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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 17)

Attack on Saudi Oil Facility Is Seen as Short-Term Disruption

HOUSTON — The drone attack on one of Saudi Arabia’s most important oil facilities could cripple a portion of Saudi petroleum exports for days or even weeks and send energy prices higher. But experts say that a severe shock to energy markets and the world economy is unlikely.

The attack on the Abqaiq processing facility, deep in Saudi territory, displayed the vulnerability of the kingdom to tensions in the Persian Gulf region. The country produces about 10 percent of the world’s oil supplies. The disruption could slash Saudi Arabia’s daily oil exports of 7.4 million barrels by as much as three-quarters, taking roughly 5 percent of global supplies off the market, unless the facility is quickly repaired.

The attack also raised the possibility of further disruptions in Saudi Arabia’s oil production if there were additional attacks on its fields and pipelines.

The planned initial public offering of the kingdom’s national oil company, Saudi Aramco, could also be hurt if international investors doubt Saudi Arabia’s ability to defend its vital energy infrastructure.

But as luck would have it, the attack came as global oil stockpiles were higher than usual, several producing countries have ample spare capacity and American oil facilities have so far been spared from a damaging hurricane season. Meanwhile, a slowing global economy has moderated energy demand.

“We do not expect an immediate disruption on global oil trade, since many nations, including the U.S., have ample crude oil in storage,” said Manish Raj, chief financial officer of Velandera Energy Partners, a Louisiana oil exploration and production company. “The Saudis themselves have enough storage to meet their export obligation for the next 60 days. Therefore, we expect no supply-demand imbalance in the near term.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159952797_41a4ceb5-81a4-47f6-a28f-15c277b3a2d8-articleLarge Attack on Saudi Oil Facility Is Seen as Short-Term Disruption Saudi Aramco Production Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline natural gas International Trade and World Market International Energy Agency Initial Public Offerings Energy Department Energy and Power Embargoes and Sanctions Drilling and Boring

A gas station in West Palm Beach, Fla. in August. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States was $2.57 on Sunday, 28 cents below a year ago.CreditSaul Martinez for The New York Times

The main uncertainty is how long will it take for the Saudis to repair the Abqaiq facility, which separates gas from oil from several important oil fields. While the fire was put out quickly, the Saudis may not know the answer for days since the facility is large and has complex equipment that still needs to be tested.

Should the damage be fixed quickly, Eurasia Group, a risk consulting firm, estimates that oil prices could rise a modest $2 to $3 a barrel, which would still leave the global benchmark Brent crude below $65 a barrel, relatively low by recent historical standards. The firm estimated that a more long-lasting disruption could mean an increase of $10 a barrel, though that would still leave prices several dollars below where they were a year ago.

Other analysts took a dimmer view, even as Saudi Aramco said on Sunday that repairs were already underway.

“The problem is that the attack is so significant, “ said Bill Farren-Price a director at RS Energy Group, a market research firm. “It demonstrates that one of the best regional oil companies has difficulties defending itself from this new style of threat. That theme is going to endure. “

There are doubts the Saudis will be able to maintain their usual exports and satisfy domestic consumption.

“Export volumes will be severely impacted,” Clay Seigle, an analyst at Genscape, a market research firm, said in an email. “The market will be left with a thinner cushion against additional supply disruptions, and traders will bid prices higher as a result.”

Brazil’s state-run Petrobras oil company in Brasilia. The United States has been ramping up oil production as gave other countries, including Norway and Brazil.CreditUeslei Marcelino/Reuters

How the other countries in the Saudi-led OPEC will respond is not yet clear. In a phone conversation, an official with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said that the Saudis had so far not shared information about the extent of the damage and when output might be restored. He also said that OPEC had not yet begun discussions on potentially loosening supplies. “We have to see how the market reacts tomorrow,” the official said.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States was $2.57 on Sunday, 28 cents lower than a year ago. That decline has been a boon to consumers, giving them extra spending power that has helped retailers and restaurants. An increase in prices to last year’s levels is possible over the next few weeks unless the Saudi facility is quickly fixed, energy analysts said.

Only a decade ago, the attack would probably have sent oil prices soaring. But that was before American oil production climbed with the shale drilling frenzy. The United States now produces roughly 12.1 million barrels a day, double what it produced in 2012 and 1.4 million barrels more than only a year ago.

The United States imports about 630,000 barrels of Saudi oil a day, down about half from 2017.

American oil companies have recently been cutting back on production, but higher oil prices would encourage them to produce more. At the same time, several pipelines to the Gulf Coast are nearing completion and that could stimulate significant export growth over the next six to 10 months.

Other oil-producing countries are also ramping up production, including Norway and Brazil, while Iraq, Nigeria and Russia have been producing a total of 650,000 barrels of oil above the levels agreed to with their OPEC partners.

