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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 44)

Ohio woman pleads guilty to murdering 3 sons, gets decades in prison

An Ohio woman accused of suffocating her three sons due to jealousy at the attention they received from her husband– who was also her mother’s ex-boyfriend– pleaded guilty Tuesday to the boys’ deaths and received a 37-year prison sentence.

Brittany Pilkington was scheduled for trial next year in Bellefontaine, Ohio but since she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and murder, she removed the possibility of being sentenced to death.

Pilkington, 27, originally was charged with murder of 4-month-old Niall in 2014, 4-year-old Gavin in April 2015 and 3-month old Noah in August 2015. In a taped confession from the day Noah died, Pilkington said she’d smothered the boys with their own blankets because they received more attention from her then husband Joseph Pilkington than she and the couple’s daughter did.

Westlake Legal Group Brittany-Pilkington-2-AP Ohio woman pleads guilty to murdering 3 sons, gets decades in prison Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc fa323b5d-d341-5013-a777-31d1e942e23d article

Aug. 26, 2015 file photo, Brittany Pilkington, left.

Joe Pilkington had been at work at the time of all three deaths and had come home to find another one of his sons dead.

‘LET THE BABY DIE’ SIGNS TARGET FAMILY WITH SICK INFANT: REPORT 

Noah died less than a week after he was returned from protective custody on a judge’s order. Authorities didn’t have any evidence of a crime in the deaths of the first two children, and no one could have predicted the remaining son would die, according to prosecutors.

The couple’s 8-year-old daughter Hailey was unharmed and is now being raised by her aunt and uncle, Dave and Judy Grimes.

OHIO MAN CHARGED IN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ OVERDOSE OF HEROIN-LACED VAPE PENS 

The judge threw out the confession as it related to Niall, the first child to pass, as Pilkington has said she accidentally rolled over on the baby and insisted his death was an accident, according to the Columbus Dispatch. In Niall’s death she was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Westlake Legal Group Brittany-Pilkington-1-AP Ohio woman pleads guilty to murdering 3 sons, gets decades in prison Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc fa323b5d-d341-5013-a777-31d1e942e23d article

FILE -Tuesday, January 8, 2019 file photo, defendant Brittany Pilkington (Joshua A. Bickel/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)

Pilkington’sex- husband pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexual imposition for having sex with his wife before they were married, when she was underage. Joseph Pilkington had a romantic relationship with Brittany Pilkington’s mother prior to their relationship, and had been living with her as a sort of stepfather for six years. In 2009 when Brittany was 17, Joseph, two decades her senior, impregnated her.

“Brittany has robbed us all of the chance to watch three beautiful boys grow up,” Grimes, Hailey’s caretaker, said. “Can you ever imagine, the last thing you saw in this world was your mother as she smothered you to death?”

One of Pilkington’s attornies Kort Gatterdam said the mother suffered lead poisoning as a child and years of physical and sexual abuse. As a result, a scan identified brain damage.

“Brittany’s brain is broken,” he said Tuesday. “And no one ever helped her.”

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Attorney Tina McFall read a statement on behalf of Pilkington, saying she “loves and misses all of her children and grieves for them every day.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Brittany-Pilkington-2-AP Ohio woman pleads guilty to murdering 3 sons, gets decades in prison Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc fa323b5d-d341-5013-a777-31d1e942e23d article   Westlake Legal Group Brittany-Pilkington-2-AP Ohio woman pleads guilty to murdering 3 sons, gets decades in prison Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc fa323b5d-d341-5013-a777-31d1e942e23d article

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A Purple Heart, Combat Badge and Ranger Tab: Vindman Sends a Message

Westlake Legal Group 19dc-scene1-facebookJumbo A Purple Heart, Combat Badge and Ranger Tab: Vindman Sends a Message Williams, Jennifer (Foreign Service Officer) Vindman, Alexander S United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry National Security Council

WASHINGTON — The uniform made an entrance at the top of the morning.

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient and an Iraq war veteran, strode into the hearing room with chest and shoulders trimmed with his Combat Infantry Badge, his Ranger tab and other recognitions of military service.

He stood there fidgeting next to the witness table, forced to linger on his feet while he waited for the morning’s other witness, Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, to arrive. His hands came to rest at his belt and appeared to be shaking slightly.

But what he wore was the star visual.

Colonel Vindman, who still works at the White House as the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, testified in the House impeachment inquiry in his Army dress uniform, the ultimate witness power move. Oliver L. North, the lieutenant colonel at the center of the Reagan-era Iran-contra scandal more than three decades ago, would have a varied and checkered career. Yet the most indelible image of him remains the Marine uniform he wore in his televised hearings.

