Day: March 11, 2019

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland hit back at some of the most visible new Democrats in Congress when asked Monday by Fox News about the push to impeach President Trump: “We’ve got 62 new (Democratic) members. Not three.”

Hoyer apparently was referring to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who regularly have fought the Trump administration’s policies since entering Congress.

TLAIB SAYS SHE’LL INTRODUCE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST TRUMP THIS MONTH

Earlier Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., revealed she’s opposed to impeachment in the absence of evidence that is “compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan.”

“I’m not for impeachment,” Pelosi told The Washington Post in an interview published Monday. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”

Ocasio-Cortez replied in a Washington Examiner interview: “I happen to disagree with that take.” The congresswoman added, “But you know, she’s the speaker. … I think we’ll see.”

Hoyer also said about Pelosi’s words: “It seems to me that she said what we’ve been saying. Maybe a little stronger.”

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He also said he thought anything the House might attempt would die in the Senate, which requires 67 yeas to convict and remove the president: “Nobody thinks there is going to be a conviction in the Senate.”

Tlaib said she would introduce articles of impeachment against Trump later this month. She and Omar last month signed a “pledge” to impeach Trump.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Scott Morefield | Reporter

Fox News host Tucker Carlson responded directly to Media Matters for America’s (MMFA) recent attempts to derail his program by unearthing comments he made over a decade ago on a shock-jock radio show.

“The great American outrage machine is a remarkable thing,” Carlson said in his opening segment. “One day you’re having dinner with your family, imagining everything is fine. The next, your phone is exploding with calls from reporters.”

The Fox News host didn’t “try to explain about words spoken in jest or taken out of context, or in any case bear no resemblance to what you think or actually want for the country,” but instead chose to diagram carefully the age-old tactics of leftists who have now turned their guns on him. (RELATED: Conservative Strike Back At Media Matter For Tucker Carlson Hit Job)

WATCH:

Carlson said:

You know the role you’re required to play. You are a sinner that needs the forgiveness of Twitter. So you show a statement of deep contrition, you apologize profusely for your transgressions, promise to be a better person going forward with the guidance of your patrician consultant companies and money to whatever organization claims to represent the people you supposedly offended. Then you sit back and brace for a wave and stories about your apology, all of which are simply pretext for attacking you again. In the end, you get fired, you lose your job. Nobody defends you. Your neighbors avert their gaze as you pull into the driveway. You are ruined.

While that tactic never works, the “one thing you can ever do,” according to Carlson, is “acknowledge the comic absurdity of the whole thing.”

“You can never laugh in the face of the mob,” he said, before proceeding to do just that.

You have to pretend the people yelling at you are somehow your moral superiors. You have to assume what they say they are mad about is what they are actually mad about. You have to take them at face value. You must pretend this is a debate about virtue and not about power. Your critics are arguing from principle and not from partisanship. No matter what they take from you in the end, you must continue to pretend that these things are true. You are bad, they are good, the system is on the level.

“But what if we stopped pretending for a minute?” he asked before arguing that the Left ultimately seeks power by silencing the opposition. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson: America’s Elites Want ‘Immigration Without Limit’)

The Fox News host then criticized Republican leaders for being complicit in “calling for the destruction” of the latest mob target.

Liberals demanding “total conformity” have “been working hard to kill” his show, Carlson contended, adding that “one of the only places left in the United States where independent thoughts are allowed is right here, the opinion hours on this network.” (RELATED: Tucker Asked Jorge Ramos How Many Caravan Migrants He Planned To Take In – Things Got Awkward Fast)

Finally, Carlson thanked Fox News for its support and promised to “never bow to the mob,” “no matter what.”

First, Fox News is behind us as they have been since the very first day. Toughness is a rare quality in a TV network and we are grateful for that. Second, we’ve always apologized when we are wrong and will continue to do that. That’s what decent people do, they apologize. But we will never bow to the mob, ever, no matter what.

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Source: The Daily Caller

In its budget request for the upcoming fiscal year, the Justice Department said it needs over $72 million to fund the “stronger enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws,” according to materials released Monday, in an aggressive move intended to reduce the nation’s backlog of asylum cases dramatically.

As part of his fiscal year 2020 budget plan totaling $4.7 trillion, which was unveiled Monday and faced immediate pushback in Congress, President Trump is also seeking billions more in funding for a border wall and controversial work requirements for Americans collecting a variety of welfare benefits.

The DOJ, for its part, said it’s aimed to hire more than 100 new immigration judges and support staff, including hundreds of, “attorneys, judicial law clerks, legal assistants and administrative support staff, including interpreters.”

The goal would be to have 659 immigration judges in place by sometime in 2020, officials said in the budget request. There are currently 412 immigration judges.

The materials noted that the jump would represent a “36 percent increase in [immigration judges] since FY [fiscal year] 2018.”

WHAT ELSE IS IN TRUMP’S BUDGET?

“At the beginning of FY 2019, there were nearly 790,000 cases pending in immigration courts nationwide, a nearly 20 percent increase from October 2017 and by far the largest pending caseload before the agency, marking the 12th consecutive year of increased backlogs,” the materials stated.

In this Dec. 2, 2018 file photo, a Honduran migrant helped a young girl cross to the U.S. side of the border wall, in Tijuana, Mexico. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

In this Dec. 2, 2018 file photo, a Honduran migrant helped a young girl cross to the U.S. side of the border wall, in Tijuana, Mexico. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

“These investments will also improve our ability to conduct immigration hearings to help combat illegal immigration to the United States by expanding capacity, improving efficiency, and removing impediments to the timely administration of justice,” according to the DOJ. “This budget supports the Department’s efforts, along with our partners at the Department of Homeland Security, to fix our immigration system.”

The bar for receiving a favorable determination on an asylum applicant is high, and most applicants do not end up receiving asylum. Citing widespread fraud and abuse of the process, the Trump administration last year rolled back an Obama-era expansion of potential asylum justifications, which extended protections to those alleging domestic abuse or gang-related attacks back home.

LIBERAL 9TH CIRCUIT RULES ASYLUM APPLICANT HAS THE RIGHT TO HEARING BEFORE A FEDERAL JUDGE

The White House has argued that the asylum system is heavily overburdened, and that asylum law never was meant to provide safe haven to everyone suffering unfortunate circumstances in their homelands. The number of asylum seekers has ballooned in recent years, and immigration officials say it’s in part because migrants have known they’d be able to live and work in the U.S. while their cases play out.

That process could take years, in part because the immigration court has a backlog of over 700,000 cases.

Central American immigrant families looking out through the fence of a shelter in Piedras Negras, Mexico, last month. (Jerry Lara/The San Antonio Express-News via AP, File)

Central American immigrant families looking out through the fence of a shelter in Piedras Negras, Mexico, last month. (Jerry Lara/The San Antonio Express-News via AP, File)

In a ruling last week, the left-leaning San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals threatened to extend the backlog even further, in a ruling that would provide a constitutional right to asylum applicants to be heard by a federal judge. The ruling, which conflicted with another appellate court opinion, appeared destined for an eventual Supreme Court challenge.

The DOJ also announced it was seeking $290.5 million in program enhancements and transfers to “fight the opioid crisis and support law enforcement safety,” as well as to fight “transnational criminal organizations, known for supplying illicit substances to the United States.”

The department also pushed for $137.9 million to strengthen “federal law enforcement’s ability to reduce violent crime,” including $6 million for the so-called Southwest Border Rural Law Enforcement Violent Crime Reduction Initiative, designed to “assist law enforcement agencies serving rural jurisdictions along or near the Southwest Border to address increases in crime, with a special focus on violent crime, in border communities.”

Additional funds were requested for a variety of law enforcement services, including $4.2 million for the FBI’s background check system for firearms purchases and transfers, as well as $5.8 million for more paralegals and support staff for U.S. attorneys offices, which prosecute most federal crimes.

The DOJ request also included another $132 million in program enhancements to address “critical national security and cyber threats,” and $4.3 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding for federal grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement and victims of crime “to ensure greater safety for law enforcement personnel and the people they serve.”

Included in the counterterrorism budget: $16.6 million, plus 48 positions, in the National Vetting Center (NVC), which would allow the FBI to coordinate with other agencies to vet people “seeking to enter or remain within the United States.”

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The NVC, according to the materials, “will increase the government’s ability to identify terrorists, criminals, and other nefarious actors and allow the FBI to provide timely information regarding the risk an individual poses. … The NVC will strengthen, simplify, and streamline the complex way that intelligence and law enforcement information is used to inform operational decisions and allow departments and agencies to contribute their unique information, all while ensuring compliance with applicable law and policy and maintaining robust privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections.”

Should those efforts fail to stop an incoming threat, the DOJ added that it was requesting another $17.1 million and 41 positions in order to help improve the FBI’s capability to “access, diagnose, and render safe a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear device within the United States and its territories.”

Source: Fox News Politics

WATCH:

A bartender allegedly kicked a MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporter out of a New York City bar, the latest in a continuing trend of MAGA hat harassment.

Dion Cini, a Trump supporter, says he was drinking a beer and eating fish and chips at Jake’s Dilemma, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, when a bartender decided to kick him out because of the red MAGA visor he was wearing.

Cini says he never leaves the house without MAGA swag on and says he experiences political discrimination regularly because of it. (RELATED: Woman Assaulted Man Sporting Maga Hat. Now Ice Is Looking to Send Her Packing.)

This time he remembered to record the whole incident.

Jake’s Dilemma issued an apology on Facebook, claiming the bar isn’t a place that promotes a political ideology.

The Daily Caller reached out for comment, but has yet to hear back.

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

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin posted a Facebook video Monday evening in which he criticized state educators who have staged "sickouts" to protest a pair of education bills before the state legislature.

"There’s no reason to be walking out on students, leaving students in the lurch, hurting them and their parents and the many businesses in Kentucky that are affected by this," Bevin said in the nearly four-minute video, which was captioned "Sick of ‘Sickouts?’" " … Don’t let all the noise of the power-hungry, money-hungry people, at the [Kentucky Education Association] and others, distract you from the fact that putting the children first is the greatest responsibility we have."

Teacher absences have forced schools across the state to close as teachers and school-system employees have congregated at the state capital in Frankfort to make their voices heard at legislative hearings. For example, schools in Jefferson, Meade, Oldham and Bullitt counties were all closed this past Thursday. A week earlier, at least six school districts were closed, including the two largest in the state.

The most hotly disputed bill would change how people are nominated to the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System’s board of trustees, which controls the pensions for about 126,500 people. Currently, Right now, the Kentucky Education Association — which has about 43,000 members — controls nominations for seven of the pension board’s 11 members. The bill would change that, letting groups like the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association, the Kentucky School Boards Association, and the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents nominate members.

WEST VIRGINIA HOUSE TABLES BILL THAT LED TO SECOND TEACHER STRIKE IN A YEAR

"One organization in particular controls the process of nominating seven of those positions, effectively locking out other educators from the very decisions that impact their financial future," said Republican Rep. Ken Upchurch, the bill’s sponsor.

In a room packed with teachers last month, Kentucky State Representative Ken Upchurch spoke on a bill that would change how individuals are nominated to the Kentucky teachers retirement systems board of trustees. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston, File)

In a room packed with teachers last month, Kentucky State Representative Ken Upchurch spoke on a bill that would change how individuals are nominated to the Kentucky teachers retirement systems board of trustees. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston, File)

Bevin, who is up for re-election this year, has criticized teachers in the past over their opposition to his efforts to reform the state’s struggling pension systems, which are among the worst-funded in the nation. State officials are at least $39 billion short of the money required to pay benefits over the next 30 years. The teachers’ retirement system alone is at least $14.3 billion short of what it will need to pay benefits.

