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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 156)

Ukrainian textbook publishes Keanu Reeves meme photo instead of famous picture

Keanu Reeves has traveled back in time – or so it seems.

The famous actor has appeared in a Ukrainian history textbook after a doctored version of the iconic 1932 image “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” was inserted into its pages, according to the Kyiv Post.

Westlake Legal Group lunch-atop-rockefeller-center-Getty Ukrainian textbook publishes Keanu Reeves meme photo instead of famous picture Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c2ee121-9825-527e-a5ef-41db99166b00

This 1932 photo shows intrepid steelworkers atop the 70 story RCA building in Rockefeller Center having lunch.

The altered version plays up the “Sad Keanu” meme, which began in 2010 after Reeves was photographed eating a sandwich by himself on a park bench.

People have since inserted Reeves and his sandwich into photos from world history — and now the textbook’s author and publisher are debating whether his inclusion into a chapter on U.S. history was intentional.

“When the designer who worked with me on the book’s illustrations showed me that photo with Keanu Reeves, I didn’t notice that small detail at first,” Ihor Shchupak, a history professor who authored the textbook, reportedly wrote on Facebook. “But when I understood the meme, I decided to keep it.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group AP19232747688401 Ukrainian textbook publishes Keanu Reeves meme photo instead of famous picture Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c2ee121-9825-527e-a5ef-41db99166b00

FILE – In this May 9, 2019 file photo, actor Keanu Reeves attends the world premiere of “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” at One Hanson in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Shchupak, the Kyiv Post says, claimed he wanted the doctored image in there to see how close students would pay attention to the textbook.

The book’s publisher, however, told the newspaper that the image showing Reeves as the 12th man enjoying lunch on the beam was a design mistake.

Westlake Legal Group lunch-atop-rockefeller-center-Getty Ukrainian textbook publishes Keanu Reeves meme photo instead of famous picture Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c2ee121-9825-527e-a5ef-41db99166b00   Westlake Legal Group lunch-atop-rockefeller-center-Getty Ukrainian textbook publishes Keanu Reeves meme photo instead of famous picture Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c2ee121-9825-527e-a5ef-41db99166b00

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

TONIGHT: 7-Candidate Showdown At New Hampshire Debate

Westlake Legal Group 5e3d75ca270000310338b803 TONIGHT: 7-Candidate Showdown At New Hampshire Debate

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The Democratic Party’s seven strongest presidential contenders are preparing for what could be the fiercest debate stage clash of the 2020 primary season as candidates look to survive the gauntlet of contests that lie ahead.

The field has been shaken and reshaped by chaotic Iowa caucuses earlier this week, and Friday’s debate in New Hampshire — coming four days before the state’s primary — offers new opportunity and risk for the shrinking pool of White House hopefuls.

Two candidates, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Midwestern mayor Pete Buttigieg, enter the night as the top targets, having emerged from Iowa essentially tied for the lead. Those trailing after the first contest — including former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — have an urgent need to demonstrate strength.

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer and New York entrepreneur Andrew Yang, meanwhile, are fighting to prove they belong in the conversation.

The rapidly evolving dynamic means that the candidates have a very real incentive to mix it up with their Democratic rivals in the 8 p.m. debate hosted by ABC. They may not get another chance.

“This is the time when voters are eager for candidates to show they can compare and contrast, but also show they’re in it to win it,” said Democratic strategist Lily Adams, who worked on California Sen. Kamala Harris’ unsuccessful 2020 presidential campaign. “Expect it to get more feisty.”

Indeed, it was a debate at this same stage in New Hampshire four years ago on the Republican side that then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie devastated Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential ambitions with a well-timed take-down. Rubio never recovered, making it easier for Donald Trump to emerge as his party’s presidential nominee.

The stakes are particularly high this week for Biden, who has played front-runner in virtually every one of the previous seven debates but left Iowa in distant fourth place. While reporting irregularities have blunted the impact of the Iowa contest, Biden’s weakness rattled supporters who encouraged him to take an aggressive tack Friday night.

One of Biden’s more prominent New Hampshire backers, Democratic operative Jim Demers, said this is the time to fight.

“People want to see the fire, they want to see fight and they want to see the differences,” he said.

Lest there be any doubt about his intentions, Biden adopted a decidedly more aggressive tone with his rivals in the days leading up to Friday’s debate, having largely avoided direct attacks against other Democrats for much of the last year. But Wednesday in New Hampshire, the former vice president went after Sanders and Buttigieg by name and questioned their ability to beat Trump.

On Sanders, Biden seized on the Vermont senator’s status as a self-described democratic socialist. And on Buttigieg, he knocked the 38-year-old former mayor’s inexperience.

Biden also conceded the obvious — that his Iowa finish was underwhelming at best. He called it a “gut punch” before embracing the underdog role: “This isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been knocked down.”

