Day: March 13, 2019

South Korean singer Jung Joon-young arrives for questioning on accusations of illicitly taping and sharing sex videos on social media, at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul
South Korean singer Jung Joon-young arrives for questioning on accusations of illicitly taping and sharing sex videos on social media, at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea, March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

March 14, 2019

By Joori Roh and Josh Smith

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea police are due to question two K-pop stars on Thursday over allegations of sex tapes, secret chat about rape, and deals facilitated by prostitutes, in a sex scandal that has rocked South Korea’s music world and hit entertainment stocks.

The allegations against the boyish stars who epitomize an industry that has put South Korean pop culture on the global stage has triggered a blame game with accusations the business has neglected young stars’ morality in the lust for fame and fortune.

Singer Lee Seung-hyun, better known by the stage name Seungri, said on Monday he was leaving the entertainment industry to fight accusations he paid for prostitutes for foreign businessmen to drum up investment in his business.

Police have said the 28-year-old singer is suspected of what is known as “sexual bribery”.

Lee, a member of the group BIGBANG and nicknamed South Korea’s “Great Gatsby” for his lavish lifestyle, denies any wrongdoing.

“Seungri has never provided prostitutes,” his lawyer, Son Byoung-ho, told Reuters.

Lee is due to appear at a Seoul police station on Thursday for questioning.

Another singer and television celebrity, Jung Joon-young, is also in trouble.

Jung admitted on Wednesday to having shared videos he secretly took while having sex with women. Police are investigating.

Jung’s agency, MAKEUS Entertainment, has terminated his contract and he has been barred from leaving the country while police question him over suspicion he distributed the videos.

Lawyers for Jung could not be reached for comment.

Lee and Jung were both members of online chat groups where secret sex tapes were shared, and men joked about drugging and raping women, according to the broadcaster SBS.

K-pop had largely escaped scandals as South Korea’s anti-sexual harassment #MeToo movement ensnared political, sports, and other figures.

But that’s clearly changing.

‘WALKING TIME BOMB’

Industry commentators have taken aim at the business managers, notorious for demanding the strictest of training regimes and controlling every aspect of young stars’ lives.

The focus on finding the winning song and dance formula came at the cost of the performers’ “moral education”, said entertainment commentator Ha Jae-keun, adding that many companies covered up problems until it was too late.

“If the agencies do not give sufficient care to their stars, including education and stress management, they will end up raising walking time bombs,” said another industry commentator, Kim Sung-soo.

The South Korean public is demanding action and selling shares in the industry.

A petition calling on the president to crack down on predatory and corrupt practices the scandals have exposed has gathered more than 200,000 signatures.

Shares of Lee’s agency, YG Entertainment, fell more than 20 percent after his sex bribery scandal was first reported on Feb. 26, while shares of other top music companies have also taken hits.

YG said on Wednesday it would terminate Lee’s contract at his request. A company source told Reuters the future of BIGBANG as a group had not been decided.

But some fans are already walking away.

“What a scumbag. I am ashamed to say I used to be a BIGBANG fan,” said Jenny Eusden, an English teacher in South Korea.

“I just want people to know this is not OK.”

Kaori Kuwabara, a 52-year-old Japanese fan of BIGBANG said YG Entertainment should explain.

“My friends told me that I should stop being a fan of K-pop,” she said as she waited outside the company’s office in Seoul, hoping to put her demand for answers to company officials.

(Reporting by Joori Roh and Josh Smith. Additional reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Soyoung Kim, Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

In this week’s edition of Unfake the News, The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese investigates if the national news media will ever learn from their constant misreporting of the news.

We begin by highlighting ABC News National Correspondent Terry Moran’s statement that the news media will face a “reckoning” if it turns out that the Mueller report finds no collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia.

We then go on to explain every time the national news media got the story wrong and refused to learn from their mistakes, starting with the New York Times’ projection that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a 95 percent chance to win the White House during the 2016 presidential election.

Next up is the shameful coverage of the Covington kids, followed by the series of scandals involving the leadership of Virginia. Notice that the news media decided to stop covering the potentially career-ending scandals due to the fact that all three of the top Democrats in the state could possibly lose their jobs.

“Yeah, the media face a reckoning, Terry Moran,” Coglianese said. “When you said that, there was a part of me that was like, ‘Yeah, I hope that’s right.’ But then there was the other part of me—the sensible one—and that part told me, ‘That’s bullshit, that’ll never happen.’”

This is Unfake the News.

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NOW CHECK OUT the most recent “Unfake The News” video: Unfake The News: Andrew McCabe Is Misleading America And The Media Is Giving Him A Pass

NOW CHECK OUT the most recent “Unfake The News” video: Unfake The News: MSNBC Resists No Collusion, Rachel Maddow Won’t Go Down Without A Fight

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Oklahoma City Thunder
Mar 13, 2019; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) speaks with Oklaho Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson (23) and Thunder forward Paul George (13) during a stoppage in play in the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

March 14, 2019

Paul George and Russell Westbrook combined for 56 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting Brooklyn Nets 108-96 on Wednesday night.

Oklahoma City trailed by as much as 17 early in the second quarter and 10 early in the second half. It was the second time this season the Thunder came from a double-digit deficit in the second half to beat the Nets and the 14th game this season that Oklahoma City won after trailing by at least 10.

The comeback wasn’t as dramatic as Dec. 5 in Brooklyn, when the Thunder outscored the Nets by 20 in the fourth quarter to win by two. This time, the comeback happened in the third quarter, when George snapped out of his recent slump with 12 points.

Westbrook finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his first triple-double since Feb. 28. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 25 points.

Wizards 100, Magic 90

Bradley Beal scored 23 points, Thomas Bryant added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Washington defeated visiting Orlando.

Jabari Parker added 19 points and nine rebounds for Washington, which is 2-0 on a crucial five-game homestand. Wizards reserves, led by Bryant, Parker and Chasson Randle (13 points), scored 59 points.

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 20 points and 14 rebounds. D.J. Augustin scored 16 points, and Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac had 13 each for the Magic, who have lost four of five.

Heat 108, Pistons 74

Justise Winslow led a balanced attack with 16 points, and host Miami scored the first 21 points of the second half to roll past Detroit.

The Heat outscored the Pistons 33-8 in the third quarter. It was Detroit’s lowest-scoring quarter since Nov. 21, 2012, when the Pistons had an eight-point quarter against Orlando.

Dion Waiters had 14 points, Hassan Whiteside and Josh Richardson scored 13 apiece, and Dwyane Wade tossed in 11 points off the bench for Miami. Blake Griffin led Detroit with 13 points. Former Heat guard Wayne Ellington added 11 points.

Hawks 132, Grizzlies 111

Atlanta continued its hot play on offense, with John Collins, Trae Young and Alex Len combining for 69 points in a win over visiting Memphis. The Hawks entered the game as the NBA’s top offensive team since the All-Star Game, averaging 122.5 points.

Collins finished with 27 points on 11-for-17 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds for his 28th double-double of the season. Young scored 22 points and had eight rebounds. Len came off the bench to add 20 points and eight rebounds.

CJ Miles sank eight 3-pointers and scored 33 points for the Grizzlies. Mike Conley added 20 points and seven assists.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

The media couldn’t get enough of the trans “I Am Jazz,” a TLC show about a transgender teen. But it turns out that the surgeon Jazz consulted for gender reassignment surgery has been fired after posting explicit and disturbing pics of his patients’ genitals online.

Jazz Jennings had previously reached out to Miami surgeon Dr. Christopher Salgado to do the life-changing surgery during an episode of the reality TV series, per a recent article in Radar Online. But Jazz ended up eventually going with a different doctor, and it appears to have been a wise move, since Salgado is “no longer employed with the University of Miami” because of his unethical practices. (RELATED: Record Number Of Children Identifying As Transgender In U.K.)

Jazz Jennings attends Dove's Launch of "Girl Collective" - The First Ever Dove Self-Esteem Project Mega-Event on October 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Unilever/Dove)

Jazz Jennings attends Dove’s Launch of “Girl Collective” – The First Ever Dove Self-Esteem Project Mega-Event on October 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Unilever/Dove)

According to the Trans Advocate:

It’s hard to say exactly when Dr. Christopher Salgado, board certified and celebrated genital reconstruction surgeon, started to post questionable things on his Instagram account (@sexsurgeon). The account was taken down after the first complaints and deleted shortly thereafter, but he may have started as early as October 2018. During this time Dr. Salgado posted multiple pictures of himself in surgery, including one for Valentine’s Day in which he posed the patient’s dissected penis into the shape of a heart and added the hashtag #whatthefuckisthat.

A previous patient of Salgado referred to him as “Dr. Frankenstein” and didn’t hold back his thoughts about his former doctor. (RELATED: Pentagon To Allow Transgender Recruits)

“Dr. Salgado destroyed a safe place for trans people to get the surgical support they need,” a patient shared. “We trust those doctors to improve our lives and this is what we get. He’s sick and twisted, he’s a disgrace.” (RELATED: Inside The Online Community Facilitating The Gender Transitions Of 5-Year-Olds)

The university would not comment on the accusations against Salgado and only told the outlet that, “The University of Miami does not comment on the detailed status of employees. However, we can confirm that Dr. Christopher Salgado is no longer employed by the University of Miami. We continue to have a team of experts providing the full continuum of care for gender reassignment patients.”

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

March 14, 2019

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Wednesday some users around the world were facing trouble in accessing its widely used Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook apps, making it one of the longest outages the company has suffered in the recent past.

The Menlo Park, California-based company took to Twitter to inform users that it was working to resolve the issue, which had been plaguing some users for over 10 hours, as soon as possible and confirmed that the matter was not related to a DDoS attack.

Social media users in parts of United States, Japan and some parts Europe were affected by the outage, according to DownDetector’s live outage map https://downdetector.com/status/facebook/map.

Facebook users, including brand marketers, expressed their outrage on Twitter with the #facebookdown hashtag.

“Ya’ll, I haven’t gotten my daily dosage of dank memes and I think that’s why I’m cranky. #FacebookDown,” a user Mayra Mesina tweeted. http://bit.ly/2TDCYDK

Facebook, which gets a vast majority of its revenue from advertising, told Bloomberg that it was still investigating the overall impact “including the possibility of refunds for advertisers.”

A Facebook spokesman confirmed the outage, but did not provide an update.

(Reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

Source: OANN

Beto O’Rourke all but announced his 2020 presidential candidacy in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Vanity Fair magazine, confidently saying he was "just born to do this" — a move that would contradict his multiple previous assurances that he would not seek the White House, and further crowd a Democratic primary field already chock-full of progressive candidates.

The move seemed inevitable Wednesday night. KTSM reported it received a text message from O’Rourke earlier in the day saying he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination, writing: "I’m really proud of what El Paso did and what El Paso represents. It’s a big part of why I’m running. This city is the best example of this country at its best."

O’Rourke’s spokesman would not confirm to Fox News that the former congressman is running for president.

The Vanity Fair piece, written by Joe Hagan, seemed to echo the fawning tone of much of the media coverage that followed his failed bid to unseat Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz last fall. But, conservative commentators said, the interview still indirectly highlighted the 46-year-old O’Rourke’s glaring vulnerabilities as he seeks to mount his first-ever national campaign despite lacking significant government experience.

At one point, Hagan detailed when O’Rourke and his wife, Amy, "both describe the moment they first witnessed the power of O’Rourke’s gift" — in Houston, on the third stop on O’Rourke’s unsuccessful Senate campaign.

