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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 91)

Hit-and-run crash involving boats in California leaves 1 dead, 5 hurt, officials say

Westlake Legal Group 285480e3-crime-scene-iStock Hit-and-run crash involving boats in California leaves 1 dead, 5 hurt, officials say Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 0918e35f-f2d3-5429-b412-f2fc01d5dae6

One person was killed and five others were injured after a hit-and-run boating collision in Northern California, according to officials.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter the incident happened Saturday night near ski beach in the San Joaquin Delta, located just west of Stockton.

A total of six people were on a boat that was struck by another vessel, according to officials. One person was declared dead at the scene and the five others were transported to an area hospital to receive treatment.

HOUSE EXPLOSION IN PENNSYLVANIA LINKED TO DAD’S SUICIDE ON DAUGHTER’S WEDDING DAY: COPS

The suspect believed to be behind the crash fled the scene before authorities arrived, according to police.

The sheriff’s office told KCRA-TV the lone fatality was a “young female.”

“No further information at this time as this is an open investigation,” the sheriff’s office said.

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Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 209-468-4400.

Westlake Legal Group 285480e3-crime-scene-iStock Hit-and-run crash involving boats in California leaves 1 dead, 5 hurt, officials say Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 0918e35f-f2d3-5429-b412-f2fc01d5dae6   Westlake Legal Group 285480e3-crime-scene-iStock Hit-and-run crash involving boats in California leaves 1 dead, 5 hurt, officials say Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 0918e35f-f2d3-5429-b412-f2fc01d5dae6

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Sally Pipes: Sorry, Bernie Sanders, American health care is not ‘barbaric’ (and Canada’s system isn’t perfect)

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075835662001_6075839783001-vs Sally Pipes: Sorry, Bernie Sanders, American health care is not 'barbaric' (and Canada's system isn't perfect) Sally Pipes fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9a3d261e-6f2a-5e1b-ba14-6f382b0359d4

The New York Times has detailed how Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., came to be fixated on Canada’s health care system. That fixation manifested itself again during the Democratic presidential debate in Houston.

It started with an illness that befell his mother while Sanders was in high school. His family struggled to pay for her care, until she died in 1960, in her mid-40s. That experience “instilled in him the desire to ensure everyone had access to medical care,” as the Times put it.

A quarter-century later, after he’d made his home in Vermont, a trip across the border to Canada convinced him that American health care was “barbaric” — and that the United States needed to follow the example of its neighbor to the north.

DANA PERINO: BIDEN AND WARREN WON DEMOCRATIC DEBATE, BETO ‘CLOSED OFF ANY FUTURE ELECTED OFFICE FOR HIMSELF’

But Sanders has it backwards. The American health care system is not barbaric. In fact, patients of all kinds — including those like his mother — fare far worse in Canada.

Sanders contends that Canadians can “go to the doctor whenever they wanted and not have to take out their wallet.” That’s not exactly true. Last year, the median wait for treatment from a specialist following referral from a general practitioner in Canada was just under 20 weeks, according to the Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based think tank. In some provinces, patients faced median waits of more than 40 weeks for specialist treatment.

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These wait times can make “free” health care quite expensive. For instance, many patients can’t work while they’re waiting for treatment — and so they forego thousands of dollars in income. All told, wait times cost Canadians $2.1 billion Canadian dollars (CDNs) in 2018. That’s equivalent to $1,924 CDN for each and every person waiting.

Those estimates only take into account the 40 hours in a standard workweek. Factor in the other 16 hours in a day and the weekend, and the cost climbs to $6.3 billion CDN, or $5,860 CDN per patient.

Waits are so bad that some patients pay out of pocket to seek treatment elsewhere. Canadian “medical tourists” have left the country for everything from an $800 CDN MRI to an $18,000 CDN hip replacement to avoid waits. Last year, Canadians made up to 323,700 trips abroad for medical care, according to SecondStreet.org, a think tank.

These costs are on top of the taxes that all Canadians must pay to fund their health care system: more than $4,500 CDN for the average single adult, and over $13,300 CDN for the average family of four, in 2018.

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That’s a lot to pay for subpar care. Consider that in 2018, Canada had fewer than three doctors, and fewer than three beds, for every 1,000 residents.

Canada also has less than 16 CT scanners for every million people. The United States has nearly three times as many of these devices, which are used to diagnose a number of diseases, including cancer.

Like Sanders, I’ve watched my own mother struggle to gain access to needed care. But my mother was deprived by the Canadian system Sanders admires so much. After experiencing severe stomach pain, my mother requested a colonoscopy. Doctors delayed her procedure several times so younger people on the waiting list could go first. By the time she received her procedure, it was too late to treat the colon cancer it uncovered.

Because of this lack of equipment and personnel, Canadian patients have worse access to cancer screenings and higher mortality rates for certain cancers, relative to U.S. patients.

Sanders may believe that Canadian-style universal coverage would prevent tragedies like the one visited upon his mother. But Canada’s health care system is chock full of patients who have suffered, or even died, despite having government-sponsored health insurance. That’s because access to coverage does not equal access to care.

Take Sharon Shemblaw, a 46-year-old mother of three from Ontario diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in August 2015, according to reporting from the Toronto Star. Doctors told Shemblaw a stem-cell transplant would give her an 80 percent chance of survival. But her local hospitals didn’t have the resources to treat her.

So Shemblaw sought treatment in the United States. Like Sanders, Shemblaw’s daughter Amanda took time off from school to take care of her. But by the time she made it to Buffalo for treatment, it was too late. Shemblaw died in May 2016.

Like Sanders, I’ve watched my own mother struggle to gain access to needed care. But my mother was deprived by the Canadian system Sanders admires so much.

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After experiencing severe stomach pain, my mother requested a colonoscopy. Doctors delayed her procedure several times so younger people on the waiting list could go first. By the time she received her procedure, it was too late to treat the colon cancer it uncovered.

The American health care system is far from perfect. But if Sanders were serious about helping families like his, he’d leave the Canadian health care model on the other side of the border.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075835662001_6075839783001-vs Sally Pipes: Sorry, Bernie Sanders, American health care is not 'barbaric' (and Canada's system isn't perfect) Sally Pipes fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9a3d261e-6f2a-5e1b-ba14-6f382b0359d4   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075835662001_6075839783001-vs Sally Pipes: Sorry, Bernie Sanders, American health care is not 'barbaric' (and Canada's system isn't perfect) Sally Pipes fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9a3d261e-6f2a-5e1b-ba14-6f382b0359d4

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Oldest living American WWII veteran celebrates 110th birthday

Lawrence Brooks — a man considered to be the nation’s oldest living World War II veteran — celebrated a huge milestone in Louisiana last week: his 110th birthday.

