Day: March 8, 2019

Jane Mayer of The New Yorker defended her story about the relationship between the Trump administration and Fox News after a former Fox News editor levied accusations of journalistic malfeasance on Friday evening.

She characterized former Fox News editor Ken LaCorte’s criticism of her as “unfounded.”

Mayer alleged in her report earlier this week that Fox News opted not to publish a story about the 2016 alleged affair between President Donald Trump and porn star Stormy Daniels because higher-ups at Fox News were trying to protect Trump from the scandal.

She claimed that Diana Falzone, a former FoxNews.com reporter, confirmed that the affair occurred with Daniels’ manager and ex-husband.

However, LaCorte published an opinion piece in Mediaite on Friday explaining why he didn’t publish the story, claiming that there was a lack of corroborating evidence. (RELATED: CNN’s Stelter Says Dems Are ‘Dehumanized’ On Fox News After DNC Blacklists Network)

“A week before publication, I received a few phone calls from a New Yorker fact checker confirming my quotes,” LaCorte’s piece reads. “Her last one was a surprise, asking me to confirm or deny what they heard from a secondhand source, alleging I had told our reporter it was ‘good reporting’ but we shelved it because of Rupert Murdoch’s politics. I neither said nor even thought that because neither of those things was true.”

Mayer pushed back on LaCorte’s claims. She tweeted, “This complaint is unfounded. I interviewed LaCorte extensively, quoted him 4 times, included his assertion that Falcone’s story ‘hadn’t passed muster.’ Any claim I didn’t tell his side is false. Falzone can’t defend herself – she’s under an NDA, but 3 sources corroborate her.

Mayer later tweeted a statement from Falzone’s attorney accusing LaCorte and Fox News employee Howard Kurtz of defamation. Her lawyer asked for Rupert Murdoch to release Falzone from her non-disclosure agreement.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Lauryn Overhultz | Columnist

March 9 is Brittany Snow’s birthday so we put together a slideshow to celebrate.

Brittany Snow was born in Tampa, Florida. She was cast in her first acting role in 1994.

Snow does it all. She is an actress, producer, director and singer. Snow began her career as Susan “Daisy” Lemay on CBS’s “Guiding Light.” She won a Young Artist Award for for Best Young Actress for her role in “Guiding Light.” Snow is most known for playing the role of Chloe in the “Pitch Perfect” movie series. (RELATED: 10 Blondes That Would Play Barbie Better Than Amy Schumer)

Snow helped create the “Love Is Louder” movement, which aims to stop bullying in schools.

She recently became engaged to Tyler Stanaland. It’s unknown when the duo started dating, but she first shared of a photo of them on her Instagram last August according to E! News.

Check out some of her most beautiful photos below.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Vice Commerce Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen attends a news conference in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Vice Commerce Minister and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen attends a news conference in Beijing, China, April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

March 9, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – China and the United States are still working day and night to achieve a trade deal that matches the interests of both sides and the hopes of the world, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said on Saturday.

Wang, speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of China’s ongoing annual meeting of parliament, has been deeply involved in the trade talks with the United States.

Wang said he was optimistic about negotiations with Washington, and that the two sides are working on a deal to eliminate the tariffs imposed on each other during the trade war, as tit-for-tat tariffs are not beneficial for either.

But any trade mechanism achieved must be equal and fair, he said.

Trump administration officials have not made any new plans to send a team to China for face-to-face trade talks though there is much work left to be done to reach a deal, White House trade adviser Clete Willems said on Friday.

The governments of the world’s two largest economies have been locked in a tariff battle for months as Washington presses Beijing to address long-standing concerns over Chinese practices and policies around industrial subsidies, technology transfers, market access and intellectual property rights.

Advances in talks drove the White House to indefinitely delay hikes in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that were set to kick in on March 2.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Yawen Chen; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry)

Source: OANN

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

A Washington Post editor used “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s tragic cancer diagnosis to fire a shot at President Donald Trump in a Friday op-ed titled, “We’re not just mourning Alex Trebek. We’re mourning the truth.”

After lamenting the postmodern demise of objective truth, WaPo’s opinion editor Drew Goins then wrung his hands over the election of Trump. According to Goins, Trump has “made 8,158 false or misleading claims in his first two years in office” and ushered in an era where the truth doesn’t matter.

“We arguably live in an anti-expertise world. Americans can’t tell opinion from fact. Truth has always been valuable, but its present scarcity makes it feel especially precious.” (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Claims Unfair Media Treatment- These Headlines Prove That’s Fake News)

“So when Trebek announced Wednesday that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which carries a particularly low survival rate, it felt like we were grieving the potential loss of more than an avuncular quiz-show host,” Goins concluded. “The loss of Trebek means the loss of a zone where the truth is clear and uncontested.”

Trebek recently announced that he had stage 4 cancer, a grim diagnosis that the game show host has vowed to defeat.

The Washington Post editor went on to compare Trebek to Walter Cronkite and discussed the tough, exacting standards by which the show’s producers, judges, and question writers ensured that every question was fair and every answer accurate.

Some readers weren’t happy with the Trump attacks.

Twitter user Cameron Gray urged Groins not to politicize Alex Trebek.

Other responses took umbrage with the piece, claiming that fact that it was immature to mourn someone who is still alive and fighting.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds a press conference following a two day Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting in Washington, U.S.
FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds a press conference following a two day Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

March 9, 2019

By Alexandria Sage

PALO ALTO (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve does not see problems in the U.S. economy that warrant an immediate change in its policy, and it will be careful not to shock financial markets as it stabilizes its bond portfolio, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Friday.

The U.S. central bank is nearing a major milestone in its efforts to unwind economic stimulus measures enacted to fight the 2007-09 recession.

In a wide-ranging speech at Stanford University, Powell said the Fed was “well along” in discussions on a plan to end a runoff of its balance sheet, which ballooned during and after the recession.

While there were “cross-currents” pointing to economic risks, none were flashing warning signals serious enough for the Fed to change its interest rate policy stance, he said.

“With nothing in the outlook demanding an immediate policy response and particularly given muted inflation pressures, the committee has adopted a patient, wait-and-see approach,” Powell said in prepared remarks, referring to the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

He said the Fed would soon communicate details of its plan to stop shrinking its $4 trillion balance sheet later this year. His remarks appeared aimed at reassuring financial investors that the Fed would take pains not to shock investors.

“As we feel our way cautiously to this goal, we will move transparently and predictably in order to minimize needless market disruption and risks to our dual-mandate objectives,” he said. The Fed’s dual mandate is for maximum employment and the maintenance of stable prices.

Powell’s remarks were the last from any Fed policymakers until the conclusion of the Fed’s next policy-setting meeting, to be held March 19-20.

His remarks came after the Labor Department on Friday reported that U.S. employment growth almost stalled in February, a sign of a sharp slowdown in economic activity in the first quarter.

The Fed had released a statement in January that suggested it was no longer sure if it would continue raising interest rates, after hiking rates four times in 2018. Markets may look to the Fed’s quarterly interest-rate-hike projections, to be released after the Fed’s upcoming March meeting, for clues of when it might continue with rate hikes.

On Friday, however, Powell warned against reading too much into those forecasts, noting that in the past markets at times had misread them as policy promises. He said he asked a small panel of fellow Fed policymakers to figure out a better way to communicate their role.

In December the rate-hike forecasts suggested policymakers expected two rate hikes this year. Markets currently expect none.

Powell also called out the need for the Fed and other central banks to find better ways to deal with pervasive low inflation, and said that as the Fed reviews options this year, it ought to pay serious attention to strategies that would drive inflation higher to make up for past bouts of sluggish inflation.

But Powell said he sees a “high bar” for any fundamental changes to the Fed’s current approach because of the potential of inadvertently undermining the public’s confidence in the U.S. central bank’s commitment to fighting inflation.

(Additional reporting by Ann Saphir and Jason Lange; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: NFL: Combine
FILE PHOTO: Feb 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports – 12253066

March 9, 2019

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane will not bring wide receiver Antonio Brown to Western New York.

“We inquired about Antonio Brown on Tuesday, and kept talks open with the Steelers,” Beane said Friday in an announcement meant to put to rest reports of an imminent deal between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Bills.

“We had positive discussions. But ultimately it didn’t make sense for either side. As great a player as Antonio Brown is, we have moved on and our focus is on free agency.”

Brown has six consecutive 100-catch seasons but fell out of favor in Pittsburgh at the end of last season. He was inactive following reports of a walkthrough confrontation with teammate Ben Roethlisberger. The quarterback denied any incident took place. Brown claimed coach Mike Tomlin sent him home because of a sore knee.

–The Philadelphia Eagles were finalizing a trade that would send defensive end Michael Bennett to New England, according to multiple reports.

The Patriots were expected to send a 2020 fifth-round pick to the Eagles in exchange for Bennett and a seventh-round pick in 2020, according to Jeff McLane of Philly.com. ESPN’s Josina Anderson posted on social media that Bennett, 33, confirmed the trade to her.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection with Seattle, Bennett registered nine sacks and 34 tackles during his first season with Philadelphia in 2018.

–Three-time Pro Bowl safety Antoine Bethea was released by the Arizona Cardinals, who also announced that backup quarterback Mike Glennon was released.

Bethea, 34, had a team-leading 121 tackles in 2018 during the second season of a three-year, $12.75 million contract. The Cardinals will reportedly save $4.75 million in cap space.

–Safety Eric Weddle and the Los Angeles Rams have agreed to a two-year contract, the team announced.

The news came after Weddle visited the Rams’ headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The team did not disclose contract terms, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the deal has a $10.5 million base salary but could be worth as much at $12.5 million.

–Veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola was released by the Miami Dolphins, according to multiple reports.

The Dolphins signed Amendola, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, to a two-year, $12 million contract a year ago. By releasing him, the Dolphins will free up $6 million in salary cap money.

–The New York Giants traded pass rusher Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns for right guard Kevin Zeitler, according to multiple reports.

The two teams also are swapping mid-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, with the Giants sending a fourth-round selection (132nd overall) to the Browns for a fifth-rounder (155th), per NFL Network.

–The Detroit Lions released Pro Bowl guard and team captain T.J. Lang, who had one year left on a three-year contract signed in March 2017.

By cutting the suburban Detroit native, the Lions save $8.8 million in cap space and avoid paying him a $750,000 roster bonus that would have been due next week, according to ESPN.

–The Dallas Cowboys picked up the options on wide receiver Allen Hurns, center Joe Looney and linebacker Joe Thomas, and also signed defensive tackle Daniel Ross to a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

Hurns, 27, played all 16 games (seven starts) in his first season with the Cowboys, catching 20 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns. He suffered a gruesome leg injury in a wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks, suffering a dislocated ankle and fractured knee. He previously has said he expects to be ready for the start of the 2019 season.

Looney, 28, started all 16 games at center in 2018 with All-Pro Travis Frederick missing the entire season due to Guillain-Barre syndrome.

–The Jacksonville Jaguars announced the release of five veterans, including Pro Bowl defensive tackle Malik Jackson, to clear about $30 million in salary cap space.

Reports emerged last week that the Jaguars were trying to trade Jackson and running Carlos Hyde, who also was released. The Jaguars also cut safety Tashaun Gipson, offensive tackle Jermey Parnell and long snapper Carson Tinker.

The Jaguars presumably are trying to free enough cap room to sign free agent quarterback Nick Foles when the league year begins Wednesday.

–Pittsburgh right tackle Marcus Gilbert indicated that he would not be with the Steelers next season, posting the message “Next chapter” on Twitter.

That chapter apparently will be written in Arizona. ESPN’s Adam Schefter later reported that the 31-year-old veteran had been traded to the Cardinals for a sixth-round 2019 draft pick.

–Brad Childress is reportedly returning to the NFL as an assistant with the Chicago Bears, two months after resigning as head coach of the Alliance of American Football’s Atlanta Legends.

The 62-year-old former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings worked with Bears coach Matt Nagy on the Kansas City Chiefs’ staff from 2013-17.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

President Donald Trump will be making a significant request for border wall funds and seeking money to stand up Space Force as a new branch of the military in the White House budget being released next week, an administration official said Friday.

For the first time, Trump plans to stick with the strict spending caps imposed years ago, even though lawmakers have largely avoided them with new budget deals. That will likely trigger a showdown with Congress.

The official said the president's plan promises to balance the budget in 15 years.

Trump will seek $750 billion for defense, while cutting non-defense discretionary spending by 5 percent, said the official, who was unauthorized to discuss the document ahead of its release and spoke on condition of anonymity

Budgets are mainly seen as blueprints for White House priorities. But they are often panned on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers craft the appropriation bills that eventually fund the government, if the president signs them into law.

Trump's budget for the 2020 fiscal year will increase requests for some agencies while reducing others to reflect those priorities. Reductions are proposed, for example, for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The official said Congress has ignored the president's spending cuts for too long. The federal budget is bloated with wasteful spending, the official said, and the administration remains committed to balancing the budget.

By proposing spending levels that adhere to budget caps, the president is courting a debate with Congress. Lawmakers from both parties have routinely agreed to raise spending caps established by a previous deal years ago to fund the government.

Trump, though, has tried to resist those deals. He threatened to veto the last one reached in 2017 to prevent a shutdown. Late last year, a fight over border wall funds sparked the 35-day shutdown that spilled into this year and became the longest in history.

Source: NewsMax

Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman defended the resolution condemning all forms of hate passed by Congress Thursday, saying it “impacts us all” and dismissing criticism that Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is getting off the hook for her comments critical of Israel and its supporters.

“I think it was critical to stand together, make it clear that the assault on the Jewish community, repeating of hateful Jewish tropes, repeating of anti-Semitic rhetoric is very much in common with the hate against the Muslim community, very much in common with attacks on the Hindu and Sikh community and the Catholic community,” Zimmerman said on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

Omar has been the focus of controversy for her alleged anti-semitic remarks.

DEM FROSH TURN TABLES ON ANTI-SEMITISM REBUKE, SHIFT SPOTLIGHT TO ISLAMOPHOBIA AND AIPAC POWER

Initially, Democrats were weighing a rebuke of rebuke of Omar, even though the measure did not mention her name.  They later softened their stance and included other forms of hate in the language of the measure, choosing not to focus on Omar’s comments.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, defended Omar Friday, saying she did not believe the congresswoman was anti-semitic.

