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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 257)

Navy veteran traveling across US to collect stories of fallen service members from Gold Star families

Keith Sherman has been to more funerals than he cares to count.

The U.S. Navy veteran served his country for 26 years and retired in October as a senior chief petty officer. He supported SEAL and Special Warfare teams throughout his career and many friends died in combat.

On the eve of his retirement, Sherman decided he wanted more people to be able to honor the incredible heroes of this nation who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

FORMER NAVY SEAL, 52, WHO WAS WOUNDED IN BERGDAHL MISSION, HEADS TO YALE AS A FRESHMAN

Westlake Legal Group Gold-Start-Dirt-1 Navy veteran traveling across US to collect stories of fallen service members from Gold Star families Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox news fnc/us fnc article 79c40ff9-c8ba-5fd8-8c99-19225659854b

Gold Star mother Linda Dillon’s son, Army Ranger Benjamin Dillon died Oct. 7, 2007, in Mosul, Iraq. (Keith Sherman)

Sherman’s singular yet powerful mission: telling the stories of fallen service members through the voices of Gold Star families, those who have lost loved ones through military service. For them, “the grief never ends,” Sherman said.

“I was going to retire in San Diego and drive back to Massachusetts and stop by the hometowns of fallen service members that I had served with and share some memories with their Gold Star families that maybe they had not heard before,” Sherman told Fox News.

Westlake Legal Group Gold-Start-Dirt-4 Navy veteran traveling across US to collect stories of fallen service members from Gold Star families Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox news fnc/us fnc article 79c40ff9-c8ba-5fd8-8c99-19225659854b

Navy veteran Keith Sherman with Gold Star sister Nikki Winn in May. (Keith Sherman)

For the past year, Sherman has traveled across the nation documenting stories of Gold Star families from each of the 50 states, tenderly gathering tributes and stories of the families’ loved ones. While his project started humbly, Gold Star Dirt became a nonprofit last August, and Sherman has traveled to nearly every state, logging over 43,000 miles.

He had seven states left as of Wednesday night – Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah and Washington, with plans to drive to Utah on Thursday. Sherman said he will fly from Hawaii to Massachusetts for his symbolic last visit, as that’s where he entered the military.

Westlake Legal Group Gold-Start-Dirt-3 Navy veteran traveling across US to collect stories of fallen service members from Gold Star families Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox news fnc/us fnc article 79c40ff9-c8ba-5fd8-8c99-19225659854b

Navy veteran Keith Sherman has been traveling to each of the 50 states to collect stories from Gold Star families. (Keith Sherman)

He was preparing for a three-month inpatient treatment program for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, before he retired, when he decided to start collecting stories.

Sherman lost friends to suicide related to PTSD, including one who confided in him but asked him not to share for fear of losing his security clearance. His friend later killed himself, Sherman said.

After struggling with guilt and regret, and after another friend shared his own battles with the same issues and how he could get help, Sherman was diagnosed with PTSD and an MRI revealed he had 12 traumatic brain injury-related lesions.

As he prepared for retirement, his purpose became clear, and he wanted to document Gold Star families’ stories on behalf of the nation, Sherman said.

Just about every story could bring tears to people’s eyes.

“I feel the weight deeply during and after each interview. I can’t count the number of times that I have shed tears right along with the family. They are pouring their hearts out right in front of me, someone that they don’t even know,” Sherman said.

“I feel the weight deeply during and after each interview. I can’t count the number of times that I have shed tears right along with the family. They are pouring their hearts out right in front of me, someone that they don’t even know.” 

— Keith Sherman

He recalled a young woman in Montana, Rheanna Tanner, who said it was “love at first sight” with her Marine husband Cpl. John Cory Tanner. The two married and she got pregnant at 18. John Tanner deployed to Iraq when his wife was four months pregnant. An IED killed him when she was nine months pregnant.

Westlake Legal Group Gold-Start-Dirt-7 Navy veteran traveling across US to collect stories of fallen service members from Gold Star families Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox news fnc/us fnc article 79c40ff9-c8ba-5fd8-8c99-19225659854b

Gold Star spouse Rheanna Tanner filling out Navy veteran Keith Sherman’s map as he gathers stories from Gold Star families in each of the 50 states. (Keith Sherman)

“Rheanna buried her husband and three days later gave birth to their son, [whom] he never got to meet,” Sherman said. “Rheanna said that in all of that pain, anguish and turmoil, and being 19 and a widow, giving birth to their child was the best part of her young life.”

When he started the project, Sherman started a Gold Star Dirt Facebook page, the “dirt” referring to his love of dirt bikes and the intended mode of transportation for his road trip. While he decided to drive a car, he has continued to travel with his dirt bike, along with a pop-up tent.

