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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 223)

Pelosi Is Prepared to Send Impeachment Articles to Senate, Just Not Yet

Westlake Legal Group 09dc-impeach1-sub-facebookJumbo Pelosi Is Prepared to Send Impeachment Articles to Senate, Just Not Yet United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Republican Party Pelosi, Nancy McConnell, Mitch impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi quietly laid the groundwork on Thursday to send impeachment articles against President Trump to the Senate, indicating that the House would “soon” end a weekslong impasse and vote to bring the charges to trial.

Though the speaker offered no specific timetable for her decision, lawmakers and aides said the House could move toward a vote next week before lawmakers decamp for a weeklong recess. They braced for an announcement from Ms. Pelosi about her plans as soon as Friday, as senators made final preparations for what would be the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.

But on Thursday, even as pressure continued from Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, and from some Democrats to quickly send the charges, Ms. Pelosi would not reveal her plans.

“I will send them over when I’m ready,” Ms. Pelosi said at her weekly news conference on Thursday morning, “and that will probably be soon.”

The speaker reiterated a call for Mr. McConnell to detail the rules for a Senate trial so she could choose a team of lawmakers best suited to prosecute the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“I keep giving you the same answer,” she told reporters who questioned her about when she would act. “As I said right from the start, we need to see that the arena in which we’re sending our managers. Is that too much to ask?”

By Thursday evening, Mr. McConnell effectively said that it was.

“No, we’re not going to do that,” he told reporters as he left the Capitol. Earlier, he warned his members to be prepared to plunge in the coming days into the unknown of a proceeding that could tie up the Senate for weeks.

And in a bid to signal to Ms. Pelosi that her time was running out, Mr. McConnell signed on to a resolution introduced by Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, that would alter Senate rules to allow the impeachment charges to be dismissed without a trial if they are not delivered within 25 days of House approval.

The statements from the two leaders suggested that a bitter confrontation between Democrats and Republicans over the shape of the coming trial, while not exactly abating, may soon move off center stage.

The Democratic-led House impeached Mr. Trump in the days before Christmas. But the speaker elected not to immediately send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, in a bid to pressure the Republican-led chamber into allowing additional witnesses and documents Mr. Trump blocked during the House’s three-month inquiry.

Without them, Democrats have argued, the trial will be fundamentally tainted and effectively continue a cover-up they say Mr. Trump has directed from the start.

“Witnesses, facts, truth — that’s what they’re afraid of,” Ms. Pelosi said of Senate Republicans.

Ms. Pelosi’s comments came in the face of a spate of calls to deliver the charges from lawmakers in both parties. Earlier Thursday morning, before Ms. Pelosi spoke to reporters, a senior Democrat from Washington became the first House chairman to publicly urge the speaker to move on, only to backtrack.

“I think it is time to send the impeachment to the Senate and let Mitch McConnell be responsible for the fairness of the trial,” Representative Adam Smith, who leads the House Armed Services Committee, said on CNN.

But in a sign of Ms. Pelosi’s firm hold on her caucus, Mr. Smith soon walked backed the comments in a post on Twitter, saying that he “misspoke.” He deferred to Ms. Pelosi if she believed that continuing to withhold the articles would “help force a fair trial in the Senate.”

A handful of Democratic senators who had previously made similar statements likewise amended their remarks on Thursday to defer to the speaker.

Unmoved, Mr. McConnell said this week that he had secured the votes necessary to begin a trial on his own terms, without an agreement on hearing from witnesses or admitting new evidence. Mr. McConnell has said he will work in concert with Mr. Trump’s legal team to bring about a speedy acquittal in the Senate, after a House impeachment proceeding he has condemned as unfair and based on a shoddy case.

In remarks of his own on Thursday, Mr. McConnell compared the speaker’s approach to “junior-varsity political hostage situations.”

“This is what they have done,” he said before Ms. Pelosi spoke. “They have initiated one of the most grave and most unsettling processes in our Constitution and then refused to allow a resolution.”

At the White House, Mr. Trump appeared eager for the proceeding to get underway. He posted to Twitter to accuse Ms. Pelosi of balking because she had no case against him, saying that the articles “show no crimes and are a joke and a scam!”

Speaking at an environmental event a short time later, Mr. Trump said he would leave it to the Senate to determine whether to call witnesses at the trial, but proceeded to offer his own wish list at odds with that of Democrats.

“I’d like to hear the whistle-blower,” Mr. Trump said. “I’d like to hear Shifty Schiff. I’d like to hear Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.”

The targets were familiar ones. The whistle-blower is an anonymous C.I.A. employee whose complaint about Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine prompted the House impeachment inquiry. Representative Adam B. Schiff of California led that inquiry as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and is likely to lead the chamber’s prosecutorial team at trial.

And it was the Bidens who got Mr. Trump into impeachment jeopardy in the first place when he pressed Ukraine’s leader to investigate the former vice president and his son, along with other Democrats. The House’s investigation found that Mr. Trump ultimately used nearly $400 million in security assistance and a White House meeting as leverage to push Ukraine to publicly announce those targets of scrutiny.

Taking her turn in what has become a daily rhetorical fight with Mr. McConnell, Ms. Pelosi accused the Republican leader of trying to cover up the facts of the case in a rush to acquit Mr. Trump.

