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Trump, Schumer meet hours ahead of shutdown deadline

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(CNN) — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Donald Trump met at the White House Friday afternoon, just hours ahead of the deadline for a government shutdown.

Trump called the New York Democrat and invited him personally, a person familiar with the plans told CNN.

Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly was the only White House official present at the meeting, a person familiar told CNN.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was not at the meeting, a source said, adding that he and Trump have been in touch during the day by telephone. Neither was House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was addressing the “March for Life” rally around the same time. McConnell and Ryan were aware that the White House was going to invite Schumer to the White House, one Republican source said.

“We had a long and detailed meeting,” Schumer told reporters in brief remarks he made upon returning the Capitol, but he did not include any specifics from their discussion. “We made good progress and will continue.”

White House aides made clear to GOP staff this morning there was no daylight between the President and Hill Republicans this morning, especially on immigration, according to two sources.

Still, some congressional leaders eyed the Schumer meeting warily.

When asked by CNN if he was worried about Trump meeting with only Schumer, Sen. John Cornyn responded, “The thought did cross my mind.”

“I don’t think there is” going to be a shutdown, the Cornyn said, but added, “I can’t tell you exactly what the path forward is right now.”

The House passed a measure to continue funding the government through mid-February but Republican leaders in the Senate don’t have the 60 votes they need to advance it through their chamber and avoid a shutdown.

RELATED: Shutdown looms larger in Senate after House vote

With fewer than 12 hours until the government runs out of funding, House Republicans — who had already passed their short-term spending bill– were instructed to stay close to the Capitol.

Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania, described the mood on the House floor Friday morning as “a state of bewilderment and confusion,” as members braced themselves for the possibility that they either would see a shutdown or be forced to take whatever bill the Senate sent to them.

“The Senate will likely jam us,” Dent predicted.

The mood on Capitol Hill: Both sides talking past each other

A Democratic senator told CNN a realization set in at the Senate gym Friday morning that Republicans and Democrats were just talking past each other and making incorrect assumptions about how to address each others’ issues and demands seriously upping the odds of a shutdown.

Several GOP senators, for example, were trying to find out from Democrats why they are dug in against the House’s short-term spending mechanism. Why won’t they believe that Republicans will deal with DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, later? The program expires March 5, but Republicans’ message to their colleagues was “come on, you know we won’t deport DACA recipients.”

Democrats, however, feel trust has eroded after immigration negotiations broke down last week when Trump went from saying he’d accept a bipartisan solution on DACA in one meeting and then two days later rejecting a bill authored by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. In that same meeting Trump used vulgar language to describe the African countries where some immigrants come from.

Adding to the angst was the fact that Graham and Durbin thought they were gaining momentum on their bill this week and were winning over more Republicans only to hear that GOP leaders had convinced several of those Republicans to peel back off. Graham and Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona who also worked on the bipartisan bill, have said they will not support the House-passed CR.

At this point, Senate Republicans are hoping to get more guidance from Trump and the White House about how to proceed. However, a bipartisan group of senators — members who know and have long-standing relationships with one another– have yet to sit down and try to hammer out a compromise.

House Democrats rally ahead of shutdown

House Democrats gathered for lunch from We The Pizza on Friday to discuss strategy, bursting into spontaneous bouts of applause and cheers at time.

“Democrats are determined and defiant about this,” Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly said leaving the meeting. “We don’t want the government to shut down and we feel it’s the obligation of the majority to work with us to make sure that does not happen.” Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley said it had a “pep rally” atmosphere but was largely about stating the current situation.

Inside, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Whip Steny Hoyer spoke, and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin crossed the Capitol to update their colleagues on how negotiations with the majority are going.

“He indicated that they want to stop kicking the can down the road and they want a real funding bill for the federal government,” Connolly said of Durbin. “There may be a few day kind of proposal to try to allow that to happen, but Democrats are sick of continuing resolutions and the damage they do. In terms of any long range planning and the damage they do to national security.”

As he was leaving, Hoyer said Democrats have little interest in any more continuing resolutions.

“We’re going to see what the Senate does,” Hoyer said when CNN asked about a few-days-long CR. “Kicking the can down the road, four days, forty days, that would have been the fifth CR. We need to get his resolved, we need to get to agreement.”

House members had been scheduled to be on recess next week, but many said they weren’t going home until they knew there was resolution.

“I’m not going home if the government shuts down,” said Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson.

Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia, told CNN that he was also prepared to stay, although he added “Mitch McConnell needs to stand and fight.”