In his video Monday, Bevin defended the actions of his administration when it came to educator pensions.

OPINION: THE LA TEACHER’S STRIKE ANOTHER MILESTONE IN CALIFORNIA’S DECLINE

"I’m the only administration, ours is, that is the first to ever fund the pension system, in its entirety," he said. "We’ve put more money into the pension in the last three years, in the last two budgets, than the previous governor [Democrat Steve Beshear] did in eight years. We’re the only ones to actually be bringing attention to the obligation we have to those who are responsible, to our students."

Bevin also accused the teacher’s union in Jefferson County, the most populous in the state, of "reloading sick days into the accounts of teachers so they can call in sick when they’re not sick."

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"This is the kind of stuff that the taxpayers of Kentucky, which is those of you watching this, you should be offended by this," he said. "You really should be. And if you’re parents whose kids are in school, as I am, you should be offended by this. We have a responsibility to take care of our young people, we just do. It’s as simple as that."

The Kentucky protests are the latest example of teachers leaving the classroom to protest at state capitols, a movement that began last year in West Virginia before spreading to Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Arizona.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

FILE PHOTO: O'Rourke speaks to Winfrey on stage during a taping of her TV show in Manhattan
FILE PHOTO: Beto O’Rourke speaks to Oprah Winfrey during a taping of her TV show in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., Feb. 5, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

March 12, 2019

By Tim Reid

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke is heading to the early presidential voting state of Iowa this weekend, fuelling speculation that the Democrat is poised to enter the White House race.

O’Rourke said last week he had made a decision about whether to seek the Democratic nomination for president. A trip to Iowa on Saturday, where the first votes in the nominating contest will be cast in February, suggests his entry into the race is imminent.

In an announcement posted on Twitter, Eric Giddens, an Iowa Democrat who is running in a special election for a state senate seat, said his campaign workers and O’Rourke will be urging students this Saturday at the University of Northern Iowa to vote in his election race.

The tweet by Giddens was accompanied by a video of O’Rourke speaking from his home city of El Paso, Texas, wearing a University of Northern Iowa baseball cap and urging UNI students to vote for Giddens.

“Supporting him for state Senate is the way that we get Iowa, and by extension, this country, back on the right track,” O’Rourke says. “UNI, we’re counting on you, and we’re looking forward to seeing you soon. Adios.”

Chris Evans, a spokesman for O’Rourke, confirmed in an email to Reuters that O’Rourke will be in Waterloo, Iowa, campaigning for Giddens on Saturday afternoon. He did not respond to requests about whether O’Rourke was planning to run for president.

With its position as first in the nation status when it comes to presidential nominating battles, Iowa can sometimes make or break candidacies and is an early and frequent destination for White House hopefuls.

Other Democratic presidential candidates have already visited Iowa ahead of O’Rourke’s visit.

O’Rourke, 46, rose to national prominence last year when he narrowly lost his bid to defeat Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

O’Rourke had previously said he would decide by the end of February if he would launch a White House campaign, and speculation around his plans mounted after several high-profile public appearances.

He sat for an interview with Oprah Winfrey in New York and held a rival rally last month to decry Trump’s immigration policy as the president promoted his planned border wall in El Paso. He has also visited the general election battleground state of Wisconsin.

(Reporting by Tim Reid; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Monday defended her office’s investigation of a sexual harassment claim from last summer.

“We investigated claims of sexual harassment and derogatory comments,” Gillibrand said on the steps of the Capitol. (RELATED: Gillibrand Makes Her First Political Flip-Flop Since Announcing Presidential Run)

“We interviewed all current employees that had relevant information. We were able to substantiate derogatory comments and did not able to substantiate the sexual harassment, the sexual harassment claims did not rise to the level of sexual harassment. I told this employee at the time that she was loved, that we loved her. I deeply valued her, which is why we took her allegations immediately, investigated them immediately, and did a professional and thorough investigation.”

Politico reported that an aide in Gillibrand’s office raised a sexual harassment complaint with the Senator’s chief of staff in July, and made a separate complaint three weeks later when the accused staffer reportedly retaliated in response to the first complaint. The aide then resigned. (RELATED: Gillibrand’s Office Hit With Sexual Allegations, Aide Resigns In Protest)

“Your office chose to go against your public belief that women shouldn’t accept sexual harassment in any form and portrayed my experience as a misinterpretation instead of what it actually was: harassment and ultimately, intimidation,” the aide said in a letter sent to Gillibrand.

Gillibrand’s office reported that the staffer accused in the complaints has since been fired, but he was still employed at the time the aide resigned.

Source: The Daily Caller

Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate considered a rising star in the Democratic Party despite her defeat, announced Monday that a 2020 presidential bid is "definitely on the table" — just hours after seemingly telling attendees at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas, that she wouldn’t be ready to run until at least 2028.

Abrams, 45, who repeatedly blamed voter fraud for her defeat in Georgia, became the first African-American woman to deliver a formal State of the Union response earlier this year. In that nationally televised address, she hurled epithets at the White House and emphasized her time leading Democrats in the state House of Representatives — experience that, on Monday, she initially appeared to recognize as insufficient to support a presidential candidacy.

"In the spreadsheet with all the jobs I wanted to do, 2028 would be the earliest I would be ready to stand for president because I would have done the work I thought necessary to be effective at that job," Abrams said onstage at SXSW, adding that she likely would make up her mind by the end of April.

DEFEATED ABRAMS REFUSES TO CALL BRIAN KEMP THE LEGITIMATE GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA 

In a follow-up tweet that she labeled a "fact check," Abrams’ former campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, wrote: "@staceyabrams’ remarks at #SXSW were in reference to her years-old spreadsheet, not her current considerations. She is taking a look at all options on the table in 2020 and beyond."

Abrams herself later tweeted: "In #LeadFromTheOutside, I explore how to be intentional about plans, but flexible enough to adapt. 20 years ago, I never thought I’d be ready to run for POTUS before 2028. But life comes at you fast – as I shared in Q&A w @Yamiche at @sxsw. Now 2020 is definitely on the table…"

Democratic leaders reportedly have encouraged Abrams to run for Senate in Georgia in 2020 or again for governor in 2020, and analysts have pointed to numerous potential problems with her skipping ahead straight to a White House bid.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle: The Democratic field is already stocked full with better-known candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren.

Although Abrams made history by becoming the first black woman to run as a major-party nominee for governor, several of the announced Democratic contenders would make history in their own ways if they managed to unseat Trump.

And, Abrams — who lost to Republican Brian Kemp by 1.4 percentage points in 2018 but has refused to call his tenure "legitimate" – likely would face withering attacks from Republicans accusing her of being, in essence, a sore loser.

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Seemingly well aware of the hurdles, Abrams reassured SXSW attendees that she was focused not on raising her own soaring profile, but on the greater good of the Democrat Party.

"My task is to make certain that a Democrat is elected not only to the White House, but that we have a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democratic majority in Congress," Abrams said.

Source: Fox News Politics

  • Open borders activists are behind the campaign to get banks to divest from private prisons.
  • Activists see private prison divestment as a way to limit how many illegal immigrants ICE can detain.
  • About two-thirds of ICE detainees are held in facilities run by private companies.

Immigration activists see their campaign to get banks to divest from private prison companies as a backdoor way to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by taking away its capacity to detain illegals caught crossing the southern border.

“It goes even beyond ICE,” Daniel Carrillo, executive director of Freedom to Thrive, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Immigration should be a right.”

Freedom to Thrive, formerly known as Enlace, has pushed major financial institutions and banks, including JPMorgan Chase, to divest from private prisons since 2010, Carrillo said. The group’s stated goal is to “end the punishment-based criminal and immigration systems.”

Activists have focused on two prison companies in particular, CoreCivic and GEO Group. JPMorgan and several other major banks raised $1.8 billion in debt financing with CoreCivic and GEO Group in 2018, according to reports.

Demonstrators carrying signs reading "Abolish ICE" and "I Really Do Care", referencing the coat recently worn by First Lady Melania Trump, march during the "Families Belong Together" rally in Boston

Demonstrators carrying signs reading “Abolish ICE” and “I Really Do Care”, referencing the coat recently worn by First Lady Melania Trump, march during the “Families Belong Together” rally in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., June 30, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder.

JPMorgan Chase is the latest to stop financing CoreCivic and GEO Group amid activist pressure, following in the footsteps of Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank. Now, Carrillo and other activists want to see Bank of America and others follow suit. (RELATED: Half Of All US Troops At The Southern Border Could Leave This Month)

“We operate with open borders,” Carrillo said with regards to free trade policies. “Why do we draw the line with people?”

CoreCivic and GEO Group have derided the campaign against them as politically motivated and based on a misleading characterization of their work with the Department of Homeland Security.

“These divestment efforts are politically motivated and based on a deliberate mischaracterization of our role as a long-standing service provider to the government,” a GEO spokesman said in an email to TheDCNF. “They also willfully ignore the fact that our company plays absolutely no role in passing, setting, or advocating for or against criminal justice or immigration laws and policies.”

“It is disappointing JP Morgan will no longer have a role in helping to provide similar solutions for our government partners,” Amanda Gilchrist, a CoreCivic spokeswoman, said.

“It is further disappointing that decisions like this are being based on false information spread by politically motivated special interests, who completely mischaracterize our company and the meaningful role we play in solving some of our country’s biggest challenges,” Gilchrist told TheDCNF in an email. “In reality, CoreCivic helps keep communities safe, enrolls thousands of inmates in re-entry programs that prepare them for life after prison and saves taxpayers millions.”

Immigration activists rally to protest against the Trump Administration's immigration policy in Washington

Immigration activists carry a sign calling for the abolishment of ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, during rally to protest the Trump Administration’s immigration policy outside the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The call to abolish ICE has grown in liberal circles, including among some Democratic lawmakers. With little chance of accomplishing that goal with legislation, ICE opponents are capitalizing on the fervor over Trump administration immigration policies.

Freedom to Thrive and its allies see the private prison angle as an “organizing tool” for their larger agenda to abolish ICE by crippling its private sector partners, Carrillo said. About two-thirds of ICE detainees were in a privately-operated center.

Detention of an illegal immigrants, including families and unaccompanied minors, started under the Obama administration, but only gained national attention in recent years as part of the larger “resistance” to President Donald Trump.

Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border has only spurred activists to do more to cripple private prison financing.

Activists picketed outside JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s apartment in Manhattan, drowning out the sounds of the city with recordings of immigrant children crying out for their parents. Activists also disrupted JPMorgan shareholder meetings. The strategy worked.

JPMorgan did not give specific reasons why it made the decision, but media reports widely attributed it to activist pressure.

“JPMorgan Chase has a robust and well established process to evaluate the sectors that we serve,” spokesman Andrew Gray said in an emailed statement. “As part of this process, we will no longer bank the private prison industry.”

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake.

In the wake of JPMorgan’s decision, Freedom to Thrive released a celebratory statement saying “on the road towards abolition, divestment is just one stop.”

“We are fighting for full liberation and freedom for all of our communities locked up behind bars in prisons, jails, immigrant detention centers, youth jails, monitored on electronic shackles, and under state surveillance,” the group stated.

“We envision a world beyond prisons, police, and borders,” Freedom to Thrive wrote on a website it manages on behalf of the larger private prison divestment campaign.

