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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 314)

Tips and recommendations

Westlake Legal Group Slugburger_55_660x440 Tips and recommendations

Northern Mississippi is obsessed with the slugburger; entire festivals and eating contests are devoted to this regional dish. There, if you want something other than a slugburger, you have to specify you want an “all-meat burger” instead. Otherwise, one of these humble burgers will arrive on your plate. Don’t worry, this dish generations of Mississippians adore doesn’t have any slimy, shell-less… Continue Reading >


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Megathread: Julián Castro endorses Elizabeth Warren in presidential race

Westlake Legal Group N_SWtj82SI7wDxd6O1h1QQ4SZAuF0N1_FWR1Q6ZrdX8 Megathread: Julián Castro endorses Elizabeth Warren in presidential race r/politics

Former Obama administration housing chief Julián Castro is endorsing Elizabeth Warren’s presidential bid, saying the Massachusetts senator is “the most qualified, best-equipped candidate to win the nomination” and defeat President Donald Trump.

In an online video posted Monday featuring the two former 2020 White House rivals, Castro tells Warren, “No one is working harder than you.” The pair had remained friendly during months of campaigning.

Castro, also the former mayor of San Antonio, dropped out of the presidential race last week. The Iowa caucuses that kick off the Democratic primary are less than a month away.


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Irwin family treating hundreds of animals amid Australia wildfires: ‘Everything’ is being injured

Westlake Legal Group irwins-wildfires-ap Irwin family treating hundreds of animals amid Australia wildfires: 'Everything' is being injured Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/travel/regions/australia fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/world fnc article 5bb8a29b-8393-5627-b4a8-ae387c1c6697

The wife and son of the late Australian zookeeper and popular television personality Steve Irwin — also known as “The Crocodile Hunter” — said  Monday that they are helping the animals affected by the devastating wildfires ravaging parts of Australia.

“We are taking what we can, we are doing emergency fundraising and building more facilities right now,” the owner of the Australia Zoo, Terri Irwin, said on “Fox & Friends.” “We’re at capacity right now for koalas, we’re over capacity for fruit bats and we are seeing a number of other animals.”

She added, “Koalas make the headlines, but everything is getting injured, birds, reptiles, you name it. And the people on the front lines are doing a great job, but their facilities are getting evacuated.”

Australia’s capital, Canberra, had the worst air quality of any major city in the world for much of Monday. The devastating fires have killed at least 25 people in Australia and destroyed 2,000 homes, so far scorching an area twice the size of Maryland.

AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES TURN NEW ZEALAND SKY ORANGE

More than 135 fires were still burning across New South Wales, including almost 70 that were not contained. Officials have warned that Monday’s rain won’t put out the largest and most dangerous blazes before conditions deteriorate again.

Officials also warned that Australia’s wildfire season — which generally lasts through March — was nowhere near its end.

On Kangaroo Island, a refuge off the coast of South Australia state for some of the country’s most endangered creatures, teams had arrived to help euthanize livestock and wild animals injured in the blazes. Hundreds of millions of animals are believed to have died already in the fires across the country.

“It’s really sad to see,” said Robert Irwin, Terri and Steve’s son.

He added, “Of course, it’s the injuries you would expect, smoke inhalation and burns, but more than that, as these animals are trying to flee these areas, they’re coming in contact with places animals shouldn’t be. So they’re crossing roads, getting hit by cars, coming into contact with domestic animals, so there’s a lot of different injuries that we’re getting.”

“We’re really just overrun at the moment,” He continued. “Our fruit bat intake has gone up by about 750 percent, so even though we’ve helped 90,000 animals over the years, it’s really grown exponentially over the last few days.”

His mother Terri said volunteers are transporting the injured animals to them by air and “we’re seeing hundreds of animals being transported.”

She said for those interested in helping, donations can be made to Wildlifewarriors.org.au.

AUSTRALIA WILDFIRES PROMPT NAVY BEACH RESCUES, MARKING LARGEST PEACETIME EVACUATIONS IN HISTORY

“The funds are going directly to medical supplies that we’re sending south and adding facilities and helping these animals that need it so much,” she said.

Robert added that helping the injured animals is honoring his father’s legacy. He was 2 when his father was killed in 2006 by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef.

