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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 85)

Venice suffers worst flooding in 50 years, mayor blames climate change

Venice is in a state of emergency as the Italian city deals with the aftermath of one of the worst floods in its history.

Late on Tuesday (Nov. 12), high tides from the surrounding lagoon surged onto the more than 100 islands that make up Venice, flooding 85% of the city and damaging artwork and many historic sites, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted. Photos and videos posted on social media show the intense flood turning alleyways into rushing rivers, stranding large water taxis in public plazas, and drenching some of the city’s most iconic historic sites — including St. Mark’s Basilica, completed in 1092.

According to the local tide monitoring center, water levels from the flood peaked at 6.1 feet (1.87 meters) last night — the highest floodwaters in more than 50 years, and the second highest ever recorded in Venice. (The tide reached 6.3 feet, or 1.94 m, in November 1966.)

Venice is susceptible to some flooding — or “aqua alta,” as it’s regionally known — every year when high tides mix with heavy rain and strong winds. However, Brugnaro noted, yesterday’s intense surge was exceptional, and almost certainly linked to the increasingly powerful storms fueled by global warming.

“These are the effects of climate change,” Brugnaro tweeted. “The costs will be high.”

Of the 10 highest tides in Venice since record-keeping began in 1923, five have occurred in the last 20 years, including the current flood and one in 2018, BBC meteorologist Nikki Berry reported. Both events were tied to strong storm surges blowing northeastward across the Adriatic Sea (Venice is located on the northern seashore), thanks in part to changing patterns in the jet stream. These jet-stream patterns are likely to continue, leading to more frequent and intense storms, as climate change escalates, Berry wrote.

That puts Venice — which is already sinking at a rate of a few millimeters per year — at risk of more annual damage like this. To mitigate this damage, the Italian government has been developing a series of barriers and floodgates known as the Mose Project since the 1980s. The project, which was first tested in 2013, has cost billions of euros and may finally be ready for implementation in 2021, the BBC reported.

Two people have been reported dead from flood-related accidents since Tuesday. A man living on Pellestrina, one of the many islands that make up the Venetian lagoon, died of electrocution while attempting to start a water pump in his home. Another man was reported dead in his home in an unrelated incident.

St. Mark’s Basilica, the iconic cathedral sitting in Venice’s central piazza, was flooded for the sixth time in 1,200 years (four of those floods occurred in the past 20 years, The Guardian reported). According to Brugnaro, the landmark suffered “grave damage” to its structural columns and the crypt was completely flooded. Water damage appears rampant through the city’s many shops, hotels and landmarks.

More “very high” tides and flooding are expected throughout the week, Venice’s weather office said.

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group water-taxi-venice Venice suffers worst flooding in 50 years, mayor blames climate change LiveScience fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fnc/science fnc e00703f7-3ce4-5cf0-b530-7f56b9754487 Brandon Specktor article   Westlake Legal Group water-taxi-venice Venice suffers worst flooding in 50 years, mayor blames climate change LiveScience fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fnc/science fnc e00703f7-3ce4-5cf0-b530-7f56b9754487 Brandon Specktor article

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A Paranoid Guide to Fighting the ‘Bugging Epidemic’

Westlake Legal Group 13surveillance-facebookJumbo A Paranoid Guide to Fighting the ‘Bugging Epidemic’ Smartphones Security and Warning Systems Hotels and Travel Lodgings cameras

People worry that Big Brother and Big Tech are invading their privacy. But a more immediate concern may be the guy next door or a shifty co-worker.

A growing array of so-called smart surveillance products have made it easy to secretly live-stream or record what other people are saying or doing. Consumer spending on surveillance cameras in the United States will reach $4 billion in 2023, up from $2.1 billion in 2018, according to the technology market research firm Strategy Analytics. Unit sales of consumer surveillance devices are expected to more than double from last year.

The problem is all that gear is not necessarily being used to fight burglars or keep an eye on the dog while she’s home alone. Tiny cameras have been found in places where they shouldn’t be, like Airbnb rentals, public bathrooms and gym locker rooms. So often, in fact, that security experts warn that we are in the throes of a “bugging epidemic.”

It is not paranoid to take precautions. A lot of spy gear is detectable if you know what to look for, said Charles Patterson, president of Exec Security, a firm in Tarrytown, N.Y., that specializes in corporate counterespionage.

Look for anything in your surroundings that appears disturbed, out of place or odd. Surveillance can be done by more than clunky nanny cams. It can be conducted with wireless microdevices, some as small as a postage stamp, that can be stashed in hard-to-spot places like inside clocks, light fixtures and air vents.

Be wary of anything with an inexplicable hole in it, like a hole drilled into a hair-dryer mount in a hotel bathroom. And scrutinize any wires trailing out of something that’s not obviously electronic, like a desk, a bookcase or a plant.

“A basic physical inspection is something everybody can do,” Mr. Patterson said.

