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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 182)

How a Fringe Theory About Ukraine Took Root in the White House

Westlake Legal Group 03conspiracy-01-facebookJumbo How a Fringe Theory About Ukraine Took Root in the White House Zelensky, Volodymyr Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Russia Rumors and Misinformation Reddit Inc Presidential Election of 2016 Mueller, Robert S III Giuliani, Rudolph W Federal Bureau of Investigation Facebook Inc Democratic Party democratic national committee Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Cyberwarfare and Defense CrowdStrike Inc Clinton, Hillary Rodham Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter Atlantic Council 4chan

In an April 2017 interview with The Associated Press, President Trump suddenly began talking about the hack of the Democratic National Committee a year earlier, complaining that the F.B.I. had not physically examined the compromised server.

“They brought in another company that I hear is Ukrainian-based,” the president said.

“CrowdStrike?” the surprised reporter asked, referring to the California cybersecurity company that investigated how Russian government hackers had stolen and leaked Democratic emails, disrupting Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“That’s what I heard,” Mr. Trump resumed. “I heard it’s owned by a very rich Ukrainian; that’s what I heard.”

More than two years later, Mr. Trump was still holding on to this false conspiracy theory. In his July call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, he summed it up in a sort of shorthand — at least according to the White House memorandum, labeled “not a verbatim transcript.”

“I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people …,” the president said. It is unclear whether the ellipses indicate that words were omitted or that Mr. Trump’s voice was trailing off.

Then he added one novel detail: “The server, they say Ukraine has it.”

Now, Mr. Trump’s call for Ukraine to look into his CrowdStrike story forms the background to the House impeachment inquiry, which is focused on the second request he made: that Mr. Zelensky investigate Mr. Trump’s possible 2020 opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Mr. Trump has placed a concoction of disprovable claims, of the kind usually found on the fringes of the web, squarely in the middle of American politics and diplomacy.

The tale of the supposedly hidden server may have appealed to Mr. Trump because it undercut a well-established fact that he has resented and resisted for three years: The Russian government interfered in the 2016 election to help him win, an effort thoroughly documented by American intelligence agencies and amply supported by public evidence.

By contrast, there is no evidence to support the president’s vague suggestion that Ukraine, not Russia, might be responsible for the hacking, or that CrowdStrike somehow connived in it. But his alternate history has provided a psychological shield for the president against facts that he believes tarnish his electoral victory.

Mr. Trump has long called for better relations with Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia and brushed aside complaints about its conduct. So there is a certain symmetry to his suggestion that Ukraine, Russia’s opponent and the victim of its territorial grab, may somehow have framed Russia for the 2016 election activity.

“Ukraine is the perfect scapegoat for him, because it’s the enemy of Russia,” said Nina Jankowicz, a fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington who regularly visits Ukraine and is writing a book called “How to Lose the Information War.”

She noted that a number of Ukraine-linked stories, some of them distorted or exaggerated, have been pulled together by Mr. Trump’s supporters into a single narrative.

For example, there is the idea, promoted by the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, that Ukraine’s government actively sabotaged Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign. A Ukrainian-American lawyer who consulted for the D.N.C. looked into the finances of Paul Manafort and spoke with Ukrainian embassy officials. But there appears to have been no organized Ukrainian government effort to intervene — certainly nothing comparable to the activities of Russian intelligence agencies ordered by Mr. Putin.

It is true that a Ukrainian legislator helped publicize documents on Mr. Manafort’s multimillion-dollar payments from a Ukrainian political party, leading to his resignation as Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman. But the claim of Mr. Manafort’s wrongdoing turned out to be justified. He is now serving seven and a half years in prison for financial fraud and other crimes.

In May, Mr. Trump recalled the American ambassador to Kiev, Marie L. Yovanovitch, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2016, telling others she was scheming against his administration. She has denied it.

And Mr. Trump has repeatedly charged that Mr. Biden, who handled Ukrainian affairs as vice president, tried to get a prosecutor fired for investigating a Ukrainian energy company that paid his son, Hunter, handsomely as a board member despite a lack of experience in Ukraine. In fact, multiple countries were pressing for the firing of the prosecutor, who they thought was turning a blind eye to corruption.

“Now it seems like all of these conspiracy theories are merging into one,” Ms. Jankowicz said. She studies disinformation, she said, but Mr. Trump produced one claim she’d never come across.

“I do this for a living, and I’d never heard anyone say the servers were in Ukraine,” she said.

Twitter removed a video posted by Mr. Trump that showed a meme of Nickelbacker’s lead singer, edited as an attack on Joe Biden.

In the 27 months between Mr. Trump’s two citations of the CrowdStrike-Ukraine conspiracy theory, it has survived despite many denials from CrowdStrike, the F.B.I. and people directly involved in the investigations. It has survived despite the fact that the D.N.C. put one of its hacked servers on display — not in Ukraine but in its Washington offices beside the filing cabinet pried open in 1972 by the Watergate burglars (and a photo of the two artifacts ran on The Times’s front page). It has survived despite the indictment prepared last year by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, laying out in extraordinary detail the actions of 12 named Russian military intelligence officers who hacked the D.N.C. and other election targets.

