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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 13)

Rebecca Grant: Cease-fire halting Syria fighting between Turks and Kurds faces uncertain future

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095646431001_6095643792001-vs Rebecca Grant: Cease-fire halting Syria fighting between Turks and Kurds faces uncertain future Rebecca Grant fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c7a2564e-cbbb-5650-b8cd-ed402c888773 article

The cease-fire agreement reached Thursday by the U.S. and Turkey to halt Turkish military operations against Kurdish forces in Syria for five days is just the first step in long and hard bargaining that lies ahead if further fighting is to be averted.

No one knows if the cease-fire will hold, much less what will happen after it expires.

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo led a delegation that reached the agreement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in nearly five hours of talks in Ankara.

TURKEY-SYRIA CEASE-FIRE: SENIOR US MILITARY SOURCE ‘HIGHLY SKEPTICAL’ OF DEAL

Under the agreement, Kurdish-led forces are supposed to withdraw from a 20-mile wide safe zone on the Syria-Turkey border while the cease-fire is in effect. Turkish military operations are supposed to end once the Kurdish withdrawal is completed.

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However, Fox News reported that “a very senior U.S. military source who spent years designing the U.S. anti-ISIS strategy with both the Kurds and Turks … expressed skepticism” about the cease-fire because thousands of Kurds live within the buffer zone.

Turkey will very likely conduct more cross-border attacks against the Kurds in Syria if the buffer zone plan collapses.

Under the best-case scenario, the next few days could give the Turks and Kurds the chance to put a security mechanism in place, and U.S.-Turkey relations could improve from the low-point caused by the Turkish invasion of northeast Syria, where Syrian Kurds had established an autonomous region.

KARL ROVE CALLS SYRIA-TURKEY CEASE-FIRE AN ‘AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENT,’ CREDITS POMPEO, PENCE

But whatever happens, the Trump administration’s work to broker a cease-fire was an honorable act and a reminder that America is willing to put in the effort in hopes of achieving peace and saving lives.

It’s remarkable that Turkey agreed to any cease-fire at all.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Gen. Mark Milley, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, urged Turkey in numerous phone calls not to carry out its invasion. Turkey did it anyway. Few people familiar with the long-running animosity between the Turks and Kurds were surprised.

It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that a big reason why the U.S. faces very bad choices today between supporting NATO ally Turkey versus Kurdish forces who joined America in defeating the ISIS terrorist group is because of actions by President Barack Obama’s administration.

Obama’s inattention to the rise of ISIS forced the creation of the predominantly Kurdish force called the Syrian Defense Forces – a name picked with U.S. help to replace the name of the Kurdish fighters known as the YPG.

Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry had to know they were starting down a dark path. They knew Turkey opposed the YPG because of its close connection to designated Kurdish terrorist groups in Turkey, so hoped that rebranding the group with a new name would be a good public relations move.

Many challenges must be overcome if the cease-fire reached Thursday is to continue beyond five days. Since the U.S. withdrew its small number of troops allied with the Syrian Kurds along the border with Turkey, the Kurds have invited Syrian troops to return to the area to protect them from Turkish forces.

While Turkey wants a 20-mile buffer zone inside Syria, nations and groups that fought and defeated ISIS want thousands of ISIS prisoners guarded. The Kurdish forces were doing much of the guarding; under a new arrangement, it could fall to President Bashar Assad’s Syrian forces, to the Kurds, to Turkey, or to a combination of all three.

Syria, Russia, the U.S., European nations and others in the anti-ISIS coalition want to prevent the regeneration of ISIS. That can be done by the military forces of Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The goal is to prevent the Mafia-like takeover of oil fields and towns that supported the ISIS caliphate from 2014 to 2018.

And if they need help, the U.S. and other nations in the Defeat-ISIS Coalition could bring airpower and other military pressure to bear, though U.S. forces won’t be going back into northeastern Syria under the Trump administration. President Trump has made that clear and so has Defense Secretary Esper.

“I will not place American service members in the middle of a longstanding conflict between the Turks and the Kurds,” Esper said. “This is not why we are in Syria.”

As for the senior U.S. military officials who are complaining about withdrawal of U.S. forces that backed the Kurds, that’s to be expected. American military men and women always feel bad about loosening ties forged in battle.

When the U.S. pulled all forces out of South Vietnam in 1975, American military members had the same sorts of feelings about leaving their South Vietnamese allies. There will be emotions as well about pulling out from Afghanistan – if we ever do it.

Americans would like clean victories. They rarely happen.

But a few points here. First, the Kurds are being portrayed as a longtime ally and strategic partner. It’s simply not true. Our alliance with the Kurds – created to defeat our common enemy ISIS – is about five years old.

