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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 243)

Trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind, four others set for early 2021

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, will stand trial with four other men on war crimes charges at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba beginning in early 2021, a military judge said Friday.

Air Force Col. W. Shane Cohen set a start date of Jan. 11, 2021 in an order setting motion and evidentiary deadlines in a case that has been bogged down in pretrial litigation, noting that the trial “will face a host of administrative and logistics challenges.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19242733972834 Trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind, four others set for early 2021 Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/terror/september-11 fox-news/us/terror/al-qaeda fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 4bb3e5dc-9d92-5fe3-9b92-b5c890c5c2c4

This Saturday March 1, 2003 photo obtained by The Associated Press shows Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind, shortly after his capture during a raid in Pakistan. (AP Photo) (AP)

Mohammad and his co-defendants are charged with crimes including terrorism, hijacking and 2,976 counts of murder for their alleged roles planning and providing logistical support to the Sept. 11 plot. They could get the death penalty if convicted at the military commission, which combines elements of civilian and military law.

The quintet have been held at Guantanamo Bay since September 2006 after several years in clandestine CIA detention facilities following their capture.

MEMORIAL TO 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS DEFACED IN UPSTATE NEW YORK; SUSPECT BEING SOUGHT

Westlake Legal Group AP19242734534565 Trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind, four others set for early 2021 Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/terror/september-11 fox-news/us/terror/al-qaeda fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 4bb3e5dc-9d92-5fe3-9b92-b5c890c5c2c4

This sketch from Jan. 21, 2009 reviewed by the U.S. military, shows, from top left, Khalid Shaikh Mohammad; Walid bin Attash; Ramzi bin al Shibh; Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, also known as Ammar al Baluchi, and Mustafa al Hawsawi attend a hearing at the U.S. Military Commissions court for war crimes at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.(AP Photo/Janet Hamlin, Pool) (AP)

According to Cohen’s order, prosecutors must provide the defense team with a list of trial materials by Oct. 1. In the interim, the judge will hold a series of hearings with witnesses to determine whether or not confessions the defendants made to FBI agents in 2006 will be admissible in court. The defense team argues that after the men were captured in Pakistan in 2002 and 2003, they were tortured by the CIA, and thus the confessions should be thrown out.

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The criminal case alleges that Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, a senior Al Qaeda figure, was the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks, in which 19 hijackers took over four commercial airliners, crashing two of them into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon and another into a field in Shanksville, Pa.

Westlake Legal Group AP19242749618514 Trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind, four others set for early 2021 Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/terror/september-11 fox-news/us/terror/al-qaeda fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 4bb3e5dc-9d92-5fe3-9b92-b5c890c5c2c4

This February 2017 photo provided by his lawyers shows Khalid Shaikh Mohammad in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. (Courtesy Derek Poteet via AP) (AP)

The other four defendants are Mohammad’s nephew, Ammar al-Baluchi, Walid bin Attash and Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Mustafa al Hawsawi, who allegedly helped to train the hijackers and facilitate the attacks by providing travel and finances to the assailants.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19242733972834 Trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind, four others set for early 2021 Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/terror/september-11 fox-news/us/terror/al-qaeda fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 4bb3e5dc-9d92-5fe3-9b92-b5c890c5c2c4   Westlake Legal Group AP19242733972834 Trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind, four others set for early 2021 Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/terror/september-11 fox-news/us/terror/al-qaeda fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 4bb3e5dc-9d92-5fe3-9b92-b5c890c5c2c4

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Vice Media faces layoffs as it merges cable network, news site

Westlake Legal Group vice-logo Vice Media faces layoffs as it merges cable network, news site Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 3b2c7d4c-a23a-5a02-936e-884deb10ebb6

Vice Media is reportedly facing another round of layoffs as it continues to merge Vice News with its cable network.

The Wall Street Journal reported that job cuts were made on Thursday, affecting some 15 people who worked in various departments of Viceland including programming, marketing and research.

Sources told The Journal the move is an attempt by Vice Media to strictly focus on news and veer away from entertainment and lifestyle programming.

RATINGS-CHALLENGED CNN SHEDS STAFF AS NETWORK MOVES TO LAVISH NEW DIGS

In January, the media outlet reportedly laid off about 10 percent of its staff. A report in Variety on Feb. 1 said the roughly 250 cuts were coming amid a revenue slowdown.

Vice Media did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Viceland was founded in 2016, aimed at capturing millennial viewers.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The latest reported changes come as HBO has severed ties with Vice Media after deciding not to renew its news series. “Vice News Tonight.”

