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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 19)

Frog travels 5,700 miles in box of bananas delivered to grocery store

Someone’s a little far from home.

Employees at U.K.-based supermarket chain Tesco were shocked to find a frog in a box of bananas that had been delivered to a Northampton branch of the grocery store from Ecuador.

NORTH CAROLINA BOJANGLES’ CEILING COLLAPSES IN DINING ROOM, TWITTER VIDEO SHOWS

Amazingly, the frog – which was discovered to be a male tree frog, though the exact type is not known – survived the 5,700-mile trip from South America to the English town. The incident occurred Nov. 28, according to South West News Service.

Westlake Legal Group updated-superma-451455 Frog travels 5,700 miles in box of bananas delivered to grocery store fox-news/food-drink/food/shopping fox news fnc/food-drink fnc d93b3f00-8c8c-549e-af6a-6a8e1d25716d article Alexandra Deabler

A frog found hiding in a bunch of bananas is thought to have traveled all the way from Ecuador, before being collected by the RSPCA at a supermarket in Northampton. 

Employees contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), who took the frog. The frog has since been nicknamed Juan, SWNS reports.

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Greg Hagen, animal collection officer for the RSPCA, told SWNS he too was shocked by the creature.

“When ‘frog in Tesco’ appeared on my list of jobs, it was a bit of a surprise,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group photo_1379946925158-1-HD Frog travels 5,700 miles in box of bananas delivered to grocery store fox-news/food-drink/food/shopping fox news fnc/food-drink fnc d93b3f00-8c8c-549e-af6a-6a8e1d25716d article Alexandra Deabler

Fortunately, the employees at the store were able to properly look after the amphibian. (AFP/File)

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“It must have been quite an ordeal for Juan, traveling all that way in a box of bananas and turning up in Northampton.”

Fortunately, the employees at the store were able to properly look after the amphibian, Hagen shared.

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“But he had been really carefully looked after by the staff until I could get there, which was really kind of them, and thankfully, he was in good condition and able to be moved to a specialist, where he’ll be well kept.”

Westlake Legal Group updated-superma-451455 Frog travels 5,700 miles in box of bananas delivered to grocery store fox-news/food-drink/food/shopping fox news fnc/food-drink fnc d93b3f00-8c8c-549e-af6a-6a8e1d25716d article Alexandra Deabler   Westlake Legal Group updated-superma-451455 Frog travels 5,700 miles in box of bananas delivered to grocery store fox-news/food-drink/food/shopping fox news fnc/food-drink fnc d93b3f00-8c8c-549e-af6a-6a8e1d25716d article Alexandra Deabler

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Steve Forbes attacks Pelosi’s ‘socialist’ drug pricing bill after she compromises with progressives

Westlake Legal Group Pelosi-Forbes-RT Steve Forbes attacks Pelosi's 'socialist' drug pricing bill after she compromises with progressives Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/health-care fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3397c980-0f53-58ff-8826-4573d4dad96f

Add businessman Steve Forbes to the long list of people criticizing House Democratic proposals for lowering drug prices — a prominent part of the party’s agenda that was eventually altered amid intraparty backlash.

“On way to vote, @SpeakerPelosi makes her #socialist prescription drug bill even worse to appease her caucus progressives,” Forbes tweeted, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“This bill would keep lifesaving drugs from the market, destroy an American industry & ignore real reasons for high health care costs.”

It came amid news that Pelosi altered her original proposal in response to progressive members’ concerns.

PELOSI CEDES TO PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS DEMANDS IN DRUG PRICING BILL AFTER AOC, OTHERS THREATENED TO DELAY VOTE

Forbes’ criticism echoes the White House’s, which argues that Pelosi’s price controls would block 100 drugs from reaching the market. Pelosi’s plan would presumably have a wide-reaching impact in that it would make negotiated drug prices available to everyone — not just those with Medicare.

Democrats’ legislation would focus on allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices for the most expensive drugs. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that Pelosi’s plan would save the agency $345 billion over a decade.

PELOSI, PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS CLASH OVER DRUG PRICING LEGISLATION

That could change with the bill’s latest iteration, which would increase the number of drugs that can be negotiated under the bill, extending protections against drug price hikes.

While the bill likely won’t gain traction in the GOP-led Senate, it could serve as an opportunity for Democrats to advance a drug pricing plan as the administration advocated its own.

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The alterations were brokered by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and will likely feed Republicans’ narrative that Pelosi’s party is increasingly run by its more progressive elements.

Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Pelosi-Forbes-RT Steve Forbes attacks Pelosi's 'socialist' drug pricing bill after she compromises with progressives Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/health-care fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3397c980-0f53-58ff-8826-4573d4dad96f   Westlake Legal Group Pelosi-Forbes-RT Steve Forbes attacks Pelosi's 'socialist' drug pricing bill after she compromises with progressives Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/health-care fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3397c980-0f53-58ff-8826-4573d4dad96f

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New Mexico murder suspect was trying to collect $30G debt for cartel: police

A New Mexico man was arrested for murder Monday after he reportedly told law enforcement that he was trying to prove himself to a Mexican drug cartel.

