web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 363)

China Moves to Steady Its Slowing Economic Growth

Westlake Legal Group 01china-economy-1-facebookJumbo China Moves to Steady Its Slowing Economic Growth Production Politics and Government People's Bank of China Lunar New Year International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends China

HONG KONG — China on Wednesday moved to inject $115 billion in cash into its financial system, suggesting that Beijing remains concerned about faltering growth despite signs that the world’s second-largest economy is stabilizing.

China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, on Wednesday cut the amount of money that it requires the country’s commercial banks to stash away for a rainy day, a measure called the reserve requirement ratio. The move will essentially inject about $115 billion into the financial system after it goes into effect on Monday. The cut comes after a similar move in September.

The change, announced on the New Year’s Day holiday, is likely to focus renewed attention on the health of the Chinese economy, a major driver of global growth. While the move is relatively modest given the vast size of the Chinese economy, it follows a recent meeting of the country’s top economic planners and comes just a few weeks before Beijing releases its growth figures for the last three months of 2019.

China’s leaders are contending with the country’s slowest pace of growth in nearly three decades.

Beijing has been trying to pare down the country’s dependence on borrowing, which helped fuel heady growth in recent years but left big debts on the balance sheets of major corporations and local governments. Reducing that dependence could help prevent major problems down the road, but at the cost of slower growth in the near term.

The Chinese economy has also been hit by President Trump’s trade war. Higher tariffs have made it more expensive to sell Chinese-made goods to American customers, denting China’s factory activity and consumer confidence there. A likely trade truce could limit the damage but still leave many tariffs in place.

Some recent signs had suggested that China’s slowdown was easing. November figures for industrial output and retail sales had suggested the economy was strengthening. The property market, an essential part of the Chinese economy that in recent months had been holding back growth, also appeared to be improving.

But other signs still indicate weakness. The China Beige Book, an economic consulting firm, pointed in its December report to slowing growth in new orders and ramped up borrowing by Chinese companies. “With China’s economy seeing record levels of corporate borrowing,” it said, “is this as good as it gets?”

The cut announced Wednesday was expected by many economists. They see Beijing as trying to find middle ground between supporting economic growth without resorting to more dramatic steps that could rev the economy further but saddle the country with even more debt.

As a result, China’s headline growth figures are widely expected to slow further, though at a measured pace. In the first three quarters of 2019, its output grew 6.2 percent compared with a year before. Still, economists take those figures with a deep amount of skepticism because they tend to be smoother and steadier than those issued by other countries, and they usually hit official targets.

The cut is not unusual so early in the year ahead of China’s Lunar New Year holiday, which begins this year on Jan. 25, and when demand for cash intensifies. The central bank made a similar cut about a year ago.

China’s cut announced on Wednesday reduced the requirement ratio by 0.5 percentage points, to 12.5 percent for large banks.

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

Trump’s Push For Lofty Nuclear Treaty Sparks Worry Over Current Deal

Westlake Legal Group ap_19179193159934_wide-a48523ee7078e8f52c8269d15a29b15c1be0102b-s1100-c15 Trump's Push For Lofty Nuclear Treaty Sparks Worry Over Current Deal

President Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, in June 2019. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Susan Walsh/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Trump's Push For Lofty Nuclear Treaty Sparks Worry Over Current Deal

President Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, in June 2019.

Susan Walsh/AP

President Trump and his Russian counterpart have the coming year to deal with an expiring nuclear treaty that will lapse just after the end of his first term.

Trump hasn’t ruled out renewing the treaty, known as New START. But he has made it clear that he would rather strike a bigger deal that includes different kinds of nuclear weapons — and that also brings China into the fold.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed arms control over the weekend. Trump has said that Russia wants to broaden the nuclear pact. And Trump claims China is also “extremely excited” about getting involved — despite Beijing’s public statements to the contrary.

Experts say reaching a trilateral deal within a year is highly unlikely. And some worry that Trump’s focus on a bigger deal risks upending the existing treaty with Russia, which could lead to a new arms race.

But Tim Morrison, the person who ran point on the matter at the White House until recently, said there is no reason to rush into an extension of the agreement with Russia. Morrison believes there is an opportunity now to broker a better deal involving both Russia and China. He was the top Russia official on the National Security Council until he resigned after testifying in the impeachment hearings.

