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Westlake Legal Group > article (Page 89)

Jeff Merkley: Democrats don’t support open borders, it’s a ‘myth’

Westlake Legal Group Trump-meet-the-press Jeff Merkley: Democrats don't support open borders, it's a 'myth' Nick Givas fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article a33de36f-2a8d-59d0-86fe-42c4e9c46b30

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., said Democrats always have supported stronger security measures at the southern border and denounced the notion of their desire for open borders, calling it a “myth.”

Merkley appeared on “Meet The Press” Sunday to discuss a possible compromise between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration and listed possible changes to the asylum laws, which may bring both sides to the negotiating table.

“Well, let’s get rid of the myth that Democrats are for open borders. We’ve supported border security,” Merkley told host Chuck Todd. “That’s a red herring thrown in there.”

MANY IN MEDIA CHANGING THEIR TUNE ON BORDER ‘CRISIS’ AFTER CLAIMING IT WAS ‘MANUFACTURED’

“But, the change [Republicans] want is to get rid of the Flores settlement agreement that says you can only lock up children for three days and you need to move them into a state-licensed childcare facility or into a home,” he continued.

“There is no way, under any set of conditions, that Democrats are going to support the indefinite lockup of children. We know from all the child experts that this does traumatic injury, that that trauma can have lifelong effects. It is a horrific strategy on their part, on the part of the administration, and the answer on that is, absolutely not. Flores, in fact, needs to be applied to the influx facilities like Homestead where it’s not being applied currently. So, we need to expand that application, not eliminate it.”

Todd then asked, “What would happen if we could get our cameras in there? I don’t mean to be this crass about it, but are pictures what are missing here for action?” Merkley didn’t discourage him, saying “an actual camera might make a difference.”

Todd also said it felt as if Congress and the White House were at an impasse which won’t get resolved easily.

NBC, CHUCK TODD NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME? CRITICS SLAM PEACOCK NETWORK, ‘MEET THE PRESS’ HOST FOLLOWING DEM DEBATES

“We’re trapped between a philosophy that says, ‘let’s discourage immigration by mistreating refugees,’ and an argument that — ‘let’s be a country, as we have often been, that treats migrants and refugees with respect,'” Merkley replied.

“It doesn’t mean that they’re able to stay. I mean, it’s very hard to go through the asylum process. Most applicants are turned down. But there’s no reason to mistreat individuals as they’re awaiting an asylum hearing. I don’t know how we can get to that core change unless we have some real leadership from Republicans inside Congress who say enough is enough.”

Todd also highlighted a Saturday Washington Post op-ed by former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, with the Obama-era Cabinet official opposing promises to decriminalize illegal immigration.

MOST DEMS VOW TO DECRIMINALIZE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION DURING NIGHT 2 DEBATE

“We cannot, as some Democratic candidates for president now propose, publicly embrace a policy to not deport those who enter or remain in this country illegally unless they commit a crime. This is tantamount to a public declaration (repeated and amplified by smugglers in Central America) that our borders are effectively open to all; this will increase the recent levels of monthly apprehensions at our Southern border — about or more than 100,000 — by multiples,” Johnson wrote.

“For the same reason, we cannot formally decriminalize unauthorized entry into this country, though first-time illegal border crossers are in fact rarely prosecuted for that misdemeanor,” he continued.

Merkley wrote that prior to the Trump administration, crossing the border illegally was considered a civil offense and should still be treated as such.

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“Well, we had, previous to the Trump administration, it was a civil offense… that doesn’t mean you get to stay in the United States indefinitely. You still go through an asylum hearing. We maintain the family case management program where 99 to 100 percent of families showed up for their asylum hearings,” he claimed.

“They were treated with respect and dignity. And if they established their case, they’re able to stay. If not, they’re deported. But in between, they’re treated as fellow human beings who are fleeing difficult circumstances. And they’re treated with respect and decency.”

Westlake Legal Group Trump-meet-the-press Jeff Merkley: Democrats don't support open borders, it's a 'myth' Nick Givas fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article a33de36f-2a8d-59d0-86fe-42c4e9c46b30   Westlake Legal Group Trump-meet-the-press Jeff Merkley: Democrats don't support open borders, it's a 'myth' Nick Givas fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/politics/regulation/media fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article a33de36f-2a8d-59d0-86fe-42c4e9c46b30

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Nashville apartment fire kills baby, injures 5 children, firefighters say

An early morning fire on Sunday killed an eight-month-old baby and injured five small children in Tennessee, according to fire officials.

