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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 112)

Navy Lets Accused SEALs Stay In Elite Unit; Fired Navy Secretary Slams Trump

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1153315453-bc782905aa55b22932b464a36850cd235c83af5c-s1100-c15 Navy Lets Accused SEALs Stay In Elite Unit; Fired Navy Secretary Slams Trump

Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher during a recess in his trial this summer in San Diego, Calif. Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Navy Lets Accused SEALs Stay In Elite Unit; Fired Navy Secretary Slams Trump

Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher during a recess in his trial this summer in San Diego, Calif.

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

“Shocking and unprecedented,” that’s how ousted Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer describes President Trump’s intervention in the Navy SEALs Trident scandal. Spencer was fired this week over the controversy.

He made his comments Wednesday in an op-ed published in The Washington Post. Spencer says Trump called him twice over the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher. Gallagher was charged with multiple crimes including killing a wounded ISIS fighter but was convicted only of a lesser offense of posing with the corpse of that captive.

President Trump ordered Gallagher moved out of the brig while awaiting trial. Later the president overturned his demotion after his conviction.

Spencer who’d been the Navy Secretary since 2017 questioned the commander in chief’s intervention in a “low-level” disciplinary action against a service member.

“The president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices,” Spencer writes in the Post.

Navy cancels review of others in war crimes case

In a new development, the Navy is canceling a review hearing for three other SEALs implicated in the Gallagher war crimes case. The move allows Lt. Jacob Portier, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Thomas MacNeil to keep their coveted Trident pins, which symbolize their membership in the elite SEALs unit. Thomas Modly who became acting secretary of the Navy this week said in a statement that neither the Navy nor the SEALs… “deserve the continued distraction and negative attention that recent events have evoked.”

Modly’s announcement follows Trump’s declaration on Twitter that the Navy would not be taking away Gallagher’s Trident pin.

Spencer while still secretary of the Navy chose not to interpret that tweet as a direct order. He scheduled a review hearing that could have led to Gallagher’s removal from the SEALs. In response Spencer was ousted from the top post in the Navy.

The need for military discipline

Janessa Goldbeck, a Marine veteran with the Truman National Security Project says taking this case out of the hands of commanders sends a message to others in the military.

“A review board of SEALs is the appropriate next step,” Goldbeck says of the Navy’s decision to suspend the review hearing of Portier, Breisch and MacNeil. “It’s disappointing to see the president undermine his leadership in this way.”

Former Navy Secretary Spencer says in his op-ed that military discipline works best when senior leadership stays out of it.

“Our system of military justice has helped build the world’s most powerful navy; good leaders get promoted, bad ones get moved out, and criminals are punished,” Spencer writes.

He adds that ethical conduct and the military justice system that enforces it are hallmarks of the U.S. military.

“We are effective overseas,” Spencer says. “Not because we have the best equipment but because we are professionals.”

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Navy Lets Accused SEALs Stay In Elite Unit

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1153315453-bc782905aa55b22932b464a36850cd235c83af5c-s1100-c15 Navy Lets Accused SEALs Stay In Elite Unit

Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher during a recess in his trial this summer in San Diego, Calif. Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Navy Lets Accused SEALs Stay In Elite Unit

Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher during a recess in his trial this summer in San Diego, Calif.

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

“Shocking and unprecedented,” that’s how ousted Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer describes President Trump’s intervention in the Navy SEALs Trident scandal. Spencer was fired this week over the controversy.

He made his comments Wednesday in an op-ed published in the Washington Post. Spencer says Trump called him twice over the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher. Gallagher was charged with multiple crimes including killing a wounded ISIS fighter but was convicted only of a lesser offense of posing with the corpse of that captive.

President Trump ordered Gallagher moved out of the brig while awaiting trial. Later the president overturned his demotion after his conviction.

Spencer who’d been the Navy Secretary since 2017 questioned the commander-in-chief’s intervention in a “low-level” disciplinary action against a service member.

“The president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices,” Spencer writes in the Post.

Navy cancels review of others in war crimes case

Meanwhile, in a new development, the Navy is canceling a review hearing for three other SEALs implicated in the Gallagher war crimes case. The move allows Lt. Jacob Portier, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Thomas MacNeil to keep their coveted Trident pins, which symbolize their membership in the elite SEALs unit. Thomas Modly who became Acting Secretary of the Navy this week said in a statement that neither the Navy nor the SEALs… “deserve the continued distraction and negative attention that recent events have evoked.”

