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Bush, Clinton wrote warm letters to successors

It’s a tradition that an outgoing president will leave a letter behind for the new commander-in-chief. The letters are usually filled with best wishes and even some advice.

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The National Archives recently released the letters that former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush wrote to the successors, according to ABC News and Politico.

The letter from Bush, on White House stationary, reads like this:

"Dear Barack,

Congratulations on becoming our President. You have just begun a fantastic chapter in your life.

Very few have had the honor of knowing the responsibility you now feel. Very few know the excitement of the moment and the challenges you will face.

There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your 'friends' will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me. No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead.

God Bless you."

In his letter, Clinton also wished Bush well. He wrote:

"Dear George,

Today you embark on the greatest venture, with the greatest honor, that can come to an American citizen.

Like me, you are especially fortunate to lead our country in a time of profound and largely positive change, when old questions, not just about the role of government, but about the very nature of our nation, must be answered anew.

You lead a proud, decent, good people. And from this day you are president of all of us. I salute you and wish you success and much happiness.

The burdens you now shoulder are great but often exaggerated. The sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible.

My prayers are with you and your family. Godspeed.



White House had ghostly look on Obama's final night

The White House had a ghostly quality on Thursday, the final night of Barack Obama’s presidency.

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Desks were emptied and staff moved out as the outgoing staff made way for the staff of Donald Trump, who was inaugurated on Friday.

A Marine guard left his post outside the West Wing at 6 p.m., signaling that the president had left the Oval Office for the final time. The building was lit, but it was empty.

Michelle Obama, on her final night as first lady, posted an Instagram video of her walking through the presidential mansion with the family dogs, Bo and Sunny.

<iframe width='390' height='219' scrolling='no' src='//' frameborder='0' webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

'House of Cards' will 'Bring the Terror' in Season 5

As the nation watched Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th president, Frank Underwood already was planning ahead.

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Netflix released a teaser Friday for the fifth season of its presidential drama, "House of Cards." Underwood, the crafty politician played by Kevin Spacey, will return to action on May 30, Netflix announced.  

The teaser shows an American flag waving in the breeze as children recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The show's Twitter account added a comment: "We bring the terror."

Netflix retweeted the teaser, adding, "We couldn't possibly comment."

Over the show's four seasons, Spacey, as Underwood, has risen to the presidency using any means necessary.

The show has won six Emmy Awards.

We couldn't possibly comment. @HouseofCards​, May 30. — Netflix US (@netflix) January 20, 2017 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Convicted murderer says he was helping homeless man by killing him

A Georgia man who pleaded guilty to four murders in Atlanta in 2014 angered the family of one of his victims with comments he made after accepting his final plea deal.

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Aeman Presley pleaded guilty Friday in Fulton County to murdering two homeless Atlanta men,

Dorian Jenkins and Tommy Mims, while they slept in 2014.

Presley's plea deal carries a life sentence but will ensure he does not get the death penalty. He already was serving two life sentences for two separate murders.

Presley has said he believes he should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Presley already has pleaded guilty to the 2014 DeKalb County murders of Karen Pearce, a hair stylist from Smyrna; and Calvin Gholston, who was homeless.

After accepting the deal, Presley suggested he thought he was helping Gholston.

"I thought that maybe he would be in a better place than to be homeless or on drugs," Presley said, addressing the court.

Police say that Gholston was Presley's first victim. His family was in court, saying they had hoped Presley would be sentenced to death.

"He's a punk coward," Patricia Green, Gholston's sister, said after the court proceeding. "I hope and pray to God that when he gets in jail, somebody will find him and kill him too."

Gholston's brother said that the sentence will bring his family closure, but Presley's comments did nothing but infuriate him.

"It took everything in my bones not to get out of my seat and go and attack that man," Cedric Gholston said. "That was just horrible. That was just something that he just made up."

4 more rescued from snowed-in Italian hotel

Five people have been confirmed dead at the hotel demolished by an avalanche in central Italy this week, and nine survivors have been pulled from the rubble, including four more people on Saturday, Reuters reported. 

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The two men and two women were freed from the Hotel Rigopiano overnight after hours of digging by firemen, who were having to move cautiously for fear the buried air pockets might collapse.

Four children and a woman were saved Friday, dug out from under tons of snow and debris.