Beto O'Rourke laughing during an Oprah Winfrey in New York last February. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Beto O’Rourke laughing during an Oprah Winfrey in New York last February. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

“Every seat was taken, every wall, every space in the room was filled with probably a thousand people,” Amy O’Rourke told Vanity Fair. “You could feel the floor moving almost. It was not totally clear that Beto was what everybody was looking for, but just like that people were so ready for something. So that was totally shocking. I mean, like, took-my-breath-away shocking.”

Hagan, who previously penned a similarly photographed and written profile of another Democrat, former presidential candidate John Edwards, wrote in the new piece: "For O’Rourke, what followed was a near-mystical experience."

“I don’t ever prepare a speech,” O’Rourke explained. “I don’t write out what I’m going to say. I remember driving to that, I was, like, ‘What do I say? Maybe I’ll just introduce myself. I’ll take questions.’ I got in there, and I don’t know if it’s a speech or not, but it felt amazing. Because every word was pulled out of me. Like, by some greater force, which was just the people there. Everything that I said, I was, like, watching myself, being like, How am I saying this stuff? Where is this coming from?"

However, this carefree, spur-of-the-moment approach has backfired in the past, the article went on to note. For example, O’Rourke acknowledged he was "kicking himself for giving a damaging, freewheeling interview to The Washington Post, which quoted his prescription for immigration as ‘I don’t know.’"

In that interview, O’Rourke also suggested parts of the Constitution may be unnecessary and outdated.

Although the Post article drew widespread jeers, Hagan seemingly found it endearing.

"Unlike Trump," Hagan wrote, "O’Rourke can appear almost too innocent to be a politician—too decent, too wholesome, the very reason he became popular also the same reason he could be crucified on the national stage."

O’ROURKE SAYS HE ‘ABSOLUTELY’ SUPPORTS DESTROYING SOUTHERN BORDER WALLS

Reaction on social media, both to O’Rourke and Hagan’s aggressively positive portrayal of his prospective candidacy, was unsparing.

"It’s extremely subtle, but with a trained eye, you can detect a slight difference in the media posture toward Robert O’Rourke and the average Republican congressman running for president after losing a Senate race," Mollie Hemingway, a senior editor at The Federalist and a regular Fox News panelist, wrote on Twitter.

Washington Free Beacon reporter Alex Griswold added, "They really aren’t bothering to hide it," referring to media bias.

Elsewhere in the sprawling deep-dive, Hagan noted that O’Rourke’s home has boasted a slew of presidential biographies — a seemingly mundane observation that Hagan imbued with heavy implications.

"Arranged in historical order, the biographies suggest there’s been some reflection on the gravity of the presidency," Hagan wrote, noting that O’Rourke has the support of Oprah Winfrey. "But there’s also some political poetry to it, a sense that O’Rourke might be destined for this shelf."

But, O’Rourke himself seemingly had shut the door on any such poetry, again and again, while running against Cruz.

MSNBC reporter Garrett Haakey tweeted last November: "’I will not be a candidate for president in 2020,’ @BetoORourke tells me. ‘That’s as definitive as it gets.’"

And, in an interview with CBS News’ "60 Minutes," O’Rourke said simply, "I don’t want to do it. I will not do it."

O’Rourke went on to explain that raising his young children would keep him off the campaign trail.

'Draft Beto' group makes Beto-inspired alcoholic beverages in effort to get Beto O'Rourke to run for president in 2020.

‘Draft Beto’ group makes Beto-inspired alcoholic beverages in effort to get Beto O’Rourke to run for president in 2020. (Fox News)

Speaking to Hagan, O’Rourke attempted to explain the abrupt turnaround, saying that "the week before he was to appear onstage with Oprah Winfrey in New York, he had what he describes as a breakthrough conversation with his wife" and stayed up late into the night.

But, conservative commentator Stephen Miller had a less flattering interpretation, writing that O’Rourke must have "spent literally 6 months around his wife and kids and said, … This sucks.”

Although O’Rourke has not formally entered the presidential fray, there are multiple other indications he is intending to do so. The former Texas representative is slated to make his first trip to Iowa of the 2020 campaign, visiting the state that kicks off presidential voting.

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A spokesman said O’Rourke will visit the University of Northern Iowa on Saturday to campaign for Eric Giddens, the Democratic candidate running in a state Senate special election there. And, O’Rourke released a video Monday night from Texas backing Giddens and wearing a Northern Iowa cap.

Meanwhile, Twitter users who reportedly tried to unsubscribe from O’Rourke’s mailing list were being told in automated replies on Wednesday, apparently inadvertently, that there was an ongoing "campaign to elect Beto for president."

Source: Fox News Politics

The husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway blasted President Trump on Wednesday, claiming Trump has a problem with "pathological” lying.

George Conway, an attorney who has become an outspoken critic of the president via Twitter messages, posted a thread that began when he called out Trump for claiming that Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s sentencing of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort earlier in the day had exonerated the president from the Russian collusion narrative.

“Have we ever seen this degree of brazen, pathological mendacity in American public life?" Conway asked in a tweet. "One day he makes a harmless slip of the tongue, something any mentally balanced person would laugh off. But instead he lies about it. He denies what the world can see on videotape. Even his donors and supporters wonder, what is wrong with him? Why would he feel compelled to tell such an absurd lie?"

GEORGE CONWAY RAMPS UP TRUMP ATTACKS AS KELLYANNE DEFENDS BOSS

Conway then invoked Trump’s recent meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook, whom the president referred to as “Tim Apple.” Trump reportedly later told RNC donors that he had really said “Tim Cook Apple,” uttering Cook’s last name softly, but then reversed course on Twitter when he claimed he called the CEO “Tim Apple” to “save time and words.”

Conway also mocked the president’s two-hour-long CPAC speech, which he called “incoherent.”

“The judge says, in open court, that Manafort’s lawyers’ ‘no collusion’ ‘mantra’ was patently ridiculous because it was irrelevant to the charges at hand- not that there was no proof of collusion, just that whether there was or wasn’t was irrelevant to the proceedings at hand,” Conway wrote. “And yet he lies again – a blatant lie – about what the judge said in open court.”

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Conway later suggested that the president has a “disorder” and that an inquiry needs to be made regarding his “condition of mind.”

“It’s not rational, because it’s a lie that no reasonable person would believe. It undermines his credibility. It’s self-defeating. But these are just two of… how many examples? Hundreds? Thousands? Is it possible to count?” he asked. “At any level of government in this country, in any party, have we ever seen anything like this? It’s beyond politics. It’s nuts. It’s a disorder. Whether or not impeachment is in order, a serious inquiry needs to be made about this man’s condition of mind.”

Instances of the president or members of the Trump family publicly criticizing George Conway have been relatively rare. But one sharply worded Twitter message came in December from Eric Trump.

"Of all the ugliness in politics, the utter disrespect George Conway shows toward his wife, her career, place of work, and everything she has fought SO hard to achieve, might top them all," Eric Trump wrote. "@KellyannePolls is great person and frankly his actions are horrible."

Source: Fox News Politics

It’s Sir Michael Caine’s birthday on Thursday.

In honor of the legendary 86-year-old British actor’s day, we took a look back over the years at some of our favorite pieces of work he’s done. There have truly been so many. (RELATED: Celebrate Samantha Hoopes’ Birthday With Her Hottest Looks)

Born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in South London, “The Cider House Rules” star first got his big break in the entertainment business in 1956 when he scored a part on the film “A Hill In Korea” alongside with George and Stanley Baker. (RELATED: Celebrate Anna Kendrick’s Birthday With Her Hottest Looks [SLIDESHOW])

Soon he would land the role that would change everything when he scored the part as an aristocratic officer in Joseph E Levine production, “Zulu.” (RELATED: Check Out The Hottest Looks From The 60th Grammy Awards [SLIDESHOW])

His part in the classic film, “Educating Rita” in 1983 scored him his first British Academy of Film And Television Arts award. It would be just the first of many accolades Caine has received during his career, including several Golden Globe and Academy Awards for his parts in films like “Hannah And Her Sisters” in 1986 and “The Cider House Rules” in 1999. (RELATED: Take A Look Back At Our Favorite Celebs’ Hottest Looks Of 2018)

In 2001 Caine would gain a whole new set of fans when he joined Sandra Bullock in the modern-day Cinderella hit “Miss Congeniality.” And his role as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth in 2005 “Batman Begins” is another reason the film was so great! (RELATED: Celebrate Kate Upton’s Birthday With These Unforgettable Shots [SLIDESHOW])

Not to mention being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 for his contributions to the film industry.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out some of these classic moments from some of our favorite films of his and let us know if you agree.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in 1988

The Man Who Would Be King in 1975

Kingsman: The Secret Service in 2014

Second Hand Lions in 2003

The Dark Knight Rises in 2012

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Source: The Daily Caller

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong arrives at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur
Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who was a suspect in the murder case of North Korean leader’s half brother Kim Jong Nam, is escorted as she arrives at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

March 14, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Vietnamese woman will continue her trial for the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, after Malaysian prosecutors rejected a request from Vietnam to free her on Thursday.

The Vietnamese government had made the call after Doan Thi Huong’s co-accused, Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah, was released on Monday.

Huong and Siti Aisyah were charged with killing Kim by smearing his face with VX poison, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

(Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Michael Perry)

Source: OANN

George Conway on Wednesday questioned President Donald Trump's sanity in a series of tweets.

"Have we ever seen this degree of brazen, pathological mendacity in American public life? One day he makes a harmless slip of the tongue, something any mentally balanced person would laugh off," said Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

"But instead he lies about it. He denies what the world can see on videotape. Even his donors and supporters wonder, what is wrong with him? Why would be feel compelled to tell such an absurd lie?"

"But one lie on any subject is never enough for Donald Trump," he added. "So, he next tells a different lie. Yes, I omitted a word, but to save time. A ridiculous assertion, of course — he really said 'Tim Apple' instead of 'Tim Cook of Apple' to save **a third of a second**?"

Conway went on to call Trump pathological and irrational and suggested he had a disorder.

"Whether or not impeachment is in order, a serious inquiry needs to be made about this man's condition of mind," he said.

Conway was reacting to Trump's claim Judge Amy Berman Jackson exonerated him of collusion.

"That was proven today – no collusion," Trump said following the additional sentencing of his ex-campaign chief, Paul Manafort. "There was no collusion . . . it was all a big hoax . . . Today, again, 'no collusion.'"

Source: NewsMax

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro is greeted by Paraguay's President Mario Abdo after a meeting at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is greeted by Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo after a meeting at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

March 14, 2019

By Lisandra Paraguassu

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro will visit Israel at the end of the month but he may not be able to deliver on a promise to move Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem, a move opposed by military officers in his cabinet.

A government official told Reuters on Wednesday that no decision has been taken on the embassy move, which could give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s standing a boost a week before Israel’s elections.

“Something will have to be said about the embassy during the trip,” said the official with knowledge of the matter but who spoke on condition of anonymity. He added, however, that a formal announcement might not be made during the March 31 to April 2 visit as the Israeli government had hoped for.

Visiting Brazil for the Jan. 1 presidential inauguration, Netanyahu said Bolsonaro told him that moving the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv was a matter of “when, not if.”

But in an interview in February, Vice President Hamilton Mourao, a retired Army general, told Reuters that Bolsonaro’s plan to move the embassy was a bad idea because it would hurt Brazilian exports to Arab nations, including an estimated $5 billion in halal food sales.

The prospect of relocating the embassy – after President Donald Trump moved the U.S. mission – has worried Brazilian exporters who fear losing access to major Arab markets for halal meats, which comply with Muslim dietary rules.

Brazil is one of the world’s top halal meat exporters, and Islamic nations Iran and Egypt are its third and fourth biggest beef buyers, according to the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association.

Bolsonaro’s economic team and the country’s powerful farm lobby have advised against the move, which would break with Brazil’s traditional stance of support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict.

