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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 201)

Bloomberg Wins Both Democratic And Republican Vote In America’s Weirdest Primary

Westlake Legal Group 5e423d99250000550033d5fd Bloomberg Wins Both Democratic And Republican Vote In America’s Weirdest Primary

There was a surprise winner in one New Hampshire town’s primary on Tuesday: Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg captured both the Democratic and Republican sides in Dixville Notch. 

In New Hampshire, towns with less than 100 voters are allowed to hold midnight votes, then close the polls after all of the ballots have been cast and tally the results. Dixville Notch is one of several small communities to take advantage of this legal quirk in what is as much a media stunt as an election. 

Just after 12 a.m., five votes were cast in the remote community located about 14 miles from the Canadian border. Bloomberg wasn’t even running in New Hampshire and yet he won via write-in, garnering the single GOP vote cast and two of the four Democratic votes. Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) each received a single vote. 

WOMEN CANDIDATES SURGE

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) won the Democratic primary in Hart’s Location, a central New Hampshire town that is crossed by the Appalachian Trail, with six votes. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) received four votes, businessman Andrew Yang got three and Sanders took two. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and billionaire investor Tom Steyer each won a single vote. 

On the GOP side, President Donald Trump won 15 votes, with former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld taking four and Mary Maxwell taking a single vote.

Klobuchar also won in the early-voting town of Millsfield, a small town in the northern part of the state, with two votes. Biden, Buttigieg and Sanders each took one. 

Trump won in that community with 15 votes versus four for Weld. 

In 2016, Sanders won Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location while Hillary Clinton took Millsfield. On the GOP side, then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich won GOP primaries in both Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won in Millsfield.  

Sanders ultimately won the state in a landslide on the Democratic side with 60 percent of the vote. Trump won in a plurality on the GOP side with 35 percent. 

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Valdosta State dean, 14 others arrested in child sex sting

Georgia authorities have arrested 14 people, including a dean at Valdosta State University, following a four-day child exploitation and pornography sting operation that began last Thursday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Monday said.

Keith Walters, 44, was arrested after allegedly sending a minor obscene material and trying to meet them for sex. He was listed on VCU’s website as the dean of the College of Science and Mathematics as well as a chemistry professor.

“Valdosta State University has placed Keith Walters on immediate administrative leave pending the outcome of internal and law enforcement investigations into these very disturbing allegations. VSU remains committed to assisting law enforcement’s investigation in any way,” the university said in a statement following his arrest.

SASQUATCH WATCH: BIGFOOT ‘SIGHTINGS’ OVER THE YEARS

<img src="https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/02/640/320/GBI.jpg?ve=1&tl=1" alt="Georgia authorities have arrested 14 people, including a dean at Valdosta State University (VCU) following a four-day child exploitation and pornography sting operation that began last Thursday, per a release by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Monday.”>

<a data-cke-saved-href=”https://www.foxnews.com/category/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia” href=”https://www.foxnews.com/category/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia”>Georgia</a> authorities have arrested 14 people, including a dean at Valdosta State University (VCU) following a four-day <a data-cke-saved-href=”https://www.foxnews.com/category/us/crime/sex-crimes” href=”https://www.foxnews.com/category/us/crime/sex-crimes”>child exploitation and pornography sting</a> operation that began last Thursday, per a release by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Monday. (Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Twitter)

The sting, titled “Operation Broken Arrow,” saw the men travel from areas around the southern portion of the state with the alleged intent to meet children for sex.

Those arrested ranged from the ages of 24 to 57. Their occupations included a retail manager, truck driver, electrician, customer service representative, forklift driver and student, according to the GBI.

“In some of these cases, the subject introduced obscene or lude content, often exposing the minor (UC) to pornography or requesting the child take nude or pornographic images for them,” the GBI said. “About half of the exchanges involved websites used for dating, socializing, or even websites used for classified advertisements.”

WOMAN’S BODY IN SUITCASE LEADS TO LAS VEGAS MAN’S ARREST

Those arrested were charged with computer or electronic pornography and child exploitation or trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude.

Walters was charged with one count of sexual exploitation of children and three counts of obscene material furnish electrically to minor, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

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Additional charges and arrests may be forthcoming, according to the GBI.

Westlake Legal Group dddd Valdosta State dean, 14 others arrested in child sex sting fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 69a4e402-e9ac-591f-822f-2b4d77421ca9   Westlake Legal Group dddd Valdosta State dean, 14 others arrested in child sex sting fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 69a4e402-e9ac-591f-822f-2b4d77421ca9

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Elizabeth Warren Is Running Her Race. The Real One May Be Passing Her By.

CONCORD, N.H. — Two days before a once-mission-critical primary in a state she neighbors, Senator Elizabeth Warren — typically exceptional at holding a room — had not finished speaking when something unusual happened: Dozens of voters began filtering out of the middle school gym she had reserved.

Campaign staff strained to enlist prospective volunteers on their way to their cars. “Someone, anyone,” one organizer called out as departing guests stepped around him.

And when Ms. Warren wound toward her big finish, the go-out-and-get-’em kicker in these urgent final hours, her mind wandered accidentally to home.

“It’s up to you, Massachusetts, to decide what to do,” Ms. Warren instructed.

Supporters looked back at her, murmuring. She realized why. “And to the people of New Hampshire!” she amended.

On the eve of a contest she had hoped to win (and probably will not, according to polls) — one week removed from a caucus she had hoped to win (and certainly did not, according to Iowans) — Ms. Warren has arrived, almost imperceptibly, at a precarious stage.

