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Westlake Legal Group > article (Page 48)

Amazon’s Choice under fire amid widespread fraud in recommendations

Two senators are demanding that Amazon explain how it comes up with its well-known “Amazon Choice” label, a mark of distinction that earns certain products preferred placement with the retail platform.

In a letter to CEO Jeff Bezos, Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have asked the tech giant to explain how products get designated as Amazon’s Choice, voicing fears that consumers might be getting hoodwinked into buying products that are not worthwhile due to fake reviews.

“We are concerned the badge is assigned in an arbitrary manner, or worse, based on fraudulent product reviews. While we recognize that Amazon has taken actions in the past to combat fraudulent reviews, the problem persists, and Amazon may be exacerbating the problem by actively promoting products with fraudulent reviews,” the two senators, both Democrats, wrote.

SANDERS BLASTS BEZOS-OWNED WASHINGTON POST FOR BIAS IN ECHO OF TRUMP

Westlake Legal Group 478547-generic-amazon-box Amazon's Choice under fire amid widespread fraud in recommendations fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article afa723bc-5659-56ce-a939-1571b7399872

SCARY DEEPFAKE SHOWS BILL HADER MORPHING INTO TOM CRUISE

A number of recent reports have said that Amazon is flooded with thousands of fake reviews and the Federal Trade Commission has been looking into the matter as well.

The letter makes a range of demands, including that Amazon reveal exactly how products get recommended for the program, whether an algorithm is informing the company’s decisions about the program, and whether actual humans review the products to make sure they are worthy of the special label.

The Seattle-based company, which debuted the Amazon Choice label in 2015, has until Sept. 16 to respond to lawmakers’ questions. The description on the site says, “Amazon’s Choice recommends highly rated, well-priced products available to ship immediately.”

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As other news outlets have noted for years, it remains a mystery how a product earns the designation.

A spokesperson for Amazon gave Fox News the following statement via email on Tuesday:

“Amazon invests significant resources to protect the integrity of reviews in our store because we know customers value the insights and experiences shared by fellow shoppers. Even one inauthentic review is one too many. We have clear participation guidelines for both reviewers and selling partners and we suspend, ban and take legal action on those who violate our policies.
 

The company uses a combination of teams of investigators and automated technology to prevent and detect inauthentic reviews, and to take action against the bad actors behind the abuse; the company estimates that 90 percent of inauthentic reviews are computer generated.
 
The spokesperson continued: “We work hard to enrich the shopping experience for our customers and selling partners with authentic reviews written by real customers. Customers can help by reporting any requests they get to manipulate reviews to customer service.”

Westlake Legal Group 478547-generic-amazon-box Amazon's Choice under fire amid widespread fraud in recommendations fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article afa723bc-5659-56ce-a939-1571b7399872   Westlake Legal Group 478547-generic-amazon-box Amazon's Choice under fire amid widespread fraud in recommendations fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article afa723bc-5659-56ce-a939-1571b7399872

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Schumer to ask Trump to divert $5 billion in border wall funding to fight gun violence, white-supremacy extremists

Westlake Legal Group AP19220057074093 Schumer to ask Trump to divert $5 billion in border wall funding to fight gun violence, white-supremacy extremists Louis Casiano fox-news/topic/border-wall fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 48d8abee-47bd-5df0-bed2-6a2343ef5233

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Tuesday said he’ll ask President Trump to withdraw his request for $5 billion in border wall construction funds, and to instead use that money to battle gun violence and white-supremacist extremism following two deadly mass shootings this month.

Schumer’s office said he will formally petition the president to put the funding toward gun violence research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Homeland Security counterviolent extremism programs, FBI domestic-terrorism investigations and other programs.

TRUMP DECLARES EMERGENCY ON BORDER, EYES $8B FOR WALL AS HE SIGNS SPENDING PACKAGE

“The dual scourges of gun violence and violent white supremacist extremism in this country are a national security threat, plain and simple, and it’s time the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress starting treating them as such,” Schumer said in a statement.

“Now Republicans and this administration need to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to addressing gun violence and stopping the rise of domestic terrorism, especially stemming from white supremacy,” the statement continued.

In February, Trump used a national emergency declaration to divert funding from the Pentagon for his long-promised border wall. He took that tack after Congressional Democrats refused to fund the project.

