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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 215)

Iranian oil tanker nears coast of Syria as captain refuses to cooperate with delivery, sources say

Westlake Legal Group Adrian-Darya-1-AP Iranian oil tanker nears coast of Syria as captain refuses to cooperate with delivery, sources say Trey Yingst fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article a96532ee-b9d6-5a5a-8c9f-690744a725b3

The Adrian Darya 1, the Iranian oil tanker that the U.S. has pursued for several days, is now fewer than 10 nautical miles from the shores of Syria, intelligence sources tell Fox News.

The captain of the vessel, Akhilesh Kumar, has been refusing to cooperate with a planned oil delivery and has asked to be dismissed or replaced, the sources added.

The ship, formerly known as the Grace 1, turned off its tracking systems as it sailed toward Syria on Monday afternoon.

By entering Syrian waters, the vessel was defying a commitment to the United Kingdom that allowed its release after it was detained in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The ship has been carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil worth around $130 million. On Friday, the Treasury Department hit the tanker and its captain with sanctions, among the latest punishments targeting Iran’s energy industry.

IRANIAN OIL TANKER SOUGHT BY U.S. TURNS OFF TRACKER

Iranian oil tankers often turn off their Automatic Tracking Systems in attempts to hide cargo.

Tensions are high in the Persian Gulf after a summer filled with attacks by Iran and Iranian proxies on Western oil tankers and infrastructure.

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The Iranians have demanded the United States ease sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif said Tuesday that Iran would break a third commitment in the 2015 nuclear deal if its European signatories — Great Britain, France and Germany — couldn’t salvage the deal by Thursday. Earlier this year, Iran surpassed the uranium enrichment and stockpile limits laid out in the agreement.

The Trump administration Tuesday afternoon imposed still more sanctions on Iran, this time targeting the country’s space agency.

Fox News’ Yonat Friling contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Adrian-Darya-1-AP Iranian oil tanker nears coast of Syria as captain refuses to cooperate with delivery, sources say Trey Yingst fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article a96532ee-b9d6-5a5a-8c9f-690744a725b3   Westlake Legal Group Adrian-Darya-1-AP Iranian oil tanker nears coast of Syria as captain refuses to cooperate with delivery, sources say Trey Yingst fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article a96532ee-b9d6-5a5a-8c9f-690744a725b3

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Ted Cruz, Alyssa Milano agree to meet, discuss gun violence after Odessa shooting

Westlake Legal Group Milano-Cruz_Getty Ted Cruz, Alyssa Milano agree to meet, discuss gun violence after Odessa shooting Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/alyssa-milano fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 32f199f8-2d2f-5a53-8a1f-4fe5f3a43cb8

It appears that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will meet with liberal actress Alyssa Milano to discuss gun violence after the two of them feuded on Twitter following last weekend’s deadly gun rampage in Odessa.

The clash began on Sunday. That’s when Milano responded to state Rep. Matt Shaefer’s suggestion that owning a gun is a “God-given right,” asking the Republican legislator, “Can someone cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a god-given right to own a gun?”

Cruz called it an “excellent” question and began by pointing to the “right to Life & the right to Liberty” and went on to cite a Bible verse.

CHICAGO MAYOR CLASHES WITH CRUZ OVER GUN VIOLENCE: ‘KEEP OUR NAME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH’

“The right to self-defense is recognized repeatedly in the Bible,” Cruz wrote, for example, “Exodus 22:2: ‘If a thief is caught breaking in at night & is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.’ (Note, though, Verse 3 says it IS murder if during daylight (ie, not self-defense).”

Pointing to the “unalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” within the Declaration of Independence, Cruz said it is “for that reason that the Second Amendment safeguards the right to keep and bear arms.

TED CRUZ, AOC UNITE FOR ‘SUPER-BIZARRE’ LEGISLATIVE ALLIANCE 

“Playing politics w/ these deranged crimes — and trying to use them as an excuse to violate the constl [sic] rights of law-abiding citizens — won’t make anybody safer,” Cruz concluded in a Twitter thread. “Forcible gun confiscation (as some 2020 Dems urge) won’t prevent mass-murders. But it would weaken our self-defense.”

