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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 216)

Hedge-fund manager deletes tweet that US should let coronavirus ‘rampage’ through China’s communist party

Westlake Legal Group AP20040497654404 Hedge-fund manager deletes tweet that US should let coronavirus 'rampage' through China's communist party fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/world fnc e44bbe34-b49c-5958-9d39-e6bdaa7af9ed David Aaro article

Hedge-fund manager Kyle Bass targeted a Communist-backed Chinese newspaper on Sunday by saying the U.S. should abandon the country and allow the coronavirus to tear through its political party and employees of the paper.

In a since-deleted tweet, Bass, the chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management, called Hu Xijin, the editor of the Global Times ‘ungrateful.’ The editor had tweeted he ‘appreciated’ U.S. aid but argued the country needed to help more with its actions instead of words.

“We should take our supplies and go back home,” Bass wrote on Twitter. “Let the Chinese virus rampage through the ranks of the GT [Global Times] and the rest of the Communist Party.”

CHINA SEES RECORD INCREASE IN DAILY CORONAVIRUS DEATHS; AT LEAST 908 DEAD IN ALL

The responded by referencing those killed or impacted by the virus so far.

“As an investor with 129K twitter followers, you uttered such a malicious curse,” he said. “You bring shame to investors community and social media users.CPC members are ordinary citizens, fathers, husbands, wives, daughters… Dr. Li Wenliang is one of them. You should apologize.”

CORONAVIRUS DOCTOR LI WENLIANG’S MOTHER DEMANDS ANSWERS FROM CHINA ABOUT HIS TREATMENT BY POLICE

The editor said that U.S. aid “though belated” is welcomed, “Chinese people heard from the US leaders are much more than the US aid that people actually saw in Wuhan.”

“So you still insist cursing GT and all CPC members to be infected by the new virus, right? Americans who know about China, how do you think of this investor’s curse on the Communist Party of China?” he added.

In an emailed statement to Bloomberg News Bass said he deleted the tweet because he “felt that it was too harsh for the rank and file” of the Global Times, but said he would “never apologize to a self-righteous, attempted manipulator of public opinion [referencing Xijin].”

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The coronavirus has killed 908 people and infected 40,171 as of Monday.

Westlake Legal Group AP20040497654404 Hedge-fund manager deletes tweet that US should let coronavirus 'rampage' through China's communist party fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/world fnc e44bbe34-b49c-5958-9d39-e6bdaa7af9ed David Aaro article   Westlake Legal Group AP20040497654404 Hedge-fund manager deletes tweet that US should let coronavirus 'rampage' through China's communist party fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/world fnc e44bbe34-b49c-5958-9d39-e6bdaa7af9ed David Aaro article

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Florida man accused of driving van into Trump-supporters’ tent reportedly smiles while entering court

Westlake Legal Group timm-cropped-149am Florida man accused of driving van into Trump-supporters' tent reportedly smiles while entering court Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc e6ecc7d3-73b3-5d36-9827-541e05b4d418 article

The 27-year-old Florida man who police say drove a van into a tent that housed supporters for President Trump reportedly arrived in court on Sunday smiling and nodding to the cameras before he was seated, a report said.

Action News Jax reported that Gregory Timm, according to witnesses, ran over chairs and tables the day before at the Kernan Village shopping center.  Witnesses told the station that he recorded the scene moments after the incident, made an obscene gesture and sped off.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said via social media that 27-year-old Gregory William Loel Timm has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a person 65 years old or older, one count of criminal mischief and driving with a suspended license. The Republican party of Duval County said it had set up the tent on Saturday in order to register voters.

The county GOP said via Twitter that six volunteers for President Donald Trump’s campaign “were intentionally targeted while registering voters.”

Local media said there were no injuries.

“Kind of out of the blue, a man approached us in a van, was waving at us, kind of a friendly demeanor, thought he was coming up to talk to us, instead he accelerated his vehicle and plowed right into our tent, our tables,” volunteer Mark Alfieri told television station WJAX.

In a tweet, GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said, “These unprovoked, senseless attacks on @realDonaldTrump’s supporters need to end.”

President Donald Trump retweeted that message and added, “Be careful tough guys who you play with!”

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Timm faces two counts of aggravated assault on a victim over the age of 65, one count of criminal mischief and one count of driving while his license is suspended, the newspaper reported. Sunday, his bond was set at $507,500.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group timm-cropped-149am Florida man accused of driving van into Trump-supporters' tent reportedly smiles while entering court Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc e6ecc7d3-73b3-5d36-9827-541e05b4d418 article   Westlake Legal Group timm-cropped-149am Florida man accused of driving van into Trump-supporters' tent reportedly smiles while entering court Jack Durschlag fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc e6ecc7d3-73b3-5d36-9827-541e05b4d418 article

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Lying Dog-Faced What??? Biden Mystifies With Bonkers Joke Insult At Voter

Westlake Legal Group 5e40dcce2100002e00838204 Lying Dog-Faced What??? Biden Mystifies With Bonkers Joke Insult At Voter

Former Vice President Joe Biden uttered an odd line during a question and answer session in New Hampshire over the weekend, calling a voter a “lying dog-face pony soldier.”

