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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 107)

Jason Chaffetz: Democrats pre-spinning Inspector General report is ‘true to script’

Westlake Legal Group CHAFFETZ Jason Chaffetz: Democrats pre-spinning Inspector General report is 'true to script' Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 1e3b354f-2ba5-5766-9427-ec6e354e9c88

A New York Times report alleging the FBI never tried to place undercover agents within the Trump campaign is yet another attempt to pre-spin Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s long-awaited report, former House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said Thursday.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends” with hosts Dean Cain, Lisa Boothe, and Pete Hegseth, Chaffetz said the article was “true to script” for the Democrats.

JASON CHAFFETZ: LIBERAL MEDIA TRYING TO ‘DIMINISH’ TRUMP, DOWNPLAY SERIOUSNESS OF IG HOROWITZ’S FISA REPORT

“By its very definition, a FISA application is a warrant to spy on somebody,” Chaffetz said. “This person, Carter Page, happened to be on the Trump campaign. So, the mere fact that they’re trying to discredit that says a lot about the weakness of their case and their allegations.”

Chaffetz added: “But, the reality is this happened and the Inspector General — this will be his fifth report that he’s come out with regarding the FBI at the highest echelons. And, let’s also remember: they didn’t spend 18 months working on this to say, ‘Hey, everything went swimmingly at the Department of Justice.'”

According to the Times, the Russia Inquiry review is expected to include evidence that “the FBI was careless and unprofessional in pursuing the Page wiretap.” Horowitz also reportedly referred some of his findings to prosecutors for “potential criminal charges over the alteration of a document in 2017 by a front-line lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, 37, in connection with the wiretap application.”

TRUMP ON ‘FOX & FRIENDS’: HOUSE DEMS ‘LOOKED LIKE FOOLS’ THIS WEEK, UPCOMING FISA REPORT WILL BE ‘HISTORIC’

“You have to have the highest security clearance they give at the Department of Justice and this one guy just happened to work on all of these types of reports,” Chaffetz said. “I hope he’s not just the scapegoat, but he is the attorney that’s assigned to go through, and the allegation of the article is that he manipulated the evidence, changed the documentation to achieve a political outcome which was to spy on the Trump campaign.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Chaffetz said the article is a “key flashing light” that says the FBI has “something to be worried about.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced that Horowitz’s report is set to be released on Dec. 9.

Westlake Legal Group CHAFFETZ Jason Chaffetz: Democrats pre-spinning Inspector General report is 'true to script' Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 1e3b354f-2ba5-5766-9427-ec6e354e9c88   Westlake Legal Group CHAFFETZ Jason Chaffetz: Democrats pre-spinning Inspector General report is 'true to script' Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 1e3b354f-2ba5-5766-9427-ec6e354e9c88

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

The White House has reportedly been unable to find any record of the call where Trump told Sondland there was ‘no quid pro quo’ with Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group tSMQW01Q-C0afI1Y9vkTRlLyLhtxjlgTmIEcvo06I_g The White House has reportedly been unable to find any record of the call where Trump told Sondland there was 'no quid pro quo' with Ukraine r/politics

Even if they did, Sondland’s recollection of the call sounds really damning for Trump.

According to Sondland, he didn’t ask about the security aid. He didn’t ask about a quid pro quo.

No, Sondland simply asked Trump “what do you want from Ukraine?”

To which Trump responds “No quid pro quo!”

It’s wild because Sondland hadn’t asked about that. Trump just volunteered it.

It’s like if I asked a guy “hey where is your wife?”

And he responds “I did not commit homicide against my wife!”

Like…. that is incredibly suspicious.

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

US skies packed with planes carrying Thanksgiving travelers

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6109706317001_6109707139001-vs US skies packed with planes carrying Thanksgiving travelers New York Post fox-news/travel fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/thanksgiving fnc/travel fnc Ebony Bowden article 80cbf144-022f-5594-8e3f-1d43319dbe5a

Come come fly the crowded skies.

The airspace above the United States was packed with planes on Wednesday as millions of Americans traveled for Thanksgiving.

WHOLE FOODS PUTS PUMPKIN PIES THROUGH HEATHROW AIRPORT BAGGAGE CAROUSEL

The flight-tracking computer image above shows flights over the continental US at 11:30 a.m. EST Thursday.

