web analytics



Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.


Call For Free 15/M Consultation



Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 246)

Girlfriend of missing Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos’ estranged husband turns herself into police

The girlfriend of the Connecticut man whose estranged wife vanished months ago turned herself in to police on Thursday, just a day after the man was arrested and charged with an additional count of tampering with or fabricating evidence related to the disappearance of his wife, Jennifer Dulos.

Connecticut State Police confirmed to Fox News that the girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, will face additional charges in the missing woman case, but did not specify what they were.

Fotis Dulos has maintained his innocence regarding his estranged wife’s disappearance, despite newly released evidence and police interviews in which Troconis allegedly admitted “she had not been truthful” when they had questioned her previously.


“Michelle is presumed innocent and she should be,” said her attorney, Andrew Bowman, on Thursday. “We’re letting the judgment in this case rest in the jury’s hands.”

Police said Fotis Dulos apparently had been “lying in wait” at his wife’s home, according to the 43-page warrant application for Dulos obtained by Fox News on Wednesday. Police claimed the crime and cleanup occurred between 8:05 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. May 24, the day she vanished.

Dulos, after he was released on $500,000 bond Wednesday, told reporters, “It’s an exhausting fight. I love my children.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-d2995658444a47739e7db57288ffde0d Girlfriend of missing Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos' estranged husband turns herself into police Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/connecticut fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/missing-persons fox news fnc/us fnc article 4960d3ab-6396-50f3-bc59-5b187e4cbeff

Fotis Dulos was charged with an additional count of tampering with or fabricating evidence related to the disappearance of his wife, Jennifer Dulos. (New Canaan Police Department via AP)


Troconis allegedly told police in an Aug. 13 interview that she had not seen Dulos on the morning of May 24, contradicting prior statements, and revealed that she was with Fotis Dulos when he cleaned “spilled coffee” out of a truck he was driving that morning. She admitted the “stained towel he had been using to clean the truck” did not smell like coffee at all, according to the arrest warrant for Dulos.

Troconis allegedly told police she believed he had his truck washed because the body of his wife was “at some point” in there.

“Our hearts go out to Ms. Troconis. We are confident that she will, in the end, tell the truth at trial,” Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, told Fox News in a statement Wednesday. “The state is a terrifying enemy, but a clean conscience is a powerful ally.”

Pattis said his client would plead not guilty to new charges against him when he’s scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 12.

Dulos and Troconis were first arrested in early June and pleaded not guilty to evidence-tampering and hindering prosecution. They were released on bail. Both have denied any involvement in the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.


Jennifer Dulos’ body has yet to be found over three months after she dropped her kids off at school in New Cannan, never to be heard from again. Fotis and Jennifer Dulos were in the midst of a bitter divorce and custody battle over their five children — three boys and two girls ranging in ages from 8 to 13.

In the wake of her disappearance, a judge granted Jennifer’s mother, Gloria Farber, custody of the couple’s children. Fotis Dulos, who was under GPS monitoring, was prohibited from having contact with the kids.

Fox News’ Laura Ingle and Maria Paronich contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Troconis Girlfriend of missing Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos' estranged husband turns herself into police Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/connecticut fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/missing-persons fox news fnc/us fnc article 4960d3ab-6396-50f3-bc59-5b187e4cbeff   Westlake Legal Group Troconis Girlfriend of missing Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos' estranged husband turns herself into police Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/connecticut fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/missing-persons fox news fnc/us fnc article 4960d3ab-6396-50f3-bc59-5b187e4cbeff

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

Varney slams 2020 Dems’ climate change contradictions: ‘Stop ignoring America’s success’

Westlake Legal Group varney Varney slams 2020 Dems' climate change contradictions: 'Stop ignoring America's success' Yael Halon fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc cc9059e6-8635-57e0-ab6d-8291963aab19 article

Fox Business host Stuart Varney applauded U.S. efforts to reduce carbon emissions more than any other major country on his Fox Nation show “My Take,” and he questioned why many 2020 Democrats want to eliminate one process that has made that success possible.

“America did it by switching largely to natural gas,” explained Varney. “How did we get that natural gas? Fracking.”

Fracking is the advanced process of extracting natural resources from deep below the earth by pumping thousands of gallons of water, chemicals, and sand into a deep well at extremely high pressure, creating cracks in methane-bearing shale, and allowing the gas to flow to the surface.  According to Varney, the U.S. currently holds the title of the “King of nat gas fracking,” as emissions from carbon dioxide have been greatly reduced in recent years.


