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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 275)

In Interview, Carlos Ghosn Defends His Legacy

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Most global fugitives tend to lie low. They do not beckon reporters to televised news conferences or allow themselves to be photographed drinking wine by candlelight days after being smuggled in a box aboard a chartered jet to freedom.

But Carlos Ghosn, the deposed auto executive, is no normal fugitive. Unapologetic and unrelenting, he stood at a lectern in Beirut before more than 100 journalists on Wednesday and laid out his case for how criminal charges of financial wrongdoing in Japan are part of a vast conspiracy to take him down.

The highly choreographed event, during which Mr. Ghosn took aim at the Japanese justice system and his corporate enemies, was scheduled 415 days after he was first arrested and more than a week after a team of operatives helped spirit him away from house arrest in Tokyo, where he was awaiting trial.

“I did not escape justice,” said Mr. Ghosn, 65, wearing an immaculate blue suit, white shirt and red tie. “I fled injustice and political persecution.”

For all the bravado he projects, Mr. Ghosn is a potent symbol of globalism under pressure, an imperial executive in retreat.

Until his arrest, he ruled an automotive alliance that spanned continents, comprising Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi. As head of Nissan, Mr. Ghosn was one of only a handful of foreign chief executives of a Japanese company. But the alliance now threatens to fall apart, a parallel for a time when the global trade order and the military and political alliances that once held the modern world together are facing their toughest tests in decades.

For nearly three hours on Wednesday, alternating flawlessly through four languages (English, Arabic, French and Portuguese), Mr. Ghosn talked about how “more than 20 books of management have been written about me.” He referred to himself in the third person and talked about the drop in market valuation at the auto companies he once ran. He drew applause from some reporters, and flattered others, promising to take questions from every region.

Mr. Ghosn’s presentation felt, at times, like one he would have delivered to fellow executives and global leaders during one of his regular trips to the World Economic Forum in Davos, the annual gathering in Switzerland that has come to be seen as both a forum for world-changing ideas and a convening of the capitalist and self-congratulatory elite.

In a sit-down interview with The New York Times after the news conference, Mr. Ghosn sounded more subdued than during his fiery performance in front of the cameras. He expressed regrets about whom he had hired to replace him at Nissan, admitting, “Frankly, I should have retired.”

But Mr. Ghosn remained fiercely protective of his legacy, which is badly bruised.

“The revival of Nissan, nobody’s going to take it from me,” he insisted.

Mr. Ghosn’s story isn’t a neat one. Company insiders have described him as increasingly haughty and imperious. Though he blames the Japanese justice system for its unfairness, he agreed last fall to pay $1 million to settle a civil case in the United States, which barred him from serving as an officer or a director of a publicly traded company for 10 years. Mr. Ghosn did not admit wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement, but it essentially ended his chance of ever running another large global business.

A man with passports from several countries and homes across the world, Mr. Ghosn and his wife, Carole, who also faces a Japanese arrest warrant, are essentially stuck in Lebanon, where they have family and own property but are not free from prosecution. On Wednesday, Lebanese prosecutors said Mr. Ghosn must submit to an interrogation over his flight from Japan.

France is also investigating whether Mr. Ghosn used company money from Renault to throw a Marie Antoinette-themed party at Versailles in 2016. And Nissan has accused him of siphoning millions of dollars from the auto company to pay for his yacht, buy houses and distribute cash to members of his family — all of which he denies.

Mr. Ghosn argued that in most countries, he would not have been held for months in jail for these types of allegations. He said he felt he was being treated “like a terrorist.”

During the news conference, he flashed giant slides on a white wall behind him, showing various corporate documents. In explaining some of the questionable personal expenses, Mr. Ghosn used a defense common on Wall Street: He said other executives at Nissan had signed off on the transactions, which made them authorized by the company.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 08ghosnassess-4-articleLarge In Interview, Carlos Ghosn Defends His Legacy Renault SA Nissan Motor Co Japan Ghosn, Carlos Fugitives France Beirut (Lebanon)

Mr. Ghosn outlining the case against him, complete with a presentation of documents to support his defense.Credit…Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times

Since his arrest in Japan in November 2018, Mr. Ghosn and his supporters have worked aggressively to tell his side of the story and attack his critics.

He has employed lawyers on at least three continents, talked to a Hollywood producer about making a movie about his legal ordeal and hired a public relations firm that advised the National Football League on its efforts to reduce head injuries.

In France, the “Committee to Support Mr. Carlos Ghosn” formed on Facebook. Some of his supporters there blame the government for failing to stand up for Mr. Ghosn, a French citizen, for fear of angering the country’s “yellow vest” protesters railing against the global elite.

In Lebanon, where Mr. Ghosn grew up, he is celebrated as a member of the diaspora of business leaders and artists who have achieved worldwide success. Hours after he landed in Beirut, Mr. Ghosn met with the country’s president, Michel Aoun, and other top leaders, and operatives who helped him carry out his escape had ties to the country.

Lebanese supporters paid for billboard ads across Beirut with the executive’s face on them and the message: “We are all Carlos Ghosn.” But in truth, there are few people in the world who have Mr. Ghosn’s money and influence.

A grandson of a Lebanese entrepreneur who ran several companies in South America, Mr. Ghosn was born in Brazil in 1954. His family moved back to Lebanon when he was 6, and he later attended college in France.

“I’ve always been someone who was different,” he wrote in his autobiography in 2003.

Mr. Ghosn went to work in the auto industry after college and made his mark revitalizing Renault. In the 1990s, he helped turn around Nissan by slashing jobs and upending its corporate culture.

“It was a dead company,” he said on Wednesday.

Mr. Ghosn expanded his auto empire further by creating the alliance of Renault, Nissan and another Japanese company, Mitsubishi.

