New York Times

Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

The media failed to cover several important stories while it was obsessing over supposed Russian collusion, according to a reporter for The Hill, Joe Concha.

“How many Russian collusion stories did we see where an organization, reporters got it wrong and there were actual consequences? I can only name once really on a major level. CNN and Anthony Scaramucci, and three reporters got fired,” Concha said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”

“Think of the stories we missed as a result of Russia,” he continued. “The economy’s performance as it pertains to wages or unemployment or growth. The destruction of the ISIS caliphate that suddenly came out of nowhere, it seemed to a lot of people, because no one was really covering it. And the most overlooked story: the opioid epidemic. 70,000 people killed in 2017 alone. That’s more than car crashes. You hardly hear about that and that’s what effects real Americans’ lives.”

WATCH: 

Attorney General William Barr delivered his report on the special counsel probe to Congress Sunday and wrote that President Donald Trump and his campaign team did not collude with any Russian entities during the election. Barr also claimed there was not enough evidence to pursue obstruction of justice charges.

Concha criticized the media’s handling of the Russia probe and said the release of the Mueller report serves as the biggest “reckoning” the press has seen since 2016. (RELATED: Here’s How Many Articles, Likes And Shares The Mueller Probe Has Fueled Since Its Inception)

“Throughout these last 22 months, gossip was treated as gospel. Sources providing information to reporters all too willing to accept it like seagulls at the beach. And look, this is a day of reckoning for our media like we haven’t seen since the 2016 election,” he said earlier in the interview.

“I would say maybe the worst day ever for our media given all that coverage and the pushing of that particular narrative around Russia collusion. The Washington Post and New York Times — Mollie Hemingway pointed this out — won Pulitzers for their reporting on Russian collusion. All we heard about was, walls are closing, nooses tightening and this is the beginning of the end. And now we’re hearing, even yesterday and this morning, this is the beginning of something else. The next chapter. You know why? Because it’s good for ratings and because people want to believe the worst about this president.”

You can Follow Nick on Twitter

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

Attorney General William Barr told Congress Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller did not find collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, destroying two years of media speculation and bad reporting.

The obsession to prove collusion has dampened the media’s journalistic abilities, leading to a seemingly endless list of corrections, retractions and apologies.

In light of Mueller concluding his investigation, we’ve compiled a list of some of the worst media screwups in the history of Russia theories.

1. CNN Accuses Don Jr. Of Wikileaks Collusion

Last December, CNN’s Manu Raju reported that Wikileaks emailed Donald Trump Jr. to give him access to stolen documents a full 10 days before they were released to the public.

Unfortunately for CNN, it turns out their sources gave them the wrong date. Don Jr. actually received an email with access to the stolen docs on Sept. 14, 2016, after they had already been released publicly.

2. ABC Tanks Stock Market With Fake Flynn News

ABC was forced to suspend Brian Ross after he falsely reported that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that then-candidate Donald Trump ordered him to make contact with the Russians.

The stock market dropped a few hundred points at the news — but it turned out to be fake.

ABC clarified that Flynn was actually prepared to testify that Trump asked him to contact Russia while the administration was transitioning into office. Pretty standard preparation for an incoming president.

3. The Mooch Is NOT Under Investigation

CNN earns another spot on this list for their shoddy reporting about former Trump adviser Anthony, “The Mooch,” Scaramucci. In June, CNN relied on a single unnamed source to claim that Scaramucci was under investigation for a meeting he took with a Russian banker prior to Trump’s inauguration.

The Mooch denied the story and CNN later gave him a much-deserved apology. Oh … and three CNN employees resigned over the botched piece.

4. Bloomberg’s Dirty Deutsche Bank Scoop

Bloomberg initially reported in December that special counsel Robert Mueller had “zeroed in” on Trump by subpoenaing Deutsche Bank records for the incoming president and his family.

Bloomberg later admitted that Mueller was looking for records relating to “people affiliated” with Trump.

5. Sessions Exonerated

Last May, CNN was sure that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had botched protocol when he didn’t list meetings he had with the Russian ambassador on his security clearance forms. To CNN and other establishment media outlets, this was proof that Sessions was hiding something related to Russia.

A little over six months later, CNN quietly walked back the scandal, explaining the FBI sent emails informing Sessions’ aide that he did not need to disclose the meetings on his forms because they were carried out in the course of his duties as a senator.

6. Russians Aren’t Just Hacking The Election — They’re Hacking Our Power Grid

The Washington Post claimed in January 2017 that Russians were hacking the U.S. power grid through a company in Vermont, only to change the story to say that only one laptop was infiltrated. It turns out that one laptop was never even connected to the power grid.

7. Republicans Funded The Dossier! 

A number of news outlets have consistently claimed that Republicans initially paid for the anti-Trump Steele dossier, failing to note that Steele wasn’t even contracted by Fusion GPS until after the GOP donors pulled funding. The Republican donors say they paid Fusion for standard opposition research and that they have zero connection to the dossier.

The media has perpetuated this falsehood so consistently that even former FBI director James Comey was confused, repeating the lie in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier.

8. CNN Gets Comey Prediction Wildly Wrong

Prior to former FBI director James Comey’s congressional testimony last June, CNN asserted that Comey was prepared to contradict a key claim by President Trump — that Comey told him he was not under investigation.

Sadly for them, Comey’s prepared testimony was released with the line, “During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower … I offered that assurance [that he was not under investigation].”

9. The ’17 Intel Agencies’ Lie

The media perpetuated a false claim from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for months, insisting that all 17 intelligence agencies agree that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. The New York Times, for example, rated that claim as true only to later say the exact opposite.

Only four intelligence agencies ultimately deemed Russia responsible for meddling because the other 13 have no business making judgments on the claim. As The NYT succinctly explained, “The rest were doing other work.”

10. Manafort Notes Are A Nothing Burger

NBC botched its big scoop claiming that Paul Manafort’s notes from a meeting with a Russian lawyer included the word “donations” near a reference to the Republican National Committee.

Turns out, not only did the word “donations” not appear in Manafort’s notes, but the word “donor” didn’t, either. POLITICO had to correct the NBC report, leaving the legacy network looking awfully embarrassed.

11. NBC Issues Cohen Correction

NBC issued a major correction in May on a story about wiretaps and Michael Cohen.

NBC initially claimed that federal investigators were listening in on Cohen’s phone calls, but it turns out they had what’s called a “pen register warrant,” which means they could see who Cohen spoke to on the phone but could not hear what was said.(RELATED: MSNBC Issues HUGE Correction To Michael Cohen ‘Wiretap’ Story)

12. Did Cohen Go To Prague?

A McClatchy report stated that special counsel Robert Mueller had evidence that Michael Cohen visited Prague in the summer of 2016, which seemed to corroborate the portion of the Steele dossier claiming Cohen visited Prague at that time to meet with a Kremlin official.

However, no other outlets ever confirmed the report and Cohen told Congress during an open hearing in February that he has never been to Prague. (RELATED: Here’s Why You Should Be Skeptical Of That Michael Cohen Prague Story)

13. Busted BuzzFeed 

The special counsel’s office disputed a 2019 report by BuzzFeed claiming that Trump directed his lawyer to lie about a potential business deal in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The BuzzFeed report was used to float impeachment proceedings and obstruction of justice charges against the president, but Mueller’s team disputed the core premise of the reporting.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

14. Lanny Davis Obliterates CNN’s Trump Tower Story

CNN reported in July that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was prepared to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that the president had knowledge in advance of a Trump Tower meeting between his son and Russians.

ut Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, said in August that CNN’s reporting got “mixed up” and that Cohen had no information related to the Trump Tower meeting. Cohen said the same to Congress on two separate occasions.

CNN doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down on its reporting, despite a series of issues with the report.

15. NPR Accuses Don Jr. Of Perjury

NPR published a report in November insisting that Donald Trump Jr. lied to Congress about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow because his statements conflicted with those of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

However, NPR failed to realize that the piece of Trump Jr.’s testimony they quoted was about a different project.

“Trump Jr.’s statements about work on a Trump Tower Moscow that ended in 2014 referred to negotiations with Aras Agalarov,” The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Chuck Ross explained. “Felix Sater, a businessman with links to Cohen and Russian officials, tried to make a Trump Tower Moscow happen in 2015.”

16. Mic Claims Russian Spy Infiltrated The Oval 

Shortly after it was revealed that a Russian spy was attempting to infiltrate right-wing networks, Mic writer Emily Singer claimed that same Russian spy was present during an Oval Office meeting with Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov.

Singer claimed Russian spy Maria Butina was spotted in a photo of the meeting, citing the fact that she has red hair like the woman in the photo.

The woman in the photo is actually NSC staffer Cari Lutkins. 

This story was originally published in May 2018 but has been updated with additional information regarding the delivery of Mueller’s report to Attorney General Bill Barr. 

 Follow Amber on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has fueled 533,074 web articles since its inception in May 2017, according to NewsWhip data cited by Axios.

After nearly two years of saturated media coverage of the topic, Attorney General William Barr delivered a report of the special counsel’s investigation to Congress Sunday. Barr wrote in a memo that the special counsel found no evidence the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

The investigation continues to dominate headlines — all four stories on the front page of The New York Times were Mueller-related Monday. (RELATED: Justice Department Delivers Mueller Conclusions To Congress – No Collusion)

The more than 530,000 articles on “Russia and Trump/Mueller” generated an additional 245 million likes, comments and shares on Twitter and Facebook since May 2017, according to Axios. That is not counting all of the airtime the investigation (and pundits’ opinions) received on cable news.

U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up sign to supporters who applauded as he returned to the White House after spending the weekend in Florida March 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up sign to supporters who applauded as he returned to the White House after spending the weekend in Florida on March 24, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

MSNBC seems to lead the pack when it comes to Mueller coverage, with over 4,200 posts mentioning the Mueller probe popping up when searched, according to research by the Republican National Committee (RNC). The RNC also found that 1,965 CNN stories mentioned the Mueller investigation since May 2017, while 1,156 by The New York Times mentioned it and 1,184 by The Washington Post.

The Mueller report seemingly attracted more coverage than other issues Americans also care about. For example, WaPo published 192 more stories about the Russian interference probe than about the Trump administration’s defeat of the Islamic State, according to research by the RNC.

Many pundits on the right called out members of the media for allegedly rooting for a different outcome in the Mueller probe.

“Mueller: no evidence of collusion [with] Russia. Now will the media who invested so much in this narrative accept it, remembering that they are not supposed to root for outcomes? Or will they hold on, looking for ways to save face on their earlier (wrong) predictions/coverage?” former NBC host Megyn Kelly wrote on Twitter Sunday.

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

3D printed Android logo is seen in front of a displayed cyber code
A 3D printed Android logo is seen in front of a displayed cyber code in this illustration taken March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 25, 2019

By Paul Day and Paresh Dave

MADRID/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – An independent study lead by an academic group in Spain has shown that what personal information can be collected by pre-installed programs on new Android mobile devices is expansive and faces little oversight.

The investigation by the public Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, IMDEA Networks Institute and Stony Brook University looked at apps pre-installed on Android devices from 2,748 users, spanning 1,742 unique devices from 214 vendors across 130 countries.

The study did not look at whether the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation laws would bring greater oversight to pre-installed apps on Android devices.

Though Alphabet Inc’s Google owns Android, its open source nature enables device makers to customize the operating system and package other apps with the operating system before delivering them to users.

The study found the setup posed a potential threat to users’ privacy and security because the pre-installed apps request access to data that similar apps distributed through Google’s Play app store cannot reach.

Pre-installed apps often cannot be uninstalled, and Google may not be performing as rigorous security checks of them as it does for app store versions, the researchers found.

“There is a lack of regulation and transparency and no one seems to be monitoring what these stakeholders and apps do,” said co-author of the study Juan Tapiador.  

Google said it provides tools to equipment manufacturers which helps them make sure their software does not violate Google’s privacy and security standards.

“We also provide our partners with clear policies regarding the safety of pre-installed apps, and regularly give them information about potentially dangerous pre-loads we’ve identified,” a Google spokesperson said.

Pre-installed apps recently have drawn increased scrutiny. A U.S. Department of Justice criminal probe into Facebook, which worked with hardware makers to ensure its app would be on users’ devices, is examining those partnerships, the New York Times reported last week.

The authors of the study noted their paper did not focus on any software developers in particular but was a rather a study in the lack of regulation and transparency that surrounded pre-installed apps found on new devices.

Facebook, which has said it is cooperating with multiple government investigations into its handling of users’ private data, said partnering with mobile operators and device manufacturers on pre-installations immediately give users the best experience on its social network.

(Editing by David Evans)

Source: OANN

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did something extraordinary on Wednesday.

He spoke.

Appearing before the Supreme Court is rather like meeting your spouse’s family for the first time. The questions are relentless, probing and impolite. One hundred questions over the course of an hour-long argument is typical. Attorneys arguing cases can expect an interruption from a justice just moments into their presentation, and it is not unusual for the justices to interrupt one another.

Yet Thomas is generally an observer at the blood sport that is oral argument. Since taking the bench in 1991, he has rarely asked questions of the attorneys arguing before the Court. His silent stretches run so long (he did not ask one question from 2006 to 2016) that the very fact of his speaking is a news event.

The questions he asked Wednesday, in a dispute concerning racism in jury selection, were his first questions in almost three years and his second intervention this decade.

Thomas is alone in this approach to argument among his colleagues. His silence draws curiosity and ire in equal measure, particularly since he is widely regarded as the most gregarious of the justices.

Scholarly treatment of Thomas’s silence is similarly mixed. One 2017 journal article in the Northwestern University Law Review from Professors RonNell Andersen Jones and Aaron Nielson compiled and reviewed every question Thomas has ever asked during oral argument, encompassing his service on the Supreme Court and his prior work on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Jones and Nielson concluded that Thomas is an adept questioner who should intercede more often.

“Reviewing these questions demonstrates that although Thomas has not frequently spoken, when he has posed questions, they have been thoughtful, useful, respectful, and beneficial to his colleagues of whatever ideological stripe,” the study reads.

Jones and Nielson noted Thomas’s questions focus intensely on the text of the law. Following the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, they suggest oral arguments would benefit from a questioner with Thomas’s “laser-like focus on the text.”

“Putting aside the merits of textualism as an ending point, or even as a starting point, in statutory interpretation, the merits of having an active voice in oral argument that demands investigation of and discussion about the statutory language seem incontrovertible,” they write.

“With Justice Antonin Scalia’s departure from the Supreme Court, the need for a justice to ask these sorts of questions is obvious,” they add.

When Thomas does ask questions, Jones and Neilson say, they tend to come near the end of the argument. His Wednesday inquiries came during a brief rebuttal period, only after the attorney asked if there were any remaining questions. The justice himself speculated that his delicate approach to questioning is a function of his southern pedigree during an event at the University of Kentucky in April 2012.

“Maybe it’s the southerner in me,” Thomas wondered. “Maybe it’s the introvert in me, I don’t know. I think that when somebody’s talking, somebody ought to listen.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, at center, awaits the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush's casket at the Capitol Rotunda on December 3, 2018 (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Justice Clarence Thomas, at center, awaits the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush’s casket at the Capitol Rotunda on December 3, 2018 (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Others are more harsh in their appraisal of Thomas’s silence. Writing in the Florida Law Review in 2009, David Karp argued Thomas’s approach to oral argument is ultimately self-defeating. (RELATED: Clarence Thomas Clerks Dominate Trump’s Judicial Appointments)

Perhaps more than any other justice in modern history, Thomas is intensely interested in course correction. He does not believe the Court ought to abide by cases which offend his vision of the Constitution, and he regularly invites litigants to bring challenges to foundational decisions he believes are wrong. In February alone he released opinions criticizing and New York Times v. Sullivan (a landmark freedom of the press case), Gideon v. Wainwright (establishing a right to counsel for indigent defendants) and Roe v. Wade.

Thomas is a prolific opinion writer who has pressed his judicial philosophy over dozens of lone dissents and concurring opinions. Karp says Thomas could better advance his own views and enrich the Court’s internal debate by contributing to oral arguments.

“Through his silence, Justice Thomas not only evades the deliberative process, but he also diminishes his own influence,” Karp wrote. “Justice Thomas’s silence allows advocates to ignore him and his views.”

“Because of his willingness to rethink the constitutional order, Justice Thomas would force the Court to reconsider basic premises,” Karp added.

Karp believes the role of oral argument in the deliberative process makes Thomas’s silence especially strange. The justice told Newsweek in 2007 that his views on a given case are well-developed by oral argument. Before arguments he reads legal briefs from both sides, additional filings from interested parties, the decisions below, the record of facts, and discusses his thoughts with his law clerks. As such, in Thomas’s view, the argument is not especially important to the disposition of a case.

But Karp is skeptical of that perspective, arguing that it is unbelievable that even the most gifted jurist could approach the complex work of the Supreme Court without questions.

“It seems unbelievable that Justice Thomas genuinely has no questions to ask about any of the nation’s most difficult cases,” Karp wrote. “Even the most learned judge with well-developed outlooks on the law should have questions.”

The Supreme Court will hear cases through Wednesday touching partisan gerrymandering and the power of federal agencies.

Sarah George and Paul Ingrassia contributed research. 

Follow Kevin on Twitter

Send tips to [email protected]dailycallernewsfoundation.org

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

Source: The Daily Caller

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Less than one year ago, the Washington Post and the New York Times won Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of something that, according to Mueller’s report, did not exist.

In April 2018, both newspapers were awarded Pulitzers for their coverage of possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Politico reported at the time:

The New York Times and Washington Post each won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting on Monday, capping off a newsroom battle last year for scoops on links between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, the focus of an ongoing special counsel investigation into the 2016 election.

