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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 63)

‘Time’s Up’ group demands NBC to ‘stop protecting powerful men’ following Gabrielle Union report

Westlake Legal Group Gabrielle-Union-NBC 'Time's Up' group demands NBC to 'stop protecting powerful men' following Gabrielle Union report Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc e02466d7-c5a1-5166-ac28-4a3e4947c3d8 article

A prominent women’s advocacy group has slammed NBC for repeatedly “protecting powerful men” following a report about former “America’s Got Talent” judge Gabrielle Union and the complaints she raised while working on the series, which critics suggest led to her unjust firing.

Time’s Up, formulated by several Hollywood actresses following the downfall of film mogul Harvey Weinstein, applauded the actress for coming forward with her claims against  “AGT,” which included instances of racism.

“For too long, NBCUniversal has enabled toxic workplaces by protecting the careers of powerful men like [former ‘Today’ host] Matt Lauer at the expense of women who speak out and are silenced through non-disclosure agreements,” the advocacy group stated in a petition on Monday. “Now, Gabrielle Union was allegedly fired for speaking up about racist and inappropriate behavior she encountered working on NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent.’ Union reportedly endured and witnessed racially-insensitive comments and excessive criticism about her physical appearance, and it also appears she was punished for speaking out.”

“It’s time for NBC to stop protecting powerful men at the expense of its workers and address its toxic workplace culture, once and for all.”

NBC did not immediately respond to requests by Fox News for comment.

GABRIELLE UNION SPEAKS OUT AMID CONTROVERSIAL DEPARTURE FROM ‘AMERICA’S GOT TALENT’

The news of Union’s departure from “AGT” was initially broken by Variety. The report alleges that Union was subject to various racially-motivated criticisms. For example, her many hairstyle changes were perceived as “too black” for “AGT’s” core demographic — a critique Union reportedly received over half a dozen times.

Union was also reportedly not a fan of a racially insensitive joke made by Jay Leno on set.

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During the filming of an interstitial segment, Leno joked about a painting that featured Simon Cowell surrounded by dogs. Leno joked that the dogs looked like something one could find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant” — much to the chagrin of “the very few Asian staffers” on the show. The comment was later edited out of the Aug. 6 episode.

Union allegedly urged producers to report the incident to NBC’s human resources department — to no avail.

Time’s Up’s petition also referred to allegations that NBC shielded Lauer after he was accused of sexual assault. According to reporting from “Catch and Kill” author Ronan Farrow, NBC News killed his Weinstein story because the producer used his knowledge of claims against Lauer as leverage against the network.

Fox News’ Andy Sahadeo contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Gabrielle-Union-NBC 'Time's Up' group demands NBC to 'stop protecting powerful men' following Gabrielle Union report Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc e02466d7-c5a1-5166-ac28-4a3e4947c3d8 article   Westlake Legal Group Gabrielle-Union-NBC 'Time's Up' group demands NBC to 'stop protecting powerful men' following Gabrielle Union report Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc e02466d7-c5a1-5166-ac28-4a3e4947c3d8 article

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READ: Republican Report On The Impeachment Inquiry

Westlake Legal Group facebook-default-wide READ: Republican Report On The Impeachment Inquiry

House Republicans have released their report on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

The release of the report from Republicans on the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees comes after more than a dozen witnesses testified both behind closed doors and in public hearings over nearly two months. The panel’s Democratic majority have not yet released their own report on the inquiry.

Republicans have argued that the entire impeachment inquiry, overseen by Rep. Adam Schiff, the chair of the Intelligence Committee, was unfair and did not provide Trump or his legal team the opportunity to respond to allegations. Trump himself has labeled the inquiry a sham.

Democrats say the inquiry was held to determine if Trump had sought a political favor from the newly elected Ukrainian president — an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter — in exchange for a White House visit and the release of defense aid. The president has denied any such link was made.

The Republican report reiterates the claim that Ukrainian officials tried to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. intelligence agencies have previously dismissed that claim — instead noting that it was Russia that interfered in the process.

Read the minority report here.

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Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts says she was ‘grossed out’ by royal, was forced ‘to keep him happy’

Virginia Roberts, who claimed she was trafficked by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions nearly 20 years ago, isn’t holding back in a shocking new interview.

Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, sat down with BBC’s “Panorama” for an interview airing Monday evening in the U.K. During the interview, she responded to the prince’s denial of her allegations against him.

