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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 106)

Winter storm lashes Spain for third day, killing at least 4, cutting power to thousands

A powerful winter storm battered Spain for a third day on Tuesday, bringing strong winds, heavy rains, and massive waves to a region that’s seen at least four deaths linked to the severe weather.

The storm arrived on Sunday, bringing heavy snow, rain, and gale-force winds to Spain before moving into southern France by Tuesday.

Much of the northeastern province of Gerona was without electricity Tuesday because of a fault in the power connection with France, emergency services said on its Twitter account. Around 200,000 people were reported to have been impacted.

AUSTRALIA SEES GOLFBALL-SIZED HAIL, DUST STORMS FROM SEVERE WEATHER AS WILDFIRE SEASON ‘FAR FROM OVER’

So far, at least four deaths have been linked to the storm.

Westlake Legal Group spainstorm_1 Winter storm lashes Spain for third day, killing at least 4, cutting power to thousands Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/weather fox news fnc/world fnc article 1db4a3cc-3eb1-5efa-ae2d-832ea12f7516

A woman photographs the Mediterranean sea during strong winds in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A man died Sunday in the northern province of Leon when he was run over by a car as he tried to put snow chains on his own vehicle. A second man died the same day after being hit by a roof slate blown off by winds in the central town of Pedro Bernado.

Westlake Legal Group spainstorm_3 Winter storm lashes Spain for third day, killing at least 4, cutting power to thousands Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/weather fox news fnc/world fnc article 1db4a3cc-3eb1-5efa-ae2d-832ea12f7516

At least four people have died as storms carrying heavy snowfalls and gale-force winds lashed many parts of Spain. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

On Monday, a homeless woman was found dead after sleeping outside during the storm in the eastern town of Gandia and freezing to death, municipal officials told Reuters. Another man in the town of Moixent was found dead outside of his home and showed signs of hypothermia.

MAJOR BLIZZARD BURIES CARS, HOMES IN MORE THAN 12 INCHES OF SNOW IN NEWFOUNDLAND

The storm generated massive waves and gale-force winds that smashed into seafront towns, damaging many shops and restaurants.

Videos posted to social media showed flooded streets in Valencia and other cities in Spain.

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Many schools remained closed Tuesday in the northeastern region of Catalonia as well as the Valencia region further south and the inland region of Aragon, Spanish media said.

Westlake Legal Group spainstorm_2 Winter storm lashes Spain for third day, killing at least 4, cutting power to thousands Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/weather fox news fnc/world fnc article 1db4a3cc-3eb1-5efa-ae2d-832ea12f7516

A man walks at the beach during strong winds in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Traffic authorities said dozens of roads remained impassable because of the snow, including a major highway between the northeastern town of Figueres and the French border. The severe weather is expected to last in the region until Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group spainstorm_1 Winter storm lashes Spain for third day, killing at least 4, cutting power to thousands Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/weather fox news fnc/world fnc article 1db4a3cc-3eb1-5efa-ae2d-832ea12f7516   Westlake Legal Group spainstorm_1 Winter storm lashes Spain for third day, killing at least 4, cutting power to thousands Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/weather fox news fnc/world fnc article 1db4a3cc-3eb1-5efa-ae2d-832ea12f7516

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Iranian lawmaker announces a $3 million cash reward for ‘whoever kills Trump’

An Iranian lawmaker apparently has placed a $3 million bounty on President Trump’s head.

Ahmad Hamzeh made the declaration Tuesday during a speech to parliament in Tehran, although it’s unclear whether it has any backing from Iran’s top leaders, Reuters reported, citing the ISNA news agency.

“On behalf of the people of Kerman province, we will pay a $3 million reward in cash to whoever kills Trump,” Hamzeh was quoted as saying.

