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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 358)

Eddie Gallagher’s fellow SEALs describe him as ‘toxic,’ ‘evil’ in leaked videos

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118504514001_6118505698001-vs Eddie Gallagher's fellow SEALs describe him as 'toxic,' 'evil' in leaked videos fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-trials fox-news/us/military fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc cbf7f97e-6056-5af3-9749-751e913b2c50 Barnini Chakraborty article

The Navy SEALs who served beside Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher described their platoon leader as “toxic,” “freaking evil” and a “psychopath,” in new video recordings obtained by The New York Times.

The recordings are part of the Navy’s investigation into Gallagher, who was accused of war crimes stemming from a 2017 deployment to Iraq. Gallagher in July was found not guilty of murder and premeditated murder but was convicted of a lesser charge of posing for a photo with an Islamic State (ISIS) fighter’s corpse.

NAVY SEAL EDWARD GALLAGHER FOUND NOT GUILTY ON MURDER AND ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGES

In one of the recordings, Special Operator 1st Class Craig Miller, one of the most experienced SEALs in the group, can be seen weeping.

“The guy is freaking evil,” Miller told investigators.

In a separate interview, Special Operator 1st Class Joshua Vriens, a sniper, called Gallagher “toxic.”

The platoon’s medic, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, described Gallagher as the type of person who was “perfectly OK with killing anybody that was moving.”

The videos are the first time the public has been able to hear directly from the members of SEAL Team 7’s Alpha platoon, whose damning testimony about their platoon leader was dismissed by President Trump and eventually led to the November firing of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer over his handling of the case.

Gallagher’s attorney Timothy Parlatore slammed The New York Times for selectively picking and choosing from the video recordings to make his client look bad.

“The [New York] Times show is a clear demonstration of irresponsible and knowingly false propaganda masquerading as journalism,” he told Fox News on Friday.

He also took aim at the Navy lawyers.

“There were sections where the video inexplicably cut off, sections where you could hear the investigator coaching the witness in the hall, and probably the most unprofessional witness interview technique that any of us have ever seen,” he said, adding: “The interviews really provided us with a clear road map to the acquittal.”

During Gallagher’s trial over the summer, a key witness for the prosecution — another Navy SEAL — testified to killing the ISIS captive but said he saw Gallagher plunge his knife into the man’s neck. Other members of his platoon struck down claims that Gallagher was a hero who was unfairly punished for making “tough calls.” Instead, they painted him as a “disgraceful” leader who took pleasure in targeting women, children and the elderly.

There had been debate on whether the Navy would strip Gallagher of his Trident pin, ousting him from the prestigious SEALs after he was demoted from chief petty officer to a 1st class petty officer following his July conviction.

FIRED NAVY SECRETARY CRITICIZES TRUMP FOR ‘SHOCKING’ INTERVENTION IN SEAL CASE

His case caught the attention of President Trump, who demanded Gallagher’s rank be restored and ordered that the Navy halt its internal review of Gallagher’s actions that resulted in the high-profile war crimes case.

Spencer asked Trump to let the Navy review board go forward with its internal investigation, promising that the board would, in the end, allow Gallagher to keep his Trident and rank, effectively alluding to his willingness to fix the results of the board usually comprised of the defendant’s peers. Trump, though, rejected the offer and said, “No, we’re done.”

Trump then fired off a series of tweets doubling down on his demands to halt the peer review.

NAVY SEAL EDDIE GALLAGHER’S FAMILY PLEADS WITH MILITARY AFTER TRUMP DEFENSE: ‘LET MY BROTHER GO!’

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper ordered that Gallagher be allowed to keep his Trident pin, noting that it would be nearly impossible for him to get a fair hearing from the military in light of the events that had unfolded.

Gallagher enlisted in the Navy in 1999. He served a medic and in 2005 completed the Basic Underwater Demolition course to become a Navy SEAL, one of the most elite special operations forces in the U.S. military. He served eight tours and was highly decorated, including being awarded two Bronze Stars with V for valor. He was arrested in September 2018 while receiving treatment for a traumatic brain injury at Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps base north of San Diego.

Trump initially took interest in the Gallagher case after Bernard Kerick, a former business partner of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, became an advocate for the family and made television appearances on behalf of Gallagher. In the spring, Gallagher shuffled his defense team to include Marc Mukasey, a lawyer for Trump’s real estate company.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Over the weekend, Gallagher met with the president and first lady Melania Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the president’s resort in Palm Beach, Fla. Photos captured the 40-year-old and his wife, Andrea, chatting with the first family.