“I don’t think our colleague is anti-Semitic, I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning that she didn’t realize,” Pelosi said Friday at the Economic Club.

MacCallum pressed Zimmerman to move past highlighting the resolution and address Omar’s remarks.

“The issue here is that it looks like she and her group are winning, Bob,” MacCallum said.

“This is not a partisan game,” the Democratic National Committee member responded, highlighting the resolution for fighting against all forms of hate.

I’M A MUSLIM WHO’S ANGRY AT DEMS’ FAILURE TO CONDEMN ANTI-SEMITE OMAR – THEY BETRAYED LOYAL JEWISH SUPPORTERS

“It’s about being fair and holding all parties accountable. Where was Donald Trump when he engaged in his anti-Semitic rhetoric?” Zimmerman said before radio talk show host Tammy Bruce opined that Omar’s comments would hurt the Democratic Party.

Source: Fox News Politics

FILE PHOTO: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore pauses as he addresses supporters at his election night party in Montgomery
FILE PHOTO: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore pauses as he addresses supporters at his election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/File Photo

March 9, 2019

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – Alabama Republican Roy Moore, whose unsuccessful 2017 campaign for the U.S. Senate was marred by allegations he sexually assaulted or pursued teenage girls while in his 30s, said on Friday that he may again run for the Senate.

In an interview on the Christian program “Focal Point” on American Family Radio, host Bryan Fischer asked Moore about the 2020 race for the Senate in Alabama. “Tell me what you’re thinking about throwing your hat back into the ring,” Fischer said.

“I’m seriously considering it, I think that it (the 2017 Senate race) was stolen,” Moore responded, citing what he described as misinformation campaigns against him.

Senator Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor, defeated Moore by a narrow margin in a special election in December 2017 to fill the seat vacated by Republican Jeff Sessions when he became U.S. attorney general. Jones was the first Democrat in a quarter-century to be elected to the U.S. Senate in conservative-leaning Alabama.

If Moore, a 72-year-old former chief judge in Alabama known for staunchly conservative views, does decide to run for the Senate in 2020 and secures the Republican nomination, he could find himself facing Jones again. The term that Jones was elected to fill expires at the end of 2020.

Moore’s 2017 campaign to fill Sessions’ seat was beset by allegations from women who told the Washington Post that he had sexually assaulted or pursued them while he was in his 30s and they were teenagers. Moore denied the misconduct allegations.

In January, Alabama’s Republican attorney general, Steve Marshall, asked federal elections officials to investigate allegations that the 2017 special election was tainted by use of a misleading social media campaign against Moore. [nL1N1Z71HV]

The New York Times has reported that Democratic operatives sought to undermine Moore by creating a Facebook page claiming his supporters wanted to ban alcohol in the state. The newspaper has also reported that Democrats created a separate “false flag” Facebook page to portray Moore as supported by Russian bot accounts.

U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne is the only Republican in Alabama so far, who has formally pledged to run for the Senate in 2020, according to a report from AL.com, the website of Alabama Media Group.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 2
FILE PHOTO: Mar 5, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Stan Wawrinka (SUI) on the practice court in preparation for the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 9, 2019

By Rory Carroll

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Reuters) – Stan Wawrinka battled back to defeat British qualifier Dan Evans 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3 at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday as the Swiss continued his slow climb back up the world rankings after a disappointing 2018.

The world number 40’s powerful serve was the difference on a sunny and windy day in Indian Wells as he won 83 percent of his first service points and fired down seven aces to beat Briton Evans, losing finalist at Delray Beach last month.

Three-times Grand Slam champion Wawrinka saw his ranking go into freefall following knee surgery in late 2017 and he finished last year as number 66 in the world.

The Swiss said he was feeling more confident after reaching the title-decider at last month’s Rotterdam Open, his first final since the operation.

“It was great to make the final there and win those matches against the top players,” the former world number three told reporters after the match.

“But every tournament is a new tournament. You need to start from the beginning,” he added. “Today was a tough match against a tough player in tough conditions.”

Next up for Wawrinka is Hungarian 29th-seed Marton Fucsovics, who the 33-year-old has defeated in two of their three career meetings.

Feliciano Lopez came out on the winning side of two tie breakers for a 7-6(3) 7-6(2) victory over Tomas Berdych in his first round match.

In a battle of two tour veterans, Lopez’s 15 aces and sharper execution in the tie-breakers gave him the edge. The Spaniard will next play 12th seed Karen Khachanov.

American Steve Johnson, German Peter Gojowczyk and 19-year-old Australian Alexei Popyrin were among the other first-round winners on Friday.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Washington State football coach Mike Leach turns 58 Saturday.

As everybody knows, I am a huge fan of Leach. Not only is the man a genius on the football field, but he’s also incredibly entertaining. (RELATED: America’s Most Entertaining Football Coach Might Start Teaching A College Class)

Every single time a microphone ends up in front of his face it turns into gold. The man is a machine when it comes to soundbites.

I’m not sure he’s ever disappointed when it comes to his public comments. That’s why we’re here today. As a celebration of this great man, let’s take a walk down memory lane with some of his greatest moments(RELATED: Legendary College Football Coach Has Amazing Rant About Recruit Rankings)

Enjoy!

He’s 58 years young, and one of the greatest men in all of football. Personally, I hope he coaches for the next 20 years. The video content will be enough to get me my private plane.

Godspeed, Leach, godspeed. We’re all counting on you!

Source: The Daily Caller

President Donald Trump declared Friday that he rejected a personal appeal from his former lawyer Michael Cohen for a pardon, the strongest assertion yet that Cohen may have lied under oath.

Trump tweeted his claim after days of swirling questions about Cohen over the issue of pardons. It has emerged as a key line of inquiry for Democrats launching a series of sweeping investigations into Trump's political and personal dealings.

"Bad lawyer and fraudster Michael Cohen said under sworn testimony that he never asked for a Pardon. His lawyers totally contradicted him. He lied!" Trump tweeted aboard Air Force One while en route to inspect damage from deadly tornados in Alabama. "Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again! He also badly wanted to work at the White House. He lied!"

Cohen took to Twitter minutes later to deny the accusation.

"Just another set of lies by @POTUS @realdonaldtrump. Mr. President" he wrote, before invoking the women whose hush money payments he helped facilitate. "Let me remind you that today is #InternationalWomensDay. You may want use today to apologize for your own #lies and #DirtyDeeds to women like Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford."

Lanny Davis, Cohen's lawyer, said in a written statement Thursday that his client was "open to the ongoing 'dangling' of a possible pardon by Trump representatives privately and in the media" in the months after the FBI raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room in April 2018.

Davis, who was not Cohen's lawyer at the time, said Cohen "directed his attorney" to explore a possible pardon with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others on Trump's legal team. The statement appears to contradict Cohen's sworn testimony last week at a House Oversight Committee hearing that he had never asked for, and would not accept, a pardon from Trump.

Davis' comment raises questions about whether Cohen — who is slated to begin a three-year prison sentence in May for crimes including lying to Congress — lied to Congress again last week. Cohen's legal team argued that his statement was correct because Cohen never asked the president himself for a pardon.

Trump did not immediately provide evidence of Cohen's attempt to secure a pardon or reveal when the alleged request was made. Earlier Friday, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, he said that Cohen had told a "stone cold lie" when he testified that he did not seek presidential intervention.

In response to Trump's tweet, Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat and member of the House judiciary and intelligence committees, called on Trump to testify under oath.

"Michael Cohen gave sworn testimony. Will you? Under oath to Mueller or Congress? If not, get out of our Twitter feed and find a less obstructive way to spend your executive time," he tweeted.

There is nothing inherently improper about a subject in a criminal investigation seeking a pardon from a president given the president's wide latitude in granting them. But investigators want to know if the prospects of presidential pardons were somehow offered or used inappropriately.

It is hard to untangle the conflicting narratives given the unreliability of some of the central characters.

Cohen, for instance, has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and saw his credibility attacked last week by Republican lawmakers. Davis has had to walk back at least one bombshell assertion over the last year — that his client could tell investigators that Trump had advance knowledge of a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign — and Giuliani has fumbled facts and repeatedly moved the goalposts about what sort of behavior by the president would constitute collusion or a crime.

Congressional investigators, meanwhile, appear to be focusing on presidential powers as a significant line of questioning in their probes.

Giuliani said Thursday he was contacted in May or June about a possible pardon for Cohen.

"My answer was the president is not going to consider or give any pardons now," Giuliani said in an interview. "As I have said in the past, the president has the right to, and that doesn't mean he won't consider it when the investigation is over. But there are no plans to do so; that's the answer that Jay and I and the president settled on. 'The best thing for you to do,' I would tell everyone, 'is assume you don't have the pardon.'"

Jay Sekulow is another Trump lawyer.

Cohen has become a key figure in congressional investigations since turning on his former boss and cooperating with the special counsel. During last week's public testimony, he called Trump a con man, a cheat and a racist. Trump, in turn, has said Cohen "did bad things unrelated to Trump" and "is lying in order to reduce his prison time."

As questions grew this week, Cohen's legal team stressed that he was one of Trump's closest confidants and if he wanted a pardon, he would have just asked Trump himself — which the president, for the first time on Friday, claimed is what happened.

Cohen arranged payments to Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, and McDougal to prevent them from speaking publicly about alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen on Thursday sued the Trump Organization over its decision to stop paying his legal bills, which Trump declared to be "the most ridiculous suit I've ever seen."

Source: NewsMax

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar seemingly escaped the anti-hate resolution news cycle without apologizing for the comments that many believe inspired the resolution in the first place.

During a town hall last week, Omar sparked outrage when she implied that she was expected to maintain allegiance to Israel, saying, “So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

Then, over the weekend, Democratic New York Rep. Nita Lowey criticized the Minnesota congresswoman on Twitter, saying, “Lawmakers must be able to debate [without] prejudice or bigotry. I am saddened that Rep. Omar continues to mischaracterize support for Israel. I urge her to retract this statement and engage in further dialogue with the Jewish community on why these comments are so hurtful.”

Omar responded, saying in part, “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”

“No member of Congress is asked to swear allegiance to another country. Throughout history, Jews have been accused of dual loyalty, leading to discrimination and violence, which is why these accusations are so hurtful,” Lowey replied last Sunday.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 26: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) stands with Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) as lawmakers speak about the Voting Rights Enhancement Act, H.R. 4, on Capitol Hill on February 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

Many criticized Omar’s response for pushing an anti-Semitic trope.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO Anti-Defamation League, an organization dedicated to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,” sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi about Omar’s comments. He asked for Pelosi to bring a resolution to the floor condemning anti-Semitism.

It also addressed the “dual loyalty” accusation, stating in part:

Accusing Jews of having allegiance to a foreign government has long been a vile anti-Semitic slur that has been used to harass, marginalize and persecute the Jewish people for centuries. Sometimes referred to as the “dual loyalty” charge, it alleges that Jews should be suspected of being disloyal neighbors or citizens because their true allegiance is to their co-religionists around the world or to a secret and immoral Jewish agenda.

Later that day, the text of the resolution was released and it did not mention the Minnesota congresswoman by name. The vote was scheduled for Wednesday.

A multitude of congresspeople from both sides of the aisle condemned Omar’s statements. Republicans, such as Reps. Lee Zeldin of New York, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Steve Scalice of Louisiana and Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania, all called for her to be stripped of her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Despite their calls, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, who is Jewish, said he was against her removal during an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Tuesday. In a statement issued last Friday, calling her comment a “vile anti-Semitic slur” and “deeply offensive.”

When Wednesday came around, the vote did not occur like it was scheduled. The vote was pushed back a day, and delayed once again, but Democratic leadership decided it would be best to condemn all hate and not just anti-Semitism.

In a press conference prior to the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked if Omar owed people an apology. She answered by saying Omar “may need to explain.”

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 08: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the U.S. Capitol March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The resolution ended up condemning the following: “African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others” — but it still did not name Ilhan Omar.

It passed through the House on Thursday with a vote of 407-23, with all 23 “Nays” coming from Republicans. Many of them cited their beliefs that the final draft of the resolution no longer accomplished the goal they set out to reach – a condemnation of Omar’s comments and of anti-Semitism in general.

Every Democrat, including Omar, voted in favor of the legislation.

Later on Thursday, Omar released a joint statement on the vote with Democratic Reps. Andre Carson and Rashida Tlaib.

“Today is historic on many fronts. It’s the first time we have voted on a resolution condemning Anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation’s history. Anti-Muslim crimes have increased 99% from 2014-2016 and are still on the rise,” the statement began.

“We are tremendously proud to be a part of a body that has put forth a condemnation of all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism, and white supremacy,” it continued. “At a time when extremism is on the rise, we must explicitly denounce religious intolerance of all kinds and acknowledge the pain felt by all communities. Our nation is having a difficult conversation and we believe this is great process.”

Their statement condemns “religious intolerance of all kinds,” yet it did not include an apology.

The Daily Caller asked Omar if she felt the need to apologize more specifically, but her office did not respond.

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Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: People arrive to have lunch at an aid center and community kitchen where Venezuelans are assisted in Cucuta
FILE PHOTO: People arrive to have lunch at an aid center and community kitchen where Venezuelans are assisted in Cucuta, Colombia February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello

March 9, 2019

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia will allow Venezuelans to cross the border using expired passports in view of the difficulty of renewing travel documents in the neighboring country in the midst of its economic crisis, the migration agency said on Friday.

More than 1.2 million Venezuelans fleeing widespread food and medicine shortages and a complex political crisis have migrated to Colombia in recent years, overtaxing the South American country’s already-limited public healthcare, housing and utilities.

Many arrive without visas because they are unable to renew their passports.

Passport renewals in Venezuela are “nearly impossible because of the high cost of the document, because of a lack of primary materials to make them and because of other actions from the Venezuelan side to curb the exit of Venezuelans,” said Christian Kruger, the head of Colombia’s migration agency.

Venezuelans will now be able to use old passports for up to two years after their expiry date, Kruger said in a statement.

