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Lauryn Overhultz | Columnist

Danica Patrick’s birthday is March 25. To celebrate her birthday, we made a slideshow of her greatest photos.

Danica Patrick is an American race car driver born in Wisconsin. Patrick began racing go-karts in Wisconsin at 10 years old. When she turned 16, she moved on to racing Formula Fords. Patrick dropped out of high school to pursue her dream racing cars. (RELATED: Danica Patrick Bids Farewell To Nascar Racing)

Patrick was the first female race car driver to win an IndyCar Championship event in 2008 with her first place win in the Firestone IndyCar 300 race. In 2011, Patrick moved to Nascar racing full-time. She was the first woman to win the pole position for the Daytona 300. She was also the first woman to lead a lap in the race and finished eighth.

Patrick’s role as a woman in racing landed her various media roles. She has hosted Spike TV and has been featured on the cover of “Sports Illustrated.” In 2017, Patrick announced she was retiring from racing. She now makes wine at her vineyard in Deer Park, California.

Check out her photos below.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

“Yellowstone” season two is only a few months away, and we have the first image from the upcoming episodes.

Everybody knows that I’m a huge fan of the hit show on the Paramount Network. Kevin Costner as John Dutton is one of the coolest storylines that I’ve ever seen on TV.

The whole cast is incredible, and I’m extremely optimistic that things will only get crazier in season two. In the first image from the new season, all our favorite characters are gathered on the front porch of John’s house. (RELATED: ‘Yellowstone’ Season 2 Will Premiere June 19, 2019 On The Paramount Network)

Kayce, Beth, Jamie, their father, Rip and Monica are all in the picture. Jamie’s presence is interesting because he pretty much cut and run from the family at the end of season one.

This photo makes me think that Jamie is going to make some amends in the second season. He flamed out his father to a reporter, and that could cause some serious problems for the head of the Dutton family.

Yet, there’s a war brewing, and we all know John will close ranks. Will Jamie find his way back into his good graces? We’ll have to find out. (RELATED: The ‘Yellowstone‘ Season One Finale Was Electric [SPOILERS])

It’s also interesting that Monica is featured. Hopefully, that’s a sign she’s going to smooth things over with Kayce.

There’s no question she’s better off on the ranch than on the reservation. That was made obvious in season one.

Tune in June 19 to catch all the action in season 2. It should be great.

Source: The Daily Caller

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in Jerusalem
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in Jerusalem March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young/Pool

March 24, 2019

By Jeffrey Heller

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – With Israel’s election just two weeks away, Benjamin Netanyahu will get to showcase his close ties with Donald Trump in a U.S. visit just days after the president backed Israel’s hold over the occupied Golan Heights.

The prime minister’s White House meeting with Trump on Monday could be overshadowed in the United States by the expected release of a confidential report into a probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

But Netanyahu, facing possible indictment in three corruption cases and denying any wrongdoing, will play to a domestic audience in highlighting what he hails as the strongest bond ever between an Israeli leader and an American president.

Before returning on Thursday from the long-planned trip to the home stretch of a close race, Netanyahu can expect a warm reception from Trump, who along with the First Lady, will also host a dinner for Netanyahu and his wife, Sara.

Trump helped set the scene for his ally on Thursday, announcing the time had come to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, strategic territory that Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

The president’s move was widely seen in Israel – where Trump is a popular figure – as an attempt to provide an election boost to the right-wing Netanyahu, who had pressed for yet another departure from long-standing U.S. policy in one of the world’s most volatile regions.

Trump had already fulfilled two major items on Netanyahu’s wish list, recognizing contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and moving the American embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv last May.

Those steps angered Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem, also captured by Israel in 1967, as the capital of a state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. It also set them firmly against a peace plan Washington says it will present after the Israeli ballot.

“We have never had such a bond between the prime minister of Israel and an American president,” Netanyahu, who has featured Trump on his campaign billboards, told reporters upon his departure from Tel Aviv.

For Trump, Netanyahu’s embrace resonates with U.S. evangelists, a core constituency for the Republican leader who is up for re-election in 2020.

CLOSE RACE

Before arriving in Washington on Sunday, Netanyahu said he would speak to Trump “about his historic declaration” on the Golan and “continued pressure on Iran” following the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Tehran that had relaxed sanctions on Israel’s arch-foe.

Netanyahu will also address the pro-Israel lobbying group, AIPAC, at its annual convention in Washington, as will his main challenger in the election, former military chief Benny Gantz who heads a centrist party.

The prime minister said he will meet leaders of Congress during the visit. Netanyahu’s relations with Democrats have been strained by his unflinching support for Trump, friction with the Democratic party’s progressive wing and his thorny relationship with Barack Obama.

Opinions polls show Netanyahu running neck and neck with Gantz. The political newcomer has called for clean governance, building on the attorney-general’s announcement in February that he intends to indict Netanyahu on bribery and fraud charges, pending a hearing after the April 9 vote.

“(Trump’s statement about the Golan) will really help Netanyahu,” said Billha Ketter, 67, an event planner, speaking to Reuters in Rosh Pina, which abuts the Golan Heights. She accused the president of intervening in Israel’s election.

Opinion polls gauging whether Trump’s move is having an effect are expected later in the week.

(Additional reporting by Rami Ayyub in Rosh Pina, Israel; Editing by Maayan Lubell/Keith Weir)

Source: OANN

MLS: Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas
Mar 23, 2019; Frisco, TX, USA; Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard (1) makes a save with FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead (12) challenging during the second half at Toyota Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

Ryan Hollingshead scored the tiebreaking goal off a rebound in the 82nd minute, and FC Dallas held on to beat the visiting Colorado Rapids 2-1 on Saturday at Frisco, Texas.

What began with a pass into the box from 17-year-old Thomas Roberts ended when Hollingshead drove home a rebound of a Tim Howard save. The late goal improved FC Dallas to 2-1-1 on the young season.

It also came after Colorado (0-2-2) equalized in the 69th minute. Off a set piece, the Rapids’ Kei Kamara put a header off the crossbar. A sliding Tommy Smith got the rebound off his leg, and just over the goal line and into the body of Dallas keeper Jesse Gonzalez.

However, the initial call on the pitch was no goal, but after video review, the Rapids were awarded the goal. It looked like they would earn at least a point on the day, until Dallas responded.

Both sides were minus key players due to internationals duties. Colorado was without key forward Diego Rubio, while FC Dallas did not have starting midfielders Carlos Gruezo and Bryan Acosta. That forced Dallas to start five home-grown players.

Gonzalez, though, surprisingly featured in between responsibilities with the U.S. men’s national squad.

However, youth did not seem to hinder Dallas, which came out of the gate firing. The hosts had the first quality chance of the game when Dominique Badji hit the right post off a set-piece in the third minute. Two minutes later, Paxton Pomykal had his 6-yard attempt blocked.

It would be Michael Barrios, though, who broke through for his second goal of the season in the 35th minute for Dallas. After some nifty passing across the box, Barrios cross-footed a ground strike to the near post and past a diving Howard for the 1-0 lead.

Dallas held a 6-4 advantage in shots on target.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

OTTAWA — Official Opposition Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s antics on the world stage have damaged the country’s reputation around the world.

“I think it’s clear under Justin Trudeau that our foreign policy has been set way back. He liked to say when he was first elected that ‘Canada’s back’ — well he’s put us back now after years of disasters on the world stage,” Scheer told an audience of about 1,500 at the Manning Networking Conference on Saturday in Ottawa.

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer discusses Canadian politics with CTV News anchor Mercedes Stephenson at the Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa, Canada on March 23, 2019. Daily Caller photo by Janet Krayden.

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer (R) discusses Canadian politics with Global News anchor Mercedes Stephenson at the Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa, Canada on March 23, 2019. Daily Caller photo by Janet Krayden.

One of those “disasters,” Scheer maintained, was “Trudeau’s trip to India,” a widely scorned diplomatic and trade mission that featured many photo ops in traditional Indian dress. “I don’t think they believe they’re dealing with a serious person,” he said.

On the increasing divide between Canada and China, the opposition leader cited Trudeau’s infamous declaration that he most admired China’s command economy, saying, “We need a prime minister who doesn’t admire the basic dictatorship of China.” (RELATED: China Calls Trudeau ‘Irresponsible’ For Criticizing Canadian’s Death Sentence)

Moving to domestic issues, Scheer promised to balance the federal budget, rejecting Trudeau’s contention that “the budget will balance itself.”

Scheer suggested the prime minister would continue to spend more money than he takes in because “that’s basic economics that Trudeau doesn’t understand.”

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

Scheer said Trudeau’s “celebrity status … and the facade is falling and the real Justin Trudeau is coming out,” which makes it easier for the opposition leader define himself. He was referring to a judicial interference scandal where Trudeau is alleged to have intervened to help a major Quebec contracting firm SLC-Lavalin avoid prosecution on bribery and fraud charges. (RELATED: Calls For Trudeau’s Resignation After Explosive Testimony From Former AG)

Scheer dismissed Trudeau’s budget that was released this week as an attempt to “change the channel on the corruption channel he is embroiled in” while “ramping up massive amounts of new spending that leads to massive new deficits, all of which leads to new taxes if he is re-elected.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

OTTAWA — Official Opposition Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s antics on the world stage have damaged the country’s reputation around the world.

“I think it’s clear under Justin Trudeau that our foreign policy has been set way back. He liked to say when he was first elected that ‘Canada’s back’ — well he’s put us back now after years of disasters on the world stage,” Scheer told an audience of about 1,500 at the Manning Networking Conference on Saturday in Ottawa.

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer discusses Canadian politics with CTV News anchor Mercedes Stephenson at the Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa, Canada on March 23, 2019. Daily Caller photo by Janet Krayden.

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer (R) discusses Canadian politics with Global News anchor Mercedes Stephenson at the Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa, Canada on March 23, 2019. Daily Caller photo by Janet Krayden.

One of those “disasters,” Scheer maintained, was “Trudeau’s trip to India,” a widely scorned diplomatic and trade mission that featured many photo ops in traditional Indian dress. “I don’t think they believe they’re dealing with a serious person,” he said.

On the increasing divide between Canada and China, the opposition leader cited Trudeau’s infamous declaration that he most admired China’s command economy, saying, “We need a prime minister who doesn’t admire the basic dictatorship of China.” (RELATED: China Calls Trudeau ‘Irresponsible’ For Criticizing Canadian’s Death Sentence)

Moving to domestic issues, Scheer promised to balance the federal budget, rejecting Trudeau’s contention that “the budget will balance itself.”

Scheer suggested the prime minister would continue to spend more money than he takes in because “that’s basic economics that Trudeau doesn’t understand.”

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

Scheer said Trudeau’s “celebrity status … and the facade is falling and the real Justin Trudeau is coming out,” which makes it easier for the opposition leader define himself. He was referring to a judicial interference scandal where Trudeau is alleged to have intervened to help a major Quebec contracting firm SLC-Lavalin avoid prosecution on bribery and fraud charges. (RELATED: Calls For Trudeau’s Resignation After Explosive Testimony From Former AG)

Scheer dismissed Trudeau’s budget that was released this week as an attempt to “change the channel on the corruption channel he is embroiled in” while “ramping up massive amounts of new spending that leads to massive new deficits, all of which leads to new taxes if he is re-elected.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Journalist Lara Logan said Saturday that the response to the Mueller report was striking because of what was not happening: there were no blaring headlines boldly proclaiming the vindication of President Donald Trump.

WATCH:

Logan, during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” Saturday, argued that if the Mueller report had resulted in indictments or charges of any kind, that would most certainly be the top story in every paper. (RELATED: Former CBS Reporter Lara Logan Hits Media For Becoming ‘Propagandists’)

My question is this: If charges had been brought against the president, then the headlines would all be screaming about, you know, victory, right, for the left. Vindication. This proves that what the left has been saying is right. Now, no charges have been brought but I don’t see screaming headlines that say this vindicates the president.

The former CBS correspondent also argued that she found coverage of the whole investigation to be problematic, noting how often it was mentioned that Mueller had indicted people close to Trump — but only adding as an afterthought that the indictments had nothing to do with the president or ties to Russia.

There is something else that bothers me with much of the reporting on this from the beginning is that you keep seeing high-up, featured prominently in many articles, this line that ‘six members of the Trump campaign have been indicted by the Mueller investigation’ — but you don’t read in the same space right there, nobody writes ‘although none of them were charged with conspiracy with Russia,’ the central question of the Mueller investigation. That always comes way, way, way down further in the reporting.

Logan explained that, as a journalist, there was “a very simple fix.” She explained, “You can say six people were charged, but none of those charges had anything to do with conspiring with Russia. That gives — that doesn’t mislead the reader or the viewer, right? Because it’s very clear what people were charged with and that it’s not related to conspiracy or to the central focus of the Mueller investigation.”

“As a journalist, I find it disappointing that people will create one impression with their reporting, correct it later and then claim that they have been honest and objective,” Logan concluded.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Connecticut appears to treat gun owners differently than anti-gun activists.

Last week, an anti-gun activist was caught allegedly threatening a Connecticut politician.

“If I had a gun, I’d blow away Sampson and a large group of NRA,” a photo of a text message she was in the midst of creating revealed.

The sender of the text was escorted out but faced no further punishment.

“We investigated it and we didn’t feel there was a threat,” Lt. Glen Richards of the Connecticut Capitol Police stated.

When a Connecticut gun owner made similar private threats, however, the full force of the law was employed against him.

On Aug. 29, 2014, Edward “Ted” Taupier, of Cromwell, Connecticut, was part of an email discussion when he said this about his divorced judge, Elizabeth Bozzuto: “Bozzuto lives in Watertown with her boys and Na! … There [are] 245 [yards] between her master bedroom and a cemetery that provides cover and concealment. They could try and put me in jail but that would start the ringing of a bell that can be undone.”

At the time he wrote the email, Bozzuto had ordered no contact between Taupier and his two children for more than three months, he told The Daily Caller.

Bozzuto was not one of the recipients of the email; instead, it was a discussion between other court litigants and activists.

One of the recipients, Jennifer Verraneault, days later shared the email with an individual at the Greater Hartford Legal Aid Society, a state legislator and others. A copy made its way to the Connecticut Judicial Marshals before Bozzuto received a screenshot, Taupier said.

Verraneault and Bozzuto did not return emails for comment.

This triggered an investigation and on Aug. 29, 2014, the Connecticut State Police filed a risk warrant against Taupier.

That risk warrant cited Taupier’s gun collection: “That an inquiry through the State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Special Licensing and Firearm Unit database revealed Edward Taupier has a valid Connecticut pistol permit and twelve firearms.”

“If a referral was made to the Connecticut State Police it would have to be investigated fully,” a representative of the Connecticut State Police told the Caller, noting further that a risk warrant was determined to be appropriate.

Risk warrants are the result of so-called red flag laws and Connecticut was the first to pass such a law in 1999.

They allow law enforcement to temporarily remove firearms from individuals deemed dangerous without that individual being charged with a crime as long as a judge signs a warrant.

The risk warrant against Taupier was as a result of Connecticut’s “red flag law.” Taupier said the Connecticut State Police used overwhelming force to execute the warrant.

“It took 15 members of SEAL Team Six to kill Bin Laden, but 75 to 100 SWAT members to arrest me,” Taupier said.

Though not charged with a crime, Taupier’s guns were confiscated, he was taken into custody and Taupier said his bond was in excess of $1 million. He was also placed on two ankle monitors with a GPS device monitoring.

Connecticut Judge David Gold, who ordered the restrictions, did not respond to a request for comment.

Ironically, Judge Bozzuto recused herself from Taupier’s divorce and the judge who replaced her ordered visitation for Taupier starting in December 2014.

Even though the risk warrant was later dismissed, Taupier was kept on ankle monitors and his guns stayed confiscated until he was formally charged on Nov. 14, 2014. Taupier opted for a bench trial, but before a decision could be made, the U.S. Supreme Court made a pertinent decision.

In Elonis vs. United States, the court heard another case involving a threat made in a divorce. In the case, Anthony Elonis said on Facebook, referring to his ex-wife, “Took all the strength I had not to turn the bitch ghost. Pull my knife, flick my wrist, and slit her throat.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision, reversed a lower court and said those words did not constitute a “true threat.” Chief Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion and argued that because Elonis did not have mens rea, a guilty mind, it was not enough to convict.

Roberts stated:

In light of the foregoing, Elonis’s conviction cannot stand. The jury was instructed that the government need prove only that a reasonable person would regard Elonis’s communications as threats, and that was an error. Federal criminal liability generally does not turn solely on the results of an act without considering the defendant’s mental state. That understanding ‘took deep and early root in American soil’ and Congress left it in here: Under Section 875, “wrongdoing must be conscious to be criminal.”

Judge Gold was not convinced: “The objective test described in Krijger as the means of determining what constitutes a true threat continues to be good law in Connecticut even after Elonis.”

Supreme Court Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. waits for the arrival of Former president George H.W. Bush to lie in State at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Capitol Hill on Monday, Dec. 03, 2018 in Washington, DC. Jabin Botsford/Pool via Reuters

Supreme Court Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. waits for the arrival of Former president George H.W. Bush to lie in State at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Capitol Hill on Monday, Dec. 03, 2018 in Washington, DC. Jabin Botsford/Pool via Reuters

State v. Krijger, the case cited by Judge Gold, also appears to be a poor precedent because the threat was made directly to the person.

“The defendant was alleged to have made threatening statements to a town attorney immediately after the conclusion of a court hearing at which the town attorney advised the court of the town’s intention to seek to impose fines against the defendant for his continued zoning violations.” Judge Gold stated in his decision.

Even though the Krijger threat was made directly to the person, unlike in Taupier’s case, was still found guilty.

Judge Gold ruled that Taupier’s private email did constitute a “true threat” the legal standard he used to convict:

Using rhetorical embellishments to drive home the point, the defendant’s language was the rough equivalent of “I am going to shoot Judge Bozzuto and there is nothing she can do to stop me” — thereby reasonably suggesting that the defendant had become desperate enough not only to make the threat but also to carry it out.

Judge Gold even noted law enforcement tested Taupier’s guns: “Trooper Matthew Eagleston, of the Connecticut State Police, a firearms expert, inspected and test fired those four weapons (from those taken from Taupier) and concluded that each was fully operable and capable of accurately firing a projectile 245 yards.”

Sunny Kelley was one of the recipients of the email and she disagrees.

“Ted was convicted for his private thoughts,” she told the Caller. Kelley was one several parents featured in a 2018 story from the Caller. She has been barred from seeing her son since 2012.

Taupier was ordered to serve 18 months in prison but allowed on bail while his case was appealed.

In 2017, he made what law enforcement determined was another threat when he wrote on Facebook, “KILL COURT EMPLOYEES AND SAVE THE COUNTRY.”

He was taken into custody but eventually struck a deal, which did not add any prison time. He was released from prison on Dec. 24, 2018. While in prison, his parental rights were terminated.

“I was brought into court handcuffed and shackled,” Taupier said.

“Until further order of the court, the defendant shall have no in-person access with either of the children, and he shall not communicate or attempt to communicate with them in any manner, including by telephone, email, text message, video or internet call, social media, or by any other written or electronic means,” the order stated.

The court justified its order by concluding that “the contact between the children and their father since the date of judgment has been harmful to them. The father argues that he was only trying to teach the children to question authority. In reality, he was abusing his own parental authority to enlist them as foot soldiers in his war against the family court system.”

His case also nearly sparked a new law. In 2017, then Connecticut Democratic Rep. William Tong introduced a law that would increase the penalties for threats to a judge.