In a primary adjoining her own state, it is Senator Bernie Sanders, another New Englander, and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who are leading in polls. Hoping to turn New Hampshire into a two-person race, the pair have been slinging fresh insults: Mr. Buttigieg suggested on Monday that nominating Mr. Sanders would “risk alienating Americans at this critical moment.” Mr. Sanders, contrasting his online fund-raising army to Mr. Buttigieg’s cadre of high-dollar donors, said he would not “go to rich people’s homes and get advice from millionaires and billionaires.” And after a chaotic virtual tie in Iowa, both campaigns on Monday requested a recanvass of certain caucus precincts.

Stay up to date on primaries and caucuses. Subscribe to “On Politics,” and we’ll send you a link to our live coverage.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., another fallen front-runner, looked past New Hampshire in a phone call on Monday to supporters in South Carolina, where his popularity with black voters is expected to make the state more hospitable to him than the first two. “Keep the faith,” he said at a field office in Salem, N.H.

Senator Amy Klobuchar has edged up in polls after appraising Mr. Buttigieg as a “cool newcomer” seeking a mega-promotion and insisting a “socialist” like Mr. Sanders should not lead the ticket. “We’re surging,” she told reporters, before citing a Boston Globe-affiliated survey by name.

But Ms. Warren, who has largely avoided engaging her opponents, is making perhaps the riskiest bet available: changing very little, largely declining to alter a 2020 primary approach often premised on self-branding as a “fighter” in a policy context but less often in a political one.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168658302_d3a699de-0e67-4e74-9ea5-18744781c9d4-articleLarge Elizabeth Warren Is Running Her Race. The Real One May Be Passing Her By. Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Klobuchar, Amy Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr

Parents attended a town hall for Ms. Warren in Concord, N.H., on Sunday.Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

She can appear at times to be campaigning in a time capsule delivered from last year, running the race on her terms, largely independent of the changing circumstances. Her riff on a wealth tax for the ultrarich still lands (“Just two cents!” her crowds chant, cheering the policy’s tagline). Her supporters still hold signs aloft with purpose (“Win with Warren!”).

But what if it is not enough?

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Ms. Warren told reporters in Concord, when pressed on the early exits in her audience. “It seemed like, to me, a pretty enthusiastic crowd.”

Many Warren admirers remain almost preternaturally calm about her electoral position, deciding after a year of semi-permanent meta-punditry from voters that this is not the time to overreact to disappointing news.

They cite what they see as a double standard in her treatment as a female candidate, observing that male candidates are less often held to account over squishy policy details or minor missteps, while also choosing to believe in Ms. Warren’s gentle reminders that “women are outperforming men” in some recent competitive elections.

“She’s hanging in there,” said Lisa Nicholson, 60, from Hopkinton, N.H., waiting for Ms. Warren on Sunday afternoon.

“I thought she’d be higher up,” admitted Cathy Litchfield, 59, from Concord. “But she’ll be in the top three, and that’s all you really need right now.”

Andrea Olmstead, 71, a Bostonian who traveled to see Ms. Warren in Manchester, was one of many women to invoke the sting of Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016, suggesting that Ms. Warren’s campaign had been a kind of balm for hope-seeking women in the Trump age.

“Her life has been my life in a way — all women our age,” Ms. Olmstead said, wearing an “I Love Lizzie” button from Ms. Warren’s 2012 Senate race, for which she volunteered. “We’ve lived through the things she’s lived through. It’s a parallel journey.”

Ms. Olmstead was disinclined to consider the possibility of another letdown.

“Third in Iowa is not bad,” she said. “There are more states to go.”

There are. But at a most inconvenient moment, Ms. Warren finds herself a candidate in-between, neither surging nor necessarily free-falling, struggling to channel the zeal that long powered her last year but also careful not to project any outward alarm to her slice of an often skittish Democratic electorate.

Allies are imagining a win-without-winning-yet path to the nomination, arguing that placing first in any state this month is not essential in a field so unsettled that merely surviving into March could suffice for now. It is a theory floated every four years by faltering campaigns in recent presidential cycles, generally without success. But their case: There is no front-runner with an overpowering coalition and Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor, will provide a useful foil for Ms. Warren’s familiar crusade against big money once he begins competing in states next month.

Ms. Warren’s rallies can often approximate the sheen of a winner’s: the nods from voters as she speaks about her Oklahoma youth; men in flannel shirts whoot-whooting for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; a boy with a blue crayon, coloring in the bubble letters on a sheet of paper reading “Dream Big, Fight Hard,” turning to clap when the adults clapped.

There are still superfans, like Don Lansing, 32, of Lebanon, N.H., who waited for a photograph with Ms. Warren on Sunday evening in a shirt depicting no fewer than five pictures of himself with the candidate.

“She reminds me of every best teacher I ever had,” he said.

In high-stakes settings, Ms. Warren has made no major mistakes, turning in another solid if unmemorable debate performance last week while competitors claimed more attention and speaking time. In a signal of her peers’ view of her chances, Ms. Warren barely faced any criticism onstage.

Lately, Ms. Warren has taken to calling herself the unity candidate — a complicated messaging task for a senator whose political identity has registered more often for her unswerving progressive passions.

She has alluded to the “unwinnable fights” she has won in her life — transcending a working-class upbringing to excel in academia, flipping a Senate seat — as evidence of her viability as a general election option against President Trump.

“There are a lot of folks who are going to talk about what’s not winnable, what can’t be done and definitely about who can’t do it,” Ms. Warren told supporters in Manchester. “They’re going to talk about it right up until we get in that fight, we persist and we win.”