And on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr delivered a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions to Congress — that summary indicated that Mueller, over the course of nearly two years, had found no evidence of collusion. (RELATED: Justice Department Delivers Mueller Conclusions)

Upon being reminded of those Pulitzers — and the reason they were awarded — Donald Trump Jr. argued that they ought to be replaced with “fake news awards.” He tweeted, “There should be a recall.”

Follow Virginia on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

The prevailing media narrative was that the Mueller report was going to damage President Donald Trump — but as the details began to roll out, many criticized the media as being hardest hit.

Attorney General William Barr delivered a summary of Mueller’s conclusions to Congress on Sunday, and the takeaway was that the special counsel had found no evidence of collusion or obstruction of justice.

Many were quick to pile on, blaming media personalities for perpetuating a narrative that now appears to be based wholly on faulty premises.

Donald Trump Jr. jumped into the fray as well, taking direct aim at specific outlets and challenging “honest journalists” to hold them accountable. (RELATED: Trump Jr. Lays Into ‘Sick And Twisted Conspiracy Theories’ Of ‘Collusion Truthers’)

A few people then pointed out that the Washington Post and the New York Times won Pulitzers “for their supposed stellar reporting on Trump’s treasonous activity with Russia.”

Trump Jr. responded with a plan to make a quick correction. “They should convert those Pulitzer’s to #fakenews awards,” he said.

Follow Virginia on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

American gun owners have once again been reminded that the ultimate goal of U.S. gun control advocates is firearms bans and confiscation. Since the heinous terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, American anti-gun politicians, activists, and media outlets have offered their full-throated support for the New Zealand government’s efforts to ban and confiscate firearms from law-abiding gun owners.

On March 21, the New Zealand government issued an order in council that immediately reclassified certain commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms as “military style semi-automatics,” or MSSAs. The order re-defined MSSAs in statute to include the following,

(a) a semi-automatic firearm that is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine (other than one designed to hold 0.22-inch or less rimfire cartridges) that is capable of holding more than 5 cartridges:

(b) a semi-automatic firearm that is a shotgun and that is capable of being used in combination with a detachable magazine that is capable of holding more than 5 cartridges.

An accompanying order in council offered regulations requiring licensed dealers to alter their records to reflect the new classifications.

MSSAs are heavily restricted in New Zealand and require a firearms licensee to acquire a difficult to obtain category “E” endorsement in order to own them.

However, this is a temporary measure. In a statement to the public, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made clear that the orders in council were a “transitional measure until the wider ban takes effect,” and further legislation is still being drafted.

Ardern noted that there will be “a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand.” Going further, she noted that, “related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.”

As with Australia’s gun bans, New Zealand’s gun control measures will feature confiscation of currently-owned firearms. Ardern noted that her “cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme.”

Speaking after Ardern, Police Minister Stuart Nash encouraged gun owners to surrender their firearms. Nash went on to say that, “police are gearing up to enable these weapons to be taken out of circulation, they’ll be supported by the New Zealand Defence Force to enable safe storage, transport, and destruction of assault rifles and MSSAs.” The New Zealand Defence Force is the New Zealand military.

Ardern also explained, “The actions announced today are the first step of the Government’s response. We will continue to develop stronger and more effective licensing rules, storage requirements and penalties for not complying with gun regulations.”

New Zealand’s new gun control measures are military-backed confiscation of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms from law-abiding gun owners.

It is important for all freedom-loving Americans to pay close attention to the figures in this country cheering these radical confiscation policies.

Failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for Ardern’s confiscations measures, stating, “Under @jacindaardern’s leadership, New Zealand has banned assault rifles and military-style semi-automatic weapons just six days after the Christchurch mosque attacks. Public servants didn’t stop at offering thoughts and prayers. They chose to act.” In 2015 Clinton expressed her support for Australia-style gun confiscation.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stated via Twitter, “This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted out a video of Ardern’s confiscation announcement, adding, “See. It’s not that hard.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted, “Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market. This is what leadership looks like.”

Offering their support, Moms Demand Action, a subsidiary of the Michael Bloomberg gun control conglomerate Everytown for Gun Safety, tweeted out a Nicholas Kristoff New York Times column cheering Ardern’s actions titled, “New Zealand Shows the U.S. What Leadership Looks Like.”

Everytown frontwoman and former corporate media flack Shannon Watts shared her support for Ardern’s confiscation efforts with multiple tweets.

The New York Times issued an editorial in support of New Zealand’s measures. The piece was in line with the paper’s 2015 editorial that advocated gun confiscation.

Gun confiscation, not “common-sense reform,” is the ultimate goal of gun control advocates. This goal existed long before the Christchurch attack. The recent stateside reaction to the New Zealand government’s actions has only served to further reveal this long-held but oft-concealed position. It is up to all gun rights supporters to ensure that everyone is made aware of U.S. anti-gun advocates’ actual objective and to work against all gun control measures that bring the U.S. closer to that target.

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

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Justice Brett Kavanaugh has joined the faculty of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where he will co-teach a summer course in the United Kingdom on the origins of the Constitution.

Kavanaugh, who has evaded public attention following his bitter confirmation in October 2018, will remain in England for nearly six weeks while the Court is on its summer recess. The justice has generally kept a low profile since joining the Court, avoiding solo public appearances and divisive opinion writing.

“It is a rare opportunity for students to learn from a Supreme Court justice and we believe that contributes to making our law program uniquely valuable for our students,” the law school said in a statement.

George Mason University’s student newspaper was first to report that Kavanaugh joined the law faculty.

It is common for the justices to teach law abroad during the summer, when the high court is not in session. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch led seminars in Italy in July 2018, while retired Justice Anthony Kennedy taught in Austria.

Yet Kavanaugh’s 38-day course is unusually long in comparison to his colleagues, whose teaching commitments generally run a few short days. Ginsburg and Gorsuch’s Italian jaunt ran about two weeks, while Kennedy’s lasted about three.

Another round of skirmishes relating to Kavanaugh’s confirmation are likely this summer, which may be a factor in his lengthy retreat to the UK. Politico’s Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman will publish an account of Congress during President Donald Trump’s tenure in April, which purports to contain the definitive story on his confirmation. Another book called “Confirmation Bias” will follow in June from Carl Hulse of The New York Times.

Kavanaugh defenders Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino will publish their own book-length treatment of his nomination this summer, which is meant to preempt forthcoming projects thought to be unflattering, according to Axios. (RELATED: Supreme Court Deals Trump Administration Immigration Victory)

Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post’s deputy editorial page editor and Jackie Calmes of the Los Angeles Times are also writing books on the Kavanaugh confirmation. Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin of The New York Times will publish a history of the justice’s early years this October called “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh attends his ceremonial swearing at the White House on October 8, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Justice Brett Kavanaugh attends his ceremonial swearing at the White House on October 8, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Once a staple of law school programming, Kavanaugh lamented that he might never return to academia, after three women publicly accused him of sexual misconduct. He denied those allegations.

“I love teaching law,” Kavanaugh told Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats during his second confirmation hearing in September 2018. “But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to teach again.”

Just days after that hearing, Harvard Law School announced it had cancelled Kavanaugh’s January-term course on the modern Supreme Court. The announcement followed weeks on intense pressure from students and alumni, who hoped the law school would disassociate itself with the beleaguered Supreme Court nominee. Kavanaugh was named the Samuel Williston Lecturer on Law at Harvard in 2009.

Follow Kevin on Twitter

Send tips to [email protected]dailycallernewsfoundation.org

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

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams
FILE PHOTO: NFL Football – Super Bowl LIII – New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. – February 3, 2019. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft before the match. REUTERS/Mike Segar

March 23, 2019

The attorney of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is firing back against law-enforcement officials in South Florida.

William Burck, who represents Kraft, issued a statement to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday evening. Kraft is facing misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Fla., but he has pleaded not guilty.

“There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it,” Burck told Schefter, who posted the quote on his Twitter account. “The video and the traffic stop were illegal and law enforcement just doesn’t want to admit it.

“The state attorney needs to step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained.”

Kraft and 24 other men accused in the case were offered the opportunity to have their charges dropped if they performed 100 hours of community service, took a class on the dangers of prostitution, were tested for sexually transmitted diseases and paid a fine, according to the New York Times.

Instead, Kraft is prepared to fight the charges.

William Snyder, the sheriff of Martin County, Fla., said he expected surveillance video of Kraft’s alleged illegal activities to be released before long.

“I do think ultimately they are probably going to get released,” Snyder said during an interview with CNBC.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

A headline in Reason Magazine said it all: “Have Gun, Can’t Travel.”

That’s the plight of New York City “premises licensees” under one of the most bizarre and oppressive gun control laws in the nation.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court has that law in its sights.

In January, the high court agreed to review a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upholding the regulation against a challenge under the Second Amendment and other constitutional provisions. The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York.

Should the court resolve the case on Second Amendment grounds, it will be the first time since McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010 that the Supreme Court applied that provision to a gun control law.

Even many gun control advocates probably don’t expect New York City’s regulation to fare any better before the high court than the handguns bans from Washington, D.C. and Chicago did in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Like those laws, the handgun travel ban is an outlier.

Most of the suspense and speculation instead revolve around whether the court will resolve the case narrowly or establish more generally applicable principles that could broadly be applied to other gun control laws.

But the story of New York City’s defiance of the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court’s renewed interest in reviewing overreaching gun control demonstrate how the steadfast activism of the NRA and our five million members continues to play a vital role in securing our nation’s constitutional legacy.

New York City’s handgun laws are a case study of the strange and often contradictory thinking of the nation’s most fervent gun control advocates.

The system is designed to make obtaining the license necessary to acquire and own handguns as difficult and expensive as possible for the ordinary applicant.

It dates back to the enactment of New York’s Sullivan Act in 1911 when its proponents – including the New York Times – openly promoted it as a way to keep firearms out of the hands of Italian immigrants.

Commenting on what was supposedly the first conviction under the law – of Italian immigrant Marino Rossi, who claimed to be an honest working man carrying a revolver for self-defense – the Times wrote on Sept. 29, 1911:

Judge FOSTER did well in sentencing to one year in Sing Sing MARINO ROSSI, who carried a revolver because, as he said, it was the custom of himself and his hot-headed countrymen to have weapons concealed upon their persons. The Judge’s warning to the Italian community was timely and exemplary.

Consistent with this discriminatory outlook, the law allows licensing officials a wide degree of discretion in determining who possesses the requisite “good moral character” and, in some cases, “proper cause” for a license.

It also provides for different types of licenses, including “premises licenses,” which allow the holder to “have and possess [a handgun] in his dwelling” and “carry licenses,” which bestow some latitude to possess or carry the handgun beyond one’s own residence.

New York City supposedly provides for both types of licenses.

But in reality, the only applicants who can get a New York City carry license are the rich and famous or the especially well-connected. The licensing system has repeatedly spawned corruption scandals and prosecutions over the years.

The best an ordinary New York City resident can realistically hope for is a premises license, yet even that requires a substantial investment of time, money, and self-disclosure.

As of January, the mandatory application fee for a three-year premises license was $340, not counting a separate $88.25 fingerprinting fee.

Applicants must register online with the city and complete a lengthy application form, which includes the uploading of numerous documents. Besides providing information about prior arrests, convictions, summonses, and orders of protection, applicants must disclose employment and residential timelines and any history of “mental/physical conditions and any medications taken in connection therewith.”

Paper applications have been prohibited since January 1, 2018. Low income residents who lack ready access to computer equipment, including digital scanners and high-speed Internet access, are out of luck.

After the online application is completed, the New York Police Department (NYPD) License Division will schedule a date for the applicant to appear in person during business hours to pay the required fees, get fingerprinted, and provide hard copies of the same documents that were already submitted digitally.

Once the application is reviewed by the Licensing Division, the applicant may be required to appear on subsequent occasions to submit additional documentation.

In any case, when the application itself is considered complete, all applicants must appear for an in-person interview with a licensing official.

Applicants can expect a decision from the Licensing Division, according to its website, “[w]ithin approximately six months of receipt of your handgun application, and all required documents/forms.”

Unfortunately, none of these requirements is specifically at issue in the case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Even more unfortunately, most of them have been upheld by lower state and federal courts in New York. They do, however, form the backdrop for the Supreme Court’s deliberations.

For now, the issue before the Supreme Court is the circumstances in which premises licensees can travel with their own firearms.

New York City currently allows them to do so only for specified purposes and only to one of seven approved shooting ranges in the city, which in some cases require advanced written permission from the NYPD. In all cases, the firearms must be unloaded and in a locked container, with any ammunition stored separately.

The plaintiffs in the case, however, wish to travel with their lawfully licensed handguns to ranges outside the city for use in training or competition. One plaintiff wants to be able to take his lawfully licensed handgun back and forth between his New York City residence and his second home in upstate New York.

These are all prohibited by New York City’s rules.

It takes an especially zealous gun control advocate to even think up such ludicrous regulations, much less to argue them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Indeed, it appears that New York City’s transport ban may be the first and only one of its kind in U.S. history. That does not bode well for the city’s position that it is nevertheless a commonsense measured aimed at promoting public safety.

Even taking the city’s arguments at face value, it appears the real reason for the law is simply to exercise a maniacal level of scrutiny and control over Gotham’s lawful handgun owners.

In its brief urging the Supreme Court not to hear the case, the city noted that it used to have a “target license” that allowed for holders to transport their locked, unloaded guns to NYPD-approved ranges outside New York City. What it discovered, however, was that it was difficult as a practical matter to determine whether licensees who ventured outside the city with their own handguns were actually doing so for NYPD-approved reasons.

Notably, the city did not go so far as to claim there were any violent crimes or other harmful behavior committed by traveling target licensees. City officials instead apparently expect the court to believe that any movement of a licensed handgun that has not been specifically preapproved and documented by the NYPD is inherently dangerous, even if done for innocent reasons.

Thus, premises licensees can only practice at or compete at NYPD-approved shooting ranges within the city itself (and at big city prices). These facilities, in turn, “are required to maintain a roster listing the names and addresses of all persons who have used the range and the date and hour that they used it and to make those records available for inspection by NYPD during their hours of operation.” This underscores that owning a gun in New York City is a bureaucratically administered privilege, not a fundamental right.

For nearly 10 years, lower courts have upheld almost every sort of gun control law imaginable, while the Supreme Court has not taken up another Second Amendment case.

Thanks to the work of NRA members like you, President Donald Trump has appointed two justices to the high court who take the Constitution’s original meaning seriously.

Time will tell, but that will hopefully mean the Supreme Court is finally poised to accord our right to keep and bear arms the respect it deserves.

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

The logo of Apple company is seen outside an Apple store in Bordeaux
The logo of Apple company is seen outside an Apple store in Bordeaux, France, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

March 22, 2019

(Reuters) – Apple Inc is expected to unveil a new video streaming service and a news subscription platform at an event on Monday at its California headquarters.

The iPhone maker is banking on growing its services business to offset a dip in smartphone sales.

While the Wall Street Journal plans to join Apple’s new subscription news service, other major publishers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, have declined, according to a New York Times report.

Apple has also partnered with Hollywood celebrities to make a streaming debut with a slate of original content, taking a page out of Netflix Inc’s playbook.

Below are some of the shows, curated from media reports and Apple’s own announcements, which are part of the iPhone maker’s content library.

SHOWS CONFIRMED BY APPLE:

** UNTITLED DRAMA SERIES WITH REESE WITHERSPOON AND JENNIFER ANISTON

Two seasons of a drama series starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston that looks at the lives of people working on a morning television show.

** REVIVAL OF STEVEN SPIELBERG’S 1985 “AMAZING STORIES”

The tech giant has also struck a deal with director Steven Spielberg to make new episodes of “Amazing Stories,” a science fiction and horror anthology series that ran on NBC in the 1980s.

** A NEW THRILLER BY M NIGHT SHYAMALAN

Plot of the story has not been disclosed.

** “ARE YOU SLEEPING?” – A MYSTERY SERIES

A drama featuring Octavia Spencer, based on a crime novel by Kathleen Barber.

** AN ANTHOLOGY SERIES CALLED “LITTLE AMERICA”

Focuses on stories of immigrants coming to the United States.

** AN ANIMATED CARTOON MUSICAL CALLED “CENTRAL PARK”

The animated musical comedy is about a family of caretakers who end up saving the park and the world.

** “DICKINSON”, AN EMILY DICKINSON COMEDY

A half-hour comedy series that is set during American poet Emily Dickinson’s era with a modern sensibility and tone.

** OPRAH WINFREY PARTNERSHIP

Apple in June last year announced a multi-year deal with Oprah Winfrey to create original programming.