The measure is part of recent agreements made by the Lima Group bloc of nations to give migrants security and prevent them from turning to trafficking gangs in order to cross the border, the statement said.

Most Western nations recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido, and not President Nicolas Maduro, as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

An attempt by Guaido to bring hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian aid into Venezuela was largely stymied last month by Maduro, whose troops blocked convoys of aid trucks, leading to clashes that killed at least six people.

“There is nothing more dangerous for a country than not to know who is within its borders. Shutting the frontier and demanding official documents from a population that is fleeing a dictatorship because of hunger and want only incentivizes irregularities,” Kruger said.

(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: OANN

Adelle Nazarian | Contributor

A groundswell of public support is building for Michael Goldstein, an administrator and adjunct professor at the City University of New York (CUNY), who claims that he is the victim of a “systematic and pernicious campaign” of anti-Semitism.

Goldstein, who teaches communications and government relations, has worked at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College (KCC) for 20 years and is the son of the university’s former president. He penned a Feb. 13 op-ed in the New York Daily News titled, “A campus infected with hostility: A professor says he’s been targeted for being a conservative Jew.”

In the piece, Goldstein recounted what he described as an “unending campaign of harassment and belittlement” by which he was singled out for his politically conservative and pro-Israel views, as well as his allegation that CUNY and KCC have failed to take action to protect him and fellow Jewish staff members who have been targeted by a campus group called the Progressive Faculty Caucus (PFC).

Goldstein began being targeted in Feb. 2018 when a photo of his late father that hung outside his office was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti and a death threat, including the words “F—k Trump Goldstein, Kill the Zionist Entity.” KCC declined to classify the incident as a hate crime and denied Goldstein’s requests for added security.

Goldstein later learned that the vandalism came a day after KCC professor and PFC member Katia Perea told an administrator, “I guess I will have to handle this myself,” when the administrator refused her request to fire him. Perea allegedly went from office to office at the college, showing staffers Goldstein’s private Facebook photos as “evidence” that he is racist and sexist.

New York City (Drop of Light/Shutterstock)

New York City (Drop of Light/Shutterstock)

Then, last May, more than 1,000 flyers were distributed around campus calling for Goldstein’s firing over posts on his private Facebook page that were Zionist and pro-Trump. The flyers included a picture of the Jewish professor’s 13-year-old daughter. Further, a PFC member who was appointed to a KCC food committee that Goldstein has chaired for eight years began investigating his activity on the committee for no apparent reason, according to Goldstein.

“I’ve never promoted any of my private or religious opinions in the classroom — or anywhere else on campus. Nor have I held any of the hateful views the flyers attached to me,” Goldstein wrote in the Daily News op-ed, adding that he now fears for his safety on campus.

“Sadly, such discrimination against Jews isn’t limited to Kingsborough or CUNY,” he wrote. “Other high-profile incidents of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on campuses include University of Michigan, UCLA, Stanford University, Tufts and Connecticut College. The list goes on and on. None of this has anything to do with academic freedom or free speech. This is about anti-Semitism and religious discrimination, pure and simple. There is no longer a safe space in academia for individuals with opposing views — especially if you are Jewish or pro-Israel.”

Goldstein has experienced an outpouring of solidarity in the weeks following the publication of his op-ed, including thousands of shares of his article on social media, dozens of e-mails of support from concerned individuals all over the world and outreach from legal professionals who have volunteered to provide their assistance.

The professor is already being represented by The Lawfare Project, a New York-based legal think tank and litigation fund that states its mission is to protect the civil and human rights of pro-Israel and Jewish communities globally.

The Lawfare Project is largely viewed and recognized as the pro-Israel ACLU.

CUNY website (Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock)

CUNY website (Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock)

With the assistance of The Lawfare Project, Goldstein has filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York State Division of Human Rights. He says that during the past year alone, at least five complaints by Jewish staff members that were filed against the PFC have been filed internally with CUNY. The Lawfare Project represents Jeffrey Lax, chair of KCC’s Business Department, in an employment discrimination lawsuit against the college. Lax’s allegations included that Stuart Suss, a former interim president of the school, had said there are “too many Jews” on KCC’s staff.

Additionally, The Lawfare Project and Winston & Strawn LLP last year brought a lawsuit which accuses San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the California State University (CSU) system for anti-Semitic discrimination stemming from the exclusion of the Jewish organization Hillel from a “Know Your Rights” fair on SFSU’s campus in February 2017. The trial date is set for March 18.

Meanwhile, in Goldstein’s case, The Lawfare Project says it has sent multiple letters to the CUNY network’s chancellor and deputy general counsel as well as KCC’s president since August 2018, informing them that their lack of action to protect Goldstein represents a violation of school policy, state law and federal law.

Goldstein himself has filed a series of complaints with KCC’s Department of Public Safety since the initial anti-Semitic vandalism and death threat in February 2018; he has also filed complaints with the school’s chief diversity officer, the administrator responsible for handling discrimination complaints. Goldstein says KCC has not informed him which, if any, of the complaints have been opened for a formal investigation.

“We will not rest until City University of New York takes the appropriate steps to ensure Mr. Goldstein’s protection and puts an end to the discriminatory targeting and harassment of Jewish staff and faculty at Kingsborough Community College,” said The Lawfare Project’s Executive Director Brooke Goldstein.

The Lawfare Project issued a statement blasting KBCC’s President Claudia Schrader for failing to condemn the anti-Semitism that Goldstein experienced, instead blaming the media for potentially tarnishing the school’s image.

The statement read, in part:

Furthermore, on February 25th, in a college-wide e-mail addressed to the KCC community from the KCC President, there was no explicit condemnation of the anti-Semitism experienced by Goldstein; rather, the incidents were merely treated as “allegations of anti-Semitism”. While the e-mail claims investigations are ongoing, Michael Goldstein has not received any clarification on the status of his claims.

The CUNY administrator’s reaction underscores not only the college’s abject failure in preventing anti-Semitism, but also its refusal to come to terms with anti-Semitism on its campus.

The Lawfare Project will continue defending the civil rights of Mr. Goldstein and calls on the CUNY administration, as well as New York’s elected leadership, to seriously investigate the anti-Semitism plaguing their public campuses. It is time for them to take meaningful steps to hold perpetuators accountable and create a safer campus for all students and faculty.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
FILE PHOTO: Feb 22, 2019; Peoria, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Chad Pinder (18) flips his bat after drawing a walk in the second inning against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Peoria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

March 9, 2019

Greg Deichmann hit a two-run home run to cap a four-run bottom of the eighth inning as the Oakland Athletics rallied for a 6-5 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday at Mesa, Ariz.

Chad Pinder delivered a run-scoring double and Austin Beck plated another run on an infield single before Deichmann swatted a 2-0 pitch from Padres right-hander Luis Perdomo over the wall in right field.

Hunter Renfroe went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Padres. Renfroe’s two-run double in the fifth gave San Diego a 5-0 lead before Oakland began its comeback with Josh Phegley’s two-run blast in the seventh.

Rockies 11, Rangers 10

Peter Mooney recorded the tying double in the bottom of the ninth and Colton Welker stroked the winning two-out single as Colorado rallied to beat Texas at Scottsdale, Ariz. Elvis Andrus hit a grand slam to help the Rangers build a 7-0 lead.

White Sox 15, Angels 8

Yonder Alonso went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs and Jon Jay went 3-for-4 with two RBIs as Chicago defeated Los Angeles at Tempe, Ariz. Albert Pujols had a run-scoring single for his second RBI of the spring for the Angels.

Marlins 10, Mets 3

Neil Walker went 3-for-3 with two homers and four RBIs as Miami rolled past host New York at Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Mets’ Robinson Cano hit his first homer of the spring while reaching base three times on two hits and a walk.

Brewers 6, Diamondbacks 3

Travis Shaw homered twice and drove in three runs as Milwaukee knocked off Arizona at Phoenix, Ariz. Andy Young and Wyatt Mathisen both went deep for the Diamondbacks.

Cardinals 3, Nationals 2

Matt Wieters had two hits and one RBI as St. Louis edged visiting Washington at Jupiter, Fla. Matt Adams and Jake Noll homered for the Nationals.

Blue Jays (ss) 5, Pirates (ss) 2

Right-hander Marcus Stroman gave up one hit over four shutout innings as the Blue Jays downed Pittsburgh at Dunedin, Fla. Freddy Galvis and Brandon Drury homered for Toronto, while Oneil Cruz went deep for the Pirates.

Royals 8, Reds 3

Alex Gordon and Khalil Lee had two RBIs apiece as host Kansas City cruised past Cincinnati at Surprise, Ariz. Jose Peraza smacked a two-run homer for the Reds.

Blue Jays (ss) 11, Pirates (ss) 0

Anthony Alford homered twice and Bo Bichette, Jonathan Davis and Billy McKinney each added solo shots as Toronto routed host Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla. The Pirates had three hits, all singles.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 2

Renato Nunez homered and Hanser Alberto lined the go-ahead double in the sixth inning as host Baltimore defeated Boston at Sarasota, Fla. The Red Sox had just two hits.

Rays 5, Twins 5

Ji-Man Choi, Willy Adames and Jake Smolinski each homered as Tampa Bay and host Minnesota played to a draw at Fort Myers, Fla. Tyler Austin went 3-for-3 for the Twins.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

President Donald Trump said on Friday he would be disappointed if Pyongyang were to resume weapons testing and reiterated his belief in his good relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un despite the collapse last week of their second summit.

"I would be surprised in a negative way if he did anything that was not per our understanding. But we'll see what happens," Trump told reporters. "I would be very disappointed if I saw testing."

Trump's comments came after two U.S. think tanks and Seoul's spy agency said this week that North Korea was rebuilding a rocket launch site at Sohae in the west of the country.

There have also been reports from South Korea's intelligence service of new activity at a factory at Sanumdong near Pyongyang that produced North Korea's first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

On Friday, U.S. National Public Radio quoted experts from California's Middlebury Institute of International Studies as saying that satellite images of Sanumdong taken on Feb. 22 and on Friday suggested North Korea could be preparing to launch a missile or a space rocket.

One of the experts, Jeffrey Lewis, told Reuters the activity at the two sites was "probably connected." NPR said the Feb. 22 photos showed cars, trucks, rail cars and two cranes at Sanumdong, while in those taken on Friday, the activity had died down and one of the cranes had disappeared.

Other experts, including Joel Wit at 38 North and Michael Elleman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies considered the conclusion speculative.

"In the past there have been multiple reports about activity at this place that turned out to be false alarms," Wit said, referring to Sanumdong. "It could either be preparation for an eventual launch or not."

The White House, State Department and Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

North Korea has frozen nuclear and missile testing since 2017, and Trump has pointed to this as a positive outcome from nearly a year of high-level engagement with North Korea.

Sohae has been used in the past to test missile engines and to launch rockets that U.S. officials say have helped development of North Korea's weapons programs. A senior U.S. State Department official said on Thursday that any launch from there would be "inconsistent" with North Korean commitments.

Kim pledged at a first summit with Trump in Singapore in June that the engine test site and launch platform at Sohae would be dismantled. He repeated the pledge in a summit with the South Korean president in September.

Trump said he thought his and the U.S. relationship with Kim and North Korea was "a very good one."

"I think it remains good," he said.

SUMMIT COLLAPSE

Trump has been eager for a big foreign policy win on North Korea which has eluded his predecessors for decades and has repeatedly stressed his good relationship with Kim.

He went as far late last year as saying that they "fell in love," but the bonhomie has failed to bridge the wide gap between the two sides and a second summit between them collapsed last week in Vietnam over differences on U.S. demands for Kim to give up his nuclear weapons and North Korea's demands for sanctions relief.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and other U.S. officials have sought to play down the developments spotted at Sohae, although Trump on Thursday called recent North Korean activity "disappointing."

The senior State Department official who briefed reporters in Washington on Thursday said he would "not necessarily share the conclusion" of the think tanks that the Sohae site was operational again, but said any use of it would be seen as "backsliding" on commitments to Trump.

Pyongyang has used Sohae to launch satellites into space since 2011, and one such launch in April 2012 killed off an Obama administration deal for a freeze in North Korean nuclear and missile testing in return for food aid.

North Korean state media acknowledged the fruitless Hanoi summit for the first time on Friday, saying people were blaming the United States for the lack of an agreement.

"The public at home and abroad that had hoped for success and good results from the second … summit in Hanoi are feeling regretful, blaming the U.S. for the summit that ended without an agreement," its Rodong Sinmun newspaper said.

The paper directed fiery rhetoric against Japan, accusing it of being "desperate to interrupt" relations between Pyongyang and Washington and "applauding" the breakdown of the summit.

Washington has said it is open to more talks with North Korea, but it has rejected an incremental approach to negotiations sought by Pyongyang and it remains unclear when the two sides might meet again.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday he was hopeful he would send a delegation to North Korea for more talks in the next couple of weeks, but had received "no commitment yet."

The senior State Department official who briefed reporters on Thursday declined to say whether there had been direct contact between the sides since the summit. He said Washington was keen to resume talks as soon as possible, but North Korea's negotiators needed to be given more latitude.

"There will necessarily need to be a period of reflection here. Both sides are going to have to digest the outcome to the summit," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Fundamentally, where we really need to see the progress, and we need to see it soon, is on meaningful and verifiable steps on denuclearization. That's our goal and that's how we see these negotiations picking up momentum."

The official said complete denuclearization was the condition for North Korea's integration into the global economy, a transformed relationship with the United States and a permanent peace regime on the Korean peninsula.

Bolton, who has argued for a tough approach to North Korea, said this week that Trump was open to more talks, but also warned of tougher sanctions if North Korea did not denuclearize.

Source: NewsMax

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts attacked President Donald Trump for using pardons but then hesitated to respond whether or not she would use that power to assist any member of her staff facing legal problems in a Friday interview on MSNBC.

“Because I know what pardons are for,” Warren responded, when asked about her pledge not to use pardons as ‘horsetrades’ in the White House.

“Pardons are there for the powerless to show a little justice,” she continued. “That they need. Pardons are not there as part of a plea agreement. That’s somewhere else in the system. We reserve pardons for those people who didn’t receive justice under the law. And I’m not there to say pardons are going to be part of a political horse trade of my administration.” (RELATED: Elizabeth Warren’s First Week On The Stump Filled With Missteps)

“Does that mean you would commit to saying you’re never going to pardon anyone that worked directly for you?” MSNBC’s Ari Melber asked in a follow-up question.

