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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 236)

Dog the Bounty Hunter’s daughter wears mom Beth’s ashes: ‘She’s still with me’

Westlake Legal Group dog-the-bounty-hunter-beth-chapman-duane-chapman-getty Dog the Bounty Hunter's daughter wears mom Beth's ashes: 'She's still with me' fox-news/person/duane-chapman fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d07fd160-12ef-58ac-8944-24ccff78781f article Andy Sahadeo

On New Year’s Day, Bonnie Chapman — the daughter of Beth and Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman — offered a poignant reflection on 2019 and revealed what she eventually did with her mother’s ashes following her death.

In a “Goodbye 2019” post from her Instagram, Bonnie shared a lengthy message in which she noted the year “[took] the cake for being the worst year of my life.”

From the death of her mother, Beth Chapman, and best friend Elysia’s suicide, to her dog’s death, Bonnie spoke candidly on the tragic events that pervaded her tumultuous year.

BETH CHAPMAN REMEMBERED BY DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER AT MEMORIAL: ‘STILL HAVEN’T LET HER GO’

“January 11th was one of the worst days of my life, my best friend Elysia had taken her own life. I had promised her that I would be there to scare away her demons, to hold her when she felt like the world was crumbling, but I wasn’t able to be there for her,” Bonnie lamented. “I never had lost a friend before. I still miss her everyday, she had the voice of an angel and made me laugh more than anyone else.”

Bonnie also noted, “My dog back in Hawaii LBJ passed away after a major surgery. I didn’t give him the life he deserved. I loved him so dearly.”

DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER SAYS HE’S LOST 17 POUNDS SINCE WIFE BETH’S DEATH

Alongside the tragic events, Bonnie revealed that she “came out of the closet this year, which was honestly so liberating” and also received stitches following a bloody kitchen accident. But perhaps the most noteworthy of her 2019 struggles was the passing of her mother, Beth Chapman.

On the day of her passing, Bonnie noted in her post that “we weren’t really prepared” for her death.

“Seeing my mother in her hospital bed, skin and bones, it shook me to my core. To see her so weak was one of the worst things I have ever experienced,” she wrote. “My mother had woken up [from her medically-induced coma] at one point, I apologized for being such a brat and she shook her head and assured me I wasn’t. That’s my last memory with her.”

Bonnie also revealed what they did with Beth’s ashes, noting, “I’m sad to never see her again, but I wear her ashes around my neck everyday since. She’s still with me.”

DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER ON WIFE’S PASSING: ‘BETH ISN’T DEAD, SHE’S SLEEPING’

Beth passed away on June 26 after a two-year battle with stage 2 throat cancer. Beth was first diagnosed with throat cancer in November 2017. She underwent successful surgery, but doctors months later told her the cancer had returned.

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Husband Duane, 66, announced her passing on Twitter, writing, “It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain. Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”

Fox News’ Jessica Sager contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group dog-the-bounty-hunter-beth-chapman-duane-chapman-getty Dog the Bounty Hunter's daughter wears mom Beth's ashes: 'She's still with me' fox-news/person/duane-chapman fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d07fd160-12ef-58ac-8944-24ccff78781f article Andy Sahadeo   Westlake Legal Group dog-the-bounty-hunter-beth-chapman-duane-chapman-getty Dog the Bounty Hunter's daughter wears mom Beth's ashes: 'She's still with me' fox-news/person/duane-chapman fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d07fd160-12ef-58ac-8944-24ccff78781f article Andy Sahadeo

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Video of Trump Warning ‘Our President Will Start a War With Iran Because He Has Absolutely No Ability to Negotiate’ Resurfaces: “The only way he figures that he’s going to get reelected—and as sure as you’re sitting there—is to start a war with Iran,” Trump said of Obama in 2011.

Westlake Legal Group J1QFFq2aCkRTvbYdR2aM0X-SC9RaLa3RFWhL2fJEkzI Video of Trump Warning 'Our President Will Start a War With Iran Because He Has Absolutely No Ability to Negotiate' Resurfaces: "The only way he figures that he's going to get reelected—and as sure as you're sitting there—is to start a war with Iran," Trump said of Obama in 2011. r/politics

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Secret ‘piggy bank’ of 1,200-year-old gold coins discovered in Israel

Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered a plethora of 1,200-year-old gold coins stashed in a clay jug in the city of Yavneh, a find that has been described as “Hanukkah Gelt” given its close proximity to the Jewish holiday.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA), which issued a release surrounding the findings, said the archaeologists were “surprised” when they made the discovery. The IAA added that the area in which the discovery was made was an “ancient industrial area” that was active for several hundred years.

The archaeologists said in the release that the gold coins could have been “a potter’s personal ‘piggy bank.'”