Brooks, born on Sept. 12, 1909, was honored on Thursday at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Spotted with a bright lipstick kiss on his cheek at the event, Brooks served in the 91st Engineer Battalion stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines — a predominately African-American unit of the U.S. Army.

MONTANA MEN WHO LIED ABOUT EING VETERANS SENTENCED, ORDERED TO WRITE NAMES OF AMERICANS WHO DIED IN WARS

Westlake Legal Group AP19255602776759 Oldest living American WWII veteran celebrates 110th birthday Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/special/occasions/birthday fox news fnc/us fnc article 1a6552a8-e5ad-5fd3-a1d9-86639bf99f46

Lawrence Brooks, believed to be the oldest American veteran of World War II, celebrated his 110th birthday at the National World War II museum in New Orleans, La., on Thursday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The 110-year-old, who served between 1940 and 1945, was a servant to three white officers and his daily routine included cleaning their sheets and uniforms and shining their shoes. He attained the rank of Private 1st Class during the war.

LAUREN BRUNER, ONE OF LAST SURVIVORS OF USS ARIZONA, DIES AT 98

Brooks’ newfound title comes after the death of Richard Overton, previously the oldest living WWII veteran. Formerly a member of the U.S. Army, Overton died in December at age 112.

Westlake Legal Group AP19255602607040 Oldest living American WWII veteran celebrates 110th birthday Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/special/occasions/birthday fox news fnc/us fnc article 1a6552a8-e5ad-5fd3-a1d9-86639bf99f46

Lawrence Brooks received a dog tag honoring him as the oldest living veteran of the war. He was born Sept. 12, 1909. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The museum has been celebrating Brooks’ birthdays since his 105th, in 2014, according to The Times-Picayune and The New Orleans Advocate.

“We absolutely love Mr. Brooks,” the museum’s vice president, Peter Crean, told the news outlet. “We’ve told him, ‘As long as you keep having birthdays, we are going to keep having birthday parties for you here.'”

“We consider him ‘our veteran,'” Crean said.

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Brooks, who uses a walker, is blind in one eye and has poor vision in the other. He does suffer from low blood pressure and dehydration, but his hearing, however, is good, and he’s never suffered from any major diseases or cancers.

Westlake Legal Group AP19255602831331 Oldest living American WWII veteran celebrates 110th birthday Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/special/occasions/birthday fox news fnc/us fnc article 1a6552a8-e5ad-5fd3-a1d9-86639bf99f46

Brooks’ birthdays have been celebrated at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans since 2014.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

“I’ve started to think about not having many birthdays left. But I’m not worried about it, because God has let me live this long already,” Brooks said. “I think it’s because I’ve always liked people so much. Oh yes, I do.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19255602776759 Oldest living American WWII veteran celebrates 110th birthday Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/special/occasions/birthday fox news fnc/us fnc article 1a6552a8-e5ad-5fd3-a1d9-86639bf99f46   Westlake Legal Group AP19255602776759 Oldest living American WWII veteran celebrates 110th birthday Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/special/occasions/birthday fox news fnc/us fnc article 1a6552a8-e5ad-5fd3-a1d9-86639bf99f46

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Mike Pence’s nephew marries Kellyanne Conway’s cousin in New Jersey: report

Westlake Legal Group wedding-rings Mike Pence's nephew marries Kellyanne Conway's cousin in New Jersey: report fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/lifestyle/weddings fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 31414946-b069-56da-809b-49222c3ab7a2

Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew married presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway’s cousin in a New Jersey wedding ceremony Saturday.

KELLYANNE CONWAY SLAMS TAYLOR SWIFT FOR GOING ‘HEAD-TO-HEAD’ AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP AND LOSING ‘HANDILY’

John Pence is a senior adviser on President Trump’s campaign and the nephew of Pence. Giovanna Coia is a White House communications aide whose father is Conway’s first cousin, the Washington Post reported. Coia first announced her engagement in September 2018, sharing a photo of her ring after Pence popped the question.

The couple’s page on the popular wedding registry site The Knot says the two were to wed Saturday in Atlantic City. The Federal Aviation Administration issued temporary flight restrictions in the area until Sunday, NJ.com reported. The type of restriction issued—VIPTFR—is used for government VIPs, special events, natural disasters and other events.

Pence was counting down the days to the wedding weeks ago on his Instagram, writing “T-14” next to a picture of his bikini-clad fiancée onVentnor City Beach on the Jersey Shore.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Coia has worked as a White House press assistant since January 2017. She attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Coia’s Her Campus profile says she’s from Sicklerville, NJ, and once was crowned Miss Teen South Jersey.

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She also worked for Conway’s polling firm and interned for Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, before joining the White House staff, the Washington Post reported. Pence graduated from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law and started working for Trump’s campaign in August 2016.

Westlake Legal Group wedding-rings Mike Pence's nephew marries Kellyanne Conway's cousin in New Jersey: report fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/lifestyle/weddings fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 31414946-b069-56da-809b-49222c3ab7a2   Westlake Legal Group wedding-rings Mike Pence's nephew marries Kellyanne Conway's cousin in New Jersey: report fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/lifestyle/weddings fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 31414946-b069-56da-809b-49222c3ab7a2

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‘People Actively Hate Us’: Inside the Border Patrol’s Morale Crisis

One Border Patrol agent in Tucson said he had been called a “sellout” and a “kid killer.” In El Paso, an agent said he and his colleagues in uniform had avoided eating lunch together except at certain “BP friendly” restaurants because “there’s always the possibility of them spitting in your food.” An agent in Arizona quit last year out of frustration. “Caging people for a nonviolent activity,” he said, “started to eat away at me.”

For decades, the Border Patrol was a largely invisible security force. Along the southwestern border, its work was dusty and lonely. Between adrenaline-fueled chases, the shells of sunflower seeds piled up outside the windows of their idling pickup trucks. Agents called their slow-motion specialty “laying in” — hiding in the desert and brush for hours, to wait and watch, and watch and wait.

Two years ago, when President Trump entered the White House with a pledge to close the door on illegal immigration, all that changed. The nearly 20,000 agents of the Border Patrol became the leading edge of one of the most aggressive immigration crackdowns ever imposed in the United States.