Connecticut State House in Hartford, CT (Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

Connecticut State House in Hartford, CT (Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

“In one especially chilling case, a top judge in the family court system has been subjected to repeated threats sent by email and recorded on YouTube from a man who said he was going to train his children to kill judges,” The Hartford Courant said in covering debate on the law, presumably referring to Taupier.

Taupier said he did make YouTube videos but never said he was going to train his children to kill judges.

Daniela Altimari, who wrote the story, did not return an email.

Tong is now the Connecticut attorney general, and his director of communications, Elizabeth Benton, confirmed Taupier’s case inspired the proposed law, which ultimately did not pass.

While Taupier has been released, he continues to be on an ankle monitor and has never received his guns back.

Taupier said he feels the real crime has not been prosecuted: “[Connecticut] spent millions prosecuting me while they ignored a real crime.”

Source: The Daily Caller

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

  • New Zealand politicians, members of the media, and non-Muslim women embraced displays of Muslim faith Friday in an effort to show solidarity with the country’s Muslim community after the Christchurch shootings. 
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern donned a hijab, along with thousands of other non-Muslim women, and recited a passage from the Koran at a ceremony in Hagley Park shortly before the Muslim call to prayer was broadcast nationwide.
  • Despite overwhelming support for the #scarvesinsolidarity campaign, Muslim and non-Muslim critics lambasted it, arguing that hijabs are used to oppress women in Muslim majority countries. 

New Zealand politicians and journalists have embraced Islam in their efforts to show solidarity with the Muslim community after the Christchurch shootings.

Thousands of New Zealanders engaged in nationally sanctioned displays of Islamic faith Friday, ranging from the national broadcast of the Islamic call to prayer and non-Muslim women donning hijabs to newspapers running Arabic greetings on their front pages. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, police officers, and news anchors joined in the displays of faith throughout the day. (RELATED: Female News Anchors In New Zealand Are Wearing Hijabs After Attack)

New Zealand broadcast the Islamic call to prayer at 1:30 p.m. local time nationwide, the time when the attacks began the previous Friday, on both television and radio. Thousands of New Zealanders of various faiths also gathered at Hagley Park and other areas around the country to attend a live call to prayer, followed by two minutes of silence and reflection.

Ardern also recited a passage from the Koran prior to the call to prayer.

Politicians and members of the media also reportedly began their broadcasts and addresses with the Arabic greeting Al Salaam Alaykum.

Some New Zealand newspapers also featured a version of the greeting on their front pages.

Thaya Ashman, a doctor in Auckland, began the social media campaign #scarvesinsolidarity after the shooting, urging non-Muslim women to wear hijabs on Friday as a show of support for the Muslim community.

The campaign garnered massive support throughout the country, with leaders like Ardern wearing a hijab to Hagley Park and thousands of women donning hijabs for ceremonies to commemorate the mosque shooting victims, 50 of whom were killed and several others were hospitalized with wounds. Muslim volunteers even distributed hijabs at the events and helped non-Muslim women don them, according to The Washington Post.

“Why am I wearing a headscarf today? Well, my primary reason was that if anybody else turns up waving a gun, I want to stand between him and anybody he might be pointing it at. And I don’t want him to be able to tell the difference, because there is no difference,” Bell Sibly, a woman in Christchurch, told Reuters.

Women police officers providing security for the ceremonies and later for the burial of the victims also sported hijabs.

The campaign for non-Muslim women to wear hijabs garnered criticism, however, as hijabs and various other forms of Islamic headwear for women are seen as a form of oppression against women, since wearing them is not optional for women in conservative Muslim communities.

Despite the criticism from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, New Zealand women took to the embrace of conservative Islam with fervor.

“If I could I would be attending the mosque and standing outside to show my support for my Muslim whanau but I’ve got lectures and I can’t really skip them,” college student Kate Workman, who wore a hijab Friday, told The Globe Post.

Other women who wore hijabs, like Rafaela Stoakes, expressed similar sentiments.

“It is amazing how different I felt for the short time I was out this morning,” Stoakes told AFP.

“There were a lot of confused looks and some slightly aggressive ones,” she said. “I did feel a sense of pride to honor my Muslim friends, but I also felt very vulnerable and alone as I was the only person wearing one.”

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

Source: The Daily Caller

By Joe Kurtenbach, American Rifleman

For me, Mossberg firearms are epitomized by the dozen or so M500 pump-action shotguns filling a rack in the armory of Comanche Troop, 4/7 CAV, at Camp Hovey, Republic of Korea. I can’t be sure of the guns’ whereabouts today, but they were already well-tenured residents during my rotation to the U.S. Army installation during 2008 and 2009. Used and abused would be an apt description of their service experience. The shotguns had been handled by countless soldiers, shot during familiarization training and qualification fire, and issued often for field exercises during which they would rattle around in the back of a HUMVEE or get strapped to the newest troopers’ packs to be dragged up, down and around Korea’s mountainous terrain. They were tools and were treated as such. And, like the best tools, they were tough, gritty and reliable. No one could say the pump-action assemblies of those guns ever cycled smoothly, but they always cycled.

Mossberg’s newest product, the MC1sc—for Mossberg Carry 1 Subcompact—retains the reliability and utility for which the company is known, but provides an evolved experience compared to classic offerings. Though the trade winds have been, for years now, blowing strongly toward handguns suitable for personal defense and concealed carry, Mossberg has relied upon its sporting- and service-oriented rifles and shotguns, and has won a following of loyal customers through innovative offerings such as the 590 Shockwave pump-action, the AR-magazine-fed MVP series of rifles, and the user-customizable FLEX system of stocks and grips. With longarms currently in use by the military and law enforcement, and a century’s worth of field experience with American sportsman and armed citizens, the rifles and shotguns from North Haven, Conn., and Eagle Pass, Texas, have garnered a strong reputation for quality, reliability and affordability.

Such a company, then, could easily have stumbled when attempting to introduce its first handgun in nearly 100 years. For those who don’t know, Mossberg’s very first commercial firearm was actually a pistol; the 1919 Mossberg Brownie was a four-barreled .22 rimfire intended for use by trappers, though it also found some acceptance as a vest-pocket defensive arm. However, despite the long hiatus from the handgun market, the MC1sc stands as a testament to Mossberg’s heritage of performance and value, and boldly leaps into relevance as one of the most refined concealed handgun offerings in what is now a well-established category. I can only speak for myself, but the MC1sc surprised and impressed me with its aesthetic appeal, excellent ergonomics, unquestionable utility and unwavering reliability. In short, it’s a pistol that Mossberg can be proud of, and it may launch the company into its next hundred years of firearm design and manufacture.

Though most of the MC1sc’s disassembled components are familiar, note the slide’s push-button back plate (arrow) and the orange-shrouded striker assembly. Mossberg’s disassembly method does not require pulling the trigger.

Within the concealed carry market at large, the MC1sc will find itself quite at home, and among good company. It’s no mistake that the new Mossberg bears more than a passing resemblance to category stalwarts such as the Smith & Wesson Shield, Glock 43 and Springfield Armory XD-S. Those pistols have been wildly successful commercial offerings, and the small-frame, single-stack, semi-automatic in 9 mm Luger continues to be a proven winner. Given the success of competitive firearms, it does beg the question as to why Mossberg would choose to take on some of the most popular pistols of the day with its first handgun offering in a century. The answer, according to Mossberg, was based on extensive market research. The company found that despite the plethora of excellent offerings, there is still unmet demand for subcompact pistols in this configuration.

Turning our attention directly to the new Mossberg, it’s useful to examine the pistol independently, and then I’ll clue you in on some very interesting, and largely unadvertised, crossover capabilities. The MC1sc is a striker-fired, recoil-operated center-fire pistol chambered for 9 mm Luger. It uses a 3.4″ barrel of 416 stainless steel that is button-rifled with a six-groove, 1:16″ twist, and features a diamond-like carbon (DLC) finish for increased resistance to wear and fouling. A subcompact both in name and size, the pistol weighs 19 ozs. unloaded, is 6.25″ long and stands 4.3″ tall with the six-round, flush-fitting magazine installed, or 4.75″ with the seven-round extended magazine. Those magazines, by the way, are both “single-stack” in design, but I add the quotation marks because some staggering is readily apparent through their transparent polymer bodies—that’s right, transparent, but more on that later. The MC1sc is also very trim; the slide measures just a hair more than 0.9″ wide, and the widest point on our sample gun was at the slide stop lever where it measured 1.07″ across. 

As one would expect from a new entry in this category, Mossberg opted to use an injection-molded polymer frame. Besides offering advantages in terms of weight savings, durability and reduced manufacturing costs, polymer pistol frames also afford designers a lot of latitude regarding shape, texturing and ergonomics. On the MC1sc, Mossberg took full advantage. The rounded heel paired with the shallow finger grooves yields a comfortable, hand-filling grip despite the slim frame. Two texturing patterns also improve purchase, the front- and backstrap feature vertically aligned ovate windows with stepped, pyramid-like flats—it’s an interesting design. The left and right sides of the frame have areas with a coarser, finely detailed crosshatch pattern. The combination of shape and texturing are very effective for anchoring the gun in the hand.

For all its similarities to the current crop of sub- compact semi-automatics, Mossberg’s MC1sc stands out thanks to features such as: its ergonomic and well-textured grip frame; a fine, 5-lb., flat-faced trigger; its dehorned slide with forward cocking serrations; and dovetailed, steel, three-dot sights (inset).

While on the topic of the frame, it is worth examining the pistol’s controls. My evaluation model featured a left-side-only slide stop lever, a magazine release button that is reversible for right- or left-handed use, and, of course, the trigger, which is of a flat-faced design—a feature increasingly popular as an aftermarket upgrade for competitive pistols—and is equipped with the central blade-style safety lever. There is no manual safety on the test gun, but Mossberg is building versions of the MC1sc equipped with crossbolt safeties which, like the magazine release, are user-reversible for righties and lefties; instructions for reconfiguring the controls can be found in the owner’s manual. Coming back to the trigger, the pistol operates with a striker-fired action so the trigger pull is very consistent shot to shot. Mossberg advertises that the MC1sc exhibits 0.5″ of trigger travel, and that calculation was spot-on for my evaluation sample—0.25″ of take-up followed by a defined break and another 0.25″ of overtravel. Reset comes after just 0.25″ of forward travel—right at the trigger’s breaking point—and is easily distinguished by clear audible and tactile cues. In terms of trigger pull weight, Mossberg advertises 6 lbs. of pressure as the requirement, but the average of 10 pulls with the test gun using a Lyman digital trigger gauge was exactly 5 lbs., and none of the measured pulls were more than +/- 3 ozs. from 5 lbs. It is a very good trigger.

Moving to the top half of the gun, the MC1sc’s slide is also machined from 416 stainless steel and receives the same black DLC finish as the barrel. Angled serrations are present both in the usual rearward location, as well as at the front of the slide. They are actually back-cut, giving each groove an extra bit of bite and providing very positive engagement with the shooter’s fingers. The entire slide has also been dehorned, giving the gun a smooth and polished appearance. Although forward cocking serrations and a thorough dehorning job have long been the specialty of custom gunsmiths, and are oft-sought aftermarket modifications, both features are standard-issue on the Mossberg. Topping the slide are low-profile steel sights. My test pistol’s sights were in the familiar three-white-dot configuration, but Mossberg also offers the gun with TruGlo Tritium Pro night sights. The sights are secured via dovetail cuts in the same pattern as many SIG pistols, so compatible aftermarket options are plentiful and readily available.

Compatibility is one of the standout features of the MC1sc, and it’s not limited to the sights. Too often, in my opinion, we see companies launch new firearm designs that utilize proprietary—and often unproven—magazines, which are a pretty important component when it comes to ammunition storage, feeding and overall gun functionality. Likewise, handguns always bear the added concern of holster fit. Outside of the two or three most popular pistol manufacturers, aftermarket support for a new platform may lag behind the introduction, and may be quite limited in scope and variety. Given that the MC1sc is Mossberg’s first pistol in a century, and considering its use of proprietary magazines, one would be right to worry about aftermarket support.

To disassemble the MC1sc, remove the magazine and ensure that the chamber is clear. Lock the slide to the rear. Next, depress the integral push-button on the rear slide plate (l.) and remove the plate by pulling it downward. With the plate removed, the orange shroud of the striker assembly will be visible (ctr.). Remove the striker assembly by pulling it rearward, out of the slide. Once the striker is removed (r.), release the slide and ease it forward off of the frame in order to access the barrel, recoil spring and internal components.

Fear not.

Even though Mossberg isn’t likely to advertise it, the MC1sc has some serious cross-compatibility with a very popular pistol that should set your mind at ease. Ever heard of Glock’s G43? The MC1sc functions flawlessly with factory Glock G43 magazines. Also, the Mossberg will fit most G43 holsters. Don’t think you can fit a round trigger guard into a square space? Think again; the internal dimensions of the MC1sc’s trigger guard are similar to the G43 and therefore engages the retention features of Kydex holsters—I tested half a dozen from various makers, and they all worked. The external dimensions are similar as well, so leather rigs should be no problem. Mossberg has shown some serious savvy by designing the MC1sc to be compatible with the sights, magazines and holsters of other, more established handgun models. In so doing, the company completely sidestepped the requirement of developing an accessory aftermarket, which can be a major barrier for newly introduced firearms. Oh, and did I mention that a version of the MC1sc will also be available pre-equipped with a Viridian trigger guard-mounted red laser? The laser sights will be available separately as well, so those who prefer an additional aiming device, Mossberg’s got you covered on that front.

If you’ve followed along, a picture should be taking shape wherein Mossberg, despite being out of the handgun game for most of the past 100 years, has introduced a very refined personal-defense pistol that is heavily influenced by and, in many ways, similar to its more seasoned competitors. One area where the MC1sc breaks away from the crowd is in its safe disassembly procedure. Rather than incorporating takedown levers or tabs, or requiring the trigger to be pulled during disassembly, Mossberg engineered an entirely different method to improve safety during maintenance. With a cleared gun—magazine removed and chamber checked—users need only lock the slide to the rear, remove the rear slide plate by pressing the integral button and pulling it down and out, and then extract the striker assembly from the rear of the slide (the component is especially hard to miss thanks to its blaze orange polymer shroud).

Mossberg’s method completely removes the mechanical components required to impact a cartridge’s primer, rendering the now-partially disassembled gun inert. How’s that for safe? With the striker assembly removed, simply release the slide assembly and ride it forward off the frame in order to access the barrel, recoil spring assembly and the frame’s internals. The recoil spring, by the way, is a dual-captured assembly—again, a proven design for guns of this size and type.

To introduce the new pistol and put it through its paces, Mossberg chose the tried-and-true approach of inviting a group of gun writers to Paulden, Ariz., to take part in three days of shooting at Gunsite Academy. This venue has seen its share of new product introductions, and has humbled more than a few guns due to the combination of heat, dust and high-volume shooting. The Mossberg representatives may have even questioned their decision to hold the event when, on the morning of Day 1, many of us questioned aloud why the company would ever jump into the compact polymer pistol arena, already convinced its clear magazines wouldn’t survive the week. It was, indeed, a particularly outspoken congregation, most of us having carried a gun for a living, and the remainder being civilian shooters who nonetheless take their pistolcraft seriously.

Our “constructive criticism” wasn’t reserved for Mossberg, either. One evening the group went to a local restaurant for dinner and refreshment. After ordering a bourbon, neat, one attendee—who shall remain nameless—agreed to sample the bartender’s “counter-offer” of a small-batch, craft-style, independently distilled Irish whiskey. The barman regaled us for three or four minutes about the merits of his no-doubt-hipster-infused spirits. Upon taking a sip of the proffered liquor, and with the barkeep leering over his shoulder, the attendee simply said it “Tastes a bit of wet dog,” and politely repeated his order of bourbon, neat. All in all, it was a group that didn’t mince words or hold back opinion. Little did we know that by the end of Day 3 we’d all walk away impressed.

Mossberg’s transparent polymer magazines stood up to the rigors of Gunsite, and they have been reliable throughout testing.

During the event, more than a dozen pistols were shot to the tune of 500 to 1,000 rounds, each—using a mix of American Eagle 115-gr. FMJs and Hornady Critical Duty 135-gr. FlexLocks—and experienced exactly zero stoppages or malfunctions. That’s something I’ve never seen at a Gunsite industry event. We shot steel and paper on the square range at distances of 3 yds. to 50 yds. for accuracy and from the holster for time. We shot our way through outdoor simulators such as Gunsite’s “Donga” course, and fought through shoot houses with frangible ammunition. Frequent NRA Publications contributor Richard Mann even wanted to see if the MC1sc would cycle 9 mm Luger snake-shot loads, a feat very few semi-automatics are capable of—the gun ran perfectly.

And those clear polymer magazines? We abused those things, even tossing them around the range, stepping on them and covering them in sand. They worked just fine. The general category of transparent plastic pistol magazines has earned a dubious reputation due to inconsistent quality from various makers, but Mossberg’s magazines are manufactured to the company’s exacting specifications and have been the model of reliability throughout my testing. One cautionary note, it is easy to squeeze an extra round into some of the magazines, and doing so may affect the pistol’s functionality. Mossberg is aware of this issue and is currently exploring remedies for future production. Until then, please don’t overload your magazines.

Upon returning from the Gunsite event, my testing continued at the NRA Headquarters range with the American Rifleman protocol testing. The protocol includes using three types of ammunition, each of which is chronographed to determine velocity and energy, and accuracy testing is conducted by firing five consecutive, five-shot groups at 7 yds. due to the pistol’s sub-3.5″ barrel and intended role as a concealed defensive arm. I chose to test the gun with Aguila’s 115-gr. FMJ ammunition, which I have found to be an excellent and affordable range load, Hornady’s American Gunner 124-gr. XTP +P load, which is a great all-around cartridge—the MC1sc is rated for use with +P ammunition, but the manual advises against using +P+ loads—and SIG’s 365 115-gr. V-Crown JHP personal-defense ammunition which has been formulated to perform well in short-barreled pistols. The full results of my testing are tabulated nearby, and several sub-1″ groups with the Aguila and Hornady loads confirmed what I’d already learned at Gunsite by ringing 12″ steel at 50 yds.—the MC1sc is a very accurate little gun.

When the smoke clears and the brass has all been swept, I’m interested to see how the market responds to the MC1sc. Afterall, this is a pistol that a company like Mossberg had no business making. This is no rough-around-the-edges pump-action; reliable, yes, but this one is also thoughtfully refined. Common-sense upgrades such as forward slide serrations and magazine cross-compatibility have eluded companies in this market for years, companies that do nothing but build handguns. And if that weren’t enough, true to tradition, Mossberg is going to offer the pistol at an exceedingly reasonable price so that regular guys and gals, the company’s faithful fans, can afford the newest addition. The MSRP on the base model gun is listed at $425, but I’ve seen it advertised by some sellers at less than $350. The folks at Mossberg may have had no business making this gun, but they did, and 100 years on, they’ve managed to put the rest of the market on notice.

Thanks to American Rifleman for this post. Click here to visit AmericanRifleman.org.

