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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 349)

Car Sales Remain Strong as Buyers Absorb Higher Prices

The auto industry has been on a roll for a decade, and its resurgence shows few signs of coming to a halt — at least for now.

Strong employment, low interest rates and robust consumer confidence combined last year to extend a record run of auto sales.

Americans are also continuing to buy ever bigger cars, at prices escalating faster than the overall inflation rate. And they are taking on more debt to do so.

Nationwide, automakers sold more than 17 million new cars and light trucks in 2019, the market-research firm Edmunds estimated Friday. It was the fifth straight year of sales exceeding that figure, a distinction never achieved before.

Some automakers, notably Ford, have yet to report their final figures for the year. When they do, the total is likely to be slightly below the 17.3 million vehicles sold in 2018.

“We are past the peak,” said Mark Wakefield, a managing director at AlixPartners, a consulting firm with a large automotive practice. “But we are better off than we thought we would be going into 2019,” he added, largely because of interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

Low fuel prices have also helped. The average retail price of regular gasoline was at $2.57 this week and has not been above $3 in more than five years, according to the Energy Information Administration.

That helps explain why consumers continued gravitating toward pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and other roomy models, offsetting another steep fall in sales of sedans and compacts. Nearly two out of every three new models purchased last year were classified as light trucks — which includes minivans and even some small, S.U.V.-shaped cars.

Better Sales, Bigger Prices

Despite a steady increase in the average sales price, auto sales have topped 17 million for five years in a row.

Westlake Legal Group 0104-biz-webAUTO-Artboard_2 Car Sales Remain Strong as Buyers Absorb Higher Prices United States Economy Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Inflation (Economics) Credit and Debt Consumer Behavior Automobiles Automobile Financing

AVERAGE U.S. AUTO PRICE*

’19

$37,183

Inflation-adjusted

’09

$28,583

U.S. AUTO SALES

million vehicles

17 million

Westlake Legal Group 0104-biz-webAUTO-Artboard_3 Car Sales Remain Strong as Buyers Absorb Higher Prices United States Economy Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Inflation (Economics) Credit and Debt Consumer Behavior Automobiles Automobile Financing

AVERAGE U.S. AUTO PRICE*

U.S. AUTO SALES

million vehicles

’19

$37,183

17 million

Inflation-adjusted

’09

$28,583

*Average transaction price for new vehicles.

Source: Edmunds

By The New York Times

At the same time, the average new vehicle sold for $37,183, according to Edmunds. That represents an increase of 30 percent since 2009, a period in which overall consumer prices rose 20 percent. Much of the rise stems from increasing sales of trucks and larger vehicles, which sell for higher prices than cars. Many new cars also include elaborate technology like large touch screens, radar and other advanced safety systems, adding to the cost.

The shift to trucks, which generate more profit than cars, has powered General Motors and Fiat Chrysler in barely a decade from bankruptcy to near-record financial results. Ford’s profit has been less stellar as it pushes to reorganize. Rivals that have traditionally been stronger in compacts and sedans — like Toyota and Honda — have also had bottom-line difficulties in North America, although they continue to make money.

Fiat Chrysler cashed in last year on the demand for pickups, with sales of its Ram jumping 18 percent to more than 633,000. That made it the nation’s second-best selling vehicle after the Ford F-150 pickup, surpassing the Chevrolet Silverado from General Motors. (G.M.’s overall sales of full-size pickups still outpace the Ram, thanks to the Sierra sold by its GMC brand.)

Another winner was Tesla. Though electric cars made up less than 3 percent of overall car sales, Tesla dominated the category, and reported Friday that its worldwide deliveries were up 50 percent for the year. It did not break out sales in the United States.

Among the few companies to suffer significant declines were Mazda and Nissan, both of which have been slow to expand the range of their S.U.V.s. Mazda’s 2019 sales in the United States fell 7 percent, and Nissan’s were down 10 percent.

Auto executives remain confident about the industry outlook, yet mindful that a slump will come at some point.

“I feel positive about the market in 2020,” said Mike Manley, chief executive of Fiat Chrysler. “It’s very difficult to tell exactly because it’s an election year and you never know what’s going to happen.”