Nashville firefighters responded to the Hickory Lake Apartments in Antioch, Tenn., about a 20-minute drive from Nashville, around 2 a.m. Sunday for an apartment fire, according to a news release from the Nashville Fire Department.

The first unit to arrive on scene found heavy smoke and flames coming from one of the apartments in the complex, fire officials said.

FIRE AT JIM BEAM KENTUCKY WAREHOUSE CONTINUES TO BURN AS 45,000 BARRELS OF BOURBON ARE DESTROYED:REPORTS

They said dispatch had informed arriving firefighters that several people were trapped inside the burning apartment. Firefighters quickly rescued one person from a balcony on the third floor.

People at the scene had informed the fire department that several children were trapped inside the burning apartment. Firefighters then rushed in and were able to rescue four of them, fire officials said.

“Unfortunately an eight-month-old baby did not survive the fire and died on the scene,” the news release from the Nashville Fire Department said.

TENNESSEE DEPUTIES INVESTIGATE REPORTS OF ZEBRA BITES

The four children were rushed to the hospital. Firefighters later found another child, a five-year-old, who also was transported to a nearby children’s hospital.

The conditions of the children were not immediately known.

Westlake Legal Group Fire-1-AJ-Abell Nashville apartment fire kills baby, injures 5 children, firefighters say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc article 8e888d55-3b83-5d2d-ba63-0c1d3e4f640c

The apartment fire killed an eight-month-old baby. (AJ Abell, Fox 17 Nashville)

Fire officials said they were able to contain the fire to one apartment and only one area of the apartment complex suffered smoke damage.

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The American Red Cross was helping those affected by the fire with temporary housing and other resources.

Fire officials said the department’s arson investigators were working to determine what caused the fire.

Westlake Legal Group Fire-1-AJ-Abell Nashville apartment fire kills baby, injures 5 children, firefighters say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc article 8e888d55-3b83-5d2d-ba63-0c1d3e4f640c   Westlake Legal Group Fire-1-AJ-Abell Nashville apartment fire kills baby, injures 5 children, firefighters say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc article 8e888d55-3b83-5d2d-ba63-0c1d3e4f640c

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Harry Kazianis: Iran and America are headed for a showdown. And no, it’s not Trump’s fault

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6056170836001_6056174013001-vs Harry Kazianis: Iran and America are headed for a showdown. And no, it’s not Trump’s fault Harry J. Kazianis fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 7ede044d-5d8a-5ce6-bc23-737ff0a24cd3

While national security experts will debate the merits of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration for years to come, one thing is clear: the pact always ensured Washington and Tehran were headed towards a nuclear crisis. The only question was when it would happen—not if.

And none of that is President Trump’s fault. In fact, we can thank President Obama for this growing international crisis – one that could even balloon into a shooting war.

IRAN ANNOUNCES IT WILL ENRICH URANIUM BEYOND NUCLEAR DEAL LIMITS

The devil is in the details of the deal itself. How it was structured, and the items that were omitted, by President Obama, Ben Rhodes and their allies, ultimately sowed the seeds of its own self-destruction.

But before I get to the deal’s flaws, I must give credit where credit is due: The deal itself was not a complete failure, in that it does do one thing quite well (albeit temporarily), and that is it does, for a long stretch of time, keep Iran’s nuclear bomb aspirations locked down. Tehran agreed to, among other things, intrusive international inspections, a cap on its uranium stockpile to 300kgs (a 98 percent reduction) and limits on uranium enrichment far below anything that can be used to make a nuclear weapon. Additionally, the path to a plutonium-based nuclear weapon is largely eliminated as well.

That’s all for the good. Before the 2015 accord was signed, Iran had enough centrifuges and nuclear material to build as many as 8 to 10 nuclear weapons, perhaps creating the first one within three months—with the potential of sparking what could be a nasty regional war with large losses of life.

Today, that timeframe has been pushed back to a year. For that, the Obama administration surely deserves praise.

Unfortunately, this is where the good news ends, in large part because the agreement itself has several massive problems that turn it from a historic and transformative accord into a giant band-aid that ensures a crisis, sooner or later.

For starters, the deal clearly leaves intact large sections of Iran’s civilian nuclear program—with the ability to still enrich nuclear fuel—intact. While credit should be given for the large restrictions put in place by Obama’s negotiating team, the problem is never truly eliminated, just scaled back.

History will show that it was President Obama’s band-aid approach to foreign policy that deserved the credit for this disaster.

