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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 344)

LIVE UPDATES: Senate Begins Question Portion Of Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 5e319dca240000130c64db9b LIVE UPDATES: Senate Begins Question Portion Of Impeachment Trial

After six days of opening arguments from the House impeachment managers and President Donald Trump’s defense team, the Senate has begun the question portion of the impeachment trial.

Senators have 16 hours over two days to ask whatever they want of Democratic prosecutors and White House lawyers as they consider whether to vote in favor of calling additional witnesses or introducing new evidence in the case.

Scroll down for live updates from the impeachment trial.

The questions will alternate between Republicans and Democrats. Senators must submit their questions in writing to Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial. He will then read them and request an answer. Senators cannot respond after their question is answered.

The House impeachment managers, led by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), want former national security adviser John Bolton to testify. He reportedly wrote in a draft of his forthcoming book that Trump conditioned congressionally approved aid to Ukraine helping with his requested investigations into political rival Joe Biden and the 2016 election.

Trump’s defense team, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, argues that the president did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and that Bolton and other witnesses requested by the Democrats should not be called to testify.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told senators during a briefing Tuesday evening that he does not yet have the votes to block Democrats from summoning additional witnesses.

Read live coverage of Wednesday’s portion of the impeachment trial below:

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Researchers Are Racing to Make a Coronavirus Vaccine. Will It Help?

Westlake Legal Group 28VIRUS-VACCINE2-facebookJumbo Researchers Are Racing to Make a Coronavirus Vaccine. Will It Help? Zika Virus your-feed-healthcare Vaccination and Immunization University of Queensland SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) national institutes of health Moderna Therapeutics MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) Johnson&Johnson Inovio Pharmaceuticals Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations Clinical Trials

In the early days of January, as cases of a strange, pneumonia-like illness were reported in China, researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland readied themselves to hunt for a vaccine to prevent the new disease.

They had clues that a coronavirus, similar to ones that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003 and MERS in 2012, was the culprit. Dr. Barney Graham, deputy director of the Vaccine Research Center at the N.I.H, urged government scientists in China to share the genetic makeup of the virus so his team could begin its race to develop a vaccine.

On Friday, Jan. 10, the Chinese scientists posted the information on a public database. The next morning, Dr. Graham’s team was in the lab. And within hours, they had pinpointed the letters of the genetic code that could be used to make a vaccine.

Scientists in Australia and at least three companies — Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Therapeutics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals — are also working on vaccine candidates to stop the spread of the disease, which has infected about 6,000 people and killed more than 130.

“Everybody is trying to move as quickly as possible,” said Jacqueline Shea, the chief operating officer at Inovio.

Inovio received a grant of up to $9 million to develop a coronavirus vaccine from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a group whose aim is to speed vaccines to market. Moderna, which is working with Dr. Graham’s team at the N.I.H., received a similar grant, as did researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Historically, vaccines have been one of the greatest public health tools to prevent disease. But even as new technology, advancements in genomics and improved global coordination have allowed researchers to move at unprecedented speed, vaccine development remains an expensive and risky process. It takes months and even years because the vaccines must undergo extensive testing in animals and humans. In the best case, it takes at least a year — and most likely longer — for any vaccine to become available to the public.

“They may not help in the very early stages of an outbreak, but if we’re able to develop vaccines in time, they will be an asset later,” said Richard Hatchett, the chief executive of the epidemic preparedness coalition.

With each new outbreak, scientists typically have to start from scratch. After the SARS outbreak in 2003, it took researchers about 20 months from the release of the viral genome to get a vaccine ready for human trials. By the time an epidemic caused by the Zika virus occurred in 2015, researchers had brought the timeline down to six months. Now, they hope the joint efforts will cut that time in half.

The morning after the Chinese scientists published their data earlier this month, Dr. Graham’s team got to work checking the sequence and comparing it with what they already had for SARS and MERS. They wanted to focus on the spike protein, which forms the crown of the coronavirus and recognizes receptors, or entry points, on a host cell.

“If you can block the spike protein from binding to a cell, then you’ve effectively prevented an infection,” said Kizzmekia Corbett, the scientific lead for Dr. Graham’s coronavirus team.

Dr. Corbett and others had studied the spike proteins on SARS and MERS viruses in detail, using them to develop experimental vaccines. The vaccines never made it to market because SARS was successfully contained with public health measures before the vaccine was ready and preliminary human trials for the MERS vaccine showed success last year.

