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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 100)

Milwaukee woman dies after leaving ER due to long wait, family says

Westlake Legal Group Froedter-hospital Milwaukee woman dies after leaving ER due to long wait, family says fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/heart-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/health-care fox news fnc/health fnc df047c87-3304-58d0-8e06-b11722e786cf article Alexandria Hein

A 25-year-old woman who went to the emergency room complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath died shortly after leaving to seek help elsewhere due to long wait times, her family members claim. Tashonna Ward was pronounced dead at Froedtert Hospital on Jan. 2 after her sister said she collapsed on the way to urgent care. She had complained about the overcrowded emergency room on Facebook several times.

“Idk what they can do about the emergency system at freodert (sic)but they damn sure need to do something,” she wrote around 7:35 p.m., according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I have been here since 4:30 for shortness of breath, and chest pains for them to say it’s a two to SIX hour wait to see a dr.”

MOM SHEDS NEARLY 200 POUNDS AFTER BREAKING ROLLER COASTER SEAT: ‘IT’S WHAT I NEEDED TO MOTIVATE ME’

A cousin told the news outlet that Ward’s sister picked her up from the hospital before they stopped at their mother’s house to get an insurance card before heading to an urgent care clinic. The hospital then called Ward’s cellphone to check on her status, but her sister informed them that she had collapsed and was in an ambulance on her way back.

According to a report by the medical examiner, Ward arrived back at the hospital via ambulance at 9:07 p.m. and was unresponsive. She was later pronounced dead.

VERMONT SEES OUTBREAK OF HEPATITIS, HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY

While the medical examiner has not determined a cause of death yet, Ward did have a history of an enlarged heart, which was detected in March after she gave birth to a baby who died when the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck. The report did note that a chest X-ray revealed cardiomegaly, but triage staff said her heartbeat appeared normal.

“The family is in our thoughts and has our deepest sympathy,” a hospital spokesperson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a statement. “We cannot comment further at this time.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

A GoFundMe page set up on behalf of the family described Ward as “an amazing daughter, sister, cousin, niece and friend loved by all.”

Westlake Legal Group Froedter-hospital Milwaukee woman dies after leaving ER due to long wait, family says fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/heart-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/health-care fox news fnc/health fnc df047c87-3304-58d0-8e06-b11722e786cf article Alexandria Hein   Westlake Legal Group Froedter-hospital Milwaukee woman dies after leaving ER due to long wait, family says fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/heart-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/health-care fox news fnc/health fnc df047c87-3304-58d0-8e06-b11722e786cf article Alexandria Hein

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

What to Expect from The Peacock Streaming Service

Westlake Legal Group 16PEACOCK-temp-facebookJumbo What to Expect from The Peacock Streaming Service Video Recordings, Downloads and Streaming Television Sets and Media Devices Television Online Advertising NBCUniversal Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation Hulu.com Comcast Corporation Cable Television Advertising and Marketing

Despite taking its name from one of the flashiest animals on the planet, NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service is at risk of blending in with the flock.

Set to be unveiled Thursday afternoon at Rockefeller Center, where a 15,000-pound bird constructed for the occasion from shrubbery and lights towers over Midtown tourists, Peacock is the latest in a series of streaming debuts in recent months.

When it goes live in April, Peacock will have a deep library of content and a smattering of originals. So what will distinguish it from Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, Hulu and Netflix, other than its affinity for avian references on Twitter?

Its hefty bet on advertising.

Many streaming services, notably Netflix, do not have commercials, relying instead on subscriptions to drive revenue. Peacock plans to offer more than 15,000 hours of content as a vehicle for companies to reach cord-cutters with digital-friendly ads. The service also plans to create a repository for shows like “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show,” content often found on YouTube that NBCUniversal would prefer to bring more securely into the fold.

The company, owned by the cable giant Comcast, will offer three tiers of service: an entirely free, ad-supported version that includes a limited library of shows; a tier expected to cost about $5 a month and include advertising that will feature current seasons as well as popular favorites like “The Office”; and a version without ads at about $10 a month.

In many ways, Peacock mimics Hulu, the streaming service controlled by The Walt Disney Company that predates Disney Plus. It has a similar structure of tiers, and its ad-supported service (at $6 a month) is its most lucrative product, generating an average of about $15 a month per subscriber. The service is also designed to discourage cord-cutting. Peacock will be free to Comcast subscribers who already pay for video, and NBCUniversal hopes to make it available to other cable operators under a similar arrangement.

Peacock has nailed down exclusive streaming rights to popular shows like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” while also lining up reboots of “Saved by the Bell” and “Battlestar Galactica.” There will also be a “Real Housewives” spinoff. A series based on the true crime podcast “Dr. Death,” featuring the actors Jamie Dornan and Alec Baldwin, is coming, as is an adaptation of “Brave New World,” with Demi Moore.

Peacock will also try to attract viewers through a licensing deal with Lionsgate, known for films like the “John Wick” action series, and the NBCUniversal company Telemundo will provide 3,000 hours of Spanish-language original programming. The late-night host Jimmy Fallon, who is trying to pull “The Tonight Show” out of a ratings slide, has also signed on to make Peacock-only content.