Another low-cost way to spot surveillance equipment is turning off the lights and using a flashlight to scan a room to see if the lens of a camera shines back at you. If you don’t have a flashlight, look around using the front-facing camera on your smartphone (the side you use for video chats), which may allow you to see the otherwise invisible infrared light that spy cameras emit.

A quick way to see if your phone’s camera detects infrared light is to look at your television remote through the viewfinder. If you can see a light flash on the tip of the remote when you press its buttons, you’re good to go.

You can also download the Fing app on your smartphone, which when activated will show you all the devices connected to your Wi-Fi network. Anything that includes the name of a camera manufacturer — like Nest, Arlo or Wyze — or that the app flags as a possible camera is cause for concern. As is anything that you can’t readily identify.

More sophisticated voyeurs may use spy gear that has its own hot spot for live streaming. So it’s a good idea to check for other Wi-Fi networks in the vicinity that have a strong signal. But that won’t help if the device is recording everything onto a tiny memory card for the peeper to retrieve later.

If you want to be more comprehensive in your sweep, several do-it-yourself counter-surveillance tools are available. Among the easier-to-use devices are specially designed camera lens detectors. They cost $200 to $400 and emit a circle of superbright red LED strobe lights. When you scan the room looking through the viewfinder, even the tiniest camera lens will appear to blink back at you, giving away its location.

“I used to sell mostly cameras, but in last few years it’s more detection devices,” said Jill Johnston, chief executive of KJB Security Products in Nashville. “There are just a lot more things to spy on you with. It’s really changing our business model, to be honest.”

Also popular are radio frequency, or R.F., detectors that can pick up signals emitted by surveillance devices. While you can get them for as little as $40, the better models start at $300 and can cost as much as $8,000, depending on their ability to analyze and differentiate signals.

Like old-fashioned metal detectors, R.F. detectors often produce a beep or tone that gets louder the closer you get to a transmitting radio signal. The more expensive versions have digital displays that detail the various radio frequencies detected and where they may be coming from.

Most environments today are filled with radio signals. Unless you get the most expensive gear and the associated training offered by the manufacturer, you’re going to have a hard time knowing whether your place is bugged or you’re picking up a signal from your neighbor’s Wi-Fi or your wireless computer mouse or Bluetooth speaker. To reduce the number of false positives, security experts recommend first turning off or unplugging all your devices before you start your scan.

Browsing Amazon and other online stores like Brickhouse Security and Spygadgets.com can also help. You’ll see that cameras and microphones don’t always look like cameras and microphones. They can look like smoke detectors, water bottles, air fresheners, cellphone chargers, pens, key chains, coffee makers, space heaters, birdhouses and plush toys.

Of course, you can always get professional help. But a professional sweep of a home or an office can range from $1,500 to more than $10,000, depending on the size of the space, the number of nooks and crannies, and the amount of clutter.

USA Bug Sweeps, a surveillance detection firm in Freehold, N.J., specializes in residential bug detection and does as many as three sweeps a day versus maybe one or two a week three years ago. Jimmie Mesis, the company’s chief executive, attributes the surge to recent news reports about cameras being hidden in homes by creepy landlords or handymen.

“For every one camera that’s been found, there have probably been a hundred cameras that haven’t been found,” Mr. Mesis said.

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Arnon Mishkin: Good news for Trump – Patrick and Bloomberg candidacies further divide Democrats

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103945360001_6103944546001-vs Arnon Mishkin: Good news for Trump – Patrick and Bloomberg candidacies further divide Democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Arnon Mishkin acbe8fe4-b2bd-5143-a01f-5329b3ca1ffd

The historically large and competitive field of Democratic presidential candidates grew even larger Thursday with the entry of former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick into the race, further dividing Democrats in their battle to pick a nominee to challenge President Trump in 2020.

This is good news for Trump, especially if it causes the crowded field to devolve into a bitter negative campaign. The more time Democrats spend attacking each other, the less time they have to attack the president.

In addition, Trump would be able to use the attacks by Democrats on their eventual nominee in ads when he runs against that person next year.

DEVAL PATRICK JUMPS INTO DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION RACE

Patrick is a former assistant U.S. attorney general and was governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015, becoming the first African-American to hold that position.

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Former New York City Mayor and multibillionaire Michael Bloomberg hasn’t made an official declaration of his candidacy yet, but seems certain to do so in the near future. He’s already filed to run in at least two states and is reportedly hiring staff across the country.

And 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told the BBC that she’s “under enormous pressure” to run again in 2020, and has refused to rule it out. But it seems unlikely that the former first lady, senator and secretary state will make a third presidential run at this late date, although it’s understandable why she could find it tempting.

Not counting Bloomberg and Clinton, 17 Democrats remain in the race for their party’s presidential nomination, though most have virtually no chance of winning the contest. Eight other Democrats have dropped out of the nomination race even before the first votes are cast.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., are atop the polls in the presidential contest. Right now it looks like only a handful of other candidates have even a longshot chance of capturing the nomination.