No longer were they a quasi-military organization tasked primarily with intercepting drug runners and chasing smugglers. Their new focus was to block and detain hundreds of thousands of migrant families fleeing violence and extreme poverty — herding people into tents and cages, seizing children and sending their parents to jail, trying to spot those too sick to survive in the densely packed processing facilities along the border.

Ten migrants have died since September in the custody of the Border Patrol and its parent agency, Customs and Border Protection.

In recent months, the extreme overcrowding on the border has begun to ease, with migrants turned away and made to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed. Last week, the Supreme Court allowed the administration to close the door further, at least for now, by requiring migrants from countries outside Mexico to show they have already been denied refuge in another country before applying for asylum.

The Border Patrol, whose agents have gone from having one of the most obscure jobs in law enforcement to one of the most hated, is suffering a crisis in both mission and morale. Earlier this year, the disclosure of a private Facebook group where agents posted sexist and callous references to migrants and the politicians who support them reinforced the perception that agents often view the vulnerable people in their care with frustration and contempt.

Interviews with 25 current and former agents in Texas, California and Arizona — some conducted on the condition of anonymity so the agents could speak more candidly — paint a portrait of an agency in a political and operational quagmire. Overwhelmed through the spring and early summer by desperate migrants, many agents have grown defensive, insular and bitter.

The president of the agents’ union said he had received death threats. An agent in South Texas said some colleagues he knew were looking for other federal law enforcement jobs. One agent in El Paso told a retired agent he was so disgusted by scandals in which the Border Patrol has been accused of neglecting or mistreating migrants that he wanted the motto emblazoned on its green-and-white vehicles — “Honor First” — scratched off.

“To have gone from where people didn’t know much about us to where people actively hate us, it’s difficult,” said Chris Harris, who was an agent for 21 years and a Border Patrol union official until he retired in June 2018. “There’s no doubt morale has been poor in the past, and it’s abysmal now. I know a lot of guys just want to leave.”

EDUARDO JACOBO, AN AGENT IN CALIFORNIA’S EL CENTRO SECTOR:

The difference between doing the job now and when I started is like night and day. Before, it was a rush of adrenaline when you caught people with drugs. You were doing more police stuff. Now it’s humanitarian work. If you ask anybody about being in Border Patrol, they’re playing a movie scene in their head, jumping into a burning building and saving people. Now, it means taking care of kids and giving them baby formula.

By and large, the agency has been a willing enforcer of the Trump administration’s harshest immigration policies. In videos released last year, Border Patrol agents could be seen destroying water jugs left in a section of the Arizona desert where large numbers of migrants have been found dead.

Some of those who worked at the agency in earlier years said that it had changed over the past decade, and that an attitude of contempt toward migrants — the view that they are opportunists who brought on their own troubles and are undeserving of a warm welcome — is now the rule, not the exception.

“The intense criticism that is being directed at the Border Patrol is necessary and important because I do think that there’s a culture of cruelty or callousness,” said Francisco Cantú, a former agent who is the author of “The Line Becomes a River,” a memoir about his time in the agency from 2008 to 2012. “There’s a lack of oversight. There is a lot of impunity.”

The Border Patrol was established in 1924. Early agents were recruited from the Texas Rangers and local sheriff’s offices. They focused largely on Prohibition-era whiskey bootleggers, often supplying their own horses and saddles. Though horseback units still exist, the culture of the agency bears little resemblance to its past.

It has become a sprawling arm of Customs and Border Protection, the country’s largest federal law enforcement agency, which is responsible for 7,000 miles of America’s northern and southern borders, 95,000 miles of shoreline and 328 ports of entry. On a practical level, the Border Patrol’s hubs along the Mexican border, known as sectors, operate in some ways as fiefs.

In border cities, sector chiefs become household names, delivering annual State of the Border speeches. In the 1990s, an El Paso sector chief, Silvestre Reyes, used his popularity to win a seat in Congress.

In El Paso and other border communities, becoming an agent has long been viewed as a ticket to the middle class. A starting agent with a high school diploma and no experience can expect to earn $55,800, including overtime, climbing to $100,000 in as few as four years.

“We as agents are living the crisis,” said Anthony Garcia, who has served as a Border Patrol agent in Southern California since 2003. “It has become a more stressful job,” said Susan Zepeda, an agent in the Border Patrol’s El Centro Sector in California. “Our resources are exhausted. Our manpower has been low.”

But given the long, solitary work, often in punishing heat and far-flung locations, and a growing workload, the agency has had difficulty recruiting: It remains about 1,800 agents short of its earlier hiring targets.

Some trace the increasing bitterness and frustration among agents to 2014, when large numbers of migrant families, as well as unaccompanied children, began arriving at the border. Many agents said they weren’t given the money or infrastructure to handle the emerging crisis. Desperate mothers and sick children had to be herded into fenced enclosures because there was nowhere else to put them.

Some agents blamed migrant parents for bringing their children into the mess. Their anger began building under President Barack Obama. Then, with Mr. Trump’s election, it found a voice in the White House.

Mr. Trump “said it to us, he said it in public, ‘I’m going to consider you guys, the union, the subject-matter experts on how we secure the border,’” said Mr. Harris, the former agent and Border Patrol union official from Southern California who retired last year. “We had never heard that from anyone before.”

The private Facebook group, which was created in 2016 and had more than 9,000 members, became a forum for agents to vent about the increasingly thankless nature of their jobs and the failure of successive administrations to fully secure the border.

Some agents who were members of the group said the tone of the posts shifted after Mr. Trump’s election, becoming raunchier and more politically tinged. A post mocked the death of a 16-year-old migrant while in custody at a Border Patrol station in Weslaco, Tex., with an image reading “Oh well.” A member used an expletive to propose throwing burritos at two Latina congresswomen.

AN AGENT IN SOUTH TEXAS:

What really pisses me off is that the agency knew about this group for a while. Those stories are true. There were patrol agents in charge on there. They knew it was wrong.

Most agents interviewed said a minority of those in the Facebook group were responsible for the most offensive posts.

BRANDON JUDD, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL, THE AGENTs’ UNION:

We have been pointed at with this broad brush and there are certain segments trying to make this out that all agents are bad and ‘Here’s the proof, look at these Facebook posts,’ when really the vast majority of our agents are very good people.

In some ways, though, the posts reflected a culture that was long apparent in parts of the agency. For years, the Border Patrol has quietly tolerated racist terminology. Some agents refer to migrants as “wets,” a shortened version of “wetbacks.” Others call them “toncs.”

