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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 430)

Hamlin wins Kansas NASCAR race, final eight set

Denny Hamlin was surrounded by Joe Gibbs Racing teammates at the front on the final restart, and that put Chase Elliott in the most difficult and precarious of situations. Somehow, he figured, he needed to find a way to beat them all to advance in NASCAR’s playoffs. It turned out second place was good enough.

Westlake Legal Group nas2 Hamlin wins Kansas NASCAR race, final eight set fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc cdc4c6ce-3bf5-56ef-8cb5-848f84dc815c Associated Press article

Hamlin roared away with a push from behind from teammate Kyle Busch on the second shot at a green-white-checkered finish, and Elliott was unable to chase him down. But deep in the field, Brad Keselowski was going backward, and the spots he lost in the elimination race at Kansas Speedway were enough to send Elliott through in the final cut-off spot to the round of eight.

Hamlin won the race. Elliott felt almost as if he did.

“You have to stay fighting in these things, especially with the late-race restarts,” he said. “Just excited we get to fight another race. Back up against the wall, to come out here and battle for the win, that’s what you have to do when you’re in the position we were in.”

Westlake Legal Group nas3 Hamlin wins Kansas NASCAR race, final eight set fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc cdc4c6ce-3bf5-56ef-8cb5-848f84dc815c Associated Press article

In a bit of irony, it was Keselowski who helped bring out the caution in the first overtime when he got into Daniel Suarez and triggered a wreck that collected teammate Joey Logano. The field was nearing the start-finish line but the caution light came on before the leader took the white flag.

If Hamlin had crossed a split-second quicker, the race would have been over and Keselowski safe.

“I pushed as hard as I knew how and didn’t quite do good enough on the last restart and that was it,” Keselowski said. “We clawed as hard as we could and there were times it looked like we were going to be fine and times it didn’t. In the end it didn’t work out.”

Kyle Busch ultimately finished third, followed by Kurt Busch and William Byron. But the key was Keselowski, who dropped from 13th to 19th on the final restart and out of the next round of the playoffs.

He ended up three points — equal to three positions on the track — below the cutoff line.

Byron was the next driver eliminated despite a strong run at Kansas, where he would have needed a win to advance. Alex Bowman and home-state hero Clint Bowyer also were eliminated.

“I did think we were OK,” Keselowski said, “but obviously we weren’t.”

The win was the fifth this season for Hamlin, who already was in good shape to advance but picked up valuable playoff points with the win. He’d finished in the top five at Kansas twice in the past couple years, but the trip to victory lane was the first for his Joe Gibbs Racing team since 2012.

“This was a tough track for us. We didn’t run very good here in the spring,” said his crew chief, Chris Gabehart. “We got a few key adjustments that turned us into a dominant car.”

The frenzied push to the finish Sunday began when Blaney scraped the wall with 14 to go, causing his tire to go down and a caution flag to fly. Elliott was three points behind Keselowski at that point, but the savior of Hendrick Motorsports’ playoff hopes made a big move on the restart to climb to fourth place, and that put the pressure right back on Keselowski to make up ground.

Elliott was still in good shape until another caution flew, jumbling the front of the pack and giving Keselowski a chance. He made a quick stop and picked up three spots on pit road, putting Elliott back in a situation where it appeared he would need a victory to advance.

“I was under the impression,” he said.

The entire field got through the first playoff restart cleanly, but Keselowski ran out of room deep in the pack and nudged Suarez, sending him into the wall. Logano also was heavily damaged in the wreck, throwing his own playoff hopes into question as another OT approached.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Hamlin got a good jump on the restart, and Elliott dived low and got in line. He immediately moved forward into second place while Keselowski began hemorrhaging positions, and the change that was made in the final two laps was enough to send Elliott into the next round.

“If you ever get to Homestead, you’re going to have to fight for a win,” he said. “Proud of the effort. Learned a lot. To be able to come out here and, like I said, in our minds have to win, come and fight for one, to finish second, I think is step in the right direction for us.”

OTHER PLAYOFF DRIVERS

Bowyer had a strong finish in eighth, but the playoff contender was a non-factor most of the day despite needing a win to advance. Kevin Harvick started 40th after inspection issues and never making it on the track to qualify, but he worked his way through the field to finish ninth.

“That was not a very good weekend from top to bottom,” Harvick said. “I just didn’t have a very good car and didn’t have a very good day on pit road. Nothing went right all weekend. It was definitely one of the worst weekends we have had in a while.”

ALL THE REST

Among non-playoff drivers, Erik Jones was among his three Gibbs playoff teammates in contention for the win before finishing seventh. Jimmie Johnson rallied from a slow start to finish 10th.

UP NEXT

Keselowski won the spring race at Martinsville, though that probably doesn’t make him feel much better returning now that he’s outside the playoffs. Logano edged Hamlin in the playoff race a year ago.

Westlake Legal Group nas2 Hamlin wins Kansas NASCAR race, final eight set fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc cdc4c6ce-3bf5-56ef-8cb5-848f84dc815c Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group nas2 Hamlin wins Kansas NASCAR race, final eight set fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/attributes/racing fnc/auto fnc cdc4c6ce-3bf5-56ef-8cb5-848f84dc815c Associated Press article

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Estate Tax Can Pay Off for States, Even if the Superrich Flee

Arkansas reaped a windfall when a Walmart founder, James L. Walton, known as Bud, died in 1995 with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $1.65 billion in today’s money. The next year, state estate tax receipts jumped 425 percent, to about $183 million in current dollars.

In an age when bigger fortunes are being made, the states’ prize is getting richer. Research by Enrico Moretti of the University of California, Berkeley, and Daniel J. Wilson of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco estimates that if Jeff Bezos of Amazon died today at his home in the Seattle suburbs, the state tax bill on his estate, estimated by Forbes at more than $100 billion, would add up to almost $12 billion. Washington State’s entire budget for two years is $52 billion.

There’s a hitch to state estate taxes: The rich can move to avoid their reach. That makes counting on the revenues a bit of a crapshoot. If an aging Mr. Bezos moved before he died, establishing his residence in California, his fortune would produce no estate tax revenue.

And yet the payoff from estate taxes can be so big that it’s worthwhile for states to impose them anyway.