Kurdish forces were eager to get arms from the U.S. and especially to get support from massive U.S. airpower that bombed ISIS fighters.

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Sometimes the headlines make it sound like the Syrian Kurds defeated ISIS all by themselves. But the Kurds did not carry the anti-ISIS fight alone. The Iraqi military fought very hard to drive out ISIS. So did anti-ISIS air forces, led by the U.S., which dropped over 100,000 bombs on ISIS targets from 2015 to 2019, according to U.S. Central Command. That’s more than double the bombs dropped in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

The Syrian Kurds are good fighters but are also master political players. They publish glossy pictures of well-dressed soldiers, often women. They leapt at the chance to blame Trump for the Turkish invasion of Syria, fitting in with roiling U.S. domestic politics.

And the Kurds are agile. They lost no time allying with the Assad regime in Syria after U.S. troops withdrew.

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It’s also been very clear that our European allies are not willing to go to bat for Kurds in Syria, although several European nations condemned the latest Turkish move into Syria – as they did with previous such attacks by Syria Turkey.

Faced with uncertainty, President Trump often says that “we’ll see what happens.” That’s a good way to sum up the giant question marks hanging over what awaits Turkish and Kurdish forces in Syria, along with the Assad regime, Russia, the U.S., ISIS and others operating in the war-torn nation.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095646431001_6095643792001-vs Rebecca Grant: Cease-fire halting Syria fighting between Turks and Kurds faces uncertain future Rebecca Grant fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c7a2564e-cbbb-5650-b8cd-ed402c888773 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095646431001_6095643792001-vs Rebecca Grant: Cease-fire halting Syria fighting between Turks and Kurds faces uncertain future Rebecca Grant fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c7a2564e-cbbb-5650-b8cd-ed402c888773 article

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Mark Levin blasts Democrats, media for attacking Mick Mulvaney: ‘It’s so absurd’

Westlake Legal Group Mark-Levin1 Mark Levin blasts Democrats, media for attacking Mick Mulvaney: 'It's so absurd' fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/life-liberty-levin fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc edcc63a7-02c7-58d8-af95-aa0a8a0a783d Charles Creitz article

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said nothing wrong or incriminating during a widely criticized news conference, according to radio host Mark Levin.

The former South Carolina Republican congressman’s exchange with the White House press corps was just the latest example of the media defending Democrats in trying to push a Trump-Ukraine narrative, Levin claimed Thursday on “The Mark Levin Show” on Westwood One.

“Of course the media and the Democrats are seizing on something he said,” Levin said. “Every day, it’s something else to prove there was a quid pro quo. It’s so absurd.”

“Of course the media and the Democrats are seizing on something [Mulvaney] said. Every day, it’s something else to prove there was a quid pro quo. It’s so absurd.”

— Mark Levin

MARK LEVIN BLASTS MEDIA’S UKRAINE NARRATIVE, CLAIMS TRANSCRIPT DESTROYS BIDEN ‘FAVOR’ ARGUMENT

Levin then played clips of reporters grilling Mulvaney over President Trump and Ukraine.

Levin, who also hosts Fox News’ “Life, Liberty & Levin,” later said Mulvaney was trying to explain that Trump was simply asking Ukraine to investigate potential wrongdoing during the 2016 U.S. presidential election — and not probe any alleged wrongdoing by former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter Biden.

“There’s an investigation going on, going back to 2016 and even before,” Levin said, “by a U.S. attorney and by the attorney general, looking into the early aspects of the phony Russia collusion issue and Ukraine — and that’s what [Mulvaney was] talking about — not Biden.”

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“And, [Mulvaney] is saying to this reporter, who’s not really getting it, ‘The president can’t say to another country, we want you to cooperate with this investigation? It’s done all the time.’

“There is an investigation going on with the Department of Justice, we all know this — Bill Barr announced it,” Levin later added.

He said Trump would like the Ukrainian government as well as officials in Italy and Australia to cooperate with Attorney General Barr and Connecticut federal prosecutor John Durham, the man Barr appointed to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation.

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“Why is this a scandal? Why is this a problem? It’s not,” Levin said. “Why are the media so defensive of the Democrats and the Democratic Party? Why aren’t they calling for a special counsel to investigate it like they did with Russia and Trump?”

The constitutional attorney continued, explaining that Mulvaney was referencing a May meeting at which Trump questioned why the U.S. should give funds to Ukraine, alleging the country has a history of governmental corruption.

Trump was also concerned that European countries were not offering any assistance on that front, Levin added.

“There is nothing wrong with any of this — nothing,” he said, claiming Joe Biden’s name did not come up in the May meeting.

“They’re not even listening,” he said of the reporters questioning Mulvaney.

