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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 340)

As Coronavirus Explodes in China, Countries Struggle to Control Its Spread

Westlake Legal Group 29VIRUS-SPREAD1-facebookJumbo As Coronavirus Explodes in China, Countries Struggle to Control Its Spread your-feed-healthcare World Health Organization Viruses SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) Medicine and Health Influenza Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Australians flown home from Wuhan, China, will be quarantined on an island for two weeks. Americans, also evacuated from Wuhan, will be “temporarily housed” on an air base in California. And in South Korea, the police have been empowered to detain people who refuse to be quarantined.

For countries outside China, the time to prevent an epidemic is now, when cases are few and can be isolated. They are trying to seize the moment to protect themselves against the coronavirus outbreak, which has reached every province in China, sickening more than 7,700 people and killing 170.

More than a dozen nations with a handful of cases — including the United States — are isolating patients and monitoring their contacts, as well as screening travelers from China and urging people to postpone trips there.

But whether this virus can be contained depends on factors still unknown, like just how contagious it is and when in the course of the infection the virus starts to spread.

China, with nearly 1.4 billion people, is the most populous nation on Earth, and it has taken extreme measures to try to stop the disease, first reported in December in Wuhan, a city of 11 million. The government has stopped travel in and out of that city and surrounding ones, effectively locking down tens of millions of people.

“The fact that to date we have only seen 68 cases outside China and no deaths is due in no small part to the extraordinary steps the government has taken to prevent the export of cases,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, said at a news briefing on Wednesday.

But the disease has spread far and wide inside China and, with extensive worldwide travel by its citizens, especially during the celebration of the Lunar New Year, countries everywhere are bracing for the arrival of more new cases.

Person-to-person transmission is occurring, and cases have turned up in several countries with people who have not visited China. Mentioning those cases, Dr. Tedros said the potential for further global spread was one of the reasons he had called on the W.H.O.’s emergency committee to meet again on Thursday to decide whether to declare the epidemic a public health emergency of international concern. The committee met twice last week but was split about whether to declare an emergency, saying it did not have enough information to decide.

“I think things are going to get worse before they get better,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States, said in a podcast posted on Tuesday by the medical journal JAMA.

If China can somehow contain its outbreak, and if other countries with cases can prevent sustained transmission, Dr. Fauci said that it might be possible to end the outbreak, just as the coronavirus that caused the SARS epidemic in 2003 was stamped out.

“But it’s going to be a real kind of tightrope walk, because if it gets so expansive then it’s not going to just disappear the way SARS did,” he said. “I think the next four to five weeks are going to be critical. It’s either going to start peaking and go into a downturn, or it’s going to explode into a global outbreak.”

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview that he thought it would become clear in a few days whether the outbreak could be contained.

“If we’re seeing widespread transmission, thousands or tens of thousands of infections in the community, I don’t see how this gets controlled,” Dr. Frieden said. “On the other hand, if we see a SARS-like situation, where with incredible effort they were able to isolate people, tamp down the spread, then we’re in a containment situation.”

A particular concern is the possibility that the virus could wreak havoc in Africa, where possible cases are being investigated.

“We are very concerned about Africa because some of the least prepared countries for outbreaks are in Africa,” Dr. Frieden said, adding, “We know the systems there to find it and stop it are weaker there than elsewhere.”

If efforts to contain an outbreak fail, public health authorities will focus on “mitigation”— dealing with the disease and trying to minimize the harm it does to people and communities.

“It’s a worrisome situation in China,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in an interview on Wednesday. “It seems like more of a mitigation strategy than a control strategy that China has moved to.”

The United States still has a chance to avoid China’s fate, she said.

“We still only have five cases, and we can really do aggressive measures around those cases,” Dr. Messonnier said. “We’re trying to contain the disease, and by being aggressive we’re hoping to learn more about what it takes to contain it.”

The five patients have hundreds of contacts. Some are being tested for the virus, and the results may help researchers understand how the disease is transmitted. The C.D.C. is also monitoring more than 100 “patients under investigation” — some with cough or fever who have been to Wuhan, or have had contact with a patient.

But if the case count were to increase exponentially, Dr. Messonnier said, it would be hard to continue the concerted containment efforts. The C.D.C. is already gearing up should the approach need to evolve to mitigation strategies like closing schools, preventing public gatherings and helping hospitals prepare for a surge of cases.

One troubling question is whether infected people can start spreading the virus before they themselves get sick. Chinese health officials have said they believe such transmission has taken place. If it happened often, it could make stopping an outbreak much harder.

The reason is that the first step in halting outbreaks has traditionally been to identify people who are ill and then stop them from infecting others, usually by isolating them. But that approach will not work as well if people without any symptoms are already transmitting the disease.

Health officials in the United States said they had not seen data from China to support that claim, nor any evidence that people without symptoms had spread the disease in the United States. The five patients in the United States had all visited Wuhan, and so far none of their contacts have become ill or tested positive for the virus.

[Like the Science Times page on Facebook. | Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.]

Dr. Fauci said that epidemics are fueled by people with symptoms — like sneezing and coughing, which help spray the virus around — and not by those without symptoms, even if some of them can spread the virus. Dr. Frieden said if asymptomatic people do transmit some virus, sick patients are likely to spread a lot more.

People with colds or flu can spread viruses for a day or two before they become ill, but how big a role that plays in outbreaks is not known, researchers say.

In any case, flu spreads worldwide every year, infecting tens of millions of people.

And the spread of the new coronavirus is starting to resemble that of seasonal flu, said Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

“I think we have to revisit which model we’re really using, and I think we really over the past week and a half have come closer to the influenza model,” Dr. Osterholm said. “Trying to stop influenza in a community without vaccine is like trying to stop the wind. I don’t know how we’re going to stop this.”

He added, “The only thing operating in our favor is at least it doesn’t appear to be as severe as SARS or as MERS.”

Among patients with the Wuhan coronavirus, about 20 percent have become seriously ill, and the rest have a mild illness, the W.H.O. said at a news briefing on Wednesday. So far, the death rate appears to be about 2 percent, but that is not certain yet. Those who die tend to be older people with underlying ailments. The median age of the first 425 patients in China was 59, and a little more than half were male, according to a report published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

Diseases caused by related coronaviruses are deadlier: SARS killed 10 percent, and MERS about 35 percent.