Modly’s announcement follows Trump’s declaration on Twitter that the Navy would not be taking away Gallagher’s Trident pin.

Spencer while still Secretary of the Navy chose not to interpret that tweet as a direct order. He scheduled a review hearing that could have led to Gallagher’s removal from the SEALs. In response Trump then fired Spencer.

The need for military discipline

Janessa Goldbeck, a Marine veteran with the Truman National Security Project says taking this case out of the hands of commanders sends a message to others in the military.

“A review board of SEALs is the appropriate next step,” Goldbeck says of the Navy’s decision to suspend the review hearing of Portier, Breisch and MacNeil. “It’s disappointing to see the president undermine his leadership in this way.”

The former Navy Secretary, Spencer, says in his op-ed that military discipline works best when senior leadership stays out of it.

“Our system of military justice has helped build the world’s most powerful navy; good leaders get promoted, bad ones get moved out, and criminals are punished,” Spencer writes.

He adds that ethical conduct and the military justice system that enforces it are hallmarks of the U.S. military.

“We are effective overseas,” Spencer says. “Not because we have the best equipment but because we are professionals.”

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

‘Supergirl’ star Melissa Benoist reveals she is a domestic violence survivor in emotional video

Actress Melissa Benoist has opened up about experiencing domestic abuse.

The “Supergirl” star, 31, shared her story in a 14-minute Instagram video on Wednesday.

“I am a survivor of domestic violence, or IPV, intimate partner violence,” Benoist, 31, read from a written statement. “Which is something I never in my life expected I would say, let alone be broadcasting into the ether.”

CHRISTINA AGUILERA BREAKS DOWN WHILE RECEIVING AWARD FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER: ‘I’M A SURVIVOR OF IT’

Although Benoist never named the alleged abuser, she did say that the person was younger than her.

In the video, Benoist describes the “runaway freight train” of a relationship she found herself in, despite a previous breakup that initially left her looking to stay single.

The actress detailed that the alleged abuse was not initially physical, but instead came about from “his insecurity and depression.” According to Benoist, her alleged abuser became jealous and would “snoop through devices” as well as make her change her clothes to avoid people looking at her.

Benoist said she would turn down job offers and end friendships to appease her alleged abuser.

Westlake Legal Group Melissa-Benoist 'Supergirl' star Melissa Benoist reveals she is a domestic violence survivor in emotional video Nate Day fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 16178ba4-096b-5533-9348-c5a9765e3630

Melissa Benoist attends the Christian Dior show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 on September 24, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Getty)

Benoist claimed that she was five months into the relationship when the physical violence began, with the alleged abuser throwing a smoothie at Benoist, which she said: “smacked my cheek and exploded all over the floor and the sofa…”

Eventually, Benoist said, the violence would escalate.

“I learned what it felt like to be pinned down and slapped repeatedly, punched so hard the wind would go out of me, dragged by my hair across pavement, head-butted, pinched until my skin broke, shoved into a wall so hard the drywall broke, choked,” she said. Benoist said she resorted to locking herself in rooms, but the door would “inevitably” be broken down.

AVRIL LAVIGNE AND BILLIONAIRE BOYFRIEND PHILLIP SAROFIM SPLIT: REPORTS

The actress explained that “there would always be a click of reality snapping back into place when he would see what he had done,” and that after a violent spell, he’d often place her in a bathtub, turn the water on and leave until he’d return and apologize.

Things began to change when Benoist opened up to a friend after lying to the cops about an alleged incident that left her with a broken nose, torn iris, a nearly ruptured eyeball and permanently altered vision.

“The more people I let in, the more I was bolstered,” she said.

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Benoist said she came forward in order to bring more attention to intimate partner violence.

“…I hope that telling my story will prevent more stories like this from happening,” Benoist said. “If you are enduring what I went through and you see this, you might be able to find the tiny straw that will break the camel’s back.”

