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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 277)

GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley Defends Ukraine Whistleblower Amid Trump Attacks

Westlake Legal Group 5d9373632100004f00f90f25 GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley Defends Ukraine Whistleblower Amid Trump Attacks

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a longtime advocate of government whistleblower protections, issued an implicitly sharp rebuke of President Donald Trump and his allies on Tuesday by voicing support for the Ukraine whistleblower.

“This person appears to have followed the whistleblower protection laws and ought to be heard out and protected,” Grassley said in a statement released by his office.

Trump and his allies have repeatedly maligned the anonymous intelligence community whistleblower’s motives in recent days as the House impeachment inquiry intensifies. Over the weekend, the president accused the person of “spying” on him and suggested the whistleblower’s sources ought to be executed. He also told reporters on Monday “we’re trying to find out” the person’s identity.

Lawyers representing the whistleblower have expressed concern for their client’s safety, stressing the person is entitled to anonymity under the law.

“No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistleblower first and carefully following up on the facts,” Grassley said in his statement. “Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.”

Grassley also rebutted arguments made by Trump and other Republicans who have sought to undermine the whistleblower’s complaint, which alleged Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate 2020 election rival Joe Biden and Biden’s son. The complaint is not legitimate, they have argued, because the whistleblower did not witness the president’s actions firsthand.

“The distinctions being drawn between first- and second-hand knowledge aren’t legal ones,” Grassley said. “It’s just not part of whistleblower protection law or any agency policy. Complaints based on second-hand information should not be rejected out of hand, but they do require additional leg work to get at the facts and evaluate the claim’s credibility.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Amber Guyger guilty in Botham Jean shooting, jury finds

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Amber Guyger guilty in Botham Jean shooting, jury finds fox news fnc/us fnc Barnini Chakraborty article 0cdac24d-44e4-53e5-8d27-2bf7110a525a

Amber Guyger, the white Dallas cop who shot black neighbor Botham Jean when she mistook his apartment for hers, was found guilty of murder on Tuesday.

Closing arguments ended Monday afternoon in her murder trial.

The shooting has attracted intense national scrutiny not only for the strange circumstances surrounding it but also because it was one in a series of shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers. The incident led to widespread marches, protests and calls for Guyger to be held accountable for Jean’s death.

Guyger, a four-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, initially was charged with manslaughter for the Sept. 6, 2018 shooting. Two months later, a grand jury indicted her on a murder charge.

Throughout the trial, Guyger’s defense team has framed the shooting as a “tragic but innocent” mistake.

Legal analysts said that the trial’s outcome could hinge on whether the jury would believe Guyger’s account that she made a mistake and that the mistake was reasonable.

During closing arguments, prosecutor Jason Fine with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office slammed Guyger for changing her story on the witness stand. He said the case “has to do with [Guyger] making an unreasonable decision that put her in the [defense seat] and Bo in the ground.”

He added: “This case is all about what is reasonable and what is absurd.”

This is a developing story; please check back for updates.

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In ‘Here We Are,’ Heart-Rending Challenges Of Immigration Are Exposed

Aarti Namdev Shahani reports on Silicon Valley for NPR. She’s also the daughter of an immigrant who served time for a “felony.”

Her riveting memoir, Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares, recounts a story of personal success against the backdrop of her family’s contorted, painful path to citizenship. Close-knit, they discovered the hard way that American justice is neither just nor colorblind.

In a bruising critique of colonialism, Shahani traces her story back to the 1947 Partition, Britain’s end to 300 years of Indian occupation. Britain’s exit strategy was to split one country into two: Hindus and Sikhs on the Indian side; Muslims on the Pakistani side. Current political upheaval in Kashmir confirms that the Partition was anything but clean; it sowed human calamity far into the future.

Shahani’s parents, deracinated Hindus, met at a poker party in Casablanca where everyone “had Partition in common.” They married, started a family, and encountered serious problems. Dadi, the mother of Aarti’s father Namdev, moved to Casablanca with two additional sons, one of whom was a belligerent drunk. Dadi launched a brutal attack on Aarti’s mother, whose disappointment extended beyond an abusive mother-in-law; Namdev was avoidant and retreated to drinking and smoking. Aarti’s mother attempted suicide, was rescued, and nine months later bore Aarti. Life was untenable under Dadi’s thumb (for one, she insisted Namdev sleep in her bedroom), and the Shahanis emigrated, sans grandma.

