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FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in attendance at a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LIII at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta
FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in attendance at a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LIII at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 30, 2019. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

March 21, 2019

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is seeking to suppress video evidence that authorities assert support the solicitation of prostitution charges filed against him, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Per the report, a motion was filed Wednesday by Kraft’s attorneys with intentions to make sure the video, which he said has been described as “graphic and damning,” never is released. The report calls the motion a “warning shot” to prosecutors that Kraft’s team will challenge that police had probable cause even to collect the video as evidence.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that prosecutors offered to defer prosecution for Kraft and the two dozen other men arrested in the case, but any defendant who accepts the offer must admit that there is enough evidence to lead to a conviction at trial, along with other stipulations. CNN reported Wednesday Kraft will reject the offer.

Kraft entered a not guilty plea after being charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla. The 77-year-old billionaire is alleged to have twice visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in January and received sex acts in exchange for money.

–Much of the New York Giants’ top brass — including head coach Pat Shurmur, offensive coordinator Mike Shula and senior vice president of player personnel Chris Mara — took Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins to dinner Tuesday night, then studied his on-field drills at the Buckeyes’ Pro Day the following day.

Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network summed up the action: “Strong workout for Haskins. Improved foot quickness, excellent anticipation and pace on the ball.”

Haskins could be the choice if New York is ready to try to draft the replacement for Eli Manning with the No. 6 overall pick, but there could be competition as other quarterback-needy teams assess their draft positions. Haskins said he would soon meet with the Oakland Raiders (who hold the No. 4 pick), the Denver Broncos (No. 10), the Miami Dolphins (No. 13) and the Washington Redskins (No. 15).

–Also in Columbus, potential No. 1 overall pick Nick Bosa did not participate in on-field drills after performing well in drill work at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

He said he had meetings scheduled with the San Francisco 49ers, who hold the No. 2 pick, and the Giants. He also interviewed with all the top teams at the combine, including Arizona, which picks first. Bosa had 29 tackles for loss, including 17.5 sacks, in 29 career games for the Buckeyes.

–Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin told Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle that “more surgeries (are) on the way, most likely,” while the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo cited a source in saying that Baldwin will meet with Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia in early April about a potential sports hernia.

Baldwin, 30, missed two games in September with a knee injury and a shoulder problem arose later in the campaign. He had surgeries to address both issues this offseason.

–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added two women as assistant coaches, making them the first full-time female coaches in team history and making the Bucs the first NFL team with two female coaches on staff. Maral Javadifar will take on the role as assistant strength and conditioning coach as Lori Locust will be an assistant defensive line coach.

–Quarterback Trevor Siemian has agreed to a reported one-year deal worth $2 million with the New York Jets. Siemian spent all of last season on Minnesota’s active roster, although he did not play as Kirk Cousins’ backup after the Vikings acquired him in a trade with Denver last March. Siemian, 27, started 24 games for the Broncos over the 2016 and ’17 seasons, passing for 5,686 yards and 30 touchdowns against 24 interceptions.

–The Minnesota Vikings, in search of help at offensive guard, announced the signing of Josh Kline, who was released last week by the Tennessee Titans. The deal is for three years and $15.75 million, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. … The Chicago Bears re-signed punter Patrick O’Donnell and backup quarterback Tyler Bray.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

March Madness begins Thursday, and that’s great news for everybody.

This is the time of year that we wait for and dream about for months on end. This is the time of year that separates the boys from the men. This is what college basketball is all about.

A total of 64 teams (I’m ignoring dumb play-in games) will begin their journey to a championship today. Of them, 65 will fall short and fail. Only one will cut down the nets. The stakes couldn’t get any higher.

The first matchup will between Minnesota and Louisville shortly after noon, and it’ll only get crazier from there. You can see the full slate of games here(RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

I also want to congratulate all of you who will be taking this journey with me for another run through March and into early April. The eyes of the world are upon us as we prepare to do battle against one another.

While I might hate you all on the court, we share a bond as college basketball fans that is simply unbreakable. We walked on the moon and we play basketball. Find me another country that can say the same.

You can’t.

I hope you all are even a fraction as excited as I am. We’re going to drink some beers, debate nonstop for the next three weeks, win some money (probably won’t come out on top) and maybe we’ll even get smitten with a few young ladies that share our desires for great post defense, boxing out and working the shot clock. If only we could be so lucky.

As for me and by Wisconsin faithful, we’re hunkered down and ready for a long siege if it comes to it. We’re at DEFCON 2, gentlemen. With any luck, we’ll be at DEFCON 1 by the time the sun goes down at the end of the weekend. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

The further our teams advance, the higher the stakes will get. Welcome to the world of college sports. My Badgers are going to show up and show out, and I don’t care who we steamroll in the process.

Doubt us at your own peril.

Get your beers cold, get your bets placed and get ready for a hell of a lot of fun. This is what we train for. Now, it’s time to go out there and execute our way to a championship.

Godspeed to all of you. It’s been a hell of a ride, and it’s been my honor to share this season with each and every one of you.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Scott Morefield | Reporter

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs criticized Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and other Republican critics of President Donald Trump’s latest comments about late Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Speaking with former Reagan’s campaign director Ed Rollins on Wednesday evening about the president’s recent positive polling within the Republican Party, Dobbs gave GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel “great credit” before ripping Trump’s GOP critics.

WATCH:

“These are better numbers than Reagan had and Nixon had when they both had 49 state victories,” Rollins said, referring to the fact that 78 percent of Republicans are enthusiastic about Trump. “I am not predicting that, but I’m simply predicting there are a lot of Republicans out there ready for the fight. They are proud of this president. They want this president reelected.”

“We’re starting to see some movement within the party,” Dobbs noted. “And by the way, I think Ronna McDaniel deserves great credit, the chair of RNC, for holding the line and supporting this president with full support, when there are people like, say, Mitt Romney for example, undercutting this president because he made some nasty remarks about John McCain. There is a reason for those nasty remarks. There is a history between those two men. And the people who are attacking him, including Mitch McConnell attacking the president for his views on John McCain, is asinine.” (RELATED: Trump Says John McCain Put Him In ‘Jeopardy’ By Giving Dossier To FBI)

Romney tweeted Tuesday his criticism of Trump’s McCain comments, writing:

Dobbs and Rollins ended the segment with a discussion about McCain’s Obamacare vote and the “bad history” between Trump and the late senator.

“I knew John well, and liked him over the years,” said Rollins. “But the reality is Trump did what he had to do and won a big, big election …”

Follow Scott on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

  • Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro sat down with American media after his meeting with President Donald Trump Tuesday.
  • He discussed his desire to “make Brazil great” and how he owes his life “to God” after being stabbed on the campaign trail. 
  • Brazil had been ruled by politicians from the left for years, and Bolsonaro is the country’s first conservative leader in its democratic era.

Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, wants to “make Brazil great” and says he owes his life “to God” after being stabbed on the campaign trail, according to his interview with American media following his meeting with President Donald Trump Tuesday.

The U.S. and Brazil have had a fraught relationship in the past, but Bolsonaro and Trump want to turn over a new leaf. They have not, for example, ruled out cooperating in military action in Venezuela, where socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro’s regime is in turmoil.

“To a large extent, I support what Trump does; he wants to make America great, I also want to make Brazil great. I also have concerns about the indiscriminate entrance of foreigners without any criteria. But beyond this, we are both Christians and we are God-fearing men,” Bolsonaro told Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in an interview published Wednesday. (RELATED: Democrats Who Won’t Support Ousting Venezuela’s Socialist Dictator Pile On Brazil’s Democratically Elected Leader)

Bolsonaro’s election marked a turn in his home country as well. Brazil had been ruled by politicians from the left for years, and Bolsonaro is the country’s first conservative leader in its democratic era, reported CBN.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro presents U.S. President Donald Trump with a Brazil national soccer team jersey Number 10 for striker position at the White House March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro presents U.S. President Donald Trump with a Brazil national soccer team jersey Number 10 for striker position at the White House March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

“It is time to overcome old resistances and explore the very best potential between Brazil and the United States. After all, it is fair to say that today, Brazil does have a president who is not anti-American,” Bolsonaro said in the White House Rose Garden Tuesday, according to CBN.

Bolsonaro is only three months into his first term and has been nicknamed “Trump of the Tropics” for his brash rhetoric and desire to bring conservative reform to Brazil. Bolsonaro’s critics claim he uses “misogynistic and homophobic” rhetoric and wants to take away land rights from indigenous people.

The Brazilian politician also discussed the stabbing that almost cost him his life when he was a leading candidate in his country’s presidential election in 2018. The man who allegedly stabbed him was a former member of a socialist political party and sympathizer of radically left leaders.

“Doctors who attended to me said that for every 100 stabbings of the kind I endured, only one person survives. So, I am a survivor and owe my life to God. It was His will for me to live,” Bolsonaro told CBN.

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared iterim president Juan Guaido and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speak during a press conference at Palace Itamaraty on February 28, 2019 in Brasília, Brazil. (Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared iterim president Juan Guaido and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speak during a press conference at Palace Itamaraty on February 28, 2019 in Brasília, Brazil. (Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

Prompted by Bolsonaro’s White House visit, progressive U.S. lawmakers piled on criticism of the Brazilian leader after decrying U.S. action in Venezuela against Maduro.

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar wrote on Twitter Tuesday that Bolsonaro has “praised torture,” “called refugees ‘scum of the world,’” “compared same-sex adoption to pedophilia,” “expressed admiration for Brazil’s military dictatorship” and “called for extrajudicial killings.”

“We must call out human rights abuses worldwide,” concluded Omar, who is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

This was not the first time Democratic lawmakers expressed concerns about Bolsonaro. California Rep. Ro Khanna, former Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (whom Omar succeeded) and 16 others wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling Bolsonaro a “far-right extremist” before his election, reported Politico. They also claimed Bolsonaro said he would not accept defeat should he lose the election.

Brazil recognized Guaido over Maduro in January. Maduro compared Bolsonaro to former German dictator Adolf Hitler in a speech on Jan. 14 after he questioned the integrity of Venezuela’s elections.

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

Source: The Daily Caller

By Irwin Greenstein, Shotgun Life

Kevin Kelly has a knack for cultivating the sweet spot in America’s fine shotgun market. His collection of bespoke Plantation side by sides and over/unders for the field are built to his exact specifications by family-owned Fratelli Poli Armi in Gardone Val Trompia, Italy – replete with the hand-finishing you’d expect from an $80,000 English Best, but starting at $8,995.

As the owner of Kevin’s Fine Outdoor Gear & Apparel in historic downtown Thomasville, Georgia, with its upstairs gunroom legendary for a breathtaking inventory of highly desirable field guns, Mr. Kelly has for the first time turned his attention to the clays sports. His beautiful Kevin’s Plantation Sporters start at just under $10,000. And for that price you’ll get a fitted 12 gauge or 20 gauge also hand finished by the magnificent Poli brothers.

“The Poli guys, their guns are all one-offs,” said Mr. Kelly.

Kevin Kelly with a Kevin’s Plantation Sporter in the upstairs gun room of Kevin’s Fine Outdoor Gear & Apparel in downtown Thomasville, Georgia.

We had visited Fratelli Poli Armi in March 2017. Virtually all of Poli’s output is dedicated to the Kevin’s Plantation Series. And if you call on their shop in Brescia you’ll probably be just as surprised to see that the place is a time capsule from the 1970s. As second-generation gunmakers, brothers Antonio and Tiziano, along with a few craftsmen, meticulously hand-finish each of the Kevin’s guns – the men working 12 hours each day at their seasoned work benches among the bins and shelves of shotgun components. Want to see the real-world, old-school gunmaking? Go to via Giacomo Matteotti, 163 in Gardone.

Antonio (left) and Tiziano Poli in their workshop in Brescia, Italy.

Poli sources its barrels, triggers and receivers from the same top local suppliers that equip the likes of Perazzi, Beretta, Caesar Guerini and Rizzini. The brothers apply 20-30 coats per day of the family secret recipe of Tru-Oil, varnishes and other ingredients to the Italian walnut that, in the roughing stage, is shaped and inletted with a hammer and chisel. It will take two-three months for the Poli brothers to finish a single stock including the hand checkering (that they also apply to the forend).

Antonio Poli shows the stock of a Kevin’s Plantation shotgun in the process of being hand-oiled.

In an incredible demonstration of craftsmanship, the barrel is sooted with candle smoke. By repeatedly opening and closing the shotgun, the soot leaves an impression on the high points of the breach face that the brothers continue filing until a perfect fit is achieved.

We were actually able to shoot two versions of the Kevin’s Plantation Sporter – a 12 gauge and a 20 gauge. The 12-gauge was optioned with exhibition-grade Italian walnut at $2,000 and the $400 adjustable comb.

Both boxlock shotguns come standard with removeable checkered butt, selectable trigger, sideplates with 100-percent coverage of deep-chiseled classic English scroll that flow to the skeletal top lever and trigger guard, palm swell, slender field-type forend, a full set of extended spectrum chokes and inertia triggers.

If you’re familiar with the Kevin’s Plantation field guns, it’s immediately apparent that the Sporter shares their DNA.

For the Sporter, Mr. Kelly took to the drawing boards in early 2017 with production beginning in Italy that June. “We’ve been in the field gun business all our lives,” he explained. “With the Sporter we had to get different barrels, ribs and a heavier action. We made it heavier than our field guns so there’s no recoil.”

The 12-gauge Kevin’s Plantation Sporter weighed 7¾ pounds with the 30-inch barrels, while the 20 gauge, also with 30-inch barrels, tipped the scales at 6¾ pounds – certainly in the realm of other premium clays guns.

The 12-gauge (top) and 20-gauge Kevin’s Plantation Sporters at Southwind Sporting Clays.

Kevin’s Plantation Sporters can be custom ordered with just about any length barrel and even in multi-barrel sets. Your order sheet will naturally change the final weight a bit, but our guns represented the typical configuration.

Mr. Kelly sent us off with the guns in a Kevin’s Driven Bird Double Gunbag. Twin hand-crushed, saddle-leather cases are buckled together into a single carry. Lined with plush sheepskin wool, the gunbag was priced at $1,499 (In their case the Sporters looked like the perfect husband-and-wife pair.) Loaded up, we drove to Southwind Sporting Clays in nearby Quitman, Georgia.

At Southwind, initial impressions of the Kevin’s Plantation Sporters looked good. Unlike many new shotguns that are difficult to open, these Sporters opened effortlessly to reveal the jeweled monobloc and underlug lock.

First up was the 20-gauge Kevin’s Plantation Sporter. It did not have the adjustable comb or a mid-bead and the checkered butt continued the field style cues. At station one, the five-pound trigger proved responsive and smooth on the pair of high incomers – the comfortable palm swell providing incremental control. The ejectors were well-timed and strong.

As we would discover after several stations, the 20-gauge felt well-balanced and nimble. The 30-inch barrels worked their magic as swing dynamics were smooth and disciplined rather than whippy. Once in the shoulder pocket, the sight picture delivered a clear point of impact that was slightly higher than flat.

Field guns typically don’t have palm swells, but if you’re looking for one the Kevin’s Plantation Sporter would be a natural on upland game. In fact, after shooting the 20 gauge you develop the impression that it would make a lovely field/sporter by marrying the characteristics of both. I shoot a German 20-gauge for upland and sometimes I wanted a palm swell for supplemental control during a crazy flush.

Kevin’s Plantation Sporter in 20 gauge.

The 12-gauge Kevin’s Plantation Sporter, though, would become our favorite of the two shotguns. At 7¾ pounds and a balance point slightly forward of the trunnions, it conveyed the handling chops of a world-class clays crusher.

