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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 88)

California Passes Landmark Bill to Remake Gig Economy

Westlake Legal Group 10gigworklaw-facebookJumbo California Passes Landmark Bill to Remake Gig Economy Wages and Salaries Uber Technologies Inc State Legislatures Paid Time Off minimum wage Labor and Jobs Freelancing, Self-Employment and Independent Contracting Car Services and Livery Cabs

SACRAMENTO — California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure.

The bill passed in a 29 to 11 vote in the State Senate and will apply to app-based companies, despite their efforts to negotiate an exemption. California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, endorsed the bill this month and is expected to sign it. Under the measure, which would go into effect Jan. 1, workers must be designated as employees instead of contractors if a company exerts control over how they perform their tasks or if their work is part of a company’s regular business.

The legislation will affect at least one million workers in California who have been on the receiving end of a decades-long trend of outsourcing and franchising work, making employer-worker relationships more arm’s-length. Many people have been pushed into contractor status with no access to basic protections like a minimum wage and unemployment insurance. Ride-hailing drivers, food-delivery couriers, janitors, nail salon workers, construction workers and franchise owners could now all be reclassified as employees.

But the bill’s passage threatens gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft. The ride-hailing firms — along with app-based services that offer food delivery, home repairs and dog-walking services — have built their businesses on inexpensive, independent labor. Uber and Lyft, which have hundreds of thousands of drivers in California, have said contract work provides people with flexibility. They have warned that recognizing drivers as employees could destroy their businesses.

The bill, which codifies and extends a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling, may influence other states. A coalition of labor groups is pushing similar legislation in New York, and bills in Washington State and Oregon that were similar to California’s but failed to advance could see renewed momentum. New York City passed a minimum wage for ride-hailing drivers last year but did not try to make them employees.

“It will have major reverberations around the country,” said David Weil, a top Labor Department official during the Obama administration and the author of a book on the so-called fissuring of the workplace. He argued that the bill could set a new bar for worker protections and force business owners to rethink their reliance on contractors.

“It’s particularly critical because of the impact it’s going to have on the development of other business models,” Mr. Weil said.

California legislators said the bill, known as Assembly Bill 5 and proposed by State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat, would set the tone for the future of work.

“Today the so-called gig companies present themselves as the innovative future of tomorrow, a future where companies don’t pay Social Security or Medicare,” said State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, a Democrat. “Let’s be clear: there is nothing innovative about underpaying someone for their labor.”

She added, ”Today we are determining the future of the California economy.”

Gig-type work has been under the spotlight for years as companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash in the United States — as well as Didi Chuxing in China and Ola in India — have grown into behemoths even as the contractors they relied on did not receive the benefits or minimum pay guaranteed to employees. Many of the companies have worked assiduously to beat back efforts to classify their workers as employees, settling class-action lawsuits from drivers and securing exemptions from rules that might have threatened the drivers’ freelancer status.

While regulators in California and at least three other states — New York, Alaska and Oregon — had found that ride-hailing drivers were employees under state laws for narrow purposes, like eligibility for unemployment insurance, those findings could be overridden by state laws explicitly deeming the drivers as contractors. About half the states in the nation had passed such provisions.

But more recently, the tide began changing. Two federal proposals introduced since 2018 have sought to redefine the way workers are classified to allow more of them to unionize. Those proposals have received support from candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, including Senators Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The presidential hopefuls also lent their endorsement to the California bill.

In Britain, Uber has appealed a decision by a labor tribunal that drivers must be classified as workers entitled to minimum wage and vacation. The country’s Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the case next year.

“Some form of benefits to some population of drivers seems inevitable,” said Lloyd Walmsley, an equity research analyst at Deutsche Bank who follows the ride-hailing industry.

A critical question is how gig economy companies will react to California’s new law. Industry officials have estimated that having to rely on employees rather than contractors raises costs by 20 to 30 percent.

Uber and Lyft have repeatedly warned that they will have to start scheduling drivers in advance if they are employees, reducing drivers’ ability to work when and where they want.

Experts said that there is nothing in the bill that requires employees to work set shifts, and that Uber and Lyft are legally entitled to continue allowing drivers to make their own scheduling decisions.

In practice, Uber and Lyft might choose to limit the number of drivers who can work during slow hours or in less busy markets, where drivers may not generate enough in fares to justify their payroll costs as employees. That could lead to a reduced need for drivers over all.