SHOWS REPORTED BY MEDIA:

** TIME BANDITS – A FANTASY SERIES

The potential series is an adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s 1981 fantasy film of the same name, about a young boy who joins a group of renegade time-traveling dwarves, Deadline reported.

https://bit.ly/2FsYJgK

** UNTITLED “CAPTAIN MARVEL” STAR BRIE LARSON’S CIA PROJECT

The new series looks at a young woman’s journey in the CIA, reported Variety.

https://bit.ly/2H3ymAi

** DEFENDING JACOB – STARRING CAPTAIN AMERICA CHRIS EVANS

This limited series is based on the novel of the same name and is about an assistant district attorney, who is investigating the murder of a 14-year-old boy, according to Deadline.

https://bit.ly/2U84w3u

** “FOR ALL MANKIND” – A SCI-FI SERIES

A space drama from producer Ronald Moore, according to Deadline.

https://bit.ly/2uqPWWg

** MY GLORY WAS I HAD SUCH FRIENDS

A series featuring Jennifer Garner is based on the 2017 memoir of the same name by Amy Silverstein, reported Variety.

https://bit.ly/2Cy7UuO

** “SEE” – A FANTASY EPIC STARRING JASON MOMOA

The show poses the question about the fate of humanity if everyone lost their sight, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2TUETns

** FOUNDATION – A SCI-FI ADAPTATION

An adaptation of the iconic novel series from famed sci-fi author Isaac Asimov, Deadline reported. The book series follows a mathematician who predicts the collapse of humanity.

http://bit.ly/2CvAMUs

** A COMEDY SHOW BY ROB MCELHENNEY AND CHARLIE DAY

The sitcom comedy based on the lives of a diverse group of people who work together in a video game development studio, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2nqzy4V

** AN UNSCRIPTED SERIES “HOME” FROM THE DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER MATT TYRNAUER

The series will offer viewers a never-before-seen look inside the world’s most extraordinary homes and feature interviews with people who built them, according to Variety.

https://bit.ly/2JwmyIF

** UNTITLED RICHARD GERE SERIES

Based on an Israeli series Nevelot, the show is about two elderly Vietnam vets whose lives are changed when a woman they both love is killed in a car accident, Deadline reported.

http://bit.ly/2uksSsu

** J.J. ABRAMS-PRODUCED LITTLE VOICE

Singer and actress Sara Bareilles is writing the music and could possibly star in the J.J. Abrams-produced half-hour show, which explores the journey of finding one’s authentic voice in early 20s, according to Variety.

http://bit.ly/2TPSf4y

** THE PEANUTS GANG

Apple has acquired the rights to the famous characters and the first series will be a science and math oriented short featuring Snoopy as an astronaut, according to Hollywood Reporter.

http://bit.ly/2YdMagM

** ON THE ROCKS

A feature film, directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Bill Murray, is about a young mother who reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2Hf1Pb9

** LOSING EARTH

Apple has acquired the rights to a TV series based on Nathaniel Rich’s 70-page New York Times Magazine story “Losing Earth”, New York Times reported.

** THE ELEPHANT QUEEN

Apple has acquired the rights to Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble’s documentary The Elephant Queen, Deadline reported.

http://bit.ly/2HJR53k

** WOLFWALKERS

An Irish animation about a young hunter who comes to Ireland with her father to destroy a pack of evil wolves, but instead befriends a wild native girl who runs with them, first reported by Bloomberg.

https://bloom.bg/2JztBR5

** PACHINKO

Apple has secured the rights to develop Min Jin Lee’s best-selling novel, about four generations of a Korean immigrant family, into a series, reported Variety.

http://bit.ly/2FtEIXJ

** CALLS

Apple has bought the rights to make an English-language version of the French original short-form series, according to Variety.

http://bit.ly/2UQCabd

** SHANTARAM

Apple has won the rights to develop the hit novel Shantaram as a drama series, reported Variety.

https://bit.ly/2CAuG5c

** SWAGGER, A DRAMA SERIES BASED ON KEVIN DURANT

A drama series based on the early life and career of NBA superstar Kevin Durant, according to Variety.

https://bit.ly/2RFePbl

** YOU THINK IT, I’LL SAY IT

Apple has ordered a 10-episode, half-hour run of the comedy show, which is an adaptation of Curtis Sittenfeld’s short story collection by the same name, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2HzZt63

** WHIPLASH DIRECTOR DAMIEN CHAZELLE DRAMA SERIES

According to Variety, Apple has ordered a whole season of a series without first shooting a pilot, but no other details are known about the show.

http://bit.ly/2Fkfd9Q

** Apple may offer cut-priced bundles with video offering – The Information reported http://bit.ly/2HzcSLW on Thursday.

(Reporting by Sonam Rai and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Mark Thompson, president and CEO of the New York Times Company, poses for a portrait in New York
FILE PHOTO: Mark Thompson, president and CEO of the New York Times Company, poses for a portrait in New York, November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Kenneth Li and Helen Coster

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Apple Inc is expected to launch an ambitious new entertainment and paid digital news service on Monday, as the iPhone maker pushes back against streaming video leader Netflix Inc. But it likely will not feature the New York Times Co.

Mark Thompson, chief executive of the biggest U.S. newspaper by subscribers, warned that relying on third-party distribution can be dangerous for publishers who risk losing control over their own product.

“We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else,” he told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. “We’re also generically worried about our journalism being scrambled in a kind of Magimix (blender) with everyone else’s journalism.”

Thompson, who took over as New York Times CEO in 2012 and has overseen a massive expansion in its online readership, warned publishers that they may suffer the same fate as television and film makers in the face of Netflix’s Hollywood insurgence.

“If I was an American broadcast network, I would have thought twice about giving all of my library to Netflix,” Thompson said in response to questions about any talks with Apple to participate in the iPhone maker’s new news service.

Thompson declined to comment on any conversations with Apple. But he used the tale of how Netflix made huge inroads into Hollywood to explain why the Times has avoided striking deals with digital platforms in which it had little control over relationships with customers or its content.

“Even if Netflix offered you quite a lot of money. … Does it really make sense to help Netflix build a gigantic base of subscribers to the point where they could actually spend $9 billion a year making their own content and will pay me less and less for my library?” he asked.

In 2007 the answer for Hollywood was yes. In exchange for billions of dollars, studios helped Netflix launch a fledgling streaming video service by licensing their libraries of shows and movies, but that decision may have sown the seeds of their own demise.

By 2016, Time Warner Inc was forced to sell itself to AT&T Inc and Rupert Murdoch sold his 21st Century Fox film and TV studios to Walt Disney Co.

Apple is the latest company to offer a direct-to-consumer streaming video, along with a news subscription service, by leveraging the power of its more than 1 billion devices.

Through its subscription news service, Apple will charge about $10 monthly for access to a variety of magazine and newspaper content, according to media reports. Apple is expected to take 50 percent of the revenue. The Wall Street Journal has agreed to join Apple’s service, according to a recent New York Times report. News Corp, owner of the Journal, was not immediately reachable for comment.

A monthly digital subscription to the New York Times costs $15, and Thompson said he has no plans to give that up to participate on other platforms such as Apple’s.

Last year, the Times generated over $700 million in digital revenue, close to the company’s target of $800 million in annual digital sales by 2020. Digital ad revenue surpassed print ad revenue for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Times has plowed investment back into its newsroom, which at 1,550 journalists is now at its largest ever.

Despite the company’s insistence on keeping readers on its own products and platforms, Thompson said it has experimented on other services, highlighting content the Times developed just for Snap Inc’s Snapchat app, which helped reach new, younger readers.

These new audiences, he said, will play a big role in helping the Times reach its new target of 10 million subscribers by 2025.

(Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Bill Rigby)

Source: OANN

James Comey claimed in an op-ed Thursday that he does not care one way or the other whether special counsel Robert Mueller finds evidence that President Donald Trump conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election or obstructed the FBI’s collusion probe.

But the claim, which Comey made in The New York Times, is at odds with the former FBI director’s testimony about his actions shortly after being fired by Trump in May 2017.

Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017 that he leaked memos he wrote after conversations with Trump in order to force the appointment of a special counsel.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of a memo with the reporter, I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel,” Comey testified June 8, 2017. (RELATED: James Comey Denies Being A Leaker)

Comey instructed his friend, Daniel Richman, to give the Times a memo he wrote about a conversation he had with Trump on Feb. 14, 2017. Comey claimed Trump asked him to shut down an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Comey’s ploy worked, as Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel May 17, 2017.

WATCH:

Though Comey clearly pushed for the special counsel’s probe, he now claims that he has no preference as to what Mueller will write in a report of the 22-month-long investigation.

“Even though I believe Mr. Trump is morally unfit to be president of the United States, I’m not rooting for Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that he is a criminal,” Comey wrote in his op-ed.

“I’m also not rooting for Mr. Mueller to ‘clear’ the president. I’m not rooting for anything at all, except that the special counsel be permitted to finish his work, charge whatever cases warrant charging and report on his work.”

Comey, who oversaw the FBI’s collusion investigation for more than nine months until his firing, said that he has “no idea” whether Mueller will conclude that Trump knowing colluded with Russia. He also does not know whether Trump obstructed justice.

“I also don’t care,” he said.

“I care only that the work be done, well and completely. If it is, justice will have prevailed and core American values been protected at a time when so much of our national leadership has abandoned its commitment to truth and the rule of law.”

Comey also said in the op-ed he does not want to see Trump impeached. Instead, he said he hopes Trump is voted out of office in 2020.

Follow Chuck on Twitter

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

James Comey claimed in an op-ed Thursday that he does not care one way or the other whether special counsel Robert Mueller finds evidence that President Donald Trump conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election or obstructed the FBI’s collusion probe.

But the claim, which Comey made in The New York Times, is at odds with the former FBI director’s testimony about his actions shortly after being fired by Trump in May 2017.

Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017 that he leaked memos he wrote after conversations with Trump in order to force the appointment of a special counsel.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of a memo with the reporter, I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel,” Comey testified June 8, 2017. (RELATED: James Comey Denies Being A Leaker)

Comey instructed his friend, Daniel Richman, to give the Times a memo he wrote about a conversation he had with Trump on Feb. 14, 2017. Comey claimed Trump asked him to shut down an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Comey’s ploy worked, as Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel May 17, 2017.

WATCH:

Though Comey clearly pushed for the special counsel’s probe, he now claims that he has no preference as to what Mueller will write in a report of the 22-month-long investigation.

“Even though I believe Mr. Trump is morally unfit to be president of the United States, I’m not rooting for Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that he is a criminal,” Comey wrote in his op-ed.

“I’m also not rooting for Mr. Mueller to ‘clear’ the president. I’m not rooting for anything at all, except that the special counsel be permitted to finish his work, charge whatever cases warrant charging and report on his work.”

Comey, who oversaw the FBI’s collusion investigation for more than nine months until his firing, said that he has “no idea” whether Mueller will conclude that Trump knowing colluded with Russia. He also does not know whether Trump obstructed justice.

“I also don’t care,” he said.

“I care only that the work be done, well and completely. If it is, justice will have prevailed and core American values been protected at a time when so much of our national leadership has abandoned its commitment to truth and the rule of law.”

Comey also said in the op-ed he does not want to see Trump impeached. Instead, he said he hopes Trump is voted out of office in 2020.

Follow Chuck on Twitter

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

James Comey claimed in an op-ed Thursday that he does not care one way or the other whether special counsel Robert Mueller finds evidence that President Donald Trump conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election or obstructed the FBI’s collusion probe.

But the claim, which Comey made in The New York Times, is at odds with the former FBI director’s testimony about his actions shortly after being fired by Trump in May 2017.

Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017 that he leaked memos he wrote after conversations with Trump in order to force the appointment of a special counsel.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of a memo with the reporter, I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel,” Comey testified June 8, 2017. (RELATED: James Comey Denies Being A Leaker)

Comey instructed his friend, Daniel Richman, to give the Times a memo he wrote about a conversation he had with Trump on Feb. 14, 2017. Comey claimed Trump asked him to shut down an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Comey’s ploy worked, as Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel May 17, 2017.

WATCH:

Though Comey clearly pushed for the special counsel’s probe, he now claims that he has no preference as to what Mueller will write in a report of the 22-month-long investigation.

“Even though I believe Mr. Trump is morally unfit to be president of the United States, I’m not rooting for Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that he is a criminal,” Comey wrote in his op-ed.

“I’m also not rooting for Mr. Mueller to ‘clear’ the president. I’m not rooting for anything at all, except that the special counsel be permitted to finish his work, charge whatever cases warrant charging and report on his work.”

Comey, who oversaw the FBI’s collusion investigation for more than nine months until his firing, said that he has “no idea” whether Mueller will conclude that Trump knowing colluded with Russia. He also does not know whether Trump obstructed justice.

“I also don’t care,” he said.

“I care only that the work be done, well and completely. If it is, justice will have prevailed and core American values been protected at a time when so much of our national leadership has abandoned its commitment to truth and the rule of law.”

Comey also said in the op-ed he does not want to see Trump impeached. Instead, he said he hopes Trump is voted out of office in 2020.

Follow Chuck on Twitter

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

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

  • Utility Con Edison will not hookup anymore homes or developments to natural gas lines as a result of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s war on pipelines.
  • Cuomo’s administration banned fracking in 2014 and, since then, has blocked major natural gas pipeline projects.
  • It’s a similar story across the Northeast U.S., putting the region’s fuel security at risk.

The unintended consequences of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s global warming crusade are hitting close to home — literally.

Utility Consolidated Edison put a moratorium on new natural gas hookups across parts of Westchester County, which includes Mount Kisco where Cuomo’s residence is located, according to The New York Times.

Con Edison’s decision is no surprise to energy experts critical of Cuomo’s blocking of major gas pipelines and banning of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in New York. (RELATED: Rashida Tlaib Doesn’t Seem Fazed That Nancy Pelosi Doesn’t Back the Green New Deal)

“Governor Cuomo has been mandating the Green New Deal Dream in New York, and now it’s turning into a nightmare for people forced to pay twice as much for oil heat instead of natural gas,” Daniel Kish, a distinguished senior fellow at the free market Institute for Energy Research, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Local officials and businesses worry the utility’s decision will derail major development projects that will rely on natural gas for heating. It also means homes looking to get off relatively expensive heating oil will have to wait.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference about Amazon's headquarters expansion to Long Island City in the Queens borough of New York City

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference about Amazon’s headquarters expansion to Long Island City in the Queens borough of New York City, in New York, U.S., November 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon.

“It’s just a question of how people are going to be able to heat their homes and cook their food with the energy that’s available right now,” Con Edison spokesman Michael Clendenin told The Times Thursday.

The natural gas moratorium was announced in January and went into effect March 15, sparking a rush to get applications for natural gas hookups filed before it was too late.

Cuomo banned fracking in 2014 after years of study and delay. Cuomo said the risks to New York’s groundwater and public health were too great, despite Pennsylvania moving ahead with extracting oil and gas from shale.

In the years since, Cuomo’s administration has blocked major natural gas pipeline projects. At the same time, however, natural gas was becoming an increasingly important part of New York’s electricity and heating mix.

Cuomo’s policies have made environmental activists happy, and he’s not done yet. Cuomo’s in the midst of pushing his own “Green New Deal” plan to push more solar and wind power onto the grid.

Cuomo’s goal is 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040. Current state law mandates 50 percent renewable electricity — hydropower, solar and wind — by 2030. About 28 percent of the state’s electricity comes from renewables, mostly hydroelectric dams.

However, most of New York’s electricity comes from natural gas and nuclear power. Also, millions of households rely on natural gas for heating during winter.

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gives a news conference after voting for the midterm elections, at the Presbyterian Church in Mt. Kisco, New York

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gives a news conference after voting for the midterm elections, at the Presbyterian Church in Mt. Kisco, New York, U.S., November 6, 2018. Standing next to him are his girlfriend Sandra Lee (R) and his daughter Cara Kennedy Cuomo. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs.

Pipelines are needed to get natural gas to customers, energy companies say, and there currently aren’t enough to reliably meet demand, especially during harsh winters. Con Edison said Cuomo’s policies have chilled construction of new pipelines in the region. Two counties in Massachusetts have also had moratoriums on natural gas hookups since 2014 due to a lack of pipelines.

“The market changed,” Clendenin told The Times. “Investors were no longer willing to take the risk.”

The pipeline bottleneck in New York has also put pressure on New England states that heavily rely on natural gas. Harsh winter conditions in recent years have brought the region’s grid to the brink, including during winter 2017/2018.

“The Northeastern States are cutting their own throats and their leaders are doing it with a green knife,” Kish said.

In response to Con Edison’s moratorium, New York state offered roughly $250 million in incentives to reduce energy use and install green energy heating equipment. Public utilities regulators are also looking into Con Edison’s decision and could overturn the moratorium.

However, Cuomo’s office blamed Con Edison’s poor planning for the natural gas shortfall.

“The current issues these localities are facing are a result of poor planning by the utilities,” Cuomo spokesman Dani Lever told The Times. “Con Edison never even proposed new infrastructure or alternative solutions that would have adequately met increased demand for certain products prior to announcing its moratorium.”

Follow Michael on Twitter

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

Quote of the Day:

“And here he is demonstrating how it’s possible to be an asshole and a crybaby at the same time.”

— former Rep. Joe Walsh (R), now a radio host, on President Trump‘s latest jabs at the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Trump told a crowd at an Ohio tank factory on Wednesday that he never got “a thank you” for allowing McCain to have the funeral he wanted. McCain died from an intense form of brain cancer eight months ago. One Q: Was McCain supposed to thank him for that before or after he was six feet under?

Journo wants #MeToo movement for fake claims 

“Saw @TPAIN last night and a woman behind me shoved me 3 different times because she couldn’t see (she was maybe 5’2, it was general admission w/ no seating). When I turned around to tell her to stop, she claimed I grabbed her breast. Is there a #MeToo for fake sex claims?” — Eddie Scarry, The Washington Examiner.

The shoving continues… 

“Also, at what point is it okay to physically retaliate when you’re being very aggressively shoved? It was very literally bullying because of the power dynamic: I, male, had no power to act. She, female, knew that and kept shoving me #MeToo.”

“First incident was prior to the show starting. She asked me and friend to move apart so she could see. Obviously not, given we were there together and it was general admission. So she literally used her weight (she was… what’s the word I’m looking for… fat) to move me #MeToo.”

Other women start yelling at her 

“I told her she could stand somewhere up closer but that she couldn’t just take my spot using her weight. I s*** you not, she said to me, ‘I just did.’ Two women who saw what happened started yelling at her and told her she should have gotten here earlier #MeToo.”

“A guy, I assume her bf, eventually took hold of this tiny big girl and pulled her back. She screamed at him for an hour about not being able to see. When show started, that’s when she began, at random, shoving me forward. #MeToo.”

Uh oh…

“The first time it happened, I turned around and she pretended not to even see me. Second time, I turned around and she screams ‘STOP TOUCHING ME!’”

“And btw, this whole time, out of bitterness for being short but large, she held her hand up with her phone in it, camera on. THAT’S how she was viewing the stage and her arm was hitting my head over and over. #MeToo.”