Other streaming services, like Hulu, offer discount plans that come with ads, and the still-gestating short-form video app Quibi, set to start streaming April 6, will also go the ad route. But while up to 30 percent of shows and films are currently viewed via streaming, less than 4 percent of ad dollars go to streaming services, according to Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities.

NBCUniversal, he said, is hoping to change that by coaxing companies to spend on its “massive moat of content.” “Peacock is unique because of its advertiser model,” Mr. Ives said. “This could be a watershed event in terms of starting to monetize advertising in the streaming world.”

The telecommunications giant Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, does not expect Peacock to be profitable in its first five years, executives have said. Comcast, which has 21.4 million video subscribers and 28.2 million broadband subscribers, plans to inject $2 billion into Peacock over its first two years.

NBCUniversal is set to provide details about Peacock pricing during a 4 p.m. rollout event at Studio 8H, the “Saturday Night Live” studio.

When the platform launches in April, some of its most anticipated content will not be available. “The Office,” the enduring sitcom that NBCUniversal wrested from Netflix last year in a $500 million deal, will continue to stream on Netflix until it moves to Peacock in 2021. Some of NBC’s most elaborate productions, the 2020 Summer Olympics and the Paralympic Games, do not kick off in Tokyo until summer.

Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, owns a piece of Hulu. The cable giant has agreed to sell its stake to The Walt Disney Company, but the deal won’t close until 2024. As part of that arrangement, NBCUniversal agreed to continue licensing shows to Hulu for a period of five years, but the network has the option to pull its content by 2022. Depending on how quickly Peacock takes off, NBCUniversal could exercise that option — but it would also be giving up millions of dollars in license fees and advertising it receives from Hulu.

Peacock is designed to appeal to advertisers who have become frustrated in recent years by the overall decline in traditional TV and the rise in ad-free streaming services. Media buyers still like to spend big on broadcast and cable but as viewership has waned, they have turned to the online companies. The first stop after old-school television is typically Hulu. After that, they go to YouTube and other ad-supported streaming platforms like Pluto, owned by ViacomCBS. NBCUniversal is betting that Peacock will also become a popular venue for digital ad buyers.

Last year, NBC ended CBS’s 18-year winning streak when it topped viewership rankings during the November ratings sweeps period, which helps determine advertising rates. But some analysts have expressed concerns that NBCUniversal may be cannibalizing itself to support Peacock, forgoing licensing arrangements and other revenue-generating deals for popular titles like “The Office” in order to provide exclusive streaming content to its customers.

“Getting in the game with Peacock is the right way to preserve an audience, but it will be very, very expensive,” said Peter Supino, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein.

Peacock went through a choppy development process, with a shake-up in its leadership team less than a month after the service was announced in September. Last month, NBCUniversal’s chief executive, Stephen B. Burke, said that he will step down when his contract expires after the 2020 Olympics.

On the cusp of its debut, the platform faces intense pressure from competitors like Disney, which blazed out of the gate in November with Disney Plus. Consumers are battling streaming fatigue, with multiple studies concluding that viewers are only willing to pay for a handful of services.

“There’s a battle for market share, and they’re going to have to fight tooth and nail for consumer eyeballs,” Mr. Ives said. “Timing and pricing are key.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

‘PigeonBot’ Brings Robots Closer To Bird-Like Flight

Westlake Legal Group pigeonbot-2cc4c2e4c7afc63045d34092a7eadefe98b8b69b-s1100-c15 'PigeonBot' Brings Robots Closer To Bird-Like Flight

A team of Stanford University researchers designed the PigeonBot. Lentink Lab / Stanford University hide caption

toggle caption

Lentink Lab / Stanford University

Westlake Legal Group  'PigeonBot' Brings Robots Closer To Bird-Like Flight

A team of Stanford University researchers designed the PigeonBot.

Lentink Lab / Stanford University

For decades, scientists have been trying to create machines that mimic the way birds fly. A team from Stanford University has gotten one big step closer.

They created the PigeonBot — a winged robot that they say approximates the graceful complexities of bird flight better than any other robot to date.

When a bird is soaring through the air, it dramatically changes the shape of its wings as it makes hairpin turns and swoops up and down. Birds change the shape of their wings far more than planes do, and the complexities of bird flight have posed a major design challenge for scientists trying to translate the way birds fly into robots.

Ultimately, the motions bird wings make are seen as far superior to those of an aircraft: “It actually enables birds to fly further, longer, maneuver much better,” says David Lentink, a professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University. “I really love aircraft as well, but it just doesn’t compare to a bird.”

Lentink led a team to try to pinpoint some of the unique ways that bird wings work. The team then used what they found to create the PigeonBot. They described the robot in a paper published this week in Science Robotics.

The researchers used common pigeon cadavers to try to figure out the mechanics of how birds control the motion of their feathers during flight. Scientists had thought the feathers might be controlled by individual muscles. But they learned that some aspects of bird wing motion are simpler than they expected.

Lentink says that several doctoral students realized that simply by moving the birds’ “wrist” and “finger,” the feathers would fall into place. When the bird’s wrist and finger moves, “all the feathers move, too, and they do this automatically,” he said. “And that’s really cool.”

