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Westlake Legal Group > article (Page 123)

Karl Rove: Joe Biden the subject of ‘tension’ inside the Democratic Party

Westlake Legal Group Biden-Rove_FOX Karl Rove: Joe Biden the subject of 'tension' inside the Democratic Party fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/tom-steyer fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bill-de-blasio fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 98265af0-fbc4-5270-be95-a7f3f8d7c832

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy is likely a source of tension among Democrats, according to Karl Rove.

Biden, though the front-runner, was never seen as the perfect potential nominee, Rove claimed Tuesday on “Hannity.”

“There’s a tension inside the Democratic Party,” he said.

“Nobody went into this race thinking Joe Biden was the perfect candidate — he already ran for president a couple of times and fell flat on his face.

BIDEN, STILL LEADING, BELIEVES HE CAN SURVIVE ANY NEW GAFFES, DEM POLLSTER SAYS

“The tension inside the Democratic Party is, ‘we think he’s the most electable — he’s not as liberal and as far out as some of these other candidates, but he is a little goofy.'”

The former adviser to ex-President George W. Bush said many Democrats are grappling with whether to put electability above ideology.

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He said candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., “sing” to the “hearts” of Democrats in that regard.

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Outside of the three senators, Biden and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, the rest of the field are mostly, “vanity candidates.”

However, he said two such candidates, California billionaire Tom Steyer and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, may be well served to stay on the trail.

Rove remarked that while de Blasio is canvassing early primary and caucus states, he is not “inflicting his policies” on the City of New York, while Steyer’s announced hope of impeaching President Trump may get the other candidates on the record about such a move.

Westlake Legal Group Biden-Rove_FOX Karl Rove: Joe Biden the subject of 'tension' inside the Democratic Party fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/tom-steyer fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bill-de-blasio fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 98265af0-fbc4-5270-be95-a7f3f8d7c832   Westlake Legal Group Biden-Rove_FOX Karl Rove: Joe Biden the subject of 'tension' inside the Democratic Party fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/tom-steyer fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bill-de-blasio fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 98265af0-fbc4-5270-be95-a7f3f8d7c832

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Tennessee ex-college student pleads guilty to putting toilet water in roommate’s drinks, report says

A former Tennessee State University student reportedly pleaded guilty on Tuesday on a charge related to contaminating her roommate’s drink with toilet water.

Tierni Williams, 21, who was reportedly captured on video pouring water from the toilet into her roommate’s water bottles using a Styrofoam cup, was arrested and charged two years ago after her roommate became sick.

The victim reportedly began experiencing weight loss and stomach issues after Williams had tampered with her water.

Westlake Legal Group Tierni-Williams-NPD Tennessee ex-college student pleads guilty to putting toilet water in roommate's drinks, report says Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 62708bc2-bb5b-5de0-b51c-060d8210c5e5

Tierni Williams, a former Tennessee State University student, reportedly pleaded guilty on Tuesday for a charge related to contaminating her roommate’s drink with toilet water. (Metropolitan Nashville Police Department)

COLLEGE STUDENT CHARGED WITH ‘CAUSING BODILY HARM’ AFTER GIVING TOILET WATER TO ROOMMATE

The victim learned through Snapchat that her drinking water had been compromised, WKRN-TV reported.

The district attorney’s office handed down an indictment after presenting the case to a grand jury, the station reported.

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On Tuesday, Williams pleaded guilty to adulteration of food, a Class-C felony, the station reported.

She could face three to six years behind bars, according to the news outlet, which added that a sentencing hearing has been scheduled for next month.

Westlake Legal Group Tierni-Williams-NPD Tennessee ex-college student pleads guilty to putting toilet water in roommate's drinks, report says Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 62708bc2-bb5b-5de0-b51c-060d8210c5e5   Westlake Legal Group Tierni-Williams-NPD Tennessee ex-college student pleads guilty to putting toilet water in roommate's drinks, report says Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 62708bc2-bb5b-5de0-b51c-060d8210c5e5

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First female US Airman earns Ranger tab

An Air Force officer on Friday became the first woman of her branch to earn a Ranger tab, joining nearly 300 other Ranger-qualified Airmen.

First Lt. Chelsey Hibsch graduated from the Army Ranger Course at Fort Benning, Ga. Graduates’ families and friends were there to watch the ceremony.

