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robwilson39/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A government watchdog announced a $30 million penalty being leveled against Bank of America on Friday for allegedly unsound practices linked to the bank’s non-home loans and debt collection.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced the penalty in a press release, adding that it ordered remediation to 73,000 impacted customer accounts. “The OCC took the actions against the bank for violations of law and unsafe or unsound practices in connection with the bank’s non-home loan compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and unsafe or unsound practices in connection with non-home debt collection litigation practices,” the release read.

In a statement, Bank of America Global Corporate Social Responsibility and Consumer Policy Executive Andrew Plepler said that the bank has “taken significant steps over the last several years, and will take further steps now to ensure we have the right controls and processes in place to meet — and exceed — what is required by law and what our military customers deserve and expect.”

The OCC’s claim stated that Bank of America violated a law designed to ease financial pressures on military members. The law, the New York Times says, limits interest rates that banks can charge deployed military members.

The OCC also determined that Bank of America used improper practices in debt collection involving both military members and civilians.

Bank of America said that the issues touched just “a small percentage of credit and deposit overdraft customers who defaulted on their account” and that they have been working to remedy the issue since 2011.

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Photo by John Li / Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Just weeks after the Obama administration approved Royal Dutch Shell’s plan to resume drilling in the Arctic, a federal agency has concluded the oil giant failed to properly assess risks during the company’s last trip to the icy region in 2012.

The report, released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board, asserts Shell is “ultimately responsible” for the nearly disastrous grounding of the Kulluk oil rig off the coast of Alaska in 2012. The Kulluk was carrying 143,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 12,000 gallons of other petroleum products when its towing operations failed, leaving the motorless vessel drifting in volatile arctic waters before eventually slamming into Kodiak Island off the Alaskan Coast. A disastrous oil spill was avoided in part because of the quick response of rescue crews which were able to tow the rig to safety. Nonetheless, authorities blame Shell for the grounding.

“The probable cause of the grounding of the mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk was Shell’s inadequate assessment of the risk for its planned tow,” the NTSB said before adding that Shell and its contractors should have “either mitigated those risks or departed at a time of year when severe weather was less likely.”

Royal Dutch Shell did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment. But the company has repeatedly stated that its 2012 problems were tied to transportation issues, not drilling, and that the Obama administration’s approval signals the confidence regulators have in their plan.

The NTSB report asserts the potential hazards facing the Kulluk’s route were known to Shell and its contractors, but the oil giant went ahead with its plan anyway. In a blunt passage, the report states that a tow master sent an email to Shell officials warning them of the dangers of their proposed route.

“I believe that this length of tow, at this time of year, in this location, with our current routing guarantees an ***kicking,” the email read, according to the NTSB report.

The report is the latest to critique Shell’s history in the arctic.

In 2013, the U.S. Interior Department released a report saying that Shell’s difficulties in the Arctic “raised serious questions regarding its ability to operate safely and responsibly in the challenging and unpredictable conditions offshore Alaska.” The report recommended the company halt drilling until all safety issues were addressed. Then in 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard issued its own report on the Kulluk incident, which found that it was caused by the company’s “inadequate assessment and management of risks.” Finally in 2015, The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the agency that approved Shell’s plan for drilling in the Chukchi Sea, stated in a February report that there was a “75% chance of one or more large spills” occurring in the area over the next 77 years in addition to hundreds of “minor spills” if oil exploration was expanded in the region.

For years, Shell has eyed the icy waters of the Chukchi Sea for its oil reserves, a remote area off the coast of Alaska, considered by both environmental groups and industry officials to be one of the riskiest places in the world to drill for oil. The closest Coast Guard station with equipment for responding to an oil spill is over 1,000 miles away, making it difficult for rescue and cleanup crews to reach the area in the event of an accident.

Thursday’s NTSB report was released the same day President Obama took to his personal Twitter account to answer questions about climate change, where he defended his decision to grant Shell permission to resume drilling in the Arctic.

“But since we can’t prevent oil exploration completely in region we’re setting the highest possible standards,” Obama wrote. The president also pointed out that his administration had rejected an earlier plan submitted by Shell and has already shut off the most sensitive Arctic areas to drilling.