The United States and other developed countries have nearly 3 billion barrels in stockpiles, according to the International Energy Agency, enough to take care of about two months of demand. That is about 50 million barrels above a year ago, despite American sanctions on Iran and Venezuela that have constricted their exports.

Participants on Thursday at an OPEC meetng in Abu Dhabi, where producers appeared ready to call for even tighter adherence to the production cuts they have maintained for almost three years. But that was before the attack this weekend.CreditKarim Sahib/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The stockpiles of the industrialized countries are at their highest level since September 2017, and are nearly 20 million barrels above the average of the last five years, according to the energy agency.

“For now, markets are well-supplied with ample commercial stocks, “ the agency said in a statement on Saturday, adding that it was “monitoring” the Saudi situation.

Saudi Arabia has roughly 27 days of supply stockpiled, according to S&P Global Platts, a provider of energy information. That stockpile is stored not only in the kingdom but also Egypt, Japan and the Netherlands for added security.

The developed countries and China have sizable strategic reserves as well in cases of emergency, although stockpiles have been declining in the United States and Europe in recent weeks.

Until this weekend, OPEC has been more concerned about oversupply than shortages. As recently as Thursday, oil officials from OPEC, Russia and other producers met in Abu Dhabi and appeared to call for even tighter adherence to the production cuts they have maintained for almost three years. Those cuts were aimed at propping up prices and keeping the market from being swamped by oil.

The United States alone has as much as 713 million barrels in its strategic reserve, and administration officials are already talking about releasing some oil on the market to tamp down any gasoline price increase.

“Our Department of Energy stands ready to tap into the Strategic Reserve if we must to stabilize the global energy supply,” Kellyanne Conway, the White House counselor, said on Fox News Sunday. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has already instructed his department to work with the International Energy Agency to coordinate possible releases from the reserves.

Such releases have had a powerful psychological effect on oil markets since the reserve was established after the oil embargoes of the 1970s. It has been drawn only occasionally, including during the first Persian Gulf war in 1991, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and during the Arab Spring in 2011, when Libyan exports were halted.

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Real-Time Surveillance Will Test the British Tolerance for Cameras

CARDIFF, Wales — A few hours before a recent Wales-Ireland rugby match in Cardiff, amid throngs of fans dressed in team colors of red and green, and sidewalk merchants selling scarves and flags, police officers popped out of a white van.

The officers stopped a man carrying a large Starbucks coffee, asked him a series of questions and then arrested him. A camera attached to the van had captured his image, and facial recognition technology used by the city identified him as someone wanted on suspicion of assault.

The presence of the cameras, and the local police’s use of the software, is at the center of a debate in Britain that’s testing the country’s longstanding acceptance of surveillance.

Britain has traditionally sacrificed privacy more than other Western democracies, mostly in the name of security. The government’s use of thousands of closed-circuit cameras and its ability to monitor digital communications have been influenced by domestic bombings during years of conflict involving Northern Ireland and attacks since Sept. 11, 2001.

But now a new generation of cameras is beginning to be used. Like the one perched on the top of the Cardiff police van, these cameras feed into facial recognition software, enabling real-time identity checks — raising new concerns among public officials, civil society groups and citizens. Some members of Parliament have called for a moratorium on the use of facial recognition software. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said there was “serious and widespread concern” about the technology. Britain’s top privacy regulator, Elizabeth Denham, is investigating its use by the police and private businesses.

And this month, in a case that has been closely watched because there is little legal precedent in the country on the use of facial recognition, a British High Court ruled against a man from Cardiff, the capital of Wales, who sued to end the use of facial recognition by the South Wales Police. The man, Ed Bridges, said the police had violated his privacy and human rights by scanning his face without consent on at least two occasions — once when he was shopping, and again when he attended a political rally. He has vowed to appeal the decision.

“Technology is driving forward, and legislation and regulation follows ever so slowly behind,” said Tony Porter, Britain’s surveillance camera commissioner, who oversees compliance with the country’s surveillance camera code of practice. “It would be wrong for me to suggest the balance is right.”

Britain’s experience mirrors debates about the technology in the United States and elsewhere in Europe. Critics say the technology is an intrusion of privacy, akin to constant identification checks of an unsuspecting public, and has questionable accuracy, particularly at identifying people who aren’t white men.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160144890_51d99fe5-4687-417a-abbd-c3115b9bcfb3-articleLarge Real-Time Surveillance Will Test the British Tolerance for Cameras Surveillance of Citizens by Government Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Privacy Politics and Government London (England) Great Britain facial recognition software Computer Vision Cardiff (Wales) cameras

A Cardiff man who sued to end the use of facial recognition by the South Wales Police lost a ruling by the British High Court this month. CreditFrancesca Jones for The New York Times

In May, San Francisco became the first American city to ban the technology, and some other cities have followed. Some members of Congress want to limit its use across the United States, with Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, comparing the technology to George Orwell’s “1984” and a threat to free speech and privacy. A school in Sweden was fined after using facial recognition to keep attendance. The European Commission is considering new restrictions.