Westlake Legal Group trump-davos Iranian lawmaker announces a $3 million cash reward for 'whoever kills Trump' Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 2c18e8de-35dd-5d4f-b302-c527fa7d8e0f

President Trump addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday. (AP)

IRAN BACKS AWAY FROM PLAN TO SEND UKRAINIAN JET’S BLACK BOXES ABROAD FOR ANALYSIS

The city of Kerman was the hometown of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike on Jan. 3.

Fox News has reached out to the State Department for comment.

During his speech, Hamzeh also addressed Iran’s nuclear program, vowing that “if we had nuclear weapons today, we would be protected from threats.”

“We should put the production of long-range missiles capable of carrying unconventional warheads on our agenda,” ISNA quoted him as saying. “This is our natural right.”

The comments came after Britain, France, and Germany paved the way last week for possible sanctions to be re-imposed on Iran if the Islamic Republic continues to back away from its international nuclear deal.

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“We have therefore been left with no choice, given Iran’s actions, but to register today our concerns that Iran is not meeting its commitments,” the foreign ministers of the three countries had written in a letter to the European Union’s foreign policy chief.

Iran on Tuesday also announced that Mohammad Javad Zarif, its foreign minister, canceled his trip to the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland after officials there changed the diplomat’s schedule.

Westlake Legal Group trump-davos Iranian lawmaker announces a $3 million cash reward for 'whoever kills Trump' Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 2c18e8de-35dd-5d4f-b302-c527fa7d8e0f   Westlake Legal Group trump-davos Iranian lawmaker announces a $3 million cash reward for 'whoever kills Trump' Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 2c18e8de-35dd-5d4f-b302-c527fa7d8e0f

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David Bossie: Supreme Court ‘Citizens United’ decision still protects the First Amendment 10 years later

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6115778934001_6115780241001-vs David Bossie: Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision still protects the First Amendment 10 years later fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Bossie article aa299cc4-c40f-588c-9db4-4debe98a8fb3

On the 10th anniversary of Citizens United’s landmark Supreme Court victory for free speech, its incredible impact and legacy has come into focus. At its core, the Citizens United decision encourages more participation in America’s political process.

Much to the dismay of the left, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was a case about free speech and whether the First Amendment protected the American people from government attempts to limit speech. Nothing more, nothing less.

The origins of the case begin with Citizens United’s ability to produce a film and run advertisements for a film critical of Hillary Clinton. At that time, the McCain-Feingold campaign finance regime would have jailed me for doing just that — a fact that the left purposefully omits from their flawed arguments against the Supreme Court’s opinion.

RICKY GERVAIS DEFENDS FREE SPEECH: PEOPLE BEING OFFENDED IS ‘THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS’

In 2004, I recognized that liberal activist and filmmaker Michael Moore had produced a documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a film highly critical of then- President George W. Bush. While the film had a huge impact on the campaign, it was Moore’s television trailers supporting the film — produced with corporate Hollywood money — that truly affected the Bush reelection effort.

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I simply asked the Federal Election Commission if I could do what Michael Moore was doing. The FEC told me “no.” If I moved forward anyway, I could face five years in jail for each count, as well as tens of thousands in fines. To this day, I still can’t believe that our federal government was going to jail me for making a movie and running advertisements for a film.

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Hollywood had one set of rules and I had a different set of rules, but I wanted to be treated equally under the law, so four years later, Citizens United sued the FEC. As former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson reflected in our new film about the case, what could be closer to the heart of the First Amendment than an explanation of a point of view as to whether someone who was running for president was qualified for that job?

The left would have you believe that I went to court in hopes of unleashing the flood gates of corporate money to drown out the voice of the little guy. This is a lie. The Citizens United case was about censorship and fundamental fairness.

Let’s recall that during oral arguments for our case at the Supreme Court, the deputy solicitor general stated in response to a question from Justice Samuel Alito that the logical extension of McCain-Feingold is that if the government can ban movies, then it could also ban books. This is the story of the case the left doesn’t want the American people to know about.

