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Trump on Roy Moore's loss in Alabama Senate race: 'I was right'

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday to weigh in on Republican Roy Moore's stunning loss in the Alabama Senate race.

>> Who is Doug Jones, Democrat facing Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race?

>> Alabama Senate race: Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore

>> Click here or scroll down for more

>> Read more trending news 

Veterinarian finds 21 pacifiers in dog's stomach

Dr. Chris Rispoli has been a practicing veterinarian since 1997, but nothing could prepare him for what he calls his “most fascinating and exciting surgery.”

According to a Facebook post shared by Gentle Care Animal Hospital, Rispoli found 21 pacifiers in a dog’s stomach.

>> Read more trending news 

The Edmond, Oklahoma, veterinarian was brought in after parents of a newborn pieced together the mystery of missing pacifiers.

It started with a grandmother witnessing the pup jump onto a counter and take a pacifier. The dog’s eating slowed, and eventually it vomited up a pacifier. That’s when the parents took the dog in for an X-ray.

What the team initially believed was seven to nine pacifiers ended up being more than double that.

>> Click here to see the post (WARNING: Graphic images.)

According to the report, the dog is doing just fine and is heading home.

Pat DiNizio, singer for The Smithereens, dies at 62

Pat DiNizio, frontman for alt-rock-pop band The Smithereens, has died at the age of 62.

The band posted the news on its Facebook page shortly after midnight Wednesday:

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the influential New Jersey rock band, The Smithereens – America’s Band," the post said.

"Pat was looking forward to getting back on the road and seeing his many fans and friends. Please keep Pat in your thoughts and prayers."

>> See the post here

New Jersey native DiNizio, with bandmates Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken and Mike Mesaros, buzzed around the rock charts in the late '80s and early '90s with stinging yet melodic songs including “Only a Memory,” “A Girl Like You” and “Blood and Roses.”

>> Read more trending news 

On Saturday, DiNizio posted a lengthy update on Facebook and assured fans that he was receiving “the best medical care and attention possible to repair the damage done to my neck and back in my recent falls.” He also said his treatment was helping him get in shape for the band’s upcoming shows.

USA Today editorial: Trump 'not fit' to clean Obama library toilets, shine George W. Bush's shoes

USA Today's editorial board blasted President Donald Trump on Tuesday in a scathing response to his controversial tweet about Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

>> Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand calls Trump tweet 'a sexist smear'

Trump's Tuesday morning tweet, which accused Gillibrand of "begging" him for campaign contributions and said she "would do anything for them," was widely criticized as being sexually suggestive. His post came after Gillibrand called for his resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations.

>> See the tweet here

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied claims that Trump's tweet was sexist and said those who read it as suggestive had their minds "in the gutter."

USA Today's editorial board disagreed.

"With his latest tweet, clearly implying that a United States senator would trade sexual favors for campaign cash, President Trump has shown he is not fit for office," the editorial board wrote. "Rock bottom is no impediment for a president who can always find room for a new low."

>> Alabama Senate race: Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore

The editorial added that Trump "is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush."

"This isn’t about the policy differences we have with all presidents or our disappointment in some of their decisions," the piece continued. "Obama and Bush both failed in many ways. They broke promises and told untruths, but the basic decency of each man was never in doubt."

The editorial described Trump as "uniquely awful" and blasted him for what it called "sickening behavior."

>> Read more trending news 

"The nation doesn’t seek nor expect perfect presidents, and some have certainly been deeply flawed," the piece concluded. "But a president who shows such disrespect for the truth, for ethics, for the basic duties of the job and for decency toward others fails at the very essence of what has always made America great."

Read the editorial here.

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

Updated 1:02 p.m. ET Dec. 13: Sen. Al Franken said Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith “will make an excellent United States Senator” after she was announced Wednesday as the Democratic congressman’s replacement.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton named Smith as Franken’s replacement after the senator announced his intention to resign. He has not set a date for his resignation. Dayton said Wednesday that Smith will serve a one-year term ending in January 2019.