Jenn Budd, a former agent of six years who is now an outspoken critic, said a supervisor at her Border Patrol station in California had explained the term “tonc” to her: “He said, ‘It’s the sound a flashlight makes when you hit a migrant in the head with it.’”

Josh Childress, a former agent in Arizona who quit in 2018 because the job had begun to wear him down, said the Facebook posts hinted at a deeper, darker problem in the agency’s culture. “The jokes are not the problem,” he said. “Treating people as if they aren’t people is the problem.”

Calexico, Calif., 120 miles east of San Diego in Southern California’s agrarian Imperial Valley, offers a glimpse of the relationship between a border community and the agents. Hemmed in by rugged mountains, desolate desert and the Colorado River, the valley has an economy that revolves around seasonal farm jobs and government work. Temperatures top 110 degrees during the parched summer months.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157824327_10d6054d-ac88-4bdb-8a93-8ed7d2e46d32-articleLarge ‘People Actively Hate Us’: Inside the Border Patrol’s Morale Crisis Texas National Border Patrol Council Immigration and Emigration Border Patrol (US)

The border at Calexico, Calif.

About 800 Border Patrol agents work in the vast El Centro Sector, which runs about 70 miles across the Valley. They patrol on bikes and in their white vehicles in Calexico, whose downtown sits up against the rust-colored bollards that separate the United States and Mexico.

When Mr. Trump visited the city in April to tout 2.3 miles of a new border barrier — a row of 30-foot-tall, slender steel slats with pointed edges — Angel Esparza organized a binational unity march that drew 200 people. But he said the march was to protest Mr. Trump, not the Border Patrol.

Mr. Esparza has featured Border Patrol agents on the covers of two issues of Mi Calexico, a magazine that he produces and distributes sporadically in this town of 40,000.

“The Border Patrol agents are part of the community,” he said.

NATALIA NUNEZ, A COLLEGE STUDENT IN CALEXICO, CALIF.

Being in the Border Patrol is a normal thing around here. I have three cousins who are agents. I have friends whose parents are agents. They aren’t supposed to talk about it. I wonder how they can sleep at night if they have to lock up kids in cages like animals.

David Kim, the El Centro Sector’s assistant chief patrol agent, is the son of a South Korean immigrant who worked for the Postal Service. He has been with the Border Patrol since 2000.

Asked about the agency’s relationship with the community, he recalled the government shutdown that began in December 2018, when Mr. Trump was locked in a standoff with Congress over funding for an expanded border wall. Border Patrol agents, who were working without pay, were offered food vouchers by restaurants. Jujitsu academies and gyms offered free passes. Mr. Kim’s chiropractor waived his co-pay.

“The agents feel very demoralized by politicians and the media,” said David Kim, the assistant chief patrol agent for the El Centro Sector. “I would be lying if I said that those perceptions do not have an impact other than negatively on us.” “The difference between doing the job now and when I started is like night and day,” said Eduardo Jacobo, who has been an agent in the El Centro Sector for about a decade.

Mr. Kim, seated in the sector headquarters building, went silent for about a minute as he talked about it. Tears rolled down his face. “The community,” he said finally, “stepped up for the Border Patrol when we were furloughed.”

But with the fraught atmosphere across the country over immigration policy, hostility can emerge even within agents’ own families.

BRANDON JUDD, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL:

I just had a relative four days ago send me one of the nastiest emails I’ve ever had in my life. How bad of people we are. How taxpayer dollars should not be used to abuse individuals.

Operating in communities that are often heavily Hispanic and quietly hostile to Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda, the Border Patrol has become more openly political than at any time in its history.

Agents have nurtured a strong loyalty to the president, whom many of them see as the first chief executive who is serious about border security. The union endorsed Mr. Trump in 2016, a move that gave the Border Patrol a line of communication to the White House but has also created friction in Democrat-dominated border communities.

A 10-YEAR VETERAN AGENT IN SOUTH TEXAS:

I have personally not come across any agents that do not like Trump’s positions on border security, on immigration. Hispanic, Latino, black, white — it doesn’t matter the origin of the agents, they all have a strong border-security mentality. So they love what Trump brings to the table. What they hate, what is detrimental, is the complete opposite feeling from the Democratic side.

Democratic lawmakers flocked to the Texas border throughout the spring, many holding news conferences to criticize the filthy, crowded conditions in which migrants, including children, were being held — some with unchanged diapers, little access to showers and little or no hot food.

Agents said they had done the best they could — some bought toys for the children in their care — but were overwhelmed by the number of new arrivals.

AN AGENT IN THE EL PASO SECTOR:

‘Oh, that kid’s cute’ turned into, ‘Oh, there’s another one, there’s another one.’ We’ve done more for these aliens than these senators and congressmen that come down here. They make this big scene but then the next day they get on a plane to go back home. They didn’t take any of them with them, right? They’re going home to their running water, to their nice, comfortable bed, and meantime, we’re here dealing with them.

The Border Patrol’s culture is unabashedly self-reliant and male-dominated. Agents operate largely alone in the desert and brush, using neither body cameras nor dashboard cameras.

About 5 percent of agents are women. Some interviewed spoke highly of the agency and their male colleagues. Others described a culture in which women were demeaned, passed over for promotions and assaulted by co-workers. A supervisor in Chula Vista, Calif., pleaded guilty in 2015 to seven counts of video voyeurism, admitting that he had placed a camera in a drain in a women’s restroom.

In a written account of her time at the agency, Ms. Budd described women being forced to perform oral sex on fellow agents and subjected to humiliating labels. “I never, ever met a female agent that was not targeted by the male agents,” she said.

The job has taken a psychological toll on men and women alike.

From 2007 to 2018, more than 100 Customs and Border Protection employees, many of whom had worked as Border Patrol agents, killed themselves. Ross Davidson, who retired in 2017 after 21 years with the agency, said he was certain that stress from the job has been a factor.

“The repetitive monotony of doing the same thing over and over and seeing no outcome, seeing no end to it and nothing changing,” he said. “It’s just going deeper and deeper, and getting worse and worse.”

SERGIO TINOCO, AN AGENT IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY OF TEXAS:

Now, with all this rhetoric, I actually have to go home where I want to unwind, and hear my wife tell me the comments she was told, and my kids tell me the comments they’re told. So at what point do I relax? The only time I relax is when my eyes are closed and I’m dead asleep.

Nicholas Kulish, Mitchell Ferman and Erin Coulehan contributed reporting.

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Vaping Bad: Were 2 Wisconsin Brothers the Walter Whites of THC Oils?

