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Health

Laid up with 'man flu'? It's real, researcher says

Man's immune system may be naturally weaker

(CNN) - Don't doubt it: "Man flu" is real, or so says one Canadian researcher who was "tired of being accused of overreacting."

With many respiratory diseases, a man is more susceptible to complications than a woman, plus his immune system may be naturally weaker, according to research published Monday in the BMJ medical journal.

"Man flu" is a term used to chide men who are suspected of exaggerating their symptoms when sick from a cold or other minor illness.

"It's a frequently heard stereotype," said Dr. Kyle Sue, author of the study and an assistant professor of family medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada.

When he was asked to give an "interesting" two-minute presentation to a group of people from various career backgrounds, he knew that proving that men were not exaggerating "could provide evidence for men around the world to defend themselves."

Sue began with a simple search for relevant studies to see whether men experience worse symptoms than women. He suspected this gender difference might even have an evolutionary basis.

What he found was a good deal of evidence that is "suggestive of an immunity gap," though it's "certainly not definitive," he said.

Other scientists argue there's too little evidence to say man flu exists.

Exploring the 'immunity gap'

Sue said, to begin with, women have a different response to vaccines that protect against the flu.

"There are a couple of studies that show women having more local and systemic reactions to the flu shot than men," he said. He added the evidence suggests that, overall, women may be "more responsive to vaccinations than men."

Other clues indicated that man flu is not an overreaction.

"Epidemiologic data from Hong Kong showed that adult men had a higher risk of hospital admission for flu," Sue said. An American study revealed that men died more often from flu compared with same-age women, regardless of underlying heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and kidney diseases.

"However, neither study differentiated men and women based on other differences, like smoking and drinking rates (and) willingness to seek medical help," he said, and these unknowns might have influenced the results.

Still, Sue found support for the idea that men suffer more from viral respiratory illnesses than women because they have less-robust immune systems.

This "immunity gap" may be modulated by hormonal differences, in which the masculine hormone testosterone suppresses the immune system while the feminine hormone estradiol protects it.

"It is not commonly known that testosterone is immunosuppressive," Sue said, though "one study found that men with higher testosterone levels had less of an antibody response to vaccination."

If an immunity gap between the sexes is real, the evolutionary reasons why remain unclear, he noted. One theory is that testosterone boosts aggressive behavior and the development of secondary sexual characteristics and so allows men to win at competitions -- overriding the cost of the hormone's immune system suppressing effects.

Across species, the masculine strategy of "live hard, die young" means men are more likely to die from trauma than an infection, according to another theory.

 

One other evolutionary theory Sue noted is that worse symptoms would lead a man to conserve his energy by lying on the couch, which helps him avoid a predator (his boss), and voila: His chances of survival are immediately improved.

The importance of age

Though he intended the article simply as light fare for holiday readers, Sue's research is described as "just so" by Sabra L. Klein, associate professor at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Still, Klein, who was not involved in the new study, appreciates that Sue is helping to shed light on gender health differences, "which often are ignored."

"When we hear 'man flu,' we assume this means all males of all ages," Klein said. "This is not true."

Rates of hospitalization are consistently higher for very young (prior to puberty) and very old (over 65) males, she said. During the reproductive years, it is women who often suffer more severe disease, in part because flu is worse for pregnant women but also because women develop higher -- almost excessive -- inflammatory responses to flu.

"The point I want to make is that whether males or females suffer more really depends a lot on our age," said Klein, whose own research is referenced by Sue.

In countries where women have less access to health care or treatments, or where boys are more valued than girls, it may appear that boys and men are being hospitalized at higher rates. "These unfortunate facts create biases in our interpretation of data," Klein said.

"In my opinion, we do not yet have enough science to conclude that 'man flu' is real," she said.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners in London, agrees. "Contrary to popular belief, and this article, the vast majority of robust scientific evidence suggests that flu is not sexist," said Stokes-Lampard, who was not involved in the research.

Still, some research suggests that men have more severe respiratory tract infection symptoms than women, she said.

"The best advice for anyone affected is to rest at home, drink plenty of fluids and to take over-the-counter painkillers," said Stokes-Lampard said. Most people will recover completely in a few days, no matter their gender, she explained.

However, if, after three weeks, your symptoms do not improve, your condition deteriorates, or you have trouble breathing, she suggests you see a health care professional.

Despite these contrary opinions, Sue believes that the available research points toward men suffering worse from colds and flu than women, but he called for "much better-quality research" to prove it.

One potential study, he said, could examine whether men with strong immune systems are less successful at mating compared with attractive, high-testosterone men with weaker immune systems.

"Can the blame for man flu be shifted to the people who select these men as sexual partners rather than the men themselves?" Sue asked. "I was surprised that there were far more female authors for the studies I cited than males."


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Politics

Kayla Moore: 'One of our attorneys is a Jew'

Moore: Soros doesn't 'recognize God and morality'

Kayla Moore discusses Jewish friends

MIDLAND CITY, Alabama (CNN) - Roy Moore's wife, Kayla, argued that her husband is no bigot at a Monday night campaign rally, saying that "one of our attorneys is a Jew."

"Fake news would tell you that we don't care for Jews. And I tell you all this because I've seen it and I just want to set the record straight while they're here," she said. "One of our attorneys is a Jew. We have very close friends that are Jewish, and rabbis, and we also fellowship with them."

