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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 426)

Restaurant diners flee after former employee and friend return for ‘terrifying’ rampage: ‘Glass everywhere’

Two women in southern California were recently busted for vandalizing a restaurant where one of the offenders used to work. The former employee allegedly used a bat to bash a television, table settings and plates, causing thousands of dollars in damages.

On Oct. 5, around 1:30 p.m., Passion Shenay Coleman and Laglennda Damona Carr allegedly entered the Maggiano’s Little Italy in Costa Mesa, wearing face paint and sweatshirts with the hoods “pulled tight in an effort to conceal their faces,” the Orange County Register and KTVI reported.

Coleman, 27, and Carr, 24, surprised lunch patrons with yelling and “disruptive” behavior as they caused mayhem, according to KTVI. Coleman, a former employee, is said to have smashed the TV and dishware with a bat. Both women were described as “swinging wildly,” the Register reported.

Westlake Legal Group Passion-Coleman-Laglennda-Carr-Costa-Mesa-PD Restaurant diners flee after former employee and friend return for 'terrifying' rampage: 'Glass everywhere' Janine Puhak fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 7a764ee2-0c5b-5072-9230-7b3d275375d0

Laglennda Damona Carr (pictured left) and Passion Shenay Coleman (pictured right) were arrested on Oct. 5 for allegedly vandalizing a Costa Mesa restaurant.  (Costa Mesa Police Department  )

RESTAURANT IN ROME SLAMMED FOR ALLEGEDLY CHARGING TOURISTS $471 FOR SPAGHETTI AND FISH

“Panic hit the place,” witness Robert Christiansen told the outlet. “Personally, this was one step from them having a gun and going off in the place. This person was completely unhinged, just lost it.”

Christiansen claimed that at one point, he and his wife Kim heard one of the women shout “I’m not good enough? Take that,” as she vandalized the restaurant.

“There was glass everywhere,” he went on, adding that it was “terrifying” to see everyone in Maggiano’s so afraid.

The Register reported that Coleman and Carr went on to smash the bar, where a small fire soon ignited – though it remains unclear if the flames were intentionally set or simply a by-product of the damage.

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No Maggiano’s staffers or patrons were injured during the rampage, the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) said in a statement.

Westlake Legal Group maggianos-costa-mesa-calif-google-maps Restaurant diners flee after former employee and friend return for 'terrifying' rampage: 'Glass everywhere' Janine Puhak fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 7a764ee2-0c5b-5072-9230-7b3d275375d0

On Oct. 5, around 1:30 p.m., Passion Shenay Coleman and Laglennda Damona Carr allegedly entered the Maggiano’s Little Italy in Costa Mesa, pictured, before wreaking havoc. (Google Maps)

Christiansen praised the Maggiano’s employees’ composure in handling the situation.

“They were amazing, they took care of everybody and got them outside quickly,” he told the Register.

Law enforcement officials soon arrived and stopped Coleman and Carr from fleeing the scene in a car. Both women were detained and eventually booked into jail on suspicion of assault with a criminal threat, felony vandalism, burglary, and felony conspiracy to commit crimes, according to the CMPD statement.

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Coleman was treated at a local hospital for cuts on her hands and booked into jail on a $500,000 bail. She was also hit with a misdemeanor warrant for a suspended license. Carr’s bail, meanwhile, was set at $25,000.

Two hours earlier, around 11:40 a.m., Coleman is said to have entered the same Maggiano’s location, making criminal threats and throwing a plate at an employee before fleeing. The restaurant worker called the police to report the incident, though Coleman could not be located at the time, the CMPD release said.

Westlake Legal Group Passion-Coleman-Laglennda-Carr-Costa-Mesa-PD Restaurant diners flee after former employee and friend return for 'terrifying' rampage: 'Glass everywhere' Janine Puhak fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 7a764ee2-0c5b-5072-9230-7b3d275375d0   Westlake Legal Group Passion-Coleman-Laglennda-Carr-Costa-Mesa-PD Restaurant diners flee after former employee and friend return for 'terrifying' rampage: 'Glass everywhere' Janine Puhak fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/food/restaurants fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 7a764ee2-0c5b-5072-9230-7b3d275375d0

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Turkey Says It Won’t Bow To U.S. Threat Over Its Syria Plans

Westlake Legal Group 5d9c9122210000e70633ae64 Turkey Says It Won’t Bow To U.S. Threat Over Its Syria Plans

BEIRUT (AP) — Turkey will not bow to threats over its Syria plans, the Turkish vice president said Tuesday in an apparent response to President Donald Trump’s warning to Ankara the previous day about the scope of its planned military incursion into northeastern Syria.

