Defeat

FILE PHOTO: Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG poses for a picture during the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen
FILE PHOTO: Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG poses for a picture during the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen, Germany February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Tina Bellon

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bayer AG had hoped a new trial strategy focusing jurors on scientific evidence could stem a burgeoning tide of U.S. lawsuits over its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup, but a second jury finding on Tuesday that the product caused cancer has narrowed the company’s options, some legal experts said.

Bayer shares tumbled more than 12 percent on Wednesday after a unanimous jury in San Francisco federal court found Roundup to be a “substantial factor” in causing California resident Edwin Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The jury decision was a blow to Bayer after the judge in the Hardeman case, at the company’s request, had split the trial, severely limiting evidence plaintiffs could present in the first phase. Tuesday’s defeat on terms considered advantageous to Bayer sets up the second phase to be even tougher and limits the grounds on which the company could appeal any final verdict, the experts said.

“The fact that Bayer lost this trial despite it being set up in the most favorable way for them is a huge setback,” said Thomas Rohback, a Connecticut-based defense lawyer.

Bayer in a statement on Tuesday said it stood behind the safety of Roundup and was confident the evidence in the second trial phase would show that Monsanto’s conduct was appropriate and the company not liable for Hardeman’s cancer.

The company, which bought Monsanto last year, on Wednesday declined to comment beyond that statement.

Tuesday’s finding did not address liability, which will be determined following the second trial phase that began on Wednesday.

Bayer denies glyphosate or Roundup cause cancer. The German company faces more than 11,200 lawsuits over the popular weed killer. Last August, following the first Roundup trial, a California state court jury issued a $289 million verdict against the company.

Two weeks after that verdict, which was later reduced to $78 million and is being appealed, Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann reassured analysts that the company had a new legal strategy based on focusing jurors on the scientific evidence.

“Bayer and the joint litigation team are working to ensure that, going forward, this overwhelming science will get the full consideration it deserves,” Baumann said in an Aug. 23 conference call.

A LOT AT STAKE

There is a lot at stake for Bayer, which acquired Roundup maker Monsanto last year for $63 billion. Though Bayer does not break out sales figures for Roundup, glyphosate is the world’s most widely used weed killer, and Roundup is the leading brand.

Bayer’s new strategy was focused on keeping out plaintiffs’ allegations that the company improperly influenced scientists, regulators and the public about the safety of Roundup. Bayer has denied it acted inappropriately and said in public statements following the August verdict that it thought the jury was inflamed by the claims of corporate misconduct.

Vince Chhabria, the San Francisco federal judge overseeing the Hardeman case, agreed with the company’s argument that such evidence was a “distraction” from the scientific question of whether glyphosate causes cancer. He agreed to split the trial in a January order.

Had Bayer had won the first phase, there would have been no second phase looking at company liability. Now that it has lost, almost all of the previously excluded evidence can be presented to the jury.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers hit Bayer with those allegations in their opening statements for the second phase on Wednesday. Aimee Wagstaff, one of Hardeman’s lawyers, said Monsanto influenced the science around Roundup through its “cozy” relationship with regulators.

Bayer could convince the jury in the second phase that, despite their finding that Roundup played a substantial role in Hardeman’s cancer, the company was not liable. Experts said that was unlikely.

“They could present evidence of how careful they were in developing Roundup, but that’s an uphill battle given that the scientific evidence was their strongest argument,” said Alexandra Lahav, a law professor at the University of Connecticut.

A lawyer for Bayer on Wednesday argued that Bayer could not be held liable because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as other regulators worldwide, approved Roundup without a cancer warning.

If the Hardeman trial had not been split and a final verdict went against Bayer, the company might have been able to appeal any damages award to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by claiming the jury had been improperly swayed by inflammatory evidence, said Lori Jarvis, a Virginia-based mass tort defense lawyer. That argument will now be difficult to make.

“It would not be surprising at all for the 9th Circuit to uphold what the jury did in this case, particularly given the great effort Chhabria put into creating a level playing field for Monsanto,” Jarvis said.

Some lawyers said Bayer could still argue on appeal that plaintiffs’ experts and their scientific evidence were insufficient and statistically invalid and should not have been admitted at trial. But they noted the 9th Circuit, which oversees the San Francisco federal court, has generally been permissive in allowing expert testimony.

However, experts said it was probably too soon to write off Bayer’s legal strategy, noting future Roundup cases could result in different outcomes.

“It’s a relatively early phase in this litigation as a whole and we just need to see more trials to understand Bayer’s liability,” said Adam Zimmerman, a law professor at Los Angeles-based Loyola Law School.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Anthony Lin and Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG poses for a picture during the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen
FILE PHOTO: Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG poses for a picture during the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen, Germany February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Tina Bellon

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bayer AG had hoped a new trial strategy focusing jurors on scientific evidence could stem a burgeoning tide of U.S. lawsuits over its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup, but a second jury finding on Tuesday that the product caused cancer has narrowed the company’s options, some legal experts said.

Bayer shares tumbled more than 12 percent on Wednesday after a unanimous jury in San Francisco federal court found Roundup to be a “substantial factor” in causing California resident Edwin Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The jury decision was a blow to Bayer after the judge in the Hardeman case, at the company’s request, had split the trial, severely limiting evidence plaintiffs could present in the first phase. Tuesday’s defeat on terms considered advantageous to Bayer sets up the second phase to be even tougher and limits the grounds on which the company could appeal any final verdict, the experts said.

“The fact that Bayer lost this trial despite it being set up in the most favorable way for them is a huge setback,” said Thomas Rohback, a Connecticut-based defense lawyer.

Bayer in a statement on Tuesday said it stood behind the safety of Roundup and was confident the evidence in the second trial phase would show that Monsanto’s conduct was appropriate and the company not liable for Hardeman’s cancer.

The company, which bought Monsanto last year, on Wednesday declined to comment beyond that statement.

Tuesday’s finding did not address liability, which will be determined following the second trial phase that began on Wednesday.

Bayer denies glyphosate or Roundup cause cancer. The German company faces more than 11,200 lawsuits over the popular weed killer. Last August, following the first Roundup trial, a California state court jury issued a $289 million verdict against the company.

Two weeks after that verdict, which was later reduced to $78 million and is being appealed, Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann reassured analysts that the company had a new legal strategy based on focusing jurors on the scientific evidence.

“Bayer and the joint litigation team are working to ensure that, going forward, this overwhelming science will get the full consideration it deserves,” Baumann said in an Aug. 23 conference call.

A LOT AT STAKE

There is a lot at stake for Bayer, which acquired Roundup maker Monsanto last year for $63 billion. Though Bayer does not break out sales figures for Roundup, glyphosate is the world’s most widely used weed killer, and Roundup is the leading brand.

Bayer’s new strategy was focused on keeping out plaintiffs’ allegations that the company improperly influenced scientists, regulators and the public about the safety of Roundup. Bayer has denied it acted inappropriately and said in public statements following the August verdict that it thought the jury was inflamed by the claims of corporate misconduct.

Vince Chhabria, the San Francisco federal judge overseeing the Hardeman case, agreed with the company’s argument that such evidence was a “distraction” from the scientific question of whether glyphosate causes cancer. He agreed to split the trial in a January order.

Had Bayer had won the first phase, there would have been no second phase looking at company liability. Now that it has lost, almost all of the previously excluded evidence can be presented to the jury.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers hit Bayer with those allegations in their opening statements for the second phase on Wednesday. Aimee Wagstaff, one of Hardeman’s lawyers, said Monsanto influenced the science around Roundup through its “cozy” relationship with regulators.

Bayer could convince the jury in the second phase that, despite their finding that Roundup played a substantial role in Hardeman’s cancer, the company was not liable. Experts said that was unlikely.

“They could present evidence of how careful they were in developing Roundup, but that’s an uphill battle given that the scientific evidence was their strongest argument,” said Alexandra Lahav, a law professor at the University of Connecticut.

A lawyer for Bayer on Wednesday argued that Bayer could not be held liable because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as other regulators worldwide, approved Roundup without a cancer warning.

If the Hardeman trial had not been split and a final verdict went against Bayer, the company might have been able to appeal any damages award to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by claiming the jury had been improperly swayed by inflammatory evidence, said Lori Jarvis, a Virginia-based mass tort defense lawyer. That argument will now be difficult to make.

“It would not be surprising at all for the 9th Circuit to uphold what the jury did in this case, particularly given the great effort Chhabria put into creating a level playing field for Monsanto,” Jarvis said.

Some lawyers said Bayer could still argue on appeal that plaintiffs’ experts and their scientific evidence were insufficient and statistically invalid and should not have been admitted at trial. But they noted the 9th Circuit, which oversees the San Francisco federal court, has generally been permissive in allowing expert testimony.

However, experts said it was probably too soon to write off Bayer’s legal strategy, noting future Roundup cases could result in different outcomes.

“It’s a relatively early phase in this litigation as a whole and we just need to see more trials to understand Bayer’s liability,” said Adam Zimmerman, a law professor at Los Angeles-based Loyola Law School.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Anthony Lin and Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG poses for a picture during the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen
FILE PHOTO: Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer AG poses for a picture during the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen, Germany February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Tina Bellon

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bayer AG had hoped a new trial strategy focusing jurors on scientific evidence could stem a burgeoning tide of U.S. lawsuits over its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup, but a second jury finding on Tuesday that the product caused cancer has narrowed the company’s options, some legal experts said.

Bayer shares tumbled more than 12 percent on Wednesday after a unanimous jury in San Francisco federal court found Roundup to be a “substantial factor” in causing California resident Edwin Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The jury decision was a blow to Bayer after the judge in the Hardeman case, at the company’s request, had split the trial, severely limiting evidence plaintiffs could present in the first phase. Tuesday’s defeat on terms considered advantageous to Bayer sets up the second phase to be even tougher and limits the grounds on which the company could appeal any final verdict, the experts said.

“The fact that Bayer lost this trial despite it being set up in the most favorable way for them is a huge setback,” said Thomas Rohback, a Connecticut-based defense lawyer.

Bayer in a statement on Tuesday said it stood behind the safety of Roundup and was confident the evidence in the second trial phase would show that Monsanto’s conduct was appropriate and the company not liable for Hardeman’s cancer.

The company, which bought Monsanto last year, on Wednesday declined to comment beyond that statement.

Tuesday’s finding did not address liability, which will be determined following the second trial phase that began on Wednesday.

Bayer denies glyphosate or Roundup cause cancer. The German company faces more than 11,200 lawsuits over the popular weed killer. Last August, following the first Roundup trial, a California state court jury issued a $289 million verdict against the company.

Two weeks after that verdict, which was later reduced to $78 million and is being appealed, Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann reassured analysts that the company had a new legal strategy based on focusing jurors on the scientific evidence.

“Bayer and the joint litigation team are working to ensure that, going forward, this overwhelming science will get the full consideration it deserves,” Baumann said in an Aug. 23 conference call.

A LOT AT STAKE

There is a lot at stake for Bayer, which acquired Roundup maker Monsanto last year for $63 billion. Though Bayer does not break out sales figures for Roundup, glyphosate is the world’s most widely used weed killer, and Roundup is the leading brand.

Bayer’s new strategy was focused on keeping out plaintiffs’ allegations that the company improperly influenced scientists, regulators and the public about the safety of Roundup. Bayer has denied it acted inappropriately and said in public statements following the August verdict that it thought the jury was inflamed by the claims of corporate misconduct.

Vince Chhabria, the San Francisco federal judge overseeing the Hardeman case, agreed with the company’s argument that such evidence was a “distraction” from the scientific question of whether glyphosate causes cancer. He agreed to split the trial in a January order.

Had Bayer had won the first phase, there would have been no second phase looking at company liability. Now that it has lost, almost all of the previously excluded evidence can be presented to the jury.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers hit Bayer with those allegations in their opening statements for the second phase on Wednesday. Aimee Wagstaff, one of Hardeman’s lawyers, said Monsanto influenced the science around Roundup through its “cozy” relationship with regulators.

Bayer could convince the jury in the second phase that, despite their finding that Roundup played a substantial role in Hardeman’s cancer, the company was not liable. Experts said that was unlikely.

“They could present evidence of how careful they were in developing Roundup, but that’s an uphill battle given that the scientific evidence was their strongest argument,” said Alexandra Lahav, a law professor at the University of Connecticut.

A lawyer for Bayer on Wednesday argued that Bayer could not be held liable because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as other regulators worldwide, approved Roundup without a cancer warning.

If the Hardeman trial had not been split and a final verdict went against Bayer, the company might have been able to appeal any damages award to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by claiming the jury had been improperly swayed by inflammatory evidence, said Lori Jarvis, a Virginia-based mass tort defense lawyer. That argument will now be difficult to make.

“It would not be surprising at all for the 9th Circuit to uphold what the jury did in this case, particularly given the great effort Chhabria put into creating a level playing field for Monsanto,” Jarvis said.

Some lawyers said Bayer could still argue on appeal that plaintiffs’ experts and their scientific evidence were insufficient and statistically invalid and should not have been admitted at trial. But they noted the 9th Circuit, which oversees the San Francisco federal court, has generally been permissive in allowing expert testimony.

However, experts said it was probably too soon to write off Bayer’s legal strategy, noting future Roundup cases could result in different outcomes.

“It’s a relatively early phase in this litigation as a whole and we just need to see more trials to understand Bayer’s liability,” said Adam Zimmerman, a law professor at Los Angeles-based Loyola Law School.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Anthony Lin and Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

Paul Ingrassia | Contributor

Ninety percent of British people said Brexit negotiations and how the government is handling them have been a “national humiliation” in a poll Wednesday.

The Sky Data poll’s results come in the wake of news that Prime Minister Theresa May is considering forestalling a Brexit deal until June 30 to avoid the potential automatic withdrawal that was to occur March 29 after nearly three years of negotiations. A longer delay is also possible. 

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to head for the weekly Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons on March 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to head for the weekly Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons on March 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Of the polled participants, one-third (34 percent) blamed the U.K. government, one-quarter (26 percent) blamed British members of Parliament, and 7 percent blamed the EU. Some 24 percent of respondents said all parties deserve equal blame.

By postponing the breakup another three months, it raises doubts about the legality of a proposed extension because a new European Parliament is being sworn in over the summer to replace former U.K. seats. Since the EP does not officially convene until July, Britain believes another three-month window would be permissible.

May’s plan has already twice been rejected by large majorities of the British Parliament.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said Wednesday that there was potential for an extension, according to BBC.

Conservative lawmaker Peter Bone said delaying Brexit would be “betraying the British people,” according to the New York Post.

Angela Eagle, a member of the opposition Labour Party, expressed similar frustration.

“[Theresa May should] stop banging her head against the brick wall of her defeated deal” and look for cross-party support. (RELATED: Theresa May’s Brexit Deal Dies In A Historic Parliamentary Defeat)

“If Theresa May buckles and delays Brexit, I will do my best to tear her party limb from limb,” former U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage wrote in an op-ed for The Telegraph.

The poll interviewed a representative sample of 1,189 people Wednesday. 