Anthony Breeding, 35, was arrested and charged with murder in the first degree for the Dec. 5 slaying of Jose Angel Rivera, 35, outside his Hobbs residence, the Lea County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. 

FLORIDA OFFICER ‘PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED’ IN HIGH SCHOOL BRAWL, 10 STUDENTS, ONE ADULT ARRESTED, POLICE SAY 

Deputies were dispatched to Rivera’s home at around 1 a.m. over reports of an unconscious male. Once on the scene, they discovered a deceased male who was later identified as Rivera.

Police found a gun on the scene but investigators soon determined that it was not the one that had been used to kill the victim.

Westlake Legal Group Anthony-Breeding-Mugshot New Mexico murder suspect was trying to collect $30G debt for cartel: police Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/new-mexico fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox news fnc/us fnc c0d3c64e-10cf-5893-83ee-e7fe6b3b9e3d article

Anthony Breeding, 35, was charged with murder, receiving a stolen firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and attempt to commit aggravated burglary. He is being held in the Lea County Detention Center on no bond.  (Lea County Sheriff’s Office)

MEXICAN CARTELS SUBJECT TO TERRORIST-LEVEL SANCTIONS UNDER NEW GOP-SPONSORED BILL

The following day, on Dec. 6, police received an anonymous tip leading them to Breeding.

Deputies found the firearm in a chicken coup in a residence, which led to authorities detaining Breeding.

He told police that he and two other men were attempting to collect a $30,000 debt from Rivera when a confrontation between the four broke out. As the three suspects were leaving the property, an armed Rivera slowly backed into a carport.

That’s when Breeding says he fired three to four rounds in Rivera’s direction before their car took off.

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Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton told the Associated Press Breeding was working for a Mexican drug cartel. He reportedly claimed that he wanted to prove himself to the cartel.

He was charged with murder, receiving a stolen firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and attempt to commit aggravated burglary. He is being held in the Lea County Detention Center on no bond.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Anthony-Breeding-Mugshot New Mexico murder suspect was trying to collect $30G debt for cartel: police Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/new-mexico fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox news fnc/us fnc c0d3c64e-10cf-5893-83ee-e7fe6b3b9e3d article   Westlake Legal Group Anthony-Breeding-Mugshot New Mexico murder suspect was trying to collect $30G debt for cartel: police Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/new-mexico fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox news fnc/us fnc c0d3c64e-10cf-5893-83ee-e7fe6b3b9e3d article

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Runner Who Assaulted Reporter On Live TV: ‘I Was Caught Up In The Moment’

Westlake Legal Group 5df119eb250000af61d2fd72 Runner Who Assaulted Reporter On Live TV: ‘I Was Caught Up In The Moment’

A Georgia man who assaulted a reporter during a live TV segment can’t really explain his actions, except to say he was “caught up in the moment.”

WSAV-TV reporter Alex Bozarjian was covering the Savannah Bridge Run in Savannah, Georgia, on Saturday when the man, later identified as Tommy Callaway of Statesboro, smacked her backside while she was on camera.

“No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work on anywhere!! Do better,” Bozarjian tweeted afterward, saying she felt “violated, objectified, and embarrassed” by what the man did.

A video of the incident went viral, and internet sleuths identified Callaway as the man who slapped Bozarjian.

Callaway, 43, a Boy Scout leader and church youth volunteer, told “Inside Edition” that assaulting the reporter came down to a “misjudge.” But he would only acknowledge that he “touched her back.”

“I was caught up in the moment,” he said. “I was getting ready to bring my hands up and wave to the camera, to the audience; there was a misjudge in character and decision-making. I touched her back; I did not know exactly where I touched her.”

Callaway doesn’t say the words “I’m sorry” during the segment.

Asked about Bozarjian’s tweet, Callaway told “Inside Edition”: “I totally agree 100% with her statement, and the two most important words were her last two words, ‘do better.’ And that’s my intention.” 

He then imagined that he would have behaved differently if he’d turned around and seen Bozarjian’s shocked face.

“I did not see her facial reaction as I just kept on running. If I did see her facial reaction, I would have felt embarrassed and ashamed and stopped and turned around to apologize to her.”

According to a police report obtained by HuffPost, Callaway eventually called the station and offered to drive down to apologize to Bozarjian in person. The reporter told police that Callaway’s messages were relayed to her by fellow employees and that she has not had contact with him.

But Bozarjian told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday that she was reluctant to accept Callaway’s explanation for his actions.

