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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 259)

Prince’s half-brother and heir Alfred Jackson dead at 66

Alfred Jackson, the half-brother of music icon Prince and an heir to his estate, has died, the star’s younger sister said Thursday. He was 66.

Tyka Nelson, Jackson’s half-sister, posted on Facebook that “this morning my older beloved brother Alfred passed on … Thank u for respecting our privacy at this time & 4 being so nice 2 him.”

TMZ, which first reported on Jackson’s death, said that he died at his home in Kansas City and was found unresponsive by his brother Bruce Jackson, at around 10:30 a.m.

JUDGE CONFIRMS PRINCE’S 6 SIBLINGS AS HEIRS TO HIS ESTATE

Law enforcement found no signs of foul play and believe Jackson died of natural causes, the gossip site said.

Jackson, who was an Air Force veteran and had been living in VA housing for a number of years prior to Prince’s death in April 2016, used the money from his inheritance to purchase a home.

Westlake Legal Group Alfred-Jackson-2017 Prince's half-brother and heir Alfred Jackson dead at 66 Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e726f2c7-30b5-5d91-981f-49f92fbbf87d article

Alfred Jackson, half-brother and heir to music icon Prince, has died at 66. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Jackson and Prince shared the same mother, Mattie Shaw.

In an emotional interview with Entertainment Tonight following Prince’s death, Jackson admitted that he hadn’t spoken to the “Kiss” crooner in more than 15 years, but said he still loved his brother and always followed his career.

PRINCE DIED OF OPIOID OVERDOSE, MEDICAL EXAMINER’S OFFICE REVEALS

“I miss my brother, because my brother was everything in the world to me,” Jackson lamented. “God bless Prince, God bless the world. He’s a legend, he really is.”

Westlake Legal Group prince-arms-out-reuters660 Prince's half-brother and heir Alfred Jackson dead at 66 Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e726f2c7-30b5-5d91-981f-49f92fbbf87d article

May 24, 2006. Singer Prince performs in a surprise appearance on “American Idol.” (Reuters)

“He was so busy on the road because he had so many engagements with his music,” added Jackson. “So, he had to travel, all around the world. I always saw him on television, read the magazines, and said, ‘There’s my brother, Prince.’ I was so happy he was making it for himself, I really was.”

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Prince died on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57 following an accidental overdose of fentanyl, according to the toxicology report. The report also indicated the level of fentanyl in Prince’s liver was 450 micrograms per kilogram and notes that liver concentrations greater than 69 micrograms per kilogram “seem to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases.”

Representatives for the Prince estate did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Westlake Legal Group Alfred-Jackson-2017 Prince's half-brother and heir Alfred Jackson dead at 66 Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e726f2c7-30b5-5d91-981f-49f92fbbf87d article   Westlake Legal Group Alfred-Jackson-2017 Prince's half-brother and heir Alfred Jackson dead at 66 Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/entertainment fnc e726f2c7-30b5-5d91-981f-49f92fbbf87d article

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Video from raid on Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion showed nude images of young women

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6079628817001_6079643507001-vs Video from raid on Jeffrey Epstein's Palm Beach mansion showed nude images of young women fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc Bryan Llenas b593bcff-67ab-59b1-95a0-95f71407dbce article

Video of a 2005 police raid of Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., mansion reveals a home partially decorated with illicit photos and imagery of young women.

Inside the home, the video shows a wall covered in artsy nude photos of men and women, a painting of a nude woman lying on her back and a photo of a naked woman – reportedly Epstein’s ex-girlfriend and alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell – lying on a sandy beach.

Entering the master bedroom, police discovered a drawing of a bare female backside and a painting of a naked woman, as well as what appeared to be either a sketch or embellished photo of Maxwell.

Other photos in the home apparently showed Epstein standing at the podium of the White House press room.

Police also discovered a green massage table leaning against a wall under framed photos of Epstein, who was accused of molesting dozens of underage girls at the mansion.

By 2006, Palm Beach investigators had interviewed more than 30 young women – some of whom were minors at the time of the alleged molestations.

EPSTEIN ACCUSERS SPEAK OUT IN COURT AS DEFENSE TEAM URGES PROBE OF DEATH

In the end, prosecutors and Epstein’s lawyers negotiated a then-secret plea deal which led Epstein to serve just 13 months in jail under work-release privileges, allowing him to work in his office six days a week.

He pleaded guilty to a child prostitution charge and registered as a sex offender.

