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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 479)

Chip and Joanna Gaines’ first show on their new TV network will feature favorite band Johnnyswim

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5763827273001_5763813147001-vs Chip and Joanna Gaines’ first show on their new TV network will feature favorite band Johnnyswim Tyler McCarthy fox-news/news-events/chip-and-joanna-gaines fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox-news/entertainment/events/celebrity-homes fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fc4fcfee-7c85-5f68-b457-3eb5a1fdcf13 article

Chip and Joanna Gaines are giving fans a first look at their upcoming Magnolia network with the help of one of their favorite bands, Johnnyswim.

The couple revealed the first show that will debut on their new venture. The reality show, with the working title “Home on the Road,” will follow band members Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano Ramirez as they tour North America with their two kids in tow as well as eight band and crew members.

CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES TO OPEN BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN 2021

The series will start with a six-episode run. Each week, Abner, Amanda, son Joaquin, 4, and daughter Luna, 1, will explore the culture, stories and food of a new city they visit on tour as they try to make their life on-the-go feel like home for their growing family.

The show will debut along with the rebranded DIY cable channel in Oct. 2020 as a joint venture between the Gaines family and Discovery.

CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES TALK DIFFICULT EARLY DAYS: ‘ARE WE GOING TO MAKE IT?’

“Amanda and Abner are magnetic,” Chip and Joanna said in a statement. “Ever since we met them a little over five years ago,  we’ve been drawn to the way they navigate family, community, and life on the road. They’re not just musicians, they’re storytellers and together, they are a true picture of the relentless pursuit of following a dream and making it a reality; but their dream doesn’t stop with them–it’s extended to their family and fans and everyone they meet.”

“When you’re on the road as much as we are, time spent at home starts to feel a lot like vacation,” Abner and Amanda added. “We decided early on that we want to spend as much time together as possible…so when we go on tour, we all go on tour. We’d be lying if we said the idea of traveling the country with your bandmates, a four-year-old and a 12-month-old wasn’t a little bit scary, but it’s all we know. No matter what, we’re going to make home on the road.”

The band holds a special place in the Gaines’ heart as they revealed they conceived their fifth child after a Johnnyswim concert.

Chip took to Twitter to reveal two vague hints that indicated the couple was expecting. However, it was the third hint in which he gave it all away, revealing that the music of Johnnyswim is partially to blame.

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“Hint #3 You might recall a few months back.. The ever amazing, ever romantic @JOHNNYSWIM was in Waco. And they put on a little too romantic of a concert.. Anyways, one thing led to another, & we are officially pregnant. And I could not be more EXCITED! #5 #7ThePerfectNumber,” he tweeted at the time.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5763827273001_5763813147001-vs Chip and Joanna Gaines’ first show on their new TV network will feature favorite band Johnnyswim Tyler McCarthy fox-news/news-events/chip-and-joanna-gaines fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox-news/entertainment/events/celebrity-homes fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fc4fcfee-7c85-5f68-b457-3eb5a1fdcf13 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5763827273001_5763813147001-vs Chip and Joanna Gaines’ first show on their new TV network will feature favorite band Johnnyswim Tyler McCarthy fox-news/news-events/chip-and-joanna-gaines fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/reality fox-news/entertainment/events/celebrity-homes fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fc4fcfee-7c85-5f68-b457-3eb5a1fdcf13 article

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Boris Johnson’s Brexit-deal timetable rejected by Parliament

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Boris Johnson's Brexit-deal timetable rejected by Parliament

Actor Patrick Stewart gave a speech backing the tens of thousands of protestors who marched through London calling for a second referendum on the terms of the U.K. Prime Minister’s new European Union divorce deal. (Oct. 21) AP, AP

LONDON – Britain’s Parliament on Tuesday rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempt to push a Brexit deal through Parliament by Oct. 31, a major defeat for Britain’s leader that injects a new twist into Brexit’s chaotic proceedings. 

The outcome potentially thwarts Johnson’s attempt to leave the bloc by Halloween, something he has vowed to do. Johnson said he would “pause” Brexit legislation.  

The impact on Brexit’s fate is far from clear. 

Johnson earlier Tuesday told the House of Commons on Tuesday if his timeframe was rejected then his government would “pull” the bill from consideration and ask for a general election. After his defeat, he did not confirm that move. 

Yet it was not all bad news for Britain’s leader. 

With just nine days to go before Britain’s scheduled departure date from the EU, Johnson also won in a separate vote backing in principle from lawmakers for the Brexit withdrawal deal he struck with the bloc’s leaders last week. 