Critics argue preventing oil exploration in the Arctic is well within the president’s powers, calling on Obama to place a drilling moratorium on the Chukchi Sea or declare it a marine sanctuary.

Just last week, Alaska saw temperatures in the 90s, shattering previous records for the state’s hottest day this early in the summer, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Shell helped melt the Arctic and now they want to drill in the thawing waters; it beggars belief that the Obama administration is willing to abet what amounts to one of the greatest acts of corporate irresponsibility in the planet’s history,” Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, an environmental advocacy group, said in a statement earlier this month.

Shell has said it hopes to return to the Arctic this summer, pending necessary permits from state and federal agencies.

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NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The White House warned Friday that there is no fallback position if the Senate fails to reach a deal on the Patriot Act before Sunday night’s deadline.

“There is no plan B,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during Friday’s press briefing. “There is no executive action that the president can take to give our law enforcement and national security professionals the tools they need, all of the tools that they need, including the tools that are included in the USA Freedom Act.”

If a deal is not reached before 4 p.m. Sunday, the Senate will be exposing the American people to “unnecessary risk,” Earnest said, by forcing the National Security Agency to begin shutting down its phone data surveillance program.

“What our national security professionals will tell you is that they will, if faced with a scenario in which they have some of these tools taken out of their toolbox, they will try to use all of the tools that they currently have to do what’s necessary to keep us safe,” he said. “And the point that I would make is that taking those tools away seems like an unnecessary risk.”

“Why would we take the chance, and more importantly, why are we taking the chance?” he said.

In scolding the Senate for the standoff, Earnest said there is no “rational explanation” for the current situation.

“I haven’t heard a rational explanation for what exactly is going on in the United States Senate right now,” the press secretary quipped. “There is no good explanation for it.”

While some Senate Republicans contend that the Freedom Act does not go far enough in providing national security officials access to data that can be helpful in counter-terrorism operations, others argue that it would infringe to greatly on civil liberties.

Presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, has staunchly opposed the extension of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act, bucking his own party’s leadership.

He filibustered on the Senate floor for about 11 hours last week to protest the NSA’s bulk data collection program that monitors Americans’ phone records.

“I expect them to take action, and take action swiftly,” President Obama said Friday following a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “That’s what the American people deserve.”

“A whole bunch of authorities that we use in order to prevent terrorist attacks in this country expire,” Obama said. He also noted bipartisan support for the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which would leave some surveillance tools intact, saying that there are “Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate who think this is the right way to go.”

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Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(ORLANDO) — The Orlando Magic have hired veteran coach Scott Skiles as the 12th head coach in franchise history on Friday.

According to the Magic’s team website, General Manager Rob Hennigan said that Skiles “clearly distinguished himself as a tremendous fit.” The Magic fired head coach Jacque Vaughn in February, replacing him with interim coach James Borrego.

While Borrego was considered for the full-time job, Hennigan said that the front office was looking for someone “with a solid resume of NBA head coaching experience, great leadership qualities, a motivating communication sytle, and someone with a strong strategic acumen.”

Skiles has led the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks to a combined 443-433 record in parts of 13 seasons as a head coach. His playoff record, however, is an uninspiring 18-24.

He will take over a team with a young core of talent, including guards Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton and center Nikola Vucevic. That team, however, won just 25 games this past season.

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Image credit: NASA/ESA(NEW YORK) — An out-of-this world cluster of stars jam-packed with some of the brightest lights in the galaxy was recently spotted by NASA’s Hubble Telescope.

The “Arches Cluster” is the densest ever found in the Milky Way, the European Space Agency says.

Between two and four million years old, it’s relatively young — as astronomical objects go. The stars in the cluster, some of the brightest ever discovered, are so glowing and massive they will burn out and fade in just a few million years, a very short life for a star.

Earthlings won’t be dazzled by their glow any time soon though: the Arches Cluster is 25,000 light years from earth and obscured by giant dust clouds, remaining invisible to earth-bound eyeballs.

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tarabird/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Revised data on the United States’ Gross Domestic Product led to another down day on Wall Street, with all three major indices closing lower than at Friday’s open.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 115.44 to 18010.68.

