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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 158)

Groupon For Medical Scans? Discounted Care Can Have Hidden Costs

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-117452470-7f1f439e25c37f5b77031466dfe8045987c82425-s1100-c15 Groupon For Medical Scans? Discounted Care Can Have Hidden Costs

CT scans of horizontal sections through a patient’s chest and abdomen use X-rays to build up more detailed images than a traditional X-ray reveals. Colin Cuthbert/Science Photo Libra/Getty Images hide caption

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Colin Cuthbert/Science Photo Libra/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Groupon For Medical Scans? Discounted Care Can Have Hidden Costs

CT scans of horizontal sections through a patient’s chest and abdomen use X-rays to build up more detailed images than a traditional X-ray reveals.

Colin Cuthbert/Science Photo Libra/Getty Images

Emory University medical fellow Dr. Nicole Herbst was shocked when she saw three patients who came in with abnormal results from chest CT scans they had bought on Groupon.

Yes, Groupon — the online coupon mecca that also sells discounted fitness classes and foosball tables.

Similar deals have shown up for various lung, heart and full-body scans across Atlanta, as well as in Oklahoma and California. Groupon also offers discount coupons for expectant parents looking for ultrasounds, sold as “fetal memories.”

While Herbst declined to comment for this story, her sentiments were shared widely by the medical community on social media. The concept of patients using Groupons to get discounted medical care elicited the typical stages of Twitter grief: anger, bargaining and acceptance that this is the medical system today in the United States.

But, ultimately, the use of Groupon and other pricing tools is symptomatic of a health care market where patients desperately want a deal — or at least tools that better nail down their costs before they get care.

“Whether or not a person may philosophically agree that medicine is a business, it is a market,” says Steven Howard, who runs Saint Louis University’s health administration program.

By offering an upfront cost on a coupon site like Groupon, medical companies are meeting people where they are, Howard argues. It helps drive prices down, he says — all the while marketing the medical businesses.

For Paul Ketchel, CEO and founder of MDsave, a site that contracts with providers to offer discount-priced vouchers on bundled medical treatments and services, the use of medical Groupons and his own company’s success speak to the brokenness of the U.S. health care system.

MDsave offers deals at over 250 hospitals across the country, selling vouchers for anything from MRIs to back surgery. It has experienced rapid growth and expansion in the several years since its launch.

Ketchel credits that growth to the general lack of price transparency in the U.S. health care industry, amid rising costs to consumers. “All we are really doing is applying the e-commerce concepts and engineering concepts that have been applied to other industries to health care,” he argues.

“We are like transacting with Expedia or Kayak,” Ketchel says, “while the rest of the health care industry is working with an old-school travel agent.”

A closer look at those deals

Crown Valley Imaging, in Mission Viejo, Calif., has been selling Groupon deals for services including heart scans and full-body CT scans since February 2017 — despite what Crown Valley’s president, Sami Beydoun, called Groupon’s aggressive financial practices. According to him, Groupon dictates the price for its deals based on the competition in the area — and then takes a substantial cut.

“They take about half. It’s kind of brutal. It’s a tough place to market,” Beydoun says. “But, the way I look at it is you’re getting decent marketing.”

Groupon-type deals for health care aren’t new. They were more popular in 2011, 2012 and 2013, when Groupon and its then-competitor LivingSocial were at their height, but the industry has since lost some steam. Groupon stock and valuation has tumbled in recent years, even after buying LivingSocial in 2016.

Groupon did not respond to requests for comment on how many medical offerings it features or its pricing structure.

“Groupon is pleased any time we can save customers time and money on elective services that are important to their daily lives,” spokesman Nicholas Halliwell writes in an emailed statement. “Our marketplace of local services brings affordable dental, chiropractic and eye care, among other procedures and treatments, to our more than 46 million customers daily and helps thousands of medical professional[s] advertise and grow their practices.”

In Atlanta, two imaging centers that each offered discount coupons from Groupon say the deals have driven in new business. Bobbi Henderson, the office manager for Virtual Imaging Inc.’s Perimeter Center, says the group has been running the deal for a heart CT scan, complete with consultation, since 2012; it’s currently listed at $26 — a 96% discount. More than 5,000 of the company’s coupons have been sold, according to the Groupon site.

Brittany Swanson, who works in the front office at OutPatient Imaging in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, says she has seen hundreds of customers come through since the center posted Groupon coupons for mammograms, body scans and other screenings around six months ago. Why did the medical practice turn to Groupon discounts?

“Honestly, we saw the other competition had it,” Swanson says.

A lot of the deals offered are for preventive scans, she says, providing patients incentives to come in.

But Dr. Andrew Bierhals, a radiology safety expert at Washington University in St. Louis’ Edward Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, warns that such deals may be leading patients to get unnecessary initial scans — which can lead to unnecessary tests and radiation.

“If you’re going to have any type of medical testing done, I would make sure you discuss with your primary care provider or practitioner,” he cautions.

Appealing to patients who fall through an insurance gap

Because mammograms are typically covered by insurance, Swanson says, she believes OutPatient Imaging’s $99 Groupon deal is filling a gap for women who lack insurance. The cost of such breast screenings for those who don’t have insurance varies widely, but can be up to several hundred dollars without a discount.

Howard says Groupon has long been used to fill insurance gaps for dental care. He himself often bought such deals over the years to get cheaper dental cleanings when he didn’t have insurance that covered that.

But advanced medical scans involve a higher level of scrutiny, as Chicagoan Anna Beck recently learned. In 2015, she and her husband, Miguel Centeno, were told he needed to get a chest CT after a less advanced X-ray at an urgent care center showed something suspicious.

Since her husband had just been laid off and did not have insurance, they shopped online to look for the cheapest price. They ended up driving out to the suburbs to get a CT scan at an imaging center there.

“I knew that CT scans had such a wide range of costs in a hospital setting,” Beck says. “So going in knowing that I could price check and have some idea of how much I’d be paying and a little more control” was preferable than going to the hospital.

On the drive back into the city though, the imaging center called and told them to go straight to the hospital — the CT had revealed a large mass that turned out to be a germ-cell tumor.

Fortunately, Centeno’s cancer is now in remission, his wife says. But their online shopping cost them more money than if they’d gone straight to the hospital initially. The hospital gave them charity care. And although Beck took along a CD of the scans Centeno had bought online, the hospital ended up taking its own scans, as well.

“You’re trying to cut cost by getting a CT out of the hospital,” Beck says. “But they’re just going to redo it anyway.”

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent, nonprofit program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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Dr. Phil Cries ‘Bulls**t’ On Reports He Spoiled A Celebrity Wedding

Westlake Legal Group 5cc2b8b92400008b00232d11 Dr. Phil Cries ‘Bulls**t’ On Reports He Spoiled A Celebrity Wedding

“That’s bullshit,” he said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Wednesday as the host grilled him. “I got a bad rap on that.” (Watch the exchange above at the 4:30 mark.)

Dr. Phil was lightheartedly taking issue with the media storm he weathered after commenting on a romantic Instagram photo of the singer and the “Game of Thrones” star in Paris. “Easy now! 1 week to go! Ha! See you at the wedding!” he wrote, thus giving away the date of their hush-hush late-June French ceremony. They married originally in Las Vegas in early May.

Kimmel asked him if the ceremony was indeed one week after his comment, and cited several news reports, including HuffPost’s. “I didn’t know you had evidence,” Dr. Phil said sheepishly.