“This is not some sordid sex story,” said Roberts, as reported by People magazine on Monday. “This is a story of being trafficked. This is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty.”

According to Roberts, she was brought to London by Epstein in 2001, when she was introduced to Andrew, now 59. It was during that meeting when the trio, along with Epstein’s then-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, went to Tramp nightclub.

INTERVIEW WITH PRINCE ANDREW ACCUSER VIRGINIA ROBERTS ADDS TO ROYAL FAMILY CRISIS

Westlake Legal Group Andrew-Accuser Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts says she was ‘grossed out’ by royal, was forced 'to keep him happy' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4c1b1631-242f-5693-aa48-f10fdb173ed9

Photo from 2001 that was included in court files released last week shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)

JEFFREY EPSTEIN ACCUSER VIRGINIA ROBERTS ON PRINCE ANDREW: ‘HE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED’

“We went into the VIP section,” she alleged. “There was no waiting in the lines, obviously — you were with a prince. Andrew asked me what I wanted to drink, you know, and I said, ‘Oh, you know, something from the bar.’”

“He had something clear [to drink],” she continued. “I know mine was vodka, and then he asked me to dance. He is the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean it was horrible, and this guy was sweating all over me … it was raining basically everywhere. I was just so grossed out from it, but I knew I had to keep him happy because that’s what Jeffrey and Ghislaine would have expected from me.”

Roberts also insisted Maxwell gave her instructions after they left the club.

“In the car, Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey — and that just made me sick.”

PRINCE ANDREW’S EPSTEIN SCANDAL WILL RESULT IN ‘HEATED SHOWDOWN’ WITH ‘FURIOUS’ PRINCE CHARLES: REPORT

PRINCE ANDREW’S ‘PUBLIC EXISTENCE HAS BEEN WIPED OUT,’ SAYS ROYAL EXPERT: ‘THE ROYALS CAN MOVE VERY SWIFTLY’

Roberts also claimed that she had sex with the royal at Maxwell’s London home later that evening.

She also slammed Andrew’s claim that a photograph of him and Roberts showing with his arms around her waist was doctored.

“The people on the inside are going to keep coming with these ridiculous excuses, like his arm was elongated or the photo was doctored,” she said. “I’m calling BS on this. He knows what happened. I know what happened. And there’s only one of us telling the truth, and I know that’s me.”

People shared that Buckingham Palace told the BBC that the Duke of York “unequivocally regrets his ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein and “deeply sympathizes with those affected who want some form of closure.”

CHAOS REIGNS: BRITISH MONARCHY STAGGERS FROM ONE SCANDAL TO ANOTHER WITH NO END IN SIGHT

Westlake Legal Group Queen-elizabeth-crying Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts says she was ‘grossed out’ by royal, was forced 'to keep him happy' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4c1b1631-242f-5693-aa48-f10fdb173ed9

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II attends the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph on Whitehall in central London, on November 10, 2019.  (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

PRINCE WILLIAM ‘NOT A HUGE FAN’ OF PRINCE ANDREW, PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN AXING UNCLE OVER EPSTEIN SCANDAL: REPORT

The palace also stressed that “it is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”

In a previous interview with the BBC, Andrew claimed he had “no recollection of ever meeting” Roberts, “none whatsoever.”

“I have absolutely no memory of that photograph,” insisted Andrew. “I’m afraid to say that I don’t believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested.”

That interview has been widely considered a public relations disaster for Andrew, who announced shortly after it aired that he would be stepping down from his royal duties.

PRINCE ANDREW’S JEFFREY EPSTEIN WOES ARE FAR FROM OVER DESPITE STEPPING DOWN FROM ROYAL DUTIES

Westlake Legal Group da51abe8-Prince-Andrew-split Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts says she was ‘grossed out’ by royal, was forced 'to keep him happy' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4c1b1631-242f-5693-aa48-f10fdb173ed9

Prince Andrew (right) is dealing with harsh backlash from critics and media personalities over an interview about his relationship with now-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and the numerous sexual assault allegations against the British royal. (Getty)

MEGHAN MARKLE ‘HORRIFIED’ BY PRINCE ANDREW’S JEFFREY EPSTEIN INTERVIEW: SOURCES

Last week, London’s Metropolitan Police disclosed that it had received a complaint in July 2015 accusing Epstein “and a British woman” — presumably Maxwell — of “nonrecent trafficking for sexual exploitation.”