If she can attract the small-dollar fund-raising totals required to sustain a national bid, Ms. Warren’s team believes she can compete effectively in a primary of attrition. According to a memo from her campaign manager last month, Ms. Warren had more than 1,000 staff members on the ground in more than 30 states.

But after a year in which Ms. Warren so often set the pace of the primary, sending policy plans into orbit and selling puckish apparel like a “Billionaire Tears” coffee mug, some veterans of losing campaigns wonder if her best 2020 moments have passed.

“I don’t know where she can win,” said Adrienne Elrod, a Democratic strategist and former aide to Mrs. Clinton, while adding that little about this primary can be predicted with confidence. “But if she continues to amass delegates in Super Tuesday states, she can continue to stay in this race.”

Knocking on doors in Manchester on Saturday with her husband, Bruce Mann, and her golden retriever, Bailey, who sniffed a local news microphone as he walked, the senator received a mixed reception.

“You’re on my short list,” a jogger told her, stopping briefly to chat.

Ms. Warren set off on her unity case. “There’s been a lot of good people in this race,” she said, trumpeting recent staff hires. “I want you to know, I’ve put as many of them as I could into my campaign.”

Up the street, a Sanders canvasser walked by a home with signs out front for Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Buttigieg.

Someone in a passing car recognized Ms. Warren as she stepped toward the next address. He lowered the window to announce himself:

“Go Bernieeeeeeeeeee.”

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Russian satellites tailing advanced US spy satellite, report says

A top U.S. Space Force commander said two Russian satellites are tailing an advanced U.S. spy satellite above the Earth and at times come within 100 miles of the billion-dollar spacecraft.

Gen. John “Jay Raymond told Time magazine that the Russian satellite was launched in November and called its movements “unusual and disturbing.”

“It has the potential to create a dangerous situation in space,” he said, while other experts expressed concerns about what Moscow may be able to learn from close-up photos of the spacecraft.

Westlake Legal Group Raymond-Space-Command-3000 Russian satellites tailing advanced US spy satellite, report says fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech fox-news/politics/defense fox news fnc/science fnc Edmund DeMarche article 790302f0-e16d-51ff-b3ff-963ab9b09d78

FILE: Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, the commander of Air Force Space Command and the Joint Force Space Component Command. (Clayton Wear/Air Force)

The Trump administration recently requested a defense budget that would keep non-emergency spending at $705 billion, Military.com reported. Space.com reported that SpaceForce would receive $15.4 billion from that funding and begin with 6,400 members that will be transferring from the Air Force.

The Space Force’s mandate is to improve protection of U.S. satellites and other space assets, rather than to put troops in orbit to conduct combat in outer space.

Trump originally wanted a Space Force that was “separate but equal” to the Army, Navy and Air Force, but instead, Congress made it part of the Department of the Air Force.

The Time magazine report illustrates an almost sci-fi case of alleged space espionage. Russia reportedly launched a satellite into orbit last November and– while in orbit–  it split into two separate satellites. One expert compared it to a “Russian nesting doll.”

The Kremlin has insisted that the satellites are simply conducting experiments. An amateur satellite tracker used public data to theorize that the Russian satellites are “cleverly designed” to monitor the U.S. satellite during otherwise challenging visual moments in orbit: like sunrises.

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“It’s clear that Russia is developing on-orbit capabilities that seek to exploit our reliance on space-based systems that fuel our American way of life,” Raymond told Time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group Raymond-Space-Command-3000 Russian satellites tailing advanced US spy satellite, report says fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech fox-news/politics/defense fox news fnc/science fnc Edmund DeMarche article 790302f0-e16d-51ff-b3ff-963ab9b09d78   Westlake Legal Group Raymond-Space-Command-3000 Russian satellites tailing advanced US spy satellite, report says fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech fox-news/politics/defense fox news fnc/science fnc Edmund DeMarche article 790302f0-e16d-51ff-b3ff-963ab9b09d78

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Oh, Does Another State Also Vote Early? New Hampshire Isn’t Listening

Westlake Legal Group 11Iowa-NH3-facebookJumbo Oh, Does Another State Also Vote Early? New Hampshire Isn’t Listening Voting and Voters United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J States (US) Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 New Hampshire Klobuchar, Amy Iowa Democratic Party Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

DERRY, N.H. — Throughout the nearly half century-long presidential rivalry between Iowa and New Hampshire, sometimes a state has to dig deep to make its case for why its contest is in fact superior.

Not this year.

As New Hampshire Democrats head to the polls Tuesday, they are divided over their candidates, the direction of their party and how to defeat President Trump. But there’s at least one core belief that unites them: That other first-in-the-nation contest really messed this one up.

“The very first real primary is going to be New Hampshire and rightfully so,” Howard Wooldridge said as he waited with a group of people hoping to get into a packed town hall event with former Mayor Pete Buttigieg. That other early state? “Nobody is going to get anything out of it.”

Stay up to date on primaries and caucuses. Subscribe to “On Politics,” and we’ll send you a link to our live coverage.

New Hampshire voters are known for their steely New England independence, an eagerness to buck whatever those Midwesterners do with their votes.

The first-in-the nation primary is the place that made Bill Clinton the “comeback kid” after a devastating defeat in the 1992 Iowa caucuses. Sixteen years later, Granite State voters helped his wife, Hillary, eke out a surprise victory against Barack Obama, reviving her campaign after being bested by the Illinois senator in Iowa. In 2016, the New Hampshire voters reversed course yet again, delivering a 22-point victory to Senator Bernie Sanders over Mrs. Clinton.

