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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 405)

Mom’s viral Facebook post explains why hair scrunchies are ‘secret’ sign of middle school romance

Oh, young love.

One North Carolina woman recently issued a mock public service announcement on Facebook for the mothers of middle school girls across the country, hilariously explaining why hair scrunchies are the “secret” new sign of budding romance among tweens and young teens.

Emily Covington said that she couldn’t figure out why the fabric-covered hair tie bands had been inexplicably scattered all over her house since her son returned to school, Good Morning America reports.

“One week there were all these scrunchies in the dryer. The first batch, I didn’t think anything of and tossed them in the trash thinking it was a fluke or maybe even mine that I forgot,” Covington told the outlet.

MOM’S FUNNY BEDTIME TRICK FOR CALMING DOWN HER KIDS GOES VIRAL: ‘I’M NOT EVEN SORRY’

When it happened again, she pressed her son for answers.

In reply, the youngster told his mom that scrunchies are the cool new sign of affection at his school. Girls give the hair bands to their crushes, who proudly wear them on their wrists as an accessory.

Taken aback, Covington hopped on Facebook to jokingly spread the word, sharing a photo of a scrunchie stash her child had accumulated last week.

“PSA to ALL MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRL MOMS! Are you tired of wasting money on hair scrunchies? Feel like you’re buying them every week? Wondering why your daughter can’t keep up with them?” she wrote on Sept. 25.

WOMAN’S SIMPLE FRIDGE HACK GOES VIRAL

Westlake Legal Group scrunchies-Emily-Covington Mom's viral Facebook post explains why hair scrunchies are 'secret' sign of middle school romance Janine Puhak fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 1556ea94-0096-5e58-8bb9-d6ea65fa875e

(Emily Covington)

“Well let me let you in on a little secret… They are being found in the dryer of every boy mom’s home,” Covington continued. “I’m about to start a lost and found page for them on Facebook or better yet return them to school with a love note for me.”

“Apparently it’s cool to give your scrunchie to someone you think is cute, below is a stash that we have racked up just this week. So basically stop wasting your money and clogging up my dryer,” she concluded, adding the funny hashtags “#SaveTheScrunchies”, “#IKnowHesCute” and “#BoyMomStruggles.”

The note detailing the mom’s hilarious claims has since gone viral with over 35,000 likes and 45,000 shares to date.

“Oh my goodness!! I thought I had girls sneaking over or something…they are everywhere!” one fellow parent cried.

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“This explains why I keep finding Claytons stuff with scrunchies,” another user agreed.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-623439662 Mom's viral Facebook post explains why hair scrunchies are 'secret' sign of middle school romance Janine Puhak fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 1556ea94-0096-5e58-8bb9-d6ea65fa875e

“Apparently it’s cool to give your scrunchie to someone you think is cute, below is a stash that we have racked up just this week. So basically stop wasting your money and clogging up my dryer,” the funny mom concluded, adding the funny hashtags “#SaveTheScrunchies,””#IKnowHesCute” and “#BoyMomStruggles.” (iStock)

“Girl, yes!!! Colt came home with 4 on his arm. I told him to give them back,” one chimed in.

“You will forever be known as the Mom who took down the scrunchie comeback,” another joked.

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Covington told GMA that mothers from around the country have contacted her since the remarkable realization, explaining that boys are expected to trade the hair ties for their hoodies.

“It sounds harmless. But I guess if a boy likes a girl, he gives her his hoodie,” she claimed. “I told my son he better be careful ’cause I’m not buying him any new ones and it could be a very cold winter.”

Westlake Legal Group scrunchies-Emily-Covington Mom's viral Facebook post explains why hair scrunchies are 'secret' sign of middle school romance Janine Puhak fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 1556ea94-0096-5e58-8bb9-d6ea65fa875e   Westlake Legal Group scrunchies-Emily-Covington Mom's viral Facebook post explains why hair scrunchies are 'secret' sign of middle school romance Janine Puhak fox-news/style-and-beauty fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 1556ea94-0096-5e58-8bb9-d6ea65fa875e

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US diplomat’s wife leaves the UK as police probe deadly August crash

Westlake Legal Group harry-dunn US diplomat's wife leaves the UK as police probe deadly August crash Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/alliances fox news fnc/world fnc article 8b4bb7a7-05a0-5fd3-a806-d493c1473b30

The wife of an American diplomat has left the United Kingdom after becoming a suspect in a fatal traffic accident.

Police in Northamptonshire, England said Saturday they had been treating an unidentified 42-year-old woman as a suspect and added that she had indicated she didn’t plan to leave the country.

The woman has been widely described in the British media as the wife of an American diplomat but her name has not been released.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTESTERS SPRAY UK’S TREASURY BUILDING WITH FAKE BLOOD; 4 ARRESTED

Police said they were preparing to formally interview the woman when she left the U.K.