The left would have you believe that I went to court in hopes of unleashing the flood gates of corporate money to drown out the voice of the little guy. This is a lie. The Citizens United case was about censorship and fundamental fairness.

And, the left’s apocalyptic predictions about corporate money never happened. In fact, a recent op-ed that appeared in the Los Angeles Times stated, “The notion that the Citizens United decision opened the donation floodgates to 21st century corporations is a myth.”

Another charge from the left is that the Citizens United decision has allowed too much money into our political system. A recent report by the Center For Responsive Politics found that “election-related spending from non-party independent groups ballooned to $4.5 billion over the decade.” What the report fails to mention is the amount of money spent on television advertising in other areas. For instance, $18 billion was spent on automobile advertising in 2018 alone.

So what’s more important: Spending money on a debate about who should be president of the United States or on a debate over pick-up trucks? I believe that a robust political debate in the marketplace of ideas is the essence of what makes our constitutional republic exceptional. If people want to band together to spend money to influence an election, it’s their First Amendment right to do so.

The Citizens United decision has leveled the playing field for conservatives. Before Citizens United, the left had a massive advantage because of the support they received from labor unions and media corporations such as The New York Times and Washington Post. During Trump administration, many media corporations are showing their true colors and behaving more like Democratic Super PACs than objective journalists and this calls into question why they receive special exemptions under the law.

While the Citizens United decision does make it easier to participate in our political process — big corporations have not hijacked the process in any way shape or form, nor did the decision allow foreign money to flow into our elections. One of the main reasons why the Citizens United decision is vilified by the left to this day is because President Obama lied about the decision at his 2010 State of the Union address just after the decision came down. Obama warned the American people that foreign money would now be a threat to our elections even though our case had nothing to do with foreign money.

If Obama was trying to fire up his base of support by demagoguing the facts of our case, he succeeded. The liberal assault on the Citizens United decision continues to this day. The left’s main policy goal is to pass a 28th Amendment to the Constitution that would destroy the protections we cherish under the First Amendment.

What I knew in 2010 and continue to see to this day is that the left wants to silence speech that they don’t agree with. Look at the attacks on the Citizens United case. Look at the attacks on conservative speech on college campuses. The difference between conservatives and liberals is that we support more speech, even if it’s speech we disagree with. By contrast, the left wants to rid the public square of speech they don’t agree with.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was on to something when he said in our film that free speech used to be something that was a bipartisan commitment, but unfortunately that’s no longer the case. In 2010, groups like the ACLU, AFL-CIO, and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, all filed amicus briefs in support of Citizens United. Sadly, this would not be the case today.

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The highly respected constitutional lawyer Floyd Abrams wrote in a recent op-ed: “As Justice Kennedy put it in Citizens United, speech is ‘the means to hold officials accountable to the people’ and ‘political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence.’ That was true a decade ago and it remains true today.” I could not agree more.

I believe that without the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment, there are no others. As Citizens United moves into its second decade, we must be as vigilant as ever in our defense of free speech.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY DAVID BOSSIE

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6115778934001_6115780241001-vs David Bossie: Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision still protects the First Amendment 10 years later fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Bossie article aa299cc4-c40f-588c-9db4-4debe98a8fb3   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6115778934001_6115780241001-vs David Bossie: Supreme Court 'Citizens United' decision still protects the First Amendment 10 years later fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Bossie article aa299cc4-c40f-588c-9db4-4debe98a8fb3

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The Colossal Gun Rally In Richmond Was Co-Opted By Extremists

RICHMOND, Va. ― Who would have guessed? A pro-gun rally was sullied by the threat of gun violence.

Thousands filled the square around the Virginia state capitol on Monday, many of them with the goal of protesting gun control measures proposed by Democratic-led state lawmakers, including mandatory background checks and restrictions on gun purchases.

But the original point of the demonstrations got lost amid the threat of violence, posed days before the protest began. Neo-Nazis had allegedly plotted to open fire at the rally, Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency, and hundreds of gun-toting men from out of the area were bused in by the militia that hosted the event.

