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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 253)

Iran Abandons Nuclear Deal Limitations In Wake Of Soleimani Killing

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1166724622-f29235c4ce7ba89e45c52a24097115f26b5d09ef-s1100-c15 Iran Abandons Nuclear Deal Limitations In Wake Of Soleimani Killing

Iran announced Sunday that it will no longer limit its enrichment of uranium under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is seen here in Tehran in September 2019. Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Iran Abandons Nuclear Deal Limitations In Wake Of Soleimani Killing

Iran announced Sunday that it will no longer limit its enrichment of uranium under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is seen here in Tehran in September 2019.

Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

Iran will no longer honor its commitment to limit its enrichment of uranium, stepping away from a key component of the landmark nuclear deal it agreed to with six nations, including the United States, in 2015.

The announcement was reported Sunday in Iranian state media. It marks the latest in the country’s retreat from the limitations agreed to in the agreement, known as the JCPOA.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, in the fifth step in reducing its commitments, discards the last key component of its operational limitations in the JCPOA, which is the ‘limit on the number of centrifuges,’ ” the statement said, according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency.

“As such, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program no longer faces any operational restrictions, including enrichment capacity, percentage of enrichment, amount of enriched material, and research and development. From here on, Iran’s nuclear program will be developed solely based on its technical needs,” the statement said.

Iran says it will continue to cooperate with international atomic monitors.

The nuclear deal was negotiated by the Obama administration and was signed by the U.S., China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. But it has been falling apart since President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement in May 2018 and imposed severe economic sanctions on Iran as part of a campaign of “maximum pressure.”

Iran has been suspending its compliance with one commitment from the deal every 60 days for months. The latest announcement follows the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Friday.

Earlier, Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told outlets including The Associated Press that Soleimani’s death would be a factor in Iran moving further from the nuclear deal.

“In the world of politics, all developments are interconnected,” he said.

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Kyle Rudolph’s game-winning touchdown catch called into question as Vikings advance in playoffs

Westlake Legal Group Kyle-Rudolph2 Kyle Rudolph's game-winning touchdown catch called into question as Vikings advance in playoffs Ryan Gaydos fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/sports/nfl/new-orleans-saints fox-news/sports/nfl/minnesota-vikings fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/kirk-cousins fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8d8a951d-8592-521d-a60b-a8c076d6866f

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins in overtime against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday during their playoff game, but there was some controversy over the clutch play.

The touchdown pushed the Vikings to the NFC Divisional round and bounced the Saints from the playoffs.

Before Rudolph caught the pass in the corner of the end zone, it appeared he had his arm extended fully toward cornerback P.J. Williams who was defending him.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS BOUNCE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS FROM PLAYOFFS IN DRAMATIC OVERTIME WIN

It also appeared that officials reviewed only whether Rudolph made the catch — not whether any offensive pass interference took place.

NFL pundits, former players and fans alike debated whether the Saints were jobbed in the playoffs for the second straight season.

SAINTS FANS QUESTION DALVIN COOK’S TOUCHDOWN RUN TO INCREASE VIKINGS’ LEAD IN PLAYOFF GAME

Earlier in the game, Saints fans were heated over a Dalvin Cook rushing touchdown. Officials called Cook’s run a touchdown although it appeared that linebacker Demario Davis stopped him short of the goal line. Officials ruled the ball had crossed the plane and awarded Minnesota a touchdown.

Jaded Saints fans compared both plays to the controversial NFC Championship call last year when Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman clearly interfered with wide receiver Tommylee Lewis on a play. Officials threw no flags and the Saints eventually lost the game in overtime.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Minnesota is set to appear in the divisional round of the playoffs for the first time since the 2017 season.

The Vikings were one game away from the Super Bowl in that season, but they ran into the Philadelphia Eagles who went on to win the championship.

Westlake Legal Group Kyle-Rudolph2 Kyle Rudolph's game-winning touchdown catch called into question as Vikings advance in playoffs Ryan Gaydos fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/sports/nfl/new-orleans-saints fox-news/sports/nfl/minnesota-vikings fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/kirk-cousins fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8d8a951d-8592-521d-a60b-a8c076d6866f   Westlake Legal Group Kyle-Rudolph2 Kyle Rudolph's game-winning touchdown catch called into question as Vikings advance in playoffs Ryan Gaydos fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/sports/nfl/new-orleans-saints fox-news/sports/nfl/minnesota-vikings fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/kirk-cousins fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8d8a951d-8592-521d-a60b-a8c076d6866f

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N.A.A.C.P. Tells Local Chapters: Don’t Let Energy Industry Manipulate You

