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David McNew/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- More than 30,000 teachers on strike in Los Angeles are hoping they'll soon be back in the classroom as marathon negotiations continue behind closed doors over the holiday weekend to break a contract stalemate.

"I hope they get this figured out soon. It's exhausting," Melissa Berlant, a striking sixth-grade English teacher, told ABC News.

Monday, a school holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, will mark the eighth day since teachers in the nation's second-largest school district walked out of classrooms and formed picket lines after talks on a new contract with Los Angeles Unified School District officials broke down.

Representatives of the United Teachers of Los Angeles and the LAUSD returned to the bargaining table on Friday and continued to negotiate Sunday in marathon sessions being facilitated by the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, a potential 2020 candidate for president of the United States.

It's unclear what progress, if any, is being made at the bargaining table since both sides have agreed to keep the negotiations confidential.

California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is also rumored to have 2020 presidential aspirations, tweeted Sunday in support of the teachers.

"Students deserve nurses who can treat them when they’re ill. They deserve counselors," she tweeted. "They deserve to have librarians there on a daily basis who can open up whole new worlds. And they all deserve to be paid fairly, along with our incredible teachers."

The striking educators are asking for a 6.5 percent pay raise, smaller class sizes and for the district to add about 1,200 support staff positions, including nurses, librarians and counselors.

"I have over 1,500 students on my caseload," Yulya Ippolitova, 39, a psychologist at George K. Porter Middle School, told ABC News. "The National Association of School Psychologists recommended ratio is one psychologist to 750 students. Many of us are overwhelmed, working above and beyond to serve vulnerable student populations with no support from the district."

School district Superintendent Austin Beutner said last week that the district doesn't have the money meet all of the union's demands.

But Beutner expressed optimism that both sides can reach a compromise and break the impasse now that negotiations have been jump-started.

"Too many students are missing out on the education they should be getting," Beutner said on Friday. "We need to solve this now and get our educators and all of our students back in the classroom."

Beutner said that in the first week of the strike the district lost about $125 million in state revenue payments based on student attendance.

Schools have remained open in the district with substitute teachers filling in, but only about a third of the nearly 600,000 students in the district have been attending classes. Many students and their parents have joined teachers on picket lines.

UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl has called the strike a "fight for the soul of public education" in Los Angeles.

The union has been attempting to get a new contract for two years with no success. Caputo-Pearl said another big sticking point in the negotiations is the union's objection to the proliferation of charter schools in the district.

About 1 in 5 Los Angeles public school students attend a charter, the most of any school district in the nation. Charter schools are privately managed and most are nonunion.

"If we allow this movement to win, then our schools will be privatized, our students will have less equity and less access, and our jobs and our healthcare will be attacked," said Caputo-Pearl said at the rally on Friday.

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Tim Warner/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball will miss four to six weeks after spraining his left ankle against Houston on Saturday, the team announced on Sunday.

Ball suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Lakers' 138-134 loss to the Rockets.

The second-year guard had the ball and made a move to the free throw line against Houston guard James Ennis III, before passing it to teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Ball left his feet on the pass and landed awkwardly on his left ankle. 

He was carried to the locker room by teammates Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley.

Ball tweaked the same ankle in a late November game against Indiana.

This is the latest injury for Los Angeles. On Christmas day, the Lakers lost forward LeBron James to a groin injury and guard Rajon Rondo to a right ring finger injury. Both players are cleared to resume full-contact practice.

Ball is averaging 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game this season.

The Lakers are 25-22 on the year and sit tied for eighth in the Western Conference standings.

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Chris McGrath/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Marina Gross, a State Department interpreter, was the only other American in the room during President Donald Trump's one-on-one meeting with Russian President Putin in Helsinki last summer.

ABC News has learned new details about the 64-year-old interpreter with the State Department's Office of Language Services who is at the center of the political storm over what she might know about the private conversations Trump held with Putin during their meeting in Helsinki last summer.

Neither Gross nor her close family members provided comment for this story when contacted by ABC News.

Veteran interpreters are concerned that a Congressional subpoena of Gross or her notes of the meeting would set a dangerous precedent. They also question whether her interpreting notes would contain actual contents of the meeting itself.


Born in Russia, Gross was in her mid-20's when she and her family members immigrated to the United States in the late 1980s in the waning days of the Soviet Union.

