be a sign that the country is rushing toward an authoritarian future. The situation is even more perilous because, in my view, the current law favors Trump. The National Emergencies Act of 1976 is a sloppily written statute that, even though it was passed in response to Watergate, presupposes a level of good faith on the part of the President. This is because the law doesn’t provide a definition of “emergency,” thus leaving that determination essentially up to the Commander-in-Chief. It’s been invoked by Presidents more than forty times, and there are currently thirty-one “emergencies” in effect. Three have been declared by Trump, including one about sanctions on Russia for interference in the 2016 election.
Virtually all of these declared emergencies are uncontroversial; many involve the imposition of sanctions on people involved in human-rights violations in Africa and Central America. Most important, none of them was declared in explicit defiance of Congress’s power to appropriate funds. Clearly, the law was not intended to be used as an end run around Congress, but, given its imprecise wording, the courts may well allow Trump to use it that way. (Indeed, the courts might not even address the constitutionality of the President’s emergency action, because it’s possible that no one, especially not members of Congress, would have standing—that is, the legal right to challenge Trump’s invocation of an emergency. If Trump were to use the emergency powers to seize private land under the doctrine of eminent domain, the owners of that land would have the right to go to court, but the process of identifying the landowners and seizing their land would likely take many months, if not years, meaning that there would be no resolution in the courts for a very long time.)
During nearly two hundred and fifty years of American constitutional history, two things have been true: the power of the Presidency has grown, and Congress has always retained the power of the purse—the heart of its authority under Article I of the Constitution. During that same history, many of the disputes between the executive and legislative branches have been about how much the federal government should spend, and on what. These disputes have ended in one of two ways: with the President signing a budget passed by Congress, or with Congress overriding the President’s veto. If the President can spend government funds without congressional approval—indeed, if he can do so in the face of an explicit congressional refusal to spend funds for precisely the purpose that he seeks—that fundamentally reorders the relations between the branches. Specifically, it vastly expands the President’s power at the expense of Congress.
Even conservatives purport to recognize the risk of this kind of restructuring of the constitutional balance. After all, Trump will not always be the President. On Wednesday, Senator Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican, warned against the practice of emergency spending by the President. “If today the national emergency is border security, tomorrow the national emergency might be climate change,” he said. (He was right about the process if wrong on the issues; climate change really is an emergency.) Still, if the first two years of Trump’s Presidency are a guide, Republicans like Rubio will express their concern and then fall in line behind the President. A Supreme Court anchored by two Trump appointees with a capacious understanding of executive power will likely be no check, either. And, if today’s “emergency” is the need for a border wall, tomorrow’s, as Rubio said, will be a need for something else. Congress, and the American people, will have to live with whatever that turns out to be.
Thursday on the Senate floor, Democratic Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said if President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, it would be “a lawless act.”
Schumer said, “If president Trump’s decides to go for was a disaster declaration he will be making a tremendous mistake. Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency, and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise that to have Mexico pay for the wall. It would be another demonstration of President Trump’s naked contempt of the rule of the law and congressional authority.”
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Schumer warns Trump against emergency border declaration: ‘Tremendous mistake’
“He’ll be making a tremendous mistake,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
“Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency, and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for the wall,” the New Yorker said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier in the day that Trump intended to declare an emergency in order to move ahead with border wall construction. McConnell spoke as the Senate moved toward approving legislation to fund the government that only included $1.375 billion for fencing at the southern border, far from Trump’s request. Trump had yet to outline what specific emergency action he would take.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., accused the president of fabricating the issues at the border, calling it a "huge waste of money" that could be spent on schools, cancer research or infrastructure.
"There’s no national emergency at the border. Unauthorized border crossings are at their lowest levels in decades, about one-third of their peak levels two decades ago. If there were an emergency, the president wouldn’t have waited two years to make this political decision," she said in a statement.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said his panel would investigate the "supposed legal basis" for Trump's decision.
"This is a gross abuse of power that cannot be tolerated," his statement said.
Caitlin Yilek contributed to this report.
Qatar Open: Simona Halep beats Elina Svitolina to reach final
Simona Halep won five games in a row in the final set to beat Elina Svitolina in the semi-finals of the Qatar Open.
The world number three Halep beat Ukrainian Svitolina 6-3 3-6 6-4 and will face either Angelique Kerber or Elise Mertens in the final on Saturday.
Svitolina had three chances to go 5-1 up in the third set but Halep managed to turn the match around.
"I didn't give up today and I promised myself I would never give up against her again," said top seed Halep.
"She's a very good fighter and it's probably the best match of the tournament so far. I was strong in my legs and I was definitely not tired.
"It means a lot to me to win here and the crowd were pretty awesome."
Saturday's match will be Halep's 34th career final, with the Romanian triumphing in Qatar in 2014 when she beat German Angelique Kerber 6-2 6-3.
DOHA, Qatar - No.1 seed Simona Halep snapped a string of defeats to No.4 seed Elina Svitolina to make her second Qatar Total Open final with a brilliant comeback win, saving three points to go 1-5 down in the deciding set and emerging on top 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and seven minutes.
Coming into today's match, the Ukrainian had led their head-to-head 4-3 - including four of their five encounters since 2014. Halep had been forced to come back from 3-6, 1-5 down and save a match point in her only win during that period, in the 2017 Roland Garros quarterfinals, and since then had won just 13 games and no sets in their following three encounters. After her quarterfinal win over Julia Goerges yesterday, the 2014 champion had rued "giving up" in some of those matches - and, having looked forward to a chance today to set that right, did so in every sense.
Though the World No.7 tried tweaking her tactics - even serve-and-volleying in the seventh game - she was also beset by 12 unforced errors, particularly off a forehand wing that suffered several shanks. Svitolina was broken for a second time to concede the set, double faulting for the first time on Halep's third set point.
Some of Svitolina's net forays to this point had been somewhat tentative, but the 24-year-old persisted coming in at judicious moments to increasingly beneficial effect - and she would also prove sharp in defending her lead. Twice Halep, searching for the break back, stretched her to deuce with intense hitting off the ground - but twice it was Svitolina who held to inch ahead again.
As though liberated by the her offensive tactics paying off, Svitolina headed into the decider striking the ball with real freedom. The 13-time WTA titlist found success when creating pace, particularly with several scorching off forehand winners; when counterpunching, when she brought up break point in the second game with another excellent pass and when a marvelously redirected backhand down-the-line paved the way to a hold for 4-1; and even coming out on top of a rare exchange with both players at net.
That mini-battle was the turning point. Suddenly, it was Halep hitting her spots once more as Svitolina seemed out of ideas. The World No.3 would reel off the last five games of the match, breaking her opponent to 30 to climb back to 3-4, and after two deuces on her third break point to move up 5-4.
Up next in the final for Halep will either be No.3 seed Angelique Kerber, in a repeat of the 2014 final, won by the Romanian 6-2, 6-3, or Elise Mertens.