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Westlake Legal Group > article (Page 83)

Supreme Court refuses to hear ‘Free the Nipple’ appeal in New Hampshire case

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by three women arrested for violating a New Hampshire city ordinance by exposing their breasts in public as part of the so-called “Free the Nipple” movement.

The rejection leaves in place a 2019 ruling by New Hampshire’s top court that upheld their convictions for violating a Laconia, N.H., measure that prohibits female toplessness in public. The women — Heidi Lilley, Kia Sinclair and Ginger Pierro — argued the ban violates the Constitution.

The ordinance makes it illegal to uncover female breasts “with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the nipple.” The women said it punishes women for exposing their breasts while allowing men to go topless in public.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG SAYS SHE IS ‘CANCER-FREE’ FOLLOWING RADIATION TREATMENT

Westlake Legal Group AP20013555806142 Supreme Court refuses to hear 'Free the Nipple' appeal in New Hampshire case Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/us fnc f576127e-b122-58e3-b68d-45b002c3444d article

In this Aug. 26, 2017 photo, women go topless during Go Topless Day at Hampton Beach, N.H. The Supreme Court is leaving in place the public nudity convictions of three women who removed their bathing suit tops on a New Hampshire beach as part of a campaign advocating for the rights of women to go topless. (Ioanna Raptis/Portsmouth Herald seacoastonline.com via AP)

“They were arrested and prosecuted as women for doing what any man may lawfully do,” the women wrote in their petition to the high court, according to The Hill. “For being both topless and female in public, each was convicted of violating an ordinance criminalizing the public exposure of her ‘female breast.’ ”

Pierro was arrested while performing yoga topless off the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee in 2016. Lilley and Sinclair were arrested days later while topless on a beach to protest their’s friend’s arrest.

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All three were given suspended fines of $100 on the condition of good behavior, Reuters reported.

The “Free the Nipple” movement was the subject of a court challenge in Colorado last year. The city of Fort Collins eventually removed an ordinance that banned women from going topless in public after it spent more than $300,000 defending it in court.

Westlake Legal Group AP20013555806142 Supreme Court refuses to hear 'Free the Nipple' appeal in New Hampshire case Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/us fnc f576127e-b122-58e3-b68d-45b002c3444d article   Westlake Legal Group AP20013555806142 Supreme Court refuses to hear 'Free the Nipple' appeal in New Hampshire case Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/us fnc f576127e-b122-58e3-b68d-45b002c3444d article

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Ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch apologizes for failing to stop sign-stealing scheme

Former Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch apologized in a statement Monday for failing to do more to stop the sign-stealing scheme that took place under his watch during the 2017 season.

Hinch was fired moments after MLB levied a one-year suspension against him over the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme that Commissioner Rob Manfred said players concocted with the help of then-bench coach Alex Cora. Hinch said that he should have done more to stop the scheme.

EX-ASTROS GM JEFF LUHNOW DENIES KNOWING OF SIGN-STEALING SCHEME: ‘I AM NOT A CHEATER’

“I appreciate Commissioner Manfred’s unwavering commitment to upholding the best interest of baseball. I regret being connected to these events, am disappointed in our club’s actions within this timeline, and I accept the Commissioner’s decision.

Westlake Legal Group AJ-Hinch Ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch apologizes for failing to stop sign-stealing scheme Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8e79a076-ab38-5c87-b3b5-1cd0357a3ab7

FILE – In this July 2, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch reacts during a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, in Denver. Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the entire season Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, and the team was fined $5 million for sign-stealing by the team in 2017 and 2018 season. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

“As a leader and Major League Manager, it is my responsibility to lead players and staff with integrity that represents the game in the best possible way. While the evidence consistently showed I didn’t participate in the sign stealing practices, I failed to stop them and I am deeply sorry.

“I apologize to Mr. Crane for all negative reflections this may have had on him and the Astros organization. To the fans, thank you for your continued support through this challenging time – and for this team. I apologize to all of you for our mistakes but I’m confident we will learn from it – and I personally commit to work tireless to ensure I do.