The Nasdaq gave up 27.95 to finish the day at 5070.03, while the S&P 500 closed at 2107.39, slipping 13.40.

On Friday, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers said Friday that real GDP fell by 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015. That figure, revised downwards from a previous report, was blamed in part on harsh winter weather. Still, the report noted, consumers have saved much of their large gains from last year’s decline in gasoline and energy prices.

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Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call(NEW YORK) — The past misconduct referenced in Thursday’s indictment of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is of a sexual nature, dating back to his time as a high school wrestling coach and history teacher in Yorkville, Illinois, sources with knowledge of the case tell ABC News.

Hastert has not been arrested, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago told ABC News Friday, but his arraignment is expected to take place as early as next week. According to Thursday’s indictment, Hastert, 73 had agreed to pay an unidentified individual millions of dollars to “compensate and conceal” misconduct against that person.

Over a span of four years, the Justice Department said, Hastert withdrew $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts, doing so in a way that prevented banks from recording the transactions. Hastert made withdrawals of under $10,000 at a time — banks are forced to report cash transactions of more than that amount.

Hastert also allegedly lied to FBI agents, saying that he was keeping the money he withdrew for himself.

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Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call(NEW YORK) — The past misconduct referenced in Thursday’s indictment of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is of a sexual nature, dating back to his time as a high school wrestling coach and history teacher in Yorkville, Illinois, sources with knowledge of the case tell ABC News.

Hastert has not been arrested, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago told ABC News Friday, but his arraignment is expected to take place as early as next week. According to Thursday’s indictment, Hastert, 73 had agreed to pay an unidentified individual millions of dollars to “compensate and conceal” misconduct against that person.

Over a span of four years, the Justice Department said, Hastert withdrew $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts, doing so in a way that prevented banks from recording the transactions. Hastert made withdrawals of under $10,000 at a time — banks are forced to report cash transactions of more than that amount.

Hastert also allegedly lied to FBI agents, saying that he was keeping the money he withdrew for himself.

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — One day after Lori Loughlin confirmed she’ll guest star on Fuller House, Netflix’s sequel to the classic TV sitcom Full House, John Stamos announced on Twitter that Bog Saget is on board, too.

“Last but not least-best piece of casting yet. The great @bobsaget will be joining our show on @netfilx – this completes the perfect reunon!” Stamos tweeted Friday.

In reply, Saget quipped, referencing Stamos’ onscreen character: “How did you get this information? Kidding! Love you Jesse!”

Candace Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber have long been signed to the show, scheduled to premiere in 2016. Bure’s character will reportedly be a widowed mother of three, who has her sister Stephanie and friend Kimmy — played by Sweetin and Barber, respectively — move in to help.

The show will also feature guest appearances by original stars Stamos and Dave Coulier.

Two of the show’s biggest stars, twins Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, have declined to participate.

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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Speaker of the House John Boehner ripped the Obama administration on Friday, saying that by taking Cuba off of the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terror, it had “handed the Castro regime a significant political win in return for nothing.”

Boehner says the Cuban regime “has offered no assurances it will address its long record of repression and human rights abuses at home” and has failed to indicate that “it will cease its support for violence throughout the region.” Boehner has previously made clear that he is against normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba, a move President Obama announced late last year.

“Removing the regime from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terror is just the latest example of this administration focusing more on befriending our enemies than helping our allies.”

“Fortunately,” Boehner added, “it will have little practical effect. Most U.S. sanctions on the Cuban regime are contained in other laws — laws the U.S. House will ensure remain in place as we work to protect those fighting for freedom, and in many cases, simply their own survival.”

The administration announced the removal of Cuba from the state sponsor of terror list on Friday, months after Obama announced the two nations would discuss normalizing relations. Earlier this week, the two nations announced that embassies would re-open in Havana and Washington, D.C. for the first time in more than 50 years.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest downplayed Boehner’s concern, saying that “there continue to be issues that need to be worked out,” but that recent discussion have seen “important progress.”

“Ultimately,” Earnest said at a Friday press briefing, “what we think all of that will do is empower the Cuban people, that is the ultimate goal of this policy change, and there is no question that the deeper engagement will empower Cuban people and put additional pressure on Cuban government to do a better job on human rights.”

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