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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 90)

2020 Democratic Debate: Live Updates From Nevada

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_169129221_6aada4f3-0ab7-4d18-bacc-9384c9e66e22-articleLarge 2020 Democratic Debate: Live Updates From Nevada Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr

The Democratic debate will take place at the Paris Theater in Las Vegas on Wednesday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

  • This is the first debate to include former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York. He will join five other Democratic candidates: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.; and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

  • Candidates will have one minute and 15 seconds for answers, and 45 seconds for follow-up responses at the moderators’ discretion. The moderators are Lester Holt and Chuck Todd of NBC, Hallie Jackson of NBC and MSNBC, Vanessa Hauc of Noticias Telemundo (whose reporting has often focused on climate issues) and Jon Ralston of The Nevada Independent.

  • The New York Times will have extensive debate coverage, including a live analysis throughout the event.

Here’s what you need to know:

LAS VEGAS — Mr. Bloomberg hasn’t been a candidate for office in more than a decade. His last election and his last time on the debate stage were in 2009.

That long absence leaves a lot of rough edges to smooth out ahead of Wednesday night, which will probably be the first time the majority of viewers hear him speak at length. And that introduction — right foot or wrong foot — could say a lot about whether his recent rise in the polls will be sustainable.

Since he left office as mayor of New York on New Year’s Day 2014, he has led a relatively unchallenged existence. He runs his private data and information company, Bloomberg L.P., largely as he sees fit. If he agrees to an interview, he picks the outlet himself, sticking to a group of high-profile, high-prestige New York-based journalists like Steve Croft of “60 Minutes.”

Aides involved in his debate prep have worried that he isn’t prepared to handle the kind of sustained criticism and questioning about his record he will face onstage. And if he can’t impress the many Americans who know little about him other than that he is a billionaire former mayor of the nation’s largest city, his surge may prove ephemeral.

Mr. Sanders has improved his standing in national polls since his victory in the New Hampshire primary, raising the possibility that he could amass a commanding or even insurmountable delegate lead on Super Tuesday in two weeks.

Mr. Sanders held 30 percent of the vote, nearly double his nearest rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, in an average of three post-New Hampshire live-interview national surveys sponsored by ABC/Washington Post, NBC/Wall Street Journal and NPR/PBS/Marist College. The polls also had good news for President Trump, whose approval ratings have hit the highest point since the early days of his term.

The results suggest that Iowa and New Hampshire not only helped Mr. Sanders, but also left his moderate opposition in disarray heading into tonight’s debate, with five candidates between 8 percent and 16 percent of the vote.

Many of Mr. Sanders’s opponents have an incentive to attack one another, rather than the Vermont senator. And Mr. Bloomberg has been a focal point of attack this week, leaving Mr. Sanders relatively unscathed.

Mr. Sanders is facing new pressure to release his full medical records, more than four months after he had a heart attack while campaigning and vowed he would provide “comprehensive” records on his health.

When asked during a CNN town hall on Tuesday night if he would release more medical records, Mr. Sanders, 78, responded, “I don’t think we will, no.” He said that what he had already disclosed about his health was in line with what other candidates had done.

A campaign spokeswoman, facing questions on CNN on Wednesday morning about whether Mr. Sanders would release his medical records, claimed without evidence that Mr. Bloomberg had “suffered heart attacks in the past.” In the CNN interview, Briahna Joy Gray, the national press secretary for the Sanders campaign, likened the calls for Mr. Sanders to disclose more information on his health to a smear campaign.

In response, Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign manager, Kevin Sheekey, accused Mr. Sanders’s campaign of “spreading an absolute lie that Mike had heart attacks,” calling Ms. Gray’s remarks “completely false.”

Nevada Democrats announced that more than 70,000 people cast ballots during the state’s early voting period, raising expectations that the party could see record levels of participation in the caucuses this year.

The early-voting period, which lasted four days, was a new addition that was designed to expand access to the caucuses. For the first time, Democrats could show up at 55 locations across the state and record their vote before the official caucuses on Saturday.

Four years ago, about 84,000 Nevada Democrats participated in the caucuses. That was about 30 percent fewer than the 118,000 who caucused in 2008, when the caucuses were first scheduled for early in the nominating calendar and the state became much more of a primary battleground.

Lower-than expected turnout in the Iowa caucuses raised concerns among some Democrats who fear it shows a lack of enthusiasm for their party’s candidates.

In Iowa, the numbers barely exceeded the 2016 rate. A week later, New Hampshire voters reported turnout on par with that of the past two cycles in which only one party had a competitive primary.

Tensions between Mr. Biden and Mr. Bloomberg reached a boiling point on Wednesday, hours ahead of the debate, as Mr. Biden and his campaign blasted the former mayor over his past skepticism of President Barack Obama, while the Bloomberg camp reminded Mr. Biden of kind remarks he had previously made about the New York billionaire.

Mr. Biden tweeted out a video that highlighted past critical remarks Mr. Bloomberg had made about Mr. Obama, and included photographs of Mr. Bloomberg with Mr. Trump. “Money can’t rewrite history,” the spot blared.