Westlake Legal Group Mark-Levin1 Mark Levin blasts Democrats, media for attacking Mick Mulvaney: 'It's so absurd' fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/life-liberty-levin fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc edcc63a7-02c7-58d8-af95-aa0a8a0a783d Charles Creitz article   Westlake Legal Group Mark-Levin1 Mark Levin blasts Democrats, media for attacking Mick Mulvaney: 'It's so absurd' fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/life-liberty-levin fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc edcc63a7-02c7-58d8-af95-aa0a8a0a783d Charles Creitz article

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Kelly Ripa jokes that her Mark Consuelos body pillow is missing ‘my favorite half’

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Kelly Ripa jokes that her Mark Consuelos body pillow is missing 'my favorite half'

Kelly Ripa told Jerry O’Connell on the premiere of “Jerry O’” that Lola Consuelos’ prom dress alterations were not parent-approved. USA TODAY

Kelly Ripa’s cold nights are over thanks to her beloved Mark Consuelos … body pillow.

The “Live With Kelly and Ryan” host, 49, was gifted a life-size pillow of her husband by a fan during Monday’s taping of the talk show, and it’s safe to say, she can’t get enough. 

In an Instagram photo posted by a superfan, Ripa playfully engages in a tug-of-war with the viewer over her Consuelos pillow. The fan wasn’t the only one Ripa had to fight off. 

“I didn’t know two of us had the same pillow,” co-host Ryan Seacrest joked as he cuddled the stuffed version of Consuelos, Ripa’s husband of 23 years. 

More: Kelly Ripa shares adorable Mark Consuelos throwback honeymoon picture

Ripa posted several Instagram Stories embracing her fluffy hubby and even kissed the Consuelos pillow. But, it’s nothing compared to the real person, Ripa said. 

“I have the real thing at home,” she told Seacrest during Thursday’s episode, adding that her “baby daddy pillow” stays in her dressing room.

She continued: “I didn’t need the pillow. When you have the real thing. … Because the pillow is just the top half of him. … the lower half is missing, and that’s my favorite half.”

The studio audience and Seacrest erupted in laughter. “I’m being honest,” Ripa said.

More: Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos detail cringeworthy way they ‘ruined’ daughter’s birthday 

Ripa is not shy about showing her man some love. On his birthday in March, she posted a sweet video collage set to Jake Shears’ “Mississippi Delta (I’m Your Man).”

“Happy birthday to the finest man! You are our heart and soul and rock and roll,” she captioned the tribute, which included images of the “Riverdale” star with the couple’s three children: Michael Joseph, 22; Lola Grace, 18; and Joaquin Antonio, 16. 

Consuelos, 48, returned the favor for her birthday in early October, writing, “Happy Birthday to my Fave..I’m really glad you were born.. Because let’s face it, if you weren’t , I would’ve been married 3 or 4 times by now.”

More: Kelly Ripa wishes happy birthday to ‘finest’ husband Mark Consuelos in a sweet tribute

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Opinion: If Chiefs lose Patrick Mahomes, go ahead and put Patriots back in Super Bowl

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Opinion: If Chiefs lose Patrick Mahomes, go ahead and put Patriots back in Super Bowl

SportsPulse: Lorenzo’s Locks are back on track after a winning week. Week 7 offers up juicy matchups and we are here to help you make money off of them. USA TODAY

The NFL has been pulling out all the stops to celebrate its centennial campaign (frankly, we’ve done the same).

Unfortunately, what’s largely been a forgettable season on the field (aside from the officiating issues) and an unfortunate one off of it — goodbye Andrew Luck, goodbye Antonio Brown, goodbye Ben Roethlisberger — might have suffered its cruelest blow Thursday night when reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes was knocked out in the first half of the Chiefs’ game at Denver with a right knee injury. 

It’s premature to speculate on the severity of Mahomes’ problem, a dislocated patella, according to multiple reports. But tea leaves being what they are, it sure was troubling to see how quickly Kansas City’s medical staff ruled him out shortly after Mahomes took a shot to his leg on a quarterback sneak and received a subsequent X-ray.

Though his prognosis is currently unknown, Mahomes was seen on camera in the locker room, wearing a sleeve on his right leg while breaking down his teammates in a post-game cheer following a 30-6 rout of their AFC West rivals. And he definitely doesn’t seem to think the sky is falling given his tweet later in the evening.

Mahomes is expected to have an MRI after the Chiefs return to Kansas City, a city that will be breathlessly awaiting the results.

PATRICK MAHOMES: Reigning NFL MVP suffers knee injury vs. Broncos

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So where does that leave us? Welp …

In the short term, we could be deprived of watching one of the game’s brightest stars, arguably the most electrifying passer in the league. Who else can throw it left-handed out of the stadium while blind-folded and still looking off a defender? Exaggeration, sure, but Mahomes has quickly become Bunyan-esque given his estimable talent and ability to leverage the elite play makers the Chiefs have placed around him.

