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Westlake Legal Group > fnc/us (Page 115)

Creator of France’s #MeToo fined for defamation

Sandra Muller, the central figure behind France’s version of the #MeToo movement, was ordered by a Paris court on Wednesday to pay the equivalent of $22,000 for defaming a man she had accused of sexual misconduct.

Muller, a journalist, launched #balancetonporc (denounce your pig) at the height of the global movement against sexual misconduct in October 2017 when she tweeted that former TV channel executive Eric Brion made sexually explicit comments to her.

Westlake Legal Group AP19268579189021 Creator of France’s #MeToo fined for defamation fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox news fnc/us fnc c67d45fe-2ae9-59f7-8e28-d9c7f8bf45bd Bradford Betz article

French journalist Sandra Muller gives a press conference, in Paris, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019.  (AP)

Muller was featured in TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year” 2017 edition alongside other #MeToo “silence breakers.”

Brion took Muller to court over the tweets, arguing that they harmed him and that his remarks were not harassment. The court ruled in his favor, ordering Muller to delete her tweets and to pay Brion $16,400 in damages and $5,400 in legal fees.

Muller said she worried the ruling will silence women who have experienced harassment.

“It’s a proceeding that’s intended to silence the victims,” she said at a news conference. “The message is clear: ‘Be quiet.'”

FORMER SEN. AL FRANKEN LANDS SIRIUSXM GIG TO START COMEBACK FROM SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS

Muller’s lawyer, Francis Szpiner, suggested the ruling could have implications for what, exactly, is considered sexual harassment in France.

The decision gives men license to say or do offensive things, he told reporters, and “if they only do it one time, it will be excused by the court.”

Brion, meanwhile, hailed the ruling on Twitter as a “victory of true justice” after “two years of rare violence.”

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Muller said she plans to appeal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19268578661336 Creator of France’s #MeToo fined for defamation fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox news fnc/us fnc c67d45fe-2ae9-59f7-8e28-d9c7f8bf45bd Bradford Betz article   Westlake Legal Group AP19268578661336 Creator of France’s #MeToo fined for defamation fox-news/world/world-regions/france fox news fnc/us fnc c67d45fe-2ae9-59f7-8e28-d9c7f8bf45bd Bradford Betz article

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Washington hiker stranded for 2 days with broken leg before discovered by runner on trail

A woman in Washington state spent two days stranded on a trail with a broken leg, wondering if she was going to make it out alive, before a trail runner heard the barks of her dog, found her, and then got help.

Barbara Dadswell was out hiking with her dog on the Ashland Lake trail in Snohomish County on Sept. 14, about 60 miles north of Seattle, when she slipped on a log, broke her leg, and fell into a ravine.

“Slipped. And it snapped. And I don’t know how it happened. It just happened so fast,” Dadswell told KOMO News. “I knew the second it happened. I screamed so loud I thought the bears would go for help. But they’re no help.”

ITALIAN MAN ACCIDENTALLY SHOOTS, KILLS FATHER DURING BOAR HUNT: REPORTS

Dadswell, who only had 4 bottles of water and some Slim Jims when she fell, then spent the next day and a half using her dog’s backpack, shoestrings and sticks to create a splint for her leg while attempting to once again reach the trailhead.

Westlake Legal Group WashingtonRescue1 Washington hiker stranded for 2 days with broken leg before discovered by runner on trail Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 7d2f4004-a03c-5cc9-b2fe-b68a2dec9ca6

Matthew Medina helped get rescuers to Barbara Dadswell after she slipped, broke her leg, and fell down a ravine. Medina heard her dog barking while out running, and discovered her. (KOMO News via NNS)

On the second day of attempting to crawl up to the trailhead, a runner heard the cries of her dog and came across the injured hiker.

“I feel like it was a big coincidence or it was just a lot of luck. I had a friend that suggested the trail. And I had some time that evening to go for a trail run. Yeah, she was very lucky that day,” the runner, Matthew Medina, told KOMO News.

After discovering Dadswell, Medina then ran two miles down to her car to get her food and other supplies. He then went back to the car and drove to a Ranger Station to call 911.

MOM OF GIRL, 5, WHO SURVIVED SUICIDAL DAD’S NEW YORK SUBWAY JUMP SAYS SHE FELT ‘SOMETHING WAS WRONG’

About 20 people from the Snohomish County Volunteer Search & Rescue responded to the scene and spent several hours rescuing Dadswell from the remote and rugged trail.