The speculation springs from what Mr. Trump has called a “big Dem scam” — the false notion that the F.B.I. never really investigated the D.N.C. hack. In fact, according to people directly involved, CrowdStrike was in regular contact with the bureau in spring 2016 as it examined dozens of servers used by both the D.N.C. and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

It is true, as Mr. Trump has often tweeted, that F.B.I. agents never took physical possession of the Democrats’ servers. But CrowdStrike supplied the F.B.I. with digital copies of the servers so that the bureau could assess the Russian malware infecting them. The Mueller investigation later confirmed CrowdStrike’s findings.

Still, the president has clung to the theory linking CrowdStrike, Ukraine and the D.N.C. servers despite the repeated efforts of his aides to dissuade him, Thomas Bossert, his former homeland security adviser, said on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “The D.N.C. server and that conspiracy theory has got to go,” he said. “If he continues to focus on that white whale, it’s going to bring him down.”

To go in search of the roots of Mr. Trump’s CrowdStrike-Ukraine conspiracy theory is to travel the internet’s most peculiar provinces and the darkest threads on Twitter and Facebook. On 4chan and pro-Trump spaces on Reddit, on websites like ZeroHedge.com and Washington’s Blog, you can find plenty of speculation about evil manipulation by CrowdStrike and secret maneuvers by Ukrainians — often inflamed by Mr. Trump’s own statements.

Until the president’s statements, however, even internet speculation did not attribute CrowdStrike’s ownership to a rich Ukrainian or suggest that the D.N.C. servers were hidden in Ukraine.

George Eliason, an American journalist who lives in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists fought Ukrainian forces, has written extensively about what he considers to be a “coup attempt” against President Trump involving American and Ukrainian intelligence agencies and CrowdStrike. He said he did not know if his writings for obscure websites might have influenced the president.

“CrowdStrike and Ukrainian Intel are working hand in glove,” he wrote in an email. “Is Ukrainian Intelligence trying to invent a reason for the U.S. to take a hardline stance against Russia? Are they using CrowdStrike to carry this out?”

Mr. Eliason and other purveyors of Ukraine conspiracies often point to the Atlantic Council, a research group in Washington, as the locus of the schemes. The Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk has made donations to the council and serves on its international advisory board; Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s co-founder, who was born in Russia and came to the United States as a child, is an Atlantic Council senior fellow.

That connection seems slender, but it may be the origin of Mr. Trump’s association of a wealthy Ukrainian with CrowdStrike.

Pro-Trump media leaped last week to defend the president’s Ukraine theories. Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show that Mr. Trump’s “reference to CrowdStrike, mark my words, is momentous,” though he did not say why.

And Russian state news outlets are always ready to cheer on Mr. Trump’s efforts to point the blame for the 2016 hack away from Moscow. On Sept. 25, after the White House released its memo on the Zelensky call, Russia’s Sputnik news website ran a story supporting Mr. Trump’s remarks.

The Sputnik article cited Mr. Eliason’s writings and suggested that CrowdStrike might have framed Russia for the D.N.C. hack — if it occurred at all. It quoted a Twitter account called “The Last Refuge” declaring: “The D.N.C. servers were never hacked.”

All this mythmaking about the 2016 hack frustrates Robert Johnston, who was the lead investigator for CrowdStrike on the D.N.C. inquiry. Mr. Johnston, a former Marine and Cyber Command operator, said he could make no sense of Mr. Trump’s assertions.

“It doesn’t connect with anything in my experience,” he said. “I’d be interested in the president of Ukraine’s impression.”

Mr. Johnston, now chief executive of the cybersecurity company Adlumin, said he was weary of the conspiracies surrounding what he considered a straightforward conclusion. Having seen the digital fingerprints of Russian intelligence in earlier hacking cases, he felt there was little doubt about the identity of the perpetrators.

“I don’t know how you get to this point,” Mr. Johnston said of the fantasies Mr. Trump has promoted. “This is a story that just won’t die.”

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Is Trump feuding again with Bill Maher? President appears to call political comic ‘sick’ during speech

Westlake Legal Group marr-trump Is Trump feuding again with Bill Maher? President appears to call political comic 'sick' during speech Sam Dorman fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/politics-on-late-night fox news fnc/media fnc article 0b481bb3-128e-5381-a3ab-d1f8017915ca

President Trump, in what looked like a shot at comedian Bill Maher during a speech on Thursday, appeared to suggest that the HBO host was “sick” for thinking Trump would refuse to leave office.

“One of these crazy maniacs on his show was interviewing somebody — radical left — and he goes, ‘You know he’s going to win, don’t you?’ Big show. …  ‘He’s going to win and you know he’s never getting out,'” Trump said. While he did not mention Maher by name, the two have feuded over similar comments previously — with the president attacking Maher at his rallies.

Trump said he thought the unnamed comedian was serious about the prediction. “He meant it,” Trump added, apparently surprised. “These people are sick.”

