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NRA donations triple in February, soaring after Parkland school shooting

Donations to the National Rifle Association reportedly tripled in February, increasing dramatically after the deadly Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

>> March for Our Lives: Emma Gonzalez stands in silence for Parkland victims, stuns crowd

According to CNN, the NRA Political Victory Fund, a political action committee, received $779,063 in donations last month, compared with $247,985 in January, Federal Election Commission filings show.

>> Fake photo of Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez tearing Constitution stirs controversy

Additionally, the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that monitors political contributions, reported that the NRA's PAC collected $70,870 from individuals who donated $200 or more from Feb. 15 to 28, up from $27,100 from Jan. 31 to Feb. 13.

Read more here and here.

>> Read more trending news 

Gay conversion therapy banned in Washington state

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Wednesday to ban the practice known as conversion therapy in Washington state. 

>> Watch the news report here

Danny Cords stepped into the state Capitol on Wednesday, a survivor of conversion therapy he wants to ban.

“Yes, absolutely,” it was akin to torture, he said. “Snapping a rubber band on my wrist, putting a rock in my shoe so I could always be thinking of Christ and not everything else that was going on in my brain because of biology.”

>> Read more trending news 

Cords was there as the governor signed a new law prohibiting licensed therapists from performing conversion therapy on anyone under the age of 18.

“We know the scars caused by conversion therapy need to end today in the state of Washington,” Inslee said.

>> Palm Beach is first county in Florida to ban conversion therapy

The new law prohibits any regime to change the sexual orientation or gender identity, to change behavior or gender expressions, or to eliminate same-sex attraction. However, the law doesn't cover non-licensed or religious counselors.

When Seattle passed a similar law, critics objected.

“If they could basically attack the parents, they would. So, they are coming in the back door, trying to make it look like the issue is about therapists. It's not,” said Kevin Amos.

>> Texas judge nominee equated transgender children, Satan

Asked why this should not be a decision for parents, the governor responded, “Because we don’t let parents or doctors make decisions to let broken legs be treated in something that ends up losing both your limbs. It's unprofessional, it's damaging, it is not scientifically credible and it violates not only our values, but the mental health of kids with decades of depression ahead of them if they are told to hate themselves.”

Cords tried suicide.

“I tried to end it, I didn't have a point to living, because that's what I had been told since I was 14.”

Those gathered for Wednesday's celebration say more needs to be done.

“It's a shame that we've gone this far in 2018 and haven’t outlawed this therapy nationally,” Cords said.

Mukilteo Sen. Marko Liias led the fight for years to ban conversion therapy. He succeeded this year because Democrats recaptured the majority in the state Senate.

Ex-clown runs for Congress in South Carolina

Steve Lough wasn't clowning around when he launched a bid for Congress in South Carolina.

>> Watch a video of Lough here

According to The Associated Press, the Democrat and former circus clown is vying to represent the state's 5th Congressional District. Republican Rep. Ralph Norman currently holds the seat.

The Dartmouth and Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Clown College alum supports universal health care and believes "assault weapons have no place in civilian hands," according to his campaign websiteClownForCongress.com.

>> Read more trending news 

Lough, originally from Camden, will face off against four other candidates in the Democratic primary June 12.

Read more here.

Planned Parenthood branch deletes tweet calling for Disney princess who has had an abortion

A Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood branch stirred controversy on social media Tuesday after tweeting that Disney should have a "princess who's had an abortion."

>> Read more trending news 

According to USA Today, Planned Parenthood Keystone in Lehigh County posted the following now-deleted tweet to its official account

"We need a disney [sic] princess who's had an abortion," the tweet read. "We need a disney [sic] princess who's pro-choice. We need a disney [sic] princess who's an undocumented immigrant. We need a disney [sic] princess who's actually a union worker. We need a disney [sic] princess who's trans.”

>> See a screenshot of the tweet here

The tweet immediately drew criticism from anti-abortion activists.

