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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 110)

2020 Grammy Awards

Brace yourself, Billie Eilish and Lizzo fans: The 2020 Grammy Awards are shaping up to be a big night.

The Grammys are quickly approaching, and this year’s ceremony looks like it’ll live up to its rep as “Music’s Biggest Night.”

Will “Bad Guy” singer Eilish come out on top? Will Lizzo leave feeling “Good As Hell” with trophies in hand? Will Lil Nas X land some wins, or will the “Old Town Road” rapper be left in the dust? Oh, and when is it again?

From the breakout nominees to the surprising snubs, here’s everything you need to know going into this year’s Grammys.

What time are the Grammys?

The show will broadcast live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26. It airs on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

How can I watch the Grammys on TV or online?

Well, if you have regular TV, on CBS. If you don’t, the show is available for streaming on CBS All Access and on live TV packages through services such as YouTube TV and Hulu live TV. 

You can stream all the red carpet arrivals on Grammy.com.

Notable 2020 Grammy nominees

Lizzo received the most nominations – eight, including album (“Cuz I Love You”), record and song (“Truth Hurts”) of the year. She’s followed by Lil Nas X and Eilish, who are tied with six nods each. Artists with five nominations include Ariana Grande, H.E.R. and Finneas O’Connell. 

Eilish, 18, joins Lizzo, 31, in the album of the year category with her genre-bending, critically acclaimed debut “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” The trend-setting teen, whose music has amassed more than 15 billion combined streams across platforms, is also up for record and song of the year for No. 1 hit “Bad Guy.” That makes her the youngest nominee in Grammy history to be nominated in all four major categories, according to the Recording Academy.

Westlake Legal Group  2020 Grammy Awards

Lil Nas X, 20, whose real name is Montero Hill, is similarly up for best album with his eight-song debut “7.” “Old Town Road,” his country-rap collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus that topped the charts for a record-breaking 19 consecutive weeks this summer, is nominated for best pop/duo group performance, and his follow-up single “Panini” is up for best rap/sung performance. 

Grande’s five nods include record (“7 Rings”) and album of the year (“Thank U, Next”). The best album category is rounded out by Bon Iver’s “I, I,” Lana Del Rey’s “Norman F***ing Rockwell,” H.E.R.’s “I Used to Know Her” and Vampire Weekend’s “Father of the Bride.” 

10 best albums of 2019, including Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey and FKA Twigs

Grammy nominations: Lizzo leads, Billie Eilish makes history, and ‘Old Town Road’ scores

Who got snubbed?

Though this year’s nominations shined a light on new artists, established favorites, such as Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen, were left in the dark.

10-time Grammy winner Swift made history in 2016 by becoming the first female artist to win album of the year twice, for “1989” and “Fearless” (a feat managed a year later by Adele, with “25” and “21”). Swift’s Grammys streak has slowed: Her divisive “Reputation” earned just one nod in 2018 for best pop vocal album, and this year, she garnered only three nominations, including song of the year for “Lover.

Her critically beloved album “Lover” failed to land a best album nod but showed up in best pop vocal album. Her pro-LGBTQ anthem “You Need to Calm Down” eked out a nomination for best pop solo performance but missed out on record of the year. 

Westlake Legal Group  2020 Grammy Awards

Similarly, 20-time winner Springsteen has been a reliable Grammy presence since 1984 and was honored in 2013 by the Recording Academy’s charity arm as MusiCares Person of the Year. The Boss returned this summer with the country-tinged “Western Stars,” which marked his first album of solo material since 2012’s “Wrecking Ball.” Voters didn’t welcome him back with open arms, snubbing “Western Stars” and Springsteen entirely. 

Grammy snubs 2020: Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen miss out on major nominations

Westlake Legal Group  2020 Grammy Awards

Who’s hosting the Grammys?

After hosting the 2019 Grammys, Alicia Keys is back and ready to take on the gig for the second year in a row. With 15 Grammy wins, Keys is certainly qualified.

“It’s almost like a marathon: You can’t just run a marathon (once),” Keys said of her desire to host a second time. “I feel like now, more than ever, I’m familiar with the space on multiple levels. It’s going to be an exciting, inclusive, beautiful experience, and that’s what I want to create.”

2020 Grammy nominations: See the complete list of artists up for an award

Who’s performing?

This year’s Grammys should be a big night for Eilish and Lizzo, not just because of their nominations but also because they’ll each make their Grammys stage debuts. 

Demi Lovato will also take the stage, marking her first live performance since she was hospitalized after a possible drug overdose in 2018.

“I told you the next time you’d hear from me I’d be singing,” Lovato wrote on Instagram Tuesday, along with the announcement.

Also returning to the show is Grande, who didn’t attend last year after a dispute with Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich.  