Westlake Legal Group Gold-Start-Dirt-2 Navy veteran traveling across US to collect stories of fallen service members from Gold Star families Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox news fnc/us fnc article 79c40ff9-c8ba-5fd8-8c99-19225659854b

Navy veteran Keith Sherman has been traveling to each of the 50 states to collect stories from Gold Star families. (Keith Sherman)

Once he established an online presence, Sherman connected with a Gold Star sibling whose brother died in Iraq. Kristine Flores, a TV producer in San Jose, Calif., has been producing the project, contacting the Gold Star families and lining up interviews.

The Library of Congress also spotted the Gold Star Dirt and reached out to see if Sherman knew about the Gold Star Family Voice Act, which expanded the Veterans History Project mandate to audio and video first-person interviews.

Westlake Legal Group Gold-Start-Dirt-6 Navy veteran traveling across US to collect stories of fallen service members from Gold Star families Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox news fnc/us fnc article 79c40ff9-c8ba-5fd8-8c99-19225659854b

Keith Sherman interviewed Gold Star Father Russ Hicks. (Keith Sherman)

It turned out the Library of Congress was in search of the stories Sherman wanted to tell.

“There it was – now the mission had purpose and scope,” he said.

Sherman said he started to prepare for his mission and plan his travel route.

“My thought process for the route came out of trying to skip the northern winter in the United States. I drew a line across the nation and figured that by the time I visited the southern states, met and documented the family stories and hit the East Coast, the northern winter would be mostly over,” he explained.

Westlake Legal Group Gold-Start-Dirt-5 Navy veteran traveling across US to collect stories of fallen service members from Gold Star families Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox news fnc/us fnc article 79c40ff9-c8ba-5fd8-8c99-19225659854b

Navy veteran Keith Sherman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. (Keith Sherman)

“I was worried about the winter, as I would be camping my way across the nation using my rooftop tent. I figured that this way I could keep expenses low as I don’t have any funding, only my retirement, and disability from my military retirement,” Sherman said.

CHICK-FIL-A MAKES 500 SANDWICHES FOR FIRST RESPONDERS AFTER TEXAS SHOOTING SPREE

Now, a year later, with his project nearing completion, Sherman has submitted 20 states’ worth of stories so far.

The Library of Congress has confirmed a donation ceremony date for Nov. 1 at 10 a.m., and every Gold Star family that has participated in the project will be invited to see their loved one’s story be donated into the National Archives, Sherman said.

He said he would reach out to members of Congress in the families’ districts to invite them to the ceremony as well, and also wanted to invite philanthropic groups to donate so the families wouldn’t have to pay for travel expenses to attend the ceremony.

Down the road, the Library of Congress is expected to make the interviews available to view online, but Sherman noted that the process would take time.

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“I have been putting together small-form pieces while on the road and releasing them on our social media when I can. The response has really been amazing,” he said. “So many want to hear these stories of love, honor and sacrifice.”

He added, “Right now, I just need to focus on finishing this project to the best of my ability and in a manner that is in line with the kindness, love and honor that all these families have shown me.”

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Westlake Legal Group Gold-Start-Dirt-4 Navy veteran traveling across US to collect stories of fallen service members from Gold Star families Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox news fnc/us fnc article 79c40ff9-c8ba-5fd8-8c99-19225659854b   Westlake Legal Group Gold-Start-Dirt-4 Navy veteran traveling across US to collect stories of fallen service members from Gold Star families Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox news fnc/us fnc article 79c40ff9-c8ba-5fd8-8c99-19225659854b

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Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump violates Constitution – Spends unappropriated funds, raises taxes on own

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6083445695001_6083433910001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump violates Constitution – Spends unappropriated funds, raises taxes on own fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc db08b8b9-e55a-5921-b992-3bffde6981a2 Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano

Does the president of the United States have too much power?

That question has been asked lately with respect to President Trump’s planned use of federal funds to construct 175 miles of sporadic barriers along portions of the nearly 2,000-mile common border between the U.S. and Mexico.

After Congress expressly declined to give him that money, Trump signed into law – rather than vetoed – the legislation that denied him the funds he sought and then spent the money anyway.

The question regarding presidential power has also been asked with respect to Trump’s imposition of sales taxes – Trump calls them tariffs — on nearly all goods imported into the United States from China. These are taxes that only Congress can constitutionally authorize.

And the question of presidential power has been asked in connection with the presidentially ordered mistreatment of families seeking asylum in the United States by separating parents from children – in defiance of a court order.

PELOSI CLAIMS CONGRESS IS A ‘SUPERIOR BRANCH’ OF GOVERNMENT

This question of presidential power is not an academic one. Nor is it a question unique to the Trump presidency, as it has risen numerous times before Trump entered office. But the audacious manner of Trump’s employment of presidential powers has brought it to public scrutiny.

More from Opinion

Here is the backstory.

The Constitution was written in the aftermath of the American Revolution, a war fought against a kingdom, most of whose domestic subjects articulated that the king had been chosen by God to rule over them.