The seven-person field also highlights the evolution of the Democrats’ 2020 nomination fight, which began with more than two dozen candidates and has been effectively whittled down to a handful of top-tier contenders.

There are clear dividing lines based on ideology, age and gender. But just one of the candidates on stage, Yang, is an ethnic minority.

Two African Americans and the only Latino candidate were forced from the race even before voting began. The only black contender still in the running, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, did not meet the polling or fundraising thresholds to qualify for Friday’s event.

Beyond Biden’s struggles, there are several subplots to watch.

The debate is the first since a progressive feud erupted on national television between Sanders and Warren. The Massachusetts senator refused to shake her New England neighbor’s hand and accused him of calling her a liar moments after the Jan. 14 meeting in Iowa.

The pointed exchange threatened to cause a permanent fissure in the Democratic Party’s far-left flank. Warren has embraced her gender as a political strength in the weeks since, highlighting the successes of female candidates in the Trump era and her own record of defeating a male Republican to earn a seat in the Senate.

That said, she stressed unity at campaign stops in recent days: “We’ve got to pull together as a party. We cannot repeat 2016,” she said.

She even points to her sprawling campaign organization to prove her dedication to party unity, noting that aides from rival candidates no longer in the race have chosen to work for her.

“I have an open campaign,” Warren said during a rally Wednesday at a community college in Nashua. “An inclusive campaign, a campaign that invites people in.”

Yet Warren has been willing to attack before. Aside from the post-debate skirmish with Sanders, she seized on Buttigieg’s fundraising practices in past meetings.

While Warren and Sanders as presidential candidates have sworn off wealthy donors, Buttigieg and the rest of the field have continued to hold private finance events with big donors, some with connections to Wall Street. In fact, Buttigieg took the unusual step of leaving New Hampshire this week to hold three fundraisers with wealthy donors in the New York area.

Buttigieg should expect to be under attack Friday night, said Joel Benenson, a debate adviser to Buttigieg last year and a prominent Democratic pollster.

“He’s got to be prepared for incoming from the people behind him, who are going to be punching up and trying to take votes away,” Benenson said.

“He’s got to be prepared to counterpunch, as well, and push back strenuously, but drive his message even when he’s responding,” he added. “If they draw sharp contrasts, he has to, as well.”

Associated Press writers Will Weissert in Manchester, N.H., and Thomas Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa, contributed to this report.

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

Ukrainian textbook publishes Keanu Reeves meme photo instead of famous picture

Keanu Reeves has traveled back in time – or so it seems.

The famous actor has appeared in a Ukrainian history textbook after a doctored version of the iconic 1932 image “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” was inserted into its pages, according to the Kyiv Post.

Westlake Legal Group lunch-atop-rockefeller-center-Getty Ukrainian textbook publishes Keanu Reeves meme photo instead of famous picture Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c2ee121-9825-527e-a5ef-41db99166b00

This 1932 photo shows intrepid steelworkers atop the 70 story RCA building in Rockefeller Center having lunch.

The altered version plays up the “Sad Keanu” meme, which began in 2010 after Reeves was photographed eating a sandwich by himself on a park bench.

People have since inserted Reeves and his sandwich into photos from world history — and now the textbook’s author and publisher are debating whether his inclusion into a chapter on U.S. history was intentional.

“When the designer who worked with me on the book’s illustrations showed me that photo with Keanu Reeves, I didn’t notice that small detail at first,” Ihor Shchupak, a history professor who authored the textbook, reportedly wrote on Facebook. “But when I understood the meme, I decided to keep it.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group AP19232747688401 Ukrainian textbook publishes Keanu Reeves meme photo instead of famous picture Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c2ee121-9825-527e-a5ef-41db99166b00

FILE – In this May 9, 2019 file photo, actor Keanu Reeves attends the world premiere of “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” at One Hanson in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Shchupak, the Kyiv Post says, claimed he wanted the doctored image in there to see how close students would pay attention to the textbook.

The book’s publisher, however, told the newspaper that the image showing Reeves as the 12th man enjoying lunch on the beam was a design mistake.

Westlake Legal Group lunch-atop-rockefeller-center-Getty Ukrainian textbook publishes Keanu Reeves meme photo instead of famous picture Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c2ee121-9825-527e-a5ef-41db99166b00   Westlake Legal Group lunch-atop-rockefeller-center-Getty Ukrainian textbook publishes Keanu Reeves meme photo instead of famous picture Greg Norman fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c2ee121-9825-527e-a5ef-41db99166b00

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

Kirk Douglas’ son Michael returns to late dad’s house after announcing his death

Michael Douglas was seen returning to acting legend Kirk Douglas‘ home for the first time after announcing his death earlier this week.

On Thursday, the 75-year-old star returned to his dad’s Beverly Hills, Calif. mansion along with his late father’s widow, Anne Buydens, 100. The arrival took place just one day after the acclaimed film actor took to Instagram to announce to the world that his father had died at age 103.