BTW, the concert was great! 

“Each time, her bf would hold her back, as if she was a celebrity he was protecting. Felt embarrassed for him. Why not either leave your violent little gf there alone or maybe take her away? The concert otherwise was great! #MeToo.”

To Mirror readers: I can vouch for Eddie Scarry that he would never grab a woman’s breast.

Joe and Mika are gaga over Pete Buttigieg, campare him to Barack Obama 

“Mika and I have been overwhelmed by the reaction @PeteButtigieg got after being on the show. The only other time in twelve years that we heard from as many people about a guest was after @BarackObama appeared on Morning Joe.” — Joe Scarborough, co-host, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Reaction to the McCain kerfuffle: What the hell, Lindsey Graham? 

“Trump says about McCain that he gave him the kind of funeral he wanted but didn’t get thanked. This is all about the fact that Trump wasn’t invited to McCain’s funeral and that Meghan McCain was clearly talking about him in her eulogy. He’s not over it.” — Yashar Ali, HuffPost, New York Mag.

“I assume he means a thank you from the family. Trump may be a moron but he does understand that dead people can’t talk.” — Jonathan Chait, New York Mag.

“Trump has usually gotten a positive reception at his rallies when he has gone after McCain. But today, at an army tank plant in Lima where POTUS said a third of the workforce is comprised of veterans, there was a very quiet response.” — Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent, NYT.

“Whether it’s right or wrong, Trump has never paid any sort of political price for attacking John McCain, no matter how low or scurrilous the attack. I’m kind of bewildered at folks who think he will start paying one now.— Leon Wolf, managing editor, TheBlaze. (RELATED: If You’re Obsese, Sitting Next To A Journo On An Airplane May Be Unwise) 

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri): “I can’t understand how @LindseyGrahamSC can remain silent when his best friend in the world is trashed by POTUS. For gosh sakes Lindsey.” 

Meghan McCain recently pointedly explained on ABC’s “The View” that it is ex-Sen. Joe Leiberman (D-Conn.) who is her father’s real “best friend.” She shook her head adamantly no when one of the ladies suggested that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was his best friend.

McCain, the talkshow host, then urged her co-host, Joy Behar, to keep talking as she bashed Graham. Graham has tweeted tepidly kind things about Sen. McCain in recent days, but has not condemned or even named Trump when tweeting about the late senator. Trump is supporting Graham in his reelection efforts.

On Wednesday, Graham FINALLY told NBC News, “I think the president’s comments about Sen. McCain hurt him more than they hurt the legacy of Sen. McCain … I don’t like it when he says things about my friend John McCain.”

As we witnessed in the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Graham is capable of far greater emotion than this. (RELATED: Sen. Graham Explodes On Senate Committee Over Kavanaugh Process) 

Journo accepts his fate amid Trump’s power  

“Trump is gonna be shit talking John McCain and the pee dossier til the day I die and there’s nothing any of us can do about it, and he will be a major force in Republican politics and a kingmaker and a conservative media star long after he’s done presidenting.” — Asawin Suebsaeng, reporter, The Daily Beast.

Journo Love

FNC’s Janice Dean: Dear @MeghanMcCain, I love you. [heart emojis]

ABC “The View” co-host Meghan McCain: Love you too. [heart emoji]

Twitter recommends that a journo follow himself 

This is deep. 

“Pretty sure Twitter just suggested I follow me. Refreshed page too quickly and now can’t get it back. It just happened again. It was suggestion me as a ‘revenant person.’” — Josh Greenman, op-ed editor, New York Daily News.

Daddy gets in NYT for cow news

12-year-old son: I got a 97 on my math test.

Me: That’s nice. Daddy’s in the New York Times for helping a cow get twitter followers.

Andy Lassner, executive producer, The Ellen Show.

Separated at Birth: Pete Buttigieg and Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens

Gossip Roundup

Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo really grilled Kellyanne Conway on Trump calling her husband a “whack job.” Here.

Jenny McCarthy recalls the “Mommy Dearest” treatment she endured while working for ABC’s “The View” under Barbara Walters. How will the current ladies react to these memories? McCarthy made the claims in Ramin Setoodeh‘s impending book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Story Inside ‘The View.’  Here. The excerpts were published in Vulture.

Journo Britni de la Cretaz writes about BDSM and finding God. Just before midnight Wednesday, she expressed her fear about publishing this. She wrote, “The most personal thing I’ve written is publishing tomorrow and I might vomit when it does.” Here.

John Hickenlooper, a former Democratic Colorado Governor and now a 2020 hopeful, once took his mom to see Deep Throat. CNN’s Dana Bash asked him about it during a CNN town hall Wednesday night. He was mortified, but answered the question. Here.

Katie Couric once went on a date with Corey Booker. She dished to Wendy Williams about it.

Source: The Daily Caller

John Lott | President, Crime Prevention Research Center

Ever since the 2016 campaign, Democrats and the media have asserted that President Trump has failed to distance himself from white nationalists and neo-Nazis. The fact that White House staffers must answer these questions shows how far out of kilter the discussion has gone.

A Monday headline in the Washington Post read: “Trump’s top staffer doesn’t believe his boss is a white supremacist. Many Americans disagree.” Acting White House Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney left no equivocation: “The president is not a white supremacist.”

On the Sunday edition of CNN’s State of the Union, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) claimed that President Trump “needs to do better” at condemning white nationalism. “The leadership, the administration — when they continue to stay silent, it’s going to increase,” said Tlaib.

Host Jake Tapper agreed: “I don’t think moderate Republicans are doing enough to hold President Trump accountable for his rhetoric.”

Last August, Bloomberg ran the headline, “Trump Still Fails to Condemn Racism a Year After Charlottesville.” The article went on to claim, “He has refused to distance himself from white supremacists like Duke.”

These media depictions are so extreme that they are easily proven false. If Trump “stayed silent” and really “refused to distance himself,” there shouldn’t be any statements to the contrary. Yet, there are dozens of them.

Take this exchange with a reporter a couple of days after the Charlottesville riots in 2017.

TRUMP: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. . . . I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too.  

REPORTER: I just didn’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly?  

TRUMP: No, no. There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly, the taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee. . . .

So what exactly is unclear? It’s hard to see how any rational person could think that Trump wasn’t condemning neo-Nazis. Was “very bad people” not strong enough? Should he have said, “very, very bad people”?

Or how about another Trump statement in the aftermath of the riots? “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”  

No matter how many times Trump specifically singles out white supremacists, his other blanket condemnations of bigotry convince the media that he really supports racists. This tweet from August didn’t pass the media smell test: “The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”  

How many times does Trump have to disavow David Duke and others like him before the media will concede the point?

“David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years,” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” in March 2016. “I disavowed him. I disavowed the KKK. Do you want me to do it again for the 12th time? I disavowed him in the past, I disavow him now.”

After the election, the New York Times asked Trump about the “alt-right.” The president-elect replied, “I condemn them. I disavow, and I condemn.”

On CBS’ 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl asked Trump about reports of his supporters using racial slurs and making personal threats against blacks, Latinos and gays. Trump replied, “I am very surprised to hear that.” When Stahl asked if he had a message for these offenders, Trump was firm: “I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it — if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.”

The media is factually wrong about Trump. At this point, there can be no doubt that journalists who claim that Trump has failed to condemn white supremacists are wildly inaccurate. If people read the full transcripts of Trump’s statements on Charlottesville or David Duke, the media will have no credibility left.

John R. Lott is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author, most recently, of “The War on Guns.”


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

Source: The Daily Caller

Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh on floor of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during company's IPO in New York
FLevi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh is seen during the company’s IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

March 21, 2019

By Diptendu Lahiri

(Reuters) – Shares in Levi Strauss & Co surged 31 percent in their debut on Thursday, giving the U.S. jeans maker a market value of $8.7 billion and indicating a strong investor appetite ahead of much-awaited listings from Lyft and Uber Technologies.

The 165-year-old company’s return to the public market comes at a time when stocks are near all-time highs and the popularity of denim is surging, driven by the resurgence of the 90s styles such as high-waist and pinstriped jeans.

The self proclaimed inventor of the blue jeans, which has grown to become one of the world’s most recognized denim brands, hopes to use a part of the proceeds from the share offering to expand further into emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India.

“Denim continues to prove prevalent in streetwear and on the runway, so we’re not expecting it to go anywhere any time soon,” an analyst at retail analytics firm Edited said.

“That’s why now is a great time for Levi’s to capitalize on this momentum.”

Levi first went public in 1971. It sold a total of 1.27 million shares at $47 each and the stock opened at $60, according to a New York Times report.

After 14 years as a public company, it was taken private by the Haas family, the descendants of founder Levi Strauss, in a $1.6 billion leveraged buyout.

Levi’s second IPO was priced at $17 on Wednesday, above the expected range, in an oversubscribed offering. The Haas family will retain 80 percent voting control of the public company. The market capitalization of the company is based on outstanding shares of about 390 million, which includes the over-allotment option.

“There is a lot to like when it comes to Levi Strauss the brand and its outlook moving forward,” said Jeff Zell, senior research analyst and partner at IPO tracking firm, IPO Boutique.

“The company and the underwriters targeted a reasonable valuation to start and allowed the true investor demand to dictate price which ultimately came one-dollar above range.”

The company reported a 14 percent rise in revenue to $5.6 billion in 2018, a majority of which came from men’s denim. Its biggest market is Americas, which accounts for about 55 percent of total revenue.

The San Francisco, California-based company sells in 110 countries through 50,000 retail stores and its rivals include Gap Inc and VF Corp’s Lee and Wrangler brands.

To attract young customers, Levi’s is planning to expand its tailor shop and print bar that allow consumers to customize and put their own designs on the company’s branded jeans and T-shirts.

Levi’s market splash also marks the start of what could be a blockbuster year for IPOs with several high profile companies expected to list their shares.

Ride-hailing service provider Lyft Inc kicked off the investor road show for its market debut on Monday and larger rival Uber is expected to go public in April.

The line-up also includes photo-posting app Pinterest, home-renting service provider Airbnb and business messaging app Slack.

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Writing by Sweta Singh; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Source: OANN

Chris White | Energy Reporter

The number of public record requests to the Environmental Protection Agency from major media outlets exploded shortly after President Donald Trump was elected, The Free Beacon reported Wednesday.

The New York Times made only 13 Freedom of Information Act requests during former President Barack Obama’s second term, the report notes, citing an analysis of FOIA requests dating back to 2013. The data sets show that The NYT quadrupled that number during the first year of Trump’s presidency, sending 59 FOIA requests to the EPA that year. The paper sent 100 over the course of Trump’s entire first term.

The NYT was not the only outlet that saw its FOIAs spiked. Reporters at The Washington Post, meanwhile, sent only one FOIA request to the agency during Obama’s entire second term, and have sent more than 40 FOIA requests to the EPA since 2016, when Trump was elected. (RELATED: Media Take Aim At Trump’s EPA For Doing What Obama Used To Do With FOIAs)

Then Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt walks during a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. Picture taken July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Politico, which reported extensively on former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s ethical troubles, filed 15 requests during Obama’s second term and 198 since Trump took office. CNN’s numbers ballooned as well — the news channel sent 25 requests during Obama’s second term and 47 since.

Pruitt’s agency haggled with waves of EPA requests dating back to the previous administration. EPA FOIA officers had responded as of October 2017, to 70 percent of the 652 requests left open at the beginning of that year, according to an agency release. Some requests had been open since 2008.

EPA received 11,493 FOIA requests in fiscal year 2017, which is the most they’ve gotten since 2007 when outside groups filed 11,820 records requests. The agency got 995 more FOIAs in 2017 than in 2016.

Follow Chris White on Facebook and Twitter

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

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Actor Bill Murray recites his words during a performance with cellist Jan Vogler from their new album New Worlds, at the Southbank Centre in London
FILE PHOTO: Actor Bill Murray recites his words during a performance with cellist Jan Vogler from their new album New Worlds, at the Southbank Centre in London, Britain June 4, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

March 20, 2019

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. horse racing announcer Dave Johnson, who called Triple Crown races for ABC television for two decades, on Wednesday sued the makers of Bill Murray’s 2014 film “St. Vincent” for using his signature phrase “and down the stretch they come” without permission.

Johnson, 77, a Manhattan resident, accused the film’s distributor Weinstein Co, the producers Chernin Entertainment and Crescendo Productions and other defendants of infringing his 2012 trademark in the phrase, one of the most recognizable in American sports.

The lawsuit does not name Murray as a defendant.

Murray’s character Vincent MacKenna, a grumpy retiree who drank and gambled, used the phrase “in the context of a race and in a clear attempt to imitate” Johnson, the complaint said.

Johnson said this would likely confuse the public, tarnishing his rights to a phrase “inextricably linked” with his celebrity persona, likeness and identity.

The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court seeks unspecified damages. “St. Vincent” grossed $54.8 million worldwide, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.

A lawyer for the defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“‘And down the stretch they come’ embodies all that is good about thoroughbred racing,” Johnson’s lawyer Andrew Mollica said in a phone interview. “Mr. Johnson owns that mark. If the defendants are going to put it in a major motion picture that earned $54 million, they had a duty to seek his permission.”

Johnson’s use of the phrase involves emphasizing the word “down” as horses turn into the homestretch of a race.

In 2015, Johnson told The New York Times he began using the phrase in the 1960s, and gave it more verve when calling races at Santa Anita Park in California to combat an ancient sound system.

The lawsuit references other trademarked signature sports phrases, including late baseball broadcaster Harry Caray’s “Holy Cow!”, basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale’s “awesome baby” and boxing and wrestling announcer Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble!”

Johnson stopped calling the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes for ABC Television when the races moved to NBC in 2001.

Asked why Johnson did not sue over “St. Vincent” sooner, Mollica said: “Mr. Johnson did not see the movie, and I’m afraid I did not either.”

“When we knew, we moved,” he added.

The case is Johnson et al v Chernin Group LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-02485.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Nick Carey)

Source: OANN

Whitney Tipton | Contributor

Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke announced Wednesday that his record-smashing $6.1 million first-day haul came from just 128,000 unique contributors, giving an average of $47 each, and it looks like fellow contender Bernie Sanders’s prediction was right.

O’Rourke, who announced his bid for president March 14, revealed the numbers in remarks to reporters after a campaign stop in New Hampshire, according to Politico. They are significant when compared to the Sanders campaign, which wasn’t far behind at $5.9 million raised in the first 24 hours, but needed 225,000 contributors to get there due to the lower average donation of $27.

DUBUQUE, IOWA - MARCH 16: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke shakes hands as he arrives at a packed St. Patrick's Day party at the home of County Recorder John Murphy March 16, 2019 in Dubuque, Iowa. After losing a long-shot race for U.S. Senate to Ted Cruz (R-TX), the 46-year-old O'Rourke is making his first campaign swing through Iowa after jumping into a crowded Democratic field this week. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

DUBUQUE, IOWA – MARCH 16: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke shakes hands as he arrives at a packed St. Patrick’s Day party at the home of County Recorder John Murphy March 16, 2019 in Dubuque, Iowa. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The different in total number of contributors came as no surprise to Sanders, who predicted the scenario before the contribution details were made public, explaining to supporters in an email sent out Monday and obtained by The New York Times:

“Here is the truth: this morning, Beto O’Rourke announced that he raised more money than us on the first day of his presidential campaign. The good news is, we more than likely had a lot more individual donations than he did. But what that means is if we are going to avoid getting outspent, it’s going to take lots and lots of people making individual donations to catch up.”

The Sanders campaign asked supporters to keep donating, and acknowledged the importance of early fundraising.

“This first FEC report is going to send a message about who is the best candidate to beat Trump.”

Sanders announced his presidential bid Feb. 19. (RELATED: Poll: Bernie Sanders Leading Democrats In New Hampshire)

The 2020 Democratic presidential field is one of the largest ever, and small donor contributions are important to campaigns not only for their actual value, but for the information collected about a candidate’s base and the opportunity to further engage supporters.

Follow Whitney on Twitter

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

Whitney Tipton | Contributor

Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke announced Wednesday that his record-smashing $6.1 million first-day haul came from just 128,000 unique contributors, giving an average of $47 each, and it looks like fellow contender Bernie Sanders’s prediction was right.

O’Rourke, who announced his bid for president March 14, revealed the numbers in remarks to reporters after a campaign stop in New Hampshire, according to Politico. They are significant when compared to the Sanders campaign, which wasn’t far behind at $5.9 million raised in the first 24 hours, but needed 225,000 contributors to get there due to the lower average donation of $27.

DUBUQUE, IOWA - MARCH 16: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke shakes hands as he arrives at a packed St. Patrick's Day party at the home of County Recorder John Murphy March 16, 2019 in Dubuque, Iowa. After losing a long-shot race for U.S. Senate to Ted Cruz (R-TX), the 46-year-old O'Rourke is making his first campaign swing through Iowa after jumping into a crowded Democratic field this week. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

DUBUQUE, IOWA – MARCH 16: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke shakes hands as he arrives at a packed St. Patrick’s Day party at the home of County Recorder John Murphy March 16, 2019 in Dubuque, Iowa. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The different in total number of contributors came as no surprise to Sanders, who predicted the scenario before the contribution details were made public, explaining to supporters in an email sent out Monday and obtained by The New York Times:

“Here is the truth: this morning, Beto O’Rourke announced that he raised more money than us on the first day of his presidential campaign. The good news is, we more than likely had a lot more individual donations than he did. But what that means is if we are going to avoid getting outspent, it’s going to take lots and lots of people making individual donations to catch up.”

The Sanders campaign asked supporters to keep donating, and acknowledged the importance of early fundraising.

“This first FEC report is going to send a message about who is the best candidate to beat Trump.”

