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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 70)

Jeffrey Epstein hobnobbed with Hollywood, media elite despite dirty past as registered sex offender, reports say

Jeffrey Epstein has been a known sex offender for over a decade, but his perverted past didn’t limit his access to Hollywood and media elite, even at the height of the #MeToo movement, according to reports.

Epstein, a mysterious 66-year-old hedge fund manager, was arrested on Saturday after years of rumors regarding allegations that he sexually abused minors. In 2008, Epstein was required to register as a sex offender, but he’s since been hit a slew of new charges and allegedly operated a sex ring. But Epstein reportedly spent the last decade hanging out with moneyed elite, despite his sleazy past.

BILL MAHER JOKED ABOUT BILL CLINTON JOINING JEFFREY EPSTEIN ON ‘SEX ISLAND’ BACK IN 2015

The Hollywood Reporter published a report on Wednesday headlined, “Jeffrey Epstein moved freely in Hollywood circles even after 2008 conviction,” which details the registered sex offender’s ability to gallivant with prominent political figures and celebrities.

Westlake Legal Group 8a1eb516-ContentBroker_contentid-bfb91ad1d8c04edd8e93e82811867d22 Jeffrey Epstein hobnobbed with Hollywood, media elite despite dirty past as registered sex offender, reports say fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/entertainment fnc cf3bd651-3995-50d2-8ccf-f82e48aa30d4 Brian Flood article

This March 28, 2017 image provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. The wealthy financier pleaded not guilty in federal court in New York on Monday, July 8, 2019, to sex trafficking charges following his arrest over the weekend. Epstein will have to remain behind bars until his bail hearing on July 15. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)

“Equally troubling are Epstein’s long-cultivated relationships within Hollywood and New York media circles, where he moved with ease well after his high-profile 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14,” THR’s Tatiana Siegel and Marisa Guthrie wrote.

The report says that Epstein has been escorted to A-list events by “New York society doyenne” Peggy Siegal, “traveled behind the velvet rope with ease” and hung out with stars including Chris Tucker and Kevin Spacey.

The Hollywood Reporter said Epstein “frequently attended industry events” despite the #MeToo movement bringing down other once-powerful men.

“Amid a climate where figures including Harvey Weinstein and CBS’ Leslie Moonves had instantly become persona non grata for alleged misconduct, Epstein had been convicted and still enjoyed film-world access,” Siegel and Guthrie wrote.

“Epstein, like Weinstein was a known awful entity, and he was accepted by them, even post #MeToo because it didn’t make then look bad… yet.”

— Tim Young

Political comedian and host of “The No Things Considered” podcast, Tim Young, told Fox News that “it goes to show that certain people in Hollywood will only oust you when your presence becomes a PR issue” for them.

“Epstein, like Weinstein was a known awful entity, and he was accepted by them, even post #MeToo because it didn’t make them look bad… yet,” Young said. “It’s not about the crime, it’s about the direct image… and these people wanted that money and influence around, regardless of what they knew.”

BILL CLINTON ‘KNOWS NOTHING’ ABOUT FINANCIER JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S ‘TERRIBLE CRIMES,’ FORMER PRESIDENT’S SPOKESMAN SAYS

Epstein even hosted a 2010 dinner party with a guest list including Katie Couric, Charlie Rose, Woody Allen, Chelsea Handler and ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, THR reported, citing the New York Post.

“Lasagna was served… he was wearing jeans and velvet Stubbs & Wootton slippers,” Siegel and Guthrie noted. “One top Hollywood veteran notes Epstein was very interested in show business and would reach out for information about the industry.”

Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-Epstein-GettyImages-590696434 Jeffrey Epstein hobnobbed with Hollywood, media elite despite dirty past as registered sex offender, reports say fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/entertainment fnc cf3bd651-3995-50d2-8ccf-f82e48aa30d4 Brian Flood article

NEW YORK CITY, NY – MARCH 15: Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The report also says that Epstein’s longtime gal pal Ghislaine Maxwell – who has been accused of helping Epstein commit illegal acts — “has been spotted at top-tier awards-season parties in New York and Los Angeles” mingling with everyone from now-disgraced movie mogul Weinstein to billionaire Jeff Bezos.

Meanwhile, New York Magazine published a breakdown of Epstein’s stunning rolodex, which includes high-powered friends from all walks of life.

“They’ve visited his private island, flown on his private jet, and had him as a guest in their homes. Most of the well-known figures linked to Epstein have not been accused of any wrongdoing, but a few have been accused of participating in his sex-trafficking ring,” New York magazine’s Adam Raymond and Matt Stieb wrote.