But if the new virus were to spread even more widely and a 2 percent mortality rate continued, the death toll could be considerable. Seasonal flu, with a much lower overall death rate of 0.1 percent, kills more than half a million people worldwide every year. At least 8,200 people in the United States have died during this flu season, according to estimates from the C.D.C.

Roni Caryn Rabin contributed reporting for this article.

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

Oscars best picture drama

Would a real Oscar front-runner please stand up?

With less than two weeks until the Academy Awards on Feb. 9 (ABC, 8 p.m. ET/5 PT), it has become painfully obvious who’s taking all the acting gold but not so much what’s going home with the big prize: best picture. This awards season has spread the love around, giving every major film contender a time to shine and every person in an Oscar pool a chance to chew on his or her nails. 

Throwing other wrenches into the works: Best picture is voted on through a preferential ballot, where academy members rank their choices rather than just pick one winner, plus a voting body that is slowly getting younger and more diverse every year.

Westlake Legal Group  Oscars best picture drama

Best picture:15 films that didn’t deserve the Oscar – and the ones that should have won instead

Oscar tally: Here are the films and actors leading the race

While one movie hasn’t risen to rule them all quite yet, some have been left in the dust. The racing drama “Ford v Ferrari” may win some technical awards but that’s it, the best chances for coming-of-age adaptation “Little Women” and divorce drama “Marriage Story” are in the screenplay categories, and the World War II satire “Jojo Rabbit” looms as a dark horse with key guild nominations but has yet to make a splash this season.

Here are the five, though, with the right resumes to conquer the best-picture race on Oscar night:

Westlake Legal Group  Oscars best picture drama

‘1917’

The closest thing to a favorite is director Sam Mendes’ World War I thriller, about two British soldiers (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) racing to deliver orders in time to save 1,600 fellow military men. The film has had big wins at the Directors Guild Awards and Producers Guild Awards, the latter a strong predictor for the Oscars: The PGA honoree has gone on to win best picture 21 out of 30 times, including the past two years with “The Shape of Water” and “Green Book.” Also in its favor is a Golden Globe victory for best drama and an impressive box office, scoring $104 million with only a few weeks of nationwide release. One troublesome statistic remains: “1917” doesn’t have an acting nomination, and only 11 films in Oscar history – most recently “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2009 – have won best picture without one.

Westlake Legal Group  Oscars best picture drama

‘Parasite’

The Oscars have gone 91 years without awarding the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ highest honor to a foreign-language film, so history is not exactly on the side of South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s acclaimed black comedy about class and social inequality. There is real love in the industry for “Parasite,” however, evidenced by the crowd eruption when it snagged a surprise win for outstanding ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. With actors being the largest voting bloc in the academy, the victory – plus an honor for best drama given by the American Cinema Editors – gives “Parasite” momentum going forward, though like “1917,” it also has the problem of no Oscar acting nominations.

Westlake Legal Group  Oscars best picture drama

‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Quentin Tarantino’s star-packed Tinseltown fable – one that intertwines the lives of a washed-up actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), his steely stuntman (Brad Pitt) and the Manson Family – has been a favorite among movie lovers ever since its summer release. “Once Upon a Time” won best comedy at the Golden Globes and best picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards, it’s a strong contender in the 10 Oscar categories where it’s nominated (Pitt’s pretty much a lock for supporting actor and Tarantino has a good shot at original screenplay), and the Academy Awards since their inception have always adored movies about Hollywood. This one has it right in the title.

Westlake Legal Group  Oscars best picture drama

‘The Irishman’

Martin Scorsese’s Netflix gangster epic came into Oscars like a heavyweight, but like “A Star Is Born” last year, is starting to look like an also-ran. The film, which tracks World War II veteran and Mob hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) over multiple bloody decades, received widespread critical acclaim but has lost out on every major honor so far. Still, don’t count out “The Irishman” yet: Crime dramas tend to do well at the Oscars (Scorsese’s “The Departed” marked his first and only best picture in 2007), Netflix put a lot of horses behind its campaign, everyone involved is a Hollywood favorite – not only Scorsese and De Niro, but also supporting-actor nominees Al Pacino and Joe Pesci – and it could benefit from the preferential ballot if it’s the second or third choice for a majority of voters.

Westlake Legal Group  Oscars best picture drama

‘Joker’

Of course the Oscars’ biggest wild card is the one with the iconic comic-book supervillain. Joaquin Phoenix seems destined to win best actor for his unnerving transformation from mentally unstable outcast to face-painted nihilist in Todd Phillips’ psychological thriller origin story. The film’s chances for best picture aren’t as good as in other categories – such as original score and hair/makeup – but “Joker” leads with the most Oscar nominations (11 total). Like “Irishman,” it might also be helped by the preferential ballot, plus the controversial “Joker” has made enough money ($334.6 million domestically, $1.1 billion worldwide) that it can’t be ignored. 

Westlake Legal Group  Oscars best picture drama   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Juan Williams on vulnerable GOP senators voting against impeachment witnesses: ‘It’s going to be on their back’

Westlake Legal Group JUAN Juan Williams on vulnerable GOP senators voting against impeachment witnesses: 'It's going to be on their back' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 3c69be8e-b136-5e8b-b454-d726a3d0ebb5

As the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump continued Wednesday, “The Five” debated whether Democrats or Republicans could get members to vote against their party’s leadership on key issues.

“It’s possible that you could have some bipartisan agreement on acquittal,” co-host Dana Perino said. “Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama, they said they’re undecided, but people [on the GOP side] who count noses think that they might vote with them.”

‘COUP HAS STARTED,’ UKRAINE WHISTLEBLOWER’S ATTORNEY PROMISED IN 2017, VOWING TO IMPEACH AND ‘GET RID OF’ TRUMP

Co-host Jesse Watters brought up the unpopularity of impeachment in those senators states before saying, “I don’t see how Manchin or someone like that could vote against their own constituents and side with Chuck Schumer.”

Politico reported on Tuesday that Democrats were apparently divided over whether to remove Trump from office on the charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power — neither of which is a defined federal crime. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., predicted on “Fox & Friends” that some of those Democrats would eventually join Republicans in clearing Trump of wrongdoing.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Co-host Juan Williams said it was possible a few Democrats could vote for acquittal but changed the focus to Republican moderates who are vulnerable in their own districts.