Westlake Legal Group 00naacp1-facebookJumbo N.A.A.C.P. Tells Local Chapters: Don’t Let Energy Industry Manipulate You Politics and Government Philanthropy National Assn for the Advancement of Colored People Lobbying and Lobbyists Florida Power&Light Co Florida Electric Light and Power Blacks Alternative and Renewable Energy

When utilities around the country have wanted to build fossil-fuel plants, defeat energy-efficiency proposals or slow the growth of rooftop solar power, they have often turned for support to a surprisingly reliable ally: a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In 2014, the top officials of the N.A.A.C.P.’s Florida division threw their organization’s weight behind an effort to stymie the spread of solar panels on residential rooftops and cut energy efficiency standards at the behest of the energy industry. The group’s Illinois chapter joined a similar industry effort in 2017. And in January 2018, the N.A.A.C.P.’s top executive in California signed a letter opposing a government program that encourages the use of renewable energy.

Most Americans know the N.A.A.C.P. as a storied civil rights organization that has fought for equal access to public facilities, fairness in housing and equality in education. But on energy policy, many of its chapters have for years advanced the interests of energy companies that are big donors to their programs. Often this advocacy has come at the expense of the black neighborhoods, which are more likely to have polluting power plants and are less able to adapt to climate change.

The activities of the N.A.A.C.P. chapters, which operate with significant autonomy, have so unnerved the group’s national office that it published a report titled the “Top 10 Manipulation Tactics of the Fossil Fuel Industry” in April. It is also sending its staff to state and local chapters to persuade them to fight for policies that reduce pollution and improve public health even at the risk of losing donations from utilities and fossil fuel companies.

From New Orleans to San Diego, consumer and environmental groups have criticized power companies for using their largess in minority communities to get church pastors, nonprofit groups and organizations like the N.A.A.C.P. to back industry objectives.

“The utilities have essentially asked communities of color to be props for them,” said William Funderburk Jr., an environmental lawyer and former board member of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “It appears utilities are turning back the clock a hundred years.”

From 2013 to 2017, 10 of the country’s largest utilities gave about $1 billion in donations. Those contributions often went to groups representing minority communities, and many of the recipients promoted the interests of utilities in front of government regulators, according to the Energy Policy Institute, an environmental group.

The N.A.A.C.P. has a long record on environmental issues, including fighting to reduce the health threats posed by lead paint and asbestos. But its national office has been slower to stake a clear position on climate change and the pollution caused by power plants. It established a group dedicated to environmental justice only a decade ago.

Derrick Johnson, the N.A.A.C.P.’s president, said the group had established a department dedicated to that work that is larger than any of its other programs, with 11 full-time staff members and three consultants.

“We care about the education of our children,” Mr. Johnson said. “But if the children are in unhealthy environments, we know that it impedes their learning. We care about health and access to health care, so we must care about the decisions that create mega health impacts.”

As solar panels and other renewable energy sources tumbled in price in recent years, making them attractive alternatives to coal and natural gas in power plants, electric utilities in Florida began pressing regulators and lawmakers to limit their growth.

Rooftop solar in particular posed a threat to the utilities. When the electric grid was designed, engineers did not foresee that consumers would generate their own power and even sell it to the utilities. That could reduce revenue for the companies.

Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy and other utilities argued that as more affluent homeowners installed solar panels and reduced their reliance on the electric grid, lower-income residents would be forced to pay higher rates to maintain power lines. Many energy experts have disputed that argument, saying energy-efficiency programs and increasingly affordable solar panels can reduce electricity costs for low-income households. But utilities have successfully made their case around the country, often with the help of the N.A.A.C.P. and other nonprofit groups that are advocates for communities of color.

In Florida, utilities found a ready partner — for a time — in Adora Nweze, the president of the N.A.A.C.P.’s Florida conference. She and her staff repeated industry talking points in newspaper opinion articles, written comments to state regulators and testimony in public hearings.

Utilities often sought the group’s support around the time that the state conference was in the middle of raising money for programs and its annual gathering, held in September, Ms. Nweze said.

Invoices obtained by The New York Times show that Florida Power & Light gave the N.A.A.C.P. at least $225,000 from 2013 to 2017 and that Duke Energy gave $25,000. Florida Power & Light’s annual donations doubled in 2014 just as the utility was pressing state regulators to restrict rooftop solar power and weaken the state’s energy efficiency goals.

For example, the N.A.A.C.P.’s Florida conference issued a $50,000 invoice to the utility on Sept. 11, 2014, a couple of months after Ms. Nweze wrote an essay in The Tallahassee Democrat opposing a solar-energy rebate program and in support of a utility-backed change to state efficiency goals.

“In many cases, nonparticipants tend to be the poor, creating a shockingly inequitable situation in which high-income households capture all of the benefits while low-income households shoulder all of the costs,” the essay said. Ms. Nweze said her staff wrote that article and similar ones, often copying verbatim from text sent by Florida Power & Light and other utilities.

