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Updated: 2 min 18 sec ago

PHOTOS: Denver PBR Chute-Out at the National Western Stock Show

16 min 44 sec ago

Bull riders take to the NWSS arena in the Denver PBR Chute Out competition at the National Western Stock Show.

Colorado’s Diana DeGette plans to investigate Trump’s family separation policy as House committee chair

27 min 41 sec ago

Count Denver’s U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette among the congressional Democrats who are ready to investigate President Donald Trump’s administration.

DeGette on Tuesday was appointed chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight panel, which has subpoena power. According to a release from her office, her first order of business is to investigate the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border.

DeGette’s appointment to lead the oversight body was expected. Earlier this year she made a failed bid for a leadership role.

Among the departments DeGette will have oversight over: the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

DeGette, in a statement, said facts and science will be at the center of decision-making on policy issues such as climate change.

“I can think of no other time in our nation’s history that keeping a close watch on these agencies was so important,” DeGette said.

Colorado’s first child flu death of the season reported

55 min 54 sec ago

DENVER — The State of Colorado has reported its first childhood death from influenza in the 2018-2019 season.

According to a report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the child died during the week that ended Jan. 12 and tested positive for the H1N1 strain of the flu, which is the predominant strain this season.

A spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the child died in the Denver metro area. Further details weren’t immediately available.

Children up to age four have seen the highest rate of flu-related hospitalizations this season with about 50 hospitalizations per 100,000 people. Senior citizens aged 65 and older have the second-highest rate of hospitalizations at 42.6 per 100,000 people.

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Man shot by Frisco officer in Whole Foods parking lot identified

1 hour 8 min ago

A man shot by police in a Frisco Whole Foods parking lot Monday night was identified as Derek Baker of Loveland, 5th Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown told the Summit Daily.

The incident, at about 7:30 Monday night, followed a 911 call about a man acting “erratically” in the store. Police shot Baker, 33, in the arm and he was transported to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and released back to police, the Summit Daily first reported.

The events that led to the shooting are still under investigation and have not been released, but Baker has been charged with a felony count of attempted vehicular assault.

He also faces misdemeanor charges of menacing, eluding and disorderly conduct. The charges may change, Brown told the Summit Daily, and the District Attorney’s Office may ask for an extension on the seven-day time limit required to file charges.

The officer who discharged a firearm has been placed on leave while the Colorado Bureau of Investigation investigates.

UK’s May faces no-confidence vote after Brexit plan crushed

1 hour 12 min ago


LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal with the European Union on Tuesday, plunging the Brexit process into chaos and triggering a no-confidence vote that could topple her government.

The defeat was widely expected, but the scale of the House of Commons’ vote — 432 votes against the government and 202 in support — was devastating for May’s fragile leadership.

It followed more than two years of political upheaval in which May has staked her political reputation on getting a Brexit deal and was the biggest defeat for a government in the House of Commons in modern history.

Moments after the result was announced — with Speaker John Bercow bellowing “the noes have it” to a packed Commons chamber — May said it was only right to test whether the government still had lawmakers’ support to carry on. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn quickly obliged, saying May’s government had lost the confidence of Parliament.

Lawmakers will vote Wednesday on his motion of no-confidence. If the government loses, it will have 14 days to overturn the result or face a national election.

Although May lacks an overall majority in Parliament, she looks likely to survive the vote unless lawmakers from her Conservative party rebel. Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which props up May’s government, said it would support her.

“The House has spoken and the government will listen,” May said after the vote, which leaves her Brexit plan on life support just 10 weeks before the country is due to leave the EU on March 29.

May promised to consult lawmakers on future moves, but gave little indication of what she plans to do next. Parliament has given the government until Monday to come up with a new proposal.

She faces a stark choice: Steer the country toward an abrupt “no-deal” break with the EU or try to nudge it toward a softer departure. Meanwhile, lawmakers from both government and opposition parties are trying to wrest control of the Brexit process from a paralyzed government, so that lawmakers by majority vote can specify a new plan for Britain’s EU exit.

But with no clear majority in Parliament for any single alternate course, there is a growing chance that Britain may seek to postpone its departure date while politicians work on a new plan — or even hand the decision back to voters in a new referendum on EU membership.

“If you can’t resolve the impasse here in Westminster, than you have to refer it back to the people,” said Labour Party lawmaker Chuka Umunna, who supports a second referendum.

May, who had postponed a vote on the deal in December to avoid certain defeat, had implored lawmakers to back her deal and deliver on voters’ decision in 2016 to leave the EU.

But the deal was doomed by deep opposition from both sides of the divide over U.K.’s place in the bloc. Pro-Brexit lawmakers say the deal will leave Britain bound indefinitely to EU rules, while pro-EU politicians favor an even closer economic relationship with Europe.

