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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 231)

AMERICA IN 2020: TSA Screens Ramy Youssef’s Golden Globe Award

Ramy Youssef’s Golden Globes statuette was screened by the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday, a move the actor suggested was down to him having a Muslim name.

Youseff picked up the trophy for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series for Hulu comedy “Ramy” at Sunday’s 77th annual Golden Globe Awards

He documented the security tests an agent conducted on the award, just two days after his win, on Instagram:

Westlake Legal Group 5e15b3b1250000b0269901c3 AMERICA IN 2020: TSA Screens Ramy Youssef’s Golden Globe Award

Instagram / Ramy Youssef

Photographs and videos that the 28-year-old actor shared as Instagram stories showed his trophy, inside a box, being pushed through a scanner.

An agent then swabbed it. “Is that part of the test or what?” Youssef asked while laughing. “Did it pass?”

He later appeared to take a more serious tone when he wrote “the ‘random’ checks you have to deal with when you have a Muslim name.”

Youssef’s representatives did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for further comment.

Westlake Legal Group 5e15ba6e24000086245a53fd AMERICA IN 2020: TSA Screens Ramy Youssef’s Golden Globe Award

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Ramy Youssef with the award for best performance by an actor in a television series, musical or comedy, for “Ramy” at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards.

Youssef beat fellow nominees Paul Rudd, Ben Platt, Bill Hader and Michael Douglas to win the accolade for his role in the semi-autobiographical “Ramy,” which depicts his character’s life as the son of Egyptian immigrants growing up in New Jersey.

“I would like to thank my God, Allahu Akbar. Thank you God, this is thanks to God and Hulu,” he said during his acceptance speech, before acknowledging the majority of the stars in the audience had not seen his show.

“My mom also, by the way, was rooting for Michael Douglas,” Youssef joked. “Egyptians love Michael Douglas, I don’t know if you know this.”

Check out the clip here:

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There’s A Madman In The White House; Trump’s ‘Narcissistic Rage’ Led Him to Assassinate Suleimani

Westlake Legal Group AgZTZ2arwbcQmCUE6_lBnp2-aAHC6S7O03NPWWqC1wU There’s A Madman In The White House; Trump’s ‘Narcissistic Rage’ Led Him to Assassinate Suleimani r/politics

Their interest goes beyond owning the libs; that’s an added bonus and, respectfully, claiming that’s the depth of it serves only to mask their real end game: their absolute paramount interest is preserving their position and power. Thus “party over country.” Accomplishing this allows them to execute on their number two priority…

Lining their own pockets and that of their cronies.

Notice how everything Trump says circles back to money? Every policy speech (if you can call his ramblings “speeches”), every proclamation, every announcement, every childish taunt of his critics and U.S. rivals and “enemies” circles back to money. He has even called himself “Tariff man.”

Likewise, more and more, his sycophantic supporters are defending everything he does in terms of dollars.

Their priorities are in this exact order because priority one begets priority two.

Their gerrymandering, voter suppression, election fraud and court packing have all been exposed and yet they continue unabated because they have found the formula: it takes convincing only 30% of the population to seize control of a state or the country. It’s not how many, but where. Our elections have been thrown backwards 200 years where they are decided by land, not people.

These efforts have been successful to the point where they no longer feel they need to even bother pretending otherwise. Their brazen corruption is now on full display; they are absolutely shameless and will go to any length to preserve and add to their power and money.

And they are convinced there is nothing you can do about it.

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Arizona Republican fires back at press after slammed for posting fake Obama-Rouhani photo

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1090899950 Arizona Republican fires back at press after slammed for posting fake Obama-Rouhani photo fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/us/congress fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 62114676-9222-58b5-b6d1-d336e0a3b3c7

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., fired back at the media Tuesday after drawing criticism for posting a fake image of former President Obama shaking hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Gosar explained that his intent was simply to criticize both political figures — not to suggest that the image was authentic. He took particular aim at Daniel Medina, a reporter for The Intercept who took the congressman to task, suggesting that Gosar was trying to say Obama and Rouhani had actually met and that Rouhani was now out of power.

“To the dim witted reporters like @dmedin11,” Gosar wrote, “no one said this wasn’t photoshopped. No one said the president of Iran was dead. No one said Obama met with Rouhani in person. The tweet says: “the world is a better place without either of them in power”.”

REP. PAUL GOSAR SENDS CRYPTIC TWEETS THAT READ, ‘EPSTEIN DIDN’T KILL HIMSELF,’ DURING IMPEACHMENT HEARING

The image has bounced around social media for several years and was created from a real photo of Obama meeting with then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, The New York Times reported.

Obama and Rouhani, who is still in power, have never met in person, according to The Times.

Also criticizing Gosar was Gen. Michael Hayden, a former CIA director under Obama and President George W. Bush, and head of the National Security Agency under Bush.

“You’re an idiot,” Hayden wrote to the congressman.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In another post, Gosar tried to further clarify why he posted the image of Obama and Rouhani.

“Obama coddled, appeased, nurtured and protected the worlds No. 1 sponsor of terror,” Gosar wrote. “The world is better without Obama as president. The world will be better off without Rouhani.”

