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 364)

Ecuador’s government flees capital as violent protests erupt in wake of fuel price hikes

Ecuador’s president is accusing his political rivals of trying to orchestrate a coup this week after violent protests tied to rising fuel prices forced his government to relocate away from the country’s capital.

Officials say about 350 people have been detained so far for blocking traffic, interrupting public services or attacking police following President Lenín Moreno’s decision to end government subsidies that have been keeping fuel prices down. Moreno says the subsidies have cost the government heavily in recent years and dropped them in a bid to stimulate Ecuador’s economy, but scenes coming out of Quito showed protesters throwing stones and marching through the streets in response.

Westlake Legal Group ecuador-2 Ecuador's government flees capital as violent protests erupt in wake of fuel price hikes Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox news fnc/world fnc d60dfa5e-5560-5a15-9dce-a82747bc0b54 article

Indigenous anti-government protesters who traveled from their communities arrive on foot to Quito, Ecuador, on Monday. (AP)

“[This] is not a protest of social dissatisfaction faced with a government decision but the looting, vandalism and violence show there is an organized political motive to destabilize the government,” the embattled leader said during a televised address Monday, according to The Guardian.

MAJOR DATA BREACH PUTS ALL ECUADORANS – INCLUDING JULIAN ASSANGE – AT RISK OF IDENTITY THEFT, SECURITY FIRM WARNS

He went on to accuse political rivals of attempting a coup and joining in on the protests but did not provide any evidence. Moreno also said he moved his government from Quito to Guayaquil for the time being.

Crowds in Quito on Monday broke into the comptroller general’s office and vandalized the National Assembly building in what its Congress described afterward as an “attempt to take over the seat of parliament,” The Guardian reported.

Westlake Legal Group ecuador-1 Ecuador's government flees capital as violent protests erupt in wake of fuel price hikes Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox news fnc/world fnc d60dfa5e-5560-5a15-9dce-a82747bc0b54 article

Protesters cover from tear gas behind a banner which says “Out Lenin,” during an anti-government protest in Quito, Ecuador, on Monday. (AP)

The protests also resulted in the death of one man who was struck by a car, the newspaper added, citing Ecuador’s government.

Moreno’s announcement last week to end the subsidies doubled the price of diesel overnight and sharply raised gasoline prices. It initially triggered a strike by transport workers that ended a few days later, but clashes involving youths and also members of Ecuador’s indigenous communities have kept up pressure on the government.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Westlake Legal Group ecuador-3 Ecuador's government flees capital as violent protests erupt in wake of fuel price hikes Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox news fnc/world fnc d60dfa5e-5560-5a15-9dce-a82747bc0b54 article

Soldiers work to remove a boulder place there by protesters to block the Simon Bolivar highway in Quito, Ecuador, on Monday. (AP)

The government says economic paralysis from the street protests is costing the country $70 million a day, a situation that is likely to fuel public dissatisfaction the longer it continues. In addition to the elimination of the subsidies, Moreno has announced labor reforms meant to help stimulate the economy.

The widespread unrest reflects a sense of alienation among many people who were already suffering economic hardship. Economic problems in Ecuador stem from the high public indebtedness Moreno inherited from the 2007-2017 administration of President Rafael Correa.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group ecuador-2 Ecuador's government flees capital as violent protests erupt in wake of fuel price hikes Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox news fnc/world fnc d60dfa5e-5560-5a15-9dce-a82747bc0b54 article   Westlake Legal Group ecuador-2 Ecuador's government flees capital as violent protests erupt in wake of fuel price hikes Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox news fnc/world fnc d60dfa5e-5560-5a15-9dce-a82747bc0b54 article

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

Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say

Westlake Legal Group xxunit1-facebookJumbo Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say Skripal, Sergei V Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Putin, Vladimir V GRU (Russia) Fedorov, Sergei Europe elections democratic national committee Cyberwarfare and Defense

First came a destabilization campaign in Moldova, followed by the poisoning of an arms dealer in Bulgaria and then a thwarted coup in Montenegro. Last year, there was an attempt to assassinate a former Russian spy in Britain using a nerve agent. Though the operations bore the fingerprints of Russia’s intelligence services, the authorities initially saw them as isolated, unconnected attacks.

