Also in the news this Friday: Israel reverses course on lawmaker visit and Trump claims grim future without second term for him.
Greenland tells Trump: We're not for sale
Aiming to put his mark on the world map, President Donald Trump has talked to aides and allies about buying Greenland for the U.S.
A Trump ally told The Associated Press on Thursday that the Republican president had discussed the purchase but was not serious about it. And a Republican congressional aide said Trump brought up the notion of buying Greenland in conversations with lawmakers enough times to make them wonder, but they have not taken his comments seriously. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
The island governor's on Friday flatly ruled out such a purchase: "Greenland it not for sale."
Still, it wouldn't be the first time an American leader tried to buy the world's largest island, an autonomous territory of Denmark.
In 1946, the U.S. proposed to pay Denmark $100 million to buy Greenland after flirting with the idea of swapping land in Alaska for strategic parts of the Arctic island.
Neither the White House nor Denmark immediately commented Thursday. Trump is set to visit Denmark next month.
The story was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Israel reverses course, will allow Muslim congresswoman to visit West Bank
Israel's interior minister said Friday he has received and granted a request by Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib to enter the Israeli-occupied West Bank on humanitarian grounds.
The decision marked the latest sharp reversal over what had been a planned visit by Tlaib and fellow Democrat, Rep. Ilhan Omar, to Jerusalem and the West Bank.
On Thursday, Israel had announced it is barring the two from entry — an unprecedented move targeting members of the U.S. Congress. Israel's decision came after President Donald Trump said in a tweet it would show "weakness" to allow in the two Muslim members of Congress who have been sharply critical of him and of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians.
The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — and Trump's prior prodding — had sparked widespread criticism, including from Israeli and Jewish organization which said it was an affront to U.S. institutions to bar the entry of members of Congress. Critics also argued that it weakened Israel's traditionally strong ties with the U.S. through heavy-handed partisanship.
On Friday, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced the latest twist — that Tlaib had requested and been granted permission to enter the West Bank to see relatives, including her 90-year-old grandmother.
Deri's office published what it said was Tlaib's written request, on congressional stationary.
In her letter, Tlaib said this would likely be the last chance to see her grandmother and that she would respect any restrictions and "not promote boycotts" during her visit.
Tlaib's office could not immediately be reached for comment.
Deri's office said he "decided to allow her entry to Israel and hopes she will stand by her commitment and that the visit will be for humanitarian needs only."
Tlaib's apparent pledge to conduct the visit in line with restrictions imposed by Israel was bound to anger Palestinians who had hoped the congressional tour, organized by a Palestinian group, would highlight their plight. Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians hope to establish an independent state on those lands.
Tlaib and Omar are known as supporters of "boycott, divestment and sanctions," or BDS, a Palestinian-led global movement. Israel alleges that BDS targets Israel's very existence, while the movement's supporters say it is intended as leverage to end more than half a century of Israeli military rule over Palestinians.
Israel's decision Thursday had been an extraordinary step bringing the longtime U.S. ally into Trump's domestic fight against political rivals at home.
The U.S. president was essentially relying on Israel to retaliate against Tlaib and Omar. The two are part of the "squad" of liberal newcomers — all women of color — whom Trump has labeled the face of the Democratic Party as he runs for re-election. Trump's actions marked a glaring departure from the tradition of American politicians leaving domestic disputes at the water's edge.
Taco eating contestant choked to death
A Northern California coroner says a man choked to death while participating in a taco-eating contest at a minor league baseball game.
The Fresno County sheriff-coroner's office released the cause of death for 41-year-old Dana Hutchings after an autopsy Thursday. He died after Tuesday night's contest at the Fresno Grizzlies game.
Witness Matthew Boylan told the Fresno Bee he noticed Hutchings was eating much more quickly than the two other contestants and did not appear to be chewing his food.
He said Hutchings collapsed and hit his face on a table about seven minutes into the contest, then fell to the ground. The eating contest ended immediately.
Fresno sheriff's spokesman Tony Botti says emergency room staff at the hospital tried to clear food from Hutchings' airway.
Lawmaker accused of drunken driving, claiming he was cop
An Indiana state representative was charged with drunken driving and impersonating an officer after he tried to buy cocaine "party favors" at a local bar, court documents show.
Democratic lawmaker Dan Forestal, 36, was elected in 2012. He was charged with one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resisting law enforcement and impersonating a public servant, the Marion County Sheriff's Department said Thursday.
