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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 256)

US Open: Coco Gauff sets up match with Naomi Osaka after three-set win against Timea Babos

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close US Open: Coco Gauff sets up match with Naomi Osaka after three-set win against Timea Babos

SportsPulse: Coco Gauff rocked the tennis world with a strong showing at Wimbledon, but now she heads into the U.S. Open with big expectations. USA TODAY

American teenage phenom Coco Gauff continued to build on her Wimbledon success, advancing past Hungary’s Timea Babos 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 Thursday night to reach the third round of the US Open.

She’ll face defending champion Naomi Osaka on Saturday in one of the highly anticipated early matches of the season’s final Grand Slam tournament.

Gauff, 15, had to rally to beat 18-year-old Russian Anastasia Potapova in the first round after losing the first set. But she took control early in the second round against Babos, who’s better known for her doubles play.

Gauff, who intrigued the tennis world by reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, dominated with a powerful serve that kept Babos off her game. Babos ran into trouble with 17 errors in the first set.

Babos found her game in the second set, forced more volleys and broke Gauff.

“She played so good,” Gauff said of Babos. “I’m just so happy to get through.”

The third set was hard fought before Gauff, with the crowd behind her all night, pulled away.

“If I didn’t win that last point, she may have won the match,” Gauff said. “Anyone could have won.”

HALEP OUT: Reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep upset

KOBE ON COCO: ‘She’s a phenomenon for sure’

OPINION:Gauff looks special, but no one should rush her

She pumped her fist while forcing match point and then raised her hands in triumph as Babos hit a return into the net.

Gauff will have to play a doubles match on Friday before she faces Osaka. The crowd likely will be behind her in that match, too.

“I’m super-honored to be American and playing in New York City,” she said.

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US labels Lebanon bank with Hezbollah ties a ‘global terrorist,’ sanctions Iranian networks linked to regime

Westlake Legal Group AP19238296073745 US labels Lebanon bank with Hezbollah ties a 'global terrorist,' sanctions Iranian networks linked to regime Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/disasters/nuclear fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/finance/sanctions fox news fnc/world fnc article 3998e94b-97f4-5fa3-99d9-00107ea053fa

The U.S. designated Lebanon-based Jammal Trust Bank a “global terrorist” Thursday over its ties to the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group, one day after it slapped sanctions on Iranian networks it claimed facilitated “tens of millions of dollars’ worth” of activities that benefited Iran’s military and regime.

Washington, in partnership with Oman, also announced sanctions against four individuals accused of moving tens of millions of dollars between Iran’s elite Quds Force and the military wing of the Islamic militant group Hamas in Gaza.

“Treasury is targeting Jammal Trust Bank and its subsidiaries for brazenly enabling Hezbollah’s financial activities,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said in a statement. “Corrupt financial institutions like Jammal Trust are a direct threat to the integrity of the Lebanese financial system. Jammal Trust provides support and services to Hezbollah’s Executive Council and the Martyrs Foundation, which funnels money to the families of suicide bombers.”

UN PEACEKEEPING PATROL FILMED COMING UNDER ATTACK BY HEZBOLLAH IN LEBANON

On Wednesday, the Treasury Department sanctioned two Iranian networks that it says engaged in “covert procurement activities benefitting multiple Iranian military organizations.”

One of the now-sanctioned networks used a front company in Hong Kong to evade sanctions imposed by the U.S. and other nations, and oversaw “tens of millions of dollars’ worth” of activity that targeted U.S. technology on behalf of people tied to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the regime’s missile program, according to the Treasury Department.

The second network acquired aluminum alloy products for entities controlled or owned by the Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics.

SATELLITE IMAGES SUGGEST IRANIAN ROCKET BLEW UP ON LAUNCH PAD

The Treasury Department’s statement accused several Iranian nationals of playing critical roles in the schemes. Two of them, Hadi and Hamed Dehghan — along with the latter’s company, Ebtekar Sanat Ilya — had several Iranian military clients, including Rastafann Engineering Company, the DOJ said. It’s unclear if the men are related.

Rastafann had provided support to Iran’s Naval Defense Missile Industry Group and the IRGC in the past. Ebtekar Sanat Ilya company also had customers including Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA), the Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group (SBIG) and the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG).

“Since 2017 alone, these actors have used a network of intermediary companies, including a Hong Kong-based front company, to facilitate more than 10 million dollars’ worth of proliferation-related transactions,” Treasury said.