The president was speaking about Medicare while at an event in Florida when people chanted for him to stay in office “four more years.” “If you want to drive them crazy, just say eight more years,” Trump told the crowd.

TRUMP APPEARS TO JAB AT COMEDIAN BILL MAHER DURING RALLY

Maher, a vocal critic of the president, previously told CNN in June that Trump wouldn’t leave office if he lost his bid for a second term in 2020. “I absolutely think he will not leave,” Maher has said. The HBO star has made similar comments on his show.

More from Media

Trump mentioned Maher’s prediction during another rally in August. “These people have gone stone cold crazy,” he said.

The comedian has repeatedly made headlines for criticizing the president. Earlier in August, Maher spoke of hoping for a recession that would doom Trump’s reelection prospects. When one of his guests mentioned that recessions are “really bad” and would result in job losses, Maher said it’s “worth it.”

Trump tweeted during the summer that he “accidentally” watched Maher’s show, calling him a “wacko comedian.” That prompted a series of responses from Maher, who thanked the president for giving him publicity.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“I better keep working!” Maher sarcastically responded to Trump warning Democrats would make the comedian pay more in taxes.” Speaking of which, if you tweet about me again, would you be a lamb and mention I’m @TheMirageLV on Sept. 6 and 7? You’re the best!”

Westlake Legal Group marr-trump Is Trump feuding again with Bill Maher? President appears to call political comic 'sick' during speech Sam Dorman fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/politics-on-late-night fox news fnc/media fnc article 0b481bb3-128e-5381-a3ab-d1f8017915ca   Westlake Legal Group marr-trump Is Trump feuding again with Bill Maher? President appears to call political comic 'sick' during speech Sam Dorman fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/politics-on-late-night fox news fnc/media fnc article 0b481bb3-128e-5381-a3ab-d1f8017915ca

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Photographer Behind Shocking ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Wedding Pic Says It’s Not What You Think

Westlake Legal Group 5d962f0d2100000d04f9fe33 Photographer Behind Shocking ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Wedding Pic Says It’s Not What You Think

“What… and I cannot stress this enough… the f**k,” read a caption on the “Hey Ladies” Instagram page on Thursday

The colorful language was posted beneath a wedding photo in which a couple is seen kissing in front of what fans of the “Handmaid’s Tale” television series will recognize as the “hanging wall.” The newlyweds are surrounded by “handmaids” — women in red gowns and white bonnets.

To say social media users found the image to be in poor taste would be an understatement. The photo rapidly circulated across Instagram and Twitter, leaving many scratching their heads as to what would prompt anyone to glorify the oppressive, dystopian Gilead ― the setting for Margaret Atwood’s terrifying novel and the hit Hulu show ― and, more specifically, the site in the story where people are executed for being queer; disobeying the fanatical religious patriarchal rulers; or trying to escape. 

Shawn Van Daele, who, along with his husband, owns the Toronto-based photography company responsible for the image, told HuffPost that they knew exactly what they were doing when they created the photo. 

“Anyone who would put out an image like this without understanding what it implies has bigger problems than upset people on social media,” he said in an email on Thursday. “I knew when creating the image that it would [possibly] upset people but that’s sort of the point. To wake people up.”

Van Daele said he and his husband “didn’t expect the photo to go viral” but were pleased that it had, saying that “hopefully it will wake people up to how they too contribute to the oppression and hatred they are rightfully worked up over.”

According to Van Daele, he and his husband and the newlyweds are all “fans of the TV show (and obviously, first, the book).” 

He said that they had previously done photo shoots at Cambridge Mill, a restaurant on the river in Cambridge, Ontario, where the show has also filmed, and had “no trepidation about shooting there.” He stressed that as a gay married couple, the image is deeply personal for him and husband Clint Russell because it emphasizes the oppression faced by minority groups.

“This image was created and put out by a pair of ‘gender traitors’ who are no strangers to many of the subplots of oppression, violence and inequality that run through Margaret’s brilliant work,” he said, referencing the persecution of people who deviate from traditional gender norms in Gilead. 

Taking a photo in front of the “hanging wall” was the groom’s idea, Van Daele said. The “handmaids” were not bridal party participants; Van Daele photoshopped them in. (“It seemed the natural thing to do since we were there,” he added. “I’m certain any ‘creative’ or photographer would have the exact same thoughts.”)

When HuffPost first reached out to Van Daele on Thursday, he said they thought about taking down the photos but worried that “all the hatred” would “trickle over” to pictures of other couples on the photographers’ Instagram page, and didn’t want it to seem like Van Daele and Russell were “hiding from anything.”

However, later on Thursday, the picture had been deleted from the account “at the request of the couple,” Van Daele said, “because they’re being harassed – which is an absolute shame.”

The couple “are rightfully overwhelmed and distraught right now, despite previously loving the photo, since it’s from one of their favourite shows. Having the world try and ruin their wedding day and paint them out to be horrible people (there are people of every race, colour & sexual orientation in their wedding party) is a little disheartening,” he said. 

The bride and groom did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. 