The Bloomberg camp, meanwhile, released its own spot capturing Mr. Biden praising Mr. Bloomberg. “We are honored to have Joe’s support,” came a mocking tweet from the Bloomberg campaign account.

At his first stop of the day, a church breakfast, Mr. Biden declined to answer shouted questions from reporters about Mr. Bloomberg or another top rival, Mr. Sanders. But by later that morning, after joining union workers on a picket line in Las Vegas, Mr. Biden was sharper in his criticism of Mr. Bloomberg, who has run ads featuring Mr. Obama.

“The truth is he’s basically been a Republican his whole life,” Mr. Biden said of Mr. Bloomberg, who has been a Republican, an independent and a Democrat and endorsed Mr. Obama in 2012 despite having voiced criticisms of him.

“The fact of the matter is he has — he didn’t endorse Barack or me when we ran,” Mr. Biden said. “This is a guy talking about, you know, using Barack’s pictures like, you know, they’re good buddies. I’m going to talk about his record.”

Asked whether he believed Mr. Sanders should release additional medical records — something Mr. Sanders indicated on Tuesday that he opposed — Mr. Biden replied, “Transparency’s important across the board.”

Join us for live analysis on debate night. Subscribe to “On Politics,” and we’ll send you a link.

LAS VEGAS — There are two big questions for Mr. Sanders when he takes the debate stage: Will he be a target for attack? And will he attack Mr. Bloomberg?

Rivals challenged Mr. Sanders at times in the last debate, before the New Hampshire primary, but he emerged relatively unscathed. Now he is a front-runner, and front-runners have typically come under steady criticism in debates. After Mr. Sanders’s tie in Iowa and victory in New Hampshire, will any of his opponents finally go after him in a meaningful way?

At the same time, the arrival of Mr. Bloomberg onstage gives Mr. Sanders a prime opportunity to attack a billionaire candidate who represents much of what the Vermont senator despises. Will he play offense?

Mr. Sanders already appears primed for a strong performance in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday. For Sanders-watchers, the most interesting aspect of tonight’s debate is probably whether a man who rarely changes his message will do just that, and what effect it may have.

Ms. Warren has largely avoided attacking opponents, in debates and on the trail. As she seeks to jolt her stalled candidacy after a disappointing finish in New Hampshire, however, several signs point to this debate in Nevada as the moment that Ms. Warren will go on a sustained offensive.

The clearest one was on Tuesday when Ms. Warren called Mr. Bloomberg an “egomaniac” on Twitter and challenged her opponents to hold his feet to the fire. In another Twitter post, Ms. Warren said Mr. Bloomberg “approved and oversaw a program that surveilled and tracked Muslim communities in mosques, restaurants, and even college campuses — leaving permanent damage.”

If Ms. Warren carries out these attacks onstage, it will most likely provide her supporters with the moment they have been waiting for in recent months.

After the last debate in New Hampshire, when Ms. Warren did not interject into the conversation like many of her opponents did, some supporters expressed exasperation with an approach that could be relentlessly unflinching. Even Ms. Warren said after the debate that she wished she had jumped in more.

“I just didn’t say enough, didn’t fight hard enough, didn’t tell you how bad I want this and how good we could make it if we just come together,” she said.

She finished in fourth place days later in the New Hampshire primary.

For months, Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign was built around the idea that strong finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire would make him the inheritor of the Democratic Party’s Obama coalition.

But that calculation didn’t count on a billionaire candidate, Mr. Bloomberg, targeting the Super Tuesday states in March and spending many times more on television advertising than Mr. Buttigieg could ever hope to raise from donors excited about his post-Iowa momentum.

While Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren have sounded far more aggrieved about Mr. Bloomberg’s recent polling rise and his past statements about housing discrimination and stop-and-frisk police tactics, Mr. Bloomberg presents a far graver threat to Mr. Buttigieg than he does to their more liberal rivals.

Mr. Bloomberg can also deflect Mr. Buttigieg’s core argument: that it will take a mayor from outside Washington to galvanize an American majority to defeat Mr. Trump. Mr. Bloomberg would fit that profile, too.

Mr. Buttigieg, who has struggled to appeal to black voters, may have difficulty attacking Mr. Bloomberg on his past statements about housing and policing, given his own difficulties on those fronts in South Bend, Ind.

Time and again, Mr. Buttigieg has proved himself to be a highly competent debater, able to land precise blows on his opponents while deflecting and counterattacking their shots at him. Trying to disqualify Mr. Bloomberg in the eyes of voters in Super Tuesday states, where some early voting is already underway, may be his most difficult task yet.

A strong debate performance close to an Election Day can make a meaningful difference for a campaign’s momentum — just ask Ms. Klobuchar, who received a post-debate surge in support right before the New Hampshire primary, and landed a surprise third-place finish there.

Mr. Biden, the onetime national front-runner who came in fourth place in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, could really use a substantial surge right now.

Is there anything he can do to stand out onstage Wednesday night?