But Veena Dubal, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, said it would still generally be advantageous for Uber and Lyft to rely on incentives like bonus pay to ensure they had enough drivers on the road to adjust to customer demand much more nimbly than if they scheduled drivers in advance.

“It doesn’t make sense for them” to drastically limit flexibility, she said.

Some of the companies are not done fighting the bill. Uber, Lyft and DoorDash have pledged to spend $90 million to support a ballot initiative that would essentially exempt them from the legislation. Uber has also said it will litigate misclassification claims from drivers in arbitration and press lawmakers to consider a separate bill that could exempt them from A.B. 5’s impact when the legislative session begins in January.

California cities will have ways to enforce the new law. In last-minute amendments to the measure, legislators gave large cities the right to sue companies that don’t comply.

The bill was not universally supported by drivers. Some opposed it because they worried it would make it hard to keep a flexible schedule. After Uber and Lyft sent messages to drivers and riders in California in August asking them to contact legislators on the companies’ behalf, legislative aides said they had noticed a spike in calls.

As the bill wound its way through the Legislature, the ride-hailing companies sought an agreement that would create a new category of workers between contractor and employee. They met with labor groups and Governor Newsom’s office to negotiate a deal to give drivers a minimum wage and the right to organize, while stopping short of classifying them as employees.

But in July and August, labor groups balked, and the proposed deal disintegrated. Some company officials have expressed cautious optimism in recent days about striking a deal with labor after the bill’s passage.

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

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He’s Target Of ‘Attempted Coup’

Westlake Legal Group 5d78724b2300001005512bed Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He’s Target Of ‘Attempted Coup’

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said Tuesday that he is asking the FBI to investigate what he called a “criminal” smear campaign orchestrated against him by several disgruntled former board members and employees.

Falwell told The Associated Press he has evidence that the group improperly shared emails belonging to the university with reporters in an attempt to discredit him. He said the “attempted coup” was partially motivated by his ardent backing of President Donald Trump.

Falwell, head of the nation’s most high-profile evangelical college, was among the earliest Christian conservatives to endorse Trump’s campaign.

His allegations come after the publication of a story in Politico Magazine on Monday that alleged Falwell “presides over a culture of self-dealing” at Liberty that has improperly benefited him and his family. The story cited unnamed sources described as current and former officials or Falwell associates.

“I’m not going to dignify the lies that were reported yesterday with a response, but I am going to the authorities and I am going to civil court,” Falwell said, referring to the reporter as a “little boy.”

He added that Liberty has hired “the meanest lawyer in New York,” whom he declined to identify, to pursue civil cases. Falwell also declined to identify the people he said were spreading the emails.

Falwell is the son of the late evangelist, Liberty founder and Moral Majority leader, the Rev. Jerry Falwell. He has come under increased scrutiny recently over his personal life and business investments, including his involvement in a Miami hostel.

The Hill first reported on Tuesday that Falwell had requested an FBI investigation.

Falwell said he contacted the FBI last week after he learned that reporters were reaching out to Liberty employees about the emails he insists were stolen.

“Liberty owns every single one of those emails. It’s our property. They were working for us when they used our server. And our policies make it clear every email sent on our server is owned by Liberty and if anybody shares it with anybody outside Liberty, it is theft. And so that’s the underlying crime,” Falwell told AP in a phone interview.

An FBI spokeswoman declined comment.

Cybercrime expert Nick Akerman said Falwell’s assertion of a criminal conspiracy is “totally insane.” Akerman said the ex-board members and employees can share emails with reporters as long as they had authorized access to them and didn’t hack into someone else’s account. He said trade secrets are also protected under the law, but Liberty wouldn’t be able to make a case there either.

“I don’t think any law enforcement agency is going to be interested in this one,” said Akerman, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney and former federal prosecutor.

Liberty, based in Lynchburg, Virginia, was founded in 1971 by Falwell’s father with just 154 students. It now boasts an enrollment of more than 100,000, including those in its massive online education program. It has become an influential hub of conservative politics, frequented by candidates courting evangelical voters.

Falwell was an early and ardent Trump supporter, which created a rift on campus during the presidential campaign and has sparked controversy since.

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

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He’s Target Of ‘Attempted Coup’

Westlake Legal Group 5d78724b2300001005512bed Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He’s Target Of ‘Attempted Coup’

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said Tuesday that he is asking the FBI to investigate what he called a “criminal” smear campaign orchestrated against him by several disgruntled former board members and employees.

