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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 347)

Trump says Soleimani was planning ‘imminent and sinister attacks,’ defends airstrike

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119497074001_6119495852001-vs Trump says Soleimani was planning 'imminent and sinister attacks,' defends airstrike fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 29b232af-02bc-5f69-98fd-e9cfb0b582d2

President Trump accused Iranian military general Qassem Soleimani of planning “imminent and sinister attacks” in his first televised remarks since the deadly airstrike that killed the general in Baghdad.

“We took action last night to stop a war,” Trump said during brief remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. “We did not take action to start a war.”

…Developing….

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119497074001_6119495852001-vs Trump says Soleimani was planning 'imminent and sinister attacks,' defends airstrike fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 29b232af-02bc-5f69-98fd-e9cfb0b582d2   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119497074001_6119495852001-vs Trump says Soleimani was planning 'imminent and sinister attacks,' defends airstrike fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 29b232af-02bc-5f69-98fd-e9cfb0b582d2

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Sanders ascendant, Klobuchar on the move one month out from Iowa caucuses

With exactly one month to go until the Iowa caucuses kick off the presidential primary and caucus nominating calendar on Feb. 3, Sen. Bernie Sanders is on a roll.

“With your help, we can win here in Iowa. I’m feeling very good about Iowa. If we win here in Iowa, that we have an excellent chance to win in New Hampshire,” the populist firebrand from Vermont forecast during a campaign event Thursday night in Muscatine, Iowa.

SANDERS UNVEILS MASSIVE FUNDRAISING HAUL

Still, it’s a crowded race for the top spot.

Sanders, who appears to have surged in recent weeks, stands at 20 percent support in the Real Clear Politics polling average of the most recent Democratic caucus public opinion polls in Iowa, a slight 2 percentage points behind former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Former Vice President Joe Biden stands at 19 percent in the average, and at 16 percent is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts – who along with Sanders is the other progressive standard-bearer in the still-large Democratic nomination field.

Sanders, the independent progressive senator, has seen his poll numbers rise both nationally and in Iowa and New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first presidential primary eight days after Iowa’s caucuses. And on Thursday, Sanders announced he raised a massive $34.5 million the past three months – by far the biggest quarterly fundraising haul by any of the Democratic White House hopefuls.

“The Bernie folks are smarter and better than they were four years ago,” said longtime Iowa-based Democratic strategist and communications consultant Jeff Link, who’s a veteran of numerous White House and Senate campaigns. “They were the big innovators four years ago. I think they’re being innovative again this time around.”

Westlake Legal Group 1st-aa-bernie-iowa Sanders ascendant, Klobuchar on the move one month out from Iowa caucuses 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/pete-buttigieg 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 cf4a59e3-0621-58ea-a40d-ec777ba6ecf5 article

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont speaks with reporters in Des Moines, Iowa on Dec. 31, 2019

Warren’s seen her poll numbers nationally and in Iowa and New Hampshire deteriorate the past two months – and on Friday she reported raising $21.2 million the past three months, a dip from her July-September third-quarter fundraising haul.

But Warren has something to lean on in Iowa – plenty of boots on the ground in a state where grassroots organization is crucial.

“She’s had the strongest organization of anyone for the longest amount of time,” Link spotlighted. “But there is a real advantage to having the biggest and the best organization the earliest, so that’s something she can rely on.”

WARREN ENDS 2019 WITH DIP IN FUNDRAISING

Buttigieg has also heavily invested in Iowa.

He staffed up later than Warren – but Link said, “He came in heavy.”

Making his pitch to Iowa voters, Buttigieg said Thursday in an opinion piece in the Des Moines Register that “traveling throughout Iowa this year, I’ve met workers facing rising costs and stagnant wages. Farmers are paying the price of a reckless trade war.”

And he emphasized that “what I’ve seen in Iowa has made me a better candidate, and it will make me a better president.”

With the clock ticking, Biden went up with two TV commercials on Iowa airwaves on Friday.

Speaking with voters in Manchester, Iowa, on Thursday evening, the former vice president reminded the crowd that “you really do you have a big responsibility because you decide who comes out of the gate. You decide who has the best shot of ultimately becoming the nominee for the Democratic Party.”

Because Biden didn’t declare his candidacy until late April, he was a bit slower in deploying a campaign team in Iowa compared to Warren and Sanders, but he now at full strength for the final push.

She’s not part of the top-tier in Iowa, but Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s knocking on the door.

The senator from neighboring Minnesota has seen her star rise in recent months, thanks to a recent well-received presidential primary debate performance. And she’s seen her poll numbers in Iowa edge up to the upper single digits. On Friday, Klobuchar also announced hauling in $11.4 million the past three months, her best quarterly fundraising report to date.