Metropolitan Police Cmdr. Alex Murray said the department interviewed Roberts — who was not named in the statement — and consulted with prosecutors before concluding in November 2016 that it “was not the appropriate authority to conduct inquiries in these circumstances”.

“Following the legal advice, it was clear that any investigation into human trafficking would be largely focused on activities and relationships outside the UK [sic],” said Murray, who added that the Metropolitan Police revisited its decision after Epstein’s death this past August and “our position remains unchanged.”

PRINCE ANDREW FORCED TO MOVE OFFICE OUT OF BUCKINGHAM PALACE: REPORT

Westlake Legal Group Jeffrey-Epstein Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts says she was ‘grossed out’ by royal, was forced 'to keep him happy' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4c1b1631-242f-5693-aa48-f10fdb173ed9

Prince Andrew, Duke of York leaves the headquarters of Crossrail at Canary Wharf on March 7, 2011, in London, England. Prince Andrew is under increasing pressure after a series of damaging revelations about him surfaced, including criticism over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

DOMINIC GREEN: PRINCE ANDREW ALLEGATIONS COULD BE ‘BIGGEST ROYAL SCANDAL SINCE EDWARD VIII PALLED AROUND WITH NAZIS’

Epstein died Aug. 10 after being found unconscious in a Manhattan jail cell, where he was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. His death has been ruled a suicide.

Murray also said that London police have not received a formal request for assistance from other law enforcement agencies investigating the case.

U.S. officials are still looking into the case, and a number of civil lawsuits against Epstein’s estate are in progress.

Roberts did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment in regards to her interview.

Fox News’ Nate Day and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Andrew-Accuser Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts says she was ‘grossed out’ by royal, was forced 'to keep him happy' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4c1b1631-242f-5693-aa48-f10fdb173ed9   Westlake Legal Group Andrew-Accuser Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts says she was ‘grossed out’ by royal, was forced 'to keep him happy' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4c1b1631-242f-5693-aa48-f10fdb173ed9

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The Mueller Report’s Secret Memos – BuzzFeed News sued the US government for the right to see all the work that Mueller’s team kept secret. Today we are publishing the second installment of the FBI’s summaries of interviews with key witnesses.

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Senate panel cleared Ukraine of election interference

Westlake Legal Group Hn4V0DQCFi_bkqGokFR9vcvGjhbEzcmKwI5aljg7kco Senate panel cleared Ukraine of election interference r/politics

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Republican Impeachment Defense Claims Trump’s Ukraine Pressure Was Apolitical

WASHINGTON — House Republicans plan to argue that President Trump was acting on “genuine and reasonable” skepticism of Ukraine and “valid” concerns about possible corruption involving Americans, not political self-interest, when he pressed the country for investigations of his Democratic rivals, according to a draft of a report laying out their impeachment defense.

In a 123-page document that echoes the defiant messaging that Mr. Trump has employed in his own defense, the Republicans do not concede a single point of wrongdoing or hint of misbehavior by the president, according to a copy reviewed by The New York Times ahead of its planned release on Tuesday.

The report amounts to a pre-emptive attack by some of Mr. Trump’s most ardent supporters against Democrats’ arguments for impeachment. The Democrats have finalized a written report of their own and are scheduled to vote on Tuesday to transmit it to the House Judiciary Committee, kick-starting the next phase of the impeachment inquiry in the House as it barrels toward a likely vote on articles of impeachment.

In the Republicans’ dissenting views, they argue that after two months of investigation, the evidence “does not support” that Mr. Trump withheld a coveted White House meeting for Ukraine’s president or nearly $400 million in security assistance for the country as leverage for securing the investigations.

Westlake Legal Group republican-impeachment-report-1575324892513-articleLarge-v2 Republican Impeachment Defense Claims Trump’s Ukraine Pressure Was Apolitical Zelensky, Volodymyr Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 House of Representatives House Committee on the Judiciary Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

Read the House Republicans’ Report on the Impeachment Inquiry

Republicans on three House committees on Monday finalized a report documenting their impeachment defense of President Trump. The Democrats are expected to release their own report in the near future.

The conclusion is at odds with sworn testimony from senior American diplomats, White House officials and other administration officials who recounted how Mr. Trump sought to use American influence over Ukraine to suit his domestic political purposes, repeatedly insisting that President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine announce investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and an unproven claim that Ukraine conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 election.