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1090899950 Arizona Republican fires back at press after slammed for posting fake Obama-Rouhani photo fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/us/congress fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 62114676-9222-58b5-b6d1-d336e0a3b3c7   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1090899950 Arizona Republican fires back at press after slammed for posting fake Obama-Rouhani photo fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/us/congress fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 62114676-9222-58b5-b6d1-d336e0a3b3c7

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Missile Strike Damage Appears Limited, but Iran Might Not Be Through

Westlake Legal Group 07iran-live-briefing-live-1-facebookJumbo-v2 Missile Strike Damage Appears Limited, but Iran Might Not Be Through United States Defense and Military Forces Suleimani, Qassim Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Iran Erbil (Iraq) Baghdad (Iraq)

BAGHDAD — Over an intense half-hour before dawn on Wednesday, Iran bombed targets in Iraq, striking in and around two large military bases that house thousands of Iraqi and American servicemen and women.

But when the barrage of 22 missiles was over, the damage appeared to be to the bases’ infrastructure, not to people.

In a short statement released on Wednesday morning, the Joint Command in Baghdad, which includes both Iraqi and international representatives, said that neither coalition nor Iraqi forces had “recorded any losses.”

Of the 22 missiles, the majority were aimed at Al-Asad, an air base in the desert of western Anbar, an entirely Sunni Muslim area. Of the 17 missiles aimed at the base, two fell outside it near the city of Hit, but did not explode, officials said.

Five of the missiles were aimed at an air base in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and hit the headquarters building. Damage assessments were ongoing on Wednesday.

Iran announced that the missile strike had “concluded proportionate measures” against the United States in response for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani by an American drone strike on Friday.

But officials around the region cautioned that the statement did not mean Iran was done maneuvering. More broadly, Iran has remained focused on the goal of forcing the expulsion of United States troops from Iraq.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, in his meeting with the country’s Council of Ministers on Wednesday morning, hinted at that larger strategic goal in comments that were clearly directed at the United States — and which referred to the fact that General Suleimani’s hand had been severed in the strike that killed him.

“You cut off the hand of Qassim Suleimani from his body, and we will cut off your feet from the region,” Mr. Rouhani said.

Iran has long viewed the American presence on its doorstep, in both Iraq and Afghanistan, as a threat. And it has worked for decades to have leaders in those countries reduce or eliminate the American presence altogether.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reached out to the prime minister of the Kurdish regional government in Iraq, Masrour Barzani, to update him on events. Mr. Barzani and his father, Massoud Barzani, have been staunch allies of the United States, and the air base in Erbil was the staging ground for the United States Special Operations mission that killed the head of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in October.

Mr. Barzani, for his part, said in a Twitter post that in his call early Wednesday with Mr. Pompeo, he had “suggested ways to de-escalate and contain the situation.”

Iraq’s prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, released a statement similar to Mr. Barzani’s, saying the government would “continue its intense attempts to prevent escalation.” Referring to the Iranian bombing, he objected to the violation of Iraq’s sovereignty, as he had after the killing of General Suleimani and after American strikes on an Iranian-backed militia in western Iraq in late December.

Falih Hassan contributed reporting.

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AMERICA IN 2020: TSA Screens Ramy Youssef’s Golden Globe Award

Ramy Youssef’s Golden Globes statuette was screened by the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday, a move the actor suggested was down to him having a Muslim name.

Youseff picked up the trophy for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series for Hulu comedy “Ramy” at Sunday’s 77th annual Golden Globe Awards

He documented the security tests an agent conducted on the award, just two days after his win, on Instagram:

Westlake Legal Group 5e15b3b1250000b0269901c3 AMERICA IN 2020: TSA Screens Ramy Youssef’s Golden Globe Award

Instagram / Ramy Youssef

Photographs and videos that the 28-year-old actor shared as Instagram stories showed his trophy, inside a box, being pushed through a scanner.

An agent then swabbed it. “Is that part of the test or what?” Youssef asked while laughing. “Did it pass?”

He later appeared to take a more serious tone when he wrote “the ‘random’ checks you have to deal with when you have a Muslim name.”

Youssef’s representatives did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for further comment.

Westlake Legal Group 5e15ba6e24000086245a53fd AMERICA IN 2020: TSA Screens Ramy Youssef’s Golden Globe Award

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Ramy Youssef with the award for best performance by an actor in a television series, musical or comedy, for “Ramy” at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards.

Youssef beat fellow nominees Paul Rudd, Ben Platt, Bill Hader and Michael Douglas to win the accolade for his role in the semi-autobiographical “Ramy,” which depicts his character’s life as the son of Egyptian immigrants growing up in New Jersey.

“I would like to thank my God, Allahu Akbar. Thank you God, this is thanks to God and Hulu,” he said during his acceptance speech, before acknowledging the majority of the stars in the audience had not seen his show.

“My mom also, by the way, was rooting for Michael Douglas,” Youssef joked. “Egyptians love Michael Douglas, I don’t know if you know this.”