Westlake Legal Group israel-gold-coins-1 Secret 'piggy bank' of 1,200-year-old gold coins discovered in Israel fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 898e9c30-82a1-532c-880c-76fad6dae0d5

The hoard of gold coins. (Credit: Liat Nadav-Ziv, Israel Antiquities Authority)

RARE 1838 HALF-DOLLAR COIN SOLD FOR $504G

Robert Kool, a coin expert at IAA, said one of the coins appears to date to the 8th or 9th century, between 786 and 809 A.D., during the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid. The famous “Arabian Nights” collection of stories, also known as “One Thousand and One Nights” is based on al-Rashid.

“The hoard also includes coins that are rarely found in Israel,” Kool added. “These are gold dinars issued by the Aghlabid dynasty that ruled in North Africa, in the region of modern Tunisia, on behalf of the Abbasid Caliphate centered in Bagdad.”

Westlake Legal Group israel-gold-coins-2 Secret 'piggy bank' of 1,200-year-old gold coins discovered in Israel fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 898e9c30-82a1-532c-880c-76fad6dae0d5

Collecting vat, dating to the Persian period. (Credit: Idan Jonish, Israel Antiquities Authority

The archaeologists also found that the excavation revealed “an unusually large amount of pottery kilns,” which were used for commercial production of jars, cooking pots and bowls.

Westlake Legal Group israel-gold-coins-3 Secret 'piggy bank' of 1,200-year-old gold coins discovered in Israel fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 898e9c30-82a1-532c-880c-76fad6dae0d5

The hoard of gold coins. (Credit: Liat Nadav-Ziv, Israel Antiquities Authority)

In another part of the dig site, a wine production site was also discovered, related to the Persian period in the 4th to 5th century B.C. There were more wine vats found at the site than would have been needed for the city’s inhabitants, suggesting that some of it may have been exported or consumed by people visiting the city.

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Westlake Legal Group israel-gold-coins-1 Secret 'piggy bank' of 1,200-year-old gold coins discovered in Israel fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 898e9c30-82a1-532c-880c-76fad6dae0d5   Westlake Legal Group israel-gold-coins-1 Secret 'piggy bank' of 1,200-year-old gold coins discovered in Israel fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 898e9c30-82a1-532c-880c-76fad6dae0d5

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Elizabeth Warren ends 2019 with dip in fundraising

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118273901001_6118271846001-vs Elizabeth Warren ends 2019 with dip in fundraising Tara Prindiville Paul Steinhauser fox-news/politics/elections/fundraising fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc bdec932d-35c5-5a68-958e-73583b5b1c3b article

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren brought in $21.2 million during the October-December quarter of fundraising  – a haul that’s down nearly $3.5 million from the previous three months.

The new fourth-quarter fundraising numbers from the populist senator from Massachusetts – announced by her presidential campaign Friday – come as Warren’s experienced a dip in support in her national and early voting state poll numbers the past couple months.

And Warren’s haul, while still substantial, trails the three other top-tier contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination.

SANDERS REPORTS EYE-POPPING FUNDRAISING FIGURES

Fellow progressive standard-bearer Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont brought in a massive $34.5 million the past three months – the best quarterly haul of any Democratic White House hopeful to date this cycle. Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised $24.7 million and former Vice President Joe Biden brought in $22.7 million, his best fundraising showing to date.

Warren appeared to scramble to top the $20 million mark in the fourth quarter, as her campaign made the unusual move of releasing its pending total early in order to drum up more cash.

“So far this quarter, we’ve raised a little over $17 million. That’s a good chunk behind where we were at this time last quarter,” an email sent last Friday from the Warren campaign read. “Elizabeth Warren needs your help. Right now. The goal is $20 million for the quarter — that’s how much the campaign needs to keep our plans on track.”

The gambit paid off.

Warren’s campaign emphasized that they raised over $1.5 million on Dec. 31, their best fundraising day to date.

“A few days before Tuesday’s quarterly FEC fundraising report, we leveled with you. We shared that we were still a good chunk behind our third quarter fundraising and set a goal of $20 million goal by December 31, which was what we’d need to raise to keep our plans on track,” noted campaign manager Roger Lau in an email to supporters on Friday.

“Well today, I’m excited to share some great news with you. Thanks to supporters like you who stepped up and chipped in, we beat our goal,’ he added.

Touting their grassroots appeal, the campaign highlighted that more than 443,000 people made almost 900,000 donations during the fourth quarter, with an average contribution of just $23. And for the year, the noted that nearly 1 million donors gave more than 2.7 contributions to raise more than $71 million.