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“For us, as a family, it is such an honor for me and my sister and my mom to really get to follow in his footsteps and make sure that his message lives on,” Robert said on Monday. “I think in this day and age, our wildlife all over the world, are having a really tough time and it’s important for everyone to step up and do their part, but we are really excited to get to honor him in times like this, with the wildfires. I know he would have been in a lot of distress with what’s going on.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group irwins-wildfires-ap Irwin family treating hundreds of animals amid Australia wildfires: 'Everything' is being injured Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/travel/regions/australia fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/world fnc article 5bb8a29b-8393-5627-b4a8-ae387c1c6697   Westlake Legal Group irwins-wildfires-ap Irwin family treating hundreds of animals amid Australia wildfires: 'Everything' is being injured Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/travel/regions/australia fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/world fnc article 5bb8a29b-8393-5627-b4a8-ae387c1c6697

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EXCLUSIVE: Lara Logan confronts alleged Mexican cartel doctor accused of torturing DEA agent

In 1985, the Guadalajara drug cartel, operating in western Mexico, abducted a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent and tortured him to death.

The brutal and heartbreaking story of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was retold in the hit Netflix documentary, “Narcos,” but it hasn’t brought his killers any closer to justice.

The men allegedly responsible for Camarena’s death are free and the cartel doctor the DEA believes kept Camarena alive to prolong his torture lives out in the open.

Lara Logan and her team tracked him down in Guadalajara and confronted him in the latest episode of the Fox Nation series, “Lara Logan Has No Agenda”

“Even to this day, there’s a current ongoing investigation into Kiki’s death,” said Terrance Cole, a retired assistant regional director of the DEA in Mexico City.

Cole began his career in Colombia, and he told Fox Nation that he has seen the Mexican cartels surpass the Colombians in dominance of the global drug trade.

“DEA agents in Mexico work under constant threat,” narrated Logan in the Fox Nation docuseries. “Last year, they had to evacuate one of their offices at least five times.  And the Sinaloa cartel, one of the world’s largest drug trafficking organizations, put out [a] video identifying a DEA office and their agents with their home addresses.”

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán was a young lieutenant in the Guadalajara cartel in 1985 when cartel members killed Camerena by “crushing his skull and drilling his head with a screwdriver,” reported Logan.

She met up with a DEA agent in Guadalajara, and he drove her to the U.S. consulate where Camerena was kidnapped and then several blocks away to the house where he was tortured and killed.

“Human life means nothing here,” said the agent, whose voice and appearance were disguised for his safety.

“This is no different than what you would see in the Middle East.  It’s no different here,” he told Logan as they drove through the streets of the city. “The only difference is what’s driving them is greed, power and money, not ideology.  There’s no ideology here.”

“This is a big deal for DEA still?” asked Logan, standing outside the building where Camerena was murdered.

“It is for me… this is not a movie,” he replied. “I mean, you’re standing right in front of this place where it happened.  His picture is outside of our office. I’m walking the same halls he walked.”

“One man the DEA still believes was involved — a local doctor that they said extended his torture,” narrated Logan. “The agent said we’d find him at a local taco shop, so we took a chance.”

“That’s where the doctor who kept Kiki alive while he was being tortured… that’s where he works?” asked Logan as she and her crew looked across a city street.

“He owns the place,” said the agent.

In 1992, Dr. Humberto Alvarez Machain went on trial for allegedly injecting drugs into Camerena during his torture to keep him alive and extend his agony. During the trial, Machain’s defense attorney accused the U.S. government of paying drug dealers to help fabricate the allegations against his client.

Westlake Legal Group lara-logan-4-Fox-Nation EXCLUSIVE: Lara Logan confronts alleged Mexican cartel doctor accused of torturing DEA agent Matt London fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 38417787-18e3-5998-8409-f6063346b1c3

Lara Logan on the U.S. Mexican border

A judge eventually dismissed the charges against Machain, saying the government lacked evidence for the case to proceed to a jury trial. Machain was eventually released.

However, to this day, DEA agents believe that Machain was involved.

“Did you have any involvement in Kiki’s death?” Logan asked Machain outside the sidewalk taco restaurant that he now runs.