Representative Devin Nunes of California, left, speaking with the Republican counsel, Steve Castor.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut, left, with the counsel for the Democrats, Daniel Goldman, and Representative Eric Swalwell of California.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

“It’s Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please,” Colonel Vindman said, correcting Representative Devin Nunes of California, the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican, who at one point in the morning had addressed him as “Mr. Vindman.”

This was, depending on your point of view, either a deft pulling of rank or a petty show of arrogance. But there was no missing the subtext beneath so much of Colonel Vindman’s testimony: He was, he said, a patriot, loyal to no partisan interest and driven by no animus to the president.

He was not a “Never Trumper,” as President Trump himself had suggested, using what has become the president’s catchall dismissal in this zero-sum capital that he has loomed over for nearly three years. In today’s Washington, you’re either with the president, or your ability to serve the country may be suspect.

“I’m not sure I know an official definition of a Never Trumper,” Ms. Williams said during what has become a recurring feature of these hearings, the part where a committee member — in this case Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut — is obliged to ask the witness to assess their level of Never Trumpiness.

“I’d call myself Never Partisan,” Colonel Vindman replied to Mr. Himes.

So enough about the president, at least for a bit. This was about Colonel Vindman’s transcendent allegiance, one placed methodically into doubt in the run-up to the hearing.

“The uniform I wear today is that of the United States Army,” Colonel Vindman said in his opening statement. “We do not serve any particular political party; we serve the nation. I am humbled to come before you today as one of many who serve in the most distinguished and able military in the world.”

He described an immigrant’s story: how next month would mark the 40-year anniversary of his family’s arrival to the United States from Ukraine; how Colonel Vindman and his two brothers were instilled with a sense of duty and service to their adopted country; how all three were inspired to enlist in the armed forces.

“Our collective military service is a special part of our family’s story in America,” he said.

Over four and a half hours of inquiry and testimony, Colonel Vindman kept invoking his adopted land, both as a statement of his patriotism and as a shield.

But he was hit with all manner of aspersions about his national devotion, his judgment, even his right to wear his uniform in this setting. Steve Castor, the counsel for the Republicans on the committee, seemed to suggest that the witness held a dual loyalty when he asked Colonel Vindman whether he had considered accepting job offers to serve in his birth country as defense minister of Ukraine.

“I’m an American,” Colonel Vindman said. “I immediately dismissed these offers, did not entertain them.”

A C-Span camera operator watching the hearing.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times The hearing audience included a man in the president’s signature “Make America Great Again” hat.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

As he testified, a tweet from the official White House account pointed out that Tim Morrison, Colonel Vindman’s former boss on the National Security Council, said he had concerns about his judgment. (Mr. Morrison had raised those concerns in a closed-door deposition on Oct. 31, but did not elaborate.) When Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, raised questions about Colonel Vindman’s job performance, the witness read aloud from a stellar review from another former boss, Fiona Hill, the National Security Council’s former director for Europe and Russia.

Later, when Mr. Jordan pelted the Army officer with questions about why he would report his concerns about a call Mr. Trump had with the president of Ukraine to a White House lawyer and not to his supervisor, Colonel Vindman peered up like he was watching a cloud pass.

“Representative Jordan,” he said in a flat, even tone, “I did my job.”

On a few occasions, Colonel Vindman conveyed thanks to his father for having the courage to immigrate to the United States as a refugee from Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union. To express concerns in the Soviet Union in public testimony “would surely cost me my life,” he said.

This was no small point to make, given that Colonel Vindman has faced threats since he came forward.

“Dad, my sitting here today, in the U.S. Capitol, talking to our elected professionals, is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago,” Colonel Vindman said in his opening statement, addressing his father, who was not in the room. “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”

Late in the hearing, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat of New York, revisited that earlier statement. He asked whether Colonel Vindman’s father was concerned about his son coming forward and subjecting himself to this most severe spotlight.

Yes, his father was “deeply worried,” Colonel Vindman said. “Because in his context it was the ultimate risk.”

But this hearing room was a different context, or at least an ideal Colonel Vindman has spent his professional life fighting for. So no, he said, he was not worried about testifying.

“Because this is America,” he said, as a spontaneous burst of applause rose from the galley.

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Mattel gets rid of blue and red cards in ‘nonpartisan’ UNO deck

In an effort to make the holiday season as nonpartisan as possible, Mattell is releasing a limited-edition UNO deck of cards with politically neutral colors.

The toymaker is removing the game’s iconic blue and red cards and replacing them with orange and purple, the color created when red and blue are mixed.

Westlake Legal Group 8d6d5a53-Capture Mattel gets rid of blue and red cards in 'nonpartisan' UNO deck Louis Casiano fox-news/food-drink/recipes/meals/thanksgiving fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 736bb1df-0c14-52ae-946b-013fdc5093cc

A limited-edition deck of UNO cards will not have politically-charged blue or red cards. (Mattel)

“No red or blue cards means no taking sides!” Mattel said on its website, referring to the color blue used by Democrats and red co-opted by Republicans. “Whether you lean a little left or a little right, one thing we can all agree on is how much we love UNO®!”