All told, more than 55 million people took to the roads, rails and skies on the holiday eve, according to the American Automobile Association — with many of those journeys snarled by two superstorms wreaking havoc.

Thousands of flights were canceled and major roads closed as the storms pummeled the West Coast and Midwest with hurricane-force gusts and dumped up to 30 inches of snow.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Hundreds of drivers were left stranded on a freeway between California and Oregon due to the blizzard conditions.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6109706317001_6109707139001-vs US skies packed with planes carrying Thanksgiving travelers New York Post fox-news/travel fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/thanksgiving fnc/travel fnc Ebony Bowden article 80cbf144-022f-5594-8e3f-1d43319dbe5a   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6109706317001_6109707139001-vs US skies packed with planes carrying Thanksgiving travelers New York Post fox-news/travel fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/thanksgiving fnc/travel fnc Ebony Bowden article 80cbf144-022f-5594-8e3f-1d43319dbe5a

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

The White House has reportedly been unable to find any record of the call where Trump told Sondland there was ‘no quid pro quo’ with Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group tSMQW01Q-C0afI1Y9vkTRlLyLhtxjlgTmIEcvo06I_g The White House has reportedly been unable to find any record of the call where Trump told Sondland there was 'no quid pro quo' with Ukraine r/politics

Even if they did, Sondland’s recollection of the call sounds really damning for Trump.

According to Sondland, he didn’t ask about the security aid. He didn’t ask about a quid pro quo.

No, Sondland simply asked Trump “what do you want from Ukraine?”

To which Trump responds “No quid pro quo!”

It’s wild because Sondland hadn’t asked about that. Trump just volunteered it.

It’s like if I asked a guy “hey where is your wife?”

And he responds “I did not commit homicide against my wife!”

Like…. that is incredibly suspicious.

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

Jim Daly: The Thanksgiving table is special – 5 tips to kick start meaningful conversation when you gather

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6109725305001_6109730608001-vs Jim Daly: The Thanksgiving table is special – 5 tips to kick start meaningful conversation when you gather Jim Daly fox-news/opinion fox-news/lifestyle/thankful-nation fox-news/faith-values/family fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/opinion fnc e5e6ba31-2a2f-5b07-8cb0-8b3de2be9f19 article

I love Thanksgiving and believe it ranks as one of the great American holidays – a time set aside to express our gratitude to God for this country and our many blessings.

Food may serve as the centerpiece of most gatherings this Thursday, but what are you going to talk about as you sit around the table?

Sadly, conversation is an art form some individuals and families have slowly lost over the years. Part of it has to do with fewer households eating together as a family due to busy schedules. Another reason is that so many of us are succumbing to the temptation to bring our smartphones and tablets to the table.

CAROL ROTH: THE AMERICAN DREAM IS ALIVE AND WELL — LET’S BE THANKFUL FOR IT

Whatever the case may be, you’ll likely soon find yourself seated around the table with loved ones, perhaps including a few friends and maybe even some distant relatives you only see once or twice a year. Are you tired of the same small talk each year … the weather, football and aches and ailments?

And then, of course, there are those “taboo” topics that some may raise – specifically politics.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER

How do you navigate the myriad of personalities and passions around the Thanksgiving table and yet still enjoy the time together?

Here are five tips to help kick start meaningful conversation:

1. Ask Questions

Conversation is like playing catch with a ball. It only works if the object is tossed back and forth. If you never throw, it’s not a catch. Nor is it a catch if you hold onto it after it’s been thrown to you.

As you think through what questions or topics to include in your list, consider your family’s personality. Goofy, lighthearted clans might enjoy silly “would you rather” type of questions sure to incite laughter. More serious families might appreciate recounting some of their more significant experiences that year.

No matter what the family’s temperament, the old Thanksgiving standby is always a good idea: What are you thankful for?

2. Ignore Your Phone

Gadgets can create an invisible barrier between us and others. Other times we use them as a “safety net” – bored? Check Facebook. Things get tense? Hide in your email. Is it absolutely necessary to post or tweet a picture of that plate of turkey and stuffing while you’re at the table?

Thanksgiving may not be the best time to discuss politics, but if someone launches into a stump speech for their favorite candidate, do your best to withhold a judgmental response, pro or con.