She rejected his insistence that the Senate would proceed just as it did in 1999, when it tried President Bill Clinton for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Then, the speaker noted, all 100 senators agreed to procedures to start the trial. This time, Mr. McConnell is muscling ahead without an agreement with Democrats who want a guarantee that the trial will include witnesses and new evidence.

Democrats have asked to hear from several of Mr. Trump’s top aides whom he succeeded in blocking from House investigators, including the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser.

Still, Ms. Pelosi said on Thursday that her holdout had now merely come down to hearing in detail what Mr. McConnell had planned for the rules. His aides have suggested that the speaker need only look at those adopted by the Senate in the Clinton trial.

“All we want to know is what are the rules,” Ms. Pelosi said. “It doesn’t mean we have to agree to the rules or we have to like the rules. We just want to know what they are.”

Aides said Ms. Pelosi had yet to complete her team of prosecutors, called managers. Mr. Schiff and Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, will almost certainly lead it. But Ms. Pelosi is also looking to build a racially and geographically diverse team best equipped to move senators.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Enormous ‘Mega-Fire’ In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

Westlake Legal Group rts2xu0s_wide-c6629d20088107e5b9d96f56e0e279423735aeb5-s1100-c15 Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

A New South Wales Rural Fire Service Large Air Tanker (LAT) drops fire retardant on the Morton Fire burning in bushland close to homes at Penrose, south of Sydney, Australia, on Friday. Stringer ./Reuters hide caption

toggle caption

Stringer ./Reuters

Westlake Legal Group  Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

A New South Wales Rural Fire Service Large Air Tanker (LAT) drops fire retardant on the Morton Fire burning in bushland close to homes at Penrose, south of Sydney, Australia, on Friday.

Stringer ./Reuters

A pair of massive bushfires in southeastern Australia has merged into a “mega-fire” engulfing some 2,300 square miles – a single blaze more than three times as large as any known fire in California.

The merged fire, which straddles the country’s most populous states of New South Wales and Victoria, measures nearly 1.5 million acres, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. It is just one of some 135 bushfires in Australia’s southeast that have claimed the lives of at least 26 people, killed more than a billion animals and damaged or destroyed nearly 3,000 homes.

Since September, the unprecedented bushfires have swept through an area larger than Massachusetts and New Hampshire combined.

NASA has released an animation showing how smoke from the bushfires has reached the lower stratosphere and traveled as far away as Chile.

[embedded content]

YouTube

Meanwhile, more than 30,000 people attended a protest in Sydney to denounce the government’s handling of the crisis and to call for action on climate change.

The protesters directed their ire at Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose coalition government’s policies have rejected a link between Australia’s unprecedented drought and fires crisis and climate change.

However, the prime minister said this week that his government would launch an inquiry to examine whether there was any connection between the fires and climate change. Asked whether he expected the current fire crisis to become commonplace in Australia due to climate change, he replied: “The links and implications here have been acknowledged.”

Morrison, who has also found himself on the defensive for taking a Hawaiian vacation with his family while the bushfires raged, also said Friday he had ordered the military to be on standby to help firefighters.

“I’ve given them very clear instructions that they are to stand ready to move and support immediately,” he said. “In the event that they are needed in the wake of what we hope we will not see today, but we must prepare for today.”

Authorities in Australia on Friday urged a quarter of a million people in Victoria to leave their homes amid erratic winds and soaring temperatures, even as there was welcome rain in some parts affected by the fires.

Helicopters dropped supplies to towns at risk of being cut off and C-130 tankers unleashed torrents of fire retardant.

Fire crews were preparing for what they believe will be a difficult night as the wind shifts and ramps up to 50 miles per hour. In parts of the fire-affected countryside, temperatures pegged out at 104 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday.

Firefighter Andrew Beville, who was battling the Morton fire on the outskirts of the town of Penrose, near Wingello, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he wasn’t sure what would happen when the blaze reached the town.

“We just want to survive the night,” he said.

Towns south of Sydney, including Eden, Batemans Bay and Norwa were warned by New South Wales Rural Fire Service to be prepared for another onslaught, The Associated Press reports.

Westlake Legal Group ap_20010153539489-4dc56d63d923a0b7cf2b050d109a220eff7044a2-s1100-c15 Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

A yacht sails past a burning woodchip mill as bushfires hit the town of Eden, New South Wales, Australia, on Friday. Rick Rycroft/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Rick Rycroft/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

A yacht sails past a burning woodchip mill as bushfires hit the town of Eden, New South Wales, Australia, on Friday.

Rick Rycroft/AP

In neighboring Victoria, premier Daniel Andrews told reporters he was thankful that there were at present no one unaccounted for and no communities cut off in his state.

“Now, all of those things can change and that is perhaps the most powerful reminder that we have to remain vigilant,” he said. “Please, listen to the warnings and do as you are asked. If you are told to leave a community, and you can leave, then you should leave.”

Westlake Legal Group rts2xtob-b24c4b2b1f6af9baba3d166c28652e548a334078-s1100-c15 Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

Veterinarians and volunteers treat koalas at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park on Kangaroo Island, southwest of Adelaide, Australia, on Friday. Stringer ./Reuters hide caption

toggle caption

Stringer ./Reuters

Westlake Legal Group  Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

Veterinarians and volunteers treat koalas at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park on Kangaroo Island, southwest of Adelaide, Australia, on Friday.

