web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 148)

Colorado Bear Smashes Through Wall Like ‘Kool-Aid Man’

Westlake Legal Group 5d51852c2400003600b73a79 Colorado Bear Smashes Through Wall Like ‘Kool-Aid Man’

A bear entered a Colorado home Friday night looking for deviled eggs, but its exit was straight out of a Kool-Aid commercial.

Estes Park homeowner John Sliwinski said the bear entered his house through an open door after smelling some goodies in the garbage.

“What had happened was we had put the trash in the house so it wouldn’t attract the bears and I should have closed the door,” he told Denver station KUSA TV.

Instead of closing the door, Sliwinski went upstairs for a few minutes, giving the hungry bear a chance to get inside and get some deviled eggs that were in the trash can.

However, things got tricky when the animal accidentally closed the door with the trash can and became stuck inside the home.

The bear did manage to get out by taking a lesson from one popular advertising icon, according to a Facebook post by the Estes Park Police Dept.: 

Upon officer’s arrival, said bear forcibly breached a hole in the wall like the “Kool-Aid Man” and made it’s escape.

The pitcher-shaped “Kool-Aid Man,” a mascot for flavored drink mix Kool-Aid, was known to burst through walls in commercials for the product and shout, “Oh, yeah!”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) told Fox News that bears have entered over 35 vehicles and nine homes in the Estes Park area northwest of Denver between July 24 and Aug. 3.

CPW says some bears are so used to finding food in vehicles that they will break into cars even when they can’t see or smell food.

Meanwhile, Sliwinski and his wife have a huge memento of their recent “guest” and some newfound knowledge about what not to do around bears.

“So, yeah, don’t put deviled eggs in your trash cans,” he told KUSA TV.

You can see more in the video below:

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

‘Vaginal steaming’ leaves woman with second-degree burn: report

Westlake Legal Group iStock-steaming-pot 'Vaginal steaming' leaves woman with second-degree burn: report Madeline Farber fox-news/odd-news fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox news fnc/health fnc article 2c403549-8403-5ca9-aa09-bc2f8728e449

Talk about a hot mess.

A woman who attempted so-called “vaginal steaming” suffered a second-degree burn, according to a case report in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada.

The 62-year-old woman, who was not named in the report, tried the method “in an attempt to reduce vaginal prolapse.” Vaginal prolapse, per eMedicineHealth, “is a condition in which structures such as the uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra, small bowel, or the vagina itself may begin to prolapse, or fall out of their normal positions.”

The woman reportedly attempted vaginal steaming — the process of getting hot steam into one’s vagina —  after a doctor who was treating her vaginal prolapse recommended surgery for the condition, according to the report, as cited by Forbes.

MAN UNDERGOES EMERGENCY SURGERY AFTER DENTURES FOUND LODGED IN THROAT DAYS FOLLOWING PROCEDURE

A traditional Chinese doctor purportedly recommended the woman try vaginal steaming, telling the woman to prepare a “pan of boiling water mixed with herbal medicine and put this pan on the rim of her toilet bowl,” per Forbes.

She then sat over the steam for roughly 20 minutes, doing this each day for a series of days. Later, after noticing she had bloody discharge, the woman went to an emergency room. Doctors there reportedly told her she had a second-degree burn on the lining of her cervix and vagina, which was causing the bleeding.

Surprisingly, the woman did not feel any pain, according to the report, which noted she was told to apply Polysporin antibiotic ointment and wrap the affected area in gauze.

LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE OUTBREAK AT ATLANTA HOTEL IS NOW LARGEST EVER RECORDED IN GEORGIA, HEALTH OFFICIAL SAYS

There’s no scientific evidence that vaginal steaming — which gained popularity after actress Gwyneth Paltrow endorsed it on her website, Goop.com, in 2015 — helps with any condition, per Healthline.

In fact, since the vagina self-cleans, the process of steaming might cause the growth of unwanted bacteria that could result in yeast infections and other vaginal woes.