“He took my power, and I’m trying to take that back,” she said. “Whether I’m open to that or not, I want to take my time with that. I think what it really comes down to is, he helped himself to a part of my body.”

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Texas man jumps to the rescue after dog gets leash stuck in elevator

Westlake Legal Group dog-elevator-3-Johnny-Mathis Texas man jumps to the rescue after dog gets leash stuck in elevator Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/good-news fox-news/entertainment/genres/pets fox news fnc/us fnc article 29a220b6-e94a-58ba-997f-85165b0e95d1

A quick-thinking Texas man saved a dog from a horrible fate when its owner got onto an elevator while holding the dog’s leash — without realizing the pooch had failed to follow her inside.

Johnny Mathis, of Houston, tweeted of the wild incident Monday, writing he was “shaking” after he heroically rescued the Pomeranian.

SAMMY THE DOG BARKS ALARM, SAVING GEORGIA FAMILY FROM FIRE INSIDE HOME

“I just saved a dog on a leash that didn’t make it onto the elevator with the owner before the door closed!” he wrote online. “I just happened to turn around as the door closed and it started to lift off the ground I got the leash off in time.”

On Wednesday, he posted video footage of the encounter. It shows him getting off an elevator and a woman, who is walking her dog on a leash, getting on it.

COAST GUARD RESCUES FLORIDA DOG SPOTTED SWIMMING FOR ITS LFE

The dog either hesitates or isn’t quick enough, and doesn’t make it inside the elevator, separating the dog and the woman. The elevator doors close and the owner seemingly doesn’t realize her dog is not inside with her.

Mathis sees what’s unfolding and quickly jumps to save the dog. He runs and grabs the pet, pulling it down and trying to unbuckle it from its leash, which is now moving upwards as the elevator rises.

He eventually unclips the dog, picks it up and holds it in his arms before he stands, waiting for the owner to come back.

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“It was super scary and all I was focused on was getting that leash off the dog,” Mathis told Fox Television Stations. He said the owner was “terrified” and “as soon as the door shut she was screaming.”

“There was nothing she could have done. She is new to the building so I think she wasn’t expecting it to shut so fast,” he said. “I felt terrible for her. It was an honest mistake.”

Westlake Legal Group dog-elevator-3-Johnny-Mathis Texas man jumps to the rescue after dog gets leash stuck in elevator Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/good-news fox-news/entertainment/genres/pets fox news fnc/us fnc article 29a220b6-e94a-58ba-997f-85165b0e95d1   Westlake Legal Group dog-elevator-3-Johnny-Mathis Texas man jumps to the rescue after dog gets leash stuck in elevator Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/good-news fox-news/entertainment/genres/pets fox news fnc/us fnc article 29a220b6-e94a-58ba-997f-85165b0e95d1

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We Just Got a Rare Look at National Security Surveillance. It Was Ugly.

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-surveillance-facebookJumbo We Just Got a Rare Look at National Security Surveillance. It Was Ugly. Wiretapping and Other Eavesdropping Devices and Methods United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Surveillance of Citizens by Government Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Privacy Page, Carter Justice Department Inspectors General Informers Horowitz, Michael E Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Federal Bureau of Investigation Espionage and Intelligence Services Civil Rights and Liberties

WASHINGTON — When a long-awaited inspector general report about the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation became public this week, partisans across the political spectrum mined it to argue about whether President Trump falsely smeared the F.B.I. or was its victim. But the report was also important for reasons that had nothing to do with Mr. Trump.

At more than 400 pages, the study amounted to the most searching look ever at the government’s secretive system for carrying out national-security surveillance on American soil. And what the report showed was not pretty.

While clearing the F.B.I. of acting out of political bias, the Justice Department’s independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, and his team uncovered a staggeringly dysfunctional and error-ridden process in how the F.B.I. went about obtaining and renewing court permission under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.

“The litany of problems with the Carter Page surveillance applications demonstrates how the secrecy shrouding the government’s one-sided FISA approval process breeds abuse,” said Hina Shamsi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project. “The concerns the inspector general identifies apply to intrusive investigations of others, including especially Muslims, and far better safeguards against abuse are necessary.”

Congress enacted FISA in 1978 to regulate domestic surveillance for national-security investigations — monitoring suspected spies and terrorists, as opposed to ordinary criminals. Investigators must persuade a judge on a special court that a target is probably an agent of a foreign power. In 2018, there were 1,833 targets of such orders, including 232 Americans.

Most of those targets never learn that their privacy has been invaded, but some are sent to prison on the basis of evidence derived from the surveillance. And unlike in ordinary criminal wiretap cases, defendants are not permitted to see what investigators told the court about them to obtain permission to eavesdrop on their calls and emails.

Civil libertarians for years have called the surveillance court a rubber stamp because it only rarely rejects wiretap applications. Out of 1,080 requests by the government in 2018, for example, government records showed that the court fully denied only one.