Planned Parenthood President and CEO Melissa Reed issued the following statement in response to the backlash, according to USA Today:

“Today, we joined an ongoing Twitter conversation about the kinds of princesses people want to see in an attempt to make a point about the importance of telling stories that challenge stigma and championing stories that too often don’t get told," Reed said. "Upon reflection, we decided that the seriousness of the point we were trying to make was not appropriate for the subject matter or context, and we removed the tweet.”

Read more here.

Alleged half-brother of Rev. Al Sharpton charged with murder in Alabama

An Alabama pastor and community activist believed to be the half-brother of the Rev. Al Sharpton has been charged with capital murder, accused of being the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal shooting Sunday night.

Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, 52, of Dothan, was arrested alongside the accused triggerman, Jamie Emmanuel Townes, 26, according to Dothan police officials

Inside the crashed car was Breunia Jennings, 23, of Dothan. Jennings was dead of a gunshot wound to the head. 

“Several people at the scene were detained and taken to the Dothan Police Department for interviews,” a department news release said

It was following those interviews that Glasgow and Townes were arrested. Each is being held at the Houston County Jail with no bond. 

The Dothan Eagle reported that Glasgow repeatedly questioned the murder charge against him Tuesday during his first court appearance.

“I don’t know why I am facing capital murder charges,” Glasgow said in court. “I’m not responsible for what someone else does. He just asked me for a ride to take him to look for his car.”

Glasgow was charged with capital murder under an Alabama statute that holds a person believed to have aided or abetted a criminal act equally liable for that underlying act. 

The Eagle reported that Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish said during a Monday news conference that the shooting apparently stemmed from the theft of Townes’ car. Townes believed Jennings was the culprit.

“Instead of him notifying law enforcement, he took matters in his own hands and jumped in Mr. Glasgow’s vehicle to find Breunia Jennings,” Parrish said, according to the Eagle. 

When they found Jennings, Townes opened fire, the police chief said.

“Several rounds were fired at the vehicle she was driving, but one struck her in the head that caused critical injuries,” Parrish said. “She passed from her injuries. I want the family of Breunia Jennings to know our thoughts and prayers go out to them during this time.”

Glasgow, who was convicted on drug charges in the 1980s and spent several years in prison, became a well-known community activist in the Wiregrass area of Alabama upon his release, the Eagle reported. He founded The Ordinary People Society, or TOPS, which serves as a community and homeless ministry in Dothan. 

He also helped start Mama Tina’s Mission House along with his mother, Tina Glasgow. Tina Glasgow is listed as executive director and CFO of TOPS. 

Kenneth Glasgow, whose middle name is listed in jail records as Cherden, typically refers to himself as Kenny Sharpton Glasgow and claims that the Rev. Al Sharpton, a longtime civil rights activist and founder of the National Action Network, is his half-brother. The cover photo on his Facebook page is a photo of him and Sharpton together.

One of his friends commented that he and Sharpton look like brothers.

“LOL, we are,” Glasgow responded. 

“No, for real blood brothers,” the woman said.

“Yes. You didn’t know that?” Glasgow replied. 

Glasgow further explained his complicated ancestry in a June 2016 interview with Mobile’s WKRG.

“My name has always been Sharpton,” Glasgow told the news station. “We just used Glasgow when I was locked up for two (reasons). One, we didn’t want to taint the Sharpton name with my demise.

“And two, it was to protect me because we didn’t want someone who was a racist or bigot to kill me knowing I was Sharpton’s brother.” 

Reporters with WKRG did some digging of their own on the matter and found an obituary for Al Sharpton’s mother, Ada, who died in March 2013 in Dothan. The obituary, which can be found online at the New York Amsterdam News, stated that she married a man named John Glasgow in 1938 and they had two children, Thomas Jefferson “Sonny” Glasgow and Ernestine “Tina” Glasgow. 