Studio 8 features Brandon Ford

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Who I am: Brandon Ford

What my music is:  Instrumental, Various, Electronic Ambient, Piano

What sets my music apart from the rest: “I’ve been writing music since high school, started playing piano as a kid. Self taught, play by ear. I record most of my music using my keyboard and computer software for sounds. My recordings are done live track by track. I have done music programming before, but prefer to play it all myself.”

**If you would like to be a Weekly Featured Local Artist/Band on WQAD Studio 8, please complete the Featured Band Contact Form — click here.  Also have a YouTube or SoundCloud link to a single song or a playlist of 2-5 songs that you can submit you would like to feature.

NAILED IT OR FAILED IT: Two Easy Ways to Celebrate National Popcorn Day

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I just love it when unofficial national holidays land on Fridays. For example, today is National Popcorn Day, which basically gave the three of us an excuse to eat popcorn for the entire duration of Good Morning Quad Cities. Now that our stomachs hurt, we turn to Nailed It Or Failed It on WQAD News 8 at 11am with two more ways to celebrate this amazing (and probably fake) holiday.

The first gives us a break from stuffing our faces with popcorn by using the popcorn kernels for a science experiment. All you need to create Hopping Corn is popping corn, water, baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring (if you want). Click the video above to see how we combined all those ingredients into a fun and fast science activity!

The second way we can celebrate National Popcorn Day is by turning our popcorn into a dessert (because... why not?). I found this easy (and delicious) Movie Night Treat on Pinterest (of course) and made it for Jon to enjoy this weekend (because... he's the best!). Click the video below to see how it turned out - PLUS:

COCKTAIL OF THE WEEK: You already know that we enjoy a cocktail at the end of our shift on the last day of the work week, but now - we're making it official with a fancy animation and some surprises along the way! Click the video below to see this week's special drink by Jon, called the Ketz Koncoction.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Vodka
  • Sprite Zero
  • Lime
  • Ice Cubes

Instructions:  - Fill a glass with ice cubs. Pour in 1.5 oz. of vodka. Top up with Sprite Zero and stir gently, and then garnish it with lime juice.

Fire breaks out at East Moline mobile home park

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EAST MOLINE, Illinois -- A fire broke out at the Mississippi Mobile Home Park Friday morning, January 19th.

The fire broke out around 10:15 a.m. in the 800 block of 1st Avenue. The person who lives there was not home at the time but a family member was there soldering pipes, which ended up catching insulation on fire.

The home was a total loss, according to a spokesperson with the East Moline Fire Department.

Silvis Fire Departments also assisted at the scene.  There were no reported injuries.


Fire at Mississippi Mobile Home Park

Watch this barge bust through river ice to deliver concrete for the I-74 bridge project

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MOLINE, Illinois — When one thinks of ice breakers, visions of Coast Guard cutters busting through Arctic ice floes come to mind.

But earlier this week, observers could see the same phenomenon right here on our stretch of the Mississippi River.

Workers constructing the new I-74 bridge connecting Bettendorf to Moline have braved below-zero temps, frigid water and chunks of ice to keep work going through the winter. Earlier this week, they shared this video on the @I74RiverBridge Twitter feed:

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Construction on the massive project, with a price tag topping $1 billion, began in July 2017 and is anticipated to take place over 3 1/2 years. The new bridge will be more than twice as wide as the existing bridge, providing four lanes in each direction.
A multi-use path on the bridge will connect to paths in Bettendorf and Moline. Between Middle Road in Bettendorf and Avenue of the Cities in Moline, I-74 will be expanded to three lanes in each direction with additional lanes at select locations.

Danielle Mulholland, project manager for Iowa DOT, said work has been going on pretty much all winter, other than days with extreme sub-zero weather. This includes pouring concrete into coffer dams on the bottom of the river that will eventually serve as the foundations for the bridge arches. Divers have also been in the water all winter, inspecting work as it goes on.

“It’s pretty amazing, ” Mulholland said, of the winter work being done. “When they put the schedule together, they know it’s Iowa and Illinois and that it’s not going to be sunny and 75 every day, so they build that into the schedule. They just take extra precautions and monitor the weather.”

Rendering of what new bridge will look like when complete. Courtesy of Iowa and Illinois DOT.

You can take a live look at bridge construction here, via the I-74 Bridge Project’s webcam.

Pope marries couple on papal plane in Chile

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IQUIQUE, Chile (AP) — It was all in a day's work for the ever-unpredictable Pope Francis.