The findings are some of the first evidence that the bird’s fingers are important for steering. The team replicated the bird’s wing on the PigeonBot using 40 pigeon feathers, springs and rubber bands connected to a wrist and finger structure. When the wrist and finger move, all the feathers move, too.

The researchers used a wind tunnel to see how the feather-and-rubber band design worked under turbulent conditions. “Most aerospace engineers would say this is not going to work well, but it turned out to be incredibly robust,” Lentink says.

They also pinpointed something interesting about how the feathers work together that helps most birds fly in turbulent conditions. At certain moments during flight, such as when a bird is extending its wings, tiny hooks on the feathers lock together like Velcro.

“These tiny, microscopic micro-structures that are between feathers lock them together as soon as they separate too far apart, and a gap is about to form. And it’s really spectacular,” Lentink adds. “It requires an enormous force to separate them.”

These tiny hooks are so small that they’re hard to see even through a microscope. Then, when a bird tucks its wing back in, the feathers unlock automatically, like directional Velcro. Separating the locked feathers makes an audible sound for most birds. The team published this finding in a separate paper in the journal Science.

It’s worth noting that the PigeonBot doesn’t incorporate something you might associate with birds’ wings – flapping. The designers were focused on incorporating the more subtle wrist-and-finger motions of the wings, so the bot appears to be gliding through the air while it’s in flight.

“The work is very impressive,” says Alireza Ramezani, an engineering professor at Northeastern University who recently was part of a team that created a bat-inspired robot.

He sees it as a sign that drone designs of the future may move away from fixed-wing or rotary-wing technologies. Compared with feathered wings, those harder wings could be dangerous to humans. Softer designs such this one could be better “in future smart cities when it comes to close interaction between humans and aerial systems.”

Ramezani envisions animal-inspired robots being used in future surveillance or reconnaissance efforts, or maybe even to make package deliveries.

Lentink says the feather-locking technology they discovered could also someday inspire things like high-tech clothing fasteners or specialized bandages.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

‘PigeonBot’ Brings Robots Closer To Bird-Like Flight

Westlake Legal Group pigeonbot-2cc4c2e4c7afc63045d34092a7eadefe98b8b69b-s1100-c15 'PigeonBot' Brings Robots Closer To Bird-Like Flight

A team of Stanford University researchers designed the PigeonBot. Lentink Lab / Stanford University hide caption

toggle caption

Lentink Lab / Stanford University

Westlake Legal Group  'PigeonBot' Brings Robots Closer To Bird-Like Flight

A team of Stanford University researchers designed the PigeonBot.

Lentink Lab / Stanford University

For decades, scientists have been trying to create machines that mimic the way birds fly. A team from Stanford University has gotten one big step closer.

They created the PigeonBot — a winged robot that they say approximates the graceful complexities of bird flight better than any other robot to date.

When a bird is soaring through the air, it dramatically changes the shape of its wings as it makes hairpin turns and swoops up and down. Birds change the shape of their wings far more than planes do, and the complexities of bird flight have posed a major design challenge for scientists trying to translate the way birds fly into robots.

Ultimately, the motions bird wings make are seen as far superior to those of an aircraft: “It actually enables birds to fly further, longer, maneuver much better,” says David Lentink, a professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University. “I really love aircraft as well, but it just doesn’t compare to a bird.”

Lentink led a team to try to pinpoint some of the unique ways that bird wings work. The team then used what they found to create the PigeonBot. They described the robot in a paper published this week in Science Robotics.

The researchers used common pigeon cadavers to try to figure out the mechanics of how birds control the motion of their feathers during flight. Scientists had thought the feathers might be controlled by individual muscles. But they learned that some aspects of bird wing motion are simpler than they expected.

Lentink says that several doctoral students realized that simply by moving the birds’ “wrist” and “finger,” the feathers would fall into place. When the bird’s wrist and finger moves, “all the feathers move, too, and they do this automatically,” he said. “And that’s really cool.”

The findings are some of the first evidence that the bird’s fingers are important for steering. The team replicated the bird’s wing on the PigeonBot using 40 pigeon feathers, springs and rubber bands connected to a wrist and finger structure. When the wrist and finger move, all the feathers move, too.

The researchers used a wind tunnel to see how the feather-and-rubber band design worked under turbulent conditions. “Most aerospace engineers would say this is not going to work well, but it turned out to be incredibly robust,” Lentink says.

They also pinpointed something interesting about how the feathers work together that helps most birds fly in turbulent conditions. At certain moments during flight, such as when a bird is extending its wings, tiny hooks on the feathers lock together like Velcro.

“These tiny, microscopic micro-structures that are between feathers lock them together as soon as they separate too far apart, and a gap is about to form. And it’s really spectacular,” Lentink adds. “It requires an enormous force to separate them.”

These tiny hooks are so small that they’re hard to see even through a microscope. Then, when a bird tucks its wing back in, the feathers unlock automatically, like directional Velcro. Separating the locked feathers makes an audible sound for most birds. The team published this finding in a separate paper in the journal Science.

It’s worth noting that the PigeonBot doesn’t incorporate something you might associate with birds’ wings – flapping. The designers were focused on incorporating the more subtle wrist-and-finger motions of the wings, so the bot appears to be gliding through the air while it’s in flight.