Rather than take those assertions at face value, the Republicans charge that they came from civil servants who dislike Mr. Trump’s agenda and style and are therefore allowing themselves to be part of a push by Democrats to undo the results of the 2016 election and thwart Mr. Trump’s re-election chances in 2020.

“The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is not the organic outgrowth of serious misconduct; it is an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system,” the Republicans wrote. “The Democrats are trying to impeach a duly elected president based on the accusations and assumptions of unelected bureaucrats who disagreed with President Trump’s policy initiatives and processes.”

The argument mirrored one made at the White House on Monday by Kellyanne Conway, Mr. Trump’s counselor, who sought to portray Democrats’ case as flimsy.

“One out of 12 people had ever talked to the president of the United States and met him or discussed Ukraine with him — that is just mind-boggling to me,” Ms. Conway said, referring to the number of current and former government officials who testified publicly in the inquiry. “And we are supposed to impeach the president for high crimes and misdemeanors for that reason?”

Ms. Conway also dared the chairman of the Intelligence Committee who has been leading the inquiry, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, to testify publicly during the Judiciary Committee’s proceedings about his handling of the case. If he did, she promised to “show up on behalf of the White House,” which on Sunday declined to participate in a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

Hours later, the Judiciary Committee unveiled the panel of constitutional scholars its members would question in that hearing to help inform its debate over whether Mr. Trump’s conduct was impeachable. The witnesses are Noah Feldman of Harvard Law School, Pamela S. Karlan of Stanford Law School, Michael J. Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina Law School and Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University Law School. Mr. Turley was invited by Republicans on the panel.

Democrats are expected to argue the virtual opposite of the Republican report. They will conclude, based on witness testimony and documentary evidence, that working with allies inside and outside his administration, Mr. Trump used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to do his bidding in order to gain an advantage in the 2020 race.

Democrats’ case centers on a July phone call in which Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Zelensky to investigate Mr. Biden and the claim that Ukraine worked with Democrats to subvert the 2016 election. It is also likely to charge that Mr. Trump conditioned the White House meeting and military assistance money on a public commitment to the investigations.

The minority report was compiled by committee staff for the top three Republicans on the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform Committees.

It essentially formalizes a range of defenses Republicans road-tested during two weeks of public impeachment hearings in the Intelligence Committee last month. For members of the Judiciary Committee and the larger Republican conference in the House, it provides several alternative tacks for defending Mr. Trump or at least arguing against impeachment.

If the Democrats’ case hinges on linking actions by Mr. Trump and his agents to a unified pressure campaign, the Republican defense is staked on pulling those pieces apart and offering an alternate explanation for each.

Many of the actions in question, Republicans argue, stem from Mr. Trump’s “longstanding, deep-seated skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of pervasive corruption.”

“Understood in this proper context, the president’s initial hesitation to meet with President Zelensky or to provide U.S. taxpayer-funded security assistance to Ukraine without thoughtful review is entirely prudent,” the Republicans wrote.

Likewise, they argued, there was “nothing wrong with asking serious questions” about Mr. Biden and his younger son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm when his father was vice president, or about “Ukraine’s attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.”

Though some officials who testified before the inquiry said that Hunter Biden’s role had prompted concerns about the appearance of a conflict of interest, no evidence had emerged to support any accusations of wrongdoing. And Mr. Trump’s own former national security advisers testified that the concerns he raised to Mr. Zelensky about 2016 were conspiracies promulgated by Russia to absolve its own interference campaign in 2016 and harm American democracy. They said the president had repeatedly been told as much.

Republicans also argued there was “nothing inherently improper” with Mr. Trump empowering Rudolph W. Giuliani, his private lawyer who led the push for investigations, to help steer Ukraine matters, despite testimony that there was widespread alarm at Mr. Giuliani’s involvement.

Fiona Hill, the former top Europe and Russia adviser at the White House, testified that her boss, John R. Bolton, had called Mr. Giuliani a “hand grenade.” Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are also investigating whether Mr. Giuliani’s Ukraine work broke the law.

The report spends relatively little time on the smear campaign by Mr. Giuliani and other Trump allies targeting Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Kyiv, or Mr. Trump’s directive to remove her from her post months ahead of schedule. Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal is a key plank of Democrats’ case that Mr. Trump shunted aside the proper foreign policy apparatus to secure what he wanted from Ukraine, politically beneficial investigations.