Stringer ./Reuters

The conservation group WWF-Australia estimates that 1.25 billion animals have been killed in the bushfires and says it fears that some species, such as the glossy black-cockatoo and the knee-high kangaroo, face extinction.

Meanwhile, the government says the loss of livestock from the fires will exceed 100,000 animals.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Enormous ‘Mega-Fire’ In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

Westlake Legal Group rts2xu0s_wide-c6629d20088107e5b9d96f56e0e279423735aeb5-s1100-c15 Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

A New South Wales Rural Fire Service Large Air Tanker (LAT) drops fire retardant on the Morton Fire burning in bushland close to homes at Penrose, south of Sydney, Australia, on Friday. Stringer ./Reuters hide caption

toggle caption

Stringer ./Reuters

Westlake Legal Group  Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

A New South Wales Rural Fire Service Large Air Tanker (LAT) drops fire retardant on the Morton Fire burning in bushland close to homes at Penrose, south of Sydney, Australia, on Friday.

Stringer ./Reuters

A pair of massive bushfires in southeastern Australia has merged into a “mega-fire” engulfing some 2,300 square miles – a single blaze more than three times as large as any known fire in California.

The merged fire, which straddles the country’s most populous states of New South Wales and Victoria, measures nearly 1.5 million acres, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. It is just one of some 135 bushfires in Australia’s southeast that have claimed the lives of at least 26 people, killed more than a billion animals and damaged or destroyed nearly 3,000 homes.

Since September, the unprecedented bushfires have swept through an area larger than Massachusetts and New Hampshire combined.

NASA has released an animation showing how smoke from the bushfires has reached the lower stratosphere and traveled as far away as Chile.

[embedded content]

YouTube

Meanwhile, more than 30,000 people attended a protest in Sydney to denounce the government’s handling of the crisis and to call for action on climate change.

The protesters directed their ire at Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose coalition government’s policies have rejected a link between Australia’s unprecedented drought and fires crisis and climate change.

However, the prime minister said this week that his government would launch an inquiry to examine whether there was any connection between the fires and climate change. Asked whether he expected the current fire crisis to become commonplace in Australia due to climate change, he replied: “The links and implications here have been acknowledged.”

Morrison, who has also found himself on the defensive for taking a Hawaiian vacation with his family while the bushfires raged, also said Friday he had ordered the military to be on standby to help firefighters.

“I’ve given them very clear instructions that they are to stand ready to move and support immediately,” he said. “In the event that they are needed in the wake of what we hope we will not see today, but we must prepare for today.”

Authorities in Australia on Friday urged a quarter of a million people in Victoria to leave their homes amid erratic winds and soaring temperatures, even as there was welcome rain in some parts affected by the fires.

Helicopters dropped supplies to towns at risk of being cut off and C-130 tankers unleashed torrents of fire retardant.

Fire crews were preparing for what they believe will be a difficult night as the wind shifts and ramps up to 50 miles per hour. In parts of the fire-affected countryside, temperatures pegged out at 104 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday.

Firefighter Andrew Beville, who was battling the Morton fire on the outskirts of the town of Penrose, near Wingello, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he wasn’t sure what would happen when the blaze reached the town.

“We just want to survive the night,” he said.

Towns south of Sydney, including Eden, Batemans Bay and Norwa were warned by New South Wales Rural Fire Service to be prepared for another onslaught, The Associated Press reports.

Westlake Legal Group ap_20010153539489-4dc56d63d923a0b7cf2b050d109a220eff7044a2-s1100-c15 Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

A yacht sails past a burning woodchip mill as bushfires hit the town of Eden, New South Wales, Australia, on Friday. Rick Rycroft/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Rick Rycroft/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

A yacht sails past a burning woodchip mill as bushfires hit the town of Eden, New South Wales, Australia, on Friday.

Rick Rycroft/AP

In neighboring Victoria, premier Daniel Andrews told reporters he was thankful that there were at present no one unaccounted for and no communities cut off in his state.

“Now, all of those things can change and that is perhaps the most powerful reminder that we have to remain vigilant,” he said. “Please, listen to the warnings and do as you are asked. If you are told to leave a community, and you can leave, then you should leave.”

Westlake Legal Group rts2xtob-b24c4b2b1f6af9baba3d166c28652e548a334078-s1100-c15 Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

Veterinarians and volunteers treat koalas at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park on Kangaroo Island, southwest of Adelaide, Australia, on Friday. Stringer ./Reuters hide caption

toggle caption

Stringer ./Reuters

Westlake Legal Group  Enormous 'Mega-Fire' In Australia Engulfs 1.5 Million Acres

Veterinarians and volunteers treat koalas at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park on Kangaroo Island, southwest of Adelaide, Australia, on Friday.

Stringer ./Reuters

The conservation group WWF-Australia estimates that 1.25 billion animals have been killed in the bushfires and says it fears that some species, such as the glossy black-cockatoo and the knee-high kangaroo, face extinction.

Meanwhile, the government says the loss of livestock from the fires will exceed 100,000 animals.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

North Carolina church members tackle man trying to force his way inside

Baptist church congregants in North Carolina reportedly tackled a man who they say attempted to force his way inside during services last Sunday.

“He was reaching back in his pants and I just felt like he had a gun or ill intent, and at that point, I knew I could not let him back inside,” Macedonia Free Will Baptist Church member Kevin Toler, told WXII-TV.

