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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 2324)

We Jailed An American Citizen for Having Brown Skin – That’s not “populism” and it’s sure as hell not “patriotism.”

Westlake Legal Group PHdYYWmVOtuuRbJ_krQC4jxpdqsrxInOcstemlkfnQ8 We Jailed An American Citizen for Having Brown Skin - That’s not “populism” and it’s sure as hell not “patriotism.” r/politics

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Seattle man with more than 70 convictions accused of throwing coffee on baby two days after release from jail

A Seattle man was arrested over the weekend and accused of throwing coffee on a baby — just two days after he’d been released from jail after serving eight months for randomly punching a man.

Q13 Fox reported that the suspect, Francisco Calderon, has been convicted more than 70 times, and 14 of those convictions were on assault charges.

NEW YORK CITY POLICE UNION URGES TOUGHER PUNISHMENTS FOR HARASSERS AFTER VIRAL VIDEOS SURFACE

The station, citing witnesses, reported that Calderon was behaving erratically before the alleged attack near Seattle’s Westlake Park. Witnesses said the baby’s father tackled Calderon and held him down until police arrived.

Westlake Legal Group Francisco-Calderon Seattle man with more than 70 convictions accused of throwing coffee on baby two days after release from jail fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 30108561-a390-5452-bca4-836a4f406395

Francisco Calderon (King County Correctional Facility)

KOMO reported late Tuesday that Calderon was being held on a misdemeanor charge, not on a felony charge of assaulting a child.

“Mr. Calderon is being released without conditions on the felony charge,” King County District Court Judge Anne Harper said. “He has been filed in Seattle Municipal Court on a misdemeanor charge … he remains detained but not on the felony. That is by decision of King County Prosecutor’s Office and Seattle City Attorney.”

Calderon received a yearlong jail sentence for his previous attack after Municipal Court Judge Ed McKenna rejected a plea deal agreed to by the prosecutor and public defender that would have sentenced Calderon to 30 days in jail and a treatment program. After that case, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and Director of Public Defense Anita Khandwlwal called for McKenna’s resignation, citing “our shared concern that you are disregarding your duty to act with impartiality and integrity.”

“Our concerns are based on your repeated comments regarding the sentencing recommendations made by prosecutors, the role of defense counsel, and problems you perceive in the criminal legal system, as well as your conduct during the sentencing of Francisco Calderon,” the letter said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

McKenna declined to step down, writing in response: “I was elected to this position by my peers and enjoy continued support from the bench. The court, as the judicial branch of City government, is a separate branch and independently elected and should act free of outside influence. An independent, fair and impartial judiciary is imperative to preserving principles of justice and rule of law.”

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Francisco-Calderon Seattle man with more than 70 convictions accused of throwing coffee on baby two days after release from jail fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 30108561-a390-5452-bca4-836a4f406395   Westlake Legal Group Francisco-Calderon Seattle man with more than 70 convictions accused of throwing coffee on baby two days after release from jail fox-news/us/us-regions/west/washington fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 30108561-a390-5452-bca4-836a4f406395

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Hospital paid Neil Armstrong's family $6 million settlement after his death

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Hospital paid Neil Armstrong's family $6 million settlement after his death

CINCINNATI – When Neil Armstrong died Aug. 25, 2012, at a Cincinnati hospital, his family simply attributed the cause to complications from coronary bypass surgery. A month later, the first man to walk on the moon was buried at sea with military honors and the thanks of a grateful nation.

Armstrong’s family has never talked publicly about the astronaut’s last days in Mercy Health Fairfield Hospital, largely to stay in harmony with how he lived. The modest, humble man from Wapakoneta, Ohio, shied from the spotlight in the decades after his flight aboard Apollo 11 and his July 1969 walk on the lunar surface.

But this week, The Cincinnati Enquirer learned that for two years after Armstrong’s death, his two sons threatened a wrongful-death suit against Mercy Health, the largest hospital system in Ohio. They accused the Fairfield hospital of causing a heart complication and triggering a series of grave medical errors.

The Armstrong sons, Rick and Mark, hired a heart specialist at the University of Pennsylvania to review the medical record of more than 5,000 pages. The doctor concluded that not only were the hospital mistakes fatal, Armstrong most likely didn’t need the bypass surgery then.

“While Neil indeed had significant coronary disease, THERE WAS NO EMERGENCY here,” Dr. Joseph Bavaria wrote in a July 1, 2014, letter with capital letters for emphasis. “Neil’s death could have been avoided had the proper standard of care been provided.”

In the weeks after, Mercy Health officials worried that the Armstrong sons would talk about their father’s treatment at Fairfield, according to documents. Ultimately, in an agreement filed with Hamilton County Probate Court in September 2014, the hospital system said it did nothing wrong but agreed to pay the Armstrong family $6 million.

In return, the family agreed to be silent about the last days of the first man on the moon.

Details about the death and turmoil

This week, The Enquirer received an unsolicited package of documents that provides voluminous detail about Armstrong’s death and the turmoil that followed. This account is based on these documents and the probate court file.

The Enquirer reached out to members of the Armstrong family and Mercy Health for comment Tuesday evening but didn’t get any immediate replies. Armstrong’s wife, Carol, told the New York Times: “I wasn’t a part of it. I want that for the record.” She told the Times that she signed off on the agreement because otherwise she would have been removed as executor.

