Most Americans think Trump is racist, poll finds

Most Americans think Trump is racist, poll finds

By Karen DeWitt   
Published
President Donald Trump has denied being a racist. (WhiteHouse.gov)

WASHINGTON —  More than half of Americans, including large majorities of blacks and Hispanics, think President Donald Trump is a racist, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

More than half think his policies have made things worse for Hispanics and Muslims, and nearly half say they’ve made things worse for black Americans, the poll found.

Furthermore, 57 percent of Americans think Trump’s policies have been bad for Muslims, and 56 percent think they’ve been bad for Hispanics. Meanwhile, 47 percent, including three-quarters of blacks, think his policies have been bad for black Americans.

The poll found that 57 percent of all adult —  including more than 8 in 10 blacks, three-quarters of Hispanics and nearly half of whites — said they think Trump is racist. Meanwhile, 85 percent of Democrats consider Trump racist, but just 21 percent of Republicans agree.

In the past Trump has denied being a racist, and even told reporters: “I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed.”

The AP-NORC poll of 1,337 adults was conducted Feb. 15-19 using a sample drawn from NORC’s AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Activists call for boycott today of 3 NRA-linked companies

Gun-control activists are calling for a one-day boycott today of three companies that have not shed their ties with the National Rifle Association, USA Today reports.

FedEx, Apple and Amazon have received public pressure following the mass shooting at Parkland, Fla., that claimed 17 lives last month.

The boycott, a Twitter campaign promoted by activists including actresses Debra Messing and Alyssa Milano, is the latest protest call that has grown since a cluster of anguished Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students began speaking out in the days after the tragedy.

Meanwhile, the NRA has blasted the companies that severed ties for “a shameful display of political and civic cowardice,” adding that “the loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member.”

Trump meeting on guns left Republicans reeling, Democrats optimistic

Democrats are stunned, and Republicans flummoxed after a wide-ranging, televised meeting at the White House during President Trump defied traditional GOP orthodoxy and called for gun control legislation, reports CNN.

Trump was explicit about what he wants at the Wednesday bipartisan meeting: a change in the age at which an individual can purchase a rifle from 18 to 21 and expanded background checks.

Says Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar: “”I don’t know how much clearer he could have been and the whole country can watch it.”

Republicans were a bit unsettled by what they’d heard. GOP lawmakers have staked out a united message: If Congress does anything, it would be limited to enforcing school safety and fixing the National Instant Criminal Background Checks system.

In the meeting, however, Trump said he wanted something “comprehensive.”

But GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says Trump needs to follow through “or risk hurting his reputation.”

Adds Graham, “I’ve seen this movie before … If it ends up like immigration he’s done himself a lot of harm. If we can actually deliver, he’s done himself and the country a lot of good.”

Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation

Senate Republicans say President Trump’s calling for more ambitious gun-control proposals won’t change the political calculus in their conference, which supports a limited response to the shooting at a Florida high school, The Hill reports.

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas, who is leading the GOP response to gun violence in the upper chamber, tells reporters after the meeting with Trump at the White House that he still favors a limited approach.

He wants to put a narrow bill on the floor that would give state and local officials more incentive to report relevant information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System known as NICS.

Cornyn warns that the Senate risks a repeat of the failed immigration debate if it tries to draft an expansive piece of legislation.

GOP Massachusetts governor vow support for US ban on assault-style weapons

GOP Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he would be in favor of federal government officials implementing a national ban on assault-style weapons, according to MassLive.

Baker says a similar ban had been positive for Massachusetts.

Says Baker: “Look, I think the assault weapons ban in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, based on all the data that’s available, has served this commonwealth well…And I think it would be appropriate at this point for the federal government to adopt something similar.”

Walmart, Dick’s expand corporate rift with gun lobby

The rift between corporate American and the gun lobby is growing, The Associated Press reports.

Retail heavyweights Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods have taken steps to restrict gun sales — a move that follows several other major corporations, including MetLife, Hertz and Delta Air Lines, that have cut ties with National Rifle Association following last month’s school massacre in Florida.

Dick’s said on Wednesday that it will immediately stop selling assault-style rifles in its Field and Stream stores and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21 at all of its retail locations and online. Its CEO took on the NRA by demanding tougher gun laws.

