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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 316)

U.S. Population Growth In 2019 Is Slowest In A Century

Westlake Legal Group facebook-default-wide U.S. Population Growth In 2019 Is Slowest In A Century

The annual population growth rate of the United States over the past year continued a decades-long decline, dropping to its lowest level in the past century.

According to newly released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. population grew by 1,552,022 since 2018, an increase of one-half of one percent.

That rate of growth is slower than during the Great Depression of the 1930s, a period which had until the past decade marked the smallest expansion of the U.S. population since the overall number of inhabitants briefly dropped in 1918.

Several factors help explain why the U.S. population growth rate is slowing:

Declining fertility rates, more deaths
Forty-two states and the District of Columbia all had a drop in the number of births recorded over the past year. And with the number of deaths continuing a steady decade-long rise as more and more post-World War Two baby boomers reach old age, the number of births outnumbered the number of deaths nationwide by fewer than 1 million for the first time in decades.

That birth-driven increase in population did not occur this year in West Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, all of which had more deaths than births.

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Fewer immigrants
The estimated number of people moving annually to the U.S. from other parts of the world has steadily declined from the decade’s highest total of 1,046,709 in 2016, the final year of the Obama administration.

This year’s expected total of 595,348 immigrants would be the lowest yet in the Trump administration, which has proposed new restrictions on immigration and slashed the number of refugees being granted asylum.

Many states have also had residents leaving for other states. Over the past nine years, New York is the state with the largest out-migration, losing 1,379,210 of its residents. They are among more than 2.5 million residents of the U.S. Northeast who have moved to other regions, making it the most widely abandoned part of the country.

The Midwest has had the second largest exodus. Of the 1,666,043 Midwesterners who have left since 2010, 865,873 hailed from Illinois.

In contrast, the 912,038 people who moved away from California over the past nine years were outnumbered by 1,021,544 moving there from abroad.

Other states have had far more people moving in from elsewhere in the country than leaving. Texas has been a top recipient, with 1,145,629 arriving from other states and another 818,757 from abroad since 2010. It’s nearly matched by Florida, with 1,289,614 residents of other states moving there and 1,107,039 more coming from abroad.

These demographic shifts will likely have consequences when U.S. congressional districts are reapportioned based on the 2020 census.

“From the calculations I’ve done,” says William Frey, a demographer and senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, “Texas could gain three seats, Florida could gain two seats. California fairly likely could lose a seat for the first time in its history.”

Frey predicts the aging of the workforce and the shrinking population growth rate will also have political ramifications.

“You know, a lot of our decline of births, or at least slow growth of births, can be countered by immigration from abroad,” he tells NPR’s Here and Now. “And so immigration is going to be a much bigger part of our growth. So this is something to pay attention to as we move ahead into the next decade. What is our immigration policy going to be? How are immigrants going to fit into the rest of our society, in the rest of our economy?”

“The big safety valve in all of this,” Frey says, “is immigration.”

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Millie Bobby Brown marks end of the decade with throwback Adele cover

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1035309598 Millie Bobby Brown marks end of the decade with throwback Adele cover Nate Day fox-news/shows/stranger-things fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article af2f01fe-d5ba-546d-8822-b32454cea584

It’s been a big decade for Millie Bobby Brown.

The 15-year-old actress burst onto the scene in 2016 after starring as Eleven in “Stranger Things” on Netflix, scoring herself two Emmy nominations, as well as playing a major role in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”

Brown took to Instagram on Tuesday to mark the end of the decade and reflect on all that she has accomplished — she shared a video of herself singing “Someone Like You” by Adele when she was 7 years old, in 2011.

MILLIE BOBBY BROWN SHARES THE ‘STRANGER THINGS’ SCENE THAT MADE HER VOMIT

“At the beginning of this decade, I was 6 years old. Going to school. Making my class listen to me sing 24/7. Probably not even thinking about where I’d be at the end of the decade,” Brown said. “This video was taken in 2011 when I was 7 and utterly obsessed with @adele and still utterly obsessed. No change. This decade has been life-changing, like seriously. I found my passion in 2013 when I knew I loved being on camera.”

Brown’s first credited role came in 2013, when she appeared in the television series “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.”

