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David Hookstead | Reporter

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is done playing football.

The three-time Super Bowl champion wrote the following in part on Instagram Sunday when explaining his decision:

It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field.

You can see his whole post below.

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It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next.

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What a crazy development on a Sunday afternoon. There appeared to be some serious hints that Gronk was going to be done sooner than later. He’d been very open about his injuries in the past and the physical toll of the game on his body.

What an incredible career he has had. He’ll go down in history as arguably the greatest tight end to ever pick up a football. (RELATED: Patriots Beat The Rams In The Super Bowl)

Plus, he gets to go out after winning another Super Bowl. What more could you ask for?

Gronk will retire with 79 career receiving touchdowns and 7861 receiving yards. He also made more than $50 million in his career.

I have no idea what the former Patriots star will do in retirement, but I do know that he’ll have plenty of options. He’s an incredibly entertaining guy, he’s charismatic and seems to crush it in front of the cameras.

My guess is that he’ll have no shortage of suitors in the entertainment world. Props to him for an incredible career, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

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Whitney Tipton | Contributor

A luxury cruise ship is safely back in a Norwegian port after 24 hours of engine problems and rough seas forced the evacuation of hundreds of passengers.

The Viking Sky lost engine power and became crippled in rough waters Saturday, forcing it to weigh anchor just 300 feet from jagged rocks to conduct airlift rescue operations in the Norwegian Sea, according to the Associated Press.

Social media posts show the boat destabilized, rocking side to side in 20-30 foot waters as furniture and objects careened into frightened passengers.

Minnesota native Rodney Horgan, 62, told the AP that he watched six feet of water rush onto the ship and thought “‘This is it,’ I grabbed my wife but I couldn’t hold on. And she was thrown across the room. And then she got thrown back again by the wave coming back.” Horgan and his wife were eventually airlifted from the boat.

The ship lost power on Saturday afternoon and sent out a distress call. It drifted for 30 minutes along a notoriously rough stretch of water and was close to striking rocks before the crew decided to weigh anchor, according to the BBC News.

The AP reported that 479 passengers were airlifted throughout the evening, until the Viking Sky’s captain decided noon Sunday that conditions had improved and the ship would try to get back into port.

The boat was able to restart three of its four engines Sunday, and was escorted by two tugboats as it traveled under its own power into the port of Molde, Norway.

The boat is owned by Viking Ocean Cruises, who reported 20 people injured “as a result of this incident, and they are all receiving care at the relevant medical centers in Norway, with some already having been discharged,” according to the Associated Press.

The mostly English-speaking passengers were largely from the U.S., U.K., Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The cruise journeyed into the Norwegian towns of Narvik, Alta, Tromso and Bodo before it was scheduled to arrive Tuesday into the British port of Tilbury on the River Thames. (RELATED: Cruise Ship Returns To Port Day Early After 277 People Were Exposed To Norovirus, Forced To Stay On Boat)

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Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Donald Trump Jr. laid into Democrats and many in the media in his first full public statement regarding the conclusions reached by special counsel Robert Mueller.

“The farce that the Democrats & their media lackeys perpetrated on the American people for over 2 years should never be forgotten!” he tweeted along with a full statement.

He began with an attack on the media, blaming a number of outlets for perpetuating the collusion narrative without evidence to back it up.

After more than 2 years of non-stop conspiracy theories from CNN, MSNBC, Buzzfeed and the rest of the mainstream media, as well as daily lies and smears coming from Democrats in Washington, the Mueller Report proves what those of us with sane minds have known all along, there was ZERO collusion with Russia.

Trump also noted that in the hours since it was announced that there would be no further indictments related to the probe — and that Mueller had found no evidence of collusion or obstruction — there are a number of Democrats and media personalities who don’t appear ready to move on. (RELATED: Ted Cruz Blasts House Democrats: ‘They Are Going To Impeach The President For Being Donald Trump)

Sadly, instead of apologizing for needlessly destabilizing the country in a transparent attempt to delegitimize the 2016 election, it’s clear that the Collusion Truthers in the media and the Democrat Party are only going to double down on their sick and twisted conspiracy theories moving forward.

Trump concluded with a call to “honest journalists,” challenging them to be courageous enough to “hold these now fully debunked truthers accountable and treat them with the scorn and ridicule that they so deserve.”

It’s my hope that honest journalists within the media have the courage to hold these now fully debunked truthers accountable and treat them with the scorn and ridicule that they so deserve.

Trump Jr. may be right — in the hours since Mueller gave his report to Attorney General William Barr, a number of Democrats have indicated that they plan to forge ahead. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler told CNN’s Dana Bash that “we know there was collusion,” and he intended to continue investigating regardless of Mueller’s findings.