His leadership of Renault, which the French government partly owns, gave him political standing in France. In Lebanon, some people hoped he would run for public office, maybe even president.

Mr. Ghosn’s personal and professional empire collapsed when he was arrested at the Tokyo airport on his return from a trip to Lebanon. By that point, he had stepped down as chief executive at Nissan, but was still its chairman.

From the airport, Mr. Ghosn was taken to jail, where he was forced to live in solitary confinement for weeks at a time. He was allowed to shower twice a week and was let out of his cell for 30 minutes a day. Prosecutors, he said, hid the evidence against him and prohibited him from contacting his wife in Lebanon.

He was released on bail, but he was jailed again in April after he announced that he planned to speak with the press.

Last fall, Mr. Ghosn said, his lawyers told him that his case could drag on for five years, which he said was a violation of a basic human right to a speedy trial.

It wasn’t all glum. Two days before his Dec. 29 escape, his secretary made him a reservation at a Tokyo restaurant where he enjoyed his favorite salad with sesame dressing, according to the restaurant’s manager. He posed for photos with about 40 customers.

Mr. Ghosn wouldn’t talk on Wednesday about how he got from Japan to Beirut, despite reporters’ attempts.

Government-authorized media accounts from Turkey, where Mr. Ghosn landed on the first leg of his journey, have said he was smuggled inside of a large box from an airport in Osaka, Japan.

The box was loaded into the storage area of a private plane, which was accessible from where the passengers sat, according to the Turkish account. The two operatives working with Mr. Ghosn told the flight attendant not to bother them.

After takeoff, Mr. Ghosn was let out of the box and sat in the passenger area, which contained a bed and sofa and was separated from the front of the plane by a locked door.

For about 12 hours, the quintessential global citizen was officially stateless, flying high above Asia in secret.

The Bombardier jet landed in the rain at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul. A car pulled up to the plane and then drove to another jet parked a short distance away, according to the Turkish media. That second plane then took off for Beirut.

At least 15 operatives were involved in the operation, and some of them were not aware of whom they were extracting from Japan, according to a person briefed on the operation. They assumed that the plan was to rescue a kidnapped child.

In the interview on Wednesday, Mr. Ghosn said he had planned the escape himself, but with help from others, whom he wouldn’t disclose. “Little by little,” he said, he began to think through a strategy for getting out. “When I started to do that, it kept me motivated. It kept me alive.”

During the escape, he kept telling himself: “You need to always remember what happened to you. No matter what, never forget that.”

Ben Dooley reported from Beirut, and Michael Corkery from New York. Reporting was contributed by Vivian Yee from Beirut, Hisako Ueno from Tokyo, Liz Alderman from Paris, and Emily Flitter and David Yaffe-Bellany from New York.

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‘Absolutely insane’: Republican senators turn on Trump over Iran briefing

Westlake Legal Group fX3JhnWehX67x8HqvkkGEEOsWXoJkBb5IKw5oDnPxI0 'Absolutely insane': Republican senators turn on Trump over Iran briefing r/politics

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Trump Doesn’t Want Voters to Know How Much His Family’s Trips Cost Taxpayers

Westlake Legal Group dbYHIjRpRXRZHhOrLM7QJVF7DACbqYOCk0AvWBTcvEo Trump Doesn’t Want Voters to Know How Much His Family’s Trips Cost Taxpayers r/politics

I’ll have to find the article, but it was about how on weekends that the President is coming to town, the room rates at Mar-A-Lago (which are exorbitant by any standards) are easily double, but again those rates don’t even apply to the Federal Government, which very correctly sets limits on this sort of grifting.

A few things to note—

“A few months after Trump’s inauguration, the Department of State proposed a contract that would pay $200,000 for all room costs for federal employees who stay at Mar-a-Lago over the first term of his presidency. But Mar-a-Lago rejected the government’s proposal. Instead, Trump’s resort bills the government the maximum permitted by federal rules: 300 percent of the government’s per diem rate, which works out to $546 per night.”

“Mar-a-Lago refused government requests to waive the costs of its “function room” for press and other official meetings in April of 2017, leading to a near-violation of a $3,500 government spending cap. Last year, Trump signed a law that lifted that cap, known as the “micro-purchase threshold,” from $3,500 to $10,000. The law does not appear to have been aimed at facilitating spending at Mar-a-Lago, but it allows the club to avoid additional government contracting rules when charging sums below $10,000.”

“Many of the expenses incurred by White House staff are arranged and paid for by the White House’s Office of Administration. These expenses are not required to be made public. The same goes for Secret Service spending to protect the president on such visits. (The Government Accountability Office released a report last month evaluating spending at Mar-a-Lago in February and March of 2017 and found that a total of $60,000 was spent at the hotel during four trips; the figure ran to $13.6 million when costs for plane travel, secret service, security, and other logistics were included.)”

but wait, there’s more… 🙁

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Facebook Says It Won’t Back Down From Allowing Lies in Political Ads

Westlake Legal Group 09facebook-facebookJumbo Facebook Says It Won’t Back Down From Allowing Lies in Political Ads Zuckerberg, Mark E Warren, Elizabeth United States Politics and Government twitter Trump, Donald J Social Media Sandberg, Sheryl K Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising Online Advertising Instagram Inc Google Inc Facebook Inc Dorsey, Jack Computers and the Internet Bosworth, Andrew (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said on Thursday that it would not make any major changes to its political advertising policies, which allow lies in ads, despite pressure from lawmakers who say the company is abdicating responsibility for what appears on its platform.

The decision, which company executives had telegraphed in recent months, is likely to harden criticism of Facebook’s political ad practices heading into this year’s presidential election.