“The work is very impressive,” says Alireza Ramezani, an engineering professor at Northeastern University who recently was part of a team that created a bat-inspired robot.

He sees it as a sign that drone designs of the future may move away from fixed-wing or rotary-wing technologies. Compared with feathered wings, those harder wings could be dangerous to humans. Softer designs such this one could be better “in future smart cities when it comes to close interaction between humans and aerial systems.”

Ramezani envisions animal-inspired robots being used in future surveillance or reconnaissance efforts, or maybe even to make package deliveries.

Lentink says the feather-locking technology they discovered could also someday inspire things like high-tech clothing fasteners or specialized bandages.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

‘Almost apocalyptic’: American firefighters battle Aussie wildfires

Westlake Legal Group Anna-Kooiman-AUS-firefighters-FOX-2 'Almost apocalyptic': American firefighters battle Aussie wildfires Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 681c1219-9687-51c3-ba93-170325622579

Firefighters from the U.S. are making a difference combating the massive bush fires ravaging Australia, former “Fox & Friends Weekend” host Anna Kooiman said Thursday.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends” with hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade, Kooiman reported that while much-needed rain is pouring down on Australia, firefighters still warn that the dousing is not enough to reverse the damage.

The fires, fueled by drought and the country’s hottest and driest year on record, have been raging since September, months earlier than is typical for Australia’s annual wildfire season. So far, the blazes have killed 28 people and nearly half a billion animals, destroyed 2,000 homes, and scorched an area of more than 25.5 million acres — roughly the size of South Korea.

AUSTRALIA WILDFIRE AREAS MAY SEE THUNDERSTORMS, HEAVY RAIN AS SMOKE IMPACTS AUSTRALIAN OPEN

According to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, more than 100 U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior wildfire personnel have deployed to assist with ongoing fire suppression efforts, joining 159 who were already in Australia.

The bush fires mark the largest-ever deployment of American firefighters abroad and harken back to 2018 when more than 140 wildfire personnel came from Australia and New Zealand to help douse wildfires in Northern California.

“Balmoral [in New South Wales] was almost apocalyptic. The smoke was really thick. It was like being in a dream,” National Smokejumper Manager for the U.S. National Forest Service Roger Staats told Kooiman. “You never expect a house across from a fire station to burn down because you run out of water. That’s what happened.”

“It’s just a massive wall of fire,” said U.S. Army veteran and freelance firefighting aviator Alain Brackmort, who pilots one of the more than 100 waterbombing aircraft used on a daily basis in the state of New South Wales alone.

“I represent the U.S. and it’s a good feeling to know that we’re here and we can come here and support the Australians,” he said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told Kooiman that to have the “generosity coming from overseas and bolstering our numbers, bringing in all that extra expertise” is genuinely appreciated.”

“What it really shows is that firefighters across the globe all do the same thing,” Staat remarked. “We’re all in this together.”

Fox News’ Greg Norman, Travis Fedschun, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Anna-Kooiman-AUS-firefighters-FOX-2 'Almost apocalyptic': American firefighters battle Aussie wildfires Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 681c1219-9687-51c3-ba93-170325622579   Westlake Legal Group Anna-Kooiman-AUS-firefighters-FOX-2 'Almost apocalyptic': American firefighters battle Aussie wildfires Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/australia fox-news/world/disasters/fires fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 681c1219-9687-51c3-ba93-170325622579

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Senate Opens Trump Impeachment Trial as New Ukraine Revelations Emerge

Westlake Legal Group 16dc-impeach-facebookJumbo Senate Opens Trump Impeachment Trial as New Ukraine Revelations Emerge United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Roberts, John G Jr Office of Management and Budget (US) impeachment House of Representatives Government Accountability Office

WASHINGTON — The Senate formally opened the impeachment trial of President Trump on Thursday, as senators accepted the promise to deliver “impartial justice” and installed Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. as the presiding officer.

In a somber ceremony that has happened only twice before in the nation’s history, Chief Justice Roberts vowed to conduct Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial “according to the Constitution and the laws.” He then administered the same, 222-year-old oath of impartiality and adherence to the Constitution to the senators, setting in motion the final step in a bitter and divisive effort by the president’s adversaries to remove him from office.

Even as the antiquated ritual unfolded, with senators signing their names one by one in an oath book near the marble Senate rostrum, new evidence was trickling out about Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine that is at the heart of the charges against him.

A trove of newly released texts, voice mail messages, calendar entries and other records handed over by Lev Parnas, an associate of the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, offered new details about the scheme. And the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan federal watchdog, found that Mr. Trump’s decision to withhold nearly $400 million in military aid from Ukraine was an illegal breach of a law that limits a president’s power to block the spending of money allocated by Congress.

Two hours before the oath-taking on the Senate floor, seven House members made a solemn march to the chamber to read aloud the charges against Mr. Trump. His words echoing from the well of the Senate, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California accused the president of abusing the power of his office and obstructing Congress by trying to cover up his actions.

“President Trump,” Mr. Schiff said, “warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

The charges detailed the case against the president: that Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine for investigations into his political rivals, withholding $391 million in military aid as leverage, and that he obstructed Congress by blocking the inquiry into his conduct.