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Schumer’s request came after CQ Roll Call reported that Senate Republicans were looking to divert about $5 billion from a domestic spending bill to fund the wall. The shootings in Texas and Ohio earlier this month have intensified the pressure on lawmakers to address gun violence and white nationalism,

The gunman in El Paso, Texas, who killed 22 people inside a Walmart targeted Hispanic immigrants.

Fox News’ Caroline McKee contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19220057074093 Schumer to ask Trump to divert $5 billion in border wall funding to fight gun violence, white-supremacy extremists Louis Casiano fox-news/topic/border-wall fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 48d8abee-47bd-5df0-bed2-6a2343ef5233   Westlake Legal Group AP19220057074093 Schumer to ask Trump to divert $5 billion in border wall funding to fight gun violence, white-supremacy extremists Louis Casiano fox-news/topic/border-wall fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 48d8abee-47bd-5df0-bed2-6a2343ef5233

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China denies request for US Navy warships to visit a restive Hong Kong

China has rejected requests for two U.S. Navy warships to visit Hong Kong as massive, weekslong pro-democracy protests continue to roil the former British colony, a U.S. defense official told Fox News.

The USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie were scheduled for port visits in Hong Kong this Saturday and in September, respectively, but the Chinese government has denied the requests, U.S. Pacific Fleet deputy spokesman Cmdr. Nate Christensen said Tuesday.

“The U.S. Navy has a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect them to continue,” Christensen said. “We refer you to the Chinese government for further information about why they denied the request.”

Westlake Legal Group Green-Bay-DVIDS China denies request for US Navy warships to visit a restive Hong Kong Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc article 0af3fdaa-6664-5f7e-9f33-7b1d7bf01641

The USS Green Bay, seen here, had been scheduled for a port visit on Saturday. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Spc. 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham, File)

HONG KONG PROTESTERS CLASH WITH RIOT POLICE ARMED WITH PEPPER SPRAY AT AIRPORT

The Green Bay is an amphibious transport dock ship; its home port is in Japan. TheLake Erie is a guided-missile cruiser based in San Diego.

Westlake Legal Group Lake-Erie-DVIDS China denies request for US Navy warships to visit a restive Hong Kong Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc article 0af3fdaa-6664-5f7e-9f33-7b1d7bf01641

The USS Lake Erie is a guided-missile cruiser based out of California. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan, File)

The Chinese government has not publicly stated why it denied the Navy’s request, but this would not be the first time it rejected a port visit to Hong Kong.

China denied an American request for the USS Wasp to visit Hong Kong in September 2018 over escalating U.S.-China trade tensions.

The last U.S. warship to visit Hong Kong was the USS Blue Ridge this past April.

HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CANCELS ALL FLIGHTS, CHINA COMPARES PROTEST TO ‘TERRORISM’

Protests have taken place in the Hong Kong region for more than two months now, as tens of thousands demand that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam step down and that the government pull legislation that would allow it to extradite criminal suspects to mainland China. The fear is that on the mainland, those suspects would face unfair trials and torture.

Protesters are also calling for an independent probe into the alleged abuse of power by the police.

Protesters shut down Hong Kong International Airport for the second day in a row on Tuesday. All flights were canceled Monday as protesters occupied the main terminal, and flights were again canceled Tuesday.

The airport is one of the world’s busiest, and the closure is said to have a major impact on the tourism industry there.

TRUMP SAYS CHINA ‘MOVING TROOPS’ TO HONG KONG BORDER AS POLICE CLASH WITH PROTESTERS

On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted about the protests in Hong Kong.

“Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?” he wrote.

The president later tweeted, “Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe,” referring to the clashes of police and pro-democracy protesters.

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Chinese authorities have likened the protests to “terrorism.”

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Lake-Erie-DVIDS China denies request for US Navy warships to visit a restive Hong Kong Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc article 0af3fdaa-6664-5f7e-9f33-7b1d7bf01641   Westlake Legal Group Lake-Erie-DVIDS China denies request for US Navy warships to visit a restive Hong Kong Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc article 0af3fdaa-6664-5f7e-9f33-7b1d7bf01641

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jay-Z and the NFL teaming up on entertainment events and social activism

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6044492599001_6044486655001-vs Jay-Z and the NFL teaming up on entertainment events and social activism fox-news/entertainment/music fnc/entertainment fnc fe6bb286-2c4f-555d-83ed-0ac81f7816ad Associated Press article

The NFL and Jay-Z’s entertainment and sports representation company are teaming up for events and social activism.