The settlement payout was filed in probate court and is a public document. But the package sent to The Enquirer included never-before-seen papers, including the letter from Bavaria, vice chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Penn Medicine, which runs the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

The package also contained emails between the lawyers in the matter and internal Mercy Health memoranda on the opinions of two outside doctors who the hospital system asked to review the record. Those doctors said the treatment did meet the standard of care, and some decisions were judgment calls.

’Golf on back burner for a while’

On Aug. 5, 2012, Armstrong turned 82. James Hansen, author of the authoritative biography “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong,” wrote in the book’s preface that Armstrong underwent the bypass surgery Aug. 6.

Hansen got an email from Armstrong on Aug. 11, which turned out to be his last to Hansen:

“I had checked into my gastro doc to check out an apparent reflux problem. It seemed an unlikely connection (for several reasons) but it turned out to be the right thing to do. We did a nuclear stress test leading to an angiogram, leading to a quad bypass. Recovery is going well but golf will be on the back burner for a while. Hope to be kicked out of the hospital in a day or two. My best, Neil.”

Blockage of a heart vessel can be treated with medication or surgery, depending on the patient’s overall condition. Armstrong chose the surgical procedure that reroutes blood around the heart.

At some point, likely after Armstrong’s Aug. 11 email to Hansen, the Fairfield heart-care team decided Armstrong needed a pacemaker to regulate his heart rhythm.

As part of the installation, temporary wires connected to the pacemaker protruded from Armstrong’s chest. Just hours later, as Armstrong recovered in a step-down unit, a nurse pulled out the wires. Bavaria pinpointed that action as triggering the cascade of complications.

“While the hospital records state that it was according to protocol, there was actually no compelling reason to pull them at that time especially with no surgeon around,” he wrote.

Making ‘THE wrong critical decision’

The pull tore the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart, and blood filled the space, a phenomenon called a tamponade. Within 20 minutes, Armstrong was in trouble. Bavaria wrote, “The deterioration was fast.”

Another 27 minutes passed until Armstrong was taken to the cardiac catheterization lab to drain the blood from the sac. Armstrong improved a bit, then blood filled the sac again. He spent 20 minutes in the cath lab, blood pressure falling, kidneys failing. Then he was taken to the operating room.

Bavaria wrote: “There is NO STANDARD OF CARE ANYWHERE I KNOW OF where patients who are bleeding after an epicardial wire pull go to a cath lab. They ALL GO TO THE OPERATING ROOM DIRECTLY. ASAP. ANY OPERATING ROOM. This is a ‘code red or hot case.’ “

Bavaria concluded: “Going to the cath lab was THE critical wrong decision.”

An hour and 37 minutes after the epicardial wire pull, surgeons repaired the heart damage. But Armstrong’s brain had been starved of oxygen.

On Aug. 15, nine days after the bypass surgery and at least four days after the wire pull, hospital staff removed Armstrong’s breathing tube. He was not able to breathe on his own, so the tube was reinserted. “This did not help matters during a critical post anoxic brain injury phase,” Bavaria wrote.

Armstrong died 10 days later.

In December 2012, his last will and testament was filed in probate court. He left all personal effects to his wife, Carol. He willed the rights to his voice, photograph and signature to the Purdue Research Foundation at Purdue University, his alma mater.

The case of ‘Ned Anderson’

In early July 2014, internal Mercy Health memoranda presented the conclusions of two doctors the hospital system had asked to review the case. The patient’s name was camouflaged as “Ned Anderson.”

Dr. Richard Salzano, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Yale Medical School, said the bypass surgery and pacemaker were appropriate. The wire pull probably caused “a little bleeding,” but Salzano believed the major damage came in the cath lab when doctors drained blood from the heart sac.

Salzano told Mercy Health that taking “Anderson” to the cath lab first was “defensible.” When things turned dire, the cath lab doctors could have cracked his chest right there, instead of moving into the operating room. Still, “The patient would likely have recovered if the OR had been the first option.”

Dr. J. Stanley Hillis, a cardiologist at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis, echoed Salzano. The memo said Hillis “ ‘didn’t really see anything that represented less than ideal practice,’ although he said that ‘some plaintiff’s expert’ may criticize the decision to do (the bypass) instead of treating the patient with medication for some period of time before operating.”

Seeking change at Mercy 

During the investigation into a potential wrongful-death claim, Cincinnati lawyer Wendy Armstrong represented the Armstrong sons. She is married to Mark Armstrong.

On July 3, 2014, two days after receiving Bavaria’s review, Wendy Armstrong wrote to Nancy Lawson, Mercy Health’s lawyer with the Cincinnati firm Dinsmore & Shohl.

Wendy Armstrong noted that Mercy Health had a letter from the Cleveland Clinic, one of the nation’s leading heart hospitals, conveying the view that epicardial wire pulls could be dangerous: “In elderly patients, with co-morbidities, and with recent coronary artery bypass surgery, this often can lead to a fatal outcome.”

“We are confident that we would prevail should this case be decided in a legal forum,” Wendy Armstrong wrote. “If this matter becomes public, the resulting damage to your client’s reputation would come at a much greater cost than any jury verdict we can imagine. In a case such as this, we all know that the world will see and hear every detail of this case as it unfolds, not just those morsels the court deems admissible – the fact that a world hero lost his life at Mercy Fairfield will leave its mark in history.”

