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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 139)

Transcript: NPR’s Full Interview With Iranian Ambassador To U.N.

Westlake Legal Group rts2jija_custom-948ff02af279288df5f743ab37f6b70c3ce3c4d9-s1100-c15 Transcript: NPR's Full Interview With Iranian Ambassador To U.N.

Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, at the U.N., in June 2019. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters hide caption

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Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Westlake Legal Group  Transcript: NPR's Full Interview With Iranian Ambassador To U.N.

Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, at the U.N., in June 2019.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep talks to Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, about whether the missile strikes Iran launched this week mark the end of retaliatory actions against the United States in response to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and why Soleimani had been in Baghdad.

Steve Inskeep: Is Iran’s retaliation against the United States finished?

Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi: What we have said is that we took a measured, proportionate response to the terrorist assassination of our top general, Qassem Soleimani last night. And as far as Iran is concerned, that action was concluded last night. So it depends on the United States. If the U.S. ventures to attacking Iran again, definitely proportionate response will be taken in response to that attack.

We are interested if Iran intended the results that came about here. This was a limited attack in terms of the number of missiles. It killed no Americans, although you have precise weapons. Did Iran intend not to kill any Americans?

When we face the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, we said that we would act in response militarily. The timing and the place will be decided by, by us, not by anybody else. And this is exactly what happened. We chose the timing. We chose the place. And we believe that we acted in accordance with our rights based on the United Nations charter. And that was a proportionate response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani.

I am interested if Iran designed an attack to minimize American casualties, knowing that American deaths would be a red line for the United States that might lead to war.

As I said, we didn’t consider any extraneous issues in our decision-making process. Our military people concluded that the action that they took was a proportionate response to the attack against Qassem Soleimani.

OK. And you said that this concluded the retaliation. So if there are people concerned about other forms of attacks, such as cyberattacks on U.S. interests or attacks by allies of Iran throughout the region, you’re saying Iran would not endorse that. You are done.

We are responsible for the actions that, that we, we take. We do not consider any, any sort of actions to be taken by others. As I said and as the statement by the Revolutionary Guard was suggesting last night and early in the morning, the action was taken in accordance with our rights, which was proportionate and which was in response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani.

When you said you don’t take responsibility for the actions of others, that raises a question because there was an Iraqi militia leader who was killed in the same U.S. drone strike as Gen. Soleimani. So far as we know, no revenge attack has been taken out for him. Are you saying it is entirely possible that Iraqi militias aligned with Iran could still lash out and Iran would not accept responsibility for what they’re doing?

I’m not suggesting anything, anything in this regard. What I’m saying is that Iran is acting in accordance with its rights to protect its people. And the assassination of Gen. Soleimani was something that the we, we had to act in order to exercise our rights. And we are not responsible for any other people to do whatever they are going to do. So we are as I said, I’m not suggesting anything to accept or to reject any sort of actions by others.

Iran’s supreme leader speaking after this retaliation said the next step was to push the United States out of the region, U.S. forces out of the region. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said this quite memorably, quote, “You cut Soleimani’s hand from his body, your foot will be cut from the region.” That’s what, that’s what President Rouhani said to the United States. How does Iran intend to do that?

The people of the region are calling for the U.S. withdrawal from this neighborhood. Just look at the decision of the Iraqi parliament. The Iraqi parliament decided to say to the whole world that there is no place for the U.S. forces in Iraq. So as soon as the U.S. leaves the region, I believe the countries in the region will be in a much better position to resolve their differences peacefully and to get together to have a new arrangement for peace and security in the neighborhood. So the sooner the Americans leave the region, the better, not only for the people in the region but for the people of the United States. Because the American forces are not welcome in our neighborhood. They have come from thousands of miles to our region and what they have brought about is misery for the people, spending trillions of dollars as President Trump has suggested, and the outcome is the agony of all of the people in the region. So I believe it is in the interest of the United States to leave the region.

Ambassador, you’re correct that Iraq’s parliament did vote to expel forces from Iraq. But we should be clear, they didn’t vote to expel the United States from Iraq. They voted to expel foreign forces from Iraq. And that leads us to note that Gen. Soleimani, a member of Iran’s military, was in Iraq when he was killed. What was he doing there?