The league not only will use Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to consult on its entertainment presentations, including the Super Bowl halftime show, but will work with the rapper and entrepreneur’s company to “strengthen community through music and the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative.”

Inspire Change was created by the league after an agreement with a coalition of players who demonstrated during the national anthem to protest social and racial injustice in this country. Those demonstrations were sparked by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

JAY-Z OFFICIALLY REACHES BILLIONAIRE STATUS

NFL owners agreed to contribute up to $89 million over six years toward causes players were supporting. Commissioner Roger Goodell sees the partnership with Roc Nation as a significant step in several directions.

“Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment,” Goodell said. “The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together.”

While the entertainment portion of the deal is important — Roc Nation’s stable includes Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Shakira and, of course, Jay-Z — much emphasis from both the league and the representation group is being placed on the social relations aspect of the agreement. For Inspire Change to succeed, it must have strong roots within the communities that are most affected by the issues the players want addressed: criminal justice reform; relationships with police; economic growth opportunities; and educational progress.

PRINCE HARRY, MEGHAN MARKLE ATTEND ‘LION KING’ PREMIERE IN LONDON, HANG OUT WITH JAY-Z AND BEYONCÉ

“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” said Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas — instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”

Jay-Z has been a strong supporter of Kaepernick, who has not played in the NFL the past two seasons and is not with a team now. He has turned down invitations to perform at the Super Bowl, as has Rihanna.

But now there is a working agreement between the league and Roc Nation, which also represents such NFL stars as Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley and Ndamukong Suh. How that plays out on both the entertainment and social initiatives fronts figures to be newsworthy.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6044492599001_6044486655001-vs Jay-Z and the NFL teaming up on entertainment events and social activism fox-news/entertainment/music fnc/entertainment fnc fe6bb286-2c4f-555d-83ed-0ac81f7816ad Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6044492599001_6044486655001-vs Jay-Z and the NFL teaming up on entertainment events and social activism fox-news/entertainment/music fnc/entertainment fnc fe6bb286-2c4f-555d-83ed-0ac81f7816ad Associated Press article

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Texas newspaper that endorsed Beto O’Rourke for Senate implores him to end White House bid

Westlake Legal Group AP19220656494642 Texas newspaper that endorsed Beto O'Rourke for Senate implores him to end White House bid Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 43cce5f4-813b-5223-8305-92797cc4430b

A Houston newspaper that endorsed former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke during his failed run to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz last year has implored him to pull out of the race for the White House.

In an editorial published over the weekend, the Houston Chronicle said O’Rourke should shift gears and “come home.”

“Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator,” the piece said. “The chances of winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you.”

TRUMP TRASHES BETO O’ROURKE, TELLS HIM TO ‘BE QUIET’ AHEAD OF EL PASO VISIT

The board said it would rather see him challenge Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who is seeking a fourth term.

“It wouldn’t be easy,” it said. “You’d have to fight for it, and do better than you did against Cruz. But a lot has changed since 2018 — you had a lot to do with that — and Trump is no longer rock-solid in Texas. Neither are the Republicans who support him.”

The paper cited O’Rourke’s comments — what the piece called a “human moment” — following the Aug. 3 mass shooting in El Paso,  where 22 people were killed by a gunman targeting Mexicans inside a Walmart. He was asked by a reporter whether he felt President Trump could do anything to bring down the atmosphere of hate toward immigrants.

BOOKER AND BETO BLAST TRUMP FOR RETWEETING CONSPIRACY THEORY LINKING EPSTEIN’S DEATH TO CLINTONS

“Um, what do you think?” O’Rourke responded. “You know the s— he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know. … Like, members of the press — what the f—? It’s these questions that you know the answers to …”

“Is that language presidential? Not normally,” the Chronicle editorial board wrote. “It certainly isn’t the normal fare for an editorial page in the Sunday paper, either, with or without the asterisks. But it struck us as so unscripted, so unexpected that its offense was somehow washed away.”

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In its 2018 endorsement of O’Rourke, the Chronicle said the former West Texas congressman’s “command of issues that matter to this state, his unaffected eloquence and his eagerness to reach out to all Texans make him one of the most impressive candidates this editorial board has encountered in many years.”