“Vaginal skin is delicate, sensitive, and easily traumatized. Using it as target practice for a plume of warm steam may cause vaginal burns or scalding,” Healthline added.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-steaming-pot 'Vaginal steaming' leaves woman with second-degree burn: report Madeline Farber fox-news/odd-news fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox news fnc/health fnc article 2c403549-8403-5ca9-aa09-bc2f8728e449   Westlake Legal Group iStock-steaming-pot 'Vaginal steaming' leaves woman with second-degree burn: report Madeline Farber fox-news/odd-news fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox news fnc/health fnc article 2c403549-8403-5ca9-aa09-bc2f8728e449

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

New Zealand Gun Owners Surrender Over 10,000 Firearms After Christchurch Attack

Westlake Legal Group 5d517b0c2400003200b73a66 New Zealand Gun Owners Surrender Over 10,000 Firearms After Christchurch Attack

More than 10,000 firearms have been voluntarily surrendered to authorities in New Zealand as part of the government’s gun buyback program launched last month in response to the March mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.

The initiative, which kicked off on July 13 and will last for three months, allows owners of semiautomatic weapons and parts banned following the Christchurch attack to exchange them for money. More than 250 gun collection events have been planned around the country.

A total of 10,242 firearms had been turned over to police as of Sunday and another 1,269 had been handed in under an amnesty that’s part of the program, New Zealand police said in a statement. Under amnesty, gun owners can surrender their firearms with no questions from police about when or how they acquired the now-banned weapons ― even if they don’t have a license for them.

Over 7,000 firearms owners have attended the dozens of buyback events that have been held so far, New Zealand police said.

Six days after a white nationalist allegedly opened fire at the two mosques in Christchurch, killing 51 people, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern banned military-style semiautomatic weapons and made illegal the sale of high-capacity magazines and gun accessories such as bump stocks.

“I absolutely believe there will be a common view amongst New Zealanders, those who use guns for legitimate purposes, and those who have never touched one, that the time for the mass and easy availability of these weapons must end,” she said at the time.

To rid the newly banned weapons and items from the public, Arden announced the gun buyback program, which is expected to cost upwards of $200 million.

New Zealand, with a population of roughly 4.8 million, harbors an estimated 1.2 million guns, The New York Times reported last month.

Australia confiscated more than 650,000 guns in the 1990s as part of a mandatory gun buyback program instituted after a mass shooting in Tasmania that left 35 people dead.

Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, have called for a federal gun buyback program of some sort in the U.S. 

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

Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. stuns with incredible dunk at Miami Pro League game

Westlake Legal Group pi-nba-suns-derrick-jones-021317.vr-22f7df258f83a510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ Miami Heat's Derrick Jones Jr. stuns with incredible dunk at Miami Pro League game Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nba/miami-heat fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc article 35109686-d7c9-5f54-ae72-0efdfd2e4c07

Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. may not be a household name but, if he continues to dunk the way he did this weekend during a Miami Pro League game, his time in the spotlight may come sooner rather than later.

Jones is among the NBA players participating in the eight-team, six-week summer league that features some of the top basketball players in the city. Other NBA players featured in the league include Frank Mason, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glen Rice Jr.

LEBRON JAMES, NBA STARS BLAST NCAA AFTER REPORTED MEMO ON AGENTS LEAKS

The three-year veteran showed off his amazing dunking ability off an incredible between-the-legs pass from his teammate Briante Weber.

Jones is entering his fourth season with the NBA. He played in 60 games and averaged 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game last season with the Heat.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Jones was signed by the Phoenix Suns as an undrafted free agent during the 2016-17 season. He finished second in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest to Glenn Robinson III in 2017.