Lift the shotgun from the rack and it felt a bit heavier than its actual weight, but once you get it into the stand, take the ready position and call for a target it felt lighter throughout the shot sequence. The handling would be best described as patient, enabling and convincing. You never thought for a moment that anything about the 12 gauge would thwart you from smashing the target. The word that came to mind was “competent.”

My mantra for sporting clays is “see it, shoot it,” and as part of that I tend to spot shoot. Personally, that means I need utmost confidence that the shotgun will instinctively go where I expect it be with little time to think about the break point. Gaining trust in a new gun, therefore, happens quickly – or not. Yes, I missed targets but I never could blame the 12-gauge Kevin’s Plantation Sporter.

The five-pound trigger on the 12-gauge Kevin’s Plantation Sporter is more than the 3½ pounds you’ll find on a Krieghoff K-80 or Blaser F3. Yet it delivered a fluid interface without any creep or jerkiness: See it, shoot it, easy as pie.

When Mr. Kelly said that the shotgun’s weight was calculated to reduce recoil, what’s even more remarkable is that our version had the checkered butt, and despite that, felt recoil was negligible even when shooting 1⅛-ounce shells traveling at 1150 feet per second. By the end of the sporting clays course I realized that the 12-gauge Kevin’s Plantation Sporter proved itself as a very comfortable shoot.

The Kevin’s Plantation Sporter, like it’s Plantation siblings for the field, is a high-quality value proposition. Ask yourself: Where else can I get a gorgeous bespoke clays gun for under $10,000?

Irwin Greenstein is the Publisher of Shotgun Life. You can reach him at [email protected]

Thanks to Shotgun Life for this post. Click here to visit ShotgunLife.com.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

  • Progressive lawmakers who decried the U.S. decision to remove recognition from Venezuela’s socialist dictator piled on the criticism of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsanaro Wednesday.
  • Bolsonaro and President Donald Trump met in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.
  • The progressives’ position on Venezuela is very different from that of more seasoned Democratic lawmakers including Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who agrees with the Trump administration on the issue.

Progressive lawmakers who decried the U.S. decision to recognize the rival of Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro piled on the criticism of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro Wednesday after he met with President Donald Trump Tuesday.

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar wrote on Twitter Tuesday that Bolsonaro has “praised torture,” “called refugees ‘scum of the world,’” “compared same-sex adoption to pedophilia,” “expressed admiration for Brazil’s military dictatorship” and “called for extrajudicial killings.”

“We must call out human rights abuses worldwide,” concluded Omar, who is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (RELATED: Woman Who Climbed Statue Of Liberty To Protest Trump Sentenced To 5 Years Probation)

Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna mirrored Omar’s stance on Twitter Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump (R) and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) walk down the Colonnade before a press conference at the Rose Garden of the White House March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (R) and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) walk down the Colonnade before a press conference at the Rose Garden of the White House March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images)

“As Bolsonaro tours the CIA and meets Trump at the White House, we must speak out against his human rights abuses and attacks on marginalized Brazilians. Our democratic principles cannot be sidelined,” Khanna wrote along with a link to a story about the leaders’ meeting from The Washington Post.

Omar, Khanna and Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard broke with their party to criticize Trump for his decision to oppose Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro in January. The people of Venezuela have faced extreme economic hardship and crackdowns on their freedom under Maduro, who succeeded infamous socialist dictator Hugo Chavez.

Omar has called the actions of the Trump administration a “US backed coup.” She has also compared the U.S. putting pressure on Maduro to a foreign country deciding to recognize Trump’s 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton as the nation’s leader instead.

“Now if a foreign country just said, ‘Well, we think because Hillary got lots of votes, we’re just going to acknowledge Hillary as the leader of the United States.’ We would have a problem with that,” she said Feb. 27.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared acting president Juan Guaido shake hands during a joint press conference after holding a meeting at Planalto palace in Brasilia on February 28, 2019. (SERGIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared acting president Juan Guaido shake hands during a joint press conference after holding a meeting at Planalto palace in Brasilia on February 28, 2019. (SERGIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Omar, Khanna and Gabbard’s position is very different from that of more seasoned Democratic lawmakers, including Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a former member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Durbin sided with Trump on the foreign policy issue. He said in a Jan. 23 statement:

Last year I visited Venezuela and found a country on the verge of political, economic, and humanitarian collapse. I told then-President Maduro that if he went ahead with a sham election under absurdly rigged conditions he would find his regime even further isolated and in question. Tragically that is exactly what has happened and why President Trump, Secretary General of the Organization of American States Almagro, and other nations in the region have appropriately recognized National Assembly President Juan Guaidó as the constitutionally appropriate leader of Venezuela.

Bolsonaro gave an exclusive interview to the Christian Broadcasting Network while in the U.S.

“To a large extent, I support what Trump does; He wants to make America great, I also want to make Brazil great. I also have concerns about the indiscriminate entrance of foreigners without any criteria. But beyond this, we are both Christians and we are God-fearing men,” he told CBN in a story posted Wednesday.

Bolsonaro is only three months into his first term and has been nicknamed “Trump of the Tropics” for his brash rhetoric and desire to bring conservative reform to Brazil. Bolsonaro’s critics say he used “misogynistic and homophobic” rhetoric and took away land rights from indigenous people.

Brazil recognized Guaido over Maduro in January. Maduro compared Bolsonaro to former German dictator Adolf Hitler in a speech on Jan. 14 after he questioned the integrity of Venezuela’s elections.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

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

Source: The Daily Caller

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

FILE PHOTO: Men in construction hats are seen aboard Chevron's Petronius oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico
FILE PHOTO: Men in construction hats are seen aboard Chevron’s Petronius oil platform, located 100 miles (161 km) off the coast of New Orleans, in the Gulf of Mexico June 3, 2008. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

March 20, 2019

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – The Trump administration’s fourth major auction for oil and gas leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico received $244 million in high bids on Wednesday, reflecting an uptick in interest from drillers attracted to the region’s low prices.

Of the 78.5 million acres (31.77 million hectares) offered, companies submitted bids on 1.26 million acres, or about 1.6 percent of the total, an increase from two sales last year when about 1 percent of acreage offered received bids.

“We’re on a positive slope,” Mike Celata, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s regional director for the Gulf of Mexico, said on a conference call with reporters.

Despite the higher revenue and acreage, the price per acre was below that of the last sale held in August, about $193 an acre compared with $222 an acre.

“We saw a modest increase in overall spend, but it was outpaced by the increase in acreage leading to lower amount per acre, furthering our hypothesis that it is a buyer’s market in the Gulf of Mexico,” William Turner, senior research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said in a statement.

High bids of $244.3 million were higher than the 2018 sales but were still far short of the revenue generated by Central Gulf sales between 2013 and 2015, which ranged from $538 million to $1.2 billion.

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Norway’s Equinor were among the winning bidders, with Shell taking 87 tracts, BOEM said. Equinor had the highest bid of nearly $24.5 million for a single tract.

Of the 227 tracts that received bids, 213 has been previously leased but were released back to the government since 2014 when the price of oil <CLc1> dropped.

“What you are seeing is companies looking at prospects that had been identified in the past and deciding it was time to pick up some more acreage,” Celata said.

The outcome of the lease sale was the latest signal from the industry about their interest in U.S. waters as President Donald Trump’s Interior Department prepares to release a long-awaited proposal to expand offshore drilling, possibly to new areas of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic.

Offshore drilling is a crucial part of the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda to open up more federal land and waters to energy exploration.

But most of the recent U.S. boom in oil production has been focused onshore, where it is cheaper to drill than in deepwater.

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by Marguerita Choy and Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko announced he has opened a probe into alleged efforts by a Ukrainian to interfere with the 2016 presidential elections on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

"Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information," he told Hill.TV.

The investigation centers on a claim from a Ukrainian parliament member that, Artem Sytnyk, the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, attempted to help Clinton.

"According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign," Lutsenko said. 

"It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, [Donald Trump's campaign chairman] and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton."

Hill.TV asked Lutsenko about reports a member of parliament obtained a tape of the current NABU head saying he was attempting to help Clinton win the election.

"This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter," he said.

Source: NewsMax

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Netflix lit up the internet Wednesday when it dropped the official trailer for Season 3 of “Stranger Things,” and it’s fair to say fans are freaking out.

In the nearly three-minute-long trailer, we got a sneak peek at all our favorite characters as classic music from the 80s played in the background.

Soon we are introduced to at least one of the creatures from the infamous upside-down that the people in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, will have to deal with once again. (RELATED: Watch The Trailer For Tom Hanks’ Latest Film ‘Inferno’ [VIDEO])

WATCH:

The clip shared on YouTube starts out with Eleven (played by Millie Bobbie Brown) using her powers to give one of the guys, Dustin, a good scare as the gang welcomes him home while Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” played.

There is a return of fan favorites like Chief Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), just to name a few. At one point, we hear Mike played by Finn Wolfhard saying, “We’re not kids anymore. I mean what did you think? We are just going to sit in my basement all day?”

Everything seems like life has moved on since we last saw all of them, but soon, it becomes clear that danger still lurks. (RELATED:  ‘Stranger Things’ Is Coming Back For A Second Season [VIDEO])

There are very quick flashes of things like men wielding guns and a large monster-like creature, among so many other things.

The highly anticipated third season follows the surprising hit of 2016 when the streaming site launched “Stranger Things.” The sci-fi series follows the adventures of a group of teenagers and one supernatural girl as they battle monsters from the upside-down.

Fans won’t have to wait much longer to see their favorite show as it hits Netflix July 4.

Source: The Daily Caller

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Netflix lit up the internet Wednesday when it dropped the official trailer for Season 3 of “Stranger Things,” and it’s fair to say fans are freaking out.

In the nearly three-minute-long trailer, we got a sneak peek at all our favorite characters as classic music from the 80s played in the background.

Soon we are introduced to at least one of the creatures from the infamous upside-down that the people in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, will have to deal with once again. (RELATED: Watch The Trailer For Tom Hanks’ Latest Film ‘Inferno’ [VIDEO])

WATCH:

The clip shared on YouTube starts out with Eleven (played by Millie Bobbie Brown) using her powers to give one of the guys, Dustin, a good scare as the gang welcomes him home while Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” played.

There is a return of fan favorites like Chief Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), just to name a few. At one point, we hear Mike played by Finn Wolfhard saying, “We’re not kids anymore. I mean what did you think? We are just going to sit in my basement all day?”

Everything seems like life has moved on since we last saw all of them, but soon, it becomes clear that danger still lurks. (RELATED:  ‘Stranger Things’ Is Coming Back For A Second Season [VIDEO])

There are very quick flashes of things like men wielding guns and a large monster-like creature, among so many other things.

The highly anticipated third season follows the surprising hit of 2016 when the streaming site launched “Stranger Things.” The sci-fi series follows the adventures of a group of teenagers and one supernatural girl as they battle monsters from the upside-down.

Fans won’t have to wait much longer to see their favorite show as it hits Netflix July 4.

Source: The Daily Caller

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Netflix lit up the internet Wednesday when it dropped the official trailer for Season 3 of “Stranger Things,” and it’s fair to say fans are freaking out.

In the nearly three-minute-long trailer, we got a sneak peek at all our favorite characters as classic music from the 80s played in the background.

Soon we are introduced to at least one of the creatures from the infamous upside-down that the people in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, will have to deal with once again. (RELATED: Watch The Trailer For Tom Hanks’ Latest Film ‘Inferno’ [VIDEO])

WATCH:

The clip shared on YouTube starts out with Eleven (played by Millie Bobbie Brown) using her powers to give one of the guys, Dustin, a good scare as the gang welcomes him home while Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” played.

There is a return of fan favorites like Chief Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), just to name a few. At one point, we hear Mike played by Finn Wolfhard saying, “We’re not kids anymore. I mean what did you think? We are just going to sit in my basement all day?”

Everything seems like life has moved on since we last saw all of them, but soon, it becomes clear that danger still lurks. (RELATED:  ‘Stranger Things’ Is Coming Back For A Second Season [VIDEO])

There are very quick flashes of things like men wielding guns and a large monster-like creature, among so many other things.

The highly anticipated third season follows the surprising hit of 2016 when the streaming site launched “Stranger Things.” The sci-fi series follows the adventures of a group of teenagers and one supernatural girl as they battle monsters from the upside-down.

Fans won’t have to wait much longer to see their favorite show as it hits Netflix July 4.

Source: The Daily Caller

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrives for the 89th Academy Awards Oscars Vanity Fair Party in Beverly Hills
FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrives for the 89th Academy Awards Oscars Vanity Fair Party in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., February 26, 2017. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

March 20, 2019

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will reject a conditional plea deal offered by Florida prosecutors on charges of soliciting prostitution, sources told CNN on Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday afternoon that prosecutors offered to defer prosecution for Kraft and the two dozen other men arrested in the case, but any defendant who accepts the offer must admit that there is enough evidence to lead to a conviction at trial.

Additionally, any defendant who accepts the deal must complete an education course about prostitution, perform 100 hours of community service, be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and pay court costs, according to the Journal.

Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, told CNN the offer was standard for first-time offenders, and that none of the people charged had accepted as of Wednesday morning.

Kraft entered a not guilty plea after being charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla. The 77-year-old billionaire is alleged to have twice visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in January and received sex acts in exchange for money.

Jupiter police have said Kraft was caught on surveillance video on both occasions, Jan. 19 and Jan. 20.

Kraft is scheduled to be arraigned March 28 in Palm Beach County, Fla.

The charges came in a police sting that law enforcement said was aimed at stopping human trafficking through massage parlors in Florida.

If Kraft chooses to go to trial and is convicted, he could receive one year in jail, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. Edmondson told CNN, however, that those misdemeanor charges generally result in no more than a 60-day sentence in county jail.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Graeme Gallagher | Contributor

Four men were arrested Wednesday for placing secret cameras in hotels across South Korea to film and live-stream around 1,600 unknowing guests, according to BBC.

The scandal took place in 42 rooms in 30 hotels over 10 cities around the country. Cameras were hidden inside digital TV boxes, wall sockets and hairdryer holders. South Korean police do not have reason to believe that the hotels were not complicit in the live-streaming project.

The four men who were arrested set up 1-mm-lens cameras in the hotels in late August and then created the site in November. Overall, the site posted more than 800 videos to over 4,000 members, in which users can pay to see full videos or can watch 30-second clips for free. (RELATED: Virginia Man Accused Of Filming Dozens Of Young Girls In Mall Dressing Rooms)

Opened door of hotel room with key in the lock. (Dragon Images/Shutterstock.com)

Opened door of hotel room with key in the lock. (Dragon Images/Shutterstock.com)

The men said that 97 of these members wanted access to extra features, such as the ability to replay specific live streams, and paid a monthly fee of $44.95 to do so. The streaming service and the men raked in upward of $6,000 between November 2018 and this month, the police reported.

“There was a similar case in the past when illegal cameras were installed in (hotels) and were consistently and secretly watched,” police said to CNN, “but this is the first time the police caught where videos were broadcast live on the internet.”

This is not the first instance of hidden filming in South Korea, as cases of illicit filming have escalated in recent years. Secret camera “porn” or “molka” arrests have jumped from 1,110 to 6,600 between 2010 and 2014, posing as a serious threat to public spaces. Of the more than 5,400 people arrested for illicit filming related crimes in 2017, however, fewer than 2 percent were jailed. (RELATED: Starbucks Launches Inquiry Over Hidden Camera Placed Over Bathroom Baby Changing Station)

Last year, thousands of women wearing masks in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, protested the lack of action and prosecution from the government concerning the crisis, adopting the slogan “My Life is Not Your Porn.”