“It’s sort of like, people who have a car warranty or people who have a car lease,” Morrison said. “Nobody goes back to the dealer a year ahead of time and says, ‘Hey, can I give you my money now to extend the lease?’ No. They’re going to give themselves the margin to go back and say, ‘Well, maybe there’ll be a better deal over the course of the next year.’ “

Morrison said that no one is discussing allowing the treaty to expire and that an extension could be basically written on a “cocktail napkin.”

He said signing now would only play into the interest of officials in Russia, who are happy with the status quo, and officials in China, who want to keep building weapons.

New START, signed by President Obama in 2010, caps the number of strategic nuclear warheads that go on longer-range missiles at 1,550 apiece, among other provisions. But it doesn’t apply to smaller, shorter-range weapons designed for battlefield use.

The Trump administration has raised concerns that Russia has been able to build up its nuclear arsenal by developing more short-range, or nonstrategic, weapons that fall outside the scope of the current treaty.

And China is investing heavily in its nuclear capabilities. While it has far fewer nuclear weapons, China has been doing more testing than the rest of the world combined, U.S. officials have said.

A senior administration official told NPR on Monday that the United States is committed to effective and enforceable arms control that “includes counterparts that fulfill their obligations.”

“The president has directed us to think more broadly than New START, both in terms of including China, but also on what is covered,” the official said. “The administration is evaluating the possibility of an extension of the New START treaty and how that could be used to achieve the president’s direction.”

But China is more interested in expanding its nuclear arsenal, which is a fraction of the size of the both the United States’ and Russia’s arsenals. And Russian officials have said publicly that they don’t think there is time to reach a new deal before the current agreement expires.

That worries people like Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, who says the Trump administration risks “foreign policy malpractice.”

“If that treaty is allowed to expire in 2021, there will be no legally binding limits on the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals, the U.S. and Russia, for the first time in five decades,” Kimball said.

Kimball said he’s not against the United States entering talks with China but said it’s more realistic for the U.S. and Russia to first sign an extension and then begin new, broader talks.

Trump, however, continues to boast of how eager each side is to reach a deal.

“With respect to nuclear weapons, I’ve spoken with President Putin, and I’ve communicated with him. He very much, and so do we, want to work out a treaty of some kind on nuclear that will probably include China at some point, and [France] by the way, but it will include China and some other countries,” Trump said in December during a NATO meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

It’s not unlike how Trump has spoken optimistically about reaching deals with other foreign leaders on contentious matters, including China, Iran and the Taliban.

That’s another reason to be careful about taking this nuclear matter too far, said Molly Montgomery, a former career foreign service officer who worked on arms control in the Trump White House.

She said the Russians are currently interested in renewing, but there is no guarantee in a year that they still will be. And given the fraught nature of U.S.-Russia relations, things can quickly become more complicated.

“What we’ve seen time and time again is that the president is, shall we say, overly optimistic about other countries’ willingness to sign on to negotiations or to the deals that he is proposing,” she said. “And so I would say we should always take that information with a grain of salt, particularly in this case, because China has said repeatedly that this is something it’s just not interested in pursuing.”

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

Barbara Walters honored with ‘This is 2020’ tribute video featuring star cameos

Westlake Legal Group Sofia-Vergara-Whoopi-Goldberg-Barbara-Walters Barbara Walters honored with 'This is 2020' tribute video featuring star cameos Nate Day fox-news/person/whoopi-goldberg fox-news/person/kelly-ripa fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c67b1e80-34dd-5a41-bff4-59deaf58dd4c article

Barbara Walters, now 90 years old and retired, was apparently way ahead of her time when she first said: “This is 20/20.”

To many, that introduction to the news magazine program she co-anchored on ABC from 1974-2004 seemed like the perfect way to kick off the new year 2020.

So to celebrate the new year, New York City’s WABC-TV put together a star-studded video tribute to Walters, featuring stars such as Kelly Ripa, Whoopi Goldberg and others voicing the introduction that Walters made famous.

MILLIE BOBBY BROWN MARKS END OF THE DECADE WITH THROWBACK ADELE COVER

The video kicks off with clips of Walters giving her signature intro to “20/20.”

“No one says it like Barbara, but…” reads the video before a slew of celebrities give their best impression of the legendary journalist.

POST MALONE CELEBRATES THE NEW YEAR WITH HUGE FACE TATTOO: ‘GAUNTLET ON THE BABY BOY’

Sofia Vergara from “Modern Family,” Marsai Martin from “Black-ish,” Ryan Seacrest and more can be seen offering their impressions, delivering the line in their best Barbara Walters voice.