Mr. Manley said he did not expect a huge downturn like the one that hit the industry in 2008 and 2009. “But the reality is, the market is cyclical,” he said. “At some stage, the industry is going to drop off on its own.”

Most analysts see auto sales slipping only slightly in 2020, to a range of roughly 16.5 million to 16.9 million vehicles. “With the overall strength in the economy, with full employment, you’ve got consumer confidence at an all-time high,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager of Toyota in North America.

In addition, the three big American automakers bought four years of labor peace in the fall with new union contracts, though at the cost of a 40-day strike against General Motors.

Nevertheless, the industry still faces some risks. The Trump administration’s trade war with China remains unresolved. And the rising tensions between the United States and Iran are a reminder of the potential volatility of oil prices.

The new trade deal by the United States, Mexico and Canada is likely to increase domestic production and auto employment slightly and cause automakers to think hard before adding new plants in Mexico. “The question is whether it raises prices, and if that hits demand,” Mr. Wakefield said.

One worry is whether the steady rise in prices is sustainable, along with the increasing debt that owners have taken on to buy those more expensive cars.

More than one-third of Americans now have auto loans, up from 20 percent in 1999, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The share of consumer debt going to auto loans climbed to 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2019, compared with 6 percent in the same period 10 years ago.

Many consumers are dealing with the higher prices by borrowing over longer terms. Auto loans approved in December had an average term of 69 months, compared with 62 months a decade earlier, Edmunds found.

That has helped keep monthly car payments from climbing as fast as sales prices. Still, those payments for loans generated in December averaged $577, up from $499 in 2014.

“That’s really the number to watch,” Mr. Wakefield of AlixPartners said, and so far the consumer can handle it.

For Mr. Manley’s company, Fiat Chrysler, consumer concerns about affordability have paid off. Last year, it introduced a brawnier Ram pickup available with a large touch screen and other advanced technologies. But Fiat Chrysler has continued making a more basic version, which can sell for $6,000 to $8,000 less than competing models. “We have a truck that is a great value,” Mr. Manley said.

Whatever the value, though, the cost is pushing some buyers away from new cars.

Last August, when Pete Krupsky went to look to replace his high-mileage Honda Civic, he headed straight to his dealer’s used-car lot. “I didn’t want a new car because I can’t afford the $25,000 or whatever the price is,” said Mr. Krupsky, a hockey play-by-play announcer in Rosewood, Mich.

He found a 2017 Honda Accord with 19,000 on its odometer — for $18,000. “It’s the most luxurious car I’ve ever had,” he added.

Susan Beachy contributed research.

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Soleimani funeral procession in Baghdad draws thousands of mourners

BAGHDAD — Thousands of mourners gathered Saturday for a funeral procession through Baghdad for Iran‘s top general and militant leaders killed in a U.S. airstrike.

Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds force and mastermind of its regional security strategy, was killed in an airstrike early Friday near the Iraqi capital’s international airport.

Many of the mourners were dressed in black, and they carried Iraqi flags and the flags of Iran-backed militias that are fiercely loyal to Soleimani.

TOP IRANIAN GENERAL KILLED BY US AIRSTRIKE HAD TO BE IDENTIFIED BY HIS RING: IRAQI OFFICIALS 

Iran has vowed harsh retaliation, raising fears of an all-out war. U.S. President Donald Trump says he ordered the strike to prevent a conflict. His administration says Soleimani was plotting a series of attacks that endangered American troops and officials, without providing evidence.

Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s regional policy of mobilizing militias across Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, including in the war against the Islamic State group. He was also blamed for attacks on U.S. troops and American allies over nearly two decades.

Westlake Legal Group 20ee97f1c7f248f28791fb93a9f40df9 Soleimani funeral procession in Baghdad draws thousands of mourners fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 80837c82-3c3d-594b-b828-e7fe22dd3e97

Qassem Soleimani, center, attending a September 2016 meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard commanders in Tehran. (Associated Press)

As tensions soared across the region, there were reports overnight of an airstrike on a convoy of Iran-backed militiamen north of Baghdad. Hours later, the Iraqi army denied any airstrike had taken place. The U.S.-led coalition also denied carrying out any airstrike.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group of mostly Iran-backed militias, and security officials had reported the airstrike in Taji, north of the capital. An Iraqi security official had said five people were killed and two vehicles were destroyed.