“These Republicans who … vote to block witnesses and to block the admission of new documents … It’s going to be on their back, it’ll be at the top of the ticket,” Williams said. “They’re gonna have to explain why you think a fair trial does not include the guy who is the most pertinent [former National Security Adviser John Bolton] to direct testimony about what the president is doing.”

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this article.

Westlake Legal Group JUAN Juan Williams on vulnerable GOP senators voting against impeachment witnesses: 'It's going to be on their back' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 3c69be8e-b136-5e8b-b454-d726a3d0ebb5   Westlake Legal Group JUAN Juan Williams on vulnerable GOP senators voting against impeachment witnesses: 'It's going to be on their back' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 3c69be8e-b136-5e8b-b454-d726a3d0ebb5

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

As Coronavirus Explodes in China, Countries Struggle to Control Its Spread

Westlake Legal Group 29VIRUS-SPREAD1-facebookJumbo As Coronavirus Explodes in China, Countries Struggle to Control Its Spread your-feed-healthcare World Health Organization Viruses SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) Medicine and Health Influenza Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Australians flown home from Wuhan, China, will be quarantined on an island for two weeks. Americans, also evacuated from Wuhan, will be “temporarily housed” on an air base in California. And in South Korea, the police have been empowered to detain people who refuse to be quarantined.

For countries outside China, the time to prevent an epidemic is now, when cases are few and can be isolated. They are trying to seize the moment to protect themselves against the coronavirus outbreak, which has reached every province in China, sickening more than 7,700 people and killing 170.

More than a dozen nations with a handful of cases — including the United States — are isolating patients and monitoring their contacts, as well as screening travelers from China and urging people to postpone trips there.

But whether this virus can be contained depends on factors still unknown, like just how contagious it is and when in the course of the infection the virus starts to spread.

China, with nearly 1.4 billion people, is the most populous nation on Earth, and it has taken extreme measures to try to stop the disease, first reported in December in Wuhan, a city of 11 million. The government has stopped travel in and out of that city and surrounding ones, effectively locking down tens of millions of people.

“The fact that to date we have only seen 68 cases outside China and no deaths is due in no small part to the extraordinary steps the government has taken to prevent the export of cases,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, said at a news briefing on Wednesday.

But the disease has spread far and wide inside China and, with extensive worldwide travel by its citizens, especially during the celebration of the Lunar New Year, countries everywhere are bracing for the arrival of more new cases.

Person-to-person transmission is occurring, and cases have turned up in several countries with people who have not visited China. Mentioning those cases, Dr. Tedros said the potential for further global spread was one of the reasons he had called on the W.H.O.’s emergency committee to meet again on Thursday to decide whether to declare the epidemic a public health emergency of international concern. The committee met twice last week but was split about whether to declare an emergency, saying it did not have enough information to decide.

“I think things are going to get worse before they get better,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States, said in a podcast posted on Tuesday by the medical journal JAMA.

If China can somehow contain its outbreak, and if other countries with cases can prevent sustained transmission, Dr. Fauci said that it might be possible to end the outbreak, just as the coronavirus that caused the SARS epidemic in 2003 was stamped out.

“But it’s going to be a real kind of tightrope walk, because if it gets so expansive then it’s not going to just disappear the way SARS did,” he said. “I think the next four to five weeks are going to be critical. It’s either going to start peaking and go into a downturn, or it’s going to explode into a global outbreak.”

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview that he thought it would become clear in a few days whether the outbreak could be contained.

“If we’re seeing widespread transmission, thousands or tens of thousands of infections in the community, I don’t see how this gets controlled,” Dr. Frieden said. “On the other hand, if we see a SARS-like situation, where with incredible effort they were able to isolate people, tamp down the spread, then we’re in a containment situation.”

A particular concern is the possibility that the virus could wreak havoc in Africa, where possible cases are being investigated.

“We are very concerned about Africa because some of the least prepared countries for outbreaks are in Africa,” Dr. Frieden said, adding, “We know the systems there to find it and stop it are weaker there than elsewhere.”

If efforts to contain an outbreak fail, public health authorities will focus on “mitigation”— dealing with the disease and trying to minimize the harm it does to people and communities.

“It’s a worrisome situation in China,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in an interview on Wednesday. “It seems like more of a mitigation strategy than a control strategy that China has moved to.”

The United States still has a chance to avoid China’s fate, she said.

“We still only have five cases, and we can really do aggressive measures around those cases,” Dr. Messonnier said. “We’re trying to contain the disease, and by being aggressive we’re hoping to learn more about what it takes to contain it.”

The five patients have hundreds of contacts. Some are being tested for the virus, and the results may help researchers understand how the disease is transmitted. The C.D.C. is also monitoring more than 100 “patients under investigation” — some with cough or fever who have been to Wuhan, or have had contact with a patient.

But if the case count were to increase exponentially, Dr. Messonnier said, it would be hard to continue the concerted containment efforts. The C.D.C. is already gearing up should the approach need to evolve to mitigation strategies like closing schools, preventing public gatherings and helping hospitals prepare for a surge of cases.

One troubling question is whether infected people can start spreading the virus before they themselves get sick. Chinese health officials have said they believe such transmission has taken place. If it happened often, it could make stopping an outbreak much harder.

The reason is that the first step in halting outbreaks has traditionally been to identify people who are ill and then stop them from infecting others, usually by isolating them. But that approach will not work as well if people without any symptoms are already transmitting the disease.

Health officials in the United States said they had not seen data from China to support that claim, nor any evidence that people without symptoms had spread the disease in the United States. The five patients in the United States had all visited Wuhan, and so far none of their contacts have become ill or tested positive for the virus.

[Like the Science Times page on Facebook. | Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.]

Dr. Fauci said that epidemics are fueled by people with symptoms — like sneezing and coughing, which help spray the virus around — and not by those without symptoms, even if some of them can spread the virus. Dr. Frieden said if asymptomatic people do transmit some virus, sick patients are likely to spread a lot more.

People with colds or flu can spread viruses for a day or two before they become ill, but how big a role that plays in outbreaks is not known, researchers say.

In any case, flu spreads worldwide every year, infecting tens of millions of people.

