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First lady Melania Trump makes annual holiday visit to children's hospital to read to patients

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — First lady Melania Trump continued a nearly 70-year-long tradition Friday when she made her annual visit to Children’s National Hospital where she met with patients, their families and nursing staff before reading them a children’s book.

She is the latest in a long line of first ladies to visit the Washington, D.C. hospital, starting with Elizabeth “Bess” Truman, the wife of former President Harry Truman, over 60 years ago. Other first ladies who have participated in the tradition are: Jacqueline Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt and more recently, Michelle Obama.

During her visit, Trump stopped in a play room to visit with the young patients and participate in an art project centered on the upcoming Christmas holiday.

She spent extra time crafting with three children in particular: 8-year-old Brooke Hilton, 7-year-old Nathalia Vasseur Hoffman and 8-year-old Dwayne Salmon, to whom she offered words of advice and encouragement.

“Hi sweetheart, how are you feeling?” Trump asked Hilton. She continued to make small talk, asking the children when she walked in if they were ”Feeling strong?”

The first lady then went on to ask if they had written to Santa yet.

“He’s so busy right now,” Trump said of Santa Claus. “You should write him this weekend.”

The children spent time reading quotes to her from Dr. Suess’ “Oh, the places you’ll go!”

After spending some time making paper snowflakes, the first lady and the children made their way to the main stage to join the crowd and commence the book reading.

This year, Trump read “Oliver the Ornament Meets Belle,” the sequel to “Oliver the Ornament,” which she read last year.

“Oliver the Ornament” is a seven-book series that celebrates the tradition and stories of Christmas ornaments. The story focuses on a little ornament who faces challenges, but is able to overcome all odds to save the day.

Joining Trump on stage were none other than Mr. and Mrs. Claus, as well as the book’s author, Todd Zimmerman.

Since launching “Oliver the Ornament,” Zimmerman has donated over 3,000 copies of the book to hospitalized children and will be donating a percentage of profits from all books sold to various children’s charities.

Trump also toured the Surgical Care Unit and the Short Stay Unit to visit with patients, their families and the nursing staff.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

4 shooting incidents occurred on military bases in the US in 2019

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iStock(NEW YORK) — For the second time this week, a military base in the United States faced an active shooter incident. The latest on Friday in Pensacola, Florida, has left four people, including the shooter, dead.

The Friday shooting marked the fourth shooting incident to occur on a military base in the U.S. in 2019, according to news reports.

On New Year’s Day, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Riley Kuznia was killed by another on-duty Marine at the Washington, D.C., Marine Barracks.

Lance Cpl. Andrew M. Johnson was charged with murder in the shooting, which was originally classified as a death investigation rather than homicide, meaning it may have been an accident. A redacted copy of the charge sheets, obtained by Task & Purpose, said Johnson jokingly pointed his pistol at Kuznia’s head and pulled the trigger, showing “wanton disregard for human life.” Johnson entered a not guilty plea and his case is still pending.

At the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on April 5, 2019, a 25-year-old male Navy sailor was killed by base security after shooting a female sailor in the parking lot. The woman was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Navy police reported the scene as an active shooting incident and it was later deemed a “domestic” incident, according to Navy Times.

A 22-year-old active duty sailor killed two people and injured another on Dec. 4, 2019 at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard near Honolulu, Hawaii, according to authorities.

The shooter opened fire on shipyard personnel with his M4 service rifle and then used his M9 service pistol to shoot and kill himself, an official said.

An active shooter was reported at theNaval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, on Dec. 6, 2019. Four people, including the suspected shooter, were killed.

In the U.S. between 2000 and 2018, there were 277 active shooter incidents — “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area” — identified by the FBI. In total, 2,430 people were either killed or injured.

Seven of those active shooter incidents were on military property.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Coast Guard saves lucky dog swimming off Florida beach

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US Coast Guard/Facebook(FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.) — A Coast Guard crew saved a very good boy off the coast of Fort Myers Beach on Wednesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach shared a video and photos on Facebook of their K-9 rescue at Bowditch Point.

The night crew rescue team responded to a call at the beginning of their shift about a “dog in distress” and spotted the canine paddling in the water to stay afloat.

