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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 95)

Did Shailene Woodley Just Drop A Huge ‘Big Little Lies’ Spoiler?

Talk about a big little spoiler.

Shailene Woodley, who plays Jane Chapman in “Big Little Lies,” seemed to have dropped quite a juicy bombshell about the Season 2 finale of the HBO mega-hit on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Monday night.

During her interview, Woodley and Kimmel discussed the secretive nature of the episode, which will air Sunday night. Kimmel even noted that the network didn’t even send his show a clip to tease the final episode.

But the 27-year-old actor did say that she was allowed to give fans “a little bit of a nugget” about the episode — and it seems like way more than just a harmless tidbit.

“In the beginning of the next episode, it’s a little bit of a cliffhanger, but all of the women go to visit Perry’s grave and his body’s missing,” Woodley said. 

Season 1 of “Big Little Lies” ended with Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård) dying after Bonnie Carlson (Zoë Kravitz) pushed him down a flight of stairs so he would stop assaulting his wife, Celeste (Nicole Kidman).

Celeste’s friends, Jane and Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon), and acquaintance Renata Klein (Laura Dern), witnessed the murder, which they lied to the police about, saying the death was an accident. Their shared lie is what bonds the women in Season 2 and the reason why Perry’s mother, Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) comes to town to help spy on Celeste after her son’s death.

Westlake Legal Group 5d2e3fdb2400009d17935b53 Did Shailene Woodley Just Drop A Huge ‘Big Little Lies’ Spoiler?

Dia Dipasupil via Getty Images Reese Witherspoon, Zoë Kravitz, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep attend the “Big Little Lies” Season 2 Premiere in May in New York City.

If it’s truly discovered that Perry’s body is missing in the show’s season finale, it could mean a lot of things — most notably that Perry, an abusive man with a hot temper, may still be alive and is possibly preparing for vengeance.

That or Mary Louise dug up the body for who knows what reason? … Or maybe the body was just exhumed for the investigation.

But, then again, Woodley is also an Emmy-nominated actor and this “spoiler” could be false and a clever ploy to attract more viewers. It would be like an elevated version of the April Fools’ Day prank Maisie Williams pulled on “The Tonight Show” in April, when she pretended to accidentally drop the spoiler that her “Game of Thrones” character, Arya Stark, would die.

It is also possible that Woodley doesn’t really know the actual ending of the season finale of “Big Little Lies.”

The producers of “NCIS” kept the return of the character Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) to the show a secret by having its cast and crew unwittingly film a fake ending for its Season 16 finale.

It’s also no secret that the “Avengers: Endgame” cast were lied to about Tony Stark’s death — and were told that they would be filming a wedding instead of a funeral in order to keep that shocker under wraps.

But if Woodley is indeed telling the truth, and that Perry’s missing body is just a “nugget” of information, boy, do we have quite a season finale ahead of us.

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‘Bachelorette’ Fantasy Suites Week Takes An Extreme Turn

Westlake Legal Group 5d2e54813b00004d00dac97f ‘Bachelorette’ Fantasy Suites Week Takes An Extreme Turn

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The hosts of “Here To Make Friends” can’t believe they’re waking up next to you. Claire Fallon and Emma Gray hand out superlatives in what was itself a superlative episode of the “Bachelorette,” including the best dating role model and the most satisfying one-liner to emerge from Hannah’s disastrous (and, mercifully, final) date with Luke. Find full episodes of “Here To Make Friends” on Apple, Google, Spotify, and Acast #TheBachelorette #TheBachelor

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AOC, Trump join list of celebs and social media stars as ‘most influential people on the internet’

Westlake Legal Group Ocasio-Trump AOC, Trump join list of celebs and social media stars as 'most influential people on the internet' Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/tech fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/tech fnc article 23cdb4c3-3b24-54d3-ab40-8b13ba214b00

While Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and President Trump differ vastly in their political views, a new ranking highlights some common ground between the two.

According to TIME magazine, both are incredibly effective at influencing people on the internet. The two joined a slew of celebrities — including singer Ariana Grande and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex  — on the publication’s list of the “25 Most Influential People on the Internet.”

Other top influencers included conservative author Ben Shapiro, rapper Cardi B, and the Hong Kong protesters.

The list came just as President Trump and Ocasio-Cortez traded barbs on Twitter in what was perhaps their most heated and direct exchange to date. Trump’s online comments about Ocasio-Cortez and other freshman congresswoman ignited a media firestorm involving the most powerful members of Congress.

BIG TECH ‘CENSORSHIP’? REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS ASK FTC TO PROBE ALLEGATIONS OF BIAS

The incident provoked a speech from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Tuesday when she called on her Republican colleagues to denounce the president’s “racist” tweet about Ocasio-Cortez and others.

Earlier in July, Pelosi downplayed Ocasio-Cortez’s influence by comparing her substantial Twitter following to the few votes she was able to get in opposing a bipartisan border funding package.

On Tuesday, both Trump and Ocasio-Cortez continued battling via Twitter as the latter accused him of being a racist and the former charged progressive lawmakers with hating the United States.