“It’s very satisfying,” volunteer rescuer Mike Loney told the television station. “It makes you proud to be out there with the team doing what you do. It certainly feels good to make a difference sometimes.”

Dadswell, who underwent surgery last week on her knee, has since been moved from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility.

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Medina told KOMO News he’s just grateful he went for a run after finishing work for the day.

“The fact that she’s able to walk away from this now is really good,” he said Tuesday. “Definitely got my workout for the day. It was a long day, but it was worth it.”

Westlake Legal Group WashingtonRescue1 Washington hiker stranded for 2 days with broken leg before discovered by runner on trail Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 7d2f4004-a03c-5cc9-b2fe-b68a2dec9ca6   Westlake Legal Group WashingtonRescue1 Washington hiker stranded for 2 days with broken leg before discovered by runner on trail Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc article 7d2f4004-a03c-5cc9-b2fe-b68a2dec9ca6

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28 wild horses killed in Hurricane Dorian ‘mini tsunami’ off North Carolina coast

A Hurricane Dorian “mini tsunami” dragged 28 wild horses in North Carolina’s Outer Banks to their deaths earlier this month, according to reports.

After being swept away by floodwaters on Cedar Island on the Pamlico Sound Sept. 6, the horses’ bodies began to wash up on nearby beaches, The Charlotte Observer reported. Other missing horses are presumed dead.

WILD HORSES OF NORTH CAROLINA TO RIDE OUT HURRICANE WITH ‘BUTTS TO THE WIND’

“It was a mini tsunami,” herd manager Woody Hancock said, according to The Observer. “The horses normally see the water start to rise in a storm and migrate to higher ground, but they just didn’t have time. The shift in the wind happened too fast and they were taken off guard and washed off the island.”

He said people who have lived on the island their whole life said they had never seen anything like Dorian.

Westlake Legal Group wild-horses-north-carolina-iStock 28 wild horses killed in Hurricane Dorian 'mini tsunami' off North Carolina coast fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 1367a562-62ac-525c-a8e2-3fa8144cf24e

Wild Horses rest on the beach just north of Corolla, NC – file. (iStock)

“It wasn’t like a normal hurricane. Areas that normally flood didn’t see flooding, and spots that never get it were devastated,” he said. The horses “didn’t have a chance.”

The hurricane hit the Outer Banks on Sept. 6 as a Category 1 with winds at nearly 100 mph.

The 28 horses make up more than half of the island’s 49-horse herd. They were identified by their branding.

The herd roams freely on 1,000 acres of private land on the island.

Some of the surviving horses managed to swim to nearby islands, the Observer reported.

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“This has really affected everybody on the island,” Hancock said, according to The Observer. “All the horses were named after local people on the island and so every family felt a connection to the herd.”

Westlake Legal Group wild-horses-north-carolina-iStock 28 wild horses killed in Hurricane Dorian 'mini tsunami' off North Carolina coast fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 1367a562-62ac-525c-a8e2-3fa8144cf24e   Westlake Legal Group wild-horses-north-carolina-iStock 28 wild horses killed in Hurricane Dorian 'mini tsunami' off North Carolina coast fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 1367a562-62ac-525c-a8e2-3fa8144cf24e

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Chilling last words of dad who jumped in front of train with daughter in arms

Westlake Legal Group Subway-NYC Chilling last words of dad who jumped in front of train with daughter in arms New York Post Lorena Mongelli fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fnc/us fnc b7122e76-93f6-59e3-92af-cdf48ef9be28 article Aaron Feis

A distraught Bronx dad said the final words “With God, with God, with God, here comes the train” before jumping in front of a subway car while holding his 5-year-old daughter, who miraculously survived, his wife revealed Tuesday.

Fernando Balbuena, 45, spoke those chilling last words in Spanish — “Con dios, con dios, con dios que alli viene el tren” — to wife Niurka Caraballo in a phone conversation that sent her running out of the couple’s Grand Concourse home to the nearby Kingsbridge Road station Monday morning, only to find it was too late.

3 SAILORS ASSIGNED TO USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH COMMIT SUICIDE IN SAME WEEK

“They [witnesses] speculate he was fighting with someone on the phone, but the only person he was on the phone with was me,” Caraballo, 41, said Tuesday in Spanish.

