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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 299)

Mississippi inmate who escaped troubled prison is captured in Tennessee

The second of two inmates who escaped a troubled Mississippi prison where three others were killed last week has been taken into custody in Tennessee.

Dillion Williams, who vanished from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman early Saturday, was arrested Monday in a wooded area near Rossville, about 100 miles away and just across the state’s northern border.

“Teamwork at its finest!” the Tennessee Department of Correction posted on Twitter alongside an image of the 27-year-old being detained by an officer.

Westlake Legal Group dillion-williams Mississippi inmate who escaped troubled prison is captured in Tennessee Greg Norman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 945c0991-fb6a-5d6d-84c7-4b79848a0cdd

Dillion Williams, who escaped from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman early Saturday, was arrested Monday in Tennessee. (Tennessee Department of Correction)

Williams had been serving a 40-year sentence for residential burglary and aggravated assault.

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The other inmate who busted out of the prison with Williams, David May, was arrested early Sunday after police found the pickup truck they are alleged to have used in their escape.

Two inmates were stabbed to death at Parchman last week and another was found dead in his jail cell in a series of killings that Mississippi’s outgoing prisons chief says is linked to gang disputes.

Westlake Legal Group dillion-williams Mississippi inmate who escaped troubled prison is captured in Tennessee Greg Norman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 945c0991-fb6a-5d6d-84c7-4b79848a0cdd   Westlake Legal Group dillion-williams Mississippi inmate who escaped troubled prison is captured in Tennessee Greg Norman fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 945c0991-fb6a-5d6d-84c7-4b79848a0cdd

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Sonos, Squeezed by the Tech Giants, Sues Google

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — In 2013, Sonos scored a coup when Google agreed to design its music service to work easily with Sonos’s home speakers. For the project, Sonos handed over the effective blueprints to its speakers.

It felt like a harmless move, Sonos executives said. Google was an internet company and didn’t make speakers.

The executives now say they were naïve.

On Tuesday, Sonos sued Google in two federal court systems, seeking financial damages and a ban on the sale of Google’s speakers, smartphones and laptops in the United States. Sonos accused Google of infringing on five of its patents, including technology that lets wireless speakers connect and synchronize with one another.

Sonos’s complaints go beyond patents and Google. Its legal action is the culmination of years of growing dependence on both Google and Amazon, which then used their leverage to squeeze the smaller company, Sonos executives said.

Sonos advertises its speakers on Google and sells them on Amazon. It built their music services and talking virtual assistants directly into its products. Sonos workers correspond via Gmail, and run the business off Amazon’s cloud-computing service.

Then Google and Amazon came out with their own speakers, undercutting Sonos’s prices, and according to Sonos executives, stealing its technology. Google and Amazon each now sell as many speakers in a few months as Sonos sells in one year.

Like many companies under the thumb of Big Tech, Sonos groused privately for years. But over the past several months, Patrick Spence, Sonos’s chief executive, decided he couldn’t take it anymore.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166665591_dd22fbca-3ff6-42bf-967d-d6b03a9c74da-articleLarge Sonos, Squeezed by the Tech Giants, Sues Google Suits and Litigation (Civil) Speakers (Audio) Sonos Inc Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Inventions and Patents Google Inc E-Commerce Computers and the Internet Antitrust Laws and Competition Issues Amazon.com Inc

“We’re left with no choice but to litigate,” said Patrick Spence, the Sonos chief executive.Credit…Adam Amengual for The New York Times

“Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology,” Mr. Spence said in a statement. “Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years, Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We’re left with no choice but to litigate.”

Sonos executives said they decided to sue only Google because they couldn’t risk battling two tech giants in court at once. Yet Mr. Spence and congressional staff members have discussed him soon testifying to the House antitrust subcommittee about his company’s issues with them.

Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesman, said Google and Sonos have discussed both companies’ intellectual property for years, “and we are disappointed that Sonos brought these lawsuits instead of continuing negotiations in good faith. We dispute these claims and will defend them vigorously.”

A spokeswoman for Amazon, Natalie Hereth, said the company did not infringe on Sonos’s technology. “The Echo family of devices and our multi-room music technology were developed independently by Amazon,” she said.

Sonos sued Google in Federal District Court in Los Angeles and in front of the United States International Trade Commission, a quasi-judicial body that decides trade cases and can block the import of goods that violate patents. Sonos sued Google over only five patents, but said it believed Google and Amazon each violated roughly 100. Sonos did not say how much it sought in damages.

The evolving relationship between Sonos and the tech giants reflects an increasingly common complaint in the corporate world: As the biggest tech companies have become essential to reach customers and build businesses, they have exploited that leverage over smaller companies to steal their ideas and their customers.