My suggestion is to take the temptation away. Perhaps you want to set a basket in the next room where guests can place their devices. Or maybe you want to make a game of it – first one to check their device has to help clean up or gets to pay for the next day’s stop at the coffee shop.

3. Wade Carefully into Controversy

Thanksgiving may not be the best time to discuss politics, but if someone launches into a stump speech for their favorite candidate, do your best to withhold a judgmental response, pro or con.

Instead, say something like, “I can see you care passionately about this” or “That’s very interesting” is a diplomatic but polite response. Just remember, you’re not going to save the world or likely change their mind by debunking or rebuking a personal opinion. Relax. Smile.

More from Opinion

4. Don’t Expect Perfection

It’s OK if your Thanksgiving meal isn’t reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting.  Some years are just harder than others. Maybe it’s your first time around the table without a loved one who has passed away, or perhaps the family is reeling from the shock of bad news. Or maybe you have a rowdy toddler who screeches and hides cranberry sauce in the seat cushions.

Instead, focus on simply being together and giving each other grace.

If your family has lost someone, don’t avoid talking about them. Reminiscing can be therapeutic. If someone is going through a difficult personal situation, don’t be afraid to ask them what they need most.

5. Pray and Give Thanks!

Take a moment to pause and express appreciation to God for the people and good things in your life. Ask Him to comfort those in your circle who have hit a rough spot. Remember, it’s possible to be thankful despite disappointments and hardships.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Remember that every good conversation starts with good listening. When all else fails, remember most people’s favorite topic is themselves. Show interest in others and they’ll likely show interest in you.

In the end, though, don’t stress over it. As the Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde once observed, “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JIM DALY

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6109725305001_6109730608001-vs Jim Daly: The Thanksgiving table is special – 5 tips to kick start meaningful conversation when you gather Jim Daly fox-news/opinion fox-news/lifestyle/thankful-nation fox-news/faith-values/family fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/opinion fnc e5e6ba31-2a2f-5b07-8cb0-8b3de2be9f19 article   Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6109725305001_6109730608001-vs Jim Daly: The Thanksgiving table is special – 5 tips to kick start meaningful conversation when you gather Jim Daly fox-news/opinion fox-news/lifestyle/thankful-nation fox-news/faith-values/family fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/opinion fnc e5e6ba31-2a2f-5b07-8cb0-8b3de2be9f19 article

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

John Boyega Recalls Horrifying Moment His Lost ‘Star Wars’ Script Ended Up On eBay

Westlake Legal Group 5ddfc07b2500005723d2e85b John Boyega Recalls Horrifying Moment His Lost ‘Star Wars’ Script Ended Up On eBay

Star Wars” actor John Boyega has recalled the terrifying moment he learned the script for the next installment of the space opera franchise that he had misplaced was being sold on eBay.

“A way to feel your organs in your big toe mate, I tell you,” he said on Wednesday’s broadcast of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Boyega, who plays Finn in the films, revealed how he’d left the script for the ninth and final main episode under his bed and forgot to take it when he moved from his apartment.

“I received a call from my agent, saying, ‘Mate, I’ve just received a call from Disney and all the big Gods of the movie industry that you work for, that your livelihood comes from, saying that you lost the most powerful script in Hollywood right now,’” he explained.

Boyega’s agent even heard from Disney CEO Bob Iger and Lucasfilm President Kathy Kennedy over the incident. Disney managed to buy back the script back for “something like $85,” because the vendor hadn’t realized what he had on his hands, Boyega added.

Check out the interview above and Boyega’s non-spoilers for the upcoming film, which hits theaters on Dec. 20, below:

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

Jim Daly: The Thanksgiving table is special – 5 tips to kick start meaningful conversation when you gather

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6109725305001_6109730608001-vs Jim Daly: The Thanksgiving table is special – 5 tips to kick start meaningful conversation when you gather Jim Daly fox-news/opinion fox-news/lifestyle/thankful-nation fox-news/faith-values/family fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/opinion fnc e5e6ba31-2a2f-5b07-8cb0-8b3de2be9f19 article

I love Thanksgiving and believe it ranks as one of the great American holidays – a time set aside to express our gratitude to God for this country and our many blessings.