Western security officials have now concluded that these operations, and potentially many others, are part of a coordinated and ongoing campaign to destabilize Europe, executed by an elite unit inside the Russian intelligence system skilled in subversion, sabotage and assassination.

The group, known as Unit 29155, has operated for at least a decade, yet Western officials only recently discovered it. Intelligence officials in four Western countries say it is unclear how often the unit is mobilized and warn that it is impossible to know when and where its operatives will strike.

The purpose of Unit 29155, which has not been previously reported, underscores the degree to which the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, is actively fighting the West with his brand of so-called hybrid warfare — a blend of propaganda, hacking attacks and disinformation — as well as open military confrontation.

“I think we had forgotten how organically ruthless the Russians could be,” said Peter Zwack, a retired military intelligence officer and former defense attaché at the United States Embassy in Moscow, who said he was not aware of the unit’s existence.

In a text message, Dmitri S. Peskov, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, directed questions about the unit to the Russian Defense Ministry. The ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Hidden behind concrete walls at the headquarters of the 161st Special Purpose Specialist Training Center in eastern Moscow, the unit sits within the command hierarchy of the Russian military intelligence agency, widely known as the G.R.U.

Though much about G.R.U. operations remains a mystery, Western intelligence agencies have begun to get a clearer picture of its underlying architecture. In the months before the 2016 presidential election, American officials say two G.R.U. cyber units, known as 26165 and 74455, hacked into the servers of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, and then published embarrassing internal communications.

Last year, Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, indicted more than a dozen officers from those units, though all still remain at large. The hacking teams mostly operate from Moscow, thousands of miles from their targets.

By contrast, officers from Unit 29155 travel to and from European countries. Some are decorated veterans of Russia’s bloodiest wars, including in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Ukraine. Its operations are so secret, according to assessments by Western intelligence services, that the unit’s existence is most likely unknown even to other G.R.U. operatives.

The unit appears to be a tight-knit community. A photograph taken in 2017 shows the unit’s commander, Maj. Gen. Andrei V. Averyanov, at his daughter’s wedding in a gray suit and bow tie. He is posing with Col. Anatoly V. Chepiga, one of two officers indicted in Britain over the poisoning of a former spy, Sergei V. Skripal.

“This is a unit of the G.R.U. that has been active over the years across Europe,” said one European security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe classified intelligence matters. “It’s been a surprise that the Russians, the G.R.U., this unit, have felt free to go ahead and carry out this extreme malign activity in friendly countries. That’s been a shock.”

To varying degrees, each of the four operations linked to the unit attracted public attention, even as it took time for the authorities to confirm that they were connected. Western intelligence agencies first identified the unit after the failed 2016 coup in Montenegro, which involved a plot by two unit officers to kill the country’s prime minister and seize the Parliament building.

But officials began to grasp the unit’s specific agenda of disruption only after the March 2018 poisoning of Mr. Skripal, a former G.R.U. officer who had betrayed Russia by spying for the British. Mr. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, fell grievously ill after exposure to a highly toxic nerve agent, but survived.

(Three other people were sickened, including a police officer and a man who found a small bottle that British officials believe was used to carry the nerve agent and gave it to his girlfriend. The girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, died after spraying the nerve agent on her skin, mistaking the bottle for perfume.)

The poisoning led to a geopolitical standoff, with more than 20 nations, including the United States, expelling 150 Russian diplomats in a show of solidarity with Britain.

Ultimately, the British authorities exposed two suspects, who had traveled under aliases but were later identified by the investigative site Bellingcat as Colonel Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin. Six months after the poisoning, British prosecutors charged both men with transporting the nerve agent to Mr. Skripal’s home in Salisbury, England, and smearing it on his front door.

But the operation was more complex than officials revealed at the time.

Exactly a year before the poisoning, three Unit 29155 operatives traveled to Britain, possibly for a practice run, two European officials said. One was Mr. Mishkin. A second man used the alias Sergei Pavlov. Intelligence officials believe the third operative, who used the alias Sergei Fedotov, oversaw the mission.

