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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 220)

How 7-Eleven Struck Back Against an Owner Who Took a Day Off

Westlake Legal Group 06seveneleven-1-facebookJumbo How 7-Eleven Struck Back Against an Owner Who Took a Day Off Population Part-Time Employment Matsumoto, Mitoshi Labor and Jobs Japan Franchises Convenience Stores 7-eleven

HIGASHI-OSAKA, Japan — The rice balls are gone. So are the juice bottles, which Mitoshi Matsumoto priced to sell early. Most of his store’s shelves stand empty, but he has kept some cigarette cartons and bottles of alcohol in the hope that his long-running battle with the 7-Eleven convenience store chain will end in his favor.

The company that controls the 7-Eleven chain, Seven & I Holdings, terminated Mr. Matsumoto’s franchise last week after he decided to close his store on New Year’s Day, and it has stopped supplying him.

It was the latest battle between Mr. Matsumoto and one of Japan’s best-known companies over harsh working conditions in the Japanese convenience store industry, which demands that stores stay open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, for all 365 days in a year.

Mr. Matsumoto remains in business, but just barely. The screen on the A.T.M. flashes, “Not in operation.” His two full-time employees are ready to jump to new jobs once he finally closes, and his seven part-time employees no longer show up.

Still, he plans to stay open as long as he can.

“I want to stay in business for the sake of myself and other owners throughout the country,” said Mr. Matsumoto, 57, who says he plans to continue his fight in a local court.

A spokesman for Seven & I, Katsuhiko Shimizu, said the company terminated Mr. Matsumoto’s contract last Tuesday. He denied that the termination was tied to Mr. Matsumoto’s plan to close for a day, and instead cited numerous customer complaints about the store and Mr. Matsumoto’s disparaging remarks about the company on social media.

Mr. Matsumoto’s fight with 7-Eleven has made him famous in Japan, a country that has long struggled with a strenuous and sometimes deadly work culture.

Government figures show overwork was blamed for 246 claims related to hospitalization or death in 2018. The retail industry was one of the biggest sources, officials show. Another 568 workers took their own lives over job-related exhaustion. The phenomenon is so common that Japan has coined a term for it, “karoshi.”

Overwork has become an even bigger issue as the Japanese population ages and shrinks. Though the country’s economic growth has been weak for years, the labor market has tightened considerably as more workers slip into retirement and fewer young workers take their place. While Japan is rethinking its tough immigration laws, the rules still generally keep people from moving to the country to fill in the gap.

Those strains are particularly evident in the convenience store industry. Japan’s chains have greatly expanded in recent years in an effort to capture market share at one another’s expense.

While the expenses for the chains were minimal, the expansion took a toll on the franchisees who operate the vast majority of Japan’s more than 55,000 convenience stores. Unable to find dependable workers, many owners increasingly worked themselves.

“Under the current situation, the company can have it both ways,” said Naoki Tsuchiya, a professor at Musashi University in Tokyo and an expert on labor issues in the industry, who called Mr. Matsumoto “a significant figure” in the nationwide discussion over convenience stores. “They don’t have to take risks, but the owners have to take them.”

Mr. Matsumoto first drew attention a year ago. Under pressure to find workers and unable to take a day off himself, he decided to close his store before midnight. When 7-Eleven threatened his business, he contacted local reporters.

“In the last seven years, I managed to take only three trips with my wife,” he said over the weekend. “Even back then, I was preoccupied with store operations, worrying about sudden cancellation by part-time workers. I had to hold a mobile phone while I soaked in a spa.”

The clash drew renewed attention last month when Mr. Matsumoto declared his intention to close his store on New Year’s Day, Japan’s most important holiday. Days later, 7-Eleven threatened to close his store.

When Mr. Matsumoto reopened on Jan. 2, the threat appeared to have been carried out. The company’s vast and super-efficient logistics system had stopped sending fresh supplies. The sales terminal where employees ring up goods is still online, but little else appears to be connected to the 7-Eleven apparatus that runs nearly 40 percent of Japan’s convenience stores.

Mr. Matsumoto says he still has business. Supportive customers have shown up to shop among his remaining inventory, which includes snacks, instant noodles, stationery items, detergents and cosmetics.

One of them, Hiroshi Nakayama, a 45-year-old electrical equipment wholesaler, had long watched the fight between Mr. Matsumoto and 7-Eleven and went to the store after his son’s soccer game to check in. The whole fight could have been avoided, he said.

“There must have been other solutions to fix the bad relationship with the company,” said Mr. Nakayama, who turned up on Saturday after Mr. Matsumoto, running on a skeleton staff, had closed for the night. “They could have discussed it more. It’s both sides’ fault.”

Mr. Matsumoto said another store owner, from the city of Kyoto, had come to visit to express support, but he declined to provide a name.

Despite his troubles with the company, Mr. Matsumoto said he hoped a legal fight would restore his franchise. He said that 7-Eleven had offered to pay for his remaining inventory — owners are responsible for buying their own products from the company at wholesale prices — but that he had refused. He wants Japan’s convenience store industry to change instead.

“If I win the case, I hope more will follow and raise their voices,” he said. “If I lose, many will get depressed and more afraid of 7-Eleven.”

That is why, he said, he plans to fight to the bitter end.

“It doesn’t matter if I win or lose,” Mr. Matsumoto said. “I just want to disclose everything in my case. I believe the justice will be given.”

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A Sea of Mourners in Iran, and New Threats From Both Sides: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

transcript

Crowds Gather at Suleimani’s Funeral

Throngs of people chanting “Death to America” crowded the streets of Tehran on Monday as Iran mourned Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, whose funeral was held in the capital.

He thinks he killed one of us. He hasn’t gone — look how many more Suleimani we have.