O’Rourke’s momentum since entering the crowded Democratic field has slipped in recent months. The Real Clear Politics national primary poll average has him at 2 percent, tied for sixth with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Westlake Legal Group AP19220656494642 Texas newspaper that endorsed Beto O'Rourke for Senate implores him to end White House bid Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 43cce5f4-813b-5223-8305-92797cc4430b   Westlake Legal Group AP19220656494642 Texas newspaper that endorsed Beto O'Rourke for Senate implores him to end White House bid Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 43cce5f4-813b-5223-8305-92797cc4430b

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Conspiracy theories swamp Jeffrey Epstein case from fringe and mainstream

Maybe Jeffrey Epstein, 66, isn’t dead at all. Perhaps it was a body double left hanging by a bedsheet in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) early Saturday, while the real Epstein headed back to his private “Pedophile Island.”

Or perhaps a former U.S. president and his wife – who once sought the top job herself – sought to silence potentially explosive testimony by ordering a hit.

Wait a minute, it was William Barr’s Department of Justice that took him off suicide watch, therefore President Trump must have had a hand in the death.

Are you crazy? It was the Russians!

Oh no, the reason he was able to evade justice for so long was that he was an FBI informant.

Wrong, so wrong. Epstein was a foreign intelligence agent. The Mossad.

The death of the disgraced multimillionaire in a New York federal prison has spawned a dizzying array of conspiracy theories.

“The case does have striking analogies to an episode on ‘Homeland,’ but the extent of the apparent irregularities here regarding his time in custody is, simply put, troubling,” Melissa Jampol, a former sex crimes assistant at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, told Fox News. “This case touches on many of the #MeToo themes that we have seen over the past few years, but also because it involves so many people with wealth and power, [that] makes it ripe for conspiracy theorists.”

GHISLAINE MAXWELL, JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S ALLEGED ‘RECRUITER,’ NOW UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

Since Epstein’s apparent suicide early Saturday, the hashtags #Arkanicide to #TrumpBodyCount and #EpsteinMurder have exploded across social media.

But such conspiracies aren’t just the province of fringe groups; the theories have been tweeted and retweeted — chewed over and spit out — by everyone from high-profile media personalities and Hollywood celebrities to top-tier politicians and even the U.S. president himself.

“You would be challenged to sell this story in Hollywood had it not happened. Everything about Jeffrey Epstein and his ability to manipulate successful businessmen, his ability to exercise long-term friends and slowly transfer wealth to his personal gain, shows that we have someone that has extreme narcissism,” Dr. Lisa Strohman, clinical psychologist and founder of the Digital Citizen Academy, told Fox News. “This is an individual that was caught and convicted of sexually abusing young children and yet was allowed to continue to live his lifestyle among the rich and famous with no restrictions. He skillfully associated with the leaders to create a safety net to protect his continued behaviors.”

Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-GettyImages-590696434 Conspiracy theories swamp Jeffrey Epstein case from fringe and mainstream Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 80687464-c687-53e2-9db8-53cbb1a632ec

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at a New York charity event in 2005. (Photo by Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The Epstein conspiracy theories came in a torrent after his shocking death, though elements of the elaborate stories were hardly new. Well before his arrest in July, questions swirled about how he made his fortune, what big names were mixed in among his clients and associates, who took part in his debauched island adventures, and how exactly he was able to secure a sweetheart plea deal a decade ago.

“Epstein’s circle of high friends in high places crisscrossed the political spectrum, which is why for the first time in a while we seem to have bipartisan consensus as to one issue: something, in a ‘House of Cards’ sense, just doesn’t feel right,” said one criminal defense attorney, Phillip Hamilton. “The moral of the story is that in theory, no one should be above the law. But in practice too often, we as a society allow people like Epstein to elevate well above it.”

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S FINAL DAYS – AND THE LEGAL CASES THAT WON’T DIE WITH HIM

Epstein, a native of Coney Island, Brooklyn, and a college dropout, curated a life that saw him become a millionaire many times. He routinely rubbed shoulders with royalty, presidents, models and business big shots for decades.