Food may serve as the centerpiece of most gatherings this Thursday, but what are you going to talk about as you sit around the table?

Sadly, conversation is an art form some individuals and families have slowly lost over the years. Part of it has to do with fewer households eating together as a family due to busy schedules. Another reason is that so many of us are succumbing to the temptation to bring our smartphones and tablets to the table.

CAROL ROTH: THE AMERICAN DREAM IS ALIVE AND WELL — LET’S BE THANKFUL FOR IT

Whatever the case may be, you’ll likely soon find yourself seated around the table with loved ones, perhaps including a few friends and maybe even some distant relatives you only see once or twice a year. Are you tired of the same small talk each year … the weather, football and aches and ailments?

And then, of course, there are those “taboo” topics that some may raise – specifically politics.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER

How do you navigate the myriad of personalities and passions around the Thanksgiving table and yet still enjoy the time together?

Here are five tips to help kick start meaningful conversation:

1. Ask Questions

Conversation is like playing catch with a ball. It only works if the object is tossed back and forth. If you never throw, it’s not a catch. Nor is it a catch if you hold onto it after it’s been thrown to you.

As you think through what questions or topics to include in your list, consider your family’s personality. Goofy, lighthearted clans might enjoy silly “would you rather” type of questions sure to incite laughter. More serious families might appreciate recounting some of their more significant experiences that year.

No matter what the family’s temperament, the old Thanksgiving standby is always a good idea: What are you thankful for?

2. Ignore Your Phone

Gadgets can create an invisible barrier between us and others. Other times we use them as a “safety net” – bored? Check Facebook. Things get tense? Hide in your email. Is it absolutely necessary to post or tweet a picture of that plate of turkey and stuffing while you’re at the table?

Thanksgiving may not be the best time to discuss politics, but if someone launches into a stump speech for their favorite candidate, do your best to withhold a judgmental response, pro or con.

My suggestion is to take the temptation away. Perhaps you want to set a basket in the next room where guests can place their devices. Or maybe you want to make a game of it – first one to check their device has to help clean up or gets to pay for the next day’s stop at the coffee shop.

3. Wade Carefully into Controversy

Thanksgiving may not be the best time to discuss politics, but if someone launches into a stump speech for their favorite candidate, do your best to withhold a judgmental response, pro or con.

Instead, say something like, “I can see you care passionately about this” or “That’s very interesting” is a diplomatic but polite response. Just remember, you’re not going to save the world or likely change their mind by debunking or rebuking a personal opinion. Relax. Smile.

More from Opinion

4. Don’t Expect Perfection

It’s OK if your Thanksgiving meal isn’t reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting.  Some years are just harder than others. Maybe it’s your first time around the table without a loved one who has passed away, or perhaps the family is reeling from the shock of bad news. Or maybe you have a rowdy toddler who screeches and hides cranberry sauce in the seat cushions.

Instead, focus on simply being together and giving each other grace.

If your family has lost someone, don’t avoid talking about them. Reminiscing can be therapeutic. If someone is going through a difficult personal situation, don’t be afraid to ask them what they need most.

5. Pray and Give Thanks!

Take a moment to pause and express appreciation to God for the people and good things in your life. Ask Him to comfort those in your circle who have hit a rough spot. Remember, it’s possible to be thankful despite disappointments and hardships.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Remember that every good conversation starts with good listening. When all else fails, remember most people’s favorite topic is themselves. Show interest in others and they’ll likely show interest in you.

In the end, though, don’t stress over it. As the Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde once observed, “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JIM DALY

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6109725305001_6109730608001-vs Jim Daly: The Thanksgiving table is special – 5 tips to kick start meaningful conversation when you gather Jim Daly fox-news/opinion fox-news/lifestyle/thankful-nation fox-news/faith-values/family fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/opinion fnc e5e6ba31-2a2f-5b07-8cb0-8b3de2be9f19 article   Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6109725305001_6109730608001-vs Jim Daly: The Thanksgiving table is special – 5 tips to kick start meaningful conversation when you gather Jim Daly fox-news/opinion fox-news/lifestyle/thankful-nation fox-news/faith-values/family fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/opinion fnc e5e6ba31-2a2f-5b07-8cb0-8b3de2be9f19 article

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

China Condemns U.S. Over Hong Kong. That Won’t Stop Trade Talks.