PROGRESSIVE FRESHMEN AMASS MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR WAR CHEST AMID FEUDS WITH PARTY, TRUMP

Ocasio-Cortez also sparked a prolonged debate about Holocaust references when she used Instagram to accuse immigration enforcement of housing migrants in “concentration camps.”

Trump has long used Twitter as his proverbial bully pulpit, directly attacking Democrats and even using the platform to break news about changes in his administration. As the president struggled to obtain funding for border wall funding, he continually blasted Democrats on Twitter for what he saw as inaction on immigration reform.

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Trump’s border wall got a boost from Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, also on the list, who used the internet to crowdfund money for a southern border wall.

Vox writer Carlos Maza, another controversial figure in the Twittersphere, also made the list.

Westlake Legal Group Ocasio-Trump AOC, Trump join list of celebs and social media stars as 'most influential people on the internet' Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/tech fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/tech fnc article 23cdb4c3-3b24-54d3-ab40-8b13ba214b00   Westlake Legal Group Ocasio-Trump AOC, Trump join list of celebs and social media stars as 'most influential people on the internet' Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/tech fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/tech fnc article 23cdb4c3-3b24-54d3-ab40-8b13ba214b00

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Trump’s New Top Labor Official Is Expected to Advance an Anti-Labor Agenda

Congressional Republicans, members of their staffs and conservative activists regularly flew first class to Saipan, an island just north of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. They slept at the beachfront Hyatt Regency, and dined on fresh Japanese cuisine.

The junkets in the late 1990s were organized by Patrick Pizzella. The Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the United States, had hired him to ensure that Congress did not impose federal minimum wage and immigration laws in a place where some workers earned less than $1 an hour.

Mr. Pizzella, a genial lobbyist and government official who has spent years advocating the interests of businesses, is set to become the top Trump administration official protecting workers’ rights when he takes over as acting labor secretary this week. He will fill the vacancy left when Alex Acosta resigned amid criticism of a plea deal he approved in 2008 with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who has been accused of sex trafficking.

A longtime free-market evangelist, Mr. Pizzella, 65, has built a four-decade career in the conservative Republican mold, fighting regulation and organized labor.

His appointment is far more consequential than those of the many acting secretaries who have served in President Trump’s patchwork cabinet. The man he succeeds, Mr. Acosta, spent two years battling other White House officials who demanded that he push through a sweeping anti-union agenda and coordinate his actions with the president’s political team.

Mr. Pizzella, who is close to many of the conservatives allied with Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and on Vice President Mike Pence’s staff, is expected to be a significantly more cooperative partner in those efforts, according to administration and industry officials.

“Pat will be great — he is a movement conservative,” said Marc Short, Mr. Pence’s chief of staff and a friend of Mr. Pizzella’s for two decades. “I think it’s fair to say that while he will be focused on issues of workplace safety, he will also work to ensure that the workplace is not overly burdened with regulations.”

When he filled the lone Republican slot at the Federal Labor Relations Authority during the Obama administration, Mr. Pizzella compared union representatives to the mob-connected bosses from the Marlon Brando film “On the Waterfront.” He cheered a federal-court decision that struck down potential restrictions on investigating unions. As a Labor Department official during President George W. Bush’s administration in 2008, he bemoaned the “staggering costs” of paid work time that government employees used to conduct union business, which is authorized by labor law and union contracts.

Mr. Trump has sent mixed messages about his stance on organized labor. He has courted construction and law enforcement unions while taking a harder line against most government employees. But the conservatives who run his West Wing policy shop are less ambivalent, pushing hard to undermine unions’ ability to bargain collectively, raise dues and exert political power.

Those ambitions suffered when Mr. Trump’s first choice for labor secretary, the fast food executive Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination early in 2017 amid controversy over domestic abuse allegations. The administration turned instead to Mr. Acosta, a relatively moderate former prosecutor, who essentially inherited Mr. Pizzella as a deputy secretary already slated to work for Mr. Puzder.

Soon after Mr. Acosta took office, his aides were presented with a detailed to-do list by James Sherk, who coordinates labor policy for the White House’s Domestic Policy Council and joined the administration from the conservative Heritage Foundation.

The list, which was provided to The New York Times by a person who had obtained it from a former Trump administration official, included proposals to weaken collective bargaining rights and protections for workers on federally funded construction projects. The list also included a proposal that would have forced male actors in pornographic films to wear condoms.

Mr. Acosta rejected outright or dragged his feet on many of the plans, including the condom regulation, according to a person close to him and administration officials.

“We’re the Department of Labor, we’re not the Department of Commerce,” the secretary complained privately last year, the person close to him recalled.

Mr. Sherk gained a powerful new ally when Mr. Trump named Mr. Mulvaney acting chief of staff in January. Still, Mr. Acosta insisted that pursuing such a hard-line agenda would alienate the president’s blue-collar union supporters and make it more difficult to garner labor support for a new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement that is awaiting a vote by the Democratic-controlled House, according to a current administration official with direct knowledge of the situation.