Falwell told The Associated Press he has evidence that the group improperly shared emails belonging to the university with reporters in an attempt to discredit him. He said the “attempted coup” was partially motivated by his ardent backing of President Donald Trump.

Falwell, head of the nation’s most high-profile evangelical college, was among the earliest Christian conservatives to endorse Trump’s campaign.

His allegations come after the publication of a story in Politico Magazine on Monday that alleged Falwell “presides over a culture of self-dealing” at Liberty that has improperly benefited him and his family. The story cited unnamed sources described as current and former officials or Falwell associates.

“I’m not going to dignify the lies that were reported yesterday with a response, but I am going to the authorities and I am going to civil court,” Falwell said, referring to the reporter as a “little boy.”

He added that Liberty has hired “the meanest lawyer in New York,” whom he declined to identify, to pursue civil cases. Falwell also declined to identify the people he said were spreading the emails.

Falwell is the son of the late evangelist, Liberty founder and Moral Majority leader, the Rev. Jerry Falwell. He has come under increased scrutiny recently over his personal life and business investments, including his involvement in a Miami hostel.

The Hill first reported on Tuesday that Falwell had requested an FBI investigation.

Falwell said he contacted the FBI last week after he learned that reporters were reaching out to Liberty employees about the emails he insists were stolen.

“Liberty owns every single one of those emails. It’s our property. They were working for us when they used our server. And our policies make it clear every email sent on our server is owned by Liberty and if anybody shares it with anybody outside Liberty, it is theft. And so that’s the underlying crime,” Falwell told AP in a phone interview.

An FBI spokeswoman declined comment.

Cybercrime expert Nick Akerman said Falwell’s assertion of a criminal conspiracy is “totally insane.” Akerman said the ex-board members and employees can share emails with reporters as long as they had authorized access to them and didn’t hack into someone else’s account. He said trade secrets are also protected under the law, but Liberty wouldn’t be able to make a case there either.

“I don’t think any law enforcement agency is going to be interested in this one,” said Akerman, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney and former federal prosecutor.

Liberty, based in Lynchburg, Virginia, was founded in 1971 by Falwell’s father with just 154 students. It now boasts an enrollment of more than 100,000, including those in its massive online education program. It has become an influential hub of conservative politics, frequented by candidates courting evangelical voters.

Falwell was an early and ardent Trump supporter, which created a rift on campus during the presidential campaign and has sparked controversy since.

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

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He’s Target Of ‘Attempted Coup’

Westlake Legal Group 5d78724b2300001005512bed Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He’s Target Of ‘Attempted Coup’

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said Tuesday that he is asking the FBI to investigate what he called a “criminal” smear campaign orchestrated against him by several disgruntled former board members and employees.

Falwell told The Associated Press he has evidence that the group improperly shared emails belonging to the university with reporters in an attempt to discredit him. He said the “attempted coup” was partially motivated by his ardent backing of President Donald Trump.

Falwell, head of the nation’s most high-profile evangelical college, was among the earliest Christian conservatives to endorse Trump’s campaign.

His allegations come after the publication of a story in Politico Magazine on Monday that alleged Falwell “presides over a culture of self-dealing” at Liberty that has improperly benefited him and his family. The story cited unnamed sources described as current and former officials or Falwell associates.

“I’m not going to dignify the lies that were reported yesterday with a response, but I am going to the authorities and I am going to civil court,” Falwell said, referring to the reporter as a “little boy.”

He added that Liberty has hired “the meanest lawyer in New York,” whom he declined to identify, to pursue civil cases. Falwell also declined to identify the people he said were spreading the emails.

Falwell is the son of the late evangelist, Liberty founder and Moral Majority leader, the Rev. Jerry Falwell. He has come under increased scrutiny recently over his personal life and business investments, including his involvement in a Miami hostel.

The Hill first reported on Tuesday that Falwell had requested an FBI investigation.

Falwell said he contacted the FBI last week after he learned that reporters were reaching out to Liberty employees about the emails he insists were stolen.

“Liberty owns every single one of those emails. It’s our property. They were working for us when they used our server. And our policies make it clear every email sent on our server is owned by Liberty and if anybody shares it with anybody outside Liberty, it is theft. And so that’s the underlying crime,” Falwell told AP in a phone interview.

An FBI spokeswoman declined comment.

Cybercrime expert Nick Akerman said Falwell’s assertion of a criminal conspiracy is “totally insane.” Akerman said the ex-board members and employees can share emails with reporters as long as they had authorized access to them and didn’t hack into someone else’s account. He said trade secrets are also protected under the law, but Liberty wouldn’t be able to make a case there either.