PARIS HILTON CALLED MILLIE BOBBY BROWN, 15, ‘HOT’ AND EVAN RACHEL WOOD IS NOT HAPPY ABOUT THAT

“In 2014-2015 I was begging casting agents to believe in me,” she said. “In late 2015 Carmen Cuba, the [Duffer brothers], Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen, but most of all @netflix believed in me.”

The Brit continued, saying that since her casting on “Stranger Things,” she has traveled the world, met “the most genuine people,” and “grown up and learned many things.”

“I’m turning 16 soon and I can confidently say I’m living my dreams out,” she said. “This is what I want for every young person right now. Thank you to everyone for all of your support. Love you forever.”

Netflix commented with three heart emojis.

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In the video, a young Brown — who will turn 16 in February — sings along while Adele’s music video plays on a television behind her, not missing a word.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1035309598 Millie Bobby Brown marks end of the decade with throwback Adele cover Nate Day fox-news/shows/stranger-things fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article af2f01fe-d5ba-546d-8822-b32454cea584   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1035309598 Millie Bobby Brown marks end of the decade with throwback Adele cover Nate Day fox-news/shows/stranger-things fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article af2f01fe-d5ba-546d-8822-b32454cea584

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Rebecca Grant: Iranian-backed attack on American Embassy in Iraq increases risk of US-Iran military conflict

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119028994001_6119025912001-vs Rebecca Grant: Iranian-backed attack on American Embassy in Iraq increases risk of US-Iran military conflict Rebecca Grant fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9f0a849c-13d1-51e9-831a-ea64b260ea7c

President Trump faced plenty of problems dealing with Iran and Iraq until now, but on the last day of 2019 his problems got a lot worse when dozens of Shiite militia members backed by Iran forced their way into the U.S. Embassy compound in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, set fires and caused other damage.

The militia members, who eventually withdrew from the embassy compound, were part of a much larger group of several thousand people protesting outside the embassy. They denounced American airstrikes that killed two dozen members of an Iranian-backed militia and wounded dozens more over the weekend.

The protesters chanted “Death to America,” threw rocks and called for a withdrawal of the more than 5,000 U.S. troops now stationed in Iraq – a long-sought goal of Iran’s anti-American regime. Protesters said they planned to remain outside the embassy.

TRUMP THREATENS IRAN AFTER ATTACK ON EMBASSY COMPOUND: ‘THEY WILL PAY A VERY BIG PRICE!’

Job One for the U.S. military is keeping Americans and the embassy secure. Some 120 Marines were sent to the embassy to provide increased security and U.S. helicopter gunships flew over the compound.

You can be sure that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have laid out an array of military options and President Trump has been briefed and is up to speed on all of them.

If needed, U.S. forces can and no doubt will impose calm on downtown Baghdad.

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Baghdad will not see a repeat of the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi in 2012, when the U.S. ambassador and three Americans were killed. Nor will we see a repeat of the 1979 attack on the U.S. Embassy in the Iranian capital of Tehran, when revolutionaries captured 52 Americans and held them hostage for 444 days.

It’s actually Iraq’s duty to protect the U.S, Embassy. President Trump made that clear on Twitter and in a call with Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel Abdul Mahdi, as did other top U.S. officials with their Iraqi counterparts.

In one tweet Trump said “we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified.” Later Trump tweeted: “Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!”

This is all happening because Iraq is infested with Iranian influence. The power of that influence was clear when at first Iraqi police and security forces stood by while the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad began Tuesday – just as Iran planned.

The mob attacking the U.S. Embassy was filled with members of an Iranian-backed terror group called Kataib Hezbollah, or KH for short, which is closely allied with Iran’s Quds militia force.

Iran has a grip on Iraq’s police and military response. And Iranian officers have free rein across much of Iraq’s state apparatus, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported in November after reviewing leaked Iraqi diplomatic cables published by The New York Times.

Iraq’s military has been thoroughly trained and supplied by the U.S. and other allies for years. Yet the failure of Iraqi forces to act against Iranian-backed militia forces in recent weeks has been similar to the paralysis that let ISIS sweep to the outskirts of Baghdad in the summer of 2014.

Iraq has lost control to the point where Iran can mount harassing attacks on U.S. forces all over the country. American troops in Iraq were attacked 11 times in the past two months, according to the Pentagon. The attacks have occurred from south of Mosul to near Kirkuk in the north and other locations.

