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Quarterback Kirk Cousins To Sign 3-Year, $84M Deal With Vikings

Former Redskins quarterback and free agent Kirk Cousins is expected to complete a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings worth an estimated $84 million to $86 million, according to sources Cousins’s contract with the Vikings would be fully or nearly fully guaranteed.  The Vikings were considered the favorite to land Cousins, the top free agent quarterback on the market. Cousins’s pending deal with the Vikings is said to be worth a little more than $28 million per season, which would surpass the current NFL record for the highest average annual value of $27.5 million set by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s five-year, $137.5 million contract to re-sign with the 49ers. ...Read more

House Republicans Say Investigation Found No Evidence Of Russia-Trump Collusion

House Republicans who investigated foreign interference in the 2016 election say they have found no evidence that Russians colluded with any members of the Trump campaign.  This report disputes key findings from the intelligence community that Russia had developed a preference for the Republican nominee during the election. This was the initial statement made from the 150-page report from GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee, who formally brought the panel’s lengthy investigation to an end over the objection of Democrats. Republican Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas said the probe ultimately found no definitive proof that the Trump campaign actively cooperated with any Russians to influence the vote. ...Read more

President Trump Replaces Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson With CIA Chief Mike Pompeo

President Donald Trump announced a major shakeup in his Cabinet on Tuesday, replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.  Mr. Trump made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday morning. “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!” Trump tweeted.  White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Trump had asked Tillerson to step aside. Tillerson said his job would terminate at midnight March 31 and that he plans to effectively delegate duties to his deputy, John Sullivan. ...Read more

Pilot Says Passenger Bag May Have Hit Fuel Switch, Leading To New York City Helicopter Crash

According to a federal official, the pilot who survived a helicopter crash that killed five passengers told investigators he believes a passenger’s bag might have hit an emergency fuel shutoff switch in the moments before the chopper went down. Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board also is scrutinizing why an emergency flotation device apparently didn’t deploy properly when the tour helicopter went down in the East River. The floats are supposed keep a helicopter upright; the Eurocopter AS350 that crashed Sunday overturned and submerged.  The National Transportation Safety Board investigators began working to find out what caused the crash, which killed a Texas firefighter, an Argentine woman, a young video journalist and two others who were on a charter flight to take photos. Pilot Richard Vance managed to free himself from the rapidly sinking chopper, and was the only survivor. The owner of the helicopter, Liberty Helicopters, has been involved in at least five incidents in the last 10 years, according to FAA data. An August 2009 collision over the Hudson River between a Liberty chopper and a small, private plane killed nine people, including a group of Italian tourists.  ...Read more

Third Austin Texas Package Explosion Now Linked To Two Deadly Incidents

Police in Austin say there are “similarities” between three package explosions in Texas’ capital city this month, two fatal, lead them to believe the incidents are related. The latest fatal incident was reported Monday morning, killing a 17-year-old boy and wounding a woman. The boy died at the scene and the woman in her 40s was taken to the hospital with potentially life threatening injuries after the explosion at the East Austin home before 7 a.m.  In an earlier incident on March 2, Anthony Stephan House, 39, was killed when a package exploded at his northeast Austin home. Police also responded Monday morning to a report of an explosion in southeast Austin in which a woman was badly injured. A 75-year-old woman and is listed in critical but stable condition; her injuries are considered life threatening.  A task force had been formed to investigate the incidents, and authorities are urging residents to be careful and not to open suspicious packages. If residents encounter any packages left at their homes they aren’t expecting they are urging them to call 911. ...Read more

Baltimore Orioles To Start Program Letting Kids 9 And Younger See Games For Free

The Baltimore Orioles announced Monday that it is starting a program called Kids Cheer Free in which parents can bring children age 9 and younger to games for free. Every parent who buys a regularly priced upper-deck seat can get two free tickets in the upper deck for their kids. Tickets for games from March 31 to April 29 are available now; the program will run monthly. The Orioles are also developing its kids entertainment center at Camden Yards and offering more child-friendly food and beverage options, among other youth initiatives. Youth interest in baseball has been in decline over the past two decades, though it has shown some improvement over the past few years.  ...Read more

Miami Dolphins To Release Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh

According to reports, the Miami Dolphins are planning to release defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, reportedly seeking a “culture change.”  Suh signed a six-year deal worth up to $114 million back in 2015, guaranteeing him at least $60 million. The team also has released veteran linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who signed with the team last offseason. Suh, 31, never met the expectations the team wanted from him; he has made just one Pro Bowl over the past three seasons and has not totaled more than six sacks in a season. ...Read more

ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Revival Debuts With 10.3 Million Viewers

ABC’s revival of “American Idol” was the top show on Sunday night, according to Nielsen overnight data. “American Idol” drew a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49 ad 10.3 million viewers.  However compared to the final Fox season premiere of “American Idol” in 2016, which drew a 3.0 rating and 10.96 million viewers, the ABC premiere was down approximately 23% from the last Fox season. Idol also helped ABC deliver its most-watched Sunday night in over five years.  ...Read more

Taylor Swift Debuts Music Video For ‘Delicate’

Taylor Swift won female artist of the year at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Sunday, and although she wasn’t there to accept in person she did have a surprise for the audience. In a pre-taped video which explained why she couldn’t attend the awards ceremony, Swift said “Hey guys, I just wanted to say thank you so much for this award, but in my absence and to show my gratitude, I really wanted to show you my brand new video for my new single, ‘Delicate. Delicate is Swift’s fourth single from her latest album, Reputation.  Check out the new video in the article linked below. ...Read more

Elon Musk Reveals That SpaceX Is Planning To Launch Rocket To Mars In 2019

The founder and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, says the company is planning to launch a spacecraft to Mars and return it to Earth by 2019.  Musk said to the crowd during a surprise appearance at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, on Sunday that “I think we’ll be able to do short flights, sort of up-and-down flights, probably some time in the first half of next year. I can tell you what I know currently is the case is that we are building the first ship, the first Mars interplanetary ship right now,”   A successful mission to Mars in 2019 would be a historic achievement for SpaceX, the private company founded by Musk in 2002 with the mission of enabling travel between planetary bodies. The firm successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket in February, catapulting Musk’s own Tesla Roadster toward the Red Planet to the tune of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”  Musk said at SXSW that SpaceX’s Mars rocket would have twice the liftoff thrust of the Saturn V, the rocket NASA used to send astronauts to the Moon. He said the company is focused on ensuring the rocket’s boosters are reusable in subsequent launches, which dramatically reduces the cost of each flight. ...Read more