Sanders announced his presidential bid Feb. 19. (RELATED: Poll: Bernie Sanders Leading Democrats In New Hampshire)

The 2020 Democratic presidential field is one of the largest ever, and small donor contributions are important to campaigns not only for their actual value, but for the information collected about a candidate’s base and the opportunity to further engage supporters.

Follow Whitney on Twitter

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

Former ABC News anchorman Ted Koppel expressed his belief that many news organizations are out to get President Donald Trump.

Koppel’s statements came earlier this month during a Q&A session with Marvin Kalb at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and were first reported by NewsBusters on Tuesday.

Tucker Carlson aired a clip of Koppel’s statement on his show Tuesday night. (RELATED: Trump Goes After The Washington Post For Being ‘A Fake Fact Checker’)

WATCH:

“I’m terribly concerned that when you talk about the New York Times these days, when you talk about The Washington Post these days, we’re not talking about the New York Times of 50 years ago. We are not talking about the Washington Post of 50 years ago,” Koppel said. “We’re talking about organizations that I believe have, in fact, decided as organizations that Donald J. Trump is bad for the United States.”

According to Mediate, he also said:

So his perception that the establishment press is out to get him–doesn’t mean that great journalism is not being done. It is. But the notion that most of us look upon Donald Trump as being an absolute fiasco…he’s not mistaken in that perception, and he’s not mistaken when so many of the liberal media, for example, described themselves as belonging to the Resistance.”

Back in October, Koppel and CNN senior correspondent Brian Stelter got into a heated back-and-forth on a panel about the symbiotic relationship between the president and the media.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Scott Morefield | Reporter

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

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

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

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

Follow Scott on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Acting U.S. Attorney General Whitaker testifies before House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 8, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A leading House Democrat said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump appears to have influenced former acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to raise doubts about the campaign finance case against Trump’s former lawyer.

U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Whitaker described interactions with Justice Department staff about the case against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, which involved hush money payments to women who claimed to have affairs with Trump, during a March 13 closed-door meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

In a letter on Tuesday to Assistant Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel, Nadler said Whitaker expressed to staff concerns that campaign finance charges against Cohen may have been “specious” and raised “serious questions” about the theory of the case overseen by federal prosecutors in New York.

Whitaker also had concerns about U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman’s recusal from the case, saying the terms of the recusal were “convoluted,” according to the letter.

“It is reasonable to believe that this activity – the questions Mr Whitaker asked about Mr Cohen’s case, and the manner in which he asked them – reflected fears about the case that were likely expressed to Mr Whitaker by the president himself,” Nadler said.

Whitaker appeared never to have taken official action to intervene in the Cohen case, Nadler said.

Officials at the Justice Department and White House were not immediately available for comment.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to orchestrating the hush money payments, which he said Trump directed him to make.

Nadler’s committee, which has jurisdiction over impeachment issues, is trying to determine whether the president has sought to obstruct justice by influencing investigations that involve him.

Trump may have urged Whitaker to Berman in charge of the Cohen case, according to a New York Times report that Trump has denied. Berman, a Trump campaign donor and former law partner of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, is recused from the case.

Nadler said his committee has identified individuals who claim to have direct knowledge of conversations between Whitaker and Trump.

But during their meeting on Capitol Hill, Nadler said Whitaker refused to answer questions about any conversations he may have had with Trump “on the basis that the president may one day want to invoke executive privilege.”

Whitaker, who left the Justice Department after Attorney General William Barr’s arrival last month, was appointed acting attorney general without Senate confirmation in November after Trump ousted former Attorney Jeff Sessions.

Democrats feared he could interfere with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Nadler said he accepts that Whitaker never gave the White House “any promises or commitments concerning the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

Nadler rejected Whitaker’s decision not to answer questions because of possible executive privilege. He asked Engel, who heads the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, to determine whether the White House would actually invoke executive privilege.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: OANN

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

  • Activists are blaming global warming for historic flooding in the Midwest, however, the science behind their claim is weak and not in line with the latest National Climate Assessment.
  • Hundreds of homes are inundated with water and at least three people have been killed in floods.
  • Thousands of people across four states were forced to evacuate because river flooding breached nearly 200 miles of levees.

Some environmentalists and scientists are blaming global warming for the historic flooding across the Midwest, adding to the long list of disasters eager activists link to climate change.

But is the scientific connection between historic Midwest floods and global warming very strong? No, it’s not.

A “bomb cyclone” led to sudden, devastating floods across the Midwest and Great Plains that left at least three people dead, according to reports. Officials say it’s the worst flooding in 50 years.

While most in the media largely stayed away from connecting Midwest flooding to climate change, environmentalists were quick to make the connection, claiming the science was on their side.

Bill McKibben, a prominent environmentalist who made headlines protesting the Keystone XL oil pipeline, proclaimed “[s]cientists confirm climate change” was at work in the historic Midwest flooding.

An aerial view of the flooding at the Camp Ashland in Nebraska

Flooded Camp Ashland, Army National Guard facility, is seen in this aerial photo taken in Ashland, Nebraska, U.S., March 17, 2019. Picture taken March 17, 2019. Courtesy Herschel Talley/Nebraska National Guard/Handout via REUTERS.

The article McKibben linked to, however, only mentions a “changing climate” once, but does discuss the myriad of other, likely more important factors, that contributed to the massive flooding, like rainfall piling up over frozen ground. (RELATED: DC Opens Door To Private Investors Financing Its Climate Change Case Against Exxon, Lawyer Says)

The liberal blog ThinkProgress claimed Midwest floods were a “terrifying preview of climate impacts to come,” though the article relied heavily on comment from environmental activists.

“This level of flooding is becoming the new normal,” John Hickey, Sierra Club’s Missouri chapter director, told ThinkProgress.

Other environmental activists attacked major media outlets, like The New York Times and The Washington Post, for not linking Midwest flooding to global warming.

Environmental policy experts were quick to point out the lack of science behind such claims.

An aerial view of Spencer Dam after a storm triggered historic flooding, near Bristow, Nebraska

An aerial view of Spencer Dam after a storm triggered historic flooding, near Bristow, Nebraska, U.S. March 16, 2019. Office of Governor Pete Ricketts/Handout via REUTERS.

The 2018 National Climate Assessment (NCA) found that “formal attribution approaches have not established a significant connection of increased riverine flooding to human-induced climate change.”

Likewise, the NCA noted that “a variety of other compounding factors, including local land use, land-cover changes, and water management also play important roles.”

Land-cover was an extremely important factor in the Midwest floods. Heavy rain fell onto snow-covered, frozen ground. Rain and snowmelt ran off into already ice-covered rivers, which rose and sent massive chunks of ice downstream, breaking infrastructure and damming up the river.

More than 70 cities across Nebraska declared emergencies amid historic floods. Thousands of people across four states were forced to evacuate because river flooding breached nearly 200 miles of levees, CBS News reported.

The Mississippi and Missouri rivers also saw widespread flooding. Residents in western Illinois saw the worst floods in 50 years, according to The Chicago Tribune. Many homes in Holt County, Missouri were sitting in up to 7 feet of water from river flooding, The Associated Press reported.

Flooded apartments are seen over Elkhorn River after a storm triggered historic flooding in Nebraska

Flooded apartments are seen over Elkhorn River after a storm triggered historic flooding in Nebraska, U.S. March 16, 2019. Office of Governor Pete Ricketts/Handout via REUTERS.

Oddly enough, the Nebraska-based Omaha World-Herald got comments from two scientists who gave rather broad statements on the connection between global warming and extreme rainfall.

Former NASA climate scientist James Hansen said “the strongest storms are getting stronger with global warming” because warmer air has more moisture. Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann, creator of the controversial “hockey stick graph,” told the World-Herald that some studies show factors behind “bomb cyclones” are increasing due to climate change.

“There is evidence now in modeling studies that climate change is increasing these factors, supporting the development of more intense bomb cyclones and Nor’easters, packing tropical storm-scale winds and dumping huge amounts of precipitation (often in the form of huge snowfalls),” Mann said.

However, atmospheric scientist Ryan Maue shot back, saying that Hansen and Mann were giving generalized explanations of modeled climate impacts instead of gathering actual data on the flood event.

Follow Michael on Twitter

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

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara speaks during a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara speaks during a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York City, U.S., July 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File photo

March 19, 2019

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – Preet Bharara, the ex-U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, has a piece of unsolicited advice for President Donald Trump: don’t meddle with investigations being pursued by his former office, especially one involving the Trump business or a family member.

Any such attempt, Bharara predicted, would likely prompt Democrats in Congress to start the impeachment process.

Bharara, who was fired as head of the office soon after Trump became president, wrote a book, “Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and the Rule of Law,” that goes on sale Tuesday.

A recurring theme in the book is the reputation of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office – formally known as the Southern District of New York – for political neutrality and independence.

The office’s willingness to pursue high-profile cases was confirmed with its prosecution of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, who pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance crimes which prosecutors say he carried out at the direction of Trump.

The office’s work is considered by many legal experts to be a bigger threat to Trump than Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, which is believed to be nearing its conclusion.

Reuters asked Bharara what would happen if Trump ordered the Southern District to halt a probe, a prospect that may not be far-fetched given that Trump last year asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker if Geoffrey Berman, Bharara’s Trump-appointed successor, could be tapped to oversee the Cohen investigation, according to the New York Times.

Berman is recused from the matter for undisclosed reasons.

Bharara said if he were still U.S. attorney and received such an order he would resign and buy “a one-way ticket for the shuttle to D.C.” to testify before a congressional committee.

“And then, I think you set the timer on impeachment,” he said. “So I don’t think it would be a wise thing to do.”

Trump has repeatedly criticized Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt” pushed by Democrats who want to impeach him. He has called Cohen a “rat,” accusing him of lying to prosecutors to try and reduce his sentence of three years in prison due to start in May

Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump, did not respond to requests for comment.

Unlike the special counsel, the Southern District has wide latitude to pursue cases with some connection to New York. In addition to Cohen, it is looking at Trump’s inaugural committee and the business practices at Trump’s real estate firm.

Bharara’s book is not about Trump but he acknowledges the president “infuses the book like he infuses everyone’s life at the moment” even if he is not cited frequently by name.

The book instead centers on a variety of both high-profile and lesser known cases to illustrate his views on how the justice system should work and when it falls short.

He addressed a frequent criticism of his tenure – that his and other agencies failed to prosecute bankers for the financial crisis. He wrote that holding people accountable was difficult because “much of what happened in 2008 was not the product of a few people with clear, provable intent.”

He pushed back at the notion that politics, bias or other considerations blunted his response to the crisis, noting that the Southern District prosecuted hedge fund executives and New York politicians from both major parties during his time there.

“I’m more than willing to accept credible criticism on behalf of the law enforcement community, but the idea that self-interest or politics or fear was a factor is a silly criticism, at least at SDNY,” he wrote.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne and Karen Freifeld in New York; Editing by Alistair Bell)

Source: OANN

The Trump administration is requesting $86 billion in spending for intelligence agencies, including $23 billion for highly classified military intelligence activities (MIP) in fiscal year 2020, The New York Times reports.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said the administration wants $62.8 billion for its intelligence agencies while the Pentagon asked for $22.95 billion for its secretive "black budget."

Overall, the budget includes a 6 percent spending increase and covers the costs of cyberweapons, spy satellites, and the national intelligence program that supports the armed services and tactical units.

Both budgets also propose spending more money on capabilities to compete with Russia and China, according to officials who spoke with the Times.

The MIP supports "defense intelligence activities intended to support tactical military operations and priorities," according to a 2016 Congressional Research Service, while funding for the National Intelligence Program goes to nondefense organizations.

The Pentagon in a statement said the request includes base budget funding as well as the war fund known overseas as the overseas contingency operations account.

"The department determined that releasing this top-line figure does not jeopardize any classified activities within the MIP," the statement noted. "No other MIP budget figures or program details will be released, as they remain classified for national security reasons."

Source: NewsMax

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

President Donald Trump may be in danger of losing North Carolina in 2020, according to an Elon University poll released Monday.

The poll found that 48 percent of registered North Carolina voters would vote for any Democrat to survive the primary process over Trump, compared to just 36 percent who said they would support the president no matter who ran against him.

Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016, earning 49.8 percent compared to the Democrat’s 46.2 percent. North Carolina has 15 electoral votes.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participates in the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, April 17, 2017, in Washington, D.C. This is the first Easter Egg Roll of the Trump Administration. Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participates in the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, April 17, 2017, in Washington, D.C. This is the first Easter Egg Roll of the Trump Administration. Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

When limited to Democratic voters, former Vice President Joe Biden led the pack in the primary with 55 percent of the vote. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders took second with a respectable 44 percent. (RELATED: Trump 2020 Team Has Massive Plan That Relies On 2016 Victory)

“Consistent with many others polls, we find President Trump maintains strong loyalty among registered Republicans in North Carolina,” said Jason Husser, poll director and associate professor of political science at Elon University.

“However, unaffiliated voters are currently breaking toward a hypothetical Democratic candidate by a margin that could portend serious trouble for the president’s 2020 coalition,” he continued. “That said, I expect many of those voters will change their minds as the Democratic nominee moves from hypothetical to actual; the extent of this change will largely shape what we see in North Carolina over the next 20 months.”

It should be noted that on election day in 2016, only one poll claimed that Trump would take the state. The New York Times, Quinnipiac, and left-leaning Public Policy Polling all showed Clinton winning the race by a significant margin.

North Carolina has voted Republican in every election since 1980 with the exception of President Barack Obama’s first term during the 2008 election. Elon University surveyed 914 registered voters. Researchers contacted 423 by phone or email randomly, and 491 were interviewed online through an opt-in survey. Elon reports a “credibility interval” of 3.5 percentage points in either direction. The survey ran from Feb. 20 through March 7.

Source: The Daily Caller

  • More than 15 journalists, several U.S. government officials and multiple lawmakers were shown or given the Steele dossier during the 2016 presidential campaign or shortly after.
  • Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele disseminated the dossier far and wide in an apparent attempt to insert the document’s salacious allegations into the media.
  • Newly unsealed court filings show how widespread this effort was.

Court documents released last week in a lawsuit involving the Steele dossier revealed new details about the campaign to disseminate the infamous anti-Trump report to the press and within the U.S. government.

Much was already known about Fusion GPS and dossier author Christopher Steele’s efforts to seed the dossier with reporters and government officials. Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson orchestrated several meetings between Steele and Washington, D.C.-based journalists prior to the 2016 election. It has also been widely reported that Steele and Simpson met with government officials in an attempt to ensure that Steele’s unverified findings landed on the government’s radar.

A deposition given by David Kramer, a longtime associate of former Sen. John McCain, shed light on even more contacts with reporters and government officials. Kramer’s Dec. 13, 2017 deposition was released on March 14 along with a batch of other documents from a dossier-related lawsuit against BuzzFeed News.

By giving the dossier to government officials, Fusion GPS and Steele were able to create news hooks for journalists to write stories airing the dossier’s unverified allegations.

That was the case with Yahoo! News, Mother Jones, CNN and BuzzFeed News, all of which published stories not about the underlying claims made in the dossier, but about the fact that the document was being handled by U.S. government officials.

Here are all of the contacts that Steele, Simpson and Kramer had with government officials and the press.

Fusion GPS and Steele’s contacts with US government officials

Simpson and Steele, a former MI6 officer, made contact with two separate government officials during the campaign to disseminate the dossier.

Steele met with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and his wife, a Fusion GPS contractor named Nellie Ohr, on July 30, 2016 to provide some of the information he had gathered in his investigation.

Simpson reached out and met Bruce Ohr on Aug. 22, 2016. Bruce Ohr told Congress on Aug. 28, 2018 that Simpson told him of possible intermediaries between the Trump campaign and Kremlin. Simpson and Bruce Ohr met against on Dec. 10, 2016. During that encounter, Bruce Ohr says Simpson handed him a memory stick with what he believes was a copy of the dossier. (RELATED: Details Emerge About Trump Dossier Firm’s Media Outreach Campaign)

Steele met with Jonathan Winer, a State Department official with close ties to former Secretary of State John Kerry, during summer 2016. He told Winer about the information he had gathered, and Winer wrote a two-page summary to give to others at the State Department.

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

Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is pictured. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Simpson reached out to Winer between Sept. 19-22, 2016. In an email, Simpson requested an urgent phone call with Winer. It would later be reported that Winer was a source for Michael Isikoff, the Yahoo! News reporter who wrote the first article laying out the dossier’s allegations against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The FBI relied heavily on the dossier to obtain four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page.

Winer did not just receive intelligence from Steele. He also provided the retired spy with dirt gathered by two longtime Hillary Clinton allies, Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer. Blumenthal gave Winer a copy of a report written by Shearer that contained allegations similar to Steele’s dossier. Winer gave that report to Steele, who passed it to the FBI.

Simpson and Steele contact reporters

Simpson contacted several top national security reporters beginning in summer 2016 to arrange meetings with Steele. He also reportedly tipped ABC News reporter Brian Ross off to a Belarus-born businessman who is believed to be a major source for the dossier.

According to the book “Russian Roulette,” Simpson told Ross about Sergei Millian, an obscure businessman who had claimed in one interview that he had links to Trumpworld. During an on-camera interview with Millian on July 29, 2016, Ross asked Millian several questions that mirror allegations made in the dossier.

Simpson also set up meetings in mid-September 2016 between Steele and several other reporters, including Yahoo’s Isikoff, The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, The Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger and Rosalind Helderman, and Steven Lee Meyer and Eric Lichtblau at The New York Times.

Steele spoke in October 2016 with David Corn, a reporter at Mother Jones who published a dossier-based story on Oct. 31, 2016. Corn provided a copy of the dossier to James Baker, who then served as FBI’s general counsel. Corn hoped that Baker would reveal whether the FBI was investigating the dossier’s claims, but Baker told Congress he did not provide any information to the reporter.