Female protesters shout slogans during a rally against 'spy-cam porn' in central Seoul on August 4, 2018. (ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

Female protesters shout slogans during a rally against ‘spy-cam porn’ in central Seoul on August 4, 2018. (ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

In an effort to tackle the problem, Seoul implemented female patrol squads to inspect restrooms and changing rooms for hidden recording devices. Using handheld equipment meant for discovering potentially hidden devices, these women scan everywhere — from doorknobs, toilet paper holders and air ducts — to find any of these cameras.

“It’s my job to make sure there’s no camera to film women while they relieve themselves,” said a member of one of the squads. “This is necessary to help women feel safe.”

Not just limited to restrooms and changing rooms, molka crimes include “up-skirt” photos and videos, as well.

The co-owner of a South Korean “revenge porn” site was sentenced to four years in prison and fined $1.26 million last January, indicating increased push back from the country on the issue. The women, surnamed Song, started the site Soranet, which was a popular site for uploading hidden camera photos and videos. The site was shut down last year.

“It is immeasurable how much harm (the site) had caused on our society,” said the judge. “Song worked with her husband and others to operate Soranet and let its members upload pornographic material.”

However, the toll taken on the unknowing victims of these hidden filmings is drastic. Lee Ji-soo, a computer specialist who runs a company that helps women take down images of them taken without consent, has seen the effects it takes on these people. (RELATED: Hidden Camera Spooks Maryland School District)

“The most common things that the clients are saying — and they are quite heartbreaking — are ‘I want to die’ or ‘I cannot leave my house,’” said Ji-s00 to CNN last year, “Especially the victims of spy cam or illegally taken videos say that when they encounter people on the street, they feel like they would be recognized.”

Source: The Daily Caller

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

David Sirota — who joined the presidential campaign of Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders this week as a top communications aide and speechwriter — once wrote an opinion piece that was headlined “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon Bomber is a white American.”

Sirota wrote the article for the liberal outlet Salon in April 2013 in the wake of a terrorist attack at the annual Boston marathon race, and flatly stated that “white male privilege” was a heavy factor in whomever got blamed for the killing.

A jury sentenced Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death in May 2015. Three people died in the attack and hundreds more were injured. Tsarnaev, a Muslim, said the attack was politically motivated.

Sirota’s desire for it to be otherwise is just the latest skeleton to emerge from the writer’s literary closet this week, as he joins Sanders’ in “properly explaining” Democratic Socialism to Americans. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders’ New Speechwriter Lauded The ‘Economic Miracle’ Of Venezuelan Socialism)

FILE PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the "Medicare for All Act of 2017" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2017” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Sept. 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

The author and speechwriter contended:

The dynamics of privilege will undoubtedly influence the nation’s collective reaction to the attacks … This has been most obvious in the context of recent mass shootings. In those awful episodes, a religious or ethnic minority group lacking such privilege would likely be collectively slandered and/or targeted with surveillance or profiling (or worse) if some of its individuals comprised most of the mass shooters. However, white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those shootings — even though most come at the hands of white dudes.

Sirota quickly transitioned from an abstract conception of “white privilege” to the “undeniable and pervasive double standards” in American society that “will almost certainly dictate what kind of governmental, political and societal response we see in the coming weeks.” (RELATED: Mark Steyn: Beto O’Rourke ‘A Parody Of Rich White Privilege)

Christopher Nzenwa wipes his eyes after praying over a memorial to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. (Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Christopher Nzenwa wipes his eyes after praying over a memorial to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. (Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

His ultimate point is that America is supposedly so white and so racist that “if the bomber ends up being a white anti-government extremist, white privilege will likely mean the attack is portrayed as just an isolated incident.”

But if the bomber was not white, Sirota predicted a significant backlash.

“It will probably be much different if the bomber ends up being a Muslim and/or a foreigner from the developing world. As we know from our own history, when those kind of individuals break laws in such a high-profile way.”

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: A view of a burnt carriage of Samjhauta Express train in Deewana near Panipat town
FILE PHOTO: A view of a burnt carriage of Samjhauta Express train in Deewana, near Panipat town, February 19, 2007. REUTERS/Desmond Boylan/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Aftab Ahmed

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Indian court on Wednesday acquitted four Hindu men accused of bombing a train between India and Pakistan in 2007 that killed 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, citing a lack of evidence, defense lawyers said.

The ruling comes weeks after a sharp escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan after a suicide car bomb in Kashmir killed 40 Indian paramilitary police. Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.

The court in the northern state of Haryana gave its verdict after dismissing a petition filed last week by the daughter of a Pakistani victim who wanted to get her statement recorded as a witness.

“Prosecution has failed to prove the case so the court acquitted all of them,” lawyer Mukesh Garg told reporters outside the court. “The court first rejected the application from a Pakistani lady.”

One of those declared not guilty is Swami Aseemanand, a self-styled Hindu holy man and former member of the nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the parent of India’s ruling party.

Aseemanand was jailed in 2010 after admitting his involvement in the attack on the train near Panipat, a city about 100 km (62 miles) north of Delhi. He later said he was tortured to give a false statement.

Two coaches of the Samjhauta Express, a bi-weekly train that runs between New Delhi and Lahore in Pakistan, caught fire late on Feb. 19, 2007, after two Improvised Explosive Devices exploded, according to a charge-sheet filed by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2013.

In all, the NIA had accused eight men of conducting what it described as a “dreadful terrorist act”. It said the group had been “angry with attacks on Hindu temples by jihadi terrorist activities”. One of the accused was murdered in December 2007 and three others absconded from justice.

Pakistan earlier questioned what it called India’s lack of action against the accused. India had responded by accusing Pakistan of failing to act against militant groups behind attacks in Mumbai in 2008, in which 166 people were killed.

Asaduddin Owaisi, an Indian lawmaker and prominent Muslim leader, criticized Wednesday’s verdict.

“68 dead and nothing to account for them, nothing to say that justice has been done,” he said in a tweet.

(This story corrects to say northern state of Haryana not Himachal Pradesh in paragraph 3)

(Additional reporting by Devjyot Ghoshal; Editing by Krishna N. Das and Gareth Jones)

Source: OANN

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

U.S. Border Patrol agents nabbed three criminal illegal aliens Tuesday — two trying to enter the United States through Arizona and a third at a California crossing.

Avilia Rosales, one of the two illegal border crossers caught in Arizona, has a criminal record for child molestation. The other, Arturo Benjamin Avila Torres, has been convicted for assault with a firearm and for “lascivious acts with a minor under 14,” according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) as reported by the Washington Examiner.

TIJUANA, MEXICO - JANUARY 10: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents stand guard on the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border during a 'large-scale operational readiness exercise' on January 10, 2019 as seen from Tijuana, Mexico. President Trump is visiting the southern border in Texas today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents stand guard … (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Both men will be prosecuted for illegal immigration, according to the CPB. Border patrol agents are increasingly using biometric assessments of suspects to “ensure illegal aliens with criminal histories are positively identified.” (RELATED: Illegal Arrested In Murder Case Had Long Criminal Record But Was Not Deported)

The third criminal illegal, Alberto Martinez Flores, was stopped at the Calexico, California, border crossing. According to a CBP news release, Flores has a long criminal record dating back a decade. He was convicted of assault, strangulation and unlawful imprisonment and sent to jail. In 2017, Flores was again convicted for vehicular assault and sent to prison for 13 months. Flores has been deported at least once.

Flores said he intended to travel to Los Angeles and live there if he had successfully eluded capture, according to the CBP.

“Our agents were able to arrest Martinez without incident,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David Kim. “This man’s criminal history clearly shows how dangerous he is and now he’s off the streets thanks to our agents’ hard work and diligence.” (RELATED: San Jose Police Officer: Sanctuary Laws Need To Be Changed Immediately)

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen greets a member of the U.S. Border Patrol at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Facility in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen greets a member of the U.S. Border Patrol … REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The arrests underline the increasing activity at the U.S.-Mexico border and why the  Trump administration maintains that the current environment can be characterized as a crisis. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost agrees with this assessment. President Donald Trump remains committed to building a wall to contain the illegal entry of illegals.

Follow David on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

A relative carries a portrait photograph of Ethiopian Airlines pilot Yared Getachew as he mourns at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town Bishoftu
A relative carries a portrait photograph of Ethiopian Airlines pilot Yared Getachew as he mourns at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town Bishoftu, near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

March 20, 2019

By Maggie Fick

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The dreams of the two young men soared as high as the Ethiopian Airlines planes they proudly flew.

Handsome, cosmopolitan Yared Getachew was to marry another plane captain this year. Studious, serious Ahmednur Mohammed rented his first apartment with his maiden paycheck in February.

Their lives, along with 155 others, ended when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 plunged into a field moments after take-off in a still unexplained disaster.

Yared, 29, was captain; Ahmednur, 25, his first officer.

Yared was a popular and brilliant student who became the airline’s youngest ever captain at 27, said his father Getachew Tessema, a retired plastic surgeon and dentist.

He spoke to Reuters after a ceremony at the Kenyan embassy in Addis Ababa to honor the 32 Kenyan victims from the crash. Yared’s mother was Kenyan, making him a citizen of two nations.

“I’m very bitter,” 80-year-old Getachew said, sitting hunched with his head in his hand as he reflected on Yared’s shattered marriage plans.

“At least if he had had a child,” he trailed off painfully as friends nodded in understanding.

Yared’s brother Meno Getachew Tessema, 39, sat next to his father, sometimes putting an arm around him as the ceremony progressed. Yared visited Meno’s family in Toronto when the young pilot came to train on flight simulators in Miami twice in the past two years.

By the time of the crash, Yared had amassed 8,100 hours of flying experience, the airline said, unusual at his age but no surprise to the family. They remembered him as a committed student who shone at school as a child in his mother’s native Kenya and as a teenager in his father’s home country Ethiopia.

He went straight into Ethiopian Airlines’ Aviation Academy after high school. “His dream was to be a pilot,” said Meno, a corporate lawyer. “He was diligent, hardworking, he had a consistent work ethic … he was a rising star of Ethiopian Airlines.”

ARCHITECT TURNED PILOT

Sitting next to Yared in the cockpit on March 10 was Ahmednur Mohammed.

While the pair’s professionalism has been lauded, air safety experts fear they – and pilots in a similar crash in Indonesia in October – may not have been sufficiently versed in a new automated anti-stall system in the Boeing 737 MAX series.

The middle of three sons of a small business owner, friends from the sleepy eastern city of Dire Dawa remember Ahmednur as unusually driven to study when others would spend afternoons relaxing in the shade, chewing the narcotic leaf qat.

He spent five years at college studying his first love – architecture – where he earned the nickname 5-10 for his legendary 17-hour library stints, and received gentle ribbing for the neatness of his room.

Even as a student, Ahmednur’s skill earned him some small interior design commissions, friends said.

But the dutiful son feared he would not be able to make enough money as an architect to help his family, said his father Mohammed Omar, a white-haired 60-year-old in a carefully pressed worn suit.

So he switched to aviation school and completed two years of training. After school hours, he would visit a friend whose brother was a pilot and sit in the living room, running through cockpit checklists and motions on the couch, the friend said. He graduated with a commercial pilot’s license, the airline said.

“He would call me every three days. He would talk about his plans, he said that he was going to help his family,” his father told Reuters after Islamic prayers in Ahmednur’s memory at a relative’s house on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

Last Friday, mosques in both the capital and Dire Dawa held prayers for Ahmednur, the family said.

After a few months rest, he began working for Ethiopian Airlines, visiting other nations — Israel, South Africa, Burkina Faso — and earning his first salary.

He adored it, said his brother Menur Mohammed.

Ahmednur amassed 350 flying hours and had just started living alone for the first time when the family heard his plane had gone down.

“It took us long to believe he was dead,” his cousin Imran Mohammed, 30, told Reuters.

“He was so excited to live on his own.”

The family wants the airline or government to build a bridge or a school, something tangible to commemorate Ahmednur: pilot, architect, son. “We want to see something in his name, to remember him,” his father said softly.

(Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

The Department of Defense released guidelines Wednesday concerning transgender service members, which indicate that people require a waiver to serve if they have gender dysphoria.

The guidelines come out in response to President Donald Trump’s ban on most transgender troops last March. After numerous challenges, a federal court judge ruled last week that the administration can continue with the partial ban. (RELATED: Pentagon To Activate Transgender Military Ban After Judge Removes Block)

The ban places an increased focus on the transgender community as more people speak out for and against the new policy. As more voices from the transgender community are heard, their particular terminology is entering public consciousness. (RELATED: Alyssa Milano Says She’s ‘A Gay Man’ In Weird Tweet, Doubles-Down On Critics)

Here are some terms and examples you may hear as this story unfolds.

AMAB: Acronym for “Assigned Male At Birth.”

“I was AMAB, but I am now a transwoman.”

AFAB: Acronym for “Assigned Female At Birth.”

“I was AFAB, but I am now a transman.”

Binary: Classification of two distinct genders that people are assigned at birth based on biological sex; one gender is masculine and one is feminine.

“Break the binary!”

Binder: Sometimes worn by transgender people, it constricts the breasts to portray a more flat-chested appearance.

Boi: A female-bodied person who intentionally or non-intentionally expresses and presents culturally/stereotypically masculine characteristics, particularly boyish. Also, one who enjoys being perceived or identifies themselves as a “boy” rather than a “man.”

Boy mode: The time spent presenting as male by a transgender individual. The opposite is girl mode.

“I’m in boy/girl mode right now.”

Cis: Abbreviation of “cisgender,” term used for people whose gender identity matches with what they were assigned at birth.

Cishet: A person who is both cisgender and heterosexual.

Clocked: Also known as “getting read.” To be detected as a person who cross-dresses or is transexual.

“I want to go out, but I’m afraid of being clocked.”

Copenhagen CaponSlang for a transexual person.

Deadname: The birth name of somebody who has changed their name. Most commonly attributed to transexual people.

Down Low: Also referred to as “D/L,” meaning “in the closet,” or not publicly a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

“In high school, some guys were down low.”

Drab: A term used by cross genders to indicate wearing the clothes traditionally associated with your birth sex. A male to female crossdresser may say she is “in drab” if the crossdresser was wearing a suit.

Drag King: A person who performs masculinity theatrically. (RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Claims Drag Queens Can Help Politicians Be More Authentic)

En Femme: A term used by male-to-female crossdressers to indicate being cross-dressed and not in male traditional clothes.

Femme: Feminine identified person of any gender/sex.

Femme-n’-m’s: A slang term for estrogen pills. Male-to-female transwomen use estrogen pills to induce changes in their body during Estrogen Hormone Therapy.

FFS: Stands for “Facial Feminization Surgery.” The procedure alters typically male features closer to female features.

FTM, F2M: Short for “Female-To-Male.”

“I am a F2M trans…”

Full-Time: Living in the social role of the sex opposite that assigned at birth. “Living full-time.”

“I’m living full-time as a MTF transgender.”

Gender Dysphoria: The distress felt by transexuals caused when a person’s sex at birth does not align with which they identify.

Gender Euphoria: The feeling a transgender person gets when he/she/they are able to present as the gender they identify with and people treat them accordingly.

GG, GW: Stands for “Genetic Girl” or “Genetic Woman,” a female born female.

Hermie: An intersex person, short for hermaphrodite.

Hir: A gender-neutral pronoun, used in place of him/her. Pronounced “here.”

