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Westlake Legal Group > article (Page 950)

Brazil’s Bolsonaro will consider $40M G-7 Amazon aid package – if Macron apologizes to him

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he will think about accepting offers of international aid to fight raging fires in the Amazon region if French President Emmanuel Macron apologizes for comments he deemed offensive.

Bolsonaro said Tuesday that Macron called him a liar, and accused the French president of questioning Brazil’s sovereignty amid tensions over fires in the region — which Macron described as an issue “for the whole planet.”

WHY IS THE AMAZON RAINFOREST BURNING?

During the Group of Seven nations summit in Biarritz, southwest France, over the weekend, heads of state and government pledged $40 million — $20 million from the group, $12 million from the United Kingdom and $11 million from Canada — to help fight the fires.

But the chief of staff to Bolsonaro, a climate change skeptic with a pro-agrobusiness agenda, initially said Brazil wouldn’t accept donations from other countries.

“Thanks, but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe,” the chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, told Globo news website, according to a translation from Politico Europe.

In reference to the massive fire that broke out at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in April, he added: “Macron cannot even avoid a predictable fire in a church that is part of the world’s heritage, and he wants to give us lessons for our country?”

“We refuse because we see interference,” Brazil’s ambassador to France, Fernando Serra, echoed to French television network BFM TV. “[It’s] help we didn’t ask for. The G-7 help was decided without Brazil.”

AMAZON WILDFIRES GET SOME HELP FROM US FIREFIGHTING PLANE

At the G-7 summit on Monday, Macron said the Amazon, while mostly in Brazil, is a worldwide issue, and that the world cannot allow Bolsonaro to ruin the entire globe.

“We respect your sovereignty. It’s your country,” he said,” but noted the Amazon is “the lungs of the planet.”

Westlake Legal Group bolsonaro-macron-AP Brazil's Bolsonaro will consider $40M G-7 Amazon aid package - if Macron apologizes to him Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox-news/world/environment fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox news fnc/world fnc article 48684e97-c08d-5632-a00a-e37e5bdc447e

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he’ll think about accepting offers of international aid to fight raging fires in the Amazon region if French President Emmanuel Macron apologizes to him. (AP)

“The Amazon forest is a subject for the whole planet. We can help you reforest. We can find the means for your economic development that respects the natural balance. But we cannot allow you to destroy everything.”

Bolsonaro responded on Twitter Monday, calling Macron’s remarks “unreasonable attacks on the Amazon” — and said the French president is hiding behind the idea of an “alliance” among the G-7 countries, “as if [Brazil] were a colony or a no man’s land.”

FRANCE THREATENS BRAZIL ON TRADE DEAL, ESCALATING TENSIONS OVER AMAZON FIRES

“Other heads of state sympathized with Brazil, after all respect for the sovereignty of any country is the least that can be expected in a civilized world,” the Brazilian president tweeted.

But on Tuesday, Bolsonaro said, “we can speak” if Macron apologizes.

In addition to the $40 million offered by G-7 nations, and firefighting plans offered by Ottawa, other groups are also contributing support for the region. Earth Alliance, a new environmental foundation backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, is pledging $5 million in aid, saying the Amazon is one of the “best defenses” against climate change.

Bolsonaro says he is committed to protecting the Amazon and prosecuting anyone involved in illegal fires, many of which appear to be to have been set in already deforested areas to clear land for farming.

AMAZON WILDFIRES CAN BE SEEN FROM SPACE

He initially questioned whether activist groups might have started the fires as part of a coordinated effort to damage his government’s credibility. Bolsonaro’s administration has called for looser environmental regulations in the world’s largest rainforest to spur development.

Westlake Legal Group AP19238804407263 Brazil's Bolsonaro will consider $40M G-7 Amazon aid package - if Macron apologizes to him Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox-news/world/environment fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox news fnc/world fnc article 48684e97-c08d-5632-a00a-e37e5bdc447e

Firefighters rest briefly as they put out fires along the road to Jacunda National Forest, near the city of Porto Velho in the Vila Nova Samuel region which is part of Brazil’s Amazon, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. (AP)

About 60 percent of the Amazon region is in Brazil. The vast forest also spans parts of Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru and Suriname.

Bolsonaro has announced he would send 44,000 soldiers to help battle the blazes, and military planes have started dumping water on fires in the Amazon state of Rondonia — which some critics welcomed, but others said is too late.

