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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 307)

Ali Noorani: Trump moves to slash legal immigration make America weaker, not greater

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6084883980001_6084877190001-vs Ali Noorani: Trump moves to slash legal immigration make America weaker, not greater fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Ali Noorani 002186b6-6122-52be-9a47-102b2b953d09

A new Trump administration move to drastically cut refugee admissions to the U.S. in the next 12 months to no more than 18,000 undermines the security and prosperity of American workers and their families.

And a second administration move also announced last week – to permit cities and states to refuse to take in refugees for resettlement – tears at the very fabric of our nation of immigrants.

These latest actions by President Trump to slash legal immigration are making America weaker, not greater.

LESLIE MARSHALL: PELOSI UNDETERRED BY TRUMP’S TWITTER TIRADES AS IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY TAKES SHAPE

For historical context, the new refugee admissions cap “is by far the lowest in the history of the U.S. refugee resettlement program,” which began in 1980, as the Migration Policy Institute notes.

It’s important to note that the cap on refugee resettlement is a maximum. In 2018, actual resettlement numbers were less than half that fiscal year’s ceiling of 45,000.

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In his first year in office, Trump slashed the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2017 cap on refugee admissions from 110,000 to 50,000.

While the Trump administration is required to consult Congress before imposing the new lower limit on refugee admissions, it is unlikely to result in an increase in the number of refugees beyond the 18,000 sought by the president.

At the same time as the administration announced plans to cut admissions of refugees, Trump issued his executive order that allows states and municipalities to not accept any refugees being resettled.

While President Trump frequently characterizes large numbers of immigrants as dangerous criminals, it’s important to note that refugees are the most heavily vetted of all people who arrive in the U.S.

The result: communities and states led by elected officials with ulterior motives will lose one of their few sources of much-needed population growth. And what little refugee resettlement remains will be slowed down by additional layers of consent from state and local authorities for each refugee waiting to be resettled.

This harms us as a country, for multiple reasons.

The cap alone undermines our security, as top military officials past and present have argued. A year ago, then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote a memo in which he argued against scaling back refugee admissions from the cap then set at 45,000.

Mattis said that Iraqis who “have risked their own lives and their families’ lives” by helping the U.S. in wartime should be able to gain admission to the U.S. as refugees.

What will happen next time America needs citizens of another country to help us in wartime? If they know they will be denied admission to the U.S. even if facing threats of death as a result of working with our armed forces, why will they help us?

Just weeks ago, Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to half a dozen countries in the Middle East and Asia, talked about the importance of U.S. leadership regarding refugees.

“How we lead, the example we set, is extremely important globally,” Crocker said. “If we are seen as stepping up to the challenge, others are likely to do the same. If we don’t, an already desperate humanitarian crisis will get worse.”

“To shut down refugee admissions frankly would be a repudiation of what America is all about. Refugees are us,” Crocker added. “They always have been in this country. This is about American values and this is about American security.”

But that’s not all it’s about.

The lower limit on refugee admissions, combined with the executive order, puts American workers and their families at risk in places where refugees are a workforce and economic boon.

As CityLab reported in January, refugees have helped save Rust Belt cities and others from population loss, or at least have lessened the blow. These are cities such as Clarkston, Ga.; Lancaster, Pa.; and Southfield, Mich.

“Not only do [refugees] fill jobs in a tight labor market, they are some of the most dedicated and motivated workers in the U.S. workforce,” says Gideon Maltz, executive director of the Tent Partnership for Refugees, an organization that works with businesses to support refugees.

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“Fundamentally, refugees return more to the economy than they take – and the United States stands to lose greatly by continuing to cut their numbers,” Maltz added.

Idaho is a great example of how refugees help conservative America thrive. The state is home to the third-largest dairy industry in the country. And Idaho’s unemployment rate is only 2.9 percent, which is practically full employment.

The dwindling number of refugees resettled in Idaho since the 2016 election already had the dairy industry worried. The administration’s desire to further slash refugee resettlement will send shockwaves through an Idaho industry already buffeted by the trade war.

While President Trump frequently characterizes large numbers of immigrants as dangerous criminals, it’s important to note that refugees are the most heavily vetted of all people who arrive in the U.S. The process already takes years.

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We know what’s going to come next: In some of the same towns where refugees have contributed the most, certain politicians may choose to deny the infusion of population, fresh ideas and belief in the American Dream. They will be following the lead of President Trump, who is clearly ready to sacrifice America’s future in pursuit of a political agenda to close us off from the world.