Finally, Dr. Phil conceded that “it wasn’t a week but it was pretty close.”

These two had more issues to smooth over, like why Kimmel didn’t ask Dr. Phil to his own wedding. Watch above.

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Hurricane Dorian Updates: Category 2 Storm Pounds Carolinas

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160222683_69b37351-9bd1-4785-89ad-9667f48ac2a2-articleLarge Hurricane Dorian Updates: Category 2 Storm Pounds Carolinas Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

A tree was knocked down in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday as Hurricane Dorian approached the coast.CreditJohnny Milano for The New York Times

Much of the Carolina coast was being pounded by heavy rain and strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday morning, as the storm continued to creep on its parallel path north along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

The storm had strengthened to Category 3 late Wednesday night, and by Thursday morning it was about 70 miles from Charleston, S.C., according to the National Hurricane Center. Its hurricane-force winds were extending as far as 60 miles from the center, with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 195 miles.

Forecasters said storm surge waters could flood up to eight feet in some areas. Streets in Charleston were already flooding on Thursday morning with rising seas and rainfall expected to inundate parts of the city.

Though the storm’s eye has remained offshore on its move up the East Coast, the National Hurricane Center’s models now show it could possibly make landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday.

On Thursday morning, Dorian’s rain bands were whipping cities from Savannah, Ga., to Wilmington, N.C., and places along the coast could receive as much as 15 inches of rain before the storm departs. Approximately 360,000 South Carolinians have been evacuated from their homes. The storm has already knocked out power for about 200,000 customers in South Carolina, as well as 12,800 in Georgia.

Westlake Legal Group hurricane-dorian-map-promo-1566933204147-articleLarge-v374 Hurricane Dorian Updates: Category 2 Storm Pounds Carolinas Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

Maps: Tracking Hurricane Dorian’s Path

Maps tracking the hurricane’s path as it makes its way toward Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

The wind began howling and groaning in Charleston around 2 a.m., bending trees to its will, downing power lines and toppling trees.

As of 8 a.m., the storm was about 70 miles south-southeast of Charleston, according to the National Hurricane Center. But by daybreak, it felt as though Category 3 storm had fully presented itself.

Local TV forecasters were warning that the worst of the storm would be felt in Charleston through at least noon, and urged people to remain in their homes. Charleston County government officials ordered residents to stay off high-span bridges, given sustained winds of more than 30 miles per hour. City government posted a running online tally a running tab of flooded and impassible streets.

“Remember, TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN,” the Charleston Police tweeted.

Streets began to flood in Charleston.CreditJohnny Milano for The New York Times

Charleston has accrued deep hurricane experience in recent years, as well as deep scars — particularly from Hurricane Hugo, which hit the city hard in September 1989. At the time, computer storm tracking was not as sophisticated as it is today, and social media did not exist. Many residents were caught unprepared as the storm toppled buildings or blew them away.

Hurricane Hugo killed 35 people in South Carolina, and damaged or destroyed more than 21,000 homes statewide. According to the author Brian Hicks, it also marked a turning point in Charleston history. With many older, less steady buildings damaged beyond repair, Joe Riley, the mayor at the time, saw an opportunity with so many patches of blank canvas to fill in and helped revitalize the city.

At least two tornadoes had touched down in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Pat Dowling, the city’s public information officer, said.

One of the tornadoes was “pretty sizable,” he said, and though it damaged a couple of condominium buildings and a mobile park near the intercoastal waterway, there were no injuries and everybody was safe.

The outer bands of Hurricane Dorian were also reaching north to Wilmington, N.C., slamming the area with heavy rain and winds — and causing at least one tornado.

Dorian’s center was far away, but its tropical-storm-force winds extended nearly 200 miles from its center, and its effects could be felt in Wilmington, a port city of about 122,000 on North Carolina’s southeastern coast. The National Weather Service’s local office warned that even if the eye avoids landfall, the city would experience winds equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.

Thursday would be a day of “high risk for flash flooding in southeastern North Carolina, and we know too well that floodwaters can be deadly,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday.

On Wednesday Mr. Cooper announced that an 85-year-old man in Columbus County had died after falling off a ladder while preparing for the storm.

Wilmington is under a storm surge warning through Sunday morning, and forecasters said water could rise between four and seven feet in some areas. Many of the neighborhoods along Cape Fear River, which flows through the city toward Fayetteville, were expected to flood.

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, said a shelter at an elementary school had filled up but that two others still had room.

Wilmington is no stranger to hurricanes. Hurricane Florence dumped rain on the city and swelled its rivers in 2018, essentially cutting it off from the rest of the state. Residents lost electricity for several days.

And residents still recall the devastation from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which turned streets into rivers and took many residents by surprise.

A tree was downed by a tornado on Thursday in Wilmington, N.C.CreditAlyssa Schukar for The New York Times

A first-person account from Chris Dixon, an author and journalist.

I engaged in a grim ritual with my neighbors on Wednesday, sweating and cursing under a broiling Charleston sun while draping sheets of plywood across the windows on my house. For the fourth time since 2016, I was preparing for a hurricane: Matthew, Irma, Florence and now Dorian.

Depending on your point of view, I am lucky or unlucky enough to live on a tidal creek near Folly Beach, S.C. When hurricanes and tropical storms strafe our coast, their winds roar across the several miles of harbor and normally placid marsh that separate our neighborhood from the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse. As the tides rise, these winds pile seawater into wave-driven surge and batter the homes in my neighborhood.

Yanking a splinter from my thumb, I asked myself, Why do I live here?

I should know better. When I was young, my great-aunt Ethel told frightful tales of Hurricane Hazel’s 1954 destruction of the Carolina coast. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo upended my life by destroying my home in Surfside Beach, north of Charleston. Two years ago, I gasped as the tides from Hurricane Irma casually carried a foot of marsh into my house while sweeping tons of my yard out to sea. And last year, while covering Hurricane Florence for The New York Times, I spent many tense hours among people who were in the process of losing everything.

So why do I choose to live in this slowly drowning port city? Why endure the annual stress of possibly losing everything? Why constantly check computer models before frantically hauling everything inside, boarding up, driving for safety and then waiting for interminable hours while glued to The Weather Channel?

Because the ocean is my family’s life and my livelihood. My wife grew up in Dana Point, Calif., with the Pacific in her backyard and saltwater in her veins. I grew up in Atlanta but had the great fortune of spending my summers along this Carolina coast — sailing, fishing and, eventually, having my life taken over by surfing.

It sounds cliché, but when your entire life comes to revolve around the ocean, it becomes almost impossible to imagine living any other way. You come to define life not by the hours on the clock, but by the ebb and flow of the tides and the rhythm of the winds and swells. You become deeply enmeshed in a culture of shrimpers, crabbers, divers and surfers. You watch your kids come to revere the ocean and respect its moods and its power. You manage to make a living writing about the ocean. You catch a perfect wave from a hurricane-spawned groundswell at your local break.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 04dorian-updates01sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 Hurricane Dorian Updates: Category 2 Storm Pounds Carolinas Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

Now a Category 2 storm, Hurricane Dorian is slowly moving northwest, threatening the U.S. southeast coast, after leaving behind major damage in the Bahamas.CreditCreditScott McIntyre for The New York Times

The pilot was anxious to help: He had gathered generators, diapers, tuna fish and other supplies. The people living on the islands in the Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Dorian needed them, immediately.