On Monday, Milano floated the idea of meeting with the Texas senator to discuss the “gun issue,” among other topics, noting that she would be in Washington next week.

“I’d love to come in and meet with you on the gun issue and many other issues that include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… We can live-stream the meeting so the American people can hear your bulls— 1st hand,” Milano wrote, adding she’d like to talk about 1 Peter 4:8, which says: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Cruz accepted the offer.

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“I’d be happy to sit down & visit next week about uniting to stop gun violence & about the Constitution,” Cruz responded. “If we can have a civil & positive conversation — in the spirit of 1 Peter 4:8 as you suggest — despite our political differences, that might help resolve the discord in our Nation.”

Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Milano-Cruz_Getty Ted Cruz, Alyssa Milano agree to meet, discuss gun violence after Odessa shooting Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/alyssa-milano fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 32f199f8-2d2f-5a53-8a1f-4fe5f3a43cb8   Westlake Legal Group Milano-Cruz_Getty Ted Cruz, Alyssa Milano agree to meet, discuss gun violence after Odessa shooting Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/alyssa-milano fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 32f199f8-2d2f-5a53-8a1f-4fe5f3a43cb8

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Pentagon Begins Plan To Fund Border Wall By Delaying Military Projects

Westlake Legal Group 5d6ee390240000ba027312f9 Pentagon Begins Plan To Fund Border Wall By Delaying Military Projects

The Pentagon is moving forward with the Trump administration’s plan to move billions of dollars away from military projects to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to reports from Politico, The Washington Post and CNN.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Tuesday officially authorized the transfer of up to $3.6 billion from the Pentagon to fund 11 construction projects along the border, according to a letter obtained by CNN.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) confirmed he received news of the authorization on Twitter.

Starting Wednesday, the Post reported, Pentagon officials will notify lawmakers of districts where there are military construction projects that will be affected by the diversion of funds. 

There are 127 Department of Defense projects that will be affected by this move, with $1.8 billion in funding coming from projects outside the U.S. and another $1.8 billion from projects within the U.S., Politico reported, citing a Pentagon official. 

In February, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border to sidestep Congress and secure money to build the border wall in an attempt to thwart illegal immigration, despite initial promises that Mexico would be paying for the wall’s construction.

The emergency declaration allowed Trump to divert government money from other projects to fund the wall. The effort faced legal challenges, though the Supreme Court ruled in Trump’s favor in July, allowing his administration to redirect the military funds.

After being notified of the Pentagon’s authorization on Tuesday, Schumer called the funding diversion a “slap in the face to the members of the Armed Forces.”

Trump “is willing to cannibalize already allocated military funding to boost his own ego, and for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build.”

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Brexit Vote Goes Against Boris Johnson, and He Calls for an Election

LONDON — British lawmakers on Tuesday rose up against Prime Minister Boris Johnson, moving to prevent him from taking the country out of the European Union without a formal agreement. The epic showdown pushed Britain to the verge of a new election.

After losing his first-ever vote as prime minister, Mr. Johnson stood up in Parliament and said he intended to present a formal request for a snap general election to lawmakers, who would have to approve it.

A little over a month ago, Mr. Johnson, a brash, blustery politician often compared to President Trump, swept into office with a vow to finally wrest Britain from the European Union by whatever means necessary, even if it meant a disorderly, no-deal departure.

Now, Parliament has pulled the rug out from under him, and Mr. Johnson is at risk of falling into the same Brexit quagmire that dragged down his predecessor as prime minister, Theresa May.

The lawmakers forced his hand by voting by 328 to 301 to take control of Parliament away from the government and vote on legislation as soon as Wednesday that would block the prime minister from making good on his threat of a no-deal Brexit.

That prompted an angry response from the prime minister.

“I don’t want an election, the public don’t want an election, but if the House votes for this bill tomorrow, the public will have to choose who goes to Brussels on Oct. 17 to sort this out and take this country forward,” Mr. Johnson said, referring to the next European Union summit.

Tuesday was a critical moment in Britain’s tortured, three-year effort to extract itself from the European Union. The saga has divided Britons, torn apart the ruling Conservative Party and prompted complaints that Mr. Johnson has trampled the conventions of the country’s unwritten constitution.