During last year’s election campaign Bolsonaro stated that Palestine is not a country and said he would close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia.

Leaders of Brazil’s fast-growing evangelical Christian churches have backed Bolsonaro’s plan to move the embassy.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Michael Perry)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Employees work on a drilling machine production line at a factory in Zhangjiakou
FILE PHOTO: Employees work on a drilling machine production line at a factory in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, China November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

March 14, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s industrial output grew 5.3 percent in the first two months of this year, the slowest pace of expansion in 17 years, official data showed on Thursday.

But fixed-asset investment rose 6.1 percent, while retail sales rose 8.2 percent, both more than expected.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted industrial output growth would slow to 5.5 percent in January-February from December’s 5.7 percent gain.

Investment growth had been expected to edge up slightly to 6.0 percent, from 5.9 percent in 2018.

Private-sector fixed-asset investment, which accounts for about 60 percent of overall investment in China, rose 7.5 percent in the same period, compared with an 8.7 percent rise in 2018, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Retail sales had been expected to rise 8.1 percent, easing marginally from December’s 8.2 percent pace.

China combines Janaury and February activity data in an attempt to smooth distortions created by the long Lunar New Year holidays early each year, but some analysts say a clearer picture of the economy may not emerge first-quarter data is released in April.

China’s economic growth cooled to 6.6 percent last year, the slowest in nearly three decades, and it is expected to lose more momentum in the next few months.

Beijing is rolling out more support measures to avert a sharper slowdown, but many analysts do not expect activity to convincingly bottom out until summer.

(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kim Coghill)

Source: OANN

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry was born March 14, 1988 in Akron, Ohio.

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors kisses his 2017-2018 Championship ring prior to their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at ORACLE Arena on October 16, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors kisses his 2017-2018 Championship ring prior to their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at ORACLE Arena on October 16, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Curry has some of the best handles in the game, and has developed into a solid defensive player. While he will always be known for revolutionizing the game with his shooting, Curry is certainly a complete player.

We wish Steph Curry a wonderful 31st birthday.

Source: The Daily Caller

The Trump administration issued official guidelines on how to implement its new restrictions on transgender military service members late Tuesday, including barring from service those who require treatment for gender dysphoria, The Washington Post reports.

Trump's controversial policy takes effect April 12.

Transgender troops who transitioned before service will not be eligible to enlist unless they serve as their sex identified at birth, and service members who appear transgender or act transgender by failing to meet grooming, uniform, and other military standards for their birth sex will be discharged.

Transgender troops must also file for waivers for use of showers, bathrooms, physical fitness, and other standards.

"This new policy does not allow discrimination based on gender identity," a Pentagon spokesperson said. "You can reveal your preference and reveal you are transgender, but you have to serve under standards of your biological sex." 

Democrats slammed the guidelines.

"I would like to know what it is that the president is so afraid of?" said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who chairs the House Armed Services subcommittee on personnel.

"Transgender troops have served for decades and carried out multiple deployments, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, to protect our country and freedoms. These tough, brave service members have never used bone spurs as an excuse to dodge their duty and service to our country. We owe them our gratitude, not government-sanctioned discrimination."

Source: NewsMax

An internal chart prepared by federal investigators working on the so-called "Midyear Exam" probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails, exclusively reviewed by Fox News, contained the words "NOTE: DOJ not willing to charge this" next to a key statute on the mishandling of classified information. The notation appeared to contradict former FBI Director James Comey’s repeated claims that his team made its decision that Clinton should not face criminal charges independently.

Fox News has confirmed the chart served as a critical tip that provided the basis for Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe’s explosive questioning of former FBI lawyer Lisa Page last year, in which Page agreed with Ratcliffe’s characterization that the DOJ had told the FBI that "you’re not going to charge gross negligence." A transcript of Page’s remarks was published Tuesday as part of a major document release by the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins.

The document, entitled "Espionage Act Charges – Retention/Mishandling," contained a list of several criminal statutes related to the mishandling of classified information, as well as a list of all the elements that prosecutors would need to prove in order to successfully prosecute a case.

Among the statutes listed are 18 U.S.C. 793(d), which covers the “willfull” retention of national defense information that could harm the U.S.; 18 U.S.C. 793(f), which pertains to "gross negligence" in the handling of classified information by permitting the information to be "removed from its proper place of custody"; and 18 U.S.C. 1924, listed as a misdemeanor related to retaining classified materials at an "unauthorized location."

Listed directly below to the elements of 18 U.S.C. 793(f) were the words: "NOTE: DOJ not willing to charge this; only known cases are Military, cases when accused lost the information (e.g. thumb drive sent to unknown recipient at wrong address.)"

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page arriving for a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees on Capitol Hill in July 2018.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page arriving for a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees on Capitol Hill in July 2018. (Associated Press, File)

None of the other descriptions of the statutes had a similar notation.

FBI GENERAL COUNSEL THOUGHT HILLARY CLINTON SHOULD HAVE BEEN CRIMINALLY CHARGED UNTIL CONVINCED OTHERWISE ‘PRETTY LATE’ IN THE PROCESS

In July 2016, Comey took the unusual step of making a public statement about the Clinton email investigation findings and his decision to recommend against criminal charges. He said Clinton had been "extremely careless" in handling classified information but insisted that "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring a case against her.

Comey stated: "What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done competently, honestly, and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear."

He later explained that he took the unusual step of announcing the FBI’s conclusions because then-Obama administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch was spotted meeting secretly with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac as the probe into Hillary Clinton, which Lynch was overseeing, continued.

Federal law states "gross negligence" in handling the nation’s intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines, and there is no requirement that defendants act intentionally. Nevertheless, Comey said at the news conference, "Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges," including "the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent."

Loretta Lynch in Washington in November 2016.

Loretta Lynch in Washington in November 2016. (REUTERS/Gary Cameron, File)

Originally Comey accused the former secretary of state of being “grossly negligent” in handling classified information in a draft dated May 2, 2016, but that was modified to claim that Clinton had merely been “extremely careless” in a draft dated June 10, 2016.

Page and since-fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who were romantically involved, exchanged numerous anti-Trump text messages in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, and Republicans have long accused the bureau of political bias.

However, Page’s testimony and the internal "Midyear Exam" chart constituted perhaps the most salient evidence yet that the Justice Department may have interfered improperly with the FBI’s supposedly independent conclusions on Clinton’s criminal culpability.

"So let me if I can, I know I’m testing your memory," Ratcliffe began as he questioned Page under oath, according to a transcript excerpt he posted on Twitter. "But when you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to —"

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Page interrupted: "That is correct," as Ratcliffe finished his sentence, " — bring a case based on that."

Responding to the transcript revelations, Trump on Wednesday tweeted: "The just revealed FBI Agent Lisa Page transcripts make the Obama Justice Department look exactly like it was, a broken and corrupt machine. Hopefully, justice will finally be served. Much more to come!"

Fox News’ Cyd Upson contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

The White House strategic communications senior adviser, Mercedes Schlapp, delivered what could be considered a backhanded compliment to Democrats on Wednesday, saying the party is showing unity – on unsafe open borders.

Schlapp appeared on “The Story” to discuss the Trump administration’s attempts to fight the escalating opioid crisis in part through reinforcement of the southern border with Mexico.

When asked why there isn’t more support over Trump’s national emergency declaration and effort to bolster border security, she said Democrats “stand very united” on “open borders and crime,” while Republicans seemed to splinter off” during voting.

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“It is clear that the president has made his case to declare a national emergency. It’s been done 60 times before by former presidents on less important issues,” Schlapp told Fox News’ Ed Henry.

“Because what we’re seeing right now is this emergency happening where, in essence, our Border patrol agents are spending more time processing illegal aliens than they are focused on border security, on monitoring what is happening on the border.”            

Fox News’ Ed Henry contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

FILE PHOTO: FIA Formula One Race Director Charlie Whiting speaks during a press briefing at the Sochi Autodrom circuit
FILE PHOTO: FIA Formula One Race Director Charlie Whiting speaks during a press briefing regarding Japanese Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom circuit on October 10, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

March 14, 2019

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Formula One race director Charlie Whiting, a popular and key figure in the sport, has died three days before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, the governing FIA said in a statement on Thursday. He was 66.

The Briton, who started his career working for the Hesketh team in 1977, died in Melbourne of a pulmonary embolism, it said.

“It is with immense sadness that I learned of Charlie’s sudden passing,” said Jean Todt, president of the International Automobile Federation.

“He has been a great race director, a central and inimitable figure in Formula One who embodied the ethics and spirit of this fantastic sport. Formula One has lost a faithful friend and a charismatic ambassador in Charlie.”

Whiting, who worked for Brabham with the sport’s former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone in the 1980s, joined the FIA in 1988. He had been race director since 1997.

The news was met with shock in the Formula One paddock where Whiting was close to drivers, with whom he conducted pre-race briefings, and teams who sought technical guidance and clarifications.

Former champions McLaren said they were “shocked and deeply saddened.

“Charlie will be remembered as one of the giants of our sport, as well as a great colleague. Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with all of his loved ones,” the team said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN

A pumpjack is seen at sunset outside Scheibenhard, near Strasbourg
A pumpjack is seen at sunset outside Scheibenhard, near Strasbourg, France, October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

March 14, 2019

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Oil prices nudged higher on Thursday to sit just off a four-month high reached in the previous session as investors focused on global production cuts and supply disruptions in Venezuela.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $67.61 a barrel at 0054 GMT, up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last close. Brent touched $67.76 a barrel on Wednesday, its highest since Nov. 16.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.29 per barrel, up 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last settlement. WTI hit a high of $58.48 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest since Nov. 13.

“OPEC continues to cut output amid ongoing supply issues, while the situation in Venezuela remains bleak,” ANZ Bank said in a research note.

Two storage tanks exploded at a heavy-crude upgrading project in eastern Venezuela on Wednesday, according to an oil industry source and a legislator, while the country’s main oil terminal resumed shipments after a prolonged blackout.

U.S. crude stocks also fell last week as refineries hiked output, the Energy Information Administration said.

Crude inventories fell by 3.9 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 2.7 million barrels.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Houston Astros at New York Mets
FILE PHOTO: Mar 13, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) throws against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

March 14, 2019

Noah Syndergaard threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday, surrendering just two hits and striking out five to lead the New York Mets to a 2-1 win over the visiting Houston Astros at Port St. Lucie, Fla.

It was billed as pitchers’ duel, with Syndergaard taking on Houston ace Gerrit Cole, and the game was scoreless through three innings.

Jeff McNeil opened the fourth inning with a single off of Cole, and Robinson Cano followed with a home run to center on an 0-1 pitch. Cole pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up four hits, to go with a walk and four strikeouts, and largely was pleased.

“I wasn’t thrilled with the walk,” he said. “For the most part it was good. I was challenging the (batters). I got the slider where I wanted it a few times. Got the changeup where I wanted to. Threw some breaking balls behind in the count.”

Royals 17, Indians (ss) 7

Alex Gordon and Cam Gallagher each had three hits as Kansas City tallied 21 hits – including three home runs — to top visiting Cleveland at Surprise, Ariz. Greg Allen had three of the Indians’ 11 hits.

Indians (ss) 9, Brewers 3

Hanley Ramirez, trying to win a roster spot, went 1-for-3 and drove in two runs to lead Cleveland over visiting Milwaukee in Goodyear, Ariz. Keston Hiura hit a three-run home run for the Brewers.

Twins 9, Red Sox 5

Brian Navarreto hit a three-run home run in a four-run sixth inning as visiting Minnesota beat Boston at Fort Myers, Fla. Red Sox DH Steve Pearce was 0-for-3 and remains hitless in 11 at-bats this spring.