Britain’s use of facial recognition technology is nowhere close to as widespread as that used in China, where the government uses it in a variety of ways, including to track ethnic Muslims in the country’s western region. Opponents of the software say its use in a democratic country needs to be more carefully considered, not left to the police to determine.

But the British public has already grown accustomed to the use of surveillance cameras. The roughly 420,000 closed-circuit television cameras in London are more than in any other city except Beijing, equaling about 48 cameras per 1,000 people, more than Beijing, according to a 2017 report by the Brookings Institution. A recent government poll showed a mixed reaction to facial recognition, with about half of the people surveyed supporting its use if certain privacy safeguards were in place.

The South Wales police have arrested 58 people using facial recognition technology since 2017.CreditFrancesca Jones for The New York Times

The Metropolitan Police Service in London tested facial recognition technology 10 times from 2016 until July of this year. Officers were often stationed in a control center near the cameras monitoring computers with a real-time feed of what was being recorded. The system sent an alert when it had identified a person who matched someone on the watch list. If officers agreed it was a match, they would radio to police officers on the street to pick up the person.

During one deployment near a subway station in London, officers detained a person intentionally seeking to obscure his face from the cameras to avoid detection. He was released after being ordered to pay a fine. In other instances, researchers found that the system flagged people who had been wanted for a past crime that had already been dealt with by the legal system.

Daragh Murray, a researcher at Essex University who spent time observing the use of facial recognition technology by the London police, said officials discussed integrating the technology in cameras around the city, including on buses.

“They were seeing it as the first step in a much bigger deployment,” said Mr. Murray, who published a 128-page report in July on use of the technology in London. He added, “The potential for really invasive technology is very high, but it can also be incredibly useful under certain circumstances.”

The technology has been most widely used by the South Wales Police after it received funding for systems from the Home Office, the agency that oversees domestic security across Britain. The police force uses the cameras about twice per month at large events like the Wales-Ireland rugby match, which was held at a stadium that fits more than 70,000 fans. At the national air show in July, more than 21,000 faces were scanned, according to the police. The system identified seven people from a watch list — four incorrectly.

Stephen Williams, who volunteers for the Socialist Party in Cardiff, said police vans with facial recognition cameras were now frequent sights at busy events.CreditFrancesca Jones for The New York Times

In Cardiff, the largest city in Wales, vans carrying facial recognition cameras have become a common sight over the past year. On game days, the vehicles have taken the place of vans the police used to detain fans causing trouble, said Stephen Williams, 57, who volunteers for the Socialist Party at a table nearby. “On most occasions, if it’s a busy event, you’ll see a van there,” he said.

The South Wales Police said the technology was necessary to make up for years of budget cuts by the central government. “We are having to do more with less,” said Alun Michael, the South Wales police and crime commissioner. He said the technology was “no different than a police officer standing on the corner looking out for individuals and if he recognizes somebody, saying, ‘I want to talk to you.’”

The police said that since 2017, 58 people had been arrested after being identified by the technology.

New questions are being raised about facial recognition’s use extending beyond the police to private companies. This month, after a report was published by the Financial Times, a large London property developer acknowledged that it used the technology at Kings Cross, a commercial and transit hub.

Critics say there has been a lack of transparency about the technology’s use, particularly about the creation of watch lists, which are considered the backbone of the technology because they determine which faces a camera system is hunting for. In tests in Britain, the police often programmed the system to look for a few thousand wanted people, according to a research paper published in July. But the potential could be far greater: Another government report said that as of July 2016, there were over 16 million images of people who had been taken into custody in the country’s Police National Database that could be searchable with facial recognition software.

Critics of the technology in Britain say there is little transparency about its use, particularly about the creation of watch lists of wanted individuals.CreditFrancesca Jones for The New York Times

Silkie Carlo, the executive director of Big Brother Watch, a British privacy group calling for a ban on the technology’s use, said the murky way watch lists were created showed that police departments and private companies, not elected officials, were making public policy about the use of facial recognition.

“We’ve skipped some real fundamental steps in the debate,” Ms. Carlo said. “Policymakers have arrived so late in the discussion and don’t fully understand the implications and the big picture.”

Sandra Wachter, an associate professor at Oxford University who focuses on technology ethics, said that even if the technology could be proven to identify wanted people accurately, laws were needed to specify when the technology could be used, how watch lists were created and shared, and the length of time images could be stored.

“We still need rules around accountability,” she said, “which right now I don’t think we really do.”

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Brett Kavanaugh was already unpopular with voters. The new allegation could reignite opposition.