IRAN’S PRESIDENT WANTS TRUMP TO LIFT SANCTIONS BEFORE ANY POSSIBLE TALKS

Hamed Dehghan also owned Hong Kong-based Green Industries, which he used as a front to buy military equipment from U.S. suppliers on behalf of Iranian entities that could not purchase the equipment otherwise because they were blacklisted for being involved in activity surrounding Iran’s weapons of mass destruction, authorities said.

A third Iranian national, Seyed Hossein Shariat, owned Asre Sanat Eshragh Company, which for years obtained aluminum alloy products for several Iranian organizations.

“Since at least 2016, Asre Sanat Eshragh Company has procured large amounts of aluminum alloy products for multiple Iranian entities, including Iran Electronic Industries (IEI) and Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO),” according to the Treasury Department.

“As the Iranian regime attempts to use complex schemes to hide its efforts to bolster its WMD [weapons of mass destruction] program, the U.S. government will continue to thwart them at every turn,” Mandelker said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani this week walked back the idea of possible talks with President Trump regarding the countries’ nuclear impasse, saying Iran would meet with the U.S. only if Trump agreed to lift sanctions.

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“Without the U.S.’ withdrawal from sanctions, we will not witness any positive development,” Rouhani said in a speech Tuesday. “If someone intends to make it as just a photo-op with Rouhani, that is not possible.”

Trump had said Monday, during the close of the G-7 summit in France, that there was a “really good chance” he and Rouhani could meet. French President Emmanuel Macron had tried to intervene at the G-7 summit and bring the nations together.

Fox News’ Ben Evansky contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19238296073745 US labels Lebanon bank with Hezbollah ties a 'global terrorist,' sanctions Iranian networks linked to regime Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/disasters/nuclear fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/finance/sanctions fox news fnc/world fnc article 3998e94b-97f4-5fa3-99d9-00107ea053fa   Westlake Legal Group AP19238296073745 US labels Lebanon bank with Hezbollah ties a 'global terrorist,' sanctions Iranian networks linked to regime Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/disasters/nuclear fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/finance/sanctions fox news fnc/world fnc article 3998e94b-97f4-5fa3-99d9-00107ea053fa

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Trump Tweets Gushing Support Video With Logo Linked To White Nationalists

Westlake Legal Group 5d685d06250000710a747885 Trump Tweets Gushing Support Video With Logo Linked To White Nationalists

President Donald Trump tweeted an independently produced video touting his record on Wednesday that included a distinctive lion logo linked to an anti-Semitic and white nationalist site. 

The logo — a red, white and blue image of a lion surrounded by stars reportedly representing the “original colonies” that voted for Trump in the GOP primaries — has been used by VDare.com, which the Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes as an anti-immigrant hate group. VDare’s anti-Semitic slurs were linked to in a daily Department of Justice news briefing sent earlier this month to immigration judges. VDare has since been booted from YouTube.

The Justice Department blamed a contractor for sending the VDare link in the newsletter and said it should not have been included. “The Department of Justice condemns Anti-Semitism and white nationalism in the strongest terms,” said Kathryn Mattingly, a spokesperson for the department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review, which is responsible for arranging the briefings.

The lion logo has also been posted by a Dutch white supremacist whose Twitter account was suspended, Mediaite reported.

Now Trump has tweeted the video with the logo over the words: “Trump Pence Keep America Great.” Trump noted at the top of the video: “Thank you for the support as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” 

The Trump campaign told Mediaite that the president “shared an independently-produced video that highlighted the strengths of the economy his policies have created. Any conspiracy connected to white supremacy exists only in the fevered minds of reporters who will believe anything negative about the president.”

The logo clones were apparently noted first by former Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski, according to Mediaite. 

Medium traced the inspiration for the lion logo to a quote from Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini that Trump retweeted in February 2016: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” Trump later said on NBC: “It’s a very good quote. I didn’t know who said it, but what difference does it make if it was Mussolini or somebody else? It’s a very good quote.”

The lion logo appeared the following month on a website and Twitter account launched by a group calling itself the Lion Guard, which vowed to protect Trump supporters and “forcefully protect” Trump from threats. The logo soon appeared on VDare’s Twitter account.

The Trump video is credited to Twitter user @som3thingwicked, who first tweeted it Sunday. The user indicated he simply randomly chose the lion logo from images he found in a Google search. 