Westlake Legal Group 28china-hongkong1-facebookJumbo China Condemns U.S. Over Hong Kong. That Won’t Stop Trade Talks. United States International Relations Leung Chun-ying International Trade and World Market Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

SHANGHAI — China vented on Thursday after President Trump signed new human rights legislation covering the protest-wracked city of Hong Kong. It denounced the new law as illegal interference in its own affairs. It summoned the American ambassador for the second time in a week. It vowed retaliation.

The threats sounded severe. They also sounded empty.

Behind the harsh rhetoric, China has few options for striking back at the United States in a meaningful way. And it has bigger priorities — namely, the increasingly punishing trade war between the two countries. Though both sides are talking about their willingness to reach a deal, they have yet to sign even an interim pact that would head off potentially damaging new tariffs less than three weeks from now.

On Thursday, Beijing’s main mouthpiece on trade remained quiet on the legislation even as other officials railed against it, suggesting that the government remained open to a trade deal and would let the volatile issue of Hong Kong simmer, at least for now.

“Beijing will make a lot of noises but they can’t afford to do much,” said Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute in London, a research center. “The trade deal is so important to the Chinese that they won’t let anything upset it.”

On the face of it, President Trump’s two signatures look like a direct brushback against Beijing’s rule over Hong Kong. The former British colony operates under its own laws but has come increasingly under the sway of Beijing, one reason behind the increasingly violent protests that have troubled the Chinese territory for five months.

The first bill authorizes the American government to impose sanctions on Chinese or Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights abuses there. The second bill bans the sale of American-made tear gas, rubber bullets or other crowd-control equipment to the Hong Kong authorities.

China’s reaction was immediate but unspecific. It summoned Terry Branstad, the American ambassador to China, to complain about the Hong Kong legislation, after doing the same thing just three days ago. Hu Xijin, the well-connected editor of the nationalistic Global Times tabloid, said China could retaliate by banning the legislation’s drafters from China and Hong Kong, a move that would be symbolic at best.

At a daily news conference in Beijing on Thursday, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said Beijing may take unspecified countermeasures. “This so-called act will only make the broad Chinese people, including their compatriots in Hong Kong, more aware of the sinister intentions and hegemonic nature of the U.S.,” he said, adding that “the plot of the U.S. side is doomed to failure.”

Still, asked about trade, Mr. Geng said only that the United States should not implement the law “so as to not affect China-U.S. relations.” And at its weekly news conference on Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry — the arm of the Chinese government directly involved in trade talks — did not mention the American legislation.

The Trump administration has sent its own signals that it does not want the Hong Kong legislation to derail trade talks. Mr. Trump signed the bills in private, outside the presence of lawmakers, photographers and television crews. He also said, without offering specifics, that some of the provisions might infringe on the constitutional prerogatives of the presidency to oversee foreign policy, suggesting he may not implement them.

While the Chinese government sees the unrest in Hong Kong as a test of its strength and authority, it has reasons to put the economy first.

The trade war has contributed to an economic slowdown that has sent growth to its most sluggish pace in nearly three decades. Economic indicators in recent weeks suggest the slowdown has continued, if not worsened. The Communist Party governs with undisputed power in China based on a promise of a better life, so a slowdown could present a direct challenge to its rule.

At the same time, China has come to realize in recent weeks that it needs massive imports of meat to offset an epidemic that has killed half or more of the country’s pigs. The United States is the world’s second-largest producer of pork after China, the second-largest soybean producer for animal feed after Brazil and the largest beef producer.

China and the United States are far from ending their trade war. But both sides are trying to reach a stopgap pact, called the Phase 1 trade agreement. Reaching a deal could forestall another round of American tariffs set to go into effect on Dec. 15 on even more Chinese imports, including consumer goods like smartphones and laptops.

Chinese negotiators “feel that they’re getting enough out of the trade talks not to let other issues, like North Korea and other questions, get in the way,” said James Green, who was the top trade official at the United States Embassy in Beijing until last year and is now a senior associate at McLarty Associates, a Washington consulting firm.