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CNN Rejects Two Trump Campaign Ads, Citing Inaccuracies

Westlake Legal Group 03TRUMPAD-01-facebookJumbo CNN Rejects Two Trump Campaign Ads, Citing Inaccuracies Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Shokin, Viktor Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising News and News Media CNN Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

CNN rejected a pair of provocative ads from President Trump’s re-election campaign on Thursday, saying that the 30-second spots deriding the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry — one of which deemed the effort “nothing short of a coup” — contained inaccuracies and unfairly attacked the network’s journalists.

It is unusual but not unprecedented for television networks to reject a political advertisement from a presidential campaign. On the eve of last year’s midterm elections, major channels, including Fox News, removed an inflammatory commercial from Mr. Trump’s political team that portrayed immigrants as a violent threat.

The move by CNN is likely to inflame longstanding tensions between the news network and the president, who denounced CNN staff members as “corrupt people” during a White House news conference on Wednesday and criticized the network again on Thursday.

The Trump ads were posted online in recent days as part of what the president’s campaign said was a multimillion dollar advertising buy on national cable stations and digital platforms.

One ad, “Biden Corruption,” targets former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden, amid a widening impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. It repeats unsubstantiated allegations about the Bidens’ financial dealings in Ukraine and derides journalists, labeling them “media lap dogs” for the Democrats as footage plays of several CNN stars.

Over grainy footage of Joe Biden, a narrator intones that the leading Democratic presidential candidate “promised Ukraine $1 billion if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son’s company.” As video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plays, the narrator continues: “But when President Trump asks Ukraine to investigate corruption, the Democrats want to impeach him.”

The narrator adds, “and their media lap dogs fall in line,” over footage of the CNN anchors Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo and the network’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is featured as well.

No evidence has surfaced that Mr. Biden intentionally tried to help his son by pushing for the Ukrainian prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, to be dismissed. Members of the Obama administration, as well as other Western governments and international leaders, had sought Mr. Shokin’s removal amid accusations that he ignored corruption claims. Mr. Shokin was voted out by the Ukrainian Parliament in 2016.

[Read about the issues behind the impeachment inquiry here.]

CNN said in a statement on Thursday that the Biden-focused campaign commercial failed to meet the network’s advertising standards. “In addition to disparaging CNN and its journalists, the ad makes assertions that have been proven demonstrably false by various news outlets, including CNN,” a network spokesman said.

Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign, responded on Thursday that the ad was “entirely accurate and was reviewed by counsel.”

“CNN spends all day protecting Joe Biden in their programming,” Mr. Murtaugh wrote. “So it’s not surprising that they’re shielding him from truthful advertising, too.”

Later, CNN said it had rejected another Trump ad, “Coup.” It presents the impeachment inquiry as an effort “to undo the election, regardless of facts” and accuses House Democrats of “fabricating evidence.”

“The ad contains assertions of fact about the whistleblower complaint that have been refuted by the Intelligence Inspector General,” CNN said in a statement. “In addition, it is inaccurate to use the word ‘coup’ to describe a constitutionally prescribed legal process.”

[Read more about ‘coup’ claims used by Mr. Trump’s supporters.]

Mr. Trump has said his request for help digging into the Bidens was legitimate and part of a “perfect” phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. On Thursday, Mr. Trump publicly asked China to investigate the former vice president.

The impeachment inquiry has spurred a surge in campaign spending since it was announced on Sept. 24. Need to Impeach, a group founded and mostly funded by the billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, said this week that it plans to spend $3.1 million on television and digital ads urging Republican senators to remove Mr. Trump.

The Trump campaign has spent more than $1.6 million advertising on Mr. Trump’s Facebook page in the past seven days, including as much as $21,000 on the “Biden Corruption” ad, according to the platform’s ad library.

Facebook does not fact-check speech from politicians, generally allowing it on the platform “even when it would otherwise break our normal content rules,” Nick Clegg, a Facebook executive and Britain’s former deputy prime minister, said in Washington last week.

But Daniel Wessel, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said on Thursday that Facebook should monitor and remove all false ads, including “Biden Corruption.”

“Facebook owes that to its readers,” Mr. Wessel said on Thursday. “We all have a role to play in combating these lies, and that includes Facebook.”

Mr. Biden’s team weighed in, as well, urging Fox News to reject the Trump campaign’s ad. In a formal letter to the network, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, Greg Schultz, said the ad contained “false, definitively debunked conspiracy theories.”

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North Carolina college professor suspended after allegedly calling women ‘useless’ during lecture

Westlake Legal Group NCS-University-2 North Carolina college professor suspended after allegedly calling women 'useless' during lecture Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/education/college fox news fnc/us fnc bbff6ca0-7c00-5b57-8262-e297822c818a article

A North Carolina college professor has been suspended after he was accused of saying “women are useless” during a lecture on Tuesday.

North Carolina State University spokeswoman Lauren Leslie Barker told Fox News Thursday that it is “actively investigating reports of inappropriate language in the classroom” and that the “faculty member has been immediately suspended from teaching while this incident is being further investigated.”