Harry Dunn, 19, was killed Aug. 27 after his motorcycle collided with a car driven by the woman near RAF Croughton, a British military base near Oxford that’s home to a signals intelligence station operated by the U.S. Air Force.

Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, told Sky News that their family is “utterly broken inside and out.”

“Everything hurts day and night; it’s an effort to do anything,” she said. “I ache from it. Every limb, every internal organ hurts.”

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Dunn’s father, Tim Dunn, added that they are “disgusted” and “appalled” at the actions of the suspect. “I’m angry that someone could do this and then get on a plane and go,” he said. “I can’t believe she’s living with herself.”

The U.S. Embassy in London offered its “deepest sympathies” to Dunn’s family and said it will continue to keep in “close contact” with British authorities.

An Embassy spokesperson said that “any questions regarding a waiver of the immunity with regard to our diplomats and their family members overseas in a case like this receive intense attention at senior levels and are considered carefully given the global impact such decisions carry.”

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British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he called U.S. Ambassador Woody Johnson to express the U.K.’s disappointment.

Police said they were “now exploring all opportunities through diplomatic channels to ensure the investigation continues to progress.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group harry-dunn US diplomat's wife leaves the UK as police probe deadly August crash Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/alliances fox news fnc/world fnc article 8b4bb7a7-05a0-5fd3-a806-d493c1473b30   Westlake Legal Group harry-dunn US diplomat's wife leaves the UK as police probe deadly August crash Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/alliances fox news fnc/world fnc article 8b4bb7a7-05a0-5fd3-a806-d493c1473b30

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North Korea blocks high-rise windows to prevent information leaks: report

Westlake Legal Group north-korea-buildings-Reuters North Korea blocks high-rise windows to prevent information leaks: report Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox news fnc/world fnc article 66bbf0ef-9729-5846-a6e3-54dbe240e0a0

North Korea has blocked windows in some Pyongyang high-rises in an apparent effort to prevent people from spying on government buildings and leaking information, according to reports.

Images taken by NK News revealed Friday that windows of buildings that overlook a complex in central Pyongyang have been blocked out with opaque covers or one-directional slats.

NORTH KOREA CONFIRMS UNDERWATER-LAUNCHED MISSILE, CALLS IT ‘NEW PHASE’ FOR LIMITING OUTSIDE THREATS

According to the report, images of the Changchun complex tower from a year ago appear to show windows without any obstructions, but pictures taken in September show the same windows completely covered.

Sources told the Daily NK that several other buildings overlooking the newly renovated Workers Party of Korea headquarters and other luxury apartments built specifically for senior government officials have had windows obstructed as well.

“The authorities have blocked off the windows of apartments higher than important institutions like the KWP Headquarters,” the source told the Seoul-based outlet.

The window coverings only begin at certain floors, fueling suspicions.

It’s unclear what officials are trying to conceal, but North Korea has recently been trying to develop the ability to fire ballistic missiles from submarines, which are harder to detect in advance.

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On Thursday, Pyongyang confirmed its first underwater-launched ballistic missile test in three years.

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group north-korea-buildings-Reuters North Korea blocks high-rise windows to prevent information leaks: report Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox news fnc/world fnc article 66bbf0ef-9729-5846-a6e3-54dbe240e0a0   Westlake Legal Group north-korea-buildings-Reuters North Korea blocks high-rise windows to prevent information leaks: report Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox news fnc/world fnc article 66bbf0ef-9729-5846-a6e3-54dbe240e0a0

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John Dillinger’s exhumation set for New Year’s Eve after Indiana approves permit

Westlake Legal Group John-Dillinger-GettyImages-3225327 John Dillinger's exhumation set for New Year's Eve after Indiana approves permit Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 359e1ee8-85ab-5eac-8d43-8ebc07b9c736

John Dillinger’s nephew has obtained a permit to open the Great Depression gangster’s grave in an Indiana cemetery on New Year’s Eve, according to a report.

The exhumation permit approved Thursday by the Indiana Department of Health was being sought by Dillinger nephew Michael Thompson, who believes the grave holds the remains of a person who is not his uncle.

A previous permit application had a wrong date requiring Thompson to refile, Fox 59 Indianapolis reported Friday

GANGSTER JOHN DILLINGER’S BODY REPORTEDLY TO BE EXHUMED FROM HEAVILY PROTECTED GRAVE

The History Channel wanted to film the exhumation for a documentary but has ditched those plans, leaving Thompson to proceed on his own, the station reported.

Crown Hill Cemetery opposes opening the grave. Thompson has filed a lawsuit challenging that opposition.

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The FBI says Dillinger was buried in Indiana after agents gunned him down in 1934 outside a Chicago movie theater showing Clark Gable’s “Manhattan Melodrama.”

Those who believe otherwise are pedaling “a conspiracy theory,” it says.