A majority of lawmakers are determined to block a withdrawal from the European Union without a deal, which they believe would be disastrous for the country’s economy. Tuesday’s vote suggested they have the numbers to succeed.

Mr. Johnson’s aides had made clear that, in the event of a defeat on Tuesday, he would seek a general election on Oct. 14 — just a little over two weeks before the Brexit deadline of Oct. 31.

In his rebuttal to Mr. Johnson’s call for elections, the opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said he would agree to an election only after Parliament passed legislation barring a no-deal Brexit. The House of Commons is expected to approve the measure on Wednesday.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160148301_f0ed532a-cb14-46b3-811b-ff45b1898770-articleLarge Brexit Vote Goes Against Boris Johnson, and He Calls for an Election Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Johnson, Boris Hammond, Philip Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Conservative Party (Great Britain)

Phillip Lee with the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, after defecting from his Conservative Party on Tuesday.CreditRoger Harris/U.K Parliament

Tuesday’s vote marked a moment when Mr. Johnson’s hardball tactics, for once, were met with equal resistance.

On a day of high drama, Mr. Johnson lost his working majority in Parliament even before the vote took place, when one Conservative rebel, Phillip Lee, quit the party to join the Liberal Democrats, who have managed to stage a resurgence by positioning themselves as an unambiguously anti-Brexit party.

The practical effect of Mr. Lee’s defection for Mr. Johnson was limited, however, because the government would fall only if it were defeated in a confidence motion.

But in moment weighty with symbolism, Mr. Lee walked across the floor of the House of Commons and sat beside Jo Swinson, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, as the prime minister was speaking about the recent Group of 7 summit. Mr. Lee accused Mr. Johnson of pursuing a damaging withdrawal from the European Union in unprincipled ways, and of “putting lives and livelihoods at risk.”

Mr. Lee’s break with the Tories was most likely just the first of many.

On Tuesday, Downing Street said it would press ahead with plans to discipline those rebels who voted against the government by expelling them from the Conservative Party in Parliament. They include two former chancellors of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond and Kenneth Clarke, and Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill.

That could threaten Mr. Johnson’s ability to manage day-to-day business in Parliament, underscoring the need for a new election.

The extent of the Tory civil war was on full display as several of Mr. Johnson’s Conservative critics, including the former chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, lobbed hostile questions at him, making it plain that they had not been brought back into line by threats of expulsion from the party.

Opponents of a no-deal Brexit argue that Mr. Johnson’s promise to leave the bloc without a deal, if necessary, would be catastrophic for the British economy. Many experts say it could lead to shortages of food, fuel and medicine, and wreak havoc on parts of the manufacturing sector that rely on the seamless flow of goods across the English Channel. Leaked government reports paint a bleak picture of what it might look like.

Mr. Johnson says he needs to keep the no-deal option on the table to give him leverage in talks in Brussels, because an abrupt exit would also damage continental economies, if not as much as Britain’s. The prime minister appealed to his own lawmakers not to support what he called “Jeremy Corbyn’s surrender bill,” a reference to the leader of the opposition Labour Party.

“It means running up the white flag,” he said.

Mr. Johnson also claimed to have made progress in talks with European Union leaders, although his own Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, on Monday gave a much less rosy assessment of the state of negotiations.

Britain’s main demand is for the European Union to ditch the so-called Irish backstop, a guarantee that the bloc insists it needs to ensure that goods flow smoothly across the Irish border whatever happens in trade negotiations with Britain. Mr. Johnson said he planned to visit Dublin next week for talks with his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar.

Demonstrators protesting Mr. Johnson and Brexit marched outside Parliament on Tuesday.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

Conservative rebels believe Mr. Johnson is more interested in uniting Brexit supporters behind him ahead of a general election than in securing an agreement in Brussels.

One former chancellor of the Exchequer, Kenneth Clarke, accused Mr. Johnson of setting impossible conditions for the negotiations, attaching as much blame as possible to the European Union for the failure to get a deal and then seeking to hold a “flag-waving election” before the disadvantages of leaving without an agreement become apparent.

The bitter dispute has taken Britain into new political territory.