After mostly keeping those grievances private for years because they feared retaliation, many smaller companies are now speaking out, emboldened in an age of growing scrutiny of America’s largest tech firms.

Several prototype speakers at the Sonos campus.Credit…Adam Amengual for The New York Times A Sonos Move inside a drop test machine.Credit…Adam Amengual for The New York Times

Mr. Spence and other Sonos executives said they agonized over the decision to sue Google, largely because Google still underpins their business. Sonos executives suspect that their pressure on the patent issue has complicated other areas of the relationship, though they can’t say for sure.

After Sonos intensified its demands that Google license its technology, Google pushed Sonos to comply with stricter rules for using Google’s virtual assistant. Those proposed rules included a mandate to turn over the planned name, design and targeted start date of its future products — which Google would compete directly against — six months in advance, up from 45 days in the current deal, Sonos executives said.

“The fear of retaliation is a real fear. Any of these companies could bury them tomorrow. Google could bury them in their search results. Amazon can bury them in their search results,” said Sally Hubbard, a former assistant attorney general in New York’s antitrust bureau who now works at Open Markets Institute, a think tank. “It’s really hard to find any industry where corporations are not dependent on one of the big tech giants.”

Fifteen years ago, home sound systems typically meant a tangled network of wires and speakers and complicated instructions on how to make it all work. Then Sonos came along in 2005, promising wireless sound throughout a house, seamlessly controlled from a hand-held device. Its early ads boasted: “Any song. Any room.

Sonos quickly began patenting its innovations, a stockpile of intellectual property it now proudly displays on its website.

Its devices made life a bit more comfortable for consumers who could afford them, and they made for a nice little business for Sonos, which is based a few miles from the Southern California coast in Santa Barbara. Sales of its devices took off after the advent of the smartphone and music streaming. Sonos now employs about 1,500 people and sells more than $1 billion in speakers a year.

When Sonos teamed up with Google in 2013, it gave Google engineers detailed diagrams on how its speakers interacted wirelessly with one another. At the time, Google was not a competitor.

Two years later, Google released a small device that could turn an old speaker into a wireless one, much like Sonos’s original product. A year after that, Google released its own wireless speaker, the Google Home. The device, marketed around Google’s talking virtual assistant, quickly began outselling Sonos’s offerings.

Sonos bought the Google devices and used a technique called packet sniffing that monitored how the speakers were communicating. They discovered that Google’s devices used Sonos’s approach for solving a variety of technological challenges. Sonos executives said they found Amazon’s Echo speakers had also copied Sonos technology.

In August 2016, Sonos told Google it was infringing. Google had little response. As Google released more products, it violated more patents, Sonos executives said. Over the next three years, Sonos told Google four more times, eventually handing over a list of 100 patents it believed Google had violated. Google responded that Sonos was also infringing on its patents, Sonos executives said, though it never provided much detail.

When Sonos delivered a proposed model for Google to pay licensing fees, Google returned its own model that resulted in its paying almost nothing, Sonos executives said.

Sonos executives said their complaints were hardly just about patents, however. They are concerned that Google and Amazon are flooding the market with cheap speakers that they subsidize because they are not merely conduits for music, like Sonos’s devices, but rather another way to sell goods, show ads and collect data.

Sonos’s entry-level speaker is about $200. Amazon and Google’s cheapest speakers are $50, and they often offer them at much steeper discounts.

In the third quarter of 2019, Amazon shipped 10.5 million speakers, and Google six million, according to Strategy Analytics. For the 12 months ending in September, Sonos said it had sold 6.1 million speakers.

“Amazon and Google are making it a mass-market product at a price point that Sonos can’t match,” said Jack Narcotta, a Strategy Analytics analyst.

Amazon said it was focused on creating the best experience for customers and that its virtual assistant had generated “billions of dollars” for developers and device makers.

To compete, Sonos has had to yield even more power to the companies. When consumers became hooked on Google and Amazon’s virtual assistants, Sonos also built them into its speakers.

But Sonos had a strategy to still stand out on store shelves. Instead of locking consumers into using just one of the assistants, Sonos customers could use both simultaneously. Sonos engineers patented the technology to enable the assistants to work side by side, and executives lobbied Amazon and Google to let it happen.

At first, the companies hated the idea. Hours before a New York news conference in October 2017, Sonos was preparing to unveil its first speaker with virtual assistants when the Amazon product chief Dave Limp called Mr. Spence. Mr. Limp had just found out Google would also be onstage and he said Amazon was now pulling out of the event as a result, according to two people familiar with the conversation. After negotiations, Amazon relented.