Wendy Armstrong asked Mercy Health for $7 million in damages. She said the Armstrong sons also wanted Mercy Health to adjust treatment of coronary patients. Her letter said:

“Create a procedural protocol so that never again will an epicardial wire be pulled when there is not a cardiothoracic surgeon and an operating room ready to receive a patient that experiences pericardial tamponade. No one should ever die in a hospital because a nonessential procedure was ordered and performed at a time when the hospital was not prepared for a known and potentially fatal complication.”

The letter asked for a speedy resolution since the Armstrong sons planned to attend festivities starting July 18 in Florida marking the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that took their father to the moon.

Anniversary becomes a deadline

On July 8, Lawson asked Wendy Anderson. “Do Mark and Rick intend to discuss the wrongful death claim at the Kennedy Space Center if no settlement is reached by Friday July 18?”

Wendy Armstrong responded that the anniversary celebration would draw national news coverage, writing:

“Additionally, Rick and Mark have been solicited by several book writers and filmmakers for ‘information about Neil that no one already knows,’ who we know will be in attendance. Obviously, the information about this wrongful death claim would prove extremely useful to such projects, and the boys’ involvement would net a monetary gain far in excess of the demand that has been made for settlement.”

But, she added, “They are more interested in a private resolution with the hospital that would serve to prevent avoidable deaths in the future. So if a settlement is reached by the 18th, there will certainly be no discussion about Neil’s death to anyone, ever.”

They reached a deal. By September 2014, lawyers for Carol Armstrong, the executor of the estate, file the settlement agreement. “Although the hospital and health care providers who provided care and treatment to Mr. Armstrong stand by their care and deny that any malpractice occurred, the hospital, on behalf of itself and the health care providers, agreed to pay a total of $6 million” to Armstrong’s two sons, sister, brother and six grandchildren.

Carol Armstrong did not receive any portion of the settlement. The law firm handling the estate, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, received $160,000 in fees and costs for handling the probate case. The settlement’s broad outlines were filed in probate court unsealed and required all the parties to keep the matter confidential.

Last year, Mercy Health merged with another Catholic hospital system from Maryland and now is known as Bon Secours Mercy Health.

This summer, the world commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission with recollections of the life of Neil Armstrong, many of them serious, some whimsical. At the Ohio State Fair, artists carved a tribute to the Ohio-born astronaut in his spacesuit saluting the U.S. flag, all out of butter.

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Boris Johnson to Take Leadership of a Britain in Deep Crisis

LONDON — Boris Johnson, the brash standard-bearer for a British exit from the European Union, won the contest to become the next prime minister on Tuesday, at a critical moment in his country’s history and with less political clout than just about any of its leaders since the Second World War.

His Conservative Party holds only a slim working majority in Parliament. But he has nonetheless promised to carry out Britain’s labyrinthine exit from the European Union by Oct. 31 — a challenge that confounded his predecessor, Prime Minister Theresa May, for the three years she held office.

He will also enter 10 Downing Street at a moment when the country is confronting a crisis with Iran over its seizure last week of a British-flagged oil tanker, threatening to draw Britain into a larger showdown between Tehran and Washington.

And the new prime minister inheriting these challenges is arguably the most improvisational and least predictable politician in recent British history.

Mr. Johnson seemed to acknowledge some incongruity between the man and the moment.

“I know that there will be people around the place who will question the wisdom of your decision,” he said Tuesday after the results were announced at a Conservative Party meeting, “and there may even be some people here who still wonder quite what they have done.”

Mr. Johnson has a long track record of statements about Iran, Brexit and other subjects, but there is no consensus on how he might actually act as prime minister.

“That is what concerns me: none of us really know what Boris stands for,” said Michael Stephens, a scholar at the Royal United Services Institute who has worked under Mr. Johnson in the Foreign Office.

Even after recent campaign debates, “I still don’t know what he stands for,” Mr. Stephens added.

Rarely has a new prime minister faced so many disparate questions of such urgency on the first day in office, said Peter Ricketts, a former British national security adviser.

“This is pretty unprecedented, in the level of turmoil in British politics, the depth of divisions within parties and across parties. And it’s a hot national security crisis,” Mr. Ricketts said. “An inconvenient time to be changing over.”

The Conservative Party announced Tuesday that Mr. Johnson had won 66 percent of the postal vote to become the new party leader, defeating Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt in the runoff. He is expected to visit Buckingham Palace on Wednesday for Queen Elizabeth II to formally assent to the transition.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158216133_33abbcfe-2bc1-4b43-bea9-a1afa222a208-articleLarge Boris Johnson to Take Leadership of a Britain in Deep Crisis Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain

Anti-Brexit protesters take part in the ‘‘No to Boris, Yes to EU’’ march in London on Saturday.CreditHollie Adams/EPA, via Shutterstock

“We’re going to get Brexit done on Oct. 31, we’re going to take advantage of all the opportunities that it will bring in a new spirit of can-do, and we’re once again going to believe in ourselves,” Mr. Johnson vowed anew on Tuesday. “Like some slumbering giant, we’re going to rise and ping off the guy-ropes of doubt and negativity.”

Mr. Johnson, 55, is a former journalist and the author of a Winston Churchill biography whose ambition as a child was to become “world king.” His singular brand of bluster, at once upper crust and irreverent, carried him to two terms as mayor of London. Then his pro-Brexit leadership propelled him to become foreign secretary under Ms. May, and now her successor.

[Read about Boris Johnson’s record as mayor of London.]

President Trump tweeted congratulations. “He will be great!” the president added.