As the 2020 presidential campaigns heat up, candidates have been vocal about their stances on climate change, with many addressing the issue of carbon emissions specifically.  Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders said, “any proposal to avert the climate crisis must include a full fracking ban on public and private lands.”

Varney questioned why Sanders would push to ban a process that has effectively “cut carbon emissions dramatically.”


“He’s at war with all fossil fuels,” said Varney. “Even though natural gas is a fossil fuel has helped America cut carbon emissions dramatically. Now there’s a contradiction. He wants to fight climate change but bans a valuable tool for fighting climate change.”

Sanders wasn’t the only Democratic candidate making news for their climate-control policies, explained Varney, commenting on Joe Biden’s appearance at a climate change town hall on Wednesday where a questioner blamed oil executives for committing “crimes against humanity.”

“Joe failed to push back at all, he just waffled,” said Varney, “It was an ideal opportunity to move away from extremism and he totally dropped the ball.”

According to a June report by BP – measuring global carbon dioxide emissions from the use of oil, gas and coal – the United States reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 41.8 million tons from 2016 to 2017, marking the third consecutive year that Americas’ carbon dioxide emissions fell.

The U.S.’s carbon dioxide reduction is more than double the next closest nation included in the study, and the U.S. reductions are part of a larger, decade-long trend. From 2006 to 2016, BP reports the U.S. slashed its carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 12 percent.

“Add it all up and the Democrats are on a climate change limb. They want radical change. They want to turn the economy upside down but they ignore America’s success as the real king of carbon reduction,” Varney concluded.

To see Stuart Varney’s full commentary on  “My Take”, and for more episodes of his daily commentary, visit Fox Nation and join today.


Fox Nation programs are viewable on-demand and from your mobile device app, but only for Fox Nation subscribers. Go to Fox Nation to start a free trial and watch the extensive library from Tomi Lahren, Pete Hegseth, Abby Hornacek, Laura Ingraham, Ainsley Earhardt, Greg Gutfeld, Judge Andrew Napolitano and many more of your favorite Fox News personalities.

Westlake Legal Group varney Varney slams 2020 Dems' climate change contradictions: 'Stop ignoring America's success' Yael Halon fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc cc9059e6-8635-57e0-ab6d-8291963aab19 article   Westlake Legal Group varney Varney slams 2020 Dems' climate change contradictions: 'Stop ignoring America's success' Yael Halon fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc cc9059e6-8635-57e0-ab6d-8291963aab19 article

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

Hurricane Dorian death toll in the Bahamas jumps to 20 and is expected to 'increase significantly'

NASSAU – As recovery teams make their way to the hardest hit islands in the Bahamas, the death toll from Hurricane Dorian‘s strike on the archipelago has risen to 20.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis says the death toll was expected to rise as storm rescue workers scour islands.

The Bahamian government sent hundreds of police and marines into the stricken islands, along with doctors, nurses and other health care workers. The U.S. Coast Guard, Britain’s Royal Navy and relief organizations including the United Nations and the Red Cross joined the growing effort to rush food and medicine to survivors and lift the most desperate people to safety by helicopter.

“We are seeing bravery and fortitude of Bahamians who endured hours and days of horror,” Minnis said. “Our urgent task will be to provide food, water, shelter and safety and security.”

Stay updated on Hurricane Dorian: Get USA TODAY’s Daily Briefing in your inbox

Dr. Duane Sands, Bahamas’ minister of health, echoed the prime minister’s prediction of more casualties, telling MSNBC on Thursday that the government expects the death toll to “increase significantly.”


Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Track the storm: Where is Hurricane Dorian now? And where is it headed? Here’s the latest storm forecast

Sands also said 80 people with injuries were evacuated from the island of Abaco and five or six from Grand Bahama island. He said injuries ranged from broken bones to head injuries to “maternity-based issues.” Sands said some among the dead had succumbed to their injuries after being evacuated.

Carolinas brace: ‘Hope for the best’: Carolina coastal residents flee as Hurricane Dorian marches toward US

Dorian, with Category-5 winds of 185 mph when it slammed into the island chain Sunday, is the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic basin since 1935. Worse, rescues efforts were hampered as Doran’s forward movement stalled, leaving it to grind in place for hours instead of moving back over open ocean.

How to help: Hurricane Dorian has wreaked havoc on the Bahamas. Here’s how you can help.

As help arrived, survivors described a horrific lashing from Dorian. Donnie Carey, 75, told NBC News that he and his wife had to flee to a friend’s house after a storm surge near 25 feet sent water “bursting in the bottom of the house.”

He said he feared he and wife would drown if they did not leave.

“The roof started to peel off,” Carey said. “It was unbelievable.”