EXCLUSIVE: LARA LOGAN CORNERED BY MEXICAN POLICE, THREATENED

“Absolutely not,” he said through an interpreter. “Tell her that since I left the United States prison, I’ve been here at this little business and keep enjoying it… I feel very proud that I was able to get out of a federal court trial in the United States.”

“How come the doctor’s not in jail?” Logan asked her DEA escort as they walked away.

“There’s no justice for anyone here. You’re lucky if you get justice for anyone,” he said.

This episode is one installment of the four-part docuseries “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” which is focused on immigration, socialism, media bias and veterans. “Lara Logan Has No Agenda” is available exclusively on Fox Nation.

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Fox Nation programs are viewable on-demand and from your mobile device app, but only for Fox Nation subscribers. Go to Fox Nation to start a free trial and watch the extensive library from Tomi Lahren, Pete Hegseth, Abby Hornacek, Laura Ingraham, Ainsley Earhardt, Greg Gutfeld, Judge Andrew Napolitano and many more of your favorite Fox News personalities.

Westlake Legal Group logan-machain EXCLUSIVE: Lara Logan confronts alleged Mexican cartel doctor accused of torturing DEA agent Matt London fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 38417787-18e3-5998-8409-f6063346b1c3   Westlake Legal Group logan-machain EXCLUSIVE: Lara Logan confronts alleged Mexican cartel doctor accused of torturing DEA agent Matt London fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 38417787-18e3-5998-8409-f6063346b1c3

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Julián Castro Endorses Elizabeth Warren

Westlake Legal Group 06castro-sub-facebookJumbo Julián Castro Endorses Elizabeth Warren Warren, Elizabeth Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Endorsements Democratic Party Castro, Julian

Julián Castro, the former housing secretary whose progressive presidential candidacy did not make significant inroads with Democratic voters but earned plaudits from the party’s left wing, has endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, offering a possible lift for her candidacy less than one month before the Iowa caucuses.

Mr. Castro announced his endorsement on Monday morning, just days after he ended his own bid for the White House. In a statement, Mr. Castro cast Ms. Warren as the logical extension of his campaign’s social-justice-driven message, which seeks to correct inequities through targeted policy proposals. He will campaign with Ms. Warren this week, joining her Tuesday night at a rally at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn.

“There’s one candidate I see who is unafraid to fight like hell to make sure that America’s promise will be there for everyone,” Mr. Castro said in a video announcement released on Twitter. Ms. Warren, he said, “will make sure that no matter where you live in America — or where your family came from in the world, you have a path to opportunity, too.”

The endorsement is not a shock to close observers of the Democratic primary race — Mr. Castro and Ms. Warren made no secret of their shared affection for each other — but it formalizes a partnership that could help Ms. Warren reignite excitement at a critical moment.

Ms. Warren has fallen from her polling peak in early October, when she was hailed as the race’s ascendant front-runner and the standard-bearer for the party’s progressive wing. National polls now show Ms. Warren firmly in third, behind former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has been aided by grass-roots progressive groups and by some high-profile endorsements of his own, including from popular House members like Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

It is unclear whether Mr. Castro’s name carries similar political weight. His presidential candidacy struggled to break through in a significant way, but he led the field on a number of progressive issues, including reparations, border decriminalization and housing inequality. He impressed liberal activist groups like the Working Families Party and the Center for Popular Democracy, even though they formally backed Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders.

Ms. Warren thanked Mr. Castro for his support on Monday, calling him “a powerful voice for bold, progressive change.”

During the waning months of his campaign, Mr. Castro was a vocal critic of the primary calendar, pointing to how voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, who hold their nominating contests first, are overwhelmingly white. Ms. Warren has, at times, sidestepped that issue, saying once in South Carolina that she was just “a player in the game on this one.”

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What Is Trump’s Iran Strategy? Few Seem to Know

Westlake Legal Group 06int-iran1-facebookJumbo What Is Trump’s Iran Strategy? Few Seem to Know United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Iran

When the United States announced on Friday that it had killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, something about its explanation left many analysts puzzled.

The strike was intended to deter further Iranian attacks, administration officials said. But they also said it was also expected to provoke severe enough attacks by Iran that the Pentagon was deploying an additional several thousand troops to the region.

The apparent contradiction left many experts wondering about the strike’s intended goal, and the strategy behind it.