Westlake Legal Group pi-nba-suns-derrick-jones-021317.vr-22f7df258f83a510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ Miami Heat's Derrick Jones Jr. stuns with incredible dunk at Miami Pro League game Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nba/miami-heat fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc article 35109686-d7c9-5f54-ae72-0efdfd2e4c07   Westlake Legal Group pi-nba-suns-derrick-jones-021317.vr-22f7df258f83a510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ Miami Heat's Derrick Jones Jr. stuns with incredible dunk at Miami Pro League game Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nba/miami-heat fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc article 35109686-d7c9-5f54-ae72-0efdfd2e4c07

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

Trump administration overhauls Endangered Species Act as critics fear animal extinction

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Trump administration overhauls Endangered Species Act as critics fear animal extinction
CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Trump administration overhauls Endangered Species Act as critics fear animal extinction

Poachers forced this rhino subspecies down to two. Now scientists are in a race to save them before it’s too late. Animalkind, USA TODAY

The Trump administration announced Monday a major overhaul to the Endangered Species Act in a way it says will reduce regulations, but environmentalists say will push more animals and plants to extinction because of threats from climate change and human activities.

The changes end blanket protections for animals newly deemed threatened and allow federal authorities for the first time to take into account the economic cost of protecting a particular species.

The Endangered Species Act now protects more than 1,600 species in the United States and its territories.

“The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal – recovery of our rarest species,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said in a statement.  “The act’s effectiveness rests on clear, consistent and efficient implementation.”

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said “the revisions finalized with this rulemaking fit squarely within the president’s mandate of easing the regulatory burden on the American public, without sacrificing our species’ protection and recovery goals.”

The act is credited with helping save the bald eagle, California condor, the grizzly bear and dozens of other animals and plants from extinction since President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1973.

Endangered Species Act: Feds take first step toward protecting giraffes

It’s an orangutan!: Endangered species born at Louisiana zoo

Lemurs: Man pleads guilty to stealing endangered lemur, breaking into California zoo

The Trump administration says the changes will make regulation more efficient and less burdensome while preserving protections for wildlife.

At least 10 attorneys general joined conservation groups in protesting an early draft of the changes, saying they put more wildlife at greater risk of extinction.

Environmental groups reacted with concern. “These changes crash a bulldozer through the Endangered Species Act’s lifesaving protections for America’s most vulnerable wildlife,” said Noah Greenwald, the Center for Biological Diversity’s endangered species director. “For animals like wolverines and monarch butterflies, this could be the beginning of the end.

“We’ll fight the Trump administration in court to block this rewrite, which only serves the oil industry and other polluters who see endangered species as pesky inconveniences,” he said. “We’ll do everything in our power to get these dangerous regulations rescinded, including going to court.”

Drew Caputo of the environmental group Earthjustice said “this effort to gut protections for endangered and threatened species has the same two features of most Trump administration actions: it’s a gift to industry, and it’s illegal. We’ll see the Trump administration in court.”

The Endangered Species Act has prevented more than 99% of listed species from going extinct, according to Earthjustice. It is also wildly popular, with 90% of Americans supporting the act, the group said. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official Margaret Everson said during a press call Monday that the changes “provide the maximum degree of regulatory certainty” while protecting species. 

The Property and Environment Research Center, however, praised the changes, saying that “our interest is getting this landmark wildlife protection law to work better,” said the center’s executive director Brian Yablonski. “That means fostering conditions so landowners become more enthusiastic in their role as stewards for species recovery, not worried if they find an endangered species on their land.” 

A United Nations report warned in May that more species – as many as 1 million plants and animals – are now are threatened with extinction than at any time in human history, due to development, climate warming and other threats.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/08/12/donald-trump-administration-weaken-endangered-species-act/1985543001/

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

William Barr Says He’s Angry Staffers ‘Failed To Adequately Secure’ Epstein

Westlake Legal Group 5d518d1c3b00003900daee71 William Barr Says He’s Angry Staffers ‘Failed To Adequately Secure’ Epstein

Attorney General William Barr says the Justice Department has already found “serious irregularities” at the federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein took his own life over the weekend.

Barr said Monday he was angry to learn that staffers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York had “failed to adequately secure this prisoner.”

Epstein died Saturday in what prison officials said was an apparent suicide. He was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Barr did not provide specific details but said investigations by the FBI and the Justice Department inspectors general are continuing. He was speaking at a police conference in New Orleans.