Mr. Acosta also resisted efforts to involve the Labor Department in broader political fights. In April, the White House sent Mr. Acosta’s office a request from Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, and other White House officials asking him to write an opinion column saying that a so-called Medicare-for-all proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont would hurt employers and workers, according to a copy of the request viewed by The Times.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157767363_9ad5d9aa-f086-4f43-bfdf-b07ce9904ba8-articleLarge Trump’s New Top Labor Official Is Expected to Advance an Anti-Labor Agenda United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pizzella, Patrick Organized Labor Labor Department (US) Labor and Jobs Conservatism (US Politics) Appointments and Executive Changes

Alex Acosta, the secretary of labor, defended a plea deal he reached with Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 during a news conference last week.CreditErik S Lesser/EPA, via Shutterstock

Mr. Acosta refused after his legal advisers determined that the request raised “red flags” related to the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits the use of government resources for political activity, according to memos provided by a former administration official.

“It should be expected that the White House and cabinet agencies, including the Department of Labor, would have frequent conversations around potential policy ideas particularly as it relates to the president’s priority of deregulation,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.

White House officials have good reason to expect more cooperation from Mr. Pizzella.

As an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina, he wrote columns for the school newspaper, including one in 1972 in which he criticized Senator George McGovern, the recently defeated Democratic presidential nominee, for sending his daughter to an upscale suburban school near Washington.

“The hypocrisy continues as McGovern expresses the opinion that he represents the working man,” Mr. Pizzella wrote. “That’s similar to Hitler saying he represented the Jewish people in Germany during the 1930s.”

After college, Mr. Pizzella went on to work for Ronald Reagan in the 1976 Republican primaries, according to a 2001 profile in The New Republic. He subsequently held a series of government appointments, building a formidable list of conservative contacts.

In the mid-1990s, Mr. Pizzella joined the lobbying arm of the law firm Preston Gates, where Jack Abramoff, who was later convicted of defrauding clients, had set up a growing lobbying practice. One of the firm’s biggest clients in the late 1990s was the Northern Mariana Islands, which was exempt from federal minimum wage and immigration laws but could sell products under a “Made in the U.S.A.” label.

Large textile manufacturers set up production on the islands. Migrant workers, typically from China and the Philippines, worked long hours for low pay and lived in squalid, crowded dormitories. A 1997 federal government report concluded that nearly the entire private-sector labor force of the commonwealth consisted of “essentially indentured alien workers.”

The report said that foreign women were often coerced into prostitution, and that those who refused were sometimes raped or tortured.

It was Mr. Pizzella’s job to present a kinder, gentler image of the commonwealth to Republicans in Congress and their staffs, who controlled the House and Senate at the time. Allen Stayman, an Interior Department official involved in investigating conditions on the islands, said Mr. Pizzella “was in charge of showing the Potemkin village.”

One person on a trip to the commonwealth organized by Mr. Pizzella recalled meetings with senior officials of the local government in which the officials discussed their interest in making the commonwealth a laboratory for conservative policies like school vouchers. Mr. Pizzella also showed visitors factories and dormitories that were crowded but clean.

The lobbying efforts were effective. Legislation that would have applied the minimum wage and immigration laws to the commonwealth went nowhere in the House in the 1990s. At his 2017 confirmation hearings to become deputy labor secretary, Mr. Pizzella dismissed the reported abuses as “allegations” and said his job was strictly to lobby against the minimum wage.

Mr. Pizzella joined Mr. Bush’s administration in 2001, serving for nearly eight years as an assistant labor secretary for administration and management, but the Obama era gave him an even higher profile. As conservatives mobilized against Democratic policies, Mr. Pizzella joined the Conservative Action Project, which worked to establish alliances between socially and fiscally conservative organizations.

Mr. Pizzella convened meetings where conservative groups coordinated campaigns against Mr. Obama’s health care, climate change and labor policies, said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, one such organization.

Among other things, Mr. Pizzella spread the word about bus tours meant to build opposition to the Affordable Care Act. “We would say: ‘Hey, Pat, we’re doing these bus tours in these states on these days. Could you let the rest of the movement know?’” Mr. Phillips recalled. “And they would.”

In 2013, Mr. Pizzella was nominated by the Obama administration to be the only Republican on the three-member Federal Labor Relations Authority, which adjudicates disputes between federal workers and the agencies that employ them.

In several cases, Mr. Pizzella used cutting language to describe employees and identified them by name in his opinions, breaking with the agency’s traditional approach of withholding names. The naming and disparaging of workers risked exposing them to harassment, said Carol Waller Pope, the agency’s chairwoman for most of Mr. Pizzella’s tenure. (The authority typically named only the union bringing the grievance.)

“It could discourage people from using the process to resolve disputes — that was our mission,” Ms. Pope said. “I viewed it as having an effect.”

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Trump’s ‘Go Back’ Slur All Too Familiar To Minority Members Of Congress

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump insists he wasn’t being racist when he told four minority congresswomen who’ve had the audacity to criticize him to go back to the countries from which they came. 

Three of the four Democratic lawmakers were born in this country, and the other came from Somalia when she was 12 years old. All of them are U.S. citizens. 

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” Trump insisted on Tuesday.

Those tweets were indeed racist. Almost all people of color have stories to tell about being perceived to be an “other,” someone who isn’t really American. 

HuffPost spoke with dozens of members of Congress on Tuesday about whether someone has ever told them what Trump told Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.). 