But the scientists had a method for developing vaccines that could help them fast-track production for the new coronavirus. They used the template for the SARS vaccine and swapped in just enough genetic code that would make it work for the new virus. “I call it plug and play,” Dr. Corbett said.

Within a few hours, Dr. Corbett was able to prepare the modified sequence that the researchers needed. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, the team held a conference call to discuss the next steps with collaborators in labs across the country, and sent off the sequence to Moderna.

Scientists at the company plan to use the genetic information to create synthetic messenger RNA, which carries instructions for cells’ protein-making machinery. The technology will help induce high levels of antibodies that can identify the spike protein and fight off an infection.

Once Moderna manufactures the messenger RNA in a few weeks, the N.I.H. will run more tests, Dr. Corbett said. Collaborators in academic labs will then test the vaccine in mice infected with the virus and check blood samples from the animals to see how well the experimental vaccine worked.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the N.I.H., who oversees Dr. Graham’s team, said he expected the vaccine research to move quickly.

“If we don’t run into any unforeseen obstacles, we’ll be able to get a Phase 1 trial going within the next three months, which will be record speed,” he said, referring to early human trials that test for safety.

Other researchers are using different methods to develop their vaccines.

Inovio, which is also developing a vaccine for MERS, uses a DNA-based technology. Johnson & Johnson delivers vaccines through adenoviruses — which can cause coldlike symptoms but have been made harmless. And researchers at the University of Queensland are testing particles that mimic the structure of a virus.

“We don’t know which vaccine approach will be successful at this stage, so we have to try everything in our arsenal,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

In interviews, company executives said that partnerships with governments and philanthropic foundations were essential to developing vaccines for outbreaks because there are so many uncertainties.

Dr. Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson’s chief scientific officer, estimated it could take eight to 12 months before his company’s vaccines reach human clinical trials. By then, it is possible the coronavirus outbreak will have been contained. Testing of Johnson & Johnson’s Zika vaccine is currently halted, he said, because new outbreaks of the disease have slowed.

“You have to be brave and you have to be a solid company to do this, because there is no real incentive to do this, no financial incentive,” he said.

Stéphane Bancel, the chief executive of Moderna, said vaccines were necessary, even if an outbreak wanes, because it could always return. “I think it’s important to be prepared,” he said.

Experts believe that the frequency of outbreaks will only increase because of climate change, urbanization and global travel, among other factors.

“We probably need to start thinking about putting in a special infrastructure for coronavirus infections the same way we have for the flu,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, who is co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and was involved in the production of a SARS vaccine that may be repurposed for the new coronavirus. The detection and monitoring of infections, as well as the development of vaccines, will put an insurance policy in place for future outbreaks, he said.

“We’re just starting to realize that the power of vaccines goes way beyond public health,” he said. “They are also critical to the global economy and global security.”

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Dems Seek Witness Testimony And A Fair Trial. Trump’s Defense Team Says That’ll Take Too Long

Westlake Legal Group 5e319dca240000130c64db9b Dems Seek Witness Testimony And A Fair Trial. Trump’s Defense Team Says That’ll Take Too Long

After six days of opening arguments from the House impeachment managers and President Donald Trump’s defense team, the Senate has begun the question portion of the impeachment trial.

Senators have 16 hours over two days to ask whatever they want of Democratic prosecutors and White House lawyers as they consider whether to vote in favor of calling additional witnesses or introducing new evidence in the case.

Scroll down for live updates from the impeachment trial.

The questions will alternate between Republicans and Democrats. Senators must submit their questions in writing to Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial. He will then read them and request an answer. Senators cannot respond after their question is answered.

The House impeachment managers, led by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), want former national security adviser John Bolton to testify. He reportedly wrote in a draft of his forthcoming book that Trump conditioned congressionally approved aid to Ukraine helping with his requested investigations into political rival Joe Biden and the 2016 election.

Trump’s defense team, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, argues that the president did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and that Bolton and other witnesses requested by the Democrats should not be called to testify.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told senators during a briefing Tuesday evening that he does not yet have the votes to block Democrats from summoning additional witnesses.

Read live coverage of Wednesday’s portion of the impeachment trial below:

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Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Evacuates Citizens, and Deaths Mount

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group 29china-briefing-3-articleLarge-v2 Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Evacuates Citizens, and Deaths Mount Wuhan (China) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

In Macau on Tuesday many shoppers wore face masks. The government has recommended that people across China wear masks to halt the spread of a dangerous coronavirus.Credit…Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

On Thursday, the World Health Organization will again consider whether to declare the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency, the agency’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Twitter.