Westlake Legal Group Chelsey-Hibsch-1 First female US Airman earns Ranger tab Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox news fnc/us fnc article 974feb83-41aa-527f-bee1-9af829f8f3cf

Maneuver Center of Excellence leaders, family and friends of Ranger Class 18-19 graduates watched them get pinned on Aug. 30. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning Public Affairs)

Ranger School is one of the Army’s most difficult leadership courses – only about half the candidates end up graduating the grueling 61-day course.

“Ranger School is truly not for the weak or faint of heart,” Air Force Security Forces Center Chief of Training Lt. Col. Walter Sorensen said in an Air Force news release.

Westlake Legal Group Chelsey-Hibsch-2 First female US Airman earns Ranger tab Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox news fnc/us fnc article 974feb83-41aa-527f-bee1-9af829f8f3cf

Maneuver Center of Excellence leaders, family and friends of Ranger Class 18-19 attended graduation on Aug. 30. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning Public Affairs)

“It speaks well of all those who persevere to find that inner grit and motivation to push through all that Ranger School throws at them. The perspective tabbed Airmen earn serves them well when the mission gets challenging and others look to them to find a way,” said Sorensen, who is also Ranger-qualified.

2 SETS OF TWINS SEPARATE TO GO TO DIFFERENT MILITARY ACADEMIES

The Army began accepting Airmen at Ranger School in 1955. Sixty years later, in 2015, the military said women could attend Ranger School.

Westlake Legal Group Chelsey-Hibsch-3 First female US Airman earns Ranger tab Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox news fnc/us fnc article 974feb83-41aa-527f-bee1-9af829f8f3cf

The Ranger Class of 2018-19 graduated on Aug. 30. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning Public Affairs)

Hibsch is now expected to serve as a flight commander in the 821st Contingency Response Support Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. She previously was assigned to the 374th Security Forces Squadron at Yokota Air Base in Japan.

TRUMP ESTABLISHES SPACE COMMAND, DEFENDS US INTEREST IN SPACE

She attended the Air Force’s Ranger Assessment Course (RAC) and the Tropic Lightning Academy in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, in order to qualify for a spot at Ranger School.

Hibsch said RAC was “an unmatched learning experience on leadership and followership.”

Westlake Legal Group 2c0f004c-Chelsey-Hibsch-5 First female US Airman earns Ranger tab Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox news fnc/us fnc article 974feb83-41aa-527f-bee1-9af829f8f3cf

Airmen from different career fields challenging themselves in the Ranger Assessment course, a combat leadership course that could lead to attending Army Ranger School. (U.S. Air Force)

RAC is intended to be stressful so Airmen will learn how to lead under pressure and in various circumstances.

Hibsch said lessons from RAC could be applied to Ranger School; she had gained an “understanding of how you function when you’re hungry, tired, wet, cold and worse, then you have to lead a team of individuals feeling the exact same way.”

She added, “You really find out a lot about your teammates and yourself in these stressful situations.”

Westlake Legal Group Chelsey-Hibsch-4 First female US Airman earns Ranger tab Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox news fnc/us fnc article 974feb83-41aa-527f-bee1-9af829f8f3cf

Then-2nd Lt. Chelsey Hibsch speaks during a Women’s History Month luncheon at Yokota Air Base in March 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Machiko Arita)

The Airborne Ranger and Training Brigade public affairs officer, Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Billings, explained the three phases of Ranger School.

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“In the Ft. Benning phase, the students become trained on squad operations and focus on ambush and recon missions, patrol base operations, and planning before moving on to platoon operations. In the Mountain phase, students develop their skills at the platoon level in order to refine and complete their training in Swamp phase. After these three phases, Ranger Students are proficient in leading squad and platoon dismounted operations around the clock in all climates and terrain.”

Air Force Materiel Command said Hibsch was the first female Airman to earn a Ranger tab, “but she won’t be the last!”

Westlake Legal Group Chelsey-Hibsch-1 First female US Airman earns Ranger tab Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox news fnc/us fnc article 974feb83-41aa-527f-bee1-9af829f8f3cf   Westlake Legal Group Chelsey-Hibsch-1 First female US Airman earns Ranger tab Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox news fnc/us fnc article 974feb83-41aa-527f-bee1-9af829f8f3cf

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White House pushes back after judge orders restoration of Playboy journalist’s credentials

The White House said Tuesday it disagreed with a federal judge in Washington ordered officials to reinstate Playboy journalist Brian Karem’s credentials, which had been revoked following Karem’s altercation with former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras, a Barack Obama appointee, marked the second time a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reinstate a reporter’s pass. The first instance came in November 2018 when a judge ordered CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s credentials restored days after they were revoked. The so-called hard pass allows reporters to easily obtain access to the White House grounds without having to separately apply for a press credential each time they seek entry.