Westlake Legal Group Melissa-Benoist 'Supergirl' star Melissa Benoist reveals she is a domestic violence survivor in emotional video Nate Day fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 16178ba4-096b-5533-9348-c5a9765e3630   Westlake Legal Group Melissa-Benoist 'Supergirl' star Melissa Benoist reveals she is a domestic violence survivor in emotional video Nate Day fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 16178ba4-096b-5533-9348-c5a9765e3630

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Tucker Carlson: Trump’s opponents despise him the most when he tells the truth

Westlake Legal Group TUCKER-CARLSON-WALMART Tucker Carlson: Trump's opponents despise him the most when he tells the truth Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 3e35f9b1-a8bf-517d-8a8a-99dd0ff95149

Tucker Carlson went after “the left” and the mainstream media Wednesday, saying neither group has a problem with the president’s lies but hates when he tells the truth.

“At times, he’s [Trump’s] a full-blown B.S. artist. If Trump hadn’t gotten rich in real estate, he could’ve made a fortune selling cars. Most people know this. It’s obvious, transparent, really,” Carlson said. “So he’s lying. Really? The reason the left despises Donald Trump? Or could the problem be, as is so often the case, the exact opposite of what they claim it is?”

TUCKER CARLSON: INSTEAD OF DESTROYING TRUMP, IMPEACHMENT APPEARS TO HAVE MADE HIM STRONGER — LIKE GODZILLA

The host made the case that “official Washington” is angry at Trump for addressing issues that reflect poorly on them.

“What infuriates official Washington is not when Trump lies. It’s when he tells the truth. Truth is the real threat to their power,” Carlson said. “There’s an unspoken agreement among the people in charge of our country not to talk about what has happened to it. They are personally implicated in its decline.”

“But Trump won’t shut up. He keeps talking. That’s his crime. That’s why they hate him,” Carlson added.

Carlson specifically mentioned illegal immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border as an example of a topic Trump addressed that the establishment and the media failed Americans on.

“If the people in charge actually cared about us, they would protect our borders,” Carlson said. “The gatekeepers in our national media, the people who should have been sounding the alarm about all of this, but instead made common cause with the ruling class they were supposed to be covering and keeping honest.”

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Carlson said government officials and the media don’t want you thinking about important issues to avoid their role in the problem, while others deflect the issue by calling Trump “racist.”

“Any of that might point up their own egregious failures and selfishness, which are profound. And whatever we do, we can’t bring that up because it’s embarrassing,” Carlson said. “So instead, let’s just agree that Donald Trump is a racist liar and move on.”

Westlake Legal Group TUCKER-CARLSON-WALMART Tucker Carlson: Trump's opponents despise him the most when he tells the truth Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 3e35f9b1-a8bf-517d-8a8a-99dd0ff95149   Westlake Legal Group TUCKER-CARLSON-WALMART Tucker Carlson: Trump's opponents despise him the most when he tells the truth Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 3e35f9b1-a8bf-517d-8a8a-99dd0ff95149

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Trump would be unfit to hold the lowest rank in the military

Westlake Legal Group r9m4SKVfSrKWxuDpWSZCukBoYSxwcNN2vjjfSu9L4vU Trump would be unfit to hold the lowest rank in the military r/politics

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Donations skyrocket for family of Stephen F. Austin player who hit winning basket against Duke

Duke, the No. 1 college basketball team in the country, was stunned Tuesday by Stephen F.  Austin, losing in dramatic fashion in overtime. But the biggest shocker has been the spike in funds raised for the family of the player who hit the game-winning layup.

A two-month-old GoFundMe page set up to help Nathan Bain’s family in the Bahamas rebuild from Hurricane Dorian damage had raised more than $97,000 and counting just before 10 p.m. ET Wednesday, a huge spike from the roughly $2,000 it had raised over several weeks before Tuesday night’s game, The Associated Press reported.

Westlake Legal Group Duke-Loss-AP-2 Donations skyrocket for family of Stephen F. Austin player who hit winning basket against Duke Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/sports/ncaa/duke-blue-devils fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 63005472-421b-5b88-994a-35472ae0e4f3

Stephen F. Austin forward Nathan Bain (23) and guard David Kachelries (4) celebrated Bain’s game winning basket against Duke in overtime on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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The fundraiser generated more in donations in less than 24 hours after the game than Stephen F. Austin made from Duke for coming to Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., and playing the game in the first place.

SFA’s guarantee from the game was $85,000, a school spokesman said.

GoFundMe spokeswoman Aja Shepherd said the Bain family page was the second-most popular campaign Wednesday, surpassed only by one for victims of an earthquake in Albania. More than 1,500 donors from all 50 states gave an average of $36, she said.