Westlake Legal Group vice-logo Vice Media faces layoffs as it merges cable network, news site Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 3b2c7d4c-a23a-5a02-936e-884deb10ebb6   Westlake Legal Group vice-logo Vice Media faces layoffs as it merges cable network, news site Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 3b2c7d4c-a23a-5a02-936e-884deb10ebb6

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Michael Flynn’s Lawyers Escalate Attacks on Prosecutors

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser, escalated their attacks on prosecutors on Friday, recycling unfounded conspiratorial accusations in a last-ditch bid to delay his sentencing in a case in which he has twice admitted guilt.

The move could anger Emmet G. Sullivan, the federal judge who will sentence Mr. Flynn. The filings could magnify any doubts by Judge Sullivan about whether Mr. Flynn truly accepts responsibility for his crime of lying to the F.B.I. and whether he fulfilled his cooperation agreement with the government in one of the lingering cases brought by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

In a pair of filings, Mr. Flynn’s lawyers made clear that they view him as a victim of prosecutorial misconduct, amplifying right-wing theories about a so-called deep state of government bureaucrats working to undermine President Trump. The defense lawyers accused prosecutors of engaging in “pernicious” conduct in Mr. Flynn’s case, saying they had been “manipulating or controlling the press to their advantage to extort that plea.”

Mr. Flynn’s abrupt change of course has heightened speculation that he could be making a bid for a pardon by playing up accusations of government corruption that the president has also embraced. A former personal lawyer for Mr. Trump broached the prospect of a pardon with a previous lawyer for Mr. Flynn two years ago as the special counsel was closing in on charging him, raising questions about whether the president’s lawyer was trying to influence Mr. Flynn’s decision to cooperate with the special counsel.

Prosecutors had previously recommended a punishment of probation without prison time for Mr. Flynn, but the judge could decide to sentence him to prison if he believes that Mr. Flynn lacked contrition and failed to live up to his obligations. Judge Sullivan had said he was disgusted that Mr. Flynn illegally lied to F.B.I. agents questioning him in January 2017 in the Russia investigation and did so in the White House.

“This is a very serious offense,” Judge Sullivan said at a December hearing. “A high-ranking senior official of the government making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation while on the physical premises of the White House.”

In a separate joint filing submitted to the judge on Friday, Mr. Flynn’s new lawyers said he had fully cooperated with the government but argued that the case was not ready to be sentenced because they required more time to review all the information they received from his previous lawyers. They asked for an additional 90 days before the next status hearing, but prosecutors said they were ready to schedule one sooner.

Westlake Legal Group mueller-report-document-promo-1555353284901-articleLarge-v9 Michael Flynn’s Lawyers Escalate Attacks on Prosecutors United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Sullivan, Emmet G Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Justice Department Flynn, Michael T

Read the Mueller Report: Searchable Document and Index

The findings from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, are now available to the public. The redacted report details his two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Judge Sullivan agreed to hold a hearing on Sept. 10, apparently dismissing the arguments of Mr. Flynn’s lawyers. After Judge Sullivan’s decision to move forward, Mr. Flynn’s lawyers fired their latest salvo at prosecutors.

Mr. Flynn hired his new lawyers in June, including Sidney Powell, who has repeatedly attacked the special counsel’s prosecutors in appearances on Fox News. A day before submitting the latest court filings, Ms. Powell retweeted a message that both accused F.B.I. officials of entrapping Mr. Flynn and tried to raise money for his defense fund.

Ms. Powell told the judge, as she had earlier, that she also requires a security clearance and access to classified material related to Mr. Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, in the month after Mr. Trump’s election. The lies Mr. Flynn told to F.B.I. agents came in response to questions about whether he and Mr. Kislyak discussed sanctions that the departing Obama administration had just imposed on Russia.

“We must have access to that information to represent our client consistently with his constitutional rights and our ethical obligations,” Mr. Flynn’s lawyers wrote.

The classified transcripts of the calls make clear that the two men discussed sanctions at length and that Mr. Flynn was highly unlikely to have forgotten those details when questioned by the F.B.I., several former United States officials familiar with the documents have said. It was clear, the officials said, that sanctions were the only thing Mr. Flynn wanted to talk about with Mr. Kislyak.

Mr. Flynn’s lawyers also suggested in the filing that the government had exculpatory material, but it is not clear if they consider the transcripts to be that material. Some conservatives have embraced a theory that Mr. Flynn’s nonchalance in the F.B.I. interview, which agents documented because it seemed at odds with how blatantly he was lying, was exonerating.

In court papers, Mr. Flynn’s lawyers asked the judge to compel the production of potentially exculpatory information.

His lawyers also compared the prosecution of Mr. Flynn to the trial of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska in an apparent bid to raise the sympathies of Judge Sullivan, who presided over it and overturned Mr. Stevens’s conviction because prosecutors withheld evidence. Judge Sullivan also named a special prosecutor to investigate whether the government’s lawyers had committed misconduct.