Her comments came a week after Roy Moore attacked George Soros, the Jewish liberal mega-donor, saying Soros "is going to the same place that people who don't recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going. And that's not a good place."

Kayla Moore also listed other examples of her husband supporting groups he's faced criticism for targeting in previous comments and writings.

"Fake news would also have you think that my husband doesn't support the black community," she said. "Yet my husband appointed the very first black marshal to the Alabama Supreme Court, Mr. Willie James. When he first took office as the chief justice many years ago he brought with him three people from Etowah County. Two were black, and one of them is here tonight."

Moore is running to fill the US Senate seat vacated by fellow Republican Jeff Sessions, who was confirmed as attorney general following US President Donald Trump's victory.

The former Alabama Supreme Court justice faces Democrat Doug Jones in a special election Tuesday. Moore has cast himself as an outsider to Washington, hoping to strike the anti-establishment chord that helped Trump win last year. Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, has been one of Moore's most prominent backers.

Though Alabama is considered a reliably Republican state, the election is expected to be closer than usual. Moore has been besieged by allegations of sexual misconduct, including pursuing relationships with teenage girls while in his 30s.

Moore has consistently denied the allegations. During a rally Monday, he denounced the "terrible, disgusting" reporting of The Washington Post, which first reported a woman's accusation that he had pursued a sexual relationship with her when she was 14 and he was 32.

Even before the allegations of pursuing sexual relationships with teens, Moore was the most controversial major-party Senate nominee in recent memory.

He was booted as an Alabama Supreme Court chief justice for refusing to remove a two-ton statue of the Ten Commandments he'd ordered placed on state property. He was elected back to the job, but ousted again in 2016 for refusing to institute the US Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage.


News

Nearly 100,000 evacuated in California

Hundreds of thousands of acres torched

Historic wildfires in California have destroyed homes, scorched hundreds of thousands of acres and forced the evacuation of nearly a hundred thousand people.


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World

Charles Jenkins, sergeant who defected to North Korea, dies at 77

Soldier defected in 1965; taught English to spies

(CNN) - A former US Army Sergeant who defected to North Korea while stationed on the Korean peninsula at the height of the Cold War has died in Japan at the age of 77.

Charles Jenkins died from heart failure and was discovered unconscious by his daughter at his home in Sado Island, northern Japan, on Monday night, Yoshiyuki Tomi from the Japanese Cabinet Office told CNN.

Police and the hospital said there were no irregular circumstances.

His wife Hitomi Soga released a statement saying she was "very shocked by this sudden incident."

Jenkins crossed into the North in 1965 while stationed at his Army unit near the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the heavily guarded border that separates North and South Korea.

Jenkins later claimed to have regretted his defection and blamed the decision on alcohol.

While in North Korea, Jenkins appeared in propaganda films, taught North Korean spies English and spent up to eight hours a day studying the writings of North Korean leaders.

It was during this time he met Hitomi Soga, a Japanese national who was kidnapped from her home in Sado Island by North Korean spies in 1978.

The pair were married in 1980 and had two daughters, Mika and Brinda.

Soga returned to her homeland in 2002 following an agreement struck between North Korean and Japanese leaders.

Jenkins and his children followed her two years later and were reunited in Indonesia, which doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US.

Jenkins had been initially reluctant to join Soga for fear of being extradited to the United States to face a military court-martial.

However, on his return to the US in the early 2000s, he was dishonorably discharged and spent less than 30 days in jail.


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National

New York Port Authority explosion: What we know

27-year-old man detonates home-made device

(CNN) - Monday's attempted terror attack injured five New York commuters but its perpetrator, ultimately, appears to have failed in his aims.

Investigators are piecing together the weeks, days and moments leading up to the attack, in which a 27-year-old Bangladeshi man detonated a home-made device in a pedestrian subway tunnel in the heart of New York on a busy Monday morning.

Here's what we know so far about the explosion and failed attack:

The location

The blast detonated around 7:20 a.m. in an underground walkway connecting two subway lines beneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal, near Times Square, which accommodates 220,000 passenger trips a day.

The suspect was first spotted on a security camera as he began to climb the subway station stairs to the 18th Avenue F. train platform in Brooklyn at 6:25 a.m., according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

He then switched to the A train at Jay St./MetroTech stop in Brooklyn before exiting the train at the Port Authority Bus Terminal stop in Manhattan, the same law enforcement official says.

On grainy surveillance footage, commuters are seen walking through a tunnel when a burst of smoke erupts into the hallway, quickly filling it. Commuters flinch and take cover. When the smoke clears, a man can be seen lying on the ground in the hallway.

The suspect

The suspect has been named as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi who has been living in the US since 2011 on an F43 family immigrant visa, according to Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton. He is a lawful permanent resident who lives in Brooklyn.

He had pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation, and said he acted in response to Israeli actions in Gaza.

Ullah recently carried out electrical work close to the Port Authority along with his brother, who lives in the same apartment building as the suspect, according to law enforcement.

He is currently hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital, where he is being treated for lacerations and burns to his hands and abdomen, New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. He is said to be seriously injured.

From March 2012 to March 2015 Ullah held a Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) license, which had not been renewed, TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said. It's unclear "whether he drove for any particular base, or whether he simply got the license but didn't drive at all," Fromberg said.

The bomb

Ullah had at least two devices, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation tells CNN.

Only one detonated -- a foot-long pipe that contained black powder, a battery, wiring, nails and screws. It was attached to Ullah with Velcro and zip ties. Investigators did not elaborate on the second device.