Johnson has staked his premiership on ensuring Britain leaves the EU by Oct. 31. He has also twice failed to force a “straight up-and-down vote” in Parliament on the deal he negotiated with the 27 other EU nations laying out the terms of Britain’s exit. 

Lawmakers want more time to scrutinize the agreement and to make sure that even if they do back Johnson’s exit deal, Britain doesn’t accidentally crash out of the EU – a risky “no-deal” Brexit – before the necessary legislation is in place to implement it. 

Brexit: Boris Johnson denied new Brexit after weekend Parliament snub

Johnson’s Conservative government published the 115-page Withdrawal Agreement Bill Monday. On Tuesday, Parliament backed Johnson’s deal in broad outline but lawmakers then decided there was insufficient time to turn it into law by Oct. 31.

Passing a bill usually takes weeks or even months and Johnson needs a majority in Parliament to pass it, but his party holds just 288 of the 650 House of Common seats.

Johnson has referred to his Brexit deadline as “do or die.”

“If this House backs this legislation, if we ratify this new deal … we can get Brexit done and move our country on,” Johnson said during the debate in Parliament. “We can turn the page and allow this Parliament and this country to begin to heal and unite.”

If lawmakers had approved the timetable for making it legislation, they would have spent the next two days debating and voting on possible amendments. Among those up for discussion is whether final passage of the deal should be tied to a new national referendum on whether Brexit should even happen. 

Now Brexit’s next step is hard to predict. 

The prime minister is still waiting to hear whether the EU will grant a Brexit extension that he was legally forced to request, even though he opposed doing so, after opposition and rebel lawmakers on Saturday stymied an earlier Brexit vote.  

The bloc’s leaders have said they want to wait on developments in Parliament in London before making a decision on any postponement to Brexit. 

In one illustration of how quickly lawmakers are being asked to analyze Johnson’s deal, Caroline Lucas, a Green Party politician, noted on Twitter lawmakers “had more time to debate the Wild Animals in Circuses Act (affecting 19 animals) than they will to decide the future of 65 million people. It’s hard to think of anything which better illustrates this Govt’s contempt for people, Parliament & democracy.”

‘Bewildering, disastrous’: Queen has a Brexit escape plan, but how bad will it be?

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Introducing “Following Harriet,” a new podcast from Virginia Tourism Corporation

Westlake Legal Group Harriet-Final-Cover-Art-10102019-1400px-07-1024x1024 Introducing “Following Harriet,” a new podcast from Virginia Tourism Corporation News Releases Home Top   To coincide with the upcoming Focus Features film Harriet, “Following Harriet,” a podcast that takes a closer look at the life of Harriet Tubman, debuts on all podcast channels on Oct. 22.

Narrated by broadcaster, author, and beloved TED talk speaker Celeste Headlee, “Following Harriet” goes into the life of Tubman, considered one of the bravest and most extraordinary women in our country’s history. Through interviews with leading historians, educators and the director of the film Harriet, it puts the American icon in a broader context and examines the 19th Century experience of African Americans, especially at major historical sites in Virginia.

Virginia locations featured in the podcast include:

  • Monticello, Charlottesville, VA
  • Montpelier, Montpelier Station, VA
  • American Civil War Museum, Richmond, VA
  • Black History Museum, Richmond, VA
  • Berkeley Plantation, Charles City, VA
  • Fort Monroe National Monument, Fort Monroe, VA

Voices featured in the podcast include:

  • Kasi Lemmons, Director, Harriet 
  • Rhiannon Giddens, Musician and Activist
  • Ed Ayers, Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities, President Emeritus, University of Richmond
  • Gayle Jessup White, Community Engagement Officer, Monticello
  • Niya Bates, Director of African American History, Monticello
  • Christian Cotz, Director of Education & Visitor Engagement, Montpelier
  • Stephanie Arduini, Director of Education, American Civil War Museum
  • Elvatrice Belchese, Public Historian, Associated with the Black History Museum, Richmond
  • Eola Dance, Chief of Resources Management at Colonial National Historical Park, Fort Monroe
  • Robin Reed, Director, Casemate Museum, Fort Monroe
  • Malcolm Jamieson, Berkeley Plantation
  • Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History, Rutgers University, author of She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman
  • Catherine Clinton, Denman Chair of American History at the University of Texas in San Antonio, author of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom
  • Jessica Millward, Associate Professor of History, University of California Irvine

“Following Harriet” is a production from creative services studio INGREDIENT with writer/director Tanya Ott and executive producer Tanner Latham. This project is funded by the Virginia Tourism Corporation and is supported by the Virginia Film Office.