Defenders of the system have argued that the low rejection rate stems in part from how well the Justice Department self-polices and avoids presenting the court with requests that fall short of the legal standard. They have also stressed that officials obey a heightened duty to be candid and provide any mitigating evidence that might undercut their request.

But the inspector general found major errors, material omissions and unsupported statements about Mr. Page in the materials that went to the court. F.B.I. agents cherry-picked the evidence, telling the Justice Department information that made Mr. Carter look suspicious and omitting material that cut the other way, and the department passed that misleading portrait onto the court.

To give just three examples:

First, when agents initially sought permission for the wiretap, F.B.I. officials scoured information from confidential informants and selectively presented portions that supported their suspicions that Mr. Page might be a conduit between Russia and the Trump campaign’s onetime chairman, Paul Manafort.

But officials did not disclose information that undercut that allegation — such as the fact that Mr. Page had told an informant in August 2016 that he “never met” or “said one word” to Mr. Manafort, who had never returned Mr. Page’s emails. Even if the investigators did not necessarily believe Mr. Page, the court should have been told what he had said.

Second, as the initial court order was nearing its expiration and law-enforcement officials prepared to ask the surveillance court to renew it, the F.B.I. had uncovered information that cast doubt on some of its original assertions. But law enforcement officials never reported that new information to the court.

Specifically, the application included allegations about Mr. Page contained in a dossier compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent whose research was funded by Democrats. In January 2017, the F.B.I. interviewed Mr. Steele’s own primary source, and he contradicted what Mr. Steele had written in the dossier.

The source for Mr. Steele may, of course, have been lying. But either way, officials should have flagged the disconnect for the court. Instead, the F.B.I. reported that its agents had met with the source to “further corroborate” the dossier and found him to be “truthful and cooperative,” leaving a misleading impression in renewal applications.

Finally, the report stressed Mr. Page’s long history of meeting with Russian intelligence officials. But he had also said that he had a relationship with the C.I.A., and it turns out that he had for years told the agency about those meetings — including one that was cited in the wiretap application as a reason to be suspicious of him.

That relationship could have mitigated some suspicions about his history. But the F.B.I. never got to the bottom of it, and the court filings said nothing about Mr. Page’s dealings with the C.I.A.

The inspector general’s report contains many more examples of errors and omissions. Mr. Horowitz largely blamed lower-level F.B.I. agents charged with preparing the evidence, rejecting as “unsatisfactory” the defense that they were busy on the larger Russian investigation and the Page wiretap order was only a small part of their responsibilities.

Still, it is undeniable that the agents and supervisors compiling materials for the Page wiretap application were under far more pressure than in routine counterintelligence investigations. Both in terms of the stakes and the tempo, the early Russia investigation may have had more in common with a counterterrorism investigation.

But that factor also raises the question of what goes into applications for wiretaps in lower-profile cases. Indeed, everyone involved in the Page wiretap knew that what they were working on was likely to come under close scrutiny, yet they still repeatedly failed to follow policies.

Mr. Horowitz also said senior-level supervisors bore responsibility for permitting systemic failures to fester, and his office has begun a broader audit of unrelated FISA applications.

His exposé left some former officials who generally defend government surveillance practices aghast.

“These errors are bad,” said David Kris, an expert in FISA who oversaw the Justice Department’s National Security Division in the Obama administration. “If the broader audit of FISA applications reveals a systematic pattern of errors of this sort that plagued this one, then I would expect very serious consequences and reforms.”

On rare occasions, the public has caught glimpses of problems with the information that goes into FISA applications.

In 2000, the Justice Department confessed to errors in F.B.I. affidavits submitted in 75 surveillance and search applications related to major terrorist attacks, a FISA court opinion disclosed.

The court met “to consider the troubling number of inaccurate F.B.I. affidavits” and barred an unnamed F.B.I. agent from making affidavits before the court. In response, the F.B.I. came up with far more rigorous internal procedures, pledging to ensure the accuracy of FISA affidavits by more carefully reviewing them.

But when Mr. Horowitz’s investigators looked at the underlying files for the Page applications, they found errors and omissions that showed that the F.B.I. had not scrupulously followed those procedures.

The government has fought hard to keep outsiders from seeing what goes into its FISA applications. In 2014, a federal judge in Illinois ordered the government to show a defense lawyer classified materials about the national security surveillance of his client, which would have been the first time a defense lawyer had been given such materials since Congress enacted FISA in 1978.

But the Obama administration appealed, and an appeals court overturned the order, agreeing that letting the defense counsel see the application would create an intolerable risk of disclosing sensitive government secrets.

That stands in contrast to how wiretapping works in ordinary criminal law. Targets are usually told when the surveillance ends. If they are prosecuted based on evidence gathered from the wiretap, they get to see what was in the application so their defense lawyers can argue that the government made a mistake and the evidence should be suppressed.