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The FBI has raided Epstein’s other properties, including his New York City mansion and his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Prosecutors confirmed Tuesday that inquiries into Epstein’s co-conspirators were ongoing and would continue despite the fact that the criminal case against Epstein has been dismissed due to Epstein’s suicide in his jail cell earlier this month.

Fox News’ Tamara Gitt contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6079628817001_6079643507001-vs Video from raid on Jeffrey Epstein's Palm Beach mansion showed nude images of young women fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc Bryan Llenas b593bcff-67ab-59b1-95a0-95f71407dbce article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6079628817001_6079643507001-vs Video from raid on Jeffrey Epstein's Palm Beach mansion showed nude images of young women fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc Bryan Llenas b593bcff-67ab-59b1-95a0-95f71407dbce article

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Marlon Brando Confronted Michael Jackson About Child Abuse Allegations

Westlake Legal Group 5c8ea2fd2300008900e867a1 Marlon Brando Confronted Michael Jackson About Child Abuse Allegations

The public’s fascination with Michael Jackson continues.

On what would have been his 61st birthday, it’s being reported that the King of Pop was once confronted by his friend Marlon Brando over the child abuse allegations against him — and Jackson broke down in tears.

The podcast Telephone Stories: The Trials of Michael Jackson touts in a press release that it obtained the sworn account Brando gave to Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys on March 14, 1994.

That interview — which was recorded and transcribed — will be featured in its season finale on Sunday.

In it, Brando reportedly told authorities, “I think it’s pretty reasonable to conclude that [Jackson] may have had something to do with kids.”

The reclusive Oscar winner — a close friend and visitor to Neverland Ranch —had been contacted by the D.A.’s office and spoke with district attorneys Bill Hodgman, of O.J. Simpson trial fame, and Lauren Weis about “an unusual conversation he had with Jackson and his suspicions concerning the King of Pop’s behavior around young boys,” according to the press release.

He also relayed “impressions and concerns” he had discussed with his son, Miko C.Brando, who worked as a security guard for Jackson.

Brando detailed a “tear-filled conversation” he had with Jackson at NeverlandRanch, the release states. It reportedly took place after Brando confronted Jackson during a private dinner and acting lesson and it “culminated in a revealing exchange between the two men.”

Weis, now a judge, confirmed the interview with Brando about Jackson to the Los Angeles Times.

According to Brando’s documented account, Jackson broke down in tears during the talk and admitted he hated his father, Joe Jackson.

The conversation then turned to homosexuality and the children he was accused of sexually abusing, as Jackson had first been investigated for child molestation in 1993.

Brando reportedly said that Jackson ended up crying so hard that the superstar had to comfort him.

That’s when Brando told prosecutors, “With this mode of behavior that’s been going on, I think it’s pretty reasonable to conclude that he may have had something to do with kids.”

That said, Brando noted that Jackson never came out and said he was gay or admitted to sexual relations with the boys.

Instead, he kept crying and was so shaken by the conversation that Brando thought he was telling him something.

“My impression, was that he didn’t want to answer because he was frightened to answer me,” Brando said.

Brando also reportedly told the D.A. that the childlike Jackson never cursed and didn’t like when people used the F word. He was especially uncomfortable when being asked about his sex life.

“I had asked him if he was a virgin and he sort of laughed and giggled, and he called me Brando,” the actor told prosecutors. “He said, ‘Oh, Brando.’ I said, ‘Well, what do you do for sex?’ And he was acting fussy and embarrassed.”

Brando also asked, “Well, who are your friends?’ He said, ‘I don’t know anybody my own age. I don’t like anybody my own age.’ I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know.’ He was crying hard enough that … I tried to assuage him. I tried to help him all I could.”

This is the first time the conversation between Brando and Jackson has bee nmade public because it was never used as evidence in Jackson’s 2005 trial —which resulted in the pop star’s acquittal.

Brando died in 2004 followed byJackson in 2009.After Brando’s death, his son Miko told the L.A. Times his dad counted the pop star among his closest friends in his final years.

“The last time my father left his house to go anywhere, to spend any kind of time, it was with Michael Jackson. He loved it,” Miko said. “[He] had a 24-hour chef, 24-hour security, 24-hour help, 24-hour kitchen, 24-hour maid service. Just carte blanche.”

Miko said that the men met through “Quincy Jones back in the 1980s.”

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How a Ring of Women Allegedly Recruited Girls for Jeffrey Epstein

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Haley Robson was a 16-year-old South Florida high school student when an acquaintance from school approached her at a local pool with an intriguing offer: Did she want to make extra money giving massages to a billionaire in Palm Beach?

