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Former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is running for a Utah Senate seat, officially launching his political comeback attempt Friday by praising his adopted home state as a model for an acrimonious national government in Washington.
Having been one of the Republican Party's fiercest internal critics of President Donald Trump, Romney didn't mention the administration or Trump himself in a campaign announcement posted online.
The closest allusion to Trump was Romney noting that Utah "welcomes legal immigrants from around the world," while "Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion."
It was the final period of the day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and Jonathan Blank was in history class, learning about the Holocaust. Across campus, five of his friends, pals since grade school, sat in different classrooms watching the clock. In 19 minutes, school would be out and the buddies had plans this Valentine's Day: a little basketball and boys' time.
Inside classroom 1214, the clock hit 2:21 p.m. Then: POP! POP! POP!
Instinctively, 16-year-old Jonathan hit the ground, taking cover under his desk. He smelled the chemical stench of gunpowder, noticed sawdust particles floating in the air: pieces of the classroom door that had been splintered by shots. Around the room, his schoolmates covered themselves with textbooks and took shelter behind filing cabinets.
It was a night full of surprises, with many feel-good storylines ending in disarray. Mikaela Shiffrin was attempting to win back-to-back golds on back-to-back nights. She came up short on a night she didn’t feel or look like herself. She finished fourth, just off the podium in the women’s slalom. Nathan Chen was seeking redemption in the men’s short program. He came up short, faltering on every one of his mandatory elements. On the flip side, Adam Rippon and Vincent Zhou shined in the moment. Zhou became the first male to cleanly land a quad Lutz at the Olympics. Rippon ended the night as the highest ranked American.
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Actor and Florida native Josh Gad was personally affected by the Parkland high school shooting, he said on Twitter, having learned that a friend's son was one of the 17 people who died.
The "Frozen" and "Beauty and the Beast" actor grew up close to Parkland, Florida, and said Wednesday that he was "so angry" after learning the boy was hit in the chest by gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The next morning, Gad tweeted that the boy, whom he didn't name, had passed away, and vowed to support everyone who runs against NRA-backed politicians and be "a voice of reason" in demanding action to stop gun violence.
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Mitt Romney and President Donald Trump have harshly criticized each other but also have been willing to sit down to talk when it's mutually beneficial.
Romney's announcement Friday that he is running for the U.S. Senate in Utah creates the potential for more battles or deal-making.
Take a look back at some of the most memorable moments in recent years between the two wealthy businessman and politicians.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Playboy, File
The New Yorker obtained a long, handwritten note written by a former Playboy Playmate of the Year documenting an alleged consensual affair she had with Donald Trump more than a decade ago, NBC News reported.
The report also touches on legal arrangements involved in the sale of Karen McDougal's story to the publisher of the National Enquirer, which never published the story. McDougal told the magazine she regretted signing the contract.
She confirmed a Wall Street Journal published days before the 2016 election that revealed the affair allegations and the purchase of McDougal's story. Six former employees of the company told The New Yorker that it often purchases a story in order to bury it.
Trump denied having the affair, a White House spokesperson told NBC News in a statement: "This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal."
An AMI spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.
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In striking contrast to the detestable tragedy that unfolded, the city of Parkland joined hearts and minds to hold vigils as South Florida and the nation at large mourn alongside in remembrance of victims.
For the 17 lives lost in the massacre on Wednesday, hundreds gathered at the City of Parkland Amphitheater on Thursday.
For a brief moment after the Las Vegas massacre last fall, Republicans and Democrats in Congress talked about taking a rare step to tighten the nation's gun laws. Four months later, the only gun legislation that has moved in the House or Senate instead eases restrictions for gun owners.
The October deaths of 58 people in Las Vegas and other mass shootings have sparked debate but have had scant impact on the march toward looser gun laws under the Republican-controlled Congress. There's little sign that the shooting deaths of 17 people at a Florida high school Wednesday will change that dynamic.
The conversation at the Capitol Thursday followed a familiar pattern. Many Democrats revived calls for tighter gun laws, while Republicans focused on the mental health of the accused shooter.
The Senate has left hundreds of thousands of "Dreamer" immigrants in limbo, rejecting rival plans that would have spared them from deportation and strengthened the nation's border security. Senators dealt President Donald Trump an especially galling defeat as more than a quarter of fellow Republicans abandoned him on an issue that helped propel him to the White House.
Also defeated Thursday was a plan by a bipartisan group of senators who offered a compromise that would have shielded the young immigrants and financed Trump's demands for money to build his border wall, though more gradually than he wants. Eight Republicans joined most Democrats in backing that plan, but it fell short after the White House threatened a veto and GOP leaders opposed it.
The day's votes, in which four separate proposals were defeated, illustrated anew Congress' steep challenge in striking a deal on an issue that's proven intractable for years and on which each party's most fervent supporters refuse to budge.
Days after 17 lives were lost in the horrific mass shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, both of Florida’s senators will be visiting the Parkland area, while President Donald Trump will head to his Florida estate with plans being made for his own visit.
The offices of Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson confirmed that they will be traveling to Broward County on Friday, with Nelson scheduled to arrive at the school around 10 a.m. No word has been released on whether the senators will visit with victims of the shooting still hospitalized or the families of those who were killed.
Plans had already been announced for Trump to spend the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach County, about 45 minutes north of Parkland, with the president scheduled to arrive Friday afternoon.
Two Swiss Olympic athletes have contracted norovirus in recent days at the Pyeongchang Games.
More than 200 people have been confirmed to have contracted the norovirus at the Winter Games. While most of them are security staff and personnel, the Swiss athletes are reportedly the first at these Olympics to be affected by the contagious virus.
The Swiss team said Friday the athletes haven't been staying in the main Olympic village. They no longer have symptoms of the virus, that causes vomiting and diarrhea, and should compete in their events, the team said.
Those injured in a deadly accident last summer at the Ohio State Fair have reached a settlement with the state.
The settlement was announced during an Ohio Expositions Commission meeting Thursday.
According to the motion, the settlement's terms include no money coming out of the state treasury and the plaintiffs fully releasing the state and the expositions commission.
The Fire Ball ride broke apart at the State Fair in July 2017, killing 18-year-old high school student Tyler Jarrell and injuring seven people. Dutch manufacturer KMG says the cause was excessive corrosion of a support beam.
Montgomery County Police Department
A day after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Florida, a student in Montgomery County, Maryland, was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to his school, police said.
Police arrested 18-year-old Alwin Chen, of Germantown, at Clarksburg High School Thursday afternoon.
Just before 2 p.m., a school resource officer received information that Chen might have a weapon, Montgomery County police said.
Mikaela Shiffrin missed the mark in her signature event, the women's slalom, figure skater Nathan Chen struggled, and snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis failed to reach the top three. Who did have a good day at the Winter Games? Here's a look at the Pyeongchang Games by the numbers.
The J.M. Smucker Co. is withdrawing some shipments of dog food amid reports that it could be tainted with traces of a drug used to euthanize animals.
The company said Thursday it is pulling back shipments of several varieties of wet canned Gravy Train, Kibble 'N Bits, Skippy and Ol' Roy brands. It said it is investigating how the euthanasia drug pentobarbital got into its supply chain and is focusing on a single supplier of a minor ingredient used at one manufacturing facility.