In The Closet: Refers to a homosexual, bisexual, transperson or intersex person who will not or cannot disclose their sex.

Ladyboy: In Thailand and the Philippines, a commonly used slang term for a transexual prostitute. Also known as “kathoeys.”

MTF, M2F: Short for “Male-To-Female.”

“I’m a M2F trans…”

Non-op: Also known as non-operative, individuals who may not desire to attain gender reassignment surgery, and may or may not take hormone therapy.

Passing: A term used to describe successfully being perceived as a member of your preferred gender regardless of birth sex. Some prefer “being read as a man” or “being read as a woman.”

Pre-op: Also known as pre-operative, individuals who have not received gender reassignment surgery but desire so and are seeking it as an option.

Stealth: A transitioned transexual may choose not to reveal his or her transexual status. Referred to as “going stealth” or “being stealth.” (RELATED: Transgender Athletes Place First And Second In Track Championships)

TERF: “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.” The group of feminists that claim trans women are not really “women.”

Transgay: A transexual man who is attracted to men.

Transgeekery: An impressive technical task done by someone who is transgender and a geek.

Transgender Charlie: A transgender bathroom. (RELATED: Transgender Student Gets $800,000 After Bathroom Lawsuit)

Transgenderific: A derogatory term for one who gloats about being transgender.

Transtrender: A person who calls themselves a transgender person because they think it makes them cool or special.

“No, I am not a transtrender.”

Truscum: People who think gender dysphoria is an essential component of being transexual and anyone who does not experience it is fake. Pronounced “true scum.”

Tucute: Someone, who may or may not be transgender themselves, who believes that gender dysphoria is not necessary to be transgender. The term was formed on Tumblr.

Two-Spirit: A gender identity in which someone is “two-spirited” or their body has both a masculine and feminine spirit. The idea originated with Native Americans.

Ze: A gender-neutral pronoun used in place of she/he. Pronounced “zee.”

You can click here for more information on these terms.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Nick Saban and Bill Belichick set the internet on fire Tuesday after they were spotted together at Alabama’s pro day.

Photos of the two legendary coaches together quickly spread all over Twitter. It’s worth noting that these two also have a history. They both coached for the Cleveland Browns in the 1990s.

As a football fan, there’s pretty much no amount of money that I wouldn’t pay to be a fly on the wall for a conversation between those two men. I’d pay as much as I could humanly afford. The two have them have a combined 12 titles at their respective levels as head coaches.

Belichick has won six Super Bowls leading the Patriots and Saban has five with Alabama and one with LSU. The numbers are staggering. (RELATED: Patriots Beat The Rams In The Super Bowl)

You could write an entire series of books based off of the wisdom these two could share.

Again, there’s no price I wouldn’t pay to sit in on a conversation between those two. They’re pretty much carbon copies of each other.

Both run their organizations as dictators, and they’re old school. That’s probably a major reason why the two have led such successful dynasties.

It’s also really a shame that we’ll never get to see what Belichick would be like as the head coach of a major college program. If that ever happened, I’d have a beach house in Miami within a month. The idea of him coaching 18-year-old divas is laugh-out-loud funny.

Their attitudes would last for about all of five minutes.

Sound off in the comments with what you thought these two were busy talking about. There’s no doubt at all that these two were discussing something epic.

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Source: The Daily Caller

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

March 20, 2019

By Ginger Gibson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VOTERS FOCUSED ON ELECTABILITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: OANN

Women labourers work in a pearl millet field at Narayangaon
Women labourers work in a pearl millet field at Narayangaon, India, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

March 20, 2019

By Suvashree Choudhury and Alexandra Ulmer

CHINCHOLI, India (Reuters) – A few years ago, in this sweltering corner of western India, the horizon was dotted with hunched, barefoot women swinging sickles all day to cut wheat for the spring harvest.

Now, a giant green harvester clears an entire half-acre field within minutes, allowing farmers to save money and quickly sell the wheat, typically used to make Indian flat breads.

Chhaya Kharade, 36, and other women doing lighter farm work were gradually replaced by the machines that now crisscross wheat, sugar cane and onion fields surrounding Chincholi, a village 190 km (120 miles) east of India’s financial hub of Mumbai.

“I should be busy now, as the wheat harvesting is going on. But there is hardly any work for me. Almost all farmers are using machines,” Kharade said in her spartan two-room house.

Indian women, especially those working in precarious informal sectors, are at the sharp end of what economists and opposition politicians describe as a jobs crisis in India. According to the private Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), 90 percent of around 10 million jobs lost last year were held by women.

Several unemployed women interviewed by Reuters said they had soured on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist who swept to power in 2014 vowing to turn India into an economic powerhouse but has struggled to create jobs.

While Modi remains the favorite in general elections that kick off next month, insufficient employment – despite India’s roughly 7 percent economic growth rate – is a major voter worry.

“Modi’s government has not done anything to create employment in this region. We would like to vote for a party that will set up factories and create jobs,” said Mumtaj Mulani, a 40-year-old woman who was plucking weeds from a pearl millet field in the area. She said she usually struggles to find work due to the spread of machines.

The dwindling female labor participation rate could have far-reaching implications for India’s economic development and the progress of women’s rights in the often deeply conservative country.

“When nearly fifty percent of the labor force is unable to live up to its potential, India is foregoing significant growth, investment, and productivity gains,” said Milan Vaishnav, director of the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment.

“The social costs, while less tangible, are nevertheless acute,” Vaishnav added, noting research suggests women’s economic empowerment reduces inequality and ensures women have a greater voice in society.

Measuring the problem is tricky, and Modi’s government has delayed the release of controversial jobs data. [L3N2121QE]

But the official report, leaked to local newspaper Business Standard in February, shows the female labor participation rate was merely 23.3 percent in 2017-2018, down about 8 percentage points from 2011-2012.

Private estimates are gloomier. CMIE puts the figure at just 10.7 percent between May and August 2018.

For an interactive graphic on India’s female labor force participation rate, click https://tmsnrt.rs/2FbrbDK

DOUBLE WHAMMY: NOTE BAN AND GST

To be sure, the loss of jobs to machines is a global issue, but Indian women have a more limited range of alternative work than their male counterparts. And in family-focused India, women across economic lines often quit work after getting married or having children.

Also, as some families’ earnings rise, more women can afford to become caregivers.

Still, when compared to nations with similar income levels, India’s female labor participation rate is “a distinct outlier,” according to Vaishnav.

Economists say Modi’s two signature economic policies – a ban on high-value banknotes in 2016 and the implementation of a national sales tax rate (GST) in 2017 – have hurt women more than men because they are more likely to be employed in vulnerable, informal workplaces.

Demonetisation thrust the informal, cash-based economy into turmoil. A year later, many small businesses went under, unable to deal with GST’s complexities or rate increases.

“If there are fewer jobs available, who will move out? The women will move out, because they get lower wages. The men will go compete for the few jobs,” said CMIE’s CEO Mahesh Vyas.

In Dharavi, a Mumbai slum that is one of Asia’s largest, 33 year-old Farzana Begum has struggled to provide for her five children since the workshop she stitched buttons for shut shop in the wake of GST.

“I have stopped all extra spending on clothes and good food,” said Begum. “If you ask anyone in Dharavi, everyone has seen a fall in income, lost their jobs or seen factories close after GST.”

Her dismay was echoed on the other side of the country, in a village near the eastern city of Kolkata, where Nuren Nesa’s earnings from embroidering saris fell from 700 rupees a week to 300 after demonetisation. Following GST, work ground to a halt and her embroidery machine is gathering dust.

“Modi’s note ban and GST measures have destroyed our source of income,” said Nesa, 41, who withdrew her son from university because tuition fees grew out of reach.

“I will vote for the leader who will help us out with proper work and income,” she added.

As the battle for women’s votes heats up, Modi has pointed to programs to provide toilets and subsidized cooking gas cylinders as evidence his administration cares for women. This month, the main opposition party, Congress, vowed to reserve a third of federal government jobs for women if elected.

HARD WORK TO HIRE WOMEN?

Some business owners say they receive few applications from women.

“We do not find too many women in the segment we service, even though we would like to hire more women because they are more sincere, there is less attrition and they can multi-task,” said Vineet Pandey, who owns Mumbai-based housekeeping firms Kaarya Facilities & Services and Hecqo.com.

Indian women sometimes do not take jobs far from home due to fears for their safety.

Call centers or factories run by multinationals often attract women workers by providing transport after late shifts, but working at many other jobs entails commutes on packed trains and buses through India’s teeming and cities.

One businessman who employees roughly 1,000 men at his chemical factory in southern India, says hiring women would mean providing separate bathrooms and transport at night.

He argues bypassing men would also stoke tensions in India, where economic transformations and an influx of technology are testing the social fabric.

“In the rural areas, it is a more patriarchal society, if we give jobs to women and not men, there will be complaints from men,” said the businessman, who asked to remain anonymous.

“It is to maintain harmony.”

In any case, it is a moot point for now. His plant, struggling with high costs of power and transport, is not hiring.

For an interactive graphic on the regional female labor force participation rate, click https://tmsnrt.rs/2O4rinC

(Reporting by Suvashree Choudhury in Mumbai and Alexandra Ulmer in Hivare, Additional reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in Hivare and Subrata Nag Choudhury in Kolkata, Graphics by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru, Writing by Alexandra Ulmer, Editing by Euan Rocha and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Source: OANN

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

  • Second Amendment advocacy groups are denouncing a state court decision allowing families of several Sandy Hook victims to sue a gun manufacturer.
  • The manufacturer, Bushmaster Firearms, produced and marketed the XM15, which shooter Adam Lanza used to kill more than 20 people. 
  • The Connecticut Supreme Court said the plaintiffs can try and convince a jury that Bushmaster’s marketing campaign for the weapon broke state law. 

The Connecticut Supreme Court’s Thursday ruling allowing victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre to sue gun manufacturer Bushmaster Firearms left Second Amendment groups bewildered.

The 4-3 decision found that the plaintiffs — the families of nine victims — can sue Bushmaster under state unfair trade practices law, despite a federal statute that protects the gun industry from most lawsuits.

“This is like suing Ford or General Motors because a car they sold was stolen and used to run over a pedestrian all because the car manufacturers advertised that their car had better acceleration and performance than other vehicles,” said the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb.

“This ruling strains logic, if not common sense,” Gottlieb added. “The court dismissed the bulk of the lawsuit’s allegations, but appears to have grasped at this single straw by deciding that the advertising is somehow at fault for what Adam Lanza did that day in December more than six years ago.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which filed an amicus (or “friend of the court”) brief sporting Bushmaster, said the court was exploiting a narrow exception to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that shields gunmakers from civil liability in most instances.

“In a strongly worded and well-reasoned dissent, Chief Justice Robinson rejected the majority’s overly broad interpretation of the scope of the limited exception, which is contrary to legislative text, canons of statutory interpretation and the legislative history of the PLCAA,” NSSF said in a statement. “The majority’s decision today is at odds with all other state and federal appellate courts that have interpreted the scope of the exception.”

That exception cancels the gun manufacturer’s immunity if it knowingly breaks a law “applicable to the sale or marketing of the product.”

In other words, the plaintiffs believe that Bushmaster’s advertising scheme violated Connecticut’s unfair trade practices law, because it encouraged the use of its weapons for unlawful purposes. (RELATED: Supreme Court Takes Up First Gun Rights Case In A Decade)

Lanza used an AR-15 style rife called the XM15 during his rampage. The plaintiffs say Bushmaster glorified the weapon’s “militaristic and assaultive qualities,” tailoring a campaign with depictions of soldiers on patrol and promises of total dominance in combat. Such images appealed to disillusioned men, supplemented with slogans like “consider your man card reissued.”

This crime scene evidence photo provided by the Connecticut State Police shows a Bushmaster rifle in Room 10 at Sandy Hook Elementary School following the December 14, 2012 shooting rampage. (Connecticut State Police via Getty Images)

This crime scene evidence photo provided by the Connecticut State Police shows a Bushmaster rifle in Room 10 at Sandy Hook Elementary School following the December 14, 2012 shooting rampage. (Connecticut State Police via Getty Images)

Those appeals were especially effective with Lanza, they say, since he was an avid player of violent video games and aspired to a career as a special operator in the armed forces. Though Lanza had access to a cache of weapons — including handguns, shotguns, two rifles, and three swords — the plaintiffs said Bushmaster’s promotions prompted Lanza to choose the XM15 from his family’s stockpile, thereby making his shooting spree far more deadly.

However, Lanza did not himself buy the XM15 — he stole the gun from his mother, who purchased it lawfully from a retail gun dealership in March 2010. For that reason among others, the Connecticut Supreme Court acknowledged the plaintiffs will have a hard time proving their allegation.

“The plaintiffs allege that the defendants’ wrongful advertising magnified the lethality of the Sandy Hook massacre by inspiring Lanza or causing him to select a more efficiently deadly weapon for his attack,” the decision reads. “Proving such a causal link at trial may prove to be a Herculean task.”

Gottlieb went further, arguing there is no evidence connecting Lanza with Bushmaster’s practices.

“There is no evidence the killer was driven by any advertising whatsoever,” he said. “This is an affront to the First Amendment as well as the Second. Even hinting that the killer was motivated in some way by an advertising message is so far out in the weeds that it may take a map for the court to find its way back.”

The case need not reach a verdict to damage the firearms industry. The pre-trial discovery phase will give the plaintiffs access to Bushmaster’s internal communications and other sensitive records, which could itself prove harmful to the company.

An appeal could follow to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lanza killed 27 people Dec. 14, 2012. After murdering his mother, he stormed Sandy Hook elementary at 9:30 am, when he killed 20 students and six staff. Several others were wounded. The student victims were 6- and 7-year-olds in the first grade.

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FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrives for the 89th Academy Awards Oscars Vanity Fair Party in Beverly Hills
FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrives for the 89th Academy Awards Oscars Vanity Fair Party in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., February 26, 2017. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

March 20, 2019

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft can have the solicitation of prostitution charges in Florida against him dropped, but there’s a catch.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that prosecutors have offered to defer prosecution for Kraft and the two dozen other men arrested in the case, but any defendant who accepts the offer must admit that there is enough evidence to lead to a conviction at trial.

Additionally, the defendant must complete an education course about prostitution, perform 100 hours of community service, be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and pay court costs, per the report.

Kraft entered a not guilty plea in late February after being charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla. The 77-year-old billionaire is alleged to have twice visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in January and received sex acts in exchange for money both times.

–In an interview with Sports Illustrated, running back Le’Veon Bell said he never intended to sit out the entire 2018 season.

Bell, who recently signed with the New York Jets as a free agent, told the outlet that his original plan was to miss only Week 1 of last season. But the running back had a change of mind as events played out with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Once he realized the Steelers could again put the franchise tag on him following the season, Bell continued to sit out, and never joined the team. He became a free agent after the season and received a four-year, $52.5 million deal from the Jets.

–Coveted quarterback Kyler Murray met with Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and coach Kliff Kingsbury near the Oklahoma campus, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The Cardinals own the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and the Oklahoma product and Heisman Trophy winner is under heavy consideration as he is viewed as a solid fit for first-year coach Kingsbury’s offense.

Arizona took quarterback Josh Rosen 10th overall in last year’s draft but the team’s actions involving Murray may display a willingness to move on from Rosen.

–Tempted to join his brother with the Patriots, tight end Martellus Bennett said he will instead remain retired to focus on his creative work.

Michael Bennett was acquired by the Patriots from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this month, sparking speculation the defensive lineman might soon be joined by his 32-year-old brother, who retired after being released by New England last offseason.