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Fires are common during Brazil’s dry season, but the numbers surged this year. The country’s National Space Research Institute, which monitors deforestation, has recorded more than 77,000 wildfires in Brazil this year, a record since the institute began keeping track in 2013. That is an 85 percent rise over last year, and about half of the fires have been in the Amazon region — with more than half of those coming just in the past month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19238804407263 Brazil's Bolsonaro will consider $40M G-7 Amazon aid package - if Macron apologizes to him Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox-news/world/environment fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox news fnc/world fnc article 48684e97-c08d-5632-a00a-e37e5bdc447e   Westlake Legal Group AP19238804407263 Brazil's Bolsonaro will consider $40M G-7 Amazon aid package - if Macron apologizes to him Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox-news/world/environment fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox news fnc/world fnc article 48684e97-c08d-5632-a00a-e37e5bdc447e

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Tourists ignore warnings, pose at cliffside hours after woman dies taking selfies

Tourists can’t seem to stay away from a dangerous cliffside in Australia – despite warnings from officials and, most recently, the death of a 27-year-old woman who fell while taking selfies.

WOMAN PRAISED AFTER SUBWAY PHOTO SHOOT GOES VIRAL: ‘SHE IS MY NEW QUEEN’

On Aug. 17, the young woman plummeted off the cliff at Diamond Head Bay in Vaucluse, New South Wales, around 11:30 a.m., according to local reports. Her identity has not yet been released.

However, within hours of her death, tourists were still showing up to take pictures at the dangerous location – which is accessed only by climbing over a fence that has signs posted by emergency responders warning visitors of the unstable cliff edge.

Diamond Bay Reserve in Sydney, which was popularized by an Instagram influencer earlier this year, has been regularly inundated by tourists who jump the wire fence, despite the warnings and rules prohibiting them from venturing past it.

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Famed for its gorgeous view, the Sydney-area cliff has grown so popular in recent months that officials have installed physical barriers to prevent people from going out onto the edge. However, the “no selfie zones” have reportedly not helped prevent tourists from wandering out.

“There is an ongoing and justifiable concern that visitors are irresponsibly endangering themselves and others by crossing over fencing and boundary lines and positioning themselves on the cliff ledge,” a motion by the Waverly Council concluded in June.

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The council agreed to investigate ways to restrict or deter movement around the area, including the possibility of installing cameras and more physical barriers, 7News reports.

“A wind or a stumble or anything [and] that’s the end of them because it’s sheer cliff down,” resident Rona Kahn said to Australia’s Nine News in April.

“We do see a lot of tourists that come past, I believe there’s a tour bus that drops off a bunch of people and it makes sense, it’s super beautiful down here,” resident Laura Dewitt added.

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Westlake Legal Group iStock-1085598452 Tourists ignore warnings, pose at cliffside hours after woman dies taking selfies fox-news/travel/regions/australia fox news fnc/travel fnc article Alexandra Deabler 4ec8636b-1ff7-5c86-8a7c-26b67172512e

According to a global study, there were 259 people who died while taking selfies over six years. (iStock)

According to a global study, there were 259 people who died while taking selfies between 2011 and 2017.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-1085598452 Tourists ignore warnings, pose at cliffside hours after woman dies taking selfies fox-news/travel/regions/australia fox news fnc/travel fnc article Alexandra Deabler 4ec8636b-1ff7-5c86-8a7c-26b67172512e   Westlake Legal Group iStock-1085598452 Tourists ignore warnings, pose at cliffside hours after woman dies taking selfies fox-news/travel/regions/australia fox news fnc/travel fnc article Alexandra Deabler 4ec8636b-1ff7-5c86-8a7c-26b67172512e

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Veteran carries fellow Marine to Utah mountain summit: ‘We’re all a band of brothers’

Westlake Legal Group veterans-FOX Veteran carries fellow Marine to Utah mountain summit: 'We're all a band of brothers' fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 239d1bd6-33d2-58e4-bdec-45c60bedfedd

When it comes to the U.S. Marines, one of their core beliefs is to leave no man behind.

That motto was on full display last week when retired Marine Sgt. John Nelson was caught on video carrying his friend and fellow Marine, Staff Sgt. Jonathon Blank, to the summit of Utah’s Mount Timpanogos.

Blank lost his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2010, with Nelson nearby when the blast occurred. The two, who served together on long-range reconnaissance missions, joined “Fox & Friends” Tuesday to detail the inspirational journey, which spanned 14 miles and 4,500 feet of elevation.

The sight of Nelson carrying Blank, who weighs about 135 pounds, on his back left two fellow hikers in awe and one shared the video on Facebook.

MILLENNIALS CARE LESS ABOUT PATRIOTISM, RELIGION AND FAMILY THAN PREVIOUS GENERATIONS, STUDY SAYS

Phil Casper wrote, “They sought no special attention. The disabled vet said he weighed 135 lbs. They were committed to reach the summit. Having just exhausted myself to reach the summit with less than 5 lbs on my back, it was hard to fathom the drive that the pair possessed to achieve their goal. To have arrived where I met them was already an incredible accomplishment. It was a powerful and inspiring experience to see them on their way.”