First he celebrated the first-ever airborne papal wedding, marrying two flight attendants at 36,000 feet during a flight on Thursday to this northern Chilean beachside town.

Then after landing, Francis came to the rescue of a policewoman who was thrown from her rearing horse as his popemobile passed by.

In between, he did what he actually came to do: celebrate Mass for some 50,000 people in a desert-hot field near the town of Iquique.

And as a final gesture to cap a most remarkable day even by Franciscan standards, the 81-year-old Argentine set off a near-national uproar by accusing victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile priest of slander.

Welcome to the Francis papacy, five years on.

It all began with LATAM Flight 1250 from Santiago.

The crew of Chile's flagship carrier was gathering in the first-class section for the usual photo with the pope when flight attendants Paula Podest and Carlos Ciuffardi revealed that they were a married couple. Francis motioned for them to sit next to him for the photo and asked if they had been married in the church.

They told Francis that they had been wed in a civil service in 2010 but had been unable to follow up with a church ceremony because the Feb. 27, 2010 earthquake that rocked Chile had damaged the church.

Francis then made a proposal of his own: "I'll marry you!" and they readily agreed. The head of the airline served as the witness.

"He told me it's historic, that there has never before been a pope who married someone aboard a plane," the 41-year-old groom told journalists aboard the flight after he exchanged his "I do's" with his beaming bride.

Ciuffardi said the pope also told them: "This is the sacrament that is missing in the world, the sacrament of marriage. May this motivate others to get the sacrament of marriage. I'll do it for this reason."

Ciuffardi and the 39-year-old Podest have two children, 6-year-old Rafaela and 3-year-old Isabela. They said they plan to take a "mini-honeymoon" and return to Santiago on Friday.

The airborne wedding came about spontaneously, as is often the case with the ever-surprising Francis.

"We told him that we are husband and wife, that we have two daughters and that we would have loved to receive his blessing," Ciuffardi said. "All of a sudden he asked us if we were married in the church, too."

The couple explained that their church's bell tower had fallen during the quake, forcing the cancellation of the church service. One thing led to another, and they never followed up.

"He liked us and he asked, 'Do you want me to marry you?'" Ciuffardi said. "He asked: 'Are you sure?' 'Yes, of course!' we said."

A Vatican official then hastily drew up an official, albeit handwritten, marriage certificate, stating that the two had consented to the sacrament of marriage on Jan. 18, 2018, and that Francis had blessed it "aboard the papal plane from Santiago to Iquique."

Recounting the story to the 70 or so journalists who travel with the pope on his foreign trips, Podest said Francis offered a bit of advice to the not-so-newlyweds.

"He also said that the wedding rings shouldn't be too tight, because they'll torture you, but that if they're too loose, they'll fall off. So we have to be careful," she said blushing.

She said she and Ciuffardi also told the pope that when they first started dating, she was his boss at LATAM. Francis asked if she was still the boss, and both readily agreed.

"And that's why the marriage works," Ciuffardi said.

An hour after the impromptu ceremony, after the flight attendants had passed through the cabin with breakfast trays of fruit cups and warmed croissants, coffee and tea, the plane landed in Iquique and the happy couple bid the passengers farewell.

"We hope you had a good flight," Podest said.

Francis then moved on to the real purpose of his visit, celebrating Mass for the region's migrant community.

During his homily, he urged the Chilean government to continue welcoming migrants and caring for the least fortunate among them, saying, "There is no Christian joy when doors are closed."

The Argentine pope, who has frequently called on wealthy countries to welcome migrants and refugees, praised Iquique for having been a "land of dreams" for so many newcomers. And he urged Chile to continue to be a place of hospitality, employment and justice, especially for migrants, who are often exploited.

"Let us be attentive to the lack of steady employment, which destroys lives and homes," he said. "Let us be attentive to those who profit from the irregular status of many immigrants who don't know the language or who don't have their papers in order."

After the Mass, as his entourage headed back to Iquique, Francis had a scare when a police horse reared up just as his popemobile was passing by, throwing the rider and forcing the pope's driver to swerve slightly to get out of the way.

Francis, who wasn't hurt, had his driver stop so he could get out to check on the officer, described by the Vatican as a Chilean policewoman.

Francis stayed with her, bending down to speak with her, until an ambulance arrived. The Vatican said the rider remained conscious "and received some words of consolation from the Holy Father."

After she was taken away, Francis resumed his ride.