Check out the clip here:

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

The Day That Never Happened

Westlake Legal Group asohrabi-npr-lead_slide-f52d67d2630b191a1456ee8fbd949eab103ed943-s1100-c15 The Day That Never Happened
Atieh Sohrabi for NPR
Westlake Legal Group  The Day That Never Happened

Atieh Sohrabi for NPR

Have you ever had a memory, but you aren’t sure if you dreamed it or read it or saw it in a movie? Have you ever had a day that changed life as you knew it, but no one ever spoke about it again?

For me, that day started early on a Sunday morning in June 2005. I had just turned 12.

Half-asleep, I heard footsteps surround the corners of my bed.

My mother’s voice flooded in from the doorway. “Please,” she said. “Let me wake her.”

But it was a stranger’s hand that shook me awake. He had one hand on a gun strapped to his waist, and the other wrapped tightly around my arm. He was dressed from head to toe in what looked like black SWAT gear. I don’t remember much about his face.

“Get up and go downstairs,” the man said. He was not alone. There were at least six other men, all dressed in black.

My mother, younger brother, and I were marched down our pink carpeted staircase. The men trailed close behind. They seemed more prepared for the frontlines of a warzone than our picturesque home in Orange County, Calif.

They moved throughout our house almost soundlessly. When they spoke, it was to give orders.

“Sit down,” one of them said, motioning to the cream-colored couch in the living room. It was the only piece of furniture we had purchased since moving in a few weeks before.

My father was already sitting, wearing boxers and a ragged t-shirt. I tried to meet his eye, hoping he would make a joke, be his usual, reassuring self. But that morning he said nothing — didn’t look at any of us. When I sat down next to him, I noticed he was wearing handcuffs.

The shades in the living hadn’t been installed yet, so the morning sun glared in our eyes. I remember realizing, as I looked out on the street, that anyone could see inside. I prayed one of our neighbors would walk by, just to witness what was happening. But no one seemed to be walking their dog or grabbing the mail.

I felt like screaming for help, but I didn’t. None of us did. We simply watched as the men rummaged through our drawers and flipped through our photo albums. They used the VCR in my parents’ room to watch our home videos. The sounds of old birthdays, family ski trips, and Persian New Years echoed throughout our mostly empty house. We hadn’t yet gotten to fill the house with memories of its own.

At one point, another man arrived, dressed in regular clothing. He began to sort through letters we kept in drawers in the guest room. I could hear him reading out loud, first in Farsi and then English, the words on the faded postcards family and friends from Iran. Family recipes. Pleas for us to return. Love notes between my mom and dad, starting from when they met at university in Tehran.

Eventually, one of the black-clad men asked my mom to take me and my brother out of the house. He said they wanted to speak to my dad alone.

“Where do you want me to take them?” my mom asked. There were bags under her eyes.

“I don’t care,” he responded.

“Poru,” she whispered under her breath. Rude, in Farsi. She, too, had been uncharacteristically reserved up until that point.

For a few minutes, my mother, brother and I stood on the front porch in our pajamas. I counted their black SUVs parked discreetly around the cul-de-sac. We didn’t know where to go. If we went to a friend’s house we would have to explain why we were there — a question we couldn’t answer.

So we went where many people in our town went when not much was open: Denny’s. We sat in a faux-leather booth, the song “Send Me On My Way” from my favorite movie, Matilda, played throughout the half-empty restaurant. I stared at pancakes while my mom tried to fill the silence.

Westlake Legal Group asohrabi-npr-spots-diner1_sq-2f79bc5ccc4e6058e3c591e748392e31ecac3722-s1100-c15 The Day That Never Happened
Atieh Sohrabi for NPR

“Are you excited for camp this week?” she asked. I looked at my brother. He didn’t look up from his Game Boy.

It felt like hours had passed when a private number called my mom’s phone. “You can come back,” a man said. Then he hung up.

When we returned, the black cars were gone. Inside, my dad sat in the same position that we had left him in — staring at the bare wall where a TV would eventually go. His hands were by his sides.

The house looked untouched. The men had put everything back. It was as if they had never been there.

The four of us sat on the couch for what felt like a long time. My dad was the first to get up. He went to my parent’s room and closed the door. My mom stayed.

When it was dinnertime, she threw some things together for noon o panir, a traditional Persian breakfast. We ate bread and goat cheese; walnuts, tomatoes and cucumbers seasoned with fresh lemon juice. We drank hot tea with sugar. My dad didn’t join us. But eating that meal made it feel, if only for a little while, like everything was normal. No one spoke about what had happened that morning.

Westlake Legal Group asohrabi-npr-spots-table_custom-9bfaf1e6e44b0849d336d6e4f6ee0817669d6419-s1100-c15 The Day That Never Happened
Atieh Sohrabi for NPR

We didn’t talk about it the next day either. Or the day after that.

My dad would go back to work. My brother and I would go to camp. My mom would show up at her morning jogging group, on time. We would go through the motions, same as always. And as the days came and went, none of us would mention that day. At all. Ever.

For more than a decade, it was the day that never happened.