Warren paused and then answered:

I assume so. I don’t know if any case why I would do that. This is about the powerless. That’s what pardons are supposed to be about. Not about people who have connections. Not about people who — not about people who have a way to be protected, who can hire the lawyers, who get to work their way through the system, who get the best representation.

Source: The Daily Caller

Nurses are seen during a protest march in Lisbon
Nurses are seen during a protest march in Lisbon, Portugal, March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

March 9, 2019

LISBON (Reuters) – Dressed in white and holding white flowers, thousands of nurses marched through Lisbon on Friday in a show of unity to demand better pay and working conditions and protest the Portuguese government’s poor handling of the long-running dispute.

Police estimated some 6,000 women and men, many of whom were bussed in from across the country, took part in the “white march” to honor the profession on International Women’s Day.

The march organizers put the number at 10,000.

“What we wanted to achieve with this march has been achieved. We have at least 10,000 people, a beautiful wave of humans dressed in white, which shows the unity in our profession,” said Sonia Viegas, one of the organizers from the National Movement of Nurses.

Some of the placards carried by the nurses said: “No fear!” “We shall fight!”, and “No to the blackmail” in a reference to the government’s negotiating stance.

Last month, nurses staged a three-week strike, forcing the postponement of around 5,000 scheduled surgical operations, according to government figures. A similar strike last year led to the cancellation of around 7,500 surgeries.

The strike was suspended on Feb. 22 when the government agreed to resume talks with the unions after having declared the labor action unlawful and threatened penalties for strikers.

The first round of talks took place on Thursday, during which the government signed a protocol for the negotiation of a collective work agreement for nurses, but Sindepor, one of the two main nurses unions, was quick to call a new strike in April.

It said it would cancel the planned strike if the talks with the government are constructive.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 21.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony and Miguel Pereira; Writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Source: OANN

It’s open line Friday so Owen Shroyer takes your calls on a variety of topics on The War Room. We take a look at the push for mandatory vaccinations with Lori Gregory. Elijah Schaeffer joins us from Slightly Offensive for some comic relief.

GUEST // (OTP/Skype) // TOPICS:
Elijah Schaffer//Skype
Lori Gregory//Skype

Source: The War Room

FILE PHOTO: Bottles of prescription painkiller OxyContin made by Purdue Pharma LP on a counter at a local pharmacy in Provo
FILE PHOTO: Bottles of prescription painkiller OxyContin pills, made by Purdue Pharma LP sit on a counter at a local pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S., April 25, 2017. REUTERS/George Frey/File Photo

March 9, 2019

By Nate Raymond

(Reuters) – OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP and two other drugmakers on Friday lost a bid to delay a landmark trial set for May in a lawsuit by Oklahoma’s attorney general accusing them of helping fuel an opioid abuse and overdose epidemic in the state.

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman’s decision was a win for the state, even as one of its lawyers said that Purdue had “threatened” to file for bankruptcy rather than face the first trial to result from around 2,000 lawsuits nationally.

“This case needs to get to trial because people are dying every day,” Reggie Whitten, a lawyer for the state, said during a hearing in Norman, Oklahoma.

Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, on Monday reported that Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue, owned by members of the wealthy Sackler family, was exploring filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Doing so would allow it to address potential legal liabilities while bringing the cases to a halt.

Eric Pinker, Purdue’s lawyer, made no mention of a potential bankruptcy while arguing to delay the May 28 trial in Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s lawsuit against it, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

He instead argued that delaying a trial in the multibillion dollar case to Sept. 16 was necessary because the state belatedly turned over 1.6 million pages of records critical to Purdue’s defense.

“This case is not at a posture where it can fairly and fully go to trial in May of this year,” Pinker said.

But the judge said the drugmakers had not established the state’s actions had prejudiced them. The drugmakers’ lawyers said they would appeal.

Opioids, including prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl, were involved in a record 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The epidemic has led to lawsuits by state and local governments accusing Purdue and other drugmakers of contributing to the crisis through deceptive marketing that downplayed the risks and benefits of addictive opioids.

The companies deny wrongdoing, noting their drugs carried warning labels and pointing to others factors that contributed to the epidemic.

More than 1,600 lawsuits have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio, who has been pushing for a settlement ahead of the first trial before him in October.

Other cases are pending in state courts, including Oklahoma’s, one of 36 lawsuits by state attorneys general facing Purdue.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; editing by Grant McCool)

Source: OANN

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani is seen at the beginning of a plenary session of the EU Parliament in Brussels
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani is seen at the beginning of a plenary session of the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

March 9, 2019

BERLIN (Reuters) – It is crucial to prevent Britain crashing out of the European Union in a disorderly way without a deal, the head of the European Parliament told a German media outlet.

In an interview with the Funke group of newspapers, Antonio Tajani added the date of Brexit can be delayed past March 29 by only a few weeks at most.

British lawmakers are due to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan for a second time on Tuesday. May has said that, if her plan is defeated, lawmakers will be able to vote on Wednesday and Thursday on whether they want to leave the bloc without a deal, or ask for a short delay to Brexit.

“It’s a matter now of avoiding the biggest mistake of all – a chaotic Brexit without contractual arrangements in place,” Tajani said in an interview due to be published on Saturday.

Such a disorderly no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for the British economy and would also hurt the EU, Tajani said, adding that he would be happy if Britain were to remain in the bloc.

Tajani said the political declaration on Brexit could perhaps be slightly more clearly formulated but he ruled out changing the withdrawal agreement, especially on the Northern Ireland issue.

“I’m convinced that the exit date can only be delayed by a maximum of several weeks – from the end of March to the start of July at most,” he said.

Tajani said Britain would need to provide a reason for postponing its exit from the EU such as wanting to use the extra time to hold fresh elections or a new referendum.

“They’ve decided to leave – it’s their problem, not ours,” he added.

Tajani said Britain’s departure from the EU would deter other countries from leaving the bloc, adding: “We need to change the European Union but we need to stick together.”

(Reporting by Michelle Martin, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad hoc workers sort election materials in Lagos
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad hoc workers sort election materials in Lagos, Nigeria March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Adelaja Temilade

March 9, 2019

By Alexis Akwagyiram

LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigerian voters return to the polls on Saturday to elect powerful state governors, two weeks after Muhammadu Buhari secured a second term in a delayed presidential vote.

The election is for 29 of the country’s 36 governors, who are among the most influential politicians in Nigeria, which is Africa’s biggest oil producer and has the continent’s largest economy. Many of them control budgets larger than those of small nations.

With so much at stake, many previous governorship elections have been marred by violence including shootings and armed gangs snatching ballot boxes. Some results are expected to emerge on Sunday.

Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), beat Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in last month’s presidential election with 15.2 million votes to 11.3 million, though on a turnout of just 35.6 percent.

Situation Room, a monitoring mission comprising over 70 civic groups, said 39 people were killed in election-related violence on the day of the presidential poll. In one incident, a gang shot dead two soldiers in the southern oil hub state of Rivers, prompting fears of more violence there on Saturday.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria, as a professional and reputable institution, wish to reassure the public that no reprisal attack will be carried out by any military personnel,” a military spokesman said on Friday.

The army said it would work with the police to ensure people would be able to vote in “an environment devoid of violence and insecurity”.

Nigeria’s security forces have been stretched in the last few years by an Islamist insurgency in the northeast as well as by communal violence and banditry in other areas.

Hours before polls opened for the presidential vote, explosions rocked Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, epicenter of the insurgency. In neighboring Yobe, residents of the town of Geidam fled a militant attack around the same time.

Last month’s election was delayed by a week after the electoral commission was unable to get ballots and results sheets to all areas on time.

Legislative elections were held Feb. 23 at the same time as the presidential poll and Buhari’s APC secured key victories over the opposition PDP in many areas.

Bukola Saraki, a PDP member who was president of the upper house of parliament, lost his senatorial seat. Bitterly at odds with the presidency, Saraki had often worked to frustrate bills proposed by Buhari.

(Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

Immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the Trump administration are dying at virtually the same rate as they did during the Obama administration.

During former President Barack Obama’s first year in office, 10 foreign nationals died in ICE custody. Five passed away in 2012, and 12 died in 2016, according to ICE data obtained by the Washington Examiner. The numbers are not far removed from President Donald Trump’s first two years in office.

Ten detainees died in 2017 and 12 died in 2018, according to the American Immigration Lawyers Association. There have been no reported deaths in fiscal year 2019 as of March 5.

Not only are current deaths on par with the Obama administration, but they remain far lower than the numbers from about 15 years ago. Thirty-two people died in calendar year 2004, and 20 died in 2005. A far larger number of foreign nationals were caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border during the 1990’s and early 2000s, which led to more immigrants being detained than is currently the case.

The data contradicts a narrative pushed by many Democrats that the current administration is less humane to foreign nationals that are caught trying to enter the country illegally.

Migrants are hit by tear gas by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after attempting to illegally cross the border wall into the U.S. in Tijuana, Mexico

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 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after attempting to illegally cross the border wall into the United States in Tijuana, Mexico November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

“Madam Secretary, do you know how many children have died in CBP custody under your tenure as secretary?” New Mexico Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small asked Wednesday during a House congressional committee hearing with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “Can you give me the numbers and how many children have died?” (RELATED: 18 Deaths Of ICE Detainees Acknowledged Under Obama — But Not Investigated)

While speaking at a town hall in January regarding immigration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed Trump’s tenure was “a departure” from all modern presidencies, and blamed the deaths of two migrant children who died in custody on a lack of proper medical care.

Follow Jason on Twitter.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Members of the media reacted Friday to former Fox News editor Ken LaCorte’s op-ed criticizing a New Yorker report that claimed Fox News knowingly killed a story about Stormy Daniels and then-candidate Donald Trump prior to the 2016 presidential debate.

New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer alleged in her report this week that Fox opted not to publish the story in 2016 because higher-ups at Fox News were trying to protect then-presidential candidate Donald Trump from the scandal. She claimed that Diana Falzone, a FoxNews.com reporter, confirmed the affair occurred with Daniels’ manager and ex-husband.

However LaCorte’s op-ed, which appeared in Mediaite, points to a different reason the story was not published: a lack of corroborating evidence. (RELATED: CNN’s Stelter Says Dems Are ‘Dehumanized’ On Fox News After DNC Blacklists Network)

“It lacked: any mention of payments, a hush money contract or any corroborating evidence beyond the two secondhand accounts,” he wrote. “The story wasn’t close to being publishable, and my decision to hold it was a no-brainer. I didn’t do it to help Trump and never said nor implied otherwise.”

“I sent Mayer an email with some explanation and an offer to talk, and she responded: ‘sorry, but I didn’t know fact-checkers called, I was hoping to call you first. we just added this to the story today. I’ll call in a bit. up to my eyeballs right this moment.’ She never did,” LaCorte continued.

As he points out, “The Washington Post, Guardian, Newsweek, The Hill, Esquire, Vanity Fair, and at least 70 others,” pushed Mayer’s piece without reaching out to him.

LaCorte’s piece sent shock waves on social media with people pushing back on Mayer’s piece.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: PGA: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard - Second Round
FILE PHOTO: Mar 8, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Tommy Fleetwood hits a tee shot on the 15th hole during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

March 9, 2019

(Reuters) – Englishman Tommy Fleetwood set the early pace and American Keegan Bradley played catch-up as they soared to a joint four-stroke lead in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Friday.

Fleetwood, last year’s U.S. Open runner-up, collected a pair of eagles at par-five holes to shoot six-under 66 and Bradley followed with a 68 as they wound up on nine-under 135 at Bay Hill.

“If you can score on the par-fives, you can shoot a good score and that’s basically where I made all my numbers up today,” Fleetwood, who has a close friend living on the course, told Golf Channel.

“It was just nice to have a day like that and just constantly feel at ease really with hitting good golf shots.”

Six players were tied for third at five-under including last week’s Honda Classic winner Keith Mitchell (68).

Billy Horschel (71), Venezuelan Jhnonattan Vegas (70), Italian Francesco Molinari (70), American Kevin Kisner (69) and Canadian Roger Sloan (69) also were at 139.

But the tournament ended early for five times major winner Phil Mickelson, who failed to make the cut after a six-over 78 that included three bogeys and two doubles after an opening 68 on Thursday.

South African Ernie Els (75-146) and American Brooks Koepka (73-147) also missed the cut.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina)

Source: OANN

Today, War Room producer Savanah Hernandez spoke at City Council only to be blatantly avoided by Mayor Steve Adler. We get reaction to that plus more abortion news with our in studio guests. Owen Shroyer also looks at the hundred year lies of the American left when it comes to climate change. Plus, much more!

GUEST // (OTP/Skype) // TOPICS:
Savanah Hernandez//In Studio
Brad Chadford//In Studio
Adriana DiCioccio//In Studio

Source: The War Room

Mother Jones reporter and MSNBC analyst David Corn showed me a photo of the “obscene” anti-Ocasio-Cortez graffiti he found in an airport bathroom this week and, honestly, it was pretty underwhelming.

Corn tweeted about the graffiti to his over-700,000 followers Tuesday but opted not to share the photo, sparking a flurry of responses from skeptical Twitter users who believed Corn was making up the story entirely or had written the graffiti himself.

The speculation about the alleged graffiti only intensified after some odd tweets from Phoenix Sky Harbor, the airport where Corn claimed to have found the message.

Corn shared the location of the graffiti with the airport, but the airport maintenance team was unable to find anything in the bathroom stalls. Corn suggested that the graffiti had been removed earlier in the day, noting that it was written in black marker that he was able to partially wipe off with his hand.

The airport also refused to confirm if Corn shared a photo of the graffiti with their team, although Corn asked the airport to DM him so he could send it to them.

Hi Amanda, we did have our custodians check the restrooms in Terminal 2 and they let us know that they did not find anything. That doesn’t mean something wasn’t cleaned up earlier in the day. Thanks,

— PHX Sky Harbor (@PHXSkyHarbor) March 6, 2019

The exchange caught my attention in light of the recent hoaxed hate crime by “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, so I set out on a mission to see the photo of the Ocasio-Cortez graffiti myself.