Westlake Legal Group mueller-report-citations-promo-1555718437298-articleLarge-v3 Michael Flynn’s Lawyers Escalate Attacks on Prosecutors United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Sullivan, Emmet G Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Justice Department Flynn, Michael T

See Which Witnesses the Mueller Report Relied on Most

A partially redacted report of the special counsel’s findings released on April 18 cited interviews with 43 individuals at least 10 times.

Mr. Flynn’s lawyers said prosecutors are in “possession of evidence favorable to the defense, but they have steadfastly refused to produce the actual evidence” as well as “information specifically exonerating Mr. Flynn.”

Mr. Flynn’s lawyers also laid out a constellation of theories that have taken hold among Mr. Trump’s allies as signs of corruption among law enforcement and intelligence officials. The lawyers suggested without evidence that the government used an F.B.I. informant who had done work for the Pentagon to smear their client as an “agent of Russia.”

They also cited possible abuses of electronic communications intercepted by the National Security Agency, and they tied prosecutors and a senior F.B.I. agent on the case to Bruce Ohr, a senior Justice Department official whom Mr. Trump and his allies have targeted over his minor role in the Russia investigation. Mr. Ohr played no part in the prosecution of Mr. Flynn.

In their terse response to Mr. Flynn’s defense lawyers, prosecutors said in a filing that Mr. Flynn’s cooperation was over and dismissed requests for more information.

Prosecutors added that they are “not aware of any issues that require the court’s resolution prior to sentencing,” and “the government is not aware of any classified information that requires disclosures to the defendant or his counsel.”

Judge Sullivan already rebuked Mr. Flynn for suggesting in earlier court papers that the F.B.I. had tricked him into lying to the agents who questioned him. The judge then delayed Mr. Flynn’s sentencing last December so he could testify for the government against a former business partner, Bijan Kian, to maximize the help that Mr. Flynn was providing to prosecutors.

But Mr. Flynn changed his story on the eve of Mr. Kian’s trial on charges of violating foreign lobbying laws. Mr. Flynn had previously admitted that he too lied on foreign lobbying disclosure forms submitted to the Justice Department but then, in an unusual turn of events, blamed his former lawyers for filing inaccurate forms without his knowledge.

Prosecutors declined to use Mr. Flynn as a witness in the trial of Mr. Kian, who was convicted in July, prompting questions about how Judge Sullivan would determine whether Mr. Flynn had fulfilled his obligations to help the government in exchange for a more lenient sentence.

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Brexit Watch: Why The Move To Suspend U.K. Parliament Matters

Westlake Legal Group ap_19241256410504-8db2fa1eaa76be19221c1ebac0009acb3a53edc1-s1100-c15 Brexit Watch: Why The Move To Suspend U.K. Parliament Matters

The Union flag flies above Britain’s House of Lords, the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, in London, Thursday. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson maneuvered Wednesday to give his political opponents less time to block a no-deal Brexit split from Europe before the Oct. 31 withdrawal deadline, winning Queen Elizabeth II’s approval to suspend Parliament. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP hide caption

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Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Brexit Watch: Why The Move To Suspend U.K. Parliament Matters

The Union flag flies above Britain’s House of Lords, the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, in London, Thursday. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson maneuvered Wednesday to give his political opponents less time to block a no-deal Brexit split from Europe before the Oct. 31 withdrawal deadline, winning Queen Elizabeth II’s approval to suspend Parliament.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Even by the standards of the Brexit era, this has been an extraordinarily turbulent week for the United Kingdom.

Queen Elizabeth II agreed to grant Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s request to suspend Parliament, just as legislators are rising to block his threat to crash the country out of the European Union.

A legislative recess may sound ho-hum, but the news was a shock. It appeared to set Britain up to quit the EU on Oct. 31 without first agreeing on terms of the divorce — a “no-deal Brexit,” which analysts say would damage the economies of the U.K. and the EU.

Here’s a look at what happened, why it matters and what comes next.

What did Boris Johnson do?

He got the queen to agree to suspend Parliament on or soon after Sept. 9 until Oct. 14. That gives lawmakers considerably less time to debate and/or try to stop a no-deal Brexit. Parliament is on record as opposing the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU without an agreement.

The queen is the U.K.’s nonpolitical head of state and Prime Minister Johnson is the head of government. It is normal for Parliament to take a break before a new government presents its agenda, so many British analysts believe Elizabeth could not reasonably refuse the request. But this suspension is unusually long and it is extraordinary given that Brexit, the biggest and most divisive issue in Britain in decades, is just around the corner.

What’s the big deal?

Britons are struggling to recall any previous prime minister in modern times doing something like this: seeming to deliberately squeeze Parliament to prevent it from expressing its democratic will. Johnson says the suspension just gives him room to work on the agenda for his new government and there will be ample time to discuss Brexit. Most analysts are deeply skeptical.

What has been the response?