In addition to the article, the conference filed comments with the state Public Service Commission. The commission later cited those comments in ruling for the utilities. The commission reduced the state’s energy-efficiency goals by about 90 percent.

The utilities’ policy victory in the 2014 case has had a lasting impact.

Florida utilities have some of the country’s least ambitious energy-efficiency goals. The Sunshine State also trails several states, including Massachusetts and New Jersey, in how much electricity it gets from solar panels.

Florida Power & Light declined to answer questions about its work with the N.A.A.C.P.’s state conference and other civil rights organizations. The utility said its primary focus had been to keep electricity rates as low as possible.

“We are proud of our longstanding relationship with the N.A.A.C.P. and of our ability to constructively work together on issues that benefit customers,” said Alys Daly, a company spokeswoman.

In an interview, Ms. Nweze said she had signed on because of the utilities’ financial support to her group, and because she believed what executives had told her about solar panels and energy efficiency.

“I felt that if we wanted the money, we had to do it,” she said. “The shortcoming on my part was that I didn’t have the necessary knowledge to know that it was a problem.”

Ms. Nweze, 77, said she decided about two years ago that her advocacy for the utilities was wrong. That was when the N.A.A.C.P.’s national office worked with her conference on a report about the impact that climate change and pollution have on low-income families. The report concluded that seven power plants had a disproportionate impact on people of color. It also found that Latino adults in Florida had the highest prevalence of asthma at some time in their lives and that African-American adolescents were the most likely to have ongoing asthma.

Jacqueline Patterson played an important role in Ms. Nweze’s conversion. Once focused on becoming a teacher, Ms. Patterson, 51, became interested in environmental issues while in Jamaica as a Peace Corps volunteer, in New Orleans as a relief worker after Hurricane Katrina and in sub-Saharan Africa as an official of a nonprofit group that works on health issues.

She often found that local residents were not involved in the discussions when officials debated and decided environmental and energy policy — white men frequently had the final say.

“What struck me after all of that was the number of rooms I went into where I was the only person of color,” Ms. Patterson said. “Too often, we’re just completely not there.”

As Ms. Patterson began recognizing the need for more African-Americans in the climate-change debate, so did the N.A.A.C.P.

The organization saw a growing need to address climate change and clean energy when it was drawn into a debate over a climate bill in Congress in 2009.

A lobbying firm working for the coal industry, Bonner & Associates, had sent out letters opposing the measure that seemed to be from the N.A.A.C.P.’s chapter in Charlottesville, Va. The group’s national office, in Baltimore, felt it had to make clear that it supported the legislation, which would have established a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Jack Bonner, the founder of Bonner & Associates, declined to comment.

Then the organization began digging deeper, creating an environmental justice program and appointing Ms. Patterson to lead it.

Under her leadership, the group began connecting the dots between climate change and the impact of disasters like Katrina on African-American communities. The group also took a closer look at how rising sea levels and more intense storms might affect low-income, minority neighborhoods. And it started examining how air pollution from power plants affected nearby residents, many of them black.

“Seeing all of those intersections and more, we really saw this as a civil rights issue,” Ms. Patterson said. “The N.A.A.C.P. is now engaging around pushing for policies and pushing for access to clean energy.”

One of her priorities, Ms. Patterson said, is to educate state conferences and chapters. A milestone was the 2017 report with its Florida conference, which got the state organization to reverse its position on solar panels, energy efficiency and other clean-energy programs.

“I looked at it differently than I do now,” Ms. Nweze said. “The more you look at the issue, you realize this isn’t really working.”

But the national N.A.A.C.P. message has not found traction in every state.

The president of the group’s Illinois conference, Teresa Haley, said that her group typically got $5,000 to $10,000 a year from the energy industry and that the money did not influence the group’s activities. “They do have their lobbyist who contacts us and says, ‘We need your support.’”

Ms. Haley added that her group’s local branches held votes on which initiatives they support, sometimes backing utilities and sometimes opposing them. In 2012, for example, the Chicago branch successfully fought to close two coal-fired power plants in minority neighborhoods.

In California, the N.A.A.C.P. conference has more consistently taken positions that align with those of the state’s largest utilities.

Alice Huffman, the president of that state conference, has signed letters opposing government-run electricity providers known as Community Choice Aggregation, which allow consumers to choose solar power and wind with lower rates while leaving billing and transmission in the hands of investor-owned utilities. Ms. Huffman and the heads of other nonprofit organizations joined the utilities in sending a letter to state regulators contending that those programs could shift more of the grid’s cost to those who could least afford it. Studies have found that those in community choice programs typically have lower electric bills, but that state fees charged for grid maintenance could hurt low-income customers.