Campaigning in Johnston, Iowa, on Thursday, the senator told voters at her event that they’re the “guardian angels of our democracy.”

Klobuchar’s been heavily concentrating on Iowa and finished hitting all of the state’s 99 counties just before Christmas. On Friday she went up with a new TV spot in the state.

“She’s got a little wind in her sails right now,” Link stressed.

Also spending a considerable amount of time in Iowa in recent months: tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

All of these candidates are making their pitches to persuadable Iowa Democrats. As with voters in New Hampshire, polls suggest that many caucus-goers in the Hawkeye State remain undecided or willing to change their mind in the month to go until caucus day.

For the first time, Iowa will provide some caucusing via satellite, to allow people who can’t make it to their in-person precinct caucus locations on the night of Monday, Feb. 3. Iowa Democrats have been applying to hold these satellite caucuses at places like factories, firehouses, group homes or community gathering places. The new option should help shift workers, Iowans with disabilities and those serving overseas take part.

As of two weeks ago, roughly 99 locations had been approved – including 25 outside the state.

But Link said that organization still matters, emphasizing that “if you want to win the Iowa caucuses you’ve got to get your people to turn up on a Monday night” in the middle of a what will likely be a cold Hawkeye State winter.

Fox News’ Andrew Craft, Kelly Phares, Andres Del Aguila and Allie Raffa contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118167301001_6118167407001-vs Sanders ascendant, Klobuchar on the move one month out from Iowa caucuses 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/pete-buttigieg 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 cf4a59e3-0621-58ea-a40d-ec777ba6ecf5 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118167301001_6118167407001-vs Sanders ascendant, Klobuchar on the move one month out from Iowa caucuses 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/pete-buttigieg 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 cf4a59e3-0621-58ea-a40d-ec777ba6ecf5 article

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Iranian General Traveled With Impunity, Until U.S. Drones Found Him

WASHINGTON — One night in January 2007, American Special Operations commandos tracked a notorious adversary driving in a convoy from Iran into northern Iraq: Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s top security and intelligence commander.

But the Americans held their fire, and General Suleimani slipped away into the darkness.

Video

transcript

Video Shows Aftermath of U.S. Strike That Killed Top Iran Commander

President Trump authorized the attack early Friday at Baghdad International Airport that killed Iran’s top security and intelligence commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

Suleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel. But we caught him in the act. We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_166605342_bb1d07c1-25be-4a96-8815-857e98b24a47-videoSixteenByNine3000 Iranian General Traveled With Impunity, Until U.S. Drones Found Him United States Special Operations Command Trump, Donald J Terrorism Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Defense and Military Forces central intelligence agency Baghdad (Iraq)

President Trump authorized the attack early Friday at Baghdad International Airport that killed Iran’s top security and intelligence commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.CreditCredit…Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg News

“To avoid a firefight, and the contentious politics that would follow, I decided that we should monitor the caravan, not strike immediately,” Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the head of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command, recalled in an article last year.

But early Friday, an American MQ-9 Reaper drone from General McChrystal’s former command — operating under President Trump’s orders — fired missiles into a convoy carrying General Suleimani as it was leaving Baghdad’s international airport. What remained unclear is why Mr. Trump chose this moment to strike the top military leader of Iran, after two presidents before him opted not to do so, out of concern that killing the general could incite a wider war with Iran.

Westlake Legal Group iraq-embassy-baghdad-airport-attack-1578026455663-articleLarge-v6 Iranian General Traveled With Impunity, Until U.S. Drones Found Him United States Special Operations Command Trump, Donald J Terrorism Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Defense and Military Forces central intelligence agency Baghdad (Iraq)

Maps: How the Confrontation Between the U.S. and Iran Escalated

Here’s how the situation developed over the last eight days.

National security experts and even officials at the Pentagon said there was nothing new about Iranian behavior in recent months or even weeks; General Suleimani has been accused of prodding Shiite militias into attacking Americans for more than a decade. American officials have also blamed him, for more than a decade, of working with organizations in other countries, like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Israel as well as the Houthis in Yemen, to attack American allies and interests.

Senior Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, repeatedly said on Friday that new attacks under General Suleimani’s leadership were imminent.

But one Defense Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning, said that there was nothing new in the threat presented by the Iranian general.

And critics of the strike questioned whether its timing was meant to influence public opinion as Mr. Trump faces impeachment.

On Thursday night, around the time of the strike on General Suleimani, a Special Operations unit based in the United States boarded transport aircraft bound for the Middle East, one Defense Department official said. The deployment of the elite Army Rangers is the latest group of troops sent to the region. This week, the Pentagon readied 4,000 paratroopers based at Fort Bragg, N.C., for a similar security mission to Kuwait. They are to depart in coming days, joining 750 troops already deployed, officials said.

