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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 493)

Romney calls Obama, Biden ‘honorable,’ refrains from calling Trump the same

Westlake Legal Group Romney-Trump Romney calls Obama, Biden 'honorable,' refrains from calling Trump the same Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 6c769939-fcea-536c-b23f-359413c48ef6

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, offered kind words to President Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden by calling them “honorable,” but in an awkward exchange refrained to make the same compliment about President Trump.

In a recent interview with Axios, Romney was asked if his 2012 competitor was an “honorable man.”

“I believe he’s an honorable man, yes,” Romney answered. “A good family man and he made a lot of mistakes. Most presidents do.”

“Is Joe Biden an honorable man?” Axios executive editor Mike Allen asked.

“You know, I don’t know Joe Biden terribly well, but from everything I’ve seen and the interactions I’ve had with him, he seems to me like a man of honor,” Romney responded.

Allen then posed the same question about Trump, which drew some criticism from the Utah senator.

ROMNEY TAKES SHOTS AT TRUMP OVER RACE, SAYS HE’S ABANDONING KURDS IN SYRIA

“I knew where you were going, but I’m not going to let you catch me in a corner,” Romney said. “He has elements, I’m sure, of honor in his life and there are things that I think are not honorable. And, I mention that because of the payment to a porn star for sexual relations outside of marriage.

“Look, I’m one of those who believes we have a responsibility to be honorable and faithful to our wives and the president made a failing in that regard.”

The former Massachusetts governor was widely critical of Trump throughout the interview.

“People will recognize that character really is important in our leaders and that it’s important for our leaders to do things that unify us, that welcome people who come here legally as immigrants, that in no way signal to anybody in America that they’re less of an American because of where they came from or their sexual orientation or their race or their religion,” he said.

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The senator added that the future will not be kind to Trump’s legacy, including his recent move to withdraw troops from northern Syria, which analysts claimed could be seen as abandoning U.S.-allied Kurdish forces. As Romney put it, “We should never abandon our friends.”

He also said, “Clearly, the world watches and people who potentially could be our allies at a critical time say perhaps the U.S. won’t stay with us. Perhaps they’ll cut and run if they think it’s in their best interest. And, walking away from the Kurds in a corner of Syria at a critical time when the troops coming from Turkey are intent upon doing them harm is something which I think would be a very dark spot in American history.”

Fox News’ Frank Miles contributed to this story.

Westlake Legal Group Romney-Trump Romney calls Obama, Biden 'honorable,' refrains from calling Trump the same Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 6c769939-fcea-536c-b23f-359413c48ef6   Westlake Legal Group Romney-Trump Romney calls Obama, Biden 'honorable,' refrains from calling Trump the same Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 6c769939-fcea-536c-b23f-359413c48ef6

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Facebook Lays On the Charm for Its Libra Cryptocurrency Plan

WASHINGTON — Facebook’s ambitious plan to create a cryptocurrency that would replace traditional money all over the world appears to be on life support. Regulators and lawmakers have mocked it. Key partners like Visa and Mastercard have stepped away from it.

But the company isn’t backing down. Facebook executives fanned out in the capital last week to court lawmakers and regulators to the cryptocurrency project, called Libra. And on Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, is expected to testify about Libra at a hearing held by the House Financial Services Committee.

Company executives are expending a surprising amount of energy and time defending their cryptocurrency plan, even though it is not central to Facebook’s business, advertising. The company also faces a variety of seemingly more pressing issues in Washington, including questions about antitrust and privacy violations and election security and disinformation.

The Libra project was secretly incubated inside Facebook for over a year. Though many questioned why Facebook needed to create a cryptocurrency, Mr. Zuckerberg has long been fascinated by digital coins like Bitcoin. The company initially brought on 27 partners that it hoped would help give the cryptocurrency legitimacy and spread it. Twenty-one remain.

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, met with the House Financial Services Committee’s Democratic chairwoman, Representative Maxine Waters of California, and its ranking Republican, Representative Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina. While in Washington, Mr. Zuckerberg also gave a speech defending the company in a separate controversy — its hands-off stance toward dishonesty in political advertising.

David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency effort, ran a parallel track of meetings. He gave speeches defending Libra to global leaders meeting at the World Bank and a meeting of the Group of 30, an international organization of financiers and academics. Mr. Marcus also met with staff for Democratic and Republican members of the House committee.