California’s three investor-owned utilities have donated about $180,000 to the N.A.A.C.P.’s state conference and its local chapters over the last five years, the companies said. Ms. Huffman and her conference did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Funderburk, the environmental lawyer, said the utility donations pressured nonprofit organizations to support the industry in ways undisclosed to members and the public.

“The only way to get real equity is to make things much more transparent,” he said.

Ms. Patterson said the N.A.A.C.P. was working on alternative revenue sources for chapters that stood to lose financial support from utilities.

In Florida, Ms. Nweze said that she realized that reversing support for fossil-fuel interests could jeopardize the state conference’s funding, but that she could no longer ignore the effect of climate change on her members.

“I’m not naïve,” she said. “I’m concerned, but I’m more concerned about the impact on the lives of the people throughout the country and this state in particular.”

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Minnesota Vikings bounce New Orleans Saints from playoffs in dramatic overtime win

The Minnesota Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-20 in overtime to advance to the next round of the NFC Playoffs.

The Vikings were set up at the Saints’ 2-yard line after a 43-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen.

Cousins then threw a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph for the win.

SAINTS FANS QUESTION DALVIN COOK’S TOUCHDOWN RUN TO INCREASE VIKINGS’ LEAD IN PLAYOFF GAME

Minnesota advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs for the first time since the 2017 season. That season, the Vikings lost in the conference title game to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cousins finished the game 19-for-31 with 242 passing yards and the game-winning touchdown passes to Rudolph. Running back Dalvin Cook had 28 carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns.

Minnesota had a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but the Saints battled back with a Taysom Hill touchdown catch from Drew Brees with 10:31 remaining in the fourth.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS’ STEFON DIGGS SHOWS FRUSTRATION OVER LACK OF PRODUCTION IN PLAYOFF GAME

Saints kicker Will Lutz then added the game-tying 49-yard field goal.

Westlake Legal Group Kyle-Rudolph Minnesota Vikings bounce New Orleans Saints from playoffs in dramatic overtime win Ryan Gaydos fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/sports/nfl/new-orleans-saints fox-news/sports/nfl/minnesota-vikings fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/kirk-cousins fox-news/person/dalvin-cook fox-news/person/adam-thielen fox news fnc/sports fnc article 93fe5f02-39ac-5ac5-8411-b66ac80d5fc3

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) celebrating a touchdown by Dalvin Cook in the second half of the NFL wild-card playoff game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

Brees finished the game 26-for-33 with 208 passing yards, a touchdown pass, an interception and a key lost fumble late in the game.

Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas had seven catches for 70 yards. Tight end Jared Cook had five receptions for 54 yards.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

The Vikings will travel to play the San Francisco 49ers next week.

The Saints fell short of the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season.

Westlake Legal Group Kyle-Rudolph Minnesota Vikings bounce New Orleans Saints from playoffs in dramatic overtime win Ryan Gaydos fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/sports/nfl/new-orleans-saints fox-news/sports/nfl/minnesota-vikings fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/kirk-cousins fox-news/person/dalvin-cook fox-news/person/adam-thielen fox news fnc/sports fnc article 93fe5f02-39ac-5ac5-8411-b66ac80d5fc3   Westlake Legal Group Kyle-Rudolph Minnesota Vikings bounce New Orleans Saints from playoffs in dramatic overtime win Ryan Gaydos fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/sports/nfl/new-orleans-saints fox-news/sports/nfl/minnesota-vikings fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/kirk-cousins fox-news/person/dalvin-cook fox-news/person/adam-thielen fox news fnc/sports fnc article 93fe5f02-39ac-5ac5-8411-b66ac80d5fc3

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Kentucky man allegedly skinned dogs for ‘doggy coat,’ state police say

A Kentucky man who was arrested last month after allegedly skinning four of his neighbors’ dogs to make a “doggy coat” has been charged with animal torture among other crimes.

Jonathan D. Watkins, 38, was arrested in David – near the western border of West Virginia – on Dec. 23 after a neighbor called law enforcement.

The neighbor told police that Watkins had asked him for a cigarette and was covered in blood. After asking where the blood had come from, the neighbor claimed Watkins said he had been skinning dogs, according to an arrest citation.

Westlake Legal Group JohnathanWatkins Kentucky man allegedly skinned dogs for 'doggy coat,' state police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/kentucky fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article a31f3ebb-a37e-5804-89b0-bce2d31ce17b

Jonathan D. Watkins has had mental health issues in the past, according to one of his neighbors. (Floyd Detention Center)

The neighbor said he didn’t believe him at first because he knew Watkins had had mental issues. But, he later saw what looked like animal skins and dog carcasses on Watkins’ front porch, according to the citation. The neighbor told police he was missing two dogs and thought another neighbor was missing two dogs as well.