Toler and another church member brought the suspect, identified as Christopher Bennett, to the ground in the incident caught on surveillance video outside of Vanceboro, N.C.

Westlake Legal Group bennett North Carolina church members tackle man trying to force his way inside fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 7cb97603-f91f-596d-94f3-89728ad64c19

Christopher Bennett (Craven County Sheriff’s Office)

TEXAS CHURCH SHOOTING GUNMAN GREW ANGRY IN PAST OVER MONEY REQUESTS, VISITED ‘MULTIPLE’ TIMES, MINISTER SAYS

Bennett was arrested by Craven County deputies who used a taser him, WITN-TV reported. Officers said he continued to be combative and seemed to be under the influence of drugs.

Authorities said Bennett had assaulted a family member before the incident at the church. The woman told officers Bennett was on crystal meth at the time, WXII reported.

He was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and other charges, WITN reported.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The incident came just a week after a White Settlement, Texas, church member shot and killed a gunman who entered the building and murdered two people.

Westlake Legal Group bennett North Carolina church members tackle man trying to force his way inside fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 7cb97603-f91f-596d-94f3-89728ad64c19   Westlake Legal Group bennett North Carolina church members tackle man trying to force his way inside fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 7cb97603-f91f-596d-94f3-89728ad64c19

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Updates: Ukraine Presses Allies for Evidence on Plane Crash in Iran

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166870002_2ec482fd-66ed-43c5-91f2-6a2e8f021912-articleLarge Live Updates: Ukraine Presses Allies for Evidence on Plane Crash in Iran Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Ukraine International Airlines Tehran (Iran) Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Boeing Company Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine placing flowers at a memorial for the victims of the plane crash at the Boryspil airport on Thursday.Credit…Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine pleaded with the United States and other Western countries on Friday to release the evidence that a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed shortly after takeoff in Iran had been shot down.

Mr. Zelensky said the possibility that a missile had downed the Ukraine International Airlines plane on Wednesday, killing all 176 aboard, “cannot be ruled out but is not currently confirmed.”

American and allied officials said on Thursday that they had intelligence that surface-to-air missiles fired by Iranian military forces shot down the Boeing 737 minutes after it took off from Tehran, headed for Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.

The jet crashed hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of a powerful branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and was bracing for a possible American response.

Mr. Zelensky has pledged to get to the bottom of what happened, cutting short a trip to Oman immediately after the crash and dispatching a team of 45 Ukrainian experts to Tehran.

On Friday, Mr. Zelensky made it clear that Western governments, allies in his country’s conflict with Russia, had not shared the evidence that led them to believe that the Ukrainian jet had been shot down by Iran.

“The version that a missile hit the airplane cannot be ruled out, but currently cannot be confirmed,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement posted to Facebook on Friday morning. “Given the latest announcements made by countries’ leaders in the news media, we call on our international partners — first and foremost the governments of the United States, Canada, and Great Britain — to provide the data and the evidence concerning the catastrophe to the commission investigating its causes.”

Mr. Zelensky said he planned to speak with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday about the investigation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain both said Iran had probably shot down the plane by accident. President Trump said he suspected that the downing of the plane had been the result of “a mistake on the other side.”

An American official told The New York Times that the United States had a high level of confidence that a Russian-made Iranian air defense system had fired two surface-to-air missiles at the plane.

The crash of the Ukrainian jet has presented Mr. Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian who swept to a stunning victory in the presidential election last spring, with the most urgent crisis of his short tenure.

Already caught up in American domestic politics amid the impeachment spectacle on Capitol Hill, Mr. Zelensky must now navigate the geopolitical showdown between two longtime adversaries: the United States, Kyiv’s most powerful partner, and Iran.

“Our goal is to ascertain the undeniable truth,” Mr. Zelensky said in his statement on Friday. “We believe this is the responsibility of the whole international community before the families of the dead and the memory of the victims of the catastrophe.”

The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office issued a public request for help from Canada, seeking information from intelligence agencies about a possible missile strike.

Iran has maintained that there was no evidence that the plane was struck by a missile and doubled down on that assertion on Friday, despite western officials pointing to intelligence suggesting the passenger jet was accidentally hit by a missile.

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization chief, Ali Abedzadeh, speaking during a Friday news conference, urged caution and said that nothing could be determined until the data from the black boxes was analyzed and said statements made by other nations were politically motivated.

But, he added, what could be said was that the plane had not been hit by a missile and was likely on fire before it crashed. He also urged nations with intelligence on the crash, namely the United States and Canada, to share that information with Iran.

“We cannot just give you speculation,” Mr. Abedzadeh said in footage televised and translated on Iranian state television. “So far what I can tell you is that the plane has not been hit by a missile, and we have to look for the cause of the fire.”

Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said during the same news conference that it could take more than a month to process the data recovered from the flight recorders and that the investigation could take up to two years.

The black box will begin to be evaluated on Friday, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported, “to assess and check whether it is possible to reconstruct and analyze the information inside the country.”

Video

Westlake Legal Group xxivid-iran-plane-2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Live Updates: Ukraine Presses Allies for Evidence on Plane Crash in Iran Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Ukraine International Airlines Tehran (Iran) Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Boeing Company Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The New York Times has obtained and verified video showing the moment a Ukrainian airliner was hit in Iran.CreditCredit…Screenshot from video

Footage verified by The New York Times appears to show a missile fired from Iranian territory hitting a plane near Tehran’s airport, the area where a Ukrainian jet crashed on Wednesday.