Bain said Wednesday the donation totals “skyrocketed” after the game.

“I was just in disbelief at what basketball had done for my family,” the 6-foot-6, fifth-year senior guard told The Associated Press by phone. “It was truly a blessing.”

The initial fundraising goal of $25,000 was increased to $50,000. That goal, too, was surpassed by early Wednesday afternoon.

“I want them to know how much … we appreciate it, and how thankful we are that we’re alive,” Bain’s father, Norris Bain, told the AP. “As bad as it is, it could have been a lot worse.”

Norris Bain said the storm left more than 10 feet of water in the family’s single-story home in Freeport, Grand Bahama, and the house was “totally gutted” and none of their possessions recoverable. And the church he runs, Tabernacle Baptist Church, had 5 feet of water inside; its affiliated K-12 school had 4 feet of water and a hole in the roof caused by the Category 5 storm that hit the islands.

He said the roof has been fixed and enough repairs have been made to reopen the school, but the phone system has not been fully repaired, among other things.

Westlake Legal Group Duke-Loss-AP-1 Donations skyrocket for family of Stephen F. Austin player who hit winning basket against Duke Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/sports/ncaa/duke-blue-devils fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 63005472-421b-5b88-994a-35472ae0e4f3

Stephen F. Austin forward Nathan Bain (23) made the game-winning basket over Duke forward Jack White (41) during overtime in an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday. Stephen F. Austin won 85-83. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

ESPN called  SFA’s win the biggest college basketball upset in 15 years and pointed out that the Blue Devils were favored by 27.5 points. It was the school’s first nonconference loss on their home court since 2000. Duke held a 15-point lead at one point in the game.

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Duke had the ball in the closing seconds of overtime, but Tre Jones missed a jumper with about 15 seconds left and Wendell Moore rebounded it. Hounded by the Lumberjacks’ high-pressure defense, Hurt threw the ball away in a scramble with about 3 seconds left and it went to Bain — who went the length of the floor for a buzzer-beating layup. The Lumberjacks won 85-83.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Duke-Loss-AP-2 Donations skyrocket for family of Stephen F. Austin player who hit winning basket against Duke Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/sports/ncaa/duke-blue-devils fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 63005472-421b-5b88-994a-35472ae0e4f3   Westlake Legal Group Duke-Loss-AP-2 Donations skyrocket for family of Stephen F. Austin player who hit winning basket against Duke Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/sports/ncaa/duke-blue-devils fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 63005472-421b-5b88-994a-35472ae0e4f3

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ICE arrests 90 foreign students at fake Michigan university

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has arrested 90 additional foreign-born students in recent months in a sting operation at a fake Michigan university designed to draw in students who are trying to stay in the U.S. illegally, according to a new report.

The University of Farmington advertised a “dynamic business administration and STEM curriculum” program, but the students, mostly from India, “knew that they would not attend any actual classes, earn credits or make academic progress towards an actual degree,” according to a January indictment.

A total of about 250 students have been arrested since the school opened in January on immigration violations by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Immigration lawyers said in March — after 161 students were arrested — that the students did not know it was a fake university at the time.

FAKE UNIVERSITY SET UP BY ICE TO NAB FOREIGN STUDENTS: REPORT

The university in Farmington Hills, Mich., has reportedly been operated by Homeland Security since 2015.

Westlake Legal Group University-of-Farmington-Logo ICE arrests 90 foreign students at fake Michigan university Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc article 0c432382-2f14-5094-80ad-fa851917d97d

University of Farmington Logo

The U.S. “trapped vulnerable people who just wanted to maintain (legal immigration) status,” Rahul Reddy, a Texas attorney who represented some of the students who were arrested, told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday.

Many of the arrested students have been deported, but some are contesting their removals.

The students had reportedly arrived legally in the U.S. on student visas and later lost their immigration status after the school was shut down in January, according to the Free Press.

ICE MAKES MORE ARRESTS AT DECOY UNIVERSITY; SOME DETAINEES BEING DEPORTED, AUTHORITIES SAY

Meanwhile, seven of the eight recruiters who were criminally charged with trying to recruit students have pleaded guilty and been sentenced in Detroit. The final defendant will be sentenced in January.