Fire service spokesman Luca Cari told Reuters the bodies of two women also were recovered, bringing the known death toll to four. Approximately 15 people remain unaccounted for, Cari said. Nearly thirty people were inside the hotel, officials said.

The hotel, located in the town of Farindola, was ripped from its foundation and almost completely covered by a wall of snow and debris up to 35 feet tall, triggered by a series of earthquakes that shook the region Wednesday, USA Today reported.

Italian media reported early Saturday that a number of other voices had been heard under the rubble, but that it was proving hard to establish where exactly they were, Reuters reported. There was no immediate confirmation of this from the emergency services.

Cari said that rescue teams would continue to work night and day until everyone was accounted for.

George W. Bush struggles with poncho

Relatively speaking, the inaugural address of President Donald Trump was short. It did not, for example, measure up to the 1-hour, 45-minute address in 1841 by William Henry Harrison, nor did it break ground with a catchy new slogan like John F. Kennedy’s “New Frontier” in 1961.

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However, the event at the U.S. Capitol on Friday did have some levity, as former President George W. Bush struggled with a poncho as rain began to fall during Trump’s inaugural speech.

Many people in attendance were prepared for the rain. Former first lady Michelle Obama shared a bubble umbrella with Jill Biden, the wife of the former vice-president. Incoming first lady Melania Trump also had an umbrella.

Other people in the crowd and on the inaugural stand had translucent ponchos. So did Bush, but the former president had a devil of a time putting it on.

Predictably, social media had a field day with the photos capturing the former president’s frustration as he struggled with the plastic rain protector.

"Rain poncho 1: Dubya 0" cracked music blogger Mark Zohar in a tweet that was typical of Twitter.

It’s not the first time a poncho has caused a Republican some grief. In 2012, then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney poked fun at NASCAR fans wearing ponchos when he said, "I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks." 

Rain poncho 1: Dubya 0— Mark Zohar (@markzohar) January 20, 2017 <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Yes Dubya's rain poncho is great but let's not overlook the beauty of Michelle and Jill sharing a bubble umbrella.— David Hoyt (@DavidJHoyt) January 20, 2017 <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

George Bush is having an absolute hoot. Can we cut from Trump's speech and just watch Dubya fight with a plastic poncho? #Inauguration— Kathleen (@fluffette) January 20, 2017 <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Florida art exhibit features Trump punching bag

If you’re frustrated by the ascension Friday of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, ArtPalmBeach has the answer for you:

A Trump punching bag.

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The red bag, with a scowling Trump face, is part of the exhibit “Left To Right,” by Cuban-born multimedia artist Antuan Rodriguez. Trump’s face is one of eight political figures printed on red punching bags hanging in two rows at the center of the fair in South Florida, which runs through Sunday at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach.

It’s also accompanied by a Rodriguez art piece with Trump’s face on a mop.

The bags project, which began in Cuba in 1998, is called a “poignant political statement.” A placard at the exhibit says it is a commentary on abuse, greed and injustice, and serves as “a form of healing the soul by punching a politician/world leader whose negativity poisons the world for the rest of us.”

The artist added President Trump to the project earlier this year. While the exhibit claims to equally skewer politicians from the left and right, hence the title, it seemed to lean more to the right. Among the faces ready to be punched were the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, President George W. Bush, his vice president Dick Cheney and his Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

While nobody was punching the Prez on Friday afternoon, fairgoers did react to it along predictable lines.

“That’s classic, a Trump punching bag,” said one man with a laugh as he walked by. “Awesome.”

But another man was not pleased and noted an absent face.

“I wonder where Hillary is,” he said.


Women's March in Washington: Live updates

A day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the nation’s 45th president, thousands of people are descending upon Washington, D.C., to participate in Saturday’s Women’s March.

The march — which kicked off with a rally at 10 a.m. featuring speakers and musical acts — is based on a mission that the rhetoric of the 2016 election cycle "insulted, demonized, and threatened": Americans, leaving communities “hurting and scared.”

Photos: Women march around the world

March in Seattle: Latest updates

The Washington, D.C., Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency estimates as many as 400,000 people could attend the march, though organizers believe the number of attendees is even higher.

Organizers have tagged the march as a nonpartisan opportunity for people to "stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country."

