He’s running—Bernie Sanders has confirmed he’ll take another shot at becoming president in 2020 and has launched an attack on Donald Trump, calling the current president “an embarrassment” to the country. In an announcement first reported by his local Vermont Public Radio, the senator who lost out to Hilary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination said: “I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country... I think he is a pathological liar... I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants.” Sanders said he hopes to enlist one million people in a “grassroots movement of people prepared to stand up and fight,” and said he expects this campaign to be “very different” to 2016. Asked if he should step aside for a fresh batch of contenders, Sanders, 77, replied: “We have got to look at candidates, you know, not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender and not by their age.”
Iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died in Paris at the age 85, Chanel has confirmed to The New York Times. There had been speculation about the fashion legend’s health after he missed Chanel’s haute couture shows in Paris on Jan. 22, when the company only said he couldn’t attend because he was “feeling tired.” Over the past year, Lagerfeld made most of his catwalk appearances with Virginie Viard, suggesting he had eyed her as his successor. Vogue Editor Anna Wintour said of Lagerfeld when she presented him the Outstanding Achievement Award at the British Fashion Awards in 2015: “More than anyone I know, he represents the soul of fashion: restless, forward-looking, and voraciously attentive to our changing culture.” He’d been the creative director of Chanel since 1983.
Rod Rosenstein—the deputy attorney general who appointed the special counsel to investigate ties between Russia and the Trump campaign—will step down by mid-March, according to a Justice Department official. It was reported last month that Rosenstein was planning to quit after the new attorney general, William Barr—who was was confirmed by the Senate last week—took office. The DoJ official said Rosenstein’s departure was unrelated to allegations from former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe that Rosenstein seriously considered wearing a wire in confidential meetings with Trump and discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office after he fired James Comey in 2017.
An Alabama newspaper has called “for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again” and hang Democrats with hemp ropes. In a shocking editorial, the Democrat-Reporter in Linden states that the KKK “would be welcome to raid the gated communities” in Washington, D.C., referring to the residences of Democrats and “Democrats in the Republican Party.” The editorial, written by Publisher Goodloe Sutton, expressed anger at both parties for “plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.” When contacted by the Montgomery Advertiser, Goodloe doubled down on his call for action, saying: “If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off... We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them.” He denied calling for the lynching of Americans, saying: “These are socialist-communists we’re talking about.” Lawmakers from the state have urged Sutton to resign.
Illinois State Police have admitted wrongly issuing a gun license to Gary Martin, the man who officials say shot five people dead in his former workplace in Aurora on Friday before being killed by cops. In a statement issued Monday, the state police acknowledged a screening process failed to detect Martin’s 1990s felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi for which he served five years in prison, the Chicago Tribune reports. He received a gun license on Jan. 31, 2014, and purchased a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson from an Aurora gun dealer five weeks later—that was the gun used in the deadly attack. The agency said it revoked Martin’s license on April 17, 2014, and suggested the Aurora Police Department may have failed to do its part to ensure the man no longer owned a weapon. State police said the agency is reviewing Illinois, Mississippi, and federal records to determine how the conviction slipped through two criminal background checks.
A former football star at the University of Colorado and the Seattle Seahawks has been shot and killed after a dispute over a parking space. Anthony “T.J.” Cunningham, 46, died Monday after he was allegedly shot by 31-year-old Marcus Johnson in a parking lot. Johnson is being held on a first-degree murder charge. Cunningham, who was an assistant principal at a local high school, was a receiver and defensive back in college and was drafted by the Seahawks in 1996, before injuries prematurely ended his playing career. University of Colorado Athletic Director Rick George said Cunningham was an active alum and his death is a tragic loss, AP reports.
The man who admitted to igniting a Southern California wildfire that tore through 13,000 acres and forced 7,000 to evacuate has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison. Brandon McGlover changed his plea last Thursday, admitting he was guilty of starting the Cranston Fire in July 2018. A preliminary hearing in November revealed evidence that he used a barbecue lighter and a can of WD-40 to start the nine fires that raged through Idyllwild, Anza, and Sage in Riverside County. He pleaded guilty to two charges of arson of wildland and one enhancement of multiple destroyed structures. On top of his prison sentence, McGlover will be required to register as an arsonist for the rest of his life and must pay restitution to victims. McGlover, 33, was arrested on the same afternoon the fires broke out and had been held on $3.5 million bail since that time.
Sixteen people had to be rescued Monday night in San Diego after they were trapped and suspended in the air on a SeaWorld ride for several hours. Five gondolas became trapped on the Bayside Skyride—it’s believed to have broken down after a big gust of wind tripped a circuit breaker. The San Diego Fire Department told the local CBS station that an infant and a partially paralyzed passenger who suffered a stroke last year were among the riders who had to be rescued. SeaWorld said each gondola is equipped with blankets and that staffers were in contact via intercom throughout the ordeal. The riders were lowered by harnesses and then rescued by lifeguard boats waiting below.
Three children and a woman were found dead in a Michigan home Monday after a fatal shooting, according to local media. The kids were all elementary-school age or younger, according to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. “Certainly a horrific thing to be called to and my heart goes out to the families involved here and the community,” Kent County Sheriff Michelle Lajoye-Young told WOOD-TV. “We’re certainly going to do everything we can to bring this to a quick resolution.” The sheriff said authorities don’t believe there’s a shooter at large and that a murder-suicide was a possibility—but investigators are keeping an open mind, USA Today reports. Lajoye-Young added: “It’s always hard when there’s a death in the community, but it’s absolutely the most difficult when kids are involved.” The identities of the victims have not yet been confirmed.