(CNN)The day before Pope Francis met anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis in Washington last week, he held a private meeting with a longtime friend from Argentina who has been in a same-sex relationship for 19 years. Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner, Iwan Bagus, as well several other friends to the Vatican Embassy on September 23 for a brief visit with the Pope. A video of the meeting shows Grassi and Francis greeting each other with a warm hug. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Grassi said the visit was arranged personally with the Pope via email in the weeks ahead of Francis' highly anticipated visit to the United States. JUST WATCHED Pope Francis meets with, hugs same-sex couple Replay More Videos ... MUST WATCH Pope Francis meets with, hugs same-sex couple 00:48 "Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug," Grassi said. The meeting between the Pope and gay couple adds another … [Read more...] about CNN Exclusive: Pope held private meeting with same-sex couple in U.S.
Story highlights The Jackson Magnolia has had a long and storied life The tree has been in the background for numerous historic events Washington (CNN)The south facade of the White House will undergo a dramatic change this week: the historic Jackson Magnolia, a tree that has been in place since the 1800s, is scheduled to be cut down and removed. The enormous magnolia, one of three on the west side of the White House and the oldest on the White House grounds, extends from the ground floor, up past the front of the windows of the State Dining Room on the first floor and beyond the second-level executive residence. The tree has had a long and storied life, yet has now been deemed too damaged and decayed to remain in place. Specialists at the United States National Arboretum were brought in by the White House to assess the Magnolia grandiflora, as it is specifically termed. According to documents obtained exclusively by CNN, the tree must be removed, and quickly, despite efforts to … [Read more...] about Exclusive: Iconic White House tree to be cut down
(CNN)A former Trump World Tower doorman who says he has knowledge of an alleged affair President Donald Trump had with an ex-housekeeper, which resulted in a child, is now able to talk about a contract he entered with American Media Inc. that had prohibited him from discussing the matter with anyone, according to his attorney. On Friday, Marc Held -- the attorney for Dino Sajudin, the former doorman -- said his client had been released from his contract with AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, "recently" after back-and-forth discussions with AMI. CNN has exclusively obtained a copy of the signed "source agreement" between Sajudin and AMI, which is led by David Pecker. Why the Allen Weisselberg immunity deal may be the biggest news of this bananas week The contract appears to have been signed on Nov. 15, 2015, and states that AMI has exclusive rights to Sajudin's story but does not mention the details of the story itself beyond saying, "Source shall provide AMI … [Read more...] about EXCLUSIVE: ex-Trump World Tower doorman’s “catch-and-kill” contract released
This story was originally published June 6, 2018. Washington (CNN Business)"It's as easy to use as playing Minecraft," Kitty Hawk CEO Sebastian Thrun said as we watched my colleague Rachel Crane pull on a motorcycle helmet. Rachel and I had just flown into Las Vegas for an exclusive first look at the Silicon Valley single-seat flying machine, Flyer. Kitty Hawk, funded by Google cofounder Larry Page and led by Thrun, a self-driving car pioneer, attracted nationwide attention when it teased its Flyer prototype last year. But now Rachel was suiting up to become the first reporter to take flight in a new, sleeker model -- no pilot license required. Expectedly, she was nervous and I was relieved it wasn't me sitting in the pilot's seat. The 250-pound vehicle resembles a cross between a drone and a pontoon plane. Ten propellers twirled around her as I watched from 50 feet away. Over the years, I've rode in a half dozen self-driving cars without any fear. But something about piloting a … [Read more...] about We took an exclusive ride in a flying car
(CNN)As tens of thousands of Americans die from prescription opioid overdoses each year, an exclusive analysis by CNN and researchers at Harvard University found that opioid manufacturers are paying physicians huge sums of money -- and the more opioids a doctor prescribes, the more money he or she makes. In 2014 and 2015, opioid manufacturers paid hundreds of doctors across the country six-figure sums for speaking, consulting and other services. Thousands of other doctors were paid over $25,000 during that time. Physicians who prescribed particularly large amounts of the drugs were the most likely to get paid. "This is the first time we've seen this, and it's really important," said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a senior scientist at the Institute for Behavioral Health at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, where he is co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative. "It smells like doctors being bribed to sell narcotics, and that's very … [Read more...] about CNN Exclusive: The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make