She agreed. When Jeffrey Epstein tried to grope her while she was giving him a massage, wearing nothing but a thong, she brushed his hand away, Ms. Robson said in a 2009 deposition for a civil case. But she continued to visit Mr. Epstein’s mansion dozens more times, in a lucrative new role: a recruiter of other teenage girls from her school.

“I didn’t have to convince them,” she said in the deposition. “I proposed to them. They took it.”

After Mr. Epstein’s suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in early August, federal authorities have refocused their investigation on the more than half-dozen employees, girlfriends and associates who prosecutors say he relied on to feed his insatiable appetite for girls, according to two people with knowledge of the inquiry. Ms. Robson, now 33, is among them.

A review by The New York Times of lawsuits, unsealed court records and depositions, along with new interviews, offers disturbing allegations about how this small cadre of women helped Mr. Epstein lure girls into his orbit and managed the logistics of his encounters with them.

The urgency of the investigation into Mr. Epstein’s associates was underscored on Tuesday when about two dozen women offered searing accounts of how he had sexually abused them before a packed courtroom in Manhattan.

The judge overseeing the case had invited the women to speak at a hearing to dismiss the indictment against Mr. Epstein in light of his death.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159800412_4582cd64-5e81-4d47-a0fc-2036ff85962e-articleLarge How a Ring of Women Allegedly Recruited Girls for Jeffrey Epstein Women and Girls Sarah Kellen prostitution Palm Beach (Fla) Nadia Marcinkova Maxwell, Ghislaine Manhattan (NYC) Lesley Groff human trafficking Haley Robson Giuffre, Virginia Roberts Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Adriana Ross

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, right, and Sarah Ransome, left, who have said they were sexually abused by Mr. Epstein, after a hearing in federal court in Manhattan.  CreditJefferson Siegel for The New York Times

Several of the women implored federal prosecutors to continue investigating the women in Mr. Epstein’s inner circle.

“Jeffrey is no longer here, and the women that helped him are,” said Teresa Helm, who said she was recruited into Mr. Epstein’s world 17 years ago. “They definitely need to be held accountable for helping him, helping themselves, helping one another carry on this huge — almost like — system.”

The United States attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman, whose office brought the charges against Mr. Epstein, said after his suicide that the investigation into the sex-trafficking conspiracy was not finished and prosecutors were committed to standing up for the “brave young women” Mr. Epstein had abused.

One of the women under scrutiny, Mr. Epstein’s onetime girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, has been accused in several well-publicized lawsuits of overseeing efforts to procure girls and young women for him, a charge she has firmly denied.

But Mr. Epstein is also accused in civil suits of relying on an organized network of underlings: those who trained girls how to sexually pleasure him; office assistants who booked cars and travel; and recruiters who ensured he always had a fresh supply of teenage girls at the ready.

None of Mr. Epstein’s associates have been charged or named as co-conspirators in Manhattan. But federal authorities are eyeing possible charges that include sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy, the two people with knowledge of the investigation said.

Four women were apparently so instrumental to Mr. Epstein’s operation that they were named as possible “co-conspirators” and were granted immunity from prosecution in a widely criticized plea bargain Mr. Epstein struck with federal prosecutors in Florida more than a decade ago. That deal allowed Mr. Epstein to plead guilty to state charges and to spend 13 months in a county jail rather than face a federal sex-trafficking indictment.

The four women — Sarah Kellen, Lesley Groff, Adriana Ross and Nadia Marcinkova — could still be subject to criminal charges in Manhattan. The United States attorney’s office has said it is not bound by the Florida agreement.

Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell, shown in 1995.CreditPatrick McMullan, via Getty Images

Three women have alleged in lawsuits that Mr. Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring operated as a hierarchy, with the financier and Ms. Maxwell at the top.

“She orchestrated the whole thing for Jeffrey,” Sarah Ransome, who sued Ms. Maxwell and other associates in 2017, said in an interview.

Ms. Maxwell, the daughter of the British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, was Mr. Epstein’s longtime companion, managing his homes and introducing him to many of the politicians, celebrities and dignitaries who became fixtures within his social circle.

“They were like partners in business,” Janusz Banasiak, Mr. Epstein’s house manager, said in a deposition. Mr. Epstein’s butler, Alfredo Rodriguez, described Ms. Maxwell in a deposition as “the boss.”

Ms. Maxwell has vehemently denied she trafficked girls. Neither Ms. Maxwell nor her lawyers responded to requests for interviews for this article.