“Do I get the job?” asks Goldberg, Walter’s former co-host on “The View,” after delivering the line.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The video includes one more vintage clip of Walters delivering her iconic line before text appears, reading: “Welcome to 2020.”

Westlake Legal Group Sofia-Vergara-Whoopi-Goldberg-Barbara-Walters Barbara Walters honored with 'This is 2020' tribute video featuring star cameos Nate Day fox-news/person/whoopi-goldberg fox-news/person/kelly-ripa fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c67b1e80-34dd-5a41-bff4-59deaf58dd4c article   Westlake Legal Group Sofia-Vergara-Whoopi-Goldberg-Barbara-Walters Barbara Walters honored with 'This is 2020' tribute video featuring star cameos Nate Day fox-news/person/whoopi-goldberg fox-news/person/kelly-ripa fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c67b1e80-34dd-5a41-bff4-59deaf58dd4c article

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

China Moves to Steady Its Slowing Economic Growth

Westlake Legal Group 01china-economy-1-facebookJumbo China Moves to Steady Its Slowing Economic Growth Production Politics and Government People's Bank of China Lunar New Year International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends China

HONG KONG — China on Wednesday moved to inject $115 billion in cash into its financial system, suggesting that Beijing remains concerned about faltering growth despite signs that the world’s second-largest economy is stabilizing.

China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, on Wednesday cut the amount of money that it requires the country’s commercial banks to stash away for a rainy day, a measure called the reserve requirement ratio. The move will essentially inject about $115 billion into the financial system after it goes into effect on Monday. The cut comes after a similar move in September.

The change, announced on the New Year’s Day holiday, is likely to focus renewed attention on the health of the Chinese economy, a major driver of global growth. While the move is relatively modest given the vast size of the Chinese economy, it follows a recent meeting of the country’s top economic planners and comes just a few weeks before Beijing releases its growth figures for the last three months of 2019.

China’s leaders are contending with the country’s slowest pace of growth in nearly three decades.

Beijing has been trying to pare down the country’s dependence on borrowing, which helped fuel heady growth in recent years but left big debts on the balance sheets of major corporations and local governments. Reducing that dependence could help prevent major problems down the road, but at the cost of slower growth in the near term.

The Chinese economy has also been hit by President Trump’s trade war. Higher tariffs have made it more expensive to sell Chinese-made goods to American customers, denting China’s factory activity and consumer confidence there. A likely trade truce could limit the damage but still leave many tariffs in place.

Some recent signs had suggested that China’s slowdown was easing. November figures for industrial output and retail sales had suggested the economy was strengthening. The property market, an essential part of the Chinese economy that in recent months had been holding back growth, also appeared to be improving.

But other signs still indicate weakness. The China Beige Book, an economic consulting firm, pointed in its December report to slowing growth in new orders and ramped up borrowing by Chinese companies. “With China’s economy seeing record levels of corporate borrowing,” it said, “is this as good as it gets?”

The cut announced Wednesday was expected by many economists. They see Beijing as trying to find middle ground between supporting economic growth without resorting to more dramatic steps that could rev the economy further but saddle the country with even more debt.

As a result, China’s headline growth figures are widely expected to slow further, though at a measured pace. In the first three quarters of 2019, its output grew 6.2 percent compared with a year before. Still, economists take those figures with a deep amount of skepticism because they tend to be smoother and steadier than those issued by other countries, and they usually hit official targets.

The cut is not unusual so early in the year ahead of China’s Lunar New Year holiday, which begins this year on Jan. 25, and when demand for cash intensifies. The central bank made a similar cut about a year ago.

China’s cut announced on Wednesday reduced the requirement ratio by 0.5 percentage points, to 12.5 percent for large banks.

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

The Tech That Will Invade Our Lives in 2020

Westlake Legal Group 01Techfix-print-facebookJumbo The Tech That Will Invade Our Lives in 2020 Wireless Communications Wearable Computing Television Sets and Media Devices Television Netflix Inc Mobile Applications International Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Home Automation and Smart Homes Driverless and Semiautonomous Vehicles Computers and the Internet Apple Inc 5G (Wireless Communications)

The 2010s made one thing clear: Tech is everywhere in life.