At an event in Hampton, 21-year-old student Madison Moore asked Biden why he fared so poorly in the Iowa caucuses, where he came in fourth place.

“Iowa’s a Democratic caucus,” Biden said. “You ever been to a caucus?”

Moore nodded yes, but Biden wasn’t buying it.

“No, you haven’t,” he said. “You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”

Biden has had some tense moments on the campaign trail, including calling a voter in Iowa a “damn liar.” Last month, he told someone to “go vote for somebody else.” In this case, the line was a joke and many in the room laughed, including the woman who questioned him. However, she later issued a statement saying that while she had never been to a caucus, she didn’t appreciate the comment. 

“It is totally irrelevant whether I’ve been to a caucus or not,” Moore told The Washington Post. “Joe Biden has been performing incredibly poorly in this race. His inability to answer a simple question from a nobody college student like me only exacerbates that reality.”

Biden has used the line before. Reuters reported that he has said it’s a reference to the 1953 John Wayne movie “Hondo.” A search of the script revealed a few references to pony soldiers and lying, but not together nor with the dog-faced portion.

Some on social media suggested Biden may have been referencing “Pony Soldier,” a 1952 film that starred Tyrone Power and not John Wayne. However, according to Slate, the line as Biden used it never appeared in that film, either. 

Regardless of the origin, the strange insult/joke left Twitter users flummoxed: 

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Coronavirus infects 60 more passengers on Diamond Princess, bringing total to 130

Westlake Legal Group Diamond-Princess-Cruise-Ship-iStock Coronavirus infects 60 more passengers on Diamond Princess, bringing total to 130 fox-news/travel/general/cruises fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/travel fnc Edmund DeMarche article 2c2dc930-bc5c-5b05-b7da-4e8d73820f21

Japan may test every person aboard the Diamond Princess for the coronavirus after it was determined Monday that there were 60 new cases on the quarantined ship docked off the coast of Yokohama.

The Japan Times, which first reported the increase, said the passengers will be able to disembark after test results become available. Princess Cruises did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.

PASSENGERS ASK TRUMP FOR HELP

The passengers have been confined on the ship for six days with limited outdoor activities. The New York Times reported that the ship is “host to the highest concentration of the coronavirus cases outside China.” The report said 2,600 passengers have been holed up in their cabins, and some have spoken about their anxiety.

“My whole thing is just to stay calm, because no matter what, I’m here. But every day it’s anxiety-provoking when we see the ambulances line up on the side of the ship,” one passenger told the paper.

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On Monday, China’s health ministry said another 3,062 cases had been reported over the previous 24 hours, raising the Chinese mainland’s total to 40,171. The number of deaths grew by 97 to 908.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group Diamond-Princess-Cruise-Ship-iStock Coronavirus infects 60 more passengers on Diamond Princess, bringing total to 130 fox-news/travel/general/cruises fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/travel fnc Edmund DeMarche article 2c2dc930-bc5c-5b05-b7da-4e8d73820f21   Westlake Legal Group Diamond-Princess-Cruise-Ship-iStock Coronavirus infects 60 more passengers on Diamond Princess, bringing total to 130 fox-news/travel/general/cruises fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/travel fnc Edmund DeMarche article 2c2dc930-bc5c-5b05-b7da-4e8d73820f21

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Karl Marx gets shoutout during Barack Obama-produced film’s 2020 Oscars speech

“The Communist Manifesto” got a shoutout during the 2020 Oscars.

Julia Reichert, the co-director of best documentary winner “American Factory,” which was produced by former President Barack Obama’s new film company, apparently quoted from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ infamous book during her acceptance speech on Sunday night.

SOFIA VERGARA, JESSICA ALBA’S OUTFITS SHINE AT VANITY FAIR OSCARS AFTER-PARTY

“Working people have it harder and harder these days — and we believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite,” Reichert said.

Westlake Legal Group juliareichert-cropped-1234am Karl Marx gets shoutout during Barack Obama-produced film’s 2020 Oscars speech Tamar Lapin New York Post fox-news/entertainment/events/oscars fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 2fc6d4ff-a8ae-509c-89af-1c8b60ec3eff

Julia Reichert, left, and Steven Bognar accept the award for best documentary feature for “American Factory” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The quote appeared to be a riff on the last lines of the 1848 political document, which are frequently translated from German as “Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!”

OSCARS 2020: CHRIS ROCK, STEVE MARTIN OPEN WITH JABS AT HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST STARS, ‘PARASITE’ MAKES HISTORY

Netflix’s “American Factory” comes from Higher Ground, the production company of the former president and his wife Michelle Obama. It tells the story of a Chinese company occupying a shuttered General Motors plant in Moraine, Ohio.

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“Congrats to Julia and Steven [Bognar], the filmmakers behind American Factory for telling such a complex, moving story about the very human consequences of wrenching economic change,” Barack Obama tweeted following the win.

“Glad to see two talented and downright good people take home the Oscar for Higher Ground’s first release.”