BIDEN NETS BIGGEST FUNDRAISING HAUL OF HIS CAMPAIGN

Asked by Fox News on Thursday following a campaign event in New Hampshire if she was concerned about Sanders’ eye-popping fundraising figures, Warren avoided directly answering. Instead, she said that she’s “grateful to everyone who’s pitched in five bucks or 15 bucks over the last few days I was making calls to donors to thank them personally for doing this.”

And she spotlighted that “I didn’t spend one single minute selling access to my time to millionaires and billionaires. I did this grassroots all across the country. And I’m proud of the grassroots army that we’ve built.”

Unlike their top-tier rivals, Warren and Sanders have eschewed holding fundraisers with top-dollar donors, often at ritzy settings. Instead, they are powering their campaigns with small-dollar, mostly online, contributions.

KLOBUCHAR ANNOUNCES HER BEST FUNDRAISING QUARTER TO DATE

Warren’s report came hours after Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota announced that she raised $11.4 million the past three months – her best haul to date. A day earlier, Andrew Yang, a long shot for the nomination who’s risen in the polls and consistently made the debate stage, announced that he raised $16.5 million the past three months, far outpacing his $10 million third-quarter figure.

Campaigns wanting to showcase their fundraising figures are blasting out their final numbers this week, with campaigns with lackluster cash hauls likely waiting until the end of January deadline to report their figures to the Federal Election Commission.

Campaign cash, along with public opinion polling, is a crucial barometer of a candidate’s popularity and a campaign’s strength. Fundraising dollars can be used to run TV, radio and digital ads, beef up grassroots voter outreach, and build up staff. And the fourth quarter fundraising figures – the last quarterly report before Iowa kicks off the primary and caucus presidential nominating calendar on Feb. 3 – will be heavily scrutinized by political pundits.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118273901001_6118271846001-vs Elizabeth Warren ends 2019 with dip in fundraising Tara Prindiville Paul Steinhauser fox-news/politics/elections/fundraising fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc bdec932d-35c5-5a68-958e-73583b5b1c3b article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118273901001_6118271846001-vs Elizabeth Warren ends 2019 with dip in fundraising Tara Prindiville Paul Steinhauser fox-news/politics/elections/fundraising fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc bdec932d-35c5-5a68-958e-73583b5b1c3b article

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Iran Promises Retaliation After U.S. Kills General: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166599369_245a6b9d-0ac6-4825-9dab-50b178b55e30-articleLarge Iran Promises Retaliation After U.S. Kills General: Live Updates United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces United States Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Defense and Military Forces Deaths (Fatalities) Baghdad International Airport (Iraq) Baghdad (Iraq)

Iranians mourned the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in Tehran on Friday.Credit…Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA, via Shutterstock

Iranian leaders issued strident calls on Friday for revenge against the United States after the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in an overnight airstrike at the Baghdad airport. The strike spurred mass displays of public mourning by Iran and its network of allies across the Middle East.

General Suleimani, a powerful strategist who represented Iran’s influence across the region, was killed by an American drone at Baghdad airport, in an attack that had been authorized by President Trump and that ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Tehran. The death threatened to tip hostilities with the United States and its partners across the region into a new war.

On Friday, Mr. Trump posted on Twitter:

General Suleimani was the head of the powerful Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the architect of nearly every significant operation by Iranian intelligence and military forces over the past two decades.

His death is a considerable blow to Tehran, and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for retaliation on Friday and for three days of national mourning.

“His departure to God does not end his path or his mission, but a forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands,” the supreme leader said in a statement.

The general’s prominent role meant that his death could have a ripple effect in any number of countries across the Middle East where Iran and the United States compete for influence.

Westlake Legal Group sat-airport-900 Iran Promises Retaliation After U.S. Kills General: Live Updates United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces United States Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Defense and Military Forces Deaths (Fatalities) Baghdad International Airport (Iraq) Baghdad (Iraq)

Baghdad

International

Airport

airport st.

Suleimani was in

a vehicle struck

by two missiles as

his convoy exited the airport.

Westlake Legal Group sat-airport-600 Iran Promises Retaliation After U.S. Kills General: Live Updates United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces United States Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Defense and Military Forces Deaths (Fatalities) Baghdad International Airport (Iraq) Baghdad (Iraq)

Baghdad

International

Airport

airport st.

Suleimani was in a vehicle struck by two missiles as his convoy exited the airport.

Westlake Legal Group sat-airport-335 Iran Promises Retaliation After U.S. Kills General: Live Updates United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces United States Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Defense and Military Forces Deaths (Fatalities) Baghdad International Airport (Iraq) Baghdad (Iraq)

Baghdad

International

Airport

airport st.

Suleimani was in a vehicle struck by two missiles as his convoy exited the airport.

The New York Times; satellite image by Maxar via Bing.