The study by Mr. Moretti and Mr. Wilson, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research on Monday, explores the main drawback of this kind of wealth tax: The rich will deploy all sorts of tactics to avoid them. The arsenal includes charitable bequests, trusts, the creative valuation of assets and, apparently, moving out of state to die.

The older the wealthy get, the less likely they are to continue to live in states that charge estate taxes. Mr. Moretti and Mr. Wilson estimate that from 2001 to 2017, a 40-year-old billionaire on the Forbes list had a 22 percent chance of living in a state with an estate tax. By age 70, the odds were only 14 percent. By age 90, they had fallen to only 9 percent.

But over the long run, Mr. Moretti and Mr. Wilson conclude, the state estate tax can be a useful tool. From 1982 to 2017, the death of the average Forbes billionaire generated $165 million in revenue in states with estate taxes. Lots of billionaires moved to avoid them. But estate taxes raised more money for states that had them than they lost in income-tax revenue when billionaires left.

“The behavioral response is very high, but despite the strong response it is still worth it for the states,” Mr. Moretti said.

Taxing the wealth of America’s ultrarich is a central issue in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Senator Bernie Sanders proposed an annual tax ranging from 1 percent on fortunes worth $32 million to $50 million to 8 percent on those above $10 billion. Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling for a comparatively modest annual tax of 2 percent on fortunes above $50 million, with an additional 1 percent on wealth over $1 billion.

Not all Democrats are on board. But even Democratic economists who have pushed back against these ideas say federal estate and gift taxes, the only taxes on wealth in the United States today, could be applied much more broadly and aggressively. reducing exemptions and increasing tax rates on large estates.

Westlake Legal Group arkansas-estate-tax-280 Estate Tax Can Pay Off for States, Even if the Superrich Flee Wilson, Daniel J tax evasion States (US) Moretti, Enrico Inheritance and Estate Taxes High Net Worth Individuals Economics (Theory and Philosophy)

Arkansas estate tax revenue

Bud Walton dies in 1995, generating a windfall for the state the next year.

The state eliminates the tax in 2005, creating a haven for wealth inheritance.

Westlake Legal Group arkansas-estate-tax-335 Estate Tax Can Pay Off for States, Even if the Superrich Flee Wilson, Daniel J tax evasion States (US) Moretti, Enrico Inheritance and Estate Taxes High Net Worth Individuals Economics (Theory and Philosophy)

Arkansas estate tax revenue

Bud Walton dies in 1995, generating a windfall for the state the next year.

The state eliminates the tax in 2005, creating a haven for wealth inheritance.

Westlake Legal Group arkansas-estate-tax-600 Estate Tax Can Pay Off for States, Even if the Superrich Flee Wilson, Daniel J tax evasion States (US) Moretti, Enrico Inheritance and Estate Taxes High Net Worth Individuals Economics (Theory and Philosophy)

Estate tax revenue

in Arkansas

Bud Walton dies in

1995, generating a

windfall for the

state the next year.

The state eliminates

the tax in 2005,

creating a haven for

wealth inheritance.

Source: Enrico Moretti (University of California, Berkeley)

By The New York Times

Currently, federal estate and gift taxes apply beyond a threshold of $11.4 million per person. They are levied at a top rate of 40 percent and raised $23 billion in 2018.

Unlike the issues with state taxes, the rich can’t move out of the country to avoid federal estate taxes because United States citizens are liable for the tax no matter where they live.

For many years, there was no reason for rich people to flee state estate taxes because they paid the same no matter where they lived. Before 2001, the government offered a federal tax credit to cover the state tax liability. Many states passed estate taxes that exactly matched the available federal credit.

But President George W. Bush’s tax-cut package of 2001 phased out the credit over the next three years. And as the federal system changed, a wealthy person’s state of residence started to matter. By 2010, more than one in five billionaires from states that kept estate taxes had moved to a state without one, while only 1.2 percent had moved in the opposite direction. And by 2017, only 13 states had an estate tax.

Gabriel Zucman, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who with his colleague Emmanuel Saez has advised the Warren campaign on taxation issues, argues that “people who dislike taxes like to create circumstances for tax competition.”

If the rich can avoid taxes by moving to the lower-tax state or country next door, states and countries will race to cut taxes to poach one another’s wealthy. Such competition is the main reason European countries have all but abandoned wealth taxes, Mr. Zucman said.

Still, Mr. Moretti and Mr. Wilson pointed out that for most states the race to the bottom is probably pointless: The typical estate tax of 16 percent yields more revenue than the income tax that the states would have collected in the interim from the billionaires who fled.

In states without an income tax, like Florida and Texas, the argument for the estate tax is straightforward: There is no income tax revenue to lose if billionaires leave. But even in Arkansas, which stopped collecting an estate tax in 2005 and was home to five billionaires in 2017, the income tax revenue lost would be only about half of what the state would reap with a 16 percent estate tax, Mr. Moretti and Mr. Wilson estimate.

While the estate tax could generate additional losses if departing billionaires took their companies, investments and charitable contributions with them, Mr. Moretti argues that it is not likely that an aging Mr. Bezos moving to, say, Texas, will take Amazon with him. And estate taxes decades down the road seem unlikely to influence where young entrepreneurs decide to live.

The Moretti-Wilson argument doesn’t apply only to billionaires. In all but eight states, a 16 percent tax applied to estates larger than $5.5 million (the federal threshold before the 2017 tax law) would generate more money than would be lost in forgone income taxes. And if the merely rich were only half as likely as Forbes billionaires to cross state lines fleeing the estate tax, every state would gain from imposing one.

If all states imposed an estate tax, of course, the rich would have no choice but to pay it. Mr. Zucman suggests that an easy way to maximize states’ estate tax revenues would be to reintroduce the federal credit, eliminating interstate tax competition.

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

Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott after victory over Eagles: ‘We don’t give a f—k what Doug Pederson says’

The Dallas Cowboys took Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson’s guarantee and threw it right in the trash.

Dallas defeated their NFC East division rivals 37-10. Pederson had come into the game declaring that “we’re gonna win that football game; and when we do, we’re in first place in the NFC East.” The Eagles appeared to have laid an egg instead.

