In an exclusive clip from Sunday’s episode of uplifting drama God Friended Me, Miles (Brandon Micheal Hall) and Cara (Violett Beane) reconnect with John Dove — Miles’ first ever friend suggestion from the God account.
You might remember John from the pilot episode, when Miles saved him from jumping in front of a train to commit suicide. Luckily, things have turned around for John since then; he’s now practicing medicine again and back with his girlfriend. But, of course, there’s some greater meaning to the reappearance of Miles’ first Facebook friend… It seems everything to do with the God account is connected — and even more mysterious and complex than we even thought — since in the scene from Sunday’s episode, John also happens to have crossed paths with the man Miles and Cara suspect is behind the God account: Simon Hayes.
John, like the rest of us (!), hopes Miles and Cara will fill them in on God’s identity when they figure it out.
God Friended Me airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS. Watch the exclusive clip above.
Patrick Shanahan’s expected promotion to permanently head the Defense Department has stalled amid an ethics investigation and a series of unimpressive public performances, according to four people with knowledge of internal White House discussions.
Shanahan, who has served as the Pentagon’s acting chief since Jim Mattis resigned in December, has also been hampered by the deadly crashes of two airliners manufactured by his former employer, Boeing — the company that’s also at the heart of his ethics problems.
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The sources aware of the White House discussions believe Shanahan is still in the mix for the job, but they say recent events and his own missteps haven’t done him any favors with President Donald Trump. And some said his fate will remain uncertain until the Defense Department’s inspector general finishes a probe into allegations that Shanahan has privately boosted Boeing during meetings at the Pentagon.
With so much scrutiny on the crashes that killed a total of 346 people, it’s enough to have “the Boeing stench on you” to hurt chances for a nomination right now, a former Defense Department official told POLITICO.
“The IG investigation has slowed the process down and there are quite a few of us who want to see the report before moving forward, including President Trump,” a senior White House official said. “He’s paying close attention, as he has always done with those he’s considering for top positions.”
The White House had no immediate comment Friday, and the Pentagon said Shanahan’s only priority is doing the job Trump appointed him to.
“Acting Secretary Shanahan will continue to serve at the discretion of President Trump,” Shanahan spokesperson Lt. Col. Joseph Buccino said. “He remains solely focused on leading the Department’s operations, improving the lethality of our Nation’s military, and ensuring the highest-quality care for our servicemembers and their Families.”
In addition to his Boeing ties, Shanahan’s prospects suffered because of his rocky performances at last month’s Munich Security Conference and at a Senate hearing last week, sources familiar with the deliberations said.
Two other sources, both senior Republican Capitol Hill aides, confirmed that Shanahan’s expected nomination has been delayed but said they did not know why.
Trump had been poised to nominate Shanahan after the Munich conference, according to the former Defense Department official and two Republican aides. And he was prepared to do it again after Shanahan’s appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the two GOP aides said.
But Trump “cooled” on Shanahan after The Washington Post reported after the conference that the acting secretary had clashed with lawmakers over the president’s decision to pull all U.S. troops from Syria, the ex-Defense Department official said.
“There have been rumors of potential nominations every couple of days in the last eight weeks,” said a person close to Shanahan. “I personally have never seen any specific plan or intent from the White House that they were ready to go and pull the trigger. So far as I can tell it’s sort of a self-licking rumor ice cream cone.”
Shanahan’s Senate appearance last week was considered a second public audition, but he failed to forcefully push back against Democrats’ attacks on Trump’s plan to raid anti-drug-trafficking and military construction money to pay for a southern border wall. Instead, Shanahan repeatedly deferred to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford and Pentagon comptroller David Norquist.
“The hearing plus the Boeing thing is why you’re hearing it’s on ice and that’s my understanding, too,” a former U.S. official said.
The person close to Shanahan acknowledged that his performance was lackluster.
“That was his second hearing that he’s ever done so the goal going into it was just to get on base, not hit a home run,” the person said. “He got on base, no major fumbles.” He added that there are “clearly opportunities to continue to improve in the future.”
Then on Wednesday, the Defense Department’s inspector general’s office announced it was investigating Shanahan’s alleged private comments championing Boeing. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint last week with the IG, relying heavily on a January report by POLITICO in which current and former officials said Shanahan had disparaged rival contractor Lockheed Martin in private meetings and held up Boeing as a shining example.