Nearly every minority lawmaker said yes. Every white lawmaker said no.

“I’ve been told many times to ‘go back to China,’ even though I’m of Japanese descent, because people are prone to stereotypes,” Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) said. “Asian Americans, among other minority groups, often experience the feeling that they don’t belong in this country.”

“Way, way back when, somebody yelled that. Not lately,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). “However, the president seems to be resurrecting that.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) remembers hearing the taunt throughout his life, starting when he was a young boy. 

“At the age of six, my family and I were in a mall, and these two old ladies next to my family and my three sisters said, ‘Go back to Mexico.’ I think I heard it all the time in high school from every kid who hated me,” he said. “I heard it when I was in the Marine Corps. I heard it when I left the Marine Corps. I heard it in Arizona. I can’t even count the times I’ve heard it.”

“It’s blind racism and people feeling inferior,” he added. 

“The kids that were saying that to me in high school weren’t just mad that I was Latino; they were mad that I was a Latino, bright student that was doing better than they were,” said Gallego, who attended Harvard. “They didn’t really have a problem with some of the other Latino students that were not great students.”

I think I heard it all the time in high school from every kid who hated me. I heard it when I was in the Marine Corps. I heard it when I left the Marine Corps. I heard it in Arizona. I can’t even count the times I’ve heard it. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.)

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said he often had people make similar remarks to him at the height of the civil rights movement. 

“People said ‘Go back, go back where you came from,’” Lewis said. 

Some Republican members said they have heard the slur as well. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is of Cuban descent, said he gets it from “lefties on Twitter every day.” The senator was born in Calgary, Canada, a fact Trump used during the 2016 presidential campaign to question Cruz’s eligibility to run for president. 

In 2016, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), whose family also came to the U.S. from Cuba, recounted that when he was seven, kids would taunt him by saying, “Why don’t you go back on your boat, why don’t you go back to your country, why don’t you leave here?” 

“I’ve had a gazillion things happen to me. I’ve had a gazillion things said to me,” added Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who is also of Cuban descent. He refused to characterize Trump’s tweets as racist, however, saying, “We throw this racist thing around so easily, and I think it’s grossly irresponsible to just throw it out there. A statement does not make one racist.”

While Republicans generally made excuses for Trump ― they spent a sizable part of Tuesday afternoon chastising Democrats on the House floor for calling the president’s statement “racist” ― Palestinian American Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), who just left the Republican Party, tweeted that he faces similar hatred from people telling him to go back to his country or go back to the terrorist group ISIS. 

White lawmakers, not surprisingly, said they hadn’t faced assumptions throughout their lives that they were from another country. Some of their responses: 

  • Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.): “Nobody has ever told me that.”

  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.): “No. I am accustomed to anti-Semitic comments, but never [someone telling] myself to go back.”

  • Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.): “No. And that’s part of the fact that I identify as white, and I’m visibly white. Somebody posted to Twitter, ‘No one is asking @katieporteroc to go back to Europe,’ and I thought that was a fair point.”

  • Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.): “I wouldn’t know where to go back to. Somebody may say, ‘Go back to Alabama,’ which some consider another country. But no, they have not. Nobody has ever said anything remotely similar to that.” 

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.): “It’s really odd, especially when you’re an American. Americans going back to where you came from, is like your city you were born in, you know. So that made no sense to me.”

  • Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii): “No. People have said anti-Semitic things to me, but not that specific one.”

  • Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.): “Not that I can remember.”

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.): “No. … Being [in] a majority white race, that has not been my experience.”

  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.): “I don’t believe someone has said that to me, in terms of implying that I’m not a citizen or not born here in the U.S. The tweets are horrific.”

  • Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.): “No, no one’s ever asked me that. And although, I have to say, I can’t even really gauge how offended I may or may not be because it’s not something I hear. I think it’s unfair for people to judge how somebody else might feel about a question that they would feel OK about, if that makes any sense.”

In other words, Trump’s comment was something that nearly every minority member of Congress has heard and nearly every white member has not. Yet somehow, he insists it wasn’t racist. 

Many white lawmakers, however, said they knew that their parents had heard similar “go home” slurs when they were younger. Immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Italy and other European countries ― once considered part of the “other” ― did face these taunts. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d2e33ac2600004f000449c9 Trump’s ‘Go Back’ Slur All Too Familiar To Minority Members Of Congress

ASSOCIATED PRESS Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) said he has had people telling him to “go back to China” — even though he’s of Japanese ancestry.

“I know my grandparents who immigrated from Italy heard that when they came here. … My father as a youngster, in his early teens, had to go to work and support the family. And my grandfather [worked] as a stonecutter. Faced signs, ‘No Irish need apply.’ ‘No Catholic need apply,’” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). 

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said the fact that so many people have either personally been told they aren’t welcome in America or have family members who faced those comments makes Trump’s words so repugnant. 

“This may be the worst thing he’s said. It’s just despicable,” Brown said. “It makes so many people flinch because they’ve been told it ― or maybe more likely, their parents or grandparents.”

“I’ve had a couple incidents of someone saying that. I’ve had far, far more incidents of people saying you can do anything you want in this country,” reflected Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). “You can go make as much of a contribution.”

