Also trending on your Wednesday: Florida officials are investigating why panthers are seen stumbling and falling down, at least 26 people have been arrested after threats to commit mass attacks since Dayton and El Paso shooting victim's husband gets new SUV after his was stolen following her funeral.
Trump cancels Denmark visit because Greenland isn't for sale
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two days after he said buying Greenland wasn't a top priority, President Donald Trump canceled an upcoming trip to Denmark, which owns the mostly frozen island, after its prime minister dismissed the idea.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had called Trump's musing about buying the Danish territory "an absurd discussion" after the former real estate mogul-turned-president began to talk up the idea.
Trump said Sunday that he was interested in such a deal for strategic purposes, but said a purchase was not a priority at this time. "It's not No. 1 on the burner," he told reporters.
Trump even joked about his proposal as it came in for ridicule, tweeting a doctored photo of a glistening Trump skyscraper looming over a small village in the Arctic territory.
"I promise not to do this to Greenland," he joked Monday.
But on Tuesday, Trump abruptly canceled the visit, also by tweet.
Just a few hours earlier, the U.S. ambassador to Denmark tweeted that it was "ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit!" using an acronym for "President of the United States" along with Trump's Twitter handle.
Trump wrote: "Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time."
Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019
He added: "The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!"
White House spokesman Judd Deere said later that the visit to Denmark has been canceled.
The White House announced in late July that Trump had accepted an invitation to visit Denmark's Queen Margrethe and participate in a series of meetings, including with Frederiksen and business leaders.
The trip, set to begin at the end of August, includes a stop in Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II.
Trump is expected to go ahead with the Warsaw visit.
Asked about Greenland on Sunday as he prepared to return to Washington after a vacation week at his central New Jersey home, Trump said "strategically ... it would be nice" to own the island.
He also suggested he might not visit Denmark at all, saying he didn't think the previously announced trip had been "absolutely set in stone yet."
Florida officials are investigating why panthers are seen stumbling and falling down
(CNN) -- There have been two confirmed cases of neurological damage in a panther and bobcat in Florida as of this month, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
The agency is investigating the cause of the disorder in the animals that is impacting their ability to walk. In trail camera footage, the animals can be seen stumbling and falling down almost unable to use their back legs.
In total, the FWC said they have seen eight panthers (mostly kittens) and one adult bobcat in various degrees of this condition.
"While the number of animals exhibiting these symptoms is relatively few, we are increasing monitoring efforts to determine the full scope of the issue." said Gil McRae, director of the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, in a statement on Monday.
Florida panthers and bobcats are the only two wild cat species found in the state. There are only 120 to 230 adult panthers in the population, and they are listed on the Endangered Species Act. Determining the cause of the disorder can help officials minimize the impact it will have on the panther's population
The areas impacted seem to be localized to only three general areas; Collier, Lee and Sarasota counties, according to the FWC. One panther was photographed that could be affected in Charlotte County.
At this time the FWC isn't sure what is causing the disorder but is actively testing for various potential toxins, including rat pesticides, as well as infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies.
"Numerous diseases and possible causes have been ruled out; a definitive cause has not yet been determined," said McRae. "We're working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and a wide array of experts from around the world to determine what is causing this condition."
A bear broke into a house and raided the fridge as terrified teens hid in the next room
(CNN) -- As two teens watched TV at home late one night, little did they know that the person in the other room opening the refrigerator for a midnight snack wasn't a person at all.
It was a bear.
"I heard footsteps, and then I heard Tupperware being opened really loudly and aggressively," 15-year-old Hayes Sherman said. "The fridge started to beep because it was open too long.
"I was really scared. I wasn't exactly sure of what to do. I was watching TV with my friend, and I turned the TV off. We both went to the sliding door to hold it in place so that the bear couldn't get in."
A Nest camera in the living room captured the Goldilocks moment. The black bear stood on its hind legs, sniffing around and pawing through the fridge of the family's cabin in Truckee, California, about 12:30 a.m. Saturday.