In the Instagram post shared on their joint account, they said: “Finally got to thank the President and his amazing wife by giving them a little gift from Eddie’s deployment to Mosul.”

Fox News’ Melissa Leon, Vandana Rambaran and Andrew O’Reilly, contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118504514001_6118505698001-vs Eddie Gallagher's fellow SEALs describe him as 'toxic,' 'evil' in leaked videos fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-trials fox-news/us/military fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc cbf7f97e-6056-5af3-9749-751e913b2c50 Barnini Chakraborty article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118504514001_6118505698001-vs Eddie Gallagher's fellow SEALs describe him as 'toxic,' 'evil' in leaked videos fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/military-trials fox-news/us/military fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc cbf7f97e-6056-5af3-9749-751e913b2c50 Barnini Chakraborty article

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Jonathan Turley refutes Dem lawyer, says Trump was impeached despite withheld articles

Westlake Legal Group Turley-Feldman-Reuters-Getty Jonathan Turley refutes Dem lawyer, says Trump was impeached despite withheld articles Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4afffef7-7ae3-5e14-8e82-65f7eb081a60

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley insisted in a new op-ed on Thursday that President Trump was, in fact, impeached, despite the argument that was made by one of his impeachment hearing colleagues last week.

Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, one of the Democratic witnesses who testified in favor of Trump’s impeachment earlier this month, made the case that since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, has withheld the two articles of impeachment that were passed by the House of Representatives from the Senate, the president technically has not been impeached.

“The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial,” Feldman wrote for Bloomberg, going on to say that if the House doesn’t release the articles, Trump could legitimately declare “with strong justification” that he was never actually impeached.

“To be sure, if the House just never sends its articles of impeachment to the Senate, there can be no trial there. That’s what the ‘sole power to impeach’ means,” he said.

RACHEL MADDOW SAYS ‘IMPLOSION’ OF NRA WOULD BE THE ‘BIGGEST’ POLITICAL STORY IF NOT FOR IMPEACHMENT

Now, the political tables turn yet again with the sole constitutional scholar who opposed impeachment at the impeachment hearing countering Feldman’s argument, insisting Trump was impeached.

“While this theory may provide tweet-ready fodder for the president to defend himself and taunt his political adversaries, it’s difficult to sustain on the text or history or logic of the Constitution,” Turley wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Post.

Turley pointed to Sections 2 and 3 of Article I, which states that the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment” and that the Senate “shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments” to back up his argument.

“The separation of impeachment and trial makes both practical and constitutional sense. If impeachment required an actual submission to the Senate, it would be an invitation of mischief,” Turley elaborated. “For instance, the Senate could go out of session or take other procedural steps to thwart the submission of the articles. If the Senate were under the control of a president’s party (as it is currently), the maneuver could be used to avoid not just trial but the ignominy of impeachment.”

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He continued, “Congressional Democrats’ current posture may be too cute by half, and is perhaps politically ill-advised, but any argument that they’ve entered a legal limbo by stalling the delivery of articles to the Senate falls flat. The Framers set a two-thirds requirement for conviction because it knew that some impeachments might be pure political exercises. It is a different standard set for a distinct stage of this constitutional process.”

Fox News’ David Montanaro contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Turley-Feldman-Reuters-Getty Jonathan Turley refutes Dem lawyer, says Trump was impeached despite withheld articles Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4afffef7-7ae3-5e14-8e82-65f7eb081a60   Westlake Legal Group Turley-Feldman-Reuters-Getty Jonathan Turley refutes Dem lawyer, says Trump was impeached despite withheld articles Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4afffef7-7ae3-5e14-8e82-65f7eb081a60

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Russia Deploys Hypersonic Weapon, Potentially Renewing Arms Race

Westlake Legal Group 27dc-missile1-facebookJumbo Russia Deploys Hypersonic Weapon, Potentially Renewing Arms Race United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Treaties Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty Russia Putin, Vladimir V Nuclear Weapons Moscow (Russia) Missiles and Missile Defense Systems Defense Department Defense and Military Forces Arms Control and Limitation and Disarmament

WASHINGTON — The Russian military on Friday said it had deployed a hypersonic weapon that flies at superfast speeds and can easily evade American missile defense systems, potentially setting off a new chapter in the long arms race between the world’s pre-eminent nuclear powers.