The evidence provided by Mr. Parnas adds significant new detail to the public record about how the pressure campaign played out. On Wednesday, Mr. Parnas told The New York Times that he believed Mr. Trump knew about the efforts to dig up dirt on his political rivals.

Just hours before the formal start of the trial, the Government Accountability Office said the decision by the White House Office of Management and Budget to withhold the aid violated the Impoundment Control Act, concluding that “faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.” Mr. Trump directed the freeze on the Ukraine aid, and administration officials testified during the course of the impeachment inquiry that they had repeatedly warned that doing so could violate the law, but their concerns were not heeded.

Aides said Mr. Trump was not watching the ceremonial events on television as the trial got underway. But Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, said the White House expected Mr. Trump’s formal response to the impeachment charges would prove he did nothing wrong, and she dismissed the stream of new details emerging about the Ukraine pressure campaign.

“We’re not too concerned about it,” Ms. Grisham told Fox News on Thursday. “Once again, we know that everything in the Senate is going to be fair.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

GOP Senator Dodges Impeachment Questions, Calls Reporter A ‘Liberal Hack’

Westlake Legal Group 5e20ab1224000033006c426d GOP Senator Dodges Impeachment Questions, Calls Reporter A ‘Liberal Hack’

Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) apparently didn’t feel like answering questions about President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on Thursday.

But she did feel like flinging insults at CNN reporter Manu Raju.

Raju tweeted footage of himself asking the Republican lawmaker if she thought the Senate should consider new evidence in Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial.

McSally retorted: “You’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you.”

Raju continued: “You’re not to going to comment about this?”

“You’re a liberal hack,” McSally sneered.

As a result of the encounter, Raju started trending on Twitter. Fellow media professionals pointed out that he was doing his job.

McSally responded to Raju’s tweet by tweeting out a video of the encounter from her angle, but it still shows Raju politely but firmly asking a question that all senators, regardless of party, were being asked.

Raju’s fellow CNN journalists chimed in to defend him.

McSally’s reaction to a simple and fair question may have unintended consequences for her reelection campaign.

A few hours after the tweet, the name of her Democratic opponent, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, became a trending term on Twitter, with many users citing McSally as the reason. 

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump’s Next Trade Fight Could Be With Europe

Westlake Legal Group 16dc-eutrade-facebookJumbo Trump’s Next Trade Fight Could Be With Europe World Trade Organization United States International Relations United States Taxation International Trade and World Market European Union Customs (Tariff)

WASHINGTON — European officials arrived in Washington this week touting a new mantra for the trans-Atlantic trading relationship: reset, refresh, recalibrate.

But when it comes to dealing with the Trump administration, it appears that the new European government, even more than its predecessor, may be gearing up for a fight.

In remarks in Washington on Thursday morning, Phil Hogan, the new European trade commissioner, gave a frank assessment of an important trading relationship that had grown troubled on many fronts.

Mr. Hogan vowed to “robustly defend” European interests as he justified the European position on current trade spats with the United States over airplane subsidies, digital taxes and the World Trade Organization. He criticized American officials for inaccurately claiming that trade between the United States and European countries was unbalanced, and said that the administration’s aggressive use of tariffs against trading partners was “hardly a sensible approach.”

The remarks, coming a day after President Trump officially paused his trade war with China, could presage the next big battle between the United States and a key trading partner.

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump signed a trade deal with China, and on Thursday his revised trade pact with Canada and Mexico passed the Senate, clearing the final hurdle before Mr. Trump can sign it into law.

But with Europe, the trade fight is far from resolved. Mr. Hogan, an Irishman and former farmer known for his blunt speech and imposing stature, arrived for his first official visit in Washington with a long list of complaints about United States policies.

Officials in Brussels are angry that the Trump administration continues to threaten punishing tariffs on European cars on top of levies on steel and aluminum that have been in place for nearly two years.

They are enraged that the United States has effectively paralyzed the World Trade Organization by refusing to sign off on new appointees to a crucial appeals panel. Without the panel, there is no way to enforce international trade rules and officially resolve disputes between members.

The two governments also remain at odds over plans by France, a European Union member, to tax American technology companies, and what each side believes are unfair subsidies that the other offers to an aircraft manufacturer, Airbus in Europe and Boeing in the United States.

“I can assure you we will be no shrinking violets,” Mr. Hogan said Thursday, adding later that “there’s no secret to the fact that we don’t see eye to eye on all issues.”

Mr. Hogan’s four-day visit got off to a promising start on Tuesday after he joined Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and their Japanese counterpart in signing an agreement to try to rein in what they said were unfair trade practices by China.

But his comments on Thursday morning, at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, suggested that deep tensions remained. Mr. Hogan, who became the European Union’s trade commissioner in December, appeared to be delivering on expectations that he would deploy his trademark bluntness to meet the Trump administration on its own terms.

“No other market is as free and open for U.S. businesses as the E.U. Where else are you as welcome?” Mr. Hogan said. “I might add I am coming under pressure to defend this level of openness given that our European businesses can be hit with unjustified tariffs and restrictions at a moment’s notice.”