Athletics 12, Cubs 11

Sean Murphy lined a walk-off two-run double to cap a four-run ninth inning as Oakland beat the visiting Chicago Cubs in Mesa, Ariz. Cubs’ starter Jon Lester was rocked for seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Nationals 8, Braves 4

Trea Turner, Juan Soto, Adam Eaton and Brian Dozier each hit a solo home run to lead Washington over visiting Atlanta at West Palm Beach, Fla. The Braves’ Ronald Acuna went 3-for-3 to raise his spring average to .429.

Marlins 4, Cardinals 1

Miami pitchers held visiting St. Louis to three hits at Jupiter, Fla. Deven Marrero’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth gave the Marlins a pair of insurance runs.

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 4

Baltimore scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat visiting Toronto at Sarasota, Fla. Dwight Smith Jr. was 2-for-2 and scored twice for the Orioles. The Blue Jays had 10 hits on the day but stranded eight runners.

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 3

David Dahl had three of Colorado’s eight hits and scored twice as the Rockies topped visiting the Diamondbacks at Scottsdale, Ariz. Matt Szczur hit his first home run of the spring for Arizona.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

The former House speaker Paul Ryan walked back comments he made earlier in the week that President Trump could lose the 2020 vote to a Democrat over his personality.

Ryan, who left the House after Republicans lost the majority in November, reportedly said during a speech in Vero Beach., Fla., on Monday that Trump would lose the 2020 presidential election if it came down to his personality.

“The person who defines that race is going to win the race. If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it,” Ryan said according to TCPalm.com.

KEVIN MCCARTHY DISAGREES WITH FORMER SPEAKER PAUL RYAN’S ASSESSMENT THAT SOME DEMS COULD BEAT TRUMP

But on Wednesday, amid a backlash from Republican leaders, Ryan sought to clarify his remarks.

“To be clear, GOP wins elections when they’re about ideas not when they’re personality contests like Dems & media want,” he said in a tweet.

“We’re clearly better off because of @RealDonaldTrump. His record of accomplishment is why he’ll win re-election especially when compared to Dems’ leftward lurch.”

Ryan’s tweet may have been prompted by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s public disagreement a day earlier.

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“I disagree,” the California Republican told reporters at the House GOP weekly press conference. “I believe this president will win re-election. I believe this president could run on many different items, mostly about what he promised he would do for the American public and which he’s been able to achieve.”

McCarthy said Ryan’s remark was “pinpointing maybe one minute of a one-hour rally.”

Source: Fox News Politics

FILE PHOTO: NFL: Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints
FILE PHOTO: Sep 16, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports – 11261475

March 14, 2019

Former Browns and Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor has agreed to a two-year deal to become a backup for the Chargers, the team announced Wednesday.

Taylor would serve as the No. 2 quarterback in Los Angeles behind Philip Rivers. Rivers is 37 but hasn’t missed a game since he became the primary starter for the franchise in 2006.

Taylor, acquired via trade by Cleveland from Buffalo last March, was unseated by Baker Mayfield as the starter on Sept. 20 when he left the team’s Thursday night primetime game against the New York Jets with a head injury.

With the Browns, Taylor completed 42 of his 85 attempts (49.4 percent) for 473 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions in three starts (four games).

In seven previous seasons in the NFL with the Bills and Baltimore Ravens, Taylor completed 793 of his 1,271 attempts (62.4 percent) for 9,056 yards and 51 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He has familiarity with Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, as both were in Buffalo from 2015-16.

The team also officially announced the addition of linebacker Thomas Davis on a two-year contract.

Davis, who turns 36 later this month and spent his first 13 years with the Carolina Panthers, is set to make $10.5 million over two years.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: 2019 Copa America Draw
FILE PHOTO: 2019 Copa America Draw – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – January 24, 2019 General view of the trophy during the draw REUTERS/Sergio Moraes/File Photo

March 14, 2019

ASUNCION (Reuters) – The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has rejected a proposal from the United States and awarded the 2020 Copa America tournament to Argentina and Colombia.

CONMEBOL officials meeting in Miami on Wednesday said the joint bid was accepted as a way of “bringing South American football to the fans” and would be subject to a more detailed presentation by both countries.

The next edition of the tournament, usually played by all 10 South American nations and at least two invited guests, is due to be held in Brazil in June.

CONMEBOL want to hold another Copa America the following year and thereafter host it every four years, to bring it into line with its equivalent in Europe, the European Championship.

The tournament organization has been haphazard in recent times and a 2020 tournament would be the fourth Copa America in six years after Chile (2015), a special centenary edition in the United States in 2016, and Brazil (2019).

The United States had offered to host the tournament again in 2020 as part of an Americas-wide competition featuring not just teams from South America but also North America and the Caribbean.

CONMEBOL, however, rejected the idea, opting to preserve the historic integrity of the tournament, the oldest in international football.

It “rejected expressions of interest and proposals received by the United States, Australia, and commercial agencies Dentsu and IMG,” it said in a statement.

A source told Reuters that CONMEBOL would still extend invitations for the 2020 tournament to Mexico and the United States.

The tournament is likely to have 16 participants, with two groups of four in both Colombia and Argentina. Each nation would host one semi-final and the final would be played in Argentina.

Argentina last held the tournament in 2011, while Colombia were hosts most recently in 2001.

(Reporting by Daniela Desantis, writing by Andrew Downie, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Source: OANN

Right-leaning activist Jacob Wohl is facing allegations of falsifying a police report Wednesday after he posted a video of himself going to the police and showing them a threatening tweet—albeit from an account he’s been accused of creating.

When Wohl was in Minnesota with Laura Loomer last month trying to uncover damning evidence against Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, they reportedly received threats, which they took to the police. But their allegations resurfaced Wednesday, following Wohl and Loomer’s release of their “Importing Omar” documentary. In it, there is a scene showing a threat they allegedly received on Twitter from an account to which Wohl has previously been linked.

The threatening Twitter direct messages from “Drake Holmes” that was included in the documentary said, “I hope you fuckin know that if [I] bump into you in Dinkytown or anywhere else in my city I’m going [to] shoot you and shit on your fucking bodies,” followed by a second message that says, “Get that fuck out of my city you piece of shit. Now.” (RELATED: Michael Avenatti Blames Jacob Wohl For Assault Allegations)

Jack Burkman, a lawyer and Republican operative, and Jacob Wohl, speak during a news conference to address their allegations against Special Counsel Robert Mueller in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Ben Collins of NBC News reported that Wohl controls the Twitter account listed to Holmes.

However, Wohl told The Daily Caller that this was not the only threat he reported to the police, despite its appearance in the video. He says he reported about eight different threats, including one from Dianna E. Anderson, a verified Twitter user.

Anderson tweeted out Wohl’s location, which he then reported to Twitter. The company ruled that her tweet violated their guidelines and locked her account until it was deleted.

She later tweeted, “also i deleted the tweet about knowing where wohl/loomer are staying because right wingers were latching on it as a way to report me, even though I didn’t actually post identifying info. Figure I don’t need to deal with twitter jail.”

Wohl was suspended from Twitter last month after they caught him operating multiple fake accounts. His “account was suspended for multiple violations of the Twitter rules, specifically creating and operating fake accounts,” Twitter told NBC News. One of those accounts was made to support potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz.

He also made headlines this fall when he alleged that an independent intelligence firm had proof that special counsel Robert Mueller had sexually assaulted a woman. The phone number of the firm was registered to Wohl’s mother. He was never able to provide any proof to corroborate his accusations.

Amber Athey contributed to this report.

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Source: The Daily Caller

  • Chief Justice John Roberts has voted with the liberal justices in recent months on cases touching abortion, asylum and the death penalty.
  • Those votes may not reflect a meaningful change to the chief justice’s legal views.
  • Rather, they could reflect Roberts’s desire to keep the Supreme Court away from division, or an incremental approach to a conservative revival. 

Chief Justice John Roberts has made common cause with the Supreme Court’s liberal bloc as late, breaking with his conservative colleagues on cases relating to abortion, the death penalty and President Donald Trump’s revised rules for asylum seekers.

Whether Roberts’s recent maneuvers reflect a substantive change in his approach to cases remains to be seen. In isolation, it’s difficult to know what to make of the chief’s votes.

That he is parting with his conservative legal views seems unlikely. This, after all, is a jurist who voted to uphold the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and strike down limits on firearms possession, corporate campaign expenditures and all manner of race-conscious programs. Yet his recent moves are all the more interesting for that very reason.

Abortion

Roberts has twice sided with the liberal bloc on abortion-related cases. In the first instance, the chief and Justice Brett Kavanaugh voted against review of a lower court decision favoring Planned Parenthood in December 2018. That petition did not directly broach abortion rights.

The case arose when Louisiana and Kansas disqualified Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, from eligibility for state Medicaid funds. Planned Parenthood sued in turn, claiming the Medicaid law allowed it to circumvent a state administrative proceeding and bring its challenge straight to a federal judge.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it could. The high court was asked to decide whether that decision was correct.

The appeal was rejected 6-3, prompting a vigorous dissent from Justice Clarence Thomas, who accused the court of base politicking.

Another abortion dispute followed just weeks later. In that case, several health care providers asked the high court to temporarily block implementation of a Louisiana law called Act 620, which requires that physicians who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The providers said Louisiana’s law was almost identical to a Texas measure the Supreme Court struck down in a 2016 decision called Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

Though a federal district judge found Act 620 unconstitutional under Whole Women’s Health, the 5th Circuit reversed and allowed the law to take effect. Faced with the law’s imminent implementation, the abortion providers asked the Supreme Court to bar its implementation while litigation continued.

The court granted that request on a 5-4 vote. As in the December case, Roberts sided with the liberal justices to enjoin Act 620 on an interim basis over the dissent of his conservative colleagues. (RELATED: Clarence Thomas Clerks Dominate Trump’s Judicial Appointments)

Abortion advocates say admitting requirements are simply a pretext to reduce access to reproductive care, claiming many providers struggle to comply with those regulations. In Whole Women’s Health, the high court made a similar finding, saying the Texas law burdened abortion access without obvious benefits for patients.

Given Act 620’s general similarity to the Texas law, many saw the Louisiana dispute as an important cue as to how the newly entrenched conservative majority will engage abortion cases. Allowing Act 620 to take effect would have been tantamount to overturning Whole Women’s Health — or severely restricting its value as precedent. On the other hand, barring the law’s application would indicate a more cautious approach to abortion.

Roberts clearly believes Whole Women’s Health was wrongly decided, since he was in the dissent when that decision was issued. His vote in the Louisiana case suggests he is unwilling to cabin or overturn prior decisions in emergency situations, as was the case here. It might also indicate an outright refusal to overturn a precedent so recently decided. It does not suggest that his skepticism of abortion rights has changed.

Trump’s Revised Asylum Rules

The Trump administration lost its bid to enforce new rules on asylum applications before the Supreme Court in December. The rule changes effectively disqualified any immigrant who entered the country illegally from receiving asylum.

While the government argued its measure would improve the administration’s asylum policy, a federal district judge and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded it was squarely at odds with federal law and international agreements to which the U.S. is party.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar issued an injunction against the government’s policy in November 2018. After the 9th Circuit upheld that injunction in December, the Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the Supreme Court to lift Tigar’s order and allow enforcement of the rules while litigation continued.

The justices rejected that request on Dec. 21. Opinions do not usually accompany such announcements, and votes are not usually disclosed. However, Justices Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh took the rare step of noting their dissent, indicating that Roberts and the four liberal justices together rebuffed the administration’s application.

At an earlier phase of the case, the president drew a rare public reprimand from Roberts, after Trump accused Tigar of partisanship. The chief said the president was wrong to call Tigar “an Obama judge.”