Students told WTVD-TV that physics professor Dr. E. David Davis was lecturing and randomly calling on students to answer questions when a female student could not correctly answer a question. That is when the situation reportedly escalated.

HARVARD SAYS IT RECEIVED $8.9M IN DONATIONS FROM JEFFREY EPSTEIN

Junior Maira Haque told WRAL-TV that Davis told the student: “You’re 20 years old and you forgot to bring this assignment in. Were you dropped on the head as a child? Do you have memory problems?”

Haque said the professor called on another female student to answer a question, which she could not do.

“Before he even could begin berating her or anything, she just straight up said, ‘I have memory problems too,’” Haque said. “Everyone laughed but, he kind of kept going and he was like, ‘I guess the women in this class are useless. I guess I should call on a man.’”

Haque told the station she then stood up and questioned why the professor was using that language.

PALESTINIAN HARVARD FRESHMAN, 17, ALLEGEDLY BLOCKED FROM ENTERING US OVER FRIENDS’ SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

“The professor justified his comments by saying, ‘Well, obviously, it was a joke. Women are obviously useful. We need them for a species to reproduce,’” Haque told the news outlet.

One student in the class took a cellphone video of Davis saying: “It’s a joke. I mean, obviously women are not useless.” The student posted the video on Twitter and referred to the professor as a “women hater.”

Barker told Fox News: “Reports were shared with the university via Twitter” as well as through the school’s Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.

CLICK TO VISIT THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

She added, “At NC State we take pride in our campus culture which values and strives to live our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.”

Davis did not immediately return messages from Fox News seeking comment.

Westlake Legal Group NCS-University-2 North Carolina college professor suspended after allegedly calling women 'useless' during lecture Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/education/college fox news fnc/us fnc bbff6ca0-7c00-5b57-8262-e297822c818a article   Westlake Legal Group NCS-University-2 North Carolina college professor suspended after allegedly calling women 'useless' during lecture Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/education/college fox news fnc/us fnc bbff6ca0-7c00-5b57-8262-e297822c818a article

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US reopens embassy in Somalia after 28 years

Westlake Legal Group Somalia-Embassy US reopens embassy in Somalia after 28 years Melissa Leon fox-news/world/terrorism/al-qaeda fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/travel/regions/africa fox news fnc/world fnc cdf00f2a-ad4d-5c71-8f96-d4092ae60d54 article

The United States Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia, has reopened after being closed for 28 years, officials said Wednesday.

“The reestablishment of Embassy Mogadishu is another step forward in the resumption of regular U.S.-Somali relations, symbolizing the strengthening of U.S.-Somalia relations and advancement of stability, development and peace for Somalia and the region,” the embassy said in a statement.

The embassy closed on Jan. 5, 1991, after Somalia became engulfed in a civil war and the regime of Siad Barre was overthrown.

The United States reestablished a permanent diplomatic presence in Mogadishu back in December, operated out of Nairobi, Kenya.

8 KILLED, 16 HURT AS EXPLOSIONS ROCK SOMALIA’S CAPITAL

“Today we reaffirm the relations between the American people and the Somali people, and our two nations,” Ambassador Donald Yamamoto said. “It is a significant and historic day that reflects Somalia’s progress in recent years, and another step forward in regularizing U.S. diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu since recognizing the federal government of Somalia in 2013.”

“U.S. Embassy Mogadishu will act to enhance cooperation, advance U.S. national strategic interests and support our overall security, political and economic development goals and objectives,” the ambassador added.

The U.S. “remains a strong partner to Somalia in its effort to build a stable, credible, and democratic country,” the embassy said.

AL-SHABAB EXTREMISTS ATTACK US MILITARY BASE IN SOMALIA, OFFICIALS SAY

The Al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab extremist group has been responsible for several attacks in Somalia this year, as it attempts to topple Somalia’s weak U.N.-backed government.

On Monday, militants staged an attack on a U.S. military base that is used to launch drone strikes.

In July, al-Shabab assailants attacked a Somali hotel and killed 26 people — including two Americans — in an all-night siege.

SOMALI FORCES END EXTREMIST SIEGE OF HOTEL WHERE AMERICANS, OTHER FOREIGNERS DIED

Also in July, Mogadishu’s mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman was badly injured when a suicide bomber walked into his office and detonated explosives.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson, Danielle Wallace and Lucia I. Suarez Sang contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.

Westlake Legal Group Somalia-Embassy US reopens embassy in Somalia after 28 years Melissa Leon fox-news/world/terrorism/al-qaeda fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/travel/regions/africa fox news fnc/world fnc cdf00f2a-ad4d-5c71-8f96-d4092ae60d54 article   Westlake Legal Group Somalia-Embassy US reopens embassy in Somalia after 28 years Melissa Leon fox-news/world/terrorism/al-qaeda fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/travel/regions/africa fox news fnc/world fnc cdf00f2a-ad4d-5c71-8f96-d4092ae60d54 article

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Trump support unwavering in Florida retirement community of his most loyal champions

House Democrats’ ramped-up efforts to investigate President Trump have redoubled support for the president of some of his most loyal champions.