But it changed our family, even if we never discussed it. We no longer spoke Farsi in public. My mom stopped saying hello to our neighbors as she got the mail. My dad lowered the Persian dance music from his car stereo before turning onto our street. My brother, Sohrab, began to go by “Rob.” And I borrowed the interests of my white peers: Lunchables, cheerleading and country music. I changed the way I dressed to fit in with the Abercrombie & Fitch-girls in my class. I chemically straightened my thick, curly hair until it flowed straight down my back in sleek strands. I second-guessed the food I ate at lunchtime: Persian stews served with rice were swapped in for PB&J sandwiches in brown paper bags.

I couldn’t completely remove my “otherness,” but with the right hobbies and accessories and slang, I figured I could help mask it.

Every aspect of my family’s Iranian identity became toned down, softened, put away for years at a time.

It was until years later and 3,000 miles away, in graduate school in New York City, that I was able to revisit that day.

In the absence of any explanation, I’d thought up wild theories: That my dad was filtering money to a terrorist organization; that there was something from my parents’ past in Iran that had followed us here; or, more realistically, that we simply weren’t trusted in our white, conservative neighborhood.

And I did research, trying to find out if anything similar has happened to families like mine.

What I found was examples of extreme policing that dated back decades. In the 1990s, the FBI’s “Operation Vulgar Betrayal,” allowed for years of surveillance of a Muslim community in the suburbs of Chicago. After the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, the New York Police Department began to surveil hundreds of mosques and businesses deemed “hot spots.” (That six-year surveillance campaign of Muslims spread into parts of New Jersey and was later deemed a breach of the FBI’s own rules.) In 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit based in Michigan, alleging the FBI had a secret racial and ethnic mapping program in parts of the state that gathered intelligence on specific Muslim and Arab American communities.

It was clear that Muslim and Arab communities in many parts of the country had been under government surveillance for years. But I still haven’t found an example quite like what happened to my family, in Southern California. I still don’t know for sure what happened. I still don’t know if I want to know exactly what happened.

But not talking about that day with the only other people who had witnessed it eventually became unbearable. It felt like we were enlisted in the witness protection program, but the only people we were protecting were the men who came into our house. We were helping keep their secret. I didn’t want to do that anymore.

So finally last March, for the first time in 14 years, I brought it up. I decided to ask my father first because, as the one who was questioned — the one who was handcuffed — I felt like he was the only one of us who might have really understood what had happened.

“I want to talk about that day,” I texted him. “The day that those men came into our house. Can I call you when you get off work?”

A part of me felt scared about what he might say. What if I had made this whole thing up? What if the reason no one spoke about it was because it didn’t happen? Or worse, what if it was because it did?

When he answered the phone later that night, I could tell he was nervous, too. But when I asked him to go through the details of the day, he patiently answered my questions about what had happened, how he was feeling, how much he knew.

Westlake Legal Group asohrabi-npr-spots-phone_custom-3f00b73ee5775f111e363e9fb5bc7d9ad33c30ad-s1100-c15 The Day That Never Happened
Atieh Sohrabi for NPR

He told me the men identified themselves as federal agents but never specified what agency they were from. He said they forced him to open the door, hands on their holsters. When he asked if they had permission to search the house, they said they didn’t need it. “I was new to this country,” he told me. “It was a couple of years after 9/11, and I am Middle Eastern, so I thought I’d rather be quiet, don’t ask them too many questions. I didn’t know my rights at that time.”

He described how he watched the men march up the stairs, heading to my and my brother’s rooms. His voice began to tremble as he explained to me how he begged them not to scare us.

But when I asked my dad why we never talked about that day, he sounded more ashamed than afraid.

“I didn’t want to remind you guys,” he said. “You were so young. And that was a bad memory of policing in this country, that because you are foreigners, they hate you.”

Because you are foreigners, they hate you. I hadn’t realized until I heard my dad say it, how this feeling had morphed into my need to conform. I was afraid that if I didn’t, that day would happen again. Those men would come again.

Over the phone, my dad added, “I worried this might be a bad memory forever.”

Again, he was right. The memory of that day floods over me whenever I speak my native language on the subway; when I walk to work and pass the men dressed in similar SWAT gear patrolling the World Trade Center. I am reminded of it each time my flight lands at LAX, when I fly home to visit. Despite missing my family, I frequently make excuses not to go home. It’s too expensive, I say, or, The flight is too long. What I don’t say is that my house feels like a museum filled with artifacts of the day that never happened.

“You might hate this country because of that [day].”

This was my dad’s biggest fear — that the country he had uprooted my family for, the place he had sacrificed everything to bring us to, might become the object of our hatred.

Despite everything, I don’t hate this country; even when it’s made me feel small; even though I am entitled to. I have changed my appearance and lowered my voice, even tried to believe that one of the worst days of my life never happened, all in service of loving this country. One day I hope this country will try as hard to love me back.

Farnoush Amiri is a journalist at The Associated Press, based in New York City. Previously, she worked as a digital reporter at NBC News and now serves on the board of the South Asian Journalists Association. You can find her on Twitter.