ASTROS PUNISHMENT IN SIGN-STEALING SCANDAL SENDS SHOCKWAVES THROUGHOUT BASEBALL

“My time in Houston has provided some of the greatest moments in my career and those memories will always be near and dear to me and my family. I regret that my time with the Astros has ended, but will always be a supporter of the club, players, and staff I’ve had the privilege of working alongside. I wish them the best in the future of the game I love.”

General manager Jeff Luhnow was also fired in the wake of the controversy. He said in a separate statement that he did not have any knowledge of the scheme and vowed that he was “not a cheater.”

Team owner Jim Crane announced the men’s dismissals at a press conference.

ASTROS FIRE AJ HINCH, JEFF LUHNOW AFTER MLB LEVIES PUNISHMENT FOR ROLES IN SIGN-STEALING

Westlake Legal Group Jeff-Luhnow-Getty Ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch apologizes for failing to stop sign-stealing scheme Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8e79a076-ab38-5c87-b3b5-1cd0357a3ab7

Jeff Luhnow, general manager and president of baseball operations for the Houston Astros addresses the media as he introduces players acquired at the trade deadline at Minute Maid Park on August 2, 2019, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

As part of the punishment, Houston also loses its first- and second-round draft picks for the 2020 and 2021 drafts and will be fined $5 million, according to The Athletic. Former Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman will be placed on baseball’s ineligible list.

“I find that the conduct of the Astros, and its senior baseball operations executives, merits significant discipline,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said as part of the ruling. “I base this finding on the fact that the club’s senior baseball operations executives were given express notice in September 2017 that I would hold them accountable for violations of our policies covering sign stealing, and those individuals took no action to ensure that the club’s players and staff complied with those policies during the 2017 postseason and the 2018 regular season.

“The conduct described herein has caused fans, players, executives at other MLB clubs, and members of the media to raise questions about the integrity of games in which the Astros participated. And while it is impossible to determine whether the conduct actually impacted the results on the field, the perception of some that it did causes significant harm to the game.”

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Hinch and Luhnow are banned every major, minor or spring training facility as part of their suspension.

Westlake Legal Group AJ-Hinch Ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch apologizes for failing to stop sign-stealing scheme Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8e79a076-ab38-5c87-b3b5-1cd0357a3ab7   Westlake Legal Group AJ-Hinch Ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch apologizes for failing to stop sign-stealing scheme Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/a-j-hinch fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8e79a076-ab38-5c87-b3b5-1cd0357a3ab7

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Barr says DOJ was consulted before Soleimani strike as Trump goes on defensive

Attorney General William Barr on Monday said President Trump had consulted the Department of Justice before ordering an airstrike that killed Iran’s top military general earlier this month.

The comments came after growing questions about what led to the Jan. 3 airstrike that took out Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force.

Westlake Legal Group AP20013743241871 Barr says DOJ was consulted before Soleimani strike as Trump goes on defensive fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 615c088b-68b0-5651-96c0-b982978480c4

Attorney General William Barr speaks to reporters at the Justice Department in Washington, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (AP)

Democrats have criticized Trump’s decision to conduct an airstrike, claiming he did not properly notify Congress in advance and warning about the risk of escalating violence in the region.

Barr said that Soleimani was a “legitimate military target” and the strike was a “legitimate act of self-defense.”

“The Department of Justice was consulted and frankly I don’t think it was a close call,” the attorney general said. “I believe the president clearly had the authority to act as he did on numerous different bases.”

During an appearance on Fox News’ ‘The Ingraham Angle,’ Trump said the airstrike that killed Soleimani was a deterrence to an imminent threat from Iran that involved planned attacks on four U.S. embassies.

Asked specifically what was targeted, Trump responded: “We will tell you that probably it was going to be the embassy in Baghdad.”

But the scale of the supposed threat was called into question Sunday after Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he hadn’t seen hard evidence that four American embassies were under possible threat.

“I didn’t see one with regard to four embassies,” Esper told reporters. Asked whether he thought Trump had embellished the threat he said: “I don’t believe so.”