A state trooper who responded found Watkins at his home with “a large hunting knife” and what appeared to be blood on his clothing, according to an arrest report cited by WDRB.

When the trooper asked what the blood was, Watkins replied, “I’m making myself a doggy coat,” according to the arrest citation. Watkins allegedly told the trooper that he stabbed the dogs and then skinned them.

The trooper then asked Watkins if he killed his neighbors’ dogs, to which he replied: “Yes. There isn’t anything wrong with me making myself a fur coat,” WDRB reported.

HOUSE PASSES BILL TO MAKE ANIMAL CRUELTY A FEDERAL FELONY IN ‘MAJOR STEP TO END ANIMAL ABUSE’

During a Dec. 27 hearing, Floyd District Court Judge Jimmy R. Marcum appointed a public defender for Watkins and ordered him held without bond.

He also ordered Watkins to undergo a psychiatric examination, court records showed.

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Watkins was facing four counts of torturing a dog or cat resulting in serious physical injury or death and two counts of tampering with physical evidence. He was being held in Kentucky’s Floyd County Detention Center.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group JohnathanWatkins Kentucky man allegedly skinned dogs for 'doggy coat,' state police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/kentucky fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article a31f3ebb-a37e-5804-89b0-bce2d31ce17b   Westlake Legal Group JohnathanWatkins Kentucky man allegedly skinned dogs for 'doggy coat,' state police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/kentucky fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article a31f3ebb-a37e-5804-89b0-bce2d31ce17b

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Trump claims his ‘Media Posts’ on Twitter now count as official notification to Congress about any plans to attack Iran

Westlake Legal Group JJ559UOUmFTXllGRxq7ky46ulTOn8-8DRtCqm4ftgpo Trump claims his 'Media Posts' on Twitter now count as official notification to Congress about any plans to attack Iran r/politics

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Doug Collins reacts to Pelosi withholding impeachment articles: ‘She had a ghost of Christmas past’

Westlake Legal Group collins-on-futures Doug Collins reacts to Pelosi withholding impeachment articles: 'She had a ghost of Christmas past' Talia Kaplan fox-news/shows/sunday-morning-futures fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 064daebf-345c-526e-9981-33e07dd36256

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins weighed in Sunday on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continuing to withhold articles of impeachment against President Trump from the Senate, saying he thought “she had a bad Christmas carol, if you want to use the analogy of the last couple weeks.”

The Georgia Republican told “Sunday Morning Futures” that Pelosi “had a ghost of Christmas past, where she trashed all the rules to try and impeach this president and rush it before the end of the year.”

Collins continued, “She has a president sitting here now with a bad case, bad articles of impeachment that have no basis in reality to impeach the president and she’s looking at a future in which she has no legislative agenda.”

MCCONNELL CALLS PELOSI’S IMPEACHMENT DELAY ‘ABSURD,’ PREDICTS SHE’LL BACK DOWN ‘SOONER OR LATER’

He went on, “There’s nothing in the House for her to do because [Democrats] have wasted so much time and taxpayer dollars on impeaching this president that we’re sitting here literally waiting on her to send articles over to try and influence the Senate decision in which she has no control over.”

“That’s how sad we’ve become and how sad this speaker’s legacy is so far.”

Pelosi surprised many in Washington last month with her decision to withhold articles — which accused Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his dealings with Ukraine — as she sought to pressure the Senate to agree to certain terms for a trial. In an unusual news conference, Pelosi, D-Calif., defended her decision while calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a “rogue leader.”

McConnell last month said Pelosi’s delay in sending articles of impeachment was an “absurd” position to take, saying the speaker “apparently believes she can tell us how to run the trial.”

“Let the American people understand something,” Collins told host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. “The speaker got up there and gave this grand show of being solemn and it’s our duty and it’s our conscious vote, but yet the minute after she forced them into this impeachment vote on the weakest case in history, she went out and then basically turned it into a political document.”

He continued, “She took a sham vote for them to actually say impeachment was needed and then went out and said, ‘Well no, I’m going to hold this.’”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Pelosi said last month she hoped the Senate would find a bipartisan agreement on how to conduct the trial. “We would hope that they can come to some conclusion like that, but in any event, we’re ready when we see what they have.”

Collins continued Sunday, “She pulled the curtain back, showed everybody that this is simply a political statement against this president to affect the 2020 election because they have nobody that can beat the president. The economy, everything is working.”

Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group collins-on-futures Doug Collins reacts to Pelosi withholding impeachment articles: 'She had a ghost of Christmas past' Talia Kaplan fox-news/shows/sunday-morning-futures fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 064daebf-345c-526e-9981-33e07dd36256   Westlake Legal Group collins-on-futures Doug Collins reacts to Pelosi withholding impeachment articles: 'She had a ghost of Christmas past' Talia Kaplan fox-news/shows/sunday-morning-futures fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 064daebf-345c-526e-9981-33e07dd36256

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Iran Ends Nuclear Limits as Killing of Iranian General Upends Mideast

BEIRUT — The consequences of the American assassination of a top Iranian general rippled across the Middle East and beyond on Sunday, with Iran ending commitments it made to limit its nuclear fuel production and Iraqi lawmakers voting to expel American forces from their country.

Steeling for retaliation from Iran, an American-led coalition in Iraq and Syria suspended the campaign it has waged against the Islamic State for years, and hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the street to mourn the assassinated general, Qassim Suleimani.

Warning Iran not to attack, President Trump said the United States had pinpointed 52 targets in Iran — including cultural sites. The sites, he said, represented the 52 American hostages held at the United States Embassy in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Amid outrage in Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif declared that “targeting cultural sites is a war crime” and predicted that the “end of U.S. malign presence in West Asia has begun.”

Mr. Trump has said that the killing of General Suleimani on Friday was aimed at preventing war.

But so far, it has unleashed a host of unanticipated consequences that could dramatically alter where the United States operates. Increasingly, the killing appeared to be generating effects far beyond the United States’ ability to control.

That may include Iran’s nuclear future.

On Sunday, the Iranian government said it was abandoning its “final limitations in the nuclear deal,” the international agreement intended to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. The decision leaves no restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, the statement said, including on uranium enrichment, production, research and expansion.

Iran will, however, continue its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and return to the nuclear deal if the economic sanctions imposed on it are removed and Iran’s interests guaranteed, the government said. American sanctions have hit Iran’s oil-based economy particularly hard.

General Suleimani was a towering figure both in Iran and across the Middle East, where he cultivated proxy militias in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Since he was killed in an American drone strike at the Baghdad airport on Friday alongside a powerful Iraqi militia leader, Iran and its partners have stepped up calls for vengeance, although they have yet to follow through on the threats.

American allies have largely kept quiet so as not to put themselves in the line of fire.

Lawmakers in Iraq voted on Sunday to require the government to end the presence of American troops in the country after Mr. Trump ordered the assassination on Iraqi soil.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166681986_0757eed7-37bb-4fd2-98b5-adc540b9dcfb-articleLarge Iran Ends Nuclear Limits as Killing of Iranian General Upends Mideast United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces United States Suleimani, Qassim Iraq Iran Funerals and Memorials Europe Defense and Military Forces

Iraqi students protesting the United States and Iran in Baghdad on Sunday.Credit…Murtaja Lateef/EPA, via Shutterstock

The vote will not be final until it is signed by the prime minister, and it was unclear whether Iraq’s current caretaker government had the authority to end the relationship with the United States military.

Few doubted, however, that the country would take whatever legal actions were necessary to compel a United States departure over the coming months. Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi drafted the language and submitted the bill approved by Parliament on Sunday, leaving little doubt about his support.

Although the vote in Parliament was 170-0, lawmakers were more divided on the issue of ousting American troops than that tally may suggest.

Many of the 328 members of Parliament, primarily those representing the country’s ethnic Kurdish and Sunni Muslim minorities, did not attend the session and did not vote. Iraq’s Shiite Muslim majority dominates the Iraqi government.

While groups that grew out of Shiite militia organizations have pushed hard for the expulsion, Sunni Muslim factions and the Kurds have wanted the United States to stay.

The legislation threads a fine needle: While using strong language demanding that the government “end any foreign presence on Iraqi soil and prevent the use of Iraqi airspace, soil and water for any reason” by foreign forces, it gives no timetable for doing so.

It would end the mission approved in 2014 that gave the United States the explicit task of helping Iraqi forces fight the Islamic State. That agreement gave the Americans substantial latitude to launch attacks and use Iraqi airspace.

But the measure would leave in place the Strategic Framework Agreement, which allows an American troop presence in Iraq in some form, although only “at the invitation of the Iraqi government.”

On Sunday, the American-led coalition in Iraq and Syria said it would pause its yearslong mission of fighting the Islamic State and training local forces in both countries.

A pullout of the estimated 5,200 American troops in Iraq could cripple the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and allow its resurgence. A smaller contingent of about 1,000 United States troops are in eastern Syria.

The general’s killing unleashed calls for vengeance in both Iraq and Iran, and reinforced solidarity among hard-liners and moderates in Iran against the United States. After the vote in Iraq calling on the government to expel American troops, Iranian officials reacted with congratulatory messages.