Westlake Legal Group 06Iran-briefing1-promo-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600-v3 A Sea of Mourners in Iran, and New Threats From Both Sides: Live Updates United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Esmail Ghaani Defense and Military Forces

Throngs of people chanting “Death to America” crowded the streets of Tehran on Monday as Iran mourned Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, whose funeral was held in the capital.CreditCredit…Office of Iran’s Supreme Leader, via Reuters

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept and offered prayers over the coffin of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani at the funeral in Tehran on Monday, as throngs of people filled the city’s streets to mourn.

General Suleimani was killed by the United States on Friday in Baghdad in a drone strike. American officials said the general had ordered assaults on Americans in Iraq and Syria and was planning a wave of imminent attacks.

Ayatollah Khamenei had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the second most powerful man in Iran.

The military commander was hailed as a martyr, and his successor swore revenge during the funeral ceremony, while chants of “Death to America” rang out from the crowds in the capital.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166747320_5c2b277e-7978-4b1e-8564-2e231030f246-articleLarge A Sea of Mourners in Iran, and New Threats From Both Sides: Live Updates United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Esmail Ghaani Defense and Military Forces

State-run news outlets reported that millions had gathered in Tehran.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger,” said Esmail Ghaani, the Iranian general who will succeed General Suleimani as head of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “Certainly actions will be taken,” he added.

General Suleimani’s killing has prompted fears of escalating retaliatory actions between Iran and the United States, and of a broader regional conflict. After the attack, Iran said it would no longer abide by a 2015 agreement to suspend uranium production.

Zeinab Suleimani, General Suleimani’s daughter, said in a eulogy that the United States and Israel faced a “dark day.”

“You crazy Trump, the symbol of ignorance, the slave of Zionists, don’t think that the killing of my father will finish everything,” she said.

The general’s funeral was attended by a broad swath of Iranians, including reformers who oppose the government of President Hassan Rouhani but who perceived the killing as an attack on all of Iran.

“I felt like he was our safety umbrella spread above Iran,” said Amir Ali, 22, a university student, of General Suleimani. “I felt safe knowing he was out there.”

The Iraqi government has begun to consider new parameters for the American military in Iraq after lawmakers voted 170-0 on Sunday in favor of expelling United States troops from their country.

The troops will be limited to “training and advising” Iraqi forces, but will not be allowed to move off their bases or to fly in Iraqi airspace while plans are being made for their departure, said Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf, the military spokesman for Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

The vote on Sunday was not final and many lawmakers did not attend the session. But Mr. Mahdi drafted the language and submitted the bill to Parliament, leaving little doubt about his support for the expulsion.

Mr. Mahdi met with Matthew Tueller, the American ambassador to Iraq, on Monday, and “stressed the need for joint action to implement the withdrawal,” according to a statement and photo released by Mr. Mahdi’s office. He also emphasized Iraq’s efforts to prevent the current tensions between Iran and the United States from sliding into “open war.”

Mr. Mahdi also made clear that Iraq wanted good relations with “all countries” but that Iraq wanted those relationships to be based on “mutual respect, and preserving its security, stability and national sovereignty.”

The drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani on Friday also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.

The attack was viewed by many in Iraq as a violation of the nation’s sovereignty, and the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it had summoned the American ambassador. Iran reacted to Sunday’s vote with congratulatory messages.

But the Iraqi Parliament was divided over the demands from angry citizens to expel American troops. Nearly half of its members, primarily Kurds and Sunnis, did not attend Sunday’s session and did not vote. In his speech to lawmakers, Mr. Mahdi laid out two possibilities: to either quickly end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, or to set a timeline for their expulsion.

The measure approved by Parliament did not include a timeline, and only instructed the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq. Officials said no decision had been made about whether any American troops would be able to stay, or under what conditions.

By Monday, there was still no timetable for the troops’ departure and no specifics about whether all American forces would be asked to leave or only some. And while Mr. Mahdi’s rhetoric was tough in his speech to the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday, by late in the evening, after speaking with President Emmanuel Macron of France by phone, his language was more modulated.

In a post on Twitter describing their phone call, Mr. Mahdi suggested that he was leaving the door open to something less than a complete departure.

He said he had agreed with Mr. Macron to “continue to discuss this delicate issue.”

He added that they talked about “the withdrawal of the foreign forces from Iraq in a way that would not damage the battle against ISIS and would preserve the sovereignty of Iraq and keep its relationships with the countries of the international coalition” that is fighting the Islamic State in Iraq.

Those goals would be difficult to achieve without some continued presence by the United States, because other countries’ troops are unlikely to stay in the absence of American military support.

In an address to the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq said that he was supposed to meet with General Suleimani on the morning he was killed.

“It was expected that he was carrying a message for me from the Iranian side responding to the Saudi message that we had sent to the Iranian side to reach agreements and breakthroughs important for the situation in Iraq and the region,” Mr. Mahdi said.

The content of the messages was not immediately clear, but Mr. Mahdi’s comments suggested that the drone strike ordered by Mr. Trump may have interrupted a diplomatic back channel aimed at averting conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Trump on Sunday doubled down on his threats to attack Iranian cultural sites and warned of a “major retaliation” if the Iranian government planned tit-for-tat attacks in the aftermath of the killing of a senior military commander.

Mr. Trump defended the drone strike that killed General Suleimani.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr. Trump said in a tweet that the United States had selected 52 Iranian sites, some “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” to attack in the event of Iranian retaliation.

That prompted the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to say that “targeting cultural sites is a war crime.”

But on Sunday evening, aboard Air Force One on his way back from his holiday trip to Florida, Mr. Trump did not back down.

“They’re allowed to kill our people,” he said to reporters. “They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way.”