Voters who want the U.K. to stay in the EU — Remainers — are furious and there was a sizeable street protest outside Parliament on Wednesday when Johnson announced his move. Momentum, the grassroots group set up to support Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, and trade unions are calling for protests on Saturday in Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Sheffield and York, and another in London on Tuesday when Parliament returns.

John Bercow, speaker of the House of Commons, called the suspension of Parliament a “constitutional outrage.” Labour legislators call it a “coup.” Newspaper editorials have been withering. The Financial Times called the decision “an affront to democracy.” “Boris Johnson has detonated a bomb under the constitutional apparatus of the United Kingdom,” the paper said in an editorial on Wednesday. “Mr. Johnson may not be a tyrant, but he has set a dangerous precedent.”

The Telegraph, which supports Brexit and where Johnson writes a column, said the prime minister was fighting fire with fire. “The real outrage in this saga is not the suspension of Parliament,” the editors wrote, “but the behaviour of parliamentary Remainers.” The paper insists those against Brexit are devoted to stopping it and defying the will of voters who approved the decision in a 2016 referendum.

More than 1.6 million people have signed a government website petition opposing Johnson’s suspension of Parliament. The petition was started by a pro-EU citizen earlier this month, but is expected to have little political effect.

Responses in the EU have been very negative, as expected.

“What Johnson is creating here is the kind of political madhouse befitting a military dictatorship,” wrote Barbara Wesel, senior European correspondent at Germany’s DW. “It is anti-democratic and matches the havoc wreaked by US President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.”

Writing in a tweet, Guy Verhofstadt, a former prime minister of Belgium who is the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, said, “Suppressing debate on profound choices is unlikely to help deliver a stable future EU-UK relationship.”

What are opponents of a no-deal Brexit going to do?

Pro-Remain parliamentarians are expected to try to pass legislation that would block a no-deal Brexit, forcing Johnson to return to Brussels and ask for yet another extension (the original withdrawal was due March 29). This is not easily done in the British parliamentary system where the prime minister’s administration controls the legislative agenda and time is of the essence. No-deal opponents are likely to find an ally, though, in Speaker Bercow, who is a passionate supporter of parliamentary sovereignty and was infuriated by Johnson’s move.

What’s the counter-argument to the outrage?

Proponents argue that the Brexit process has dragged out for more than three years and it is time to leave one way or the other. “The people want some action,” Sue Lamb, a pro-Brexit voter who grows flowers in Lincolnshire, in the English Midlands, told NPR. “So if this is what it takes to actually make something happen then so be it.” Brexiteers also say that pro-EU lawmakers in the U.K. are bent on sabotaging the withdrawal any way they can and that they are the ones who are truly anti-democratic.

What’s the timetable now?

Sept. 3: Parliament returns from summer recess.

Sept. 4: The prime minister holds a weekly questions session in the House of Commons, which could be explosive.

As early as Sept. 9 or as late as Sept. 12: Parliament will shut down.

Sept. 21-25: The Labour Party holds its annual convention in Brighton.

Sept. 29 to Oct. 2: The Conservative Party holds its convention in Manchester.

Oct. 14: Parliament returns and Johnson rolls out his government’s agenda in what is known as the Queen’s Speech.

Oct. 31: The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the EU. This is written into U.K. law, so it does not require an affirmative vote from Parliament.

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US official confirms that Trump tweeted out a picture from a classified intelligence briefing

Westlake Legal Group uv9fo7ML-dK0nvz37A5ZG9ZlPxjuyvty0y9uqQ2wjic US official confirms that Trump tweeted out a picture from a classified intelligence briefing r/politics

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Geraldo Rivera: James Comey ‘attempted a coup’ against Trump in true ‘swamp’ fashion

Westlake Legal Group James-Comey Geraldo Rivera: James Comey 'attempted a coup' against Trump in true 'swamp' fashion fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 7fb0b9b7-0075-597f-abeb-a1390a21208c

Former FBI Director James Comey hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, then tried to remove President Trump from office in an executive branch “coup,” according to Geraldo Rivera.

“What I want people to understand is that this sanctimonious person, this person who almost brought down Hillary Clinton — and I think really did a job on her candidacy and should be loathed by the Democrats as much as he is loathed by the Republicans — he and a small cabal of people at the FBI attempted a coup,” Rivera claimed Friday on “Fox & Friends.”

“I know that’s an incendiary word.”

COMEY’S VIOLATIONS: READ DOJ WATCHDOG’S LIST OF ALL THE TIMES EX-FBI BOSS BROKE THE RULES

Rivera, Fox News’ correspondent-at-large, added Comey’s intended goal appeared to be the invocation of the 25th Amendment.

“He attempted to cripple the president-elect and the president of the United States, and ultimately his goal was to replace the president via the 25th Amendment — this is the biggest stuff — when you talk about history books that’s what this was really all about,” he said.