VDare tweeted Thursday: “Oh for God’s sake. No we didn’t invent the ‘Trump Lion’ logo. Some anon did.” VDare founder, right-wing English immigrant Peter Brimelow, called leftists “stupid.”

The VDare blog is named after Virginia Dare, the first white English Colonist born in North America in 1587. The blog “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists … and anti-Semites,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Washington Post reported last week that Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow had invited Brimelow to a recent birthday party at his home.

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How Kirsten Gillibrand’s Presidential Dreams Unraveled

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in a bind.

With less than three weeks until the deadline to get into the fall presidential debates — which she deemed crucial to keeping her campaign alive — she was on track to fall well short. She had neither the 130,000 donors she needed nor the necessary support in the polls. What she did have was a stockpile of cash. So, in one Hail Mary heave, she unloaded $1.5 million on a two-week television buy in the doldrums of August to try to improve her numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“The alternative to not going all in,” said Glen Caplin, a senior adviser to Ms. Gillibrand, “was not a viable alternative.”

The gamble would prove to be a final miscalculation. If the commercials caused any discernible Gillibrand bump, it would go undetected: No Iowa or New Hampshire polls that could have qualified her were even conducted after her ads aired. On Wednesday, with the deadline just hours away, Ms. Gillibrand dropped out.

“It’s important to know when it’s not your time,” Ms. Gillibrand said in a video.

How Ms. Gillibrand, 52, so swiftly went from a rising star of the Democratic resistance and “the #MeToo senator,” as “60 Minutes” had memorably tagged her in 2018, to a 2020 afterthought and early primary casualty is a tale of mistakes, misfortune and a message that did not meaningfully hold sway in a historically crowded field.

Ms. Gillibrand, of New York, entered the race pitching herself as the voice of feminism and the defender of families and women’s equality. She championed a new “Family Bill of Rights,” pioneered a new litmus test to select only judges who supported Roe v. Wade and traveled to Republican-controlled states to protest new restrictions on abortion.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_153740571_d3050ed5-2aac-410c-8edf-9d925a0c424a-articleLarge How Kirsten Gillibrand’s Presidential Dreams Unraveled Women and Girls United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising New York State Gillibrand, Kirsten E Franken, Al Democratic Party Debates (Political)

Of the six female candidates, Ms. Gillibrand was the first to call it quits, having found little traction among women or men.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

But of the six female candidates, she was the first to call it quits, having found little traction among women or men. She almost never topped 1 percent in a poll. In fact, Ms. Gillibrand ended up as the female candidate with the fewest donors, trailing even the political newcomer Marianne Williamson, despite having spent years trying to build a national following.

[Who’s in? Who’s out? Keep up with the 2020 field with our candidate tracker.]

“She was running in a lane of fighting on women’s issues, but other people were running in that lane as well,” Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said. “You had several female candidates who were all bringing their own brand of feminism.”

Ms. Gillibrand said in an interview that she was unsure what the missing piece of her candidacy was. “I don’t know,” she said. “My campaign may well have been ahead of its time.”

Little seemed to click this year.

Her kickoff event was overshadowed by the release of the first snippets of the Mueller report, an unforeseeable development.

Yet she was also prone to self-inflicted wounds. At one Boston fund-raiser, Ms. Gillibrand asked a group of women to contact people on their Christmas-card and school-parent lists to ask for $1 donations to help her make the debate, according to one attendee, who said she and others were appalled by the implication that the women did not have professional circles of their own.

By early August, the downward trajectory was plain to see. Senator Kamala Harris of California was motoring across Iowa in a leather-appointed bus decorated with her campaign logo. A second bus of reporters and aides trailed behind.

Ms. Gillibrand rode in a small R.V. with her campaign sign slapped on the side; her husband was behind the wheel.

She attracted scant crowds (Andrew Yang, a first-time candidate, outdrew her splashy weekend kickoff rally on a rainy work night this spring; both events were in Manhattan). She failed to secure significant endorsements (only one New York member of Congress backed her).

And she was plagued by questions about her past. Her prominent role as the first Democratic senator to call for Al Franken’s resignation dogged her throughout the race, with voters and reporters bringing it up and some Democratic donors denouncing her. And Ms. Gillibrand’s record included policy reversals like her past support of gun rights and her opposition to “amnesty for illegal immigrants” — making her a hard sell for progressives focused on purity and consistency.

Her exact ideological bearing could prove elusive. Was she the upstate congresswoman who flipped a heavily Republican seat more than a decade ago, or the liberal firebrand who voted down nearly every one of President Trump’s nominees?