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said in a tweet on Monday that “those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290,” in a reference to the number of people killed when an Iranian passenger plane was shot down by an American warship in the Persian Gulf in 1988.

“Never threaten the Iranian nation,” Mr. Rouhani said.

Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of Unesco, met with the Iranian ambassador to the organization on Monday to discuss the current situation, and issued a statement pointing to international agreements that condemn acts of destruction of cultural heritage.

“Ms. Azoulay stressed the universality of cultural and natural heritage as vectors of peace and dialogue between peoples, which the international community has a duty to protect and preserve for future generations,” Unesco said in the statement.

Two top Senate Democrats urged President Trump early Monday to declassify the document that the administration sent to Congress formally giving notice of the airstrike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. It is unusual for an administration to classify the entirety of such a notification, and Democrats upbraided the document as insufficient. The notification to Congress is required by law.

In a joint statement, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader; and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said it was “critical that national security matters of such import be shared with the American people in a timely manner.”

“An entirely classified notification is simply not appropriate in a democratic society, and there appears to be no legitimate justification for classifying this notification,” they said.

The House is expected to vote later this week on a resolution invoking the War Powers Act that would curtail the president’s ability to authorize a strike against Iran without Congress’s approval. The Senate could vote on similar legislation as soon as mid-January.

Saudi Arabia is scrambling to ease tensions in the Middle East amid fears that Iran could retaliate for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani with strikes against Riyadh and other American allies in the region.

Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, is sending his younger brother, Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman, to Washington in the coming days to urge restraint, the Saudi news media has reported.

“We are very keen that the situation in the region doesn’t escalate any further,” the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, told reporters in Riyadh on Monday. “It’s certainly a very dangerous moment, and we have to be conscious of the risks and dangers, not just to the region but to wider global security, and therefore we hope that all actors take all the steps necessary to prevent any further escalation and any provocation.”

While the Saudi leadership considers Iran its staunchest regional enemy, a drone and missile attack on Saudi oil processing plants in September that the United States accused Iran of orchestrating exposed the kingdom’s vulnerability — and raised questions about President Trump’s willingness to defend it.

The United States Embassy in Riyadh this week warned Americans in the kingdom of “the heightened risk of missile and drone attacks,” adding that Americans working near military bases and oil facilities were “at heightened risk of attack.”

The Iranian government said it would no longer abide by a commitment it made under a 2015 nuclear deal that limited its enrichment of uranium.

The decision to lift all restrictions on the production of nuclear fuel spelled the effective end of the nuclear deal, experts said, though Iran left open the possibility that it would return to the limits if sanctions were lifted.

“It’s finished. If there’s no limitation on production, then there is no deal,” said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a nonprofit in Washington.

The announcement came after the Iranian Supreme National Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday after General Suleimani’s assassination.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will end its final limitations in the nuclear deal, meaning the limitation in the number of centrifuges,” the government said in a statement. “Therefore Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production including enrichment capacity and percentage and number of enriched uranium and research and expansion.”

The announcement followed several steps by Iran to move away from the terms of the agreement, nearly two years after Mr. Trump withdrew the United States. The other parties to the deal included Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

None except the United States have left the agreement, which was a key foreign policy achievement of former President Barack Obama. Since that renunciation, the Trump administration has imposed severe sanctions aimed at crippling Iran’s economy.

The nuclear agreement ended some economic sanctions on Iran in return for its verifiable pledge to use nuclear power peacefully.

Iran’s statement on Sunday did not include details about its enrichment ambitions. And the country did not say that it was expelling the inspectors who monitor its nuclear program.

President Trump seemed to respond to the announcement on Monday with an all-caps post on Twitter:

A senior adviser to President Trump on Monday said that the president held open the possibility of renegotiating a nuclear deal with Iran.

“He said he’s open to meet if Iran wants to start behaving like a normal country,” Kellyanne Conway, Mr. Trump’s White House counselor, told reporters.

The European parties to the deal, including Britain, France and Germany, as well as China and Russia, also signatories to the deal, had struggled to preserve the agreement as tensions between the United States and Iran worsened.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a daily news briefing that there was still hope for the nuclear deal. He noted that Tehran had said it would continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Iranian activities under the agreement, and that it could return to the pact under the right conditions.

“We believe that although Iran has been compelled to reduce adherence owing to external factors, it has also demonstrated restraint,” Mr. Geng said.

In a joint statement on Sunday night, Britain, France and Germany called on Iran to refrain from violence and to return to “full compliance with its commitments” under the 2015 nuclear agreement, which Tehran has seemed to all but have abandoned.

The statement followed Iran’s announcement that day that it would no longer abide by the limits to uranium enrichment set out in the deal, a move that seemed to finally kill off the agreement after months during which Tehran had carefully breached less significant limits.

President Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal in 2018.

The European statement seemed somewhat forlorn, since its efforts to preserve the deal have been weak, hamstrung in part by a desire to maintain good relations with Washington. The statement did not support the drone strike on the Iranian general but did acknowledge American concerns, saying that, “we have condemned the recent attacks’’ on coalition forces in Iraq and “are gravely concerned by the negative role played by Iran in the region.’’

The statement called for “de-escalation” of tensions from all parties and reaffirmed the Europeans’ determination “to continuing the fight against Islamic State, which remains a priority.’’ And it called on Iraq “to continue to supply the necessary support to the coalition’’ — in other words, to not expel American and NATO troops.

The secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, called an emergency meeting of the alliance’s advisers on Monday afternoon. During a news conference following the meeting Mr. Stoltenberg said NATO would be suspending training operations on the ground in Iraq.

“At our meeting today, Allies expressed their strong support for the fight against ISIS and for the NATO mission in Iraq,” he said. “In everything that we do, the safety of our personnel is paramount. As such, we have temporarily suspended our training on the ground.”