Ada and John Glasgow moved to New York, while Sonny and Tina remained with their maternal grandparents in Alabama, the obituary said. The couple eventually divorced, and in 1951, she married Alfred Sharpton, with whom she had two children, Charidean “Joy” Sharpton and Al Sharpton Jr.

Ada and Alfred Sharpton Sr. split in 1964, the obituary stated, but it did not give the reason why. 

In a November 2013 interview on OWN, the Rev. Al Sharpton told Oprah Winfrey in a November 2013 interview that his father ran off with Tina Glasgow one night. 

“I wake up one morning, he’s gone,” Sharpton said. “And not only is he gone, my oldest sister from my mother’s first marriage.”

“How old was she?” Winfrey asked.

“She was around 18,” Sharpton replied.

“Yeah,” Winfrey said. 

“Left with him and they had a child. And then they came and took my sister to live with them. And I thought, ‘Why did he leave me?’” Sharpton said. 

Kenneth Glasgow is shown in a photo on the Eagle’s website standing alongside Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson at Ada Sharpton’s 2013 funeral, which was held at a church in Newville, Alabama. All three smile as a man identified as Kenny Glasgow sings at a microphone. 

It is not clear from the information in the photo how the two Glasgows are related.

Kenneth Glasgow admitted to WKRG three years later that Al Sharpton Sr. was his father. He told the news station, however, that he didn’t need the Sharpton name for his own activism.

“I don’t need my brother’s clout,” Glasgow said. “My work speaks for myself.”

WTVY in Dothan reported that Glasgow and members of his organization participated in the nationwide March for Our Lives event, in which people marched against gun violence in dozens of cities across the country, just one day before the shooting for which he has been charged. 

Glasgow took part in the march held Saturday in downtown Dothan. 

The Dothan march organizers on Monday issued a statement clarifying that Glasgow was not one of the planners of the event, but merely a participant. 

“Kenneth Glasgow was never a scheduled speaker at the march, nor did he participate in its planning,” the statement read, according to WTVY. “It frankly came as a surprise to organizers when the person from his organization who temporarily emceed the event at Porter Park (described him) as an ‘organizer,’ as he had never attended an organizational meeting or donated funds.

“The organizers of this event are relative newcomers to the area and unaware of the history surrounding many activists in this area. As such, they were not aware that Glasgow may claim credit that was not due him.”

The group also stated that its members were saddened by another young life lost to gun violence in the community. 

“Breunia Jennings' family and loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers as they seek justice for her,” the statement said. “We stand behind them in advocating for any common-sense legislation that would have kept a gun out of her killer's hands.”

Fake photo of Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez tearing Constitution stirs controversy

A fake viral photo and animated GIF of Florida school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez ripping the Constitution are stirring controversy on social media.

>> March for Our Lives: Emma Gonzalez stands in silence for Parkland victims, stuns crowd

According to Newsweek, the original photo and animation, which accompanied a Teen Vogue article published Friday, showed Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, tearing a target from a shooting range. But the altered versions, which replaced the target with the Constitution, soon made the rounds on Twitter.

>> School district arms students, teachers with rocks in case of school shooting

Far-right website Gab and actor Adam Baldwin, who shared the altered GIF, called the meme political satire. However, several users who replied to their posts appeared to believe the animation was real.

>> Read more trending news 

Phillip Picardi, Teen Vogue's chief content officer, blasted the meme Sunday.

>> See his posts here

Read more here.

Presidents Clinton, Bush and Carter to attend Zell Miller's funeral

Three former U.S. presidents are scheduled to attend Zell Miller’s funeral Tuesday in Atlanta. 

Presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are each also expected to speak at the funeral for Miller, a former Georgia governor, U.S. senator and father of the HOPE scholarship who died Friday at the age of 86.

The Miller Institute Foundation, which was founded in honor of Miller’s legacy, confirmed the former presidents’ plans to participate in the service. 

