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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 95)

For Congress, a new session of compressed chaos

Westlake Legal Group us-capitol-hill For Congress, a new session of compressed chaos fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics fox-news/newsedge/sports fox news fnc/politics fnc Chad Pergram bf587dcb-f854-5846-bd9f-e97b0f367b8c article

It was extraordinary that nee-Pittsburgh Steelers/Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown could condense so much chaos into a matter of a few weeks, let alone days.

Those calling this the “Antonio Brown saga” are wrong. It hasn’t gone on long enough to be a saga. It doesn’t matter whether Brown was recovering from frostbitten feet in France, scrapping with the league over the type of helmet he was permitted to wear or getting into a heated confrontation with Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock. Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden said late last week he expected Brown to play on Sunday. Then the Raiders planned to fine and suspend Brown. Oakland cut the All-Pro wideout Saturday morning. By nightfall, Brown signed, with of all teams, the New England Patriots.

The compressed chaos rocked the NFL.

But that’s nothing.

Congress regularly crams just as much mayhem into similar timeframes.

GUNS, IMPEACHMENT PUSH, BORDER WALL: WHAT’S IN STORE AS CONGRESS RETURNS FROM RECESS

The House and Senate are now back after a lengthy summer recess.

Consider what all will unfold on Capitol Hill in the coming days.

Democrats are ramping up efforts to push the Senate to vote on House-approved gun measures. The House will follow suit soon prepping additional firearms related legislation dealing with hate crimes and red flag laws. House Democrats are formalizing aspects of their impeachment inquiry. Impeachment will unquestionably dominate Washington as Democrats continue their rope-a-dope strategy with President Trump. The sides must forge an agreement to fund the government by Oct. 1.

The budget accord Congress approved earlier this summer could help avoid a shutdown. But the president’s repeated efforts to bypass Congress and redirect money tagged for other projects to his border wall ignited tempers on both sides. Lawmakers are very protective of their constitutional prerogatives when it comes to federal spending.

The reprogramming of federal funds is a flashpoint. Lawmakers may seek to restrict Mr. Trump from moving money around without their blessing in upcoming appropriations bills. Democrats could draw his ire as they wrestle with impeachment and investigations.

That is the wild card in all of this. Impeachment and inquiries could set the president off, making it hard to come to an accord on the spending bills.

“You know, a shutdown would help him with his base,” observed one House Republican.

TRUMP SAYS TALKS WITH TALIBAN ARE ‘DEAD,’ AFTER CANCELING SECRET CAMP DAVID SUMMIT

And, don’t forget how inflamed lawmakers are about President Trump inviting Taliban leaders to Camp David for peace talks on the eve of 9/11. The president canceled the conclave over the weekend and now says a deal is essentially dead. But members of both parties were incensed that an American president would even ask Taliban chiefs to visit U.S. soil.

In addition, lawmakers are sure to continue their questioning about stopovers by the U.S. Air Force in Scotland. And we haven’t even gotten down to Sharpie-gate. Members may find it hard to resist putting too fine a point on that imbroglio.

There is a special election for a House seat in North Carolina tomorrow night. Republican Dan Bishop faces Democrat Dan McCready. The seat has been vacant since Jan. 3. Former Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., lost the primary last year. But due to election irregularities, the seat was never filled. Political observers bill a lot of special elections as bellwethers. Many are not.

But this one truly meets the bellwether bar. North Carolina is a swing state. This is a flippable district for Democrats. The outcome of the race could serve as one of the few federal, electoral metrics between now and next year’s primaries.

So much squished into such a short period of time.

That’s just how Congress always rolls. Congress stuffs all of its Washington activity into abbreviated workweeks. Usually late in the day Monday through early afternoon Thursday. It’s hard to see how things wouldn’t be anything but tumultuous.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., returned to the Capitol Monday for the first time after a fall at his home in August where he fractured his shoulder. The Kentucky Republican sported an elevated splint, propping up his left arm as he navigated a warren of reporters in the Ohio Clock Corridor, en route to the floor.

“Well, how was your August,” McConnell facetiously questioned the press corps. When asked how he was doing, McConnell replied “I’m feeling good.”

In his first remarks on the Senate floor in six weeks, McConnell talked about the need to keep the government open and work on appropriations bills. But he did not mention firearms at all.