The prospect of that adversarial second-guessing gives criminal investigators a reason to be scrupulous about what they put into their requests for wiretaps. In the absence of that disciplining factor, the government has developed heightened internal oversight about what goes into FISA applications.

But that system demonstrably failed in the Page wiretap.

The report should call into question the legitimacy of the FISA system “whether you like Trump, hate Trump, don’t care about Trump,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said at a hearing on Wednesday.

“I’d hate to lose the ability of the FISA court to operate at a time probably when we need it the most,” Mr. Graham told Mr. Horowitz. “But after your report, I have serious concerns about whether the FISA court can continue unless there’s fundamental reform.”

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Electric Porsche Taycan Turbo hit with disappointing 201-mile range rating

It looks like you won’t be taking a very long ride in the Porsche Taycan Turbo.

Westlake Legal Group taycan-9 Electric Porsche Taycan Turbo hit with disappointing 201-mile range rating Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/porsche fox-news/auto/attributes/electric fox news fnc/auto fnc article 0863aec5-73a5-5039-973b-77b72da5fe43

The electric sports sedan has received a range rating of just 201 miles per charge from the Environmental Protection Agency. That compares to 348 miles for a Tesla Model S Performance with 19-inch wheels and 326 miles with 20-inch wheels. The Taycan Turbo comes standard with 20-inch wheels and a 93-kilowatt-hour battery pack, while the Teslas have 100-kilowatt-hour packs.

Westlake Legal Group performance Electric Porsche Taycan Turbo hit with disappointing 201-mile range rating Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/porsche fox-news/auto/attributes/electric fox news fnc/auto fnc article 0863aec5-73a5-5039-973b-77b72da5fe43

The federal agency also gave the Porsche a lower energy efficiency rating of 69 MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent, and the Teslas come in at 104 MPGe and 97 MPGe, respectively.

A Porsche spokesperson told TechCrunch: “We sought to build a true Porsche, balancing legendary performance our customers expect of our products with range sufficient to meet their everyday needs. The Taycan is a phenomenal car built to perform and drive as a Porsche should. We stand by that.”

Westlake Legal Group 16189af1-tay4 Electric Porsche Taycan Turbo hit with disappointing 201-mile range rating Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/porsche fox-news/auto/attributes/electric fox news fnc/auto fnc article 0863aec5-73a5-5039-973b-77b72da5fe43

Porsche has been touting the Taycan’s ability to be driven for long periods of time on a racetrack without any power loss, which has been an issue with the Teslas and some other electric vehicles.

U.S. prices for the Taycan Turbo start above $152,250, which is over $50,000 more than the Tesla Model S Performance. Porsche told Reuters that it already has 30,000 deposits and 10,000 firm orders in Europe alone, with plans to build just 20,000 cars for global sale in 2020.

EPA figures for the entry-level Taycan 4S and top of the line Taycan Turbo S have not been released.

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Westlake Legal Group 16189af1-tay4 Electric Porsche Taycan Turbo hit with disappointing 201-mile range rating Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/porsche fox-news/auto/attributes/electric fox news fnc/auto fnc article 0863aec5-73a5-5039-973b-77b72da5fe43   Westlake Legal Group 16189af1-tay4 Electric Porsche Taycan Turbo hit with disappointing 201-mile range rating Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/porsche fox-news/auto/attributes/electric fox news fnc/auto fnc article 0863aec5-73a5-5039-973b-77b72da5fe43

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Jersey City Shooting: Suspect Linked to Black Hebrew Israelite Group

ImageWestlake Legal Group 11njshooting-livebriefing1-articleLarge-v3 Jersey City Shooting: Suspect Linked to Black Hebrew Israelite Group Murders, Attempted Murders and Homicides Jersey City, NJ, Shooting (December 10, 2019) Jersey City (NJ) Fulop, Steven M

The aftermath of a gunfight at a kosher market in Jersey City, N.J.Credit…Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

An assailant involved in the prolonged firefight in Jersey City, N.J., that left six people dead, including one police officer, was linked on Wednesday to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which has been designated a hate group, and had published anti-Semitic posts online, a law enforcement official said.

The violent rampage on Tuesday took place largely at a kosher supermarket where three bystanders were killed. The authorities now believe that the store was specifically targeted by the assailants.

The law enforcement official said the names of the two suspects were David Anderson and Francine Graham. Mr. Anderson appeared to have a connection to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, though the extent of his involvement in that group remains unclear, the official said.

The Black Hebrew Israelites have no connection with mainstream Judaism. It has been described as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy group that tracks such movements.

Investigators also found a manifesto-style note inside the assailants’ van, the law enforcement official and another official familiar with the case said.

The document, which was described as brief and “rambling,” suggested no clear motive for the shooting. Investigators also found a live pipe bomb inside the vehicle, the law enforcement official said.