On Jan. 23, the same committee recommended that an emergency not be declared at that time.

As of that date, most of what were then 800 confirmed cases in the world were in China and all 25 deaths were there. In addition, there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China. But that is no longer the case.

More than 130 people have now died from the mysterious new coronavirus, according to official Chinese statistics, but the real number is likely much higher. A dearth of test kits has hindered health officials ability to accurately diagnose and track the illness.

Here’s what we know about how the disease has spread:

◆ China said on Wednesday that 132 people had died from the virus, which is believed to have originated in the central city of Wuhan and is spreading across the country. The previous count, on Tuesday, was 106.

◆ The number of confirmed cases increased to 6,065 on Wednesday, according to the World Health Organization. The number on Tuesday was 4,515, according to China’s National Health Commission.

◆ Thailand has reported 14 cases of infection; Hong Kong has 10; the United States, Taiwan, Australia and Macau have five each; Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia each have reported four; Japan has seven; France has four; Canada has three; Vietnam has two; and Nepal, Cambodia, Germany and the United Arab Emirates each have one.

◆ Cases recorded in Taiwan, Germany, Vietnam and Japan involved patients who had not been to China. There have been no reported deaths outside China.

A flight carrying 201 Americans who had been evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, landed in Southern California shortly after 8 a.m. on Wednesday. The passengers were expected to remain at March Air Force Base until they had been screened by health authorities.

The flight had stopped in Anchorage for several hours, where the passengers were checked by a team from the Centers for Disease Control.

“The whole plane erupted in cheers when the crew said, ‘Welcome home to the United States,’” said Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer.

The 201 passengers, including diplomats and businesspeople, underwent medical screening at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the local authorities said. The plane was refueled before heading to its final destination, March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, Calif., east of Los Angeles.

Dr. Zink said that all the passengers were screened twice during their Anchorage layover and approved by medical staff members from the Centers for Disease Control before reboarding the plane to Southern California.

At Marsh Air Reserve Base, they will undergo additional health screenings, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services said in a statement.

Passengers would be “temporarily housed for a period of time” after landing, the department said.

“The pre-screening in China and the rescreening here in Anchorage were critical steps for assuring the safety of the passengers onboard the aircraft and for preventing further importation of the novel coronavirus domestically,” Alaska’s governor, Mike Dunleavy, said in a statement.

Other countries that have evacuated or plan to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan include France, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, Germany, Kazakhstan, Britain, Canada, Russia, the Netherlands, Myanmar and Australia.

Westlake Legal Group china-wuhan-coronavirus-maps-promo-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Evacuates Citizens, and Deaths Mount Wuhan (China) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

Wuhan Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

The virus has sickened more than 5,500 people in China and a handful in other countries.

British Airways has indefinitely suspended all flights to and from China, the airline said on Wednesday, citing advice from Britain’s Foreign Office that cautioned against all nonessential travel to China.

“We apologize to customers for the inconvenience, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Other airlines have begun to scale back flights to China as the death toll and number of cases rises, but the British flag carrier, one of the world’s largest international airlines, is the first to cancel all its scheduled flights.

The airline, based in London, makes multiple flights a week to Beijing and Shanghai.

The low-cost Indonesian carrier Lion Air and Seoul Air of South Korea also suspended all their flights to China, The Associated Press reported.

United Airlines and Air Canada said on Tuesday that they would reduce flights to China, canceling dozens of scheduled trips over the coming days and weeks because of a sudden drop in demand. Health officials in the United States have also warned against all nonessential travel to China.

In Hong Kong, the authorities have reduced by half the number of flights coming into the semiautonomous region from mainland China and have also shut down rail services to the mainland. Hong Kong’s flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific, has also suspended all flights to and from Wuhan through March.

The new coronavirus that was first discovered in China last month is showing early signs of spreading abroad, with people who never visited China during the outbreak falling ill in Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The overseas cases highlight the ability of the mysterious disease, which is believed to have originated in wild animals, to be transmitted from one person to another, increasing its chances of spreading.

“These reports are concerning, if they stand up to scrutiny, which they certainly sound credible,” said Dr. Arthur Reingold, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Some cases that have spread outside China appear to have been spread between family members, who are at greater risk while caring for sick relatives. Other cases, however, appear to have spread between people with different connections.

In Japan, a tour bus driver in his 60s who had driven two different groups from Wuhan, China, was confirmed to have the coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday. The driver had no history of traveling to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

“I think what that says is, if we can get transmission in such a setting, then we can certainly get it in the waiting room of a clinic or a hospital,” Professor Reingold said. “That’s very concerning.”