There’s no sugarcoating it: Our country is hurtling down a shameful path – one in which we undermine our security, our economy, and our own moral leadership in the world.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY ALI NOORANI

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6084883980001_6084877190001-vs Ali Noorani: Trump moves to slash legal immigration make America weaker, not greater fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Ali Noorani 002186b6-6122-52be-9a47-102b2b953d09   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6084883980001_6084877190001-vs Ali Noorani: Trump moves to slash legal immigration make America weaker, not greater fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Ali Noorani 002186b6-6122-52be-9a47-102b2b953d09

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Sally Pipes: ObamaCare, not Trump, is adding to the number of uninsured Americans

Westlake Legal Group foot_istock-2 Sally Pipes: ObamaCare, not Trump, is adding to the number of uninsured Americans Sally Pipes fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9b3b7113-4f5a-5685-b2b0-2840da874b8d

On Sept. 10, the Census Bureau announced that the share of Americans without health insurance increased for the first time since 2010, the year the Affordable Care Act became law.

Defenders of ObamaCare immediately blamed President Trump for the increase in the uninsured rate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, never one to mince words, said Trump’s “cruel health care sabotage has left 2 million more people without health insurance.”

But a look at the actual data indicates that ObamaCare itself is driving people into the ranks of the uninsured. Sky-high premiums on the exchanges have priced millions of middle-class families out of the insurance market.

DOUG SCHOEN: TRUMP’S MOVE TO END OBAMACARE WILL HELP DEMOCRATS GET MORE VOTES IN 2020

Up until recently, ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid had masked the thinning of the exchange pool. Medicaid enrollment swelled by more than 7.5 million between 2013, the year before expansion of the program went into effect, and 2017. So the exit of millions of middle-class families from the exchanges didn’t show up in the total uninsured numbers.

But it was happening nonetheless.

ObamaCare promised to make insurance more affordable by subsidizing premiums, and in some cases out-of-pocket costs, for families with incomes below 400 percent of the poverty line.

At the same time, it piled on benefit mandates and rate regulations that caused premiums to spiral upward. From 2013 to 2017, average individual-market premiums more than doubled. They shot up another 27 percent in 2018.

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For those eligible for subsidies, these increases didn’t matter that much. Taxpayers took care of them. Those with incomes above 400 percent of poverty bore the full brunt of these premiums hikes.

So the subsidized part of the ObamaCare market remained stable. But the unsubsidized part started to collapse.

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After 2015, the number of people buying insurance on the individual market who weren’t eligible for subsidies plateaued. In 2016, 10 states saw significant enrollment drops: 18 percent in Alaska, 14 percent in Minnesota. In 2017, 44 states saw sharp declines in this market; 43 had declines again last year.

Overall, 1.3 million people dropped out of the unsubsidized individual market in 2017. Last year, another 1.2 dropped out. That’s a 40 percent decline in just two years.

Another half million people who only get partial subsidies because their incomes are close to 400 percent of the poverty level left the individual market in 2018.

In other words, 1.7 million of the 1.9 million who lost insurance in 2018 came from people priced out of insurance by ObamaCare itself.

It is true that this year, average exchange premiums nationwide declined for the first time. But that average obscures the fact that several states continued to see huge jumps. In Washington, they climbed almost 14 percent. They were up 13 percent in Washington, D.C., 12.5 percent in Kentucky, and almost 9 percent in New York.

Premiums for next year are likely to follow a similar pattern. Average premiums will likely be nearly flat. But D.C. residents can expect another 9 percent increase. Premiums in Louisiana will be up almost 12 percent, and in Vermont, 11 percent. New Yorkers will face another 7 percent hike. In Louisiana, that 12 percent increase means unsubsidized families will have to cough up nearly an additional $900 in premiums.

Contrary to the talking points trotted out by ObamaCare’s defenders, average premiums declined in part because of waivers the Trump administration granted to several states, which let them use ObamaCare subsidy money more effectively. A study by the Heritage Foundation found that the median premium in six of these waiver states fell almost 11 percent this year. The median premium increased in the non-waiver states by more than 3 percent.

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Five more states have put in for these waivers for next year, with the expectation that it will drive premiums down between 6 percent and 20 percent.