More from Media

“This was the swamp responding to an elected official who is obviously untraditional — and going after him in a way that they wanted to… get him out of office and be replaced by Vice President Pence or whomsoever.”

The 25th Amendment, adopted in the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, determines the transfer of presidential duties when a commander-in-chief is deemed incapacitated.

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Section 4 of the amendment allows for the vice president and a “majority” of cabinet officers or another congressionally-sanctioned group to inform the Congress the president is unable to carry on his duties. A vote of two-thirds of both houses would then devolve the duties to the vice president.

After Trump fired Comey, the dismissed director’s then-deputy Andrew McCabe claimed there were discussions held between officials to consider invoking the 25th Amendment.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., suggested the measure be taken during a campaign event in 2017 and earlier this week, former White House communications director turned Trump critic Anthony Scaramucci called on aides to consider removing the president by the same method.

Westlake Legal Group James-Comey Geraldo Rivera: James Comey 'attempted a coup' against Trump in true 'swamp' fashion fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 7fb0b9b7-0075-597f-abeb-a1390a21208c   Westlake Legal Group James-Comey Geraldo Rivera: James Comey 'attempted a coup' against Trump in true 'swamp' fashion fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 7fb0b9b7-0075-597f-abeb-a1390a21208c

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Sacklers vs. States: Settlement Talks Stumble Over Foreign Business

Purdue Pharma’s negotiations to settle thousands of lawsuits over the company’s role in the opioids crisis have turned into a standoff between members of the Sackler family, who own the company, and a group of state attorneys general over how much the family should pay and whether it can continue selling drugs abroad.

The Sacklers are deep in negotiations that, if finalized, would force them to give up ownership of Purdue, the company widely blamed for the onset of the opioid epidemic with its aggressive marketing of the prescription painkiller OxyContin. But they want to keep selling OxyContin and other drugs abroad for as many as seven more years, through another company they own, Mundipharma, based in Cambridge, England.

Some attorneys general, particularly in wealthier states like New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut, are resisting that and other issues related to the foreign business.

“Connecticut demands that the Sacklers and Purdue management be forced completely out of the opioid business, domestically and internationally, and that they never be allowed to return,” said Attorney General William Tong of Connecticut.

Lawyers representing more than 2,000 local governments suing Purdue in federal court have some objections of their own, but are more hopeful that a deal can be reached, according to several people familiar with the negotiations.

A big issue is how much cash the Sacklers would have to pay to settle. In the talks, which have gone on for more than a year, all plaintiffs — cities, counties and tribes as well as states — originally wanted $6 billion. The Sacklers are now offering to pay $3 billion over seven years, plus an additional $1.5 billion, but with significant contingencies. The second payment would depend on the eventual sale of Mundipharma, netting at least $4.5 billion, after taxes, which is not a certainty. The family is aiming to have that sale finance their entire payout.

Some state attorneys general want the $4.5 billion in cash upfront instead and a more expeditious sale of Mundipharma, but at a negotiating session last week in Cleveland, representatives for the Sacklers rejected that, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

Purdue and representatives of the Sackler family declined requests for comment. In a statement earlier this week, Purdue said that “it sees little good coming from years of wasteful litigation and appeals,” adding that the company “believes a constructive global resolution is the best path forward, and the company is actively working with the state attorneys general and other plaintiffs to achieve this outcome.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 30PURDUE-OPIOIDS4-articleLarge Sacklers vs. States: Settlement Talks Stumble Over Foreign Business your-feed-healthcare Suits and Litigation (Civil) States (US) Sackler family Purdue Pharma Pain-Relieving Drugs OxyContin (Drug) Opioids and Opiates Local government Drugs (Pharmaceuticals) Bankruptcies Attorneys General

Mundipharma, the global pharmaceutical company owned by the Sackler family, based in Cambridge, England.CreditGeography Photos/Universal Images Group, via Getty Images

The potential settlement deal would have the Sacklers giving up ownership of Purdue and putting it into bankruptcy. A variety of scenarios could then ensue, including its outright liquidation, with the proceeds going to the litigants, or a restructuring of Purdue into a trust with profits going toward paying additional compensation and providing free access to addiction treatment drugs.

Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey, left, with Wendy Werbiskis, whose son died of an overdose, outside a Boston courthouse earlier this month.CreditCharles Krupa/Associated Press

The negotiations are taking place under the prodding of Judge Dan A. Polster of Federal District Court in Cleveland who is overseeing multi-district litigation involving claims filed by cities, counties, tribes and others. The states, which have cases against the opioid industry pending in their own state courts, are not parties to that litigation. But they were brought into the process at the judge’s urging to settle all claims against Purdue and other manufacturers, distributors and retailers of opioids. The settlement is intended to help compensate state and local governments for medical treatment, law enforcement and emergency costs stemming from addiction and overdoses that have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths in the past two decades.