But Mr. Epstein’s accusers contend in court papers that Ms. Maxwell managed the network of recruiters and helped devise the playbook for how to lure young women into Mr. Epstein’s web. Recruiters were allegedly told to target young, financially desperate women, and to promise them help furthering their education and careers, these civil complaints said.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre said in a deposition that she was 16 when she met Ms. Maxwell and was recruited as a masseuse. She said she remembered Ms. Maxwell’s sales pitch: If she gave a wealthy man a massage, a whole world of opportunity would open to her.

“If the guy likes you, then, you know, it will work out for you,” Ms. Giuffre, in a deposition, recalled Ms. Maxwell telling her. “You’ll travel. You’ll make good money. You’ll be educated.”

Ms. Giuffre took the job. Soon, she said, she became Mr. Epstein’s “sex slave,” not only providing sexual favors to him but also to some of his acquaintances, including politicians and prominent businessmen.

“My whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy,” she said in the deposition. “Their whole entire lives revolved around sex.”

Just below Ms. Maxwell in the chain of command was Ms. Kellen, another high-ranking employee, who has been accused in multiple lawsuits of scheduling girls for sex sessions with Mr. Epstein in his Palm Beach mansion.

She was called the “lieutenant” in one lawsuit. David Rodgers, Mr. Epstein’s pilot, said in a deposition that Ms. Kellen was “like an assistant to Ghislaine.”

Ms. Kellen kept the names and numbers of all the girls who gave Mr. Epstein erotic massages, according to Palm Beach police reports and Ms. Robson’s deposition. She would call them whenever Mr. Epstein was in town, asking the girls if they were ready to “work,” the reports and Ms. Robson said.

“She saw herself as the boss,” said Spencer T. Kuvin, a West Palm Beach lawyer who represented several accusers in lawsuits. “Sarah was really running that organization, bringing girls and getting them in and out of the Palm Beach home.”

Ms. Kellen, who sometimes goes by Sarah Kensington or Sarah Vickers, did not respond to requests for an interview. Her lawyers also did not respond to requests for comment.

Multiple girls told Palm Beach detectives that when they arrived at Mr. Epstein’s mansion, Ms. Kellen would escort them upstairs to Mr. Epstein’s bedroom and lay out the massage table with the various oils and lotions that they were to use on him, according to police reports.

In an interview, Ms. Ransome said Ms. Kellen and Ms. Maxwell also gave her tips on how to give Mr. Epstein erotic massages, including how to rub his feet and best satisfy him sexually.

“It was Ghislaine and Sarah Kellen that showed me how to please Jeffrey,” Ms. Ransome said.

Lesley Groff was Mr. Epstein’s executive assistant for nearly two decades.CreditMax Rapp/Patrick McMullan, via Getty Images

Ms. Groff, Mr. Epstein’s executive assistant for almost 20 years, was one of the possible co-conspirators named in the 2008 plea deal Mr. Epstein’s lawyers worked out with the United States attorney’s office in Miami.

She said in a 2005 interview with The Times that she answered Mr. Epstein’s telephone and managed his schedule, which included meetings with prominent scientists, Wall Street executives, foreign dignitaries and American politicians.

Over the years, she said in 2005, she formed a special bond with the financier, anticipating his needs. “I know what he is thinking,” she said at the time.

But Ms. Ransome said in her lawsuit that Ms. Groff, now 53, also arranged travel and lodging for the seemingly endless stream of adolescent girls and young women who provided Mr. Epstein with erotic massages.

In a recent interview with The Times, Ms. Ransome said Ms. Groff communicated directly with her, repeating Mr. Epstein’s promises to help her obtain a fashion degree.

Ms. Groff’s lawyer, Michael Bachner, said his client worked as part of a professional staff, making appointments, taking messages and setting up meetings. “At no time during Lesley’s employment with Epstein did she ever engage in any misconduct and never knowingly made travel arrangements for anyone under 18,” Mr. Bachner said.

Ms. Ransome also alleged in her lawsuit that she was instructed by Mr. Epstein’s associates to go on a diet and to lose about 11 pounds to maintain her slim figure. In one email exchange reviewed by The Times, Ms. Ransome told Ms. Groff she was monitoring her weight for Mr. Epstein. “Please could you also let him know that I am now 57 kg and that everything is going well,” Ms. Ransome emailed Ms. Groff in 2007.

Another of Mr. Epstein’s assistants, Ms. Ross, was also named as a potential co-conspirator in the 2008 plea deal.

When Palm Beach police were investigating Mr. Epstein around 2005, Ms. Ross removed three computers from the Florida mansion, Mr. Banasiak, the house manager, said in a deposition. The police noted in their reports that the computers, which they had reason to think might contain photos of naked girls, were missing when investigators arrived.