He has previewed a range of arguments against his opponents, from alluding to Mr. Sanders’s record on gun control, to swiping at Mr. Bloomberg’s background as a former Republican. But Mr. Biden is often hesitant to draw sharp contrasts with rivals onstage when they are shoulder-to-shoulder. And throughout the campaign, he has had a number of disastrous debate moments — never mind achieving the kind of race-changing, breakout performance he needs now, in a state where his campaign believes he must finish in at least second place.

Mr. Biden is at his best, and his most comfortable, when engaging one-on-one with voters. Can he translate that appeal onstage in a memorable — and effective — way?

Perhaps no remaining candidate has benefited as significantly from a debate as Ms. Klobuchar, who vaulted to a third-place finish in New Hampshire with the help of a well-received debate performance just days before polls closed.

Tonight, she’ll need another strong outing. Though she’s experienced a surge of support thanks to the New Hampshire result — the so-called Klomentum has lead to $12 million in fund-raising since the last debate and she’s rapidly expanding her campaign team in key states — Ms. Klobuchar is still far from a household name, and doesn’t boast anything close to the sizable war chests of Mr. Sanders or Mr. Buttigieg.

Just like she used her primary night speech in New Hampshire to try to introduce herself to a wide cable news audience, Ms. Klobuchar will use the debate to make herself more familiar to voters nationwide. She deftly worked her way into many of the debate exchanges in New Hampshire and ranked fourth in candidates who spoke the most.

At every recent debate, Ms. Klobuchar has balanced calls for restoring empathy and dignity with some aggressive attacks on her rivals, namely Mr. Buttigieg. But as she has campaigned around Nevada this week, Ms. Klobuchar has telegraphed a likely new target of her prosecutorial takedowns: Mr. Bloomberg.

Of course, Ms. Klobuchar, who has been trying to appeal to moderates, independents and defecting Republicans, sees the centrist Mr. Bloomberg as a threat to her post-New Hampshire momentum.

Saying that a debate stage is the only place where she can be on equal footing with the billionaire, Ms. Klobuchar has been using what has become a favorite attack line: “I don’t think people look at the guy in the White House and think we need someone richer.”

Reporting was contributed by Sydney Ember, Astead W. Herndon, Katie Glueck, Nate Cohn and Jeremy W. Peters.

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CNN panel pans Richard Grenell as ‘least qualified person to ever’ be DNI appointee

Westlake Legal Group Ric-Grenell-CNN-Logo-AP CNN panel pans Richard Grenell as 'least qualified person to ever' be DNI appointee Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7913418a-3dbc-59b6-8ac9-27cc52f12758

CNN panel reacted Wednesday to President Trump‘s expected appointment of Richard Grenell, the current U.S. ambassador to Germany, to be the acting director of national intelligence (DNI).

“President Trump appears poised to fill the critical job of Director of National Intelligence with a loyalist,” CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer told viewers, accompanied by a graphic on the screen that read: “Sources: Trump to name loyalist Ric Grenell as acting DNI, avoiding senate confirmation.”

Fox News confirmed that Trump will name Grenell as acting DNI in a move that has heartened conservatives eager for new leadership after a series of scandals have plagued the intelligence community. Trump also tweeted Thursday that he was “pleased to announce” Grenell will “become the Acting Director of National Intelligence.”

“It is actually a stunning choice,” former Obama official and CNN national security analyst Carrie Cordero said. “I think that Richard Grenell would be the least qualified person to ever hold that.”

“The first five Directors of National Intelligence who were confirmed by the Senate who had been people with decades of professional intelligence community experience or extensive careers in the diplomatic core or… there were two who were former admirals in the U.S. Navy,” Cordero continued. “So these are people usually who have absolute decades of executive leadership in the military or in the intelligence community.”

WASHINGTON POST SLAMMED, CHANGES HEADLINE AFTER OP-ED CALLS FOR ‘ELITES’ TO HAVE ‘BIGGER  SAY IN CHOOSING THE PRESIDENT

She said: “As far as I know from his background, he has no intelligence background whatsoever except for in his current capacity as an ambassador, he would be a consumer of intelligence information from some perspective. But really, his background as a communications professional, as I understand, is one that would be more suited to the spokesperson for the DNI than to serve as DNI.”

Former federal prosecutor Shan Wu also knocked the appointment, saying Trump promised to “drain the swamp” and that he’s now “filling the swamp up again” with loyalists.

CNN anchor Jim Sciutto, another former Obama official, later called Trump’s pick an “egregious presidential choice” and called Grenell’s lack of intelligence experience “alarming.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Grenell would take over from the current acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, amid the president’s push to remove what he calls “bad actors” at the highest levels of the FBI and other agencies.

Maguire was required by law to leave the post of acting DNI within weeks. Grenell would become the first openly gay cabinet member, upon his selection by the president.