Tracking General Suleimani’s location had long been a priority for the American and Israeli spy services and militaries, especially when he was in Iraq.

General Suleimani often traveled with an air of impunity, as if he felt he was untouchable, officials said. One former senior American commander recalled parking his military jet next to General Suleimani’s plane at the Erbil airport in northern Iraq.

Current and former American commanders and intelligence officials said that Friday morning’s attack drew specifically upon a combination of information from secret informants, electronic intercepts, reconnaissance aircraft and other surveillance tools.

The highly classified mission to locate and strike General Suleimani was set in motion after the death of an American contractor last Friday, according to senior American officials. The military’s Special Operations Command spent the next several days looking for an opportunity to strike. An option provided, and eventually approved, was dependent on General Suleimani’s arrival at Baghdad International Airport. If he was met by Iraqi officials, one American official said, the strike would be called off. But, the official said, it was a “clean party,” and the strike was approved.

Mr. Trump’s decision to kill General Suleimani was one that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had rejected, fearing it would lead to war.

General McChrystal praised Mr. Trump’s decision to do so.

“The targeting was appropriate given Suleimani’s very public role in orchestrating Iranian attacks on the U.S. and our allies,” he said in an email.

But the general added a somber warning: “We can’t consider this as an isolated action. As with all such actions it will impact the dynamics of the region, and Iran will likely feel compelled to respond in kind.

“There is the potential for a stair-step escalation of attacks, and we must think several moves ahead to determine how far we will take this — and what the new level of conflict we are prepared to engage in,” he said.

American military officials said they were aware that Iran or its proxy forces potentially could respond violently, and were taking steps to protect American personnel in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world. They declined to provide details.

“I can only hope that embassies and consulates across the region were put on heightened alert in the last 48 hours or more,” said Barbara A. Leaf, a former United States ambassador to the United Arab Emirates who is now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“That said, I would be surprised to see the Iranians respond quickly to this,” she said. “Once the regime has recovered from its initial shock, it will take its time plotting reprisals. And reprisals there will be, most likely in Iraq first. But our gulf partners should worry as well — assassinations, strikes on shipping and energy infrastructure.”

In the end, General Suleimani’s brazenness may have been his undoing. Unlike terrorist leaders like Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, General Suleimani often operated in the open.

“Suleimani was treated like royalty, and was not particularly hard to find,” said Marc Polymeropoulos, a former senior C.I.A. operations officer with extensive counterterrorism experience overseas who retired last year. “Suleimani absolutely felt untouchable, particularly in Iraq. He took selfies of himself on the battlefield and openly taunted the U.S., because he felt safe in doing so.”

General Suleimani wanted to show that he could be anywhere and everywhere, the American official said, adding that he knew he could be a target but was obsessed with his image and could prove he had his hand in everything.

A senior American official said that the administration’s hope was that the killing of General Suleimani would force Iran to back down after months of assertive behavior, much as Tehran backed down from rapidly escalating hostilities during the oil tanker wars of the 1980s.

The officials said there was worry among the president’s senior advisers that Mr. Trump has indicated so many times that he did not want a war with Iran that Tehran had become persuaded the United States would not act forcibly.

But the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the killing of Mr. Suleimani was a huge risk for Mr. Trump and could just as likely prompt an outsize reaction from both Iran and Iraq.

“Iran has a lot of levers to pull too,” warned Derek Chollet, who served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration. “So much for ending ‘endless wars.’ ”

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U.S. Manufacturing Slumps as Trade War Damage Lingers

Westlake Legal Group merlin_160827738_341f1f8e-5768-4cb0-938a-38bfdac4282d-facebookJumbo U.S. Manufacturing Slumps as Trade War Damage Lingers United States International Relations United States Economy International Trade and World Market Factories and Manufacturing Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff)

WASHINGTON — American manufacturing activity contracted last month more than it had in a decade, data released Friday showed, a sign that economic damage from President Trump’s trade war could linger even after the United States and China sign an initial trade deal.

An index published by the Institute for Supply Management dropped to 47.2 in December, the lowest reading since June 2009, and the fifth straight month of contraction. A reading below 50 indicates the manufacturing sector is contracting.

The lackluster manufacturing data came amid growing concerns that Mr. Trump’s recent truce with China may only partially relieve economic damage from a prolonged trade war. Mr. Trump said Tuesday that the United States and China would sign an initial trade deal at the White House on Jan. 15, and that talks for a second-phase deal would begin “at a later date.”

The agreement will provide some relief to manufacturers and other businesses rocked by trade uncertainty, but it leaves the vast majority of Mr. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods in place. As a result, American manufacturers and other businesses that import parts and components from China will continue to pay higher costs to procure the materials used in their products.