“The First Amendment requires ‘that individual newsmen not be arbitrarily excluded from sources of information,'” Contreras wrote in his opinion, citing federal case law. “His First Amendment interest depends on his ability to freely pursue ‘journalistically productive conversations with White House officials.’ Yet without his hard pass, he lacks access to pursue those conversations — even as an eavesdropper.”

In issuing a temporary restraining order and injunction against the White House, Judge Contreras said that the White House’s guidelines for appropriate behavior were insufficient and vague. Contreras’ decision, although not yet a final ruling on the merits of the case, strongly signaled that he believed Karem ultimately would prevail.

CNN’S ACOSTA WINS BACK PRESS CREDENTIALS AFTER LAWSUIT

“White House events appear to vary greatly in character,” the judge wrote, adding that “without any contextual guideposts, ‘professionalism,’ standing alone, remains too murky to provide fair notice here. … “Karem has provided some evidence that White House press events are often freewheeling and that aggressive conduct has long been tolerated without punishment.”

The judge clarified that “In granting Karem relief, the Court finds only that the White House likely did not provide the requisite guidance in this specific case — nothing more. And, as noted earlier, the Court does not reach Karem’s independent free speech claim.”

Nevertheless, the judge concluded: “Karem has shown that even the temporary suspension of his pass inflicts irreparable harm on his First Amendment rights.”

Gorka and Karem got into a shouting match that was captured on video July 11, after Karem described the participants in a White House meeting of conservative social media personalities as a “group of people that are eager for demonic possession.”

After a back and forth, Gorka shouted at Karem, “You are threatening me now in the White House, in the Rose Garden. You are threatening me in the Rose Garden. You’re a punk, you’re not a journalist, you’re a punk.”

Karem then told Gorka to “get a job.” At one point, Karem suggested they take their conversation “outside.”

The crowd erupted into chants of “Gorka! Gorka!” Karem replied that Gorka should “go home.”

Westlake Legal Group Brian-Karem-Getty White House pushes back after judge orders restoration of Playboy journalist's credentials Gregg Re fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3a0629c4-703a-50bd-9f64-d708076cca99

Brian Karem of Playboy Magazine arguing with Sebastian Gorka at the White House in July. (Alex Wong/Getty Images, File)

“No doubt, Karem’s remark that he and Gorka could ‘go outside and have a long conversation,’ was an allusion to a physical altercation, but the videos make clear that it was meant as an irreverent, caustic joke and not as a true threat,” the judge wrote on Tuesday.

Following Tuesday’s ruling, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the White House to be able to deter unprofessional behavior on the grounds of the Executive Mansion.

“We disagree with the decision of the district court to issue an injunction that essentially gives free rein to members of the press to engage in unprofessional, disruptive conduct at the White House,” Grisham said. “Mr. Karem’s conduct, including threatening to escalate a verbal confrontation into a physical one to the point that a Secret Service agent intervened, clearly breached well-understood norms of professional conduct. The Press Secretary must have the ability to deter such unacceptable conduct.”

Immediately after the episode, Grisham had condemned Karem for “insulting invited guests,” threatening a physical altercation and not leaving when a White House staffer asked him to do so during the event.

But the White House did not suspend Karem’s hard pass until several weeks after the episode, after providing him notice and an opportunity to object. During that period, Karem was allowed onto the White House grounds — providing evidence, the judge said, that the White House could afford to wait to enforce its sanction against Karem until after proceedings in the case were concluded.

Karem, meanwhile, was celebratory, tweeting, “Free Speech and Due process win!”

The White House took away Acosta’s credentials after a contentious exchange with President Trump in which the White House claimed Acosta had placed his hands on a female intern while trying to hold on to his microphone.

CNN sued and nine days later a judge ordered his credentials restored.

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Following that episode, the White House instituted new behavioral guidelines for White House guests requiring “professionalism,” but Judge Contreras ruled that they were unclear.

“Though ‘professionalism’ has a well-known common meaning, it is inherently subjective and context dependent,” the judge wrote.