MIAMI DOLPHINS’ CHRISTIAN WILKINS EJECTED 33 SECONDS INTO GAME VS. BUFFALO BILLS

The Cowboys were anchored by running back Ezekiel Elliott, who ran for 111 yards on 22 carries and scored one touchdown. Elliott was among the Cowboys players who addressed the win after the game.

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Ezekiel-Elliott4 Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott after victory over Eagles: 'We don't give a f---k what Doug Pederson says' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/philadelphia-eagles fox-news/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/ezekiel-elliott fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8da690e3-645b-5d47-a2a1-971482bac181

Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates running the ball for a first down against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

“We don’t need inspiration from him to go out there and play hard,” Elliott said, according to Pro Football Talk. “This rivalry is enough. Honestly, we don’t give a f—k what Doug Pederson says.”

EX-SAINTS WIDE RECEIVER AT CENTER OF INFAMOUS BLOWN CALL JOINS XFL

Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence also piled on.

“Tell them to shut up. So what do you think they’re doing now?” he said.

Dallas has won five out of their last seven games against the Eagles since Doug Pederson took over as Philadelphia’s head coach.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

The Cowboys move to 4-3 on the season. The Eagles fall to 3-4.

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Ezekiel-Elliott4 Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott after victory over Eagles: 'We don't give a f---k what Doug Pederson says' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/philadelphia-eagles fox-news/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/ezekiel-elliott fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8da690e3-645b-5d47-a2a1-971482bac181   Westlake Legal Group NFL-Ezekiel-Elliott4 Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott after victory over Eagles: 'We don't give a f---k what Doug Pederson says' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/philadelphia-eagles fox-news/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/ezekiel-elliott fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8da690e3-645b-5d47-a2a1-971482bac181

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Discussion Thread: Democratic Presidential Primary Polling – October, 2019.

Westlake Legal Group tMCnTO-c0S78fQ0nOOS9TYiPDHaFDfAOCwTHbZT3uTk Discussion Thread: Democratic Presidential Primary Polling - October, 2019. r/politics

Welcome to the r/politics discussion thread for polling as it relates to the 2020 Democratic Primary. The Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary are just over three months away (February 3 and February 11, respectively) and the Democratic field is still in the process of winnowing. 12 candidates qualified for the October Democratic Debate, but stricter criteria aims to narrow the pack by mid-November before the next debate. Along with meeting donation-based qualification criteria (165,000 unique donors and at least 600 from 20 individual states), candidates must also receive at least 3% in four party-approved polls released since September 13th or at least 5% in two early-state polls in order to qualify for the November stage. As of today, only 8 have made the cut. Candidates have until November 13th to meet both the donation and polling thresholds.

The following candidates have met polling and fundraising criteria for the November Debate: Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders, Steyer, Warren, and Yang.

Pollster Type Date Warren Biden Sanders Buttigieg Harris Booker O’Rourke Yang Klobuchar Castro Steyer Gabbard
Suffolk Iowa 10/21 17 18 9 13 3 3 3 3
Ipsos National 10/18 15 21 16 5 3 1 3 2 1 2
Harris X National 10/18 18 33 17 4 5 1 3 2 2 2 1
Morning Consult National 10/16 21 31 18 6 7 2 2 3 2 1 2 1
Emerson1 Iowa 10/16 23 23 13 16 3 3 5 1 2 2
YouGov National 10/15 28 25 13 6 5 2 2 2 2 1 2
Capitol Weekly California 10/15 35 21 15 6 8 2 3 1 2 1 2
Franklin Pierce2 New Hampshire 10/13 25 24 22 9 5 2 1 2 1 1
Quinnipiac National 10/13 30 27 11 8 4 2 2 2 2 1 2
PPP Maine 10/13 31 19 12 9 4 2 1 3 1
Yougov South Carolina 10/11 18 43 16 4 7 3 1 1 1 2
Yougov New Hampshire 10/11 32 24 17 7 4 1 1 5 2 4 2
Yougov Iowa 10/11 22 22 21 14 5 2 2 2 3 1
Siena New York 10/10 21 21 16 4 4 1 1 3 1
0ptimus South Carolina 10/10 16 32 8 4 5 2 1 1
0ptimus New Hampshire 10/10 25 18 9 7 2 2 1 2
0ptimus Iowa 10/10 25 22 5 17 3 2 1 1
ECU North Carolina 10/09 17 29 19 4 8 1 4 9 3 1
Fox News National 10/08 22 32 17 4 5 2 3 2 2 1 1 1
Gravis South Carolina 10/07 9 34 10 4 6 2 2 2 1 7 1
Climate Nexus Ohio 10/07 21 32 13 5 6 3 1 3 1 1
Susquehanna Pennsylvania 10/06 9 17 6 8 1 1
Avalanche National 10/04 29 27 12 7 6
Yougov/DFP National 10/04 36 23 15 6 5 2 2 3 1 1
IBD/TIPP National 10/03 27 26 10 7 3 2 3 1 1 1
Change Wisconsin 10/02 34 11 25 6 3 1 1 3 1 3
Fox News Wisconsin 10/02 22 28 17 7 5 2 1 2 2 1
Fox News South Carolina 10/02 12 41 10 2 4 3 1 4 1
1 – Gov. Bullock received 4% of the vote in this survey. Prognosticators note that Emerson did not randomize the order of its questionnaire, and Bullock was listed first.

2 – Fmr. First Lady Michelle Obama was polled in an alternative set of choices and received 26% of the vote in this survey.

Here’s 538’s aggregator of state and national polls for those of you who want to do a deeper dive into the polling data.

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Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley makes over-the-shoulder catch in return from injury

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley returned from injury Sunday and made his presence felt with authority, with a touchdown catch and 41 rushing yards in a win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Highlighting Gurley’s excellent day was the touchdown catch in the second quarter to give the Rams a six-point lead early against the Falcons.

NEW YORK JETS’ DEMARYIUS THOMAS LAMENTS ‘WASTING’ TIME WITH NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Jared Goff lobbed a ball over Gurley’s head and the star running back somehow kept his concentration with a few defenders breathing down his neck and made the catch.

It was Gurley’s first receiving touchdown since last October, according to ESPN.

Gurley told reporters after the game it was “just a catch,” according to the Los Angeles Times. But Goff knew it was more than that – it was something the two had been perfecting for years.