Source: The Daily Caller

By Joe Kurtenbach, American Rifleman

For me, Mossberg firearms are epitomized by the dozen or so M500 pump-action shotguns filling a rack in the armory of Comanche Troop, 4/7 CAV, at Camp Hovey, Republic of Korea. I can’t be sure of the guns’ whereabouts today, but they were already well-tenured residents during my rotation to the U.S. Army installation during 2008 and 2009. Used and abused would be an apt description of their service experience. The shotguns had been handled by countless soldiers, shot during familiarization training and qualification fire, and issued often for field exercises during which they would rattle around in the back of a HUMVEE or get strapped to the newest troopers’ packs to be dragged up, down and around Korea’s mountainous terrain. They were tools and were treated as such. And, like the best tools, they were tough, gritty and reliable. No one could say the pump-action assemblies of those guns ever cycled smoothly, but they always cycled.

Mossberg’s newest product, the MC1sc—for Mossberg Carry 1 Subcompact—retains the reliability and utility for which the company is known, but provides an evolved experience compared to classic offerings. Though the trade winds have been, for years now, blowing strongly toward handguns suitable for personal defense and concealed carry, Mossberg has relied upon its sporting- and service-oriented rifles and shotguns, and has won a following of loyal customers through innovative offerings such as the 590 Shockwave pump-action, the AR-magazine-fed MVP series of rifles, and the user-customizable FLEX system of stocks and grips. With longarms currently in use by the military and law enforcement, and a century’s worth of field experience with American sportsman and armed citizens, the rifles and shotguns from North Haven, Conn., and Eagle Pass, Texas, have garnered a strong reputation for quality, reliability and affordability.

Such a company, then, could easily have stumbled when attempting to introduce its first handgun in nearly 100 years. For those who don’t know, Mossberg’s very first commercial firearm was actually a pistol; the 1919 Mossberg Brownie was a four-barreled .22 rimfire intended for use by trappers, though it also found some acceptance as a vest-pocket defensive arm. However, despite the long hiatus from the handgun market, the MC1sc stands as a testament to Mossberg’s heritage of performance and value, and boldly leaps into relevance as one of the most refined concealed handgun offerings in what is now a well-established category. I can only speak for myself, but the MC1sc surprised and impressed me with its aesthetic appeal, excellent ergonomics, unquestionable utility and unwavering reliability. In short, it’s a pistol that Mossberg can be proud of, and it may launch the company into its next hundred years of firearm design and manufacture.

Though most of the MC1sc’s disassembled components are familiar, note the slide’s push-button back plate (arrow) and the orange-shrouded striker assembly. Mossberg’s disassembly method does not require pulling the trigger.

Within the concealed carry market at large, the MC1sc will find itself quite at home, and among good company. It’s no mistake that the new Mossberg bears more than a passing resemblance to category stalwarts such as the Smith & Wesson Shield, Glock 43 and Springfield Armory XD-S. Those pistols have been wildly successful commercial offerings, and the small-frame, single-stack, semi-automatic in 9 mm Luger continues to be a proven winner. Given the success of competitive firearms, it does beg the question as to why Mossberg would choose to take on some of the most popular pistols of the day with its first handgun offering in a century. The answer, according to Mossberg, was based on extensive market research. The company found that despite the plethora of excellent offerings, there is still unmet demand for subcompact pistols in this configuration.

Turning our attention directly to the new Mossberg, it’s useful to examine the pistol independently, and then I’ll clue you in on some very interesting, and largely unadvertised, crossover capabilities. The MC1sc is a striker-fired, recoil-operated center-fire pistol chambered for 9 mm Luger. It uses a 3.4″ barrel of 416 stainless steel that is button-rifled with a six-groove, 1:16″ twist, and features a diamond-like carbon (DLC) finish for increased resistance to wear and fouling. A subcompact both in name and size, the pistol weighs 19 ozs. unloaded, is 6.25″ long and stands 4.3″ tall with the six-round, flush-fitting magazine installed, or 4.75″ with the seven-round extended magazine. Those magazines, by the way, are both “single-stack” in design, but I add the quotation marks because some staggering is readily apparent through their transparent polymer bodies—that’s right, transparent, but more on that later. The MC1sc is also very trim; the slide measures just a hair more than 0.9″ wide, and the widest point on our sample gun was at the slide stop lever where it measured 1.07″ across. 

As one would expect from a new entry in this category, Mossberg opted to use an injection-molded polymer frame. Besides offering advantages in terms of weight savings, durability and reduced manufacturing costs, polymer pistol frames also afford designers a lot of latitude regarding shape, texturing and ergonomics. On the MC1sc, Mossberg took full advantage. The rounded heel paired with the shallow finger grooves yields a comfortable, hand-filling grip despite the slim frame. Two texturing patterns also improve purchase, the front- and backstrap feature vertically aligned ovate windows with stepped, pyramid-like flats—it’s an interesting design. The left and right sides of the frame have areas with a coarser, finely detailed crosshatch pattern. The combination of shape and texturing are very effective for anchoring the gun in the hand.

For all its similarities to the current crop of sub- compact semi-automatics, Mossberg’s MC1sc stands out thanks to features such as: its ergonomic and well-textured grip frame; a fine, 5-lb., flat-faced trigger; its dehorned slide with forward cocking serrations; and dovetailed, steel, three-dot sights (inset).

While on the topic of the frame, it is worth examining the pistol’s controls. My evaluation model featured a left-side-only slide stop lever, a magazine release button that is reversible for right- or left-handed use, and, of course, the trigger, which is of a flat-faced design—a feature increasingly popular as an aftermarket upgrade for competitive pistols—and is equipped with the central blade-style safety lever. There is no manual safety on the test gun, but Mossberg is building versions of the MC1sc equipped with crossbolt safeties which, like the magazine release, are user-reversible for righties and lefties; instructions for reconfiguring the controls can be found in the owner’s manual. Coming back to the trigger, the pistol operates with a striker-fired action so the trigger pull is very consistent shot to shot. Mossberg advertises that the MC1sc exhibits 0.5″ of trigger travel, and that calculation was spot-on for my evaluation sample—0.25″ of take-up followed by a defined break and another 0.25″ of overtravel. Reset comes after just 0.25″ of forward travel—right at the trigger’s breaking point—and is easily distinguished by clear audible and tactile cues. In terms of trigger pull weight, Mossberg advertises 6 lbs. of pressure as the requirement, but the average of 10 pulls with the test gun using a Lyman digital trigger gauge was exactly 5 lbs., and none of the measured pulls were more than +/- 3 ozs. from 5 lbs. It is a very good trigger.

Moving to the top half of the gun, the MC1sc’s slide is also machined from 416 stainless steel and receives the same black DLC finish as the barrel. Angled serrations are present both in the usual rearward location, as well as at the front of the slide. They are actually back-cut, giving each groove an extra bit of bite and providing very positive engagement with the shooter’s fingers. The entire slide has also been dehorned, giving the gun a smooth and polished appearance. Although forward cocking serrations and a thorough dehorning job have long been the specialty of custom gunsmiths, and are oft-sought aftermarket modifications, both features are standard-issue on the Mossberg. Topping the slide are low-profile steel sights. My test pistol’s sights were in the familiar three-white-dot configuration, but Mossberg also offers the gun with TruGlo Tritium Pro night sights. The sights are secured via dovetail cuts in the same pattern as many SIG pistols, so compatible aftermarket options are plentiful and readily available.

Compatibility is one of the standout features of the MC1sc, and it’s not limited to the sights. Too often, in my opinion, we see companies launch new firearm designs that utilize proprietary—and often unproven—magazines, which are a pretty important component when it comes to ammunition storage, feeding and overall gun functionality. Likewise, handguns always bear the added concern of holster fit. Outside of the two or three most popular pistol manufacturers, aftermarket support for a new platform may lag behind the introduction, and may be quite limited in scope and variety. Given that the MC1sc is Mossberg’s first pistol in a century, and considering its use of proprietary magazines, one would be right to worry about aftermarket support.

To disassemble the MC1sc, remove the magazine and ensure that the chamber is clear. Lock the slide to the rear. Next, depress the integral push-button on the rear slide plate (l.) and remove the plate by pulling it downward. With the plate removed, the orange shroud of the striker assembly will be visible (ctr.). Remove the striker assembly by pulling it rearward, out of the slide. Once the striker is removed (r.), release the slide and ease it forward off of the frame in order to access the barrel, recoil spring and internal components.

Fear not.

Even though Mossberg isn’t likely to advertise it, the MC1sc has some serious cross-compatibility with a very popular pistol that should set your mind at ease. Ever heard of Glock’s G43? The MC1sc functions flawlessly with factory Glock G43 magazines. Also, the Mossberg will fit most G43 holsters. Don’t think you can fit a round trigger guard into a square space? Think again; the internal dimensions of the MC1sc’s trigger guard are similar to the G43 and therefore engages the retention features of Kydex holsters—I tested half a dozen from various makers, and they all worked. The external dimensions are similar as well, so leather rigs should be no problem. Mossberg has shown some serious savvy by designing the MC1sc to be compatible with the sights, magazines and holsters of other, more established handgun models. In so doing, the company completely sidestepped the requirement of developing an accessory aftermarket, which can be a major barrier for newly introduced firearms. Oh, and did I mention that a version of the MC1sc will also be available pre-equipped with a Viridian trigger guard-mounted red laser? The laser sights will be available separately as well, so those who prefer an additional aiming device, Mossberg’s got you covered on that front.

If you’ve followed along, a picture should be taking shape wherein Mossberg, despite being out of the handgun game for most of the past 100 years, has introduced a very refined personal-defense pistol that is heavily influenced by and, in many ways, similar to its more seasoned competitors. One area where the MC1sc breaks away from the crowd is in its safe disassembly procedure. Rather than incorporating takedown levers or tabs, or requiring the trigger to be pulled during disassembly, Mossberg engineered an entirely different method to improve safety during maintenance. With a cleared gun—magazine removed and chamber checked—users need only lock the slide to the rear, remove the rear slide plate by pressing the integral button and pulling it down and out, and then extract the striker assembly from the rear of the slide (the component is especially hard to miss thanks to its blaze orange polymer shroud).

Mossberg’s method completely removes the mechanical components required to impact a cartridge’s primer, rendering the now-partially disassembled gun inert. How’s that for safe? With the striker assembly removed, simply release the slide assembly and ride it forward off the frame in order to access the barrel, recoil spring assembly and the frame’s internals. The recoil spring, by the way, is a dual-captured assembly—again, a proven design for guns of this size and type.

To introduce the new pistol and put it through its paces, Mossberg chose the tried-and-true approach of inviting a group of gun writers to Paulden, Ariz., to take part in three days of shooting at Gunsite Academy. This venue has seen its share of new product introductions, and has humbled more than a few guns due to the combination of heat, dust and high-volume shooting. The Mossberg representatives may have even questioned their decision to hold the event when, on the morning of Day 1, many of us questioned aloud why the company would ever jump into the compact polymer pistol arena, already convinced its clear magazines wouldn’t survive the week. It was, indeed, a particularly outspoken congregation, most of us having carried a gun for a living, and the remainder being civilian shooters who nonetheless take their pistolcraft seriously.

Our “constructive criticism” wasn’t reserved for Mossberg, either. One evening the group went to a local restaurant for dinner and refreshment. After ordering a bourbon, neat, one attendee—who shall remain nameless—agreed to sample the bartender’s “counter-offer” of a small-batch, craft-style, independently distilled Irish whiskey. The barman regaled us for three or four minutes about the merits of his no-doubt-hipster-infused spirits. Upon taking a sip of the proffered liquor, and with the barkeep leering over his shoulder, the attendee simply said it “Tastes a bit of wet dog,” and politely repeated his order of bourbon, neat. All in all, it was a group that didn’t mince words or hold back opinion. Little did we know that by the end of Day 3 we’d all walk away impressed.

Mossberg’s transparent polymer magazines stood up to the rigors of Gunsite, and they have been reliable throughout testing.

During the event, more than a dozen pistols were shot to the tune of 500 to 1,000 rounds, each—using a mix of American Eagle 115-gr. FMJs and Hornady Critical Duty 135-gr. FlexLocks—and experienced exactly zero stoppages or malfunctions. That’s something I’ve never seen at a Gunsite industry event. We shot steel and paper on the square range at distances of 3 yds. to 50 yds. for accuracy and from the holster for time. We shot our way through outdoor simulators such as Gunsite’s “Donga” course, and fought through shoot houses with frangible ammunition. Frequent NRA Publications contributor Richard Mann even wanted to see if the MC1sc would cycle 9 mm Luger snake-shot loads, a feat very few semi-automatics are capable of—the gun ran perfectly.

And those clear polymer magazines? We abused those things, even tossing them around the range, stepping on them and covering them in sand. They worked just fine. The general category of transparent plastic pistol magazines has earned a dubious reputation due to inconsistent quality from various makers, but Mossberg’s magazines are manufactured to the company’s exacting specifications and have been the model of reliability throughout my testing. One cautionary note, it is easy to squeeze an extra round into some of the magazines, and doing so may affect the pistol’s functionality. Mossberg is aware of this issue and is currently exploring remedies for future production. Until then, please don’t overload your magazines.

Upon returning from the Gunsite event, my testing continued at the NRA Headquarters range with the American Rifleman protocol testing. The protocol includes using three types of ammunition, each of which is chronographed to determine velocity and energy, and accuracy testing is conducted by firing five consecutive, five-shot groups at 7 yds. due to the pistol’s sub-3.5″ barrel and intended role as a concealed defensive arm. I chose to test the gun with Aguila’s 115-gr. FMJ ammunition, which I have found to be an excellent and affordable range load, Hornady’s American Gunner 124-gr. XTP +P load, which is a great all-around cartridge—the MC1sc is rated for use with +P ammunition, but the manual advises against using +P+ loads—and SIG’s 365 115-gr. V-Crown JHP personal-defense ammunition which has been formulated to perform well in short-barreled pistols. The full results of my testing are tabulated nearby, and several sub-1″ groups with the Aguila and Hornady loads confirmed what I’d already learned at Gunsite by ringing 12″ steel at 50 yds.—the MC1sc is a very accurate little gun.

When the smoke clears and the brass has all been swept, I’m interested to see how the market responds to the MC1sc. Afterall, this is a pistol that a company like Mossberg had no business making. This is no rough-around-the-edges pump-action; reliable, yes, but this one is also thoughtfully refined. Common-sense upgrades such as forward slide serrations and magazine cross-compatibility have eluded companies in this market for years, companies that do nothing but build handguns. And if that weren’t enough, true to tradition, Mossberg is going to offer the pistol at an exceedingly reasonable price so that regular guys and gals, the company’s faithful fans, can afford the newest addition. The MSRP on the base model gun is listed at $425, but I’ve seen it advertised by some sellers at less than $350. The folks at Mossberg may have had no business making this gun, but they did, and 100 years on, they’ve managed to put the rest of the market on notice.

Thanks to American Rifleman for this post. Click here to visit AmericanRifleman.org.

Source: The Daily Caller

By Joe Kurtenbach, American Rifleman

For me, Mossberg firearms are epitomized by the dozen or so M500 pump-action shotguns filling a rack in the armory of Comanche Troop, 4/7 CAV, at Camp Hovey, Republic of Korea. I can’t be sure of the guns’ whereabouts today, but they were already well-tenured residents during my rotation to the U.S. Army installation during 2008 and 2009. Used and abused would be an apt description of their service experience. The shotguns had been handled by countless soldiers, shot during familiarization training and qualification fire, and issued often for field exercises during which they would rattle around in the back of a HUMVEE or get strapped to the newest troopers’ packs to be dragged up, down and around Korea’s mountainous terrain. They were tools and were treated as such. And, like the best tools, they were tough, gritty and reliable. No one could say the pump-action assemblies of those guns ever cycled smoothly, but they always cycled.

Mossberg’s newest product, the MC1sc—for Mossberg Carry 1 Subcompact—retains the reliability and utility for which the company is known, but provides an evolved experience compared to classic offerings. Though the trade winds have been, for years now, blowing strongly toward handguns suitable for personal defense and concealed carry, Mossberg has relied upon its sporting- and service-oriented rifles and shotguns, and has won a following of loyal customers through innovative offerings such as the 590 Shockwave pump-action, the AR-magazine-fed MVP series of rifles, and the user-customizable FLEX system of stocks and grips. With longarms currently in use by the military and law enforcement, and a century’s worth of field experience with American sportsman and armed citizens, the rifles and shotguns from North Haven, Conn., and Eagle Pass, Texas, have garnered a strong reputation for quality, reliability and affordability.

Such a company, then, could easily have stumbled when attempting to introduce its first handgun in nearly 100 years. For those who don’t know, Mossberg’s very first commercial firearm was actually a pistol; the 1919 Mossberg Brownie was a four-barreled .22 rimfire intended for use by trappers, though it also found some acceptance as a vest-pocket defensive arm. However, despite the long hiatus from the handgun market, the MC1sc stands as a testament to Mossberg’s heritage of performance and value, and boldly leaps into relevance as one of the most refined concealed handgun offerings in what is now a well-established category. I can only speak for myself, but the MC1sc surprised and impressed me with its aesthetic appeal, excellent ergonomics, unquestionable utility and unwavering reliability. In short, it’s a pistol that Mossberg can be proud of, and it may launch the company into its next hundred years of firearm design and manufacture.

Though most of the MC1sc’s disassembled components are familiar, note the slide’s push-button back plate (arrow) and the orange-shrouded striker assembly. Mossberg’s disassembly method does not require pulling the trigger.

Within the concealed carry market at large, the MC1sc will find itself quite at home, and among good company. It’s no mistake that the new Mossberg bears more than a passing resemblance to category stalwarts such as the Smith & Wesson Shield, Glock 43 and Springfield Armory XD-S. Those pistols have been wildly successful commercial offerings, and the small-frame, single-stack, semi-automatic in 9 mm Luger continues to be a proven winner. Given the success of competitive firearms, it does beg the question as to why Mossberg would choose to take on some of the most popular pistols of the day with its first handgun offering in a century. The answer, according to Mossberg, was based on extensive market research. The company found that despite the plethora of excellent offerings, there is still unmet demand for subcompact pistols in this configuration.

Turning our attention directly to the new Mossberg, it’s useful to examine the pistol independently, and then I’ll clue you in on some very interesting, and largely unadvertised, crossover capabilities. The MC1sc is a striker-fired, recoil-operated center-fire pistol chambered for 9 mm Luger. It uses a 3.4″ barrel of 416 stainless steel that is button-rifled with a six-groove, 1:16″ twist, and features a diamond-like carbon (DLC) finish for increased resistance to wear and fouling. A subcompact both in name and size, the pistol weighs 19 ozs. unloaded, is 6.25″ long and stands 4.3″ tall with the six-round, flush-fitting magazine installed, or 4.75″ with the seven-round extended magazine. Those magazines, by the way, are both “single-stack” in design, but I add the quotation marks because some staggering is readily apparent through their transparent polymer bodies—that’s right, transparent, but more on that later. The MC1sc is also very trim; the slide measures just a hair more than 0.9″ wide, and the widest point on our sample gun was at the slide stop lever where it measured 1.07″ across. 

As one would expect from a new entry in this category, Mossberg opted to use an injection-molded polymer frame. Besides offering advantages in terms of weight savings, durability and reduced manufacturing costs, polymer pistol frames also afford designers a lot of latitude regarding shape, texturing and ergonomics. On the MC1sc, Mossberg took full advantage. The rounded heel paired with the shallow finger grooves yields a comfortable, hand-filling grip despite the slim frame. Two texturing patterns also improve purchase, the front- and backstrap feature vertically aligned ovate windows with stepped, pyramid-like flats—it’s an interesting design. The left and right sides of the frame have areas with a coarser, finely detailed crosshatch pattern. The combination of shape and texturing are very effective for anchoring the gun in the hand.