He was there to help the Iraqi armed forces to fight terrorists at the invitation of the Iraqi government. So he was instrumental in defeating Daesh both in Iraqi Kurdistan as well as in other parts of Iraq. He was instrumental in in defeating Daesh and other terrorists in Syria. He was instrumental in defeating al-Qaida in Afghanistan. So he’s a popular, he was a popular figure in all these countries. Not only in Iran, but in the neighboring countries, because he sacrificed a lot to preserve the territorial integrity and sovereignty of, of these countries. And I believe that today, Daesh and other terrorists in the region are celebrating what the United States did to him. Therefore, it was a very unfortunate incident that the man who was the champion of fighting terrorists was slain and was assassinated in a terrorist attack.

But wasn’t Gen. Soleimani the symbol of Iran’s involvement in Iraq, which is something that Iraqis have been protesting against in recent months?

You know, there are different voices within Iraq, but then he was martyred. In Iraq, you saw the Iraqi people, how the Iraqi people reacted in anger and in in in respecting Soleimani and his companions, as well as the Iraqi figures who were also martyred in this attack. So one cannot say that that, that Iraq was in favor of not allowing or not asking Qassem Soleimani to help them. In fact, he sacrificed himself for the, for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.

As you must know ambassador, the United States asserts that General Soleimani was plotting attacks against Americans, against the United States. Are you able to say if he was plotting such attacks?

It is, it is the duty of the United States to to to prove otherwise, I mean, to prove that he was he was, in fact, plotting to to kill Americans. Because —

But I can also ask you, was he plotting to kill Americans?

No, as I said, he was there in order to help the Iraqi government to better, I mean, fight terrorists pure and simple.

But let’s be, but let’s be clear. But let’s be clear. Iran has defined the United States as terrorist. Was he or his organization planning attacks against the United States or its interests at the time?

As I said, it is, it is the duty of the United States to provide any evidence. They have been, they had been plotting to kill Qassem Soleimani for quite some time. It is crystal clear that they wanted to kill him a few months ago. It was decided at that time to President Trump, but apparently, he rejected at that time. So the claim that he was about to kill American citizens cannot be acceptable to all. And it is not being accepted even by the members of Congress. So one cannot accept this claim from the U.S. administration that the threat was imminent.

Ambassador, the last time we spoke, you said it was in Iran’s interest to stay in the nuclear deal with world powers. Iran, after this incident, has said it is ceasing to observe limits on uranium enrichment, a very key part of that deal. Why?

The U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal in … in May 2018 and started an economic war and economic terrorism against the Iranian people. We waited for more than a year at the insistence of our European partners to stay in the nuclear deal so that they could just provide the dividend which supposed to be granted to Iran as a result of the nuclear deal. And they told us that they would compensate the withdrawal of American, I mean, government from, from the nuclear deal. But unfortunately, after more than one year, we came to this conclusion that the promises made by the Europeans were not kept and we had no other option than to do it ourselves, to to make the necessary balance in the nuclear deal. And that was why we started to take some necessary measures in order to make the nuclear deal a balanced deal.

I understand that you’re lifting some of these restrictions on yourselves as a kind of protest to pressure the United States to ease economic sanctions. But the specific thing that Iran is doing here is ending compliance with limits on uranium enrichment. What does Iran want the extra uranium for, if anything?

No, we said that we do not consider any ceiling for the level of enrichment. But at the same time, we have said that we do it in accordance with our needs. The same is true with regard to the ceiling on the number of centrifuges. The last step that Iran took just a few days ago was not to recognize the ceiling for the centrifuges that are being used in Iran. That does not mean that we are going to increase drastically the number of centrifuges in Iran. But it is our right to to have as as many centrifuges as we think we need for the peaceful work of our atomic energy organization.

One final thing, ambassador. President Trump, in making his statement responding to Iran’s retaliation, began with this sentence: quote, “As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” Iran has said it doesn’t want a nuclear weapon. Is that a statement on which you can agree with the president?

What I can tell you is that we are not seeking nuclear weapons. It is not in our interest to have nuclear weapons. It is against the religious verdict of our supreme leader. It is not within the defense doctrine of the Islamic Republic to have nuclear weapons. We believe that nuclear weapon is a liability for any country. But we cannot accept the fact that the U.S. in contravention of NPT, in contravention of the JCPOA, the resolution 2231 of the U.N. Security Council, is acting to deprive Iran from its rights. So the question should be posed to the U.S. administration, when they want to join the international community and act like a normal country in respecting international agreements.

Majid Takht Ravanchi is Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations. He’s in New York. Ambassador, thanks so much.

Thank you, sir.