The most contentious section of the deal was an insurance policy known as the “backstop” designed to prevent the reintroduction of border controls between the U.K.’s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland Assurances from EU leaders that the backstop is intended as a temporary measure of last resort completely failed to win over many British skeptics,

Two and a half years after the referendum, Britain remains divided over how, and whether, to leave the EU.

As lawmakers debated in the chamber, there was a cacophony of chants, drums and music from rival bands of pro-EU and pro-Brexit protesters outside. One group waved blue-and-yellow EU flags, the other brandished “Leave Means Leave” placards.

Inside, the government and opposition parties ordered lawmakers to cancel all other plans to be on hand for the crucial vote. Labour legislator Tulip Siddiq delayed the scheduled cesarean birth of her son so she could attend, arriving in a wheelchair

Some Conservatives want May to seek further talks with EU leaders on changes before bringing a tweaked version of the bill back to Parliament, even though EU officials insist the 585-page withdrawal agreement cannot be renegotiated.

Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, said May was unlikely to get changes to her deal from that could “placate her Brexiteers.”

“Or, she reaches out to Labour and goes for a softer Brexit than most Brexiteers would contemplate” — but which the EU might accept, Bale said.

Frustrated EU leaders called on May to make her intentions clear on the future of Brexit.

“Now, it is time for the U.K. to tell us the next steps,” said Michel Barnier, the bloc’s chief negotiator.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker — who returned to Brussels late Tuesday to deal with fallout from the vote — said the rejection of May’s deal had increased “the risk of a disorderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom.”

“Time is almost up,” he said.

Economists warn that an abrupt break from the EU could batter the British economy and bring chaotic scenes at borders, ports and airports. Business groups expressed alarm at the prospect of a “no-deal” exit.

“Every business will feel no-deal is hurtling closer,” said Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry. “A new plan is needed immediately.”

European Council President Donald Tusk highlighted the quagmire the U.K. had sunk into, and hinted that the best solution might be for Britain not to leave.

“If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?” he tweeted.


Casert reported from Strasbourg, France. Associated Press writers Danica Kirka in London and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed.


Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit at:

Chiefs activate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif ahead of AFC title game

2 hours 6 min ago

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Andy Reid typically begins his postgame news conferences with a rundown of injuries, ranging from the run-of-the-mill bumps and bruises to the more serious stuff that keeps players out awhile.

After Kansas City routed the Indianapolis Colts last weekend to reach its first AFC title game in 25 years, Reid stepped to the podium and said, well, not much of anything.

“We really didn’t get anyone injured,” he admitted. “Everyone, knock on wood, came out OK.”

In truth, the only teams healthier than the Chiefs at this juncture of the season have been done playing for weeks. Even guys that have been out of the lineup for a while, such as wide receiver Sammy Watkins, are back to full speed ahead of Sunday’s game against New England.

The Chiefs are so well off right now that they just activated another starter, offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, off injured reserve on Tuesday. He’d been out since Week 5 with a broken leg and has been practicing since Dec. 26, and now could be available against the Patriots.

Whether he starts remains to be seen; Andrew Wylie has played quite well in his place.

Regardless, the simple fact that the Chiefs’ best run blocker will be back on the sideline provides additional depth up front, and gives their high-powered offense even more confidence.

The Chiefs waived veteran safety Ron Parker in a corresponding roster move.

Watkins missed about six weeks with a foot injury, and the Chiefs’ offense seemed to be a beat off without their No. 2 wide receiver.

But he finally returned against the Colts and caught six passes for 62 yards while drawing some of the attention off Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, who both had monster games against what had been a stingy Indianapolis defense down the stretch.

“I’m just thankful for the organization, the trainers, my coaches, for the six weeks getting me prepared to play this game and all week just getting me mentally prepared,” said Watkins, who signed a $36 million, three-year contract in the offseason to provide just what he did Saturday.

“Just being on the field was great,” he said, “giving those guys energy.”

Reid said that Watkins appeared to come out of the game in good shape, and that he wasn’t worried about the speedster aggravating his foot injury before their showdown with the Patriots.

“I think he’s doing OK. He felt good after the game. He felt pretty good yesterday,” Reid said. “He is sore just from playing, but the foot feels good.”

If only the same could be said of Eric Berry’s foot.

The one injury issue that has lingered for the Chiefs all season, and right into the playoffs, has been the painful heel of their star safety. Berry tore his Achilles’ tendon and missed nearly all of last season, and the heel began to cause him problems again in training camp. He tried to play late in the season, but was shut down again ahead of Week 17 and did not play against the Colts.

The Chiefs’ emotional leader, not to mention a three-time All-Pro, Berry remains one of the biggest wildcards for Kansas City as it prepares to host the AFC title game for the first time.