“She show up one day with gentleman,” Mr. Banasiak said. “And she told me that they are moving out those computers.”

Ms. Ross, who went on to study accounting and is based in Miami, did not respond to calls or emails seeking comment.

Ms. Marcinkova, a former model and pilot, had come under police scrutiny in Palm Beach in 2005.

A 16-year-old told detectives she was giving Mr. Epstein a massage when Ms. Marcinkova entered the room naked, according to Palm Beach police reports. Mr. Epstein then told the girl she could make an extra $200 if she performed oral sex on Ms. Marcinkova, and the girl reluctantly agreed, the reports said.

That encounter was the first of many sexual trysts the teenager told the police she was coerced into having with both Ms. Marcinkova and Mr. Epstein at his Palm Beach mansion, according to a police incident report.

Police records also show that investigators had indications that Ms. Marcinkova might have been underage herself when she became involved with Mr. Epstein.

Ms. Marcinkova, who later used the last name Marcinko, declined to answer questions about Mr. Epstein’s alleged abuse of girls when she was deposed in a lawsuit, invoking the Fifth Amendment.

Reached by The Times, Ms. Marcinkova’s lawyers, Erica T. Dubno and Aaron Mysliwiec, said “like other victims, Nadia Marcinko is and has been severely traumatized” and “needs time to process and make sense of what she has been through before she is able to speak out.”

Prosecutors may face thorny legal issues in deciding whether to charge some of Mr. Epstein’s associates, like Ms. Robson and Ms. Marcinkova, who may have initially been victims themselves.

Determining criminal liability is always a complex decision if a person has been exploited for sex, then used as a pawn to recruit others, said Lauren Hersh, a former sex-trafficking prosecutor in Brooklyn who now leads World Without Exploitation, an anti-trafficking organization.

“But for their own exploitation, they wouldn’t do that,” she said. “It becomes really, really tricky.”

Ms. Robson, a former stripper and Olive Garden worker, was not among the four women given immunity in the Florida plea agreement. But her role in Mr. Epstein’s operation was significant enough that Palm Beach Police detectives had planned to charge her more than a decade ago, according to an affidavit by the lead detective in Palm Beach.

She was also sued twice, and she described her role in Mr. Epstein’s operation in a deposition.

When Mr. Epstein would fly into Florida, Ms. Robson said she would get a call on her cellphone from Ms. Kellen, who would tell her how many massages the financier needed for the upcoming visit. The two of them would hammer out logistics.

“I would have a girl that would be available for those dates and times,” Ms. Robson said in a 2009 deposition.

Ms. Robson told lawyers she made $200 for every high school girl she brought to the Palm Beach mansion. She recruited the girls from her high school, including one who was 14. When she brought a 23-year-old, Mr. Epstein balked. Too old, he told her.

The girls knew what they were getting into, Ms. Robson said. The rules were unspoken, but understood.

“The more you do, the more you make,” Ms. Robson said in the deposition. “If you were topless, if you were working in your thong, your bra, you’re going to make more than a hundred.”

Reached by The Times, Ms. Robson said, “I have nothing to say. I would appreciate if I was not contacted.”

Douglas McIntosh, a lawyer who represented her in a civil case in Florida, called Ms. Robson “a lovely young lady,” but declined to answer questions about her involvement with Mr. Epstein.

In her deposition, Ms. Robson said that she had debated suing Mr. Epstein, but decided against it.

“I just thought it was the easy way out,” she said. “And then I decided this is my life and I have to take responsibility for my own actions because I did volunteer.”

Jeffrey Epstein’s Victims, Denied a Trial, Vent Their Fury: ‘He Is a Coward’

Aug. 27, 2019

Epstein’s Island, ‘Little St. Jeff’s’: A Hideaway Where Money Bought Influence

Aug. 28, 2019

$56 Million Upper East Side Mansion Where Epstein Allegedly Abused Girls

July 8, 2019

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Secretive US government agency needs ‘underground lair’ by Friday

A U.S. government agency that birthed the network which ultimately became the Internet is apparently in need of an underground lair. And fast — by tomorrow, to be specific.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which has famously been involved in a range of projects, including neural implants for U.S. soldiers, made its need known in a Wednesday tweet that prompted some suspicious replies.

“Attention, city dwellers! We’re interested in identifying university-owned or commercially managed underground urban tunnels & facilities able to host research & experimentation,” the tweet read, adding, “It’s short notice, we’re asking for responses by Aug. 30 at 5:00 PM ET.”