Trump said earlier this week the United States would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish fighters, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks’ economy if they went too far.

The U.S. president later cast his decision to abandon the Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from “endless war” in the Middle East, even as Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.

Trump’s statements have reverberated on all sides of the divide in Syria and the Mideast.

In Ankara, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Turkey was intent on combatting Syrian Kurdish fighters across its border in Syria and on creating a zone that would allow Turkey to resettle Syrian refugees there.

“Where Turkey’s security is concerned, we determine our own path but we set our own limits,” Oktay said.

Meanwhile, in the Syrian capital of Damascus, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad called on the country’s Kurds to rejoin the government side after apparently being abandoned by their U.S. allies.

Mekdad’s comments were the first Syrian reaction since Trump’s announcement on Sunday and as northeastern Syria braces for an imminent Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish militias. Trump’s statement has infuriated the Kurds, who stand to lose the autonomy they gained from Damascus during Syria’s civil war, now in its ninth year.

“The homeland welcomes all its sons and Damascus will solve all Syrian problems in a positive way, away from violence,” Mekdad claimed in an interview with the pro-government daily Al-Watan.

President Bashar Assad’s government abandoned the predominantly Kurdish area in northern Syria at the height of Syria’s civil war to focus on more key areas where the military was being challenged by the rebels. The U.S. began working with the Syrian Kurdish fighters after the emergence of the Islamic State group.

The Syrian government “will defend all Syrian territory and will not accept any occupation of any land or iota of the Syrian soil,” Mekdad said about the expected Turkish incursion.

The Syrian Kurdish force has pledged to fight back, raising the potential for an eruption of new warfare in Syria.

“We will not hesitate for a moment in defending our people” against Turkish troops, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement, adding that it has lost 11,000 fighters in the war against the Islamic State group in Syria.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the U.S.-backed predominantly Kurdish force that fought IS invited Trump to come see the progress the force and the U.S. made in northeastern Syria.

“We have more work to do to keep ISIS from coming back & make our accomplishments permanent. If America leaves, all will be erased,” he tweeted, referring to the Islamic State group by an alternative acronym.

Turkey, which considers Kurdish fighters in Syria terrorists and links them to a decades-old insurgency in Turkey, has already launched two major incursions into northern Syria over the past years. The first was in 2016, when Turkey and Syrian opposition fighters it backs attacked areas held by the Islamic State group west of the Euphrates River. Last year Turkey launched an attack on the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin, leading to the displacement of some 300,000 people.

Also Tuesday, Iran urged Turkey not to go ahead with its planned an attack on Syrian Kurds, the Iranian state TV reported. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to express Tehran’s opposition to the anticipated Turkish operation.

Zarif urged Turkey to respect Syria’s integrity and sovereignty, the report said.

Iran, Turkey and Russia have been working together as part of the so-called Astana group on the Syrian civil war, talks that have run parallel to U.N. efforts to find a solution to the conflict.

Trump’s announcement threw the military situation in Syria into fresh chaos and injected deeper uncertainty into the region.

U.S. involvement in Syria has been fraught with peril since it started in 2014 with the insertion of small numbers of special operations forces to recruit, train, arm and advise local fighters to combat the Islamic State. Trump entered the White House in 2017 intent on getting out of Syria, and even before the counter-IS military campaign reclaimed the last militant strongholds early this year, he declared victory and said troops would leave.

In recent weeks, the U.S. and Turkey had reached an apparent accommodation of Turkish concerns about the presence of Kurdish fighters, seen in Turkey as a threat. American and Turkish soldiers had been conducting joint patrols in a zone along the border. As part of that work, barriers designed to protect the Syrian Kurds were dismantled amid assurances that Turkey would not invade.

Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey. Associated Press writer Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, contributed to this report.

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Megathread: White House Blocks US Ambassador Gordon Sondland From Testifying Before Congress

Westlake Legal Group fDwlGrDBl1cLTk-GkdjvDgGbI0SwK2DIZOVLXj6eBEg Megathread: White House Blocks US Ambassador Gordon Sondland From Testifying Before Congress r/politics

The White House has blocked the US ambassador to the European Union from speaking to Congress after he was deposed by House committees investigating the president amid an impeachment inquiry.