For all its similarities to the current crop of sub- compact semi-automatics, Mossberg’s MC1sc stands out thanks to features such as: its ergonomic and well-textured grip frame; a fine, 5-lb., flat-faced trigger; its dehorned slide with forward cocking serrations; and dovetailed, steel, three-dot sights (inset).

While on the topic of the frame, it is worth examining the pistol’s controls. My evaluation model featured a left-side-only slide stop lever, a magazine release button that is reversible for right- or left-handed use, and, of course, the trigger, which is of a flat-faced design—a feature increasingly popular as an aftermarket upgrade for competitive pistols—and is equipped with the central blade-style safety lever. There is no manual safety on the test gun, but Mossberg is building versions of the MC1sc equipped with crossbolt safeties which, like the magazine release, are user-reversible for righties and lefties; instructions for reconfiguring the controls can be found in the owner’s manual. Coming back to the trigger, the pistol operates with a striker-fired action so the trigger pull is very consistent shot to shot. Mossberg advertises that the MC1sc exhibits 0.5″ of trigger travel, and that calculation was spot-on for my evaluation sample—0.25″ of take-up followed by a defined break and another 0.25″ of overtravel. Reset comes after just 0.25″ of forward travel—right at the trigger’s breaking point—and is easily distinguished by clear audible and tactile cues. In terms of trigger pull weight, Mossberg advertises 6 lbs. of pressure as the requirement, but the average of 10 pulls with the test gun using a Lyman digital trigger gauge was exactly 5 lbs., and none of the measured pulls were more than +/- 3 ozs. from 5 lbs. It is a very good trigger.

Moving to the top half of the gun, the MC1sc’s slide is also machined from 416 stainless steel and receives the same black DLC finish as the barrel. Angled serrations are present both in the usual rearward location, as well as at the front of the slide. They are actually back-cut, giving each groove an extra bit of bite and providing very positive engagement with the shooter’s fingers. The entire slide has also been dehorned, giving the gun a smooth and polished appearance. Although forward cocking serrations and a thorough dehorning job have long been the specialty of custom gunsmiths, and are oft-sought aftermarket modifications, both features are standard-issue on the Mossberg. Topping the slide are low-profile steel sights. My test pistol’s sights were in the familiar three-white-dot configuration, but Mossberg also offers the gun with TruGlo Tritium Pro night sights. The sights are secured via dovetail cuts in the same pattern as many SIG pistols, so compatible aftermarket options are plentiful and readily available.

Compatibility is one of the standout features of the MC1sc, and it’s not limited to the sights. Too often, in my opinion, we see companies launch new firearm designs that utilize proprietary—and often unproven—magazines, which are a pretty important component when it comes to ammunition storage, feeding and overall gun functionality. Likewise, handguns always bear the added concern of holster fit. Outside of the two or three most popular pistol manufacturers, aftermarket support for a new platform may lag behind the introduction, and may be quite limited in scope and variety. Given that the MC1sc is Mossberg’s first pistol in a century, and considering its use of proprietary magazines, one would be right to worry about aftermarket support.

To disassemble the MC1sc, remove the magazine and ensure that the chamber is clear. Lock the slide to the rear. Next, depress the integral push-button on the rear slide plate (l.) and remove the plate by pulling it downward. With the plate removed, the orange shroud of the striker assembly will be visible (ctr.). Remove the striker assembly by pulling it rearward, out of the slide. Once the striker is removed (r.), release the slide and ease it forward off of the frame in order to access the barrel, recoil spring and internal components.

Fear not.

Even though Mossberg isn’t likely to advertise it, the MC1sc has some serious cross-compatibility with a very popular pistol that should set your mind at ease. Ever heard of Glock’s G43? The MC1sc functions flawlessly with factory Glock G43 magazines. Also, the Mossberg will fit most G43 holsters. Don’t think you can fit a round trigger guard into a square space? Think again; the internal dimensions of the MC1sc’s trigger guard are similar to the G43 and therefore engages the retention features of Kydex holsters—I tested half a dozen from various makers, and they all worked. The external dimensions are similar as well, so leather rigs should be no problem. Mossberg has shown some serious savvy by designing the MC1sc to be compatible with the sights, magazines and holsters of other, more established handgun models. In so doing, the company completely sidestepped the requirement of developing an accessory aftermarket, which can be a major barrier for newly introduced firearms. Oh, and did I mention that a version of the MC1sc will also be available pre-equipped with a Viridian trigger guard-mounted red laser? The laser sights will be available separately as well, so those who prefer an additional aiming device, Mossberg’s got you covered on that front.

If you’ve followed along, a picture should be taking shape wherein Mossberg, despite being out of the handgun game for most of the past 100 years, has introduced a very refined personal-defense pistol that is heavily influenced by and, in many ways, similar to its more seasoned competitors. One area where the MC1sc breaks away from the crowd is in its safe disassembly procedure. Rather than incorporating takedown levers or tabs, or requiring the trigger to be pulled during disassembly, Mossberg engineered an entirely different method to improve safety during maintenance. With a cleared gun—magazine removed and chamber checked—users need only lock the slide to the rear, remove the rear slide plate by pressing the integral button and pulling it down and out, and then extract the striker assembly from the rear of the slide (the component is especially hard to miss thanks to its blaze orange polymer shroud).

Mossberg’s method completely removes the mechanical components required to impact a cartridge’s primer, rendering the now-partially disassembled gun inert. How’s that for safe? With the striker assembly removed, simply release the slide assembly and ride it forward off the frame in order to access the barrel, recoil spring assembly and the frame’s internals. The recoil spring, by the way, is a dual-captured assembly—again, a proven design for guns of this size and type.

To introduce the new pistol and put it through its paces, Mossberg chose the tried-and-true approach of inviting a group of gun writers to Paulden, Ariz., to take part in three days of shooting at Gunsite Academy. This venue has seen its share of new product introductions, and has humbled more than a few guns due to the combination of heat, dust and high-volume shooting. The Mossberg representatives may have even questioned their decision to hold the event when, on the morning of Day 1, many of us questioned aloud why the company would ever jump into the compact polymer pistol arena, already convinced its clear magazines wouldn’t survive the week. It was, indeed, a particularly outspoken congregation, most of us having carried a gun for a living, and the remainder being civilian shooters who nonetheless take their pistolcraft seriously.

Our “constructive criticism” wasn’t reserved for Mossberg, either. One evening the group went to a local restaurant for dinner and refreshment. After ordering a bourbon, neat, one attendee—who shall remain nameless—agreed to sample the bartender’s “counter-offer” of a small-batch, craft-style, independently distilled Irish whiskey. The barman regaled us for three or four minutes about the merits of his no-doubt-hipster-infused spirits. Upon taking a sip of the proffered liquor, and with the barkeep leering over his shoulder, the attendee simply said it “Tastes a bit of wet dog,” and politely repeated his order of bourbon, neat. All in all, it was a group that didn’t mince words or hold back opinion. Little did we know that by the end of Day 3 we’d all walk away impressed.

Mossberg’s transparent polymer magazines stood up to the rigors of Gunsite, and they have been reliable throughout testing.

During the event, more than a dozen pistols were shot to the tune of 500 to 1,000 rounds, each—using a mix of American Eagle 115-gr. FMJs and Hornady Critical Duty 135-gr. FlexLocks—and experienced exactly zero stoppages or malfunctions. That’s something I’ve never seen at a Gunsite industry event. We shot steel and paper on the square range at distances of 3 yds. to 50 yds. for accuracy and from the holster for time. We shot our way through outdoor simulators such as Gunsite’s “Donga” course, and fought through shoot houses with frangible ammunition. Frequent NRA Publications contributor Richard Mann even wanted to see if the MC1sc would cycle 9 mm Luger snake-shot loads, a feat very few semi-automatics are capable of—the gun ran perfectly.

And those clear polymer magazines? We abused those things, even tossing them around the range, stepping on them and covering them in sand. They worked just fine. The general category of transparent plastic pistol magazines has earned a dubious reputation due to inconsistent quality from various makers, but Mossberg’s magazines are manufactured to the company’s exacting specifications and have been the model of reliability throughout my testing. One cautionary note, it is easy to squeeze an extra round into some of the magazines, and doing so may affect the pistol’s functionality. Mossberg is aware of this issue and is currently exploring remedies for future production. Until then, please don’t overload your magazines.

Upon returning from the Gunsite event, my testing continued at the NRA Headquarters range with the American Rifleman protocol testing. The protocol includes using three types of ammunition, each of which is chronographed to determine velocity and energy, and accuracy testing is conducted by firing five consecutive, five-shot groups at 7 yds. due to the pistol’s sub-3.5″ barrel and intended role as a concealed defensive arm. I chose to test the gun with Aguila’s 115-gr. FMJ ammunition, which I have found to be an excellent and affordable range load, Hornady’s American Gunner 124-gr. XTP +P load, which is a great all-around cartridge—the MC1sc is rated for use with +P ammunition, but the manual advises against using +P+ loads—and SIG’s 365 115-gr. V-Crown JHP personal-defense ammunition which has been formulated to perform well in short-barreled pistols. The full results of my testing are tabulated nearby, and several sub-1″ groups with the Aguila and Hornady loads confirmed what I’d already learned at Gunsite by ringing 12″ steel at 50 yds.—the MC1sc is a very accurate little gun.

When the smoke clears and the brass has all been swept, I’m interested to see how the market responds to the MC1sc. Afterall, this is a pistol that a company like Mossberg had no business making. This is no rough-around-the-edges pump-action; reliable, yes, but this one is also thoughtfully refined. Common-sense upgrades such as forward slide serrations and magazine cross-compatibility have eluded companies in this market for years, companies that do nothing but build handguns. And if that weren’t enough, true to tradition, Mossberg is going to offer the pistol at an exceedingly reasonable price so that regular guys and gals, the company’s faithful fans, can afford the newest addition. The MSRP on the base model gun is listed at $425, but I’ve seen it advertised by some sellers at less than $350. The folks at Mossberg may have had no business making this gun, but they did, and 100 years on, they’ve managed to put the rest of the market on notice.

Thanks to American Rifleman for this post. Click here to visit AmericanRifleman.org.

Source: The Daily Caller

U.S. President Trump displays executive order linking
U.S. President Donald Trump shows an executive order linking “free speech” efforts at public universities to federal grants during a signing ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

March 21, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order linking “free speech” efforts at public universities to federal grants in an effort to combat what he considers a clamp down on conservative students’ abilities to share their views.

Under the order, the schools will themselves certify whether they are protecting students’ free speech rights, which are already guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

The order requires that schools ensure they allow students to express themselves in order to receive funds from 12 federal agencies that help fund universities and colleges.

Trump administration officials have suggested that the rights of speakers on college campuses have been trampled by student protesters, and that conservatives have been unfairly targeted.

Trump, who regularly decries the media as “fake news” and calls defamation laws “a sham,” has threatened retaliatory action related to free speech issues where he says the rights of conservatives are under attack.

In signing the order at the White House on Thursday, Trump took the fight to campuses, which receive billions of dollars a year from the federal government, including more than $30 billion for research.

“Universities that want tax dollars should protect free speech, not silence free speech,” Trump said.

But the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) said in a statement that public schools are already committed to free expression and the executive order “does not — and cannot — add to or subtract from our pre-existing obligations under the Constitution.”

A senior U.S. administration official said schools, not the government, would attest to their compliance with the executive order.

Private schools will follow their own policies, and the executive order will not impact student tuition aid programs, the official said.

“The goal of the order is to promote free speech more broadly across college campuses,” the official told reporters.

Trump had announced his planned order earlier this month at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. The event featured activist Hayden Williams, who was punched at the University of California, Berkeley, in February while recruiting students for a conservative group.

Last year, the Justice Department filed a statement of interest in a free speech lawsuit filed against the university, accusing it of discriminating against speakers with conservative views. The case was settled in December, when the school agreed to modify its handling of “major events” on campus.

Trump’s executive order also calls on the Department of Education to make recommendations on financial risk sharing for financial institutions regarding school loans, the official said, but gave no details.

The AASCU said federal aid programs should be addressed through current law via Congress, and “not a unilateral order from the White House.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey)

Source: OANN

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands as they deliver joint statements during their meeting in Jerusalem
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands as they deliver joint statements during their meeting in Jerusalem March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young/Pool

March 20, 2019

By Jeffrey Heller

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showcased his close relationship with the Trump administration on Wednesday, hosting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo three weeks before an Israeli election.

Washington’s announcement that President Donald Trump, a popular figure among Israelis, had invited Netanyahu to the White House for talks and a dinner two weeks ahead of the April 9 vote was also widely seen in Israel as a boost for the right-wing Likud party chief.

Following a visit to Kuwait, Pompeo met Netanyahu in Jerusalem, where both men hailed U.S.-Israeli ties under Trump, a popular figure among Israelis and a leader whom the prime minister has featured on election billboards.

“We also know that our alliance in recent years has never been stronger,” Netanyahu said in comments to reporters, with Pompeo at his side.

Netanyahu is battling for his political survival against both a strong challenger in centrist candidate Benny Gantz and against plans by Israel’s attorney-general to indict the prime minister, now in his fourth term, in three corruption cases.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and portrayed himself in the election race as a leader with a wealth of international diplomatic experience that Gantz, a former armed forces chief and novice politician, cannot match.

“I look forward to my visit next week to Washington, where I will meet with President Trump, and I believe we can carry this relationship even stronger,” Netanyahu said. “It’s getting stronger and stronger and stronger.”

Angering Palestinians and drawing international concern, Trump broke with decades of U.S. Middle East policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and moving the American Embassy, which Pompeo will visit on Thursday, to the city last May.

Pompeo, in his remarks, said the Israeli people should have confidence that Trump – who is due to present a peace plan after the Israeli ballot – will maintain a “close bond” with Israel.

“I know that you and the president have an outstanding working relationship,” Pompeo said, addressing Netanyahu. “He sent me here to build upon that and to represent him here.”

Netanyahu said he and Pompeo, at the start of their discussions, examined how to “roll back Iranian aggression” in the region.

Pressure on Iran, Netanyahu said, must be intensified now that the United States has reimposed sanctions on Tehran following Washington’s withdrawal from a 2015 deal with world powers to limit the Iranian nuclear program.

Pompeo and Netanyahu later attended a meeting in Jerusalem with leaders from Cyprus and Greece on the construction of a 2,000 km (1,243 mile) gas pipeline linking vast eastern Mediterranean gas resources to Europe through those countries and Italy at a cost of $7 billion.

Lebanon – Pompeo’s next stop – has warned its Mediterranean neighbors that the planned EastMed pipeline must not be allowed to violate its maritime borders.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Source: OANN

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

NBC host Chuck Todd received a Walter Cronkite Award for political journalism for an hour-long feature on climate change that excluded “climate deniers.”

The Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication gave the award to Todd and his Sunday show “Meet The Press.” The hour-long special, titled “Climate Crisis,” featured experts and politicians who agree that human activity is driving the earth’s climate toward catastrophe. (RELATED: MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Kept ‘Climate Deniers’ Off His Hour-Long Global Warming Special)

“In an extraordinary move for a Sunday show, NBC’s Meet the Press moderated by Chuck Todd devoted an entire hour to the reality of climate change, rather than giving airtime to a fake equivalence between science and science deniers,” the Norman Lear Center said in a statement.

The featured guests discussed and debated actions and government policies that could curb man’s influence on climate. The special notably excluded any scientists or politicians who questioned the significance of humanity’s influence on the climate.

Judges for the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism called the program “urgent and unprecedented” and a “breakthrough in issue coverage,” according to the Norman Lear Center.

WATCH:

Todd’s program aired Dec. 30, 2018.

“We’re going to take an in-depth look … at a literally Earth-changing subject that doesn’t get talked about this thoroughly — on television news, at least — climate change,” Todd said at the special’s open.

Todd continued:

“But just as important as what we are going to do this hour is what we’re not going to do. We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period. We’re not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not. And we’re not going to confuse weather with climate. A heat wave is no more evidence that climate change exists than a blizzard means that it doesn’t, unless the blizzard hits Miami.”

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Mason Thibault | Contributor

I”m skeptical whenever companies claim to sell miracle weight loss pills or pain relief devices, so naturally I was very skeptical about MindInsole when I came across it. The basic premise makes sense, but after reading the extensive consumer reviews (It was even featured at the 70th annual Emmy Awards) and medical testimony, I might even have to pick up a pair for my grandfather as a present!

Forget comfortable soles, these inserts do more than just provide comfort!

Forget comfortable soles, these inserts do more than just provide comfort!

Imagine getting a pain-relieving foot massage whenever you walk customized to your foot’s unique size  

Essentially MindInsole just sells shoe inserts, but what these shoe inserts do is pretty astonishing:

Whether it’s back pain, headaches, or even just sore feet, nobody likes having to deal with pain. Why not get yourself the greatest gift of all – better quality of life! By simply slipping these massaging insoles in your shoes, you easily relieve stress, pain, and tension. The key is in the specific alignment of the prongs, which target key acupressure points in your feet. It’s like getting a foot massage while you walk! Plus, there are strategically placed magnets that improve blood flow in underlying tissue to relieve everyday stress.

But don’t take my word for it, read more about MindInsole and decide for yourself if they provide the pain relief you are looking for…and if they don’t? You can easily return them for your money back…just save the original packaging!

So what are you waiting for? Learn more about getting the pain relief that you deserve!

“I was really skeptical about this strange method, but it ended up being the best decision of my life.”

“I was really skeptical about this strange method, but it ended up being the best decision of my life.”

If you want to learn more Mindsole and how it can provide the pain relief that you are looking for, click here

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Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang says the federal government will punish media companies for the spread of misinformation if he wins in 2020.

Yang’s proposal would introduce “penalties for persistent and destructive misstatements that undermine public discourse,” according to his campaign website.

“We must introduce both a means to investigate and punish those who are seeking to misinform the American public. If enough citizens complain about a particular source of information and news is demonstrably and deliberately false, there should be penalties,” Yang explains on his website.

REUTERS/Scott Morgan

U.S. 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks at Potluck Insurgency, a local democratic activist event, at the home of one of its members in Iowa City, Iowa, U.S., March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

“I will appoint a new News and Information Ombudsman with the power to fine egregious corporate offenders. One of the main purposes of the Ombudsman will be to identify sources of spurious information that are associated with foreign nationals. The Ombudsman will work with social media companies to identify fraudulent accounts and disable and punish responsible parties,” Yang wrote.

Yang says his information watchdog would be part of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). (RELATED: Yang Warns Unemployed Truckers Will Stage ‘Mass Riots’ Against Driverless Trucks)

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

Entrepreneur and 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks during a campaign stop at the train depot on February 1, 2019 in Jefferson, Iowa. (JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

“We need a robust free press and exchange of information. But we should face the reality that fake news and misinformation spread via social media threatens to undermine our democracy and may make it impossible for citizens to make informed decisions on a shared set of facts,” he adds on his website.

“This is particularly problematic given that foreign actors, particularly Russia, intend to do us harm and capitalize on our freedom of information. We need to start monitoring and punishing bad actors to give the determined journalists a chance to do their work.”

Yang’s campaign declined to comment on whether he thinks his proposed government crackdown on misinformation is constitutional. He’s already cleared the minimum number of donors required to qualify for the first Democratic debate.

The radical proposal is one of several headline-grabbing policies in Yang’s campaign.

Yang’s federal campaign against misinformation is just one of several radical policies featured in his campaign.

Yang also wants the federal government to distribute $1,000 in cash to Americans every month, and to track Americans’ social behavior and dispense “digital social credits” for positive actions.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 presidential candidate, pledged to ban the drilling technique that’s turned the U.S. into the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer.