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Nelson said he and Blank now plan to climb Mount Whitney, which is 14,500 feet high, in California on Veterans Day with other Marines assisting. He said he got the idea after helping a fellow Marine carry his mother, who suffers from MS, about halfway up the mountain.

“After that, basically, Jon was telling me he wanted to do it for five years, so Thursday I was like, ‘Hey let’s go climb Mount Timpanogos,” he recalled.

Blank said he hopes that others may be inspired to push through their own limitations in life and emphasized the bond that U.S. service members share after they serve in combat together.

“I try to stay close with all of our platoon. We’re all a band of brothers, we’re so tight. They’re my family,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group veterans-FOX Veteran carries fellow Marine to Utah mountain summit: 'We're all a band of brothers' fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 239d1bd6-33d2-58e4-bdec-45c60bedfedd   Westlake Legal Group veterans-FOX Veteran carries fellow Marine to Utah mountain summit: 'We're all a band of brothers' fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 239d1bd6-33d2-58e4-bdec-45c60bedfedd

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Pete Davidson slams ‘cancel culture’ in new stand-up set, cites Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly, Michael Jackson

Comedian Pete Davidson covered some controversial ground during his Las Vegas premiere stand-up show Sunday.

The 25-year-old performed at The Mirage’s “Aces of Comedy,” marking one year since he backed out of the city’s “Life Is Beautiful” festival following his highly publicized broken engagement to singer Ariana Grande. The star subsequently moved on by way of a fling with actress Kate Beckinsale, but the famous ex-girlfriends weren’t the focus of his performance.

ARIANA GRANDE GETS EMOTIONAL IN ‘VOGUE’ INTERVIEW ABOUT MAC MILLER, MANCHESTER BOMBING AND PETE DAVIDSON

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Davidson’s set put show business’ “cancel culture” on display and referenced now-disgraced public figures like Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly and Michael Jackson.

“It’s a weird time,” Davidson said onstage. “Jokes are very scary to tell. Isn’t that weird? That’s the scariest thing you could do right now. Tell a joke. Because really, I think people pick and choose what they want to be mad at. You, know? Because it’s all depending on if you like the person or not.”

Westlake Legal Group harvey-Weinstein-Getty-on-WP Pete Davidson slams 'cancel culture' in new stand-up set, cites Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly, Michael Jackson Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/r-kelly fox-news/person/pete-davidson fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 01430430-7663-5720-9cd1-74b681bb5d95

Comedian Pete Davidson mocked disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (pictured) in a recent stand-up set. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

He reportedly noted that not all canceled celebrities are created equal.

PETE DAVIDSON SPENDS FOURTH OF JULY WITH JUDD APATOW, ‘AVENGERS’ STAR CHRIS EVANS

“It’s easy to hate Harvey Weinstein because he’s ugly and fat, but then, like, R. Kelly comes around and you’re, like, ‘Well, he had his demons.’ But then ‘Ignition Remix’ was a great song.” Davidson continued. “So we can look past that. Harvey Weinstein didn’t have no ‘Ignition Remix.'”

Davidson also addressed the HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” on the same subject saying: “There’s a full two-hour documentary about Michael Jackson. People are like, ‘He had a rough childhood.’ People pick and choose.”

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The outlet reports that Davidson is embarking on a small stand-up tour ahead of returning to New York City to appear on “Saturday Night Live” for its Season 45 premiere. The hit sketch show revealed on Monday that Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish will kick off the new season followed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Taylor Swift the following week.

Westlake Legal Group pete-davidson-getty Pete Davidson slams 'cancel culture' in new stand-up set, cites Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly, Michael Jackson Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/r-kelly fox-news/person/pete-davidson fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 01430430-7663-5720-9cd1-74b681bb5d95   Westlake Legal Group pete-davidson-getty Pete Davidson slams 'cancel culture' in new stand-up set, cites Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly, Michael Jackson Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/r-kelly fox-news/person/pete-davidson fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 01430430-7663-5720-9cd1-74b681bb5d95

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Sen. Graham blasts Democrats for opposing reform of Flores agreement: ‘They hate Trump’

Westlake Legal Group Graham-trump-FOX-AP Sen. Graham blasts Democrats for opposing reform of Flores agreement: 'They hate Trump' Nick Givas fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7093d594-d3db-5a0e-a318-0dbea6ac166b

Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared Tuesday on “Fox & Friends” and said Democrats are suing the White House over the ending of the Flores agreement because ‘they hate” President Trump.

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that the DHS would be scrapping the court-ordered Flores agreement, which prohibits children from being held in detention for more than 20 days.