Sonos executives said Google and Amazon ultimately forced them to make users select one assistant when setting up their speaker.

Amazon later changed its position and joined an alliance with Sonos and other companies to make virtual assistants like Alexa function together. Google is the only major company that refused to join the alliance.

Google has maintained, Sonos executives said, that it will pull its assistant from Sonos’s speakers if it worked alongside any assistant from Amazon, Apple, Microsoft or Baidu, the Chinese internet company. Sonos has followed Google’s orders.

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Estranged husband of missing Connecticut mom arrested, charged with murder

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Estranged husband of missing Connecticut mom arrested, charged with murder fox news fnc/us fnc Barnini Chakraborty article 7f092ffc-c55e-52eb-83a3-30c8596ae362

Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of a Connecticut mother of five who went missing in May after dropping her children off at school, has been arrested and charged with murder, his attorney Norm Pattis said Tuesday.

Two others have also been arrested and charged in connection to Jennifer Dulos’ death, one with murder and the other conspiracy to commit murder, Pattis said.

He did not give their names.

Pattis said Dulos will likely be in court this afternoon.

During a morning press conference Pattis said he does not believe the state has enough evidence to convict his client and that he would “be surprised if the state can win it.”

Dulos – along with his girlfriend Michelle Traconis – were charged earlier with evidence tampering and related offenses in Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance.

This is a developing story.

Westlake Legal Group jennifer-dulos Estranged husband of missing Connecticut mom arrested, charged with murder fox news fnc/us fnc Barnini Chakraborty article 7f092ffc-c55e-52eb-83a3-30c8596ae362   Westlake Legal Group jennifer-dulos Estranged husband of missing Connecticut mom arrested, charged with murder fox news fnc/us fnc Barnini Chakraborty article 7f092ffc-c55e-52eb-83a3-30c8596ae362

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Venezuela’s Guaido forces his way into congress amid standoff

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó and opposition lawmakers pushed their way into Venezuela’s legislative building Tuesday following a standoff with security forces as the nation’s political divide deepens.

The man recognized by the U.S. and over 50 other nations as Venezuela’s rightful president made his way toward his seat in the National Assembly and led lawmakers in boisterously singing the country’s anthem.

Shortly thereafter, electricity in the building went out, but lawmakers continued in the dimly lit assembly, shouting into microphones that did not work to declare Guaidó the legitimate president of the congress.

Westlake Legal Group AP20007537432926 Venezuela's Guaido forces his way into congress amid standoff fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 955a8a84-0164-5e5d-af5d-ef9ef2050e77

Opposition leader Juan Guaido argues for National Guards to let him and all opposition lawmakers into the National Assembly, saying he will not enter unless all of them are allowed entry, outside the legislature in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

VENEZUELA’S GUAIDÓ BLOCKED FROM CONGRESSIONAL SESSION AS RIVALS DECLARE SUBSTITUTE LEADER

“This is a show of what can happen when we are united,” Guaidó yelled.

Venezuela’s opposition is facing its biggest test yet after government-backed lawmakers announced they were taking control of what Guaidó supporters have described as the nation’s last democratic institution.

Westlake Legal Group AP20007449698826 Venezuela's Guaido forces his way into congress amid standoff fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 955a8a84-0164-5e5d-af5d-ef9ef2050e77

Opposition leader Juan Guaido arrives at the political headquarters of “Democratic Action” before going to the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

Guaidó has served as president of the National Assembly for the last year and used it as his platform to gain international recognition. He was expected to be re-elected as the legislature’s leader Sunday but was blocked along with several other lawmakers from entering congress.

Former opposition ally Luis Parra declared himself the National Assembly’s leader, claiming to have won the votes of 81 lawmakers.

Westlake Legal Group AP20007589789685 Venezuela's Guaido forces his way into congress amid standoff fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 955a8a84-0164-5e5d-af5d-ef9ef2050e77

With the power out, opposition leader Juan Guaido, right, is sworn-in as the president of the National Assembly by lawmaker Juan Pablo Guanipa in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrea Hernandez Briceño)

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The opposition refutes that tally and says 100 lawmakers, a majority, voted for Guaidó in a legislative session held later at a Venezuelan newspaper.