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, followed by saying it will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21. It had stopped selling AR-15s and other semi-automatic weapons in 2015.

Trump blasts trade policy on steel, aluminum ahead of meeting

President Trump railed against trade policies that have hurt the U.S. steel and aluminum industries today as his administration weighs options to curb imports.

Reuters reports that several executives from the steel and aluminum industries have been invited to the White House today for a major trade announcement, with Trump reportedly considering a 24 percent tariff on steel imports, and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum reports.

Trump campaigned on the promise of bolstering manufacturing, as well as steel manufacturing, saying low-cost imports hurt the U.S. steel industry.

The Commerce Department says steel and aluminum imports from China and elsewhere is a national security threat, issuing a report and recommendations on possible actions. Trump has until mid-April to issue a response to the report.

White House aides angry after negative stories on spending by HUD, Carson

Senior aides at the White House are reportedly “furious” after stories were published regarding spending by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

CNN, citing sources with knowledge of the situation, reports that White House aides are seeking to stop the negative news stories about the department and Secretary Ben Carson.

A source tells CNN that White House aides want to better shape the response to the stories.

According to the network, President Trump hasn’t made any comments about the HUD reports.

HUD staff member Helen Foster claims she was replaced in her role because she refused to find a way around a $5,000 limit for redecorating Carson’s office.

The New York Times also reports that HUD spent $31,000 last year on a new dining room set, which included a custom hardwood table, chairs and a hutch.

Russian election assault poses quandary for 2018 campaigns

Encrypted messages. Two-factor authentication. Real-time monitoring of social media for malicious internet bot activity.

This is the new reality for candidates running in 2018, scared of email hacks and elaborate misinformation schemes like the ones Russia used to disrupt the 2016 campaign, reports The Associated Press.

And many candidates say they’re concerned they can’t rely on Congress or the White House for advice, or protection.

Says Gareth Rhodes, a Democrat running for an upstate New York House seat, “Since many in Washington continue to bury their head in the sand over the dangers our Democracy faces, our campaign has taken deliberate steps to guard against cyberattacks by mandating extensive security measures.”

U.S. intelligence officials warn that Russian operatives didn’t stop on Election Day 2016. While they offer few details, officials say they expect attacks to continue through the current election season.

Teachers’ strike keeps West Virginia schools closed for sixth day 

The West Virginia Department of Education says all public schools in the state’s 55 counties remain closed today despite the announced agreement to end the walkout between unions leaders representing striking teachers and school service personnel and Gov. Jim Justice, CBS News reports.

Teachers protesting low pay and rising health care costs express doubts about politicians’ promises short of actions that guarantee raises and protect them from further hikes in benefit costs they say are squeezing them further.

The West Virginia House of Delegates has already voted to approve the 5 percent raises in the deal, and the state Senate is expected to take up the issue today.

The walkout began a week ago across the state.

Many educators said they’re continuing the work stoppage because they want a permanent fix to rising insurance premiums and cuts to their benefits, rather than a temporary freeze, reports WVNS, a CBS affiliate in Lewisburg, W.V.

The West’s get its own ‘eye in the sky’

The USA’s newest weather satellite is scheduled for launch today aboard a rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA Today reports.

Known as GOES-S, the satellite will keep a close watch over storms, wildfires and other hazards in the western U.S. once it becomes fully functional later this year.

GOES-S will join its twin, GOES-16 (aka GOES-East), which hovers over the eastern U.S.

GOES stands for geostationary operational environmental satellite, which means the satellite hovers over one spot on Earth. The mission’s two-hour launch window opens at 5:02 p.m. EST today, according to NASA.

TV ad aims to pressure Trump on transgender military service

Activist groups are turning to television ads — including on President Trump’s go-to station, Fox News — to pressure the White House into allowing transgender people to keep serving in the military, The Associated Press reports.

Trump vowed to ban transgender troops from serving.

The 30-second commercial, which airs on Fox, CNN and MSNBC morning shows uses a series of quotes from Trump, a former senior military leader and several Congress members who were in the armed forces to argue that all qualified Americans should be able to serve.