“We have had great communication through the process and most important that when he can play, he can protect himself and play at the level he wants to play at,” Reid said.

“He didn’t feel like he was at that level (Saturday), which he has been great with communicating. If he can go, he can go. If he can’t, he can’t. I’m proud of the guys that stepped in and played and played at such a high level.”

The Chiefs signed Parker in part to fill Berry’s spot, and he had started most of the season with mixed results. He was finally benched with two games left in favor of Jordan Lucas, who has flourished in his newfound starting role to the point that Parker became expendable.

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Whether his release is another sign that Berry could play Sunday is an intriguing question.

Reid remained noncommittal on Monday and the Chiefs were off Tuesday, so the first chance for Berry to test out his bum heel will come during Wednesday afternoon’s practice.

The first injury report of the week will also come out Wednesday.

Berry’s name notwithstanding, it ought to be a pretty clean one for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Steph Curry, Warriors offer glowing praise of rising Nuggets squad

2 hours 14 min ago

Given their current trajectories, it’s possible – and maybe even likely – that the Warriors and Nuggets collide this postseason.

The Warriors, winners of three of the last four NBA titles, have a lengthy and decorated playoff resume, while this iteration of the Nuggets (29-13) has yet to attain postseason success. But even though Denver’s vast promise remains in its infancy, Golden State has a healthy respect for what the Nuggets are building.

“I like watching their team play,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I think their whole management group deserves a lot of credit. They’ve made some really good moves here.”

Ask fiery forward Draymond Green, and he’ll explain that much of the Nuggets’ first-place success comes down to Michael Malone, a former Warriors assistant when Green first broke into the league in 2012.

“The confidence that he’s instilled in these guys,” Green said, “(Nikola) Jokic is a great player, but he wasn’t that confident before he played for Mike. Jamal (Murray is) a great player, Gary (Harris).”

Add Green to the growing list of stars — with LeBron James and Chris Paul, to name a few — who vouch for Malone as a person and a coach.

“He just wants to win the game,” Green said. “And when it don’t quite go that way, we’ve seen some interviews where he kind of (expletive) loses it. But that’s just who he is. You see that in this team. They’ve picked up that same aggression, that same just will to win. That’s the most important thing for him. It’s just to win the game, it’s no hidden agenda with him. And as a player you feel that.”

It might be Malone who sets the tone off the court, but it’s Jokic who commands the most respect and attention on it. He has become a matchup nightmare for frontcourts across the NBA, averaging 27.3 points, 12.1 rebounds and 7.9 assists in January, and would pose a substantial problem for the Warriors if these two teams meet beyond the regular season. Jokic had 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the Nuggets’ 100-98 win over the Warriors the last time they met, and he had their full attention heading into Tuesday’s matchup with first-place on the line.

Steph Curry offered a glowing review of Jokic’s blossoming game and said he should “probably” be an All-Star with his first-half numbers.

“A lot of times it shows up in the stat sheet, but he just puts a lot of pressure on you,” Curry said. “Finding mismatches, being able to pick you apart, finding the open guys, creativity with his passing and he can obviously shoot outside the 3-point line. He has a little bit of everything.”

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So do the Nuggets, a team many observers saw as a rising playoff threat, albeit one that few pegged for first-place in the West. The fact that they’ve weathered significant injuries to starters while still holding court atop the loaded Western Conference is a testament to their resiliency. And now that Will Barton has returned, Harris (hamstring) remains the only starter still out that’s inhibiting creating the type of on-court chemistry that might actually challenge the Warriors, this year or later.

“I expected them to be good after last year,” Kerr said. “I don’t know that I would’ve predicted they’d be in first half way through the year but they’ve taken a leap from a year ago when they were already a very good team.”

Attorney general nominee Bill Barr says he would “not go after” marijuana companies in states where cannabis is legal

2 hours 39 min ago

WASHINGTON — Attorney general nominee Bill Barr says he would “not go after” marijuana companies in states where cannabis is legal.

Barr said at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday that companies had relied on Obama-era guidance that kept federal authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal.

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Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded that guidance, known as the Cole Memo, last year.

Sessions’ action came days after California’s broad marijuana legalization. Since the guidance was rescinded, there has been concern about the future of the growing cannabis industry.

Federal law prohibits the possession and sale of marijuana.

Barr says he believes that the “current system is untenable.”