The suspect made the bomb last week at his apartment in Brooklyn, according to an official. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was an amateur, "effectively low-tech device."

The explosive chemical ignited, but the pipe itself did not explode, lessening its impact, Cuomo told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"Fortunately for us, the bomb partially detonated," he said. "He did detonate it, but it did not fully have the effect that he was hoping for."

The victims

Five people were treated for minor injuries in area hospitals.

"Mount Sinai Health System received and treated five patients with minor injuries as a result of the explosion today at Port Authority; four at Mount Sinai West and one at Mount Sinai Queens," a statement from the hospital group said.

"All were in stable condition and were release today. We are working closely with officials in law enforcement in the wake of this event."

The response

Ullah was apprehended by Port Authority police officers shortly after the blast. Four of the officers involved in the apprehension and arrest of the suspect have been named as Sean Gallagher, Drew Preston, John Collins and Anthony Manfredini.

"Today, four courageous Port Authority police officers risked their lives confronting an armed terrorist to protect others from harm," Port Authority Police Benevolent Association President Paul Nunziato said in a statement.

"I am so thankful there was no loss of life and I could not be prouder of our Port Authority police officers, their actions and dedication to their sworn duty."

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident an "attempted terrorist attack," while Police Commissioner James O'Neill called it a "terror-related incident."

All subways and trains are running as scheduled, except the passageway where the incident occurred. Some exits and transfers may be blocked so passengers may be affected.

Gov. Cuomo praised the courage of the authorities, first responders and the city's residents.

"I am deeply grateful to the first responders and security personnel who kept people safe after today's attack and brought the suspect into custody," he said.

"Despite this morning's terrible incident, New Yorkers went about their lives unafraid, undeterred and more united than ever before. We will not allow this to disrupt us."

He added that he was directing the World Trade Center spire to be lit in red, white and blue "as a symbol of our essential values of freedom and democracy."

US President Donald Trump said Monday that an attempted terrorist attack in New York bolsters the need for his preferred immigration policies, which the White House says would have prevented the suspect from entering the country.


National

California wildfires have destroyed 1,000 structures and counting

Thomas Fire 20% contained as of Monday evening

(CNN) - Thousands of firefighters are making headway against the vast Thomas Fire burning in Southern California, expressing hope that conditions are becoming more favorable.

The blaze is larger than all of New York City and was about 20% contained as of Monday evening, according to the fire protection agency CAL FIRE.

The wind was cooperating with firefighters Monday and pushing the fire away from nearby communities, Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason told CNN. The breeze had also cleared the air somewhat, leading to improved visibility for fire crews.

"It's still not great. It's bad, but it's a better bad," Eliason said, warning that there was a fine line between winds helping firefighting efforts.

"You want the breeze to clear the air, but you don't want the breeze to fuel the fire," he said. "Hope springs eternal. Every day we're going to hope that this progressing and getting closer and closer of being put to bed. But right now we're going to need some rain and the long range forecast doesn't show that."

The Thomas Fire is only one of six major wildfires torching the state. In total, the fires have destroyed more than 1,000 structures since igniting last week.

The blazes vary in size. Together, they are larger than the areas of New York City and Boston combined, or bigger than the area of Singapore.

Latest developments

Making history: At more than 230,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, the Thomas Fire is now the fifth largest wildfire in modern California history.

Elevated conditions: Fire conditions are much better than over the weekend, but winds will continue to be a bit breezy at 20 to 40 mph through the middle of the week, according to CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward. Ventura County and surrounding areas are under an elevated fire outlook through Tuesday. Temperatures will remain in the upper 70s and low 80s for the week, as humidity remains low.

Warnings: A "red flag warning" for Los Angeles and Ventura counties has been extended into Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service said. That means elevated fire weather conditions are expected due to gusty winds and low humidity.

Evacuations: Some 93,243 people were under mandatory evacuation orders in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties Monday afternoon, county fire officials said.

Death toll: The death toll from the Thomas Fire stands at one. Authorities believe Virginia Pesola, 70, of Santa Paula, died in a crash while fleeing the fire. Her body was found Wednesday.

Firefighters tested

Santa Barbara County Fire's Mike Eliason said firefighters were working 24 or 36 hour shifts, typically on two week rotations. Their priorities were saving lives first, then property and then the environment, he said.

"This is the job they all signed up for, so they're all aware of what can happen and how the job can go. I think spirits are good, they've made some saves. I think they realize they have a mission here and a job and they're really working hard," Eliason said.

Limited visibility had made it difficult to tackle the blaze.

"This poor visibility has really hindered the fixed wing aircraft because they can't maneuver in these canyons if you can't see where you're going, so we've been forced to use helicopters that have been pounding it with gallons and gallons and gallons of water," he said.

The onshore winds were also pushing the fire back up into the canyon. "The longer the fire burns uphill, the bigger the burned area is going to be (behind it) so when the wind does shift, it's not going to have anywhere to burn back down into the community,' he said.

While the outlook was looking more positive, Eliason said he expected the fire to burn for another couple of weeks at least.

"Our hearts go out to all the folks who have lost homes already. Especially this time of year with the holidays coming, you've got to feel for these folks who've lost just everything. In some cases they had just minutes before they could evacuate and left with just clothes on their backs. We're trying our best to make that not happen anymore."

The National Weather Service in Los Angeles tweeted Monday that smoke was expected to affect coastal areas of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties by the afternoon and early evening.