Attorneys for ICE and the Department of Justice said the students should have known it was not a legitimate university because it did not have classes in any sort of physical location, the Free Press reported.

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“Their true intent could not be clearer,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Helms wrote in a memo, per the publication. “While ‘enrolled’ at the university, [100] percent of the foreign citizen students never spent a single second in a classroom.”

“If it were truly about obtaining an education, the university would not have been able to attract anyone, because it had no teachers, classes or educational services,” he added.

Westlake Legal Group University-of-Farmington-Logo ICE arrests 90 foreign students at fake Michigan university Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc article 0c432382-2f14-5094-80ad-fa851917d97d   Westlake Legal Group University-of-Farmington-Logo ICE arrests 90 foreign students at fake Michigan university Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc article 0c432382-2f14-5094-80ad-fa851917d97d

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Trump Signs Hong Kong Democracy Legislation, Angering China

Westlake Legal Group merlin_164714724_1d87bf7b-0a98-44a1-bacc-c4a119e90a01-facebookJumbo Trump Signs Hong Kong Democracy Legislation, Angering China Xi Jinping United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Law and Legislation Human Rights and Human Rights Violations Hong Kong Embargoes and Sanctions China

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump on Wednesday signed tough legislation that would impose sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights abuses in Hong Kong, signaling support for pro-democracy activists in the territory and escalating tensions with Beijing as Mr. Trump tries to negotiate a trade deal with Chinese leaders.

Whether Mr. Trump would ultimately sign the legislation had been a subject of debate, as he refused to commit to doing so as late as last week, saying that he supported the protesters but that President Xi Jinping of China was “a friend of mine.” But Mr. Trump was left with no other option, as the bill had passed both chambers by veto-proof majorities.

Mr. Trump’s decision, publicly announced the evening before Thanksgiving, throws a potential wrench into the United States’ bilateral trade talks with China. Both countries have tried to keep the Hong Kong issue separate from their negotiations, which have been moving at a slow but steady pace.

Mr. Trump tried to frame his decision to sign the legislation, as well as another bill that bans the sale of crowd-control munitions such as tear gas and rubber bullets to the Hong Kong police, as not disrespecting Mr. Xi, even though China’s government had demanded that Mr. Trump reject the measure. The president had previously skirted around the battles between pro-democracy demonstrators and police forces enforcing China’s authoritarian stance in Hong Kong.

“I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China and the people of Hong Kong,” Mr. Trump said in a statement on Wednesday. “They are being enacted in the hope that leaders and representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long-term peace and prosperity for all.”

The Hong Kong government had also argued that the bill was unnecessary, making its case even more vigorously after the territory was able to hold peaceful local elections last Sunday in which antigovernment candidates won 87 percent of the seats. The vote showed that “democracy is alive and well,” and that the Hong Kong bill that went through Congress was unnecessary, said Ronny Tong, a member of the cabinet of Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive.

But Mr. Trump was ultimately left with little choice but to sign the bill, which could have been enacted without Mr. Trump’s signature after Dec. 3. Congress also could have overridden a veto. Even some of Mr. Trump’s most ardent trade supporters had cautioned against rebuffing the legislation.

The main measure, titled the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, would not only compel the United States to impose sanctions on officials, but also require the State Department to annually review the special autonomous status it grants the territory in trade considerations. That status is separate from the relationship with mainland China, and a revocation of the status would mean less favorable trade conditions between the United States and Hong Kong.

China’s Foreign Ministry strongly criticized Mr. Trump’s signing of the bill, which it said “seriously interfered with Hong Kong affairs, seriously interfered with China’s internal affairs, and seriously violated international law and basic norms of international relations.”

“It was a clear hegemonic act,” the ministry said, “and the Chinese government and people firmly opposed it.”

The ministry stopped short of linking Hong Kong in any way to the trade talks, although trade is outside the its jurisdiction. The ministry did conclude its statement, however, with a warning: “We advise the United States not to act arbitrarily, or China will resolutely counteract it, and all consequences arising must be borne by the United States.”

Although Mr. Trump announced last month that the United States and China had reached a “historic” Phase 1 trade agreement, signing a deal has proved elusive. Mr. Trump has continued to play coy about whether he will agree to remove any of the tariffs he has placed on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods. A Dec. 15 deadline looms for the United States to decide whether to impose another round of tariffs on even more Chinese imports, including consumer goods like smartphones and laptops.