DeMarcus Cousins is just what the Warriors need to get back to dominating the NBA

3 hours 8 min ago

The wait to see the most super “super team” ever is almost over. DeMarcus Cousins, who signed a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors last summer, is scheduled to make his team debut Friday in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

Cousins, a 6-foot-11 center who averaged 33.3 points, 7.1 assists and 17.0 rebounds per 100 possessions with the New Orleans Pelicans last season before his injury, gives Golden State a significant upgrade over Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell, two 6-foot-9 forwards who have been filling in at center since 7-foot Damian Jones was lost for the season with a pectoral injury the first week of December. Cousins not only makes the Warriors better for 2018-19, he gives them their best scoring threat at center since Joe Barry Carroll (1982-83 to 1986-87) and Nate Thurmond (1970-71 to 1972-72).

“He’ll start,” coach Steve Kerr said after Thursday’s practice. “I’ll start him. After that, everything’s on the table. We have to figure out what the rotations will look like, how many minutes he can play. We’ll have to play around with the minutes, the combinations, the sets.

“We haven’t had a player like him here before. So it will be new; it won’t be as simple [as] plug him in and he’ll fit right in. We’re going to play through him some so there will be a period where we all have to adapt. Fortunately we’re halfway through the year, we have a lot of games to figure this out.”

Golden State will field a starting lineup flush with star-studded talent. Stephen Curry is a five-time all star and three-time scoring champ, earning back-to-back MVP awards in 2015 and 2016. Kevin Durant, the 2014 MVP, is a four-time scoring champ and an eight-time All-NBA team member. Draymond Green was the 2017 defensive player of the year and has been named to four all-defense teams. Klay Thompson is a four-time all star and two-time all-NBA team member. When Cousins joins them on the court, Golden State will be the first squad since the 1975-76 Boston Celtics to boast five players who were all-stars the season before. And among the starting five, only Green has averaged fewer than 31 points per 100 possessions over the past five years.

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Having so much talent on the court at one time likely means fewer shooting opportunities for Cousins this season, but that doesn’t mean his impact won’t be felt: Kerr’s offense, a blend of the triangle offense he ran under Phil Jackson with the Chicago Bulls and the motion offense he ran under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs, requires passing from all five players, especially the big men, who in turn look for the guards coming off screens until a quality shooting opportunity opens up. Just four percent of Golden State’s offensive possessions end with the ball in the hands of the roll man, the second-lowest in the NBA this season, while a league-high 13.1 percent of possessions end with a player coming off a screen. To put that in perspective, the Orlando Magic have the second highest rate of screen possessions with 7.5 percent.

The threat of so many proficient perimeter shooters coming off screens will create space for Cousins around the rim. And Cousins is a decent 3-point shooter in his own right with a career mark of 34 percent. But where Cousins will have the most impact for Golden State is in the low post. His 48 percent shooting from the post in 2017-18 was the fifth-best mark among players with at least 200 post possessions and he generated 1.1 points per pass from the post as well, which could increase given Golden State’s perimeter threats.

The space the Warriors’ other stars figure to create for Cousins should allow him to operate in single coverage far more often, too. During his 2017-18 campaign, Cousins was forced to take 55 percent of his catch-and-shoot attempts with a defender close by. Looney, Bell and Jones saw 22 of their 26 combined catch-and-shoot attempts unguarded this season. And with Cousins’s three-point range, Curry and Durant will also have freedom to create via isolation and get better three-point opportunities — quite the luxury for the best offense this season. Curry, who is having a “down” year, is notoriously tough to play man-on-man: He leads all NBA players (minimum 30 possessions) in isolation efficiency in single coverage (1.3 points per possessions) and scores 1.4 points per attempt with a 71 percent effective field goal rate on unguarded catch-and-shoot attempts.

The net result for the Warriors could be as much as two to four points more per 100 possessions, which would help bridge the gap between them (plus-5.6 net rating, third best in 2018-19) and the Milwaukee Bucks (plus-9.1, first) and Boston Celtics (5.8, second). In 2017-18, Cousins was worth 5.5 BPM, a box score estimate of the points per 100 possessions a player contributed above a league-average player, translated to an average team, which is notably greater than the production provided by Looney (3.5 BPM), Jones (3.1) and Bell (1.2) this season. And if Cousins provided similar production to the Warriors as he did the Pelicans last season he would be worth almost twice as much as all three combined in terms of wins above replacement.

John Wetteland, former major leaguer, charged with child sex abuse

3 hours 34 min ago
Denton County Jail via APThis booking photo provided by the Denton County Jail shows John Wetteland. The former major league pitcher was arrested, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Texas and charged with continuous sex abuse of a child under age 14. Denton County jail records show Wetteland was arrested and freed on $25,000 bond. No attorney was immediately listed to speak for the 52-year-old Wetteland, who lives in Trophy Club, 25 miles northwest of Dallas.

DENTON, Texas — Former major league pitcher John Wetteland has been charged in Texas with continuous sex abuse of a child under age 14.

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Denton County jail records show the 52-year-old Wetteland was arrested Monday and freed on $25,000 bond.