It was not immediately clear if another type of explosion had occurred.

Westlake Legal Group qassem-soleimani-worldpage Soleimani funeral procession in Baghdad draws thousands of mourners fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 80837c82-3c3d-594b-b828-e7fe22dd3e97   Westlake Legal Group qassem-soleimani-worldpage Soleimani funeral procession in Baghdad draws thousands of mourners fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 80837c82-3c3d-594b-b828-e7fe22dd3e97

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NY Times reporter’s tweet of Soleimani reciting poetry draws backlash

Westlake Legal Group Qassem-Soleimani-Reuters-1 NY Times reporter's tweet of Soleimani reciting poetry draws backlash fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Danielle Wallace article 591eb031-ee7e-5c4f-8a38-c77e26d765fb

New York Times reporter received backlash Friday after posting a video on social media showing slain Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani reciting poetry.

Farnaz Fassihi, an Iranian-American journalist who covers Iran for the paper, shared the video in the early morning hours after the Pentagon confirmed President Trump ordered a targeted drone strike that killed Soleimani and other military officials at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq.

WASHINGTON POST BLASTED FOR REFERRING TO QASSIM SOLEIMANI AS IRAN’S ‘MOST REVERED MILITARY LEADER’

“Rare personal video of Gen. Soleimani reciting poetry shared by a source in #Iran. About friends departing & him being left behind,” she wrote in a tweet with the video.

Social media users accused Fassihi of spreading Iranian propaganda and attempting to garner sympathy for the “shadow commander” who the U.S. State Department says is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. Washington confirmed that Soleimani, as leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, orchestrated the Iran-backed militia attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on New Year’s Eve and was planning other imminent attacks on U.S. forces.

“Showing the soft side of a terrorist who killed and maimed thousands of people also shows the true colors of the New York Times,” one user wrote.

“This is not reporting. Reporting would be writing of his murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians. His starving of Syrian cities and towns. His proxy terrorists and militia spreading wars and terror in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. The millions of Iraqis rising up against him,” Rashad Ali, a counter-terrorism consultant and author wrote.

Fassihi later defended her choice to share the video, saying it was not an endorsement. She did not delete the initial tweet, which remained active on her account as of early Saturday.

“Folks attacking me for sharing this video: It’s called reporting. It’s not an endorsement or sympathy. I share whatever info I get for all to see. That’s all,” she wrote, evoking further scrutiny online.

Several journalists also slammed Fassihi for spreading “fake news” after she tweeted about “unconfirmed” reports from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which said missiles were being fired at the U.S. Ain Assad Air Base in Iraq.

WASHINGTON POST PUBLISHES AL-BAGHDADI HEADLINE REFERRING TO ISIS LEADER AS ‘AUSTERE RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR’

Those reports were later determined to be false, according to Reuters, and there had been no explosion at the base in the hours following Soleimani’s death. Images circulated online showing a fiery blast were old. Back in April, the U.S. State Department designated the IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“This is absolutely fake news. There was no missile attack. By spreading this you’re helping Iran to spread their propaganda,” Robby Starbuck, a producer and director, wrote. “Saying “unconfirmed” doesn’t make it any better to spread their propaganda. This is why nobody trusts the news anymore.”

According to screenshots of the since-deleted tweet, Fassihi wrote: “Breaking: Unconfirmed reports of ballistic missiles hitting largest US military base Ain Al-Assad in #Iraq & massive explosions, via IRGC Telegram channels.”

She later posted an update, saying “These reports of attacks on US base are not true according to Iraqi military officials… I deleted the original tweet which came from IRGC Telegram channels & later denied by Iraq.”

In a string of tweets, Fassihi further explained her justification for sharing the video of Soleimani reciting a poem, saying that it helps explain why Iran promised fierce revenge on the U.S. after his slaying.