Power couple Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani will perform together at the show for the first time. Aerosmith, Run-D.M.C, Charlie Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, Camila Cabello, H.E.R., the Jonas Brothers, Rosalía and Tyler, The Creator will all take the stage. 

How are the Grammy Awards different this year?

This year’s Grammys will have more women, people of color and young people choosing who wins.

Responding to criticism that the awards show has lacked diversity among nominees and winners, the Recording Academy invited 900 members to join the voting body, emphasizing women, people of color and those under the age of 39, or some combination of the three. 

Who will be honored at Grammy Awards events?

Grammys fun kicks off way before the main awards show begins.

One of the most famous lead-up events is record producer Clive Davis’ star-studded pre-Grammys gala, held this year on the Saturday night before the show.

At this year’s gala, three-time Grammy winner Sean “Diddy” Combs will be recognized as the 2020 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons honoree for his 25-year career in the music industry.

The Friday before the Grammys, rock band Aerosmith will be honored as the 2020 Person of the Year for MusiCares, the Recording Academy’s charity for musicians in critical financial need. The band earned the title for their philanthropy and impact on music history.

They will be honored with a tribute concert featuring Gary Clark Jr., Alice Cooper, Foo Fighters, H.E.R., the Jonas Brothers, Emily King, John Legend, John Mayer and Yola, among others.

Contributing: Patrick Ryan

Westlake Legal Group  2020 Grammy Awards   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Please Stop Big Tech, Small Rivals Tell Lawmakers

Westlake Legal Group defaultPromoCrop Please Stop Big Tech, Small Rivals Tell Lawmakers Online Advertising Google Inc Facebook Inc Computers and the Internet Basecamp LLC Apple Inc Antitrust Laws and Competition Issues Amazon.com Inc

For all the criticisms directed at the largest tech companies in the last couple of years, few smaller rivals have been willing to speak up publicly.

That changed for a couple of hours on Friday, as executives at four businesses pleaded with federal lawmakers to rein in Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

At a congressional hearing in Boulder, Colo., top executives of Sonos, PopSockets, Basecamp and Tile testified that the biggest technology companies hindered their businesses. Their stories varied, but they shared a theme: The tech giants have used their powerful positions in search, e-commerce, online ads and smartphones to squeeze out them and other rivals.

Tile, which makes small tracking devices, said Apple had put up hurdles for Tile’s smartphone app that didn’t apply to Apple’s competing product. Sonos, the high-end audio company, said Google had copied its patented speaker technology and used its dominance in search to enter new markets. PopSockets, which makes smartphone grips, said Amazon “bullied” it into sales agreements and ignored complaints about counterfeits on the retail platform.

“It’s like playing a soccer game,” said Kirsten Daru, the vice president and general counsel of Tile. “You might be the best team in the league, but you’re playing against a team that owns the field, the ball, the stadium and the entire league, and they can change the rules of the game in their own favor and anytime.”

The executives’ criticism provided lawmakers on the House antitrust subcommittee, which conducted the hearing, with personal stories about the power and influence of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies. Last year, the House opened a broad investigation into whether those large companies violated antitrust laws. At the same time, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission opened separate competition investigations into Amazon, Facebook Apple and Google. In addition, nearly all 50 states are investigating whether Facebook and Google engage in anticompetitive practices.

Despite all of those investigations, few companies have come forward to complain in public. The House antitrust subcommittee has interviewed dozens of companies that accuse the big tech companies of unlawfully stifling competition. Most have insisted on confidentiality. This month, Sonos sued Google on allegations of antitrust violations and patent infringement, in its first pointed action against the company.

Lawmakers at Friday’s hearing, which was held in Boulder in part to draw more national attention to the House investigation, noted how rarely start-ups spoke out about their complaints, and encouraged them to keep making their case.

“Thank you for your testimony, and quite frankly your courage to be here today,” said Representative Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado. “Because when you take on dominant players, whether it’s Amazon, Google, Apple or Facebook, you’ve got to have a little trepidation.”

Representative David Cicilline, the Rhode Island Democrat who leads the antitrust subcommittee, thanked the executives for “describing economic retaliation.”

The tech companies vehemently deny that they illegally harm competition. Google, for instance, has disputed all the claims made by Sonos and said it would fight the lawsuit.

The hearing capped a difficult week for big tech, which was the target of fierce criticism by top politicians. Much of that anger was directed at Facebook, which has refused to police lies shared by politicians on its social network.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that Facebook “just cares about money” and that the company intended “to be accomplices in misleading the American people.” Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has been the focus of false ads by President Trump’s re-election campaign, told the New York Times editorial board that Facebook and other internet companies that allow the spread of misinformation on their sites should lose a critical liability shield for internet platforms. He also personally criticized Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive.

“I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan,” Mr. Biden said. “He knows better.”