'They're nervous'

Southeast of Montecito, Megan Tingstrom, owner of the Red Kettle Coffee in Summerland, has stayed open most of the week since the Thomas Fire started in Ventura County last Tuesday.

She offered free coffee to the firefighters and evacuees who trickled in.

"Some were crying," she said of the evacuees. "They said they lost their homes."

She said residents in Summerland, Montecito, Carpenteria and Santa Barbara are hopeful the blaze doesn't spread to their communities.

"They're nervous," Tingstrom said.

'The worst I've seen'

As the flames burned in the foothills on the edge of Montecito in Santa Barbara County on Monday evening, some hoped for the best.

Barbara Nimmo said she had lived through massive wildfires, including the Zaca fire that burned more than 240,000 acres in 2007 and one in Romero Canyon more than 40 years ago. She was staying put, she said, even as blaze glowed on the hillside behind her.

"We're from here. We know fires and we feel absolutely dedicated to our clients," said Nimmo, an estate manager for several mansions in the affluent Montecito area. "I'm just devastated overall. This is the worst I've seen."

Man loses 2 homes in wildfires

In just two months, Dr. Antonio Wong lost two houses in two separate California wildfires.

The anesthesiologist, his wife and his son escaped their Santa Rosa home before a wildfire engulfed it in October.

Weeks after Wong sifted through the charred remnants of that house, he learned that his other home in Ventura -- which he was renting out to members of the military -- burned down last week.

While those tenants are safe, "it was pretty devastating," Wong said from Santa Rosa on Monday.

"I still haven't processed the fire down there (in Ventura). I have so much to do to rebuild my house here (that) the thought of trying to rebuild a house down there at the same time is overwhelming. I don't know what I'm going to do."


World

North Korea sanctions could hurt millions as winter bites, UN says

UN cites '13 million vulnerable individuals'

(CNN) - As frigid winter weather sweeps over the Korean Peninsula, the United Nations has warned that punitive sanctions on North Korea could have unintended consequences for the country's long-suffering civilian population.

"The humanitarian assistance provided by the UN agencies and others is literally a lifeline for some 13 million acutely vulnerable individuals, but sanctions may be adversely affecting this essential help," said Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN's top human rights official.

Speaking Monday via teleconference before a UN Security Council meeting on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea's official name, Zeid said heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs have led to worsening conditions for those living under the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea's mission to the UN issued a statement Monday denying human rights were an issue inside the country.

"The Security Council has been degraded to a tool controlled by the grip of the US," the statement said. "Their despicable plot cannot frighten the DPRK."

North Korea has for years been accused of ignoring the plight of its citizens. A famine in the 1990s -- which historians attribute to agronomic issues and poor central planning, among other factors -- took the lives of an estimated 2.5 million people.

Today, 70% of North Korea's 25.1 million people are considered "food insecure" by the World Food Programme. Recent flooding and the potential for a historic drought, which the UN warned of this year, could further imperil food supplies.

A failing public distribution system, corruption and the diversion of Pyongyang's limited resources to its military have made life particularly difficult for those outside the showcase capital of Pyongyang, Zeid said.

"Every effort must be made to ensure the government of the DPRK makes urgent changes to the country's laws and policies to enable greater freedom and enable access to fundamental services and goods," he said.

Zeid also noted that the recent sanctions have caused difficulty for aid agencies on the ground, specifically the stringent banking restrictions, and asked the Security Council investigate the human rights impact of sanctions.

The body that oversees the UN's North Korea sanctions activity said in a statement Friday the resolutions punishing North Korea "are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences for the civilian population of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or to affect negatively or restrict those activities."

North Korea could face even stiffer measures following the November 29 test of what's believed to be the country's most advanced long-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile. After the launch, the United States reiterated previous calls for China to pump less oil into North Korea. Beijing previously pushed back on that idea due to concerns that ordinary North Koreans could suffer during the winter.

With the arrival of blistering weather, concerns are mounting over the plight of ordinary North Koreans. The capital of Pyongyang was forecast to hit a high of 16 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius) with an low of 1 degree (-17 degrees Celsius) Tuesday.

Military money

The sanctions passed this year are aimed at stopping North Korea's weapons programs by limiting items it can purchase on the international market and squeezing its ability to bring in revenue internationally, in the hopes that it will eventually trade nuclear weapons for sanctions relief.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, told CNN Sunday that sanctions have helped stymie trade and cut off Pyongyang's cash flow.

"Every ounce of revenue North Korea receives they put to their nuclear program. So the fact that sanctions have completely squeezed them, that's less money they can put towards that nuclear program," she said.

But North Korea says its nuclear program is non-negotiable, something that US President Donald Trump appeared to acknowledge at a rally Friday.

"I don't know that sanctions are going to work with him (Kim Jong Un). We've got to give it a shot," he said.

Analysts say the country's military and nuclear programs are likely the last things it would cut, as the country operates under a military-first policy known as "songun."

North Korea spends nearly 25% of its GDP on its military, according to US State Department figures (last year, the US spent 3.6% of its GDP on defense). The country's armed forces reportedly have more than a million people on active duty, with millions more in reserve.

The Kim regime justifies these large expenditures due to the narrative of an impending attack by the United States and its allies. The nuclear weapons and missiles programs, which have demonstrated considerable progress this year, are sold as the ultimate insurance policy to deter a potential US invasion.

