People are also talking about a dive-bombing owl, a woman in hospital gown left at Baltimore bus stop and Trump's first check-up.
Trump dismisses Haiti, African countries with vulgarity
NOTE: CONTAINS VULGAR LANGUAGE
President Donald Trump's dismissal of Haiti and certain African countries with a vulgar expression has created a furor.
Trump made the remark Thursday during a White House meeting after senators discussed revamping immigration rules. That's according to three people who were briefed on the conversation but weren't authorized to describe it publicly.
Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa rather than places like Norway, as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal.
Trump's contemptuous description of an entire continent startled lawmakers in the meeting and immediately revived charges that the president is racist. The White House did not deny his remark but issued a statement saying Trump supports immigration policies that welcome "those who can contribute to our society."
By Friday morning, he took to Twitter to address the furor: "the language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough but this was not the language used."
Woman in hospital gown left at Baltimore bus stop
The man who said he came to the aid of a woman discharged from a Baltimore hospital wearing only a gown and socks on a cold winter's night, says he was left outraged and stunned at how she was treated.
Imamu Baraka, identified in local reports as the person who sought to help the woman, told The Associated Press he was so angry he decided to record Tuesday night's events on cellphone video, fearing no one would believe him if he reported a woman being left at a bus stop like that.
"I saw the unthinkable: another human in a wheelchair being wheeled out in the dead of cold," he said in the phone interview Thursday evening.
He described frigid temperatures in the 30s and a cold wind blowing at the woman's hospital gown, exposing her to the elements.
Baraka, who said he has a psychotherapy practice in a building across the street from the Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, said he rushed back to his office, retrieved his cellphone, returned and hit "record" while growing increasingly angry.
As a medical professional, the psychotherapist said he sought to keep his emotions in check even as he repeatedly challenged those who had wheeled the woman out to the street in the dark.
"At first I was shocked. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. And I move beyond that to the next level from being shocked. I became ... irritated and fearful for the young lady. And then I became angry," he recalled.
He added he failed to get satisfactory answers as he tried to help the woman.
Of those who brought her outdoors, he said: "I asked them three times, I asked them specifically, 'Are you going to leave this lady out here like this?' They kept walking. They then went inside of the building." He said he went and asked a security guard outside the hospital for a supervisor and was told "I am the supervisor."
Rebuffed, he said, he then went and tried to help the woman shelter in the bus stop while calling 911 for an ambulance. He said he asked the arriving ambulance crew where they would take her, and they replied "back to the hospital."
Recalled Baraka, "I said, 'Are you kidding me, they just dumped her on the curb.'"
It wasn't immediately clear what happened to the woman after she was driven back toward the hospital. But the hospital confirmed in a statement that the woman was discharged that Tuesday night.
Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, told a news conference on Thursday afternoon that the hospital had "failed" after the video posted on Facebook showed the unidentified woman mumbling and appearing disoriented in frigid weather outside. Suntha also said there were no excuses for what happened to the woman.
Letterman hosts Obama in his return to TV
Late-night television icon David Letterman returns to TV on Friday with the premiere of his Netflix talk show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. Former President Obama is his first guest, in his first TV talk-show appearance since leaving office last year. A video preview includes Obama explaining his dance floor 'dad moves.'
Facebook edits feeds to bring less news, more sharing
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is changing what its users will see to highlight posts they are most likely to engage with and make time spent on social media more "meaningful."
By cutting back on items that Facebook users tend to passively consume, the change could hurt news organizations and other businesses that rely on Facebook to share their content.
The idea is to help users to connect with people they care about, not make them feel depressed and isolated.
"The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post Thursday.
"We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos -- even if they're entertaining or informative -- may not be as good."
Under the revised regime, there will be fewer posts from brands, pages and media companies and more from people. There will be fewer videos, which Facebook considers "passive." People will likely spend less time on Facebook as a result, the company says.
That's because even if people read such content on Facebook, they don't necessarily comment or interact with it in other ways.
But Facebook gave scant details about how it would define what's "meaningful."
The changes could shrink the social media giant's role as a major news source for many people.
"It's in the same direction that Facebook has been pursuing for a while: offering a place for discussion among individuals, a community space, rather than being a news source," said Oh Se-uk, a senior researcher on digital news at the Korea Press Foundation.
"It wants people who have been friends to become even closer, to have deeper discussions (on Facebook). Traffic to news media's websites via Facebook will likely fall," he said.
The move will not affect advertisements — users will continue to see the same ads they have before, "meaningful" or not. But businesses that use Facebook to connect with their customers without paying for ads will also feel the pain.
Facebook has long been criticized for creating "filter bubbles," the echo chambers of friends and like-minded people whose views are reinforced by their friends' posts on the platform.
The company says that's similar to how people make friends and interact with each other offline. Facebook says its research shows that users are exposed to more divergent views on its platform than they would be otherwise, but that's hard to verify independently since the company is cautious about providing data to outsiders.
Maine outdoor center warns skiers of dive-bombing owl
Officials at a Maine outdoor center are warning skiers to watch out for an "aggressive dive-bombing" owl that recently struck a man.
Pineland Farms says in a Facebook post the owl cut the man's head when it attacked, and neither skiers nor trail groomers have seen the bird since.
Pineland says the owl is protecting a nest near a cross-country ski trail. They believe the bird is either a barred owl or a great horned owl.
The center has posted warning signs around the trail. They recommend people wave their arms overhead or wear a hat if they must pass by the area.
Pineland says "owls are silent when they strike, so you will not hear it coming."
Trump's first medical check-up as president set for Friday
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will be the patient, not the commander in chief offering comfort, when he visits the Walter Reed military hospital on Friday.
Trump is headed to the medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, for his first medical check-up as president. But what has been a fairly routine exam for previous officeholders has taken on outsized importance in the age of Trump, given the tone of some of his tweets, comments attributed to some of his close advisers and Trump's recent slurring of words on national TV.
Some of the comments were published in a new book about Trump's first year, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff, which White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has denounced as "complete fantasy" for portraying her 71-year-old boss as undisciplined and in over his head as president.
Trump himself has pushed back hard against any suggestion that he's mentally unfit, declaring himself "a very stable genius."