A small explosion occurred when what appears to be a missile hit the plane above Parand, a city near the airport, but the plane did not explode, the video showed. The jet continued flying for several minutes and turned back toward the airport, The Times has determined.

The plane, which by then had stopped transmitting its signal, flew toward the airport ablaze before it exploded and crashed quickly, other videos verified by The Times showed.

Visual and audio clues in the footage also matched flight path information and satellite imagery of the area near where the plane crashed.

Anton Troianovski, Megan Specia, Christiaan Triebert, Malachy Browne, Sarah Kerr and Ainara Tiefenthäler contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Updates: Ukraine Presses Allies for Evidence on Plane Crash in Iran

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166870002_2ec482fd-66ed-43c5-91f2-6a2e8f021912-articleLarge Live Updates: Ukraine Presses Allies for Evidence on Plane Crash in Iran Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Ukraine International Airlines Tehran (Iran) Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Boeing Company Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine placing flowers at a memorial for the victims of the plane crash at the Boryspil airport on Thursday.Credit…Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine pleaded with the United States and other Western countries on Friday to release the evidence that a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed shortly after takeoff in Iran had been shot down.

Mr. Zelensky said the possibility that a missile had downed the Ukraine International Airlines plane on Wednesday, killing all 176 aboard, “cannot be ruled out but is not currently confirmed.”

American and allied officials said on Thursday that they had intelligence that surface-to-air missiles fired by Iranian military forces shot down the Boeing 737 minutes after it took off from Tehran, headed for Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.

The jet crashed hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of a powerful branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and was bracing for a possible American response.

Mr. Zelensky has pledged to get to the bottom of what happened, cutting short a trip to Oman immediately after the crash and dispatching a team of 45 Ukrainian experts to Tehran.

On Friday, Mr. Zelensky made it clear that Western governments, allies in his country’s conflict with Russia, had not shared the evidence that led them to believe that the Ukrainian jet had been shot down by Iran.

“The version that a missile hit the airplane cannot be ruled out, but currently cannot be confirmed,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement posted to Facebook on Friday morning. “Given the latest announcements made by countries’ leaders in the news media, we call on our international partners — first and foremost the governments of the United States, Canada, and Great Britain — to provide the data and the evidence concerning the catastrophe to the commission investigating its causes.”

Mr. Zelensky said he planned to speak with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday about the investigation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain both said Iran had probably shot down the plane by accident. President Trump said he suspected that the downing of the plane had been the result of “a mistake on the other side.”

An American official told The New York Times that the United States had a high level of confidence that a Russian-made Iranian air defense system had fired two surface-to-air missiles at the plane.

The crash of the Ukrainian jet has presented Mr. Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian who swept to a stunning victory in the presidential election last spring, with the most urgent crisis of his short tenure.

Already caught up in American domestic politics amid the impeachment spectacle on Capitol Hill, Mr. Zelensky must now navigate the geopolitical showdown between two longtime adversaries: the United States, Kyiv’s most powerful partner, and Iran.

“Our goal is to ascertain the undeniable truth,” Mr. Zelensky said in his statement on Friday. “We believe this is the responsibility of the whole international community before the families of the dead and the memory of the victims of the catastrophe.”

The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office issued a public request for help from Canada, seeking information from intelligence agencies about a possible missile strike.

Iran has maintained that there was no evidence that the plane was struck by a missile and doubled down on that assertion on Friday, despite western officials pointing to intelligence suggesting the passenger jet was accidentally hit by a missile.

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization chief, Ali Abedzadeh, speaking during a Friday news conference, urged caution and said that nothing could be determined until the data from the black boxes was analyzed and said statements made by other nations were politically motivated.

But, he added, what could be said was that the plane had not been hit by a missile and was likely on fire before it crashed. He also urged nations with intelligence on the crash, namely the United States and Canada, to share that information with Iran.

“We cannot just give you speculation,” Mr. Abedzadeh said in footage televised and translated on Iranian state television. “So far what I can tell you is that the plane has not been hit by a missile, and we have to look for the cause of the fire.”

Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said during the same news conference that it could take more than a month to process the data recovered from the flight recorders and that the investigation could take up to two years.

The black box will begin to be evaluated on Friday, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported, “to assess and check whether it is possible to reconstruct and analyze the information inside the country.”

Video

Westlake Legal Group xxivid-iran-plane-2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Live Updates: Ukraine Presses Allies for Evidence on Plane Crash in Iran Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Ukraine International Airlines Tehran (Iran) Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Boeing Company Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The New York Times has obtained and verified video showing the moment a Ukrainian airliner was hit in Iran.CreditCredit…Screenshot from video

Footage verified by The New York Times appears to show a missile fired from Iranian territory hitting a plane near Tehran’s airport, the area where a Ukrainian jet crashed on Wednesday.

A small explosion occurred when what appears to be a missile hit the plane above Parand, a city near the airport, but the plane did not explode, the video showed. The jet continued flying for several minutes and turned back toward the airport, The Times has determined.

The plane, which by then had stopped transmitting its signal, flew toward the airport ablaze before it exploded and crashed quickly, other videos verified by The Times showed.

Visual and audio clues in the footage also matched flight path information and satellite imagery of the area near where the plane crashed.