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Calls Missile Strikes a ‘Slap in Face’ to U.S.: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166821168_e614f981-eeeb-42d0-b443-dd0b92cdad53-articleLarge Iran’s Supreme Leader Calls Missile Strikes a ‘Slap in Face’ to U.S.: Live Updates United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Celebrating in Tehran with pictures of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani after Iran launched missiles at American forces in Iraq.Credit…Wana News Agency, via Reuters

The Iranian foreign minister said on Wednesday that his country had “concluded” its attacks on American forces and did “not seek escalation or war” after firing more than 20 ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where United States troops are stationed.

The minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, posted the remarks on Twitter after Iran had conducted the strikes in response to the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Senior Iraqi defense officials who work with the United States command said that no Americans or Iraqis had been killed in the attacks. In a short statement released on Wednesday morning, the Joint Command in Baghdad, which includes both Iraqi troops and soldiers from the international coalition, said that neither force “recorded any losses.”

Australia, Britain, Denmark, Poland and Sweden, whose troops are stationed in Iraq alongside American forces, also said that none of their service members had been killed.

Some Iranian news outlets had a different version of events, including Fars News Agency which said “at least 80 U.S. troops” were killed in the strikes. The news outlet, which is associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp, cited an unnamed senior official from that group.

General Suleimani was killed on Friday in Baghdad in a drone strike ordered by President Trump. American officials said the general, who led the foreign expeditionary Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, was planning imminent attacks on American interests. One American official has since described that intelligence as thin.

“Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched,” Mr. Zarif wrote in his Twitter message.

“We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression,” he added.

Westlake Legal Group iraq-embassy-baghdad-airport-attack-1578026455663-articleLarge-v11 Iran’s Supreme Leader Calls Missile Strikes a ‘Slap in Face’ to U.S.: Live Updates United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Maps: How the Confrontation Between the U.S. and Iran Escalated

Here’s how the situation developed over the last two weeks.

President Trump suggested that damages and casualties sustained by American forces were minimal. But he also said the assessment of the attacks was ongoing.

“All is well!” he posted on Twitter. “Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good!”

The missiles, launched from Iran, struck Al Asad Air Base in Baghdad and another in Erbil, in northern Iraq.

In a briefing in Washington, an official said that the Pentagon “had no confirmation” that any Americans had been killed.

Iranian news media reported that the attacks had begun hours after the remains of General Suleimani were returned to his hometown in Iran for burial. President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday wrote on Twitter that the general “fought heroically” against a number of jihadist groups and that Europe was safer because of his efforts.

“Our final answer to his assassination will be to kick all US forces out of the region,” he posted.

In December 2018, Mr. Trump visited American military forces at the Asad base in Anbar province. It was his first trip to troops stationed in a combat zone.

The base is an Iraqi installation that has long been a hub for American military operations in western Iraq. Danish troops have also been stationed there in recent years.

The base in Erbil has been a Special Operations hub, home to hundreds of troops, logistics personnel and intelligence specialists. Transport aircraft, gunships and reconnaissance planes have used the airport as an anchor point for operations in both northern Iraq and deep into Syria.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said on Wednesday that his military had dealt the United States a “slap in the face” when it unleashed missiles at American forces stationed in Iraq.

In a televised address from the holy city of Qom, Ayatollah Khamenei said incremental military actions against the United States alone were “not sufficient.”

“What matters is that the presence of America, which is a source of corruption in this region, should come to an end,” he said to a hall filled with imams and others.

“Death to America!,” the crowd chanted. “Death to Israel!”

Ayatollah Khamenei said that “sitting at the negotiating table” with American envoys would open the door to greater American intervention in the region and that such negotiations therefore must “come to an end.”

“This region,” he said, “does not accept the U.S. presence.”

The ayatollah provided no additional details about the strikes on Tuesday night, in which, American allies say, no one was killed.

He called Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, considered to have been the second-most powerful man in Iran, a “dear friend to us,” and praised him as a “great, brave warrior.”

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, in his meeting with the council of ministers on Wednesday morning, detailed his country’s larger regional goal in comments directed at the Americans. “You cut off the hand of Qassim Suleimani from his body and we will cut off your feet from the region,” he said.

A Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 carrying at least 170 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran, killing everyone aboard, according to the Iranian state news media.

The circumstances of the crash were unclear. The Iranian outlets cited technical problems with the plane, which was bound for Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. The crash came at a tense time in Iran, as conflict with the United States had the country on edge.

Photographs posted by Iranian news organizations showed rescuers examining smoking rubble in a field. The state-run Iranian Students’ News Agency shared a video it said showed the predawn crash, with a distant light descending in the distance before a bright burst filled the sky upon impact.

The plane, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, departed Imam Khomeini International Airport, which serves Tehran, at 6:12 a.m. on Wednesday and lost contact at 6:14 a.m., according to a flight tracker.

Source: Flightradar24

By The New York Times

“We are aware of the media reports out of Iran and we are gathering more information,” Boeing said in a statement.