Tech is in our homes with thermostats that heat up our residences before we walk through the door. It’s in our cars with safety features that warn us about vehicles in adjacent lanes. It’s on our television sets, where many of us are streaming shows and movies through apps. We even wear it on ourselves in the form of wristwatches that monitor our health.

In 2020 and the coming decade, these trends are likely to gather momentum. They will also be on display next week at CES, an enormous consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas that typically serves as a window into the year’s hottest tech developments.

At the show, next-generation cellular technology known as 5G, which delivers data at mind-boggling speeds, is expected to take center stage as one of the most important topics. We are also likely to see the evolution of smart homes, with internet-connected appliances such as refrigerators, televisions and vacuum cleaners working more seamlessly together — and with less human interaction required.

“The biggest thing is connected everything,” said Carolina Milanesi, a technology analyst for the research firm Creative Strategies. “Anything in the home — we’ll have more cameras, more mics, more sensors.”

If some of this sounds the same as last year, it is — but that’s because new technologies often take time to mature.

Here’s what to watch in tech this year.

In the last few years, Amazon, Apple and Google have battled to become the center of our homes.

Their virtual assistants — Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri — respond to voice commands to play music from speakers, control light bulbs and activate robot vacuums. Smart home products work well, but they are complicated to set up, so most people use virtual assistants just for basic tasks like setting a kitchen timer and checking the weather.

Then in December, Amazon, Apple and Google came to what appeared to be a truce: They announced that they were working together on a standard to help make smart home products compatible with one another.

In other words, when you buy an internet-connected light bulb down the line that works with Alexa, it should also work with Siri and Google Assistant. This should help reduce confusion when shopping for home products and improve the ease with which connected gadgets work with one another.

Ms. Milanesi said that eliminating complexity was a necessary step for the tech giants to achieve their ultimate goal: seamless home automation without the need for people to tell the assistants what to do.

“You want the devices to talk to each other instead of me being the translator between these device interactions,” she said. “If I open my door, then the door can say to the lights that the door is open and therefore the lights need to turn on.”

If and when that happens, your home will truly — and finally — be smart.

In 2019, the wireless industry began shifting to 5G, a technology that can deliver data at such incredibly fast speeds that people will be able to download entire movies in a few seconds.

Yet the rollout of 5G was anticlimactic and uneven. Across the United States, carriers deployed 5G in just a few dozen cities. And only a handful of new smartphones last year worked with the new cellular technology.

In 2020, 5G will gain some momentum. Verizon said it expected half the nation to have access to 5G this year. AT&T, which offers two types of 5G — 5G Evolution, which is incrementally faster than 4G, and 5G Plus, which is the ultrafast version — said it expected 5G Plus to reach parts of 30 cities by early 2020.

Another sign that 5G is really taking hold? A broader set of devices will support the new wireless standard.

Samsung, for one, has begun including 5G support on some of its newer Galaxy devices. Apple, which declined to comment, is also expected to release its first 5G-compatible iPhones this year.

And 5G will be going to work behind the scenes, in ways that will emerge over time. One important benefit of the technology is its ability to greatly reduce latency, or the time it takes for devices to communicate with one another. That will be important for the compatibility of next-generation devices like robots, self-driving cars and drones.

For example, if your car has 5G and another car has 5G, the two cars can talk to each other, signaling to each other when they are braking and changing lanes. The elimination of the communications delay is crucial for cars to become autonomous.

It’s a time of intense competition in wearable computers, which is set to lead to more creativity and innovation.

For a long while, Apple has dominated wearables. In 2015, it released Apple Watch, a smart watch with a focus on health monitoring. In 2016, the company introduced AirPods, wireless earbuds that can be controlled with Siri.

Since then, many others have jumped in, including Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei. Google recently acquired Fitbit, the fitness gadget maker, for $2.1 billion, in the hope of playing catch-up with Apple.

Computer chips are making their way into other electronic products like earphones, which means that companies are likely to introduce innovations in wearable accessories, said Frank Gillett, a technology analyst for Forrester. Two possibilities: earphones that monitor your health by pulling pulses from your ears, or earbuds that double as inexpensive hearing aids.

“That whole area of improving our hearing and hearing the way other people hear us is really interesting,” he said.

We have rushed headlong into the streaming era, and that will only continue.

In 2019, Netflix was the most-watched video service in the United States, with people spending an average of 23 minutes a day streaming its content, according to eMarketer, the research firm. In all, digital video made up about a quarter of the daily time spent on digital devices last year, which included time spent on apps and web browsers.