FORMER FBI OFFICIAL: INDICTMENT OF JEFFREY EPSTEIN IS ‘PLACEHOLDER,’ EXPECT DOZENS MORE CHARGES IN NEAR FUTURE

Back in 2015, Gawker published a report headlined simply, “Here is pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book.”

The copy of Epstein’s contact list that Gawker obtained and published included everyone from Alec Baldwin to Courtney Love. HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher even made a crude joke in 2015 that implied he knew about Epstein’s private island estate on the 72-acre Virgin Islands home dubbed by some “Orgy Island.”

An indictment alleging sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy was unsealed Monday morning against Epstein, who pleaded not guilty during his initial appearance in a New York City federal court.

Prosecutors alleged that Epstein preyed on “dozens” of victims as young as 14.

Fox News’ Lukas Mikelionis and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6057595651001_6057597143001-vs Jeffrey Epstein hobnobbed with Hollywood, media elite despite dirty past as registered sex offender, reports say fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/entertainment fnc cf3bd651-3995-50d2-8ccf-f82e48aa30d4 Brian Flood article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6057595651001_6057597143001-vs Jeffrey Epstein hobnobbed with Hollywood, media elite despite dirty past as registered sex offender, reports say fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/entertainment fnc cf3bd651-3995-50d2-8ccf-f82e48aa30d4 Brian Flood article

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Having too many sugary drinks linked to higher cancer risk

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6018310980001_6018306720001-vs Having too many sugary drinks linked to higher cancer risk New York Post Lia Eustachewich fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/health/nutrition-and-fitness fox-news/health/medical-research fox-news/health/cancer fnc/health fnc article 90c06b45-1f79-51be-89e7-82db8315b4bf

Sugary drinks aren’t just bad for your waistline — they may also lead to an increase risk of cancera new study has found.

Researchers in France found that downing a small glass of 100 percent fruit juice or soda — about 3.3 ounces worth — a day was linked to an 18 percent increased risk of cancer and a 22 percent increase in breast cancer.

VENEZUELA’S WAR ON CHILDREN AT A ‘BREAKING POINT’ OVER LACK OF MEDICAL CARE

The study, published Wednesday in the BMJ medical journal, examined more than 100,000 adults with an average age of 42 over a period of nine years. Seventy-nine percent of participants were women.

Ninety-seven sugary drinks and 12 artificially sweetened beverages, including soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and 100 percent fruit juices with no added sugar, were tracked.

The participants filled out at least two 24-hour online validated dietary questionnaires, which calculated their daily consumption of sugary beverages.

WOMAN FILMS GIRL LICKING TONGUE DEPRESSOR, PUTTING IT BACK IN CANISTER AT FLORIDA DOCTOR’S OFFICE 

During the follow-up period, researchers measured the daily intakes of sugary drinks against those of diet beverages and compared them to cancer cases in participants’ medical records.

Nearly 2,200 cases of cancer were diagnosed, with the average age at diagnosis being 59.

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The study stops short concluding that sugar is the cause of cancer, though the authors suggested limiting your daily intake of sugary drinks isn’t a bad idea.

“As usual with nutrition, the idea is not to avoid foods, just to balance the intake,” Dr. Mathilde Touvier, who led the study, told the Guardian. “The recommendation from several public health agencies is to consume less than one drink per day. If you consume from time to time a sugary drink it won’t be a problem, but if you drink at least one glass a day it can raise the risk of several diseases – here, maybe cancer, but also with a high level of evidence, cardiometabolic diseases.”

Click here for more from The New York Post.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6018310980001_6018306720001-vs Having too many sugary drinks linked to higher cancer risk New York Post Lia Eustachewich fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/health/nutrition-and-fitness fox-news/health/medical-research fox-news/health/cancer fnc/health fnc article 90c06b45-1f79-51be-89e7-82db8315b4bf   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6018310980001_6018306720001-vs Having too many sugary drinks linked to higher cancer risk New York Post Lia Eustachewich fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/health/nutrition-and-fitness fox-news/health/medical-research fox-news/health/cancer fnc/health fnc article 90c06b45-1f79-51be-89e7-82db8315b4bf

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Could Mussels Teach Us How To Clean Up Oil Spills?

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-123540201_custom-6c75a4f1d253a1b4c7dfb63e226c9a20bafc3543-s1100-c15 Could Mussels Teach Us How To Clean Up Oil Spills?

