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October 16, 2018

President Trump loves the troops, but do they love him back?

In a new Military Times poll, 44 percent of active-duty personnel said they approve of Trump, compared to 43 percent who disapprove. It's not the warmest reception, but at least it's higher than his approval with the general public. Still, his numbers within the military have sunk — in fall 2016, 46 percent of active-duty troops told the Military Times they approved of Trump, while just 37 percent said they disapproved. Analysis suggests the biggest change since 2016 is that many troops have made up their minds, instead of saying they have "no opinion" on Trump.

Though 43 percent disapprove of Trump, that's much better than his national disapproval rating among civilians. A recent Gallup survey found that 51 percent of Americans disapprove of the president. Among military women, Trump's disapproval rating in this poll, 68 percent, is higher than it was among women in general in a recent CNN poll, 62 percent.

Interestingly, though, about 60 percent of troops in this same survey said they approve of Trump's handling of the military and, in fact, believe it is in better shape now than it was under former President Barack Obama. Troops also overwhelmingly love Secretary of Defense James Mattis, with 84 percent approving of the retired four-star Marine Corps general who Trump recently called "sort of a Democrat."

The Military Times surveyed 829 active-duty troops online between Sept. 20 and Oct. 2. The margin of error is 2 percentage points. Brendan Morrow

2:02 a.m.

A 70-year-old woman died Tuesday afternoon at the Grand Canyon after falling over the edge of the South Rim.

Park authorities said they were notified at around 1 p.m. that an incident had occurred near the Pipe Creek Vista, The Arizona Republic reports. Using a helicopter, rescuers spotted the woman's body about 200 feet below the rim. Later in the afternoon, more than a dozen rescuers recovered the body. The woman's name has not been released.

Over the last two months, several people have fallen to their deaths at the Grand Canyon. In early April, a man tumbled over the edge of the canyon, and last month, a tourist from Hong Kong lost his balance while taking photos. Catherine Garcia

1:52 a.m.

On Tuesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) traveled to New Hampshire to talk politics at St. Anselm College, but unlike many politicians who visit the Granite State, he wasn't declaring his candidacy for president. In fact, Hogan announced that he won't challenge President Trump in the 2020 GOP primary unless he sees "a path to victory."

"I'm not going to launch some sort of suicide mission," Hogan said. Unlike former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld (R), the only other Republican in the race, "I have a real day job that's important to me, the people of Maryland." It's true that "a lot of people have been approaching me" and asking "me to give this serious consideration," he said. "I'm listening, coming to New Hampshire and listening to people is a part of that process. I've been to 10 states in the past few months and have 16 more on my schedule . . . but I'm not at the point where we're ready."

Hogan is one of the country's most popular governors, but Trump has high approval ratings among Republicans nationally and the Republican National Committee has also put up structural barriers to any candidate who wants to primary Trump in 2020, voting to give its "undivided support" to Trump. Hogan said he "was pretty critical" of the RNC's machinations. "To change the rules and to insist 100 percent loyalty to the dear leader," he said, "it didn’t seem much like the Republican Party that I grew up in." Peter Weber

1:32 a.m.

Writing in cursive comes naturally to Sara Hinesley, and she has the award to prove it.

Hinesley, 10, was born without hands, and to write, she puts a pencil between the ends of her arms. She tried prosthetic hands, but quickly decided that they weren't necessary. "She can do just about anything — oftentimes better than me or my husband," her mom, Cathryn Hinesley, told CNN.

A third-grader at St. John's Regional Catholic School in Frederick, Maryland, Hinesley says that when her teacher taught her how to write in cursive, she thought it was "easy, and I would practice at school." She entered the 2019 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest, and thanks to her neat cursive, won the Nicholas Maxim Award, which is given to an entrant with a physical, developmental, or intellectual disability. Hinesley said she hopes that other kids "who have challenges learn from me," and see that "if you try your hardest you can do it." Catherine Garcia

1:11 a.m.