Follow Paul Ingrassia on Twitter

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Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises from the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province
FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises from the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

March 20, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – France, one of the main contributors to the fight against Islamic State in the Middle East, has received no answers to questions about U.S. calls for it and others to help secure northeastern Syria, its foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Defence Minister Florence Parly was in Washington on Monday aiming to get details from U.S. officials over an idea to set up and observe a safe zone being negotiated for northeastern Syria.

That followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision in December to withdraw the bulk of his 2,000 troops in Syria after the defeat of Islamic State (IS) militants.

“Mrs Parly went to the United States to start talking to the Americans and try to get answers to various questions: If by chance the American military presence would be maintained? What would be the contours of its presence? What would be the mission? What would be the capabilities?” Le Drian said.

“We do not have these answers yet…It is on the basis of information that we don’t have yet that President (Macron) will determine the possibility of a French contribution.”

Since Trump made his announcement, advisers have convinced the U.S. president to leave about 400 U.S. troops, split between two different regions of Syria.

It wants about 200 U.S. troops to join what Washington hopes will be a total commitment of about 800 to 1,500 troops from European allies, which are to set up and observe a safe zone being negotiated for northeastern Syria.

However, the idea has met scepticism from Washington’s European allies, and foremost from France, which has 1,200 troops primarily based in providing air strikes, artillery support and training in Iraq. It also has an unspecified number of special forces in Syria.

Le Drian said Islamic State’s last Syrian pocket in Baghouz would fall imminently, but that militants were now going underground and fleeing to other countries, including Afghanistan.

“We can’t envisage abandoning those that were our best allies fighting Islamic State on the ground,” Le Drian said, referring to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

(Reporting by John Irish and Sophie Louet, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

Combination photo of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates
2020 Democratic presidential candidates are seen in a combination of file photos (L-R top row): U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, (L-R bottom row): U.S.Senator Kamala Harris, Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, U.S. Senator Cory Booker and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. REUTERS/Files

March 20, 2019

By Ginger Gibson

HEMINGWAY, S.C. (Reuters) – In the most polarized political environment in decades, Democratic voters want to know how their eventual nominee will match up against President Donald Trump in the November 2020 general election.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York appears willing to go the furthest yet, at least symbolically, in trying to prove she is ready to go toe-to-toe with the president.

On Sunday, she will deliver her campaign launch speech at a rally in view of one of Trump’s hotels in New York City, taking her “vision of restoring America’s moral integrity straight to President Trump’s doorstep,” her campaign said.

The backdrop for her speech underscores a defining theme of the Democratic nominating contest. Trump is present at every campaign stop – not physically, but as a constant topic of discussion, even if his name is not uttered by those seeking to defeat him.

Candidates are trying to convince voters in early primary states that they would provide the best Trump opposition. And in a large field with few variations on policy so far, each contender is using different tactics to make their case.

“Voters need to believe that a candidate can stand on stage, take a rhetoric punch from Trump and still look strong and viable,” said Joel Payne, a Democratic strategist who worked for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 White House race.

Potential and declared candidates including former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders “have likely already passed that litmus test with voters,” Payne added. “Others who are less known to the public probably still have some proving to do.”

A February poll by Emerson College found every Democratic hopeful out-performed Trump in a hypothetical general election matchup, except when a third-party candidacy was added to the equation.

At campaign events in rural South Carolina this month, Senator Kamala Harris used a simple refrain to begin answers about complicated policy questions: “We need a new president.”

Harris, a former prosecutor, is seeking to convince voters that her courtroom experience prepared her to be able to successfully “prosecute” Trump on the debate stage, a campaign aide said.

But Harris does not plan to make her case using any demeaning nicknames for Trump, something the president did during the 2016 campaign to deride his opponents.

“They don’t want someone who is going to mimic his tactics,” the aide said of Democratic voters. “Democrats want someone who can confront from him.”

VOTERS FOCUSED ON ELECTABILITY

A February poll by Monmouth University found that 56 percent of Democrats would prefer a nominee who has a good shot at defeating Trump even if they do not agree on policy positions.

The poll found women voters – who turned out in droves during the 2018 midterm elections to help send a historic number of women to Congress – were even more inclined to prioritize electability over ideology with 61 percent putting their positions aside in favor of a candidate who can defeat the president, compared to 45 percent of men.

The high level of Democrats citing electability over “kitchen table” issues like jobs and the economy was surprising to Tim Hagle, a political science professor at the University of Iowa.

But Hagle thinks it could be a product of the large field of Democrats, with voters looking for ways to whittle it down. Once the field narrows, policy issues such as immigration and jobs could again emerge as top concerns, he said.

“What is different this time is the intensity about wanting to defeat Trump,” Hagle said.

Even candidates who are inclined not to tussle with Trump directly still talk about him a lot.

In Mount Vernon, Iowa on Friday, Beto O’Rourke largely spoke of Trump in the context of using his campaign to try and bring people together. He criticized Trump – not using his name – for how the president talks about immigrants and Muslims.

“We’ve never been as divided as we are right now. And we’ve never seen the kind of rhetoric employed by this president in our history,” said O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman. “This is absolutely wrong. And there’s a consequence to this rhetoric and the policies employed by the president.”

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, a Democratic hopeful, insists Trump can be defeated by a candidate who offers a calmer tone instead of attacks.

“I know there’s some ‘fight fire with fire’ people out there, and God bless ’em, if they become the nominee, I’m behind them,” Booker told a group of voters at a New Hampshire pub last week. “But I’m willing to die on this hill, because I believe that when we as Americans extend grace to one another, we’re not weaker, but stronger.

“My mom taught Sunday school, and she taught me to love my enemies,” Booker said. “I’m not going to let anybody drag me so low as to contort my soul and make me hate them.”

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Additional reporting by Joseph Ax in New Hampshire and James Oliphant in Iowa; Editing by Alistair Bell)

Source: OANN

Scott Morefield | Reporter

Joe Biden reportedly has told several supporters that he wants to run for president in 2020, according to a Wall Street Journal report published Tuesday.

However, the former vice president told the supporters his concerns about being able to raise the necessary cash at the same pace as his competitors, Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

It took O’Rourke just one day to raise over $6.1 million after his Thursday presidential bid announcement, and Sanders raised $10 million in just a week after he announced in February. Fundraising being key to what is considered the “money primary,” Biden reportedly expressed his desire to “announce a large fundraising number after his candidacy is official,” according to the WSJ.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence (L) talks with former Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden during the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral December 05, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Biden chief strategist Steve Ricchetti said his boss was around 95 percent committed to tossing his hat into the ring, the New York Times reported, but the former vice president did express concern about the fact that President Donald Trump is unlikely “to stop at anything” to defeat his Democratic opponent. (RELATED: Biden Gets Four Point Bump In Latest Poll)

Meanwhile, top Democratic fundraiser Philip Levine told the WSJ that it was “highly likely” he would back Biden were he to announce.

“I think he would be a great nominee. In order to win the general election, we must have an experienced centrist,” said Levine. “Progressives win districts. Centrists win states.”

Follow Scott on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren are trying to find "any way they can" to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, including eliminating the Electoral College that resulted in his win, Trump senior campaign adviser and daughter-in-law Lara Trump said Tuesday.

"It is clear people are still upset on the left that their chosen candidate did not win in 2016," Trump told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "They want to find any way they can to beat Donald Trump because I think they know it's going to be incredibly hard, almost impossible to beat this president and the 2020 election so they are looking for anything they can."

Warren said during a CNN town hall in Jackson, Mississippi that the president should be chosen by a popular vote because the Electoral College disenfranchises voters who live in a state dominated by one of the parties.

"This is a system we've had in place for hundreds of years," Trump argued. "It's been working, it's always worked the way it's supposed to."

Several of the 2020 Democratic hopefuls say they're in favor of expanding the Supreme Court, and Trump said that's because they're in "panic mode."

"Democrats are upset when Republicans picked somebody and generally vice versa but anything this president does, whether it's the Supreme Court, the wall, anything he does, they're going to go against no matter how in favor they were a bit in the past," said Trump.

Source: NewsMax

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals
Mar 18, 2019; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) walks into the dugout during a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

Paul Goldschmidt hit his first homer of the spring, a two-run blast, to help the St. Louis Cardinals post a 4-1 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on Monday at Jupiter, Fla.

Goldschmidt sent a low pitch from Philadelphia right-hander Zach Eflin over the wall in left-center in the fifth inning to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.

Tyler O’Neill also went deep for St. Louis. The Phillies had just six hits and were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Nationals (ss) 6, Mets 5

Spencer Kieboom homered and drove in three runs to help visiting Washington defeat New York at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Michael Conforto hit a two-run blast for the Mets.

Marlins 7, Nationals (ss) 1

Peter O’Brien drove in five runs to help Miami cruise past Washington at West Palm Beach, Fla. Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin was roughed up for five runs (four earned) and nine hits over five innings.

Pirates 4, Rays 2

Right-hander Nick Kingham allowed two hits over five shutout innings and JB Shuck delivered a two-run single as Pittsburgh beat host Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte, Fla. Brandon Lowe and Garrett Whitley each had a run-scoring double for the Rays.

Blue Jays 3, Tigers (ss) 2

Dalton Pompey went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Teoscar Hernandez hit a solo homer as host Toronto edged Detroit at Dunedin, Fla. Gordon Beckham homered for the Tigers.

Twins 4, Red Sox 1

Eddie Rosario clubbed a two-run homer to help Minnesota knock off visiting Boston at Fort Myers, Fla. J.D. Martinez recorded an RBI single for the Red Sox.

Orioles 14, Tigers (ss) 1

Dwight Smith Jr. went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and Jonathan Villar hit a three-run triple as Baltimore pounded host Detroit at Lakeland, Fla. Nicholas Castellanos homered for the Tigers.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Flares are seen in the sky during fighting in the Islamic State's final enclave, in the village of Baghouz
FILE PHOTO: Flares are seen in the sky during fighting in the Islamic State’s final enclave, in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said/File Photo

March 18, 2019

CAIRO (Reuters) – An Islamic State spokesman said on Monday the displacement of “the weak and poor” from Syria’s Baghouz would not weaken the group.

“Do you think the displacement of the weak and poor out of Baghouz will weaken the Islamic State? No,” Abi al-Hassan al-Muhajer said in a recording distributed by Al Furqan, a media organization linked to Islamic State.  

Islamic State’s defeat at Baghouz will end its control of inhabited land in the third of Syria and Iraq that it captured in 2014. However, the group will remain a threat, regional and Western officials say.

(Reporting Ali Abd El Atty, Writing by Nayera Abdallah, Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Source: OANN

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

Democratic presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand has garnered one endorsement from a sitting member of Congress since the New York lawmaker announced her 2020 run Sunday.

Democratic New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney is the only sitting member of Congress who had endorsed Gillibrand as of Sunday, reported The Hill.

“I am proud to endorse my friend Sen. Gillibrand to be our next President and the nation’s first woman President,” Maloney wrote on Twitter Sunday. “I saw her tenacity when we fought together to pass the 9/11 Health bill and know she has what it takes to defeat [President Donald] Trump.” (RELATED: Gillibrand’s Office Hit With Sexual Allegations, Aide Resigns In Protest)

Maloney’s endorsement comes as Gillibrand struggles to win over members of the congressional delegation in her home state, according to a Politico report in early March. Democratic New York Reps. Sean Maloney and Kathleen Rice opted to endorse Gillibrand’s rival, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, instead. O’Rourke announced his 2020 bid on March 14.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (4th L) speaks as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (3rd L) and former "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart (2nd L) listen during a news conference February 25, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (4th L) speaks as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (3rd L) and former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart (2nd L) listen during a news conference on Feb. 25, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Sen. Kamala Harris, a fellow Democratic 2020 contender, has secured endorsements from at least five House members from her home state of California, according to Politico.

Gillibrand has been trying to lock down New York support with lunches, drinks and phone calls, reported Politico. She will have to act fast in case Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio jumps into the 2020 race.

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declined to endorse Gillibrand so far, calling himself “a fan” of Gillbrand after seeming to favor potential 2020 candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Gillibrand made her 2020 bid official with a video Sunday and is planning to deliver a speech in front of the Trump International Hotel in New York City on March 24, reported Politico.

Gillibrand’s office came under fire in mid-March after new information emerged about a female staffer who resigned citing mishandling of her sexual harassment allegations against a male staffer, who was a favorite of Gillibrand.

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FILE PHOTO: Flares are seen in the sky during fighting in the Islamic State's final enclave, in the village of Baghouz
FILE PHOTO: Flares are seen in the sky during fighting in the Islamic State’s final enclave, in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said/File Photo

March 18, 2019

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Iran and Syria on Monday demanded the United States withdraw its troops from Syria, and the Damascus government threatened to defeat Washington’s Kurdish allies by force if they did not submit to the return of state authority.

The Iranian and Syrian military chiefs were speaking after a meeting in Damascus that also included their Iraqi counterpart, who gave a political boost to President Bashar al-Assad and Tehran by announcing the Syrian border would soon be reopened.

Their remarks point to the risks of a new escalation in Syria after the defeat of Islamic State, with Assad seeking to retake the two major territories outside his control, and the United States working to curb Iranian influence.

Washington has vowed to contain what it calls Tehran’s “destabilising” role in the region, but the entrenched nature of Iran’s ties with both Damascus and Baghdad were on vivid display on Monday.

Standing alongside his Iraqi and Syrian counterparts on live television, Iran’s armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri said the three countries were “united against terrorism” and coordinating at a high level.

The United States said last month it would keep some forces in Syria, reversing course from an earlier decision to pull them all out once Islamic State is militarily defeated.

It has deployed air power and some ground troops in support of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia that is close to seizing the jihadists’ last enclave in eastern Syria. It also has a military base at Tanf, near the Damascus-Baghdad highway and the Iraq and Syrian frontier.

After Washington in December announced its intention to pull out troops, the Kurdish-led authorities controlling northeast Syria unsuccessfully sought a deal with Damascus to protect their area from a potential Turkish assault.

“The only card remaining in the hands of the Americans and their allies is the SDF, and it will be dealt with through the two methods used by the Syrian state: national reconciliation or the liberation of the areas that they control through force,” Syrian Defence Minister General Ali Abdullah Ayoub said.

Large areas of Syria have been brought back under government control through “reconciliation agreements” that have typically been concluded after the military defeat of rebel forces.

‘READINESS FOR SACRIFICE’

Ayoub noted there was no doubt that U.S. military capabilities were “big and advanced” but said that the Syrian army’s sources of strength included a “readiness for sacrifices” and it was “capable of taking action and having an effect”.

Baqeri said the Damascus meeting had “studied the means that should be taken to recover” territories still outside government hands, including the areas of U.S. deployment, adding the decision in this regard was up to the Syrian state.

Syria’s border crossing with Iraq has been closed for years. The area was overrun by Islamic State in 2014, which swore to eradicate modern nation states and meld them into its self-declared caliphate.

“God willing the coming days will witness the opening of the border crossing and the continuation of visits and trade between the two countries,” Iraqi Lieutenant General Othman al-Ghanimi said at a news conference broadcast by Syrian state television.