As McConnell spoke, Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley, a Dem,  joined leading congressional Democrats just steps away in the Senate’s Lyndon Baines Johnson Room for a press conference about guns. Whaley arrived a few minutes late for the presser after meeting at the White House with top aides, including White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, about firearms.

Whaley said she thought the Trump administration was now serious about guns.

“I think it means there is something new in this,” said Whaley “Actions are better than words.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Ct., represented Newtown in the House and was a senator-elect when the massacre unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. Murphy says “it’s good we’re still at the table.” But Murphy has been down this path too many times on guns. He urged caution.

“You have to be very sober-minded with this White House,” said Murphy.

PEACE TALKS WITH AFGHANS, TALIBAN CALLED OFF AFTER TRUMP CANCELS SECRET MEETING

At the press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., predicted that Democrats would “make this issue too hot for (McConnell) to handle.” The speaker added that if McConnell doesn’t act, “Republicans in the Senate will have hell to pay.”

A couple of hours later, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., held court with a coterie of reporters to explain Thursday’s meeting to establish guidelines for his panel’s impeachment inquest.

“It has been an impeachment inquiry and it continues to be,” said Nadler,  who also noted that such a probe might not result in actually impeaching President Trump.

But Nadler was direct when asked if he thought the public might interpret his effort as full-blown impeachment effort.

“I don’t think so,” replied Nadler. “What we are doing is clear. It has been very clear. It continues to be very clear.”

Still, some House Democrats aren’t sure what’s going on.

“Reality is only what people say,” mused one influential Democrat.

It’s hard to keep up. Almost like trying to track the Antonio Brown serial. But there’s a difference.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In the NFL, teams only suit up for one game a week.

The difference on Capitol Hill? This game never ends.

Westlake Legal Group us-capitol-hill For Congress, a new session of compressed chaos fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics fox-news/newsedge/sports fox news fnc/politics fnc Chad Pergram bf587dcb-f854-5846-bd9f-e97b0f367b8c article   Westlake Legal Group us-capitol-hill For Congress, a new session of compressed chaos fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics fox-news/newsedge/sports fox news fnc/politics fnc Chad Pergram bf587dcb-f854-5846-bd9f-e97b0f367b8c article

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Hurricane Dorian survivor films storm's terrifying wrath in Bahamas as it pounds against his home

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Hurricane Dorian survivor films storm's terrifying wrath in Bahamas as it pounds against his home

John Slack lives in the Bahamas and rode out Hurricane Dorian on Treasure Cay. Here are some scenes of the house where he was sheltered being dismantled. John Slack, Special to FLORIDA TODAY

MELBOURNE, Fla. — As Hurricane Dorian approached Treasure Cay on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas, John Slack thought better of staying in his house in Coopers Town.

Slack’s home is on the ocean on the east side of the island. He had ridden out storms there before, but after staying put for Hurricane Sandy in 2012, he knew staying for Dorian would be a bad idea.

“After Sandy, I swore we would never ride out a storm there again,” Slack said. “It was too frightening, even at 110 mph winds.”

So Slack, a former TODAY newspaper photographer who notably took the front page picture of the Apollo 11 liftoff in 1969, decided he and his wife would go farther south on the island to ride out the storm at a friend’s house. Their friend lives on a marina near Treasure Cay Beach Marina and Golf Resort.

The house faces north and was not directly on the ocean, so Slack thought they’d do better in a bigger, more established home than their stilted house in Coopers Town.

‘Please pray for us’: Hurricane Dorian survivors show the Bahamas in ruins

With what happened over the next two days, it might not have mattered where Slack and his friends chose to ride out Dorian.

“We started watching the news Sunday (Sept. 1) and it progressively got worse,” Slack said. “We saw what was happening in Marsh Harbor about 25 miles away, we saw winds get to 165 mph, then 185.”

The house where Slack hunkered down contained nine people, including a 4-year-old boy and a man with pancreatic cancer. It started to break down as the storm got worse. The marina’s waters continued to rise until the water breached the house. It only got worse from there.

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“A window blew out and all hell broke loose,” Slack said. “It was around 3:30 p.m., the eye was probably 30 to 40 minutes away. There was nothing we could do but weather it out. In a matter of minutes, waves that had been crashing into the doors flooded the house to waist high or higher.”

One of Slack’s shelter mates had the idea to try and make it to a friend’s house on the other side of the marina during the period the eye passed over.