Long term, if Mahomes’ knee is actually in worse shape than could be determined Thursday in Denver — again, premature speculation — we’re almost certainly going to spend the next three-plus months just waiting to see who the Patriots will face in Super Bowl LIV. 

The Chiefs, who took New England to overtime in last season’s AFC Championship Game — and you can mark the Patriots down for the upcoming conference title tilt on Jan. 19 given that they haven’t missed one since the 2010 season — were already showing cracks in the armor in recent weeks, the “blueprint” to beat them entailing lots of man-to-man coverage, limiting the pass rush against Mahomes (gimpy of late on a bum ankle prior to Thursday’s setback) and, most important, keeping him off the field by ramming the ball relentlessly into Kansas City’s porous run defense.

Another blueprint for beating the Chiefs is forcing them to play journeyman backup quarterback Matt Moore. 

But if Mahomes and his Kansas City bandwagon do come to a dead stop in the breakdown lane, another will take its place, right?

Perhaps the …

► Baltimore Ravens, who occasionally play defense, rack up more yards than anybody else right now, feature a Michael Vick-level weapon at quarterback in Lamar Jackson and have a history of giving the Patriots fits in January. But what do the Patriots do in winter? They take away your best player … and if a New England defense off to a historically good start puts the clamps on Jackson, what’s left in Baltimore’s holster? 

► Cleveland Browns, whose hype train now seems pretty well derailed but will next pull into Foxborough’s station following a Week 7 bye. But even if the Brownies catch fire, you gonna bet so many young, immature players — particularly those on offense operating behind a sieve O-line — are going to oust Belichick, who led Cleveland to its last playoff win in the 1994 season?

► Buffalo Bills, a tough team off to a 4-1 start who gave the Patriots a dogfight in Week 4 … and a group that doesn’t have much firepower on offense and a young quarterback prone to boneheaded decisions who would have virtually no shot at decoding New England in the playoffs.

► New York Jets, who were intriguing on paper in August and also last week when they knocked off the first-place Cowboys. But the smart money is on the Patriots dealing any postseason aspirations they still harbor a mortal blow this Monday night.

► Houston Texans, who are 1-10 against Belichick in their history and 0-5 with ex-Pat (expat?) Bill O’Brien calling the shots. Nice team with some nice players … yet a franchise that’s never advanced beyond the divisional round. Deshaun Watson could make an MVP push in 2019, especially if Mahomes is no longer a contender, but I shudder to think of his fate against this Patriots defense given the suspect state of his blocking.

► Indianapolis Colts, who have a nice team and a coach you’d want to play for in Frank Reich. If Luck comes out of mothballs in the next few weeks, let’s revisit.

► Oakland Raiders, who are building something with a nice core of young players. Maybe they can also bury the ax with Brown and bring him back for some revenge against New England. Or maybe they’re still a year or two or three away — hey, it’s gonna take time to get settled into the Vegas Strip — and more likely to get Tuck Ruled again by Tom Brady and Co. than run them off the road to the Super Bowl. Knock on wood if … ah, never mind.

► Los Angeles Chargers, my preferred dark horses and perhaps the only other team that could stand toe-to-toe with the reigning champs … if Derwin James, Melvin Ingram, Russell Okung and a suddenly inept run game all return in time to salvage what’s fast becoming a flameout of a season.

Let’s hope Mahomes is OK, and the nascent post-game optimism proves justified. The NFL is a heckuva lot more fun when he’s slinging it and surely needs his scintillating talent to help sustain the #NFL100 celebration.

Yet even if he’s able to recover close to 100%, I’m not taking the Chiefs to win the AFC. However, I’d sure like the chance to pick against them rather than see the Patriots enjoy a 16-week bye before heading to South Beach for what suddenly feels like an inevitable berth to defend their crown.

***

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

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Trump Unleashes Wrath On Democrats In Texas As Impeachment Inquiry Finds Foothold

Westlake Legal Group 5da91bbd2100001715ad3242 Trump Unleashes Wrath On Democrats In Texas As Impeachment Inquiry Finds Foothold

President Donald Trump raged against Democrats and the House impeachment inquiry during his campaign rally Thursday in Dallas, arguing that the Democratic Party, including 2020 presidential rival Joe Biden, had “betrayed our country.”

“At stake in this fight is the survival of American democracy itself. Don’t kid yourself,” Trump, largely going off-script, told supporters at American Airlines Arena. “They are destroying this country, but we will never let it happen, not even close. For three straight years, radical Democrats have been trying to overthrow the results of a great, great election.”