Westlake Legal Group AP20007537432926 Venezuela's Guaido forces his way into congress amid standoff fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 955a8a84-0164-5e5d-af5d-ef9ef2050e77   Westlake Legal Group AP20007537432926 Venezuela's Guaido forces his way into congress amid standoff fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 955a8a84-0164-5e5d-af5d-ef9ef2050e77

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Iranian cyberattacks could cause ‘real damage,’ warns cybersecurity expert

Westlake Legal Group iStock-1164223116 Iranian cyberattacks could cause 'real damage,' warns cybersecurity expert fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/tech/topics/hackers fox-news/tech/topics/cybercrime fox-news/tech/technologies fox news fnc/tech fnc Emily DeCiccio article 7cca2802-92b8-568c-8522-c29ae64d9437

Cybersecurity expert Justin Cappos warns that Iran has already “proven it’s both adept at launching cyberattacks and that those attacks can cause real damage” in the wake of the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike.

In an interview with Fox News, the NYU Tandon School of Engineering professor pointed to previous cyberattacks launched by Iran that he says illustrate the country has both the means and the willingness to go on the attack and damage American interests.

In 2016, the Justice Department charged seven hackers linked to the Iranian government with executing large-scale coordinated cyberattacks on dozens of banks as well as a small dam outside New York City — intrusions that law enforcement officials said reached into America’s infrastructure, disrupted the nation’s financial system and cost tens of millions of dollars.

IRANIAN CYBERATTACKS AGAINST US FEARED AFTER KILLING OF TOP GENERAL

Professor Cappos said that because of the previous attacks and current turmoil, it is vital that people take measures to protect their systems. He explained that those safeguards should include applying the latest software updates, maintaining external backups, as well as having strong passwords and two-factor authentication mechanisms.

Professor Cappos warned about the dangers of IoT (Internet of Things) devices and the new concerns the devices pose because of the potential for physical damage.

“I would be quite concerned across all forms of IoT, there being a potential for attack,” said Professor Cappos. “Whether it’s medical devices, vehicles, the power grid, election systems, even consumer home IoT devices, like the little spying devices that lots of people buy and put in their homes. We’re in an area of really heightened risk because we’ve automated a lot of things, which has given a lot of targets for a country like Iran to shoot at.”

SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW SOLEIMANI FUNERAL CROWDS THRONGING STREETS OF TEHRAN

Professor Cappos noted that the U.S. government should put more energy into helping Americans protect their IoT devices.

“We have not put funding in the right areas, in many cases, for preventative technologies,” said Professor Cappos. “I think there needs to be a lot more effort.”

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To learn more about how to protect yourself against cyberattacks listen to Professor Justin Cappos’ full interview above.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

Emily DeCiccio is a reporter and video producer for Fox News Digital Originals. Tweet her @EmilyDeCiccio

Westlake Legal Group iStock-1164223116 Iranian cyberattacks could cause 'real damage,' warns cybersecurity expert fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/tech/topics/hackers fox-news/tech/topics/cybercrime fox-news/tech/technologies fox news fnc/tech fnc Emily DeCiccio article 7cca2802-92b8-568c-8522-c29ae64d9437   Westlake Legal Group iStock-1164223116 Iranian cyberattacks could cause 'real damage,' warns cybersecurity expert fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/tech/topics/hackers fox-news/tech/topics/cybercrime fox-news/tech/technologies fox news fnc/tech fnc Emily DeCiccio article 7cca2802-92b8-568c-8522-c29ae64d9437

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Hi, I’m reporter Bill Theobald and I cover all things election security and the 2020 election. AMA.

Westlake Legal Group EhSU0T2X89T_-6UyQAO0bBx6hC_OLBtb4rO6Tf3COMg Hi, I’m reporter Bill Theobald and I cover all things election security and the 2020 election. AMA. r/politics

Hey there! I’m Bill Theobald from The Fulcrum. I’ve been covering what’s happening to secure the 2020 election from interference. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been designated to keep U.S. elections safe. States are spending it in all kinds of ways that they say will keep your voting information, from registration to the ballot, safe. I’m here to answer anything you want to know about election security and what changes officials have (or haven’t) made since 2016.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/qq6zubrxvm541.jpg

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Chick-fil-A testing spicier menu in select markets, removing items

New year, new menu.

Chick-fil-A has recently announced that it will be taking certain items off its menu in select markets to make room for other, spicier selections.

SEE IT: MANATEE-SHAPED CHICKEN TENDER SELLING FOR $5,000 ONLINE

The fan-favorite fast-food chain will be “bringing the heat” to those markets in 2020 with a streamlined menu that is “a little bit simpler and a whole lot spicier,” according to a blog post shared by the restaurant.