The podcast is one part of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s just launched Virginia Freedom Seekers Project, an ongoing initial effort to help promote African American heritage and cultural tourism throughout the Commonwealth, as well as contextualize Virginia’s history and the importance of telling untold and under told stories. The Virginia Freedom Seekers Project tells the powerful stories of the Virginia men and women who sought to rise above the hardships and adversity for African Americans.

Harriet, which filmed in Central Virginia last fall, will premiere in theaters on November 1. Directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou), the film stars Tony Award®-winner Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) and Tony Award®– and Grammy Award®-winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton). The film chronicles the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who was born into slavery and later helped hundreds of people escape captivity via the network of safe houses and secret routes known as the Underground Railroad.

Listeners can find “Following Harriet” wherever they get their podcasts including Apple Podcasts / iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

For more information, visit virginia.org/Harriet.

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BREXIT CHAOS: Boris Wins — And Then Loses — On Key Votes… Elections Incoming?

Westlake Legal Group 5daf0ef2210000ba1e34ab24 BREXIT CHAOS: Boris Wins — And Then Loses — On Key Votes... Elections Incoming?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s fast-track Brexit timetable has been rejected ― despite the prime minister winning a historic House of Commons majority for a deal.

Members of parliament voted down the accelerated timetable for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill by 322 to 308 in a move which forces Johnson to accept a delay beyond the Oct. 31 deadline. 

Johnson now looks set to demand a fresh general election as he tries to make good on his “do or die” pledge to wrench the UK from the European Union by Halloween. 

It was a fresh twist on a night of high Brexit drama in the Commons as pro-Leave Labour MPs and hardline Tory Brexiteers joined forces to vote for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill at second reading. 

Johnson secured amajority for the fresh Brexit deal he struck with Brussels.  

The scrapping of the timetable, however, makes it extremely difficult for the PM to ram through the legislation by the end of the month. 

As well as a lack of time for scrutiny, opposition party members have said they will push for a customs union and a second referendum.

Johnson had earlier told the Commons that he would “in no way allow months more of this” as he called on parliament to work “night and day” to get the Bill through.

“If parliament refuses to allow Brexit to happen, and instead gets its way and decides to delay everything until January or possibly longer, in no circumstances can the government continue with this,” he said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, accused Johnson of “trying to blindside” parliament with a “disgraceful attempt to dodge accountability, scrutiny, and any kind of proper debate.”

This story is developing. Please check back soon for more. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

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Diplomat Provides ‘Disturbing’ Account In House Impeachment Probe

Westlake Legal Group 5daf4793210000ba1e34abb7 Diplomat Provides ‘Disturbing’ Account In House Impeachment Probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former U.S. Ambassador William Taylor, a diplomat who has sharply questioned President Donald Trump’s policy on Ukraine, has provided lawmakers with a “disturbing” account of events at the center of the impeachment probe, Democrats said Tuesday.

Lawmakers emerging after the early hours of the private deposition said Taylor had given a lengthy opening statement, with a recall of events that filled in gaps from the testimony of other witnesses. He indicated to lawmakers he kept records at the time.

“The testimony is very disturbing,” said New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., used the same word. Asked why, he said, “Because it’s becoming more distinct.”

Taylor’s appearance is among the most watched because of a text message, released by House investigators earlier in the probe, in which he called Trump’s attempt to leverage military aid to Ukraine in return for a political investigation “crazy.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said Taylor “drew a straight line” with documents, timelines and individual conversations in his records at the hearing.

“I do not know how you would listen to today’s testimony from Ambassador Taylor and come to any other (conclusion) except that the president abused his power and withheld foreign aid,” she said.

Lawmakers did not discuss details of what they heard in the closed-door session that was expected to continue all day, and Taylor declined to comment as he entered the deposition. He was the latest diplomat with concerns to testify. Like the others, he was subpoenaed to appear.

Rep Ami Bera, D-Calif., said Taylor, a career civil servant, had a better recall of details than Gordon Sondland, the U.S. European Union ambassador who testified last week.

Taylor was expected to discuss text messages he exchanged with two other diplomats earlier this year as Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate unsupported claims about Democratic rival Joe Biden’s family and a debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election.

The diplomat was one of several intermediaries between Trump and Ukrainian officials as the president advocated for the investigations. Taylor had been chosen to run the embassy there after the administration abruptly ousted the Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

In a series of text messages released earlier this month by U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Taylor appeared to be alarmed by Trump’s efforts as the U.S. was also withholding military assistance to Ukraine that had already been approved by Congress.