The company also said it would not end so-called microtargeting for political ads, which lets campaigns home in on a sliver of Facebook’s users — a tactic that critics say is ideal for spreading divisive or misleading information.

Political advertising cuts to the heart of Facebook’s outsize role in society, and the company has found itself squeezed between liberal critics who want it to do a better job of policing its various social media platforms and conservatives who say their views are being unfairly muzzled.

The issue has raised important questions regarding how heavy a hand technology companies like Facebook — which also owns Instagram and the messaging app WhatsApp — and Google should exert when deciding what types of political content they will and will not permit.

By maintaining a status quo, Facebook executives are essentially saying they are doing the best they can without government guidance and see little benefit to the company or the public in changing.

In a blog post, a company official echoed Facebook’s earlier calls for lawmakers to set firm rules.

“In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies,” Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management overseeing the advertising integrity division, said in the post. “We have based ours on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public.”

Other social media companies have decided otherwise, and some had hoped Facebook would quietly follow their lead. In late October, Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, banned all political advertising from his network, citing the challenges that novel digital systems present to civic discourse. Google quickly followed suit with limits on political ads across some of its properties, though narrower in scope.

Facebook’s hands-off ad policy has already allowed for misleading advertisements. In October, a Facebook ad from the Trump campaign made false accusations about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden. The ad quickly went viral and was viewed by millions. After the Biden campaign asked Facebook to take down the ad, the company refused.

“Our approach is grounded in Facebook’s fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process and the belief that, in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is,” Facebook’s head of global elections policy, Katie Harbath, wrote in the letter to the Biden campaign.

In an attempt to provoke Facebook, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign ran an ad falsely claiming that the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, was backing the re-election of Mr. Trump. Facebook did not take the ad down.

Criticism seemed to stiffen Mr. Zuckerberg’s resolve. Company officials said he and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s president, had ultimately made the decision to stand firm.

In a strongly worded speech at Georgetown University in October, Mr. Zuckerberg said he believed in the power of unfettered speech, including in paid advertising, and did not want to be in the position to police what politicians could and could not say to constituents. Facebook’s users, he said, should be allowed to make those decisions for themselves.

“People having the power to express themselves at scale is a new kind of force in the world — a Fifth Estate alongside the other power structures of society,” he said.

Facebook officials have repeatedly said significant changes to its rules for political or issue ads could harm the ability of smaller, less well-funded organizations to raise money and organize across the network.

Instead of overhauling its policies, Facebook has made small tweaks. Mr. Leathern said Facebook would add greater transparency features to its library of political advertising in the coming months, a resource for journalists and outside researchers to scrutinize the types of ads run by the campaigns.

Facebook also will add a feature that allows users to see fewer campaign and political issue ads in their news feeds, something the company has said many users have requested.

There was considerable debate inside Facebook about whether it should change. Late last year, hundreds of employees supported an internal memo that called on Mr. Zuckerberg to limit the abilities of Facebook’s political advertising products.

On Dec. 30, Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook’s virtual and augmented reality division, wrote on his internal Facebook page that, as a liberal, he found himself wanting to use the social network’s powerful platform against Mr. Trump.

But Mr. Bosworth said that even though keeping the current policies in place “very well may lead to” Mr. Trump’s re-election, it was the right decision. Dozens of Facebook employees pushed back on Mr. Bosworth’s conclusions, arguing in the comments section below his post that politicians should be held to the same standard that applies to other Facebook users.

For now, Facebook appears willing to risk disinformation in support of unfettered speech.

“Ultimately, we don’t think decisions about political ads should be made by private companies,” Mr. Leathern said. “Frankly, we believe the sooner Facebook and other companies are subject to democratically accountable rules on this the better.”

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Jack Rosen: Bernie Sanders would be most anti-Israel US president since founding of modern Jewish state

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096421154001_6096423832001-vs Jack Rosen: Bernie Sanders would be most anti-Israel US president since founding of modern Jewish state Jack Rosen fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1cf2c7b9-4b24-5ce4-92ee-850d8eacf1b9

Following Iran’s missile attack Wednesday on U.S. troops in Iraq in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani – and the Iraqi Parliament’s nonbinding vote calling on the U.S. military to leave – America needs all the friends it can get in the Middle East.

In these troubled and uncertain times, we have no truer and more important ally in the region than the Jewish state of Israel.

Despite this fact, Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has become one of the leading critics of Israel on Capitol Hill. He has taken positions that – if he is elected president in November – would make him the most anti-Israel president since the founding of the modern Jewish state in 1948. His intent and timing could not be worse.


Sanders has said plenty of things about Israel that have bothered members of the Jewish community, including his misguided assertion that American foreign aid to Israel – which strengthens U.S. national security – should be dependent on Israel’s fealty.

In the past, Sanders has watered down the despicable crimes of Hamas, the terrorist group based in the Gaza Strip that is hell-bent on the annihilation of the Jewish people. He oddly seems more concerned about the welfare of Palestinian terrorists than Israelis.

However, when convenient, Sanders is happy to trumpet his Jewish identity and even call himself a Zionist. He wants us to believe that because he was born into a Jewish family he is immune to criticism for his positions that would cause grave harm to Israel should he become president.

Sorry, but we have to judge presidential candidates based on their records and their policy positions.

In addition to his own anti-Israel views, Sanders has surrounded himself with political allies who champion anti-Israel policies and either perpetuate or enable anti-Semitism on the far left.

This goes beyond Israel policy. Last year Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., made comments embodying classic anti-Semitic tropes. Sanders could have sent a powerful message by speaking out, but remained conspicuously silent on her incendiary remarks – and indeed is one of Omar’s strongest supporters in Congress.