Ms. Gillibrand in a mock debate session in Troy, N.Y., in June.CreditPatrick Dodson for The New York Times

“There’s a false debate in the party right now,” Ms. Gillibrand said in late August. “Either you have to be an uber-progressive who can inspire the base, or you have to be a moderate who wins those red and purple areas. I believe you have to do both. And my candidacy is both.”

As Ms. Gillibrand’s campaign languished, she began plunging ever more money into Facebook ads, prospecting for donors with money-losing offers like giving away T-shirts for $1.

[Sign up for our politics newsletter and join the conversation around the 2020 presidential race.]

Overall, she spent $2.8 million on Facebook — more than $20 for every contributor to her campaign. She ended with fewer than the required 130,000 donors and less than $800,000 in campaign funds.

“The sky-high expectations for her candidacy were also themselves a liability,” Jon Reinish, a former aide to Ms. Gillibrand, said. “When she didn’t shoot to the top right away, the perception game became an albatross she couldn’t shake.”

Ms. Gillibrand’s candidacy did not get off to an auspicious start. She had secured a big booking on her first full day, a spot on Rachel Maddow’s highly rated MSNBC show. The show is typically a friendly space for Democrats, but Ms. Maddow grilled Ms. Gillibrand about her political “transformation.” “She had an A rating from the N.R.A.,” Ms. Maddow said. “She said she wanted to make English the official language of the United States.”

It was the first of many interviews consumed by questions about her record.

More coverage of Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign
Gillibrand Drops Out of 2020 Democratic Presidential Race

Aug. 28, 2019

‘This Is My Space’: Kirsten Gillibrand’s Unabashedly Feminist Campaign

Feb. 12, 2019

Stand-Ins, Push-Ups, Long Drives: How the 2020 Candidates Are Preparing for the Debates

June 24, 2019

When Will the 2020 Democratic Field Start to Shrink?

Aug. 1, 2019

She became so adroit at apologizing for her past positions — to her disadvantage, guns and immigration developed into two prominent issues in the Democratic primary contest — that she tried to turn that skill into an asset, comparing it favorably to Mr. Trump’s lack of contrition. But she yielded no ground on Mr. Franken, saying he was not entitled to her “silence” after multiple, credible accusations of sexual misconduct.

“She really did carve a path for unapologetic feminism,” Ilyse Hogue, the president of the abortion-rights group NARAL, said. But, she added, “those who are fiercest and who choose to go toe-to-toe with entrenched misogyny are rarely rewarded.”

Ms. Hogue said that the Franken episode had at times “overshadowed her campaign,” but she predicted that “history will show what she was doing was for the betterment of the country.”

Ms. Gillibrand’s campaign made an early bet that the senator could slowly win over small audiences in Iowa and New Hampshire living rooms. Her $10 million Senate war chest gave her a financial cushion to pursue the strategy. But the early months of the 2020 race showed the national narrative playing out on social media and television, not in coffee shops. That dynamic drove the early states, not the other way around.

Ms. Gillibrand announced her presidential campaign in March.CreditChristopher Lee for The New York Times

“I didn’t see her show up like I know she could have and know that she can,” L. Joy Williams, the president of the Brooklyn N.A.A.C.P., said. “I don’t know why, to be honest with you.”

Her campaign also failed to line up key supporters in New York, such as party officials and members of Congress. One planned dinner for lawmakers at her Washington home was canceled. Some New York donors said they wrote her a check out of obligation but declined to host a fund-raiser. Charlie King, a Democratic National Committee member from New York who is unaligned in the 2020 race, said he never heard from Ms. Gillibrand or her team.

“I heard from several other campaigns,” Mr. King said. “Multiple times.”

Ms. Gillibrand’s lack of small-donor support — the lifeblood of Democratic fund-raising — was evident from the start. Through June, she had topped 2,500 donations in a day only once; Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts had more than 100 such days.

In May, Ms. Gillibrand’s campaign began to sever ties with Anne Lewis Strategies, the political firm where she had directed $5.6 million in 2017 and 2018, in part to build a digital supporter list. Not enough of those people became 2020 donors.

Months into her bid, Ms. Gillibrand was hemorrhaging money. In the second quarter she spent nearly $2 million more than she raised — by far the worst ratio of any candidate who was not self-funding a run.

Rival campaigns took note. Some began privately discussing how soon would be too soon to try to poach some of the talent that Ms. Gillibrand had assembled in her Troy, N.Y., headquarters.