Soon, officials established that two of these officers — the men using the names Fedotov and Pavlov — had been part of a team that attempted to poison the Bulgarian arms dealer Emilian Gebrev in 2015. (The other operatives, also known only by their aliases, according to European intelligence officials, were Ivan Lebedev, Nikolai Kononikhin, Alexey Nikitin and Danil Stepanov.)

The team would twice try to kill Mr. Gebrev, once in Sofia, the capital, and again a month later at his home on the Black Sea.

Speaking to reporters in February at the Munich Security Conference, Alex Younger, the chief of MI6, Britain’s foreign intelligence service, spoke out against the growing Russian threat and hinted at coordination, without mentioning a specific unit.

“You can see there is a concerted program of activity — and, yes, it does often involve the same people,” Mr. Younger said, pointing specifically to the Skripal poisoning and the Montenegro coup attempt. He added: “We assess there is a standing threat from the G.R.U. and the other Russian intelligence services and that very little is off limits.”

The Kremlin sees Russia as being at war with a Western liberal order that it views as an existential threat.

At a ceremony in November for the G.R.U.’s centenary, Mr. Putin stood beneath a glowing backdrop of the agency’s logo — a red carnation and an exploding grenade — and described it as “legendary.” A former intelligence officer himself, Mr. Putin drew a direct line between the Red Army spies who helped defeat the Nazis in World War II and officers of the G.R.U., whose “unique capabilities” are now deployed against a different kind of enemy.

“Unfortunately, the potential for conflict is on the rise in the world,” Mr. Putin said during the ceremony. “Provocations and outright lies are being used and attempts are being made to disrupt strategic parity.”

In 2006, Mr. Putin signed a law legalizing targeted killings abroad, the same year a team of Russian assassins used a radioactive isotope to murder Aleksander V. Litvinenko, another former Russian spy, in London.

Unit 29155 is not the only group authorized to carry out such operations, officials said. The British authorities have attributed Mr. Litvinenko’s killing to the Federal Security Service, the intelligence agency once headed by Mr. Putin that often competes with the G.R.U.

Although little is known about Unit 29155 itself, there are clues in public Russian records that suggest links to the Kremlin’s broader hybrid strategy.

A 2012 directive from the Russian Defense Ministry assigned bonuses to three units for “special achievements in military service.” One was Unit 29155. Another was Unit 74455, which was involved in the 2016 election interference. The third was Unit 99450, whose officers are believed to have been involved in the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

A retired G.R.U. officer with knowledge of Unit 29155 said that it specialized in preparing for “diversionary” missions, “in groups or individually — bombings, murders, anything.”

“They were serious guys who served there,” the retired officer said. “They were officers who worked undercover and as international agents.”

Photographs of the unit’s dilapidated former headquarters, which has since been abandoned, show myriad gun racks with labels for an assortment of weapons, including Belgian FN-30 sniper rifles, German G3A3s, Austrian Steyr AUGs and American M16s. There was also a form outlining a training regimen, including exercises for hand-to-hand combat. The retired G.R.U. officer confirmed the authenticity of the photographs, which were published by a Russian blogger.

The current commander, General Averyanov, graduated in 1988 from the Tashkent Military Academy in what was then the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. It is likely that he would have fought in both the first and second Chechen wars, and he was awarded a Hero of Russia medal, the country’s highest honor, in January 2015. The two officers charged with the Skripal poisoning also received the same award.

Though an elite force, the unit appears to operate on a shoestring budget. According to Russian records, General Averyanov lives in a run-down Soviet-era building a few blocks from the unit’s headquarters and drives a 1996 VAZ 21053, a rattletrap Russia-made sedan. Operatives often share cheap accommodation to economize while on the road. British investigators say the suspects in the Skripal poisoning stayed in a low-cost hotel in Bow, a downtrodden neighborhood in East London.

But European security officials are also perplexed by the apparent sloppiness in the unit’s operations. Mr. Skripal survived the assassination attempt, as did Mr. Gebrev, the Bulgarian arms dealer. The attempted coup in Montenegro drew an enormous amount of attention, but ultimately failed. A year later, Montenegro joined NATO. It is possible, security officials say, that they have yet to discover other, more successful operations.

It is difficult to know if the messiness has bothered the Kremlin. Perhaps, intelligence experts say, it is part of the point.