Says the ad: “An unfit president tweets that transgender Americans won’t be allowed to serve. But decorated military leaders say there’s no reason to single out these brave heroes.”

Trump stunned his administration with tweets last July declaring that the government would ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. He later asked Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to send him a recommendation on how to proceed. That memo was delivered to Trump last week. The White House says a quick decision is unlikely.

 

Possible anti-immigration protest near Charlottesville, Va., sparks worry

The CEO of Nexus Services Inc. says he was recently warned by authorities that hundreds of anti-immigration protesters might descend on his company’s Verona, Va. campus Saturday, USA Today reports.

CEO Michael Donovan says up to 500 protesters from a group known as “The Three Percenters” could show up, according to a press release.

Nexus provides GPS tracking to detained immigrants, so they can be released while awaiting immigration court hearings and deals with criminal defendants as well. The company has several private and nonprofit subsidiary services with offices across the nation.

Donovan says a former member of the Three Percenters was reportedly charged in the Charlottesville riots last year, where Nexus offered to pay the bail of counter-protesters arrested while standing against white supremacy.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, lists the Three Percenters as an anti-government group.

Trump ‘berated’ Hicks after House Intel testimony

President Trump reportedly berated former White House communications director Hope Hicks the day before her resignation, according to a new report.

CNN’s Erin Burnett reports that Trump was angry with Hicks following her closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, in which she reportedly revealed she was sometimes required to tell “white lies” as part of her work in the White House.

Burnett reports one of Trump’s “close allies” told CNN that Trump asked Hicks after her testimony “how she could be so stupid.”

Burnett says, “Apparently, that was the final straw for Hope Hicks.”

Hicks, one of Trump’s closest advisers, announced her resignation from the White House Wednesday.

Hope Hicks’ impending departure catches West Wing off guard

The announcement of the impending departure of White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who worked as a one-woman communications shop during Trump’s campaign, came as a surprise Wednesday to most in the White House — and cast a pall over the West Wing at a trying time for the president, multiple media outlets report.

It leaves Trump increasingly without support of the familiar aides who surrounded him during his campaign and marks the latest in a string of high-level departures in the administration’s second year.

Hicks, 29, one of Trump’s most trusted and longest-serving aides, had a seemingly untouchable role in the West Wing. She was often viewed more as a surrogate daughter than a staffer.

She is the fourth person to hold the position since the president was sworn in, as the Trump White House has set modern records for staff turnover.

Emotion wrought back-to-class after Florida school shooting

Brandon Travinski suffered a bad case of back-to-school jitters when his school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, reopened after a shooting that left 17 of his classmates dead, USA Today reports.

Just before 7 a.m. Wednesday with local TV reporting the school’s reopening, the 14-year old freshman was quietly eating Froot Loops, but he couldn’t escape the images in his head or images of his school, found on the front pages of newspapers, TV newscasts and social media news feeds.

Brandon tells USA Today, “Last night I felt nervous-excited and scared about going back to school. But I’m ready to go back.”

His wardrobe reaffirmed his readiness: a maroon T-shirt that read “MSD Strong” in bold type.

Cindy and Meghan McCain hit back Trump for attacking ailing Sen. John McCain

The wife and daughter of ailing Sen. John McCain hit back at President Trump in response to Trump’s “incredibly hurtful” attack on McCain at the Conservative Political Action Conference .

Trump stirred the CPAC crowd to boo McCain last week over his vote last summer to derail Senate Republican efforts to undo former President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.

McCain, 81, continues to battle an aggressive form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma.

Says Cindy McCain during an appearance on ABC’s “The View,” which daughter Meghan McCain co-hosts: “My own feeling is we need more compassion, we need more empathy, we need more togetherness …

“We don’t need more bullying, and I’m tired of it.”

GOP eyes budget maneuver to pay for ObamaCare funds

Republicans are weighing whether to use a complicated budget maneuver to help pay for additional ObamaCare funding, sources tell The Hill.

The idea being considered by GOP House leaders is controversial because it would help fund key ObamaCare payments, something that many conservatives decry as a “bailout” of the law.

Under the possible plan, the Budget Committee would direct the Congressional Budget Office take ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reductions out of its “baseline” for projecting federal spending.