JPMorgan announced its divestment from private prisons days after New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, called for hearings into banks’ financing of private prison companies used to detain illegal immigrants.

“We’re going to hold oversight hearings to make these banks accountable for investing in and making money off of the detention of immigrants,” Ocasio-Cortez said at an event in Queens. “Because it’s wrong.”

That event was hosted by Make the Road New York, another group calling for abolishing ICE and divesting from private prisons used to house illegal immigrants. Make the Road an “essential” force in getting New York City’s sanctuary law on the books, The Nation reported.

U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks about the first few months of her tenure in congress with Briahna Gray at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festivals in Austin, Texas

U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks about the first few months of her tenure in congress with Briahna Gray at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festivals in Austin, Texas, U.S., March 9, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Flores.

Make the Road’s executive director Javier Valdez co-authored an article in The Nation claiming ICE and border patrol agents “tear apart families and lock people in cage” and that most deaths of immigrants in U.S. custody occurred in private detention centers. Activists have also claimed private prisons are used to separate children from their families, but CoreCivic and GEO Group said that’s not true.

“Our company has never managed facilities that house unaccompanied minors, including those who may have been separated from their parents,” the company’s spokesman said.

CivicCore’s Gilchrist said “none of our immigration facilities provides housing for children who aren’t under the supervision of a parent.”

Carrillo said the focus on private prisons was an effective “organizing tool” for immigration activists. Ultimately, Freedom to Thrive seeks a “non-punitive approach” to imprisonment that focuses on what Carrillo called “transformative justice.”

“The alternative is for there to be a path to legalization for folks already here and entering the country,” Carrillo said, explaining the his group’s ultimate goal of scrapping the entire U.S. prison system.

“It’s not an overnight process,” Carrillo said.

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Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during “A Civil Society Dialogue on Securing Religious Freedom in the Indo-Pacific Region” forum in Taipei, Taiwan March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

March 12, 2019

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will next week visit the island’s diplomatic allies of Palau, Nauru and the Marshall Islands, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.

The visit comes amid heightened tensions between Taipei and Beijing, which claims self-ruled and proudly democratic Taiwan as its own and has vowed to bring the island under Chinese control, by force if necessary.

Taiwan, which China claims has no right to state-to-state relations, has formal ties with 17 countries, almost all small, less developed nations in Central America and the Pacific, like Belize and Nauru.

(Reporting By Yimou Lee; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: OANN

Amber Athey | White House Correspondent

Conservatives struck back at Media Matters for America (MMFA) late Sunday and early Monday in response the organization’s recent hit job on Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Critics of MMFA noted the organization never fully assumed accountability for its president’s own old blog posts — in which he used words like “trannies,” “homos” and degraded “Bangladeshis” — and it never seems to call for the ousting of liberals caught saying similarly dubious things, like Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and MSNBC host Joy Reid. (RELATED: Media Matters Wrote Racist, Anti-Semitic, Anti-‘Tranny’ Blog Posts)

MMFA routinely targets the advertisers of Fox News media hosts and digs through decades of media history in an attempt to get conservative pundits and reporters fired from their jobs.

Donald Trump Jr. told The Daily Caller that MMFA’s selective outrage is “disturbing,” explaining, “The anti-Tucker outrage mob is so clearly acting hypocritically and in bad faith for purely partisan political reasons.”

“How many of these people have called for Joy Reid to be fired from MSNBC for her homophobic comments? Or for Rep. Omar to be stripped of her committee assignments for her anti-Semitic comments?” Trump Jr. questioned. “Why would so many people apparently want to live in a world where we allow professional trolls & faux outrage mobs to weaponize statements from a decade ago to get their political enemies fired from their jobs?”

MMFA declined to attack MSNBC host Joy Reid, who repeatedly wrote homophobic comments and peddled conspiracy theories on her personal blog in the 2000s. Reid apologized for some of the posts but also claimed with no evidence that some of them were written by hackers. (RELATED: Joy Reid Keeps Changing Her Story)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Moderator Joy Reid attends the "Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story" premiere during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 20: Moderator Joy Reid attends the “Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” premiere during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

MMFA has similarly refused to comment on old blog posts by its president, Angelo Carusone, that contain derogatory comments toward transgender people and racist remarks.

Ned Ryun, the CEO of American Majority, brought up MMFA’s silence on Joy Reid and its overall partisan agenda.

“Their entire purpose for existence is to take out conservatives in media and politics,” Ryun said. “They’re a partisan hit squad trying to delegitimize and de-platform conservatives … serious-minded people should understand this is political warfare and tell Media Matters to go pound sand.”

Senior Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter denied that MMFA engages in hypocrisy, instead calling its entire operation a “lie” and a “cheesy grift.”

“It’s all just a cheesy grift where they fake outrage to silence political opponents because they know their own garbage ideology won’t play with Americans,” Schlichter asserted. “Nobody’s fooled. They should go pound sand.”

Carlson, a Daily Caller co-founder, has received significant support from conservative media figures in the face of Media Matters’ attacks. Joe Concha, a media reporter and columnist for The Hill, predicted that the outrage over Carlson’s old comments won’t last long because it “appears selective.”

“I think this story goes nowhere because the outrage appears selective,” Concha told the Caller. “If you’re Media Matters, you can’t omit any coverage of Joy Reid and then in the same breath demand Carlson be removed from the air. Anyone looking at this situation objectively can see that.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: IATA logo is seen at the International Tourism Trade Fair ITB in Berlin
FILE PHOTO: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) logo is seen at the International Tourism Trade Fair ITB in Berlin, Germany, March 7, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

March 12, 2019

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Tuesday nearly halved its annual forecast for traffic growth in the air cargo market to 2 percent citing trade frictions, Brexit and anti-globalization rhetoric.

That is lower than a previous estimate of 3.7 percent traffic growth issued in December and leaves airlines more dependent on passenger revenue for growth.

“Developments in the political climate are not going in our favor,” IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said at an air cargo conference in Singapore.

Weaker global economic activity and consumer confidence led to a 1.8 percent fall in global air freight traffic in January, marking the worst monthly performance in three years, IATA said last week.

(Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Source: OANN

Scott Morefield | Reporter

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio slammed socialism in response to Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders not denouncing Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, and offered the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate an economics lesson.

WATCH:

“He’s denounced the violence and all, but he says that he said there’s some … democratic actions in Venezuela,” Rubio said, responding to video journalist Nicholas Ballasy’s question. “The only democratic action left in Venezuela is their democratically elected national summit and which means … if he recognizes that then you should recognize Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of the country as 54 countries already have.”

“Are you surprised that he hasn’t actually come out and backed him?” asked Ballasy.

Rubio responded that Sanders has “been friendly towards governments that pursue socialist policies” while explaining that what’s happening in Venezuela is “socialism overlaid with graft and corruption of an extraordinary level.” (RELATED: ‘Self-Inflicted Damage’: Rubio Rips Green New Deal)

“Socialism always fails but when you add corruption on top of that it becomes catastrophic,” he said.

“[U]ltimately the door socialism falls apart is … as Thatcher once said, you run out of other people’s money, and that’s what happened in Venezuela,” Rubio concluded. “They took the wealth of the country. They expropriated it all. They spent it on ventures abroad and programs at home and once they ran out of money, it was total collapse.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

President Donald Trump indicated Monday he has no interest in allowing people into the United States if they are on welfare or need it.

Trump made the remarks during a White House interview with Breitbart News. He said Democrats are partly to blame for the nation's immigration problems because they think immigrants will vote for them.

"I don't want to have anyone coming in that's on welfare," Trump said in the Oval Office. "We have a problem, because we have politicians that are not strong, or they have bad intentions, or they want to get votes, because they think if they come in they're going to vote Democrat, you know, for the most part."

Trump added, because of America's debts to other countries and spending on the military and alliances, the U.S. cannot keep adding more welfare recipients.

"I don't want people that need welfare," he said. "We owe a lot of money. We're taking care of everybody in the world's military. But now, as you know, I got over $100 billion from NATO countries. But that's not enough, that's not enough, we're paying for massive portions of NATO."

The White House budget for 2020 unveiled Monday includes $8.6 billion for additional barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Source: NewsMax

Cardinal George Pell arrives at County Court in Melbourne
Cardinal George Pell arrives at County Court in Melbourne, Australia, February 27, 2019. AAP Image/Erik Anderson/via REUTERS

March 12, 2019

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell will be sentenced on Wednesday after his conviction for sexually abusing two choir boys in Melbourne in the 1990s, with the judge expected to impose a prison term on the Catholic Cardinal.In a rare move reflecting interest in the high-profile case, the sentencing will be broadcast live on television although the camera will only show the judge and not the court room.

Pell, the most senior Catholic worldwide to be convicted for child sex offences, faces a maximum of 10 years in jail for each of the four charges of indecent acts and one charge of sexual penetration on which he was found guilty.

A jury unanimously convicted the 77 year-old in December, however the verdict was only made public on Feb 26, when further child sex offence charges against Pell dating back to the 1970s were dropped.

Pell has maintained his innocence throughout and has filed an appeal on three grounds, set to be heard in June. He has been in jail since Feb. 27, when his bail was revoked after a sentence plea hearing.

The County Court of Victoria had come under fire for suppressing coverage of Pell’s trial, as he is seen as the face of the Catholic Church in Australia which has protected paedophile priests. The suppression order was intended to ensure an impartial jury in the second trial that had been planned.

“Given the speculation and outpouring of anger and distress over the conviction, the reaction to sentencing will be likely highly emotionally charged and extremely polarizing,” said Cathy Kezelman, president of the Blue Knot Foundation, a support group for victims of childhood trauma.

Pell’s lawyer, Robert Richter, argued for a light sentence, based on Pell’s age, heart problems, no prior history of offending, no physical injuries to the victims and the fact the duration of the offences was short.

Richter sparked a furor when, in seeking a light sentence, he called the offence “a plain vanilla sexual penetration case”, remarks for which he later apologized.

The court’s chief judge, Peter Kidd, said he was not convinced by those arguments, saying Pell had engaged in “callous, brazen offending” against two boys in a room with an open door, causing trauma and distress.

“It was imbued with arrogance, aggression and impunity,” Kidd told the court.

The court said Kidd’s sentencing would be aired live by the Australian Broadcasting Corp at 10 a.m. (2300 GMT) on Wednesday.

“The County Court is committed to the principles of open justice,” a spokesman said.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

Illustration photo of a Japan Yen note in front of U.S. Dollar and British Pound Sterling notes
A Japan Yen note in front of U.S. Dollar and British Pound Sterling notes are seen in this June 22, 2017 illustration photo. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

March 12, 2019

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sterling rose sharply on Tuesday as speculation swirled that British Prime Minister Theresa May might be closer to securing approval for her Brexit deal.

The pound extended earlier gains as May won legally binding Brexit assurances from the European Union, in a last ditch attempt to sway rebellious British lawmakers who have threatened to vote down her divorce deal in a parliamentary vote on Tuesday.

Sterling, jumped as high as $1.3290 as some investors bolstered bet the prime minister could secure a divorce deal before Britain’s scheduled March 29 departure from the EU.

The pound was last trading 0.6 percent higher on the day at $1.3223, having been as low as $1.2945 at one stage on Monday.

The euro slid to its lowest on the pound since mid-2017 at 84.71 pence. It was last quoted down about 0.4 percent on the day at 85.15 pence.

At a joint news conference with European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker late on Monday, May announced three documents aimed at addressing the most contentious part of the exit deal she agreed in November – the Irish backstop.