Watch: 2 more storms in the Atlantic forming after Hurricane Dorian

Seven adults, one child and three dogs piled into a GMC Terrain SUV to attempt an escape, but they didn’t get far before they realized the roads were nearly impassable. Three of the people exited the car and fought the winds to get back to the battered house.

Slack, his wife Tichka, the man with cancer, and that man’s wife and son stayed in the car and they persisted on. They only progressed a half mile farther before the car got stuck in the mud. That’s when they realized they were going to have to survive Dorian inside the vehicle.

Just moments later, the worst of the storm hit.

“Within about a minute, a 2×6 board came through the window right where I was sitting,” Slack said. “I was in the rear seat on the passenger side. When it shattered the window, it deployed the air bags.

“This turned out to be a fortunate thing because airbags are made of material that is somewhat water repellent. I was able to grab onto it and put it against the window to keep the driving wind from us. We didn’t know if any more projectiles were coming.

“For the next hour to hour-and-a-half, the car vibrated and you’d get 200 mph gusts and rock the car and we were so, so fearful it would start rolling the car. We found out the next morning that about 100 yards ahead of us, the wind caught a car and rolled it 100 yards to the edge of a canal. We were lucky being buried in the mud. That’s the only thing that saved us from being rolled over multiple times.”

Sean Connery: Says he’s ‘lucky’ to have escaped Hurricane Dorian unharmed

For nearly 17 hours, Slack and the others survived in that vehicle.

They had no idea Dorian had stalled over the island.

“I thought for sure the next morning the sun would come out and the sky would be clear, but that was not the case,” Slack said.

Despite winds still blowing at what Slack estimated to be Category 1 or 2 speeds, the group trudged the half mile back to the house where they had started. It was basically destroyed, yet it was still a better option than the SUV with the blown-out window.

After the brunt of the storm had passed and the water had receded from the house, Slack was able to contact a friend using a satellite phone in the house.

That friend, Peter Whittington, told Slack to hang tight, he was going to fly in on a private jet and get him and his friends. However, Slack was not able to reach Whittington on his first attempt Thursday because the Jeep they had blew out two tires.

The next morning, Slack, his wife and dogs made it to the airport in hopes Whittington would get them out.

“It was a chaotic scene at the airport,” Slack said. “Thousands, mostly Bahamians, were trying to get out. A couple of large planes brought in by the government were taking people to Nassau. There must have been 50 to 60 flights. Peter and his wife, Julie, flew in with supplies and got us out of there. They saved our lives and probably 11 others on five or six flights.”

After they flew out of the airport, they did a pass by of Slack’s home in Coopers Town, a property they have owned for 45 years. He said the structures were still standing, but he could see a hole in the roof.

Slack and his wife have been living half of their year in the Bahamas and the other half in Orlando for years. Now, it seems as though their Orlando residence might become their full-time home for some time to come.

Slack has friends who have stayed behind on Great Abaco, and while he’s trying to get updates on his property, he doesn’t plan to go back anytime soon.

He said it could be a year before power is restored to the island, and it’s just not a good situation right now.

“There’s no reason to go until some semblance of order and safety are restored,” Slack said. “We just feel blessed to be alive and are so thankful to be here after this life-altering experience.”

Follow Tim Walters on Twitter: @twaltersinforms

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CIA source pulled from Russia had confirmed Putin ordered 2016 meddling: NY Times

Westlake Legal Group ZRlkVTCtAoQW9ox4UktbKdjvNYtDh1g0OV4hnHZQPb0 CIA source pulled from Russia had confirmed Putin ordered 2016 meddling: NY Times r/politics

…did Trump fucking burn our main intelligence asset in Russia?

How do we know that this wasn’t a part of a quid pro quo? Trump gets power, feeds them Intel, and they don’t blow his cover? How do we know for sure that the Trump folks were blackmailed from the start, and then got pulled in deeper from there? Of course, you don’t blackmail Trump so much as give him what he wants for a price he is willing to pay. “What? A spy? Yeah, we got one in department X. Great guy, the best guy.”

We really don’t know, and the fact that it seems at least a little bit plausible is troublesome as hell. This could easily be why they couldn’t get Trump financial records — it would show the goddamn money laundering and shit. They feed him cash, he does their dance, and gets power.

Daddy Putin probably told him to do X, y, and Z and concluded with “and just be yourself.”