True, he suffered a setback in 2008 following an FBI investigation in Florida that led to a single charge of soliciting sex from a minor. Nonetheless, his bank account and sway ensured he received a jaw-dropping plea deal that allowed him to check in and out of prison and protect other “co-conspirators” from future prosecution.

As is now common knowledge, though, his jet-setting existence came crashing down when his private plane touched down in New York in early July, and FBI agents arrested him on charges of operating a sex trafficking ring that had exploited dozens of minors. He allegedly tried to harm himself a couple of weeks ago, was taken off suicide watch, and, at the time of his death was reportedly not closely being monitored as he occupied a cell without a cellmate – another protocol violation.

And then?

Then he was dead.

“Conspiracy theorists will love this story. But in my opinion, Epstein felt there was no other option or way out of the situation,” asserted Doug Richard, a former federal prosecutor and civil litigator. “He believed suicide was the only way to control the outcome.”

Said Dan Gainor, the vice president for TechWatch, business and culture at the Media Research Center, Epstein’s “movie villain” persona and the house of horrors he continued to operate even after being convicted are the stuff of more than any routine Hollywood thriller.

“Super-rich, powerful, well-connected and evil,” Gainor said.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-b0ddf88087754b47846543db7a7ee40f Conspiracy theories swamp Jeffrey Epstein case from fringe and mainstream Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 80687464-c687-53e2-9db8-53cbb1a632ec

In this courtroom sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, second from right, listens along with defense attorneys at a court hearing last month. (Aggie Kenny via AP)

Gainor also pointed to the notion that the abundant conspiracies percolating around Epstein have a “real-world impact” when it comes to investigating such cases and possible co-conspirators.

“Look at the fear of vaccines – that is the danger of conspiracy coverage. But it’s impossible not to consider the idea of something odd in this case,” Gainor said. “The media and prosecutors need to be more curious following leads when powerful people are rumored to be doing truly hideous things.”

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Others have a different view, saying the Epstein saga are just the latest illustration of what money can do.

“It exposed the abuses of power that those with money and influence are allowed to get away with. It shocked people because of the fact that someone could have been allowed to do all these horrible things and still be welcome in high-society is unbelievable to the average person,” said Ronn Torossian, crisis communications expert and CEO of New York-based 5WPR. “Though Jeffrey Epstein’s life has come to a tragic end, those who were tied to him during his life will have to do some serious damage control to untangle their reputations.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072286152001_6072284041001-vs Conspiracy theories swamp Jeffrey Epstein case from fringe and mainstream Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 80687464-c687-53e2-9db8-53cbb1a632ec   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072286152001_6072284041001-vs Conspiracy theories swamp Jeffrey Epstein case from fringe and mainstream Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 80687464-c687-53e2-9db8-53cbb1a632ec

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe

The top investigators who worked alongside former Special Counsel Robert Mueller have certainly landed on their feet since the shuttering of the two-year Russia probe, securing big jobs at prominent law firms and universities — and even a book deal.

The latest hire was revealed this week by Georgetown Law School, which welcomed Michael Dreeben — a former deputy solicitor general and member of the special counsel’s office — as a “Distinguished Lecturer from Government” for the 2019-2020 academic year.

REPUBLICANS CONFRONT MUELLER WITH ALLEGATIONS OF A DOUBLE STANDARD IN RUSSIA PROBE

“I am excited to join Georgetown’s thriving legal community this fall,” Dreeben said in a statement. “The energy of the law school is palpable. I look forward to participating in academic life at Georgetown and being part of its vibrant and collaborative culture.”

Dreeben is among several Mueller alumni moving swiftly to take advantage of the demand in legal and academic circles for those involved in the high-profile case.

While President Trump and his allies continue to pan the whole affair as a “witch hunt,” and Mueller himself was criticized for his faltering congressional testimony last month, most team members have been able to transition out of the office with little drama — save for ex-FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, whose anti-Trump text messages landed them in hot water.

Westlake Legal Group michael-dreeben Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article ad7994d7-2f1b-58c7-8c7f-b35e331dea5b

U.S. Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben departs the U.S. Justice Department in traditional morning coat on his way to argue his one-hundredth case before the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. April 27, 2016.  (REUTERS)

Dreeben previously served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law and a visiting professor at Duke Law School. Dreeben left his post as deputy solicitor general in June 2017 to join Mueller’s legal team to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential coordination between Russia and members of the Trump campaign.