“I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor wrote in excerpts of the text messages released by the impeachment investigators.

He has stood by that observation in his private remarks to investigators, according to a person familiar with his testimony who was granted anonymity to discuss it.

Taylor’s description of Trump’s position is in sharp contrast to how the president has characterized it. Trump has said many times that there was no quid pro quo, though his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney contradicted that last week. Mulvaney later tried to walk back his remarks.

Taylor, a former Army officer, had been serving as executive vice president at the U.S. Institute of Peace, a nonpartisan think tank founded by Congress, when he was appointed to run the embassy in Kyiv after Yovanovitch was removed before the end of her term following a campaign against her led by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

He had served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009.

“He’s the epitome of a seasoned statesman,” said John Shmorhun, an American who heads the agricultural company AgroGeneration.

Before retiring from government service, Taylor was involved in diplomatic efforts surrounding several major international conflicts. He served in Jerusalem as U.S. envoy to the Quartet of Mideast peacemakers. He oversaw reconstruction in Iraq from 2004 to 2005, and from Kabul coordinated U.S. and international assistance to Afghanistan from 2002 to 2003.

He arrived in Kyiv a month after the sudden departure of Yovanovitch and the inauguration of Ukraine’s new president, prepared to steer the embassy through the transition. He was most likely not prepared for what happened next.

In July, Trump would have his now-famous phone conversation with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which he pressed the new Ukrainian president to launch the investigations. Trump at the time had quietly put a hold on nearly $400 million in military aid that Ukraine was counting on in its fight against Russian-backed separatists.

In the follow-up to the call, Taylor exchanged texts with two of Trump’s point men on Ukraine as they were trying to get Zelenskiy to commit to the investigations before setting a date for a coveted White House visit.

In a text message to Sondland on Sept. 1, Taylor bluntly questioned Trump’s motives: “Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?” Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told him to call on the phone.

In texts a week later to Sondland and special envoy Volker, Taylor expressed increased concern, calling it “crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” In a reply several hours later, Sondland defended Trump’s intentions and suggested they stop the back-and-forth by text.

Taylor had also texted that not giving the military aid to Ukraine would be his “nightmare” scenario because it would send the wrong message to both Kyiv and Moscow: “The Russians love it. (And I quit).”

U.S. diplomats based at the Kyiv embassy have refused to speak with journalists, reflecting the sensitivity of the impeachment inquiry. The embassy press office did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Berry reported from Kyiv, Ukraine. Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman, Matthew Lee and Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report.

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Putin and Erdogan Announce Plan for Northeast Syria, Bolstering Russian Influence

Westlake Legal Group 22russia-turkey1-facebookJumbo Putin and Erdogan Announce Plan for Northeast Syria, Bolstering Russian Influence United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Syrian Democratic Forces Syria Russia Putin, Vladimir V Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Erdogan, Recep Tayyip Assad, Bashar al-

SOCHI, Russia — His jets patrol Syrian skies. His military is expanding operations at the main naval base in Syria. He is forging closer ties to Turkey. He and his Syrian allies are moving into territory being vacated by the United States.

And on Tuesday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia played host to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, for more than six hours of talks on how they and other regional players will divide control of Syria, a land devastated by eight years of civil war.

The negotiations ended with a victory for Mr. Putin: Russian and Turkish troops will take joint control over a vast swath of formerly Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria, in a move that cements the rapid expansion of Russian influence in Syria at the expense of the United States and its Kurdish former allies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Syrian Kurdish forces must now retreat more than 20 miles from the border, abandoning land that they had controlled uncontested until earlier this month — when their protectors, the American military, suddenly began to withdraw from the region.

Mr. Putin has emerged as the dominant force in Syria and a major power broker in the broader Middle East — a status showcased by Mr. Erdogan’s hastily arranged trip to the president’s summer home in Sochi. And it looks increasingly clear that Russia, which rescued the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria with brutal airstrikes over the last four years, will be the arbiter of the power balance there.

As President Trump questions American alliances and troop deployments around the world, Russia, like China, has been flexing its muscles, eager to fill the power vacuum left by a more isolationist United States. In Syria, both Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan see opportunity in Mr. Trump’s sudden withdrawal this month of American forces in the country.

Mr. Erdogan had long wanted go to war against the Kurdish-led forces that control northeast Syria, but he dared not, as long as the Kurds’ American allies were stationed there, too. He responded to Mr. Trump’s withdrawal by launching an invasion.

