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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 6)

United Airlines raising checked-bag fees beginning in March

If you’re planning on flying United Airlines, be prepared to pay a little more for your checked bag.

The airline increased its checked-baggage fees on Friday by $5, following a similar move in January by JetBlue Airways, USA Today reports.

UNITED AIRLINES REPLACING BISCOFF COOKIES WITH OREO THINS AS AS COMPLIMENTARY SNACK OPTION

Westlake Legal Group UnitedAirlinesIstock22 United Airlines raising checked-bag fees beginning in March Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 557998a3-7fee-5dc2-87ec-f0f543a2c76f

The increased fee policy will take effect for travel beginning March 6. Travelers who purchased their tickets before Feb. 21 are exempt. (Photo: iStock)

Passengers will have to pay $35 for their first checked bag and $45 for the second. However, customers can also prepay for bags to avoid the increased fee.

The price for checked bags will remain $30 and $40 if the fee is paid any time before online check-in.

The increased fee policy will take effect for travel beginning March 6. Travelers who purchased their tickets before Feb. 21 are exempt.

AMID CORONAVIRUS, FLU OUTBREAKS, HERE’S HOW TO DISINFECT PLANE SEATS

A United spokeswoman told USA Today said the increase covers flights in the United States and on short-distance flights to the Caribbean and Latin America.

The airline’s move to increase the fees for checked bags comes after JetBlue became the first major carrier to do so in January. The airline said it was designed to “reduce transactions in the airport lobby and improve the customer experience.”

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Other major airlines are expected to follow suit, as JetBlue led the way when it was also the first airline to increase checked-bag fees from $25 to $30 in 2018.

Southwest is the only major carrier that still allows free checked bags, allowing passengers to check their first two bags free of charge.

In other United Airlines news, the carrier also announced a change to its in-flight snacks, confirming that it will be replacing its familiar Biscoff cookies in favor of Oreo Thins.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

United Airlines also declined to reveal exactly when Oreo Thins will debut on flights.

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“Our complementary snack options continue to be a hit and we’re always looking for opportunities to introduce new selections,” a spokesperson for the airline said in a statement shared with Fox News. “We plan to add Oreo Thins into the mix soon and look forward to the response from our customers.”

Westlake Legal Group UnitedAirlinesIstock22 United Airlines raising checked-bag fees beginning in March Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 557998a3-7fee-5dc2-87ec-f0f543a2c76f   Westlake Legal Group UnitedAirlinesIstock22 United Airlines raising checked-bag fees beginning in March Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 557998a3-7fee-5dc2-87ec-f0f543a2c76f

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

2 arrested in connection to disappearance of 15-month-old Tennessee girl: reports

Investigators in Tennessee looking into the disappearance of a 15-month-old girl have arrested two people in connection to the case, according to reports.

William McCloud and Angela Boswell were arrested Friday in North Carolina on one count of possession of stolen property, WCYB reported, citing the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office.

BOYFRIEND OF MISSING GEORGIA STUDENT ANITRA GUNN CHARGED WITH MURDER DAYS AFTER REMAINS FOUND: OFFICIALS 

Police say the pair was found inside a vehicle linked to the disappearance of Evelyn Boswell, who was last seen on Dec. 26. The relationship between the suspects and the child was not immediately known, and they have not been charged with her disappearance.

Westlake Legal Group William-McCloud-Angela-Boswell-Wilkes-County-Sheriffs-Office 2 arrested in connection to disappearance of 15-month-old Tennessee girl: reports Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article acdcf3e2-72a3-598a-a338-9b9f9d1311b6

William McCloud and Angela Boswell were arrested Friday in Wilkes County, North Carolina on one count of possession of stolen property. (Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office. )

Despite being last seen almost two months ago, Evelyn was only reported missing on Feb. 18, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

On Friday, investigators released images of a BMW and said the individuals with that vehicle “are believed to have information” pertaining to Evelyn’s whereabouts.

The girl’s mother, Megan Boswell, told police that her daughter was with someone she trusted to watch her while she was at work, but she declined to name that person, FOX8 reported.

Police said the mother is cooperating with the investigation but her information has been inconsistent, WCYB reported.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP 

“The reason I didn’t report it or anything was I knew the person who had her, and I didn’t want them to run away with her,” Boswell previously told the station. “And as soon as they thought anything was going on, they just kinda vanished. So I’m just kinda worried, you know, about where they are at. What they’re doing with her at this point in time.”

Evelyn was still reported missing at the time of Boswell and McCloud’s arrests.

Westlake Legal Group Toddler-Tennessee-Bureau-of-Investigation 2 arrested in connection to disappearance of 15-month-old Tennessee girl: reports Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article acdcf3e2-72a3-598a-a338-9b9f9d1311b6   Westlake Legal Group Toddler-Tennessee-Bureau-of-Investigation 2 arrested in connection to disappearance of 15-month-old Tennessee girl: reports Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article acdcf3e2-72a3-598a-a338-9b9f9d1311b6

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

United Airlines raising checked-bag fees beginning in March

If you’re planning on flying United Airlines, be prepared to pay a little more for your checked bag.

The airline increased its checked-baggage fees on Friday by $5, following a similar move in January by JetBlue Airways, USA Today reports.

