Trump Signs NASA Bill, Ponders Sending Congress To Space 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed legislation Tuesday adding human exploration of Mars to NASA’s mission. Could sending Congress into space be next?

Flanked at an Oval Office bill-signing ceremony by astronauts and lawmakers, Trump observed that being an astronaut is a “pretty tough job.” He said he wasn’t sure he’d want it and, among lawmakers he put the question to, Sen. Ted Cruz said he wouldn’t want to be a space traveler, either.

But Cruz, R-Texas, offered up a tantalizing suggestion. “You could send Congress to space,” he said to laughter, including from the president.

Trump, who faces a crucial House vote later this week on legislation long promised by Republicans to overhaul the Obama-era Affordable Care Act health law, readily agreed. The health care bill is facing resistance from some conservative members of the party.

“What a great idea that could be,” Trump said, before turning back to the space exploration measure sponsored by Cruz and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

The new law authorizes $19.5 billion in spending for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the budget year that began Oct. 1. Cruz said the authorization bill is the first for the space agency in seven years, and he called it a “terrific” achievement.

Trump last week sent Congress a budget proposal that seeks $19.1 billion in spending authorization for the agency next year.

“For almost six decades, NASA’s work has inspired millions and millions of Americans to imagine distant worlds and a better future right here on earth,” Trump said. “I’m delighted to sign this bill. It’s been a long time since a bill like this has been signed, reaffirming our commitment to the core mission of NASA: human space exploration, space science and technology.”

The measure amends current law to add human exploration of the red planet as a goal for the agency. It supports use of the International Space Station through at least 2024, along with private sector companies partnering with NASA to deliver cargo and experiments, among other steps.

After signing the bill, Trump invited several lawmakers to comment, starting with Cruz. When Trump invited Vice President Mike Pence to speak, he suggested that Nelson be allowed to say a few words. Nelson traveled into space when he was in the House.

“He’s a Democrat. I wasn’t going to let him speak,” Trump quipped, to laughter. Nelson ultimately got a chance to briefly praise his bill.

Pence also announced that Trump plans to re-launch the National Space Council, with Pence as chairman, to coordinate U.S. space policy. The council was authorized by law in 1988, near the end of the Reagan administration, but ceased to operate soon after Bill Clinton took office in January 1993.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Teen In Critical Condition After Fern Rock Shooting; Suspect Arrested

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)—City police are investigating a shooting that left a 19-year-old injured in the Fern Rock section of city.

It happened just before 5 p.m. in the 1300 block of Olney Ave.

Police say a 19-year-old was shot two times, once in the right side of his stomach and once in the right side of his back.

He was transported to Einstein Hospital where he remains in critical condition.

Police say they have arrested the trigger puller and recovered a weapon

Pepsi Pulls 12-Packs, 2-Liters From Shelves Over Beverage Tax

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pepsi is pulling 2-liter bottles and 12-packs of its products from Philadelphia grocery store shelves over the city’s new tax on sweetened drinks.

The company says it wants to offer products and package sizes working families can better afford.

‘Piggy Bank’ Turtle Dies After Swallowing Over 900 Coins 

The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened and diet beverages is imposed at the distributor level. If fully passed on to the consumer it amounts to $1.44 on a six-pack of 16-ounce bottles.

The company’s decision affects sodas including Pepsi and Mountain Dew and other sweetened drinks like Gatorade and Lipton Iced Tea.

Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney’s office says the industry was trending toward smaller sizes well before the tax passed.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Pilots 14-Foot-Tall Robot 

Earlier this month, Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo Inc. cited the tax when announcing layoffs of 80 to 100 workers at distribution plants serving Philadelphia.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

Kansas Teen’s Cheesy Dorito-Themed ‘Promposal’ Goes Viral

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Spring time means it is also time for prom.

High school students everywhere are thinking about their plans for the big night.

A young girl recently received an extra special invitation and the “Promposal” went viral.

Kansas freshman Carlie Wittman, who has down syndrome, was asked to prom by her brother’s best friend, Shaedon.

His creative proposal and her joyful response received nearly a half-a-million likes

“She’s brought nothing but joy to my life,” said Shaedon. “Anyone who’s ever around her, [she] just she makes them laugh, she always has a smile on her face, she’s amazing.”

For the big ask, Shaedon went straight for Carlie’s favorite snack — she loves Doritos.

So he came up a cheesy line and had t-shirts made.

A rose, a bag of Doritos and some hugs later, Carlie is now a very excited freshmen, going to the senior prom.

Apple Unveils Red iPhone 7, Cheaper iPad

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Apple has unveiled a couple new devices — or, should we say, new-ish.

The only thing different about the latest iPhone 7 is its color:

Engadget.com senior editor Nathan Ingraham says, “It’s the first time they’ve ever put out a phone in red.”

Ingraham says the bigger-screen 7 Plus also is part of the Product (RED) campaign, which puts a portion of profits toward fighting AIDS.

The new 9.7″ iPad…

“…is meant to replace the older iPad Air 2, which surprisingly is a good two-and-a-half years old, so it was definitely due for an upgrade,” said Ingraham.

ALSO READ: Philadelphia Zoo Looks For Teen Volunteers For Upcoming Summer Program

To get to the cheaper $329 starting price, Ingraham says Apple skipped laminating the screen to the glass — so there’s a visible gap. And there’s no anti-reflective coating.