“I don’t think any law enforcement agency is going to be interested in this one,” said Akerman, a partner at Dorsey & Whitney and former federal prosecutor.

Liberty, based in Lynchburg, Virginia, was founded in 1971 by Falwell’s father with just 154 students. It now boasts an enrollment of more than 100,000, including those in its massive online education program. It has become an influential hub of conservative politics, frequented by candidates courting evangelical voters.

Falwell was an early and ardent Trump supporter, which created a rift on campus during the presidential campaign and has sparked controversy since.

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

Husband, who has violent past, killed Heather Gumina Waters because she was ‘witness to a crime’: report

Westlake Legal Group CaliforniaCrimeSplit1 Husband, who has violent past, killed Heather Gumina Waters because she was 'witness to a crime': report fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 277c737e-9f27-5ca7-95e9-b07d99a4b6e2

A California man accused of killing his missing wife, whose body was found Friday, allegedly murdered her to prevent her from testifying about a crime she witnessed, court documents revealed Tuesday, according to a report.

Anthony Gumina of Pleasant Valley, Calif., about 50 miles east of Sacramento, was in court Tuesday, four days after the body of Heather Gumina Waters was found in the Pleasant Valley area. She had been missing since July 15.

REMAINS OF MISSING CALIFORNIA MOTHER OF 3 DISCOVERED, HUSBAND ARRESTED, SHERIFF’S OFFICE SAYS

“Heather Gumina was a witness to a crime and was intentionally killed to prevent her from testifying in a criminal proceeding,” the criminal complaint says, according to Sacramento’s FOX 40.

“Heather Gumina was a witness to a crime and was intentionally killed to prevent her from testifying in a criminal proceeding.”

— Statement in criminal complaint against Anthony Gumina

The husband has a history of violence, FOX 40 reported. In January, he was charged with tackling his wife while she held their 4-year-old son and tried to prevent her from calling 911.

Gumina was also charged with breaking his wife’s collarbone the night before she went missing.

It’s not clear what crime the complaint refers to her witnessing, but it may have been the January attack, FOX 40 reported.

Gumina was also accused of threatening to kill a former business partner and burn down his house in 2017. He allegedly kicked in the man’s front door, pushed him to the ground and drove away in his backhoe, according to the station.

He tested positive for opioids and methamphetamines at the time.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday on Facebook that Anthony Gumina, 44, was initially arrested on an outstanding no-bail warrant for domestic violence.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group CaliforniaCrimeSplit1 Husband, who has violent past, killed Heather Gumina Waters because she was 'witness to a crime': report fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 277c737e-9f27-5ca7-95e9-b07d99a4b6e2   Westlake Legal Group CaliforniaCrimeSplit1 Husband, who has violent past, killed Heather Gumina Waters because she was 'witness to a crime': report fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 277c737e-9f27-5ca7-95e9-b07d99a4b6e2

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

‘Trump Unplugged’: A President as His Own National Security Adviser

WASHINGTON — On one foreign policy issue after another, John R. Bolton was the in-house skeptic who checked President Trump’s most unorthodox instincts. Whether it was talking to North Korea, cooperating with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia or inviting the Taliban to Camp David, he was the national security adviser who said no.

Mr. Bolton’s exit from the West Wing on Tuesday removes one of the last constraints on Mr. Trump’s sense of the possible in world affairs. In not quite three years in the White House, Mr. Trump has cycled through more senior foreign policy and national security advisers than any other president, leaving him without the men who once were considered the adults in the room: Jim Mattis, Rex W. Tillerson, H. R. McMaster, John F. Kelly and more.

“The departure of Bolton suggests that President Trump is going to be his own foreign policy adviser,” said Martin S. Indyk, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who served as a diplomat and National Security Council official during the Clinton administration.

And no matter who replaces Mr. Bolton, “it’s not going to be an important position anymore — there really isn’t going to be much of a process under Trump,” said Eliot A. Cohen, who worked for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during the administration of President George W. Bush.

“It’s going to be whatever is most conducive to his re-election,” Mr. Cohen said.

Mr. Bolton followed the Cold War model of foreign policy, but to an extent that Democrats and some moderate Republicans found to be extreme. He pushed for military action against Iran and Syria over their weapons policies, called for the “end of North Korea” and most recently said the United States must be more forceful in confronting the Venezuelan government.