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Ric-Grenell-CNN-Logo-AP CNN panel pans Richard Grenell as 'least qualified person to ever' be DNI appointee Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7913418a-3dbc-59b6-8ac9-27cc52f12758   Westlake Legal Group Ric-Grenell-CNN-Logo-AP CNN panel pans Richard Grenell as 'least qualified person to ever' be DNI appointee Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 7913418a-3dbc-59b6-8ac9-27cc52f12758

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Rod Blagojevich maintains innocence, slams ‘shakedown artist’ prosecutors who imprisoned him, pursued Trump

Westlake Legal Group Video-50 Rod Blagojevich maintains innocence, slams 'shakedown artist' prosecutors who imprisoned him, pursued Trump fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/judiciary/state-and-local fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 2273b0df-9536-50dd-8f33-bbdf7ec85124

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich reacted to President Trump’s commutation of his 14-year federal prison sentence, going after the prosecutors in his case and claiming they are the same people who are trying to undermine the current commander-in-chief.

Blagojevich joined Trace Gallagher on “The Story” on Wednesday, did not name the officials but said the Illinois Republican Congressional delegation — who put out a joint statement panning his release — had a point about “public corruption” but that they were aiming at the wrong target.

The delegation wrote that Blagojevich is “the face of public corruption” in the Land of Lincoln and hasn’t shown remorse for his record of “egregious crimes that undermine the trust placed in him by voters.”

“We shouldn’t let those who breach the public trust off the hook,” they wrote.

FMR IL GOV ROD BLAGOJEVICH’S SENTENCE COMMUTED

Blagojevich, who said he considers himself a “Trumpocrat,” replied that the sentiment should be directed at the feds who put him in prison — and vociferously maintained his innocence.

“I agree with the sentiment expressed in that statement by the Illinois Republicans, but they are pointing that statement at the wrong place,” he said. “It shouldn’t be pointed at me, it ought to be pointed at those uncontrolled, unaccountable lawless prosecutors who did this to me. I broke no laws, I crossed no lines.”

Blagojevich appeared to echo the president, who called the Chicagoan’s case “another Comey gang deal.” U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was the lead prosecutor in Blagojevich’s case — and former FBI Director Jim Comey hired Fitzgerald as his personal attorney after the president fired him.

The ex-governor claimed that if the same legal standard applied to him by Fitzgerald — who he did not name — was applied to Capitol Hill lawmakers, they would end up in federal lockup like he did.

RIVALS SLAM MIKE BLOOMBERG AHEAD OF DEBATES

“I raised campaign contributions legally and lawfully. I never promised anything or threatened anyone in exchange for campaign contributions. The right to seek campaign contributions is not only necessary and routine in politics, it’s also protected by the Constitution, it’s considered the First Amendment right,” he said.

Blagojevich was famously caught on tape bragging that President Obama’s then-vacant Senate seat was a “f—ing golden” thing. The seat eventually went to the former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris who declined to seek reelection after the term expired.

“Without a promise or a threat, there is no crime, there’s no quid pro quo. There is not in my case and I appreciate what the congressmen are saying but they ought to point those statements in the direction of the prosecutors who did this to me and many of whom are the same people doing it to President Trump,” he told host Trace Gallagher.

Blagojevich praised Trump as a problem-solver who defies party lines and orthodoxy to do what is right. He remarked that as a former Democratic governor, the Republican president gains no political capital by commuting his sentence.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Responding to other critics, including Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot, he said that the true way he could have “let down” Illinoians was if he gave into those prosecuting him and copped a plea deal in exchange for admitting any guilt.

“If I allowed these guys who are shakedown artists to make me give in to a light sentence that they were floating in exchange to pleading guilty to something that I knew and they knew weren’t crimes, then I would’ve let the people of Illinois down because they didn’t hire me to do that, they hired me as a governor to fight for the Constitution and the rule of law,” he said.

He continued, “Some of these same people tried to do with the major-league level to a Republican president what they were able to successfully do to a democratic governor and they are threatening to take away from all of us our rights to choose our leaders through free and fair elections.”

Blagojevich slammed federal prosecutors for being “covered with sovereign immunity” and having no direct accountability to the American people.

Westlake Legal Group Video-50 Rod Blagojevich maintains innocence, slams 'shakedown artist' prosecutors who imprisoned him, pursued Trump fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/judiciary/state-and-local fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 2273b0df-9536-50dd-8f33-bbdf7ec85124   Westlake Legal Group Video-50 Rod Blagojevich maintains innocence, slams 'shakedown artist' prosecutors who imprisoned him, pursued Trump fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/judiciary/state-and-local fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 2273b0df-9536-50dd-8f33-bbdf7ec85124

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

Discussion Thread: Ninth Democratic Presidential Debate | 2/19/20 | 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM EST

Westlake Legal Group b-MeMm2CCYjgDbW32OdkAasDnWgUdiifHAa05K2RN9k Discussion Thread: Ninth Democratic Presidential Debate | 2/19/20 | 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM EST r/politics

Six candidates will be on stage tonight for the ninth Democratic Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. In order to qualify for this debate, candidates needed to have hit 10 percent in four different national polls or 12 percent in two Nevada and/or South Carolina polls, or win a pledged national convention delegate in Iowa or New Hampshire. Biden, Sanders, and Warren qualified based on both the polling and delegate benchmarks. Bloomberg qualified based on the polling benchmark, and Buttigieg and Klobuchar qualified based on the delegates benchmark.