Yet, New Hampshire voters have never seen Iowa caucuses quite like these. How does a contrary New England Democrat stick it to Iowa, when there’s no one to stick it to?

The Iowa Democratic Party released results indicating that Mr. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., was the winner after it updated data from 55 precincts. But errors in the result tabulations have led several news organizations, including The New York Times, to refrain from calling the race. Mr. Sanders, who won the popular vote in the state, and Mr. Buttigieg are calling for a partial recanvass of some precincts.

In the midst of the mess, the two men swaggered across New Hampshire talking about an Iowa win, each telling voters he has emerged as a clear front-runner from the contest.

Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Iowa-bashing was subtle — or, perhaps, more politic — than that of New Hampshire voters themselves.

“You’re a state that’s a primary, so people can vote,” Ms. Klobuchar, who is from Minnesota, told a laughing crowd in Keene on Monday. “You know how to count votes.”

As she sat in a concert hall, waiting for Senator Elizabeth Warren to address voters in Derry, Mary Bishop, 71, said she was totally stuck on picking a candidate. But she was certain that the mess in Iowa would play no role in her decision making.

“Good lord, no,” she said. “They’re in another country. You need a passport to go from Iowa to New Hampshire.”

The fact that both states would be voting in the same presidential election — the very reason a Granite Stater would pay attention to Iowa in the first place — did not seem to interfere with the trash talk.

Ms. Bishop’s friend Sue Dickinson agreed, questioning how you could trust any results out of such a chaotic process. Yet, she also wondered whether she might just want to give Mr. Buttigieg — a candidate she previously dismissed as too inexperienced — a second look.

“When you get to the middle of the country, and that just might be my bias, but they seem very set in their ways. More traditional,” Ms. Dickinson said. “It surprised me that they’d consider him.”

In interviews with dozens of voters across the Granite State, it’s clear that Iowa is on their minds, even if they don’t like to admit that a state many are eager to disparage might influence their decision making.

The New Hampshire primary electorate tends to be a bit less ideologically liberal in Democratic races: More than 40 percent of New Hampshire voters are independent (officially called undeclared) — a significantly greater share than either party can claim — and independents are allowed to participate in either primary. With Mr. Trump facing little opposition, many are expected to flock to the more competitive Democratic primary race.

Dante J. Scala, professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire, says the idea of New Hampshire as a fiercely countervailing force is more political lore than fact, at least when it comes to Democratic primaries. In the 2000 and 2004 cycles, the state echoed the choices of Iowans, picking Al Gore and John Kerry.

One similarity: Like Iowans, New Hampshire voters decide late in the process. A month ago, polling showed that less than one-third of registered Democratic primary voters had “definitely” settled on a candidate.

The late-breaking nature of the electorate gives events in the final week before voting — like the Iowa caucuses or Friday night’s debate — significant influence to shift the race.

Michael Arnow, 66, said he had been considering Ms. Klobuchar but was leaning toward Mr. Buttigieg after seeing how well he performed amid the “craziness” of Iowa. As he waited to get into a packed town hall meeting with the former mayor on Thursday afternoon, he worried that Mr. Sanders could not defeat Mr. Trump — his main criterion for assessing the field.

“I don’t want to waste a vote for a politician that may not ultimately get to that point,” Mr. Arnow said. “I’m jumping on the bandwagon, admittedly.”

Still considered the favorite in the state, Mr. Sanders has been holding steady in polling. But recent surveys show Mr. Buttigieg ticking up, surging to a virtual tie with the Vermont senator early last week, and Ms. Klobuchar gaining steam. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., meanwhile, has dropped precipitously.

“Biden’s collapse here, Buttigieg’s rise has to do with Iowa,” said Mr. Scala, the author of a book on the history of the New Hampshire primary. “The Iowa thing really kind of threw everyone here into sixes and sevens, and people started shopping.”

That new reality visibly frustrates the famously voluble former vice president. At campaign events, he stresses that the Iowa results are unrepresentative of his ability to win bigger battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

“You ever been to a caucus?” he shot back at a student who asked Mr. Biden to explain what his disastrous finish in Iowa meant for his national prospects. “No, you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”

Not all New Hampshire voters have the patience to wait for those later contests.

After listening to Mr. Buttigieg address a veterans hall in Derry, Dave Agennessey, 73, said he was torn between Mr. Biden and the former mayor. But after the caucuses, he’s leaning toward Mr. Buttigieg — despite, well, Iowa.

“The caucus system itself is flawed. It’s wrong,” said Mr. Agennessey, a semiretired Realtor. “If people do well, the winner will come out of New Hampshire.”

Mr. Scala says that New Hampshire voters might want to be a little more careful in their scathing reviews of their fellow early voters.

The caucus crisis has left many party leaders eager to restructure the early-voting process, with officials in places like Michigan and Illinois already salivating at an opportunity to jump ahead in the lineup.

“The thing is, once you open the box, where do the reforms end?” he said. “We’ve been joined at the hip with Iowa for so long in the process people are going to say it’s got to be a twofer. You’ve got to take out Iowa and New Hampshire.”

Nick Corasaniti contributed reporting from Nashua and Katie Glueck from Hampton, N.H.

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Trump’s brawling style is about projecting strength, no matter the cost

Westlake Legal Group image Trump’s brawling style is about projecting strength, no matter the cost Howard Kurtz fox-news/columns/media-buzz fox news fnc/media fnc article 06f879bb-210b-5840-b9dc-77a2b8163d2b

President Trump clearly wanted to make an example of Alexander Vindman and Gordon Sondland.