German officials said on Tuesday that a 33-year-old man from Starnberg in Bavaria was apparently infected with the coronavirus after a Jan. 21 training event with a Chinese colleague. The Chinese colleague flew home two days later. The German man was being treated under isolation while officials identified other people with whom he might have been in contact.

Late Tuesday, health officials in Germany said three more people from the same company in Bavaria were also infected. The three were admitted to a clinic in Munich, where they were to be isolated and treated. An additional 40 people with close contact to those infected would be tested on Wednesday, officials said.

Taiwan said on Tuesday that a man had become infected after his wife had contracted the virus while working in Wuhan. He became Taiwan’s eighth case and the first known to be transmitted locally.

In an article published by The New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday, Vietnamese physicians reported that a 65-year-old man from Wuhan appeared to have transmitted the coronavirus to his son, 27, who was living in Long An Province, southwest of Ho Chi Minh City. The father developed a fever on Jan. 17, four days after flying to Hanoi, Vietnam, from Wuhan.

The son met his father on Jan. 17, and by Jan. 20 he had a dry cough and fever. The father’s condition has improved, and the son is stable, the doctors wrote. None of their 28 identified close contacts, including the father’s wife, have developed symptoms of respiratory infection, they said.

The police clashed on Tuesday with residents of a village in the coastal province of Fujian after it was revealed that the government planned to convert a factory into a quarantine site for patients with the dangerous coronavirus.

Several people were reportedly arrested in the village of Dasha, where residents’ fears and anger over the proposed site spilled into the street. In videos recorded by residents, villagers are seen blocking a road and throwing wooden stools at police officers, who marched through the town in riot gear.

Residents said they were given no warning about the plans and only learned that their village would host the sick when hospital beds and other materials began arriving.

“The factory is only several minutes’ walk away from our village,” said one resident, Therese Zheng. “Given the lack of information from the government, there is reason that villagers are panicking.”

The outrage in Dasha mirrors that in other Chinese cities where the government has proposed quarantine sites without first consulting those living nearby. In Hong Kong on Sunday, protesters threw Molotov cocktails into the lobby of an unoccupied public housing project that had been proposed as a quarantine area.

A Xiapu County health official denied that villagers in Dasha were not made aware of the quarantine site and said the information had been broadcast for days.

Another county official said the proposed quarantine site was far from residences and would be cordoned off to limit exposure. The official added that patients would be transported to the site by ambulance as a further measure to protect the community.

As of Wednesday, there were 82 confirmed cases of the virus in Fujian Province, two of which were in Xiapu County.

With demand for surgical masks on the rise in China, a drugstore in Beijing has been fined more than $400,000 by the government for charging customers roughly six times what the masks are being sold for online.

State-run media said that the store was charging customers 850 yuan, or $122, for the masks, while they were being sold online for 143 yuan.

Infectious disease specialists say the disposable masks, which cover the nose and mouth, can help prevent the spread of infections if they are worn properly and used consistently.

The masks have become ubiquitous in cities across China. In Hong Kong, where the outbreak has brought back painful memories of the SARS epidemic in 2002-03, officials said that customs authorities were examining surgical masks being sold in the city for counterfeit labeling and not meeting safety standards.

In announcing the fine against the Beijing drugstore, a government notice warned that the authorities would “continue to step up enforcement and make every effort to curb the excessive and rapid rise in protective enforcement prices.”

Surgical masks have become so much in demand that a website advertising more fashionable versions of them warns that deliveries are at risk of being delayed.

China’s Supreme People’s Court, the country’s highest judicial body, on Tuesday posted an essay on its social media accounts defending a group of Wuhan residents who shared information about the outbreak and were subsequently accused of “spreading rumors” by the city’s police force.

The essay does not carry the weight of an official ruling but served as a rare rebuke of the police by the country’s courts. The essay seemed to suggest that the ruling Communist Party was concerned that local officials would attempt to cover up their own failings at the risk of worsening the outbreak.

According to Chinese news reports, among those approached by the police was a doctor who in December posted a message on WeChat, a social media platform, warning of a SARS outbreak that had sickened at least seven people, and which originated at a seafood market in Wuhan.

SARS, or severe acute respiratory illness, was a coronavirus that rapidly spread across China in 2003 and killed 774 people in 17 countries. The Wuhan virus was later determined to be a different disease, the new coronavirus.