The president has been on the defense in recent weeks as a parade of former administration officials have spoken to House investigators, shedding new light on Trump’s demands that Ukraine investigate political rival Biden and his son. Lawmakers have fired off a slate of subpoenas to interview current and former diplomats and administration officials in recent weeks, and, despite the White House’s efforts to keep them from testifying, they have been talking at length.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opened the formal impeachment inquiry last month after a whistleblower complaint about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The White House released a reconstruction of the conversation, during which Trump repeatedly asked his counterpart to investigate the Bidens. Hunter Biden had served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company for five years. The call came shortly after Trump ordered his aides to put on hold nearly $400 million in military funding that had been appropriated for Ukraine, and critics have claimed the call reflected a clear demand for a quid pro quo for political help.

In Texas, Trump repeated a slate of conspiracy theories featuring the Bidens, accusing the father and son of engaging in impropriety while Joe Biden was vice president. Neither has been accused of any wrongdoing, and Hunter Biden said earlier this month he did nothing “improper.”

But despite Trump’s assertions, the drama around his call with Ukraine deepened Thursday within his own orbit as acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney held an extraordinary press conference in which he confirmed that Trump ordered the military aid to be withheld unless Zelensky agreed to help in the U.S. election.

Mulvaney’s remarks to the press prompted a maelstrom within the White House and undercut Trump’s own denials, but Mulvaney walked them back just hours later. He placed blame on the media for misconstruing his comments “to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump” and said there was “absolutely no quid pro quo” demanded by the White House.

Trump echoed that in Dallas before going on a tear against Pelosi and the anonymous whistleblower, calling the House speaker “crazy” and “nuts.” The criticism came a day after Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the president insulted Pelosi during a meeting at the White House, referring to her as a “third-grade politician.” Pelosi fired back that Trump had a “meltdown” during the discussion.

“I really don’t believe anymore that they love our country. I don’t believe it. Crazy Nancy. That crazy Nancy, she is crazy,” Trump said. “They come after me, but what they’re really doing is they’re coming after the Republican Party and what they’re really, really doing is they’re coming after and fighting you, and we never lose.”

The president also demanded once again to face his whistleblower and lobbed criticism at the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, who first received the complaint and deemed it urgent and credible.

“What about the whistleblower? The whistleblower got it all wrong,” Trump, appearing enraged, said. “Who’s the whistleblower? We have to know. Is the whistleblower the spy?”

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Patrick Mahomes appears to have kneecap popped back in place after injury in Chiefs-Broncos game

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was helped off the field during Thursday night’s NFL game against the Denver Broncos after suffering an apparent injury to his right knee.

Video from the game appeared to show a member of the Chiefs’ medical staff popping Mahomes’ kneecap back into position.

CHIEFS’ PATRICK MAHOMES MORE COMFORTABLE WITH HIS EMOTIONS

The injury occurred in the second quarter as Mahomes picked up a first down by carrying the ball himself.

As the pile of players cleared away after the play, Mahomes was seen tossing his helmet aside and covering his face with both hands, in obvious pain.

Westlake Legal Group AP19291046076482-1-1 Patrick Mahomes appears to have kneecap popped back in place after injury in Chiefs-Broncos game fox-news/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs fox-news/sports/nfl/denver-broncos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/patrick-mahomes fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 8cfc7769-2f55-51a5-a306-e4684b774813

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) lies on the field after being injured against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Denver. (Associated Press)

A cart was available to take Mahomes off the field but he opted to be helped off by Chiefs personnel instead, the Associated Press reported.

Although Mahomes was later seen walking without assistance, the Chiefs said he would not return to the game, which Kansas City eventually won 30-6.

The Chiefs later said Mahomes would undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson posted a message to Mahomes on Twitter, saying, “Praying for you bro.”

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson wrote: “Praying my bro @PatrickMahomes is straight!”

Mahomes, 24, a native of Tyler, Texas, who played college football at Texas tech, entered Thursday night’s game already dealing with an ankle injury.

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Before leaving the game, the NFL’s reigning MVP had 10 pass completions on 11 attempts for 76 yards.

Mahomes has thrown 15 touchdown passes and one interception this season.

He was replaced by Matt Moore, 35, who was signed by the Chiefs on Aug. 27 after an injury to Chad Henne.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Westlake Legal Group AP19291046076482-1 Patrick Mahomes appears to have kneecap popped back in place after injury in Chiefs-Broncos game fox-news/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs fox-news/sports/nfl/denver-broncos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/patrick-mahomes fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 8cfc7769-2f55-51a5-a306-e4684b774813   Westlake Legal Group AP19291046076482-1 Patrick Mahomes appears to have kneecap popped back in place after injury in Chiefs-Broncos game fox-news/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs fox-news/sports/nfl/denver-broncos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/patrick-mahomes fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 8cfc7769-2f55-51a5-a306-e4684b774813

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El Chapo’s son arrested in Mexico amid gun battles in western city

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6053157306001_6053156202001-vs El Chapo’s son arrested in Mexico amid gun battles in western city New York Post fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fnc/world fnc article 50a69c21-b470-5bf5-9f4a-6d7a8f950d20

The son of notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested in Mexico Thursday amid gun battles between his supporters and security forces, a report said.