China has let similar affronts pass without meaningful retaliation in recent months as it tries to seek a deal. For example, Chinese officials continued to negotiate after the Canadian authorities at the behest of Washington last year arrested a top executive of Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant. Negotiations continued also after the United States put more than two dozen Chinese companies and organizations on a blacklist over human rights concerns.

Beijing could take a similar approach to Hong Kong, where its problems would be difficult to solve quickly in any case.

Large-scale protests began in Hong Kong in June over a bill that would have allowed the extradition of Hong Kong residents and visitors to the opaque and often harsh judicial system in mainland China. While that Hong Kong government bill was finally withdrawn this autumn, protesters have broadened their goals to include the introduction of universal suffrage and a general amnesty for several thousand demonstrators who have been arrested at protests.

The unrest led to a major setback for Beijing on Sunday, when Hong Kong residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of antigovernment candidates in elections for neighborhood councils. The results signaled broad discontent with the territory’s Beijing-aligned leaders and undermined a Communist Party narrative that a silent majority in Hong Kong opposed the protests but dared not speak out.

Despite the setback, Beijing may now have the freedom to play the long game with Hong Kong. Tensions have eased and street violence has subsided considerably since the vote. Sunday’s elections were held with minimal disruptions.

Even before the vote, Hong Kong’s stock market had begun to climb again, even though the territory’s economy has fallen into a recession for the first time in a decade. On Tuesday, Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, raised billions of dollars through a share sale in Hong Kong, suggesting that the city remains a crucial financial center for Chinese companies.

That could give Beijing room to see what its opponents do next. In particular, the winners of Sunday’s vote will now have to show that they can meet the needs of their constituents. The more than 250 pro-democracy candidates who won local office for the first time last Sunday will have to deal with countless tiny community management issues, from the location of bus stops to complaints over air-conditioners that drip too much. Most of the city’s new district councilors, many of them in their 20s, campaigned on democracy issues instead of less glamorous community service.

“I just hope the radicals in the democratic camp haven’t bitten off more than they can chew,” said Leung Chun-ying, a former chief executive of Hong Kong who is now a top adviser to Beijing’s leadership.

Hong Kong’s core issues are unlikely to be solved anytime soon. They could extend past the American elections next year, when Chinese negotiators may face a new American president.

While Beijing may wait for now, the challenges presented by the American legislation are not likely to be forgotten. Mr. Trump’s signing of the bill could intensify fears within the Communist Party that its influence is waning in the territory and provoke additional efforts to tighten control.

Mr. Xi’s government said last month that it would roll out new steps to “safeguard national security” in Hong Kong, though it has not offered specifics.

The more the United States tries to “play the Hong Kong card,” said Tian Feilong, executive director of a research institute on Hong Kong policy in Beijing, “the deeper China’s anxiety over Hong Kong’s national security gets.”

“The central government will even more urgently consider its methods and systems to control Hong Kong,” Mr. Tian said.

Keith Bradsher reported from Shanghai, Javier C. Hernández from Beijing and Alexandra Stevenson from Hong Kong. Albee Zhang, Elsie Chen and Claire Fu contributed research from Beijing.

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

China Condemns U.S. Over Hong Kong. That Won’t Stop Trade Talks.

Westlake Legal Group 28china-hongkong1-facebookJumbo China Condemns U.S. Over Hong Kong. That Won’t Stop Trade Talks. United States International Relations Leung Chun-ying International Trade and World Market Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

SHANGHAI — China vented on Thursday after President Trump signed new human rights legislation covering the protest-wracked city of Hong Kong. It denounced the new law as illegal interference in its own affairs. It summoned the American ambassador for the second time in a week. It vowed retaliation.

The threats sounded severe. They also sounded empty.

Behind the harsh rhetoric, China has few options for striking back at the United States in a meaningful way. And it has bigger priorities — namely, the increasingly punishing trade war between the two countries. Though both sides are talking about their willingness to reach a deal, they have yet to sign even an interim pact that would head off potentially damaging new tariffs less than three weeks from now.

On Thursday, Beijing’s main mouthpiece on trade remained quiet on the legislation even as other officials railed against it, suggesting that the government remained open to a trade deal and would let the volatile issue of Hong Kong simmer, at least for now.

“Beijing will make a lot of noises but they can’t afford to do much,” said Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute in London, a research center. “The trade deal is so important to the Chinese that they won’t let anything upset it.”