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The colonists in America, prodded by radicals like Sam Adams, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, profoundly rejected that idea. They argued that each individual was sovereign and a repository of natural rights. Jefferson articulated as much in the Declaration of Independence.

So, when it came time to craft a new government here, the drafters of the Constitution, led by Jefferson’s friend James Madison, made certain that there would be no king. Congress would write the laws. The president would enforce them. The judiciary would interpret them. This separation of powers is what the late Justice Antonin Scalia called the most unique and effective aspect of American government.

Why is that?

For starters, Madison feared the accumulation of too much power in any one branch of the government. With the exception of the uniqueness and violence of the Civil War, for 130 years, the branches remained within their confines. For that matter, the federal government did so as well.

Congresses and presidents accepted the Madisonian view that the federal government could only do what the Constitution affirmatively authorized it to do, and all remaining governmental tasks would be addressed by the states. This, too, was part of Madison’s genius in order to impede the concentration of too much power in the hands of too few.

All that changed when a former professor of constitutional law — who was not a lawyer — entered the White House. Woodrow Wilson believed and behaved as though Congress could legislate on any problem for which there was a national political will, except that which was expressly prohibited by the Constitution.

The Wilsonian view of government and the Madisonian view of government are polar opposites.

At the same time that Wilson was turning the Constitution on its head, he was also signing legislation that created the agencies of the administrative state. These agencies, he argued, should be filled with experts in their fields — the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, to name a few — because experts would bring better government.

The agencies were authorized to write regulations that have the power of law, to enforce those regulations and to interpret them. This slippage of constitutional authority to creatures alien to the Constitution — which branch of government are they in? — masked a parallel slippage of power from Congress to the presidency.

Just as Wilson persuaded Congress that the feds needed experts to run parts of the government, he and his successors persuaded Congress that the presidency should be the repository of emergency powers.

The Constitution does not authorize any emergency powers; nevertheless, the War Powers Resolution lets the president fight any war for 90 days without congressional authorization, even though the Constitution makes clear that only Congress can declare war. Other national emergency statutes give presidents short-term near-dictatorial powers — like imposing taxes by calling them tariffs — without defining what is an emergency.

Scalia railed against all this — and the Supreme Court often struck down power transfers from Congress to the president. It did so not to preserve the institutional integrity of Congress but to uphold the principle of the separation of powers that Madison crafted as a bulwark against tyranny. The constitutional allocation of power among the branches is not for them to alter.

Its equilibrium was intended to maintain tension and even jealousy among the branches — and thereby undergird personal liberty. Madison’s articulated fear was “a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same” branch. Scalia called this gradual concentration of power in the presidency a wolf in sheep’s clothing that became a bare naked wolf.

After years of faithless Congresses legally but unconstitutionally ceding power to the presidency, we have arrived where we are today — a president who spends unappropriated funds, raises taxes, defies courts and changes immigration laws on his own. I have written before that the Republicans who rejoice in this will weep over it when a Democrat is in the White House. No president should have unconstitutional powers.

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I have also written that the guarantees of the Constitution — separation of powers foremost among them — are only effective when the folks in whose hands we repose the Constitution for safekeeping are faithful to their oaths to uphold it.

When they are, our freedoms flourish. When they aren’t — power abhors a vacuum — the temptation of tyranny arises.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6083445695001_6083433910001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump violates Constitution – Spends unappropriated funds, raises taxes on own fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc db08b8b9-e55a-5921-b992-3bffde6981a2 Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6083445695001_6083433910001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump violates Constitution – Spends unappropriated funds, raises taxes on own fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc db08b8b9-e55a-5921-b992-3bffde6981a2 Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano

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Texas inmate executed for killing mother, 89, daughter, 71, in 2003

A Texas death row inmate was executed Wednesday for the fatal stabbing an 89-year-old woman and her 71-year-old daughter after barging into their Fort Worth home under the pretense of doing some work for them over 16 years ago.

Billy Jack Crutsinger, 64, received a lethal injection Wednesday evening at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the 2003 killings of Pearl Magouirk and her daughter, Patricia Syren.In a final statement that lasted four minutes, Crutsinger thanked three friends who witnessed the execution.

“I’m at peace now and ready to go and be with Jesus and my family,” Crutsinger said.

Then, as the lethal dose of pentobarbital began, he said he could feel it “in my left arm. It’s kind of burning.”

Crutsinger then began coughing and breathing heavily and then made snoring noises at least 29 times before he stopped moving.

At 6:40 p.m. CT — 13 minutes after the lethal dose started — Crutsinger was pronounced dead.

Investigators said Crutsinger killed the two women and stole Syren’s car and credit card. Police arrested Crutsinger three days later at a bar in Galveston, over 300 miles away.