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Minimum Wage Hikes Fuel Higher Pay Growth For Those At The Bottom

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1173209337_wide-5a83918d345165b576aedc9f6be7da81fbef810c-s1100-c15 Minimum Wage Hikes Fuel Higher Pay Growth For Those At The Bottom

Airport employees, Uber and Lyft drivers, and other workers protest for a $15 minimum wage at Los Angeles International Airport in October. Increases in minimum wages contributed to bigger pay gains for lower-income workers. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Minimum Wage Hikes Fuel Higher Pay Growth For Those At The Bottom

Airport employees, Uber and Lyft drivers, and other workers protest for a $15 minimum wage at Los Angeles International Airport in October. Increases in minimum wages contributed to bigger pay gains for lower-income workers.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Kecia Jolley is getting a pay raise this week. But she’s still making minimum wage.

Jolley works as a grocery store cashier in Missouri — one of nearly two dozen states that increased their minimum wages on Jan. 1. Economists say those mandatory wage hikes are an important factor boosting pay for workers at the bottom of the income ladder.

Jolley’s Friday paycheck will be the first to reflect Missouri’s 2020 minimum of $9.45 an hour, up from $8.60 last year.

“I think that I’ll be better off,” she says. “But I think that it’s going to still be a struggle.”

Jolley says her paycheck will still barely cover rent and utilities. She relies on food stamps and school lunches to help feed her three children — ages 6, 11 and 14. Jolley is grateful that a ballot measure passed by Missouri voters in 2018 calls for three additional increases in the minimum wage over the next three years. By 2023, the minimum will climb to $12 an hour.

“I would consider that at least a decent living wage,” Jolley says. “Then people can pay their bills. They can possibly get a few things on their ‘wants’ list every month. Like, kids need new clothes. Or — I’m a girl. I ran out of mascara, like, a month ago. Luxury items such as new socks.”

While the federal minimum wage hasn’t changed in more than a decade — it’s still $7.25 an hour — many cities and states have adopted higher thresholds. In Arizona, Colorado and Maine the minimum wage is already $12 an hour. Minimums are higher still in California, Massachusetts and Washington state.

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“If you’re a minimum wage worker in America right now, on average, you’re actually probably getting paid closer to $12 an hour,” says economist Ernie Tedeschi of Evercore ISI. “That’s what I call the effective minimum wage.”

Tedeschi says rising minimums at the state and local level are an important driver of wage gains at the bottom of the pay scale.

“Right now, the economy is doing something extraordinary,” he says. “People at the bottom of the distribution have actually seen higher wage growth than people at the top and in the middle.”

Crunching census data, Tedeschi finds workers in the bottom third of the income ladder have enjoyed pay raises of about 4.1% in each of the last two years, compared with 3.6% raises for the top third and 3.9% for all workers.

Minimum wages aren’t the only factor. Low-wage workers also have more bargaining power, as employers scramble to fill job openings when unemployment is just 3.5%.

But without the upward pressure of rising minimum wages, Tedeschi estimates the bottom third would have received raises averaging just 3.3%.

“Minimum wages probably are the difference that are kicking up wage growth at the bottom to higher levels than other groups in America,” he says.

The patchwork of minimum wages across the country creates a sort of natural experiment for economists trying to measure the effects on low-wage workers.

“No matter how you cut it, the low-wage workers are getting a larger wage boost in states that have raised their minimum wage,” says senior economist Elise Gould of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

Gould estimates the higher minimums that took effect this month boosted paychecks for 6.8 million workers across the country.

But others caution that the higher cost for employers may come with trade-offs.

“You’re getting a raise if you keep your job and if your hours don’t change,” says economist David Neumark of the University of California at Irvine. “But there’s plenty of evidence that there is some job loss from minimum wages and those workers are worse off.”

Neumark acknowledges that job loss associated with minimum wage hikes may be less of a problem when unemployment is this low.

“Raising it in a very hot labor market is probably less damaging,” Neumark says. More high school students and others “might be drawn in because wages are rising,” he says. “And if a few of them have job opportunities foreclosed, it might not be so terrible.”

Jolley hasn’t seen any job cuts at the grocery store where she works. The cashier doubts she would be getting a raise were it not required by the higher minimum.

“We still need to keep pushing forward because, hopefully, people like me will be able to actually make it every month,” she says.

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

Today on Fox News: Jan. 9, 2020

STAY TUNED

On Fox News: 

The Ingraham Angle, 10 p.m. ET: An interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: “Is It Time for America to Leave the Middle East?” – President Trump addressed the nation on Wednesday following Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes against U.S. forces in Iraq. The president announced he will impose tougher sanctions on Iran and called on NATO to become more involved in the Middle East. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and former CIA covert operation officer Mike Baker discuss the latest on the tensions between the U.S. and Iran and if American troops should withdraw from Iraq.