DEMS SILENT ON IRAN PROTESTS AS DEMONSTRATORS BLAME REGIME, NOT TRUMP, FOR PLANE CRASH

As the debate over the threat level continued Monday, Trump went on the defensive, blasting the “Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners” for trying to determine whether a future attack by Soleimani was “imminent,” and whether the Trump administration was in agreement over the airstrike.

“The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!” Trump tweeted.

Speaking to reporters outside Air Force One later Monday, Trump referred to Soleimani as the “number one terrorist in the world” and “a very bad person” who “killed lots of Americans, killed a lot of people.”

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“When Democrats try to defend him, it’s a disgrace to our country. They can’t do that,” Trump said. “And let me tell you, it’s not working politically very well for them. We killed the number one terrorist in the world, Soleimani, and it should have been done 20 years ago.”

Separately, a senior State Department official told Fox News, “We still have concerns about Iranian proxy groups in the region… The United States has made clear that we plan on being disproportional in our response to Iranian aggression.  That hopefully… will result in the deterrence that we’re looking for.”

Fox News’ Rich Edson, Joshua Nelson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP20013743241871 Barr says DOJ was consulted before Soleimani strike as Trump goes on defensive fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 615c088b-68b0-5651-96c0-b982978480c4   Westlake Legal Group AP20013743241871 Barr says DOJ was consulted before Soleimani strike as Trump goes on defensive fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 615c088b-68b0-5651-96c0-b982978480c4

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US companies still drilling in Venezuela face sanctions waiver deadline

The clock is ticking on the U.S.’s last remaining foothold inside the Venezuelan oil industry, with this month’s sanctions waiver deadline for American companies operating in the embattled country looming closer.

The waivers granted to Chevron and four U.S. oil-services companies – Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International – last year by the U.S. government, despite the efforts to squeeze the Maduro regime, are slated to expire on Jan. 22.

What could happen after that is ripe for debate. It remained to be seen if the U.S would give the green light again to Chevron and its companions to continue drilling.

The Treasury Department twice extended the waiver, known as General License 8D, last year. But, the State Department’s special representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, cautioned earlier this month that the administration was exploring “new additional measures” to push out Nicolas Maduro, the country’s president whom the U.S stopped recognizing as a legitimate leader a year ago, opting instead to back opposition figurehead Juan Guaidó.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in the past, has vocalized support for the sanctions waivers as a means to keep U.S. presence in the region and make for a faster rehabilitation of the sector should Maduro leave office.

“Chevron’s presence has made very little difference in keeping Maduro in power. The much stronger case is the one Chevron makes that we will want American companies to have some role in the future – which is certainly better than letting Russians and Chinese claim these assets and control,” Roger Noriega, a former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute [AEI], told Fox News.

VENEZUELA’S GUAIDÓ FORCES HIS WAY INTO CONGRESS AMID STANDOFF

However, other analysts contended that the very presence of those companies was keeping him in power.

“They [Chevron] help maintain high productivity levels and produce billions of dollars a year for the country. Chevron… has been in Venezuela for over 100 years,” noted Ken Mahoney of the New York-based Mahoney Asset Management. “The fact that Venezuela has large oil refineries gives Maduro bargaining power with the likes of the U.S, China, India and Russia. This, in turn, generates solid [gross domestic product] figures and keeps him in power that much longer. Maduro has trading support with China and Russia, which gives him the backing of two of the biggest economic powers in the world.”

As of November, Venezuela was producing an average of 700,000 barrels per day – a far cry from the 1.7 million barrels it produced per day four years earlier, dropping 32 percent last year alone. That figure is expected to tumble even lower in 2020 – evidence that the U.S. sanctions were having the desired crippling impact, experts say.

Chevron has had roughly 300 employees in Venezuela and participated in joint venture equity affiliates with the state-owned oil company PDVSA involving heavy and extra heavy crude projects encompassing over 8,800 workers. The company invested over $100 million between 2006 to 2018, with community education, health and economic development programs designed to benefit people living in areas of operation.

Should the U.S. allow the waivers to lapse, thus prompting Chevron and the others to leave, it’s likely Caracas will seize the assets and offer them to Russia, China and other allied entities.