Balbuena scooped the couple’s daughter, Ferni, up into his arms and leaped into the path of a southbound No. 4 train, horrifying dozens of commuters packing the platform of the elevated station at 8 a.m.

Balbuena died, but his daughter escaped virtually unscathed, and was able to crawl along the track bed to the outstretched arm of a good Samaritan who lowered himself down to rescue her.

Though she’s physically fine, Ferni has yet to process the trauma of exactly what happened, asking for her dad, and believing he might still walk through the door, said Caraballo.

“Ferni was very close to him,” said Caraballo. “After what happened, she is saying, ‘Daddy is in the hospital. He hurt his stomach.’ ”

Now, both Ferni and her 2-year-old brother, ­Fernandcq, will be forced to grow up without their father.

Caraballo acknowledged Balbuena’s long-running battle with depression, but said he was on medication, and that Monday’s act was stunning.

“My husband is a serious man, responsible, quiet and reserved,” she said. “He was in treatment, he took his medication. We are all in shock.”

Caraballo said she is hopeful Ferni is young enough that the trauma won’t be burned into her memory.

“It is going to be a process, her living through that,” she said.

But she’s grateful for every day she has with Ferni after her near-death experience.

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“They are calling her the miracle girl,” said Caraballo. “My daughter was reborn yesterday.”

Click for more from the New York Post

Westlake Legal Group Subway-NYC Chilling last words of dad who jumped in front of train with daughter in arms New York Post Lorena Mongelli fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fnc/us fnc b7122e76-93f6-59e3-92af-cdf48ef9be28 article Aaron Feis   Westlake Legal Group Subway-NYC Chilling last words of dad who jumped in front of train with daughter in arms New York Post Lorena Mongelli fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fnc/us fnc b7122e76-93f6-59e3-92af-cdf48ef9be28 article Aaron Feis

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

Maryland pastor tells girl demons inside her provoked him to try to rape her: police

A Maryland pastor was arrested Saturday after allegedly attempting to rape a young girl in January while she was a member of his congregation, according to police.

Octavio Cantarero, 42, of Gaithersburg, Md., allegedly told the minor that demons inside her had provoked him to commit the offense.

Cantarero has been charged with attempted second-degree rape and other sexual offenses against a minor relating to the alleged incident at Pentecostal Principe De Paz Church where he is a pastor, Montgomery County Police said in a statement.

REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER GUILTY OF 1988 TEXAS ATTACK, DEATH OF DOCTOR THREE DECADES LATER

Westlake Legal Group Cantarero-275x300 Maryland pastor tells girl demons inside her provoked him to try to rape her: police fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 2deec5b8-46cd-57d7-9b41-57423fedd64f

Octavio Cantarero, 42, of Gaithersburg, Md., is accused of trying to rape a young girl who was staying in a room at his church. (Montgomery County Police)

Police say Cantarero told the underage female victim, whose age was not released, that she was “too young to live alone” and provided her with a room to stay in at the church after they first met.

The pastor allegedly brought the girl to the church on Jan. 16 and showed her a room with a bed in it where he allegedly said the two would spend the night. The girl reportedly said she woke up to Cantarero trying to rape her, but she resisted. Police say the pastor asked the girl not to tell anyone and offered to pay for her clothes, rent and school.

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The victim reported the alleged incident to police in May, prompting a Special Victims Division investigation by the department. Police issued a warrant for Cantarero’s arrest on Sept. 16 before he turned himself in Saturday. He is being held without bond.

Police are asking anyone who believes they or someone else may have been victimized by Cantarero to please call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.

Westlake Legal Group Cantarero-275x300 Maryland pastor tells girl demons inside her provoked him to try to rape her: police fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 2deec5b8-46cd-57d7-9b41-57423fedd64f   Westlake Legal Group Cantarero-275x300 Maryland pastor tells girl demons inside her provoked him to try to rape her: police fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 2deec5b8-46cd-57d7-9b41-57423fedd64f

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2 Venezuelan men allegedly nabbed with $5M in gold bars at Florida airport: report

Two Venezuelan men were arrested in Florida Friday after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said they found $5 million in gold bars in the small plane at a Florida airport, according to a report.