But he wasn’t sure if there was anywhere to land.

Flying over the hardest-hit areas — the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama — the pilot saw homes turned to matchsticks and boats piled in heaps.

Harbors, supermarkets, a public hospital, airport landing strips — all had been damaged or blown to smithereens, frustrating rescue efforts.

[The Bahamas was stunned when the hurricane’s water receded.]

Hurricane Dorian, which made landfall on Sunday as a Category 5 storm and then lingered for days, not only left many residents in the most damaged islands without jobs or a place to live. It also stripped away the services required to meet their most immediate needs — like fresh water, food and medical care.

“It’s like a bomb went off, honestly,” said Julie Sands, who lives in Cherokee Sound, in the Abaco Islands.

In the Bahamas, with floodwaters receding, the trail of devastation was slowly becoming clear as residents began tallying their losses. As of Wednesday, according to Dr. Duane Sands, the minister of health, at least 20 people had been confirmed dead and the toll was expected to rise.

Westlake Legal Group bahamas-damage-hurricane-dorian-1567618513584-articleLarge-v3 Hurricane Dorian Updates: Category 2 Storm Pounds Carolinas Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

The Bahamas, Before and After Hurricane Dorian

Aerial images of flattened neighborhoods and a flooded airport give a first look at the large-scale damage there.

Last week the storm was inviting comparisons to Hurricane Andrew, which ripped through the Miami area as a Category 5 monster in 1992, causing widespread damage.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida declared a state of emergency last Wednesday afternoon, and advised residents to have seven days’ worth of supplies on hand. There was a run on gasoline and bottled water, and the attorney general’s office was investigating hundreds of complaints of price gouging.

[With an altered map, President Trump insisted he was right on Dorian heading toward Alabama.]

By Friday, Hurricane Dorian had become a Category 4 storm over the Atlantic Ocean with winds of 130 m.p.h., and Mr. Trump approved an emergency declaration for Florida.

In the end Florida was largely spared its wrath.

But one Florida resident had died while preparing for the storm, The Associated Press reported. A 56-year-old man who was knocked to the ground from a tree Monday evening as he trimmed limbs with a chain saw in an Orlando suburb.

The ties could not be stronger between Miami and the Bahamas, an archipelago less than 200 miles east. Bahamians settled in South Florida decades before Miami was born, building bridges and railroads and raising children who would become some of the region’s most prominent leaders. This week, their descendants, many veterans of devastating hurricanes, gathered across South Florida to lend a hand.

“When we were desperate, people came to our rescue,” said Charles Bethel, 68, a retired state juvenile justice administrator who lost his home in south Miami-Dade County to Hurricane Andrew, another Category 5 storm, in 1992. “The community pulled together. There was no sense of division. Now, we are doing the same.”

[Bahamian descendants in Miami are helping the battered nation.]

Miami owes its very beginnings to residents from there. Bahamian laborers worked in construction and agriculture, creating the city’s infrastructure and teaching white settlers unfamiliar with the tropics how to build with coral rock, till the soil and plant tropical fruit, said Marvin Dunn, a retired college professor who chronicled local history in his book “Black Miami in the Twentieth Century.”

Bahamians started to arrive in the 1880s, following an economic downturn on the islands, Dr. Dunn said. Many went to work in pineapple fields in Key West and then migrated north to Coconut Grove, which they called Kebo. Bahamians also settled in the Miami neighborhood of Overtown and in Carver Ranches, which is now part of the city of West Park, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale.

On Wednesday in Miami, volunteers gathered in houses of worship, dripping with sweat as they sorted through heavy boxes and bags. Stacks of water bottles. Heaps of diapers. Baby formula. A chain saw. So many donations came in that Christ Episcopal ran out of pallets.

Volunteers in Miami organized donations for storm victims in the Bahamas.CreditSaul Martinez for The New York Times

Reporting was contributed by Patricia Mazzei, Nick Madigan, Kirk Semple, Frances Robles, Rachel Knowles and Elisabeth Malkin.

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U.S. and China Agree to Resume Trade Talks, Sending Markets Higher

Westlake Legal Group 04chinatrade-facebookJumbo U.S. and China Agree to Resume Trade Talks, Sending Markets Higher United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Mnuchin, Steven T Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

SHANGHAI — The United States and China will hold trade talks in Washington early next month, officials from both countries said on Thursday, but new tariffs will make it difficult to find a way to end their economic clash.

Liu He, a top Chinese economic official and Beijing’s top trade negotiator, will travel to Washington in early October, state media said. Mr. Liu spoke on Thursday morning with Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary. Mr. Lighthizer’s office said that deputy-level meetings would take place ahead of the talks.

Stocks around the world rose following the news that talks would resume. Early trading on Wall Street was also up.

If held as scheduled, the talks would take place after new American tariffs kick in, which could make it difficult for the two sides to reach a deal. President Trump has said he would raise tariffs to 30 percent from the current 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs cover everything from cars to aircraft parts.

On Sunday, Washington began charging a 15 percent tax on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with its own increased tariffs. Both countries plan to impose still more tariffs in December, barring a breakthrough in talks.

Already, pessimism had been growing on both sides of the Pacific Ocean about the possibility of a trade deal before the United States presidential elections next year. The mounting tariffs have rattled global markets and set off fears over world economic growth.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 jumped following news of the talks.

The rise reflects a sense of relief among investors that the two sides, which have recently been seen as far apart in negotiations, may once again seek to find a way to de-escalate a conflict that has raised global economic concerns and has injected uncertainty into the markets.

More than half of respondents to Bank of America’s monthly survey of global fund managers in August cited a worsening trade war as the top “tail risk” — a remote, but potentially deeply destabilizing threat — facing markets.

Over the last year, the potential fallout of the trade battle surpassed previous worries that troubled these professional investors, such as the chance that the Federal Reserve could tighten interest rates too far or a sharp slowdown in Chinese growth could stifle global growth.

At times this year, the stock market has suffered bouts of extreme volatility, first in May and again last month, when previous cease-fires in the battle between the United States and China broke down.

Data on mutual funds and E.T.F.s has shown money consistently flowing out of the stock market and into the bond market, often considered a safe haven for investors, which is also enjoying a strong year.

Businesses in both the United States and China have begun to express concern about a trade war that has dragged on for more than a year. American manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years because of slowing export orders amid the trade dispute, data showed on Wednesday.

Chinese factory activity, meanwhile, contracted for three months this summer before ticking back up slightly in data released this week. Its manufacturing sector has suffered layoffs and factory shutdowns from the trade war and as its economy grows at its slowest pace in three decades.

“When I speak to C.E.O.s of leading Chinese and global companies, everyone is fretting about what the latest escalations mean for their businesses in the short term, and more worrisome, for their long-term strategy and investment plans,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s greater China business.

The two sides show little sign of backing down, however. Mr. Trump has gambled that China’s softening economy will put pressure on Beijing’s leaders to back down. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Trump cited the country’s slowdown, which he called, inaccurately, “the worst year they’ve had in 57 years.”

“And they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

For their part, China’s leaders believe their own efforts to quell China’s dependence on debt are mostly responsible for the slowdown, and that they could reverse course if needed to bolster growth.

Next month’s talks would be the 13th time that senior-level trade negotiators have met. American negotiators traveled to Shanghai in July to meet briefly with their Chinese counterparts and left with an agreement to meet again in Washington on Sept. 1.