Boeing has been under intense scrutiny after the crash of two 737 Max jets in less than five months, which together killed 346 people. The Max has been grounded worldwide since March, creating a crisis for the company and leading to the firing of the chief executive.

The crash on Wednesday could also touch a nerve politically in Ukraine as the airline operating the flight, Ukraine International Airlines, is partly owned through a network of offshore companies by Ihor Kolomoisky, an oligarch with close ties to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Ukrainian president expressed his condolences to the relatives and friends of the passengers and crew. Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said the victims included 82 Iranians and 11 Ukrainians, including nine Ukrainian crew members. Sixty-three passengers were from Canada, 10 from Sweden, four from Afghanistan, three from Britain and three from Germany, he said.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 07iran-live-briefing-live-1-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Iran’s Supreme Leader Calls Missile Strikes a ‘Slap in Face’ to U.S.: Live Updates United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Iran launched missile attacks on two military bases in Iraq where American and Iraqi forces are stationed, in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in a U.S. airstrike. There was no immediate confirmation of casualties.CreditCredit…Nasser Nasser/Associated Press

A number of international airlines announced that flights would be avoiding the airspace over Iran and Iraq after reports of strikes on bases housing American troops in Iraq. The moves also came after the apparently unrelated news of the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane in the early hours of Wednesday near Tehran. Other airlines have canceled flights to the region.

On Tuesday, the F.A.A. barred American airliners from flying over Iran, citing the risk of commercial planes being mistaken for military aircraft.

The Dutch airline KLM said on Wednesday that it was no longer flying in Iraqi or Iranian airspace “until further notice,” citing security risks. Air France and the Australian carrier Qantas took similar measures, news agencies reported.

The German carrier Lufthansa also announced the cancellation of a daily flight between Frankfurt and Tehran because of the security situation, according to Reuters.

Oil prices leapt and markets slumped in Asia early on Wednesday, as investors tried to parse reports of missile attacks on military bases in Iraq where American troops are stationed.

But market turmoil eased later in the day after Iran suggested it was finished retaliating — for now — against the United States for the killing last week of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

Prices for Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, soared above $70 a barrel in futures markets, a nearly 4 percent rise from Tuesday, before easing back. Prices were up 1.4 percent midday in Asia to $69.20 a barrel.

West Texas Intermediate, the American oil price benchmark, jumped more than 3 percent to about $65 a barrel, then eased back. As of midday it was up 1.3 percent.

Stock markets also dropped sharply but clawed back some ground later in the day. Shares in Japan opened 2.4 percent lower but closed only 1.2 percent down. Markets in Hong Kong, mainland China and South Korea were down less than 1 percent.

Futures contracts representing bets on the American stock market indicated a drop of less than 1 percent in New York’s morning.

Reporting was contributed by Russell Goldman, Farnaz Fassihi, Daniel Victor, Anton Troianovski, Andrew Kramer, Alissa J. Rubin, Falih Hassan, Megan Specia, Ben Hubbard, Steven Erlanger, Eric Schmitt and Vivian Yee.

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Iran refuses to hand over airliner’s black box: report

Westlake Legal Group plane-crash7 Iran refuses to hand over airliner's black box: report fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc fa55dea2-e1fc-5aba-a489-facbfdc58290 Danielle Wallace article

Iran is refusing to hand over the black box of the doomed Ukrainian airliner to Boeing amid an investigation into what caused the crash that killed all 176 people aboard the flight out of Tehran early Wednesday, according to a report.

UKRAINIAN PLANE CARRYING 176 PASSENGERS CRASHES OUTSIDE TEHRAN AIRPORT KILLING ALL ON BOARD, UKRAINE SAYS

Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Tehran’s civil aviation organization, told Mehr news agency in Tehran that Iran has not made a decision on which country or international authority it would send the black box to for its data to be analyzed, Reuters reported.

The Boeing Company is an American aerospace company headquartered out of Chicago. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial jet transports. Boeing also designs, manufactures and sells military aircraft, helicopters, space vehicles, missiles and communication equipment worldwide.

The crash of the Ukraine International Airlines flight came hours after Iran fired as many as 15 ballistic missiles on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers in a major retaliation by the rogue regime after the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.

No Americans were aboard the flight. Three Britons, three Germans, 63 Canadians, 10 Swedes, 11 Ukrainians, 82 Iranians and four Afghans died in the crash, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry Vadym Prystaiko said.

The timing of the crash fueled speculation on social media that the earlier missile strike played a role in the crash shortly after takeoff from the Imam Khomeini International Airport, but authorities have pointed to a mechanical issue.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Qassem Biniaz, a spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry, said one of the plane’s engines caught fire, causing the pilot to lose control of the aircraft, sending it crashing to the ground.