American officials said Friday they have little doubt that the Russians have a working hypersonic weapon — which sits on top of a modified missile and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead at speeds faster than 3,800 miles per hour.

Moscow has been working on the technology for years and has invested heavily in it, determined to reverse the pattern in the Cold War, when it was often struggling to catch up with American nuclear weapons systems. If the new system, called “Avangard,” works as President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia boasted when he described the weapon a year ago, it would significantly enhance Moscow’s already powerful nuclear forces, American officials said.

Hypersonic weapons fly extremely fast and can maneuver along unpredictable trajectories, making them incredibly difficult for current systems to track, much less shoot down. Senior American military officials said the United States plans to deploy its own hypersonic weapons by 2022, but some experts believe that schedule may prove optimistic.

Yet the Russian announcement may be as much about spurring a new round of diplomatic talks as it is about reviving an arms race, current and former diplomats said. Moscow is anxious for President Trump to renew the last remaining arms control treaty between the United States and Russia, called New START, which limits strategic nuclear missile launchers and deployed warheads for both nations. The treaty expires soon after the next presidential inauguration in 2021.

The Trump administration has been noncommittal about extending the treaty, and Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that he would only renew it if it includes China and other nuclear powers. China has said it is not interested in any numerical limits on its arsenal, which is one-fifth of the size of America’s and Russia’s.

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that “the world has changed” in the decade since the Obama administration negotiated New START and arms control treaties can no longer be limited “to the United States and Russia.”

By showcasing its new weapon, Russia could be trying to pressure Mr. Trump to open talks. Mr. Putin said earlier this week that Russia was ahead on hypersonic technology, reveling in a rare moment of superiority to American and Chinese technology. The Russian leader has been unafraid to use “nuclear diplomacy” in the past and Moscow has been designing new weapons that can threaten the United States.

Mr. Trump has at times called for starting a new arms race, saying that American technology would ultimately win. Yet while the United States military was once thought to be well ahead in hypersonic technology, the pace of development flagged in recent years.

“China and Russia made hypersonic weapons a national priority. We didn’t,” William B. Roper, the head of Air Force acquisitions and technology, said on Friday. “Every service now has a major hypersonics program in a departmentwide effort to catch up.”

The United States Air Force has two hypersonic prototypes in testing and while development is on an accelerated pace, the weapons are not scheduled to be operational until 2022. Other parts of the Pentagon, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, have other hypersonic initiatives, but they are many years down the road.

Still, experts say the threat to the United States appears limited. Russia’s system is being deployed in relatively low numbers, likely no more than a couple of dozen, according to Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association. As a result, the system “does not significantly increase the threat to the United States and the world” of Russia’s already fearsome nuclear arsenal, Mr. Kimball said.

But he said the two countries should discuss hypersonics as part of any new treaty negotiations.

“Washington and Moscow should immediately commence talks on how new weapons technologies and all types of nuclear weapons should be regulated so that neither side believes they can gain an advantage by ‘racing’ ahead of the other,” Mr. Kimball said.

The Russian weapon — known as a hypersonic glide vehicle — can fly lower in the atmosphere, avoiding ballistic missile defense radars. It is mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile, allowing the warhead to be initially carried toward a target on a traditional piece of technology. But as it gets closer to the target, it is designed to fly at hypersonic speeds in an unpredictable path — making detection, tracking and interception extremely difficult. Most American missile defenses work by predicting the path of an incoming weapon, and shooting an “interceptor” at it.

On Friday, Russia’s defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, informed Mr. Putin that the first missile regiment armed with the glide vehicle was operational, the ministry said in a statement. The strategic missile forces chief, Gen. Sergei Karakayev, said at a meeting later in the day that the new missile was deployed with a military unit in the town of Yasny of the Orenburg region on the border with Kazakhstan.

The Pentagon declined to comment on the Russian statement, but other American officials said there was no reason to doubt Moscow had deployed the new weapon.

Nothing in the existing arms treaty would prohibit the new Russian weapon from being mounted atop an intercontinental weapon. In November, before Friday’s deployment of the hypersonic weapon, the Russian military exhibited it for American officials, as required under the treaty, and to show off the technology to the United States.

The weapons that Mr. Putin has tried to highlight in recent years have all been systems designed to reach the United States.