As retirees living on a fixed income, Paula Bedner and her husband don’t have a lot of money to spare.

But when Democratic House members announced last week they were carrying out an impeachment inquiry against Trump, her husband, Don, went online to donate to Trump’s reelection campaign.

The Bedners live in The Villages retirement community in Florida where on Thursday, Trump made his first appearance outside Washington since Democrats ramped up their impeachment inquiry.

“In The Villages, if anything, it has gotten people more determined not to let them get away with it,” said Paula Bedner, who is active in the local Republican women’s club. “People have had enough of this. They see the president is doing good things and the economy is going well.”

Referring to the nickname Trump has given official Washington, she said, “The swamp is fighting hard.”

WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT ON TRUMP UKRAINE CALL: READ THE DOCUMENT

The support from the retirement community comes amid the uproar surrounding Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which the American president sought an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine That phone call sparked an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives and has the Trump administration facing a new round of subpoenas. The inquiry was touched off by a still-anonymous whistleblower’s complaint.

Westlake Legal Group Florida-Supporters-1 Trump support unwavering in Florida retirement community of his most loyal champions Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/us fnc cfbd1f57-3986-5a4e-a513-5f01ac90f5e8 article

Supporters of President Donald Trump hold a flag before he arrives to deliver remarks on Medicare at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in The Villages, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Fellow Villages resident Dale Sutthoff said he wasn’t bothered by reports of Trump’s communication with Zelensky, in part because he felt Trump was looking into any interference in the 2016 election that may have stemmed from Ukraine.

“He’s doing nothing more than protecting us under the law,” Sutthoff said. “It’s just fine.”

Even though they didn’t get invitations to hear Trump, hundreds of The Villages residents congregated in a town square next to the theater where the president was speaking.

Dressed in red “Make American Great Again” ball-caps and wearing “Trump-Pence” T-shirts, they sat in lawn chairs underneath a giant oak tree in the square filled with restaurants. Golf carts, the primary mode of transportation, bore signs that read, “Trump Pence, Keep America Great, Victory 2020.”

In a corner of the town square farthest from the theater, in front of a deli, about 25 anti-Trump protesters gathered with “Impeach 45” and “No More Lies” signs. Some blew whistles to show support for the whistleblower whose report led to the impeachment inquiry. Others chanted “Lock him up!”

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At one point, Trump supporters at a neighboring Greek restaurant started shouting at the anti-Trump protesters, who blew their whistles back at them. Other Trump supporters waved Trump flags in front of the protesters, and at several points deputies had to get between the two groups.

Steve Pierson, who retired to The Villages from New York three years ago, wore a T-shirt that said, “Villagers for Trump.” He joined the group last year after residents staged a golf cart caravan that drove through the retirement community to show support for Trump before the midterm elections. He called the impeachment inquiry “political theater.”

“The Villages is overwhelmingly, wholeheartedly pro-Trump,” Pierson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Florida-Supporters-1 Trump support unwavering in Florida retirement community of his most loyal champions Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/us fnc cfbd1f57-3986-5a4e-a513-5f01ac90f5e8 article   Westlake Legal Group Florida-Supporters-1 Trump support unwavering in Florida retirement community of his most loyal champions Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/us fnc cfbd1f57-3986-5a4e-a513-5f01ac90f5e8 article

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All The Outfits Meghan Markle Rewore On Her Royal Tour Of South Africa

Throughout Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal tour of South Africa, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made multiple appearances each day and often changed outfits between engagements.

While Meghan sometimes chose specific pieces made in South Africa, she also wore ethically sourced brands from elsewhere (as did little Archie in his H&M dungarees from the fast fashion house’s Conscious collection). And in keeping with their eco-conscious message, both Harry and Meghan recycled clothing they’ve worn before. 

Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth also rewear outfits, sending the message that even among those who are photographed everywhere they go, not every event needs new clothing.

Granted, the practice is not as notable in Harry’s case. There’s no telling how many times he, his brother William, his father Charles or his grandfather Philip repeat an ensemble. 

It’s always easier ― and admittedly, more fun ― to figure out when the royal women are wearing something for the first time or the 15th. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d94f0742200005200dc638b All The Outfits Meghan Markle Rewore On Her Royal Tour Of South Africa

Chris Jackson via Getty Images The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend a Creative Industries and Business Reception on Oct. 2 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

During the South Africa trip, the first outfit of four that Meghan rewore was a bright blue dress for an event at the District Six Museum in Cape Town. 

Meghan first wore the dress during the couple’s royal tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand last year, nearly to the month. At the time, the couple had just announced they were expecting their first child. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d9638942200008a03dcd6bd All The Outfits Meghan Markle Rewore On Her Royal Tour Of South Africa

Reuters; Getty Images (Left) Meghan leaves the District Six Museum in Cape Town on Sept. 23, 2019, the first day of their African tour. (Right) She attends the unveiling of The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy at Tupou College on Oct. 26, 2018, in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.

