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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 61)

Waning of American Power? Trump Struggles With an Asia in Crisis

WASHINGTON — For two and a half years, President Trump has said he is finally doing in Asia what he asserts his predecessor, Barack Obama, failed to achieve with a strategic pivot: strengthen American influence and rally partners to push back against China.

But as violence escalates and old animosities are rekindled across Asia, Washington has chosen inaction, and governments are ignoring the Trump administration’s mild admonitions and calls for calm. Whether it is the internal battles in India and Hong Kong or the rivalry between two American allies, Japan and South Korea, Mr. Trump and his advisers are staying on the sidelines.

The inability or unwillingness of Washington to help defuse the flash points is one of the clearest signs yet of the erosion of American power and global influence under Mr. Trump, who has stuck to his “America First” idea of disengagement, analysts say.

“Without the steady centripetal force of American diplomacy, disorder in Asia is spinning in all sorts of dangerous directions,” said William J. Burns, a deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration and the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The net result is not only increased risk of regional turbulence, but also long-term corrosion of American influence.”

All American administrations have limited ability to steer events abroad. Foreign governments often ignore requests from the United States. Since 2001, the nation’s long wars, especially in Iraq, have cost it credibility. And the emergence of China as an economic powerhouse and Russia as an anti-Western force means factors outside the Trump administration are contributing to the weakening of American power.

But critics say Mr. Trump’s policies — more focused on cutting American expenses abroad than on building partnerships — have sped that erosion and emboldened governments to ignore entreaties from Washington.

Indian troops are suppressing protests in the contested region of Kashmir after New Delhi ended the territory’s autonomous status, despite Mr. Trump’s offer last month to India and Pakistan to mediate the decades-old dispute.

South Korea announced on Monday that it was dropping Japan from a list of preferred trading partners, ramping up a conflict that jeopardizes Washington’s most important alliances in Asia. Mr. Trump’s top foreign policy officials had advised both nations to settle their differences, to no avail.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159146631_4cea0c8b-c1e1-45aa-9753-8a9038ef35ba-articleLarge Waning of American Power? Trump Struggles With an Asia in Crisis United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J South Korea Pakistan North Korea Kashmir and Jammu (India) Japan International Trade and World Market International Relations India Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas East Asia Demonstrations, Protests and Riots China

Mr. Trump and his top officials have failed to send any strong signals on the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

And Chinese officials said this week that Hong Kong protesters were starting to show the first signs of “terrorism” — an indication that the Communist Party in Beijing could order tougher measures to end the unrest, even after the Hong Kong police fired tear gas at crowds during the 10th weekend of protests.

Official Chinese news organizations are linking the Trump administration to the protests and labeled an American diplomat, Julie Eadeh, who met with student leaders, a “black hand.”

Tweeting on Tuesday that the Chinese were moving troops to the border with Hong Kong, Mr. Trump issued no warnings other than: “Everyone should be calm and safe!”

“The inability to manage the issues shows some real weakness in the president’s actual commitment to the strategy or any forward diplomatic engagement in Asia,” said Michael J. Green, a senior Asia director for the National Security Council under President George W. Bush.

Mr. Green, now a professor at Georgetown University, added that while the Trump administration was carrying out some useful strategies or tactics in Asia, “it is striking how ineffective the administration is on this Japan-Korea issue and how quiet on Kashmir.”

Though Mr. Trump has embraced a hands-off approach since he took office, some officials, including Matthew Pottinger, the senior Asia director on the National Security Council, have worked to formulate a big-picture strategy on Asia, with the aim of bolstering competition with China.

They have pledged to spend money on regional programs as part of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” strategy, increased the rate of freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea and started a campaign to try to persuade nations to ban the use of communications technology from Huawei, the Chinese company.

But critics say Mr. Trump weakens the American position through continual acts of self-sabotage, including abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade agreement that Mr. Obama had forged to create a united front against China.

Mr. Trump also lavishes praise on East Asia’s authoritarian leaders — he said that he and Kim Jong-un of North Korea “fell in love,” and that he and Xi Jinping of China “will always be friends.”

So far, he and his top officials have failed to send any strong signals on the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. On Aug. 1, Mr. Trump employed the language used by Communist Party officials when he said Hong Kong has had “riots for a long period of time.”

“Somebody said that at some point they’re going to want to stop that,” he added. “But that’s between Hong Kong and that’s between China, because Hong Kong is a part of China.”

Analysts said those comments would be interpreted by Chinese officials as a green light to take whatever action necessary to quell the protests.

Mr. Trump said in June that the United States and China were “strategic partners,” and the administration has held back from taking certain actions that would upset Beijing — notably, imposing sanctions on Chinese officials for the mass detentions of Muslims and approving the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan.

Mr. Trump’s main goal with China has been to reach a trade deal to end the costly tariff war, though the two sides have escalated the dispute after failed talks, leading to stock market turmoil.

Mr. Trump has also stood back during the intensifying feud between South Korea and Japan. On Friday, Mr. Trump said, “South Korea and Japan have to sit down and get along with each other.”

Administration officials say they do not want to be a mediator in the dispute, even though American security interests in the region could suffer — especially if Seoul and Tokyo end an intelligence-sharing agreement supported by Washington that is intended to help with North Korea containment. In late July, John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, called both sides to ask them to freeze their hostilities, and Mr. Pompeo made the same request of their foreign ministers at a summit in Bangkok.