The hearing on Friday focused entirely on whether the big companies dominate markets. The executives, who argued at length that companies like Google and Amazon unfairly hurt their businesses, received little pushback from lawmakers.

David Barnett, the founder of PopSockets, said Amazon had pressured it to lower listing prices or else allow unauthorized resellers to sell the product. He also alleged that Amazon allowed a flood of counterfeits to compete with PopSockets on the site to pressure the company into spending more on marketing.

It is “bullying with a smile,” Mr. Barnett said.

David Heinemeier Hansson, the chief technology officer and a co-founder of Basecamp, a provider of online productivity tools, said Google’s domination of the search industry forced his company to go online with the advertising titan’s demands and decisions.

“The internet has been colonized by a handful of big tech companies that wield their monopoly powers without restraint,” Mr. Hansson said.

Both Republicans and Democrats appeared to sympathize with him and the other executives.

“I think it’s clear there’s abuse in the marketplace and a need for action,” said Representative Ken Buck, a Republican from Colorado.

Mr. Cicilline said he didn’t expect the executives or their companies to suffer any economic retaliation from the giants for testifying. “But if you do in any way, it would be of tremendous interest to this committee,” he said.

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Charlie Hunnam would ‘star opposite’ Meghan Markle if the roles were ‘good’ for the both of them

If Meghan Markle ever decides to return to acting, she might already have a co-star.

A TMZ cameraman recently asked Charlie Hunnam — as he was standing outside Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — about his thoughts on the Duchess of Sussex, 38, and her husband Prince Harry‘s historic announcement to step away from their duties as senior royals.

When asked about the possibility of Markle’s return to Hollywood, the 39-year-old English actor said of the former “Suits” actress: “We’ll see. I don’t know either.”

WILL MEGHAN MARKLE BE ABLE TO PROFIT FROM HER CELEBRITY STATUS?

He added: “Hopefully, I mean, if that’s a real passion for her and it’s something that nourishes her and is important, hopefully, she gets the opportunity to keep pursuing that.”

And when asked if he’d ever star alongside Markle, should he have the opportunity, Hunnam — who doesn’t know Meghan or Harry — appeared open to the idea.

“I would star opposite her if it was a good role that she was right for and I was right for,” he explained.

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY WON’T HAVE ‘PROTECTIONS’ IN US AS THEY DO ‘AT HOME’ WITH PAPARRAZI, ATTORNEY SAYS

Of the Sussexes’ shocking announcement, the “Gentleman” star noted that “doesn’t know much about it” and “doesn’t have that strong of an opinion,” but that overall he “always” feels like “we all deserve a little autonomy in our lives and the opportunity to find some happiness,” Hunnam said.

He continued: “Those poor boys were born into an enormous responsibility, and the English press is brutal and the scrutiny that those guys are under I’m sure is brutal. I just feel like, more power to them if they think that they can find some happiness and peace elsewhere. Just let them do their thing.”

Rumors have run rampant since Meghan and Harry, 35, announced last week that they plan to “step back” from their royal duties. In particular, the buzz has been that the duo would turn to Hollywood in order to reach their goal to “become financially independent.”

The idea is fueled not only by Markle’s previous connection to Hollywood, having starred in the cable drama “Suits,” but also by a similar move made by the Obamas after former president Barack Obama’s time in office.

MEGHAN MARKLE WOULD BE WELCOMED IN HOLLYWOOD WITH OPERN ARMS, EXPERTS SAY 

The former president and his wife, Michelle Obama, signed a deal with Netflix in 2018 to produce both scripted and non-scripted content, and now, network executives are interested in creating a similar deal with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Westlake Legal Group charlie-hunnam-meghan-markle-getty Charlie Hunnam would ‘star opposite’ Meghan Markle if the roles were ‘good’ for the both of them Mariah Haas fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4a024ceb-1f8e-5952-b8f1-85ed2764e948

Charlie Hunnam, Meghan Markle (Getty)

“If Meghan called anybody right now, believe me, we’d all run to the phone,” NBC exec Bill McGoldrick, who worked closely with Markle on “Suits,” told The Hollywood Reporter.

McGoldrick, however, also expects that the royal couple will focus on creating content about issues important to them, rather than just produce pure entertainment.

PRINCES WILLIAM, HARRY DENY ‘OFFENSIVE’ REPORT THAT BULLYING LED TO MEGHAN AND HARRY’S DRASTIC DECISION

Celebrity publicist and public relations professional Elizabeth Much echoes such sentiments to THR, saying, “It would be more difficult in the acting arena since Meghan’s fame is so enormous, but having said that, there will always be places that will hire her. She’s a really good actress, too.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Of course, Markle and Harry have already begun to dip their toes into the Hollywood waters with Markle reportedly providing a voice-over for a Disney project and Harry producing an Apple TV+ series on mental health alongside Oprah Winfrey.

Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group charlie-hunnam-meghan-markle-getty Charlie Hunnam would ‘star opposite’ Meghan Markle if the roles were ‘good’ for the both of them Mariah Haas fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4a024ceb-1f8e-5952-b8f1-85ed2764e948   Westlake Legal Group charlie-hunnam-meghan-markle-getty Charlie Hunnam would ‘star opposite’ Meghan Markle if the roles were ‘good’ for the both of them Mariah Haas fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4a024ceb-1f8e-5952-b8f1-85ed2764e948

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Trump Legal Team Adds Starr and Dershowitz for Senate Trial

Westlake Legal Group 17dc-legal2-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Legal Team Adds Starr and Dershowitz for Senate Trial Starr, Kenneth W Sekulow, Jay Alan Dershowitz, Alan M Cipollone, Pat A

President Trump enlisted the former independent counsel Ken Starr and the celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz to join his defense team on Friday, turning to two veterans of politically charged legal cases to secure his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial that gets underway in earnest next week.

Mr. Starr, whose investigation into President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice in 1998, will be joined by Robert W. Ray, his successor as independent counsel, who negotiated a settlement with Mr. Clinton as he left the White House that included a fine and the suspension of his law license.

Mr. Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor emeritus who became famous as a defense counsel for high-profile defendants like O.J. Simpson, Claus von Bülow and Mike Tyson, will have a more limited role, presenting oral arguments at the Senate trial “to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal,” the legal team said in a statement.

In choosing the three prominent lawyers, the president assembled what he regards as an all-star television legal team, enlisting some of his favorite defenders from Fox News. But each of them brings his own baggage. Mr. Dershowitz represented Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender. Mr. Starr was pushed out as a university president because of his handling of sexual misconduct by the football team. And Mr. Ray was once charged with stalking a former girlfriend.

Bringing in Mr. Starr will also invariably supercharge the discussion over Mr. Trump’s impeachment by reopening the long-running debate over Mr. Clinton’s case. Mr. Starr remains a polarizing figure from that era and every point he makes in favor of Mr. Trump’s innocence will invite comparisons to the approach he took to Mr. Clinton.

But Mr. Trump evidently sees Mr. Starr as an important validating presence who could endorse the view that the president’s impeachment was illegitimate and unfair. The prosecutor whose investigation triggered the last presidential impeachment will now stand up on the floor of the Senate to declare that this impeachment is invalid. And he will explain why, in the view of someone who has been there, these charges do not add up to high crimes.

“President Trump has done nothing wrong and is confident that this team will defend him, the voters, and our democracy from this baseless, illegitimate impeachment,” the White House said in a statement on Friday night, confirming earlier news reports.

For some Republicans who admire Mr. Starr, his participation may carry weight. “I was encouraged by it,” Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota, said of the newly constituted legal team.

But Mr. Trump’s built-out team — which will be led by the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, and the president’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow — faces the dual challenge of preserving the president’s support among Republican senators and presenting his case to the wider public watching on television during an election year.

As long as Senate Republicans stick with Mr. Trump as expected, the House Democrats prosecuting the case will not be able to muster the two-thirds vote required for conviction. Just as important to the president, though, is framing the debate in a way that he can take onto the campaign trail as he battles Democrats for a second term.

This team may not provide the sort of defense the president’s most combative supporters feel he needs. Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist who has been hosting a daily radio show and podcast on impeachment with a group that often coordinates with the White House, said the addition of Mr. Dershowitz and Mr. Starr brought impressive legal power to Mr. Trump’s team.

But Mr. Bannon expressed concern that “there are no fire breathers,” as he put it. “It’s very conventional in its makeup and approach. But this is not playing on C-Span. The senators are not the jury; the American people are the jury. I strongly believe you need some of the fire breathers from the House, like Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows and Lee Zeldin.”

Mr. Trump wanted some of those congressmen, among his most stalwart House Republican allies, to be on the defense team, but Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, rejected the idea. Those House members, who are familiar with the testimony provided by witnesses during the impeachment inquiry, are expected to help behind the scenes and to help defend the president on television, people familiar with the president’s legal defense plan said.

Mr. Trump’s team is also preparing for the possibility that witnesses will be called in the trial, despite Mr. McConnell’s hope to avoid it.

Other lawyers joining Mr. Trump’s trial team include Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general who has been a spokeswoman for the defense effort; Jane Serene Raskin, who defended Mr. Trump during the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III; and Eric D. Herschmann, a partner at the law firm of another of Mr. Trump’s longtime lawyers, Marc E. Kasowitz.

The president has wanted media-savvy defenders who could play the same vocal role that his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani did during the Mueller investigation. Mr. Dershowitz has been a media figure for years and Mr. Starr was a contributor to Fox News until parting ways with the network because of his new role with Mr. Trump.