What resulted was not a protest with a clear, pro-gun message, but a circus of ideas and characters from the far-right, many of them well outside of the pro-gun umbrella. Everyday pro-gun protesters were flanked by an assortment of extremistists from the fringe: gun-toting militia members, conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and QAnon, blathering neo-Nazi Jovi Val, punch-happy gangs Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys, and even an armed group formed on the internet, seeking to bring on a civil war.

The intended message was lost in a crowd that often looked more like a real-life assemblage from a 4chan message board than a Second Amendment lobbying event. That this group was able to gather without anyone getting shot or maimed became a celebratory note for conservative pundits.

The underlying issues surrounding guns (there’s more than one mass shooting every day in America, for example) weren’t really represented at all, as counterprotesters largely avoided the event on account of the violent threats. Days before the rally, three suspected neo-Nazis planning to attend Monday’s demonstration were arrested amid an alleged plot to open fire and sow chaos. 

Some of those who did attend aren’t exactly known for taking up Second Amendment causes. The Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, for example, exist to fight counterprotesters in the street, and spend weeks plotting their attacks against them. Alex Jones, the InfoWars host most famous for lying about the Sandy Hook school massacre, was seen cruising Richmond streets in a tacky armored truck, screaming into a megaphone to applause from the audience.

When a reporter asked a Proud Boys member where his compatriots were, he suggested looking “on the rooftops.” It was an implicit threat referring to a 2018 incident in which members were found on the roof of Portland, Oregon, parking garage with a cache of weapons.

The makeup of the crowd was black mark for those citizens who said they had shown up with a genuine interest in fighting gun control. Don Huttle, a Vietnam veteran and former police officer, drove all night from his home state of Indiana to demonstrate. He agreed with universal background checks, but said the government was “overreaching” by attempting to confiscate guns. (No Virginia legislation proposes confiscating guns.)

“Seizing weapons I feel is morally wrong and against constitutional rights,” Huttle said. When reminded that SB 16 ― a bill that sought to ban assault rifles in Virginia ― died last week, Huttle still expressed concern that gun owners could turn violent.

“If it can be stopped here in mass protest, my hope is that it stops before there’s bloodshed,” he said. “Because there’s too many people that are very angry about this.”

In the end, there was no bloodshed, in part because the threat of violence was so severe that the government declared a state of emergency. But some of those carrying guns on Monday sure seemed like they wanted to use them.

“This is peaceful civil disobedience,” one protester named Michael ― who declined to give his last name ― told HuffPost. “We’re not here for a fight, but we’re ready if need be.”

Those who showed up with their semiautomatic rifles, dressed up in full military garb, practicing war tactics, and some wearing patches celebrating fascist, murderous dictators and “death squads,” appeared to be salivating for violence, not the sanctity of the Second Amendment. One man, who did not provide his name but said he was a gun seller based in New York, carried a Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifle capable of turning a human being into mist with one shot.

In the end, though, the soldier role-players didn’t appear to get what they wanted.

With no one to give into their confrontation, militia members were left practicing marching single-file down Main Street, past Richmond’s cute bars and diners, pretending to be the soldiers they aren’t.

Westlake Legal Group 5e266d082400003100c96d0d The Colossal Gun Rally In Richmond Was Co-Opted By Extremists

Jonathan Drake / Reuters American radio host Alex Jones films the crowd inside the no-gun zone during a gun rights rally in front of the Virginia State Capitol building, in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

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Joaquin Phoenix comforts pigs at slaughterhouse after SAG win: ‘I have to be here’

Joaquin Phoenix had a unique way of celebrating his win at Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards.

After taking home the trophy for best actor for his work in “Joker,” the 45-year-old actor joined a group of activists and offered water to pigs that were about to meet their deaths at a downtown Los Angeles slaughterhouse.