The talks continue to be “fluid,” as several people familiar with the negotiations characterized them, and the parties are next expected to report to Judge Polster on Wednesday.

News of the possible settlement with the Sacklers and Purdue leaked Wednesday and set off a flurry of discussions, as lawyers jostled for leverage.

All of this is taking place under the threat of a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring by Purdue that, in the absence of a settlement, could leave the states, cities and counties fighting it out for years with creditors of the drug company.

Richard Sackler, former chairman and president of Purdue Pharma, in a screengrab taken from a 2015 video deposition.CreditKentucky Attorney General’s Office

Almost every state has filed a lawsuit against Purdue and other opioid manufacturers, with many also naming distributors and retailers. But the states’ priorities differ. States like New York and Massachusetts, who were among the first to name individual Sacklers in their lawsuits, have the staff and financing to conduct their own investigations, and are in a stronger position to hold out. But some states, whose opioid-related budgets are faltering, seem more willing to strike a deal sooner, according to several people familiar with the negotiations.

The negotiations intensified a week ago at the meeting in Cleveland, which some representatives of the Sackler family attended, along with lawyers representing the federal cases as well as about a dozen states, including New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Florida and Tennessee.

Elizabeth Burch, a professor at the University of Georgia School of Law who studies complex litigation, said the opioid defendants are fighting legal battles on multiple fronts. That constellation of legal activity may prompt some state attorneys general to balk at entering a global settlement, believing they can individually cut a better deal.

Adding kindling to the fire, Attorney General Dave Yost of Ohio on Friday filed a motion with a federal appeals court, arguing that the consolidated local cases before Judge Polster have “hampered” the ability of his office and other states to negotiate settlements with opioid industry defendants.

Mr. Yost contends states are in a better position to litigate claims and wants to block the start of a bellwether trial in October against opioid manufacturers, distributors and retailers, which is meant to test the strength of local government claims. The looming trial, which currently names Purdue among the defendants, is another factor goading the current talks.

Dogging negotiations with the Sacklers are questions about the family’s fortune and how much money they should pay as part of any settlement.

The Sackler family’s net worth has been estimated by Bloomberg at $13 billion, so paying $3 billion to settle their claims would still leave them with a substantial fortune. And even so, some investigators believe they are worth much more. Earlier this month, the office of the New York State attorney general, Letitia James, sent subpoenas to 33 financial institutions and investment advisers tied to the Sackler family as they seek to trace billions of dollars that prosecutors believe the family took out of Purdue. But the case is unlikely to be resolved soon, leaving the extent of their fortune a mystery.

New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, has subpoenaed more than 30  financial institutions and advisers to trace the Sackler family’s wealth.CreditMary Altaffer/Associated Press

Purdue has been under scrutiny for years. Back in 2007, the company and three of its executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges that they misled regulators, doctors and patients about the risk of OxyContin addiction and the potential for abuse.

Many observers agree that the Sackler family, which has controlled Purdue, needs to give up their whole network of pharmaceutical companies, not just Purdue.

“They can’t be in this anymore, period,” said Keith Humphreys, a professor at Stanford University and former drug policy adviser to President Obama, adding, “You have to go to the root, which is the family.”

Katie Thomas contributed reporting.

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Tensions Flare Between Trump and Fox News

Westlake Legal Group 30FOXTRUMP-01-facebookJumbo Tensions Flare Between Trump and Fox News Wallace, Chris (1947- ) Trump, Donald J News and News Media Hume, Brit Hinojosa, Xochitl Fox News Channel Cavuto, Neil

Tensions between the White House and Fox News ratcheted up this week after President Trump declared that the network was letting his supporters down and two on-air personalities said they “don’t work” for him.

The back-and-forth began Wednesday when Mr. Trump took to Twitter to rebuke the network for airing an interview with Xochitl Hinojosa, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee.

Mr. Trump said Ms. Hinojosa was “heavily promoting” Democratic candidates with “zero pushback” from the anchor, Sandra Smith.

“They should go all the way LEFT and I will still find a way to Win – That’s what I do, Win,” he wrote.

Referring to the network as “the new Fox News,” he continued by saying the network “is letting millions of GREAT people down!”

“We have to start looking for a new News Outlet,” he added. “Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”

This was not the first time that Mr. Trump had expressed frustration with Fox News, but it was eye-opening. The president has good relationships with many of Fox’s on-air personalities, including the hosts of “Fox & Friends,” Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro and Laura Ingraham. His former spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, signed on as a Fox News contributor last week.

But whether this is a sign of genuine deterioration in relations between the president and his preferred cable channel or a short-lived dust-up will be closely watched by news executives and throughout the Beltway.

On Thursday, two on-air personalities responded to Mr. Trump’s tweets.