“The Russians are developing capabilities to reach out and attack us,” said Brig. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, a senior Air Force official said in an interview earlier this month, before the Russian technology was declared operational. “When you look at some of the capabilities Russia has announced, they are designed for offensive attack into the homeland of the United States.”

The Avangard project was among the few new Russian strategic weapons Mr. Putin unveiled during his State of the Union speech in March 2018. Mr. Putin boasted the new weapon “flies to its target like a meteorite, like a ball of fire” and is “absolutely invulnerable to any air or missile defense system.”

Russia began looking at ways to improve the capabilities of its strategic missile force after the United States withdrew from the antiballistic missile treaty in 2002 in order to expand its missile defenses.

Russia has several other projects underway, including a long-range torpedo that could detonate a nuclear weapon on the American West Coast, and a nuclear-powered cruise missile. Neither would be covered by New START but development is still years away.

The new American defense budget devotes significant funds to developing both new weapons and new defenses against hypersonic weapons. Progress has been cloaked in considerable secrecy. But Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a Pentagon spokesman, said hypersonic weapons “remain a technical research and engineering priority” for the Pentagon.

Unlike the new Russian system, two Air Force prototypes are designed to be carried and released by aircraft, not launched atop ICBMs.

Dr. Roper said the Air Force is moving more aggressively than usual to test the prototypes in an effort to build new weapons faster. Even if the new prototypes work, he said there can be no “sense of comfort” and warned that the United States will need to continue developing new hypersonic weapons “if we want to dominate this new domain of fast flight.”

Ivan Nechepurenko in Moscow contributed reporting.

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Controversial Shock Jock Don Imus Has Died At 79

Westlake Legal Group ap_19361812870950-f425babebfb98e5fea7a11f533086fb03d75e03e-s1100-c15 Controversial Shock Jock Don Imus Has Died At 79

The career of DJ Don Imus, which spanned more than four decades, was made and then undone by his acid tongue. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  Controversial Shock Jock Don Imus Has Died At 79

The career of DJ Don Imus, which spanned more than four decades, was made and then undone by his acid tongue.

Richard Drew/AP

Radio shock jock Don Imus died Friday at the age of 79.

The broadcaster, who typically wore a cowboy hat, was a pioneer of the radio genre that prized irreverence and caustic wit, and pushed back against political correctness.

Imus embraced those traits and was sometimes accused of tipping into sexist and racially insensitive territory.

He died at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in College Station, Texas; he had been hospitalized since Christmas Eve, his publicist said in a statement.

The I-Man, as he was called, retired from his Imus in the Morning show in March 2018.

No stranger to controversy, Imus became entangled in a national debate about racism in 2007 after calling women on the Rutgers University basketball team “nappy-headed hos.”

As Michael Paulino wrote for NPR’s Code Switch:

The backlash was immediate. Calls for Imus to be taken off the air began to flood in.

Days later, Imus appeared as a guest on activist Al Sharpton’s show in an attempt to address the criticism. Imus said that he had used the phrase without an understanding that nappy was a racial slur.

About a week after the original comment, CBS Radio canceled Imus In The Morning indefinitely, calling Imus’ use of the phrase racially damaging.

But nine months later, Imus was back on the air with rival broadcaster ABC. He was also about $20 million richer after reportedly reaching a settlement with CBS, which had fired him.

Where he may have been initially contrite, the notorious crank soon returned to his old irascible self.

In June 2008, Imus was in trouble once again for making racially charged remarks. During a conversation about NFL player Adam “Pacman” Jones, Imus asked, “What color is he?”

When the co-host responded that Jones is African American, Imus responded: “Well, there you go. Now we know.”

Imus later said he was trying to make a “sarcastic point.”

But despite the rough patches, Imus remained popular throughout more than 45 years on the air.

In some ways, Imus was the thinking person’s shock jock, less scatalogical than Howard Stern, less ideological than Rush Limbaugh. He was said to have attracted a higher income and more highly educated audience than his peers.

During the time of his show’s simulcast on MSNBC, he would perform a series of satires while drawing such journalists as Gwen Ifill, David Brooks and Tim Russert as guests – even knowing how offensive some of his humor was on race, ethnicity and gender.

(His turn as lead comic of the White House Correspondents Dinner during the Clinton impeachment verged on blue – and not in a partisan sense.)

As a record built of Imus’ offensive remarks and attitudes, guests would occasionally push back.