South Korean and Japanese officials are ignoring the Americans. On Monday, Seoul said that not only was it ending a preferential trading partnership with Tokyo, but it was also naming Japan as the first nation on a new list of countries deemed to have bad export practices. Earlier this month, Japan announced that South Korea was no longer a preferred trading partner.

“By failing to act and assume leadership in the region, Trump is allowing nations with long, complicated histories to fall back into traditional rivalries,” said Jean H. Lee, a Korea expert at the Wilson Center.

“The more these nations feel the United States is an unreliable partner,” she added, “the more they will feel compelled to defend themselves. I’m already starting to hear growing calls in South Korea for their own nuclear weapons.”

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed ahead with what appears to be a yearslong plan by Hindu nationalist politicians to control Kashmir, a majority-Muslim region.

Some Indian analysts say Mr. Modi might have accelerated the move because of remarks made by Mr. Trump after his meeting last month with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan. Mr. Trump said that Mr. Modi had asked Mr. Trump earlier if he could mediate the Kashmir dispute. “If I can help, I would love to be a mediator,” Mr. Trump said.

That is a position welcomed by Pakistan, while India opposes outside involvement. India’s Ministry of External Affairs denied that Mr. Modi had any such conversation with Mr. Trump. Then on Aug. 5, the Indian government revoked Kashmir’s special status and began arresting top Kashmiri politicians — a complete rejection of Mr. Trump’s offer of mediation.

“There’s more the United States should do,” Asad Majeed Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, said in an interview on Monday. “The United States is perhaps the only country that can make a difference.”

John J. Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, is traveling to India this week for meetings planned before the outbreak of the Kashmir crisis. It is unclear what he will say. Mr. Burns, his predecessor, said, “Modi’s India seems unfazed by any American concerns over the potential for escalation.”

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Liberty hosts third annual UNITY Day; Mystics sit atop poll

Tina Charles is pleased how the New York Liberty ownership group has continued to support the players’ activism involving social issues.

The team hosted its third annual Comm-UNITY Day game this past weekend and players participated in a series of events around Sunday’s matchup against the Seattle Storm that was played at Barclays Center.

New York hosted a panel Thursday night that featured three formerly incarcerated women. The team also held a basketball clinic on Sunday before the game for children of incarcerated families well as a workshop, WOWsdom!, for girls and young women featuring former WNBA President Donna Orender.

“It shows what the organization is about and they want us as individuals and women to know it’s not just about wearing a uniform, but it’s about highlighting a platform and advocating for what you believe in,” Charles said. “The fact that we could highlight women incarcerated and Tanisha (Wright) and I and couple of our teammates were able to be there was great to hear their voices.

“Usually they have it right before the game and we’re not able to be a part of it. (Liberty Chief Operating Officer) Keia Clarke did a great job in putting that together,” Charles said. “In the past, (Liberty President) Isiah Thomas and (Liberty Vice President) Kristin Bernert did a great job as well to use that platform.”

In 2016, the Liberty wore (hashtag)BlackLivesMatter t-shirts to protest the deaths of black men and women in police-involved shootings. Then in 2017, the team focused on racial equality and gun violence and last year the focus was again on unity and equality.

“UNITY Day started a few years back when we got tired of seeing black and brown individuals being killed by police at an alarming rate,” Charles said. “So, we decided to take matters into our own hands, and we created shirts that said “Black Lives Matter.” Even though we received a lot of great attention from media, community and fans, we were fined by the WNBA.”

POWER POLL

A look at this week’s WNBA poll:

1. Washington (17-7): The Mystics took over the top spot in the standings and the power poll. Washington plays two of its next three games at home.

2. Los Angeles (15-8): The Sparks have been the hottest teams since the All-Star Break and have rolled to five consecutive wins.

3. Las Vegas (16-9): The Aces finish off the season with six of their final nine games on the road.

4. Connecticut (16-8): The Sun have cooled off, losing the first two games of their four-game road trip. They fell out of first place in the standings. They hope to right themselves against Phoenix and Seattle to close out the west coast swing.

5. Chicago (14-10): The Sky split games with Las Vegas and Los Angeles and now host those teams this week.

6. Seattle (14-11): Alysha Clark came up big against New York as lately All-Star Natasha Howard has been getting help from a variety of players. The Storm complete their four-game road trip with games at Washington and Seattle.

7. Minnesota (12-12): The Lynx finally have Seimone Augustus back from her early season knee surgery and not coincidentally have played better.

8. Phoenix (11-12): The Mercury have been ravaged by injuries lately and may be without Brittney Griner for three games because of her role in the fight that occurred against Dallas last Saturday.

0. Indiana (9-16): The Fever have won three of their last four games and one more victory will give them their most in three seasons.

10. New York (8-15): Turnovers continue to plague the Liberty during their five-game skid. They had 19 against Seattle and are second in the league averaging 15.9 a game.

11. Dallas (7-17): It’s been a difficult season for Dallas and they will be short-handed this week as suspensions were handed down for the fight that occurred in the Phoenix game last Saturday.