The ninth Democratic debate is scheduled for Wednesday, February 19 and will be co-hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, Noticias Telemundo, and The Nevada Independent. The debate is being moderated by “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline NBC” anchor Lester Holt; NBC News political director Chuck Todd, moderator of “Meet the Press”; NBC News chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson, host of “MSNBC Live”; Noticias Telemundo senior correspondent Vanessa Hauc; and Jon Ralston, editor of The Nevada Independent. The debate will run from 9:00 to 11:00 PM EST.

The debate will air live on NBC News and MSNBC, and it will stream live on NBC News NOW on OTT devices, NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, the NBC News mobile app, NBC News’ and MSNBC’s Facebook pages and online at The Nevada Independent. It will also air live in Spanish on Universo, as well as the Noticias Telemundo mobile app and website and Noticias Telemundo’s Facebook page. NBCNews.com will also live blog the debate, including fact checks and analysis.

Candidates:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden

  • Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg

  • Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg

  • Senator Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota)

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont)

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts)

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Justin Bieber says he can beat Tom Cruise in a fight, calls himself ‘the Conor McGregor of entertainment’

Westlake Legal Group Justin-Bieber Justin Bieber says he can beat Tom Cruise in a fight, calls himself 'the Conor McGregor of entertainment' Nate Day fox-news/person/justin-bieber fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ba737e1c-4f0f-5c86-96b0-332fe220e47b article

Justin Bieber is ready for a showdown.

In June of 2019, the “Yummy” singer took to Twitter to challenge Tom Cruise to a “fight in the octagon,” saying the movie star “will never live it down” should he not engage.

Just days later, Bieber, now 25, admitted that his challenge was in jest.

JUSTIN BIEBER TALKS MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH, FAMOUS CRYING PAPARAZZI PHOTO

“It was just a random tweet. I do that stuff sometimes,” Bieber told TMZ at the time. “I think he would probably whoop my a– in a fight. He’s got that dad strength.”

However, during a recent appearance on James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment of “The Late Late Show,” the singer walked back his previous statements, claiming he could beat the 57-year-old actor in a fight.

JUSTIN BIEBER SAYS HE OVERCAME ‘BAD EXAMPLES OF CHRISTIANS’ BEFORE STARTING TO FOLLOW JESUS

When Corden told Bieber he’d bet that Cruise would win in a fight, Bieber said that “there’s absolutely no way” that would be the case.

“He’s not the guy you see in movies,” the singer explained. “That’s a character. [Being in] phenomenal shape doesn’t mean you’re a good fighter.”

When Corden insisted that Cruise would be victorious, Bieber clapped back.

JUSTIN BIEBER ADMITS HE COULDN’T BE ‘FAITHFUL’ TO WIFE HAILEY BIEBER AT START OF RELATIONSHIP

“You’re mesmerized by the characters that he’s playing,” Bieber said. “I’m telling you … I’m dangerous. My agility is crazy. My agility is insane.”

He added: “I’m the Conor McGregor of entertainment.”

After Bieber’s initial challenge, McGregor, a professional mixed martial artist, offered to host the fight.

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“If Tom Cruise is man enough to accept this challenge, McGregor Sports and Entertainment will host the bout,” tweeted the 31-year-old athlete. “Does Cruise have the sprouts to fight, like he does in the movies? Stay tuned to find out!”

Westlake Legal Group Justin-Bieber Justin Bieber says he can beat Tom Cruise in a fight, calls himself 'the Conor McGregor of entertainment' Nate Day fox-news/person/justin-bieber fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ba737e1c-4f0f-5c86-96b0-332fe220e47b article   Westlake Legal Group Justin-Bieber Justin Bieber says he can beat Tom Cruise in a fight, calls himself 'the Conor McGregor of entertainment' Nate Day fox-news/person/justin-bieber fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ba737e1c-4f0f-5c86-96b0-332fe220e47b article

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Missouri man charged with murdering wife who vanished in October, no body found

A Missouri man suspected in the disappearance of his wife and of abusing his 1-year-old daughter was charged Wednesday in her presumed death despite the fact that her body hasn’t been found.

Joseph Elledge, of Columbia, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of 28-year-old Mengqi Ji, according to court records. He was already charged with endangering the welfare of a child and one count of child abuse based on evidence discovered during an investigation into his wife’s disappearance.

He reported Ji missing on Oct. 10 and said he had not seen her since late in the evening on Oct. 8, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported. Authorities have extensively searched a section of the Lamine River in Cooper County for her, KMIZ-TV reported.