Barr also issued a stern warning, saying the case was far from over. He said anyone who may have conspired with Epstein “should not rest easy.”

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

The “What happened in your state last week?” Megathread, Week 32

Welcome to the ‘What happened in your state last week’ thread, where you can post any local political news stories that you find important in the comments. This is a weekly thread posted every Monday, in order to facilitate more discussion on local issues on /r/politics. Since this is intended to be a thread about local politics, top-level comments that are exclusively about national issues will not be allowed. When commenting, please include the state you’re living in, and don’t forget to link sources. Also, please actually describe what happened. “I live in X, you know what happened” isn’t helpful to users and will be removed.

If someone from your state made a news round-up that you think is insufficient, feel free to comment to that round-up with further news stories. Enjoy discussion, and review our civility guidelines before engaging with others.


Hi there, /r/politics. Before we start, I’d like to restate the intention of this thread, which is to highlight local news. Therefore, any stories that made national news like the death of Jeffrey Epstein, stories about national politicians like the President, US Senators and US Representatives, and stories about people running for the office of President, are considered off topic for this thread. Thank you, and enjoy your day.

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

Attorney General William Barr decries ‘serious irregularities’ in Epstein’s detention, vows full investigation

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071664818001_6071663549001-vs Attorney General William Barr decries 'serious irregularities' in Epstein's detention, vows full investigation fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 2207760e-448d-5731-bc40-4c58b3004c40

Attorney General William Barr blasted corrections officials on Monday for what he described as “serious irregularities” at the New York federal prison where financier Jeffrey Epstein was found dead. He vowed a full investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department inspector general.

Barr, speaking during a conference for the Fraternal Order of Police in New Orleans, also assured that the sex-trafficking case will continue against anyone who conspired with Epstein, and said victims will see justice in the end.

BARR ‘APPALLED’ BY JEFFREY EPSTEIN DEATH, SAYS QUESTIONS ‘MUST BE ANSWERED’ 

“This sex trafficking case was very important to the Department of Justice, and to me, personally,” Barr said. “It was important to the dedicated prosecutors at the Southern District of New York and to our FBI agents who investigated the case, and were preparing it for trial,” he added.

“Most importantly, this case was important to the victims who had the courage to come forward, and deserve the opportunity to confront the accused in the courtroom,” he continued. “Let me assure you this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice, and they will get it.”

Epstein, who was accused of sex trafficking with minors, was found unresponsive inside his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by staff. He was then transported to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival, officials said.

His death was described by officials as an apparent suicide, but investigations are underway into how the wealthy financier could have been able to kill himself while in a high-security facility just two weeks after being placed on suicide watch.

“I was appalled, and indeed, the whole department was – and frankly, angry – to learn of MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner,” Barr said Monday. “We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation.”

He added: “The FBI and the Office of the Inspector General are doing just that. We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.”

Barr’s mention of “irregularities” refers to several emerging details surrounding Epstein’s detention.

A source familiar with the matter told Fox News on Monday that Epstein’s suicide watch had been lifted recently. Fox News also has learned that according to normal MCC operations, Epstein should have been checked on, physically, every 30 minutes, but apparently was not checked on for “several hours” leading up to his death. A source also told Fox News that Epstein did not have a cellmate on the night of his death.

EPSTEIN’S ALLEGED SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIM NAMES BILL RICHARDSON, GEORGE MITCHELL IN NEWLY RELEASED DOCUMENTS

Epstein’s death also came hours after more than 2,000 documents were unsealed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The papers included affidavits and depositions of key witnesses in a lawsuit the now-33-year-old woman, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, filed against Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell in 2015. Giuffre accused the duo of keeping her as a “sex slave” in the early 2000s when she was underage.

In the documents, Giuffre claimed to have been forced to have sex with and provide erotic massages to powerful politicians, foreign leaders and businessmen. Giuffre alleged she was forced to have sex with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; Britain’s Prince Andrew; the late American scientist Marvin Minsky; hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin; “another prince;” “a large hotel chain owner;” Stephen Kauffman, and model scout Jean Luc Brunell.