On the face of it, President Trump’s two signatures look like a direct brushback against Beijing’s rule over Hong Kong. The former British colony operates under its own laws but has come increasingly under the sway of Beijing, one reason behind the increasingly violent protests that have troubled the Chinese territory for five months.

The first bill authorizes the American government to impose sanctions on Chinese or Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights abuses there. The second bill bans the sale of American-made tear gas, rubber bullets or other crowd-control equipment to the Hong Kong authorities.

China’s reaction was immediate but unspecific. It summoned Terry Branstad, the American ambassador to China, to complain about the Hong Kong legislation, after doing the same thing just three days ago. Hu Xijin, the well-connected editor of the nationalistic Global Times tabloid, said China could retaliate by banning the legislation’s drafters from China and Hong Kong, a move that would be symbolic at best.

At a daily news conference in Beijing on Thursday, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said Beijing may take unspecified countermeasures. “This so-called act will only make the broad Chinese people, including their compatriots in Hong Kong, more aware of the sinister intentions and hegemonic nature of the U.S.,” he said, adding that “the plot of the U.S. side is doomed to failure.”

Still, asked about trade, Mr. Geng said only that the United States should not implement the law “so as to not affect China-U.S. relations.” And at its weekly news conference on Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry — the arm of the Chinese government directly involved in trade talks — did not mention the American legislation.

The Trump administration has sent its own signals that it does not want the Hong Kong legislation to derail trade talks. Mr. Trump signed the bills in private, outside the presence of lawmakers, photographers and television crews. He also said, without offering specifics, that some of the provisions might infringe on the constitutional prerogatives of the presidency to oversee foreign policy, suggesting he may not implement them.

While the Chinese government sees the unrest in Hong Kong as a test of its strength and authority, it has reasons to put the economy first.

The trade war has contributed to an economic slowdown that has sent growth to its most sluggish pace in nearly three decades. Economic indicators in recent weeks suggest the slowdown has continued, if not worsened. The Communist Party governs with undisputed power in China based on a promise of a better life, so a slowdown could present a direct challenge to its rule.

At the same time, China has come to realize in recent weeks that it needs massive imports of meat to offset an epidemic that has killed half or more of the country’s pigs. The United States is the world’s second-largest producer of pork after China, the second-largest soybean producer for animal feed after Brazil and the largest beef producer.

China and the United States are far from ending their trade war. But both sides are trying to reach a stopgap pact, called the Phase 1 trade agreement. Reaching a deal could forestall another round of American tariffs set to go into effect on Dec. 15 on even more Chinese imports, including consumer goods like smartphones and laptops.

Chinese negotiators “feel that they’re getting enough out of the trade talks not to let other issues, like North Korea and other questions, get in the way,” said James Green, who was the top trade official at the United States Embassy in Beijing until last year and is now a senior associate at McLarty Associates, a Washington consulting firm.

China has let similar affronts pass without meaningful retaliation in recent months as it tries to seek a deal. For example, Chinese officials continued to negotiate after the Canadian authorities at the behest of Washington last year arrested a top executive of Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant. Negotiations continued also after the United States put more than two dozen Chinese companies and organizations on a blacklist over human rights concerns.

Beijing could take a similar approach to Hong Kong, where its problems would be difficult to solve quickly in any case.

Large-scale protests began in Hong Kong in June over a bill that would have allowed the extradition of Hong Kong residents and visitors to the opaque and often harsh judicial system in mainland China. While that Hong Kong government bill was finally withdrawn this autumn, protesters have broadened their goals to include the introduction of universal suffrage and a general amnesty for several thousand demonstrators who have been arrested at protests.

The unrest led to a major setback for Beijing on Sunday, when Hong Kong residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of antigovernment candidates in elections for neighborhood councils. The results signaled broad discontent with the territory’s Beijing-aligned leaders and undermined a Communist Party narrative that a silent majority in Hong Kong opposed the protests but dared not speak out.

Despite the setback, Beijing may now have the freedom to play the long game with Hong Kong. Tensions have eased and street violence has subsided considerably since the vote. Sunday’s elections were held with minimal disruptions.