BRISTOL, Wis. — The drug bust shattered the early-morning stillness of this manicured subdivision in southeastern Wisconsin. The police pulled up outside a white-shuttered brick condo, jolting neighbors out of their beds with the thud of heavy banging on a door.

What they found inside was not crystal meth or cocaine or fentanyl but slim boxes of vaping cartridges labeled with flavors like strawberry and peaches and cream. An additional 98,000 cartridges lay empty. Fifty-seven Mason jars nearby contained a substance that resembled dark honey: THC-laced liquid used for vaping, a practice that is now at the heart of a major public health scare sweeping the country.

Vaping devices, which have soared in popularity as a way to consume nicotine and THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, have been linked in the last several months to nearly 400 illnesses and six deaths. State and federal health investigators have not yet determined a cause, but authorities are focusing on whether noxious chemicals have found their way into vaping supplies, perhaps from a flourishing nationwide black market of vaping products fueled by online sales and lax regulation.

The bust this month in Wisconsin, where THC is illegal, offers an intimate look at the shadowy operations serving large numbers of teenagers and adults around the country who are using black-market vaping products, sometimes unknowingly because it is difficult to tell them apart from legitimate ones.

“When we walked in there, we were like, ‘Oh boy,’” said Capt. Dan Baumann of the Waukesha Police Department. “This is what we were looking for, but we did not know it was this big.”

Key players in the operation, authorities said, were brothers barely into their 20s, Jacob and Tyler Huffhines, who lived in a small town nearby. Both are now in custody at the Kenosha County Jail. More arrests and charges in the case are likely to follow, according to the police.

Tyler, 20, is being held on charges of the manufacture, distribution or delivery of marijuana; Jacob, 23, is being held on charges of cocaine possession and of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Authorities said that Jacob was being investigated for his involvement in the drug operation.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160736919_9b23c2ff-b752-47eb-9f11-5cd77f9472c3-articleLarge Vaping Bad: Were 2 Wisconsin Brothers the Walter Whites of THC Oils? your-feed-health Tyler Huffhines Respiratory System Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Marijuana Lungs Kenosha (Wisc) Jacob Huffhines E-Cigarettes Drug Abuse and Traffic Counterfeit Merchandise Black Markets

The police raided this Bristol, Wis., condo this past week, where an alleged cannabis vaping operation took place. A neighbor described a steady stream of young men coming in and out, usually neatly dressed, and driving expensive cars.CreditLauren Justice for The New York Times

Tyler Huffines, left, and Jacob Huffhines.CreditKenosha County Sheriff’s Department

Across the country, public health officials are awakening to a massive underground market for illicit vaping products, both for nicotine and for marijuana. The products are sold online and on the streets, in pop-up stores and individual transactions, sometimes arranged through social media.

“I’d meet people at Starbucks, a cross street, in front of an apartment, wherever they tell you,” said a 17-year-old who was one of the people hospitalized for the vaping-related lung illness in New York state. He asked that his name not be used to guard his reputation and privacy.

“It never comes up where they source it,” he said. “You don’t ask.”

Investigators have not determined whether there is a connection between the Wisconsin operation and any of the cases of severe lung diseases linked to vaping. But public health officials across the country, including Mitch Zeller, director of the Center for Tobacco Products for the Food and Drug Administration, say that street-made vaping products should be avoided by all consumers and pose the greatest health risk.

Vaping works by heating liquid and turning it into vapor to be inhaled. The original intent was to give smokers a way to satisfy their nicotine cravings without inhaling the carcinogens that come with burning tobacco.

But vaping devices and cartridges can be used to heat many substances, including cannabis-based oils, and some of the solvents used to dissolve them can present their own health problems.

On Wednesday the Trump administration said it planned to ban most flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine pods — including mint and menthol, in an effort to reduce the allure of vaping for teenagers. But the move may expand underground demand for flavored pods. And it does nothing to address the robust trade in illicit cannabis vaping products.

The Wisconsin operation is wholly characteristic of a “very advanced and mature illicit market for THC vape carts,” said David Downs, an expert in the marijuana trade and the California bureau chief for Leafly, a website that offers news, information and reviews of cannabis products. (‘Carts’ is the common shorthand for cartridges.)

“These types of operations are integral to the distribution of contaminated THC-based vape carts in the United States,” Mr. Downs said.

They are known as “pen factories,” playing a crucial middleman role: The operations buy empty vape cartridges and counterfeit packaging from Chinese factories, then fill them with THC liquid that they purchase from the United States market. Empty cartridges and packaging are also available on eBay, Alibaba and other e-commerce sites.

The filled cartridges are not by definition a health risk. However, Mr. Downs, along with executives from legal THC companies and health officials, say that the illicit operations are using a tactic common to other illegal drug operations: cutting their product with other substances, including some that can be dangerous.

The motive is profit; an operation makes more money by using less of the core ingredient, THC — which is expensive — and diluting it with oils that cost considerably less.

Public health authorities said some cutting agents might be the cause of the lung illnesses and had homed in on a particular one, vitamin E acetate, an oil that could cause breathing problems and lung inflammation if it does not heat up fully during the vaping aerosolization process.

Medium-grade THC can cost $4,000 a kilo and higher-grade THC costs double that, but additives may cost pennies on the dollar, said Chip Paul, a longtime vaping entrepreneur in Oklahoma who led the state’s drive to legalize medical marijuana there.

“That’s what they’re doing, They’re cutting this oil,” he said of illegal operations. “If I can cut it in half,” he described the thinking, “I can double my money.”

The black market products come packaged looking as the THC vaping products that are legal in some states do. Sometimes the packages are direct counterfeits of mass-market brands sold in places like California or Colorado, where THC is legal, and others just look the part.

“Someone would not recognize that this is not a legitimate product,” said Dr. Howard Zucker, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, adding that this is a tremendous risk. “The counterfeit handbag you buy on the corner is not going to kill you but the counterfeit vaping device you buy has a chance to kill you,” he said.

In Wisconsin, the neatly packaged vaping devices had logos such as Dabwoods, Chronic Sour Patch and Dank King Louie. The police say the Huffhines operation produced close to 3,000 cartridges a day. Cartridges sell for around $35 to $40.

A lawyer for Tyler Huffhines declined to comment.

Items seized in the raid at the Huffhines brothers’ home.CreditKenosha County Sheriff’s Department

Wisconsin police say they were stunned by the scope and ambition of the Huffhines operation, and only beginning to understand how far it might have reached.

It was a teenager in nearby Waukesha whose actions eventually led the police to the operation in Bristol, a town just miles from the Illinois border.

