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12 Dead, 20 Injured In Mexico Tour Bus Crash

At least 12 people died when a bus carrying cruise ship passengers to Mayan ruins in eastern Mexico flipped over on a highway early Tuesday, officials said. The crash occurred as the bus was on its way to the ruins at Chacchoben, about 110 miles south of Tulum. Seven Americans and two citizens of Sweden are among the injured, according to authorities. Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises said in a statement that passengers from two of its ships, the Celebrity Equinox and Serenade of the Seas, were involved in the crash. The cause of the accident was under investigation. ...Read more

House Passes GOP Tax Overhaul Bill

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a sweeping tax overhaul bill, moving the legislation on to the Senate for consideration. The bill passed 227-203. The 500-page, $1.5 trillion bill lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent. The Senate was expected to pass the vote Tuesday night. Even if all 48 Democrat senators vote against the tax bill, Republicans expect to have enough votes to pass it.  ...Read more

Texas Rangers Pitcher Martin Perez Hurts Non-Throwing Elbow In Mishap With Bull

Texas Rangers left-hander Martin Perez broke his non-pitching elbow in a mishap with a bull and is likely to miss the start of the season. Perez had surgery Monday in Dallas and is expected to start throwing in about a month; but the Rangers said Tuesday that Perez won’t be ready for games for about four months, which could push his season debut into May. The injury occurred on Perez’s ranch in his native Venezuela. General manager Jon Daniels said Perez told him he was startled by a bull and fell on the elbow. After missing most of the 2014 and 2015 seasons because of reconstructive surgery on his left elbow, Perez has led the Rangers in starts each of the past two seasons. ...Read more

Rangers Pitcher Cole Hamels And His Wife Donate $9.4 Million Mansion To Charity

Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels and his wife, Heidi, are donating a mansion and 100 acres of land in southwest Missouri to a charity that provides camps for children with special needs and chronic illnesses and their siblings. The massive 32,000-square foot home, located in Table Rock Lake and worth an estimated $10 million, will be donated to Camp Barnabas. The pitcher started construction on the mansion in 2012, however when he was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Texas Rangers and they had to relocate. The family was never able to move into the the home, which contains 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, two kitchens, a two-car garage, and an elevator. ...Read more

First Official Trailer Released For ‘Ocean’s 8’ Starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett And All-Female Cast

Sandra Bullock gathers a crew of seven uniquely skilled women to plot a major jewel heist in the new trailer for “Ocean’s 8.”  Warner Bros. released the official trailer for the “Ocean’s” film spin off on Tuesday morning, December 19.  In the movie, Bullock stars as Debbie Ocean, the estranged sister of Danny Ocean (the character made famous by George Clooney in the original “Ocean’s” films.) The all female cast include Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, and Awkwafina, The film, directed by Gary Ross and produced by George Clooney, hits theaters on June 8. ...Read more

Michael Peña And Diego Luna To Star In ‘Narcos’ Season 4

Michael Peña and Diego Luna will star in the upcoming fourth season of “Narcos.”  The announcement was made by Netflix in a short teaser video on Tuesday. Production of the new season is already underway in Mexico City, Mexico. The first two seasons of the Netflix drama focused on Pablo Escobar’s cartel, and Season 3 segued to Colombia’s Cali cartel, ending with plot suggestion the storyline would move to Mexico in Season 4.  No official date has yet been announced on when the new season will debut. ...Read more

ESPN President John Skipper Resigns, Citing Substance Addiction Problem

ESPN President John Skipper resigned Monday, citing a substance addiction problem, in a move that stunned the sports media business.  Skipper, who took over as president of the sports network in 2012, said in a statement he has battled substance abuse issues for “many years” and decided “the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem.” He did not share any details of the nature of his substance abuse problem. George Bodenheimer, who served as ESPN’s president from 1998 to 2011, is taking the helm at ESPN for the next three months and helping find a permanent successor for Skipper, Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger said.  ...Read more

Multiple Fatalities Reported As Amtrak Train Derails In Washington State

An Amtrak train derailed on Monday in Washington State in its inaugural run on a faster route from Seattle to Portland, Oregon, sending passenger cars tumbling from a bridge onto a major highway, killing a number of riders and injuring nearly 100. The derailment caused multiple fatalities among the passengers, and as the train struck several cars on Interstate 5 it caused additional injuries but no more reported deaths. Thirteen of the train’s 14 cars jumped the tracks, and five vehicles plus two semi-trailer trucks were involved in the accident. It was not immediately clear whether the derailment was connected to the rerouting. A statement from the state transportation department said the track had undergone “weeks of inspection and testing” before Monday’s launch. ...Read more

NFL Says Referee Did Nothing Wrong By Using Index Card For Measurement During Cowboys/Raiders Game

NFL Referee Gene Steratore used an extremely unorthodox method to help show whether or not the Dallas Cowboys had gained a crucial first down Sunday night, but it was apparently allowed by the league. With the Cowboys and Oakland Raiders tied at 17 and five minutes remaining, Dallas had the ball at its own 38 and went for it on 4th-and-1. The spot was right at the mark, and it was difficult to tell if it was a first down when measured, so Steratore broke out an index card to see if there was space between the nose of the football and the pole used to measure. A league representative later said there is “no prohibition” on using an index card, sheet of paper or another object in the course of making a ruling.  ...Read more

Carolina Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson To Sell Team Amid Workplace Misconduct Investigation

Just two days after the Panthers announced he was under investigation for workplace misconduct (on the same day a Sports Illustrated report that described a pattern of sexual harassment and casual racism) Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced that he will look to sell his team this offseason. Richardson, age 81, is the only principal owner the Panthers have ever had since their creation in 1993. In his announcement, Richardson makes no mention of the investigation, only saying “I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership.  While I will no longer be the team owner, I will always be the Panthers Number One Fan,” Richardson writes.  ...Read more