Police: Up to 50,000 march in Austin

Thousands gather in downtown Atlanta

Critics contend that the march is a protest against Trump’s presidency, ABC News reported. Several groups, which opposed Trump’s candidacy, have joined the Women’s March as partners, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood, GLAAD and the Muslim Women’s Alliance all signed on as the event grew in size.

Organizers said one of the goals of the march is to tell the new administration that on Day One, “women's rights are human rights.”

Prior to the march, a three-hour rally will be held on the National Mall with musical headliners Janelle Monae, Questlove, and Grimes, along with celebrity speakers that include America Ferrera, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Michael Moore. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards is one of the keynote speakers.

Rallies also are being held worldwide. According to Buzzfeed, thousands of marchers gathered Saturday morning in Sydney, Australia. Marchers in Australia carried signs that contained slogans like "Feminism is my Trump card," and "Women of the world unite."

The latest:

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//;border=false"></script> [View the story "Scenes from the Women's March in Washington, D.C." on Storify]

Arrests made in shooting at protest at University of Washington

UPDATE: Two people have been arrested in connection with the shooting at a protest on the University of Washington campus.

Read the original report below:

A 32-year-old man was shot and was in critical condition Friday night during a protest near a University of Washington hall where Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos was giving a speech, police said.


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The Seattle Fire Department said the man, who was shot in the campus’ Red Square,

was hit in the abdomen. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center, reported. 

The University of Washington Police Department is handling the shooting investigation, with support from Seattle Police Department detectives.

Yiannopoulos had been invited to speak at Kane Hall by University of Washington Republicans. Protesters arrived at the campus around 6 p.m. and began clashing with police. They blocked the entrance to the hall and threw rocks, fireworks and other items at officers, reported. Several people were hit with blue paint, police said.


Demonstrators had gathered on the campus’ Red Square to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president and a lecture by Yiannopoulos, the controversial conservative editor of Breitbart who spoke before an audience on campus.


<center><div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-video" data-href="" data-width="500" data-show-text="false"><blockquote cite="" class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><a href=""></a> BREAKING: Police suspect a man was shot at the University of Washington protest. Watch the response live here >> Horcher and Natasha Chen are at the scene now, and we'll have LIVE team coverage on KIRO 7 News at 11.A crowd was protesting an event with controversial Brietbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos. Posted by KIRO 7 News on Friday, January 20, 2017


Officers working to remove one person with suspected gunshot wound to abdomen from crowd at UW campus demonstration. Developing. — Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) January 21, 2017 <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>


At the DC protests, a naked guy and a raging car fire

Protesters took to the streets soon after President Donald Trump was inaugurated today, and law enforcement officers were quickly there as well. The scene was initially tense, with flash grenades going off and pepper spray streaming, but things cooled after a while.

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At one point, with a phalanx of police officers blocking a street, things got kind of humorous.

“Is that a night stick in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” one protester quipped to the line of cops.

Another sat down and started dealing a deck of cards, to exude calm.

The calm didn’t last.

Demonstrators set fires in the middle of the street several times, burning stuff like a trash can and newspapers. On the curb sat two limousines, their windows smashed. It’s unclear who the culprits might have been, but several individuals wearing masks could be seen assembling bricks.

“(Bleep) off!” they told anyone who approached.

As the afternoon wore on, a new billow of smoke filled the air, and this one united the crowd immediately. Someone had tossed a tire (maybe the spare from the bashed-in limo?) onto the flames. Is it a great idea to ignite a fully inflated tire? The group seemed to wonder as one.

“GET BACK!” people started screaming, and suddenly hundreds of people were stampeding. And then, a new plume of smoke, and this one was different. Huge, billowing and black.

One of the limos was on fire. Here’s what that looked like:

Protesters have set a car on fire in DCPosted by Jennifer Brett/Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday, January 20, 2017

As you’d imagine, the inferno summoned law enforcement, and encounters with protestors prompted more pepper spraying. One member of the crowd decided enough was enough, time to take off his clothes. For what reason exactly, it wasn’t clear, but he did sort of serve as a human flash grenade, creating a diversion that may have proved useful. I didn’t see any more pepper spraying after that.

The AJC sent a team of journalists to Washington to cover first the inauguration, next, Saturday's Women’s March on Washington.

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