Also on the Rundown: In her new documentary series, veteran journalist Lara Logan goes to the U.S. southern border to investigate the drug and human trafficking conducted by Mexico’s violent cartels. Logan joins the Rundown to discuss what she saw on the border and to preview her new Fox Nation special “Lara Logan Has No Agenda: The Border Crisis.”

Plus, commentary by former senior economic adviser for President Trump, Stephen Moore.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Special guests include: U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R- Wyo.; Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday; Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group and more.

Westlake Legal Group Mike-Pompeo Today on Fox News: Jan. 9, 2020 fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 8d4b325c-e878-597d-b637-8753e1d6a662   Westlake Legal Group Mike-Pompeo Today on Fox News: Jan. 9, 2020 fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 8d4b325c-e878-597d-b637-8753e1d6a662

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Lindsey Graham’s Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison raises 3.5 million in 3 months.

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Instagram blogger praised for sharing ‘real’ bikini photos: ‘You look rad’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6031593927001_6031598839001-vs Instagram blogger praised for sharing 'real' bikini photos: 'You look rad' news.com.au fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/fitness-and-wellbeing fnc/lifestyle fnc Emilia Mazza article 830e394b-ac18-5b31-b2e6-d4c80d7953c7

A New Zealand fashion blogger has taken a stand against a culture that promotes a “new year, new you” by sharing a series of “real” bikini snaps online.

Meaghan Kerr recently took to Instagram to share the photos with fans, captioning the post: “Just a rad fat babe, living her life, laughing and having fun at the beach.”

The 35-year-old said the images were her way of railing against “predatory advertising” for New Year’s diets, “wellness plans and gym memberships”.

“There’s always a lot of that around at this time of year so here’s a little something to shake up your feed,” the body-positive activist wrote. “Today I went to the beach in possibly the most revealing bikini I’ve worn in a very long while, and I had a great time.”

CELEBS EMBRACE GRAY HAIR IN 2020: ‘EMBRACING YOUR SILVER LOCKS IS ALWAYS A RITE OF PASSAGE’

“The top basically has my cleavage on full show thanks to the lace-up detailing (HELLO) and the bottoms … are way lower than I’d usually wear.”

Kerr said while she normally opts for swimwear with a high rise to cover her “lopsided and saggy stomach”, she decided to shun those as a way to fight against social pressures.

“I really wanted to feel the sun on my belly and the sea on my skin, so I put on a pair that has been sitting in a drawer for about two years with the tags still on,” she said. “They don’t even cover my belly button, and you know what? I don’t care.”

“I sat on the sand and had a picnic, I swam with my family, I soaked up the sunshine and had a great time. Looking forward to much more of this over summer,” Kerr wrote.

The “real” photos struck a chord with the blogger’s followers, with the post garnering thousands of reactions and a raft of positive messages.

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“I love this post! And I love how pics like this help Wahine (women) like me deconstruct our thinking. You look rad,” one wrote.

“Love this!! You are rocking that bikini,” another said.

“These are flippin’ phenomenal swimmers and you are GLORIOUS,” one added.

Another said: “Thank you for being one less bloody diet ad on my feed, seriously its ridiculous how many there are this week.”

Others agreed, saying they were also astounded by the amount of diet advertising they had been hit with over the past few days.

“I don’t know whether I am feeling more down about myself, but I feel like the ‘diet your way into a better you in the new year’ schtick has been even louder and more invasive this time around!” one said.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS

In a recent interview with Kiwi outlet Stuff,  Kerr said she had no problem at all with people who decided to take up health programs at this time of year.

“I’m not against people joining a gym, I think gyms are great, but the advertising is geared towards weight loss and preying on the fact that people are feeling insecure about their bodies because it’s summer,” she told the publication. “It’s just the way that they advertise. They’re not focused on health, they’re not focused on strength, they’re not focused on fitness, it’s literally preying on body insecurities.”

In a follow-up Instagram post, Kerr reiterated her message that dieting wasn’t a guaranteed pathway to happiness, self-confidence or self-love.

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“You do not have to change your body to earn your place in the world,” she said. “You are enough just as you are. I used to think that I had to shrink myself to fit in, that I wasn’t worth anything if I didn’t look a certain way.

“And that’s a huge mind f—, especially if you look very different to the ideal like I do (hello, short fat Maori woman over here).”

She said by speaking openly she wanted people to know that no matter “what size a person was, how old they were, what they looked like or their background, “it’s okay”.

“You are worth love and respect (from yourself and others) and good things NOW. Just as you are,” she said.