Mussels bind to surfaces using byssus threads. Understanding how these threads work may help researchers address water contamination. Paul Kay/Getty Images hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  Could Mussels Teach Us How To Clean Up Oil Spills?

Mussels bind to surfaces using byssus threads. Understanding how these threads work may help researchers address water contamination.

Paul Kay/Getty Images

Mussels may be popular among seafood lovers, but many boaters consider them pests. They colonize ship bottoms, clog water pipes and stick to motors.

To chemical engineers, though, those very same properties make mussels marvelous. They can stick to just about any surface, and underwater, no less. The study of practical applications for mussel biology is so widespread that there’s a special term for it: mussel-inspired chemistry.

And now, researchers believe that studying how mussels stick to things may help them address water pollution, according to a review of recent mussel-inspired chemistry published this week in the journal Matter. While most of the technologies studied still aren’t widely applicable, research in the area of mussel-inspired water cleanup shows great promise, the review says.

The World Economic Forum calls inadequate access to clean water one of the greatest societal risks facing the planet today. And water access will only worsen as the climate changes, populations increase and industrial production ramps up. So scientists have been trying to figure out efficient methods of cleaning water by tackling how it interacts with solid materials, like membranes and sorbents (materials that soak up oil).

Mussels’ stickiness is prime study material for those interested in water cleanup. It involves a chemical interaction between substances that makes them adhere even underwater, which is usually very difficult to do, says J. Herbert Waite, a distinguished professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who studies the biochemistry of marine organisms.

“It’s intuitive to most people that if you’re trying to glue things together, you don’t even try to do it underwater,” Waite says. “The main reason is that water, as a molecule, likes to stick to surfaces more than — and better than — most glues.” By studying how mussels are able to create stickiness beneath the sea, engineers can better understand how surfaces interact with substances amidst water, and ultimately, create materials that may help separate water from contaminants.

Mussels’ stickiness works like this: They bind to surfaces using strands called byssus threads, which stream out from their shells like wild, sticky beard hairs. Each thread contains an amino acid group called DOPA, which helps it bind well to nearly any surface underwater.

Engineers have been able to mimic the DOPA that mussels make by taking dopamine (yep, that dopamine — which plays a part in our brain’s reward circuitry) and using it to synthesize a chemical called polydopamine, or PDA. And PDA can be turned into an adhesive similar to that of a mussel’s byssus threads.

You can do a lot of things with water and PDA. For example, one emerging research area that Darling and his colleagues explored involves using PDA to create an interface that repels charged particles and attracts water. This technology could help us clean up wastewater polluted with heavy metals. Other groups are working on membranes that attract oil but repel water, a technology that could be useful in addressing oil spills.

“If you put an oil-water mixture against that membrane, the oil will transmit spontaneously through the pores and the water will stay behind,” says Seth Darling, director of the Center for Molecular Engineering at Argonne National Laboratory and a study co-author. (To date, this technology has only been used on small simulated oil spills, he says).

Blair Brettmann, a chemical engineer and assistant professor at Georgia Tech who was not involved in the study, says the review points to exciting developments for water cleanup.

“There’s so many things you can do with [these materials] — it’s great to see them being applied [to this area],” she says. Brettmann says that she usually sees mussel-inspired materials used as medical adhesives in wet environments.

Brettmann and Darling agree that these materials must become more efficient before they’re put to practical use.

Darling and his colleagues find the challenges facing mussel-inspired chemistry exciting — he says that there’s so much more about mussels’ stickiness to learn. For example, their adhesion might work so well because they collaborate as colonies, and combine different amino acids to enhance stickiness.

“Oftentimes, Mother Nature is smarter than us, [because] she’s had billions of years to come up with solutions,” Darling says. “We’re still learning from mussels.”

Susie Neilson is an intern on NPR’s Science Desk. Follow her on Twitter here: @susieneilson.

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New Orleans braces as Tropical Storm Barry forms; Storm expected to hit Louisiana as a hurricane Saturday

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close New Orleans braces as Tropical Storm Barry forms; Storm expected to hit Louisiana as a hurricane Saturday

Louisiana is under a hurricane watch as a tropical storm near the Gulf Coast gains strength. The New Orleans area has already experienced heavy rain. USA TODAY

Tropical Storm Barry, the second named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, formed Thursday morning in the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s expected to hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said.

A tropical storm warning was put in effect Thursday for the Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency, warning that the “entire coast of Louisiana is at play in this storm.” 