Early reports said 13,000 homes and businesses were destroyed, but the final tally is expected to be much higher.

“It’s total devastation. It’s decimated. Apocalyptic,” said Lia Head-Rigby, who helps run a local hurricane relief group and flew to Abaco island. “It’s not rebuilding something that was there; we have to start again.”

Nassau, about 90 miles south of Abaco, was largely untouched by the storm, but the city is bustling with relief workers from the World Health Organization and USAID, among others, as authorities begin restoring access to Abaco and Marsh Harbor. Helicopter charter companies are booked up for days, and regular ferry service has not yet launched. The Marsh Harbor airport remained closed on Thursday because of damage, authorities said.

The Red Cross on Thursday expected a supply plane to land in Nassau, the staging area for many relief efforts.

“Getting relief to people in need is our No. 1 priority,” Jenelle Eli of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to get aid to hard-to-reach places in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Damaged roads and telecommunications infrastructure present challenges, but Red Cross teams are working around the clock to respond to this devastating storm.”

Sandra Cooke, co-founder of Restoration Abco, which has partnered with Project Hope in the Bahamas, warned of desperate measures as the lack of supplies turned critical, CBS News reported. “The looting has begun, and these people are armed,” Cooke said. “They’re going after homes that are still intact that have generators, maybe food. It’s bad.”

An 11-person team flew over some of the worst-affected parts of Abaco in a Coast Guard HC-144 plane. Their primary goal, the Hurricane Dorian Response Management Team said, is to assess damage as they define their further relief response.

Total insured and uninsured property losses in the Bahamas, not including infrastructure and autos, could hit $7 billion, according to an estimate from the catastrophe modelers Karen Clark & Co., the Associated Press reports.

The U.S. Coast Guard, providing assistance with air operations based out of Andros Island, Bahamas, also sent in multiple cutters and 17 shallow-water rescue boat teams.


Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/09/05/dorian-bahamas-death-toll-jumps-20-island-chain/2218412001/

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

In Bahamas, a Blind Father Wades to Safety, His Disabled Son on His Shoulders

NASSAU, Bahamas — The roof had blown clean off. Outside, the ocean surged, swallowing the land. Brent Lowe knew he had to escape — and take his 24-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy and can’t walk, with him.

But Mr. Lowe had another problem. He’s blind.

So he put his grown son on his shoulders, then stepped off his porch, he said. The swirling current outside came up to his chin.

“It was scary, so scary,” said Mr. Lowe, 49.

Clutching neighbors, he said he felt his way to the closest home still standing. It was five minutes — an eternity — away.

Stories of unlikely survival have slowly emerged in the days since Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, pummeling the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco for days before moving toward the Atlantic Seaboard.

While the damage has been visible from above, the full human toll is still far from certain, with 23 deaths confirmed so far and the authorities warning that the real number may be much higher.

The death count “could be staggering,” Dr. Duane Sands, the minister of health, said on Thursday.

Some neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble, almost entirely flattened by the storm. In others, 95 percent of homes have been damaged or destroyed.

Thousands of people are now homeless, taking refuge in gymnasiums or churches, and the authorities are bracing for an influx of bodies as the extent of the destruction becomes clear.

“We are embalming bodies so that we have more capacity as new bodies are brought in,” Dr. Sands said. “We need to get coolers into Abaco and Grand Bahama, because we believe that we may not have the capacity to store the bodies.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160223175_30766c14-da11-4b49-b5be-fcce9b3fb395-articleLarge In Bahamas, a Blind Father Wades to Safety, His Disabled Son on His Shoulders Hurricane Dorian (2019) Disabilities Bahama Islands

Awaiting evacuation in Treasure Cay.CreditDaniele Volpe for The New York Times

Sandra Cooke, a resident of Nassau, the capital, said her sister-in-law had been trapped under a collapsed roof in the Abaco Islands.

At first, her brother couldn’t find his wife — then the family dog detected her in the rubble. When there was a break in the storm, neighbors helped free her.

“She was trapped under the roof for 17 hours,” said Ms. Cooke. She hired a private helicopter service to bring the rescued woman to Nassau, she said.

When Hurricane Dorian first made landfall on Sunday, Mr. Lowe recalled, all of its fury seemed to bear down on him.

The storm raging outside was one of the most powerful ever to sweep through the Atlantic. Its eye was approaching and the group of eight people inside Mr. Lowe’s cement house was particularly vulnerable.

In addition to Mr. Lowe and his disabled son, neighbors whose homes had already been destroyed were also sheltering there. Among them were two children.