Fox News’ Brie Stimson and Meghan Welsh contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Brian-Karem-Getty White House pushes back after judge orders restoration of Playboy journalist's credentials Gregg Re fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3a0629c4-703a-50bd-9f64-d708076cca99   Westlake Legal Group Brian-Karem-Getty White House pushes back after judge orders restoration of Playboy journalist's credentials Gregg Re fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3a0629c4-703a-50bd-9f64-d708076cca99

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Bill Hemmer on Hurricane Dorian: ‘There is still trouble out there’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6083212015001_6083219207001-vs Bill Hemmer on Hurricane Dorian: 'There is still trouble out there' Victor Garcia fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 90080460-0ad9-5d0a-b421-d132feb5ee30

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer appeared on “Hannity” to offer the latest on Hurricane Dorian as it crawled toward the Florida coast Tuesday night.

“This has been, especially for the United States, one stubborn storm; they have waited and they have watched and they are tired of both,” Hemmer said live from Atlantic Beach, Fla. “I can tell you that after speaking with so many of the residents here in Florida earlier today.”

After battering the Bahamas for more than a day, Dorian finally began to move away from the islands on Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center said that as of 6 p.m. ET the storm was producing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph and “life-threatening” storm surge. The storm was located about 125 miles east of Melbourne, inching forward at 6 mph northwest.

HURRICANE DORIAN’S PATH: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Hemmer told Sean Hannity he was surprised by how many residents have chosen to ride out the story in Atlantic Beach.

He said, “We have seen so many residents come down to the shore throughout the day today to check out the scene here on the surf and to see the waters rise.”

The anchor warned that while Dorian is not expected to hit Florida as it did the Bahamas, residents should still be concerned.

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“Listen we can all be grateful that this is not going to be the Bahamas, certainly not here in Florida. But there is still trouble out there,” Hemmer warned.  “And by sunrise tomorrow in this part of Florida it will be wet, Sean. It will be windy, and for the first time, this part of Florida will feel the effects of Dorian, finally.”

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6083212015001_6083219207001-vs Bill Hemmer on Hurricane Dorian: 'There is still trouble out there' Victor Garcia fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 90080460-0ad9-5d0a-b421-d132feb5ee30   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6083212015001_6083219207001-vs Bill Hemmer on Hurricane Dorian: 'There is still trouble out there' Victor Garcia fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 90080460-0ad9-5d0a-b421-d132feb5ee30

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Palestinian school curriculum is ‘more radical than the curriculum that came before,’ research institute says

Westlake Legal Group 0c98b2dd-Palestinian-flag Palestinian school curriculum is 'more radical than the curriculum that came before,' research institute says Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/topic/the-european-union fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/legislation fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 8bd6970c-f496-5aa1-a991-bb0cfc77de58

The Palestinian Authority’s current school curriculum “is more radical than the curriculum that came before” and “is suffused with ideas of martyrdom [and] Jihad,” according to an international monitoring organization.

IMPACT-se, a research and policy institute that analyzes how textbooks measure up to (UNESCO) standards for acceptance, peace and tolerance, claimed the curriculum encouraged children to martyr themselves, and even to count martyrs in math problems like most children would count apples.

“Looking at textbooks across the Middle East we have seen improvements,” IMPACT-se’s CEO Marcus Sheff told Fox News Tuesday. “That is certainly true to the Jordanian curriculum, the Tunisian curriculum is of a good standard and we are seeing improvements in Egypt.”

UN ANTI-RACISM PANEL CHALLENGES PALESTINIANS ON ALLEGED ‘SCHOOLBOOK HATE’

“Unfortunately the opposite is true of the Palestinian curriculum,” Sheff said. “A new, reformed curriculum was put in place between 2016 and 2019 and it is more radical than the curriculum that came before.”

He added that the current curriculum “encourages school children to sacrifice themselves” and claimed, “content relating to peace with Israel has been purposefully taken out of the curriculum.”

Sheff told Fox News that the institute’s research found that social studies, history and Arabic textbooks in the Palestinian Authority for grades 2 through 12 included “problematic content.” He added that the institute also found “problematic content in science, including teaching math by asking young people to do addition of [the number of] martyrs in the First Intifada and in the Second Intifada and asking them how many martyrs, instead of using counting apples as many students around the world are asked.”