Republicans do not suggest that Ms. Yovanovitch was treated fairly, but they play down her removal, arguing that it had no meaningful effect on her and writing that it was “not per se evidence of wrongdoing for the president’s political benefit.”

The report also repeats familiar Republican grievances about the denial of “fundamental fairness” in the investigative process put forward by Democrats. Mr. Trump’s decision to discourage participation in the inquiry, they wrote, was “a legitimate response to an unfair, abusive, and partisan process, and does not constitute obstruction of a legitimate impeachment inquiry.”

Democrats do not see it that way, and have prepared a catalog of all of the ways that Mr. Trump has obstructed their inquiry that could form the basis for its own article of impeachment in the Judiciary Committee.

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Trump hits back at Lisa Page after ex-FBI lawyer breaks silence

Westlake Legal Group donald-trump-lisa-page-AP Trump hits back at Lisa Page after ex-FBI lawyer breaks silence Ronn Blitzer fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc article a0957d49-3cb5-5f1d-95e9-bf8574f6a466

President Trump hit back Monday after former FBI lawyer Lisa Page went to The Daily Beast to break her silence over the controversy involving her infamous Trump-bashing text messages with ex-special agent Peter Strzok.

While a prior Justice Department inspector general’s report did not find that Page’s political leanings affected her work, they reached a different conclusion regarding Strzok, who has since been terminated. Both had worked on the investigations of Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russian election interference, and Trump has long cited their texts as evidence that federal officials had it in for him from the start.

LISA PAGE USES ‘TRUMP-HATING WRITER’ TO BREAK SILENCE AHEAD OF IG REPORT

“When Lisa Page, the lover of Peter Strzok, talks about being ‘crushed’, and how innocent she is, ask her to read Peter’s ‘Insurance Policy’ text, to her, just in case Hillary loses. Also, why were the lovers text messages scrubbed after he left Mueller. Where are they Lisa?” he tweeted.

Trump alluded to Page’s assertion that she found it “crushing” to see what the FBI has become under the Trump administration, claiming that the agency no longer adheres to “its principles of truth and independence.” He fired back with a reference to Strzok’s message to her during the 2016 campaign that mentioned an “insurance policy” in case he won.

Page has claimed in the past that this merely referred to the Russia investigation, which was already underway.

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Trump concluded his tweet by asking why texts between Strzok and Page were “scrubbed after he left Mueller.” A DOJ IG investigation confirmed that thousands of text messages between the two were lost after Strzok was removed from then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, but concluded that this was the result of a faulty message collection system that had plagued the FBI for years, and not any foul play.

The interview comes just days before a widely anticipated new report from DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz into possible FBI misconduct is expected to be released. Horowitz has reportedly found that an unidentified lower-level FBI lawyer falsified a key document used to obtain a secret surveillance warrant against a former Trump adviser.

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group donald-trump-lisa-page-AP Trump hits back at Lisa Page after ex-FBI lawyer breaks silence Ronn Blitzer fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc article a0957d49-3cb5-5f1d-95e9-bf8574f6a466   Westlake Legal Group donald-trump-lisa-page-AP Trump hits back at Lisa Page after ex-FBI lawyer breaks silence Ronn Blitzer fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc article a0957d49-3cb5-5f1d-95e9-bf8574f6a466

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Why Holy Land Christians are leaving Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus: Pete Hegseth investigates

Westlake Legal Group Hegseth-Nativity_FOX-AP Why Holy Land Christians are leaving Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus: Pete Hegseth investigates Matt London fox-news/us/religion fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 3188d03a-47e1-5ec6-a5ff-f5f62c11f7d6

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“At Christmas, there’s no more significant spot than this place,” said Fox News host Pete Hegseth, standing at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. “Today, this site… is controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The number of Christians here is dwindling.”

In Fox Nation’s new documentary, “Battle for Bethlehem,” Hegseth traveled to the Holy Land to investigate why Christians are leaving the birthplace of Jesus Christ.  He spoke to experts on all sides of the issue and took viewers through a history of the holy place, beginning with the most significant event in Christianity.

“For centuries, Christian pilgrims from around the world have been drawn here to celebrate,” narrated Hegseth, as he and his camera crew went into the cave where Jesus was born.