Last week, Mr. Johnson provoked outrage by curtailing Parliament’s sessions in September and October, compacting the amount of time lawmakers would have to deal with the most crucial decision the country has faced in decades.

Mr. Johnson’s allies argue that it is the rebels who are subverting the principles of Britain’s unwritten constitution by seizing control of the proceedings of Parliament that are normally the preserve of the government.

The European Commission said on Tuesday that while the frequency of meetings between its Brexit team and the British negotiator, David Frost, had increased, little headway had been made toward avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Asked whether the British government was using reports of its talks with the commission for political purposes at home, the commission’s spokeswoman, Mina Andreeva, said that the body was “an honest broker, as always.” She said she could not “report any concrete proposals having being made that we have seen.”

Mr. Hammond, a senior member of the cabinet two months ago, told the BBC on Tuesday that Mr. Johnson’s claim of progress on the negotiations was “disingenuous.”

To add to the turmoil and confusion, the opposition Labour Party suggested it might thwart Mr. Johnson’s attempt to push for a general election, should it come to that. Under a 2011 law, the prime minister needs a two-thirds majority to secure a snap election, although it is possible that the government might try to legislate to set that provision aside, a move that would mean it needs only a simply majority.

There is so little trust in British politics that Mr. Johnson’s opponents fear that he might request an election for Oct. 14 but then switch the date until after Oct. 31 as part of a move to lock in a no-deal withdrawal.

Labour has said that its priority is to stop Britain leaving the European Union without a deal, because of concerns about what such a departure would mean for the economy.

But Labour’s stance underscores that the backdrop to everything in British politics is a sense that a general election is looming, with key players maneuvering for the most advantageous moment.

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Judge Orders Trump to Restore Reporter’s White House Badge

Westlake Legal Group 2yrAK3TQOmkNKVJMppUTjL5ntfrW4VuTCB0aMOsMxgk Judge Orders Trump to Restore Reporter's White House Badge r/politics

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Mattis slams Obama, Biden for ‘ignoring reality’ in Iraq, leading to rise of ISIS

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, in stark terms, lambasts Barack Obama and Joe Biden for faulty leadership in his new book, and suggests their naivete and ignorance of reality contributed to the rise of ISIS in Iraq, according to excerpts reviewed by The Washington Examiner.

The book, “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead,” co-written with Bing West, does not delve into Mattis’ discussions with President Trump. Mattis, speaking to “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday, said only that he did not have a “tense” relationship with the president.

“I try not to talk, having parted ways with the administration over matters of policy,” Mattis said. “I don’t want to talk from the cheap seats now and make their job more difficult.” Mattis resigned from the Trump administration last December after clashing with the president over the abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and after two years of deep disagreements over America’s role in the world.

But Mattis, in his book, did open up about his tenure as head of U.S. Central Command from 2010 to 2013, and zeroed in on the Obama administration’s desire to wind down the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, no matter the cost.

Mattis wrote that Obama’s tenure “was to be a time when I would witness duty and deceit, courage and cowardice, and, ultimately, strategic frustration.”

ISIS USING BOOBY-TRAPPED BOVINES, DONKEY-BORNE EXPLOSIVES TO TARGET ENEMIES IN IRAQ

“In Washington, the debate swirled throughout 2011 about how many, if any, U.S. troops should remain in Iraq,” Mattis recounted. “Central Command, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the new defense secretary, Leon Panetta, who had replaced Bob Gates, continued to recommend to the White House retaining a residual force, as did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

All of them, Mattis asserted, were “talking to the wind,” as Obama was singularly focused on living up to his public promises to end the war in Iraq. In late 2011, Obama said confidently in a speech to the nation that some 40,000 servicemen and women still in Iraq “will definitely be home for the holidays.”

The administration’s faith in Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mattis said, was also misplaced.

“Prime Minister Maliki is highly untrustworthy, Mr. Vice President,” Mattis said he warned Biden. “He’s devious when he talks to us. … He looks at our ambassadors and military advisers as impediments to his anti-Sunni agenda. He wants to purge or marginalize Sunnis and Kurds from the government.”

“He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up.”

— Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, on Joe Biden

Mattis wrote that “Vice President Biden and his assistants listened politely. But as we spoke, I sensed I was making no headway in convincing the administration officials not to support Maliki. It was like talking to people who lived in wooden houses but saw no need for a fire department. …  I found him an admirable and amiable man. But he was past the point where he was willing to entertain a ‘good idea.’ He didn’t want to hear more; he wanted our forces out of Iraq. Whatever path led there fastest, he favored.

WATCH: MATTIS SAYS HE DIDN’T HAVE ‘TENSE’ RELATIONSHIP WITH TRUMP

“He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up, perhaps even indifferent to considering the consequences were he judging the situation incorrectly,” Mattis concluded.

According to Mattis, Biden countered that “Maliki wants us to stick around, because he does not see a future in Iraq otherwise. I’ll bet you my vice presidency.”

Westlake Legal Group 1bd831b6-maliki640 Mattis slams Obama, Biden for 'ignoring reality' in Iraq, leading to rise of ISIS Gregg Re fox news fnc/politics fnc c987f193-f0c9-521c-9837-7ef7a67b1a23 article

Dec. 3, 2011: Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq.

Afterward, Mattis said, “Iraq slipped back into escalating violence. It was like watching a car wreck in slow motion. … All of this was predicted — and preventable.”

In 2016, faced with the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Iraq power vacuum that he had once dismissed as a “junior varsity” effort, Obama sent 5,000 troops back to Iraq. ISIS’ major strongholds fell under the Trump administration, although experts warn that the group remains dangerous.

Nevertheless, Biden — who was nominally in charge of overseeing troop withdrawals from Iraq under the Obama administration — has touted his efforts in that capacity as he runs for president. “I made sure the president turned to me and said, ‘Joe, get our combat troops out of Iraq,'” Biden said in Miami in June. “I was responsible for getting 150,000 combat troops out of Iraq, and my son was one of them.”

In July, Biden claimed, “When I was vice president, the president gave me all the easy jobs, like ‘take care of getting all our troops out of Iraq,’ which we did.”

TRUMP SLAMS OBAMA FOR NOT ENFORCING ‘RED LINE’ AFTER ‘ANIMAL’ ASSAD APPARENTLY USES CHEMICAL WEAPONS

The Washington Post’s fact-checker has noted that Biden has preferred not to mention on the campaign trail the troops’ eventual return to Iraq under his watch.

In his book, Mattis also faulted Obama’s failure to enforce his own self-imposed “red line” upon the use of chemical weapons in Syria had weakend the U.S. globally.

“Old friends in NATO and in the Pacific registered dismay and incredulity that America’s reputation had been seriously weakened as a credible security partner,” Mattis wrote. “Within 36 hours, I received a phone call from a friendly Pacific-nation diplomat. ‘Well, Jim,’ he said, ‘I guess we’re on our own with China.’”

He continued: “Over the next several years, Syria totally disintegrated into hell on earth. The consequences included an accelerated refugee flow that changed the political culture of Europe, punctuated by repeated terrorist attacks. And America today lives with the consequences of emboldened adversaries and shaken allies.”

Mattis separately recounted his own ignominious firing by Obama, after months of disagreement over military policy.

“In December 2012, I received an unauthorized phone call telling me that in an hour, the Pentagon would be announcing my relief,” Mattis said. “I was leaving a region aflame and in disarray. The lack of an integrated regional strategy had left us adrift, and our friends confused. We were offering no leadership or direction. I left my post deeply disturbed that we had shaken our friends’ confidence and created vacuums that our adversaries would exploit.”

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Speaking to “Fox & Friends,” Mattis emphasized that his book was not entirely about disagreements over geopolitics and strategy.