–The Carolina Panthers signed defensive end Bruce Irvin to a one-year contract reportedly worth up to $5 million in an effort to boost their pass rush after the retirement of Julius Peppers. The seven-year pro has 43.5 sacks, 277 tackles, 15 forced fumbles and three interceptions.

–The Dallas Cowboys and wide receiver Randall Cobb agreed to terms on a one-year deal, the team announced. The deal is worth $5 million, according to the NFL Network. Cobb, 28, has been with the Green Bay Packers since they drafted him in the second round in 2011. He missed seven games last season due to concussion and hamstring injuries and caught just 38 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns.

–Defensive end Robert Quinn visited the Cowboys as a precursor to a potential swap with the Miami Dolphins, but reportedly left town without a deal pending. The Dolphins are willing to pay part of Quinn’s 2019 salary to help facilitate a trade of the pass rusher, according to NFL Network.

–Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad has been cleared for pre-draft workouts after he had to leave the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month when a heart issue was found during his physical. Prior to the combine, most outlets had pegged him as a late-round prospect.

–Kicker Dan Bailey re-signed with the Minnesota Vikings, agreeing to a one-year deal with a base value of $1 million, per reports. … The Patriots have reportedly re-signed punter Ryan Allen to a one-year deal. … The Detroit Lions have signed restricted free agent running back Malcolm Brown to an offer sheet, which the Los Angeles Rams have until Monday to match, according to multiple reports.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

An Afghan girl practices a traditional dance at an Afghan Child Education and Care Organization center (AFCECO) in Kabul
An Afghan girl practices a traditional dance at an Afghan Child Education and Care Organization center (AFCECO) in Kabul, Afghanistan March 3, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

March 20, 2019

By Rod Nickel and Abdul Matin Sahak

KABUL/BALKH, Afghanistan (Reuters) – After fighting forced Mohammad Khan, a villager from the northern Afghanistan province of Sar-e Pul, to move his family to the more secure province of Balkh last year, they quickly fell on harder times.

Khan’s wife grew gravely ill, he could not find work, and struggled to feed their seven children. So in January, Khan sold their baby, just 40 days old, to a neighbor.

“I sold him for 70,000 afghanis (£698) so that my other children would not die of hunger,” he said.

In a country where half the population is younger than 15, Afghanistan’s 17-year war has arguably hit children the hardest. Some 927 children were killed last year, the most since records have been kept, according to a U.N. report released in February.

Aid workers say they are seeing a growing number of children orphaned or forced to work in the streets.

“I think the hope that used to exist, doesn’t anymore,” said Adele Khodr, the representative for UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s agency, in Afghanistan.

Aschiana, a charity that provides school half a day for children who beg and sell in Kabul’s streets, has seen the number of Afghan children at risk rise sharply in recent years as the Taliban seized more territory across the country.

It has been forced to reduce the number of children it helps, however, as its funding from donors declined, said Engineer Mohammad Yousef, Aschiana’s director.

“Children do not belong to political groups, for this reason they are ignored in Afghanistan,” he said, walking through dark hallways and classrooms where lights are turned off to save money. “They don’t have power.”

Zabiullah Mujahed, 12, is learning to draw at Aschiana and hopes to become a painter. He spends the balance of his day polishing shoes on Kabul’s streets to earn up to 100 Afghanis per day.

The money is critical to support himself, his mother and six siblings, after his father was killed in a Taliban suicide attack four years ago.

“I’m worried about when peace will come and what will happen to my future,” he said. “If I don’t work, my mother, brothers, and sisters will remain hungry.”

LONG ROAD

Girls were banned from attending school under the Taliban government’s five-year rule that ended when the Islamists were ousted by U.S.-backed forces in 2001. Enabling girls’ education has been a key goal of Afghanistan’s western-backed government and its foreign allies.

But some 3.7 million school-age children are still not in school, according to a first-of-its-kind UNICEF report in June 2018.

Worsening security, poverty and migration have all made educating children more difficult in recent years, Khodr said.

Sexual abuse and trafficking of boys, a practise that exploded during Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s, has also worsened, said Yasin Mohammadi, project manager for the non-governmental organization Youth Health and Development Organization (YHDO).

Boys from rural areas have flocked to cities such as Kabul and Herat to find work to support families, leaving them vulnerable to those employers who take them in and molest them before circulating them to other abusers, he said.

The practice of men sexually abusing boys, known by the Dari slang term “bacha bazi” for “boy play”, has been illegal in Afghanistan for only a year, and so far there are few known examples of perpetrators being sentenced.

The Afghanistan government’s director of children’s issues, Najib Akhlaqi, acknowledges that the situation for children is eroding. Progress is slow, but underway, he said, including drafting a national, long-term plan to help children.

“I am only one person. We can’t solve all these problems,” he told Reuters in an interview. “It takes a long time.”

PERILS OF PEACE

Aid groups welcome the prospect of peace, but worry that the inclusion of the Taliban in any post-settlement government could see a slide back toward the hardline Islamist rule it imposed between 1996 and 2001.

The Taliban’s possible role in any new Afghanistan government has not been defined as the latest round of talks with the United States wrapped up.

“The Taliban never supported children, never supported people. I think we would see a worse situation than today,” said Pashtana Rasol, executive director of the Afghan Child Education and Care Organization orphanage.

Rasol, who was orphaned herself at age eight after she says the Taliban killed her father, doubts that the orphanages she runs would remain open under a Taliban-led government.

“We are raising very powerful women here,” Rasol said in a Kabul orphanage where smiling girls practiced a dance routine, twirling in brightly colored dresses. “We want the girls to be improved, to be teachers, doctors, but of course the Taliban and the fundamentalist people do not want it.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the fault for the war’s devastating impact on Afghan children lies with “foreign invaders”, adding that it has an organization that helps orphans in areas that it controls.

If a peace accord is struck, the Taliban would encourage non-governmental organizations to continue their work in the country, but they would be under close scrutiny to ensure their activities adjust to cultural and religious values, he said.

Yousef, director of Aschiana, worries that women may not be able to work in a society with greater Taliban influence, putting more children at risk.

“Peace is very important to children,” he said. “But we are looking for real peace.”

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Kabul and Abdul Matin Sahak in Balkh; Additional reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi, Rupam Jain, Hameed Farzad and Orooj Hakimi in Kabul; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Ex-Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic sits in the court of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia in The Hague
FILE PHOTO: Ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic sits in the court of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, the Netherlands March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Robin van Lonkhuijsen/Pool/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Stephanie van den Berg

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – United Nations appeals judges on Wednesday hand down a final verdict in the case of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, a key figure in the Balkan wars who is serving a 40-year prison sentence for genocide.

The ruling will likely bring to a close one of the highest profile trials stemming from the series of wars in the 1990s that saw the bloody collapse of the former Yugoslavia and death of at least 100,000 Bosnians.

Karadzic, 73, was convicted in 2016 for the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces. He was also found guilty of leading a campaign of ethnic cleansing that drove Croats and Muslims out of Serb-claimed areas of Bosnia.

On appeal, prosecutors are seeking a life sentence and a second genocide conviction for his alleged role in that policy of targeting non-Serbs across several Bosnian towns in the early years of the war. Karadzic meanwhile is appealing against his conviction and wants a retrial.

The ruling, which is final and cannot be challenged on appeal, will have huge resonance in the former Yugoslavia, especially in Bosnia, where ethnic communities remain divided and Karadzic is still seen as a hero by many Bosnian Serbs.

The judgment will be read out at 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT) in The Hague at a U.N. court handling cases left over when the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia closed its doors in 2017.

A delegation of the association of Mothers of Srebrenica will be in the Netherlands for the judgment.

In hiding for nearly a decade, Karadzic was arrested and handed over to the court in July 2008.

(Editing by Anthony Deutsch, William Maclean)

Source: OANN

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Tom Ford hit back Tuesday after a fake quote attributed to him resurfaced on Twitter that referred to Melania Trump as a “glorified escort.”

The comment about the first lady on social media read, “I have no interest in dressing a glorified escort who steals speeches and has bad taste in men.”

“Never! Never, ever, ever, have I said that Melania [Trump] was an escort,” the 57-year-old fashion designer told WWD. “I said on ‘The View’ years ago, before [President Donald Trump] was elected, that I would not dress her nor would I dress Hillary Clinton because the first lady and the president in the White House need to be wearing clothes made in America — mine are not — and clothes at a price point that most Americans can relate to and my clothes are too expensive.” (RELATED: Ivanka Turns Heads In Gorgeous Yellow Plaid Skirt Suit)

U.S. President Donald J. Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump (C) are greeted by Reverend W. Bruce McPherson (L) as they arrive to attend services at St. John's Episcopal Church March 17, 2019 in Washington, DC, USA. The Trumps are attending church on St. Patrick's Day. (Photo by Eric Lesser - Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald J. Trump (R) and first lady Melania Trump (C) are greeted by Reverend W. Bruce McPherson (L) as they arrive to attend services at St. John’s Episcopal Church March 17, 2019 in Washington, DC, USA. (Photo by Eric Lesser – Pool/Getty Images)

“Now, I dressed Michelle Obama once and once only when she was in England for a white-tie dinner party with the Queen and I was living in London, and that was different,” he added. “That’s all I said. I’ve never said anything derogatory about Melania.” (RELATED: Ivanka Turns Heads In Yellow And Black Floral Dress During Munich Trip)

Ford continued and didn’t hold back, “I never would say anything derogatory. It’s so weird, isn’t it, in today’s world the way someone out of nowhere can just make up a random quote and start circulating it on the internet?” (RELATED: Tiffany Trump Stuns In Sleeveless Black Dress At WH Christmas Party)

And when asked about those social media users noting how they were having trouble finding the original quote that he allegedly said about FLOTUS, Ford was not surprised.

“They’re never going to find it because I never said it,” the film director declared.

Source: The Daily Caller

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

The West Virginia attorney general filed a civil suit Tuesday against the Wheeling-Charleston Catholic Diocese and former Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, alleging they knowingly hired pedophiles.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, claimed the diocese knowingly hired and retained pedophiles but also failed to conduct thorough background checks on school and camp employees and to warn parents about the potential dangers to their children.

Morrisey’s lawsuit is the culmination of an investigation of the diocese that he began in September 2018. (RELATED: Cardinal George Pell Sentenced to 6 Years In Prison)

“Parents who pay and entrust the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese and its schools to educate and care for their children deserve full transparency,” Morrisey said in a statement. “Our investigation reveals a serious need for the Diocese to enact policy changes that will better protect children, just as this lawsuit demonstrates our resolve to pursue every avenue to effectuate change as no one is above the law.”

The suit alleges Bransfield and the diocese violated West Virginia consumer protection laws by failing to warn parents that confessed pedophiles like Father Patrick Condron had direct access to their children. The diocese reportedly sent Condron to rehabilitative treatment after he confessed to sexually abusing a student at St. Joseph Preparatory Seminary High School in Vienna, West Virginia. Afterward the diocese assigned him to Wheeling Catholic Elementary School from 1998 to 2001.

The lawsuit also alleges the diocese hired Victor Frobas, who was later convicted of and imprisoned for child sexual abuse, despite knowing that he had been credibly accused of abuse in the past; failed to conduct a background check on Ronald Cooper, who was convicted of statutory rape and robbery, before employing him as a school teacher; and hired another priest who admitted to having been accused of sexual abuse.

“Today is a sad day, but the Attorney General still believes there are so many priests and deacons in the Catholic church — who are good men — who will support this effort so we can really seek meaningful changes in how the church handles sexual abuse,” Morrisey said.

The diocese announced on March 11 it completed a preliminary investigation into allegations against Bransfield of abuse cover-up and that it restricted Bransfield from ministerial duties while the Holy See reviewed the completed investigation. Morrisey urged the diocese to release its findings to the public.

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

Lauryn Overhultz | Columnist

Wade Robson, one of the men who is accusing Michael Jackson of sexually assaulting him when he was a minor, says the decision for fans to mute Jackson’s music isn’t up to him.

Whether or not people stop listening to Jackson’s music “is not really a concern” for him Robson told TMZ on Tuesday. Robson detailed allegations that Jackson sexually abused him in the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland.”

The documentary features his fascination with Jackson as a performer, but the choreographer says he is no longer a fan of Jackson: “I don’t listen to his music anymore because I have a personal experience with it, but that’s everyone’s individual choice.” (RELATED: Aaron Carter Says He’d Fight Wade Robson After ‘Leaving Neverland’ Allegations)

Robson wants “Leaving Neverland” to help people understand that we shouldn’t just idolize artists.

“If I have any hope, it’s just that we’re questioning who we’re worshipping and why,” Robson said.

Following the premiere of “Leaving Neverland” in early March, radio stations in Canada and New Zealand dropped Jackson’s music from their broadcast rotation, according to CNN. Not everyone was quick to mute the legendary pop singer over the abuse allegations.

The BBC made a statement that it would not be banning Jackson from its broadcast after reports surfaced that it would be.

“The BBC does not ban artists. We consider each use of music on its merits and decisions on what we play on different networks are always made with relevant audiences and context in mind,” a BBC rep told Variety.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

“Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington had to start therapy because of the excessive pressure he experiences as a result of his job.

Variety published an amazing profile ahead of the eighth and final season of the hit HBO show, and it sounds like the actor responsible for playing Jon Snow didn’t take his character’s death too well.

In fact, his death in the finale of Season 5 drew so much attention to him that he had to seek professional help. (SLIDESHOW: These Women On Instagram Hate Wearing Clothes)

Harington recently told Variety the following:

It wasn’t a very good time in my life. I felt I had to feel that I was the most fortunate person in the world, when actually, I felt very vulnerable. I had a shaky time in my life around there — like I think a lot of people do in their 20s. That was a time when I started therapy, and started talking to people. I had felt very unsafe, and I wasn’t talking to anyone. I had to feel very grateful for what I have, but I felt incredibly concerned about whether I could even f—ing act.

This might sound a bit crass, but I love the idea the actors are taking this show so seriously that it puts them in therapy. Again, I understand that might sound a shade over the top, but I want serious commitment from my guys.

Besides, Harington only came out stronger than ever. Was it worth it? Only he can answer, but he’s now one of the most famous men on the planet.

April 14 really can’t get here soon enough. It just can’t. We’re in need some new content, and Harington even has another quote to pump us all up.

When discussing HBO’s production of the final season he said, “They went balls-out, I think is the term.”

It’s been a hell of a run, and I have no doubt the final season won’t disappoint. Make sure to tune in April 14 to see how one of the greatest show ends.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Former Republican President George W. Bush called immigration a “blessing” and a “strength” while speaking at his presidential center in Dallas.

“America’s elected representatives have a duty to regulate who comes in and when,” the 43rd president said Monday during a naturalization ceremony at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, an event that included dozens of newly minted U.S. citizens. “In meeting this responsibility, it helps to remember that America’s immigrant history made us who we are. Amid all the complications of policy, may we never forget that immigration is a blessing and a strength.”

Bush was not alone during the ceremony. His wife, former first lady Laura Bush, also spoke and praised the benefits of immigration.

“We’re a much richer state for all the cultures that have settled on our land,” she stated.

During his speech, the 43rd president called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform — a measure that was also largely sought after by the Obama administration. The comments were in lockstep with George Bush’s policy goals during his own presidency. The 43rd president is now considered more moderate on immigration than where the Republican Party currently stands in the Trump era.

However, the Texas Republican also touted the need for sovereign borders, and he praised the work of Border Patrol agents.