The waivers offer evidence that relaxing ObamaCare’s rigid rules and regulations can make insurance more affordable. And making insurance more affordable is the only sustainable way to make coverage accessible to everyone, especially those that ObamaCare drove into the ranks of the uninsured.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SALLY PIPES

Westlake Legal Group foot_istock-2 Sally Pipes: ObamaCare, not Trump, is adding to the number of uninsured Americans Sally Pipes fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9b3b7113-4f5a-5685-b2b0-2840da874b8d   Westlake Legal Group foot_istock-2 Sally Pipes: ObamaCare, not Trump, is adding to the number of uninsured Americans Sally Pipes fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9b3b7113-4f5a-5685-b2b0-2840da874b8d

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Austria Election: Sebastian Kurz Poised To Regain Power

Westlake Legal Group kurz-1-39013f44111ede19426196ff46c33771aa448c1e-s1100-c15 Austria Election: Sebastian Kurz Poised To Regain Power

Former Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz from the Austrian People’s Party, OEVP, speaks at a closing rally ahead of elections in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday. The Austrian elections are on Sunday. Ronald Zak/AP hide caption

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Ronald Zak/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Austria Election: Sebastian Kurz Poised To Regain Power

Former Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz from the Austrian People’s Party, OEVP, speaks at a closing rally ahead of elections in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday. The Austrian elections are on Sunday.

Ronald Zak/AP

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Austria’s youngest-ever chancellor, 33-year-old Sebastian Kurz, is poised to reclaim his job after his party received its biggest victory in years, according to partial results of parliamentary elections.

His conservative Austrian People’s Party received more than 37 percent of the vote, five percentage points higher than its showing in 2017, when it teamed up with the far-right Freedom Party to form a government.

“It’s been a difficult four months but today the people have chosen us again,” Kurz told a crowd of cheering supporters. “I’m rarely at a loss for words, but I’m practically speechless. We didn’t expect such a result.”

Kurz’s first government came crashing down in May after his coalition partner, the Freedom Party, became embroiled in a cash-for-contracts scandal.

The conservatives do not have enough seats to govern alone so they will need a coalition partner. Kurz could team up with the Green Party, which won 14 percent of the vote, a significant improvement from 2017, when it failed to get enough votes to enter parliament. He could also team up again with the Freedom Party, which saw its support drop t0 16 percent — 10 percent lower than 2017.

Kurz might consider reuniting with the far-right party because it’s “very good at being in opposition, which creates headaches for Mr. Kurz,” says Reinhard Heinisch, a professor of comparative politics at the University of Salzburg. “But the Freedom Party is also very problematic.”

Kurz invited the Freedom Party into his government in 2017 with the intention of taming its worst tendencies. The party is known in Austria for populist rhetoric that vilifies migrants and Muslims. It has ties to radical right extremist groups like Generation Identity, which has links with the Christchurch terrorist who murdered 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand in March.

Instead, the partnership was an 18-month roller-coaster of disturbing headlines about the far-right party’s links to the Kremlin, a deeply anti-semitic songbook and a poem likening migrants to rats.

The final straw for Kurz came in May. His vice chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, then Freedom Party leader, was forced to resign after the German magazine Der Spiegel obtained and published a video from 2017, which was filmed secretly as part of a sting, showing him spending a boozy evening on the Spanish island of Ibiza with a woman posing as the niece of a rich Russian close to the Kremlin. In the video, Strache offers the woman government contracts if she supports the Freedom Party.

“Enough is enough,” Kurz said then.

Strache resigned, the Freedom Party left the government, and Kurz lost a no-confidence vote in parliament. A caretaker government led by former supreme court judge Brigitte Bierlein, the first female chancellor in history, has run the country all summer with a quiet competence that’s won her admiration.

“People like having a government that’s not always in the media,” Heinisch says.

Scrutiny of an “unabashedly nationalist party”

The Freedom Party has made headlines for years.

Most recently, partly because of the Ibiza video, its ties to Russia have come under scrutiny.

While Austria has warm ties with Russia, the Freedom Party openly admires the Kremlin, raising eyebrows in the NATO-supporting West.

“It’s in our interests to have a balanced worldwide network of allies and not to be a U.S. colony,” says Johannes Huebner, a longtime Freedom Party member, during an interview in June. “The thing is, in Europe, there is overwhelming U.S. influence through NATO through the control of the financial system, through the media, through the entertainment industry.”

Like other radical right parties, they also oppose immigration and are unabashedly nationalist — which means something in Austria, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler. Many in the Freedom Party see the defeat of Nazi Germany “not as a victory for democracy but as a defeat for their cause,” Heinisch says.