The First Intifada was a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza that began in December 1987 and resulted in the deaths of more than 2,000 people. The Second Intifada began in September 2000 with calls for violence following then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, a holy site for Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem. More than 4,000 people were killed in the following weeks after Palestinian leaders unleashed a deadly wave of suicide bombings.

Last year, the European Parliament passed legislation geared to prevent hateful content in Palestinian educational materials, The Times of Israel reported.

ISRAELI DRONES STRIKE PALESTINIAN BASE OPERATED BY HEZBOLLAH ALLY

IMPACT-se and other organizations also presented examples of anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish content in Palestinian textbooks last month at the 99th session of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Switzerland.

“For the first time a United Nations committee called on the Palestinians to halt hate speech following IMPACT-se’s presentation to the committee (CERD) of anti-Semitism and hate in Palestinian textbooks,” said Sheff, referencing a report issued by CERD last week which he said included unprecedented wording.

Sheff also noted that legislation introduced in the United States in April of this year has the goal of preventing hate in school curricula.

“Legislation passing through the House Foreign Affairs Committee, H.R.2343, is an opportunity for the U.S. Congress to add its voice to that of the European Parliament and the United Nations in demanding that the hate in the curriculum is removed once and for all,” Sheff said.

The legislation, known as the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act, would “require the Secretary of State to submit annual reports reviewing the educational material used by the Palestinian Authority or the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in the West Bank and Gaza, and for other purposes.”

The bill says the new Palestinian curricula “fail to meet the international standards of peace and tolerance” and textbooks “demonize Israel, encourage war, and teach children that Palestinian statehood can be achieved through violence.”

The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and has bipartisan support, including from Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.

Sheff told Fox News despite the protests from Europe, the U.S. and the U.N., nothing has changed.

“[It’s] the first week of the new school year and no changes have been made,” Sheff said. “The Palestinian Authority is ignoring international institutions’ concerns over hate in its curriculum.”

He went on to say, “What is clear is it is a strategic decision by the Palestinian Authority to radicalize 1.3 million school children. This curriculum was not created by accident.”

Sheff said IMPACT-se will continue to present its findings to Congress, the U.N. and legislators around the world, “particularly those donor countries that fund the Palestinian Ministry of Education.”

He said the institute will continue to demand that the curriculum is changed and that “Palestinian children are taught that the way to resolve conflict is through peacemaking and not continual war.”

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Neither the Palestinian Ministry of Education nor the Palestinian U.N. mission immediately responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.

Fox News’ Ben Evansky contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 0c98b2dd-Palestinian-flag Palestinian school curriculum is 'more radical than the curriculum that came before,' research institute says Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/topic/the-european-union fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/legislation fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 8bd6970c-f496-5aa1-a991-bb0cfc77de58   Westlake Legal Group 0c98b2dd-Palestinian-flag Palestinian school curriculum is 'more radical than the curriculum that came before,' research institute says Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/topic/the-european-union fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/legislation fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 8bd6970c-f496-5aa1-a991-bb0cfc77de58

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Fire blocked escape for 34 on boat off Southern California coast, investigators say

Westlake Legal Group Boat-Fire-1 Fire blocked escape for 34 on boat off Southern California coast, investigators say Frank Miles fox-news/world/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc article 4f3ead22-4f3e-517e-8046-42b2f80cf032

The early-morning fire aboard the Conception, which carried scuba diving enthusiasts on a three-day excursion off California, blocked any escape, investigators said.

It spread rapidly and flames blocked both exits out of the lower deck, where passengers and one crew member were sleeping in tight quarters, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.

Flames roared through the boat of sleeping scuba divers so quickly that it appears none of the 34 people below deck could escape, authorities said Tuesday. This, as they ended their search without finding anyone who was missing still alive from the Labor Day tragedy off the Southern California coast.

It’s not known what started the fire.

ROB LOWE ON CALIFORNIA BOAT FIRE: ‘AN UNSPEAKABLE HORROR ON A BOAT I’VE BEEN ON MANY TIMES’

National Transportation Safety Board member Jennifer Homendy said Tuesday that she was “100 percent confident” investigators would find the cause of the fire aboard the Conception, which caught fire before dawn Monday and sank near Santa Cruz Island.

She also said the NTSB planned to stay at the scene for up to 10 days and would look into safety measures aboard the boat, such as whether it had fire extinguishers, and will interview survivors, first responders, divers and others.