Michele Hartmann, one of the prosecutors with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office who convicted Crutsinger, told jurors Crutsinger’s actions had nothing to do with alcohol but were the result of “evil.”

Friends and family described Magouirk, known as “R.D.,” as an avid gardener. Syren volunteered as a receptionist at her church. Both women were retired and lived together.

MEGHAN MCCAIN MOCKED AFTER EXPLAINING HER PRO-GUN STANCE ON ‘THE VIEW’

Crutsinger had been “spiraling downward much of his adult life,” including three failed marriages and a propensity for violence when he drank, according to a report by a forensic psychologist hired by his trial attorneys.

In the months before the murders, Crutsinger became homeless and increasingly desperate after his wife kicked him out of their home and his mother, who had enabled his behavior, stopped helping him, according to the report.

When Crutsinger realized Magouirk and Syren didn’t have enough work to give him much financial relief, he flew into an alcoholic rage, the report said.

“All of his anger at being left to fend for himself and of having his safety net taken from him was then brought to bear on the victims,” according to the report.

Crutsinger was the 14th inmate put to death this year in the U.S. and the fifth in Texas, the nation’s busiest capital punishment state. Ten more executions have been scheduled in Texas for this year.

Westlake Legal Group Billy-Jack-Crutsinger Texas inmate executed for killing mother, 89, daughter, 71, in 2003 Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 10650b08-14b2-5f64-9be3-457916ffd187

Billy Jack Crutsinger was executed Wednesday for the murders of a woman and her daughter.  (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP, File)

No family members of Magouirk and Syren witnessed the execution. Crutsinger did not mention the two women during his final statement.

“The defendant stabbed two elderly women to death in their own home. They had offered him a chance at honest work. The loss of mother and daughter Pearl Magouirk and Pat Syren is still felt deeply by their family and the Fort Worth community. Our sympathy and thoughts continue to be with them,” Hartmann said in a statement.

The U.S. Supreme Court had declined a request by Crutsinger’s attorney to stop the execution. The lawyer had argued Crutsinger’s previous attorney had a long history of incompetent work in death penalty cases.

“The jury heard nothing from the defense that provided an explanation about the disease of alcoholism in relation to the offense conduct,” including such things as “a history of domestic violence and abuse, and repeated losses of significant friends and relatives,” Lydia Brandt, Crutsinger’s current attorney, wrote in her one of her Supreme Court petitions.

Brandt also argued lower courts had wrongly denied Crutsinger funding to investigate competency and mental health claims that were not sufficiently reviewed by prior attorneys.

Lower appeals courts and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles also had declined to stop the execution.

Investigators said DNA evidence tied Crutsinger to the killings and he confessed.

Brandt described Crutsinger’s previous appellate lawyer, Richard Alley, as a “great word processor” who cut and pasted “worthless” legal arguments from other cases and who was removed from another death row client’s case and suspended from practicing in federal court.

Brandt alleged that Alley performed similar shoddy work in at least six other death penalty cases. Four of those inmates have been executed. An attorney for former death row inmate Bobby Woods also alleged incompetent work by Alley before Woods was executed in 2009.

In 2006, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals removed Alley from its list of lawyers eligible to represent death row inmates in their appeals. Alley died in 2017.

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“I do the best I possibly can on all these cases,” Alley told the Austin American-Statesman in a 2006 story that was part of a series that looked at the bad work by court-appointed attorneys in appeals of death penalty cases.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office called Crutsinger’s allegations against Alley “speculative” because he had not identified any claim that Alley should have raised but did not. The attorney general’s office also said Crutsinger’s case has received an “extensive review” during his appeals process.

Fox News’ Shannon Bream and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Billy-Jack-Crutsinger Texas inmate executed for killing mother, 89, daughter, 71, in 2003 Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 10650b08-14b2-5f64-9be3-457916ffd187   Westlake Legal Group Billy-Jack-Crutsinger Texas inmate executed for killing mother, 89, daughter, 71, in 2003 Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 10650b08-14b2-5f64-9be3-457916ffd187

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Turkey’s Erdogan says he won’t accept nuclear-armed nations telling him his nation can’t have nukes

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday rejected calls to prevent his country from acquiring nuclear weapons, saying it was unacceptable for nuclear-armed states to forbid Turkey from doing so.

“Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. But (they tell us) we can’t have them. This, I cannot accept,” Erdogan said in a speech to his ruling party members, according to Reuters.

Turkey has been part of a nuclear-sharing program among NATO allies and has hosted U.S. nuclear weapons, but does not have any nuclear weapons of its own. Erdogan did not specify whether Turkey would start trying to develop its own.

U.S. SANCTIONS IRAN’S SPACE PROGRAM FOR FIRST TIME OVER BALLISTIC MISSILE WORK

“There is no developed nation in the world that doesn’t have them,” Erdogan added. However, only nine sovereign states are currently known to have nuclear weapons.