“I grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I was born in 1976 ― the bicentennial year, in Philadelphia ― and I had teachers who believed in me, I had neighbors who believed in me, I had Little League coaches who believed in me,” Khanna added.

“And the sad thing about the president’s divisiveness is he’s focused the attention on a very small part of American’s story. The vast majority of the American people, in my experience, are kind, are decent, have an aspirational vision for immigration. And that story is not being told.”

Igor Bobic and Matt Fuller contributed reporting.

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Did Shailene Woodley Just Drop A Huge ‘Big Little Lies’ Spoiler?

Talk about a big little spoiler.

Shailene Woodley, who plays Jane Chapman in “Big Little Lies,” seemed to have dropped quite a juicy bombshell about the Season 2 finale of the HBO mega-hit on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Monday night.

During her interview, Woodley and Kimmel discussed the secretive nature of the episode, which will air Sunday night. Kimmel even noted that the network didn’t even send his show a clip to tease the final episode.

But the 27-year-old actor did say that she was allowed to give fans “a little bit of a nugget” about the episode — and it seems like way more than just a harmless tidbit.

“In the beginning of the next episode, it’s a little bit of a cliffhanger, but all of the women go to visit Perry’s grave and his body’s missing,” Woodley said. 

Season 1 of “Big Little Lies” ended with Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård) dying after Bonnie Carlson (Zoë Kravitz) pushed him down a flight of stairs so he would stop assaulting his wife, Celeste (Nicole Kidman).

Celeste’s friends, Jane and Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon), and acquaintance Renata Klein (Laura Dern), witnessed the murder, which they lied to the police about, saying the death was an accident. Their shared lie is what bonds the women in Season 2 and the reason why Perry’s mother, Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) comes to town to help spy on Celeste after her son’s death.

Westlake Legal Group 5d2e3fdb2400009d17935b53 Did Shailene Woodley Just Drop A Huge ‘Big Little Lies’ Spoiler?

Dia Dipasupil via Getty Images Reese Witherspoon, Zoë Kravitz, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep attend the “Big Little Lies” Season 2 Premiere in May in New York City.

If it’s truly discovered that Perry’s body is missing in the show’s season finale, it could mean a lot of things — most notably that Perry, an abusive man with a hot temper, may still be alive and is possibly preparing for vengeance.

That or Mary Louise dug up the body for who knows what reason? … Or maybe the body was just exhumed for the investigation.

But, then again, Woodley is also an Emmy-nominated actor and this “spoiler” could be false and a clever ploy to attract more viewers. It would be like an elevated version of the April Fools’ Day prank Maisie Williams pulled on “The Tonight Show” in April, when she pretended to accidentally drop the spoiler that her “Game of Thrones” character, Arya Stark, would die.

It is also possible that Woodley doesn’t really know the actual ending of the season finale of “Big Little Lies.”

The producers of “NCIS” kept the return of the character Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) to the show a secret by having its cast and crew unwittingly film a fake ending for its Season 16 finale.

It’s also no secret that the “Avengers: Endgame” cast were lied to about Tony Stark’s death — and were told that they would be filming a wedding instead of a funeral in order to keep that shocker under wraps.

But if Woodley is indeed telling the truth, and that Perry’s missing body is just a “nugget” of information, boy, do we have quite a season finale ahead of us.

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Energy Secretary Rick Perry to travel to Middle East next week

Westlake Legal Group Perry-Trump_AP Energy Secretary Rick Perry to travel to Middle East next week Trey Yingst fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/cabinet fox news fnc/politics fnc d6de3b5f-f361-5a57-bfd2-db3bb2c0fa10 article

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry will travel to Israel and Egypt next week to hold meetings about regional energy and cybersecurity issues, according to an Energy Department official.

Perry will meet with government officials and energy stakeholders in the region during his trip, the official added.

After meeting with members of the Israeli government, Perry will travel to Cairo where he will represent the United States at the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum.

TRUMP VOWS TO SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASE IRAN SANCTIONS IN RESPONSE TO URANIUM ENRICHMENT

The Forum is being used to create a regional gas market that ensures supply and demand while improving trade relations. Other countries that are scheduled to attend include Jordan, Greece, Israel, Cyprus, Italy, and the Palestinians.

The visit comes amid rising regional tensions between the U.S. and Iran as the Islamic Republic continues to break key parts of the 2015 nuclear agreement in response to sanctions reimposed on the country by Washington. Earlier this month, Iran surpassed the Uranium enrichment and stockpile thresholds laid out in the deal.

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As Europe looks for ways to deescalate the situation and relieve economic pressure on Iran, U.S. allies in the region fear the eruption of a military conflict.

“It seems that there are those in Europe who won’t wake up until Iranian nuclear missiles fall on European soil,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday. “And then, of course, it will be too late.”