Patrick joins the Democratic race with the rumored tacit blessing of former President Barack Obama, who may be frustrated by the failure of any other candidate – particularly Biden, his vice president – to both consolidate the field and demonstrate a clear ability to defeat President Trump.

But there is evidence that Democratic primary voters are actually happy with the current crop of candidates.

The most recent Fox News Poll showed 69 percent of Democrats are satisfied with the field as it now stands. That’s particularly true among the more liberal wing of the party – which is split between supporters of self-described democratic socialist Sanders and Warren. Among the liberals, 71 percent are satisfied with the field.

More moderate Democrats appear slightly less satisfied than liberals. The polls suggest they’d be fine with Biden, particularly given his apparent strength against Trump in the general election.

While it’s unlikely that either Patrick or Bloomberg will be the Democratic nominee facing Trump in November 2020, neither candidate can be written off.

However, there’s a nagging feeling about Biden. Yes, he was exceedingly effective in both the 2008 and 2012 vice presidential candidate debates. But that was a long time ago. He will turn 77 on Wednesday and is showing his age, stumbling a few times in past debates and appearances and sometimes looking like he is past his prime.

The age issue has also been raised with Sanders, who is 78 and is back on the campaign trail after recently suffering a heart attack. It would certainly be raised with Bloomberg, who is 77, and could be raised with Warren, who is 70. However, the 73-year-old Trump would have a hard time attacking any of these candidates as being too old to be president.

Despite Biden’s imperfect performance to date, none of the other center-left candidates – I call them the “junior Bidens” – has managed to achieve real prominence.

Buttigieg has done extremely well in appearances and seems to have a very effective organization in Iowa. But only 30 percent of likely Democratic primary voters say he can beat Trump – compared to 68 percent who say that about Biden, and almost 60 percent who say that about Sanders and Warren.

That leaves running room – or at least dreaming room – for Patrick and Bloomberg. Can you blame either one for looking in the mirror each morning and thinking he can beat Biden?

Patrick had a strong and moderate, record as governor of Massachusetts. Though he starts with no organization and little money, he is hoping for a solid showing in Iowa and to then eclipse Biden in New Hampshire, which borders Massachusetts.

If Patrick makes a credible showing in Iowa and New Hampshire, he’d be in a position to win the South Carolina primary, where about 60 percent of the Democratic electorate is black. However, right now Biden enjoys very strong support among black voters – outpacing African-American candidates who joined the race months ago – so it would be premature to assume Patrick would come out on top in South Carolina.

One potential weakness for Patrick is that he just left a partnership at Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Mitt Romney. Yes, Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, former GOP presidential nominee, and current senator from Utah.

Patrick will certainly get attacked for his work at Bain by Sanders and Warren, who have proposed a slew of new taxes on wealthy individuals and on businesses, along with new regulations on the private sector.

However, I have trouble seeing how a caricature of a “rich fat cat” will stick to Patrick, who is the son of a single mother living in the Chicago projects, and who won scholarships to a fancy prep school and Harvard.

Still, the polls in New Hampshire suggest Patrick is not well-known there, despite an eight-year track record as governor next door.

And unlike Bloomberg, Patrick will need to expend significant time and effort raising money.

The smart money says it’s too late for Patrick to become the Democratic presidential nominee.

My own sense is that if Patrick can raise the contributions and hit the poll numbers needed to get into one of the upcoming Democratic presidential candidate debates, his optimistic message might enable him to beat the odds. Primary politics is a strange beast – and, yes, lightning does sometimes strike.

Remember that when then-Sen. Barack Obama first announced his presidential candidacy, many “experts” said America was not ready to elect a black president. And when Trump first announced he was running for president many pundits wrote him off as a publicity-seeking reality-TV star with no chance of getting the Republican nomination.

Bloomberg, whose net worth is said to be north of $50 billion, has the advantage of being able to write a check to amply fund his campaign and mount a multistate effort. However, his intention to self-fund will keep him out of Democratic presidential debates unless the rules to qualify are changed. That would present him with a big disadvantage.

At the same time, Bloomberg’s opposition to many of the far-left proposals of Sanders and Warren may wind up helping those two candidates more than hurting them with the liberal Democratic electorate.

“With enemies like Mike, he’ll wind up deepening their support,” one wag joked, about Sanders and Warren, “and here we thought they’ve renounced super PACs.”

The recent Fox News poll suggested that only 6 percent of Democratic primary voters would definitely support Bloomberg, while 32 would “never vote for him.” That’s a big disadvantage to overcome.

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Bloomberg’s strategy is based on not entering any contests until the Super Tuesday primaries March 3 – after Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina vote.

Sixteen states – including the two most populous, California and Texas – hold primaries on Super Tuesday. They will divide up roughly 36 percent of delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The four early states will have only about 4 percent of convention delegates.

Bloomberg’s hope is that no two candidates will emerge as strong contenders after the first four nominating contests. Given how quickly previous nomination contests have been defined by the initial results, I wouldn’t put too much stock in that hope. Few things are certain in politics, but Iowa will winnow the field, and New Hampshire will likely define it.