Co-host Steve Doocy asked Graham, R-S.C.,why the Flores agreement has been politicized. Graham repeated “they hate Trump” in response, arguing Washington needs people who don’t share such hatred of the president.

“I have been working on immigration for 10 years. I’m willing to deal with a DACA population…  I’m willing to spend money in Central America to make life better. I’ve done everything I know to do… I can’t get one Democrat to agree with me that you should apply for asylum in Central America, or Mexico, not the United States.”

The Flores ruling was the result of a 1980s case in which 15-year-old Jenny Flores was detained with adults by federal authorities after fleeing El Salvador. The Flores settlement allowed migrant children to be sent to care programs after 20 days. Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the new rule will replace Flores, while retaining most of its terms. It is set to take effect in October.

CBP COMMISSIONER CALLS NEW RULE A ‘GAME-CHANGER’ IN FIGHT AGAINST ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Graham criticized the 19 states and the District of Columbia, which are suing the Trump administration, and blamed them for worsening the illegal immigration crisis at the southern border.

“These states are supporting the magnets of illegal immigration,” he said. “The reason we’re being overrun is two reasons. If you come here and claim asylum… you never show up… All they’ve got to do is ask for asylum.

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“If you’re bringing a minor child, we can only hold the child for 20 days… Since you don’t want to separate families, we’ll let the entire family go. So they’re continuing a bad practice. Shame on these states… Congress should change our laws to allow you to hold minor children and their families long enough to process their claims.”

Graham further chastised Democrats for refusing to work with him across the aisle on illegal immigration and said he can’t find one lawmaker from the opposing party who will agree to reform Flores.

SOUTH DAKOTA GOVERNOR ACCUSES DEMS OF BEING HYPOCRITICAL ON TRADE TALKS: THEY DON’T WANT TRUMP TO WIN

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“I can’t get one Democrat to agree to allow children to be held with their families humanely for, 40, 50, or 100 days so we can process their claims,” he said.

“They literally want them released in the United States… They will not work with me. They will not work with President Trump. I am dumbfounded as to why we can’t find [a] compromise.”

Westlake Legal Group Graham-trump-FOX-AP Sen. Graham blasts Democrats for opposing reform of Flores agreement: 'They hate Trump' Nick Givas fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7093d594-d3db-5a0e-a318-0dbea6ac166b   Westlake Legal Group Graham-trump-FOX-AP Sen. Graham blasts Democrats for opposing reform of Flores agreement: 'They hate Trump' Nick Givas fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7093d594-d3db-5a0e-a318-0dbea6ac166b

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Alabama’s Nick Saban invites Ray Rice to talk to team about ‘how to treat the opposite sex’

Westlake Legal Group ray-rice-told-nfl Alabama's Nick Saban invites Ray Rice to talk to team about 'how to treat the opposite sex' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/sports/ncaa/alabama-crimson-tide fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc cfb96529-27d0-598d-bdbf-52e4c255ea82 article

Alabama football coach Nick Saban invited former NFL running back Ray Rice, whose pro career ended after he was infamously caught on video punching his then-fiancée, to speak to the Crimson Tide last week about domestic violence and “how to treat the opposite sex.”

Rice, a former member of the Baltimore Ravens, had his NFL career cut short, back in 2014. He was suspended and essentially became persona non grata in the league, leading him to officially announce his retirement and start a new career as an advocate against domestic violence.

 SWINNEY: NO. 1 CLEMSON TO PLAY SEVERAL NEW FACES ON D-LINE

Saban provided AL.com with details of what Rice would be talking about in the event.

“Well, he’s obviously going to talk about how to treat the opposite sex and having the proper respect for other people,” Saban said. “And I think that’s important to relationships. It’s important as a person to be able to do those things in a very respectful manner.”

Saban added: “I think a lot of the players can relate to [Rice’s] circumstance. And it will be interesting to hear a guy that has had issues that now has turned a corner and has really done everything he can to help other people not have the same problem that he has. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him doing that and we’re certainly glad to have him here.”

Rice has previously spoken to Georgia and Ohio State football programs, according to College Football Talk.

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Each year, Saban invites at least one “Title IX speaker” to discuss several topics. This season, he’s also invited ESPN stars Jay Bilas and Stephen A. Smith, as well as former boxing champion Mike Tyson.