“Fracking pollutes water, degrades air quality and worsens climate change,” the Vermont Independent tweeted Tuesday. “When we are in the White House we are going to ban fracking nationwide and rapidly move to renewable energy.”

Sanders was responding to Oregon state lawmakers passing legislation to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. However, Sanders also voiced his opposition to fracking during the 2016 election cycle.

Sanders, who is running on the Democratic ticket, is popular among the so-called “keep it in the ground” movement, which seeks to ban fossil fuels in the name of global warming. Activists in this camp have also pressured candidates not to take fossil fuel industry campaign donations, which Sanders has pledged not to do.

Environmentalists have campaigned to ban fracking for years, finding success in New York, Maryland, Vermont and some localities. Like Sanders, activists point to studies alleging links between fracking and water contamination, poor air quality, illness and even birth defects.

Activists have largely zeroed in on claims fracking contaminates groundwater. Most notably, the “Gasland” film series featured faucets and even a hose catching on fire because of fracked methane getting into water supplies.

However, government agencies and teams of researchers have found little to no evidence fracking is leading to widespread contamination of groundwater. (RELATED: Alarmists Blame Historic Midwest Floods On Global Warming. That’s Incorrect)

In late 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its five-year study of fracking and groundwater contamination. EPA said that while fracking can potentially impact groundwater, the number of cases where that’s happened is small.

Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Yemen resolution

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference on Yemen resolution on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Jan. 30, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Supporters listen as Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Sanders is introduced in Concord

Supporters listen as Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is introduced at a campaign rally in Concord, New Hampshire, U.S., March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder.

The following year the U.S. Geological Survey published a study examining groundwater from 116 wells in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. The study only found nine instances of contamination, but none were linked to fracking.

That same year the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas concluded that drinking water contamination from fracking “has not been observed in Texas.” Texas is the biggest oil and gas producing state.

Fracking proponents also point to government data showing that increased natural gas production has reduced more carbon dioxide emissions than solar and wind power combined.

Because of fracking, U.S. oil and natural gas production has surged to never-before-seen levels. U.S. oil output hit a record 12 million barrels per day in February, and natural gas production is expected to continue breaking records through 2020.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

  • A new book claims the number of polar bears may have quadrupled in the last 50 years despite melting Arctic sea ice.
  • Scientists predicted massive polar bear population declines as sea ice retreated, but that hasn’t happened, the book says.
  • “It’s a wonderful conservation success story,” said zoologist and author Susan Crockford.

Polar bear numbers may have quadrupled in the last 50 years, according to a new book critiquing the alarmist predictions of polar bear population collapse.

“My scientific estimates make perfect sense and they tally with what the Inuit and other Arctic residents are seeing on the ground,” Susan Crockford, a Canadian zoologist, said in a statement Tuesday on her book’s release.

Crockford’s book, “The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened,” argues that, in contrast to the dire predictions made by experts over a decade ago, polar bears are thriving. In fact, she argues polar populations may have quadrupled since the 1960s from roughly 10,000 to 40,000.

“Almost everywhere polar bears come into contact with people, they are much more common than they used to be. It’s a wonderful conservation success story,” said Crockford, who’s also an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

Crockford, through her personal blog, has criticized those dire predictions. Crockford says polar bear populations have risen or stabilized in the last 15 years or so despite the fact that sea ice levels declined faster than experts predicted.

A female polar bear cub is seen together with 9 year-old mother Tonja during her first official presentation for the media at Tierpark Berlin zoo in Berlin

A female polar bear cub, born on December 1, 2018, is seen together with 9 year-old mother Tonja during her first official presentation for the media at Tierpark Berlin zoo in Berlin, Germany, March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Officially, polar bear numbers are estimated to be 25,000 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG). But that represents a “reasonable range in numbers,” according to PBSG, and is not a firm figure.

Crockford’s book critiques that estimate and argues it’s likely much higher. Crockford claims polar bear experts have tried to obfuscate and low-ball abundance estimates — obviously this argument hasn’t earned her many friends in the scientific community. (RELATED: Alarmists Blame Historic Midwest Floods On Global Warming. That’s Incorrect)

In fact, a group of scientists, including polar bear experts Steven Amstrup and Ian Stirling, published a study personally attacking Crockford, labeling her as part of a web of “deniers” that spread misinformation about science — the study considered disagreeing with its authors as misinformation.

The study issued corrections once it was pointed out its authors got basic factual information wrong, and other researchers ripped into the study’s methodology and data.

“A few unscrupulous people have been trying to destroy my reputation,” Crockford said in a statement. “But the facts are against them, and they have failed.”

A polar bear cub comes outside for the first time at the Copenhagen Zoo

A polar bear cub comes outside for the first time at the Copenhagen Zoo, Copenhagen, Denmark, Feb. 28, 2019. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen/via REUTERS

Former Vice President Al Gore featured polar bears swimming for their lives in his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth,” sparking widespread fear that Arctic sea ice melt would bring bears to the brink of extinction.

Such concerns spurred the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list polar bears as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 2008, making it the first species to be listed over future worries about global warming.

Polar bear experts predicted in 2007 that polar bear populations could decline nearly 70 percent from projected Arctic ice melt in the mid-century. But when sea ice declines outpaced model projections, polar bear numbers didn’t dramatically drop off.

Indeed, recent studies found polar bear populations are doing fine. A 2016 study by Canadian researchers, for example, found “no reliable evidence to support the contention that polar bears are currently experiencing a climate crisis.”

Norwegian researchers found in 2015 the Barents Sea polar bear population grew 42 percent over the previous 11 years, despite diminishing ice cover.

A polar bear cub eats meat at a zoo in Krasnoyarsk

A polar bear cub, which is about 10 months old and was recently found in the Arctic settlement of Dikson on the Taymyr Peninsula, eats meat inside an adaptation cage at the Royev Ruchey Zoo in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Oct. 19, 2018. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Likewise, there’s evidence polar bears survived ice-free periods over the last 1.5 million years — that’s according to a 2016 study by U.S. Geological Survey and University of Alaska-Fairbanks researchers.

Amstrup, a Crockford critic, has called into question claims that polar bear populations were lower in the 1960s because of the lack or records — though he also admitted that about half of modern population estimates were “educated guesses.”

“But the most important point is that whatever happened in the past is really irrelevant,” Amstrup wrote on Polar Bears International’s website. “Polar bear habitat is disappearing due to global warming. Even the most careful on-the-ground management doesn’t matter if polar bears don’t have the required habitat.”

Crockford’s book was published on March 16 by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a U.K.-based think tank chaired by Lord Nigel Lawson, who served in former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Scott Morefield | Reporter

President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted nearly five minutes of Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s Monday night show, which featured a detailed explanation of how the “Russia hoax began in the first place” as a tool to delegitimize the president.

Carlson compared how Democrats said the contention that “Barack Obama was born in Kenya” “hurt America” and “delegitimized” the former president. “Fair points,” he contended, but “somehow Democrats learned the opposite lesson.”

“For three years they pushed their own far more harmful conspiracy, the theory of Russia collusion,” said the Fox News host before laying out the timeline of how the infamous Steele dossier was created, publicized and used as a weapon against the president.

“It was fake then, it is fake now,” said Carlson. “But it still caused an awful lot of damage,” including helping “destroy our relationship with Russia.” (RELATED: Tucker Carlson: ‘If Michael Cohen Had The Dime’ On Trump, ‘He Would Drop It’)

What then, Carlson asked, will Democrats “explain to their followers” when the Mueller report drops with no evidence against the president? “Will those people be disappointed? Or will they assume that Putin got to Mueller too?”

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Source: The Daily Caller

Nice mayor Estrosi, and Tour de France director Prudhomme attend a news conference for the official presentation of the 2020 Grand Depart of the Tour de France cycling race in Paris
Nice mayor Christian Estrosi, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme,Thierry Gouvenou, the Tour de France Sporting Director, and Yann Le Moenner, CEO of Amaury Sport Organisation, attend a news conference for the official presentation of the 2020 Grand Depart of the Tour de France cycling race at the Opera de Nice in Nice, France, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

March 18, 2019

NICE, France (Reuters) – The 2020 Tour de France will get off to a hilly start with two stages around Nice, organizers said on Monday.

The opening stage will be a 170-km ride around the Azurean city but is expected to be decided in a bunch sprint finish.

It will serve as a warm-up for the 190-km trek featuring three climbs with the overall contenders expected to already be at their best.

The peloton will tackle the Col de Colmiane before the Col de Turini and the Col d’Eze.

The Col de Turini featured in this year’s edition of Paris-Nice while the Col d’Eze is a regular on the ‘Race to the Sun’.

The 2020 Tour will be held from June 27-July 19.

(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

Source: OANN

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks
Mar 17, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) during the fourth quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

Joel Embiid scored 40 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the visiting Philadelphia 76ers past the Milwaukee Bucks 130-125 on Sunday.

It was Embiid’s 52nd double-double and the 25th time he has scored at least 30 points and swept 10 rebounds in a game. He scored 18 points alone in the fourth quarter.

Jimmy Butler had 27 and JJ Redick 19 for the Sixers, who won their fourth in a row and officially clinched a playoff spot.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was terrific for the Bucks with a career-high 52 points to go along with 16 rebounds and seven assists. Khris Middleton added 19 points.

Rockets 117, Timberwolves 102

Chris Paul, Clint Capela and James Harden recorded double-doubles, and host Houston turned a blistering third-quarter shooting display into a victory over Minnesota.

Paul paired 25 points with 10 assists and matched his single-game high of six 3-pointers, while Capela recorded 20 points and 13 rebounds in grappling with Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns (22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists).

Rookie forward Josh Okogie scored 21 points for the Timberwolves, who have dropped 7 of 10. Taj Gibson chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Minnesota. Houston improved to 11-2 since the All-Star break.

Clippers 119, Nets 116

Reserve Lou Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer as host Los Angeles pulled out a dramatic win over Brooklyn for its seven win in its last eight games.

Williams, whose game winner was the first of his career, scored 11 of his team-high 25 points in a fourth quarter that featured wild runs by both teams. The Clippers (41-30) won for the seventh time in eight games and moved into a virtual tie with Utah for seventh in the West and a half-game behind sixth-place San Antonio.

Danilo Gallinari and Montrezl Harrell added 20 points apiece for the Clippers. D’Angelo Russell scored a game-high 32 points, but the Nets (36-36) fell 1 1/2 games behind sixth-place Detroit in the Eastern Conference and lead eighth-place Miami by just 1 1/2 games.

Pistons 110, Raptors 107

Blake Griffin scored 25 points to lead host Detroit past Toronto to sweep their three-game regular-season series.

Trailing 110-107 with 2.4 seconds left, Toronto had a glimmer of hope after Griffin missed two free throws. Griffin intentionally fouled Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard on the rebound with 1.4 seconds remaining, but Leonard missed the first throw. After Leonard intentionally missed the second, Pistons center Andre Drummond gathered the rebound and the clock ran out.

Reggie Jackson scored 20 points for the Pistons, and Drummond added 15 points and 17 rebounds. Leonard put up a game-high 33 points to go with 10 rebounds, while Fred VanVleet scored 17 points and Marc Gasol grabbed 11 rebounds.

Knicks 124, Lakers 123

Emmanuel Mudiay highlighted his 28-point performance with a pair of late free throws as NBA-worst New York erased an 11-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to knock off visiting Los Angeles.

Damyean Dotson scored 25 points and Kevin Knox chipped in 19 for the Knicks, who benefited from a season-high 41-point first quarter to post their first win since a 108-103 victory against Orlando on Feb. 26.

LeBron James scored 33 points after sitting out Friday’s 111-97 setback versus Detroit for what the team called “load management” connected to the groin injury that sidelined him for 17 games earlier this season.

Magic 101, Hawks 91

Nikola Vucevic scored 17 of his 27 points in the first quarter, and host Orlando remained in the chase for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by beating Atlanta.

The Magic (33-38) trail Miami (33-36) by one game for the eighth spot in the playoffs. They meet one last time this season in Miami on March 26.

Orlando also got 22 points and eight rebounds from Aaron Gordon and 14 points and seven rebounds from reserve Wes Iwundu. Trae Young led Atlanta with 20 points and five assists.

Kings 129, Bulls 102

Buddy Hield made his only 3-pointers of the game in a 14-point, second-quarter flurry that allowed host Sacramento to beat Chicago and end a three-game losing streak.

The Kings (34-35) retained a slim hope of reaching the Western Conference playoffs this season. Sacramento sits in ninth place in the West, six games behind the Jazz and Clippers, who are tied for seventh.

In just his third game back from a knee injury, Marvin Bagley III shot 9 of 14 and led Sacramento with 21 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes. Zach LaVine (18 points) was the top scorer for the Bulls.

Heat 93, Hornets 75

Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic came off the bench to combine for 22 points in the fourth quarter to boost host Miami to a win over Charlotte.

Dragic finished with a team-high 19 points and Wade added 17. Bam Adebayo had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Dion Waiters added 12 points for the Heat, who have won eight of their past 10 against Charlotte.

Jeremy Lamb scored a game-best 21, Frank Kaminsky had 13, Nicolas Batum added 12 and Tony Parker chipped in 11, while leading scorer Kemba Walker had just 10 for Charlotte, which is 2-5 in its last seven games.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLS: Los Angeles FC at New York City FC
Mar 17, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela (10) celebrates his goal against New York City FC during the first half at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

March 17, 2019

Carlos Vela scored his second goal of the game on a penalty kick in the 76th minute as visiting Los Angeles FC remained unbeaten by rallying for a 2-2 draw over winless New York City FC on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Vela helped LAFC improve to 2-0-1 by recording his fourth career two-goal game and scored on the penalty kick after NYCFC defender Ben Sweat took down Latif Blessing in the center of the box.

He scored his second goal of the season in the 42nd minute and then became the sixth player in the league to reach three goals.

Vela improved to 5-for-5 all-time on penalty kicks when he got NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson to move to his left. As Johnson moved, Vela hammered the shot into the wide-open right side of the net.

LAFC nearly won the game right before stoppage time expired but Adama Diomande’s left footed shot from the center of the box sailed just wide.

Alexandru Mitrita scored his first goal with NYCFC in the 39th minute and Alexander Ring scored his second goal of the season in the 62nd minute.

Despite controlling possession for 61 percent of the match, NYCFC settled for its third straight tie in a physical game that featured 31 fouls and eight yellow cards.

LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller made four saves while Johnson stopped two shots.

NYCFC took a 1-0 lead when Mitrita avoided a tackle, sped past defender Jordan Harvey, made an inside move on Walker Zimmerman and lifted a right-footed shot from the right side of the box past Miller.

Two minutes later, Mitrita had a shot go off the crossbar.

Moments after Mitrita missed his second goal, LAFC tied the game by capitalizing on a turnover by NYCFC defender Maxime Chanot near midfield. Blessing gained possession and found a streaking Vela, who eluded Mitrita and lifted a left-footed shot from the right side of the box into the net.

Ring made it 2-1 when he hammered a right-footed shot inside the near post.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Video grab of emergency services personnel transport a stretcher carrying a person at a hospital, after reports that several shots had been fired, in central Christchurch
Emergency services personnel transport a stretcher carrying a person at a hospital, after reports that several shots had been fired, in central Christchurch, New Zealand March 15, 2019, in this still image taken from video. TVNZ/via REUTERS TV

March 15, 2019

By Gerry Doyle

(Reuters) – Online accounts linked to gun attacks that killed 49 people and wounded at least 20 at two New Zealand mosques on Friday had in recent days circulated white supremacist imagery and extreme right-wing messages celebrating violence against Muslims and minorities on social media and message boards.

A gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one of the mosques. Police later said four people were in custody and one had been charged with murder over the country’s worst ever mass shooting.

On Wednesday, the Twitter handle @brentontarrant tweeted pictures of one of the guns later used in the mosque attacks in the city of Christchurch. It was covered in white lettering, featuring the names of others who had committed race- or religion-based killings; Cyrillic, Armenian and Georgian references to historical figures and events; and the phrase: “Here’s Your Migration Compact”.

The number “14” was written on the side of the rifle as well, a reference to the “fourteen words”, a white supremacist mantra.

Other tweets from the same user on that day included references to declining white fertility rates, articles about right-wing extremists in various countries and stories about purported crimes by illegal immigrants.

The Twitter profile had 63 tweets, 218 followers and was created last month.

A person involved with the attacks also appeared to post regularly to the “/pol/ – Politically Incorrect” forum on 8chan, a online discussion site known for allowing virtually any content, including hate speech.

About 1:30 p.m. (0030 GMT) on Friday, the anonymous user told the group “I will carry out and attack against the invaders, and will even livestream the attack via Facebook”; approving responses to the post included Nazi images and memes.

The post featured a link to a 74-page manifesto that said he was motivated by “white genocide”, a term white supremacists use to describe immigration and the growth of minority populations. It also linked to a Facebook page for a user called brenton.tarrant.9, where the attack was livestreamed.

“Social media has certainly shifted global security risks,” said Anwita Basu, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit. “More than anything, social media has provided a platform for sharing extremist views.”

The @brentontarrant Twitter account was suspended not long after the shooting on Friday, as was the brenton.tarrant.9 Facebook page.

“Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video,” Facebook tweeted. “We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.”

YouTube, which is owned by Google, tweeted: “Our hearts are broken over today’s terrible tragedy in New Zealand.”

A Twitter representative said the social media company was “deeply saddened” by the shootings.

“Twitter has rigorous processes and a dedicated team in place for managing exigent and emergency situations such as this,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We also cooperate with law enforcement to facilitate their investigations as required.”

NO REMORSE

When the attack began on Friday, one anonymous 8chan user remarked: “actually happening. delete this thread now or its gonna be the end of 8pol.”

A few minutes later, another said “this sounds fun”. “Nice shootin Tex,” another commented.

The Facebook livestream of the attack, apparently recorded with a head-mounted camera, began about 1:40 p.m. local time. The attacker plays music as he drives to the mosque, including a British grenadiers march and a Serbian anti-Muslim hate anthem called “Remove Kebab”.

Once he arrives in the Hagley Park district of Christchurch, the attacker parks the car and opens the rear hatch, revealing a cache of guns, ammunition and what appear to be red fuel containers.

Picking up two guns, both covered in names and slogans, he walks around the corner to the entrance of a mosque and begins shooting.

The livestream ended less than 20 minutes later. The suspected shooter was arrested about 3 p.m.

“Do you feel any remorse for the attack”? the author asks self-referentially in the manifesto. “No. I only wish I could have killed more invaders, and more traitors as well.”

(Reporting by Jonathan Barrett, Joe Brock and Karishma Singh; Writing by Gerry Doyle; Additional reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic and Margarita Antidze; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Source: OANN

Military honour guards attend a flag-lowering ceremony at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei
Military honour guards attend a flag-lowering ceremony at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

March 15, 2019

By James Pomfret and Yimou Lee

HONG KONG/TAIPEI (Reuters) – As Beijing grows wary of pro-independence groups seeking to forge closer ties in Hong Kong and Taiwan, activists say they are coming under increased surveillance and harassment from pro-China media outlets and unofficial “operatives.”

Visits to Taiwan in January by several Hong Kong activists including Tony Chung generated heavy coverage by two pro-China newspapers, including detailed reports of their movements and meetings.

The coverage prompted Taiwan to investigate the activities of the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao newspapers on “national security” grounds.