He said National Guard troops and high-water vehicles would be positioned all over the state.

Mandatory evacuations for some 10,000 people were ordered Thursday for portions of the east bank of Plaquemines Parish, which encompasses the last 70 miles of the Mississippi River before it reaches the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters said that Louisiana – the bull’s-eye of the emerging storm – could see up to 12 inches of rain by Monday, with some isolated areas receiving up to 18 inches.

“The slow movement of this system will result in a long duration heavy rainfall threat along the central Gulf Coast and inland through the lower Mississippi Valley through the weekend and potentially into next week,” the weather service said.

In addition to the heavy rain, “there is a danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation along the coast of southern and southeastern Louisiana,” the hurricane center warned.

As of 11 a.m. ET Thursday, the hurricane center said that Barry had sustained winds of 40 mph and was crawling to the west at 5 mph. The center of the storm was located about 200 miles southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana. 

The warning emerged on the same day that a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration report warned Americans of a “floodier” future, with some streets in Louisiana’s largest city, including in the famed French Quarter, looking more like rivers.

In New Orleans, an early line of thunderstorms dumped as much as seven inches of rain within a three-hour period Wednesday morning, leaving up to four feet of water in some streets.

City officials asked residents to have at least three days of supplies on hand and to keep their neighborhood storm drains clear so water can move quickly.

That heavy rain could push the swollen Mississippi River dangerously close to the top of the city’s levees, officials cautioned.

Ricky Boyett, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans said the agency was not expecting widespread overtopping of the levees, but there are concerns for areas south of the city.

“We’re confident the levees themselves are in good shape,” he said. “The big focus is height.”

The river was expected to rise to 19 feet by late Friday at a key gauge in New Orleans. The area is protected by levees 20 to 25 feet high, he said.

After Wednesday’s onslaught of heavy rain, Valerie R. Burton said her neighborhood looked like a lake outside her door.

“There was about three to four feet of water in the street, pouring onto the sidewalks and at my door,” Burton said. “I went to my neighbors to alert them and tell them to move their cars.”

The rapidly rising waters brought memories of a 2017 flash flood that exposed major problems – and led to major personnel changes – at the Sewerage and Water Board, which oversees street drainage.

City officials said the pumping system that drains streets was at full capacity. But the immense amount of rain in three hours would overwhelm any system, said Sewerage and Water Board director Ghassan Korban.

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Contributing: The Associated Press

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/11/new-orleans-weather-worries-many-potential-hurricane-barry-nears/1701680001/

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A Stock Market Record and Rising Economic Worry? Wall Street Has a Name for That

Bad news is cheered. Good news makes investors nervous. Welcome to Wall Street.

The S&P 500 rose above 3,000 for the first time in its history on Wednesday, with gains that continued early Thursday.

The most recent jump began after Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, suggested the nation’s central bank was worried about the economy. Just days earlier, strong data on the job market had the opposite effect for stocks.

This counterintuitive reaction to the news is a phenomenon that’s explained by expectations for interest rates. The weakening outlook for the economy means, in all likelihood, borrowing costs are coming down — and in the right circumstances, this can be good for stocks.

If that all sounds familiar, there is good reason. Those same conditions were in place for much of 2012 to 2015, when the S&P 500 rose nearly 45 percent.

That climb earned itself a nickname, the TINA market. It stands for There Is No Alternative, which simply means that because central banks around the world were holding rates so low investors had little choice but to buy American stocks.

Lower interest rates made returns on government bonds around the world less appealing and drove investors to seek returns in the stock market. At the same time, the United States economy was performing better than much of the rest of the world, and American stocks were seen as less speculative bets than those in other countries. These are more or less the same circumstances investors face today.

Here’s a look at why the return of the TINA market could keep the bull market going, and what could be different in 2019.

Any of the following could arguably derail the decade-long economic expansion and the rally: the seemingly never-ending trade war between China and the United States, a slowing global economy and simmering geopolitical tensions that could escalate into a full-blown conflict.

A recession would wreak havoc on corporate profits and would cause investors to flee riskier assets such as stocks.

But a downturn in the United States is not imminent — employment and economic data make that clear. Investors have become convinced that the Fed will act aggressively to lower rates to keep the expansion going. In the futures market that investors use to bet on the Fed’s decisions, nearly 90 percent expect at least two rate cuts by the end of 2019, and 53 percent anticipate at least three.

That signaled an abrupt U-turn for Fed policymakers, whose seeming determination to continue raising rates caused a market meltdown at the end of last year.