“Seeing them together in the same screen, is a positive – that there is some hand holding there and working together to move forward,” said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager at State Street Bank.

The Irish backstop is an insurance policy aimed at avoiding controls on the sensitive border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

“If they can break (the backstop) down to a level where there can be some negotiation or at least compromise on both sides, there definitely does seem (to be) light at the end of the tunnel,” added Wakabayashi.

If May loses the vote on Tuesday, she has said lawmakers will get a vote on Wednesday on whether to leave without a deal and, if they reject that, then a vote on whether to ask for a limited delay to Brexit.

Most other currencies stayed within familiar trading ranges before U.S. February inflation figures expected later on Tuesday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six rivals, fell almost 0.2 percent to 97.063 on a modest improvement in investors’ risk appetite.

Against the Japanese yen, a safe-haven currency often bought in times of rising volatility, the dollar was 0.2 percent higher at 111.43 yen.

Data on Monday showed U.S. retail sales rose modestly in January, lifted by an increase in purchases of building materials and discretionary spending, but a drop in December was even larger than initially thought.

The euro found support against the dollar on the Brexit news and the improvement in risk appetite. The single currency was last up about 0.15 percent at $1.1259.

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

Source: OANN

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown asserted that he was the best candidate to beat President Donald Trump in 2020 in a Monday interview on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes,” despite having announced that he will not be running.

“I think that there is a recognition that if I were the nominee, I would have perhaps the best chance to beat Trump,” Brown said.

“But I think that if this dignity of work theme — I want people — I want our candidates to think about the general election and how you’re going to win the general election and if they start talking to workers, of course, we played a Progressive base and against NAFTA and the bankruptcy bill and a whole bunch of issues as a Progressive but we have to talk to workers.”

Both Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced they would not participate in the 2020 Democratic primary last week, but Brown was best liked by the progressive wing of the party.

“Connie and I have spent the last few months traveling around the country to make dignity of work a centerpiece of Democrats’ 2020 campaign, and we are so grateful to everyone who has welcomed us into their communities and into their lives,” Brown said, referencing his wife, Connie Schultz.

“We’ve seen candidates begin taking up the dignity of work fight, and we have seen voters across the country demanding it — because the dignity of work is a value that unites all of us.”

Source: The Daily Caller

President Trump said in an interview released Monday that he does not want any immigrants to come to the United States who would be on welfare.

“I don’t want to have anyone coming in that’s on welfare,” Trump told Breitbart News.

“We owe a lot of money. We’re taking care of everybody in the world’s military. But now as you know I got over $100 billion from NATO countries," Trump said in the interview. "But that’s not enough, that’s not enough, we’re paying for massive portions of NATO."

[The Democrats will] take anybody into this country and we’re not allowing it.

— President Trump

Trump’s comments came in response to questions citing a report by the Center for Immigration Studies that said "63 percent of households headed by a non-citizen reported that they used at least one welfare program" in 2014. However, some critics have challenged the numbers. The think tank describes itself as an "independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization" and has the slogan "low-immigration, pro-immigrant."

TRUMP RELEASES BUDGET SEEKING BILLIONS FOR BORDER WALL

Trump accused politicians and Democrats of being weak or having vested interests in allowing immigrants needing welfare assistance to come into the country.

“We have a problem, because we have politicians that are not strong, or they have bad intentions, or they want to get votes, because they think if they come in they’re going to vote Democrat, you know, for the most part," Trump said.

Speaking about the Democrats, he added, “They’ll take anybody into this country and we’re not allowing it, but because of the success of the country economically, some people say—I blame myself, but that’s a good blame not a bad blame—but because of the country’s success and you need workers here.”

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He continued: “You do need workers. You have homes in Houston, and they can’t get people to build the homes—and lots of other places. But because of what’s happened, and because of the people coming up, they want them to come in and they don’t care how they come in.”

The president concluded: “I don’t like the idea of people coming in and going on welfare for 50 years, and that’s what they want to be able to do—and it’s no good.”

Source: Fox News Politics

FILE PHOTO - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents participate in a test deployment during a large-scale operational readiness exercise at the San Ysidro port of entry with Mexico in San Diego, California, U.S, as seen from Tijuana
FILE PHOTO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents participate in a test deployment during a large-scale operational readiness exercise at the San Ysidro port of entry with Mexico in San Diego, California, U.S, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

March 12, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two senior U.S. senators asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday to provide information on a report that the agency inappropriately tracked seven American journalists covering the migrant caravan from Central America last year.

Republican Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Ron Wyden, the panel’s top Democrat, wrote a letter to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan asking for an unclassified briefing no later than Thursday.

They cited news reports alleging the border agency and the Department of Homeland Security “inappropriately flagged for scrutiny seven American journalists.”

“Unless CBP had reason to believe the individuals in question were inciting violence or physical conflict, it is deeply concerning that CBP appears to have targeted American journalists at our borders,” Grassley and Wyden wrote.

Representatives of the agency did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment on Monday.

The senators referred to an NBC News report last week about documents listing 10 journalists, an attorney and 47 others, some of them labeled organizers and instigators from the United States and elsewhere.

The NBC affiliate in San Diego, KNSD-TV, said it received the documents from an unidentified source in the Department of Homeland Security, which includes Customs and Border Protection.

At least three journalists and the attorney listed on the documents were unable to enter Mexico to work because of alerts placed on their passports and others have been subject to secondary screenings when crossing the border, the news station reported.

Reuters did not see the documents and was unable independently to corroborate NBC’s findings. One of the journalists the station said was listed was Go Nakamura, a photographer who has done several freelance assignments for Reuters and began covering the caravan on Nov. 10.

CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan said in a statement last week that the tracking was related to assaults on agents that occurred during November and January. CBP does not target journalists for inspections, he said.

(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar suggested that President Donald Trump is not human when a reporter asked her about criticisms she made about Trump and former President Barack Obama on Monday.

Fox News’ Guerin Hays peppered Omar with questions about her negative comments about Obama’s stance on immigration during a Politico interview last week.

Hays asked, “Do you think President Obama is the same as President Trump?”

“Absolutely not. That is silly to even equate the two. One is human and one is really not,” Omar answered, after ignoring his first questions.

She then got on an elevator and left.

“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. They just were more polished than he was,” Omar said in the interview. “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.”

After facing backlash for the comment, Omar claimed the reporter misrepresented what she said. (RELATED: Omar Facing More Accusations Of Anti-Semitism)

She tweeted, “Exhibit A of how reporters distort words. I’m an Obama fan! I was saying how Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy, not politics. This is why I always tape my interviews,” and attached an audio file of the video.

Omar ended up deleting the tweet after people claimed the audio backed up Politico’s original reporting.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Molly Prince | Politics Reporter

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi revealed Monday that she sees herself in female freshman Democratic lawmakers such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

“Here’s what I see myself in them as: When I came to Congress I had no intention of running for office, shy person that I have always been. I was chair of the [California Democratic] Party, always advancing other people,” Pelosi said while being interviewed by The Washington Post. “I loved that because I cared about the causes of the Democratic Party, about fairness in our economy.”

Pelosi appeared on the cover of the March 2019 issue of ‘Rolling Stone’ alongside Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Democratic Connecticut Rep. Jahana Hayes to celebrate women shaping the future.

“So what I see, and I say this to them: I was you. I used to carry the [protest] signs pushing strollers. … And as an advocate, relentless, persistent, dissatisfied always,” Pelosi said. “But when you cross over the threshold and come to Congress, you can bring those enthusiasms, those priorities, your knowledge, your vision, your plan. But you have to want to get results. You have to get results. Then, you were trying to impact others making decisions.”

“Now you are that person. So [my] being a progressive, a liberal from San Francisco, they can’t go any place I haven’t been philosophically,” she continued. “So I think I have a good simpatico with a lot of them because, again, that’s who I was.” (RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Doesn’t Want To Impeach Trump: He’s ‘Not Worth It’)

The top ranking Democratic congresswoman has also come to the defense of Omar after her repeated anti-Semitic comments. Omar faced massive backlash when she accused Jews of having a “dual loyalty” to Israel, an ages-old anti-Semitic canard. Pelosi backed Omar, who she claimed was not anti-Semitic, but rather simply “doesn’t understand” what her words mean.

“The young women today, though, coming in … the way they balance family and children and home, I’m in awe of them,” Pelosi added. “I’m in awe of them.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

UFC fighter Conor McGregor appears in a police booking photo at Miami-Dade County Jail in Miami
UFC fighter Conor McGregor appears in a police booking photo at Miami-Dade County Jail in Miami, Florida, U.S. March 11, 2019. Miami-Dade County Corrections/Handout via REUTERS

March 12, 2019

(Reuters) – Conor McGregor was arrested in Miami Beach on Monday after a fan said the Irish mixed martial arts fighter smashed his phone and then walked off with the shattered remains, police records show.

McGregor, 30, was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami on suspicion of robbery and criminal mischief, according to an arrest affidavit filed in connection with the incident, which took place shortly after 5 a.m. (0900 GMT) on Monday.

“The victim and the defendant were exiting the Fountainbleau Hotel and the victim attempted to take a picture of the defendant with his cell phone,” the arrest report said, without identifying the second man’s name.

“The defendant slapped the victim’s phone out of his hand, causing it to fall to the floor. The defendant then stomped on the victim’s phone several times, damaging it,” the report said, adding that the device was valued at $1,000.

McGregor was taken into custody later on Monday. It was not immediately clear if he had retained a local attorney to represent him.

McGregor was charged in April 2018 with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief after police said he attacked a charter bus in New York carrying UFC fighters, throwing a moving dolly through a window and injuring other fighters.

He later pleaded guilty to a reduced disorderly conduct charge.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Alistair Bell)

Source: OANN

Red flags flutter in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Red flags flutter in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China September 30, 2018. Picture taken September 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

March 12, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Western forces are trying to use Christianity to influence China’s society and even subvert the government, a senior official said, warning that Chinese Christians needed to follow a Chinese model of the religion.

China’s constitution guarantees religious freedom, but since President Xi Jinping took office six years ago, the government has tightened restrictions on religions seen as a challenge to the authority of the ruling Communist Party.

The government has cracked down on underground churches, both Protestant and Catholic, even as it seeks to improve relations with the Vatican.

In a speech on Monday, Xu Xiaohong head of the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China, said there were many problems with Christianity in the country, including “infiltration” from abroad and “private meeting places”.

“It must be recognized that our movement’s surname is ‘China’ and not ‘Western’,” Xu said, according to remarks reported by the United Front Work Department, which is in charge of co-opting non-communists, ethnic minorities and religious groups.

“Anti-China forces in the West are trying to continue to influence China’s social stability and even subvert our country’s political power through Christianity, and it is doomed to fail,” he said, speaking to the Chinese parliament’s largely ceremonial advisory body.

“For individual black sheep who, under the banner of Christianity, participate in subverting national security, we firmly support the country to bring them to justice.”

Only by eliminating the “stigma of foreign religion” in China’s Christianity can its believers benefit society, he added.

“Only by continually drawing on the fine traditions of Chinese culture, can China’s Christianity be rooted in the fertile soil of Chinese culture and become a religion recognized by the Chinese themselves,” Xu added.

“Only by continuously carrying forward and practicing the core values ​​of socialism can our Christianity truly be suited to socialist society.”

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Philadelphia Phillies
Mar 11, 2019; Clearwater, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

March 12, 2019

Left-hander Blake Snell, the best bargain in baseball, struck out Bryce Harper in a highly anticipated matchup as the Tampa Bay Rays cruised to an 8-2 victory over the host Philadelphia Phillies on Monday at Clearwater Fla.