All told, Facebook has dedicated at least eight lobbyists to Libra since the project was publicly introduced in June, according to regulatory filings.

But it’s not clear that the charm offensive is having much of an impact. While executives were knocking on doors in Washington, the Group of 7, representing some of the most powerful governments in the world, issued a highly critical report that warned about the potential dangers of cryptocurrencies.

Even Republicans, who have been generally more open to the cryptocurrency plan since it was announced in June, have expressed concern about how it has been organized.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 21libra3-articleLarge Facebook Lays On the Charm for Its Libra Cryptocurrency Plan Zuckerberg, Mark E Virtual Currency Social Media Libra (Currency) House Committee on Financial Services Facebook Inc

Facebook has dedicated at least eight lobbyists to Libra since it was announced.CreditLibra

Representative Lance Gooden, a Republican from Texas, criticized the decision by the Libra Association, the Facebook-led coalition behind the cryptocurrency, to base itself in Geneva.

“There is an impression that perhaps Facebook wants a clean start somewhere else because they haven’t enjoyed criticism to their social media platform, but Democrats and Republicans agree that criticism of the social network is entirely justified,” Mr. Gooden, a member of the Financial Services Committee, said in a phone interview last week.

One evening last week, Mr. Marcus swirled a glass of bourbon in a downtown, nouveau-Southern restaurant in Washington. Despite a flurry of bad news about his project, Mr. Marcus said he was unfazed.

“Look, change of this magnitude was going to be hard all along,” he said.

When Facebook announced the project, it had only a rough draft of what Libra would look like. The plan was for the final designs to be done by all the partners as part of the Libra Association, in which Facebook would have only one vote. But that lack of detail has made it hard to explain how Libra would deal with problems like money laundering and cybersecurity.

The basic description that Facebook did put forward was enough to bring out the knives from politicians and regulators all over the world. In the United States, President Trump and his Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, harshly criticized Libra, as did politicians from both parties.

Mr. Marcus, over a dinner of fried green tomato arugula salad and spicy fried chicken, said he had no regrets about how Facebook had introduced the project. He brushed aside criticism that Facebook should have done more to get regulators on board ahead of time.

“Even if we spent 10 years outreaching, you’d still hear the same thing,” Mr. Marcus told a small group of reporters who had been invited to speak with him.

He offered the defense he repeatedly gave the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee during testimony in July: Facebook was far from officially offering Libra, and it was working with regulators around the world.

“We didn’t launch anything,” Mr. Marcus said. “We opened up the idea that maybe it was a good thing to try to do something new to advance the state of access to digital money in general.”

The head of policy at the Libra Association, Dante Disparte, defiantly said in a separate interview last week that the problem was not Facebook. The problem, he said, is a political system in the United States that seems so willing to turn its back on technological innovation.

“It is an indictment of the state of play, for a country like the U.S., which is the greatest beneficiary of free markets and the rule of law, to have inspired such political animus for a project like this,” Mr. Disparte said.

Mr. Marcus said that while politicians had been negative about the project, he had gotten a much more open reception from regulators in private meetings.

But regulators have also sounded off on Libra. After the Libra Association formalized its list of partners last week — a list that notably did not include any major banking or finance companies — a steady stream of regulators went public with their concerns.

On Wednesday, Lael Brainard, the Federal Reserve official responsible for overseeing cryptocurrency policy, said in a speech that private currencies like Libra could weaken the power of central banks and create dangers for large economies “by increasing market volatility and by transmitting shocks across borders.”

A day later, the finance minister of France, Bruno Le Maire, wrote in the Financial Times that Libra was “unacceptable for both economic and political reasons.”

Later that day, a 37-page report from the G7 said “stablecoins” like Libra could have “significant adverse effects.”

The G7, like many other organizations, suggested that the ideas proposed by Facebook could make sense if they were pursued by a government instead of a company. And in recent months, several central banks, including the People’s Bank of China, have said Libra has revived their efforts to create national digital currencies.

Mr. Marcus framed this as something of a victory.

“We’ve advanced the dialogue on the fact that the status quo was not and should not be an option and that we need to move forward with a better system to enable more people to participate in the financial system,” he said.

Mr. Marcus said the pushback wasn’t at all surprising. Facebook’s brand, after all, comes with “baggage.” His biggest job, he said, is correcting misperceptions held by politicians, regulators and the public.