A video of the interview was shared to Facebook, where Phoenix could be seen wearing the same tuxedo he wore at the awards show.

GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS WINNER JOAQUIN PHOENIX CALLS OUT HOLLYWOOD CLIMATE ACTIVISTS FOR USING PRIVATE JETS

Westlake Legal Group joker-ap Joaquin Phoenix comforts pigs at slaughterhouse after SAG win: 'I have to be here' Nate Day fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 756c23ee-8d64-53e5-9877-bc18c13b7c2e

Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker.” On Monday, Jan. 13, he was nominated for an Oscar for the role. ((Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP))

“Most people don’t really know of the torture and murder in the meat and dairy industry,” Phoenix said to JaneUnChained News founder Jane Velez-Mitchell.  “I’ve seen it for what it is, so I have to be here.”

OSCAR NOMINATIONS 2020: ‘JOKER,’ ‘THE IRISHMAN’ AND ‘ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD’ LEAD

“We have moral obligations to talk about it and expose it for what it really is,” continued the actor.

“We are so indoctrinated with these happy images of animals on farms, on the covers of meat containers, at restaurants and it’s a lie. I think people need to know the truth and we have an obligation to do that. Those of us that have seen it for what it really is, we have an obligation to expose it, so I have to be here.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19279226821072 Joaquin Phoenix comforts pigs at slaughterhouse after SAG win: 'I have to be here' Nate Day fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 756c23ee-8d64-53e5-9877-bc18c13b7c2e

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Joaquin Phoenix in a scene from the film “Joker.” (Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

Phoenix also addressed the recent rise in activism, of which, his industry friends have “been really receptive.”

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“There is a change that is happening and it’s now just becoming undeniable. Slowly but surely we’re getting there,” he said. “As heartbreaking as it is when we’re here giving water to the pigs I have a certain optimism in our community and how committed everyone is. People come down here week after week after week so I had to come here tonight and support and it’s a little antidote to what I was just given, so I’m blessed to be here.”

Westlake Legal Group JoaquinePhoenixGG1 Joaquin Phoenix comforts pigs at slaughterhouse after SAG win: 'I have to be here' Nate Day fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 756c23ee-8d64-53e5-9877-bc18c13b7c2e   Westlake Legal Group JoaquinePhoenixGG1 Joaquin Phoenix comforts pigs at slaughterhouse after SAG win: 'I have to be here' Nate Day fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 756c23ee-8d64-53e5-9877-bc18c13b7c2e

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Tesla says claims its cars exhibit unintended acceleration are ‘completely false’

Westlake Legal Group 548761-tesla-model-s-2019 Tesla says claims its cars exhibit unintended acceleration are 'completely false' fox-news/auto/make/tesla fox-news/auto/attributes/safety fox-news/auto/attributes/electric fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 153ec8d4-2334-54e6-9f32-a1a24e68ebb5

Tesla is disputing claims by a California man that all three models of the company’s cars can suddenly speed up on their own without the driver touching the accelerator pedal.

Tesla said Monday it checks when drivers report that their car accelerated on its own, and in every case where the company has the car’s data, it drove as designed.

The company also claimed the man who filed a petition with federal safety officials is a short-seller of Tesla shares, referring to investors who borrow shares in a company’s stock and try to profit by replacing them after the share price falls.

On Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it would look into a petition filed by Brian Sparks of Berkeley, California, and decide whether to open a formal investigation. Sparks’ allegations cover about 500,000 Teslas, including Model 3, Model S and Model X vehicles in model years 2013 through 2019.

Sparks said Tesla owners have lodged 127 complaints with the government, covering 110 crashes and 52 injuries.

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Tesla, which did not respond when asked for comment on Friday, posted a statement Monday saying its electric vehicles do not accelerate on their own.

The company called the petition “completely false,” adding that “the car accelerates if, and only if, the driver told it to do so, and it slows or stops when the driver applies the brake.”