A video accompanying the message said around 40 percent of people admit that opposing political views in their families are problematic. A 2017 survey by the American Psychological Association found 38 percent of respondents said their stress level increases during the holiday season, partly due to family gatherings.

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Mattel urged players to take a break from the current politically partisan climate. The deck comes with a “veto card” to skip the political talk and keep things civil.

The card skips that player’s next turn and makes them change the subject.

Westlake Legal Group fac91767-Capture Mattel gets rid of blue and red cards in 'nonpartisan' UNO deck Louis Casiano fox-news/food-drink/recipes/meals/thanksgiving fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 736bb1df-0c14-52ae-946b-013fdc5093cc   Westlake Legal Group fac91767-Capture Mattel gets rid of blue and red cards in 'nonpartisan' UNO deck Louis Casiano fox-news/food-drink/recipes/meals/thanksgiving fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 736bb1df-0c14-52ae-946b-013fdc5093cc

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Sanders: ‘Your $8.99 Netflix subscription is more than the company paid in federal income taxes’

Westlake Legal Group GGALnUUEJ5XfuZWRB_Jc7ilKeQpE_52698liZaHM_UU Sanders: 'Your $8.99 Netflix subscription is more than the company paid in federal income taxes' r/politics

There are valid reasons for a company that posts profits to not pay taxes that I support, and there are reasons that I do not support. Carry-forwards make sense, and in concept and (generally speaking) in are reasonable practice.

Currently, tax law is far too lenient towards businesses. While I’m sure Netflix did (or would) exploit GOP-created tax loopholes if applicable, you’d have to know more about their position before being horrified to learn that they paid zero income tax.

High growth companies often intentionally incur significant losses for years, even when they have the ability to operate at a healthy profit. Remove carry forwards and companies lose appetite to incur losses in order to grow.

Taxes are complicated. There are good reasons we would want a company that posts an $800M profit to pay $0 in income tax. There are also plenty of absolute bullshit reasons for that to happen.

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Under Fire, Former Ukraine Envoy Tries Desperate Defense: Obliviousness

WASHINGTON ― Kurt Volker, President Donald Trump’s former special envoy to Ukraine, testified that he was oblivious to the connection between President Donald Trump’s desire for an investigation into the Ukrainian gas company Burisma and targeting former Vice President Joe Biden.

Volker was trying to “thread the needle” between a Burisma investigation (which Trump desperately wanted and Volker believed could help convince him to continue supporting Ukraine) and a Biden investigation (which he says he knew would be “unacceptable”). 

“I now understand most of the other people didn’t see or consider this distinction,” Volker said of investigating Burisma and investigating the Bidens. “For them it was synonymous.”

It’s common for Trump administration officials to believe that they can advance broad policy goals without becoming complicit in anything improper. An anonymous administration official has insisted to the public that they are working diligently to “preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses.” Respected national security officials like John Kelly, H.R. McMaster, and Jim Mattis all thought they could serve as the adults in the room. They all resigned after realizing the futility of that goal. 

Before Trump was elected president, Volker and friends joked that none of them would want to work in the Trump administration — but they each wanted the other to do it and serve as the voice of reason. 

Volker felt committed to Ukraine’s future and the fight against Russia, he said Tuesday. He hoped that he could get a skeptical Trump to support that effort by convincing the Ukrainians to give the president what he wanted. But Volker soon learned that the only way to get Trump on board was with what amounted to a demand that a country deeply dependent on U.S. military aid help advance the president’s personal political ambitions.

Westlake Legal Group 5dd46530250000ab11d2d975 Under Fire, Former Ukraine Envoy Tries Desperate Defense: Obliviousness

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS via Getty Images Former U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker testifies during the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Nov. 19, 2019.

Volker claimed that he thought there was a distinction between “Burisma” and “Biden,” and that he saw investigating them as “different ― the former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable.”

When U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland brought up the investigations during a meeting with Ukrainian officials, it was an “eye-roll moment,” Volker said Tuesday.

“In retrospect, I should have seen that connection differently, and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections,” Volker told the House Intelligence Committee in an open hearing on Tuesday afternoon. 

Volker later admitted that he “ knew that [Hunter Biden] had been a board member,” but said that he believed that investigating Burisma and investigating former Vice President Biden were “very different things.”

Volker is the first of the “three amigos” at the center of the Trump-Ukraine scandal to testify in the impeachment inquiry ― Sondland will appear before the committee tomorrow, while Energy Secretary Rick Perry isn’t scheduled to testify. 