Kerr ended her post by telling her followers while it can be difficult to discard “negative messaging” ingrained from childhood, she hoped to offer an inspiring “reminder”.

“I wanted to tell you anyway because sometimes we just need a reminder,” she said.

This story was originally published by News.com.au.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6031593927001_6031598839001-vs Instagram blogger praised for sharing 'real' bikini photos: 'You look rad' news.com.au fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/fitness-and-wellbeing fnc/lifestyle fnc Emilia Mazza article 830e394b-ac18-5b31-b2e6-d4c80d7953c7   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6031593927001_6031598839001-vs Instagram blogger praised for sharing 'real' bikini photos: 'You look rad' news.com.au fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/fitness-and-wellbeing fnc/lifestyle fnc Emilia Mazza article 830e394b-ac18-5b31-b2e6-d4c80d7953c7

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Steel Hub’s Comeback Preceded Trump, but He Benefits

Westlake Legal Group 04bethlehem-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Steel Hub’s Comeback Preceded Trump, but He Benefits United States Economy Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Northampton County (Pa) Labor and Jobs Factories and Manufacturing Economic Conditions and Trends Bethlehem (Pa)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Just a few blocks from the rusted 16-story blast furnaces that once fired hulking steel beams for the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge, OraSure Technologies each day produces thousands of thumbnail-size pads made to spit on.

These oral swabs, part of a home H.I.V. test kit, are products of a matrix of manufacturers, financial companies and health care institutions powering the Lehigh Valley’s $41 billion economy.

The region’s success distinguishes it from onetime industrial dynamos in the Northeast and Midwest that have struggled to replace shuttered plants and vanishing jobs. While many midsize and smaller cities have lost out to the superstars — large urban metropolises that gulp up scads of employers, workers and customers — the Lehigh Valley is booming.

“There’s jobs everywhere,” said Stephen Polczer, 46, as he inspected assembled swabs. Mr. Polczer, outfitted with a blue mesh apron for his beard and a head cap, started at the biomedical company less than two months ago, drawn by a $17-an-hour wage for manufacturing technicians and a four-day workweek.

The economic renaissance has been more than a decade in the making in this eastern stretch of Pennsylvania, and it has much to do with location, luck and local leaders.

“It’s transcended presidents and administrations,” said Don Cunningham, the president and chief executive of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership. In the last five years, employers created 26,000 additional jobs. “It began under Obama and continued under Trump,” he said.

The valley’s political affinities have been less steady recently. The area includes Northampton County, one of the few counties nationwide — and among only three in the state — that voted for Barack Obama twice before giving Donald J. Trump a plurality in 2016. That pivot, in a county that a Republican presidential candidate had not won since 1988, helped Mr. Trump capture Pennsylvania by less than one percentage point.

Mr. Trump’s message on trade and defending jobs resonated in the Lehigh Valley, where there are memories of how foreign competition clobbered the local steel and cement industries.

Whenever the rebound began, people here are feeling more secure economically, and many credit the president. “The economy is 100 times better,” Mr. Polczer said, “and it has a lot to do with President Trump.”

A junction for interstate highways and rail lines, the Lehigh Valley is within an eight-hour drive of one-third of American consumers. That has helped attract an army of warehouses and distribution centers built by Amazon, Walmart, FedEx and UPS as they scramble to keep up with the explosion of online shopping.

A network of nearby universities, community colleges and vocational high schools pumps out workers with a range of skills. And there is more available land, cheaper housing and lower taxes than in neighboring New Jersey, Philadelphia or New York City.

Local and state officials laid the groundwork for a possible revival after Bethlehem’s colossal mills closed completely in 1998. They built industrial and office parks, and offered millions of dollars in tax credits and abatements to lure companies to Northampton and Lehigh Counties.

More recent development efforts have centered on creating urban playgrounds of restaurants, bars, entertainment and culture that will attract millennial workers.

The valley’s three small cities, Bethlehem, Easton and Allentown, are within 15 miles of one another. Among them, residents can find an ice hockey rink, concert venues and music festivals, a casino, arts walks, breweries, a minor-league baseball park, golf courses and new downtown apartments.

Freshpet joined a growing cluster of food and beverage companies, including Boston Beer, Nestlé Purina, Ocean Spray and Just Born (maker of the chick-shaped marshmallow treat Peeps), when it took over an old dairy factory in Northampton County in 2013. Sales of Freshpet’s refrigerated meals for dogs and cats — made from giant vats of slow-cooked meat, vegetables and fruit that can be smelled before entering the parking lot — grew 27 percent in the last year.