“In his 30 years of extraordinary public service at the U.S. Department of Justice, Michael Dreeben has played a powerful role in helping shape the law as one of the preeminent Supreme Court advocates and as a leading expert in federal criminal law,” Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor said in a statement this week. “We are honored to have him join our faculty for the upcoming school year.”

The special counsel’s office officially closed in May after nearly two years of investigating Russian meddling and potential coordination with members of the Trump campaign. Mueller’s team concluded that the Russians did interfere in the election but there was “not sufficient evidence to charge” Trump associates with conspiracy. Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, though congressional Democrats are now trying to dig deeper into that issue.

Also heading to academia is Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann, who returned to New York University School of Law on May 1 as a distinguished senior fellow with the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law (CACL), where he previously worked.

Weissmann, a longtime and well-known federal prosecutor, also has signed a deal with Random House to write a book, according to a report by The New York Times. It is unclear, at this point, how much his book will focus on his experience during the Russia investigation.

MUELLER REFUSES TO DISCUSS RUSSIA PROBE ORIGINS IN TESTIMONY

Meanwhile, other top members from Mueller’s office have joined prominent law firms. Last month, it was announced that Jeannie Rhee, who left her post as a partner at the law firm WilmerHale to join Mueller’s team, would join Paul, Weiss as a partner in their litigation department.

Westlake Legal Group jeannie20rhee Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article ad7994d7-2f1b-58c7-8c7f-b35e331dea5b

Jeannie Rhee, an investigator on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, formerly represented a top Obama aide and the Clinton Foundation. (WilmerHale)

Attorneys at Paul, Weiss have been involved in prominent corporate investigations—including the internal probe into allegations against the late former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Paul Weiss also was the firm involved in the National Football League “Deflategate” investigation after New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was accused of deflating a football before a game. The firm’s findings led to Brady’s suspension in the 2016-2017 season.

Meanwhile, Mueller team member Andrew Goldstein, a former attorney from the Southern District of New York, joined law firm Cooley as a partner focusing on white-collar and regulatory matters, as well as national security and economic sanctions.

And law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP announced last month that Zainab Ahmad would join as a partner in its New York office. Prior to working in Mueller’s office, Ahmad was a prosecutor at the Justice Department and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York.

And Greg Andres returned to his post as a partner in Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s litigation department in New York, concentrating on white-collar criminal defense. The firm gained national attention again this week after the publicly traded company, L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, reportedly retained it to investigate the company’s ties to the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead Saturday morning in his cell in a New York City federal prison. Authorities are investigating Epstein’s apparent suicide as well as apparent protocol breaches at the prison.

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Meanwhile, some former prosecutors on Mueller’s team have returned to public service—like Brandon Van Grack, who is now leading the effort at the Justice Department to enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

It is unclear, at this point, whether Mueller will return to his post at WilmerHale in Washington D.C.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6064095803001_6064081171001-vs Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article ad7994d7-2f1b-58c7-8c7f-b35e331dea5b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6064095803001_6064081171001-vs Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article ad7994d7-2f1b-58c7-8c7f-b35e331dea5b

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Jeffrey Epstein ‘special observation’ watch protocols went unheeded in hours before death: reports

Westlake Legal Group df517604-AP19222471790918 Jeffrey Epstein 'special observation' watch protocols went unheeded in hours before death: reports Paulina Dedaj fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc article 943b759c-7b93-5169-b869-fe35eafef7f9

Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was reportedly on “special observation watch” at the time of his apparent suicide Saturday morning, but the stringent protocols associated with the watch were not followed, officials said, revealing yet another apparent procedural lapse at the Manhattan lockup — which on Tuesday afternoon was assigned a new warden “pending the outcome of the investigations” into Epstein’s death.

Epstein, 66, had been placed on suicide watch — requiring in-person checks every 15 minutes — at the end of July after an incident in which the disgraced financier was discovered semiconscious in his cell with marks on his neck. But after a week of psychological evaluations, he was reportedly removed from that watch and downgraded to “special observation status,” a secondary and less restrictive set of safeguards that still required two correctional officers to alternate checks on him every 30 minutes, according to the New York Post.