Douglas kept it both casual and appropriate, arriving at the home wearing jeans, a black sweatshirt and a baseball cap with sunglasses. His mood appeared somber in the photos as he helped usher Buydens into the home, which Daily Mail reports was obstructed visually by aids in an effort to block her from paparazzi cameras.

A LOOK BACK AT KIRK DOUGLAS’ BIGGEST ROLES

Westlake Legal Group michael-douglas-1-BackGrid Kirk Douglas' son Michael returns to late dad's house after announcing his death Tyler McCarthy fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 534e5d15-d91b-55c8-8ffe-c86a587d8bd0

Micheal Douglas arrives at the home of Kirk Douglas’s widow, Anne Buydens, in Beverly Hills just one day after announcing his father’s death at age 103. (Clint Brewer / BACKGRID USA)

“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” Douglas said in a statement shared on social media on Wednesday.

He continued: “To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.

KIRK DOUGLAS SEEN IN FINAL FAMILY PHOTOS BEFORE HIS DEATH

Westlake Legal Group michael-douglas-2-BackGrid Kirk Douglas' son Michael returns to late dad's house after announcing his death Tyler McCarthy fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 534e5d15-d91b-55c8-8ffe-c86a587d8bd0

Michael Douglas was photographed for the first time since announcing the death of his father, Kirk Douglas.  (Clint Brewer / BACKGRID USA)

“But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband,” he added.

Michael concluded his post by writing: “Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet. Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad- I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son.”

The statement did not indicate exactly how or where he died. But published reports said the famous actor died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Michael’s post also included photos of his late father and several sweet family pictures.

Westlake Legal Group Kirk-Douglas-Michael-Douglas-old Kirk Douglas' son Michael returns to late dad's house after announcing his death Tyler McCarthy fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 534e5d15-d91b-55c8-8ffe-c86a587d8bd0   Westlake Legal Group Kirk-Douglas-Michael-Douglas-old Kirk Douglas' son Michael returns to late dad's house after announcing his death Tyler McCarthy fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 534e5d15-d91b-55c8-8ffe-c86a587d8bd0

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

Rare Online Revolt Emerges in China Over Death of Coronavirus Whistle-Blower

They posted videos of the Les Misérables song, “Do You Hear the People Sing.” They invoked article No. 35 of China’s Constitution, which stipulates freedom of speech. They tweeted a phrase from the poem “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

The Chinese public have staged what amounts to an online revolt after the death of a doctor, Li Wenliang, who tried to warn of a mysterious virus that has since killed hundreds of people in China, infected tens of thousands and forced the government to corral many of the country’s 1.4 billion people.

Since late Thursday, people from different backgrounds, including government officials, prominent business figures and ordinary online users, have posted numerous messages expressing their grief at the doctor’s death and their anger over his silencing by the police after sharing his knowledge about the new coronavirus. It has prompted a nationwide soul-searching under an authoritarian government that allows for little dissent.

“I haven’t seen my WeChat timeline filled with so much forlornness and outrage,” Xu Danei, founder of a social media analytics company, wrote on the messaging platform WeChat.

“Tonight is a monumental moment for our collective conscience,” he wrote in a later post.

Though there are some outspoken dissidents in China, their numbers have dwindled as the Communist Party under the leader Xi Jinping has cracked down repeatedly on lawyers, journalists and businesspeople over the past seven years.

In this highly censored society, it’s rare for ordinary people to make demands and openly express anger toward the government. It’s even more rare for officials and heads of big corporations to show emotions that can be interpreted as discontent with the state.

After speculation of Mr. Li’s death began swirling online Thursday evening, the Communist Party’s propaganda machine went into full gear, trying to control the message. But it didn’t seem as effective as it had in the past.

The outpouring of messages online from sad, infuriated and grieving people was too much for the censors. The government even seemed to recognize the enormity of the country’s emotion, dispatching a team to investigate what it called “issues related to Dr. Li Wenliang that were reported by the public,” though without specifics.

For many people in China,the doctor’s death shook loose pent-up anger and frustration at how the government mishandled the situation by not sharing information earlier and by silencing whistle-blowers. It also seemed, to those online, that the government hadn’t learned lessons from previous crises, continuing to quash online criticism and investigative reports that provide vital information.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 5, 2020

    • Where has the virus spread?
      You can track its movement with this map.
    • How is the United States being affected?
      There have been at least a dozen cases. American citizens and permanent residents who fly to the United States from China are now subject to a two-week quarantine.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      Several countries, including the United States, have discouraged travel to China, and several airlines have canceled flights. Many travelers have been left in limbo while looking to change or cancel bookings.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands is the most important thing you can do.