Read more about the markets and the Fed
Fed Chair Powell Signals Rate Cut as Economic Risks Loom

July 10, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 10DC-FED-wire-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v2 A Stock Market Record and Rising Economic Worry? Wall Street Has a Name for That United States Economy Stocks and Bonds Standard&Poor's 500-Stock Index Interest Rates Federal Reserve System
Stocks Just Hit a Record, Thanks to the Fed

June 20, 2019

Westlake Legal Group ae28ccfe810c4f2d8d9e456cfedbfa52-threeByTwoSmallAt2X A Stock Market Record and Rising Economic Worry? Wall Street Has a Name for That United States Economy Stocks and Bonds Standard&Poor's 500-Stock Index Interest Rates Federal Reserve System

The decade-long bull market has racked up record highs and broken through one milestone after another. Each instance has been met with skepticism. And that does not seem to have changed this year.

The percentage of individual investors who say they expect American stocks to rise over the next six months has remained below its historical average for nine straight weeks, according to the American Association of Individual Investors’ weekly survey.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch called its June survey of fund managers its most bearish since the financial crisis.

The rates on long-term government bonds have declined this year, as well as the expectations of bond investors for inflation over the next five years. That indicates there is significant concern about the strength of the economy in the coming years.

“You are not seeing the party hats going on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange,” said JC O’Hara, the chief market technician at MKM Partners. “The average investor has a healthy degree of skepticism. They are very aware of the signs that an economic slowdown is taking place. But in a TINA market, where are they going to put their money?”

The lack of exuberance surrounding the rally may be a reason to think it can keep going. Investor sentiment is often viewed as a contrarian indicator: When optimism is high, it can indicate that investors are ignoring risks and plowing money into stocks on the belief they can only go up. Conversely, if investors become too pessimistic, it can indicate the market has hit a bottom.

Right now, investors are more neutral. That means a rate cut, along with better than expected corporate results and economic data, could inspire the skeptics to buy and keep the rally going.

“The market continues to believe we have this ‘Goldilocks’ situation. That stocks can continue to make new highs and a lot of assets can all perform well together,” said Andrew Sheets, a strategist at Morgan Stanley. “But there are a number of reasons we believe that this is not 2013 or 2015 or even the late 1990s, another period when the Fed cut and the markets did quite well.”

For one, Wall Street’s expectations for earnings remain too high, Mr. Sheets said.

When companies reported first-quarter results, they seemed reluctant to lower the financial forecasts for the year ahead. But since then, trade talks aimed at reaching a deal between China and the United States, which many believed was imminent as recently as the end of April, have broken down, and the economic data has weakened. That means that when companies start reporting second-quarter results, they are likely to issue forecasts that reflect a more difficult 12 months ahead, Mr. Sheets said.

Also, a number of economic measures looked more stretched than they did five years ago when the labor market was still strengthening and consumer confidence was improving, Mr. Sheets said.

It’s true that the United States economy is still adding jobs, but at a slower pace than it did last year or even earlier this year, and consumer confidence is high but not improving.

Mr. Sheets is not expecting a sharp downturn. After stocks have gained 19 percent this year, he and his colleagues at Morgan Stanley, are skeptical the market can continue to march higher.

But in a market that has primarily been fueled by the prospect for interest rate cuts, there is good news for investors: When the Fed starts cutting rates, stocks typically rally for the year that follows.

“If you look at all the initial rate cuts since 1954, they have tended to push the markets higher over the next 12 months,” said Audrey Kaplan, the head of global equity strategy at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

According to her research, the S&P 500 gained about 14 percent on average the year after the Fed’s first cut. The gains have come in 13 out of the 16 instances.

Investors have spent much of the past decade counting on the Fed to keep the bull market going, and the central bank has delivered what investors hoped for. What investors have to grapple with now, is how long this will continue.

“This has been called the most unloved bull market in history, but it will be the most highly anticipated bear market whenever the next one comes around,” Mr. O’Hara said. “Whether that is today, tomorrow, a month from now or a year, that is the question right now.”

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Customs officers barred from randomly checking papers on domestic flights

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Customs officers barred from randomly checking papers on domestic flights

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed U.S. CBP after a report of a secret Facebook group that made fun of dead migrants. USA TODAY

Federal immigration officials agreed to a court settlement late Wednesday that prohibits them from randomly checking the papers of passengers on domestic flights, ending a two-year lawsuit that was filed after Customs officers did just that on a flight from San Francisco to New York City.