Still, he was firmly tied to the Republican foreign policy establishment.

Mr. Trump came into office with a completely unconventional foreign policy that combined an instinctive isolationism with theatrical attempts at deal-making. And he has shown himself to be uninterested in working through the alliances that largely defined 50 years of bipartisan American foreign policy.

Mr. Trump’s diplomacy of showmanship has produced few big successes beyond a precedent-breaking series of meetings with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and declaring the defeat of the Islamic State caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 10dc-assess2-articleLarge ‘Trump Unplugged’: A President as His Own National Security Adviser United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Sullivan, Jacob J (1976- ) Pompeo, Mike National Security Council Indyk, Martin S Bolton, John R

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, at a news conference with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, will now have the most influence over Mr. Trump’s foreign policy.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

To make headway in negotiations, Mr. Trump will almost certainly have to soften some of his absolutist foreign policies. That means returning to peace talks with the Taliban — even though Mr. Trump declared that process “dead” on Monday.

In North Korea, that could mean a phased rollback of its nuclear abilities instead of an immediate and full denuclearization, as the Trump administration has demanded.

And in dealing with Iran, American officials may need to ease a “maximum pressure” campaign of bruising economic sanctions before President Hassan Rouhani will agree to meet with Mr. Trump — perhaps as soon as this month at the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Mr. Bolton would have opposed all of those moves. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, now the senior national security official on Mr. Trump’s team, is not likely to stand in the president’s way.

It is not known what Mr. Pompeo — or Mr. Trump, for that matter — will do to resolve a range of intractable problems, including peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel holds elections next week that could determine the fate of Mr. Trump’s ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after which the White House has promised to release its long-awaited blueprint.

Mr. Trump also has no clear endgame for his trade fight with China, and must find a way to reconcile his staunch refusal to back down with the risk that higher tariffs will spoil the economic growth on which his re-election largely depends.

Mr. Pompeo has taken pains to ensure that he is marching firmly in step with his commander in chief. Mr. Bolton’s ouster — which he insists was a resignation — will further enhance Mr. Pompeo’s substantial influence over Mr. Trump’s foreign policy, even at the risk of overriding his own hawkish impulses.

It was Mr. Pompeo who directed and oversaw the special envoy who conducted months of peace talks with the Afghan Taliban, a process Mr. Trump called off last week but may yet resume. Mr. Bolton saw no reason to negotiate with the Afghan insurgent group, which harbored the Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. It was opposition to Mr. Trump’s effort to strike a peace deal that was Mr. Bolton’s ultimate undoing.

Mr. Bolton “understands the world for what it is and the dangers that threaten America’s national security interests,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said on Twitter.

Mr. Trump’s personal diplomacy of showmanship has so far produced few big successes beyond a precedent-breaking series of meetings with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and declaring the defeat of the Islamic State caliphate in Syria and Iraq.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

And as impulsive and unpredictable as the president’s actions may be, firing Mr. Bolton reveals a certain consistency in Mr. Trump’s worldview: Though attracted to never-been-done theatrics like bringing the Taliban to Camp David or meeting with Mr. Kim, the president is also moored by suspicion of military adventures and has a huge appetite for deals.

What Mr. Trump really wants from his foreign policy is a diplomatic victory as he heads into his 2020 re-election campaign.

“The irreconcilable difference between Bolton and Trump was that Bolton fundamentally doesn’t believe in diplomacy with adversaries, and President Trump seeks diplomacy with adversaries as must-see TV,” said Jake Sullivan, a top Democratic adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

He said Mr. Pompeo “is much more deferential to the president, and more interested in cultivating a good relationship with the president than sticking to his ideological guns.”

Among Mr. Trump’s national security team, Mr. Pompeo is now widely considered the first among equals.

At least three contenders mentioned on Tuesday to replace Mr. Bolton — the Iran envoy Brian H. Hook; Stephen E. Biegun, the United States’ special representative for North Korea; and Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany — are among Mr. Pompeo’s top lieutenants at the State Department.

But should Mr. Trump again look for a scapegoat should his foreign policy founder, Mr. Pompeo has an exit strategy — the prospect of running for the Senate from his adopted home state of Kansas, as Republican Party leaders are lobbying him to do. Mr. Pompeo has brushed off the political campaign by maintaining that he will remain at the State Department as long as Mr. Trump wants, but he has not shut the door on entering the race, according to Republicans who have spoken with him about running.