Trump had already waited weeks for Iraq to deal with these hostile acts.

Iraq’s own military would not or could not hit the KH Iran proxy gang that launched over 30 rockets at an Iraqi base where U.S. forces were stationed Saturday, killing one American and wounding four.

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Since Iraq couldn’t cope, Trump approved the Sunday strikes by U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, hitting weapons caches linked to the KH Iran proxy gang.

The airstrikes also help remind Iran that America is willing to take military action. Trump has been quite restrained, backing off a retaliatory strike after Iran shot down a U.S Navy Global Hawk drone. Nor did Saudi Arabia strike back after Iran hit the Saudi Aramco oil complex.

The crisis in Iraq has been boiling since October, when Iraqis increased their demonstrations against government corruption and Iran’s influence. Some 319 Iraqis were killed in protests from October to mid-November, according to an Iraqi Parliament report.

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Long-term, Iran’s guilt in the attack on the American Embassy in Baghdad shows why Trump has been right to impose maximum economic sanctions to pressure Iran, and why he insists on dismantling Iran’s `terror network as well as its nuclear ambitions.

 The Trump administration will no doubt keep up the sanctions, but be ready for military action if necessary. 

 CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY REBECCA GRANT 

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119028994001_6119025912001-vs Rebecca Grant: Iranian-backed attack on American Embassy in Iraq increases risk of US-Iran military conflict Rebecca Grant fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9f0a849c-13d1-51e9-831a-ea64b260ea7c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119028994001_6119025912001-vs Rebecca Grant: Iranian-backed attack on American Embassy in Iraq increases risk of US-Iran military conflict Rebecca Grant fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9f0a849c-13d1-51e9-831a-ea64b260ea7c

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Mexico: 7 detained in drug-cartel massacre that killed 9 Americans

Westlake Legal Group LeBaron-family Mexico: 7 detained in drug-cartel massacre that killed 9 Americans Louis Casiano fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox news fnc/world fnc d8694c92-885e-5a11-a2fa-e2b3d500e0b5 article

Mexican prosecutors said seven people linked to the November slaughter of three women and six children in a suspected drug cartel ambush have been detained.

Three men were arrested and charged with organized crime for drug offenses, federal prosecutors said. None have been charged with murder.

Four others are being held under house arrest. The name of the police chief of Janos in the state of Chihuahua, near where the killings occurred, was arrested for his links to the massacre of LeBaron family members, matches one of the suspects.

TRUMP CALLS FOR ‘WAR’ AGAINST MEXICAN DRUG CARTEL ‘MONSTERS’ AFTER AMERICANS MURDERED IN SHOOTOUT

Local media reported Fidel Alejandro Villegas had been paid by the La Linea drug gang. Mexican prosecutors are barred from identifying suspects by their full name.

Julian LeBaron, who lost relatives and friends in the ambush, said the police chief had been arrested.

“Who vets them?” LeBaron asked. “He (the police chief) was there for 13 years”, he said.

Authorities believe a drug gang was responsible for the Nov. 4 attack. The family members were traveling on a dirt road in broad daylight when gunmen let off a hail if gunfire on their three SUVs.

MEXICAN CARTEL MASSACRE: SUSPECT WITH 2 HOSTAGES, ASSAULT RIFLES, BULLETPROOF SUV ARRESTED IN BORDER TOWN

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The family members lived in a faith-based community in the Sonora state founded as part of an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They had dual U.S.-Mexican citizenship.

Authorities said several cartels operate in the area where the killings occurred, including La Linea, Los Jaguares and Jalisco Nueva Generacion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group LeBaron-family Mexico: 7 detained in drug-cartel massacre that killed 9 Americans Louis Casiano fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox news fnc/world fnc d8694c92-885e-5a11-a2fa-e2b3d500e0b5 article   Westlake Legal Group LeBaron-family Mexico: 7 detained in drug-cartel massacre that killed 9 Americans Louis Casiano fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/mexican-cartel-violence fox news fnc/world fnc d8694c92-885e-5a11-a2fa-e2b3d500e0b5 article

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Alabama man caught with meth, heroin asks for photo with arresting deputies

An Alabama man who was found to be in possession of meth and heroin during his arrest on Saturday had an unusual request for the arresting officers: to take a photo with them.