Click for more from the New York Post

Westlake Legal Group juliareichert-cropped-1234am Karl Marx gets shoutout during Barack Obama-produced film’s 2020 Oscars speech Tamar Lapin New York Post fox-news/entertainment/events/oscars fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 2fc6d4ff-a8ae-509c-89af-1c8b60ec3eff   Westlake Legal Group juliareichert-cropped-1234am Karl Marx gets shoutout during Barack Obama-produced film’s 2020 Oscars speech Tamar Lapin New York Post fox-news/entertainment/events/oscars fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 2fc6d4ff-a8ae-509c-89af-1c8b60ec3eff

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Luke Perry, Cameron Boyce, Tim Conway missing from Oscars 2020 In Memoriam segment

Westlake Legal Group Luke-perry-cameron-boyce Luke Perry, Cameron Boyce, Tim Conway missing from Oscars 2020 In Memoriam segment Nate Day fox-news/person/tim-conway fox-news/person/luke-perry fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/events/oscars fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d2c417e7-e883-559b-9c01-021e54f0c087 article

Luke PerryCameron Boyce and Tim Conway were left out of the “In Memoriam” segment at the 92nd Academy Awards.

Perry, star of “Beverly Hills, 90210,” died in early 2019 at the age of 52 after suffering a stroke.  Also appearing in “Riverdale” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” one of the evening’s nominated movies, fans of Perry’s were upset that the late actor failed to make the cut.

“No Luke Perry in the In Memoriam?” a fan wrote on Twitter. “He was in one of the Best Picture nominated movies…”

OSCARS 2020: COMPLETE WINNERS LIST

“He wasn’t in the In Memoriam montage, but let’s remember Luke Perry tonight, too,” said another.

OSCARS 2020: EMINEM SHOCKS VIEWERS WITH SURPRISE PERFORMANCE

Another thought it was “disrespectful” that he was left out.

“Once Upon [a] Time in Hollywood was nominated for 8.2 million awards, so someone explain to me why Luke Perry wasn’t in In Memoriam?” a fan tweeted.

Other users noted that Disney star Cameron Boyce, who died at the age of 20, was also missing.

“Cameron boyce we miss and love you sm,” wrote a fan of his. “Sorry they didn’t even acknowledged [sic] this. love you angel.”

OSCARS 2020: SEE THE STARS OUTFITS AT THE ACADEMY AWARDS

“Kinda wish they showed cameron boyce during the memorial part but…” said another.

One noted his importance, saying, “Cameron boyce had such a huge impact into a lot of people’s lives including people in the film industry. just cause his career centered mostly around disney didnt make him any less of an actor. him being left out of the in memoriam just felt wrong.”

SOFIA VERGARA, JESSICA ALBA’S OUTFITS SHINE AT VANITY FAIR OSCARS AFTER-PARTY

Fans were also disappointed to see that comedy icon Tim Conway, who died at 85 in May, was not included.

OSCARS 2020: JOAQUIN PHOENIX GIVES LENGTHY, EMOTIONAL BEST ACTOR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH ABOUT THE STATE OF HUMANITY

“Kind of mad they didn’t mention Tim Conway in the memorial but okay,” said one person.

OSCARS 2020: CHRIS ROCK, STEVE MARTIN OPEN WITH JABS AT HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST STARS, ‘PARASITE’ MAKES HISTORY

Another fan of Conway’s tweeted: “The #InMemoriam section did not include my beloved Tim Conway and the entire Oscar process needs to be investigated!”

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Westlake Legal Group Luke-perry-cameron-boyce Luke Perry, Cameron Boyce, Tim Conway missing from Oscars 2020 In Memoriam segment Nate Day fox-news/person/tim-conway fox-news/person/luke-perry fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/events/oscars fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d2c417e7-e883-559b-9c01-021e54f0c087 article   Westlake Legal Group Luke-perry-cameron-boyce Luke Perry, Cameron Boyce, Tim Conway missing from Oscars 2020 In Memoriam segment Nate Day fox-news/person/tim-conway fox-news/person/luke-perry fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/events/oscars fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d2c417e7-e883-559b-9c01-021e54f0c087 article

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At The Oscars, ‘Parasite’ Makes Best Picture History

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1205166767_wide-b3083aca525872775ee7e094db30fcb60c3545d6-s1100-c15 At The Oscars, 'Parasite' Makes Best Picture History

Bong Joon-ho, here with interpreter Sharon Choi, won big at Sunday’s Oscars. His film Parasite took best international feature and best picture, and he was recognized for his direction and writing. Kevin Winter/Getty Images hide caption

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  At The Oscars, 'Parasite' Makes Best Picture History

Bong Joon-ho, here with interpreter Sharon Choi, won big at Sunday’s Oscars. His film Parasite took best international feature and best picture, and he was recognized for his direction and writing.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

At Sunday’s Oscars, on a night when almost everything went as planned and as usual, the one true surprise came in the biggest moment of all.

For the first time ever, a film in a foreign language won best picture when Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, a comedy-drama-thriller about class and secrets, took the big prize. Bong also won the awards for best director and best original screenplay. He delivered three warm and generous speeches, including one when he won for his directing and thanked fellow nominees Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino for inspiring him and boosting his career, respectively. (He acknowledged Sam Mendes and Todd Phillips, too.) And, while he gave most of his speeches in Korean with interpreter Sharon Choi, when he won the first one, he stopped and noted in English: “This is very first Oscar to South Korea.” The affection in the room for the film was evident every time it was mentioned, as well as in its strong haul of awards (though it absurdly landed not a single nomination for its uniformly excellent cast).