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chief Justice John Roberts as he arrives to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in February 2017. (Jim Lo Scalzo/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chief Justice John Roberts as he arrives to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in February 2017. (Jim Lo Scalzo/AFP/Getty Images)

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

The justices seldom issue official public statements, let alone statements rebuking a sitting president. The closest corollary was a 2010 incident in which former President Barack Obama attacked the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision during the State of the Union address, as the justices themselves looked on and Democratic lawmakers cheered. Speaking six weeks later at the University of Alabama Law School, Roberts said the State of the Union had “degenerated into a political pep rally” that may not warrant the court’s attendance.

Capital Punishment

As he parted ways with his conservative brethren twice on abortion petitions, so too has Roberts joined the liberal bloc in a pair of death penalty decisions this term.

The first decision, Moore v. Texas, involved a capital inmate whose case the court has repeatedly considered. Bobby James Moore was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a store clerk in 1980. Moore’s attorneys say he is intellectually disabled. The Supreme Court banned the execution of the disabled in 2002.

Moore’s first case before the justices asked whether Texas uses a permissible framework to assess mental competency. A five-justice majority led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said “no” in March 2017 and ordered the state to use a standard that is medically sound.

When the case returned to Texas, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals again found Moore was competent for execution, prompting Moore’s second appeal to the high court. Moore charged that the state court essentially used the same factors the justices prohibited in their March 2017 decision. The Supreme Court declared that Moore is intellectually disabled on Feb. 19, practically saving him from execution.

Though the chief justice dissented from the March 2017 ruling, he joined the majority in the February case. In a brief separate statement explaining his thinking, Roberts reiterated his criticisms of the first Moore ruling. However, he said he felt compelled to join the majority because the Texas court clearly did not follow the 2017 decision.

“On remand, the court repeated the same errors that this Court previously condemned — if not quite [in word], certainly in substance,” Roberts wrote.

Another capital case touched the competency issue this term. That dispute arose in Alabama, where 67-year-old Vernon Madison asked for a reprieve from execution because he has dementia and can no longer remember the crime for which he was sentenced to die. Madison murdered a police officer who was responding to a domestic disturbance call at his home in 1985.

Writing for a five-justice majority that included Roberts and the four liberals, Justice Elena Kagan said memory loss is not a bar to capital punishment. A person may not remember their crime, she explained, but could easily comprehend the state’s interest in punishing them.

But that was not the end of Madison’s case. In a 2007 decision called Panetti, the Supreme Court said inmates must have a “rational understanding” of why they are being executed. Dementia, Kagan wrote, “can cause such disorientation and cognitive decline as to prevent a person from sustaining a rational understanding of why the state wants to execute him. But dementia also has milder forms, which allow a person to preserve that understanding.”

In what may have been a compromise between Kagan and the chief, the majority said the Alabama courts should determine the severity of Madison’s dementia. A severely demented person may have a very tenuous grasp on reality, far short of the “rational understanding” required for capital punishment.

The chief’s apparent deal-making was too much for Alito, who wrote a cutting dissent in the Madison case. Alito argued the majority engaged in a bait-and-switch, in violation of the court’s operating procedures. The issue before the court, he said, was the memory loss question — and the memory loss question only — not whether Panetti covers demented convicts.

“Our whole system would be thrown into turmoil if we allowed counsel to obtain review of one question and then switch to an entirely different question after review is granted,” Alito wrote. He elsewhere said the majority “makes a mockery of our rules” and admonished the Supreme Court to “own up to what it is doing.” Kagan said Alito’s criticism was “incorrect” in a footnote to her opinion.

Playing The Long Game?

So what is Roberts up to?

One theory holds the chief is steering the court away from trouble after the brutish national shriek-out that was the Kavanaugh confirmation. Having lingered too long in the cross-currents of raw emotion, Roberts may see approach-avoidance as the order of the day.

Yet sometimes trouble finds the court, its nimble gymnastics notwithstanding. The justices could not, for example, dodge a dispute as to whether the Trump administration may include a citizenship question in the 2020 census. Arguments in that case will come in April. The court was similarly forced to lift an injunction that forbade the government from enforcing Trump’s ban on transgender military personnel.

A qualified approach-avoidance hypothesis may be at work. Roberts wants the court to avoid controversy to the maximum extent possible — but sometimes duty demands a decision.

Another view posits the chief is simply keeping with his longstanding preference for incrementalism. By this telling, Roberts prefers to change the law slowly and then all at once. (RELATED: Kavanaugh Decries ‘Pure Discrimination’ As Supreme Court Denies Church Bid For Historic Preservation Grant)

This gradual approach is well-documented. It begins with a warning that a particular precedent or practice may no longer be valid, but gives the political process something like a grace period to address the problem the court has identified. If change is not forthcoming, only then will the justices intervene to correct the error.

Chief Justice John Roberts poses for the official group photo on November 30, 2018. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Chief Justice John Roberts poses for the official group photo on Nov. 30, 2018. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The most famous example of Roberts’s incrementalist technique may be the 2013 Shelby County ruling, in which Roberts wrote the majority opinion invalidating the coverage formula used to enforce Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Section 5 requires the Justice Department to review changes made to election laws in jurisdictions with a history of discrimination. Roberts was concerned the method used to determine which jurisdictions were subject to DOJ supervision was outdated and unconstitutional.

In a 2009 case, the chief justice urged Congress to update the 30-year-old coverage formula. When no legislative fix came by 2013, Roberts finished the work he began in 2009 and declared the formula unconstitutional. Critics blasted the decision, arguing it effectively gutted a landmark civil rights law.

The incremental method was also at work during the court’s 2017-2018 term in the Janus decision, which struck down agency fees (or mandatory union dues) as unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

The 5-4 decision was widely expected, as the court’s conservative majority had criticized agency fee practices as early as 2007. Their criticisms became more explicit in a pair of cases from 2012 and 2014. Those signals left no doubt as to what the court was preparing to do, while affording policymakers and labor leaders time to make changes.

By the usual telling, the incrementalist method has two virtues. First, it promotes stability in the law by avoiding sudden changes to precedent. Second, it protects the integrity of the judiciary. Judges who move quickly and decisively have a whiff of activism, which conservatives purport to avoid.

The chief justice might believe it is best to move slowly or it may well be that nothing is afoot. Perhaps Roberts is simply deciding cases and controversies before him.

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Source: The Daily Caller

U.S. dollar notes are seen in this picture illustration
U.S. dollar notes are seen in this November 7, 2016 picture illustration. Picture taken November 7. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 14, 2019

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar edged back from a nine-day low early on Thursday, as a big rally by the pound made on Brexit relief tapered off and gave the greenback some reprieve.

The dollar index, a gauge of the currency’s strength against six major counterparts, stood little changed at 96.505. It shed 0.4 percent overnight, at one point brushing a nine-day trough of 96.385.

The greenback had taken a knock as the pound rallied more than 2 percent after British lawmakers voted against a potentially disorderly “no-deal” departure from the European Union late.

Sterling was down 0.4 percent at $1.3285 after going as high as $1.3380 the previous day, its strongest since June 2018.

“The pound has already made a lot of ground, and since its gains are mostly generated by expectations rather than fundamentals, its current rally looks to have run its course,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

British lawmakers are now widely expected to vote on Thursday to delay Britain’s departure from the EU, currently scheduled for March 29.

“Once expectations for a delayed exit from the EU are confirmed after tonight’s vote in parliament, the pound could face more pressure. But the dollar has been weakened by declining U.S. yields and any reprieve for the currency is likely to be limited.”

The dollar was a shade higher at 111.25 yen after losing 0.2 percent the previous day.

The U.S. currency has declined steadily from a 2-1/2-month peak of 112.135 marked early last week, with long-term Treasury yields having declined to their lowest level since the beginning of January.

The euro was steady at $1.1331 after advancing 0.3 percent overnight.

The Australian dollar was down 0.2 percent at $0.7081, handing back the previous day’s modest gains.

The immediate focus for the Aussie was on Chinese activity data such as industrial output, investment and retail sales due at 0200 GMT. The figures may give some clues on whether a spate of government support measures are starting to work their way through the cooling economy, which could brake its expected decline.

The antipodean currency is sensitive to economic conditions in China, Australia’s major trading partner.

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians are reflected on an electronic board showing stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians are reflected on an electronic board showing stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan December 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

March 14, 2019

By Swati Pandey

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares paused on Thursday as investors awaited data from China for clues about the health of the world’s second largest economy while the pound shot up to near nine-month highs as the risk of a no-deal Brexit receded following a late-night vote.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was barely changed at 522.38 points. Japan’s Nikkei jumped 0.6 percent while Australian and New Zealand shares each added 0.2 percent.

Asian markets have seen an impressive rally this year with the MSCI index climbing about 10 percent largely after the U.S. Federal Reserve all but abandoned its rate hike plans.

Wall Street was buoyant overnight after U.S. data showed producer prices barely edged higher in February, the latest sign inflation remains tame and affirming expectations the Federal Reserve would maintain a “patient” approach to future tightening.

Analysts, however, remain skeptical about how much further a share rally would run as signs of slowing global growth, weak corporate earnings and trade tensions between the United States and China hang heavy on risk assets.

“Before we conclude that this market still has decent legs, we’d like to see equity prices supported by stronger macro data, lifted by better earnings trends, and confirmed by stable-to-rising yields,” David Lafferty, chief market strategist at Natixis, said in a note titled ‘Rally vs Reality’.

All eyes were on China, which is due to release figures on retail sales and industrial production later in the day.

Most of the action overnight was in Sterling after the British parliament rejected leaving the European Union without a deal, paving the way for a vote that could delay Brexit until at least the end of June.

The rejection of a no-deal Brexit sent the cable rallying to $1.3380, the highest since June 2018. It jumped 2.1 percent for its best one-day percentage gain since April 2017 and was last at $1.3315.

The real test for Sterling is yet to come, said Ray Attrill, head of forex strategy at National Australia Bank, as lawmakers still need to agree a way forward before an extension from the European Union could be obtained.

“Sterling is set to stay stuck in the washing machine for a while longer,” Attrill said.

“Indeed, it is still not possible to rule out the risk that we end up with a snap general election, an event risk which, were it to transpire, has the potential to hurt Sterling by even more than the prospect of an imminent UK exit from the EU without any transition arrangement.”

The euro extended gains for a fifth day in a row to the highest since March 5. It was last at $1.1306.

Wednesday’s vote boosted investor optimism in equities market too, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index climbing 0.6 percent while London’s FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent as sterling extended gains.

The dollar eased on the inflation data with its index against a basket of major currencies slipping for a fourth straight day to a 1-1/2 week trough. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was last at 111.15.

Oil prices extended overnight gains with U.S. crude up 9 cents per barrel at $58.35 and Brent adding 7 cents to $67.62.

(Editing by Sam Holmes)

Source: OANN

  • A former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer who has worked with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele quietly formed a pro-democracy nonprofit group in 2018 called Advance Democracy Inc. 
  • A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found that a multi-billion dollar charity backed by Silicon Valley tech titans donated $500,000 to the group last year.
  • The staffer operates a similar charity called The Democracy Integrity Project, which receives funding from George Soros. He allegedly told one associate that the group operates as a “shadow media organization” that works with the U.S. government. 

A Silicon Valley charity gave $500,000 to a nonprofit group founded by a former Senate staffer who is working with Fusion GPS and Trump dossier author Christopher Steele.

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), which has received significant funding from tech industry billionaires, gave the donation in 2018 to Advance Democracy Inc., a Virginia-based 501(c)(3) group, according to a database the recipient group runs.

A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found that Advance Democracy shares the same address as The Democracy Integrity Project (TDIP), another nonprofit group started by a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer for California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Daniel Jones.