“That kind of intelligence operation has become part of the psychological warfare,” said Eerik-Niiles Kross, a former intelligence chief in Estonia. “It’s not that they have become that much more aggressive. They want to be felt. It’s part of the game.”

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

Nissan Names a C.E.O., Makoto Uchida, to Lead Post-Ghosn Era

Westlake Legal Group merlin_162364665_403e2c58-b135-41f7-80fb-17f18c6b839b-facebookJumbo Nissan Names a C.E.O., Makoto Uchida, to Lead Post-Ghosn Era Uchida, Makoto Nissan Motor Co Japan Appointments and Executive Changes

TOKYO — In a surprise announcement, Nissan said Tuesday that it had selected a new chief executive to lead the embattled Japanese automaker, following the resignation of its former chief last month over a pay scandal.

Makoto Uchida, 53, will head the company beginning no later than Jan. 1, Nissan officials announced at a news conference at its headquarters in Yokohama. Mr. Uchida has worked at the company since 2003 and led its China operations since 2018. China is considered a key market for the struggling company.

Mr. Uchida takes the reins of the company as it faces its biggest challenges in nearly two decades. Almost one year since the ouster of its former leader, Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s profits have plunged. Its sales have dropped. And its leadership has crumbled following the resignation last month of its chief executive, Hiroto Saikawa, over pay issues. The chaos has led to an exodus of top employees, and the company is in the process of cutting 12,500 jobs worldwide.

“We expect Mr. Uchida to lead the company as a team, immediately focus on the recovery of the business and revitalize the company to make a new Nissan,” Nissan’s chairman, Yasushi Kimura, told reporters.

“It is very important to demonstrate that this is a new Nissan,” Mr. Kimura said.

The selection of Mr. Uchida was unanimous, officials said.

Nissan has repeatedly clashed with its alliance partner, French automaker Renault, over management issues. The relationship deteriorated dramatically following the exit of Mr. Ghosn, who had worked to merge the companies, an effort that rankled some at Nissan who felt the company should remain independent.

Mr. Uchida was selected due to his experience abroad, as well as his dedication to the importance of the company’s alliance with its partners Renault and Mitsubishi, the head of the board’s nomination committee, Masakazu Toyoda, told reporters.

The company also announced the appointment of another two senior executives, in an effort to show it was making a clean break from the management issues that have plagued it since the exit of Mr. Ghosn.

Ashwani Gupta, the current chief operating officer at Mitsubishi and a former executive at Renault, was named Nissan’s chief operating officer. Jun Seki, a senior vice president at Nissan, will become vice chief operating officer.

“We selected the people who can show that this is a new Nissan in a strong way,” Mr. Kimura said.

The unexpected announcement came during a news conference following a meeting of the company’s full board in Yokohama. Nissan officials had previously announced that they would select a new chief executive by the end of October.

“I thought the sooner the better,” Mr. Kimura said in response to questions about the accelerated schedule.

Mr. Kimura declined to answer questions about tensions at the company, and particularly the future of Hari Nada, a powerful senior Nissan executive who has become the subject of controversy over possible conflicts of interest regarding the investigation of Mr. Ghosn.

Mr. Nada played a key role in the ouster of Mr. Ghosn and has struck a cooperation agreement with Japanese prosecutors to receive immunity in return for providing evidence against his ex-boss. Mr. Ghosn has been charged with four charges of financial wrongdoing, and awaits trial in Tokyo on bail. He says he is innocent of all charges.

Mr. Nada’s continued role at the company has been a point of concern for some directors and executives, who believe that he has been an obstacle to attempts to reform the company’s governance as it seeks to move past an era of top-down leadership, much criticized since Mr. Ghosn’s arrest in November.

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

Trump campaign threatens to sue Target Center in Minneapolis because they have asked to be paid in advance of his Thursday rally event.

Westlake Legal Group ScnP4AN9fogA3zz26HE2Ju3-w61cWpUrPwBQrT8iLCM Trump campaign threatens to sue Target Center in Minneapolis because they have asked to be paid in advance of his Thursday rally event. r/politics

As a reminder, this subreddit is for civil discussion.