The evening began three and a half hours earlier with a combination of the old and the new: the kind of themed singing-dancing number that used to be the typical Oscars opening, but in the absence of a traditional host, it was performed by the thoroughly modern Janelle Monáe. A version of her own song “Come Alive” was accompanied by dancers dressed in costumes saluting not just nominated films like Joker, but also conspicuously snubbed ones — several of them, but not all, from black filmmakers — including Us, Queen and Slim, Dolemite Is My Name and Midsommar. The monologue that followed, however, was much more creaky and awkward, despite the best efforts of Chris Rock and Steve Martin (the latter of whom regrettably blew the name of best actress nominee Cynthia Erivo).

The awards in general, and the ones this season in general, have been heavily criticized for how white the nominees are, the failure to nominate any women directors in a year when several made highly regarded films, and plenty of other shortfalls in inclusivity. The Academy’s discomfort with that criticism seemed evident: There may not have been a lot of performers of color among the nominees, but there were a lot among the presenters and speakers and performers. Several presenters — as well as Monáe in her opening number — made mention of the limitations at issue, which is the kind of thing that happens when people are placed in a situation they don’t want to ignore but also aren’t there to challenge too much.

One new inclusion was a land acknowledgment — a custom that’s commonly observed in other places, including Canada, at cultural events (I’ve personally seen them at the Toronto International Film Festival). In this case, it was writer-director Taika Waititi, nominated for Jojo Rabbit, who read an acknowledgment of the indigenous people who have lived on the land where the event — in this case, the Academy Awards — takes place. Whether this gesture will be followed up by any action as to the broadening of the Academy’s taste remains, of course, to be seen.

Parasite‘s win for best picture stood out particularly because almost all of the other awards that had seemed likely to go a particular way did: Legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins won for his work on 1917, the WWI film engineered to look like a continuous shot. Film editing is often a precursor to other big awards, and this year the winners were the editors of racing drama Ford V. Ferrari. Parasite had been expected to win (or at least to contend strongly) in the categories of best international feature film and for Bong Joon-ho’s original screenplay. Waititi was a favorite for best adapted screenplay, which he won.

The acting awards this year had heavy favorites going into the ceremony: Joaquin Phoenix as best actor in Joker, Renee Zellweger as best actress in Judy, Brad Pitt as best supporting actor in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Laura Dern as best supporting actress in Marriage Story. They all won. Most of them said about what you might expect (although Phoenix surprised many of us by adding to his speech about fighting injustice a mention of the cruelty of artificially inseminating cows and then stealing their offspring, while Zellweger listed many of her heroes in a speech that matched his, meander for meander).

The lower-profile (but critical) behind-the-scenes awards were spread across a bunch of films. Best production design went to Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which re-created the late-’70s L.A. landscape and aesthetic with a lot of loving attention. Little Women won its only award of the night for Jacqueline Durran’s costume design, full of beautiful dresses both fancy and not. The transformation of actors into familiar faces from the news won an award for the hair and makeup team from Bombshell. The sound editing award went to Ford v. Ferrari and both sound mixing and visual effects went to 1917.

The non-surprises kept coming: Toy Story 4 won best animated feature. Best documentary feature was awarded to American Factory, which boasts Barack and Michelle Obama as producers and which comes from Netflix. Hair Love, a lovely film about a father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time, written and directed by Matthew A. Cherry, won best animated short, and Cherry dedicated the award to Kobe Bryant: “May we all have a second act as great as his was.” Best live action short film went to The Neighbor’s Window, and best documentary short subject went to Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl).

The nominated best original songs were performed on stage as usual. Introducer Josh Gad had some fun pointing out that Idina Menzel’s name is “pronounced exactly as it’s spelled” (take that, John Travolta) before she performed “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2. Menzel was joined by some of the singers who have performed the song in other languages in one of the evening’s better innovations. Chrissy Metz performed “I’m Standing With You” from Breakthrough, accompanied by the choir that’s nearly obligatory. Randy Newman performed “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4, and Cynthia Erivo (also nominated for best actress) performed the song “Stand Up (From Harriet),” which, as its title suggests, is from Harriet. Elton John performed “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman, seemingly hamstrung by a bad sound mix.

When they’d all been heard, “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” was victorious. Hildur Guðnadóttir won best original score for her work on Joker.

The musical moment you probably would not have expected — because, really, who could? — was that actor Anthony Ramos introduced Lin-Manuel Miranda; Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced a montage saluting the music used in movies over many decades; and that montage led to Eminem performing the Oscar-winning “Lose Yourself” from 8 Mile, to which the audience responded rapturously. It wasn’t an obvious move to throw in that performance, given that it’s not celebrating any kind of round-numbered anniversary; it won at the 2003 ceremony, though Eminem didn’t perform it then. But it made people happy and got the crowd going like nothing else did all evening except Parasite winning awards, and there’s something to be said for that. Not long after, there was a recap rap from Utkarsh Ambudkar, an actor who appeared this year in Brittany Runs a Marathon, reminding everyone what had happened so far. That’s a lot of rap for an Oscars ceremony.