Hesameddin Ashena, a top adviser to President Hassan Rouhani, wrote on Twitter, “Expanding friendship with our neighbors and domestic unity are the best gifts for protecting our national security.”

In Iraq, the attack was seen as a violation of the nation’s sovereignty. On Sunday, Iraq’s Foreign Ministry said it had summoned the American ambassador in Baghdad.

In Iran, it was viewed as tantamount to an act of war. Hossein Dehghan, a military adviser to Mr. Khamenei, told CNN that Iran’s response would include an attack on “U.S. military targets.”

As the Middle East braced for Iranian retaliation, which analysts said was all but inevitable and American officials said they expected within weeks, Tehran and Washington ratcheted up the rhetoric.

Members of Iran’s Parliament chanted, “Death to America!” en masse in the chamber on Sunday in protest over General Suleimani’s killing, television footage showed.

Iran summoned the Swiss envoy representing American interests in Tehran on Sunday to protest Mr. Trump’s threat that Washington would target Iranian sites. And Mr. Trump’s tweet became a rallying cry among Iranians, many of whom shared it widely on social media with the message, “Attend the funeral for our cultural heritage.”

Iran’s information and telecommunications minister, Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, denounced Mr. Trump as “a terrorist in a suit.”

“Like ISIS, Like Hitler, Like Genghis!” Mr. Jahromi said on Twitter. ”They all hate cultures. Trump is a terrorist in a suit. He will learn history very soon that NOBODY can defeat ‘the Great Iranian Nation & Culture.’”

The attack on the Iranian general left America’s European allies scrambling to address the safety of their troops in the Middle East and complaining that they had been given no warning about the strike. European leaders called for a de-escalation of the tensions between Iran and the United States.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, invited Mr. Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, to Brussels for talks. Mr. Borrell said that he had spoken with Mr. Zarif, urging “Iran to exercise restraint and carefully consider any reaction to avoid further escalation, which harms the entire region and its people.”

Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said he would seek direct talks with Iran. Europe wants to continue the fight against the Islamic State, Mr. Maas said, and Germany is anxious about the safety of its troops training Iraqi forces.

Germany’s defense minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, said in a statement: “Iraq cannot be allowed to sink into chaos, and certainly not under the control of extremists. Therefore, it is important not to let up now in the fight against Islamic State.”

In general, the Europeans did not specifically criticize Mr. Trump for his decision, and generally share the American view that Iran has been a destabilizing force in the Middle East and a supporter of terrorism. At the same time, no European government praised the killing of General Suleimani, emphasizing instead the increased risks to their citizens, troops and interests.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain was reported to be angry with Mr. Trump for not informing him or other allies with troops in Iraq about the decision to kill General Suleimani. While carried out by the Americans, the killing is seen as having put all European citizens and troops in Iraq and the wider region at heightened risk.

Mr. Johnson, who was said to be returning early from a vacation in the Caribbean, is expected to discuss the issues with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Emmanuel Macron of France and Mr. Trump in the next few days, a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo complained that the response by European allies had not been “helpful.” He told Fox News in an interview: “Frankly, the Europeans haven’t been as helpful as I wish that they could be. The Brits, the French, the Germans all need to understand that what we did, what the Americans did, saved lives in Europe as well.”

Dominic Raab, Britain’s foreign minister, who is scheduled to travel to Washington this week to meet Mr. Pompeo, said all countries had a right to defend themselves.

Asked in an interview with the BBC whether the killing was legal, Mr. Raab said, “There is a right of self-defense.” He said he did not agree that the killing was an act of war, and described General Suleimani to Sky News, another British broadcaster, as a “regional menace.”

But Mr. Raab also said that he had spoken to Iraq’s prime minister and president to urge a de-escalation of tensions in the region, and that he planned to speak to Iran’s foreign minister.

In particular, the Europeans have tried to persuade Iran to keep to the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; Mr. Trump pulled the United States out of it in May 2018, reimposing harsh economic sanctions on Tehran. Iran had slowly abandoned its adherence to parts of the deal before its announcement on Sunday.

The Europeans are also working to keep the Strait of Hormuz open to shipping. About one-third of the world’s oil tankers use the waterway, which Iran has intermittently threatened to close. Last July, Iranian forces seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait, trying to pressure the world to allow its oil exports despite American sanctions.

On Saturday, Britain’s defense minister, Ben Wallace, said he had ordered the country’s navy to accompany all British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz.

France has also stepped up diplomatic initiatives to ease tensions. President Macron spoke with President Barham Salih of Iraq and the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi.

On Sunday, Kataib Hezbollah, the Iraqi armed group arguably closest to Iran, warned Iraqi troops on bases that also house United States forces that they should stay at least 3,000 feet from their American counterparts starting on Sunday evening, and not allow themselves to be used as human shields.