Ms. Gillibrand had some bright spots. She sipped whiskey with voters, dressed up with drag queens in Des Moines, took spin classes everywhere and arm-wrestled with an Iowa college student. Her team quickly packaged these vignettes into videos posted online.

During her Fox News forum in early June, she was dismissed by the moderator, Chris Wallace, as “not very polite” — a rare viral moment.

“We want women to have a seat at the table,” Ms. Gillibrand said.

“What about men?” Mr. Wallace asked.

“They’re already there — do you not know?” she replied.

In July, her answer defining white privilege ricocheted across the internet and drew plaudits from progressives. But by then the press corps trailing her had thinned. Voters seemed to have settled on a top tier of contenders. It did not include her.

Ms. Gillibrand and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. during the second Democratic presidential debate. CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Ms. Gillibrand and her campaign knew the second debate was her last best shot to break through. And they thought they had found a perfect issue to take on the front-runner, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.: his opposition to a child tax credit in 1980.

But Ms. Gillibrand telegraphed the attack days before the debate. So Mr. Biden came prepared for her premeditated broadside, dismissing her questions about his record on defending women as expediency borne of the fact that she was now running against him.

Ms. Gillibrand received her first 2 percent qualifying poll soon afterward, which helped inspire the ill-fated ad blitz. Her advisers hoped better polling would inspire more donors to chip in.

In recent weeks, her campaign filled inboxes with pleas for cash as often as three times a day. Gloria Steinem signed emails. T-shirts were offered for $1.

“At this point, it’s now or never,” her campaign pleaded on Monday.

It would be her last day on the trail. She took a spin class near San Francisco, canceled fund-raisers in Southern California and then flew to New York to huddle with her family on Tuesday evening.

“I came home, talked to my husband, my two boys, we had a very, very thoughtful and wonderful conversation about what the role of public service is,” she said, “and that mommy is dedicated to serving others, no matter what or in whatever role it is.”

On Wednesday, she broke the news to her headquarters staff in person. They ended the night together at a bar, drinking whiskey.

Alex Burns contributed reporting

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Tennessee man sues Popeyes over fruitless (or chickenless) hunt for sold-out sandwich

Westlake Legal Group AP19234677071172 Tennessee man sues Popeyes over fruitless (or chickenless) hunt for sold-out sandwich Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/odd-news fox-news/lifestyle/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc c3ebd18e-3bab-53de-8f09-8962be658bce article

A Tennessee man who spent “countless time driving” from one Popeyes to another in search of its popular chicken sandwich is suing the fast-food chain after he was left hungry.

“I can’t get happy; I have this sandwich on my mind. I can’t think straight,” Craig Barr told The Chattanooga Times Free Press on Thursday. “It just consumes you.”

Barr’s suit accused Popeyes of deceptive business practices and false advertising, the paper reported. He said he was scammed out of $25 by a man claiming to be a Popeyes employee who said he was selling sandwiches behind a restaurant.

Once he gave the scammer the money, he never saw him again, Barr said. He also claimed he blew out a tire and damaged a rim driving from one Popeyes to another and was humiliated when his friends laughed at his ordeal.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS JOINING POPEYES, CHICK-FIL-A ‘CHICKEN WARS’ WITH 2 NEW SANDWICHES

Barr said various locations turned him away after their supply of the in-demand edible sold out. He claimed the chain overhyped the item and purposefully lowered quantity to increase demand.

And speaking of demand, he’s demanding $5,000.

“It’s totally deceptive. Who runs out of chicken? It’s a big fiasco,” he told the paper. “Someone has to stand up to Big Corporate. Everyone is captivated by these sandwiches.”

Messages to Restaurant Brands International, the owner of the Miami-based chicken chain, were not immediately returned.

Demand for the new sandwich exceeded expectations, with the item selling out within days of its Aug. 12 launch.

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When one North Carolina location ran out of chicken, a Chick-fil-A employee across the street handed out the competitor’s sandwiches to Popeyes workers.

The new Popeyes menu item gained widespread popularity after a feud with Wendy’s over social media about which company had the best sandwich.