Westlake Legal Group ray-rice-told-nfl Alabama's Nick Saban invites Ray Rice to talk to team about 'how to treat the opposite sex' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/sports/ncaa/alabama-crimson-tide fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc cfb96529-27d0-598d-bdbf-52e4c255ea82 article   Westlake Legal Group ray-rice-told-nfl Alabama's Nick Saban invites Ray Rice to talk to team about 'how to treat the opposite sex' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/sports/ncaa/alabama-crimson-tide fox-news/sports/ncaa-fb fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc cfb96529-27d0-598d-bdbf-52e4c255ea82 article

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Lindsey Vonn shows off engagement ring from P.K. Subban on VMAs red carpet

Lindsey Vonn and her new fiance P.K. Subban were practically glowing on the VMAs red carpet just days after announcing their engagement.

The Olympic skier opted for a black minidress with matching thigh-high boots and of course, her emerald engagement ring was on full display. The professional hockey player for the New Jersey Devils looked equally as handsome in a burgundy suit for the awards show.

Westlake Legal Group lindsey-vonn-ring-getty Lindsey Vonn shows off engagement ring from P.K. Subban on VMAs red carpet Sasha Savitsky fox-news/person/lindsey-vonn fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 2646525c-3850-5b19-9b32-36f9a187fae2

Lindsey Vonn shows off her emerald engagement ring from fiance P.K. Subban at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Jim Spellman/FilmMagic)

On Friday, Vonn, 34, shared the exciting news on Instagram.

LINDSEY VONN HAS A ‘BAYWATCH’ MOMENT IN REVEALING WHITE BATHING SUIT

“I said YES!!! 💍❤️Can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this crazy/kind/handsome/hyper/giving man #heputaringonit #isaidyes,” Vonn captioned a video of the couple chatting about the major moment.

Subban, 30, also revealed the news to his social media followers with a similar video, captioned with several emojis.

LINDSEY VONN SHOWS OFF ABS IN SI SWIMSUIT SHOOT POST RETIREMENT

In July 2018, the NHL star gushed over his three-time Olympic medal-winning partner to Fox News.

“I haven’t met anyone who’s tougher than her yet,” Subban said of Vonn. “But what she’s gone through – just how she’s done it and how she’s managed to bounce back from those serious injuries and remain at the top, I don’t think I know another athlete that’s been as successful as she has pre-and-post injuries.”

LINDSEY VONN’S BOYFRIEND P.K. SUBBAN GUSHES OVER HER 

He continued: “It says a lot about her character, and now I get to see it every day – just how hard she works and how much she takes great care of herself… I haven’t met anyone tougher than her yet.”

The hockey player also couldn’t contain his excitement about gracing the cover of a special edition of Sports Illustrated at the time, which highlighted the 50 best-dressed athletes in sports.

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“To be on the cover, not just by myself, but with Lindsey – it’s really cool to be on the cover for fashion,” he explained. “It’s probably not something I would imagine happening at this point in my career, but very happy about it.”

Fox News’ Julius Young and Mariah Haas contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group lindsey-vonn-pk-subban-vmas-2019-ap Lindsey Vonn shows off engagement ring from P.K. Subban on VMAs red carpet Sasha Savitsky fox-news/person/lindsey-vonn fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 2646525c-3850-5b19-9b32-36f9a187fae2   Westlake Legal Group lindsey-vonn-pk-subban-vmas-2019-ap Lindsey Vonn shows off engagement ring from P.K. Subban on VMAs red carpet Sasha Savitsky fox-news/person/lindsey-vonn fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 2646525c-3850-5b19-9b32-36f9a187fae2

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US and Taliban could be forced into awkward alliance to take out ISIS in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the enemy of my enemy is my friend — sort of

It may have seemed inconceivable 18 years ago following the September 11 terrorist attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan, but the United States is inching closer to a peace agreement with the Afghan Taliban, the group that provided safe haven for the Al Qaeda terror group responsible for the attack.

Any peace agreement reached would require the United States being on the same side as the religious extremist group to fight a common enemy: The Islamic State.

A negotiated settlement to end America’s longest war and bring U.S. troops home will not be easy, and an alliance between the former foes will only be feasible if the Taliban agrees to talks with the Afghan National Government and eventually enters into a power-sharing agreement. This coalition would incorporate Taliban insurgents into the Afghan National Army to fight against the Islamic State franchise in Afghanistan known as the Islamic State in Khorasan.

Although ISIS lost its territorial Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, the group has splintered and remains a threat around the region with several local franchises sprouting up, including in Afghanistan.

Westlake Legal Group afghan-wedding-blast-AP US and Taliban could be forced into awkward alliance to take out ISIS in Afghanistan fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox news fnc/world fnc Chris Massaro ba8391d7-a0d6-5bc9-9dd9-6c1cbca6d50d article

ISIS claimed responsibility for one of the deadliest suicide attacks in years, blowing up a wedding and killing 63 people while wounding nearly 200 earlier this month. (AP)

GRAHAM WARNS WITHDRAWING FROM AFGHANISTAN WILL LEAD TO ‘ANOTHER 9/11’

ISIS claimed responsibility this month for one of the deadliest suicide attacks in years, blowing up a wedding and killing 63 people while wounding nearly 200. The Taliban has been responsible for deadly attacks even while it negotiates with the U.S.; however, the group condemned this attack.