Baqeri said opening the border was important to Iran because of trade and for Iranian tourists traveling to Iraq and then Syria. Critics of Iran have voiced concerns over a “land bridge” for Iranian influence to the Mediterranean and the Israeli border.

For Assad, reopening the Iraqi border will accelerate Syria’s physical reintegration with neighboring economies after the opening of the frontier crossing with Jordan last year.

(Reporting by Angus McDowall and Tom Perry, Additional reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh in Geneva, Editing by David Holmes, William Maclean)

Source: OANN

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at church in Sonning
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at church in Sonning, Britain March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

March 18, 2019

By Guy Faulconbridge and Elizabeth Piper

LONDON (Reuters) – One of the most influential Brexit-backing lawmakers in Prime Minister Theresa May’s party gave the strongest hint to date on Monday that rebels might back her departure deal, saying that a bad exit accord was better than staying in the European Union.

May has warned lawmakers that unless they approve her Brexit divorce deal after two crushing defeats, Britain’s exit from the EU could face a long delay which many Brexiteers fear would mean Britain may never leave.

After two-and-a-half years of tortuous negotiations with the EU, the final outcome remains uncertain – with options including a long delay, exiting with May’s deal, a disorderly exit without a deal or even another EU membership referendum.

May is scrambling to rally support ahead of a summit of EU heads of government on Thursday and Friday where she has warned she will ask for a long Brexit delay unless parliament ratifies the deal she struck in November.

Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group of euroskeptics in Britain’s House of Commons, said he had not yet made up his mind how to vote on May’s deal but any Brexit was better than staying in the bloc.

If Rees-Mogg did swing behind May, dozens of rebels could follow him, although it is unclear if that would be enough to save her deal.

“No deal is better than a bad deal but a bad deal is better than remaining in the European Union in the hierarchy of deals,” Rees-Mogg told LBC radio. “A two-year extension is basically remaining in the European Union.”

Rees-Mogg said his dream option would be a no-deal exit on March 29 but that he felt May – a former supporter of EU membership who won the premiership in the turmoil that followed the 2016 Brexit referendum – would seek to stop a no-deal.

“The question people like me will ultimately have to answer is: can we get to no-deal instead? If we can get to no-deal instead, that is a better option… but I am concerned the prime minister is determined to stop a no-deal.”

May’s deal, a bid to keep close trading and security ties with the EU while leaving the bloc’s formal political structures, was defeated by 230 votes in parliament on Jan. 15, and by 149 votes on March 12.

If she could get the deal approved after the biggest parliamentary defeat for a government in modern British history, it would mark a spectacular and surprising turnaround and by far the biggest achievement of her crisis-riven tenure.

To get her deal through parliament, May must win over at least 75 lawmakers – dozens of rebels in her own Conservative Party, some Labour lawmakers, and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up her minority government.

The biggest issue is the so-called Northern Irish border backstop, an insurance policy aimed at avoiding post-Brexit controls on the United Kingdom’s border with EU-member Ireland.

Many Brexiteers and the DUP are concerned the backstop will trap the United Kingdom in the EU’s orbit indefinitely, and have sought guarantees it will not.

THIRD TIME LUCKY?

May’s finance minister, Philip Hammond, held talks with the DUP on Friday but said the government did not yet have support it needed and would only put the deal to a third vote if it felt it could win.

“There are some cautious signs of encouragement … but there is a lot more work to do,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC on Monday.

If May could swing the DUP behind her, along with several dozen more Brexit supporters in her own party, she will be getting close to the numbers she needs.

Stepping up the pressure on the prime minister, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said he could trigger another confidence vote in May’s government if she fails again to get her deal adopted by parliament.

Former British foreign minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday it was not too late for the government to get “real change” to May’s deal and cautioned against holding another parliamentary vote on the agreement this week.

Johnson, a prominent Brexit campaigner who might influence other lawmakers on which way to vote over May’s deal, asked in his column in the Telegraph newspaper whether there was a way forward to break the impasse of Brexit in parliament.

“Perhaps,” he answered. “There is an EU summit this week. It is not too late to get real change to the backstop. It would be absurd to hold the vote before that has even been attempted.”

He also said May should outline her strategy for talks on the future relationship with the EU to “reassure … understandably doubtful MPs (members of parliament) by answering some basic questions”.

EU leaders have said repeatedly that the terms of their Withdrawal Agreement with May cannot be revisited.

(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Giles Elgood and Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Injured Islamic state militants are seen in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province
FILE PHOTO: Injured Islamic state militants are seen in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria, March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Issam Abdallah/File Photo

March 18, 2019

DEIR AL-ZOR PROVINCE, Syria (Reuters) – U.S.-backed fighters have taken positions in Islamic State’s last enclave in eastern Syria, they said late on Sunday, after pounding the tiny patch of land by the banks of the Euphrates.

“Several positions captured and an ammunition storage has been blown up,” said Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia, on Twitter.

The enclave resembles an encampment, filled with stationary vehicles and rough shelters with blankets or tarpaulins that could be seen flapping in the wind on Sunday during a lull in fighting as people walked among them.

Backed by air power and special forces from a U.S.-led coalition, the SDF has pushed Islamic State from almost the entire northeastern corner of Syria, defeating it in Raqqa in 2017 and driving it to its last enclave at Baghouz last year.

However, while its defeat at Baghouz will end its control of populated land in the third of Syria and Iraq that it captured in 2014, the group will remain a threat, regional and Western officials say.

The SDF has waged a staggered assault on the enclave, pausing for long periods over recent weeks to allow surrendering fighters, their families and other civilians to pour out.

Since Jan. 9, more than 60,000 people have left the enclave, about half of them surrendering Islamic State supporters including some 5,000 fighters, the SDF said on Sunday.

People leaving the area have spoken of harsh conditions inside, under coalition bombardment and with supplies of food so scarce some resorted to eating grass.

Last month, the SDF said it had found a mass grave in an area it captured.

Still, many of those who left Baghouz have vowed their allegiance to the jihadist group, which last week put out a propaganda film from inside the enclave calling on its supporters to keep faith.

Suicide attacks on Friday targeted families of Islamic State fighters attempting to leave the enclave and surrender, killing six people, the SDF said.

Late on Sunday, the Kurdish Ronahi TV station aired footage showing a renewed assault on the enclave, with fires seen to be raging inside and tracer fire and rockets zooming into the tiny area.

The SDF and the coalition say the Islamic State fighters inside Baghouz are among the group’s most hardened foreign fighters, though Western countries believe its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has left the area.

(Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the NYSE in New York
The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company’s space on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 18, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian prosecutors on Monday said they would issue summonses to units of U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs in London and Hong Kong, requiring them to respond by June to criminal charges filed against them last year.

Soon after being elected in May, 2018, a new government charged three units of Goldman Sachs for misleading investors by making untrue statements and omitting key facts in relation to bond issues totaling $6.5 billion for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

On Monday, only the Singapore unit of Goldman Sachs appeared at a pre-trial hearing in a Kuala Lumpur court as a respondent.

“Fresh summonses will be served on the United Kingdom and Hong Kong offices of Goldman Sachs ahead of the next court hearing on June 24,” prosecutor Aaron Paul Chelliah told reporters.

The 1MDB scandal played a major role in the electoral defeat that ended Najib Razak’s near decade in power, and a new government led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad promptly re-opened corruption investigations.

Najib, who has consistently denied wrongdoing, is facing multiple criminal charges, mostly linked to 1MDB, and has been barred from leaving the country.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has estimated that a total of $4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level 1MDB fund officials and their associates between 2009 and 2014, including some of the funds that Goldman Sachs helped raise.

Malaysia has said it was seeking up to $7.5 billion in reparations from Goldman Sachs, including $600 million in fees paid to the bank for the bond issues.

Goldman Sachs has consistently denied wrongdoing and said certain members of the former Malaysian government and 1MDB lied to it about how proceeds from the bond sales would be used.

A separate Kuala Lumpur court also set April 15 for prosecutors to serve documents to the defense for former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng.

Ng, a Malaysian, was charged on Dec. 19 last year with abetting the bank to provide misleading statements in the offering prospectus for the 1MDB bond sales.

Prosecutor Zaki Arsyad told the court he needed more time to obtain documents as most of them were overseas.

Ng was originally set to be extradited to the United States to face money laundering charges filed against him by the DoJ.

Malaysia, however, has said it may postpone the extradition until Ng can face a domestic trial first.

Tim Leissner, another former Goldman Sachs official, and Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho have also been charged in the United States over the alleged theft of billions of dollars from 1MDB. Leissner has pleaded guilty.

Low, whose whereabouts is unknown, has issued denials of any wrongdoing and has refused to return to Malaysia, saying that the case against him is politically motivated.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: OANN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi probably remembers when former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke didn’t support her bid for minority leader in 2016, which might be why she can’t recall any of his accomplishments.

Pelosi called O’Rourke a “welcome addition” to the field of Democratic contenders vying for the party’s presidential nomination when asked by NBC Thursday if she could name a signature accomplishment of O’Rourke’s.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 04: U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) addresses a campaign rally at the Pan American Neighborhood Park November 04, 2018 in Austin, Texas. As Election Day approaches polls have shown the gap narrow between O’Rourke his opponent, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Beto brought vitality to the Congress. One of the issues in his—I haven’t been asked this question. I just know of his record here. When he came, he came as a real champion for the environment. He got a great deal of support from the environmental community in his district,” Pelosi continued.

“He won his primary on that subject and he’s also on the Armed Services Committee a strong member of the Armed Services Committee, which is very important in his district—preserving our planet and protecting our people.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

In fact, O’Rourke unseated eight-term Democrat incumbent Silvestre Reyes in 2012 when he was an El Paso City Councilman who ran on a pro-marijuana legalization platform. According to Mother Jones, O’Rourke’s campaign was funded in part by a super-PAC created by Republican Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade.

The Reyes campaign went after O’Rourke for many of the issues resurfacing this last week, including DUI and burglary charges, Politico had reported. However, not even endorsements from Barack Obama or Bill Clinton could save Reyes’s campaign.

After three years of being a member of Congress, O’Rourke became frustrated with the limitations of being a member in the minority and joined with Democratic Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and other House Democrats after the 2016 election of Donald Trump to remove Pelosi as minority leader.

In a blog post, O’Rourke wrote in part:

I am supporting Tim Ryan for minority leader. The best way forward for the Democratic Caucus is to ensure that we are capitalizing on the intellect, passion, talent and experience of every single member. I know that Tim Ryan will listen to and take from all members from every part of the country, to ensure that we incorporate their unique voices, and those of their constituents, as we chart the course ahead. Not only will this help us win more elections, but it will ensure that we better reflect and represent the great country we serve.

I am grateful for Nancy Pelosi’s service as House Speaker and as the Democratic leader for the last 14 years. But I believe that for any organization to succeed, there must be change in leadership to ensure that it continues to meet new and evolving opportunities and challenges. It’s one of the reasons that I believe in term limits, and why I support them for every member of Congress. Limiting our term of service, even as Leader of the caucus, shows that we have faith in the ability of others to step up and serve.

Although Ryan was unable to defeat Pelosi, he did receive 63 votes of support from his fellow Democrats, according to The Washington Post. Democrats who voted against her cited being in the minority for six years and blamed Pelosi for that, The Post noted.

In a 2018 interview, The Wall Street Journal reported he recalled the 2016 vote for minority leader and gloated that he was “glad I have not paid any DCCC dues in a long time,” referring to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Following Ryan’s defeat, O’Rourke told KVIA, “We need change in the Democratic caucus. So, it’s us now up to me and others who want that change to find other ways to address the historic opportunities and challenges our country now faces.”

O’Rourke later distanced himself from the then-minority leader during his own failed Senate race against Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2017. (RELATED: ‘Wax My Ass, Scrub My Balls’ — This Beto O’Rourke Poem From 1988 Is Beyond Belief)

“No, I don’t want Nancy Pelosi to come to Texas to campaign with me,” he said during an interview with Texas Tribune. “I don’t want anybody from outside of Texas to come to Texas. I just want to meet with Texans.”

During that same race, he reminded voters about his defiant vote against Pelosi as well as jabbed at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. (RELATED: Beto O’Rourke Was On ‘A Booty Call To An Ex’ When He Was Arrested For Drunk Driving In 1998)

“We’re going to do this independent of the party bosses,” he said.

O’Rourke went on to say, “With all due respect to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, neither of them understand Texas, nor do they understand the U.S.-Mexico border.”

O’Rourke made his critical statements about Pelosi prior to Democrats regaining the House majority and Pelosi taking back the House gavel presumably under the assumption that the California Democrat would not lead the caucus back into the majority in 2018.

As a declared presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, he will have to get in line with other primary contenders now and seek out Speaker Pelosi’s support.

Hillary Clinton found Pelosi to be elusive in 2008 when she sought out her endorsement for her own presidential run.

Although the California Democrat claimed to be neutral during that primary, she reportedly worked behind the scenes to help deliver the nomination to then Illinois Sen. Barack Obama by pressuring super delegates (members of Congress) to support his candidacy at the Democratic convention.

Even when Pelosi did endorse Clinton in 2016, she waited right before the critical California primary in early June to do so.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 13
FILE PHOTO: Mar 16, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Dominic Thiem (AUT) hits the ball to Milos Raonic (not pictured) in the semifinal match in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Austrian Dominic Thiem came from a set down to defeat Roger Federer 3-6 6-3 7-5 and win the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday in Indian Wells.

In the deciding set, momentum swung in Thiem’s favor when he smacked a forehand winner down the line to break Federer and take a 6-5 lead.

He fell on his back and covered his face with his hands when Federer, who had been bidding for a record sixth Indian Wells title and 101st tournament victory overall, sent a shot into the net on match point.

The 25-year-old Thiem will rise four places to a career-high world number four on Monday.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 12
FILE PHOTO: Mar 15, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Bianca Andreescu (CAN) as she defeats Elina Svitolina (not pictured) during her semifinal match in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 17, 2019

(Reuters) – Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu stunned eighth-seeded Angelique Kerber 6-4 3-6 6-4 to win the BNP Paribas Open and capture her first career title in Indian Wells on Sunday.

Andreescu overcame a troublesome right shoulder and used creative and aggressive shotmaking to defeat the German on a hot and sunny day in the Southern California desert.

The 18-year-old dropped her racket and fell on her back when Kerber hit a backhand into the net to deliver the tournament wildcard the biggest win of her young career.

With the win, Andreescu, who was ranked 152 at the end of last season, is expected to reach the WTA top 30.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; editing by Clare Lovell)

Source: OANN

Alexander Markovsky | London Center for Policy Research

Welcome to Venezuela, the latest shining exemplar of the triumphant socialism.

In 2013, David Sirota summarized the prevailing sentiment of the left in his article “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle.” He wrote, “The Venezuelan leader was often marginalized as a radical. But his brand of socialism achieved real economic gains.”

It was then. Today, “real economic gains” resulted in complete collapse of the economy; hyperinflation, the blackouts, shortages of food and medicines, lack of basic services and three million of refugees. It proves what should be self-evident — democratic socialism, loved and revered by American socialists, is substantively no different from any other socialist brands.

Yet the true believers do not relinquish ideas that have been disproved repeatedly by historical precedents, and no amount of reality can shake their convictions. For them, acceptance of reality equates to a denial of faith.