He also quipped that Mr. Trump was guilty of “gloating” and accused him of reneging on an agreement that the United States and the European Union reached in July 2018 to negotiate a trade deal that excluded agriculture. Trump administration officials subsequently realized that a deal that did not address farm goods would meet opposition in Congress, and refused to proceed on those terms.

There has also been little love lost for European officials among some Trump administration officials and their supporters. They privately accuse their European counterparts of being out-of-touch bureaucrats who would meddle in American sovereignty and impede Mr. Trump’s ability to keep his promises to his voters on trade.

And they say that the World Trade Organization, an outgrowth of Europe’s zealous faith in multilateralism, has failed to confront the world’s biggest economic challenges, like competition from China that has cost American factory jobs.

Another huge point of contention for Mr. Trump and his advisers is the fact that Europe ships more goods to the United States than it purchases in return — $169 billion more in 2018, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. They see trade deficits as a sign of failure in trading relationships, though most economists disagree.

In an interview with the Fox Business Network in December, Mr. Lighthizer said the United States had a “very unbalanced” relationship with the European Union on trade, and that reducing the trade deficit with Europe was “something the president cares about.”

“There are a lot of barriers to trade there, and there are a lot of other problems that we have to address,” he said, adding that he did not want to “overstate” the divisions with the Europeans.

Mr. Hogan dismissed that argument in his remarks on Wednesday. He pointed out that the United States economy was mostly powered by services, like health care, finance and technology, rather than goods, and that the United States ran a surplus with Europe in services, supporting jobs and wealth.

Mr. Hogan also said Europe may bring a case to the World Trade Organization about the new deal between the United States and China if it determines that it violates global trading rules.

He did not limit his barbs to the United States. He also dismissed the claims by Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, that the United Kingdom, which is in the process of separating from the European Union, would reach a comprehensive trade deal with Europe this year. Such an outcome, he said, was “just not possible.”

The speech followed a series of meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday with Trump administration officials and lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including Representative Richard E. Neal, the Massachusetts Democrat who leads the House Ways and Means Committee.

Mr. Hogan’s meetings were expected to continue on Thursday, when he is scheduled to meet again with Mr. Lighthizer and with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Mr. Hogan called the meetings “productive,” and said that many of his interlocutors valued a collaborative trading relationship with the European Union. Europe stood ready to discuss lowering barriers to trade, and intensifying its cooperation with the United States on technology, telecom network security and investment screening, he said.

If the United States and Europe fail to work together on shared challenges like the rise of China and climate change, the damage would be “significant” for their citizens and the world, he said.

“The choice above all, is this: We either cooperate and shape the response to these challenges together, or these challenges will shape, divide and diminish us,” he said.

Ana Swanson reported from Washington, and Jack Ewing from Frankfurt.

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G.A.O. Report Says Trump Administration Broke Law in Withholding Ukraine Aid

Westlake Legal Group 16dc-gao-facebookJumbo G.A.O. Report Says Trump Administration Broke Law in Withholding Ukraine Aid United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Office of Management and Budget (US) impeachment Government Accountability Office Budgets and Budgeting

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration violated the law in withholding security assistance aid to Ukraine, a nonpartisan federal watchdog agency said, weighing in on a decision by President Trump that is at the heart of the impeachment case presented to the Senate on Thursday.

The agency, the Government Accountability Office, said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget violated the Impoundment Control Act when it withheld nearly $400 million this summer for “a policy reason,” even though the funds had been allocated by Congress.

The decision to freeze the aid was directed by the president himself, and during the House impeachment inquiry, administration officials testified that they had raised concerns about its legality to no avail.

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the accountability office wrote in an opinion released Thursday. “The withholding was not a programmatic delay.”

The impoundment law, first enacted in 1974 over the veto of President Richard M. Nixon, limits a president’s power to withhold money that has been allocated by Congress, requiring approval from the legislative branch to do so.

The allegation that Mr. Trump withheld the security assistance as part of a campaign to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations of his political rivals is at the heart of the impeachment investigation.

The accountability office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. It conducts audits of federal spending, issues legal decisions on questions about federal contracts and budget matters and examines if federal agencies are complying with other legal requirements imposed on them by Congress.

Accountability office officials said the timing of the ruling, as the impeachment trial was getting underway, was coincidental.

“Our legal decisions are issued when we have completed all our legal research and are ready to come to a sound conclusion,” Thomas H. Armstrong, the G.A.O.’s general counsel said in a statement. “There was no coordination of timing with any entity outside of G.A.O.”

The White House budget office promptly rejected the report’s conclusions, saying it had remained within the law.

“We disagree with G.A.O.’s opinion,” said Rachel Semmel, a spokeswoman for the budget office. “O.M.B. uses its apportionment authority to ensure taxpayer dollars are properly spent consistent with the president’s priorities and with the law.”

The report, on its own, does not result in any action or specific penalty against the White House or Mr. Trump.

This is not the first time that the accountability office has ruled that the Trump administration violated the impoundment act. It did so in December 2017 related to Energy Department funds and in December 2018 related to the Department of Homeland Security’s funding.

But the ruling is certain to focus additional attention on questions about the legality of Mr. Trump’s decision to freeze the aid. The administration held up the money — $250 million distributed through the Pentagon and another $141 million channeled through the State Department — from late June until mid-September. The money was released only after the freeze became public and members of Congress from both parties made clear they wanted it released.