For now, “Pompeo is not going to allow for any daylight to show between himself and the president,” Mr. Indyk said. “What we are going to see now is Trump unplugged — and God knows where that is going to lead America.”

The president said he would name a new national security adviser next week.

“It’s hard for me to imagine Trump not choosing someone whose only agenda is to carry out the president’s agenda,” said Matthew C. Waxman, who held multiple national security posts in the George W. Bush administration and is now a law professor at Columbia University. “And it’s hard for me to imagine someone taking the job without that idea in mind.”

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

Texas daycare van flips upside down with 9 children inside after driver blows red light: report

Westlake Legal Group c65b811b-crime-scene-iStock Texas daycare van flips upside down with 9 children inside after driver blows red light: report fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 61d1cd0e-a6c6-5184-82ab-ee3343c28407

A daycare van in Texas that was carrying nine children flipped over onto its roof on the side of the road Tuesday afternoon after the driver ran a red light, according to a report.

Helicopter footage showed a van with the Kid City daycare logo flipped upside down in the grass near an intersection in Alvin, Texas, just after 3:30 p.m., Houston’s KTRK-TV reported.

FLORIDA DAY CARE WORKER CHARGED IN DEATH OF 2-YEAR-OLD LEFT IN HOT VAN, OFFICIALS SAY

Police said all nine children on the bus were transported to Kid City’s Friendswood location after the incident. At least some suffered minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruising. All were expected to recover.

“This is one of my worst nightmares as a daycare owner,” the owner of Kid City daycare told KTRK. “Our number one job every single day is to keep every child safe, and if we’re not doing that, we’re not doing our number one job. So, when something like this happens, it’s devastating.”

The station did not identify the owner by name.

“This is one of my worst nightmares as a daycare owner. Our number one job every single day is to keep every child safe, and if we’re not doing that, we’re not doing our number one job. So, when something like this happens, it’s devastating.”

— Owner of Kid City daycare

The driver of the van was cited for blowing a red light, authorities told the station. That individual was not transported to the hospital following the crash.

The owner of the daycare was not aware that the driver was cited for a traffic violation at the time of the interview, the station reported. It was unclear if the driver would be terminated or receive any disciplinary action from the daycare company following the crash.

Kid City Friendswood wrote on Facebook on Tuesday evening: “Thank you, everyone, for your love and support! Kid city and our families are staying strong, and we are truly blessed that there were no serious injuries. We love our kid city family! ❤️”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

The KTRK helicopter footage also showed a silver Nissan at the interception with visible damage to its front end.

Westlake Legal Group c65b811b-crime-scene-iStock Texas daycare van flips upside down with 9 children inside after driver blows red light: report fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 61d1cd0e-a6c6-5184-82ab-ee3343c28407   Westlake Legal Group c65b811b-crime-scene-iStock Texas daycare van flips upside down with 9 children inside after driver blows red light: report fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 61d1cd0e-a6c6-5184-82ab-ee3343c28407

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

Opinion: Antonio Brown is becoming the worst thing to happen to NFL's 100th season

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Opinion: Antonio Brown is becoming the worst thing to happen to NFL's 100th season

Antonio Brown hasn’t just crashed the NFL’s 100th birthday party, he’s hijacked it.

The league planned on this season being a six-month celebration of its best games, biggest names and most iconic moments. Instead, it’s going to be all about AB, and there’s not a damn thing the NFL, the New England Patriots or even the iron-handed Bill Belichick can do about it.

Brown’s former trainer accused the receiver of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Florida. It’s far too soon to make a judgment on the allegations; there are text messages that, if authentic, are troubling, while Brown’s attorney called the allegations a “money grab” and said any sexual encounters were consensual.

It will be weeks, and more likely months, before there’s any resolution to the lawsuit. Which means the NFL and the Patriots are stuck with this never-ending sideshow.

No matter how many times Belichick tries to stonewall and say the Patriots are on to whoever they’re playing that week, it won’t stop the questions about Brown. Anytime Commissioner Roger Goodell appears in public, he’ll be asked for an update on the wide receiver or to assess the various possible outcomes. 

LAWSUIT: Antonio Brown accused of sexual assault

BILL BELICHICK: Patriots coach thinks receiver will work out for Patriots

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At every game and every practice, Brown will be under a microscope, his body language and interactions with Tom Brady and Belichick assessed and debated for even the slightest hint of trouble or discord.

And that’s assuming Brown doesn’t create any new dramas. Good luck with that.