That shift would unlock the second step of the Republican plan. If they subsequently proposed making the CSR payments, the CBO would then score the proposal as saving the government money. Those savings could then be used to pay for additional ObamaCare stability funding, known as reinsurance, to bring down premiums, thus saving the government money.

The result of the complex maneuvers would be simple: it would allow Republicans to fund the ObamaCare payments without having to find a budget offset to pay for them.

Oregon acts to protect state election system from Russia

The state office in charge of Oregon’s elections was granted funding from the Legislature for an Internet security position to protect against Russian government interference and hacking by others, say officials, USA Today reports.

Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, says that the U.S. response to Russian meddling and disinformation campaigns has not been strong enough, but Oregon has been taking steps to bolster its cyber defenses.

A letter signed by Oregon Deputy Secretary of State Leslie Cummings asked the legislature for $166,348 to cover the cost of the new IT security position, saying “Oregon was one of 21 states targeted by Russian government cyber activities.”

The new technology should be running before the election next November.

Trump says some lawmakers too fearful of NRA to take action

Putting fellow Republicans in the hot seat, President Trump called for speedy and substantial changes to the nation’s gun laws, then criticized lawmakers in a White House meeting for being too fearful of the National Rifle Association to act, The Associated Press reports.

In a freewheeling, televised session that stretched for an hour Wednesday, Trump rejected both his party’s incremental approach and its legislative strategy that has stalled action in Congress.

Giving hope to Democrats, he said he favored a “comprehensive” approach to addressing violence like the shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month, although he offered no specific details.

Instead, Trump again voiced his support for expanded background checks. He endorsed increased school security and mental health resources, and he reaffirmed his support for raising the age to 21 for purchasing some firearms. Trump also mentioned arming teachers, and says his administration, not Congress, would ban bump-stock devices that enable guns to fire like automatic weapons with an executive order.

Australians turned over more than 57,000 guns during national amnesty

More than 57,000 guns were turned over in Australia last year, the BBC reports.

The guns were turned in during a three-month national amnesty — which encourages people to turn over guns without having to worry about being prosecuted to limit the number of illicit weapons in the country.

Says Law Enforcement Minister Angus Taylor today: “Taking these unregistered firearms off the streets means they will not fall into the hands of criminals, who might use them to endanger the lives of innocent Australians.”

In Australia, people can’t own an unregistered firearm and those who violate the law face repercussions including a $280,000 fine and up to 14 years in jail.

The national amnesty is carried out due to an increase in the country of illegal firearms, according to the BBC.

Russia’s Putin boasts of all-powerful nuclear missile

Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted today that his country has developed a nuclear-powered missile with an unlimited range that is also completely immune to enemy intercept.

Speaking during an annual state-of-the-nation speech in Moscow, Putin says the cruise missile can penetrate any missile defense and can reach virtually any target around the world.

He adds, “No defense systems will be able to withstand it.”

Putin unveiled what he claimed was Russia’s new advanced weapons technology — his two-hour address includes video clips of underwater drones and intercontinental missiles — while delivering a warning to the U.S. over its pursuit of anti-missile defense systems.

Says Putin:  “Efforts to contain Russia have failed, face it. Nobody listened to us. Well, listen to us now,” referring to accusations by Moscow that Washington has been violating non-nuclear proliferation agreements by assisting countries from Poland to Japan to establish global anti-missile systems.

Conservative Dems target rural voters with new task force

Conservative-leaning Democrats today announced a new effort to reach the rural voters that have eluded the party in recent years, reports The Hill.

The Blue Dog Democrats launched a working group aimed at promoting bipartisan policies — largely economic — they hope will resonate with voters in those pockets of the country where the post-recession recovery has lagged compared to cities and suburbs. Politically, their message reflects the underlying belief that the road to a Democratic majority cuts straight through the heartland.

Says Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran of Arizona, the chair of the Blue Dog’s Special Task Force on Rural America: “Rural communities make up the very fabric of America. Their success is our nation’s success.”

The group is concentrating its message on four broad policy areas: growing jobs and the economy; weeding out “antiquated” regulations they deem a hindrance to economic expansion; eliminating disparities in rural access to health care, including efforts to tackle the opioid crisis; and enhancing services to military veterans who have served abroad.