Westlake Legal Group cbedafff-Perry-Trump_AP Energy Secretary Rick Perry to travel to Middle East next week Trey Yingst fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/cabinet fox news fnc/politics fnc d6de3b5f-f361-5a57-bfd2-db3bb2c0fa10 article   Westlake Legal Group cbedafff-Perry-Trump_AP Energy Secretary Rick Perry to travel to Middle East next week Trey Yingst fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/cabinet fox news fnc/politics fnc d6de3b5f-f361-5a57-bfd2-db3bb2c0fa10 article

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House Push to Condemn Trump’s Language as Racist Stirs Brawl

WASHINGTON — A House Democratic effort on Tuesday to formally denounce comments by President Trump devolved into a partisan brawl on the House floor as Republicans tried and failed to stop Speaker Nancy Pelosi from calling the president a racist.

Mr. Trump on Tuesday denied that his tweets suggesting that four minority congresswomen leave the country were racist and implored House Republicans to reject a resolution that condemns his statements as “racist comments that have legitimized increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

The president raged on Twitter against the resolution, calling it a “con game.” He renewed his harsh criticism of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist,” Mr. Trump wrote. “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap.”

But Democrats powered through parliamentary blockades and protests toward a vote on the resolution, scheduled for Tuesday evening, which developed into a show of unity for Democrats and a test of Republican principles.

In a closed-door meeting of House Democrats on Tuesday morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California called the four freshman congresswomen “our sisters,” and said the insults to which Mr. Trump subjected them echo hurtful and offensive remarks he makes every day.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158029704_159d542f-4529-4b92-92c7-04af3259cb9a-articleLarge House Push to Condemn Trump’s Language as Racist Stirs Brawl Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Race and Ethnicity Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Malinowski, Tom Immigration and Emigration discrimination

President Trump held up a sheet of paper showing a photograph of Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday at the White House.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“So this is a resolution based in who we are as a people, as well as a recognition of the unacceptability of what his goals were,” Ms. Pelosi told Democrats, according to an aide present for the private meeting who described her remarks on condition of anonymity. “This is, I hope, one where we will get Republican support. If they can’t support condemning the words of the president, well, that’s a message in and of itself.”

A smattering of Republicans have denounced the president’s performance, including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Mr. Trump’s comments “were shameful, they were racist,” he told WBUR in Boston, “and they bring a tremendous amount of, sort of, disgrace to public policy and public life and I condemn them all.”

But Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader and a close ally of the president’s, said he would oppose the resolution, and when asked whether Mr. Trump’s tweets were racist, replied flatly, “No.”

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, did say lawmakers from all ends of the political spectrum should tone down their rhetoric, but he added, emphatically, “The president is not a racist.”

Earlier, Mr. Trump attempted to shift the focus to what he called “HORRIBLE” things said by the four liberal freshmen congresswomen, who have been among the most outspoken in their party in their criticisms of him, including at a news conference on Monday where they described Mr. Trump as racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and criminal.

“This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country,” Mr. Trump wrote.

His latest broadside against the women comes hours before the House is poised to vote on a resolution that responds directly to his nativist tweets on Sunday telling the lawmakers — all but one of whom was born in the United States — to “go back” to their countries. The measure is a chance for Democrats to go on offense, and put Republicans on the record either rejecting or endorsing what the president said.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said, “The president is not a racist.”CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

While some Democrats are pressing for a stronger resolution of censure, House leaders have opted instead for a narrower measure based on Mr. Trump’s latest remarks, in an effort to generate a unanimous vote in their party.

“Let’s focus on these comments that the vast majority of Americans recognize to be divisive and racist, that the vast majority of my Republican colleagues, in their hearts, recognize to be divisive and racist,” said Representative Tom Malinowski, Democrat of New Jersey, the sponsor of the resolution.

“We need to move forward with something that can be unifying, and right now, what we can unite around is that what the president said was wrong, un-American, and dangerous.”

During the meeting on Tuesday, Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the Rules Committee, warned members to take care with their language during the debate, including checking with the official in charge of enforcing floor procedures to make sure their speeches would not violate House rules against making personal references to the president on the floor.

Ms. Pelosi advised Democrats to focus on how Mr. Trump’s “words were racist,” which would keep them in compliance with the rules.

While the vote is symbolic and nonbinding, the debate is certain dramatize the conflict between Democrats and a president who has organized his agenda and his re-election campaign around stoking racial controversy, and casting the group of progressive stars as dangerous extremists to be feared.

Among other things, the resolution declares that the House “believes that immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger,” that “those who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as American as those whose families have lived in the United States for many generations,” and that the House “is committed to keeping America open to those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from violence and oppression, and those who are willing to work hard to live the American Dream, no matter their race, ethnicity, faith, or country of origin.”

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Westlake Legal Group 15dc-trump-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 House Push to Condemn Trump’s Language as Racist Stirs Brawl Trump, Donald J tlaib, rashida Race and Ethnicity Omar, Ilhan Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria Malinowski, Tom Immigration and Emigration discrimination

On Monday, hours after President Trump defended his Twitter attacks on Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna S. Pressley, the four Democratic congresswomen of color held a news conference to respond to his remarks.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Republican leaders signaled on Tuesday that they would seek to shift the debate from the president’s incendiary remarks to the policies espoused by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues.

“I want to make absolutely clear that our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion or with their race,” said Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican.

While Mr. Trump’s comments have helped to paper over divisions among Democrats over how aggressively to confront him, the resolution itself prompted more rifts. Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, introduced a resolution of censure, endorsed by the squad among others, and said it would be “more appropriate” for the House to pass that than the measure scheduled for a vote on Tuesday.