Westlake Legal Group AP20050855998326 Missouri man charged with murdering wife who vanished in October, no body found Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5411ec13-7ea5-5a0d-b17c-a154174b3c74

This undated file photo provided by Boone County Sheriff’s Department in Columbia, Mo., shows Joseph Elledge. Prosecutors have charged Elledge, the American husband of a Chinese woman who has been missing since October, 2019, with first-degree murder in her death, even though her body hasn’t been found.  (Boone County Sheriff’s Department via AP, File)

Authorities said Elledge took a drive through unfamiliar remote areas in central Missouri before reporting Ji missing, according to a probable cause statement. They said he also deflected conversations about his missing wife and chose to play video games instead.

During a November hearing, Boone County prosecutors described Elledge as “a jealous, controlling, manipulative psychopath.”

In an audio recording played during the hearing, Elledge was heard telling Ji, “I don’t like being with you,”  “I’m going to end it” and “I’m going to bury the earth under you.” Ji is heard arguing back.

Elledge raised his voice several times during the recording and, at one point, told her, “I know you want me to hit you,” and “This, it’s not abusive.”

Westlake Legal Group 7db8ad43-Capture Missouri man charged with murdering wife who vanished in October, no body found Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5411ec13-7ea5-5a0d-b17c-a154174b3c74

Mengqi Ji was last seen in October. Her husband, Joseph Elledge, has been charged in her presumed death and for allegedly abusing the couple’s 1-year-old daughter.  (Missing Persons Cases Network )

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Ji received a master’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Missouri in December 2014. She previously attended the East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai.

Elledge was attending the school when he was arrested last year. He remains in police custody.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP20050855998326 Missouri man charged with murdering wife who vanished in October, no body found Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5411ec13-7ea5-5a0d-b17c-a154174b3c74   Westlake Legal Group AP20050855998326 Missouri man charged with murdering wife who vanished in October, no body found Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5411ec13-7ea5-5a0d-b17c-a154174b3c74

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Musician Plays Her Violin During Brain Surgery

Westlake Legal Group violinist_wide-f0170d7eb6514069fabce76ed58ddb98ea5f89c1-s1100-c15 Musician Plays Her Violin During Brain Surgery
Westlake Legal Group  Musician Plays Her Violin During Brain Surgery

As doctors in London performed surgery on Dagmar Turner’s brain, the sound of a violin filled the operating room.

The music came from the patient on the operating table. In a video from the surgery, the violinist moves her bow up and down as surgeons behind a plastic sheet work to remove her brain tumor.

The King’s College Hospital surgeons woke her up in the middle of the operation in order to ensure they did not compromise parts of the brain necessary for playing the violin, such as parts that control precise hand movements and coordination.

“We knew how important the violin is to Dagmar, so it was vital that we preserved function in the delicate areas of her brain that allowed her to play,” Keyoumars Ashkan, a neurosurgeon at King’s College Hospital, said in a press release.

Turner, 53, learned that she had a slow-growing tumor in 2013. Late last year, doctors found that it had become more aggressive and the violinist decided to have surgery to remove it.

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King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust YouTube

In an interview with ITV News, Turner recalled doctors telling her, “Your tumor is on the right-hand side, so it will not affect your right-hand side, it will affect your left-hand side.”

“And I’m just like, ‘Oh, hang on, this is my most important part. My job these days is playing the violin,’ ” she said, making a motion of pushing down violin strings with her left hand.

Ashkan, an accomplished pianist, and his colleagues came up with a plan to keep the hand’s functions intact.

“Prior to Dagmar’s operation they spent two hours carefully mapping her brain to identify areas that were active when she played the violin and those responsible for controlling language and movement,” the hospital statement said. Waking her up during surgery then allowed doctors to monitor whether those parts were sustaining damage.

“The violin is my passion; I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old,” Turner said in the hospital press release. “The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking but, being a musician himself, Prof. Ashkan understood my concerns.”

The surgery was a success, Ashkan said: “We managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumour, including all areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function of her left hand.”

While it’s rare for a patient to play their instrument during brain surgery, there have been other cases. For example, in July 2016 a team of scientists removed a tumor from a music teacher’s brain as he played the saxophone.

Brad Mahon, a cognitive neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University, was one of the scientists who mapped the music teacher’s brain. Mahon said that surgery was particularly intense because it was in an area of the brain that “can actually lead to loss of the knowledge of how to conduct music, how to understand music.” Ultimately, that surgery was successful too.

Mahon said the basic features of an “awake craniotomy” — the type of brain surgery where patients are awake in order to avoid damage to critical brain areas — have remained largely unchanged for decades. For example, doctors have long used simple tests such as asking a patient to name what they’re seeing in pictures to make sure language ability is preserved.

But he said that doctors are now able to map the patient’s brain activity in great detail before the surgery using an imaging technique called functional MRI. That means surgeons are coming into the operating room with far more information about a specific patient’s brain.

That kind of information helps doctors tailor tests to a patient’s particular needs. According to Mahon, an accountant once completed math problems during his surgery to make sure those abilities remained intact.

Brain mapping also can help determine what kinds of functions are at risk during a brain surgery. Having a “personalized brain map,” Mahon said, matters a lot when surgeons are making “millimeter by millimeter decisions” that could determine whether a person can even communicate after an operation, let alone follow their passions.