Giuffre also revealed that she was “trafficked” to former Democratic Sen. George Mitchell, who represented Maine from 1980-95, served as Senate majority leader, and was later named special envoy to the Middle East by then-President Barack Obama.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Mitchell, Richardson and Dubin denied the allegations in statements to Fox News on Friday. Prince Andrew has also vehemently denied the allegations.

Giuffre also has long claimed that Epstein forced her to have sex with Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. In the newly revealed documents, Giuffre, who was at the time labeled as “Jane Doe #3,” claimed that Epstein required her to have sexual relations with Dershowitz on numerous occasions while she was a minor. Giuffre claimed to have had the encounters in Florida, on private planes, in New York, New Mexico and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Dershowitz has vehemently denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, included in the hundreds of pages of documents were pages of flight logs from Epstein’s private jet. Prominent individuals who had traveled on the jet, according to those records, included Bill Gates, who flew once; former President Bill Clinton and aide Doug Band, who flew four times; President Trump, who flew once in 1997 from Palm Beach to New York; Colombian President Andres Pastrana; Dershowitz; Hyatt Hotels Chairman Tom Pritzker; Brunel; and model and talent agent Naomi Campbell, among others.

Epstein had pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy last month in New York. Epstein, 66, was accused of having preyed on dozens of victims as young as 14.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson, Tamara Gitt and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071664818001_6071663549001-vs Attorney General William Barr decries 'serious irregularities' in Epstein's detention, vows full investigation fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 2207760e-448d-5731-bc40-4c58b3004c40   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071664818001_6071663549001-vs Attorney General William Barr decries 'serious irregularities' in Epstein's detention, vows full investigation fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 2207760e-448d-5731-bc40-4c58b3004c40

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

Trump Administration Weakens Protections for Endangered Species

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law credited with rescuing the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the American alligator from extinction.

The changes could clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development in areas where protected species live. The new rules will make it harder to consider the effects of climate change on wildlife when deciding whether a given species warrants protection. They would most likely shrink critical habitats and, for the first time, allow economic factors to be taken into account when making determinations.

“The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal — recovery of our rarest species,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement Monday. “The Act’s effectiveness rests on clear, consistent and efficient implementation.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement the finalized revisions “fit squarely within the president’s mandate of easing the regulatory burden on the American public, without sacrificing our species’ protection and recovery goals.”

The regulation is expected to appear in the Federal Register this week and will go into effect 30 days after that.

Environmental groups denounced the changes as a disaster for imperiled wildlife at a time when the United Nations has warned that human pressures are poised to drive one million species into extinction and that protecting land and biodiversity is critical to keep greenhouse gas emissions in check.

Climate change, a lack of environmental stewardship and mass industrialization have all contributed to the enormous expected global nature loss, the report said.

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter.

Mr. Bernhardt wrote in an op-ed last summer that the 1973 Endangered Species Act places an “unnecessary regulatory burden” on companies.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_154532004_14b4009c-704c-4211-82f6-b6cbfc348a54-articleLarge Trump Administration Weakens Protections for Endangered Species United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Jr Interior Department Global Warming environment Endangered and Extinct Species Conservation of Resources Bernhardt, David L

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Capitol Hill in May. CreditMark Makela for The New York Times

Ever since President Richard M. Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law, it has been the most essential piece of United States legislation for protecting fish, plants and wildlife, and acted as a safety net for species on the brink of extinction. The peregrine falcon, the humpback whale, the Tennessee purple coneflower and the Florida manatee all likely would have disappeared without it, scientists say.

Republicans have long sought to narrow the scope of the law, saying that it burdens landowners, hampers industry and hinders economic growth. They also make the case that the law is not reasonable because species are rarely removed from the list. Since the law was passed, more than 1,650 have been listed as threatened or endangered, while just 47 have been delisted because their populations rebounded.

Over the past two years Republicans made a major legislative push to overhaul the law. Despite holding a majority in both houses of Congress, though, the proposals were never taken up in the Senate. With Democrats now in control of the House, there is little chance of those bills passing.