Even before the vote, Hong Kong’s stock market had begun to climb again, even though the territory’s economy has fallen into a recession for the first time in a decade. On Tuesday, Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, raised billions of dollars through a share sale in Hong Kong, suggesting that the city remains a crucial financial center for Chinese companies.

That could give Beijing room to see what its opponents do next. In particular, the winners of Sunday’s vote will now have to show that they can meet the needs of their constituents. The more than 250 pro-democracy candidates who won local office for the first time last Sunday will have to deal with countless tiny community management issues, from the location of bus stops to complaints over air-conditioners that drip too much. Most of the city’s new district councilors, many of them in their 20s, campaigned on democracy issues instead of less glamorous community service.

“I just hope the radicals in the democratic camp haven’t bitten off more than they can chew,” said Leung Chun-ying, a former chief executive of Hong Kong who is now a top adviser to Beijing’s leadership.

Hong Kong’s core issues are unlikely to be solved anytime soon. They could extend past the American elections next year, when Chinese negotiators may face a new American president.

While Beijing may wait for now, the challenges presented by the American legislation are not likely to be forgotten. Mr. Trump’s signing of the bill could intensify fears within the Communist Party that its influence is waning in the territory and provoke additional efforts to tighten control.

Mr. Xi’s government said last month that it would roll out new steps to “safeguard national security” in Hong Kong, though it has not offered specifics.

The more the United States tries to “play the Hong Kong card,” said Tian Feilong, executive director of a research institute on Hong Kong policy in Beijing, “the deeper China’s anxiety over Hong Kong’s national security gets.”

“The central government will even more urgently consider its methods and systems to control Hong Kong,” Mr. Tian said.

Keith Bradsher reported from Shanghai, Javier C. Hernández from Beijing and Alexandra Stevenson from Hong Kong. Albee Zhang, Elsie Chen and Claire Fu contributed research from Beijing.

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

Man accidentally swallows dentures while eating pancakes, report says

WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO BELOW

An 80-year-old man in China wound up in the hospital after he allegedly swallowed his dentures while eating pancakes.  The man, identified as Mr. Shang, was brought to Jinan Central Hospital in East China hours after the accident when he realized that he was suddenly missing teeth, according to AsiaWire.

MAN SWALLOWS DENTURES WHILE EATING SOUP 

“I ate two buns, then I wanted to eat a pancake,” he reportedly told the outlet. “While eating the pancake, I couldn’t find my dentures. I needed my teeth to eat the pancake but I couldn’t find them. I thought ‘Oh no. My teeth fell into my stomach.’”

Westlake Legal Group StomachTeeth-04 Man accidentally swallows dentures while eating pancakes, report says fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/digestive-health fox-news/health/dental-health fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 8117be19-b614-513f-901b-11b13b2107ee

Shang’s dentures were located in his digestive tract, which proved difficult to remove without inflicting further damage.  (AsiaWire)

Shang’s self-diagnosis proved true when scans at the hospital showed what appeared to be a sharp metal object resting in his stomach.

“We located the dentures with the gastroscope,” Dr. Zhu Jingyu, the hospital’s head gastroenterologist, told the news outlet. “They were already inside the patient’s stomach. His esophagus and stomach both had abrasions.”

MAN UNDERGOES EMERGENCY SURGERY AFTER DENTURES FOUND LODGED IN THROAT 

The exam determined that Shang’s three false teeth, which were attached to a metal plate and had sharp hooks on either side, would need to come out, but deciding how was a challenge for Jingyu.

“The challenge of removing the dentures was in how we could do it without causing further abrasions to his stomach and esophagus,” he told AsiaWire. “Especially his esophagus, because of three sections which were particularly narrow. In the end, we tried several transparent caps and protective tubs, adjusted the angels and finally removed the false teeth from his stomach.”

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The entire procedure took two hours, according to the report, and Shang is expected to make a full recovery.

Westlake Legal Group pancake_istock Man accidentally swallows dentures while eating pancakes, report says fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/digestive-health fox-news/health/dental-health fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 8117be19-b614-513f-901b-11b13b2107ee   Westlake Legal Group pancake_istock Man accidentally swallows dentures while eating pancakes, report says fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/digestive-health fox-news/health/dental-health fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 8117be19-b614-513f-901b-11b13b2107ee

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