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We Calculated How Much We Pay Trump to Play Golf. It Turns Out, He’s America’s 10th Highest Paid Athlete

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Starbucks worker exposes drive-thru secret by surprising customers by singing

Apparently some people aren’t aware that drive-thru workers can see them when they’re ordering.

A TikTok video of two customers being surprised by a Starbucks employee greeting them in a song has gone viral – but not for what you’d expect.

STARBUCKS BARISTA CLAIMS SHE WAS FIRED FOR MAKING CRUDE REMARK ABOUT CHAIN’S COFFEE ON YOUTUBE CHANNEL

In the video, which was published on Feb. 14 and also shared on Twitter, the male and female customers react in shock when the worker belts out, “Welcome to Starrrbuckkks.”

Westlake Legal Group Starbucks-GETTY Starbucks worker exposes drive-thru secret by surprising customers by singing Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle/fast-food fox-news/food-drink/food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 12329e0c-82ca-5348-8b4f-0a7ae7c3cc76

A TikTok video of two customers being surprised by a Starbucks employee greeting them in a song has gone viral – but not for what you’d expect. (Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

WENDY’S MOCKS BURGER KING’S NEW FRENCH FRY SANDWICH ON TWITTER

“What can I get for you?” the employee added.

The short clip appears to be a recording of a surveillance monitor at the undisclosed Starbucks location.

While it’s not clear what the pair were thinking or saying in the video, they were visibly shocked by the greeting.

TikTok users, however, were more hung up on the fact they were completely unaware that workers seeing you onscreen at a drive-thru is a thing.

“Apparently the drive thru workers can see you when you order???? idk how to explain it but i feel violated,” captioned a Twitter user who re-posted the TikTok video.

“This explains so much,” another tweeted.

“I loved when I worked drive thru,” tweeted a former drive-thru worker. “That camera was so funny sometimes.”

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Some Twitter users expressed fears that they may have possibly done lewd and embarrassing things while unknowingly on camera.

“I can not tell you how many times I made stupid faces at the drive thru,” one person said.

Others couldn’t believe how many people weren’t aware of the fact that there are cameras at drive-thru windows.

“How did you think they knew when you drove up?” one Twitter user commented, to which someone replied, “Because there’s a sensor and it beeps in the headset when a car drives up.”

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The Starbucks employee who recorded and posted the video, Brittney, said she’s been singing to her customers long before her now-viral video.

“When I originally started singing to my customers in the drive-thru I was trying to make them smile. … I usually work nights so I get them at the end of their day and I just hope to make their day a little bit better,” she told Delish.

“I wanted to reach even more people and make their days a little better and make them smile too so I started posting them and I was blown away by how many people love it.

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“I do get other customers that sing their orders back to me as well but I haven’t been able to catch any on camera yet unfortunately!” she added.

Brittney’s unique spin customer service is now paying off online. She now has over 68,000 TikTok followers.

Westlake Legal Group Starbucks-GETTY Starbucks worker exposes drive-thru secret by surprising customers by singing Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle/fast-food fox-news/food-drink/food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 12329e0c-82ca-5348-8b4f-0a7ae7c3cc76   Westlake Legal Group Starbucks-GETTY Starbucks worker exposes drive-thru secret by surprising customers by singing Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle/fast-food fox-news/food-drink/food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 12329e0c-82ca-5348-8b4f-0a7ae7c3cc76

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Democrats Swap Pre-Debate Barbs As Mike Bloomberg Faces First Test

Westlake Legal Group 5e4dc39f2300003103ddcad1 Democrats Swap Pre-Debate Barbs As Mike Bloomberg Faces First Test

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hours before taking the stage, Mike Bloomberg came under attack from his Democratic rivals in a likely preview of his Wednesday night debate debut when the billionaire businessman meets his rivals onstage for the first time.

Both Bernie Sanders’ and Joe Biden’s campaigns took aim at the 78-year-old former Republican, the former raising questions about Bloomberg’s health and the latter pointing out reversals on key issues.

The attacks underscore how seriously Democrats are taking the former New York mayor’s campaign, now that he’s rocketed to double-digit support in national polls and qualified to appear in debates. Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat before winning the New York mayor’s race as a Republican in 2002. He later switched to independent and formally registered as a Democrat last year.

He has faced relatively little national scrutiny in his surprisingly swift rise from nonpartisan megadonor to top-tier presidential contender.

But Wednesday night’s debate in Las Vegas, where Bloomberg faces five hungry opponents in the first major unscripted moment of his 2020 campaign, poses the greatest test yet of his unorthodox campaign.

“He is going to have a giant target on his back from all sides,” said Democratic strategist Brian Brokaw. “It’ll either all come together brilliantly or could fall apart very quickly.”

The attacks began before the debate’s 9 p.m. EST start.

On CNN Wednesday morning, Sanders’ national press secretary Briahna Joy Gray tried to rebut questions surrounding the Vermont senator’s health by pointing to Bloomberg, who she said had also “suffered heart attacks in the past.” Sanders suffered a heart attack last fall and released letters from doctors attesting to his health. But Bloomberg has never suffered a heart attack; he released a doctors’ letter last year that said he did undergo coronary stent surgery in 2000.