And that problem will surely get worse over time, as the poison pill in the deal was always that almost all its restrictions, designed to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear bomb, expire within 12-15 years after the deal was signed. That’s right, in a little more than a decade, Iran would have been free to do whatever it wanted with its nuclear program, unless a new accord was signed.

And that’s not all. The deal itself never addresses the ways in which Iran could deliver a nuclear weapon. That means no restrictions on Iran’s quickly growing capabilities to research and develop ballistic and cruise missiles. That’s like taking a criminal’s ammo away but allowing him to keep the gun, and worse still, allowing him to build better and better guns—think long-range missiles like ICBMs that could hit the U.S. homeland or allies like Europe—while waiting to get his ammo back.

There was also no attempt in this agreement dealing with Iran’s thug-like behavior internationally. Tehran has been causing problems throughout the Middle East for decades. From screaming “death to America” and threating Israel for decades, to arming terror groups around the region and more, Iran is perhaps the ultimate of rogue nations. It is hellbent on dislodging America from the Middle East for good. And yet, none of this was addressed in the nuclear accord, nor was Iran held accountable for any of its aggressive acts throughout the region.

Taking all of that into consideration, the Trump administration was put in a terrible bind upon taking office.

Staying in the deal meant the threat posed by Iran would only grow over time, and would leave an economically powerful and rich Iran—thanks to its sales of oil and gas—with the ability to develop a nuclear arsenal shortly after Trump left office.

The other option—which it seems Trump has chosen—was to take on Tehran now, when it is much weaker, rather than leaving the problem to a future U.S. president to deal with (much like Obama did to Trump on North Korea). That meant pulling out of the deal, imposing sanctions and trying to force the issue to a head now, when America’s position is much stronger.

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What happens next is anyone’s guess. At least for the moment, Iran seems to be pushing for talks with Europe. Tehran threatened 60 days ago to abandon many of its commitments under the deal if Europe didn’t meet a deadline this weekend to somehow relieve sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. Only a week ago, Iran exceeded the cap on its stockpile of low-grade uranium. Then, to make matters worse, it said it will resume purifying uranium beyond the 3.67 percent enrichment allowed under the agreement. While it would need to get to 90 percent enrichment in order to build a nuclear weapon, all of this put together means only one thing: a showdown is coming.

Whatever happens now – whether it is a regional war in the Middle East, or a time of tense negotiations that lasts for years – it makes no rational sense to blame President Trump for a crisis with Iran. History will show that it was President Obama’s band-aid approach to foreign policy that deserved the credit for this disaster.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE FROM HARRY KAZIANIS

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6056170836001_6056174013001-vs Harry Kazianis: Iran and America are headed for a showdown. And no, it’s not Trump’s fault Harry J. Kazianis fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 7ede044d-5d8a-5ce6-bc23-737ff0a24cd3   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6056170836001_6056174013001-vs Harry Kazianis: Iran and America are headed for a showdown. And no, it’s not Trump’s fault Harry J. Kazianis fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 7ede044d-5d8a-5ce6-bc23-737ff0a24cd3

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Trump, putting aside Rapinoe’s attack, congratulates women’s soccer team on World Cup win

President Trump unequivocally congratulated the United States women’s soccer team after its repeat World Cup win on Sunday — putting aside, at least for the moment, the firestorm surrounding star midfielder Megan Rapinoe’s vow never to visit the White House.

“Congratulations to the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on winning the World Cup!” Trump tweeted. “Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!”

Rapinoe, the pink-haired team captain who emerged with the Golden Ball as top player and the Golden Boot as top scorer, has been an outspoken opponent of what she’s described as systemic inequality in the United States. Rapinoe previously knelt during the national anthem prior to rules changes that barred the practice.

GAME RECAP: HOW DID THE WIN GO DOWN?

“I’m not going to the f—— White House,” Rapinoe said in a widely publicized magazine interview in June. “No f—— way will we be invited to the White House. [Trump] tries to avoid inviting a team that might decline. Or, like he did when the [Golden State] Warriors turned him down, he’ll claim they hadn’t been invited in the first place.”

Rapinoe has largely stood by her comments in recent weeks, except for the explicit language she used. On Saturday, Rapinoe said that she believed that “not many, if any” of her teammates would visit the White House if they won the final against the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, one of her teammates, Ali Krieger, expressed support for Rapinoe’s refusal to go to the White House and said she wouldn’t attend either.