Authorities have not released details of the investigation into the Texas Rangers Hall of Famer.

The Associated Press was not able to contact Wetteland or his attorney to ask for comment. The Denton County district attorney’s office hasn’t returned a phone message requesting details.

Wetteland was MVP of the 1996 World Series with the New York Yankees. The All-Star closer was 48-45 with 330 saves and a 2.93 ERA from 1989-2000, also playing for Montreal and the Dodgers.

Two men sentenced to prison in “brutal” Jeffco bar assault of man holding 4-year-old daughter

4 hours 25 min ago

Two men who brutally assaulted a man who was with his young daughter at a Jefferson County bar last year have been sentenced to prison.

Joel Wilson, left, and Devon Premer

Joel Michael Wilson, 32, and Devon Lee Premer, 24, were sentenced to six and five years in prison, respectively, on Friday.

Wilson pleaded guilty Nov. 30 to second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Premer pleaded guilty the same day to second-degree assault and child abuse, according to a news release from Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

The assault began following an argument between the victim and his two assailants at the Crossroads Pizza & Wings Bar in Pine Junction on Jan. 25, 2018. Richard Brown, the victim of the assault, was holding his 4-year-old daughter on his hip when the two men attacked him, according to the release.

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Wilson and Premer “brutally beat” Brown with blows to the head, face and ribs. One man would hold Brown down while the other punched him. Brown’s daughter was not physically injured.

“It is impossible to call this assault a ‘bar fight’ because Mr. Brown never fought back,” District Attorney Pete Weir said in the news release. “This was a brutal, one-sided attack by two men that could have stopped at any time.”

Gillette commercial takes on “toxic masculinity” in #MeToo-era rebrand

5 hours 59 sec ago

For three decades, Gillette promised its customers “The Best a Man Can Get.”

An individual. Acquisitive. Assertive. And always clean-shaven.

This was the vision of masculinity depicted in an ad campaign that debuted in January 1989 during Super Bowl XXIII. The early days of the George H.W. Bush administration and the end stage of the Cold War, it was the year of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Promoting Gillette’s top-of-the-line Atra razor, the 60-second spot portrayed variations on a single theme: a white man scoring, whether at the office, on an athletic field or with a woman. The one specific location it invoked was Wall Street, the arena of the ultimate alpha male.

Now, Procter & Gamble, the maker of Gillette, is out with a new ad, “We Believe,” that challenges the image of masculinity it once promoted. The consumer goods company, whose net sales totaled $66.8 billion last year, has ignited a debate about gender and cultural branding, as well as about the power exercised by multinational corporations in shaping evolving ideas about family and relationships in the #MeToo era.

“Bullying. The #MeToo movement. Toxic masculinity.” The headlines resound as men — black and white, young and old — peer at themselves in the mirror. “Is this the best a man can get?” asks the narrator of the ad, released Sunday on YouTube and shared Monday on Twitter. The scenes that unfold suggest that the answer is no, and point to a new mantra: “The Best Men Can Be.”

The new Gillette men are a community, concerned more about who they are than about what they can acquire.

But some men want out of that community. Piers Morgan, the TV presenter, blasted the ad, writing, “This absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity.”

The nearly two-minute spot, created by the New York-based advertising agency Grey and directed by Kim Gehrig of Britain-based production agency Somesuch, represents the latest corporate foray into the culture wars. Last year, Nike stock soared after it unveiled a September advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the NFL star whose protest of police violence drew the ire of conservatives who decried his decision to kneel during the national anthem.

Just as the decision by the footwear and apparel company led Kaepernick’s critics to burn their Nike gear, the approach by Procter & Gamble incensed many viewers, but none more so than men’s rights activists who vowed to “#BoycottGillette.” Christina Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who coined the term “victim feminism,” blamed a familiar boogeyman: the campus left.

The ad was called “hideously woke.” Some found it “smarmy” and “condescending.” By early Tuesday, the video had about 223,000 downvotes on YouTube, compared with about 25,000 favorable reactions. On Twitter, the video had drawn about 70,000 likes and 19,000 comments by early Tuesday.

Meanwhile, even some who praised the company’s intentions warned that the ad unwittingly reinforced the idea that bad behavior is normal because all men take part in it.

The fierce reactions may bode well for the success of the message, said Robert Kozinets, a scholar of marketing and consumer culture at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

“Advertisers, when they’re lucky and smart, are able to tap into something that’s part of the popular consciousness,” Kozinets said in an interview with The Washington Post. Procter & Gamble is hitching its wagon to the #MeToo movement, he said, and rebranding to fit a “moral narrative with a lot of energy behind it.”