Snell, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, had his contract renewed for $573,700, a raise of just $15,500. But Harper, who landed a $330 million contract over 13 seasons to join the Phillies, was overmatched and struck out looking on three pitches during their first-inning matchup.

“He’s good,” Harper told reporters afterward. “I was just happy to go out there and face a guy like him, see some (velocity), see some off-speed as well and just see one of the best in baseball. It’s always fun to be able to do that, whether it’s the third game in spring or the middle of the season. It’s good to see.”

Snell struck out two while tossing two perfect innings. Avisail Garcia homered and had three RBIs for Tampa Bay.

Cardinals 3, Nationals 2

Paul Goldschmidt lined a tiebreaking two-run double in the third inning as St. Louis edged visiting Washington at Jupiter, Fla. Juan Soto and Kurt Suzuki had run-scoring singles for the Nationals.

Braves 6, Pirates 2

Ronald Acuna Jr. clubbed a two-run homer and reached base three times to lead Atlanta past visiting Pittsburgh at Kissimmee, Fla. Colin Moran and Patrick Kivlehan had RBI singles for the Pirates.

Tigers 3, Twins 0

JaCoby Jones drilled a two-run homer to help Detroit blank host Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla. The Twins had just three hits against four Tigers’ hurlers.

Astros 6, Mets 3

Kyle Tucker delivered the tiebreaking two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning to help Houston knock off New York at West Palm Beach, Fla. Brandon Nimmo went 3-for-4 with a RBI for the Mets.

Brewers 8, White Sox 5

Ryan Braun belted a two-run blast for his first homer of the spring and Cory Spangenberg added a three-run blast as host Milwaukee knocked off Chicago at Phoenix, Ariz. Adam Engel homered for the White Sox.

Giants 4, Dodgers 1

Joey Bart delivered a tiebreaking three-run double in the top of the ninth inning as San Francisco defeated host Los Angeles at Phoenix, Ariz. Justin Turner’s first-inning sacrifice fly plated the Dodgers’ lone run.

Rockies 6, Athletics 3

Noel Cuevas hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning and Ian Desmond and Elliot Soto also went deep as Colorado beat visiting Oakland at Scottsdale, Ariz. Mark Canha had a two-run single and Marcus Semien went 3-for-3 for the Athletics.

Angels 12, Rangers 11

Jack Kruger homered and drove in six runs as Los Angeles outlasted host Texas at Surprise, Ariz. Hunter Pence and Preston Beck went deep for the Rangers.

Indians 5, Reds 5

Eric Haase hit a tying two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to allow Cleveland to play Cincinnati to a draw at Goodyear, Ariz. Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp homered for the Reds.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk past electronic board showing the Nikkei stock index outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians walk past electronic board showing the Nikkei stock index outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

March 12, 2019

By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The pound jumped on Tuesday and Asian shares rose after the European Commission agreed to changes in a Brexit deal ahead of a vote in the British parliament on a divorce agreement.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to additional assurances in an updated Brexit deal with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday, but warned UK lawmakers would not get a third chance to endorse it.

Sterling, which had risen ahead of the talks between May and Juncker, extended gains in hopes the changes may be enough to sway rebellious British lawmakers who have threatened to vote down May’s plan again on Tuesday.

The pound was up 0.7 percent, buying $1.3239 and taking its gains for two days to more than 1.6 percent.

In early trade, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.3 percent, following on from a rally on Wall Street overnight.

Australian shares were up 0.4 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index jumped 1.6 percent.

The amended Brexit deal gave a further boost to investors’ appetite for riskier assets, after global equity indexes climbed overnight on gains in technology stocks and expectations of more stimulus from China.

U.S. shares rebounded from a week-long losing streak, with news that U.S. chip supplier Nvidia Corp has agreed to buy Israeli chip designer Mellanox Technologies Ltd for $6.8 billion helping to boost tech shares.[.N]

A nearly 7 percent gain in Nvidia shares helped to propel the Nasdaq Composite 2.02 percent higher, to 7,558.06 points.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.79 percent, with gains tempered by a 5.3 percent drop in Boeing shares after some airlines grounded the company’s new 737 MAX 8 passenger jet following a second deadly crash of the airliner in five months.

The S&P 500 gained 1.47 percent to 2,783.3.

In a morning note, analysts at ANZ said comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the weekend that the central bank is in no hurry to raise rates had helped to boost riskier assets.

U.S. retail sales data from January, which came in above expectations, also helped to support shares despite downward revisions to December data, National Australia Bank analysts said in a note.

Yields on U.S. Treasury bonds rose, with benchmark 10-year Treasury notes at 2.6591 percent compared with its U.S. close of 2.641 percent on Monday.

The two-year yield was at 2.4957 percent compared with a U.S. close of 2.477 percent.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of rivals, shed 0.18 percent to 97.034. But the dollar gained against the yen, adding 0.12 percent to 111.31.

The euro was up 0.1 percent on the day at $1.1259.

U.S. crude ticked up 0.3 percent at $56.96 a barrel. Brent crude was also 0.3 percent higher to $66.77.

Spot gold was 0.1 percent less precious at $1,292.77 per ounce. [GOL/]

(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kim Coghill)

Source: OANN

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Facebook removed several ads Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign published on the company’s social media platform, Politico reported Monday.

The ads, which Warren’s campaign placed on the platform Friday, promoted the Massachusetts senator’s plan to break up what she believes is Facebook and Amazon’s monopoly. Nearly a dozen other campaign ads addressing her proposal to slam tech companies were not affected.

“Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google” reads one of the ads. “We all use them. But in their rise to power, they’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field in their favor.”

A campaigner from a political pressure group protests as founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg failed to attend a meeting on fake news held by Parliament's Digital, Culture Media and Sport committee in London November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A campaigner from a political pressure group protests as founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg failed to attend a meeting on fake news held by Parliament’s Digital, Culture Media and Sport committee in London November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Her proposal would impose new rules on tech companies with $25 billion or more in annual ad revenue, forcing various Silicon Valley companies to reduce their hold on online commerce. The plan also aims to curtail mergers between companies like Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp. (RELATED: Elizabeth Warren Announces Plans To Break Up Facebook And Other Big Tech Companies) 

Warren also wants to make it difficult for Google, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley giants to merge, thus hurting their business models.

Forcing Google to abandon mergers with the likes of DoubleClick, for instance, would seriously harm its ability to pull in revenue. Separating the company from its ad business would make Google ads much less valuable. Warren’s proposal would also prevent Amazon from selling its own products through its platform.

Warren, who announced a White House bid in February, has not yet responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about Facebook’s decision to ding the senator’s ads.

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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

Two top Democratic U.S. senators called on Boeing to ground all 737 Max 8 planes operating in the United States while the deadly weekend crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet is investigated, while the head of the House Transportation Committee said Monday that he would "think twice" about boarding the aircraft in the future.

All 157 people on board were killed after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 went down in clear weather shortly after takeoff Sunday morning outside Addis Ababa. The crash was similar to that of a Lion Air jet of the same model that plummeted into the Java Sea off Indonesia on Oct. 29 of last year, killing all 189 people on board.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., told Fox News on Monday that the two tragedies were "eerily similar … in terms of the unusual climb and the dive."

"I would think twice about getting on the plane, truthfully," he added. "I’m not going to be dishonest here."

Following the crash, all airlines in Ethiopia, China and Indonesia grounded their Max 8s, as did Caribbean carrier Cayman Airways, Comair in South Africa and Royal Air Maroc in Morocco. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called on Boeing to follow suit in the U.S.

US AIRLINES ‘CLOSELY MONITORING’ ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES INVESTIGATION AFTER CHINA, INDONESIA GROUND BOEING 737 MAX 8 JETS

"Until the cause of the [Ethiopian Airlines] crash is known and it’s clear that similar risks aren’t present in the domestic fleet, I believe all Boeing 737 Max 8 series aircraft operating in the United States should be temporarily grounded," Feinstein said in a letter to acting Federal Aviation Administration chief Dan Elwell. "This aircraft model represents only a small fraction of the domestic fleet, and several other countries have already taken this important step."

Blumenthal said in a statement that the two "catastrophic accidents" involving the Max 8 "call into serious question the safety of these airplanes. The FAA and the airline industry must act quickly and decisively to protect American travelers, pilots and flight attendants. These planes must be grounded immediately and airlines should work expeditiously to minimize disruption and accommodate customers whose travel is impacted."

In an email to employees made public earlier Monday, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg wrote: "We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX and in the work of the men and women who design and build it."

The FAA tried to discourage comparisons between Sunday’s crash and the Lion Air disaster. While noting that "[e]xternal reports are drawing similarities between [the accidents]," the agency said, "this investigation has just begun and to date we have not been provided data to draw any conclusions or take any actions."

In an earlier statement, the FAA said it would take "immediate and appropriate action" if it identified an ongoing safety issue.

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DeFazio told Fox News that "heads will roll" at the FAA "if they’re not confident in their data and the safety of this plane."

"They’re not supposed to be promoting [aviation]," DeFazio said. "They tell me they are confident in their data and their simulations. That’s the best I can do right now."

Fox News’ Mike Emanuel, Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the team he assembled to investigate U.S. President Donald Trump and his associates have been funded through the end of September 2019, three U.S. officials said on Monday, an indication that the probe has funding to keep it going for months if need be.

The operations and funding of Mueller's office were not addressed in the budget requests for the next government fiscal year issued by the White House and Justice Department on Monday because Mueller's office is financed by the U.S. Treasury under special regulations issued by the Justice Department, the officials said.

"The Special Counsel is funded by the Independent Counsel appropriation, a permanent indefinite appropriation established in the Department’s 1988 Appropriations Act," a Justice Department spokesman said.

There has been increased speculation in recent weeks that Mueller's team is close to winding up its work and is likely to deliver a report summarizing its findings to Attorney General William Barr any day or week now. Mueller's office has not commented on the news reports suggesting an imminent release.

Representatives of key congressional committees involved in Trump-related investigations say they have received no guidance from Mueller's office regarding his investigation's progress or future plans.

The probe, which began in May 2017, is examining whether there were any links or coordination between the Russian government led by Vladimir Putin and the 2016 presidential campaign of Trump, according to an order signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Critics of the probe, including Trump allies, have suggested the investigation is a misuse of taxpayer funds and should be wrapped up quickly.

Justice Department documents show that Mueller's office reported spending around $9 million during the fiscal year which ran from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018. No figures are available for the current fiscal year.

Ninety days before the beginning of a federal government fiscal year, which starts on Oct. 1, special counsels such as Mueller "shall report to the Attorney General the status of the investigation and provide a budget request for the following year," according to the regulations.

Department officials said that under these regulations, a special counsel should request funding for the next fiscal year by the end of June. It is not known if Mueller is preparing such a request for fiscal year 2020.

Russia has denied meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has said there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and has labeled Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt."

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: UFC fighter Conor McGregor appears in a police booking photo at Miami-Dade County Jail in Miami
FILE PHOTO: UFC fighter Conor McGregor appears in a police booking photo at Miami-Dade County Jail in Miami, Florida, U.S. March 11, 2019. Miami-Dade County Corrections/Handout via REUTERS

March 12, 2019

UFC star Conor McGregor was arrested on a felony charge Monday evening after Miami Beach police said he smashed a fan’s phone, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

McGregor, 30, was charged with felony strong-armed robbery and misdemeanor criminal mischief, according to online records, which show he was booked into a Miami-Dade jail on Monday night.