That teenager’s parents discovered that he was vaping and brought him to the police station in Waukesha. He then told the police where he got his vaping supplies; the authorities traced the sellers step by step, and several degrees of separation later, they were led to the Huffhines brothers.

The condo in Bristol, rented under a false name, was believed to be their base of operations. But on an afternoon this past week, it appeared deserted, with the blinds inside closed tightly and a dent on the front door.

Until recently, the condo hummed with quiet activity that attracted only glancing notice from neighbors. The operation employed at least 10 people, the police said, who were paid $20 an hour to use syringes to fill cartridges with oil. The Huffhineses kept meticulous records, using timecards to note when employees worked. The cartridges were sold in packs of 100, through channels that authorities, who also seized 18 pounds of marijuana and three money-counting machines, said they did not yet fully understand.

It might have been the perfect place for a drug operation, said one neighbor, who described the subdivision as a mix of busy professionals and families who do not socialize much.

Westosha Central High School in Salem, Wis., which the Huffhines brothers had attended.CreditLauren Justice for The New York Times

Another neighbor said she had thought that the Huffhines brothers had begun renting the place a few months ago, describing a steady stream of young men in and out of the condo, usually neatly dressed, and driving expensive cars.

“I can’t give my name,” she said, lowering her voice. “These are drug lords.”

Inside the Huffhines’ home in the nearby Paddock Lake community, a five-minute drive from the condo, investigators last week found $59,000 in cash, eight guns, 10 grams of marijuana, as well as scales and other drug-related paraphernalia.

At Westosha Central High School, which the Huffhines brothers had attended, they were seen as ambitious and privileged, living with their mother, a real estate agent, and grandfather in a quiet neighborhood overlooking a lake.

Students leaving school Thursday afternoon described a system of easy access to vaping devices that contain nicotine or THC, despite strict penalties from administrators if they are caught.

Students frequently vape in the bathrooms, they said, and obtaining vaping devices is as simple as asking someone for a contact.

News about deaths and injuries from vaping has been spreading throughout school, a 16-year-old said.

“People are scared of getting caught,” he added. “Now they’re scared of getting sick, too.”

Earlier coverage

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Defiant Iran blasts Pompeo’s Saudi-attack accusations as ‘blind and futile comments’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086295426001_6086307206001-vs Defiant Iran blasts Pompeo’s Saudi-attack accusations as ‘blind and futile comments’ fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc Dom Calicchio article 756ac75a-3400-561b-a495-d5ec316d79c4

An Iranian official responded Sunday after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed at the nation’s government in Tehran following Saturday’s drone attacks on Saudi Arabia oil facilities.

“The Americans adopted the ‘maximum pressure’ policy against Iran, which, due to its failure, is leaning towards ‘maximum lies’,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the Associated Press.

On Saturday, Pompeo charged that Iran’s government in Tehran ordered “nearly 100 attacks” on a Saudi refinery and oilfield, further alleging that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif pretending “to engage in diplomacy.”

POMPEO ACCUSES IRAN OF ‘UNPRECEDENTED ATTACK’ AFTER DRONES HIT SAUDI OIL FACILITIES

On Sunday, Mousavi dismissed Pompeo’s remarks as “blind and futile comments.”

Saturday’s attacks, for which Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, resulted in “the temporary suspension of production operations” at the Abqaiq processing facility and the Khurais oil field, Riyadh said. They followed weeks of similar drone assaults on the kingdom’s oil infrastructure, but none of the earlier strikes appeared to have caused the same amount of damage.

The attacks led to the interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels in crude supplies, authorities said, while pledging the kingdom’s stockpiles would make up the difference. That size of shutdown hasn’t occurred since Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, The Wall Street Journal reported.

But Saudi officials told the Journal that normal levels of oil production would resume by Monday.

The rebels hold Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and other parts of the Arab world’s poorest country. Since 2015, a Saudi-led coalition has fought to reinstate the internationally recognized Yemeni government.

What remained to be seen were the attacks’ effect on world energy prices. With markets closed Sunday, the answer wouldn’t be known for another 24 hours.

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But one undeniable impact was an increase in Middle East tensions amid escalating U.S.-Iran hostilities as the Obama-era nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers continues to unravel.

Meanwhile, President Trump on Saturday called Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to offer his support for the kingdom’s defense, the White House said. The crown prince assured Trump that Saudi Arabia was “willing and able to confront and deal with this terrorist aggression,” according to a news release from the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

​​​​​​​Fox News’ Sam Dorman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086295426001_6086307206001-vs Defiant Iran blasts Pompeo’s Saudi-attack accusations as ‘blind and futile comments’ fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc Dom Calicchio article 756ac75a-3400-561b-a495-d5ec316d79c4   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086295426001_6086307206001-vs Defiant Iran blasts Pompeo’s Saudi-attack accusations as ‘blind and futile comments’ fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc Dom Calicchio article 756ac75a-3400-561b-a495-d5ec316d79c4

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Maybe We’re Not All Going to Be Gig Economy Workers After All

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_154574232_75f0ad69-2a40-4e8c-8bd9-528e59edc2fa-articleLarge Maybe We’re Not All Going to Be Gig Economy Workers After All Uber Technologies Inc Mobile Applications Labor and Jobs Freelancing, Self-Employment and Independent Contracting Car Services and Livery Cabs California

Drivers for Uber and Lyft during a protest in May at LAX Airport.CreditMark Ralston/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Not too long ago, the “gig economy” looked as if it just might be the future of work in America.

The rapid rise of digital platforms that let people earn money by driving passengers, delivering groceries, walking dogs or running errands for strangers raised the prospect that one day many of us might turn to our mobile phones to find our next paycheck. “Freelance workers available at a moment’s notice will reshape the nature of companies and the structure of careers,” said a 2015 subheading in The Economist.

But California’s new measure requiring the state’s gig work force to be treated as conventional employees is only the latest sign of the limits of this approach. The gig economy is looking less like the future of the labor market, and more like a niche arrangement, applicable in a handful of industries and used primarily as a side hustle for people whose main household earnings come from a more stable type of job.

On the workers’ side, an improving economy has made more traditional jobs more plentiful, and so those who prefer to have work with benefits and predictable pay can more easily find it.

And on the employers’ side, while the app-based gig work has been transformative in transportation and a few other industries, it seems not particularly applicable in many jobs, such as those requiring collaboration or specialized training.