As the storm howled around them, Mr. Lowe said, the roof began to lift off, then slap back down. Abaco withstood sustained winds of up to 185 miles per hour that day, with gusts that reached 220 miles per hour. The group sought safety in the bathroom, where they huddled together and prayed, hoping for relief. Mr. Lowe’s son was nestled inside the bathtub, he said.

That’s when the roof flew away.

Exposed to the elements, each person had to step out into the storm. They clung to each other and set out to find refuge.

“I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life,” said Mr. Lowe, who is no stranger to hurricanes but said he could never have imagined the terror of that day.

“I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life,” said Brent Lowe, who waded from his home to safety.CreditDaniele Volpe for The New York Times

The group reached a neighbor’s home. Mr. Lowe and his son hunkered down there for a day until a rescue bus was able to pick them up on Monday and take them to a shelter.

On Tuesday night, he was evacuated to Nassau, where Mr. Lowe can get the dialysis treatment he needs three times a week. His son had to stay in Abaco, in the care of Mr. Lowe’s sister-in-law, he said.

“I came here with the clothes that I had on from Saturday,” he said.

Although Mr. Lowe and his son are now safe, his ordeal is, in some ways, only beginning.

He didn’t know if his eldest daughter made it through the storm, he said. The phone lines have been down for days and communication with Abaco is very difficult.

“Right before we had the wind, I spoke with her,” he said. “I wish I could have been able to call and ask somebody, you know, because I really was worried about them. I was worried about everybody.”

Mr. Lowe is now homeless. After a lifetime on the outskirts of Marsh Harbour, the main town in Abaco — where he raised a family and worked as a butcher in a fish house until he lost his eyesight to diabetes — his home, his community and everything he built has been obliterated.

Still, Mr. Lowe wants to return to Abaco.

“I have to go,” he said. “That’s where my family is. My kids are there, my brothers, my sisters, they’re all there.”

But he is unsure of its future. The damage is catastrophic.

In the area where he lived, “90 percent of the houses are compromised,” he said. “I’m talking about roofs gone, houses totally collapsed everywhere.”

He added, “I’m just wondering where we’re going to live when I go back home, what I’m going to do.”

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

Education Department Hits Michigan State With Record Fine Over Nassar Scandal

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-michiganstate-facebookJumbo Education Department Hits Michigan State With Record Fine Over Nassar Scandal Sex Crimes Nassar, Lawrence G (1963- ) michigan state university Fines (Penalties) Education Department (US) DeVos, Elizabeth (1958- ) Child Abuse and Neglect

WASHINGTON — Michigan State University will pay a record $4.5 million fine for failing to protect students from sexual abuse following a sweeping investigation into the university’s response to allegations against a former team doctor and convicted sex criminal, Lawrence G. Nassar, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Thursday.

The fine is part of a settlement with the Education Department, which initiated two investigations into the university’s handling of abuse allegations against Mr. Nassar, a former doctor for the American women’s gymnastics team, who held several positions at the school, and William Strampel, a former dean.

“What happened at Michigan State University was abhorrent,” Ms. DeVos said in a press call. “The crimes for which Larry Nassar and William Strampel have been convicted are disgusting and unimaginable. So too was the university’s response to their crimes.”

The fine, though dwarfed by the university’s $500 million civil settlement with sexually abused young women, was the largest ever levied under the Clery Act, a federal law that requires colleges to report all campus crimes. The department’s federal student aid office found a number of violations of the law, including a failure to properly report incidents and disclose crime statistics, and a failure to notify campus security of complaints.

Separately, Ms. DeVos had ordered the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights to investigate whether the university met its obligations under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that requires schools to respond to and address sexual assaults on campus. That investigation found that the university did not adequately respond to complaints against Mr. Nassar and Mr. Strampel, had subjected students to a sexually hostile environment, and had repeatedly failed to take appropriate and prompt action when notified of complaints.

“Too many people in power knew about the behaviors and the complaints, and yet the predators continued on the payroll and abused even more students,” Ms. DeVos said.

In addition to the fine, the university entered agreements with both Education Department offices that will require it to create a system for complying with the Clery Act, and to take a number of measures to overhaul its Title IX process. The university will have to offer remedies to those impacted by the sexual misconduct.

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

Pete Buttigieg: GOP Will Face ‘Reckoning’ For Contradicting Faith Values

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg predicted a coming “reckoning” for Republican leaders who promote policies he believes contradict core Christian values

During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said that, for a party that claims to defend religious values, the GOP’s policies appear to contradict major religions’ teachings about caring for others. 