Some users of Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform, are saying the doctor’s death resonated because he was an ordinary person who was forced to admit to wrongdoing for doing the right thing.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168512991_26c84271-8e29-4720-aed9-1d722a0ae20b-articleLarge Rare Online Revolt Emerges in China Over Death of Coronavirus Whistle-Blower Weibo Corporation WeChat (Mobile App) Social Media Politics and Government People's Daily Li Wenliang Global Times Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Computers and the Internet China Censorship

An illustration of Mr. Li shared widely on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform.Credit…Kuang Biao

Dr. Li was reprimanded by the police after he shared concerns about the virus in a social messaging app with medical school classmates on Dec. 30.

Three days later, the police compelled him to sign a statement that his warning constituted “illegal behavior.”

The doctor eventually went public with his experiences and gave interviews to help the public better understand the unfolding epidemic. (The New York Times interviewed Dr. Li days before his death.)

“He didn’t want to become a hero but for those of us in 2020, he had reached the upper limit of what we can imagine a hero would do,” one Weibo post read. The post is one of many that users say they wrote out of shame and guilt for not standing up to an authoritarian government, like Dr. Li did.

Many people posted a variation of a quote: “He who holds the firewood for the masses is the one who freezes to death in wind and snow.” The original version of the saying came from the Chinese writer Murong Xuecun about seven years ago when he and some friends were raising money for the families of political prisoners.

It was written as a reminder to people that it was in their interest to support those who dared to stand up to authority. Many of those people had frozen to death, figuratively speaking, as fewer people were willing to publicly support these dissenting figures.

The atmosphere was very different on Thursday evening. As confusion mounted about Dr. Li’s fate, people accused the authorities of trying to delay announcing his death.

The grief was so widespread that it appeared in unlikely corners.

“Refusing to listen to your ‘whistling,’ your country has stopped ticking, and your heart has stopped beating,” Hong Bing, the Shanghai bureau chief of the Communist Party’s official newspaper, People’s Daily, wrote on her timeline on WeChat, an instant-messaging platform. “How big a price do we have to pay to make you and your whistling sound louder, to reach every corner of the East?”

Both the Chinese- and English-language Twitter accounts of People’s Daily tweeted that Mr. Li’s death had prompted “national grief.” Both accounts deleted those messages before replacing them with more neutral, official-sounding posts.

The Weibo account of Shandong Province’s law enforcement body posted a portrait of Mr. Li with two sentences that have been circulating online: “Heroes don’t fall from the sky. They’re just ordinary people who stepped forward.”

Wang Gaofei, the chief executive of Weibo, which carries out many of the orders passed down from China’s censors, pondered what lessons China should learn from Dr. Li’s death. “We should be more tolerant of people who post ‘untruthful information’ that aren’t malicious,” he said in a post. “If we’re only allowed to speak what we can guarantee is fact, we’re going to pay prices.”

Even the official WeChat account of a quantum physics blog wrote a post headlined, “Li Wenliang, you only went to the ‘parallel universe.’”

On social media, many people urged the government to make Dr. Li a martyr and hold a state funeral attended by the nation’s leaders.

“It’s the first time my screen is full of one person’s name,” wrote Zheng Wenxin, a lawyer. “It’s the first time this nation held a state funeral for a doctor.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168137877_bdcb2ec3-1566-4ddb-b4c6-2ef015da9674-articleLarge Rare Online Revolt Emerges in China Over Death of Coronavirus Whistle-Blower Weibo Corporation WeChat (Mobile App) Social Media Politics and Government People's Daily Li Wenliang Global Times Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Computers and the Internet China Censorship

Dr. Li being treated at the Wuhan Central Hospital last month.

“RIP our hero,” Fan Bao, a prominent tech investor, posted on his WeChat timeline.

For some, it was a lesson about the importance of free speech, one the government didn’t understand. Beijing has increased its censorship over investigative reports that have exposed missteps by officials who underestimated and played down the threat from the coronavirus. China’s top leaders stepped up efforts to make the news coverage focus more on positive developments in the battle against the epidemic.

The hashtag #wewantfreedomofspeech# was created on Weibo at 2 a.m. on Friday morning and had over two million views and over 5,500 posts by 7 a.m. It was deleted by censors, along with related topics, such as ones saying the Wuhan government owed Dr. Li an apology.

“I love my country deeply,” read one post under that topic. “But I don’t like the current system and the ruling style of my country. It covered my eyes, my ears and my mouth.”

The writer of the post complained about not being able to gain access to the internet beyond the Great Firewall. “I’ve been holding back for a long time. I feel we’ve all been holding back for a long time. It erupted today.”

Talking about freedom of speech on the Chinese internet is taboo, even though it’s written into the Constitution. So it’s a small miracle that the freedom of speech hashtag survived for over five hours.

The country’s high-powered executives have been less blunt, but have echoed the same sentiments online.

“It’s time to reflect on the deeply-rooted, stability-trumps-everything thinking that’s hurt everyone,” Wang Ran, chairman of the investment bank CEC Capital, wrote on Weibo. “We all want stability,” he asked. “Will you be more stable if you cover the others’ mouths while walking on a tightrope?