UNITED AIRLINES REPLACING BISCOFF COOKIES WITH OREO THINS AS AS COMPLIMENTARY SNACK OPTION

Westlake Legal Group UnitedAirlinesIstock22 United Airlines raising checked-bag fees beginning in March Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 557998a3-7fee-5dc2-87ec-f0f543a2c76f

The increased fee policy will take effect for travel beginning March 6. Travelers who purchased their tickets before Feb. 21 are exempt. (Photo: iStock)

Passengers will have to pay $35 for their first checked bag and $45 for the second. However, customers can also prepay for bags to avoid the increased fee.

The price for checked bags will remain $30 and $40 if the fee is paid any time before online check-in.

The increased fee policy will take effect for travel beginning March 6. Travelers who purchased their tickets before Feb. 21 are exempt.

AMID CORONAVIRUS, FLU OUTBREAKS, HERE’S HOW TO DISINFECT PLANE SEATS

A United spokeswoman told USA Today said the increase covers flights in the United States and on short-distance flights to the Caribbean and Latin America.

The airline’s move to increase the fees for checked bags comes after JetBlue became the first major carrier to do so in January. The airline said it was designed to “reduce transactions in the airport lobby and improve the customer experience.”

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Other major airlines are expected to follow suit, as JetBlue led the way when it was also the first airline to increase checked-bag fees from $25 to $30 in 2018.

Southwest is the only major carrier that still allows free checked bags, allowing passengers to check their first two bags free of charge.

In other United Airlines news, the carrier also announced a change to its in-flight snacks, confirming that it will be replacing its familiar Biscoff cookies in favor of Oreo Thins.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

United Airlines also declined to reveal exactly when Oreo Thins will debut on flights.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

“Our complementary snack options continue to be a hit and we’re always looking for opportunities to introduce new selections,” a spokesperson for the airline said in a statement shared with Fox News. “We plan to add Oreo Thins into the mix soon and look forward to the response from our customers.”

Westlake Legal Group UnitedAirlinesIstock22 United Airlines raising checked-bag fees beginning in March Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 557998a3-7fee-5dc2-87ec-f0f543a2c76f   Westlake Legal Group UnitedAirlinesIstock22 United Airlines raising checked-bag fees beginning in March Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article 557998a3-7fee-5dc2-87ec-f0f543a2c76f

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

2 arrested in connection to disappearance of 15-month-old Tennessee girl: reports

Investigators in Tennessee looking into the disappearance of a 15-month-old girl have arrested two people in connection to the case, according to reports.

William McCloud and Angela Boswell were arrested Friday in North Carolina on one count of possession of stolen property, WCYB reported, citing the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office.

BOYFRIEND OF MISSING GEORGIA STUDENT ANITRA GUNN CHARGED WITH MURDER DAYS AFTER REMAINS FOUND: OFFICIALS 

Police say the pair was found inside a vehicle linked to the disappearance of Evelyn Boswell, who was last seen on Dec. 26. The relationship between the suspects and the child was not immediately known, and they have not been charged with her disappearance.

Westlake Legal Group William-McCloud-Angela-Boswell-Wilkes-County-Sheriffs-Office 2 arrested in connection to disappearance of 15-month-old Tennessee girl: reports Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article acdcf3e2-72a3-598a-a338-9b9f9d1311b6

William McCloud and Angela Boswell were arrested Friday in Wilkes County, North Carolina on one count of possession of stolen property. (Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office. )

Despite being last seen almost two months ago, Evelyn was only reported missing on Feb. 18, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

On Friday, investigators released images of a BMW and said the individuals with that vehicle “are believed to have information” pertaining to Evelyn’s whereabouts.

The girl’s mother, Megan Boswell, told police that her daughter was with someone she trusted to watch her while she was at work, but she declined to name that person, FOX8 reported.

Police said the mother is cooperating with the investigation but her information has been inconsistent, WCYB reported.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP 

“The reason I didn’t report it or anything was I knew the person who had her, and I didn’t want them to run away with her,” Boswell previously told the station. “And as soon as they thought anything was going on, they just kinda vanished. So I’m just kinda worried, you know, about where they are at. What they’re doing with her at this point in time.”

Evelyn was still reported missing at the time of Boswell and McCloud’s arrests.

Westlake Legal Group Toddler-Tennessee-Bureau-of-Investigation 2 arrested in connection to disappearance of 15-month-old Tennessee girl: reports Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article acdcf3e2-72a3-598a-a338-9b9f9d1311b6   Westlake Legal Group Toddler-Tennessee-Bureau-of-Investigation 2 arrested in connection to disappearance of 15-month-old Tennessee girl: reports Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article acdcf3e2-72a3-598a-a338-9b9f9d1311b6

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

Digital Tax Fight Emerges as Global Economic Threat

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-digitaltax-1-facebookJumbo Digital Tax Fight Emerges as Global Economic Threat Scholz, Olaf (1958- ) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Mnuchin, Steven T International Trade and World Market International Monetary Fund Group of Twenty Google Inc Georgieva, Kristalina Ivanova Facebook Inc Customs (Tariff) Corporate Taxes Amazon.com Inc

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The world’s top economic leaders warned on Saturday that an international tax fight between the United States and Europe poses a new threat to the global economy if a resolution is not reached this year.