And the spread of the new coronavirus is starting to resemble that of seasonal flu, said Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

“I think we have to revisit which model we’re really using, and I think we really over the past week and a half have come closer to the influenza model,” Dr. Osterholm said. “Trying to stop influenza in a community without vaccine is like trying to stop the wind. I don’t know how we’re going to stop this.”

He added, “The only thing operating in our favor is at least it doesn’t appear to be as severe as SARS or as MERS.”

Among patients with the Wuhan coronavirus, about 20 percent have become seriously ill, and the rest have a mild illness, the W.H.O. said at a news briefing on Wednesday. So far, the death rate appears to be about 2 percent, but that is not certain yet. Those who die tend to be older people with underlying ailments. The median age of the first 425 patients in China was 59, and a little more than half were male, according to a report published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

Diseases caused by related coronaviruses are deadlier: SARS killed 10 percent, and MERS about 35 percent.

But if the new virus were to spread even more widely and a 2 percent mortality rate continued, the death toll could be considerable. Seasonal flu, with a much lower overall death rate of 0.1 percent, kills more than half a million people worldwide every year. At least 8,200 people in the United States have died during this flu season, according to estimates from the C.D.C.

Roni Caryn Rabin contributed reporting for this article.

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

Actress testifies Harvey Weinstein fondled her, told her not to ‘make a big deal about this’

Westlake Legal Group AP20029526036736 Actress testifies Harvey Weinstein fondled her, told her not to 'make a big deal about this' Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/crime fox-news/person/harvey-weinstein fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc b7d109d9-eebe-58a2-826b-09ef2255332a article

An actress told jurors in a New York City court Wednesday that disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein put his hands up her skirt during a meeting in his hotel suite in 2004, when she was 24 years old, and fondled her genitals before urging her not to “make a big deal about this.”

Dawn Dunning, now 40, said she met Weinstein when she was a waitress at a ritzy nightclub in Manhattan.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN ACCUSER DETAILS HER ALLEGED ASSAULT IN COURT: ‘I’M BEING RAPED’

Weinstein immediately appeared to take an interest in her fledgling acting career, she said, and invited her to a lunch meeting where — noting his infamous temper — she said he was “on the phone a lot yelling at people.”

After several meetings with him, she said she was alone with Weinstein for a movie audition in a hotel suite he was using as a temporary office space in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood when he fondled her by reaching up her skirt.

“I stood up. I was in shock,” Dunning testified, fighting back tears. “He just started talking really fast. He said, ‘Don’t make a big deal about this. It will never happen again.’”

Dunning said she “just kind of gave him the benefit of the doubt” when Weinstein said it wouldn’t happen again. She said she didn’t scream or yell and didn’t tell anyone because she was embarrassed and didn’t want to be a victim.

She said that on a separate occasion, she agreed to meet Weinstein at a cigar bar, but instead, his assistant took her to a suite where Weinstein was standing in a bathrobe.

He allegedly proceeded to dangle movie gigs in front of her but told her she wouldn’t get them if she didn’t have “a threesome with his assistant.”

“When he said that, I kind of laughed, I thought he was kidding, and he had kind of a crass sense of humor,” Dunning testified. “But when I started laughing, he got really angry and started screaming at me. He said, ‘You’ll never make it in this business, this is how this industry works.'”

She said Weinstein name-dropped actresses such as Salma Hayek and Charlize Theron, implying they had done similar things to achieve success — something both women have strongly denied.

Another alleged Weinstein victim, Tarale Wulff, also choked back tears as she testified that the famous producer nearly 15 years her senior raped her at his apartment in 2005 when she was auditioning for a movie role.

She said he was much larger than her and overpowered her and she froze, thinking that would make it “easier to get through, to get past it.”

Now 43, Wulff says that during a prior incident, Weinstein grabbed her arm as she served cocktails at one of his usual Manhattan haunts, led her toward a darkened terrace and started masturbating.

Wulff, who’d met Weinstein at the members-only club, said she froze and scooted around him to go back to the bar.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Both women’s testimonies — which are not part of the criminal indictment against Weinstein — were allowed as prosecutors hope to establish a pattern of lewd and abusive behavior by Weinstein.

Attorneys for Weinstein, 67, have built their defense of him by poking holes in the women’s memories and questioning why they didn’t report the incidents earlier.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP20029526036736 Actress testifies Harvey Weinstein fondled her, told her not to 'make a big deal about this' Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/crime fox-news/person/harvey-weinstein fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc b7d109d9-eebe-58a2-826b-09ef2255332a article   Westlake Legal Group AP20029526036736 Actress testifies Harvey Weinstein fondled her, told her not to 'make a big deal about this' Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/crime fox-news/person/harvey-weinstein fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc b7d109d9-eebe-58a2-826b-09ef2255332a article

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

DJ Khaled, Cardi B, Lady Gaga and others busy with performances during week of big game in Miami

DJ Khaled is about to shake up his hometown of Miami in a big way.

The “We the Best” label head should hydrate because he’s got a busy agenda ahead of him, fresh off his first-ever Grammy win.

The social media-savvy veteran and “The Four” judge is slated to perform at a plethora of pre-game events this week, which will be jam-packed with other A-list celebrities, including Diddy, Shaquille O’Neal, Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Post Malone, Kevin Hart, Vin Diesel, Cardi B, Chris Brown, Guns N’ Roses and Maroon 5.

JIMMY FALLON, JOHN CENA AND OTHER STARS WORKOUT IN HILARIOUS BEER COMMERCIAL FOR SUNDAY’S GAME

“Oh yeah, we’re definitely celebrating [this] week. I remember Super Bowl came here 10 years ago and it was a special time. We want to make this special, too,” Khaled said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’m excited it’s in Miami.”

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1202155226 DJ Khaled, Cardi B, Lady Gaga and others busy with performances during week of big game in Miami Julius Young fox-news/person/lady-gaga fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/person/cardi-b fox-news/news-events/super-bowl fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 06c2901f-cadd-5262-aee5-aaa835d927e9

DJ Khaled attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Khaled is fresh off winning a Grammy Award for best rap/sung performance for “Higher,” a collaboration with late rapper Nipsey Hussle and R&B star John Legend.

Upon finally receiving the elusive accolade, Khaled took his time backstage at the Grammys to offer strong and encouraging words for his fallen brother Hussle, telling the room of reporters that he and the Los Angeles icon, who was 33 at the time of his death, discussed the record and prayed that it would result in a Grammy nod.