But the plans were disrupted when, one day after negotiators returned home, Mr. Trump said the United States would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 1, once again escalating trade tensions.

State controlled media has contended that the trade war is hurting American consumers more than Chinese companies and citizens. “The White House lifted a rock, which fell on the feet of the America public,” the Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid, wrote in a Sept. 1 editorial after the latest round of tariffs set in.

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Meghan McCain sides with Trump over ‘Will & Grace’ stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack

“The View” co-host Meghan McCain condemned far-left “Will & Grace” stars Debra Messing and Eric McCormack for walking back widely criticized comments calling to expose Trump donors in Hollywood.

It all started last week when McCormack responded to a report about an upcoming fundraiser being held in Beverly Hills in honor of President Trump‘s reelection campaign by requesting a “report” on all the attendees.

ERIC MCCORMACK BACKTRACKS, SAYS HE DOESN’T SUPPORT ‘BLACKLISTS’ AFTER CALLING TO OUT TRUMP DONORS

“Hey, @THR, kindly report on everyone attending this event,” he wrote, “so the rest of us can be clear about who we don’t want to work with. Thx,” McCormack tweeted.

However, McCormack attempted to clarify his stance on Tuesday, telling his followers on Instagram that he doesn’t support “blacklists” and he was “misinterpreted.”

Messing agreed with the sentiment, adding “I couldn’t have said it better.” But McCain didn’t buy the liberal stars’ explanations.

“No one is misinterpreting – you want to put a list together of Trump supporters/republicans in Hollywood and end their employment, publicly shame them, possibly invited god knows what into their lives,” McCain tweeted. “THIS is the ‘tolerant Hollywood left’ and no amount of backtracking changes it.”

McCain doesn’t always agree with Trump, who famously had a longstanding feud with her late father, but “The View” co-host and the president apparently see eye-to-eye when it comes to the NBC sitcom stars.

Westlake Legal Group mccormack-mccain-messing Meghan McCain sides with Trump over ‘Will & Grace’ stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack fox-news/media fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brian Flood article 9ccb6c1c-ac4a-5663-ae6e-405dc0702b28

Meghan McCain condemned NBC’s “Will & Grace” stars Debra Messing and Eric McCormack.

‘WILL & GRACE’ STAR CELEBRATES SIGN CALLING BLACK TRUMP VOTERS MENTALLY ILL

“Bad ‘actress’ Debra The Mess Messing is in hot water. She wants to create a ‘Blacklist’ of Trump supporters, & is being accused of McCarthyism. Is also being accused of being a Racist because of the terrible things she said about blacks and mental illness,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Will Fake News NBC allow a McCarthy style Racist to continue?”

Trump was presumably referring to an indecent on Wednesday when Messing attempted to explain why she’d recently promoted an Alabama church sign that called black Trump voters mentally ill.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Her response came as #RacistDebraMessing trended on Twitter. Messing claimed she apologized for liking the sign but doubled down on her criticism of the president.

McCain’s co-host Whoopi Goldberg also had a blistering statement for Messing and McCormack this week.

“In this country, people can vote for who they want to — that is one of the great rights of this country,” she said on Tuesday. “You don’t have to like it but we don’t go after people because we don’t like who they voted for — we don’t go after them that way. We can talk about issues and stuff, but we don’t print out lists.”

In an apparent allusion to the McCarthy era, Goldberg added that “a lot of good people” had been accused of things and lost their “right to work.”

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group mccormack-mccain-messing Meghan McCain sides with Trump over ‘Will & Grace’ stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack fox-news/media fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brian Flood article 9ccb6c1c-ac4a-5663-ae6e-405dc0702b28   Westlake Legal Group mccormack-mccain-messing Meghan McCain sides with Trump over ‘Will & Grace’ stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack fox-news/media fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brian Flood article 9ccb6c1c-ac4a-5663-ae6e-405dc0702b28

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Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: ‘He groped me hard’

Angela Turner Wilson was co-starring with Placido Domingo in “Le Cid” for the Washington Opera for the 1999-2000 season when, she alleges, he groped her breasts without consent before a performance.

Wilson told the Associated Press that she and Domingo were having their makeup done together when he stood up, put his hands on her shoulders and slipped his hands under her bra straps. She claims he then reached down into her robe and grabbed her bare breast.

The singer, then 28, says she saw him grope her in the dressing room mirror, describing the incident as physically painful.

PLACIDO DOMINGO GETS STANDING OVATION AMID SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS

“It hurt. It was not gentle. He groped me hard,” she said, adding that Domingo then turned and walked away.

Wilson, now 48 and a college voice teacher in the Dallas area, is one of 11 women to come forward with allegations after an Aug. 13 Associated Press story in which numerous women accused Domingo of sexual harassment or misconduct, with some accusers claiming he’d damage their careers if they rebuffed his advances.

New accusations against the Spanish-born opera legend include allegations of unwanted touching, persistent requests for private get-togethers, late-night phone calls and attempts to kiss accusers on the lips.

Westlake Legal Group placido-domingo-angela-turner-wilson-ap Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198

Opera singer Angela Turner Wilson displays her 2000 Artist of the Year award from the Washington Opera next to a photo of herself from a 1999 performance of “Le Cid,” left, and a magazine article in a Washington Opera magazine, at her home in Texas. (AP)

Several additional backstage employees told the AP that they tried shielding Domingo’s young co-stars from him, alleging that administrators enabled his alleged misconduct.

A rep for Domingo denied the allegations.

LOS ANGELES OPERA INVESTIGATING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CLAIMS AGAINST PLACIDO DOMINGO

“The ongoing campaign by the AP to denigrate Placido Domingo is not only inaccurate but unethical. These new claims are riddled with inconsistencies and, as with the first story, in many ways, simply incorrect,” Domingo’s spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer said in a statement to the AP. “Due to an ongoing investigation, we will not comment on specifics, but we strongly dispute the misleading picture that the AP is attempting to paint of Mr. Domingo.”

Wilson told the AP that she wanted to come forward with her own allegations after Domingo’s initial response to his first accusers was to say he thought his overtures “were always welcomed and consensual … the rules and standards by which we are — and should be — measured against today are very different than they were in the past.”

Wilson was infuriated by his response.

“What woman would ever want him to grab their breast? And it hurt,” she said. “Then I had to go on stage and act like I was in love with him.”

Westlake Legal Group placido-domingo-melinda-mclain-ap Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198

Now a pastor, Melinda McLain, who was the production coordinator at LA Opera for its inaugural season in 1986-87 and also worked at the Houston Grand Opera, said that at both opera companies, she made it a point to never put Placido Domingo in a rehearsal room alone with a young female singer. (AP)

Melinda McLain, who was the production coordinator at LA Opera for its inaugural season in 1986-87 and also worked at the Houston Grand Opera with Domingo, told the AP she made it a point not to put Domingo in rehearsal rooms alone with young female singers, even if he specifically requested it, and also tried to supply him with male dressers.

LOS ANGELES OPERA WON’T DETAIL INVESTIGATION INTO PLACIDO DOMINGO ALLEGATIONS

“We created these elaborate schemes for keeping him away from particular singers,” McLain said. “I never would have sent any woman of any sort into his dressing room.”

McLain said another strategy was to invite Domingo’s wife, Marta, to attend company parties “because if Marta was around, he behaves.”

Several LA Opera costume employees alleged that Domingo’s backstage behavior was common knowledge and that management had been aware of it for years but did little to stop it. One employee said her colleagues tried to steer clear of sending women into fittings with Domingo as recently as the 2016-2017 season.