In general, be courteous to others. Debate/discuss/argue the merits of ideas, don’t attack people. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, any advocating or wishing death/physical harm, and other rule violations can result in a permanent ban.

If you see comments in violation of our rules, please report them.


I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

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

VDFP Receives $286K from Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

Westlake Legal Group 18556751_G VDFP Receives $286K from Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

RICHMOND – October 8, 2019 – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) has been awarded $286,000 in federal grant funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The funding will be used to replace obsolete equipment for the state’s Heavy Technical Rescue training programs, tow vehicles, and thermal imaging cameras and equipment to monitor dangerous conditions during live fire training exercises.

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

Mysterious ‘cosmic web’ that sticks the universe together pictured for first time

The cosmic web responsible for ‘gluing’ the far-flung galaxies of the universe together has been directly observed for the first time ever.

Scientists using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope were able to spot an ancient cluster of galaxies 12 billion light-years away that are linked together by a network of gas filaments.

The cosmic web theory is central to current explanations of how the universe formed after the Big Bang.

CLICK ON THE SUN FOR MORE

However, until this observation, there had only been indirect evidence to suggest it existed.

Prof Michele Fumagalli, an astrophysicist at Durham University and co-author of the work, said: “It is very exciting to clearly see for the first time multiple and extended filaments in the early universe.

“We finally have a way to map these structures directly and to understand in detail their role in regulating the formation of supermassive black holes and galaxies.”

The research team were able to directly detect the web by using intensive equipment designed to pick up the faintest of structures.

Galaxy clusters are known for being the most tightly gravitationally-bound structures in the universe.

They can contain hundreds of thousands of galaxies.

It has been predicted that 60% of the hydrogen created during the Big Bang can be seen as long filaments strung out across space in the cosmic web.

By mapping out some of the light emitted by hydrogen within a galaxy cluster called SSA22, the team were able to identify individual filaments of gas that make up a web-like structure between galaxies.

Erika Hamden, an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona said: “These observations of the faintest, largest structures in the universe are a key to understanding how our universe evolved through time, how galaxies grow and mature, and how the changing environments around galaxies created what we see around us.”

It is thought that the cosmic web is the scaffolding of the cosmos and provides the framework for galaxies to form and evolve.

The latest observations support this theory by revealing supermassive black holes, starbursting galaxies and lots of active stars all at the intersections between the filaments.

First author of the research Hideki Umehata said: “This suggests very strongly that gas falling along the filaments under the force of gravity triggers the formation of starbursting galaxies and supermassive black holes, giving the universe the structure that we see today.”

The cosmic web has been observed before but only as short blobs of gas beyond galaxies.

Umehata noted: “Now we have been able to clearly show that these filaments are extremely long, going even beyond the edge of the field that we viewed.

“This adds credence to the idea that these filaments are actually powering the intense activity that we see within the galaxies inside the filaments.”

The findings have been published in the journal Science.

This story originally appeared in The Sun.

Westlake Legal Group nasa-green-blob Mysterious ‘cosmic web’ that sticks the universe together pictured for first time The Sun fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fnc/science fnc f024fb77-62fa-5630-ae9a-ff2549fe0d50 Digital Technology and Science Reporter Charlotte Edwards article   Westlake Legal Group nasa-green-blob Mysterious ‘cosmic web’ that sticks the universe together pictured for first time The Sun fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fnc/science fnc f024fb77-62fa-5630-ae9a-ff2549fe0d50 Digital Technology and Science Reporter Charlotte Edwards article

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

VDFP Receives $286K from Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

Westlake Legal Group 18556751_G VDFP Receives $286K from Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

RICHMOND – October 8, 2019 – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) has been awarded $286,000 in federal grant funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The funding will be used to replace obsolete equipment for the state’s Heavy Technical Rescue training programs, tow vehicles, and thermal imaging cameras and equipment to monitor dangerous conditions during live fire training exercises.

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

For Companies in China, Political Hazards Are Getting Harder to See

BEIJING — For international companies looking to do business in China, the rules were once simple. Don’t talk about the 3 T’s: Tibet, Taiwan and the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

No longer. Fast-changing geopolitical tensions, growing nationalism and the rise of social media in China have made it increasingly difficult for multinationals to navigate commerce in the Communist country. As the National Basketball Association has discovered with a tweet about the Hong Kong protests, tripwires abound. Take the “wrong” stance on one of any number of issues — Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, for instance — and you risk upsetting a country of 1.4 billion consumers and losing access to a hugely profitable market.