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Calls for Justice Kavanaugh’s impeachment are mounting. Here’s how it could work.

Westlake Legal Group XDiRVryhmvjntm9gEEOD2DOdtLmYr-2cO8mqzr_nd6E Calls for Justice Kavanaugh’s impeachment are mounting. Here’s how it could work. r/politics

Would love to see Boof Beer Boy go away if the Senate flips. (If for no other reason than revenge for Garland.)

The Senate wouldn’t just need to flip; it would need to flip to a Democratic super-majority. That would require Democrats to win all of next November’s races except four, which is so far beyond realistic that you probably couldn’t even get odds from a Las Vegas bookie. On top of that you’d need all of those new Democrats to vote to convict on impeachment, for something without concrete proof, that happened decades before his tenure on the SC began. Had the FBI completed a thorough investigation and found the allegations credible, that might have been enough to change a couple of GOP votes and kept him off the court, which of course is why it didn’t happen. Impeachment, however, is an almost impossibly high bar politically, and anything short of an actual felony criminal indictment won’t come close to that bar now. The impeachment talk, to quote the Bard, is all “sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

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Trump talks with Democratic leaders as pressure mounts for gun control legislation

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Trump talks with Democratic leaders as pressure mounts for gun control legislation

President Donald Trump says there are “a lot of things under discussion,” on background gun checks, including some things that will never happen and other things that might. “It’s really ‘Gun Sense,’ if you think about it,” Trump said. (Sept. 11) AP

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump talked on the phone with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Sunday morning as pressure mounted for Congress to act on gun control. 

In a statement released Sunday afternoon, Schumer and Pelosi said they told Trump that any gun control package that did not include the background check legislation passed earlier this year by the House would “not get the job done.” 

“This morning, we made it clear to the president that any proposal he endorses that does not include the House-passed universal background checks legislation will not get the job done, as dangerous loopholes will still exist and people who shouldn’t have guns will still have access,” they wrote in a statement. 

They promised Trump a “historic signing ceremony at the Rose Garden” if he endorsed the legislation and had Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell act on the legislation. 

McConnell has previously said he would only bring gun legislation to a vote if Trump would sign the bill into law, though it has been unclear exactly what proposals Trump supports. 

Trump has gone back and forth on his support for background checks and other gun control measures. 

“I have an appetite for background checks,” Trump said from the White House South Lawn as he departed for an event in Louisville, Kentucky at the end of August. “We’re going to be doing background checks. … We’re going to be filling in some of the loopholes.”

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said that “there are a number of pieces of legislation the president is considering” but did not give any details. 

More: ‘We’d like to know where the president is’: GOP leaders meet with Trump as pressure mounts on gun legislation

More: After Texas shooting, McConnell says gun control legislation is up to Trump to decide

More: Trump reverses again on gun background checks, says he backs them and never told NRA otherwise

Later Sunday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere released a statement confirming that the call took place, though he said Trump made “no commitments on H.R. 8,” the universal background check bill backed by Democrats.

“The conversation was cordial. The President made no commitments on H.R. 8, but instead indicated his interest in working to find a bipartisan legislative solution on appropriate responses to the issue of mass gun violence. The President reiterated his commitment for his administration to continue work on these issues.”

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/09/15/donald-trump-pelosi-and-schumer-discuss-gun-control-measures/2336452001/

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Bernie Sanders Campaign Shakes Up New Hampshire Operation

Westlake Legal Group 15sanders-nh-facebookJumbo Bernie Sanders Campaign Shakes Up New Hampshire Operation Shakir, Faiz (1980- ) Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 New Hampshire

Senator Bernie Sanders has overhauled his New Hampshire state operations, as his campaign fights to maintain support in a state he won by more than 22 percentage points in 2016.

In a series of moves, the campaign has replaced the New Hampshire state director, Joe Caiazzo, with Shannon Jackson, who is deeply enmeshed in Mr. Sanders’s inner circle and who led the senator’s re-election campaign in Vermont last year. Mr. Caiazzo, who was Mr. Sanders’s political director in Massachusetts and Rhode Island during the 2016 campaign, has been named state director in Massachusetts.

The moves were announced to the campaign’s New Hampshire staff on Sunday.

“We feel really good about where we stand in New Hampshire right now,” said Faiz Shakir, the Sanders campaign manager. “The poll numbers, the volunteer capacity, the crowds that we have been getting at these events all suggest to us that we are in a very good position.”

He added: “Obviously, much work to do to continue that trend.”

The Sanders campaign also recently shook up its top leadership, promoting both Ari Rabin-Havt, the chief of staff, and Arianna Jones, the communications director, to the position of deputy campaign manager and bringing on a new senior communications adviser.