The incident reportedly occurred outside the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel as McGregor and the fan walked out of the resort just after 5 a.m. Monday. The fan tried taking a photo with his phone when McGregor “slapped” the cell out of his hand, then stomped on it several times, according to the Herald, citing the police report.

McGregor then took the phone, valued at $1,000, according to police, who said the incident was captured on surveillance video.

McGregor, a former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion who gained further fame by boxing Floyd Mayweather in August 2017, was arrested after detectives investigated the incident during the day.

In late January, McGregor was suspended six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, retroactive to his role in an Oct. 6 brawl with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who won their lightweight championship bout at UFC 229.

That bout marked a long-awaited battle between Nurmagomedov and McGregor, who attacked a bus with Nurmagomedov on board at Barclays Stadium in Brooklyn in April 2018.

Police arrested McGregor, who pleaded guilty to a reduced disorderly conduct charge, with prosecutors dropping two felonies and related charges. His sentence was five days of community service and three days of anger management counseling.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Drilling rigs in the Cromarty Firth near Invergordon, Scotland
FILE PHOTO: Drilling rigs are parked up in the Cromarty Firth near Invergordon, Scotland, Britain January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

March 12, 2019

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, lifted by output cuts led by producer group OPEC as well as healthy demand, although analysts said economic headwinds posed downside risks to crude markets.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $56.99 per barrel at 0012 GMT, up 20 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.

Brent crude futures were at $66.76 per barrel, up 18 cents, or 0.3 percent.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said despite economic headwinds “we still see Brent prices averaging $70 per barrel this year and expect WTI to lag, averaging $59 per barrel in 2019.”

The U.S. bank said this was in part because of strong demand for marine diesel expected from next year as part of new fuel rules coming in place by the International Maritime Organization.

“With diesel yields already maxed out, refiners may need to lift runs in 2H19 to meet rising demand for marine distillates,” Bank of America said.

It added that supply cuts this year by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-affiliated allies like Russia – known as the OPEC+ alliance – aimed at tightening oil markets were also supporting crude prices.

Traders also pointed to the ongoing political and economic crisis in Latin American OPEC-member Venezuela as an oil price driver.

Venezuela’s opposition-run congress on Monday declared a “state of alarm” over a five-day power blackout that has crippled the country’s oil exports and left millions of citizens scrambling to find food and water.

(GRAPHIC: Venezuela crude oil shipments – https://tmsnrt.rs/2NXoYyE)

SURGING U.S. OUTPUT

At least partly offsetting OPEC efforts to tighten the market and disruptions like Venezuela is a surge in U.S. oil supply.

The United States will drive global oil supply growth over the next five years, adding another 4 million barrels per day (bpd) to the country’s already booming output, the International Energy Agency said on Monday.

U.S. oil output, including natural gas liquids and other hydrocarbons, will climb to 19.6 million bpd by 2024 from 15.5 million last year, the Paris-based agency said.

U.S. crude oil output will rise nearly 2.8 million bpd, growing to 13.7 million bpd in 2024 from an average of just under 11 million bpd in 2018, the IEA said, making the United States by far the biggest oil producer in the world.

(GRAPHIC: Russian, U.S. & Saudi crude oil production – https://tmsnrt.rs/2EUHeFO)

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; editing by Richard Pullin)

Source: OANN

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

R. Kelly is reportedly keeping busy by working on new music as an escape from his current legal troubles as a third tape surfaced that allegedly shows the singer having sex with underage girls.

Sources close to the 52-year-old singer shared that Kelly is focusing on producing new music to avoid a “full mental breakdown.” (RELATED: Superstar Rapper Says He Failed Alleged R. Kelly Survivors: ‘We Failed Our Communities As Black People’)

TMZ reported Monday that:

Kelly has been focusing on producing new music. We’re told he sees the writing process as a form of therapy, but maybe more importantly for him at this point … it’s a distraction from his mounting legal battles.

Singer Robert Kelly, known as R. Kelly, appears in a booking photo provided by the Chicago Police Department in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on February 23, 2019. Courtesy Chicago Police Department/Handout via REUTERS

Singer Robert Kelly, known as R. Kelly, appears in a booking photo provided by the Chicago Police Department in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on February 23, 2019. Courtesy Chicago Police Department/Handout via REUTERS

It all comes on the heels of the “Bump ‘N Grind” hitmaker being arrested last week and then released from jail over the weekend after a “benefactor” paid the $160k he owed in unpaid child support. (RELATED: Fans Don’t React To R. Kelly’s Boycott Over Sexual Abuse Allegations The Way You’d Expect)

Soon after, reports surfaced that a third tape had been turned over to the authorities allegedly showing the singer having sex with underage girls. The tape in question was reportedly discovered and turned over to police by Gary Dennis, who claimed to have discovered the tape among a pile of his VHS tapes.

“R. Kelly appears to take the position that all the women who have made public accusations that he has victimized them are lying and that there are no tapes which depict him victimizing under age girls. Mr. Kelly attempts to portray himself as the victim instead of a sexual predator, but many of the women with whom he has had contact accuse him of being a predator, because they allege that he has victimized them,” Dennis attorney, Gloria Allred, told the outlet.

“In addition, there is no reason to believe that Mr. Dennis has done anything wrong or that he will be prosecuted,” she added. “The response by Mr. Kelly’s representative appears to be just a scare tactic to deter individuals who may have similar tapes from coming forward to provide them to me or law enforcement.”

Last month, attorney Michael Avenatti claimed to have turned in two videos to the Chicago police. Soon after, a grand jury indicted the singer on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four females, three of them minors. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

As previously reported, days later he finally posted $100,000 of the $1 million bond and was released. He is due back in court March 22.

In an interview last week with “CBS This Morning,” Kelly got emotional and broke down talking about the various allegations against him.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO - Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, gestures as he speaks during the presentation of the Renault's new Alpine sports concept car
FILE PHOTO – Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, gestures as he speaks during the presentation of the Renault’s new Alpine sports concept car “Vision” in Monaco February 16, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

March 12, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – When the three leaders of the world’s top car-making alliance gather in Japan on Tuesday, they will be looking to secure a partnership that was built by former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn and then possibly imperiled by his ouster.

A Tokyo court on Monday rejected Ghosn’s request to attend Nissan’s board meeting, denying him a seat at the table even as the carmaker looks set to bolster the alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors that Ghosn drove for over two decades.

Released on $9 million bail last week after spending more than 100 days in a Tokyo detention center, Ghosn faces charges of under-reporting his salary at Nissan by about $82 million over nearly a decade – charges he has called “meritless”.

In the wake of the scandal, Renault has started its own review of payments to Ghosn. French prosecutors have opened a preliminary inquiry into how he financed his 2016 wedding, French media reported on Monday.

His dramatic arrest in November and the long detention that followed exposed tensions between Nissan Motor Co and its top shareholder, France’s Renault SA, causing concern about the future of the alliance – the world’s largest maker of automobiles, excluding heavy trucks.

Some at Nissan had been unhappy with Ghosn’s push for a deeper tie-up, which was seen as possibly including a full merger. Smaller Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan after rescuing the Japanese company from near-bankruptcy in 1999. Nissan holds a 15 percent, non-voting stake in Renault, whose top shareholder is the French government.

While Ghosn himself has cast the charges against him as a boardroom coup, there are clear signs emerging that the alliance looks set to continue.

Renault on Monday confirmed it was in talks with Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Corp about setting up a new alliance body to improve their collaboration.

“The proposed arrangement will have no impact on the existence of the (alliance agreement) and the cross-shareholding structure, which will both remain in place,” Renault said.

Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi plan to set up a joint board meeting structure under which Renault’s new chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, is likely to take the chair, people with direct knowledge of the matter have told Reuters.

That would replace Dutch-based companies currently linking Nissan and Renault and, separately, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, the people said.

The heads of the partners will hold a news briefing at Nissan’s Yokohama headquarters on Tuesday, Nissan said. That is scheduled 4:30 p.m. (0730 GMT).

(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Source: OANN

Senate Republicans are preparing to pull the trigger on the “nuclear option” and change Senate rules to allow quicker confirmation of lower court judges and executive picks, The Hill reports.

“Sometime this month,” Sen. Roy Blunt, Mo., told reporters as he headed into a weekly meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"Maybe when we come back from the recess," said Sen. John Cornyn, Texas.

President Donald Trump has 128 District Court vacancies to fill, per Politico, and has already filled 34.

A nuclear option means Republicans can change the rules without support from Senate Democrats. As a result, nominees would face significantly less debate time. Republicans think they have the 50 votes for the nuclear option but would like to reach a bipartisan deal.

"We're still hoping to have bipartisan support to go forward with the standing order, which would require 60 votes,” McConnell said last week. “In the absence of that, it is still my desire to try to achieve that, and that's … a discussion will have among Republicans.”

Democrats have slammed the GOP.

"They're trying to find all kinds of ways to move things through as fast as they possibly can with the least scrutiny possible,” said California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. “One thing after another."

If Republicans do pass the option, it would be the third time in six years that one party has used a procedural tactic, called the “nuclear option,” to rewrite the Senate rule book.

Source: NewsMax

The Club for Growth offered some constructive criticism of the White House budget unveiled Monday, saying the Trump administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill need to work together to lower the federal deficit.

The group's president David McIntosh first praised the 2020 spending blueprint for helping to continue economic growth, but he quickly turned into a critic.

"Club for Growth remains deeply concerned about the deficits within the budget proposal, which totals over $1 trillion each year until 2023," McIntosh said in a statement. "These deficits mirror the deficits President Obama left on the American people.

McIntosh then brought up entitlement programs, saying they need to be reformed in order to stay afloat and lower costs.

"Club for Growth encourages President Trump to work with Congress to make abrupt reforms that save these important programs for future generations," he said.

"Club for Growth also encourages every Member of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate to look in the mirror and demand better of yourself on federal spending."

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Fourth Round
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – Fourth Round – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 21, 2019. Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova celebrates a point against Japan’s Naomi Osaka. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

March 12, 2019

(Reuters) – Latvian 11th seed Anastasija Sevastova exited the BNP Paribas Open with a viral illness in Indian Wells, California on Monday.

Sevastova was down 5-0 in the first set of her third round match with Estonian 21st seed Anett Kontaveit when she retired.

Her departure, the cause of which was reported by the WTA, came less than 24 hours after Serena Williams was unable to continue her match on Sunday, also citing a viral illness.

Men’s third seed Alexander Zverev revealed on Monday that he too had a virus, speaking after losing to fellow German Jan-Lennard Struff.

Among those women still feeling healthy, three-times grand slam champion Angelique Kerber battled back to beat Russian qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva 3-6 6-1 6-3.

Kerber took a while to warm to her task on a cool morning in the California desert.

“She was playing really fast and flat, so that was something I was not really expecting,” the German said of her opponent.

“I was trying to adjust, especially with my movement at the end of the first set and beginning of the second, and I think that was the key to coming back.”

Another high seed, No. 5 Karolina Pliskova, was not at her very best but still prevailed 6-3 6-2 over Ysaline Bonaventure.

“I felt somehow strange and the match was strange,” said former number one Pliskova.

The Czech has made a fine start to the year, winning the WTA event in Brisbane and reaching the Australian Open semi-finals.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s headed next month to the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House, increasing speculation that the GOP governor is seriously considering a 2020 primary challenge against President Trump.