In 2017, domestic passengers on a Delta Airlines flight arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport were met by Customs officers who were looking for a fugitive. All passengers were asked to show their identification upon deplaning, which led to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of nine passengers claiming a violation of the passengers’ Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Attorneys for Customs and Border Protection signed a settlement on Wednesday that requires the agency to instruct all of its Customs officers working at airports that they cannot have a policy of “suspicionless document checks” or conduct any operations that violate the Fourth Amendment.

The agency can still conduct identification checks of passengers deplaning after domestic flights, but they must verbally advise passengers that the checks are voluntary, request the airline to make a public announcement telling passengers that the screening is voluntary, and officers must situate themselves in a way to ensure that “passengers who decline to cooperate have an unimpeded path to exit.”

“If a passenger asks, officers should communicate that passengers who decline to cooperate will not suffer any enforcement as a result,” read the settlement.

Under the agreement, Homeland Security is also required to pay $40,000 in lawyer fees to the ACLU and a private law firm — Covington & Burling — that represented the nine passengers. ACLU attorneys called the settlement a major victory for the rights of passengers and the integrity of the Fourth Amendment.

“The Constitution protects passengers deplaning domestic flights just as it protects people on the street or in a car,” Hugh Handeyside and Anna Diakun, attorneys with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement. “(Customs and Border Protection) is bound by those protections, and this settlement helps make sure the agency stays within those bounds.”

Customs and Border Protection did not respond to a request for comment.

The incident that prompted the lawsuit came during a tumultuous time at U.S. airports. President Donald Trump had just assumed office the month before and swiftly ordered his controversial travel ban, which snarled traffic at airports and led to a flurry of lawsuits around the country.

On Feb. 22, 2017, domestic passengers on a Delta Air Lines flight that landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport were told by the flight crew that they had to show their IDs to Customs officers in order to deplane, according to the lawsuit. Agents blocked the doorway and checked every person’s documents before allowing them to leave, according to the suit.

Kelley Amadei, one of the passengers on the flight and a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit, said that whether the checks were voluntary or not, they certainly felt mandatory that day.

“I felt in the moment like I had no choice but to comply with this police-state tactic,” she said.

Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Customs officers who man the nation’s airports, said at the time that its officers were helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) find a fugitive who may have been on the flight. They did not have the person’s photo, only his name, which led them to check the IDs of people on the flight.

“The individual was determined not to be on the flight,” Customs and Border Protection said at the time.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/11/customs-officers-cannot-randomly-check-papers-domestic-flights/1700254001/

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Burger King customers seen telling manager to ‘go back to Mexico’ in viral video

Burger King is speaking out in defense of a general manager in Florida after customers were filmed telling him to “go back to Mexico.”

The incident, which took place at a Burger King in Eustis, Fla., was overheard and filmed by Neyzha Nicole, another fast-food patron who posted the video to social media on Saturday.

PETITION CALLS FOR MCDONALD’S, BURGER KING TO REMOVE PLASTIC TOYS FROM KIDS’ MEALS

In the footage, two elderly women are first overheard arguing with general manager Ricardo Castillo, reportedly after flagging him down to complain about how he was speaking Spanish to another employee.

“Go back to Mexico if you want to keep speaking Spanish. Go back to your Mexican country, your state, your country,” one of the women can he heard saying loudly in the restaurant dining room.

Westlake Legal Group BKManager1NeyzhaNicole Burger King customers seen telling manager to 'go back to Mexico' in viral video Michael Bartiromo fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article af298787-bd2b-5b61-a2d7-12c6f168db79

One of the women was filmed telling the general manager to “go back to Mexico” after hearing him speak Spanish with another employee. (Neyzha Nicole)

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“Guess what, ma’am? I’m not Mexican,” Castillo responds. “I’m not Mexican, but you’re being very prejudiced and I want you out of my restaurant right now.”

“I’ll finish my meal, and then I’ll go,” she says.”

“You know what? I’ll do it for you, ma’am. I’ll call the cops,” Castillo says, before calling them both “ignorant” and “disrespectful.”

Castillo then reveals that the owner of this Burger King is actually a Mexican-American man, and waits for the women to get up and leave.

Nicole is then heard apologizing to Castillo for having to endure the incident, and offers to send him the footage she just filmed.