The court said the initial information shared by the doctor was wrong, but “not completely fabricated” and called on the local authorities to be more tolerant of whistle-blowers who share information without malicious intent.

Even if people believed the “rumors,” the court said, the public would only have taken precautions that “better prevent and control the novel pneumonia.”

Scientists are working quickly to develop a vaccine capable of stopping the new coronavirus.

Government scientists in China, the United States and Australia, as well as those working at Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Therapeutics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals are all engaged.

The hunt began Jan. 10, when Chinese scientists posted the genetic makeup of the virus on a public database. The next morning, researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center in Maryland went to work. Within hours, they had pinpointed the parts of the genetic code that could be used to make a vaccine.

Historically, vaccines have been one of the greatest public health tools to prevent disease. But even as technology, genomics and global coordination have all improved, allowing researchers to move at top speed, vaccine development remains an expensive and risky process.

As the death toll from the mysterious coronavirus in China keeps rising, economic analysts have counseled caution. They say it’s too soon to sound the alarm about the impact on the world economy.

And yet, some American companies with a big presence in China are being forced to adapt. Starbucks, for example, announced on Tuesday that it was temporarily closing half of its stores there.

“The magnitude of the impact will depend on the duration of store closures as we work with local authorities to manage the situation and protect our partners and customers,” Pat Grismer, its chief financial officer, said during an earnings call.

Starbucks isn’t alone. Also shuttering shops were McDonald’s and Yum China, the country’s largest restaurant company, which operates the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands in China and also controls its own brands.

China’s travel restrictions and expanding screenings at airports around the world have also hurt business. American Airlines stock fell more than 5 percent on Tuesday.

Hotels and resorts with properties in the affected areas, which include Macau, a special administrative region and gambling mecca, also saw the value of their shares sink. They include Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts International.

Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton, which have several properties in China, also saw their stock prices slide.

Other brands that are popular in China, like Estee Lauder, Nike and Tapestry, which sells Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, are likely to see a dent in earnings, bank analysts said.

China is the world’s second largest economy.

Reporting was contributed by Chris Buckley, Russell Goldman, Elaine Yu, Raymond Zhong, Austin Ramzy, Alexandra Stevenson, Sui-Li Wee, Miriam Jordan, Paul Mozur, Knvul Sheikh, Katie Thomas, James Gorman, Motoko Rich, Ben Dooley, Makiko Inoue, Eimi Yamamitsu, Patricia Cohen and Donald G. McNeil Jr. Zoe Mou, Albee Zhang, Amber Wang, Yiwei Wang and Claire Fu contributed research.

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Player Wearing Kobe’s Number Hits Winning Shot To Cheers Of ‘Kobe!’

Westlake Legal Group 5e31b4451f00000d0a8598a5 Player Wearing Kobe’s Number Hits Winning Shot To Cheers Of ‘Kobe!’

A basketball game tribute to Kobe Bryant took an electrifying form in Chandler, Arizona, on Tuesday.

A player wearing Bryant’s No. 24, cheered on by chants of “Kobe!,” hit the winning shot in a high school basketball game. And the gym erupted. (See the clip below.)

ESPN replayed the moment in a Bryant tribute on SportsCenter, Basha noted on its website.

Since the Lakers legend was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday along with eight others, players have found creative ways of honoring him.

NBA athletes intentionally committed 8-second and 24-second clock violations to pay tribute to the icon, who wore the numbers 8 and 24 in his career. The homage was borrowed Tuesday night by LeBron James Jr. and Sierra Canyon high school teammates against Campbell Hall. James slammed home a thunderous dunk to punctuate the evening while his dad watched.

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Discussion Thread: Senate Impeachment Trial – Day 9: Senator Questions – Day 1 | 01/29/2020 – Live, 1pm EST

Today the Senate Impeachment Trial of President Donald Trump continues with the first Session of Senator questions. The full Senate is now afforded a 16 hour period of time, spread over two days, to submit questions regarding Impeachment. Questions will be submitted to the House Managers or Trump’s defense team in writing, through Chief Justice Roberts, and will alternate between parties. The Senate session is scheduled to begin at 1pm EST.

Prosecuting the House’s case will be a team of seven Democratic House Managers, named by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff of California. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, are expected to take the lead in arguing the President’s case. Kenneth Star and Alan Dershowitz are expected to fill supporting roles.

The Senate Impeachment Trial is following the Rules Resolution that was voted on, and passed, on Monday. It provides the guideline for how the trial is handled. All proposed amendments from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were voted down.