Anton Troianovski, Megan Specia, Christiaan Triebert, Malachy Browne, Sarah Kerr and Ainara Tiefenthäler contributed reporting.

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Hollywood Assistants Are Fed Up and No Longer Afraid to Say So

LOS ANGELES — Kiran Subramaniam was in her mid-20s when she was hired as an assistant at ICM, one of the Big Four talent agencies in Los Angeles. The job paid $12 an hour. One day, her boss, an agent, tossed a small package at her head after she had placed it on his desk in a way he didn’t like. She ducked, but it grazed her face. When she threatened to quit, he apologized, saying he had thrown the box as a joke. Ms. Subramaniam decided to stay — like a “sad sack,” she said.

Not long afterward, the boss told her that he had parked his Porsche somewhere and couldn’t find it. She left the ICM building and walked past Cartier and Chanel, inspecting the Porsches along Rodeo Drive, none of which belonged to him. She expected another bad reaction when she got back to the office, but all he said was, “I’ll either find it or buy a new one.”

This is the life of the Hollywood assistant, a job that has long served as a proving ground for future executives and producers, schooling them in the ins and outs of the entertainment industry and showing them the reality behind the glamorous facade. But while previous generations put up with it, the new crop of Hollywood’s entry-level workers, emboldened by the #MeToo movement, have banded together in an effort to get better pay and better treatment from their sometimes mercurial bosses.

“I just don’t think we can be silent on certain things anymore,” Ms. Subramaniam, 31, said.

On a recent Sunday, Ms. Subramaniam, an aspiring TV writer who is no longer working at ICM, was among a group of more than 100 assistants who gathered for a town-hall-style discussion. They shared workplace horror stories and talked about how their wages had not kept pace with escalating rents. Increasingly, they said, the industry works against people who do not have outside financial backing, meaning that low-level jobs tend to go to people who can afford to take them.

Many at the meeting had taken part in an online survey tagged #PayUpHollywood. More than 100 of the 1,500 respondents reported that a boss had thrown something at them, and the majority said they made $50,000 a year or less. In a city where rent is $2,500 a month, on average, they would be considered rent burdened, a term the Pew Research Center uses to describe people who spend a third or more of their income on housing.

The #PayUpHollywood survey was put together by Liz Alper, a member of the Writers Guild of America West board of directors; Deirdre Mangan, a writer on the television show “Roswell, New Mexico”; and Jamarah Hayner, a media consultant who has worked with Senator Kamala Harris and Michael R. Bloomberg.

The veteran writers John August and Craig Mazin recently brought attention to the plight of assistants through their podcast, “Scriptnotes.” At the town-hall discussion, Mr. August, whose script credits include the indie film “Go” and the Disney blockbuster “Aladdin,” said the industry was stacked against younger workers in a way it hadn’t been when he started out.

“Traditionally, you start and you climb up the ladder,” he told the audience. “Some people can’t even get to the start of the ladder because of the structures that we have here.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 00HOLLYWOODASSISTANTS-02-articleLarge Hollywood Assistants Are Fed Up and No Longer Afraid to Say So West Hollywood (Calif) Wages and Salaries Television Movies Labor and Jobs ICM Partners Creative Artists Agency August, John

John August, whose podcast called attention to the plight of Hollywood assistants, with his assistant, Megana Rao.Credit…Rozette Rago for The New York Times

When Mr. August worked as an assistant in the 1990s, he said, his bed was a mattress on top of egg crates and his pay was about $500 a week before taxes, more than twice the minimum wage at the time.

“My salary was enough that I could afford a one-bedroom in West Hollywood, which would be extravagant now,” he said in an interview.

Since 2000, the median rent in Los Angeles County has gone up more than 40 percent, according to data from the Census Bureau, and a number of assistants said their weekly pay had not budged from what Mr. August made more than 20 years ago — about $500 after taxes.

In September, Mr. August and Mr. Mazin, the showrunner of HBO’s “Chernobyl,” asked their podcast listeners to tell them about open secrets in Hollywood. An email from Kelley Mathys, a 30-year-old assistant, piqued their interest: “I think there will be a big ‘come to Jesus’ moment in the next few years about how low assistant pay is.” She added that her first job, in 2011, had paid $375 a week, which amounted to $19,500 a year.

Mr. August and Mr. Mazin asked to hear more, a request that drew more than 100 emails from assistants describing low pay, long hours and bullying bosses.

In an interview, Ms. Mathys said she did not buy the argument that Hollywood’s difficult work conditions were necessary for toughening young people who wanted to make it.

“We’re not Navy SEALs,” she said. “This is not life and death. So to suggest that there has to be this mental fortitude in order to work in development, I don’t understand that.”

Low pay is another issue for the assistants, along with a lack of job security. Olga Lexell, 27, said she had made the minimum wage, plus overtime, as a writers’ production assistant on a TV show in 2016. The job came with a guarantee of 60 hours a week, which worked out to about $700 before taxes.

When the studio cut her hours the next season, Ms. Lexell and a colleague approached a showrunner for a raise. But like many of the more than 30 assistants interviewed for this article, Ms. Lexell said workers in her position had little or no leverage to negotiate.

The showrunner said, “You guys are lucky to have these jobs,” Ms. Lexell remembered. “I can find people to do it for free.”

During the weeks when the show was not in production, Ms. Lexell said, she resorted to filing for unemployment.