Hitler annexed the country in 1938 but Austria did not go through the same process of post-war re-education as Germany.

“There was an anti-Nazi political consensus in the years after 1945 but there was never a consensus that you cannot cooperate politically with the far right,” says Bernhard Weidinger at the Documentation Center for the Austrian Resistance in Vienna.

“So the two big parties” — the center-right People’s Party and the Social Democrats — “they’ve always been flirting with the far right. And that of course, contributed massively to normalize policies of this party.”

Co-opting an anti-migrant message

Sunday’s election results show that the Ibiza scandal hurt the party more than expected.

Public opinion polls had showed about one in five Austrians supporting the party.

One is retired IT administrator Kurt Blind, who runs a monthly meeting of party faithful at a beer-and-schnitzel restaurant in Vienna.

“We may not have as many members as the other parties yet,” he said in an interview in June. “But each month we grow.”

The party had won support with its anti-migrant rhetoric, polished in 2015, when a million asylum-seekers and migrants arrived in Europe.

Kurz rose to prominence in Austrian politics by trying co-opt that hardline rhetoric and serve it up through “his clean-cut, millennial blandness” as a way to make it more palatable, says Nina Horaczek, an investigative reporter at the Austrian weekly Falter, who co-wrote a biography of Kurz.

“He did not understand that repeating hardline anti-immigrant rhetoric in a nicer tone does not defeat far-right populists,” she says. “It makes them stronger.”

The Freedom Party’s influence was most obvious in migration policy. The government cut benefits for migrant families, banned headscarves in elementary schools and threatened to force new asylum-seekers to work for less than $2 an hour. Dormitories housing asylum-seekers were renamed “departure centers.”

In the town of Traiskirchen, just outside Vienna, Afghan asylum-seeker Daoud Saidi got the message.

“I’m not wanted here,” he says. “I told the Austrian authorities that the Taliban took over my village and that it’s not safe. They told me I had to leave Austria.”

Can the Freedom Party reconcile with Kurz?

The caretaker government axed the departure center signs and cancelled plans to pay new asylum-seekers sweatshop wages.

Migration is not the top issue in this election. Austrians are nowadays more interested in issues such as climate change.

But the Freedom Party still brings it up.

“On the issue of immigration, the Freedom Party has posters saying Mr. Kurz is learning from us,” says Heinisch, the politics professor in Salzburg.

As media have speculated that Kurz might team up with the Greens, which is pro-migration, in a new coalition government, the Freedom Party has told voters that if they stay home “that means the conservatives are going to do a deal with the Greens and then they’ll throw the borders open the immigrants will pour in,” Heinisch says.

“The slogan that the Freedom Party is posting is, ‘we need to be strong so we can keep the conservatives on the right path.’ “

For the Freedom Party, that means reconciling with Kurz, who remains popular.

“He’s no longer the messianic figure of Austrian politics he was a couple of years ago,” Heinisch says. “But he’s handsome, he’s rhetorically gifted, he’s young and, to a lot of conservatives, represents the future.”

There’s even a campaign commercial showing the new Freedom Party leader, Norbert Hofer, in couples therapy with an actor portraying Kurz.

The men tell a therapist how much they like and respect each other and how they share ideas. They sometimes answer questions in unison.

“We have so much in common,” Hofer says in the video. “We just need a little push to get back together.”

Benjamin Breitegger contributed reporting from Vienna.

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Schiff: House investigations to focus on Trump’s ‘breach of the president’s oath of office’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089891043001_6089893388001-vs Schiff: House investigations to focus on Trump's 'breach of the president's oath of office' fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 04495931-a38c-552e-a834-968678f1cff4

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday that while his committee plans on investigating a host of issues relating to President Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the main focus will center on the president’s “fundamental breach of the president’s oath of office.”

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Schiff said that the president’s behavior was so “egregious” that House lawmakers were forced to open an impeachment inquiry relating to his call with the Ukrainian leader.

“The gravamen of the offense here is the president using the power of his office to coerce a foreign nation into helping his presidential campaign to once again interfere in our election, and at the same time withholding foreign aid that country so desperately needs to fight off who? The Russians,” Schiff said.

He added: “The situation demands that we move forward with the inquiry.”