In the 1990s Gross began interpreting for the State Department as a contract interpreter.

Well respected, she was later hired by the State Department and currently works as one of two Russian staff interpreters at the department’s Office of Language Services.

That office hires interpreters and translators who work throughout the U.S. government, including with the president.

Interpreters play a vital role in key international meetings where their language services are on full display, but by training, they remain in the shadows.

Accordingly, few pictures exist of Gross, other than those publicly released by the White House or the State Department where she was seen interpreting for first lady Laura Bush and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

But it is Gross' work in Helsinki on July 16 that has sparked the interest of Congressional Democrats because she was the only other American in the room for Trump's two-hour long meeting with Putin and his own interpreter.

Trump has met with Putin five times, but only twice in formal one-on-one meetings held in Hamburg and Helsinki.

Tillerson sat in with both presidents during their Hamburg meeting and provided other national security officials and reporters with a brief readout of issues that were discussed, but the Washington Post reported that the U.S. government has no internal notes of that meeting and that Trump seized the notes taken by his interpreter.

Since then, Congressional Democrats have said they want to gain access to Gross' notes to understand what Trump may have spoken about with Putin. A previous effort last year by Democrats to subpoena Gross and the interpreter at Trump's Hamburg meeting were shelved by Republicans who were in control the House of Representatives.

Last week Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador tweeted his support of Gross describing her as "a fantastic interpreter" and "a terrific person to boot!"


Professional interpreters are concerned about the dangerous precedent that would be set by Congress if a diplomatic interpreter is subpoenaed.

"I've never heard of that happening in the 30 years that I worked the State Department or subsequently since I retired," said Dimitry Zarechnak a former interpreter with the State Department's Office of Language Services, who interpreted for President Ronald Reagan during some of his summits with Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union.

"I think it would just be a very bad move and bad precedent for diplomacy in general," he told ABC News.

Harry Obst, the former director of the Office of Language Services who interpreted for seven American presidents, said that if he was placed in a similar situation, "I would not divulge any information."

"That's because of the oath that you swear to not divulge any classified information on any level," he said. "Because you have a top secret clearance."

A greater concern is the impact a subpoena could have on state leaders excluding interpreters from their meeting if they believe they could be subpoenaed by Congress in the future.

"The whole idea of subpoenaing an interpreter is atrocious," said Zarechnak. "What foreign leader would want to meet with the U.S. leader thinking that 'well, the interpreter could be subpoenaed and tell Congress what the meeting was about.'"

And a subpoena could also lead a U.S. interpreter to not rely on American interpreters.

"The president would also have a great incentive not to use our interpreter if there was a danger that that interpreter would then be subpoenaed in Congress," said Zarechnak.

Zarechnak noted that was something President Richard Nixon practiced during his his one-on-one meetings with Soviet leaders in the 1970s.

"Unfortunately President Nixon and [former Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger specifically did not use our interpreters," said Zarechnak. "I guess for the sake of their secrecy" they relied only on the Soviet interpreters during their meetings.


Both veteran interpreters question whether Gross' notes would be of much historical value.

Even if investigators successfully gained access to Gross' notes "they wouldn't know what to do with them in the first place" said Obst.

That's because as a matter of course the notes taken by professional interpreters are less about taking verbatim quotes than they are about getting the right inflection or meaning of a word or sentence.

Interpreters use symbols or meanings for words or proper context that are only comprehensible to them at that specific moment in time.

What might be more useful are the official classified documents, known as "memorandums of conversation" or MemCon's, that are compiled by interpreters using their handwritten notes.

MemCon's are ultimately only accessible by the Secretary of State and Obst said often times an interpreter will destroy the handwritten notes used during a meeting because they are no longer as relevant as the classified official document.

"So really what is saved is the memo not the notes themselves," said Obst.

Zarechnak recalls how the MemCon he wrote from his notes of the consecutive translation he took during the one-on-one meetings during the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Geneva were declassified 15 years later.

That declassified MemCon captures a detailed flavor of the topics that were discussed during one meeting as well as Zarechnak's take about Gorbachev's.

During a lengthy exchange on human rights in the Soviet Union, "Gorbachev interrupted, without listening to the translation, to say that he had understood what the President had said, and that he took all of this into account. He was familiar with the American political process, and the President should not hide behind this."