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Omar and Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have all made or enabled problematic remarks that crossed the line between criticizing the Jewish state of Israel and being anti-Semitic. Yet Sanders proudly counts them among his strongest supporters in his presidential campaign and expresses deep admiration for them.

Another strong supporter and campaign surrogate for Sanders is Linda Sarsour, who has a long, shameful history of anti-Semitism.

Late last year Sarsour made a series of incendiary statements, including the accusation that Israel is rooted in “Jewish supremacy” and the assertion that true progressives cannot support Israel.

Why does Sanders welcome the support of these anti-Semites and enemies of Israel? With each new incident, the answer becomes a little clearer: He is courting a far-left fringe that flirts dangerously with anti-Semitism.

Since the modern state of Israel was founded it has enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress and from every American president. This is as it should be, because Israel allies itself with America no matter which political party is in power in the White House and Congress.

The Jewish people are, of course, history’s underdogs – persecuted, marginalized and murdered over the centuries. We nonetheless persisted and established the state of Israel in our own ancient homeland, which itself is beset by enemies – Iran being among the most dangerous.

At the same time, millions of Jewish Americans today face a rising tide of anti-Semitism. It would make sense for Sanders, a Jewish American, to stand up for his own community and not turn against the only Jewish state on the planet.

To some, the lines between criticism of Israel, anti-Zionism, and anti-Semitism are blurry. Linda Sarsour’s rhetoric, by contrast, is crystal clear; she is a textbook case of someone using Israel as a proxy to spew vitriol against the Jewish people.

Yet Sanders has come to Sarsour’s defense through numerous controversies – including her association with Louis Farrakhan, an anti-Semite who once referred to Jews as “termites.”

We must be fair when it comes to calling out left-wing anti-Semitism and anti-Israel vitriol.

When Donald Trump received support from white nationalists in 2016, including an endorsement from former KKK head David Duke, the world called on him to reject this support and lambasted him for so much as hesitating. Sanders has not only failed to reject Sarsour’s support – he has given her a pulpit and a microphone.

Sanders is no idiot and he is not naïve. He knows that speaking out against anti-Semitism on the far left or speaking out too strongly in support of Israel threatens his legitimacy in the eyes of fringe far-left progressives, whose opposition to Israel runs deep.


It’s disgraceful that instead of taking a stand, instead of taking this opportunity to change people’s minds about the dangers of anti-Semitism, Sanders enables and endorses the anti-Zionist rhetoric of his base.

No one expects Sanders to give the Jewish community and Israel special treatment because of his Jewish heritage. But at the same time, he should not be turning against the Jewish people and the Jewish homeland with greater vehemence than any non-Jewish candidate for president.

Hate and bigotry have no place in legitimate political discourse. Sanders should acknowledge this and stop allying himself with those who embrace hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.


And Sanders should reevaluate his own positions on Israel and start treating it like an ally and not an adversary of the U.S.

Will Sanders take these steps? Most likely he will not. Voters who support Israel and the Jewish people should keep that in mind when they cast ballots in upcoming Democratic primaries and caucuses.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096421154001_6096423832001-vs Jack Rosen: Bernie Sanders would be most anti-Israel US president since founding of modern Jewish state Jack Rosen fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1cf2c7b9-4b24-5ce4-92ee-850d8eacf1b9   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096421154001_6096423832001-vs Jack Rosen: Bernie Sanders would be most anti-Israel US president since founding of modern Jewish state Jack Rosen fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1cf2c7b9-4b24-5ce4-92ee-850d8eacf1b9

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Omar draws ire for condemning Iran sanctions as ‘crippling’ while backing anti-Israel BDS movement

Westlake Legal Group AP19308131645184 Omar draws ire for condemning Iran sanctions as 'crippling' while backing anti-Israel BDS movement fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/finance/sanctions fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 7903189b-052d-5845-bb51-185bcce80310

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is being accused of holding contradictory views on Iran and Israel.

At a news conference Wednesday, the Minnesota Democrat condemned the Trump administration’s planned sanctions against Iran, calling them “crippling” and asserting they would “starve the Iranian people.

But critics noted she simultaneously supports the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, which promotes punitive actions against Israel.


“Since he got into office, the president of the United States has been goading Iran into war,” Omar said Wednesday, referring to President Trump. “First he canceled our best shot at avoiding armed conflict – the Iran nuclear deal. Then he announced crippling sanctions to starve the innocent people of Iran.”

Trump addressed the nation the morning after Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two bases in Iraq where U.S. service members are stationed. He also announced the U.S. would impose new “powerful” sanctions against Iran until “Iran changes its behavior.”

“This makes no sense. Sanctions are economic warfare,” Omar also tweeted after Trump’s address. “They have already caused medical shortages and countless deaths in Iran. You cannot claim to want deescalation and then announce new sanctions with no clear goal. This is not a measured response!”

Meanwhile, Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. — the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress — have come out in support of the BDS movement since they were first sworn into Congress last January following the 2018 midterm elections. Tlaib is Palestinian-American, whereas Omar fled the Somali Civil War in 1991 and spent four years at a Kenyan refugee camp before immigrating to the U.S. in 1995. She later became a U.S. citizen.

Critics on social media said Omar’s positions regarding Iran and Israel didn’t add up.

“Ilhan Omar views sanctions on terror regimes to be ‘economic warfare’ but supports them when aimed at the world’s only Jewish state. Must just be a coincidence,” one Twitter user quipped in response to Omar’s tweet.

“Ilhan Omar has now decried sanctions on the Castros in Cuba, Maduro in Venezuela, and the Ayatollah in Iran,” Michael Abrams, a GOP communications director, wrote. “At the same time, she’s the leading voice in Congress on sanctioning the Jewish people in the world’s only Jewish state. Wonder why.”