They landed in Queens in 1981, where “so many poor people from so many countries can converge, live alongside neighbors who speak different languages and pray to different gods, and yet tribal warfare does not break out,” Shahani writes. Parts of their extended family were already in Queens; others followed.

Finding an apartment was a challenge, living in it more so: America was “much harder to live in than many parts of the world.” Forty-one-year-old Namdev, with the skills to interview for a hedge fund or the foreign service, was flummoxed by cultural discomforts such as men and women mixing in public. Aarti’s mother found work sewing for a bridal shop. Despite significant obstacles, the family eked out a living, until — with the extended family’s help — Namdev and his brother Ratan opened a successful electronics store.

While his children were becoming American and Aarti blazed her way as a scholarship student through New York’s prestigious Brearley School, Namdev became one more brown-skinned victim of American justice, an unknowing two-bit player in a global drama. He and Ratan were arrested for selling watches and calculators to the Cali drug cartel.

With a job as a secretary in a law firm, teenaged Aarti became the family lawyer. Dogged doesn’t begin to describe it. She started “chasing the skeletons in her family’s closet” and has been at it ever since.

She didn’t understand the value of a public defender, instead landing a high-end lawyer who provided inadequate representation. She investigated and inveighed, sent letters all over the city, including to the judge. Shahani later came to know the judge, whose 20/20 hindsight lends a tragic irony to the family catastrophe.

In a terrible twist of fate, Sept.11 landed in the middle of the Shahanis’ drama, with its accompanying backlash against dark-skinned immigrants. Despite the judge’s request for a sentence of community service from the prosecutor, both Uncle Ratan and Namdev were sent to Rikers. Once released, Uncle Ratan was permanently deported.

The Shahanis never gave up. Recognizing that an individual’s arrest and conviction can bring down a family, Aarti embarked on a journey of passion and zeal. She founded a nonprofit to activate families ensnared in America’s broken immigration system, concluding that racial division was “the central feature in America’s justice system.”

This story is heart-rending, but perhaps more compelling is Aarti’s struggle to understand her father. As a child, she saw him as a distant, old-world figure, out of sync with America. He was a letdown to her mother, at times more cartoonish than three-dimensional.

But as she watched him get crushed beneath the system, Aarti’s empathy was aroused. Although she burned out as an activist, she evolved as a daughter. She came to appreciate Namdev’s immigrant isolation, intensified by a conviction for acts he considered part of the normal course of business.

If you’re moved by frequent calls to deport so-called criminal or undocumented immigrants and refugees, please read Here We Are. For to “migrate to America — to cross the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans or the Sonoran Desert — is the boldest act of one’s life.” Like so many families, the Shahanis couldn’t and didn’t do everything correctly. But they worked like hell to right themselves, finally emerging from immigration limbo when President Ronald Reagan opened a pathway to a green card.

Here We Are contains multiple messages: the value of grit and hope and determination; the relentless work immigrant families undertake just to tread water; the fortitude and generosity of such families; and the gaping flaws in American justice. These messages risk going unheard, however, if readers fail to acknowledge that unless your ancestors arrived in chains or were indigenous, you, too, likely hail from immigrants who cut a few corners to survive.

Martha Anne Toll’s writing is at www.marthaannetoll.com, and she tweets at @marthaannetoll. She is the Executive Director of the Butler Family Fund.

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Warren hits back at Facebook’s Zuckerberg after he criticized her plan to break up big tech

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Warren hits back at Facebook's Zuckerberg after he criticized her plan to break up big tech

Elizabeth Warren is vying for the Democratic Party nomination for 2020. Here are five things you should know about the senator from Massachusetts. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Sen. Elizabeth Warren hit back against Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg after he criticized the Democratic presidential hopeful’s plan to break up big tech companies.

In leaked audio published by The Verge, Zuckerberg said that if Warren, “who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies,” is elected president, Facebook would likely end up in a legal battle with the United States government.