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David Hookstead | Reporter

The Wisconsin Badgers are national champions.

My women’s hockey team defeated Minnesota 2-0 Sunday afternoon in dominating fashion to win our fifth national title in the past 13 years.

Star Annie Pankowski shredded apart the Gophers, and our neighbors to the west really never had a chance. (RELATED: Watch ‘Miracle On Ice’ Legend Mark Johnson‘s Wisconsin Jersey Retirement Ceremony)

I know that I regularly trash women’s sports, but women’s hockey is different. Whether it’s the national team or the top teams in college, those gals are exciting as hell to watch.

Just days after our hearts were broken by Oregon in March Madness, my beloved Badgers are back on the top of the world. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

What an incredible time to be a Wisconsin Badgers. Five titles since 2006. Mark Johnson really has done something incredible with this program.

Again, I know you’re probably shocked I tuned in for a women’s sporting event, but you just don’t know what you’re talking about if you don’t understand the high level of play in elite women’s hockey.

It’s incredibly entertaining and we’re here for every single second of it. Major props to my ladies back home for taking care of business. I couldn’t be prouder of them.

Finally, Wisconsin star Sophia Shaver is an absolute smoke.

With women like that on our roster, we were winners before they even dropped the puck.

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Scott Morefield | Reporter

President Donald Trump celebrated the end of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and the release of Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress summarizing its results with a Sunday afternoon tweet.

“No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION,” Trump tweeted. “KEEP AMERICA GREAT”

In addition to finding no evidence that the president or anyone associated with his campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 election, the report also did not find sufficient evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.

“The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller wrote, according to Barr’s letter.

Meanwhile, Democrats promise to keep the investigation going in the House.

“We know there was collusion,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday. “Why there’s been no indictments, we don’t know.” (RELATED: Adam Schiff Still Believes There’s ‘Compelling And Incriminating’ Evidence Of Collusion)

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Karl Notturno | Center for American Greatness

Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) recently appeared on the Tonight Show with Stephen Colbert.

Gabbard’s bright red jacket along with Colbert’s unusually pointed, abrasive, and denigrating questions could have easily confused many in the audience — but yes, she is a Democrat.

But while many other Democrat presidential candidates have twisted themselves into identitarian knots and prostrated themselves on the altar of political correctness in order to placate an increasingly extreme Leftist wing of the party, Gabbard has primarily campaigned on removing the United States from foreign entanglements.

A combat veteran who fought in Iraq, Gabbard knows the cost of regime-change wars and has a deep distrust of the pseudo-intellectuals and supposed policy experts who start them. And she is not afraid to speak her mind, even if it displeases her Democratic colleagues in Congress and the media. She has already had plenty of experience standing up to the Democratic establishment.

Gabbard was one of the few Democrats who met with President-elect Trump shortly after the election, with many reporting that he was considering making her ambassador to the United Nations. Gabbard said that while she was defying the “rules of political expediency” by meeting with Trump, she would not “play politics” with American and Syrian lives.

Gabbard ruffled more feathers in the establishment by meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, once again showing timid policy wonks across the country that meeting and talking with enemies does not give them a magic shield of credibility. She was criticized by Democrats and the media, but she made the case for seeking peace through dialog and refused to back down.

Gabbard is one of the few Democrats who realize that while conversation may be distasteful, the lack of conversation can be fatal.

The media has largely marginalized Gabbard, opting to focus on the circus of other Democratic candidates cannibalizing each other over jokes, apologizing for complimenting their wives, and cooking up strategies to preemptively mitigate their white privilege. They do not want to give credence to a candidate who has echoed Trump’s insistence that without a “secure border, we don’t really have a country.”

As the rest of the Democratic field rushes to out-woke each other and alienate most moderate Americans, Gabbard is one of the few candidates who is sticking to her principles and continuing to fight for normal citizens who are far more concerned about maintaining peace than appeasing the radical identitarians.

It is clear that the Democratic establishment does not appreciate Tulsi Gabbard and will do everything in their power to ensure that she does not make it through the primary process. We should expect no less from the same party that rigged the 2016 primaries against Bernie Sanders.

But what should we do when a moderate Democrat gets a better reception on Tucker Carlson Tonight than on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert?

Conservatives — the non-neo-con ones — have a unique opportunity.

Many moderate Democrats privately despair at the radicalization of their party and the lengths their candidates have to go in order to emerge from the primary process relatively unscathed. Even Nancy Pelosi has a difficult time walking the tight-rope to ensure that she retains the support of the extremists without losing the rest of America.