Fox News on Monday confirmed that Hogan will be in New Hampshire on April 23 to headline “Politics and Eggs.” The speaking series hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and the New England Council is a must-stop for White House hopefuls.

Fox News reported last month that Hogan’s camp was in talks with the New England Council to appear at “Politics and Eggs.”

HOGAN STOKES TRUMP PRIMARY CHALLENGE SPECULATION

Hogan, who won re-election last November to a second four-year term steering the reliably blue state of Maryland, indirectly criticized the president during his January inauguration.

And, last month – in an interview with CBS News – he said that “I’m being approached from a lot of different people” about launching a primary challenge against the president. “And I guess the best way to put it is I haven’t thrown them out of my office.”

BIDEN, SANDERS, TOP LATEST 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY POLLS

He also took aim at Trump’s chances in 2020, saying, “I’m not saying he couldn’t win, but he’s pretty weak in the general election.”

Still, Hogan acknowledged the extremely long odds against an intra-party challenge to a sitting president, highlighting that “nobody has successfully challenged a sitting president in the same party in the primary since 1884.”

The 62-year-old governor also told Politico last month that “at this point in time, I don’t see any path to winning a Republican primary against this president, or anybody doing it. But things have a way of changing … I don’t know what the lay of the land is going to look like this summer, or in the fall.”

SOME 2020 DEM CONTENDERS FACE #METOO BACKLASH

In that same interview, Hogan criticized the Republican National Committee for allegedly protecting the president, saying: “I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve been involved in the Republican Party for most of my life. It’s unprecedented. And in my opinion it’s not the way we should be going about our politics.”

Hogan is set to be the second potential GOP primary challenger to headline the forum this year. Last month, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – a very vocal Trump critic – announced at the event that he was forming an exploratory committee as he moved toward launching a longshot GOP primary bid.

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John Kasich, who in January finished serving two terms as Ohio governor, is another vocal Trump critic who’s mulling a primary challenge. Kasich, who finished second to Trump in New Hampshire’s 2016 GOP presidential primary, returned to the Granite State right after November’s midterm elections, sparking further speculation about his 2020 intentions.

Keeping the door open, he told Fox News at the time, “I really don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib reportedly unfollowed an anti-Semitic Instagram account over the weekend, days after the Capital Research Center (CRC) reported that she followed the account.

The account, “free.palestine.1948,” routinely posts anti-Semitic content and photos critical of Israel. After CRC’s report that she followed the account on Friday, Tlaib unfollowed them, adding a disclaimer to her Instagram bio that reads, “Note: Following someone or group does not mean I endorse all of their posts.”

“Free.Palestine.1948” posts a photo on Instagram of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing him of employing “the tools of chaos magic” to obtain “the Gentile world.”

This Instagram account alleges that Israel was secretly behind 9/11, while also accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of using “deception, lies, craft and magic” in an attempt to conquer “the Gentile world.” It has also compared Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler.

“Free.Palestine.1948” posts a photo on Instagram alleging that Israel was responsible for 9/11.

Tlaib, one of the first Muslim women in Congress, previously received criticism for being a member of the Facebook group “Palestinian American Congress,” which posts similar content, according to previous reporting from the Daily Caller News Foundation. The group’s founder, Palestinian activist Maher Abdel-qader, was a key fundraiser for Tlaib and organized campaign events for her around the country.

“Free.Palestine.1948” posts a photo on Instagram alleging that Israel was responsible for 9/11.

Some also criticized the Michigan congresswoman for having Abbas Hamideh, a Palestinian activist who does not believe in Israel’s right to exist, at a private event celebrating her inauguration(RELATED: ADL Demands Tlaib Explain Her Relationship With Pro-Hezbollah Activist)

“Free.Palestine.1948” posts a photo on Instagram comparing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler.

Tlaib’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Whitney Tipton | Contributor

A New York billionaire installed massive digital photos of himself and his new wife on the side of the city’s tallest residence, an apartment building he owns on Park Avenue where his ex-wife nearly moved to.

Harry Macklowe, an 82-year-old real estate developer formerly worth $2 billion, proclaimed the gesture as merely “love” for his new wife, Patricia Landeau.

Macklowe recently divorced his wife of 50 years, Linda, after a 14-week trial, during which the couple’s fortune was divided up including an incredible $700 million art collection, and 13 million-square-foot real estate portfolio. Linda Macklowe also wanted to be let out of a contract for a $14.4 million, 78th floor apartment in the same building. (RELATED: Robert De Niro Melts Down After Divorce Court Hearing: ‘This Is Ridiculous’)

Linda Macklowe will not longer live with two 42-foot-tall images of her ex and his new bride, but she may not avoid the newlywed imagery entirely as she was awarded their $72 million apartment in the Plaza, which is just four blocks away at 768 5th Avenue.

Harry Macklowe has not said when he will be removing the images from the building.

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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

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling tanker is bathed in blue light before a delivery celebration to the U.S. Air Force in Everett, Washington
FILE PHOTO: The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling tanker is bathed in blue light before a delivery celebration to the U.S. Air Force in Everett, Washington, U.S., January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

March 12, 2019

(Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force said that a Boeing Co KC-46 Pegasus tanker jet was being delivered on Monday to Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

Deliveries of the jet were halted last month when foreign object debris was found in one of the aircraft. Boeing had offered to inspect all the aircraft that were accepted by the Air Force.

In a statement released to Reuters on Monday, Rose Riley, Air Mobility Command representative, said that under the corrective action plan, subsequent deliveries would occur as Boeing successfully completes each aircraft’s inspection.

The Air Force had stopped accepting Boeing’s KC-46 tankers as of Feb. 20, saying the issue was not with the aircraft itself but with the process in place for building it.

(Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru and Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

Former Vice President Dick Cheney conveyed the message to Vice President Mike Pence over the weekend that he believes portions of the Trump administration's policy resemble that of the previous White House.

The Washington Post reported on a conversation the two men had at an American Enterprise Institute retreat in Sea Island, Ga. on Saturday. Cheney was respectful to the current occupant of the U.S. Naval Observatory, but he made it clear that he disagrees with how President Donald Trump is handing things in the Middle East and North Korea.

"We're getting into a situation when our friends and allies around the world that we depend upon are going to lack confidence in us," Cheney said, alluding to Trump's decision to withdraw most U.S. troops from Syria.

"I worry that the bottom line of that kind of an approach is we have an administration that looks a lot more like Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan."

Regarding North Korea, Cheney said he's worried about Trump canceling military exercises with South Korea and noted that a recent report regarding a White House proposal to charge U.S. allies for hosting American troops the full cost plus an additional 50 percent was alarming.

"I don't know, that sounded like a New York state real estate deal to me," Cheney said.

Pence responded to Cheney's concern over the cancelation of U.S.-South Korea war games by insisting that the U.S. military will remain ready to respond to any crisis on the Korean peninsula.

"We're going to continue [to] train," Pence said. "We're going to continue to work closely with South Korea. We have a tremendous alliance there."

The debate took place during Cheney's interview of Pence for those in attendance. The event was marked off the record, but the Post claims to have obtained a transcript.

Source: NewsMax

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

An oil executive that supported Robert “Beto” O’Rourke’s 2018 U.S. Senate bid also helped produce a documentary of O’Rourke’s campaign.

The documentary “Running with Beto” debuted at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Saturday. Lias “Jeff” Steen, executive vice president at Oil States International, is listed as an executive producer of the film, a role usually reserved for such projects’ financiers, The Washington Free Beacon reported Monday.

Steen is a backer of natural gas energy and donated $5,400 to O’Rourke’s campaign. The Texas Senate candidate’s campaign received another $476,325 from the oil industry alone, the second-largest amount given by the industry to a candidate during the 2018 cycle. Only Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, O’Rourke’s opponent, received more.

O’Rourke accepted the money even after taking a “no fossil fuel” pledge to keep oil money out of his campaign. He has since spoken favorably of the Green New Deal, a resolution originally pushed by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. The resolution calls for an eventual phase out of all fossil fuels. (RELATED: After Breaking ‘No Fossil Fuel’ Pledge, Beto Shows Support For Green Deal Concept)

“Carbon-based fuels rule the world, and that’s not going to change any time soon,” Steen said in a 2017 interview, according to the Free Beacon.

Steen’s involvement in O’Rourke’s documentary signals that the potential 2020 candidate is hesitant to cut his ties with the oil industry that bolstered his Senate run, even if he believes climate change is a serious threat within the next decade.

O’Rourke is reportedly working with and hiring more campaign staff in what appears to be preparation for a presidential run in 2020, according to NBC News. The failed Senate candidate has been drafting his core crew of campaigners quietly while polling as a top three candidate.

Democratic Texas U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'Rourke embraces his wife Amy as he concedes to Senator Ted Cruz at his midterm election night party in El Paso, Texas, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Adria Malcolm

Democratic Texas U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke embraces his wife Amy as he concedes to Sen. Ted Cruz at his midterm election night party in El Paso, Texas, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Adria Malcolm

O’Rourke said 12 days ago that he had come to a decision about his political future, but is waiting to reveal his intentions in “the right way and tell everyone at the same time.”

“I’ve got to be on the timeline that works for my family and for the country and so that’s the timeline we’re on,” O’Rourke said, according to NBC.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Conor McGregor was arrested Monday night in Miami.

According to the Miami Herald, the UFC superstar was arrested on charges of felony strong-armed robbery and misdemeanor criminal mischief after he allegedly “slapped” away the phone of somebody trying to take a picture of him. He also then allegedly stomped on the phone several times. (SLIDESHOW: These UFC Women Really Hate Wearing Clothes)

You can see a photo of his mugshot below. (SLIDESHOW: These Are The Greatest Ronda Rousey Photos On The Internet)

This is now the second time McGregor has been arrested while in America. He was arrested after an alleged bizarre melt down prior to UFC 223. (SLIDESHOW: These Are The Sexiest Paige VanZant Photos On The Internet)

Now, he’s been arrested for the second time in the past year. It’s not a great look for the Irish-born superstar.

It’s certainly not great because he doesn’t have a locked-in fight on the horizon yet.

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Let’s hope McGregor beats these charges because we need him back ASAP in the octagon. He’s not going to the UFC any good behind bars.

I hate to weigh in on criminal issues, but I think it’s safe to say I’m down for whatever gets McGregor fighting again.

Go, Conor, go!

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Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Former CEO at Olympus Corporation Michael Woodford speaks with a Reuters reporter in London
FILE PHOTO: Former CEO at Olympus Corporation Michael Woodford speaks with a Reuters reporter in London November 22, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

March 11, 2019

By Kirstin Ridley

LONDON (Reuters) – The former CEO of Olympus, who blew the whistle on a $1.7 billion accounting scandal at the Japanese medical equipment maker in 2011, has won a London court battle over alleged wrongdoing linked to his 64-million-pound ($85-million) pension.

Olympus’s British subsidiary KeyMed sued Michael Woodford and former company director Paul Hillman in 2016, alleging they breached their duties as directors and trustees of a defined benefit pension plan and conspired to maximize their pension benefits by unlawful means.

London High Court Judge Marcus Smith said on Monday he saw no evidence of dishonest or improper conduct by the company veterans and said any failings identified by KeyMed could be attributable to “an innocent failure of process” in a busy company.

“In these circumstances, I find that the defendants acted honestly and did not breach the duties … dishonestly or at all,” he said in a judgment.

Woodford, who joined KeyMed as a 20-year-old salesman in 1981 and rose through the ranks to become Olympus’s first foreign chief executive in 2011, was fired two weeks into the top job after persistently querying unexplained payments. He then alerted global authorities and the media.