Last year’s ceremony also went without a host, and it wound up being dominated by the actual wins and losses. That made big nights for Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, neither of which seemed to excite the crowd, very disappointing. But this year, the fact that there’s good feeling around so many different films — and enormous respect and love for both Parasite and Bong Joon-ho — means that this ceremony fared much better.

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Wind gust of 209 mph atop California mountain may have set record

Westlake Legal Group ddd-2 Wind gust of 209 mph atop California mountain may have set record fnc/science fnc e3e49c8e-6287-5634-82e7-ae3f62693b4e Associated Press article

A gust of 209 mph was recorded atop a California peak on Sunday, a potential record that wowed forecasters monitoring a cold storm moving south through the state.

The blast of wind was captured around 7:45 a.m. by an instrument at 9,186 feet on Kirkwood Mountain south of Lake Tahoe, said National Weather Service forecaster Alex Hoon.

He and his colleagues at the NWS office in Reno, Nevada watched in surprise as wind speeds across the crest of the Sierra Nevada hit 150 mph and kept rising.

“It went up and up,” Hoon said. It could take months for state climatologists to verify the record, he said.

“But the way that the winds did ramp up, it looks legitimate,” Hoon said. “It’s an exciting moment for sure.”

The previous record was a gust of 199 mph at Ward Mountain west of Lake Tahoe on Nov. 16, 2017.

The storm that caused widespread in flooding last week in Washington and Oregon brought a strong cold front to California, but not much rain or snow.

Waves topping 5 feet were recorded on Lake Tahoe, where air temperatures dipped below freezing.

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The same system could bring light drizzle to the red carpet at the Academy Awards Sunday evening in Los Angeles

Westlake Legal Group ddd-2 Wind gust of 209 mph atop California mountain may have set record fnc/science fnc e3e49c8e-6287-5634-82e7-ae3f62693b4e Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ddd-2 Wind gust of 209 mph atop California mountain may have set record fnc/science fnc e3e49c8e-6287-5634-82e7-ae3f62693b4e Associated Press article

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How the Iowa Caucuses Became an Epic Fiasco for Democrats

DES MOINES — The first signs of trouble came early.

As the smartphone app for reporting the results of the Iowa Democratic caucuses began failing last Monday night, party officials instructed precinct leaders to move to Plan B: calling the results into caucus headquarters, where dozens of volunteers would enter the figures into a secure system.

But when many of those volunteers tried to log on to their computers, they made an unsettling discovery. They needed smartphones to retrieve a code, but they had been told not to bring their phones into the “boiler room” in Des Moines.

As a torrent of results were phoned in from school gymnasiums, union halls and the myriad other gathering places that made the Iowa caucuses a world-famous model of democracy, it soon became clear that the whole process was melting down.

Volunteers resorted to passing around a spare iPad to log into the system. Melissa Watson, the state party’s chief financial officer, who was in charge of the boiler room, did not know how to operate a Google spreadsheet application used to input data, Democratic officials later acknowledged.

Others, desperate to verify results, began telling some precinct leaders to email photographs of their worksheets — the paper forms used to tally results — to a dedicated email address. But for hours, no one monitored the inbox. When it was finally opened Tuesday morning, there were 700 unread emails waiting, with photos that had been sent sideways; volunteers had to crane their necks to decipher the handwritten forms.

An hour after the caucuses began, the Iowa Democratic Party chairman, Troy Price, huddled in another room with other officials, none of them with a clear strategy to manage the unfolding chaos or answers to share with increasingly exasperated presidential campaigns. A conference call with the campaigns ended with Mr. Price hanging up on them, amid accusations that caucus results in Iowa may have been incorrectly reported for decades.

As disastrous as the 2020 Iowa caucuses have appeared to the public, the failure runs deeper and wider than has previously been known, according to dozens of interviews with those involved. It was a total system breakdown that casts doubt on how a critical contest on the American political calendar has been managed for years.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168361698_54c33ad8-0269-4c9c-9c08-02557b37ad46-articleLarge How the Iowa Caucuses Became an Epic Fiasco for Democrats Shadow Inc. Primaries and Caucuses Price, Troy Presidential Election of 2020 Polk County (Iowa) Perez, Thomas E Mobile Applications Iowa Democratic Party democratic national committee Computers and the Internet Bagniewski, Sean

An initial headcount at a caucus site at Drake University’s Knapp Center in Des Moines on Tuesday.Credit…Jordan Gale for The New York Times

Until now, the main public villain in the Iowa caucus fiasco has been the reporting app, created by a company called Shadow Inc., along with a “coding issue” in a back-end results reporting system that state party officials blamed for the chaos. But the crackup resulted from cascading failures going back months.

The fragile edifice of the caucuses, which demoralized Democrats in search of a strong nominee to take on President Trump, crumbled under the weight of technology flops, lapses in planning, failed oversight by party officials, poor training, and a breakdown in communication between paid party leaders and volunteers out in the field, who had devoted themselves for months to the nation’s first nominating contest.