Sparks said in his 69-page petition that many of the Tesla accidents happened during parking, that the complaint rate was much higher than for other vehicles, and that Tesla refused to share the car’s data with owners after incidents.

The highway agency has yet to verify the complaints. The people who filed complaints were not identified in NHTSA’s database.

Westlake Legal Group 548761-tesla-model-s-2019 Tesla says claims its cars exhibit unintended acceleration are 'completely false' fox-news/auto/make/tesla fox-news/auto/attributes/safety fox-news/auto/attributes/electric fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 153ec8d4-2334-54e6-9f32-a1a24e68ebb5   Westlake Legal Group 548761-tesla-model-s-2019 Tesla says claims its cars exhibit unintended acceleration are 'completely false' fox-news/auto/make/tesla fox-news/auto/attributes/safety fox-news/auto/attributes/electric fnc/auto fnc Associated Press article 153ec8d4-2334-54e6-9f32-a1a24e68ebb5

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Iran Acknowledges 2 Russian-Made Missiles Targeted Ukraine Jet

Westlake Legal Group 5e26e0ad2100004b00fffb4d Iran Acknowledges 2 Russian-Made Missiles Targeted Ukraine Jet

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran acknowledged on Tuesday that its armed forces fired two Russian anti-aircraft missiles at a Ukrainian jetliner that crashed after taking off from Tehran’s main airport earlier this month, killing all 176 people on board.

The new preliminary report by Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization however stopped short of blaming the TOR-M1 for the crash of the Boeing 737-800, flown by Ukraine International Airways.

For days after the Jan. 8 shootdown, Iran denied that it fired missiles at the plane, initially blaming a technical malfunction and engine fire for the crash.

However, after the U.S. and Canada blamed missile fire for the crash, Iran’s armed forces said anti-aircraft fire from the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard had downed the flight.

The new report identified the missiles fired at the aircraft as coming from the TOR-M1. In 2017, Iran received the delivery of 29 TOR-M1 units from Russia under a contract worth an estimated $700 million.

However, the report said “the impact of these missiles on the accident and the analysis of this action is under investigation.”

Surveillance footage earlier obtained by The Associated Press showed two missiles were fired at the plane. The two minutes of black-and-white footage purportedly shows one missile streaking across the sky and exploding near the plane. Ten seconds later, another missile is fired. Some 20 seconds after the first explosion, another strikes near the plane. A ball of flames then falls from the sky out of frame.

The footage corresponded with AP reporting, appeared genuine and matched geographic features of the area. It also explained how so many people filmed the shoot down: the first explosion drew their attention so they turned their mobile phone cameras to the predawn sky.

The Tor short-range air defense system, code-named the SA-15 by NATO, was designed during Soviet times to shoot down aircraft and precision guided weapons.

It is mounted on a tracked vehicle and carries a radar and a pack of eight missiles. Each vehicle can operate independently. Tor has a range of up to 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) and can hit aerial targets at altitudes of up to 6 kilometers (about 19,700 feet).

Tor missiles explode near their target, taking it down with shrapnel that devastates engines, fuel tanks and other vital components.

In other developments on Tuesday, South Korea Defense Ministry announced its anti-piracy unit operating in the Gulf of Aden was temporarily expanding its mission to the Strait of Hormuz. A ministry statement said the decision was meant to help ensure the safe passage of South Korean vessels and nationals through the waterway. It said the unit’s expanded operation will include the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

The ministry said the unit will conduct an independent operation but will cooperate with a U.S.-led coalition if necessary. Already, a U.S.-led operation is surveilling the strait, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of all the world’s oil passes. A French-led naval coalition is also being created.