APPLE CO-FOUNDER STEVE WOZNIAK THINKS COMPANY SHOULD BE BROKEN UP

Westlake Legal Group underground-bunker-getty-images Secretive US government agency needs 'underground lair' by Friday fox-news/tech/forefront-of-innovation fox-news/tech fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 92009188-aeed-5e03-97c9-edbdd4841c99

DARPA solicited information on underground lairs in a recent tweet. The above image shows the inside of the Barbara Tunnel in Oberried, Germany. The tunnel has been the central long-term archive of Germany since 1975. (Getty Images)

The tweet included a link to a Request for Information (RFI) form and some stark images: a subway station devoid of humans, a dark parking garage and some type of underground bunker.

The government agency elaborated a bit in a second tweet.

One person responded, “This sounds both exciting and ominous,” to which the DARPA account replied, “Even to us.”

Although the solicitation might conjure dystopian visions or zombie-apocalypse preparations, a representative for DARPA told Fox News that the request is related to finding locations for its Subterranean Challenge Urban Circuit – a competition that’s examining new approaches and technologies that could help first responders and the military navigate tunnels, the urban underground and cave networks.

AMAZON’S NEW YORK HQ2 DEBACLE INCLUDED ‘BURN BOOK’ ON PROJECT’S DETRACTORS

“Per the announcement on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the RFI is intended solely for information and planning purposes, and does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals. Complex urban underground infrastructure can present significant challenges for situational awareness in time-sensitive scenarios, such as active combat operations or disaster response,” Jared Adams, DARPA’s chief of communications, told Fox News via email.

One Twitter user joked, “We are definitely not looking for new places to keep all the Demogorgons,” referencing the monster in “Stranger Things.”

DARPA responded with this: “Please. Demogorgons are such a Department of Energy thing.”

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The teams competing in the Subterranean Challenge are vying for several million dollars in prizes.

Westlake Legal Group underground-bunker-getty-images Secretive US government agency needs 'underground lair' by Friday fox-news/tech/forefront-of-innovation fox-news/tech fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 92009188-aeed-5e03-97c9-edbdd4841c99   Westlake Legal Group underground-bunker-getty-images Secretive US government agency needs 'underground lair' by Friday fox-news/tech/forefront-of-innovation fox-news/tech fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 92009188-aeed-5e03-97c9-edbdd4841c99

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Deaths From Red Light Running At A 10-Year High, AAA Study Finds

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-161211713-c5c183f1fa797bf3f127fddf7af891c0f1501a52-s1100-c15 Deaths From Red Light Running At A 10-Year High, AAA Study Finds

This red light camera is at the intersection of 6th Avenue, Speer Boulevard and Lincoln Street in Denver. A new study finds that deaths caused by motorists running red lights have risen to a 10-year-high. Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post via Getty Images hide caption

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Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Deaths From Red Light Running At A 10-Year High, AAA Study Finds

This red light camera is at the intersection of 6th Avenue, Speer Boulevard and Lincoln Street in Denver. A new study finds that deaths caused by motorists running red lights have risen to a 10-year-high.

Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post via Getty Images

Deaths caused by motorists running red lights have risen to a 10-year high, a newly released study finds.

At least two people are killed this way every day in the U.S., according to the study of government data by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The study looked at fatalities from 2008 to 2017, the most recent year data are available. Drivers blowing through red lights killed 939 people in 2017. That’s an increase of 31% from a low in 2009, when 715 people were killed.

More than half of those killed were passengers or people riding in other vehicles. About 35% were the drivers who ran the red light. Pedestrian and cyclist deaths connected to red light running represented about 5% of total deaths.

The precise reason for the jump in fatalities isn’t clear. But AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research, Jake Nelson, says distracted driving is likely a major contributor.

“Drivers distracted on their phones, pedestrians distracted when crossing intersections, are all reasonable contributing causes to what we see the data telling us,” Nelson told NPR. “But it’s not the only cause.”

For instance, AAA conducted a separate survey on red light running and found that about one-third of drivers who responded admitted to having sped through a red light in the past month, despite the majority of respondents saying red light running represents a serious safety concern.

“So that implies that they weren’t distracted,” Nelson said.

Another contributing factor is that more people are driving longer distances since 2008, according to AAA.

“Ten years ago, we were recovering from an economic recession, and people were driving a lot less. So, pure expose to more driving is going to result in increase crashes of all kinds,” Nelson said. “As a result of that, there will more people who die in crashes involving red-light-running drivers.”

AAA recommends putting red light cameras in areas that have a pattern of crashes, with local law enforcement officials directly supervising the cameras.