Tuesday’s meeting began hours before the end of an American-brokered truce between Turkish and Kurdish forces in Syria, where Mr. Erdogan says his troops have seized more than 900 square miles of territory since invading on Oct. 6.

“The U.S. is still the 500-pound gorilla,” said Howard Eissenstat, a professor of Middle East history at St. Lawrence University. “If the U.S. decided that ‘issue X’ was a primary concern to its national security, there would be very little that anybody in the region could do about it.”

But with the United States increasingly removing itself from the picture — as symbolized in the Russian news media by the images of abandoned washing machines and unopened cans of Coca-Cola left behind in the chaotic withdrawal — it was Russia whose consent Mr. Erdogan needed on Tuesday to consolidate and extend his gains.

“Before, Turkey could play the U.S. against Russia and Russia against the U.S.,” said Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, an Istanbul-based research group. “Now that’s no longer the case, and Russia has shaped up to be Turkey’s only real counterpart in Syria.”

Tuesday’s meeting looked to be a culmination of Mr. Putin’s yearslong strategy of taking advantage of Western divisions to build closer ties with Turkey — a NATO member and long a key United States ally — and to increase Moscow’s influence in the Middle East.

As the United States and Western Europe vacillated in their approach to Syria — to the frustration of Turkey and other Middle Eastern powers — Russia chose to protect its ally, Mr. al-Assad, and stuck with him despite fierce criticism from the West that the Syrian ruler was a brutal despot.

The upshot, Russians now say, is that while their country lacks the West’s economic might, it can be counted on to keep its word.

“Some people are furious again, some people are jealous and some people are drawn to power,” Dmitri Kiselyov, the prominent host of a news program on state-controlled television, told viewers Sunday night. “Whatever the case, Erdogan is flying to Russia to meet with Putin.”

The negotiations highlight the loss of American influence in the days since Mr. Trump ordered troops to withdraw from northeast Syria. The pullout not only cleared the way for Turkey’s assault on American allies, it also prompted the area’s Kurdish leaders to turn to Mr. al-Assad’s government and its main backer, Russia, for protection.

This sudden alliance has allowed Syrian government forces back into parts of northeast Syria that they have not entered in half a decade and thrust Mr. Putin even more prominently into the Syrian affairs.

“The situation in the region is very tense — we understand that,” Mr. Putin said as he began talks with Mr. Erdogan. “I would like to express the hope that the level of Russian-Turkish relations that has been attained recently will play a role in resolving all of the issues that the region has encountered and will help find answers to all questions, even very difficult ones, in the interests of Turkey, Russia, and all countries.”

Russian television showed Mr. Putin looking relaxed as he delivered his opening remarks, leaning back and his hands clasped easily over an armrest. Mr. Erdogan, by contrast, sat up straight as he eyed his Russian counterpart.

Mr. Putin, who relishes chances to drive wedges into Western alliances, has drawn closer to Mr. Erdogan, whose relations with Europe and the United States have been rocky. They have met eight times this year, according to Yuri Ushakov, a Kremlin foreign policy adviser.

In July, Turkey defied Western warnings and began taking delivery of a Russian antiaircraft missile system, prompting the United States to cancel Turkey’s purchase of American-made fighter jets. NATO had warned that the purchase could reveal Western technological secrets to Russia, and that the Russian weapons were incompatible with the alliance’s systems.

Mr. Putin has also cultivated ties to the United States’ closest American ally in the region, Israel, and its bitterest adversary, Iran, another supporter of Mr. al-Assad.

Russia “doesn’t have the economic or military capabilities the U.S. has,” Mr. Eissenstat said, “but it has been very savvy about using its power in limited and effective means.”

Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Putin were expected on Tuesday to discuss whether Turkey will be allowed to expand its sphere of influence beyond the central pocket of formerly Kurdish-held territory that Turkish-led forces have already seized this month.

“With my dear friend Putin, we will discuss the current situation in northern Syria, primarily to the east of the Euphrates,” Mr. Erdogan said to reporters at an airport in Ankara, shortly before departing for Russia.

Kurdish fighters had managed to carve out their own autonomous region in northeast Syria, free of government control, amid the chaos of the eight-year civil war. They greatly expanded their territory from 2015 onward, when they became the principal Syrian partner of an American-led coalition working to defeat militants from the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS.

As Kurdish fighters won back ISIS-held land, they took over its governance, eventually establishing control over roughly a quarter of Syria.

Mr. Erdogan’s goal is to create a buffer zone along the entire length of the Turkish-Syrian border, roughly 20 miles deep, to keep Kurdish fighters from getting within mortar range of Turkey. Analysts in Moscow expect Mr. Putin to accept some measure of Turkish control over a buffer zone, though it’s not clear how deep into Syrian territory he would agree for it to extend, or how it would be policed.