It’s always the same — this time it is different; this time socialism is democratic. So, what is this mysterious democratic socialism? The defining characteristic of democratic socialism is its relation between power and legitimacy. Democratic socialists use legitimacy to gain power and then use power to validate their legitimacy. They took a page from their Bolshevik predecessors whose peculiar relation between power and legitimacy was defined by Yaakov Sverdlov, the chairman of the Bolshevik Central Executive Committee, who famously declared, “power is always legitimate because power makes laws.”

Regardless of how the socialists came to power, and despite some differences in interpretation between Christian democratic socialism, Soviet-style revolutionary socialism, social democratic socialism or any other kind of socialism, they all are branches of the same egalitarian tree that produced Marxism, Leninism, and Stalinism and share the common mantra, “fair and equitable.”

The differences are superficial. The goal of socialism is economic equality. The ultimate irony is that economic equality can only be achieved in poverty. There is no equality in wealth. In this context, socialism always works, it works as it supposed to. Venezuela is not socialism’s failure; it is actually a fulfillment.

Democratic socialism is the Marxist’s Trojan horse. It enacts socialism by installing the Hugo Chavezes of this world through the democratic process.

Whether the Venezuelans voted for socialist serfdom knowingly or not is irrelevant. In a democracy the will of the majority is supreme. Hugo Chavez was a democratically elected leader of Venezuela and enjoyed wide popular support. Nicolás Maduro is his legal successor. We have to respect the people’s will and let them have it. They deserve it. Elections have consequences. For Americans who haven’t learned much in school or suffered a memory loss and voted for Democrats in the last elections, Venezuela is a foretaste of what is yet to come.

Some hotheads in Washington are contemplating military intervention. Whatever the underlining justification for intervention may be, there is no inevitable necessity for it, neither from security nor from political considerations.

Although the United States has every reason historically and geopolitically to prevent Latin America from going socialist, the most efficient way to do so is nurture and preserve Venezuela’s socialist rule as an example for other psychopaths calling for equality and left-wing lunatics willing to vote for it. But, most importantly, from geopolitical point of view, what would be the lesson? If irresponsible voters need fear no consequence other than a return to status quo ante, would a recurrence of democratic socialism somewhere else including the US not be likely?

A military intervention may turn into another unmitigated disaster costing American lives and billions of dollars. We will undoubtedly end up morally invested in Venezuela helping to rebuilt failed nations at the expense of American taxpayers.

I do not personally regard the whole of Venezuela, even if it burns down to the ground, as worth the life of a single American marine.

The great axiom of political science is to never interfere with an enemy that is about to destroy itself.

Alexander G. Markovsky (@AlexMarkovsky) is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a conservative think hosted at King’s College, New York City, which examines national security, energy, risk-analysis and other public policy issues, He is the author of “Anatomy of a Bolshevik” and “Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It.” He is the owner and CEO of Litwin Management Services, LLC.


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

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs
Mar 16, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum (3) drives for the basket between San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) and DeMar DeRozan (right) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

March 17, 2019

DeMar DeRozan’s 21 points led seven San Antonio players in double figures as the Spurs made all the big plays in the fourth quarter to beat the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 108-103 on Saturday for their eighth straight victory.

The sixth-place Spurs are a season-best 12 games over .500 and within a game and a half of Portland for fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

Rudy Gay and Derrick White added 13 points each for San Antonio, with LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills scoring 12 points each. DeRozan and Aldridge had eight rebounds apiece, Gay had seven, and Jakob Poeltl blocked five shots.

Portland’s Damian Lillard led all scorers with 34 points, and Jusuf Nurkic added 24 points and 16 rebounds. CJ McCollum, who finished with 10 points, left in the third quarter with an apparent left knee injury during a drive to the basket.

Warriors 110, Thunder 88

Stephen Curry scored 33 points and Klay Thompson added 23 as Golden State scored 40 points in the first quarter in defeating host Oklahoma City.

DeMarcus Cousins added 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Warriors, who also got eight rebounds and six assists from Draymond Green.

Paul George led Oklahoma City with 29 points but hit only 9 of 25 shots overall. Dennis Schroder added 15 points off the bench, and Russell Westbrook shot only 2 of 16 in finishing with seven points.

Nuggets 102, Pacers 100

Paul Millsap hit a running layup with seven seconds left as host Denver edged Indiana to stay a game behind Golden State for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Millsap finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Nikola Jokic scored 26 points before being ejected for arguing a foul call on a loose ball play. Jamal Murray and Will Barton scored 17 points each for Denver.

Thaddeus Young had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Darren Collison scored 17 points and Domantas Sabonis and Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 16 each for the Pacers.

Jazz 114, Nets 98

Rudy Gobert totaled 23 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Utah took control by early in the second quarter to defeat Brooklyn in Salt Lake City.

Gobert recorded his 55th double-double. He shot 9 of 12 from the floor and had six more dunks, increasing his league-leading total to 249. Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 24 points and added six rebounds and four assists.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 22 points off the bench, but the Nets dropped to 0-2 to start a season-high, seven-game road trip. D’Angelo Russell added 20 points but shot 8 of 25 for Brooklyn.

Celtics 129, Hawks 120

Kyrie Irving scored 30 points and Jaylen Brown added 23, with two key baskets in a fourth-quarter stretch, as host Boston held off Atlanta to win for the fifth time in its past six games.

Irving fell just short of his second straight triple-double with 11 rebounds and nine assists. Boston also got 19 points — four in the crucial fourth-quarter run — and 11 rebounds from Marcus Morris while Jayson Tatum had 18 points and eight rebounds. Marcus Smart scored 16 points.

Atlanta was led by Trae Young, who had 26 points, including 5-for-8 shooting on 3-pointers, and John Collins, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Wizards 135, Grizzlies 128

Bradley Beal led six players in double figures with 40 points — his second straight night reaching 40 — as host Washington defeated Memphis.

Jabari Parker had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Bobby Portis scored 18 points as Washington, 11th in the Eastern Conference, moved to within three games of eighth-place Miami.

Mike Conley had 28 points and 12 assists for Memphis. Jonas Valanciunas amassed 22 points, and Avery Bradley scored 21.

Mavericks 121, Cavaliers 116

Tim Hardaway Jr. led seven players in double figures with 22 points as host Dallas ran off to a big lead before holding on to beat Cleveland and end a seven-game losing streak.

Maxi Kleber finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, and Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell added 16 points apiece. Dirk Nowitzki contributed 14 points and six rebounds.

Rookie Collin Sexton scored a game-high 28 points, and Kevin Love and Cedi Osman added 22 apiece. Love also had 12 rebounds and four assists.

Suns 138, Pelicans 136 (OT)

Phoenix scored five points in the final 2.2 seconds of overtime, helped along when host New Orleans drew a technical foul for calling a timeout when it had none remaining. Devin Booker led the Suns with 40 points and 13 assists, and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 32 points.

The Pelicans lost their sixth straight despite getting a New Orleans-record fourth consecutive triple-double from Elfrid Payton. The former Suns point guard finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 16 assists, tying the assist mark he set one night earlier against Portland.

Three of his teammates had double-doubles. Julius Randle finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, Anthony Davis had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Cheick Diallo came off the bench to add 10 points and 10 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said Saturday that being a white man in a 2020 Democratic field that's so deeply diverse won't be a hindrance because his gender and race have given him inherent advantages for years.

While he'd spoken before about his gender and race, O'Rourke had largely dodged campaign-trail questions about whether his party would go for a white man in a year when a historic number of women and minorities are running to deny President Donald Trump a second term.

"I would never begin by saying that it's a disadvantage at all," O'Rourke told reporters in a parking lot in Waterloo, after giving a speech at the campaign kickoff for state Senate candidate Eric Giddens. "As a white man who has had privileges that others could not depend on or take for granted, I've clearly had advantages over the course of my life."

The former Texas congressman was making a series of stops in Iowa, the state that kicks off the presidential nominating process. Also campaigning Saturday were Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Vice President Joe Biden.

O'Rourke called recognizing and understand that and "doing everything I can to ensure that there is opportunity, and the possibility for advancement and advantage for everyone," a big part of the campaign he's running.

O'Rourke said he believes the Democrats seeking the White House in 2020 encompass "the best field that we've ever seen in the nominating process," praising its "diversity of background and experience" and expertise.

He had already said he'd stop making a joke he'd frequently repeated about how his wife, Amy, raising the couple's three young children "sometimes with my help." O'Rourke said that he'd discussed scrapping the joke with Amy and, while she said she understood he was trying to not that she was "taking on the lion's share" of parenting responsibilities, "it came off sounding a little flip."

Other highlights of Saturday's campaigning:

AMY KLOBUCHAR

Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar criticized Trump for his response to the deadly attack in a New Zealand mosque, telling voters in Iowa "it's our job to stand up against" white supremacism.

Trump played down the threat posed by white nationalism on Friday after the mosque massacre that left 49 people dead. The man accused of the shootings has described himself as a white nationalist who hates immigrants.

Klobuchar spoke about the shooting during a campaign stop in Waterloo, Iowa. The Minnesota senator referenced Trump's comments after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 when he said "both sides" were to blame for violence.

She said, "that other side was white supremacism."

On the policy front, Klobuchar said in Dubuque that as president she would put forward a major infrastructure program that would help address flooding that is hitting parts of the Midwest. Waterloo and Dubuque, both riverfront communities, were bracing for flooding from this year's heavy snowfall.

"We have not been investing like we should" in infrastructure," she said. One option to fund a plan, she said, would be raising the corporate tax rate, which was cut in Trump's 2017 tax bill.

JAY INSLEE

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee called on Republicans to stop following Trump on the issue of climate change.

He said until the GOP joins "the scientific world and the rest of humanity in defeating climate change," only one thing can be done: "Republicans must be defeated, and we should do that every chance we get. I'm totally committed to that."

Voters have "exactly one chance left to defeat climate change," Inslee said.

"And that's during the next administration," he said.

Inslee tied his climate change push to the current debate over whether to end the filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

"Anything that gets in the way of defeating climate change needs to go," he said.

Inslee also criticized Trump for his remarks after the New Zealand shootings, saying the president "uses exactly the same language of this monster who shot Muslims and talked about the invaders." He said the president "continually looks for dog whistles to spread hate rather than for looking for ways to search for the better angels of our nature."

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand championed public service opportunities during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, saying the work could help treat some of the woes facing the country today.

The Democratic presidential hopeful said public service "changes your life."

"That's why I want national service," she said. "That's why I want to make it the cornerstone of my presidency."

The New York senator held a civic service round table in Manchester as she finishes a two-day swing through the first-in-the-nation primary state.

"I would like to tell anyone in America, if you're willing to do two years of public service, you can get your college degree paid for," she said. "So if you're willing to do a year and only a year, you can get two years paid for."

BETO O'ROURKE

A fluent Spanish speaker from El Paso, across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, O'Rourke noted that he's the only 2020 candidate from the border "at a time that that dominates so much of our national conversation and legislative efforts and the things that the president talks about."

"There's one candidate whose there to talk about the profoundly positive impact that immigrants have had on our safety and our security, as well as our success and our strength," he said.

O'Rourke plans to campaign in the battleground state of Wisconsin on Sunday, then head to Michigan. His campaign ultimately hopes to drive east until it hits New Hampshire, home of the nation's first presidential primary.

JOE BIDEN

Joe Biden was the scheduled headliner at a Democratic Party dinner in Delaware, his home state, as the former vice president considers whether to make a third White House run.

Biden, 76, who served as President Barack Obama's closest adviser, is the only major contender still on the sidelines and has suggested he could remain there for several more weeks.

BERNIE SANDERS

About 200 people streamed into a sunny park in a suburb of Las Vegas to hear Sen. Bernie Sanders as he made his first appearance in Nevada, the state where he gave Hillary Clinton a surprisingly strong challenge in the 2016 caucuses before she edged out a win.

A group of about a dozen protesters carrying signs supportive of Trump or decrying Sanders as a socialist lined the road to greet supporters of the Vermont senator.

The self-described democratic socialist's rally in Henderson followed an announcement Friday that his presidential campaign staffers became the first in history to unionize. That was expected to bolster goodwill among labor unions who power Nevada Democrats, including the influential casino workers' Culinary Union.

Woodall reported from Exeter, New Hampshire. Associated Press writers Sara Burnett and Will Weissert in Waterloo, Iowa, and Michelle Price in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

Source: NewsMax

NHL: New York Rangers at Calgary Flames
Mar 15, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

March 16, 2019

Matthew Tkachuk collected two goals and a career-high five points — his second game of the week with at least four points — and the host Calgary Flames climbed back atop the Western Conference with a 5-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Friday night.

Goalie David Rittich stopped 24 shots for the Flames, who have racked up 20 goals during a three-game winning streak.

Tkachuk has been as hot as anybody through the winning spree, having netted six goals and 10 points in that span, and coming through at key times. Case in point was his game-winning goal three minutes into the second period.

With the score tied 1-1, Tkachuk deflected Mark Giordano’s waist-high point shot en route to his sixth four-point game of the campaign. Seventy seconds later, Tkachuk had a hand in Garnet Hathaway’s tally, feeding the puck to the front of the net for a nifty redirect for his 100th career assist.

Maple Leafs 7, Flyers 6

Jake Muzzin scored two goals and added an assist, Auston Matthews added another pair of goals and host Toronto rallied from a three-goal deficit to defeat Philadelphia.

Patrick Marleau, Zach Hyman and Martin Marincin each contributed one goal for the Maple Leafs, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Ron Hainsey, Nazem Kadri, William Nylander and Nikita Zaitsev each had two assists. Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen stopped 23 of 29 shots on goal.

James van Riemsdyk paced the Flyers with a hat trick, while Jakub Voracek, Radko Gudas and Shayne Gostisbehere added one goal apiece.

Blue Jackets 3, Hurricanes 0

Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 46 saves for his sixth shutout of the season as host Columbus defeated Carolina.

Adam McQuaid, David Savard and Josh Anderson scored for Columbus, with two early goals providing the Blue Jackets with a cushion as the Hurricanes peppered Bobrovsky at times.

Bobrovsky stopped 22 second-period shots, as the Hurricanes held a 22-2 edge on shots but didn’t change the scoreboard.

Devils 3, Canucks 2

Damon Severson’s shootout goal gave visiting New Jersey a comeback victory over Vancouver.

Severson, New Jersey’s seventh shooter in the shootout, was falling down as he beat Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom with a wrist shot from the doorstep. He decided the contest after Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson and Drew Stafford had exchanged shootout goals.

The Devils posted their second straight win following seven consecutive losses. The Canucks took their 14th loss in 19 games.

Golden Knights 2, Stars 1

Ryan Reaves scored the game-winner early in the third period, and Marc-Andre Fleury had 40 saves for his league-leading 35th victory as visiting Las Vegas defeated Dallas.

Max Pacioretty also scored for Vegas, which improved its lead over fourth-place Arizona to six points in the Pacific Division with its seventh win in its last eight games. Fleury extended his personal winning streak to six games, during which he has allowed a total of five goals.