The NFL had to have hoped the AB circus would fold its tents once he signed with the Patriots. Belichick doesn’t make allowances for anyone, even Brady, and the assumption was that Brown would toe the line just as Randy Moss and Chad Johnson did.

Anybody who really believed that hasn’t been paying attention the last six months. Heck, just the last six days should have been enough. 

The Oakland Raiders thought they had the deal of the century when they acquired Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers for what was essentially a bag of footballs. But the Raiders soon found out there’s a price to pay for Brown’s colossal talents.

First it was the cryotherapy gone wrong, which left Brown with frost-bitten feet. Then it was the holdout over not being able to wear his beloved but outdated helmet. No sooner had that been resolved than Brown threw a tantrum over fines imposed by general manager Mike Mayock.

A contrite Brown apologized to his teammates and coach Jon Gruden said he would play in Monday night’s opener. Less than 24 hours later, Brown was gone, cut after taking to Instagram and demanding the Raiders release him.

A few hours later, Brown announced he would sign with the Patriots.  

“It helps everybody when you have great players that are sharing the burden of a tough football season,” Brady said Sunday night. “We’re all excited to have him.”  

That was then. Now, it’s a dumpster fire threatening to suck up all of the oxygen in the NFL for the foreseeable future. Remember the Patriots’ complete rout of the Steelers? The “Can you top this?” last minute of the Texans-Saints game Monday night? Yeah. I didn’t think so.

No doubt the NFL and, probably, the Patriots are wishing they could make this all go away. But Goodell can’t suspend Brown, not without some proof there is merit to the lawsuit. If the Patriots cut Brown, they’d be out the $9 million they gave him as a signing bonus.

No league commands attention like the NFL. But it has met its match, and then some, with Antonio Brown. 

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

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iPhone 11: Are Apple's latest iPhones worth the money?

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On Tuesday, Apple unveiled its iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max as well as the latest Apple Watch Series 5. Harrison Hill, USA TODAY

Now that Apple has unveiled the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, the most obvious question is whether Tim Cook & Co. have done enough to convince you to buy the latest handsets when they hit stores on Sept. 20.

Though the final verdict must wait until we’ve put the new phones through their paces, the short answer is that depends on where you are in the buying cycle and how much stock do you put on new features that mainly focus on the camera.

For some, that answer is a lot. But what’s also of paramount importance is battery life, another area Apple has apparently addressed.

Everything iPhone: Apple launches 3 new iPhones starting at $699, plus updated Watch and iPad

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What I can tell you after some modest hands-on time is these are attractive models with a solid feel. Among factors to consider:

Can I get a bargain somewhere? 

Price is always a key buying factor too, of course, and while the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are surely expensive starting at $999 and $1,099, respectively, the iPhone 11 starts at what, for a newly minted model, is a pretty reasonable $699, lower with a trade-in.

If you really want a relative bargain, consider last year’s iPhone XR, now down to a starting price of $599 or the iPhone 8 at $449.

The iPhone 11, the nominal successor to the XR which it resembles, comes in six colors and has a handsome 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display. It will be available in 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage capacities. 

iPhone 11 gets a power boost

The anodized aluminum iPhone 11 has the same powerful A13 Bionic processor – Apple claims it as the fastest chip ever put in a smartphone – as the 11 Pros.

(Apple spent a fair amount of time on stage with geeky explainers on the power of this chip.)

And the iPhone 11 has a dual-camera system – the XR had one rear camera – built around wide and ultra-wide cameras, each 12-megapixels. Apple uses shading on the screen to help you get a sense of what’s in the frame on wide shots.

Apple says you’ll get an additional hour of battery life with the 11 compared to the XR, but I’m not sure that you’ll immediately trade in a phone you bought over the last several months for this new mode. But most people in the market for the iPhone 11, or the iPhone 11 Pro models, are probably looking to upgrade handsets that are well over two years old. So those battery life differences are likely to be way more pronounced.

It should be even more dramatic if Apple’s claims for the battery life on the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are accurate. The 11 Pro boasts up to four more hours of battery life in a day than the iPhone XS had and five more hours for the iPhone 11 Pro Max compared to the iPhone XS Max.

New iPhone? Not for these holdouts: Older-model 5S owners don’t need or want one

What about all those cameras

Otherwise, the camera, again, would be the other main reason to consider the Pro. Each has a triple-camera system with wide, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses. According to Apple, the telephoto lens can capture 40% more light compared to the iPhone XS.