In a typical administration, the two impeachment witnesses would have been quietly moved out a couple of months later, to avoid charges of political retaliation.

But this president waited all of two days after his acquittal before having lieutenant colonel Vindman, a decorated soldier, escorted out of the White House (along with his twin brother), though both are merely being reassigned to the Pentagon.

Sondland, who initially defended Trump as ambassador to the E.U., and who got the job because he gave the inaugural committee a million bucks, was simply fired. The media and the Democrats went haywire, saying the two men were subjected to political retribution because they told the truth at the House hearings—and that’s exactly the reaction Trump wanted.

AFTER IMPEACHMENT, TRUMP, PELOSI, ROMNEY AND MEDIA KEEP THE WAR GOING

If you examine the media criticism of Trump since he got into politics, a constant theme is that he goes too far. He is accused of acting rashly and impulsively, of breaking decorum, of shattering norms, of getting into the gutter. But from the vantage point of the president and his supporters, he is displaying raw strength. He takes action and lets everyone else debate the niceties. He breaks china and lets others clean up the mess.

There is no more dramatic example than Trump authorizing the drone strike that killed Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani. There was an absolute uproar among critics who called it an assassination of a foreign official, although the general was one of the world’s top terrorists, and accused Trump of inflaming Middle East tensions and exaggerating the prosepect of an “imminent” attack.

But after Iran’s weak and limited response, the confrontation quickly faded. And what most people remember is that Trump took out a man responsible for hundreds of American deaths.

Bill Clinton said back in 2007 that when people are insecure, “they’d rather have someone who is strong and wrong than someone who’s weak and right.” Whether that’s true or not, the Democrats are struggling to find someone who projects an image of strength. And whatever the virtues of Bernie Sanders or Pete Buttigieg or Joe Biden or Amy Klobuchar, I think it’s fair to say that hasn’t quite happened yet. That’s why James Carville, the longtime Democratic strategist, is on a media tear saying he’s “scared to death” his party is handing the election to Trump.

When the Senate acquitted Trump last Wednesday, some people believed he might take the victory graciously. But that’s not how he rolls.

At a prayer breakfast the next morning, and an East Room celebration, Trump ripped “corrupt” and “evil” Democrats, called Nancy Pelosi a “horrible person,” assailed “dirty cops” for spying on his campaign, and dismissed the whole impeachment process as B.S.

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Critics were horrified, especially that the president would do this at the National Prayer Breakfast. But while they debated the Marquis of Queensbury rules, Trump looked like a street fighter to his base.

And by the way, some Trump opponents often try to match his insult-laden style, such as Pelosi ripping up the State of the Union. It usually doesn’t work for them.

Much of Trump’s Twitter feed reflects his finger-in-the-eye approach. After conservative Democrat Joe Manchin voted with his party for conviction, Trump said West Virginians are “really mad at Senator Joe Munchkin.” He accused Mitt Romney of using his faith for political cover. He calls the former New York mayor “mini Mike.”

If you look back at Trump’s record since the campaign, it can all be viewed through the prism of dominating his detractors. The “fake news” media are the “enemy” of the people, with the jabs at “Psycho Joe” Scarborough and “low IQ crazy” Mika Brzezinski, “dumb as a rock” Don Lemon, and Chris Cuomo as “Fredo.”

And on and on: Firing Jim Comey. Vilifying Bob Mueller. Declaring an emergency to get wall funding. Telling minority congresswomen to go back where they came from. Ripping a Gold Star family that criticized him at the Democratic convention. Refusing to apologize for just about anything.

As a guy who prizes civility and cooperation in politics, I am not defending this pugilistic style. There is a cost for the country. But what Trump’s harshest opponents fail to see is that the president has long since cemented his don’t-mess-with-me image. Even Republicans who have criticized him at times have, with few exceptions, timidly fallen into line.

Early in his first term, Ronald Reagan fired the striking air traffic controllers. Critics cried foul, but Reagan prevailed. Those who can’t stand Trump sometimes describe him as crazy, but when it comes to this sort of punching and counterpunching, he is quite sane.

Westlake Legal Group image Trump’s brawling style is about projecting strength, no matter the cost Howard Kurtz fox-news/columns/media-buzz fox news fnc/media fnc article 06f879bb-210b-5840-b9dc-77a2b8163d2b   Westlake Legal Group image Trump’s brawling style is about projecting strength, no matter the cost Howard Kurtz fox-news/columns/media-buzz fox news fnc/media fnc article 06f879bb-210b-5840-b9dc-77a2b8163d2b

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Coronavirus Updates: Virus Is Said to Spread Through Apartment Building’s Pipes

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168737208_0480321c-de1f-44da-b344-51b2632e3114-articleLarge Coronavirus Updates: Virus Is Said to Spread Through Apartment Building’s Pipes Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

The authorities outside a building in Hong Kong on Tuesday where two residents were found to be infected with the coronavirus.Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Hong Kong officials evacuated and quarantined dozens of residents of an apartment building after two people living on different floors were found to be infected with the coronavirus, the authorities said on Tuesday.

The two cases appeared to suggest that the virus had spread through the building, perhaps through a pipe, raising new fears about the virus’s ability to spread.

Officials from the city’s Center for Health Protection said the decision to partially evacuate the building was made after the discovery of a unsealed bathroom pipe in the apartment of a newly confirmed patient, a 62-year-old woman. She lives 10 floors below a resident who was earlier found to be infected.