The next day did little to settle the matter. The strike had been intended to prevent an imminent Iranian attack, officials said publicly. Or to change the behavior of Iran’s surviving leaders. Or to cow those leaders, whose behavior would never change.

Others said privately that President Trump had ordered it in response to television reports of an Iranian-backed siege on the American Embassy compound in Baghdad.

Mr. Suleimani’s killing has left a swirl of confusion among analysts, former policymakers and academics. The United States had initiated a sudden, drastic escalation against a regional power, risking fierce retaliation, or even war.

Why?

“There’s not a single person that I’ve spoken to who can tell you what Trump is up to with Iran,” said Ellie Geranmayeh, an analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

It’s not that experts or foreign officials suspect a secret agenda, but that the administration’s action fit no clear pattern or long-term strategy, she said. “It just doesn’t add up.”

The killing, many say, deepens the uncertainty that has surrounded Mr. Trump’s ambitions toward Iran since he withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear accord and began a series of provocations that he terms maximum pressure.

The risk, experts say, is that if they cannot figure out the administration’s goals and priorities for Iran, its red lines and points of possible compromise, then foreign governments won’t be able to either.

“Absolutely not,” Ms. Geranmayeh said when asked whether European or Middle Eastern officials, whom she speaks with regularly, understood Mr. Trump’s strategy. “Not even the closest U.S. allies, like in London.”

This imposes a layer of confusion on the conflict, just as it enters a dangerous and volatile new chapter, inviting mixed messages and misread intentions.

“If it’s that hard for us to understand, imagine the Iranians,” said Dalia Dassa Kaye, who directs a Middle East policy center at RAND Corporation, a nonpartisan research group.

Mixed signals, she said, make any effort to shape an adversary’s behavior “incredibly ineffective.” Uncertainty about Mr. Trump’s intentions also increases risks that the conflict could spiral out of control.

Without a clear understanding of what actions will lead the United States to ramp up or ramp down hostilities, she said, Iranian leaders are operating in the dark — and waiting to stumble past some unseen red line.

“That’s what makes this a dangerous situation,” she said.

Part of the uncertainty is specific to Mr. Trump. His impulsive style and resistance to accepting difficult trade-offs have made his goals on Iran difficult to parse.

He has cycled between ambitions of withdrawing from the Middle East, positioning himself as a once-in-a-generation peacemaker and, more recently, promising to oppose Iran more forcefully than any recent president has.

He has also been pulled between his advisers, with some urging cautious adherence to the status quo and others arguing for overtly topping Iran’s government.

Mr. Trump’s reputation for distortions and untruths have also made it difficult to separate bluster from agenda-setting.

He took the United States out of the nuclear agreement and imposed sanctions against Iran — which some see as setting off a crisis that continue today — on claims that it was “on the cusp” of acquiring nuclear weapons “in just a short period of time.”

But international inspectors and United States military leaders said that Iran was complying with requirements to freeze its nuclear development.

Without a clear explanation for Mr. Trump’s behavior, anyone whose job requires forecasting the next American action — from foreign head of state to think tank analyst — was left guessing.

Deepening the challenge, the administration followed up with a set of demands that included some nuclear restrictions but focused mostly on Iran’s regional influence and proxy forces, ordering Tehran to sever ties to nearly all of them in a sweeping surrender.

Was this the real agenda? If so, what were the plans for winning each demand, and the metrics for measuring whether those plans were working? How would the administration balance competing priorities?

American action on the ground deepened confusion.

United States diplomacy has emphasized calls for peace but has conspicuously declined to offer what diplomats call “offramps” — easy, low-stakes opportunities for both sides to begin de-escalating, which are considered essential first steps.

“There’s been no talk of, say, ‘If you do this, then we’ll bring back waivers,’” Ms. Kaye said, referring to American waivers allowing other countries to buy Iranian oil. “‘If you do X, then you’ll get Y.’ There’s been nothing tangible like that.”

Throughout months of proxy conflict, American military responses have ranged from muted or nonexistent — as in the case of an attack on Saudi oil facilities that was believed to be the work of Iran — to extreme escalations like killing Mr. Suleimani.

Even if each action might be defensible on its own, experts and foreign officials have strained to match them with a consistent set of motives and objectives.