Mystery surrounds both of Jones’s operations. The identities of both groups’ donors have largely been kept secret, as Jones has avoided revealing his backers.

The secrecy would appear at odds with Advance Democracy’s website description that it is an “independent, non-partisan organization that promotes accountability, transparency, and good governance in the United States and around the world.”

Jones created TDIP on Jan. 31, 2017, according to registration records filed in Washington, D.C. Through that group, Jones partnered with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue a private investigation into President Donald Trump and Russia. One goal of the organization, Jones told the FBI, was to provide information to the media, lawmakers and the FBI.

Jones, who worked for Feinstein on the Senate Intelligence Committee through 2015, allegedly told one associate that his operation worked as a “shadow media organization” with the U.S. government, TheDCNF previously reported. He also took credit for planting anti-Trump stories in the press.

Jones formed Advance Democracy on Jan. 29, 2018 — four days after then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley identified Jones in letters seeking information related to Steele’s dossier regarding Trump’s alleged relationship with Russia. (RELATED: Dark Money Org Gave $2 Million To Group Working With Fusion GPS, Steele)

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson listens as his lawyer, Joshua Levy, speaks to members of the media following a meeting with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson listens following a meeting. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

It’s unclear why Jones created two separate organizations. While the two groups share the same Virginia address registered to Jones, they have different tax statuses with the IRS. TDIP is a 501(c)(4), meaning that donations are not tax-deductible, in contrast to Advance Democracy, a 501(c)(3).

Jones also operates The Penn Quarter Group, a Washington, D.C.-based “research and investigative advisory” firm.

It is also unclear who is ultimately behind the SVCF contribution to Advance Democracy. The foundation, whose donors include Silicon Valley tech titans, lists grant recipients in an online database, but does not identify who funded each grant.

A spokeswoman for SVCF declined to disclose the donor. Jones did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has donated nearly $2 billion in his company’s stock to SVCF since 2010, according to Forbesincluding $214 million in November 2018. Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey contributed $21 million in Square stock in 2015, and Netflix founder Reed Hastings gave $100 million in 2016. Google co-founder Sergey Brin gave $10 million in 2015.

Starbucks founder and potential 2020 presidential candidate Howard Schultz gave $1 million in 2014. J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic governor of Illinois, gave $605,000 in 2016 through his family foundation, according to Forbes, which pulled donor information from Security Exchange Commission filings.

SVCF uses donor-advised funds to accept donations and make grants. Donors receive an immediate tax benefit for contributions, many of which are made in the form of stocks and other assets, but can distribute funds on a longer timeline than would be required at a traditional private foundation. They can also recommend who receives the grants using their donations.

The funds, known as DAFs, also provide an extra layer of anonymity for donors compared to a foundation funded by an individual or family. Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, has said that the donor-advised fund industry fosters “identity laundering.”

SVCF has more than 1,000 donor-advised funds, a spokeswoman for the group told TheDCNF.

The contribution to Advance Democracy is the first donation to the Jones group to be revealed. TDIP received $1 million from progressive billionaire financier George Soros in 2017, while the Fund for a Better Future, a Sacramento-based dark money group in California, contributed $2,065,000 to TDIP that same year.

Jones’s activities have slowly trickled into public view over the past year.

After Grassley, an Iowa Republican, identified Jones in his January 2018 letter, The Federalist reported that Jones was working with Fusion GPS and Steele to investigate Trump. On April 27, 2018, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a report that quoted from an interview that Jones conducted with the FBI in March 2017.

According to the report, Jones told FBI agents that he had raised $50 million from between seven and 10 donors from California and New York to “continue exposing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.”

Jones said he hired Fusion GPS and Steele and “planned to share the information he obtained with policymakers … and with the press.”

In a text message provided to TheDCNF, Jones took credit for the publication of anti-Trump news stories. In one text that linked to a March 17, 2017, Reuters article, Jones said that “our team helped with this.”

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FILE PHOTO: Chairman of Japan Business Federation Sadayuki Sakakibara attends a news conference in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Chairman of Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) Sadayuki Sakakibara attends a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

March 14, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nissan Motor is considering asking ex-Toray Industries chief and Japan Inc heavyweight Sadayuki Sakakibara to chair its board meetings while leaving vacant the chairman post previously held by Carlos Ghosn, a source said on Thursday.

Japan’s No. 2 automaker is considering nominating Sakakibara, a former head of powerful business lobby Japan Business Federation, to become an external director at the general shareholders’ meeting in late June, the source, who has direct knowledge of the matter, told Reuters.

The person declined to be identified because the decision is not final.

(Reporting by Maki Shiraki; Writing by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Source: OANN

Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a retired Air Force colonel and combat pilot, on Wednesday called for an executive summit on sexual assault in the Air Force one week after disclosing that she is a military sexual assault survivor, reports The Washington Post.

“Like so many women and men, I didn’t trust the system at the time,” she said in a letter to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.

“I firmly believe that commanders must be fully responsible for preventing and responding to sexual assault in the ranks,” she added. “However, if we truly want to see aggressive change, we must take a fresh look at what else needs to be done in our approach to education, prevention, investigation and prosecution of these crimes.”

In her letter, McSally cited the latest DOD annual report on sexual assault showing that as many as 5,277 service members made reports for occurred sometime during their military service.

McSally, during a March 6 Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee hearing on the military services’ efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault in the ranks, revealed that she was raped by a superior officer while she was in the military.

“I blamed myself. I was ashamed and confused. I thought I was strong but felt powerless. The perpetrators abused their position of power in profound ways.”

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers at a Walmart store in Chicago Illinois
FILE PHOTO: Shoppers leave a Walmart store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 20, 2018. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

March 14, 2019

(Reuters) – Walmart Inc plans to introduce a low-priced, kid-friendly electronic tablet under its ONN store brand, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The tablet will be made by a Chinese supplier and will run on Google’s Android operating system, according to pictures filed with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the Bloomberg report said.

The price of the device and when it will debut has not been disclosed, the report said.

Walmart confirmed the tablet but declined to comment further to Bloomberg. Reuters could not immediately reach Walmart for comment.

(Reporting by Sabahatjahan Contractor; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California
FILE PHOTO: A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

March 14, 2019

(Reuters) – A California jury on Wednesday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $29 million to a woman who alleged that asbestos in the company’s talcum-powder-based products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder, caused her mesothelioma, the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate which is facing thousands of similar lawsuits.

J&J denies allegations that its talc causes cancer, saying numerous studies and tests by regulators worldwide have shown that its talc is safe and asbestos-free.

The New Jersey-based company is likely to appeal the verdict, which was made in California Superior Court in Oakland.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Bill Rigby)

Source: OANN

Jake Lloyd discusses the unprecedented attacks on free speech from tech giants like Twitter, Facebook, and Google. The Infowars audience weighs in on the hypocrisy of the Left attempting to hijack the free speech wave. Patrick Casey of the American Identity Movement joins to discuss real world activism and how it can be used to restore American greatness, and Will Johnson of Unite America First joins to discuss exactly how Google manipulates the flow of information for their anti-liberty See More agenda.

GUEST // (OTP/Skype) // TOPICS:
Patrick Casey//Skype
Will Johnson//Skype</span>

Source: The War Room

Documents filed with the Supreme Court and unsealed on Wednesday revealed definitively, and for the first time, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is the party seeking a grand jury subpoena and subsequent contempt citation against an unnamed, government-controlled foreign corporation that has resisted prosecutors’ efforts at every turn.

Fox News has previously reported on strong indications that Mueller’s office was behind the case, although neither his office nor lawyers for the unnamed overseas company would provide confirmation.

The proceedings are believed to be linked to attempts by Mueller’s team to secure information to present to an empaneled grand jury in the special counsel’s Russia investigation. Mueller is looking into not only whether members of President Trump’s inner circle improperly colluded with Russia, but also a range of other matters pertaining to foreign activities by high-ranking Americans.

Court proceedings have been closed to the public, and court documents have redacted the name of the corporation. During oral arguments in the case late last year, court officials shuttered an entire floor of the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., from the public and the press.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has doggedly pursued a subpoena against an unnamed foreign corporation.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has doggedly pursued a subpoena against an unnamed foreign corporation.

“Earlier this year, Special Counsel Robert Mueller served a grand jury subpoena on is a ‘foreign state’ as the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act defines the term," the unsealed filing, written by lawyers for the unknown corporation, reads. "From the outset, argued that it is immune under the FSIA from complying with, a criminal subpoena because American courts lack criminal jurisdiction over foreign states. The Special Counsel has argued from the outset that the FSIA does not apply to criminal proceedings and that, if it does, the statute’s exceptions can support criminal jurisdiction over a foreign state.”

In January, the Supreme Court issued an unsigned order refusing to dismiss a contempt citation from a federal judge against the corporation for failure to comply with Mueller’s subpoena.

WHAT DID CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS SAY LAST YEAR ABOUT MYSTERY CORPORATION’S SUBPOENA?

The unnamed company — listed cryptically in court records as owned by "Country A" — had challenged the subpoena from a federal grand jury in Washington, including daily fines, after it refused to turn over requested documents to U.S. investigators.

The corporation argued that complying with the subpoena would violate the laws of its country and thus constitute an undue hardship. But in December, a three-judge panel for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held otherwise.

The judges ruled "that text of the foreign law provision the Corporation relies on does not support its position" and found that the country’s counsel — and a regulator from the country — offered only an "atextual" contrary interpretation that lacked "critical indicia of reliability."

The appellate panel also rejected the corporation’s argument that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act rendered it immune from prosecutors’ request.

An interpretation of federal law that "would completely insulate corporations majority owned by foreign governments from all criminal liability," the judges wrote, "seems in far greater tension with Congress’s choice to codify a theory of foreign sovereign immunity designed to allow regulation of foreign nations acting as ordinary market participants."

The panel found "that text of the foreign law provision the Corporation relies on does not support its position" and found that the country’s counsel — and a regulator from the country — offered only an "atextual" contrary interpretation that lacked "critical indicia of reliability."

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Shortly after the Supreme Court issued its order upholding the contempt citation, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a separate, partially redacted opinion upholding its earlier ruling against the company. The opinion noted that the company is facing a $50,000-per-day fine for failure to turn over the documents. The papers in question are kept overseas, though the company does have an office in the U.S.

The opinion also noted that prosecutors have been trying to obtain the information since at least this past summer, and the three-judge panel determined it could get involved in the dispute because "there is a reasonable probability the information sought through the subpoena here concerns a commercial activity that caused a direct effect in the United States."

Source: Fox News Politics

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Federal prosecutors are investigating partnership deals Facebook forged with some of the world’s largest technological companies.

A grand jury subpoenaed records from two smartphone developers, The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing two anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Both companies entered into large and complex data deals with Facebook, allowing all the firms involved in the partnership to collect vast troves of information on millions of users.

The agreements allowed companies such as Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, among others, to see users’ friends and contact information, often without consent. (RELATED: REPORT: Facebook Gave AI Control Of A Crucial Personal Data Collection Tool)

“We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously,” a Facebook spokesman told TheNYT in a press statement. “We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg created the partnerships to stave off obsolescence and insulate the massive company from competition. Every corporate partner helped drive the platform’s expansion and yoke people deeper into Facebook’s universe while growing advertisement. News of the subpoena comes at a bad moment for Facebook.

The logo of Amazon is seen on the door of an Amazon Books retail store in New York City, U.S., Feb. 14, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The report comes as the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission continue scrutinizing Facebook’s business model. The Department of Justice began probing the Silicon Valley company after a report showed Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, used the platform to improperly obtained data on 87 million people to help President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Facebook used contact lists from the partners, including Chinese company Huawei, which American officials consider a security threat because of its connections to China, to gain deeper insight into people’s relationships. House lawmakers grilled Zuckerberg in April 2018 about the company’s data mining capabilities.