Shanahan, who worked at Boeing for 31 years, signed an ethics agreement when he came to the Pentagon in 2017 and pledged to recuse himself from decisions involving the company. But his ties to the company are well-known — once, when Trump couldn’t remember Shanahan’s name, the president referred to him as “the Boeing guy,” a former White House official told POLITICO in January.
Shanahan had been senior vice president of Boeing’s commercial airplane programs, where he managed profit and loss for all 700-series aircraft — including the 737 MAX 8, the model that crashed in both recent air disasters in Indonesia and Ethiopia. But it’s believed his involvement with the MAX 8 program was tangential at best from his level.
One of the people said a third chance for Shanahan to get the job arrived March 15, when Trump was expected to announce the nomination during a visit to the Pentagon. But a 737 MAX flown by Ethiopian Airlines crashed on March 10, calling new attention to a Boeing software change that aviation experts say could send a plane into a fatal dive.
The president’s Pentagon visit “was in the aftermath of the hearing and then the Boeing stuff and now the 737 news and all that jazz,” the former official said. “All of that came together to say, yeah, we’re going to put this on ice and it may be not possible at all.”
A Senate Republican source familiar with the matter agreed thatShanahan is on hold for a “host of reasons,” including the “Boeing investigations, ongoing concerns about Boeing favoritism and preferences at the department, speaking ill of Lockheed.”
None of the current and former officials said Shanahan is out of the running. Instead they expect Shanahan to be a placeholder while the IG’s investigation plays out. The former U.S. official said Shanahan’s standing had improved before the Senate hearing, and that skeptical senators were starting to come around after the Munich debacle.
If Shanahan doesn’t get the job, Army Secretary Mark Esper and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie would likely return as possible contenders. Yet two sources said the White House is hesitant to move Wilkie because he has proven effective at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Another challenge for Shanahan comes Tuesday, when he appears before the House Armed Services Committee, whose chairman, Washington state Democrat Adam Smith, is a critic of Trump’s policies. Shanahan will almost certainly face harsher questioning than he did before the Senate, especially since the Pentagon released its list of construction projects that could be deferred to pay for the wall.
“Next week is going to go way worse,” said the Senate Republican source. “If Shanahan didn’t do well in a Republican hearing, he’s definitely not going to do well in a Democratic-dominated Adam Smith hearing.”
Wesley Morgan and Eliana Johnson contributed to this report.
The first round of the NCAA tournament didn’t have any historic upsets or many wild finishes, but it did produce three teams making their first-ever appearances in the second round, and the second day of the tournament produced two of everybody’s favorite upset, the No. 12 seed over the 5.
Virginia got another scare but responded a lot better than it did last year, and Kelvin Sampson, who hadn’t been heard from much in the college basketball world for a while, won an NCAA tournament game for the second consecutive season.
The big takeaway from the second day of the tournament is that all the favorites are still alive, and so are most of the second-tier contenders. Depending on what happens the rest of this weekend, it could make for a great Sweet 16.
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Chris Carlson/Associated Press
It’s been a difficult season for the Ducks without star Bol Bol, a versatile 7’2″ big man who was averaging 20 points per game before a foot injury in December ended his season.
As recently as Feb. 23, Oregon was 15-12 and coming off a three-game losing streak. It didn’t help that the Ducks were coming out of a weak Pac-12, either. Making the NCAA tournament was going to mean winning the Pac-12 one.
And that’s what Oregon did.
After beating fifth-seeded Wisconsin, 72-54, the 12th-seeded Ducks are now riding a nine-game winning streak, by far their longest of the season. They suddenly look like a team that has found itself after losing their biggest piece. And if that’s the case, Oregon is not a normal No. 12 seed.
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Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
Kansas State has an excuse in that its best player, forward Dean Wade, missed Friday’s loss to UC Irvine with a foot injury. But Wildcats coach Bruce Weber didn’t help matters by holding out the team’s second-best player, Barry Brown Jr., for 14 minutes in the first half.
Granted, Brown had two fouls, and the conventional wisdom is to sit players with two so they don’t get their third in the first half. But without Wade and Brown on the floor, Kansas State simply can’t score. You reduce a No. 4 seed to a team that wouldn’t even make the NCAA tournament.
This wasn’t a case in which the lower-seeded team got hot. This wasn’t one of those “stuff happens” games. UC Irvine shot 44.0 percent from the field and made nine threes. Not a bad night, but not one that would have been enough to beat the Wildcats if Brown—who, by the way, never even committed a third foul—had played most of the first half.
As it was, he never got comfortable and finished 2-of-9 while K-State shot 37.3 percent—and a team that won the Big 12 regular-season title ended with a first-round loss.