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Of course, politics remains unpredictable, with new developments able to shake up races significantly.

While it’s unlikely that either Patrick or Bloomberg will be the Democratic nominee facing Trump in November 2020, neither candidate can be written off. This unpredictability is one of the things that makes politics so interesting.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY ARNON MISHKIN

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103945360001_6103944546001-vs Arnon Mishkin: Good news for Trump – Patrick and Bloomberg candidacies further divide Democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Arnon Mishkin acbe8fe4-b2bd-5143-a01f-5329b3ca1ffd   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103945360001_6103944546001-vs Arnon Mishkin: Good news for Trump – Patrick and Bloomberg candidacies further divide Democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Arnon Mishkin acbe8fe4-b2bd-5143-a01f-5329b3ca1ffd

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California shooting prompted fearful students to text families: ‘i love you and dad so much’

When the gunfire started at a Southern California high school on Thursday morning, many students reached for their phones and started texting.

“Hey mom i don’t know whats going on here at school but i love you and im so thankful for everything youve done for me,” a frightened student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., wrote to her mother during a school shooting that killed at least two students. “everyone is saying theres a shooter on campus i dont know whats going on but i love you and dad so much.”

“Hey mom i don’t know whats going on here at school but i love you and im so thankful for everything youve done for me.”

— Text from Saugus High School student

SHOOTING AT CALIFORNIA’S SAUGUS HIGH SCHOOL LEAVES 2 STUDENTS DEAD, SUSPECT IN CUSTODY, OFFICIALS SAY

“I love you baby,” her mother Cari Wright wrote back, in texts shared with KABC-TV of Los Angeles. “Stay safe.”

Her daughter texted Wright that she was hiding in the music library with other students and later wrote that she thought she was “safe now i think” because they were being escorted out by police.

After Wright was reunited with both of her daughters she told KABC, “I’m very, very happy and grateful for all the school staff that kept our students safe.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19318650674217 California shooting prompted fearful students to text families: 'i love you and dad so much' fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/technologies/smartphones fox-news/tech fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 81bed72f-d038-54df-8246-0cb367d19018

Students are comforted as they wait to be reunited with their parents following a shooting at Saugus High School that injured several people, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (Associated Press)

SUPREME COURT LETS SANDY HOOK FAMILIES’ LAWSUIT AGAINST GUNMAKER PROCEED

A 16-year-old at the school opened fire on students with a .45-caliber handgun in the quad around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, critically wounding a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy who later died at the hospital, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed.

The shooter was taken into custody after he was found on campus with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

He also wounded three other students in the attack.

Andrei Mojica was in his Advanced Placement government class when he heard there was an active shooter. The students helped barricade the door – something they’ve practiced before.

“There was just something different about it from a simple drill to real life,” he said, according to The Los Angeles Times.

“We had no clue whether the shooter was on the opposite side of campus or right outside our door,” he said. “That fear made it feel like we were waiting in silence forever.”

“We had no clue whether the shooter was on the opposite side of campus or right outside our door. That fear made it feel like we were waiting in silence forever.”

— Andrei Mojica, Saugus High School student

Michael Harrison, who received a text from his 17-year-old younger sister that read, “there is a shooter, call 911” said he couldn’t describe how it made him feel.

“Imagine getting that text,” he told The Times.

Anthony Breznican, who has two grade school-aged children at nearby North Park Elementary told The Times he had just dropped his kids off when his wife called him about the shooting.

He rushed back to the elementary school along with other parents.

“You’ve got kids in little Pilgrim outfits planning to do their Thanksgiving pageant today walking out in tears,” Breznican said.

“You’ve got kids in little Pilgrim outfits planning to do their Thanksgiving pageant today walking out in tears.”

— Anthony Breznican, parent with children in nearby elementary school

Joy Songcuan received texts from his freshman son that read “I’m OK, don’t worry” and “There’s a shooting.” Unable to find his son, Songcua used his Find My iPhone app to locate him.

“He’s a strong kid, but he’s still so young,” Songcuan said through tears, according to The Times. “One thing I know for sure — he needs a hug.”

Songcuan told The Times his son doesn’t like to text ‘I love you’ to him because he thinks it’s “cheesy.” On Thursday before they were reunited, a text from his son read, “I love you, too.”

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Multiple candlelight vigils were held Thursday night for the victims.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103970972001_6103942270001-vs California shooting prompted fearful students to text families: 'i love you and dad so much' fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/technologies/smartphones fox-news/tech fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 81bed72f-d038-54df-8246-0cb367d19018   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103970972001_6103942270001-vs California shooting prompted fearful students to text families: 'i love you and dad so much' fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/technologies/smartphones fox-news/tech fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 81bed72f-d038-54df-8246-0cb367d19018

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Can impeachment hearings flop if they’re too boring?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103863486001_6103836518001-vs Can impeachment hearings flop if they’re too boring? Howard Kurtz fox-news/columns/media-buzz fox news fnc/media fnc article 07a7975b-7057-5f33-be30-db8ae7e1d83b

And now, the all-important pizzazz debate.