“Borders are not arbitrary, and they need to be respected along with the fine men and women of the immigration services and the Border Patrol,” George Bush continued Monday. The words were in contrast to the rising number of Democrats who have bemoaned immigration agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and have called for the agency to be abolished altogether.

The relationship between President Donald Trump and the Bush family is notably rocky.

Former President George W. Bush waits on the first tee alongside Captain Jay Haas (Harry How/Getty Images)

Former President George W. Bush is pictured. (Harry How/Getty Images)

During the 2016 Republican primaries, Trump continuously mocked George Bush’s younger brother, Jeb Bush, whom he referred to as “low energy.” In an indirect reference to the Trump administration, the 43rd president in October 2017 suggested Trump promoted bigotry. Jeb Bush said during an interview in March he wanted to see a Republican candidate launch a primary campaign against the current president. (RELATED: ICE Officers Giving Up On Trump Over Catch And Release)

“I think someone should run just because Republicans ought to be given a choice,” Jeb Bush said during an interview with CNN’s David Axelrod. “It’s hard to beat a sitting president, but to have a conversation about what it is to be a conservative — I think it’s important.”

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

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang came out against circumcision earlier this week.

Yang first stated his stance on the procedure nearly a week ago on Twitter, when a Twitter user asked him about his feelings on “routine infant circumcision,” to which he answered, “Negative on it.”

“It’s sort of pushed on parents in many situations,” he said to the Daily Beast in an interview published on Monday. “From what I’ve seen, the evidence on it being a positive health choice for the infant is quite shaky.”

Yang wants to “inform parents that it is entirely up to them whether their infant gets circumcised, and that there are costs and benefits either way,” adding that, “The more choice we give parents, and the more we diminish the possible preconceptions or misinformation various parents are receiving, then the better off we’ll be as a society.”

(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)

Both the Jewish and Muslim faiths call for boys to be circumcised. Jewish baby boys undergo the procedure on the eighth day after birth in a ceremony called a “bris.”

“The bris is a physical symbol of the relationship between G‑d and the Jewish people. It is a constant reminder of what the Jewish mission entails (a reminder which men need more than women),” according to Chabad.org.

The Quran does not specifically mention circumcision but the term to describe the procedure is called a “khitan.”

Aside from coming out against circumcision, Yang is campaigning on providing everyone with a $12,000 universal basic income (UBI) in the form of a $1,000 monthly cash payment, which he calls a “freedom dividend.” (RELATED: Andrew Yang Qualifies For First Democratic Debate)

Yang qualified for the first Democratic debate after receiving donations from at least 65,000 individual donors.

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Schools in the southern part of America apparently have a lot of women using sugar daddies.

SeekingArrangement is the leading site for women (sugar babies) looking for wealthy men to fund their lifestyles. The site released the top schools, and a lot of them are below the Mason-Dixon line. (SLIDESHOW: These Women On Instagram Hate Wearing Clothes)

The top 10, according to The New York Post, are as follows:

  1. Georgia State University
  2. University of Central Florida
  3. University of Alabama
  4. Florida State University
  5. University of Florida
  6. Rutgers University
  7. California State University, Fullerton
  8. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  9. University of North Texas
  10. University of Missouri

So, go ahead and raise your hand if you saw this turn of events coming? I sure didn’t. I know a decent amount of southern people, and none of them have ever crossed me as interested in sugar daddies. (SLIDESHOW: 142 Times Josephine Skriver Barely Wore Anything)

Yes, I understand it’s a large region, but you get my point. (SLIDESHOW: 71 Times Samantha Hoopes Stripped Down)

On a broader point, I don’t understand the idea behind using these sites. I really don’t. Here’s a fun fact that might not be pleasant to hear, but it’s true. (SLIDESHOW: This Blonde Bombshell Might Be The Hottest Model On The Internet) 

There are plenty of rich young men walking around campus. That’s right. There are kids in their early 20s with more money in the bank thank real adults working real jobs. (SLIDESHOW: 60 Times Abigail Ratchford Wore Almost Nothing)

Why wouldn’t these women just find a rich guy their own age? That would seem to make a hell of a lot more sense.

There are a lot more people walking around with access to cash than you probably think. If you don’t believe me, then I encourage you to visit a major college campus sometime. Then again, I suppose at the most affluent schools, women likely aren’t in a situation where they need money anyway.

As for the rest of out in these mean streets, I guess we’ll just have to chug a bunch of beer before hitting the bars and then proceed to fail miserably as we hit on women with our crew.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

UFC president Dana White isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The man responsible for hyping up the most exciting league in pro fighting has inked a massive extension to call the shots for years to come. (SLIDESHOW: These UFC Women Really Hate Wearing Clothes)

“Ari Emanuel and I just signed a new seven-year deal, too. So we’re here for seven years. ESPN is here for seven years, and the incredible things that we’re going to work on — I just can’t even tell you how pumped I am for all this stuff,” White said during a Monday appearance on the UFC’s YouTube channel with reporter Megan Olivi, according to ESPN. Ari Emanuel is the co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor, which is the majority owner of UFC promotion.

This is a great decision from the UFC and all the power brokers involved. The fighting league wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for White’s leadership. (SLIDESHOW: These Are The Greatest Ronda Rousey Photos On The Internet)

He is arguably the main man responsible for the success of all the stars in the league. You could make a legitimate argument that he crafted Ronda Rousey to be what she became in her prime. (SLIDESHOW: These Are The Sexiest Paige VanZant Photos On The Internet)

I don’t think that’d be unfair at all. His promotion of her made her a global icon.

They need to keep White involved for as long as they can. Sure, he’s already made a ton of money, but I doubt that’s what this about for him at this point.

He’s becoming a global brand himself, and he’s the face of a massive sports league. There are few men on the planet with that kind of influence and power. There are plenty of rich people, but he’s in a different league.

I can’t wait to see what he has planned for the future. I’m sure it’ll be great.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Al Noor mosque shooting survivor Farhid Ahmed poses with a photo of his wife Husna, who was killed in the attack, after an interview with Reuters in Christchurch, New Zealand
Al Noor mosque shooting survivor Farhid Ahmed poses with a photo of his wife Husna, who was killed in the attack, after an interview with Reuters in Christchurch, New Zealand March 18, 2019. Picture taken March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

March 19, 2019

By Charlotte Greenfield and Tom Westbrook

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Reuters) – Husna Ahmed was 19 when she arrived in New Zealand from Bangladesh on her wedding day. Waiting to meet her was Farid, the man she would marry in a few hours, as their families had agreed.

A quarter of a century later, the life they had built together was torn apart at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch when a gunman walked into the building, firing on worshippers at Friday prayers.

Husna encountered the gunman on his way out of the mosque. He shot her on the footpath. She fell and he fired two more shots, killing her instantly.

Farid, who uses a wheelchair after an earlier accident, was talking to a friend and was delayed from joining worshippers at his usual spot at the front of the mosque, instead praying in a small side room.

He managed to escape when he heard the shooting begin, returning when the gunman left, to find many of his friends and community members dead and comfort those who were dying.

Farid found out about his wife’s death when a detective he knew called his niece as they waited outside the mosque.

She passed the phone: “I don’t want you to wait the whole night, Farid. Go home, she will not come,” Farid said the detective told him.

“At the moment I hear that, my response was I felt numb,” Farid told Reuters. “I had tears but I didn’t break down.” His niece crumbled.

A total of 50 people were killed in the rampage, with as many wounded, as the gunman went from Al Noor to another mosque in the South Island city.

Most victims were migrants or refugees from countries including Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Syria, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Husna was one of five members of a growing but tight-knit Bangladeshi community killed, according to the Bangladesh consul in New Zealand, Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan. Four others were wounded, one critically, he added.

Members of the Bangladesh cricket team, in town for a test match against New Zealand, narrowly avoided the carnage, turning up at the Al Noor mosque soon after the attack took place.

Based on what eyewitnesses told him, Farid said instead of hiding, Husna helped women and children inside the mosque and ran to the front of the building to look for him.

“She’s such a person who always put other people first and she was even not afraid to give her life saving other people,” Farid said.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with murder. He entered no plea and police said he is likely to face more charges.

The slaughter has rocked Christchurch, and New Zealand, to its core, blanketing the city in grief and driving Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to promise swift gun law reform.

Farid said he had forgiven his wife’s killer.

“I want to give the message to the person who did this, or if he has any friends who also think like this: I still love you,” Farid said. “I want to hug you and I want to tell him in face that I am talking from my heart. I have no grudge against you, I never hated you, I will never hate you.”

LIKE A MOTHER

A few hours after the massacre as evening fell, the front room of Farid’s home in a sleepy Christchurch suburb where he runs a homeopathy business was full with survivors and friends grieving for a woman many described as like a mother to them.

Husna was born on 12 October in 1974 in Sylhet, a city on the banks the Surma River, in northeastern Bangladesh. She was so fast that Shahzalal Junior High School would only let her run three races, to give her rivals a chance, Farid said.

She moved to New Zealand in 1994.

Thin, nervous and overwhelmed by leaving everyone she knew for a new life in an alien country, she burst into tears when her husband-to-be picked her up from Auckland airport.

He comforted her on the long drive back to Nelson, where he was living, and where she quickly found her feet.

With almost no other Bangladeshis in the small city, Husna made English-speaking friends and learned the language within six months. Farid said she spoke it with more of a Kiwi accent than he did.

When Farid’s workmates at a meatpacking plant agreed to work half an hour longer on Fridays so he could take a break to pray, she cooked them a feast every week in thanks.

And when Farid was partially paralyzed after being run over by a car outside his house, after four years of marriage, she moved with him to Christchurch and became his nurse.

“Our hobby was we used to talk to each other. A lot. And we never felt bored,” he said.

REBUILDING CHRISTCHURCH

When Christchurch was razed by a deadly earthquake in 2011, Husna helped settle an influx of Bangladeshi migrants – qualified engineers, metalworkers and builders – who came to assist the rebuilding of the shattered city.

Mohammad Omar Faruk, 36, was one of the new arrivals. Faruk was working as a welder in Singapore but leapt at the opportunity to come to New Zealand where working conditions were better and permanent residency was possible.

Faruk was also killed at Al Noor mosque.

His employer, Rob van Peer, said he had allowed his team to leave early last Friday after they finished a job by lunchtime, meaning Faruk could attend Friday prayers.

Van Peer said Faruk was loved by his colleagues for his loyal and friendly personality and fast, precise welds.

Zakaria Bhuiyan, a welder at another engineering firm, also died. Newly married, he was waiting for a visitor visa so his wife could travel from Bangladesh.

Mojammel Haque worked as a dentist in Bangladesh and was studying in New Zealand for an advanced medical qualification when he was killed.

All three men knew Husna, said Mojibur Rahman, a welder and former flatmate of Faruk.

“It’s really hard because we are a little community but everyone’s living here in unity, we know each other, we share everything with each together,” he said. “Now I don’t know what’s going to happen, how we become normal.”

The fifth Bangladeshi victim was Abus Samad, 66, a former faculty member of Bangladesh Agriculture University who had been teaching at Christchurch’s Lincoln University.

CUSTOMS AND CARE

Many new workers to Christchurch brought young families, or were starting them and Husna took it upon herself to care for women through their pregnancies, often waking Farid at all hours so he could drive her to the births.

“We think she’s like a mother…if there’s something we needed, we go to Husna,” said Mohammed Jahangir Alan, another welder.

Husna guided his wife, then 19, to a midwife and a doctor and joined her in the delivery room as she gave birth to a baby girl, Alan said.

A few days later Husna shaved the infant’s head, an Islamic ritual which she did for dozens of children in the community. She was so gentle the baby fell asleep while she pulled the razor over the soft skin.

Husna would also lead the customary washing and prayer ritual for women who died. She was due to lead a workshop the day after her death to teach other women the process.

Now, Husna’s devastated female family members will wash her for her funeral, expected later this week.

“We know she would just want us to be a part of it, to wash her,” said her sister-in-law Ayesha Corner.

After the burial, Farid says he wants to continue the work he and his wife used to do and to care for their 15-year-old daughter.

When the lockdown at her school lifted on Friday, their daughter returned home, knowing only her mother was missing and asking where she was.

“I didn’t miss a second, I said: ‘She is with God,’” Farid said.

“She said: ‘You are lying’. She said: ‘Are you telling me I don’t have a mother?’”

“I said: ‘Yes, but I am your mother now and I am your father…we have to change the roles.”

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield and Tom Westbrook in CHRISTCHURCH; Additional reporting by Ruma Paul in DHAKA; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Men look at stock quotation boards outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Men look at stock quotation boards outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

March 19, 2019

By Tomo Uetake

Asian shares treaded water on Tuesday ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting, hovering near six-month highs, while sterling was choppy as the speaker of Britain’s parliament banned another vote on same Brexit deal.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was virtually flat, just a hair away from the highest level since Sept. 21.

Japan’s Nikkei average dropped 0.5 percent, while Australian stocks eased 0.1 percent.

All three major U.S. indexes rose overnight, lifted by banks and tech names, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite adding between 0.3 and 0.4 percent each. [.N]

“Speculators appear to be betting on rise in stock prices on the back of a dovish Fed. The Fed is unlikely to kill such hopes. Yet there is a risk the Fed could tone down its dovishness,” said Masanari Takada, cross-asset strategist at Nomura Securities.

With signs of global economic growth slowing, traders were focused on the Federal Reserve, which is kicking off its two-day policy meeting on later in the day, for clues about the likely path of U.S. borrowing costs.

In particular, investors will be focusing on whether policymakers have sufficiently lowered their interest rate forecasts to more closely align their “dot plot”, a diagram showing individual policymakers’ rate views for the next three years.

Also expected is more detail on a plan to stop cutting the Fed’s holdings of nearly $3.8 trillion in bonds.

“A key focus is when the Fed will omit the word ‘patient’ from its statement, as that would be a pre-requisite for a rate hike,” said Toru Yamamoto, chief fixed income strategist at Daiwa Securities.

In the currency market, the pound found firmer footing on Tuesday after slipping to as low as $1.3183 overnight as lawmakers cast doubt on Prime Minister Theresa May’s third attempt to get parliament to back her Brexit deal. [GBP/]

May’s Brexit plans were thrown into further turmoil on Monday when the speaker of parliament ruled that she could not put her divorce deal to a new vote unless it was re-submitted in fundamentally different form.

May has only two days to win approval for her deal to leave the European Union if she wants to go to a summit with the bloc’s leaders on Thursday with something to offer them in return for more time.

Meanwhile, senior diplomats said the European Union leaders could hold off making any final decision on any Brexit delay when they meet in Brussels later this week, depending on what exactly May asks them for.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies barely moved and was at 96.498.

The Japanese yen edged up 0.1 percent to 111.27 yen to the dollar, while the euro was almost flat at $1.1334.

Oil prices rose to near four-month highs on Monday, supported by the prospect of extended OPEC-led oil supply curbs and signs of inventory declines in U.S. crude stockpiles. [O/R]

Early on Tuesday, U.S. crude futures slipped 0.2 percent to $58.99 a barrel.

(Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Kim Coghill)

Source: OANN

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

A Virginia student accused of sexual misconduct said Fairfax County Public Schools treated male students “disproportionately harsher” than female students in sexual harassment cases.

The 18-year-old male student, referred to as “John Doe” in the lawsuit, said the district violated his free speech, due process rights and did not investigate the situation properly. Doe was suspended and sent to a different school, according to the lawsuit given to The Daily Caller News Foundation by attorney Jesse Binnall.

A Robinson Secondary School female accused two male students of sexual harassment after her buttocks were allegedly slapped in December 2018. Surveillance video reportedly showed Doe did not hit the female student, according to the lawsuit.