>> Read more trending news 

The service at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church is set for 11 a.m., and at its conclusion the family will travel to the Georgia Capitol, where Miller’s body will lie in state in the rotunda

The Tuesday service is the second of three public memorials for the famed Georgia politician. On Monday, hundreds crowded into a theater on the campus of Young Harris College, where Miller was a history professor. 

On Wednesday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and several of his predecessors are expected to speak at the executive state funeral for Miller in the Capitol rotunda. 

MORE COVERAGE FROM THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION:

>> Zell Miller to lie in state at Capitol, other services announced 

>> An appreciation: How Zell Miller helped shape an AJC reporter's life 

>> In the end, Zell Miller sought to repair those burned bridges 

>> Former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller, 86, dies

Obama talks ushering in next generation of leaders, creating 'a million young Barack Obamas'

Former President Barack Obama wants to help usher in the next generation of young leaders, he said Sunday at a conference in Japan.

>> Click here to watch

According to the Washington Examiner and the Guardian, Obama discussed the Obama Foundation's efforts to make a "platform for young, up-and-coming leaders" to connect with each other online.

>> March for Our Lives: See what the gun reform rally looked like from outer space

"If I could do that effectively, then – you know – I would create a hundred or a thousand or a million young Barack Obamas or Michelle Obamas – or the next group of people who could take that baton in that relay race that is human progress," Obama said, the Examiner reported.

>> PHOTOS: March for Our Lives

He also spoke about young people's ability to spark change, citing the March for Our Lives rallies in the wake of last month's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

>> March for Our Lives: Emma Gonzalez stands in silence for Parkland victims, stuns crowd

This was all because of the courage and effort of a handful of 15- and 16-year-olds who took the responsibility that so often adults had failed to take in trying to find a solution to this problem, and I think that’s a testimony to what happens when young people are given opportunities," he said, according to the Guardian. "And I think all institutions have to think about how do we tap into that creativity and that energy and that drive because it’s there. It’s just so often we say: 'Wait your turn.'”

>> Read more trending news 

He added: "A lot of our problems are caused by old men. No offense, men who are old."

Read more here or here.

Stormy Daniels on '60 Minutes': 5 revelations from the interview

Adult film star Stormy Daniels spoke to Anderson Cooper about her alleged 2006 affair with Donald Trump in a highly anticipated interview that aired Sunday on "60 Minutes."

>> Watch the full interview here

Here are five things we learned:

>> Stormy Daniels: Complete interview transcript

1. Daniels said she had sex with Trump one time in 2006. She said the encounter with the then-"Apprentice" host occurred in his hotel suite after she met him at a Lake Tahoe celebrity golf tournament.

"He goes, ‘Got an idea, honey bunch. Would you ever consider going on and being a contestant?'" Daniels said. "And I laughed and said, 'NBC's never gonna let, you know, an adult film star be on.' ... 'No, no,' he goes, 'That's why I want you. You're gonna shock a lot of people. You're smart and they won't know what to expect.'"

Later, she said she went to the restroom and found him "on the edge of the bed when I walked out, perched."

"I realized exactly what I'd gotten myself into," Daniels said. "And I was like, 'Ugh, here we go.' And I just felt like maybe – it was sort of – I had it coming for making a bad decision for going to someone's room alone, and I just heard the voice in my head, 'Well, you put yourself in a bad situation and bad things happen, so you deserve this.'"

Daniels said that although she was not attracted to Trump, she consented to the sex. They kept in touch about the possibility of appearing on "Celebrity Apprentice" but did not have sex again, she said.

"I thought of it as a business deal," she said.

>> Stormy Daniels on '60 Minutes': Cast of characters

2. She does not consider herself a "victim." "This is not a #MeToo," she said. "I was not a victim. I've never said I was a victim. I think trying to use me to further someone else's agenda does horrible damage to people who are true victims."