The wider scope of the malfunctions came to light partly because of a new set of reporting requirements, mandated by the Democratic National Committee after allies of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont pushed the national party to demand more transparency following his narrow loss to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Iowa caucuses.

The widespread lack of faith in the Iowa results has shaken many Americans’ confidence in their electoral system. Mr. Trump has reveled in the meltdown. Democrats have proposed abolishing caucuses and ending Iowa’s time at the front of the presidential nominating calendar.

Even as party officials scramble to contain the fallout, the full extent of the problems in Iowa is still not known.

An analysis by The New York Times revealed inconsistencies in the reported data for at least one in six of the state’s precincts. Those errors occurred at every stage of the tabulation process: in recording votes, in calculating and awarding delegates, and in entering the data into the state party’s database. Hundreds of state delegate equivalents, the metric the party uses to determine delegates for the national convention, were at stake in these precincts.

The Iowa Democratic Party released a list of 92 precincts on Sunday that it said were flagged as problematic by three presidential candidates — Mr. Sanders; Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind.; and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. That figure is far fewer than the number with inconsistencies captured in the Times review. The Associated Press said it was unable to declare a caucus winner.

Sean Bagniewski, the Democratic chairman of Polk County, which includes Des Moines, blamed state officials for neglecting the hard work of overseeing the caucuses.

“It’s very easy to slip into the celebrity of the caucuses,” Mr. Bagniewski said. State party leaders, he said, were distracted by offers to appear on cable TV, hobnob with national Democratic leaders and meet presidential candidates, and did not take their day-to-day duties “seriously from the get-go.’’

In the aftermath of the disaster, state and national party leaders are pointing fingers at one another. On Sunday, Mr. Price, the state party chairman, said he was proud of the volunteers who put on the caucuses and that the state party worked with the national committee for months to prepare for them.

“We are conducting a thorough independent review of the process, and it would be irresponsible for us to rush to judgment before that review is complete,” he said in a statement.

Tom Perez, the chairman of the national committee, placed blame directly on the Iowa Democratic Party and Mr. Price.

“Troy Price was doing his best, but it wasn’t enough,” Mr. Perez said in an interview with The Times on Sunday, noting that while the national and state parties work in partnership, the Iowa Democratic Party is ultimately responsible for administering its own nominating contest.

The D.N.C. approved Iowa’s delegate selection plan, but left the state party to determine on its own how to collect and tabulate caucus results, Mr. Perez said, adding that the national party did not test the state’s app or set standards for training or preparation.

Mr. Perez said he was not responsible for what state parties and their leaders do.

“I do not conduct a performance evaluation of every party chair,” he said.

Asked whether the D.N.C. would increase its scrutiny of other caucuses run by state parties, including Nevada’s in less than two weeks, Mr. Perez said he would “implement all of the lessons learned,” but did not specify how.

Some of the roots of the Iowa debacle stretch to 2016, when Mr. Sanders finished a fraction of a percentage point behind Mrs. Clinton in the state’s caucuses. He and his allies were furious.

Their caucus-night data indicated he had won the popular vote, but there was no way to prove their case. Precincts only reported how many delegates should be allotted, without the underlying vote totals. And there was no mechanism for Iowa Democrats to recount caucus results, because the state party did not maintain paper records of them.

In 2017, the D.N.C. formed a commission to propose changes to the party’s presidential nominating system, including the way caucus results are reported.

The Iowa Democratic Party tried to comply with the national committee’s orders, which were enacted in 2018, but the two organizations sparred over how the state should address the new requirements and what role the national party should play in Iowa Democrats’ affairs.

Since the disaster Monday night, the D.N.C. has said it took a hands-off approach to the entire operation. But an email from the summer, obtained by The Times, indicates that the national committee tried to involve itself in preparing for the caucuses — in particular, with security.

In July, according to the email, Kat Atwater, the D.N.C.’s deputy chief technology officer, proposed language for vendor contracts that would give the national party access to source code, and allow it to test apps and other products used by the state party.

Iowa party officials rejected the proposed language.

Weeks later, in August, the national party cited security concerns when it vetoed the Iowa Democratic Party’s proposal to hold a “virtual caucus,” which would have allowed absentee participation by phone.

The disagreements delayed approval of Iowa’s caucus plan until late September. The state would use remote “satellite caucuses” to allow Iowans who could not make it to their precinct caucus sites to participate, and a smartphone app for precinct leaders to report results.

One man would oversee all of it.

Mr. Price, 39, a lifelong Iowan who became chairman of the state Democratic Party in July 2017, had a sterling resume. He had been an aide to two former Iowa governors and a top figure in both President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign in the state and in Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 run.

He relished the national attention the caucuses attracted. In early November, at an annual state party dinner that drew 13,000 people, he spoke for 18 minutes, longer than any of the presidential candidates did.

Mr. Price spent the months before the caucuses defending Iowa’s pre-eminent position in the presidential primary process, as candidates bemoaned Iowa’s lack of diversity and arcane caucusing process.

At an August news conference, Mr. Price projected total confidence.

“Just know this,” he said, gesturing with a pointed finger for emphasis. “On Feb. 3 of 2020, caucuses will take place in this state. We will be first. And they will be, without a doubt, the most successful caucuses in our party’s history.”