Volker texted a Ukranian official that they would set up a White House meeting after “President Z convinces trump he will investigate/‘get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016.”

Tim Morrison, a White House National Security Council official who testified alongside Volker, told lawmakers that he was hoping that Trump would have given Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky more support in their phone call in July.

Volker said that he didn’t think that the United States foreign policy should be focused on pursuing “conspiracy theories” he believed the Ukranians were floating.

“I don’t think that raising 2016 elections or Vice President Biden or these things I consider to be conspiracy theories that have been circulated by the Ukrainians ― particularly the former prosecutor general ― they’re not things that we should be pursuing as part of our national security strategy with Ukraine,” Volker said. 

This article has been updated with Volker’s comment about Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

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What Is End-to-End Encryption? Another Bull’s-Eye on Big Tech

Westlake Legal Group 19endtoend-illo-facebookJumbo What Is End-to-End Encryption? Another Bull’s-Eye on Big Tech Zuckerberg, Mark E WhatsApp Inc Surveillance of Citizens by Government Privacy Instant Messaging Google Inc Facebook Inc Cook, Timothy D Computers and the Internet Computer Security Barr, William P Apple Inc

SAN FRANCISCO — A Justice Department official hinted on Monday that a yearslong fight over encrypted communications could become part of a sweeping investigation of big tech companies.

While a department spokesman declined to discuss specifics, a speech Monday by the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, pointed toward heightened interest in technology called end-to-end encryption, which makes it nearly impossible for law enforcement and spy agencies to get access to people’s digital communications.

Law enforcement and technologists have been arguing over encryption controls for more than two decades. On one side are privacy advocates and tech bosses like Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, who believe people should be able to have online communications free of snooping. On the other side are law enforcement and some lawmakers, who believe tough encryption makes it impossible to track child predators, terrorists and other criminals.

Attorney General William P. Barr, joined by his British and Australian counterparts, recently pressed Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to abandon plans to embed end-to-end encryption in services like Messenger and Instagram. WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, already provides that tougher encryption.

“Companies should not deliberately design their systems to preclude any form of access to content even for preventing or investigating the most serious crimes,” Mr. Barr wrote in a letter last month.

Here is an explanation of the technology and the stakes.

End-to-end encryption scrambles messages in such a way that they can be deciphered only by the sender and the intended recipient. As the label implies, end-to-end encryption takes place on either end of a communication. A message is encrypted on a sender’s device, sent to the recipient’s device in an unreadable format, then decoded for the recipient.

There are several ways to do this, but the most popular works like this: A program on your device mathematically generates two cryptographic keys — a public key and a private key.

The public key can be shared with anyone who wants to encrypt a message to you. The private key, or secret key, decrypts messages sent to you and never leaves your device. Think of it as a locked mailbox. Anyone with a public key can put something in your box and lock it, but only you have the private key to unlock it.

A more common form of encryption, known as transport layer encryption, relies on a third party, like a tech company, to encrypt messages as they move across the web.

With this type of encryption, law enforcement and intelligence agencies can get access to encrypted messages by presenting technology companies with a warrant or national security letter. The sender and recipient would not have to know about it.

End-to-end encryption ensures that no one can eavesdrop on the contents of a message while it is in transit. It forces spies or snoops to go directly to the sender or recipient to read the content of the encrypted message. Or they must hack directly into the sender’s or recipient’s device, something that can be harder to do “at scale” and makes mass surveillance much more difficult.

Privacy activists, libertarians, security experts and human rights activists argue that end-to-end encryption steers governments away from mass surveillance and toward a more targeted, constitutional form of intelligence gathering. But intelligence and law enforcement agencies argue that end-to-end encryption makes it much harder to track terrorists, pedophiles and human traffickers.

When Mr. Zuckerberg announced in March that Facebook would move all three of its messaging services to end-to-end encryption, he acknowledged the risk it presented for “truly terrible things like child exploitation.”

“Encryption is a powerful tool for privacy, but that includes the privacy of people doing bad things,” he said.

The debate over end-to-end encryption has had several iterations, beginning in the 1990s with the spread of Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP, software, an end-to-end encryption scheme designed by a programmer named Phil Zimmermann. As a result, the Clinton administration proposed a “Clipper Chip,” a back door for law enforcement and security agencies.

But the Clipper Chip provoked a backlash from a coalition of unlikely bedfellows, including the American Civil Liberties Union; the televangelist Pat Robertson; and Senators John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, and John Ashcroft, the Missouri Republican. The White House backed down in 1996.

End-to-end encryption gained more traction in 2013, after data leaked by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden appeared to show the extent to which the N.S.A. and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies were gaining access to users’ communications through companies like Yahoo, Microsoft, Google and Facebook without their knowledge.