CHRIS EVANS, JOHN KRASINSKI IN HILARIOUS HYUNDAI COMMERCIAL FOR SUNDAY’S GAME

“And I remember when he got done cutting his verse, I was telling him when we both was chilling, we was both feeling great about the song — and I was saying, God willing we get nominated for a Grammy,” Khaled said. “And now we won the Grammy. Nipsey Hussle, John Legend, Khaled and the family — we won this.”

The big game week will mirror the Grammys, which took place on Sunday, with a number of big music stars performing ahead of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s halftime show at the Hard Rock Stadium, where the San Francisco 49ers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Khaled will perform at Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest’s EA Sports Bowl, the VEWTOPIA Music Festival and Rolling Stone’s party.

Others, too, will perform several times throughout the week, including Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, the Chainsmokers, DaBaby, Marshmello, Megan Thee Stallion, the Black Eyed Peas, Meek Mill and Tiesto.

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Cardi B is seen at ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ on July 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Cardi B will perform at a concert celebrating the trailer for the upcoming film “Fast & Furious 9;” Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena and Tyrese will also attend, while Ludacris, Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth and Ozuna will hit the stage. The Grammy-winning rapper will also hold a late-night performance at LIV and headline VEWTOPIA.

Lizzo will also double up with performances: She will sing at SiriusXM & Pandora Opening Drive Super Concert Series and then at the Planet Pepsi Zero Sugar party, which will also feature Harry Styles and Diplo at Meridian at Island Gardens.

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Gaga, who headlined the halftime show in 2017, will perform at the same venue for AT&T TV Super Saturday Night, held a day before Super Bowl 54.

Post Malone will hit the stage for Bootsy On the Water, a Bootsy Bellows pop-up, which will be hosted by Kevin Hart. Swae Lee, who collaborated with Malone on the hit “Sunflower,” will host an event to launch his shoe collection with Giuseppe Zanotti.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-07c3a4b1e01d478991b6ac71e36e552c DJ Khaled, Cardi B, Lady Gaga and others busy with performances during week of big game in Miami Julius Young fox-news/person/lady-gaga fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/person/cardi-b fox-news/news-events/super-bowl fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 06c2901f-cadd-5262-aee5-aaa835d927e9

Lady Gaga participates in the second annual Stonewall Day honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, hosted by Pride Live and iHeartMedia, in Greenwich Village on Friday, June 28, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

Budweiser will hold events featuring Dwayne Wade and Halsey; Karamo Brown of “Queer Eye” is part of an event for Stella Artois; and Guy Fieri will host 2020 The Players Tailgate.

Shaq’s Fun House, the NBA legend’s carnival-themed music festival, is coming back to Miami and will feature performances by Diddy, Pitbull, Diplo and Shaq himself, a.k.a. DJ Diesel.

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“Big Game Weekend has never seen a lineup like this!,” O’Neal said in a statement. “Bigger venue, bigger state fair-sized carnival, bigger line-up.”

O’Neal made his statement before the death of Kobe Bryant on Sunday in a plane crash which also killed Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, O’Neal, who has been distraught since the tragedy, said he was debating whether he should still go to Miami.

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“Part of me wanted to stay to myself as I reflect what my brother and his family mean to me and my family,” he wrote. “But in thinking what would Kobe want, what would he do? Kobe would want us to push through and celebrate life. So let’s just do that.”

He added he would donate all his proceeds too “all the families who lost loved ones and to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group cf3c650a083b796e8cdea50893ab5634w-c0xd-w640_h480_q80 DJ Khaled, Cardi B, Lady Gaga and others busy with performances during week of big game in Miami Julius Young fox-news/person/lady-gaga fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/person/cardi-b fox-news/news-events/super-bowl fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 06c2901f-cadd-5262-aee5-aaa835d927e9   Westlake Legal Group cf3c650a083b796e8cdea50893ab5634w-c0xd-w640_h480_q80 DJ Khaled, Cardi B, Lady Gaga and others busy with performances during week of big game in Miami Julius Young fox-news/person/lady-gaga fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/person/cardi-b fox-news/news-events/super-bowl fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 06c2901f-cadd-5262-aee5-aaa835d927e9

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Senate impeachment trial

WASHINGTON – If you’ve turned on your television and caught any of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, you’ve probably gotten a chance to see arguments from House managers and the president’s defense team

The official camera in the Senate has stayed locked on those speaking, leaving everything else happening in the chamber – and outside it – unseen by TV viewers. 

Throughout the trial, senators have dozed off, passed notes, munched on snacks and sometimes laughed or shaken their heads in disapproval. Here’s some of what else you couldn’t see if you’ve watched the trial on TV.  

Trading notes, whispers  

A wide smile spread across South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott’s face last Tuesday as he read the note passed to him by his deskmate, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. The two shared a quiet giggle as they passed messages back and forth, something that has become common at the all-day proceedings.  

Trump’s legal team:Patrick Cipollone, Jay Sekulow, Alan Dershowitz, Ken Starr, Pam Bondi fill out president’s counsel

At the start of each day of the trial, senators are told they must remain quiet on “pain of imprisonment.” That hasn’t stopped many of them from communicating with one another over the hours sitting at their desks listening to presentations from House managers and the president’s lawyers.

Like Scott and Sasse, who enjoy the luxury of being far from the dais where Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presides over the trial, other senators have passed notes and whispered back and forth. 

Monday evening, Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., passed notes as Alan Dershowitz, a member of Trump’s counsel, laid out his interpretation of what the Founding Fathers identified as an impeachable offense. Klobuchar leaned over to Casey’s desk and the two smiled before looking back up at Dershowitz, who was still presenting. 

The House managers also wrote notes and used legal pads to cover their mouths as they whispered to one another. Trump’s legal team did the same.

Westlake Legal Group  Senate impeachment trial

Crosswords, fidget spinners

Many of the 100 senators found it hard to sit in one place and refrain from talking or using electronics.

They fidgeted with their eyeglasses or rings. They even had fidget spinners, yes, those. Senators, including Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., were spotted with the spinners during the trial. 

As House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler started presenting and played video from the House inquiry about the constitutional basis for impeachment, Burr picked up his blue fidget spinner and started twirling it. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who sits next to Burr, looked over and smiled.