Mr. Erdogan views the main Kurdish militia in northeast Syria, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, as a threat to Turkish national security, since the group is an offshoot of a guerrilla movement that has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey.

“We understand Turkey’s concern in connection with the need to ensure its safety and with the need to fight terrorist elements,” the Kremlin spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov told reporters on Tuesday, ahead of the meeting.

“But we are also expecting that all actions should be proportionate to these concerns and that these actions should in no way make the process of peaceful political settlement in Syria more difficult.”

For Mr. Putin, the meeting with Mr. Erdogan provided an opportunity to solidify and extend Mr. al-Assad’s hold on power.

Mr. al-Assad attempted to project his own influence on Tuesday, visiting the northwestern province of Idlib for the first time since the area fell out of government control several years ago. He was pictured near the front line of a battle between rebels and his own military, in photographs released by a state-run news agency.

Before his meeting with Mr. Erdogan was arranged, Mr. Putin was already scheduled to be in Sochi this week to host the leaders of 43 African countries, a first-of-its-kind summit that will offer another measure of Russia’s growing foreign policy ambitions.

Turkey is part of NATO, which Russia sees as an adversary. But ties between Moscow and Ankara have rapidly warmed as a result of the war in Syria and growing tensions between Turkey and its longtime allies in Western Europe and the United States.

As American troops crossed the border from Syria into Iraq this week, the Iraqi government faced questions about whether the withdrawal was camouflage for an American buildup in Iraq. The United States military has a large camp in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and the troops are going there until arrangements are made for them to move on.

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper seemed mindful of the Iraqis’ concerns on Monday when he wrote on Twitter, “As we withdraw from NE Syria, we will temporarily reposition those forces in the region outside Syria until they return home.”

The Iraqis had agreed that the Americans could leave Syria through Iraq and then fly out to Kuwait or Doha, according to generals in the Iraqi Joint Command. In a statement, the Joint Command said that it wanted to make clear that “there is an agreement for U.S. troops to enter Iraqi Kurdistan in order to leave Syria, but there is no approval for them to stay in Iraq.”

Earlier this year, Mr. Trump said he wanted troops in Iraq to “watch Iran,” angering Iraqi politicians who said they feared the United States would use Iraq as a launching pad for a war against Iran.

Anton Troianovski reported from Sochi, and Patrick Kingsley from Istanbul. Alissa J. Rubin contributed reporting from Baghdad, and Eric Schmitt from Washington.

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I’m Dane Wilcox, a Millennial Democrat running for US House against a 12 term incumbent in OR-3. I have a bunch of unique ideas that include increasing the defense budget and giving businesses tax breaks. AMA!

Westlake Legal Group tSZWS5k2pJ4fArd9ExKjZMRDeLgAWBxreoFnZPI5kYc I’m Dane Wilcox, a Millennial Democrat running for US House against a 12 term incumbent in OR-3. I have a bunch of unique ideas that include increasing the defense budget and giving businesses tax breaks. AMA! r/politics

Hi, I’m Dane Wilcox and I apologize for my AMA title being very clickbaity. I have been a business owner my entire life and I am tired of the way our government works. There is rampant corruption and people doing whatever they can to keep their jobs instead of doing the right thing. Corporations are running the show and writing our laws for their benefit while ignoring the people struggling every day. I believe that in 2020 we will have a chance to swing the pendulum back the other direction and have a chance to make meaningful change that will alter our country’s future, as well as the worlds. I want nothing more than to be part of that and I hope my ideas will spark some change.

I have spent several years planning my Fight to Unite Initiative which changes the way our military works. It increases the defense budget, but also reallocates money away from murdering people in other countries or buying tanks to sit and rot into providing education and trade skills. A large portion will be allocated into green energy fields and research as well. I chose to put it under the defense budget as the DoD classifies climate change as our number one threat, and Republicans I talk to seem less against giving people housing, medical care, and training when it is part of the military.

Having worked with taxes for many years, I also want to reorganize the way businesses get deductions to incentivize things like worker pay over increasing stock prices. I have ideas to help solve the wealth inequality gap and fight corporate greed.

While my current representative (Earl Blumenauer) is generally well liked, I don’t think he does enough. I want to be a voice for all Americans who struggle every day instead of hitching myself to new and popular progressives.

I will be here to answer questions for as long as I can, I have blocked off my entire day to do this AMA. Hopefully I can help explain some policies and we can change the world. If you want to read more before asking questions head over to wilcox2020.com.