Turkey has long asserted it needs air defense systems to meet security threats, mostly stemming from the civil war in Syria. On Wednesday, Erdogan implied Turkey might need nuclear weapons to counterbalance Israel.

“We have Israel nearby, as almost neighbors,” he said, according to Reuters. They scare (other nations) by possessing these. No one can touch them.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-f2a664ddf1e84465b4402194637a2b0e Turkey's Erdogan says he won't accept nuclear-armed nations telling him his nation can't have nukes Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/disasters/nuclear fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 9d6ecc20-3b94-5864-a74b-05ec335ead1a

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, seen here in July 2019, fought for his country’s right to acquire nuclear weapons. (Associated Press)

Israel has had a longstanding policy of refusing to comment publicly on whether it maintains a nuclear arsenal.

ROUHANI ANNOUNCES ‘THIRD STEP’ IN BACKING OUT OF NUCLEAR DEAL — DEVELOPING CENTRIFUGES

Erdogan’s remarks came amid tensions with the U.S. over Turkey’s purchase of an advanced Russian missile defense system. The U.S. threatened sanctions if Turkey completed the deal to buy the Russian system, the S-400, and President Trump ultimately followed through on the threat.

As a result of the S-400 deal, Turkey has been unable to buy the high-tech F-35 fighter jet. As a NATO member, Turkey had had a part in the development of the jet.

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Washington claimed Turkey’s deal with Russia might compromise intelligence regarding its development.

Trump said Turkey had bought the S-400 system as a result of the Obama administration refusing to sell Turkey the American alternative until after the S-400 deal was complete, Defense News reported.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-f2a664ddf1e84465b4402194637a2b0e Turkey's Erdogan says he won't accept nuclear-armed nations telling him his nation can't have nukes Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/disasters/nuclear fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 9d6ecc20-3b94-5864-a74b-05ec335ead1a   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-f2a664ddf1e84465b4402194637a2b0e Turkey's Erdogan says he won't accept nuclear-armed nations telling him his nation can't have nukes Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/disasters/nuclear fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc article 9d6ecc20-3b94-5864-a74b-05ec335ead1a

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U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them

Westlake Legal Group 04chinatrade-facebookJumbo U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Mnuchin, Steven T Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

SHANGHAI — The United States and China will hold trade talks in Washington early next month, officials from both countries said on Thursday, but new tariffs will make it difficult to find a way to end their economic clash.

Liu He, a top Chinese economic official and Beijing’s top trade negotiator, will travel to Washington in early October, state media said. Mr. Liu spoke on Thursday morning with Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary. Mr. Lighthizer’s office said that deputy-level meetings would take place ahead of the talks.

If held as scheduled, the talks would take place after new American tariffs kick in, which could make it difficult for the two sides to reach a deal. President Trump has said he would raise tariffs to 30 percent from the current 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs cover everything from cars to aircraft parts.

On Sunday, Washington began charging a 15 percent tax on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with its own increased tariffs. Both countries plan to impose still more tariffs in December, barring a breakthrough in talks.

Already, pessimism had been growing on both sides of the Pacific Ocean about the possibility of a trade deal before the United States presidential elections next year. The mounting tariffs have rattled global markets and set off fears over world economic growth.

Businesses in both the United States and China have begun to express concern about a trade war that has dragged on for more than a year. American manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years because of slowing export orders amid the trade dispute, data showed on Wednesday.

Chinese factory activity, meanwhile, contracted for three months this summer before ticking back up slightly in data released this week. Its manufacturing sector has suffered layoffs and factory shutdowns from the trade war and as its economy grows at its slowest pace in three decades.

“When I speak to C.E.O.s of leading Chinese and global companies, everyone is fretting about what the latest escalations mean for their businesses in the short term, and more worrisome, for their long-term strategy and investment plans,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s greater China business.

The two sides show little sign of backing down, however. Mr. Trump has gambled that China’s softening economy will put pressure on Beijing’s leaders to back down. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Trump cited the country’s slowdown, which he called, inaccurately, “the worst year they’ve had in 57 years.”

“And they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

For their part, China’s leaders believe their own efforts to quell China’s dependence on debt are mostly responsible for the slowdown, and that they could reverse course if needed to bolster growth.

Next month’s talks would be the 13th time that senior-level trade negotiators have met. American negotiators traveled to Shanghai in July to meet briefly with their Chinese counterparts and left with an agreement to meet again in Washington on Sept. 1.

But the plans were disrupted when, one day after negotiators returned home, Mr. Trump said the United States would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 1, once again escalating trade tensions.

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Jason Chaffetz: Andrew McCabe headlining Democratic banquet in Pa. is ‘terribly tone-deaf’

Westlake Legal Group andrew_mccabe Jason Chaffetz: Andrew McCabe headlining Democratic banquet in Pa. is 'terribly tone-deaf' fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 0df69389-49c9-5c14-a472-ef290c4d7e70

For ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to headline an upcoming banquet for Democrats in Lancaster County, Pa., is “terribly tone-deaf,” former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Wednesday.