Former Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who is the U.S. envoy for peace talks with the Taliban, asserted that the attack proves a peace agreement with the Taliban is imminently necessary. The Taliban demand a timetable for the withdrawal of all U.S. and Western troops from the country. There are currently more than 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and nearly 17,000 overall serving under NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. The U.S. has offered a proposal to withdraw troops and the best way to accomplish this is to have peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

But what might a tacit alliance or cooperation between the U.S. and Taliban actually look like?

2 GREEN BERETS KILLED IN COMBAT IN AFGHANISTAN IDENTIFIED

“It might be more plausible that each will fight ISIS in its own way, perhaps with a degree of de-confliction. This also might be sufficient, since the Taliban and ISIS are already intensively at war with each other on more or less a daily basis,” Johnny Walsh, senior expert on Afghanistan for the United States Institute of Peace, told Fox News.

It certainly seems as if the old adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” plays out in Afghanistan.

“Last year, the Taliban essentially eradicated one of ISIS’ two main contingents in Afghanistan, by surrounding it before it surrendered to the Afghan government. This at least shows the ability of each force to contribute to a common goal, even if they do not literally “cooperate” and are deeply divided on other issues,” Walsh added.

Westlake Legal Group AP19232434050490 US and Taliban could be forced into awkward alliance to take out ISIS in Afghanistan fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox news fnc/world fnc Chris Massaro ba8391d7-a0d6-5bc9-9dd9-6c1cbca6d50d article

Afghans look at a banner displaying photographs of victims of the Dubai City wedding hall bombing during a memorial service, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019.  (AP)

If the U.S. and the Taliban strike a deal, ISIS will likely play the role of spoiler and could also inspire disaffected Taliban insurgents who may feel betrayed by a peace agreement with the U.S. to defect and join ISIS ranks. U.S. officials remain divided over the extent ISIS in Afghanistan poses. It’s unlikely the Khorasan group can coordinate and stage a 9/11-style attack on American soil, but with a fledgling government that doesn’t control its entire population, ISIS can further destabilize the country and keep Afghanistan in a constant state of conflict renewal. 

One of the major concerns surrounding reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban is the durability of the peace agreement. Experts and policymakers across the U.S. and Afghan society are skeptical that the Taliban will credibly commit to peacefully integrating into the national government and abandon their armed resistance.

Beyond joining the U.S.-Afghan government coalition to fight ISIS, the Taliban must also commit to several other preconditions.

JAMES CARAFANO: US MUST NOT ABANDON AFGHANISTAN – WE DON’T WANT OUR ENEMIES TO STRIKE AMERICA AGAIN

First, for the U.S. to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban must renounce Al Qaeda and commit to keeping Afghanistan free of terrorist activity. While the Taliban has pledged that Afghanistan will not become a hotbed for terrorism, the U.N. released a report in April 2018 that outlined the Taliban’s continued cooperation with Al Qaeda given the strong historical link between the groups.

“The Taliban has a long history of working alongside Al Qaeda, but the group has tried to reassure the U.S. that it is done with Al Qaeda and will counter Islamic State. Of course, the notion that the U.S. will now delegate counterterrorism responsibilities to the Taliban is deeply ironic,” Max Abrahms, professor of political science at Northeastern University, told Fox News.

The Taliban and ISIS are merely organizational rivals operating for control of the same territory rather than bitter enemies who share divergent world views. The Taliban refused to pledge alliance to the Islamic State Caliphate and even the flagrantly sectarian violence perpetrated by ISIS crosses the line of brutality for the Taliban, Walsh explained.

The Taliban must also enter into an intra-Afghan dialogue with the government in Kabul. Thus far, the Taliban has refused to talk with the elected Afghan National Government, believing the Kabul government is merely a puppet of U.S. and Western imperial interests.

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In this May 28, 2019 file photo, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group’s top political leader, third from left, arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for talks in Moscow, Russia.  (AP)

The Taliban must also commit to upholding women’s and minority rights, two of the most significant gains achieved by Afghans since the Taliban were deposed in December 2001. This has justifiably caused deep anxiety among Afghan women, who fear a return to the archaic and oppressive policies that the Taliban implemented when the group ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

“Women’s participation is important in any peace process, but never more than in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are notorious for denying women rights, and there has been extraordinary progress on women’s rights since the fall of the Taliban in 2001—progress that could easily be lost,” Heather Barr, senior researcher on women’s rights at Human Rights Watch, told Fox News.