After two years of economic fallout from a trade war between the United States and China, finance ministers and other senior officials at the Group of 20 meeting in Riyadh expressed alarm about an impasse over plans by foreign governments to impose new taxes on American technology companies. If a deal proves elusive in the coming months, European countries will begin collecting levies, which would probably set off retaliatory tariffs from the United States.

“The trade tensions of today would look like they are not so serious compared to the consequences of something like this,” Angel Gurría, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said in an interview on the sidelines of the G20 on Saturday. “There’s the cacophony, the trade tensions that would invariably follow, and then there’s the impact on growth.”

Several European countries, led by France, have been rolling out digital services taxes, which would hit American companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook. Italy, Spain, Austria and the United Kingdom have all announced plans for digital services taxes, which assess a levy based on the online activity that takes place in those countries, regardless of whether the company has a physical presence.

The O.E.C.D. has been trying to head off a proliferation of disparate tax regimes around the world and has been leading negotiations over the last year for an international overhaul that would allow countries to tax certain digital service providers even if they lack physical operations inside their borders.

Negotiators have set an end-of-year deadline to broker a deal that would set international standards for how, and where, online activity may be taxed. Also under discussion is whether to impose a global minimum tax of sorts on multinational corporations to discourage companies from shifting profits to low-tax countries like Ireland and Bermuda to minimize their tax bills.

The United States, along with the tech industry, has been eager to prevent a proliferation of new digital taxes across the world and has pushed for a global tax regime that would govern all O.E.C.D. countries.

But the talks hit a snag late last year when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the O.E.C.D. that the United States wanted American companies to essentially have the option to avoid some of the taxes.

Some administration officials privately express concerns that the global minimum tax under discussion could discourage countries from further reducing their corporate tax rates, as the United States did in 2017. Lower rates, these officials argue, make their economies more attractive to global investment and help companies. Other economists say the competition to lower rates have encouraged firms to shift profits, at least on paper, to tax havens.

The economic impact of the digital services taxes on the United States is relatively small, but American companies fear the levies could evolve to hit a broader swath of sectors beyond tech. A recent analysis by the O.E.C.D. found that the international tax changes under consideration would increase global corporate taxes by about $100 billion.

The taxes have drawn the ire of President Trump, who has criticized Europe’s attempt to collect more taxes from American companies. Last year, Mr. Trump said the United States would retaliate against France’s digital tax by imposing tariffs of up to 100 percent on French products such as wine, cheese and handbags. The United States agreed last month to delay those tariffs and France agreed to delay collection of the taxes in the hope that a more global agreement could be reached.

European finance ministers expressed urgency on Saturday to reach an agreement, hoping to find common ground with the United States and avoid a broader economic conflict.

“Next year is coming very soon,” said Olaf Scholz, Germany’s finance minister. “There is not time to wait for elections.”

But major obstacles remain and the strong opposition to any plan that would allow American companies to opt out of taxes was palpable.

“Clearly, there is a need to avoid any kind of optional solution,” said Bruno LeMaire, the French finance minister. “I do not know of any private company that would choose to be taxed instead of not being taxed.”

Mr. Mnuchin tempered expectations that such a complicated deal could be reached so quickly.

“We are dealing with some of the most complicated international tax issues,” Mr. Mnuchin said during a panel discussion at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. “In the U.S., depending upon what the solutions are, these may require congressional approval.”

Mr. Mnuchin reaffirmed his view that he believed the European digital services taxes were “discriminatory” but said he was committed to the multilateral process underway so that companies could have clarity over taxes in an increasingly digital economy.

The Treasury secretary also resisted the suggestion that the United States is proposing to make the tax optional, describing the proposal as a so-called “safe harbor” regime in which companies would agree to pay more in exchange for having more certainty over their tax bills.

Failure to reach agreement on either the digital tax or the global minimum tax could scuttle the entire package. Finance ministers from other nations have made clear to Trump administration officials that a large swath of countries will not agree to any deal that allows some large American companies to effectively pick their preferred tax system to minimize their global liability.

But the administration faces competing pressure at home, from businesses and lawmakers. Some multinational companies, including many tech giants, are eager for an agreement that would head off the complications of complying with different digital service taxes in a wide range of countries. Other companies fear the agreement would raise their taxes unexpectedly.

Any deal might need to be ratified by the Senate, where approval would be difficult in any event, but more so if a large group of powerful corporations oppose it.

Still, other countries have pressed the Trump administration to drop its so-called “safe harbor” demands and take a more active role in pushing negotiations toward consensus, starting with the finance ministers meeting this weekend.

The tussle over international taxes comes as the global economy is emerging from a year of sluggish growth made worse by uncertainty from Mr. Trump’s trade war with China and the disruption of global supply chains caused by American tariffs. While economists have projected a rebound this year, amid easing trade tension, the coronavirus outbreak in China represents a new variable that threatens to slow output.

Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said she currently thinks the virus could have a V-shaped impact on China’s economy, causing a sharp drop in growth followed by a rapid recovery with modest spillover to the rest of the world. But she acknowledged that the trajectory of the virus was not clear.