Ovidio Guzman Lopez was arrested in Culiacan, a city in Western Mexico and a stronghold for El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel, the BBC reported.

His arrest sparked gun battles on the streets of the city between cartel members and security forces, the Guardian reported.

A main road that leads out of the city was blocked by burning trucks and others were shut by the army, according to the report.

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Images shared on Twitter show masked gunmen manning machine guns in the back of a truck on the streets of the city.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6053157306001_6053156202001-vs El Chapo’s son arrested in Mexico amid gun battles in western city New York Post fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fnc/world fnc article 50a69c21-b470-5bf5-9f4a-6d7a8f950d20   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6053157306001_6053156202001-vs El Chapo’s son arrested in Mexico amid gun battles in western city New York Post fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fnc/world fnc article 50a69c21-b470-5bf5-9f4a-6d7a8f950d20

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‘Don’t kid yourself:’ Donald Trump tells Dallas rally the fate of democracy is at stake in 2020

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President Donald Trump is crediting his threat of sanctions on Turkey as “tough love” that led the country to agree to a five-day cease-fire with Kurds in northern Syria. Touting the agreement, Trump said it’s “a great day for civilization.” (Oct. 17) AP, AP

DALLAS – Capping a day of wild swings in the ongoing impeachment saga and the conflict in Syria, President Donald Trump told Texas supporters Thursday that next year’s election puts “the survival of American democracy itself” at stake.

“Don’t kid yourself,” Trump said during a rowdy rally while attacking his Democratic opponents. “They are destroying this country, but we will never let it happen.”

Democrats say Trump risked impeachment by abusing the power of his office and asking Ukraine to investigate a U.S. election opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden. As at other recent political rallies, Trump responded by questioning his opponents’ patriotism in front of adoring supporters in a Republican-friendly state.

The president peppered his speech with bracing claims that Democrats – “leftists, socialists, and globalists” – are trying to “overthrow the results” of the 2016 election. He called them “crazy” and “sick” and said he doesn’t believe they love their country.

Democrats said Trump’s recent harsh rhetoric reflects another emotion: Fear.

“The fact that he feels the need to do a rally in Texas suggests to me that he knows that he is going to be impeached in the House,” said Democratic strategist Jim Manley. “And so he has to throw all this red hot rhetoric to his base to help build up a firewall in the Senate.”

He added: “To me it’s a sign of weakness.”

Syria, Doral and impeachment 

The pro sports arena in Dallas where Trump rallied was nearly full, but not totally. Trump delayed his speech by some 40 minutes as fans filled in what had been empty upper decks behind the stage. “Will be out shortly as we wait for more of you to get in!” he tweeted about 20 minutes after his remarks were supposed to have started.

Earlier in the afternoon, Trump hosted fundraisers in Fort Worth and attended the ribbon-cutting of a new Louis Vuitton factory before arriving at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas. 

As Trump traipsed through Texas, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney held a rare news briefing at the White House and said Trump held up financial aid to Ukraine – a central point in the impeachment investigation – because of concern about corruption in Kyiv. Mulvaney later rowed back on an assertion that Trump had wanted Ukraine officials to look into the 2016 election before freeing the money. 

Mulvaney also announced that Trump would host next year’s G-7 economic summit at his golf club in Miami. Critics called it another example of Trump using his position to enrich himself. 

Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, was in Turkey negotiating a ceasefire in the Turkish invasion of Syria. Turkey agreed to halt its military assault in Syria for five days. 

Also during the Texas trip, Trump announced that Energy Secretary Rick Perry – who is involved in the Ukraine investigation – would be leaving the Cabinet by the end of the year.

Trump praised Perry during the rally in Dallas, and touted the ceasefire as a way to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria.

“It was unconventional what I did,” Trump said. “Sometimes you have to let them fight a little while; then people find out how tough the fighting is … It’s like two kids … you gotta let them fight and then you pull them apart.” 

‘Crazy’ Democrats 

While attacking the impeachment inquiry, Trump defended his July phone call with the president of Ukraine by saying he only wanted to see an investigation of corruption. He accused Biden and his son Hunter Biden over the latter’s business interests in Ukraine and China, though there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

The Texas fans were in as aggressive a mood as Trump, cheering as Trump assailed “Crazy Nancy” Pelosi, the House Speaker who authorized the impeachment inquiry; Hillary Clinton, whom he defeated in the 2016 election; the Bidens; the “fake news” media; and critics in general.