But the choices were not without controversy, and Republicans on Friday voiced private reservations about some of the lawyers.

Mr. Dershowitz has faced questions about his representation of Mr. Epstein, a financier who killed himself in a New York City jail in August. Mr. Dershowitz helped negotiate Mr. Epstein’s lenient sentence on sex charges in 2008. Mr. Dershowitz has also been accused of engaging in sex with an underage girl he met through Mr. Epstein; he has denied the claim.

Mr. Starr, who helped Mr. Dershowitz on the Epstein defense in 2007, was forced from his job as president of Baylor University in 2016 amid accusations he did not respond to allegations of sexual assault made by women against members of the school’s football team.

An outside investigation rebuked the university leadership, saying it had “created a cultural perception that football was above the rules.” As he left the university presidency, Mr. Starr expressed “heartfelt contrition for the tragedy and sadness that has unfolded” and said he was “profoundly sorry” to victims who were not treated with the care and support they deserved.

As for Mr. Ray, he turned himself in to New York authorities in 2006 in response to a misdemeanor charge of stalking a woman he had previously been dating. The police said he had sent emails and visited the woman against her wishes after she broke off their relationship. A law enforcement official said the case was sealed, suggesting it was most likely dismissed. Mr. Ray declined to comment.

Mr. Trump himself has previously questioned Mr. Starr’s zealous pursuit of Mr. Clinton. In 1999, after the House voted to impeach the president largely along party lines, Mr. Trump told interviewers that Mr. Starr was a “wacko” and a “lunatic.” But more recently, he is said to have enjoyed watching him on television. Mr. Starr declined to comment on Friday.

Mr. Trump faces two articles of impeachment accusing him of abusing his office by pressuring Ukraine to announce investigations of his Democratic rivals and obstructing Congress by refusing to provide documents or permit testimony during the House inquiry.

During his television appearances, Mr. Starr has argued that the articles of impeachment passed by the House largely along party lines were “woefully inadequate” to justify removing a president from office. He has contrasted that with his investigation into Mr. Clinton, where the president was accused of felonies for trying to cover up his affair with Monica S. Lewinsky, a onetime White House intern, during a sexual harassment lawsuit.

In a brief telephone interview, Mr. Dershowitz said he expected his sole role to be arguing on behalf of Mr. Trump before the Senate next Friday, making points he had made in writing and on television.

He said that he “worried about the precedent” set by the two articles of impeachment, which he described as “too vague and open-ended,” and absent “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The statement announcing his appointment described Mr. Dershowitz as “nonpartisan when it comes to the Constitution,” having opposed the impeachment of Mr. Clinton and voted for Hillary Clinton. “He is participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of the Constitution and to prevent the creation of a dangerous constitutional precedent,” the statement said.

The return of Mr. Starr to the impeachment stage was an astonishing development for many veterans of the battle two decades ago. Ms. Lewinsky expressed her disbelief on Twitter on Friday, writing, “this is definitely an ‘are you kidding me?’ kinda day” with an expletive before the word “kidding.”

Annie Karni contributed reporting.

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“Let’s Be Clear About Who Is Rigging What”: Bernie Sanders Denounces Trump Effort to Divide Democrats

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Please Stop Big Tech, Small Rivals Tell Lawmakers

Westlake Legal Group defaultPromoCrop Please Stop Big Tech, Small Rivals Tell Lawmakers Online Advertising Google Inc Facebook Inc Computers and the Internet Basecamp LLC Apple Inc Antitrust Laws and Competition Issues Amazon.com Inc

For all the criticisms directed at the largest tech companies in the last couple of years, few smaller rivals have been willing to speak up publicly.

That changed for a couple of hours on Friday, as executives at four businesses pleaded with federal lawmakers to rein in Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

At a congressional hearing in Boulder, Colo., top executives of Sonos, PopSockets, Basecamp and Tile testified that the biggest technology companies hindered their businesses. Their stories varied, but they shared a theme: The tech giants have used their powerful positions in search, e-commerce, online ads and smartphones to squeeze out them and other rivals.

Tile, which makes small tracking devices, said Apple had put up hurdles for Tile’s smartphone app that didn’t apply to Apple’s competing product. Sonos, the high-end audio company, said Google had copied its patented speaker technology and used its dominance in search to enter new markets. PopSockets, which makes smartphone grips, said Amazon “bullied” it into sales agreements and ignored complaints about counterfeits on the retail platform.

“It’s like playing a soccer game,” said Kirsten Daru, the vice president and general counsel of Tile. “You might be the best team in the league, but you’re playing against a team that owns the field, the ball, the stadium and the entire league, and they can change the rules of the game in their own favor and anytime.”