The video was accompanied by a pledge to donate $1 million per year for the next three years to a nonprofit working in the United States to help men “achieve their personal ‘best,’ ” according to a news release from Gillette. Its original slogan, the company said, was aspirational. “But turn on the news today and it’s easy to believe that men are not at their best,” the release noted. The first recipient of the funds will be the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, according to Adweek.

While picking sides on a divisive issue could be seen as a threat to the company’s bottom line, Kozinets said, most advertising is a quest not to be forgotten, which means even negative feedback can be productive.

And while some might object to a profit-minded company acting as an arbiter of moral conduct, there are few other forums to debate these issues, he said. When it comes to inspiring the public to consider hot-button issues, Kozinets observed, “politicians are clearly not rising to the challenge. But corporations are.”

One example is Heineken’s 2017 Worlds Apart campaign, which aimed to bring people with radically different worldviews together over a cold one. But advertising has missed the mark by trying to swim in the direction of political currents as well. Also in 2017, Pepsi pulled an ad with Kendall Jenner that was blasted for co-opting protest movements.

The message of the Gillette ad is hardly subtle in identifying a crisis of masculinity. Young boys bully, chasing each other or taunting “Freak” in cyberspace. Adult men harass and demean. They leer at women at parties and on street corners. “What I actually think she’s trying to say,” a corporate executive cuts in, putting his hand on the shoulder of the lone woman at a boardroom table as he silences her.

Interspersed with these scenes are images from popular culture — reality TV, music videos, cartoons — that appear to normalize bad behavior, justified by the mantra “Boys will be boys.”

“But something finally changed,” the narrator intones, as #MeToo revelations flash on the screen. “And there will be no going back. Because we — we believe in the best in men.”

The remaining scenes feature men policing each other’s behavior or uplifting women. “I am strong,” a father tells his young daughter. The message imparted to two brawling boys is, “That’s not how we treat each other, okay?” These lessons matter, the ad concludes, “because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”

Representations of masculinity have long been fertile ground for advertising, stretching at least as far back as the Marlboro Man, a figure of a rugged cowboy who first appeared in 1954 to popularize filtered cigarettes, which had been perceived as feminine.

More recently, the “Old Spice Guy,” which advertised another Procter & Gamble product, reflected new expectations that men be “both sex symbols and good domestic partners,” Kozinets said. He noted that the campaign, which launched in 2010, took a more lighthearted approach to masculine aspirations, in line with the image projected by President Barack Obama.

Men have hardly been the sole targets of advertising that seeks to bend cultural expectations.

The 2004 Dove Campaign for Real Beauty aimed to convince women that there were many ways to be beautiful. But mainly, it helped sell soap. In the year after the campaign launched, the company’s total sales rose about 6 percent to $500 million.

Second dog in three days rescued from thin ice around south Denver area

5 hours 6 min ago

Firefighters from South Metro Fire Rescue on Tuesday morning rescued a dog that had fallen through ice in Littleton, the second such rescue by the department in three days.

According to South Metro Fire, the dog — named Ray — had jumped a fence near Trailmark Parkway and Independent Street, and fallen through the ice into Fairview Reservoir when firefighters were called to the rescue.

“At least several times a year we will respond to dogs slipping through the ice,” said Eric Hurst, a South Metro Fire Rescue spokesman.

Meet Ray, the 2nd dog in just 3 days saved from an icy pond by South Metro Firefighters. Ray was distracted by geese, jumped a backyard fence, gave chase onto the thin ice and fell through. Ray was reunited with her human cold, wet and thankfully not injured.

— South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) January 15, 2019

Ray was rescued by the crew of Engine 19. All engines in South Metro are equipped with dry suits and water-rescue equipment, Hurst said.

To retrieve Ray from the frozen waters, a firefighter slithered out across the iced-over reservoir while tethered to a team on dry land. After reaching Ray, the firefighter tethered the dog, and they were both pulled back to safety.

“It was definitely a team effort,” Hurst said.

The other dog recently rescued fell into a pond on the Lone Tree Golf Course.

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Hurst urged dog owners to keep pets on a leash, especially around thin ice. If their dogs’ paws do poke through and they plunge under thin ice, the best thing to do is call 911, Hurst said.

Beyond water-rescue training and equipment on each engine, South Metro has a team of scuba divers at the ready to retrieve anyone who falls through the ice, human or canine.

Hot stove update: The frontrunners to land Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, notable recent free agent signings and more analysis

5 hours 7 min ago

With the report date for pitchers and catchers about a month away, Major League Baseball’s free-agent market has picked up over the past few days. A glimpse at notable recent signings, big names still available and other hot stove story lines.