EX-NFL DEFENSIVE LINEMAN ACCUSED OF SHOOTING WOMAN, TOLD POLICE HE WAS HIDING FROM RUSSIAN MAFIA

“He and I have been working on that pass for the past three to four years,” Goff said. “To be honest, I don’t think we have ever connected on that route in a game, but to get the look that we wanted, to snap it on time and get it to Todd was exciting, and he made a great play.”

Goff finished with 268 passing yards and two touchdown passes. He also had a rushing touchdown.

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Todd-Gurley4 Los Angeles Rams' Todd Gurley makes over-the-shoulder catch in return from injury Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/los-angeles-rams fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 65b29fc6-66d4-50f6-8593-a2a7f1651f31

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) makes a touchdown catch against Atlanta Falcons’ Vic Beasley (44) and Jamal Carter (35) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

The Rams won the game, 37-10, to move to 4-3 and snap their losing skid.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

The Falcons dropped to 1-6 with the loss.

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Todd-Gurley3 Los Angeles Rams' Todd Gurley makes over-the-shoulder catch in return from injury Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/los-angeles-rams fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 65b29fc6-66d4-50f6-8593-a2a7f1651f31   Westlake Legal Group NFL-Todd-Gurley3 Los Angeles Rams' Todd Gurley makes over-the-shoulder catch in return from injury Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/los-angeles-rams fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 65b29fc6-66d4-50f6-8593-a2a7f1651f31

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Women At Ernst & Young Instructed On How To Dress, Act Nicely Around Men

When women speak, they shouldn’t be shrill. Clothing must flatter, but short skirts are a no-no. After all, “sexuality scrambles the mind.” Women should look healthy and fit, with a “good haircut” and “manicured nails.” 

These were just a few pieces of advice that around 30 female executives at Ernst & Young received at a training held in the accounting giant’s gleaming new office in Hoboken, New Jersey, in June 2018.

The 55-page presentation, used during the day-and-a-half seminar on leadership and empowerment, was given to HuffPost by an attendee who was appalled by its contents. Full of out-of-touch advice, the presentation focused on how women need to fix themselves to fit into a male-dominated workplace.

The training, called Power-Presence-Purpose or PPP, took place during the height of the Me Too movement when sexual misconduct accusations dominated the news. In response, large corporations, including EY, shored up their sexual harassment policies and training. A few companies banned forced arbitration over allegations of sex discrimination and assault. Some men were fired. 

Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus, the attendees were told. Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square.

EY, one of the largest accounting firms in the world with $36.4 billion in global revenue and 270,000 employees, was still recovering from a public Me Too accusation. A few months before the seminar, the company was in the news for settling a discrimination complaint filed by Jessica Casucci, a partner at the firm who said she was sexually assaulted by a male partner. The incident happened years before and Casucci complained internally. EY fired the man only after she went public.

The June 2018 event did not touch on any of these topics, however. The focus was on self-improvement. For women.

After HuffPost inquired about the training in early October of this year, EY said that the course had been under review for months, that the June 2018 event was the last time that version of the training was held at the company and that the course “is no longer offered in its current form.” The company did not provide any more detail on the changes.

The training was just one of many that the firm offered to men and women, EY told HuffPost. PPP was created by someone outside the company, “an external vendor,” EY said, and offered because some women requested it.

The company said it disagrees with the way the content of the seminar is characterized in this story. “Any isolated aspects are taken wholly out of context,” EY said in a statement. The company said it reviewed the evaluations of women who participated in the program, and found they rated it highly. EY’s communications team also shared quotes from two current employees, who praised the training.

“Professionally, PPP was the most impactful leadership program that I have had the opportunity to participate in and I have always been incredibly proud and humbled to have been a part of it,” EY senior executive Stacey Moore, who participated in the training four years ago, said in a statement provided by company. “I am forever grateful to the firm for the opportunity and the investment in our women.”

Indeed, some EY partners include references to the PPP program on their LinkedIn pages. In May, female EY employees gathered for a PPP reunion and “graduation.” A LinkedIn post from one EY employee about that gathering says that more than 150 women have taken the course.

“We are proud of our long-standing commitment to women and deeply committed to creating and fostering an environment of inclusivity and belonging at EY, anything that suggests the contrary is 100% false,” the firm said in its statement to HuffPost.

Westlake Legal Group 5da726c0210000090e34a1f5 Women At Ernst & Young Instructed On How To Dress, Act Nicely Around Men

ISABELLA CARAPELLA / HUFFPOST The 55-page presentation offered at Ernst & Young featured advice on how to dress.

Don’t Show Your Distracting Skin

The training was billed to participants as advice on how to be successful at EY, according to Jane, a training attendee and former executive director at the firm who’s in her early 40s. Though she’s since left the firm, Jane asked to use a pseudonym, fearing career reprisals.

After she attended the event, Jane said a male EY partner told her, derisively, that it was a “male-bashing” program. With hindsight, Jane realized he had it wrong. “It was more of a woman-bashing event, ironically enough,” she said.

Ernst & Young hired an outside consultant, Marsha Clark (not that one), to teach promising women at EY how to grow their networks, negotiate and “build stronger, high-performing teams,” according to the written presentation.

It should be noted that presentation doesn’t even consider the existence of people who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming. And it doesn’t delve into how women may be treated differently based on race or sexual orientation.

One section of the document is devoted to women’s appearance: Be “polished,” have a “good haircut, manicured nails, well-cut attire that complements your body type,” it states on Page 36. But then, a warning: “Don’t flaunt your body ― sexuality scrambles the mind (for men and women).” 

The most important thing women can do is “signal fitness and wellness,” the presentation continues.

Jane recalls being told that if you want men to focus on the substance of what you’re talking about, “don’t show skin.” If you do, men are less likely to focus “because of sex,” Jane recalls being told. The advice made her “feel like a piece of meat,” she said.

A long list of “Invisible Rules” for men and women on Page 13 paints a bleak portrait of contrasting communication styles. It says that women often “speak briefly” and “often ramble and miss the point” in meetings. By comparison, a man will “speak at length ― because he really believes in his idea.” Women don’t interrupt effectively like men. Women “wait their turn (that never comes) and raise their hands.” 