But his program — long-form chat with a generally light touch about politics, pop culture and society — served as the model for what followed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, a debt host Joe Scarborough has acknowledged in public comments.

The talk show host’s biography notes, “Once Imus began broadcasting, fame and acclaim came quickly.” He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989 and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1996.

He was also one of VH1’s original disc jockeys when the music network launched in 1985.

Imus is survived by his wife of 25 years, Deirdre; his sons, Wyatt and Zachary Don Cates; and four daughters: Nadine, Ashley, Elizabeth and Toni.

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Amy McGrath files to challenge Mitch McConnell in Senate race

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Wealth Of World’s 500 Richest People Grew 25% This Year

Westlake Legal Group 5e0693132400009a1c5a46b7 Wealth Of World’s 500 Richest People Grew 25% This Year

The world’s richest 500 people increased their collective wealth by 25% in 2019 ― a stark reminder of worsening income inequality, particularly in the U.S. 

The 500 wealthiest people held a net worth of $5.9 trillion dollars ― collectively up $1.2 trillion over this year alone, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Topping the list of richest people were familiar names: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, French luxury group head Bernard Arnault, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. 

This news comes as income inequality and wealth concentrating in the hands of the few has become a much-discussed topic in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. 

There are two billionaires among the Democratic 2020 contenders: California hedge fund manager Tom Steyer and former New York City mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg (whose new site publishes this daily ranking of the world’s wealthy). 

Bloomberg News said it would stay out of investigations in the 2020 race after its founder and owner became a contender earlier this year ― but broke its own rule earlier this week in a report on progressive rivals Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). 

Sanders and Warren are among the candidates who most often criticize the economic and political systems that allow the nation’s income gains to disproportionately accrue to the wealthy. 

One of Warren’s flagship policy proposals would target the ultra-wealthy with a 2% tax on fortunes larger than $50 million. Sanders, in a conversation with the Los Angeles Times editorial board published this week, called out how despite there being a low unemployment rate in the U.S., wages have largely stagnated for decades, leaving many Americans struggling to get by.

A study earlier this year found that the 400 richest people in the U.S. owned more than the 150 million people in the bottom 60% of the country ― and that since the early 1980s, those 400 richest Americans had tripled their wealth.

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Warren sees sharp drop in quarterly fundraising, ‘a good chunk behind’ last quarter, campaign says

Westlake Legal Group AP19350683071367 Warren sees sharp drop in quarterly fundraising, 'a good chunk behind' last quarter, campaign says Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 413d465c-408e-5da6-a3b5-1912ed5dab0e

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., may have found a lump of coal in her Christmas stocking, as her campaign’s fundraising efforts reportedly had a sharp decline in the fourth quarter.

CNBC first reported Friday that the Warren campaign had raised “just over $17 million” in the final quarter ahead of a Dec. 31 Federal Election Commission deadline; that figure represents a drop of about 30 percent from the campaign’s $24.6 million haul in the third quarter.

“So far this quarter, we’ve raised a little over $17 million. That’s a good chunk behind where we were at this time last quarter,” an email from the Warren campaign read. “Elizabeth Warren needs your help. Right now. The goal is $20 million for the quarter — that’s how much the campaign needs to keep our plans on track.”

The email continued: “But if the numbers don’t pick up, we run the risk of having to pull back plans to organize for Elizabeth Warren in all 50 states during the primary. And that plan is central to her path to victory.”

SANDERS CAMPAIGN HITS BUTTIGIEG FOR ‘GIMMICK’ CONTEST TO LOWER AVERAGE DONATION AMOUNT

This comes as Warren has seen a dip in the polls in recent weeks, as well.

In the latest Fox News poll, the Massachusetts senator trails at a distant third place with 13 percent, while former Vice President Joe Biden holds on to a commanding lead at 30 percent. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has 20 percent of likely Democratic voters.

Warren made headlines at the most recent Democratic debate when she aggressively went after South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg for holding a recent fundraiser at a California “wine cave.”

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“Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” she said during the debate.

Buttigieg fired back by saying he was the only candidate on the stage who was neither a millionaire nor a billionaire, telling Warren, “This is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass.”