“In the Church of the Nativity, three different denominations control it. The Armenians, the Greeks and the Catholics,” said Hegseth from inside the shrine. “Each day for the Catholic Church at twelve-noon, there’s a procession down to the cave, the manger scene, the birthplace of Jesus. So you can see day by day, every single day, at the same time, Catholics, Armenians, Greeks are honoring this holy place and the birthplace of Jesus Christ.”

Hegseth spoke to American journalist Brian Schrager, who lived in a Palestinian Chrisitian town in Bethlehem, about why the Christian population is leaving the city.

“For Christians here it’s actually fairly complex,” said Schrager. “Christians are a minority in greater Bethlehem.”

“Most Christians have been pushed out,” suggested Hegseth.

“Exactly,” agreed Schrager, “The Muslim population, the Christian population often clash. So it’s not uncommon to hear, shall we say, unkind sentiments expressed by one toward the other,”

Both Schrager and Hegseth noted that it is difficult to get Palestinian Christians to express that feeling on-camera.

Hegseth said that his Fox Nation team set up multiple interviews with Christian business owners in Bethlehem, but all the meetings were canceled at the last minute, even after Hegseth offered to disguise their identities.

Eugene Kontorovich, the director of the Kohelet Policy Forum, an Israeli non-profit think tank, told Hegseth that Christians fear reprisals from the Palestinian government under which they live.

“People who are in danger don’t say so. It’s just like when journalists used to go to the Soviet Union and ask people in communist Russia, ‘Are you happy here under the communists?'” said Kontorovich. “But in fact, we can see people vote with their feet and they overwhelmingly vote to leave.”

For a different perspective, Hegseth spoke to Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian Christian who teaches at Bethlehem University.

“The stats that we’ve seen show that the Christian population has dramatically plummeted in Bethlehem to under 10 percent today,” said Hegseth.  “I think for a lot of Americans, that’s a huge surprise and would look at Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, and assume it is a Christian town.”

Qumsiyeh said Israel is to blame for the shrinking Chrisitan population.

“Israel, when it was founded, pushed both Christians and Muslims out. Economic pressures in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are different than pointing a gun and saying, ‘Everybody leave.'”

“When you have economic pressures,” he continued, “those with the wherewithal leave more than those without the wherewithal… Most Muslims could not leave. That is why Christians ended up leaving at a higher percentage.”

Schrager does not agree.

“Well, that’s actually shifting the blame,” said Schrager of Qumsiyeh’s explanation, “because what’s happened is that Christians here have found it increasingly difficult to live to do business the way things are done here — legally with the police and with the courts. They’re subject to the Palestinian Authority. And that’s just become increasingly difficult.”

In conclusion, Hegseth acknowledged that despite the conflicting opinions, the reality of Christians in the Holy Land marches on.

“In Bethlehem, time moves forward, but life here can still feel timeless.”

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Westlake Legal Group Hegseth-Nativity_FOX-AP Why Holy Land Christians are leaving Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus: Pete Hegseth investigates Matt London fox-news/us/religion fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 3188d03a-47e1-5ec6-a5ff-f5f62c11f7d6   Westlake Legal Group Hegseth-Nativity_FOX-AP Why Holy Land Christians are leaving Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus: Pete Hegseth investigates Matt London fox-news/us/religion fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 3188d03a-47e1-5ec6-a5ff-f5f62c11f7d6

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90,000 Packages Disappear Daily in N.Y.C. Is Help on the Way?

Westlake Legal Group 00packagetheft1-facebookJumbo 90,000 Packages Disappear Daily in N.Y.C. Is Help on the Way? Shopping and Retail Robberies and Thefts Postal Service and Post Offices Postal Service (US) New York City Fedex Corporation E-Commerce Delivery Services Amazon.com Inc

Online deliveries to an apartment building in northern Manhattan are left with a retired woman in 2H who watches over her neighbors’ packages to make sure nothing gets stolen.

Corporate mailrooms in New York and other cities are overwhelmed by employees shipping personal packages to work for safekeeping, leading companies to ban packages and issue warnings that boxes will be intercepted and returned to the senders.

A new start-up company is gambling that online shoppers who are worried about not getting their packages will be willing to pay extra to ship them to a home-based network of package receivers in Brooklyn.

With online shopping surging and another holiday season unfolding, customers’ mounting frustration and anger over stolen packages are driving many to take creative and even extreme measures to keep items out of the hands of thieves.