“The premise that the manufacturing slump is over because of the phase-one deal is misguided,” Gregory Daco, the chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, wrote in emailed remarks. “Trade uncertainty remains elevated with tariffs on two thirds of our imports from China, global activity remains soft, and the dollar remains strong.”

Mr. Daco added that “these headwinds will continue to restrain manufacturing output in 2020.”

Markets slumped as an American airstrike on an Iranian military commander also raised fears of escalating tensions in the Middle East. The S&P 500 was down 0.5 percent shortly after 1:30 p.m. Oil prices rose. Brent crude, the global crude oil benchmark, jumped 3 percent to more than $68 a barrel.

Federal Reserve officials discussed manufacturing weakness at their final meeting of 2019, according to minutes released Friday. “Manufacturing production appeared likely to remain soft in coming months, reflecting generally weak readings on new orders from national and regional manufacturing surveys, declining domestic business investment, slow economic growth abroad, and a persistent drag from trade developments,” the Fed said.

Mr. Trump has made reviving United States manufacturing his central economic mission, and the president embarked on a global trade war to help rewrite deals that he says put American workers at a disadvantage. Over the past two years, Mr. Trump has imposed tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods and placed levies on foreign steel and aluminum, washing machines and solar panels.

But American manufacturing has stalled, damaged by the trade war, global economic weakness and a strong dollar, which makes American goods more expensive to purchase overseas. Since late 2018, factory output in the United States has slumped and new employment in the sector has leveled off.

The weakness in American factories has cooled the overall economy, which grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the third quarter. But consumer spending, which accounts for a much larger proportion of the American economy, has remained robust.

“I think what we’re kind of finding is that the economy can continue to expand with a modest contraction in the manufacturing sector at the moment,” Charles Evans, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said in an interview on CNBC Friday. “The consumer is playing a strong role.”

Economists had hoped that the sector might rebound following the trade truce with China and the resolution of a major strike at General Motors in October. But the manufacturers who responded to ISM’s December survey said that export orders remained weak last month and that uncertainty on the trade front had discouraged companies from increasing their production.

“The manufacturing recession continues,” Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a note to clients. “The trade war is the only realistic explanation.”

He added, “The Phase One trade deal leaves 25% tariffs on imported Chinese capital and intermediate goods in place, and we see little chance of a comprehensive trade deal to remove them before November’s election.”

Mr. Trump and his supporters have insisted that the tariffs are necessary to protect American industry against unfair Chinese practices, including the forced transfer of American technology and illegal subsidies to Chinese firms. The administration argues that China’s practices have put American companies at a disadvantage and that tariffs can help level the playing field.

Jeff Ferry, the chief economist at the Coalition for a Prosperous America, a trade group that supports the tariffs, said that the levies were achieving the administration’s goals. “They are supporting the sectors targeted, they are addressing national security issues, and they are increasing our independence from Chinese imports,” he said.

But many economists argue that the protective benefits of tariffs have been outweighed by other negative effects. For example, tariffs make any products that manufacturers purchase from abroad more expensive, increasing costs for American businesses and potentially making American products less competitive when sold overseas.

Tariffs have offered American companies some protection from Chinese imports, allowing them to gain a greater share of business in the United States, according to a study released Dec. 23 by two economists at the Federal Reserve, Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce. But those positive effects of tariffs are more than offset by the negative effects of the trade war, including the higher prices companies must pay to import components from China, and the retaliatory tariffs China placed on the United States in response, the economists said.

The researchers also found that the American manufacturing industries that are most exposed to tariff increases have shed more jobs compared with industries that are less exposed, though they do not find that the tariffs had a strong effect on industrial production.

Some might argue that the negative effects of tariffs are warranted if they protect the manufacturing sector, but the findings suggest the tariffs increased producer prices without raising manufacturing employment or output.

“While the longer-term effects of the tariffs may differ from those that we estimate here, the results indicate that the tariffs, thus far, have not led to increased activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector,” the economists said.

So far, tariffs imposed to protect the American metal and washing machine industries have had a mixed effect. In the steel industry, for instance, the protection against imports helped prompt United States producers to invest billions of dollars in new facilities that they hope will be more efficient.

But the price of steel plunged, in part as a result of lower demand from manufacturers, putting pressure on the steel makers. In December, United States Steel said it was going to indefinitely idle most of a mill near Detroit. Some 1,500 workers from the facility got layoff notices. U.S. Steel also cut its capital spending forecast for this year, to $875 million from $950 million.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president, Robert Kaplan, said that economists at his branch expected some “stabilization” in manufacturing in 2020, though they still expect the sector to look “sluggish.”