“If she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge,” Zuckerberg said in the audio, which originated from two meetings held with Facebook employees in July. “And does that still suck for us? Yeah.”

More: Pete Buttigieg reports $19.1 million fundraising haul in third quarter

Warren replied to his comments Tuesday morning in a series of tweets, saying she is “not afraid to hold Big Tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon accountable.”

“What would really ‘suck’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”

Warren presented a plan in March that would have regulators roll back big tech mergers, like Amazon acquiring Whole Foods and online retail company Zappos; Google buying navigation app Waze and smart home products maker Nest, and Facebook purchasing messaging platform WhatsApp and Instagram.

In the plan, she vowed to make “big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition.”

Warren, who is becoming one of the top candidates in the 2020 primary, has repeatedly criticized big technology companies such as Amazon and Uber, for their bad working conditions and low wages respectively. 

More: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders slam Big Tech but their campaigns spend heavily on them

Zuckerberg in the audio said he doesn’t “want to have a major lawsuit against our own government.”

“I mean that’s not like the position that you want to be in when you’re, you know, I mean, it’s like, we care about our country and want to work with our government and do good things,” he continued.

“But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight,” he concluded.

Contributing: Camille Caldera

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/10/01/elizabeth-warren-hits-back-facebook-mark-zuckerberg-after-leaked-audio/3828532002/

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Pompeo: Democrats’ impeachment inquiry an effort to ‘intimidate, bully’ State Dept. workers

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Pompeo: Democrats' impeachment inquiry an effort to 'intimidate, bully' State Dept. workers

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US State Department did not engage in improper activity with Ukraine, and is focused on trying to help Kyiv combat corruption. Pompeo made the remarks Thursday on the sidelines of the UN general assembly. (Sept. 26) AP Domestic

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry and suggested he would fight their request to depose five State Department employees involved in the Ukraine controversy.

“I’m concerned with aspects of the committee’s request that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State,” Pompeo wrote in a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel Tuesday.  

“I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” Pompeo wrote.

He said the committee’s request to depose five State Department employees this week and next week is “not feasible” – throwing a wrench into Democrats’ plans to move quickly with their inquiry. 

Pompeo has come under growing scrutiny for his role in the Ukraine scandal, with Democrats demanding information about the State Department’s role in arranging conversations between Ukrainian officials and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer. House Democrats on Friday subpoenaed Pompeo for documents related to Giuliani and Ukraine, and asked to depose five State Department employees involved in the matter.  

“Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry,” Engel wrote in a letter to Pompeo Friday along with two other committee chairmen involved in the impeachment inquiry.

Engel, D-N.Y., said he had also notified Pompeo that the three committees had scheduled depositions for five State Department employees, including the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and Trump’s special envoy to the eastern European country.

Giuliani has publicly acknowledged that he pressed Ukrainian government officials to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. He said he contacted Ukrainian officials at the direction of the State Department and that he has briefed U.S. diplomats on his conversations.

President Donald Trump also asked Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Biden during a July 25 phone call between the two leaders. That call prompted an intelligence official to file an anonymous whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump had used the power of his office to “solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 presidential election. 

House Democrats opened an impeachment inquiry last week, focused on probing the “extent to which President Trump may have jeopardized national security” by pressing Ukraine to investigate Biden and by withholding military assistance to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression.

The first witness in the impeachment inquiry – former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch – was scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill Wednesday, followed by Trump’s special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, on Friday.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/01/mike-pompeo-house-democrats-trying-bully-state-department-impeachment-resist-subpoena-deposition/3829096002/

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Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington

Northern Virginia’s food scene rivals that of many large cities. Food and drink options from around the globe, specialty desserts and world-renowned chefs make for a truly memorable culinary experience in Alexandria and Arlington.

FOR BREAKFAST

Westlake Legal Group northside-social_hills20140615-arl_0013 Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington Story Ideas   – Photo Credit: David Hills Photography –

Northside SocialAn Arlington institution. The two-story neighborhood hangout has an outdoor patio. Come for the coffee, stay for the happy hour wine.

Society FairClassic French fare like country poutine with a poached egg, Louisiana-style beignets, quiches and more. Homemade biscuits and fresh-squeezed or pressed juices.