Jean Carlos Sanchez Rojas and Victor Fossi Grieco were taken into custody at Fort Lauderdale’s Executive Airport after CBP officers said they noticed loose rivets on the plane’s nose. They said they found about 230 pounds in gold bars inside, according to WTVJ.

DEPORTED ARMY VETERAN RETURNS TO US FROM MEXICO IN NEW BID TO BECOME CITIZEN

Westlake Legal Group Jean-Carlos-Sanchez-Rojas-and-Victor-Fossi-Grieco 2 Venezuelan men allegedly nabbed with $5M in gold bars at Florida airport: report fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 24a39bd4-4e96-5268-8626-d6eaeb35c49d

Jean Carlos Sanchez Rojas (left) and Victor Fossi Grieco  (Broward County Jail)

Neither had declared the gold with U.S. customs.

“Sanchez Rojas stated he knew the organization had smuggled gold previously into the U.S. and that he would receive a fee for his involvement with the gold smuggling,” a complaint read.

Sanchez Rojas allegedly said he had gotten the gold from various sources in Venezuela and planned to sell it in the U.S.

Fossi Grieco allegedly flew the plane that departed from Caracas.

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They are being held at the Broward County Jail, WTVJ reported.

Westlake Legal Group Jean-Carlos-Sanchez-Rojas-and-Victor-Fossi-Grieco 2 Venezuelan men allegedly nabbed with $5M in gold bars at Florida airport: report fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 24a39bd4-4e96-5268-8626-d6eaeb35c49d   Westlake Legal Group Jean-Carlos-Sanchez-Rojas-and-Victor-Fossi-Grieco 2 Venezuelan men allegedly nabbed with $5M in gold bars at Florida airport: report fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 24a39bd4-4e96-5268-8626-d6eaeb35c49d

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Illinois girl, 11, critical after being shot in head the day before her birthday, reports say

Westlake Legal Group Harvey-PD Illinois girl, 11, critical after being shot in head the day before her birthday, reports say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article a37fc9e6-781c-5054-b1ba-5450d9fdd6b3

An 11-year-old Illinois girl, who planned to celebrate her 12th birthday on Tuesday, reportedly was shot in the head the night before while inside her home and is now fighting for her life, reports say.

The shooting unfolded around 9 p.m. Monday inside the home in Harvey, which is about half an hour from Chicago, while Kentavia Blackful’s family was inside, WLS-TV reported, citing police.

The family was in the living room watching the Chicago Bears game and putting finishing touches on Blackful’s birthday party when shots were fired outside and went through the front window, WGN-TV reported, adding that Blackful was sitting at her computer when a bullet hit her in the head.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT WANTS CHICAGO’S LAWSUIT AGAINST HIM MOVED TO FEDERAL COURT

Her family reportedly said Blackful, who turned 12 hours after she was shot, was choosing T-shirt designs for her birthday party.

“I was sitting in the living room by the window and we just heard gunshots and my son said, ‘Get down’ and he went to knock all of us down, but it was too late, she was already hit,” the girl’s grandmother, Bretta Blackful, said.

Paramedics rushed her to a nearby hospital in critical condition, according to reports.

“She’s trying to fight as much as she can at this point, but we’re still in prayer that she pulls through,” Bretta Blackful said.

CHICAGO WEEKEND SHOOTINGS LEAVE 8 DEAD, 40 WOUNDED

The girl’s grandfather, Dennis Hunt, told WGN he saw two men walk by the home on Monday and he thought they were responsible.

“I was sitting on the porch drinking a beer, and I saw two dudes come from that way with some hoodies on,” Hunt said.

The sixth grader reportedly is an honor student and a basketball player at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School.

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Police were still looking for the people responsible and a $3,500 reward was being offered for information in the case, according to local reports.

“It’s a shame that we’re sitting here in the house and we can’t even sit in the house. A child cannot play,” Bretta Blackful told WLS. “Today is my baby’s birthday, and for them to take her birthday from her, and she has a basketball game today. She was looking forward to this.”

Westlake Legal Group Harvey-PD Illinois girl, 11, critical after being shot in head the day before her birthday, reports say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article a37fc9e6-781c-5054-b1ba-5450d9fdd6b3   Westlake Legal Group Harvey-PD Illinois girl, 11, critical after being shot in head the day before her birthday, reports say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article a37fc9e6-781c-5054-b1ba-5450d9fdd6b3

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Registered sex offender guilty of 1988 Texas attack, death of doctor three decades later

A Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty of capital murder of a doctor who died last year, 30 years after a sexually motivated attack that left her incapacitated.