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].

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FILE PHOTO: Worker walks near a factory at the Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki
FILE PHOTO: A worker walks near a factory at the Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki, Japan, March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

March 14, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government is considering a slight downgrade to its assessment of the economy in its monthly report for March as exports and factory output fell due to slowing demand from China, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday.

In February, the government said the economy was recovering but noted weak data on corporate sentiment, capital expenditure and exports showed the U.S.-China trade war is hurting the outlook for the world’s third-largest economy.

The government could slightly tweak the wording of its economic assessment to indicate a downgrade, the Nikkei report said without citing sources.

The government’s coincident indicator index fell for a third straight month in January, prompting the government to cut its view on the index, which showed the economy may have reached the peak of its long-term business cycle.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), candidate for U.S. Senate greets supporters at a campaign rally in Plano
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), candidate for U.S. Senate greets supporters at a campaign rally in Plano, Texas, U.S., November 2, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

March 14, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Beto O’Rourke, the youthful Texan who gained a national following with his long-shot election battle against U.S. Senator Ted Cruz last year, told a Texas TV station on Wednesday he will seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

“I’m really proud of what El Paso did and what El Paso represents,” O’Rourke said in a text to TV station KTSM. “It’s a big part of why I’m running. This city is the best example of this country at its best.”

A formal announcement will be made on Thursday morning, the television station said.

(Reporting by Eric Beech)

Source: OANN

Beto O’Rourke, the youthful Texan who gained a national following with his long-shot election battle against U.S. Senator Ted Cruz last year, told a Texas TV station on Wednesday he will seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

"I'm really proud of what El Paso did and what El Paso represents," O'Rourke said in a text to TV station KTSM. "It's a big part of why I'm running. This city is the best example of this country at its best."

A formal announcement will be made on Thursday morning, the television station said.

Source: NewsMax

The Senate voted Wednesday to end U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen’s ongoing civil war, the latest in a series of foreign policy rebuffs to President Trump.

Seven Republicans broke with Trump to support the resolution, which was co-sponsored by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Mike Lee, R-Utah. They were: Lee, Susan Collins of Maine, Steve Daines of Montana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Todd Young of Indiana.

Lawmakers have never before invoked the War Powers Resolution of 1973 to stop a foreign conflict, but Wednesday’s 54-46 vote brought them a step closer to doing just that in order to cut off U.S. support for a war that has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe.

"The bottom line is that the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with an irresponsible foreign policy," Sanders said on Wednesday from the Senate floor. He said a vote in favor of the measure would "begin the process of reclaiming our constitutional authority by ending United States involvement in a war that has not been authorized by Congress and is unconstitutional."

The measure will move to the Democrat-controlled House, where it is expected to pass. Trump has threatened to veto the resolution, which the White House says raises "serious constitutional concerns."

In its statement threatening a veto, the White House argued that the premise of the resolution is flawed, and that it would undermine the fight against extremism. U.S. support for the Saudis does not constitute engaging in "hostilities," the statement said, and the Yemen resolution "seeks to override the president’s determination as commander in chief."

"By defining `hostilities’ to include defense cooperation such as aerial refueling," the White House statement said, the Yemen resolution could also "establish bad precedent for future legislation."

Trump’s support for Saudi Arabia has been a point of tension with Congress since the killing of U.S.-based activist and writer Jamal Khashoggi last year. Lawmakers from both parties have criticized Trump for not condemning Saudi Arabia strongly enough for the killing.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., addressed those tensions when he urged his colleagues to oppose the measure.

"We should not use this specific vote on a specific policy decision as some proxy for all the Senate’s broad feelings about foreign affairs. Concerns about Saudi human rights issues should be directly addressed with the administration and with Saudi officials," McConnell said from the Senate floor.

McConnell argued that the Yemen resolution would "not enhance America’s diplomatic leverage" and would make it more difficult for the U.S. to help end the conflict in Yemen and minimize civilian casualties.

Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, argued that U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition helps facilitate peace talks and withdrawing from the conflict would delay an eventual political settlement.

"Peace envoys are telling us they want deeper U.S. engagement in this situation," Risch said in a statement following the vote. "This resolution sends a terrible message of U.S. division and lack of resolve, and sets a bad precedent for using the War Powers Resolution to express political disagreements with a president. We should instead signal our resolve that the U.S. is committed to playing an important role in pushing for a sustainable political settlement in Yemen."

A similar resolution to end support for the Yemen war passed the Senate in December, but it was not taken up by the House, which was then controlled by Republicans.

Approaching its fifth year, the war in Yemen has killed thousands and left millions on the brink of starvation, creating what the United Nations called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said before the vote that the resolution "will be seen as a message to the Saudis that they need to clean up their act."

"We are made weaker in the eyes of the world when we willingly participate in war crimes, when we allow our partners to engage in the slaughter of innocents," Murphy said.

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

Source: Fox News Politics

Texas lawmaker Louie Gohmert said Wednesday that efforts to deport illegal immigrants are futile as long as the border remains “porous,” arguing that those illegals just “come right back” in.

Speaking to Fox News’ Todd Starnes, the Republican congressman recalled his time as a state district judge. He said he saw repeat offenders who, despite being sentenced to prison time, would show again in his courtroom after being picked up and deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“When you have a porous border, that’s what’s going to happen. You can deport the worst gang member. You can take the people that are the biggest threat to humanity and make them go across the border, but if it’s porous, they can just go to another spot and come right back across. It is insane.”

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT WITH CRIMINAL HISTORY ARRESTED IN CALIFORNIA WOMAN’S MURDER

Gohmert ‘s comments come just days after police in California arrested an illegal immigrant in connection with the slaying of 59-year-old Bambi Larson.

Authorities in San Jose said that the suspect, 24-year-old Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, was arrested several times on violence and drug charges between 2013, when he was first deported, and January of this year.

Despite having six detainer requests placed on him by ICE, Carranza was never deported.

PELOSI WORKS TO DERAIL BID TO SPARE TRUMP BORDER EMERGENCY REBUFF

Said Gohmert: “The most compassionate thing we can do for people in Mexico and Central America is totally secure our border. Build a wall, barriers where we need them. Totally secure the border and then it will cut off the tens of billions of dollars going every year to the drug cartels that they’ve been used to corrupt officials and corrupt law enforcement.”

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Gohmert said he was also “disappointed” with several lawmakers who refuse to back President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency over conditions at the southern border.

“He has that kind of discretion.”

Gohmert said Congress had no issue backing past presidents’ national emergencies. Conditions at the border, he said, merit such a declaration now.

Source: Fox News Politics

Italy’s Justice Ministry will investigate a court’s 2017 ruling acquitting two men of rape convictions after it found the victim was too ugly to be a credible witness.

The Ministry of Justice ordered a preliminary inquiry as well as a retrial of the case, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Italy’s high court, the Court of Cassation, will disclose its reasons for ordering a retrial in April.

The ministry’s announcement comes after the Ancona appeals court, made up of three women, acquitted two Peruvian men who were convicted of raping a woman in Italy’s city of Ancona in 2015. The court determined the victim was not a reliable witness, in part because the rapists “didn’t find her attractive, she was too masculine,” according to the court’s decision.

Cellphone records show one of the men describing the victim as masculine. She was listed as “Viking” in his contacts, the AP reported.

The men allegedly knew the woman, who is also Peruvian and was 20 at the time of the rape. They were found guilty and sentenced to prison in 2016.

The victim was drugged the night of the rape, according to the woman’s lawyer Cinzia Molinaro. Doctors found traces of “date rape” drug in her blood, Molinaro said. The rape also caused severe genital trauma that required stitches, Molinaro said.

“It’s a sentence that has shocked us, I was astonished when reading the motivation,” Molinaro told CNN. Molinaro called the decision “absolute unacceptability.” (RELATED: Whoopi Goldberg Says Actresses Used Sex With Ugly Men To Get Ahead)

Molinaro’s appeal to the Court of Cassation prompted the investigation and retrial. The appeal contests a number of procedural issues, including the women’s beauty status, regarding the Ancona acquittal of the convicted men, according to the AP.

The president of the court Alfredo Montalto (L) reads the sentence, at the end of a historic mafia case in which mob bosses and former high-ranking state officials were convicted of holding secret negotiations in the early 1990s, in Palermo, Italy, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The court’s 2017 decision was not make public until the Court of Cassation annulled the decision on March 5. Outrage erupted shortly thereafter, and the Ancona court saw dozens of protesters carrying signs reading, “Stop justifying male violence on women,” according to CNN.

A flash mob also took place outside the court Monday.

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FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8, on a flight from Miami to New York City, comes in for landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York
FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8, on a flight from Miami to New York City, comes in for landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York, U.S., March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

March 13, 2019

By David Shepardson and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress plans to scrutinize why the United States waited so many days to ground all Boeing Co 737 MAX jets involved in Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia as other countries and airlines acted more quickly.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the order on Wednesday was the result of “new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today” and “newly refined satellite data” that Canada had cited earlier in its decision to halt flights.

The FAA did not disclose the new evidence at the scene but said it was “the missing pieces” that aligned the track of the two fatal Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes since October.

For decades, the United States has led the world in aviation safety, often setting standards that were later adopted by other countries. The agency came under heavy criticism from U.S. lawmakers and others who questioned why the FAA waited so long to ground the Boeing 737 MAX.

FAA officials plan to brief lawmakers Thursday, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

While President Donald Trump announced the ban on television, acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell said he made the decision with the support of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

“We were resolute in our position that we would not take action until we had data to support taking action,” Elwell told reporters. “That data coalesced today and we made the call.”

Canada grounded the planes earlier on Wednesday while the European Union acted on Tuesday. China and some airlines ordered the planes not to fly within hours of the crash on Sunday.

As of Wednesday night, regulators in Argentina and Mexico had not grounded planes.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, a Democrat, said “it has become abundantly clear to us that not only should the 737 MAX be grounded but also that there must be a rigorous investigation into why the aircraft, which has critical safety systems that did not exist on prior models, was certified without requiring additional pilot training.”

Elwell said Wednesday he was confident in the 737’s certification.

The Senate Commerce Committee also plans to hold a hearing as early as April. Senator Ted Cruz said he plans “to investigate these crashes, determine their contributing factors, and ensure that the United States aviation industry remains the safest in the world.”

The grounding was an abrupt reversal as the United States had repeatedly insisted the airplane was safe to fly even as regulators and airlines around the world grounded the airplane.

Trump spoke to Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg on Wednesday before the announcement.

United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines Co all fly versions of the 737 MAX and immediately halted flights on Wednesday.

American, with 24 737 MAX airplanes, said it will be “working to re-book customers as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

Boeing said it supported the action to temporarily ground 737 max operations after it consulted with the FAA, NTSB and its customers. Boeing shares were down 2 percent.

The shift came less than a day after U.S. regulators had again insisted the plane was safe. Even Chao flew aboard a 737 MAX on Tuesday.

The FAA plans to mandate design changes by April that have been in the works for months for the 737 MAX 8 fleet. Boeing said late Monday it will deploy a software upgrade across the 737 MAX 8 fleet “in the coming weeks.”

The company confirmed it had for several months “been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer.”

The FAA said the changes will “provide reduced reliance on procedures associated with required pilot memory items.”

Elwell said Wednesday he was hopeful software improvements “will be ready in a couple months” after testing and evaluation is completed by the FAA of what he called a “software patch.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 10
Mar 13, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Rafael Nadal (ESP) during his fourth round match as he defeated Filip Krajinovic (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 13, 2019

(Reuters) – Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal remained on course for a mouthwatering semi-final clash at the BNP Paribas Open with straightforward fourth-round victories in the California desert on Wednesday.