Suspicions have deepened that there may be no long-term strategy at all, even among those sympathetic to Mr. Trump’s policies.

R. Nicholas Burns, a senior State Department official under President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter that the United States might have had a “legitimate right” to kill General Suleimani.

But, he asked, “has Trump considered next 15 moves on chessboard? How to protect our people? Line up allies to support us? Contain Iran but avoid wider war? My guess is he hasn’t.”

Ms. Geranmayeh stressed that the conflict between the United States and Iran also threatens to draw in a host of Middle Eastern and European countries.

To navigate tensions and avoid worsening them, allies and adversaries alike must astutely judge American intentions and anticipate American actions.

All of them, she said, seemed at a loss.

“Most experts and officials that I’ve spoken to from the Middle East, including close allies — Saudi Arabia, Israel — they also can’t tell you with confidence what Trump wants on Iran,” she said.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had already been ramping down tensions with Iran, Ms. Geranmayeh said, “because they have no idea how Trump will behave from one week to the next” and fear getting caught in the middle.

Similar confusion in Tehran, she added, could become “the biggest problem.”

“If Trump is not managing a consistent and clear message to the Iranians about what he wants,” she said, “then this opens up a lot of space for a lot of miscalculation.”

The most important question, Ms. Kaye said, is what steps by Iran might cause Mr. Trump to pull back. “There’s not an understanding about what is the end game, what is the U.S. trying to achieve, when will the Trump administration be happy, and enough is enough,” she said.

And while judging what will provoke American escalations against Iran is not straightforward, she said, those escalations have come steadily enough as to seem almost inevitable.

“Action on the ground has been continuously punitive,” she said.

Brett McGurk, who until last year was the administration’s special envoy to the coalition against the Islamic State, warned his former bosses, in an article for Foreign Affairs, that their maximalist demands had left “no plausible on-ramp for Iran to enter negotiations, since nobody, including the Iranians, knows what Iran is supposed to negotiate about.”

Ms. Kaye said Iran might conclude that it should tread with extreme caution. Or it might reason that the United States poses a threat that is both existential and unyielding, compelling Tehran to gamble on taking extreme measures.

“What I’m concerned about is that mixed signals, plus the perception of existential threat,” Ms. Kaye said, “might lead to dramatic steps that we might not have thought possible.”

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AOC slams Dem centrists as ‘Tea Party of the left,’ suggests Biden shouldn’t be in same party

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118047728001_6118062479001-vs AOC slams Dem centrists as ‘Tea Party of the left,’ suggests Biden shouldn’t be in same party Ronn Blitzer fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 334c8039-da61-55f9-ab4a-43141203ce39

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., outspoken champion of progressive causes, lamented in a new interview that her own party is too inclusive of people with different ideas.

In a lengthy profile by New York Magazine, the freshman Democrat derided her moderate colleagues as the “Tea Party of the left,” and completely distanced herself from the party’s current front-runner for the presidential nomination.

AOC SLAMS TRUMP, SAYS SOLEIMANI STRIKE RISKS ‘LIVES OF MILLIONS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE’

“In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are,” Ocasio-Cortez said. When asked how she would fit in with a possible Biden administration, her initial response was, “Oh, God.”

Along with fellow newcomers Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ocasio-Cortez has often clashed with the Democratic establishment, making headlines last year for a war of words with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who spoke of them in dismissive terms.

But Ocasio-Cortez’s problem with the more experienced members of her party go beyond respect, as she expressed an impatience with their tolerance for more moderate views.

“For so long, when I first got in, people were like, ‘Oh, are you going to basically be a Tea Party of the left?’ And what people don’t realize is that there is a Tea Party of the left, but it’s on the right edges, the most conservative parts of the Democratic Party,” she said. “So the Democratic Party has a role to play in this problem, and it’s like we’re not allowed to talk about it. We’re not allowed to talk about anything wrong the Democratic Party does.”

FORGETTING SOMETHING? DEM LEADER MAKES NO MENTION OF IMPEACHMENT IN HOUSE AGENDA MEMO

She believes that in her short time in Washington, she has “created more room for dissent,” and that “we’re learning to stretch our wings a little bit on the left.”