McCabe should instead be concerned with the fact he was subject of a scathing inspector general’s report and could be mentioned in a forthcoming report from another federal prosecutor, Chaffetz, a Fox News contributor, said on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“He’s on the receiving end of one of the most scathing IG reports there’s ever been,” Chaffetz said. There’s at least two more IG reports coming out.”

MCCABE TO TALK TRUMP, RUSSIA AS KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT DEM FUNDRAISER IN PENNSYLVANIA

“We know that Mr. Durham, a U.S. attorney, is looking into these details,” he continued, referencing a Justice Department-sanctioned probe into the origins of the Russia investigation — which is being headlined by Connecticut federal prosecutor John Durham.

Of McCabe, Chaffetz said his credibility has taken a hit over the past several months.

“He accomplished something that almost no other federal employee did — and that is, he got fired. … A career professional recommended his firing because he was lying, he was less than candid when being interviewed by federal investigators,” he said.

In 2018, McCabe was fired just days before he would have been eligible for a lifetime pension after it was determined that he lied to investigators reviewing the bureau’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

CHAFFETZ ON POSSIBILITY OF CHARGES AGAINST ANDREW MCCABE: DOJ IS ‘HORRIFIC’ AT HOLDING ITSELF ACCOUNTABLE

“Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately,” then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

Later this month, McCabe will headline the Democratic fundraiser at a hotel in Lancaster, a city of about 59,000 residents, about 70 miles west of Philadelphia. Lancaster is Pennsylvania’s eighth-largest city.

According to the Lancaster County Democratic Committee’s website, Chairwoman JoAnn Hentz and other members recently held a conference call with McCabe.

Some of the topics the fired bureaucrat said he would discuss at the dinner include, “Russian meddling in the 2016 election,” and his own “one-on-one interactions with Donald Trump.”

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“Lest anyone thinks this will be a gloomy take on things, Mr. McCabe says he is sure there are brighter days ahead and will talk about why he feels this way,” the LCDC’s post said.

While McCabe criticized the president — even calling for Trump’s impeachment — the fundraiser appeared to represent his first official attempt to campaign against Trump since leaving the administration.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Jake Gibson and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group andrew_mccabe Jason Chaffetz: Andrew McCabe headlining Democratic banquet in Pa. is 'terribly tone-deaf' fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 0df69389-49c9-5c14-a472-ef290c4d7e70   Westlake Legal Group andrew_mccabe Jason Chaffetz: Andrew McCabe headlining Democratic banquet in Pa. is 'terribly tone-deaf' fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 0df69389-49c9-5c14-a472-ef290c4d7e70

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Texas Inmate Executed For Killing Elderly Mother, Daughter in 2003

Westlake Legal Group ap_19246634704404-317c517255b9853caf51d34780776d1b9c780b02-s1100-c15 Texas Inmate Executed For Killing Elderly Mother, Daughter in 2003

An undated Texas Department of Criminal Justice photo shows death row inmate Billy Jack Crutsinger. He was executed for fatally stabbing an 89-year-old woman and her daughter more than 16 years ago. AP hide caption

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AP

Westlake Legal Group  Texas Inmate Executed For Killing Elderly Mother, Daughter in 2003

An undated Texas Department of Criminal Justice photo shows death row inmate Billy Jack Crutsinger. He was executed for fatally stabbing an 89-year-old woman and her daughter more than 16 years ago.

AP

A Texas death row inmate was executed Wednesday by lethal injection for the 2003 fatal stabbing of two women, an elderly mother and her daughter, who had angered him when they were unable to provide him with enough work at their home for him to sustain himself.

Billy Jack Crutsinger, 64, died at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, 13 minutes after receiving a lethal dose of pentobarbital.

Crutsinger was convicted of killing 89-year-old Pearl Magourik and her 71-year old daughter Patricia Syren in their Forth Worth home. Magourik was stabbed at least seven times and Syren was stabbed at least nine times. Afterwards, Crutsinger stole Syren’s car and credit card. He was found three days later three hundred miles away in a bar in Galveston. DNA tied Crutsinger to the crime and he confessed.

His defense attorney had argued that he had a history of alcoholism and became violent when drunk. But in her petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to try to stop the execution his current attorney, Lydia Brandt, said the jury heard nothing about his life that might explain in his alcoholism in relation to the murders.

She also insisted that Crutsinger had been represented on the appellate level by an incompetent attorney. The Supreme Court declined to intervene.

Crutsinger was the fifth inmate executed in Texas this year and ten more are scheduled by the end of the year. Overall, 14 inmates have been executed in the U.S. this year.