The missions began after mysterious explosions last summer targeted oil tankers near the strait, attacks the U.S. blamed on Iran. Tehran denied being involved, though it did seize tankers amid wider tensions with the West over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

Associated Press writer Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

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Iran Acknowledges 2 Russian-Made Missiles Targeted Ukraine Jet

Westlake Legal Group 5e26e0ad2100004b00fffb4d Iran Acknowledges 2 Russian-Made Missiles Targeted Ukraine Jet

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran acknowledged on Tuesday that its armed forces fired two Russian anti-aircraft missiles at a Ukrainian jetliner that crashed after taking off from Tehran’s main airport earlier this month, killing all 176 people on board.

The new preliminary report by Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization however stopped short of blaming the TOR-M1 for the crash of the Boeing 737-800, flown by Ukraine International Airways.

For days after the Jan. 8 shootdown, Iran denied that it fired missiles at the plane, initially blaming a technical malfunction and engine fire for the crash.

However, after the U.S. and Canada blamed missile fire for the crash, Iran’s armed forces said anti-aircraft fire from the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard had downed the flight.

The new report identified the missiles fired at the aircraft as coming from the TOR-M1. In 2017, Iran received the delivery of 29 TOR-M1 units from Russia under a contract worth an estimated $700 million.

However, the report said “the impact of these missiles on the accident and the analysis of this action is under investigation.”

Surveillance footage earlier obtained by The Associated Press showed two missiles were fired at the plane. The two minutes of black-and-white footage purportedly shows one missile streaking across the sky and exploding near the plane. Ten seconds later, another missile is fired. Some 20 seconds after the first explosion, another strikes near the plane. A ball of flames then falls from the sky out of frame.

The footage corresponded with AP reporting, appeared genuine and matched geographic features of the area. It also explained how so many people filmed the shoot down: the first explosion drew their attention so they turned their mobile phone cameras to the predawn sky.

The Tor short-range air defense system, code-named the SA-15 by NATO, was designed during Soviet times to shoot down aircraft and precision guided weapons.

It is mounted on a tracked vehicle and carries a radar and a pack of eight missiles. Each vehicle can operate independently. Tor has a range of up to 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) and can hit aerial targets at altitudes of up to 6 kilometers (about 19,700 feet).

Tor missiles explode near their target, taking it down with shrapnel that devastates engines, fuel tanks and other vital components.

In other developments on Tuesday, South Korea Defense Ministry announced its anti-piracy unit operating in the Gulf of Aden was temporarily expanding its mission to the Strait of Hormuz. A ministry statement said the decision was meant to help ensure the safe passage of South Korean vessels and nationals through the waterway. It said the unit’s expanded operation will include the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

The ministry said the unit will conduct an independent operation but will cooperate with a U.S.-led coalition if necessary. Already, a U.S.-led operation is surveilling the strait, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of all the world’s oil passes. A French-led naval coalition is also being created.

The missions began after mysterious explosions last summer targeted oil tankers near the strait, attacks the U.S. blamed on Iran. Tehran denied being involved, though it did seize tankers amid wider tensions with the West over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

Associated Press writer Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

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NPR Poll: Majority Of Americans Believe Trump Encourages Election Interference

Westlake Legal Group cZtm2Nz0D50Jq6oyKtR2zjQh7tDYl531q9AjvfvmgfQ NPR Poll: Majority Of Americans Believe Trump Encourages Election Interference r/politics

Exactly this. We are living in a time where a shared understanding of facts and what the teuth is has vanished.

Ill never forget when Alysson Camerota had to Debate crime statistics with Newt Gingrich dueing the Republican convention ’16.

It basicslly went as followed:

• Gingritch claimed that violent crime has gone up in the US during the Obama years.

• Camerota, using criminal data, said that in fact violent crime has gone done.

• Gingrich: not in cities like chicago

• Camerota: yes, there are pockets where it has gone up but overall violent crime has gone down.

• Gingritch then said, and i quote “but people dont feel like it is down.

After some back and forth he was still adamant that people feeling something is just as viable an opinion as actual fact.

Just watch the whole thing, its insane. And i wonder, how do you argue with these people? Serioysly. They look at facts and say ‘i dint believe it’. How are you supposed to reach them?