Gao Xiaosong, an Alibaba executive, posted on his Weibo account that he hopes China will enact a whistle-blower protection act, seemingly in reference to the American law, so that more people could speak out. “RIP. Our hero. Thank you,” he wrote of Dr. Li.

There are proposals for people in China to sound their car horns at 9:30 p.m. on Friday in the doctor’s memory.

They have also urged the simultaneous posting of a hashtag of the two questions the police asked Dr. Li to answer in a statement: “Can you stop your illegal behavior?” and “Do you understand you’ll be punished if you don’t stop such behavior?”

Dr. Li had been forced to respond in writing: “I can” and “I understand” — putting his red thumbprint on top of them.

It’s too early to tell whether the online anger and frustration will amount to much. There was palpable public outrage in a few past tragedies, including a 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province and a train accident in 2011. But it faded in those instances.

Some people in China are more hopeful this time. In those past tragedies, many people could stay out of them, said Hou Zhihui, a commentator who has been detained twice for his online speeches. “But this time, nobody can stay out of it. It’s impossible.”

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PG&E Has a Survival Plan, and Newsom Has Plan B: A Takeover

Westlake Legal Group 06utility1-facebookJumbo PG&E Has a Survival Plan, and Newsom Has Plan B: A Takeover Wildfires Pacific Gas and Electric Co Newsom, Gavin Electric Light and Power California Bankruptcies

Ferocious wildfires have inflicted several years of death and destruction on California. But they have also presented the state with an opportunity to radically overhaul the company most prominently implicated in the fires, Pacific Gas & Electric.

The most powerful proponent of far-reaching changes, Gov. Gavin Newsom, is threatening a state takeover if the giant utility fails to reshape itself to his liking. With a key deadline approaching in PG&E’s bankruptcy case, the question is whether he is prepared to follow through — and what consequences could follow.

The state is technically on the sidelines in the San Francisco bankruptcy proceeding where PG&E is pressing forward with its own restructuring plan. The company achieved a breakthrough recently in uniting shareholders and creditors behind the plan, which it says would satisfy the claims of wildfire victims as well.

But PG&E has to emerge from bankruptcy by June 30 — on terms acceptable to the governor — in order to take part in a new $20 billion state fund designed to shield large utilities from large wildfire claims. Without that protection, PG&E’s restructuring plan would fall apart and its viability would be in question.

To Mr. Newsom, the company’s plan does not do enough to ensure its financial stability, its operational competence or its corporate integrity. “What I don’t want is a utility that comes out of bankruptcy limping,” he said recently.

It is not clear whether he actually wants to take over PG&E — a long-troubled company that could take years to fix — and make it a ward of the state. His threats could be a negotiating tactic, and the company has moved a little closer to his objectives.

Mr. Newsom said his administration had been conferring daily with PG&E to resolve issues including the governor’s authority in shaping the company’s board and measures to guarantee long-term financial stability. At the same time, he and allies have taken steps that suggest they are serious about a takeover.

The Democratic governor and about a dozen lawmakers have been meeting regularly to plot strategy. And state officials have worked to assure labor unions — a critical political bloc — that a takeover would not jeopardize jobs and benefits.

“We have not just rhetorically discussed a break-the-glass scenario, a Plan B, but we have laid out in detailed terms what that would look like, and we’re working with legislative leaders to advance it in real time,” Mr. Newsom said last week.

On Monday, State Senator Scott Wiener, a Bay Area Democrat, announced legislation to enable the state to take control of PG&E, which provides electricity and gas service to about 16 million people in the northern and central parts of California.

Over a five-year period, the measure would allow the state to revoke PG&E’s franchise agreement, stripping the power company of its utility customers and its core revenue source; to direct a state Power Authority to buy the utility’s electric and gas assets with money that ratepayers would repay over several decades; and to create a seven-member board appointed by local governments in each district.

“I personally believe PG&E has forfeited the privilege to operate as an investor-owned utility,” Mr. Wiener said. “This is a company that is unraveling.”

Exactly how such a solution would play out is unclear. Mr. Wiener’s bill, for example, would allow municipalities to break off pieces of PG&E to form their own utilities. Mr. Newsom has spoken of keeping the company whole.

Putting PG&E under the ownership of the state or its customers would lower its borrowing costs and free up money now spent on stock dividends, according to supporters of such plans. But a takeover would be costly, and it could face legal challenges from the company’s shareholders.

A long battle could in turn delay payments to wildfire victims, many of whom have been waiting more than two years for compensation. And politicians would risk voters’ wrath over management decisions — like the pre-emptive blackouts of millions of customers carried out last year in the name of fire prevention.

“I don’t think taking over PG&E without a plan is necessarily a good idea,” said Bruce Cain, a political-science professor at Stanford University. “It’s a thankless job for a politician to take this over. Most politicians run away.”