The government found that the papers committed “unlawful” acts, including invasive surveillance, and spread “fake news.” Officials said journalists from those papers would be banned from traveling to Taiwan for up to three years if the media outlets did not provide a “reasonable explanation” for their activities there.

A Reuters examination of both papers’ articles show that at least 25 people linked to anti-China and independence causes have been the subject of intense coverage, including covert photography and the reporting of personal details, in Taiwan during the past three years.

Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Such papers, which typically take a pro-Beijing stance, would be expected to pay close attention to activists pursuing causes that upset the Chinese government.

But activists say their coverage stretches into the realm of harassment, including surveillance on overseas trips, and publishing details of their private lives, including homes, work and daily movements.

“It’s obvious that there’s intervention from outside forces with an aim to intimidate people,” Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng told Reuters, referring to the coverage from the pro-China papers.

The coverage raised concerns about the activities of “Chinese and Hong Kong intelligence operatives” on the island, Chiu added, including people working for pro-China media outlets.

Activists have also been physically attacked during trips to Taiwan.

In July 2018, two Taiwanese were convicted of assaulting Hong Kong activists meeting with independence advocates in Taiwan. Three Hong Kong men were later named in Taiwanese media coverage as helping facilitate the attack.

“I was followed until I almost left the airport,” Andy Chan, one of the Hong Kong activists, said of his time in Taiwan. “There are operatives for China everywhere.”

BEIJING WORRIED

China considers Hong Kong and Taiwan to be inalienable parts of its territory, and has branded pro-independence activists on both sides of the Taiwan Strait as “separatists.”

In an annual report to the U.S. Congress, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted in November that since president Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016, Beijing has feared “collusion between ‘separatist forces’ in Taiwan and Hong Kong.”

“Beijing is trying everything in its power to prevent this,” said a security source in the Taiwan government, who declined to be named given the sensitivity of the issue.

The source and a second Taiwanese security official involved in national security say China has been quietly ramping up the number of intelligence operatives in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Wu Jieh-min, a Taiwan scholar who has researched civil movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan, says he was barred from entering Hong Kong for an academic conference in late 2016.

Beijing is “very worried about the exchange of ideas. If the ideas of civil society are not hindered, their power will be greatly enhanced,” said Wu, a research fellow with the government-backed Academia Sinica.

Wu noted that mass, protracted protests in Taiwan and Hong Kong in 2014 that railed against Chinese interference were a catalyst for deepening activist ties on both sides.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office and main representative body in Hong Kong, the Liaison Office, did not respond to requests for comment.

The Wen Wei Po has also paid close attention to foreigners in contact with Hong Kong activists.

In December, Wen Wei Pao reporters and photographers covered the daily activities of Kevin Carrico, an Australia-based political scientist, during a visit to Hong Kong in which he met with independence advocates, and featured him on the front page.

“I was a little creeped out by the fact that the article discussed my presentation. There were only 15 people there,” he said of a private meeting in the basement of a Hong Kong building.

He said there had been “a real escalation of Beijing’s political operations in Hong Kong.”

HOTEL ATTACK

Activists in Hong Kong and Taiwan describe an increase in unknown individuals shadowing their meetings and events, sometimes taking photographs or recording their conversations.

In some cases activists have been attacked, and the assailants identified.

Two Taiwanese, Zhang Xiuye and Jhang Jhih-min, were found guilty last July of a 2016 assault on two Hong Kong independence activists, Andy Chan and Jason Chow, at a Taipei hotel.

Zhang and Jhang were convicted of defamation and fined T$6,000 ($195) and T$8,000 ($260) respectively; Jhang was also found guilty of “intimidating and endangering the safety” of Chan.

Zhang and Jhang were among at least eight people who beat Chan and Chow and called them China “traitors” at the Caesar Park Hotel, according to Taipei court documents.

Chan told Reuters he was at the hotel to meet with Ouyang Jin, a journalist with a little-known Hong Kong publication called Pacific Magazine.

Zhang is a senior member of the Chinese Concentric Patriotism Party, which advocates unification of China and Taiwan, according to the group’s website.

“It was purely an accident” that they ran into Chan at the hotel, Zhang told Reuters.

($1 = 7.8484 Hong Kong dollars)

($1 = 30.7550 Taiwan dollars)

(Additional reporting by Jessie Pang in Hong Kong and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Gerry Doyle)

Source: OANN

Liberty HealthShare | Featured Partner

As we know, the Preamble to the United States Constitution begins with the line: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union.” This line suggests that the people of the United States of America can and should make laws to govern themselves based on the will of the collective citizenry. However, as we move further and further from the time of our Founding Fathers, power continues to shift away from the will of the American people and toward the will of those in the United States Congress and the corporations that influence those elected to represent us.

A perfect example of public policy that does not conform to the will of the American people is the Affordable Care Act. The healthcare bill was signed into law in March 2010 despite only about 40 percent of Americans being in favor of the law at that time. Since the law went into effect in 2010, healthcare prices have skyrocketed, placing a financial burden on many Americans. The will of a couple hundred members of Congress and the President outweighed the will of millions of Americans.

So, how would healthcare by the people and for the people truly look? Well, the answer already exists.

One healthcare option, known as healthcare sharing, operates outside of Affordable Care Act regulations thanks to an exemption written into the law. The purpose of these organizations is to return to the consumer the power to make healthcare decisions. One healthcare sharing organization that has been very successful in returning power to the consumer is Liberty HealthShare. By utilizing a Statement of Shared Beliefs, which each member agrees to at the time of enrollment, Liberty HealthShare members know exactly which types of medical expenses their money will be shared toward. This is just one aspect of the transparency Liberty HealthShare strives to offer its members.

As a non-profit organization, Liberty HealthShare serves not to record profits, but rather to facilitate the sharing of medical expenses across the entire membership base. As non-profit organizations, healthcare sharing organizations are not built to run up massive profits. Instead, they use members’ money only to pay overhead expenses and share members’ medical expenses. The goal of these organizations is to serve the needs of the members, not the needs of a group of wealthy investors, because there are no wealthy investors. The money comes from people just like you who want affordable healthcare and also want to help their fellow Americans afford healthcare for themselves and their families.

The “by the people, for the people” approach doesn’t stop with how these healthcare sharing organizations facilitate the payment of members’ medical bills. Many of these organizations, including Liberty HealthShare, utilize medical repricing to keep costs down for their members. This consists of a third-party company reviewing each bill that a Liberty HealthShare member submits and ensuring that the amount the member is billed for is a fair price for the treatment or services they received. If a bill is found to be overcharging the member, the third-party company negotiates with the provider who issued the bill to have the bill reduced. This process ensures that healthcare sharing members are getting the most for their money, allowing them to share in more medical bills from the same amount of money.

As a result of these “by the people, for the people” approaches, healthcare sharing organizations are able to offer substantially lower prices than many health insurance plans. For example, Liberty HealthShare offers healthcare plans starting as low as $199 per month for singles and $429 per month for an entire family, regardless of the number of children. These low monthly prices are coupled with a lower cost the member is responsible for each year, to make healthcare sharing a great value. The amount members are responsible for with Liberty HealthShare is $1,000 per year for singles and $2,250 per year for a family. This is the amount of eligible medical expenses a member must pay in a year before their expenses will be shared by their fellow members.

If you’re tired of the government’s will being imposed upon you, especially relating to your healthcare, it may be time for you to consider healthcare sharing. These healthcare sharing organizations return freedom and power to the member, by being on the side of the member instead of focusing on profits for wealthy shareholders. It’s truly people coming together to eliminate government involvement and fund their own healthcare. Healthcare “by the people, for the people,” just as the Founding Fathers intended.

Source: The Daily Caller

If President Donald Trump is comedy gold for political satirists, Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is at least silver or bronze.

The brash Democrat plays fast and loose with the truth, has a skin as thin as a certain commander-in-chief and crowed that she’s “the boss” mere weeks into the job. And let’s not forget about the cow fart ban in her initial Green New Deal draft.

This week alone, she accused the CEO of Wells Fargo of imprisoning Mexican children.

So where’s the ribbing—good-natured or otherwise?

Late night hosts, who feast on political gaffes, mostly ignore her. “Saturday Night Live” featured her in small roles in two recent skits. The first proved brief and kind, while the second cast her, via cast member Melissa Villaseñor, as part of a progressive “Charlie’s Angels” group.

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

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

Comedian Dave Landau, co-host of “The Anthony Cumia Show” on Compound Media, noticed the lack of Ocasio-Cortez jokes, too.

“[Comedians] have held their fire completely,” says Landau, a left-leaning stand-up whose routine serves up apolitical gags. “There’s been very little joking, even gentle teasing, towards her.”

It’s not for lack of comedic options, though.

“There’s a lot people could joke about her that’s not even political, from crazy ex-girlfriend eyes to the fact that she has the millennial symptom of saying ‘like’ every four words,” Landau says.

Satirists typically pounce when someone hits the cultural radar as hard as Ocasio-Cortez has. Landau suggests other factors are keeping comics from letting loose.

“I think the #MeToo and feminism movements, mixed with the PC culture, has caused comics to be afraid. They only want to bash Trump because it’s not going to get much backlash from the vocal majority,” he says. “It’s very safe.”

He recalls a fellow comics getting grief for mocking ex-porn star Stormy Daniels’ new stand-up comedy gig. Social media users slammed him as “misogynist” for defending “the art of stand up” against a neophyte.

“If people attack him for saying that, then what might they say to someone else for bashing a woman who’s actually so successful that she’s made her way to Congress?” he asks. “I think comics don’t want to deal with the all the [bleep] that comes with a joke these days, and it’s sad.”

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) questions Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, as he testifies before a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) questions Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, as he testifies before a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Right-leaning stand-up Michael Loftus, part of The Deplorables comedy tour, says politics plays a large role in the lack of Ocasio-Cortez humor.

“They’re rooting for her. They want her to succeed. You don’t make fun of someone who’s on your team,” Loftus says. Today’s late-night landscape leans heavily to the left, as does “SNL,” despite the show’s rich bipartisan history.

For comparison’s sake, comics happily shredded former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican, the minute she hit the national stage. Tina Fey’s Palin sketches proved some of the most memorable “SNL” moments.

“They had no problem tearing [Palin] down because it was in their best interests,” says Loftus, who teases Ocasio-Cortez during his current Deplorables tour.

Loftus misses the days when an “SNL” mainstay like Phil Hartman could cut across the comedy grain. He recalled a Hartman sketch featuring former President Ronald Reagan as a secret genius, rebutting the amiable dunce narrative surrounding the two-term president.

A similar sketch would never appear now, he says. The iconic show “stars liberals, is written by liberals and produced by liberals. They don’t make fun of their own,” he says.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Tina Fey attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 24: Tina Fey attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Progressive stand-up Nariko Ott suggests another reason for the lack of Ocasio-Cortez routines: Her key initiatives leave little room for laughs.

“Her positions on things aren’t comedic,” Ott says, adding the fury over her Green New Deal proposal came courtesy of a “disinformation campaign” fueled by the Koch brothers.

The comedy zeitgeist surrounding Trump is about more than just his mannerisms, Ott says.

“When people are making fun of Trump, … what they’re actually doing is bringing up [his] ideas … and taking them down,” Ott says.

Veteran satirist Will Durst says Ocasio-Cortez’s “measured, youthful exuberance” makes this “very smart” politician tougher to nail down for many comics.

“The advantage with Sarah Palin was she was such a cartoon … all you had to do was shoot pretend guns with your fingers and say, ‘pew pew,’” says the left-leaning Durst, who admits he gave up his bipartisan approach to political humor with Trump’s election.

Plus, he says Ocasio-Cortez, at 29, lacks the baggage many politicians bring to the table.

Conservative stand-up Nick Di Paolo says liberal comics are tied up by their own ideology when it comes to Ocasio-Cortez.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 19: Comedian Nick DiPaolo attends Sirius XM Annual Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft at Hard Rock Cafe New York on July 19, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Sirius XM Radio)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 19: Comedian Nick DiPaolo attends Sirius XM Annual Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft at Hard Rock Cafe New York on July 19, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Sirius XM Radio)

“They can’t criticize her. She’s a young, empowered woman. She’s everything they stand for,” says the host of “The Nick Di Paolo Show” podcast, heard Mondays through Thursdays via NickDip.com. “If they said, ‘shut up, you sound silly,’ they’d say it’s sexist.”

DiPaolo says he sees reams of comedy material from the “arrogant” democratic socialist.

“She sounds like an eighth grader when she talks. I appreciate her optimism, but her ideas are ridiculous,” he adds.

Di Paolo isn’t too mad his fellow comics have yet to unleash their satirical fury on her, though.

“She’s the best thing to happen to Trump. Keep her out there. Don’t take her down yet. Let her inflict all the damage,” he says.

Landau says if the Ocasio-Cortez comedy dam finally breaks, “SNL” could lead the charge.

“I think for live sketch [comedy] she’s perfect for characterization. Most over-the-top people are,” Landau says, adding it doesn’t have to be nasty or confrontational. “Impersonation can be a sign of respect and even if she’s the agenda they promote, she can be parodied.”

Source: The Daily Caller

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks to the media during a news conference to announce a plan to strengthen finances of state oil firm Pemex, at the National Palace in Mexico City
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks to the media during a news conference to announce a plan to strengthen finances of state oil firm Pemex, at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico February 15, 2019. Picture taken February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero

March 14, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s government said on Thursday it would investigate funding of critical coverage of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during his 2018 election bid on suspicion it received illicit support from his adversaries.

Santiago Nieto, head of the finance ministry’s financial intelligence unit, said the government would investigate funding of the series “Populismo en America” (Populism in America) that featured an episode dedicated to Lopez Obrador.

Nieto said the documentary was part of a “dirty campaign” aimed at discrediting Lopez Obrador during the election.

Standing beside Lopez Obrador at his regular morning news conference, Nieto said the documentary got funding from a group whose backers included construction firm OHL Mexico, now known as Aleatica, and the government of the State of Mexico.

An investigation would determine whether the funding contravened Mexico’s campaign finance laws, he added.

The State of Mexico is run by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the party of former President Enrique Pena Nieto, who was state governor before he took the top job.

OHL Mexico was a successful contractor under Pena Nieto during his tenure in the state between 2005 and 2011.

The probe may raise questions about the leftist Lopez Obrador’s repeated statements that he would not pursue his political adversaries once in office – a position that has not always gone down well with his core supporters.

OHL Mexico changed its name to Aleatica last year after being sold to IFM Investors. Aleatica could not be immediately reached for comment.

Lopez Obrador mentioned the documentary in April 2018 during a video address to supporters, in which he accused his political adversaries of waging a “dirty war” against him.

(Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez; writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

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

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

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

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

According to the Trans Advocate:

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

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

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

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

Source: The Daily Caller

The ESPN logo is seen on an electronic display in Times Square in New York City
The ESPN logo is seen on an electronic display in Times Square in New York City, U.S., August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar

March 12, 2019

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK (Reuters) – ESPN will hold its first ever college championship for competitive video gaming later this year, the TV sports network said on Tuesday, a high-profile esports event aimed at younger fans who spend more time with game controllers than baseball bats or hockey sticks.

ESPN Events, a unit of Walt Disney Co’s cable sports network that also produces a lineup of other sports events such as the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, will produce the Collegiate Esports Championship (CEC).

The showdown will be held in Houston at Comicpalooza at the George R. Brown Convention Center in May. Players will compete in five games: Overwatch, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm and Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.

Street Fighter is made by Japan’s Capcom Co Ltd; the other featured games were developed by Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard Inc.

As professional esports tournaments have expanded in the last couple of years, so too have college-level games, with schools developing their own competitive teams as they would for traditional sports.

Schools like the University of Nevada, Las Vegas now offer esports labs and course work, and the University of California at Irvine even has its own esports arena and summer camp.

“As universities continue to grow their esports programs at the varsity, non-varsity and club levels, we’re proud to be providing a platform for national exposure and recognition of some of the most talented players in the collegiate space,” said John Lasker, vice president of ESPN’s Digital Media Programming, in a statement.

The CEC will also become Overwatch’s only collegiate championship. Prizes will be in the form of college scholarships, ESPN said.

Players will come from the hundreds of North American schools currently competing in qualifying matches hosted by Collegiate Starleague and Tespa.

Portions of the qualifying rounds, as well as the championship, will be streamed globally, with ESPN to announce later which platforms it will use.

The Overwatch matches in particular will also shown on the livestreaming video platform Twitch, owned by Amazon.com Inc.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by David Gregorio)

Source: OANN

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Jets
FILE PHOTO: Nov 25, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon (10) runs with the ball against the New York Jets during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

March 12, 2019

Josh Gordon received a signal of commitment from the New England Patriots.

According to reports, the rehabbing and suspended wide receiver was given a second-round restricted free agent tender by the Patriots, who would receive a draft pick in that round if another team signs Gordon.

Gordon thanked the Patriots in an Instagram post that featured Gordon, wide receiver Julian Edelman and quarterback Tom Brady. In the post, he shared the John F. Kennedy quote “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.”

Brady liked the post and commented “You got that right @flash.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in January that the Patriots are doing their best to help and support Gordon while he deals with off-field issues.

Gordon, acquired from the Cleveland Browns, caught 40 passes and scored three touchdowns in 11 total games with the team this season before another indefinite suspension for substance abuse violations on Dec. 20.

The 27-year-old had missed 43 of a possible 48 games in Cleveland’s previous three seasons prior to the start of the 2018 season.

“Unfortunately, people like that need mentoring at a young age, but when it becomes addiction, addiction is something that is way beyond our… We gave him tremendous support on a daily basis, and he was worthy. But I think we as a society have to try to help these young people not to get addicted in the first place. And that’s the sad part of this. He’s a good guy — a really good guy. It makes us sad.”

Jonathan Kraft was sympathetic to Gordon’s situation but would not say if he’d get another chance in New England.

“You get exposed to it in a whole different way when you come from where Josh Gordon came from. He is a very good kid,” he said.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Over the weekend, women celebrated #InternationalWomensDay on social media and at events across the globe

The United Nations’ slogan for the day was, “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change.”

For Women’s History Month, Rolling Stone magazine featured Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez paying homage to the record number of women serving in the 116th Congress and of course, bashing Republican President Donald Trump.

Democrat females even wore “suffragette white” to last month’s State of the Union address.

Each of these feminist commemorations failed to communicate that Republicans — not Democrats — were responsible for granting women the right to vote in the first place.

It is a trailblazing history of which Republicans should be proud.

The Women’s Rights Convention held in 1848 was the catalyst for the women’s rights movement. Two years later, another convention followed where the matter was discussed.

By 1870, the Massachusetts Republican State Convention had already seated two “suffragettes” who had fought for the women’s right to vote — Lucy Stone and Mary A. Livermore.

Just two years later, the National Republican Convention of 1872 approved a resolution calling for a wider role for women in the political process, and demanding that “additional rights” for women “should be treated with respectful consideration.”

In 1892, two women delegates from Wyoming were seated for the first time at a national political convention — but it was the Republican National Convention (not the Democrats’.) This same convention was the first time a woman was ever allowed to speak at a national political convention — again, it was a Republican convention. During her speech, the chairwoman of the Women’s Republican Association of the United States vouched for Republicans’ commitment to granting women the right to vote and said they would see the fight through to the end.

Finally, at the request of Republican Susan B. Anthony, Sen. A.A. Sargent — a Republican from California — introduced the 19th Amendment to grant women the right to vote. The amendment was voted down by a Democrat-controlled Senate.

When Republicans regained control of Congress in 1919, they passed the Equal Suffrage Amendment as one of their first orders of business.