Westlake Legal Group AP19234677071172 Tennessee man sues Popeyes over fruitless (or chickenless) hunt for sold-out sandwich Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/odd-news fox-news/lifestyle/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc c3ebd18e-3bab-53de-8f09-8962be658bce article   Westlake Legal Group AP19234677071172 Tennessee man sues Popeyes over fruitless (or chickenless) hunt for sold-out sandwich Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/odd-news fox-news/lifestyle/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc c3ebd18e-3bab-53de-8f09-8962be658bce article

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Atlantic: Mattis found Trump to be of ‘limited cognitive ability, dubious behavior’

Westlake Legal Group MwDehpwj2vS9fDW5gjo4lBtKzc7RxV8hk_AVkPFKRZc Atlantic: Mattis found Trump to be of ‘limited cognitive ability, dubious behavior’ r/politics

A fucking moron one might say.

To me, one of the most interesting quotes from James Comey’s congressional testimony was that Trump seemed “above average intelligence” in his initial interactions with the FBI head.

Sure, Trump is a “fucking moron” in every conventional sense, but that’s like saying Al Capone was a fucking moron because he didn’t pay his income taxes.

Capone was a smart guy in a criminal sense, and that’s exactly what we’re dealing with in regards to Trump: He’s really good at being bad, and really bad at being good. He’s a bombastic dullard, yet a sharp-eyed criminal.

Comey knew it when he saw it.

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Terrapin turtle trafficker gets 6 months in prison — and he’ll have to shell out $250G

A Pennsylvania man was sentenced this week to six months in prison — and he’ll have to shell out $250,000 — for illegally trafficking thousands of threatened diamondback terrapin turtles, prosecutors said.

David Sommers, 64, of Levittown, poached the protected turtles and their eggs from New Jersey marshes, sold them online and illegally shipped them over the course of nearly six years, from November 2011 until October 2017, the Justice Department said Thursday.

A grand jury indicted him on July 10, 2018. On Feb. 4 he pleaded guilty to falsely labeling packages containing the protected critters.

Westlake Legal Group 0531-sea-turtles Terrapin turtle trafficker gets 6 months in prison -- and he'll have to shell out $250G Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/crime fox-news/science/wild-nature/reptiles fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc d548765d-c3b2-5ce9-b3ed-cb67203f6005 article

Turtle advocate Karen Testa feeds diamondback terrapins at her group’s rehabilitation center in Jamesport, N.Y. (AP)

TWO-HEADED TURTLE SPOTTED ON SOUTH CAROLINA BEACH: ‘WE THOUGHT WE HAD SEEN IT ALL’

“The defendant had a simple business plan: Poach protected turtles and their eggs from their natural habitat, advertise them for sale online and then illegally ship them to customers by concealing the actual contents of the packages,” U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said. “Sommers represented himself as a legitimate reptile breeder when he was, in fact, endangering the lives of these animals and breaking the law.”

Diamondback terrapin turtles are native to the eastern and western U.S. and are known for their diamond-shaped shell markings. While coveted, their population is shrinking, and New Jersey banned the collection, transportation and possession of diamondback terrapins in 2016.

GREEN TURTLES ARE DYING BECAUSE THEY’RE EATING PLASTIC THAT LOOKS LIKE FOOD

The turtles are protected by New Jersey state law, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which listed the species as threatened in 2013.

“Sommers used a sham business to shamelessly mask an illegal trade in threatened and protected species,” Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark said. “The Justice Department and our law enforcement partners will safeguard our nation’s natural resources and biodiversity and prosecute wildlife traffickers to the fullest extent of the law.”

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Westlake Legal Group 0531-sea-turtles Terrapin turtle trafficker gets 6 months in prison -- and he'll have to shell out $250G Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/crime fox-news/science/wild-nature/reptiles fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc d548765d-c3b2-5ce9-b3ed-cb67203f6005 article   Westlake Legal Group 0531-sea-turtles Terrapin turtle trafficker gets 6 months in prison -- and he'll have to shell out $250G Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/crime fox-news/science/wild-nature/reptiles fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc d548765d-c3b2-5ce9-b3ed-cb67203f6005 article

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Steve Hayes: Comey claim he’s not a leaker is ‘hard to justify’

Westlake Legal Group Hayes-Comey_FOX-Reuters Steve Hayes: Comey claim he's not a leaker is 'hard to justify' fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 5adf5051-82d6-5d3d-80ba-f6f70f9253d1

Former FBI Director James Comey made an unlikely claim that he is not a “liar” or a “leaker” after the release of the Justice Department IG’s report, according to Steve Hayes.

“If you think about James Comey’s tweet that he’s neither a ‘liar’ nor a ‘leaker’ — it’s really hard to justify that claim by him at this point,” Hayes said Thursday on “Special Report.”