“I think the platform economy is a really vibrant niche, and it really has changed certain occupations, with taxi and limousine drivers the poster child,” said Matthew Bidwell, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who studies contract work arrangements. “But there are good reasons it hasn’t changed most of the rest of employment.”

In 2018, according to a Federal Reserve survey, only 3 percent of adults reported driving for a service like Uber or Lyft, smaller than the share whose gig work consisted of selling goods at flea markets and about the same as the share who walked dogs or provided house-sitting services for extra cash.

But even those numbers probably overstate how central this work is to the economic lives of Americans.

The share of the work force earning income reported on I.R.S. Form 1099 — the typical way that independent contractors are paid — rose by one percentage point from 2007 to 2016, according to a paper this year by Brett Collins of the I.R.S. and four collaborators. Virtually all of that was because of the rise of online platforms.

But strikingly, they found that growth was “driven by individuals whose primary annual income derives from traditional jobs and who supplement that income with platform-mediated work.” And fewer than half of those doing gig economy work earned more than $2,500 in 2016.

“What’s happening is you’re seeing more people using some of these new ways of getting work to supplement their current jobs,” said Katharine Abraham, an economist at the University of Maryland and former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “It’s not a story about a fundamental transformation of the way that people’s jobs are organized.”

If the new California bill, which the governor is expected to sign into law, survives legal challenges and is emulated elsewhere, it will further undermine the case for gig-based freelance work — at least as it exists now — as a major share of the American labor pool. The bill requires many contract workers to be treated as regular employees, which would mean that they would be covered by minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance and other protections afforded traditional employees.

Platform-based freelance work essentially turns a person’s labor into a freely traded commodity. To Uber, the men and women who drive passengers in cars summoned with the company’s app do not count as its work force at all. Rather, they are its customers, according to the company’s securities filings. Just like the people ordering a ride or a food delivery, they are “end-users.”

The company views its role as making a market between people who want a ride and people who want to get somewhere. In other words, it sees itself more like a stock exchange or an auction website. The New York Stock Exchange doesn’t set the price of General Motors stock, nor eBay the price of Beanie Babies.

That, in turn, helps explain the stark divide between the views of Uber executives and those of the labor unions and California lawmakers who want Uber’s drivers to become employees, not free-floating independent contractors.

Research by economists employed by Uber has an almost radical implication: that the company couldn’t raise hourly compensation if it wanted to.

According to the study, which relied on internal company data, when Uber raised the rates drivers are paid, it created an initial surge in earnings. But over time, higher prices cause less demand from riders and more supply of drivers, so drivers end up spending more of their time twiddling their thumbs waiting for a gig, leaving hourly earnings little changed.

But in a world with 3.7 percent unemployment, workers who prefer the predictable earnings and hours of traditional jobs may have more options.

Two leading labor market scholars, Lawrence Katz of Harvard and Alan Krueger, had published research based on data through 2015 that showed a rapid rise in gig economy work. But early this year, they published a new paper, with data through 2017, revising those numbers down. One reason for the adjustment: They concluded that the gig economy numbers in 2015 were boosted by the still-weak labor market.

“What we found was a transitional path out of unemployment were people did a lot more independent contracting gig work until they got a more permanent job, and there is more of that when coming out of a recession than during a boom,” Mr. Katz said.

Dmitri K. Koustas of the University of Chicago’s Harris School for Public Policy analyzed data on 2.1 million users of a financial management app to understand the financial situation of people who take on gig work. His work also suggests many people use the gig work to survive difficult financial moments in their lives — such as being laid off or having their hours cut in a more traditional job. Their earnings from conventional jobs fell in the period just before starting gig work, on average, then recovered.

Hints of app-based work are creeping into more traditional work settings. Last year, Walmart allowed its store workers to use their phones to swap shifts or volunteer for extra shifts.

On the surface, that is the kind of thing that could make a part-time job at Walmart more competitive with app-based work in which workers set their own hours.

But it’s taking place in the context of an employer that uses traditional payroll employees, with some of the accompanying benefits: not just health care and insurance against injury on the job, but also training and the opportunity for promotion.

Walmart has invested heavily in recent years in training to try to improve service and merchandising, seeing it as the key to long-term competitiveness. If anything, it has sought to have better employee retention, not the kind of fly-by-night relationships with workers more typical of the gig economy.

Business has been on a multidecade campaign to shift more economic risk from its balance sheet onto its work force — through de-unionization, routine use of layoffs, outsourcing and the use of independent contractors.

The gig economy was supposed to be the apotheosis of that shift. It is a form of capitalism that is brutally efficient. It can work well for people seeking a little extra cash. But it has major drawbacks for those who want a solid, predictable income and some protection from the ups and downs of the economy — or for employers who need a reliable, collaborative work force.

As the gig economy matures, it is becoming clear that every trend has its limits.

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Ahead Of Do-Over Election, Embattled Netanyahu In Fight Of His Political Life

Westlake Legal Group 5d7dfd5a3b0000039fd3ccc3 Ahead Of Do-Over Election, Embattled Netanyahu In Fight Of His Political Life

JERUSALEM (AP) — A visibly frantic Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the fight of his political life as the country heads to national elections for the second time this year.

With Netanyahu locked in a razor tight race and facing the likelihood of criminal corruption charges, a decisive victory in Tuesday’s vote may be the only thing to keep him out of the courtroom. A repeat of the deadlock in April’s election, or a victory by challenger Benny Gantz, could spell the end of the career of the man who has led the country for the past decade.

Netanyahu’s daily campaign stunts have helped him set the national agenda — a tactic the media-savvy Israeli leader has perfected throughout his three decades in national politics. But it may well be the things he can’t control — including a former political ally turned rival and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip — that bring him down.

Throughout the abbreviated campaign, Netanyahu has seemed to create new headlines at will. One day he is jetting off for meetings with world leaders. The next, he claims to unveil a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear site. Then he vows to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Nearly every day, he issues unfounded warnings about the country’s Arab minority “stealing” the election, drawing accusations of incitement and racism.

“Netanyahu is always worried. That’s why he has survived this long,” said Anshel Pfeffer, a columnist at the Haaretz newspaper and author of a recent biography of Netanyahu.

“Every election campaign he enters convinced that he can lose, and that’s how he fights it, with his back to the wall,” he said.

By many counts, the strategy has worked. Netanyahu, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, has dominated the political discourse during a campaign that is seen as a referendum on his rule. His opponents, meanwhile, have been forced to react to his ever-shifting tactics.

Netanyahu has turned to a familiar playbook — presenting himself as a global statesman who is uniquely qualified to lead the country while also portraying himself as the underdog, lashing out at perceived domestic enemies who he claims are conspiring against him.