Heath Swafford, 24, was arrested by deputies with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) after a foot chase on Lower Dry Creek Road in the Lacey Springs community, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

“In an unusual turn, Swafford requested a photo with the arresting deputies,” the sheriff’s office said.

Westlake Legal Group alabama Alabama man caught with meth, heroin asks for photo with arresting deputies fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz b7185d3b-1eea-53fe-9885-3a1c92211b0c article

Heath Swafford poses with deputies who have just arrested him. (Morgan County Sheriff’s Office)

FLORIDA SHERIFF POSTS ‘DRUG HOUSE CLOSED’ SIGN IN FRONT OF HOME AFTER UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS LEAD TO ARREST

Swafford was found to have been carrying an amount of heroin and meth, the sheriff’s office said. Deputies later discovered a stolen motorcycle at his residence, they said.

Despite the circumstances, a picture on the MCSO’s Facebook page shows Swafford appearing to be all smiles alongside the three deputies who arrested him. 

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Swafford is charged with four felony probation revocation warrants of possession of a controlled substance, theft of property, receiving stolen property and first-degree criminal mischief. He also faces drug and property crimes and is being held without bond, the sheriff’s office said.

Westlake Legal Group alabama Alabama man caught with meth, heroin asks for photo with arresting deputies fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz b7185d3b-1eea-53fe-9885-3a1c92211b0c article   Westlake Legal Group alabama Alabama man caught with meth, heroin asks for photo with arresting deputies fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz b7185d3b-1eea-53fe-9885-3a1c92211b0c article

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6 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Improve Your Relationship In 2020

If you want to have a happier and healthier relationship in 2020, you don’t necessarily need a major overhaul of your love life. Just setting a simple, well-defined goal or two can make a big difference over the year’s course — though you’ll probably start seeing benefits much sooner than that.

We asked therapists to reveal the little things couples can do on a regular basis to make their relationship that much better in the coming year.

1. Put limits on your phone use.

Designated screen time isn’t just for kids: Adults can benefit from setting some parameters, too. Indeed, one of the biggest complaints Roseville, California, therapist Kurt Smith hears from his clients is that their partners are constantly on their phones. This year, commit to unplugging for a set period of time each day, whether that’s before breakfast in the morning or an hour before bed at night.

“Make a joint resolution, not just an individual one, to set a time limit on social media and phone use when you’re together,” said Smith, who specializes in counseling men. “Challenge yourselves to make a list of fun, enjoyable alternative things you can do together instead of the isolating behavior being on our phones brings.”

2. Designate time each day to connect with your partner.

Just as you put doctor’s appointments and work meetings on your calendar, you should be just as intentional when it comes to making time for your partner. You can even use the 45-minute window you normally would have spent watching your Instagram stories to catch up and connect with your significant other IRL.

“Something as simple as trying out a new recipe or playing a board game can foster connectivity, improve communication skills and increase relationship satisfaction,” said Chicago-based therapist Anna Poss.

And sorry, sitting together on the couch binge-ing the latest season of “The Crown” doesn’t count. To make the most of this time, turn off distractions and tune into each other.

“Mindful time should prioritize bonding behaviors such as eye contact, touch and communication,” said Los Angeles psy­chol­o­gist and sex ther­a­pist Shan­non Chavez. “Keep the conversation light by focusing on gratitudes, what has sparked joy in your day or things you are looking forward to in the week.”

3. Commit to doing something spontaneous together once a month.

Westlake Legal Group 5e0bd05424000053245a4a88 6 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Improve Your Relationship In 2020

Selvar Nguyen / EyeEm via Getty Images

Keeping the spark alive in your relationship takes a bit work, but it’s so worth it.

For long-term couples, it’s all-too-easy to fall into the same ol’ humdrum routine. To counteract the monotony, Smith recommends thinking back to the fun, spontaneous things you did together in the early days of the relationship.

“My wife and I once jumped in the car at 10 p.m. and drove 90 minutes through the snow to Lake Tahoe,” Smith said. “We sat in a diner for a couple of hours and then drove back. Got up the next day and went to work.”