Just days before the caucuses, precinct leaders received their first instructions for downloading an app they were to use to record and send results.

The app was created by Shadow Inc., a company recommended to Iowa party officials by Democratic leaders in Nevada, who were working with it as well.

The chief executive of Shadow, Gerard Niemira, was a veteran of the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign, where he oversaw tech products like an app the campaign used to take advantage of the quirky math of caucuses and track results in real time.

Because of the delays in planning Iowa’s caucuses, Shadow personnel didn’t enter into a contract for the Iowa app until the fall of 2019, compressing an already tight timeline on a deal that paid relatively little — a bit more than $60,000 so far — for customized technology services.

In November, Iowa officials gathered in Des Moines with Harvard election security experts including Robby Mook, Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, to test processes involved in the caucuses. But the app wasn’t part of the exercise.

Still, Shadow developed an initial version of the app that month and began testing and updating it, according to a person involved in the effort. As the caucus date approached, more updates came, but the developers didn’t regard them as critical.

The weekend before the caucuses, officials from Shadow, the state party and the D.N.C. gathered to run final tests. They fed in false data to verify that the quality-control system would catch anything amiss. The app worked well, according to a person involved. But no evidence arose of a bug that would jumble a portion of the results on caucus night.

The Sunday before the caucuses, Mr. Price kept up a busy schedule. He taped an interview with Kasie Hunt of MSNBC in the early afternoon. He posed for a photo on the Fox News set with Donna Brazile, a former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. In the evening, he was at a Super Bowl party with Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Yet in Polk County, where Democrats were preparing for 177 precinct caucuses, it had already been clear all week that the app had problems.

When precinct chairs reported issues, the state party referred them to a lone help-desk employee, who did not always respond to calls and emails.

Six hours before the caucuses were to start at 7 p.m. Monday, precinct leaders received a final email about the app with an ominous instruction: “If the app stalls/freezes/locks up: Close out of the app and log back in with your PIN. The app should save where you were. If it does not, please call in your results.”

Most precinct caucuses ran smoothly across the state. But when some precinct leaders tried to report the results, the app sometimes froze. Calls to the state party hotline sometimes languished on hold for five hours.

To relieve pressure on the state party, D.N.C. officials executed a contingency plan created for natural disasters or terror events: using a backup call center at the party’s headquarters on South Capitol Street in Washington, where about 40 people began taking calls.

By then, it was clear that a catastrophe was taking place at the Iowa Events Center, a venue for auto shows and state wrestling tournaments that was serving as caucus central.

The state party’s phones were jammed. Users on the website 4chan had publicly posted the election hotline number and encouraged one another to “clog the lines.” The party’s volunteer phone operators also had to deflect calls from television news reporters in search of caucus results that were hours overdue.

One floor below, representatives from the seven presidential campaigns competing in Iowa waited in a room with no windows, no food, no water and no information. They took turns trying to call state party officials in search of information.

On a conference call with the campaigns later that night, Mr. Price struggled to explain the information blackout. He said the problems stemmed from party officials having to collect three sets of data from all precincts for the first time.

“You always had to calculate these numbers, all we’re asking is that you report them for the first time,” Jeff Weaver, Mr. Sanders’s closest adviser, said he told Mr. Price on the call. “If you haven’t been calculating these numbers all along, it’s been a fraud for 100 years.”

Mr. Price ended the call.

As engineers scrambled to repair the app, panicked Iowa party leaders were making a choice. It was time, they decided, to abandon digital methods and rely on the old ways, gathering data over the phone and doing the math by hand — a decision that would open a whole new can of worms.

Each precinct leader had 36 separate figures to report, along with two separate six-digit verification numbers — and there were more than 1,700 precincts, including the satellites.

In the chaos, caucus results collected by phone operators were riddled with errors. Dozens of the volunteers returned over the next three days to crosscheck them and input results from caucus worksheets that came in by email or through the app. One was delivered days later by the Postal Service.

In the Times review of the data, at least 10 percent of precincts appeared to have improperly allocated their delegates, based on reported vote totals. In some cases, precincts awarded more delegates than they had to give; in others, they awarded fewer. More than two dozen precincts appeared to give delegates to candidates who did not qualify as viable under the caucus rules.

Given the slim lead Mr. Buttigieg now holds over Mr. Sanders in state delegate equivalents, a full accounting of these inconsistencies could alter the outcome. But without access to the precinct worksheets, it is difficult to determine whom the errors hurt or favored.

As caucus night gave way to a week of finger-pointing, some local Democratic volunteers expressed anger at what they saw as efforts by national party officials to blame Iowa for the mess.

“The D.N.C.’s kind of hanging us out to dry,” said Steve Drahozal, the Democratic chairman in Dubuque County. “Instead of saying ‘Good job!’ to the local volunteers, they’re disrespecting a lot of grass-roots organizing that was done. There are criticisms they can make, but this was an extremely smooth, well-organized caucus. We just couldn’t get the data reported.”