“I was told by my direct boss that they avoided sending any sort of attractive young woman into a fitting with him because of his behavior,” said one employee who requested anonymity because she is still in the opera industry and fears repercussions. She said Domingo was known for “getting too close, hugging, kissing, touching and being physically affectionate.”

Westlake Legal Group placido-domingo-wife-marta-ap Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198

In this Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019 file photo, Placido Domingo and his wife, Marta, attend a rehearsal for the opening gala of the Gerard of Sagredo Youth Forum and Sports Center in Szeged, Hungary.  (AP)

Another costume employee described narrowly avoiding a wet kiss on the lips from Domingo by turning her head at the last minute so it landed on the side of her mouth. She said she reported it to a supervisor, who told her to avoid being alone with Domingo.

PLACIDO DOMINGO CONCERTS CANCELED AMID SEX MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS

The need for women to come up with their own avoidance strategies just to get their jobs done is a classic example of a sexually hostile work environment, a key legal component of sexual harassment, experts note.

The LA Opera has hired outside counsel to investigate the allegations in the initial AP story.

Wilson was the only new accuser to speak to the AP on the record. The others requested anonymity because they still work in the industry and said they feared recriminations in a world long dominated by Domingo and other powerful men.

One established soprano said she feared not only for herself but for her husband, who also works in opera. Others spoke of wanting to protect an art form that is struggling to remain relevant in the U.S. And some said vocal support for Domingo in Europe — and skepticism of the women’s accusations — has made them more fearful of coming forward publicly.

Domingo’s sometimes brazen backstage pursuits were an open topic of discussion, according to a number of singers and others in the industry.

One former LA Opera staffer said Domingo once backed her up against a wall, grasped her hand and whispered into her ear as her male boss looked on awkwardly. Someone should have told Domingo it was inappropriate, she said, “but it shouldn’t be the girl in the hallway on a headset trying to do her job.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19225772101355 Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198

In this Nov. 5, 1994 file photo, Placido Domingo performs in the San Francisco Opera’s production of “Herodiade” in San Francisco.  (AP)

The employee said wardrobe staff had a joke about spraying female singers “with tenor spray, like bug spray, to keep the tenors off you.”

Some of the women told the AP that avoidance strategies included asking Domingo about his grandchildren to distract him and giggling awkwardly and pretending they didn’t quite understand when he asked for their phone numbers or suggested they meet somewhere.

Baritone Robert Gardner said he was surprised the star’s behavior hadn’t become public sooner “given his reputation inside the industry.”

EUROPE TAKES WAIT-AND-SEE APPROACH TO PLACIDO DOMINGO ALLEGATIONS

Gardner contacted the AP to say he witnessed Domingo’s behavior with mezzo-soprano Patricia Wulf, who previously was the only accuser willing to be identified by name. Wulf worked with Domingo and Gardner in 1998 at Washington Opera, where the legend also served as general director, and the baritone confirmed that the star persistently propositioned her.

“I saw him positioning himself and maneuvering around rehearsal rooms and in the hallway to get close to her, and she was clearly avoiding him,” Gardner said.

Wulf told the AP that Domingo would confront her night after night when they performed together with the same whispered question, uttered very close to her face: ”‘Patricia, do you have to go home tonight?’”

Westlake Legal Group placido-domingo-patricia-wulf-ap Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198

Retired opera singer Patricia Wulf told the AP that Placido Domingo would confront her night after night when they performed together with the same whispered question, uttered very close to her face: “‘Patricia, do you have to go home tonight?’” (AP)

Though she strenuously tried to avoid him, she said his pursuit seemingly had no bounds and that she feared leaving her dressing room if he was in the hallway. Though Domingo did not physically touch her, she said there was no mistaking his intentions.

Both Wulf and Angela Turner Wilson said they did not report the star’s behavior to management, fearing they wouldn’t be believed and that they would be the ones penalized.

Wilson told the AP she was aware of Domingo’s reputation by her third season at Washington Opera, but wanted to believe his interest was professional when he began to single her out in the fall of 1999. She said he would sit by her during rehearsal breaks for “Le Cid” and talk to her, telling her “I adore you, Angela.” But it soon became clear his interest was not entirely in her singing, she said.

PLACIDO DOMINGO ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

There were frequent invitations, Wilson said — to come to his apartment to watch a video of a role he wanted her to sing. To go to dinner. Just the two of them.

“I would say ‘No, maestro.’ I said that a lot. I felt like if I put ‘maestro’ on it, it would still be respectful,” she said.

“I stuck to no — ’No, I won’t meet you. No, I won’t go with you upstairs to your apartment. No, no, no.’”

Not long after performances started Oct. 30, she said he came to her dressing room and entered without knocking, saying he wanted to wish her a good show. Then, she said, he added: “I need a kiss. It’s a demanding role. I need a kiss for strength.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-eb8984744d3e4736b1b0ef1c944e3ec2 Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198

Placido Domingo listens to applause at the end of a concert in Szeged, Hungary, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.  (AP)

Wilson said she declined, again reminding him she was married, but he continued to insist.

“I remember thinking ‘I have to get to the door,’” she said. “I started to open the door and he slammed the door with his foot and his hand and kept his hand on the door and he said, ‘I need that kiss.’ And he wouldn’t let me out.”

“I said, ‘I’ll make you a deal. You can kiss my cheek’ So he kissed me on my cheek. And then he left. And it scared me so badly. I went back to my dressing table and was shaking. I remember thinking, ‘Now I’m in trouble. How am I going to manage him now?’”

STARS SHINE FOR PLACIDO DOMINGO AT LATIN GRAMMYS

For the rest of the run, she said, “I would lock my dressing room door. My dresser would tell me if he was outside. She would tell me if he was in the hall and if it was safe.”

Later in the show’s November run, Wilson said she was scheduled to have her makeup done alongside Domingo, which “I thought was strange. … Usually, big stars, especially headliners, get their makeup done in their dressing room.”

But she said was reassured by the fact that the makeup person was also present and the door to the room was open.

She said that when Domingo first placed his hands on her shoulders, it merely seemed friendly.

Westlake Legal Group Placido-Domingo-GettyImages-1155832302 Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198

Spanish tenor Placido Domingo during the 10th International Congress of Excellence organized by Madrid’s Regional Government held at Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, Spain, on July 15, 2019. (Getty)

“I didn’t think I was in jeopardy,” she said. “We were having a friendly conversation. … It just came out of nowhere. It wasn’t like he was complimenting me or seducing me or anything, where I would think I need to be on guard.”

She said that after he grabbed her breast, she cried out in pain and asked the makeup person, “Did you see that?” Reached by the AP, the makeup artist said he did not recall the incident and did not want to comment further on the record.

PLACIDO DOMINGO PERFORMS WITH POP SINGERS

She said she called her husband and her parents that night — and also the night he tried to kiss her — and all three confirmed to the AP that she was upset and in tears when she related to them what happened.

Wilson provided the AP with copies of a journal she kept at the time that notes rehearsals for “Le Cid” began Oct. 4, 1999. In an entry a month later, she wrote that Domingo “has told me several times how happy he was with my singing,” but also “he hits on me all the time.” She added, ’Please God don’t let it get any worse.”

The next season, she said she had three roles but that Domingo barely talked to her or acknowledged her.