Westlake Legal Group plane-crash7 Iran refuses to hand over airliner's black box: report fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc fa55dea2-e1fc-5aba-a489-facbfdc58290 Danielle Wallace article   Westlake Legal Group plane-crash7 Iran refuses to hand over airliner's black box: report fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc fa55dea2-e1fc-5aba-a489-facbfdc58290 Danielle Wallace article

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Bernie Sanders: America must end high-stakes testing, finally invest in public education

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The Day That Never Happened

Westlake Legal Group asohrabi-npr-lead_slide-f52d67d2630b191a1456ee8fbd949eab103ed943-s1100-c15 The Day That Never Happened
Atieh Sohrabi for NPR
Westlake Legal Group  The Day That Never Happened

Atieh Sohrabi for NPR

Have you ever had a memory, but you aren’t sure if you dreamed it or read it or saw it in a movie? Have you ever had a day that changed life as you knew it, but no one ever spoke about it again?

For me, that day started early on a Sunday morning in June 2005. I had just turned 12.

Half-asleep, I heard footsteps surround the corners of my bed.

My mother’s voice flooded in from the doorway. “Please,” she said. “Let me wake her.”

But it was a stranger’s hand that shook me awake. He had one hand on a gun strapped to his waist, and the other wrapped tightly around my arm. He was dressed from head to toe in what looked like black SWAT gear. I don’t remember much about his face.

“Get up and go downstairs,” the man said. He was not alone. There were at least six other men, all dressed in black.

My mother, younger brother, and I were marched down our pink carpeted staircase. The men trailed close behind. They seemed more prepared for the frontlines of a warzone than our picturesque home in Orange County, Calif.

They moved throughout our house almost soundlessly. When they spoke, it was to give orders.

“Sit down,” one of them said, motioning to the cream-colored couch in the living room. It was the only piece of furniture we had purchased since moving in a few weeks before.

My father was already sitting, wearing boxers and a ragged t-shirt. I tried to meet his eye, hoping he would make a joke, be his usual, reassuring self. But that morning he said nothing — didn’t look at any of us. When I sat down next to him, I noticed he was wearing handcuffs.

The shades in the living hadn’t been installed yet, so the morning sun glared in our eyes. I remember realizing, as I looked out on the street, that anyone could see inside. I prayed one of our neighbors would walk by, just to witness what was happening. But no one seemed to be walking their dog or grabbing the mail.

I felt like screaming for help, but I didn’t. None of us did. We simply watched as the men rummaged through our drawers and flipped through our photo albums. They used the VCR in my parents’ room to watch our home videos. The sounds of old birthdays, family ski trips, and Persian New Years echoed throughout our mostly empty house. We hadn’t yet gotten to fill the house with memories of its own.

At one point, another man arrived, dressed in regular clothing. He began to sort through letters we kept in drawers in the guest room. I could hear him reading out loud, first in Farsi and then English, the words on the faded postcards family and friends from Iran. Family recipes. Pleas for us to return. Love notes between my mom and dad, starting from when they met at university in Tehran.

Eventually, one of the black-clad men asked my mom to take me and my brother out of the house. He said they wanted to speak to my dad alone.

“Where do you want me to take them?” my mom asked. There were bags under her eyes.

“I don’t care,” he responded.

“Poru,” she whispered under her breath. Rude, in Farsi. She, too, had been uncharacteristically reserved up until that point.

For a few minutes, my mother, brother and I stood on the front porch in our pajamas. I counted their black SUVs parked discreetly around the cul-de-sac. We didn’t know where to go. If we went to a friend’s house we would have to explain why we were there — a question we couldn’t answer.

So we went where many people in our town went when not much was open: Denny’s. We sat in a faux-leather booth, the song “Send Me On My Way” from my favorite movie, Matilda, played throughout the half-empty restaurant. I stared at pancakes while my mom tried to fill the silence.

Westlake Legal Group asohrabi-npr-spots-diner1_sq-2f79bc5ccc4e6058e3c591e748392e31ecac3722-s1100-c15 The Day That Never Happened
Atieh Sohrabi for NPR

“Are you excited for camp this week?” she asked. I looked at my brother. He didn’t look up from his Game Boy.

It felt like hours had passed when a private number called my mom’s phone. “You can come back,” a man said. Then he hung up.

When we returned, the black cars were gone. Inside, my dad sat in the same position that we had left him in — staring at the bare wall where a TV would eventually go. His hands were by his sides.

The house looked untouched. The men had put everything back. It was as if they had never been there.

The four of us sat on the couch for what felt like a long time. My dad was the first to get up. He went to my parent’s room and closed the door. My mom stayed.

When it was dinnertime, she threw some things together for noon o panir, a traditional Persian breakfast. We ate bread and goat cheese; walnuts, tomatoes and cucumbers seasoned with fresh lemon juice. We drank hot tea with sugar. My dad didn’t join us. But eating that meal made it feel, if only for a little while, like everything was normal. No one spoke about what had happened that morning.

Westlake Legal Group asohrabi-npr-spots-table_custom-9bfaf1e6e44b0849d336d6e4f6ee0817669d6419-s1100-c15 The Day That Never Happened
Atieh Sohrabi for NPR

We didn’t talk about it the next day either. Or the day after that.

My dad would go back to work. My brother and I would go to camp. My mom would show up at her morning jogging group, on time. We would go through the motions, same as always. And as the days came and went, none of us would mention that day. At all. Ever.

For more than a decade, it was the day that never happened.