House Democrats, who were vocal critics of the decision to block the funds, said that the ruling further solidified their case for impeachment.

Representative Nita M. Lowey, Democrat of New York and chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement that “given that this illegal conduct threatened our security and undermined our elections, I feel even more strongly that the House has chosen the right course by impeaching President Trump.”

Senate Democrats said the legal opinion underscored their push to seek witnesses and new documents in the trial.

“The G.A.O. opinion makes clear that the documents we requested in our letter last month are even more needed now because G.A.O. confirmed the president broke the law,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said in a statement.

The accountability office is led by Gene L. Dodaro, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2010 and confirmed by the Senate. Directors of the agency serve 15-year terms in an effort to remove the influence of politics from their decisions.

The hold on the military aid to Ukraine had provoked questions this past summer from officials at the White House budget office as well as the Defense Department while the freeze was in place.

State Department and Pentagon officials were confused as to why the hold on the funding had been imposed. As the summer progressed, they became increasingly concerned that the money could not be completely spent before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

American diplomats testified last year during the impeachment inquiry that they understood the aid freeze to be a means of pressuring Ukraine into opening investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals. Mr. Trump has denied using the aid as leverage, and the White House has said the freeze was intended to provide time to explore whether Ukraine, with its long history of official corruption, could be trusted with the money.

The impeachment vote by the House and the ruling Thursday by the G.A.O. focused on different questions.

House Democrats accused Mr. Trump of using the aid as leverage in his pressure campaign against Ukraine.

The G.A.O. examined whether the Trump administration violated appropriations law by withholding the aid in the first place, a review conducted at the request of Senator Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland.

The agency found that the White House violated the law because it did not notify Congress about the deferral in the spending, and the freeze did not appear to be motivated by a desire to find a more efficient way to spend the money, which might have been allowable, the report said. Instead, the administration was arguing that it had the right to determine the “best use of such funds,” ignoring Congress’s power to set spending requirements.

“When Congress enacts appropriations, it has provided budget authority that agencies must obligate in a manner consistent with law,” said the ruling, which was signed by Mr. Armstrong. “The Constitution vests lawmaking power with the Congress.”

The accountability office’s ruling was focused on the money controlled by the Pentagon, which had informed Congress that Ukraine had met the conditions for receiving it and that it intended to release it. It did not rule on the money controlled by the State Department, but expressed frustration at the administration’s unwillingness to respond to questions about it.

“We consider a reluctance to provide a fulsome response to have constitutional significance,” Mr. Armstrong wrote. The G.A.O.’s role, he said, “is essential to ensuring respect for and allegiance to Congress’ constitutional power of the purse.”

Formal determinations by the G.A.O. that the Impoundment Control Act has been violated have occurred in past administrations, including during the tenure of President George W. Bush.

But a search of the agency’s website of past cases involving a “programmatic delay” — the formal legal term for what the White House claimed happened with the military assistance to Ukraine — suggests they have become more frequent during Mr. Trump’s tenure.

The agency concluded in late 2017 that the Energy Department violated the law when it withheld $91 million to help develop new energy technologies, a spending program created during the Obama administration that the department wanted to kill.

In late 2017, the Homeland Security Department refused to spend $95 million to build a new ship called a National Security Cutter, leading to objections from members of Congress, including then-Senator Thad Cochran, Republican of Mississippi, who represented the area where the ships are built.

In both cases, the administration ultimately released the money.

The ruling is a sign of an administration that appears to believe it can spend federal funds as it sees fit, regardless of the constitutional authority of Congress to decide on federal spending, said James P. Pfiffner, a professor at George Mason University who wrote a book about the impoundment act.

Other examples of the Trump administration’s belief that it can unilaterally determine how federal funds are spent include its shifting of Defense Department funds from different accounts to help build a wall on the southern border, Mr. Pfiffner said.

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G.A.O. Report Says Trump Administration Broke Law in Withholding Ukraine Aid

Westlake Legal Group 16dc-gao-facebookJumbo G.A.O. Report Says Trump Administration Broke Law in Withholding Ukraine Aid United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Office of Management and Budget (US) impeachment Government Accountability Office Budgets and Budgeting

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration violated the law in withholding security assistance aid to Ukraine, a nonpartisan federal watchdog agency said, weighing in on a decision by President Trump that is at the heart of the impeachment case presented to the Senate on Thursday.

The agency, the Government Accountability Office, said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget violated the Impoundment Control Act when it withheld nearly $400 million this summer for “a policy reason,” even though the funds had been allocated by Congress.

The decision to freeze the aid was directed by the president himself, and during the House impeachment inquiry, administration officials testified that they had raised concerns about its legality to no avail.

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the accountability office wrote in an opinion released Thursday. “The withholding was not a programmatic delay.”

The impoundment law, first enacted in 1974 over the veto of President Richard M. Nixon, limits a president’s power to withhold money that has been allocated by Congress, requiring approval from the legislative branch to do so.

The allegation that Mr. Trump withheld the security assistance as part of a campaign to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations of his political rivals is at the heart of the impeachment investigation.