Gray later walked back her statement, saying on Twitter that she “misspoke” about Bloomberg’s health.

Separately, the Biden campaign took on Bloomberg over ads the former mayor is running that feature shots of him working closely with former President Barack Obama. The Biden campaign posted a video to Twitter highlighting past comments Bloomberg made criticizing Obama on health care and climate change and accusing him of failing to address racism during his term. The video also includes a clip of Bloomberg declaring “I’m a friend of Donald Trump’s, he’s a New York icon.”

Bloomberg had until recently largely escaped scrutiny from the media and attacks from his opponents by avoiding the early primary states and focusing instead on campaigning in the 14 states that vote in the March 3 Super Tuesday primaries. And his massive campaign — with over 2,000 staffers nationwide and over $400 million spent on ads already — has given him enough of a boost to win high-profile endorsements and double-digit support in the polls.

With much of the attention on Bloomberg, there is increasing fear from establishment-minded Democrats about Sanders’ strength in the race. After he finished at the top in Iowa and New Hampshire, polls suggest the self-described democratic socialist is poised for another strong showing in Nevada’s caucuses on Saturday.

After more than a year of campaigning, there is little clarity in the Democrats’ urgent search for a nominee to run against President Trump in November.

Longtime establishment favorite Biden, the former Obama vice president, is fighting to breathe new life into his flailing campaign, which enters the night at the bottom of a moderate muddle behind former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Sanders, a Vermont senator, has emerged as the progressive wing’s preference after two contests as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren struggles to regain energy for her campaign.

Some Democrats fear that conditions are ripe for a bare-knuckles brawl on national television that could carve new scars into a divided party that must ultimately come together this fall if it hopes to deny the Republican president a second term.

Bloomberg’s rivals have already indicated they will lean into his explosive comments on race and gender in addition to their charge that he’s using a fortune earned from a career on Wall Street in an effort to buy the presidency. Bloomberg’s rise in national polls has been fueled almost exclusively by an unprecedented national advertising campaign, carefully controlled campaign events and a sprawling national organization that has likely already cost him more than half a billion dollars.

Alexandra Rojas, executive director of the Sanders-allied Justice Democrats, called Wednesday Bloomberg’s first “public moment of accountability.”

“It’s going to be a chance to finally bring scrutiny to Bloomberg’s record as a Republican plutocrat,” she said.

Bloomberg’s team was working to lower expectations ahead of his performance, suggesting his debate skills are rusty after more than a decade since his last election.

Bloomberg hasn’t been on a debate stage since 2009. His team notes he never faced more than one rival at a time over three elections for New York City mayor.

Despite the challenges, senior adviser Tim O’Brien signaled that Bloomberg welcomed a fight against Sanders, whom the campaign perceives to be the race’s clear front-runner.

“I think you’re going to see us go toe-to-toe with Bernie Sanders on important issues,” O’Brien said in an interview, raising questions about Sanders’ personal wealth, record on criminal justice and gun control.

Bloomberg’s campaign released a list of more than a dozen debate guests, featuring survivors of gun violence from several states. They include one man present at the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and hundreds more injured.

Sanders welcomed a fight.

The Vermont senator railed against Bloomberg and “a system that allows billionaires to buy elections,” while campaigning in Nevada on the eve of the debate.

“Here is the message: Anyone here worth $60 billion, you can run for president, and you can buy the airwaves. My friends, that is called oligarchy, not democracy.”

Senior Biden campaign aides on Wednesday offered a forecast of an aggressive candidate who would try to draw sharp contrasts with Bloomberg and Sanders.

In a conference call with reporters, the aides took particular aim at Bloomberg, calling him a “Republican billionaire” who is running “patently dishonest ads” suggesting that he has the backing of Obama. Biden aides said the former vice president would note Bloomberg’s criticism of Obama’s policies, including the 2010 health insurance overhaul, while noting that Bloomberg did not support Obama’s election in 2008 and only offered a tepid endorsement very late in the 2012 campaign.

Bloomberg is not actually competing in Nevada’s Saturday caucuses or any of the four primary contests scheduled for this month, preferring to invest his time and resources in the delegate-rich states that begin voting in March. In the modern era, such a strategy has never worked. Yet it’s never been attempted by someone as wealthy as Bloomberg, who has already invested more than $400 million into a national advertising campaign and hired more than 2,000 campaign staffers.

The focus on Bloomberg on the debate stage means there will be less oxygen for others at a critical moment.

Buttigieg allies in particular see Sanders as the real threat and are frustrated by the fixation on Bloomberg. Buttigieg has begun drawing sharp contrasts with Sanders and is expected to continue doing so on the debate stage, letting the rest of the field pile on Bloomberg.

Steve Peoples and Alexandra Jaffe reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, California, contributed to this report.

Catch up on the 2020 election campaign with AP experts on our weekly politics podcast, “Ground Game.”

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