RAPINOE SAYS WOMEN PAY FOR SOCCER WINS IS ‘NOT FAIR,’ CALLS FOR QUADRUPLING IT

“I refuse to respect a man that warrants no respect,” Krieger told CNN. “I feel that staying silent at times can side with the oppressor and I didn’t want her to feel like she was having to process this all alone, because a lot of us do have those similar feelings.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19188636697509 Trump, putting aside Rapinoe's attack, congratulates women's soccer team on World Cup win Gregg Re fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/newsedge/sports/womens-world-cup fox news fnc/politics fnc e82946a2-6cfc-5771-b416-a5f87d637f4f article

United States’ Megan Rapinoe celebrating her team’s victory Sunday. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

Trump had responded earlier this week to Rapinoe’s initial remarks with a mixture of criticism and magnaminty.

“Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team,” Trump tweeted. “I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!”

Trump added, “We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose.”

Rapinoe previously said the pay disparity for champions in women’s soccer, compared to the men, was “not fair,” and called for doubling or even quadrupling the prize money awarded to women’s teams.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino recently announced a proposal to expand the 2023 Women’s World Cup from 24 to 32 teams and double the prize money from $30 million to $60 million. However, the men’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar has a prize purse set at $440 million, up from $400 million in Russia last year.

MEGAN RAPINOE: ‘I’M UNIQUELY AND VERY DEEPLY AMERICAN’

“If you really care, are you letting the gap grow?” Rapinoe asked. “Are you scheduling three finals on the same day? No, you’re not. Are you letting federations have their teams play two games in the four years between each tournament? No, you’re not,” Rapinoe said.

In the end, U.S. indeed won its record fourth Women’s World Cup title and second in a row, beating the Netherlands 2-0 Sunday after Rapinoe converted a tiebreaking penalty kick in the second half and Rose Lavelle added a goal.

Following the win, chants of “equal pay” broke out at the stadium in Lyon, France — a reminder that players sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in March claiming gender discrimination.

Rapinoe scored in the 61st minute after a video review determined Stefanie van der Gragt had fouled Alex Morgan with a kick to the shoulder in the penalty area.

Two days past her 34th birthday, Rapinoe slotted the ball past goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal for her sixth goal of the tournament. The oldest player to score in a Women’s World Cup final, she struck a familiar victorious pose with arms outstretched.

“It’s surreal. I don’t know how to feel like now. It’s ridiculous,” Rapinoe said. “We’re crazy and that’s what makes us so special. We just have no quit in us. We’re so tight, and we’ll do anything to win.”

Lavelle, at 24 the team’s up-and-coming star, added her third goal of the tournament on an 18-yard left-footed shot in the 69th after a solo run from the center circle.

“She’s superstar, not even in the making, she’s straight up superstar at this point,” Rapinoe said.

The Americans never trailed in the tournament and set records with 26 goals and a 12-game World Cup winning streak dating to 2015. U.S. coach Jill Ellis became the first coach to lead a team to two Women’s World Cup titles, and the U.S. joined Germany in 2003 and 2007 as the only repeat champions.

“It’s just chemistry. They put their hearts and soul into this journey,” Ellis said. “They made history.”

Infantino handed over the trophy, a stark contrast to four years ago in Canada, when then-president Sepp Blatter was a no-show as U.S. prosecutors investigated corruption in soccer’s governing body. While the U.S. added a fourth star to its jersey, Germany is the only other nation that has even two.

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With confidence and brashness that some critics called even arrogant — triggering a backlash that the angry response was sexist — many analysts agreed the American team established a standard of excellence that exceeded the U.S. champions of 1991, 1999 and 2015, becoming a goal for all others to match. Former U.S. players joined the current generation on the field for the postgame celebration.

Rapinoe was given a standing ovation by the crowd when she subbed out in the 79th minute. The crowd of 57,900 at Stade de Lyon for Le Grand Finale included French President Emmanuel Macron.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19188636697509 Trump, putting aside Rapinoe's attack, congratulates women's soccer team on World Cup win Gregg Re fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/newsedge/sports/womens-world-cup fox news fnc/politics fnc e82946a2-6cfc-5771-b416-a5f87d637f4f article   Westlake Legal Group AP19188636697509 Trump, putting aside Rapinoe's attack, congratulates women's soccer team on World Cup win Gregg Re fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/newsedge/sports/womens-world-cup fox news fnc/politics fnc e82946a2-6cfc-5771-b416-a5f87d637f4f article

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NHL players facing assault charges after New York City arrests

The penalty box for two NHL players arrested on assault charges Sunday in New York City could be a jail cell.