As your responsibilities grow (e.g. parenting, paying bills, moving up at work), it may be harder to pull off last-minute grand adventures. But committing to spicing things up in small ways can still help keep the spark alive. That might mean scoring concert tickets the night of the show or walking by a pottery studio and deciding to pop in for a class.

4. Make a weekly sex date with your partner.

When life gets busy, sex is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside. Scheduling sex may not sound all that sexy, but doing so ensures it will actually happen — even when you have a lot on your plates. Dedicating time for physical connection means reaping benefits like improved intimacy in the relationship, as well reduced anxiety and perhaps a stronger immune system, too.

“Let go of the goals around sex and set the intention of a time where you can give and receive pleasure with your partner,” Chavez said. “Making a regular sex date can take off the pressure around initiation and lower expectations around spontaneous sex.”

5. Schedule monthly money talks.

According to a 2014 Money Magazine survey, 70% of married couples argue about money — making it a more common source of conflict than other fraught topics like household chores or sex. Too often, couples will put off having these conversations for too long or they avoid discussing finances altogether.

“After a couple of months splurging during the holidays, January is always filled with dread as the credit card bills come due,” Smith said. “Make a commitment to once or twice a month sit down for 15 minutes and talk about your financial lives together. Do this proactively rather than reactively and your relationship will definitely be better for it.”

6. Practice gratitude daily.

Gratitude is strongly and consistently linked to greater happiness. And the benefits of a gratitude practice can positively impact everything from your own physical and mental health to your relationships.

“Make a resolution as a couple to express your gratitude more often and in meaningful ways,” Poss said. “Become more aware of the things your partner does to help you and your relationship thrive. Then let your partner know what it means to you and share your gratitude.”

That might mean remembering to say thank you for even the basic things your partner does, like taking the dog for a walk or packing your lunch. Or consider starting a gratitude jar or journal where you two can write down things you’re thankful for each day.

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Matt Lauer dating marketing executive Shamin Abas: report

Matt Lauer is moving on.

After finalizing his divorce from ex-wife Annette Roque, 53, in September, Lauer, 62, is now dating his longtime pal Shamin Abas, who runs a marketing firm, according to In Touch.

The outlet claims that the two embarked on a getaway in New Zealand just before the holiday. Lauer and Abas, 50, have known each other for over a decade.

SHARON OSBOURNE SAYS SHE SENT AN ASSISTANT INTO A BURNING BUILDING TO RETRIEVE ARTWORK, THEN FIRED HIM

“Obviously one thing led to another and they’re a full-fledged item now,” an insider told the magazine.

Westlake Legal Group Matt-Lauer-Shamin-Abas Matt Lauer dating marketing executive Shamin Abas: report Nate Day fox-news/person/matt-lauer fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 444d8f0b-8d1c-526a-aa98-afdd902cec30

Matt Lauer and longtime friend Shamin Abas are reportedly dating. (Getty)

According to the source, the disgraced television host has been “on the prowl” for a new girlfriend following his divorce from Roque after 21 years of marriage.

MATT LAUER AGREES TO PAY ANNETTE ROQUE UP TO $20M IN DIVORCE

“She knows who he is,” said the source. “She’s thrilled she’s with him. She doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. For everything he may have done, Matt’s very charming. I can see how Shamin fell for him.”

Lauer was fired from “Today” in 2017 after he was accused by several women of sexual harassment.

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Reps for Lauer did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Westlake Legal Group Matt-Lauer-Shamin-Abas Matt Lauer dating marketing executive Shamin Abas: report Nate Day fox-news/person/matt-lauer fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 444d8f0b-8d1c-526a-aa98-afdd902cec30   Westlake Legal Group Matt-Lauer-Shamin-Abas Matt Lauer dating marketing executive Shamin Abas: report Nate Day fox-news/person/matt-lauer fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 444d8f0b-8d1c-526a-aa98-afdd902cec30

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Dana Perino calls Bloomberg’s ‘open office plan’ the ‘worst’ idea of Democratic primary

Westlake Legal Group Bloomberg-Perino_Fox-AP Dana Perino calls Bloomberg's 'open office plan' the 'worst' idea of Democratic primary Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e97a40d1-83a9-56c0-b0df-8a36df489b98 article

Dana Perino criticized Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg‘s “open office plan” idea that the former New York City mayor tweeted about on Monday, calling it the “worst” idea put forth so far by a Democratic candidate.