Westlake Legal Group 5da726e22100003c0fad2f64 Women At Ernst & Young Instructed On How To Dress, Act Nicely Around Men

ISABELLA CARAPELLA / HUFFPOST An assessment of women’s speaking style in the “Invisible Rules” section of the EY presentation.

It’s not clear from the presentation if these “rules” are offered as legitimate expectations or false stereotypes. Jane said it was the former when she took the course. The presentation has a few “discussion questions” that ask women how these rules manifest in their organization and “how can you ‘manage’ yourself now that you’re aware of the ‘rules.’” But there’s little that suggests the “rules” can be broken ― only that women need to navigate through a world structured by these rules.

Don’t Be Aggressive Like Men

Before the workshop, women were also given a “Masculine/Feminine Score Sheet,” which had them rate their adherence to stereotypical masculine and feminine characteristics both on the job and outside the office.

The so-called masculine traits included “Acts as a Leader,” “Aggressive,” “Ambitious,” “Analytical,” “Has Leadership Abilities,” “Strong Personality” and “Willing to Take a Stand.”

The so-called feminine traits included “Affectionate,” “Cheerful,” “Childlike,” “Compassionate,” “Gullible,” “Loves Children” and “Yielding.” None of the feminine traits involved leadership ― ostensibly a focus of the training. 

Westlake Legal Group 5da72703200000ba0c505ddf Women At Ernst & Young Instructed On How To Dress, Act Nicely Around Men

ISABELLA CARAPELLA / HUFFPOST Women were asked to score themselves on this list of allegedly feminine and masculine traits.

Jane said the message was that women will be penalized, by both men and women, if they don’t adhere to feminine characteristics or if they display more masculine traits. And that if you want to be successful, you have to keep this in mind.

Clark declined to talk with HuffPost about the presentation, but it appears to be in line with other workshops she’s given, based on an examination of some of the materials posted online by her consulting firm, Marsha Clark & Associates. 

Clark touts her own business experience as critical to her consulting expertise. According to her website bio, she served as an executive at Electronic Data Systems, the Texas technology company founded by Ross Perot, for 21 years before striking out on her own as a consultant in 2000. 

Working as one of the few women in the C-suites of the Texas tech industry in the 1980s and 1990s would have been a sexist minefield. That experience may be why Clark’s advice still follows an older approach of telling women how to navigate within stereotypes rather than confronting them more directly. 

“Marsha’s background as an executive in both line and staff roles, as well as her academic training, provides a unique combination of skills and experience to offer her clients,” her bio says. 

Among the other credentials listed on Clark’s site are a master’s of science in organizational development from American University and various corporate and professional certifications, including for the Myers-Briggs test, one of the most popular and most debunked personality tests used in the business world. Clark’s website also lists a host of blue-chip clients including JPMorganChase, Microsoft and Pepsico. 

While EY said this week that the company no longer offers Clark’s PPP training in its current form, it’s not clear whether this means EY has stopped working with Clark. The company did not answer that question. As recently as Oct. 2, she appears to have attended another workshop with EY that touched on “invisible differences,” according to her LinkedIn page.

Don’t Talk To Men Face-To-Face

Jane said that at the PPP training she attended last year, Clark coached the group in how to interact with men in the workplace ― advice that Jane wrote down in her notes and shared with HuffPost: 

  • Don’t directly confront men in meetings, because men perceive this as threatening. (Women do not.) Meet before (or after) the meeting instead.

  • If you’re having a conversation with a man, cross your legs and sit at an angle to him. Don’t talk to a man face-to-face. Men see that as threatening.

  • Don’t be too aggressive or outspoken.

“You have to offer your thoughts in a benign way,” Jane said, recalling the seminar. “You have to be the perfect Stepford wife.” It felt like they were being turned into someone who is “super-smiley, who never confronts anyone,” she said.

“You have to be the stereotype of what a woman is,” Jane said. Like the worksheet described it, she added. 

Attendees were even told that women’s brains are 6% to 11% smaller than men’s, Jane said. She wasn’t sure why they were told this, nor is it clear from the presentation. Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus, the attendees were told. Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square.

The only reason to talk to women about their size of their brains is to make them feel inferior to men, said Bruce McEwen, a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University. “It’s implying their brains don’t work as well,” he said, but in fact there is no link between size and function. “Brain size is irrelevant.”

HuffPost reached out to several other women who attended the PPP training. None responded.

Let’s Debunk Ideas About Women At Work

Stereotypes about how women behave at work ― they don’t ask for what they want, they don’t negotiate, they’re more caring ― are popular. They’re also largely false and misunderstood, said Robin Ely, a professor at Harvard Business School who researches the role of gender in organizations and has taught leadership training for women.

Ely reviewed the EY presentation at HuffPost’s request. 

“There’s not a lot of empirical support that there are trait differences between men and women,” she said. “This curriculum is shot through with that assumption.”

Ely recently published a paper debunking other beliefs about women in the workplace, such as the claims that they’re bad negotiators or lack confidence – both ideas in the EY presentation. Often, it’s company culture, not inherent gender differences, the professor said, that create situations in which women appear to lack confidence or ambition.

“You look at what happens in meetings in such cultures. It’s not lack of confidence. It’s when women say something, it’s more harshly criticized,” Ely said. “If a guy says anything, it’s a great idea.”

Ely’s earlier research into law firms found that stereotypes were more strongly believed in those firms that had the smallest percentage of female partners. When there were just a few token higher-level women, she wrote, it gave everyone fewer examples of what female professionals look like. People resorted to stereotypes.

HuffPost also showed the EY presentation to Evelyn Carter, a senior consultant at Paradigm, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm that’s worked with companies like Twitter, Slack and Zillow.

Carter said female empowerment training should take note of gender stereotypes in the workplace, and the EY presentation did this. But instead of teaching women how to dismantle those stereotypes, the EY presentation appears to advise women how to live with them. 

“I think the goal of women’s empowerment is to go beyond ‘you should do it this way to exist in a man’s world,’” Carter said.

Many women really do enjoy empowerment programs, said Deborah Kolb, a professor emerita at Simmons College School of Management who has been organizing and running executive education programs for women for decades. 

But once they leave a program with a “fix the women” approach, disillusionment sets in. “You feel good, but then you realize it doesn’t work,” said Kolb, who has advised companies like Deloitte, Time Warner and Eli Lilly. 