Doe befriended the female student who was new to the school.

“Doe and Student A had classes together and would see each other at school outside of class,” the lawsuit said. “Doe flirted with Student A, which included friendly conversations, putting his arm around her and playfully poking her in class. Student A did not reject these overtures. In fact, she would often seek out Doe’s company and return his flirtations.”

The lawsuit claims the female student “colluded” with her friends to make false statements and the assistant principal was allegedly “seeking evidence that was inculpatory and ignored exculpatory evidence,” according to the lawsuit.

Binnall told TheDCNF one of the witnesses changed her story.

“If a male student and female student are both engaged in mutual sexual contact or touching on school grounds, it is common for the male student to be punished and for the female student not to be punished, based on gender,” the lawsuit said.

Pictured is a hand on a shoulder. SHUTTERSTOCK/Andrey_Popov

Pictured is a hand on a shoulder. SHUTTERSTOCK/Andrey_Popov

Doe’s punishment could affect his college wrestling scholarship and entry to a “prestigious” university unless his record gets cleaned by a judge, The Washington Post reported Sunday. A hearing is expected March 22. (RELATED: Education Department’s Budget Proposal Includes First Ever Teacher Voucher Program)

“He was never given a fair shot to make his case to prove that he was innocent in a school district that doesn’t even have a presumption of innocence,” Binnall said to TheDCNF.

John Torre, a spokesman for FCPS, would not comment on the specifics of the case to WaPo, but said the school district “thoroughly investigates all allegations of Title IX violations and takes action, where appropriate.”

Title IX does not allow sex-based discrimination to education programs receiving federal funding. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed sweeping changes to Title IX to clarify students’ rights and schools’ legal obligations in November 2018.

FCPS is dealing with two other federal lawsuits over mishandling of sexual allegation cases, according to WaPo.

The district is the 10th largest in the U.S. and serves more than 187,000 students.

Robinson Secondary principal Matt Eline could not provide comment on the case.

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

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

Source: The Daily Caller

Celine Ryan | Contributor

Online feminist, transgender, and other intersectionality-inclined communities have seemingly begun to faction. With so much uncertainty surrounding the definition of “woman,” questions are naturally arising about the definition of appropriate feminism. Do trans women count? What about women who choose to sell sex? Ask too many of these questions, however, and you’ll likely be excommunicated from the conversation entirely.

The term “transmedicalist” generally refers to individuals who support the practice of gender transition, but believe it should be reserved to those who have the mental condition of gender dysphoria and have a desire to switch from either of the biological genders to the other. These people typically argue that while genuinely transgender people exist, some who purport to be transgender are doing so for reasons other than dysphoria, such as a search for a solution to general depression, or a desire to follow a trend.

In left-wing online circles, people with this belief are typically referred to as “truscum,” and it’s often made clear they are not welcome to participate in the conversation with people who believe in a spectrum of genders and reasons for identifying as transgender.

Ronnie Chua / Shutterstock.com

Ronnie Chua / Shutterstock.com

One entity that has been criticized as in this way is watchdog group 4thWaveNow, which describes itself as a “community of parents & others concerned about the medicalization of gender-atypical youth and rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” aiming to raise awareness online about “the ever-accelerating medical and media fascination with the phenomenon of ‘transgender children.’”

The Daily Caller reported last week that 4thWaveNow had released a number of revealing screenshots from a private leftist Facebook group, where parents discussed the extreme ways in which they facilitated gender transitions for their toddlers.

4thWaveNow has been criticized as being “transphobic” because it criticizes the practice of encouraging gender transitions in children, especially those who show no signs of actual gender dysphoria. (RELATED: Inside The Online Community Facilitating The Gender Transitions Of 5-Year-Olds)

The same group has now released another batch of screenshots from the same Facebook group, this time revealing conversations among “gender affirming” parents about their supposedly transgender children between the ages of one and four.

The leaked screenshots include a conversation about a two-year-old “amab” [assigned male at birth] child who revealed his true female gender identity to his parents at age two, and another encouraging the confused parent of a four-year-old, who has proclaimed on different occasions to be both a boy and a girl, to “keep following your kid’s lead.”

Other skeptics of intersectionality have been similarly ostracized from the online feminist and LGBT communities, such as “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists,” often derogatorily called “terfs.” These individuals consider themselves to be hardline feminists, but believe that to allow men to transition and live as women is antithetical to the tenants of feminism itself, allowing men to even further oppress women by means of infiltrating womanhood itself.

“Terfs” are regarded in leftist social media circles as “transphobic,” and their nuanced approach to feminism is considered taboo in online leftist communities, such as in this post from a pagan community where “witch terfs” are informed that “Aphrodite is ashamed” of them.

Similarly, these communities don’t take kindly to “serfs,” or “Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminists.” These individuals also consider themselves feminist but consider all forms of prostitution and other sex work to be symptoms of male oppression, rather than evidence of female empowerment. This attitude is seen as noninclusive and intolerant toward sex workers, and as such, these individuals are also often excluded from the conversation.

Follow Celine Ryan on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) unabashedly embraced the tactics behind one of the most shameful policies of the Obama era, openly using the guise of her federal authority to berate and not so subtly threaten a bank for lawfully serving businesses that don’t reflect her political views. 

While the media did their best to protect Barack Obama and his administration from any hint of scandal, two gun related issues managed to stain the White House with considerable and widespread disrepute. 

One concerned a program to secretly “walk” guns from American firearm dealers directly into the clutches of ruthless Mexican drug cartels, while at the same using the resulting violence as a pretext to call for increased firearm regulation in the U.S. The officials involved dubbed this Operation Fast & Furious. It was only the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, killed in a shootout that involved one of the “walked” guns, that finally forced the issue into the national consciousness. 

The other scandal involved federal regulators pressuring banks and payment processors to sever ties with businesses that were completely lawful but that offended anti-gun sensibilities. These included members of the gun industry. This program was known as Operation Choke Point (OCP), and while no fatalities have been attributed to it, the scheme struck at the heart of the rule of law. 

In the case of OCP, Department of Justice and Federal Deposit Insurance Company officials provided sworn testimony to Congress denying that regulators were pressuring banks to drop business the regulators found morally objectionable. Apparently, they suggested, the banks just misunderstood the “risk management” guidance they were being provided. In time (after considerable damage had already been done, and the banks thoroughly understood their unwritten marching orders), guidance documents were revised to “clarify” the regulators’ “true intent.”

The NRA and others have already been reporting on how shades of OCP have reappeared in a re-emboldened anti-gun House majority, as well as in their media and plutocratic enablers. 

But an oversight hearing by the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday provided one of the clearest and most shocking examples to date of how anti-gun Democrats are now willing to embrace as official policy what was still treated as scandal under the Obama administration.

The title of the hearing was “Holding Megabanks Accountable: An Examination of Wells Fargo’s Pattern of Consumer Abuses.” Wells Fargo, not coincidentally, provides banking services to the NRA. 

The only witness at the four hour plus hearing was Wells Fargo President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy J. Sloan. Mr. Sloan had the unenviable task of serving as punching bag during an extended production of Political Outrage Theatre. The entire premise of the hearing was that Wells Fargo might very well have to endure yet more regulation and oversight – or perhaps be broken up altogether – unless Mr. Sloan provided satisfactory answers to committee members’ questions about the bank and its business practices.

Maloney, for her part, excoriated Mr. Sloan and Wells Fargo for refusing to follow the lead of other national banks that had refused or severed business with members of the gun industry that did not “voluntarily” adopt certain gun control “best practices” that exceed the requirements of federal law.  

These practices include banning long gun purchases by young adults eligible for military service and refusing to recognize the 3-day default transfer option that gun dealers may exercise if the FBI does not complete a background check. They also just happened to mirror policy goals that anti-gun Democrats – a category that includes Maloney herself – have been pursuing through legislation they have not to date been successful in enacting. 

Maloney, in other words, was not accusing Wells Fargo of having done anything illegal by transacting with members of the firearm industry. Rather, she was criticizing the bank for not imposing anti-gun rules that Congress itself has failed to adopt. 

Maloney noted that Wells Fargo does have corporate “human rights” practices that in some cases exceed legal and industry standards. She then mentioned the Parkland massacre, as if Wells Fargo were somehow complicit in the acts of a deranged murderer who had nothing to do with the bank and who had been given authorization to buy the gun he used in his crime by the federal government itself via its background check system.

“Why,” Maloney demanded to know, “does Wells Fargo continue to put profits over people by financing companies that are making weapons that are literally killing our children and our neighbors? … How bad does the mass shooting epidemic have to get before you will adopt common sense gun safety policies like other banks have done?”

Given the backdrop of Operation Choke Point, Maloney might as well have asked, “Federal regulators and big city newspapers have browbeaten your competition into submission on the issue of servicing firearm industry clients. How dare you defy their wishes and continue to do so?” She also invoked the shibboleth that school shootings are increasing, a premise that research refutes. 

Mr. Sloan calmly answered, “We don’t put profits over people. We bank many industries across this country.” He continued, “We do our best to ensure that all of our customers who we bank follow the laws and regulations that are in place on a local and a state and a national level.” 

Maloney then interrupted, insisting that the bank’s commitment to gun control should be as strong as its commitment to human rights. 

Mr. Sloan, however, stood his ground. “We just don’t believe that it is a good idea to encourage banks to enforce legislation that doesn’t exist.”

He didn’t add, but he could have, that respect for human rights also necessitates respect for the fundamental rights of self-preservation and self-protection. 

The entire exchange can be seen on this video, starting at 48:03.

Needless to say, no business in America could survive if it had to comply not just with all the binding laws that regulators foist upon the country’s companies and employers but with the personal sensibilities and politics of all 535 federal legislators, plus those of thousands of federal bureaucrats. 

Nor could any business survive if it had to answer for every unaffiliated person who abused or misused one of its products or services. 

That is why America is often said to be a country of laws, not men. That principle has provided the most stable and prosperous economy and business environment the world has ever known.

That stability is threatened, however, by those like Maloney and others who would rule by intimidation and humiliation rather than by duly enacted legislation.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Source: The Daily Caller

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

The suspected gunman being sought in connection to a shooting in the Dutch city of Utrecht that left three people dead and five injured was arrested hours after the shooting, police said.

Dutch police had been searching for 37-year-old Gokmen Tanis, who was born in Turkey, in connection with the possible terrorist attack, reported BBC Monday.

Dutch authorities raised the threat alert to the highest level in Utrecht and surrounding areas before the suspect was found, reported NBC News(RELATED: Dutch Police Searching For Turkish Man After Tram Shooting Leaves 3 Dead, 5 Injured)

Utrecht’s mayor, Jan van Zanen, called Tanis a suspect and said three of the injured have serious wounds.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (L) and Right, Justice and Security Minister Ferd Grapperhaus speak to the press at the Ministry of Justice and Security in The Hague, on March 18, 2019 following a shooting in a tram in Utrecht. (LEX VAN LIESHOUT/AFP/Getty Images)

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (L) and Right, Justice and Security Minister Ferd Grapperhaus speak to the press at the Ministry of Justice and Security in The Hague, on March 18, 2019 following a shooting in a tram in Utrecht. (LEX VAN LIESHOUT/AFP/Getty Images)

Policemen are at work on March 18, 2019 in Utrecht, near a tram where a gunman opened fire killing at least three persons and wounding several in what officials said was a possible terrorist incident. (JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Policemen are at work on March 18, 2019 in Utrecht, near a tram where a gunman opened fire killing at least three persons and wounding several in what officials said was a possible terrorist incident. (JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

“We are working on the assumption of a terrorist motive,” van Zanen said. “We think there is just one perpetrator, but we cannot exclude the possibly of there being several perpetrators.”

Authorities evacuated all mosques in Utrecht and security was upped at other mosques around the Netherlands, reported The New York Times. Authorities did not say whether the evacuations were due to a specific threat or were done to be extra careful after the deadly mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday.

Utrecht is a city of about 330,000 people located 25 miles from the Netherlands’ capital, Amsterdam.

The Netherlands had a rocky 2018, during which seven men were arrested for conspiring to commit a major terrorist attack in the country and an Afghan man stabbed two Americans in a railway station.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk claimed on Twitter that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar once voted against a bill that blocked payments to the families of terrorists.

“In 2017, @IlhanMN voted no on a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that blocked payments to the children & spouses of known terrorists,” Kirk tweeted March 5.

Verdict: True

According to state records, Omar was one of two members in the Minnesota legislature who voted against H.F. 1397, a 2017 bill that sought to block life insurance payouts to the families of terrorists. It’s unclear why Omar voted against this bill.

Fact Check:

Omar, the freshman lawmaker from Minnesota’s fifth congressional district, is the first Somali American elected to Congress and one of three Muslims currently serving. Prior to her election, Omar served one term in Minnesota’s House of Representatives.

Voting records show that as a state representative, Omar was one of two members to vote against H.F. 1397, a 2017 bill that sought to allow life insurance companies the ability to deny payouts to beneficiaries “if the insured’s death occurs directly or indirectly as a result of the insured’s furtherance of terrorism.”

The bill was in response to the 2015 San Bernardino shooting. Syed Rizwan Farook, a California man who, with his wife Tashfeen Malik, shot and killed 14 people, had previously taken out two life insurance policies worth a combined total of $275,000. After Farook was killed in a shootout with law enforcement, his mother was to be the primary beneficiary of the policies.

However, the federal government filed a lawsuit to seize the money, saying it planned to disperse the funds among the surviving victims and the families of those killed in the attack.

“Terrorists must not be permitted to provide for their designated beneficiaries through their crimes,” said then- U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker in a statement. “My office intends to explore every legal option available to us to ensure these funds are made available to the victims of this horrific crime. We will continue to use every tool available to seek justice on behalf of the victims.”

A federal judge ruled in August 2016 that the government could seize the funds, The San Bernardino Sun reported.

The Minnesota bill passed the House in a 127-2 vote. Omar and fellow state Rep. John Lesch were the only members to vote against the bill. Lesch voiced concern that the wording of the bill might give insurance companies too much discretion over what constitutes terrorism.

“[The bill] allows an insurance company, not a court, to decide what constitutes an act of terrorism under the cited statute, and it lowers the burden on that call to preponderance of the evidence,” Lesch told Alpha News, a Minnesota-based news outlet.

He expressed that he was not opposed to the idea behind the bill: “Terrorists should not be able to send life insurance benefits to beneficiaries based on bad faith recent policy purchases. I think we can all agree on that.”

It’s unclear why Omar voted against the bill. Her office did not respond to a request for comment. (RELATED: Did Ilhan Omar Vote Against A Bill Making Female Genital Mutilation A Felony?)

Omar has been criticized by some on the political right for a letter she sent a judge back in 2016 asking for leniency to be shown to nine Minnesota men charged with planning to join ISIS. “The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion,” reads one portion of the letter. “We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to affect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation.”

Minneapolis, a city within Omar’s congressional district, has witnessed some of its young male residents join, or attempt to join, terror groups such as ISIS and Somalia-based al-Shabab, according to one Fox News story.

Omar has faced calls to be removed from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee over comments she made that were perceived by some to be anti-Semitic.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk claimed on Twitter that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar once voted against a bill that blocked payments to the families of terrorists.

“In 2017, @IlhanMN voted no on a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that blocked payments to the children & spouses of known terrorists,” Kirk tweeted March 5.

Verdict: True

According to state records, Omar was one of two members in the Minnesota legislature who voted against H.F. 1397, a 2017 bill that sought to block life insurance payouts to the families of terrorists. It’s unclear why Omar voted against this bill.