Encrypted messaging apps like Signal and Wicker gained in popularity, and tech giants like Apple and Facebook started wrapping user data in end-to-end encryption.

Google, which pledged to add an end-to-end encryption option for Gmail users several years ago, has not made this the default option for email. But the company does offer a video-calling app, Duo, that is end-to-end encrypted.

As more communications moved to these end-to-end encrypted services, law enforcement and intelligence services around the world started to complain about data’s “going dark.”

Government agencies have tried to force technology companies to roll back end-to-end encryption, or build back doors, like the Clipper Chip of the 1990s, into their encrypted products to facilitate government surveillance.

In the most aggressive of these efforts, the F.B.I. tried in 2016 to compel Apple in federal court to unlock the iPhone of one of the attackers in the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.

Mr. Cook of Apple called the F.B.I.’s effort “the software equivalent of cancer.” He said complying with the request would open the door to more invasive government interception down the road.

“Maybe it’s an operating system for surveillance, maybe the ability for the law enforcement to turn on the camera,” Mr. Cook told ABC News. “I don’t know where it stops.”

Privacy activists and security experts noted that any back door created for United States law enforcement agencies would inevitably become a target for foreign adversaries, cybercriminals and terrorists.

Alex Stamos, the chief security officer of Yahoo at the time, likened the creation of an encryption back door to “drilling a hole in the windshield.” By trying to provide an entry point for one government, you end up cracking the structural integrity of the entire encryption shield.

The F.B.I. eventually backed down. Instead of forcing Apple to create a back door, the agency said it had paid an outside party to hack into the phone of the San Bernardino gunman.

Governments have stepped up their calls for an encryption back door.

Last year, Australian lawmakers passed a bill requiring technology companies to provide law enforcement and security agencies with access to encrypted communications. The bill gave the government the ability to get a court order allowing it to secretly order technology companies and technologists to re-engineer software and hardware so that it can be used to spy on users.

Australia’s law is based on Britain’s 2016 Investigatory Powers Act, which compels British companies to hand over the keys to unscramble encrypted data to law enforcement agencies. The Australian law could apply to overseas companies like Facebook and Apple.

Australia’s new law applies to network administrators, developers and other tech employees, forcing them to comply with secret government demands without notifying their employers.

Other governments are also considering new encryption laws. In India, Facebook’s biggest market, officials told the country’s Supreme Court in October that Indian law requires Facebook to decrypt messages and supply them to law enforcement upon request.

“They can’t come into the country and say, ‘We will establish a non-decryptable system,’” India’s attorney general, K.K. Venugopal, told the court, referring to Facebook and other big tech platforms. India’s Supreme Court has said it will reconvene on the issue in January.

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Tallulah Willis, Jack Kilmer spark romance rumors as they step out for film premiere

Is romance brewing between Hollywood broods?

Tallulah Willis and fellow actor Jack Kilmer spurred questions the pair were closer than they alluded to when they arrived at the premiere for Kilmer’s new film “Hala” on Monday at AFI Fest in Los Angeles.

The pals arrived together and stood mere inches from each other as they were photographed on the red carpet side-by-side with Willis, 25, sporting a plunging leopard-print dress, a black belt accentuating her slender waistline and gold earrings – her hair pulled tightly back.

DEMI MOORE’S DAUGHTER TALLULAH WILLIS FELT ‘VERY FAR AWAY’ FROM MOM GROWING UP

For Kilmer, 24, the son of longtime actor Val Kilmer – he kept his look classy in a donning a black pinstripe suit and white button-down shirt – his hair reminiscent of his father’s shaggy wet-look locks.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1188532012 Tallulah Willis, Jack Kilmer spark romance rumors as they step out for film premiere Julius Young fox-news/person/demi-moore fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 5b2c87d0-0729-5460-90aa-9fc8bce090ab

Tallulah Belle Willis, left, and Jack Kilmer attend the screening of “Hala” during AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on November 18, 2019, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Willis also shared the red carpet photo to her Instagram, with the caption, “2 eligible bachelors.”

In “Hala,” Kilmer stars as Jesse Ross in the film that tells the story of a Muslim teen forced to deal with the undoing of her family while becoming an adult.

DEMI MOORE SAYS BRUCE WILLIS WAS ‘CONTROLLING’ DURING MARRIAGE, WANTED HER TO BE STAY-AT-HOME MOM

The premiere of “Hala” comes just days after Val Kilmer, 59, celebrated his art exhibition at his HelMel studios in Los Angeles on Friday.

While Val has been outspoken about his battle with throat cancer, which required surgery, Willis has stood strong by her mother Demi Moore’s side. The actress revealed some of her shocking secrets in a memoir titled “Inside Out.” Earlier this month, the 57-year-old appeared on Facebook Watch’s “Red Table Talk” with Jada Pinkett Smith.