Evan S. Medeiros, a Georgetown University professor who was the senior Asia director on President Barack Obama’s National Security Council staff, said Mr. Trump’s action could mean that he thought signing the bill would allow him to look tough on China to American voters without entirely upsetting the negotiations.

“Signing the bill is an important signal amid the trade talks, but not an unpredicted one given the near unanimous congressional support,” he said. “The real question is how the president will use these new authorities. Perhaps this move is best understood as a leading indicator that U.S.-China trade talks are essentially done.”

Lawmakers from both parties had clamored for the president to sign the legislation as a show of support for the young demonstrators who have been defiantly pushing back against China’s tightening hold over the semiautonomous territory.

“This bicameral, bipartisan law reaffirms our nation’s commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the face of Beijing’s crackdown,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said in a statement. “America is proud to stand with the people of Hong Kong on the side of freedom and justice.”

In recent months, a bipartisan push to confront China and its authoritarian leader has grown on a wide range of issues, including commercial practices, global infrastructure building and the detention of at least a million Muslim ethnic minority members in camps in northwest China.

“The U.S. now has new and meaningful tools to deter further influence and interference from Beijing into Hong Kong’s internal affairs,” said Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida and one of the legislation’s many champions in the upper chamber. “This new law could not be more timely in showing strong U.S. support for Hong Kongers’ long-cherished freedoms.”

Mr. Trump has been trying to get China to agree to a trade deal that would benefit American farmers and manufacturers and allow technology firms to operate more freely in that country. The desire to sign a deal that ends pain for American farmers has become particularly important ahead of the 2020 presidential election, and Mr. Trump has left the impression that all other issues related to China are secondary, especially ones related to human rights.

Last Friday, in an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Mr. Trump said, “We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi.” Last June, Mr. Trump promised Mr. Xi in a telephone conversation that he would not speak out in support of the Hong Kong protests as long as trade talks were progressing. Mr. Trump did mention Hong Kong during a speech in September at the United Nations General Assembly, but did so while praising Mr. Xi, and he has not consistently made strong statements on Hong Kong.

In a separate statement issued on Wednesday evening, Mr. Trump appeared to hedge his full-throated support for the broader legislation, saying that “certain provisions of the act would interfere with the exercise of the president’s constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States.”

“My administration will treat each of the provisions of the act consistently with the president’s constitutional authorities with respect to foreign relations,” Mr. Trump said. He did not specify which parts of the bill posed such interference with executive powers.

One of the main provisions compels the administration to impose economic and travel sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials found to be violating human rights in the territory. Mr. Trump or relevant agencies could try to slow walk such sanctions — and might even use the threat of imposing them to as a cudgel against China in trade negotiations.

Mr. Trump has refused to impose sanctions on Chinese officials for the mass detention of Muslims, despite recommendations to do so by some American officials.

For months, Hong Kong protesters had called for the United States to pass the bill. The protesters in October even held a rally supporting in the bill that was attended by more than 100,000 people; many waved American flags or wrapped them around their bodies. Protesters say the law would give them more leverage over officials in China and Hong Kong, since the officials want to maintain access to the United States for themselves and their family members, and they also want to preserve the favorable trade status between Washington and Hong Kong.

“I hope it can act as a warning to Hong Kong and Beijing officials, pro-Beijing people and the police,” said Nelson Lam, 32, a food importer and regular protester. “I think if they know that what they do may lead to sanctions, then they will become restrained when dealing with protests. We just want our autonomy back. We are not their foe.”

Within the White House, Matthew Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser and former senior Asia director on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council staff, has advocated for tough policies against China. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to openly endorse the bill when asked about it by reporters, but did say, “We have human rights standards that we apply all across the world, and Hong Kong is no different.”

Emily Cochrane reported from West Palm Beach, Fla.; Edward Wong from Houston; and Keith Bradsher from Shanghai.

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Rep. Gaetz says Hunter Biden would be ‘top witness’ in impeachment inquiry

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6109762697001_6109761829001-vs Rep. Gaetz says Hunter Biden would be 'top witness' in impeachment inquiry Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 64836cf9-c9fe-5ba5-8336-e09eb87f3844

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., appeared on “The Story” Wednesday, making the case for the minority party to present witnesses as House Democrats continue to push to impeaching President Trump.