Now the company is building a $100 million facility in its own backyard that will ultimately add 150 people to the payroll. The state and county kicked in $900,000 in grants and tax credits.

A couple of blocks away in the same Hanover Township industrial park, Stuffed Puffs — chocolate-filled marshmallows that first appeared in stores in May — broke ground in November on a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing plant that will employ 134 people.

The venture is backed by Factory, a business innovation center for growing food and beverage companies founded by Richard Thompson, a former chief executive at Freshpet. Hoisting up a couple of bags, he explained that the creator of Stuffed Puffs had “spent seven years figuring out how to put the chocolate inside the marshmallow.”

With support from a New York hedge fund, Mr. Thompson opened the center in 2019. “I looked everywhere from Boston to Jacksonville,” he said, before choosing a site once occupied by Bethlehem Steel.

Building 96, a former tool-and-die shop built during World War II, is now, after a $10 million overhaul, Factory’s airy headquarters. The site offers a sensory lab, a podcasting studio, a kitchen, a packaging center and a stage. For offices, he hauled in bright red shipping containers from Port Newark and put them on wheels that bring to mind mobile dorm rooms. There’s also a simulated golfing range and a climbing wall, as well as a gondola cabin from a ski lift and a firepit surrounded by Adirondack chairs to hang out.

Just to the north in rural Upper Mount Bethel Township, Air Liquide opened a plant in 2018 to produce specialty chemicals for semiconductors, and construction on an adjoining facility has started.

Tony Stump began working there over the summer in a full-time maintenance job for $26.50 an hour, plus benefits.

He moved from Apollo, a former coal-mining town about 35 miles from Pittsburgh, to take the job. “It’s like two different worlds,” he said.

“There’s a lot of job opportunities,” Mr. Stump said of the Pittsburgh area, “but it’s harder to make a good wage.”

At his previous job, Mr. Stump made $15 an hour and had not had a raise in seven years. “There’s no way to survive,” he said.

Many of the jobs available are like the one Mr. Stump left behind. “They’re not real good jobs,” said Tom Sedor, 78. A third-generation steelworker on both sides of his family, Mr. Sedor sat with a group of other retirees in a small storefront office in the mall that houses the Steelworkers’ Archives, an oral history project.

The rich and the well-educated techies are doing well, but the working class and the poor “are the ones that are really getting hammered,” Mr. Sedor said. “It hasn’t trickled down to them.”

Although the area’s median income is more than $65,000, a new report from the United Way of Pennsylvania found that 30 percent of the households in Northampton County and 25 percent in Lehigh County could be counted among the working poor.

The steelworkers, both Democrats and Republicans, who crowded into the Wind Creek office don’t like Mr. Trump, whom they characterized as anti-union. But Mr. Sedor acknowledged that a lot of other retired steelworkers voted for him over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“Hillary and the Democratic Party didn’t pay enough attention to trade,” Mr. Sedor said. Many of the men he meets for breakfast or sees in the union hall are still behind the president. “They’re adamant about it because of trade,” he said.

There were other motivations as well, the group agreed. “They also loved what Trump was saying about immigrants and gun control,” said Lester Clore, a 33-year veteran of Bethlehem Steel, referring to the president’s pledge to keep out immigrants and oppose gun restrictions.

In Pennsylvania, enough working-class Democrats and moderate suburban Republicans joined with enthusiastic conservative rural voters to help swing the election to Mr. Trump.

Whether this coalition will form again in 2020, and turn out in sufficient numbers to return him to the White House, is the question. As the recent clash between the United States and Iran demonstrated, foreign events could quickly overshadow domestic ones. And the economy’s stable progress could unexpectedly reverse.

Since the last presidential election, the Democrats have had a wave of victories in the Lehigh Valley, sweeping local elections. A Democrat won a reconfigured congressional seat in 2018 after a moderate Republican retired. In statewide elections, the Democratic governor and senator were both re-elected with hearty margins.

Although it is a quintessentially purple area, registered Democrats far outnumber registered Republicans in both Northampton and Lehigh Counties.

According to one recent statewide poll, 57 percent of those surveyed said they did not think the president deserved re-election.

But Christopher Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion in Allentown, said that across Pennsylvania, the president remained popular among those who said they had voted for him.

“I don’t see an obvious reason they wouldn’t turn out to the ballot box in 2020 to support him,” he said.

Walter Dealtrey Jr., president and chief executive of Service Tire Truck Centers in Bethlehem, is a registered Republican who said he and many people he knew often split their votes between the parties. He voted for Mr. Trump in 2016, and for Representative Susan Wild, a Democrat, last year.