Westlake Legal Group pressreleaseheader Chick-fil-A testing spicier menu in select markets, removing items fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 46479350-6bf9-5b69-86d5-fc26804f2e26

The hot new menu, which includes the Grilled Spicy Deluxe Sandwich, Spicy Chick-n-Strips and the Spicy Chick-n-Strips Biscuit, will only be rolled out in the Charlotte, N.C.-area and select cities in Arizona starting Jan 13. (Chick-fil-A)

Included in the new menu will be the Grilled Spicy Deluxe Sandwich, Spicy Chick-n-Strips and the Spicy Chick-n-Strips Biscuit. Each item is made using a spicy blend of peppers and the chain’s signature grilled or breaded chicken.

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With its new additions, however, the chain is eliminating some options to make room, albeit only in the Charlotte, N.C. market and select cities in Arizona. Customers in those areas can say goodbye to the breakfast sausage, the sunflower multigrain bagel, Original Chick-n-Strips, the Grilled Cool Wrap and the side salad.

Likewise, the hot new menu will only be rolled out in the Charlotte, N.C. area and select cities in Arizona, starting Jan 13.

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Westlake Legal Group Spicyupdateheader Chick-fil-A testing spicier menu in select markets, removing items fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 46479350-6bf9-5b69-86d5-fc26804f2e26

The chain will be removing the original Chick-n-Strips from menus to make room for the spicy version.  (Chick-fil-A)

Last year, the company tested a similarly spicier menu in Phoenix, and is now expanding its reach into other markets.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The chain has not yet reported whether these new items will be added to menus nationwide.

Westlake Legal Group pressreleaseheader Chick-fil-A testing spicier menu in select markets, removing items fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 46479350-6bf9-5b69-86d5-fc26804f2e26   Westlake Legal Group pressreleaseheader Chick-fil-A testing spicier menu in select markets, removing items fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/arizona fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 46479350-6bf9-5b69-86d5-fc26804f2e26

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If Americans Die in the Escalating Iran Crisis, Remember That Mike Pompeo Called It ‘a Little Noise’

Westlake Legal Group qi9JDGBgMqZwrKjbN0hEUXLh7etKFNj7rh7EGku7-Es If Americans Die in the Escalating Iran Crisis, Remember That Mike Pompeo Called It ‘a Little Noise’ r/politics

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Live Updates: Pompeo Says Killing Suleimani Was ‘the Right Decision’

Here are the latest developments:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166790505_a258ccea-48ab-441f-8fba-a39a14565ec0-articleLarge Live Updates: Pompeo Says Killing Suleimani Was ‘the Right Decision’ Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a press briefing at the State Department on Tuesday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday addressed some of the many questions surrounding the American airstrike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and a number of other people traveling with him.

“It was the right decision, we got it right,” Mr. Pompeo said as reporters quizzed him about President Trump’s decision to carry out the attack on Friday. General Suleimani posed an immediate threat, according to Mr. Pompeo, who cited the death of an American contractor in a rocket attack several days earlier as proof.

Mr. Pompeo also defended the broader “maximum pressure” campaign that President Trump has vowed to carry out against Iran, saying that the strategy had diplomatic, economic and military components. He added that the president had been “unambiguous” in the remarks he made following the attacks.

“In the event that the Iranians make another bad choice, the president will respond in the way he did last week,” he said.

Mr. Pompeo also rejected the idea that General Suleimani had been visiting Iraq “on a diplomatic peace mission.” That suggestion was “fundamentally false,” he said.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 07iran-briefing5-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Live Updates: Pompeo Says Killing Suleimani Was ‘the Right Decision’ Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

As Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani’s body was taken home for burial, a crush is believed to have killed dozens of mourners who crowded the streets of Kerman, Iran.CreditCredit…Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iranian state-run news outlets reported a deadly stampede during the funeral procession for Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in his hometown, Kerman, in southeastern Iran, on Tuesday.

Millions were reported to have flooded the town’s streets to witness the procession for the general, who was killed in an American drone strike in Baghdad last week. His death has fanned smoldering tensions between the United States and Iran, and fueled fears of a broader conflict.

The crowding and subsequent stampede in Kerman led to General Suleimani’s burial being postponed, state news media reported. It is still unclear when he will be buried.

Photographs of the procession showed an elaborately decorated truck carrying General Suleimani’s coffin through streets packed densely with mourners, many wearing black and carrying pictures of the dead commander.

“Unfortunately, as a result of a stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions,” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of the Iranian emergency medical services, told the news agency IRIB.

He later told the news agency Fars, an outlet associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, that 40 people had been killed and another 213 injured.

Images and videos posted on social media showed the aftermath of the crush, with emergency workers and bystanders attempting to resuscitate people lying on the ground. The lifeless bodies of other victims, jackets covering their faces, could be seen nearby.