“For the party and the movement known for beating other people on the head with their faith or their interpretation of their faith, it makes no sense to literally vote to take food away from the hungry, to essentially be practicing the very thing that not just the Christian scriptural tradition but so many others tell us we’re not supposed to do, in terms of harming other people,” Buttigieg said.

The mayor, an Episcopalian who has made faith a key part of his campaign for the Democratic nomination, was responding to questions about his beliefs posed by one of the show’s hosts, Joe Scarborough. The host pointed out that Jesus’s teachings, which often appear in red lettering in Bibles, suggest Christians will be held accountable for how they care for those in need and how they treat foreigners.

“How do we have the policies that we have, not only at the border, but across this country and across this world by people who claim to believe the red letters in the New Testament?” Scarborough asked.

Westlake Legal Group 5d7148083b0000e540cef7e5 Pete Buttigieg: GOP Will Face ‘Reckoning’ For Contradicting Faith Values

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has made faith a key part of his campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Buttigieg responded that this was a “mystery” to him.

“I do think there’s going to be a reckoning,” he said. “Because there are a lot of people sitting in the pews hearing political conservatism all around them, wondering whether that really matches what we’re being told to do.”

Buttigieg, on the campaign trail, cites progressive Christian leaders, such as civil rights activist the Rev. William Barber, as his spiritual role models. The ease with which Buttigieg speaks about religion has caused some consternation among evangelical Christians, including accusations from some leaders that his progressive faith isn’t an authentic expression of Christianity. 

Earlier in the conversation, Scarborough, who has identified as Baptist in the past, asked Buttigieg if he has accepted Jesus as his “lord and personal savior,” using language about repentance and salvation that is common among evangelicals.

Buttigieg replied that while he does believe in Jesus, he hasn’t had a “road to Damascus” encounter, referring to a Bible story about one early apostle’s sudden and complete conversion experience. He said he came to faith through an “appreciation of mystery” and through understanding that there are limits to what he can comprehend. He added that he still struggles with “a lot of doubt and ambiguity.”

Buttigieg said he understands salvation by looking at the sacrificial love shown by Jesus.

“I don’t know how well that aligns with how others view their encounter with Christian faith, but I know that in my life, it has certain implications,” he said. “And I also know that it has certain moral implications that I think I can be responsible to, without saying that anybody else has to believe what I believe or has to believe anything.”

Buttigieg in the past has specifically questioned the faith of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. 

“I just don’t understand how you can be as worshipful of your own self as he is and be prepared to humble yourself before God,” Buttigieg said of Trump in an April interview. “I’ve never seen him humble himself before anyone.”  

In March, he questioned how Pence, who says he is an evangelical Catholic, has allowed himself to become a “cheerleader of the porn-star presidency.”  

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

Navy enhances small boat attack defenses

Should swarms of armed small boats seek to surround, overwhelm and confuse large Navy ships in a coordinated barrage of attacks, surface ship radar could be jammed, long and medium-range ship defenses could be rendered ineffective and virtually all angles of a ship could be hit quickly at one time.

Small boats, manned or unmanned, could launch electronic warfare attacks, hit with small arms or even fire various kinds of larger weapons. They are extremely difficult to defend for many reasons, one of them simply being numbers and redundancy; if there are so many spread out, yet fast-approaching small boats, it could be difficult for deck-mounted ship guns or overhead assets such as drones or helicopters to destroy enough approaching targets at one time.

The proliferation of longer-range mobile guns, to include possible emergence of lasers, electronic warfare or boat-launched drone attacks, all make the prospect of facing swarms of armed, fast-moving small boats even more dangerous for surface ships. Furthermore, there is no reason small manned boats could not carry and fire portable land weapons such as RPGs, Anti-Tank Guided Missiles or various kinds of medium-caliber portable guns aimed at ship structures.

Swarming small boat attacks are regarded as extremely serious combat concerns for Navy war-planners, who operate with a decided recognition that this kind of threat is quite substantial when it comes to both counterterrorism and major warfare on the open ocean. The strategy to counter small boat attacks against larger platforms is multi-faceted; multiple, fast-moving points of small missile and gunfire attack are naturally much more difficult to recognize and target.


This phenomenon can be explained in terms of what’s called “dis-aggregated” operations, if on a smaller scale than is typically thought of. Not only are a more dispersed group of small boats more difficult to target, but emerging networking technology can enable them to coordinate, share target information and stage integrated missions while farther away from one another. Navy and Marine Corps strategists, now planning for future amphibious warfare, are employing these concepts when it comes to preparing for large-scale ship-to-shore amphibious attacks. Dis-aggregated, yet closely networked attack nodes provide attacking commanders with a wider range of options and increase possibilities to defend against incoming shore attacks by avoiding a more condensed or linear ocean assault.