“Yes, constitutionally intl boycotts & sanctions are tools of war and NOT ‘free speech.’ @IlhanMN should remember that next time she advocates for BDS (Boycott Divestment & Sanctions) against Israel: a US ally,” Daniel Pomerantz, an on-air law expert, also chimed in. “We don’t fight wars against allies. We do against enemies.”

The Democrat-led House of Representative overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan resolution in July opposing the “anti-Semitic” BDS movement aimed at encouraging a boycott against the longtime U.S. ally.  Omar, Tlaib and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., were among the 16 Democrats who voted against the resolution.

“By denying the Jewish claim to a homeland, the BDS Movement is fundamentally incompatible with a two-state solution and pushes the cause of peace for both Israel and the Palestinians further out of reach,” the resolution said. “This resolution makes clear that Congress remains committed to a two-state solution and opposes zero-sum efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel.”

Omar, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has been outspoken against Israel, once tweeting that lawmakers were supportive of the Jewish state because they were essentially being paid for it. It was widely considered a slur that relied on a trope against Jewish people, and she later “unequivocally” apologized.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to block Omar and Tlaib from entering the country as part of their planned visit in August due to their support for sanctions against Israel. The move prompted a massive outcry from Democratic lawmakers in Washington, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it a “sign of weakness” and Omar accusing Israel of implementing “Trump’s Muslim ban.”

Trump later facilitated their entry after Tlaib pleaded to be allowed to visit her elderly Palestinian grandmother. The congresswoman ultimately decided not to travel to Israel, prompting Trump to call the whole move a “stunt.”

Also Wednesday, Omar faced backlash from veterans after claiming during the same news conference that she’s “stricken with PTSD” because of recent events in the Middle East. She was also seen on camera giggling in the background of the news conference as her colleague discussed American service members who’ve died serving in Iraq.

The failed Iranian attack Tuesday night, thwarted by the U.S. military’s Early Warning Systems, was in retaliation for the U.S. strike last week that took out top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

“The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent,” Trump said in his speech.

He also pointed the finger at former President Barack Obama for signing the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), claiming “The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.”

In May 2018, Trump withdrew American support from the Iranian nuclear deal with world powers that was signed by his predecessor in 2015. His administration reimposed waves of sanctions on Tehran, while the Iranian regime violated the agreement’s restrictions on stockpiled uranium.

Trump has focused on the hundreds of billions of dollars that was unfrozen or sent to Iran directly as a result of the nuclear deal. He said Wednesday that the money allowed Iran to conduct a “terrorist spree” and create “hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq.”


A sum of $1.7 billion, a settlement of a decades-old dispute between the U.S. and Iran — was paid in cash, with a planeload of $400 million delivered to Tehran on Jan. 17 2016, the same day Iran agreed to release four American prisoners. A remaining $1.3 billion was reportedly paid out within weeks of that first payment.

An estimated $150 billion worth of Iranian assets frozen abroad in financial institutions as part of international sanctions before the Obama-era settlement was reached. That money was unfrozen by all countries as part of the Iran deal. Some fact-checkers have disputed that the value is as high as $150 billion, citing Treasury estimates that it could be around $55 billion in liquid assets.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Ronn Blitzer and Frank Miles contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19308131645184 Omar draws ire for condemning Iran sanctions as 'crippling' while backing anti-Israel BDS movement fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/finance/sanctions fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 7903189b-052d-5845-bb51-185bcce80310   Westlake Legal Group AP19308131645184 Omar draws ire for condemning Iran sanctions as 'crippling' while backing anti-Israel BDS movement fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/finance/sanctions fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 7903189b-052d-5845-bb51-185bcce80310

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If You’re Drinking Bone Broth To Boost Your Collagen, Read This First

The tradition of boiling animal bones until the water becomes a thick, flavorful broth is hardly a new one. Bone broth dates back to ancient times, but over the past few years, this collagen-rich beverage has been elevated to superfood status.

Restaurants that exclusively sell bone broth have popped up in major cities, and you can buy it in powdered or broth form at most major grocery stores. Devotees claim its collagen-rich properties have given them stronger hair and nails, glowing skin and improved their mood. Plus, who can say no to a savory, steaming hot beverage in the freezing cold winter months?

If you’re just drinking bone broth for the taste, that’s one thing. But bone broth isn’t cheap: If that $5 latte seemed expensive, try buying the same amount of bone broth for $11. If you’re sipping bone broth for the health benefits, is it really worth it?

Yes, bone broth does have some solid nutrients.

First, the good news: If you’re drinking bone broth for its nutritional benefits, it’s not for nothing. Nutritionist Tamar Samuels told HuffPost that the health benefits of bone broth come from several key nutrients that aren’t abundant in the standard American diet. “Bones are one of the best food sources of collagen and several other nutrients, including iron, calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C and thiamin (B1),” she said.

She added that the gelatin formed from collagen in bone broth has several health benefits, such as improving sleep and boosting mood. And it’s better for you than regular chicken or beef broth, which are made with meat in addition to bones.

Westlake Legal Group 5e0f90e425000045bad31baa If You’re Drinking Bone Broth To Boost Your Collagen, Read This First

Tara Walton via Getty Images

From left to right: Beef/chicken, chicken and beef bone broth.

Beef or chicken stock is made from both bones and meat, and is generally cooked for less time, whereas bone broth is made from mostly bones and ligaments with little to no meat, and cooked for 6-18 hours depending on which type of bones you use,” Samuels said. “This longer cooking time helps to extract more nutrients from the bone and release more collagen from bone, thus creating a more nutrient-dense broth.”