“We recognize that other scenarios could be significantly more impactful,” Ms. Georgieva said at a dinner in Riyadh sponsored by the Institute of International Finance.

The I.M.F. on Saturday downgraded its forecast for China’s economic growth this year by 0.4 percentage points to 5.6 percent and reduced its global growth outlook by 0.1 percentage points to 3.2 percent.

Tax experts who have been tracking the talks fear the chances of reaching a sweeping agreement by the end of the year are slim given the complex internal politics involved in brokering a deal with so many countries.

“The O.E.C.D. process is hanging by a thread and the consequences of failure are underappreciated by European sovereigns,” said Itai Grinberg, an international tax policy professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

If the talks do fail and European countries move ahead with their digital taxes, Mr. Grinberg said, the response from the United States would be forceful, particularly if Mr. Trump is re-elected in November.

“There is a high risk that the O.E.C.D. process is going to crater and that is what is driving the building bipartisan willingness to consider what the retaliatory measures by the United States would be,” he said.

Mr. Mnuchin did offer one option to avert such a fate on Saturday.

“If everybody adopts the U.S. proposal, I have 100 percent confidence we’ll get it done,” Mr. Mnuchin said, eliciting some laughter from his counterparts.

Alan Rappeport reported from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Jim Tankersley from Washington.

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

Bloomberg campaign office in Utah vandalized, one day after pointing finger at Bernie supporters for similar incident

Michael Bloomberg‘s campaign headquarters in Utah was vandalized Friday night, just a day after his Tennessee office was defaced and Bloomberg’s team pointed the finger at the rhetoric from White House rival Bernie Sanders in that incident.

Windows were shattered at the Salt Lake City campaign office and multiple rocks were found inside, Communications Director Catherine Sant Mar told Fox 13 (KSTU-TV) in Salt Lake City.

Westlake Legal Group Bloomberg-Office-Vandalized-Eric-Brown-KSTU Bloomberg campaign office in Utah vandalized, one day after pointing finger at Bernie supporters for similar incident Marisa Schultz Kelly Phares fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7c924874-4b98-50ec-b94d-80c3f7aa3c24

Windows were shattered at the Salt Lake City campaign office and multiple rocks were found inside (Fox13)

“We are disheartened by the vandalism at our Salt Lake City headquarters,” the Bloomberg campaign said in a statement. “We know that emotions can run high in politics but we also know that even when we disagree, Utahns find common ground in civil discourse.”

Utah heads to the polls March 3  — Super Tuesday — to cast votes for the Democratic primary. Bloomberg has skipped the traditional early states and has staked his presidential hopes on picking up delegates in the Super Tuesday contests.

“We strongly condemn this act of vandalism but we are laser-focused on Super Tuesday and will continue to share Mike’s message about unifying our country with Utah voters,” the Bloomberg statement said, declining to point fingers.

The Salt Lake City destruction comes a day after Bloomberg’s Knoxville, Tenn. office was vandalized and his campaign then raised the possibility of it being connected to Sanders’ supporters. Bloomberg’s team provided a photo that shows the spray-painted words “F—k Bloomberg” and “oligarch” on the outside of the Tennessee building.

BERNIE SANDERS: 5 THINGS TO KNOW

“This latest incident at our Knoxville campaign office is exactly what we’ve been warning about,” Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in a statement Friday. “We don’t know who is responsible for this vandalism, but we do know it echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters.”

Sheekey called on Sanders to “immediately condemn these attacks and for his campaign to end the Trump-like rhetoric that is clearly encouraging his supporters to engage in behavior that has no place in our politics.”

The Sanders campaign declined to comment on Friday.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: 5 THINGS TO KNOW

Bloomberg’s campaign argued the graffiti in Knoxville is the latest in a pattern of vandalism it has seen across the country. It referenced recent incidents in Toledo, Ohio; Youngstown, Ohio; and Ann Arbor, Mich.

“Over the past week, we’ve seen similar attacks against Mike Bloomberg 2020 offices in multiple states,” Sheekey said. “Fortunately, no one has been injured. But this needs to end before someone gets hurt.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Bloomberg-Office-Vandalized-Eric-Brown-KSTU Bloomberg campaign office in Utah vandalized, one day after pointing finger at Bernie supporters for similar incident Marisa Schultz Kelly Phares fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7c924874-4b98-50ec-b94d-80c3f7aa3c24   Westlake Legal Group Bloomberg-Office-Vandalized-Eric-Brown-KSTU Bloomberg campaign office in Utah vandalized, one day after pointing finger at Bernie supporters for similar incident Marisa Schultz Kelly Phares fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/michael-bloomberg fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7c924874-4b98-50ec-b94d-80c3f7aa3c24

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Trump’s Efforts to Remove the Disloyal Heightens Unease Across His Administration

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-chaosSUB-facebookJumbo Trump’s Efforts to Remove the Disloyal Heightens Unease Across His Administration White House Office of Presidential Personnel United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Rood, John C. Office of the Director of National Intelligence O'Brien, Robert C (1952- ) National Security Council McEntee, John Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Justice Department Appointments and Executive Changes

WASHINGTON — In some of the most critical corners of the Trump administration, officials show up for work now never entirely sure who will be there by the end of the evening — themselves included.