In order to have a lasting peace and one that maintains the human rights of all groups, the Taliban must engage with the Afghan government. “The way to ensure that women and other under-represented groups have a say in the process is through them being included in an Afghan government delegation,” Barr added.

Initial negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban began in 2012 during the Obama administration and have ramped up during the Trump presidency. Both sides are eager to reach a deal by an unofficial September 1 deadline and must agree to a cease-fire to end what many call the forever war.

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Since the war began on October 7, 2001, 2,291 Americans soldiers have been killed and more than 20,000 injured. Just this year alone, the United Nations reported that in the first six months of 2019, 3,812 civilians were killed or wounded, including 1,207 children.

Westlake Legal Group afghan-wedding-blast-AP US and Taliban could be forced into awkward alliance to take out ISIS in Afghanistan fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox news fnc/world fnc Chris Massaro ba8391d7-a0d6-5bc9-9dd9-6c1cbca6d50d article   Westlake Legal Group afghan-wedding-blast-AP US and Taliban could be forced into awkward alliance to take out ISIS in Afghanistan fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox news fnc/world fnc Chris Massaro ba8391d7-a0d6-5bc9-9dd9-6c1cbca6d50d article

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NASA astronaut spouse’s family claims they were ‘frightened’ by demands during bitter custody battle

The estranged wife of Anne McClain said she went public with the NASA astronaut’s alleged financial and identity theft crimes — which may be the first criminal offenses to occur in space — after her family became “frightened” by McClain’s demands during a bitter custody battle.

Summer Worden, a former Air Force intelligence officer from Kansas, claims McClain stole her identity and accessed her bank account without permission — while she was orbiting the Earth during a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station — as part of her attempt to gain custody over Worden’s 6-year-old son, Briggs, who Worden gave birth to about a year before meeting McClain.

NASA ASTRONAUT ACCUSED OF STEALING IDENTITY, ACCESSING BANK ACCOUNT OF ESTRANGED WIFE WHILE IN SPACE

Worden told KTRK in an interview released Monday she wanted to keep quiet about the divorce and custody situation, following the advice of her attorney.

“We really didn’t want it to come back in my face and make it look like I was trying to retaliate against Anne or to ruin her career, which is obviously what she is stating now, that I’m trying to ruin her career,” Worden explained.

Westlake Legal Group Summer-Worden-Anne-McClain-LinkedIN-NASA NASA astronaut spouse’s family claims they were ‘frightened’ by demands during bitter custody battle Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/crime fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/us fnc e9b47b5c-19df-5bd0-9428-4fbecc19bc23 article

Summer Worden, left, claims her estranged wife, NASA astronaut Anne McClain, stole her identity while aboard the International Space Station. (LinkedIn/NASA)

But two weeks ago, when a judge granted McClain a visitation schedule, Worden said she felt she “had to come forward and tell my story because the momentum of the case was not going in the direction we were hoping it to go in accordance with the law and preserving my rights as a parent.”

Worden filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, and her parents filed a complaint with NASA’s Office of Inspector General, accusing McClain of assuming her identity and gaining improper access to her private financial records while orbiting Earth. She previously told The New York Times she was tipped off when McClain somehow had knowledge about her private spending while on a mission with no way to know otherwise.

NASA SCIENTIST BLASTS HINGE MATCH WHO JOKED SHE WAS PROBABLY ‘THE RECEPTIONIST’

She said she contacted her bank and was informed that her sign-in credentials had been used on a computer registered to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

“I was pretty appalled that she would go that far,” Worden said. “I knew it was not O.K.”

Worden’s mother, Beth Worden, said that before McClain was set to come home from space, Worden “was becoming more and more frightened and let us know about that…We were thinking, ‘What on Earth is going to happen?’ Surely there’s no way a third party can take our grandson. He’s our firstborn grandson.”

Westlake Legal Group Anne-McClain-2-NASA NASA astronaut spouse’s family claims they were ‘frightened’ by demands during bitter custody battle Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/crime fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/us fnc e9b47b5c-19df-5bd0-9428-4fbecc19bc23 article

Anne McClain, pictured here, denied the allegations against her and described the situation as “painful, personal separation.” (NASA)

When Worden and McClain wed in 2014, Worden refused McClain’s request to adopt the child. The Worden family told KTRK that McClain demanded she be allowed to legally adopt the 6-year-old child — despite Worden telling her no.

She took Worden to court in 2018 to get shared parenting rights after accusing Worden of having a temper and making poor financial decisions — but Worden filed for divorce after now-deleted pictures of her son and McClain were posted to her Twitter.

Not long after, McClain left for space.

