October 12, 2018

Prosecutors in Los Angeles charged Lancaster resident Craig Shaver with two felony counts Thursday for allegedly threatening to kill Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and illegal possession of a revolver by a felon. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Shaver, 47, was convicted of grand theft in 1991. If convicted of the two new charges, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. Prosecutors did not disclose the contents of the Sept. 30 email Shaver allegedly sent to Feinstein, but Feinstein is the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which at the time was in the middle of contentious hearings over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. President Trump has started attacking Feinstein at his rallies. Peter Weber

2:56 p.m.

Outgoing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed legislation Friday limiting the power that newly-elected Democrats will have when they take office.

Dubbed a "power grab" by many, the bill was signed with no changes after Walker previously stated he was considering partial vetoes, Politico reports. The bill has been met with criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, with governor-elect Tony Evers (D) and former Republican Gov. Scott McCallum both urging Walker to veto the bill.

The bills will limit the governor's oversight on previously approved laws and give the state legislature control over a state economic development agency, per The Huffington Post. The legislation also reduces the amount of time for early voting, capping it at two weeks statewide. A flood of early voters were reportedly influential in toppling Walker in favor of Evers in the midterm elections.

Walker fought back against critics before signing the bill, saying that the issue has been sensationalized.

"There's a lot of hype and hysteria, particularly in the national media, implying this is a power shift," Walker said. "It's not."

Evers criticized Walker's decision to "ignore and override the will of the people of Wisconsin," and said the controversial decision will be Walker's legacy. Marianne Dodson

2:54 p.m.

There's rarely been so much skepticism and uncertainty surrounding the U.S. immigration system. So after 31 people were sworn in as U.S. citizens, "a daughter and granddaughter of immigrants" decided to give them some reassurance.

On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made her first public speech after a fall last month to tell a group of new Americans what it meant to "join more than 20 million other citizens born in other lands." Ginsburg affirmed to the new citizens that "stains remain" on American livelihood, but used her own family history to show how they could improve the country, reports ABC News.

Friday marks the 227th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and Ginsburg's remarks at the citizenship ceremony took place in the National Archives, where the original document is stored. Ginsburg brought up how the newly naturalized citizens had to defend those rights, "first and foremost [by] voting in elections," per CNN.

Ginsburg told the group how her father "arrived in this land at age 13 with no fortune and speaking no English." Her mother was born four months after her parents immigrated to America, and ended up working as a bookkeeper in New York City, Ginsburg said. But in "one generation," Ginsburg says she was able to achieve "the American dream" and become "a Supreme Court Justice." Watch more of Ginsburg's remarks below. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:21 p.m.

For those who say the midterms just ended and 2020 talk is too early: We hear you. Nevertheless, a CNN/SRSS poll is here, and we must listen.

A Democratic primary poll released Friday puts former Vice President Joe Biden on top of the list of potential Democratic candidates, with a convincing 30 percent of voters supporting him. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) comes behind him with 14 percent, and Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) is next in line with 9 percent.

Of course, none of these top candidates have fully committed to running for president. And in December 2014 — a little less than 2 years ahead of 2016's election — that race's winner hadn't announced his candidacy either. In fact, a CNN poll from four years ago predicted we'd see some now-forgotten faces on top of a GOP primary.

That's right, remember Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Ben Carson? Since topping this poll, they've most recently gained attention for doing nothing, turning down White House jobs, and purchasing a very expensive table, respectively. Eventual President Trump doesn't even appear on the list, suggesting Democrats' next leader could still be yet to come.

CNN's most recent poll surveyed 1,015 people — 463 of whom were Democrats — from Dec. 6-9 via landline and cell phone, with a 3.8 percent margin of error. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:11 p.m.

Apple just signed a massive deal that will surely make executives at Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon let out a collective "good grief."

Apple has purchased the rights to new Peanuts shows, specials, and shorts for its upcoming streaming service, per The Hollywood Reporter. The classic comic-inspired content will be produced by DHX Media, and it will reportedly include educational programming for kids, such as shorts with an astronaut Snoopy. Details about the other shows and specials haven't been revealed yet, but this will be the first new Peanuts material since the 2015 feature film The Peanuts Movie, which was released by Fox and made $246 million at the box office.

This is a huge get for Apple, which has been making moves this year to build up a library of original content with plans to launch its own streaming service to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. The details of this service, such as whether it will be a standalone app or will live on existing Apple platforms like Apple TV, haven't yet been confirmed, but one recent report suggested it will roll out within the first half of 2019, per The Information.

Ahead of the platform's launch, Apple has already reeled in talents like M. Night Shyamalan, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Oprah Winfrey for other shows on the service. The company also signed a deal for new content from the Sesame Workshop in June, per The Hollywood Reporter. Needless to say, expect the escalating streaming wars, which resulted this year in more scripted content on streaming than on broadcast or cable TV for the first time ever, to become even more competitive in 2019. Brendan Morrow

1:42 p.m.

Santa Claus is not the only one coming to town this season.

It's also time for the return of a comet we only see once every five years — 46P/Wirtanen, or as it's more commonly known, the Christmas comet. This glowing green speck has been growing brighter in the sky since November, but on Sunday it will reach its peak, becoming visible even to the naked eye.

At its closest, comet 46P will be less than 7 million miles from the Earth, the tenth-closest comet we've seen since 1950, CNN reported. It won't get this close again for another 20 years, so grab your binoculars or telescope, find a patch of clear sky, and start looking.

CNN noted that the comet, while visible, usually appears with a fuzzy halo. Because comets are made of ice, as 46P passes the sun, parts of it melt and are absorbed into the expansive atmosphere that travels with it, creating the glowing green cloud that we'll be able to see this weekend.

You can check Time and Date to figure out when is best to try to see the Christmas comet for your location. But if you're worried that light pollution will hurt your chances, the Virtual Telescope Project will also be livestreaming the comet's trajectory on Sunday starting at 5 p.m. ET. Read more about the Christmas comet at CNN. Shivani Ishwar

1:28 p.m.

President Trump has just lost yet another potential chief of staff candidate.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday released a statement taking himself out of consideration to replace White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

"I've told the President that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment," said Christie. "As a result, I have asked not to be considered for this post." He called it "an honor" to be considered.

Christie reportedly met with Trump about the role on Thursday evening, and Axios reported that he was a top contender. Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs reported later in the day that Christie was a "leading candidate," and The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey reports Trump considered him "a front-runner." CNN says, however, that Trump did not formally offer Christie the job.

When Trump announced that Kelly would be leaving the administration, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, was reportedly the only person he had in mind to replace him, but Ayers turned down the job. Trump said Thursday he has five candidates in mind — apparently, according to one report, including his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. It remains to be seen when a decision will be made, but White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway recently suggested Kelly could end up staying in the job longer than expected. Brendan Morrow

1:10 p.m.

Two chiefs of staff walked into the White House Christmas party and, naturally, they had to capture the moment.

Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus popped up at the White House Christmas party Thursday night, despite not being an administration employee for more than a year now. Current Chief of Staff John Kelly was also there, and seeing the man he replaced drew a rare smile from Kelly as they posed in front of Christmas trees that would not make Nancy Reagan proud.

Perhaps Kelly cracked a grin because he realized Priebus is exactly where he'll be in a few weeks: anywhere but the White House. Perhaps Priebus looks more reluctant because he's reportedly still President Trump's phone buddy, and often hears about Trump's frustrations with Kelly. Perhaps neither of them should be smiling on Twitter because this pleasant party memory is better suited for Instagram.

Regardless, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wanted to make it very clear that Kelly and Priebus weren't hanging out with him.

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