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union foreign policy chief, posted on Twitter that while the bloc regretted Iran’s announcement on the deal, it would wait for independent verification from the international nuclear monitoring group to determine what actions would be taken.

Peter Stano, his spokesman, said during a news briefing in Brussels said that de-escalation was the goal.

“It’s in our interest as Europeans to maintain this agreement,” Mr. Stano said.

On Monday, Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, said that the Europeans would talk to Iran and planned to come up with a coordinated response.

“This could be the first step toward the end of this agreement, which would be a great loss,” Mr. Maas told a German radio station. “And so we will weigh things up very, very responsibly.”

Russian officials have been sharply critical of the targeted killing in Iraq but have not otherwise intimated how the Kremlin might respond, or whether Moscow, which has longstanding ties with Tehran, might play a mediating role.

President Vladimir V. Putin invited Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to visit Moscow on Saturday to discuss the strike, among other issues, the Kremlin announced.

Oil prices surged and stock markets in Asia fell on Monday morning, as the impact of General Suleimani’s death ricocheted around the world.

The price of Brent oil, the international benchmark, jumped above $70 in futures trading as markets digested a steady flow of news over the weekend. It fell back below that level, to $69.92 a barrel, when markets opened in Europe, though the price was still about 5 percent higher than before the killing last week.

The sudden escalation in tensions in a region that supplies much of the world’s petroleum has roiled oil markets. The West Texas Intermediate, the American oil benchmark, rose 1.9 percent to $64.22 a barrel in futures trading.

Analysts at Capital Economics have warned that the price of oil could spike to $150 a barrel if the bellicose rhetoric between the two countries turned into action.

“The price of oil would soar in the event of full-blown military conflict in the Middle East,” said Alexander Kozul-Wright, a commodities economist at Capital Economics.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, fresh from winning a mandate to take Britain out of the European Union, faces a particularly vexing challenge in dealing with the escalation between the United States and Iran.

In the first foreign policy crisis of the post-Brexit era, London is caught between its traditional alliance with Washington — one that Mr. Johnson wants to deepen further with a trade agreement — and the new relationship with Europe.

In his first statement on President Trump’s decision to strike the general, Mr. Johnson took pains to emphasize the threat posed by the Iranian military leader and said, “We will not lament his death.” But Mr. Johnson also called on all sides to avoid aggravating the situation, echoing the language used by the French and German governments.

Mr. Johnson suggested he wanted to play a mediating role and noted that he had spoken to Mr. Trump, as well as to President Emmanuel Macron of France and to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. The European governments have been more circumspect in their reactions to the American strike, with the Germans criticizing Mr. Trump’s threat to impose sanctions on Iraq if Baghdad were to expel American troops from bases in the country.

Mr. Johnson was said to be upset that Mr. Trump had not notified him of the strike in advance, but he can ill afford a falling out with the president, given Britain’s need to initiate trade talks with Washington

The United States Embassy in Israel said in a security alert on Monday that tension in the Middle East could result in rocket attacks or other dangerous situations for Americans who are abroad.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning,” the embassy said.

The embassy said people should keep a low profile, be aware of their surroundings and monitor local media, among other suggestions.

António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, said in a statement on Monday that “Geopolitical tensions are at their highest level this century.”

“Even nuclear non-proliferation can no longer be taken for granted,” he said. “This cauldron of tensions is leading more and more countries to take unpredicted decisions with unpredictable consequences and a profound risk of miscalculation.”

He said he was urging world leaders to stop the escalation.

Reporting was contributed by Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Russell Goldman, Alexandra Stevenson, Farnaz Fassihi, Christopher Buckley, Megan Specia, Steven Erlanger, Melissa Eddy, Mark Landler, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Eric Schmitt, Vivian Yee, David D. Kirkpatrick, Catie Edmondson, Andrew Kramer, Edward Wong and Eileen Sullivan.

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U.S. Military Says It Will Exit Iraq Following Iraqi Parliament Vote

Westlake Legal Group 5e1395352500003b1998ff37 U.S. Military Says It Will Exit Iraq Following Iraqi Parliament Vote

U.S. military officials leading a joint task force told Iraqi government officials Monday that they are preparing to pull troops from Iraq, following the country’s parliament vote on Sunday to eject foreign troops from the country.

“In due deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi Parliament and the Prime Minister, [we are] repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement,” Marine Brigadier General William H. Seely III wrote in a letter

On Sunday, Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution calling on Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to revoke Iraq’s invitation to host U.S. troops, which have helped the country retake control over territory lost to the Islamic State in 2014. The U.S. currently has about 5,000 troops in Iraq. 

“The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read.

The nonbinding resolution had overwhelming support from Shiite lawmakers, although Sunni and Kurdish members of parliament boycotted the special session.

The vote was a response to the U.S. assassination last week of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a top-ranking Iranian military commander who was responsible for Tehran’s proxies in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. The U.S. military targeted Soleimani with airstrikes on Baghdad’s airport, a move Shiite politicians in Iraq said violated Iraqi sovereignty.

The vote did not legally require the withdrawal of troops because the parliamentary vote would have had to trigger a meeting by the country’s Cabinet, which cannot meet because there is currently only an acting prime minister and acting Cabinet.

But U.S. military officials likely expect a more official order soon.

“We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure,” Seely wrote in the letter Monday.

The withdrawal would not necessarily mean the complete end of the U.S. military presence in Iraq, just the withdrawal of the joint task force that’s specifically committed to fighting ISIS.

A spokesperson for the joint task force did not immediately respond to a request for more clarification on the announcement.

After Sunday’s vote, Trump threatened “sanctions like they’ve never seen before” against Iraq if the country forced the U.S. to withdraw its troops.