12. Atlanta (5-19): The Dream’s season continues to be a nightmare as the team has lost nine straight games.

___

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Nneka Ogwumike earned player of the week honors after helping Los Angeles win its two games this week. She averaged 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals for the Sparks. Elena Delle Donne of Washington also received votes.

MENTAL HEALTH

Liz Cambage did a story for The Players Tribune about dealing with mental health issues for half her life. Cambage detailed her ongoing struggles with depression. It also revealed a downward spiral after All-Star weekend in Las Vegas last month, and why she missed two games, which were labeled as rest.

“I felt like I had to be honest for the people who look after me,” said Cambage, who added she’s been speaking with a sports psychologist, who was provided by the Aces. “You see us on the court, you see us out there balling, and there’s so much more to the sport than just being a basketball player. This whole season I honestly haven’t been myself. I’m already being back playing to my old way. It’s a bittersweet situation, but it’s what I need to do to be the best basketball player I can be.”

SUSPENSIONS

The WNBA suspended Mercury center Brittney Griner three games for her role in a fight during the Dallas-Phoenix game Saturday that resulted in six players being ejected. The league punished Griner on Tuesday for throwing punches, escalating the incident and pushing Wings forward Kayla Thornton’s face with an open hand. Dallas’ Kristine Anigwe was suspended two games for instigating the initial altercation with Griner and taking an open-handed swing at her. Thornton also was suspended two games for her role in the scuffle. Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi and Dallas’ Kaela Davis were suspended a game apiece for leaving the bench area during the altercation.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Seattle at Washington, Wednesday. The WNBA finalists from last season square off for the final time this year. They split their two meetings so far this season with each team winning on the road.

Westlake Legal Group WNBA-Tina-Charles Liberty hosts third annual UNITY Day; Mystics sit atop poll fox-news/sports/wnba fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 9dae876f-904f-52e5-b174-bd03867cd9fe   Westlake Legal Group WNBA-Tina-Charles Liberty hosts third annual UNITY Day; Mystics sit atop poll fox-news/sports/wnba fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 9dae876f-904f-52e5-b174-bd03867cd9fe

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Soul Searching Among Hong Kong Protesters After Chaos at Airport

HONG KONG — A night of chaos and violence at the Hong Kong airport was followed by apologies and soul searching from protesters and fierce condemnation from Chinese authorities, who described the events as “conduct close to terrorism.”

Protests led the airport, one of the world’s busiest, to suspend check-ins for two days in a row this week, causing hundreds of flight cancellations and delivering a blow to a symbol of Hong Kong’s efficiency and economic prominence.

The airport said Wednesday that at 2 p.m. it would begin limiting terminal access to ticketed passengers and airport workers. The airport obtained a temporary court injunction, which threatened to eliminate the transportation hub as one of the protesters’ most visible venues for demonstrations.

Demonstrations at the airport began Friday and stayed peaceful for days, as protesters made their case to many of the 200,000 passengers it handles each day. When disruptions to flights began on Monday, some travelers complained, but others said the movement to protect Hong Kong’s civil liberties was more important than their inconvenience.

But uglier scenes developed on Tuesday, as a few scuffles broke out between protesters and travelers, who for the first time were being blocked from the departure gates. In the evening, with tensions rising, some protesters surrounded, tied up and beat two men from mainland China — one of whom they suspected of being a security officer, while the other proved to be a reporter for a Communist Party-owned newspaper.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159228117_65c976d1-8235-4f12-a1a8-6efe79a9ad38-articleLarge Soul Searching Among Hong Kong Protesters After Chaos at Airport Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots China Apologies airports

Protesters briefly scuffled with riot police officers on Tuesday night.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Riot police officers briefly entered the front doors of the airport, and one drew but did not fire his pistol after a scuffle with protesters.

[Here’s a guide to what prompted the Hong Kong protests and how they evolved.]

The police arrested five males, ages 17 to 28, on suspicion of unlawful assembly at the airport. Two of them were also held for allegedly assaulting a police officer and possession of offensive weapons.

Terence Mak, assistant police commissioner, said “some radical protesters” had “harshly attacked some innocent visitors.” He likened the assaults on the two men to torture and added that paramedics were blocked from immediately treating them.

“What did these visitors do to deserve such suffering?” Mr. Mak said.

On Wednesday, protesters seemed well aware of the negative image they had presented. “We apologize for our behavior but we are just too scared,” read one post on a messaging channel used by protesters, which gained wider distribution on other social media. “Our police shot us, government betrayed us, social institutions failed us. Please help us.”

“Please accept our sincere apology to all travelers, press reporters, paramedics,” read another post. “We will learn from our mistakes. Please give us a second chance to prove ourselves that we can be better.”

The protests — which began over a now-suspended plan to allow extraditions to mainland China, but have grown to include calls for more direct elections and investigations into the police’s use of force — have been largely leaderless. A march in June drew as many as two million people, according to organizers, and thousands have continued to join near-daily demonstrations.

Fu Guohao, a reporter for a Chinese state-run newspaper, was taken from the airport early Wednesday after being tied up and beaten by demonstrators.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

No single voice speaks for all the participants. Some embrace nonviolence, while others say confrontation is needed because the government has ignored the calls of peaceful protesters. Thus far, protesters have embraced overall messages of solidarity, despite differing beliefs about the best strategies.