Westlake Legal Group John-Dillinger-GettyImages-3225327 John Dillinger's exhumation set for New Year's Eve after Indiana approves permit Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 359e1ee8-85ab-5eac-8d43-8ebc07b9c736   Westlake Legal Group John-Dillinger-GettyImages-3225327 John Dillinger's exhumation set for New Year's Eve after Indiana approves permit Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 359e1ee8-85ab-5eac-8d43-8ebc07b9c736

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Texas man claims ‘voodoo’ made him steal $400 in stuff from Walmart, police say

A Texas man is blaming his shoplifting antics on “voodoo” after he was caught smuggling items out of a local Walmart in Texas on Thursday, according to Lufkin Police.

Joshua Allen Renfroe, 29, was arrested and booked into the Angelina County Jail on Class B misdemeanor theft charges between $100 to $750.

EXECUTION OF ‘TEXAS 7’ MEMBER HALTED AMID CLAIMS TRIAL JUDGE WAS ANTI-SEMITIC

Westlake Legal Group Joshua-Renfroe-Angelina-County-Jail Texas man claims 'voodoo' made him steal $400 in stuff from Walmart, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc fd0063a9-b900-5058-9229-a32d909b2147 David Aaro article

Joshua Allen Renfroe, 29, was arrested and booked into the Angelina County Jail on Class B misdemeanor theft charges between $100 to $750. He told police the “voodoo” made him steal the items. (Angelina County Jail)

According to the media report, Renfroe allegedly entered the Walmart store at 2500 Daniel McCall Drive at 4:36 p.m. on Thursday where he was caught attempting to smuggle the items in a plastic tote without paying.

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He told arresting police officers that “voodoo” made him steal nearly $400 worth of merchandise out of the store.

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The report said he also told police “voodoo” told him not to brush his teeth that same morning.

He was released from jail later on Thursday after posting a $1,500 bond, according to KTRE 9.

Westlake Legal Group Joshua-Renfroe-Angelina-County-Jail Texas man claims 'voodoo' made him steal $400 in stuff from Walmart, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc fd0063a9-b900-5058-9229-a32d909b2147 David Aaro article   Westlake Legal Group Joshua-Renfroe-Angelina-County-Jail Texas man claims 'voodoo' made him steal $400 in stuff from Walmart, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc fd0063a9-b900-5058-9229-a32d909b2147 David Aaro article

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Trump Orders ‘Substantial’ National Security Council Staff Cuts: Report

Westlake Legal Group 5d98c5d4200000e2004d1fee Trump Orders ‘Substantial’ National Security Council Staff Cuts: Report

As House lawmakers intensify their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s alleged solicitation of election interference from Ukraine, he has ordered “substantial” staff cuts within the National Security Council, Bloomberg News reported late Friday.

The outlet cited five individuals familiar with the plan, some of whom described it as an effort to downsize the administration’s foreign policy arm under Robert O’Brien, who was named national security adviser last month.

The request was reportedly shared this week with senior NSC officials by both O’Brien and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

The White House did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment on the matter.

The news comes amid mounting scandal over Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which he pressed Zelensky repeatedly to assist lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr with a corruption investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, based on unsubstantiated accusations. 

A whistleblower complaint filed in August by a member of the intelligence community states that Trump was essentially asking Ukraine to meddle in the  2020 election by investigating a political rival. There remains no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Bidens.

The complaint also states that “multiple White House officials” said a transcript of the call was stored in a computer system managed by the NSC Directorate for Intelligence Programs, which is “reserved for codeword-level intelligence.”

“According to information I received from White House officials, some officials voiced concerns internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs,” the complaint reads. “According to White House officials I spoke with, this was ‘not the first time’ under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive ― rather than national security sensitive ― information.”

Texts released on Thursday and published by The Washington Post give further insight into the role of Giuliani, American diplomats and Zelensky aide Andrey Yermak in facilitating Trump’s communication. In one message, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sonland mentioned NSC Senior Director Tim Morrison, though no specifics about Morrison’s potential knowledge of the efforts are provided.

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Utility Giant Sets Up Critical Test For Top 2020 Democrats On Nuclear

One of the nation’s largest utilities announced plans to request new licenses for 11 nuclear reactors last month, setting up a critical new test for Democratic presidential candidates on how to achieve zero-carbon energy generation.

Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, said it plans to submit its renewal application for reactors at six power plants in the Carolinas in 2021, which could put the decision in the hands of a new White House if a Democrat unseats President Donald Trump next year.

As it stands, it’s unclear where the top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination would stand on relicensing. Despite intense focus on energy and climate policy, on which there are clear divisions among the candidates, the issue of nuclear power has largely been ignored in the Democratic debates. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and businessman Andrew Yang are all in, pledging to keep open safe plants and invest heavily in researching advanced reactors. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who promised to halt construction on new reactors and issue a moratorium on nuclear plant license renewals. 