Food and fuel

Stories and reports issued at separate UN events Monday painted a grim picture of life inside inside the hermit state.

Zeid noted that North Korea is putting up barriers on its border and increasing checkpoints throughout the country -- measures intended to deter would-be defectors from fleeing.

Zeid said his office received reports of defectors carrying poison. In one incident, a family of five reportedly committed suicide after being caught, likely due to fears as to what would happen on their return to North Korea.

Ji Hyeon-a, a North Korean who was forcibly repatriated three times before successfully defecting, spoke about the horrors of her experience at a prison camp in North Korea, during a side-event at the UN Monday.

"Everyone was subject to harsh labor and meals were so lacking that we ate raw locust, discarded cabbage leaves and skinned frogs and rats," she said. "People died withered and dehydrated from continuous diarrhea ... the dead bodies end up becoming food for the dogs."


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Politics

Doug Jones tells Alabamians to get out and vote on eve of special election

Charles Barkley: 'It can't be Roy Moore'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - On the eve of the Alabama special election, Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones rallied a crowd in Birmingham calling on Alabamians to turn out and vote.

"All we've got to do is make sure we get out our votes tomorrow," Jones told the crowd.

"I told folks, and told them all the time, if you called people today to say get up and vote, call them again tomorrow to make sure they got out and voted. Take people with you to the polls, grab folks that you can, because as we all know this election is going to be one of the most significant in our state's history in a long, long time," he later added.

Jones was joined by Alabama native and retired basketball star Charles Barkley at the rally, who told AL.com earlier Monday that "it can't be Roy Moore."

"To me it's silliness that this guy's trying to win," Barkley said, according to AL.com.

At the rally, Barkley said "it's not just about tomorrow," as he encouraged the crowd to vote on Tuesday.

"At some point, we got to stop looking like idiots to the nation," Barkley said.

Jones is battling Republican nominee Moore to fill the seat previously held for two decades by now-US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The race has garnered national attention with multiple women accusing Moore of attempting to pursue sexual relationships with them many years ago, when they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s. Moore has also been accused of molesting a 14-year-old and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old. Moore has denied any inappropriate behavior.

Both candidates have seen significant backing from their respective parties. President Donald Trump announced his full endorsement of the controversial Republican candidate last week, which was later followed by support from the Republican National Committee, despite multiple GOP lawmakers condemning Moore amid the allegations.

The allegations against Moore have also come during a time of national reckoning surrounding sexual assault, harassment and misconduct.

Jones received support from several big-name Democrats in the closing days of the race, including robocalls by former President Barack Obama and campaigning in the state by Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey.

"We've got to make sure at this crossroads in Alabama's history, we take the right road," Jones said Monday night.

The rally Monday night was the latest in a marathon of events Jones' held over the weekend, while Moore remained somewhat reclusive in the days leading up to the special election.


Sports

Eagles QB Wentz out for season with torn ACL

Wentz left Sunday's victory in 3rd quarter

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season and playoffs, coach Doug Pederson announced Monday.

The 24-year-old Wentz, who was expected to be an NFL MVP candidate this season, underwent an MRI on Monday morning after suffering the knee injury in Sunday's 43-35 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

It usually takes a player six to nine months to recover from the required surgery.

"If there's ever an opportunity for me to rally the troops as the football coach, now might be the time," Pederson told reporters Monday. "You can't lose faith. This has been a resilient football team all season long."

Wentz was injured as he took a big hit on a third-quarter touchdown run that was called back because of a penalty. He came up limping after absorbing multiple hits on the run but stayed in the game and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery four plays later to give the Eagles the lead.

Pederson said he believed the injury occurred right before the hit on Wentz.

"It appears watching the film again today it was actually before the contact so it could be a non-contact deal," Pederson said. "But that's just what it appears like on tape."

Wentz was 23-of-41 passing for 291 yards and four touchdowns with one interception before leaving the game.

Nick Foles replaced Wentz on the next drive for the Eagles (11-2), who clinched the NFC East title with Sunday's victory at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for their first division title since 2013.

Foles, who was 6 of 10 for 42 yards after coming into the game and leading the Eagles to a pair of field goals on consecutive drives against the Rams, will now be the starting quarterback.

The Eagles previously lost other star players for the season: Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters, return specialist/running back Darren Sproles, linebacker Jordan Hicks and special teams captain Chris Maragos.

"We overcame a Pro Bowl left tackle (Peters). We overcame a middle linebacker (Hicks)," Pederson said. "We've overcome a core special teams player, our kicker (Caleb Sturgis) this year. This is no different. Yeah, he is the quarterback of our football team and each one of these guys is tough to replace, but the reason we went out and got Nick Foles is for reasons like this, for situations like this.

"I'm excited for Nick obviously. I hate it for Carson Wentz. I hate it for the career and the season he's been having but at the same time it's been the next man up mentality and that's how we approach it this week."

With his four touchdowns passes Sunday, Wentz now has 33 to move past Sonny Jurgensen for the most TDs in a single season in franchise history, a record that stood since 1961. Wentz completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 3,296 yards with just seven interceptions in 13 games this season.

The Eagles next face the New York Giants this Sunday before a Christmas Day game against the Oakland Raiders and a season finale against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 31.

Foles is 20-17 as a starter in six seasons with the Eagles, then-St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs.

"I'm absolutely ready," Foles said after Sunday's game. "That's what I'm here for."


