Paul Ryan rules out 2016 presidential bid


House Speaker Paul Ryan confirmed Tuesday that he will not be the Republican Party’s presidential candidate in 2016.

Recently, there had been widespread speculation regarding his 2016 ambitions to run for presidency but upon returning from the Middle East, he made the announcement during a speech in Capitol Hill.

“I want to put that to rest once and for all,” Ryan said. “Let me be clear. I do not want, not will I accept, the nomination for our party…. Count me out.”

Although Ryan has opted out of campaigning for presidency, he still wants to maintain his position as House Speaker.

During his speech, Ryan made a plea to delegates arguing that they should elect a candidate who actually ran in the primary.

“Let me speak directly to the delegates on this: If no candidate has a majority on the first ballot, I believe you should only choose a person who actually participated in the primary,” he said. “If you want to be the nominee — to be the president — you should actually run for it.”

When asked by CNN if he believes only one of the final three 2016 Republican candidates — business executive Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — should be the nominee, Ryan would only say, “I’ll leave that up to the delegates.”

Nevertheless, the Wisconsin lawmaker promised to remain involved in the upcoming national debates that will help decide who will be elected as our next president.

Kesha says she was offered ‘freedom’


In an Instagram post shared Sunday, singer Kesha says she was proposed a deal to gain her “freedom” only if she issued a public apology and retracted her accusations of sexual assault against Dr. Luke.

The pop singer first sued her former producer back in 2014 for battery and sexual assault and is seeking to cut off all contractual ties with him.

In response, Dr. Luke filed a countersuit and called her allegations “defamatory.” In his own words, he said he “didn’t rape Kesha” and “had never had sex with her.”

In the Instagram post she says, “I got offered my freedom IF i were to lie. I would have to APOLOGIZE publicly and say that I never got raped.”

“THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS behind closed doors. I will not take back the TRUTH. I would rather let the truth ruin my career than lie for a monster ever again.”

In February, a New York judge denied her bid for a preliminary injunction that would allow the singer to record music outside of her contract.

The news of the judge’s denial spread quickly which led the public and even celebrities like Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift to reach out to the singer in support.

As of now, her legal battle continues as she refuses to release music for the label until the contract is broken off.

Pilot found ‘operating under influence’


An American Airlines co-pilot was detained at Detroit Metropolitan Airport early Saturday morning on suspicion of being drunk, an airport spokesman confirmed.

Airport police came to the North Terminal after passersby reported a pilot who appeared to be exhibiting signs of being drunk.

According to airport spokesman Michael Conway, the co-pilot allegedly failed a Breathalyzer test administered by airport police.

Following the incident, American Airlines canceled Flight 736 from Detroit to Philadelphia, leaving many passengers upset.

“We are re-accommodating our customers on other flights,” American Airlines spokeswoman Laura Nedbal said in a statement.

“Safety is our highest priority and we apologize to our customers for the disruption of their travel plans.”

After the co-pilot failed the initial Breathalyzer test, he was taken to a local police department for a more precise sobriety test. Both tests confirmed that he was over the legal limit for operating an aircraft, airport police said.

American Airlines and authorities identified the co-pilot as John Maguire, a resident of Pennsylvania born in 1965.

The co-pilot was later released from custody after his alcohol level dropped to the legal limit, Conway said.

Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney, confirms that Maguire has been charged with operating an aircraft under the influence. The charge is listed as a misdemeanor since he wasn’t operating the plane.

“Although we do not often hear of pilots being allegedly intoxicated, the laws apply to everyone — whether one is on the roads or airways,” prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

As of now, no federal charges have been filed, said Gina Balay, with the office of the U.S. Attorney for Michigan’s Eastern District.

Obama visits Cuba, meets with Castro


President Barack Obama made history on Sunday when he became the first president to visit Cuba in 90 years. The president was joined by his wife Michelle Obama, her mother, and daughters, Sasha and Malia.

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President Obama and his family arrive in Havana on Sunday (Photo courtesy of The White House).

Upon their arrival, they were greeted with a warm welcome by Cuba’s top officials with one important figure visibly missing, President Raul Castro.

The Cuban leader met Obama the following day at the Palace of the Revolution in Old Havana and shook hands and sat down for a meeting where major topics were discussed.

Obama’s visit is part of his effort to let go of the past and build a new, positive relationship with Cuba after decades of hostility between the island and the U.S.