“For most people this will be a perfectly capable product and more than enough for your needs,” he said. “It’s just not as pleasurable to look at for a long period of time, to be honest.”

A forthcoming free app called Clips combines video, photos, and music with filters and emoji — Apple’s take on Snapchat and Instagram videos.

“This is a much faster and simpler way to create movies out of a bunch of different clips,” he said.

How The Federal Reserve Raise In Key Interest Rate Can Affect You

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Federal Reserve recently raised its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point and more hikes may come this year.

One rate hike won’t change the world, but if you have a credit card, savings account, invest in stocks or bonds or want to buy a house or a car, you should probably pay attention.

Unfortunately, your credit cards will get more expensive. Credit card companies typically mirror the Fed. So, chances are the interest rate you pay could rise soon.

If you can, pay off your balances fast, or transfer your balance to a zero-interest card to give you a little more time.

Car loan companies tend to do the same thing as credit card companies. Shopping for a car, expect to see similar increases in interest rates.

Likewise, if you’re shopping for a new mortgage — even though the Fed doesn’t directly set mortgage rates.

And if you’re thinking this recent rate hike will give your savings a boost — not so fast.

In order for that to happen the Fed needs to raise rates higher, which they might do a couple of times later this year.

Billie Jean King Defends US Women’s Stance For Equality In Hockey

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The United States women’s hockey team is arguing that they deserve fair wages and equitable support on the level of their men counterparts.

Negotiations broke off Monday night ahead of the March 31 championships. Both sides say the discussions have been productive and they hope to have the team ready play in time for the tournament.

ALSO READ: Joe Piscopo Contemplates A Serious Run For Governor Of New Jersey

Today tennis legend and a champion of gender equality, Billie Jean King stopped by our CBS 3 studios and talked about the importance of this fight.

“It’s very important. It’s about equality. It’s about being on the right side of history. It’s so important that girls have the same opportunities the boys have.” King said. “You gotta invest in women as well as men because if you don’t you’re really hurting the country and you’re hurting opportunities.”

She added, “It’s the right thing to do. It’s like if you have a daughter and a son, would you give your daughter less allowance than your son? I hope not that’s really what the world keeps telling girls.”

King says the battle for gender equality is won one battle at a time.

“Every generation has to fight for freedom and equality, every single generation to win it again over and over and over again. That it is truly truly important,” she said.

Baby Girl Born With 4 Legs Gets New Lease On Life

CHICAGO (CBS) — A baby girl who was born with four legs and two spines has a new lease on life after receiving a life-saving surgery.

Baby Dominique is from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. She was born with two spines and four legs — the result of what’s called a parasitic twin.

“She had a conjoined twin – this is when the identical twins fail to separate,” explained Dr. John Roogh.

Doctors could see Dominique had two additional legs protruding from her neck, a condition that would have eventually become fatal.

“It was as if the twin from the waist down had been attached to the back of Dominique’s neck, there was a pelvis, bladder, functional legs that moved, and feet,” said Roogh.

Nancy Swabb heard about Dominique’s plight on Facebook and welcomed the baby into her home so she could have the surgery

“It was a bond straight away. She was so sweet, she was so ready to accept love, be affectionate, show affection,” said Foster mom Swabb.

A medical team at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Illinois performed the dangerous and complicated separation surgery on March 8.

“The highest risk was paralysis,” said Roogh.

During the six-hour operation, five surgeons removed parts of the parasitic twin and did reconstruction for Dominique.

Doctors say the surgery was a success and expect she’ll be able to live a normal, fully functional life.

The foster family says it was an honor to help take care of Dominique.

“There’s so much strife in the world. How can you help a neighbor, even if the neighbor is on a different continent? Whatever you can do, we just wanted to open our house, our hearts,” said Swabb.

Dominique will head home to West Africa in the next few weeks to be reunited with her family there.

The trip and surgery were arranged by a non-profit that helps children from foreign countries get medical treatment in the United States.

LeBron James Praises Good Samaritan Who Diffused Teen Fight In Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS)–The fisticuffs between two teenagers in South Jersey ends in friendship, thanks to an unsung hero.

“I stepped out of my door and I saw a group of kids fighting,” said Debra Willis, who adds that it was an unwelcome but not unexpected sight Monday afternoon.

Two kids squaring up to fight as others circled around video recording with their phones. Willis told her sister to call 9-1-1.

“She went to call the communications which they said they hung up on her, she went to dial back, I told to her to hold up, somebody’s over there breaking it up. And I looked over and it was Ali,” said Willis

Video recorded on the phone of one of the boys in the fight shows Ibn Ali,a man who also lives in Atlantic City’s Westside, appearing to intervene.

He tells the boys in the fight the kids around them are laughing at their expense.

Jamar Mobley was in the fight, the video was shot on his phone.

http://bit.ly/2naVLo9

“He was minding his business and just came out the car,” said Mobley, who was involved in the fight. “He said I will not leave until you guys shake hands.”

Mobley says the incident was not staged.

Mobley posted the video of the fight with Ali’s intervention online and within a day there were more than 18 million views, including a retweet from NBA All Star Lebron James.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Mobley says he’s grateful for Ali.

“Mr. Ibn Ali, I want to thank him a lot cause if it wasn’t for him it could have gone a whole other way,” he says.

“I just wish there were more people, we need some more Alis out here,” said Willis.

CBS 3 did reach out to speak with Ibn Ali but he was unavailable.