Sports

Cutler, Dolphins snap Patriots' 8-game win streak

Drake has second straight 100-yard game

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Jay Cutler threw three touchdown passes as the double-digit underdog Miami Dolphins upset the New England Patriots 27-20 on Monday night at Hard Rock Stadium.

Jarvis Landry caught two of Cutler's TD throws. After his second touchdown grab, he celebrated by pretending to inflate the football -- perhaps mocking New England quarterback Tom Brady's "Deflategate" issues.

Cutler completed 25 of 38 passes for 263 yards. Kenyan Drake led Miami's ground game with 114 yards on 25 carries. It was the second straight 100-yard game for Drake, who also had five receptions for 79 yards.

The Patriots (10-3), who visit the 11-2 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in what was looking like a battle for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, may have been caught looking ahead. Their eight-game win streak was snapped.

Brady got off to a poor start, missing all four of his first-quarter passes. He completed 24 of 43 passes for 233 yards and one touchdown, but he was intercepted twice, both times by cornerback Xavien Howard.

Before Monday, Brady had just four interceptions all season and never more than one in a game.

Miami (6-7) compiled an impressive 123-2 yardage advantage after one quarter but led just 6-0. The Dolphins scored on field goals of 30 and 44 yards by Cody Parkey. The first field goal was the result of a 13-play, 69-yard dive. The second was set up by an interception by Howard.

New England got untracked in the second quarter, taking a 7-6 lead on a 3-yard run by Rex Burkhead.

On the next possession, Miami drove 80 yards in seven plays and took a 13-7 lead on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Cutler to Landry.

New England closed its deficit to 13-10 on a 46-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski with two seconds left in the first half.

Miami extended its advantage to 20-10 when Jakeem Grant made a spectacular, leaping, 25-yard touchdown catch, crashing to the turf in the end zone.

The Dolphins closed the third-quarter scoring with Landry's 4-yard reception for a 27-10 lead.

New England crept closer as Brady's 3-yard touchdown pass to James White cut the deficit to 27-17 with 13:05 to play.

The Patriots, who had a first-and-goal at the Miami 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter, had to settle for a 33-yard Gostkowski field goal after getting hit with illegal-shift and holding penalties.

Trailing 27-20, New England failed to recover an onside kick, sealing the win for Miami.

NOTES: Dolphins DE Andre Branch sustained a first-half knee injury and did not return. ... Miami wore uniforms styled from its undefeated 1972 Super Bowl champion team. ... Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski served his one-game NFL suspension for an intentional late hit last week against Buffalo Bills CB Tre'Davious White. ... Miami's inactive players included QB Matt Moore, RB Damien Williams, OG Jermon Bushrod and CB Cordrea Tankersley. ... New England RT Marcus Cannon (ankle) was inactive. ... New England added DE Jonathan Freeny to its roster.


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Politics

5 things to watch in Alabama's Senate election

Roy Moore faces Doug Jones for Sessions' seat

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (CNN) - On Tuesday, Alabama voters will deliver their verdict on Roy Moore.

Twice ousted as state Supreme Court chief justice, criticized nationally for opposing the rights of LGBT Americans, Muslims and women, and accused of pursuing sexual relationships with teenage girls while in his 30s, the Republican could still be in position to win a Senate seat in the special election to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones as the nation watches the end of a contest that has roiled the Republican Party and dominated the national dialogue.

Here's what to watch:

1. Does Moore's history matter?

Even before the allegations of pursuing sexual relationships with teens, Moore was the most controversial major-party Senate nominee in recent memory.

He was booted as an Alabama Supreme Court chief justice for refusing to remove a two-ton statue of the Ten Commandments he'd ordered placed on state property. He was elected back to the job, but ousted again in 2016 for refusing to institute the US Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

Moore has said being gay should be a criminal offense. He's said the United States would have been better off stopping at 10 amendments to the Constitution -- ignoring the reality that those abolishing slavery and establishing the voting rights of women and minorities came later. And he's said Muslims (such as Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and Indiana Rep. Andre Carson) should not be allowed to serve in Congress.

On the trail, Moore campaigns aggressively against transgender rights.

In recent weeks, several women accused Moore of pursuing sexual relationships with them while they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. One was 14 at the time. Others have alleged that Moore sexually assaulted them.

Tuesday's election will gauge whether any of that matters -- or whether Alabama's evangelical base and his party label prove more important.

2. The Trump effect

The tradeoff for national Republicans is fairly clear: If Moore wins, he's a reliable vote in a Senate that's split 52-48 -- which could pay off on tax reform and more. He could also be a lasting headache that could taint the party everywhere.

The Republican who thinks it's all worth it: President Donald Trump.

Moore and his allies -- most notably former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon -- have attempted to turn the race into a choice for the Republican base between the popular Trump and the unpopular Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump held a campaign-style rally in Pensacola, 25 miles from the Alabama border, on Friday night, and repeatedly tweeted his support for Moore, saying Jones is weak on immigration, national security and would vote against the GOP tax bill. The President has also questioned the credibility of Moore's accusers and cast Jones -- who made his name prosecuting two Ku Klux Klan members for a Birmingham church bombing that killed four African-American girls -- as soft on crime.

If Moore wins, it'll give Trump a firm claim on control of the Republican Party, its base and its message headed into the 2018 midterms. He will undoubtedly seek credit for helping the controversial candidate over the top.