The law enforcement official could not provide more details about Mr. Anderson’s online posts or where they had been published. He said investigators were still reviewing that information.

It was unclear whether Ms. Graham also had ties to the Black Hebrew Israelites. Her brother, Frederick Graham, said he was not aware of any links to the movement.

“I don’t know what’s happening,” Mr. Graham, 52, said, sounding distressed. “I didn’t know she was part of any of that. I’m trying to get more information.”

Ms. Graham grew up in the Manhattanville Houses, a public-housing project in West Harlem where her mother still lives, according to neighbors.

“Very nice person,” said Alice Harriet, a neighbor who has known Ms. Graham’s family for decades. “Always had a nice conversation to keep.”

Ms. Harriet said she had not seen Ms. Graham in about a year and that she knew of no connection to the hate group.

A man who answered a knock at Ms. Graham’s mother’s apartment declined to comment.

“We don’t know anything” he said, through the closed apartment door.

None of the three victims inside the store have been publicly named by officials, but multiple people connected to the Jewish community in Jersey City have identified two of them as Mindel Ferencz, 33, who ran the market with her husband, and Moshe Deutch, a 24-year-old rabbinical student who lives in Brooklyn.

The Jersey City police officer who was killed was identified on Tuesday as Detective Joe Seals, a 15-year law enforcement veteran and a father of five.

Jersey City’s mayor, Steven Fulop, said that surveillance footage indicated the two attackers had targeted a kosher supermarket where most of the carnage unfolded.

Mr. Fulop said on Wednesday that the footage revealed that after the assailants shot Detective Seals in an earlier encounter, they drove slowly and deliberately to the market, roughly a mile away.

“The perpetrators stopped in front of there and calmly opened the door with two long rifles,” he said.

Both Mr. Fulop and Jersey City’s public safety director, James Shea, said that after the attackers left the van, they walked past others on the street and aimed at people inside the kosher supermarket.

“We now know this did not begin with gunfire between police officers and perpetrators and then moved to the store,” Mr. Shea said. “It began with an attack on the civilians inside the store.”

Mr. Fulop has not said whether the violence was related to anti-Semitism, though in a related post on Twitter, he said that “hate and anti-Semitism have never had a place” in Jersey City.

Mr. Shea said the attackers’ motives were still being investigated.

Initially, investigators said they believed that the attackers randomly chose the market and that the episode was not a hate crime; Mr. Shea added on Tuesday that there was “no indication” of terrorism.

By Tuesday night, however, Mr. Fulop, said on Twitter that officials had come to believe that the assailants had “targeted the location they attacked.”

Detective Seals approached the two assailants, a man and a woman, who were inside a U-Haul van at a cemetery near the kosher market because the van had been linked to a homicide over the weekend, according to the law enforcement official. The official did not have any more details on the homicide.

Video surveillance footage shows the assailants shooting the detective and then driving away and ending up in front of the kosher market where they park and enter the store guns firing, the official said.

For much of at least the next hour, residents nearby — and blocks away — could hear rapid bursts of gunfire coming from the area around the market. Investigators later found a live pipe bomb inside the van, the official said.

The New York Times

Hasidic community leaders on Wednesday morning identified the two members of their community who were killed inside the kosher market.

Ms. Ferencz, whose family owned the market, was working at the store at the time of the attack.

About five years ago, she and her husband were among the first Hasidic Jews to relocate to Jersey City from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The couple had three children, said Rabbi Mordechai Feuerwerker, a leader in the Jersey City Hasidic community.

“I’ve cried my eyes out already. I’m feeling pretty broken,” said the victim’s mother-in-law, Victoria Ferencz, 72, who heard the news on Wednesday morning from Jewish media. “I feel sorry for my son. She’s going to heaven, but he and his children will have it hard.”

At the time of the shooting, her son had gone to a nearby synagogue, she said. Shots rang out, and the synagogue was put on lockdown.

Her daughter-in-law had been left tending the market. “I called my son, he says, ‘I’m locked here. I have no idea where she is,’” Ms. Ferencz said.

Another victim was Mr. Deutsch, the 24-year-old rabbinical student.

In Manhattan, at a news conference at City Hall, Rabbi David Niederman, the executive director and president of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, said that Mr. Deutsch helped lead a food drive this year during the Jewish holidays and helped to feed 2,000 people.

Mr. Deutsch’s father, Abe Deutsch, is a board member of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, a large community service organization in the Satmar Hasidic community.

Rabbi Niederman said he knew Moshe Deutsch personally, describing him as “extremely kind and generous” and a “go-to person when his peers needed help.”

As he spoke about the young shooting victim, the rabbi choked up.

“Can you imagine a few hundred bullets went into the body of a 24-year-old child?” Rabbi Niederman said. “How can we as a people, a community, bear that?”

On Wednesday morning, detectives were at the Jersey City Kosher Supermarket, canvassing the crime scene as a number of uniformed police officers stood watch outside.