“Gen. Sulaimani became a household name in #Iran after 2012 Syria war. His image as a cult figure leading regional ‘resistance’ army was carefully cultivated & promoted to boost Iran’s image as regional power & to counter ISIS’s PR machine,” Fassihi began in her first of four-tweet response.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

“Photos & videos of him leading prayers in battlefield, sharing meals w/fighters, kissing orphans & reciting poetry were all collectively part of that image/brand making.

“To understand why the reaction to his killing has been so fierce from Iran to Iraq, Lebanon & Syria & why it may unleash war it’s important to look at him also as the brand/symbol of Islamic Republic not just IRGC commander.

“The Islamic Republic has many commanders. But it only had one Qasem Sulaimani. The blow for the regime is more symbolic than strategic. By choice or design he had become THE face of Iran’s regional power plays.

Westlake Legal Group Qassem-Soleimani-Reuters-1 NY Times reporter's tweet of Soleimani reciting poetry draws backlash fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Danielle Wallace article 591eb031-ee7e-5c4f-8a38-c77e26d765fb   Westlake Legal Group Qassem-Soleimani-Reuters-1 NY Times reporter's tweet of Soleimani reciting poetry draws backlash fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Danielle Wallace article 591eb031-ee7e-5c4f-8a38-c77e26d765fb

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NJ Transit train slams into car on tracks southwest of Newark, killing driver and passenger

Westlake Legal Group nj-transit NJ Transit train slams into car on tracks southwest of Newark, killing driver and passenger fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 19a8219d-4a3c-5c45-bf70-ffb757ee4aa3

Two women were reportedly killed in New Jersey on Friday morning when an NJ Transit train slammed into their car at a crossing in Middlesex Borough, southwest of Newark.

The women were identified as Florence Obado, 73, of New Brunswick and her passenger Susan Mazurek, 44, of Middlesex Borough, My Central Jersey reported.

BOY, 2, STRUCK AND KILLED BY NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY TRAIN

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life that resulted from this morning’s crash,” Middlesex Borough Mayor John Madden said in a statement on Facebook. “We will assist our partners at New Jersey Transit as they work to determine the cause of the crash. Our thoughts and our prayers are with the victims and their families.”

Train service was suspended after the crash but has since resumed.

No other injuries were reported.

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In 2011, a tractor-trailer driver was hit and killed by a train at the same crossing, My Central Jersey reported.

Westlake Legal Group nj-transit NJ Transit train slams into car on tracks southwest of Newark, killing driver and passenger fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 19a8219d-4a3c-5c45-bf70-ffb757ee4aa3   Westlake Legal Group nj-transit NJ Transit train slams into car on tracks southwest of Newark, killing driver and passenger fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 19a8219d-4a3c-5c45-bf70-ffb757ee4aa3

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Wants Trump to Release Proof That Iran Was Planning Imminent Attack

Westlake Legal Group M-ATyfxjhzcJLJsBwZUNV9vydszF2F54KKjF-pVh1q4 MSNBC's Chris Hayes Wants Trump to Release Proof That Iran Was Planning Imminent Attack r/politics

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Maxine Waters’ phone call with ‘Greta Thunberg’ was apparently the work of Russian pranksters

Westlake Legal Group maxine-waters Maxine Waters' phone call with 'Greta Thunberg' was apparently the work of Russian pranksters Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/maxine-waters fox-news/person/greta-thunberg fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc cb66b00d-a862-5e07-9d47-280a174b9b97 article

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., appeared to have been tricked by Russian pranksters into thinking she was speaking on the phone with Greta Thunberg and that the teenage climate activist had dirt on President Trump.

Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, who go by the names Vovan and Lexus on YouTube, released audio of a phone conversation allegedly between Waters and people she believed to be Thunberg and her father. The audio was accompanied by illustrations poking fun at the conversation.

MICHAEL MOORE HITS TRUMP OVER QASSEM SOLEIMANI KILLING: AMERICANS HAVEN’T EVEN HEARD OF HIM

The conversation began with “Thunberg” telling Waters that she was calling from a climate strike meeting in North Carolina where they were advocating for the protection of the fictitious “Chon-Go-Chango” islands. She asked Waters to make remarks to the meeting attendees, where she showered “Thunberg” with praise.