Asked whether a significantly weaker manufacturing sector would necessitate additional interest rate cuts — beyond the three moves that the Fed made in 2019 — Mr. Kaplan said, “It depends on what else is going on,” adding that he has been looking at factories along with weak global growth and business investment.

“Is that weakness sufficient to seep into other parts of the economy?” he said in an interview. “The jury is out on that right now, but my best judgment is — assuming we don’t get new trade news that’s negative — that we’ve got a chance to see some stabilization, and when you combine that with a solid consumer, we could have a solid year of growth in 2020.”

Thomas Barkin, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, said in prepared remarks delivered in Baltimore on Friday that the calming policy-related tensions could help the economy.

“Business investment is an area I watch closely, and that I do worry about,” he said. “Between Brexit, the Middle East, immigration and the ongoing negotiations with China — to name just a few — it’s been a roller coaster both here and abroad.”

“In my view, the biggest boost to our economy would come from lessening the uncertainty and lowering the volume,” he said. “I’m hopeful recent events will lessen uncertainty and build confidence.”

Ana Swanson reported from Washington, and Jeanna Smialek from San Diego. Alan Rappeport contributed reporting from Washington, and Peter Eavis and Matt Phillips from New York.

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Tesla Reports Record Output as Elon Musk Achieves Goal

Westlake Legal Group 03tesla-facebookJumbo Tesla Reports Record Output as Elon Musk Achieves Goal Tesla Motors Inc Musk, Elon Factories and Manufacturing Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Company Reports

Tesla on Friday said that it had produced over 100,000 vehicles and delivered even more in the fourth quarter of 2019, meeting a goal it had laid out to investors and ending the year on stronger footing than it began.

In a statement, the electric-vehicle maker said it delivered 112,000 cars in the final three months of last year and produced a record 104,891, showing healthy demand as it continues to focus on global growth.

“When you deliver more cars than you produce, you get into your bank more cash than you spent,” said Pierre Ferragu, an analyst with New Street Research. He said that would enable Tesla to continue its expansion, including its manufacturing presence in China, where cars are beginning to roll off a Shanghai assembly line.

Mr. Ferragu estimated that Tesla delivered about 60,000 vehicles in North America and 52,000 internationally in the fourth quarter. The company did not provide a breakdown.

Friday’s figures put Tesla’s total deliveries for 2019 at 367,500, which the company said was 50 percent more than in 2018. It had forecast deliveries of 360,000 to 400,000 for the year, and analysts say that the company could deliver as many as half a million vehicles in 2020.

The news caps a volatile year for Tesla, which turned a corner in the second half of 2019 after the strain of a $1.1 billion loss in the first half. After falling as low as $177 in June, the company’s stock price started to soar in late October, when Tesla reported a third-quarter profit. The stock closed Thursday at $430.26 and rose more than 3 percent after the announcement Friday, briefly reaching a new high, even as the overall market declined.

The share price last week surpassed a milestone of $420. It was at that price that Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, said in 2018 that he had “funding secured” to take the company private. The deal turned out to be less solid than Mr. Musk had made it seem, attracting the scrutiny of federal regulators and resulting in his stepping down as chairman.

Expectations for the year ahead are mixed. Some analysts predict Tesla’s stock will rise above $500 because of increasing interest in electric vehicles and the company’s strong recent performance. Others say the company is greatly overvalued.

By most accounts, however, Tesla underwent a difficult yet successful evolution in the last year as it ramped up production and sales of its less-expensive Model 3, shifting away from its larger and lower-volume Model X and Model S.

“Those transitions are usually never seamless, never easy,” said Jed Dorsheimer, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity. “They’re bumpy and they can be ugly. But the company executed pretty well.” He expects Tesla’s stock to reach $515 as demand accelerates for electric vehicles.

The Model 3 accounted for more than 80 percent of the cars produced and delivered by Tesla in the fourth quarter, according to the figures released Friday.

Tesla this week announced the first deliveries of the nearly 1,000 cars it has produced so far at its Shanghai factory, less than a year after breaking ground. Until now, Tesla output had been limited to its assembly line in Fremont, Calif. The company said it had demonstrated an ability to produce more than 3,000 vehicles per week at the Shanghai plant.

Such news has heartened optimistic analysts like Mr. Ferragu and Mr. Dorsheimer, but others are more skeptical about the year ahead for Tesla.

While the company has been a leading maker of electric vehicles, it faces growing competition from established carmakers and start-ups alike, said Craig Irwin, an analyst with Roth Capital Partners.

“Yeah, they’re the innovator,” he said. “Yeah, they’re aggressively out there first on the technology, and they’ve done a superb job. But others will be in that market, too. It’s not just going to be exclusively for Tesla.”