About that collagen…

Collagen plays a key role in our health — it’s responsible for skin elasticity and joint and bone health, among other things — and as we age, our bodies naturally produce less of it. So sipping a collagen-rich beverage seems like a wise move from a health and beauty perspective, right? Not so fast. Steven Gundry, a heart surgeon and pioneer in nutrition, says collagen cannot be absorbed as collagen after you ingest it.

“Your body doesn’t have a system that says if you eat collagen, or any other complex protein, that you will remake that particular protein on the other side of the intestinal wall,” he said. “Sure, you’ll have the building blocks to make collagen, but you could do that by ingesting foods or supplements high in proline and lysine, the two main amino acids in collagen.”

In other words, if you’re drinking bone broth exclusively for the collagen, it probably isn’t doing much for you. To burst your bone broth bubble further, Gundry said bone broth is a source of the amino acid glutamine, which does have some benefits, but can also be manufactured by our bodies from glucose — and too much of it isn’t exactly a good thing. “Just the right amount of glutamine balances things out in your nervous system, but too much becomes a neurotoxin, glutamate,” he explained.

How to make bone broth (that actually tastes good) at home:

If the $11 (or more!) price tag isn’t enough to motivate you to make your bone broth at home, Gundry advises all of his patients to do so anyway, as you can have greater control over the bones and vegetables you use and opt for more nutrient-rich, lower-toxin ingredients.

There’s no question that making your own bone broth is a good option, but there’s one problem with that: It’s really hard to make it taste good. In fact, it’s a lot easier to make it taste like warm dishwater than a flavorful, rich broth.

Brodo chef and “Brodo: A Bone Broth Cookbookauthor Marco Canora said people make a few key mistakes when making their own broth, the first of which is choosing the wrong types of bones. “If you go to the butcher and get a bunch of marrow bones, they’re clean, white bones with a lot of fat in the center,” he said. “So when you just cook a bone, you get a milky white broth that tastes bad.”

What you need, according to Canora, is meaty bones — and a variety of them. “If we’re talking cows, neckbones are great. They’re nubby, and processing plants can’t get all the meat off them,” he said. “Neckbones also have a lot of connective tissues, and at every joint there’s collagen. Knucklebones are another good option, as well as mixed bones, which are usually the rib cages, scapula, and the hips. I don’t use a ton of those, but I do use some because there’s meat left on those bones.”

Another common mistake? Using too much water, or anything but fresh, organic vegetables, according to Canora. Previously frozen or powdered vegetables mean less taste, not to mention nutritional value. Canora swears that if you follow his tips, you’ll end up with a mouthwatering homemade broth you can’t stop sipping. Why not try it?

If you’re a bone broth fan and can afford it, there’s certainly no reason to give it up. It’s comforting, delicious and good for you. As long as you’re aware that it probably won’t cure every ache or pain or restore your youth, go ahead — drink up.

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Transcript: NPR’s Full Interview With Iranian Ambassador To U.N.

Westlake Legal Group rts2jija_custom-948ff02af279288df5f743ab37f6b70c3ce3c4d9-s1100-c15 Transcript: NPR's Full Interview With Iranian Ambassador To U.N.

Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, at the U.N., in June 2019. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  Transcript: NPR's Full Interview With Iranian Ambassador To U.N.

Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, at the U.N., in June 2019.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep talks to Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, about whether the missile strikes Iran launched this week mark the end of retaliatory actions against the United States in response to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and why Soleimani had been in Baghdad.

Steve Inskeep: Is Iran’s retaliation against the United States finished?

Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi: What we have said is that we took a measured, proportionate response to the terrorist assassination of our top general, Qassem Soleimani last night. And as far as Iran is concerned, that action was concluded last night. So it depends on the United States. If the U.S. ventures to attacking Iran again, definitely proportionate response will be taken in response to that attack.

We are interested if Iran intended the results that came about here. This was a limited attack in terms of the number of missiles. It killed no Americans, although you have precise weapons. Did Iran intend not to kill any Americans?

When we face the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, we said that we would act in response militarily. The timing and the place will be decided by, by us, not by anybody else. And this is exactly what happened. We chose the timing. We chose the place. And we believe that we acted in accordance with our rights based on the United Nations charter. And that was a proportionate response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani.

I am interested if Iran designed an attack to minimize American casualties, knowing that American deaths would be a red line for the United States that might lead to war.

As I said, we didn’t consider any extraneous issues in our decision-making process. Our military people concluded that the action that they took was a proportionate response to the attack against Qassem Soleimani.

OK. And you said that this concluded the retaliation. So if there are people concerned about other forms of attacks, such as cyberattacks on U.S. interests or attacks by allies of Iran throughout the region, you’re saying Iran would not endorse that. You are done.

We are responsible for the actions that, that we, we take. We do not consider any, any sort of actions to be taken by others. As I said and as the statement by the Revolutionary Guard was suggesting last night and early in the morning, the action was taken in accordance with our rights, which was proportionate and which was in response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani.

When you said you don’t take responsibility for the actions of others, that raises a question because there was an Iraqi militia leader who was killed in the same U.S. drone strike as Gen. Soleimani. So far as we know, no revenge attack has been taken out for him. Are you saying it is entirely possible that Iraqi militias aligned with Iran could still lash out and Iran would not accept responsibility for what they’re doing?

I’m not suggesting anything, anything in this regard. What I’m saying is that Iran is acting in accordance with its rights to protect its people. And the assassination of Gen. Soleimani was something that the we, we had to act in order to exercise our rights. And we are not responsible for any other people to do whatever they are going to do. So we are as I said, I’m not suggesting anything to accept or to reject any sort of actions by others.

Iran’s supreme leader speaking after this retaliation said the next step was to push the United States out of the region, U.S. forces out of the region. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said this quite memorably, quote, “You cut Soleimani’s hand from his body, your foot will be cut from the region.” That’s what, that’s what President Rouhani said to the United States. How does Iran intend to do that?