Gordon Sondland did not appear for his closed-door meeting with Congress on Tuesday morning, as his attorney Robert Luskin said he had no choice following the White House orders.

“He is a sitting ambassador and employee of State and is required to follow their direction,” the attorney reportedly said.

Mr Sondland became enveloped in the president’s impeachment scandal after text messages and a whistleblower complaint revealed he was a witness to allegations against Mr Trump after his July phone call with Ukraine.

The text messages released by House Democrats show Mr Sondland working with another one of Mr Trump’s envoys to get Ukraine to agree to investigate any potential interference in the 2016 US election and of the energy company that appointed former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter to its board.


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Supreme Court Weighs Major Gay, Transgender Employment Rights Cases

Westlake Legal Group 5d9c928d200000d0024f6a00 Supreme Court Weighs Major Gay, Transgender Employment Rights Cases

WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday wades into a major LGBT rights dispute over whether a landmark decades-old federal anti-discrimination law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex covers gay and transgender workers.

The justices, a day after kicking off their new nine-month term, are set to hear two hours of arguments in three related cases, with LGBT rights activists planning demonstrations outside the courthouse.

The Supreme Court delivered an important gay rights decision in 2015 legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. Its dynamics on LGBT issues, however, changed following the 2018 retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who backed gay rights in major cases and wrote the same-sex marriage ruling.

At issue is whether gay and transgender people are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex as well as race, color, national origin and religion.

The legal fight focuses on the definition of “sex” in Title VII. The plaintiffs, along with civil rights groups and many large companies, have argued that discriminating against gay and transgender workers is inherently based on their sex and consequently is illegal.

The court’s 5-4 conservative majority includes two justices appointed by President Donald Trump, whose administration has argued that Title VII does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity.

The arguments present the court with its first major test on gay and transgender rights since Trump appointed conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh to replace Kennedy, with the four liberal justices sympathetic to LGBT rights. Kavanaugh, whose approach to gay rights is unclear, could provide a pivotal vote.

A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would give gay and transgender workers greater protections, especially in the 28 U.S. states that do not already have comprehensive measures against employment discrimination. A ruling against the plaintiffs would mean gay and transgender people in those states would have few options to challenge workplace discrimination.

The court will hear two cases about gay people who have said they were fired due to their sexual orientation. One involves a former county child welfare services coordinator from Georgia named Gerald Bostock. The other involves a New York skydiving instructor named Donald Zarda. He died after the case began and the matter is being pursued by his estate.

The third case involves a Detroit funeral home’s bid to reverse a lower court ruling that it violated Title VII by firing a transgender funeral director named Aimee Stephens after Stephens revealed plans to transition from male to female.

Rulings in the cases are due by the end of June.

Trump, a Republican with vigorous support among evangelicalChristian voters, has pursued policies taking aim at gay and transgender rights. His administration has supported the right of certain businesses to refuse to serve gay people on the basis of religious objections to gay marriage, restricted transgender service members in the military and rescinded protections on bathroom access for transgender students in public schools.

Trump’s Justice Department and the employers in the cases have argued that Congress did not intend for Title VII to cover gay and transgender people when it passed the law. Conservative religious groups and various Republican-led states back the administration.

Big business, typically eager to avoid liability in employment disputes, is backing the LGBT plaintiffs. More than 200 companies, including Amazon, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Bank of America Corp, joined a friend-of-the-court brief asking the justices to rule in favor of the plaintiffs.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung)

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Pushed by Security Concerns and Trump, Germany Weighs a New Fuel

Westlake Legal Group 08sp-lng-inyt-4-facebookJumbo Pushed by Security Concerns and Trump, Germany Weighs a New Fuel Wilhelmshaven (Germany) Uniper SE Ships and Shipping Pipelines natural gas Germany

WILHELMSHAVEN, Germany — A jetty here juts out nearly a mile into the Wadden Sea from Germany’s low-lying northern coast. Now used by a chemical plant, the pier could become the site of the country’s first liquefied natural gas terminal.

Wilhelmshaven, a port city of about 80,000 people founded as a naval base, is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Now it is among a handful of candidates for a project, supported by the German government, that would open Europe’s largest economy to liquefied natural gas, known as L.N.G.

The fuel, which is created by chilling natural gas to a liquid form, is increasingly traded globally like oil. It is loaded onto enormous specialized ships, some more than 1,000 feet long. These vessels can go anywhere there is a terminal and deliver a substantial transfusion of fuel into a country’s gas network to keep the lights on and factories humming.