Roope Hintz scored for Dallas, which lost for just the second time in eight games. The Stars, playing the second half of a back-to-back that started with a 4-1 win at Minnesota on Thursday night, didn’t land in Dallas until 2:30 in the morning.

Ducks 5, Avalanche 3

Corey Perry scored a tie-breaking power-play goal with 57 seconds left, Josh Gibson had 41 saves, and visiting Anaheim beat Colorado.

Perry finished with two goals, Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists and Daniel Sprong had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who dealt a blow to Colorado’s playoff hopes.

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist, and Mikko Rantanen and Sven Andrighetto scored for the Avalanche. Colorado (30-29-12) is now five points behind Arizona for the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot with 11 games remaining for both teams.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
Mar 15, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a three run home run during the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

March 16, 2019

Aaron Judge smacked a three-run homer to help the New York Yankees roll to a 14-1 victory over the visiting Boston Red Sox on Friday at Tampa, Fla.

Judge’s blast over the fence in right-center came off right-hander Adam Lau in the second inning and was his fifth of the spring. He relished the fact the homer came on an 0-2 pitch.

“Getting results like that are always good, but I’m looking more at the quality of at-bats,” Judge told reporters afterward. “You never know — I could get jammed on three pitches and get three hits. They could be terrible swings, or I can take three solid swings and have nothing to show for it.

Andrew Benintendi had two of Boston’s six hits and scored the lone run.

Phillies 3, Blue Jays 2

Bryce Harper left in the sixth inning after being hit by a pitch on the right ankle and host Philadelphia later pushed two runs across in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Toronto at Clearwater, Fla. Freddy Galvis and Kevin Pillar homered for Toronto.

Twins 12, Orioles 9

Ehire Adrianza drove in four runs and belted two of Minnesota’s six homers in the victory over visiting Baltimore at Fort Myers, Fla. Drew Jackson hit a two-run blast for the Orioles.

Nationals 11, Mets 3

Yan Gomes and Anthony Rendon smacked two homers apiece and Washington went deep seven times while routing host New York at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Robinson Cano went 1-for-3 for the Mets as his average dropped to .406.

Rays (ss) 7, Tigers 3

Yandy Diaz homered and had four RBIs to help Tampa Bay knock off visiting Detroit at Port Charlotte, Fla. Jeimer Candelario had a two-run double for the Tigers.

Marlins 7, Braves 6

Pedro Alvarez delivered the tiebreaking RBI single in the top of the ninth and Harold Ramirez added one for insurance as Miami edged Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla. Josh Donaldson hit his first homer of the spring — a two-run shot — for the Braves.

Rockies 2, Royals 1

Ryan McMahon recorded the game-winning single with none out in the bottom of the ninth inning as Colorado edged Kansas City at Scottsdale, Ariz. Jorge Soler had a run-scoring single for the Royals.

Cubs 11, White Sox 9

Albert Almora Jr. homered and drove in three runs as the Cubs outlasted the host White Sox in the battle of Chicago teams at Glendale, Ariz. Yoan Moncada hit a three-run blast for the White Sox.

Angels (ss) 2, Diamondbacks 1

Albert Pujols hit a two-run blast in the third inning as Los Angeles edged visiting Arizona at Tempe, Ariz. The Diamondbacks’ lone run scored in the fifth inning on a wild pitch by Angels right-hander Luke Bard.

Brewers 6, Padres 2

Eric Thames hit a two-run double in a three-run first inning as Milwaukee defeated visiting San Diego at Phoenix. The Padres had four hits, all singles.

Rangers 5, Indians 2

Ronald Guzman drove in two runs to help host Texas defeat Cleveland at Surprise, Ariz. Trayce Thompson homered for the Indians.

Angels (ss) 5, Giants 5

Cesar Puello hit a two-run ground single in the top of the sixth inning as Los Angeles gained a tie with host San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz. Anthony Garcia homered and had three RBIs for the Giants.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said Friday that he's not ready to release the amount of money he has raised since entering the 2020 race a day earlier.

When asked outside a campaign stop in Fairfield, Iowa, when he'd share his fundraising numbers, he said, "Soon."

"I don't have a definite plan," he added. "We're not ready to release them now."

The former Texas congressman entered the 2020 presidential race Thursday after months of speculation. He raised an eye-popping $80 million in grassroots donations last year in his failed U.S. Senate race in Texas against Republican Ted Cruz, all while largely avoiding money from political action committees. His early fundraising numbers will be an initial signal of whether his popularity during the Senate campaign will carry over to his White House bid.

So far, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has set the pace for grassroots donations in 2020, pulling in $6 million during his first day as a candidate.

Asked if he thought he would top Sanders, O'Rourke said only, "We'll see."

But his reception during his first Iowa swing was overwhelmingly positive, even as O'Rourke launched his campaign by hitting a handful of counties that had shifted from supporting Democrat Barack Obama to backing Republican Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Most of the towns O'Rourke visited during his first two days in the state were small and rural, manufacturing or farming towns. He kicked off his bid in Keokuk, population 10,300, dropped by a private home in Fairfield, a town about the same size, and jumped atop a coffee shop counter to address the crowd in Mount Pleasant, population 8,500.

The strategy set O'Rourke apart from the rest of the field, many of whom have focused their early swings on the state's population centers or on the traditionally blue counties that make up the bulk of the Democratic primary electorate.

Norm Sterzenbach, who's advising O'Rourke in Iowa, said the strategy came out of the Texan's desire to do more intimate events in his first swing through Iowa.

"He didn't want to do big rallies or big events. He wanted to get into communities and really talk to Iowans, and he wanted to go to smaller towns, smaller communities, and . places that had been neglected" by politicians, he said.

It was an approach reminiscent of his Texas Senate bid, where O'Rourke hit every one of the state's 254 counties, even the most rural areas, some of which hadn't been visited by Democratic candidates in years. O'Rourke didn't commit to visiting all of Iowa's 99 counties — what's locally known as the "Full Grassley," after Iowa's senior Republican senator, Chuck Grassley, who's famous for doing the full swing — but he said he planned to visit as much of Iowa as possible.

And like he did during his Texas Senate bid, O'Rourke didn't back down from some of his most liberal policy positions, telling an audience in Burlington, Iowa, that he was open to reconfiguring the Supreme Court, and a crowd in Mount Pleasant that he supports a "baby bond, an investment made in every single American dependent on your means" to help alleviate inequality, an idea first proposed by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, another presidential contender.

That go-everywhere, speak-to-everyone strategy brought him within 3 points of defeating Cruz in Texas, the nation's largest red state.

In Mount Vernon, Iowa — a town of 4,500 people — David Osterberg, a retired professor, was among a crowd of about 15 people outside the restaurant where O'Rourke spoke listening to his remarks on speakers blaring outside. While Mount Vernon sits in a Democratic county, Osterberg said he hadn't seen any presidential candidates come through yet, until O'Rourke did.

"It demonstrates that you care enough to come to a small town," Osterberg said. "Especially if you want to start breaking in to some of what happened in the last election, with many rural roads full of Trump signs, you want to come to places that are smaller, rather than larger."

In Fairfield, as a crowd of about two dozen gathered in a living room to eat lunch and see the candidate, O'Rourke was asked by a voter how he planned to defeat Trump.

"That depiction of Donald Trump as being unqualified was certainly not enough to win," he said. "So showing profound respect for the people that I want to serve by showing up first, by listening to them, by not writing them off by their party affiliation or how rural or urban their community is, is fundamental not just to winning but building the coalition, the consensus and the movement to get this stuff done long term."

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: Handout photo of the hole that robbers drilled through the concrete vault during the Hatton Garden heist in London
FILE PHOTO: The hole that robbers drilled through the concrete vault during the Hatton Garden heist in London, Britain is seen in this undated handout photo released to Reuters by the Metropolitan Police on January 14, 2016. REUTERS/Metropolitan Police/Handout via Reuters

March 15, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – A 58-year-old man nicknamed “Basil” was found guilty on Friday of being the sixth member of a gang of aging criminals who carried out one the most audacious robberies in the annals of British crime.

The gang ransacked 73 deposit boxes at the Hatton Garden Safety Deposit building in London’s jewelry district over the Easter weekend of 2015, stealing gold, silver, diamonds and jewelry worth 13.5 million pounds ($18 million).

Disguised as workmen, they abseiled down a lift shaft over the Easter weekend and used a diamond-tipped drill to cut through the vault wall. It was Britain’s biggest-ever robbery and much of the haul was never recovered.

On Friday, Michael Seed was convicted at Woolwich Crown Court in London after the jury accepted prosecution evidence that he was the man, nicknamed Basil by the rest of the gang, who had remained at large.

“(We) were able to … prove he was not only involved but was one of the ringleaders,” said Kate Mulholland of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). “He was the only member of the group with the technical knowledge to defeat complex alarm systems.”

Basil was seen on closed-circuit TV inside the building wearing a ginger wig and a face-covering as a disguise.

The rest of the ringleaders: Brian Reader, 77 at the time, Terry Perkins, 67, Daniel Jones, 61, and John ‘Kenny’ Collins, 75, were identified in the weeks after and eventually jailed. Others who helped them were also convicted.

But Basil remained unidentified, having last been seen on CCTV walking away from Hatton Garden with a large plastic bag over his shoulder.

Three years later, police raided Seed’s one-bedroom flat in north London and found items stolen from Hatton Garden including jewelry and gold ingots. Seed told police he was an amateur jeweler and had come by the items innocently, the CPS said.

Burglar alarm technical manuals were also found along with signal blockers for alarms, and a machine for melting precious metals.

When the other ringleaders were sentenced in 2016, Judge Christopher Kinch said: “It is clear that the burglary … stands in a class of its own in the scale of the ambition, the detail of the planning, the level of preparation and the organization of the team carrying it out.”

Like Britain’s Great Train Robbery of 1963 with which the Hatton Garden raid was inevitably compared, it was later made into films.

(Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by Michael Holden)

Source: OANN

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

March 15, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration opposes curbs on U.S. assistance for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, United States U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat Iranian-backed rebels and ensure just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton, David Brunnstrum and Doina Chiacu; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: OANN

Fire and plumes of smoke are seen during fighting in the Islamic State's final enclave, in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province
FILE PHOTO: Fire and plumes of smoke are seen during fighting in the Islamic State’s final enclave, in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Rodi Said

March 15, 2019

DEIR AL-ZOR PROVINCE, Syria (Reuters) – The young Syrian man crossing out of Islamic State’s last enclave in eastern Syria brought confirmation that the fight was still not over despite days of ferocious bombardment by U.S.-backed forces.

“There are people coming out and others not coming out,” said the bearded man wearing a robe and head scarf, one of hundreds of people who left the enclave at Baghouz on Thursday to surrender to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Asked if there were many people still inside, he said “yes” in the footage obtained by Reuters from the Kurdish TV station Ronahi. “I was injured in my back,” said the man originally from the nearby city of Deir al-Zor.

It has been five weeks since the SDF declared the start of its attack on the enclave, a group of villages surrounded by farmland where IS fighters and followers retreated as their “caliphate” was driven from once vast territories.

While Islamic State’s defeat at Baghouz has appeared a foregone conclusion – U.S. President Donald Trump prematurely declared the group “100 percent” beaten on Feb. 28 – the SDF has yet to deal the final blow.

The campaign has stalled to allow for the evacuation of large numbers of people, many of them wives and children of IS fighters. The SDF has evacuated thousands of people from the enclave, adding to the tens of thousands who have crossed out of the diminishing IS territory in the last few months.

The assault has also been complicated by resistance from hardened jihadists holed up inside seeking a fight to the death.

A big push this week has met with counter attacks involving groups of suicide bombers who had survived intensive artillery bombardments and air strikes by a U.S.-led international coalition.

MINES, BOMBS, TUNNELS, SHELTERS

More women and children emerged from the enclave on Thursday along with wounded men, many of them limping, with crutches or propped up by walking sticks as they hobbled along a dirt track out of the remaining IS area.

Some of the women, fully veiled and dressed head-to-toe in black, carried babies wrapped in blankets.

The SDF believes Islamic State has dug extensive tunnels and shelters, tactics it used in places such as Raqqa, its former Syrian headquarters that the SDF captured in 2017.

“The numbers that came out in the last 20 or 25 days were truly a surprise,” SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel said.

“The reality we have seen shows the extent of preparations by Daesh for this last battle,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

“You have the mines, the bombs, the tunnels and shelters. We don’t see the enemy in front of us.”

The SDF has said it is proceeding cautiously in Baghouz to avoid losses and the fighting continued on Friday, with machine-gun battles and shelling.

“The operations will take the time needed to … completely eliminate Daesh,” Gabriel said.

U.S. envoy James Jeffrey said Islamic State was down to its last few hundred fighters and less than a square kilometer of land in the battle, although it may have 15,000-20,000 adherents in Syria and Iraq.

(Additional reporting by a Reuters journalist in Deir al-Zor province and Tom Miles in Geneva; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Source: OANN

Fine-particulate alarm is seen in downtown Stuttgart
Cars pass a sign alerting about fine particulates on a busy street in downtown Stuttgart, Germany, February 6, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

March 15, 2019

By Michael Shields

DUEBENDORF, Switzerland (Reuters) – Engineers working to tackle carcinogenic pollution from cars have developed cheap and simple devices to test the effectiveness of particle filters, which could help take toxic vehicles off roads without resorting to blanket bans.

    Municipalities across Europe are struggling to find ways to meet new clean air rules without having to invest billions in electric vehicle infrastructure or banning diesel vehicles altogether.

Regulators also need to find inexpensive ways to measure real-world emissions without installing costly equipment.

Engineers have now come up with simple, hand-held, battery-powered tools to check within minutes whether cars at low idle speeds have particle filters that work.

The devices cost around 8,000 euros ($9,060), making them affordable for police and garages that do emissions inspections.  

    The new measuring devices will start rolling out in Europe this year for mandatory tests and could help improve diesel engines’ reputation after scandals over carmakers’ use of illegal defeat devices to manipulate exhaust emission tests.

    Some German cities have banned diesel cars, primarily to limit harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

However particulates also kill 5 million people a year globally, Andreas Mayer, director of engineering group VERT’s scientific committee, told Reuters on the sidelines of the group’s annual meeting.

“There is a lot of toxic stuff emitted from cars, and the most toxic are particulates,” Mayer said.

    The more than 100 million particle filters in use on European roads can, if they work properly, make vehicles’ exhaust less toxic than the ambient air cars burn.

    “These diesel cars, if they are running through cities, are even cleaning the air because the filters are so efficient, so we must do everything in order to keep that quality during the life of the vehicle,” Mayer said.

    The problem comes when ceramic filters crack or get plugged with soot, sometimes prompting mechanics to remove or alter them in an improper fix to boost engine power.

ROLL-OUT STARTS THIS YEAR

    Made by a dozen European companies, the new testing devices will initially be rolled out in the Netherlands and Belgium and eventually spread to all of Europe, Mayer said.

The harmful impact of NOx emissions and fine particulate matter were for years ignored by European regulators until Volkswagen was caught masking excessive pollution levels in cars it sold in the United States.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is suing Volkswagen and its former chief executive Martin Winterkorn over the scandal, accusing the company of perpetrating a “massive fraud” on U.S. investors. [L1N21203X]

The fraud caught the eye of European regulators, who had focused mainly on carbon dioxide emissions.