The views of the candidates in between are less certain. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) endorsed erstwhile climate candidate Jay Inslee’s proposal, which calls for keeping existing nuclear plants open. But at a CNN town hall last month, she vowed to start “weaning ourselves off nuclear energy” with the goal of shutting down existing plants by 2035. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden, long a critic of the nuclear industry, proposed new funding for advanced reactors but hasn’t taken a definitive position on extending the lives of existing nuclear plants. 

Warren and Biden, now the top two in several polls, gave “unclear” responses to The Washington Post’s survey on nuclear energy. The Biden, Warren and Sanders campaigns did not respond to requests for comments on the record. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d97b212210000500030d3b8 Utility Giant Sets Up Critical Test For Top 2020 Democrats On Nuclear

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS via Getty Images Steam rises from the nuclear plant on Three Mile Island. The Exelon-owned Pennsylvania plant, whose partial meltdown in 1979 cultivated deep public distrust of nuclear energy, closed last month.

The case for nuclear power as a source of low-carbon energy is fairly straightforward. Reactors currently produce 20% of the country’s electricity, while hydroelectric, wind and solar power combined generate 17%. The only country that has significantly slashed emissions while remaining an industrial powerhouse is France, which converted over 70% of its power generation to nuclear after 1979. 

Halving global emissions in the next decade ― which scientific projections say governments must do to avoid catastrophic warming ― would require unprecedented changes to the world’s energy systems. 

It’s a lot harder to make those changes without at least maintaining existing nuclear reactors. The United States would need to increase renewable power generation from 0.6% to 2% per year to achieve net-zero emissions from the utility sector by 2050, according to calculations from assistant professor Leah Stokes of the University of California, Santa Barbara. To totally eliminate emissions from vehicles, the nation’s top source of planet-heating gas, the U.S. would need to double its electrical output and increase construction of renewable energy projects sevenfold ―  a mammoth undertaking, particularly when the worldwide buildout of renewable energy projects is in decline for the first time since 2001. 

But hitting that target by 2030 without adding new nuclear plants, as Warren has proposed, would require the deployment rate of renewable energy projects to increase 17 times faster than the current average. Under Sanders’ plan, which aims to decarbonize the energy sector while decommissioning nuclear reactors, it would need to be 25 times faster. 

The case against new nuclear plants is also fairly straightforward. Nuclear waste remains toxic for 250,000 years, roughly the same amount of time since early humans first evolved. There’s no good way to store spent fuel rods, despite recent progress in storing waste in remote underground caverns in Northern Europe and developing powerful lasers to alter atomic nuclei. That makes existing plants radioactive, literally and politically, particularly in a heated primary. Nevada, where the federal government has long stored waste in desert facilities and has proposed a controversial waste storage facility in Yucca Mountain, is an early-voting primary state, and nuclear storage is a top concern there.  

Nuclear plants are extremely expensive, both to build and operate. The only new nuclear plant under construction, in Georgia, is running about four years behind schedule, and its cost surged to $28 billion last year, double the initial estimate of $14.1 billion. And it could climb higher. South Carolina spent $9 billion on two new reactors only to abandon the project over costs and delays after hiking electricity rates in the state to cover nearly $4 billion of the cost overruns.

Despite campaigning heavily in the early-voting Palmetto State, presidential hopefuls have yet to even remark there on that textbook pocketbook issue, said Tom Clements, an environmental activist in South Carolina. 

“They have the gall to come here and they just ignore it,” he said of the costs. 

The high cost of building nuclear plants makes it impossible to compete with cheap fracked gas as coal plants are shuttered at a steady pace. 

Putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions ― or, at the very least, eliminating fossil fuel subsidies ― would make it easier for the industry to compete against gas. But nuclear’s carbon-free rivals are catching up. Wind and solar generators outcompeted nuclear plants in mid-2019 on both cost and construction speed, the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report found. 

Stabilizing the climate is urgent, nuclear power is slow. Mycle Schneider, lead author of the latest World Nuclear Industry Status Report

“Stabilizing the climate is urgent, nuclear power is slow,” Mycle Schneider, lead author of the report, told Reuters. “It meets no technical or operational need that low-carbon competitors cannot meet better, cheaper and faster.”

That’s partly why no new reactors have been licensed in a quarter of a century. It’s also why 59 of the country’s currently licensed 97 reactors face retirement by 2040, including 11 whose credentials expire by 2025. 

But extending licenses on existing reactors is another story. 

“It’s like renewing your driver’s license. We don’t view it as a litmus test,” said Neal Cohen, a vice president at the industry-backed Nuclear Energy Institute. “License renewal is not a controversial idea.”

At a moment when HBO’s hit series “Chernobyl” and the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, offer stark reminders of how destructive radiation can be, Clements took a markedly different view of extending licenses on reactors already relicensed once before. 

“These reactors get older, the components age and there are safety risks associated with that,” he said.