Education would be a way to go, but your education system isnt exactly flawless..

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Historic Senate Impeachment Trial Of Trump To Begin

Westlake Legal Group 5e1ca1932100005e001f6cba Historic Senate Impeachment Trial Of Trump To Begin

WASHINGTON ― The third impeachment trial of a U.S. president in history is set to kick off this week in the GOP-controlled Senate, where Republicans have all but promised a swift acquittal of Donald Trump and argued against the inclusion of new evidence and witness testimony during the proceedings.

Before the seven House impeachment managers can begin presenting their evidence, senators must finalize and pass a resolution authored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) laying out the rules governing the trial.

Under the proposed rules, both sides would be allowed 24 hours of opening arguments over just two days beginning Wednesday, followed by a short period of questioning and then a vote on whether to even consider witnesses and additional evidence. If the Senate doesn’t allow witnesses, the trial could be over by the end of next week.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday blasted McConnell’s proposed rules, accusing the Republican leader of choosing “a cover-up for the President rather than honor his oath to the Constitution.”

“For weeks, he has insisted that he will adhere to the rules used during the Clinton impeachment trial and that ‘fair is fair’ ― but his proposal rejects the need for witnesses and documents during the trial itself,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“In contrast, for the Clinton trial, witnesses were deposed and the President provided more than 90,000 documents,” she added.

The seven House impeachment managers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), echoed Pelosi’s disproval.

“A White House-driven and rigged process, with a truncated schedule designed to go late into the night and further conceal the President’s misconduct, is not what the American people expect or deserve,” they said in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) threatened to force votes on witness testimony on Tuesday, but key moderate Republicans want a decision on whether to call witnesses put off until later in the trial. The procedural debate is expected to be contentious and may even occur under a closed session of the Senate, one prohibited from public view.

Trump is charged with abuse of power for his dealings with Ukraine and his efforts to block congressional investigations.

Most Republicans say the case against Trump is insufficient to remove him from office ― indeed, many of them maintain that the president did nothing wrong by pressuring a foreign government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival.

“The Democrats have proven … Trump’s innocence. The only guy that’s been transparent during this is Trump,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier this month, adding he would “absolutely” vote to acquit Trump.

The president blocked a number of key Trump administration officials from testifying during the House impeachment inquiry, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton has since offered to testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed.

Democrats will need to convince at least four GOP senators to vote with them to subpoena their desired witnesses.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a moderate, issued a statement last week clarifying that she is “likely” to support calling witnesses but only after the presentation of evidence by both the House managers and the president’s defense team. Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have also expressed openness to calling witnesses.

“I tend to believe having additional information would be helpful. It is likely that I would support a motion to call witnesses at that point in the trial just as I did in 1999,” Collins said in the statement.

But many of her colleagues say they see no reason to call additional witnesses during the Senate trial, arguing House Democrats should have sought testimony from Mulvaney, Bolton and others by taking their case to court.

“I don’t think we’re going to have any witnesses. I think it’ll be over right then. I think it’s going to be pretty fast,” Scott said in the Hewitt interview.

Democrats have vowed to force votes on motions to compel witness testimony ― part of an effort to pressure vulnerable Republican senators up for re-election in November. They said Republicans would be complicit in a “cover-up” if they didn’t agree to call witnesses in the trial.

During the proceedings, all senators will be prohibited from speaking and may only submit questions in writing to the chief justice, according to the Senate’s rules. All electronics are forbidden on the floor; senators will be required to leave their phones in a cubby outside the chamber floor. The proceedings are expected to run six days a week — every day but Sundays — with the trail taking up five hours each day.

One person who will not be bound by those rules is the accused, who weighed in on Twitter suggesting the case be dismissed outright.

Hayley Miller contributed reporting. This article has been updated with statements from Pelosi and the House impeachment managers.

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