In addition to the infected residents, four other people living in three different units displayed symptoms of the coronavirus, according to Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s health secretary.

In all, quarantines were ordered for the residents of 23 units of the Hong Mei House, a building on the Cheung Hong Estate, a public housing block in the New Territories section of the city.

The local outbreak prompted comparisons to an incident in 2003 when 329 residents of a housing estate in Hong Kong became infected with SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. The virus was later found to have spread through defective piping. Forty-two of the infected residents died.

“Our initial understanding is that the relevant household may have done some self-remodeling work,” Frank Chan, Hong Kong’s secretary for transport and housing, said of the outbreak on Tuesday.

Mr. Chan denied that the recent cases were comparable to the 2003 outbreak because of the location of the pipes. In the earlier case, the pipes were outside the building and the SARS virus was spread through the air.

At a government-organized news briefing on Tuesday, Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong, said the situation this time appeared to be different. But he said the authorities were not ruling out the possibility of airborne transmission of the virus.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said determining what happened at the housing complex was of “great importance” and ordered an investigation.

Westlake Legal Group china-wuhan-coronavirus-maps-promo-articleLarge-v21 Coronavirus Updates: Virus Is Said to Spread Through Apartment Building’s Pipes Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

The virus has sickened more than 43,100 people in China and 24 other countries.

The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic is continuing to climb, Chinese officials said Tuesday.

The government put the nationwide figure at 1,016. That was up 108 from the day before, when it was 908.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

The number of cases of infection also grew, to over 42,638. The figure for the day before was put at 40,171.

Deaths in Hubei Province, the heart of the outbreak, drove the increase — there were 103 — though the number of infections reported there actually declined somewhat.

One of the people evacuated to the United States from Wuhan last week is infected with the coronavirus, U.C. San Diego Health said in a statement. The Centers for Disease Control shared the diagnosis on Monday morning, the hospital said; the patient had previously been discharged after testing negative.

The patient, one of 167 passengers on a State Department-arranged flight from China that mostly carried American citizens, has since returned to the hospital near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

It is the 13th confirmed case in the United States, and the seventh in California.

Other government-arranged evacuation planes from China have taken passengers — more than 500 in all — to Nebraska, Texas and other bases in California in the last two weeks.

Those evacuated are expected to be quarantined for 14 days, with frequent checks from medical personnel to determine whether they have developed fevers, coughs and other early signs of the virus.

A Holland America cruise ship with more than 2,200 people aboard was denied entry to Thailand on Tuesday over fears that passengers may be carrying the dangerous coronavirus, bringing the total number of ports from which it has been turned away to at least five.

The ship, the Westerdam, which departed from Hong Kong on Feb. 1, has already been turned away at ports in at least five countries, including the United States territory of Guam, the Philippines and Japan.

Thailand, which has reported more than 30 cases of the virus, had earlier agreed to let the ship dock in Bangkok on Thursday.

But the public health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, posted a cryptic message on Facebook on Tuesday saying, “I have issued orders. Permission to dock refused” with a cruise ship emoji.

Holland America has said that no one on board has come down with the virus.

“The ship is not in quarantine and we have no reason to believe there are any cases of coronavirus on board despite media reports,” Holland America said in a statement issued Monday.

Westlake Legal Group china-coronavirus-contain-promo-1580431440996-articleLarge-v7 Coronavirus Updates: Virus Is Said to Spread Through Apartment Building’s Pipes Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

How Bad Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Get? Here Are 6 Key Factors

Here’s what early research says about how the pathogen behaves and the factors that will determine whether it can be contained.

The ship, said to have 1,445 passengers and 802 crew on board, was originally bound for Yokohama, Japan.

It was unclear where the ship is headed next. A country may be more willing to accept the ship once it has been afloat for the standard 14-day quarantine period and has no reported cases of the virus.

The company said that all passengers would receive a 100 percent refund and a 100 percent credit for a future trip. The ship was providing free internet and phone access to passengers, the company said.

A different ship, the Diamond Princess, has been docked for more than a week in Yokohama, Japan, where it was put under quarantine after cases of infection were confirmed.

Sixty-five more infections were confirmed on Monday, that ship’s captain told passengers, raising the total number of cases on board to 135.

At least 20 of the infected passengers are from the United States, according to a Princess Cruises spokeswoman. In all, 416 American passengers boarded the vessel, the Diamond Princess, at the start of the voyage according to the spokeswoman.

The Royal Caribbean cruise company on Monday rescinded its ban on Chinese passport holders onboard its ships.

But the company’s reversal is little comfort to one passenger, Xiao Liu.

Ms. Liu, a 34-year-old scientist at Princeton University, arrived at Port Canaveral, Fla., on Friday with her husband and 3-year-old daughter to board a cruise ship called Mariner of the Seas. A health care worker checked their temperatures and asked whether they had been in contact with anybody from mainland China recently. Though they answered no, the worker did not allow Ms. Liu on the cruise because she carries a Chinese passport.

“This is clearly racial discrimination,” said Ms. Liu, who moved to the United States 11 years ago. “What makes me different from other passengers? My Chinese passport!”

The company’s ban comes as a ship docked in Japan has been quarantined after an coronavirus outbreak was discovered onboard.

In its statement, Royal Caribbean said it banned passengers holding passports from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau because governments around the world were enacting similar limits. “Now, governmental policies have been clarified, so we have changed this policy,” it said on Twitter.

As the coronavirus has spread — including hitting other cruise ships — Chinese people around the world have faced instances of xenophobia.