“Camera enforcement is a proven way to reduce red light running and save lives,” said Jessica Cicchino of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The automotive group says drivers should monitor “stale” green lights — those that have been green a long time as you’ve approached the intersection. They are more likely to turn yellow as you arrive at the intersection.

For pedestrians, making sure an intersection is clear before crossing is another thing that Nelson says might seem obvious.

“If you’re the first person at a red light waiting to cross an intersection when the light turns green, give yourself three seconds,” he said. “It could mean the difference between life and death.”

Pedestrians and cyclists should make eye contact with drivers, according to AAA, which also recommends not wearing headphones while commuting.

“If you’re going to cross an intersection, for just a moment please take your face out of your phone and take those earbuds out of your years,” Nelson said, “so you can protect yourself in the event that someone blows through a red light.”

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State Of Emergency For Hurricane Dorian Extended To All Florida Counties

Westlake Legal Group 5d683c0e25000051047463bd State Of Emergency For Hurricane Dorian Extended To All Florida Counties

MIAMI (Reuters) – Florida’s governor on Thursday extended a state of emergency to the whole state ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian, which is forecast to strengthen into a highly dangerous Category 4 storm during the weekend before hitting the Atlantic coast.

Governor Ron DeSantis took the step as authorities canceled some commercial flights, planned precautions at rocket launch sites along the Space Coast and prepared to give out sand to residents for sandbags ahead of the storm’s arrival.

Spurred on by warm late-summer waters, Dorian is predicted to pack winds reaching 130 mph (209 kph) in 72 hours, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said on Thursday.

That would make it a Category 4 storm, the second-strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale for measuring hurricane intensity.

The center describes Category 4 storms as capable of causing “catastrophic damage” including severe damage to well-built homes. It said in such storms, “Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed.”

Dorian is likely to make landfall on Florida’s eastern coast on Monday before lingering over central Florida on Tuesday but tropical storm-force winds from Dorian could begin in parts of Florida as early as Saturday evening, the hurricane center said. The storm could affect big population centers as well as major Florida tourist destinations.

“All residents, especially those along the east coast, need to be prepared for possible impacts,” DeSantis said in a statement. “As it increases strength, this storm has the potential to severely damage homes, businesses and buildings, which is why all Floridians should remain vigilant. Do not wait until it is too late to make a plan.”

The governor had declared a state of emergency for 26 counties on the east coast but extended it on Thursday to the whole of Florida.

Currently a Category 1 hurricane, Dorian was headed toward the Bahamas on Thursday after sideswiping Caribbean islands without doing major damage. Dorian is expected to strengthen and slam the Bahamas and the southeastern United States with rain, strong winds and life-threatening surf over the next few days.

Dorian was packing maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (137 km per hour) on Thursday morning some 220 miles (355 km) north-northwest of San Juan, and about 370 miles (600 km) east of the Bahamas, the hurricane center said.

U.S. President Donald Trump urged Floridians to heed official warnings.

“Hurricane Dorian looks like it will be hitting Florida late Sunday night,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Be prepared and please follow State and Federal instructions, it will be a very big Hurricane, perhaps one of the biggest!”

Jim McKnight, city manager of Cocoa Beach on central Florida’s Atlantic coast, made sure construction sites were secured with possible dangers like scaffolding taken down to prevent flying objects.

“We’re worried. This is not looking good for us. We woke up a lot more scared than we went to bed last night, and the news is not getting any better,” said Angela Johnson, 39, bar manager at Coconuts On The Beach, a Cocoa Beach bar and restaurant on the town’s surfing beach.

Officials were making piles of sand available for Cocoa Beach residents to fill sandbags starting on Friday.

The biggest hurricane to have come ashore in the area in recent history was Jeanne in 2004, which made land around Port St. Lucie as a Category 3 storm.

“Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, and remain an extremely dangerous hurricane through the weekend,” the hurricane center said, warning of an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge along portions of Florida’s east coast late in the weekend.

Two flights from the Orlando International Airport to Puerto Rico were canceled.

The Universal Orlando Resort theme park, owned by Comcast Corp, said it was following the approaching storm closely. Walt Disney Co, which operates the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, did not return requests for comment.

The Cape Canaveral space center said it would close Saturday afternoon with a skeleton team of roughly 100 staff staying behind in the launch control room to monitor the storm and the site’s aerospace assets.

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center said it would move a 400-foot (122-meter) tall, $650-million mobile launcher structure used to assemble the agency’s rocket for future moon missions from a launchpad and into a building to take shelter during Dorian’s likely impact.