The captain and four crew members awake on the upper decks jumped off the front of the vessel, swam to an inflatable boat at the back and steered it to a ship anchored nearby.

Among those believed to be dead are five members of one family and the marine biologist leading the diving tour.

DNA will be needed to identify all the victims, and authorities will be using the same rapid analysis tool that identified victims of the deadly wildfire that devastated the Northern California town of Paradise last year, the sheriff said.

Officials have not released any victims’ names, but Brown said he had heard anecdotally that they ranged from teenagers to people in their 60s. He said most appear to have been from Northern California, including Santa Cruz, San Jose and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The 75-foot Conception was on the last day of a three-day excursion to the chain of rugged, windswept isles that form Channel Islands National Park in the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles. The fire broke out shortly after 3 a.m. Monday as the boat sat anchored in Platt’s Harbor off Santa Cruz Island.

The sheriff said all 34 victims were trapped on the boat’s lower deck when flames quickly blocked both a narrow stairway and an escape hatch leading to the upper decks.

“The one crew member who was not rescued appears to have been asleep in the sleeping area down below with the passengers,” Brown said.

It appears the crew sent multiple mayday calls, including one from the Conception in which a crew member could be heard saying he couldn’t breathe.

A later one came from the fishing vessel the Grape Escape after the crew reached it in their small boat. One of the vessel’s owners said he heard explosions as he watched the Conception go up in flames from about 100 yards away. Brown said the blasts could have been exploding scuba tanks or propane tanks.

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The Conception, based in Santa Barbara Harbor, was owned by Santa Barbara-based Truth Aquatics, founded in 1974. A memorial at the harbor has quickly grown as mourners come to pay their respects.

Coast Guard records show the boat’s owners quickly addressed all safety violations from the last five years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Boat-Fire-1 Fire blocked escape for 34 on boat off Southern California coast, investigators say Frank Miles fox-news/world/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc article 4f3ead22-4f3e-517e-8046-42b2f80cf032   Westlake Legal Group Boat-Fire-1 Fire blocked escape for 34 on boat off Southern California coast, investigators say Frank Miles fox-news/world/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc article 4f3ead22-4f3e-517e-8046-42b2f80cf032

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Former Secretary of Defense Mattis details frustrations with Obama, Biden

Westlake Legal Group McCallum-Mattis_FOX Former Secretary of Defense Mattis details frustrations with Obama, Biden Victor Garcia fox-news/us/military fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article a4dc95c1-c1d2-5e6b-9068-fb683c44e1a2

Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis appeared on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Tuesday and discussed his experience serving in both the Obama and Trump administrations.

Mattis, who served as CENTCOM commander during the Obama administration, spoke to MacCallum about his dispute with then-Vice President Joe Biden about pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq in 2011.

“I think that the administration had made up its mind that we were coming out,” Mattis told host Martha MacCallum. “They believed the enemy was beaten down far enough that they couldn’t rise again, despite what the intelligence community was quite adamant about — that they would rise again,” Mattis said.

MacCallum asked Mattis what he thought of Biden, the current Democratic presidential frontrunner.

MATTIS: RELATIONSHIP WITH TRUMP ‘NOT TENSE’

“I’ve got a lot of time for anyone who’s willing to come in and serve the country,” Mattis said. “I mean, it starts off from a position of respect.”

“I had a policy disagreement. It was based on the military assessment that we owed him, I thought,” he added. “And when we gave it to him I still respected our system of government, its civilian control [over] the decisions to go to war or not to go to war, to stay in a war or to pull out of a war. It’s got to be that way.”

In his new book, “Call Sign Chaos,” Mattis says former President Barrack Obama made “catastrophic decisions”.  On Tuesday, Mattis noted his frustrations with the former commander-in-chief’s handling of the Iraq War.

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“It is deeply frustrating when you see something like that play out the way we’ve been warned it would play out,” he said. “And when we send the troops back in and look at the refugees, the millions of refugees, look at the hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded and there’s a sense of sorrow and frustration.”

MacCallum asked Mattis if he saw any parallels between the Obama administration’s handling of Iraq and the Trump administration’s current negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Mattis declined to speak specifically but warned about terrorism and the importance of allies.

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“I would say that you and I are going to have to get used to terrorism as an ambient threat. It’s going to be around us and we cannot just wish it away,” Mattis said. “So in order to deal with this ambient threat, we’re going to need all the allies we can get.”