But Duke Energy instead pointed to the threat of inflaming the climate crisis with increased emissions. The utility’s existing nuclear fleet “avoided the release of about 54 million tons of carbon dioxide ― equivalent to keeping more than 10 million passenger cars off the road,” the company said. The move, moreover, was part of a broader announcement last month that Duke planned to halve its emissions by 2030 and zero them out by 2050. 

That, Duke spokesperson Rita Sipe said, is why the company is announcing the renewals now. The first reactors for which Duke plans to apply for renewals are at its Oconee plant in Greenville, South Carolina. Nuclear Regulatory Commission filings show the credentials for the three reactors there don’t expire until 2033. But the company “projects years into the future.” And the U.S. nuclear industry’s precarious outlook makes predictions difficult. 

Yet shoring up political support from a potential next president could be essential. And while a Duke spokeswoman declined to “speak directly to the politics,” South Carolina Democrats go to the polls at the end of February to decide whom that might be. 

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Meet the Ukrainian Ex-Prosecutor Behind the Impeachment Furor

Westlake Legal Group xxukraine1-facebookJumbo Meet the Ukrainian Ex-Prosecutor Behind the Impeachment Furor Yovanovitch, Marie L United States International Relations Ukraine Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Lutsenko, Yuri V Giuliani, Rudolph W Corruption (Institutional) Burisma Holdings Ltd Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

KIEV, Ukraine — As soon as he got the invitation from Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, it was abundantly clear to him what Mr. Trump’s allies were after.

“I understood very well what would interest them,” Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s recently fired prosecutor general, said in an extensive interview in London. “I have 23 years in politics. I knew.”

“I’m a political animal,” he added.

When Mr. Lutsenko sat down with Mr. Giuliani in New York in January, he recalled, his expectations were confirmed: The president’s lawyer wanted him to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter.

It was the start of what both sides hoped would be a mutually beneficial relationship — but one that is now central to the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump and his allies have been fixated on Ukraine since the 2016 American election, convinced that the country holds the key to unlock what they view as a conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump. Mr. Giuliani in particular has viewed Ukraine as a potentially rich source of information beneficial to Mr. Trump and harmful to his opponents, including Mr. Biden.

But a detailed look at Mr. Lutsenko’s record shows how Mr. Trump and his allies embraced and relied on a Ukrainian prosecutor with no formal legal training and a long history of wielding the law as a weapon in his personal political battles, disregarding the concerns of senior diplomats who said he wasn’t credible.

Mr. Trump praised him in a phone call with Ukraine’s president. Mr. Giuliani aggressively promoted the news that Mr. Lutsenko’s office had revived an investigation into the owner of a Ukrainian energy company that had hired Mr. Biden’s son. And in an interview with Fox News in April, Mr. Trump described Mr. Lutsenko’s claims as “big” and “incredible,” worthy of attention from the American attorney general.

Mr. Trump’s allies even seemed to favor Mr. Lutsenko over the American ambassador in Ukraine, who was recalled as the president’s supporters stepped up pressure on the country to investigate the Bidens. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son in Ukraine.

In the impeachment debate, Ukraine has often seemed an innocent bystander, a poor and deeply troubled country on Europe’s eastern fringe sideswiped by the raucous political battles of the world’s most powerful nation.

But the scandal now roiling Washington underscores how Ukraine’s own domestic struggles, feuds and dysfunctions have shaped the controversy — and shows how the pursuit of political advantage by actors in each country fed the other in ways that neither side foresaw.

Mr. Lutsenko’s path to Mr. Giuliani began in this political morass, with a meeting so combative that it helped ignite the scandal in the first place.

Shortly after taking up her post in 2016, the American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, went to meet the new prosecutor general, Mr. Lutsenko, in his office — and complained that his deputies were stained by corruption, according to two Ukrainian officials familiar with the encounter.

The ambassador then pressed Mr. Lutsenko further, the officials said, asking him to stop investigating anti-corruption activists who were supported by the American Embassy and had criticized his work.

Mr. Lutsenko said he snapped at Ms. Yovanovitch that “no one is going to dictate to me” who should be investigated, prompting the ambassador to storm out of the meeting.

“This moment was, how shall we say, not very positive,” recalled Larisa Sagan, Mr. Lutsenko’s assistant at the time. “There were always difficult relations with the U.S. ambassador.”

In the months to come — as the ambassador stepped up her criticism of Ukraine’s faltering efforts to root out corruption — Mr. Lutsenko’s personal animus toward Ms. Yovanovitch grew. He concluded, he and his former colleagues say, that he needed to go around her and find a direct path to a more receptive audience: Mr. Trump’s inner circle.

When Mr. Giuliani learned that Mr. Lutsenko and other disgruntled Ukrainian officials were trying to reach out to the Americans, he welcomed the opportunity.

“Yeah, I probably called, I’m sure I called — Lutsenko didn’t have my number,” Mr. Giuliani said in an interview.

According to notes of their January meetings given to members of Congress last week, Mr. Lutsenko told Mr. Giuliani about what he called payments to Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.