Most senators took notes or read through documents handed out by pages, but Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., found other materials to keep himself occupied. 

On Wednesday evening, Paul was filling out a crossword puzzle, surreptitiously putting it under a piece of paper on his desk. The next day, Paul sketched a doodle of the Capitol building, drawing it in his lap before putting it under a box of tissues on his desk.

Monday proceedings:Attention turns to the Bidens, and other highlights from the Senate Trump impeachment trial

Snoozing senators

Last week, as Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., outlined the evidence leading House Democrats to charge the president with two articles of impeachment, Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, slouched further back in his chair.

He cradled his head in hand as Demings argued that the chamber should subpoena the State Department for documents on Ukraine. A little more than four hours into the presentations, Risch shut his eyes and was the first spotted by USA TODAY to fall asleep. 

As the trial moved forward, he was joined by colleagues on both sides of the aisle, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. 

Westlake Legal Group  Senate impeachment trial

Many senators were spotted yawning or roaming around the Senate floor to stretch. 

During last week’s presentations, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., fiddled with his watch, which he had taken off his wrist. Shortly after hour No. 7 last Tuesday, he looked at the time, then started dragging the dark band across his face, using it to create a mustache. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., got up and walked to the back of the chamber, taking off her black heels and taking a deep sigh. When she went back to her desk, she wrapped herself in a red shawl.

Senate impeachment trial:Fact-checking opening arguments of Trump’s defense team

Snacking and the notorious candy desk 

Senate rules allow for senators to drink water and milk on the floor. They aren’t supposed to eat or talk. 

But some members bent, or even broke, the rules. 

Throughout the long days of presentations, many Republicans would discreetly make their way over to desk of Sen. Toomey, R-Pa., as it contained the only food in the chamber: a drawer full of candy.

His Republican colleagues could be seen moseying over to his desk and eventually walking away, chewing on something. Toomey was spotted enjoying a chocolate bar or two as the proceedings went on. 

Jeff Van Drew:Meet Jeff Van Drew, the party-switching lawmaker who will join Trump at his New Jersey rally

The drawer was so popular that more chocolate was needed – a lot more. Outside Toomey’s office on Friday sat a pallet of hundreds of Hersey chocolate bars – a Pennsylvania staple. 

If they didn’t have a sweet tooth, senators told reporters that in each of their respective cloakrooms was an assortment of snacks. The snacks frequently lured senators from the floor, but occasionally someone would take one back to the floor and stealthily take bites, as though it was contraband.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., snacked on a bag of Cheetos in the back row of the chamber one evening last week, quietly crunching as proceedings resumed after a dinner break. He was joined by Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., who was having some cookies. 

Pages, thirsty senators 

The Senate floor is organized similar to a classroom. Each senator sits at a desk that has an indentation for pencils, facing toward the front of the room in rows. 

Pages, high school students who serve as helpers on the Senate floor, worked to pass out copies of presentations, handing a pile to one end of the row and telling senators to pass them down. 

The pages also served as senators’ primary way to stay hydrated. In the absence of soda and coffee, senators took advantage of the beverages available, asking pages to fetch them glasses of milk, the only option besides water. 

Live impeachment updates Tuesday:Trump’s defense team makes last day of arguments

Cotton and Burr were spotted with tall glasses of milk on their desks along with the glass of water given to every senator. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., went through two glasses as she jotted down notes while the managers discussed the timeline for the Trump administration withholding military aid from Ukraine. 

When senators ran out of milk and water, a Senate page could be spotted scurrying over to senators’ desks and coming back with full glasses. The pages could be spotted going to and from the Senate floor. 

Shaking heads and laughing

Body language can say a lot, including senators’ reactions to pivotal moments. 

Schiff stirred Republican criticism on Friday when he brought up a CBS report that a Trump confidante had told senators not to vote against him or “your head would be on a pike.”

That rankled key senators, including Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, both of whom have signaled they are on the fence about whether to join Democrats in calling for witnesses in the trial. 

“That’s not true,” Collins could be heard responding from the Senate floor. She shook her head in disapproval. Cotton laughed, pulled out a fidget spinner and started twirling it.

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Republicans were not alone in using their body language to show their disagreement with points made by the other side.

On Monday, as Patrick Philbin, a deputy counsel to the president, defended the Trump administration’s withholding of documents and witnesses from House investigators on the basis of “absolute immunity,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., appeared to sigh, roll her eyes and look up at the ceiling. Throughout the day, Democrats appeared frustrated with the president’s defense. 

Many Democrats took issue with Trump’s counsel using about two hours on Monday to lay out a case against the Bidens. 

When Trump attorney Eric Herschmann hypothesized what the reaction would have been like “if Trump’s children were on an oligarch’s payroll?” reactions of disbelief rumbled through the Democratic side of the chamber. Many shook their heads, some raised their hands, others laughed or rolled their eyes. 

A few senators were quick to start whispering to one another, including Mark Warner, D-Va., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo. 

Later, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., threw his hands up in a giant shrug after Robert Ray, a member of the president’s counsel, criticized a project by The New York Times about the year 1619, marking 400 years since slaves first came to America.

Alan Dershowitz:Alan Dershowitz tells Senate Trump’s impeachment is unconstitutional – updates

After Ray said some have called it “inaccurate,” Kaine leaned back in his chair, looking up at the ceiling as he smiled and shook his head. He looked back at Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who sits just behind him, and Kaine again shook his head.

Last Tuesday, when Schiff discussed a purported phone conversation between Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, and Trump in a restaurant in Ukraine, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chuckled to himself, seeming perplexed and exasperated with the retelling of the call, which included Sondland saying in colorful language that Ukraine loves Trump.

Graham was one of the more animated senators, often laughing at the House managers’ arguments and nodding along as Trump’s counsel decried the impeachment as a fraud.

Quiet in Senate chamber

Thursday’s presentation included a moment of gravity as Schiff delivered a closing speech that left the chamber quiet and appeared to leave one member of the public in tears. 

“Whether we can say it publicly, we all know what we’re dealing with here with this president. Donald Trump chose Rudy Giuliani over his own intelligence agencies. … That makes him dangerous. … Why would anyone in their right mind believe Giuliani over Christopher Wray?” Schiff asked the senators, mentioning the president’s attorney and the FBI director. 