Neil Cavuto, an anchor for Fox News and Fox Business Network who has been critical of Mr. Trump in the past, said on the air: “Mr. President, we don’t work for you. I don’t work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you. Just report on you — to call balls and strikes on you. My job, Mr. President — our job here — is to keep score, not settle scores.”

“You’re entitled to your point of view, Mr. President,” he continued. “But you’re not entitled to your own set of facts.”

Brit Hume, a senior political analyst for Fox News, echoed Mr. Cavuto’s comments and tweeted, “Fox News isn’t supposed to work for you.”

“We have tried to be fair to him in our news coverage,” Mr. Hume said in another tweet responding to someone who had asked why Mr. Trump thought Fox worked for him. “Best example: we didn’t fall for the Russia conspiracy theory that ended in such a fiasco for other outlets. Plus, some of our opinion hosts support Trump. (Others don’t.)”

Fox News declined to comment for this article. The White House declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s complaints about Fox News or Mr. Cavuto’s retort, preferring to leave the sparring to the president himself.

While in office, Mr. Trump has reserved his most cantankerous barbs for other news outlets. This week alone, he has attacked The New York Times, The Washington Post, Axios and NBC.

But the president has increased his criticism of Fox News in recent months. On Sunday, he said the network was “not what it used to be” when he expressed unhappiness with a poll. He has also attacked the Fox News contributor Donna Brazile, the anchors Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace, and the Fox analyst Juan Williams.

Early this month, Mr. Trump said that “watching Fake News CNN” was better than watching Mr. Smith’s show and that “whenever possible” he turned to the One America News Network. When Mr. Wallace interviewed the Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg in May, Mr. Trump said Fox News was “moving more and more to the losing side.”

By Friday afternoon, it appeared that Mr. Trump had other targets on his mind.

Over the course of two hours, he had tweeted four videos on the Justice Department’s critical inspector general report regarding the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey. All four clips featured guests criticizing Mr. Comey, and all four clips were from Fox News.

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Hurricane Dorian Threatens 10 Million In Florida

MIAMI (AP) — An increasingly alarming Hurricane Dorian menaced a corridor of some 10 million people — and put Walt Disney World and President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in the crosshairs — as it steamed toward Florida on Friday with the potential to become the most powerful storm to hit the state’s east coast in nearly 30 years.

Getting scarier with seemingly every update from forecasters, Dorian strengthened into an “extremely dangerous” Category 3 in the afternoon and was expected to become a potentially catastrophic Category 4 with winds of almost 140 mph (225 kph) before blowing ashore late Monday or early Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center’s projected track showed Dorian hitting around Palm Beach County, where Mar-a-Lago is situated, then moving inland over the Orlando area. But because of the difficulty of predicting a storm’s course this far out, forecasters cautioned that practically all of Florida, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, could be in harm’s way.

They warned, too, that Dorian was moving more slowly, which could subject the state to a prolonged and destructive pummeling from wind, storm surge and heavy rain.

“This is big and is growing and it still has some time to get worse,” Julio Vasquez said at a Miami fast-food joint next to a gas station that had run out of fuel. “No one knows what can really happen. This is serious.”

Westlake Legal Group 5d6992a23b00004d00cabe64 Hurricane Dorian Threatens 10 Million In Florida

Handout via Getty Images In this NOAA GOES-East satellite image, Hurricane Dorian, now a Cat. 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, gains strength as it tracks towards the Florida coast taken at 13:40Z August 30, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean. According to the National Hurricane Center Dorian is predicted to hit Florida as a Category 4 storm over the Labor Day weekend. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

Trump declared a state of emergency in Florida and authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster-relief efforts.

As Dorian closed in, it played havoc with people’s Labor Day weekend plans. Major airlines began allowing travelers to change their reservations without a fee. The big cruise lines began rerouting their ships. Disney World and the other resorts in Orlando found themselves in the storm’s projected path.

Jessica Armesto and her 1-year-old daughter, Mila, had planned to have breakfast with Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy at Disney World. Instead, Armesto decided to take shelter at her mother’s hurricane-resistant house in Miami with its kitchen full of nonperishable foods.

“It felt like it was better to be safe than sorry, so we canceled our plans,” she said.

Still, with Dorian days away and its track uncertain, Disney and other major resorts held off announcing any closings, and Florida authorities ordered no immediate mass evacuations.

“Sometimes if you evacuate too soon, you may evacuate into the path of the storm if it changes,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

Homeowners and businesses rushed to cover their windows with plywood. Supermarkets ran out of bottled water, and long lines formed at gas stations, with fuel shortages reported in places. The governor said the Florida Highway Patrol would begin escorting fuel trucks to help them get past the lines of waiting motorists and replenish gas stations.

At a Publix supermarket in Cocoa Beach, Ed Ciecirski of the customer service department said the pharmacy was extra busy with people rushing to fill prescriptions. The grocery was rationing bottled water and had run out of dry ice.

“It’s hairy,” he said.