Metro 29 DinerFeatured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. New York-style diner providing quality food, prompt service and a warm, easy going dining experience. Patrons are greeted by a glass case filled with layered cakes, cream pies, cheesecakes and 18 different kinds of mouthwatering pastries.

Fontaine Caffe & CreperieLocated in the heart of Old Town, Alexandria serving authentic Brittany style savory and sweet French crêpes, seasonal specials, and French Sparkling Cidres in a casual European cafe setting.

Junction Bakery & BistroAmerican bistro boasting fresh-baked bread and homemade goods. Grab a cup of Commonwealth Joe espresso or fresh-pressed juice from Grateful Juice Co.

Bob ‘n Edith’s DinerClassic, family-owned 24-hour diner serving up all of your favorite dishes.

FOR BRUNCH

Westlake Legal Group Firehouse-Burnch Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington Story Ideas   Photo Credit: Rose Collins / Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Columbia FirehouseBuilt in 1863, now stands as a historic, beautifully preserved American Brasserie and bar in the heart of Alexandria’s Old Town.

Magnolia’s on KingServes elevated brunch classics and Southern-inspired surprises in a historic 200-year-old building. Local tip: Try their benedicts – classic-style or with Maryland lump crab.

The Liberty TavernFeatures modern American cuisine paired with a diverse wine list, creative specialty cocktails and a great selection of premium draft and bottled beer.

Evening Star CafeSpecialties include a Bloody Mary garnished with a bite-sized grilled cheese sandwich and bacon, and blueberry pancakes with whipped brown sugar cream and toasted pecans.

FOR LUNCH

Westlake Legal Group Stomping-Ground Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington Story Ideas

Stomping GroundCasual neighborhood favorite. Everything is made by hand from scratch utilizing local and sustainable meats, dairy, produce and grains whenever possible.

Jaleo Crystal CityExplores the spirit and cuisine of Spain. Festive, casual dining experience with its menu centered on a large selection of tapas, the “little dishes” of Spain. Under the culinary direction of Jose Andres – winner of the James Beard Award and Bon Appetit’s Chef of the Year.

BastilleAward winning brasserie and wine bar, offering guests a contemporary spin on French cuisine and pet-friendly patio.

Busboys & PoetsLocal favorite serving up everything from traditional meals to local spins on the classics as well as extensive vegetarian and vegan options.

Mia’s Italian KitchenUpscale-casual Italian restaurant near the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. House-made pasta, Italian sandwiches, charcuterie, and square pizzas.

Texas Jack’s BBQLocally-sourced, reclaimed wood and hand-forged metals lend a warm backdrop to their succulent, smoked meats. Pair them with a curated collection of craft cocktails, local beers, American bourbons and whiskeys. Named best barbecue joint in the D.C. area by the Washington Post.

FOR DINNER

Westlake Legal Group Palette-22 Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington Story Ideas   Photo Credit: Arlington Convention and Visitors Service

VermilionClassic neighborhood restaurant and bar located in Old Town. Features a menu of contemporary American cuisine and bar with extensive list of specialty drinks.

Virtue Feed & GrainModern American tavern food on the Alexandria waterfront. Virtue Feed & Grain features soaring open windows, exposed brick and giant iron girders.

Lebanese TavernaLocally family owned restaurant featuring Middle Eastern cuisine. Offers many favorite dishes such as falafel, kabobs and a large selection of vegetarian dishes.

Palette 22Part restaurant, part art gallery. The menu features fusion cuisine from around the globe, all plated artfully and created in an open display kitchen.

Green Pig BistroRated among Washingtonian Magazine’s “Very Best 100 Restaurants”. Serves classic rustic French cooking with a decidedly American push: solid and basic yet approachable dishes.

FOR SEAFOODIES

Westlake Legal Group Volas Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington Story Ideas

Vola’s Dockside GrillWaterfront dining in Old Town, Alexandria. A friendly, familiar place with a raw bar and the largest outdoor riverside patio where the food, atmosphere, service, and experience are always fantastic.

Mussel Bar & GrilleOffers a wide-range of casual dining fare that include grilled and wood-fired dishes and Belgian classics, iced seafood platters and an expansive Belgian beer list. Be sure to check out Chef Wiedmaier’s exclusive brew, Antigoon.