Even for an administration that has been a revolving door since Day 1, this has become a season of turmoil. At a moment when first-term presidents are typically seeking a stable team to focus on their re-election, President Trump has embarked on a systematic attempt to sweep out officials perceived to be disloyal.

The headquarters of the nation’s intelligence apparatus roiled with the ouster of the acting director Joseph Maguire and his replacement by a sharp partisan amid a dispute over Russian election interference. The Justice Department remained on edge with whispers of further resignations, including perhaps even that of Attorney General William P. Barr, after the president’s intervention in a case involving one of his friends. Witnesses from the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump have been summarily dismissed. Dozens of policy experts have been cleared out of the National Security Council staff as part of a restructuring that will mean fewer career professionals in range of the president. A deputy national security adviser dogged by innuendo about disloyalty was exiled to the Energy Department. A Trump appointee’s nomination for a top Treasury Department post was pulled. The No. 3 official at the Defense Department was shown the door.

And Johnny McEntee, a 29-year-old loyalist just installed to take over the Office of Presidential Personnel and reporting directly to Mr. Trump, has ordered a freeze on all political appointments across the government. He also convened a meeting to instruct departments to search for people not devoted to the president so they can be removed, according to people briefed about the session, and informed colleagues that he planned to tell cabinet secretaries that the White House would be choosing their deputies from now on.

“Trump appears to be launching the biggest assault on the nation’s civil service system since the 1883 Pendleton Act ended the spoils system,” said Paul C. Light, a New York University professor who has studied presidential personnel.

But career professionals are not the only ones in the cross hairs. Also facing scrutiny are Republican political appointees considered insufficiently committed to the president or suspected of not aggressively advancing his agenda.

Allies of the president say he should be free to make personnel changes, even if it amounts to shedding people who are not seen as loyal to Mr. Trump.

“It is not unusual at all that these types of assessments are done and thereafter changes are made,” said Bradley A. Blakeman, a Republican strategist and former White House official under President George W. Bush.

Nonetheless, the tumult and anxiety come at a time when the Trump administration confronts enormous challenges, including the coronavirus outbreak, Iranian and North Korean nuclear development and Russian determination to play a role again in America’s next election. Democrats, for example, have questioned whether specific cuts at the National Security Council have hurt the nation’s ability to respond if there were a severe coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

Mr. Trump has long been obsessed with loyalty, a view only exacerbated by his impeachment and the various investigations over the last three years that have convinced him that he is surrounded by a deep-state enemy within that is leaking, lying and sabotaging his presidency.

He has also been frustrated by the decision-making process of government, aggravated at competing centers of power that have shaped the modern presidency but have, in his view, hindered his ability to enact policies.

With a more loyal team in place, he hopes to make more progress on initiatives that have been slow-walked by institutional inertia or resistance like tougher rules on trade and immigration. But it could mean less dissent and less open debate with surviving officials fearing the loss of their jobs if they are seen as stepping out of line.

From the beginning, his administration has been a turnstile of people who fall in and out of favor with the president. Including those with “acting” designations, he is on his third chief of staff, his fourth national security adviser, his fourth defense secretary, his fifth secretary of homeland security, his sixth deputy national security adviser and his seventh communications director.

According to data compiled by Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, turnover among what she calls Mr. Trump’s “A team,” meaning his senior staff, has hit 82 percent, more in three years than any of the previous five presidents saw in their first four years. Moreover, the Trump administration has been notable for a high level of serial turnover, with 38 percent of the top positions replaced more than once.

“Many key departments and White House entities have been hollowed out,” Ms. Tenpas said. The president has thus been left with acting officials in many key areas. “He seems completely unbothered,” she said. “He claims that actings give him flexibility, but fails to see that temporary leaders cannot advance his policies nearly as well as a Senate-confirmed appointee who has the stature and all the powers to do so.”

While some of the reliance on acting officials owes to a dysfunctional Senate confirmation process, Mr. Trump seems to prefer to keep senior advisers on edge as to whether they will keep their job. Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff, a position that does not require Senate confirmation, is finishing his 14th month with an “acting” in front of his title for no reason that has ever been publicly articulated and he may be forced out without ever having been granted the full title.

Mr. Mulvaney has shrugged it off, saying that anyone who works for Mr. Trump is by definition an acting official who could be dismissed at any time. But the president’s refusal to bestow the full title strikes many as a form of ritual humiliation depriving him of stature, influence or job security.

Just a few days ago, Mr. Mulvaney seemed to speak out in a way that caused many to wonder whether he may leave soon, voluntarily or not. During session with the Oxford Union in England, he said that the United States was “desperate” for more immigrants and that Republicans seemed to stop caring about rising deficits when Mr. Trump took office. He added that “I disagree with the president every single day” but did not talk about it publicly.

The newest power center at the White House is Mr. McEntee, a former assistant to the president who was fired by the previous chief of staff, John Kelly, but has been brought back as presidential personnel director. Mr. McEntee has made clear that his mission is to establish a more loyal team around the president. His meeting last Thursday with cabinet liaisons in which he called for rooting out disloyal officials was first reported by Axios.