To counter small boat threats, the Navy has been working on specific defense scenarios wherein surface ships are attacked in exercises by swarms of armed small boats. Much of this has involved combat preparations with services’ Littoral Combat Ship — to prepare a suite of integrated weapons systems and sensors for major ocean warfare – including missiles, guns, drones and inflatable boats.

The assessments are intended to help pave the way for deployment of the Navy’s Surface Warfare Mission Package (SUW), an integrated system of weapons being prepared for combat by the Navy. SUW is engineered to destroy small craft approaching at speeds up to 35 knots or more, Navy developers say. The weapons are intended to reinforce one another and operate in a synchronized fashion.

The SUW’s Missile Module is comprised of 24 ship-fired Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30-and-57mm guns, 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats, helicopters and vertical-take-off-and-landing ship-launched drones. Ship launched Hellfires, for instance, can utilize all-weather millimeter-wave radar, inertial guidance or semi-active laser targeting to fire upon enemy ships, helicopters, fixed-wing assets or drones attacking the LCS. The concept with the overall module is to enable each platform to function as a “node” on a larger network.


Of potentially even greater concern, quite possibly, is the advent of unmanned small attack vessels unconstrained by any need to protect a manned crew. They could approach much closer, without having to avoid incoming fire from ship defense weapons. The US Navy is already testing and developing a “ghost fleet” of unmanned small ships to perform a range of missions to include, reconnaissance, mine and submarine detection and of course forward-operating attack missions – firing weapons while manned crews remain at safer distances. The US Navy, however, is of course no longer the only nation with the technological sophistication to develop and operate unmanned small boats. The current global threat circumstance is such that the US Navy recognizes it needs to know how to defend against these kinds of attacks.

Interestingly, defensive uses for swarm boats could introduce a substantial increase in ship protection; should an enemy seek to overwhelm ship defenses with a speeding swarm of small boat attacks or a barrage of incoming weapons, layered ship defenses could, at very least, be challenged, according to a 2017 article from the Journal of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

The essay, titled “The Upside and Downside of Swarming Drones,” by Irving Lachow, highlights the defensive uses of swarming drone boats. “The Navy is currently doing research on using defensive swarms to halt attackers. Swarm boats may be an effective way to protect oneself from a swarm of drones: drone against drone,” the essay states.

The U.S. Navy is beginning to arm surface drone boats with guns, rockets and mobile missiles to overwhelm enemies with swarming attacks, protect sailors at farther stand-off ranges and coordinate maritime strikes across dispersed areas of ocean.


The concept is to call upon newer levels of autonomy enabling weapons systems to search for enemies, track their movements and then target them — all while humans perform command and control as safer ranges.

The testing and demonstrations are evolving through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between Textron and the Navy, intended to explore, prototype and ultimately deploy the armed Unmanned Surface Vehicles.

Forward-operating armed surveillance drones, for instance, can send real-time images to helicopters and ship-based fire control radar, enabling faster response time. Armed helicopters can more quickly find and attack targets, if they are identified and transmitted from other assets such as drones, submarines or ship-based sensors. By extension, all of these systems could cue deck-mounted small arms for the closer in threats, such as 30mm and 57mm guns. Not only could the boats perform sensing and reconnaissance missions, but they could of course also themselves become explosives or seek to jam a ship’s radar by flooding it with dispersed attack nodes.

These warfare tactics, mirrored by larger platforms such as Carrier Strike Groups, are designed to create an integrated, layered defense system designed to provide defenses at different ranges and against a wide sphere of potential attack systems – to include small boat attacks.


Small, fast-transport 11-meter inflatable boats can also function in a key defensive capacity against small boat attacks. Often used as rapid entry or small attack vehicles for Navy SEALs and other Special Operations Forces, 11-meter inflatable boats can provide ship crews with an ability to leave the ship and “engage” approaching small-boat attackers, providing yet another element of defense.


Pentagon officials have long expressed concern that small boat attacks could, for instance, be used by Iranian forces to stop the flow of naval traffic through the dangerous and narrow Strait of Hormuz – the only passage from the Persian Gulf into the open ocean.