The Trump administration’s revisions to the regulations that guide the implementation of the law, however, mean opponents of the Endangered Species Act are still poised to claim their biggest victory in decades.

A grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.CreditJosh Haner/The New York Times

One of the most controversial changes removes longstanding language that prohibits the consideration of economic factors when deciding whether a species should be protected.

Under the current law, such determinations must be made solely based on science, “without reference to possible economic or other impacts of determination.”

Gary Frazer, the assistant director for endangered species with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, said the phrase had been removed for reasons of “transparency.” He said the change leaves open the possibility of conducting economic analyses for informational purposes, but that decisions about listing species would still be based exclusively on science.

Environmental groups saw a danger in that. “There can be economic costs to protecting endangered species,” said Drew Caputo, vice president of litigation for lands, wildlife and oceans at Earthjustice, an environmental law organization. But, he said, “If we make decisions based on short-term economic costs, we’re going to have a whole lot more extinct species.”

The rules also make it easier to remove a species from the endangered species list and weaken protections for threatened species — a designation that means they are at risk of becoming endangered.

They also give the government new discretion in deciding what is meant by the term “foreseeable future.” That’s a semantic change with far-reaching implications, because it enables regulators to ignore the effects of extreme heat, drought, rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change that may occur several decades from now.

When questioned about that change and its implications in the era of climate change, Mr. Frazer said the agency wanted to avoid making “speculative” decisions far into the future.

Among the animals at risk from this change, Mr. Caputo listed a few: Polar bears and seals that are losing crucial sea ice; whooping cranes whose migration patterns are shifting because of temperature changes; and beluga whales that will have to dive deeper and longer to find food in a warmer Arctic.

Jonathan Wood, a lawyer at the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative group that has represented landowners in opposing endangered species designations, said he believed the changes would improve the law by simplifying the regulatory process and making the law less punitive.

“It’s a shift away from conflict in favor of more collaboration and cooperation,” he said.

For more news on climate and the environment, follow @NYTClimate on Twitter.

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

Saudi Aramco Says It’s ‘Ready’ for I.P.O. as It Reports Half-Year Earnings

Westlake Legal Group 12saudiaramco-1sub-facebookJumbo Saudi Aramco Says It’s ‘Ready’ for I.P.O. as It Reports Half-Year Earnings Saudi Aramco Saudi Arabia Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Initial Public Offerings

The oil giant Saudi Aramco is prepared for an initial public offering, its chief financial officer said on Monday, reviving the prospects for a long-awaited listing that could be a major step toward diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy.

The state-owned company has been moving toward greater financial transparency as it courts international investors, and the suggestion that it was ready for a public offering came during its first-ever earnings call. The call came after the company, the world’s largest oil producer, said that it had generated net income of $46.9 billion in the first half of the year.

Khalid al-Dabbagh, Saudi Aramco’s senior vice president for finance, strategy and development, said the timing of a public offering would be up to the “shareholder” — the Saudi government — and offered scant insight into when such a listing would happen.

“The company is ready for the I.P.O.,” Mr. al-Dabbagh told analysts on the call, adding that Saudi officials would “announce it depending on their perception of what will be the optimum market conditions.”

He also discussed a newly signed memorandum of agreement with Reliance Industries of India, saying it would enable Aramco to examine Reliance’s book and that a potential deal between the two companies was “at the very, very early stages.”

“India is a large country with large demand and it’s a growing demand,” Mr. al-Dabbagh added.

Reliance announced earlier in the day that Aramco was set to buy a 20 percent stake in its refining and petrochemical business. The stake in Reliance, estimated to be worth $15 billion, would create a partnership between the Saudi kingdom and India’s powerful Ambani family.

Mr. al-Dabbagh’s comments about the public offering appeared to confirm that Saudi leaders are eager to move ahead with it, although key decisions still remain. Earlier preparations for a share sale were set aside last year as the price of oil fell and the Saudis struggled with questions of valuation and which exchange the company would be listed on. 