After the first day of the House impeachment hearings droned to a close, NBC ran a “plenty of substance but little drama” piece, with the subhead: “The first two witnesses called Wednesday testified to Trump’s scheme, but lacked the pizzazz necessary for public attention.”

Reporter Jonathan Allen defended himself, saying optics matter—which of course is true—but there was a telling response from data guru Nate Silver.

CAREER DIPLOMATS WITHSTAND GRILLING AT PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT HEARING

“To a journalist who knows the story in and out, maybe the hearings didn’t reveal much that they didn’t already know,” the 538 founder tweeted. “So maybe *journalists* were bored. But the public doesn’t know as much, the conduct described is very serious, and impeachment is a fairly rare, historic process.”

The House Democrats found themselves in something of a box of their own making. William Taylor and George Kent needed to be calm and steady witnesses, as most observers agree they were, to make the case that they were there as neutral career diplomats rather than anti-Trump advocates.

But the back and forth about military aid and text messages and irregular channels made for less than scintillating television–especially since the Democrats had already leaked or released what the men had to say in closed session. So with a couple of exceptions, there was little new information about the president and Ukraine—at least for the journalists and pundits covering the story.

If there had been fireworks, which the media love, Taylor and Kent would have come off as partisans. So that left a hearing described by Reuters as “consequential but dull.” Politico called it an “impeachment slog.”

Still, more than 13 million people watched the daytime event on the six broadcast and cable news networks, led by Fox.

The problem posed by these hearings is much broader than a couple of witnesses. There is nothing resembling the suspense and drama that surrounded the impeachment efforts against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

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In Nixon’s case, after the exposure of the spying and burglaries, there was a sense that the country was on the brink, and an underlying fear that he might not leave office.

With Clinton, the charges were sexier, to put it crudely, but enough Democrats were critical of his misconduct and lying that there was a momentous sense of a morality play and questions about whether he could survive.

This week, the country is so utterly polarized between Trump supporters and detractors that the hearings feel a bit like a scripted ritual. And that is amplified by the near-certainty that House Democrats will impeach the president on a party-line vote and Senate Republicans will save him.

A New York Times analysis, praising Taylor as “a wise, fatherly figure…with a deep baritone voice reminiscent of Walter Cronkite’s,” acknowledged the muffled impact:

“It was not clear that minds were changed. Certainly they were not inside the room, and most likely not elsewhere on Capitol Hill, where Republicans and Democrats were locked into their positions long ago. Nor were there any immediate signs that the hearing penetrated the general public.”

In the end, a process as solemn as impeachment shouldn’t turn on whether congressional hearings are sufficiently riveting or meet some pizzazz quotient. The prospect of removing a duly elected president is far too serious for that. Did Hamilton worry that the Federalist Papers lacked pizzazz?

But it’s also true that those pushing impeachment are doomed to failure if they can’t mobilize public opinion in an environment in which Americans are accustomed to being constantly entertained.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103863486001_6103836518001-vs Can impeachment hearings flop if they’re too boring? Howard Kurtz fox-news/columns/media-buzz fox news fnc/media fnc article 07a7975b-7057-5f33-be30-db8ae7e1d83b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103863486001_6103836518001-vs Can impeachment hearings flop if they’re too boring? Howard Kurtz fox-news/columns/media-buzz fox news fnc/media fnc article 07a7975b-7057-5f33-be30-db8ae7e1d83b

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Yovanovitch to face GOP grilling on second day of public impeachment hearings

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled this past May, became teary-eyed as she recounted her sudden firing during a closed-door deposition last month, sources told Fox News.

That may have been the easy part.

On Friday morning at 9 a.m. ET, the 60-year-old diplomat will take the stand again for Day Two of the public impeachment hearings against President Trump — and Republicans are set to hammer her with an aggressive cross-examination related to her previous statements under oath, as well as her reported role in shielding a George Soros-linked nonprofit allegedly connected to documented Ukrainian election interference efforts.

“The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news,” was how Trump described Yovanovitch to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call, according to The Washington Post.

“She’s going to go through some things,” the president added ominously.

“The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news. She’s going to go through some things.”

— President Trump

Shortly before Yovanovitch was set to take the stand, Fox News contributor John Solomon published an explosive March interview with Yuriy Lutsenko, a former prosecutor general in Ukraine. Lutsenko claimed that Yovanovitch had given him a “do not prosecute” list — and Solomon reported that Yovanovitch pressured Ukrainian prosecutors to back off a case involving the AntiCorruption Action Centre, funded by Soros, the liberal megadonor.

The U.S. Embassy under Yovanovitch, Solomon reported, also influenced Ukraine to drop prosecution against top law enforcement official Artem Sytnyk, who was singled out by a Ukrainian court for leaking damaging information about Paul Manafort, then Trump’s campaign chairman, to help Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Ukraine courts have ruled that the Manafort financial disclosures constituted illegal election meddling.