Epstein’s removal from suicide watch and his subsequent transfer to a different cell with a different cellmate came after a request from his attorneys, whom he had been meeting with for up to 12 hours a day, the Wall Street Journal reported. But typically such a request from a defense attorney would still need the jail’s warden and members of the psych staff to give their consent, and it remained unclear Tuesday who approved of the Epstein watch downgrade.

Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday afternoon directed the Metropolitan Correction Center warden to be assigned to a different post and named FCI Otisville Warden James Petrucci as the Acting Warden of the MCC New York, a Justice Department spokesperson said in a news release. Additionally, the Bureau of Prisons placed the two MCC staffers assigned to monitor Epstein on administrative leave as the FBI and DOJ inspector general begin intensive investigations into how such a high-profile inmate had the apparent means and opportunity to kill himself.

“Additional actions may be taken as the circumstances warrant,” DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in the news release.

FORMER NYC JAIL INMATE: THERE’S ‘NO WAY’ JEFFREY EPSTEIN KILLED HIMSELF

The dual probes will seek to uncover why so many protocols were reportedly not followed, including how Epstein remained alone and unchecked in his cell for several hours before being found unresponsive at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN DEAD: TIMELINE OF SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS AND RELATED LEGAL CASES

Sources told the New York Times on Monday that one of the guards assigned to monitor Epstein was not even a full-time correctional officer, although it was not immediately clear what other job the employee was said to have and the employee was reportedly able to serve as a corrections officer.

Another regulation said to have been disregarded was the required presence of a cellmate for inmates under second watch. While Epstein apparently had a cellmate in the 8-by-8 space he was sent to after being moved off suicide watch, it was a different person than Epstein had lived with during his first several weeks at the MCC and it was not immediately known why the convicted sex offender was transferred to the new cell or who the new cellmate was.

Regardless, Epstein’s final cellmate was not there when Epstein apparently hanged himself using a bedsheet. The inmate reportedly left the cell just hours before Epstein died, but, as with many other aspects of the case, it was not clear why the inmate was gone. Some observers familiar with inmate movements speculated the man may have been taken out of the cell in advance of a court appearance or other appointment, but, either way, he was not replaced, as was supposed to happen, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Epstein was being held without bail on child sex trafficking and conspiracy charges to which he pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors said he sexually abused dozens of young girls in his New York and Florida residences between 2002 and 2005, allegations that could have landed him behind bars for 45 years — essentially a life sentence for the 66-year-old.

An autopsy was performed Sunday but the cause of death was not revealed pending further analysis.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Nicole Darrah and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group df517604-AP19222471790918 Jeffrey Epstein 'special observation' watch protocols went unheeded in hours before death: reports Paulina Dedaj fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc article 943b759c-7b93-5169-b869-fe35eafef7f9   Westlake Legal Group df517604-AP19222471790918 Jeffrey Epstein 'special observation' watch protocols went unheeded in hours before death: reports Paulina Dedaj fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc article 943b759c-7b93-5169-b869-fe35eafef7f9

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EasyJet mocked for another broken plane seat, but carrier claims the photos are misleading

Here we go again, EasyJet.

Just a few days after the British budget airline fanned the flames of a social media firestorm that began when a photo emerged of a “backless” seat on one of the carrier’s planes, an image of another uncomfortably broken chair has again caused a stir.

While reps for the carrier have since clarified that both photos featured “inoperative” chairs, and that no passenger would ever be assigned to sit in such unsafe conditions, critics were quick to shame the apparent offense anyway.

On Aug. 12, YouTube star Calfeezy called out EasyJet for the allegedly busted seat on Twitter, where he boasts a following of 1.4 million.

UNITED AIRLINES CHANGES ALCOHOL POLICY FOR PILOTS AFTER GLASGOW INCIDENT

“Check this seat on my flight,” the gamer captioned two photos of a man trying — and failing — to get comfy in an EasyJet seat without a bottom cushion. The post has since been liked more than 6,000 times.

Commenters instantly likened the cushion-less seat to a “cheese grater,” and blasted the company for what they believed to be an unacceptable situation.

“Is this @easyJet again with a bad seat?” one user asked.

“Obviously,” another countered.

“Personally I would not have that,” one chimed in.

“2nd incident in a week. @easyJet dont you think these planes should be taken out of circulation until you fix your ongoing safety concerns?” another charged.

Twittizens evidently glossed past a key note from Calfreezy — otherwise known as Callum Airey — who explained that no one actually sat in the seat during his recent trip in the high skies.