SOLEIMANI’S KILLING IGNITES RUSSIA-VS.-IRAN SCHISM IN SYRIA

An intelligence graph shown to Fox News, which pinpointed contract block ownerships in Venezuela, showed Russia had 2 million net acres and 6 billion recoverable reserves, China had 900,000 net acres and 11 million recoverable reserves, Iran held 600,000 net acres and 2 billion reserves, and Cuba had 1.3 million net acres and 3 billion reserves.

“At June 30, 2019, the carrying value of the company’s investments was approximately $2.7 billion, and for the six-month period ended June 30, 2019, the company recognized losses of $21 million for its share of the net income from the equity affiliates,” Chevron spokesman Ray Fohr told Fox News.

That figure would represent the loss to the oil giant if Chevron were to leave.

“If Chevron is forced to leave Venezuela, non-U.S. companies will fill the void, and oil production will continue,” Fohr warned.

According to Mahoney, given that the U.S. was the largest importer of Venezuelan crude, the estimated loss as a result of sanctions in 2019 to the Venezuelan economy was some $11 billion – and growing.

The U.S., according to analysts, might choose to squeeze further by setting its secondary sanctions sights on the likes of Russia and Cuba, countries that have remained steadfast in their support of Maduro and the oil sector. As it stood, an estimated 70 percent of the oil trade has been at the behest of the Moscow-owned Rosneft. China also remained a top buyer.

However, other analysts contended that sanctioning the sector even further would do little to squash oil transfers, which increasingly have been taking place “off the grid.” This entailed ships “going dark” by switching off compulsory safety transponders as a means to evade U.S. sanctions prohibiting purchases from Venezuela and PDVSA.

“We have seen this occurring more frequently around the globe over the last few years, as bad actors look to evade International sanctions on oil sales. All oil tankers over 300 gross tons are required to have an operating AIS (Automatic Identification System) on board,” explained Daniel Gianfalla, an international maritime security expert. “It is an excellent tool for vessel safety at sea. Unfortunately, the AIS can be switched off by the vessel to avoid route and positioning detection, making satellite and shore sidetracking more difficult. Tankers have ‘gone dark’ or disappeared from tracking for days at a time, then reappear loaded and on a new route.”

What’s happened when ships doing business with Venezuela went off the radar? That’s been a swirl of mystery. One source working in the oil sector told Fox News that there’s been an uptick in “shadowy shippers taking the crude,” avoiding docking and running perilous “ship-to-ship” transfers to circumvent tracking.

“My guess is that Chevron will continue to receive a waiver because the administration sees this as a reasonable arrangement to keep an American company on the ground satisfying its contractual obligations,” Noriega said. “That tells me that there is no sense of urgency by the Trump administration anymore.”

But, not all analysts agrees.

“It’s unlikely the U.S. will renew sanctions after extending the initial waiver for 90 days. The deadline of January 22 will be watched very closely,” Mahoney projected. “With the [presidential] election just around the corner, Venezuela won’t be taking center stage. The president has a lot on his plate, and Venezuela is not a priority.”

Westlake Legal Group 18564d01-Russiavenezuelapact US companies still drilling in Venezuela face sanctions waiver deadline Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/energy fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc d972d078-27e5-5386-bee1-b4531096c067 article

Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev, right, and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez showing signed documents during a meeting in Moscow in 2010. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

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And, after over a year of ever-tightening sanctions, the support of a new government in Venezuela and a very public push to send Maduro packing, the disputed president and his circle have remained at the Caracas helm.

“Maduro managed to weather the storm because U.S. policymakers underestimated the regime and overestimated Venezuelan politicians. The regime was never going to splinter,” Noriega added. “Key figures in the opposition were going along with U.S. strategy because they thought Trump was going to use military force. The second they realized that the U.S. was not going to use force, they began to hedge their bets and focus on the terms of their surrender.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6068614617001_6068613067001-vs US companies still drilling in Venezuela face sanctions waiver deadline Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/energy fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc d972d078-27e5-5386-bee1-b4531096c067 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6068614617001_6068613067001-vs US companies still drilling in Venezuela face sanctions waiver deadline Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/energy fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/world fnc d972d078-27e5-5386-bee1-b4531096c067 article

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Pair of No. 2 Bears: Baylor men and women ranked AP No. 2

Westlake Legal Group Lauren-Cox Pair of No. 2 Bears: Baylor men and women ranked AP No. 2 fox-news/sports/ncaa/baylor-bears fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 548132f3-3c07-5e3b-8423-bd36b072a4d8

Baylor has a pair of No. 2s in The Associated Press polls, with both the men’s and women’s basketball teams ranked second.