He does not care for Mr. Trump’s personal style, but he said, “As far as the economy, I would keep riding the horse that works.”

Recent polling by The New York Times/Siena College found that in Pennsylvania and five other battleground states, nearly two-thirds of voters with a similar pattern — supporting Mr. Trump in 2016 and a Democrat in the midterms — said they intended to back the president.

Among the more than 30 business owners, professionals and employees interviewed in the two counties, many said their votes were still up for grabs. But “Medicare for all,” free public college tuition and other left-leaning proposals championed by candidates like Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont aroused more skepticism than enthusiasm.

The Democrats named as possibilities were all moderates, like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.; or the latest entrant, the billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg.

“I think there’s going to be a strong pull for Democrats in the county to come home if they can,” said John Kincaid, a government professor at Lafayette College in Easton. But the Democrats will need to offer more than someone-who-is-not-Trump.

“If Warren or Sanders is the candidate,” he said, “it’s going to be harder to bring those Democrats who voted for Trump over.”

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Nunes slams IG probing Trump-Ukraine whistleblower case: ‘Origins of this investigation are shady and don’t make sense’

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132230144575950000 Nunes slams IG probing Trump-Ukraine whistleblower case: 'Origins of this investigation are shady and don't make sense' fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 1e3bd8e7-a826-504e-b762-82eaa4bfc6c7

Michael Atkinson, inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community, needs to be completely forthright about inconsistencies in a key form related to the Ukraine whistleblower’s complaint, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes said Wednesday night.

Nunes, a California Republican who serves as ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on “The Ingraham Angle” that his GOP colleagues on the panel wrote to Atkinson in September, complaining about relevant forms that didn’t match, and that the investigator responded in “an inadequate way” a week later.

“From the time that the whistleblower first came forward, to the IG, where the forms didn’t match, it wasn’t urgent, didn’t have any firsthand knowledge, the form later changed, then it was backdated, … then we had to hear from the whistleblower and then we didn’t have to hear from the whistleblower,” Nunes said.

HOUSE INTEL REPUBLICANS INVESTIGATION INSPECTOR GENERAL HANDLING OF WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT

“The very origins of this investigation are shady and don’t make any sense,” he added of the probe into President Trump and Ukraine.

When host Laura Ingraham referenced past pointed criticisms of Nunes, the lawmaker brushed them off.

“If they think I’m going to go away, I’m not,” he responded.

“If they think I’m going to go away, I’m not.”

— U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

He said that if he were Atkinson, he would provide full documentation to prove there was nothing nefarious going on in September.

“You have to either believe he is in on it or he is incompetent,” he said, adding Atkinson’s October 2019 response letter could be characterized as him being indeed “incompetent.”

“If he’s incompetent … we need to have evidence of your incompetence. … We are not going to take your word for it that, ‘Oh, we made a mistake’,” he added.

Republicans for weeks have complained that the whistleblower made contact in advance with the staff of House intel panel Chairman Adam Schiff — though Schiff, a California Democrat, has downplayed the nature of that contact.

Whether Republicans are looking further into that contact as part of their review was unclear. But since last fall, they have specifically challenged intelligence community officials over changes to a key form that dropped a requirement for “firsthand information” in whistleblower complaints.

The White House released a declassified version of the complaint, which revealed that the whistleblower’s concerns stemmed from second-hand accounts from “more than half a dozen U.S. officials.”

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After the form change was first noticed in media reports, Atkinson said in a lengthy statement that the whistleblower had actually filled out the older version of that form, which retained the requirement that whistleblowers have first-hand information. The ICIG revealed that the whistleblower had said he or she had first-hand information, as well as second-hand information, but it was unclear what the first-hand information was.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132230144575950000 Nunes slams IG probing Trump-Ukraine whistleblower case: 'Origins of this investigation are shady and don't make sense' fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 1e3bd8e7-a826-504e-b762-82eaa4bfc6c7   Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132230144575950000 Nunes slams IG probing Trump-Ukraine whistleblower case: 'Origins of this investigation are shady and don't make sense' fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 1e3bd8e7-a826-504e-b762-82eaa4bfc6c7

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Lindsey Graham’s Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison raises 3.5 million in 3 months.

Westlake Legal Group 514zaxiSQ2J0umxe1DXa_mi6RV9UJyZQWI1iiELfIzA Lindsey Graham’s Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison raises 3.5 million in 3 months. r/politics

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This Day in History: Jan. 9

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072105681001_6072102642001-vs This Day in History: Jan. 9 fox-news/us/this-day-in-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 698286b7-5469-522e-bd9c-19cc23ba441e

On this day, Jan. 9 …

2009: The Illinois House votes 114-1 to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of soliciting bribes for political appointments, including Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat after Obama was elected president. (The Illinois Senate would unanimously vote to remove Blagojevich from office 20 days later.)