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U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them

Westlake Legal Group 04chinatrade-facebookJumbo U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Mnuchin, Steven T Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

SHANGHAI — The United States and China will hold trade talks in Washington early next month, officials from both countries said on Thursday, but new tariffs will make it difficult to find a way to end their economic clash.

Liu He, a top Chinese economic official and Beijing’s top trade negotiator, will travel to Washington in early October, state media said. Mr. Liu spoke on Thursday morning with Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary. Mr. Lighthizer’s office said that deputy-level meetings would take place ahead of the talks.

If held as scheduled, the talks would take place after new American tariffs kick in, which could make it difficult for the two sides to reach a deal. President Trump has said he would raise tariffs to 30 percent from the current 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs cover everything from cars to aircraft parts.

On Sunday, Washington began charging a 15 percent tax on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with its own increased tariffs. Both countries plan to impose still more tariffs in December, barring a breakthrough in talks.

Already, pessimism had been growing on both sides of the Pacific Ocean about the possibility of a trade deal before the United States presidential elections next year. The mounting tariffs have rattled global markets and set off fears over world economic growth.

Businesses in both the United States and China have begun to express concern about a trade war that has dragged on for more than a year. American manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years because of slowing export orders amid the trade dispute, data showed on Wednesday.

Chinese factory activity, meanwhile, contracted for three months this summer before ticking back up slightly in data released this week. Its manufacturing sector has suffered layoffs and factory shutdowns from the trade war and as its economy grows at its slowest pace in three decades.

“When I speak to C.E.O.s of leading Chinese and global companies, everyone is fretting about what the latest escalations mean for their businesses in the short term, and more worrisome, for their long-term strategy and investment plans,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s greater China business.

The two sides show little sign of backing down, however. Mr. Trump has gambled that China’s softening economy will put pressure on Beijing’s leaders to back down. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Trump cited the country’s slowdown, which he called, inaccurately, “the worst year they’ve had in 57 years.”

“And they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

For their part, China’s leaders believe their own efforts to quell China’s dependence on debt are mostly responsible for the slowdown, and that they could reverse course if needed to bolster growth.

Next month’s talks would be the 13th time that senior-level trade negotiators have met. American negotiators traveled to Shanghai in July to meet briefly with their Chinese counterparts and left with an agreement to meet again in Washington on Sept. 1.

But the plans were disrupted when, one day after negotiators returned home, Mr. Trump said the United States would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 1, once again escalating trade tensions.

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Fighting Back Tears, Winston Churchill’s Grandson Exits Politics and Chides Boris Johnson

Westlake Legal Group 04brexit-soames-facebookJumbo Fighting Back Tears, Winston Churchill’s Grandson Exits Politics and Chides Boris Johnson sexual harassment Politics and Government Legislatures and Parliaments Johnson, Boris Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Farage, Nigel (1964- ) European Union Europe Conservative Party (Great Britain) Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer Brexit Party (Great Britain)

LONDON — Rising to speak before a half-empty House of Commons on Wednesday, Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill, choked up, fighting back tears.

Mr. Soames, 71, has served in Parliament for 37 years and is a popular figure, known to have a lively sense of humor. But he now was announcing his decision to retire from politics, a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson had expelled him from the Conservative Party. He had joined a group of 21 Tory rebels who defied Mr. Johnson on Tuesday night by voting against legislation that would pave the way toward blocking a no-deal Brexit.

“I’m truly very sad that it should end in this way,” Mr. Soames said. “It is my most fervent hope that this house will rediscover the spirit of compromise, humility and understanding that will enable us finally to push ahead with the vital work in the interests of the whole country that has inevitably had to be so sadly neglected whilst we have devoted so much time to wrestling with Brexit.”

If Brexit is shaking the foundations of party politics in Britain, the expulsion and resignation of Mr. Soames is a moment that not long ago would have been unimaginable. It is especially searing given that Mr. Johnson, who cast him aside, considers Churchill one of his greatest heroes, and has written a biography of Britain’s wartime leader.

Mr. Soames, whose mother was Mr. Churchill’s youngest child, said he had voted against the Tory government three times in his 37 years but that this was the first time he had “the whip removed,” meaning he will no longer be allowed to represent his party in Parliament.

“I have been told by the chief whip, who is my friend and who I like very much, that it will be his sad duty to write to me tomorrow to tell me I have had the whip removed after 37 years as a Conservative member of Parliament,” he said Tuesday night in an interview with the BBC. “That’s fortunes of war. I knew what I was doing.”

Determined to deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 “come what may,” Mr. Johnson has become increasingly ruthless, exacerbating existing frictions within his party over Britain’s exit from the European Union. Since taking office in July, Mr. Johnson has purged cabinet ministers and ordered a five-week suspension of parliament as a tactic to limit its ability to challenge his plan to leave the European bloc with or without a deal.