Westlake Legal Group AP19308715613874 Yovanovitch to face GOP grilling on second day of public impeachment hearings Gregg Re fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 20a19732-53c5-5bdd-ad83-cbf5bc456794

​​​​​​​Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, center, leaves Capitol Hill in Washington, after testifying before congressional committee members, Oct. 11, 2019. (Associated Press)

Ukraine systematically worked behind the scenes to boost Clinton, Politico has reported. On his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July, Trump specifically asked Zelensky to investigate reports that Ukraine had some involvement in 2016 election interference, before he mentioned taking a look at Joe Biden‘s business dealings in the country.

Though multiple reports, including one from The Associated Press, indicated Lutsenko had recanted his claims about Yovanovitch, Soros said he had not — a revelation later confirmed by The New York Times.

On Friday and beyond, House Republicans plan to sharpen their focus on allegations of Ukraine meddling in the 2016 presidential election, voicing frustration after top diplomats who testified Wednesday said they had no knowledge of the issue. A senior Republican official told Fox News on Thursday that the issue of Ukrainian election meddling would be a “theme” of questions asked by GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee moving forward.

UKRAINE MEDDLING TO BE KEY GOP FOCUS MOVING FORWARD, AFTER WITNESSES APPEARED NOT TO KNOW ABOUT IT

Making matters more complicated for Democrats, Yovanovitch’s testimony was set to come just hours after a bombshell report that a top Ukrainian official said Thursday that U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, a key Democrat impeachment witness, “did not link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.”

Citing that report in a tweet late Thursday, Trump called the impeachment probe “dead.”

Sondland has testified that Trump explicitly told him there were “no quid pro quos of any kind” with Ukraine, including one in which military aid would be conditioned on any politically motivated investigations. (Sondland later amended his testimony, claiming his recollection had been “refreshed,” to say he had come to “understand” from other sources that Trump wanted Ukraine to issue an “anti-corruption statement.”)

Forced out of her job in April, Yovanovitch likely can’t offer much of substance on her own about the central allegations against the president. Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry contend that several months later in the year, Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate the Bidens, and withheld U.S. military aid as leverage.

The timeline will render Yovanovitch vulnerable to the same criticisms that Republicans had for William Taylor and George Kent, the two diplomats who testified during Day One of the impeachment proceedings: That all she can offer is unverifiable hearsay and speculation.

WATCH: JIM JORDAN UNLOADS ON ‘HEARSAY’ TESTIMONY DURING DAY ONE OF IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS

Additionally, Republican lawmakers have argued that Yovanovitch wasn’t entirely truthful in her previous remarks under oath. She communicated via her personal email account with a Democratic congressional staffer concerning a “quite delicate” and “time-sensitive” matter — just two days after the whistleblower complaint that kickstarted the impeachment inquiry was filed, and a month before the complaint became public, emails exclusively obtained by Fox News showed.

The emails appear to contradict Yovanovitch’s deposition on Capitol Hill last month, in which she told U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., about an email she received Aug. 14 from the staffer, Laura Carey — but indicated under oath that she never responded to it.

Westlake Legal Group 67d9c619-AP19317755078201 Yovanovitch to face GOP grilling on second day of public impeachment hearings Gregg Re fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 20a19732-53c5-5bdd-ad83-cbf5bc456794

Profile of former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch;

“I specifically asked her whether the Democratic staffer was responded to by Yovanovitch or the State Department,” Zeldin told Fox News. “It is greatly concerning that Ambassador Yovanovitch didn’t answer my question as honestly as she should have, especially while under oath.”

Yovanovitch’s colleagues, for their part, have said she was the target of a smear campaign by the White House, and Trump himself has called the diplomat “bad news.”

Separately during her remarks, Yovanovitch outlined how she lost her job in Ukraine, even as she remains an employee of the State Department.

“You’re going to think that I’m incredibly naive,” Yovanovitch told impeachment investigators. “But I couldn’t imagine all the things that have happened over the last six or seven months. I just couldn’t imagine it.”

“You’re going to think that I’m incredibly naive. But I couldn’t imagine all the things that have happened over the last six or seven months. I just couldn’t imagine it.”

— Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine 

EMAILS OBTAINED BY FOX NEWS SHOW KEY DEM IMPEACHMENT WITNESS WASN’T HONEST UNDER OATH, GOP SEN SAYS

Democratic lawmakers are expected to point to the circumstances of her ouster as they try to make their case that Trump, with the help of his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, mounted an inappropriate pressure campaign to enlist Zelensky in the effort to damage Biden.

“Giuliani also conducted a smear campaign against the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said at the first public impeachment hearing earlier this week. “A senior State Department official told her that although she had done nothing wrong, President Trump had lost confidence in her.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19316068338485 Yovanovitch to face GOP grilling on second day of public impeachment hearings Gregg Re fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 20a19732-53c5-5bdd-ad83-cbf5bc456794

​​​​​​​Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, center, arrives on Capitol Hill, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington, to testify before congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (Associated Press)

Trump was convinced Yovanovitch was a rogue actor who held a political bias against him, according to a rough transcript of the July 25 call between the president and Zelensky.