On Wednesday, some cited a recent letter from Edward Leung, an influential activist imprisoned on charges of rioting and assaulting a police officer, that called on protesters to reflect on whether specific actions would help achieve their goals.

“Of course, true justice is still hasn’t arrived, and perhaps therefore your hearts are filled with anger. This is human nature,” he wrote. “This is human nature. But I urge you not to be controlled by hatred. In a time of calamity, you must always think rationally.”

The violence at the airport quickly received prominent coverage in mainland China’s state media, which, after initially ignoring the protests, has become laden with strident criticism and misinformation about them.

“What a shame for Hong Kong,” People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s main mouthpiece, said in a message on social media.

A quote from the reporter who was beaten, “I support the Hong Kong police,” became a top trending term on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform. The reporter, Fu Guohao, is doing well and was not seriously injured, said Hu Xijin, editor in chief of Global Times, the nationalist tabloid that employs him.

Security was tightened at the departures area on Wednesday.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

“It’s the utmost disgrace for the protesters to treat a reporter like this,” Mr. Hu said in a message. “This shows that they have lost their rationality. Hatred has muddled their minds.”

A spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs office, the Chinese government agency that deals with the two cities, denounced the airport violence in a statement on Wednesday, calling it “conduct close to terrorism.”

Some protesters said that recent police tactics, including undercover officers apparently dressing as protesters to make arrests, had contributed to a sense of fear. Video of one recent arrest showed officers, one in the black T-shirt and yellow helmet commonly worn by demonstrators, grinding a protester’s bloodied face into the pavement.

“We hope everyone, including travelers in and out of Hong Kong, would also understand the stress, the panickiness, the suspicion, the restlessness involved in the crowd at the airport ever since the Hong Kong police force’s admission of masquerading a certain number of officers as protesters with the aim of getting them arrested,” Claudia Mo, a pro-democratic legislator, said at a news conference on Wednesday.

The Hong Kong Airport Authority said it had obtained an interim injunction to prevent interference with airport operations. It was not clear what immediate effect, if any, the injunction would have on the protests. Similar orders were used to allow workers, under the supervision of police officers and bailiffs, to eventually dismantle protesters’ encampments during the large pro-democracy demonstrations that swept Hong Kong in 2014.

On Wednesday morning, a few dozen protesters remained in the airport, sitting in an area designated for protests. Parts of the arrivals halls were still covered with posters carrying their messages, which have focused in recent days on complaints about the police’s use of force.

“We are not rioters, we just love HK too much,” read one sign.

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Wet, Wild And High: Lakes and Rivers Wreak Havoc Across Midwest, South

Westlake Legal Group ap_19086657524578_wide-8fc3da520b2194406172a42d43285b82e1451ea3-s1100-c15 Wet, Wild And High: Lakes and Rivers Wreak Havoc Across Midwest, South

Mississippi River floodwaters inundate the pavilion and a play area at Harriet Island in St. Paul, Minn., this past March. Jim Mone/AP hide caption

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Jim Mone/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Wet, Wild And High: Lakes and Rivers Wreak Havoc Across Midwest, South

Mississippi River floodwaters inundate the pavilion and a play area at Harriet Island in St. Paul, Minn., this past March.

Jim Mone/AP

“Water, water everywhere.” That line from poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge could be the mantra for rain-weary residents across the country. Some regions have seen record amounts of rain since early spring. The Mississippi River and tributaries spent months above flood stage, while all of the Great Lakes are nearly at or above historic highs.

Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit, says data show that the Great Lakes have been on the rise for several years, especially in recent months.

“In the months of April and May we had extremely wet weather across the Great Lakes Basin,” says Kompoltowicz, “and that caused the lakes to rise very quickly this spring and brought us to where we are, either setting records or approaching records, depending on the lake.”

For several years, it was record low water levels in the Great Lakes that were worrying people. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron reached their lowest levels ever in January 2013. Now the opposite is true. As heavy winter snows melted and joined water pouring into the lakes from rivers swollen with spring rainfall, Lakes Superior, Erie and Ontario reached unprecedented high levels this year. In early August, they were 1 to 6 inches above the monthly August record for those waterways, while Lakes Michigan and Huron were just 2 inches shy of their record water level for the month.

Joel Brammeier, president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, says it’s a natural phenomenon for the lakes to rise and fall, but this extended rise is unusual. Some attribute it, in part, to a change in climate patterns. Brammeier adds that intense storms also lead to more pollution running off into the lakes.

“In Western Lake Erie, for example, you’re seeing massive blooms of algae that are sometimes toxic to people and pets that are being caused by this concentration of agricultural fertilizer washing off into Lake Erie,” says Brammeier. Runoff from city streets causes pollution problems, too.

And it’s not just the lakes. The Mississippi River has had a historic record high water season for months now. The river and its tributaries have flooded millions of acres of farmland; damaged roads and levees; slowed commercial river traffic; and affected downstream fisheries. Paul Osman with the Illinois Office of Water Resources says some of the greatest damage, though, often occurs in neighborhoods far from a river or lake because older communities don’t have the capacity sometimes to handle intense rainfall.

“And it will deluge an old, archaic stormwater or drainage system, and basements fill up, and houses nowhere near the flood plain suddenly find themselves underwater,” he says.