The adopted Resolution will:

  • Give the House Impeachment Managers 24 hours, over a 3 day period, to present opening arguments.

  • Give President Trump’s legal team 24 hours, over a 3 day period, to present opening arguments.

  • Allow a period of 16 hours for Senator questions, to be addressed through Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

  • Allow for a vote on a motion to consider the subpoena of witnesses or documents once opening arguments and questions are complete.


The Articles of Impeachment brought against President Donald Trump are:


You can watch or listen to the proceedings live, via the links below:

You can also listen online via:


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Researchers Are Racing to Make a Coronavirus Vaccine. Will It Help?

Westlake Legal Group 28VIRUS-VACCINE2-facebookJumbo Researchers Are Racing to Make a Coronavirus Vaccine. Will It Help? Zika Virus your-feed-healthcare Vaccination and Immunization University of Queensland SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) national institutes of health Moderna Therapeutics MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) Johnson&Johnson Inovio Pharmaceuticals Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations Clinical Trials

In the early days of January, as cases of a strange, pneumonia-like illness were reported in China, researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland readied themselves to hunt for a vaccine to prevent the new disease.

They had clues that a coronavirus, similar to ones that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003 and MERS in 2012, was the culprit. Dr. Barney Graham, deputy director of the Vaccine Research Center at the N.I.H, urged government scientists in China to share the genetic makeup of the virus so his team could begin its race to develop a vaccine.

On Friday, Jan. 10, the Chinese scientists posted the information on a public database. The next morning, Dr. Graham’s team was in the lab. And within hours, they had pinpointed the letters of the genetic code that could be used to make a vaccine.

Scientists in Australia and at least three companies — Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Therapeutics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals — are also working on vaccine candidates to stop the spread of the disease, which has infected about 6,000 people and killed more than 130.

“Everybody is trying to move as quickly as possible,” said Jacqueline Shea, the chief operating officer at Inovio.

Inovio received a grant of up to $9 million to develop a coronavirus vaccine from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a group whose aim is to speed vaccines to market. Moderna, which is working with Dr. Graham’s team at the N.I.H., received a similar grant, as did researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Historically, vaccines have been one of the greatest public health tools to prevent disease. But even as new technology, advancements in genomics and improved global coordination have allowed researchers to move at unprecedented speed, vaccine development remains an expensive and risky process. It takes months and even years because the vaccines must undergo extensive testing in animals and humans. In the best case, it takes at least a year — and most likely longer — for any vaccine to become available to the public.

“They may not help in the very early stages of an outbreak, but if we’re able to develop vaccines in time, they will be an asset later,” said Richard Hatchett, the chief executive of the epidemic preparedness coalition.

With each new outbreak, scientists typically have to start from scratch. After the SARS outbreak in 2003, it took researchers about 20 months from the release of the viral genome to get a vaccine ready for human trials. By the time an epidemic caused by the Zika virus occurred in 2015, researchers had brought the timeline down to six months. Now, they hope the joint efforts will cut that time in half.

The morning after the Chinese scientists published their data earlier this month, Dr. Graham’s team got to work checking the sequence and comparing it with what they already had for SARS and MERS. They wanted to focus on the spike protein, which forms the crown of the coronavirus and recognizes receptors, or entry points, on a host cell.

“If you can block the spike protein from binding to a cell, then you’ve effectively prevented an infection,” said Kizzmekia Corbett, the scientific lead for Dr. Graham’s coronavirus team.

Dr. Corbett and others had studied the spike proteins on SARS and MERS viruses in detail, using them to develop experimental vaccines. The vaccines never made it to market because SARS was successfully contained with public health measures before the vaccine was ready and preliminary human trials for the MERS vaccine showed success last year.

But the scientists had a method for developing vaccines that could help them fast-track production for the new coronavirus. They used the template for the SARS vaccine and swapped in just enough genetic code that would make it work for the new virus. “I call it plug and play,” Dr. Corbett said.

Within a few hours, Dr. Corbett was able to prepare the modified sequence that the researchers needed. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, the team held a conference call to discuss the next steps with collaborators in labs across the country, and sent off the sequence to Moderna.

Scientists at the company plan to use the genetic information to create synthetic messenger RNA, which carries instructions for cells’ protein-making machinery. The technology will help induce high levels of antibodies that can identify the spike protein and fight off an infection.