Westlake Legal Group BKManager2NeyzhaNicole Burger King customers seen telling manager to 'go back to Mexico' in viral video Michael Bartiromo fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article af298787-bd2b-5b61-a2d7-12c6f168db79

(Neyzha Nicole)

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“He was handling it well and very professional, which I applaud him for very much,” said Oni Martinez, another customer in the restaurant, to Fox 35.

Burger King’s corporate offices became aware of the video as well, and issued a statement condemning the discrimination seen in the video.

“There is no place for discrimination in our restaurants,” Burger King said in a statement obtained by Fox News. “We expect employees and guests to treat each other with respect.  This incident took place at a franchised restaurant and the owner is looking into the matter.”

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Guillermo Perales, the franchisee who owns the restaurant as well as nearly 300 others, also issued a response through his lawyer, Robert Zarco, NBC News reported.

“My client is very disappointed that customers would make racially and insensitive attacks on people who work there who have been trained to serve the customers,” Zarco said.

Westlake Legal Group BKManager1NeyzhaNicole Burger King customers seen telling manager to 'go back to Mexico' in viral video Michael Bartiromo fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article af298787-bd2b-5b61-a2d7-12c6f168db79   Westlake Legal Group BKManager1NeyzhaNicole Burger King customers seen telling manager to 'go back to Mexico' in viral video Michael Bartiromo fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article af298787-bd2b-5b61-a2d7-12c6f168db79

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Former US women’s soccer star Abby Wambach says World Cup win gives team leverage in equal pay fight

Westlake Legal Group abby-wambach-Getty Former US women's soccer star Abby Wambach says World Cup win gives team leverage in equal pay fight Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/soccer/the-world-cup fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/newsedge/sports/womens-world-cup fox news fnc/sports fnc article a70b5d01-7286-572d-a4ac-be49d93f48bf

Former U.S. women’s soccer star Abby Wambach said Wednesday the team winning the World Cup over the Netherlands gives them leverage in their fight over equal pay with the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Wambach appeared on CBS Sports HQ and talked about the lawsuit filed by the U.S. women’s national team against its federation, alleging gender discrimination.

MEGAN RAPINOE LEADS US WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM IN WORLD CUP CELEBRATION

“Well, I think that if there was a case of public opinion, of course, they’d have won it,” Wambach said. “I think that winning the World Cup gives them a leveraging point that will obviously tip in their favor. But at the end of the day, it’s now in the hands of FIFA and the president Carlos Cordeiro of U.S. Soccer to make these things happen and make these women whole.”

Wambach, who won the World Cup in 2015, added: “They’ve just done, not only tremendous work to win this World Cup, but they did it in a fashion that we all can be proud of. Though US Soccer made (an) early investment on this team, you see the byproduct of that now. You have to keep investing into the program in order for it to stay successful. The women did their job, now it is US Soccer’s [turn] to do theirs.”

THESE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS GIVE ‘GLORY TO GOD’

Megan Rapinoe took the fight to the forefront on Wednesday during the team’s ticker-tape parade in New York City.

“There’s been so much contention in these last years. I’ve been a victim of that, I’ve been a perpetrator of that,” Rapinoe said. “With our fight with the federation, sorry for some of the things I said – not all of the things. But it’s time to come together.”

She continued: “This conversation is at the next step. We have to collaborate. It takes everybody. This is my charge to everyone. Do what you can. Do what you have to do. Step outside yourself. Be more. Be better. Be bigger than you ever been before. If this team is any representation of what you can be when you do that, please take it as an example.”

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Rapinoe’s speech came as fans in the crowd were chanting “equal pay” at the federation’s president Cordeiro.

Westlake Legal Group abby-wambach-Getty Former US women's soccer star Abby Wambach says World Cup win gives team leverage in equal pay fight Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/soccer/the-world-cup fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/newsedge/sports/womens-world-cup fox news fnc/sports fnc article a70b5d01-7286-572d-a4ac-be49d93f48bf   Westlake Legal Group abby-wambach-Getty Former US women's soccer star Abby Wambach says World Cup win gives team leverage in equal pay fight Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/soccer/the-world-cup fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/newsedge/sports/womens-world-cup fox news fnc/sports fnc article a70b5d01-7286-572d-a4ac-be49d93f48bf

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Chargers Pro Bowler Melvin Gordon threatens holdout, trade demand without contract extension, per report

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Chargers Pro Bowler Melvin Gordon threatens holdout, trade demand without contract extension, per report

SportsPulse: In a one-on-one with Trysta Krick, Todd Gurley stressed that he’s feeling good heading into the 2019 season and was unaware of the multiple reports about his knee having components of arthritis. USA TODAY

It seems the business side of the NFL is threatening to deliver a nasty jolt to the Los Angeles Chargers’ Super Bowl aspirations.