Reporting and research was contributed by Russell Goldman, Elaine Yu, Richard C. Paddock, Ben Dooley, Motoko Rich, Amber Wang, Zoe Mou, Albee Zhang, Yiwei Wang, Claire Fu, Amy Qin.

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MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist

Imagine a team picking its playoff opponent. Think about Brian Cashman and the Yankees deciding whether to face the Red Sox or avoid them in the first round of the postseason. All on live TV.

Well, it is probably coming soon to the major leagues.

MLB is seriously weighing a move from five to seven playoff teams in each league beginning in 2022, The Post has learned.

EX-MLB PITCHER SUES ASTROS, CLAIMS CHEATING SCANDAL ALTERED CAREER PATH: REPORT

Westlake Legal Group 100415-MLB-astros-PI.vresize.940.52-e0023b118b530510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist New York Post fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/newsedge/sports fnc/sports fnc article 35f71682-d4f6-518b-a95e-83f0d08d3a47

PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 4: Jake Marisnick #6 of the Houston Astros celebrates with his team after clinching a wild card position in the American League playoffs after a MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on October 4, 2015 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Darin Wallentine/Getty Images)

In this concept, the team with the best record in each league would receive a bye to avoid the wild-card round and go directly to the Division Series. The two other division winners and the wild card with the next best record would each host all three games in a best-of-three wild-card round. So the bottom three wild cards would have no first-round home games.

The division winner with the second-best record in a league would then get the first pick of its opponent from those lower three wild cards, then the other division winner would pick, leaving the last two wild cards to play each other.

To use the AL last season as an example, the Astros with the best record would have received the bye. The Yankees, with the second-best record, would have had the choice to pick from among the Rays, Indians and Red Sox. Boston had the worst record of that group. Would the Yanks pick them or avoid the baggage of a series with their rival? It would create a ton of strategy and interest, and this is what MLB wants to sell. The Twins would then pick next as the other division winner, and then the A’s with the best wild-card record would play the team not chosen by the Yankees or Twins.

The plan is to have this all play out on a show on the Sunday night the regular season ends and have representatives picking teams on live TV — think the NCAA selection show, but just with the teams making the selections. The rights to that show is part of the enticement to potential TV partners.

Fox’s new deal with MLB to remain exclusive broadcaster of the World Series, two Division Series, and a League Championship Series runs through 2028. But MLB’s deals with ESPN and Turner run through 2021. So MLB can time expanded playoffs as a lure for new deals with one of those networks — remember that ESPN can offer network television with ABC, as well — both networks or neither at a time when streaming powerhouses such as Amazon, DAZN, etc. could also enter the bidding.

RED SOX WILL SEND BETTS, PRICE TO DODGERS

This satisfies what the networks want which is 1) postseason inventory and 2) as many clinching scenarios as possible. There would be six best-of-three series. Game 1 would be playoff inventory, Game 2 would be a clinching scenario for one team and if there were a Game 3, it would be sudden death for both clubs. The three winners in the round would join the No. 1 overall seed in the Division Series. In addition, many team officials had complained since the onset of the wild-card sudden death in 2012 that no team should be eliminated in one game. So, this system would at least give a chance to a team to rebound from one poor performance.

Any change in playoff format must be collectively bargained with the union; the CBA — like the TV deals with ESPN and Turner — expires after next season. In theory, though, additional playoff teams should provide elements that the union has been wanting. More playoff openings would motivate more teams to try, which should mean less tanking.

If more teams are viable for the playoffs, they will spend more to chase a spot. A club that projects itself internally to, say, 81 wins would think about adding to get to 84-85 and have a chance of being even one of seven playoff teams per league. In addition, teams that have been in play for a wild card have been hesitant to spend because of fear of the one-and-done format making any increase in payroll feel too risky. Will the chance to be in a series — even one that is just best-of-three — encourage greater spending?

MLB is also hoping that more playoff openings drives greater fan interest. In 2019, attendance was down for a seventh straight year. Many factors have led to the dip, but clearly one is so many teams surrendering playoff objectives before or during seasons. MLB wants to have as many regular-season games matter as possible.

In this format, there is a great benefit to finishing with the best record in a league and avoiding the first round, so teams will keep playing hard to the end to get that. There are great advantages to winning a division because you get to play that first round exclusively at home and pick your opponent. And there is an advantage to having the top wild-card record because you get the first round at home. Also, there would be no more tiebreaker 163rd games. To make the regular-season more meaningful, the team that won the season series against its opponent would benefit whether that is to have the top seed or to simply be the final wild card. Thus, if two teams finish as the fourth wild card and both have 84 wins, then the team that won the season series will get into the playoffs.

MORTON REGRETS NOT TRYING TO STOP ASTROS FROM STEALING SIGNS

Because there would be no travel in this best-of-three round, MLB believes it could play the games on consecutive days, possibly Monday-Wednesday or Tuesday-Thursday. The goal would be to end no later than Thursday, which is when the first two Division Series round games are played now. The hope would be to stay at 162 regular-season games and not push too deep into November for the World Series or avoid that month altogether.

It is possible, therefore, six playoff games could be played in one day and use a model like the NCAA Tournament, which in the early rounds staggers starts and uses CBS, Turner, TNT, TruTV, etc. MLB would just want the content as close to prime time as possible.

MLB also understands it is in a constant fight now to not only expand its fan base but to keep what it has. The NFL is moving closer to encroaching on the beginning of spring training if it goes to a 17th game with a third bye week. The NBA has weighed midseason tournaments or reducing the number of pre-Christmas games to escape the shadow of the NFL, which could push the NBA playoffs back, perhaps into July.