The ousters have extended beyond impeachment witnesses like Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman and Ambassador Gordon D. Sondland. John C. Rood, who was removed as under secretary of defense for policy, did not speak out publicly but had written internal emails skeptical of the freeze on security aid to Ukraine that was at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

In National Security Council staff meetings, however, Mr. Rood was a constant voice of skepticism over the administration’s troop reductions in Syria, its pending peace deal with the Taliban and other issues. With Mr. McEntee’s arrival, that dissenting voice was no longer welcome, said a person familiar with the matter.

Supporters of Jessie K. Liu, a Trump backer who served as the United States attorney in Washington, suspect her nomination for under secretary of Treasury was pulled because of dissatisfaction with her prosecution of Roger J. Stone Jr., the president’s adviser convicted of obstruction and witness intimidation to protect Mr. Trump.

Victoria Coates, a deputy national security adviser, was dispatched to the Energy Department despite denials that she was the anonymous official who wrote an op-ed and book critical of the administration.

Mr. Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence who angered the president by allowing intelligence officials to tell House lawmakers that Russia was already intervening in the 2020 election on Mr. Trump’s behalf, was replaced by Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany and a vocal conservative with no background in intelligence.

One of Mr. Grenell’s first moves was to push out Andrew P. Hallman, the popular principal executive, who had been acting as the top deputy. Arriving with Mr. Grenell was Kashyap Patel, a senior National Security Council staff member and former key aide to Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Mr. Patel has been viewed warily by intelligence officers especially since news reports that his mandate was to clean house. Some top civil servants told colleagues they were contemplating quitting or feared being fired.

But Mr. Grenell also began a charm offensive with senior officials and his initial meetings have put some at ease while making others think they should give the new boss a chance. It is also not clear who placed Mr. Patel in the office, with one official saying it was not Mr. Grenell’s idea.

Some allies of the administration cautioned against overanalyzing the developments in the intelligence office. Mr. Maguire was scheduled to leave next month anyway under a vacancies law, although administration officials had been looking for ways to extend him, and Mr. Grenell is only temporary while the president comes up with a nominee to send to the Senate. “The O.D.N.I., I think, is less than meets the eye,” said James Jay Carafano, a national security scholar at the Heritage Foundation, using the initials for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Even so, it has added to the wave of concern across the administration, even among Trump appointees. And that may be part of the point. Convinced that so many officials in government have been working against him, Mr. Trump does not mind if they are more than a little unsettled.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York, and Julian E. Barnes from Washington.

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Liz Hurley sizzles in white, hot pink bikinis during island getaway

Westlake Legal Group Elizabeth-Hurley1 Liz Hurley sizzles in white, hot pink bikinis during island getaway Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/elizabeth-hurley fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox-news/auto/style fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 65b20d87-5887-562c-95ba-ecd8f21db7e9

Another day, another bikini!

Elizabeth Hurley wasted no time modeling off her bathing suit collection while vacationing in the Maldives for a luxurious tropical getaway.

The 54-year-old British actress shared not one but two different looks while having some fun in paradise.

ELIZABETH HURLEY SHARES PHOTOS IN SHEER DRESS, STUNS FANS: ‘FALLEN UNDER HER SPELL’

Hurley posed in a white strapless bikini top with matching triangle bottoms on Friday for her millions of Instagram followers. The “Runaways” actress held onto a tree for support while surrounded by lush greenery.

“Hello, from the glorious Maldives #chevalblancrandheli @elizabethhurleybeach,” Hurley captioned the photo.

But the actress didn’t stop there. It appeared Hurley had a similar agenda for the following day, as she showed off her svelte figure in a hot pink two-piece.

5 OF 2019’S MOST TALKED-ABOUT OUTFITS: FROM KIM KARDASHIAN’S MET GALA GOWN TO BROOKS NADER’S SHEER DRESS

“Hi this is Elizabeth. This weekend there is 20 percent off all my favorite things on our website, including this bikini,” Hurley informed her six million followers with a beach hat in her hand.

“Hot pink bikini,” she added. “Check it out!”

ELIZABETH HURLEY, 54, CLAIMS SHE’S ‘MUCH TOO OLD’ TO WEAR A BIKINI TO THE BEACH

Hurley’s post comes just weeks after the actress said that she’s “much too old” to wear a bikini to the beach. “The Royals” star revealed her new stance on the My Wardrobe Malfunction podcast with Susannah Constantine on  Feb. 6.

“Most people are fine lying down, but when they stand up they want to cover up, including me,” Hurley said. “I like to cover up a lot.”

“I certainly wouldn’t walk around a public beach parading in a bikini anymore. I’m much too old. But, privately, of course,” she added.

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Hurley revealed her secrets to keeping a fit figure to Closer Weekly last year.

“I think we have to watch what we eat,” she explained. “We all know that. Everybody tells us that, but we have to watch what we eat. I eat meat and fish, but I also eat a lot of vegetables, and I’ve really been trying in the last year that 50 percent of the foods I eat are vegetables. It’s not easy but I’m trying — and I think it really makes a difference actually.”