In response, McConnell stared straight ahead while Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer peeked at his GOP colleagues. Many sat motionless, watching Schiff. 

A member of the public sitting in a balcony overlooking the chamber wiped his eyes with a handkerchief. The rest of the gallery appeared intrigued, leaning into Schiff’s testimony as he became more impassioned.

“Because right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise, we are lost,” Schiff concluded to a silent chamber.

As he walked out of the room after the Senate adjourned, many of his Democratic colleagues expressed to him that he had done his job well. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., shouted “Adam!” and gave him a thumbs up.

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‘American Dirt’ Publisher Cancels Author Tour After Threats

Westlake Legal Group american-dirt_pm_wide-4833c6750361a95657ef1257b4f38a225eb86c46-s1100-c15 'American Dirt' Publisher Cancels Author Tour After Threats
Petra Mayer/NPR
Westlake Legal Group  'American Dirt' Publisher Cancels Author Tour After Threats

Petra Mayer/NPR

Flatiron Books, publisher of the controversial new novel American Dirt, has cancelled the remainder of author Jeanine Cummins’ book tour after what it called “specific threats to booksellers and the author.” This follows several individual event cancellations.

Cummins received a hefty advance and a big promotional push for American Dirt, which follows a Mexican mother and son fleeing drug cartel violence. Oprah Winfrey picked it for her book club, and prominent authors showered it with praise. But critics have called the book inaccurate and full of harmful stereotypes, and questioned whether Cummins was the right person to tell that story. (Despite the controversy — or because of it — the book is selling well; it’s currently #1 on Amazon’s charts.)

In a statement, Bob Miller, the president of Flatiron Books, said the publisher is proud to have published American Dirt, and was “therefore surprised by the anger that has emerged from members of the Latinx and publishing communities.”

But, he added, “the fact that we were surprised is indicative of a problem, which is that in positioning this novel, we failed to acknowledge our own limits. The discussion around this book has exposed deep inadequacies in how we at Flatiron Books address issues of representation, both in the books we publish and in the teams that work on them.”

Miller also addressed specific concerns around the promotion of American Dirt, saying “we made serious mistakes in the way we rolled out this book. We should never have claimed that it was a novel that defined the migrant experience; we should not have said that Jeanine’s husband was an undocumented immigrant while not specifying that he was from Ireland; we should not have had a centerpiece at our bookseller dinner last May that replicated the book jacket so tastelessly. We can now see how insensitive those and other decisions were, and we regret them.”

Miller said “we wish to listen, learn and do better,” but called for “a two-way dialogue characterized by respect,” saying that “while there are valid criticisms around our promotion of this book that is no excuse for the fact that in some cases there have been threats of physical violence. We join with those in the Latinx community and others who have spoken out against such violence.”

Flatiron will replace the remainder of the book tour with a series of town halls where Cummins will meet with critics of the book.

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6 Takeaways From Senators’ Questions to Impeachment Lawyers

Westlake Legal Group 29dc-takeaways-facebookJumbo 6 Takeaways From Senators’ Questions to Impeachment Lawyers Senate McConnell, Mitch impeachment Dershowitz, Alan M Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — After days of listening to the House lawyers and the president’s defense team argue their cases, uninterrupted, senators on Wednesday finally had their turn.

Up to 16 hours is allotted for the question and answer phase of the Senate trial, and lawyers spent the first five of them on Wednesday addressing a steady stream of queries from the senators. The answers showed off the strikingly divergent views of presidential power that have dominated the entire trial.

Here are some of the other main takeaways from the first day.

Asked about what is considered standard practice for a president when conducting foreign policy, Alan Dershowitz, one of President Trump’s lawyers, appeared to make a new argument for broad presidential powers — so broad that anything a president does to help himself get re-elected, he said, is inherently in the public’s interest, including a “quid pro quo.”

“If the president does something that he thinks will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment,” Mr. Dershowitz said.

The lead house manager, Representative Adam B. Schiff, called the theory “very odd.”

Mr. Dershowitz was answering a question from Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, who has been a staunch defender of the president throughout the impeachment process.

Mr. Trump’s defense has also argued that there was no “quid pro quo” in his dealings with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

Later, when answering another question, Mr. Schiff pushed back against Mr. Dershowitz’s view on the extent of the president’s power.

Mr. Schiff said Mr. Trump is “a president who identifies the state as being himself.”

Addressing Mr. Trump directly, Mr. Schiff said, “You are not a king.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, asked House impeachment managers a question that set them up to cross-examine a claim from the defense: “There is simply no evidence anywhere that President Trump ever linked security assistance to any investigations.”

Ms. Feinstein asked, “Is that true?”

It was a softball, but a strategic one.

“There is in fact overwhelming evidence that the president withheld the military aid directly to get a personal political benefit to help his individual political campaign,” said Representative Jason Crow of Colorado, one of the House managers.

Throughout the day, Democrats repeatedly asked about whether senators could reach a verdict without hearing testimony from the president’s former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, and other presidential aides involved in Ukraine foreign policy.

This was not a hard one for the House managers, either.

“There is no way to have a fair trial without witnesses,” Mr. Schiff said. “And when you have a witness who is as plainly relevant as John Bolton — who goes to the heart of the most serious and egregious of the president’s misconduct, who has volunteered to come and testify — to turn him away, to look the other way, I think is deeply at odds with being an impartial juror.”

In what did not appear to be an intentional taunt to the Democrats, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Patrick Philbin, said what most in the Senate chamber already knew: “John Bolton was the national security adviser to the president. He has all the nation’s secrets.”

Democrats want Mr. Bolton to testify about what he knew of Mr. Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine. And almost all the Republicans want to make sure that Mr. Bolton does not have the opportunity to do so.

Once the question-and-answer portion of the trial is complete, senators are expected to vote Friday on whether to hear new witnesses.

Mr. Philbin argued that if the Senate subpoenaed Mr. Bolton to testify, he would likely be unable to comply because Mr. Trump could claim executive privilege, but Democrats disagree.

Senator Kamala Harris, Democratic of California, asked the House managers what would happen if the Senate “fails to hold the president accountable for misconduct,” and what that would mean for the integrity of the justice system.