The strike was carried out by an MQ-9 Reaper drone that fired missiles on a convoy of vehicles leaving the airport. Several other officials from Iraqi militias backed by Tehran were also killed.

“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the Pentagon said in a statement. The United States has long been at odds with Iran over its nuclear program and influence in Iraq and other countries in the region. Those tensions have surged under Mr. Trump since he abruptly pulled the United States out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal and reintroduced punishing sanctions against Tehran.

The strike on Friday was the latest escalation between the two nations after a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base, believed to have been carried out by an Iran-backed militia, killed an American contractor in December.

The State Department urged American citizens to leave Iraq immediately following the strike that killed General Suleimani in Baghdad, citing “heightened tensions.”

Oil prices jumped on Friday after the news of the general’s death: The price of Brent oil, the international benchmark, surged in the early hours of Hong Kong trading to nearly $70 a barrel — an increase of $3.

The immediate increase in the price of oil was among the largest since an attack on a critical Saudi oil installation in September that temporarily knocked out 5 percent of the world’s oil supply.

By 11 a.m. in London, the price of Brent crude oil was at a three-month high of $69.20 a barrel. International oil companies based in the southeastern Iraqi city of Basra have begun evacuating American employees, according to Al Arabiya news outlet.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had spoken to top diplomats in Britain, China and Germany on Friday about what the State Department described as President Trump’s recent decision “to take defensive action to eliminate Qassim Suleimani in response to imminent threats to American lives.”

Mr. Pompeo also told his foreign counterparts that the United States was committed to de-escalation, according to the State Department. Mr. Pompeo posted several statements and a video on Twitter that he said showed Iraqis “dancing in the street” at the news of General Suleimani’s killing.

Mr. Pompeo said the American strike on General Suleimani was a proactive measure to stave off what American intelligence officials saw as an “imminent attack” in the region.

“This was a man who has put American lives at risk for an awfully long time,” Mr. Pompeo said on Friday on CNN. “Last night was the time that we needed to strike to make sure that this imminent attack that he was working actively was disrupted.”

He declined to provide more details about the looming attack.

One American official familiar with the internal discussions about the drone strike said the administration was still trying to figure out what would come next and how to be prepared for it.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the backlash over General Suleimani’s death could be even more fraught than the tensions after an American raid in 2011 that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, who was part of a stateless group and had no international support.

“What was sitting before us was his travels throughout the region, his efforts to make a significant strike against Americans,” Mr. Pompeo told Fox News on Friday morning. “It was a strike that was aimed at both disrupting that plot, deterring further aggression.”

As the leader of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which leads Iran’s operations abroad, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, who was 62, was the country’s top security and intelligence commander.

A senior military figure with considerable powers, General Suleimani was behind nearly all military and intelligence operations orchestrated by Iran in the past two decades. He directed Iran-backed militias in the fight against the Islamic State.

American officials had also accused him of causing the deaths of hundreds of soldiers during the Iraq war and he was believed to have played a central role in orchestrating Iran’s support for the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

In Iran, General Suleimani was a respected political figure among hard-liners and was close to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He was described by some officials as the country’s de facto second foreign minister.

To many Iranians, he was also a war hero, after becoming a commander while he was only in his 20s during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

In a speech in 2018, he warned Mr. Trump not to take any military action against Iran.

“We are near you, where you can’t even imagine,” the general said at the time, according to Iranian news agencies. “Come. We are ready. If you begin the war, we will end the war.”

The general’s deputy succeeded him within hours, according to Iranian news agencies. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, appointed Brig. Gen. Ismail Qaani as the new leader for the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on Friday.

General Qaani, 62, was promoted from deputy commander of the Quds Force, a role he had held since in 1997, according to Reuters.

The United States Treasury Department put General Qaani on a blacklist in 2012 for what it called “financial disbursements” to various terrorist groups, including Hezbollah.

In 2017, General Qaani was reported as warning that Iran had “buried many” like President Trump. “We are not a warmongering country,” he said at the time, according to the semiofficial news agency Tasnim. “But any military action against Iran will be regretted.”

Large crowds gathered for Friday Prayer in Iran and filled public squares with mass protests, while officials met privately to plot strategy and leaders vowed to avenge General Suleimani’s death.

Images broadcast on Iranian state television showed hundreds of supporters of General Suleimani gathered in mourning outside his house in the southeastern town of Kerman, and later footage shows thousands gathered on the streets.

“The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime,” President Hassan Rouhani wrote on Twitter.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif called the strike an “act of international terrorism.”

Iran was working with Iraqi officials to repatriate the general’s body for a funeral service, perhaps as soon as Saturday, a number of Iranian journalists reported.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council also held an emergency meeting. According to two people with knowledge of the discussion, council members received a written order from Mr. Khamenei that ordered that Iran “strike America directly and in exact proportion to the attack.”