Zarechnak then added his take on Gorbachev's interruption and what it might mean about Gorbachev's knowledge of English.

"(U.S. Interpreter's Note: Gorbachev's indication that he had understood what the President had said without translation was unexpected, since he had never shown any indication of understanding English in previous or subsequent conversations. After the President's following remarks, Gorbachev specifically asked for interpretation and looked like he had not understood what the President had said. I think that the first time he was simply assuming that he knew what the President was saying, and was anxious to get into the plenary meeting.)"

Since MemCons are classified, the access to details of the Helsinki meeting that congressional Democrats want, may ultimately rest with Trump.

Obst told ABC News that only a president can release an interpreter from disclosing classified information gathered during a private meeting.

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Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  In a Sunday morning tweetstorm, President Donald Trump lashed out at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democrats for rejecting his proposal offering temporary protections to some undocumented immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in border security funding.

The president accused Pelosi of behaving "irrationally” for turning down his offer.

“Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat. She is so petrified of the ‘lefties’ in her party that she has lost control.”

He added in another tweet, “Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 - which they are not going to win.”

Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat. She is so petrified of the “lefties” in her party that she has lost control...And by the way, clean up the streets in San Francisco, they are disgusting!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2019

Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 - which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the Country & allow people to go back to work.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2019

During an address on Saturday in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, the president presented what he called a “compromise” bill aimed at reopening the government, securing border wall funding, and providing legal protections for some undocumented immigrants. When details of the proposal leaked to the press ahead of the president’s announcement, Democrats swiftly panned the offer as dead on arrival because it did not offer permanent protections for some immigrants. Pelosi called Trump’s proposal a “non-starter.”

The president also defended his proposal from immigration hardliners on the right who claim it offers amnesty.

Trump tweeted that amnesty "is not a part" of his shutdown offer, and added that there will be "no big push" to remove undocumented immigrants. But he ended by threatening Pelosi, seeming to refer to potential deportations. “Be careful Nancy!” Trump tweeted.

No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else. Likewise there will be no big push to remove the 11,000,000 plus people who are here illegally-but be careful Nancy!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2019

On Saturday, right-wing writer Ann Coulter railed against the proposal.

“Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb!” Coulter tweeted.

James Carafano from the conservative Heritage Foundation said that while the Trump administration should be "applauded for its attempts to both secure our border and end the government shutdown," he added that "including amnesty in the new proposal is not the way to do it." During a briefing with reporters yesterday afternoon following Trump's announced proposal, Vice President Mike Pence tried to push back on right-wing criticisms.

"There is no amnesty in the president's proposal, there is no pathway to citizenship in this proposal. It is 3-year relief for TPS and DACA," Pence said.

Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump, said the president is “tired of posturing from both sides" and said he hopes Trump’s proposal builds “trust” for future, larger reforms as the president suggested in his tweet this morning.

"What's keeping people hopeful is if they see breakthrough here it sets a positive tone" Kushner said.

However, Democrats did not signal they would be open to any negotiations, and Pelosi said that Democrats plan to plow ahead on unrelated border security bills next week.

Meanwhile, as the longest government shutdown in U.S. history reaches the one month mark, over 800,000 federal workers remain furloughed or working without pay while Trump and Pelosi engage in a political tit-for-tat.

Pelosi requested that the president postpone the State of the Union address to Congress, citing security concerns during the partial government shutdown. The president retaliated by halting the use of a government plane for a special congressional trip to Brussels and Afghanistan Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., were among the members slated to attend.

The White House has not yet announced any alternative plans for the State of the Union. On Twitter, the president said he is looking at “so many options” for the address, including delivering it on Capitol Hill.

“Nancy, I am still thinking about the State of the Union speech, there are so many options — including doing it as per your written offer (made during the Shutdown, security is no problem), and my written acceptance. While a contract is a contract, I’ll get back to you soon!” the president tweeted.

Nancy, I am still thinking about the State of the Union speech, there are so many options - including doing it as per your written offer (made during the Shutdown, security is no problem), and my written acceptance. While a contract is a contract, I’ll get back to you soon!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2019

Yesterday, Trump was asked if his political feud with the Speaker of the House has become too personal.

“Whether it is personal or not, it is not personal for me. She's being controlled by the radical left which is a problem,” Trump replied.