It was the second such incident in recent months. Francis got a black eye in Cartagena, Colombia, in September when his popemobile stopped short and he hit his head on the side rail. He cut his eyebrow and wore a cassock stained with a few drops of blood for the rest of the day.

Francis has insisted on using minimally covered popemobiles on his foreign visits so he can be close to his flock. But Thursday's incident again underscored his vulnerability in the open-sided vehicles that often pass through tight, crowded spaces.

Earlier in the trip, Francis was hit in the head with a flying object that someone in the crowd had thrown toward him. He wasn't hurt, and the Vatican later revealed the offending object: A rolled up canvas hat with the words "Pray for the Chilean family."

Francis' visit though ended on a sour note for many in Chile, as he was asked by a Chilean reporter about his controversial decision to appoint a bishop accused of helping keep quiet about the crimes of Chile's most prominent sexual abuser, the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up Karadima's crimes, accusations of complicity by the victims of against Barros are "all calumny."

Patricio Navia, political science professor at Diego Portales University in Santiago, said the comment will likely erase any good will the pope had won over the issue.

Sushi lover’s stomach-churning discovery: a 5-foot tapeworm living inside him

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Warning: Story contains images and descriptions some may find graphic

FRESNO, Calif. – A California man is likely altering his regular sushi habit after discovering a tapeworm that may have entered his body through the raw salmon he loves so much.

Doctor Kenny Banh revealed the Fresno man’s case on a January 8 episode of the Podcast “This Won’t Hurt A Bit,” a show that mixes medical topics with laughs.

Banh said a young man walked into the hospital complaining of bloody diarrhea and asking to to be tested for worms. The self-diagnosis seemed a little suspicious to Banh – until the man opened a grocery bag he had with him. “I take out a toilet paper roll … and wrapped around it of course is what looks like this giant, long tapeworm,” Banh said.

Five-foot long tapeworm came 'wiggling out' out of man's body after he ate sushi https://t.co/P6VjfN9iHm pic.twitter.com/pldGRbm1Vt

— 2GO_Health (@2Go_Health) January 18, 2018

Banh asked what exactly happened, and the patient recounted the abdominal cramps and other symptoms – including a trip to the bathroom when he discovered what was going on. “I looked down and it looked like there was a piece of intestine hanging out of me,” Banh remembered him saying.

The man thought he was dying, Banh said, “Oh my goodness my guts are coming out of me,” and started pulling at the worm. Once the tapeworm moved in his hand, Banh said, instead of just being horrified, the man was also relieved to know that it wasn’t his own entrails.

6 – PARASITES https://t.co/wYWZ3E02bX

— thiswonthurtabit (@wonthurtabitpod) January 10, 2018

Rolled out over paper on the floor of the hospital emergency room, Banh said the tapeworm measured 5 and 1/2 feet in length.

Where the tapeworm came from was the next question, and the man said he hadn’t travelled or had any questionable drinking water that he could think of. He did, however, tell Banh “I eat raw salmon almost every day,” the doctor said during the podcast.

In January, 2017 doctors warned of Japanese tapeworm parasites found in the meat of U.S. salmon. The parasites may be found in different types of fish that haven’t been flash frozen to kill the worms.

Because the Japanese version is from the same family of tapeworms, illness and symptoms should be largely the same, Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told CNN after the study was published.

The most common fish tapeworm, Diphyllobothrium latum and related species (including the Japanese tapeworm), can grow up to 30 feet long, according to the CDC.

“Actually, most of the people who are infected don’t have symptoms,” Schaffner said. Some feel a little bit of abdominal discomfort, some have nausea or loose stools, and some even lose a little weight.

Most often, tapeworm leads to only minor symptoms, but in exceptional cases the infection can turn into a serious medical problem, according to Roman Kuchta, lead author of the study and a research scientist at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Once the diagnosis is made, however, the cure is simple – the same pill that people give to infected dogs can be given to humans. When asked if he’ll keep eating sushi, Banh said he would, but just not the salmon.

CNN contributed to this report.

Authorities searching for work-release escapee

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DAVENPORT, Iowa — Authorities are looking for an escapee from a Davenport work-release facility.

According to the Iowa Department of Corrections, 24-year-old Arthur Kieth Lobley was supposed to report back to the Davenport Work Release/OWI Center on Friday morning, January 19th, but never showed up.

The Department of Corrections said Lobley was convicted of two counts of second-degree robbery, and was admitted to the facility on November 29th.

Lobley is described as standing six-feet tall, weighing 159 pounds. If you have any information on his whereabouts, you are asked to call local police.

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