“Thunberg” then told Waters about a fictitious meeting she said she had with President Trump at the United Nations back in September.

“It was a really terrible meeting in the U.N. building in September with him. And I had nightmares afterwards. It’s terrible,” the Thunberg impersonator told Waters. “I saw him in the hallway. He was with security and I shouted at him, ‘Sign the Paris Climate Agreement again!’ He came over, he leaned in towards me, and said softly, ‘Listen carefully to me, little girl. You will never achieve your goal, like the congressional goal, trying to accuse me.'”

“He said you will never achieve your goal? Oh my goodness.” Waters said with shock. “Did you ask him if he would rethink signing the Paris Climate Agreement? Is that your question to him?”

“Yes, yes,” the impersonator said. “He added that … ‘You know what? I’ll tell you the truth. I really wanted to push the Ukraine president to put my competitor on trial.'”

Her supposed “father” chimed in.

“He said to her, ‘You know, little girl, nobody believe you anyway, I will tell you the truth. I really pushed on Ukrainian president and you know that you will never achieve your goals like those congressional fools who accuse me,” the fictional parent told Waters. “So nobody will believe you. You will be on trial like my competitor.”

“Oh, my God! He mentioned Ukrainian president?” Waters asked.

“Yes, he said that,” the prankster responded. “And he added, ‘Nobody will believe you anyway.'”

The prankster also alleged that his “daughter” always records her speeches and had a recording of her exchange with Trump.

“Are you going to be in Washington anytime soon? I want you to come meet with me in Washington,” Waters said.

The “father” suggested that Congress continue with the president’s impeachment and offered that the activist can make a speech on Capitol Hill, something Waters expressed interest in.

“We are working very hard. We are putting together the facts and we’re going after him,” Waters told the “Thunbergs.” “We’re going to try everything that we have to impeach him. Yes. And if the public knew that he talked to Greta like that, he made her cry, and told her she would never achieve, this would go against him too.”

“And he added that he pushed on the Ukrainian president,” the prankster father reiterated. “I think he didn’t expect that we have a record of that.”

“Well, you bring it to me,” Waters responded. “You tell me what day you can get there and we’ll arrange to meet with you as quickly as we can. … I will make myself available whenever you get there.”

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Waters’ congressional office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Waters isn’t the only lawmaker to be fooled by the Russian pranksters. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was also apparently pranked into believing that they had “naked Trump” photos back in 2018.

Westlake Legal Group maxine-waters Maxine Waters' phone call with 'Greta Thunberg' was apparently the work of Russian pranksters Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/maxine-waters fox-news/person/greta-thunberg fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc cb66b00d-a862-5e07-9d47-280a174b9b97 article   Westlake Legal Group maxine-waters Maxine Waters' phone call with 'Greta Thunberg' was apparently the work of Russian pranksters Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/maxine-waters fox-news/person/greta-thunberg fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc cb66b00d-a862-5e07-9d47-280a174b9b97 article

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Tammy Bruce blasts media’s ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to Soleimani death strike: ‘They are so engaged in this delusion’

Westlake Legal Group TAMMY-CROPY Tammy Bruce blasts media's 'knee-jerk reaction' to Soleimani death strike: 'They are so engaged in this delusion' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 916178a1-3d56-5b9e-9cbe-61a4195620dc

Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce took issue Friday with the mainstream media’s reaction to Thursday’s U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and their criticism of President Trump for ordering the move.

“This is a knee-jerk reaction now,” Bruce said of many in the media during an appearance on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.” “They’ve been trained. It’s automatic, it’s instinct, because this is a good thing that President Trump did. They cannot accept that something that would actually ingest the basic facts of reality, cast a good light on the president.

“So their instinct, like with al-Baghdadi, is to try to cast these individuals as these were like nice guys or maybe didn’t deserve this.” (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was the ISIS leader killed in October in a U.S. operation in Syria.)

“Their instinct, like with al-Baghdadi, is to try to cast these individuals as these were like nice guys or maybe didn’t deserve this.”