Sonny Milano of the Columbus Blue Jackets and A.J. Greer of the Colorado Avalanche were charged after a dispute over money, NYPD spokesman Detective Ahmed Nasser told Fox News.

A 28-year-old man said he was injured when the dispute turned into a physical altercation, Nasser said. The man refused medical attention when cops arrived.

NEW YORK RANGERS SUFFER APPARENT MISCUE WHILE TRYING TO COURT TOP FREE AGENT

Milano, 23, and Greer, 22, were issued desk appearance tickets ordering them to return to court Sept. 4, Nasser said. The charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail.

Westlake Legal Group AJ-Greer-Sonny-Milano_Getty NHL players facing assault charges after New York City arrests Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc f81a297e-1e87-5ddc-ae7f-91e36bcffc06 article

A.J. Greer, left, of the Colorado Avalanche, and Sonny Milano, right, of the Columbus Blue Jackets, were arrested in New York City on misdemeanor assault charges stemming from a dispute over a bar tab at a nightclub. (Getty, File)

It all started with an argument over a bar bill at a nightclub and celebrity hangout in Manhattan, 1 Oak, The New York Post reported citing police sources.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS MASCOT SURPRISES 7-YEAR-OLD SUPERFAN WHO REQUESTED CUSTOM GRITTY-THEMED PROSTHETIC

The three left the club, went to a Greenwich Village apartment and about an hour later started arguing, the paper said.

Milano, of Long Island, N.Y., and Greer, of Joliette, Quebec, played in a limited number of games for their respective teams last season.

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The two teams issued statements saying they were aware of the allegations and were investigating, according to reports.

Westlake Legal Group AJ-Greer-Sonny-Milano_Getty NHL players facing assault charges after New York City arrests Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc f81a297e-1e87-5ddc-ae7f-91e36bcffc06 article   Westlake Legal Group AJ-Greer-Sonny-Milano_Getty NHL players facing assault charges after New York City arrests Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc f81a297e-1e87-5ddc-ae7f-91e36bcffc06 article

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‘Delinquent’ Colorado bear opened unlocked car, ‘butt-shifted’ vehicle downhill, police say

Colorado police are reminding drivers to keep their car doors locked after a “four-legged suspect” broke inside a vehicle and wrecked it during a short joyride last week.

A “delinquent” bear pulled open the driver’s side door on an unlocked car Thursday night, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said.

The animal jumped in and became trapped when the door closed behind it.

BEAR IN CALIFORNIA RIPS APART INTERIOR OF UNLOCKED CAR, DEFECATES AND SPITS INSIDE

The bear dug through all four doors and ripped apart the paneling. The animal then “apparently butt-shifted the car into neutral,” police said. The vehicle rolled backward out of the driveway and continued about 100 feet downhill.

Westlake Legal Group colorado-bear-car 'Delinquent' Colorado bear opened unlocked car, 'butt-shifted' vehicle downhill, police say Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 7b5cf1b1-9004-51bc-967f-5c431847444c

The car was badly damaged after swiping a tree. Police called the vehicle “undrivable.” (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

On the way down, the vehicle swiped a tree, police said. While the crash made the car “undrivable,” it “popped open a door” that allowed for the bear’s escape.

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Bears will “will explore all possible food sources” – including vehicles and homes – and won’t stop until they succeed, Colorado Parks and Wildlife warned on its website. Drivers should take care not to leave food or garbage inside their cars during bear season, experts have said.

Westlake Legal Group colorado-bear-car 'Delinquent' Colorado bear opened unlocked car, 'butt-shifted' vehicle downhill, police say Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 7b5cf1b1-9004-51bc-967f-5c431847444c   Westlake Legal Group colorado-bear-car 'Delinquent' Colorado bear opened unlocked car, 'butt-shifted' vehicle downhill, police say Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 7b5cf1b1-9004-51bc-967f-5c431847444c

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Paul Batura: Netflix bans smoking — But what about other vices?

Westlake Legal Group Netflix5 Paul Batura: Netflix bans smoking -- But what about other vices? Paul Batura fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/opinion/media fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values/values fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 0ca2fb38-ff0c-5e22-84a0-d57ea77360c8

The popular streaming service Netflix announced plans this past week to exclude tobacco use from any of its new shows and movies that target younger audiences, specifically those below the age of 15.