The authorities were alerted about a shooting at the market around 12:30 p.m., according to Jersey City’s police chief, Michael Kelly. The officers who responded were met with “high-powered rifle fire,” he said on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Mr. Fulop, the mayor, said that two police officers who were on a foot patrol near the grocery store were able to immediately respond to the call. Both of them were injured but in stable condition.

For more than an hour, loud bursts of gunfire rang out in the blocks surrounding the market in Jersey City, which is across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan.

Helicopters circled overhead as police officers swarmed the streets. They aimed handguns and long guns in every direction as they traveled down the street in formations, knocking on doors and rushing residents and business owners to safety.

“This is one of the biggest gunfights I’ve seen in a while,” said Willy McDonald, 67, who lives in the area. “And I’ve been in Vietnam.”

The shootout and police siege overtook the Greenville neighborhood of gentrifying Jersey City — the second most-populous city in New Jersey, with about a quarter of a million residents. As helicopters circled overhead and bursts of gunfire rang out for more than hour, neighbors said their city felt like a war zone.

The center of the chaotic scene, the Jersey City Kosher Supermarket, caters to a small but steadily growing community of about 100 Hasidic families who have moved to Jersey City in recent years from the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn.

These families, many of whom belong to the ultra-Orthodox Satmar sect, have created a budding community in Greenville, a residential area with a historically African-American population and dense blocks that include a Catholic school, a Pentecostal church and a Dominican restaurant.

The opening of the kosher market three years ago signaled to some that the growing Jewish population was putting down roots in the area.

Rabbi Moshe Schapiro, of the Chabad of Hoboken and Jersey City, said the store was “a grocery that is very popular with the local Jewish community” and had “a deli counter that has nice sandwiches.”

Detective Joseph Seals

Detective Seals had been a police officer for 15 years, said Chief Kelly. He rose through the ranks of the Jersey City Police Department, coming to work in the city’s busy South District.

After being promoted to detective in 2017, he was most recently assigned to a citywide Cease Fire unit, which is tasked with reducing shootings and making gun arrests in Jersey City.

“He was our leading police officer in removing guns from the street,” Chief Kelly said on Tuesday. “Dozens of dozens of handguns he is responsible for removing from the street.”

Detective Seals lived in North Arlington, N.J., a suburb about eight miles northwest of Jersey City, with his wife and five children, the youngest of whom was 2 years old.

His mother, Deborah Ann Perruzza, 65, said that Detective Seals graduated from Bayonne High School in 1997, and set his eyes on a career in law enforcement.

“He always wanted to be a cop,” she said.

On Tuesday, Ms. Perruzza said that when she saw news of the shootings, she had no idea her son was working. It was not long before her phone rang, with one of her sons calling to tell her to come to the hospital.

When she arrived at Jersey City Medical Center, doctors and officials told her that her son had been shot twice, including once in the back of the head.

“He was gone,” she said.

With much of the region on edge after the violence in Jersey City, officials in neighboring Bayonne, N.J., announced that they had arrested an 18-year-old man late Tuesday night after he threatened a copycat attack at a high school there.

The Bayonne police took Deandre Jefferson, 18, into custody, officials said. He was charged with false public alarm, false reports to law enforcement and terroristic threats.

The police said in a statement that they determined that the threat was not credible.

The school district had ordered students to shelter in place during Tuesday’s shootout in Jersey City.

Nick Corasaniti, Corina Knoll, Jeffery C. Mays, Sharon Otterman, Azi Paybarah, Edgar Sandoval, Ashley Southall, Tracey Tully and Michael Wilson contributed reporting. Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

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House Democrats To Rich People: We Love You

WASHINGTON ― Top Democrats have been fuming about President Donald Trump’s tax law ever since it was introduced two years ago, training most of their rhetorical fire on the bill’s handouts for large corporations and the ultra-wealthy. 

When Trump’s bill passed in December 2017, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) assailed it as a “brazen theft from the American middle class.” In the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats across the country said they would work to repeal the law, and the 2020 presidential primary has been dominated by new proposals to not only roll back the Trump law, but to create new taxes on the wealthy to reduce inequality and fund social projects. Pelosi continues to denounce Trump’s tax legislation as “the GOP tax scam for the rich.”

But none of this rhetoric has made its way into the actual governing priorities of House Democrats. In fact, with their majority, House Democrats have instead attacked the one provision of Trump’s tax law that actually imposed higher tax burdens on wealthy homeowners ― a cap on the total amount of state and local taxes, or SALT, they could write off from their federal tax bill.

On Wednesday, a key House panel approved a plan to repeal that measure and effectively cut property taxes for wealthy families by up to $10,000 per household next year, and much more in the years to come, with the benefit for some households swelling into the millions. The more expensive your house, the bigger your tax break.