The two also discussed the theory that Paul Manafort — Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, who had been convicted in the United States of fraud for his work as a consultant in Ukraine — had been set up by supporters of Hillary Clinton. Ukrainian officials deny such claims, and no evidence supports this idea.

Mr. Lutsenko said he met Mr. Giuliani to seek help recovering billions of dollars he said were stolen from Ukraine under a previous government, a matter unrelated to the American election.

But veterans of Ukraine’s cutthroat politics say Mr. Lutsenko’s outreach to Mr. Trump’s inner circle was a clear attempt to win favor with a powerful ally at a time his own political future looked uncertain.

“Lutsenko was trying to save his political skin by pretending to be Trumpist at the end of his career,” said David Sakvarelidze, a former deputy prosecutor general.

Instead of finding salvation, Mr. Lutsenko was fired in late August by Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Mr. Lutsenko left Ukraine for Britain last Sunday, saying he wanted to improve his English. On Tuesday, Ukrainian authorities announced that they had opened a criminal case against him over accusations that he had abused his power in dealings with politicians and others involved in illegal gambling.

Mr. Lutsenko dismissed the latest case as “a big fantasy.” But to many in Ukraine, it is a fitting coda to the career of an ambitious politician turned prosecutor who used his position to wage political battles.

Even his initial appointment caused controversy: He became prosecutor general in 2016 only after Ukraine’s president at the time, Petro O. Poroshenko, got Parliament to remove a requirement that the prosecutor be educated in the law.

A survivor in Ukraine’s often treacherous politics, Mr. Lutsenko had spent time in jail as a political prisoner, won a seat in Ukraine’s Parliament and served as interior minister, holding senior positions under three presidents.

He also showed himself an adept operator in the United States.

After his meetings with Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Lutsenko provided grist for a series of articles in The Hill, a Washington news portal. His remarks were pitch-perfect in their appeal to Mr. Trump and his supporters.

Mr. Trump tweeted the headline of one of the articles: “As Russia Collusion Fades, Ukrainian Plot to Help Clinton Emerges.”

In another article, Mr. Lutsenko aired his feud with Ms. Yovanovitch, the American ambassador, asserting that she had given him a list of untouchables not to prosecute. The claim set off a storm of accusations that the ambassador belonged to a cabal working to hurt Mr. Trump and protect the Bidens.

The State Department dismissed Mr. Lutsenko’s claim as “an outright fabrication,” and he later acknowledged that the “don’t prosecute list” never existed. In the interview, he blamed the misstep on a bad translation and insisted that Ms. Yovanovitch had, in fact, pressed him not to prosecute anticorruption activists.

But the damage was done. Already under fire from some Republicans, who said she had disparaged Mr. Trump in private meetings, Ms. Yovanovitch was ordered in May to leave her post in Kiev and return to Washington.

When Mr. Lutsenko’s name appeared in a whistle-blower complaint released last week — which accused Mr. Trump of soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election — the former prosecutor dismissed the account as “filled with multiple lies.”

But in private messages to a Ukrainian anti-corruption campaigner, Mr. Lutsenko gloated about one important part of the complaint: his role in ending Ms. Yovanovitch’s career in Kiev.

In the exchange — with Daria Kaleniuk, the head of Ukraine’s Anticorruption Action Center — Mr. Lutsenko used mafia slang to rejoice at how the American ambassador’s removal had undercut activists campaigning against corruption in Ukraine. Mr. Lutsenko told Ms. Kaleniuk that he had “eliminated your roof.”

“Roof,” a term derived from Russian mafia slang, is used throughout the former Soviet Union to designate a protector or guardian. The “roof” in this instance, Ms. Kaleniuk said, was Ambassador Yovanovitch.

“Lutsenko hated Yovanovitch,” Ms. Kaleniuk said.

To Western diplomats who have followed Ukraine’s turbulent history since it broke free from the Soviet Union in 1991, Mr. Lutsenko was a familiar figure: a seemingly reform-minded politician who, once given power, deeply disappointed his former admirers by displaying many of the ills he had previously denounced.

He had helped organize the street protests that toppled Ukraine’s deeply corrupt, pro-Russian president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, in 2014, meeting with journalists to explain his vision of a Western-oriented country ruled by laws instead of political diktats.

Soon after his appointment as prosecutor general in 2016, however, he began feuding with other law enforcement agencies, notably the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, a body set up in 2014 with strong support from the Obama administration.

The anti-corruption bureau investigated previously untouchable tycoons and politicians, including several of Mr. Lutsenko’s subordinates. These actions — and the praise they received from Ms. Yovanovitch — infuriated Mr. Lutsenko, reinforcing his animosity toward the ambassador and his determination to put the rival agency in its place.

In one particularly high-profile clash, Mr. Lutsenko torpedoed a secret 2017 investigation by the anti-corruption bureau, which had been looking into a passport-for-sale racket run by immigration officials. Mr. Lutsenko posted pictures of undercover agents on the internet, and the case collapsed.