The general’s body had been flown to Kerman after a funeral in Tehran on Monday that had brought even bigger crowds into the streets of the Iranian capital.

In a fiery speech made in Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani’s hometown on Tuesday, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps vowed to “set ablaze” places where Americans and their allies live.

“We will take revenge — a revenge that will be tough, strong, decisive and finishing and will make them regret,” the corps’s leader, Hossein Salami, said on Tuesday in a front of a crowd of mourners. “We will set ablaze the place they like, and they know where it is.”

“Today, the seeds of hatred for the U.S. have been sown in the hearts of Muslims,” he added, according to Fars, an Iranian news agency associated with the Revolutionary Guards.

The pledge to seek vengeance echoed the rhetoric of many of the country’s leaders since General Suleimani’s killing on Friday. “Death to Israel,” the crowd chanted back, according to news reports. Israel, a close ally of the United States, has long been an enemy of Iran.

Thousands of mourners, dressed in black and carrying photos of General Suleimani, crowded the central square of Kerman, where the general’s body was taken for burial after a funeral procession on Monday in Tehran, the capital.

Before arriving in Kerman, the general’s remains were taken to the holy city of Qom, where thousands of residents came out, hoping for a chance to touch the coffin of a man the state has declared a martyr.

On Monday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept and offered prayers over General Suleimani’s coffin at the enormous state funeral. The ayatollah, Iran’s supreme leader, had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the country’s second-most powerful man.

General Suleimani’s successor swore revenge during Monday’s ceremony, while chants of “Death to America” rang out from the crowds in the capital.

State-run news outlets reported that millions had gathered in Tehran, and images showed a sea of mourners, many wearing black and waving the Iranian flag.

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger,” said Esmail Ghaani, the Iranian general who will succeed General Suleimani as head of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of the Revolutionary Guards. “Certainly, actions will be taken,” he added.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said on Tuesday that he had been rejected for a visa to attend a Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, confirming reports from American news outlets that he would be barred.

Mr. Zarif, in an interview with the Iranian news outlet Press TV, said that his office had requested a visa weeks ago to participate in the meeting on Thursday, rejecting claims by American officials that they had not had time to process the application.

“The Americans are trying to create the impression that our request to attend the meeting was put forth following the assassination of General Suleimani,” Mr. Zarif said, according to the news outlet, adding, “The question everyone needs to be asking this lawbreaking administration is: What are they so scared of?”

Mr. Zarif later posted on Twitter about the situation, taking aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump.

During a Tuesday morning news conference, Mr. Pompeo was asked about the visa but said he would not comment specifically on visa matters. He added that the United States would “comply with our obligations” under United Nations rules.

Robert C. O’Brien, the American national security adviser, was asked on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning about the visa.

“I don’t think Secretary Pompeo thought that this was the right time for Mr. Zarif to come to the United States, and whenever he comes to New York, he spreads propaganda,” Mr. O’Brien said.

The New York meeting plans to focus on the topic of upholding the Charter of the United Nations, and comes as Iran and the United States are engaged in a heated back-and-forth over the American drone strike last week that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

The office of the United Nations secretary general did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Mr. Zarif visited New York in September to attend the United Nations General Assembly, after claims that his visa had been intentionally delayed. In August, the United States announced sanctions on Mr. Zarif, a seasoned diplomat who helped negotiate the 2015 nuclear deal.

In Jerusalem and elsewhere across the Middle East, United States embassies warned Americans of potential attacks from Iran, as Iranian generals vowed to avenge the senior commander killed in an American drone strike.

In Jerusalem, the embassy told Americans on Monday to watch out for “mortars and rocket fire.” A day earlier, the United States Mission in Saudi Arabia had warned citizens to be prepared for “missile and drone attacks.”

The security alerts follow the targeted killing on Friday of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leading figure in Iran’s foreign-facing intelligence and military operations.

At General Suleimani’s funeral in Tehran on Monday, military commanders promised vengeance. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told advisers that any retaliation against the United States should be direct, proportional and carried out openly by Iran.

That is a startling departure for the Iranian leadership, which has typically cloaked its attacks behind the actions of proxies it has cultivated around the region. But in the fury generated by the killing of General Suleimani, a close ally and personal friend of the supreme leader, the ayatollah was apparently willing to cast aside those traditional cautions.

In Israel, the United States Embassy on Monday issued a security alert for the entire country and warned Americans of potential mortar and rocket attacks.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning,” the embassy said in an alert published on its website.

The United States Mission to Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned Americans in the kingdom to be aware of a “heightened risk of missile and drone attacks.”