The duchess’s second recycled look was a maxi dress by Martin Grant, worn at a youth reception where the couple also met Obama Foundation leaders. She had previously donned it during the Australia trip for an event at Bondi Beach in Sydney. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d963aef2100000d04fa0239 All The Outfits Meghan Markle Rewore On Her Royal Tour Of South Africa

Getty Images (Left) Meghan attends a reception for young people, community and civil society leaders at the Residence of the British High Commissioner in Cape Town on Sept. 24, 2019. (Right) She joins a local surfing community group known as OneWave, which raises awareness for mental health and wellbeing, at Bondi Beach in Sydney on Oct. 19, 2018.

The third look Meghan rewore was an olive dress for a Skype call with Nalikule College of Education. The first time we spotted this dress, Meghan was attending King Power Royal Charity Polo Day in July. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d96447a2100000d04fa0504 All The Outfits Meghan Markle Rewore On Her Royal Tour Of South Africa

Sussex Royal Instagram; Getty Images (Left) Meghan on a Skype call with the Nalikule College of Education on Sept. 29, 2019. (Right) The Duchess of Sussex at the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day on July 10, 2019, in Wokingham, England.

Her final moment of recycling came on Wednesday when she and Harry visited Graça Machel, widow of the late president Nelson Mandela. There seemed to be meaning in Meghan’s choice of garment: The last time she publicly wore the dress was to visit an exhibition honoring the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth last July.

Westlake Legal Group 5d963f4c2200008c01dcd89d All The Outfits Meghan Markle Rewore On Her Royal Tour Of South Africa

Getty Images (Left) The Duchess of Sussex arrives to meet Graça Machel, widow of the late Nelson Mandela, on Oct. 2, 2019, in Johannesburg. (Right) Meghan departs after visiting the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition on July 17, 2018, in London.

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Reps Lieu And Rice Call For Bribery Investigation Into NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre

Westlake Legal Group D7EgVCU1KdDMhTeF8QDrUyWts2lr1DiZUO_hUUxJnhQ Reps Lieu And Rice Call For Bribery Investigation Into NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre r/politics

Here are 10 impeachable offenses he has committed.

  1. ⁠Obstruction of justice•

The trail of evidence starts with Trump’s attempt to get Comey to drop an investigation into National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. • When he refused, Trump fired James Comey, the FBI director responsible for overseeing the investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia during the 2016 election. • Trump made two more attempts at stopping the investigation by trying (unsuccessfully) to fire Robert Mueller, Comey’s predecessor.

2. ⁠Profiting from the Presidency•

The Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause prohibits the president from accepting personal benefits from any foreign government or official. • Trump has retained his ownership interests in his family business while he is in office. • Thus, every time a foreign official stays at a Trump hotel, or a foreign government approves a new Trump Organization project, or grants a trademark, Trump is in violation of the Constitution. • For example: shortly after he was sworn into office, the Chinese government • gave preliminary approval to 38 trademarks of Trump’s name. Then, in June, China approved nine Donald Trump trademarks they had previously rejected. • And every time he goes to golf at a Trump property, he funnels taxpayer money into his family business—violating the Domestic Emoluments Clause.

3. ⁠Collusion•

In the middle of the 2016 election, Trump’s son was invited to meet with a Russian national regarding “information that would incriminate Hillary and…would be very useful to” Donald Trump • The Russian, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had ties to high-ranking Kremlin officials. • Trump Jr. took the meeting. He said, “I love it,” when told Veselnitskaya may have had dirt on Clinton. Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended. • Federal law prohibits campaigns from soliciting anything of value from a foreign national. • After journalists broke this story, Trump personally dictated a public statement on behalf of his son that lied about the intended purpose of the meeting. • This relationship between the Trump team and the Russian national raises questions of whether the campaign aided a hostile foreign power’s active operation against the United States.

4. ⁠Advocating public and police violence•

When Trump gave cover to the neo-Nazis who rioted in Charlottesville and murdered a protester, he violated his obligation to protect the citizenry against domestic violence. • When Trump encouraged police officers to rough up people they have under arrest, he violated his obligation to oversee faithful execution of the laws. • When Trump shared anti-Muslim content on Twitter, he violated his obligation to uphold equal protection of the laws. • This represents a pattern of disregard for some of the president’s basic responsibilities as defined by the Constitution.

5. ⁠Abuse of power•

President Trump’s decision to pardon Joe Arpaio amounted to an abuse of the pardon power that revealed his indifference to individual rights and equal protections. • Joe Arpaio was convicted for contempt of court after ignoring a court order that he stop detaining and searching people based on the color of their skin, which constitutes a violation of their rights. • Pardoning this conviction goes against the Fifth Amendment, which allows the judiciary to issue and enforce injunctions against government officials who flout individual rights.

6. ⁠Engaging in reckless conduct•

High-ranking administration officials involved in foreign affairs have signaled that Trump does not have the capacity to make informed decisions in the event of a military crisis. • Even worse, his actions could spark a needless confrontation stemming from misunderstanding or miscalculation. • We see this in full effect every time Trump tweets or makes a public statement taunting and threatening the North Korean regime. • The president may be the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,” but that does not give him the right to behave in reckless or wanton ways that put millions of lives at risk. • If he is unfit to perform his duties as Commander in Chief, he cannot be allowed to remain in the position.