— Tammy Bruce

FLASHBACK: CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER COMPARES IRAN POLICIES OF TRUMP, ‘SUPINE’ OBAMA

Bruce basically blamed “Trump derangement syndrome” for the media’s reactions — such as The Washington Post reference to Soleimani as “Iran’s most revered military leader,” and The New Yorker magazine describing him as “a flamboyant former construction worker and bodybuilder with snowy white hair, a dapper beard, and arching salt-and-pepper eyebrows.”

“They are so engaged in this delusion,” Bruce told guest host Raymond Arroyo, “that it’s affecting their ability even to relate basic figures and facts when it comes to reality.”

The conservative commentator also said she believes the American people “can make up their own minds” regarding the president — and see through the media’s agenda.

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“The American people understand what’s happening,” she said. “They can make up their minds about who’s dangerous. It’s their family that are in the military. This was these were specialized strikes. No civilians were injured. We are going to manage this. And you’ll remember [Trump] was attacked for removing our troops from the border of Syria because that was abandoning our allies. There is nothing this man can do that will be approved of. And the American people see this, I believe, for what it is.”

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group TAMMY-CROPY Tammy Bruce blasts media's 'knee-jerk reaction' to Soleimani death strike: 'They are so engaged in this delusion' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 916178a1-3d56-5b9e-9cbe-61a4195620dc   Westlake Legal Group TAMMY-CROPY Tammy Bruce blasts media's 'knee-jerk reaction' to Soleimani death strike: 'They are so engaged in this delusion' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 916178a1-3d56-5b9e-9cbe-61a4195620dc

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Standoff at Illinois credit union ends when suspect surrenders after 6 hours: reports

Westlake Legal Group police-istock Standoff at Illinois credit union ends when suspect surrenders after 6 hours: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 6a4966c8-8f2e-5f7e-be7d-5b9f092f50be

An armed suspect who allegedly held a woman hostage at a credit union branch in Illinois surrendered Friday night following a six-hour standoff with police, according to reports.

The situation in Rockford, about 90 minutes northwest of Chicago, started Friday afternoon when the suspect entered the Heritage Credit Union and demanded that everyone leave, authorities said. The woman, who worked at the bank, was unable to get out and the suspect barricaded the two of them inside while negotiators tried to deescalate the standoff without injuries, WREX-TV of Rockford reported.

MISSISSIPPI INMATE BECOMES FIFTH TO BE KILLED INSIDE THE STATE’S PRISONS THIS WEEK

Personnel from the FBI made contact with the suspect during the standoff while a SWAT team held a perimeter around the credit union.

“It is unfortunate when situations like this occur,” Special Agent Emmerson Buie Jr. said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “However, it is great that the situation was resolved without anyone being seriously injured.”

There were no serious injuries, the Tribune reported.

“The FBI negotiators worked seamlessly with the Rockford negotiators and I could not give them enough credit,” Rockford police Chief Dan O’Shea said. “The FBI really stepped up to help us out.”

The suspect was taken into custody but it was not clear what charges he’ll face, WREX reported.

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The suspect had existing warrants in another county, the Tribune reported.

Westlake Legal Group police-istock Standoff at Illinois credit union ends when suspect surrenders after 6 hours: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 6a4966c8-8f2e-5f7e-be7d-5b9f092f50be   Westlake Legal Group police-istock Standoff at Illinois credit union ends when suspect surrenders after 6 hours: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 6a4966c8-8f2e-5f7e-be7d-5b9f092f50be

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Isaiah Thomas of Washington Wizards ejected less than 2 minutes into game for contact with official

It didn’t take long Friday night before Washington Wizards point guard Isaiah Thomas was ejected from the team’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Less than two minutes into the NBA game, Thomas became tangled with Portland’s Carmelo Anthony – then made contact with referee Marat Kogut while trying to break free.

As a result, Thomas received a technical foul and was ejected.

WASHINGTON WIZARDS’ ISAIAH THOMAS CONFRONTS FAN IN STANDS WHO GIVES FINGER, CURSES AT HIM

“He made physical contact with the referee,” referee Mark Ayotte said in a report after the game. “It was definitely just a push during the dead ball contact with the referee.”