American embassies across the region have been on heightened alert since Dec. 31, when militants, backed by the Iranian government, stormed the embassy in Baghdad. President Trump said the assault was organized by General Suleimani.

Last week, embassies in Baghdad and in Beirut, Lebanon, issued security alerts. Some airlines have halted flights to the Iraqi capital, including EgyptAir, which on Tuesday announced that its flights in and out of the city would stop from Wednesday through Friday.

The Iranian Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill declaring the American military’s top leadership to be “terrorists,” subject to Iranian sanctions, according to news reports in state media.

The bill aimed at the Pentagon’s top brass mirrored a Trump administration policy implemented in April that imposed economic and travel sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as organizations, companies and individuals with ties to it.

That policy represented the first time an arm of a sovereign government had been designated a terrorist organization.

The Defense Department said the killing of General Suleimani was justified in part because of the corps’s terrorist designation. General Suleimani led the Quds Force, a unit of the Revolutionary Guards that conducted intelligence-gathering and attacks outside Iran’s borders.

Parliament expedited the bill through an emergency process, according to the semiofficial Iranian news agency Tasnim.

Also on Tuesday, Parliament allocated $223 million to the Quds Force to “avenge” General Suleimani’s death, according to Fars, the state news agency.

An official letter from the Defense Department informing Iraq that American troops were “repositioning forces” for “movement out of Iraq” produced headlines around the world saying that an American withdrawal had begun.

But the letter, drafted by the United States military command in Baghdad, was sent out by mistake. The furor it caused prompted Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, to call an urgent news conference to deny the reports.

“It was an honest mistake,” General Milley told reporters at the Pentagon. “That letter is a draft, it was a mistake, it was unsigned, it should not have been released.”

“There’s been no decision made to leave Iraq, period,” Mr. Esper said. “There is no decision to leave, nor did we issue any plans to leave.”

General Milley said military officials had begun making arrangements for a withdrawal in the event that a decision is made to pull out. The Iraqi Parliament voted on Sunday to expel American troops from the country, amid anger over the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani on Iraqi soil. But Iraq has not formally notified the United States that it must leave.

General Milley said the military was “moving forces around” to consolidate positions. Not only were they not withdrawing, he said, but more forces were arriving from Kuwait.

Mark T. Esper, the secretary of defense, said striking Iranian cultural sites with no military value would be a war crime, putting him at odds with President Trump, who has insisted that such places would be legitimate targets. The president’s threats generated condemnation at home and abroad while deeply discomfiting American military leaders who have made a career of upholding the laws of war.

“We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” the defense secretary said at a news briefing at the Pentagon on Monday when asked if cultural sites would be targeted, as the president had suggested over the weekend. When a reporter asked if that meant “no” because the laws of war prohibit targeting cultural sites, Mr. Esper agreed: “That’s the laws of armed conflict.”

The furor over the threat to Iranian antiquities was a classic controversy of Mr. Trump’s own creation, the apparent result of an impulsive threat and his refusal to back down in the face of criticism. While Mr. Trump declared on Saturday that the United States had identified 52 potential targets in Iran, none of them qualified as cultural sites, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified correcting the president.

Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO, met with the Iranian ambassador to the organization on Monday to discuss the current situation, and issued a statement pointing to international agreements that condemn acts of destruction of cultural heritage.

“Ms. Azoulay stressed the universality of cultural and natural heritage as vectors of peace and dialogue between peoples, which the international community has a duty to protect and preserve for future generations,” UNESCO said in the statement.

Germany announced on Tuesday that it would pull a contingent of its troops out of Iraq, given “recent developments.”

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the German defense minister, said over the weekend that about 120 soldiers taking part in the international coalition to defeat the Islamic State would be confined to their bases but would remain in the region.

On Sunday, the German Army’s inspector general decided that a planned rotation of troops to forward bases in Iraq would not be taking place, the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

But another contingent of several dozen German soldiers normally stationed in Baghdad and in another Iraqi city, Taji, as part of a training mission were being pulled out, Roderick Kiesewetter, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, told the public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Tuesday.

“It is just a temporary reduction,” he said. “That means about 30 to 40 troops will be moved to Jordan, where we have reconnaissance jets and tankers. So our soldiers remain in the region.”