Franken said Smith, who became lieutenant governor in 2015, will “be an effective senator who knows how to work across party lines to get things done for Minnesota.”

“I look forward to working with her on ensuring a speedy and seamless transition,” he said.

Updated 11:07 a.m. ET Dec. 13: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced Wednesday that the state’s lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, will fill the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Al Franken.

Franken announced his intent to resign earlier this month after multiple women came forward to accuse the Democrat of sexual misconduct.

In a statement, officials said Smith will serve a one-year term in the Senate before Minnesotans go to the polls to chose Franken’s replacement.

Original story: Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will be appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat of fellow Democrat Al Franken, the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio are reporting.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Al Franken will resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct

Gov. Mark Dayton will announce Smith's appointment at a news conference Wednesday morning, the outlets reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the decision.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Al Franken: What happens to his Senate seat if he resigns?

Both outlets reported that Smith, 59, also will vie for the seat in the November 2018 special election.

The news comes less than one week after Franken announced he'd be resigning amid sexual misconduct allegations.

>> Read more trending news 

From 2003-2006, Smith, a New Mexico native who has lived in Minnesota since 1984, was vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. She also was chief of staff for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Dayton before becoming lieutenant governor in 2015.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Photos: Notable deaths 2017

North Korean 'ghost ships' are turning up at alarming rates

Japan’s recent decision to up its patrols in response to rising appearances of mysterious ships implies there might be a serious problem with North Korea’s food supply.

>> Read more trending news

The Guardian reports that at least 28 North Korean boats washed ashore or were found adrift in Japanese waters, the result of North Korean fishermen’s decision to push farther and farther out to sea to make bigger catches for their military, citizens and exports to China. Several of the vessels found were “ghost ships,” labeled as such when found with either a dead or missing crew.

Though the number of stray vessels found in Japan this year is consistent with last year’s number, some have expressed concern for the high number of ships found in November compared to the number found last November.

The Washington Post offered possible explanations for the spike in appearances, including food shortages which may be the result of tougher sanctions recently passed against the country.

“North Korean fishermen have to work harder than ever before, and they have to go farther out into the sea, but they don’t have new boats,” said Atsuhito Isozaki, associate professor of North Korean studies at Keio University in Tokyo. “Plus, North Korea doesn’t have enough gasoline anymore, so they’re running out of fuel.”

The concerning state of North Koreans’ food supply was highlighted last month following the dramatic rescue of a North Korean soldier who defected while on duty.

Oh Chong Song abandoned his post in November and began to run toward South Korea. He was shot at more than 40 times by his fellow soldiers, and at least five bullets hit him. South Korean soldiers were able to crawl to the area where he lay and he was transportedto a hospital by a United Nations Command helicopter.

While rushing to save his life, trauma surgeon Lee Cook-Jong discovered parasitic worms, some were over 10 inches long, in the soldier’s digestive tract.

The worms, which have been discovered in other defectors, indicated the use of a detrimental, government-backed approach to health and agriculture in the country: night soil.

“Night soil” is a fertilizer made up of human excrement and used by North Korean farmers. There is a perception in the country that night soil makes food taste better and the method has even been personally supported by dictator Kim Jong-Un.

The five-hour surgery consisted of removing a bullet, fixing a number of wounds caused by the bullet and removing the parasitic worms that were making their way out of Oh Chong Song’s body.

“In my over 20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,” Cook-Jong later said of the flesh-colored parasites he found.

3 men facing felony charges in connection with shark-dragging video

Three South Florida men have been charged in connection with a widely viewed video showing a shark being dragged behind a fast-moving boat.

>> Read more trending news

Michael Wenzel, 21, of Palmetto, Robert Lee Benac, 28, of Bradenton, and Spencer Heintz, 23, of Palmetto, were all charged with multiple crimes in connection with the video and other social media posts.