For Germany, Europe’s largest consumer of natural gas, an L.N.G. terminal would provide an alternative to its dependence on fuel piped from Russia, its largest supplier, and give the country a way to receive supplies from Qatar or the United States or elsewhere if an alternative were needed.

Uniper, a German energy provider, and other companies have considered building an L.N.G. facility in Wilhelmshaven for decades, holding on to the site since the 1970s. Earlier plans, including an effort to import the fuel from Algeria, have failed to come to fruition. Now, executives at Uniper say, the right moment may have arrived.

“The timing in the market is a very good one to develop such a facility,” Niels Fenzl, the company’s vice president for transportation and terminals, said in an interview.

Uniper recently held an “open season” to gauge the interest of potential suppliers, with encouraging results. Exxon Mobil, the American energy giant, has already reached a preliminary deal to use the terminal.

Germany has long relied on natural gas from Russia, Norway and other countries. Pipeline gas tends to be cheaper than L.N.G., which has higher processing and transportation costs.

In 2018, more than half of Germany’s gas imports came from Russia, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. But although the German establishment appears to be comfortable with Russia and its main gas provider, Gazprom, there are increasing reasons for the country to explore L.N.G. as an alternative.

In 2009, a price dispute led to a nearly two-week disruption in Russian gas shipments through Ukraine, raising concerns about European reliance on Russian supplies. And the Netherlands, another large supplier to Germany, faces the prospect of declining output from the Groningen field, not far from the German border. Its production is expected to decline and eventually cease because of earthquakes triggered by gas production. An L.N.G. facility could help compensate for those losses.

President Trump has also leaned on Europe, including Germany, to import more natural gas from shale deposits in the United States, which have produced a bounty of fuel that is now flowing into exports in the form of L.N.G. The administration has criticized a new pipeline, Nord Stream 2, being built from Russia to Germany, while promoting fuel from new export facilities in Louisiana and Texas.

Earlier this year, Peter Altmaier, the German economics and energy minister, announced support for constructing an L.N.G. terminal in return for the United States toning down its opposition to the new pipeline with Russia.

For years, German politicians and industry leaders have shrugged off warnings about relying on Russia. Northwest Europe has other terminals, which until recently were little used. L.N.G. supplies instead went to destinations like Asia, where buyers were willing to pay higher prices.

Now the energy security arguments appear to be making headway, and the market for L.N.G. looks stronger. Utilization rates of terminals in northwest Europe have risen sharply. Uniper, which has an agreement to take L.N.G. from a facility in Freeport, Tex.., said that the shiploads of fuel traded by the company more than tripled from 2017 to 2018, from 40 to 135.

At a visitor’s center for the Wilhelmshaven port, Mr. Fenzl said that to keep costs down, the company is leaning toward using a floating vessel, rather than an onshore facility, as its terminal. The vessel, which would be provided by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, would be tied to an extension of the existing jetty. L.N.G. vessels would tie up alongside and discharge their frigid cargo through flexible hoses.

Mr. Fenzl said the company has not made a final decision to move ahead and was weighing commitments from other suppliers to use the facility, as well as potential government support. He estimated the cost of the project at 500 to 650 million euros. “For us, as Uniper, this is a lot of money,” he said. “It is not an easy task to get if off the ground.”

Building an L.N.G. terminal would not guarantee that Germany would import fuel from the United States. “The German stance is that they are going to take the most competitive L.N.G. supply that they can. If that happens to be the U.S., that is a bonus,” said Murray Douglas, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie, a market research firm.

Mr. Douglas said the United States would need to compete with Qatar, a major exporter, as well as planned projects in East Africa. Russia is also increasingly competing in the L.N.G. market.

Other German ports, including Stade, have also joined the competition for a terminal. In Brunsbuettel, the state-owned Dutch gas distributor and partners are considering a terminal in part to make up for lost supplies from the quake-rattled Groningen field. All three of these cities are near Hamburg, the thriving commercial and maritime hub in northern Germany.

Of course, local and environmental opposition to liquefied natural gas could grow, as it has in other ports. The Wadden Sea is considered a unique area of mud flats and shallows, and environmentalists say that putting a terminal there might cause pollution, while the big ships could damage the sea bottom.

In addition, some activists question whether Germany, which has halted the drilling process known as fracking, in which water is injected into gas wells to break up rock and increase their production, should be building a terminal to import gas from the United States produced by this process.