Westlake Legal Group willis-sisters Tallulah Willis, Jack Kilmer spark romance rumors as they step out for film premiere Julius Young fox-news/person/demi-moore fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 5b2c87d0-0729-5460-90aa-9fc8bce090ab

(L-R) Tallulah Willis, Rumer Willis and Scout Willis attend the Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis at Hollywood Palladium on July 14, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/VMN18/Getty Images For Comedy Central)

Willis said in the roundtable interview with Moore and sister Rumer that as a child, her mother’s strength intimidated her.

“I felt like my mom made a choice to hold back certain things, like sharing about her past, and I think it always made me feel very far away from her,” Willis said of Moore. “And always made me feel like I didn’t know her very well. I knew she had a career, she met my dad, she grew up in New Mexico, but it was like that was it.”

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Willis continued: “I don’t think my mom was raised, she was forged. You know, like, she was made. And the strength that comes from that is intimidating, and it’s scary.”

Reps for Willis and Kilmer did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Westlake Legal Group Tallulah-Willis-Jack-Kilmer Tallulah Willis, Jack Kilmer spark romance rumors as they step out for film premiere Julius Young fox-news/person/demi-moore fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 5b2c87d0-0729-5460-90aa-9fc8bce090ab   Westlake Legal Group Tallulah-Willis-Jack-Kilmer Tallulah Willis, Jack Kilmer spark romance rumors as they step out for film premiere Julius Young fox-news/person/demi-moore fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 5b2c87d0-0729-5460-90aa-9fc8bce090ab

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Buttigieg surges ahead in latest New Hampshire poll, after doing same in Iowa

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Three days after a poll in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa showed Pete Buttigieg with a clear advantage over his rival Democrats for the presidential nomination, a new survey in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House also indicates the South Bend, Ind., mayor with a large  lead over the other top-tier contenders.

According to a Saint Anselm College Survey Center poll released Tuesday, Buttigieg grabbed the support of 25 percent of likely Democratic presidential primary voters in New Hampshire. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of neighboring Massachusetts were tied for second – with each at 15 percent.

The survey indicated Sen. Bernie Sanders of neighboring Vermont – who crushed eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire’s 2016 presidential primary – at 9 percent.

BUTTIGIEG WEBSITES ON ‘BLACK AMERICA’ PLANS USED STOCK PHOTOS OF MINORITIES

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota registered at 6 percent in the poll, with billionaire environmental and progressive advocate and grassroots organizer Tom Steyer at 5 percent. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii each were at 3 percent and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang was at 2 percent. Everyone else tested in the survey stood at 1 percent or less.

Westlake Legal Group PeteButtigieg-FITN-rally Buttigieg surges ahead in latest New Hampshire poll, after doing same in Iowa Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-primaries fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 71d8d874-1854-57dc-9aff-66b77e4aaca0

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg shaking hands with supporters at a rally in front of the New Hampshire Statehouse on Oct. 30 in Concord, N.H. (Fox News)

The 37-year old Buttigieg – the youngest candidate in the large field of White House hopefuls – was once seen as the longest of long-shots for the nomination, but he surged in the spring to middle-tier status and he’s soared this autumn to reach the top-tier of contenders. He’s skyrocketed 15 percentage points since the previous Saint Anselm College poll, which was conducted in September.

Warren’s plunged 10 points since the previous poll, with Biden nose-diving 9 points.

“With less than three months before the primary, the race for New Hampshire’s Democratic delegates is still in a great deal of flux,” New Hampshire Institute of Politics Executive Director Neil Levesque highlighted.

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He’s not kidding. A Quinnipiac University Poll in New Hampshire conducted earlier this month indicated Biden at 20 percent, with Warren at 16 percent, Buttigieg at 15 percent and Sanders at 14 percent. And, a University of New Hampshire-CNN poll conducted late last month showed Sanders at 21 percent, Warren at 18 percent, Biden at 15 percent and Buttigieg at 10 percent.

Levesque emphasized that in the Saint Anselm poll, “Buttigieg’s bump is driven by the favorable impression he’s made on voters, with 76 percent having a favorable impression of him versus only 11 percent unfavorable.”

Buttigieg’s net favorability of 65 percent easily bested his top rivals for the nomination.

But, the reputation of New Hampshire voters as late deciders was reflected in the survey. Thirteen percent said they remained undecided and of those who were backing a candidate, only 36 percent said they were firm in their choices. If voters do change their minds, Warren may benefit. She topped the list for second choice, at 23 percent.

The poll’s release came with two and a half months until the Iowa caucuses kick off the presidential nominating calendar, followed eight days later by the New Hampshire primary.