Westlake Legal Group 59da21cd-AP20004041946999-CROPPED Isaiah Thomas of Washington Wizards ejected less than 2 minutes into game for contact with official fox-news/sports/nba/washington-wizards fox-news/sports/nba/portland-trail-blazers fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 9fe5b497-ba96-50e3-870d-140adf68dded

Washington Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas (4) comes in contact with referee Marat Kogut, right, next to Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony, back, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Washington. Thomas was ejected from the game. (Associated Press)

Wizards coach Scott Brooks thought the contact was accidental.

“I mean I had a different view of it obviously,” Brooks told The Associated Press. “They were in a scrum and they were fighting for the ball, a jump ball. I had a view that it looked like he lost his balance but (Kogut) had a better view and then they looked at it. They looked at it so you would hope they made the right call.”

Thomas wasn’t immediately available for comment.

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Just last month, Thomas received a two-game suspension after walking into the stands in Philadelphia to confront two fans who were heckling him.

On Friday night, without Thomas and star Bradley Beal, the Wizards lost to Portland, 122-103.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Westlake Legal Group AP20004041946999-CROPPED Isaiah Thomas of Washington Wizards ejected less than 2 minutes into game for contact with official fox-news/sports/nba/washington-wizards fox-news/sports/nba/portland-trail-blazers fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 9fe5b497-ba96-50e3-870d-140adf68dded   Westlake Legal Group AP20004041946999-CROPPED Isaiah Thomas of Washington Wizards ejected less than 2 minutes into game for contact with official fox-news/sports/nba/washington-wizards fox-news/sports/nba/portland-trail-blazers fox-news/sports/nba fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 9fe5b497-ba96-50e3-870d-140adf68dded

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Sean Hannity warns Iranian President Rouhani: ‘There is a special place in hell that awaits you’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096898958001_6096890350001-vs Sean Hannity warns Iranian President Rouhani: 'There is a special place in hell that awaits you' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d33e1e2c-6c70-5e6b-ae32-1aef844a8fa2 article

Sean Hannity called Iranian general Qassem Soleimani “evil personified” Friday night and warned Iranian leaders, specifically President Hassan Rouhani, that their “reign of terror and murder needs to come to an end.”

“[Soleimani] was a terrorist. He was a murderer with American blood on his hands. And as the leader of the Iranian Quds Force, that is their elite military unit, no one man was more responsible for the death of our American treasure and civilian deaths in the Middle East than him,” Hannity said on his television program. “American lives, we can confirm tonight, were in fact in jeopardy. The president moved quickly, decisively to protect American lives and interests abroad.”

TRUMP ORDERS ATTACK THAT KILLS IRANIAN GEN. QASSEM SOLEIMANI

Hannity then delivered a message directly to Rouhani, comparing him to Soleimani.

“Mr. ‘Death to America, death to Israel’ radicals like President Rouhani … You now dare to threaten the United States of America again,” Hannity said. “You have zero territorial integrity in the country of Iraq. And Soleimani is responsible for the deaths of thousands, including our fellow Americans. You are the leader of the number one terrorist state in the world. You, Rouhani, are a mass murderer, just like Soleimani.”

“There is a space special place in hell that awaits you,” Hannity added.

The host praised President Trump, echoing his statement that “the world is a safer place.” He also commended Trump for using non-traditional means to win conflicts and urged the United States to adopt the “next generation” of weaponry.

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“The president has shown the wars now can be won without using traditional means. Look at how the [ISIS] caliphate was destroyed in Iraq and Syria,” Hannity said. “It is why I am saying the next generation of weaponry, both offensive and defensive, needs to be produced in this country. So future conflicts, future wars, we can stage them … from a distance, safely.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096898958001_6096890350001-vs Sean Hannity warns Iranian President Rouhani: 'There is a special place in hell that awaits you' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d33e1e2c-6c70-5e6b-ae32-1aef844a8fa2 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096898958001_6096890350001-vs Sean Hannity warns Iranian President Rouhani: 'There is a special place in hell that awaits you' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d33e1e2c-6c70-5e6b-ae32-1aef844a8fa2 article

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