The Warren campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Fox News’ Tara Prindiville contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19350683071367 Warren sees sharp drop in quarterly fundraising, 'a good chunk behind' last quarter, campaign says Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 413d465c-408e-5da6-a3b5-1912ed5dab0e   Westlake Legal Group AP19350683071367 Warren sees sharp drop in quarterly fundraising, 'a good chunk behind' last quarter, campaign says Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 413d465c-408e-5da6-a3b5-1912ed5dab0e

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Russia Deploys Hypersonic Weapon, Potentially Renewing Arms Race

Westlake Legal Group 27dc-missile1-facebookJumbo Russia Deploys Hypersonic Weapon, Potentially Renewing Arms Race United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Treaties Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty Russia Putin, Vladimir V Nuclear Weapons Moscow (Russia) Missiles and Missile Defense Systems Defense Department Defense and Military Forces Arms Control and Limitation and Disarmament

WASHINGTON — The Russian military on Friday said it had deployed a hypersonic weapon that flies at superfast speeds and can easily evade American missile defense systems, potentially setting off a new chapter in the long arms race between the world’s pre-eminent nuclear powers.

American officials said Friday they have little doubt that the Russians have a working hypersonic weapon — which sits on top of a modified missile and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead at speeds faster than 3,800 miles per hour.

Moscow has been working on the technology for years and has invested heavily in it, determined to reverse the pattern in the Cold War, when it was often struggling to catch up with American nuclear weapons systems. If the new system, called “Avangard,” works as President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia boasted when he described the weapon a year ago, it would significantly enhance Moscow’s already powerful nuclear forces, American officials said.

Hypersonic weapons fly extremely fast and can maneuver along unpredictable trajectories, making them incredibly difficult for current systems to track, much less shoot down. Senior American military officials said the United States plans to deploy its own hypersonic weapons by 2022, but some experts believe that schedule may prove optimistic.

Yet the Russian announcement may be as much about spurring a new round of diplomatic talks as it is about reviving an arms race, current and former diplomats said. Moscow is anxious for President Trump to renew the last remaining arms control treaty between the United States and Russia, called New START, which limits strategic nuclear missile launchers and deployed warheads for both nations. The treaty expires soon after the next presidential inauguration in 2021.

The Trump administration has been noncommittal about extending the treaty, and Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that he would only renew it if it includes China and other nuclear powers. China has said it is not interested in any numerical limits on its arsenal, which is one-fifth of the size of America’s and Russia’s.

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that “the world has changed” in the decade since the Obama administration negotiated New START and arms control treaties can no longer be limited “to the United States and Russia.”

By showcasing its new weapon, Russia could be trying to pressure Mr. Trump to open talks. Mr. Putin said earlier this week that Russia was ahead on hypersonic technology, reveling in a rare moment of superiority to American and Chinese technology. The Russian leader has been unafraid to use “nuclear diplomacy” in the past and Moscow has been designing new weapons that can threaten the United States.

Mr. Trump has at times called for starting a new arms race, saying that American technology would ultimately win. Yet while the United States military was once thought to be well ahead in hypersonic technology, the pace of development flagged in recent years.

“China and Russia made hypersonic weapons a national priority. We didn’t,” William B. Roper, the head of Air Force acquisitions and technology, said on Friday. “Every service now has a major hypersonics program in a departmentwide effort to catch up.”

The United States Air Force has two hypersonic prototypes in testing and while development is on an accelerated pace, the weapons are not scheduled to be operational until 2022. Other parts of the Pentagon, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, have other hypersonic initiatives, but they are many years down the road.

Still, experts say the threat to the United States appears limited. Russia’s system is being deployed in relatively low numbers, likely no more than a couple of dozen, according to Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association. As a result, the system “does not significantly increase the threat to the United States and the world” of Russia’s already fearsome nuclear arsenal, Mr. Kimball said.

But he said the two countries should discuss hypersonics as part of any new treaty negotiations.

“Washington and Moscow should immediately commence talks on how new weapons technologies and all types of nuclear weapons should be regulated so that neither side believes they can gain an advantage by ‘racing’ ahead of the other,” Mr. Kimball said.

The Russian weapon — known as a hypersonic glide vehicle — can fly lower in the atmosphere, avoiding ballistic missile defense radars. It is mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile, allowing the warhead to be initially carried toward a target on a traditional piece of technology. But as it gets closer to the target, it is designed to fly at hypersonic speeds in an unpredictable path — making detection, tracking and interception extremely difficult. Most American missile defenses work by predicting the path of an incoming weapon, and shooting an “interceptor” at it.