Trump on gun law reforms: ‘After many years, a bill should emerge’

President Trump tweets that a White House meeting on gun reforms produced “some good & some not so good ideas,” adding that he expects a bill to emerge, The Hill reports.

Trump’s comments come after he hosted bipartisan lawmakers for a meeting Wednesday to discuss school safety and gun laws. The gathering came in response to a Feb. 14 shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 people dead.

During the meeting, Trump surprised and at times clashed with Republican lawmakers. He suggested they feared the National Rifle Association (and therefore wouldn’t support certain reforms.

He voiced support for strengthening background checks, raising the age requirement for purchasing rifles and confiscating guns from dangerous individuals without regard for their due process rights.

 

Sports betting’s big wager: Will younger bettors ante up?

As the push to legalize sports gambling in the U.S. nears a crucial Supreme Court decision, states hoping to reap a financial windfall could face another hurdle: Attracting younger players used to online fantasy sport, The Associated Press reports.

The explosion in popularity of daily fantasy sports over the last decade has created a generation of sports fans more attuned to gauging individual player statistics than how two teams may fare against each other, the challenge at the heart of traditional sports wagering.

Even more important, experts say, is whether states will be able to offer online sports wagering to a demographic raised on smartphones and laptops. That will depend heavily on how the Supreme Court decides New Jersey’s case, expected this spring.

New Jersey has challenged the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the 1992 federal law forbidding all but Nevada and three other states from authorizing gambling on college and professional sports. Only Nevada offers betting on single games.

How the court rules will affect more than two dozen states that are pushing sports betting legislation or considering it if New Jersey is successful.

Worshippers clutching AR-15 rifles hold commitment ceremony

Crown-wearing worshippers clutching AR-15 rifles drank holy wine and exchanged or renewed wedding vows in a commitment ceremony at a Pennsylvania church on Wednesday, prompting a nearby school to cancel classes.

With state police and a smattering of protesters standing watch outside the church, brides clad in white and grooms in dark suits brought dozens of unloaded AR-15s into World Peace and Unification Sanctuary for a religious event that doubled as an advertisement for the Second Amendment.

The church is an offshoot of the Unification church which became famous for its mass wedding ceremonies.

World Peace and Unification Sanctuary members believe the AR-15 symbolizes the “rod of iron” in the book of Revelation and encouraged couples to bring the weapons.

Kushner group got millions in loans after a White House meeting

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s family business received millions of dollars in loans from two companies after they took part in White House meetings, according to The New York Times.

The private equity firm Apollo Global Management reportedly lent $184 million to Kushner Companies last November, months after one of its co-founders, Joshua Harris, advised the Trump administration on infrastructure.

During that time, The New York Times reports, Kushner and the company executive met multiple times. And the two reportedly spoke about a potential job opportunity at the White House, but the job did not come to fruition.

Citigroup in the spring of 2017 also lent Kushner Companies money totaling $325 million. That loan was offered soon after Kushner met with Citigroup’s chief executive, according to the Times.

The funding from Apollo Global Management went toward the Kushner Company’s mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper, while the loan from Citigroup was used for the Kushner Company’s Brooklyn office buildings.

Both Apollo and Citigroup maintain the loans are not to connected to Kushner’s White House role.

 

Illinois House OKs bill to raise minimum age to buy assault-style weapons to 21

The Illinois House of Representatives has passed legislation that would require people to be 21 years old to buy or possess assault-style weapons.

The legislation was approved in the House by a margin of 64 to 51, The Associated Press reports.

Under the legislation, people under the age of 21 would not be able to buy or possess high-capacity weapons, attachments, .50-caliber rifles and cartridges.

The vote comes after 17 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a high school in Florida.

Since the shooting, students have been demanding the lawmakers act to prevent another school shooting.

Sessions pushes back on Trump criticism over handling of FBI

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has abandoned his usual stony silence and pushed back against President Trump for saying Sessions’ response to Republican complaints about the FBI was “disgraceful.”

Sessions gave no suggestion he would step down considering Trump’s charge Wednesday on Twitter and insisted he would “continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor.”