But he has a lot to lose as well should Moore fail. It will be evidence a scorched-earth campaign doesn't guarantee a GOP win, and a reminder for Republicans that the President with only a 32% approval rating can be a major drag on their re-election chances in 2018.

In a sign that Trump hasn't swayed all Republicans to vote for Moore, the state's senior senator, Richard Shelby -- the last Democrat elected to a Senate seat from Alabama, in 1992, before he switched parties -- said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that he didn't vote for Moore.

"I'd rather see the Republican win, but I'd rather see a Republican write-in. I couldn't vote for Roy Moore. I didn't vote for Roy Moore," he said.

Why? For the reason Moore's campaign fears: the sexual allegations.

"I think, so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip, drip, drip -- when it got to the 14-year-old's story, that was enough for me. I said I can't vote for Roy Moore," Shelby said.

3. Did the massive (but quiet) national Democratic operation work?

Former President Barack Obama cut a robocall for Jones that went out Monday. It was a boon to the Jones campaign's efforts to turn out African-American voters -- but to hear the candidate tell it Monday morning, the whole thing was a mystery.

"The only robocall I know about for sure is the one from my wife," he told reporters at a Birmingham diner.

That's how Democrats played the entire special election in Alabama.

A shadowy super PAC called Highway 31 pumped more than $4 million into the race to support Jones without disclosing much about its origins. On Monday, Politico reported that it was a joint project of the Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA Action, the two massive national Democratic super PACs.

Jones' campaign was even shy about its focus on turning out African-American voters, who make up 27% of the state's registered voter pool and on whom Jones is counting on a massive turnout.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia led a weekend of high-profile surrogate events through the state. But Jones' campaign, aware it needs at least around one-third of white voters' support to stand a chance, insisted that it was equally concerned about turning out voters of all ethnicities.

If it works, it could give Democrats some new tactics to use when its candidates find themselves in close races in reliably red states where the national Democratic brand would alienate voters.

4. As Mobile goes, so goes Alabama?

There's a reason Trump's event was in Pensacola, and Moore closed his campaign with big rallies in Fairhope a week from election day and Midland City on Monday night: They're all in the Mobile media market.

The region is home to scores of more affluent, moderate, business-type Republicans -- that is, those most likely to abandon Moore and vote for Jones, write in someone else or stay home altogether.

If Jones is going to win, he can't rely purely on turning out his base and hoping Republicans stay home. He'll need some white, conservative supporters, and the Mobile region is his best chance to win some.

Those are the voters Moore's supporters have targeted with a message that the election is a referendum on Trump's agenda.

"It's an up-or-down vote tomorrow between the Trump miracle and the nullification project," Bannon said Monday night in Midland City.

5. A sign of primary trouble for Republican incumbents?

The Moore campaign did Bannon a massive favor by leaning on him as the leader of the army of "deplorables."

If Moore wins, Bannon will get a lot of the credit -- even though his engagement in the Alabama race lasted just about four months, while Moore has been a public figure and controversy magnet in the state for nearly four decades.

Bannon envisions Moore's defeat of Sen. Luther Strange in the primary -- and, he hopes, subsequent victory -- as the first of many dominoes to fall in the 2018 midterm cycle.

He's aggressively backing a primary challenger to Nevada Sen. Dean Heller. He helped chase Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake into retirement. And he's backing candidates in primaries in 2018 battlegrounds like Montana and West Virginia.

The whole thing could give the GOP establishment a huge headache -- and a Moore victory would lend Bannon's grandiose plans some credibility. A loss could send Republicans back to the drawing board in search of new ways to handle the reality of an unpopular president leading their party.


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National

New York explosion: Suspect in pipe bomb pledged allegiance to ISIS, officials say

Station one of the busiest commuter hubs

Video shows New York City explosion

(CNN) - It was the latest lone wolf attack to target New York City. And it might have been worse.

A man wearing a homemade pipe bomb set off the explosive in a busy transit hub on Monday, injuring five and setting off panic during the morning commute.

Authorities said the explosion in a walkway below Port Authority Bus Terminal was an isolated attempted terrorist attack. Officials said the suspect, 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, pledged allegiance to ISIS and said he acted in response to Israeli actions in Gaza.

Investigators said the suspect had at least two devices, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. The device that detonated was a foot-long pipe that contained black powder, a battery, wiring, nails and screws. It was attached to Ullah with Velcro and zip ties. Investigators did not elaborate on the second device, the source said.

The explosive chemical ignited in the pipe but the pipe itself did not explode, lessening its impact, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"Fortunately for us, the bomb partially detonated," he said. "He did detonate it, but it did not fully have the effect that he was hoping for."

Latest developments

Ullah's movements: The suspect was first spotted on a security camera as he began to climb the subway station stairs to the 18th Avenue F. train platform in Brooklyn at 6:25 a.m. about an hour before the attack, according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

He then switched to the A train at Jay St./MetroTech stop in Brooklyn before exiting the train at the Port Authority Bus Terminal stop in Manhattan, the same law enforcement official says.

How bomb was made: The suspect made the bomb last week at his apartment in Brooklyn, according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Suspect's condition: Ullah is at Bellevue Hospital, where he is being treated for lacerations and burns to his hands and abdomen, New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. Five people were treated for minor injuries in area hospitals.

His prior credentials: Ullah held a Taxi & Limousine Commission license from March 2012 to March 2015, after which the license was not renewed, TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said. It's unclear "whether he drove for any particular base, or whether he simply got the license but didn't drive at all," Fromberg said.