The bear broke the Tupperware to eat some taco meat, Hayes said. Two pints Ben and Jerry's ice cream -- Half Baked and The Tonight Dough flavors -- and some crackers were also on the menu.
Hayes said he had heard a lot of stories about bears getting into the gated, private community near Lake Tahoe. The family had an issue with bears the year before, when they discovered that one had ripped more than a dozen window screens off the house.
On Saturday morning, Hayes' mother and her cousin were sleeping upstairs, unaware of what was unfolding.
The bear bumped into the door as Hayes and his friend, 15-year-old Bobby Harden, held it shut. The door shook as the bear tried to open it multiple times.
The teens realized that they didn't have their phones with them. While he and Bobby held onto shaking door, Hayes used his Apple watch to call his mother.
"I whispered to her, 'Mom, there is a bear in the house. Don't come downstairs,' " Hayes said.
Hayes hung up and called 911, while his mother called the community gate house and asked for a security guard.
"It was very difficult, because I was whispering to 911 on my watch in a very dark room while trying to hold the door closed so the bear couldn't get in," Hayes said.
It took 13 minutes for the police to arrive, but it felt like an hour to Hayes "because it was so scary."
His mom, Susan Mohun, said she fought every urge to race down the stairs.
"That is the worst-case scenario as a parent to have a bear between you and your children. I am glad that I didn't run downstairs, because that probably would have just agitated the bear," Mohun said.
At first, Mohun said, she didn't believe her son.
"I saw my car doors were opened, and I heard the refrigerator alarm beeping really loudly and realized those were two bad signs," she said.
A flashlight at the front door signaled that help had arrived. Placer County Sheriff's Deputy Allyson Prero opened the door, got out of the way and let the bear leave the house, according to the sheriff's office.
UPDATE TO FORESTHILL RD CRASH] Placer County Sheriff's detectives ... arrested 59-year old Gregory Shepherd, of Foresthill, for assault with a deadly weapon, following the crash that occurred Monday afternoon along Foresthill Road. CHP - Auburn officers arrested Shepherd for felony DUI. He is now in custody at the Auburn Jail.
The bear walked out the front door and lingered in the driveway, the sheriff's office said. Prero fired a warning shot from her shotgun to shoo the bear away.
"We came out, and we went to hug her, and we took a photo with her because we were just so grateful that she came to save us," Hayes said.
The teens had left the garage door open, something they said they won't ever do again in bear country.
"We learned a very valuable lesson in bear country to always lock your windows, your doors, your garage doors and car doors," Hayes said.
The sheriff's office said bears are common in the area, and there are things residents can do to stay safe.
"Deputies have responded to many bear related calls in the Tahoe area the last couple of weeks and want to remind our home owners and visitors to lock their car doors and all residence doors," it wrote on Facebook. "Additionally, don't leave any food in cars. Bears have a very keen sense of smell and will find it, even behind locked car doors!"
For Mohun, it's an experience she won't ever forget.
"It was one of the scarier parenting moments I've ever had, but thank God it all worked out," she said.
El Paso shooting victim's husband gets new SUV after his was stolen following her funeral
EL PASO, Texas — Antonio Basco, the grief-stricken man who lost his wife of 22 years in the Aug. 3 El Paso massacre, buried her Saturday amid an outpouring of support from the public, only to have his SUV stolen and wrecked later that evening.
Thieves also stole a pressure washer that Basco used to make his living in a mobile car wash.
The good will nonetheless continued. On Monday, Basco drove off in a new Ford Escape, courtesy of Casa Ford Lincoln Nissan. Desert Haven Trailer Co. donated a new trailer. An anonymous donor also replaced his washing machine.
“I appreciate it. God bless you all. Thank you,” Basco told employees who stood in a circle to shake his hand and hug him.
Frail, heartbroken, and yet resilient, in many ways Basco embodies the spirit of El Paso in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Casa Ford Lincoln was live.
“Despite what happened, the strong solidarity from the community goes on,” said Jason Quinn, a car salesman at Casa Ford and Nissan. “It’s a great honor and we’re very humbled by the fact that we’re able to help Mr. Basco. Our creed is to serve.”