The charges came after a four-month investigation, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

"As we've said since this video and other images came to light, these actions have no place in Florida, where we treasure and conserve our natural resources for everyone," said Commission Chairman Bo Rivard.

"We appreciate the patience and support of the public as our law enforcement investigators worked with the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office to identify a number of serious violations that will be brought to the courts for adjudication. It is our hope these charges will send a clear message to others that this kind of behavior involving our fish and wildlife will not be tolerated."

All three men face two counts of felony aggravated animal cruelty.

Benac and Wenzel were also charged with one count of misdemeanor illegal method of taking.

>> Related: Mother, daughter arrested, accused of beating student at bus stop

Florida Gov. Rick Scott released the following statement on the charges:

“I was outraged by the sickening video of a shark being horribly abused earlier this year. Florida has no tolerance for this mistreatment, and I am proud of the hard work of FWC law enforcement during this investigation to hold these individuals accountable for their horrific actions.”

5 things to know about Doug Jones, winner of the Alabama Senate race 

After sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore in the weeks leading up to the Dec. 12, 2017, special election in Alabama, critics began lining up behind Democrat Doug Jones in the closely watched race.

In a dramatic turn of events, Jones pulled off a nailbiter of a win against Moore.

>> 5 things to watch in Alabama's U.S. Senate election

Here's what we know about Jones, a 63-year-old former federal prosecutor from Birmingham:

>> Who is Judge Roy Moore?

1. He became the U.S. attorney for Alabama's Northern District in 1997. President Bill Clinton appointed him to the post, which Jones held until 2001, according to NBC News.

2. Jones prosecuted two Ku Klux Klan members behind the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four black girls in Alabama. In the early 2000s, Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton were sentenced to life in prison in the case, according to NBC News.

3. He was involved in prosecuting Eric Rudolph, who bombed a Birmingham abortion clinic in 1998. That attack killed an off-duty officer. Rudolph also was behind the deadly 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news 

4. He has spoken in support of Moore's accusers. “Those brave women are entirely credible; they’re telling the truth,” Jones said, according to Newsweek. “Moore will be an embarrassment to the people and businesses of Alabama, and if he makes it to Senate, he’ll continue to divide our country.”

5. He is against repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Jones also told AL.com that he supports a woman's right to choose to have an abortion but added: "The law for decades has been that late-term procedures are generally restricted except in the case of medical necessity. That's what I support." Read more here.

‘Man flu’ is real: Research says men experience worse symptoms

Don’t accuse men of overreacting when they’re sick — the “man flu” is real, according to a new study.

Dr. Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor in family medicine with the Memorial University of Newfoundland, published an article in the British Medical Journal contending that men seem to experience worse symptoms of cold an flu than women.

>> Read more trending news

“I searched PubMed/MedLine, EMBASE, Cochrane, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar using combinations and variants of terms ‘man’/’male,’ ‘woman’/’female,’ ‘gender’/‘sex,’ ‘influenza’/‘flu,’ ‘viral,’ ‘respiratory,’ ‘common cold,’ ‘difference,’ ‘comparison,’ ‘intensive care,’” Sue said of his method of research. “I read the abstracts of all articles found and narrowed articles down by relevance. References in each article were then hand searched to ensure comprehensiveness.”

>> Related: 7 ways to prevent your child from getting the flu this season

Sue’s somewhat tongue-and-cheek study also noted that U.S. research showed men had higher rates of deaths linked to flu compared to women of the same age.

“I do think that the research does point towards men having a weaker immune response when it comes to common viral respiratory infections and the flu,” Sue told The Guardian. “This is shown in the fact that they (have) worse symptoms, they last longer, they are more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from it.”

In Ohio, for example, the flu seems to be impacting populations earlier than usual this year. The Ohio Department of Health said the state is above the five-year average for the number of cases reported at this time of year and “significantly higher” than the same time last year. 

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