Residency: He is of Bangladeshi descent and lives in Brooklyn, two law enforcement sources told CNN. Ullah came to the United States in 2011 on an F43 family immigrant visa, said Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton. He is a lawful permanent resident.

What his neighbor says: Alan Butrico owns a Brooklyn building next to the home where he says Ullah lives with his family. He said Ullah lives in the basement, while his sister and brother live above him. "He wasn't friendly at all. The family was very quiet themselves. They don't talk to nobody. They just stay there," he said, adding that his tenants reported hearing "screaming and yelling" coming from Ullah's home the last two nights. The tenants did not call police, he said.

'Just a lot of chaos'

The blast detonated around 7:20 a.m. in an underground walkway connecting two subway lines beneath the bus terminal, which accommodates 220,000 passenger trips a day.

On grainy surveillance footage, commuters are seen walking through a tunnel when a burst of smoke erupts into the hallway, quickly filling it. Commuters flinch and take cover. When the smoke clears, a man can be seen lying on the ground in the hallway.

Francisco Ramirez said he was exiting a bus when he heard two blasts, even though he was wearing headphones.

"From what I saw it sounded like it came from the subway, but I'm just guessing," he said. "It was two distinct explosions seconds from each other. As I was making my way toward the outside, I kept getting shoved by cops and there were cops at every entrance blocking and there was police and SWAT everywhere.

"It was scary. It was just a lot of chaos but I didn't see any injuries."

Marlyn Yu Sherlock was at a retail store on the main floor of the terminal when people began flooding out of the subway entrance, "screaming, running in panic," she said.

"The PA system was still blaring Christmas carols," Sherlock said. "It took about four minutes before men in black cop uniforms started shooing people out of Port Authority. As I walked further away from the building, I kept asking the heavily armed cops what it was. They said 'suspicious package.'"

Terror links?

Police Commissioner James O'Neill called it a "terror-related incident." A key point of the investigation will be determining if Ullah intended to detonate the device in the hallway, he said.

Four Port Authority Police Officers confronted the suspect in the smoke-filled passageway and intervened, the president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association said. He identified the officers as Sean Gallagher, Drew M. Preston, John "Jack" F. Collins and Anthony Manfredini.

"Today, four courageous Port Authority police officers risked their lives confronting an armed terrorist to protect others from harm," Paul Nunziato said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident an "attempted terrorist attack" and said there were no credible, specific threats against the city at this moment.

By Monday afternoon, all subway stations with direct access to the terminal were reopened. The passageway remained closed.

Previous attacks

The incident comes a few weeks after a deadly terror attack in Lower Manhattan.

A man was charged with killing eight people and injuring a dozen others as he drove a pickup truck down a bicycle path near the World Trade Center on Halloween. He was arrested after the truck hit a school bus, stopping it in its tracks. He exited the vehicle and an officer shot him.

The suspect, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, was indicted last month on murder and terror-related charges, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said. Saipov pleaded not guilty to 22 federal counts.

The Halloween incident was the deadliest terror attack in New York City since the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.

The incident came less than a year after a pressure cooker bomb went off in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, wounding 30 people. A second pressure cooker bomb was found a few blocks away but didn't detonate. In October, a jury convicted Ahmad Rahimi of eight federal charges in connection with the September 2016 incident.


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National

The California wildfires by the numbers

Over 1,000 structures destroyed

Weather works against Calif. fires

(CNN) - A spate of California wildfires have destroyed an area larger than New York City and Boston -- combined. And with the colossal Thomas Fire only 20% contained, the end is a long way off.

Santa Ana winds have literally been adding fuel to the fires.

Here are the staggering numbers behind the blazes:

231,700 acres

That's the size of the Thomas fire, the largest fire ripping across Southern California. It started in Ventura County and is now moving across Santa Barbara County.

At nearly 232,000 acres, the Thomas Fire is the fifth largest blaze in modern California history. It's torched an area larger than all of New York City.

Several other ongoing wildfires have destroyed over 26,000 acres in Southern California.

$48 million

That's how much money has already been spent fighting the Thomas Fire, according to Ventura County. And the cost is sure to grow, since the inferno was 20% contained as of Monday night.

25,000 homes threatened

At least 25,000 homes are threatened by five wildfires, according to the fire protection agency CAL FIRE.

1,000 structures destroyed

More than 1,000 structures have been wiped out, CAL FIRE said Monday. It's not clear how many were homes and how many were businesses.

9,600 firefighters

As of Monday, nearly 7,000 firefighters were tackling the Thomas Fire alone.

The Nevada Department of Corrections and Nevada Division of Forestry, which run conservation camps, have sent six trained crews of minimum security inmates to help.

Thousands more firefighters -- including some from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington state -- were involved in fighting the other wildfires.

85,000 power outages

Santa Barbara County has suffered intermittent (but widespread) power outages due to the Thomas Fire. Southern California Edison said that outages and surges had left up to 85,000 customers without electricity.

296 index

Every day, Los Angeles firefighters receive a brush-burning index report that indicates the fire danger. If it's 162 or higher, that's considered extreme. Late last week, the number was 296.

98,000 evacuees

At least 98,000 residents have been evacuated in Southern California, according to CAL FIRE.

$10 billion

This year has been the costliest for wildfires in United States history. Damages have topped $10 billion in 2017 -- and that was before the current spate of Southern California fires began.