But lawmakers struck back on Tuesday, aided by the Tory rebels, by wresting control of the Brexit agenda in a parliamentary vote. Next they are pushing through legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Mr. Soames said he thought the purge was part of a plan by Mr. Johnson to wage a general election as the candidate for the pro-Brexit crowd, to blunt the challenge of the Brexit Party of Nigel Farage.

“It is a pity — a great pity — that this has in my view all been planned,” Mr. Soames said. “This is exactly what they wanted, and they will try to have a general election which is what they wanted.”

The ousted, or, in technical terms, the deselected lawmakers are free to stand for Parliament as independent candidates in the next general election, but Mr. Soames said he would not.

From the outset of his political career, Mr. Soames was confronted with the shadow of his grandfather but managed to create his own space.

In 1952, when Mr. Soames was 5, he was oblivious to his grandfather’s significance. He told the Guardian newspaper that he had walked into Mr. Churchill’s bedroom one day and asked, “Is it true, grandpapa, that you are the greatest man in the world?”

“Yes, I am,” Mr. Churchill replied. “Now bugger off.”

Mr. Soames, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services in politics, is also known to be brash. Guy Woodward, a journalist who interviewed him about his passion for wine, described the experience as bruising. “The Tory grandee doesn’t so much talk at you as through you, barely pausing for respite,” Mr. Woodward wrote in The Decanter Journal.

The Tory veteran, who has been married twice and has three children, has been accused of being one of the most sexist lawmakers in Parliament. In the book “Women in Parliament — The New Suffragettes,” at least six women accused Mr. Soames of verbal sexual harassment. Others accused him of making cupping gestures with his hands, suggestive of female breasts, the Independent newspaper reported.

Mr. Soames has dismissed the allegations as “nonsense” and “fiction” that had been made up to sell the book.

For his part, Mr. Johnson has repeatedly spoken of his deep admiration for Mr. Churchill’s leadership and marked the 50th anniversary of his death in 2014 by publishing a biography, “The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History.”

In his introduction he wrote: “When I was growing up there was no doubt about it. Churchill was quite the greatest statesman that Britain had ever produced. From a very early age I had a pretty clear idea of what he had done: he had led my country to victory against all the odds and against one of the most disgusting tyrannies the world has seen.”

It turns out that deselection is another thing that Mr. Soames now has in common with his grandfather. Churchill himself was deselected in 1904 in an argument over free trade. Politically, he did recover.

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U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them

Westlake Legal Group 04chinatrade-facebookJumbo U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Mnuchin, Steven T Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

SHANGHAI — The United States and China will hold trade talks in Washington early next month, officials from both countries said on Thursday, but new tariffs will make it difficult to find a way to end their economic clash.

Liu He, a top Chinese economic official and Beijing’s top trade negotiator, will travel to Washington in early October, state media said. Mr. Liu spoke on Thursday morning with Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary. Mr. Lighthizer’s office said that deputy-level meetings would take place ahead of the talks.

If held as scheduled, the talks would take place after new American tariffs kick in, which could make it difficult for the two sides to reach a deal. President Trump has said he would raise tariffs to 30 percent from the current 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs cover everything from cars to aircraft parts.

On Sunday, Washington began charging a 15 percent tax on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with its own increased tariffs. Both countries plan to impose still more tariffs in December, barring a breakthrough in talks.

Already, pessimism had been growing on both sides of the Pacific Ocean about the possibility of a trade deal before the United States presidential elections next year. The mounting tariffs have rattled global markets and set off fears over world economic growth.

Businesses in both the United States and China have begun to express concern about a trade war that has dragged on for more than a year. American manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years because of slowing export orders amid the trade dispute, data showed on Wednesday.

Chinese factory activity, meanwhile, contracted for three months this summer before ticking back up slightly in data released this week. Its manufacturing sector has suffered layoffs and factory shutdowns from the trade war and as its economy grows at its slowest pace in three decades.

“When I speak to C.E.O.s of leading Chinese and global companies, everyone is fretting about what the latest escalations mean for their businesses in the short term, and more worrisome, for their long-term strategy and investment plans,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s greater China business.

The two sides show little sign of backing down, however. Mr. Trump has gambled that China’s softening economy will put pressure on Beijing’s leaders to back down. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Trump cited the country’s slowdown, which he called, inaccurately, “the worst year they’ve had in 57 years.”

“And they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

For their part, China’s leaders believe their own efforts to quell China’s dependence on debt are mostly responsible for the slowdown, and that they could reverse course if needed to bolster growth.

Next month’s talks would be the 13th time that senior-level trade negotiators have met. American negotiators traveled to Shanghai in July to meet briefly with their Chinese counterparts and left with an agreement to meet again in Washington on Sept. 1.

But the plans were disrupted when, one day after negotiators returned home, Mr. Trump said the United States would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 1, once again escalating trade tensions.

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