Westlake Legal Group NavySkiff Navy enhances small boat attack defenses Warrior Maven Kris Osborn fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/pentagon fox-news/tech/topics/armed-forces fnc/tech fnc e5a2797d-40eb-5d53-8c3d-fb1e8b5eca34 article   Westlake Legal Group NavySkiff Navy enhances small boat attack defenses Warrior Maven Kris Osborn fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/pentagon fox-news/tech/topics/armed-forces fnc/tech fnc e5a2797d-40eb-5d53-8c3d-fb1e8b5eca34 article

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

Lana Del Rey Slams Critic Of New Album, Says She’s Not ‘Uncooked’

Westlake Legal Group 5d714a55240000ee1775fe01 Lana Del Rey Slams Critic Of New Album, Says She’s Not ‘Uncooked’

Lana Del Rey had a few choice words for a critic who reviewed her latest album.

On Wednesday, writer Ann Powers tweeted a link to her review of “Normal Fucking Rockwell,” imploring readers to open their heart to “one more deep dive” into the artist’s “messy subconscious.”

Powers said that Del Rey is “at her most instantly compelling, a pro asserting her future spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” but that the album is also “a repository of masochistic out-breaths and bad-girl flexes.” She wrote that Joni Mitchell was a “clear inspiration” in “Del Rey’s pursuit of legible expressiveness” but that, in comparison, the younger singer’s lyrics are “uncooked.” 

Del Rey was apparently irritated by the review, and fired off two puzzling tweets at Powers.

In one, she insisted that there’s nothing “uncooked” about her, writing that she has “never had a persona” and “never needed one.” 

Del Rey went on to lambast Powers and tell her to not “call yourself a fan” because her “gift is the warmth I live my life with and the self reflection I share generously.”

Well, it seems Lana isn’t pleased when she’s not reviewed the way she wants. HuffPost has reached out to Powers for further comment.

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

Hackers Hit Twitter C.E.O. Jack Dorsey in a ‘SIM Swap.’ You’re at Risk, Too

Westlake Legal Group merlin_143313687_a1ee78b6-6ed7-424a-8ef1-84c997fb3a8a-facebookJumbo Hackers Hit Twitter C.E.O. Jack Dorsey in a ‘SIM Swap.’ You’re at Risk, Too twitter T-Mobile US Inc. Social Media Robberies and Thefts Dorsey, Jack Cyberattacks and Hackers Cellular Telephones Celebrities AT&T Inc

SAN FRANCISCO — When hackers took over the Twitter account of Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, last week, they used an increasingly common and hard-to-stop technique that can give them complete access to a wide array of the most sensitive digital accounts, including social media, email and financial accounts.

Called SIM swapping, it allows hackers to take control of a victim’s phone number. In recent months, SIM swapping has been used to hijack the online personas of politicians, celebrities and notables like Mr. Dorsey, to steal money all over the world and to simply harass regular people.

Victims, no matter how prominent or technically sophisticated, have been unable to protect themselves, even after they have been hit again and again.

“I’ve been looking at the criminal underground for a long time, and SIM swapping bothers me more than anything I’ve seen,” said Allison Nixon, the director of research at the security firm Flashpoint. “It requires no skill, and there is literally nothing the average person can do to stop it.”

Criminals have learned how to persuade mobile phone providers like T-Mobile and AT&T to switch a phone number to a new device that is under their control.

The number is switched from a tiny plastic SIM card, or subscriber identity module, in the target’s phone to a SIM card in another device.

Sometimes hackers get phone numbers by calling a customer help line for a phone carrier and pretending to be the intended victim. In other recent incidents, hacking crews have paid off phone company employees to do the switches for them, often for as little as $100 for each phone number.

Once the hackers have control of the phone number, they ask companies like Twitter and Google to send a temporary login code, via text message, to the victim’s phone. Most major online services are willing to send those messages to help users who have lost their passwords.

But the temporary code is sent to the hackers.

Phone companies have been aware of the problem for years, but the only routine solution they have come up with is offering PIN codes that a phone owner must provide in order to switch devices. Even this measure has proved ineffective. Hackers can get the codes by bribing phone company employees.

“It just doesn’t seem like the AT&Ts of the world are really doing anything to make it more difficult,” said Erin West, a deputy district attorney in California’s Santa Clara County and a member of a law enforcement task force focusing on the problem. “I live in fear that I will get SIM-swapped because it’s not that difficult.”

No American authorities are keeping statistics on the frequency of the attacks. But Ms. West and others who are tracking cases said they had become more frequent over the last year.

“Account takeover fraud is an industrywide problem,” said Paula Jacinto, a spokeswoman for T-Mobile. “We use a number of safeguards to help protect against this crime and offer customers a variety of options to help them protect their own information.”

It is difficult to ascertain how many mobile phone users have been hit by a SIM swap. But people around the world, from Kenya to Hollywood, have complained about it.