In Iraq, the strike appeared likely to accelerate calls for the departure of American troops. Along with General Suleimani, it killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of a powerful militia that is backed by Iran but technically under the umbrella of the Iraqi military.

Mr. al-Muhandis was one of the most powerful figures in this coalition of militia but also is a senior military figure in the Iraqi armed forces, according to IISS, an international research institute. He was also designated a terrorist by the United States for his role in an Iran-sponsored 1983 attack targeting American forces in Kuwait.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq praised Mr. al-Muhandis and General Suleimani as heroes in the fight against the Islamic State and condemned their killing as “a brazen violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and a blatant attack on the nation’s dignity.”

Iraq’s Parliament plans to convene an emergency session on Saturday to address the strike, which could accelerate calls to push United States forces from the country.

Iranian allies across the Arab world condemned the United States, reflecting the strength of the regional network General Suleimani spent much of his life building, including links to the government of Syria and militant groups in Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen and elsewhere.

The leader of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group and political party that General Suleimani helped build over three decades into the country’s top military forces and a grave threat to Israel, vowed in a statement that his group would continue on the path the general set and “work night and day to achieve his goals.”

It was the responsibility of all resistance fighters to seek “just retribution” against “the most evil criminals in the world,” the leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said, meaning the United States.

In Yemen, the administration run by the Houthi rebels, who have received support from Iran in their war against Saudi Arabia, condemned the United States strike as a “cowardly attack” that “makes clear the increasing American spite against all who are in favor of justice for the Islamic world.”

The killing of General Suleimani “most likely” violated international law, Agnes Callamard, the United Nations expert on extrajudicial executions, said in a post on Twitter.

“Use of lethal force is only justified to protect against an imminent threat to life, Ms. Callamard wrote. An individual’s past involvement in “terrorist” acts “is not sufficient to take his targeting for killing legal,” she said. Use of drones for targeted killings outside active hostilities was “almost never likely to be legal,” she added.

Many experts also said on Friday that the strike probably ended any prospect of negotiations to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the landmark nuclear agreement Iran signed in 2015 with the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany. The recent escalation in tensions between the United States and Iran began with the 2018 decision by President Trump to withdraw from the deal.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the killing of General Suleimani “an adventurist step that will increase tensions throughout the region,” according to local news agencies.

“Suleimani served the cause of protecting Iran’s national interests with devotion,” the ministry added.

A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry called for restraint on all sides, “especially the United States.”

“China has always opposed the use of force in international relations,” the spokesman, Geng Shuang, said at a daily news briefing, according to news agencies.

Britain’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, called on Friday for a de-escalation in tensions and said that further conflict in the region was not in his country’s interest.

“We have always recognized the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qassim Suleimani,” Mr. Raab said in a statement. “Following his death, we urge all parties to de-escalate.”

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said in a statement, “The cycle of violence, provocations and retaliations which we have witnessed In Iraq over the past few weeks has to stop. Further escalation must be avoided at all cost.”

Federica Mogherini, the European high representative for foreign and security policy, said on Twitter that the general’s killing was “an extremely dangerous escalation.”

In France, President Emmanuel Macron had yet to react, but the country’s junior minister for European affairs, Amélie de Montchalin, said that she would soon consult with countries in the region.

“We have woken up to a more dangerous world,” Ms. de Montchalin told French radio, calling for “stability and de-escalation.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel cut short an official visit to Greece and was returning to Israel on Friday, while his ministers mostly kept silent in an apparent effort to avoid undue Iranian attention.

Before boarding the plane, Mr. Netanyahu praised President Trump for “acting swiftly, forcefully and decisively.”

“Israel stands with the United States in its just struggle for peace, security and self-defense,” he said.

Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls the Palestinian coastal territory of Gaza, offered its condolences to Iran on the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, saying in a statement that he had “played a major and critical role in supporting Palestinian resistance at all levels.” Hamas condemned what it called “U.S. bullying” that it said served the interests of Israel.

Bassem Naim, a spokesman for the group, said on Twitter that the assassination “opens the doors of the region to all possibilities, except calm & stability.”

Israel’s rookie defense minister, Naftali Bennett, held consultations at military headquarters in Tel Aviv and released a photograph of the meeting attended by the military chief of staff, the Mossad chief and other security officials.

Some Israeli opposition politicians issued congratulatory messages. Moshe Yaalon, a former military chief and defense minister — and now a leader of the centrist Blue and White party — thanked the Americans for what he called a “determined and precise” operation.

“The world and the Middle East have been freed today from an arch murderer,” he said, adding, “Good riddance!”