But other than the online music service Spotify, Mr. Marcus hasn’t had much help from the 21 remaining partners, which have said little publicly about Libra. Even PayPal, the company he ran before joining Facebook, dropped its support for the project.

When asked if Mr. Zuckerberg had doubts about the project because of the recent setbacks, Mr. Marcus added: “If you think about this over the long run, if it works, then it’s going to be a very good thing for Facebook. And a very good thing for the world.”

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Booker, in thinly veiled Warren dig, touts there’s ‘no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me’

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. – Sen. Elizabeth Warren is known as the candidate with the plans, but Senate colleague and presidential nomination rival Sen. Cory Booker begs to differ.

“There’s no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me. Anybody who knows me in the Senate, that’s my forte,” Booker, D-N.J., highlighted Monday in an interview with Fox News and NHTalkRadio.com.

Booker, who was interviewed aboard his campaign’s New Hampshire RV, emphasized that “there’s been 170-180 plans put out by every candidate. We’re all putting out plans. I love mine. I think in so many cases my plans are better. Heck, we are the only people to put out a plan on child poverty. How can that be?”

WARREN SAYS SHE’LL UNVEIL HOW SHE’LL PAY FOR HER MEDICARE-FOR-ALL PLAN

And, he indirectly took aim at Warren, D-Mass., who’s soared in recent months to a tie with former Vice President Joe Biden for the top spot in the 2020 primary race.

“I stand with Elizabeth Warren. I think ‘Medicare-for-all’ is the best way to do it. But, I also actually believe that it’s going to be a process to get there,” Booker noted. “We can’t be in a situation where we’re just talking away insurance from folks.”

Warren has been a major supporter of the “Medicare-for-all” plan introduced in the Senate by 2020 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders. The government-run plan, if enacted, would eliminate private insurance.

Booker, spotlighting his pragmatism, added, “I will not be one of those folks on the stage that’s so rigid to say, ‘It’s my way or the highway and I’m going to sacrifice progress for purity. I’m going to let perfect be the enemy of the good,’ when every American needs more good.”

Asked if some of his nomination rivals were too rigid, Booker answered, “that’s what voters are going to have to decide.”

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Warren came under repeated attack at last week’s fourth-round primary debate over her refusal to discuss whether taxes would go up for middle-class Americans to implement her proposal for a government-run “Medicare-for-all” plan. She announced Sunday that she would soon reveal how the country would pay for it if she were president.

Booker has built up a formidable team in New Hampshire and Iowa, the first two states to vote in the caucus and primary calendar. Analysts have called him a skilled retail campaigner and arguably the best orator in the record-setting field of presidential contenders. But, he’s yet to pop in the polls or have many viral moments.

Westlake Legal Group aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaBOOKER-RV Booker, in thinly veiled Warren dig, touts there's 'no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me' Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc article 06c0d77f-d891-56b7-872c-63bbfa353087

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey speaking with Fox News and NHTalkRadio.com aboard his campaign RV on the road from Peterborough to Keene, N.H., on Monday. (Fox News)

However, with three and a half months to go until the voting begins, that’s fine with Booker.

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“The people that usually win are the people who peak in January, February, not people who are winning in the summer or winning in the fall. We’ve just got to continue doing the work,” he noted.

And, pointing to one-time longshots who ended up winning the nomination and eventually the White House, he said, “the more people who hear my message, the more [success] and momentum we’re getting and I’m hoping that continues to rise. And, by the time we’re in next year, I hope we’ll do what Bill Clinton, the comeback kid, or Jimmy Carter – who won New Hampshire – I’ll follow in their footsteps.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095157124001_6095156624001-vs Booker, in thinly veiled Warren dig, touts there's 'no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me' Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc article 06c0d77f-d891-56b7-872c-63bbfa353087   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095157124001_6095156624001-vs Booker, in thinly veiled Warren dig, touts there's 'no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me' Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc article 06c0d77f-d891-56b7-872c-63bbfa353087

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In Rare Joint Statement, U.S. and European Lawmakers Condemn Trump for ‘Abandonment’ of the Kurds

Westlake Legal Group LOZCVDmxM-MrdzUr2L-WU4uxU0s7YsWonA9X9r8Z5b4 In Rare Joint Statement, U.S. and European Lawmakers Condemn Trump for ‘Abandonment’ of the Kurds r/politics

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Bag exploded at Midway Airport while being loaded onto Volaris flight

A bag exploded at Chicago’s Midway International Airport Monday while it was being loaded onto a Volaris flight, police said. According to reports, the cause was a cell phone battery or charger.