Nearby towns were checking storm drains and back-up generators for waste-water plants as well as setting up round-the-clock shifts for emergency personnel.

The University of Central Florida, one of the largest U.S. universities by student population, said its main campus in Orlando will close on Friday afternoon.

The storm was forecast to approach on Saturday the northwest of the Bahamas, a popular tourist spot, the hurricane center said. Officials of the nation’s northernmost island Grand Bahama urged residents on Wednesday evening to secure houses and businesses immediately.

Reporting by Zach Fagenson in Miami and Gabriella Borter in New York; Additional reporting by Andrew Hay, Helen Coster in New York and Joey Roulette in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Will Dunham

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US spies say Trump’s G7 performance suggests he’s either a ‘Russian asset’ or a ‘useful idiot’ for Putin

Westlake Legal Group wJenP73FPmfrB0FAtVPasLxosXggRMrFYR47NLzKbFg US spies say Trump's G7 performance suggests he's either a 'Russian asset' or a 'useful idiot' for Putin r/politics

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The Court of Appeals sic’ed Me

I’m the guy in my office who gets tasked with writing most of our petitions for appeal. It’s not too much of a burden since these don’t happen all that often because prosecutors can only appeal under very limited circumstances. Anyway, recently I petitioned in Commonwealth v. Smith and the Court of Appeals was kind enough to accept the appeal on three of the five issues I raised. I was satisfied that some of my semi-brilliant legal research and writing had paid off. Then, while I was basking in my semi-glory, I read one of the errors accepted:

The trial judge erred in ruling that snipe hunting was legal in Virginia on 12 June 2017 [sic] as long the defendant was wearing a flannel shirt.

They sic’ed me! What the heck?

For those of you who don’t know what “sic” means, its official meaning is “intentionally so written used after a printed word or passage to indicate that it is intended exactly as printed or to indicate that it exactly reproduces an original.” In reality it means “I’m writing this erroneous piece of error exactly the way the poor benighted idjut wrote it.”

OK, let’s discuss why I would write a date in a concise manner that nobody can possibly misunderstand. It’s because it’s a concise manner of writing a date that nobody can misunderstand.

There are all sorts of ways to write dates. 12/6/17 and 6/12/17 mean the same exact thing depending on which continent you grew up on. June 12th, 2017 is unwieldy. If I had my druthers, I’d write 12JUN17 like the Army taught us to because it was entirely unambiguous. However, I compromise some and write 12 June 2017 because otherwise I expect to get sic’ed by lots of people who will use more ambiguous and unwieldy formats out of habit and societal norms. Bah humbug! There’s nothing to sic here.

Now I’m tempted to see what I can write as a date and slip into my next petition for appeal. I’m leaning toward “In the year of Our Lord Two-Thousand and Seventeen, on the Twelfth day of the Sixth month – named in the vernacular after the pagan goddess, Juno.” Or maybe I’ll use dates ad urbe condita. Even better, because the judges could possibly, perhaps get a wee bit upset with me using the founding date of Rome, maybe I’ll use לבריאת העולם or  التقويم الهجري . Lets see them ding me on one of those without triggering the PC Police.

Now all I have to do is go freshen up on my Hebrew and Arabic so I can remember how to write dates in them again.

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Trump establishes Space Command, defends US interest in space

Westlake Legal Group AP19241739602547 Trump establishes Space Command, defends US interest in space Louis Casiano fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox-news/science/air-and-space fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/science fnc f8e20755-9161-5e88-8fc7-303fe0f2a011 article

President Trump formally announced the re-establishment of the U.S. Space Command on Thursday after a 17-year absence as his administration focuses on concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. satellites.

“Just as we have recognized land, air, sea and cyber as vital warfighting domains, we will now treat space an independent region overseen by a new unified geographic combatant command,” Trump said during a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden.

The Senate confirmed Air Force Gen. John Raymond to lead U.S. Space Command this past June. The command is expected to draw on other parts of the armed forces.

Space Command existed from 1985 to 2002 when it was dissolved as part of the government’s post-9/11 reorganization.

The renewed focus on space reflects concerns about the disruption of American satellites from Chinese or Russian weapons.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

Westlake Legal Group AP19241739602547 Trump establishes Space Command, defends US interest in space Louis Casiano fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox-news/science/air-and-space fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/science fnc f8e20755-9161-5e88-8fc7-303fe0f2a011 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19241739602547 Trump establishes Space Command, defends US interest in space Louis Casiano fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/tech/topics/us-air-force fox-news/science/air-and-space fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/science fnc f8e20755-9161-5e88-8fc7-303fe0f2a011 article

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