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NTSB investigating California dive boat fire: ‘This was a terrible tragedy’

Westlake Legal Group Martha-Investigator_FOX NTSB investigating California dive boat fire: 'This was a terrible tragedy' Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/great-outdoors/boating fox news fnc/media fnc bf0e092c-1972-50ad-b042-0946447ae7c8 article

A team from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived in California Tuesday morning to begin investigating a dive boat fire that is believed to have killed 34 people, according to a NTSB board member who said, “This was a terrible tragedy.”

Speaking with Martha MacCallum on “The Story” on Tuesday, NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy said the agency arrived around 10 a.m. PT and “immediately had a very thorough briefing with the Coast Guard to begin to get a lay of the land and really start thinking about our investigative protocols.”

Homendy said NTSB will have an organizational briefing on Tuesday night and “designate parties to the investigation. These are people that will provide technical expertise to help us conduct our safety investigation.”

DEADLY CALIFORNIA BOAT FIRE HAS DIVE COMMUNITY STRUGGLING FOR ANSWERS

“We will also begin to form investigative groups to start to drill down on the issues,” she added.

Homendy said she’s “100 percent confident” investigators will find the cause of the fire that engulfed the vessel Conception. The dive boat caught fire before dawn Monday and sank near Santa Cruz Island off the Southern California coast.

Only five crew members on the boat escaped. One crew member who was sleeping below deck is presumed dead, as well as the 33 passengers who were below deck. On Tuesday, authorities called off a search for other survivors.

She said the crew has been cooperating with investigators and the U.S. Coast Guard.

25 BODIES FOUND AFTER CALIFORNIA SCUBA DIVING BOAT FIRE, COAST GUARD SAYS

“We have put together a list of witnesses and interested persons that we will conduct interviews with, those include the crew and others over the next coming days,” Homendy said.

The NTSB plans to stay at the scene for up to 10 days to conduct those interviews, and will also look into safety measures aboard the boat, including if it was equipped with fire extinguishers.

Homendy told MacCallum she has seen a layout of the Conception on paper and NTSB investigators have also watched a safety briefing video, which allowed them to “generally see the layout of the vessel.”

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She said the NTSB plans to go to a sister vessel on Wednesday so that “we can really begin to see an almost identical or near-identical structure to understand where everything was at the time.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge

A 20-year-old West Point cadet candidate died after falling from a rock ledge in upstate New York over the weekend, officials said.

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point said Benjamin Bochtler died Sunday after injuries sustained from a fall on Saturday.

New York State Police responded to a 911 call around 11 a.m. and found the unresponsive man at a cliff-diving spot known as Fawn’s Leap in Hunter, N.Y., Police Capt. Michael Drake said.

Westlake Legal Group Ne-Cadet West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article 94f64e32-7901-58ef-b3b0-a5c1b7c02f59

West Point cadet candidate Benjamin Bochtler. (Courtesy of Christopher Bochtler)

“Investigation revealed the victim was hanging onto a rock ledge when a portion of the rock broke from the ledge, causing the victim to fall,” Drake said. “Life-saving measures at the scene were unsuccessful.”

25 BODIES FOUND AFTER CALIFORNIA SCUBA DIVING BOAT FIRE, COAST GUARD SAYS

West Point Commandant Col. Joshua Higgins said Bochtler “had an incredible smile and infectious positive attitude. He was everyone’s friend.

He said Bochtler “was a prior-enlisted combat veteran who set a tremendous example and used his experience in the Army to help his fellow cadet candidates. His warm personality and that big smile made a lasting impact on everyone at USMAPS [U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School].

“Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and friends.”

2 SETS OF TWINS SEPARATE TO GO TO DIFFERENT MILITARY ACADEMIES

USMAPS prepares candidates to qualify for, and later graduate from, West Point.

Bochtler served in the Army for three years before coming to USMAPS and deployed to Afghanistan from April 2018 until January 2019, the military academy said.

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He was from Nebraska and played lacrosse at USMAPS.

The town of Hunter is about 75 miles north of the military academy.

Westlake Legal Group Ne-Cadet West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article 94f64e32-7901-58ef-b3b0-a5c1b7c02f59   Westlake Legal Group Ne-Cadet West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article 94f64e32-7901-58ef-b3b0-a5c1b7c02f59

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