Though she won the company’s prestigious Artist of the Year award that season, in 2000, she said the Washington Opera never again hired her, which she attributes to her interactions with Domingo.

Westlake Legal Group Placido-Domingo-iTunes Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198

Placido Domingo gives details about the opera competition Operalia at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP)

“Anybody who gets ‘singer of the year’ at that company or any company looks at it as a ticket to a relationship with that company,” she said. “It’s saying you have done good work and deserve to come back. It’s not usually a farewell.”

Her career lasted another decade before she switched mainly to teaching. She sang three seasons at the New York City Opera and at other venues around the country, including the Dallas Opera and Boston Lyric Opera. She also performed at a state dinner at the White House during the Clinton administration and at the opening of George W. Bush’s presidential library.

A number of the women who criticized Domingo’s behavior also expressed a lingering admiration for the star, calling him charismatic and generous, with a knack for remembering everyone’s name, and someone who has made indelible contributions to the industry.

Wilson said she realizes it’s hard for many among his legions of admirers to come to terms with stories of his sexually aggressive actions.

“It would be hard as a fan to justify or rationalize how somebody so charming and generous in so many ways could be this person,” she said.

Westlake Legal Group placido-domingo-ap-1 Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198

Placido Domingo acknowledges the audience after receiving the 1999 Hispanic Heritage Award at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.  (AP)

For years, Wilson said she remained silent about her experiences with Domingo “because I felt that nobody else would say anything.” But when she read the initial AP story, she said she realized something could be done.

“I know if I miss this opportunity and move on in silence, I will feel 20 times worse,” she said. “It’s a big burden to carry around through your life. And every time another #MeToo story comes out, I go into a dark place, and I’m tired of it.”

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She said she also came forward for the sake of the young women she now teaches as the chair of a university voice department.

“The music, the art, is so wonderful,” she said, “and I wish the business could at least have the integrity to give these young women a fair shot.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Placido-Domingo-GettyImages-1155832302 Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198   Westlake Legal Group Placido-Domingo-GettyImages-1155832302 Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, forced kissing by more women: 'He groped me hard' JOCELYN GECKER Jessica Sager fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8a012afa-f156-5979-b759-5227de2fd198

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Hurricane Dorian Updates: Warnings of 8-Foot Storm Surge in Carolinas

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160222683_69b37351-9bd1-4785-89ad-9667f48ac2a2-articleLarge Hurricane Dorian Updates: Warnings of 8-Foot Storm Surge in Carolinas Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

A tree was knocked down in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday as Hurricane Dorian approached the coast.CreditJohnny Milano for The New York Times

Much of the Carolina coast was being pounded by heavy rain and strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday morning, as the storm continued to creep on its parallel path north along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

The storm had strengthened to Category 3 late Wednesday night, and by Thursday morning it was about 70 miles from Charleston, S.C., according to the National Hurricane Center. Its hurricane-force winds were extending as far as 60 miles from the center, with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 195 miles.

Forecasters said storm surge waters could flood up to eight feet in some areas. Streets in Charleston were already flooding on Thursday morning with rising seas and rainfall expected to inundate parts of the city.

Though the storm’s eye has remained offshore on its move up the East Coast, the National Hurricane Center’s models now show it could possibly make landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday.

On Thursday morning, Dorian’s rain bands were whipping cities from Savannah, Ga., to Wilmington, N.C., and places along the coast could receive as much as 15 inches of rain before the storm departs. Approximately 360,000 South Carolinians have been evacuated from their homes. The storm has already knocked out power for about 200,000 customers in South Carolina, as well as 12,800 in Georgia.

Westlake Legal Group hurricane-dorian-map-promo-1566933204147-articleLarge-v374 Hurricane Dorian Updates: Warnings of 8-Foot Storm Surge in Carolinas Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

Maps: Tracking Hurricane Dorian’s Path

Maps tracking the hurricane’s path as it makes its way toward Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

The wind began howling and groaning in Charleston around 2 a.m., bending trees to its will, downing power lines and toppling trees.

As of 8 a.m., the storm was about 70 miles south-southeast of Charleston, according to the National Hurricane Center. But by daybreak, it felt as though Category 3 storm had fully presented itself.

Local TV forecasters were warning that the worst of the storm would be felt in Charleston through at least noon, and urged people to remain in their homes. Charleston County government officials ordered residents to stay off high-span bridges, given sustained winds of more than 30 miles per hour. City government posted a running online tally a running tab of flooded and impassible streets.

“Remember, TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN,” the Charleston Police tweeted.

Streets began to flood in Charleston.CreditJohnny Milano for The New York Times

Charleston has accrued deep hurricane experience in recent years, as well as deep scars — particularly from Hurricane Hugo, which hit the city hard in September 1989. At the time, computer storm tracking was not as sophisticated as it is today, and social media did not exist. Many residents were caught unprepared as the storm toppled buildings or blew them away.

Hurricane Hugo killed 35 people in South Carolina, and damaged or destroyed more than 21,000 homes statewide. According to the author Brian Hicks, it also marked a turning point in Charleston history. With many older, less steady buildings damaged beyond repair, Joe Riley, the mayor at the time, saw an opportunity with so many patches of blank canvas to fill in and helped revitalize the city.

At least two tornadoes had touched down in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Pat Dowling, the city’s public information officer, said.

One of the tornadoes was “pretty sizable,” he said, and though it damaged a couple of condominium buildings and a mobile park near the intercoastal waterway, there were no injuries and everybody was safe.

The outer bands of Hurricane Dorian were also reaching north to Wilmington, N.C., slamming the area with heavy rain and winds — and causing at least one tornado.

Dorian’s center was far away, but its tropical-storm-force winds extended nearly 200 miles from its center, and its effects could be felt in Wilmington, a port city of about 122,000 on North Carolina’s southeastern coast. The National Weather Service’s local office warned that even if the eye avoids landfall, the city would experience winds equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.

Thursday would be a day of “high risk for flash flooding in southeastern North Carolina, and we know too well that floodwaters can be deadly,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday.

On Wednesday Mr. Cooper announced that an 85-year-old man in Columbus County had died after falling off a ladder while preparing for the storm.

Wilmington is under a storm surge warning through Sunday morning, and forecasters said water could rise between four and seven feet in some areas. Many of the neighborhoods along Cape Fear River, which flows through the city toward Fayetteville, were expected to flood.

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, said a shelter at an elementary school had filled up but that two others still had room.

Wilmington is no stranger to hurricanes. Hurricane Florence dumped rain on the city and swelled its rivers in 2018, essentially cutting it off from the rest of the state. Residents lost electricity for several days.

And residents still recall the devastation from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which turned streets into rivers and took many residents by surprise.

A tree was downed by a tornado on Thursday in Wilmington, N.C.CreditAlyssa Schukar for The New York Times

A first-person account from Chris Dixon, an author and journalist.

I engaged in a grim ritual with my neighbors on Wednesday, sweating and cursing under a broiling Charleston sun while draping sheets of plywood across the windows on my house. For the fourth time since 2016, I was preparing for a hurricane: Matthew, Irma, Florence and now Dorian.

Depending on your point of view, I am lucky or unlucky enough to live on a tidal creek near Folly Beach, S.C. When hurricanes and tropical storms strafe our coast, their winds roar across the several miles of harbor and normally placid marsh that separate our neighborhood from the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse. As the tides rise, these winds pile seawater into wave-driven surge and batter the homes in my neighborhood.

Yanking a splinter from my thumb, I asked myself, Why do I live here?