Reporting was contributed by Megan Specia, Russell Goldman, Farnaz Fassihi, David D. Kirkpatrick, Melissa Eddy, Edward Wong, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Mark Landler, Helene Cooper and Thomas Gibbons-Neff.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The 52 Iran Hostages Felt Forgotten. Here’s What They Wish Would Happen Now.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_166763733_14a64ee2-5625-4a5d-9c41-b61060318ce3-facebookJumbo The 52 Iran Hostages Felt Forgotten. Here’s What They Wish Would Happen Now. United States Defense and Military Forces Suleimani, Qassim Roeder, David M Kidnapping and Hostages Iran Golacinski, Al

David M. Roeder, a retired Air Force colonel, was at home last week in Pinehurst, N.C., when he first saw the news flash on his television: An American embassy was under attack by protesters in the Middle East.

“I said, ‘Uh-oh, here we go again,’” said Colonel Roeder, who was among more than 50 Americans who were taken hostage at the United States Embassy in Tehran in 1979, in a crisis that ruptured relations and set off 40 years of intense hostilities between Washington and Tehran.

“There are fires. They are attacking the embassy,” said Colonel Roeder, now 80. “That’s déjà vu.”

The latest attack — on the embassy in Baghdad — came days before a United States drone strike killed a top Iranian commander, quickly escalating tensions in the region. President Trump later referred to the hostage crisis in a warning to Iran not to retaliate, saying in a tweet that the United States had pinpointed 52 Iranian sites as potential targets, to represent the 52 Americans held by Iran from 1979 to 1981.

The president’s threat thrust the hostages back into the spotlight, at a time when some say they feel that their ordeal has largely been forgotten by the American public. Of 53 hostages, which includes an additional diplomat who was released early, an estimated 18 have died. The remaining 35, who are of retirement age, have moved on as best they can. Still, their 444 days of captivity hang like a shadow in the background of their lives, returning in their dreams, when Iran surfaces in the news and in their decades-long fight for monetary compensation.

In interviews, several of the former hostages said they were both surprised to be remembered and also reluctant to be pulled into a fraught and potentially violent political battle.

“I’m somewhat miffed that this in some form or another is supposed to be in our honor,” said Al Golacinski, a former regional security officer at the embassy who is now 69 and retired in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. “I don’t need that.”

“We’ve all gone on with our lives, those of us that are still alive, and there are fewer and fewer of us every six months or so,” said Chuck Scott, an 88-year-old retired Army colonel who was commander of the special forces team at the time of the hostage crisis. He added, “We’re not part of it anymore.”

In an interview on MSNBC, another former hostage, John Limbert, put it bluntly: “Mr. President, if you’re listening, please don’t bother yourself on my account, because I want nothing to do with it.”

The Iran hostages — who dealt with physical and psychological torture, including instances of solitary confinement and mock execution — have also had to fight for restitution since they were released because of an agreement that barred them from seeking damages for their imprisonment. In 2015, Congress authorized payments of up to $4.4 million: $10,000 per day of captivity, as well as a lump-sum payment to spouses and children. But only a small portion of that money has been paid, the situation complicated after relatives of Sept. 11 victims applied for compensation from the same fund.

Instead of drawing them into the current conflict, some of the hostages said they wanted the attention to be on restitution they said they deserved. “Why don’t you just go ahead and pay us the money you promised us?” Colonel Scott said.

V. Thomas Lankford, a lawyer in Alexandria, Va., who represents many of the former Iranian hostages and their families, is still fighting for further payment. He cited years of anxiety attacks, trouble sleeping and threats of suicide among former hostages.

“There was one hostage that died in the last two years,” he said. “Every night, his wife would tell me, he would cry and whimper in his sleep and all of a sudden he would sit and bolt up right as if he were still in captivity.”

“There is another very prominent one who, every time Iran becomes involved in the news in a big sort of way, he will have to go back to receive institutional help,” Mr. Lankford said, adding, “They have, in all respects, continued to be victims.”

Mr. Golacinski, who has talked about his experience being blindfolded, handcuffed and subjected to a mock execution while in captivity, said he had closely watched the latest developments, but he did not want to tie recent events to the 1979 crisis.

“What has happened in the past week has no association with us,” he said. “This is not as though we’ve all been waiting all this time for someone to be killed, almost as though it’s on our behalf. It is not on our behalf.”

Colonel Roeder said he had been following the recent news nearly around the clock. Mr. Trump’s tweet that referred to them, he said, was at least evidence that they had not been entirely forgotten.

“It was encouraging, and somewhat surprising, that someone in government actually acknowledged that they remember what happened to us,” he said.

“Everybody seems to agree the general was a bad guy,” he said, referring to Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian commander who was killed. Still, he feared for Iranians who might get caught in the conflict. “Those people are vulnerable.”

“I went through that,” he added. “I know what it did to families. I know what it did to the country. I don’t think that’s what we want to have happen again.”

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