Now, multinational companies are increasingly struggling with one question: how to be apolitical in an increasingly politicized and punitive China.

“You used to know what would get everyone fired up,” said James McGregor, chairman of the greater China region for the consulting firm APCO Worldwide. “And now you don’t know. You just wake up and discover something new.”

Until recently, the issues that made China angry were fairly predictable. Earlier this year, the German company Leica Camera created a stir with a promotional video featuring the “Tank Man,” the unknown person who boldly confronted a convoy of tanks during the bloody 1989 crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. (Leica says it did not commission the film.)

Around the same time, eagle-eyed Chinese internet users began calling out companies for not clearly indicating on websites, customer surveys and products that certain territories claimed by China, like Tibet and the self-governing island of Taiwan, were part of the country. Gap, Marriott, United Airlines and others were forced to make internal adjustments and, in some cases, apologize.

This summer, when antigovernment protests in Hong Kong began to heat up, such sensitivities reached new heights. And China lashed out more aggressively, in part because it was playing defense against growing global support for the demonstrators.

The N.B.A. has been in damage-control mode over the issue for days. On Friday, Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, posted a message on Twitter that said: “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” Not long after, Mr. Morey’s tweet was deleted and the league quickly apologized.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 08china-biz2-articleLarge For Companies in China, Political Hazards Are Getting Harder to See Social Media Politics and Government National Basketball Assn Morey, Daryl Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots China basketball

Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, expressed support for the protesters in Hong Kong with a post on Twitter.CreditMichael Stravato for The New York Times

But anger still simmered. Social media platforms like WeChat and Sina Weibo were flooded with messages declaring a boycott against the N.B.A., which has a huge fan base in China. On Tuesday afternoon, CCTV, the state broadcaster, canceled plans to broadcast preseason N.B.A. games. Previously, Tencent Sports, a popular sports broadcaster, had announced that it would stop all live streaming and coverage of the Houston Rockets.

“The N.B.A. has been in cooperation with China for many years,” Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a regular news briefing on Tuesday. “It knows clearly in its heart what to say and what to do.”

The league has also been getting flak in the United States for appearing to kowtow to China, prompting a longer, more reflective statement on Tuesday. While the N.B.A. commissioner, Adam Silver, continued to express the league’s “affinity” for China, he also said that it couldn’t regulate its employees’ speech.

For businesses, China’s national ire has tended to focus on a single issue, despite the changing targets: the country’s sovereignty.

Earlier this summer, Givenchy, Coach and Versace each apologized to China for producing T-shirts that seemed to identify Hong Kong, along with other places claimed by Beijing, as an independent country. They all stopped selling the clothes.

Navigating the potential for backlash in China’s commercial landscape now involves managing not just products, but employees and anyone else affiliated with a company.

As the pro-democracy movement took hold in Hong Kong this summer, Cathay Pacific Airways, the city’s flagship airline, came under immense pressure from Beijing to discipline employees who were sympathetic to the protesters. In a matter of days, Cathay’s chief executive was replaced and several employees, including a pilot, were fired.

On Tuesday, the American video game company Blizzard suspended a Hong Kong player and rescinded his prize money after he donned goggles and a respirator — items that have come to symbolize the protests — and called for the liberation of the city in a post-match interview. Blizzard is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, which is partially owned by the Chinese company Tencent.

In a statement on Tuesday, Blizzard said the player had violated a competition rule barring any act that “brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.”

“While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our e-sports competitions must abide by the official competition rules,” the company said.

The political land mines aren’t always easy to see.

The upscale jeweler Tiffany found itself at the center of a social media firestorm on Monday after posting an image of a model covering her eye with her right hand. To many Chinese internet users, the gesture evoked another symbol of the Hong Kong protests: a woman shot in the eye with a police beanbag round during a demonstration, whose image later appeared in countless posters and memes.