I should know better. When I was young, my great-aunt Ethel told frightful tales of Hurricane Hazel’s 1954 destruction of the Carolina coast. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo upended my life by destroying my home in Surfside Beach, north of Charleston. Two years ago, I gasped as the tides from Hurricane Irma casually carried a foot of marsh into my house while sweeping tons of my yard out to sea. And last year, while covering Hurricane Florence for The New York Times, I spent many tense hours among people who were in the process of losing everything.

So why do I choose to live in this slowly drowning port city? Why endure the annual stress of possibly losing everything? Why constantly check computer models before frantically hauling everything inside, boarding up, driving for safety and then waiting for interminable hours while glued to The Weather Channel?

Because the ocean is my family’s life and my livelihood. My wife grew up in Dana Point, Calif., with the Pacific in her backyard and saltwater in her veins. I grew up in Atlanta but had the great fortune of spending my summers along this Carolina coast — sailing, fishing and, eventually, having my life taken over by surfing.

It sounds cliché, but when your entire life comes to revolve around the ocean, it becomes almost impossible to imagine living any other way. You come to define life not by the hours on the clock, but by the ebb and flow of the tides and the rhythm of the winds and swells. You become deeply enmeshed in a culture of shrimpers, crabbers, divers and surfers. You watch your kids come to revere the ocean and respect its moods and its power. You manage to make a living writing about the ocean. You catch a perfect wave from a hurricane-spawned groundswell at your local break.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 04dorian-updates01sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 Hurricane Dorian Updates: Warnings of 8-Foot Storm Surge in Carolinas Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

Now a Category 2 storm, Hurricane Dorian is slowly moving northwest, threatening the U.S. southeast coast, after leaving behind major damage in the Bahamas.CreditCreditScott McIntyre for The New York Times

The pilot was anxious to help: He had gathered generators, diapers, tuna fish and other supplies. The people living on the islands in the Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Dorian needed them, immediately.

But he wasn’t sure if there was anywhere to land.

Flying over the hardest-hit areas — the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama — the pilot saw homes turned to matchsticks and boats piled in heaps.

Harbors, supermarkets, a public hospital, airport landing strips — all had been damaged or blown to smithereens, frustrating rescue efforts.

[The Bahamas was stunned when the hurricane’s water receded.]

Hurricane Dorian, which made landfall on Sunday as a Category 5 storm and then lingered for days, not only left many residents in the most damaged islands without jobs or a place to live. It also stripped away the services required to meet their most immediate needs — like fresh water, food and medical care.

“It’s like a bomb went off, honestly,” said Julie Sands, who lives in Cherokee Sound, in the Abaco Islands.

In the Bahamas, with floodwaters receding, the trail of devastation was slowly becoming clear as residents began tallying their losses. As of Wednesday, according to Dr. Duane Sands, the minister of health, at least 20 people had been confirmed dead and the toll was expected to rise.

Westlake Legal Group bahamas-damage-hurricane-dorian-1567618513584-articleLarge-v3 Hurricane Dorian Updates: Warnings of 8-Foot Storm Surge in Carolinas Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

The Bahamas, Before and After Hurricane Dorian

Aerial images of flattened neighborhoods and a flooded airport give a first look at the large-scale damage there.

Last week the storm was inviting comparisons to Hurricane Andrew, which ripped through the Miami area as a Category 5 monster in 1992, causing widespread damage.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida declared a state of emergency last Wednesday afternoon, and advised residents to have seven days’ worth of supplies on hand. There was a run on gasoline and bottled water, and the attorney general’s office was investigating hundreds of complaints of price gouging.

[With an altered map, President Trump insisted he was right on Dorian heading toward Alabama.]

By Friday, Hurricane Dorian had become a Category 4 storm over the Atlantic Ocean with winds of 130 m.p.h., and Mr. Trump approved an emergency declaration for Florida.

In the end Florida was largely spared its wrath.

But one Florida resident had died while preparing for the storm, The Associated Press reported. A 56-year-old man who was knocked to the ground from a tree Monday evening as he trimmed limbs with a chain saw in an Orlando suburb.

The ties could not be stronger between Miami and the Bahamas, an archipelago less than 200 miles east. Bahamians settled in South Florida decades before Miami was born, building bridges and railroads and raising children who would become some of the region’s most prominent leaders. This week, their descendants, many veterans of devastating hurricanes, gathered across South Florida to lend a hand.

“When we were desperate, people came to our rescue,” said Charles Bethel, 68, a retired state juvenile justice administrator who lost his home in south Miami-Dade County to Hurricane Andrew, another Category 5 storm, in 1992. “The community pulled together. There was no sense of division. Now, we are doing the same.”

[Bahamian descendants in Miami are helping the battered nation.]

Miami owes its very beginnings to residents from there. Bahamian laborers worked in construction and agriculture, creating the city’s infrastructure and teaching white settlers unfamiliar with the tropics how to build with coral rock, till the soil and plant tropical fruit, said Marvin Dunn, a retired college professor who chronicled local history in his book “Black Miami in the Twentieth Century.”

Bahamians started to arrive in the 1880s, following an economic downturn on the islands, Dr. Dunn said. Many went to work in pineapple fields in Key West and then migrated north to Coconut Grove, which they called Kebo. Bahamians also settled in the Miami neighborhood of Overtown and in Carver Ranches, which is now part of the city of West Park, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale.

On Wednesday in Miami, volunteers gathered in houses of worship, dripping with sweat as they sorted through heavy boxes and bags. Stacks of water bottles. Heaps of diapers. Baby formula. A chain saw. So many donations came in that Christ Episcopal ran out of pallets.

Volunteers in Miami organized donations for storm victims in the Bahamas.CreditSaul Martinez for The New York Times

Reporting was contributed by Patricia Mazzei, Nick Madigan, Kirk Semple, Frances Robles, Rachel Knowles and Elisabeth Malkin.

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President Trump calls Debra Messing ‘McCarthy style racist,’ asks NBC if they’ll keep her on-air

Westlake Legal Group debra-messing-donald-trump-reuters-ap President Trump calls Debra Messing 'McCarthy style racist,' asks NBC if they'll keep her on-air Jessica Sager fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/debra-messing fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 072f87c1-4cc9-5f32-be74-bc610e908fa8

President Trump hit back at Debra Messing after she promoted an Alabama church sign that called black Trump voters mentally ill.

“Bad ‘actress’ Debra The Mess Messing is in hot water,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “She wants to create a ‘Blacklist’ of Trump supporters, & is being accused of McCarthyism. Is also being accused of being a Racist because of the terrible things she said about blacks and mental illness.”

“If Roseanne Barr said what she did, even being on a much higher rated show, she would have been thrown off television,” he continued. “Will Fake News NBC allow a McCarthy style Racist to continue? ABC fired Roseanne. Watch the double standard!”

DEBRA MESSING RESPONDS TO TRUMP TWEET WITH DEMAND FOR GUN CONTROL

‘SEINFELD’ STAR JOHN O’HURLEY SLAMS ‘WILL & GRACE’ STARS FOR ‘LUNACY’ OVER DONALD TRUMP

Trump’s tweets came after the Emmy winner apologized for tweeting about the sign — and after #RacistDebraMessing began trending on Twitter.

“NUMBER 1– I apologized for liking that church sign. I said I regret it. I shud have thought before recklessly supporting,” she tweeted Wednesday night.