A Des Moines Register-CNN-Mediacom poll released this past Saturday indicated Buttigieg at 25 percent among likely Iowa Democratic presidential caucus-goers, with Warren at 16 percent, and Biden and Sanders at 15 percent. A Monmouth University survey also conducted earlier this month showed Buttigieg with a single-digit advantage over his top rivals in the Hawkeye State.

The Saint Anselm College Survey Center poll was conducted November 13-18, with 255 likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling of error was plus or minus 6.1 percentage points.

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The poll’s release came days after former Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., jumped into the presidential nomination race. He stood at less than 1 percent support in the New Hampshire primary.

The poll also indicated over three-quarters of those questioned said they would discourage former New York City mayor and billionaire business and media mogul Mike Bloomberg from launching a bid. Ninety-one percent said they would discourage 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton from running again. But, more than four in ten said they would encourage former first lady Michelle Obama to run.

Westlake Legal Group PeteButtigieg-FITN-rally Buttigieg surges ahead in latest New Hampshire poll, after doing same in Iowa Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-primaries fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 71d8d874-1854-57dc-9aff-66b77e4aaca0   Westlake Legal Group PeteButtigieg-FITN-rally Buttigieg surges ahead in latest New Hampshire poll, after doing same in Iowa Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-primaries fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 71d8d874-1854-57dc-9aff-66b77e4aaca0

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Discussion Thread: Day Three of House Public Impeachment Hearings – Afternoon Session – 11/19/2019 | Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison – Part II

Westlake Legal Group 32tUUk__cb1Wxl3YJ-9mzhGmPGzcWvV_UsTws-Tbe74 Discussion Thread: Day Three of House Public Impeachment Hearings – Afternoon Session - 11/19/2019 | Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison – Part II r/politics

This afternoon the House Intelligence Committee will hold their fourth round of public hearings in preparation for possible Impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. Testifying today are Kurt Volker, former Special Envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, former National Security Council aide.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2:30pm 3:30pm EST. You can watch live online on CSPAN or PBS. Most major networks will also air live coverage.)

You can listen online via C-Span or download the C-Span Radio App


Today’s hearing is expected to follow the format for Impeachment Hearings as laid out in H.R. 660

  • Opening statements by Chairman Adam Schiff, Ranking Member Devin Nunes, Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison, followed by:

  • Two continuous 45 minutes sessions of questioning, largely led by staff counsel, followed by:

  • Committee Members each allowed 5 minutes of time for questions and statements, alternating from Dem to Rep, followed by:

  • Closing statements by Ranking Member Devin Nunes and Chairman Adam Schiff


Day One archives – William Taylor and George Kent:

Day Two archives – Marie Yovanovitch:

Day Three archives – Morning Session – Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams:


Upcoming Hearings

  • Wednesday, 11/20/2019, 9:00am EST – Gordon Sondland

  • Wednesday, 11/20/2019, 2:30pm EST – Laura Cooper and David Hale

  • Thursday, 11/21/2019, 9:00am EST – Fiona Hill and David Holmes


Discussion Thread Part I

Discussion Thread Part II

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Gannett, Now Largest U.S. Newspaper Chain, Targets ‘Inefficiencies’

Westlake Legal Group Gannett-headquarters-facebookJumbo Gannett, Now Largest U.S. Newspaper Chain, Targets ‘Inefficiencies’ USA Today Son, Masayoshi Reed, Michael E. Newspapers New Media Investment Group Inc Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures Gatehouse Media Inc Gannett Company Inc Bascobert, Paul

The deal to create the largest newspaper company in the nation — which became official at 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday — came about with remarkable speed for a merger that will reshape the media landscape.

In August, Gannett, the parent company of USA Today and more than 100 other dailies, and New Media Investment Group, the owner of the newspaper chain GateHouse Media, announced their intention to join forces. Over the next two months, the plan breezed through the regulatory process, winning approvals from the Justice Department and the European Union. Last week, shareholders at the two companies voted yea. And now one in five daily papers in the United States has the same owner, under the Gannett name, according to figures provided by researchers at the University of North Carolina.

The combined company will have its headquarters in Gannett’s home base, McLean, Va., and will be led by Michael E. Reed, the GateHouse chief executive since 2006. The job puts him in charge of more than 260 dailies — from small papers like The Tuscaloosa News in Alabama to big ones like The Detroit Free Press.

GateHouse’s acquisition of Gannett, a cash-and-stock transaction valued at roughly $1.2 billion, was intended to give the combined companies an annual savings of some $300 million. Mr. Reed said the bulk of the savings “is not going to come from editorial,” meaning newsrooms would be largely spared.