“Of all the ideas that I have heard during the Democratic primary, of all of them — and I’m talking like the craziest of the crazy, I think this might be the worst of the ideas. The open floor plan,” Perino said on “The Five” on Tuesday. “First of all, no one in America, no human likes an open floor plan.”

BLOOMBERG UNWITTINGLY ‘EXPLOITED’ PRISONERS TO MAKE  PHONE CALLS ON BEHALF OF 2020 CAMPAIGN: REPORT

Bloomberg was blasted on social media over his campaign promise to turn the White House East Room into an “open office plan” as president after he shared a photograph on Twitter of himself in the middle of an open office plan from City Hall during his tenure as mayor, suggesting the White House will have an extreme makeover of its own if he wins in 2020.

“As president, I’ll turn the East Room into an open office plan, where I’ll sit with our team,” Bloomberg tweeted.  “I’ll use the Oval Office for some official functions — never for tweeting — but the rest of the time, I’ll be where a leader should be: with the team.”

Perino, who served as the White House press secretary during the George W. Bush administration from 2007 to 2009, argued that workers need their space.

“At White House, it’s like super tense. You need your space,” Perino said. “Fences make good neighbors. Offices make good colleagues. And also the East Room is for ceremonies. There is a history to the White House, and we want to preserve that.”

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“And you need the Oval Office for the president to think and also to have to be able to know that this is where decisions are being made rather than out on the open floor plan,” added the “The Daily Briefing” host.

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Bloomberg-Perino_Fox-AP Dana Perino calls Bloomberg's 'open office plan' the 'worst' idea of Democratic primary Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e97a40d1-83a9-56c0-b0df-8a36df489b98 article   Westlake Legal Group Bloomberg-Perino_Fox-AP Dana Perino calls Bloomberg's 'open office plan' the 'worst' idea of Democratic primary Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e97a40d1-83a9-56c0-b0df-8a36df489b98 article

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Carlos Ghosn’s Escape: A Lawyer in Beirut, a French Passport and a Lot of Mystery

Westlake Legal Group 31GHOSN-facebookJumbo Carlos Ghosn’s Escape: A Lawyer in Beirut, a French Passport and a Lot of Mystery Securities and Commodities Violations Renault SA Nissan Motor Co Lebanon Japan Ghosn, Carlos extradition Courts and the Judiciary

TOKYO — By the time most of Japan had woken up on Tuesday, he was gone. One of the country’s most famous criminal suspects had slipped past the cameras trained on his house, past the police and border guards and the Japanese citizens who for the past year have followed his every move.

Carlos Ghosn, the deposed chief of the Nissan and Renault auto empire facing charges of financial wrongdoing, had fled to Lebanon, and no one in Japan — not the authorities, the media or even the auto executive’s own lawyer — could explain how it had happened.

“I want to ask him, ‘How could you do this to us?’” Mr. Ghosn’s lawyer in Tokyo, Junichiro Hironaka, told a crush of 40 reporters outside his office on Tuesday.

It was a cinematic escape, carried out just before New Years Day, Japan’s most important holiday, when government agencies and most businesses close for as long as a week.

The escape appeared to have been planned in Lebanon. A lawyer for Mr. Ghosn in Beirut played a lead role putting the plan together and acted as the go-between with the Lebanese government, one person familiar with the matter said.

An official in Beirut said Mr. Ghosn had entered the country using a French passport, while at least one Lebanese outlet reported, without offering proof, that the former Nissan chairman had been spirited out inside a box meant for musical equipment.

He chose refuge in Lebanon, where he grew up and has been treated as a folk hero since his 2018 arrest in Japan. A Lebanese newspaper reported that Mr. Ghosn had arrived in Beirut on a private plane from Turkey. After landing there, he released a statement assailing the “rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied.”

In the statement, he said he was ready to tell his story to the media “starting next week.” A public relations professional has been dispatched from the United States to Beirut to help organize a press conference, but the plans have divided those close to Mr. Ghosn, with some believing he should not speak publicly, the person familiar with the matter said.

Government officials in Japan were still trying to piece together the facts of the escape, as the aggressive local media scrambled for clues. Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Japan. Some politicians in Japan wondered whether shadowy figures or even a foreign government had been involved in his escape.