“If we can prove that the president’s questions about Hunter Biden, about Burisma were legitimate, that they were well-founded in what our diplomatic corps and what other professionals believe, that it can’t possibly be this, you know, this shakedown that Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi are spewing to the American people,” Gaetz told guest host Ed Henry. “And so that’s why getting that exculpatory evidence into the record is so important.”

TRUMP DEFENDS MOVE TO BLOCK IMPEACHMENT TESTIMONY, SAYS HE IS PROTECTING ‘FUTURE PRESIDENTS’

The House Judiciary Committee is taking over the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump as Chairman Jerrold Nadler announced plans for a hearing next week to weigh whether the president’s actions reach a level of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and warrant articles of impeachment.

Gaetz said that former Vice President Joe Biden’s son would be a “top witness” and that Burisma would be a focus for Republicans if they are permitted witnesses.

“Hunter Biden would be probably one of our top witnesses. I think the whistleblower would be a witness,” Gaetz said. “And I think that others who can expound on the testimony of George Kent that reflect on the concerns with Burisma and the ingrained corruption with that company.”

The congressman also reacted to recent polling showing Americans are disinterested in the impeachment inquiry.

“I think voters are concerned about their own needs, their own challenges, their own opportunities in their lives,” Gaetz said. “And if you look at the Trump economy, the hottest in the world, it’s creating that opportunity for Americans each and every day.

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“And so I think that that Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats overestimated the extent to which whatever allegations they’re making about the Ukraine really are central to the decisions made by the people who are our bosses,” Gaetz added.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6109762697001_6109761829001-vs Rep. Gaetz says Hunter Biden would be 'top witness' in impeachment inquiry Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 64836cf9-c9fe-5ba5-8336-e09eb87f3844   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6109762697001_6109761829001-vs Rep. Gaetz says Hunter Biden would be 'top witness' in impeachment inquiry Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 64836cf9-c9fe-5ba5-8336-e09eb87f3844

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German court rules convicted murderer has ‘right to be forgotten’ in online searches

A German man convicted in the 1982 murders of two people aboard a yacht in the Caribbean has won the right to have his name removed from online search results, a court ruled Wednesday.

A constitutional court in Karlsruhe ruled in favor of the unnamed man, who was sentenced to life in prison and later released in 2002.

He was aboard the Apollonia when he fatally shot two people. He has since fought to distance his family’s name from reports about the case, the BBC reported Wednesday.

#GOOGLEWALKOUT: THOUSANDS OF WORKERS PROTEST SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND PAY INEQUALITY, DEMAND CHANGES

Westlake Legal Group AP19302335636974 German court rules convicted murderer has 'right to be forgotten' in online searches Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/germany fox news fnc/world fnc article 6794ef1b-08d3-5413-a81d-fa0d6e156e75

This Nov. 1 photo shows the Google logo at their offices in Granary Square, London. A German court ruled this week that a man convicted of murder has the right to have his name removed from online search results. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

His name still appears in online searches as part of an archived article in the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, according to reports.

The publication uploaded three reports about the case in 1999 with the man’s full name, the BBC said. He became aware of the articles in 2009 and asked that they be removed from online, claiming they inhibited his “ability to develop his personality,” a court statement said, per the BBC.

The case was initially thrown out in 2012 by a federal court, which ruled that his privacy did not outweigh the public interest or freedom of the press, Agence France-Presse (AFP) had reported.

The ruling could force publications to restrict access to online archives, reports said.

The “right to be forgotten” has gained traction in recent years, with tech companies being taken to court over online search results.

In 2014, a European Union court ruled that search engine companies have to comply with requests to remove search results.

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Google and other search engines have fought with the EU over its privacy rules. The continent‘s top court ruled in September that the tech giant will not have to apply Europe’s “right to be forgotten” law globally.

Westlake Legal Group AP19302335636974 German court rules convicted murderer has 'right to be forgotten' in online searches Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/germany fox news fnc/world fnc article 6794ef1b-08d3-5413-a81d-fa0d6e156e75   Westlake Legal Group AP19302335636974 German court rules convicted murderer has 'right to be forgotten' in online searches Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/germany fox news fnc/world fnc article 6794ef1b-08d3-5413-a81d-fa0d6e156e75

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