In recent weeks, the most prominent targets have been celebrities like Mr. Dorsey, the actress Jessica Alba, and online personalities like Shane Dawson and Amanda Cerny (her second time). The hackers used the accounts to post offensive messages to millions of followers. They also gained access to private communications.

Matthew Smith, who owns an internet-focused design studio in South Carolina, has been hit by SIM swappers four times — three times this year alone. Hackers had long wanted his Instagram handle, @whale. That made him a target.

Every time the attackers have gained access to his social media and email accounts, Mr. Smith’s phone provider, T-Mobile, has assured him that it has put additional measures in place to protect his account. While he has managed to get back his social media accounts, he has not regained access to two Google email accounts that held years of communications.

In the most recent incidents this summer, after the attackers got into a new email address, they contacted Mr. Smith, his family and his friends to threaten him and his children with information from his accounts.

“It feels sickening,” Mr. Smith said. “It feels like everything you own, and you thought was safe and yours — that someone is playing with that like it is a toy.”

T-Mobile said it would not comment on specific customers.

Victims have complained that after the attacks, they have struggled to get help from their phone companies, or to even get someone on the line at a phone company who understood the problem.

When the recording artist King Bach lost and then regained control of his phone number in late August, he posted an angry video on Twitter in which he said he had spent hours on the phone with AT&T.

“The customer service is trash,” he said. “I couldn’t get no help.”

AT&T did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

SIM swapping became popular in the hacking community years ago. Attackers were mostly interested in taking control of rare or iconic social media account names, like a Twitter or Instagram account with just one name.

But hackers soon realized they could gain access to more than social media accounts.

In 2016, SIM-swapping gangs started targeting cryptocurrency holders. Unlike traditional bank transactions, once virtual currency is moved to a new address, the transaction cannot be reversed. American bank accounts have been less vulnerable to SIM swapping because banks will generally reverse any criminal transactions.

Over the last year, law enforcement officials have arrested some of the gangs stealing cryptocurrency. For the first time, a hacker was sent to jail and is serving a 10-year sentence.

The number of online crews focused on SIM swapping has been growing, researchers said, as has the range of victims and the type of accounts.

In Africa, gangs have used SIM swapping to target financial accounts tied to mobile phone providers, like the popular MPesa service in Kenya. South African officials said there were over 11,000 incidents there last year, triple that of the year before.

Security experts have recommended that companies stop using phone numbers to help customers recover accounts.

“This is a technology problem because we are using a very old technology that is not designed to be secure to send secure codes,” said Fabio Assolini, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, who lost his own phone number in a SIM-swapping attack last year.

Twitter said on Wednesday that it would stop allowing some users to post updates via text message, which made Twitter access particularly easy for SIM swappers. But that will not stop hackers who use the SIM swap to log in to a victim’s Twitter account. (Twitter said it was working to improve this.)

Security experts are worried that hackers could step up their attacks and use the method to go after even higher-value targets. The phones and social media applications of several Brazilian politicians have recently been compromised.

“SIM swapping is proliferating, and it is going to keep proliferating until companies deal with this,” Ms. Nixon said. “This is a known issue at this point. There is not really any excuse.”

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

Donald Trump Has Never Explained a Mysterious $50 Million Loan. Is It Evidence of Tax Fraud?

Westlake Legal Group 6fSipeGEfasCdVnwk8_4bTjPBlWyac6kuEkUwq9c2HQ Donald Trump Has Never Explained a Mysterious $50 Million Loan. Is It Evidence of Tax Fraud? r/politics

TLDR; Trump got a lender to cancel a debt (because he couldn’t pay), but then may well have created a fake loan to make it look the debt still existed so that he wouldn’t have to pay taxes on the cancellation.

To recap: Trump claims he bought a debt related to his Chicago venture, but neither of the two loans associated with this property appear to have been purchased. The Deutsche Bank loan was refinanced. The Fortress debt, according to sources with knowledge of the transaction, was canceled. And this raises a question: Did Trump create a bogus loan to evade a whopping tax bill on about $48 million of income?

Several legal and real estate finance experts say it’s possible to fabricate a loan. Doing so would be as easy as creating some paperwork and declaring the debt on your tax returns, though such a scheme would also violate federal tax law.

“When you see it, if you lay all this out, it’s pretty brazen,” says Adam Levitin, a law professor specializing in commercial real estate finance at Georgetown University. “If he didn’t actually buy the loan, this is just garden-variety fraud.”

Most loans are documented in public records, but Mother Jones could locate no documentation of a loan owned by Chicago Unit Acquisition.

Great work from Mother Jones here, but insane that we are relying on them to investigate this.

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