On Twitter, Masahisa Sato, a member of the upper house of Japan’s Parliament and a former top Foreign Ministry official, asked whether Mr. Ghosn “had the support of some country” in his departure.

“It’s a huge problem that his illegal escape from Japan was allowed so easily,” he wrote.

A former governor of Tokyo, Yoichi Masuzoe, accused the Lebanese Embassy of helping to smuggle Mr. Ghosn out.

“It’s a diplomat’s work to exfiltrate Lebanon’s national hero,” he wrote, providing no evidence. Calls to the Lebanese Embassy went unanswered.

Apparently caught flat footed, Japanese prosecutors rushed to ask a Tokyo court to rescind Mr. Ghosn’s bail, according to the national broadcaster NHK, possibly leaving him to forfeit the $9 million that he had paid for the privilege of living outside jail while he awaited trial.

Mr. Ghosn had turned over his passports to his lawyer, as a court had ordered, while he prepared for trial living in an elegant neighborhood in central Tokyo.

His lawyer, too, seemed dumbfounded by the Houdini-like disappearance. Addressing the reporters outside his Tokyo office, Mr. Hironaka said Mr. Ghosn’s departure was “totally unexpected.”

There had been no sign that Mr. Ghosn was preparing to flee, Mr. Hironaka said. To the contrary, he added, everything suggested that Mr. Ghosn had been preparing to defend himself in court.

Mr. Ghosn’s bail conditions limited his phone use, and he spent most of his days in his lawyer’s office, the only place he was allowed to use the internet. For months, he had been commuting from his home to meet with his lawyers and prepare for his trial.

All the while, a court-ordered camera monitored his doorway, recording his comings and goings. Whenever he went out, he suspected that the authorities and private investigators from Nissan followed him around the city, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Ghosn spoke with his wife, Carole, for about an hour on Dec. 24, Mr. Hironaka said. Prosecutors had asked a judge to forbid the couple to contact each other over concerns that they might conspire to tamper with evidence or witnesses. The court had kept the couple from communicating for months, Mr. Hironaka said, and they had spoken only twice since Mr. Ghosn was rearrested in April.

Nevertheless, Mr. Ghosn stayed in touch with his family. His daughter Maya visited him in Tokyo, according to people familiar with his movements. And his outings with his children would occasionally be reported by the Japanese press or pop up on social media, where commentators speculated about his welfare.

Mr. Hironaka said the legal team spent Christmas Day in court discussing preparations for Mr. Ghosn’s trial, which was expected to take place sometime in 2020.

The team had planned to regroup on Jan. 7 for the first strategy session of the new year.

All three of Mr. Ghosn’s passports were in his lawyers’ possession, Mr. Hironaka said. It was one of the conditions of his bail, which his lawyers had won only after repeated, hard-fought attempts to convince the court that their client, with all of his wealth and power, was not a flight risk.

“He left his things here,” Mr. Hironaka told reporters. “It would have been difficult for him to do this without the assistance of some large organization.”

Mr. Ghosn’s defense team had repeatedly spoken out about what it described as a “hostage justice” system, complaining that Japanese courts and prosecutors had put him at an almost impossible disadvantage as he sought to defend himself.

“I wanted to prove he was innocent,” Mr. Hironaka said on Tuesday. “But when I saw his statement in the press, I thought, ‘He doesn’t trust Japan’s courts.’”

The Japanese media rushed for clues as well, but news outlets were hampered by skeleton staffs and closed government offices ahead of New Year’s Day. NHK reported that border control officials in Japan and Lebanon had no record of Mr. Ghosn’s leaving the country, speculating that he may have used a fake passport and an assumed name.

But in Lebanon, the minister for presidential affairs, Salim Jreissati, said late Tuesday that Mr. Ghosn had “entered the country legally using his French passport and Lebanese ID.”

Mr. Jreissati said the Lebanese government had not been notified in advance of his arrival, adding, “We were all surprised.”

“The government has nothing to do with his decision to come,” he said. “We don’t know the circumstances of his arrival.”

In France, a deputy minister for economy and finance, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, said she had learned about Mr. Ghosn’s flight from news reports. “We have to understand what happened,” she said on France Inter radio.