At the time of the call, the Trump administration had put a hold on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine and Zelensky and his team were trying to get Trump to commit to a date for a White House meeting.

The intelligence community whistleblower who spurred the House investigation cited Yovanovitch’s ouster as one in a series of events that amounted to an abuse of power by the president.

‘COUP HAS STARTED,’ WHISTLEBLOWER ATTORNEY SAID IN 2017, VOWING IMPEACHMENT

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday accused the president of “bribery” by allegedly “threatening to withhold military aid” in exchange for an “investigation into his political rival” — signaling that Democrats were preparing to go all-in on impeachment. The Washington Post had reported Democrats were retiring the “quid pro quo” language in exchange for “bribery” following an internal study showing the word “bribery” resonated more in battleground states.

Yovanovitch, a State Department employee for 33 years who also led U.S. embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, is well known in diplomatic circles for her measured demeanor and diligence in representing both Republican and Democratic administrations, according to former colleagues.

“Mr. Giuliani was almost unmissable starting in mid-March,” Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified Wednesday. “As the news campaign, or campaign of slander, against not only Ambassador Yovanovitch unfolded … he was on TV, his Twitter feed ramped up and it was all focused on Ukraine.”

After the ambassador’s recall, Giuliani told Ukrainian journalists that Yovanovitch was pulled from Kiev because she was part of efforts against the president. The former New York City mayor also has said that he told the president there were concerns among Trump supporters that she had displayed anti-Trump bias in private conversations.

During her October testimony, Yovanovitch said she was told that the State Department had been under pressure from Trump to remove her from Ukraine since the summer of 2018.

FLASHBACK: TRUMP’S NOT ALONE: CONGRESS DIGGING INTO DNC-UKRAINE CONNECTION 

In late March, the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., posted a tweet referring to her as a “joker,” and linked to an article from the conservative website Daily Wire that detailed a growing call for Yovanovitch’s ouster.

Yovanovitch raised concerns about the U.S. media reports with Sondland. In response, Sondland encouraged her to tweet her support for Trump on social media.

“He said, ‘You know, you need to go big or go home,’” she recalled. “‘You need to, you know, tweet out there that you support the president.’”

The advice allegedly floored Yovanovitch.

BILL CLINTON OFFERS TRUMP SOME IMPEACHMENT ADVICE

“I just didn’t see that there would be any advantage to publicly taking on a fight with those who were criticizing me in the United States,” she said.

“I just didn’t see that there would be any advantage to publicly taking on a fight with those who were criticizing me in the United States.” 

— Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine 

Now Yovanovitch, hardly a marquee name in Washington, finds herself thrust into the spotlight of just the fourth impeachment inquiry in U.S. history.

Nancy McEldowney, a former U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria who has known Yovanovitch for three decades, said the accusations levied by Trump and Giuliani don’t square with the professional envoy whose focus throughout her career has remained on “serving American national interests and supporting the people around her.”

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Some GOP senators have talked about contingency plans should the House impeach the president. Specifically, Republicans have floated the idea of holding a lengthy Senate trial early next year, which would potentially jam up several Democratic presidential contenders in the middle of the primary season.

House Democrats, however, could preempt that strategy — perhaps by approving an article of impeachment, then waiting to approve a second resolution formally notifying the Senate of the impeachment until after the primary season is over.

Fox News’ Gillian Turner, Chad Pergram, Brooke Singman, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103945361001_6103942268001-vs Yovanovitch to face GOP grilling on second day of public impeachment hearings Gregg Re fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 20a19732-53c5-5bdd-ad83-cbf5bc456794   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6103945361001_6103942268001-vs Yovanovitch to face GOP grilling on second day of public impeachment hearings Gregg Re fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 20a19732-53c5-5bdd-ad83-cbf5bc456794

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Missouri man from Bosnia who aided ISIS gets 8-year prison term, faces deportation

A Missouri man who came to the U.S. from Bosnia was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison for supporting terrorists, including an ISIS leader in Syria.

Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 45, of St. Louis County, pleaded guilty last spring to backing Bosnian-American Abdullah Ramo Pazara, who left Missouri for Syria in 2013 and died fighting for ISIS, authorities said.

ISIS TARGET BELIEVED TO BE ABU BAKR AL-BAGHDADI IS KILLED IN SYRIA: SOURCES

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Ramiz Zijad Hodzic provided material support to ISIS terrorists, authorities say.

Hodzic sent cash and military equipment to several Middle Eastern countries and Pazara between 2013 and 2015 that furthered ISIS’s efforts, prosecutors said.

His attorney asked for a lighter sentence, saying Hodzic mostly sent Pazara supplies like socks and that he loved the United States, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

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Three of Hodzic’s co-defendants have already been sentenced. His wife and another defendant who pleaded not guilty await sentencing.