DISCOVERY OF WORLD WAR II BOMB TEMPORARILY SHUTS DOWN HAMBURG AIRPORT

The bag reportedly exploded after it was run over while being loaded for the outbound flight around 12:20 p.m. Monday.

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Police were called to the airport and a Level 1 hazmat situation was ordered, however, it was cleared after they discovered the cause of the explosion.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-525258519 Bag exploded at Midway Airport while being loaded onto Volaris flight fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/travel fnc article Alexandra Deabler 300f05b7-2a2b-594f-9737-de7a6636259c

According to reports, the cause of the explosion was a cell phone battery or charger. (iStock)

No one was injured from the bag explosion and police have released a statement on Twitter stating there is “no public safety threat.”

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An airport source further confirmed to WGN that there was no sinister motive behind the explosion.

As of 2 p.m. airport operations had returned to normal.

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Westlake Legal Group iStock-525258519 Bag exploded at Midway Airport while being loaded onto Volaris flight fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/travel fnc article Alexandra Deabler 300f05b7-2a2b-594f-9737-de7a6636259c   Westlake Legal Group iStock-525258519 Bag exploded at Midway Airport while being loaded onto Volaris flight fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/travel fnc article Alexandra Deabler 300f05b7-2a2b-594f-9737-de7a6636259c

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National Parks Trying To Get A Handle On E-Bikes

Westlake Legal Group 4-e-mountain-bike-66592dac6f38490e44164df38ee9310ce1059625-s1100-c15 National Parks Trying To Get A Handle On E-Bikes

An e-bike resembles a regular bicycle, with its batteries and electric motor integrated into the bike’s frame. Enthusiasts see e-bikes on national park trails as a great thing, but some traditional riders and environmentalists see big problems ahead. Mark Arehart/WKSU hide caption

toggle caption

Mark Arehart/WKSU

Westlake Legal Group  National Parks Trying To Get A Handle On E-Bikes

An e-bike resembles a regular bicycle, with its batteries and electric motor integrated into the bike’s frame. Enthusiasts see e-bikes on national park trails as a great thing, but some traditional riders and environmentalists see big problems ahead.

Mark Arehart/WKSU

Electric assisted bicycles, or e-bikes, are becoming more and more popular across the United States. Throughout the country’s national parks, that could be a good and a bad thing.

It can be tough to distinguish an e-bike from a regular road or mountain bike by sight, but once you start pedaling, you sure feel the difference.

Battery-powered electric motors make pedaling much easier, uphill or down. Depending on the class of e-bike, the motors can give riders a boost of up to 28 miles per hour.

This year, the Interior Department directed all its bureaus, including the National Park Service, to adopt a policy for e-bikes.

Natalie Levine, with the National Parks Conservation Association, said that directive left parks about a month to scramble and adopt their own rules about where e-bikes are allowed.

“There are many parks where traditional bicycles are currently only allowed on park roads. So in those situations, adding electric bicycles there might not be as a big of a concern,” Levine said.

But some parks, such as Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Acadia National Park, have more sensitive unpaved roads open to cyclists.

“We think there should be more analysis of the impacts of these bicycles,” Levine said.

In Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which sits between Cleveland and Akron, there are miles of dedicated mountain bike trails.

Stephen Metzler, head of the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association, said the park’s carefully built trails weren’t created with heavier and potentially faster e-bikes in mind.

Westlake Legal Group 11-stephen-metzler-ed8364f99383999110e34e298a9e990a09d5bf99-s1100-c15 National Parks Trying To Get A Handle On E-Bikes

Stephen Metzler, president of the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association, said his group opposes e-bikes on the mountain bike trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Mark Arehart/WKSU hide caption

toggle caption

Mark Arehart/WKSU

Westlake Legal Group  National Parks Trying To Get A Handle On E-Bikes

Stephen Metzler, president of the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association, said his group opposes e-bikes on the mountain bike trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Mark Arehart/WKSU

“Speeds on the downhill, with a heavier bike, it could potentially cause injury to the rider and other trail users,” Metzler said.