Twitter FB Insta

Proof: https://i.redd.it/ahr1ypun8yt31.jpg

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Opinion: MLB needs to address Houston Astros’ troubling history of toxic behavior

The Houston Astros are Major League Baseball’s worst nightmare.

Already reprimanded once this season by the league for fundamental immaturity, the Astros created another headache on the eve of the World Series by lying about the Neanderthal-like behavior of one of their assistant general managers. Instead of promoting the Jose Altuve fan club or musing about the impact such a long layoff will have on the Washington Nationals, the focus in the hours before Game 1 is now squarely on the Astros and why they continue to exhibit such toxic behavior.

Sports Illustrated reported Monday night that Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman shouted “Thank God we got (Roberto) Osuna! I’m so (expletive) glad we got Osuna!” in the direction of three female reporters after Houston beat the New York Yankees on Saturday night to reach the World Series.

Osuna was suspended for 75 games in 2018 for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. SI reported that one of the journalists Taubman yelled at was wearing a purple bracelet for domestic violence awareness.

Rather than apologizing, or even trying to spin the incident as an unfortunate misunderstanding, the Astros doubled down on their boorishness.

“The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible,” the Astros said in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist.”

Except it wasn’t fabricated.

Hunter Atkins, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle, quickly refuted the Astros’ statement, saying on Twitter, “I was there. Saw it. And I should’ve said something sooner.” The Chronicle later published a story saying three eyewitnesses, two of whom were its own reporters, had confirmed SI’s account.

Unsurprisingly, the Astros had no response. Disappointingly, neither did MLB.

Westlake Legal Group  Opinion: MLB needs to address Houston Astros' troubling history of toxic behavior

Teams are given wide latitude in their operations, and rightly so. But when they traffic in misinformation and misogyny, or create a hostile environment for reporters, it is incumbent upon the league to step in. The Astros have shown repeatedly that crassness is a core value, and that is something that should be of great concern to MLB.

When a petulant Justin Verlander demanded in August that a reporter he didn’t like be barred from the clubhouse until he was done talking, the Astros should have patiently explained the role of the media and why MLB has deemed it important enough to include in the collective bargaining agreement. Instead, the Astros kowtowed to their star pitcher and, without any evidence, disparaged the reporter Verlander found so bothersome.

MLB let the Astros know they were in the wrong. But Taubman’s behavior, and the team’s defiant absolution of it, shows Houston is going to operate under its own rules and it doesn’t much care what anyone thinks of that.

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Taubman’s vulgarity and Verlander’s immaturity is galling enough. What is unacceptable, and what MLB must address, is that the Astros are willing to create false narratives to defend those behaviors.

It wasn’t long ago that we all operated with the same set of facts. We might have disagreed with the interpretation of those facts, or had different opinions about what they meant. But the underlying truth of them, the fundamental who, what, why, when and how, were not open for debate.

As President Donald Trump lies with abandon, however, the regard for truth has eroded everywhere. Truth has become what you want to make of it rather than what it actually is, and it’s no longer an embarrassment to spout bald-faced lies if it benefits you.

And if your misdeeds and lies are exposed, just dig in and shout louder rather than acknowledge you were wrong.

There is a conversation to be had about MLB’s continued disregard for domestic violence, and why Taubman directing his defense of Osuna at female reporters is particularly troubling. But the more problematic issue for the league right now is that the Astros are operating under their own set of rules, and claiming their own set of facts.

Punishing the Astros as the World Series begins is less than ideal. But if MLB doesn’t act now, the headaches caused by the Astros will only get worse. 

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour. 

Westlake Legal Group  Opinion: MLB needs to address Houston Astros' troubling history of toxic behavior

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Bill Taylor, diplomat who texted concerns about Trump’s Ukraine moves, testifies under subpoena

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096745761001_6096749248001-vs Bill Taylor, diplomat who texted concerns about Trump’s Ukraine moves, testifies under subpoena fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc d88e8863-2d46-53b2-b4e5-b7b1102c8eed article Alex Pappas

Bill Taylor, a top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door deposition Tuesday as part of the Trump impeachment inquiry and amid great interest from lawmakers over his past text messages discussing whether President Trump was engaged in a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine.

Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine, did not answer shouted questions as he entered a Capitol hearing room. Taylor delivered a long opening statement to House investigators, Fox News was told.

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According to sources, the State Department tried to keep Taylor from testifying. But the Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena, making Tuesday’s appearance a “deposition.” Taylor is complying with the subpoena and answering questions from both sides.