Hodzic will be deported after his prison term, authorities said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

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Browns, Steelers brawl at end of Cleveland’s 21-7 win

CLEVELAND  — Cleveland defense end Myles Garrett ripped off Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet and hit him with it in the head in the final seconds as the Browns’ 21-7 win over the Steelers on Thursday night ended with a wild brawl between the rivals.

Garrett faces a likely suspension for his actions, and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey will likely be disciplined for kicking Garrett in the head.

STEPHEN A. SMITH: COLIN KAPERNICK ‘NEEDS TO SHUT UP’ AND PLAY IF HE WANTS TO GET BACK IN NFL

Players from both sidelines spilled on the field during the wild melee, which began after Garrett wrestled Rudolph to the ground after he threw the ball on a meaningless play. Garrett, Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi were ejected.

Westlake Legal Group d0b09b21-MNF-cropped-1204am Browns, Steelers brawl at end of Cleveland’s 21-7 win Tom Withers fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/cleveland-browns fox-news/sports/nfl fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 764581c9-7aa8-5be1-9055-e6a78eeb658f

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) hits Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) with a helmet during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. (Associated Press)

Before the ugly ending, Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes and scored on a 1-yard plunge as Cleveland held on to defeat the banged-up Steelers for just the fourth time in 10 years and improved to 2-0 in the AFC North for the first time.

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The Browns (4-6) have won two in a row after dropping four straight, a skid that put first-year coach Freddie Kitchens’ job in jeopardy.

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Protesters hound Brett Kavanaugh with Christine Blasey Ford video outside DC event

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6090161738001_6090159029001-vs Protesters hound Brett Kavanaugh with Christine Blasey Ford video outside DC event fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/confirmation-of-judge-kavanaugh fox-news/politics fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 67d186cd-2bc1-504c-9bc8-ac0681e6151c

Protesters hounded Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday night outside an event in Washington, greeting him with shouts of “Impeach Kavanaugh” and a large screen replaying accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s congressional testimony.

The demonstration outside the annual Federalist Society gala, where Kavanaugh was a featured speaker, continued a string of public harassment against conservatives in recent years.

The screen playing Ford’s testimony — in which she accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teenagers — was on a truck rolled up to the event by liberal activist group Demand Justice, The Washington Post reported.

KAVANAUGH DENIES SEXUAL MISCONDUCT IN FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: ‘I KNOW I’M TELLING THE TRUTH’

Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations and was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a narrow margin in the Senate in October 2018, shortly after Ford gave her testimony to Congress.

“Brett Kavanaugh apparently thinks one year is enough time for the public to forget about his sham of a confirmation proceeding,” Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, said, according to USA Today. “The more of a public presence he asserts, the more damage he does to the court’s legitimacy.”

Thursday’s speaking engagement was to be the first for Kavanaugh in front of a large group since he was confirmed, The Post reported.

Once inside, Kavanaugh spoke to a more supportive crowd of 2,000-plus attendees.

“I signed up for what I knew would be an ugly process – maybe not that ugly – but my friends did not,” he said in his speech. “And yet in the midst of it all, they stood up, and they stood by me.”

Kavanaugh added that he is “optimistic about the future of America and our independent judiciary.”

Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society and White House adviser on judicial appointments, said he thought Kavanaugh was teaching the audience a lesson about persistence in the face of adversity.

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“In today’s culture, when you stand for certain principles, you’re going to be attacked, and you need to have the courage to see it through,” he said, according to USA Today.

Other conservatives to be targeted by protesters in recent years include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, former White House press secertary Sarah Sanders and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

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Browns, Steelers brawl at end of Cleveland’s 21-7 win

CLEVELAND  — Cleveland defense end Myles Garrett ripped off Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet and hit him with it in the head in the final seconds as the Browns’ 21-7 win over the Steelers on Thursday night ended with a wild brawl between the rivals.

Garrett faces a likely suspension for his actions, and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey will likely be disciplined for kicking Garrett in the head.

STEPHEN A. SMITH: COLIN KAPERNICK ‘NEEDS TO SHUT UP’ AND PLAY IF HE WANTS TO GET BACK IN NFL

Players from both sidelines spilled on the field during the wild melee, which began after Garrett wrestled Rudolph to the ground after he threw the ball on a meaningless play. Garrett, Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi were ejected.

Westlake Legal Group d0b09b21-MNF-cropped-1204am Browns, Steelers brawl at end of Cleveland’s 21-7 win Tom Withers fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/cleveland-browns fox-news/sports/nfl fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 764581c9-7aa8-5be1-9055-e6a78eeb658f

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) hits Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) with a helmet during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Cleveland. (Associated Press)

Before the ugly ending, Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes and scored on a 1-yard plunge as Cleveland held on to defeat the banged-up Steelers for just the fourth time in 10 years and improved to 2-0 in the AFC North for the first time.

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The Browns (4-6) have won two in a row after dropping four straight, a skid that put first-year coach Freddie Kitchens’ job in jeopardy.

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