“Censure would put him in the class with Andrew Jackson, which is where he wants to be and we should put him where he wants to be, with a president who was racist, who had slaves and led the Trail of Tears,” Mr. Cohen said.

“We have a different way of doing things,” Mr. Cohen added. “I’m not worried about getting Republicans. I think we ought to do what’s right.”

Democratic leaders deflected questions on Tuesday about the strength of the resolution and sought to shift pressure onto Republicans to reject Mr. Trump’s statements.

“We are hopeful that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle would put country ahead of party, would put decency ahead of Donald Trump,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the No. 5 House Democrat, told reporters.

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White lawmakers, however, acknowledged that people assumed they were American.

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump insists he wasn’t being racist when he told four minority congresswomen who’ve had the audacity to criticize him to go back to the countries from which they came. 

Three of the four Democratic lawmakers were born in this country, and the other came from Somalia when she was 12 years old. All of them are U.S. citizens. 

“Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” Trump insisted on Tuesday.

Those tweets were indeed racist. Almost all people of color have stories to tell about being perceived to be an “other,” someone who isn’t really American. 

HuffPost spoke with dozens of members of Congress on Tuesday about whether someone has ever told them what Trump told Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.). 

Nearly every minority lawmaker said yes. Every white lawmaker said no.

“I’ve been told many times to ‘go back to China,’ even though I’m of Japanese descent, because people are prone to stereotypes,” Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) said. “Asian Americans, among other minority groups, often experience the feeling that they don’t belong in this country.”

“Way, way back when, somebody yelled that. Not lately,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). “However, the president seems to be resurrecting that.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) remembers hearing the taunt throughout his life, starting when he was a young boy. 

“At the age of six, my family and I were in a mall, and these two old ladies next to my family and my three sisters said, ‘Go back to Mexico.’ I think I heard it all the time in high school from every kid who hated me,” he said. “I heard it when I was in the Marine Corps. I heard it when I left the Marine Corps. I heard it in Arizona. I can’t even count the times I’ve heard it.”

“It’s blind racism and people feeling inferior,” he added. 

“The kids that were saying that to me in high school weren’t just mad that I was Latino; they were mad that I was a Latino, bright student that was doing better than they were,” said Gallego, who attended Harvard. “They didn’t really have a problem with some of the other Latino students that were not great students.”

I think I heard it all the time in high school from every kid who hated me. I heard it when I was in the Marine Corps. I heard it when I left the Marine Corps. I heard it in Arizona. I can’t even count the times I’ve heard it. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.)

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said he often had people make similar remarks to him at the height of the civil rights movement. 

“People said ‘Go back, go back where you came from,’” Lewis said. 

Some Republican members said they have heard the slur as well. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is of Cuban descent, said he gets it from “lefties on Twitter every day.” The senator was born in Calgary, Canada, a fact Trump used during the 2016 presidential campaign to question Cruz’s eligibility to run for president. 

In 2016, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), whose family also came to the U.S. from Cuba, recounted that when he was seven, kids would taunt him by saying, “Why don’t you go back on your boat, why don’t you go back to your country, why don’t you leave here?” 

“I’ve had a gazillion things happen to me. I’ve had a gazillion things said to me,” added Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who is also of Cuban descent. He refused to characterize Trump’s tweets as racist, however, saying, “We throw this racist thing around so easily, and I think it’s grossly irresponsible to just throw it out there. A statement does not make one racist.”

While Republicans generally made excuses for Trump ― they spent a sizable part of Tuesday afternoon chastising Democrats on the House floor for calling the president’s statement “racist” ― Palestinian American Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), who just left the Republican Party, tweeted that he faces similar hatred from people telling him to go back to his country or go back to the terrorist group ISIS. 

White lawmakers, not surprisingly, said they hadn’t faced assumptions throughout their lives that they were from another country. Some of their responses: 

  • Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.): “Nobody has ever told me that.”

  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.): “No. I am accustomed to anti-Semitic comments, but never [someone telling] myself to go back.”

  • Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.): “No. And that’s part of the fact that I identify as white, and I’m visibly white. Somebody posted to Twitter, ‘No one is asking @katieporteroc to go back to Europe,’ and I thought that was a fair point.”

  • Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.): “I wouldn’t know where to go back to. Somebody may say, ‘Go back to Alabama,’ which some consider another country. But no, they have not. Nobody has ever said anything remotely similar to that.” 

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.): “It’s really odd, especially when you’re an American. Americans going back to where you came from, is like your city you were born in, you know. So that made no sense to me.”

  • Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii): “No. People have said anti-Semitic things to me, but not that specific one.”

  • Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.): “Not that I can remember.”

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.): “No. … Being [in] a majority white race, that has not been my experience.”

  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.): “I don’t believe someone has said that to me, in terms of implying that I’m not a citizen or not born here in the U.S. The tweets are horrific.”

  • Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.): “No, no one’s ever asked me that. And although, I have to say, I can’t even really gauge how offended I may or may not be because it’s not something I hear. I think it’s unfair for people to judge how somebody else might feel about a question that they would feel OK about, if that makes any sense.”