The executives’ criticism provided lawmakers on the House antitrust subcommittee, which conducted the hearing, with personal stories about the power and influence of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies. Last year, the House opened a broad investigation into whether those large companies violated antitrust laws. At the same time, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission opened separate competition investigations into Amazon, Facebook Apple and Google. In addition, nearly all 50 states are investigating whether Facebook and Google engage in anticompetitive practices.

Despite all of those investigations, few companies have come forward to complain in public. The House antitrust subcommittee has interviewed dozens of companies that accuse the big tech companies of unlawfully stifling competition. Most have insisted on confidentiality. This month, Sonos sued Google on allegations of antitrust violations and patent infringement, in its first pointed action against the company.

Lawmakers at Friday’s hearing, which was held in Boulder in part to draw more national attention to the House investigation, noted how rarely start-ups spoke out about their complaints, and encouraged them to keep making their case.

“Thank you for your testimony, and quite frankly your courage to be here today,” said Representative Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado. “Because when you take on dominant players, whether it’s Amazon, Google, Apple or Facebook, you’ve got to have a little trepidation.”

Representative David Cicilline, the Rhode Island Democrat who leads the antitrust subcommittee, thanked the executives for “describing economic retaliation.”

The tech companies vehemently deny that they illegally harm competition. Google, for instance, has disputed all the claims made by Sonos and said it would fight the lawsuit.

The hearing capped a difficult week for big tech, which was the target of fierce criticism by top politicians. Much of that anger was directed at Facebook, which has refused to police lies shared by politicians on its social network.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that Facebook “just cares about money” and that the company intended “to be accomplices in misleading the American people.” Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has been the focus of false ads by President Trump’s re-election campaign, told the New York Times editorial board that Facebook and other internet companies that allow the spread of misinformation on their sites should lose a critical liability shield for internet platforms. He also personally criticized Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive.

“I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan,” Mr. Biden said. “He knows better.”

The hearing on Friday focused entirely on whether the big companies dominate markets. The executives, who argued at length that companies like Google and Amazon unfairly hurt their businesses, received little pushback from lawmakers.

David Barnett, the founder of PopSockets, said Amazon had pressured it to lower listing prices or else allow unauthorized resellers to sell the product. He also alleged that Amazon allowed a flood of counterfeits to compete with PopSockets on the site to pressure the company into spending more on marketing.

It is “bullying with a smile,” Mr. Barnett said.

David Heinemeier Hansson, the chief technology officer and a co-founder of Basecamp, a provider of online productivity tools, said Google’s domination of the search industry forced his company to go online with the advertising titan’s demands and decisions.

“The internet has been colonized by a handful of big tech companies that wield their monopoly powers without restraint,” Mr. Hansson said.

Both Republicans and Democrats appeared to sympathize with him and the other executives.

“I think it’s clear there’s abuse in the marketplace and a need for action,” said Representative Ken Buck, a Republican from Colorado.

Mr. Cicilline said he didn’t expect the executives or their companies to suffer any economic retaliation from the giants for testifying. “But if you do in any way, it would be of tremendous interest to this committee,” he said.

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Weird impeachment questions

The third impeachment trial of a U.S. president kicked off Thursday in Washington, and President Donald Trump is the defendant.

The Constitution stipulates that, if any federal official commits “high crimes or misdemeanors,” the House of Representatives is empowered to impeach – formally charge – that official. The House voted Wednesday afternoon to formally send the impeachment charges against Trump to the Senate. 

Trump’s fate sits with the Senate, where a conviction would mean removal from office. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven House members to serve as “managers,” essentially prosecutors, for the trial. 

As the trial begins, here are answers to the questions you may be wondering:

Why do they say, “hear ye, hear ye” and use old English during impeachment proceedings?

Senate rules are explicit in providing details for an impeachment trial. The trial will begin with the proclamation “Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of impeachment.” Translation: Be quiet and pay attention. Senators were required to be at their desks while the articles of impeachment were read by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

A summary of the day’s impeachment news: Right to your inbox! Sign up for On Politics here

Will Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts walk to trial sessions?

After the House managers brought the articles of impeachment to the Senate, the Supreme Court’s chief justice was summoned to the Senate. The Supreme Court is right across the street from the Capitol, but plans call for Roberts to go by car to the trial each day, escorted by a court security detail, a court spokesperson said. On Thursday, four senators escorted him into the Senate chamber, where Roberts took an oath before administering an oath to the assembled senators.

Westlake Legal Group  Weird impeachment questions

What will John Roberts do?

Under Article I, section 3 of the Constitution, the chief justice of the Supreme Court must preside over the Senate trial. That means Roberts, appointed to the nation’s highest court by George W. Bush, is in charge. Roberts “may rule on all questions of evidence,” under Senate rules, which could give him sway on controversial calls such as whether former national security adviser John Bolton will testify. The hitch is that the Senate can overrule him. His role could end up being mostly ceremonial.