This article has been updated with more details on the parliament vote and withdrawal.

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Johnson’s Balancing Act With Trump and Europe on Iran

Westlake Legal Group 06iran-britain-facebookJumbo Johnson’s Balancing Act With Trump and Europe on Iran Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike North Atlantic Treaty Organization London (England) Johnson, Boris Iraq Iran European Union Brussels (Belgium)

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson was on the Caribbean island of Mustique, still basking in the glow of his recent election victory, when the news came last Friday that President Trump had ordered the killing of a powerful Iranian general — without tipping off, let alone consulting, his British ally.

The British government was livid about the lack of notice, according to current and former officials, particularly because there are about 400 British troops deployed in Iraq, and Britain has historically been more closely aligned with the United States on combat operations there than any other country.

But Mr. Johnson held his tongue until Sunday evening, after he returned to London. Even then, he issued a carefully worded four-paragraph statement that said he would not “lament” the killing of the general, Qassim Suleimani, warned Iran against reprisals and said nothing about Mr. Trump’s action.

It was a circumspect reaction for a politician not known for his circumspection, and it underscored Mr. Johnson’s dilemma as he confronts what is arguably the first foreign policy crisis of the post-Brexit era.

Britain is caught between its traditional alliance with Washington — one that Mr. Johnson promised voters he would deepen with a post-Brexit trade agreement — and the new, still-undefined, relationship with Europe. Mr. Johnson is walking a tightrope that officials said could become even more treacherous if Mr. Trump’s showdown with Iran opens a new trans-Atlantic rift.

“Fundamentally, we’re not aligned with the Americans on this,” said Simon Fraser, a former head of Britain’s Foreign Office, who has served in Iraq and Syria. “The risk is that the U.K. will find itself potentially exposed, if tensions arise between the major Europeans and the United States.”

So far, the Europeans are also working to keep tensions in check. In a joint statement released by the leaders of France, Germany and Britain, they expressed concern about “the negative role Iran has played in the region” but called on both sides to stop “the current cycle of violence in Iraq.”

British officials credited Mr. Johnson with influencing the language of that statement, which was more sympathetic toward the White House than separate statements from the French and Germans. But it is not clear that Mr. Johnson will get much credit for softening his fellow Europeans.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had already expressed frustration with Europe’s response, saying, “the Brits, the French, the Germans” had not “been as helpful as I wish that they could be.” General Suleimani’s killing, he said, had bolstered European security, since the general had orchestrated assassinations in Europe.

On Monday, Britain continued to walk a fine line. The prime minister’s spokesman told reporters that targeting cultural sites in Iran, as Mr. Trump threatened to do if Iran retaliated, would violate international conventions on warfare. But the official was careful not to criticize the president directly.

“They are not going to give Boris Johnson any credit for trying to split the difference, even if he’s splitting it 80/20 in their favor,” said Jeremy Shapiro, research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations in London, of the Trump administration. “To them, you’re either a vassal or an enemy.”

Mr. Shapiro has labeled Mr. Johnson’s ginger handling of the United States as “neo-poodleism,” a reference to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s unstinting support of George W. Bush during the Iraq war, which prompted critics to accuse him of acting like Mr. Bush’s poodle. In Mr. Blair’s case, Mr. Shapiro said, he was motivated by a genuine conviction that Iraq was a war worth fighting. In Mr. Johnson’s case, the loyalty is borne of more pragmatic considerations.

With Britain on track to leave the European Union by the end of this month, he said, Britain will find itself ever more dependent on its economic relationship with the United States. Facing a difficult trade negotiation with Washington, Mr. Johnson can ill afford to alienate Mr. Trump on Iran.

There is already evidence that Mr. Johnson has trimmed his sails out of deference to the president. Last year, when Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, his predecessor, Theresa May, tried to muster a European-led naval force to protect ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

When Mr. Johnson replaced her in July, the European-led initiative fell apart and Britain ended up joining a naval force led by the United States, which Germany and France refused to join.

Not everybody believes Mr. Johnson will be forced to be subservient to the United States. Some noted that he had distanced himself from Mr. Trump on trade issues during the general election campaign.

“The politics of Brexit are more about a desire for increased sovereignty than a preference for Atlanticism over Europeanism,” said Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director-general of the Royal United Services Institute.

One place where Mr. Johnson has stood with the Europeans is in defending the Iran nuclear deal. Mr. Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and Iran’s announcement Sunday that it would no longer abide by its limits to uranium enrichment seemed finally to kill it off.

But critics said Europe’s efforts to salvage the deal had been weak, in part because all three countries — not just Britain — have been hamstrung by their desire to maintain good relations with Washington.

Europeans responded to this latest crisis with a flurry of meetings. On Monday, NATO held an emergency meeting of its ambassadors. On Friday, European foreign ministers will gather in Brussels. The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said they would come up with a coordinated response to Iran.

“This could be the first step toward the end of this agreement, which would be a great loss,” Mr. Maas told a German radio station. “And so, we will weigh things up very, very responsibly.” He also said Mr. Trump’s threat to impose sanctions on Iraq if it forced out American troops was “not very helpful.”

Fears about Britain’s security mounted on Monday after the Times of London quoted an unnamed commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as saying that British soldiers could be collateral damage in Iranian reprisals on American soldiers. Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Hamid Baeidinejad, disputed that report as “malicious, false propaganda.”

Mr. Johnson has suggested he wants to play a mediating role in the region. On Monday, he spoke with Iraq’s prime minister, Abdul Mahdi, to try to work out a solution on foreign troops. He has also spoken to Mr. Trump and European leaders.

While he has talked about being a bridge across the Atlantic, however, diplomats are skeptical.

“Frankly,” Mr. Fraser said, “the Germans and the French would rather deal with Washington on their own.”