In other words, Trump’s comment was something that nearly every minority member of Congress has heard and nearly every white member has not. Yet somehow, he insists it wasn’t racist. 

Many white lawmakers, however, said they knew that their parents had heard similar “go home” slurs when they were younger. Immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Italy and other European countries ― once considered part of the “other” ― did face these taunts. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d2e33ac2600004f000449c9 White lawmakers, however, acknowledged that people assumed they were American.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) said he has had people telling him to “go back to China” — even though he’s of Japanese ancestry.

“I know my grandparents who immigrated from Italy heard that when they came here. … My father as a youngster, in his early teens, had to go to work and support the family. And my grandfather [worked] as a stonecutter. Faced signs, ‘No Irish need apply.’ ‘No Catholic need apply,’” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). 

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said the fact that so many people have either personally been told they aren’t welcome in America or have family members who faced those comments makes Trump’s words so repugnant. 

“This may be the worst thing he’s said. It’s just despicable,” Brown said. “It makes so many people flinch because they’ve been told it ― or maybe more likely, their parents or grandparents.”

“I’ve had a couple incidents of someone saying that. I’ve had far, far more incidents of people saying you can do anything you want in this country,” reflected Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). “You can go make as much of a contribution.”

“I grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I was born in 1976 ― the bicentennial year, in Philadelphia ― and I had teachers who believed in me, I had neighbors who believed in me, I had Little League coaches who believed in me,” Khanna added.

“And the sad thing about the president’s divisiveness is he’s focused the attention on a very small part of American’s story. The vast majority of the American people, in my experience, are kind, are decent, have an aspirational vision for immigration. And that story is not being told.”

Igor Bobic and Matt Fuller contributed reporting.

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US officials suspect Iran may have seized missing UAE-based oil tanker

A small oil tanker that stopped transmitting its location more than two days ago while traveling through a vital waterway near the Persian Gulf didn’t emit a distress call, causing U.S. officials to suspect Iran may have seized the vessel, American defense officials said Tuesday.

The MT Riah, a Panamanian-flagged vessel based in the United Arab Emirates, was traveling Saturday night through the Strait of Hormuz when its tracking system went dark. The disappearance could add to already-heightened tensions between Iran and Western nations in the region.

“Could it have broken down or been towed for assistance? That’s a possibility,” an unidentified U.S. official told The Associated Press. “But the longer there is a period of no contact. It’s going to be a concern.”

IRAN HAS RAISED ITS ‘INTENSITY OF MALIGN ACTIVITY’ FOLLOWING US PULLOUT OF NUCLEAR DEAL, TOP GENERAL SAYS

Westlake Legal Group Capture-5 US officials suspect Iran may have seized missing UAE-based oil tanker Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox news fnc/world fnc cf490014-e652-50d1-be16-b96025172ef8 article

American defense officials suspect Iran may have seized a small oil tanker traveling near the Islamic Republic. (The Associated Press / Refinitiv)

If Iran did seize the ship, it’s apt to be the latest in a series of provocations involving oil tankers in the region. Iran has threatened to stop tankers in the strait if it is not allowed to sell its own oil abroad.

Around 20 percent of all crude oil passes through the strait.

The 190-foot tanker stopped transmitting its location around 11 p.m. as tracking data showed its last position pointing toward Iran.

“That is a red flag,” said Capt. Ranjith Raja of the data firm Refinitiv. He said the tanker had not switched off its tracker in three months of trips around the U.A.E.

The Islamic Republic has not commented on the ship’s disappearance.

An Emirati official speaking on condition of anonymity told AP that “we are monitoring the situation with our international partners.”

Several oil tankers traveling through the Persian Gulf have been targeted in recent months as Iran continues to mount a campaign aimed at obtaining relief from U.S. sanctions over its nuclear program.

It recently surpassed its uranium enrichment levels limited by its 2015 nuclear deal, from which President Trump withdrew over a year ago.

TRUMP VOWS TO ‘SUBSTANTIALLY’ INCREASE SANCTIONS ON IRAN IN RESPONSE TO URANIUM ENRICHMENT

Without commenting on the U.A.E.-based oil tanker, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that the country will retaliate over the seizure of its supertanker carrying over 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil.

“God willing, the Islamic Republic and its committed forces will not leave this evil without a response,” he said.

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British Royal Marines seized the vessel earlier this month off Gibraltar on suspicion of trying to provide oil to Syrian leader Bashar Assad, a violation of European Union sanctions. On Saturday, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Britain will release the ship if assurances are given that it will not violate the sanctions.

Mysterious attacks on oil tankers in recent months have been blamed n Iran, as well as the downing of a U.S. drone. In response to the escalation, the U.S. has sent thousands of troops, fighter jets and nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the Middle East.

Fox News reporter and editor Lucia l. Suarez Sang and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Capture-5 US officials suspect Iran may have seized missing UAE-based oil tanker Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox news fnc/world fnc cf490014-e652-50d1-be16-b96025172ef8 article   Westlake Legal Group Capture-5 US officials suspect Iran may have seized missing UAE-based oil tanker Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox news fnc/world fnc cf490014-e652-50d1-be16-b96025172ef8 article

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