The House Ways and Means Committee vote exasperated liberal tax experts, and the focus on this one part of the GOP tax law has infuriated even some Democrats.

“The benefit of this resolution goes to people at the very top,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said in October, denouncing a similar measure moving through the Senate. “The way we approach these issues really matters to the American people so they know whom we are fighting for.”

The committee defeated amendments that would have blocked only the top 1% and top 10% from taking the deduction. 

Westlake Legal Group 5df113fc2500004661d2fd58 House Democrats To Rich People: We Love You

Mary Calvert / Reuters House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), shown here with Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.), has denounced the Trump tax cuts as a “GOP tax scam for the rich.”

If the bill becomes law, more than half of the benefits would go to households with million-dollar incomes, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, which evaluates tax bills for Congress. Meanwhile, the median household earned about $63,000 last year.  

When Republicans imposed the limit on deductions, they knew it would hammer residents of Democratic-led states that use high state and local taxes to pay for better schools and social services. The federal write-off for those taxes had shielded wealthier residents from the local impact; as of last year they could only deduct $10,000.

Democrats insist the provision harmed the middle class. As is often the case in politics, their argument hinges on a notion of middle class not strictly tethered to numbers. 

“Middle classes were particularly hurt in New Jersey,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), a chief advocate for the legislation. “One of my counties, Bergen County, average property taxes between $24,000 and $28,000.”

Bergen County’s median income exceeds $91,000; median home values are above $450,000. 

To counter criticism that they were establishing a handout for the rich, Democrats paired the SALT cap repeal with higher taxes on married household incomes above $496,600. 

“The way it’s offset is by increasing taxes on those wealthiest people so that the real benefit really does go to the people who are hurt most who can least afford it,” Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) told HuffPost. 

But it’s not quite that simple. Hiking the top marginal rate only partially offsets the cost of restoring homeowners’ power to write off all their local property taxes. To make the math work, the bill allows unlimited local tax deductions for only two years, costing so much revenue that it takes six years of the higher top rate to cover it.

Pairing the SALT cap repeal with higher income taxes does reduce the disparate regional impact of the GOP tax law, but its tilt toward the wealthy would remain. 

“This would exacerbate the biggest flaws of the Trump tax law,” according to Seth Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning think tank. 

The Democrats’ new tax bill is what Capitol Hill insiders refer to as a “messaging bill.” It has very little chance of winning Republican support in the Senate and is unlikely to become law. Its primary purpose is to signal to voters who and what House Democrats care about ― a way to show what the party would do if it had control of the Senate and the White House.

And in that respect, many progressives are simply beside themselves with the message House Democrats are sending. With presidential candidates thinking of new ways to tax the rich and spend money on social programs for working people, House Democrats are focused on evening out the tax burdens faced by millionaires in different states. 

“There are more important priorities,” Hanlon wrote.

Kildee represents Flint, Michigan, an area not particularly harmed by the tax law’s local provision. But he supports getting rid of it anyway. 

“It’s not fair, no matter who is affected by it,” Kildee said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that it would take five years of the higher top marginal tax rate to pay for two years of the full SALT deduction. It would take six years.

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Amazing picture shows the moment a horse looks like it’s hysterically laughing

This is a laughing matter.

A photographer in England has captured the remarkable moment when a horse looks like it is laughing hysterically, news agency SWNS reports.

Paul Williams, who took the pictures in a field in Cumbria, managed to snap the picture at the exact moment the horse had its eyes closed, head bowed and was showing off its teeth as it had just been told a side-splitting joke.

Westlake Legal Group laughing-horse Amazing picture shows the moment a horse looks like it's hysterically laughing fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 9e96940c-c8b8-57de-a967-4100b60cc597

This is the hilarious moment a horse looked like it was hysterically laughing in a field. With its eyes closed and head bowed, the horse flashes its teeth at photographer Paul Williams while in a field in Cumbria. (Credit: SWNS)

HILARIOUS VIDEO SHOWS LION CUB SPOOKING HER MOM

“He was all on his own in the field pulling these funny faces and I just couldn’t resist,” Williams said in comments obtained by SWNS. “It was quite an uplifting and hilarious moment.”

Photographers have captured some remarkable images of mammals in recent weeks. A wildlife photographer at Serengeti National Park captured the moment a lion cub bellowed its first roar, reminiscent of a famous scene in the Disney movie “The Lion King.”

Earlier this week, another photographer captured remarkable images of a mother grizzly bear teaching her young cub how to scratch its back in Canada.

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Westlake Legal Group laughing-horse Amazing picture shows the moment a horse looks like it's hysterically laughing fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 9e96940c-c8b8-57de-a967-4100b60cc597   Westlake Legal Group laughing-horse Amazing picture shows the moment a horse looks like it's hysterically laughing fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 9e96940c-c8b8-57de-a967-4100b60cc597

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