Fact Check:

Omar, the freshman lawmaker from Minnesota’s fifth congressional district, is the first Somali American elected to Congress and one of three Muslims currently serving. Prior to her election, Omar served one term in Minnesota’s House of Representatives.

Voting records show that as a state representative, Omar was one of two members to vote against H.F. 1397, a 2017 bill that sought to allow life insurance companies the ability to deny payouts to beneficiaries “if the insured’s death occurs directly or indirectly as a result of the insured’s furtherance of terrorism.”

The bill was in response to the 2015 San Bernardino shooting. Syed Rizwan Farook, a California man who, with his wife Tashfeen Malik, shot and killed 14 people, had previously taken out two life insurance policies worth a combined total of $275,000. After Farook was killed in a shootout with law enforcement, his mother was to be the primary beneficiary of the policies.

However, the federal government filed a lawsuit to seize the money, saying it planned to disperse the funds among the surviving victims and the families of those killed in the attack.

“Terrorists must not be permitted to provide for their designated beneficiaries through their crimes,” said then- U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker in a statement. “My office intends to explore every legal option available to us to ensure these funds are made available to the victims of this horrific crime. We will continue to use every tool available to seek justice on behalf of the victims.”

A federal judge ruled in August 2016 that the government could seize the funds, The San Bernardino Sun reported.

The Minnesota bill passed the House in a 127-2 vote. Omar and fellow state Rep. John Lesch were the only members to vote against the bill. Lesch voiced concern that the wording of the bill might give insurance companies too much discretion over what constitutes terrorism.

“[The bill] allows an insurance company, not a court, to decide what constitutes an act of terrorism under the cited statute, and it lowers the burden on that call to preponderance of the evidence,” Lesch told Alpha News, a Minnesota-based news outlet.

He expressed that he was not opposed to the idea behind the bill: “Terrorists should not be able to send life insurance benefits to beneficiaries based on bad faith recent policy purchases. I think we can all agree on that.”

It’s unclear why Omar voted against the bill. Her office did not respond to a request for comment. (RELATED: Did Ilhan Omar Vote Against A Bill Making Female Genital Mutilation A Felony?)

Omar has been criticized by some on the political right for a letter she sent a judge back in 2016 asking for leniency to be shown to nine Minnesota men charged with planning to join ISIS. “The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion,” reads one portion of the letter. “We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to affect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation.”

Minneapolis, a city within Omar’s congressional district, has witnessed some of its young male residents join, or attempt to join, terror groups such as ISIS and Somalia-based al-Shabab, according to one Fox News story.

Omar has faced calls to be removed from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee over comments she made that were perceived by some to be anti-Semitic.

Follow Brad on Twitter

Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected]

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

Source: The Daily Caller

Betsy Rothstein | Reporter

The media is a punching bag for everything these days — even the alleged evil bulging swell in porn coverage.

And Erick Erickson‘s website, The Resurgent, is evidently really unhappy about it.

While the conservative commentator now heartily supports President Trump‘s reelection campaign since Trump wooed him hard, Erickson was not a big fan of the leader of the free world. He was solidly in the #NeverTrump camp after Trump had his infamous blood fight with then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly. At the time, Erickson worked for Red State and made a big hoo-ha of disinviting Trump from the site’s big “Gathering.”

On Monday, one of his Resurgent writers, Jess Fields, wrote about being “disgusted” by the “media’s obsession” with porn.

Erickson has never hid his Christian proclivities and his relationship with Jesus Christ.

Fields treats porn like a dangerous hot potato: “Linked on Drudge Report is an article in the Daily Mail about some new sex club that opened up in Los Angeles. I won’t link to it here.”

He says stories like these are a dime a dozen, that the media runs stories about sex clubs and and celebrity sex tapes like they are “no big thing.” (RELATED: Porn Star Appears In Court On Charges Of Abusing A Minor)

As an aside, porn star Stormy Daniels claims to have been paid off for the unprotected romp she had with Trump in 2006, which he has consistently denied.

Fields also strongly opposes the hyped-up response to Fifty Shades of Gray, which he says is not appropriate for kids. (Of course it’s not appropriate for kids. But to be fair, neither is beer, smoking or playing with sharp objects.)

The writer says the “glorification” of porn is a problem. He even invented a clever phrase, saying our culture has become “more pornified.” Fortified, but with a twist of porn.

Fields goes on to report that half of all adult males watch porn on a weekly basis. I consulted a male guru on this charge, just to verify its truthiness. Indeed, the writer may be onto something. “I’d be highly surprised if any man under 60 watched porn less than once a week,” said a male I know who reached into the depths of his soul to share his views on men and porn watching routines. “Other than the minority of weirdos that watch 0 porn. And even once a week seems laughably low.” 

“Christians should do everything possible to not only steer clear of the many pornified products of our wicked culture, but also to help those they have influence over,” he writes. (RELATED: Catholic Mom And Legendary Porn Star Agree That Killing Babies Is Bad) 

He even cites Apostle Paul as saying, “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Fields insists all porn is “bad” and “evil.”

He concludes his piece by making an example out of Osama Bin Laden, who was found with loads of porn in his compound for a U.S. solider shot him to death.

Source: The Daily Caller

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

Former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Vice President Joe Biden dominate the Democratic 2020 presidential field in either fundraising or polling in the early days of the contest.

The dominance of the white, male trio has caused consternation among the Democratic faithful, who were initially emboldened by the diverse nature of the field including persons of color, women and LGBTQIA+ representation.

New York Times reporter Astead Herndon noted the trend on Twitter Monday, saying:

Herndon’s observation was quickly picked up by progressives. Rebecca Traister, NYMag writer and author of “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power Of Women’s Anger,” noted on Twitter that “being a white man” is “an extremely powerful polling [and] fundraising boon, as it has always, always been.

Prominent media critic Jeff Jarvis declared Sunday that “we have an amazing field of women, people of color, and LGBTQ candidates. Speaking as an old white man, we don’t need more white men.”

O’Rourke, Biden and Sanders’ dominance has even spawned accusations of media bias with Democratic political consultant Anne Marsh, who told Politico, “I feel like the media is always captivated by the person they seem to think is a phenom: Bernie. Trump. Beto. But they always seem to be white men who are phenoms. In a year where we have more choices than ever, more women and more persons of color than ever, none of them seem to be deemed a phenom.”

O’Rourke announced Monday morning that his campaign brought in a record $6.1 million in online fundraising dollars within the first 24 hours of launching last week, more than any other announced Democrat. Sanders was the only candidate to come close to matching O’Rourke’s support, with $5.925 million raised within the first 24 hours after his announcement. (RELATED: Joe Biden Calls Mike Pence ‘A Decent Guy’ Then Backtracks)

O’Rourke and Sander’s initial 24-hour fundraising combined put them above the entirety of the rest of the Democratic field, including leaders like Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar; Washington Governor Jay Inslee; and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The trio of Sanders, O’Rourke and Biden have either topped or dominated several Democratic national polls despite the wide field of candidates. Morning Consult’s latest analysis shows overwhelming support for Biden and Sanders amongst national Democrats with 58 percent of Democratic primary voters supporting them. Harris and O’Rourke trailed the pair with 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

Biden also leads the entirety of the announced Democratic field in the most recent Des Moine Register poll in Iowa, with 27 percent support from likely caucus-goers, the site of the first presidential contest. Biden was trailed by only 2 percent of the vote by Sanders. The two Democrats held the plurality of support amongst likely caucus-goers with Warren, Harris, O’Rourke and others trailing behind.

Source: The Daily Caller

Late Sen. John McCain was President Donald Trump's "kryptonite in life" and he's still his "kryptonite in death," Meghan McCain said Monday while pushing back against the president after he attacked her father on Twitter over the weekend.

"Listen, he spends his weekend obsessing over great men because he knows it, and I know it, and all of you know it: he will never be a great man," McCain, a co-host of ABC's "The View," said during the program, while commenting that rather than spending time with his family and friends, the president spends it on waging attacks.  

"All of us have love and families, and when my father was alive, up until adulthood, we would spend our time together cooking, hiking, fishing, really celebrating life, and I think it's because he almost died," McCain said. "And I just thought, 'your life is spent on the weekend not with your family, not with your friends, but you're obsessing, obsessing over great men you could never live up to.' That tells you everything you need to know about his pathetic life right now."

McCain died in 2018 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. Over the weekend, Trump attacked him for his ties to a dossier linking the president with Russia, and about his vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act. He also said that McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five years, was "last in his class" at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Meghan McCain over the weekend tweeted to Trump that "no one will ever love you the way they loved my father."

Source: NewsMax

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

“The View” host Meghan McCain was gunning for President Donald Trump on Monday’s episode, claiming that her late father was “his kryptonite” in both life and death.

WATCH:

Co-host Joy Behar kicked off the segment with an attack of her own, calling Trump “pathetic” and referencing tweets he posted over the weekend criticizing the late Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain.

“He tweeted against John McCain who passed away unfortunately not that long ago,” Behar began. “It’s kind of a pathetic statement on his part because when John McCain was getting the silver star, Trump was at his doctor’s trying to get out of the draft with these alleged bone spurs …”

Sunny Hostin encouraged McCain, saying that the way she had handled the attacks was admirable and “the right way.”

After thanking her co-hosts for their support, McCain turned full force against the president. (RELATED: ‘My Father Lives Rent Free In Your Head’: Meghan McCain Spars With Trump)

He spends his weekend obsessing over wonderful great men because he knows it and I know it, he will never be a great man. My father was his kryptonite in life and his kryptonite in death . . . . And I just thought, ‘your life is spent on weekends not with your family, not with your friends, but obsessing, obsessing, over great men you could never live up to.’ That tells you everything you needed to know about his pathetic life.

McCain concluded by saying, “I genuinely feel bad for his family.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

An awesome video of Kentucky coach John Calipari has gone viral on Twitter for all the right reasons.

Calipari, who lost to Wisconsin in the 2015 Final Four, is known for being a bit dramatic, and the video posted by the SEC Network is the perfect evidence. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

All he does is moan and complain about Kentucky’s matchup every single year. Give it a watch below, and do your best not to laugh out loud.

For as annoying as I find Calipari at times, the video above is pretty damn funny. Anybody who watches that and claims Cal isn’t a complainer is just lying to themselves. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

It’s that simple. Is it funny? Yes. Is he a complainer at times? Yes.

Here’s the reality of March Madness. You either win or you go home. Save the dramatics for some place where they might have an impact.

They won’t do anything on the court. I can promise you that much. It’s time to separate the boys from the men, and none of Calipari’s whining in the world will change that.

The only great team in Kentucky’s region is UNC. If they can’t handle that, then they don’t deserve to hang around.

Now, watch Wisconsin smash them into the ground back in 2015. I know that will bring smiles to your faces.

Source: The Daily Caller

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

Dutch police are searching for a Turkish man in connection to a tram shooting that left three people dead and nine injured Monday.

Dutch authorities linked 37-year-old Gokmen Tanis, who was born in Turkey, with the possible terrorist attack. Authorities have been searching for him since the shooting took place around 10:45 a.m. local time, reported The New York Times.

Police are calling Tanis “associated with the incident,” not a suspect, but they are also warning people not to approach him. (RELATED: New Zealand Mosque Shootings Take At Least 49 Lives)

Utrecht’s mayor, Jan van Zanen, called Tanis a suspect and said three of the injured have serious wounds, according to The Times.

A view of the site of a shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

A view of the site of a shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

“We are working on the assumption of a terrorist motive,” van Zanen said. “We think there is just one perpetrator, but we cannot exclude the possibly of there being several perpetrators.”

All mosques in Utrecht were evacuated by authorities and security was upped at other mosques around the Netherlands, reported The Times. Authorities did not say whether the evacuations were due to a specific threat or were done to be extra careful after the deadly mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.

Utrecht is a city of about 330,000 people located 25 miles from the Netherlands’ capital, Amsterdam.

The Netherlands had a rocky 2018, during which seven men were arrested for conspiring to commit a major terrorist attack in the country and an Afghan man stabbed two Americans in a railway station.

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

David Hookstead | Reporter

ESPN is trying to get Peyton Manning into the booth for “Monday Night Football.”

The Hollywood Reporter reported the following Monday:

ESPN is courting Peyton Manning to join its Monday Night Football team, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro and content chief Connor Schell made a trip to Denver on March 11 to meet with Manning, who has been mentioned before for a broadcast role. But it’s unclear whether Manning is interested in pursuing a career as an analyst at this time. He’s done some player breakdowns for the ESPN+ plus show Detail. He’s also a successful television pitchman, showing off some comedic chops in spots for Nationwide Insurance, Papa John’s and Mastercard.

Yes, please make this happen. I need Manning in the booth like I need air in my lungs. It would be like a drug for NFL fans.

Manning is one of the most entertaining men in all of sports, and he’s a genius of the game. You don’t win two Super Bowls by accident.

Plus, he’s just a funny dude. The man is a comedy machine.

He’s already been listed as the favorite for the job, and now it looks like ESPN is actually trying to get the job done. (RELATED: Peyton Manning Favored To Replace Jason Witten On ‘Monday Night Football’)

For as much as I rag on ESPN, they have been actually making some solid moves lately. They’ve dialed back the political nonsense, and now they might have the NFL legend on some football broadcasts.

Sign me up immediately.

Get it done, ESPN. It might even make me happy enough that I never trash the network again. That’s what’s at stake here.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

People visit a memorial site for victims of Friday's shooting, in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch
People visit a memorial site for victims of Friday’s shooting, in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

March 18, 2019

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – Kamran Nasir was in a finance lecture in Australia when a gunman slaughtered 50 people during Friday prayers at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Within hours he had joined a band of about 60 volunteers on their way to wash the dead victims, in the somber aftermath of New Zealand’s worst modern mass shooting spree.

“We got this text – they need volunteers,” Nasir, 35, told Reuters.

“It literally unfolded in an hour and half and we were running to the airport to catch a flight,” he said, sitting with four friends who had also dropped everything to offer help.

Experienced in Islamic funeral rites, the men from Brisbane who are connected to Brothers in Need, a charity group, are part of a contingent drawn from Australia and cities across New Zealand to help a community overwhelmed by the number of bodies which must be dealt with according to ritual.

They also epitomize a spirit of generosity that has pulsed across a grieving city this week.

“The first thing that went through my head was: They need us,” Nasir said.

He arrived in the early hours of Saturday, the same day Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder over the killings. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges.

Christchurch is subdued. Bunches of flowers have been piled up outside the botanical gardens and underneath oak trees opposite one of the mosques, which are guarded by armed police.

The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The youngest was a three year old boy, born in New Zealand to Somali refugee parents.

The victims, after their bodies were removed from the crime scenes, had to be examined by investigators before they can be prepared for burial.

“It is a spiritual process, preparing the body to go into the next life,” said Taufan Mawardi, who is 38 and one of Nasir’s fellow volunteers.

“I’ve never personally done anything that’s got to do with violent crime, particularly bodies that have been riddled with bullet holes or knife wounds or whatever that may be. So it is a bit confronting as well, anticipating what it’s going to be like in there,” he said.

Eight teams of six people are carrying out the work of cleansing the bodies before burial.

“You start from the head, working down from the right to the left side, to the feet. The mouth and the nose have to be washed,” Nasir said.

Officials say they have released one body and that they hope to complete their examinations of the other 49 killed as soon as possible.

“As much as it is emotional, we’ve got a very good support network,” said Nasir.

“For me it is an honor. It is an honor to be washing these bodies.”

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN


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