Bryce Harper, Manny Machado update. As Rockies fans wait anxiously to see how Nolan Arenado’s arbitration and overall contract situation will be resolved, the market-setters — Harper and Machado — still search for their respective mega-deals. The Phillies met with Harper in his hometown of Las Vegas for more than five hours Sunday, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported, and Philadelphia is expected to make the outfielder a formal offer sometime this week. Harper previously held a lengthy meeting with the Nationals over the holidays, when Washington reportedly made him a second 10-year offer for more than $300 million.

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Meanwhile, the Phillies have already made a formal offer to Machado, per’s Todd Zolecki, but it’s the White Sox who have stolen the headlines with him this week. Per various reports — some citing a seven-year offer, others eight — Chicago is now the frontrunner to land the infielder considering the 26-year-old’s other two main suitors, the Phillies and Yankees, have their eyes elsewhere. Philadelphia has made a flurry of moves this offseason and is clearly being the most aggressive in its pursuit of Harper — the chance the club signs both superstars is slim — while the Yankees, also frequently mentioned in the Machado chase, signed free agent D.J. LeMahieu to a two-year, $24 million deal last week.

Notable recent signings. Speaking of LeMahieu, the former Rockies batting champion was one of several marquee players to lock up deals in the past week.  LeMahieu’s deal was finalized Monday, while catcher Yasmani Grandal also finalized his one-year, $18.25 million deal with the Brewers on Monday. Other notable recent signings include a pair of second basemen, as Brian Dozier signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the Nationals and Jed Lowrie inked a two-year, $20 million deal with the Mets.

Where will Adam Ottavino land? After posting a career season in 2018 with a 2.43 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 13.0 strikeout rate — not to mention breaking the Rockies’ bullpen record with 112 Ks — Ottavino remains the hottest free agent reliever on the market besides closer Craig Kimbrel. Ottavino has previously been linked to his hometown Yankees, but the 33-year-old right-hander with the devastating slider is also reportedly drawing interest from the Rangers, per the Dallas Morning News.

Starting arms still up for trade? While the Rockies don’t appear to be in the market for starting pitching, three notable starting arms have been put up for trade this offseason in Indians right-hander Corey Kluber, Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray and Giants’ southpaw Madison Bumgarner. Kluber has been made available for a reported steep price and is the centerpiece of a potential three-team trade explored by Reds, Padres and Indians, while Gray — coming off an ugly 4.90 ERA season in the Bronx — is being shopped around again because fellow New York starter C.C. Sabathia has been cleared to pitch following his December angioplasty procedure.

As for MadBum, the four-time all-star and World Series MVP was linked to a potential deal with Milwaukee by last week, but new Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has since shot that down, making it less likely the franchise icon is dealt before spring training begins. Dallas Keuchel, a seven-year Astros’ lefty and the 2015 Cy Young winner, remains the biggest free agent starter still available.

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Brandon Staley hired as Broncos outside linebackers coach

5 hours 22 min ago

The Broncos’ assistant coaching staff is taking shape under Vic Fangio.

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Denver added Brandon Staley as its outside linebackers coach, the team announced Tuesday, bringing further Bears flavor to the Broncos. Staley spent the past two seasons in the same role for Fangio’s defense in Chicago with great success as the Bears racked up 92 sacks (51 credited to linebackers) for the second-highest total in the league over that span. All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack anchored the group in 2018 with 12 1/2 sacks, six forced fumbles, 47 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown.

Staley is a former quarterback at Dayton (2003-04) who spent the majority of his 14-year coaching career at the college ranks with stops at Carroll, James Madison, Tennessee, Hutchinson Community College, St. Thomas and Northern Illinois. Staley’s two seasons in Chicago represent his only NFL experience. He will oversee a Broncos unit that features seven-time Pro Bowler Von Miller and defensive rookie of the year candidate Bradley Chubb, a duo which combined for 26.5 sacks last season.

Staley is the second Broncos staff hire this week after the team announced Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak will take on the same role in Denver. Munchak was a finalist for the Broncos’ head coaching vacancy.

Colorado’s Millicent Young, who was among 1st WWII female pilots, dies at 96

7 hours 6 min ago

COLORADO SPRINGS — A Colorado Springs woman who was among the first women to fly for the U.S. military during World War II has died at age 96.

Millicent Peterson Young.

Bill Young told The Gazette that his mother Millicent Young died Saturday of complications related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

She was a member of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, known as WASPs.

They flew bombers and other warplanes in the U.S. to free up male pilots for combat service overseas.

In 2010, they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, among the nation’s highest civilian honors.

Young was born near Lodgepole, Nebraska and took flying lessons with money she earned growing wheat.

Her family says she mainly flew an AT-6 Texan single-engine plane, towing a target so male pilots could train for in-air combat.

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The IRS is recalling 46,000 workers to handle tax returns

7 hours 36 min ago

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service is recalling about 46,000 of its employees furloughed by the government shutdown — nearly 60 percent of its workforce — to handle tax returns and pay out refunds. The employees won’t be paid.