The Bears and Lady Bears, both 13-1 overall, were also ranked in the top two at the same time in January 2017.

“It says a lot about both of our programs, both our coaches and the kind of players that they bring into the programs,” preseason AP All-America post Lauren Cox said Monday. “We both support each other. … We want to see the best for both teams.”

Baylor’s men moved up two spots in the new poll Monday, two days after the Bears’ first win ever at then-No. 3 Kansas that was their fourth win over a Top 25 team this season. The Bears, in their 17th season with coach Scott Drew, also won last week at then-No. 22 Texas Tech, last season’s national runner-up that had won 15 in a row at home.

The defending national champion Lady Bears jumped four spots in the women’s poll. They won at then-No. 1 UConn on Thursday night, ending the Huskies’ 98-game home winning streak.

Baylor, which has won three national titles in coach Kim Mulkey’s 20 seasons, now has the longest home winning streak at 47 in a row after beating Oklahoma State 94-48 in its Big 12 home opener Sunday.

There were three polls in January 2017 when both Baylor teams were ranked in the top two. The men reached No. 1 for the only time in program history on Jan 9, 2017, when the Lady Bears were No. 2. They were both ranked second in the Jan. 2 and Jan. 30 polls that season.

Westlake Legal Group Lauren-Cox Pair of No. 2 Bears: Baylor men and women ranked AP No. 2 fox-news/sports/ncaa/baylor-bears fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 548132f3-3c07-5e3b-8423-bd36b072a4d8   Westlake Legal Group Lauren-Cox Pair of No. 2 Bears: Baylor men and women ranked AP No. 2 fox-news/sports/ncaa/baylor-bears fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 548132f3-3c07-5e3b-8423-bd36b072a4d8

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UNC basketball player Brandon Robinson injured in car crash

Westlake Legal Group Brandon-Robinson UNC basketball player Brandon Robinson injured in car crash fox-news/sports/ncaa/north-carolina-tar-heels fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 131a6ece-9ef4-5bfa-8f6e-5ad42970f601

North Carolina forward Brandon Robinson was hurt in a weekend car crash and the school says the injuries are not serious.

The other motorist was charged with driving while impaired, according to Carrboro police. An incident report said the driver of the other car early Sunday, drove into the opposite lane and hit Robinson’s car near an intersection.

It was not known when Robinson would be cleared to practice this week or play, the school said Monday. The struggling Tar Heels play at Pittsburgh on Saturday.

This is the latest problem for a team beset by injuries since before the season began.

Five Tar Heels, including Robinson, have been hurt at some point during the season. Robinson rolled his ankle in a preseason game and missed the next four games.

Anthony Harris and Sterling Manley are lost for the season because of knee injuries. Jeremiah Francis has a sore left knee that kept him out of his junior and senior years in high school.

Freshman guard Cole Anthony, who scored 34 points in his debut game against Notre Dame last November, has not played since early December after arthroscopic knee surgery. Anthony was expected to miss up to six weeks.

Westlake Legal Group Brandon-Robinson UNC basketball player Brandon Robinson injured in car crash fox-news/sports/ncaa/north-carolina-tar-heels fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 131a6ece-9ef4-5bfa-8f6e-5ad42970f601   Westlake Legal Group Brandon-Robinson UNC basketball player Brandon Robinson injured in car crash fox-news/sports/ncaa/north-carolina-tar-heels fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 131a6ece-9ef4-5bfa-8f6e-5ad42970f601

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NHL extends Buffalo’s agreement to host combine through 2022

Westlake Legal Group Connor-McDavid NHL extends Buffalo's agreement to host combine through 2022 fox-news/sports/nhl/buffalo-sabres fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc d9b4ebbc-ca4e-5f26-83a3-279caf99ad84 Associated Press article

The NHL’s top prospects will continue making their pre-draft stops in Buffalo for at least another three years.