The photo posted by Tiffany had been taken in May, before the protests started. But it was a no-win situation for the company, which had already warned investors that it would be hurt by the drop in tourism amid the protests in Hong Kong, its fourth-largest market by sales. Mainland China is a much larger market, and the company has been rapidly expanding its presence there.

The photo “was in no way intended to be a political statement of any kind,” a spokesman for Tiffany said in an emailed statement, after the offending tweet was deleted. “We regret that it may be perceived as such, and in turn have removed the image from our digital and social media channels and will discontinue its use effective immediately.”

The backlash can go both ways.

In an effort not to run afoul of the mainland, Vans recently removed several entries from its annual sneaker design contest that alluded to the protests in Hong Kong. After that, several streetwear stores in Hong Kong pulled all Vans products from their shelves.

“Creativity is one of the keys to solving our social problems,” said Second Kill, a streetwear store in the Mong Kok district, in an Instagram post announcing its decision to stop selling Vans products. “Neither creativity nor public opinion can be erased.”

The N.B.A. on Tuesday appeared to temper its earlier apology over Mr. Morey’s tweet, seemingly to respond to criticism in both China and the United States.

For those “who question our motivation, this is about more than growing our business,” Mr. Silver, the league’s commissioner, said in a statement. He said basketball could be “an important form of people-to-people exchange that deepens ties” but noted that the two countries had different political systems.

“It is inevitable that people around the world — including from America and China — will have different viewpoints over different issues. It is not the role of the N.B.A. to adjudicate those issues,” Mr. Silver said in the statement.

“However,” he added, “the N.B.A. will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on those issues.”

Steven Lee Myers contributed reporting from Beijing. Claire Fu and Zoe Mou contributed research from Beijing.

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

NASA: Ancient Mars oasis could have supported life

NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered evidence of an oasis on Mars more than 3 billion years ago, leaving scientists to wonder whether the Red Planet was capable of supporting life.

The research, published in Nature Geoscience, looks at data Curiosity has collected from the Gale Crater, the 150-mile-wide basin the rover is exploring. The scientists behind the study pointed out the rocks that are enriched with mineral salts as evidence of “shallow briny ponds that went through episodes of overflow and drying,” according to a statement from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“We went to Gale Crater because it preserves this unique record of a changing Mars,” said the study’s lead author, William Rapin, in the statement. “Understanding when and how the planet’s climate started evolving is a piece of another puzzle: When and how long was Mars capable of supporting microbial life at the surface?”

Westlake Legal Group Mars-oasis-1 NASA: Ancient Mars oasis could have supported life fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox news fnc/science fnc d6c96b82-76b7-5cfd-951a-9b6a282eb7c7 Chris Ciaccia article

The network of cracks in this Martian rock slab called “Old Soaker” may have formed from the drying of a mud layer more than 3 billion years ago. The view spans about 3 feet (90 centimeters) left-to-right and combines three images taken by the MAHLI camera on the arm of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA CHIEF SCIENTIST SAYS ‘WE’RE CLOSE’ TO MAKING ANNOUNCEMENTS ABOUT LIFE ON MARS

The Gale Crater, which is believed to be between 3.5 and 3.8 billion years old, serves as a reminder of the difference between Mars’ climate then, which was wet, to the desolate, arid climate it has today.

Mars once had a very wet surface, covered in wide, raging rivers. Water may be the lifeblood of our planet, but it’s unclear whether Mars ever supported (or still supports) life.

Rapin and his team analyzed the salts they found in a 500-foot-tall section of sedimentary rocks known as “Sutton Island,” visited by Curiosity in 2017.

He speculated that Sutton Island could have looked like the saline lakes that are seen on South America’s Altiplano, believed to be influenced by the climate in the same way Gale was. “During drier periods, the Altiplano lakes become shallower, and some can dry out completely,” Rapin added. “The fact that they’re vegetation-free even makes them look a little like Mars.”

The next steps for researchers will be to understand how long it took for Gale Crater to go from a shallow, briny lake to the arid, desolate region it is now.

“Finding inclined layers represents a major change, where the landscape isn’t completely underwater anymore,” said team member, Chris Fedo, in the statement. “We may have left the era of deep lakes behind.”