Once Moderna manufactures the messenger RNA in a few weeks, the N.I.H. will run more tests, Dr. Corbett said. Collaborators in academic labs will then test the vaccine in mice infected with the virus and check blood samples from the animals to see how well the experimental vaccine worked.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the N.I.H., who oversees Dr. Graham’s team, said he expected the vaccine research to move quickly.

“If we don’t run into any unforeseen obstacles, we’ll be able to get a Phase 1 trial going within the next three months, which will be record speed,” he said, referring to early human trials that test for safety.

Other researchers are using different methods to develop their vaccines.

Inovio, which is also developing a vaccine for MERS, uses a DNA-based technology. Johnson & Johnson delivers vaccines through adenoviruses — which can cause coldlike symptoms but have been made harmless. And researchers at the University of Queensland are testing particles that mimic the structure of a virus.

“We don’t know which vaccine approach will be successful at this stage, so we have to try everything in our arsenal,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

In interviews, company executives said that partnerships with governments and philanthropic foundations were essential to developing vaccines for outbreaks because there are so many uncertainties.

Dr. Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson’s chief scientific officer, estimated it could take eight to 12 months before his company’s vaccines reach human clinical trials. By then, it is possible the coronavirus outbreak will have been contained. Testing of Johnson & Johnson’s Zika vaccine is currently halted, he said, because new outbreaks of the disease have slowed.

“You have to be brave and you have to be a solid company to do this, because there is no real incentive to do this, no financial incentive,” he said.

Stéphane Bancel, the chief executive of Moderna, said vaccines were necessary, even if an outbreak wanes, because it could always return. “I think it’s important to be prepared,” he said.

Experts believe that the frequency of outbreaks will only increase because of climate change, urbanization and global travel, among other factors.

“We probably need to start thinking about putting in a special infrastructure for coronavirus infections the same way we have for the flu,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, who is co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and was involved in the production of a SARS vaccine that may be repurposed for the new coronavirus. The detection and monitoring of infections, as well as the development of vaccines, will put an insurance policy in place for future outbreaks, he said.

“We’re just starting to realize that the power of vaccines goes way beyond public health,” he said. “They are also critical to the global economy and global security.”

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John Bolton Likes Tweet Saying Trump Should ‘Fire the Moron Who Hired John Bolton’

Westlake Legal Group D4_jfCk65qc5Yvag52YBGF2jhICrwhxlsU34ZdnJP3U John Bolton Likes Tweet Saying Trump Should ‘Fire the Moron Who Hired John Bolton’ r/politics

Bolton is a warmonger and ideological zealot. But he’s also a Yale-educated lawyer, skilled and battle-seasoned bureaucratic operator, as well as a prolific notetaker.

The fact that Bolton is aggressively wrong on the policy merits regarding things like Iran doesn’t mean he isn’t credible as a witness to what transpired right in front of him, which is what Donald’s attacks are meant to suggest.

You can be utterly wrong on the substantive question of what would best serve the national interest and yet have enough personal integrity—or at least a keenly-attuned sense of self-preservation—to refuse to participate in or enable an amateurish extortion scheme by Donald and his bestpeople to serve Donald’s personal interests.

Anyone with half a brain knew this was virtually certain to explode down the line. Bolton covered his ass and got his subordinates to paper it by talking to the lawyers. Beyond that, actions such as liking this tweet suggest to me that Bolton might find Donald’s corruption offensive to his ideological principles. I’m fascinated by that because it’s a motivation that amoral, unprincipled Donald cannot even begin to comprehend.

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Jessica Simpson calls disastrous Ellen DeGeneres 2017 interview ‘a weak moment for me’

Westlake Legal Group simpson Jessica Simpson calls disastrous Ellen DeGeneres 2017 interview 'a weak moment for me' Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/person/ellen-degeneres fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1992185a-adb2-5fda-92ae-b564d9f1ef15

When Jessica Simpson appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2017, fans grew concerned about her bizarre behavior and questioned if she was drunk. The now-sober mother of three admits she cannot rewatch the footage of the disastrous interview because it serves as a reminder of her alcohol abuse.

Simpson, 39, is amping up for the release of her memoir, “Open Book,” out Feb. 4. The book features the most intimate moments in her life including sexual abuse she experienced as a child, developing a drinking problem, turning to diet pills at a young age and her former marriage to Nick Lachey.

JESSICA SIMPSON’S SHOCKING TELL-ALL MEMOIR: 5 THINGS WE LEARNED

On Wednesday, the singer appeared on “Today” to talk about her tell-all with Hoda Kotb, where the two ended up discussing Simpson’s interview with DeGeneres in May 2017, at the height of her drinking problem. During the interview, Simpson struggled to remember how long she had been married to her husband, Eric Johnson, and strangely blurted out that she had “38” new songs, which she then corrected to “36” songs, and then “39.”