But on Sunday morning, the president insulted Pelosi’s home district, which includes San Francisco.

“And by the way,” Trump tweeted, “clean up the streets in San Francisco, they are disgusting!”

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(NEW YORK) -- Can a dog’s nose save a diabetic’s life? Man’s best friends are known to sniff out bombs, drugs and even bedbugs, but can they smell trouble for type 1 diabetics?

A new study done in the U.K. shows that the diabetic “alert” dogs were able to detect 70 percent of episodes of abnormal blood sugar -- incidents that can be dangerous, even deadly, for type 1 diabetics.

How do they do it?

Dogs that are noted to have a better sense of smell, such as golden retrievers, than their counterparts are the ones chosen for training. They use this highly sensitive sense to sniff out changes in the blood that occur when blood sugar becomes too low or too high. Doctors know that when blood sugar becomes too high, for example, it causes a chemical reaction in the blood that creates a fruity or sweet odor on their breath. Doctors may not always be able to smell it, but dogs can -- since their sense of smell is 40 times greater than ours. They can also pick up the scent from sweat and skin.

How are they trained?

The dogs are trained for months to years with positive reinforcement. To the puppy, it’s “play” with a reward for success. The training can then be personalized. For instance, saliva is collected when a diabetic’s blood sugar is nearing the lower range of normal.

The dogs learn that particular scent and how to alert their humans. Typically, they tap their partners with a paw or nose, place their paws on the partner’s shoulders, or any other signal that the two decide on. This prompts the diabetic to check his or her blood sugar and do what’s needed to correct it before it becomes an emergency. The dog and the diabetic both must undergo weeks of training together so that they can work as a team.

Why were the studies done in type 1 diabetics only?

Type 2 diabetes is much more common; it’s the disorder that many acquire later in life, and can be treated with diet, exercise and medication. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that can occur at any time in life when a person’s immune system destroys beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Since people with type 1 diabetes can’t make the insulin, they need to control their blood sugar and inject themselves with insulin. That means they are more prone to large fluctuations in blood sugar.

Extremely low or high blood sugar can have frightening symptoms: shaking, sweating, blurry vision, dizziness, seizures and a fast heart rate. This is the body’s way of alerting the brain that something is wrong and the person needs to act quickly. Without immediate treatment, the person will die.

Some diabetics, however, do not have any symptoms. This “hypoglycemia unawareness” is even more dangerous. With no signal that the blood sugar is abnormal, they can’t know to take action. This is where the diabetic alert dog comes in.

How much do they cost?

The process of training and pairing with a dog can be long and expensive. Some groups breed these service dogs for a profit, and others train strays at no charge. The cost from a not-for-profit can be inexpensive or even free, but the waiting list can be two to five years long. Otherwise, a trained dog can cost an average of $20,000. Medical insurance does not typically cover this cost.

A service dog can be a wonderful asset to a type 1 diabetic’s life. Sniffing out a medical problem can’t replace regular blood sugar monitoring, but it’s a sweet and lifesaving addition.

Dr. Azka Afzal is a resident physician at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

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Robyn Beck-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tesla announced on Friday that it will cut 7 percent of its workforce, marking the second round of job cuts in just over six months, as it faces the pressure of building and delivering its long-promised, lower-priced Model 3s at scale while keeping costs down.

The news comes just one week after CEO Elon Musk announced layoffs of 10 percent at his other company, SpaceX, in an all-hands meeting, which was first reported by The Los Angeles Times.

"We, unfortunately, have no choice but to reduce full-time employee headcount by approximately 7 percent (we grew by 30 percent last year, which is more than we can support) and retain only the most critical temps and contractors," Musk wrote in an email to employees delivered at 1:20 a.m. Friday morning. It was later posted on the company's website. In October, Musk tweeted the company had about 45,000 employees, so the cuts would eliminate about 3,150 jobs.

"Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35k and still be a viable company. There isn't any other way," Musk wrote.

The electric carmaker laid off 9 percent of its staff last June.

Tesla is facing several market conditions that are challenging for the company itself, the electric vehicle industry in general and the auto industry at large. It is certainly not the only automaker laying off workers in significant numbers: GM will lay off 15 percent of its workforce and close factories, with about 14,000 employees in North America losing jobs by the end of the year. Ford is also making global job cuts in the thousands, as it eliminates product lines, particularly in Europe. Jaguar Land Rover will also cut almost 5,000 jobs, and Nissan is also making layoffs.