“For this alone he should go to jail,” said Anatoly S. Hrytsenko, a former Ukrainian minister of defense.

Even before he found an ally in Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Lutsenko, his relations with American diplomats in Kiev in tatters, had sought to curry favor directly with the Trump administration.

The effort started in earnest in early 2018, when he tried to shelve criminal cases in Ukraine against Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, Mr. Manafort, who had made millions of dollars in Kiev as a consultant.

His decision to freeze the Manafort cases came as the Trump administration was completing plans to sell Ukraine a type of sophisticated anti-tank missile called the Javelin. The maneuver hinted at a dynamic now pivotal to the impeachment inquiry — whether the Trump administration, or the president himself, traded security aid for political favors.

Later in 2018, an official in Mr. Lutsenko’s office, Kostiantyn Kulyk — one of the deputies Ms. Yovanovitch had asked Mr. Lutsenko to dismiss at their first meeting — came up with another idea, according to a senior Ukrainian law enforcement official.

Mr. Kulyk had compiled a seven-page dossier on Hunter Biden — a potential way of reaching officials in Washington who had been blocked by Mr. Lutsenko’s testy relations with the American Embassy in Kiev, the official said.

In March, Mr. Kulyk moved to restart the criminal case against the owner of the gas company that had recruited Hunter Biden to sit on its board. But Mr. Kulyk was under a cloud himself: The anti-corruption bureau had investigated him on suspicion of illicit enrichment. Mr. Kulyk did not respond to requests for an interview.

Mr. Lutsenko was confronting a problem of his own. His political patron, President Poroshenko, got trounced in a presidential election in April.

The defeat meant Mr. Lutsenko risked losing his job. While largely discredited in Ukraine as a political operative who had put much of his energy into personal fights, like the one with Ms. Yovanovitch, Mr. Lutsenko still had one significant base of support: Mr. Giuliani and the American president himself.

When Mr. Trump spoke by phone on July 25 with Ukraine’s new president, Mr. Trump complained about the expected departure of Ukraine’s prosecutor, an apparent reference to Mr. Lutsenko.

“I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair,” Mr. Trump told Ukraine’s new president, Mr. Zelensky. “A lot of people are talking about that.”

Mr. Lutsenko lost his job anyway, leaving his post a month later.

Mr. Lutsenko “was a very big disappointment,” said Ms. Kaleniuk, the anti-corruption activist. “He decided he couldn’t change the system, or didn’t want to change it.”

His feud with the American ambassador and his outreach to the Trump administration, she added, were all part of a bigger problem — the mixing of politics and justice — that has afflicted Ukraine for years.

In a sign of how perilous this mix can be, even Mr. Giuliani is now shunning the former prosecutor, denouncing him as “corrupted.”

In the interview in London, Mr. Lutsenko said that he told Mr. Giuliani from the start that there was no basis for a case against Mr. Biden or his son.

“Sometimes the mayor is very wise, but sometimes he gets carried away,” he said of Mr. Giuliani.

Asked about this on Friday, Mr. Giuliani had a simple retort: “Liar.”

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South African Airways flight attendants arrested for allegedly trafficking $3 million of cocaine

Two flight attendants employed by South African Airways (SAA) were arrested last week for allegedly attempting to smuggle about $3 million worth of cocaine into Hong Kong International Airport, in what’s been described “the largest drug trafficking case involving flight crew members” detected by local customs in the past decade.

On Sept. 22 and 24, law enforcement officials busted two SAA workers for the reported drug haul, TravelPulse reports. Almost 40 pounds of cocaine was discovered soon after the unnamed woman and man arrived separately to the airport, touching down from two different flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong.

Westlake Legal Group drug-bust-1-HK-Customs South African Airways flight attendants arrested for allegedly trafficking $3 million of cocaine Janine Puhak fox-news/world/crime fox-news/travel/general/airports fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 336c4022-5e13-5856-ba94-d98c16dca9da

An image of the drugs recently seized at Hong Kong International Airport in a $3 million heist. (Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department)

The 39-year-old female flight attendant was found with 26 pounds of cocaine on Sunday, and the 35-year-old male flight attendant was caught with nearly 14 pounds of the drug on Tuesday, according to the outlet.

SOUTHWEST FLIGHT ATTENDANT ALLEGEDLY PROFILED TRUMP SUPPORTER IN FACEBOOK POST; AIRLINE INVESTIGATING

Westlake Legal Group drug-bust-2-HK-Customs South African Airways flight attendants arrested for allegedly trafficking $3 million of cocaine Janine Puhak fox-news/world/crime fox-news/travel/general/airports fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 336c4022-5e13-5856-ba94-d98c16dca9da

An image of the drugs recently seized at Hong Kong International Airport in a $3 million heist. (Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department)

“This is the largest drug trafficking case involving flight crew members detected by customs in the past decade,” a news release issued by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department detailed.