    The disparity between on-road emissions and test bench results came to light after Marc Besch, a Swiss student at West Virginia University, decided to study Volkswagen emissions for an academic paper in 2013.

    He noticed other carmakers used more sophisticated emissions filters. Together with colleagues he rented a VW Jetta station wagon without knowing that their findings would change the auto industry forever.

    Besch needed to measure the VW’s pollution levels under laboratory conditions, so he turned to California’s Air Resources Board (CARB), which would later help blow the whistle on the “Dieselgate” scandal.

    The rented Volkswagen passed the laboratory test at CARB’s facility, but behaved very differently on the road, Besch said.

    “The Volkswagen did not show a characteristic reduction of nitrogen oxide pollution levels during highway driving,” Besch told Reuters. NOx pollution drops once catalytic converters warm up, but the VW’s levels were more than 30 times the legal limit, Besch’s data showed.

(Additional reporting by Edward Taylor in Frankfurt; Editing by Jan Harvey)

Source: OANN

Police officers stand guard as far-right protesters try to block first in the city
Police officers stand guard as far-right protesters try to block first in the city “Equality Parade” rally in support of the LGBT community in Lublin, Poland October 13, 2018. Jakub Orzechowski/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS

March 15, 2019

By Joanna Plucinska and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s ruling nationalist party aims to stem a decline in its popularity ahead of two key elections this year with warnings that opposition support for LGBT education is a threat to Polish culture and should be blocked wherever possible.

The Law and Justice Party (PiS) has condemned a new school sex education program planned in Poland’s opposition-ruled capital Warsaw, calling it an infringement of traditional Catholic values by Western liberalism.

PiS has targeted LGBT rights as it strives to reverse a decline in popularity amid corruption allegations against financial regulators and questions about party chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s business dealings, among other things.

Poland’s European Coalition, an umbrella grouping of opposition parties, has passed PiS by two points ahead of May’s European Parliament elections, according to a new opinion poll. Parliamentary elections will follow in the autumn.

The approved lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) education program in Warsaw is meant to teach students about sexual orientation, discrimination and reproductive health, according to standards set by the World Health Organization.

Conservative politicians, Roman Catholic leaders and commentators argue such lessons will rob parents of the right to decide how their children should be educated and see children discovering their sexuality too early.

“The whole social mechanism of preparing a young person, first a child and then a youth, for future roles as women and men, to start a family, for the role of mother and father, is being questioned. It could be destroyed,” Kaczynski told a PiS party convention on Saturday.

He added that if the opposition prevailed in the coming elections, it would “continue this attack on families, on children,” and urged voters to help PiS foil such outcomes.

Over half of Poles think homosexuality is not normal but can be tolerated, while a quarter believe it should not be tolerated at all, according to a poll carried out in late 2017 by CBOS.

Poland remains one of Europe’s most devout countries. Roughly 90 percent of the 38 million population identify as Catholics and some 12 million attend mass every Sunday. But while PiS is popular in small town and rural areas of Poland, it draws much less support in larger cities like Warsaw.

ATMOSPHERE OF FEAR?

Some analysts said the PiS decision to zero in on LGBT matters in an election year was a strategy of playing on fear of the unfamiliar to win votes at a time when support for the PiS is floundering among young voters and urbanites.

“What the ruling party is doing isn’t a normal discussion about LGBT rights. Through certain connotations, linking this subject with a so-called threat to children, politicians are trying to create an atmosphere of fear,” sociologist Malgorzata Fuszara told daily Rzeczpospolita on Wednesday.

The tactic worked for PiS previously, analysts said, noting how in 2015 it used anti-migrant rhetoric to drum up support before its election defeat of the governing center-left Civic Platform.

“Here they’re playing on fear just like they did with migration. Only this time it’s not against migrants and Islamic countries but against the expansion of Western values,” said Aleksander Smolar at the Stefan Batory Foundation.

For their part, Polish bishops said in a statement that the Warsaw sex education program would undermine democracy by limiting parental rights and eroding free speech, as children would be instructed in ways at odds with Polish tradition.

PiS has used its electoral mandate to strengthen Catholic values, vowing to “lift Poland from its knees” in its fight against the alleged imposition by countries like Germany and France of a more secular, liberal way of life.

“We don’t want families to be replaced by a new social structure. We don’t want the state, specialists or experts to be the only ones to decide on how we raise our children,” said Zdzislaw Krasnodebski, a PiS ally in the European Parliament.

Polish schools do not currently offer formal sex education, instead teaching students how to prepare for “family life”.

Poland ranks second to last out of 28 European Union states when it comes to equality and non-discrimination, according to Rainbow Europe, an organization linked to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

Gay marriage is illegal in Poland and homosexual partnerships are not legally recognized.

PiS has long focused on bolstering the traditional family unit, comprised of a mother, father and children through social spending programs such as “500+”, which awards 500 zlotys ($131) a month per child to families with more than one child.

(Additional reporting by Marcin Goclowski Editing by Justyna Pawlak and Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings
Mar 14, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

March 15, 2019

Nikita Kucherov had two goals and two assists, and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied from a three-goal deficit to defeat the host Detroit Red Wings for the 15th consecutive time, 5-4, on Thursday.

Tampa Bay won its third straight while Detroit lost for the 12th time in 13 games (1-9-3). The Lightning matched their franchise record of 54 wins set last season.

Steven Stamkos tied Vincent Lecavalier’s franchise record of 383 goals during the second period, and he also had an assist. Brayden Point supplied a goal and two assists, and Tyler Johnson also scored for Tampa Bay. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves.

Darren Helm scored his 100th career goal during a short-handed situation for Detroit. Justin Abdelkader tallied his first goal in 41 games. Madison Bowey and Michael Rasmussen also scored, and Jimmy Howard stopped 34 shots.

Stars 4, Wild 1

Ben Bishop set a franchise-record shutout streak before exiting with an injury, and Dallas scored three goals in the second period in a victory over Minnesota at Saint Paul, Minn.

Radek Faksa and rookies Roope Hintz and Joel L’Esperance scored in a 2:22 span for the Stars, who have won six of their last seven games overall to pull even in points with St. Louis (79) for third place in the Central Division. Alexander Radulov sealed the victory with an empty-net goal.

Anton Khudobin turned aside 14 shots in relief of Bishop, who extended his shutout streak to a career-best 230:53 before leaving with a lower-body injury. The 32-year-old Bishop, who finished with seven saves, eclipsed the previous franchise mark of 219:26 set by Ed Belfour in November 2000.

Penguins 5, Sabres 0

Casey DeSmith made 26 saves, and Phil Kessel, Nick Bjugstad and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and an assist to pace visiting Pittsburgh past Buffalo for its third straight win.

It was the fourth career shutout and third of the season for DeSmith, who had not started since Feb. 21. Brian Dumoulin and Patric Hornqvist also scored for the Penguins, and Sidney Crosby had two assists to give him 31 points in the past 17 games.

Carter Hutton made 23 saves for Buffalo, which was shut out for the third straight game and has lost six in row.

Jets 4, Bruins 3

A third-period goal from Nikolaj Ehlers ended up being the deciding score as Winnipeg edged visiting Boston.

Some strong forechecking from the Jets led to a Boston turnover, with Ehlers pouncing on the loose puck for his 18th goal of the season at 13:02 of the third period. Ehlers’ score ended up being a critical one as Charlie Coyle tipped in a Zdeno Chara point shot at 17:04 of the final frame to pull Boston within one.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Winnipeg and allowed the first-place Jets to maintain their lead over Nashville atop the Central Division. The Bruins have lost their last three games in regulation, following a stretch that saw them record points over 19 consecutive games (15-0-4).

Capitals 5, Flyers 2

Brett Connolly scored two goals and added an assist to lead visiting Washington past Philadelphia.

Lars Eller, Tom Wilson and Evgeny Kuznetsov each scored a goal while Braden Holtby stopped 22 shots. Kuznetsov also had an assist for the Capitals, who have won eight of nine.

James van Riemsdyk and Scott Laughton scored for the Flyers. Carter Hart played for the first time in three weeks and gave up all four goals while making 27 saves.

Senators 2, Blues 0

Anders Nilsson made 35 saves for his second shutout of the season as lowly host Ottawa beat struggling St. Louis. Chris Tierney and Christian Wolanin had the goals.

Nilsson made several key saves to help his team earn just its second win in the last 13 games. Ottawa, which has an NHL-low 54 points and has already been eliminated from the playoff race, snapped a five-game home losing streak and a four-game slide to St. Louis.

The result could prove costly for the playoff-hopeful Blues, who have totaled three goals during an 0-2-1 stretch that’s come without injured goal leader Vladimir Tarasenko. St. Louis had its chances in the third, particularly from Ryan O’Reilly and Robert Thomas, but was stopped on point-blank saves by Nilsson.

Islanders 2, Canadiens 1

Anders Lee scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:57 left in the third period as New York edged visiting Montreal.

Adam Pelech scored in the second period for the Islanders, who won for the fourth time in five games to remain two points behind the first-place Washington Capitals in the Metropolitan Division. Thomas Greiss made 33 saves.

Jordie Benn scored in the second period for the Canadiens, who lost for the fourth time in six games and missed a chance to move ahead of the idle Columbus Blue Jackets in the race for the second and final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Carey Price made 36 saves.

Coyotes 6, Ducks 1

Vinnie Hinostroza scored his first career hat trick, and Arizona inched closer to its first Stanley Cup playoff appearance in seven years with a rout of visiting Anaheim.

The Coyotes moved three points ahead of Minnesota for the second wild card in the Western Conference. Jason Demers had a goal and an assist, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson tied the franchise record with the 15th short-handed goal of the season for the Coyotes. Darcy Kuemper made 37 saves for Arizona, which is 13-4-0 since Feb. 9.

Jakob Silfverberg extended his career-long point streak to seven games with a goal, and Ryan Miller made 18 saves for the Ducks.

Predators 3, Kings 1

Craig Smith and Colton Sissons scored second-period goals as visiting Nashville took the lead for good and defeated Los Angeles to keep pace in the Central Division.

Viktor Arvidsson also scored a goal as the Predators remained in second place, a point behind Winnipeg. Pekka Rinne had 25 saves as the Predators won in regulation for the first time in their past nine games.

Austin Wagner scored a goal for the Kings after missing the previous four games with a lower-body injury. Los Angeles lost for the fourth time in its past five games and for the 14th time in its past 16 games.

Panthers 4, Sharks 2

Mike Hoffman scored the go-ahead goal, and rookie goaltender Sam Montembeault won his third straight start to lead visiting Florida past San Jose.

Hoffman, who added an assist, set a career high for points (63). With his 32nd goal, he tied Ray Whitney (1997-98) for the most by a player in his first season with Florida.

Jamie McGinn, Dryden Hunt and Frank Vatrano also scored for the Panthers, who won their third straight overall. Montembeault, 22, made 26 saves in his first road start, and he improved to 3-0-1. Melker Karlsson and Kevin Labanc tallied for the Sharks, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Before Beto O'Rourke — the latest Democrat entrant to the 2020 presidential race — was embraced by liberal online donors, his top financial backers were wealthy businessmen who donated millions to Republicans, The Washington Post reported.

Several of El Paso's richest business moguls donated to and raised money for O'Rourke's city council campaigns, drawn to his support for a plan to redevelop El Paso's poorer neighborhoods, the Post reported. Some later backed a super PAC that would play a key role in helping him defeat an incumbent Democratic congressman.

At the same time, O'Rourke worked on issues that had the potential to make money for some of his benefactors, the Post reported. For example, his support as a council member for the redevelopment plan coincided with property investments by some of his benefactors, the Post reported.

And as a congressman, O'Rourke supported a $2 billion military funding increase that benefited a company controlled by another major donor— real estate developer Woody Hunt, who also co-founded and funds an El Paso nonprofit organization that has employed O'Rourke's wife since 2016. the news outlet reported.

"We shared a common goal," said Ted Houghton, a local financial adviser and longtime O’Rourke donor who raised money for former GOP Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and helped steer millions in state transportation funding to the city. "The common goal was we needed to move El Paso in a different direction."

Acording to the Post, the former congressman's GOP ties are likely to become an issue as he enters a crowded Democratic presidential primary field that has leaned leftward.

But Republicans are also piling on. A recent ad by the Club for Growth described O'Rourke's pushing a redevelopment scheme "to bulldoze a poor Hispanic neighborhood," the Post reported.

Source: NewsMax

Smoke and flame are seen during an Israeli air strike in Gaza
Smoke and flame are seen during an Israeli air strike in Gaza March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

March 15, 2019

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli military aircraft bombed Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip on Friday, hours after two rockets were launched from the Palestinian enclave at Tel Aviv in the first such attack since a 2014 war.

There was no immediate word of casualties in the air strikes that hit six buildings used by the dominant Islamist group’s security forces, and which had been evacuated as a precaution.

Witnesses said powerful explosions from the air strikes rocked buildings in Gaza and lit the skies over targeted sites

The Israeli military said it was targeting “terror sites” in Gaza. In a possible sign of further escalation, it said rocket sirens were sounded in Israeli communities near the Gaza border.

On Thursday night, the sirens howled farther north, in Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial capital, set off by what the military said were two incoming, longer-range rockets from Gaza.

That salvo caused no casualties or damage, missing built-up areas. But it rattled Israeli nerves ahead of an April 9 election in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term on the strength of his national security credentials.

Explosions were heard in Tel Aviv and witnesses said Iron Dome interceptor missiles were fired skyward and detonated – although the military said no rockets were shot down.

It was the first such attack on the city since the 2014 Gaza war between Hamas and Israel. There have been several smaller rounds of fighting since, reined in by Egyptian and U.N. mediations.

“This was basically a surprise,” military spokesman Brigadier-General Ronen Manelis told Israel Radio on Thursday.

In that interview, Manelis said Israel did not yet know who had carried out the rocket launches. But another Israeli military spokesman laid the blame with Hamas on Friday.

“Hamas carried out the rocket fire against Tel Aviv yesterday evening,” Lieutenant-Colonel Avichay Adraee said.

Hamas denied involvement, saying the launches took place as its leaders met Egyptian delegates about efforts to secure a long-term ceasefire with Israel.

Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, two smaller Gaza armed factions, also denied responsibility.

Israeli analysts speculated that Palestinian militants opposed to any deal between Hamas and Israel were behind the launchings.

The flare-up of Thursday and Friday drew a U.S. statement of support for Israel. “Hamas and other terror orgs in Gaza continue to fail their people day after day & drag Gaza further & further down by constantly choosing violence,” tweeted Jason Greenblatt, the White House’s Middle East envoy. “This method will never work. Ever!”

Naftali Bennett, a member of Netanyahu’s security Cabinet who is vying against him for rightist votes in the looming election, demanded the assassination of Hamas chiefs. “The time has come to defeat Hamas once and for all,” he said on Thursday.