INTEL CHIEF DEFENDS HANDLING OF TRUMP CALL COMPLAINT, SPARS WITH SCHIFF IN TENSE HEARING

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally announced an impeachment inquiry into Trump over his July 25 phone call with Zelensky. Democrats have claimed the president threatened to withhold $400 million in military aid unless Ukraine investigated former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and their business dealings in the country.

The probe was prompted by a complaint from an intelligence community whistleblower who accused Trump of “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

Pelosi specifically charged that the administration had violated the law by not turning over a whistleblower complaint concerning Trump’s July call with Zelensky. Citing testimony that the director of national intelligence was blocking the release of that complaint, she said: “This is a violation of law. The law is unequivocal.”

Trump had urged Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Joe Biden has acknowledged on camera that, when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — where Hunter Biden was on the board. Shokin himself had been separately and widely accused of corruption.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Schiff on Sunday said that while he expects the White House to push back on the House’s attempts to ascertain information regarding the president’s actions, any attempts to thwart the investigation would be viewed as obstruction.

“The president can’t have it both ways — he can’t both prevent us from getting evidence on these serious underlying crimes, or potential crimes, this serious breach of his oath of office, and at the same time obstruct our investigation,” he said. “Even as he tries to weaken our ability to get facts on one, he’s going to strengthen the facts on the other.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089891043001_6089893388001-vs Schiff: House investigations to focus on Trump's 'breach of the president's oath of office' fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 04495931-a38c-552e-a834-968678f1cff4   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089891043001_6089893388001-vs Schiff: House investigations to focus on Trump's 'breach of the president's oath of office' fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 04495931-a38c-552e-a834-968678f1cff4

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Schiff: House investigations to focus on Trump’s ‘breach of the president’s oath of office’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089891043001_6089893388001-vs Schiff: House investigations to focus on Trump's 'breach of the president's oath of office' fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 04495931-a38c-552e-a834-968678f1cff4

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday that while his committee plans on investigating a host of issues relating to President Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the main focus will center on the president’s “fundamental breach of the president’s oath of office.”

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Schiff said that the president’s behavior was so “egregious” that House lawmakers were forced to open an impeachment inquiry relating to his call with the Ukrainian leader.

“The gravamen of the offense here is the president using the power of his office to coerce a foreign nation into helping his presidential campaign to once again interfere in our election, and at the same time withholding foreign aid that country so desperately needs to fight off who? The Russians,” Schiff said.

He added: “The situation demands that we move forward with the inquiry.”

INTEL CHIEF DEFENDS HANDLING OF TRUMP CALL COMPLAINT, SPARS WITH SCHIFF IN TENSE HEARING

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally announced an impeachment inquiry into Trump over his July 25 phone call with Zelensky. Democrats have claimed the president threatened to withhold $400 million in military aid unless Ukraine investigated former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and their business dealings in the country.

The probe was prompted by a complaint from an intelligence community whistleblower who accused Trump of “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

Pelosi specifically charged that the administration had violated the law by not turning over a whistleblower complaint concerning Trump’s July call with Zelensky. Citing testimony that the director of national intelligence was blocking the release of that complaint, she said: “This is a violation of law. The law is unequivocal.”

Trump had urged Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Joe Biden has acknowledged on camera that, when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — where Hunter Biden was on the board. Shokin himself had been separately and widely accused of corruption.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Schiff on Sunday said that while he expects the White House to push back on the House’s attempts to ascertain information regarding the president’s actions, any attempts to thwart the investigation would be viewed as obstruction.

“The president can’t have it both ways — he can’t both prevent us from getting evidence on these serious underlying crimes, or potential crimes, this serious breach of his oath of office, and at the same time obstruct our investigation,” he said. “Even as he tries to weaken our ability to get facts on one, he’s going to strengthen the facts on the other.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089891043001_6089893388001-vs Schiff: House investigations to focus on Trump's 'breach of the president's oath of office' fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 04495931-a38c-552e-a834-968678f1cff4   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089891043001_6089893388001-vs Schiff: House investigations to focus on Trump's 'breach of the president's oath of office' fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 04495931-a38c-552e-a834-968678f1cff4

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Whistleblower Reportedly Agrees To Testify Before House Intelligence Committee

Westlake Legal Group 5d90cb1b2400005f00d46be4 Whistleblower Reportedly Agrees To Testify Before House Intelligence Committee

The U.S. intelligence official who filed the whistleblower complaint about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has agreed to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, according to committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

Schiff told ABC’s “This Week” that he expects the whistleblower to appear before his committee “very soon.” The date of the hearing has not yet been set and is dependent on how quickly acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire can complete the security clearance process for the whistleblower’s attorneys, he said.