Baker would also meet with Michael Sussmann, an attorney at Perkins Coie, the firm that hired Fusion GPS on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. Sussmann provided Baker with information relevant to the Trump-Russia probe but not from the dossier.

He provided similar information to Slate’s Franklin Foer and reporters at The New York Times. Both outlets reported stories about possible links between the servers of the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Russian bank that is identified in the dossier. The allegation of communication between the two servers remains unverified and has been heavily disputed.

Dossier used as ‘hook’ for multiple news articles

In the case of the Isikoff piece, the news hook was that the U.S. government was looking into the allegations from the Steele dossier about Page. From there, Isikoff was able to lay out what the dossier claimed about the former Trump campaign aide, regardless of whether the allegations were true.

The FBI cited Isikoff’s article in its applications for surveillance warrants against Page, a former Trump campaign adviser who is accused in the dossier of being the Trump team’s conduit to the Kremlin.

The dossier itself was published based on a series of news hooks.

CNN reported on Jan. 10, 2017 that former President Barack Obama and then-President-elect Donald Trump had been briefed on portions of the dossier on Jan. 6, 2017. CNN reported the briefing took place, and that Trump had been told about specific allegations that Russia might use as blackmail material against him.

BuzzFeed followed up an hour later, using the CNN report as a hook to publish the dossier in full.

The FBI itself sought to capitalize on the publication of the dossier, according to text messages that have been made public.

Peter Strzok, the counterintelligence official who led the Trump-Russia probe, texted FBI lawyer Lisa Page following CNN’s report, saying: “Hey let me know when you can talk. We’re discussing whether, now that this is out, we use it as a pretext to go interview some people.”

Prior to that, the FBI had conducted its investigation into the Trump campaign in secret. Few if any Trump associates were interviewed prior to Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.

FBI agents showed up on Jan. 27, 2017 to interview George Papadopoulos at his home in Chicago. The agents initially asked Papadopoulos about Millian, an alleged dossier source who initiated contact with Papadopoulos on July 15, 2017.

Simpson and Steele use McCain to get to Comey

Kramer first learned of the dossier on Nov. 18, 2016, at the Halifax Security Forum. Sir Andrew Wood, an informal adviser to Steele’s company, told Kramer about the document and suggested sharing it with McCain. (RELATED: John McCain Associate Had Contact With A Dozen Reporters About Dossier)

Kramer flew to London on Nov. 28, 2016 to meet with Steele. The two made arrangements there for Kramer to obtain a physical copy of the report from Simpson.

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, speaks to reporters as he arrives for a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Oct. 18, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

After Kramer obtained the document, he shared it with numerous journalists, some at the direction of Steele.

According to his deposition, Kramer provided a copy of the dossier or previewed it to the following reporters: Julian Borger from The Guardian; Corn from Mother Jones; Ross and Matthew Mosk from ABC News; Peter Stone from McClatchy; Fred Hiatt, Hamburger and Helderman from The Washington Post; Bob Little from NPR; Alan Cullison from The Wall Street Journal; Carl Bernstein from CNN and Ken Bensinger from BuzzFeed.

Kramer said in his deposition that Corn and Borger were looking to use McCain’s meeting with former FBI Director James Comey as a news hook to continue publishing on the Steele report. He said the two journalists had somehow learned that McCain was going to meet with Comey.

Kramer also said that Steele wanted him to meet with BuzzFeed’s Bensinger and CNN’s Bernstein. He met with Bensinger on Dec. 28, 2016, where the reporter photographed the dossier. Kramer met with Bernstein days later, on Jan. 3 or Jan. 4, 2017.

The dossier also somehow made its way to lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Former Sen. Harry Reid is believed to have obtained some of the information in August 2016. He wrote a letter to Comey on Aug. 25, 2016 regarding information about possible ties between Trump associates and Russian operatives. Comey met one-on-one with former CIA Director John Brennan.

Kramer also provided a copy of the dossier to Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger and the chief of staff of former House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Other State Department contacts

Winer wasn’t the only State Department official who obtained Steele’s information.

Kramer said in his deposition that McCain asked him to meet with Victoria Nuland, who served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Kramer also met with Celeste Wallander, who served as senior director for Russia and Eurasia issues on the National Security Council.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Kramer said McCain wanted to meet with the two officials as part of “due diligence” before meeting with Comey.

Nuland had several encounters with the document and Steele beginning in July 2016. Nuland was who approved FBI agent Michael Gaeta to meet with Steele in Rome on July 5, 2016. Gaeta and Steele had worked together years earlier on an investigation into bribery in FIFA, the international soccer organization.

Nuland was also contacted by Winer regarding Steele’s information. According to both Nuland and Winer, she suggested the information be passed to the FBI. Nuland testified to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in June 2018 that Steele visited the State Department in October 2016.

Follow Chuck on Twitter

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

Democrats have effectively connected legalized marijuana to social justice, uniting on those platforms for 2020 to pull in millennial and African-American voters, The New York Times reported.

"A Democrat who is not on board with legalization or addressing it in terms of repairing harms brought by prohibition for decades is going to have a tough time convincing any voter they're serious about racial justice," executive director of the Center on Race, Inequality and the Law at New York University Law School Vincent M. Southerland told the Times.

As polling shows a rapid increase in support for legalization, it proves to be "catnip" for Democrats to rally a wide swath of votes against social conservatives, according to the Times.

Also, legalization has stopped being merely supported white Americans.

"Over the last 15 to 20 years, African-Americans have switched to favor legalization," Carnegie Mellon University professor Jonathan Caulkins told the Times.

Among the legalization proponents and social justice political reformists, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has introduced the Marijuana Justice Act to legalize the drug nationwide and expunge past convictions.

"It's not enough to legalize marijuana at the federal level — we should also help those who have suffered due to its prohibition," Sen. Booker tweeted.

Many in the 2020 Democratic primary field have signed on as sponsors of his bill, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke also endorsed federal legalization, per the report.

"I say this as the father of a middle school student, where middle schools are one of the fastest growing markets for marijuana sales today: In the black market, they do not ID — they do not care — as long as they can make that sale," O'Rourke said Thursday in an appearance in Iowa, the famed opener for presidential primaries.

Now, former Vice President Joe Biden, once a leader in the '90's "war on drugs" faces his position on modern legalization as "his biggest liability in the 2020 primary," according to John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution to the Times.

"In 1994, Biden had a fairly mainstream position, but in 2020 that position is so far from the mainstream of Democratic politics that it is almost offensive," Hudak told the Times.

Source: NewsMax

United Nations workers mourn their colleagues during a commemoration ceremony for the victims at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town Bishoftu
United Nations workers mourn their colleagues during a commemoration ceremony for the victims at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town Bishoftu, near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa NegerI

March 16, 2019

By Maggie Fick

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, which crashed killing 157 people, had an unusually high speed after take-off before the plane reported problems and asked permission to climb quickly, said a source who has listened to the air traffic control recording.

A voice from the cockpit of the Boeing 737 MAX requested to climb to 14,000 feet above sea level – about 6,400 feet above the airport – before urgently asking to return, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity because the recording is part of an ongoing investigation.

The plane vanished from radar at 10,800 feet.

“He said he had a flight control problem. That is why he wanted to climb,” the source said, adding there were no further details given of the exact problem and the voice sounded nervous.

Experts say pilots typically ask to climb when experiencing problems near the ground in order to gain margin for maneuver and avoid any difficult terrain. Addis Ababa is surrounded by hills and, immediately to the north, the Entoto Mountains.

The New York Times reported Captain Yared Getachew’s voice was on the recording but the Reuters source was not familiar with his voice or that of the first officer Ahmed Nur Mohammod Nur to verify which man was speaking. However, it was the same voice throughout, the source said.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday followed other countries in grounding the 737 MAX, citing satellite data and evidence from the scene that indicated some similarities and “the possibility of a shared cause” with October’s Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people.

On Saturday, investigators began studying the cockpit voice recorder. Along with the flight data recorder, the information will be evaluated by Ethiopian authorities, teams from Boeing, and U.S. and EU aviation safety authorities to try to determine the cause of the crash.

HIGH SPEED, FAILED CLIMB

The Ethiopian flight was set to follow the Standard Instrument Departure (SID) from the airport and followed standard procedure with a first contact just after departure, the source said. Everything appeared normal.

After one or two minutes, the voice on the air traffic control recording requested to remain on the same path as the runway and to climb to 14,000 feet, the source said.

The aircraft’s ground speed after departure was unusually high, the Reuters source said, reaching around 400 knots (460 miles per hour) rather than the 200 to 250 knots that is more typical minutes after departure.

“That is way too fast,” the source said.

No more than two minutes later, the air traffic controller was in communication with other aircraft when the voice from Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 interrupted, saying “break, break” – signaling that other non-urgent communications should cease. He sounded very scared, the source said.

“He requested permission to return. Air traffic control granted him permission to turn on the right because to the left is the city,” he said. “Maybe one minute passed before the blinking dot on the radar disappeared.”

After starting the turn, the plane disappeared from radar at an altitude of 10,800 feet above sea level, the highest it reached during the six-minute flight. Addis Ababa’s runway is at a high elevation of around 7,600 feet, suggesting the doomed jet made it about 3,000 feet into the sky.

Flight tracking website FlightRadar24 had data covering the first half of the flight but it dropped out at 8,600 feet.

Other satellite data tracking the plane has not been made available publicly. In the Lion Air crash, investigators are examining the behavior of a new anti-stall system installed on the 737 MAX that led to the plane gaining and losing altitude as the pilots fought for control against the automated system.

Boeing is expected to finalize a software fix for that system within a week to 10 days, sources familiar with the matter said earlier on Saturday.

(Reporting by Maggie Fick; Additional reporting by Katharine Houreld, Jamie Freed, Tim Hepher; Editing by Leigh Thomas, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

The Federal Election Commission is fining Texas Sen. Ted Cruz $35,000 for failing to disclose that he received loans to help finance his 2012 Senate run.

Cruz said at the time that his family liquidated their net worth to loan $1.43 million to his campaign. But the FEC later found that $1.06 million of that was from loans granted by Citibank and Goldman Sachs, where his wife worked.

Cruz's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

The federal agency has not announced the fine publicly. But the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, which filed a complaint in 2016 that led to the fine, released documents revealing it.

The loans' existence was first reported in 2016 by The New York Times.

Source: NewsMax

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

  • Thousands of children will skip school to protest inaction on global warming, but their movement is based on a poor understanding of the science.
  • It’s not surprising given that adults have been telling them for months that humanity only has 12 years to avoid catastrophic warming.
  • But the United Nations assessments don’t suggest we’re on track for catastrophe — and that’s if you buy climate model forecasts.

Thousands of students will skip school Friday over global warming as part of an international movement backed by adult activists and based on a misreading of the latest United Nations climate report.

In the U.S., strikers are calling “for the Green New Deal, for a fair and just transition to a 100% renewable economy, and for ending the creation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure,” according to the Youth Climate Strike website.

Young activists say “inaction has left us with just 11 years to change the trajectory of the worst effects of climate change.”

Isra Hirsi, the teenage daughter of Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, is one of the protest leaders. Her mother joined the planned strike for Washington, D.C., and tweeted in support of the climate protests, “We need to listen to the wisdom of our kids!”

Monied environmental organizations are supporting the strikers, and The New York Times said “grown-ups should listen” to children protesters. So, what exactly are these children saying?

“The rest of my life is literally on the line,” 17-year-old activist Feliquan Charlemagne told The Washington Post. “I’m going to have to grow up in this if we don’t take action and don’t turn it around.”

People take part in a "youth strike for climate change" demonstration in London

People take part in a “youth strike for climate change” demonstration in London, Britain February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson.

“I have dreams to run for president in 2044, but will that even be a possibility for me if we don’t do anything by 2030?” Isabella Fallahi, a 14-year-old high school student, told The Post. (RELATED: House GOP Demands Nancy Pelosi Hold Hearings On The Green New Deal)

The student strikes were inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who began ditching school in August to sit in protest outside Swedish parliament. Thunberg skyrocketed to fame in 2018 after speaking at the United Nations climate summit in Katowice, Poland.

Greta told the U.N. in December that “civilization is being sacrificed” by adults who were “stealing” their children’s futures by not immediately shedding fossil fuels.

Since then, tens of thousands of students across the western world have skipped school to demand politicians immediately enact policies to decarbonize society. To young students, it’s a battle against a bleak, near-apocalyptic future.

Student activists’ alarm isn’t surprising — it’s been nurtured by the media, climate activists and politicians in the wake of a U.N. report released in October.

The U.N. special report stated emissions needed to fall 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030, and then for emissions to reach zero by 2050 to avoid warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100. The U.N. Paris climate accord calls for keeping future warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

(And that’s if you put faith in the U.N.’s climate models, which have been shown to overestimate warming by as much as 50 percent.)

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joins students for school strike in Hamburg

16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is seen on stage as she takes part in a protest claiming for urgent measures to combat climate change, in Hamburg, Germany, March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen.

Is 1.5 to 2 degrees of warming catastrophic? The U.N.’s projections suggest no, but the media framed it as a 12-year deadline to prevent climate change catastrophe. (RELATED: Greenpeace Co-Founder Patrick Moore Calls Out His Former Group For Rewriting History)

The 12-year deadline became a talking point for politicians and climate activists like Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Green New Deal’s main champion, and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.

“The scientists are unanimous on this. We have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis,” O’Rourke said campaigning in Iowa Thursday, adding its our “final chance” to avert potential “extinction.”

There was such a kerfuffle over Ocasio-Cortez invoking the 12-year climate deadline that climate scientists came forward to refute the talking point. However, those same scientists signed onto a letter endorsing the youth climate strikes — strikes based on the same claims scientists criticized.

So, are we on track for catastrophe? The last major assessment put the cost of 2 degrees Celsius of warming above the pre-industrial era equivalent to “between 0.2 and 2.0% of income.”

As climate policy expert Bjorn Lomborg noted, other estimates put the costs of global warming at 2 to 4 percent in lost economic output by the end of the century — so the world will still be richer, just 2 to 4 percent less rich based on economic models.

Final session of the COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice

COP24 President Michal Kurtyka, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa, Ovais Sarmad, UN Climate Change Deputy Executive Secretary, react after adopting the final agreement during a closing session of the COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, December 15, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel.

“Problem, not catastrophe,” tweeted Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and has led in-depth economic analyses on the trade-offs of focusing on climate change at the expense of other issues, like malnourishment and disease.

On the flip side, the U.N.’s 2018 special report pegged the cost of reducing emissions in line with Paris accord goals to be “around 2.4 trillion [dollars] between 2016 and 2035, representing about 2.5% of the world GDP.”

Though that may be on the low-end, the U.N. noted, admitting that other “assessments for a 2°C-consistent transition suggest that including investments in transportation and in other infrastructure would increase the investment needs by a factor of three.”

Follow Michael on Twitter

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

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 15, 2019

By David Randall

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 400 Mid-Cap index has surged to its best start to a year since 1991, both rewarding fund managers and forcing them to work harder to seek out bargains in a group that is now the most expensive part of the U.S. market based on their historical averages.

The rally in mid-cap stocks – companies with a market valuation between $2 billion and $10 billion – has come during a broad rally in global stock markets as investors price in a resolution in the trade talks between the United States and China and fewer interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Mid-caps are up 14 percent for the year to date and sport an average price-to-earnings ratio of 16.9 times forward earnings, for their highest valuation premiums to small-cap stocks since 2017, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch research.

Yet fund managers from Janus Henderson, Hotchkis & Wiley, and Fairpointe Capital are among those who are still finding values by concentrating on financial, energy and media stocks and eschewing the high-priced real estate investment trusts and utility companies that make up nearly a fifth of the benchmark index.

“The window for the big bargain bin was the fourth quarter and that was about it,” said Kevin Preloger, a portfolio manager of the $3.3 billion Janus Henderson Mid Cap Value fund. “We’re looking for companies that have good balance sheets and good cash flow, but the tough part is reasonable valuations.”

Preloger’s fund is finding them in financial companies such as M&T Bank Corp and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc that are increasing their stock buybacks at the same time they have been beating analysts’ earnings expectations. Shares of M&T, for instance, are up 20.8 percent since the start of the year and trade at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 11.8.

“Financials are the cheapest sector in the space, and their earnings are also growing,” Preloger said.

Stanley Majcher, a portfolio manager of the $1.4 billion Hotchkis & Wiley Mid-Cap Value fund, is buying into overlooked financial and energy stocks because he considers them less risky than utility companies or REITs with higher valuations.

“Energy is very out of favor and there’s a perception that it’s a risky business because oil prices are likely to be low for a long period of time because of the market share war between OPEC and the U.S.,” he said. “But we see low volatility of demand and more discipline on the supply side.”

Among its largest holdings, Majcher’s fund has several energy companies, including Whiting Petroleum Corp, Kosmos Energy Ltd and Ophir Energy PLC, according to Morningstar data, with mixed results for the year to date. Shares of Whiting are up 12.4 percent year-to-date, while shares of Ophir are up nearly 53 percent over the same time.

Thyra Zerhusen, a portfolio manager of the $2.6 billion AMG Managers Fairpointe Mid Cap fund, said her fund is finding opportunities in media stocks such as broadcast company Tegna Inc, which was spun off of Gannett Co, magazine and local broadcasting company Meredith Corp, and New York Times Co, all of which should see a significant boost in revenues from the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, she said.

“With everybody running for president, the political advertising goes to these smaller market stations. Newspapers are almost non-existent now,” except for the New York Times, which continues to grow its digital subscriptions, she said.

She is also adding opportunistic positions in companies such as Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp, which completed its merger with the transportation unit of General Electric Co on Feb. 25. Shares of the company are up 2.9 percent year-to-date, and remain 35 percent below where they were trading six months ago.

“We’re trying to add stocks where there may be a short-term problem hitting the share price but the long-term outlook looks okay,” she said.