Westlake Legal Group Elizabeth-Hurley1 Liz Hurley sizzles in white, hot pink bikinis during island getaway Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/elizabeth-hurley fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox-news/auto/style fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 65b20d87-5887-562c-95ba-ecd8f21db7e9   Westlake Legal Group Elizabeth-Hurley1 Liz Hurley sizzles in white, hot pink bikinis during island getaway Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/elizabeth-hurley fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox-news/auto/style fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 65b20d87-5887-562c-95ba-ecd8f21db7e9

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Digital Edits, a Paid Army: Bloomberg Is ‘Destroying Norms’ on Social Media

Westlake Legal Group 00bloombergmedia-facebookJumbo Digital Edits, a Paid Army: Bloomberg Is ‘Destroying Norms’ on Social Media twitter Social Media Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising Instagram Inc Google Inc Facebook Inc Bloomberg, Michael R

SAN FRANCISCO — In the first few months of his presidential campaign, Michael R. Bloomberg has been as aggressive on social media as President Trump was four years ago. But with a lot more money to spend.

Mr. Bloomberg has hired popular online personalities to create videos and images promoting his candidacy on social media. He is hiring 500 people — at $2,500 a month — to spend 20 to 30 hours a week recruiting their friends and family to write supportive posts. And his campaign has posted on Twitter and Instagram a flattering, digitally altered video of his debate performance last week in Las Vegas.

Through his money and his willingness to experiment, the billionaire former mayor of New York has poked holes in the already slapdash rules for political campaigns on social media. His digitally savvy campaign for the Democratic nomination has shown that if a candidate is willing to push against the boundaries of what social media companies will and won’t allow, the companies won’t be quick to push back.

“The Bloomberg campaign is destroying norms that we will never get back,” said Emerson Brooking, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which studies disinformation. The campaign, he said, has “revealed the vulnerabilities that still exist in our social media platforms even after major reforms.”

On Friday, Twitter announced that it was suspending 70 pro-Bloomberg accounts for violating its policies on “platform manipulation and spam.” The accounts were part a coordinated effort by people paid by the Bloomberg campaign to post tweets in his favor.

Twitter’s rules state, in part, “You can’t artificially amplify or disrupt conversations through the use of multiple accounts,” including “coordinating with or compensating others” to tweet a certain message.

In response to Twitter’s move, the Bloomberg campaign issued a statement on Friday evening. “We ask that all of our deputy field organizers identify themselves as working on behalf of the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign on their social media accounts,” it said. The statement added that the tweets shared by its staff and volunteers with their networks went through Outvote, a voter engagement app, and were “not intended to mislead anyone.”

Social media companies have been under pressure since the 2016 presidential election. Over the last year or so, they have publicized a stream of new rules aimed at disinformation and manipulation. Facebook, Google and Twitter have created teams that look for and remove disinformation. They have started working with fact checkers to distinguish and label false content. And they have created policies explaining what they will allow in political advertisements.

Most social media companies have special rules that place elected officials and political candidates in a protected category of speech. Politicians are allowed much more flexibility to say whatever they want online. But the companies have had a hard time defining what is a political statement and what crosses the line into deception.

When Mr. Trump posted an altered video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Facebook and Twitter refused to take the video down. A 30-second video ad on Facebook in October falsely accused former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. of blackmailing Ukrainian officials to stop an investigation of his son.

Mr. Bloomberg, a latecomer to the race, has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into it. As the owner of Bloomberg L.P., he has the money and the resources to vastly outspend his rivals.

Mr. Bloomberg has reassigned his employees and recruited other workers from Silicon Valley with salaries nearly double what other campaigns have offered their staffs. The roughly $400 million he has spent has made him omnipresent in ads across Facebook and Instagram, as well as on more traditional forms of media such as television and radio.

His campaign’s sophisticated understanding of how to generate online buzz has shown how uneven social media’s new political speech rules can be.

Mr. Bloomberg’s lackluster performance in the Las Vegas debate — three days before Saturday’s Democratic caucuses in Nevada — was startling even to his supporters. But soon after, his campaign’s digital team edited the debate into digestible bites on social media that made Mr. Bloomberg appear as though he had done better. On Thursday morning, a video was posted to his Twitter account.

“I’m the only one here, I think, that’s ever started a business. Is that fair?” Mr. Bloomberg said in the clip, showing him up on the debate stage. The video then cut to reactions from the other candidates, who appeared speechless. Crickets chirped in the background as the silence stretched on for 20 seconds.

In reality, Mr. Bloomberg had paused for about a second before moving on.

“It’s tongue in cheek,” Galia Slayen, a Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman, said of the video, which was viewed nearly two million times within hours. “There were obviously no crickets on the stage.”

Was the video against the rules?

Referring to new guidance on manipulated videos, Twitter said it would most likely label the video as misleading. That is, it would if the rule, which goes into effect in March, were already in effect. The company said it would not label Mr. Bloomberg’s video retroactively.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, said it would not remove the video. The company has recently altered its policy on manipulated media to state that Facebook will remove videos that have been edited “in ways that aren’t apparent to an average person and would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say.”