The league on Monday announced an extension of its agreement to hold its annual scouting combine in Buffalo at the Sabres downtown practice facility, LECOM Harborcenter, through 2022. The announcement coincided with NHL Central Scouting releasing its mid-season rankings of draft-eligible prospects, with Quebec-born left wing Alexis Lafrenière topping the list of North American skaters.

Buffalo has hosted the combine since 2015, after the weeklong event spent the previous 20-plus years being held at various locations around Toronto.

“I’m very excited about it,” said Kevyn Adams, former NHL player and Sabres senior vice president of business administration. “It’s an incredible opportunity for us as an organization and city to host such a great event for the last number of years, and now that it’s moving forward.”

Each year, Central Scouting invites more than 100 of its top-ranked prospects to the combine, where they undergo physical and medical testing, and also meet with team executives. It’s considered the final major step in their pre-draft process, and traditionally held about three weeks before the draft.

The move from Toronto was prompted by the construction of the Sabres’ $200 million practice complex which includes two rinks, a hotel, restaurant and workout facility, all connected to the team’s arena.

Though the combine does not include on-ice testing, the floor of Harborcenter’s main rink provides plenty of room for prospect testing to be conducted, while also allowing team executives to watch from the stands.

Those are considered upgrades from when the combine took place inside carpeted convention centers and hotel ballrooms in suburban Toronto.

In Buffalo, teams also have the advantage of going across the street to hold in-person meetings with prospects in arena suites. That’s a switch from Toronto, where prospects had to be shuttled to various hotels, depending on where each team was based.

“It just seems to be a pretty good fit, and I do think the three-year term is indicative of that,” Adams said. “In Toronto, it was spread out a little bit and just the logistics of it. When the the players and team management get here, it’s all here.”

Central Scouting director Dan Marr referred to the setup in Buffalo as ideal and featuring a venue that meets all needs.

“The NHL’s annual scouting combine is one of the most valuable experiences in a young prospects’ draft year, and we are thrilled to continue utilizing the Sabres best-in-class facilities,” Marr said.

Lafrenière continues making a case for being the No. 1 pick in showing no signs of slowing a season after being name the Canadian Hockey League player of the year. In his third season with Rimouski, he leads the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 49 assists and 73 points in 34 games. He was also named the world junior championship tournament’s MVP after helping Canada to a gold-medal victory earlier this month.

U.S. Developmental team defenseman Jake Sanderson, of Whitefish, Montana, is the top-ranked American-born prospect, coming in at 11th. Forward Tim Stuetzle, who plays for Mannheim in his native Germany’s pro league, is the top-ranked European prospect.

This year’s combine was already on the NHL calendar, and scheduled to take place June 1-6.

The combine is also a boon to Buffalo by annually attracting some 250 NHL executives, scouts and media to the city and its redeveloped waterfront.

“This is exciting news for the Sabres, downtown Buffalo and our great hockey fans in the region,” Mayor Byron Brown said. “The three-year extension is the hat-trick of extensions and will allow so many visitors during the NHL combine to experience our fabulous Canalside area, waterfront development and downtown development for years to come.”

Westlake Legal Group Connor-McDavid NHL extends Buffalo's agreement to host combine through 2022 fox-news/sports/nhl/buffalo-sabres fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc d9b4ebbc-ca4e-5f26-83a3-279caf99ad84 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group Connor-McDavid NHL extends Buffalo's agreement to host combine through 2022 fox-news/sports/nhl/buffalo-sabres fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc d9b4ebbc-ca4e-5f26-83a3-279caf99ad84 Associated Press article

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Video surfaces of Sanders saying ‘a woman could be elected president,’ contradicting CNN report

Westlake Legal Group Bernie-Sanders-Elizabeth-Warren-AP Video surfaces of Sanders saying 'a woman could be elected president,' contradicting CNN report Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 44d892d7-c502-57d4-a02b-05814d92f02d

An old video clip surfaced on social media on Monday showing Bernie Sanders claiming that a woman “could be elected president,” which contradicts a CNN report alleging that he had told his Senate colleague Elizabeth Warren the opposite.