Here are a few examples of areas affected by the record high waters:

CHICAGO

Juneway Terrace Beach, a small beach on Chicago’s far North Side, is one of two of the city’s beaches that are submerged by Lake Michigan waters. A beach sidewalk is broken into pieces, and there are barriers around a huge sinkhole. Artist Jenny Learner lives in an apartment building adjacent to the beach. She says the steel girders and rocks buttressing the building just aren’t enough.

Westlake Legal Group 20190802_191855_wide-f0144362f195c1580e2e17f92e8daa2f56692926-s1100-c15 Wet, Wild And High: Lakes and Rivers Wreak Havoc Across Midwest, South

This summer, the high waters of Lake Michigan submerged the Juneway Terrace Beach in Chicago. Residents of an adjacent apartment building say they feel it is at risk. The beach sidewalk was also smashed, and barriers surround a sinkhole. Cheryl Corley/NPR hide caption

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Cheryl Corley/NPR

Westlake Legal Group  Wet, Wild And High: Lakes and Rivers Wreak Havoc Across Midwest, South

This summer, the high waters of Lake Michigan submerged the Juneway Terrace Beach in Chicago. Residents of an adjacent apartment building say they feel it is at risk. The beach sidewalk was also smashed, and barriers surround a sinkhole.

Cheryl Corley/NPR

“The waves hit my kitchen window, and my dining room window. Extremely powerful waves,” she says, “and they have no place to go, if they don’t have a barrier. It’s a crisis. Not just for me personally, it’s a crisis for the whole city.”

DULUTH, MINN.

Crews are at work rebuilding the Lake Walk at the edge of Lake Superior. Project supervisor Mike Labeau says that in just one year, three major storms with waves as high as 25 feet caused about $25 million in damage. Labeau says the latest storm, in 2018, took away acres of land.

“It undermined the boardwalk. It undermined the buried electrical wiring for the lights. It moved a lot of material including some very large rocks just back out into the lake,” Labeau says. “So it’s been very hard for the city to catch its breath, frankly.”

ALEXANDRIA, MINN.

Alexandria is home to several fishing and recreational lakes. Greg Bowen, owner of Brophy Lake Resort, says he has never seen the water stay so high for so long.

“It’s eroding our shore, so that’s an impact to us to where I’m going to have to spend, you know, a fair amount of money to re-boulder my shore down here or I’m going to lose my precious, my precious land that I need for my beach and for my trailers and for everything else,” he says. “So that’s a big impact for us.”

CAIRO, ILL.

In early June, hundreds of barges full of steel, grain and other commodities floated to a standstill outside Cairo, Ill., located at the confluence of the swollen Ohio and Mississippi rivers. When water levels are too high, it’s not safe to operate locks that lower or raise a boat to get through a dam. Mark Glaab is the facility manager for American Commercial Barge Line. His boats push barges up and down the river.

“I get three or four calls a day,” he says. “People wanting to be able to unload their barges here into trucks or into trains because we can’t go onto the river until the water goes down. I got plants in Chicago running out of product.” Cairo does not have a port, so it’s not possible to offload goods from the barges. It’s often a long waiting game.

EMPIRE, LA.

Months of Mississippi River flooding have led to an endless flow of fresh water into the salty Gulf of Mexico — pummeling oysters with too much fresh water and causing massive oyster die-offs across the Gulf Coast. Louisiana officials say the oyster harvest in public areas is down 80%. Mississippi says 70% of its oysters have died. Those numbers are expected to increase. It’s not just oyster harvesters who are affected. It’s the whole industry: restaurants, distributors and processors. Both Louisiana and Mississippi have declared fisheries disasters.

Forecasts for the Mississippi River show the river’s longest flood on record is finally coming to an end, and the Army Corps of Engineers forecast shows the Great Lakes should begin their seasonal decline in the next several weeks. But fall is a very active storm season, and with strong storms churning up lake and river waters, it’s likely that floods, coastal erosion and many problems that come with high waters will persist.

NPR’s David Schaper, Kirsti Marohn of Minnesota Public Radio News, Illinois Newsroom’s Madelyn Beck and Travis Lux of member station WWNO contributed to this report.

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‘Game Of Thrones’ Bosses Pulled Fake Script Prank On Alfie Allen That Backfired

Westlake Legal Group 5d53d1ff220000d002f56884 ‘Game Of Thrones’ Bosses Pulled Fake Script Prank On Alfie Allen That Backfired

But the joke ultimately ended up being on showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, because Allen simply took the spoof development in his stride.

“I kind of just took it on the chin and got on with it,” Allen explained on Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” 

Allen recalled how fellow cast members told Benioff and Weiss, some three weeks after he’d received the bogus script, that they should probably call him “because he might be tearing his hair out.”

“But I wasn’t, I was sunbathing,” said Allen, who also revealed how the pair played a similar stunt on Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow.

Check out the interview here:

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Trump campaign sells ‘Fredo Unhinged’ T-shirts following viral Cuomo video

The Trump campaign is selling “Fredo Unhinged” T-shirts following a viral video of CNN host Chris Cuomo’s encounter with a man who apparently taunted him by calling him “Fredo.”

The shirt, which is on sale on Trump’s campaign merchandise store for $34, features images of Cuomo’s face from the video.