“It is extremely hypocritical that Germany forbids the use of this technology but allows the import of the same type of gas,” said Antoine Simon, a campaigner against fossil fuels at Friends of the Earth Europe in Brussels.

Andy Gheorghiu, a campaigner in Germany for Food and Water Watch, a group that opposes fracking, said opposition to the L.N.G. terminals had been relatively small but was growing. “I am pretty confident we can kill these projects,” he said.In Wilhelmshaven, some civic leaders see an L.N.G. terminal as a boost to the city’s efforts to build up local port activities. “Now it looks like we come to the end of a long, long story,” joked John H. Niemann, president of the Wilhelmshaven Port Association, noting that various versions of the project had been under discussion for 40 years.

The town was heavily damaged by bombing in World War II and revived, first as an oil terminal and, more recently, as a container port. Port traffic dropped sharply during the financial crisis beginning in 2008 but is gradually regaining momentum and attracting new businesses, Mr. Niemann said.

Mr. Fenzl said that part of the appeal of Wilhelmshaven, which has greater than 10 percent unemployment — twice the national average — is that the area is hungry for jobs and new businesses.

Tourism is also important to the region. People come to see the coastline and a nearby nature reserve, as well as attractions including a maritime history museum and an aquarium. On warm evenings, diners sit outside restaurants along a romantically lit canal. There is even a hulking vintage air raid bunker with a restaurant next door.

Tourists, Mr. Fenzl said, also like to watch the huge container vessels going in and out of the port. The L.N.G. carriers, some of the largest ships in the world, might also prove an attraction, he said. “I think they are quite a sight.”

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Jana Kramer, Mike Caussin reveal marriage troubles after she found a woman had sent him a topless photo

Westlake Legal Group michael-caussin-jana-kramer-cheating-getty-display Jana Kramer, Mike Caussin reveal marriage troubles after she found a woman had sent him a topless photo Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/jana-kramer fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 00ec402c-5022-59f0-899c-99540223694b

Jana Kramer and Mike Caussin revealed that their marriage is in a tough spot after she discovered an unknown woman sent him a topless photo.

In the latest episode of her podcast, “Whine Down with Jana Kramer,” the couple told the story in detail. Caussin, a recovering sex addict, revealed that he received a topless photo on Oct. 5 from a woman he says he doesn’t know. The former NFL player deleted the text, but Kramer found it on his Apple Watch.

During the podcast episode, Kramer still seems unclear as to whether or not she believes Caussin, given his history of cheating on her.

MIKE CAUSSIN CLARIFIED HIS COMMENT THAT JANA KRAMER CHEATING ON HIM WOULD BE A ‘DEAL BREAKER’

“I saw it, and … my heart just fell. I was like, it’s here. It’s happened again. I’m such a f—ing idiot … Like, how is this happening again?” she said (via Us Weekly). “I don’t want to live this kind of life. We just moved into this beautiful house, and we had our second kid, and we fought so hard. Why is this happening again?”

The couple separated in 2016 after she found out about his infidelity, but they renewed their vows in 2017. In March, Kramer revealed that Caussin had a relapse in 2018. Although he said at the time that he never had sex outside the marriage after being caught in 2016, the incident colored her opinion of their current situation.

“Whether he ends up meeting with someone or not … That last relapse, he almost did, and I was going to sign the papers,” she explained. “So it’s like, he gets even close to the fire, and I’m gone. I’m like, does he not know that and realize that and love our family enough?”

In the uncomfortable episode, Kramer explains that she can’t trust her husband because he’s successfully lied to her in the past.

JANA KRAMER DESCRIBES FINDING OUT ABOUT HUSBAND’S CHEATING RIGHT BEFORE GOING ON STAGE

“So I’m kinda caught in this weird, like, what do I believe? Was it just a fluke? I don’t know,” she said. “So I’m like, do I keep asking for signs, or are these my signs to f—ing get out of Dodge? Sorry, this is just really fresh.”

Caussin acknowledged his mistake in deleting the text, noting that Kramer finding something like that can be “extremely triggering” given his past behavior.

“It’s just one of those things that’s just difficult to navigate. It’s beyond hurtful to see Jana hurt and upset and feel things that she feels because of the things I’ve done in the past.”

JANA KRAMER, MICHAEL CAUSSIN CALL OLIVIA CULPO A ‘SOCIAL CLIMBER’ AFTER DANNY AMENDOLA COMMENTS

The podcast ends with Kramer saying she can’t yet look at her husband. However, she took to Instagram on Monday to give a small update on life after the very raw episode aired.