A ceremony in November marked the anniversary of the Camp Fire, which devastated the town of Paradise.Credit…Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press Demonstrators rallied in San Francisco this week against a bill that calls for a state takeover of PG&E, saying it could endanger pensions.Credit…Janie Har/Associated Press

PG&E sought bankruptcy protection a year ago — its second Chapter 11 filing in two decades — with $30 billion in liabilities related to wildfires ignited by the utility’s poorly maintained electrical system. One of the blazes, the Camp Fire, killed 85 people in 2018 and destroyed the town of Paradise.

Local 1245 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents 12,000 PG&E employees, said this week that it opposed a state takeover. The union has cited complex legal, political and operational challenges, including the development and maintenance of a safe electric grid at a time when climate change has heightened wildfire hazards.

“It’s not an optimal solution for anybody,” said Tom Dalzell, the union’s business manager. “You’re assuming a lot of exposure, and there’s going to be fires.”

It is also not clear that the public would support such a drastic move. In a recent survey for The Los Angeles Times by the Berkeley IGS Poll at the University of California, just 17 percent of voters said they favored a state takeover of PG&E, while an additional 20 percent supported nonprofit city and county cooperatives.

“Certainly the governor can exert his power to effect changes at PG&E,” said Mark DiCamillo, who oversees the polling organization. “A state takeover, that’s a stretch that would be a huge change in public policy. It’s pretty much a long shot.”

The latest version of PG&E’s own proposal includes a shake-up of its board and a safety plan to help prevent wildfires caused by its electrical equipment, both meant to address Mr. Newsom’s concerns.

The utility has reached settlement agreements that include a $13.5 billion fund for wildfire victims, $1 billion to compensate local governments for wildfire expenses and a deal with bondholders, approved Tuesday by the federal bankruptcy judge, Dennis Montali.

PG&E’s proposal has inspired a growing sense of confidence among investors, prompting the company’s stock price to surge to around $17 from a 12-month low of $3.55.

The shares are soaring in part because investors have placed their faith in a regulatory framework that allows utilities to raise rates so that they can earn a set profit margin each year. Over the past decade, PG&E has fallen short of its authorized profit, known as return on equity. PG&E’s supporters say that the last decade was an aberration, marred by disasters and poor management, and that new executives, an overhauled board and an improved safety performance will enable the company to earn its authorized return.

But some question whether the financial strategy is sound.

“The numbers do not add up, unless the money that ratepayers pay increases,” said Loretta Lynch, a former president of the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates PG&E and other shareholder-owned utilities.

“There’s no way for PG&E to pay off all of the people without raising rates,” she added. “The shareholders aren’t taking a haircut. That’s why Wall Street is excited about this deal, because they don’t have to pay for it.”

The financial performance of PG&E will also affect wildfire victims. Under the bankruptcy plan, half their payment would come in PG&E shares. If the company struggles, the shares could fall in value, reducing the amount the victims ultimately receive. (The shares could rally, however, and give the victims a windfall.)

And PG&E’s plan would leave the company with more debt than it had before it filed for bankruptcy protection, in theory making it more vulnerable to financial stress.

To address that risk, PG&E could sell more stock and take on less debt as part of its reorganization, an approach favored under a rival plan that no longer has backers in the bankruptcy proceeding.

PG&E is proposing that its parent company, PG&E Corporation, issue billions of dollars in debt. The cost of this borrowing would have to be paid with earnings from Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the entity that provides customers with gas and power, in theory leaving it with less money to improve its network.

PG&E is also seeking to use a tax windfall from its wildfire-related losses to back $7 billion in new debt, an offering known as securitization bonds. A share of rate payments is designated for taxes — payments the company will be spared for some time — and PG&E wants to use that revenue to finance the bonds. Mr. Newsom has criticized these financial moves, saying they could impair the company’s ability to raise additional money for safety improvements.

Energy policy has been a political crucible for California in the past — most notably in the crisis that followed the bungled deregulation of the state’s electricity market two decades ago, unleashing events that ended in the recall of Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.

Michael Sweet, who has known Mr. Newsom for decades, feels the current governor is up to the challenge. Mr. Sweet, a San Francisco lawyer whose firm represents a few creditors in PG&E’s bankruptcy, said that on Mr. Newsom’s watch, the utility might finally face a reckoning.

“If PG&E and Wall Street are not giving his concern a significant amount of credence, they’re underestimating him,” Mr. Sweet said, citing Mr. Newsom’s forceful advocacy for legalizing marijuana and gay marriage early in his political career. “He’s not afraid to go out on a limb.”