I shot a message over to Corn on Wednesday, asking if he could send me the photo if I agreed not to publish it anywhere.

Corn replied that he did not trust me enough to share the photo with me online, an admission I found somewhat ironic considering a whole lot of people didn’t trust Corn enough to think the graffiti was real. Nonetheless, Corn offered to show me the photo in person if I dropped by his office the next day.

We ended up meeting at a coffee shop between our two offices on Thursday morning, and Corn requested I record our conversation, which I was happy to do. As a condition of seeing the photograph of the anti-AOC graffiti, I had to agree not to quote what the graffiti actually said.

Given the relative lengths I had to go to just to catch a glimpse of this photo, I was preparing myself for something pretty wild.

The graffiti consisted of three words and compared Ocasio-Cortez to poop.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listen to former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen answer a question from Ocasio-Cortez during his testimony at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listen to former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen answer a question from Ocasio-Cortez during his testimony at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Corn was very concerned that I still didn’t believe the graffiti was real, so he pointed emphatically at the location tag on the photo and the time it was taken.

“You can see the time it was taken. Tuesday, 1 o’clock p.m.,” Corn told me. “Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport. And if that doesn’t trust you, you can do the information, and it says ‘places: Sky Harbour Blvd., Phoenix, Sky Harbour Airport,’ with a little photo in the middle of the map.”

I asked Corn if he ever sent the photo to the Phoenix Airport, and he said, “I didn’t DM them, because I said follow me and I will DM you the picture, and they never followed me.”

And they didn’t DM you?” I questioned. 

No, there are no DMs. They said they sent someone to look, and they didn’t find it,” Corn replied. “I think they probably had more important things to worry about at the airport.”

At least I hope so,” he added. “And I was able to, you know, I was curious how indelible it might be. So I took a piece of toilet paper and rubbed one of the letters, and with a lot of elbow grease it came off, and then I just kind of stopped.”

Corn and I discussed why he thought the graffiti was important enough to warrant a tweet but not important enough to share the photo, and he explained that he thought it was interesting that a freshman congressman was being denigrated so far from the district she represents. However, since posting the tweet, Corn’s interest had clearly shifted from the graffiti itself to the skepticism and personal attacks he received from people who thought he had concocted the story.

“The attacks ranged from questioning my sanity to questioning my masculinity,” he said. “People say I’m only doing this because I want to date her. I mean, why are so many of the criticisms about her sexualized? That’s a pretty interesting question. And then also people saying I should kill myself … I mean that’s a pretty over-the-top question.” 

I offered that, while personal attacks are not acceptable, the reaction could be due to general skepticism of the media. I cited recent high-profile stories against conservatives that turned out to be untrue, such as the Covington Catholic kids and the Smollett hoax.

Well this seems to be ideologically-driven mistrust. I’m betting that if someone at The Daily Caller did this, not all the conservatives would rush out and attack him the way they attacked me,” Corn stated.

“No, but I think liberals probably would,” I replied.

“I don’t think so,” he claimed. “I certainly wouldn’t.”

Later in our conversation, I pointed out that Corn didn’t trust me enough to send me the photo over Twitter.

Well, yeah, because, you know, I don’t know you,” Corn said. “I know The Daily Caller, and I’ve seen them do things that I don’t agree with, but I did trust you enough to sit down with you and show it to you.”

Corn’s response seemed to debunk his own claim that he wouldn’t automatically distrust reporting from the Caller.

Nonetheless, Corn and I had a longer discussion about the reaction to his tweet, how Twitter has become a platform for reporting in itself and whether or not he should’ve shared the photo with his followers.

Corn said he didn’t want to amplify the troll’s message, whereas I thought he had already done so by posting about the graffiti at all and should’ve shared the photo on request. I argued that conservatives reacted the way they did because they’ve been burned by the media so many times, while Corn thought the response to the tweet was born out of partisan anger.

A few hours after I got back to The Daily Caller office, Corn sent me a few more screenshots of what he called “hateful assaults” from people accusing him of fabricating the anti-AOC graffiti.

Long story short, I can confirm that the anti-AOC graffiti exists. I’m not sure it was worth a 15-minute walk in below-freezing weather, but it is, in fact, real.

Follow Amber on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

NRA Shooting Illustrated | Contributor

By Sheriff Jim Wilson, Shooting Illustrated

I am re-reading an excellent book on Texas Ranger Captain Frank Hamer: “Texas Ranger: The Epic Life of Frank Hamer” by John Boessenecker. In it, Boessenecker quotes an early interview from the captain in which Hamer talks about what it takes to win a gunfight, and as most people know, Hamer won quite a few. Hamer tells the interviewer that it is critical to stay calm and hit the mark with the first shot. He suggests that a person take the time to make sure his sights are on target when he breaks the shot.

Col. Jeff Cooper wrote that when the fight becomes unavoidable, the proper response and the only successful response should be “Front sight, press—front sight, press.” Both men are saying essentially the same thing; the calmer a person can stay, focusing his entire attention on reliably running his gun and hitting the mark is the key to survival.

Now, you might point out, and rightfully so, that staying calm when someone is trying to kill you can be a difficult chore. It is human nature to worry about being hurt and even possibly killed. But we know that staying calm in a fight can be accomplished, because many others have done that very thing. The calming effect in a shooting situation is accomplished by incorporating several factors into our personal-defense plan.

We begin by accepting the fact that bad things really do happen, and they can happen to us. Controlling your emotions in such a situation is difficult, but we begin by learning and practicing to control our emotions throughout the various aspects of our life. I accept the fact that bad things can happen, and I develop a plan to deal with it. Having a plan helps to calm me when the real thing occurs. Cooper pointed out that the person without a plan and training will often respond with, “Oh my god! What am I going to do now?” The person who has planned and trained is more likely to think, “They told me that this could happen, and I know just what to do about it.”

Of all the things that will help us survive a violent criminal attack, the ability to draw the defensive handgun and center-punch your attacker with that first shot is the most critical to success and survival. It trumps fancy guns, state-of-the-art ammo and cool tactical gear. Even with multiple attackers, this response to the threat will often make additional targets disappear. We do everything we can to avoid a fight but when one is forced upon us, we clear our mind of everything except seeing the front sight and pressing the trigger.

Obviously, some folks are better at this than others. I have found, throughout my life, that the best practice is to force myself to be calm during all of the little things that can go wrong in my everyday life. Okay, I didn’t want this to happen, but now what am I going to do about it? It also helps to train frequently and make time to practice what has been learned in training.

“Be calm & hit the mark” is an excellent road map to survival.

Thanks to Shooting Illustrated for this post. Click here to visit ShootingIllustrated.com.

Better yet: Click here to subscribe to SI’s free newsletter.

Click here to follow SI on Facebook.

Source: The Daily Caller

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On the roster: Bernie boosts Omar as Dems’ Israel rift deepens – Biden staffing up with key Latino outreach hire – Poll shows Trump in trouble with Michigan voters – Audible: Nicklebackbenchers – Study accuracy: 100/100

BERNIE BOOSTS OMAR AS DEMS’ ISRAEL RIFT DEEPENS 
Politico: “When the latest controversy erupted over Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israel, only one 2020 presidential candidate rushed to her defense: Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator, the only Jewish candidate in the Democratic primary, embraced the African-American, Muslim congresswoman… No other presidential contender came out as quickly — or as forcefully — as Sanders, who laid down a clear line in the crowded Democratic field between those running as true progressives on foreign policy and those who support an existing U.S. policy that tends to favor Israel over Palestine. Sanders’ reaction to Omar’s comments — in which she said Israel’s allies ‘push for allegiance to a foreign country’ — served other purposes as well: it helped solidify his hold on the party’s left wing and dovetailed with his intensified outreach to older African-American voters, a critical constituency that failed to warm to him in 2016.”

Dem frosh turn tables - Fox News: “The passage Thursday of a broad anti-bigotry resolution that exposed chasms in the Democratic caucus regarding Israel marked a coup of sorts for a tight-knit band of House freshmen who – in a matter of hours – were able to shift the spotlight away from embattled Rep. Ilhan Omar’s allegedly anti-Semitic remarks and refocus on issues like Islamophobia and pro-Israel lobby AIPAC. … After its passage, Omar and her allies were able to cheer the resolution as a win against Islamophobia. ‘Today is historic on many fronts.’ … Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. André Carson, D-Ind., said in a joint statement. … On the sidelines, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign began fundraising, claiming AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) was ‘coming after’ her, Omar and Tlaib for questioning American foreign policy.”

Omar slams Obama’s message of ‘hope and change’ - Fox News: “Rookie Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, fresh off igniting an intra-party uproar with comments widely viewed as anti-Semitic, took a swipe at former President Barack Obama, saying in an explosive interview the 44th president’s message of ‘hope and change’ was a ‘mirage’ and blasting his administration’s drone and border detention policies. Omar, D-Minn., took aim at the president’s famed slogan, while further criticizing the Democratic Party for ‘perpetuating the status quo,’ in the interview with Politico. ‘Recalling the ‘caging of kids’ at the U.S.-Mexico border and the ‘droning of countries around the world’ on Obama’s watch,’ Omar charged that Obama ‘operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor,’ the piece reads.”

Tim Alberta: ‘The Democrats’ dilemma’ - Politico: “[Omar faces] resistance not just from party elders but from many of their fellow freshmen, centrists who campaigned as fixers not firebrands, moderates who are watching warily as the Democrats’ brand is being hijacked by the far left. One of these members is Omar’s neighbor in Minnesota: Dean Phillips, a wealthy businessman who represents the 3rd District. To better understand these dueling visions for the Democratic Party, I sat down with both Omar and Phillips, spent several days in their communities and talked with some of their constituents. What I learned is that, despite the cautionary tale offered by years of vicious Republican infighting, Democrats are dangerously close to entering into their own fratricidal conflict. On matters of both style and substance, the fractures within this freshman class are indicative of the broader divisions in a party long overdue for an ideological reckoning.”

THE RULEBOOK: EVERYTHING’S BUILT ON TRUST  
“In republics, persons elevated from the mass of the community, by the suffrages of their fellow-citizens, to stations of great pre-eminence and power, may find compensations for betraying their trust, which, to any but minds animated and guided by superior virtue, may appear to exceed the proportion of interest they have in the common stock, and to overbalance the obligations of duty.” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 22

TIME OUT: SPORTS BOOKS
This week’s “Book Briefing,” a weekly guide to books from the Atlantic: “In the world of professional baseball, which is in the midst of spring training, the pressure is on for the player atop the mound. The former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Rick Ankiel brings you with him as he relives the one wild pitch that forever changed his life in The Phenomenon. But what is the perfect pitch? Terry McDermott’s Off Speed looks to the Seattle Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández’s perfect game, on August 15, 2012, for clues. According to Rowan Ricardo Phillips’s The Circuit, the 2017 tennis season was one of unmet expectations. … Unlike team sports, marathon running requires the mental and physical work of just one individual. In the memoir The Long Run, Catriona Menzies-Pike writes about how she turned to running after experiencing a tremendous loss, and pairs her reflections with historical and cultural analysis of women’s running as a sport.”

Flag on the play? – Email us at [email protected] with your tips, comments or questions.

SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance 
Average approval:
 39.8 percent
Average disapproval: 55.8 percent
Net Score: -16 points
Change from one week ago: down 4.6 points 
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 41% approve – 55% disapprove; CNN: 37% approve – 57% disapprove; IBD: 42% approve – 54% disapprove; Gallup: 37% approve – 59% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk: 42% approve – 54% disapprove.]

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**we now return you to our regularly scheduled political palaver**

BIDEN STAFFING UP WITH KEY LATINO OUTREACH HIRE 
Politico: “In the latest sign that Joe Biden will run for president, his team has brought on Cristóbal Alex, the head of the influential Latino Victory Fund, according to a source familiar with the move. It’s not clear what role Alex would fill in a Biden presidential campaign. He served as Hillary Clinton’s National Deputy Director of Voter Outreach and Mobilization in 2016. Alex declined to comment but publicly disclosed on Tuesday that he was departing from Latino Victory Fund. He tweeted that he believes ‘Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our nation. I am committed to doing everything in my power to defeat him, and my next steps will reflect that.’ The tweet sparked praise of Alex from many corners of the progressive world, including from Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and newly elected Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas).”

Warren targets Amazon, big tech - NYT: “Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who is bidding to be the policy pacesetter in the Democratic presidential primary, announced another expansive idea on Friday: a regulatory plan aimed at breaking up some of America’s largest tech companies, including Amazon, Google and Facebook. The proposal — which comes on the same day Ms. Warren will hold a rally in Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood that was to be home to a major new Amazon campus — calls for the appointment of regulators who would ‘unwind tech mergers that illegally undermine competition,’ as well as legislation that would prohibit platforms from both offering a marketplace for commerce and participating in that marketplace. Ms. Warren’s plan would also force the rollback of some acquisitions by technological giants, the campaign said, including Facebook’s deals for WhatsApp and Instagram, Amazon’s addition of Whole Foods, and Google’s purchase of Waze.”

Booker snags top S.C. hire - WVIC:Brady Quirk-Garvan, who has served as the Chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party for five years, announced that he is stepping down in order to endorse Senator Cory Booker for President. With his announcement, Quirk-Garvan become the first South Carolina Democratic Party official to make an endorsement in the 2020 presidential nominating contest. … Quirk-Garvan has worked on dozens of political races in South Carolina. In 2008, he worked for President Obama’s campaign in Ohio. Since 2014, he has served as the Chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party.”

Harris’ crowd-pleasing tax rebate plan comes with a hefty price tag - San Francisco Chronicle: “Even at this early stage in the presidential race, California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris has hit upon a crowd-pleasing proposal: Give a $500 monthly tax credit to families earning less than $100,000. But while it has become Harris’ surest applause line at campaign appearances, some economists caution that it will never pencil out – that it will pile onto a national deficit that is already projected to top $1 trillion a year in the early 2020s and cost the economy more than 800,000 jobs.”