In New York City, where more orders are delivered than anywhere else in the country, over 90,000 packages a day are stolen or disappear without explanation, up roughly 20 percent from four years ago, according to an analysis conducted for The New York Times.

About 15 percent of all deliveries in urban areas fail to reach customers because of package theft and other less frequent issues, like deliveries to the wrong house, according to transportation experts.

In suburbs and rural areas, thieves often follow delivery trucks and snatch just-delivered packages from homes, often out of sight of neighbors.

Now online shoppers are turning to a variety of strategies to stymie thieves. Some are installing video doorbell cameras or, at the urging of postal workers, replacing outdated mailboxes from a bygone era of postcards and letters with models that can accommodate large packages.

Online retailers and shipping services, recognizing the scope of the problem, are trying to help customers. Amazon has launched a real-time tracking service so shoppers can arrange to be home when a delivery arrives. UPS is working with a technology company to enable drivers to deposit orders for apartment buildings in locked package rooms.

Amazon, UPS and FedEx also offer an expanding network of secure delivery sites for packages when no one is home. Amazon has over 100 “Hub Lockers” in Manhattan alone. Today, a growing number of bodegas, supermarkets, convenience stores, drugstores and florists are acting as makeshift package holding centers.

Package theft has become so rampant in an apartment building in Brooklyn Heights that one resident, Julie Hoffer, says she now avoids shipping anything to her home that cannot fit in a mailbox.

She sends large boxes to a nearby UPS store, or to a relative in Manhattan. “It’s an issue every time I have to order anything,” Ms. Hoffer, said. “Do they offer tracking? Is it too big for a mailbox? Do I have it diverted?”

“I can’t have my medications delivered here or anything that is essential,’’ she said. “I don’t know what the solution is, but I do know that it’s getting worse.”

Around the country, more than 1.7 million packages are stolen or go missing every day — adding up to more than $25 million in lost goods and services, according to an analysis for The Times by José Holguín-Veras, an engineering professor and director of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems.

In a new survey by insuranceQuotes.com, an online insurance service, nearly 1 in 5 respondents nationally reported having had a package stolen.

“The internet economy has brought tremendous efficiencies but it has also created unintended consequences,” Professor Holguín-Veras said. “Human history shows that new technology solves some problems, but in doing so, it creates others.”

Yet the extent of package theft has been largely underestimated because most cases are not reported to the police. Customers have little incentive to do so when online retailers typically refund or replace items for free, often with few questions.

Most police departments do not track package thefts, but those that have examined the problem have reported notable increases.

The Denver Police Department started compiling data on package thefts in 2015, and has seen a 68 percent increase in reported cases, to 708 last year, from 421 four years ago.

In Washington D.C., 1,846 cases of package theft were reported as of mid-November, already exceeding last year’s total of 1,546 cases, according to police records.

In New York, the police do not break out stolen packages into a separate category. Instead, these cases generally fall under grand larceny if an item is valued at more than $1,000, or petit larceny if valued at less.

Even so, package theft has become a concern in some police precincts. The 77th Precinct in Brooklyn recently posted a reminder on Twitter: “Don’t let your purchase become a steal for someone else.”

Package horror stories have become so common that some state lawmakers are taking aim at thieves. In Texas, package thieves could face up to 10 years in prison under a new law. A South Carolina bill, called the Defense Against Porch Pirates Act, would make package theft a felony.

Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce company, did not respond to repeated questions about how often its packages are stolen, saying only that the “vast majority of deliveries” arrive without an issue.

UPS and FedEx also declined to share numbers about pilfered packages.

FedEx and UPS offer delivery options that allow customers to leave instructions where to leave packages and UPS drivers have been trained to leave parcels in inconspicuous locations like behind bushes.

Concerns about package theft have helped push video doorbell camera sales to about 1.2 million cameras nationally this year from less than 100,000 cameras sold in 2014, according to Jack Narcotta, a senior analyst for Strategy Analytics.

“It’s a sense of, ‘I’m going to protect what’s mine — even if I have to get my camera,’” Jason Hargraves, managing editor of insuranceQuotes.com, said of the concerns about package theft.

Still, many New Yorkers have little, if any, package security. Parcels are routinely left outside brownstones and houses in crowded neighborhoods with heavy foot traffic.

In apartment buildings without doormen, residents — and anyone else passing through — can pick through boxes piled in lobbies or hallways in a kind of honor system.