“These crazy Democrats,” he said at one point.

Outside, as people lined up for the rally throughout the day, vendors hawked T-shirts that included one with an image of Trump urinating on a CNN logo. Another said, “roses are red/violets are blue/you’re a LIBERAL/this for you” next to an image of Trump giving the finger.

One seller used a bullhorn to advertise that “I’ve got the ‘Impeach Nancy Pelosi’ hat!”

Inside the arena, as Trump prepared the speech, one supporter kept yelling “fake news!” at the denizens of the press pen.

Shift in tone? 

Trump has been notably more aggressive on the campaign trail since Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry, throwing around words like “crazy” and “hateful” to describe his opponents.

He is also aggressively defending his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, effectively allowing an invasion by Turkey that has caused much bloodshed. Even normally supportive Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., criticized Trump’s sudden decision, and both houses of Congress are poised to pass bipartisan resolutions condemning the move.

While Trump is a strong favorite to carry Texas again in 2020, Democrats are making a big push in the Lone Star State by appealing to growing Hispanic and urban populations.

About 15 miles away in Grand Prairie, Democratic presidential Beto O’Rourke, who narrowly lost a Senate race in Texas just last year, held a rally of his own to denounced Trump.

One prominent local Democrat, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, said Trump wouldn’t be holding a big rally in such a supposedly Republican state “if he was not scared” of losing it in 2020.

Citing issues like immigration and heath care, Jenkins said that “Trump has failed this state time and time again,” and Texas Democrats are poised to take advantage in 2020.

“Trump is terrified of losing this election,” Jenkins said.

Trump and his allies scoffed at the thought.

The idea that “Texas is in play” is “a hoax,” Trump said.

Aides said Trump visits Texas and other large Republican states because he has so many supporters – and donors – in those places.

“You have to go campaign and show love to the people who got you here,” said campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh. “Did people think he was never going to campaign in Texas?”

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Beto O’Rourke: Congress should block Trump from hosting G-7 at his Doral resort

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Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, one of the Democrats seeking to unseat President Trump in 2020, urged Republicans in Congress to envoke a clause of the Constitution that potentially would block President Trump from hosting the G-7 summit at a Trump resort in Doral, Fla.

The White House announced the venue of the summit, scheduled to take place between June 10 and 12, at a news conference on Thursday, which incited controversy immediately, raising questions about the optics and ethics of the president personally profiting off an official government event.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney attempted to quell outcry by telling the media that Trump will not make any money off the event, adding that the Trump National Doral Golf Club will be providing the location and services at a cost.

“The Constitution clearly bars the president from accepting gifts from foreign powers,” O’Rourke tweeted. “Congress must use its authority to enforce the Emoluments Clause now to stop President Trump from profiting off of the G-7 Summit by hosting it at his own property.”

“The question isn’t whether President Trump has violated the emoluments clause– or committed other high crimes. The question is whether Republicans in Congress believe our president is above the law,” he also wrote.

The emoluments clause was intended to prevent foreign states from influencing the U.S. government and generally prohibits presidents from taking any forms of payment from other nations.

Trump has argued that the clause referred to a ban on outright bribes, not business transactions, and that he will continue to do business with foreign governments at his hotels.

Trump repeatedly has faced allegations of enriching himself by utilizing his business entities around the globe to house or host foreign dignitaries and domestic politicians.

Another presidential candidate, Julián Castro, a former San Antonio, Texas mayor who later served as Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, also slammed Trump over his decision to hold the summit at one of his properties, which was one of 12 potential sites being considered for the event, according to Mulvaney.

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“It’s a terrible decision by President Trump to put the G-7 on a gulf course at his own hotel,” Castro said at a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday. “He’s putting the G-7 at his own resort to try and make money. It’s unethical. It’s one more example of why he is so unfit for office and he’s going to have the American taxpayers pay for security costs and everything else that goes into hosting the G-7 straight into his pocket and it’s completely inexcusable and the American people should hold him accountable for that.”

In September, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., also looking to take the White House in 2020, accused Trump of urging Vice President Pence to stay at the Trump International Golf Club in Doonbeg, Ireland, on an official trip in hopes of cashing in from the stay.

Westlake Legal Group trump-beto-AP Beto O'Rourke: Congress should block Trump from hosting G-7 at his Doral resort Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/politics fnc article 41103fc5-71a8-5166-b304-404a1767a0c3   Westlake Legal Group trump-beto-AP Beto O'Rourke: Congress should block Trump from hosting G-7 at his Doral resort Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/politics fnc article 41103fc5-71a8-5166-b304-404a1767a0c3

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China’s Economic Growth Slows as Challenges Mount

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SHANGHAI — China’s economic slowdown worsened in the July-to-September period, according to data released on Friday, as the trade war with the United States and a host of other problems leave Beijing struggling to meet its goals.