More impeachment:As Trump’s impeachment process moves to the Senate, here’s how it will all work

Doesn’t the Supreme Court need their leader?

Roberts will have a tight but manageable schedule. Oral arguments are scheduled next Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, then no more are set until late February. And the trial won’t start until 1 p.m. each day.

Senate opens impeachment trial:Here’s what to expect

Why did Nancy Pelosi use so many pens?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used scores of pens to sign her name on the impeachment articles. Using multiple pens for signing important U.S. documents is nothing new. The pens are given out as keepsakes for historic events.

Westlake Legal Group  Weird impeachment questions

How long will this impeachment trial last?

The trial will really get underway Tuesday, after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, the Senate Majority Leader, has said he hopes to wrap it up in about two weeks. But the length of the trial will depend on how many witnesses, if any, are called. The Senate has not determined whether it will call witnesses or include new evidence uncovered in the case. The last such trial, for President Bill Clinton, lasted about five weeks.

​Is Trump going to show up?

Probably not, although Trump said in November he would “strongly consider” facing his accusers. His tweet: “Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!”

Who is Lev Parnas?

Lev Parnas is a Ukraine-born associate of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer. He sparked controversy by claiming that “President Trump knew exactly what was going on” during the White House’s alleged pressure campaign to get Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Parnas said Trump and Giuliani were routinely informed of behind-the-scenes developments in the work he did on their behalf in Ukraine. 

Contributing: Richard Wolf

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House Democrats release new Parnas documents showing contact with Nunes aide

Westlake Legal Group AP20013742869046-1-1 House Democrats release new Parnas documents showing contact with Nunes aide Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox news fnc/politics fnc article 49f36cfb-47dc-50b4-987a-29a345cbc65d

House Democrats released another batch of documents from indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas on Friday, including messages that showed Parnas was in contact with a staffer for House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

The documents also included photos of Parnas with Trump and Giuliani in various settings, as well as additional messages between Parnas and Connecticut Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde, in which the two discussed the whereabouts of then-U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Additionally, an unidentified individual with a Belgian country code appears to describe Yovanovitch’s movements.

“My contacts are checking,” the person writes to Hyde in one message. “I will give you the address next week”.

“Awesome,” Hyde replied.

“She has been there since Thursday never left the embassy,” reads another text.

Still another series of text messages also discussed the former ambassador.

“Nothing has changed she is still not moving they check today again,” the person tells Hyde. “It’s confirmed we have a person inside.” The next message reads: “Hey broski tell me what we are doing what’s the next step”.

YOVANOVITCH CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION AFTER DOCUMENTS SHOW SHE MAY HAVE BEEN SURVEILLED IN UKRAINE

Hyde has denied surveilling Yovanovitch, whose ouster is central to the impeachment inquiry into Trump, who faces a charge that he abused his presidential power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, using military aid to the country as leverage. Trump says the inquiry is a “hoax.”

At the time, Trump’s allies were trying to have Yovanovitch, who was seen as a roadblock to a Biden investigation, removed from her post. She was recalled in late May.

Messages between Parnas and Harvey were also included in the files, including one from March of this year in which Harvey asked Parnas for assistance in getting information on U.S. aid to Ukraine.

The pair arranged meetings at the Trump International Hotel, which included at least one meeting in May 2019 with Giuliani and John Solomon, a former columnist for The Hill.

Nunes has denied involvement in the Ukraine scandal, though he has acknowledged speaking with Parnas.

The document dump also included recent interviews Parnas gave to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and CNN’s Anderson Cooper. In his interview with Maddow Wednesday, a day after he provided a trove of documents and text messages to House investigators, Parnas said Trump contemplated cutting all forms of financial assistance to Ukraine — including much needed military aid — in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden.

Parnas said Giuliani instructed him to deliver a “harsh” message to Ukraine that “all aid” to the country would be halted unless “there was an announcement of the Biden investigation,” among other demands. He claimed Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Attorney General William Barr were aware of efforts by him and Giuliani to have Ukraine open the investigation for Trump’s political benefit. All have denied the claims.

Parnas also claimed Hyde wasn’t being serious when he claimed in some of those communications to know Yovanovitch’s whereabouts in Kiev.

“I don’t believe it was true, I think he was either drunk or was trying to make himself bigger than he was,” Parnas told Rachel Maddow.  “I didn’t take him seriously. I didn’t even respond to him most of the time. If I did, it was something like ‘LOL’ or ‘Okay’ or ‘Great’ or something like that.”

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Parnas and his business partner, Igor Fruman, were indicted last year on campaign finance violence violations. Nonetheless, Democrats say his revelation enhance their case for impeachment against Trump.