George Guo, 58, was convicted of attacking, raping and strangling Dr. Katherine Bascone in her home in the wealthy Dallas enclave of Highland Park. The attack left Bascone with a brain injury that resulted in blindness and paralyzing injuries that required lifetime care. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty for Guo,

POLICE ADVOCATES TO POLITICIANS: STOP ‘DEMAGOGUERY’ AND START BACKING MEN AND WOMEN IN BLUE

Authorities were unable to identify a suspect at the time but after Bascone died in February 2018 and a medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, they reopened the case and resubmitted DNA samples collected from Bascone’s home.

Westlake Legal Group George-Guo- Registered sex offender guilty of 1988 Texas attack, death of doctor three decades later Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 2c3c60a6-8386-525e-adcb-3b8fdbe2f609

George Guo, 58, was convicted Monday following a jury trial. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty and Guo was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (Dallas County Jail via AP, File)

The testing led investigators in June 2018 to Guo, who was living in Houston and was a registered sex offender.

Guo was convicted in 1991 for burglary of a habitation after breaking into the apartment of a Southern Methodist University student in the Dallas area. Authorities broke down the apartment door and caught Guo with condoms, a ski mask, military tear gas and syringes filled with sedatives, prosecutors previously said.

Guo is a graduate of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, prosecutors said, and was a licensed physician at the time of the break-in.

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He also was convicted of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit sexual assault in a 1999 incident in which he was caught breaking into a young woman’s residence, authorities said.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison in that case and was released in 2013.

CLICK for more from FOX 4 News Dallas-Fort Worth.

Westlake Legal Group George-Guo- Registered sex offender guilty of 1988 Texas attack, death of doctor three decades later Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 2c3c60a6-8386-525e-adcb-3b8fdbe2f609   Westlake Legal Group George-Guo- Registered sex offender guilty of 1988 Texas attack, death of doctor three decades later Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 2c3c60a6-8386-525e-adcb-3b8fdbe2f609

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EPA threatens to withhold funds from California over air quality

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday threatened to withhold billions from California’s highway funds over the state’s purported failure to tackle air pollution.

The warning is the latest skirmish in an ongoing feud between California and the Trump administration. Last week, the EPA moved to roll back aspects of the Clean Air Act, which California has for years used to set its own emissions standards.

The federal government mandates how much pollution can be in the air. Lots of places in the country don’t meet those standards. But no state has more problems than California, where 85 percent of the population — 34 million people — is breathing dirty air.

Federal law requires states with dirty air to come up with a plan on how to reduce pollution. Those plans must be approved by the EPA. The agency has a backlog of these plans awaiting approval, and California accounts for more than 130 of them, or about one-third of the total.

Westlake Legal Group AP19267697176346-1 EPA threatens to withhold funds from California over air quality fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/science/planet-earth/pollution fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 293d0418-bc9d-5768-85b2-533c38c458c1

FILE: Drivers enter Sacramento on Highway 50 to come to a near stand still as traffic backs up in West Sacramento, Calif.  (AP)

In a Tuesday letter sent to the California Air Resources Board, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler chastised California for its backlog of pending rules and regulations to reduce pollution in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards.

Wheeler blamed California for the backlog on Tuesday, saying most of the plans are “inactive” and have “fundamental issues related to approvability.”

“California has failed to carry out its most basic responsibilities under the Clean Air Act, and as a result, millions of Californians live in areas that do not meet our nation’s air quality standards,” Wheeler said in a news release. “EPA stands ready to work with California to meet the Trump Administration’s goal of clean, healthy air for all Americans, and we hope the state will work with us in good faith.”

He asked the state to withdraw the plans and come up with new ones. If they don’t, the government would punish the state by withholding federal road dollars – a process that could take up to 18 months.

Wheeler’s letter lists six California plans that are not in compliance. The letter also chastises Southern California’s Coachella Valley for an inadequate plan addressing the 2008 ozone standard.

Much of California’s smog problem comes from its 35 million registered cars and trucks, the most of any state. But the problem is also compounded in Southern California, home to two of the world’s largest ports where much of the country’s freight passes through and is carried away on diesel trucks and trains.