“Netflix strongly supports artistic expression,” a spokesperson for the company announced in a statement. “We also recognize that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people.”

NETFLIX WILL CURB SMOKING IN ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING FOLLOWING COMPLAINTS ABOUT ‘STRANGER THINGS’

According to media reports, the decision stems from pressure from a Washington D.C. group called Truth Initiative, a large non-profit dedicated to eradicating tobacco and making its use “a thing of the past.”

Smoking is a nasty habit and no parent, especially those who are addicted to the daily use of cigarettes or other forms of tobacco products, want their kids to start using them. As such, eliminating the presence of the vice from television shows and movies young people watch makes good sense. After all, it is human nature to mimic what is glamorized or glorified, especially with impressionable young people.

Make no mistake – the dire health consequences of smoking are unassailable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1,300 people die each day from complications associated with smoking.

As an aside, but very related – I’ve been completely flummoxed by the simultaneous rise of anti-smoking forces and the increasing cultural acceptance of recreational marijuana use.

Does anybody not see the blatant contradiction? We demonize the Marlboro man and canonize the stoner?

But while I love the aroma of cigars and pipes – my grandfather and father once smoked both – I’ll acknowledge that Netflix’s decision to snuff out smoking is a good one – but it’s an uneven and wildly inconsistent standard.

What about other vices?

What about destructive behaviors – like having premarital sex and alcohol abuse?

My wife and I want our three sons to grow up to become responsible men who avoid the landmines that so often entrap and entangle young people today. Sadly, the typical television shows and movies contains material that’s the exact opposite of that ethic.

The CDC recently announced that 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted disease are popping up every year – with 9.5 million of them impacting people between the ages of 15 and 24.

In light of the “MeToo” era what about the depictions of scantily clad women – scenes that inevitably and eventually lead to the objectification of females and the very moral crisis we see unfolding on an almost daily basis with sexual harassment and worse?

What about the use of crass, crude and vile language that diminishes and demeans?

I know what you’re thinking:  This guy is a total prude, an out of touch puritan who wants to theocratize America and impose his narrow-minded mores on the rest of us.

Not quite. I simple want a healthier, happier and safer world for everybody.

As parents of three young boys, my wife and I trying to expose our children to good and wholesome things. We want to inspire them to grow up to become responsible men who see the value and potential in every person. We want to see them avoid the landmines that so often entrap and entangle young people today.

Sadly, the typical television shows and movies contains material that’s the exact opposite of that ethic.

The rise of streaming services like Pure Flix and VidAngel, entities that promise wholesome content, are in direct response to parents like us clamoring for uplifting family entertainment. It’s popular to deride Hallmark for its sappy and predictable movies – but they’re tapping into the same hunger that’s out there for clean content.

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It’s often said that companies only produce what people will consume – and there’s some truth in such a claim. But Focus on the Family, the organization I represent, has long had an online site called Plugged In that’s dedicated to helping parents discern what’s in a movie, show or music album. We don’t tell you whether you should watch or listen – we simply let you know what it’s about – and let you decide. It’s our most popular site, garnering millions of visits each month.

Netflix might be surprised how many new customers they would garner if they started producing content that parents actually want instead of themes that regularly fall short or even stand in opposition to the values of the millions of moms and dads like me who want to see our kids accomplish more in life than avoid the smoking habit.

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Westlake Legal Group Netflix5 Paul Batura: Netflix bans smoking -- But what about other vices? Paul Batura fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/opinion/media fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values/values fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 0ca2fb38-ff0c-5e22-84a0-d57ea77360c8   Westlake Legal Group Netflix5 Paul Batura: Netflix bans smoking -- But what about other vices? Paul Batura fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/opinion/media fox-news/opinion fox-news/faith-values/values fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 0ca2fb38-ff0c-5e22-84a0-d57ea77360c8

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Bride-to-be caught trying to scam hotel with painfully obvious scheme: ‘We thought she was having a psychotic break’

Westlake Legal Group lying-bride Bride-to-be caught trying to scam hotel with painfully obvious scheme: 'We thought she was having a psychotic break' Michael Hollan fox-news/lifestyle/bridezillas fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 55d4d1fd-9725-548a-a82d-9833035492b5

Weddings are expensive, so it’s understandable for couples to try and save a few dollars here and there. That doesn’t excuse attempted fraud, however.

A hotel worker shared a story to Reddit revealing the time that a bride-to-be attempted to scam the establishment. Unfortunately, her alleged plan seemingly wasn’t very well thought out and the hotel saw right through it.