Trump’s latest tirade stems from a comment Sessions made Tuesday, when he suggested the Justice Department’s inspector general will evaluate whether prosecutors and FBI agents wrongly obtained a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor the communications of a onetime Trump campaign associate.

Sessions asked the watchdog office to review the complaints in response to pressure from congressional Republicans, who, like Trump, are fuming about what they believe to be bias within the FBI.

Sessions says his department had taken the appropriate steps and “will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.”

Endangered rhino who found fame on Tinder deteriorating

A critically-endangered rhino who famously signed up to Tinder in a bid to save his species from extinction has deteriorated in health, conservationists say, reports USA Today.

The 45-year-old northern white rhino, named Sudan, was listed as “The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World” by the dating app last year in partnership with the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in central Kenya, in a campaign to heighten awareness and raise $9 million to save the species.

The conservancy says Sudan is the only remaining male northern white rhino in the world. He lives with the last two female survivors of the subspecies — Najin and Fatu — at Ol Pejeta, but the animals have been unable to breed.

The Ol Pejeta Conservancy today says that Sudan is struggling despite 24-hour care by veterinarians. He appeared to recover well from an infection on his back right leg late last year, but another, deeper infection was recently discovered in the same area.

 Pelosi visits with Golden State Warriors in DC

California Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Barbara Lee met with the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night after the team declined a traditional visit to the White House and the U.S. Capitol.

The Warriors are in Washington, D.C. for a game against the Wizards. After the game, Pelosi and Lee, who represent California’s Bay Area, waited outside the locker room to meet with the team, The Washington Post reports.

President Trump publicly disinvited the defending NBA champions from the White House last year after star player Stephen Curry criticized the president.

Instead of visiting the White House, the Warriors spent their time in the nation’s capital taking children to the African-American Museum.

Unemployment benefits claims drop to lowest level in 49 years

Americans applying for unemployment benefits plummeted to their lowest level in more than 49 years, the Labor Department reports today.

First-time jobless claims fell to 210,000 in the week ending Feb. 24, a drop of 10,000, falling to the lowest level since Dec. 6, 1969 when it was 202,000, according to the report.

The four-week average, which is less volatile than the weekly figure dipped to 220,500, a decrease of 5,000, the lowest level since Dec. 27, 1969 when it was 219,750.

Airlines tightening the reins on fliers’ comfort animals

A stricter policy dealing with emotional-support animals goes into effect today at two major airlines, reports USA Today.

Delta announced updates Jan. 19 that required 48-hour notice and more documentation for untrained emotional-support animals that occupy the cabin with passengers.

The changes taking effect today come after a large comfort dog bit another passenger in a highly publicized incident last June. United updated its policy to echo Delta’s on Feb. 1, days after an incident in which it refused to accept a passenger’s emotional-support peacock aboard a flight.

A United spokesperson says the number of comfort animals on its flights jumped from 43,000 in 2016 to 76,000 last year.

A chicken panic, now KFC facing U.K. gravy shortage

Why did the British chicken cross the road? Because KFC first ran out of the birds, and now, the fast food chain is facing a gravy shortage, USA Today reports

After a chicken-supply crisis last week, KFC outlets in the United Kingdom are suffering a sauce snafu, the company says.

The gravy shortage, like the chicken one, is being blamed on “teething” problems after KFC started using a new distribution company — DHL. DHL, in turn, pointed to “operational issues” at one of its warehouses used for nationwide deliveries.

Hundreds of KFC outlets in the U.K. temporarily closed their doors last week. The majority of its 900 outlets in the U.K. and Ireland have since reopened.

Bread to brew for 2 Maine friars

Two Maine friars say they are closing their iconic bakery to open a brewery.

The Bangor Daily News reports Friar’s Bakehouse in Bangor will close Friday after more than 18 years.

Franciscan Brothers Donald Paul and Kenneth Leo say they plan to open their new venture, the Friar’s Brewhouse Tap Room, later this month.

The brew house will be in Bucksport, much closer to the brothers’ monastery. Paul says the 40-minute commute to Bangor was a big strain for the two.

The two began selling their homebrew beer in 2013 and had been considering opening a separate business to highlight their brews for the past six years.

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