Reid J. Epstein and Sydney Ember reported from Des Moines and Manchester, N.H., and Trip Gabriel and Mike Baker from Des Moines. Reporting was contributed by Michael Wines and Jack Healy from Des Moines, Shane Goldmacher from Manchester, and Keith Collins, Denise Lu, Charlie Smart, Steven Moity and Pierre-Antoine Louis from New York. Jack Begg, Susan Beachy and Alain Delaqueriere contributed research.

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‘Parasite’ Winning Best Picture Is A Huge Leap Forward For The Oscars

This is major. For the first time in the Oscars’ 92-year history, a foreign-language film was crowned Best Picture.

“Parasite,” the genre-busting South Korean masterpiece about a struggling family of four who con their way into a wealthy clan’s employ, began awards season as a long-shot contender. It won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May and became a runaway favorite among stateside critics. Still, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ relative aversion to subtitles seemed deterring. At first, a nomination was the most anyone could hope for. 

But “Parasite” assumed a life of its own, forging one of the most exciting Oscar trajectories in recent memory. The film found box-office fortune as it expanded across North American theaters throughout fall and winter, and Bong Joon-ho solidified his reputation as a cunning director skilled at disguising nuanced political allegories as crowd-pleasing blockbusters, something he’d already done with “The Host,” “Snowpiercer” and “Okja.” 

During the months he spent traveling the globe to promote “Parasite” and charm industry voters, Bong gained rock-star status. His warm smile and rumpled hair lit up room after room, as well as the cover of Variety. He even acquired an online fan army that adopted the Beyoncé-inspired hashtag #BongHive. And on Sunday, Bong also won Best Director, Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay (with Han Jin-won). 

Westlake Legal Group 5e40d6392100002d008381fa ‘Parasite’ Winning Best Picture Is A Huge Leap Forward For The Oscars

MARK RALSTON via Getty Images Bong Joon-ho, alongside translator Susan Choi, accepting the award for Best International Feature Film on Feb. 9, 2020.

Positioned against star-driven hits such as “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “The Irishman,” “Joker” and “Ford v Ferrari,” Bong and his movie were underdogs representing the best of what cinema is capable of. The 50-year-old director became an unlikely unifier, someone people could feel proud to support.

The Oscars tell us a lot about the state of popular culture at any given moment, or at least what Hollywood values. Last year, the Academy made a regressive Best Picture choice in “Green Book,” an oversimplified portrait of race relations that could have just as easily opened 30 years ago, over forward-thinking choices like “Roma,” “Black Panther” and “The Favourite.” This time, with awards season unfolding alongside President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, the 8,469-member organization opted for a progressive emblem: an international film fixated on the class disparities fueling economic division around the world. 

“I haven’t been able to really analyze what’s going on,” Bong said when I asked him in November why this movie had struck such a cord. “Perhaps it’s because ‘Parasite’ is a true story about our lives, and also the story about the gap between rich and poor is something that everyone can sympathize with, no matter which country you’re from.” 

Come Oscar night, “Parasite” faced its steepest competition from “1917,” the other movie that fared particularly well in the predictive precursor accolades. “Parasite” won the Screen Actors Guild’s top prize (and a televised standing ovation) in January, indicating a lift in the Best Picture contest since SAG boasts a significant voter overlap with the Academy. But “1917” later took the BAFTA, Directors Guild Award and Producers Guild Award, ostensibly dampening the odds of a “Parasite” victory. The World War I drama also scored the Golden Globe, but that one is a bit of a wash, as foreign films are ineligible for the Globes’ best-picture categories.

Westlake Legal Group 5df16c612100002d0734fb91 ‘Parasite’ Winning Best Picture Is A Huge Leap Forward For The Oscars

Neon Choi Woo-shik, Song Kang-hoi, Jang Hye-jin and Park So-dam in “Parasite.”

With a two-pony race, the narrative was clear. “1917,” for all its handsomeness, was the old-guard choice, a war drama contending for a statue that has gone to war dramas since the day the Oscars were born. (The first movie to win Best Picture was “Wings,” a 1927 silent film set during, yep, World War I.) “Parasite,” on the other hand, marked a path forward at a moment when Hollywood is facing technological, economic and social upheaval. The Academy has diversified its membership in recent years to include more women and people of color, and a “Parasite” victory realizes the fruits of that initiative. 

Of course, Sunday’s Oscars weren’t without blindspots. When nominations were announced on Jan. 13, “Parasite” received nods for its direction, screenplay, production design and editing — but nothing for its actors. That was no shock, considering the Asian cast isn’t well-known among American audiences, but the snub nonetheless epitomized what’s off-kilter about the Academy’s sensibilities. The Oscars — and Hollywood more broadly — has a history of prioritizing nonwhite stories only when they depict slavery and other horrors, which could explain why Cynthia Erivo was the only actor of color to make this year’s shortlist. (Erivo earned her nomination for portraying Harriet Tubman.) If “Parasite” was so beloved, why didn’t that extend to the actors who telegraphed the film’s humanity? 

But that oversight, in turn, makes Best Picture even more of a triumph for “Parasite.” It’s only the 12th movie in Oscar history — and the first since 2008’s “Slumdog Millionaire” — to win without a single acting nomination to its name.

As a new decade begins, maybe we can finally start putting an end to the conventional wisdom that dictates what can reasonably vie for Best Picture.

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