A description of the product reads, “The truth hurts. He totally lost it. Help us annoy Chris Cuomo and buy your ‘Fredo Unhinged Tee’ now!”

CNN’S CHRIS CUOMO SEEN IN UNVERIFIED VIDEO CURSING AT MAN WHO APPARENTLY CALLED HIM ‘FREDO’

Cuomo could be seen threatening to throw the man down the stairs and derided the term as an Italian slur.

Fredo is a reference to Fredo Corleone, the weaker brother in the movie “The Godfather,” who was played by John Cazale.

TRUMP MOCKS CNN’S CHRIS CUOMO OVER VIRAL VIDEO: ‘I THOUGHT CHRIS WAS FREDO ALSO’ 

The CNN host is the younger brother of Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic governor of New York. The confrontation took place Sunday at a bar on New York’s Shelter Island.

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President Trump reacted to the video on Tuesday tweeting, “I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts.”

“Would Chris Cuomo be given a Red Flag for his recent rant? Filthy language and a total loss of control,” he later wrote in another tweet. “He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon. He’s nuts!”

Westlake Legal Group Fredo-Unhinged-THUMB Trump campaign sells 'Fredo Unhinged' T-shirts following viral Cuomo video Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ceea895c-e425-518c-a48d-5c770a9ceeec article   Westlake Legal Group Fredo-Unhinged-THUMB Trump campaign sells 'Fredo Unhinged' T-shirts following viral Cuomo video Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ceea895c-e425-518c-a48d-5c770a9ceeec article

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Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash

Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here’s what you need to know as you start the day…

Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs: report
Guards at the New York City jail where Jeffrey Epstein is said to have killed himself are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on the alleged sex trafficker and other inmates with greater regularity than was the case, according to a Tuesday report. Surveillance video reviewed after Epstein’s death shows guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center did not make some of the checks they claimed to have made in their logs, a source told the Associated Press. The federal jail workers claimed they were checking on inmates in Epstein’s unit every half-hour, but investigators now believe that was not the case. The Justice Department on Tuesday said two guards assigned to watch Epstein had been placed on administrative leave.

The latest revelation reported by CBS News, comes amid growing conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s death as he awaited trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors said he sexually abused dozens of young girls in his New York and Florida residences between 2002 and 2005, allegations that could have landed him behind bars for 45 years. Many lawmakers and conspiracy theorists alike wonder how he could commit suicide inside the Special Housing Unit at the jail facility.

Flights resume at Hong Kong airport after days of protest chaos
Flights resumed at Hong Kong’s airport Wednesday morning after two days of disruptions marked by outbursts of violence that highlight the hardening positions of pro-democracy protesters and the authorities in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. According to the Associated Press, about three dozen protesters remained camped in the airport’s arrivals area, a day after a mass demonstration and frenzied mob violence forced more than 100 flight cancelations. Additional identification checks were in place, but check-in counters were open and flights appeared to be operating normally.

Westlake Legal Group HongKong081319 Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc ceb33ea3-10d6-5547-9d20-43d55482c924 article

China has demanded that the United States stay out of the pro-democracy protests. Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding tells Fox News the demonstrators resemble those who dumped tea into Boston Harbor more than two centuries ago. The way China has tried to discredit the Hong Kong protesters is similar to the way King George III of England criticized the Colonial protesters in America in December 1773, Spalding claimed Tuesday on “Fox News @ Night.” Click on the video above to watch the interview with Spalding.

Relief and rallies on Wall Street after Trump administration delays China tariffs
Asian shares were mostly higher Wednesday after U.S. stocks, especially shares of tech companies and bond yields rallied Tuesday following the Trump administration’s decision to delay tariffs on key Chinese imports. Early in Tuesday’s session, equities turned positive on a report that China’s commerce secretary agreed to conduct a phone call in two weeks with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, according to Reuters. Wall Street then learned that the White House was delaying until Dec. 15 additional tariffs on certain Chinese exports. The announcement was greeted with relief on Wall Street and by retailers who have grown fearful that the new tariffs would wreck holiday sales. Among the products that will benefit from the 3½-month reprieve are such popular consumer goods as cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing.

Westlake Legal Group e040e0a0-Portland081419 Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc ceb33ea3-10d6-5547-9d20-43d55482c924 article

Portland braces for clash of Antifa, right-wing protests
Portland, Ore., is gearing up for a set of dueling rallies this weekend that is expected to bring an informal coalition of right-wing groups — some of which have been decried as white nationalists and white supremacists — and so-called anti-fascists, who have violently opposed these right-wing demonstrators. Portland’s so-called “Antifa” members have issued an online call to followers to turn out to “defend Portland from a far-Right attack.” Portland leaders are planning a major law enforcement presence on the heels of similar rallies in June and last summer that turned violent, and the recent hate-driven shooting in El Paso, Texas. None of the city’s nearly 1,000 police officers will have the day off, and Portland will get help from the Oregon State Police and the FBI.  