>> Former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal files lawsuit to speak about alleged Trump affair

3. Daniels said a man threatened her in 2011 after she made a deal to sell her story to an In Touch sister publication. "I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter – taking, you know, the seats facing backwards in the backseat, diaper bag, you know, getting all the stuff out – and a guy walked up on me and said to me, 'Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.' And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, 'That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom.' And then he was gone," Daniels said.

She said didn't call the police because she was scared and would "instantly" recognize the man if she ever saw him again.

Brent H. Blakely, an attorney for Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, shot back against Daniels' claim Sunday night in a letter to Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, according to a tweet by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times.

"In truth, Mr. Cohen had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any such person or incident, and does not even believe that any such person exists, or that such incident ever occurred," the letter said.

>> See Haberman's tweet here

>> Porn star Stormy Daniels sues Trump over hush agreement, says it’s void, reports say

4. Daniels said she signed previous statements denying the affair because she "felt intimidated and honestly bullied." 

"And I didn't know what to do, and so I signed it even though I had repeatedly expressed that I wouldn't break the agreement," she said. "But I was not comfortable lying."

When asked whether the previous denials hurt Daniels' credibility, Avenatti responded: "I think there's no question that it calls into question her credibility. I also think that there's no question that when the American people take all of the facts and evidence into consideration, that they are going to conclude that this woman is telling the truth."

>> Read more trending news 

5. Daniels stayed mum on whether she has messages, photos or other evidence of the alleged affair. "I can't answer that right now," she said, adding, "My attorney has recommended that I don't discuss those things."

The comment aired days after her attorney tweeted a photo of a mysterious DVD.

"If 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' how many words is this worth????? #60minutes #pleasedenyit #basta," Avenatti wrote Thursday

>> See his tweet here

In the "60 Minutes" interview, Cooper asked Avenatti whether he was bluffing.

"You should ask some of the other people in my career when they've bet on me bluffing," Avenatti said.

March for Our Lives: Emma Gonzalez stands in silence for Parkland victims, stuns crowd

Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of last month's deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has used her words to advocate for gun reform and gain a national audience. But on Saturday, her silence spoke louder.

>> Watch the moment here

>> School district arms students, teachers with rocks in case of school shooting

"Six minutes and about 20 seconds," Gonzalez said onstage at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. "In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone – absolutely everyone – in the Douglas community was forever altered.

>> March for Our Lives: See what the rally looked like from outer space

"Everyone who was there understands," she continued. "Everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands. For us, long, tearful, chaotic hours in the scorching afternoon sun were spent not knowing. No one understood the extent of what had happened. No one could believe that there were bodies in that building waiting to be identified for over a day. No one knew that the people who were missing had stopped breathing long before any of us had even known that a code red had been called. No one could comprehend the devastating aftermath or how far this would reach or where this would go. For those who still can't comprehend because they refuse to, I'll tell you where it went: right into the ground, 6 feet deep. 

>> MLK’s 9-year-old granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, rallies crowd at March for Our Lives

"Six minutes and 20 seconds with an AR-15, and my friend Carmen would never complain to me about piano practice. Aaron Feis would never call Kira 'Miss Sunshine.' Alex Schachter would never walk into school with his brother, Ryan. Scott Beigel would never joke around with Cameron at camp. Helena Ramsey would never hang out after school with Max. Gina Montalto would never wave to her friend Liam at lunch. Joaquin Oliver would never play basketball with Sam or Dylan. Alaina Petty would never. Cara Loughran would never. Chris Hixon would never. Luke Hoyer would never. Martin Duque Anguiano would never. Peter Wang would never. Alyssa Alhadeff would never. Jamie Guttenberg would never. Meadow Pollack would never."

>> PHOTOS: March for Our Lives

Gonzalez then fell silent as the crowd looked on. That silence lasted more than four minutes as she and the crowd tearfully paid tribute to the victims. 

>> Read more trending news 

"Since the time that I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds," she said after an alarm rang from the podium. "The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it's someone else's job."

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