Mr. Sanders’s campaign said the moves in New Hampshire and elsewhere are an attempt to expand his operations and organize supporters in the northeast as they look beyond the early states toward Super Tuesday, when several other New England states, including Senator Elizabeth Warren’s state of Massachusetts, will vote. The campaign recently hired a Maine state director, Ben Collings, a member of the Maine Legislature who ran Maine for Mr. Sanders’s 2016 campaign.

“This campaign is building up and spreading out over the next few months,” Mr. Shakir said.

But Mr. Sanders’s decision to shake up his campaign in first-in-the-nation New Hampshire, a state he almost certainly must win to have a chance at the nomination, underscores the challenges he faces in recreating the formula from his landslide victory there against Hillary Clinton.

Without the same mix of New Hampshire’s anti-establishment and progressive voters all to himself this time, he has fallen into the 20s in most polls, bunched up with Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Ms. Warren at the top of the surveys in the state.

The rise of Ms. Warren, in particular, has created difficulties for Mr. Sanders because, like him, she is from a neighboring state and, also like him, appeals to much of the party’s left. Potentially even more threatening, she represents a new alternative for the voters who were mostly aligned with Mr. Sanders in 2016 to oppose Mrs. Clinton.

What gets less attention, but which some New Hampshire Democrats say helps explain Mr. Sanders’s challenges there, are the long shot candidates: Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Marianne Williamson, the best-selling self-help author, are drawing attention from the sort of avant-garde voters who had no such alternative options last cycle other than the Vermont senator.

New Hampshire Democrats said Mr. Caiazzo, who grew up in Massachusetts and last year ran the re-election campaign of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, was a traditional party operative and always something of an unusual fit for Mr. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist whose campaign is about upending the establishment.

And increasingly, Mr. Sanders, in New Hampshire and beyond, is focused less on winning over traditional Democratic activists than he is in mobilizing volunteers as well as new supporters, particularly individuals who have not participated in past primaries, including independents and disaffected Republicans. New Hampshire Democrats also believe that Mr. Sanders did not have the sort of organization befitting the candidate who had won the state so overwhelmingly three years ago.

Mr. Jackson, who was previously the Sanders campaign’s northeast regional director, has worked with Mr. Sanders for years, including in his senate office in Burlington, Vt. He also helped start Our Revolution, the senator’s political advocacy group.

In a statement, Mr. Jackson said he was “honored to be taking on a more direct role in this critically important state” and praised the team there.

The campaign said it had recently added a campus outreach director and labor outreach director in New Hampshire as well.

Glenn Thrush contributed reporting.

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Boeing Board to Call for Safety Changes After 737 Max Crashes

For the past five months, a small committee of Boeing’s board has been interviewing company employees, safety experts and executives at other industrial organizations in an attempt to understand how the aerospace giant could design and build safer airplanes.

The committee is expected to deliver its findings to the full Boeing board this week, and call for several meaningful changes to the way the company is structured, according to three people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the report has not yet been submitted.

The recommendations will include that Boeing change aspects of its organizational structure, calling for the creation of new groups focused on safety and encouraging the company to consider making changes to the cockpits of future airplanes to accommodate a new generation of pilots, some of whom may have less training.

Though the committee did not investigate the two crashes of Boeing’s 737 Max jet, their findings represent the company’s most direct effort yet to reform its internal processes after the accidents, which killed 346 people.

One of the report’s most significant findings concerns the reporting structure for engineers at the company. At Boeing, top engineers report primarily to the business leaders for each airplane model, and secondarily to the company’s chief engineer.

Under this model, engineers who identify problems that might slow a jet’s development could face resistance from executives whose jobs revolve around meeting production deadlines. The committee recommends flipping the reporting lines, so that top engineers report primarily to Boeing’s chief engineer, and secondarily to business unit leaders.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160562211_89c73137-c246-4ae4-aeb7-ddbc5577fa8b-articleLarge Boeing Board to Call for Safety Changes After 737 Max Crashes Muilenburg, Dennis A Federal Aviation Administration DeFazio, Peter A Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The two Boeing crashes killed 346 people.CreditJose Luis Magana/Associated Press

Another key recommendation calls for establishing a new safety group that will work across the company. The committee examined the process by which Boeing employees conduct certification work on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration, known as Organization Designation Authorization, as well as an internal company framework known as the Boeing Safety Management System.

Boeing has more than 100,000 employees and, like many large companies, at times struggles with information flow. In particular, there has been inadequate communication within the engineering department, and from Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, based in the Seattle area, to Boeing corporate offices in Chicago.

The new safety group will work to ensure that the company’s various efforts have adequate independence and are working together and sharing information effectively. The new group will report to senior Boeing leadership, as well as to a new permanent committee on the board focused on aerospace safety.

A third major recommendation involves how Boeing approaches the design of future airplanes. Though the Max crashes were triggered by the malfunction of a new system on the planes, there is a simmering debate concerning whether the pilots responded appropriately, and whether the Lion Air plane that crashed off Indonesia last October should have been flying at all because of maintenance problems.