Netanyahu also faced pressure from the center-left opposition, whose leading candidate, former General Benny Gantz, said: “Only aggressive, harsh action will restore the deterrence that has eroded” under the prime minister’s watch.

Tensions have been high for the past year along the Israel-Gaza frontier since Palestinians began violent protests near Israel’s border fence that have often drawn a lethal response from the Israeli military.

About 200 Palestinians have been killed in the demonstrations and about 60 more Palestinians have died in other incidents, including exchanges of fire across the border. Two Israeli soldiers have been killed by Palestinian fire.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 11
Mar 14, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Milos Raonic (CAN) during his quarterfinal match against Miomir Kecmanovic (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 15, 2019

(Reuters) – Big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic fired down 13 aces to defeat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3 6-4 on Thursday and reach the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals in Indian Wells for a second consecutive year.

Serbian teenager Kecmanovic was unable to convert any of his three break-point opportunities against a ruthless Raonic, who unleashed a torrent of punishing groundstrokes on a sunny and breezy day in the California desert.

Raonic’s serving accuracy was not as precise as it has been in other matches, with only 55 percent of his first deliveries finding the target.

But when he was able to get one in play it was too much for the tournament lucky loser, with Raonic winning 88 percent of those points.

“In a few key moments my serve really helped me out,” Raonic told reporters.

“I just tried to play consistent, be aggressive when I had the first chance.”

Next up for Raonic is either Gael Monfils or Dominic Thiem, who play their quarter-final later on Thursday.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Ed Osmond)

Source: OANN

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chief of staff Aviv Kohavi hold a security consulations at the Kirya Defense Ministry compound in Tel Aviv
Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chief of staff Aviv Kohavi hold a security consulations at the Kirya Defense Ministry compound in Tel Aviv. March 14, 2019. Ariel Harmoni/Defense Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

March 14, 2019

By Rami Amichay

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip at the Tel Aviv area on Thursday, the Israeli military said, in the first such attack there since the 2014 war in the Palestinian enclave.

The salvo caused no damage or casualties. But it rattled Israeli nerves ahead of an April 9 election in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term on the strength of his national security and diplomatic credentials.

After air raid sirens howled throughout Tel Aviv and surrounding towns, Reuters journalists heard several explosions in Israel’s coastal conurbation. TV footage showed Israeli interceptor missiles streaking into the sky and detonating.

Despite the apparent activation of Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, the military said no rockets were shot down nor landed in any built-up areas.

It was the first time sirens had sounded in the city since the 2014 Gaza war between the territory’s dominant Hamas Islamists and Israel. There have been several smaller rounds of fighting since, reined in by Egyptian and U.N. mediations.

“This was basically a surprise,” military spokesman Brigadier-General Ronen Manelis told Israel Radio. He said Israel had no advance intelligence warnings of the rocket fire, which went unclaimed by any Palestinian group.

“We don’t know who carried it out,” Manelis said, adding: “The Hamas organization is the main organization in the Strip. It is responsible for what happens within the Strip and what emanates from it.”

Hamas denied involvement for the rocket salvo, which it said took place as its leaders met Egyptian delegates about efforts to secure a long-term ceasefire with Israel.

SHELTERS PREPARED

A statement by the Hamas armed wing said it was “not responsible for the firing of the rockets tonight toward the enemy.” The Hamas administration vowed to “take measures” against those behind the salvo, which it described as violating the “factional and national consensus” governing Gaza.

Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, two smaller Gaza armed factions, also denied responsibility.

Israeli analysts speculated that Palestinian militants opposed to any deal between Hamas and Israel were behind the launchings.

About 40 minutes after the alarm, traffic was flowing normally on Tel Aviv’s main highway. Still, the municipality asked residents to open bomb shelters as a precaution.

Netanyahu, who doubles as Israel’s defense minister, was conferring with military and security staff, his office said.

Naftali Bennett, a member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet who is vying with him for rightist-votes in the looming ballot, issued a statement demanding the assassination of Hamas chiefs. “The time has come to defeat Hamas once and for all,” he said.

Netanyahu also faced pressure from the center-left opposition, whose leading candidate, ex-general Benny Gantz, said “only aggressive, harsh action will restore the deterrence that has eroded” under the prime minister’s watch.

Tensions have been high for the past year along the Israel-Gaza frontier since Palestinians began violent protests near Israel’s border fence that have often drawn a lethal response from the Israeli military.

Around 200 Palestinians have been killed in the demonstrations and about 60 more Palestinians have died in other incidents, including exchanges of fire across the border. Two Israeli soldiers have been killed by Palestinian fire.

(Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Chris Reese)

Source: OANN

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

Twelve Republican senators voted to rebuke President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border in a major embarrassment to the White House.

The senators joined their Democratic colleagues in passing a resolution which notes official congressional disapproval of Trump’s declaration of a national emergency. The national emergency declaration is paired with a number of executive actions designed to make approximately $8 billion of funding available to begin construction on a wall along the southern border.

The senators’ main concern centered on the idea that Trump is circumventing Congress’s enumerated power of the purse to appropriate funds and use them as he pleases. Nearly all have noted that future Democratic presidents would exploit Trump’s action and declare their own national emergencies to fulfill campaign promises. (RELATED: 3 Senate Republicans Are Banding Together To Support Resolution To Terminate Trump’s National Emergency)

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump, right, acknowledges US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

They included Sens. Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey, Roy Blunt, Lamar Alexander, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Jerry Moran, Mike Lee, and Roger Wicker.

Forty-one Republican senators stood by the Trump administration, including Sen. Thom Tillis, who previously had declared in a Washington Post op-ed that he could not support Trump on the declaration of a national emergency.

(Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence look on as President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address. (Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

Trump made clear ahead of the vote and after the vote that he would issue a swift veto. The veto will put the matter to rest as neither chamber of congress appears to have the necessary two-thirds majority to overturn Trump’s veto.

Some Senate Republicans and White House aides sought to stop the embarrassing defeat by attempting to create an alternative resolution that would restrict the president’s future use of executive power. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly shot down the resolution, however, and Trump himself did not appear to endorse it Wednesday.

Source: The Daily Caller

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., would defeat former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore by a wide margin in a Republican primary to see who would compete for Democratic Sen. Doug Jones’ seat, according to a poll conducted for the Club for Growth.

Here are how the poll results break down:

  • 52 percent would vote for Brooks and 32 percent for Moore in a head-to-head contest.
  • 61 percent of those with an opinion of both candidates would vote for Brooks and 27 percent for Moore.

“The Club for Growth polling clearly shows Mo Brooks is the best choice to defeat Roy Moore,” said Club for Growth Action President David McIntosh. “Mo Brooks would be a fighter for economic freedom and represent Alabamians well in the US Senate.”

Jones defeated Moore in 2017 for the Senate seat.

The poll, conducted WPA Intelligence on March 10-12, surveyed 501 likely Republican primary voters in Alabama. It has a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

Related Stories

Source: NewsMax

The Daily Caller Shop | Contributor

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Take advantage of this great deal today. The Anti-Snoring Jaw Strap: 2-Pack is only $12.99 after the 67% off discount.

You can find even more great deals like this at The Daily Caller Shop.

Source: The Daily Caller

Matt M. Miller | Contributor

A far-right Polish newspaper ran an article on its front page teaching readers “how to recognize a jew.”

The article was discovered in the lower level of the country’s parliament, according to The Times of Israel.

“Only Poland,” a Polish publication published by fringe nationalist political candidate Leszek Bubl, provided a list on their front page of “Names, anthropological features, expressions, appearances, character traits, methods of operation” and “disinformation activities,” referring to ways of identifying Jewish people. (RELATED: ADL Calls For Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism Following Rep. Omar’s Comments)

“How to defeat them? This cannot go on!” it continued.

The same page also features another headline that reads, “Attack on Poland at a conference in Paris” which refers to a Holocaust studies conference that took place in February, where some Polish nationalist reportedly complained that the conference had an anti-Polish message, according to The Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA).

Bubl is responsible for publishing Only Poland. He is also a musician who has been known to sing about “rabid rabbis,” according to JTA. (RELATED: Poll Finds Memory Of The Holocaust Fading Fast In Europe)

The article was present in a press kit at the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament. A conservative lawmaker at the Sejm, Michał Kamiński, raised concerns over the presence of the publication in the press kit, given its bigoted content. The Sejm Information Center responded to concerns, saying “the Chancellery of the Sejm will request the publication’s removal from the press kit.”

Poland’s government has been accused of anti-Semitism many times before.

Source: The Daily Caller

Republican opposition grew Thursday to President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border as the Senate chugged toward a showdown vote that seemed certain to rebuff him despite his last-minute warnings.

GOP Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Mitt Romney of Utah Romney became the sixth and seventh Republicans to say they'd vote Thursday for a resolution to annul the border emergency Trump declared last month.

Just four GOP defections would ensure the measure would be sent to the White House, where Trump has promised a veto. There is no indication that foes of his declaration have the votes to overturn his veto, and Trump said as much at midday.

"I'll do a veto. It's not going to be overturned," Trump told reporters. "It's a border security vote."

He did not answer when reporters asked if there would be consequences for Republicans who vote against him.

But a White House official said Trump won't forget when senators want him to attend fundraisers or provide other help. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations.

Trump wants to use his declaration to steer $3.6 billion more than Congress has approved for building border barriers than Congress has approved.

Trump's rejection of Lee's proposal left many Republicans boxed in: defy Trump and the conservative voters who back him passionately, or assent to what many lawmakers from both parties consider a dubious and dangerous expansion of presidential authority.

Democrats, set to oppose him, said there was no emergency at the border. They said Trump issued his declaration only because Congress agreed to provide less than $1.4 billion for barriers and he was desperate to fulfill his campaign promise to "Build the Wall."

"He's obsessed with showing strength, and he couldn't just abandon his pursuit of the border wall, so he had to trample on the Constitution to continue his fight," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

On the Senate floor, Alexander — one of the chamber's more respected lawmakers — said Trump's emergency action was "inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution that I took an oath to support," citing the power Congress has to control spending. Romney, his party's 2012 presidential nominee, used a written statement to called Trump's declaration "an invitation to further expansion and abuse by future presidents."

The defections by the two high-profile lawmakers added weight to the growing list of GOP opponents to his border emergency, and left little doubt that the Republican-run Senate would snub Trump. The challenge in a battle related to his signature issue — building barriers along the Mexican border — is striking.

Thursday's vote would be the first time Congress has rejected a presidential emergency under the 1976 National Emergency Act. While presidents have declared 58 emergencies under the statute, this is the first aimed at acquiring money for an item Congress has explicitly refused to finance, according to Elizabeth Goitein, co-director for national security at New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice.

On Twitter, Trump called on Republicans to oppose the resolution, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., helped drive through the House last month.

"Today's issue is BORDER SECURITY and Crime!!! Don't vote with Pelosi!" he tweeted, invoking the name of a Democrat who boatloads of GOP ads have villainized in recent campaign cycles.

Republicans had hoped that if Trump would endorse a separate bill by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, constraining emergency declarations in the future, it would win over enough GOP senators to reject the resolution blocking his border emergency.

But Trump told Lee on Wednesday that he opposed Lee's legislation, prompting Lee himself to say he would back the resolution thwarting the border emergency in Thursday's vote. Trump tweeted Thursday if Congress wants to amend the law governing emergency declarations in the future, "I will support those efforts."

Other GOP senators who've said they'd vote to overturn Trump's border emergency were Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Tillis, though, has wavered in recent days. He and Collins face potentially competitive re-election fights in 2020.

Republicans control the Senate 53-47.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is backing Trump, went to the White House late Wednesday to see if some compromise could be reached that would help reduce the number of GOP senators opposing the border emergency, according to a person familiar with the visit who described it on condition of anonymity. Trump's Thursday comments indicated the visit didn't produce results.

The National Emergency Act gives presidents wide leeway in declaring an emergency. Congress can vote to block a declaration, but the two-thirds majorities required to overcome presidential vetoes make it hard for lawmakers to prevail.

Lee proposed letting a presidential emergency last 30 days unless Congress votes to extend it. That would have applied to future emergencies but not Trump's current order unless he sought to renew it next year.

The strongest chance of blocking Trump is likely several lawsuits filed by Democratic state attorneys general, environmental groups and others.

Source: NewsMax

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

House Republican lawmakers are asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold hearings on the Green New Deal.

“As the committees to which it has been referred, we have a responsibility to fully understand how the Green New Deal will affect the cost of living and economic mobility of hardworking,” 11 House GOP members wrote to Pelosi on Thursday.

“Americans. We need to get to the facts, the American people deserve answers,” wrote lawmakers, including Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rob Bishop of Utah, Kevin Brady of Texas and Greg Walden of Oregon.

Republicans also plan to hold a press conference Thursday to push their case, Axios reported. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is set to attend the press conference, signaling a coordinated effort to keep the Green New Deal at the forefront ahead of the 2020 elections.

While the Green New Deal has been embraced by leftmost Democrats and a handful of 2020 presidential hopefuls, Democratic leadership has withheld overt support for the resolution. (RELATED: Greenpeace Co-Founder Patrick Moore Calls Out His Former Group For Rewriting History)

Pelosi speaks at an Economic Club of Washington event in Washington

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi addresses guests at an event hosted by the Economic Club of Washington in Washington, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque.

Moderate Democrats have distanced themselves from the resolution or, like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, joined with Republicans to reject it altogether.

The Green New Deal calls for aggressive goals of achieving “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years, which implies more aggressive policies than cap-and-trade. Republicans worry such policies will raise energy prices and dramatically expand government control of the economy.

“Taken together, we fear the Green New Deal would hurt Americans struggling to make ends meet — the very people it purports to help,” Republicans wrote to Pelosi. “Worst of all, it could permanently put the American Dream out of reach for millions of Americans.”

Republicans’ letter comes on news Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is set to bring the Green New Deal to a vote in the last week of March. Senate Democrats are trying to avoid voting on the non-binding resolution and even put forward an alternative bill.

Republicans in the Western Caucus, including Bishop, held a public forum on the Green New Deal in late February, and even invited the bill’s sponsor, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who wasn’t able to attend.

At the event, Bishop ate a hamburger in defiance of the Green New Deal — in reference to Ocasio-Cortez’s bungled Green New Deal rollout FAQ that mentioned getting rid of “farting cows.”

It seems doubtful Pelosi would agree to hold hearings on the Green New Deal. Pelosi referred to the Green New Deal as “the green dream or whatever” after it was introduced in February.

Likewise, Pelosi has resisted her party’s calls for votes on Medicare for All and impeachment. Pelosi also remembers the defeat of cap-and-trade in 2010, despite Democratic control of both chambers of Congress.

Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump declared his intention to veto a Congressional resolution set to pass the U.S. senate that disapproves of his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, in a Thursday morning tweet.

The Republicans who have publicly said they will vote for the resolution include Sens. Rand Paul, Susan Collins, Thom Thillis, Lisa Murkowski, and Mike Lee. White House officials say that the number of Republicans who ultimately end up voting for the resolution could reach 10.