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All of this has MLB thinking about increasing its playoff content with the belief it will boost interest among fans and broadcast partners.

Westlake Legal Group 100415-MLB-astros-PI.vresize.940.52-e0023b118b530510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist New York Post fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/newsedge/sports fnc/sports fnc article 35f71682-d4f6-518b-a95e-83f0d08d3a47   Westlake Legal Group 100415-MLB-astros-PI.vresize.940.52-e0023b118b530510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____ MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist New York Post fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/newsedge/sports fnc/sports fnc article 35f71682-d4f6-518b-a95e-83f0d08d3a47

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Adam Carolla: California would care about the homeless ‘if it could get money from them’

Westlake Legal Group image Adam Carolla: California would care about the homeless 'if it could get money from them' Victor Garcia fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 721aafd7-1d18-5845-ad38-389f1a3483f4

In an interview that aired Monday, comedian Adam Carolla told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that California’s government isn’t concerned about the poor because they can’t get money from them, adding that the ultra-poor are “untouchable.”

“[California officials] would care if they owe them money and they had money and they could get money from them,” Carolla told Carlson. “They care greatly about people who have checkbooks, but they’ve really divided the entire city into those who pay and those who can’t. And if you can’t, they’re not that interested.”

SAN FRANCISCO HOMELESS STATS SOAR: CITY BLAMES BIG BUSINESS, RESIDENTS BLAME OFFICIALS

Carlson asked Carrolla about the growing homeless crisis in California and breakdown of the “rule of law.” Carolla explained that the middle class is who suffer most.

“If you’re Barbra Streisand. What do you care about a speeding ticket… and if you’re ultra-poor, you’re untouchable because you can’t get blood out of a turnip. You know, there’s nothing there. There’s there’s none. You can’t pay them,” Carolla said. “It’s the middle who gets the crap kicked out of them here in Los Angeles.”

“So we have a million rules for those who play by the rules, and we have no rules for those who have no money and don’t play by the rules,” Carolla added.

Carolla argued that no one wants to enforce the rules because they’re afraid of being perceived as “mean.”

“What changed is we started to mistake discipline in rule of law for being mean.  This sort of like, don’t be mean,” Carolla said. “‘Don’t take that homeless guy. Why are you making him go here or why are you arresting him or why are you incarcerating him or why are you putting me in this facility?'”

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“We’re turning on the teachers, the coaches, the governors, the mayors, the cops. I think what we’ve done with cops, we turned cops into the bad guy,” Carolla said.

Westlake Legal Group image Adam Carolla: California would care about the homeless 'if it could get money from them' Victor Garcia fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 721aafd7-1d18-5845-ad38-389f1a3483f4   Westlake Legal Group image Adam Carolla: California would care about the homeless 'if it could get money from them' Victor Garcia fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 721aafd7-1d18-5845-ad38-389f1a3483f4

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Laura Ingraham blasts Democrats, media for turning a blind eye to leftist violence

Westlake Legal Group image Laura Ingraham blasts Democrats, media for turning a blind eye to leftist violence Victor Garcia fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article a8b04409-b949-5a57-92f4-c4d097e2b896

Laura Ingraham blasted Democrats for stoking violence against Republicans and Trump supporters after an incident where a driver allegedly plowed his van into a Republican voter registration table in Florida.

“Now, imagine if the Democratic Party of, let’s say, Georgia had sponsored a voter registration drive with balloons and posters that have a sign up station. It’d be manned by eager party volunteers on the sidewalk, let’s say outside a shopping mall, then a van pulls up and a driver rolls down the window. But then he hits the gas and he plows through the tent,” Ingraham said on “The Ingraham Angle.” “Luckily, no injuries. Well, this story, of course, would lead every major newscast, regardless of the facts, Trump-hating reporters would jump to the conclusion that he was at least partly the impetus for such a heinous act.”

FORMER OBAMA FINANCE ADVISER: ‘I JUST DON’T RECOGNIZE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY RIGHT NOW’

Ingraham was referencing the news that a driver in Duval County, Fla., drove his van into a Republican Party voter registration tent in a shopping center parking lot, just missing six volunteers working there, according to police

Ingraham criticized Democrats and the media for not properly covering the attack.

“Predictably, the media has barely covered this story at all,” Ingraham said. “Now, remember what preceded this Florida attack? Think about the dark and sinister way prominent people are talking about the president, the outcome of his impeachment trial and America in general.”

Ingraham played a montage of Democrats railing against Trump, including comedian Bill Maher.

“Once fascists get power, they don’t give it up,” Maher said.

“This whole thing is getting out of hand and it smacks of total desperation on the part of the Democrats,” Ingraham said.

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The host blasted Democrats for turning blind eye to violence perpetrated by “the left.”

“They’ve largely turned a blind eye to leftist violence. Police are given stand-down orders and masked ANTIFA radicals have been allowed to wail,” Ingraham said. “No consequences. Few, if any, arrests. And these people claim Trump’s the ones stoking hatred. Are you kidding me?”

Westlake Legal Group image Laura Ingraham blasts Democrats, media for turning a blind eye to leftist violence Victor Garcia fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article a8b04409-b949-5a57-92f4-c4d097e2b896   Westlake Legal Group image Laura Ingraham blasts Democrats, media for turning a blind eye to leftist violence Victor Garcia fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article a8b04409-b949-5a57-92f4-c4d097e2b896

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