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Nell Redmond/Associated Press
Well, that was close. A lot closer than Virginia’s first-round game last year against UMBC, anyway.
The final score of 71-56 in No. 1 seed Virginia’s win over Gardner-Webb hardly tells the story. The Cavaliers were down 14 points in the first half and had the whole world thinking they were going to be the first and second No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed.
“Don’t you dare leave anything in this locker room,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett told reporters he said at halftime. “But you don’t panic.”
That worked out well enough. Down by six at halftime, Virginia responded with a 25-5 run to start the second half and avoid the worst kind of immortality.
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Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press
Remember last year when Trae “new Steph” Young captivated the world by leading Oklahoma to a Steph-like run deep in the NCAA tournament?
Yeah, that didn’t happen, and it turns out Oklahoma is just as good without Young as it was with him. Just like last year, the Sooners entered the NCAA tournament with 13 losses, but this time they actually won a game, blowing out Ole Miss 95-72 and shooting 57.6 percent from the floor while doing so.
Young is a spectacular player, but his spectacular play didn’t add up to much last year for OU. This year, the Sooners are less talented but more balanced—and having a better season as a result.
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Ben McKeown/Associated Press
The scandal that took down Kelvin Sampson at Indiana seems hilariously quaint in retrospect. The violations he made—they had to do with calling recruits too much—aren’t even against NCAA rules anymore, but they took Sampson out of college basketball in 2008, and he didn’t return until Houston hired him in 2014.
When he took over at Houston, the situation had all the markings of a retread coach taking a job at a lesser program to either revive his career or ease him into retirement.
But Sampson is one of those guys who’s too good at this to stay down for long. Houston has steadily improved every season under Sampson and broke through with an NCAA tournament team last year, the school’s first since 2010.
And for the second year in a row, Sampson has the Cougars in the second round. If Houston wins next week, it would be the school’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 1984.
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Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
There was a time when Ben Howland was thought of as one of the elite coaches in college basketball. A little more than a decade ago, Howland went to three Final Fours in a row at UCLA, coaching Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison and Kevin Love along the way.
Howland eventually washed out at UCLA, finishing with a winning percentage of .685 and winding up at Mississippi State in 2015.
Obviously, Mississippi State doesn’t have UCLA’s tradition or expectations. It’s rare that the Bulldogs have a team good enough to make the NCAA tournament, much less be selected as a No. 5 seed.
It’s not like there’s any great shame in losing a 12-5 matchup anymore, but this was an opportunity for Mississippi State and Howland to capitalize on the kind of team that doesn’t come along every year in Starkville, and they blew it.
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Where would Tennessee be without Admiral Schofield?
Out of the tournament, probably.
No. 15 seed Colgate was giving the second-seeded Volunteers all kinds of problems late into the second half, but Schofield hit back-to-back three-pointers to stretch Tennessee’s lead from three to nine in the final minute.
Schofield had a team-high 19 points on 14 shots, helping the Volunteers outlast a Colgate team that made 15 three-pointers.
Tennessee has had a tendency to flirt with disaster this year, but between Schofield and Grant Williams, the Volunteers have a couple of guys who never get shut down for long.
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Richard Shiro/Associated Press
Moderately well-known fact: Duke’s Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett are both left-handed, making them total weirdos. But since they’re two of the best players in the country, being left-handed is temporarily cool, no matter what Mike Krzyzewski says.
Williamson and Barrett were asked Thursday if being left-handed created some sort of bond between them. They didn’t really go for that narrative, but Krzyzewski, a right-hander, tried to jump in.
UC Irvine and Liberty both got their first NCAA tournament wins in school history on Friday, knocking off No. 4 seed Kansas State and No. 5 seed Mississippi State, respectively.
UC Irvine was making just its second-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament, but it was a trendy pick to pull off the upset. That wasn’t really the case for Liberty, a 12th seed that was making its fourth appearance in the tournament and first since 2013. The Flames took out Mississippi State anyway, riding a career-high 30-point performance from Caleb Homesley, who scored 22 in the second half.
Those two upsets continued something that started on Thursday, when Wofford won the first NCAA tournament game in its history.
There have been bigger first-round upsets in previous years, but over the long term, there aren’t many bigger underdogs in college basketball than Liberty, UC Irvine and Wofford.
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Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
Iowa State was such a tantalizing team this year. The pace of play, the three-point shooting, Marial Shayok…when the Cyclones were good, they were awesome.