But it changed our family, even if we never discussed it. We no longer spoke Farsi in public. My mom stopped saying hello to our neighbors as she got the mail. My dad lowered the Persian dance music from his car stereo before turning onto our street. My brother, Sohrab, began to go by “Rob.” And I borrowed the interests of my white peers: Lunchables, cheerleading and country music. I changed the way I dressed to fit in with the Abercrombie & Fitch-girls in my class. I chemically straightened my thick, curly hair until it flowed straight down my back in sleek strands. I second-guessed the food I ate at lunchtime: Persian stews served with rice were swapped in for PB&J sandwiches in brown paper bags.

I couldn’t completely remove my “otherness,” but with the right hobbies and accessories and slang, I figured I could help mask it.

Every aspect of my family’s Iranian identity became toned down, softened, put away for years at a time.

It was until years later and 3,000 miles away, in graduate school in New York City, that I was able to revisit that day.

In the absence of any explanation, I’d thought up wild theories: That my dad was filtering money to a terrorist organization; that there was something from my parents’ past in Iran that had followed us here; or, more realistically, that we simply weren’t trusted in our white, conservative neighborhood.

And I did research, trying to find out if anything similar has happened to families like mine.

What I found was examples of extreme policing that dated back decades. In the 1990s, the FBI’s “Operation Vulgar Betrayal,” allowed for years of surveillance of a Muslim community in the suburbs of Chicago. After the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, the New York Police Department began to surveil hundreds of mosques and businesses deemed “hot spots.” (That six-year surveillance campaign of Muslims spread into parts of New Jersey and was later deemed a breach of the FBI’s own rules.) In 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit based in Michigan, alleging the FBI had a secret racial and ethnic mapping program in parts of the state that gathered intelligence on specific Muslim and Arab American communities.

It was clear that Muslim and Arab communities in many parts of the country had been under government surveillance for years. But I still haven’t found an example quite like what happened to my family, in Southern California. I still don’t know for sure what happened. I still don’t know if I want to know exactly what happened.

But not talking about that day with the only other people who had witnessed it eventually became unbearable. It felt like we were enlisted in the witness protection program, but the only people we were protecting were the men who came into our house. We were helping keep their secret. I didn’t want to do that anymore.

So finally last March, for the first time in 14 years, I brought it up. I decided to ask my father first because, as the one who was questioned — the one who was handcuffed — I felt like he was the only one of us who might have really understood what had happened.

“I want to talk about that day,” I texted him. “The day that those men came into our house. Can I call you when you get off work?”

A part of me felt scared about what he might say. What if I had made this whole thing up? What if the reason no one spoke about it was because it didn’t happen? Or worse, what if it was because it did?

When he answered the phone later that night, I could tell he was nervous, too. But when I asked him to go through the details of the day, he patiently answered my questions about what had happened, how he was feeling, how much he knew.

Westlake Legal Group asohrabi-npr-spots-phone_custom-3f00b73ee5775f111e363e9fb5bc7d9ad33c30ad-s1100-c15 The Day That Never Happened
Atieh Sohrabi for NPR

He told me the men identified themselves as federal agents but never specified what agency they were from. He said they forced him to open the door, hands on their holsters. When he asked if they had permission to search the house, they said they didn’t need it. “I was new to this country,” he told me. “It was a couple of years after 9/11, and I am Middle Eastern, so I thought I’d rather be quiet, don’t ask them too many questions. I didn’t know my rights at that time.”

He described how he watched the men march up the stairs, heading to my and my brother’s rooms. His voice began to tremble as he explained to me how he begged them not to scare us.

But when I asked my dad why we never talked about that day, he sounded more ashamed than afraid.

“I didn’t want to remind you guys,” he said. “You were so young. And that was a bad memory of policing in this country, that because you are foreigners, they hate you.”

Because you are foreigners, they hate you. I hadn’t realized until I heard my dad say it, how this feeling had morphed into my need to conform. I was afraid that if I didn’t, that day would happen again. Those men would come again.

Over the phone, my dad added, “I worried this might be a bad memory forever.”

Again, he was right. The memory of that day floods over me whenever I speak my native language on the subway; when I walk to work and pass the men dressed in similar SWAT gear patrolling the World Trade Center. I am reminded of it each time my flight lands at LAX, when I fly home to visit. Despite missing my family, I frequently make excuses not to go home. It’s too expensive, I say, or, The flight is too long. What I don’t say is that my house feels like a museum filled with artifacts of the day that never happened.

“You might hate this country because of that [day].”

This was my dad’s biggest fear — that the country he had uprooted my family for, the place he had sacrificed everything to bring us to, might become the object of our hatred.

Despite everything, I don’t hate this country; even when it’s made me feel small; even though I am entitled to. I have changed my appearance and lowered my voice, even tried to believe that one of the worst days of my life never happened, all in service of loving this country. One day I hope this country will try as hard to love me back.

Farnoush Amiri is a journalist at The Associated Press, based in New York City. Previously, she worked as a digital reporter at NBC News and now serves on the board of the South Asian Journalists Association. You can find her on Twitter.

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