On Friday, Russia’s defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, informed Mr. Putin that the first missile regiment armed with the glide vehicle was operational, the ministry said in a statement. The strategic missile forces chief, Gen. Sergei Karakayev, said at a meeting later in the day that the new missile was deployed with a military unit in the town of Yasny of the Orenburg region on the border with Kazakhstan.

The Pentagon declined to comment on the Russian statement, but other American officials said there was no reason to doubt Moscow had deployed the new weapon.

Nothing in the existing arms treaty would prohibit the new Russian weapon from being mounted atop an intercontinental weapon. In November, before Friday’s deployment of the hypersonic weapon, the Russian military exhibited it for American officials, as required under the treaty, and to show off the technology to the United States.

The weapons that Mr. Putin has tried to highlight in recent years have all been systems designed to reach the United States.

“The Russians are developing capabilities to reach out and attack us,” said Brig. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, a senior Air Force official said in an interview earlier this month, before the Russian technology was declared operational. “When you look at some of the capabilities Russia has announced, they are designed for offensive attack into the homeland of the United States.”

The Avangard project was among the few new Russian strategic weapons Mr. Putin unveiled during his State of the Union speech in March 2018. Mr. Putin boasted the new weapon “flies to its target like a meteorite, like a ball of fire” and is “absolutely invulnerable to any air or missile defense system.”

Russia began looking at ways to improve the capabilities of its strategic missile force after the United States withdrew from the antiballistic missile treaty in 2002 in order to expand its missile defenses.

Russia has several other projects underway, including a long-range torpedo that could detonate a nuclear weapon on the American West Coast, and a nuclear-powered cruise missile. Neither would be covered by New START but development is still years away.

The new American defense budget devotes significant funds to developing both new weapons and new defenses against hypersonic weapons. Progress has been cloaked in considerable secrecy. But Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a Pentagon spokesman, said hypersonic weapons “remain a technical research and engineering priority” for the Pentagon.

Unlike the new Russian system, two Air Force prototypes are designed to be carried and released by aircraft, not launched atop ICBMs.

Dr. Roper said the Air Force is moving more aggressively than usual to test the prototypes in an effort to build new weapons faster. Even if the new prototypes work, he said there can be no “sense of comfort” and warned that the United States will need to continue developing new hypersonic weapons “if we want to dominate this new domain of fast flight.”

Ivan Nechepurenko in Moscow contributed reporting.

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Controversial Shock Jock Don Imus Has Died At 79

Westlake Legal Group ap_19361812870950-f425babebfb98e5fea7a11f533086fb03d75e03e-s1100-c15 Controversial Shock Jock Don Imus Has Died At 79

The career of DJ Don Imus, which spanned more than four decades, was made and then undone by his acid tongue. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Richard Drew/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Controversial Shock Jock Don Imus Has Died At 79

The career of DJ Don Imus, which spanned more than four decades, was made and then undone by his acid tongue.

Richard Drew/AP

Radio shock jock Don Imus died Friday at the age of 79.

The broadcaster, who typically wore a cowboy hat, was a pioneer of the radio genre that prized irreverence and caustic wit, and pushed back against political correctness.

Imus embraced those traits and was sometimes accused of tipping into sexist and racially insensitive territory.

He died at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in College Station, Texas; he had been hospitalized since Christmas Eve, his publicist said in a statement.

The I-Man, as he was called, retired from his Imus in the Morning show in March 2018.

No stranger to controversy, Imus became entangled in a national debate about racism in 2007 after calling women on the Rutgers University basketball team “nappy-headed hos.”

As Michael Paulino wrote for NPR’s Code Switch:

The backlash was immediate. Calls for Imus to be taken off the air began to flood in.

Days later, Imus appeared as a guest on activist Al Sharpton’s show in an attempt to address the criticism. Imus said that he had used the phrase without an understanding that nappy was a racial slur.

About a week after the original comment, CBS Radio canceled Imus In The Morning indefinitely, calling Imus’ use of the phrase racially damaging.

But nine months later, Imus was back on the air with rival broadcaster ABC. He was also about $20 million richer after reportedly reaching a settlement with CBS, which had fired him.

Where he may have been initially contrite, the notorious crank soon returned to his old irascible self.

In June 2008, Imus was in trouble once again for making racially charged remarks. During a conversation about NFL player Adam “Pacman” Jones, Imus asked, “What color is he?”

When the co-host responded that Jones is African American, Imus responded: “Well, there you go. Now we know.”