The agent for Melvin Gordon informed ESPN that the two-time Pro Bowl running back won’t report to training camp and will demand a trade if the Bolts don’t grant a contract extension.

Gordon, a first-round pick in 2015, is set to make $5.6 million this year, which marks the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson sit atop the positional pay scale, each averaging more than $13 million annually.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, agent Fletcher Smith maintained that Gordon “did not want to go this route, but because of the lack of progress in negotiations and the offers the Chargers made this offseason, they felt it necessary to voice their displeasure in an effort to reach a more satisfying outcome.”

A capable three-down back, Gordon amassed 1,375 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns last season. He scored in both of L.A.’s playoff games, though only managed 69 total yards in those contests. He’s topped 1,000 rushing yards once in his first four seasons.

Chargers veterans are scheduled to report for camp July 24. The team went 12-4 in 2018, tying for the AFC’s best record.

***

Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

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Indian airline technician killed after hydraulic door accidentally closed on him

A technician from Indian airline SpiceJet was killed in Kolkata early Wednesday morning after flaps covering the aircraft’s main landing gear closed on him during maintenance.

Rohit Pandey, 22, was performing maintenance work on the aircraft at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport when a hydraulic door “inadvertently” closed on him, trapping his body. Ground staff found Pandey’s body hanging from the belly of the 90-seater Bombardier Q400 aircraft at 1:45AM, with his head and left arm stuck inside the vehicle while the rest of his body dangled.

A doctor was called immediately after the accident was reported, and Pandey was declared dead shortly after the doors were opened.

“The body could not be pulled out and the doors had to be cut by mechanics,” said Kaushik Bhattacharya, director of the Kolkata airport. “We don’t know for how many minutes he was hanging there before being spotted.”

INDIA REPORTS PROBLEMS IN RETRIEVING CLIMBERS’ BODIES

Police, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the airline launched investigations into the incident.

Westlake Legal Group SpiceJet-aircraft Indian airline technician killed after hydraulic door accidentally closed on him fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/travel Fox News Staff fox news fnc/world fnc article 981ba97e-6c15-5a04-a1ff-d3cad3a05519

A Spicejet technician was killed when the flaps covering an aircraft’s main landing gear accidentally closed on him during maintenance work, an airline statement said on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. The hydraulic doors “inadvertently” closed on the technician, who was working on a Bombardier Q400 aircraft at Kolkata’s airport on Tuesday night, SpiceJet said. (AP)

SpiceJet said in a statement it was “extremely saddened” by the news and “the entire SpiceJet family stands together in grief in this unfortunate incident.” Officials said Pandey should have been working with a supervisor and assistant, but no one from the airline could verify if he had been working alone or with a team before the accident. SpiceJet officials also refused to confirm the nature of Pandey’s maintenance work.

“An inquiry is on and we will be able to share further details only after it is over,” the airline’s official told Indian newspaper The Times of India.

INDIA FINANCE MINISTER DITCHES ‘COLONIAL’ BRIEFCASE TO DELIVER BUDGET

Pandey’s relatives claimed “negligence” on part of the airline, and said Pandey was a resident of Kandivali in Mumbai. He was posted in Kolkata just three months prior and was his family’s sole provider. In his death, he left behind his two younger sisters and a widowed mother.

“He was just a young trainee. Where were his supervisors?” asked Chandravati Devi, Pandey’s aunt. “We have been told he was spotted several minutes after the accident and then it took several more minutes to bring him down from the door flaps. If this is not negligence, what is?”

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SpiceJet holds a reliable safety record according to AirlineRatings.com, which evaluates airline security worldwide. The website gave SpiceJet a rating of 7/7 on account of its compliance with international safety laws and a fatality-free record.

However, the freak accident comes amid a difficult few weeks for the airline, when a SpiceJet aircraft overshot the runway at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai last week. No injuries were reported from the incident.

Fox News’ Morgan Cheung contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group spicejetreut Indian airline technician killed after hydraulic door accidentally closed on him fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/travel Fox News Staff fox news fnc/world fnc article 981ba97e-6c15-5a04-a1ff-d3cad3a05519   Westlake Legal Group spicejetreut Indian airline technician killed after hydraulic door accidentally closed on him fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/travel Fox News Staff fox news fnc/world fnc article 981ba97e-6c15-5a04-a1ff-d3cad3a05519

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