Obama announced that he wants to take on the hard task of coming to an agreement with the Castro administration to improve the human rights system through out the country.

“Change is going to happen here and I think that Raul Castro understands that,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News taped Sunday night.

“Our intention has been to get the ball rolling, knowing that change wasn’t going to happen overnight,” Obama said. “Although we still have significant differences around human rights and individual liberties inside of Cuba, we felt that coming now would maximize our ability to prompt more change.”

Before their sit-down, as they walked through, Obama was overheard telling Castro that he enjoyed his tour of Havana Sunday night along with his family.

He toured the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception and met with Cardinal Jaime Ortega, a major key to improving the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba. Outside of the cathedral, thousands of Cuban residents gathered hoping to catch a quick glimpse of the American president and his family as they stepped out of the church.

With the newly relaxed restrictions on who can travel to Cuba, thousands of more Americans are expected to follow the Obamas’ footsteps and fly to Cuba. This will hopefully not only build a new dynamic between Cubans and Americans but also improve their economy.

The Cuban public was thrilled to have the American president setting foot in their country. The last U.S. president to visit Cuba was Calvin Coolidge in 1928.

Trump denies offering to pay legal fees


Donald Trump backpedalled his promise to pay the legal fees of his supporters who are turning violent at his rallies when the subject was brought up on his interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.

“By paying those fees, wouldn’t you be rewarding and encouraging violence?” asked host George Stephanopoulous.

At one of his recent rallies in February, Trump controversially told his supporters who became violent towards protesters: “Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. OK? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise.”

After the “Good Morning America” host continued to press him on the matter, Trump denied ever saying those words.

“No, no I didn’t say that. I haven’t looked at it yet, and nobody’s asked me to pay for fees, and somebody asked me a question and I haven’t even seen it, so I never said I was going to pay for fees,” the Republican presidential candidate said.

As recently as this past Sunday, Trump was still promising to monetarily take care of his supporters when it came to legal fees regarding violence.

In his interview on “Meet the Press,” which aired Sunday, Trump said that he had his staff “look into” covering the legal fees of one supporter in particular who punched a protester at his rally held in North Carolina last Wednesday.

“I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes,” Trump replied when asked about paying the fees.

Tuesday’s interview had Trump conveniently retracting and even denying his previous statements. When asked if telling his supporters that he would cover their legal fees if they became violent towards his protesters would be encouraging negative behavior he seemed to have a change of heart.

“Well maybe so, and maybe that’s why I wouldn’t do it. I don’t condone violence at all, and you know I looked and I watched and I’m going to make a decision.”

This statement comes after intense criticism of his campaign after several of his rallies became chaotic and violent last week.

Carson sees ‘no path forward’ in race


Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson announced Wednesday that he will not be attending Detroit’s Thursday GOP debate and sees “no political path forward” with his bid for presidency after Super Tuesday’s underwhelming results.

Although he will not be attending the debate being held in his hometown, reports confirm that the retired neurosurgeon will not be stepping down as a candidate. In a statement shared on all his social media sites, Carson told his supporters that he would discuss the future of his campaign Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

“Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America,” Carson said. “I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results. However, this grassroots movement on behalf of “We the People” will continue.”

In recent debates, Carson has been out-shined by fellow candidates Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Carson has said that he has struggled to gain any speaking time during the heated debates. This has caused his numbers to tumble, finishing no higher than fourth in any state during Super Tuesday.

During Thursday’s Houston debate, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio joined forces with a plan to take down Trump attacking the controversial candidate many times throughout the debate, leaving no room for Carson to put a word in.

At one point, Carson interrupted and jumped in.

“Can someone attack me please,” he said in a plea to get some talk time.

This downfall comes as a surprise to most of us since last fall, during the launch of his presidential campaign, Carson rose to the top among the likes of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Although he has denied ending his bid for presidency, it is highly likely that Carson will be stepping down from the race within the next coming days.

Tim Cook fights back in ABC interview


Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday he’s prepared to take the controversial FBI vs. Apple dispute to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Cook said that it would be “bad for America” if Apple were to accept the FBI’s request and court order of unlocking an encrypted iPhone previously owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Officials have said that they only need Apple’s assistance in unlocking certain security features on the iPhone which would help release information regarding the murders. Cook fought back saying that if they complied with the request it would put Apple’s customers in danger of having their information exposed, as iPhones would become more susceptible to hacking.