Conservatives should make a concerted effort to reach out to open-minded moderate Democrats, engage them in good faith, debate their policy proposals, and find common ground to build a new pro-America coalition. We may disagree on many specifics, but at least we have the same goals and priorities.

There is a new political divide in the country between the people who want what is best for America’s citizens and those who would prefer to virtue signal by calling for increased foreign engagement, fundamental impairment of our economy, and continued identitarian strife.

This is a divide between those who believe that America — despite all of its flaws — is still a fundamentally good country and those who believe that it — despite all of its ideals — is a bad country that needs fundamental change.

Reasonable people can disagree on the efficacy of Medicare for All without tearing the country apart. But a house fundamentally divided against itself cannot stand. Self-hatred and the constant call for self-flagellation stokes internal animus, leaves the country weary, and eats at the morale of a nation that already faces existential threats.

Let’s unite a new coalition of politicians and constituents who put America first. The threat from the anti-America coalition is far greater than any petty internal squabbles we may have.

Karl Notturno (@KarlNotturno) is a fellow at the Center for American Greatness. He also serves as director of A Soldier’s Home, a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans. He graduated from Yale University with degrees in philosophy and history.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

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Demi Rose didn’t disappoint her fans on Instagram Sunday.

The British-born sensation posted a photo of herself in a white bikini-top, and this one isn’t something you’re going to want to miss. (SLIDESHOW: These Women On Instagram Hate Wearing Clothes)

In fact, this might be the sexiest snap that you see all day, and you know how high our standards are here at The Smoke Room. (SLIDESHOW: 142 Times Josephine Skriver Barely Wore Anything)

Give it a glance below, and decide for yourself what you think. (SLIDESHOW: 71 Times Samantha Hoopes Stripped Down)

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You can always count on Rose for some golden content on Instagram. It’s what she does best, and there’s no question about it. (SLIDESHOW: This Blonde Bombshell Might Be The Hottest Model On The Internet) 

Here are a few more times she brought her A-game online. Enjoy! (SLIDESHOW: 60 Times Abigail Ratchford Wore Almost Nothing)

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Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

A record number of asylum requests and border crossings has forced the El Paso Border Patrol sector to temporarily close its highway checkpoints.

“We were told to go ahead and close down all the checkpoints,” a Border Patrol official told Texas Monthly. Agents who typically work at the checkpoints will instead be used to transport and process asylum seekers for an indefinite amount of time. “It’s really out of control. It’s bad,” the official continued.

These checkpoints are used to inspect cross-border cargo, where agents work to stop the flow of illicit drugs such as fentanyl, marijuana and methamphetamine from reaching the U.S. interior.

The surge in asylum requests comes as the U.S.-Mexico border is experiencing the highest levels of border crossings in over a decade. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced on Monday that her department expects to apprehend nearly 100,000 migrants by the end of March, which would be the highest number of apprehensions since 2007.

“I want to cut through the politics today to tell you loud and clear: There is no ‘manufactured’ crisis at our southern border. There is a real-life humanitarian and security catastrophe,” Nielsen said Monday at George Washington University.

The surge in illegal immigration primarily stems from Guatemalan and Honduran nationals, who have fled their home countries in droves to escape poverty and gang-related crime. The number of Guatemalans and Hondurans who have fled to the U.S., in comparison to their countries’ populations, is striking. Between October and February, one out of every 155 Honduran nationals has been apprehended while crossing the U.S. southern border. For Guatemalans, that ratio is one out of 211, according to an analysis by Texas Monthly.

Immigration enforcement officials have detailed why the border crossings seen presently constitute an emergency.

Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, return to Mexico after being hit by tear gas sprayed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Nov. 25, 2018. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, return to Mexico after being hit by tear gas sprayed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Nov. 25, 2018. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Unlike the 1990s and early 2000s, where illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border annually exceeded one million, the illegals of today are primarily not Mexican or Canadian, and many of them are children. The demographics make it difficult for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to quickly deport them, leaving detention facilities filled to the brim. (RELATED: Central American Migrants Are Sending Billions Back To Their Home Countries)

ICE detainment facilities have become so overwhelmed with illegal aliens, an agency spokesman revealed on Thursday that her agency has been forced to release over 100,000 migrant family members in the past three months alone.

ICE officials, much like the employees at El Paso Border Patrol, have been forced to forgo their typical duties in response to the influx of illegal immigrants coming from the southern border.