It has long been expected that the Republican-led Senate would not convict Mr. Trump. But Mr. Schiff responded with a sobering prediction, directed at every senator in the room: The Senate as an institution will lose its power and erase the oversight authority given to it in the Constitution.

“There will be no force behind any Senate subpoena in the future,” Mr. Schiff warned, reminding senators that the White House also ignored congressional subpoenas before the impeachment proceedings. “If you allow a president to obstruct Congress so completely — in a way that Nixon could never have contemplated, nor would the Congress of that day have allowed — you will eviscerate your own oversight capability.”

To convict Mr. Trump, one of the president’s lawyers, Mr. Philbin said, the Senate needs to find the president “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

It was a surprising argument, given that the Constitution offers no such direction.

Mr. Philbin was responding to a question from a group of Republican senators who asked whether the standard for impeachment in the House had a lower threshold than the standard for conviction in the Senate.

Mr. Philbin explained that the House impeachment managers did not do their job. They “are held to a standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said, adding, “Here they have failed in their burden of proof.”

Frank O. Bowman III, a University of Missouri law professor and an expert on impeachment whose work on the topic was even cited in a Trump defense brief, called the claim “a complete fantasy.”

A written standard of proof in either the House or the Senate does not exist, he said.

As the Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, had the advantage of selecting the first question from his party. And it was a strategic choice. He turned to Senator Susan Collins, of Maine, who is facing one of the toughest re-election races in the country. She is a moderate whose support Republicans cannot afford to lose.

Ms. Collins asked the question on behalf of herself and senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah: “How should the Senate consider more than one motive in its assessment” of the first article of impeachment from the House, that Mr. Trump abused the power of his office?

That those three senators asked a question jointly was not surprising. Even before the trial started in earnest, they have signaled that they are open to hearing from new witnesses, specifically Mr. Bolton, whose recent accounts from an upcoming book have rattled the Republicans’ plans for a fast trial and an even faster acquittal.

The Democrats need the support of every senator in their caucus and at least four Republicans to pass a measure that would allow witnesses.

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Democracy 2020 Digest: Sanders profits from ad in Iowa that attacks him

Westlake Legal Group image Democracy 2020 Digest: Sanders profits from ad in Iowa that attacks him Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/tom-steyer fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8316be29-81d1-5700-936f-c562634f65b9

DES MOINES, Iowa — Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign says it’s hauling in cash thanks to a new ad from a super PAC that questions the progressive independent senator from Vermont’s electability and draws attention to the Democratic presidential candidate’s heart attack last October.

The campaign confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday that Sanders had brought more than $1.3 million since it started fundraising off the negative TV commercial a day earlier. The news was first reported by The New York Times.

The spot is from the pro-Israel lobbying group Democratic Majority for Israel. The group is spending around $675,000 to run the commercial on Iowa airwaves through Monday’s caucuses, which kick off the presidential nominating calendar.

The ad targets Sanders for being unable to defeat President Trump in November’s general election – using Iowa voters who cite Sanders’ heart attack and his progressive agenda.

The ad is the first to attack the 78-year-old candidate over his heart attack. Rival campaigns – nervous about likely backlash from voters – have stayed mostly silent on Sanders’ health.

The Sanders campaign went up with an email on Tuesday – ahead of the airing of the ad – warning supporters that the senator was under attack and alluding to an “outside spending group.”

On Tuesday night, Sanders took to Twitter, putting out a video in which he said, “It is no secret that our campaign is taking on the political establishment and the big-money interests, who are now running negative ads against us in Iowa.”

‘They’re smearing me’

Former Vice President Joe Biden is discounting a new attack ad aimed at him that’s being paid for by Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida.

In the ad, the former Florida governor and Trump ally claims, “The real story here is the corruption that Joe Biden got away with.”

Biden shrugged off Republican attacks days out from Iowa’s opening Democratic caucuses, saying they indicated who the GOP is most afraid of facing in the general election.

The multimillionaire politician paid for the ad buy out of his own pocket.

Biden –  asked about Scott’s commercial while campaigning in Iowa on Wednesday – told reporters including Fox News’ Madeleine Rivera – that “Rick Scott … started running negative ads against me. What do you think about that? It’s simple. They’re smearing me to try to stop me.”

The big spenders in Iowa

Sanders and billionaire environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer are carpeting Iowa airwaves with TV commercials in the final week leading up Monday’s caucuses.

Steyer is spending nearly $1.4 million to run ads starting Jan. 28. Sanders is shelling out just over $1.2 million. The figures were provided by Advertising Analytics, a well-known ad-tracking firm.

Steyer’s using his vast wealth to bankroll his ad buys, while Sanders is dipping into his massive war chest raised nearly entirely through massive small-dollar grassroots contributions from supporters. Sanders raised an eye-popping $34.5 million in the final three months of 2019, far ahead of the rest of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Also spending heavily to run spots in Iowa in the final week are Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who’s spending nearly $950,000, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who’s investing more than $850,000 to air commercials, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of neighboring Minnesota, who’s spending just over $750,000.

Biden, who has struggled with fundraising since jumping into the White House race last April, is spending just over half a million dollars in the final week, far behind his top-tier rivals. But the pro-Biden super PAC Unite the Country is dishing out nearly $1 million this week to run ads in support of the former vice president.

Klobuchar called for ‘reducing abortions’ in 2006 interview

Klobuchar said during her 2006 Senate run that “no one wants abortions” and the procedure should be “rare” — remarks that strike a marked contrast with more recent Democratic stances on the issue, including from her own 2020 campaign.

In the 2006 interview, Klobuchar noted that she was in favor of abortion rights, but she also touted the endorsement of pro-life Democratic Rep. James Oberstar, one of the top boosters of the original Hyde Amendment, in audio archived by Minnesota Public Radio.

“There are plenty of pro-life Democrats and I’m pleased to have the support of Congressman Oberstar and others,” she said. “And we need to talk about reducing the number of abortions and making them safe, but making them rare. And there is common ground on encouraging adoption, reducing abortions.”

Westlake Legal Group image Democracy 2020 Digest: Sanders profits from ad in Iowa that attacks him Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/tom-steyer fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8316be29-81d1-5700-936f-c562634f65b9   Westlake Legal Group image Democracy 2020 Digest: Sanders profits from ad in Iowa that attacks him Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/tom-steyer fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8316be29-81d1-5700-936f-c562634f65b9

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