“It’s about leadership,” Mattis said. “It’s about allies, it’s about how do you set the vision as a leader so that all your young people, right down to the youngest 18-year-olds, feel a sense of ownership?”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5985399807001_5985394683001-vs Mattis slams Obama, Biden for 'ignoring reality' in Iraq, leading to rise of ISIS Gregg Re fox news fnc/politics fnc c987f193-f0c9-521c-9837-7ef7a67b1a23 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5985399807001_5985394683001-vs Mattis slams Obama, Biden for 'ignoring reality' in Iraq, leading to rise of ISIS Gregg Re fox news fnc/politics fnc c987f193-f0c9-521c-9837-7ef7a67b1a23 article

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Defense secretary signs off on spending $3.6B to build 175 miles of border wall

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6077821688001_6077808486001-vs Defense secretary signs off on spending $3.6B to build 175 miles of border wall Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/topic/border-wall fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 29554fab-8f87-580c-86ab-aa3ebfede907

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has signed off on spending $3.6 billion in Defense Department construction funds for 175 miles of wall on the southern border with Mexico, Pentagon officials told Fox News on Tuesday.

Esper has been briefing congressional leaders on the plans, including what military construction projects would be affected both in the U.S. and overseas.

The moves provoked an outcry Tuesday among some Democrats.

BORDER PATROL RELEASES DRONE FOOTAGE SHOWING MILES OF ‘NEW WALL SYSTEM’ BEING BUILT

“Earlier today Defense Secretary Mark Esper notified me that the Department of Defense will reprogram $3.6 billion in funds appropriated for military construction and maintenance, including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, in order to build the president’s misguided border wall,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement.

Others weighed in with just as much dissent.

“President Trump’s immigration efforts have failed since Day 1,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. “Today, he made it clear he is willing to take funds from our troops and disaster victims and divert them to try to protect his political right flank. And ultimately, that could put Americans at risk.”

For its part, the Trump administration has been touting progress made on the border.

“Construction continues on the border wall in Yuma, AZ,” Customs and Border Protection (CBP) tweeted over the weekend. “The process includes panel fabrication and delivery, demolition, soil conditioning and digging, trench digging, panel hoisting and installation.”

Use of the money had been frozen by lower courts while a lawsuit proceeded. Last month, however, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for the use of about $2.5 billion.

A border wall was a keystone of the president’s 2016 election campaign, but Congress has resisted funding all of it. This year it allocated $1.4 billion, but the president wanted much more.

The administration has awarded $2.8 billion in contracts for barriers covering 247 miles, with all but 17 miles of that to replace existing barriers instead of expanding coverage.

Various forms of barriers already have existed along 654 miles — about a third — of the border.

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The construction plan came as immigrant apprehensions have fallen sharply over the past two months due to the summer heat and a clampdown in Mexico.

Tens of thousands of people have come to the U.S. over the past year. Most have been Central American families with children, turning themselves in to agents instead of trying to dodge them.

Fox News’ Mike Emanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6077821688001_6077808486001-vs Defense secretary signs off on spending $3.6B to build 175 miles of border wall Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/topic/border-wall fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 29554fab-8f87-580c-86ab-aa3ebfede907   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6077821688001_6077808486001-vs Defense secretary signs off on spending $3.6B to build 175 miles of border wall Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/topic/border-wall fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 29554fab-8f87-580c-86ab-aa3ebfede907

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Mitch McConnell’s actions lead to Federal Election Commission paralysis 14 months before 2020 election

Westlake Legal Group COkOTo71S7jYijV90AdRLiOQ3vVsArFQ8CXPDM8o9iI Mitch McConnell’s actions lead to Federal Election Commission paralysis 14 months before 2020 election r/politics

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Britain’s Conservatives Erupt Into Civil War as Unlikely Rebels Defy Boris Johnson

LONDON — They have been dubbed the Conservative rebels, a group of renegade lawmakers willing to risk their careers to defy their newly chosen leader, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and hobble his leadership over their clashing views on Brexit.

But behind all the talk of revolutionary ardor and mutinous tactics is an unlikely group of insurrectionists — a band of starchy grandees of Tory politics that includes Winston Churchill’s grandson and a 45-year party veteran and ex-chancellor so colorless that he earned the nickname “Spreadsheet Phil.” Running the government only weeks ago, they now flout it from the sidelines.

They believe that Mr. Johnson, in his zeal for pulling Britain out of the European Union without a deal, is risking severe damage to the British economy. But they also believe that he is tearing the Conservatives apart, setting fire to their vision of a big-tent party with priorities beyond Brexit.