Mr. Ghosn is not above the law, she said, and “if a foreign citizen fled the French justice system, we would be very angry.” But she noted that, as a French citizen, he could use the country’s consular services.

A group of children may have been among the last people to see him before he left Japan, according to a report in The Asahi Shimbun. It described the possible sighting on Friday morning in much the way one would an appearance by Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster.

“His eyebrows stand out,” the 12-year-old girl told a reporter combing the streets near Mr. Ghosn’s home for clues about his disappearance.

“Everyone was saying to each other, ‘Isn’t that Ghosn?’”

Ben Dooley reported from Tokyo, and Michael Corkery from New York. Reporting was contributed by Makiko Inoue and Eimi Yamamitsu from Tokyo, Elian Peltier from London, Hwaida Saad from Beirut, and Amy Chozick from New York.

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Benghazi team member: Iraq’s response to Baghdad embassy attack a ‘slap in the face,’ Iran must be punished

Westlake Legal Group 10a35e83-ENC3_132222320173040000 Benghazi team member: Iraq's response to Baghdad embassy attack a 'slap in the face,' Iran must be punished fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/your-world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 19c9a999-ac8b-590a-b56b-63f206efa145

Retired Marine Sgt. John “Tig” Tiegen, one of the four men who defended the Libyan consulate in Benghazi during the 2012 attack there, said the Iraqi government’s slow response to a deadly attack on the U.S. embassy is a “slap in the face.”

Tiegen told Charles Payne on Tuesday’s “Your World” that, additionally, Iran must face retaliation — as the attack appeared to be sanctioned by Tehran, according to the president.

“To me, this is a real big slap in the face on the Iraqis’ [part] in my personal opinion,” Tiegen told Payne.

“They allowed the protesters to walk through multiple security checkpoints before they got to the embassy,” he continued, adding, “Something has got to happen against Iran. If they are backing it and Hezbollah is behind it, there has got to be some sort of retaliation against them.”

Regarding the Iraqi government’s purported “slap” to the U.S., Tiegen said it’s the responsibility of the “host country” to protect embassies and consulates within their territories.

U.S. EMBASSY COMPOUND IN BAGHDAD TARGETED BY MOB PROTESTING AIRSTRIKES

He said that in the Baghdad case, it’s unwise to have U.S. military forces firing upon civilians and protesters simply because they were setting fires and destroying property. He said it’s Iraq’s responsibility, in that case, to “protect American lives.”

“If it comes down to it… make sure you shoot straight and shoot fast.”

In addition, Tiegen expressed regret that, after the trillions of dollars spent in Iraq, incidents such as the embassy attack still have unfolded.

“This is what they do to us. It seems like there is a lot of backstabbing going on. They should have stopped the protests and should’ve had military people there when they saw the protests starting to move from the funeral,” he said.

Earlier Tuesday, crowds of angry Iraqis protesting America’s recent airstrikes against an Iran-backed militia laid siege to the embassy compound, chanting “Down, Down USA!” as they stormed through a main gate, prompting U.S. guards to fire back tear gas in response.

As of Tuesday night, protesters set up tents outside the embassy in the Iraqi capital where they said they intended to stage a sit-in “until American troops leave Iraq and the embassy is closed.” About 100 Marines were sent to the embassy to bolster security and an Army Apache helicopter flew over the premises and dropped flares in a “show of force,” with the goal of dispersing the crowd, a U.S. defense official told Fox News.

Tiegen, a Colorado native, had helped defend the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, after it faced RPG and small arms fire.

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Militants killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, as well as U.S. Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith and CIA contract protective officer Glen Doherty. Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khattala later was sentenced to prison on terrorism-related charges in connection with the attack.

The Benghazi siege and U.S. response precipitated a high-profile congressional investigation, featuring testimony from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Fox News’ Eddie DeMarche and Greg Norman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 10a35e83-ENC3_132222320173040000 Benghazi team member: Iraq's response to Baghdad embassy attack a 'slap in the face,' Iran must be punished fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/your-world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 19c9a999-ac8b-590a-b56b-63f206efa145   Westlake Legal Group 10a35e83-ENC3_132222320173040000 Benghazi team member: Iraq's response to Baghdad embassy attack a 'slap in the face,' Iran must be punished fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/your-world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 19c9a999-ac8b-590a-b56b-63f206efa145

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