Pressed to say more, Mr. Reed added: “I can’t give you an exact number, but almost nothing. I mean, just for context, there’s 24,000 employees in the two companies, and a significant portion of the cost reductions are going to come from things other than people. But, obviously, people’s a part of this as well. Out of 24,000 people in the company, there’s about 2,500 that are actually writing stories every day. So it’s a small number, relative to 24,000. So there’s so much opportunity beyond the newsroom for us to go get these efficiencies.”

Paul Bascobert, the chief executive of the former Gannett who will hold that same title for the new Gannett’s operating company, seconded that statement, saying the company’s mission “is to connect, protect and celebrate local communities.”

“And the core of that is great local journalism,” he added. “That’s the engine that has gotten us to the place we are today, and that’s the engine that’s going to carry us forward.”

Newspaper executives have sung this tune before, only to end up making aggressive cuts in an industry that has struggled since the one-two punch of the recession more than 10 years ago and the rise of digital media. Twenty-five percent of newsroom employees were laid off between 2008 and 2018, according to the Pew Research Center.

GateHouse and Gannett have both cut newsroom employees in recent years. GateHouse consolidated some business functions at a center in Austin, Texas, resulting in layoffs elsewhere, and laid off more than 100 newsroom employees in the spring. Gannett has let go dozens of journalists, including prominent sportswriters and a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist.

Mr. Reed and Mr. Bascobert, who spoke with The New York Times at the USA Today office in Midtown Manhattan, said the savings they had in mind amounted to 8 percent of annual costs. “So it’s not an overwhelming number — very achievable,” Mr. Reed said.

The News Guild, which represents journalists at many of the company’s newspapers, has been critical of the merger. The union “intends to hold managers of the new Gannett to the promises they have made,” the News Guild president, Bernie Lunzer, said in a statement. “We will continue to demand that they fund high-quality journalism.”

Mr. Reed said he would make newsroom decisions with the help of data that tracked reader interest and the output of journalists. “The ability to measure production at the reporter level allows us to get stronger and healthier and do more quality local journalism with the same amount of resources, potentially,” he said.

He seemed aware that his stats-based approach to newsroom management was not likely to sit well with the union. “The Guild would fight me on that, and say, ‘We should do business like it’s 1950,’” Mr. Reed said, adding, “I frankly think the Guild’s a big problem, and until we can get them to sit at a table and have a real discussion about where the world is today, there’s going to be inefficiencies.”

Douglas Arthur, an analyst at Huber Research Partners, questioned Gannett’s approach, noting that New Media Investment Group and Gannett had missed revenue projections in the most recent quarter. “The only way they can support it,” Mr. Arthur said, speaking of the newspaper industry in general, “is to cut costs. And it feeds on itself: Subscribers go down, advertisers pay less.”

The merger raises another question: What does it mean that the beleaguered newspaper industry, considered essential to democracy, is controlled by ever fewer corporations, many of them with a focus on finance rather than covering the news?

The supersize version of Gannett has a byzantine corporate structure. It will be managed, under an agreement that lasts two more years, by Fortress Investment Group, a private equity firm in Manhattan. Fortress was the entity that controlled New Media Investment Group, the parent of GateHouse Media.

Fortress, in turn, is owned by SoftBank, the Tokyo conglomerate founded by Masayoshi Son, a brash executive who had a friendly meeting with Donald J. Trump in December 2016, when Mr. Trump was the president-elect. (Mr. Son was also a driving force behind the all-but-final megamerger of Sprint, a SoftBank-controlled company, and T-Mobile; that deal won regulatory approval after a lobbying campaign that included company executives staying at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.)

Iris Chyi, a professor at the University of Texas School of Journalism, expressed concern that the newspaper business was in fewer corporate hands. “From a media economics perspective, more competition is always better,” Ms. Chyi said. “We don’t want a company to have way too much power.”

Another large newspaper chain, MediaNews Group, is owned by a hedge fund, Alden Global Capital. Gannett resisted MediaNews Group’s bid to buy it earlier this year. McClatchy, another major chain, said last week that it risked insolvency.

Mr. Reed grew up in Elmira, N.Y., and was once a delivery boy for The Star-Gazette there — the descendant of The Elmira Gazette bought by Frank E. Gannett in 1906. It was the first publication in what would become a newspaper empire.

Now a part-time resident of the Rochester, N.Y., area, Mr. Reed noted that the new incarnation of Gannett would have two publications in that part of the world: The Daily Messenger, in Canandaigua, formerly a GateHouse publication, and The Democrat and Chronicle, a longtime Gannett daily in Rochester.

“I think both products get stronger,” he said, “because now we’re going to be able to share those resources.”

When he spoke of how Gannett would manage the neighboring papers, he mentioned the newsroom. “Do we need two people covering the Rochester Red Wings?” he asked, referring to the minor-league baseball franchise. “So that’s where we potentially redeploy assets.”

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