The figures show China continues to grow at its slowest pace in nearly three decades of modern record-keeping. While China is still expanding faster than any other major economy, Friday’s data suggest that the pace could come in at the low end of Beijing’s official target, which could add to worries about broader prospects for global growth.

China’s efforts to tame its addiction to lending and the deepening impact of the trade war have been major drags on the economy. Other problems are worsening, as the country’s vast automotive sector shrinks, as its real estate sector levels off and as its pigs die in vast numbers from a swine fever epidemic.

China’s economic output grew 6 percent in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, according to official statistics, the bottom end of Beijing’s full-year target of 6 percent to 6.5 percent. In the first three-quarters of the year, its output grew 6.2 percent compared with a year ago.

China’s growth was set to slow down from the torrid pace of past years. Its economy is now twice the size it was about a decade ago. Its labor force is shrinking, and the country is already full of roads, rails and factories, limiting potential new investment.

The question is whether there are any sharp dips along the path to ever-slower growth.

“What policymakers want is to make the process as long and as gradual as possible,” said Larry Hu, the head of China economics at the Macquarie Group, a big Australian financial services company. “The biggest challenge is to find new growth drivers from consumption and technology, as old ones such as property and globalization are fading out.”

The trade war is adding to that uncertainty, though China’s problems go beyond that.

The conflict heated up in the third quarter of this year, when President Trump broadened his tariffs at the start of September to hit many consumer goods from China. Its exports to the United States plunged 22 percent in September compared with September 2018, when exporters were racing to ship their goods ahead of a previous set of tariffs.

Still, American tariffs account for only part of China’s overall economic slowdown. Exports to the United States are about 4 percent of the Chinese economy. Roughly half the value of those exports stems from imported goods like semiconductors and oil, said Nicholas Lardy, a longtime China specialist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, so the net impact of exports to the United States is even less.

China also has ramped up exports to the developing world. As a result, its overall exports in September were down only 3.8 percent.

In fact, much of the slowdown has been domestic. China has been reluctant to plow more money into its economy in the form of lending, which has already saddled its financial system with burdensome debt.

Other areas have weakened, too, like the auto industry, as consumer confidence has eroded. Car sales are 5 percent of China’s economic output, according to official statistics, meaning they play a bigger role in China’s growth than exports to the United States. Even foreign companies like General Motors assemble practically all their cars locally, with almost entirely Chinese-made parts.

But these days, households in China just aren’t buying cars the way they used to.

The Chinese Passenger Car Association announced on Saturday that retail car sales fell 6.6 percent in September from a year earlier, a sharp drop for an industry once accustomed to double-digit annual percentage growth.

The car sales slump started in the summer of 2018 and became severe by winter. While most auto industry experts expected sales to start looking better by this summer, that has not happened.

Cui Dongshu, the secretary general of the car association, said September at least was not as bad as some recent months. “The sales are recovering but very slowly, due to weak consumption,” he said. “The purchasing power of families is still not enough.”

Chinese automakers had planned to export a lot of cars to the United States starting this winter. But Mr. Trump’s tariffs have made that much harder and have prompted one carmaker, Guangzhou Auto, to suspend indefinitely its plans to enter the American market.

Property market weakness has also pinched growth, hurting consumer sentiment. A decades-long run-up in home prices gave many in China, where the homeownership rate is high, the feeling that they were becoming prosperous enough to splurge on other purchases. But prices have mostly stabilized, and even fallen in some smaller cities, and many families are struggling with large mortgage payments.

China’s biggest challenge may be slower investment. The country’s roads, bridges, high-speed rail lines and ports are superb. Its factories are among the largest in the world. But having already spent so much, government agencies and companies alike are having more and more trouble finding opportunities to invest more.

Global firms are showing less interest in the Chinese market, and in some cases even starting to pull back.

“We have seen a significant divestment by multinationals in this part of the world in the past 18 months,” said Mark Webster, a partner in the Shanghai office of BDA Partners, a New York investment bank that specializes in Asia deals.

The trade war is just part of the problem. Multinationals complain of much tighter regulatory actions in China, particularly antitrust cases. They also encounter extensive overcapacity in many industrial sectors, forcing companies to cut prices repeatedly to stay in business and destroying profit margins.

The volume of mergers and acquisitions by foreign companies investing in China tumbled 89 percent in the first half of this year from the same period last year, to just $6.3 billion, Mr. Webster said.

Ailin Tang contributed research.

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