To Mr. Irwin, the company’s stock is “egregiously” overvalued because many investors still treat Tesla as a company defined by aggressive growth even though it has matured into something different.

“Now it needs to be treated like an automotive company,” he said.

Tesla had also benefited in recent years from a federal tax credit on electric vehicles that effectively lowered the cost of its vehicles by as much as $7,500. But the credit began phasing out after Tesla sold 200,000 qualifying cars and was fully eliminated at the end of last year.

That may be an advantage for Tesla rivals that are able to offer the credit. But analysts do not expect the loss of the tax credit to have a major long-term effect on sales for Tesla, a well-known brand at a time when demand for electric vehicles is rising.

In addition to its global expansion, Tesla plans to begin deliveries of its all-electric, midsize sport utility vehicle, the Model Y, in the fall. Thanks to a significant overlap in components with the Model 3, the company should be able to save on production costs for the Model Y, analysts said, though some question whether the new S.U.V. will eat into demand for the Model 3.

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Flashback: Trump Warned That a ‘Weak’ and ‘Ineffective’ President Would Start a War With Iran to ‘Get Re-elected’

Westlake Legal Group _BFNI3kBwowMUTJyoKa_lj9giRcW2nOOz-XN0jiAYkM Flashback: Trump Warned That a 'Weak' and 'Ineffective' President Would Start a War With Iran to 'Get Re-elected' r/politics

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How tensions escalated

Nuclear deal

July 25, 2015

Iran, the United States and other nations approve a deal in which Iran agrees to shift its nuclear program from weapons production to peaceful commercial use for 10 years. Iran allows international inspectors on its nuclear weapons sites.

In exchange, the United States and the United Nations Security Council lift energy, trade, technology and financial sanctions against Iran.

The pact, established during the tenure of President Barack Obama, is an executive agreement, not a treaty, which means it isn’t formally approved by Congress. Republicans oppose the deal and question its legality.

Leaving the deal

Westlake Legal Group bf2c400d-fd9c-488a-ba64-89bac3aa71c0-AP_Trump_Iran How tensions escalated

President Donald Trump regards the Iran pact as “stupid.” Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP

October 2016

Presidential candidate Donald Trump says Iran should write the United States a thank you letter for “the stupidest deal of all time.” Trump says the United States will withdraw from the deal if he’s elected.

May 8, 2018

President Trump announces the withdrawal from the Iran deal. Iran, France, Britain and Germany say they will stay in the pact.

US increases pressure

U.S.-Iran relationship status: It’s complicated

The United States and Iran have been lobbing threats, fighting proxy wars, and imposing sanctions for decades. USA Today looks at over 60 years of this back-and-forth.

Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

August-November 2018

The United States reimposes economic sanctions targeting Iran’s energy, financial, shipping and shipbuilding industries. Iran says it will take unspecified actions regarding the nuclear deal if Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China don’t help it engage in international trade.

April 8, 2019

Trump says he will designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards as a foreign terrorist organization. The Pentagon opposes the change, saying it increases the possibility of retaliation against American military and intelligence personnel.

April 22

Trump says the United States will end exemptions on sanctions against countries buying oil from Iran, putting more pressure on Iran’s economy.

May 5

John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, says the United States will send an aircraft carrier strike force and Air Force bombers to the Middle East. The deployment shows Iran that “any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

Iran retaliates 

May 8

Iran says it will increase its production of enriched uranium and heavy water.

May 12

Four oil tankers – two from Saudi Arabia, one from the United Arab Emirates and one from Norway – are attacked in the Persian Gulf. The United States says Iran is behind the attacks.

June 13

Two oil tankers – one from Norway, the other from Japan – are attacked in the Gulf of Oman. The United States blames Iran, which denies responsibility.

June 20

Iran shoots down a U.S. surveillance drone it says violated Iranian airspace. The U.S. Central Command says the aircraft was in international territory.

June 20

Trump orders retaliatory attacks against Iran but cancels the strikes shortly before they are to be launched. Four days later, he imposes more sanctions against Iran.

July 1

Iran says it’s exceeded the amount of low-enriched uranium it was allowed to build under the 2015 agreement.

US-Iranian tensions rise

July 4

Gibraltar and British marines seize the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 at the request of the United States. The ship is suspected of illegally transporting oil to Syria.

July 18

Trump says a U.S. Navy vessel shot down an Iranian drone that came within 1,000 of the ship.

July 20

Iran seizes the British-owned oil tanker Stena Impero near the Strait of Hormuz.

July 22

Iran says it’s arrested 17 Iranians and charged them with spying for the United States. News reports say some of the Iranians were executed.

