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National Govt & Politics
Alabama's Doug Jones, Minnesota's Tina Smith sworn in as Democratic senators
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Alabama's Doug Jones, Minnesota's Tina Smith sworn in as Democratic senators

What You Need To Know: Doug Jones

Alabama's Doug Jones, Minnesota's Tina Smith sworn in as Democratic senators

Congress convened Wednesday to welcome a pair of new Democratic senators – Alabama’s Doug Jones and Minnesota’s Tina Smith. They were sworn in just after noon.

>> Read more trending news

Jones, a former federal prosecutor, became the first Democratic senator to represent Alabama in 25 years. He beat former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore by more than 20,000 votes in a result certified by officials last week.

>> Related: Roy Moore loses Senate bid as election board certifies Doug Jones as winner

Jones’s victory came after multiple women accused Moore, who was considered a favorite to replace Sessions, of sexual misconduct. Several women told reporters that they were teenagers when Moore made inappropriate sexual advances toward them.

>> Related: Alabama woman says Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16

Moore has denied the allegations.

Jones was sworn in to replace Luther Strange, who took office in February 2017 after President Donald Trump chose then-Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as attorney general.

Brynn Anderson/AP
In this Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, then-Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones speaks at a news conference in Dolomite, Ala. Jones, the first Alabama Democrat elected to the Senate in a quarter century, is one of two new members who will take the oath of office on the Senate floor at noon on Jan. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
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Alabama's Doug Jones, Minnesota's Tina Smith sworn in as Democratic senators

Photo Credit: Brynn Anderson/AP
In this Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, then-Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones speaks at a news conference in Dolomite, Ala. Jones, the first Alabama Democrat elected to the Senate in a quarter century, is one of two new members who will take the oath of office on the Senate floor at noon on Jan. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton named Smith as Al Franken’s replacement last month after the congressman announced his intent to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women. Smith served as Minnesota’s lieutenant governor before Wednesday, a position she had held since 2015.

>> Related: Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to fill Al Franken's Senate seat

Franken said last month that Smith would “be an effective senator who knows how to work across party lines to get things done for Minnesota.”

Aaron Lavinsky/AP
In this Jan. 10, 2015, file photo, Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith speaks in St. Paul, Minn. Tina Smith, who was appointed to replace Al Franken following his resignation over accusations of sexual misconduct will be sworn in on Jan. 3, 2018. (Aaron Lavinsky /Star Tribune via AP, File)
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Alabama's Doug Jones, Minnesota's Tina Smith sworn in as Democratic senators

Photo Credit: Aaron Lavinsky/AP
In this Jan. 10, 2015, file photo, Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith speaks in St. Paul, Minn. Tina Smith, who was appointed to replace Al Franken following his resignation over accusations of sexual misconduct will be sworn in on Jan. 3, 2018. (Aaron Lavinsky /Star Tribune via AP, File)

Franken announced last month that he would resign after multiple women accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior. Several women told reporters Franken groped them as they posed for photos with him, and at least two women alleged he forcibly kissed them.

Many of the alleged incidents happened before Franken became a senator in 2009, although at least two were alleged to have happened after he was sworn in.

>> Related: Sen. Al Franken accused of kissing, groping news anchor without consent

He was one of at least four federal lawmakers who announced plans to leave office amid sexual misconduct allegations as the “#MeToo” movement encouraged women to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress, submitted his resignation last week after he was accused of sexually harassing several women who worked for him. Conyers, D-Michigan, denied the allegations and said he decided to retire because of health concerns. The 88-year-old congressman was hospitalized in Michigan earlier this month.

>> Related: Congressional investigation launched after sexual harassment allegations against Rep. John Conyers

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, announced last month that he would not seek re-election after the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into allegations that he made explicit remarks to a former aide and retaliated against her for complaining, according to the Austin American-Statesman. A week earlier, reports surfaced that he settled he settled a lawsuit the aide brought against him with $84,000 of taxpayer money. Farenthold has since said he will pay back the Treasury with his own money.