Other assistants working in television said it was common practice for them to file for unemployment when shows went dark. They added that some showrunners asked the staff writers to kick in for the assistants before the holiday season.

“That’s definitely the writers subsidizing the studios,” said Matt McRee, 39, who has worked as an assistant on several television shows.

Many assistants said they were discouraged from filing for overtime.

“I’ve worked jobs where they filled out your timecard and brought it to you,” Mr. McRee said. “If you do complain, they just won’t hire you again.”

Because assistants work irregular hours, it’s hard to supplement their income with a second job, they said.

“I couldn’t even get a bartending job, because it’s not even like I get off work every day at 7,” said Noah Silverman, 27, an assistant at a film and television production company.

Low wages mean that Hollywood’s entry-level workers are likely to be those who have outside financial support, the assistants said. The result is that — in an industry that likes to be seen as championing diversity and other progressive causes — the people who get a foot in the door tend to come from more privileged backgrounds. The #PayUpHollywood survey found that the great majority of those who relied on outside financial assistance identified themselves as white.

The lack of diversity has put assistants of color in difficult positions. Jerrica Long remembered being one of two black women who worked as floaters — filling in for assistants on different agents’ desks — at Creative Artists Agency’s New York office. She said she had quit after overhearing an offensive conversation among some white assistants.

“They were talking about how if slavery existed today, they would own them,” Ms. Long said. “That was the day that I turned in my notice.”

C.A.A. said in a statement that it found the overheard comment to be “abhorrent and entirely counter to our values.” The company added, “There is no record during that time, nor in Ms. Long’s exit interview, of the alleged incident.”

Ms. Long, 28, is now working as a showrunner’s assistant and living in North Hollywood.

One of the attractions of the job is being privy to much of what’s happening behind the scenes. But being close to the action also shows the assistants that the private behavior of the industry’s typically liberal power players is at odds with their public pronouncements.

“You’ll see a big A-list person or a high-powered studio or network person give a speech on the red carpet or the Golden Globes,” Mr. Silverman said. “But some of these people treat their assistants horribly.”

Health care coverage is another concern. Andi Royer, a 32-year-old assistant with Type 1 diabetes, said she was not offered health care as part of the benefits package that went with her job on “Bluff City Law,” a new hourlong drama produced by Universal Television, an arm of NBCUniversal.

She said she had accepted the job, a 60-hour-a-week position that paid $14.25 per hour, on the assumption that it would come with benefits similar to what she had received when she was a postproduction assistant on a Warner Bros. show. She also assumed that federal law required Universal to offer health coverage within her first 90 days of employment.

According to Ms. Royer, the human resources department told her that Universal did not offer health coverage on shows that were in their first seasons, and that employees had to work for the company for one year to become eligible.

Ms. Royer said she had contacted various Universal administrators and executives, to no avail. Without insurance, she said, her medications would cost $1,200 a month. Eventually, she gave up, and her husband added her to his employer’s plan, which she said cost hundreds of dollars more a month than her Warner Bros. coverage.

“If I wasn’t married to him, I wouldn’t be able to live here and have a job out here,” she said.

In a statement, Universal said it was compliant with the law because it considered all employees on its first-season shows to be temporary, “regardless of the exact number of months worked.” The company also pointed to a law that allows it to exclude up to 5 percent of its work force from health coverage.

The efforts of the new generation of assistants have led to tangible improvements. The Hollywood talent agency Verve announced last month that it would raise the pay of mailroom employees and assistants by 25 to 40 percent starting Jan. 1.

“#PayUpHollywood certainly made us aware that here are issues within the community and potentially within our own walls,” Bill Weinstein, a founding partner at the agency, said.

ICM announced last month that its assistants would receive an additional month of salary on top of their bonus pay.

About the agent who was said to have thrown a package at his assistant’s head, ICM said in a statement, “We do not condone this kind of behavior and are committed to a safe, professional and supportive work environment.”

Ben Casselman contributed reporting.

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This Shiny New Subaru Forester Comes With An Absolutely Filthy Name

Westlake Legal Group 5e1840482400005c005279c0 This Shiny New Subaru Forester Comes With An Absolutely Filthy Name

Clearly, no FUCKS were given. 

A new edition of the Subaru Forester on display at the 2020 Singapore Motorshow came with a rather eye-catching nickname: The Forester Ultimate Customized Kit Special edition. Or as people online were quick to note, the Subaru FUCKS edition: 

Subaru told Business Insider that the car was from an “independent distributor” rather than the carmaker. However, Top Gear Philippines noted that the vehicle was inside the Subaru booth, sharing space with new models such as Viziv Adrenaline Concept and an updated Impreza. 

If it was a publicity stunt, and it certainly seemed like one, it worked: 

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AOC in PETA doghouse after adopting purebred French bulldog — instead of setting example with rescue pup

Westlake Legal Group AP20008675186849 AOC in PETA doghouse after adopting purebred French bulldog -- instead of setting example with rescue pup fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc Danielle Wallace article 9cece8ba-638b-575c-9cbb-4c744e986fed

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was slammed by the animal rights organization PETA on Thursday for not being a good role model.

The New York Democrat could have influenced her millions of social media followers by adopting a rescue mutt from a shelter, PETA argued, but instead the congresswoman took home a purebred French bulldog.