Westlake Legal Group 4c793887-Don-Lemon-cnn Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc ceb33ea3-10d6-5547-9d20-43d55482c924 article

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JULY 31: CNN moderator Don Lemon speaks to the crowd attending the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre July 31, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. 20 Democratic presidential candidates were split into two groups of 10 to take part in the debate sponsored by CNN held over two nights at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CNN’s Don Lemon accused of assault in sexually charged encounter at New York bar
CNN primetime host Don Lemon is accused of a bizarre, sexually charged assault of a bartender in New York’s Hamptons in a civil suit filed earlier this week. In the lawsuit, Dustin Hice, of Florida, said he was living in the Hamptons and working at the Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack during the summer of 2018. On July 15, after closing, Hice claimed he left with the owner and co-workers to party at another bar, Murf’s Backstreet Tavern, in Sag Harbor, where they saw Lemon. Recognizing the newsman, Hice offered to buy him a vodka drink called a “lemon drop,” according to the suit. Lemon declined the offer, Hice claimed, but later approached him inside the establishment. That was when the alleged, sexually charged encounter occurred. CNN is standing by Lemon and has denied Hice’s account and he seems to bear animosity toward the cable news network.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP.

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged ‘recruiter,’ now under the microscope.
In 1976 speech, Biden said US criminal justice should focus on punishment not rehabilitation
George Washington mural should be covered but preserved, San Francisco school board decides.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Trump’s China tariff delay: What it means for your wallet.
CBS, Viacom agree to merge, forming a $28B entertainment firm.
These retail chains are growing, offsetting others’ closures: Report.

#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”

SOME PARTING WORDS

Jedediah Bila says on “The Five” that the reported surge in President Trump’s small-dollar donations after attempts by some on the left to target big-money Trump supporters is only bad news for 2020 Democrats.

Not signed up yet for Fox News First? Click here to find out what you’re missing.

CLICK HERE to find out what’s on Fox News today.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News’ Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Enjoy your day! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Thursday morning.

Westlake Legal Group c8d7851b-MCC1 Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc ceb33ea3-10d6-5547-9d20-43d55482c924 article   Westlake Legal Group c8d7851b-MCC1 Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc ceb33ea3-10d6-5547-9d20-43d55482c924 article

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

Today on Fox News, Aug. 14, 2019

STAY TUNED

On Fox News: 

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and President Trump’s son; U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; John Ratzenberger, former “Cheers” star and member of the President’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion.

America’s Newsroom, 9 a.m. ET: Robert Ray, former Whitewater independent counsel and former federal prosecutor

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; John Bolton, U.S. national security adviser; Peter Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy; U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.

Varney & Co., 9 a.m. ET: U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: “Rudy Giuliani on Impeachment, Biden’s Gaffes, and Jeffrey Epstein” – Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s attorney, joins the podcast to give his controversial take on what happened with Jeffrey Epstein, the possibility of President Trump being impeached, and how 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden has been handling his gaffes.

Also on the Rundown: Anxiety and fear are becoming common among students as they head back to school, especially in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Drew Pinsky, a board-certified internist and talk-show host, explains how you should communicate with your child about school shootings. Plus, commentary by Chris Hahn, radio host and former aide to U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

Westlake Legal Group fox-news-channel-logo Today on Fox News, Aug. 14, 2019 fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc c1a35a7c-4beb-504e-a50e-d48ba9600fa2 article   Westlake Legal Group fox-news-channel-logo Today on Fox News, Aug. 14, 2019 fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc c1a35a7c-4beb-504e-a50e-d48ba9600fa2 article

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

Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash

Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here’s what you need to know as you start the day…

Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs: report
Guards at the New York City jail where Jeffrey Epstein is said to have killed himself are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on the alleged sex trafficker and other inmates with greater regularity than was the case, according to a Tuesday report. Surveillance video reviewed after Epstein’s death shows guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center did not make some of the checks they claimed to have made in their logs, a source told the Associated Press. The federal jail workers claimed they were checking on inmates in Epstein’s unit every half-hour, but investigators now believe that was not the case. The Justice Department on Tuesday said two guards assigned to watch Epstein had been placed on administrative leave.

The latest revelation reported by CBS News, comes amid growing conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s death as he awaited trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors said he sexually abused dozens of young girls in his New York and Florida residences between 2002 and 2005, allegations that could have landed him behind bars for 45 years. Many lawmakers and conspiracy theorists alike wonder how he could commit suicide inside the Special Housing Unit at the jail facility.

Flights resume at Hong Kong airport after days of protest chaos
Flights resumed at Hong Kong’s airport Wednesday morning after two days of disruptions marked by outbursts of violence that highlight the hardening positions of pro-democracy protesters and the authorities in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. According to the Associated Press, about three dozen protesters remained camped in the airport’s arrivals area, a day after a mass demonstration and frenzied mob violence forced more than 100 flight cancelations. Additional identification checks were in place, but check-in counters were open and flights appeared to be operating normally.

Westlake Legal Group HongKong081319 Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc ceb33ea3-10d6-5547-9d20-43d55482c924 article

China has demanded that the United States stay out of the pro-democracy protests. Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding tells Fox News the demonstrators resemble those who dumped tea into Boston Harbor more than two centuries ago. The way China has tried to discredit the Hong Kong protesters is similar to the way King George III of England criticized the Colonial protesters in America in December 1773, Spalding claimed Tuesday on “Fox News @ Night.” Click on the video above to watch the interview with Spalding.