Cuyahoga Valley rolled out a draft policy allowing e-bikes on its roads and multi-use paths, but it banned them outright on the mountain bike trails.

“We, at this time, don’t have enough data to be able to answer the question, ‘Is an e-mountain bike different than a traditional mountain bike?’ as far as impact on the trail or on resources,” said Pamela Barnes, public information officer for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Ban or no ban, mountain biker Cody Rider said e-mountain bikes are already on the trails in Cuyahoga Valley anyway.

“I think it’s a lot like cars. Anybody can go buy a car, and anybody can go the speed limit. And then you can also drive considerably over the speed limit and make it an unpleasant experience for everyone around you and unsafe for that matter too,” Rider said.

Proponents of e-bikes say the addition of pedal assist allows users of different abilities to ride mountain bike trails.

“It’s just like riding a bike with less effort. I don’t know how that’s destroying any trails,” e-mountain biker Matt Lewis said.

“This will get you back out there and get you doing the things you haven’t done in a long time just because it’s a lot easier,” Lewis said.

Westlake Legal Group 10-east-rim-cutback-1-ca3f45ab15f49ccc5df6abceb34255623659437d-s1100-c15 National Parks Trying To Get A Handle On E-Bikes

Steep terrain can be found on the trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which has banned e-bikes on its dedicated mountain bike trails. Mark Arehart/WKSU hide caption

toggle caption

Mark Arehart/WKSU

Westlake Legal Group  National Parks Trying To Get A Handle On E-Bikes

Steep terrain can be found on the trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which has banned e-bikes on its dedicated mountain bike trails.

Mark Arehart/WKSU

Cleveland-area bike shop owner Chad Marn has no problem with people of any ability using e-bikes in national parks, but he’s against allowing them on mountain bike trails that can be challenging for novice riders.

“If someone lacks the physical prowess or skill set to handle that, providing them an engine doesn’t necessarily change those facts,” Marn said.

Pete Smakula, who owns an e-bike store in Akron, disagrees.

“People who have different abilities will still look at a section of trail and go, ‘Yeah, I can do that’ or ‘I can’t,’ ” Smakula said.

With manufacturers racing to put out more and more e-bike models, Marn recognizes that he could be fighting a losing battle.

“I’ve actually asked the opinion of a lot of the different bicycle people that I trust, and the resounding theme is, ‘It’s inevitable — quit fighting it,’ ” Marn said.

And it’s that popularity that’s pressuring national parks to figure out whether to welcome or to restrict them.

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In Rare Joint Statement, U.S. and European Lawmakers Condemn Trump for ‘Abandonment’ of the Kurds

Westlake Legal Group LOZCVDmxM-MrdzUr2L-WU4uxU0s7YsWonA9X9r8Z5b4 In Rare Joint Statement, U.S. and European Lawmakers Condemn Trump for ‘Abandonment’ of the Kurds r/politics

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Ozone hole shrinks to smallest size on record, and it’s not related to global warming

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Ozone hole shrinks to smallest size on record, and it's not related to global warming

Thanks to unusually warm temperatures high above Antarctica this month, the ozone hole shrank to its smallest size on record, scientists reported Monday.

An annual phenomenon in the stratosphere above Antarctica, the ozone hole is a dramatic thinning of the ozone layer that’s typically boosted in size by colder temperatures. 

This is the third time in 40 years that weather systems have caused warm temperatures that limit ozone depletion, according to scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Similar weather patterns in the Antarctic stratosphere in September 1988 and 2002 also produced unusually small ozone holes. 

“It’s important to recognize that what we’re seeing this year is due to warmer stratospheric temperatures,” said Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in a statement. “It’s not a sign that atmospheric ozone is suddenly on a fast track to recovery.”

In addition, there is no identified connection between these weather patterns and climate change, NOAA said.

Good environmental news: The ozone layer is healing thanks to worldwide cooperation

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Ozone hole shrinks to smallest size on record, and it's not related to global warming

Earlier this year, America surpassed Russia and China as producers of oil and natural gas and supplied more clean energy than coal. Here’s how. Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

The ozone layer is important because it acts like a sunscreen, blocking potentially harmful ultraviolet energy from reaching our planet’s surface. Without it, humans and animals can experience increased rates of skin cancer and other ailments such as cataracts. 

The naturally occurring ozone high up in the atmosphere is the “good” ozone and is in contrast to the “bad” ozone near the surface, which is man-made pollution that can cause respiratory problems.