At the same time that she endorses creating room for other viewpoints, she complains that “Democrats can be too big of a tent,” and suggests that the Congressional Progressive Caucus in particular should start closing its doors to those who don’t have the proper leftist creds.

“They let anybody who the cat dragged in call themselves a progressive,” she said. “There’s no standard.”

Notably, one role model Ocasio-Cortez pointed to is not even a Democrat. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is an example she gave of a principled lawmaker who stuck to his guns and was able to help change the political conversation, not just in his home state, but the country.

One House aide warned that Ocasio-Cortez’s idealism and resistance to negotiating with moderates could be a problem.

“This is how it works here: You negotiate a concession in exchange for a vote. But you have to have the votes and you have to be willing to negotiate,” the aide told New York Magazine. “She says she is an organizer, but you have to be willing to organize in the caucus as well as outside it.”

Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., also explained that “no one gets all of his or her way,” and that compromise is part of the game. A member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Meeks found himself at odds with the leftist group Justice Democrats, which backed Ocasio-Cortez, claiming last summer that the organization was “targeting” CBC members in primary races.

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Meeks warned that lawmakers who do not learn to make concessions will end up ultimately being ineffective.

“You have to learn quickly; otherwise, you will be in the minority and you will be as relevant as that windowpane,” he said. “Do you want to be able to just talk a lot or do you want to be able to do something?”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118047728001_6118062479001-vs AOC slams Dem centrists as ‘Tea Party of the left,’ suggests Biden shouldn’t be in same party Ronn Blitzer fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 334c8039-da61-55f9-ab4a-43141203ce39   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118047728001_6118062479001-vs AOC slams Dem centrists as ‘Tea Party of the left,’ suggests Biden shouldn’t be in same party Ronn Blitzer fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article 334c8039-da61-55f9-ab4a-43141203ce39

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Carlos Ghosn’s Escape Began With a Ride on a Public Train

Westlake Legal Group 06ghosn-1-facebookJumbo Carlos Ghosn’s Escape Began With a Ride on a Public Train Turkey Securities and Commodities Violations Renault SA Nissan Motor Co Luggage and Packing Lebanon Japan Ghosn, Carlos airports

TOKYO — The first leg of Carlos Ghosn’s overnight trek from his Tokyo home to Beirut, before he reportedly climbed into a box to evade airport security, involved something much more prosaic: He got aboard an Osaka-bound bullet train, several Japanese media sources reported Monday.

Taking the trip on a public train would be another embarrassment for Japanese authorities, who on Monday promised to tighten airport baggage inspections and the rules governing the release of criminal suspects on bail.

It’s unclear if Mr. Ghosn, who is one of the most recognizable public figures in Japan, hid his appearance while on the bullet train, which has a maximum speed of about 177 miles per hour. The revelations came as authorities continued to investigate how the former auto executive eluded the authorities and flew to Lebanon last week.

Mr. Ghosn, who is facing charges of financial wrongdoing in Japan, fled to Beirut, where he has a home and faces no extradition to Japan.

Details of his trip, which began on Sunday, Dec. 29, are beginning to come to light. Mr. Ghosn left his home in central Tokyo by himself around 2:30 p.m. that Sunday, and walked about 900 yards to a hotel, where he met two men, according to NHK, which cited sources in the city prosecutor’s office and the Tokyo police.

The three then went to Tokyo’s Shinagawa railroad station, a major hub, and a little after 4:30 p.m. boarded a Shinkansen, or high-speed bullet train, for Osaka, about 340 miles away, the report said. In Osaka, they entered a hotel near the Kansai airport at about 8 p.m. A couple of hours later, the two men left the hotel with two large boxes; Mr. Ghosn was not in sight, the NHK report said. They boarded a corporate jet with the boxes, and flew to Istanbul.

Previous media reports have said that Mr. Ghosn evaded airport security measures by hiding in a box that was loaded on the plane.

From Istanbul, Mr. Ghosn reportedly got on a smaller plane, and arrived in Beirut later Monday.

At a news conference on Monday, Masako Mori, Japan’s justice minister, said the authorities were taking steps to bolster the scanning of luggage, though she declined to disclose details.

“Now, measures have been taken so that similar acts can’t be committed,” she said of the escape of Mr. Ghosn, who was on bail. Though her ministry is not responsible for baggage inspection, she said, different agencies are working to tighten control.