Brexit will define Mr. Johnson’s legacy as well as Britain’s place in the world, and his promise to pull it off by Oct. 31 “do or die” has already met deep skepticism within his party.

His plans “will collide with reality,” Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, had predicted.

The debate over Brexit has prompted renewed talk about possible Scottish independence and a united Ireland, raising questions about the durability of the United Kingdom itself.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, congratulated Mr. Johnson on twitter but added: “It would be hypocritical not to be frank about the profound concerns I have at the prospect of his premiership.”

For an orderly exit that minimizes economic disruption, Mr. Johnson must convince both the British Parliament and the European Union to agree on an exit deal, a task his predecessor, Ms. May, found impossible.

[Here’s what to know about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit under Boris Johnson.]

Rob Ford, a professor of politics at the University of Manchester, noted that Mr. Johnson’s personal style was “the polar opposite” of his predecessor. Ms. May “knows what she wants most of the time, but she doesn’t tell anybody,” he said.

“He doesn’t seem to have any fundamental commitments or attachments to anything, and seldom knows the details of policy, let alone what he wants to do,” Ford said.

If the two sides cannot agree, Mr. Johnson might seek to exit the union without any deal at all, a step that could mean suspending the Parliament, enduring a constitutional crisis and plunging the economy into chaos.

Mr. Johnson has declined to rule it out, perhaps hoping to use the threat as leverage in talks with E.U. leaders. But the costs of a “no deal” Brexit would be four times as large for the British as for the rest of the European Union collectively, one recent report found. The European Union receives about 13 percent of Britain’s economic output, while exports from the E.U. to the U.K. account for 2.5 percent of the bloc’s output.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards patrolling around the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero, anchored off the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas, on Sunday.CreditHasan Shirvani/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In an interview, Tony Blair, a former Labour Party prime minister, called a “no deal” Brexit a huge risk for Mr. Johnson as well as for Britain.

If blocked by lawmakers, Mr. Blair said, a failed attempt at a “no deal” exit could force a general election or possibly a second referendum.

Mr. Johnson “will face the facts and decide that if you try to engineer no-deal without Parliament — against Parliament’s wishes — and without public endorsement, you better hope it works perfectly,” Mr. Blair said. “Because if it doesn’t, you’re going to be in all sorts of difficulty for the rest of your time in politics.”

Iran, though, will be Mr. Johnson’s most immediate problem.

The British flagged-tanker Stena Impero, seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on Friday as it sailed near the Strait of Hormuz, remains captive in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. With a steady stream of images and videos released by Tehran to hold the public’s attention, the British Parliament and news media have turned to debating how the government failed to anticipate the danger, why the royal navy could not protect the ship, and how to rescue the vessel.

At the same time, Iran is locked in an escalating confrontation with the United States as well. That dispute centers on President Trump’s withdrawal last year from a 2015 accord between Iran and the world powers that promised Iran sanctions relief in exchange for suspending and dismantling much of its nuclear program, which the United States and Britain feared could lead to a nuclear weapon.

The Trump administration this spring has stepped up a “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions to force Iran to submit to a new and more restrictive agreement, and Iran has struck back by beginning to restart its nuclear program and flexing its muscles in the Persian Gulf — where it seized the tanker.

While demanding the release of the tanker from Iran the British government has so far also sought to push back against the United States in its escalating confrontation with Iran, and the walking of that fine line will now be up to Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Johnson has visited Tehran as foreign minister, and last year he made an emergency trip to Washington in an unsuccessful effort to press the Trump administration to stay in the deal.

Mr. Stephens, of the Royal United Services Institute, said Mr. Johnson showed a solid command of the details and knew how to stay on message.

“But then there is Boris the Showman,” he said, “and it just takes Showman Boris to do something stupid and then we are all in trouble.”

The tanker crisis, said Ellie Geranmayeh, a scholar at the European Council on Foreign Relations, “is a baptism by fire in the first week on the job” for Mr. Johnson, and although he has said he wants to avoid confrontation, “Boris is unpredictable. He could completely go the other way.”

Still, Frans Timmermans, the European Commission vice president, said Friday that she was ready for him. “The world’s politics is rife of colorful people these days,” she said, “so if you can’t deal with them, there’s not much you can do.

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‘We’re Full,’ Car Dealers Say as Auto Sales Slow After a Long Boom

Over the past decade, the auto industry enjoyed a boom unlike any other in modern history.

Sales of new cars and trucks rose steadily from 2009 to 2016, the longest growth streak since at least before the Great Depression. Millions of Americans traded up to bigger and more sophisticated vehicles decked out in leather and outfitted with gee-whiz electronics and safety features.

But sales to individual buyers are now falling. Even once popular sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are sitting on dealer lots for longer stretches.

Car dealers around the country said that the upgrade cycle they rode to rich profits in recent years appears to be ending and that they are seeing fewer buyers despite offering discounts and other incentives. So, dealers say they are ordering fewer vehicles from manufacturers.

“We are turning down cars and are being more picky on the cars we stock,” said Brian Benstock, general manager of Paragon Honda in New York City. “We just can’t take more. We’re full.”

A slowdown in auto sales could weigh on the United States economy. The auto industry is the largest manufacturing sector and makes up about 3 percent of gross domestic product. Automakers, parts manufacturers and dealers directly employ more than two million people. Car companies spend billions of dollars every year on research and development.