During a Channel 12 TV interview late Saturday, Netanyahu appeared distressed and combative. He smirked, shook his head and raised his voice as he accused the media of “inciting” against him, angrily rejected the legal case against him and issued dire warnings that his Likud party will lose. “Victory is not in our pocket,” he said.

At the same time, he claimed the country understands that only he can lead. His campaign ads portray him as being in a “different league” and show him embracing his friend, President Donald Trump, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin, India’s Narendra Modi and other world leaders. Last week, Netanyahu rushed to Sochi, Russia, for talks with Putin about Iran.

“The public is saying, ‘We understand that you are a world-class leader,’” he told Channel 12.

Echoing Trump, Netanyahu routinely lashes out at the media, the judiciary, prosecutors and other alleged foes. But it has been his attacks on Israel’s Arab minority that have caused the most controversy. Netanyahu has long targeted Israeli Arabs to rally his working-class, nationalist base — implying that they are a fifth column threatening the county.

In the current campaign, he has taken these tactics to a new level. He sparked uproar by leading a failed effort to allow activists to film voters at polling stations, claiming without evidence that they were needed to prevent fraud in Arab districts.

That was followed by a message on his Facebook page calling on voters to prevent the establishment of a government that includes “Arabs who want to destroy us all.”

Facebook determined the post violated its hate speech policy and sanctioned the page for 24 hours. Netanyahu said the post was a staffer’s mistake and had been removed.

Ayman Odeh, leader of the main Arab faction in parliament, accused Netanyahu of fearmongering. During a parliamentary session on the voting booth cameras, Odeh mocked Netanyahu by approaching the prime minister and pointing his cellphone camera at him, sparking a brief scuffle with other lawmakers.

“He always looks for an enemy. Always,” said Odeh. “This man offers no hope. He only uses fear.”

Days before the election, the race appears too close to call. Polls published over the weekend showed Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White neck and neck. Both parties fall far short of a majority in the 120-seat parliament, with their “blocs” of smaller allied parties also evenly divided.

The stakes are especially high for Netanyahu. Israel’s attorney general has recommended that Netanyahu be indicted in three corruption cases, pending a hearing scheduled in October.

Although Netanyahu denies all charges, it is widely believed that he hopes to be able to form a narrow coalition of hard-line and religious parties willing to grant him immunity from prosecution.

If he falls short, he could find himself in the opposition or forced into a partnership with centrist rivals who have no interest in protecting him from prosecutors.

“He has no limits, because his only goal today is to avoid going to trial,” said Stav Shaffir, a candidate with the leftist Democratic Union party. “He’s afraid. But the thing is his fear is now used to threaten Israeli democracy. He’s tearing apart Israeli society,” she said.

This week’s election was triggered by Avigdor Lieberman, a longtime ally turned rival who refused to join Netanyahu’s coalition last April, robbing him of a majority, because of what he said was excessive influence by Jewish ultra-Orthodox religious parties.

Lieberman is once again playing hard to get. His Yisrael Beitenu party has emerged as a likely kingmaker, and he is demanding the formation of a secular unity government.

Lieberman also has repeatedly seized on the prime minister’s failure to stop rocket fire launched by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

Despite Netanyahu’s attempts to divert attention from the issue, he was embarrassed last week when air raid sirens disrupted a campaign rally in southern Israel and he was whisked away to safety. The clip spread quickly on social media and was repeatedly played on Israeli TV stations.

Even Netanyahu’s much-hyped friendship with Trump has not delivered major results. During the first campaign early this year, Trump gave Netanyahu a boost by inviting him to the White House, where he recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 war.

This time around, Trump has instead alarmed the Israelis by declaring his readiness to meet with the president of Iran, Israel’s archenemy, and then firing National Security Adviser John Bolton, an Iran hawk who was a strong Israel supporter in the White House.

“It seems that the gift that never stops giving, Donald Trump, has stopped cooperating with Netanyahu at the most critical junction in time,” columnist Ben Caspit wrote in the Maariv daily.

“But no one should eulogize Netanyahu just yet,” he added. “He still has a few days left. More dramatic announcements still lie ahead.”

Late on Saturday, Trump delivered a small election gift, announcing on Twitter that he was exploring a possible defense pact with Israel.

While less dramatic than the Golan announcement last spring, Netanyahu happily accepted the gesture, thanking his “dear friend” and trumping it as “historic.”

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Man’s 20-foot tapeworm linked to this eating habit

Westlake Legal Group 6175f7d3-raw_beef_istock Man's 20-foot tapeworm linked to this eating habit Manny Alvarez fox-news/health/medical-mysteries-marvels fox news fnc/health fnc article 7cfb33a2-06a5-5209-847d-233b6367eafe

Many guys around the world enjoy beef. But one man in China happened to have an affinity for eating it raw, which can lead to getting infected—or inhabited—by harmful organisms.

In this case, the man ingested a tapeworm with one of his raw beef meals.

HOW A NEARLY BRAIN DEAD ‘MIRACLE MAN’ SURVIVED AFTER BEING TAKEN OFF LIFE SUPPORT

By the time doctors discovered it, the tapeworm had grown to 20 feet in length, reported Live Science.

The man went to the doctor after experiencing stomach pain and severe weight loss for three days.

The report showed he had lost over 11 pounds within that timeframe.

However, the man had also gone to the doctor multiple times over the last two years, getting treatment for stomach pain and anemia.

WOMAN’S CHEST PAIN DIAGNOSED AS ‘SPIRALING ESOPHAGUS’: WHAT’S THAT? 

How did doctors figure out the problem this time and not the others?

During this painful episode, the man brought in part of the tapeworm that he had found in his stool.

Once the tapeworm was identified, doctors gave him an oral antibiotic to expel the tapeworm that day. Three months later, the man got relief from his symptoms as well as his affinity for raw beef.

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The case report was published in The New England Journal of Medicine in January 2016.

Westlake Legal Group 6175f7d3-raw_beef_istock Man's 20-foot tapeworm linked to this eating habit Manny Alvarez fox-news/health/medical-mysteries-marvels fox news fnc/health fnc article 7cfb33a2-06a5-5209-847d-233b6367eafe   Westlake Legal Group 6175f7d3-raw_beef_istock Man's 20-foot tapeworm linked to this eating habit Manny Alvarez fox-news/health/medical-mysteries-marvels fox news fnc/health fnc article 7cfb33a2-06a5-5209-847d-233b6367eafe

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