In setting aside their usual caution and threatening to rip the heart out of Mr. Johnson’s Brexit plans on Tuesday night, they are offering perhaps the clearest indication yet that the party, squabbling for decades over Europe, is on the brink of a civil war.

The lawmakers would be disobeying a the strongest possible warning from their party to help opposition Labour lawmakers wrench control of the legislative business in Parliament from Mr. Johnson. That would clear the path for a law on Wednesday to stop Britain from leaving the European Union without a deal governing future relations.

Mr. Johnson sees such a law as so damaging to his negotiating strategy on getting Britain out of the bloc that his team has promised to call a snap general election if it passes.

As for the re bels, Mr. Johnson’s team has threatened to kick them out of the party and bar them from running in the next election if they vote against the government.

The conflict could, in an instant, hollow out the world’s oldest and most successful political party. Former insiders would be banished and pro-Brexit lawmakers — once on the fringes, and now at the heart of Mr. Johnson’s government — would tighten their grip on the party.

What remains, moderates fear, will be a narrow, more homogeneous party that sacrifices its long-term electoral prospects in pursuit of a hard split from Europe. A third of Conservative voters said in recent YouGov polling that leaving the European Union without a deal would be unacceptable.

“It’s not clear there’s a route back toward a more center-right party from here,” said Alan Wager, a research associate at The U.K. in a Changing Europe, a research institute.

Mr. Johnson is gambling that the party will instead win over new pro-Brexit voters from the Labour heartlands in the north of England. But his government is already holding on by a thread.

On Tuesday the party lost one Conservative lawmaker, Phillip Lee, who crossed the House of Commons to the benches opposite Mr. Johnson to join the Liberal Democrats, a centrist, anti-Brexit party.

The maneuvering on Tuesday reversed the two flanks of the Tory Party.

Mr. Johnson’s government is stocked with Brexiteers, like Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons. This group was playing the part of rebel when Theresa May was prime minister. They voted incessantly against Mrs. May’s proposed deal for Brexit and savaged her plans in public.

That changed in an instant when Mr. Johnson took power. Senior ministers in Mrs. May’s more moderate government, like Philip Hammond, the chancellor known as “Spreadsheet Phil,” took up the part of spoiler to Mr. Johnson.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160145592_6b9b1ffd-3b4f-45d5-9c38-ac24b3b27a32-articleLarge Britain’s Conservatives Erupt Into Civil War as Unlikely Rebels Defy Boris Johnson Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain

Demonstrating against Brexit outside Parliament on Tuesday.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

Mr. Hammond was joined by Rory Stewart, a former international development secretary, and David Gauke, a former justice secretary, who were some of Mrs. May’s most loyal supporters.

“It’s quite extraordinary that we’ve had such a turnaround from the start of the year, when the rebels were the extreme Brexiteers,” said Nigel Fletcher, a teaching fellow in politics at King’s College London and a local councilor for the Conservatives.

“Those who are now the rebels are really the most establishment of figures,” Mr. Fletcher said. “People like Philip Hammond wouldn’t be considered a maverick at any other time. I think that’s something that has given people pause for thought, because these are not people who’ve made a career out of being provocative for its own sake.”

The rebel lawmakers seemed furious on Tuesday. In another era, they would have been the past and future of the Conservatives, with lawmakers like Nicholas Soames, Churchill’s 71-year-old grandson, standing alongside Mr. Stewart, a rising star among younger voters who walks the country filming his conversations with people.

But they said the party was now being set adrift by “entryists,” right-wing newcomers who have rushed into the Conservative fold to push it in a more extreme direction on Brexit. Mr. Hammond accused Dominic Cummings, Mr. Johnson’s most senior adviser, of not being a Conservative at all.

“This is my party — I’ve been a member of this party for 45 years,” Mr. Hammond said in a radio interview on Tuesday morning, brimming with anger. “I’m going to defend my party against incomers, entryists, who are trying to turn it from a broad church into a narrow faction.”

Mr. Lee, the lawmaker who defected to the Liberal Democrats, said he hardly recognized the Conservatives.

“Sadly, the Brexit process has helped to transform this once great party into something more akin to a narrow faction, where an individual’s ‘conservatism’ is measured by how recklessly one wishes to leave the European Union,” he wrote.