“AOC had a chance to set a compassionate, responsible example in the face of the homeless-animal crisis, but instead, she apparently inadvertently contributed to the problem,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a letter. “PETA is urging her supporters not to follow her lead in this case and to stick up for the underdog by choosing to give a lovable mutt a new lease on life.”

AOC ACCUSES HOUSE REPUBLICAN OF RACISM AFTER HE CALLS OUT ‘SQUAD OF AYATOLLAH SYMPATHIZERS’

The freshman “Squad” member had introduced her yet-to-be named Frenchie in an Instagram story earlier in the week. She never confirmed the breed or if she purchased her pet from a breeder.

“He doesn’t have a name yet!” Ocasio-Cortez said in one Instagram story post, asking for suggestions. “We are thinking something Star Trek related or Bronx/Queens/NYC/social good related.”

But compared to followers who fawned over the animal’s cuteness and tweeted Ocasio-Cortez images of their own dog, Newkirk was less than amused.

“French bulldogs are inbred in order to produce “breed-specific traits,” which cause health problems that many people who will be influenced by your purchase won’t be able to afford to address,” her letter continued.

“With the millions of homeless dogs out there, you apparently chose to buy a purebred puppy instead of adopting one from an animal shelter. Right this minute, on Petfinder alone, there are more than 110,000 dogs—including French bulldogs—who need homes. Animal shelters are bursting at the seams with hundreds of thousands more, many of whom will be “put to sleep” for lack of a home.

The letter urges the freshman congresswoman to visit any NYC Animal Care & Control center and adopt a shelter dog to give her new French Bull Dog a companion while she’s away traveling the country or bust working on Capitol Hill. PETA said it was also sending Ocasio-Cortez a copy of the book “Dogs Hate Crates” to explain “why crate training is not humane or effective.”

“We’re asking that you please be a part of the solution to ending the cat- and dog-overpopulation crisis and consider setting the right example for your millions of followers by adopting a mutt and encouraging them to do the same,” Newkirk concludes.

Ocasio-Cortez has documented on her Instagram story how she was crate training her dog.

“He’s good about his crate when we are right next to it, but he’s such a velcro pup that at night he whimpers if he’s not right next to us. We’re working on it!” she wrote.

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“We are working really hard to socialize the pup to new environments, different people, travel, etc.,” she said, adding, “He’s doing great so far!”

She also responded to one Twitter user who asked if she would be bringing the puppy to work on Capitol Hill with her.

“The goal is to train him to be a community pup,” Ocasio-Cortez said, sharing a photo of the dog asleep in her lap. “Ideally we want to work to the point where he can enjoy town halls, be an Amtrak pup, come to the office, etc. But first, naps.”

Westlake Legal Group AP20008675186849 AOC in PETA doghouse after adopting purebred French bulldog -- instead of setting example with rescue pup fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc Danielle Wallace article 9cece8ba-638b-575c-9cbb-4c744e986fed   Westlake Legal Group AP20008675186849 AOC in PETA doghouse after adopting purebred French bulldog -- instead of setting example with rescue pup fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc Danielle Wallace article 9cece8ba-638b-575c-9cbb-4c744e986fed

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Adam Sandler says an Oscar nomination would be funny

Westlake Legal Group Adam-Sandler Adam Sandler says an Oscar nomination would be funny Nate Day fox-news/person/adam-sandler fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/drama fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 628aa4d4-3a28-5ec0-a4a2-dfb8505b34db

Despite moving into more dramatic roles, Adam Sandler still has a good sense of humor.

The “SNL” alum, 53, is receiving Oscar buzz for his performance in the film “Uncut Gems,” which has shocked many fans due to his background in slapstick comedy and frequently being in films that receive poor reviews.

In the flick, Sandler plays a jeweler with a gambling problem that gets in over his head.

ADAM SANDLER’S ‘UNCUT GEMS’ RANKS 7TH FOR MOST F-WORDS IN FILM HISTORY

When asked what it would be like if he was nominated for an Academy Award, Sandler told ET: “It would be funny as h–l, man.”

Sandler was widely considered a significant snub when it came to the Golden Globe nominations and on Wednesday night, he took home the award for best actor from the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala.

“It’s not why you make a movie,” he said. “This movie in particular, I knew it was something different and I was excited to do it… I’m psyched I got to be in this movie and that s–t would be good, too.”

ADAM SANDLER WAS ‘SCARED’ TO PORTRAY GAMBLING ADDICT IN ‘UNCUT GEMS,’ CREDITS WIFE FOR ‘STRENGTH AND COURAGE’

Sandler said that he doesn’t want to get his hopes up because he doesn’t want to feel too disappointed if he doesn’t receive the nomination.

The “Wedding Singer” star recently revealed that he insisted on changing one very specific thing in the script of “Uncut Gems” when he came on board.

In the film, Sandler’s character has a mistress, who was originally called Sadie, but Sandler requested they change her name.

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“That’s my daughter’s name!” Sandler said. “And I said, ‘You can’t have my daughter’s name in this movie.'”

Westlake Legal Group Adam-Sandler Adam Sandler says an Oscar nomination would be funny Nate Day fox-news/person/adam-sandler fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/drama fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 628aa4d4-3a28-5ec0-a4a2-dfb8505b34db   Westlake Legal Group Adam-Sandler Adam Sandler says an Oscar nomination would be funny Nate Day fox-news/person/adam-sandler fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/drama fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 628aa4d4-3a28-5ec0-a4a2-dfb8505b34db

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