“After preliminary investigation, it is believed that the suspected cocaine seized were from Africa,” it added.

Nabbing the illegal substances in a special operation codenamed “Bullseye,” Hong Kong Customs believes the drugs have a street market value of about $3 million.

Westlake Legal Group South-African-Airways-istock South African Airways flight attendants arrested for allegedly trafficking $3 million of cocaine Janine Puhak fox-news/world/crime fox-news/travel/general/airports fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 336c4022-5e13-5856-ba94-d98c16dca9da

Two flight attendants employed by South African Airways were arrested last week for allegedly attempting to smuggle about $3 million worth of cocaine into Hong Kong International Airport, in what’s been described “the largest drug trafficking case involving flight crew members” detected by local customs in the past decade. (iStock)

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SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali has since confirmed the news of the arrests and said that the offenders remain in police custody in Hong Kong.

“We confirm that two of our employees have been arrested in Hong Kong on suspicion of being in possession of drugs, the two employees were operating on two separate flights that were originating from Johannesburg to Hong Kong and were arrested one on arrival the other one following an investigation by customs officials in Hong Kong,” Tlali told The South African in an Oct. 3 interview. “Their matters have been before the courts and they remain in custody at the moment.”

Westlake Legal Group iStock-502896220 South African Airways flight attendants arrested for allegedly trafficking $3 million of cocaine Janine Puhak fox-news/world/crime fox-news/travel/general/airports fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 336c4022-5e13-5856-ba94-d98c16dca9da

An SAA spokesperson has since confirmed the news of the arrests, and said that the offenders remain in police custody in Hong Kong. (iStock)

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An official for SAA was not immediately available to offer further comment.

Under Hong Kong law, the maximum penalty for drug trafficking can include life imprisonment and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Westlake Legal Group drug-bust-1-HK-Customs South African Airways flight attendants arrested for allegedly trafficking $3 million of cocaine Janine Puhak fox-news/world/crime fox-news/travel/general/airports fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 336c4022-5e13-5856-ba94-d98c16dca9da   Westlake Legal Group drug-bust-1-HK-Customs South African Airways flight attendants arrested for allegedly trafficking $3 million of cocaine Janine Puhak fox-news/world/crime fox-news/travel/general/airports fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 336c4022-5e13-5856-ba94-d98c16dca9da

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Taliban meet US peace envoy for first time since Trump declared deal ‘dead’

The Taliban met with U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Pakistan on Friday in the first such meeting since President Trump declared Afghan peace talks “dead,” according to reports.

Khalilzad and Taliban officials met in Islamabad but the U.S. has said peace talks have not resumed, the Associated Press reported.

Trump decided to cancel the peace negotiations with the Taliban came amid reports of a seemingly imminent peace deal. He called them off following a deadly Taliban bombing in Kabul that killed a U.S. soldier

The president’s decision scrapped a secret Camp David meeting he intended to hold with a Taliban representative just before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Westlake Legal Group taliban-pakistan-AP Taliban meet US peace envoy for first time since Trump declared deal 'dead' Robert Gearty fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox news fnc/world fnc article a6d8749b-bb6f-51c2-9d7a-7ec8fd8ba408

In this photo released by the Foreign Office, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, center, receives members of Taliban delegation at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Senior Taliban leaders are meeting with Qureshi in Islamabad as part of a push to revive an Afghanistan peace deal that has included stops in Russia, China and Iran. (Pakistan Foreign Office via AP)

Reuters reported that the two sides first met in Islamabad on Thursday for an hour.

TRUMP SAYS TALKS WITH TALIBAN ARE ‘DEAD,’ AFTER CANCELING SECRET CAMP DAVID SUMMIT

“The Taliban officials held a meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad … all I can tell you is that Pakistan played a big role in it to convince them how important it was for the peace process,” a senior Pakistan official told Reuters.

Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, said the Afghan government is committed to the peace process, but one led and “owned” by the Afghan government, the Associated Press reported. Such a peace process will lead to a “lasting and dignified peace in Afghanistan,” he said.

TRUMP SAYS TALIBAN HAVE ‘NEVER BEEN HIT HARDER’ AFTER NIXING PEACE TALKS

Sediqqi said Taliban meetings in Islamabad or anywhere else will not help the Afghan peace process and in fact, will encourage the Taliban to commit more violence.

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The AP reported that the meeting was significant as the United States seeks an exit from Afghanistan’s 18-year war.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group taliban-pakistan-AP Taliban meet US peace envoy for first time since Trump declared deal 'dead' Robert Gearty fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox news fnc/world fnc article a6d8749b-bb6f-51c2-9d7a-7ec8fd8ba408   Westlake Legal Group taliban-pakistan-AP Taliban meet US peace envoy for first time since Trump declared deal 'dead' Robert Gearty fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox news fnc/world fnc article a6d8749b-bb6f-51c2-9d7a-7ec8fd8ba408

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