General Suleimani, a longtime adversary of Israel, was credited with overseeing many attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets and he was linked with an attack on the Israeli embassy in Argentina in the 1990s. More recently he was behind military actions from Syria, across Israel’s northern frontier.

Israel has long been locked in hostilities with Iran, attempting to thwart its entrenchment in Syria and halt its transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah, an Israeli foe, in Lebanon. Early Friday, the Israeli military announced the closure of a ski run in the northern Golan Heights that borders Syria. Israeli embassies abroad were reportedly placed on high alert.

Reporting was contributed by Ben Hubbard, Farnaz Fassihi, Elian Peltier, Megan Specia, Isabel Kershner, Ronen Bergman, Lara Jakes, Eileen Sullivan, Catie Edmondson, Benjamin Mueller and Nick Cumming-Bruce.

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Gun control standoff heats up in Virginia as ‘sanctuaries’ grow, big votes loom

Westlake Legal Group weapons Gun control standoff heats up in Virginia as 'sanctuaries' grow, big votes loom Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/person/ralph-northam fox news fnc/politics fnc f6d2349d-0ced-55bc-98c7-dab3779db5b2 article

A battle over gun control in Virginia with national implications is heating up as the legislature prepares to vote on sweeping new restrictions and localities band together to defy them in growing numbers.

Virginians turned out to debate the measures at public budget hearings on Thursday, less than a week before the General Assembly’s first legislative session of 2020. Both the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) and Gun Owners of America specifically warned about Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s related budget proposal, which directs $250,000 for the Department of Corrections to incarcerate people as a result of new restrictions.

MORE THAN 100 VIRGINIA CITIES, COUNTIES DECLARE THEMSELVES GUN SANCTUARIES AS DEMS PREPARE TO TAKE LEGISLATURE

Another measure included over $4 million and 18 “authorized positions” — part of an apparent team that Second Amendment groups warn could be used to enforce an assault weapons ban. The new General Assembly is expected to vote on two bills in particular – SB 18 and SB 16 – which would ban assault weapons, raise the minimum age of purchase to 21 and require background checks for any firearms transfer.

In the run-up to the session and following state elections in November, a defiant protest movement has taken shape that could influence similar movements in other states. More than 100 cities, towns and counties have passed “sanctuary” resolutions meant to flout an assault weapons ban and other proposals.

According to local outlets, activists on both sides of the debate raised concerns during a hearing in Suffolk.

“This is not about gun safety, public safety, or whatever you want to call it,” one speaker said, according to WTKR. “It’s about control of people based solely on a radical, political, extremist agenda.” The meeting in Suffolk was “packed,” according to WAVY, and included at least 100 speakers — although it’s unclear how many spoke about gun control.

Moms Demand Action, a pro-gun control group, pushed gun safety provisions. “We know that, as it has been proven, gun safety laws save lives,” a representative from the group reportedly said.

NEW MEXICO COUNTY BECOMES ‘SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY’ IN PROTEST OF GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION

Other meetings took place in Manassas, Richmond, and Blacksburg on Thursday.

“We must be focused on making it more difficult for criminals to access firearms and addressing the behavior behind these instances of mass violence instead of infringing our American constitutional rights,” Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., told Fox News on Thursday.

“I am against the current laws put forth by the General Assembly to restrict firearm purchases and I will remain committed to preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals to purchase, possess, and use firearms.”

Yet Northam’s attorney general, Mark Herring, already rejected the notion that local resolutions would have any legal effect. “It is my opinion that these resolutions have no legal effect,” he said in an advisory opinion from Dec. 20.

FLORIDA GUN OWNERS, LAWYERS REACT TO LAKE COUNTY’S ‘SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY’ RESOLUTION

“It is my further opinion that localities and local constitutional officers cannot nullify state laws and must comply with gun violence prevention measures that the General Assembly may enact.”

Nearly a week later, the VCDL issued a memo denouncing Herring’s opinion.

“This radical view is demonstrably false, and ignores the significance of the fact that local officials are required by law to take an oath to support the federal and state constitutions above the laws enacted by the General Assembly,” the group said in a memo dated Dec. 26.

The memo framed sanctuary resolutions as attempts to avoid conflict, but again warned that localities wouldn’t cooperate if the General Assembly implemented the new restrictions.

“However, Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions announce that, should the government in Richmond act lawlessly, then local officials and the People they represent will not cooperate and may take steps to actively resist,” it read.

WALTER WILLIAMS: GUN RIGHTS ENDANGERED IN VIRGINIA

Neither the governor’s office nor the attorney general’s responded to Fox News’ request for comment. Gov. Northam struggled to push gun control through the previous General Assembly and has faced political backlash over infamous photos showing him in blackface during his youth. However, as the political establishment seemed to move past the controversy, it appeared as though Democrats were united on gun control before the 2020 session.