When he was running for president in 2016, Donald Trump promised to increase auto manufacturing jobs. If sales continue to decline, forcing automakers to reduce jobs, the industry’s health could become an issue in the 2020 campaign, especially in swing states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Consumer purchases, which are known as retail sales, fell 3.5 percent in the first half of the year to their lowest six-month total since the first half of 2013, according to J.D. Power and Associates. Such sales are considered a more accurate measure of demand than total sales, which include purchases by fleet operators like car rental companies.

AlixPartners, a consulting firm with a large automotive practice, estimates that sales will drop more than 2 percent in 2019, to 16.9 million vehicles. The firm expects the industry to sell 16.3 million vehicles next year and 15.1 million in 2021.

New car sales have been slumping in many of the world’s major auto markets. In China, sales were down more than 12 percent in the first six months of the year.

In the United States, after many years of strong sales, many consumers are driving vehicles that don’t need to be replaced. Newer cars and trucks tend to be more durable and hold up longer than cars made even a decade or two earlier.

At the same time, the average price of new vehicles has risen to around $35,000, while interest rates on auto loans have edged higher. That means people have to be willing and able to spend more to buy a new car than they were just a few year ago.

“It’s a double whammy,” said Mike Jackson, chairman of AutoNation, the nation’s largest chain of new-car dealerships. “Customers are having monthly payment shock.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158187519_f9cc492b-b899-4f09-8fcd-7a3ab58b76bd-articleLarge ‘We’re Full,’ Car Dealers Say as Auto Sales Slow After a Long Boom United States Economy Sports Utility Vehicles and Light Trucks Automobiles

AutoNation Toyota in Davie, Fla.CreditJosh Ritchie for The New York Times

The slump in car sales has already forced some companies to cut production and jobs. General Motors recently stopped making cars at a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, that made the Chevrolet Cruze and is winding down manufacturing at another factory in Detroit. Honda recently ended a shift at its plant in Marysville, Ohio, that makes its Accord sedan and other models.

What is perhaps most worrying for the industry is that sales of larger vehicles — S.U.V.s and trucks — that had more than made up for a recent collapse in purchases of sedans, are showing signs of strain.

Earlier this year, Nissan eliminated a production shift at its truck plant in Mississippi. Dealers are also sitting on more inventory than they were a year ago.

Ford dealers had about 10 percent more trucks and S.U.V.s in stock than they had a year ago, according to data confirmed by industry sources. Chevrolet dealers had 15 percent more trucks in stock and Honda dealers 26 percent more.

Yet many manufacturers are running truck and S.U.V. plants at full speed. G.M. has five plants running three shifts a day, and Ford has four. Fiat Chrysler has two truck plants operating 20 hours a day, six days a week — close to its maximum capacity.

Mark Wakefield, a managing director at AlixPartners, said automakers have organized their plants in ways that allows them to adjust production more easily than a decade ago when sales plunged and G.M. and Chrysler sought bankruptcy protection. Still, he said, if sales continue to be weak, other manufacturers may start to idle truck and S.U.V. plants. “First for a week or two at a time,” Mr. Wakefield said, “and if inventories don’t come back in line, they my say, ‘O.K., maybe we do need to take a shift out.’”

Sales of cars have been dropping over the last couple of years as more Americans opt for sport utility vehicles.CreditJosh Ritchie for The New York Times

Dealers aren’t waiting. In Jackson, Mich., 75 miles west of Detroit, Wes Lutz has cut inventory at his Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership by more than 40 percent. Until the spring, he had been stocking new vehicles worth about $12 million. “Now I’m at $7 million,” he said.

And he’s ordering fewer vehicles each month because even sales of once-hot models like the Jeep Wrangler have slowed. His store is still holding nine 2018 Wranglers, has plenty of 2019 models and 2020 versions will be arriving soon. “Last year I couldn’t get enough Wranglers,” Mr. Lutz said.

On Tuesday, AutoNation said it too has been paring inventory for the last three months, and now has 64,000 new vehicles in stock, 9,000 fewer than a year ago. The company has been limiting orders to top-selling models and cutting back on vehicles that tend to languish for weeks or months and often need to be heavily discounted or sold at a loss.

With more than 325 franchises, AutoNation is considered an industry bellwether and other dealers often follow its lead.

Mr. Jackson said he’s hopeful that monetary policymakers will soon lower interest rates, giving auto sales a jolt. “There’s every indication that the Federal Reserve is going to begin to reduce rates,” he said. “If that happens, it is going to be very beneficial to customers.

But Doug Waikem, who manages six family-owned dealerships in Massillon, Ohio, isn’t counting on sales bouncing back. He’s tightening inventory and focusing more on getting customers to keep coming back whether they are buying cars or not.

“We’re doing free carwashes, service contracts, financing — the things that keep customers connected to us,” he said. After such a long period of growth in a cyclical industry, he added, “We know we’re headed for a recession.”

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‘We’re Full,’ Car Dealers Say as Auto Sales Slow After a Long Boom

Over the past decade, the auto industry enjoyed a boom unlike any other in modern history.

Sales of new cars and trucks rose steadily from 2009 to 2016, the longest growth streak since at least before the Great Depression. Millions of Americans traded up to bigger and more sophisticated vehicles decked out in leather and outfitted with gee-whiz electronics and safety features.

But sales to individual buyers are now falling. Even once popular sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are sitting on dealer lots for longer stretches.