Mercedes Alonte, 26, a wardrobe stylist who gets shipments of clothing for work, had packages disappear last fall from her Brooklyn building, which she has since moved out of. “It made me really on edge,” she said. “I can’t do my job if I can’t trust the packages are going to be there when I get home.”

Shane Reidy, 30, an architectural designer, used to ship packages to his Manhattan office. But he grew tired of carrying his orders — one was a 30-pound exercise bar — home on the subway, so now he takes his chances at his building in Queens.

Some companies that have become inundated with personal packages are telling their employees to find other options. JPMorgan Chase has asked its workers not to have shipments sent to the office, while Warner Media warns that packages will be returned to the sender.

Assuaging the anxiety of online shoppers has provided a new source of income for some businesses.

One mailbox store, the Brooklyn Postal Center, receives about 100 packages a day for residents who pay $5 for each delivery. “People used to come in for mailboxes,” said Suhaib Ali, the owner. “Over time, more and more people were signing up for mailboxes but didn’t actually want them for mail. They just wanted to receive their packages.”

Gabriel Cepeda, 23, came up with the idea for a start-up company built around collecting packages, called Pickups Technologies, after his own Amazon order of computer hard drives was stolen last year outside of his parents’ home in New Jersey. He spent hours on the phone trying to get his order replaced. “It was bad enough to motivate me to brainstorm,” he said.

Now Mr. Cepeda’s company connects online shoppers with a network of about 30 residents in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg who will accept packages at their homes at all hours, for fees ranging from $4.99 for a single delivery, to $9.99 for a monthly service. The company plans to expand to more neighborhoods.

In East Harlem, Miriam Cruz, a retired nurse’s aide, is almost always home so a couple of neighbors asked her to keep their packages for safekeeping. Soon, word spread around the building, and over the past five years she has opened her door to thousands of packages.

Nothing has been stolen on her watch — unlike the box of Nike sneakers that disappeared recently from outside another apartment. “Put Nikes in front of anyone’s door, of course they’re going to take it,” she said.

Ms. Cruz, 69, said her family did not want her to do it at first because of worries about strangers showing up at her door. She did it anyway. Now, during the holidays, she has boxes filling her hallway and spilling into her bedroom. If neighbors do not pick them up, she posts reminder notes on their doors.

Ms. Cruz, who is known as “Ma” to her neighbors, refuses to take money so they have thanked her with cake and chocolates.

“This is something I do,’’ she said, “because I love my neighbors and I want to pay it forward.’’

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George Conway jabs at wife Kellyanne on Twitter while knocking her ‘boss’ Trump

Westlake Legal Group conways George Conway jabs at wife Kellyanne on Twitter while knocking her 'boss' Trump Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7258b8f0-6748-58ef-b2c7-ce467b8c9ed8

George Conway took a rare direct shot at his wife, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, on Twitter Monday while knocking President Trump over his request for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

On Monday, Kellyanne Conway had some fun at the expense of Biden after a 2017 clip showed him describing how children would rub his leg hair back when he was a lifeguard at a Delaware pool in his younger days.

“I got hairy legs that turned … blonde in the sun. And the kids used to come up and reach into the pool and rub my leg down so it was straight and watch the hair come back up again,” Biden recalled. He then said he “learned about kids jumping on my lap, and I loved kids jumping on my lap.”

KELLYANNE CONWAY’S HUSBAND SAYS SHE’S AN ‘ENABLER’ TO ‘CRIMINAL’ TRUMP

Conway hit the 2020 Democratic frontrunner, insisting “Sleepy Joe is Creepy Joe.”

“We need Ukraine’s help to defeat THIS guy?” the White House aide asked.

Minutes later, her husband responded: “Your boss apparently thought so.”

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George Conway has been an outspoken critic of Trump on Twitter and in recent weeks has taken not-so-veiled shots at his pro-Trump spouse over her loyalty to the president, agreeing with another Twitter user that she is “both” an “enabler” as well as a  “cheerleader” for Trump.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group conways George Conway jabs at wife Kellyanne on Twitter while knocking her 'boss' Trump Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7258b8f0-6748-58ef-b2c7-ce467b8c9ed8   Westlake Legal Group conways George Conway jabs at wife Kellyanne on Twitter while knocking her 'boss' Trump Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7258b8f0-6748-58ef-b2c7-ce467b8c9ed8

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