Hank’s Oyster BarA local favorite serving coastal and New England beach fare classics like lobster rolls and daily fish specials. Lightly fried items such as the popcorn shrimp and calamari and clams balance Hank’s ice bar options.

FOR DESSERT

Westlake Legal Group Buzz-Bakery Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington Story Ideas   Photo Credit: Rose Collins / Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Buzz BakeshopA beloved neighborhood bakery with locations in Alexandria and Arlington. Features a myriad of sweets from freshly baked cupcakes and rich fudgy brownies to decadent cream cheese-filled pumpkin muffins and more.

Livin’ the Pie LifeSmall-batch scratch bakery featuring fresh local ingredients and flaky handmade crust. Sweet and savory pies, old-fashioned cookies, cakes, scones, and more.

Dairy GodmotherDeclared a “dessert destination” by the Washington Post. One-of-a-kind real Wisconsin-style frozen custard shop specializing in imaginative flavors both nostalgic and new.

Bayou BakeryServes Cajun classics, including Bayou’s beignets and king cake on Mardi Gras. Owner David Guas is a Louisiana native and a pastry chef, as well as a go-to chef for “The Today Show.”

NicecreamCombines fresh local grass-fed cream and local ingredients from nearby farms. Ice cream is frozen on the spot creating the freshest handcrafted cup of ice cream you can get.

FOR COCKTAILS

Westlake Legal Group copperwood-tavern Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington Story Ideas   – Photo Credit: Arlington Convention and Visitors Service –

Copperwood TavernFarm-to-Table restaurant serving locally sourced meats, seafood, and produce. Offers 20 draft beers, 30 small-batch whiskeys, superb wine selection and southern Virginia’s white whiskey – yes, moonshine! Pet-friendly patio with custom copper dog bowls available!

PXA ‘20’s fashioned speak-easy situated in a historic building with all of the original wood work and glistening chandeliers intact for a truly classic. Let the master mixologist make you one of his special creations.

Captain Gregory’s A secret spot serving innovative, award-winning handmade cocktails and donut-inspired bites behind a secret sliding door in the Sugar Shack – in true speakeasy tradition.

Baba BarExciting speakeasy cocktail bar, serving top notch cocktails by expert mixologists, weekend brunch, fun dining and decadent desserts.

FOR LOCAL CRAFT BREWS

Westlake Legal Group Port-City Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington Story Ideas

Port City Brewing CompanyArtisanal brewery producing an exciting line of handmade, great quality, locally crafted ales.

Heritage Brewpub and RoasteryBrewpub and roastery featuring hand crafted brews and eats sourced from local ingredients and handmade. Hearty and light fare in a uniquely American setting.

New District Brewing CompanyFeatures an onsite tasting room with typically 12-14 beers on tap at any time and three staple beers, 1821, Ginger Saisan, and 1821 dark that can be found locally in Arlington.

FOR WINE LOVERS

Westlake Legal Group Cheesetique Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington Story Ideas

CheesetiqueThe go-to spot for fine cheeses, food-friendly wine, and an eclectic, cheese-centric menu in Arlington and Alexandria.

Sonoma CellarFeatures hand-selected wines from 180+ Sonoma County boutique wineries and 20+ Virginia-based wineries. Bistro menu features freshly prepared craft foods, designed to pair with the wines.

Screwtop Wine BarWine and cheese bar, specializing in charcuterie. It also holds educational wine classes and tasting events. Brunch, lunch and dinner is available. Check out their artfully made craft sandwiches.

Grand Cru Wine Bar & BistroBlends fine wine and excellent cuisine at a reasonable price. Exceptional food, great service and a world class selection of wines all in a quaint European style of dining.

BraboContemporary American fare with European and French techniques and flavors. The menu features a range of dishes including hand-cut pastas, slow-roasted tenderloin, and seasonal seafood dishes, all made to complement an extensive wine list and hand-crafted cocktails.

Visit these restaurants in Arlington and Alexandria and find more awesome food experiences around the Commonwealth to eat & drink what you love in Virginia!