With the official start of the tax filing season coming Jan. 28, the Trump administration has promised that taxpayers owed refunds will be paid on time, despite the disruption in government services caused by the partial shutdown now in its fourth week. There had been growing concern that the shutdown would delay refunds going out because the money wouldn’t be available for them from Congress.

Last week, the administration said customary shutdown policies will be reversed to make the money available and refund payments on time possible.

An IRS document detailing its new shutdown plan shows that 46,052 agency employees will be called back to work, of the total workforce of 80,265. It says the plan will take effect as soon as the Treasury Department issues an official notice.

About three-quarters of U.S. taxpayers receive annual refunds, giving them an incentive to file their returns early. Many lower-income people count on refunds as their biggest cash infusion of the year.

The issue is politically sensitive. The massive tax law enacted by Republicans in Congress in late 2017, which is President Donald Trump’s signature legislative achievement, gave generous tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest Americans and more modest reductions to middle- and low-income households. The law is expected to bring lower taxes for 2018 for the great majority of Americans, and the refunds are a big tangible part of that.

Trump told supporters on a conference call Tuesday that his administration has been working to minimize the painful impacts of the shutdown. “People are actually amazed that, with this many people, that government is really working so well. So we’re very proud of that,” he said.

Angered over employees having to work without pay, the union representing IRS staff sued in federal court last week to challenge any such agency action on constitutional grounds. The Constitution doesn’t allow the government to obligate funds that haven’t been provided by Congress, and the executive branch “can’t continue to force more and more employees to show up in exchange only for an IOU,” the National Treasury Employees Union said in its lawsuit.

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On Tuesday, a federal judge rejected the union’s challenge, declining to force the government to pay the recalled employees.

Some experts question whether the administration has the legal authority to reverse earlier policies to allow the government to issue refunds during a shutdown.


Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

Trump’s burger-fest brings roasting from late-night TV hosts

8 hours 27 min ago

WASHINGTON — Junk food for athletes? President Donald Trump’s offer of greasy burgers and fries to the college football champion Clemson Tigers brought a roasting from late-night TV hosts.

Trump, a fast-food lover, said he paid for the meal himself because of the partial government shutdown, which has led to furloughs among federal workers, including at the White House.

Otherwise, he joked, first lady Melania Trump and Karen Pence, Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, would be making salads.

“I had a choice. Do we have no food for you, because we have a shutdown?” Trump told the team gathered Monday in the White House East Room. “Or do we give you some little quick salads that the first lady will make, along with, along with the second lady. They’ll make some salads. And I said, ‘You guys aren’t into salads.'”

“Or do I go out … do I go out and send out for about 1,000 hamburgers, Big Macs,” Trump said.

Late-night TV hosts ridiculed the president, with NBC’s Seth Meyers joking, in a Trumpian voice: “Normally I would have a salad for dinner on Monday, but they told me they only eat every fast food.”

Stephen Colbert of CBS asked whether Trump was “just projecting your favorite foods onto them.”

The fast-food feast apparently startled some of the players. Clemson offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst tweeted “I mean you’re not just gonna NOT eat the Big Macs stacked in a pile right?”

Some Twitter users criticized the president for serving such food to college athletes, whose diets are strictly controlled by nutritionists. However, others tweeted they thought the menu was just right for college students.

Trump appeared to defend his decision Tuesday in a tweet about how quickly the food was eaten.

“Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House. Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamberders etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!” he wrote.

Silver trays held stacks of wrapped burgers from Wendy’s. Also on offer were boxed burgers from McDonald’s, including Big Macs. White House cups bearing the presidential seal held the fries.

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Pizzas, some topped with olives and tomatoes, also were on the menu. Silver bowls held the condiments, and stacks of white plates sat nearby. Several young men were spotted eating multiple burgers at the standup tables dotting the East Room.

“We ordered American fast food, paid for by me. Lots of hamburgers, lots of pizza,” he said. “We have some very large people that like eating, so I think we’re going to have a little fun.”

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said much of the staff in the White House residence has been furloughed because of the shutdown, “so the president is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favorite fast foods.” The White House did not provide the cost.

Associated Press writer Shawn Marsh contributed to this report.

Crash on westbound I-70 blocks left lane near Kipling Street exit

8 hours 32 min ago

A crash near the Kipling Street exit on the westbound side of Interstate 70 has blocked the left lane, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The crash is expected to cause delays as morning commuters head west.

Crash on northbound I-225 moved to shoulder

8 hours 52 min ago

A car crash on the northbound side of Interstate 225 at exit 4 for Parker Road that originally blocked multiple lanes has been moved to the shoulder, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Traffic still could be delayed on I-225 near Parker Road.