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Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

A New Mexico Archbishop urged Catholic faithful to stop venerating a ‘spiritually dangerous’ folk saint of death called La Santa Muerte.

John Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, said worship of La Santa Muerte, or Our Lady Of Holy Death, contradicts church teaching because it glorifies death, a characteristic associated with Satan, who the Christian scriptures say “comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.” Wester believes that people may be seduced into worshiping La Santa Muerte either because they mistakenly believe that it is a church-sanctioned saint, or because they are simply searching for answers. (RELATED: Faith, Drugs, And Human Sacrifice: A Mexican Folk Religion Has Texas Police Worried)

“It’s really wrong. I think in part, it’s (because) people are looking and searching. It’s a symptom of a search looking for answers,” Wester told The Associated Press.

“Our devotion is to the God of life,” he added.

La Santa Muerte, often depicted as a robed skeleton carrying a scythe in one hand and a globe or scales in the other, is an occult saint popular in Mexico with adherents also in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, California and elsewhere in Latino communities in the U.S.

Devotees touch the figures of Santa Muerte (Saint of Death) before the central altar asking for favors during the main celebration in the market of one of the most dangerous neighborhoods, known as Tepito in Mexico City, on November 1, 2012. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Devotees touch the figures of Santa Muerte (Saint of Death) before the central altar asking for favors during the main celebration in the market of one of the most dangerous neighborhoods, known as Tepito in Mexico City, on November 1, 2012. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

While some depict the folk saint as a benign if bizarre figure to whom the poor direct prayers and offerings of candles, fruits and sweets in exchange for provision and fortune, there is a very real dark side to worship of the folk saint. The FBI reports that members of Mexican drug cartels often pray to the figure, asking it to bring harm to law enforcement and rivals. In some cases, cartel and gang members have murdered people in ritualistic killings as offerings to La Santa Muerte.

“For U.S. law enforcement agencies, the rise of a criminalized and dark variant of Santa Muerte worship holds many negative implications,” said Dr. Robert J. Bunker, PhD in an FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. “Of greatest concern, the inspired and ritualistic killings associated with this cult could cross the border and take place in the United States.”

“Over half of the prayers directed at her include petitions to harm other people via curses and death magic,” Bunker added.

While Wester and a few other Catholic bishops in the U.S. have openly denounced La Santa Muerte, Bishop Walter F. Sullivan and Andrew Chesnut, author of Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint, said no other high-ranking Catholic clerics in the U.S. have done so. Chestnut believes they have avoided denouncing the demonic figure because it might contradict their messaging about migrants.

“In Latin America, church officials rebuke Santa Muerte almost weekly,” Chestnut told AP. For more U.S. bishops to attack worship of La Santa Muerte, he said, would risk portraying Mexican migrants as “dangerous and all connected to drug trafficking.”

Wester, however, remains resolute in his stand against La Santa Muerte, whom he said is “spiritually dangerous.”

“It should be completely avoided,” Wester said. “It is a perversion of devotion to the saints.”

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Attorney General William Barr delivered a report of the special counsel’s Russia investigation to Congress on Sunday.

Barr sent a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, who could soon release details to the public.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said on Twitter that Barr sent a “very brief” letter to lawmakers at around 3:35 p.m. EST.

Mueller delivered a comprehensive report of his 22-month investigation to the Justice Department on Friday. The hand off signaled that the investigation was over and that Mueller would be issuing no more indictments in the probe. (RELATED: Mueller Submits Report To The Justice Department)

Barr said in a letter to the Judiciary committees on Friday that he would provide Congress with Mueller’s conclusions from the investigation, which focused on whether members of the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election and whether President Trump obstructed justice.

Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein spent much of Saturday and Sunday reviewing Mueller’s report, which one official described as “comprehensive.”

U.S. Attorney General nominee William Barr testifies at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee January 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

U.S. Attorney General nominee William Barr testifies at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee January 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The Justice Department is not required to provide the entire report to Congress. Instead, regulations governing special counsel’s investigations require only that the attorney general inform Congress about decisions to issue indictments or decline indictments.

Mueller indicted 37 individuals and three Russian companies during the investigation. Six Trump associates pleaded guilty or were charged in the probe, though none were charged with conspiring with Russia.

Barr’s delivery marks a significant milestone in the investigation, but it will now touch off a new waiting game for a release of more details from the probe. Democrats have already said that they are unwilling to settle for a mere summary of Mueller’s findings. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has said he will subpoena the Justice Department for the report, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has suggested subpoenaing Mueller himself.

Some Republicans, likely emboldened by the belief that the report undercuts theories of collusion, have also said that they support Mueller’s findings being made public.

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