General killed after clashes in Iraq

Westlake Legal Group 75ec876c-2ff7-4544-a5cb-4af349d03600-010120-US-embassy-baghdad-map How tensions escalated

. Google Earth, Maxar Technologies

Dec. 27

A U.S. civilian contractor is killed and several troops injured in a rocket attack in Kirkuk. The militia group Kataib Hezbollah is blamed.

Dec. 29

U.S. planes bomb three sites in Iraq – one of them in Al-Qaim – and two sites in Syria. Twenty-five people are killed. The sites are tied to Kataib Hezbollah.

Dec. 31

Militia-backed protesters attack the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Jan. 2

Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani and five others are killed in a U.S. drone strike at Baghdad airport. U.S. officials call it a “defensive action,” saying Soleimani planned attacks on U.S. diplomats and troops.

US airstrike in Baghdad kills Iran’s top general

Iran vowed “harsh retaliation” for a US airstrike near Baghdad’s airport that killed Iran’s top general. The Defense Department said it killed General Qassem Soleimani because he was actively planning attacks on US diplomats and service members. (Jan. 3)

AP

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House Dems, Trump DOJ clash in court over McGahn subpoena push

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118024587001_6118024162001-vs House Dems, Trump DOJ clash in court over McGahn subpoena push fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox news fnc/politics fnc fb72dcac-30d6-51c7-95d0-74b61c469504 Bill Mears article

The Trump Justice Department faced tough questioning Friday from a federal appeals court over a political and legal standoff with the House Judiciary Committee, dealing with a pair of interrelated disputes that could impact the current and future impeachment proceedings against the president.

A three-judge panel in Washington presided over about three hours of public arguments, hearing from lawyers representing the executive and legislative branches, including over efforts to compel testimony from former White House counsel Donald McGahn.

HOUSE DEMS RAISE PROSPECT OF NEW IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES, IN COURT BATTLE OVER MCGAHN TESTIMONY

At issue is whether judges should be settling a dispute between the two branches over information requested by Congress, dealing with a subpoena of a former White House official, and unredacted grand jury material from the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The president has told his aides not to cooperate with a congressional impeachment inquiry, said Judge Thomas Griffith, an appointee of President George W. Bush. “Has that ever happened before? No it hasn’t,” he said.

Griffith said the White House was engaging in a “broad-scale defiance of a congressional investigation.”

The Democrat-led House committee wants testimony from McGahn, which lawmakers suggested could be relevant to the impeachment trial pending in the Senate.

But Justice Department lawyers argued McGahn left his post before the July Trump phone call with the Ukrainian president that is at the heart of the impeachment articles.

Griffith and Judge Neomi Rao, a Trump bench appointee, questioned the House’s need for McGahn’s testimony at this stage. And they suggested this matter may be best left for the other branches to work out among themselves, with a measure of compromise and accommodation, as is usually done with such disputes.

And Judge Karen Henderson, named to the court by President George H.W. Bush, suggested even if McGahn were compelled to appear before the House committee, he might not say much, citing attorney-client privilege to protect sensitive conversations with the president.

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Trump is charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his alleged efforts to tie Ukrainian military aid to that country’s promise to investigate his potential political rival Joe Biden, the former vice president.

House lawyers told the judges that “absolutely” the McGahn subpoena and the Mueller grand jury information could be relevant to current and future impeachment proceedings. House General Counsel Douglas Letter told the court the White House’s efforts to defy Congress were “so clearly wrong.”

But Justice Department lawyers said not only should judges not get involved in these cases, but the issue is currently moot, since Trump is about to face a Senate trial without McGahn’s testimony being used by the House.

Rulings are expected in several weeks, and the Supreme Court could then be asked to get involved. It is unclear how any high court final decision would impact the current impeachment drama unfolding on Capitol Hill.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118024587001_6118024162001-vs House Dems, Trump DOJ clash in court over McGahn subpoena push fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox news fnc/politics fnc fb72dcac-30d6-51c7-95d0-74b61c469504 Bill Mears article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118024587001_6118024162001-vs House Dems, Trump DOJ clash in court over McGahn subpoena push fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox news fnc/politics fnc fb72dcac-30d6-51c7-95d0-74b61c469504 Bill Mears article

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Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Baby Powder by New Mexico

Westlake Legal Group 03talc1-facebookJumbo Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Baby Powder by New Mexico Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc Suits and Litigation (Civil) Johnson&Johnson Hazardous and Toxic Substances Drugs (Pharmaceuticals) Balderas, Hector H Jr

The accusations in a new lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson sound familiar: The consumer goods giant knew for decades that its baby powder and other talc-based products were contaminated with carcinogenic asbestos, but continued to market the items.

What makes this case different is that it was brought by a state.