Gillibrand still lacks New York endorsements for 2020 – NYT: “No one from New York’s 21-member congressional delegation is yet backing [Kirsten Gillibrand’s] bid for president. And neither is New York’s governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, or its other senator, Chuck Schumer, who as minority leader is staying neutral because numerous senators are in the race. … Home-state political insiders almost certainly will not prove decisive in a presidential primary race that begins in Iowa and New Hampshire. But Ms. Gillibrand’s missing support back home is revealing of both her New York relationships and how she has constructed her national profile, often by staying far from the state’s notoriously fractious and rough-and-tumble fray. In interviews with two-thirds of New York’s Democratic congressional delegation, lawmakers this week offered a variety of rationales and dodges for why none of them has lined up behind their colleague.”

Buttigieg pitches court packing, ditching Electoral College - Fox News: “Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg on Friday highlighted his push to add justices to the Supreme Court and scrap the Electoral College in presidential elections, as he campaigned in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House. The South Bend, Indiana mayor … said the 2020 election should not be about President Trump, telling reporters that ‘of course we’ll confront him, we’ll call him out. We’ll beat him. But at the end of the day, it’s not about him, it’s about us.’ As he headlined ‘Politics and Eggs’ at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics – a must stop for White House hopefuls – the 37-year old contender and Afghanistan war veteran joked that he’s a ‘young person with a funny name coming out of nowhere….I think it’s safe to say I’m not extremely famous.’” 

Moulton wants to run against Trump on National Security - Atlantic: “The most that the Democratic presidential candidates tend to say about national security involves condemnation of Russia for hacking the 2016 election or broad comments about restoring America’s standing in the world. Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts sees an opening. Some of the Democratic presidential candidates are running to the left. Some are running down the middle. Moulton told [journalist Edward-Isaac Dovere] he will run through VFW halls and college campuses, leaning in on a national-security focus which, even in a field this huge, he is all alone in focusing on—a stance that not only differentiates him, but could eventually draw the others out on foreign affairs. Moulton is clearly a long shot… But his calculus—and that of other more moderate, less well-known candidates—is that the party is veering too far left for its own good in an election against Trump.”

Bullock hires veteran adviser to his PAC - Politico: “Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has hired veteran Democratic operative Jenn Ridder to work for his PAC, in the latest sign that the Western Democrat is nearing a presidential run. Ridder will join Bullock’s Big Sky Values PAC as a senior adviser, but she would be an obvious choice to manage Bullock’s campaign should he decide to run for president. … Ridder’s hiring is the latest in a series of behind-the-scenes moves laying the groundwork for Bullock’s potential run.” 

Nevada Dems plan to bulk up caucuses - AP: “Nevada Democrats are proposing changes to their presidential caucus that could dramatically alter the way candidates compete in the state, opening the process to an early-vote and virtual participation. The proposal would expand a single day of caucuses around the state to add four days of early caucuses and two days of early virtual caucusing. The plan, which still needs approval from the Democratic National Committee, would allow more people to participate while likely driving candidates to appear earlier and more often leading up to the main event on Feb. 22, 2020. It would also likely force candidates to invest more resources to more deeply organize and target voters.”

Iowa Poll alert - Des Moines Register: “Results of a new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll on Democratic presidential candidates headed toward the 2020 Iowa caucuses will be released online at 7 p.m. CST Saturday. The poll asks likely Democratic caucusgoers who their top choice for president would be among 21 potential candidates for their party’s nomination. Results also will be aired by CNN, posted at CNN.com Saturday night and appear in the Des Moines Sunday Register. The poll will also test likely Democratic caucusgoers’ opinions on a range of issues, from ‘Medicare-for-all’ to their interest in socialism to what they would like candidates to talk about during their campaigns.”

POLL SHOWS TRUMP IN TROUBLE WITH MICHIGAN VOTERS
Detroit Free Press: “A new poll has more bad news for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election hopes in Michigan, showing that more than half of those surveyed either plan to vote for someone else or are considering doing so next year. The poll, conducted by EPIC-MRA of Lansing, largely tracks with other recent polls done in Michigan and in some other states such as Wisconsin and Florida that show Trump could be in trouble some 20 months before the next election. … Nearly half, 49 percent, of respondents in Michigan say they will definitely vote to replace Trump and another 16 percent say they will consider voting for someone else. Only 31 percent said they will definitely vote to re-elect Trump. Self-described independent voters are driving down Trump’s numbers. Among independents, 44 percent say they will definitely vote for someone else and 27 percent say they will consider backing another candidate, while only 18 percent say they would definitely vote to re-elect.”

White house hustles to limit fallout from Trump emergency - WaPo: “The White House is privately ramping up pressure on undecided Republicans to limit defections ahead of the Senate vote on President Trump’s emergency declaration – even as the administration has yet to tell Congress which military projects would be tapped to pay for Trump’s border wall. The vote expected next week is on a resolution to nullify Trump’s Feb. 15 declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, which allows him to access $3.6 billion… Trump wants to use that money for border barriers, after Congress refused to give him all the wall funding he sought. In recent days, the White House has increased its efforts to count votes and persuade fence-sitting GOP senators… Undecided senators have received calls from the White House, and the message, according to one of the senators, is clear: Trump is taking names and noticing who opposes him — particularly if you are running for reelection next year.”

Pentagon prepares to get money if need be - AP: “The Pentagon is planning to tap $1 billion in leftover funds from military pay and pension accounts to help President Donald Trump pay for his long-sought border wall, a top Senate Democrat said Thursday. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told The Associated Press, ‘It’s coming out of military pay and pensions. $1 billion. That’s the plan.’ Durbin said the funds are available because Army recruitment is down and a voluntary early military retirement program is being underutilized. The development comes as Pentagon officials are seeking to minimize the amount of wall money that would come from military construction projects that are so cherished by lawmakers. … Durbin, the top Democrat on the Appropriations panel for the Pentagon, was among a bipartisan group of lawmakers who met with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Thursday morning.”

Good luck with that: Trump advisers urge him to stick to script - Politico: “As he watches the 2020 Democratic candidates fire up campaign crowds, President Donald Trump is itching to upstage them with rallies of his own. … For now, Trump’s Republican allies and campaign officials believe an early reelection strategy built around his role as chief executive in dignified settings like the Oval Office and the Rose Garden will carry more weight with voters than his signature freewheeling arena speeches. It’s unclear whether Trump, the most politically combative president in recent history, can truly stay above the campaign fray… But Trump’s advisers are still hoping he will capitalize on his incumbency by largely sticking to official events and private, no-cameras fundraisers for the next several months, according to three sources familiar with his campaign, one of whom said the president is making a ‘conscious effort’ to rise above the Democratic scrum.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Bill Shine, Trump’s fifth communications director, calls it quits - Fox News

Dems push through election law changes in symbolic vote Politico

Gloomy February jobs report worries economists - CNBC

Manafort legal woes to continue with DC sentencing next week, possibly new charges in NY - Fox News

AUDIBLE: NICKLEBACKBENCHERS
“I will just wrap by saying, I appreciate that very brave admission of your fandom for Nickelback.” – Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., said to Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., during a House floor debate on Democrats’ H.R.-1 bill.

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Mr. Sunday will sit down with White House Economic Adviser, Larry Kudlow and Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.

#mediabuzz - Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Reading your coverage and seeing what is going on, two quotes come to mind. ‘I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat’ - Will Rogers [and] ‘All the Democrats need to do to defeat Trump in 2020 is just not be crazy.  And they can’t do that.’ - Ben Shapiro. Love your stuff.” – George Fuller, St. Louis

[Ed. note: I think you’re on to something, Mr. Fuller. But Democrats have another quote from Rogers in mind about the theme for the election: “That’s one thing about Republican presidents. They never went in much for plans. They only had one plan. It says ‘Boys, my head is turned. Just get it while you can.’” Which one of them applies better to 2020 will determine which side comes out ahead.]  

“Is there an email account for listeners of the [“I’ll Tell You What”] podcast to submit comments and questions? I do not have (and believe its best if I don’t open) a twitter account which appears to be the preferred method of communication. I listened to the ITYW podcast on my drive home yesterday and fear I may have been jinxed. Hell hath fury as a wife whose dog has been snarled at in the morning by her husband.” – Dan Burch, Turlock, Calif.

[Ed. note: We will take all of your action right here, Mr. Burch. [email protected] is hereby designated as the official unofficial inbox for ITYW. Thanks for listening and I hope you made it out in one piece!

“None of the tracking polls you use do a daily tracking poll to my knowledge so to leave up the same thing for a week appears redundant each day and gives the impression that it is hardly ever changing. My idea would be to post only NEW poll results.” – Will Schafer, Panama, Iowa

[Ed. note: While we certainly take your point and appreciate your loyal readership, Mr. Schafer, we can’t assume that every reader sees every note. Consider the Scoreboard like the baseball standings. Some days they change, some days they don’t sometimes there’s a rain out. But it’s still worth having every day just as a point of reference.] 

Share your color commentary: Email us at [email protected] and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

STUDY ACCURACY: 100/100
CBC: “A man threatened to sue a technology magazine for using his image in a story about why all hipsters look the same, only to find out the picture was of a completely different guy. The story in the MIT Technology Review detailed a study about the so-called hipster effect — ‘the counterintuitive phenomenon in which people who oppose mainstream culture all end up looking the same.’ The inclusion of version of a Getty Images photo of a bearded, flannel-wearing man, altered with a blue and orange hue, prompted one reader to write to the magazine: [the] ‘unnecessary use of my picture without permission demands a response, and I am, of course, pursuing legal action.’ But it wasn’t actually him. The site’s … creative director … wrote to Getty Images and [explained the complaint]. … [Getty Images] said, ‘Actually the model in this photo does not have the same name as the person who wrote to you.’” 

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Only a wife can turn a ruthlessly ambitious pol, who undid the Clintons four years ago and today relentlessly demonizes Romney, into a care bear. [Michelle Obama] pulled it off.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Sept. 6, 2012.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Source: Fox News Politics

PG&E officials are seen as firefighters battle a fire following an explosion at Geary boulevard and Parker Avenue in San Francisco
FILE PHOTO: PG&E officials are seen as firefighters battle a fire following an explosion at Geary boulevard and Parker Avenue in San Francisco, California, U.S, February 6, 2019. Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle/Pool via REUTERS

March 8, 2019

(Reuters) – Power utility company PG&E Corp said on Friday it had submitted a report detailing how the company upgraded the safety of its gas pipelines to the California Public Utilities Commission.

The company said it completed 585 projects that include installing automated valves, strength testing, replacing and upgrading its pipelines.

The company filed for bankruptcy in January in the wake of California’s catastrophic wildfires.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

Source: OANN

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during a ceremony to mark the International Women's Day at Planalto Palace in Brasilia
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during a ceremony to mark the International Women’s Day at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

March 8, 2019

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Southwest Airlines planes are seen in front of the Las Vegas strip
FILE PHOTO: Southwest Airlines planes are seen in front of the Las Vegas strip, Nevada, United States April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

March 8, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration warned Southwest Airlines Co and a union representing its mechanics in a letter Friday that a contract dispute could pose safety concerns.

The letter warned that a “breakdown in the relationship” between the airline and Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association “raises concerns about the ongoing effectiveness of the airline’s safety management system.”

Earlier this week, Southwest said the dispute is costing it millions of dollars in lost revenues a week as well as millions of dollars in costs related to flight cancellations and delays.

Southwest did not immediately comment on the FAA letter.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: White House senior adviser Kushner speaks with US Ambassador to UN Greenblatt before meeting of UN Security Council in New York
FILE PHOTO: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks with United States Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) and lawyer Jason Greenblatt (R) before a meeting of the United Nations (UN) Security Council at UN headquarters in New York, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

March 8, 2019

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States accused the Palestinians on Friday of manufacturing a crisis by rejecting the first 2019 monthly tax transfer from Israel because it slashed a portion designated for financial support to families of militants jailed in Israel.

The United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the issue at the request of Kuwait and Indonesia. U.S President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt represented Washington at the meeting.

“It is entirely inappropriate to focus on Israel as the source of this crisis. It is the Palestinian Authority that has chosen to manufacture the current crisis,” Greenblatt told the 15-member council, according to U.N. diplomats in attendance.

The U.S. mission to the United Nations declined to comment on Greenblatt’s remarks. The Palestinians have condemned the Israeli decision as “piracy.”

Greenblatt and White House adviser Jared Kushner have been working on a plan to mediate peace between Israel and the Palestinians. U.N. diplomats said Greenblatt gave no details of the plan on Friday.

Palestinians have refused to discuss any peace blueprint with the United States in the wake of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017.

The Palestinian decision on the tax transfer came despite increasing cash flow troubles, caused in part by U.S. aid cuts, that could destabilize the Palestinian Authority, an interim self-government body set up following the 1993 Oslo accords between the Palestinians and Israel.

Under the interim accords, Israel collects taxes on imports into the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, an enclave under Palestinian Islamist rule since 2007, and makes monthly transfers of the proceeds to the PA.

The tax transfers make up about half of the PA’s budget, according to Palestinian Finance Ministry data. On Feb. 17, Israel announced a freeze on about 5 percent of that money affecting stipends the PA pays to families of Palestinian militants killed or jailed by Israel.

“It’s a unilateral decision in violation of existing bilateral agreement,” Kuwait’s U.N. Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi told reporters after the Security Council discussion.

According to diplomats, Greenblatt said the Palestinian payments to militants’ families “creates incentives for further acts of terrorism.” The United States passed legislation last year to reduce aid to the PA unless it stopped the pay-outs.

Greenblatt called on other council members to join the United States in urging the Palestinian Authority to end the payments, diplomats said.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Source: OANN

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Justin Bieber wants everyone to just “relax” about Shawn Mendes “liking” a photo on Instagram of his rumored ex-Hailey Baldwin, now Hailey Bieber, Justin’s wife.

It all started after the 25-year-old singer posted a handful of pictures of his supermodel wife on his social media account. One which showed the model in the driver’s seat of a black BMW that has scored more than 5 million likes. And one of those came from the 20-year-old singer, according to Fox News on Friday. (SLIDESHOW: 142 Times Josephine Skriver Barely Wore Anything)

Online trolls reportedly then went after the “Stitches” hitmaker for “liking” the photo of his rumored ex. But Bieber was unfazed and responded to one of the comments and suggested people just relax, because Mendes and Baldwin are friends. (RELATED: Report: Selena Gomez Takes Break From Spotlight Following Justin Bieber Breakup)

“Their [sic] friends relax,” he commented on the post, captured by a screenshot shared by the site “Comments by Celebs.”