Stephen Castle and David Kirkpatrick contributed reporting from London, and Steven Erlanger contributed from Brussels.

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UPDATE: U.S. Military Letter Stating Potential Iraq Withdrawal ‘Was A Mistake,’ General Says

Westlake Legal Group 5e1395352500003b1998ff37 UPDATE: U.S. Military Letter Stating Potential Iraq Withdrawal ‘Was A Mistake,’ General Says

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper disputed a U.S. military letter announcing that troops would be repositioned within Iraq in advance of a potential pullout. Esper claimed he didn’t know where the letter came from and that it was “inconsistent with where we are right now.”

There has been “no decision whatsoever to leave Iraq,” Esper told reporters on Monday, responding to a letter suggesting plans to draw down the troop presence in the country.

The letter “was a mistake,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told reporters.

The letter was written by Marine Brig. Gen. William H. Seely III and was addressed to an Iraqi defense official.

“In due deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi Parliament and the Prime Minister, CJTF-OIR will be repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement,” Seely wrote, referring to a U.S.-led international task force to fight the so-called Islamic State. “Coalition Forces are required to take certain measures to ensure that movement out of Iraq is conducted in a safe and efficient manner.”

The letter was unsigned but U.S. officials confirmed its authenticity and said it had been sent and received by the Iraqis, Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe wrote on Twitter

It was written the day after Iraq’s parliament passed a resolution calling on Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to revoke Iraq’s invitation to host U.S. troops, which have helped the country retake control over territory lost to the Islamic State in 2014. The U.S. currently has about 5,000 troops in Iraq. 

“The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read.

The nonbinding resolution had overwhelming support from Shiite lawmakers, although Sunni and Kurdish members of parliament boycotted the special session. The vote was a response to the U.S. assassination last week of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a top-ranking Iranian military commander who was responsible for Tehran’s proxies in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. The U.S. military targeted Soleimani with airstrikes on Baghdad’s airport, a move Shiite politicians in Iraq said violated Iraqi sovereignty.

The vote did not legally require the withdrawal of troops because the parliamentary vote would have had to trigger a meeting by the country’s Cabinet, which cannot meet because there is currently only an acting prime minister and acting Cabinet.

But the timing and phrasing of Seely’s letter seemed to imply an effort by the U.S. military to proactively draw down its presence in Iraq as part of an effort to prevent being forced out entirely. “We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure,” Seely wrote in the now-disputed letter Monday. 

The removal of troops affiliated with the anti-ISIS task force would not necessarily mean the complete end of the U.S. military presence in Iraq. A spokesperson for the joint task force did not immediately respond to a request for more clarification.

After the Iraqi parliament’s vote, Trump threatened “sanctions like they’ve never seen before” against Iraq if the country forced the U.S. to withdraw its troops.

It is not clear how the Pentagon plans to respond — and the botched messaging around Monday’s letter suggests military officials haven’t yet figured that out.

This article has been updated with statements from the Defense Department disputing the drawdown mentioned in the letter and with more details on the parliament vote.

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Taylor Swift, Amy Poehler end feud by presenting together at Golden Globe Awards

Taylor Swift and Amy Poehler presented together at the 77th Golden Globe Awards Sunday, seemingly bringing an end to some friction between them that began at the same event in 2013.

The duo took the stage together Sunday to announce the winner for the best-animated feature film. The celebrities engaged in some playful scripted banter with Swift, 30, saying, “Amy and I are excited about this next category because we both love animation.”

“Speak for yourself, Taylor,” Poehler, 48, responded. “I like movies about people, by people.”

Swift, flashing a look of confusion, then asked who the comedian thinks makes animated films.

JENNIFER ANISTON LAUGHS OFF BRAD PITT’S GOLDEN GLOBES JOKE ABOUT HIS DATING LIFE

“Tiny mice during the night,” Poehler responded confidently to laughs from the crowd.

The cute moment comes roughly seven years after Swift got upset with a joke made by Poehler and her then-Golden Globes co-host, Tina Fey. The former “Saturday Night Live” duo joked about Swift’s high-profile dating life at the time, with Fey warning her to stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son, Sam, who was escorting winners onto the stage that night.

“Or go for it,” Poehler joked, according to Us Weekly.

GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS WINNER JOAQUIN PHOENIX CALLS OUT HOLLYWOOD CLIMATE ACTIVISTS FOR USING PRIVATE JETS

“No, she needs some ‘me time’ to learn about herself,” Fey shot back.

The joke got laughs from the crowd, but Swift wasn’t pleased. Months later, she told Vanity Fair that she didn’t appreciate the dig.

Westlake Legal Group TinaFeyAmyPoehler1 Taylor Swift, Amy Poehler end feud by presenting together at Golden Globe Awards Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/taylor-swift fox-news/entertainment/events/golden-globes fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c664f421-f6bf-5b0e-a880-8c9906be1ce6 article

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler took a jab at Taylor Swift while hosting the 2013 Golden Globe Awards.  (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

“You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved,” Swift noted. “‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’”

The quote in question was from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Pohler responded to Swift with a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in which she said she felt bad if she hurt the singer’s feelings.

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“Aw, I feel bad if she was upset. I am a feminist, and she is a young and talented girl,” she said at the time. “That being said, I do agree I am going to hell. But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff.”

Westlake Legal Group PoehlerSwift1 Taylor Swift, Amy Poehler end feud by presenting together at Golden Globe Awards Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/taylor-swift fox-news/entertainment/events/golden-globes fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c664f421-f6bf-5b0e-a880-8c9906be1ce6 article   Westlake Legal Group PoehlerSwift1 Taylor Swift, Amy Poehler end feud by presenting together at Golden Globe Awards Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/taylor-swift fox-news/entertainment/events/golden-globes fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c664f421-f6bf-5b0e-a880-8c9906be1ce6 article

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‘Bachelor’ alums Kaitlyn Bristowe, Jason Tartick say Peter Weber will ‘kill it’ as new leading man

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick are one of Bachelor Nation’s favorite couples, and the lively pair had quite a bit to say about season 24 of “The Bachelor” ahead of its Monday premiere that will see Peter Weber begin his quest for love.