The accountability office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. It conducts audits of federal spending, issues legal decisions on questions about federal contracts and budget matters and examines if federal agencies are complying with other legal requirements imposed on them by Congress.

Accountability office officials said the timing of the ruling, as the impeachment trial was getting underway, was coincidental.

“Our legal decisions are issued when we have completed all our legal research and are ready to come to a sound conclusion,” Thomas H. Armstrong, the G.A.O.’s general counsel said in a statement. “There was no coordination of timing with any entity outside of G.A.O.”

The White House budget office promptly rejected the report’s conclusions, saying it had remained within the law.

“We disagree with G.A.O.’s opinion,” said Rachel Semmel, a spokeswoman for the budget office. “O.M.B. uses its apportionment authority to ensure taxpayer dollars are properly spent consistent with the president’s priorities and with the law.”

The report, on its own, does not result in any action or specific penalty against the White House or Mr. Trump.

This is not the first time that the accountability office has ruled that the Trump administration violated the impoundment act. It did so in December 2017 related to Energy Department funds and in December 2018 related to the Department of Homeland Security’s funding.

But the ruling is certain to focus additional attention on questions about the legality of Mr. Trump’s decision to freeze the aid. The administration held up the money — $250 million distributed through the Pentagon and another $141 million channeled through the State Department — from late June until mid-September. The money was released only after the freeze became public and members of Congress from both parties made clear they wanted it released.

House Democrats, who were vocal critics of the decision to block the funds, said that the ruling further solidified their case for impeachment.

Representative Nita M. Lowey, Democrat of New York and chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement that “given that this illegal conduct threatened our security and undermined our elections, I feel even more strongly that the House has chosen the right course by impeaching President Trump.”

Senate Democrats said the legal opinion underscored their push to seek witnesses and new documents in the trial.

“The G.A.O. opinion makes clear that the documents we requested in our letter last month are even more needed now because G.A.O. confirmed the president broke the law,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said in a statement.

The accountability office is led by Gene L. Dodaro, who was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2010 and confirmed by the Senate. Directors of the agency serve 15-year terms in an effort to remove the influence of politics from their decisions.

The hold on the military aid to Ukraine had provoked questions this past summer from officials at the White House budget office as well as the Defense Department while the freeze was in place.

State Department and Pentagon officials were confused as to why the hold on the funding had been imposed. As the summer progressed, they became increasingly concerned that the money could not be completely spent before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

American diplomats testified last year during the impeachment inquiry that they understood the aid freeze to be a means of pressuring Ukraine into opening investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals. Mr. Trump has denied using the aid as leverage, and the White House has said the freeze was intended to provide time to explore whether Ukraine, with its long history of official corruption, could be trusted with the money.

The impeachment vote by the House and the ruling Thursday by the G.A.O. focused on different questions.

House Democrats accused Mr. Trump of using the aid as leverage in his pressure campaign against Ukraine.

The G.A.O. examined whether the Trump administration violated appropriations law by withholding the aid in the first place, a review conducted at the request of Senator Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland.

The agency found that the White House violated the law because it did not notify Congress about the deferral in the spending, and the freeze did not appear to be motivated by a desire to find a more efficient way to spend the money, which might have been allowable, the report said. Instead, the administration was arguing that it had the right to determine the “best use of such funds,” ignoring Congress’s power to set spending requirements.

“When Congress enacts appropriations, it has provided budget authority that agencies must obligate in a manner consistent with law,” said the ruling, which was signed by Mr. Armstrong. “The Constitution vests lawmaking power with the Congress.”

The accountability office’s ruling was focused on the money controlled by the Pentagon, which had informed Congress that Ukraine had met the conditions for receiving it and that it intended to release it. It did not rule on the money controlled by the State Department, but expressed frustration at the administration’s unwillingness to respond to questions about it.

“We consider a reluctance to provide a fulsome response to have constitutional significance,” Mr. Armstrong wrote. The G.A.O.’s role, he said, “is essential to ensuring respect for and allegiance to Congress’ constitutional power of the purse.”

Formal determinations by the G.A.O. that the Impoundment Control Act has been violated have occurred in past administrations, including during the tenure of President George W. Bush.

But a search of the agency’s website of past cases involving a “programmatic delay” — the formal legal term for what the White House claimed happened with the military assistance to Ukraine — suggests they have become more frequent during Mr. Trump’s tenure.

The agency concluded in late 2017 that the Energy Department violated the law when it withheld $91 million to help develop new energy technologies, a spending program created during the Obama administration that the department wanted to kill.

In late 2017, the Homeland Security Department refused to spend $95 million to build a new ship called a National Security Cutter, leading to objections from members of Congress, including then-Senator Thad Cochran, Republican of Mississippi, who represented the area where the ships are built.

In both cases, the administration ultimately released the money.

The ruling is a sign of an administration that appears to believe it can spend federal funds as it sees fit, regardless of the constitutional authority of Congress to decide on federal spending, said James P. Pfiffner, a professor at George Mason University who wrote a book about the impoundment act.

Other examples of the Trump administration’s belief that it can unilaterally determine how federal funds are spent include its shifting of Defense Department funds from different accounts to help build a wall on the southern border, Mr. Pfiffner said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com