But the NCAA tournament is not the Big 12 tournament, as Iowa State fans learn year after year. Iowa State won the Big 12 tournament this year. It was the fourth time the Cyclones had done that since 2014, and like every other time this happens, Iowa State was kind of a sneaky pick if you were looking for a middle seed to make a run.
The Cyclones had a chance to do what they’re known for doing when Nick Weiler-Babb got a good look at a game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds, but the shot rimmed off.
Federal officials at the Mexico border detained a 9-year-old U.S. citizen for 32 hours without her parents in order “to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship,” according to a statement released Friday by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The girl’s mother told NBC San Diego that her daughter and son cross the San Ysidro checkpoint daily to attend school. With traffic backed up, a family friend driving the siblings allowed them to walk so they wouldn’t be late, the mother said.
ABC News was unable to reach the family for comment.
Both children carried passport cards, but only the teenage boy was allowed entry into the U.S. while the girl was taken into custody, according to CBP. The agency said the 9-year-old had provided “inconsistent information during her inspection.” She was taken into custody at 10:15 a.m. Monday and released to her mother on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s important that CBP officials positively confirm the identity of a child traveling without a parent or legal guardian,” the CBP stated.
Border officials have come under intense scrutiny especially in San Diego, which has been used as a testing ground for the Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” policy. First implemented at the San Ysidro port of entry, the new plan requires asylum applicants to return to Mexico while they wait for a court date.
The policy is designed to address the recent influx of Central American asylum seekers at the southern border. It does not apply to Mexican citizens who are allowed to wait in the U.S. while they make their case.
Fans will forever remember March 22, 2019, as the day Supernatural stars Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins announced that the show had an end in sight. Specifically, the actors revealed that the show’s upcoming 15th season — which will premiere this fall — will be its last.
“We just told the crew that though we’re very, very excited about moving into our 15th season, it will be our last,” Ackles said in a video announcement. “We wanted you to hear from us that though we’re excited about next year, it will be the finale, the big grand finale of an institution.”
The show currently has four episodes remaining in season 14, with season 15 including an additional 20. As executive producers Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb said in a statement, “It is now most important to us to give these characters that we love the send off they deserve.”
Mike Coppola/Getty Images; Andrew Chin/Getty Images; Mark Davis/Getty Images
Following the news, many members of the Supernatural family shared their reactions on Twitter, including series creator Eric Kripke. See those below:
Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki star as the Winchester brothers, hellbent on battling the paranormal forces of evil.
Tacko Fall posted 13 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks as UCF beat VCU 73-58 on Friday at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Knights defense was astounding, holding the Rams to just 31.1 percent shooting. No VCU player had more than 11 points or four field goals. The Rams also went just 6-of-26 from three-point range and lost the battle on the boards to UCF, 42-34.
The Rams did not score for the final 5:41 of the first half or the first 5:41 of the second half.
Fall proved to be a bit of a matchup problem for the Rams, as this sequence showed:
Rams forward Sean Mobley was the tallest VCU starter on the floor at 6’8″, so a mismatch seemed inevitable. That could be said for all of UCF’s opponents, of course, but Fall had little issue on both ends Friday.
As Rodger Sherman of The Ringer pointed out, Fall is remarkably efficient on the offensive end:
Rodger Sherman @rodger
As of right now, Tacko Fall’s career FG% is 74.0. If in the second half of tonight’s game, he shoots 0-for-60, and UCF loses, he will still set the NCAA career FG% record set in 1981 by Oregon State’s Steve Johnson (67.75%). 0-for-61 and he’s screwed. https://t.co/v84yrejgYc
In fact, Fall has shot at least 50 percent from the field in every game since Jan. 23. He made six of nine shots Friday.
The game started in ugly fashion, with a Mobley and-1 layup acting as the contest’s only points for the first six minutes. The two teams finally started hitting some shots at the end of the first half, but the Knights proceeded to go on a 19-0 run over the span of VCU’s scoreless drought.
The run started with back-to-back three-pointers:
NCAA March Madness @marchmadness
UCF drops back-to-back s to take a 6 point lead over VCU in Columbia!
Two Vince Williams free throws finally stopped the pointless streak, and the Rams finally gained some momentum late in the second half. An 11-0 run cut the UCF lead to 59-50 with 6:41 left, and a De’Riante Jenkins three-pointer later closed the gap to seven.
However, the Rams couldn’t come any closer than that deficit.
UCF will now face Duke on Sunday, once again in Columbia.