His encounter with real officers happened Saturday night, after a resident called 911 to report someone impersonating an officer in in Indianapolis.
Forestal told the person he's an officer doing a drug bust in the area, a probable cause affidavit says. He allegedly asked where the "people selling drugs" lived and flashed a badge on a silver chain.
When officers arrived, they found him in his car. He held onto the steering wheel and refused to step out, and was handcuffed after a brief struggle, the probable cause affidavit says.
He threatened to sue the officers for violating his rights, according to the affidavit, which also accused him of trying to buy cocaine.
During that incident, he also identified himself as a firefighter, a state representative and the nephew of the Marion County Sheriff, according to the affidavit. The Indianapolis Fire Department confirmed he's been an active firefighter for 12 years.
Earlier that evening, before his police encounter, he'd allegedly asked customers at a local bar where he can buy "party favors" such as cocaine," the affidavit says.
His attorney, Jim Voyles, told CNN he does not speak to the media about his cases.
7-foot croc swimming in creek as kids play nearby
Children from a church group were playing in a creek in Ohio when one of their leaders spotted a 7-foot-long crocodile swimming nearby.
The 16 kids, all first- through sixth-graders, were in Bantas Fork Creek in West Alexandria, Ohio, on Wednesday night when one of the adults with them spotted something and shoulted to "get the kids out of the water," said Rick Turnbull, who helps teach the children.
Rich Denius was in the water with one of his sons and helped get the children to safety.
"Give Jesus all the glory for protecting these kids," Denius said.
The crocodile was about 20 feet away by the time everyone got out of the creek. Turnbull said it swam right under the bridge they were standing on.
"He wasn't afraid of us. He swam under it, popped his head up and looked at us," he said.
A wildlife officer was called in and shot the animal. Turnbull said the kids had been taken out of the area before that happened.
Crocodiles are not native to Ohio, and the state's veterinarian said it was probably a pet that someone dumped when it got too big.
"This was the first sighting, so he probably hadn't been in there very long," Dr. Tony Forshey said.
The crocodile was 7½ feet long and weighed 171 pounds, he said.
Turnbull said the church group takes the children down to the creek a couple of times each summer, when the water's warm, to study nature as part of their religious lessons.
On Wednesday, they discussed how some fish will gather together near a light source to protect themselves from predators.
"It was wild that we'd had a lesson about predators lurking in the shadows," he said.
Trump paints dire picture of US without him getting 2nd term
President Donald Trump sought to reassure his supporters about the state of the U.S. economy despite the stock market volatility and told rallygoers in New Hampshire, a state that he hopes to capture in 2020, that their financial security depends on his reelection.
"Whether you love me or hate me you have to vote for me," Trump said.
Speaking to a boisterous crowd at Southern New Hampshire University Arena, Trump dismissed the heightened fears about the U.S. economy and a 3% drop Wednesday in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was fueled by a slowing global economy and a development in the bond market that has predicted previous recessions. Avoiding an economic slump is critical to Trump's reelection hopes.
Trump, who reached the White House by promising to bring about a historic economic boom, claimed without evidence tha the markets would have crashed if he had lost his 2016 bid for the presidency. And he warned that if he is defeated in 2020, Americans' 401(k) retirement accounts will go "down the tubes."
The Republican president also defended his tactics on trade with China. He has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion of imports from China and has threatened to hit the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese imports with 10% tariffs. He has delayed that increase on about half of those items to avoid raising prices for U.S. holiday shoppers. He said China wants to make a trade deal with the U.S. because it's costing the country millions of jobs, but he claimed that the U.S. doesn't need to be in a hurry.
"I don't think we're ready to make a deal," Trump said.
Trump's rally was the first since mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, killed 31 people and wounded dozens more. The shootings have reignited calls for Congress to take immediate action to reduce gun violence. Trump said the U.S. can't make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, but he advocated for expanding the number of facilities to house the mentally ill without saying how he would pay for it.
"We will be taking mentally deranged and dangerous people off of the streets so we won't have to worry so much about them," Trump said. "We don't have those institutions anymore, and people can't get proper care. There are seriously ill people and they're on the streets."
The rally was interrupted about a half an hour in by a handful of protesters near the rafters of the arena. As the protesters were being led out, a Trump supporter wearing a "Trump 2020" shirt near them began enthusiastically shaking his fist in a sign of support for the president.
But Trump mistook him for one of the protesters and said to the crowd: "That guy's got a serious weight problem. Go home. Start exercising. Get him out of here, please."