Olympus initially said Woodford was fired for failing to understand its management style and Japanese culture. But the company later admitted it had used improper accounting to conceal investment losses and restated years of financial results. In September 2012, the company and three former executives pleaded guilty in Japan to cover-up charges.

Woodford and Hillman, described in the judgment as Woodford’s “right-hand man” who also left the company in 2011 after a 33-year career, said in a joint statement that they felt completely vindicated.

KeyMed, a surgical products maker in southern England, said it was disappointed and considering its legal options.

“When KeyMed discovered that Mr Woodford was entitled to a pension transfer of over 64 million pounds, we had a duty to our stakeholders to investigate the circumstances in which such a large entitlement had arisen,” it said in a statement.

Woodford has said his annual pension benefit rose to 993,000 pounds at the end of his 30-year Olympus career. This was converted into a capital sum of 64.5 million pounds and transferred to a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), a UK government-approved scheme, with Olympus’s approval in 2014.

Olympus’s European headquarters in Germany did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment sent after hours.

(Reporting by Kirstin Ridley; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: OANN

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's ads calling for the breakup of Facebook and other tech giants were restored on the social media site Monday after being removed from the platform over the weekend for violating the company's policy against use of its corporate logo, The Hill reports.

"In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads," the company told The Hill.

The ads touted Warren's plan to unwind "anti-competitive" tech mergers, including Facebook's acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp.

"Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google," the ads read. "We all use them. But in their rise to power, they've bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field in their favor."

Warren's proposal to break up big tech companies is the most specific plan put forth in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary to limit Silicon Valley.

"We need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor," Warren said Friday.

"That's why my administration will make big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition — including breaking up Amazon, Facebook, and Google."

Source: NewsMax

As the Democrats prepare for total letdown when it comes to the Mueller Report, Pelosi steps back from Impeachment while Schiff and Swallwell double down. We also talk to Del Bigtree about the tyranny of forced vaccinations and take calls in response to the report that the Mueller investigation is coming to an end.

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Del Bigtree//Skype
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Source: The War Room

Belgian police special unit officers secure the Palace of Justice during the trial of Mehdi Nemmouche and Nacer Bendrer in Brussels
Belgian police special unit officers secure the Palace of Justice during the trial of Mehdi Nemmouche and Nacer Bendrer in Brussels, Belgium March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

March 11, 2019

By Clement Rossignol

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – French citizen Mehdi Nemmouche was sentenced to life in jail on Monday for shooting dead four people in a Jewish museum in 2014, telling the court “life goes on” in his last words to the jury.

The families of victims and survivors of the attacks voiced relief at the end of a two-month-long jury trial dogged by controversy over what they denounced as conspiracy theories put forward by Nemmouche’s defense lawyers.

Nemmouche, 33, who staged the attack after coming back from Syria, spat out just that one short phrase ahead of the jury’s final deliberation on the length of his penalty on Monday.

Nacer Bendrer, another French citizen being tried as Nemmouche’s accomplice told the court, “I am ashamed to be here … I am ashamed to have crossed paths with this guy. He is not a man, he is a monster.”

The 12-person jury convicted Bendrer to 15 years in prison for acting as an accomplice. He was suspected of providing the weapon used in the shooting.

The attack in May 2014 – the first by a Western European who fought with Islamist militant factions in Syria’s civil war – highlights the threat posed by jihadist returning home.

The shooting killed an Israeli tourist couple, Myriam and Emmanuel Riva, and two employees of the museum, Dominique Sabrier and Alexandre Strens.

In final words, the prosecutor Yves Moreau called on the jury to hand down a tough sentence: “He will get out of jail and he’ll go on another crusade and start killing again,” he was cited by the state broadcaster RTBF as saying on Monday.

Turning to Nemmouche, who was largely impassive and refused to speak during the trial, he took aim at his lack of contrition. “The cherry on the cake: you aren’t even capable of taking responsibility for your acts,” he said.

Nemmouche, 33 – who was radicalized in the jail, according to investigators – is also facing charges in France over his role in holding hostage journalists in Syria.

During the high-profile trial, the two French journalists had testified that they remembered Nemmouche as a deeply anti-Semitic, sadistic and full of hatred.

Defense lawyers, who had alleged that prosecutors doctored video footage of the attack and that Nemmouche was framed in a settling of accounts between spies including Mossad agents, said he would not appeal the sentence.

(Reporting by Clement Rossingnol; Additional by Clare Roth; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Jan Strupczewski)

Source: OANN

Former CIA Director John Brennan is predicting President Donald Trump will pardon his former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

In an interview on MSNBC posted on Twitter, Brennan said the only question is “when.”

“I don't have any doubt that Mr. Trump is going to pardon Paul Manafort at some point,” said Brennan, who is a contributor at the cable network.

If Manafort is convicted on state charges, however, “Donald Trump is not going to be able to pardon him for that,” Brennan said.

Manafort, a longtime lobbyist who led a presidential campaign, got less than four years behind bars for eight financial crimes, including bank fraud, tax fraud, and failure to disclose a foreign bank account. 

But the light sentence could be extended in a Washington, D.C., federal court in an illegal lobbying case, the Washington Examiner noted.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday Trump will "make his decision" on whether to pardon Manafort "when he's ready,” CNBC reported.

Related Stories:

Source: NewsMax

Reaction was mixed Monday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's explosive comment to The Washington Post that impeachment of President Donald Trump would be divisive and that he is "just not worth it."

House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., backed up Pelosi's opposition, telling CNN "if the evidence isn't sufficient to win bipartisan support for this, putting the country through a failed impeachment isn't a good idea."

He added: "I think given how polarized the country is right now and given how the Republican members of Congress have prostrated themselves right now in front of the president, in the absence of very graphic evidence, it would be difficult to get the support of" the Senate.

But billionaire activist Tom Steyer pushed back on her comments, asking "is doing what's right 'worth it?'"

"Speaker Pelosi thinks 'he's just not worth it?'" Steyer said in a statement, The Hill reported.

"Well, is defending our legal system 'worth it?' Is holding the President accountable for his crimes and cover-ups 'worth it?' Is doing what's right 'worth it?' Or shall America just stop fighting for our principles and do what's politically convenient?"

Fox News host and commentator Howard Kurtz, however, tweeted Pelosi's remarks were "shrewd."

"Impeachment would just energize Trump's base and fail in the end just as they're asking voters to evict him," he wrote.

Source: NewsMax

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Emergency workers were summoned to Amazon’s warehouses nearly 200 times over a five-year span for suicide attempts and other mental health crises.

Employees say brutal working conditions at the company leave some to reach out for help before ultimately seeking relief through suicide, The Daily Beast reported Monday.

Emergency workers were summoned to Amazon warehouses at least 189 times between 2013 and 2018, the report noted, citing police reports and other documents obtained through open records requests. The reports came from 46 of the mega shipping company’s warehouses.

Amazon employees told reporters they frequently end their work day feeling as if they are another cog-in-the-wheel of a massive machine, one that grinds them up and leaves them frustrated and depressed. Former employee Nick Veasley told a sheriff as much in July 2018.

“With all the demands his employer has placed on him and things he’s dealing with in life [sic] is becoming too much and considering hurting himself,” he told a sheriff. Veasley, who worked a warehouse in Etna, Ohio, told the sheriff that he “is frustrated with his employment because he felt he was lied to by Amazon at his orientation.”

The sheriff’s report added: “He keeps saying the company told him they valued his employment and would be treated as if he mattered and not just a number.” Veasley told reporters: “The quota, the boringness, everything.” Managers acted as enforcers, according to Veasley. “Do that, do this, do this,” he said. “Crack the whip, crack the whip, crack the whip.”

Demonstrators hold signs during a protest against Amazon in the Long Island City section of the Queens borough of New York, U.S., Feb. 14, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The Daily Beast’s piece comes shortly after reports in 2018 showing that Amazon was paying people to combat on Twitter negative publicity about the company’s working conditions. Employees in Monday’s report also claimed they were overworked and isolated. (RELATED: Amazon Paying People To Tweet About How Their Working Conditions Don’t Suck)

“It’s this isolating colony of hell where people having breakdowns is a regular occurrence,” Jace Crouch, a former employee at a warehouse in Florida, told reporters. It’s “mentally taxing to do the same task super fast for 10-hour shifts, four or five days a week.” Crouch suffered an emotional crisis on the job, according to The Daily Beast report.

The number of calls don’t “take into account the total of our associate population, hours worked, or our growing network,” Amazon said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “The physical and mental well-being of our associates is our top priority, and we are proud of both our efforts and overall success in this area.”

Similar situations are happening at other big tech companies, The Verge reported in February. Many of the employees at Facebook contractor Cognizant are having meltdowns while attempting to moderate the vast troves of content people post on the social media platform. Combing through people’s content is turning Cognizant’s Arizona office into a dark and sinister place.

Several moderators told a reporter that conspiracy theories took strong root at the office. The 2018 Parkland shooting, which resulted in 17 casualties in Florida, initially horrified staff, moderators said. One person The Verge called Chloe, for instance, claimed her colleagues eventually began expressing doubts about the initial story as more conspiracy content was posted to Facebook and Instagram.

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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

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

A second anti-gun activist was escorted from a gun-control hearing Monday after reportedly using a police officer to circumvent security measures and bring in a firearm receiver.

The hearing, which was open to the public and addressed a number of proposed gun control measures, attracted activists on both sides of gun issues. A large group of anti-gun activists, wearing matching shirts from the group Connecticut Against Gun Violence, attended to hear testimony from Executive Director Jeremy Stein.

IF IT’S MEANT TO BE USED TO MAKE A GUN, IT SHOULD BE REGULATED LIKE ANY OTHER FIREARM. That’s the gist of Executive…

Posted by Connecticut Against Gun Violence on Monday, March 11, 2019

According to Ray Bevis, legislative coordinator for the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Stein’s testimony did not go exactly as planned. Bevis told The Daily Caller that Stein had asked to bring as a prop a firearm receiver — and had been told that he would not be allowed to bring it.

But instead of making his point without the prop, Stein reportedly asked Bridgeport Police Chief A.J. Perez to bring the firearm component in for him, thus circumventing security measures. Perez also testified on Monday in favor of stricter gun control laws.

Bevis shared a photo and video of Stein then being escorted from the building. “Jeremy Stein, executive director of CT Against Gun Violence being escorted out of a public hearing for smuggling a firearm receiver into the hearing,” he captioned the post. “He used a police chief as his mule.”

The hearing had already been disrupted once before when a woman was escorted from the room after being caught sending what appeared to be a text threatening the lives of Republican Connecticut State Sen. Rob Sampson and any NRA members.

“If I had a gun, I’d blow away Sampson and a large group of NRA,” the text read, according to a photo. (RELATED: Woman Reportedly Booted From Gun Hearing After Threatening To Shoot Lawmaker, NRA Members)

The woman told Capitol Police upon being asked to leave that she was sending the message to her daughter. They determined that she was not in possession of a firearm — nor does she even own one — and she immediately complied when officers asked her not to return for the remainder of the day.

“She was asked to leave for the day, and she did so,” Capitol Police Lt. Glen Richards told the Hartford Courant. “She was cooperative with us. She was very apologetic and understood what she did was wrong.”

Connecticut Against Gun Violence shared a post after the woman was removed, saying that they did not condone the language she used.

The group has not responded to requests for comment with regard to Stein being escorted from the property.

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Source: The Daily Caller


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