When Ely does training for female executives, she said she tries to actually focus on leadership, looking at how they can create the conditions for their teams to thrive, particularly those team members who are also women or others who have been disadvantaged. 

“As a leader, you’re enabling other people, creating conditions for other people to bring their best selves forward,” she said. “That’s why they follow you.”

You Have To ‘Work Around The Men’

EY has positioned itself as a company that is enlightened about women, frequently marketing its take on the value of women in business with hashtags (#WomenFastForward), surveys and programs. In a statement to HuffPost, it said, “EY has been ― and remains ― a highly recognized and award-winning leader in fostering a culture that promotes inclusion and a strong sense of belonging for all. We are, and remain, unrelenting in our effort to continue to set the standard for a best-in-class culture and work environment.”

Yet the firm has very few women in its higher ranks. Jane said that nearly all of the partners on the EY teams she worked on were male. Women make up only 12% of EY’s lead client service partners, according to the company’s own data from fiscal year 2018. The numbers for other top jobs are only slightly better. Overall, just 20.4% of EY’s partners and principals are women. (A lack of women in key roles is an industry-wide problem for accounting firms.)

Jane empathizes with Karen Ward, a former partner at EY who has said she was sexually harassed by a boss and then retaliated against when she complained to other senior partners, which HuffPost detailed in an investigation earlier this year. EY denies Ward’s charges. 

Ward filed sex discrimination charges against the firm in 2018 and was forced to take her case to arbitration rather than to court. Because of onerous terms in her employment contract, she’s had to spend nearly $200,000 so far just to have her complaint heard. 

Jane said she wasn’t explicitly sexually harassed at EY, but she faced discrimination. She was isolated by her male colleagues, left out of important meetings, made to sit along the wall in conference rooms and even told not to speak unless spoken to during conversations with clients, she told HuffPost.

Other women at the PPP training told her those experiences were standard at EY, she said. “The only way to succeed is to work around the men. I heard that over and over,” Jane said.

Although the firm could not address Jane’s specific claims without knowing her identity, EY said it “thoroughly” investigates any claims brought to its attention and imposes “harsh sanctions” when its policies are violated.

How To Make Women Feel Like Failures

For as long as there have been women in business, there have been experts telling them how to behave in order to get ahead. 

Not that long ago, women were told to look and act more like men: wear shoulder pads, learn to golf. Then they were told they weren’t succeeding because so many of them were “opting out” to have babies. More recently, Sheryl Sandberg told women they just needed to “lean in” and be more ambitious.

None of that did much more than make each successive generation of women feel like failures. But over the past decade, there has been more in-depth research showing that it’s not women holding themselves back ― it’s an entire system designed to keep them in place.

Organizations built and run by men tend to exhibit entrenched biases that value confidence and assertiveness in men while penalizing those traits in women; judge men based on their potential, while assessing women on what they’ve already accomplished; insist on work hours that cater to men with wives at home taking care of everything else; and, of course, ignore when women are sexually harassed ― far more often than anyone was willing to admit until very recently.

The reasons that women hit a dead end in the corporate world have little to do with their outfits, their negotiating skills or the way they stand when talking to a man. And yet the idea that women just need to do better persists. That’s partly because there is something appealing about the idea that an individual can fix these issues. It is empowering to be told that the key to your success is in your hands. 

But what Kolb and other researchers have found is that advancing women in an organization requires work on the part of the whole organization.

“It’s about understanding the social context within which you’re working and giving people strategies to succeed within that context,” she said. Companies need to look at how they make hiring and promotion decisions, how performance reviews are conducted, even how meetings are scheduled. 

Jane, for example, said that even after she told her team that early morning meetings didn’t work for her, because she had to get her kids off to school, she was never accommodated. A number of regularly recurring meetings were scheduled between 8 and 9 a.m.

“I was the only woman on the team with young kids. They said it would be ridiculous to schedule just for one person,” she said.

Over her time at EY, Jane said her confidence was shattered. “They convinced me I had the worst personality,” she said. “It was gutting.”

She has a new job now. “I’m finding my sea legs slowly,” she said. “I think people are happy with my work. I think I’m gaining trust.”

As for her former employer, Jane said she was sharing the training document in the hopes the company would reconsider some of its practices. “I just want EY to change,” she said.

Are you a woman in the corporate world who’s experienced harassment in the workplace? Tell us your story. Email: emily.peck@huffpost.com

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

As Trump Tweets He Is ‘Bringing Soldiers Home,’ Pentagon Chief Says US Forces Leaving Syria Are Shifting to Iraq; “We simply cannot believe anything the Trump administration says—and neither can our allies.”

Westlake Legal Group mv4FA_36HVUCzLbAUilz5A5t4KSW6eDu0o-QRVxe2Kc As Trump Tweets He Is 'Bringing Soldiers Home,' Pentagon Chief Says US Forces Leaving Syria Are Shifting to Iraq; "We simply cannot believe anything the Trump administration says—and neither can our allies." r/politics

Since the beginning of his Presidency, everything he’s said, I’ve expected the exact opposite. Whatever Trump says he’s going to do….expect the polar opposite to happen.

•Drain the swamp; makes it worse

•Win a trade war with China; farmers require more money for a bailout than the auto industry

•Divest in his businesses; funnels taxpayer money into them to line his pockets

•Says he will be the most transparent President in history; orders staff to lie to cover up for his crimes

•Bring troops home; sends them to Iraq

Trump is a conman. You can’t believe anything he says

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U.S. Is Quietly Reducing Its Troop Force in Afghanistan

Westlake Legal Group 21afghan-withdrawal1-facebookJumbo U.S. Is Quietly Reducing Its Troop Force in Afghanistan United States Defense and Military Forces Taliban Miller, Austin Scott (1961- ) Esper, Mark T Defense Department Afghanistan War (2001- )

KABUL, Afghanistan — The United States is already reducing the size of its troop force in Afghanistan despite the lack of a peace deal with the Taliban, at a time when President Trump has expressed reluctance to remain engaged in costly wars abroad.

In a news conference on Monday, the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin S. Miller, confirmed that the size of the American force in the country had already quietly dropped by 2,000 over the last year, down to roughly 12,000.