Mendes and the new Mrs. Bieber were linked up from October 2017 and until May 2018.

“I don’t even want to put a title on it,” Mendes previously shared about their relationship. “I think it was more of a zone of limbo.”

The “Treat You Better” singer showed up with Baldwin at the 2018 Met Gala in New York City. Soon after, Bieber and the famous model were rumored to have rekindled their relationship after dating for a time before splitting up in 2016.

Then in July, reports surfaced that the “Baby” hitmaker had proposed to Baldwin and they were engaged. And by September, the popular couple had tied the knot at a New York city courthouse.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: 2015 Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix
FILE PHOTO: Speedway – 2015 Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales – 4/7/15 Great Britain’s Tai Woffinden during the heats Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Matthew Childs Livepic

March 8, 2019

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) – Tai Woffinden has so many tattoos, he is not sure where he would put one to celebrate a record seventh speedway world championship.

The Briton, who grew up in Western Australia, has ‘only’ the three titles so far but has no doubt he will need to save some space on his skin.

“I want to be the greatest of all time. There’s two guys that have won six so I want to be one better and be the greatest,” he told Reuters.

“I’m 28. If I stay enthusiastic I’ve got another 15 years at it,” added Woffinden, in London to collect the Royal Automobile Club’s Torrens Trophy.

Woffinden has so far refrained from inking any of his speedway successes onto his body because the target is not yet half reached, but the canvas is shrinking.

He has ‘Pain is weakness leaving the body’ written on his upper torso and he has had plenty of broken bones to know about that, and suffering too.

“My wife’s brother is a tattoo artist. I’m at the point now where if I see a gap, I need to fill it. So there’s a gap here on my wrist, a tattoo needs to go here to fill that gap,” he said.

“I can’t have a three time world champion on my wrist because then when I am a seven times world champion, I won’t have enough room on my wrist to put it. So I’ll wait until I’m finished and then I can get it.

“I haven’t done my legs yet so there’s still plenty of space.”

Speedway is motorsport in the raw — 500cc motorbikes with a single gear and no brakes that accelerate faster than a Formula One car and power-slide around shale-based oval circuits at speeds of up to 130kph and a heady whiff of methanol.

Tough on riders, with the constant risk of injury, it was once hugely popular in Britain but now struggles for media attention despite crowds of 50,000 for the showcase British Grand Prix at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

MINORITY SPORT

“I’d love for somebody like (snooker and darts entrepreneur) Barry Hearn in his spare time to come and look into it and say ‘yeah, I’ll take that on,’” said Woffinden, whose late father Rob was also a speedway rider.

“It’s an exciting sport but it’s classed as a minority sport. You walk through the grandstand and there seems to be a lot more older people, there’s no younger people yet it’s a younger generation of kids that are riding bikes.

“We are all in our 20s so why isn’t that attracting a 20-year-old fanbase? Because its relatable. They can go, ‘Wow, look at this guy he’s the same age as me and he’s doing this, this and this.”

Woffinden races mostly in Sweden and Poland, where it is so mainstream that there are even speedway hooligans and his WTS Wroclaw club’s 17,000 seat stadium is sold out for home races.

In Britain he is used to being recognized — the big discs in his earlobes an easy spot — but not when it comes to events such as the BBC sports personality of the year, where he failed to make it onto the shortlist last year.

In 1966, England’s World Cup winning soccer captain Bobby Moore won with speedway rider Barry Briggs runner-up. Geoff Hurst, England’s hat-trick hero in the final, was third.

“There will be a point where they can’t overlook me. Maybe when I win my seventh and become the greatest of all time. At that point they will physically not be able to do it,” said Woffinden.

Growing up in Perth, with an Australian passport and spending his winters there, he started out in taekwondo but abandoned it for speedway after reaching black belt.

If he sounds more like an Antipodean than someone born in Scunthorpe, he is also proud to race for the country of his birth.

“The Australians call me their adopted world champion and some of the Brits call me a British world champion,” he said.

“And some of the Brits also call me a stupid Australian idiot and say I should represent Australia because I love Australia more than I love England.

“But at the end of the day, mate, my parents are English and I was born in England and I represent England.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

Source: OANN

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

A University of Kansas professor was suspended from teaching a class after reportedly telling a student to “learn English” Tuesday.

Engineering professor Gary Minden said the incident recently occurred in the beginning of class when a student was using a translator on a cell phone, The Associated Press reported Friday.

“Other students, from my perspective, took offense to that,” Minden said, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. “Not the student I addressed, but other students.”

Minden’s course syllabus for “Embedded Systems” does not allow electronic devices, which includes Sudoku, newspapers and crossword puzzles, during lectures.

“If your use of an electronic device diverts my attention, I will call you on that and wait until your important business is completed,” the syllabus said. (RELATED: Substitute Teacher Banned From School After Reportedly Telling Student To ‘Go Back To Mexico’)

Pictured is a student using a cell phone during class. SHUTTERSTOCK/ Syda Productions

Pictured is a student using a cell phone during class. SHUTTERSTOCK/ Syda Productions

Nearly a third of engineering students walked out of classes following the incident Tuesday, according to The University Daily Kansan.

“A number of students have raised concerns about events that occurred in their engineering class,” university spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson said, the Journal-World reported. “In response to these concerns, the university has assigned a different instructor to teach the course while the matter is reviewed.”

“Everyone thinks I made a mistake,” Minden said, according to The Kansan. “I did. On the other hand, I don’t feel I should take responsibility for students’ feelings.”

The University of Kansas and Minden did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 3
FILE PHOTO: Mar 6, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Sloane Stephens (USA) is interviewed by media during the WTA All-Access hour during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 8, 2019

By Rory Carroll

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Reuters) – Swiss qualifier Stefanie Vogele stunned world number four Sloane Stephens with a 6-3 6-0 win in their second-round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday as the American struggled amid gusting winds in the Southern California desert.

Vogele needed just over an hour to dispatch the fourth-seeded Stephens and push her overall record to 4-1 against the 2017 U.S. Open champion, who failed to make it past the tournament’s third round last year.

American Jennifer Brady defeated 19th-seeded Caroline Garcia 6-3 3-6 6-0 to punch her ticket to the third round.

The 23-year-old Brady thumped five aces en route to her third victory over the French this year.

Czech Marketa Vondrousova eased past an error-prone Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1.

With the loss the 14th-seeded Kasatkina, who was a finalist at the tournament last year, is projected to fall out of the top 20 when rankings are released after the tournament.

Garbine Muguruza broke American Lauren Davis for a speedy 6-1 6-3 win to send the Spanish 20th seed into the third round and keep her dreams of a maiden title in Indian Wells alive.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking Friday at an Economic Club event, said she doesn’t think embattled Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is anti-Semitic.

“I don’t think our colleague is anti-Semitic, I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning that she didn’t realize,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi defended the congresswoman a day after the House passed an anti-hate resolution, prompted largely by a series of perceptibly anti-Semitic comments made by Omar.

Omar — whose comments about Israel were already condemned — also took aim at former President Obama in an interview with Politico on Friday, saying his message of “hope” and “change” was a “mirage.”

“Recalling the ‘caging of kids’ at the U.S.-Mexico border and the ‘droning of countries around the world’ on Obama’s watch," Omar charged that Obama "operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor,” the piece read.

“We can’t be only upset with Trump… His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies," Omar reportedly said. "They just were more polished than he was."

“And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile,” she said.

Fox News’ Gregg Re and Liam Quinn contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Barbie dolls are seen inside the new flagship FAO Schwarz store in Rockefeller Plaza in New York
FILE PHOTO: Barbie dolls are seen inside the new flagship FAO Schwarz store in Rockefeller Plaza in New York, U.S., November 16, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

March 8, 2019

(Reuters) – Barbie, the fashion doll famous around the world, celebrates her 60th anniversary on Saturday with new collections honoring real-life role models and careers in which women remain under-represented.

It is part of Barbie’s evolution over the decades since her debut at the New York Toy Fair on March 9, 1959.

To mark the milestone, manufacturer Mattel Inc created Barbie versions of 20 inspirational women from Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka to British model and activist Adwoa Aboah.

The company also released six dolls representing the careers of astronaut, pilot, athlete, journalist, politician and firefighter, all fields in which Mattel said women are still under-represented.

Barbie is a cultural icon celebrated by the likes of Andy Warhol, the Paris Louvre museum and the 1997 satirical song “Barbie Girl” by Scandinavian pop group Aqua. She was named after the daughter of creator Ruth Handler.

Barbie has taken on more than 200 careers from surgeon to video game developer since her debut, when she wore a black-and-white striped swimsuit. After criticism that Barbie’s curvy body promoted an unrealistic image for young girls, Mattel added a wider variety of skin tones, body shapes, hijab-wearing dolls and science kits to make Barbie more educational.

Barbie is also going glamorous for her six-decade milestone. A diamond-anniversary doll wears a sparkly silver ball gown.

(Writing by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

Lauryn Overhultz | Columnist

Texas Quarterback Sam Ehlinger has taken a supportive stance on the issue of college athletes being compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness.

Ehlinger shared a string of tweets Thursday that compared being a student-athlete to participating in an unpaid internship. He then linked to an article about the proposed bill that would require the NCAA to drop the ban on student-athletes getting paid for the use of their name. (RELATED: Texas Blows Away Georgia 28-21 In The Sugar Bowl)

Republican Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina is set to introduce his bill to Congress sometime next week. “Signing on with a university, if you’re a student athlete, should not be [a] moratorium on your rights as an individual,” Walker told The News And Observer. “This is the time and the moment to be able to push back and defend the rights of these young adults.”

According to Walker, 99.4 percent of student-athletes will never receive a paycheck from a professional sports team. “This is an earning opportunity for 99 percent of these student-athletes who will never have access to do something like this,” Walker said.

The current NCAA rule states that players cannot be paid anything over the amount it costs to attend the school itself.

“Allowing student-athletes to endorse commercial products would undermine the efforts of both the NCAA and its member schools to protect against the ‘commercial exploitation’ of student-athletes,” Judge Claudia Wilken wrote in her 2014 decision in the O’Bannon v. NCAA case. The O’Bannon case challenged the current NCAA blanket rule of no compensation.

Source: The Daily Caller

The Charging Bull statue, also known as the Wall St. Bull, is seen in the financial district of New York City
The Charging Bull statue, also known as the Wall St. Bull, is seen in the financial district of New York City, U.S., August 18, 2018. Picture taken August 18, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 8, 2019

By Noel Randewich

(Reuters) – A savvy investor who managed to time the start of Wall Street’s bull market a decade ago – and hold on since then – would now be sitting on a handsome windfall.

Born in the ashes of the financial crisis, Wall Street’s oldest-ever bull market turns 10 years old on Saturday, with the S&P 500 tripling in value and amply rewarding investors who have owned funds tracking the index for that period.

The S&P 500’s post-crisis low close was 676.53 points on March 9, 2009. During the previous session on March 6, it touched an intraday low of 666.79, which came to be know as the “devil’s low.”

On Friday, the benchmark index closed at 2,743.07, down 2 percent for the week.

Extraordinary efforts by the U.S. Federal Reserve to foster an economic recovery from the financial crisis through asset purchases and rock-bottom interest rates have provided essential support for the market during its bull run. Sweeping corporate tax cuts passed by President Donald Trump fueled market gains for much of 2018, before a steep sell-off starting in September that raised fears the bull run was coming to the end.

GRAPHIC-Wall Street’s bull turns 10: https://tmsnrt.rs/2NOg2f3

Investors who bought and kept shares in cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty on March 9, 2009, would have seen their investment gain nearly 7,000 percent during that time, more than any other stock on the S&P 500. Netflix is the second biggest performer over the past decade, up over 6,000 percent.

At the other extreme, telecommunications company CenturyLink has slumped almost 50 percent since the start of the bull run, more than any other stock still in the S&P 500.

The S&P 500 has turned in a handsome annualized return of 15 percent during the bull market, with the consumer discretionary and information technology indexes each up about 20 percent annually.

But timing is everything. An investor who bought the S&P 500 a year before the bull market began would have had to weather steep losses, trimming the S&P 500’s annualized return since then to 7 percent and narrowing the consumer discretionary and information technology sectors’ annualized gains to 12 percent.

GRAPHIC-Annualized growth: https://tmsnrt.rs/2Ca4i1y

With analysts slashing estimates for U.S. banks and other multinationals, the S&P 500 traded at a low-point of 10.6 times expected earnings in December 2008, before Wall Street’s bear market ended and turned the corner. It is now trading at 16.5 times expected earnings, according to Refinitiv.

After dropping 19.8 percent from its record high close on Sept. 20 through Dec. 24, the S&P 500 has slowly recovered and is now just 7 percent short of regaining that high.

GRAPHIC-S&P 500 since the start of the bull market: https://tmsnrt.rs/2NUy3bC

GRAPHIC-Best and worst stocks over the 10-year bull run: https://tmsnrt.rs/2UmZD3G

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Alden Bentley and Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

Lauryn Overhultz | Columnist

A grand jury indicted disgraced actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony charges Thursday in Cook County Court.

Smollett was originally charged with filing a false police report after the Jan. 29 incident when he claimed two masked men attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs.

The grand jury returned two different sets of charges, according to a report published by ABC7.

The first charges are related to what Smollett told officers about the attack that he allegedly fabricated. The second round of charges are related to the second interview Smollett had with police. Smollett could be facing probation or up to four years in prison for each individual charge.

Experts conclude that Smollett will most likely take a plea deal and spend no time in prison wrote ABC7. (RELATED: Queen Latifah Backs Jussie Smollett After Alleged Hate Crime Hoax)

As previously reported, Smollett pleaded “not guilty” to the first charge of disorderly conduct and was released on $100,000 bond.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that Smollett originally faked a death threat letter and when that didn’t gain enough attention he paid the Osundairo brother’s $3,500 to stage the alleged hate crime.