“You won’t accept this but black people are targeted by Trump’s GOP for voter suppression,” she added. “Charlottesville was about Trump supporters hating POC and Jews.”

‘WILL & GRACE’ STAR CELEBRATES SIGN CALLING BLACK TRUMP VOTERS MENTALLY ILL

Trump declared after the incident that “there is blame on both sides” for the deadly violence, adding, “There are two sides to a story.”

Messing and “Will & Grace” co-star Eric McCormack ignited a media firestorm in recent days when they called for a media outlet to publish the names of people attending a fundraiser for President Trump.

Amid backlash, the two claimed they weren’t calling for a blacklist but rather wanted to bring attention to already-public information.

“I NEVER NOR WOULD I EVER call for a blacklist of anyone for any reason. The info is publicly available. I as a consumer want to know where MY … Money is going when I pay for entertainment. Just as you have the right to not watch W&G bc I don’t support Trump, I have the right to not go see (pay for) a movie with someone supporting babies in cages,” the actress said in two separate tweets on Wednesday.

SUSAN SARANDON UNFAZED BY DEBRA MESSING HATE

WHOOPI GOLDBERG DISAGREES WITH DEBRA MESSING OVER TRUMP ‘BLACKLIST’: ‘PEOPLE CAN VOTE FOR WHO THEY WANT TO’

Messing also cited the First Amendment, adding that “there is nothing threatening about asking politely for information.”

Her initial comments caught widespread attention – including a condemnation from “View” host Whoopi Goldberg – and a slight from the president himself.

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“I have not forgotten that when it was announced that I was going to do The Apprentice, and when it then became a big hit, helping NBC’s failed lineup greatly, @DebraMessing came up to me at an Upfront & profusely thanked me, even calling me ‘Sir.’ How times have changed!” he tweeted on Saturday.

Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group debra-messing-donald-trump-reuters-ap President Trump calls Debra Messing 'McCarthy style racist,' asks NBC if they'll keep her on-air Jessica Sager fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/debra-messing fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 072f87c1-4cc9-5f32-be74-bc610e908fa8   Westlake Legal Group debra-messing-donald-trump-reuters-ap President Trump calls Debra Messing 'McCarthy style racist,' asks NBC if they'll keep her on-air Jessica Sager fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/debra-messing fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 072f87c1-4cc9-5f32-be74-bc610e908fa8

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Convicted felon arrested in death of Wisconsin mom fatally shot while teaching son to drive

Police in Wisconsin have arrested the man accused of killing a Milwaukee mother over the weekend in a road rage incident when she was teaching her teenage son to drive.

Matthew Lee Wilks, 35, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon after Milwaukee police said he shot Tracey Smith in the chest after colliding with her vehicle Friday evening.

WISCONSIN MOTHER SHOT, KILLED IN FRONT OF HER SON AS SHE TAUGHT HIM TO DRIVE, REPORTS SAY

Police received a 911 call at around 5:16 p.m. over reports of a shooting on 4000 N. 51st Blvd. Just minutes later, dispatch received a second call to report the same shooting from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee.

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Wilks was previously convicted in 2008 for felony possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of cocaine.  (Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office )

Responding officers arrived at the hospital to find the victim’s son, identified only as C. Smith, who informed them that he drove his mother to the emergency room after she had been shot by another driver, later identified as Wilks.

Smith was admitted to the ER at 5:22 but was pronounced dead at 5:38 p.m. An autopsy report revealed that she had been shot in the chest, with the bullet piercing her her heart and left lung before exiting the left side of her back.

C. Smith told police his mother, a Wisconsin Department of Corrections sergeant, was teaching him to drive when the shooting took place.

TEXAS TODDLERS CRITICALLY BURNED AFTER ROAD RAGE SHOOTING SETS OFF FIREWORKS IN FAMILY TRUCK 

According to a criminal complaint, he was making a left turn onto W. Fond du Lac Ave when a gold van cut in front of him from the wrong lane, hitting the front driver’s side of their car.

Smith, a passenger in the car, got out to assess the damage. Her son  told police that was when he saw Wilks sitting in his car with the door open.

The two began to argue and Wilks was heard yelling “B—-, I’ll kill you.” He then got out of the van and fired one shot directly into Smith’s chest.

She was heard saying “He shot me.”

Video evidence from the scene led police to Wilks, who was picked out of a lineup by Smith’s son.

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Wilks was previously convicted in 2008 for felony possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of cocaine.

If convicted on the new charges, he could face up to life in prison,

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Finnish politician under ‘hate crime investigation’ for sharing Bible verse on Facebook

Police are investigating a Christian politician in Finland for an alleged “hate crime” when she shared a Bible verse on Facebook after she criticized a national church for participating in LGBT Pride events.

In the post, ex-Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen, a Christian Democrat MP, criticized the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) for participating in the Helsinki LGBT Pride events in June. Her criticism was alongside a picture of Romans 1:24-27 that describes same-sex relationships as “shameful.”

FOUNDER OF CONVERSION THERAPY ORGANIZATION COMES OUT AGAINST IT: ‘I WAS WRONG!’

Her post made Räsänen the subject of a pretrial investigation by the Finnish Police for a suspected incitement against sexual and gender minorities.

“The pre-trial investigations have not yet been completed. Police will provide more details once the investigations have been completed or presented to a prosecutor for consideration of charges,” the Helsinki Police Department officer in charge of the investigation told the Helsinki Times.

Westlake Legal Group Paivi-Rasanen-FB Finnish politician under ‘hate crime investigation’ for sharing Bible verse on Facebook fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 2153f535-c446-5889-8c6a-74be5e9d680a

Finnish Christian Democratic MP and former Minister of the Interior, Päivi Räsänen. (Facebook: Päivi Räsänen)

Räsänen, who is a member of — and married to a pastor in– the ELCF, came under fire for her June Facebook post: “How can the church’s doctrinal foundation, the Bible, be compatible with the lifting up of shame and sin as a subject of pride? #LGBT #HelsinkiPride2019.”

The vast majority, 69 percent, of Finns are members of the ELCF, which has had a steady decline over the last few years, according to Evangelical Focus.

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In mid-August, the Finnish politician tweeted: “I am not concerned on my part, as I trust this will not move on to the prosecutor. However, I am concerned if quoting the Bible is considered even ‘slightly’ illegal. I hope this won’t lead to self-censorship among Christians. Rom. 1:24–27.”

Räsänen’s minority party, the Christian Democrats, hold five seats in the 200-seat Finnish Parliament. She is known for her defense of traditional Christian views on abortion and marriage, but after being called “homophobic,” the politician tweeted: “It is not right to label Christian conviction as phobia.”

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She is one of three politicians in the nation under pretrial investigation right now, joining Social Democrat Hussein Al-Taee and Finns Party Juha Mäenpää, who are suspected of incitement due to racist comments.

A rugby chief in Australia suggested quoting certain parts of the Bible was tantamount to “hate speech” in the case involving sacked rugby star Israel Folau.

Westlake Legal Group Paivi-Rasanen-FB Finnish politician under ‘hate crime investigation’ for sharing Bible verse on Facebook fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 2153f535-c446-5889-8c6a-74be5e9d680a   Westlake Legal Group Paivi-Rasanen-FB Finnish politician under ‘hate crime investigation’ for sharing Bible verse on Facebook fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/world fnc Caleb Parke article 2153f535-c446-5889-8c6a-74be5e9d680a

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