Ms. Mori also said the government would accelerate an existing review of how bail works in the country, including whether to require defendants to wear tracking wrist or ankle bracelets. Mr. Ghosn offered to wear one when he sought bail, but the court ultimately granted it without that requirement.

“We have been reviewing the current system,” Ms. Mori said. “We would like to swiftly advance the discussions on the matter, taking into account the recent escaping cases and the various opinions we have received.”

In leaving Japan, Mr. Ghosn forfeited 1.5 billion yen in bail, or about $13.9 million.

Mr. Ghosn, the former chief of the Nissan-Renault auto alliance, has long denied the allegations of financial wrongdoing and insisted he had been set up by Nissan executives who were worried that he would further merge the operations of the Japanese automaker and Renault of France.

After he vanished from Tokyo last week, he appeared in Lebanon, saying in a statement that he had been “held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system.”

Japanese officials on Sunday defended the country’s justice system as fair and open, with plenty of opportunities for Mr. Ghosn to defend himself.

Ms. Mori continued the defense on Monday.

“We acknowledge that there are various criticisms of Japan’s criminal justice procedures, but every country has a different criminal justice system,” she said, adding, “It isn’t appropriate to simply focus on one part of the system when comparing it to other countries.”

The details of Mr. Ghosn’s escape are still emerging.

In Japan, local media outlets have reported that surveillance cameras showed him leaving his Tokyo rental home by himself on Dec. 29. According to media reports in Turkey, he boarded a private jet in Osaka and flew to Istanbul, then took a second plane to Beirut.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing an anonymous source, that Mr. Ghosn was smuggled through Kansai International Airport in a type of box often used for concert equipment. It said the terminal for private jets at that airport was essentially empty, and that oversize luggage could not fit in the airport’s scanners.

A customs official at the airport, Akira Taniguchi, said that screening of luggage was done in two stages. In the first, a private security company using X-ray and other equipment checks whether there are items that are not allowed on board, likes guns or knives.

In the second stage, customs officials check whether the bags contain items that are not permitted to be brought in or taken out of Japan, like drugs and some foods. They use X-ray machines, metal detectors, drug detectors and dogs for that step.

Asked if Mr. Ghosn had managed to elude these measures, Mr. Taniguchi said, “We cannot comment on this.”

Mr. Ghosn was accompanied out of Japan by an American security consultant named Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret, The New York Times reported on Friday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Taylor and another American were the only people listed as passengers on a manifest for the flight that carried Mr. Ghosn from Japan to Turkey, Turkish news outlets have reported.

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New Jersey fisherman catches 475-pound shark after ‘real battle’

Not bad for a guy who was only planning to catch a few sea bass.

Last Sunday, when everyone else in New Jersey was fishing for pollock or porgy, Joe Welsh managed to reel in a 475-pound mako shark.

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Welsh, an angler from Hopatcong, was out with a chartered fishing trip about 75 miles off the coast when he made the catch. Even the boat’s captain, Howard Bogan of Bogan’s Deep Sea Fishing Center, was taken aback by the massive mako, which apparently put up a “real battle” before Welsh got him into his boat, a 125-foot vessel known as “The Jamaica.”

Westlake Legal Group Mako-Shark-125-Jamacia- New Jersey fisherman catches 475-pound shark after 'real battle' Michael Bartiromo fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 3e267c97-871f-55d6-8e7e-414167e94c1e

“Joe Welsh is one of the best sea bass fishermen I’ve met,” Capt. Howard Bogan said of Joe Welsh, seen to the right of the photo in the orange waders. (Capt. Howard Bogan/Bogan’s Deep Sea Fishing Center)

“Joe Welsh is one of the best sea bass fishermen I’ve met, and also a regular on the Jamaica,” Capt. Bogan wrote on Facebook, adding that Welsh was having success reeling him sea bass from “his usual spot” in the bow of the vessel.

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According to Bogan, Welsh had initially hooked a dogfish and had actually pulled it partway out of the water when the mako emerged and chomped at his catch.

“[Welsh] said it was the most remarkable thing he’s ever seen,” Bogan told USA Today’s For the Win.

Welsh dropped his catch back into the water and watched the shark gobble it up. He then reeled it in close enough to gaff, and “that’s when the real battle began,” according to Bogan’s Facebook post.