“We’re ready to hear from the whistleblower as soon as that is done,” Schiff said. “And we’ll keep obviously running shotgun to make sure that [Maguire] doesn’t delay in that clearance process.”

Maguire, who testified before the House Intelligence Committee about the complaint on Thursday, told the panel that he believes the whistleblower “acted in good faith” and “followed the law.”

But Trump has questioned the whistleblower’s patriotism and reportedly suggested Thursday that the complaint, which also alleges a White House cover-up of Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, amounts to “treason.”

“Who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy,” Trump reportedly told U.S. diplomats in New York City. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”

The whistleblower has not been publicly identified, though The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported he is a CIA officer previously detailed to the White House.

Schiff condemned Trump’s “threats” against the whistleblower on Sunday and said his committee would pay close attention to the security risks involved in his testimony.

“As Director Maguire promised during the hearing, that whistleblower will be allowed to come in and come in without a minder from the Justice Department or from the White House to tell the whistleblower what they can and cannot say,” Schiff said. “We’ll get the unfiltered testimony of that whistleblower. ”

“We are taking all the precautions we can to … allow that testimony to go forward in a way that protects the whistleblower’s identity,” he added. “With the president issuing threats … you can imagine the security concerns here.”

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Austria Election: Sebastian Kurz Expected To Regain Power

Westlake Legal Group kurz-1-39013f44111ede19426196ff46c33771aa448c1e-s1100-c15 Austria Election: Sebastian Kurz Expected To Regain Power

Former Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz from the Austrian People’s Party, OEVP, speaks at a closing rally ahead of elections in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday. The Austrian elections are on Sunday. Ronald Zak/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Ronald Zak/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Austria Election: Sebastian Kurz Expected To Regain Power

Former Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz from the Austrian People’s Party, OEVP, speaks at a closing rally ahead of elections in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday. The Austrian elections are on Sunday.

Ronald Zak/AP

Austria’s youngest-ever chancellor, 33-year-old Sebastian Kurz, is expected to win back his job Sunday despite a cash-for-contracts scandal that brought down his government four months ago.

And, he could team up again with the far-right Freedom Party, which caused the scandal. Kurz’s conservative People’s Party is not expected to win enough parliamentary seats to govern alone.

“The radical right is very good at being in opposition, which creates headaches for Mr. Kurz,” says Reinhard Heinisch, a professor of comparative politics at the University of Salzburg. “But the Freedom Party is also very problematic.”

Kurz brought in the Freedom Party in 2017 with the intention of taming its worst tendencies. The party is known in Austria for populist rabble-rousing that vilifies migrants and Muslims. It has ties to radical right extremist groups like Generation Identity, which has links with the Christchurch terrorist who murdered 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand in March.

Instead, the partnership was an 18-month roller-coaster of disturbing headlines about the far-right party’s links to the Kremlin, a deeply anti-semitic songbook and a poem likening migrants to rats.

The final straw for Kurz came in May. His vice chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, then Freedom Party leader, was forced to resign after the German magazine Der Spiegel obtained and published a video from 2017, which was filmed secretly as part of a sting, showing him spending a boozy evening on the Spanish island of Ibiza with a woman posing as the niece of a rich Russian close to the Kremlin. In the video, Strache offers the woman government contracts if she supports the Freedom Party.

“Enough is Enough,” Kurz said then.

Strache resigned, the Freedom Party left the government, and Kurz lost a no-confidence vote in parliament. A caretaker government led by former supreme court judge Brigitte Bierlein, the first female chancellor in history, has run the country all summer with a quiet competence that’s won her admiration.

“People like having a government that’s not always in the media,” Heinisch says.

Scrutiny of an “unabashedly nationalist party”

The Freedom Party has made headlines for years.

Most recently, partly because of the Ibiza video, its ties to Russia have come under scrutiny.

While Austria has warm ties with Russia, the Freedom Party openly admires the Kremlin, raising eyebrows in the NATO-supporting West.

“It’s in our interests to have a balanced worldwide network of allies and not to be a U.S. colony,” says Johannes Huebner, a longtime Freedom Party member, during an interview in June. “The thing is, in Europe, there is overwhelming U.S. influence through NATO through the control of the financial system, through the media, through the entertainment industry.”