It was a decades-long fight that Republicans saw through to the end.

Without Republican leadership and support, women would not have gained the right to vote when they did; in fact, perhaps they might not have gained it at all.

It is hard to tell exactly where Republicans lost control of the message that it was they — not Democrats — who were the champions of women. It was likely during Gloria Steinem’s “second-wave” feminism of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Without Republicans fighting for women, there would be no Nancy Pelosi or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Any story about Women’s History Month that hails the record number of Democrat women in Congress — while failing to mention Republicans’ role in fighting for them — is not only biased, it is an incomplete history.

Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.


 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

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said people should be “excited” rather than fearful about the prospect of robots in the workplace at a conference in Austin, Texas, Saturday.

Ocasio-Cortez’s comments came during a Q-and-A session at the South By Southwest Conference & Festivals, according to The Verge.

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

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

The self-described Democratic-Socialist really worked the crowd at the festival, calling the current state of America “garbage,” blasting capitalism, Ronald Reagan, the New Deal and even political moderates.

She also offered solutions to those who “fear” socialism, which prompted excitement in liberal TV scientist Bill Nye, who tweeted that Ocasio-Cortez “gets it.” (RELATED: Report: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Has Violated Her Own Green New Deal)

As the congresswoman sees it, automation presents opportunities for people not to work, and because people are scared of not having jobs, fear of workplace robots comes from deep-rooted societal issues.

“We should be excited by [automation]. But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem,” insisted Ocasio-Cortez. (RELATED: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Instructs Americans To Eat Fewer Hamburgers)

Ocasio-Cortez challenged the audience to think of what they could do with their time if they didn’t have to work the kinds of jobs that automated labor could do for us.

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 10: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attends the "Knock Down The House" Premiere 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Paramount Theatre on March 10, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attends the “Knock Down The House” Premiere 2019 (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)

“We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention, more time going to space, more time enjoying the world that we live in,” she said, noting that “not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage.”

Ocasio-Cortez reportedly attracted the largest audience at the festival that also featured Democratic presidential candidates. According to Fox News, she reserved some measure of animus for capitalism that she declared to be “an ideology of capital,” which she claimed “comes at a cost to people and to the environment” and makes it “irredeemable.”

“We should be scared right now because corporations have taken over our government.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

President Donald Trump is reviving his border wall fight, preparing a new budget that will seek $8.6 billion for his signature project, impose steep spending cuts to other domestic programs and set the stage for another fiscal battle.

Budget documents like the one Trump is releasing Monday are often seen as just a starting point of negotiation. Fresh off the longest government shutdown in history, Trump's 2020 proposal shows he is eager to confront Congress again to boost defense spending and cut $2.7 trillion in nondefense spending over a decade.

Titled "A Budget for a Better America: Promises Kept. Taxpayers First," Trump's proposal "embodies fiscal responsibility," said Russ Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget.  

Vought said the administration has "prioritized reining in reckless Washington spending" and shows "we can return to fiscal sanity."

Two administration officials confirmed that the border wall request was part of Trump's spending blueprint for the 2020 budget year, which begins Oct. 1. It would pay for hundreds of miles of new barriers along the border.

Trump's budget proposes increasing defense spending to $750 billion — and standing up the new Space Force as a military branch — while reducing nondefense accounts by 5 percent, with cuts recommended to safety-net programs used by many Americans.

The plan sticks to budget caps that both parties have routinely broken in recent years and promises to come into balance in 15 years, relying in part on economic growth that may be uncertain.

The officials were not authorized to discuss budget details publicly before Monday's release of the plan and spoke on condition of anonymity.

While pushing down spending in some areas, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the proposal will seek to increase funding in others to align with the president's priorities, according to one official.

The administration will invest more than $80 billion for veterans services, a nearly 10 percent increase from current levels, including "significant" investments in rehabilitation, employment assistance and suicide prevention.

It will also increase resources to fight the opioid epidemic with money for prevention, treatment, research and recovery, the administration said. And it seeks to shift some federal student loan costs to colleges and universities.

By adhering to strict budget caps, Trump is signaling a fight ahead. The president has resisted big, bipartisan budget deals that break the caps — threatening to veto one last year — but Congress will need to find agreement on spending levels to avoid another federal shutdown in fall. To stay within the caps, the budget shifts a portion of the defense spending to an overseas contingency fund, which some fiscal hawks will view as an accounting gimmick.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump's budget "points a steady glide path" toward lower spending and borrowing as a share of the nation's economy. He also told "Fox News Sunday" that there was no reason to "obsess" about deficits, and expressed confidence that economic growth would top 3 percent in 2019 and beyond. Others have predicted lower growth.

But the Democratic chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, called the proposed cuts to essential services "dangerous." He said Trump added nearly $2 trillion to deficits with the GOP's "tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and now it appears his budget asks the American people to pay the price."

The border wall, though, remains a signature issue for the president and is poised to stay at the forefront of his agenda, even though Congress has resisted giving him more money for it.

Leading Democrats immediately rejected the proposal.

"Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government. The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York. They said the money "would be better spent on rebuilding America."

In seeking $8.6 billion for more than 300 miles of new border wall, the budget request would more than double the $8.1 billion already potentially available to the president for the wall after he declared a national emergency at the border last month in order to circumvent Congress — although there's no guarantee he'll be able to use that money if he faces a legal challenge, as is expected. The standoff over the wall led to a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.

Along with border wall money, the proposed budget will also increase funding to increase the "manpower" of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and Customs and Border Patrol at a time when many Democrats are calling for cuts — or even the elimination — of those areas. The budget also proposes policy changes to end sanctuary cities, the administration said.

The budget would arrive as the Senate readies to vote this week to terminate Trump's national emergency declaration. The Democratic-led House already did so, and a handful of Republican senators, uneasy over what they see as an overreach of executive power, are expected to join Senate Democrats in following suit. Congress appears to have enough votes to reject Trump's declaration but not enough to overturn a veto.

Trump invoked the emergency declaration after Congress approved nearly $1.4 billion for border barriers, far less than the $5.7 billion he wanted. In doing so, he can potentially tap an additional $3.6 billion from military accounts and shift it to building the wall. That's causing discomfort on Capitol Hill, where even the president's Republican allies are protective of their power to decide how to allocate federal dollars. Lawmakers are trying to guard money that's already been approved for military projects in their states — for base housing or other improvements — for the wall. The administration is promising to backfill those funds, senators said.

The wall with Mexico punctuated Trump's campaign for the White House, and it's expected to again be featured in his 2020 re-election effort. He used to say Mexico would pay for it, but Mexico has refused to do so.

Source: NewsMax

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 7
Mar 10, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Simona Halep (ROU) during her second round match against Kateryna Kozlova (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

(Reuters) – World number two Simona Halep survived a tough challenge from Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova to win their third round match 7-6(3) 7-5 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, on Sunday.

The Romanian finally put away the 114th ranked Kozlova with eight consecutive points in the second set, a backhand winner proving the decider just as it had in the first set.

“It was difficult for me to close out those sets,” Halep told reporters, praising Kozlova.

“When I was leading the match, she played without fear.”

The victory advanced the French Open champion, who won Indian Wells in 2015, to the fourth round for the fifth time in six years.

The meeting was the first between the pair and featured big momentum swings.

After Kozlova claimed a 3-2 advantage in the first set, Halep won three consecutive games to go to set point at 5-3 on Kozlova’s serve.

With the former world number one’s groundstrokes failing her, Kozlova reeled off 11 of the next 12 points, breaking back for 5-5 with a forehand winner.

Halep finally won the set on her third opportunity with another trademark backhand down the line.

The Romanian took four successive games for a 5-2 lead in the second set, but Kozlova again rallied to even the match at 5-5 before Halep reeled off the eight straight points to seal the win.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO - A combination of file photos shows the logos of five of the largest publicly traded oil companies BP Chevron Exxon Mobil Royal Dutch Shell,and Total
FILE PHOTO – A combination of file photos shows the logos of five of the largest publicly traded oil companies; BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total. REUTERS/File Photo

March 10, 2019

By David Gaffen and Jennifer Hiller

(Reuters) – The oil industry converges this week on Houston at CERAWeek, the largest gathering of top energy executives in the Americas, with oil majors showing a bigger presence as the United States has taken the crown as the largest crude producer in the world.

After a year that saw international crude oil prices surge to more than $87 a barrel in the fall then tumble, the market has been calmer of late, even with production limitations imposed by a combination of OPEC’s output cuts and large-scale sanctions placed on Iran and Venezuela by the United States.

U.S. crude output has rocketed to more than 12 million barrels a day, surpassing former leaders Russia and Saudi Arabia, but that success comes as independent U.S. shale companies are reducing drilling under pressure from investors demanding improved returns.

Even with prices at relatively stable levels, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela could disrupt the current calm. It remains unclear whether the United States will continue to offer some Iranian oil buyers purchase waivers, and whether Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro will face additional sanctions.

Both U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Energy Secretary Rick Perry will speak at the conference.

The larger presence of the majors, including U.S. companies Exxon Mobil and Chevron, comes as those firms are shifting investments to shale in west Texas and New Mexico, and connecting those oil fields to their coastal refineries and chemical plants.

“It’s a little bit different than what’s been seen historically,” said Staale Gjervik, president of Exxon’s shale business. Its shale deliberations now including asking, “What does that mean for the folks downstream and on the Gulf Coast and vice versa?” Gjervik said.

Shale wells are cheaper to drill and faster to start production, offsetting the majors’ past focus on giant fields whose payoff can be decades into the future.

In addition to bringing new wells into production, Royal Dutch Shell PLC is building an inventory of shale wells it can tap on a flexible schedule, said Amir Gerges, head of Shell’s Permian operations. “If we find surplus cash at the end of the year, or if oil prices respond quickly in a certain year, we can easily reinvest that for near term cash flow,” Gerges said.

Shale has sent U.S. exports ballooning to more than 3 million barrels of crude a day, upending global supply.

“It reflects the rebalancing that has gone on in world oil,” said Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of organizer IHS Markit. “This is the first CERAWeek ever where the world’s largest producer is the country where we are holding the conference, which is the United States.”

Chevron CEO Michael Wirth is scheduled to speak, along with several Exxon executives and BP Plc Chief Executive Bob Dudley.

Saudi Arabia is notable for its diminished presence this year. Saudi Aramco, the state-run oil company, is holding its annual board meeting this week, and Saudi officials noted they were prominently featured at London’s recent International Petroleum Week conference.

However, CERAWeek also follow a period where the Kingdom has faced more U.S. pressure to keep oil prices low, threats of antitrust legislation currently moving through Congress, and anger at the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.

Saudi Arabia is the leading producer among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, whose Secretary General, Mohammad Barkindo, is attending the conference, along with representatives from the United Arab Emirates. In recent years OPEC representatives have held meetings with executives from U.S. shale companies, in an effort to better understand shale and as the rhetoric from state-run producers has shifted from its adversarial approach in the past.

However, shale execs in the past have shied away from publicity surrounding such get-togethers, including a dinner at one of Houston’s fanciest restaurants last year. Those execs are wary of being viewed in collaboration with OPEC, and this year’s conference features fewer presentations from shale companies as well. OPEC officials have said they do plan on meeting with shale executives at this year’s conference.

Both U.S. industry groups and OPEC nations oppose the ‘NOPEC’ legislation, which has passed committees in both U.S. houses of Congress, seeing it as a threat to production that could cause prices to rise.

“I don’t think they can work together,” Yergin said. “But without some stabilizing mechanisms in the oil market you’d have a lot more volatility, and if you had a lot more volatility you’d have a lot less investment.”

(Reporting By Jennifer Hiller in Houston, Ron Bousso in London, Rania El Gamal in Dubai and David Gaffen in New York; Editing by Diane Craft)

Source: OANN

DCNF Video Team | Contributor

How do you think President Donald Trump took the news of an ISIS bride wanting to return to the United States? Here’s a look at how The Daily Caller News Foundation imagines his reaction with our new satirical video and featured song.

TheDCNF’s Vince Shkreli plays Trump and TheDCNF’s Ryan Kibby plays his aide. There also features an original song to the beat of “Hakuna Matata.”

“We’re making her the best damn Tinder account you’ve ever seen,” Shkreli says. Lyrics include, “Hoda Muthana, what an unlucky bride. Hoda Muthana, hope she’s not on your side. If you get married, might as well commit suicide.” (RELATED: Bar Hopping With Liberals On Election Night)

Watch some of The Daily Caller News Foundation’s other videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you never miss out.

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American pop star Michael Jackson performs on stage during a concert at Moscow's Dinamo stadium.
FILE PHOTO: American pop star Michael Jackson performs on stage during his concert at Moscow’s Dinamo stadium on September 17, 1996 – REUTERS

March 8, 2019

(Reuters) – An old episode of “The Simpsons” featuring the voice of Michael Jackson is being pulled from all future broadcasts, the show’s producer told a newspaper, following a documentary about alleged child abuse by the late pop star.

“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” James L. Brooks was quoted as telling the Wall Street Journal.

The long-running cartoon show featured Jackson in 1991, during its third series, in a episode called “Stark Raving Dad”. He voiced a character in a psychiatric ward who believed he was the pop star.

Media representatives for “The Simpsons” were not immediately available for further comment.

In the documentary, “Leaving Neverland”, two adult men say they were befriended by Jackson and abused by him from the ages of 7 and 10 in the early 1990s.

It prompted a mixture of horror and disbelief when it ran on U.S. cable channel HBO on Sunday and Monday. Some radio stations in Canada and the Netherlands stopped playing Jackson’s music.

Jackson’s family called the documentary and news coverage of the accusations a “public lynching” and said he was “100 percent innocent.” His estate filed a lawsuit against HBO in February, saying the program breached an agreement that the cable channel would not disparage Jackson.

The “Thriller” singer, who died in 2009, was acquitted in 2005 of charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy, unrelated to the documentary, at his Neverland ranch in California. In 1994, he settled a sexual abuse lawsuit concerning another 13-year-old boy.

(Reporting by Rich McKay; editing by John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Commonwealth Bank of Australia's Chairman Catherine Livingstone and CEO Matt Comyn pose for the media in their office in Sydney
FILE PHOTO: Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Chairman Catherine Livingstone and CEO Matt Comyn pose for the media in their office in Sydney, Australia May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su

March 8, 2019

By Byron Kaye and Paulina Duran

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the country’s biggest lender, said on Friday it will stop automatically charging customers ongoing service fees in 10 days, admitting it had not yet been able to comply with a regulatory order to do so.

Speaking at a regular parliamentary appearance, the CEOs of CBA and Westpac Banking Corp also reported their banks had received hundreds of new customer complaints in recent months.

Their comments suggest Australia’s lenders are struggling to regain trust from customers and end a practice known as “fees for no service” which featured prominently among several institutions at the year-long inquiry.

Matt Comyn, CBA’s chief executive officer, said the bank was overhauling its wealth management business so that customers were only charged a fee at the time they received a service, rather than automatically.

“Approximately 97 percent of those fees have been switched off,” he said, referring to charges that were billed automatically. He added that 100 percent of the fees would be switched off within 10 days.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission told CBA’s wealth management subsidiary last month to stop automatically taking fees because it had failed to comply with a court order to fix wrongly levied charges.

Australian bank bosses must face regular questioning in parliament. Comyn was the first to appear since the Royal Commission inquiry delivered its final report last month with 76 recommendations for changes to finance sector rules.

Shares of Australia’s biggest banks have risen since the report was published on Feb. 4 amid relief that the inquiry’s recommendations left their market dominance largely unchecked, although they are still off their pre-inquiry peaks.

Comyn dismissed suggestions the report had been soft on the banks, saying it had been an “extremely difficult and confronting process.” However, when pressed, he said he had been concerned the commission would recommend tougher lending laws.

CBA had spent A$1.4 billion ($983 million) in remediation costs including administrative costs and compensating customers for wrongdoing, the highest in its history, he said.

The bank had also been hit with about 5,500 new complaints since the inquiry started, forcing it to hire dozens of extra staff to take on the workload.

Appearing after Comyn, Westpac executives told lawmakers the banking ombudsman had a backlog of about 800 customer complaint cases related to Westpac.

The inquiry was a “very, very difficult experience,” Westpac Chief Executive Officer Brian Hartzer said.

“I think the recommendations in the end were sensible and balanced and so in that sense I guess I had a positive reaction to that,” he said.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Paulina Duran in SYDNEY and Ambar Warrick in BENGALURU; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Source: OANN

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

  • Freshman Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Mike Braun of Indiana are the cosponsors of the Banning Lobbying and Safeguarding Trust (BLAST) Act.
  • Scott and Braun want to put an end to lawmakers stepping into the so-called “revolving door of K Street” — using their connections to become well-heeled lobbyists once they are out of office.
  • Already, at least 15 members of the past Congress have made the move to lobbying firms.

Two Republican senators introduced legislation to ban members of Congress from lobbying Congress once they exit office, and although the lawmakers are “barking up the right tree,” their solution might not be realistic, a government transparency expert told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Mike Braun of Indiana are the cosponsors of the Banning Lobbying and Safeguarding Trust (BLAST) Act.

“You generally do see more of a reform agenda from some of the newer members that come into the Senate or into the House. We’re hoping some of their policies actually gain traction and can be supported in a bipartisan way,” Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, told TheDCNF in a phone interview. “The public is tired of politics as usual.”

Scott and Braun want to put an end to lawmakers stepping into the so-called “revolving door of K Street” — using their connections to become well-heeled lobbyists once they are out of office. Current law mandates ex-House members must wait a year to lobby their former colleagues, while ex-senators must wait two. (RELATED: Trump Weighs In After DNC Says Fox News Can’t Host Primary Debate)

“I’m proud to introduce this bill that imposes a permanent ban on members of Congress becoming lobbyists. Rather than serving the public, too many in Washington spend their political careers preparing for a lucrative job at a DC lobbying firm where they can cash in on their connections and their access,” Scott said in a statement March 1.

“One of the reasons I left the private sector for Washington was to help President Trump drain the swamp and we can accomplish this by permanently banning Congressmen and Senators from lobbying Capitol Hill. Together we can end the revolving door of career politicians coming to Washington, spending time in Congress, then enriching themselves from their service to the American people,” Braun said in a statement March 1.

Already, at least 15 members of the last Congress have made the move to lobbying firms, according to MarketWatch. They include former Democratic New York Rep. Joe Crowley, who hopped over to major lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs, former Republican Indiana Rep. Luke Messer, who is now at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, and former Republican Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl.

The Revolving Door

Kyl is the “Featured Revolver” on the Center for Responsive Politics’ website after he returned to work for lobbying law firm Covington & Burling following a four-month appointment to the Senate that ended in January.

(L-R) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Vice President Mike Pence and former Sen. Jon Kyl greet one another before a meeting in McConnell's office in the U.S. Capitol July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(L-R) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Vice President Mike Pence and former Sen. Jon Kyl greet one another before a meeting in McConnell’s office in the U.S. Capitol July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Kyl’s appointment sparked concern since he would be able to vote for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — after acting in his capacity as a lobbyist as Kavanaugh’s “lead sherpa” for the beginning of his Senate confirmation process. Kyl voted yes on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

“The reason why we have revolvers in the first place is they’re deemed to be rather valuable. If you have gone from working on the Hill with members of Congress, as a chief of staff or legislative assistant, somewhere in that realm, to now working on K Street lobbying for the pharmaceutical industry or a gay rights organization, you are established enough to know all of these people you’ll be taking meetings with,” Center for Responsive Politics spokesman Brendan Quinn told TheDCNF in a phone interview.