CNN reported on Monday that according to multiple sources close to Warren and familiar with the encounter, Sanders had told the Massachusetts Democrat during a December 2018 meeting prior to either of them launching their presidential bids and after learning that she was running, Sanders “responded that he did not believe a woman could win.”

Since that report was published, a Twitter user shared a clip from 1988 of Sanders, who at the time was expressing his support for Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign.

“The real issue is not whether you’re black or white, whether you’re a woman or a man — in my view, a woman could be elected president of the United States,” Sanders said. “The real issue is whose side are you on? Are you on the side of workers and poor people or are you on the side of big money and the corporations?”

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The Warren campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News for comment. It also did not comment on CNN’s story.

Sanders, however, offered a strong denial against the claims that were made about him.

“It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn’t win,” Sanders told Fox News. “It’s sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren’t in the room are lying about what happened. What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could. Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”

Supporters and surrogates of Sanders have also been circulating a report from The New York Times about the same meeting that was published around the time it happened, citing unnamed officials who told the paper that neither Sanders nor Warren “sought support from the other or tried to dissuade the other from running.”

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Others slammed the CNN for running the report without anyone alleging the claims going on record.

This “reporting” + self promotion @CNN is reprehensible. @BernieSanders has categorically denied saying this. So, you @mj_lee should name your sources publicly, retract the story, or change the lede. You do not know what was said. You weren’t there + have no recording. #bias,” former MSNBC anchor David Shuster reacted.

“This is a case in which journalists should demand people go on record or otherwise not run the story. Four sources, none in the room, all anonymous (and I’m willing to wager, all with a certain political motivation),” Daily Caller editor in chief Geoffrey Ingersoll wrote.

“None of the sources were in the meeting. How can CNN publish this?” The Young Turks’ Emma Vigeland asked.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Andrew Craft contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Bernie-Sanders-Elizabeth-Warren-AP Video surfaces of Sanders saying 'a woman could be elected president,' contradicting CNN report Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 44d892d7-c502-57d4-a02b-05814d92f02d   Westlake Legal Group Bernie-Sanders-Elizabeth-Warren-AP Video surfaces of Sanders saying 'a woman could be elected president,' contradicting CNN report Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 44d892d7-c502-57d4-a02b-05814d92f02d

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Will Smith says he regrets how he handled wife Jada Pinkett’s friendship with Tupac

Will Smith doesn’t think of himself as a jealous type of husband now, but once upon a time he was.

The movie star revealed in a recent interview that he regrets how he handled wife Jada Pinkett Smith‘s close friendship with the late Tupac Shakur. (The rapper was killed in 1996.)

While appearing on the radio show “The Breakfast Club”, co-host Charlamagne tha God asked the 51-year-old “Bad Boys for Life” actor if he was every jealous of their relationship. “F–k yeah,” he confessed.

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“That was in the early days,” Smith explained. “That was a big regret for me, too, because I could never open up to interact with Pac.”

Pinkett Smith and Shakur met as teens when they both attended the Baltimore School for the Arts.

“They never had a sexual relationship, but now they had come into that age where that was a possibility, and Jada was with me,” Smith said.

Back in 2015, Pinkett Smith confirmed to Howard Stern that she and Tupac weren’t physically attracted to each other. To prove it, she said she forced the musician to kiss her but they agreed it was “the most disgusting kiss” they ever had.

Westlake Legal Group will-smith-jada-pinkett-smith-ap Will Smith says he regrets how he handled wife Jada Pinkett's friendship with Tupac Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/will-smith fox-news/person/jada-pinkett-smith fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 2c852302-b822-5e1f-8281-27a22e4ba022

Will Smith, right, kisses Jada Pinkett Smith as they arrive at the premiere of “Aladdin” at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

The “Aladdin” star said he was more intimidated by their closeness. “She just loved him,” he said. “He was the image of perfection, but she was with the ‘Fresh Prince,’ so it was, like, we were in the room together a couple [of] times, I couldn’t speak to him. He wasn’t going to speak to me if I wasn’t going to speak to him.”