Hector Balderas, the attorney general of New Mexico, accused Johnson & Johnson on Thursday of misleading consumers, especially children and black and Hispanic women, about the safety of its talc products. The company, he said, “concealed and failed to warn consumers about the dangers associated with their talc products,” which are thought to include lung disease, ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of internal organs that is associated with asbestos.

It’s the latest in a wave of legal claims against the 134-year-old consumer products company. Johnson & Johnson faces more than 16,800 other talc-related lawsuits, most filed on behalf of individuals, as well as investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that it is reviewing the New Mexico lawsuit, adding that it “will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder, which is supported by decades of scientific evidence showing our talc is safe and free of asbestos.”

Joe Wolk, Johnson & Johnson’s chief financial officer, told analysts in a conference call in July that the company had set aside $190 million in its second quarter to defend against talc litigation. Johnson & Johnson has also been enmeshed in legal battles involving opioids and other products.

The complaint, filed on Thursday in state court in Santa Fe, also names Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which changed its name in 2018 to Bausch Health Companies. The company declined to comment.

At the heart of these cases is the claim that for decades, Johnson & Johnson marketed its talc products as pure and soothing, even as executives voiced concerns internally.

In October, Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of its baby powder after the Food and Drug Administration said it had found trace amounts of chrysotile asbestos in a bottle purchased from an online retailer. Later, Johnson & Johnson said that more tests of the same bottle had eventually come up clean.

So far, the verdicts delivered in the Johnson & Johnson litigation have not set a clear precedent.

The company has prevailed in some lawsuits, including one involving mesothelioma in Los Angeles last month and another involving ovarian cancer in St. Louis soon after. It is appealing nearly all of the cases it has lost, including a nearly $4.7 billion decision in 2018 that was one of the largest product liability judgments ever recorded. A few cases have ended in mistrials, sometimes when the plaintiff died partway through proceedings.

Johnson & Johnson is waiting for a federal judge to approve or reject the science underpinning thousands of other lawsuits — a decision that could determine whether the cases can be presented to juries.

“If the experts get thrown out, the case gets thrown out,” Daniel J. Capra, a professor at Fordham Law School, said recently. “It’s super high stakes.”

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Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Baby Powder by New Mexico

Westlake Legal Group 03talc1-facebookJumbo Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Baby Powder by New Mexico Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc Suits and Litigation (Civil) Johnson&Johnson Hazardous and Toxic Substances Drugs (Pharmaceuticals) Balderas, Hector H Jr

The accusations in a new lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson sound familiar: The consumer goods giant knew for decades that its baby powder and other talc-based products were contaminated with carcinogenic asbestos, but continued to market the items.

What makes this case different is that it was brought by a state.

Hector Balderas, the attorney general of New Mexico, accused Johnson & Johnson on Thursday of misleading consumers, especially children and black and Hispanic women, about the safety of its talc products. The company, he said, “concealed and failed to warn consumers about the dangers associated with their talc products,” which are thought to include lung disease, ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of internal organs that is associated with asbestos.

It’s the latest in a wave of legal claims against the 134-year-old consumer products company. Johnson & Johnson faces more than 16,800 other talc-related lawsuits, most filed on behalf of individuals, as well as investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that it is reviewing the New Mexico lawsuit, adding that it “will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder, which is supported by decades of scientific evidence showing our talc is safe and free of asbestos.”

Joe Wolk, Johnson & Johnson’s chief financial officer, told analysts in a conference call in July that the company had set aside $190 million in its second quarter to defend against talc litigation. Johnson & Johnson has also been enmeshed in legal battles involving opioids and other products.

The complaint, filed on Thursday in state court in Santa Fe, also names Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which changed its name in 2018 to Bausch Health Companies. The company declined to comment.

At the heart of these cases is the claim that for decades, Johnson & Johnson marketed its talc products as pure and soothing, even as executives voiced concerns internally.

In October, Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of its baby powder after the Food and Drug Administration said it had found trace amounts of chrysotile asbestos in a bottle purchased from an online retailer. Later, Johnson & Johnson said that more tests of the same bottle had eventually come up clean.

So far, the verdicts delivered in the Johnson & Johnson litigation have not set a clear precedent.

The company has prevailed in some lawsuits, including one involving mesothelioma in Los Angeles last month and another involving ovarian cancer in St. Louis soon after. It is appealing nearly all of the cases it has lost, including a nearly $4.7 billion decision in 2018 that was one of the largest product liability judgments ever recorded. A few cases have ended in mistrials, sometimes when the plaintiff died partway through proceedings.

Johnson & Johnson is waiting for a federal judge to approve or reject the science underpinning thousands of other lawsuits — a decision that could determine whether the cases can be presented to juries.

“If the experts get thrown out, the case gets thrown out,” Daniel J. Capra, a professor at Fordham Law School, said recently. “It’s super high stakes.”

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