The people of the region are calling for the U.S. withdrawal from this neighborhood. Just look at the decision of the Iraqi parliament. The Iraqi parliament decided to say to the whole world that there is no place for the U.S. forces in Iraq. So as soon as the U.S. leaves the region, I believe the countries in the region will be in a much better position to resolve their differences peacefully and to get together to have a new arrangement for peace and security in the neighborhood. So the sooner the Americans leave the region, the better, not only for the people in the region but for the people of the United States. Because the American forces are not welcome in our neighborhood. They have come from thousands of miles to our region and what they have brought about is misery for the people, spending trillions of dollars as President Trump has suggested, and the outcome is the agony of all of the people in the region. So I believe it is in the interest of the United States to leave the region.

Ambassador, you’re correct that Iraq’s parliament did vote to expel forces from Iraq. But we should be clear, they didn’t vote to expel the United States from Iraq. They voted to expel foreign forces from Iraq. And that leads us to note that Gen. Soleimani, a member of Iran’s military, was in Iraq when he was killed. What was he doing there?

He was there to help the Iraqi armed forces to fight terrorists at the invitation of the Iraqi government. So he was instrumental in defeating Daesh both in Iraqi Kurdistan as well as in other parts of Iraq. He was instrumental in in defeating Daesh and other terrorists in Syria. He was instrumental in defeating al-Qaida in Afghanistan. So he’s a popular, he was a popular figure in all these countries. Not only in Iran, but in the neighboring countries, because he sacrificed a lot to preserve the territorial integrity and sovereignty of, of these countries. And I believe that today, Daesh and other terrorists in the region are celebrating what the United States did to him. Therefore, it was a very unfortunate incident that the man who was the champion of fighting terrorists was slain and was assassinated in a terrorist attack.

But wasn’t Gen. Soleimani the symbol of Iran’s involvement in Iraq, which is something that Iraqis have been protesting against in recent months?

You know, there are different voices within Iraq, but then he was martyred. In Iraq, you saw the Iraqi people, how the Iraqi people reacted in anger and in in in respecting Soleimani and his companions, as well as the Iraqi figures who were also martyred in this attack. So one cannot say that that, that Iraq was in favor of not allowing or not asking Qassem Soleimani to help them. In fact, he sacrificed himself for the, for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.

As you must know ambassador, the United States asserts that General Soleimani was plotting attacks against Americans, against the United States. Are you able to say if he was plotting such attacks?

It is, it is the duty of the United States to to to prove otherwise, I mean, to prove that he was he was, in fact, plotting to to kill Americans. Because —

But I can also ask you, was he plotting to kill Americans?

No, as I said, he was there in order to help the Iraqi government to better, I mean, fight terrorists pure and simple.

But let’s be, but let’s be clear. But let’s be clear. Iran has defined the United States as terrorist. Was he or his organization planning attacks against the United States or its interests at the time?

As I said, it is, it is the duty of the United States to provide any evidence. They have been, they had been plotting to kill Qassem Soleimani for quite some time. It is crystal clear that they wanted to kill him a few months ago. It was decided at that time to President Trump, but apparently, he rejected at that time. So the claim that he was about to kill American citizens cannot be acceptable to all. And it is not being accepted even by the members of Congress. So one cannot accept this claim from the U.S. administration that the threat was imminent.

Ambassador, the last time we spoke, you said it was in Iran’s interest to stay in the nuclear deal with world powers. Iran, after this incident, has said it is ceasing to observe limits on uranium enrichment, a very key part of that deal. Why?

The U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal in … in May 2018 and started an economic war and economic terrorism against the Iranian people. We waited for more than a year at the insistence of our European partners to stay in the nuclear deal so that they could just provide the dividend which supposed to be granted to Iran as a result of the nuclear deal. And they told us that they would compensate the withdrawal of American, I mean, government from, from the nuclear deal. But unfortunately, after more than one year, we came to this conclusion that the promises made by the Europeans were not kept and we had no other option than to do it ourselves, to to make the necessary balance in the nuclear deal. And that was why we started to take some necessary measures in order to make the nuclear deal a balanced deal.

I understand that you’re lifting some of these restrictions on yourselves as a kind of protest to pressure the United States to ease economic sanctions. But the specific thing that Iran is doing here is ending compliance with limits on uranium enrichment. What does Iran want the extra uranium for, if anything?

No, we said that we do not consider any ceiling for the level of enrichment. But at the same time, we have said that we do it in accordance with our needs. The same is true with regard to the ceiling on the number of centrifuges. The last step that Iran took just a few days ago was not to recognize the ceiling for the centrifuges that are being used in Iran. That does not mean that we are going to increase drastically the number of centrifuges in Iran. But it is our right to to have as as many centrifuges as we think we need for the peaceful work of our atomic energy organization.

One final thing, ambassador. President Trump, in making his statement responding to Iran’s retaliation, began with this sentence: quote, “As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” Iran has said it doesn’t want a nuclear weapon. Is that a statement on which you can agree with the president?

What I can tell you is that we are not seeking nuclear weapons. It is not in our interest to have nuclear weapons. It is against the religious verdict of our supreme leader. It is not within the defense doctrine of the Islamic Republic to have nuclear weapons. We believe that nuclear weapon is a liability for any country. But we cannot accept the fact that the U.S. in contravention of NPT, in contravention of the JCPOA, the resolution 2231 of the U.N. Security Council, is acting to deprive Iran from its rights. So the question should be posed to the U.S. administration, when they want to join the international community and act like a normal country in respecting international agreements.