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Men unload a case containing the black boxes from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 outside the headquarters of France's BEA air accident investigation agency in Le Bourget
Men unload a case containing the black boxes from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 outside the headquarters of France’s BEA air accident investigation agency in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

March 15, 2019

By David Shepardson, Richard Lough and Aaron Maasho

WASHINGTON/PARIS/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – French investigators on Friday will begin analyzing data from the black boxes of the Boeing 737 Max plane that crashed after takeoff from Addis Ababa killing 157 people, the second such calamity involving the aircraft since October.

Experts will be looking for any links between Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash and the October crash of a 737 Max operated by Lion Air in Indonesia that killed 189 people. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded all Boeing MAX jets in service because of similarities between the two crashes.

Boeing said it had paused deliveries of its fastest-selling 737 MAX aircraft built at its factory near Seattle, but continues to produce the single-aisle version of the jet at full speed while dealing with the worldwide fleet’s grounding.

Possible links between the accidents have rocked the aviation industry, scared passengers, and left the world’s biggest planemaker scrambling to prove the safety of a money-spinning model intended to be the standard for decades.

The flight data and cockpit voice recorders were handed over to France’s Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) on Thursday. Technical analysis would begin on Friday and the first conclusions could take several days.

U.S. lawmakers said on Thursday the 737 Max fleet would be grounded for weeks if not longer until a software upgrade could be tested and installed.

Boeing has said it would roll out the software improvement “across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks.”

The captain of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 requested permission to return to Addis Ababa airport three minutes after takeoff as it accelerated to abnormal speed, the New York Times reported.

All contact between air controllers and Flight 302 to Nairobi was lost five minutes after it took off, a person who reviewed air traffic communications told the newspaper.

Within a minute of the flight’s departure, Captain Yared Getachew reported a “flight control” problem as the aircraft was well below the minimum safe height during a climb, the Times reported, citing the person.

After being cleared by the control room to turn back, Flight 302 climbed to an unusually high altitude and disappeared from radar over a restricted military zone, the person added.

Relatives of the dead stormed out of a meeting with Ethiopian Airlines on Thursday, decrying a lack of transparency, while others made the painful trip to the crash scene.

“I can’t find you! Where are you?” said one Ethiopian woman, draped in traditional white mourning shawl, as she held a framed portrait of her brother in the charred and debris-strewn field.

Nations around the world, including an initially reluctant United States, have suspended the 371 MAX models in operation, though airlines are largely coping by switching flights to other planes in their fleets.

Nearly 5,000 MAXs are on order, meaning the financial implications are huge for the industry.

“We continue to build 737 MAX airplanes while assessing how the situation, including potential capacity constraints, will impact our production system,” Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers said.

Boeing would maintain its production rate of 52 aircraft per month, of which the MAX, its newest version, represents the major share. However, Boeing declined to break out exact numbers.

CONNECTION TO INDONESIA CRASH?

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cited satellite data and evidence from the scene that indicated some similarities and “the possibility of a shared cause” with October’s crash in Indonesia.

The head of the Asian nation’s transport safety committee said the report into the Lion Air crash would be speeded up so it could be released in July to August, months earlier than its original timeframe.

Though it maintains the planes are safe, Boeing has supported the FAA move. Its stock is down about 11 percent since the crash, wiping more than $26 billion off its market value. It fell 1 percent on Thursday.

U.S. and Canadian carriers wrestled with customer calls and flight cancellations and Southwest Airlines Co and American Airlines Group Inc, the largest U.S. operators of the 737 MAX, said they had started flying empty MAX aircraft to be parked elsewhere during the ban.

U.S. President Donald Trump, an aviation enthusiast with deep ties to Boeing, said he hoped the suspensions would be short. “They have to figure it out fast,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

A software fix for the 737 MAX that Boeing has been working on since the Lion Air crash in October will take months to complete, the FAA said on Wednesday.

In what may presage a raft of claims, Norwegian Air has said it will seek compensation from Boeing for costs and lost revenue after grounding its fleet of 737 MAX.

Airline Garuda Indonesia said there was a possibility it would cancel its 20-strong order of 737 MAXs, while Malaysia Airlines said it was reviewing an order for 25 of the aircraft.

Under international rules, Ethiopians are leading the investigation but France’s BEA will conduct black box analysis as an adviser. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was also sending three investigators to assist.

The cause of the Indonesian crash is still being investigated. A November preliminary report, before the retrieval of the cockpit voice recorder, focused on maintenance and training and the response of a Boeing anti-stall system to a recently replaced sensor, but gave no reason for the crash.

(For an interactive graphic on ‘Ethiopian Airlines crash’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2ChBW5M)

(Reporting by Richard Lough, Tim Hepher and John Irish in Paris, Duncan Miriri and Aaron Masho in Addis Ababa, Jeff Mason and David Shepardson in Washington, Omar Mohammed and Maggie Fick in Nairobi; Danilo Masoni in Milan, and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle, Tracy Rucinski in Chicago, Allison Lampert in Montreal; Writing by Stephen Coates; Editing by Neil Fullick)

Source: OANN

An American family lays flowers for their daughter, who died in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, after a commemoration ceremony at the scene of the crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa
An American family lays flowers for their daughter, who died in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, after a commemoration ceremony at the scene of the crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

March 15, 2019

(Reuters) – The Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed in Ethiopia on Sunday killing 157 people requested permission to return to Addis Ababa airport three minutes after takeoff as it accelerated to abnormal speed, the New York Times reported.

All contact between air controllers and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 to Nairobi was lost five minutes after it took off, a person who reviewed air traffic communications told the newspaper.

Within a minute of the flight’s departure, Captain Yared Getachew reported a “flight control” problem as the aircraft was well below the minimum safe height from the ground during a climb, the Times reported, citing the person.

After being cleared by the control room to turn back within three minutes of the flight, Flight 302 climbed to an unusually high altitude and disappeared from the radar over a restricted military zone, the person added.

The investigation of the crash is still in its early stages and black boxes with details of the flight’s final moments arrived in France on Thursday for analysis.

Experts say it is too early to speculate on what caused the crash or whether it is related to the Lion Air 737 Max 8 crash in Indonesia five months ago. Accident reports show most are caused by unique combinations of technical and human factors.

Ethiopian Airlines was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Source: OANN

  • David Kramer, a former State Department official, revealed in a court deposition that he had contact with a dozen reporters regarding the infamous Steele dossier.
  • Kramer, a longtime associate of John McCain, was BuzzFeed’s source for the dossier, which alleges a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Kremlin.
  • Kramer provided the dossier to CNN’s Carl Bernstein, as well as to several government officials, including Obama National Security Council official Celeste Wallander and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

An associate of late Arizona Sen. John McCain described in detail his contacts with a dozen journalists and several government officials regarding the infamous Steele dossier, according to a transcript of a court deposition unsealed Thursday.

David Kramer, a former State Department official, said in a deposition on Dec. 13, 2017 that he provided a copy of Christopher Steele’s dossier to reporters from McClatchy, NPR, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed and to CNN’s Carl Bernstein.

He also shared the report with State Department official Victoria Nuland, Obama National Security Counsel official Celeste Wallander and Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

Kramer’s deposition sheds new light on the campaign by Steele and his employer, Fusion GPS, to disseminate the dossier to the press and government officials. (RELATED: John McCain Associate Gave Dossier To BuzzFeed)

In the deposition, Kramer suggests that Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson sought to use him and McCain as conduits to pass the dossier to the FBI.

Sir Andrew Wood, a former British diplomat, first briefed Kramer and McCain in November 2016 on the dossier, authored by Steele. Kramer flew to London on Nov. 29, 2016 to meet with Steele. The next day, in the U.S., he obtained a copy of the dossier from Simpson. On Dec. 9, 2016, McCain briefed then-FBI Director James Comey on the salacious report.

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

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

Kramer said he believed McCain was sought out in order to provide more “oomph” in terms of attracting the FBI’s attention.

“I think they felt a senior Republican was better to be the recipient of this rather than a Democrat because if it were a Democrat, I think that the view was that it would have been dismissed as a political attack,” said Kramer.

In some cases, according to the deposition, Kramer shared the dossier with reporters with Steele and Simpson’s knowledge.

Kramer said Steele asked him to meet with CNN’s Bernstein and BuzzFeed’s Ken Bensinger.

BuzzFeed published the dossier on Jan. 10, 2017. The website made the controversial decision hours after CNN, in a story co-authored by Bernstein, reported that then-President-elect Donald Trump had been briefed on the salacious allegations in the dossier on Jan. 6, 2017.

“I met with Mr. Bernstein at Mr. Steele’s request. And I believe Mr. Bernstein had been in touch with Mr. Steele and so Mr. Steele asked me if I would meet with him and talk with him about it. Since Bernstein was in the U.S. and Steele was in London,” said Kramer, who was an executive at the McCain Institute.

He said he met with Bernstein on Jan. 3 or Jan. 4, 2017.

Kramer said he also met Mother Jones’s David Corn, The Guardian’s Julian Borger, and Washington Post reporters Tom Hamburger and Rosalind Helderman. Kramer also said that ABC News’s Brian Ross had showed him a copy of some of Steele’s memos.

Kramer’s contact at McClatchy was Peter Stone, a reporter who worked on two debunked stories about former Trump attorney Michael Cohen that are based on allegations from Steele’s dossier.

Kramer said that two of the reporters, Corn and Borger, appeared to have inside knowledge about McCain’s plans to meet with Comey regarding the dossier.

Fusion GPS attempted to plant the dossier with various news outlets prior to the 2016 election. Simpson, Fusion’s founder, met with New York Times reporters, as well as Yahoo! News reporter Michael Isikoff. Corn and Isikoff were the only two reporters to publish stories before the election sourced directly to Steele’s reports.

Kramer also revealed details of his fateful meeting with Bensinger, the BuzzFeed reporter.

During a meeting at the McCain Institute on Dec. 29, 2016, Kramer said that Bensinger took photos of all 35 pages of the dossier. Kramer said he did not permit Bensinger to photograph the dossier, but that he left the room for 30 minutes to allow the reporter to review the document.

Kramer also said that he gave Bensinger the same warning he provided other reporters he spoke with about the dossier.

“I said to him what I had said to the others, which is I’m not in a position to verify or refute this, but that it seemed to me to be serious enough to be looked at in a professional way, and that professional journalists were arguably in a position to look into the matter,” said Kramer. “And I stressed to him the sensitivity of it; that it had to be handled very carefully. And he agreed.”

Kramer said he was informed about BuzzFeed’s publication of the dossier by Simpson. He said he immediately called Bensinger to request the report be taken down.

“My first words out of my mouth were you are gonna get people killed,” said Kramer.

Kramer also said that he spoke to Steele hours after BuzzFeed published the dossier and that the former spy was “shocked.” The longtime McCain associate also said that he lied to Steele about providing the dossier to Bensinger.

“He did ask me subsequently, and I denied it,” Kramer said when asked what he told Steele about the Bensinger contact.

Kramer said that he lied to Steele out of concern that admitting he was BuzzFeed’s source would end their relationship.

“Initially I panicked, and then I felt I could try to do more good and by maintaining contact with Mr. Steele which I thought might end if I had told him,” said Kramer, who is now a fellow at Florida International University.

Kramer Depositioin by Chuck Ross on Scribd

Follow Chuck on Twitter

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

Chris White | Energy Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: The Daily Caller

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

March 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: FBI Director Mueller testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill
FILE PHOTO: Robert Mueller, as FBI director, testifies before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sept. 16, 2009. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

March 13, 2019

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) – The timing of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election is a major topic of discussion in Washington, with the disclosure of the findings expected to be a seismic event in American politics.

Mueller himself has been silent throughout the probe, but his team has provided clues that prosecutors are still working on key issues, an indication he may not be ready to submit the report to Attorney General William Barr imminently.

The special counsel since May 2017 has been investigating whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia and whether the Republican president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction. Russia has denied election interference.

Representatives of key congressional committees involved in their own Trump-related probes have said they have received no guidance from Mueller’s office regarding his investigation’s progress or future plans.

Here is an explanation of some of the ongoing areas of inquiry for the special counsel.

MANAFORT AND KILIMNIK

At the March 7 sentencing hearing in Virginia for Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, prosecutor Greg Andres said a filing by the special counsel in a separate case against Manafort in Washington was partially sealed due to a “continuing investigation.” Manafort is due to be sentenced in the Washington case on Wednesday.

The continuing investigation cited by Andres, a member of Mueller’s team, related to Manafort’s interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, his former business associate who the special counsel has said has ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort and Kilimnik, a Russian, worked together for more than a decade as consultants for pro-Kremlin politicians in Ukraine.

A January court filing showed Manafort was accused by prosecutors of lying about sharing with Kilimnik in 2016 polling data related to Trump’s campaign. The New York Times also reported that Manafort asked that Kilimnik pass the data to two Ukrainian oligarchs, Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, who had financed pro-Russian Ukrainian political parties that had paid Manafort millions of dollars as a political consultant.

At issue is why Manafort passed along the polling data. Prosecutors also are examining Manafort’s discussions with Kilimnik about a policy proposal aimed at resolving the conflict in Ukraine in a way favorable to the Kremlin.

Andrew Weissmann, another Mueller prosecutor, said at a Feb. 4 hearing that Manafort’s alleged lies about interactions with Kilimnik were significant because they related to “what we think the motive here is.” Weissmann added, “This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the Special Counsel’s office is investigating,” a comment that suggested Mueller’s team was still digging into the matter.

This line of inquiry potentially could lead to conclusions by Mueller about Russian links to the Trump campaign.

ROGER STONE AND WIKILEAKS

Mueller’s team said in a Feb. 15 court filing it had evidence of some communication between longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone and the WikiLeaks website related to its release of Democratic Party emails that prosecutors have said were hacked by Russians. The special counsel has said the emails were released to harm Trump’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

The special counsel’s disclosure was aimed at showing a link between the case against Stone, indicted in January for lying about his communications concerning WikiLeaks, and a separate case against 12 Russian military intelligence officers indicted in July 2018 for hacking Democratic emails.

Stone, who has pleaded not guilty, is set to go to trial later this year in a case that could answer a central question of the Mueller probe: whether there was coordination between WikiLeaks and anyone close to Trump.

There are additional signs Mueller is still gathering evidence on Stone. A lawyer for Andrew Miller, a Stone associate who on Feb. 26 lost an appeal aimed at staving off a grand jury appearance, told Reuters Mueller still wants his client to testify.

Jerome Corsi, another Stone associate, told Reuters he no longer believes he will be indicted by Mueller for allegedly lying about his interactions with Stone but has not yet been told how he will figure in the investigation. Corsi said he turned down a deal to plead guilty in the case and is he cooperating with Mueller.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and self-described “fixer,” told a congressional panel on Feb. 27 that he overheard a telephone call in which Stone relayed to Trump that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had given him advance knowledge about an impending release by the website of stolen Clinton emails. WikiLeaks has denied any substantive contacts with Stone.

OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE INQUIRY

Of all the avenues of inquiry, perhaps the least is known about Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice by trying to impede the Russia inquiry. There have been no indictments or court action related to this issue.

A pivotal incident was Trump’s May 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey, an act some legal experts have said could be charged as obstruction of justice especially because Trump days later told NBC News he was thinking about “this Russia thing” when he made the decision. The FBI was leading the Russia investigation at the time. The Justice Department’s No. 2 official, Rod Rosenstein, then appointed Mueller to take over the probe.

Legal experts have pointed to more than a dozen other incidents that could come under Mueller’s scrutiny. These include: Comey’s account of Trump in February 2017 asking him to drop a probe into then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia; a January 2018 New York Times report that Trump ordered the firing of Mueller but backed down after then-White House Counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit; and the dangling of possible presidential pardons to Manafort and others.

Mueller also could look at Trump’s relentless public attacks seeking to discredit the investigation. Trump has described Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” has accused the special counsel of conflicts of interest and has called his prosecutors “thugs.” Trump also repeatedly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing the probe and eventually ousted him in November 2018.

FUNDING FOR SPECIAL COUNSEL

Funding is in place for the special counsel investigation through the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30, three U.S. officials said on Monday, an indication the probe has money to keep it going for months if necessary. Justice Department documents show that Mueller’s office reported spending around $9 million during the 2018 fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30. No figures are available for fiscal 2019.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York; Additional reporting by Sarah Lynch and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO - Vatican Treasurer Cardinal George Pell is surrounded by Australian police and members of the media as he leaves the Melbourne Magistrates Court in Australia
FILE PHOTO – Vatican Treasurer Cardinal George Pell is surrounded by Australian police and members of the media as he leaves the Melbourne Magistrates Court in Australia, July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Dadswell/File Photo

March 13, 2019

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Scooped. It’s a reporter’s nightmare.

After I spent weeks covering the trial of Cardinal George Pell in a small court room in Melbourne, a New York-based reporter for a U.S. media organization was first with the news that one of the most senior officials in the Vatican had been convicted of sexually assaulting two choir boys.

I had to sit on the story for another 11 weeks.

Media had been barred by the court from publishing anything in Australia about Pell’s prosecution on five sexual offences committed against the two boys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne 22 years ago.

Pell was found guilty in December, a verdict announced in court, but the gag order was lifted only on Feb 26. Reuters published news of the conviction only after the gag order was lifted.

Reuters, the world’s largest international multimedia news organization, adheres strictly to the local laws in the almost 200 locations where it operates. Thomson Reuters, our parent company, has a large presence in Australia, including more than 20 journalists, and news and other services are widely distributed.

The suppression order had applied throughout Australia “and on any website or other electronic or broadcast format accessible within Australia”. Those failing to comply with suppression orders can be jailed for up to five years as well as fined nearly A$100,000($70,630). A company can face a fine of nearly A$500,000.