Training levels can vary by country. The first officer of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed in March, was relatively inexperienced, with just over 200 hours flying 737s.

The board committee is expected to recommend that Boeing re-examine cockpit design and operation to ensure that new Boeing planes are accessible for the next generation of pilots, including those with less training.

Boeing’s chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, established the committee in April, calling on it to review “companywide policies and processes for the design and development of the airplanes we build.” The group included four Boeing directors familiar with complex industrial systems, as well as highly regulated industries.

Top Boeing engineers report to both the company’s chief engineer and to the business side, something an internal review is expected to recommend be changed.CreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

Admiral Edmund Giambastiani Jr., a former nuclear submarine officer and the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was the committee chairman. The other members were Lynn Good, the chief executive of Duke Energy and a board member of the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations; Edward Liddy, the former chief executive of the insurance company Allstate; and Robert Bradway, the chief executive of Amgen, a pharmaceuticals company.

To conduct its review, the committee interviewed dozens of Boeing employees about their work. The committee also hired independent safety experts who had experience with industrial accidents including the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Columbia space shuttle disaster and the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. Among the experts was Sean O’Keefe, the former NASA administrator.

Additionally, the committee consulted with officials from NASA, General Electric, Duke Energy and military leaders who had experience dealing with accidents and their aftermaths.

The Max remains grounded six months after the second crash, though the F.A.A. may allow the planes to fly again by the end of the year, according to several people familiar with the process. Some international regulators are likely to take longer, however, signaling a rift in the global aviation community.

This month, Patrick Ky, the head of the European Aviation Safety Agency, suggested that when the F.A.A. deemed the Max safe to fly again, his agency was unlikely to do so at the same time.

“The F.A.A. is in a very difficult situation,” Mr. Ky said during an appearance at European Parliament. “When they say this is good to go, it’s very likely that international authorities will want a second opinion.”

Even as the F.A.A. is working with Boeing to return the Max to service, the regulator itself is facing scrutiny. A multiagency task force reviewing the certification of the Max is also expected to submit its report this month, and is likely to recommend changes to the way the F.A.A. oversees airplane manufacturers like Boeing, according to people briefed on the effort who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the review is incomplete.

Chris Hart, the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, is leading a task force reviewing how the Max was certified.CreditCliff Owen/Associated Press

The group, known as the Joint Authorities Technical Review, is led by Chris Hart, the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, and includes representatives from NASA, the F.A.A. and international regulators. The report is expected to include about a dozen recommendations, with a focus on improving transparency in the certification process.

Frustration with Boeing is mounting on Capitol Hill. Representative Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, said in an interview that he invited Boeing to testify at a House hearing, but the company declined.

“Next time, it won’t just be an invitation, if necessary,” Mr. DeFazio said.

Congressional investigators are combing through tens of thousands of internal Boeing documents, looking for potential flaws in the Max’s development and certification.

“We’ve got massive amounts of documents from Boeing,” Mr. DeFazio said. “But they have otherwise been not particularly cooperative.”

The F.A.A. and international regulators are similarly frustrated with Boeing, a sentiment that became apparent at a meeting last month.

In August, Boeing met with officials from the F.A.A. and other global aviation agencies to brief them on its efforts to complete fixes on the Max. Regulators asked detailed questions about adjustments to the Max’s flight control computers, which the Boeing representatives there were not prepared to answer.

Instead, the company representatives began to display a PowerPoint presentation on their efforts, according to people briefed on the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it was not public.

At that point, the regulators ended the meeting. Weeks later, Boeing has still not answered all their questions.

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Opinion: Antonio Brown's featured role in debut reveals Patriots' shamelessness

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Opinion: Antonio Brown's featured role in debut reveals Patriots' shamelessness

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots show no sign of a conscience and even less care for decorum.

Not that we didn’t already know this, what with Deflategate, the practice spies and those visitor headsets that always seem to malfunction in Foxborough. But Belichick’s prominent use of Antonio Brown on Sunday left no doubt where his moral compass points: straight up, by way of his middle finger.

Anyone who was uncomfortable with the optics of Brown playing — and in a significant role, tied for a team-high four catches — five days after his former trainer sued him while alleging sexual assault and rape, well, that’s not Belichick and the Patriots’ problem. Winning is all the matters, the 43-0 final score against the Miami Dolphins justifying any means. 

It was easy, and understandable, to say the NFL should have put Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list after Britney Taylor filed her lawsuit Tuesday night. The NFL’s disregard for women is as consistent as it is disappointing, and the idea of the league giving yet another player yet another pass is infuriating.

But that view was also uninformed. A player can only be placed on the exempt list if there are criminal charges, which there aren’t in this case, or “when an investigation leads the commissioner to believe that a player might have violated this policy.”