“Some things are hard and some things are right, and some things are both. This is one of those things,” Cook said. “I think the safety of the public is incredibly important.”

Cook showed sympathy for the families of the victims of the shooting and said that Apple sent out some of their own engineers to provide technical support to further the case in any way they can without creating the “backdoor” software the FBI is requesting.

Cook added, “If we knew a way to do this that would not expose hundreds of millions of other people to issues, we would obviously do it. But this is not about one phone, this is about the future.”

Although a meeting is not confirmed, Cook said that if he had to, he would make his case directly to President Obama in order to avoid going through with the court’s request.

Hundreds of millions of iPhones would be at risk in the process of creating a software to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone and Cook stated that he will go to great lengths to protect the privacy of the company’s customers.

FBI Director James Comey argued that Apple simply has to unlock only one phone but Cook disagreed.

“If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write,” Cook said. “Maybe it’s an operating system for surveillance. Maybe it’s the ability for law enforcement to turn on the camera. I mean I don’t know where this stops.”

Apple has until Friday to respond to the judge’s order.

TV show contestant wins $120K car


It’s Dream Car Week on the popular game show “The Price is Right” and one contestant’s dream just came true.

Contest551771ant, Francesca Penko, became the lucky first participant to become the winner of her dream car on the TV show on Monday. Penko, a wedding photographer, won the grand prize of a 2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT Coupe worth $120,265.

To win the luxury vehicle, Penko participated in a Spelling Bee game in which she was asked to guess the price of three different household items. Lucky for her, she guessed all three correctly and was presented with the difficult choice of finishing the game and walking away with $25,000 or to keep playing for a chance to win her dream car with the risk of losing the previous money won.

Although it was a risky move, Penko chose to continue playing for the chance to win the grand prize. Host Drew Carey, tried to convince her to keep the cash but the audience encouraged her to go on for the big prize. She chose a card and Carey flipped it over revealing that her card had the word C-A-R written boldly on it.

Penko jumped up wildly and screamed in disbelief as her husband shouted in joy from the audience. The show is not known to give out such luxurious vehicles or prizes so this was big moment for everyone involved.

Apple taking damaged phones for trade


Good news for iPhone users with damaged phones.

Apple has just announced their new update on their Reuse and Recycle iPhone trade-in program. Damaged phones are now being accepted at the retail stores in return for credit. Whether the display is cracked, the camera’s broken or the home button isn’t working, they confirmed that all devices are welcomed.

The company’s Reuse and Recycle Program previously offered store credit for older iPhone models but the catch was that the phones had to be in new to good condition with no cracks or defects. Leading users with an impaired phone to make the hard decision of spending a good amount of money on the repair of their phone or wondering if they should just lose the phone and purchase a new one since the repair can be as costly as the total value of the device.

Now, Apple customers with cracked or damaged phones have the opportunity to upgrade to a newer model at a lower cost instead of repairing their old device. The trade-in values were announced as $50 for an iPhone 5s, $150 for an iPhone 6 and $200 for an iPhone 6 Plus.

It was also announced that Apple will begin selling official screen protectors for iPhones in all of their retail stores and will install them in hopes of reducing the amount of iPhones with a cracked display screen.

The change was confirmed by Apple spokesman Nick Leahy. The program is applicable to iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models that are brought to the retail stores. This offer is not applicable online.

NBC’s ‘Friends’ hold rare reunion


Looks like they’ll be there for us one more time.

It’s been 12 years since the show’s record-breaking finale aired in 2004. NBC has announced that the stars of the hit show, “Friends”, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc will all take part in a new two-hour special honoring director James Burrows on Sunday, Feb. 21.

Noticeably absent from the announcement is co-star Matthew Perry, who played the sarcastic character, Chandler Bing on the show. It was announced that the actor would not be able to make the reunion as he is in London in rehearsals for his play.

The cast is reuniting to partake in a special tribute honoring the comedic director, Burrows, who directed 15 episodes through out the 10 seasons of the show. Although this is a special about the director, fans from all over the world, including myself, are eager to see the cast mates back together after all these years.

The two-hour “Must-See TV: A Tribute to James Burrows” will air at 9 p.m. ET Feb. 21 on NBC. The special will also bring together other iconic casts. Among them: “Mike & Molly,” “Taxi,” “Cheers,” “Frasier,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Will & Grace.”