The debate could refocus 2020 races even more on the Second Amendment as the sanctuary movement gained traction in the state. One gun store reported a 200 percent increase in sales after Democrats won the legislature last year — a trend that many stores have historically seen with the prospect of new gun restrictions.

VCDL claimed that Thursday’s meetings, along with other local gatherings on the issue, saw substantial attendance. It’s unclear how many of the attendees were reacting to the gun control measures.

Virginia Democrats like Rep. Abigail Spanberger could feel the heat from voters as the GA activity fuels ever more sanctuary resolutions. As recently as the end of December, Fauquier County approved a measure opposing gun control legislation.

KEN PAXTON PRAISES LAW ALLOWING GUN OWNERS TO CARRY IN PLACES OF WORSHIP FOLLOWING CHURCH SHOOTING

According to a map from VCDL, much of Spanberger’s district has already approved those measures. “Rep. Spanberger is committed to protecting and upholding all of our constitutional rights, including our Second Amendment rights,” a Spanberger spokesperson told Fox News on Thursday.

“She is also committed to protecting the safety of families, children, and law enforcement officers across Central Virginia and the country — and therefore supports common-sense, gun violence prevention measures at the federal level, such as the bipartisan background checks legislation she helped pass earlier this year.”

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Spanberger’s office appeared to address potential conflicts between the state and localities, saying: “As a former law enforcement officer, Rep. Spanberger believes firmly in the rule of law — and as there are legal and jurisdictional challenges that may arise from the intended designation of special status zones in a Dillon Rule state such as Virginia, she will continue to engage with her constituents and closely observe the efforts of the localities she represents.”

The Dillon Rule refers to guidelines governing the relationship between state and local governments.

Westlake Legal Group weapons Gun control standoff heats up in Virginia as 'sanctuaries' grow, big votes loom Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/person/ralph-northam fox news fnc/politics fnc f6d2349d-0ced-55bc-98c7-dab3779db5b2 article   Westlake Legal Group weapons Gun control standoff heats up in Virginia as 'sanctuaries' grow, big votes loom Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/person/ralph-northam fox news fnc/politics fnc f6d2349d-0ced-55bc-98c7-dab3779db5b2 article

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The week in pictures, Dec. 28 – Jan. 3

Westlake Legal Group 01_RTS2WL7P The week in pictures, Dec. 28 - Jan. 3 fox-news/world fox-news/us fox news fnc/world fnc article 52e71329-6b0b-580e-b18f-af1fb7413096

https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/01/918/516/18_AP20003121173306.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

A vehicle burns at the Baghdad International Airport following an airstrike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 3, 2020.

Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office via AP

https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/01/918/516/18_AP20003121173306.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

Westlake Legal Group 01_RTS2WL7P The week in pictures, Dec. 28 - Jan. 3 fox-news/world fox-news/us fox news fnc/world fnc article 52e71329-6b0b-580e-b18f-af1fb7413096   Westlake Legal Group 01_RTS2WL7P The week in pictures, Dec. 28 - Jan. 3 fox-news/world fox-news/us fox news fnc/world fnc article 52e71329-6b0b-580e-b18f-af1fb7413096

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Dan Hoffman: Strike on Qassem Soleimani was ‘best way to counter’ Iranian aggression

Westlake Legal Group DAN-HOFF Dan Hoffman: Strike on Qassem Soleimani was 'best way to counter' Iranian aggression Julia Musto fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/congress fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 7fbb7831-7b2d-5bce-a0d2-63a07c60b3cb

Thursday evening’s airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani — the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force — was the “best way” for the U.S. to counter Iranian aggression, former CIA Station Chief Daniel Hoffman said Friday.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends” with hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade, Hoffman said that although the U.S. has “a full range” of choices on defending itself from and responding to Iran, America needs to stay on its toes.

IRAN VOWS ‘HARSH RETALIATION’ AFTER U.S. AIRSTRIKE KILLS IRANIAN GEN. QASSEM SOLEIMANI

President of Iran Hassan Rouhani praised Soleimani early Friday morning and promised via Twitter to “take revenge for this heinous crime” carried out by the United States.

Soleimani — Iran’s top “shadow commander” — was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more, the State Department said.

The U.S. State Department issued a security alert Friday morning urging all U.S. citizens to “depart Iraq immediately” due to heightened tensions in the region.

“We need to be very alert,” warned Hoffman. “I’m sure our state and local law enforcement is working with our intelligence community to be as alert as possible, collecting information and intelligence on potential Iranian threats.”

“Make no mistake, when we counter Iran the way that we did, that’s the best way to deter future attacks against us,” he said.