At the same time, however, I am bound by the Reuters Trust Principles, which commit all journalists in the company to supply “unbiased and reliable news”. https://www.thomsonreuters.com/en/about-us/trust-principles.html

Normally, when the verdict was announced, I would have sent a series of stories to my editors, urgently reporting the conviction for our clients and readers around the world followed by several updates through the day.

But the gag order precluded that.

Unlike Reuters, several overseas media institutions published the verdict as soon as it was announced. Soon it was widely available online, including in Australia.

The Daily Beast broke news of the conviction out of New York the day Pell was found guilty. The Washington Post and Catholic news agencies offshore followed suit.

The New York Times published the verdict in U.S. print editions but not online.

U.S. media that ran the verdict but did not block coverage to Australia were technically in breach of the suppression order, but there was no way the order could be enforced against them, legal experts said.

“Australia would have to extradite someone, say from the Washington Post. There’s no way that that could happen under U.S. law, because the U.S. publisher would be facing charges that are totally repugnant to the first amendment,” said Jason Bosland, deputy director of the Centre for Media and Communications Law at the University of Melbourne.

The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of the press.

“While we always consider guidelines given by courts and governments, we must ultimately use our judgment and exercise our right to publish such consequential news,” Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

The Washington Post and the Daily Beast did not respond to questions on whether they had received any legal notice from the Australian court.

GAG ORDER LIFTED

County Court of Victoria Chief Judge Peter Kidd said he imposed the gag order to avoid tainting the jury in this trial and another case he had set for March 2019, where Pell faced charges on other child sex offences from the 1970s. The charges in the second case were dropped last week, leading to the end of the gag order.

In Australia, some newspapers ran headlines, including one that said “CENSORED”, and articles referring to a trial where an unnamed high-profile person was convicted of a serious crime that could not be reported.

For 10 weeks, I and about eight other reporters spent four and a half days a week covering the Pell trials – a mistrial and then a subsequent trial. The jury was given Friday afternoons off, so we were free too.

Pell would wait during breaks in a small interview room next to the courtroom, with two companions most of the time.

When the jury went in to deliberate on the verdict, it was nerve-jangling. We hovered in the corridor outside the court room the whole time, and no one left the court house except when we saw lunch being taken in to the jurors. 

The trial’s highlight was the testimony of the one surviving victim. But only the jury, the judge, the lawyers and Pell heard his testimony from a remote site. It lasted for more than two days, including a cross-examination by Pell’s lawyer, Robert Richter.

Pell did not take the stand at any time.

The rest of us in court heard a long line of church officials and ex-choristers being interrogated about Sunday mass protocols, choir processions, wine bottles, and the Cathedral layout. All of them said they had never seen nor heard of anything untoward at the cathedral in late 1996 or early 1997.

In those circumstances, it was easy to forget the gravity of the case and not having heard the victim, the guilty verdict came as a surprise.

Then, after the drama over the gag order, the judge permitted live television coverage of the sentencing on Wednesday. Only a single camera was used, which was trained on the judge and the broadcast was cut immediately after the sentence was delivered.

Pell was sentenced to six years in prison.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Source: OANN

In addition to the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, the Bill of Rights protects Americans from government action “abridging the freedom of speech” and ensures “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Recently, Maryland Democratic Party Secretary Robbie Leonard offered further evidence that anti-gun advocates are so intent on attacking the Second Amendment that they are willing to destroy the rest of the Bill of Rights along with it.

On February 25, the Maryland House of Delegates Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on several gun control measures. The various gun control proposals included a measure to further criminalize the private transfer of certain firearms, new restrictions on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, and new licensing requirements to purchase a rifle or shotgun.

NRA encouraged our members and other Second Amendment supporters to attend this hearing in order to voice their opposition to the proposed restrictions. Many Maryland gun owners heeded the call and exercised their First Amendment right to assemble and petition their government.

In doing so, some gun rights supporters wore t-shirts with the words “We Will Not Comply.” The shirts conveyed a powerful message of civil disobedience, making clear that those gun owners would refuse to obey further infringements on their Constitutional rights. The simple message also garnered the support of Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.

This constitutionally-protected message of resistance proved too much for Leonard. The Maryland Democratic Party Secretary took to social media to express his outrage that these gun owners would express such defiance to the gun control agenda.

According to a local news source, Leonard posted to Facebook, “I hope the FBI runs the name of every witness who is wearing a t-shirt that says ‘We Will Not Comply.’ They’re a bunch of terrorists in the making.” In another missive, Leonard posted photos from the hearing along with the message “Time to dox some homegrown terrorists.” For those unfamiliar with the term, “doxing” is an intimidation tactic whereby someone makes another person’s private or identifying information available to the public with the intent prompt a harassment campaign against them.

The bizarre posts offer a glimpse into the fevered mind of the gun control advocate. Revealing a severe dearth of knowledge regarding the Bill of Rights, in Leonard’s view, federal law enforcement should be employed to intimidate his political enemies for conduct expressly protected under the First Amendment. Further, Leonard seems to have little understanding of the structure of American governance. The Maryland Democratic Party Secretary is seeking to marshal the federal government to tamp down local grassroots opposition to proposed state laws of the type that federal legislators have repeatedly rejected.

As pointed out by some astute observers, Maryland and other states have criminal laws that can be used against those who engage in doxing. A 2017 item on doxing published in the Fordham Law Review noted, “Maryland Criminal Code section 3-803 prohibits an intentional, malicious course of conduct that constitutes harassment, as long as the actor has received a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the subject.” Maryland Criminal Code Section 3-805, explicitly outlaws this conduct when it takes place “through the use of electronic communication.” Given the strong objection Leonard’s conduct garnered, it is likely that the secretary has by now received that “reasonable warning.”

Even more than a message of civil disobedience, “We Will Not Comply” is a recognition of reality.

In Connecticut, a 2013 law required residents to register certain types of semiautomatic firearms, and individual magazines with a capacity greater than 10, by January 1, 2014. Out of an estimated several hundred thousand guns and 2.4 million magazines that were required to be registered, by the deadline Connecticut gun owners had registered 50,016 firearms and a mere 38,290 magazines.

In 1989, California enacted a law requiring registration of certain semi-automatic firearms. According to a February 17, 1992 Los Angeles Times article, in the years following enactment only 46,062 semi-autos were registered. The article went on to note, “The state Department of Justice has estimated there are 200,000 to 300,000. Others have calculated as many as 450,000 to 600,000.”

Results for New Jersey’s semi-auto ban were similar. An April 17, 1992 New York Times article titled, “Owners of Assault Guns Slow to Obey Law,” noted, “In New Jersey, which enacted an assault weapon ban in 1990, 2,000 weapons have been surrendered, made inoperable or registered as collectors’ items, according to the State Police. The state Attorney General’s office estimates that there are between 20,000 and 50,000 assault weapons in New Jersey.”

As for laws that criminalize the private transfer of firearms, the Colorado experience suggests similar resistance.

In 2018, Robbie Leonard ran an unsuccessful campaign for Maryland State Senate. Responding to a Baltimore Sun candidate questionnaire, Leonard noted that he taught remedial math courses at the Community College of Baltimore County. Given that the University of Baltimore School of Law, J.D. appears ignorant as to the Bill of Rights, he would do well to avail himself of a remedial course in U.S. civics.

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

Amber Athey | White House Correspondent

A group of students at Sarah Lawrence College released a set of demands Monday, including free housing and food for students, to amend for alleged “injustices imposed on people of color.”

Members of the “Diaspora Coalition” presented the list of demands to President Cristle Collins Judd during a two-day sit-in at her office and accused the college of being an unsafe place for minority students and failing to properly commit to social justice.

“Sarah Lawrence was not founded on racial or economic equality and has not implemented sufficient strategies to dismantle systematic oppression to be sustainable or safe for marginalized people in an increasingly dangerous political climate,” the Diaspora Coalition asserted in its list of demands.

WATCH:

The 9-page list of demands includes the following:

  • Free winter housing with a “communal kitchen” containing “dry goods from the food pantry”
  • Free laundry detergent and fabric softener for all students
  • Special housing for students of color
  • Allow students to share meal swipes because “It is unacceptable that there are students with leftover swipes at the end of the semester when other students are going hungry because they run out of meal options.”
  • A mandatory first-year orientation session about “intellectual elitism”
  • On-campus jobs prioritize the hiring of international students
  • Prevent students of color from being educated about history by “racist white professors”
  • Reject funding from the Charles Koch Foundation and review the tenure of “racist” professor Sam Abrams
  • All students have unlimited access to therapy sessions
  • Permanent funding for minority student unions that is not paid for by the student body

The students also demand that they are not punished for sitting-in the president’s office or any other forms of “civil disobedience” they engage in to promote their list. (RELATED: Student Speaks Out After Wyoming College Faces Backlash Over Cowboy Slogan)

President Judd responded to the students’ demands Tuesday, writing in a letter, “[The Diaspora Coalition’s] document brings to the fore many pressing issues that students at Sarah Lawrence face, especially students of color, low-income students, first-generation students, LGBTQ+ students, and others, and I am grateful for the willingness of our students to share their concerns with me and the campus community.”

Judd promised to facilitate round-table discussions in order to “continue conversations” but declined to acquiesce to demands to punish politics professor Sam Abrams.

According to The Phoenix, the Sarah Lawrence College student newspaper, 36 members of the faculty have signed on to the list of demands.

Comparatively, just 27 faculty members signed onto a “defense of academic freedom, free speech, and mutual respect” in December. Judd authored the letter as a response to campus backlash against Abrams, who wrote a New York Times op-ed calling for ideological diversity on campus and criticizing the left-wing bent of campus administrators.

Abrams’ office was vandalized with “messages of intimidation” after publication of the op-ed and the Diaspora Coalition referred to him as “anti-queer, misogynist, and racist” in its list of demands.

Follow Amber on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Whitney Tipton | Contributor

Southwest Key Programs’ CEO is stepping down after multiple investigations accusing the nonprofit migrant housing charity of child abuse and fiscal impropriety.

“Widespread misunderstanding of our business and unfair criticism of our people have become a distraction our employees do not deserve, and I can no longer bear. It’s time for new beginnings,”Juan Sanchez said in a letter to staff obtained by CNN.

Southwest Key’s board of directors announced Monday that Sanchez, 71, would retire from the Austin-based organization after 30 years. The organization was awarded more than $1.8 billion in federal funds over the past 10 years for primarily housing unaccompanied minors in more than two dozen shelters. The charity collected more than $500 million in 2018 alone, and is currently the largest shelter provider for migrant children, according to the Arizona Republic.

Martha Elizabeth Hernandez, who came from California to volunteer, lets a boy choose a toy at Centro San Juan Diego shelter on November 4, 2018 in El Paso, Texas, which is currently housing migrants from Central America and Mexico who have sought asylum because of political instability. - Sending thousands of troops to the US-Mexico border to counter a migrant "invasion," questioning the validity of birthright citizenship, and spreading stories of scandalous murders by undocumented immigrants: Trump and his Republicans are making immigration a closing argument of the campaign. It may be a logical move. Immigration is a top concern among Republican voters, and driving those issue-focused Trump supporters to the polls is key. (Photo by Paul RATJE / AFP) (Photo credit should read PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images)

Martha Elizabeth Hernandez, who came from California to volunteer, lets a boy choose a toy at Centro San Juan Diego shelter on November 4, 2018 in El Paso, Texas, which is currently housing migrants from Central America and Mexico. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images)

Allegations have included excessive compensation (Sanchez’ 2016 salary was $1.5 million), and lax employee vetting procedures that led to child abuse. (RELATED: Migrant Shelter Worker Who Sexually Abused Kids Sentenced To Prison For 19 Years)

Additionally, in December the DOJ announced it would investigate the nonprofit’s financial operations for misuse of federal funds. The charity engaged in banking transactions, having amassed $61 million in cash, according to a New York Times article, by lending money to real estate developers. It also rented shelters owned by Sanchez and Chief Financial Officer Melody Chung, which investigators may interpret as self-dealing. Chung resigned shortly after the DOJ announcement.

In one instance, the charity reportedly lent $6 million to purchase and renovate a Wal-Mart into a shelter facility, which Southwest Key subsequently rented for $5 million annually, according to the Times.

Recently, the charity has seen child immigrant populations skyrocket, according to the Texas Tribune, mainly due to increased illegal immigration and stricter enforcement of existing U.S. law’s zero tolerance policy.

The increased occupancy continues to stress the limits of immigrant housing shelters across the country although Trump signed an executive order in June ending the practice and mandating that families be held together. (RELATED: Trump Signs Executive Action To Stop Family Separation)

Sanchez’ wife, Jennifer Nelson, remains as a top executive.

Southwest Key also named longtime employee Joella Brooks as interim CEO while a nationwide search for a permanent CEO is conducted.

Follow Whitney on Twitter

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

Graeme Gallagher | Contributor

After two top executives were accused of sexual harassment, Google agreed to pay them $135 million in exit packages and cover up their reasons for leaving, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Google shareholder James Martin filed a suit on Monday that highlighted the total amounts paid to former Android CEO Andy Rubin and former Google Search team Senior Vice President Amit Singhal. The suit explains how Google agreed to pay $135 million to the two executives, but wound up paying $105 million in the end.

Confirming The New York Times report in October, Rubin originally received a $150 million stock grant from the company, in which he used to negotiate a $90 million final severance package in 2014. This all came after he was accused of sexual misconduct the previous year. (RELATED: Google Employees Debated Burying Conservative Media In Search)

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 07: Founder and CEO of Essential Products Andy Rubin speaks onstage at WIRED Business Conference presented by Visa at Spring Studios on June 7, 2017 in New York City. (Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired)

Founder and CEO of Essential Products Andy Rubin … (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired)

The suit by Martin explains that Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, “made the decision to approve the $150 million in equity awards directly, by himself, without the prior approval or involvement of the Board or the [Leadership, Development and Compensation Committee].”

Singhal, who was accused of groping an employee while at a “boozy” party in 2015, agreed to resign a year later in return for a $45 million exit package and an agreement not to work for a competitor. Singhal, however, joined competitor Uber in an executive position in 2017, which decreased his total pay from Google to $15 million.

The former senior vice president was later dismissed from Uber for not disclosing his alleged misconduct investigation. (RELATED: ‘Disrespectful’: Google Employees Melt Down Over The Word ‘Family’)

“The LDCC continued its practice of covering up the real reason for Singhal’s departure by describing Singhal’s departure as follows: ‘Oh 26-Feb-16, Amit Singhal (SVP, Search) left Google to focus on philanthropic activities,’” the suit reads.

Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search at Google, holds a Google Glass as he speaks at the garage where the company was founded on Google's 15th anniversary in Menlo Park, California September 26, 2013 (REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search at Google … (REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

Coming out to a total cash payout of $105 million to the two executives, Google says they have serious consequences in place for these inappropriate behaviors, especially for those in higher positions.

“There are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately at Google,” Google said in a statement to The Verge. “In recent years, we’ve made many changes to our workplace and taken an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority. (RELATED: Google’s Annual Pay Equity Analysis Finds More Men Than Women Were Underpaid In 2018)

Following the handling of Rubin’s case in 2018, Google employees protested and orchestrated walkouts on the company’s campuses in the United States, India, the United Kingdom and other locations.

“When Google covers up harassment and passes the trash, it contributes to an environment where people don’t feel safe reporting misconduct. They suspect that nothing will happen, or, worse, that the men will be paid and the women will be pushed aside,” states an anonymous Google employee in the suit.

Source: The Daily Caller

U.S. President Trump departs for Alabama from the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs to visit storm-hit areas of Alabama from the White House in Washington, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 12, 2019

(Reuters) – The New York attorney general’s office is looking into ties between Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank and several Trump Organization projects, the New York Times reported late Monday.

The attorney general’s office issued subpoenas late Monday to the banks, which opens an additional line of inquiry into Deutsche Bank’s dealings with Trump, the newspaper reported, citing one unnamed source.

The Democratic-controlled Intelligence Committee and Financial Services Committee in Congress have been exploring the finances of the Republican president and his businesses including his ties to Deutsche, one of the world’s largest financial institutions.

Deutsche Bank has lent Trump Organization hundreds of millions of dollars for real estate ventures and is one of the few major lenders that has given large amounts of credit to Trump after a string of bankruptcies at his hotel and casino businesses during the 1990s.

The newspaper said the new civil investigation into Deutsche was prompted by congressional testimony last month of Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

Cohen testified that Trump inflated the stated worth of his assets in financial statements. The former attorney submitted copies of statements he said had been provided to Deutsche.

Investors Bank was subpoenaed for records relating to Trump Park Avenue, a project it had backed, the Times reported.

Neither the New York attorney general’s office nor Trump representatives were available for comment early Tuesday. Neither Deutsche Bank nor Investors Bank representatives could be immediately reached.

(Reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Source: OANN

The government should use the billions of dollars captures from drug cartels to help fund the nation's border wall, which would help to decrease criminal activity at the same time that border security is strengthened, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who has devised a plan to make that happen, said Monday.

"They now need to transfer it back to say, Mexico," Cassidy told Fox News' "Outnumbered Overtime." "The fact that we capture that money, to use it for increased border security, theoretically could increase the amount of money we seize in the future from related activities."

At least $60 billion a year is being moved by the cartels out of the United States to other countries, where it in some cases the funds finance Hezbollah and terrorism, while "we are getting $5 billion," Cassidy said. "That means they are successfully moving $55 billion a year."

That so much money is leaving constitutes yet another national emergency, he added, and "shows you how ineffective the current policies are, and what justification there is for more aggressive policy."

Meanwhile, Cassidy said it is getting "tougher" for Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to argue against increased spending for the border wall, in particular, the president's new budget call for $8.6 billion, because media outlets like The New York Times are also referring to a "crisis" at the border.

"When you have your allies in the media conceding the point to President Trump, maybe the argument is shifting," Cassidy said.

Source: NewsMax


Current track

Title

Artist