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Virginia will eliminate a state holiday honoring Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. It’ll make Election Day a day off instead

Westlake Legal Group 072I599CY8Z5Or1N4wUNEvmHsnDpbXPuBXUBoU-uLek Virginia will eliminate a state holiday honoring Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. It'll make Election Day a day off instead r/politics

Go look up “the lost cause of the confederacy”. That group created these fake narratives around heroic traitors and built the generic monuments

“Particularly intense periods of Lost Cause activity came around the time of World War I, as the last Confederate veterans began to die and a push was made to preserve their memories, and during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, in reaction to growing public support for racial equality. Through activities such as building prominent Confederate monuments and writing school history textbooks, they sought to ensure future generations of Southern whites would know of the South’s “true” reasons for fighting the war, and therefore would continue to support white supremacist policies, such as Jim Crow. In this manner, white supremacy is a characteristic of the Lost Cause narrative.[2]

The Lost Cause narratives typically portray the Confederacy’s cause as noble and its leadership as exemplars of old-fashioned chivalry, who were defeated by the Union armies through numerical and industrial force that overwhelmed the South’s superior military skill and courage.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Cause_of_the_Confederacy

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Russia adds 200 Jehovah’s Witnesses to ‘extremism,’ ‘terrorism’ list

Hundreds of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia have been added to a list of “Persons Involved in Extremism or Terrorism,” according to the organization.

The latest crackdown on the religious group blacklists believers from the country’s financial system. Jehovah’s Witnesses were officially banned in 2017, and the Kremlin continues to use extremism laws to crack down on opposition activists and religious minorities.

EX-JEHOVAH’S WITNESS RECOUNTS SEXUAL ABUSE IN DOC, ORGANIZATION DENIES TRYING TO COVER IT UP

“Clearly, Russia has effectively reinstated its darkest period of history by relentlessly persecuting Jehovah’s Witnesses, as did its intolerant Soviet predecessors,” Jarrod Lopes, a spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses world headquarters in the United States, told The Associated Press.

Westlake Legal Group extremist-1russia Russia adds 200 Jehovah's Witnesses to 'extremism,' 'terrorism' list fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/world/religion fox news fnc/world fnc ddcbf728-0ea9-517a-99ed-fc30201fcbc8 Caleb Parke article

Jehovah’s Witnesses sing songs at the beginning of the meeting in Rostov-on-Don. Although Rostov-on-Don is only 80 km away from Taganrog, the organization is not banned there, and people are free to gather and hold meetings. 16 Jehovah’s Witnesses are accused of extremist activity in Taganrog, Russia, 80 km away from Rostov-on-Don. (Photo by Alexander Aksakov/For The Washington Post via Getty Images).

More than 200 Jehovah’s Witnesses were added to the register, which currently contains more than 9,500 names. It doesn’t state a person’s affiliation with an organization.

After Russia’s financial intelligence agency, Rosfinmonitoring, put them on the list — which they say is based on names given to them by law enforcement — hundreds of members have been subjected to raids, arrests, and prosecution.

CHRISTIANS SEE ‘ALARMING’ TREND WORLDWIDE AS CHINA BUILDS ‘BLUEPRINT OF PERSECUTION’

So far, 24 members have been convicted, nine of whom were sentenced to prison, and more than 300 are currently under investigation.

Rosfinmonitoring officials would neither confirm nor deny blacklisting Jehovah’s Witnesses to The Associated Press, saying that they add people to the register based on the information law enforcement provides them with.

This crackdown continues, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s promise to look into “this complete nonsense.”

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“Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians, too, so I don’t quite understand why persecute them,” Putin said in 2018 at a meeting with the Presidential Council for Human Rights.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group extremist-1russia Russia adds 200 Jehovah's Witnesses to 'extremism,' 'terrorism' list fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/world/religion fox news fnc/world fnc ddcbf728-0ea9-517a-99ed-fc30201fcbc8 Caleb Parke article   Westlake Legal Group extremist-1russia Russia adds 200 Jehovah's Witnesses to 'extremism,' 'terrorism' list fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/world/religion fox news fnc/world fnc ddcbf728-0ea9-517a-99ed-fc30201fcbc8 Caleb Parke article

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New York GOP lawmaker: AOC, Bernie want to bring bad’ policies like bail reform to federal level

Westlake Legal Group NICOLE-M New York GOP lawmaker: AOC, Bernie want to bring bad' policies like bail reform to federal level Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/ms-13 fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/domestic-policies fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 44a2ecc9-6b0d-51ec-951a-c51f4305d84e

Liberal lawmakers are making it easier for criminals, illegal immigrants, and gang members to commit crimes by administering policies like the newly-implemented bail reform laws, New York State Assemblywoman and G.O.P. congressional candidate Nicole Malliotakis said Friday.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends” with host Brian Kilmeade, Malliotakis said that while President Trump is doing everything he can to stop dangerous gangs like MS-13, Malliotakis warns that, nationally, Americans should be concerned about these “very bad” justice laws “because people like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — they said they support doing something like this in the federal level.”

NEW YORK MAN ATTACKED BY MS-13, WHO WAS SET TO TESTIFY AGAINST THEM, FOUND DEAD

Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez, a key witness who was set to testify against MS-13 gang members who attacked him in 2018, was killed just days before a trial on Long Island. Rodriguez, 36, was found Sunday outside an abandoned home in New Cassel. Police say associates of MS-13 were behind Rodriguez’s slaying.