Federer needed just over an hour to dispatch Briton Kyle Edmund 6-1 6-4 in their first career meeting and reach the quarter-finals on a sunny and breezy day in Indian Wells.

Next up for the 20-times Grand Slam champion is another unknown quantity in Pole Hubert Hurkacz, who defeated Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov 7-6(3) 2-6 6-3 earlier in the day to set up his first career meeting with the Swiss Master.

Nadal, 17 times a Grand Slam winner, ruthlessly put an end to Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic’s run at the tournament, converting three of his four break point opportunities to advance 6-3 6-4.

Neither Federer or Nadal have dropped a set in their three matches at Indian Wells, a tournament Federer has won five times and Nadal three.

In other fourth-round action, hard-hitting Canadian Milos Raonic saved all three of Jan-Lennard Struff’s break point opportunities to down the German 6-4 6-3.

The 13th seed will square off against either France’s Gael Monfils or Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A woman looks at the Facebook logo on an iPad in this photo illustration
FILE PHOTO: A woman looks at the Facebook logo on an iPad in this photo illustration taken June 3, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Illustration

March 13, 2019

(Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook Inc struck with some of the world’s largest technology companies, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, the paper reported without naming them, citing two people familiar with the requests.

The two companies are among more than 150, including Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp, that have entered into partnerships with Facebook for access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users, according to the report.

(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf
FILE PHOTO: A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

March 13, 2019

By Humeyra Pamuk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States aims to cut Iran’s crude exports by about 20 percent to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from May by requiring importing countries to reduce purchases to avoid U.S. sanctions, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The United States will likely renew waivers to sanctions for most countries buying Iranian crude, including the biggest buyers China and India, in exchange for pledges to cut combined imports to below 1 million bpd. That would be around 250,000 bpd below Iran’s current exports of 1.25 million bpd.

Washington may also deny waivers to some countries that have not bought Iranian crude recently, the sources said.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Richard Valdmanis, Simon Webb and Chris Reese)

Source: OANN

Wells Fargo CEO Sloan testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearing
Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearing titled: “Holding Megabanks Accountable: An Examination of Wells Fargo’s Pattern of Consumer Abuses” in Washington, U.S. March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

March 13, 2019

By Imani Moise and Pete Schroeder

(Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co gave Chief Executive Tim Sloan a 5 percent pay raise for 2018, prompting the Federal Reserve to release a statement saying that it does not sign off on executive pay.

Sloan’s base salary remained flat at $2.4 million, he earned $14 million stock awards and the board awarded him a $2 million bonus based on the bank’s financial performance and other factors, according to a company filing. In 2017, Sloan did not receive a bonus and his total compensation was $17.4 million.

“The Federal Reserve does not approve pay packages. We expect boards of directors to hold management accountable,” said a Fed spokesperson in an emailed statement when asked about the bank’s new executive compensation numbers.

The Fed typically has been tight lipped about the institutions it regulates and rarely comments beyond pre-scheduled regulatory events.

Wells Fargo is currently prohibited from growing in size, after the Federal Reserve issued an unprecedented asset cap on it in February, citing “widespread consumer abuses and compliance breakdowns.”

The 2016 revelation that Wells Fargo created millions of fake customer accounts prompted regulatory probes into mortgage foreclosures, auto insurance sales and its wealth management businesses, resulting in billions of dollars in fines.

Wells Fargo released its compensation one day after Sloan appeared before the House Financial Services Committee to prove to lawmakers that the bank was reformed since 2016 revelations that it created millions of unauthorized customer accounts.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Sloan was peppered with bipartisan criticism for four hours but he navigated a hostile committee without a major stumble. [L1N20Z0NY]

During 2018 Wells Fargo shares tumbled 22 percent as the bank continued to rack up fines and disclose new issues.

Earlier this year, Bank of America Corp disclosed CEO Brian Moynihan’s annual compensation rose 15 percent to $27 million, Morgan Stanley said CEO James Gorman’s overall pay rose 7 percent to $29 million, and JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon’s compensation rose 5 percent to $31 million, according to filings.

(Reporting by Imani Moise; editing by Diane Craft)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
FILE PHOTO: Dec 30, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Chargers nose tackle Brandon Mebane (92) celebrates the win over the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports – 11920859

March 13, 2019

Nose tackle Brandon Mebane remained with the Los Angeles Chargers after agreeing to a two-year deal on Wednesday, according to the team.

Mebane had 40 tackles and one sack in 12 games last season, his third with the franchise. He has 17.5 career sacks in 12 NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (2007-15) and Chargers.

–OT Daryl Williams re-signed with the Carolina Panthers for one year in a deal worth $7 million, according to the NFL Network. Williams played in just one game last season after dislocating his right kneecap during training camp.

Williams has played in 40 games (29 starts) in four seasons with the Panthers.

–The Miami Dolphins announced the release of four-time Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last season and played in just one game with the team.

The Dolphins reportedly will save $5 million by releasing Sitton, who signed a two-year contract prior to last season. He has played in 148 career games with the Green Bay Packers (2008-15), Chicago Bears (2016-17) and Dolphins.

–OL Ted Larsen signed a one-year contract to rejoin the Bears after playing the last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Larsen started eight games at right guard for Chicago in 2016.

Larsen has played 125 games (86 starts) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010-13), Arizona Cardinals (2014-15), Bears and Dolphins.

–LB Adarius Taylor signed a two-year, $5 million deal with $2.55 million guaranteed with the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland.com reported.

Taylor started 10 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018 and has played in 60 contests (16 starts) in five NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2014) and Bucs (2015-18). He has one career interception and three forced fumbles.

–DT Mitch Unrein was waived by the Buccaneers with a failed-physical designation. Unrien suffered a concussion during training camp last season and spent his lone season with Tampa Bay on injured reserve.

Unrien has played in 95 games (24 starts) with the Denver Broncos (2011-14), San Diego Chargers (2015) and Chicago Bears (2015-17). He has 4.5 career sacks and one fumble recovery.

–CB Jason Verrett is visiting with the San Francisco 49ers, according to the NFL Network.

The former first-round pick of the Chargers has played in just five games over the past three seasons due to injuries. Verrett has five interceptions in 25 career games (23 starts).

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Enzi waits for order to be restored during markup of the FY2018 Budget reconciliation legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington
Chairman of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee Mike Enzi (R-WY) waits for order to be restored as protestors interrupt the markup of the FY2018 Budget reconciliation legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 28, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

March 13, 2019

By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior Senate Republican gave a lukewarm welcome to U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget plan, complaining on Wednesday that growing debt was taking the country in “an ominous direction.”

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi opened a hearing on the Republican president’s proposal with a broad attack on what he said was the growing, misguided view that U.S. debt and deficits do not matter.

“We’re in a credit-card Congress,” Enzi said, noting the United States would soon face annual government deficits of over $1 trillion. “We are clearly headed in an ominous direction.”

Trump’s plan is highly unlikely to become law in the face of opposition from Democrats, who control the House of Representatives.

Democrats at the hearing focused on Trump’s proposed cuts to social programs, making clear they would continue to emphasize them in the 2020 presidential election campaign.

The budget proposal “practices the Robin Hood principle in reverse,” said Senator Bernie Sanders, budget panel member and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. “It takes from the poor and working families and gives to the very wealthy.”

In his $4.7 trillion budget unveiled on Monday, Trump called for overhauling social programs that help poor and elderly Americans, while boosting military spending and funding a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The Trump administration has said the plan represents an attempt to be fiscally responsible at a time of trillion-dollar budget deficits.

Tax cuts were a priority for the Trump White House and congressional Republicans in recent years, rather than deficit reduction. The U.S. deficit is expected to run to $900 billion in 2019 and the national debt has ballooned to $22 trillion.

Enzi blamed both Republicans and Democrats for the trend toward trillion-dollar deficits. The Republican lawmaker cited a report from the Congressional Budget Office that the public debt is expected to reach 78 percent of gross domestic product this year.

Russell Vought, acting White House budget director, defended Trump’s plan, saying the president was requesting more spending cuts than any previous administration.

House Democrats are working on their own budget proposal that would be a blueprint for setting spending levels.

The party is divided over costly ideas like a “Medicare for All” universal healthcare proposal and the “Green New Deal” to eliminate U.S. greenhouse gas emissions within a decade.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

WATCH:

Tucker Carlson is fighting back against the liberal outrage machine that has come after him over radio segments from a decade ago, but the organization that launched the smear campaign against him has its own skeletons.

Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters, has his own track record of inflammatory statements in a now-defunct blog which included degrading references to “trannies,” “jewry” and Bangladeshis, among other things. (RELATED: Media Matters President Wrote Blog Posts About ‘Japs,’ ‘Jewry’ and ‘Trannies’.) 

So , where’s the outrage mob?

Nowhere to be found. Apparently you get a pass as long as you’re not a threat to the Democratic Party.

——————————————————————————————-

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

“America Uncensored” is a Daily Caller program dedicated to political stories dominating the news cycle. TheDC’s Stephanie Hamill is a straight shooter who isn’t afraid to tell you what she thinks.

Hamill has put the Left on blast for turning a blind eye to the violent MS-13 gang, talked about the Left’s war on white men and highlighted the dangers of socialized medicine in some of her recent monologues. Check out a few of Hamill’s other greatest videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel to avoid missing out.

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Lori Loughlin wasn’t in federal custody for very long, and is already out on bond.

The “Full House” star surrendered to federal authorities on charges stemming from a massive college admission bribery scandal. Loughlin is accused of allegedly paying $500,000 in bribes in order to get her daughter into USC. Her and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are both being charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. (SLIDESHOW: These Are The Hottest Women On Instagram)

According to the Associated Press, Loughlin was released after posting her $1 million bond Wednesday night. She must limit her travel to the continental United States and areas around Vancouver, Canada, according to the same report.

Is it just me or does setting bond at $1 million for an alleged college bribery admission scheme seem like way over the top? These are mass murderers and they’re not dangers to society.

They’re accused off illegal greasing hands to get their kids into school. They’re not part of a terrorist network. (RELATED: FBI Agents Arrest Felicity Huffman At Gunpoint)

She’s not the only one who got hit with a large bond. Felicity Huffman’s bond for her alleged role in the scandal was $250,000! They’re treating these people like they’re Al Capone.

I’m so thankful the FBI, the federal government and the courts are taking this so seriously. God forbid we use our precious resources to fight actual violent crime. That would just be too much.

It’s just much easier to slap the cuffs on some people, set insanely high bonds and then call it a day. Our tax dollars are well at work.

P.S.: Let’s not forget the FBI thought it was necessary to arrest Felicity Huffman at gunpoint. There’s such a great historical record of actresses in their mid-50s getting into shootouts with law enforcement. Totally reasonable way to handle the situation based off of the evidence they had.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Jon Brown | Associate Editor

An injured bald eagle snarled metro traffic in the nation’s capital Wednesday afternoon, causing transit authorities to reduce trains on the blue and silver lines and redirect traffic.

“We are currently single tracking on the Blue/Silver lines as appropriate animal resources respond to an apparently injured bald eagle on the tracks near Morgan Boulevard. Our apologies for delays as we work to get him/her to care,” the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) tweeted Wednesday, with a picture of the injured eagle.

The adult eagle in question was near Morgan Boulevard, which is the second-to-last stop on the eastern-most part of the silver and blue lines, which terminate in Largo, Maryland. Metro traffic to Largo was rerouted north to New Carrollton, Maryland.

The WMATA Twitter feed offered periodic “bald eagle updates” throughout the evening on the welfare of the endangered bird, which necessitated a rescue team of eight people.

WMATA posted live video of the eagle rescue:

Source: The Daily Caller


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