Like other radical right parties, they also oppose immigration and are unabashedly nationalist — which means something in Austria, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler. Many in the Freedom Party see the defeat of Nazi Germany “not as a victory for democracy but as a defeat for their cause,” Heinisch says.

Hitler annexed the country in 1938 but Austria did not go through the same process of post-war re-education as Germany.

“There was an anti-Nazi political consensus in the years after 1945 but there was never a consensus that you cannot cooperate politically with the far right,” says Bernhard Weidinger at the Documentation Center for the Austrian Resistance in Vienna.

“So the two big parties” — the center-right People’s Party and the Social Democrats — “they’ve always been flirting with the far right. And that of course, contributed massively to normalize policies of this party.”

Co-opting an anti-migrant message

The Ibiza scandal dented the Freedom Party’s support but not by much.

About one in five Austrians still support the Freedom Party, including retired IT administrator Kurt Blind, who runs a monthly meeting of party faithful at a beer-and-schnitzel restaurant in Vienna.

“We may not have as many members as the other parties yet,” he said in an interview in June. “But each month we grow.”

The party has won support with its anti-migrant rhetoric, polished in 2015, when a million asylum-seekers and migrants arrived in Europe.

Sebastian Kurz rose to prominence in Austrian politics by trying co-opt that hardline rhetoric and serve it up through “his clean-cut, millennial blandness” as a way to make it more palatable, says Nina Horaczek, an investigative reporter at the Austrian weekly Falter who co-wrote a biography of Kurz.

“He did not understand that repeating hardline anti-immigrant rhetoric in a nicer tone does not defeat far-right populists,” she says. “It makes them stronger.”

The Freedom Party’s influence was most obvious in migration policy. The government cut benefits for migrant families, banned headscarves in elementary schools, and threatened to force new asylum-seekers to work for less than $2 an hour. Dorms housing asylum-seekers were renamed “departure centers.”

In the town of Traiskirchen, just outside Vienna, Afghan asylum-seeker Daoud Saidi got the message.

“I’m not wanted here,” he says. “I told the Austrian authorities that the Taliban took over my village and that it’s not safe. They told me I had to leave Austria.”

Can the Freedom Party reconcile with Kurz?

The caretaker government axed the departure center signs and cancelled plans to pay new asylum-seekers sweatshop wages.

Migration is not the top issue in this election.

But the Freedom Party still brings it up.

“On the issue of immigration, the Freedom Party has posters saying Mr. Kurz is learning from us,” says Heinisch, the politics professor in Salzburg.

As media have speculated that Kurz might team up with the Greens, which is pro-migration, in a new coalition government, the Freedom Party has told voters that if they stay home “that means the conservatives are going to do a deal with the Greens and then they’ll throw the borders open the immigrants will pour in,” Heinisch says.

“The slogan that the Freedom Party is posting is, ‘we need to be strong so we can keep the conservatives on the right path.’ “

For the Freedom Party, that means reconciling with Kurz, who remains popular.

“He’s no longer the messianic figure of Austrian politics he was a couple of years ago,” Heinisch says. “But he’s handsome, he’s rhetorically gifted, he’s young and, to a lot of conservatives, represents the future.”

There’s even a campaign commercial showing the new Freedom Party leader, Norbert Hofer, in couples therapy with an actor portraying Kurz.

The men tell a therapist how much they like and respect each other and how they share ideas. They sometimes answer questions in unison.

“We have so much in common,” Hofer says in the video. “We just need a little push to get back together.”

Benjamin Breitegger contributed reporting from Vienna.

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Coast Guard says boat collision in Massachusetts leaves 1 person missing

The Coast Guard conducted a search for a missing person following a reported boat collision off Fall River in Massachusetts, authorities said.

The Coast Guard announced the search Saturday night and said that one person had been rescued.

The incident happened near Spar Island in Mount Hope Bay around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the Falls River Herald News reported.

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“There was two of them on the boat that got ejected from the boat,” witness Fatima Desausa told WPRI-TV.

She said the person who was rescued was given CPR and the person who was missing was wearing a red life jacket.

COAST GUARD SUSPENDS SEARCH FOR FIREFIGHTERS LOST AT SEA AFTER FLORIDA FISHING TRIP

WJAR-TV reported speaking to a person who said he and his friend were out on the water in their speed boats when they hit a wave.

He said two of his friends wound up in the water.