In the meantime, Tesla faces increasing competition in the luxury space, as traditional brands plan to enter the electric market, including Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen's Audi and Porsche.

Musk needs to find a way to mass produce and deliver the lower-priced Model 3s he has staked the company's future on — an affordable mid-range electric car priced at $35,000. Tesla began taking deposits for the car three years ago and has yet to deliver at that price point. Currently, the cheapest Model 3 sells at $44,000. Furthermore, Tesla hopes to deliver Model 3s to Asia and Europe in the next three months.

“It has always been hard to make affordable electric cars, that’s why all car-buyers and tax-payers have to subsidize them through taxes and government incentives," Brian Moody, Autotrader's executive editor, wrote in an email to ABC News. "Tesla should never have promised affordability in the first place. The real future for EVs is luxury cars like the Jaguar I-Pace and automated delivery and taxi services."

"Starting around May, we will need to deliver at least the mid-range Model 3 variant in all markets, as we need to reach more customers who can afford our vehicles. Moreover, we need to continue making progress towards lower-priced variants of Model 3," Musk wrote.

"The need for a lower priced variants of Model 3 becomes even greater on July 1, when the US tax credit again drops in half, making our car $1,875 more expensive, and again at the end of the year when it goes away entirely," he added.

The electric vehicle tax credit, which offset the price of a new Tesla by $7,500 was halved on Jan 1, making it now $3,750.

The electric vehicle tax credit applies to all manufacturers for their first 200,000 vehicles. After that threshold, it's halved, and then halved again before it is phased out. Therefore newer entrants to the market can defray costs for consumers by $7,500, potentially swaying buyers to Tesla's competitors. Earlier this month, Tesla dropped the price of all of its vehicles by $2,000.

Musk's email was markedly somber in tone compared the fiery tweets he's become known for — and which cost him and the company each $20 million in settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission last year. Musk had been sued for fraud and misleading investors about taking the company private.

Friday's email confirmed many external criticisms of the company.

"This announcement is a rare moment of concession for Tesla, where the company is officially acknowledging the fact that Model 3 buyers actually do care about the tax credits, and could insinuate that demand for the vehicle is starting to wane," Jessica Caldwell, an executive at auto research firm Edmunds, wrote in an email to ABC News.

"This is clearly big news because it’s Tesla, but it’s not unlike moves we’re seeing from other automakers as costs rise and competitive pressures increase. But when you’re talking about a company that builds tents to solve production challenges, it’s almost more notable when you see them doing something conventional," Caldwell wrote.

The company has been struggling to be profitable its entire existence. In October, it reported a record third-quarter profit of $311.5 million, reversing Wall Street expectations. Musk referred to that 4 percent as "our first meaningful profit in the 15 years since we created Tesla." Musk credited the higher-priced Model 3 sales.

Within Tesla's own ecosystem, Tesla has been struggling from both production and delivery issues, which Musk admitted in a tweet last year, saying the company had gone from "production hell to delivery logistics hell."

Tesla shares dipped dramatically on Friday, down 13 percent to $302.

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Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Radio Hall of Fame(NEW YORK) -- Ahead of receiving the the Life Achievement Award at the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 27, former M*A*S*H star Alan Alda has given an upbeat interview to People.

The 82-year-old actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease almost four years ago, admits that at first, he was frightened by the diagnosis, but he hasn't let it slow him down.

"My life is more of an improvisation," Alda tells the magazine. "I just try to make the best of what’s in front of me."

Alda learned as much as he could about the degenerative condition, and he insists that staying active is key.

Indeed, the award-winning stage and screen actor's 2018 announcement to his fans that he had the disease was accompanied by video of him juggling. He also dances and does tai chi.

Alda hasn't slowed down professionally, either: He hosts a podcast called Clear Vivid, and recently logged appearances on Showtime’s Ray Donovan.

"I'm busy," Alda tells People. "I do occasionally do nothing and sit around. But I believe in doing everything in moderation, including moderation. So far it’s working."

The actor credits Arlene, his wife of 61 years, with keeping him positive, too.

He gushes, "We still experience a kind of puppy love."

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