Other American and Afghan officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the plan, said that the eventual force size could drop to as low as 8,600 — roughly the size of an initial reduction envisioned in a draft agreement with the Taliban before Mr. Trump halted peace talks last month. Rather than a formal withdrawal order, they are reducing the force through a gradual process of not replacing troops as they cycle out.

A senior Afghan official said the Afghan government had signed off on the reduction. Officials would not discuss other details of the drawdown, including any specific timeline for it.

The confirmation came during a visit to Afghanistan by Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, and after months of debate within the Trump administration on meeting the president’s goal of stopping what he has recently called “endless wars.”

Earlier in his visit, Mr. Esper seemed to allude to some potential reduction in American forces, saying that drawing down to 8,600 troops would not affect important counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.

As Mr. Trump grew frustrated over the past year, diplomats tried to package an American troop reduction as a bargaining chip in peace talks with the Taliban, hoping to get some concessions from the insurgent group, which has long demanded a complete American troop withdrawal.

The decision to reduce American troops even before a deal with the Taliban means the United States is weakening its hand in future negotiations with the insurgents. And it is likely to mean a significant shift away from the United States military’s longstanding mission of training the Afghan military as American officials concentrate on counterterrorism operations, officials said.

Reducing the number of troops ahead of a complete departure from the country was always the most important American bargaining chip in any negotiations with the Taliban to end the long war. But from the start, Mr. Trump made it abundantly clear that he wanted out of Afghanistan.

At one stage halfway through the yearlong negotiations, Mr. Trump stumbled during a Fox interview, incorrectly saying that the number of American troops in Afghanistan was 9,000 and not the 14,000 it was listed at. Many, including some Taliban officials taking part in the talks in Qatar, read that as confirmation that the American decision to draw down had already been made whether the Taliban offered concessions or not.

Much of the initial effort by American negotiators was trying to persuade the Taliban that the United States was truly committed to Afghanistan, while signaling that the insurgents should not try to wait out the Americans.

American military officials, though wary of leaving Afghanistan altogether, had signed off on the first stages of a troop drawdown in a draft peace agreement that would have seen 5,400 American troops leave the country over about five months. The measure was put forward to show the Taliban that the Americans would abide by the proposed deal in return for the insurgent group reducing violence in Afghanistan, according to officials taking part in the negotiations.

But the peace talks collapsed last month when Mr. Trump pulled the plug on the deal his diplomats had finalized and initialed after a year of negotiations.

American officials have since quietly signaled that they are trying to keep the talks with the Taliban alive. Earlier this month, the chief negotiator for the United States, Zalmay Khalilzad, met informally with Taliban officials in Pakistan.

During his visit, Mr. Esper also said a peace agreement was “the best way forward.”

The current process of troop reduction outside of peace talks gives more control over the process to General Miller and the government of President Ashraf Ghani, which had criticized the United States for negotiating a troop withdrawal with the insurgents rather than with the country’s elected government.

Last year in January, Mr. Ghani, perceiving that Mr. Trump urgently wanted to cut costs in Afghanistan, said he would be happy to directly negotiate some degree of troop reductions with the Americans if they would avoid rushing into a bad deal with Taliban.

General Miller had long set out a goal of an 8,600-member troop force as being both a desired level and as the minimum needed to support the Afghan military, according to two defense officials.

General Miller, a Special Operations officer by trade, has a reputation for whittling down military units and commands to “trim the fat” and best accomplish their mission. In the last year that he has led the Afghan mission, American troops have focused on seeking out proactive leadership for Afghan forces who can better carry the burden of the war, while the United States can focus its resources in backing them up with air power.

At the height of the war, in 2010 and 2011, there were more than 100,000 American troops in Afghanistan, aided by tens of thousands of NATO allies in what made up one of the biggest military coalitions in the world.

Now, a further reduction in American forces would mean that the burden of training the Afghan military would fall more heavily on the roughly 8,500 NATO forces and other allies in the country.

It is unclear, however, whether a reduction in American forces might lead to some reconsideration by NATO allies as well. In a recent interview with The New York Times, NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, would not speculate on any reduction of troops, but added that NATO remains committed to the mission in Afghanistan.

“We have adjusted that many times, and we will always assess exactly the way and the composition of our forces in Afghanistan,” Mr. Stoltenberg said.

The plan to shrink the force in Afghanistan comes as much of the world’s attention has been focused on the retreat of American forces from the front line in Syria as Turkish-backed troops advance into the country. And in many ways, the changes in Syria and Afghanistan are linked.

In December, on the heels of Mr. Trump’s first announcement that American forces would be leaving Syria, he also demanded the withdrawal of 7,000 troops from Afghanistan. Mr. Trump’s orders sent the Pentagon and the American command in the Middle East scrambling in an effort to persuade the president otherwise, officials say.

It was clear that the Taliban, too, have been closely watching the events in Syria, where the Trump administration allowed Turkey to move against Kurdish fighters who had long been closely allied with American forces.

“The U.S. follows its interests everywhere, and once it doesn’t reach those interests, it leaves the area. The best example of that is the abandoning of the Kurds in Syria,” Khairullah Khairkhwa, one of the Taliban’s senior negotiators, was quoted as saying in an interview posted on the insurgent group’s website recently. “It’s clear the Kabul administration will face the same fate.”

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

U.S. Is Quietly Reducing Its Troop Force in Afghanistan

Westlake Legal Group 21afghan-withdrawal1-facebookJumbo U.S. Is Quietly Reducing Its Troop Force in Afghanistan United States Defense and Military Forces Taliban Miller, Austin Scott (1961- ) Esper, Mark T Defense Department Afghanistan War (2001- )

KABUL, Afghanistan — The United States is already reducing the size of its troop force in Afghanistan despite the lack of a peace deal with the Taliban, at a time when President Trump has expressed reluctance to remain engaged in costly wars abroad.

In a news conference on Monday, the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin S. Miller, confirmed that the size of the American force in the country had already quietly dropped by 2,000 over the last year, down to roughly 12,000.

Other American and Afghan officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the plan, said that the eventual force size could drop to as low as 8,600 — roughly the size of an initial reduction envisioned in a draft agreement with the Taliban before Mr. Trump halted peace talks last month. Rather than a formal withdrawal order, they are reducing the force through a gradual process of not replacing troops as they cycle out.