The post Your Guide to Dining in Alexandria and Arlington appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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Pompeo Pushes Back Against Deposition Request In Ukraine Probe

Westlake Legal Group 5d936b632200005c01dbe311 Pompeo Pushes Back Against Deposition Request In Ukraine Probe

WASHINGTON, Oct 1 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday pushed back against a request by House Democrats to depose five current and former State Department officials in the Ukraine probe, saying it could be seen as an intimidation attempt.

“I’m concerned with aspects of the committee’s request that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully, & treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State,” Pompeo wrote in a tweet accompanying a fiery letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel.

He said he would “use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals” of the State Department. (Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

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Kansas federal judge rebuked for sexual harassment and illicit affair with felon

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Kansas federal judge rebuked for sexual harassment and illicit affair with felon

A federal judge in Kansas has been issued a rare public reprimand by a circuit court for multiple forms of professional and sexual misconduct.

U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia, who presides over Kansas, was sanctioned Monday with committing judicial misconduct, including having a yearslong affair with a felon, sexually harassing multiple employees and showing up late to work because of basketball games, by the Judicial Council for the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Investigations against Murguia began in August 2018, according to the order written by 10th Circuit Chief Judge Timothy Tymkovich, but his misconduct took place over a “lengthy period.”

He “gave preferential treatment and unwanted attention to female employees of the Judiciary” through text messages and suggestive comments after work hours “and often late at night,” Tymkovich wrote.

The behavior continued even after one employee explicitly told him to stop.

Further, he engaged in an extramarital affair with a convicted felon who was on probation when the relations began, which the council alleged put him in a position where he was “susceptible to extortion.” The individual has since been incarcerated because of probation violations.

The judge was also “habitually late” to meetings and court proceedings, often caused by “lunchtime basketball games,” according to the order. 

Murguia issued an apology Monday stating that he took responsibility for his “inappropriate actions,” but said that they “have not and will not interfere with the fair administration of justice.”

“As a result of this process, I have deeply reflected on my actions and have implemented self-imposed corrective measures, both personally and professionally,” Murguia said. “I am truly sorry and am committed to ensuring that such conduct is not repeated.”

During the investigation, according to the order, Murguia apologized and assured the council that he won’t behave inappropriately going forward. The court notes that the misconduct did not continue after the complaint. 

He “was less than candid,” however, when he was first confronted with the allegations.

Murguia was appointed in March 1999 by then-President Bill Clinton, after he had served as a judge for the Kansas District Court. He was the first Hispanic judge named to the U.S. District Court of Kansas.

Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote

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Nepal’s speaker of parliament resigns after government worker alleges he raped her in her home

Nepal’s speaker of parliament resigned Tuesday after he was accused of raping a government worker while he was drunk.

Krishna Bahadur Mahara, one of the country’s leading Communist Party leaders, stepped down and in his letter of resignation said he wants to make it easier for an independent and unbiased investigation into the allegation.

TAIWAN ARCH BRIDGE COLLAPSES, AT LEAST 10 INJURED AS DIVERS SEARCH FOR POSSIBLE VICTIMS

A parliament staffer claimed Mahara raped her at her home on Sunday in Tinkune, according to The Himalayan Times. Mahara disputed the allegation, claiming the staffer was trying to get revenge on her for not helping her become a permanent employee in parliament.

“I told her that I cannot help her in that regard,” Mahara said. “She was angry with me for that and leveled the allegation of rape against me.”

Westlake Legal Group Krishna-Bahadur-Mahara-REUTERS Nepal's speaker of parliament resigns after government worker alleges he raped her in her home Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/world-regions fox-news/world/crime fox-news/world fox news fnc/world fnc article 7281de13-6cfc-5fb1-b883-4cc11322bc93

Krishna Bahadur Mahara resigned on Tuesday after he was accused of raping a government employee in her home. (REUTERS/Etienne Oliveau/Pool)

Mahara was elected speaker of the House of Representatives last year after the Communist Party of Nepal won a majority of the seats in elections in November 2017.

Mahara was a leading figure of the Maoist rebels who fought a violent campaign against the government between 1996 and 2006. The Maoists entered United Nations-monitored peace talks in 2006, ending their armed revolt, and joined mainstream politics. Mahara played a key role in the peace talks with the government.