DEFENSE SECRETARY ESPER: ‘IT’S TIME THAT IRAN STARTED ACTING LIKE A NORMAL COUNTRY’

Hoffman said he thought U.S. strategy has been “pretty clear.”

In April of 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told “Special Report” host Bret Baier than Soleimani was viewed in equal standings with the head of ISIS.

“Yeah, he’s a terrorist,” said Pompeo. “Qassem Soleimani has the blood of Americans on his hands.”

“If you listen to Secretary of State Pompeo — last month he said we would mount decisive action against Iran and their proxies in the event that our people and our installations were put at risk. So, the president took that decision and put it into force last night,” Hoffman noted. “I don’t see how anyone could be super surprised about this, frankly.”

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Hoffman said he thought there has been “a rush to judgment” about the decision to strike.

“The president and his team have not briefed the Congress,” he told the “Friends” hosts. “I wish some of our elected leaders would just hold a little bit on their rhetorical fire — leave politics at the water’s edge for a moment.”

“Let’s wait to hear from the administration with more details about the strike and planning that went into it — as well as our planning, now postmortem for Soleimani, how we are going to plan on dealing with Iran going forward.” he cautioned.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace, Frank Miles, Lucas Tomlinson, John Roberts, Mike Arroyo, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group DAN-HOFF Dan Hoffman: Strike on Qassem Soleimani was 'best way to counter' Iranian aggression Julia Musto fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/congress fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 7fbb7831-7b2d-5bce-a0d2-63a07c60b3cb   Westlake Legal Group DAN-HOFF Dan Hoffman: Strike on Qassem Soleimani was 'best way to counter' Iranian aggression Julia Musto fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/congress fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/secretary-of-state fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 7fbb7831-7b2d-5bce-a0d2-63a07c60b3cb

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Fireworks at New Jersey marriage proposal prompts evacuation of theater: ‘This was a very poor decision’

A man from New Jersey has been charged with disorderly conduct after setting off fireworks in celebration of his buddy’s engagement — and scaring the living daylights out of everyone within earshot.

Nathan Sanders, 23, had arranged to set off the fireworks outside of an indoor rock-climbing facility in Howell Township, to coincide with a marriage proposal his friend was planning on Wednesday. However, the sound of the fireworks was mistaken for gunfire, and immediately caused panic at the adjacent Xscape movie theater, according to Howell Township police.

Westlake Legal Group FireworkProposalHowellTownshipPolice1 Fireworks at New Jersey marriage proposal prompts evacuation of theater: 'This was a very poor decision' Michael Bartiromo fox-news/us/crime fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc edc1e075-22ec-59b6-a0dc-5b10e7de8329 article

“There was no intent to cause panic to theatre patrons,” police wrote on Facebook. “Obviously this was a very poor decision rather than an overt act.” (Howell Township Police Department)

MOM ACCIDENTALLY RECORDS OWN REACTION INSTEAD OF DAUGHTER’S PROPOSAL

Some patrons believed the gunfire to be coming from inside the theater. Police responded to the scene, but could not immediately confirm “there was an actual shooting.”

Patrons of the movie theater were evacuated and detained during the preliminary investigation.

According to police, a manager at the movie theater had discovered that Sanders, from Lakewood, had set off fireworks outside of the adjacent Climb Zone. Law enforcement soon discovered the remnants of “discharged fireworks” nearby.

Westlake Legal Group FireworkProposalHowellTownshipPolice2 Fireworks at New Jersey marriage proposal prompts evacuation of theater: 'This was a very poor decision' Michael Bartiromo fox-news/us/crime fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc edc1e075-22ec-59b6-a0dc-5b10e7de8329 article

Police say Nathan Sanders had set up the fireworks outside of a rock-climbing facility where his friend was proposing. (Howell Township Police Department)

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Sanders was placed under arrest and charged with a fireworks infraction and disorderly conduct, according to the Associated Press.

He was released from custody the same evening.

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“Mr. Sanders lit off the fireworks while a friend was proposing marriage. There was no intent to cause panic to theatre patrons,” police wrote on Facebook.

“Obviously this was a very poor decision rather than an overt act.”

Westlake Legal Group iStock-1059922274 Fireworks at New Jersey marriage proposal prompts evacuation of theater: 'This was a very poor decision' Michael Bartiromo fox-news/us/crime fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc edc1e075-22ec-59b6-a0dc-5b10e7de8329 article   Westlake Legal Group iStock-1059922274 Fireworks at New Jersey marriage proposal prompts evacuation of theater: 'This was a very poor decision' Michael Bartiromo fox-news/us/crime fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc edc1e075-22ec-59b6-a0dc-5b10e7de8329 article

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Our Poll Finds A Majority Of Americans Think The Evidence Supports Trump’s Removal

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