The annual ozone hole reached its peak size of 6.3 million square miles on Sept. 8 and then shrank to less than 3.9 million square miles during the remainder of September and October.

China’s ban: China is shredding the ozone layer with banned chemical emissions, study says

In years with normal weather conditions, the ozone hole typically grows to a maximum of about 8 million square miles.

Scientists first discovered the dramatic thinning in Earth’s protective ozone layer and the ozone hole in the 1970s. They determined the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in refrigerators and aerosol sprays caused the problem. 

In the late 1980s, 196 countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty that limited the production of CFCs around the world. Businesses soon came up with safer alternatives for spray cans and refrigerators.

Scientists expect the ozone hole to shrink to the size it was in 1980 by about 2070 as ozone-depleting chemicals banned by the Montreal Protocol but still in the atmosphere continue to decline.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/21/ozone-hole-above-antarctica-shrinks-smallest-size-record/4053468002/

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I drove a $350,000 Ford Bronco and you should buy it

Gateway Bronco is a surprising success story that may get a lot better if the Trump administration has anything to say about it.

Westlake Legal Group g7 I drove a $350,000 Ford Bronco and you should buy it Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/style/trucks fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/make/ford fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox-news/auto/attributes/collector-cars fox news fnc/auto fnc article 23ca25f0-18f6-53fc-9cca-b1b2f2021c59

(FoxNews.com)

Launched three years ago in the small farm town of Hamel, Ill., by Seth Burgett, an entrepreneur with a penchant for classic trucks, it restores original Ford Broncos with modern engines and parts and sells them for a penny as pretty as they are.

Westlake Legal Group gateway I drove a $350,000 Ford Bronco and you should buy it Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/style/trucks fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/make/ford fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox-news/auto/attributes/collector-cars fox news fnc/auto fnc article 23ca25f0-18f6-53fc-9cca-b1b2f2021c59

Gateway Bronco’s manufacturing facility is located about 30 miles outside of St. Louis. (Google Street View)

Back then, one of Gateway’s builds started at $80,000, but they’re so popular that now they run from $150,000 to over $300,000 and have earned an official license from Ford. Those may be “more money than brains” prices to many, but Burgett’s the smart one. He has about 20 people on staff turning out one truck a week and says the demand is there for him to nearly quintuple his output and increase employment to 100, which would represent more than 10 percent of Hamel’s population. Unfortunately for them, Gateway is tied down in red tape like a rodeo calf.

Westlake Legal Group g3 I drove a $350,000 Ford Bronco and you should buy it Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/style/trucks fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/make/ford fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox-news/auto/attributes/collector-cars fox news fnc/auto fnc article 23ca25f0-18f6-53fc-9cca-b1b2f2021c59

(FoxNews.com)

Right now, all it can do is find an old truck and fix it up, which takes 600-1,000 man-hours each, and there are only so many of them to go around. But it would like to do much more than that. It has suppliers ready to start shipping Gateway brand-new frames and bodies that it can turn into all-new first-generation Broncos.

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(FoxNews.com)

Under current law, that’s nearly impossible due to the huge costs required to certify a new vehicle in the U.S. But in 2015, the U.S. Congress passed the Low Volume Vehicle Manufacturers Act, which would allow companies like Gateway to build up to 325 historic replicas annually without having to meet industry safety standards, as long as they use emissions-compliant powertrains.

Westlake Legal Group g9 I drove a $350,000 Ford Bronco and you should buy it Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/style/trucks fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/make/ford fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox-news/auto/attributes/collector-cars fox news fnc/auto fnc article 23ca25f0-18f6-53fc-9cca-b1b2f2021c59

(Gateway Bronco)

There are dozens of boutique builders across the country like Gateway that are ready to add production and jobs and all that’s needed is for NHTSA to finalize the rules. However, it hasn’t taken any action in the years since, prompting their industry group, SEMA, to file a lawsuit last week to force the issue. NHTSA, which is operating under an acting administrator, hasn’t explained the delay, but Burgett is optimistic that the latest action will finally push the regulations across the line.

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(FoxNews.com)

In the meantime, he’s built a very special truck worth $350,000, but hopes someone will pay a lot more for than that. The one-off custom is a collaboration with NASCAR star Ryan Blaney, who commissioned it for a charity auction to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. The third-generation driver’s grandfather, Lou, died from the disease in 2009 at 69 after an impressive racing career of his own.