A senior Afghan official said the Afghan government had signed off on the reduction. Officials would not discuss other details of the drawdown, including any specific timeline for it.

The confirmation came during a visit to Afghanistan by Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, and after months of debate within the Trump administration on meeting the president’s goal of stopping what he has recently called “endless wars.”

Earlier in his visit, Mr. Esper seemed to allude to some potential reduction in American forces, saying that drawing down to 8,600 troops would not affect important counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.

As Mr. Trump grew frustrated over the past year, diplomats tried to package an American troop reduction as a bargaining chip in peace talks with the Taliban, hoping to get some concessions from the insurgent group, which has long demanded a complete American troop withdrawal.

The decision to reduce American troops even before a deal with the Taliban means the United States is weakening its hand in future negotiations with the insurgents. And it is likely to mean a significant shift away from the United States military’s longstanding mission of training the Afghan military as American officials concentrate on counterterrorism operations, officials said.

Reducing the number of troops ahead of a complete departure from the country was always the most important American bargaining chip in any negotiations with the Taliban to end the long war. But from the start, Mr. Trump made it abundantly clear that he wanted out of Afghanistan.

At one stage halfway through the yearlong negotiations, Mr. Trump stumbled during a Fox interview, incorrectly saying that the number of American troops in Afghanistan was 9,000 and not the 14,000 it was listed at. Many, including some Taliban officials taking part in the talks in Qatar, read that as confirmation that the American decision to draw down had already been made whether the Taliban offered concessions or not.

Much of the initial effort by American negotiators was trying to persuade the Taliban that the United States was truly committed to Afghanistan, while signaling that the insurgents should not try to wait out the Americans.

American military officials, though wary of leaving Afghanistan altogether, had signed off on the first stages of a troop drawdown in a draft peace agreement that would have seen 5,400 American troops leave the country over about five months. The measure was put forward to show the Taliban that the Americans would abide by the proposed deal in return for the insurgent group reducing violence in Afghanistan, according to officials taking part in the negotiations.

But the peace talks collapsed last month when Mr. Trump pulled the plug on the deal his diplomats had finalized and initialed after a year of negotiations.

American officials have since quietly signaled that they are trying to keep the talks with the Taliban alive. Earlier this month, the chief negotiator for the United States, Zalmay Khalilzad, met informally with Taliban officials in Pakistan.

During his visit, Mr. Esper also said a peace agreement was “the best way forward.”

The current process of troop reduction outside of peace talks gives more control over the process to General Miller and the government of President Ashraf Ghani, which had criticized the United States for negotiating a troop withdrawal with the insurgents rather than with the country’s elected government.

Last year in January, Mr. Ghani, perceiving that Mr. Trump urgently wanted to cut costs in Afghanistan, said he would be happy to directly negotiate some degree of troop reductions with the Americans if they would avoid rushing into a bad deal with Taliban.

General Miller had long set out a goal of an 8,600-member troop force as being both a desired level and as the minimum needed to support the Afghan military, according to two defense officials.

General Miller, a Special Operations officer by trade, has a reputation for whittling down military units and commands to “trim the fat” and best accomplish their mission. In the last year that he has led the Afghan mission, American troops have focused on seeking out proactive leadership for Afghan forces who can better carry the burden of the war, while the United States can focus its resources in backing them up with air power.

At the height of the war, in 2010 and 2011, there were more than 100,000 American troops in Afghanistan, aided by tens of thousands of NATO allies in what made up one of the biggest military coalitions in the world.

Now, a further reduction in American forces would mean that the burden of training the Afghan military would fall more heavily on the roughly 8,500 NATO forces and other allies in the country.

It is unclear, however, whether a reduction in American forces might lead to some reconsideration by NATO allies as well. In a recent interview with The New York Times, NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, would not speculate on any reduction of troops, but added that NATO remains committed to the mission in Afghanistan.

“We have adjusted that many times, and we will always assess exactly the way and the composition of our forces in Afghanistan,” Mr. Stoltenberg said.

The plan to shrink the force in Afghanistan comes as much of the world’s attention has been focused on the retreat of American forces from the front line in Syria as Turkish-backed troops advance into the country. And in many ways, the changes in Syria and Afghanistan are linked.

In December, on the heels of Mr. Trump’s first announcement that American forces would be leaving Syria, he also demanded the withdrawal of 7,000 troops from Afghanistan. Mr. Trump’s orders sent the Pentagon and the American command in the Middle East scrambling in an effort to persuade Mr. Trump otherwise, officials say.

It was clear that the Taliban, too, have been closely watching the events in Syria, where the Trump administration allowed Turkey to move against Kurdish fighters who had long been closely allied with American forces.

“The U.S. follows its interests everywhere, and once it doesn’t reach those interests, it leaves the area. The best example of that is the abandoning of the Kurds in Syria,” Khairullah Khairkhwa, one of the Taliban’s senior negotiators, was quoted as saying in an interview posted on the insurgent group’s website recently. “It’s clear the Kabul administration will face the same fate.”

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

See Felicity Huffman In Her Prison Uniform As William H. Macy Visits

Westlake Legal Group 5dad7a84210000621b34a8b5 See Felicity Huffman In Her Prison Uniform As William H. Macy Visits

Green is the new black for Felicity Huffman.

Images of the “Desperate Housewives” actor in her prison uniform emerged over the weekend as husband William H. Macy visited her at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California. (See the video above.)

Huffman, 56, on Tuesday began serving her 14-day sentence after she pleaded guilty to mail fraud and honest services fraud for paying $15,000 to boost her daughter Sophia’s SAT score.

The Oscar-nominated star, who is inmate No. 77806-112 for now, was seen walking the grounds of the minimum-security facility Saturday in a green button-down shirt and matching pants and baseball cap. She reportedly met with Macy and at least one of their daughters during the visit. 

Huffman and “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin were among the prominent names in the college admissions bribery scandal.

Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli face far greater potential sentences for allegedly forking over $500,000 to have their daughters admitted into USC under the ruse of posing them as crew athletes. Both have pleaded not guilty and await trial.

Huffman is expected to be released on Oct. 27.

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