The Conservative rebels by and large support pulling Britain out of Europe, but with a deal to spell out and manage future relations. That alone has made some of them targets, with a rabid grass roots campaign of party members seeking to punish lawmakers not supportive of a no-deal Brexit.

For some of those members, Mr. Johnson’s threat to expel the rebels was long overdue.

“At some point, you have to draw a line in the sand,” said John Rawlins, a former Conservative member who backed an effort to expel Mr. Gauke, one of the rebels, from his seat. “As far as I’m concerned, anyone who actively works against the queen’s government, it’s treason.”

Despite the animosity, many moderate Conservative lawmakers were slow to back a rebellion against Mr. Johnson, wanting to give him a chance to strike a new deal. But they saw few signs of progress. And the mood swung when Mr. Johnson took the extraordinary step of suspending Parliament to push through his Brexit plans.

“Boris has now broken some of the rules,” Mr. Wager said. “That’s what gives someone like Nicholas Soames license to do it, because the unwritten rules of British politics are being rewritten by Boris, and that creates a counterreaction.”

Expelling Conservative rebels would be another draconian move by Mr. Johnson, one that was a step too far even for some of the grass roots Conservative members who support him, like John Strafford, a leading advocate for Conservative members. He said it was “totally wrong that so much power can be put in the hands of one person.”

Tuesday night’s vote was a sea change for a party that has been haggling over membership in the European Union for decades. Moderate lawmakers have tended to buckle in the past to the views of their more ardent, anti-Europe colleagues in the interest of holding the party together. They agreed, for instance, to hold a referendum in the first place. But no longer.

“For about 30 years, they’ve had these arguments about Europe, where each time these sort of moderate political figures have given in to the euroskeptics,” Mr. Wager said. “But to propose a no-deal shows the fight is permanently lost within the Conservative Party. There’s nothing else to lose.”

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Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan: Feds are ‘very well prepared’ for Hurricane Dorian

Westlake Legal Group DorianMondayMap5 Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan: Feds are 'very well prepared' for Hurricane Dorian Frank Miles fox-news/us fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 44896921-71ee-5265-a534-5277d2527ef7

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told Fox News Tuesday that the federal government is ready if and when Hurricane Dorian makes landfall in America.

“Everyone is very well prepared,” McAleenan told “Shepard Smith Reporting.” They got in front of it.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has more than 1,600 employees in or on the way to Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The American Red Cross has opened 170 shelters and evacuation centers. More than 13,000 people are already at those facilities. The National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard say they have readied troops to respond once the storm hits.

HURRICANE DORIAN’S PATH: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

“The president… did a full briefing… making sure we are all ready, on the same page,” McAleenan told Fox News. “He is very engaged.”

As of 5 p.m. EDT, Dorian was about 105 miles east of Vero Beach, Fla. and was moving northwest at 6 mph. A category 2 storm, Dorian packs maximum sustained winds of 110 mph with higher gusts.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the Atlantic coastline north from West Palm Beach, Fla., through Georgia and across southeast Virginia was expected to get 3 to 6 inches of rain through Friday. The coast of North and South Carolina was expected to get between 5 and 10 inches of rain over the same period, with up to 15 inches in sports.

More than 2 million people along the coast in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina have been encouraged or ordered to evacuate. While the threat of a direct hit on Florida had all but evaporated, the core of the storm is expected to move dangerously close to the Florida and Georgia coasts Tuesday night through Wednesday night. The center of Dorian is then expected to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday morning.

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McAleenan noted residents along the U.S. East Coast should be prepared to leave their homes if necessary and should heed evacuation orders from local officials.

“I’d like to tell them not to get complacent,” he warned. “Stay on your toes and be very wary of this storm.”

Westlake Legal Group DorianMondayMap5 Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan: Feds are 'very well prepared' for Hurricane Dorian Frank Miles fox-news/us fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 44896921-71ee-5265-a534-5277d2527ef7   Westlake Legal Group DorianMondayMap5 Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan: Feds are 'very well prepared' for Hurricane Dorian Frank Miles fox-news/us fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 44896921-71ee-5265-a534-5277d2527ef7

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