COMEY DEFIANT AFTER IG REPORT SAYS HE VIOLATED POLICIES

Comey defended himself on social media in the wake of the report, which determined that he violated Justice Department policy in his handling of memos recording conversations with President Trump.

Hayes also pointed to discrepancies between Comey’s congressional testimony and statements he made to “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier in 2018 and said Comey’s denial that he lied is also questionable.

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“It’s hard to conclude that he didn’t lie,” Hayes said. “What James Comey did here is something that would get the 35,000 people who are in the rank-and-file at the FBI in serious trouble. He avoids those consequences.”

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On Twitter, Comey pointed out that the Justice Department declined to charge him for the infractions laid out in the report.

“And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me ‘going to jail’ or being a ‘liar and a leaker’—ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president,” he said.

The former director added he is not expecting a public apology from detractors, but remarked a message of “‘sorry we lied about you’ would be “nice.”

Westlake Legal Group Hayes-Comey_FOX-Reuters Steve Hayes: Comey claim he's not a leaker is 'hard to justify' fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 5adf5051-82d6-5d3d-80ba-f6f70f9253d1   Westlake Legal Group Hayes-Comey_FOX-Reuters Steve Hayes: Comey claim he's not a leaker is 'hard to justify' fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 5adf5051-82d6-5d3d-80ba-f6f70f9253d1

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Biden denies conflating details of heroic war story after Washington Post report raises questions

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Biden denies conflating details of heroic war story after Washington Post report raises questions

On the second night of the second Democratic primary debate, Joe Biden was center stage, and took the brunt of challenger attacks. Biden was prepped. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden denied Thursday that he conflated details of a gripping war story he has told on the campaign trail after a Washington Post report called into question remarks by Biden last week and in previous years.

In an interview with a South Carolina newspaper, Biden also said that the “essence of the story” he has recounted was accurate. 

According to the Post, “it appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened.”

“Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony,” the Post report also reads.

But, in an interview with Post and Courier, Biden, 76, said he did not believe he was conflating details of different events — though the former vice president also told the South Carolina newspaper he had not read the Washington Post report.  

“I don’t understand what they’re talking about,” Biden told the Post and Courier, “but the central point is it was absolutely accurate what I said.”

The Post’s report comes amid questions about Biden’s age and his habit of gaffes, including a string of recent factual misstatements while on the presidential campaign trail.

Biden told the Post and Courier such concerns were “ridiculous” and disputed the notion “that there’s anything I said about that that wasn’t the essence of the story.”

The Biden campaign has not responded to USA TODAY’s request for comment. 

The Washington Post’s reporting centered on three different events which share some similar features:(1) a Jan. 2008 visit Biden made to Kunar province in Afghanistan as a senator where he watched Spec. Miles Foltz receive a Bronze Star; (2) a 2008 rescue by a then-20-year-old Army specialist Kyle White who never received a Silver Star but did receive the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony years later; and (3) a 2011 ceremony for Army Staff Sgt. Chad Workman who felt he didn’t deserve a medal but nonetheless received a Bronze Star pinned on him by Biden.

Biden first started to recount the tale of bravery in 2008, the Post reports and revived it again in 2016 during Democrat Hillary Clinton’s race against then-candidate Donald Trump. Biden is recounting now as he runs for president. 

Biden’s latest version of the story, according to the Post, has a Navy captain rappelling down a 60-foot ravine in the Kunar province of Afghanistan in an unsuccessful effort to retrieve a wounded comrade who dies. Biden claims that the captain didn’t want to receive a Silver Star.

“This is God’s truth. My word as a Biden,” Biden reportedly said as he recounted the tale last week during a campaign event.

“One of his buddies got shot, fell down a ravine about 60 feet. A four-star general asked me whether I’d go up in the FOB,” Biden said during a town hall last week at Dartmouth College. “And everybody got concerned a vice president going up in the middle of this, but we can lose a vice president, we can’t lose many more of these kids, not a joke. This guy climbed down a ravine. Carried his guy up on his back under fire, and the general wanted me to pin the Silver Star on him.”

According to the Post’s reporting, Biden visited the Kunar province in 2008 as a senator, not as the vice president, and the soldier in the story was the 20-year-old Army specialist named Kyle White, not an older Navy captain. 

Additionally, White was celebrated at a White House ceremony six years after Biden’s visit and had President Barack Obama place a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, around his neck — not a Silver Star 

The Post concluded that Biden did, indeed, pin a medal on a soldier: Army Staff Sgt. Chad Workman. 