“I knew that I wasn’t present,” Simpson told Kotb. “I knew that something was off.”

Simpson admitted she “can’t even watch” the footage now.

JESSICA SIMPSON TALKS MOTHERHOOD, SAYS HAVING 3 YOUNG CHILDREN IS ‘NO JOKE’

“It was a weak moment for me and I wasn’t in the right place,” Simpson said. “I had started a spiral and I couldn’t catch up with myself. That was when I was with alcohol.”

Simpson admits in the book that she was sexually abused by a young female family friend beginning at age 6, which spurred her past substance abuse. In her book, she reportedly writes that she was “killing” herself with alcohol and pills.

Her “aha” moment came later in 2017, when she was too “zoned out” on Halloween to help her kids get ready for a party.

“I was just dazed and confused and I just wanted to go to sleep,” Simpson told Kotb about the memory. “I didn’t show up for my family. I took the [Halloween] picture and I made the world think I showed up.”

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After that day, Simpson said she turned to friends for help and ditched drinking.

“Giving up the alcohol was easy. I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb,” she writes in the book.

Simpson and Johnson have been married since 2014 and share daughters Maxwell, 7, Birdie, 10 months, and son, Ace, 6.

Westlake Legal Group simpson Jessica Simpson calls disastrous Ellen DeGeneres 2017 interview 'a weak moment for me' Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/person/ellen-degeneres fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1992185a-adb2-5fda-92ae-b564d9f1ef15   Westlake Legal Group simpson Jessica Simpson calls disastrous Ellen DeGeneres 2017 interview 'a weak moment for me' Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/person/ellen-degeneres fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1992185a-adb2-5fda-92ae-b564d9f1ef15

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49ers owner Jed York reflects on death of Kobe Bryant and brother’s suicide

Westlake Legal Group kobe-cropped-301am 49ers owner Jed York reflects on death of Kobe Bryant and brother's suicide Joshua Nelson fox-news/sports fox-news/person/kobe-bryant fox-news/newsedge/sports fox-news/news-events/super-bowl fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/genres/morning-shows fox news fnc/sports fnc article 07e4c157-d25f-5bc4-99bc-e55d7ccded61

Ahead of Super Bowl LIV, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York reflected Wednesday on NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s tragic death, saying he hopes his team will “make the most of the moment” as the sports world honors Bryant’s legacy.

“I lost my brother. He died by suicide a little over a year ago and that’s something that’s really stuck with me and that’s something that our team has really looked at and I think we always try to take it one day at a time and make the most of it,” York said on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria.”

The last of the nine bodies were recovered Tuesday from the wreckage of a helicopter crash that killed Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and eight others on Sunday, according to investigators.

SUPER BOWL LIV’S HIGHEST-PAID PLAYERS ON NINERS, CHIEFS

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and six other passengers were killed, along with the pilot, when the chartered Sikorsky S-76B plowed into a fog-shrouded hillside in Calabasas, Calif. The retired NBA star was on his way to a youth basketball tournament in which Gianna was playing.

KOBE BRYANT HELICOPTER CRASH: ALL 9 BODIES RECOVERED FROM WRECKAGE, INVESTIGATORS SAY

“When you look at Kobe, that passes well before his time and his daughter and the other young children that were on that crash, I don’t really have words … To say that your heart [is] broken, I don’t even think begins to cover it,” York said.

Super Bowl LIV will be played Feb. 2 in Miami. Las Vegas oddsmakers have made Kansas City a slight one-point favorite in the game.

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Fox News’ Frank Miles contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group maria 49ers owner Jed York reflects on death of Kobe Bryant and brother's suicide Joshua Nelson fox-news/sports fox-news/person/kobe-bryant fox-news/newsedge/sports fox-news/news-events/super-bowl fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/genres/morning-shows fox news fnc/sports fnc article 07e4c157-d25f-5bc4-99bc-e55d7ccded61   Westlake Legal Group maria 49ers owner Jed York reflects on death of Kobe Bryant and brother's suicide Joshua Nelson fox-news/sports fox-news/person/kobe-bryant fox-news/newsedge/sports fox-news/news-events/super-bowl fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/genres/morning-shows fox news fnc/sports fnc article 07e4c157-d25f-5bc4-99bc-e55d7ccded61

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