That wording is key.

The NFL hasn’t even had the chance to talk with Taylor yet. There are no videos or photos to corroborate her claims, and the text messages cited in the lawsuit, while disturbing and not a good reflection on Brown, have not been authenticated publicly.

That doesn’t mean Taylor’s claims are without merit, and it doesn’t mean Brown is in the clear. It means the investigation is still in its infancy, which left the NFL little choice but to allow Brown to play against the Dolphins.

The Patriots were a different story, however. They easily could have made Brown inactive, claiming he hadn’t had enough time to learn the offense. If they didn’t want to do that, they could have made him a non-factor, using him sparingly and not calling plays for him. It’s not as if they needed him, either. The Dolphins are so hapless they can barely call themselves an NFL team, and New England could have left half its team home and still won. Handily.

That isn’t the “Patriot way,” however. New England made Brown a prominent part of its game plan for the same reason it signed him after his brief but incendiary circus act in Oakland: Because it can, and because Belichick wants to remind everyone that he’s the smartest guy in the room.

NFL Network reported before the game that Patriots owner Robert Kraft never would have signed off on Brown’s acquisition if the team had known about Taylor’s allegations. But it’s easy to say that now, and Kraft’s offended sensibilities fall flat in light of what the Patriots actually did.

On the second play of the game, there was Brown, trotting onto the field to a mixture of boos and cheers. (In fairness, it was hard to tell what was being directed at whom, given all the New England fans at the stadium and the Dolphins’ general ineptitude.)

Seconds later, Tom Brady found Brown for an 18-yard gain up the middle.

New England had four pass plays in that first scoring drive, and Brown was the recipient of three of them. On the fourth, a Brady incompletion, Brown drew a defensive holding call on Minkah Fitzpatrick.

On New England’s third possession, after a heavy dose of run plays, Brady let loose, finding Brown for the 20-yard touchdown. Brown celebrated by jumping into the stands, Lambeau Leap-style, though he misjudged and fell all the way into the seats.

No matter, as a couple of Patriots fans gave him a boost back up. When Brown returned to the field, he got another boost, this one in the form of a big hug from Brady in full view of the cameras.

Brown wasn’t much of a factor the rest of the game, but it hardly mattered because the message had already been sent.

The Patriots will do what they want with who they want. There are no rights or wrongs for them, only wins.

Follow Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.

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‘Leaving Neverland’ Director Rips Dave Chappelle’s ‘Revolting’ Jokes About Jackson Accusers

Westlake Legal Group 5d7e8955240000c92b7b2c3e ‘Leaving Neverland’ Director Rips Dave Chappelle’s ‘Revolting’ Jokes About Jackson Accusers

Leaving Neverland” director Dan Reed, who took home a Creative Arts Emmy on Saturday for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, denounced comedian Dave Chappelle’s jokes about Michael Jackson’s accusers, calling them sickening.

“Chappelle is riding on a wave of being contrarian, being controversial, and think this, to me, was revolting,” he said during an interview backstage after the awards ceremony. “I felt physically sick listening to what he was saying.”

In Chappelle’s stand-up special, “Sticks and Stones,” which made its Netflix debut this month, he refers to those who accused the late pop star of molestation as “motherfuckers,” stating, “I do not believe them.”

The remarks elicited cheers and applause from his audience.

Continuing, Chappelle shrugged his shoulders when acknowledging that the sexual assault allegations could be true, adding, “I know more than half the people in this room have been molested in their lives, but it wasn’t no goddamn Michael Jackson, was it?”

Though the crowd laughed, Reed, whose documentary shed light on the stories of two men who claim to have been assaulted by Jackson as children, didn’t find it humorous.

“You can make comedy out of so many other things,” he said. “Why not do something brave instead of crapping on some victim of child rape?”

Chappelle’s latest routine has faced backlash for its tone-deaf and racist jokes, some of which targeted women, Asians and the LGBTQ community.

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Daniel Turner: Ocasio-Cortez says climate change may drown Miami – As usual, she’s laughably wrong

Westlake Legal Group AOC-AP Daniel Turner: Ocasio-Cortez says climate change may drown Miami – As usual, she’s laughably wrong fox-news/us/environment fox-news/us/energy fox-news/topic/green-new-deal fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Turner article 746bd8db-2c38-5eee-8856-403fbe81a367

In the old European folktale, Chicken Little went into a panic and started screaming “The sky is falling, the sky is falling” to all the animals she could find, warning that the world was coming to an end. In real life today, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is panicking and telling us the oceans are rising and the end of the world is near because of climate change.

Both warnings of doom and gloom are equally melodramatic and overwrought.

Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. – who pretends she’s an expert on climate, energy and the superiority of her beloved socialism – has been receiving a lot of criticism for her statement last week claiming that because of climate change, Miami may not exist in a few years.