In a story that appeared on Reddit’s Bridezilla forums, the author claims that several years ago, they worked at a hotel that was “popular for wedding receptions.” According to the post, the establishment had “beautiful grounds for photos, great food and a lovely dining room.”

“We had a wedding coordinator who made a wedding plan book with everything you could think of from colored ribbon samples balloon choices food lists you name it, it was in this book and the bride got a copy of everything,” the poster said. “Brides were invited to view the room the night before the reception to approve table placement and we had one table fully set as an example with flowers etc.”

BRIDE CAUGHT SCAMMING HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS FROM HER WEDDING PARTY: ‘THAT’S A CRIMINAL’

Unfortunately, this specific incident didn’t go well. When the bride showed up, it seemed like everything was wrong. “Bridezilla turns up late for her viewing and goes crazy to the point we thought she was having a psychotic break,” the post claims. “…the china was the wrong pattern, the silverware was wrong, the glasses weren’t cut crystal, the flowers were wrong the ribbons were the wrong shade everything was wrong we were ruining her wedding.”

At this point, the wedding coordinator reportedly took the upset woman into her office and called the fiancé. This is where things started to fall apart for the bride-to-be. “Everything we had done was right according to the wedding book everything checked with the bride and literally signed off (she made the bride sign for everything as it was picked and any changes were signed next to),” the post says. “Her fiancé went out to the car and brought in a file with her dream wedding reception in it she had literally pasted cut out articles from magazines over her copy of the wedding book thinking we would honor it at the last minute. So she was told that she either abided by the contract she made with us or she could have her dream wedding but no reception and the hotel would sue her for the costs.”

“The reception went ahead without a hitch, and everyone said it was wonderful. Thank god for Valium,” the story concludes.

Users on Reddit were not impressed with the scheme. One user commented, “Pretty much, I think (the coordinator) had dealt with bridezillas before and came up with the book out of self-preservation, everything was documented and signed. Stops the lawyers making money but it doesn’t stop a bride from losing their shit though.”

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Other users agreed that the “wedding book” was a good idea, with one posting, “The book and contract have all the markings of “lessons learned the hard way.”

Another user added, “That is an exceptionally smart wedding coordinator. She has all the receipts!”

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Other users were surprised that the groom went along with such a seemingly poorly thought out plan. One user posted, “What surprises me more than the bride being unreasonable is the guy playing along to a level where he brings an edited file to the reception that has originally created it… or was he not even aware?”

Westlake Legal Group lying-bride Bride-to-be caught trying to scam hotel with painfully obvious scheme: 'We thought she was having a psychotic break' Michael Hollan fox-news/lifestyle/bridezillas fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 55d4d1fd-9725-548a-a82d-9833035492b5   Westlake Legal Group lying-bride Bride-to-be caught trying to scam hotel with painfully obvious scheme: 'We thought she was having a psychotic break' Michael Hollan fox-news/lifestyle/bridezillas fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 55d4d1fd-9725-548a-a82d-9833035492b5

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Chloë Grace Moretz granted restraining order against alleged stalker

A judge granted Chloë Grace Moretz a restraining order against an alleged stalker after the man reportedly trespassed on her family’s Los Angeles property in less than 24 hours.

Moretz’s brother, Brandon, went to police after the incidents to obtain a temporary restraining order against 18-year-old Justin Alexander Behr, TMZ reports.

Behr is reportedly facing felony stalking charges following the second trespassing charge.

CHLOE GRACE MORETZ SAID MALE CO-STAR TOLD HER SHE’S ‘TOO BIG’

In court documents obtained by the site, Brandon alleges that Behr scaled their private gate and banged on the windows and doors of the family’s home last Sunday.

Westlake Legal Group chloe-grace-moretz-getty Chloë Grace Moretz granted restraining order against alleged stalker Jessica Sager fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 0f0f85b2-dfe5-5126-bab8-74b93a3936e8

Chloë Grace Moretz attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills. A judge granted Moretz a restraining order against an 18-year-old man who allegedly trespassed on her family’s property twice in less than 24 hours. (Getty)

The actress’ family called the police, who arrested Behr — only for the troubled trespasser to return less than a day later.

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For his second arrest, Behr’s bail reportedly shot up from $1,000 the first time to $150,000.

A rep for Moretz did not immediately return a request for comment.

Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group chloe-grace-moretz-getty Chloë Grace Moretz granted restraining order against alleged stalker Jessica Sager fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 0f0f85b2-dfe5-5126-bab8-74b93a3936e8   Westlake Legal Group chloe-grace-moretz-getty Chloë Grace Moretz granted restraining order against alleged stalker Jessica Sager fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 0f0f85b2-dfe5-5126-bab8-74b93a3936e8

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California earthquakes have everyone asking the Big Question — when will the Big One come?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6056288382001_6056288805001-vs California earthquakes have everyone asking the Big Question -- when will the Big One come? Michael Guillen fox-news/world/disasters/earthquakes fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/science fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 962e21f2-9cde-58e5-8092-dbc2054de8dc

I was born and reared in Southern California, so the quakes now rattling the northern Mojave Desert area 150 miles east of Los Angeles are nothing new to me. Some things never change – and in this case, never will or should.

Earthquakes are called natural disasters. But in fact they are Earth’s way of releasing internal stress. Without quakes, the stress would build and build until the planet exploded.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COULD SEE MORE MAGNITUDE 6 EARTHQUAKES ‘IN THE NEXT WEEK’ AS TEMBLORS BECOME ‘WAKE-UP CALL’

That’s small comfort to quake victims, of course. Including those now enduring hundreds of nerve-wracking tremors, which so far have been punctuated by a 6.4 on the Fourth of July and a 7.1 the day after – the largest tremblors to rock California in two decades.

But quakes have been and always will be a way of life in the Golden State. That’s because it has the great misfortune of straddling the San Andreas fault, a major north-south fracture in the Earth’s crust where North America butts up against the Pacific Ocean plate.

Because the two massive crustal plates move in opposite directions (at about the rate your fingernails grow), the constant grinding and scraping between them causes the ground up and down the San Andreas to shudder. Sometimes the jagged edges catch and tension builds until the whole thing snaps catastrophically.

That’s what happened to San Francisco in 1989. A monster 6.7 quake, which I covered for ABC News, killed 67 people and caused more than $5 billion in damage.

The seismic hazards don’t stop there. Like a major river, the San Andreas has many tributaries – faults big and small that fan out and fracture the state from top to bottom. As a result, most Californians live within thirty miles of an active fault line, of which there are more than five hundred.

USGS supercomputers say there is a 31 percent chance The Big One will happen by mid-century – that a magnitude 7.5 quake will clobber Los Angeles. But that’s another thing that will never change: sketchy predictions.  

The two small faults causing the current commotion are new and unnamed. But they lie squarely within the notorious Little Lake Fault Zone between four volcanic mountain ranges, just north of a major east-west crack known as the Garlock Fault – all together a seismic hell once dubbed “the earthquake capital of the world.”

One thing that has changed in my lifetime is the science of earthquakes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) now has California wired with a vast network of super-sensitive quake detectors. Seismometers, tiltmeters, creepmeters, strainmeters, and other kinds of devices instantly pick up on the slightest movement, tilt, displacement, or pressure in Earth’s crust and alert scientists in Menlo Park, California.

The USGS is also experimenting with an early warning system for the public called ShakeAlert, which I wish had existed when I was growing up in Los Angeles. The moment the ground begins to significantly misbehave somewhere, the ShakeAlert app broadcasts a warning at the speed of light – 186,000 miles per second – far faster than the quake’s damaging wavefront, which typically advances at only 2 miles per second.

“ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes,” the official website explains, “to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems.”

All of this is welcome news for Californians who, as I did for so many years, live in constant dread of The Big One. But nothing will ever change the fact that The Big One will happen – ShakeAlert or no – and the damage and death toll will be staggering.

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USGS supercomputers say there is a 31 percent chance The Big One will happen by mid-century – that a magnitude 7.5 quake will clobber Los Angeles. But that’s another thing that will never change: sketchy predictions.

Consider that after the 6.4 quake on the Fourth of July, seismologists predicted a mere 2 percent chance that within a week there would be a magnitude 7-plus quake. Not only did a 7.1 quake strike with 100 percent certainty, it did so the very next day.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6056288382001_6056288805001-vs California earthquakes have everyone asking the Big Question -- when will the Big One come? Michael Guillen fox-news/world/disasters/earthquakes fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/science fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 962e21f2-9cde-58e5-8092-dbc2054de8dc   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6056288382001_6056288805001-vs California earthquakes have everyone asking the Big Question -- when will the Big One come? Michael Guillen fox-news/world/disasters/earthquakes fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/science fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 962e21f2-9cde-58e5-8092-dbc2054de8dc

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