“Today is a tough one. Our podcast episode that aired this morning was one we almost didn’t let air at all,” Kramer wrote over a selfie of herself in bed. “Up until a day ago mike and I wanted to pull the episode completely and just not have an episode for today because it was that heavy for us.”

She continued: “The thing though is because Mike and I work together the show must go on and I realize we can’t just cancel things because we are in a bad spot. So instead I put my big girl pants on and started to record with mike after a very long and intense 24hours of not talking to each other.”

She explained that they eventually decided to release the episode in the hopes that their communication on the matter would help other couples going through something similar. She concluded her caption with an update on how they’re doing with the photo drama.

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“Because the podcast didn’t end great…today we are good, and have grown stronger from it. See that’s the thing, if you’re both willing to fight you can get stronger on the other side,” Kramer wrote.

Westlake Legal Group michael-caussin-jana-kramer-cheating-getty-display Jana Kramer, Mike Caussin reveal marriage troubles after she found a woman had sent him a topless photo Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/jana-kramer fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 00ec402c-5022-59f0-899c-99540223694b   Westlake Legal Group michael-caussin-jana-kramer-cheating-getty-display Jana Kramer, Mike Caussin reveal marriage troubles after she found a woman had sent him a topless photo Tyler McCarthy fox-news/person/jana-kramer fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 00ec402c-5022-59f0-899c-99540223694b

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‘Pregnant’ woman has 6-inch, 3-pound mass removed from uterus

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW

A Chinese woman whose friends thought she might be pregnant due to her swollen abdomen and sudden weight gain recently had a 6-inch, 3-pound growth removed from her uterus. The woman, identified as “Ms. Shi,” said she checked into Yangzhou Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital last month for her symptoms, which included heavy menstrual periods and dizziness.

Westlake Legal Group Melon-Pregnancy-1-Asia-Wire 'Pregnant' woman has 6-inch, 3-pound mass removed from uterus fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox news fnc/health fnc f7fc0a69-1276-5a2b-8350-a7696adb9cbe article Alexandria Hein

The woman had experienced heavy bleeding and weight gain over the last several months. (AsiaWire)

“I gained weight and everyone thought I was pregnant,” the 38-year-old told AsiaWire.

MOM CLAIMS DIET SODA SENT HER INTO A COMA AFTER SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION

An examination and scans revealed a ball-shaped growth taking up space in her uterus, which was causing the swelling and her other symptoms.

“The tumor was so big it made her seem like she was five or six months pregnant,” Dr. Huang JingBing told AsiaWire. “It was about [6 inches] across, and weighed over [3 pounds].”

Westlake Legal Group Melon-Pregnancy-2-Asia-Wire 'Pregnant' woman has 6-inch, 3-pound mass removed from uterus fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox news fnc/health fnc f7fc0a69-1276-5a2b-8350-a7696adb9cbe article Alexandria Hein

She said her friends assumed she was pregnant, but it wasn’t until she started experiencing dizziness that she sought medical attention. (AsiaWire)

Huang and his team removed the mass and said Shi should not experience any long-term complications.

SURGEONS REMOVE 55-POUND OVARIAN TUMOR FROM RUSSIAN PATIENT, REPORT SAYS

While unusual, uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus that range in size and can distort or enlarge the uterus. Symptoms may include heavy menstrual bleeding, longer menstrual periods, pelvic pressure, frequent urination, difficulty emptying bladder, constipation, and backache or leg pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Ovarian tumors are the result of abnormal cell growth. Benign tumors are slow-growing and do not spread to other parts of the body, but their exact cause is not always known, according to the University of Colorado’s department of gynecologic oncology. Treatment typically involves surgical removal, and fertility is often unaffected, although most commonly occur in women of childbearing age.

Westlake Legal Group Melon-Pregnancy-1-Asia-Wire 'Pregnant' woman has 6-inch, 3-pound mass removed from uterus fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox news fnc/health fnc f7fc0a69-1276-5a2b-8350-a7696adb9cbe article Alexandria Hein   Westlake Legal Group Melon-Pregnancy-1-Asia-Wire 'Pregnant' woman has 6-inch, 3-pound mass removed from uterus fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/health/medical-research/surgery fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox news fnc/health fnc f7fc0a69-1276-5a2b-8350-a7696adb9cbe article Alexandria Hein

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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.

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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

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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

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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.”

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