(And we’re looking forward to testing these in the wild soon, not just in Apple’s crowded demo room.)

It was pretty easy to tap the screen to move back and forth from one lens to another. 

Having the lens trio also promises to improve the pictures you take through Portrait mode.

One thing that’s intriguing is an upcoming software feature called Deep Fusion. It uses machine learning and takes advantage of the neural engine inside of A13 Bionic to analyze each pixel in a photo, for texture, details and such. Even before you press the shutter to snap an image, the phone automatically captures eight long and short exposure photos. When you do press the shutter, a long exposure is also captured. In an instant, the phone is supposed to take all this information, smush it together, to produce what is supposed to be the ideal possible image. On the stage, Apple exec Phil Schiller called it “computational photography mad science.”

Note to fans of Google’s Pixels. Yes, Google has long applied its own mad science to photos. 

The Pixel also beat the iPhone to a Night Mode feature that promises to let you automatically take good-looking photos even in dim light. I’ve been impressed with Google’s version of the feature and will be eager to see how the iPhone stacks up. But one nice thing is that a user doesn’t actively have to turn on the feature; the iPhone makes that call for you on the fly.

With the all of the new 11s, you can press down against the shutter button to start recording video, a feature Apple calls Quick Take. You may be wondering about what these means for shooting “bursts” which up to now you enabled the same way. Now, after pressing against the shutter button you must quickly swipe down (or to the left depending on how you’re holding the phone) to take those bursts, lest the iPhone camera instead goes into video mode. During my brief hands-on time, this took a bit of getting used to.

Improvements to the iPhone 11 models also come to the front selfie camera now with a wider field of view.  That promises to make it easier for the phone to recognize your face via Face ID authentication.

Another cool feature that comes to the iPhone that I was able to try out: slow-motion selfies.

The iPhone 11 Pros come in four colors; I’m partial to the brand new Midnight Green finish.

The 11 Pros are available with 64 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB storage capacities. The 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch display; the 11 Max, 6.5 inches.

Stay tuned for a more complete review once we get our own test units.

Email: ebaig@usatoday.com; Follow @edbaig on Twitter

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The tech giant announced the new iPhone 11 and iPhone Pro during an event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. USA TODAY

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House Freedom Caucus elects Biggs to succeed Meadows as chairman

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6084324641001_6084311196001-vs House Freedom Caucus elects Biggs to succeed Meadows as chairman fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 4e246410-9a81-549e-8b5b-9ecf312cdaad

Change is coming to an influential group on Capitol Hill following a vote Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., was elected the next chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, and will succeed U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.

“I’m grateful for the trust of my colleagues in selecting me to serve as the next chairman of the House Freedom Caucus,” Biggs said in a statement from the caucus. “The Freedom Caucus has revolutionized Capitol Hill because our members have shown that they will stand for principle over politics – every time.”

REP. MARK MEADOWS: COMEY HAD A ‘BAD DAY’ BUT DURHAM PROBE WILL BE ‘MORE DAMNING’

Meadows, a key ally of President Trump, will step down as chairman Oct. 1 but will remain a member of the group’s board, the statement said.

“I’ve been honored and humbled to serve as chairman of the Freedom Caucus for the last two and a half years, and I can’t think of a better person to pass the torch to than Andy Biggs,” Meadows said, according to the statement.

“Rep. Biggs is an outstanding public servant, a strong conservative, and a steady voice with the right experience to build on the tremendous strides our caucus has made since 2015 in fighting for open, limited, and accountable government,” Meadows added. “He’ll be a phenomenal leader for our group.”

Biggs, 60, a native of Tucson, represents Arizona’s 5th Congressional District, which mostly covers suburbs east of Phoenix.

A member of Congress since 2017 after serving as a state lawmaker, Biggs has been a staunch backer of President Trump’s plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Meadows, also 60, represents North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, in the western part of the state, and has been serving in Congress since 2013.

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Meadows became chairman of the House Freedom Caucus in January 2017, succeeding U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who remains chairman emeritus of the group.

The Freedom Caucus has struggled to advance its agenda since Democrats took control of the House following the 2018 midterms.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6084324641001_6084311196001-vs House Freedom Caucus elects Biggs to succeed Meadows as chairman fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 4e246410-9a81-549e-8b5b-9ecf312cdaad   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6084324641001_6084311196001-vs House Freedom Caucus elects Biggs to succeed Meadows as chairman fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 4e246410-9a81-549e-8b5b-9ecf312cdaad

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