Majid Takht Ravanchi is Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations. He’s in New York. Ambassador, thanks so much.

Thank you, sir.

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Minimum Wage Hikes Fuel Higher Pay Growth For Those At The Bottom

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1173209337_wide-5a83918d345165b576aedc9f6be7da81fbef810c-s1100-c15 Minimum Wage Hikes Fuel Higher Pay Growth For Those At The Bottom

Airport employees, Uber and Lyft drivers, and other workers protest for a $15 minimum wage at Los Angeles International Airport in October. Increases in minimum wages contributed to bigger pay gains for lower-income workers. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  Minimum Wage Hikes Fuel Higher Pay Growth For Those At The Bottom

Airport employees, Uber and Lyft drivers, and other workers protest for a $15 minimum wage at Los Angeles International Airport in October. Increases in minimum wages contributed to bigger pay gains for lower-income workers.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Kecia Jolley is getting a pay raise this week. But she’s still making minimum wage.

Jolley works as a grocery store cashier in Missouri — one of nearly two dozen states that increased their minimum wages on Jan. 1. Economists say those mandatory wage hikes are an important factor boosting pay for workers at the bottom of the income ladder.

Jolley’s Friday paycheck will be the first to reflect Missouri’s 2020 minimum of $9.45 an hour, up from $8.60 last year.

“I think that I’ll be better off,” she says. “But I think that it’s going to still be a struggle.”

Jolley says her paycheck will still barely cover rent and utilities. She relies on food stamps and school lunches to help feed her three children — ages 6, 11 and 14. Jolley is grateful that a ballot measure passed by Missouri voters in 2018 calls for three additional increases in the minimum wage over the next three years. By 2023, the minimum will climb to $12 an hour.

“I would consider that at least a decent living wage,” Jolley says. “Then people can pay their bills. They can possibly get a few things on their ‘wants’ list every month. Like, kids need new clothes. Or — I’m a girl. I ran out of mascara, like, a month ago. Luxury items such as new socks.”

While the federal minimum wage hasn’t changed in more than a decade — it’s still $7.25 an hour — many cities and states have adopted higher thresholds. In Arizona, Colorado and Maine the minimum wage is already $12 an hour. Minimums are higher still in California, Massachusetts and Washington state.


Don’t see the graphic above? Click here.

“If you’re a minimum wage worker in America right now, on average, you’re actually probably getting paid closer to $12 an hour,” says economist Ernie Tedeschi of Evercore ISI. “That’s what I call the effective minimum wage.”

Tedeschi says rising minimums at the state and local level are an important driver of wage gains at the bottom of the pay scale.

“Right now, the economy is doing something extraordinary,” he says. “People at the bottom of the distribution have actually seen higher wage growth than people at the top and in the middle.”

Crunching census data, Tedeschi finds workers in the bottom third of the income ladder have enjoyed pay raises of about 4.1% in each of the last two years, compared with 3.6% raises for the top third and 3.9% for all workers.

Minimum wages aren’t the only factor. Low-wage workers also have more bargaining power, as employers scramble to fill job openings when unemployment is just 3.5%.

But without the upward pressure of rising minimum wages, Tedeschi estimates the bottom third would have received raises averaging just 3.3%.

“Minimum wages probably are the difference that are kicking up wage growth at the bottom to higher levels than other groups in America,” he says.

The patchwork of minimum wages across the country creates a sort of natural experiment for economists trying to measure the effects on low-wage workers.

“No matter how you cut it, the low-wage workers are getting a larger wage boost in states that have raised their minimum wage,” says senior economist Elise Gould of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

Gould estimates the higher minimums that took effect this month boosted paychecks for 6.8 million workers across the country.

But others caution that the higher cost for employers may come with trade-offs.

“You’re getting a raise if you keep your job and if your hours don’t change,” says economist David Neumark of the University of California at Irvine. “But there’s plenty of evidence that there is some job loss from minimum wages and those workers are worse off.”

Neumark acknowledges that job loss associated with minimum wage hikes may be less of a problem when unemployment is this low.

“Raising it in a very hot labor market is probably less damaging,” Neumark says. More high school students and others “might be drawn in because wages are rising,” he says. “And if a few of them have job opportunities foreclosed, it might not be so terrible.”

Jolley hasn’t seen any job cuts at the grocery store where she works. The cashier doubts she would be getting a raise were it not required by the higher minimum.

“We still need to keep pushing forward because, hopefully, people like me will be able to actually make it every month,” she says.

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Today on Fox News: Jan. 9, 2020


On Fox News: 

The Ingraham Angle, 10 p.m. ET: An interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: “Is It Time for America to Leave the Middle East?” – President Trump addressed the nation on Wednesday following Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes against U.S. forces in Iraq. The president announced he will impose tougher sanctions on Iran and called on NATO to become more involved in the Middle East. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and former CIA covert operation officer Mike Baker discuss the latest on the tensions between the U.S. and Iran and if American troops should withdraw from Iraq.

Also on the Rundown: In her new documentary series, veteran journalist Lara Logan goes to the U.S. southern border to investigate the drug and human trafficking conducted by Mexico’s violent cartels. Logan joins the Rundown to discuss what she saw on the border and to preview her new Fox Nation special “Lara Logan Has No Agenda: The Border Crisis.”

Plus, commentary by former senior economic adviser for President Trump, Stephen Moore.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Special guests include: U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R- Wyo.; Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday; Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group and more.

Westlake Legal Group Mike-Pompeo Today on Fox News: Jan. 9, 2020 fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 8d4b325c-e878-597d-b637-8753e1d6a662   Westlake Legal Group Mike-Pompeo Today on Fox News: Jan. 9, 2020 fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 8d4b325c-e878-597d-b637-8753e1d6a662

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