Netflix’s share of the overall time we spend watching video on devices will probably decline in 2020, according to eMarketer, because of the arrival of competing streaming services like Disney Plus, HBO Max and Apple TV Plus.

“Even though Americans are spending more time watching Netflix, people’s attention will become more divided as new streamers emerge,” Ross Benes, an analyst at eMarketer, said in a blog post.

So if you don’t like “The Mandalorian,” “The Morning Show” or “Watchmen,” you won’t change the channel. You will just switch to a different app.

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

Kathy Griffin announces New Year’s Eve engagement, plan for ‘after midnight’ wedding

Westlake Legal Group Kathy-Griffin Kathy Griffin announces New Year's Eve engagement, plan for 'after midnight' wedding Nate Day fox-news/person/kathy-griffin fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 3ea533f1-bdb3-5d70-b2ac-89a5e7167699

By the time you read this, it appears Kathy Griffin will be married.

The comedian took to Twitter on Tuesday night, less than an hour before the arrival of 2020, to make the surprise announcement of her engagement to longtime boyfriend Randy Bick.

But the excitement didn’t stop there: Griffin, 59, also disclosed they would be tying the knot “just after midnight.”

MATT LAUER DATING MARKETING EXECUTIVE SHAMIN ABAS: REPORT

“Happy new year and, surprise, we’re getting married!” Griffin and Bick say in the video. “Tonight, after midnight!”

MARIAH CAREY’S TWITTER ACCOUNT GOT HACKED

“She said yes!” Bick exclaims.

Griffin then encouraged followers to check her feed to follow along as the ceremony takes place.

“You’re going to die when you see the officiate,” Griffin says.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The duo then kisses before Griffin pushes her hubby-to-be away, saying, “Oh my God, pervert, I’m a virgin.”

Westlake Legal Group Kathy-Griffin Kathy Griffin announces New Year's Eve engagement, plan for 'after midnight' wedding Nate Day fox-news/person/kathy-griffin fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 3ea533f1-bdb3-5d70-b2ac-89a5e7167699   Westlake Legal Group Kathy-Griffin Kathy Griffin announces New Year's Eve engagement, plan for 'after midnight' wedding Nate Day fox-news/person/kathy-griffin fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 3ea533f1-bdb3-5d70-b2ac-89a5e7167699

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

U.S. Troops Fire Tear Gas At Protesters Outside Embassy In Baghdad

Westlake Legal Group 5e0c6b3824000086245a4aea U.S. Troops Fire Tear Gas At Protesters Outside Embassy In Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. troops fired tear gas on Wednesday to disperse pro-Iran protesters who were gathered outside the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad for a second day.

Dozens of pro-Iranian militiamen and their supporters had camped out at the gates of the embassy in Baghdad, where they stayed the night. On Tuesday, dozens of the protesters had broken into the compound, trashing a reception area and smashing windows in one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory.

The U.S. Marines guarding the embassy fired tear gas as more crowds arrived and after the protesters lit a fire on the roof of the reception area on Wednesday. Smoke rose from the building. Protesters also firebombed a second gate, setting another fire. U.S. soldiers were seen on the roof of the main embassy building.

The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

On Tuesday, dozens of Iraqi Shiite militiamen and their supporters broke into the U.S. Embassy compound, smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area in one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory.

No U.S. casualties or evacuations were reported after the attack by dozens of Iran-supported militiamen

Iraqi security forces have made no effort to stop the protesters Tuesday as they marched to the heavily fortified Green Zone after a funeral for those killed in the U.S. airstrikes, nor did they intervene Wednesday as the protest and fire-bombing resumed.

President Donald Trump blamed Iran for the attack and Defense Secretary Mark Esper later announced the immediate deployment of an infantry battalion of about 750 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to the Middle East. He did not specify their destination, but a U.S. official familiar with the decision said they will go to Kuwait.

The developments represent a major downturn in Iraq-U.S. relations that could further undermine U.S. influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.

Iraq has long struggled to balance its ties with the U.S. and Iran, both allies of the Iraqi government. But the government’s angry reaction to the U.S. airstrikes and its apparent decision not to prevent the protesters from reaching the embassy signaled a sharp deterioration of U.S.-Iraq relations.