These crossovers can be lucrative.

“Salaries are considered definitely higher” than congressional salaries, Quinn told TheDCNF, even though senior members of Congress can rake in roughly $200,000 a year.

Possible Side Effects?

Scott and Braun’s bill could have unintended consequences, Bruce Mehlman of lobbying firm Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas told TheDCNF.

“The bigger challenge is that registered lobbying represents only a small part of the total spent on influencing government policy, and this proposed law would merely encourage even more ex-Members to avoid disclosure while serving as ‘senior advisors,’ ‘strategists’ or ‘consultants at law and PR firms,’” Mehlman told TheDCNF in an email.

Quinn pointed out that Scott and Braun are already wealthy. Braun’s exact net worth is unknown (it’s reportedly somewhere between $35 million to $96 million), while Scott is worth more than $230 million, according to the Orlando Sentinel in 2018.

US senators Marco Rubio (L) and Rick Scott speak to reporters after a meeting with US President Donald Trump on Venezuela, outside of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, DC on January 22, 2019. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

US senators Marco Rubio (L) and Rick Scott speak to reporters after a meeting with US President Donald Trump on Venezuela, outside of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, DC on January 22, 2019. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

“They don’t need to think about where their next paycheck is coming from,” he told TheDCNF.

Scott’s office is adamant that “Congress shouldn’t be a place where people come to permanently live off the taxpayers,” Scott spokesman Chris Hartline told TheDCNF in an email.

“They shouldn’t spend their political careers trying to find a way to capitalize on their connections and their access. There’s plenty of jobs besides lobbying that former members can do. In fact, there’s 250,000 job openings in Florida. Former members should apply for one of those jobs. The weather’s nicer,” Hartline continued.

The split Congress has a chance to restore public faith in government with bills like this one, Amey told TheDCNF.

“One of the things you hear a lot when talking to people who are frustrated with the way government works, they think government makes a lot of its decisions based who you know, the lobbyists that visit these offices,” Amey said. “Those lobbyists don’t often speak for the general public.”

TheDCNF reached out to Kyl but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

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Two African-American women clinched the top two spots in Chicago’s mayoral election Tuesday, meaning they will face each other in a runoff to become the Windy City’s first black female mayor.

Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle beat 12 other candidates — including William Daley, son of former Mayor Richard Daley — but neither grabbed more than 50 percent of the vote, meaning there will be a runoff in April to succeed outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

RAHM EMANUEL WARNS DEMS NOT TO ‘MIMIC’ TRUMP’S POLITICS

According to The Chicago Tribune, unofficial results showed Lightfoot with 17.5 percent, Preckwinkle with 16 percent and Daley with 14.7 percent. Chicago has had a female mayor before, and an African-American mayor, but never an African-American woman as a mayor.

"What do you think of us now?" Lightfoot told supporters Tuesday night. "This is what change looks like."

She later congratulated Preckwinkle for reaching the runoff: "No matter which one of us wins, Chicago will make history on April 2nd by electing the first Black woman mayor. It’s long overdue," she tweeted.

Lightfoot, a political outsider and the first openly gay woman to run for Chicago mayor, was the subject of an early apparent shot from Preckwinkle, a former City Council member and public school teacher, over her lack of political experience.

"It’s not enough to stand at a podium and talk about what you want to see happen," Preckwinkle said. "You have to come to this job with the capacity and the capability to make your vision a reality."

According to the Tribune, Lightfoot had positioned herself as the progressive voice against an entrenched Chicago political machine, while Preckwinkle pitched herself as someone with a track record of taking on powerful interests.

“We may not yet be at the finish line, but we should acknowledge that history is being made,” Preckwinkle said in Hyde Part, according to the Tribune. “It’s clear we’re at a defining moment in our city’s history, but the challenges that our city faces are not simply ideological. It’s not enough to say Chicago stands at a crossroads. We need to fight to change its course.”

Turnout was low, with The Associated Press reporting that by late afternoon turnout was around 27 percent of registered voters. The prior low was 33.8 percent in 2007.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Lightfoot and Preckwinkle had both been critical of the city’s response to the 2014 police shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald. Emanuel’s popularity dropped after the release of video of McDonald’s shooting, and he eventually decided not to seek re-election.

The runoff will take place on April 2.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

President Donald Trump attacked Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., on Twitter early Wednesday during his visit to Vietnam, referring to him as “Da Nang Dick”—a nickname mocking the senator’s false claim of having fought in the Vietnam War.

Trump had been touring Vietnam and meeting with the country’s leaders ahead of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi when the president excoriated the Democratic senator.

TRUMP, KIM JONG UN’S SUMMIT IN VIETNAM: WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE LEADERS’ SECOND SUMMIT

“I have now spent more time in Vietnam than Da Nang Dick Blumenthal, the third rate Senator from Connecticut (how is Connecticut doing?)” Trump wrote. “His war stories of his heroism in Vietnam were a total fraud – he was never even there. We talked about it today with Vietnamese leaders!”

Blumenthal, who was elected to the Senate in 2010, regularly referenced his supposed Vietnam service in the 2000s, when he was Connecticut attorney general.

“I served during the Vietnam era,” Blumenthal reportedly said at a Vietnam War memorial in 2008. “I remember the taunts, the insults, sometimes even the physical abuse.”

TRUMP SLAMS ‘DA NANG DICK’ BLUMENTHAL, QUESTIONS WHY HE’S ON SENATE JUDICIARY AFTER VIETNAM SCANDAL

Blumenthal reportedly obtained at least five military deferments between 1965 and 1970. He eventually served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, but did not deploy to Vietnam.

In 2010, Blumenthal admitted that he had regrettably "misspoken" about his service, and takes "full responsibility."

Blumenthal is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and supported legislation last year to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s job.

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Trump told the New York Times in 2016 that he had his draft deferred after a doctor wrote “a very strong letter” about the bone spurs in his heals.

Meanwhile, Trump and Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong presided over the signings of several commercial trade deals affecting the airline industries of their two countries.

Trump is expected to meet with Kim later Wednesday to discuss the Hermit Kingdom’s denuclearization. The two leaders previously met last June in Singapore.

Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain and Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

The mother of a man who died in the West Hollywood apartment of prominent Democratic Party donor Ed Buck filed a wrongful-death lawsuit Tuesday.

LaTisha Nixon, who reportedly names Buck and the Los Angeles County District Attorney as defendants in the lawsuit, said she grew frustrated after authorities failed to file criminal charges for the 2017 overdose death of her 26-year-old son Gemmel Moore.

Moore, a black male escort, was found by police on July 27, 2017, inside the 63-year-old’s apartment. Moore’s death was initially classified as an accidental methamphetamine overdose.

Buck, a well-known figure in LGBT political circles, has given more than $500,000 to a range of Democratic groups and candidates — including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

MAN WHO DIED IN DEMOCRATIC MEGADONOR ED BUCK’S HOME CALLED HIM A ‘F—ING DEVIL,’ REPORT SAYS

According to NBC4, the suit was filed in LA Superior Court and alleges wrongful death, sexual battery, hate violence, drug dealer liability, negligence, infliction of emotional distress, and two violations of civil rights. Nixon also accuses Buck of personally administering the drug that took her son’s life.

Buck’s attorney Seymour Amster said they did not yet see the lawsuit but vowed to “fight the allegations vigorously,” adding that there’s “more to the story than is being told.”

The District Attorney’s Office reportedly declined to comment.

SECOND MAN FOUND DEAD OF OVERDOSE WITH DEMOCRATIC DONOR ED  BUCK WAS NO DRUG ABUSER, FRIENDS SAY

Moore’s death was initially considered an accidental drug overdose. After an additional inquiry due to writings in Moore’s journal and pressure from his family, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office concluded that the “admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that Buck gave Moore drugs or is responsible for his death.

Last month, a second black man, Timothy Dean, was found dead of an overdose in Buck’s home. Dean, 55, reportedly had a relationship with Buck years before Moore’s death.

Dean reportedly warned his friends to steer clear of Buck and referred to him as a "f—ing devil" and "a horrible, horrible man.”

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Dean is said to have specifically told a friend in the fall that he had no intention of visiting Buck, and that “he didn’t want to end up dead.”

 Hollie McKay and Christopher Carbone contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

FILE PHOTO: 70th Cannes Film Festival - Photocall for the installation Carne y Arena presented as part of virtual reality event
FILE PHOTO: 70th Cannes Film Festival – Photocall for the installation “Carne y Arena” (virtually present, physically invisible) presented as part of virtual reality event – Cannes, France. 22/05/2017. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu poses. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

February 27, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – “Birdman” and “21 Grams” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will head the jury at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in May, becoming the first Mexican to do so, organizers said on Wednesday.

Inarritu, 55, won the best director award in Cannes in 2006 for “Babel”, a film with a web of narratives spanning three continents and exploring cultural prejudices.

He also won back-to-back best director Oscars in 2014 and 2015, for “Birdman”, a black comedy about a washed-up actor starring Michael Keaton, and “The Revenant”, which featured Leonardo DiCaprio as a bear trapper battling the elements in the American wilderness.

“Cannes embraces all types of cinema, and through the presence of… Babel’s director, it is Mexican cinema that the Festival will be celebrating,” organizers including Pierre Lescure, President of the Festival de Cannes, said in a statement.

They cited “Carne y Arena” (Flesh and Sand) – a virtual reality project showing life as an immigrant and presented by Inarritu at Cannes in 2017 – as a recent highlight of work he has launched in France.

Other jury members for the 72nd edition of the festival, which runs from May 14 to 25, will be announced at a later date.

Inarritu succeeds Australian actress Cate Blanchett as jury head. Last year the top “Palme d’Or” award went to “Shoplifters”, by Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu.

Inarritu is among a trio of Mexican film directors who have risen to global prominence in recent years, alongside Alonso Cuaron, who won this year’s best director Oscar for “Roma”, and Guillermo del Toro, whose feature “The Shape of Water” won the best picture Oscar in 2018.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Sarah White; editing by John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris defended the Green New Deal despite cost estimates; she’s endorsed the plan wholeheartedly, even as Republicans cite nonpartisan estimates that it’ll cost trillions of dollars to implement.

FEINSTEIN TELLS OFF KIDS YELLING AT HER TO SUPPORT GREEN NEW DEAL, POINTS OUT ONE OF THEM COULDN’T LEGALLY VOTE FOR HER 

Calling it an existential crisis facing the world, she said on “AM Joy,” “We as human beings have within our power the ability to change our behavior not in drastic ways, by the way, to reduce the effects of climate change.”

She said that the world must act with a sense of urgency because people are in collective peril.

She called the Trump administration a failure for not thinking about the future where climate’s concerned, focused on science fiction rather than on science fact.

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Harris, D-Calif., joined Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Booker, D-N.J. to co-sponsor the Green New Deal resolution earlier this month. The resolution’s awkward rollout included the release of an official document by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office that promised economic security even for those “unwilling to work,” as well as the elimination of “farting cows” and air travel.

Source: Fox News Politics

House Republicans on Tuesday claimed a small victory over the Democrats’ climate change agenda by holding a rare successful vote as the minority to end an oversight hearing, saying that the subject of global warming was outside the committee’s jurisdiction.

The Republicans in the Natural Resources Committee’s oversight panel won in a 4-2 vote to end the hearing, simply because there weren’t more than two Democrats present.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, the top Republican on the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, called for the vote after laying out the case that climate change was not within the jurisdiction of the committee, based on its charter and bylaws.

Gohmert called for a vote to adjourn following his opening remarks, and a roll call vote was held. Witnesses at the hearing were not introduced before the Republicans left the hearing room.

With the Republicans in adjournment, the Democrats were forced to change the proceedings from a hearing to a "forum," which Rep. T.J. Cox of California, the chairman of the oversight panel, opened by introducing the speakers.

The full committee’s top Republican, Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, had raised the jurisdiction issues at the beginning of the month when the Democratic leadership launched its sweeping series of hearings on climate change. Bishop also said the Democrats were not properly giving notice to Republican members on the topics of the hearing.

Click for more from the Washington Examiner.

Source: Fox News Politics

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz defended a tweet he sent Tuesday about Michael Cohen, suggesting that President Trump’s former attorney had been unfaithful to his wife.

Tweeting directly at Cohen, the Republican congressman wrote: “Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot…”

When asked about his tweet by reporters on Tuesday, Gaetz insisted that his remarks were not witness tampering, according to The Hill.

"We’re witness testing not witness tampering," Gaetz explained. "And when witnesses come before Congress their truthfulness and veracity are in question and we have the opportunity to test them."

MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS ON CAPITOL HILL IN FIRST OF THREE HEARINGS

The lawmaker’s comment comes as Cohen appeared on Capitol Hill Tuesday for the first in a series of hearings this week.

His testimony Tuesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee took place behind closed doors. On Wednesday, he’ll testify before the House Oversight Committee in an open hearing. The following day, Cohen is set to appear behind closed doors for a House Intelligence Committee interview.

Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress. He agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as part of a deal.

Lanny J. Davis, who represents Cohen, slammed Gaetz’s tweet as a shameful lie and one that would not sit well with the Floridians whom the lawmaker represents.

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY, GETS 3 YEARS IN PRISON FOR TAX FRAUD, CAMPAIGN FINANCE VIOLATIONS, LYING

"We will not respond to Mr. Gaetz’s despicable lies and personal smears, except to say we trust that his colleagues in the House, both Republicans and Democrats, will repudiate his words and his conduct,” Davis said in a statement to Fox News.

“I also trust that his constituents will not appreciate that their congressman has set a new low — which in today’s political culture is hard to imagine as possible,” he continued.

In addition to his tweet, Gaetz also addressed Cohen on the House floor on Tuesday night, painting him as a repeated liar.

“I guess tomorrow we will find out if there is anyone that Michael Cohen hasn’t lied to,” Gaetz said. “We already know he lied to Congress, we already know he lied to law enforcement, lied to the IRS, lied to three banks and he’s going to prison for his lies. And so I guess it will be relevant for us to determine like, does he lie to his own family? Does he lie to his financier’s? Does he lie to his financiers who are members of his family?”

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Gaetz, who is not a member of the oversight committee, also called Cohen’s credibility into question.

“And it’ll be one heck of an inquiry for us because this is someone who has tangled such a web of lies that he is not to be believed and I think it is entirely appropriate for any member of this body to challenge the truthfulness and veracity and character for the people who have a history of lying and have a future that undoubtedly contains nothing but lies,” Gaetz continued on the floor. “That is the story of Michael Cohen, we’ll see it play out tomorrow. And I, for one, can’t wait to the get to the bottom of things, and can’t wait to get to the truth.”

Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Mike Emanuel and Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

A Democratic member of Maryland’s House of Delegates was removed as chairwoman of a subcommittee on Tuesday after an account of her using a racial slur during an after-hours gathering at an Annapolis cigar bar last month was published by The Washington Post.

Mary Ann Lisanti, 51, apologized to the Maryland House Democratic Caucus on Tuesday, one day after she apologized to the leaders of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus. In a message to her constituents in Harford County northeast of Baltimore, Lisanti said she was "ashamed" and "sickened" she had used the word, which "does not represent my belief system, my life’s work or what’s in my heart."

It is my hope and prayer that you … can forgive me for the pain that I have caused, and help me to mend what I have broken," she added. "I will continue work every day to repent for my actions and represent my constituents."

The Post reported on Monday that Lisanti told a white colleague that he had been campaigning in a "[N-word] district" in mostly black Prince George’s County to support a candidate in last fall’s elections. Asked about it by the newspaper earlier this month, The Post reported that Lisanti said, "I don’t recall that. … I don’t recall much of that evening."

When asked by The Post whether she had ever used the slur, the newspaper reported that she said: "I’m sure I have. … I’m sure everyone has used it."

CHICAGO POLICE SAY THEY HAVE MORE EVIDENCE JUSSIE SMOLLETT STAGED HATE CRIME

Del. Darryl Barnes, the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland chairman, described Lisanti’s apology as "woefully inadequate" and urged House Speaker Michael Busch to discipline the delegate. Busch, also a Democrat, announced Lisanti would no longer chair the Unemployment Insurance Subcommittee of the House Economic Matters Committee, because "I believe that leaders in the House need to be able to bring people together — not tear them apart."

Busch also said that Lisanti had agreed to sensitivity training.

USA TODAY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ADMITS ‘HORRIBLE’ MISTAKE AFTER SHE’S LINKED TO ‘BLACKFACE’ YEARBOOK

"I hope that through sensitivity training that Delegate Lisanti has agreed to and the help of her colleagues, she will develop a greater understanding of the impact that she has had on her fellow legislators and the entire House of Delegates," Busch said in a statement.

Barnes, who represents part of Prince George’s County, noted in his letter to Busch that African-Americans make up nearly 30 percent of Maryland’s population. He also pointed out that the Maryland General Assembly has 57 black members out of 188 legislators.

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"It is clear that Delegate Lisanti is unsuited to continue in a position of leadership in the Maryland General Assembly," Barnes said in the letter. "We have been receiving calls for her resignation, removal of subcommittee chairmanship, and to be censured on the House floor."

In neighboring Virginia, the state government has been embroiled in scandal since Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, acknowledged they wore blackface in the 1980s. They both resisted calls to resign.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Russian state TV on Sunday listed potential targets in the U.S. in the event of a nuclear strike and claimed that its new hypersonic missile technology could reach them in less than five minutes.

Reuters called the report “unusual even by the sometimes bellicose standards of Russian state TV.” The targets included the Pentagon and Camp David. The report came days after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the U.S. against deploying intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

Putin reaffirmed that Russia will not be the first to deploy new intermediate-range missiles in Europe, but warned that it will retaliate if the U.S. puts such missiles on the continent. He said it will not only target the host countries but field new weapons that will target U.S. decision-making centers.

The U.S. insisted that it has no plans to deploy missiles in Europe.

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A Putin spokesman said he did not name any “geographic site Russian missiles” might be aimed at. The spokesman said the government does not interfere with news programs.

The Guardian reported that other U.S. sites included Maryland’s Fort Ritchie, McClellan air force base in California and Jim Creek naval communications base in Washington state.

Source: Fox News Politics

William Davis | Contributor

An SEC basketball official is in hot water after an old Facebook photo surfaced of him showing off an LSU Tigers shirt.

Official Anthony Jordan posted a photo of himself holding up an LSU shirt in 2014 with the caption “To all my Bama’s…Geaux Tigers.” (RELATED: Gonzaga Takes Top Spot In New AP College Basketball Poll, Wisconsin Rises To 19)

According to the Tennessean, SEC associate commissioner Herb Vincent called the nearly five-year-old post “not acceptable.”

“Anthony Jordan, the official in this social media post, has communicated to us that while traveling in Spain five years ago he saw the T-shirt from an SEC team for sale in a store,” Vincent said in an email to the publication. “He took a picture and posted that picture to be seen by friends via his social media account. He said it was his intent to make a light-hearted social media post about having seen the T-shirt in another country and not to express affinity for a particular school.”

Jordan has been officiating SEC basketball games for 19 years, and was the lead official in Saturday’s LSU-Tennessee showdown, which the Tigers won 82-80 in overtime. That game featured a number of poor calls.

I’m not going to engage in any conspiracy theories here. I’ve watched SEC basketball my entire life, and Jordan has always been terrible.

However, I doubt it has anything to do with a nefarious motive, but simply incompetence. If this photo forces the SEC and college basketball to finally address its officiating crisis, that might be the best thing that could come out of this.

Follow William Davis on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller


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