Only the federal government can regulate emissions from trains, planes, ships and heavy-duty trucks, according to Richard Corey, the executive officer of the California Air Resources Board.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION MOVES TOWARD NATIONAL FUEL ECONOMY STANDARD, PREPARES FOR LEGAL BATTLE WITH CALIFORNIA

“California and other states had to go to court, repeatedly, to get the EPA to implement the strict smog standards it claims to be worried about,” he said.

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The EPA says it plans to issue $40 million in grants to help areas around the country meet federal air quality standards, including several communities in California.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19267697176346-1 EPA threatens to withhold funds from California over air quality fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/science/planet-earth/pollution fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 293d0418-bc9d-5768-85b2-533c38c458c1   Westlake Legal Group AP19267697176346-1 EPA threatens to withhold funds from California over air quality fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/science/planet-earth/pollution fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 293d0418-bc9d-5768-85b2-533c38c458c1

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California halts failed prison gang peace effort after brawls, riots

Corrections officials in California have halted a failed experiment aimed at forcing warring prison gangs to make peace after multiple attempts to integrate inmates resulted in fights and riots.

Officials began gradually allowing inmates from different gangs in prison exercise yards together a year ago in the doomed peace effort. Previously, gang members were mostly kept in their cells for long periods without access to programs that could shorten their sentence.

However, the end result at several state prisons were violent brawls some critics allege were orchestrated by corrections officers.

Prison officials “are kind of at the point where they realize this isn’t working,” Shaun Spillane, a spokesman for the corrections department’s inspector general, told The Associated Press.

CALIFORNIA GANG MEMBERS GET DECADES IN PRISON FOR MURDERING 19-YEAR-OLD MARINE

Westlake Legal Group AP19264031602156 California halts failed prison gang peace effort after brawls, riots Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox news fnc/us fnc article ae3823e5-f34c-5092-85b0-2cb811b859cb

In this Jan. 14, 2009 file photo newly arrived inmates are escorted into the California State Prison, Corcoran. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File )

Spillane denied inmates were made to fight at the behest of corrections officers.

Most of the violent confrontations involved the Fresno Bulldogs, a gang with more than 6,000 loosely affiliated members in the Central Valley city of Fresno. The gang’s name and symbol come from the California State University in Fresno, which uses a bulldog as its mascot.

The gang has participated in 32 fights with other prison gangs in the last year. The battles ranged from small fights to full-scale riots.

“Every threat group is having issues with the Bulldogs, or vice versa. These are all Bulldogs vs. other threat groups,” Spillane said.

Of the 45 times prison officials put members of different gangs in the same yard, violence erupted 27 times, according to the inspector general’s office.

The most recent brawl occurred on Aug 14 at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, south of San Francisco, where 200 inmates rioted. Eight were treated in outside hospitals and another 50 treated in the prison.

A prison riot in July at Pleasant Valley State Prison involved 182 inmates. Three were treated for puncture wounds.

Westlake Legal Group AP19264031555571 California halts failed prison gang peace effort after brawls, riots Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox news fnc/us fnc article ae3823e5-f34c-5092-85b0-2cb811b859cb

In this Jan. 14, 2009 file photo inmates use the recreation yard at Corcoran State Prison. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File )

Past attempts to force peace talks between the Bulldogs and other gangs have gone the way of earlier attempts. In one instance, a fight occurred between five Bulldogs and another gang after talks broke down. They were initially uncuffed but separated by a fence.

The fight broke out after they were allowed back through the fence and ordered to return to their cells, said prisoner rights attorney Charles Carbone.

“Bulldogs basically have an attack-on-sight ethos,” Carbone said.

Richard Edmond-Vargas, a prisoner advocate who served time for robbery, blamed corrections officials for creating situations where violence is inevitable.

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“They actively put folks in this situation where they would have to fight and they know the culture of prison is that you have to fight,” Edmond-Vargas said.

Instead of resuming the program, officials will “explore options to find a resolution to this and safely house these individuals, corrections officials said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19264031602156 California halts failed prison gang peace effort after brawls, riots Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox news fnc/us fnc article ae3823e5-f34c-5092-85b0-2cb811b859cb   Westlake Legal Group AP19264031602156 California halts failed prison gang peace effort after brawls, riots Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox news fnc/us fnc article ae3823e5-f34c-5092-85b0-2cb811b859cb

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