A friend of Quinn’s told him about Basco’s situation Sunday. He and Basco had dinner Sunday evening at Basco’s favorite restaurant, Whataburger, where he shared his story while eating a double-cheeseburger with extra bacon.
“He’s so grateful with the support, despite what happened,” Quinn said. The theft, he said, “Opened the door for a new blessing.”
Basco’s wife Margie Reckard was among the 22 killed in the race-driven mass shooting at a Walmart by an alleged white supremacist from North Texas. The shooting suspect drove about 10 hours to kill Mexicans in response to the “Hispanic invasion” of Texas, he wrote in a manifesto. Dozens more were injured in the attack and many remain hospitalized.
Funeral officials say more than 3,000 people showed up last Friday during Reckard’s wake to express their solidarity with Basco, as well as her children and grandchildren, who traveled from Nebraska.
“I never imagined this,” her oldest son Dean, 48, said during the visitation. “The kindness is overwhelming. My mother would have been so overwhelmed.”
A Nebraska teen's senior photos honored her father who was killed in Afghanistan
(CNN) -- It's been "extremely, extremely" tough growing up without her father, Julia Yllescas tells CNN. "It gets harder and harder every year."
Army Ranger Capt. Robert Yllescas never came home after he deployed to Afghanistan when Julia was 7 years old.
As she started her last year of high school in Aurora, Nebraska, she had a photographer edit an angelic visage of her father into her senior photos so that he could be with her during the most monumental moment of her life.
He'll be portrayed in an upcoming film
Her father was injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2008. He was flown to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he succumbed to his injuries a month later.
He figures prominently in CNN anchor Jake Tapper's book "The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor," released in 2012.
Milo Gibson, the son of Mel Gibson, will play Yllescas in an upcoming film based on the book to be released later this year.
The photos struck a chord
Photographer Susanne Beckmann said she has taken photos of Julia since she was 9 years old.
She posted the photos on Sunday night and they were an immediate sensation on Facebook.
"This was just supposed to be something special I was doing for one of my customers," Beckmann told CNN. "I've never seen a reaction like this to my photos."
Julia remembers her dad in the simple moments
He couldn't be there for the first day of freshman year or her first breakup. He hadn't seen her perform as a cheerleader or in the school choir.
Julia remembers the moments growing up near bases in Texas and Georgia where she says her father "was a jokester" and often played tricks on her.
She also remember how she often wrestled him. "He was a good dad and always let me win," she said.
If she got a chance to see her father again, "I would ask him if he's proud of me," she said.
They weren't finished yet when Robert got the call to go to Afghanistan.
But with these new senior photos, she's finding ways to still keep her father by her side.
"I can't even put into words how it makes me feel, knowing he's still with me," Julia said.
At least 26 people have been arrested after threats to commit mass attacks since Dayton
A student from Seabreeze High School was arrested recently after posting a comment on a video game chat platform. The comment was: "I Dalton Barnhart...
(CNN) -- When authorities came to arrest a 15-year-old Florida boy from Holly Hill on Friday after threats to commit a school shooting were made on a video game platform, he told police he was joking, according to a Volusia County Sheriff's Office report.
He is one of more than two dozen people who have been arrested over threats to commit mass shootings since 31 people were killed in one weekend this month in shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
The teen, who CNN is not naming because he is a minor, used a fake name when he wrote, "I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my father's m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum," police say. The sheriff's department said that it received a call from a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force that someone had sent in a tip about the teen's comments.
A woman who says the boy is her son says in body camera footage from the arrest that kids say things like that all the time and that her son should not be treated like a terrorist.
On its Facebook page, the sheriff's department said joke or not, such comments are a felony in Florida.
"After the mass violence we've seen in Florida and across the country, law enforcement officers have a responsibility to investigate and charge those who choose to make these types of threatening statements," the post said.
Here are the known threats with publicized arrests that law enforcement agencies have investigated since the Dayton and El Paso shootings:
August 4: A man from the Tampa area called a Walmart and told an employee he would shoot up the store, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. The man faces a false threat charge.