Alissa J. Rubin reported from Baghdad, Ben Hubbard from Beirut, Farnaz Fassihi from New York and Steven Erlanger from Brussels.

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Florida caregiver accused of stealing $1.1 million from woman before she died

A Florida woman was charged Friday with stealing over $1.1 million from an elderly woman for whom she was working as an unlicensed caregiver, officials said.

Anna Bullinger, 55, was charged in Sarasota County on a charge of exploitation of the elderly.

Investigators said the victim was Peggy Nardone, a Nokomis widow who was 94 when she died in June of last year.

Nardone had hired Bullinger in 2014 to drive her to doctor’s appointment and run errands to the bank and supermarket, court papers showed. She worked 40 hours a week and was paid $20 an hour.

Westlake Legal Group Anna-Bullinger Florida caregiver accused of stealing $1.1 million from woman before she died Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox news fnc/us fnc article 4daea03c-110d-5f9f-8c84-6b55d570a8e6

Anna Bullinger, 55, was charged with exploitation of the elderly. (Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office)

ISRAELI NATIONAL, 26, ARRESTED AFTER TRYING TO CASH $1M CHECK FROM HUSBAND, 77, OF JUST FOUR MONTHS: REPORT

“It is shocking. The only reason they found out is because the last check she wrote was the day after the victim died, which was $90,000,” Carlos Verondi, a detective with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, told Fox 13 Tampa.

The sheriff’s office issued a news release Friday that said starting in January of 2015, Bullinger, of Sarasota, was able to steal over $500,000 from Nardone by cashing 147 checks.

“Bullinger is also suspected of transferring a trust account valued at $650,000 to her daughter in January 2019,” the news release said. “Collectively, the amount stolen from the victim totals $1,102,307.”

Bullinger was arrested on New Year’s Eve and released the same day on bail.

She denied the charges in a brief interview with Fox 13 at her front door on Friday.

“That’s not true. Goodbye,” she said.

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Linda Howell, a neighbor of Nardone’s, told WWSB-TV she used to see Bullinger and other caretakers come and go.

“We had a little episode where the caretaker broke down crying to my husband about how awful it was that she was having to  spend her life taking care of Peggy,” she told the station.

Westlake Legal Group Anna-Bullinger Florida caregiver accused of stealing $1.1 million from woman before she died Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox news fnc/us fnc article 4daea03c-110d-5f9f-8c84-6b55d570a8e6   Westlake Legal Group Anna-Bullinger Florida caregiver accused of stealing $1.1 million from woman before she died Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox news fnc/us fnc article 4daea03c-110d-5f9f-8c84-6b55d570a8e6

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Canadian woman ordered to pay ex-boyfriend massive sum for defaming him online

A Canadian woman has been ordered to pay $200,000 Canadian dollars plus other fees to her ex-boyfriend for defaming him on Instagram and other outlets, according to reports.

Court materials showed that Vancouver resident Noelle Halcrow wrote more than 85 posts online claiming that her ex-boyfriend Brandon Rook spread sexually transmitted diseases, cheated and was an alcoholic.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elliot Myers wrote in his ruling that Halcrow had defamed Rook in a “relentless” and “malicious” campaign “out of spite,” CTV News reported.

Westlake Legal Group myex3 Canadian woman ordered to pay ex-boyfriend massive sum for defaming him online fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 05a2d38c-9551-542e-ad6a-1e5de6defd8d

A Canadian woman has been ordered to pay $200,000 to her ex-boyfriend for defaming him in social media posts.  (File)

Rook, a business consultant, reportedly met Halcrow in 2015. The pair had an on-again-off-again relationship through July 2016. Halcrow started the posts a month later, CBC reported.

The posts were listed in a timeline and appendix that took up the last 44 pages of the court’s ruling. They originally had been posted on Instagram and various other websites under a pseudonym.

Halcrow, who represented herself in court, had argued that she never made any of the posts. She claimed her friends and other people published them.

CAESARS CASINO IN CANADA SUED BY COMPULSIVE GAMBLER FOR FAILING TO STOP HIM

In his ruling, Myers wrote that Halcrow “mounted a campaign against Mr. Rook that was as relentless as it was extensive.”

He added, “The courts have recognized that the Internet can be used as an exceedingly effective tool to harm reputation. This is one such case.”

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Neither Halcrow nor Rook could not be reached for comment.

Westlake Legal Group myex3 Canadian woman ordered to pay ex-boyfriend massive sum for defaming him online fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 05a2d38c-9551-542e-ad6a-1e5de6defd8d   Westlake Legal Group myex3 Canadian woman ordered to pay ex-boyfriend massive sum for defaming him online fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 05a2d38c-9551-542e-ad6a-1e5de6defd8d

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