Westlake Legal Group Mars-oasis-2 NASA: Ancient Mars oasis could have supported life fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox news fnc/science fnc d6c96b82-76b7-5cfd-951a-9b6a282eb7c7 Chris Ciaccia article

This animation demonstrates the salty ponds and streams that scientists think may have been left behind as Gale Crater dried out over time. The bottom of the image is the floor of Gale Crater, with the peak being the side of Mount Sharp. (Credit: ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development (KED), Michael Northrop)

“We can’t say whether we’re seeing wind or river deposits yet in the clay-bearing unit, but we’re comfortable saying is it’s definitely not the same thing as what came before or what lies ahead,” he added.

MARTIAN METEOR COLLISION MAY HAVE TRIGGERED A 1,000 FOOT TSUNAMI

The Curiosity rover, which celebrated its seventh anniversary on the Red Planet in August, has made several remarkable discoveries, including finding “unusually high” levels of methane and a “shiny” object believed to be a meteorite.

NASA hopes the Curiosity rover, which “has a few more years before its nuclear power system degrades enough to significantly limit operations,” can provide additional clues about the planet prior to the launch of the Mars 2020 rover mission.

In November, NASA announced that it has selected the location where its Mars 2020 rover will land on the Red Planet. The rover is expected to reach the Martian surface on Feb. 18, 2021. NASA’s long-term goal is to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group Mars-oasis-1 NASA: Ancient Mars oasis could have supported life fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox news fnc/science fnc d6c96b82-76b7-5cfd-951a-9b6a282eb7c7 Chris Ciaccia article   Westlake Legal Group Mars-oasis-1 NASA: Ancient Mars oasis could have supported life fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox news fnc/science fnc d6c96b82-76b7-5cfd-951a-9b6a282eb7c7 Chris Ciaccia article

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

Newark Airport passenger tried to bring large sword on plane

You can’t board with a sword, sir.

A Brazil-bound traveler passing through a New Jersey airport was recently scolded by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials for trying fly with a large sword as a carry-on item.

EASYJET PASSENGERS KICKED OFF FLIGHT AFTER THROWING PUNCHES IN CABIN, GETTING PLANE DIVERTED: ‘IT WAS BEDLAM’

On Friday, an unidentified man heading to São Paulo brought the weapon in a box to a security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport’s C Terminal, TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein told Fox News.

Westlake Legal Group samurai-sword-TSA Newark Airport passenger tried to bring large sword on plane Janine Puhak fox-news/travel/general/airports fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc c419379f-6ccc-5e4c-9bb5-4d8d7402e9b7 article

On Friday, an unnamed man heading to São Paulo brought the weapon in a box to a security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport’s C Terminal, TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein told Fox News. (Transportation Security Administration)

“He said he thought he could travel with it as a carry-on item because of its value. Of course, no weapons can travel in the cabin of a plane regardless of value,” Farbstein said.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS

“Doesn’t matter to TSA how much the weapon is worth. No weapons should be brought in the cabin of a plane,” she later added on Twitter.

Complying, the passenger checked the blade with his airline for safe transportation. The sword traveled to South America in the belly of the aircraft, in accordance with safety regulations.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

According to the TSA’s official policy on the weapon, swords are forbidden in carry-on bags, but are allowed to be transported in checked bags.

To ensure safe shipping through the entire journey, “any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors,” the TSA notes.

Westlake Legal Group Newark-airport Newark Airport passenger tried to bring large sword on plane Janine Puhak fox-news/travel/general/airports fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc c419379f-6ccc-5e4c-9bb5-4d8d7402e9b7 article

Other notably kooky items that security screeners have flagged at Newark airport this year include a golden grenade and a pet snake. (iStock)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Other notably kooky items that security screeners have flagged at Newark airport this year include a golden grenade and a pet snake.

Westlake Legal Group samurai-sword-TSA Newark Airport passenger tried to bring large sword on plane Janine Puhak fox-news/travel/general/airports fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc c419379f-6ccc-5e4c-9bb5-4d8d7402e9b7 article   Westlake Legal Group samurai-sword-TSA Newark Airport passenger tried to bring large sword on plane Janine Puhak fox-news/travel/general/airports fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc c419379f-6ccc-5e4c-9bb5-4d8d7402e9b7 article

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