“I just felt that she was almost held hostage,” Beth Worden said. “She was demanding that she had Briggs, this time, that time, and I could see how it was affecting Briggs.”

She added: “It seems like right now Anne controls our life. We have to be home at 7 o’clock, three nights a week, so she can FaceTime with him. Well, that’s the time that we’re eating dinner, just getting home from soccer practice, and then every other Saturday she gets to see him so that takes him away from us.”

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McClain tweeted Saturday there’s “unequivocally no truth to these claims.”

“We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunately in the media. I appreciate the outpouring of support and will reserve comment until after the investigation,” the astronaut wrote. “I have total confidence in the IG process.”

Worden wants McClain to “take the pressure off and drop the case and be a nice person,” and said the right thing to do, in order for her to have any type of relationship with Briggs, “is to stop trying to force and take through the court system.”

While on the ISS, McClain reportedly tried to secure a gag order to seal the court battle, but was denied. Their divorce trial is scheduled to begin in Houston, Texas, in September.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Summer-Worden-Anne-McClain-LinkedIN-NASA NASA astronaut spouse’s family claims they were ‘frightened’ by demands during bitter custody battle Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/crime fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/us fnc e9b47b5c-19df-5bd0-9428-4fbecc19bc23 article   Westlake Legal Group Summer-Worden-Anne-McClain-LinkedIN-NASA NASA astronaut spouse’s family claims they were ‘frightened’ by demands during bitter custody battle Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/crime fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/us fnc e9b47b5c-19df-5bd0-9428-4fbecc19bc23 article

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Obama gets political again, launches initiative to fight gerrymandering

Westlake Legal Group AP18300043944234-e1541186319563 Obama gets political again, launches initiative to fight gerrymandering Ronn Blitzer fox-news/person/barack-obama fox news fnc/politics fnc f28dc2d8-8111-507c-ad3f-13fa9d85fe36 article

Former President Barack Obama is back in the political arena, announcing a new initiative to combat partisan gerrymandering — though Republicans say the efforts are really about helping Democrats.

The “Redistricting U” program is part of the All on the Line campaign, which came about in February when Obama merged his Organizing for Action group with former Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Redistricting Action Fund. The effort aims to recruit and train individuals to take up the fight against drawing congressional districts based on partisan interests.

SUPREME COURT SAYS FEDERAL JUDGES HAVE NO ROLE IN POLICING GERRYMANDERING, LEAVING POLITICAL MAPS IN PLACE

“Training is at the heart of organizing. It’s why I’ve always made it a priority – from my 2008 campaign until now,” Obama tweeted Monday. “And it’s why I’m proud to announce @allontheline’s in-person training initiative, Redistricting U.”

Republicans, though, have accused Democrats of making it sound like they want fairness – when in reality they are hoping to position their party in a better position.

“If anyone tells you that @EricHolder is ‘fighting against gerrymandering’ and for ‘fair maps,’ just look at the form his organization filed with the IRS,” former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tweeted last week. “The truth: their mission is to ‘FAVORABLY POSITION DEMOCRATS FOR THE REDISTRICTING PROCESS.’”

According to All on the Line’s website, Redistricting U will be “sending dedicated trainers to cities across the country to train volunteers, give them the tools to impact the redistricting process in their state, hear from them on how to best make change in their communities, and empower them to be leaders in the movement for fair maps.”

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The organization is focused on impacting the redrawing of congressional districts, which will take place in 2021 following the collection of data in the 2020 census. They warn against “rigged electoral maps drawn with surgical precision by politicians to preserve their party’s political power and silence the will of the people.”

Partisan gerrymandering was a hot topic in the spring, when the Supreme Court declined to weigh in on the issue, determining in a ruling in two cases that the judiciary should not get involved because it is a political issue best left to lawmakers.

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One of the Supreme Court cases, Benisek v. Lamone, involved North Carolina, where Republicans had benefited from gerrymandering. All on the Line identified North Carolina as one of 10 “priority states,” along with Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Not on that list is Maryland, where Democrats had been accused of unfairly drawing district maps at the expense of Republicans in the Supreme Court’s other partisan gerrymandering case, Rucho v. Common Cause.

Westlake Legal Group AP18300043944234-e1541186319563 Obama gets political again, launches initiative to fight gerrymandering Ronn Blitzer fox-news/person/barack-obama fox news fnc/politics fnc f28dc2d8-8111-507c-ad3f-13fa9d85fe36 article   Westlake Legal Group AP18300043944234-e1541186319563 Obama gets political again, launches initiative to fight gerrymandering Ronn Blitzer fox-news/person/barack-obama fox news fnc/politics fnc f28dc2d8-8111-507c-ad3f-13fa9d85fe36 article

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