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When contacted for comment, reps for the carrier told Fox News that the mysteriously missing seat cushion had, in fact, been removed for cleaning, and that no one was allowed to sit in the “inoperative” chair.

“The seat cushion has been removed for cleaning. No passengers were permitted to fly in this seat as it was inoperative during this time,” a spokesperson said on Aug. 13.

Westlake Legal Group easy-jet-iStock EasyJet mocked for another broken plane seat, but carrier claims the photos are misleading Janine Puhak fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 1816b1a8-1775-5c76-900c-4af0879cfa13

When contacted for comment, reps for the carrier told Fox News that the mysteriously missing seat cushion had in fact been removed for cleaning, and that no one was allowed to sit in the “inoperative” chair. (iStock)

“Safety is our highest priority and EasyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all safety guidelines,” they added.

This marked the second time within a week that the airline took flak for one of its seats. On Aug. 6, the European airline was mercilessly trolled when another photo circulated online of a passenger sitting in a seat with no back — though company reps have since argued that the photo was staged.

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“No passengers were permitted to fly in these seats as they were inoperative awaiting repair,” the company said of the first photo fail in a statement obtained by Fox News.

The spokesperson added that the plane wasn’t even full — there were five other open seats when it departed — and that the backless seat has now been repaired.

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group easy-jet-iStock EasyJet mocked for another broken plane seat, but carrier claims the photos are misleading Janine Puhak fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 1816b1a8-1775-5c76-900c-4af0879cfa13   Westlake Legal Group easy-jet-iStock EasyJet mocked for another broken plane seat, but carrier claims the photos are misleading Janine Puhak fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 1816b1a8-1775-5c76-900c-4af0879cfa13

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Arizona authorities searching for ‘endangered’ woman who was chased, forced into truck by man

Authorities in Arizona believe a woman seen in surveillance video being forced into a truck by a man may be in danger, and officials are pleading with the public for help finding the unidentified pair.

The incident happened Sunday at about 6 p.m., when cameras captured the woman running away from an unknown male, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. She was seen screaming for help and eventually being forced into a truck with her pursuer near a car wash in Youngtown, about 20 miles northwest of Phoenix.

“I heard screaming at first and then I saw him trying to get her into the truck,” an employee at Clean Freak Car Wash who asked not to be identified told FOX10.

WEDDING CRASHER’ SOUGHT BY AUTHORITIES IN TEXAS AFTER TARGETING EVENTS, STEALING GIFTS

The man chased the woman to an area near 111th and Grand Avenue, where he forced her into a black 2019 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck, according to police.

“I yelled at him, told him to stop and leave before I call the cops,” the employee told FOX10. “He did not show any acknowledgment whatsoever.”

Westlake Legal Group truck-woman-Maricopa-County-Sheriffs-Office Arizona authorities searching for 'endangered' woman who was chased, forced into truck by man Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox news fnc/us fnc article 527db981-3212-5cc9-a199-bad1b9b13abc

Authorities are asking for help after a woman was seen on surveillance video being forced into a truck by a man. (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office)

The truck backed into another vehicle before driving off. The sheriff’s office said the other vehicle sustained minor damage on the passenger side due to the collision.

“It is possible the female involved in this incident is in danger,” police said.

ARIZONA GAS STATION HOSTAGES ATTACK, SUBDUE MAN WHO SHOT CUSTOMER IN THE HEAD

The woman is described as possibly being in her mid-30s and wearing a black dress and sandals. Her height is estimated between 5 feet, 5 inches and 5 feet, 7 inches, weighing around 140 to 170 pounds, with dark hair and dark eyes.

The man, who may be in his mid-30s, was wearing a black T-shirt with white graphics and jeans.

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The truck has a possible California license plate of AE92W27, according to police.

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information to contact them at 602-876-1011.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072279961001_6072284068001-vs Arizona authorities searching for 'endangered' woman who was chased, forced into truck by man Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox news fnc/us fnc article 527db981-3212-5cc9-a199-bad1b9b13abc   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072279961001_6072284068001-vs Arizona authorities searching for 'endangered' woman who was chased, forced into truck by man Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox news fnc/us fnc article 527db981-3212-5cc9-a199-bad1b9b13abc

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