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He has served as deputy prime minister, information minister and home minister.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Krishna-Bahadur-Mahara-REUTERS Nepal's speaker of parliament resigns after government worker alleges he raped her in her home Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/world-regions fox-news/world/crime fox-news/world fox news fnc/world fnc article 7281de13-6cfc-5fb1-b883-4cc11322bc93   Westlake Legal Group Krishna-Bahadur-Mahara-REUTERS Nepal's speaker of parliament resigns after government worker alleges he raped her in her home Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/world-regions fox-news/world/crime fox-news/world fox news fnc/world fnc article 7281de13-6cfc-5fb1-b883-4cc11322bc93

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Woman disguises herself as bush to photograph sister’s engagement

Nothing says happily ever after like your little sister dressed up as “a bush in the wilderness.”

bride-to-be in Wisconsin wanted her little sister to witness the moment she got engaged, so her good-natured sibling happily dressed up in a ghillie suit to secretly photograph the special occasion — and it came as a big surprise to her sis.

Rachel Merkel recently made it her known to boyfriend Andrew Philibeck that she wanted her little sister Therese to be present when he ultimately popped the question, BuzzFeed News reports.

Westlake Legal Group proposal-1-Jam-Press Woman disguises herself as bush to photograph sister's engagement Janine Puhak fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/lifestyle/weddings fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article abcfa20f-ef36-5ca2-99ef-3b53f89f0234

Rachel Merkel of Wisconsin recently made it her known to her boyfriend, Andrew Philibeck, that she wanted her little sister Therese to be there when he ultimately popped the question. (Jam Press)

Inspired, Andrew and Therese hatched a covert plan for Therese to dress up in a ghillie suit — a camouflage outfit designed to blend in with outdoor elements like forests, fields and snow — to discreetly capture the big moment.

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“I even told Andrew, ‘Is this going to ruin the vibe of the romance?'” Therese, 23, told the outlet.

Nevertheless, Andrew was confident that the unusual plan was the right idea.

Westlake Legal Group proposal-2-Jam-Press Woman disguises herself as bush to photograph sister's engagement Janine Puhak fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/lifestyle/weddings fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article abcfa20f-ef36-5ca2-99ef-3b53f89f0234

Groom-to-be Andrew Philibeck and the bride-to-be’s sister, Therese, hatched a covert plan for Therese to dress up in a ghillie suit – a camouflage outfit designed to blend into outdoor elements like forests, fields and snow – to discreetly capture the big moment where Rachel would (hopefully) say “yes.” (Jam Press)

One month later, Andrew beautified a scenic, woodsy outlet with sunflowers, lanterns and other décor while staging the all-important moment. But little did Rachel know that her little sister was there, too — ready and waiting in her ghillie suit to capture the picture-perfect proposal.

Andrew claimed he had a hard time seeing her.

“She was so well hidden with the ghillie suit in the bushes that I couldn’t find her, so I was nervous that she wasn’t even there,” the groom-to-be told BuzzFeed.

Moments after Rachel said “yes” to Andrew, Therese popped out and surprised her sister, excitedly shouting, “She said yes!”

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“’What are you, a weird bush?'” Rachel said upon first seeing the suit, according to Therese. “It totally made the moment.”

Last Monday, the prankster took to Twitter to share the funny tale, in a post that has since gone massively viral with over 179,000 likes and 22,000 shares.

“Sister got engaged this weekend and I dressed as a bush in the wilderness to watch/capture the moment. We are 1 [year] apart… why are our lives so different [?]” Therese wondered.

Despite the hype, the woman said she hopes to keep the focus on her special sister’s big moment — and her road to saying “I do” with Andrew.

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“I was really just there to cheer them on. It’s all for them,” Therese said. “I’m just so excited that I was a part of it.”

Westlake Legal Group sister-proposal-jam-press Woman disguises herself as bush to photograph sister's engagement Janine Puhak fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/lifestyle/weddings fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article abcfa20f-ef36-5ca2-99ef-3b53f89f0234   Westlake Legal Group sister-proposal-jam-press Woman disguises herself as bush to photograph sister's engagement Janine Puhak fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/lifestyle/weddings fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article abcfa20f-ef36-5ca2-99ef-3b53f89f0234

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