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

U.S. Troops Fire Tear Gas At Protesters Outside Embassy In Baghdad

Westlake Legal Group 5e0c6b3824000086245a4aea U.S. Troops Fire Tear Gas At Protesters Outside Embassy In Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. troops fired tear gas on Wednesday to disperse pro-Iran protesters who were gathered outside the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad for a second day.

Dozens of pro-Iranian militiamen and their supporters had camped out at the gates of the embassy in Baghdad, where they stayed the night. On Tuesday, dozens of the protesters had broken into the compound, trashing a reception area and smashing windows in one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory.

The U.S. Marines guarding the embassy fired tear gas as more crowds arrived and after the protesters lit a fire on the roof of the reception area on Wednesday. Smoke rose from the building. Protesters also firebombed a second gate, setting another fire. U.S. soldiers were seen on the roof of the main embassy building.

The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

On Tuesday, dozens of Iraqi Shiite militiamen and their supporters broke into the U.S. Embassy compound, smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area in one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent memory.

No U.S. casualties or evacuations were reported after the attack by dozens of Iran-supported militiamen

Iraqi security forces have made no effort to stop the protesters Tuesday as they marched to the heavily fortified Green Zone after a funeral for those killed in the U.S. airstrikes, nor did they intervene Wednesday as the protest and fire-bombing resumed.

President Donald Trump blamed Iran for the attack and Defense Secretary Mark Esper later announced the immediate deployment of an infantry battalion of about 750 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to the Middle East. He did not specify their destination, but a U.S. official familiar with the decision said they will go to Kuwait.

The developments represent a major downturn in Iraq-U.S. relations that could further undermine U.S. influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.

Iraq has long struggled to balance its ties with the U.S. and Iran, both allies of the Iraqi government. But the government’s angry reaction to the U.S. airstrikes and its apparent decision not to prevent the protesters from reaching the embassy signaled a sharp deterioration of U.S.-Iraq relations.

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

Anderson Cooper Can’t Stop Giggling As Cheri Oteri Revives Classic ‘SNL’ Bit

Westlake Legal Group 5e0c5f6524000086245a4ade Anderson Cooper Can’t Stop Giggling As Cheri Oteri Revives Classic ‘SNL’ Bit

Cooper noted at the start of the segment how an online petition was calling for the real Walters to repeat her iconic “This is 20/20” catchphrase at the Times Square Ball Drop. 

Oteri then arrived on screen and jumped into character as the broadcaster. “Anderson, Andrew, first let me say what an honor it is for you to have me on your New Year’s Eve special,” Oteri as Walters began.

“Second, I’m afraid retirement didn’t suit me as much as people had hoped,” she continued. “And now that I’m trending on social media with the likes of Korean boy band BTS, climate change activist Greta Thunberg, and body-positive songstress Lizzo, I’ve decided to dust off my power suit and get back in the game. It’s no longer going to be a chico’s kind of day for this gal because I can finally say with confidence, this is 2020.”

Cooper, meanwhile, doubled over in laughter, temporarily disappeared from shot and leaned on Cohen for support as he struggled to contain his giggles.

Check out the full clip here:

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

Elizabeth Warren Rips ‘Fawning, Spineless’ Republicans In End-Of-Year Speech

Westlake Legal Group 5e0c596c2400009f245a4ad2 Elizabeth Warren Rips ‘Fawning, Spineless’ Republicans In End-Of-Year Speech

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) used an end-of-year address to take aim at the GOP lawmakers who continue to defend President Donald Trump at all costs, describing them as “fawning” and “spineless.”

“In a few hours, the dawn of a new year will break over America, offering us a moment for pause and reflection,” the Democratic presidential candidate told supporters at an event in Boston on Tuesday. “Now, it is normally a moment for optimism. But let’s face it, this year in America has been anything but normal.”

“In the past 12 months, the president has become bolder with his lies and more brazen in his law-breaking,” Warren continued. “He has tried to squeeze a foreign government to advance his own political fortunes. Meanwhile, the Republicans in Congress have turned into fawning, spineless defenders of his crimes.”

Warren said it had “brought no one any joy” to impeach Trump over the Ukraine scandal, but said House Democrats had “upheld their sworn duty to the Constitution” in doing so. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has so far declined to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate amid fears of Republican bias in a trial of the president.

Warren warned that “unless some Senate Republicans choose truth over politics, Donald Trump will be emboldened to try to cheat his way through yet another election.” “Our democracy hangs in the balance,” she later added.

Check out Warren’s full speech here:

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