The Osundairo brothers have since publicly expressed regret for their involvement with the alleged attack.

“My clients have tremendous regret over their involvement in this situation, and they understand how it has impacted people across the nation, particularly minority communities and especially those who have been victims of hate crimes themselves,” the brothers’ attorney told CNN.

Source: The Daily Caller

Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Conference in Laguna Beach
FILE PHOTO: Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

March 8, 2019

By Heather Somerville

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Sam Altman is stepping down from his post as president of Y Combinator, the startup accelerator said on Friday, a pivotal change for the organization that was influential in the creation of startups such as Airbnb, Dropbox Inc and Cruise.

As YC’s second-ever president, Altman spent five years expanding the program’s reach and scale. He will move on to spending more time working on artificial intelligence efforts while remaining chairman at the company, YC said in a blog post Friday.

YC offers a startup program to which aspiring entrepreneurs can apply to receive mentorship and a $150,000 investment, and participate in a three-month bootcamp to work on their startup idea. YC gained influence in the tech industry after a number of startups that completed the program went on to achieve high valuations and be acquired by big companies. Cruise, for instance, was acquired by General Motors Co for $1 billion, and Airbnb, valued at $31 billion, is preparing for an IPO this year.

Of course, many YC graduates fail, too.

Many entrepreneurs apply to YC for the access to Silicon Valley venture capitalists; every YC program ends with a Demo Day when startups can show off their budding companies to prospective investors.

YC also said on Friday it plans to move to San Francisco from Mountain View, California, the latest sign of how startup activity has moved away from what was traditionally Silicon Valley and concentrated in San Francisco.

Under Altman’s leadership, YC expanded beyond nascent startups and created of a separate fund and training program for to larger, more mature tech companies. It also expanded into China and added a host of other startup programs.

Altman has become one of the startup industry’s more outspoken leaders on issues such as universal basic income and the safety and ethical implications of artificial intelligence. He helped found non-profit AI research organization OpenAI.

(Reporting by Heather Somerville; editing by David Gregorio and Alistair Bell)

Source: OANN

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on Friday honored the 23 victims who were killed in Alabama after tornadoes ravaged the area last weekend.

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pause at a row of crosses for the victims of a tornado in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pause at a row of crosses for the victims of a tornado in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pause at a row of crosses for the victims of a tornado in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pause at a row of crosses for the victims of a tornado in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

During the trip, the president and first lady stopped by a row of crosses outside the Providence Baptist Church in Opelika that had been set up in honor of the 23 people who were killed in the storm.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stand before a row of crosses honoring 23 people who died in the storm outside Providence Baptist Church March 8, 2019 in Opelika, Alabama, during a tour of tornado-damaged areas in the southern US state. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stand before a row of crosses honoring 23 people who died in the storm outside Providence Baptist Church March 8, 2019 in Opelika, Alabama, during a tour of tornado-damaged areas in the southern US state. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

The two stood quietly together and held hands in front of each cross, per a White House pool report. (RELATED: Like A ‘Freight Train’: Tornadoes Leave Nearly Two Dozen Dead In Alabama)

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stand before a row of crosses honoring 23 people who died in the storm outside Providence Baptist Church March 8, 2019 in Opelika, Alabama, during a tour of tornado-damaged areas in the southern US state. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stand before a row of crosses honoring 23 people who died in the storm outside Providence Baptist Church March 8, 2019 in Opelika, Alabama, during a tour of tornado-damaged areas in the southern US state. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

At one point, Trump and the first lady walked up to one of the white crosses, which were decorated with large red hearts, stuffed animals and flowers, and touched the top of them very delicately, the report added.  (RELATED: Ivanka Turns Heads In Gorgeous Yellow Plaid Skirt Suit)

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump survey tornado damage with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Lee Countyís Emergency Management Agency director Kathy Carson (R) at their sides as they tour the disaster area with U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump survey tornado damage with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Lee Countyís Emergency Management Agency director Kathy Carson (R) at their sides as they tour the disaster area with U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

In many of the pictures of the trip, the devastation to the area is truly heartbreaking.  (RELATED: Tiffany Trump Stuns In Sleeveless Black Dress At WH Christmas Party)

U.S. President Donald Trump is hugged by a resident who survived a tornado, as First Lady Melania Trump stands by, in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

U.S. President Donald Trump is hugged by a resident who survived a tornado, as First Lady Melania Trump stands by, in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

U.S. President Donald Trump is hugged by a resident who survived a tornado in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

U.S. President Donald Trump is hugged by a resident who survived a tornado in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

The first family also met privately in the church with nearly a dozen victims families, per another WH pool report. Later, he met with volunteers and thanked them for doing an “A plus job.”

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump survey the damage and are briefed by Lee County Emergency Management Agency director Kathy Carson on the tornados that killed 23 people in the area earlier in the week in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S. March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump survey the damage and are briefed by Lee County Emergency Management Agency director Kathy Carson on the tornados that killed 23 people in the area earlier in the week in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S. March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

The president also signed hats and Bibles for volunteers and survivors, which included signing a Bible for a 12 year-old boy that drew huge applause from the crowd, the report added.

U.S. President Donald Trump greets volunteers who have sorted donated clothing at the Providence Baptist Church in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

U.S. President Donald Trump greets volunteers who have sorted donated clothing at the Providence Baptist Church in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

US President Donald Trump (C) and First Lady Melania Trump (R) tour of tornado-affected areas with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (L front), Senator Richard Shelby (2nd L) and Governor Kay Ivey on March 8, 2019 in Beauregard, Alabama. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (C) and First Lady Melania Trump (R) tour of tornado-affected areas with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (L front), Senator Richard Shelby (2nd L) and Governor Kay Ivey on March 8, 2019 in Beauregard, Alabama. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (C) tours a tornado-affected area with US first lady Melania Trump (R) and Ben Carson (center-right), US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), on March 8, 2019 in Beauregard, Alabama. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (C) tours a tornado-affected area with US first lady Melania Trump (R) and Ben Carson (center-right), US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), on March 8, 2019 in Beauregard, Alabama. (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

“HAPPENING NOW:@flotus & @potus thanking volunteers & first responders at a disaster relief center in #Alabama,” FLOTUS spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham tweeted, along with a few pictures.

Source: The Daily Caller

A seller displays hair extensions at a hair shop in a local market in Rio de Janeiro
A seller displays hair extensions at a hair shop in a local market in Rio de Janeiro November 17, 2012. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

March 8, 2019

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Women in Brazil earned 20.5 percent less than men on average in 2018, statistics agency IBGE said on Friday, a narrower gap than the previous year but still wider than the industrialized world average.

Released on International Women’s Day, the figures showed that women between 25 and 49 years old earned an average monthly salary of 2,050 reais ($530) last year, equivalent to 79.5 percent of men’s average 2,579 reais.

This marks a gradual narrowing in recent years. In 2017 the gender pay gap was 21.7 percent, and five years ago it was 24.4 percent, according to IBGE figures.

The gap last year was narrower in younger age brackets. For workers aged between 25 and 29 years the average earnings gap was 13.1 percent, rising to 18.4 percent in the 30-39 year old bracket and 25.1 percent in the 40-49 year old bracket.

The only sector where women earned the same as men was in the armed forces and military police, IBGE data showed. Indeed, they earned 0.7 percent more, on average.

According to The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s latest figures the median gender pay gap across 41 industrialized countries is 13.8 percent, and only six countries have a gap wider than 20 percent.

A World Economic Forum index published in January ranked Brazil 95 out of 149 countries in terms of gender pay equality.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir delivers a speech at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum
FILE PHOTO: Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir delivers a speech at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, Sudan February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

March 8, 2019

By Khalid Abdelaziz

CAIRO (Reuters) – Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir on International Women’s Day on Friday ordered the release of all women arrested in connection with anti-government demonstrations, hours after protesters marched in the two largest cities.

Sudan has seen near-daily protests against Bashir since Dec. 19. The demonstrations were triggered by price increases and cash shortages but developed into the most sustained challenge to Bashir since he took power in a military coup three decades ago.

During a meeting on Friday, Bashir told the head of the security and intelligence service to release all women who have been detained in connection with the protests, according to a presidency statement. Anti-government activists estimate that more than 150 women are currently in prison for participating in protests.

Earlier, hundreds of protesters chanted anti-government slogans after leaving Friday prayers at a major mosque linked to the opposition Umma party in the city of Omdurman, near Sudan’s capital, drawing tear-gas volleys from police, eyewitnesses said.

Crowds also gathered in several areas of the capital Khartoum after prayers, witnesses said. In the neighborhood of Burri, dozens chanted “the revolution is the choice of the people” and “fall, that’s it”, to send the message that their only demand is Bashir’s departure. Police later fired tear gas and chased protesters through side streets to disperse them.

Last month Bashir declared a state of emergency, dissolved the central government, replaced state governors with security officials, expanded police powers and banned unlicensed public gatherings.

That has not stopped the protesters, hundreds of whom also demonstrated on Thursday under a women’s day theme.

Since the emergency measures came into effect last month, courts have been trying protesters in evening sessions, sparking more rallies outside court buildings.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court over charges of masterminding genocide in the Darfur region, which he denies. He has been lobbying for Sudan to be removed from a list of countries Washington considers state sponsors of terrorism.

The listing has blocked the investment and financial aid that Sudan was hoping for when the United States lifted sanctions in 2017, economists say.

Sudan has been rapidly expanding its money supply in an attempt to finance its budget deficit, causing spiraling inflation and a steep decline in the value of its currency.

(Additional reporting by Hesham Hajali; Writing by Lena Masri; editing by William Maclean and Sandra Maler)

Source: OANN

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

There is a development in the case of convicted murderer Adnan Syed, whose story was chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial” in 2014.

Maryland’s highest court reinstated Syed’s conviction for killing his former girlfriend Hae Min Lee on Friday, reported NBC News. The state’s Court of Appeals found 38-year-old Syed was disadvantaged by a “deficient performance” by his former defense lawyer, who is deceased, but the evidence still pointed to his guilt.

Circuit Court Judge Martin Welch had overturned Syed’s conviction in 2016, reported NBC News.

Syed received a life sentence for Lee’s 1999 slaying and burying her body in Baltimore’s Leakin Park. They were high school classmates. (RELATED: Did Ocasio-Cortez Just Scare A Big Bank Into Cutting Off Private Prison Financing?)

“We are devastated by the Court of Appeals’ decision but we will not give up on Adnan Syed,” his defense lawyer Justin Brown said in a statement. “Unfortunately we live in a binary criminal justice system in which you either win or you lose. Today we lost by a 4-3 vote.”

The defense’s case was detailed in Sarah Koenig’s 2014 “Serial” podcast and will be revisited in an HBO docuseries called “The Case Against Adnan Syed” that premieres Sunday, according to NBC News.

A view of the poster at NY premiere of HBO's "The Case Against Adnan Syed" at PURE NON FICTION on February 26, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for HBO)

A view of the poster at NY premiere of HBO’s “The Case Against Adnan Syed” at PURE NON FICTION on February 26, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for HBO)

The Maryland Court of Appeals on Friday found Syed’s team’s argument, that his initial trial was deficient because of “failing to investigate” the story of a purported alibi witness, was not enough to invalidate the conviction, reported The Baltimore Sun.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected]org.

Source: The Daily Caller

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

There is a development in the case of convicted murderer Adnan Syed, whose story was chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial” in 2014.

Maryland’s highest court reinstated Syed’s conviction for killing his former girlfriend Hae Min Lee on Friday, reported NBC News. The state’s Court of Appeals found 38-year-old Syed was disadvantaged by a “deficient performance” by his former defense lawyer, who is deceased, but the evidence still pointed to his guilt.

Circuit Court Judge Martin Welch had overturned Syed’s conviction in 2016, reported NBC News.

Syed received a life sentence for Lee’s 1999 slaying and burying her body in Baltimore’s Leakin Park. They were high school classmates. (RELATED: Did Ocasio-Cortez Just Scare A Big Bank Into Cutting Off Private Prison Financing?)

“We are devastated by the Court of Appeals’ decision but we will not give up on Adnan Syed,” his defense lawyer Justin Brown said in a statement. “Unfortunately we live in a binary criminal justice system in which you either win or you lose. Today we lost by a 4-3 vote.”

The defense’s case was detailed in Sarah Koenig’s 2014 “Serial” podcast and will be revisited in an HBO docuseries called “The Case Against Adnan Syed” that premieres Sunday, according to NBC News.

A view of the poster at NY premiere of HBO's "The Case Against Adnan Syed" at PURE NON FICTION on February 26, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for HBO)

A view of the poster at NY premiere of HBO’s “The Case Against Adnan Syed” at PURE NON FICTION on February 26, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for HBO)

The Maryland Court of Appeals on Friday found Syed’s team’s argument, that his initial trial was deficient because of “failing to investigate” the story of a purported alibi witness, was not enough to invalidate the conviction, reported The Baltimore Sun.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

The Democratic leaders of six congressional committees introduced a resolution in the House on Friday calling for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s forthcoming investigative report to be released to the public.

The nonbinding resolution comes as Mueller’s probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election is believed to be nearing an end.

MUELLER TEAM WANTS TO WITHHOLD 3.2 MILLION ‘SENSITIVE’ DOCS FROM INDICTED RUSSIAN COMPANY

“The public is clearly served by transparency with respect to any investigation that could implicate or exonerate the president and his campaign,” the committee chairs said in a statement. “We urge our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join us in supporting this common-sense resolution.”

Mueller is only required to provide a report on his findings to the Justice Department. It’s not clear how much – if any of it – will be provided to Congress or the public.

The sponsors of the resolution include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Committee on Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel.

PAUL MANAFORT SENTENCED TO 47 MONTHS IN PRISON ON BANK AND TAX FRAUD CHARGES

“This transparency is a fundamental principle necessary to ensure that government remains accountable to the people,” the sponsors said.

In February, the committee chairs wrote to Attorney General William Barr to tell him they hope Mueller’s report public will be released “without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

Mueller’s investigation, which was initially ordered to look into the 2016 election in May of 2017, has gone on for almost two years. The president has repeatedly decried Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt.”

Source: Fox News Politics


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