Imus later said he was trying to make a “sarcastic point.”

But despite the rough patches, Imus remained popular throughout more than 45 years on the air.

In some ways, Imus was the thinking person’s shock jock, less scatalogical than Howard Stern, less ideological than Rush Limbaugh. He was said to have attracted a higher income and more highly educated audience than his peers.

During the time of his show’s simulcast on MSNBC, he would perform a series of satires while drawing such journalists as Gwen Ifill, David Brooks and Tim Russert as guests – even knowing how offensive some of his humor was on race, ethnicity and gender.

(His turn as lead comic of the White House Correspondents Dinner during the Clinton impeachment verged on blue – and not in a partisan sense.)

As a record built of Imus’ offensive remarks and attitudes, guests would occasionally push back.

But his program — long-form chat with a generally light touch about politics, pop culture and society — served as the model for what followed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, a debt host Joe Scarborough has acknowledged in public comments.

The talk show host’s biography notes, “Once Imus began broadcasting, fame and acclaim came quickly.” He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989 and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1996.

He was also one of VH1’s original disc jockeys when the music network launched in 1985.

Imus is survived by his wife of 25 years, Deirdre; his sons, Wyatt and Zachary Don Cates; and four daughters: Nadine, Ashley, Elizabeth and Toni.

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Jesse Watters blasts ex-Bush lawyer for invoking KKK when attacking McConnell: ‘Atrocious comparison’

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132219579284880000 Jesse Watters blasts ex-Bush lawyer for invoking KKK when attacking McConnell: 'Atrocious comparison' fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 032a94af-9690-59a4-920f-3f09da86070a

Jesse Watters responded to a former George W. Bush administration ethics lawyer who invoked the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) while attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Richard Painter had said Thursday that McConnell’s announcement that he will conduct the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Trump in “coordination” with the White House is akin to a judge empaneling a Caucasian jury in a KKK case.

“For Mitch McConnell to say he’s working with the White House [and] coordinating with the defendant in this trial — before the trial has even begun — is atrocious,” said Painter, who in 2018 ran for office in Minnesota under the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party banner.

“He may think he’s a judge empaneling an all-white jury for a Klansman trial in Mississippi in 1965. That’s not the kind of trial we have,” Painter said.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — appearing on the CNN panel with Painter — interrupted the attorney to call his claim “absurd.”

JASON RILEY: GOP SEN. MURKOWSKI USING ‘DEMOCRATIC TALKING POINTS’ ON TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

“You know — This is — I’m sorry — You’re being absurd,” said Santorum, a Republican. ” Yes, you are [being ‘absurd’] … The Senate is the one that gets to make the rules, and there’s no requirement in the Senate to listen to witnesses.”

On “The Five,” Watters praised his fellow Pennsylvania native’s objection.

“I’m glad Santorum pushed back there,” Watters said. “An atrocious comparison. You come to expect this.”

He later said it appears such “bomb-throwing” on cable news television has been “incentivized” in the age of Trump.

Former Ohio Democratic state lawmaker Capri Cafaro said that people must be more judicious when spreading “talking points.”

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“You’ve got to be careful with the talking points,” she said on “The Five,” adding: “Invoking the Ku Klux Klan is like people throwing around ‘Nazi’ — You can say the same kind of thing without being that incendiary.”

On CNN, the former Republican presidential candidate told Painter that he was a U.S. Senator — and therefore a “juror” — during then-President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial and saw how then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., acted at the time.

“I saw what Tom Daschle did in 1998, and I don’t think you were complaining one bit about him carrying the water for [Clinton],” Santorum said to Painter.

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Painter said he disapproved of Daschle’s leadership behavior just as much as he has McConnell in the present day. He said that McConnell, like all senators, swore an oath to the United States — not to the president.

“This is a trial — it’s not a political game,” Painter said.

He said he believes Trump should have been impeached much earlier than this month, claiming the president has not comported himself “in accordance with the Constitution.”

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132219579284880000 Jesse Watters blasts ex-Bush lawyer for invoking KKK when attacking McConnell: 'Atrocious comparison' fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 032a94af-9690-59a4-920f-3f09da86070a   Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132219579284880000 Jesse Watters blasts ex-Bush lawyer for invoking KKK when attacking McConnell: 'Atrocious comparison' fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 032a94af-9690-59a4-920f-3f09da86070a

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