Car dealers around the country said that the upgrade cycle they rode to rich profits in recent years appears to be ending and that they are seeing fewer buyers despite offering discounts and other incentives. So, dealers say they are ordering fewer vehicles from manufacturers.

“We are turning down cars and are being more picky on the cars we stock,” said Brian Benstock, general manager of Paragon Honda in New York City. “We just can’t take more. We’re full.”

A slowdown in auto sales could weigh on the United States economy. The auto industry is the largest manufacturing sector and makes up about 3 percent of gross domestic product. Automakers, parts manufacturers and dealers directly employ more than two million people. Car companies spend billions of dollars every year on research and development.

When he was running for president in 2016, Donald Trump promised to increase auto manufacturing jobs. If sales continue to decline, forcing automakers to reduce jobs, the industry’s health could become an issue in the 2020 campaign, especially in swing states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Consumer purchases, which are known as retail sales, fell 3.5 percent in the first half of the year to their lowest six-month total since the first half of 2013, according to J.D. Power and Associates. Such sales are considered a more accurate measure of demand than total sales, which include purchases by fleet operators like car rental companies.

AlixPartners, a consulting firm with a large automotive practice, estimates that sales will drop more than 2 percent in 2019, to 16.9 million vehicles. The firm expects the industry to sell 16.3 million vehicles next year and 15.1 million in 2021.

New car sales have been slumping in many of the world’s major auto markets. In China, sales were down more than 12 percent in the first six months of the year.

In the United States, after many years of strong sales, many consumers are driving vehicles that don’t need to be replaced. Newer cars and trucks tend to be more durable and hold up longer than cars made even a decade or two earlier.

At the same time, the average price of new vehicles has risen to around $35,000, while interest rates on auto loans have edged higher. That means people have to be willing and able to spend more to buy a new car than they were just a few year ago.

“It’s a double whammy,” said Mike Jackson, chairman of AutoNation, the nation’s largest chain of new-car dealerships. “Customers are having monthly payment shock.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158187519_f9cc492b-b899-4f09-8fcd-7a3ab58b76bd-articleLarge ‘We’re Full,’ Car Dealers Say as Auto Sales Slow After a Long Boom United States Economy Sports Utility Vehicles and Light Trucks Automobiles

AutoNation Toyota in Davie, Fla.CreditJosh Ritchie for The New York Times

The slump in car sales has already forced some companies to cut production and jobs. General Motors recently stopped making cars at a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, that made the Chevrolet Cruze and is winding down manufacturing at another factory in Detroit. Honda recently ended a shift at its plant in Marysville, Ohio, that makes its Accord sedan and other models.

What is perhaps most worrying for the industry is that sales of larger vehicles — S.U.V.s and trucks — that had more than made up for a recent collapse in purchases of sedans, are showing signs of strain.

Earlier this year, Nissan eliminated a production shift at its truck plant in Mississippi. Dealers are also sitting on more inventory than they were a year ago.

Ford dealers had about 10 percent more trucks and S.U.V.s in stock than they had a year ago, according to data confirmed by industry sources. Chevrolet dealers had 15 percent more trucks in stock and Honda dealers 26 percent more.

Yet many manufacturers are running truck and S.U.V. plants at full speed. G.M. has five plants running three shifts a day, and Ford has four. Fiat Chrysler has two truck plants operating 20 hours a day, six days a week — close to its maximum capacity.

Mark Wakefield, a managing director at AlixPartners, said automakers have organized their plants in ways that allows them to adjust production more easily than a decade ago when sales plunged and G.M. and Chrysler sought bankruptcy protection. Still, he said, if sales continue to be weak, other manufacturers may start to idle truck and S.U.V. plants. “First for a week or two at a time,” Mr. Wakefield said, “and if inventories don’t come back in line, they my say, ‘O.K., maybe we do need to take a shift out.’”

Sales of cars have been dropping over the last couple of years as more Americans opt for sport utility vehicles.CreditJosh Ritchie for The New York Times

Dealers aren’t waiting. In Jackson, Mich., 75 miles west of Detroit, Wes Lutz has cut inventory at his Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership by more than 40 percent. Until the spring, he had been stocking new vehicles worth about $12 million. “Now I’m at $7 million,” he said.

And he’s ordering fewer vehicles each month because even sales of once-hot models like the Jeep Wrangler have slowed. His store is still holding nine 2018 Wranglers, has plenty of 2019 models and 2020 versions will be arriving soon. “Last year I couldn’t get enough Wranglers,” Mr. Lutz said.

On Tuesday, AutoNation said it too has been paring inventory for the last three months, and now has 64,000 new vehicles in stock, 9,000 fewer than a year ago. The company has been limiting orders to top-selling models and cutting back on vehicles that tend to languish for weeks or months and often need to be heavily discounted or sold at a loss.

With more than 325 franchises, AutoNation is considered an industry bellwether and other dealers often follow its lead.

Mr. Jackson said he’s hopeful that monetary policymakers will soon lower interest rates, giving auto sales a jolt. “There’s every indication that the Federal Reserve is going to begin to reduce rates,” he said. “If that happens, it is going to be very beneficial to customers.

But Doug Waikem, who manages six family-owned dealerships in Massillon, Ohio, isn’t counting on sales bouncing back. He’s tightening inventory and focusing more on getting customers to keep coming back whether they are buying cars or not.

“We’re doing free carwashes, service contracts, financing — the things that keep customers connected to us,” he said. After such a long period of growth in a cyclical industry, he added, “We know we’re headed for a recession.”