August 7: Police in Weslaco, Texas, arrested a 13-year-old boy. The boy will face a charge of terroristic threat for making a social media post that prompted a Walmart to be evacuated, police said on Facebook. The boy's mother brought him to the station.
August 8: A man is accused of walking into a Walmart in Missouri equipped with body armor, a handgun and a rifle less than a week after a gunman killed 22 people in a Texas Walmart says it was a "social experiment" and not intended to cause panic. The 20-year-old was charged with making a terrorist threat.
August 9: A 23-year-old Las Vegas man is charged with possessing destructive devices after authorities found bomb-making materials at his home. The FBI says he was planning to attack a synagogue and a gay bar.
August 9: A 26-year-old Winter Park, Florida, man was arrested after investigators say he posted a threat on Facebook that he was about to have his gun returned and people should stay away from Walmart.
August 10: Officers responded to a threat a man posted on social media, the Harlingen (Texas) Police Department said in a statement. A man was arrested at his home on charges of making a terroristic threat.
August 11: A Palm Beach County, Florida, mother is accused of threatening to carry out a shooting at an elementary school because her children were being moved there, according to WFTS. The 28-year-old woman is charged with sending a written threat to commit bodily injury.
August 11: A Mississippi teen is accused of making threats in the Lamar County School District, the agency says on Facebook.
August 12: Authorities charged an 18-year-old Ohio man who the FBI says threatened to assault federal law enforcement officers and showed support for mass shootings in a post online. Court documents say that the teen had a stockpile of weapons and ammunition.
August 12: A 25-year-old Jefferson County, West Virginia, man was arrested on charges of making terroristic threats online to kill people, according to CNN affiliate WDVM.
August 13: Albert Lea Police arrested and charged a 15-year-old Minnesota girl for threatening a school shooting on social media.
August 13: A man was arrested in Phoenix after police say he threatened to blow up an Army recruitment center, according to CNN affiliate KTVK.
August 15: A tip from a citizen led Connecticut authorities and the FBI to investigate and arrest a man who they said expressed an interest in committing a mass shooting on Facebook and had weapons and tactical gear, the FBI and Norwalk Police Department said.
August 16: A 15-year-old boy was taken into police custody in Volusia County, Florida, after investigators say he threatened to commit a school shooting in comments on a video game chat platform.
August 16: Two Mississippi juveniles were arrested in connection with threatening messages to two Tupelo schools, placing a school in partial lockdown, according to CNN affiliate WTVA.
August 16: A Florida man was arrested and charged with threatening to commit a mass shooting after his ex-girlfriend alerted authorities to a series of ominous text messages he sent her.
August 16: A 14-year-old in Arizona was arrested by Tempe Police after online threats were made against a school, according to CNN affiliate KNXV.
August 16: A Chicago man, 19, was arrested after police say he threatened to kill people at a women's reproductive health clinic on iFunny, a social media platform where users can post memes, federal prosecutors said Monday.
August 16: A 35-year-old Clarksburg, Maryland, resident was arrested in Seattle after being charged with threatening to kill people and calling for the "extermination" of Hispanics, according to a statement released by the US attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
August 17: New Middletown Police arrested a self-described white nationalist who they say threatened to shoot an Ohio Jewish community center.
August 18: A man was arrested in Reed City, Michigan, after authorities said he posted online videos making threats toward Ferris State University and other locations, according to CNN affiliate WXMI.
August 18: Claremore, Oklahoma, police arrested an 18-year-old who they say made social media threats against police officer families, according to a Facebook post from the Claremore Police Department.
August 19: A 38-year-old truck driver was arrested after making "credible threats to conduct a mass shooting and suicide" planned for Thursday, an FBI special agent said in a sworn affidavit filed in the Southern District of Alabama.
August 19: Maui Police arrested an 18-year-old man after a social media post claimed he intended to "shoot up a school," according to CNN affiliate KITV.
August 19: A 37-year-old Rapid City, South Dakota, man was arrested and charged with threatening to blow up state and federal government agencies, Pennington County Sheriff's Office said in a post on Facebook.