As of 2 p.m. EDT, Dorian was centered about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach with winds of 115 mph (185 kph) and was moving northwest at a slowed-down 10 mph (17 kph).

Dorian could prove to be the strongest hurricane to hit Florida’s Atlantic Coast since Andrew, a Category 5 that obliterated thousands of homes south of Miami with winds topping 165 mph (266 kph) in 1992.

An estimated 10 million people live in the 13 Florida counties with the highest likelihood of seeing hurricane-force winds from Dorian by Wednesday morning. After passing through Florida, it is expected to rake the Southeast coast through the Carolinas.

Coastal areas could get 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rain, with 18 inches (46 centimeters) in some places, triggering life-threatening flash floods, the hurricane center said. FEMA official Jeff Byard said Dorian is likely to “create a lot of havoc” for roads, power and other infrastructure.

Also imperiled were the Bahamas , where canned food and bottled water were disappearing quickly and the sound of hammering echoed across the islands as people boarded up their homes. Dorian was expected to hit by Sunday with the potential for life-threatening storm surge that could raise water levels 15 feet above normal.

“Do not be foolish and try to brave out this hurricane,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said. “The price you may pay for not evacuating is your life.”

Westlake Legal Group 5d699348250000560000de06 Hurricane Dorian Threatens 10 Million In Florida

ASSOCIATED PRESS Shoppers prepare ahead of Hurricane Dorian at The Home Depot on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Florida’s governor urged nursing homes to take precautions to prevent tragedies like the one during Hurricane Irma two years ago, when the storm knocked out the air conditioning at a facility in Hollywood and 12 patients died in the sweltering heat. Four employees of the home were charged with manslaughter earlier this week.

DeSantis said the timely message from those arrests is: “It’s your responsibility to make sure you have a plan in place to protect those folks.”

At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, NASA moved a 380-foot-high mobile launch platform to the safety of the colossal Vehicle Assembly Building, built to withstand 125 mph (200 kph) wind. The launcher is for the mega rocket that NASA is developing to take astronauts to the moon.

The hurricane season typically peaks between mid-August and late October. One of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S. was on Labor Day 1935. The unnamed Category 5 hurricane crashed ashore along Florida’s Gulf Coast on Sept. 2. It was blamed for over 400 deaths.

Associated Press writers Seth Borenstein and Michael Balsamo in Washington; Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Marcia Dunn in Cape Canaveral, Florida; Freida Frisaro and Marcus Lim in Miami; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; and Bobby Caina Calvan in Tallahassee, Florida, contributed to this report.

For AP’s complete coverage of the hurricane: https://apnews.com/Hurricanes

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Tyler Skaggs' toxicology report shows late Angels pitcher had fentanyl, oxycodone, alcohol in his system at time of death

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Tyler Skaggs' toxicology report shows late Angels pitcher had fentanyl, oxycodone, alcohol in his system at time of death

Tyler Skaggs’ toxicology report showed the late Los Angeles Angels pitcher having fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system at the time of his death. USA TODAY

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs had opioids and alcohol in his system when he died in a hotel room last month, according to a toxicology report released by the Tarrant County (Texas) Medical Examiner’s Office and obtained by USA TODAY Sports on Friday.

Skaggs had both fentanyl and oxycodone in his system at the time of his death, according to the report. He was found on his bed in a Texas hotel room without any signs of trauma, and the death has been ruled an accident. He was 27.

The official cause of death was listed as “mixed ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents.”

In a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports and other media outlets, the Skaggs family said it plans to investigate how Skaggs obtained the opioids that led to his death — and indicated that “it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels.” The family added that it has hired attorney Rusty Hardin to assist with those efforts. 

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Tyler Skaggs' toxicology report shows late Angels pitcher had fentanyl, oxycodone, alcohol in his system at time of death

USA TODAY Sports’ Gabe Lacques reflects on the life of Tyler Skaggs and the impression that he left on the baseball world. USA TODAY

“We are heartbroken to learn that the passing of our beloved Tyler was the result of a combination of dangerous drugs and alcohol,” the family said in the statement. “That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much.”

The Angels released a statement following today’s autopsy report: “Tyler was and always will be a beloved member of the Angels Family and we are deeply saddened to learn what caused this tragic death. Angels Baseball has provided our full cooperation and assistance to the Southlake Police as they conduct their investigation.”

A 6-foot-4 lefty who made 96 starts in his major-league career, Skaggs was found unresponsive by police on July 1, hours before the Angels were set to face the Texas Rangers. Major League Baseball subsequently postponed the game, as the news of Skaggs’ death sent ripples throughout the baseball community.

Fentanyl is an FDA-approved  pain reliever that, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. According to data released by the National Institute of Health, more than 28,000 people died as a result of fentanyl overdose in 2017, the sharpest increase among more than 70,000 overdose deaths.  

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