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Jon Stewart’s Outrage Forced Washington to Actually Do Something Good | The 9/11 first responders bill passed the Senate Tuesday, 97-2.

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DOJ opens sweeping antitrust review of big tech giants, saying they may work against consumers

In a shot across the bow of online titans like Facebook, Google and Amazon, the Justice Department announced Tuesday it has opened a wide-ranging antitrust investigation of big technology companies and whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers.

President Trump has relentlessly criticized the big tech companies by name in recent months. He and other top Republicans frequently assert that companies such as Facebook and Google are biased against him and conservative politicians.

“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” DOJ antitrust head Makan Delrahim said in a statement. “The department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”

BIG TECH’S MOMENT OF RECKONING HAS ARRIVED

Westlake Legal Group anitrust DOJ opens sweeping antitrust review of big tech giants, saying they may work against consumers Gregg Re fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7c3ea875-f620-5029-9eec-43fbd33e21d8

Big tech giants were in the DOJ’s crosshairs on Tuesday.

Antitrust law generally prohibits corporations from abusing monopoly power to harm consumers, and also prohibits companies from conspiring to fix prices or suppress competition through other anti-competitive activity.

In 2018, The Daily Caller published an article asserting that Google almost exclusively targets conservative sites for fact-checking — and, in the process, often erroneously attributes statements to the conservative sites. Others blamed a software bug for the problem.

Some researchers have alleged anti-conservative bias in Google’s search results. A leaked video of top Google executives conducting a company-wide meeting after the 2016 election showed them tearfully lamenting the results of the race, which would send Trump to the White House.

The DOJ’s move comes as a growing number of lawmakers have called for stricter regulation or even breaking up of the big tech companies, which have come under intense scrutiny following a series of scandals that compromised users’ privacy.

The Justice Department did not name specific companies in its announcement. But the DOJ did say it would look into “widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media and some retail services online.”

Additionally, the “department’s Antitrust Division is conferring with and seeking information from the public, including industry participants who have direct insight into competition in online platforms, as well as others,” the DOJ said.

GOOGLE VP GRILLED IN HEARING OVER ALLEGED BIAS AGAINST CONSERVATIVES

“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division. “The department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”

The DOJ said it will seek to assess “the competitive conditions in the online marketplace in an objective and fair-minded manner and to ensure Americans have access to free markets in which companies compete on the merits to provide services that users want.

“If violations of law are identified, the department will proceed appropriately to seek redress,” the statement concluded.

Westlake Legal Group 8054d6fd-AP19204682993833-2 DOJ opens sweeping antitrust review of big tech giants, saying they may work against consumers Gregg Re fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7c3ea875-f620-5029-9eec-43fbd33e21d8

FILE – In this April 10, 2018, file photo Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes his seat to testify before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, that the Federal Trade Commission will allege that Facebook misled users about its privacy practices as part of an expected settlement.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Google directed requests for comments to the testimony its director of economic policy, Adam Cohen, made to the House Judiciary Committee last week. Cohen reiterated the company’s benefits to consumers.

“Google’s control over what people hear, watch, read, and say is unprecedented,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said at the hearing. “Google can, and often does, control our discourse.”

Cruz added: “The American people are subject to overt censorship and covert manipulation” by Google’s algorithm.

SEN HAWLEY TAKES ON BIG TECH, SEEKS TO ELIMINATE LEGAL PROTECTIONS AND UNIQUE IMMUNITIES THEY ENJOY

But Google’s vice president of global government affairs and public policy, Karan Bhatia, defended the tech giant – arguing that the company has no political bias and does not monitor content posted on its platforms. Bhatia noted that the company does censor or take down some content, but denied that there was any political motivation behind that.

“We work hard to fix our mistakes,” Bhatia said. “But these mistakes have affected both parties and are not a product of bias.”

He added: “We are not censoring speech on our platforms… We do have community guidelines against uploading, for example, videos that have violent imagery.”

Apple referred to comments from CEO Tim Cook, who told CBS last month he doesn’t think “anybody reasonable” would call Apple a monopoly.

Earlier, the Washington Post reported that the FTC will allege that Facebook misled users about its privacy practices as part of an expected settlement of its 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The federal business watchdog will reportedly find that Facebook deceived users about how it handled phone numbers it asked for as part of a security feature and provided insufficient information about how to turn off a facial recognition tool for photos.

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Advertisers were reportedly able to target users who provided their phone number as part of a two-factor authentication security feature.

The FTC established its own watchdog to probe big technology companies earlier this year, and shares antitrust authority with the DOJ.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19204682993833-2 DOJ opens sweeping antitrust review of big tech giants, saying they may work against consumers Gregg Re fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7c3ea875-f620-5029-9eec-43fbd33e21d8   Westlake Legal Group AP19204682993833-2 DOJ opens sweeping antitrust review of big tech giants, saying they may work against consumers Gregg Re fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7c3ea875-f620-5029-9eec-43fbd33e21d8

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Ex-Mets, Yankees pitcher Dwight Gooden arrested for second time in six weeks, says he’ll enter rehab

Former New York Mets and New York Yankees pitcher Dwight “Doc” Gooden was arrested in New Jersey Monday and accused of driving while intoxicated — the second time in six weeks the former Cy Young winner has been apprehended.