Speaking at an NAACP forum to drum up support of her radical multitrillion-dollar Green New Deal that would bring economic disaster to the U.S., the freshman congresswoman said:

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“What is not realistic is not responding to the crisis – not responding with a solution on the scale of the crisis. …Because what’s not realistic is Miami not existing in a few years. That’s not realistic. So, we need to be realistic about the problem.”

That’s a lot of nots. Or not.

To lose Miami or not to lose Miami, that is the question.

Well, my advice to the good people of Miami and their friends and relatives in other parts of the country is to take what Ocasio-Cortez says with a grain – make that a ton – of salt. She has absolutely no idea what she is talking about.

Keep in mind that Ocasio-Cortez said not too long ago that the world would become unlivable in 12 years unless we made massive changes – including some that are scientifically impossible – to all our energy choices and the way we live our lives. When her prediction of the end of the world drew ridicule, she backpedaled and said she was only being sarcastic.

Sure she was.

Statements like those by Ocasio-Cortez make the climate change crusade looks as hyperbolic and devoid of science as many know it is. Even people without advanced degrees in climatology or geology (like AOC herself) know her absurd statements are demonstrably untrue. A few years is a relatively short period of time, and for her statement to be even remotely true, we would need to see evidence of rising waters every single day.

How will Miami, or all coastal cities, succumb to the seas? Will it be a slow encroachment – a constant rise of tides that every day inch higher and higher? Because if that’s the case the locals should be able to observe tomorrow, or next week, something measurably different in their coastal surroundings than they do today.

Or will Miami be flooded like it was in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” in which a giant wave washes over the city? If this happens, where would the wave originate?  It must be from the melting ice caps, something we hear about constantly, right?

Don’t bet on it.

It’s been 10 years since former Vice President Al Gore said on this video: “… some of the models suggest … that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during summer, during some of the summer months, could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years.”

Earlier this month a group of climate change activists en route to document the vanishing ice needed to be rescued halfway between the North Pole and Norway. Their boat, the Malmo, got stuck in ice.

There is another way to create such giant waves: King Triton can generate them. For those of you not familiar with his majesty, he is the king of the seas in the Disney cartoon “The Little Mermaid.” The cartoon came out in 1989 – the same year Ocasio-Cortez was born. Perhaps the congresswoman can subpoena King Triton to testify before Congress.

According to Ocasio-Cortez – and many other Democrats, including some presidential candidates –  climate change is the most important issue facing us today and no sacrifice is too great and no program too costly to fight it. It is the equivalent of an earlier generation’s fight in World War II – or maybe even bigger.

I have to disagree.

Last year in America more than 70,000 people died of opioid overdoses. Every night more than 500,000 homeless people sleep on our nation’s streets. Each day 20 of our military veterans and active-duty military service members commit suicide on average – maybe one of them while you are reading this.

None of these issues is granted the same soaring rhetoric of moral consequence as climate change, let alone hours of televised presidential town halls like the recent seven-hour marathon on CNN.

And while there are real human, material and moral needs in America, there is also much to celebrate, especially in an industry that is repeatedly and willfully maligned by the left-wing climate warriors: the fossil fuel industry.


Last year New Mexico had a budget surplus of $1.2 billion, thanks to oil and gas revenue. When leftists clamor for funding programs to benefit children, the poor, migrants and other groups, this is where the money comes from. Employment in this field continues to grow at 1.7 percent and most of these jobs do not require expensive four-year college degrees.

All this while carbon dioxide emissions – the very “pollutants” that give climate activists nightmares – continue to decrease. I don’t see anyone applauding this.

Saying Miami will be gone in a few years is a silly comment that deserves criticism. But more so, the effort to brand climate change a moral crisis worthy of bankrupting our economy and eliminating the jobs of millions of Americans needs to stop.


The fossil fuel industry is not America’s enemy, and political leaders like AOC should either temper their words or reject the very oil, gas, coal, electricity, plastic, and inexpensive food and material goods that make help America the greatest place on Earth.

And as for Miami, I have confidence the city will be around for a very long time to come – even long after Ocasio-Cortez has retired from public life.


Westlake Legal Group AOC-AP Daniel Turner: Ocasio-Cortez says climate change may drown Miami – As usual, she’s laughably wrong fox-news/us/environment fox-news/us/energy fox-news/topic/green-new-deal fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Turner article 746bd8db-2c38-5eee-8856-403fbe81a367   Westlake Legal Group AOC-AP Daniel Turner: Ocasio-Cortez says climate change may drown Miami – As usual, she’s laughably wrong fox-news/us/environment fox-news/us/energy fox-news/topic/green-new-deal fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Daniel Turner article 746bd8db-2c38-5eee-8856-403fbe81a367

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