House Democrats have until 5 p.m. ET Saturday to submit their brief laying out the evidence in Trump’s impeachment trial. The White House brief is due by noon on Monday. House Democrats will then have 24 hours to respond to the White House brief, should they choose to do so.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP20013742869046-1-1 House Democrats release new Parnas documents showing contact with Nunes aide Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox news fnc/politics fnc article 49f36cfb-47dc-50b4-987a-29a345cbc65d   Westlake Legal Group AP20013742869046-1-1 House Democrats release new Parnas documents showing contact with Nunes aide Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox news fnc/politics fnc article 49f36cfb-47dc-50b4-987a-29a345cbc65d

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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry won’t have ‘protections’ in US as they do ‘at home’ with paparazzi, attorney says

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122597608001_6122595904001-vs Meghan Markle, Prince Harry won’t have 'protections' in US as they do 'at home' with paparazzi, attorney says Stephanie Nolasco Mariah Haas fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a9c52d3c-82db-5a9e-9063-be2b2a67f06b

Following their historic announcement to step away from their duties as senior royals and become financially independent, Queen Elizabeth confirmed on Monday that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will now split their time between Canada and the U.K.

And although Los Angeles was not a part of the Queen’s statement earlier this week, the Sussexes just might end up in the Golden State as Markle, 38, has several ties to the city.

Not only does the former “Suits” actress hail from LA, but her mom, Doria Ragland, still lives in the city. In addition, it was recently reported that Markle signed a voiceover deal with Disney in exchange for a donation to a nonprofit. The entertainment company’s headquarters is based in Burbank, Calif.

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY’S FROGMORE COTTAGE STAFF DOWNSIZED: REPORT

Fox News spoke with Los Angeles-based attorney Christopher Melcher about the extent of privacy that Markle, Prince Harry and the couple’s 8-month-old son Archie might receive should they occasionally visit the city or any location in the United States.

“Privacy laws in England are highly protective and elevate the rights of the individual over the press,” said Melcher, a partner at Walzer Melcher family law. “English law can prohibit the publication of information about an individual, especially a child.”

In contrast, according to Melcher, “in our Constitution, the U.S. rejected governmental interference with the press, giving it the right to publish information subject to few restrictions.”

PRINCES WILLIAM, HARRY DENY ‘OFFENSIVE’ REPORT THAT BULLYING LED TO MEGHAN AND HARRY’S DRASTIC DECISION

Melcher says that when Markle and Harry, 35, are in the United States, “they will not have the protections they do at home. “

“Paparazzi will find a way to take photos of them while in public, which may be unflattering,” Melcher said. “This could be a more harmful environment than they are trying to leave and expose them to more scrutiny than could exist at home.”

However, Melcher pointed out that California specifically has “adopted more stringent laws against paparazzi,” which prohibit them from “following individuals, entering private property, or using drones to photograph private or family activities.”

PRINCE CHARLES ‘LIVID’ AT MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY FOR DECISION TO ‘STEP BACK’ FROM ROYAL DUTIES: REPORT

According to Melcher, some parts of these laws have been tested and deemed constitutional, while others have not.

“Profits motivate behavior, so paparazzi will continue to push the envelope and challenge legal attempts to stop them. Celebrities spend enormous sums on security to maintain their privacy and safety. The royal couple will be no different while they are in the U.S., having to foot the bill for that security,” he said.

Meanwhile, Canada offers plenty of perks for the world’s famous couple trying to raise their firstborn son.

Vancouver-based Roger McConchie, the founding partner of McConchie Law, told Fox News that British Columbia, where Vancouver Island is located, can provide Harry and Markle a refuge from the ruthless paparazzi.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Last week, the Sussexes shocked the world when they announced that they were stepping back as senior members of the royal family.

Since then, the queen’s aides have been tirelessly working over the last few days to finalize how the couple will exit the royal family.

According to sources who spoke with the Evening Standard, a statement from Buckingham Palace is reportedly imminent.

The issues within the family that still need to be ironed out include the level of security the Sussexes’ will have, use of their royal titles, how many months they will live in the United Kingdom and Canada per year, and how they plan to be financially independent.

Fox News’ Jessica Napoli contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122597608001_6122595904001-vs Meghan Markle, Prince Harry won’t have 'protections' in US as they do 'at home' with paparazzi, attorney says Stephanie Nolasco Mariah Haas fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a9c52d3c-82db-5a9e-9063-be2b2a67f06b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122597608001_6122595904001-vs Meghan Markle, Prince Harry won’t have 'protections' in US as they do 'at home' with paparazzi, attorney says Stephanie Nolasco Mariah Haas fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a9c52d3c-82db-5a9e-9063-be2b2a67f06b

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New Book Reveals Trump’s a Bigger, Dumber Asshole Than We Thought

Westlake Legal Group YxRFAqCWpdcKbDa-AVaHEPc2QTJE5qcnbxf51TTeZec New Book Reveals Trump’s a Bigger, Dumber Asshole Than We Thought r/politics

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