Accompanied by Canadian country crooner and self-proclaimed “Bachelor” fanatic Brett Kissel, the duo — who star in Kissel’s latest music video “Drink About Me” — sat down with Fox News to chat about all things roses, starting with who they wanted to see as the next leading man.

“We were really rooting for Mike. We were really wanting Mike Johnson to be the ‘Bachelor’ just because we loved everything that he was about and thought he was really genuine, not that Peter’s not genuine,” said Bristowe, 34. “I’m excited for any season of the show. It doesn’t matter who you cast, they’re doing something right over there.”

DEMI LOVATO ROCKS BIKINI AMID ‘BACHELORETTE’ STAR MIKE JOHNSON DATING RUMORS

Westlake Legal Group Kaitlyn-Bristowe-Jason-Tartick ‘Bachelor’ alums Kaitlyn Bristowe, Jason Tartick say Peter Weber will ‘kill it’ as new leading man Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/the-bachelor fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e6d610f1-8222-5fdf-ac02-b696f2b5cf8f article

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick arrive to the 2019 E! People’s Choice Awards held at the Barker Hangar on November 10, 2019. (Photo by Christopher Polk/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Tartick, 30, said he was looking forward to seeing the various sides of Weber, 28, who became a household name during Hannah Brown‘s season as the “Bachelorette,” for the windmill shenanigans he and Brown were infamously involved in. Tartick said he knows firsthand that Weber will no doubt make his mark on the franchise once the dust settles.

“I had drinks with Peter before he went on the show. And he is a great, great guy,” Tartick raved of the accomplished airline pilot. “I think that he’s the kind of guy that you meet and you see on TV and you’re like, ‘You know what, I want to grab a beer with him,’ and he lives up to that.”

‘BACHELORETTE’ STAR HANNAH B. TALKS SEX AND FAITH, JED SPEAKS OUT ON FINALE

“So I think he’s going to be a great Bachelor, Tartick continued. “But it’ll be fun to see sides of him we haven’t seen yet. Right now we’ve seen … we know the windmill stories and we know that he’s a nice guy, that he’s a successful pilot. But I think we’re going to see a whole different set of emotions from him. So it’s going to be exciting. And I think he’s going to kill it.”

Bristowe and Tartick certainly met their match in their close pal Kissel, launching into a series breakdown of his own with his stout commentary.

“As a fan of the franchise, I think it’s important for Peter … I would really hope that he can do his season his own way,” explained Kissel, 29. “I understand what, or I would assume what goes on behind the scenes and everything like that and some of the things that can be manipulated are manipulated and my hope as a fan is that he can just kind of stand in his power and just say, ‘No, I’m going to do it this way. I’m going to let her down this way or I’m gonna pursue this relationship in this way and y’all can come and catch it and be a part of it, but I’m leading things as opposed to having producers lead things.’”

Kissel pressed on: “Because sometimes after so many seasons, I think fans can see through what is manipulated and what is truly a producer’s decision or are you following her heart? So I’m just really hoping that for him, he can do that and do it his own way because it’s not often that I think you really see that authentic side. And I’m really hoping that that will come out this season as a fan.”

‘BACHELOR’ STAR PETER WEBER REVEALS FACE INJURY SCAR TWO MONTHS AFTER FALL

Tartick quickly jumped in with an anecdote that “this is the first time there’s been a Bachelor that is coming off a season in which the woman’s season, he’s coming off of its single interest. That didn’t happen with Colton [Underwood], didn’t happen with Ari [Luyendyk]. It didn’t happen. And the list goes on. I think it’s the first time ever. So it’d be interesting – just an observation.”

After observing the dynamic between Bristowe and Tartick, the pair were asked about how they create symmetry in their relationship. Tartick took it upon himself to explain how their relationship and partnership is so strong.

“We do a lot as a team,” said Tartick. “We do a lot independently, though – so I mean, we both have different businesses that we run. But at the same time, we still talk business just as much as we talk friendships, as much we talk about our relationships.

“So I think it just goes back to being on the same page, having a common goal and what’s so insanely important – what you touched on, is just support, right?” he continued.  “Because in a lot of these circumstances, when you have someone that’s performing on stage with Garth Brooks and then Brett’s wife Cecelia is at home hustling with three kids, there could be like a jealousy factor or vice versa – if Kaitlyn’s got a business coming out.”

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Tartick added: “I think that exists a lot of relationships. But to make sure that you’re on the same page and that you’re a team as opposed to working against each other is imperative. But what Kaitlyn and I do is every morning we’ll have a ‘power hour.’ So we sit down with a cup of coffee, we have our lists out – what can we tackle? How can I help you with this? Sometimes I need her creative mind. Sometimes she needs my numbers-driven mind. And it’s just a good working partnership.”