Relief and rallies on Wall Street after Trump administration delays China tariffs
Asian shares were mostly higher Wednesday after U.S. stocks, especially shares of tech companies and bond yields rallied Tuesday following the Trump administration’s decision to delay tariffs on key Chinese imports. Early in Tuesday’s session, equities turned positive on a report that China’s commerce secretary agreed to conduct a phone call in two weeks with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, according to Reuters. Wall Street then learned that the White House was delaying until Dec. 15 additional tariffs on certain Chinese exports. The announcement was greeted with relief on Wall Street and by retailers who have grown fearful that the new tariffs would wreck holiday sales. Among the products that will benefit from the 3½-month reprieve are such popular consumer goods as cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing.

Westlake Legal Group e040e0a0-Portland081419 Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc ceb33ea3-10d6-5547-9d20-43d55482c924 article

Portland braces for clash of Antifa, right-wing protests
Portland, Ore., is gearing up for a set of dueling rallies this weekend that is expected to bring an informal coalition of right-wing groups — some of which have been decried as white nationalists and white supremacists — and so-called anti-fascists, who have violently opposed these right-wing demonstrators. Portland’s so-called “Antifa” members have issued an online call to followers to turn out to “defend Portland from a far-Right attack.” Portland leaders are planning a major law enforcement presence on the heels of similar rallies in June and last summer that turned violent, and the recent hate-driven shooting in El Paso, Texas. None of the city’s nearly 1,000 police officers will have the day off, and Portland will get help from the Oregon State Police and the FBI.  

Westlake Legal Group 4c793887-Don-Lemon-cnn Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc ceb33ea3-10d6-5547-9d20-43d55482c924 article

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JULY 31: CNN moderator Don Lemon speaks to the crowd attending the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre July 31, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. 20 Democratic presidential candidates were split into two groups of 10 to take part in the debate sponsored by CNN held over two nights at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CNN’s Don Lemon accused of assault in sexually charged encounter at New York bar
CNN primetime host Don Lemon is accused of a bizarre, sexually charged assault of a bartender in New York’s Hamptons in a civil suit filed earlier this week. In the lawsuit, Dustin Hice, of Florida, said he was living in the Hamptons and working at the Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack during the summer of 2018. On July 15, after closing, Hice claimed he left with the owner and co-workers to party at another bar, Murf’s Backstreet Tavern, in Sag Harbor, where they saw Lemon. Recognizing the newsman, Hice offered to buy him a vodka drink called a “lemon drop,” according to the suit. Lemon declined the offer, Hice claimed, but later approached him inside the establishment. That was when the alleged, sexually charged encounter occurred. CNN is standing by Lemon and has denied Hice’s account and he seems to bear animosity toward the cable news network.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP.

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged ‘recruiter,’ now under the microscope.
In 1976 speech, Biden said US criminal justice should focus on punishment not rehabilitation
George Washington mural should be covered but preserved, San Francisco school board decides.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Trump’s China tariff delay: What it means for your wallet.
CBS, Viacom agree to merge, forming a $28B entertainment firm.
These retail chains are growing, offsetting others’ closures: Report.

#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”

SOME PARTING WORDS

Jedediah Bila says on “The Five” that the reported surge in President Trump’s small-dollar donations after attempts by some on the left to target big-money Trump supporters is only bad news for 2020 Democrats.

Not signed up yet for Fox News First? Click here to find out what you’re missing.

CLICK HERE to find out what’s on Fox News today.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News’ Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Enjoy your day! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Thursday morning.

Westlake Legal Group c8d7851b-MCC1 Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc ceb33ea3-10d6-5547-9d20-43d55482c924 article   Westlake Legal Group c8d7851b-MCC1 Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs; Portland preps for Antifa vs. far-right clash fox-news/columns/fox-news-first fox news fnc/us fnc ceb33ea3-10d6-5547-9d20-43d55482c924 article

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

Twitter Users Mock Bill O’Reilly’s Hilariously Terrible ‘Research’ Into Trump

Westlake Legal Group 5d53c27f220000d002f56194 Twitter Users Mock Bill O’Reilly’s Hilariously Terrible ‘Research’ Into Trump

Disgraced former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly defended President Donald Trump from accusations that he empowers white supremacists or is one himself. 

O’Reilly claimed Tuesday that he has done the “research” and found no evidence that Trump promotes “Caucasian dominance” ― which had some Twitter users wondering what passes for research for O’Reilly. 

Trump was a leader of the “birther” movement that questioned the birthplace of former President Barack Obama. He has attacked immigrants ― especially Mexicans and Muslims ― and reportedly said “we should have more people from places like Norway.”

He has dismissed Haiti and nations in Africa as “shithole” countries, and last month he told four women of color in Congress to “go back” to their own countries.

Yet O’Reilly wrote on his website that linking Trump to the white supremacy movement is “a cheap piece of political propaganda” and a “myth” akin to the Loch Ness Monster. 

O’Reilly, who left Fox News in 2017 after it was revealed that he paid at least $45 million in total to settle multiple allegations of sexual harassment, also tweeted: “While researching my upcoming book ‘The United States of Trump,’ we could not find one example of the President discussing skin color in a pejorative way or promoting Caucasian dominance.”

O’Reilly’s tweet earned a “thank you” from the president. But it also had some 11,000 other replies ― and many of them were a lot like these: 

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