According to the Newark Department of Public Safety, cops pulled over the 54-year-old Gooden’s black Chrysler for driving the wrong way on a one-way street shortly after 11 p.m. The statement said Gooden was arrested and transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

DWIGHT GOODEN ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH DUI, DRUG POSSESSION

“He pissed himself. He was clearly buzzed, really kind of f–ked up,” an Essex County law enforcement source told The New York Post, which first reported on Gooden’s arrest. The source added that Gooden was “cooperative and polite” with police and claimed to suffer from diabetes.

“It’s sad to see the continued problems of this former Mets’ star but it’s an example of the persistent scourge of drugs and alcohol in this country and the stranglehold they have on addicts,” Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose said in a statement.

Westlake Legal Group Dwight-Gooden- Ex-Mets, Yankees pitcher Dwight Gooden arrested for second time in six weeks, says he'll enter rehab Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/sports/mlb/tampa-bay-rays fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-mets fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/cleveland-indians fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc c7170da1-b177-585c-9dd1-a800aecd08cf article

Former New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden, pictured during spring training in 2017. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Gooden, who lives in Piscataway, N.J., told the Post Tuesday that “I got exactly what I deserved, unfortunately,” and added that he was “going away [to rehab] tonight to try to get some help to save my life.

“I’m very embarrassed. Very shameful. I feel bad for anybody I disappointed or let down,” Gooden added. “It’s a struggle — a hard struggle — but you have to just jump back in … I mean, at my age, I’ve been doing this for 30-something years. I never thought I’d see myself at 54 going back to treatment.”

Gooden was arrested following a traffic stop on June 7 in Holmdel, N.J. and accused of cocaine possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence. That arrest became public earlier this month. Police said they pulled over Gooden for failure to maintain a lane and driving too slow, according to a criminal complaint provided by the Monmouth County prosecutor’s office. Two plastic baggies allegedly containing cocaine were found in Gooden’s car.

Gooden debuted with the Mets as a 19-year-old in 1984. He was named the National League Rookie of the Year that year and won the National League Cy Young Award in 1985. He was a member of the Mets’ 1986 World Series championship team but famously missed the victory parade due to a cocaine bender.

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He was suspended from baseball for part of the 1994 season and all of the 1995 season after testing positive for cocaine. He signed with the Yankees for the 1996 season and won a second World Series title with the Bronx Bombers. He also pitched for the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, and Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now Tampa Bay Rays).

According to the website Celebrity Net Worth, as the Post reported, Gooden has $200,000 to his name.

Click for more from the New York Post.

Westlake Legal Group Dwight-Gooden- Ex-Mets, Yankees pitcher Dwight Gooden arrested for second time in six weeks, says he'll enter rehab Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/sports/mlb/tampa-bay-rays fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-mets fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/cleveland-indians fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc c7170da1-b177-585c-9dd1-a800aecd08cf article   Westlake Legal Group Dwight-Gooden- Ex-Mets, Yankees pitcher Dwight Gooden arrested for second time in six weeks, says he'll enter rehab Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/sports/mlb/tampa-bay-rays fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/new-york-mets fox-news/sports/mlb/houston-astros fox-news/sports/mlb/cleveland-indians fox-news/sports/mlb fox news fnc/sports fnc c7170da1-b177-585c-9dd1-a800aecd08cf article

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DOJ Starts Review Of Whether Major Tech Companies Are Too Powerful

Westlake Legal Group ap_19169762569443-a5febf8f10e9932439ff91c85d9597fe26b4baa3-s1100-c15 DOJ Starts Review Of Whether Major Tech Companies Are Too Powerful

A woman walks past a Google sign in San Francisco. The Justice Department is launching an antitrust review of major online companies. The DOJ did not name the firms, but there have been increasing calls to regulate companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon. Jeff Chiu/AP hide caption

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Jeff Chiu/AP

Westlake Legal Group  DOJ Starts Review Of Whether Major Tech Companies Are Too Powerful

A woman walks past a Google sign in San Francisco. The Justice Department is launching an antitrust review of major online companies. The DOJ did not name the firms, but there have been increasing calls to regulate companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Jeff Chiu/AP

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET

The Justice Department says it’s launching a wide-ranging antitrust review of big tech companies. The DOJ didn’t name specific firms in its announcement Tuesday, but said its inquiry will consider concerns raised about “search, social media, and some retail services online.”

It’s the first clear public confirmation of a major U.S. antitrust review of the tech industry. The DOJ examination promises to be the broadest and potentially toughest scrutiny of companies like Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

The Justice Department said its antitrust division will study how major online platforms grew to have their big market power and whether they are acting in ways that have “reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers.”

The Federal Trade Commission and the DOJ have long been rumored to be studying the scale and reach of big tech firms. This follows fines and close inspection of the U.S. tech companies by European antitrust authorities, including a new antitrust investigation into Amazon announced last week.

The DOJ said its antitrust division will collect information from the public, other companies and industry participants.

“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said in a statement. “The Department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”

Despite having very different business models, tech companies have together faced growing concerns both in Congress and on the campaign trail, particularly over the amount of information they collect about their users and other companies.

The House Judiciary Committee has launched its own investigation into tech companies’ scale and reach. Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have accused Facebook and Google of stifling conservative views. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has campaigned on the idea of breaking up Big Tech.

“I don’t think big is necessarily bad,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers at a hearing in January. “But I think a lot of people wonder how such huge behemoths that now exist in Silicon Valley have taken shape under the nose of the antitrust enforcers. … I want to find out more about that dynamic.”

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