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(Gateway Bronco)

Gateway started with a 1974 Bronco, refreshed and replaced its body panels as needed, installed a modern four-link suspension with high performance Fox shock absorbers, swapped in a 700 hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8 and 6-speed automatic transmission that sends power to billet aluminum wheels through modern Eaton Trutrac locking differentials.

Westlake Legal Group g2 I drove a $350,000 Ford Bronco and you should buy it Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/style/trucks fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/make/ford fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox-news/auto/attributes/collector-cars fox news fnc/auto fnc article 23ca25f0-18f6-53fc-9cca-b1b2f2021c59

(FoxNews.com)

Inside, the original Bronco look has been preserved with new replica parts, including electric window switches disguised to look like manual crank handles.

Unique touches on this truck include Porsche-sourced leather upholstery and barn wood trim in the cargo box branded with the logo from Blaney and Sons Lumber, Lou’s business.

Westlake Legal Group g4 I drove a $350,000 Ford Bronco and you should buy it Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/style/trucks fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/make/ford fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox-news/auto/attributes/collector-cars fox news fnc/auto fnc article 23ca25f0-18f6-53fc-9cca-b1b2f2021c59

(FoxNews.com)

Gateway designs its own exhausts to give each a signature sound, and I discovered on a spin through Manhattan that the Blaney Bronco has a window-rattling one. The truck, however, feels is solid as a rock. You’ll never find an old one that rides as well, though the steering feel through the wood-rimmed wheel is a little vague in that lifted truck on big tires sort of way.

PATENT SUGGESTS NEW FORD BRONCO WILL BE COMPLETELY TOPLESS

“That’s better than any supercar I see around here,” one construction worker told us as we passed through Times Square, unaware that it cost more than most of them. Such is the Bronco’s enduring appeal.

After finishing a promotional tour of automotive events, the Bronco is scheduled to cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., in January.

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Westlake Legal Group g1 I drove a $350,000 Ford Bronco and you should buy it Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/style/trucks fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/make/ford fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox-news/auto/attributes/collector-cars fox news fnc/auto fnc article 23ca25f0-18f6-53fc-9cca-b1b2f2021c59   Westlake Legal Group g1 I drove a $350,000 Ford Bronco and you should buy it Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/style/trucks fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/nascar fox-news/auto/make/ford fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox-news/auto/attributes/collector-cars fox news fnc/auto fnc article 23ca25f0-18f6-53fc-9cca-b1b2f2021c59

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Trump Continues To Defend Doral Choice Even After Giving In

Westlake Legal Group 5dadf9122100006b21ad373e Trump Continues To Defend Doral Choice Even After Giving In

President Donald Trump on Monday continued to defend his administration’s initial decision to host the 2020 Group of Seven summit at his golf resort in Miami, despite canceling the plan over the weekend in response to backlash.

“It would have been great, but the Democrats went crazy,” the president told reporters during a meeting with Cabinet members. 

He said the decision to host the summit at the Trump National Doral was “simple” given the resort’s location, size and a number of other factors. 

“I was willing to do this for free and it would have been the greatest G-7 ever,” Trump said.

The president’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday that the administration had looked at 12 potential sites before settling on the Doral. “This was by far and away the best choice,” he said.

The announcement came in spite of concerns that Trump could personally profit from hosting the meeting at a property he owns, thus violating at least one and possibly both of the Constitution’s emoluments clauses. Mulvaney dismissed those concerns. Over the weekend and into Monday, Trump continued to deny there would have been any personal profit. 

“You people with this phony emoluments clause,” he said during the Cabinet meeting.

Trump blamed Democrats and the news media when he said Saturday that he would not host the summit at his Florida property after all. 

But the reversal was reportedly due to the fact that Republicans had told Trump there wasn’t enough support for his decision within the party. According to reports from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times on Sunday, GOP lawmakers told Trump they couldn’t defend his plan to host the gathering of global leaders at the Doral, especially in the midst of other ongoing controversies. The president is facing a House impeachment investigation over his communications with Ukraine, as well as backlash on both sides of the aisle over his decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria.

Trump said Monday the administration will “look at other locations” for the G-7 summit.

“I don’t think it’ll be as exciting. I don’t think it’ll be as good,” he said.

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