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A powerboat could be seen being towed to shore after the incident, the station reported.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-coast-guard Coast Guard says boat collision in Massachusetts leaves 1 person missing Robert Gearty fox-news/us/military/coast-guard fox news fnc/us fnc fd959d3d-9fb0-5a10-ac07-1548be41605e article   Westlake Legal Group iStock-coast-guard Coast Guard says boat collision in Massachusetts leaves 1 person missing Robert Gearty fox-news/us/military/coast-guard fox news fnc/us fnc fd959d3d-9fb0-5a10-ac07-1548be41605e article

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Schiff says House Intelligence has reached agreement for whistleblower testimony

Westlake Legal Group db4we8uVILxTklFDonlKED0pd2glEPXMk7YPZbsiTBk Schiff says House Intelligence has reached agreement for whistleblower testimony r/politics

None of those smear campaigns worked though, literally not one. They screamed their idiot faces off but still got their asses handed to them in the midterms – and folks, today they are the weakest they’ve ever been when you look at the map of the financial and population centers of the country. The Republican Party of California is virtually extinct, they’re losing ground in TX, NY, and VA. FL is still a hard fight but every election they run the risk of losing it, and the rust belt is showing signs of flipping back.

2020 can shape up to be their worst loss in modern political history. The public is tired of and doesn’t pay anymore attention to their crying wolf antics. They wore us out with the Hilary scandals that got nowhere.

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Mexico roller coaster plunges, killing 2 at amusement park, officials say

Two people were killed and two others were injured after the last car on a roller coaster derailed and plunged to the ground Saturday at an amusement park in Mexico.

The accident happened around 1 p.m. at the La Feria de Chapultepec amusement park, located in Mexico City, according to the Mexico City attorney general’s office.

Ulises Lara López, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, told reporters at a news conference that two men — ages 18 and 21 — died in the crash. The two men sustained head and other injuries when the car derailed, according to officials.

SIX FLAGS TRAIN PASSENGERS EVACUATED AFTER PART OF RIDE DERAILS

Two women — ages 27 and 35 — were also injured in the crash. One of the women had a leg injury that required surgery, while the second woman had a severe brain injury that required her to be intubated. She is listed in serious condition, officials said in a news release.

Witnesses told local media outlets the victims were sitting in the last car of the roller coaster as it derailed. Video obtained by Mexican news outlet Milenio shows the moment the car derails as the roller coaster train enters a tight turn.

Rosalba Rodriguez, who witnessed the crash, told reporters there was nothing out of the ordinary about the ride, which had completed a few loops until the last car derailed during a turn near the end of its run.

Westlake Legal Group Mexico-City-rollercoaster-RT Mexico roller coaster plunges, killing 2 at amusement park, officials say Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/travel/general/theme-parks fox news fnc/world fnc article 33262825-115c-5874-98bc-151f47f6d4e5

A general view of an amusement park where rollercoaster accident happened, in Mexico City, Mexico, September 28, 2019 in this still image taken from a video. (Reuters TV via REUTERS)

A preliminary investigation has indicated a mechanical failure caused the car to come loose and fall from a height of 33 feet above the ground, according to López.

KIDNAPPED MEXICAN POLICE COMMANDER FOUND BEHEADED IN CANCUN

Authorities are now treating the accident as a case of negligent homicide.

“This is now in the hands of prosecutors, and prosecutors have already taken the necessary steps for an investigation,” Miriam Urzua, an official from the civil protection organization, told Reuters news agency.

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The popular park closed shortly after the crash, as the fair said it “deeply regrets the terrible accident” and is investigating, Sky News reported. Video showed investigators milling around the park as a tarp on a frence blocked a view of the area under the roller coaster where the derailed car crash-landed.

The towering Quimera coaster in Chapultepec Park can be seen from afar in the capital, it’s three nearly vertical yellow and red loops visible from a major highway.

The decades-old coaster, like many rides in La Feria, was featured at other parks around the world before finding a home in Mexico City.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Mexico-City-rollercoaster-RT Mexico roller coaster plunges, killing 2 at amusement park, officials say Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/travel/general/theme-parks fox news fnc/world fnc article 33262825-115c-5874-98bc-151f47f6d4e5   Westlake Legal Group Mexico-City-rollercoaster-RT Mexico roller coaster plunges, killing 2 at amusement park, officials say Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox-news/world/disasters fox-news/travel/general/theme-parks fox news fnc/world fnc article 33262825-115c-5874-98bc-151f47f6d4e5

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