[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/28/art.newtsnook.sign.lodge.jpg caption="Dawn Rizos donated $5,000 to open 'Newt's Nook'."]
(CNN)– Despite being uninvited to a "private dinner" given by Newt Gingrich, the owner of a Dallas topless club has no hard feelings. She used the money meant for a donation to the former house speaker's political organization to open up a dog shelter in his honor.
Last month, Dawn Rizos, owner of Dallas topless club The Lodge, received a letter from Gingrich's American Solutions inviting her to dine with Gingrich at a Capitol Hill club. She was also told she had been selected to receive an Entrepreneur of the Year Award. "Dawn – Newt is looking forward to finally meeting you face to face" to talk policy, read a handwritten note on the missive.
Lodge spokesman Michael Precker said they were told the group would need $5,000 to confirm her attendance, which they promptly paid. Shortly after, they were notified by a marketing company working for American Solutions that the invite had been mistakenly extended, and was being rescinded.
"Newt's Nook" opened its doors earlier this week, thanks to a $5,000 donation made by Rizos to the Animal Guardians, a dog rescue shelter 40 miles outside of Dallas. The shelter is meant to provide a place for dogs to recuperate until they are adopted.
"We're thrilled to help such a worthy project," said Rizos. "Instead of holding a grudge, we decided to make something positive out of his bad manners."
(CNN)– President Obama took his family on an outing Saturday to the Oregon State-George Washington University basketball game in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's brother Craig Robinson.
Robinson, who coaches the Oregon State Beavers, was cheered on by the President, who snacked on popcorn, joined by the first lady, Sasha, Malia and the girls’ grandmother Marian Robinson.
Having a coach who’s also the president's brother-in-law meant another perk: according to the Beavers website, the team had the opportunity to tour the White House on Friday.
"I wanted the guys to experience all of the history surrounding one of the most recognizable buildings in the world," coach Robinson said, according to the website. "It was a special experience and one I hope these guys will never forget."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/17/art.bernanke.gi.jpg caption="Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke warns Congress in a new op-ed."]
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, just days ahead of his confirmation hearing, is warning Congress that actions limiting the central bank's independence could prove detrimental to the causes of financial reform and economic recovery.
In an op-ed piece to be published in Sunday's Washington Post, Bernanke criticizes two moves aimed at limiting the Fed - a proposal in the Senate to strip the central bank of its bank regulatory powers and a House Financial Services Committee vote to audit monetary policy deliberations and actions.
"These measures are very much out of step with the global consensus on the appropriate role of central banks, and they would seriously impair the prospects for economic and financial stability in the United States," Bernanke wrote.
Bernanke says the congressional moves are a byproduct of the public frustration over the financial crisis and the government's response, especially the bailout of large banks.
(CNN) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday it has approved a new vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza.
Agriflu, made by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, is not intended to protect against the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu.
The vaccine was approved using an accelerated approval process, the FDA said. Novartis demonstrated that the vaccine induces levels of antibodies in the blood that are effective in preventing seasonal influenza, but it still needs to conduct further studies.
Agriflu, for ages 18 and older, is administered as a single injection in the upper arm and is available in single-dose, pre-filled syringes, according to the FDA.
Novartis produces another licensed vaccine for seasonal influenza, Fluvirin, approved for ages 4 and older.
Although no vaccine is 100-percent effective in preventing disease, vaccination is the key to flu prevention, according to the FDA.
Novartis spokesman Eric Althoff said Agriflu is made in Siena, Italy with eggs, and it has been available in Europe under the brand name Aggripal. This approval, he said, will add to future seasonal vaccine supplies.
Seattle, Washington (CNN) - The dinner crowd trickles in slowly at first, some taking time to play a little pool in a recreation area, others just wait patiently in line, or find a spot to sit and strike up a conversation.
On the street, Orion Center has a reputation for its pleasant and welcoming staff, and, as Kayla Wyatt puts it, a place to get a good "feed." And of late, there are many new faces among the familiar.
At a restaurant, that's a sign of progress. At a support organization for the young homeless - like Orion Center - it is a troubling sign of the times.
More troubling is to take an up-close look at Seattle's streets and parks after Orion Center shuts down for the day, especially as temperatures drop and the combination of rain and gusty winds makes for bone-chilling conditions.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/27/art.salahis.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama meets the Salahis at Wednesday’s state dinner."] Washington (CNN) - An internal investigation into a couple who crashed the White House state dinner this week has found that Secret Service agents did not follow protocol at a security checkpoint, the agency said Friday.
"The Secret Service is deeply concerned and embarrassed by the circumstances surrounding the State Dinner on Tuesday," the agency said in a statement Friday. "The preliminary findings of our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list."
Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the couple who allegedly crashed this week's White House state dinner, met President Barack Obama in a reception line at the event, a White House official told CNN on Friday.
An internal investigation has found that Secret Service agents did not follow protocol at a security checkpoint.
Full Secret Service statement after the jump:
Washington (CNN) - President Obama will announce the U.S. troop strategy for Afghanistan in a speech at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.
In the speech, Obama will explain why the United States is in Afghanistan, its interests there and his decision-making process, Gibbs said, but "the president does not see this as an open-ended engagement.
"Our time there will be limited, and I think that's important for people to understand," he said.