Text messages recently turned over to Congress showed Taylor and other U.S. officials battling internally last month over Trump’s efforts to encourage Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden’s past business practices in the country amid discussions over U.S. military aid to Ukraine. Hunter Biden is the son of Joe Biden, the former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate.

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor said in a September text exchange.

U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who has also testified on Capitol Hill, responded by saying that was not what was happening: “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign.”

Both men then agreed to cease discussing the matter over text, noting that phone calls with the appropriate officials would be preferable.

Congressional Democrats on Tuesday said they wanted more information on the text messages.

“Well, I would want to know exactly what he was thinking when he, you know, wrote that text,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington State, told reporters, adding, “we need to understand everything that happened before he sent that text and everything that happened after.”

Republicans, meanwhile, have accused Democrats of restricting access to the transcripts from the interviews they’ve been conducting as part of the impeachment inquiry.

“Just when you thought the process couldn’t get any more unfair, we found out last night that Democrats will now not even allow Republicans to have a copy of the respective transcripts from each of the witnesses we’ve interviewed thus far,” said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, claiming that Republicans can’t make copies and can only read them while under supervision by Democratic staffers.

Taylor was tapped to run the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine after the administration abruptly ousted the ambassador. He was then drawn into a Trump administration effort to hold up U.S. military aid for Ukraine.

Taylor had been serving as executive vice president at the U.S. Institute of Peace, a nonpartisan think tank founded by Congress, when he was appointed to run the embassy in Kiev after Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was removed before the end of her term following a campaign against her led by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

He was chosen for the post because he was among a handful of former officials with experience in Ukraine who would be perceived as neutral by local officials and wouldn’t raise objections at the White House, according to a colleague.

Taylor had served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009.

Trump had his now-famous phone conversation in July with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which he pressed him to investigate claims about Democratic rival Joe Biden, as well as issues related to election interference in 2016. Trump at the time had quietly put a hold on nearly $400 million in military aid that Ukraine was counting on in its fight against Russian-backed separatists.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Sally Persons and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096745761001_6096749248001-vs Bill Taylor, diplomat who texted concerns about Trump’s Ukraine moves, testifies under subpoena fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc d88e8863-2d46-53b2-b4e5-b7b1102c8eed article Alex Pappas   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096745761001_6096749248001-vs Bill Taylor, diplomat who texted concerns about Trump’s Ukraine moves, testifies under subpoena fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc d88e8863-2d46-53b2-b4e5-b7b1102c8eed article Alex Pappas

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I’m Dane Wilcox, a Millennial Democrat running for US House against a 12 term incumbent in OR-3. I have a bunch of unique ideas that include increasing the defense budget and giving businesses tax breaks. AMA!

Westlake Legal Group tSZWS5k2pJ4fArd9ExKjZMRDeLgAWBxreoFnZPI5kYc I’m Dane Wilcox, a Millennial Democrat running for US House against a 12 term incumbent in OR-3. I have a bunch of unique ideas that include increasing the defense budget and giving businesses tax breaks. AMA! r/politics

Hi, I’m Dane Wilcox and I apologize for my AMA title being very clickbaity. I have been a business owner my entire life and I am tired of the way our government works. There is rampant corruption and people doing whatever they can to keep their jobs instead of doing the right thing. Corporations are running the show and writing our laws for their benefit while ignoring the people struggling every day. I believe that in 2020 we will have a chance to swing the pendulum back the other direction and have a chance to make meaningful change that will alter our country’s future, as well as the worlds. I want nothing more than to be part of that and I hope my ideas will spark some change.

I have spent several years planning my Fight to Unite Initiative which changes the way our military works. It increases the defense budget, but also reallocates money away from murdering people in other countries or buying tanks to sit and rot into providing education and trade skills. A large portion will be allocated into green energy fields and research as well. I chose to put it under the defense budget as the DoD classifies climate change as our number one threat, and Republicans I talk to seem less against giving people housing, medical care, and training when it is part of the military.

Having worked with taxes for many years, I also want to reorganize the way businesses get deductions to incentivize things like worker pay over increasing stock prices. I have ideas to help solve the wealth inequality gap and fight corporate greed.

While my current representative (Earl Blumenauer) is generally well liked, I don’t think he does enough. I want to be a voice for all Americans who struggle every day instead of hitching myself to new and popular progressives.

I will be here to answer questions for as long as I can, I have blocked off my entire day to do this AMA. Hopefully I can help explain some policies and we can change the world. If you want to read more before asking questions head over to wilcox2020.com.

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