Investigators said in October of 2018 Rodriguez came to the defense of two boys who were being threatened by the gang — only to be beaten with a bat and stabbed, according to Newsday.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said prosecutors tried to keep Rodriguez’s identity secret by obtaining a protective order in December 2018.

But last December, ahead of looming changes to New York’s criminal justice system, including reforming the pre-trial discovery phase – during which prosecutors reveal evidence to the defense for preparation – the judge in the case issued a new order.

It allowed “for the disclosure of the protected information to defense counsel,” Newsday reports. The judge’s order, however, still required attorneys for two defendants not to reveal Rodriguez’ s name to their clients until the trial’s start date of Jan. 6.

A local police commissioner, Patrick Ryder, initially blamed the state’s bail reform laws. Later, he conceded that Rodriguez’s death had “no direct link” to the new criminal justice reform, recanting his framing of the case.

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“What this new bail law does is require that witness information and their personal information be handed over to the defense within 15 days of an arrest,” Malliotakis explained. “So, obviously, that is something that will lead to witness intimidation. It will lead to witness tampering. It will lead to, perhaps, witnesses being killed or bullied or beaten and that is really something that undermines the justice system.”

“So, there [are] going to be issues here, whether it be witness protection issues or whether it be not being able to turn over that evidence and these cases being dismissed that completely undermines the justice system,” she told Kilmeade.

Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group NICOLE-M New York GOP lawmaker: AOC, Bernie want to bring bad' policies like bail reform to federal level Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/ms-13 fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/domestic-policies fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 44a2ecc9-6b0d-51ec-951a-c51f4305d84e   Westlake Legal Group NICOLE-M New York GOP lawmaker: AOC, Bernie want to bring bad' policies like bail reform to federal level Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/ms-13 fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/domestic-policies fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 44a2ecc9-6b0d-51ec-951a-c51f4305d84e

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Coronavirus outbreak: What to do if you think you’ve contracted the novel virus

Westlake Legal Group image Coronavirus outbreak: What to do if you think you've contracted the novel virus Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health/infectious-disease fox-news/health/healthy-living fox news fnc/health fnc article 423a390b-0c03-5ef5-83f2-e287ab012c31

An outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a deadly pneumonia-like illness that’s killed at least 636 people and sickened more than 31,200 people across the world, has sparked fears that Americans may be at risk — especially after 12 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the U.S.

For now, federal health officials maintain that the risk to the public is low, while other medical professionals are stressing you have a much greater chance of contracting the flu than the coronavirus.

CORONAVIRUS: THESE UNIVERSITIES ARE CANCELING STUDY-ABROAD PROGRAMS

Still, as the disease continues to make headlines, here’s what to do if you’re worried you may have been exposed to or contracted the coronavirus.

Evaluate your risk 

Have you been to China recently?

In a statement to Fox News, Dr. William Schaffner, the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, said those who have recently traveled to the country are most at risk, as experts have linked the virus to a live animal and seafood market in the city of Wuhan.

“For most people in the U.S., unless you have traveled to China recently or have been exposed to someone who has a coronavirus infection, your risk is very low,” he said.

I think I’ve been exposed. Now what? 

In short: Call your doctor first.

“If you think you may have been exposed, call your healthcare professional immediately and tell them your travel history. Calling first is important so they can be prepared. Do not go directly to the hospital, where you may infect other people,” Schaffner said.

The flu vs. coronavirus 

The symptoms of the flu and the novel coronavirus do mirror each other — fever, shortness of breath and cough — but don’t confuse them, especially if you haven’t been to China in recent weeks or been around someone who has.

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“The symptoms of coronavirus infection are similar to that of influenza (flu), which is very common in the U.S. and has already resulted in more than 8,000 U.S. deaths this flu season,” said Schaffner. “You can lower your risk by getting vaccinated against the flu every year, using proper hand hygiene, and avoiding people who are sick.”

What the CDC says 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers tips for anyone in the U.S. who is confirmed to have, or is being evaluated for, the novel virus.

These include:

  • Stay home except to get medical care 
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home 
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor 
  • Wear a facemask 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands 
  • Avoid sharing household items (such as cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding and more) 
  • Monitor your symptoms

The CDC also offers prevention steps for caregivers and household members. (Other ways to protect yourself can be found here.)

Westlake Legal Group image Coronavirus outbreak: What to do if you think you've contracted the novel virus Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health/infectious-disease fox-news/health/healthy-living fox news fnc/health fnc article 423a390b-0c03-5ef5-83f2-e287ab012c31   Westlake Legal Group image Coronavirus outbreak: What to do if you think you've contracted the novel virus Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/health/wellness fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health/infectious-disease fox-news/health/healthy-living fox news fnc/health fnc article 423a390b-0c03-5ef5-83f2-e287ab012c31

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