On Monday night, CNN hosted five hour-long, back-to-back town halls. "Most of you don't have the time to sit through five hours of town halls, but lucky for you, we don't have a life, so we watched the whole thing so we could give you the highlights," Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show. He recapped Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) "policy bombshell" about prisoner voting rights and Sen. Kamala Harris' (D-Calif.) gun-law ultimatum to Congress, but lingered on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Warren "has been releasing policies faster than Netflix releases documentaries about serial killers," Noah said, and she actually has a plan to pay for them. "You have to admit, it is brilliant how she just frames it as 2 cents of every dollar about $50 million," he said. It's like "when they ask you to sponsor an African kid, they say 'For just 80 cents a day, you can save this child.' Because if they say, 'You can help this child for $292 a year,' you'd be like, 'Wait a minute, that's an Xbox! You're on your own Mufasa.'"

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), meanwhile, was "like the anti-Oprah," telling Americans everything they won't find under their seats, Noah said, and "the surging Pete Buttigieg" rounded out the night, improvising like "that kid in school who always got good grades without reading any of the books."

"You have to admit, running for president as a man is so much more fun," Noah said. "Because as a woman, you have to bring extra homework. Elizabeth Warren calculated two cents on every dollar over $50 million, Kamala is breaking down the statistics on maternal mortality as it relates to race and class. But a dude can just come out be like, 'Yeah, I'm just gonna wing it.'"

The five Democrats — and party at large — also couldn't agree on whether to impeach President Trump. Noah brought out Michael Kosta for his barely-safe-for-work analysis. Watch below. Peter Weber

12:52 a.m.

Instead of giving Ka'Shawn Baldwin a ticket, Officer Roger Gemoules gave him a ride, and that made all the difference.

Baldwin, 22, of East St. Louis, Illinois, had to borrow a friend's car last Wednesday so he could get to a job interview with FedEx. Gemoules, an officer with the Cahokia Police Department, spotted the car and noticed it had expired tags. He pulled Baldwin over, and soon discovered that Baldwin didn't have a valid license. Baldwin explained that he was trying to get to a job interview, and driving his friend's car was the only way he could get there.

Baldwin said he was afraid Gemoules would tow the car and bring him down to the station, and he was stunned when Gemoules agreed to give him a ride to the interview. "He was polite when I pulled him over and he seemed like a good young man, so I wanted to give him a chance," Gemoules told KSDK. "I knew if I gave him a bunch of tickets and towed his car, it would be tough to recover from." His kindness paid off: Baldwin got the job as a package handler at FedEx, and started on Tuesday. This is Baldwin's second job — he also works at a McDonald's, taking the bus 90 minutes each way — and his plan is to save up to get his license back, buy a car, and one day, purchase a house. Catherine Garcia

April 23, 2019

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told a town hall audience in Cherokee, Iowa, on Tuesday that being censured by his colleagues in the House for making racist remarks gave him "better insight" into what Jesus Christ "went through for us."

King, who is Catholic, didn't just come right out and compare himself to Jesus — The Sioux City Journal reports he was responding to an audience member, Rev. Pinky Person, who told King she believes Christians are being persecuted in the United States.

King has a long history of making inflammatory statements, and earlier this year, he was removed from all congressional committee assignments after asking during a New York Times interview when the terms "white nationalist," "white supremacist," and "Western civilization" became "offensive." The House voted 421-1 to rebuke King, and he referred to his colleagues on Tuesday night as his "accusers." He doesn't want anyone to worry about him, though; King told the audience he's "at a certain peace, and it is because of a lot of prayers for me." Catherine Garcia

April 23, 2019

Twitter and the White House were both mum about President Trump's meeting with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey before it happened on Tuesday afternoon, and the participants were only slightly more forthcoming afterward. Trump — who requested the meeting — tweeted a photo of the Oval Office gathering, Dorsey responded by thanking Trump for discussing ways to make Twitter "healthier and more more civil," and Twitter said the meeting centered on "protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections and efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis."

In fact, "a significant portion of the meeting focused on Trump's concerns that Twitter quietly, and deliberately, has limited or removed some of his followers," The Washington Post reports, citing a person with direct knowledge of the conversation. "Trump said he had heard from fellow conservatives who had lost followers for unclear reasons as well."

Dorsey explained to Trump that a user's follower count fluctuates as Twitter removes bots and fraudulent spam accounts, "noting even he had lost followers as part of Twitter's work to enforce its policies," the Post reports. Trump isn't the only conservative who has complained that Twitter secretly undermines their tweets — though he is one of the few users Twitter won't touch for violating the site's terms of service — but Twitter insists it is a politics-neutral platform, and the site's "heightened crackdown against spam," the Post notes, "long has affected both liberals and conservatives on the site." Peter Weber

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