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Smith admitted his wife tried to get them to form a bond but it wasn’t happening: “That was a huge regret of mine. I couldn’t handle it,” he said.

The Hollywood power couple met on the set of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in 1994 and tied the knot three years later.

Westlake Legal Group Will-Smith Will Smith says he regrets how he handled wife Jada Pinkett's friendship with Tupac Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/will-smith fox-news/person/jada-pinkett-smith fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 2c852302-b822-5e1f-8281-27a22e4ba022   Westlake Legal Group Will-Smith Will Smith says he regrets how he handled wife Jada Pinkett's friendship with Tupac Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/will-smith fox-news/person/jada-pinkett-smith fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 2c852302-b822-5e1f-8281-27a22e4ba022

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Queen’s statement on Harry and Meghan: Royals watchers read between the lines

Westlake Legal Group Queen-H-M Queen's statement on Harry and Meghan: Royals watchers read between the lines Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 26c0d13c-7b54-5b6a-b34c-32c082b16fe9

Queen Elizabeth II expressed her support for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a new statement released Monday in response to the royal couple’s announcement that they intend to “carve out a progressive new role” for themselves within the British Royal Family.

“It feels like the most emotional words I’ve ever heard from the Queen,” said Steve Hilton, Fox News host and senior adviser to former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, on Fox Nation’s “Deep Dive.” “It’s very interesting. It feels very personal in a way that I’ve never seen before,” he continued.

“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” wrote the 93-year-old Queen after speaking with Harry and Meghan on Monday.

“We respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,” the Queen’s statement continued. “Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.”

“It only made one specific statement, though, that they do not want to take public funds,” observed Fox News political contributor Tammy Bruce.  “That is the only new thing, because that had also been the biggest complaint” of Harry and Meghan’s critics.

In the royal couples’ announcement last week, they addressed the issue of continuing to receive public funds, writing, “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent. while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”

“It hasn’t — as you say — resolved the big questions,” said Hilton, agreeing with Bruce. In fact, Harry’s father has attempted to address looming questions over the role of the British monarchy in the 21st century.

“It’s a point that Prince Charles himself has been making,” said Hilton, “which is in the modern era, people don’t want — in the phrase that’s used a lot in the U.K. — these hangers-on. … They’re never going to be king or queen, so why should the taxpayers fund their lavish lifestyle? Let’s just slim it all down and focus on the core Royals who are really much closer to the line of succession to carry out their constitutional duties. That’s the sort of underlying point. And that could have been worked out.”

“It was always known that Harry felt this way and increasingly so,” added Fox Business host Ashley Webster, who is a U.K. native. “And so it will come as no surprise to the Queen. The thing that really threw … a spanner in the works was the fact that he did this without telling anyone he was going to do it. They knew he felt this way. And that’s why the Queen was reportedly very hurt and disappointed.”

“Even if you are the Queen — that’s an embarrassment when this public statement [from Harry and Meghan] is made in such a grand way,” said Variety correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister.

Returning to the Queen’s statement, Hilton said that it does seem to reduce tensions. “What it does do, I think, is trying to take some of the heat and the kind of confrontation out of this situation. It’s a very conciliatory statement. And I think it’ll go a long way to say, ‘Look, you know, we’re a family. We’re talking about it. This is being done in a constructive way.’ The tone is interesting.”

“I think, Steve, you’re absolutely right,” said Wagmeister. “They’re trying to button this up and pretend like everything is fine. That’s what the royal family does. That’s what celebrities do. They always want to create a facade that everything is fine no matter what may be going on behind the scenes.”

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Westlake Legal Group Queen-H-M Queen's statement on Harry and Meghan: Royals watchers read between the lines Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 26c0d13c-7b54-5b6a-b34c-32c082b16fe9   Westlake Legal Group Queen-H-M Queen's statement on Harry and Meghan: Royals watchers read between the lines Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 26c0d13c-7b54-5b6a-b34c-32c082b16fe9

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