Also on this day:

  • 1861: Mississippi becomes the second state to secede from the Union, the same day the Star of the West, a merchant vessel bringing reinforcements and supplies to Federal troops at Fort Sumter, S.C., retreats because of artillery fire.
  • 1913: Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, is born in Yorba Linda, Calif.
  • 1914: The County of Los Angeles opens the country’s first public defender’s office.
  • 1931: Bobbi Trout and Edna May Cooper break an endurance record for female aviators as they return to Mines Field in Los Angeles after flying a Curtiss Robin monoplane continuously for 122 hours and 50 minutes.
  • 1958: President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his State of the Union address to Congress, warns of the threat of Communist imperialism.
  • 1972: Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, speaking by telephone from the Bahamas to reporters in Hollywood, says a purported autobiography of him by Clifford Irving is a fake.
  • 1987: The White House releases a January 1986 memorandum prepared for President Ronald Reagan by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North showing a link between U.S. arms sales to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon.
  • 2001: Linda Chavez withdraws her bid to be President-elect George W. Bush’s labor secretary because of controversy over an immigrant in the U.S. illegally who’d once lived with her.
  • 2014: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fires one of his top aides, Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly, and apologizes repeatedly for his staff’s “stupid” behavior, insisting during a news conference that he had no idea anyone around him had engineered traffic jams as part of a political vendetta against a Democratic mayor. 
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072105681001_6072102642001-vs This Day in History: Jan. 9 fox-news/us/this-day-in-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 698286b7-5469-522e-bd9c-19cc23ba441e   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072105681001_6072102642001-vs This Day in History: Jan. 9 fox-news/us/this-day-in-history fox news fnc/us fnc article 698286b7-5469-522e-bd9c-19cc23ba441e

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Larry David says Bernie Sanders presidency would be ‘great for the country’ but ‘terrible for me’

Westlake Legal Group rtx3d2dy Larry David says Bernie Sanders presidency would be 'great for the country' but 'terrible for me' fox-news/person/stephen-colbert fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/politics-on-late-night fox-news/entertainment/genres/late-night fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fe1e1002-96b3-5017-9470-6e4efb28e506 David Aaro article

Comedian Larry David appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Wednesday night to promote the new season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — and also share his thoughts on portraying Bernie Sanders on “Saturday Night Live.”

With Sanders set to appear on the show Thursday, Colbert asked David if he had any questions for the U.S. senator from Vermont.

True to the “Curb” character he plays on TV, the co-creator of “Seinfeld” gave a response that was rooted in self-interest.

SANDERS UNLEASHES ON BIDEN OVER MIDEAST RECORD, AS IRAN TENSIONS CREATE 2020 FLASHPOINT

“I would say, I would beg him to drop out so I don’t have to keep flying in from Los Angeles to do ‘SNL,'” David said.

“I thought when he had the heart attack that would be it, I wouldn’t have to fly in from Los Angeles. But, you know, he’s indestructible. Nothing stops this man!”

David, 72, added that if Sanders, 78, wins the presidency, it’s going to be horrible for him.

JUSTIN BIEBER REVEALS BATTLE WITH DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITION

“If he wins, do you know what that’s going to do to my life?” David added. “Do you have any idea? I mean, it’ll be great for the country, great for the country. Terrible for me.”

David, who lives in California, added that he didn’t want to have to keep flying to New York City to portray Sanders. He said it’s annoying whenever he hails a cab in the city now because strangers come and say “Hey, Larry!”

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David has portrayed Sanders more than 10 times on “SNL,” beginning with the night of the first Democratic primary debate in 2015. He now appears to have had his fill with the gig, just as Alec Baldwin told USA Today he was “so done” with portraying President Trump on “SNL.”

Westlake Legal Group rtx3d2dy Larry David says Bernie Sanders presidency would be 'great for the country' but 'terrible for me' fox-news/person/stephen-colbert fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/politics-on-late-night fox-news/entertainment/genres/late-night fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fe1e1002-96b3-5017-9470-6e4efb28e506 David Aaro article   Westlake Legal Group rtx3d2dy Larry David says Bernie Sanders presidency would be 'great for the country' but 'terrible for me' fox-news/person/stephen-colbert fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/politics-on-late-night fox-news/entertainment/genres/late-night fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fe1e1002-96b3-5017-9470-6e4efb28e506 David Aaro article

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