The companies are less certain of how they will handle Mr. Bloomberg’s hiring of 500 “deputy digital organizers” to recruit and train their friends. (All 500 haven’t been hired yet.) His campaign has said it is paying people to use their own social media accounts to publish content of their choosing to mobilize voters for Mr. Bloomberg.

“We are meeting voters everywhere on any platform that they consume their news. One of the most effective ways of reaching voters is by activating their friends and network to encourage them to support Mike for president,” said Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Bloomberg campaign.

The Bloomberg team said the people they hired were ordinary Americans, and would not include so-called social media influencers, or individuals with large social media followings. The campaign said the digital organizers would not add disclosures to every post, but they would be directed to clearly identify in their social media profiles that they were affiliated with the Bloomberg campaign.

“We recommend campaign employees make the relationship clear on their accounts,” said Liz Bourgeois, a spokeswoman for Facebook. But if Mr. Bloomberg’s employees do not make clear on their accounts that the campaign paid them, Facebook has no easy way to identify them, she said.

Facebook has also made it clear that influencers who post content in support of Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign must clearly label themselves as being sponsored. The company also is exploring ways in which it can identify and catalog sponsored political content.

Google, which owns YouTube, did not respond to a request for comment on how it plans to handle paid influencers as well as digital organizers working for the Bloomberg campaign.

Mr. Brooking and other social media experts said they believed that until the companies saw themselves as media organizations — not neutral internet platforms — they would continue to struggle with how to police their platforms.

“We would not tolerate a falsified, unattributed political ad on CNN. We would not tolerate a paid campaign staffer masquerading as an objective analyst on NBC,” Mr. Brooking said. “We should not tolerate these behaviors on Twitter and Facebook today.”

Sheera Frenkel reported from San Francisco, and Davey Alba from New York.

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Trump, Schiff spar ahead of Nevada caucuses over claim Russians trying to help Bernie Sanders

Westlake Legal Group trump_schiff Trump, Schiff spar ahead of Nevada caucuses over claim Russians trying to help Bernie Sanders fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 45bb5a9e-3510-5547-bee0-4baef7c1b55b

President Trump and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff tangled on Twitter ahead of the Nevada caucuses on Saturday over the reports U.S. officials believe Russia is attempting to interfere in the Democratic presidential primary by helping Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The back-and-forth also follows the president’s recent dismissal of reports that the U.S. intelligence community believes Russia wants Trump to win re-election. He has portrayed those reports as nothing more than evidence of a continued vendetta from Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman who played a starring role in the impeachment effort against him.

BERNIE SANDERS DISAVOWS REPORTED RUSSIAN EFFORTS TO HELP HIS CAMPAIGN

“Democrats in the Great State of Nevada (Which, because of the Economy, Jobs, the Military & Vets, I will win in November), be careful of Russia, Russia, Russia,” the president tweeted Saturday. “According to Corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, they are pushing for Crazy Bernie Sanders to win. Vote!”

Responding on Twitter, Schiff of California accused Trump of not adequately standing up against foreign election interference.

“Mr. President, I didn’t say that,” Schiff said. “But if you wish to quote me, quote this: ‘The only thing Americans despise more than foreign actors trying to affect the vote is a president unwilling to do anything to stop it.’ Americans decide American elections.”

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that U.S. officials have determined Moscow is attempting to interfere in the Democratic primary race on Sanders’ behalf. Sanders responded by disavowing the alleged Russian efforts.

“I don’t care, frankly, who [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants to be president,” Sanders said in a statement. “My message to Putin is clear: stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.”

According to the Post, officials have told the Sanders campaign that Russia is working to boost the socialist as part of an effort to meddle in the Democratic presidential primary. The story, citing people familiar with the matter, said Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also been informed of the Russian attempts.

NEVADA DEMS HOPE TO AVOID CAUCUS CHAOS: HERE’S HOW THE PROCESS IS SUPPOSED TO WORK

On Thursday, The New York Times reported that intelligence officials told lawmakers in a classified briefing last week that Russia is meddling with the hope of getting Trump reelected. But Trump has pushed back against the reports, claiming Democrats were pushing a “misinformation campaign” in the hope of politically damaging him.

On Friday, Trump’s campaign spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, tweeted: “We condemn and reject foreign interference in American elections in any form.”

Sanders, though, accused the Trump administration of not standing against Russia’s efforts.

“Unlike Donald Trump, I do not consider Vladimir Putin a good friend,” Sanders said. “He is an autocratic thug who is attempting to destroy democracy and crush dissent in Russia.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that the newest allegations are “paranoid reports that, unfortunately, there will be more and more of as we get closer to the elections [in the U.S.]. Of course, they have nothing to do with the truth.”

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U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia interfered in the 2016 election through social media campaigns and by stealing and distributing emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Intelligence officials say Russia was trying to boost Trump’s campaign and show chaos within the American political process.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group trump_schiff Trump, Schiff spar ahead of Nevada caucuses over claim Russians trying to help Bernie Sanders fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 45bb5a9e-3510-5547-bee0-4baef7c1b55b   Westlake Legal Group trump_schiff Trump, Schiff spar ahead of Nevada caucuses over claim Russians trying to help Bernie Sanders fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc article Alex Pappas 45bb5a9e-3510-5547-bee0-4baef7c1b55b

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