7. ⁠Persecuting political opponents•

President Trump has repeatedly pressured the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate and prosecute political adversaries like Hillary Clinton. • This is not based in concerns with national security, law enforcement, or any other function of his office—it is an attempted power play, plain and simple. • There’s no question that this constitutes an outrageous and inappropriate abuse of executive branch powers and serves as clear grounds for impeachment.

8. ⁠Attacking the free press•

President Trump has repeatedly attacked the concept of an independent press. • He’s called critical coverage “fake news” and journalists “the enemy of the American people,” made threats to change libel laws and revoke licenses, and his battles with CNN led him to try to interfere in the AT&T/Time Warner merger. • This demonstrates his unwillingness to respect and uphold the Constitution, and disdain for the crucial foundations to our free society.

9. ⁠Violating immigrants rights to due process

Enforcing its new “zero tolerance” policy, the Trump administration separated as many as 3,000 immigrant children from their parents at the southern border. This policy was meant to deter families from attempting to cross the border. The children and their families have been held in internment camps and cages with what lawyers call “inhumane conditions” Due to negligence, the Trump administration has no plan to reunite all children with their families, even deporting some parents while their children remain detained.

10. Violating campaign finance laws

• Donald Trump knew disclosure of his extramarital affairs with Stephanie Clifford (A.K.A. Stormy Daniels) and Karen McDougal could hurt his chances at winning the 2016 election. • At the direction of Trump, Michael Cohen and American Media, Inc. (AMI), the publisher of the National Enquirer bought the rights to the women’s stories and forced them to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements to prevent them from going public. • Cohen admitted to making illegal, hush-money payments to hide Trump’s affairs in the fall of 2016, just weeks before the election. • Federal prosecutors, and Trump’s co-conspirators Cohen and AMI, all say that Cohen made the payments at Trump’s direction, “in concert with the campaign,” and with the intention of helping Trump win. • Trump is unindicted co-conspirator because he directed Cohen to “cause an unlawful corporate contribution” and an “excessive campaign contribution” by paying the two women hush money with the intent to influence the election.

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Ohio coroner says opioid crisis is ‘not going away’ after 10 deaths in her county in just over a day

Westlake Legal Group Ohio-Coroner-Pills Ohio coroner says opioid crisis is 'not going away' after 10 deaths in her county in just over a day fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/shows/shepard-smith-reporting fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/health/mental-health/addiction fox-news/health fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 7ca5729e-6f25-582b-acb5-eb20e9619c09

America’s opioid crisis is not going away anytime soon, according to an Ohio coroner whose county saw 10 deaths from the epidemic in a 26-hour period.

The powerful drug fentanyl is fueling the crisis in the Columbus area, Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz told Shepard Smith on Thursday on “Shepard Smith Reporting.”

“We know here in Franklin County and throughout the United States, we’re having an issue with fentanyl,” she said. “Fentanyl is what’s driving many of the overdoses now throughout the United States, especially here in Franklin County.”

10 OVERDOSE DEATHS IN OHIO COUNTY IN 26-HOUR PERIOD, CORONER SAYS

Ortiz recommended that people in areas where the epidemic is centered should carry the antidotal substance Narcan or naloxone.

During the interview, Smith asked Ortiz whether the county’s crisis and the resulting overdose deaths are being fueled by one supplier or many.

Ortiz said it is likely the work of one supplier whose drug has fanned out across the area, but underlined that her office cannot say for sure.

“I know for sure DEA [Drug Enforcement Agency], Ohio High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency and law enforcement are all working on the issue right now as we speak,” she said.

VIRGINIA DOCTOR COULD FACE LIFE IN PRISON FOR PRESCRIBING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF OPIOIDS

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, compared the deaths from opioid overdoses to the casualties of war.

“More people have died in one year in America over the opioid epidemic from overdoses than died in the Vietnam War,” he said in a clip played by Smith.

On Sunday, Ortiz said in a statement that as of, “about 10 … this morning, we have had 10 people die of overdoses in about 26 hours.”

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“This is an unusually high number for our county in this period of time.”

The coroner issued a similar alert last month when six people died from an overdose in less than 24 hours on Aug. 10-11. She said the “majority of overdose deaths continued to be fentanyl-related.”

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group Ohio-Coroner-Pills Ohio coroner says opioid crisis is 'not going away' after 10 deaths in her county in just over a day fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/shows/shepard-smith-reporting fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/health/mental-health/addiction fox-news/health fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 7ca5729e-6f25-582b-acb5-eb20e9619c09   Westlake Legal Group Ohio-Coroner-Pills Ohio coroner says opioid crisis is 'not going away' after 10 deaths in her county in just over a day fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/shows/shepard-smith-reporting fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/health/mental-health/addiction fox-news/health fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 7ca5729e-6f25-582b-acb5-eb20e9619c09

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