Season 24 of “The Bachelor” premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Westlake Legal Group Kaitlyn-Bristowe-Jason-Tartick ‘Bachelor’ alums Kaitlyn Bristowe, Jason Tartick say Peter Weber will ‘kill it’ as new leading man Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/the-bachelor fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e6d610f1-8222-5fdf-ac02-b696f2b5cf8f article   Westlake Legal Group Kaitlyn-Bristowe-Jason-Tartick ‘Bachelor’ alums Kaitlyn Bristowe, Jason Tartick say Peter Weber will ‘kill it’ as new leading man Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/the-bachelor fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e6d610f1-8222-5fdf-ac02-b696f2b5cf8f article

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Rep. McCaul says there was ‘clear’ intelligence Soleimani was planning attack on Americans

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2020-01-06-at-2.16.36-PM Rep. McCaul says there was 'clear' intelligence Soleimani was planning attack on Americans Joshua Nelson fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 21b3ec83-d53e-5119-83cc-328daa0b71cd

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told “Outnumbered Overtime” on Monday that the intelligence prompting the airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was “clear,” countering suspicions that were raised against information sent to the White House reporting an “imminent threat” was being planned by Soleimani.

“This threat was imminent and we stopped it by taking out Soleimani,” said the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

PELOSI MOVES TO LIMIT TRUMP’S ACTIONS IN IRAN WITH WAR POWERS RESOLUTION VOTE

McCaul went on to say, “I have been briefed on this. [The intelligence] was clear,” citing conversations with National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have been critical of President Trump’s decision to conduct an airstrike in Iraq that killed Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, claiming he did not properly notify Congress in advance and warning about the risk of escalation of violence in the region. Trump has also threatened additional action if Iran retaliates for Soleimani’s death.

TRUMP NOTIFIES CONGRESS OF WARNING AFTER LAWMAKERS SAID THEY WEREN’T INFORMED ABOUT SOLEIMANI IN ADVANCE

“This week, the House will introduce and vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to fellow Democrats, referring to a similar Senate resolution to be introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. “It reasserts Congress’s long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration’s military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days.”

McCaul called Soleimani “an architect of terror for the past decade.”

McCaul also cited recent provocations by the Iranians, including an attack on a U.S. drone, an attack on a Saudi Arabian oil refinery capacity and a rocket attack in late December that killed an American contractor.

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McCaul went on to say, “And finally a storm and a raid on our embassy. If this president did not act with those facts before him, that would be negligent and the fact that there was an imminent threat that I’ve been briefed on … this threat was imminent and we stopped it by taking out Soleimani.”

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2020-01-06-at-2.16.36-PM Rep. McCaul says there was 'clear' intelligence Soleimani was planning attack on Americans Joshua Nelson fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 21b3ec83-d53e-5119-83cc-328daa0b71cd   Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2020-01-06-at-2.16.36-PM Rep. McCaul says there was 'clear' intelligence Soleimani was planning attack on Americans Joshua Nelson fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 21b3ec83-d53e-5119-83cc-328daa0b71cd

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Oh Great, Goop’s Bad Wellness Advice Now Has Its Own TV Show

Westlake Legal Group 5e137a4525000045bad31f16 Oh Great, Goop’s Bad Wellness Advice Now Has Its Own TV Show

New year, same Goop.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand is once again entering shoddy wellness claim territory, this time through a new show on Netflix. The series, called “The Goop Lab,” dives into fads and ideas that “may seem out there or too scary,” according to the trailer.

The clip only provides a snippet of what viewers can expect, but it’s enough to make any rational health professional’s stomach churn. The “ideas” that “The Goop Lab” trailer highlights include energy healing, which one woman describes as an “exorcism,” psychedelics, which another describes as equivalent to “years of therapy in about five hours,” cold therapy, psychic mediums and more.

It’s all very on-brand for Goop, which has been hit with criticism (and even a lawsuit) for its promotion of dangerous wellness products and ideas. In the past, the brand has suggested that women put jade eggs in their vagina, wear energy balancing stickers, take iodine supplements even though most people aren’t deficient, and drink goat milk to get rid of potential parasites, all in the name of their health.

The claims often aren’t backed by science, and the company has had to introduce more clear disclaimers on articles indicating that fact. Experts have continually debunked the advice on the site.

Of course, people on Twitter ― including doctors ― couldn’t help but (hilariously) call out the show’s potential red flags and the controversy surrounding Goop’s past health advice.

A few people also got in some snarky digs at the show’s promo poster, which, uh, looks like the body part Goop wants you to stick a jade egg in.

This isn’t all Goop’s fault, though. Netflix also has a history of producing irresponsible health programs that could potentially affect viewers.

The streaming service received intense backlash in 2017 following the release of its fictional show “13 Reasons Why,” which graphically depicted a young woman’s suicide. Experts criticized the show for its portrayal of self-harm and mental health, and research has found that suicide rates increased following the show’s release. Therapists also expressed serious concerns over Netflix’s 2017 fictional drama “To The Bone,” which follows one girl’s journey with an eating disorder.

In 2018, Netflix received more scrutiny for its docuseries “Afflicted,” which featured individuals living with rare chronic diseases. Cast members published essays following the show’s release that detail their concerns over how it depicted their conditions as “psychosomatic or psychiatric disorders” rather than separate illnesses. The series relied “heavily on the skeptical voices of ‘experts’ who have no relevant professional or academic expertise in our diseases,” they wrote.

This is all dangerous, considering the number of people Netflix reaches. As of 2019, the platform had over 150 million subscribers. That gives Goop — and any other program that could contain questionable health advice — a major audience. Netflix did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Bottom line? People should take Paltrow’s new show with a heavy dose of disbelief and get real health advice from their doctor. If we’ve learned anything from the lifestyle brand’s wellness information, it’s that it’s mostly just a bunch of goop.

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Megathread: John Bolton says he is willing to testify in impeachment trial if subpoenaed

Westlake Legal Group 1y3cg-y7YHU48pbiSVrTfs8M7RfUWVvhAIQ2oDZEGhk Megathread: John Bolton says he is willing to testify in impeachment trial if subpoenaed r/politics

John R. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, said on Monday that he was willing to testify at President Trump’s impeachment trial if he was subpoenaed. “I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,” Mr. Bolton said in a statement on his website.


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