“Once the second and third gaff were sunk into the mako it went berserk. By the time the tail rope was on the shark, three gaff hooks were straightened out, and two other gaff poles practically exploded!” Bogan wrote.

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In the end, and with the help of his fellow fishermen, Welsh ended up reeling in the largest fish in The Jamaica’s history, which was estimated to be just over 475 pounds.

Westlake Legal Group Mako-Shark-125-Jamacia-2 New Jersey fisherman catches 475-pound shark after 'real battle' Michael Bartiromo fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 3e267c97-871f-55d6-8e7e-414167e94c1e

Bogan said the Mako was the largest fish ever caught on the 125-foot Jamaica. (Capt. Howard Bogan/Bogan’s Deep Sea Fishing Center)

“We have caught large sharks at this time of year before, but not quite that big,” Bogan told For the Win.

According to the outlet, Welsh also shared plenty of his catch with the 50-plus fishermen on The Jamaica, sending them home with shark filets for later.

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Mako shark, of which there are both shortfin and longfin species, are currently listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which cites overfishing and the species’ low reproduction rates as factors. As a result, mako under a certain length – 83 inches from tip to tail, as of 2018, according to NorthJersey.com – are illegal to keep.

Westlake Legal Group Mako-Shark-125-Jamacia- New Jersey fisherman catches 475-pound shark after 'real battle' Michael Bartiromo fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 3e267c97-871f-55d6-8e7e-414167e94c1e   Westlake Legal Group Mako-Shark-125-Jamacia- New Jersey fisherman catches 475-pound shark after 'real battle' Michael Bartiromo fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 3e267c97-871f-55d6-8e7e-414167e94c1e

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Stocks Fall as U.S.-Iran Tensions Mount

The aftershock of the American killing of a powerful Iranian general rippled through financial markets on Monday, as oil prices rose and money moved to the safety of gold and Treasury bonds in the face of rising tensions in the Middle East.

On Wall Street, stocks slipped in early trading, putting the S&P 500 index on track for its second straight decline. The selling was most notable in shares of companies with significant exposure to fuel costs: Airlines, shipping and logistics firms fell. Oil and energy stocks — which can benefit from higher oil prices — rose.

Brent oil, the international benchmark for crude, briefly jumped above $70. The rise in oil prices — Brent crude is up more than 7 percent in less than a month — set the tone for trading in other markets, with stock markets in oil-reliant nations like India and Japan seeing steeper drops in overnight trading. Japan’s Nikkei dropped 1.9 percent, as did India’s key stock market benchmark, the Sensex.

In Europe, shares also took a tumble. Markets in Frankfurt, London, Paris and Amsterdam were all down about 1 percent.

In the United States, discount retailers Dollar Tree and Dollar General, whose customers tend to have lower disposable income and higher sensitivity to increased gas prices, fell more than 1 percent in early trading.

Yields on Treasury bonds — which move in the opposite direction of prices — fell as investors sought out the relative security of government bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note hovered around 1.77 percent in early trading.

The drop in yield sent share prices of finance companies down. Lenders tend to benefit from higher bond yields, which are the foundation for the rates consumers pay to borrow. The financial sector was the worst-performing part of the S&P 500 in early trading Monday.

Prices for precious metals gold and silver, traditionally viewed as a both a safe haven and a hedge against higher inflation, rose more than 1 percent.

Investors showed nervousness as Iran pledged to retaliate for the killing of Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian general, and President Trump raised the specter of additional strikes on Iranian cultural sites if it did so.

The State Department warned of a “heightened risk” of a missile attack near American military bases. Iran later said it would abandon a nuclear agreement and Iraq vowed to expel American troops from the country.

The sudden escalation in tensions in a region that supplies much of the world’s petroleum has roiled oil markets. The West Texas Intermediate, the American oil benchmark, rose 1.6 percent to $64.04 a barrel in futures trading.

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But in the United States, investors remained somewhat indifferent to the growing conflict between the United States and Iran. Stocks are coming off one of the best years of recent decades. In 2019, the S&P 500 rose 28.9 percent.

Even after two consecutive days of declines, the market remains less than 1 percent below the record highs it hit on Jan. 2.

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