But after a bond issue this year attracted significant interest from investors,  Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince and the kingdom’s key policymaker, appears to have decided that officials should resume their preparations for a public offering.

The Saudis also seem to be calculating that international outrage is fading after the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey last year by Saudi operatives associated with the crown prince. 

In the financial disclosure it released on Monday, Aramco said its net income had fallen 12 percent, from $53 billion in the same period a year earlier, when oil prices were higher. The company also said it earned $66 a barrel for its oil, 4 percent less than a year earlier.

The results indicated that, even with the decline, Aramco was much more profitable than its oil-producing peers. Exxon Mobil, the largest American oil company, brought in $5.5 billion in the first half of 2019; Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, reported net income of $9 billion for the first six months of the year.

“Despite lower oil prices during the first half of 2019, we continued to deliver solid earnings,” Aramco’s chief executive, Amin H. Nasser, said in a statement. Disclosing the financial results, he said, was “a significant milestone in Saudi Aramco’s history.”

The company had long declined to disclose key metrics, including how much oil it produces and how much money it brings in. In April, though, it broke precedent and accompanied its well-received bond offering with a detailed prospectus that provided investors a wealth of financial and oil statistics.

Because the bonds are publicly traded, Aramco is now required to publish financial results.

The company also said Monday that it had paid dividends of $46.4 billion, an amount almost equal to its net income figure, to the Saudi government in the first half of the year. Analysts had told investors that the state-owned company did not have a clear policy on dividends.

“So far there is little clarity on how dividends are determined,” analysts at the market research firm Energy Intelligence, wrote in a note to clients last week.

On Monday, analysts at Bernstein, another market research firm, questioned whether Aramco could continue to pay such large dividends. Noting that the company had reported a measure called “free cash flow” of $38 billion for the first half of the year, the Bernstein analysts wrote, “This implies that Aramco is borrowing to pay the dividend, which is unlikely to be sustainable over the long run.”

Aramco said the dividends included an “ordinary” payment of $26.4 billion and a “special” dividend of $20 billion that “reflected the exceptionally strong” performance by the company last year, when it took in $111 billion.

Aramco’s move toward disclosing more information coincides with the company’s becoming increasingly acquisitive, especially outside Saudi Arabia, in ways that could add to its need for more financing. The bonds issued in April were meant to help finance Aramco’s $69 billion acquisition of a government-held stake in Sabic, a Saudi petrochemical company.

The stake in Reliance’s refining, petrochemical and fuel business would help meet Aramco’s goal of locking up markets for its crude oil. With the United States having sharply reduced its imports from the Persian Gulf region thanks to increases domestic production, suppliers like Kuwait, Iraq and the Saudis are battling over fast-growing Asian markets like India.

The deal between Aramco and Reliance calls for the Saudi company to supply 500,000 barrels a day in crude to the Indian company’s Jamnagar refinery on a long-term basis. Reliance termed the deal a “nonbinding letter of intent,” and said it valued the overall business at $75 billion.

Aramco appears to be filling holes in its portfolio in hopes of more closely resembling companies like Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, which have large natural gas and refining businesses to complement their production of crude oil.

Aramco recently reached an understanding with Sempra Energy, a major American natural gas distributor, to buy liquefied natural gas for 20 years and to take a stake of up to 25 percent in a gas-exporting facility Sempra plans to build at Port Arthur, Tex.

Although rich in crude oil, Saudi Arabia has struggled to produce sufficient natural gas to fuel electric power and other industrial businesses. The Saudis wind up burning large volumes of crude during the peak summer season, when demand for electricity for cooling purposes runs at full tilt.

The disclosures by the Saudi company give traders, analysts and competitors greater insight into the workings of a company whose sole shareholder, the Saudi government, influences the oil markets through its de facto leadership of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its coordination of oil policy with producers like Russia.

Aramco said on Monday that it had produced an average of 10 million barrels of oil a day in the first half of the year. That is believed to be much less than it would produce if it had not reined in production in an effort to bolster oil prices, which are now at about $58 a barrel for Brent crude, the international benchmark.

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