Workman had tried to save a soldier from a burning vehicle in Afghanistan’s Wardak province, and Biden did pin a medal on him during a January 2011 ceremony.

Workman confirms one key element of Biden’s tale — that he did not want the medal given to him by the then-vice president. 

“’I tried to get out of going,'” Workman recalled to the Post,  ‘I didn’t want that medal.’”

In a 2016 interview with National Geographic, Biden recalled of the ceremony, “His commander asked me to pin a Bronze Star on him. And right before this – you see the look on his face – he says, ‘Sir, I don’t want it. I don’t want it. He died. He died. I didn’t do my job, sir. He died.'”

Those comments echo what Biden told the Post and Courier Thursday. “He refused the medal. I put it on him, he said, ‘Don’t do that to me, sir. He died. He died,’” Biden told the newspaper responding to the Washington Post report. 

As for Foltz, he still remembers Biden’s visit and the medal he received as Biden and other senators watched. “’I wrote about it for an English class when I was going through college,’” Foltz told the Post. “’I can’t remember how I phrased it, but it’s like the medal helps hold down all the guilt for all the things I didn’t do that day.’”

In a statement provided to the Post, a spokesman for the Biden campaign said “In Afghanistan, he was moved by Staff Sgt. Workman’s valor and selflessness, which is emblematic of the duty and sacrifice of the 9/11 generation of veterans who have given so much across countless deployments,” 

And Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director posted on Twitter Thursday afternoon quoting the end of the Post report but saying nothing more.

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R. Kelly asks judge to release him from ‘unconstitutional’ solitary confinement while awaiting trial: report

R. Kelly is trapped in a jail cell.

Lawyers for the embattled former R&B star filed an emergency motion on Thursday arguing he should be released from solitary confinement while awaiting trial on child pornography charges.

Kelly is getting no sunlight, no “meaningful interaction with other humans,” limited email access and is allowed to shower just three times a week, his lawyers said in the motion.

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He’s being unfairly targeted because of his charges and because of his celebrity status, his lawyers said.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-bc0f1662cbc646cfac154e73e7f8d416 R. Kelly asks judge to release him from ‘unconstitutional’ solitary confinement while awaiting trial: report New York Post fox-news/person/r-kelly fnc/entertainment fnc Emily Saul Ben Feuerherd article 3c515486-bf80-5b01-a346-d74e67ae426f

In this courtroom sketch, R&B singer R. Kelly, center, listens in federal court with his attorneys Doug Anton, left, and Steve Greenberg during his arraignment, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019 in New York. Kelly pleaded not guilty to federal charges he sexually abused women and girls. The 52-year-old Kelly was denied bail in a Brooklyn courtroom packed with his supporters. (Aggie Kenny via AP)

Kelly is being held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Chicago after being arrested by federal authorities on child pornography and sex abuse charges in July.

After his arrest, the Bureau of Prisons determined Kelly could not be held in general population at the prison for his own safety, according to the motion.

R. KELLY CHARGED WITH SOLICITING A MINOR IN MINNESOTA 

But when Kelly requested to be transferred out of solitary confinement, BOP said he would not be eligible for a transfer to general population “because of his alleged offense and notoriety,” according to the motion.

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Instead of moving him to a number of floors that are available outside of general population, BOP moved Kelly to “the most restrictive floor,” according to his lawyers.

“In essence, even though he has not violated a single BOP rule, Mr. Kelly is being unconstitutionally punished and segregated from the rest of the prison population,” they wrote in the motion.

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Kelly’s also being denied any access to recreation and fresh air and any access to the prison’s “day room,” where inmates can watch television, the motion states.

This article originally appeared in Page Six.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-b915456a8fb4464db4b1834bf9f66edc R. Kelly asks judge to release him from ‘unconstitutional’ solitary confinement while awaiting trial: report New York Post fox-news/person/r-kelly fnc/entertainment fnc Emily Saul Ben Feuerherd article 3c515486-bf80-5b01-a346-d74e67ae426f   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-b915456a8fb4464db4b1834bf9f66edc R. Kelly asks judge to release him from ‘unconstitutional’ solitary confinement while awaiting trial: report New York Post fox-news/person/r-kelly fnc/entertainment fnc Emily Saul Ben Feuerherd article 3c515486-bf80-5b01-a346-d74e67ae426f

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