>> Related: Blake Farenthold won't seek re-election amid harassment claims

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, said last month that he plans to resign from his seat by the end of January after the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating allegations of sexual harassment levied against him by his former employees.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A pair of well-kept dogs were taken from the Perris, California, house where 13 children were found shackled and severely malnourished last week. >> Watch the news report here David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, are facing a minimum of 94 years for charges including child neglect and torture after police said their children, ranging from ages 2 to 29, were discovered in their home severely malnourished. >> Neighbors of parents accused of holding 13 kids captive describe family as odd, reclusive In a statement on Wednesday, city spokesman Joe Vargo said authorities recovered two Maltese terrier dogs in far better condition than the Turpins’ children. The 1-year-old female puppies were reportedly healthy and were taught skills, People reported. “The animals, one white and one black, appear healthy and friendly and are leash-trained, according to Christina Avila, a senior animal control officer,” a press release from the city of Perris said. >> Read more trending news  The dogs — one was named Fluffy — were featured in photos from the city appearing well-groomed and in sweaters. An adoption raffle for the pups is being held through Jan. 26 to find them new homes. Investigators said the children were only allowed showers a few times per year and were fed only once per day. In a press conference with reporters Thursday, District Attorney Mike Hestrin alleged that the last time any of the children had seen a doctor was four years ago and they had never been to a dentist. Police said the parents allegedly kept themselves well-fed and regularly ate pies in front of their children to taunt them, ABC News reported. >> Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence The 17-year-old who reportedly escaped the home through a bedroom window to alert authorities was initially believed to be just 10 years old due to the severity of her malnourishment, while the oldest victim, a 29-year-old woman, weighed only 82 pounds when the children were found. According to Hestrin, the children “lack a basic knowledge of life,” although they were allegedly homeschooled, KTLA reported. According to the Daily Mail, the parents face a combined total of 75 charges, and each was being held on $12 million bond.
  • With no signs of any deal to restore funding for the federal government, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will be back for a rare Sunday session, with no real signs of an agreement to end the first government shutdown since 2013, as both parties continued to point the finger of blame at each other. The main stumbling block continues to be immigration, and what to do about hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant Dreamers in the United States, who were protected under the Obama Administration’s DACA program, which was ended by the Trump Administration in October. Republicans made clear – there is no deadline on DACA until March – as they said those negotiations should simply continue while the government is funded and operating. “I hope Senator Schumer comes to his senses and ends this shutdown madness sooner rather than later,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, taking aim at the Senate Democratic Leader. But for Democrats, they worry that the GOP will never deal on immigration and DACA, as their leaders have decided now is the time to press for action. During Saturday’s House and Senate sessions – where no obvious progress was made – Democrats continued to argue that Republicans were the problem, since the GOP is in charge of the House, Senate and White House. “Americans know Republicans own the Trump Shutdown,” said Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY). “Anyone claiming otherwise should double check who has control in Congress.” Instead of signs of compromise, Saturday was mainly filled with tough rhetoric from both parties. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said President Trump’s grade for his first year in office was a “big fat failure F.” With no evidence of any deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set a procedural vote for just after 1 am on Monday morning, trying to force action on a plan to extend government funding until February 8, as he again blamed Democrats for the impasse. If Democrats hold together as they did late on Friday night, then that motion would not get the needed 60 votes to end debate, meaning the shutdown would hit government offices on Monday morning. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says “Congress has a lot of work to do” but it is being 'delayed by the Democrat’s filibuster' https://t.co/IU5LKpcVoB — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 20, 2018 Various federal agencies were still making their plans for Monday; one federal worker that I saw on Saturday evening said his office had been told to come in for four hours on Monday, and then they would likely be sent home if there was no funding plan approved by the Congress.
  • The Brevard County Sheriff's Office says a man is behind bars after allegedly stabbing his mother and stepfather early Saturday morning in Titusville.    According to deputies, authorities arrived at a house on the 1400 block of North Highway 1 around 4:45 a.m. to answer a report that a mother had been injured by her son.    Deputies spoke to the woman and found out that her husband was seriously injured as well.    Both victims were taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition.    The suspect, 28 year old Robert Hamm, was found in the area of Jay Jay Road and Snow Egret Drive.    Hamm was arrested without incident and is being held without bail in the Brevard County Jail.    Hamm faces two counts of attempted first degree murder.
  • Taking steps to 'further protect its customers, employees and service and support animals, Delta Air Lines is having new requirements for those who wish to travel with trained service and support animals.   According to a statement, customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, and even spiders. Delta has reportedly seen an 84 percent increase in animal incidents since 2016, and even an attack by a 70 pound dog last year.    Staring March 1st, any customer traveling with a service or support animal must meet these new requirements:    Traveling with a trained service animal:    Customers traveling with a trained service animal will be required to submit a signed Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record (current within one year of the travel date) for their animal to Delta’s Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com at least 48 hours in advance of travel.    Traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal:    Customers traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal will be required to submit a signed Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record (current within one year of the travel date), an Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Request form which requires a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, and a signed Confirmation of Animal Training form to Delta’s Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com at least 48 hours in advance of travel.    This desk will verify that the documentation is received and will confirm the travel reservation prior to your arrival at the airport. Any information not completed will be made known to you via email from a representative.    The type of accepted animals, as well as related questions can be found here.
  • A 17 year old is in stable condition after being shot Friday afternoon inside a home.   At 3:32 p.m., Sanford Police responded to a shooting with injuries report at 1314 Olive Avenue. The police went inside the house and found the teenager was shot.    The Sanford Fire Department took the victim to the hospital where police say the teen is in stable condition.    Police also say they have spoken with several people inside the home during the shooting and that witnesses are cooperating with investigators.    Investigators believe the shooting is an isolated incident and is not connected to any recent shootings in the area.    Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Sanford Police Department or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS(8477).