Their concerns center on the idea that Trump is circumventing Congress’s enumerated power of the purse to appropriate funds and use them as he pleases. Nearly all have noted that future Democratic presidents would exploit Trump’s action and declare their own national emergencies to fulfill campaign promises. (RELATED: 3 Senate Republicans Are Banding Together To Support Resolution To Terminate Trump’s National Emergency)

Trump issued pleas in recent weeks for Senators to stand by him and some aides have threatened political repercussions to those who cross the administration.

The resolution notes official congressional disapproval of Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border. The national emergency declaration is paired with a number of executive actions designed to make approximately $8 billion of funding available to begin construction on a wall along the southern border.

The disapproval resolution passed the Democratically-controlled House by a wide margin. Some Senate Republicans and White House aides sought to stop the embarrassing defeat by attempting to create an alternative resolution that would restrict the president’s future use of executive power.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly shot down the resolution and Trump himself did not appear to endorse it Wednesday in an appearance before reporters. Trump told reporters the senators can do “whatever they want” and stood by his decision.

Source: The Daily Caller

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump declared his intention to veto a Congressional resolution set to pass the U.S. senate that disapproves of his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, in a Thursday morning tweet.

The Republicans who have publicly said they will vote for the resolution include Sens. Rand Paul, Susan Collins, Thom Thillis, Lisa Murkowski, and Mike Lee. White House officials say that the number of Republicans who ultimately end up voting for the resolution could reach 10.

Their concerns center on the idea that Trump is circumventing Congress’s enumerated power of the purse to appropriate funds and use them as he pleases. Nearly all have noted that future Democratic presidents would exploit Trump’s action and declare their own national emergencies to fulfill campaign promises. (RELATED: 3 Senate Republicans Are Banding Together To Support Resolution To Terminate Trump’s National Emergency)

Trump issued pleas in recent weeks for senators to stand by him and some aides have threatened political repercussions to those who cross the administration.

The resolution notes official congressional disapproval of Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border. The national emergency declaration is paired with a number of executive actions designed to make approximately $8 billion of funding available to begin construction on a wall along the southern border.

The disapproval resolution passed the Democratically-controlled House by a wide margin. Some Senate Republicans and White House aides sought to stop the embarrassing defeat by attempting to create an alternative resolution that would restrict the president’s future use of executive power.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly shot down the resolution and Trump himself did not appear to endorse it Wednesday in an appearance before reporters. Trump told reporters the senators can do “whatever they want” and stood by his decision.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan wants “to be clear” about a statement he made earlier this week that suggested Democrats could defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.

“To be clear, GOP wins elections when they’re about ideas not when they’re personality conflicts like Dems & media want,” Ryan tweeted Wednesday. “We’re clearly better off because of @RealDonaldTrump. His record of accomplishments is why we’ll win re-election especially when compared to Dems’ leftward lurch.”

Ryan originally created a stir when he suggested Monday that President Donald Trump could lose the 2020 presidential election if it focuses on Trump’s 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 predicted. (RELATED: Paul Ryan: ‘Sometimes’ Trump Can Be A Unifier)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - NOVEMBER 10: President-elect Donald Trump meets with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day president-elect Trump met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Then-President-elect Donald Trump meets with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting Nov. 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day president-elect Trump met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Ryan was in Vero Beach, Florida, participating in a lecture series when he also said he believes there are some Democrats who could win the 2020 presidential, TCPalm reported.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04: U.S. President Donald Trump (L), stands with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) and Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), after Republicans passed legislation aimed at repealing and replacing ObamaCare, during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House, on May 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. The House bill would still need to be passed by the Sebate before being signed into law. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump (L), stands with then-House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) and Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), after Republicans passed legislation aimed at repealing and replacing ObamaCare, during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House, on May 4, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Ryan, a former Republican Wisconsin congressman who served as Speaker of the House for four years, seemed to have an uneven relationship with Trump, appearing sometimes as an ally and at other times an adversary. (RELATED: Paul Ryan Predicts Why Trump May Not Win In 2020)

Ryan was pointedly critical of Trump during the 2016 primaries and did not support his candidacy. After Trump won the GOP nomination, Ryan seemed less than enthusiastic but, more or less, advanced the president’s policies in the House of Representatives where the Republicans enjoyed a majority at the time. In January, during the partial government shutdown, Trump blamed Ryan for not securing funding for a border wall when he had the opportunity to do so, according to one report.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Arab league and EU summit, in Sharm el-Sheikh
European Council President Donald Tusk attends a news conference during a summit between Arab league and European Union member states, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

March 14, 2019

By Alastair Macdonald

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders will consider pressing Britain to delay Brexit by at least a year to find a way through its domestic deadlock, the chair of next week’s EU summit said on Thursday.

“I will appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it,” European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter, referring to the 27 other national leaders who will meet Prime Minister Theresa May next Thursday.

A senior EU official said Tusk believed Britain would, if May fails to avoid a third parliamentary defeat next week for the Brexit deal she has negotiated with Brussels, need at least a year and possibly much longer to find a national consensus on how – and indeed whether – it wants to quit the bloc.

Such an extension, which would depend on May lodging such a request, would require Britain to elect members of the European Parliament when all states hold votes on May 23-26, the senior official said. It would require unanimous support among the 27 other member states, whose positions are so far unclear.

In the run-up to the two-day quarterly summit, Tusk will travel to meet leaders including, on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, and, on Tuesday, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

A number of leading EU figures have been calling for the bloc to refuse any extension beyond the May elections, or at the latest beyond July 2 when the new EU legislature convenes. Macron has voiced doubts about a longer extension, while Merkel has appeared more open to giving Britain time.

Tusk, however, while hoping May can win lawmakers’ support for her Brexit deal before the summit, believes a short extension would achieve little and is urging leaders not to close down options to give Britain more time. That could include holding a general election or a new referendum on EU membership.

EU DIVIDED

May, as she prepares for further parliamentary votes on Thursday on the question of extension beyond the March 29 withdrawal date, has said she could seek an extension to June 30 if lawmakers back her deal next week. But she would seek a much longer delay rather than leave without a deal.

EU discussion of a very long extension to the two-year deadline could bolster May’s tactic of using that as a threat to persuade hardline Brexit supporters to back her deal rather than risk Britain not leaving the EU at all.

EU officials say many in Brussels and in national capitals are in two minds about delaying Brexit. Many feel the process is distracting the bloc from more pressing business and its May elections. But none relish the risk that Britain might end up leaving chaotically without a deal.

The prospect of Britain returning lawmakers to the European Parliament is also a divisive issue. The center-right European People’s Party (EPP), to which Merkel belongs, has no British member as May’s Conservatives broke away a decade ago. The return of British Labour lawmakers to the chamber could push the center-left close to parity with the EPP, according to polls.

A British EU election would also bolster the presence of anti-EU forces in the parliament, a development Macron, Merkel and others would prefer to avoid.

In a reply to Tusk’s tweet, Guy Verhofstadt, the liberal leader and Brexit coordinator in the European Parliament, hardened his calls for Britain to be cast out as soon as possible unless its lawmakers can agree on a clear strategy.

“Under no circumstances an extension in the dark!” he tweeted. “Unless there is a clear majority in the House of Commons for something precise, there is no reason at all for the European Council to agree on a prolongation.”

(Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators burn Chinese goods and poster of Chinese President Xi, during a protest in New Delhi
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators burn Chinese goods and poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping during a protest organised by the activists of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, a wing of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), as they demand the boycott of Chinese products, in New Delhi, India, October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

March 14, 2019

By Krishna N. Das and Neha Dasgupta

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Indian traders’ body and the economic wing of an influential Hindu nationalist group called for a boycott of Chinese products on Thursday, after China foiled a bid to blacklist the head of a Pakistan-based militant group that claimed a suicide attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

India and the United States said they would continue to push for U.N. Security Council sanctions against Masood Azhar, the founder of militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), and many Indians said their patience was running out with China.

The United States, Britain and France asked the Security Council’s Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee to subject JeM founder Masood Azhar to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze. China placed a “technical hold” on the request.

This was the fourth such block on Azhar by China, India’s second-biggest trade partner that said it needed more time to decide. Azhar founded JeM in 2000, and the group claimed a Feb. 14 attack in Kashmir that killed 40 paramilitary police.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents 70 million traders, said it would burn Chinese goods on March 19 to “teach a lesson” to China.

“The time has come when China should suffer due to its proximity with Pakistan,” CAIT said in a statement. “The CAIT has launched a national campaign to boycott Chinese goods among the trading community of the country, calling the traders not to sell or buy Chinese goods.”

Pakistan has denied any role in the Kashmir attack.

Ashwani Mahajan, a leader of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch that has close ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), invoked the “Father of the Nation” Mahatma Gandhi to call for Indians to boycott Chinese products.

“Taking a cue from history, best way to defeat China is #BoycottChinese and strong action from govt on trade front,” Mahajan said on Twitter, posting an image of a newspaper ad from 1921 inviting people to burn foreign-made clothes as part of a Gandhi-led protest against British colonial rule.

#BoycottChineseProducts was the second-highest trending hashtag on Twitter on Reuters India on Thursday.

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a faxed message seeking comment on the boycott calls.

Chinese products – from mobile phones made by companies such as Xiaomi Inc to toys – are ubiquitous in India and trade between the countries touched $89.71 billion in the year ending March 2018. The trade deficit widened to $63.05 billion in China’s favor, more than a nine-fold increase over the past decade.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley warned against any knee-jerk reaction.

“It’s a diplomatic issue, and India will take a decision after a careful thought,” Jaitley told CNNNEWS18. “We’re not a small player on the global stage, but foreign policy issues are tackled in a measured way, not in a knee-jerk manner.”

A senior government official, who refused to be named citing service rules, said there has been a move to “restrict” Chinese imports but that India was not in a position to replace products such as electronics.

India’s trade ministry said in an email the country can’t take any unilateral punitive action against a fellow WTO member.

But weeks before a general election, India’s main opposition Congress party said Modi’s attempts to improve ties with China were not yielding results.

“Weak Modi is scared of Xi. Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India,” Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Modi’s BJP replied: “Be assured that India will win the fight against terror.”

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Neha Dasgupta in NEW DELHI; Additional reporting by Aditya Kalra in NEW DELHI and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: OANN

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs
Mar 13, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks forward Brendan Perlini (11) pursues the play against Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

March 14, 2019

Brendan Perlini had a goal and two assists, Brandon Saad added a goal and an assist, and the visiting Chicago Blackhawks held on to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 Wednesday night.

The Maple Leafs trailed 5-0 before scoring four consecutive goals, including three in the third period, when they took 30 shots.

Duncan Keith, Dominik Kahun and Alex DeBrincat also scored for the Blackhawks, who have won four in a row. Dylan Strome contributed two assists. Corey Crawford saved 17 of the 18 shots he faced in the Chicago goal but left because of illness after the second period.

Andreas Johnsson, Auston Matthews and Morgan Rielly each had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs, who have lost two in a row. John Tavares also scored for Toronto, and William Nylander and Mitch Marner each added two assists.

Devils 6, Oilers 3

Kenny Agostino, Damon Severson and Kevin Rooney each collected a goal and an assist, and six New Jersey players scored in snapping a seven-game losing streak to hand Edmonton a crushing loss.

Devils goalie Cory Schneider stopped 36 shots in the win. Going into the game, the injury-riddled Devils had 18 skaters who had combined for 99 goals this season.

Connor McDavid collected a pair of assists to give him three consecutive 100-point seasons, but the Oilers lost for the second time in three games. They sit six points out of a playoff spot with 12 games remaining.

Canucks 4, Rangers 1

Tyler Motte scored two goals 11 seconds apart in the second period and host Vancouver beat New York as the Canucks posted only their fifth NHL win in the past 18 games (5-10-3), while the Rangers took their eighth loss in nine outings.

Brock Boeser and Jake Virtanen, with an empty-netter in the final minute, also tallied for the Canucks. Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Rangers.

Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom stopped 21 of 22 shots. New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist recorded 24 saves on 27 shots in the loss. Lundqvist was denied a chance to become only the sixth goalie to record 450 all-time NHL wins.

–Field Level Media

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

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

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., said he supports an effort from Republican senators to save President Donald Trump from an embarrassing defeat over his emergency declaration for the border because Congress needs to start taking back its legislative powers.

"Congress has given that authority away to the president," Reed told CNN on Wednesday, after saying he backs the move proposed by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. "The president, even under the proposed reform that the senator and I are looking to do, still has the ability to act in an emergency, but it forces Congress to have to make a determination in each and every one of those declarations going forward."

The measure supports Trump in declaring the national emergency if he agrees to support a bill allowing future emergency declarations to be checked by Congress.

"If we don't want our president acting like a king, we need to start taking back the legislative powers that allow him to do so," Lee tweeted Tuesday.

However, Reed recently voted against legislation in the House to block the president from declaring the emergency, and he told CNN that was because he agrees there is an emergency.

"In future declarations, I am going to agree or disagree with that declaration by the president," Reed said. "It gets caught up in politics because they pick and choose in Congress when they weigh in on the National Emergency Act."

He said he agrees with Lee about the president "acting like a king" with such orders, as he believes any president "that is unchecked is using authority that is way beyond" his boundaries.

Source: NewsMax

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani waves to the people at the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani waves to the people at the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, Iraq March 13, 2019. Official Iranian President website/Handout via REUTERS

March 13, 2019

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday that Iraqi sovereignty must be respected and weapons kept in state hands, a veiled reference to increasingly influential Iran-backed militias.

It was the first meeting between an Iranian president and the 88-year-old Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who rarely weighs in on politics but exerts wide influence over Iraqi public opinion.

Sistani welcomed “any steps to strengthen Iraq’s relations with its neighbours … based on respect for the sovereignty of the countries and no interference in domestic affairs”, a statement from his office said.

“The most important challenges facing Iraq are fighting corruption, improving services and keeping weapons in the hands of the state and its security services,” it added.

The meeting came on the third day of a visit by Rouhani to Iraq which aimed to project Iran’s political and economic dominance in Baghdad and expand commercial ties to help offset renewed U.S. sanctions meant to isolate and weaken Tehran.

Iran and Iraq, both majority Shi’ite Muslim countries, signed several preliminary trade accords on Monday, Iraqi officials said, including deals on oil, health, and a railway linking the southern Iraqi oil city of Basra and an Iranian border town.

Sistani’s comments will chime with the concerns of many Iraqis that powerful Shi’ite militias, which are increasing their military and political influence after the defeat of Sunni Muslim extremist group Islamic State (IS), remain subservient to their Iranian patrons.

Sistani issued a decree in 2014 calling up Iraqis to volunteer to fight against Islamic State. Many answered the call, joining mostly Shi’ite paramilitary groups.

Since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iran has come to dominate Iraqi politics through allies in the government and parliament and has built up considerable influence over parts of the security forces.

Dozens of mainly Iran-backed paramilitary groups which played a key role in defeating IS in 2017 were brought formally into the security forces last year. Critics say they have also begun to control parts of the economy. The groups deny this.

Iran is striving to shore up control of a corridor of territory from Tehran through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon where it holds sway through allies including those militias.

Most Iran-backed Iraqi militias say they are no longer funded or equipped by Iran and serve only to defend Iraq and its Shi’ite holy sites.

(Reporting by John Davison; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN


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