“Thanks to the crew’s expertise in intercepting non-compliant vessels (NCV) and recovering a person in the water (PIW), our ‘star’ of the night was safely recovered and returned to her owner,” the Coast Guard said in the Facebook post.

During the video one of the Coast Guard members can be heard telling the wet dog, “You’re the best person I’ve ever rescued.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Police: Two dead including suspect after active shooter incident at Naval Air Station Pensacola

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choicegraphx/iStock(PENSACOLA, Fla.) — Two people are dead including the suspect after an active shooting incident at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida, police said.

Authorities responded to reports of a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday morning, officials said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI also responded to the scene.

Nine patients were admitted to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola but their conditions are unknown at this time, a hospital spokesperson said.

An unknown number of injured were taken to the trauma center at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital.

The base remains on lockdown, Lt. Cmdr. Megan Isaac, a Navy spokesperson, told ABC News.

NAS Pensacola, situated in Escambia County, employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel, according to the facility’s website. The facility includes the Naval Aviation Schools Command, Naval Air Technical Training Center, Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 and 23, the Blue Angels, and the headquarters for Naval Education Training Command, a command which combines direction and control of all Navy education and training.

This is the second shooting incident on a Navy base in the last week.

A 22-year-old active-duty sailor opened fire on three civilian employees, killing two, before he fatally shot himself at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard near Honolulu on Wednesday, military officials said.

The suspected shooter opened fire on shipyard personnel with his M4 service rifle and then used his M9 service pistol to shoot himself, officials said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Migrant child who died in Border Patrol custody seen vomiting with a fever in video

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wingedwolf/iStock(WASHINGTON) — House Democrats are demanding an investigation into the death of a migrant teen from the flu while in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody after ProPublica released new video Thursday raising questions about the circumstances of the boy’s final moments.

“I was absolutely horrified and sickened by the video,” Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., told ABC News Live.

“I think it was negligent homicide,” Bass added.

Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, a 16-year-old from Guatemala, was found traveling alone by U.S. Border Patrol agents in May after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas.

A week later, Vasquez came down with a 103-degree fever and tested positive for the flu, according to an autopsy report obtained by ABC News. The report indicates he was prescribed Tamiflu the day before he died.

The video appears to dispute CBP’s account of how the boy was found in his holding cell. CBP reported to the medical examiner that Vasquez was found during a routine welfare check. But the video, obtained from the Weslaco Police Department by ProPublica, shows his cellmate discovering the 16-year-old’s body and notifying a nearby official.

“The investigation into the death of Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez is ongoing,” a CBP spokesperson said in a statement Thursday. “While we cannot discuss specific information or details of this investigation, we can tell you that the Department of Homeland Security and this agency are looking into all aspects of this case to ensure all procedures were followed.”

In between medical checks Vasquez was seen vomiting while making several trips to the toilet in his cell, according to a review of surveillance video by the medical examiner.

“The inconsistencies between Border Patrol’s official account and this video regarding the death of a migrant child is disturbing,” the House Homeland Security Committee said in a tweet Thursday. “We need answers from Border Patrol on why their account doesn’t match up with this video.”

The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it was investigating the case.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement, “Not only did CBP hold Carlos longer than the legal limit and apparently fail to care for him while he was sick, the agency seems to have been untruthful with Congress and the public about the circumstances around his tragic death. This is inexcusable.”

“The DHS Office of Inspector General should examine all video from Carlos’ time in custody, complete their investigation expeditiously, and release their findings as soon as possible,” he added.

Vasquez was one of thousands of youths held at Border Patrol stations at the height of the record influx of migrant kids and families crossing the southern border in May. At the time, CBP said the average number of minors held in custody on any given day was around 20,000. In response to the increasing number of unauthorized migrants, CBP ramped up medical personnel staffing and redirected agents from ports of entry to apprehend and process those crossing illegally.

The number of unauthorized crossings has declined since its peak in May, according to CBP data. After more than 11,000 in May, there were just 2,848 unaccompanied minors who crossed the southwest border in October.

“The men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are saddened by the tragic loss of this young man and our condolences are with his family,” acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders said in May. “CBP is committed to the health, safety and humane treatment of those in our custody.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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