/Conspiracy theory

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For Boris Johnson, Another Bad Day and Another Big Defeat in Parliament

LONDON — British lawmakers, capping what may be one of the most abysmal starts any British leader has ever endured, on Monday rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bid to hold a new national election.

For Britain’s bare-knuckled new prime minister, it was a day of defeat. Parliament’s rejection of a snap election came as a new law went into effect on Monday blocking Mr. Johnson from pursuing a “no deal” withdrawal from the European Union.

Parliament is now suspended until mid-October, the result of earlier political maneuvering by the prime minister. But by Monday’s end, it seemed clear that if Mr. Johnson had thought he could outfox Parliament by suspending it, sidelining lawmakers at a critical moment in the Brexit debate, he was the one who had been outmaneuvered.

Now, the man who promised to deliver Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union “do or die,” formal withdrawal agreement or not, is suddenly flailing for a new strategy.

Mr. Johnson needed more than 430 votes for a snap election to proceed. He got 293.

Brexit supporters and opponents alike may want an election — but only one timed to most benefit them politically.

“Johnson is a toothless prime minister who desperately needs a snap election to give some credibility to his Brexit strategy,” wrote Kallum Pickering, a senior economist with Berenberg Bank. But, he added: “For the opposition parties, it makes little sense to give Johnson the election on his terms. That would return the initiative to him.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160492431_bd797b61-82d4-4469-b036-b9a18c801064-articleLarge For Boris Johnson, Another Bad Day and Another Big Defeat in Parliament Politics and Government Johnson, Boris House of Commons (Great Britain) Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) Bercow, John

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Dublin, on Monday.CreditPhil Noble/Reuters

It was just another day in the new Britain, which has been bitterly divided since voters narrowly voted in favor of parting company with the European Union in a 2016 referendum. The issue did in the two prime ministers before Mr. Johnson, and while he was able to ride the ensuing tumult to power, it has severely damaged him, too.

On Monday, the motion to suspend Parliament, or “prorogue” it, and send lawmakers away for five weeks, came after eight days of head-snapping moves and countermoves in Parliament.

The suspension, which the Johnson government announced in principle less than two weeks ago, was denounced by critics as a transparent, anti-democratic effort to sideline Parliament while the government forced through a no-deal Brexit.

But the government’s move to suspend Parliament backfired, serving to unite the disparate opposition, incite a revolt within Mr. Johnson’s own party and produce the bill that now blocks a no-deal Brexit. On Monday, that bill became law when it completed the final stage of passage, a formality known as royal assent.

The turbulent week has left Mr. Johnson in a tight corner. He has promised to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 — without an agreement if necessary — and said last week that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than request another delay to a process that has already been put off twice.

Digging his way out of that promise could be tough, because a majority of lawmakers think that a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous for the country’s economy. The new law is intended to force Mr. Johnson to request another extension if he cannot secure a withdrawal agreement with European Union officials before the Oct. 31 deadline.

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, was applauded by opposition lawmakers on Monday after he announced that he was stepping down.CreditJessica Taylor/UK Parliament

As recently as a few weeks ago, Mr. Johnson said the chances of leaving the European Union without a deal were a million to one against; he now puts the prospects as “touch and go.”

But many of his critics believe the prime minister’s real agenda is political. They believe he plans to fight for re-election as the candidate for Brexit at any cost, rallying right-wing voters behind him and crushing the threat from the hard-line Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage.

From Mr. Johnson’s perspective, the suspension of Parliament at least provides some relief by removing the possibility of further embarrassments and defeats at the hands of lawmakers after a week of tumultuous setbacks.

But it also means that prospects of a general election before the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline have slipped away.

Mr. Johnson had hoped to use a big win in an election before that date to empower his government to push through withdrawal from the European Union, with or without a deal. Lawmakers, however, need to approve an early election, and with the suspension of Parliament lawmakers cannot do so for at least five weeks. It would then take several weeks to organize an election.

With so much riding on an election that most expect toward the end of the year, the rival parties are trying to ensure that the timing best suits them.

Tensions were high in a week of tumultuous developments. Outside Parliament on Monday, a fight broke up between a Leave supporter and a Remain supporter.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

Mr. Johnson’s opponents rejected his call for a vote in October because they believe that their interests would be better served by a vote that comes after the deadline for withdrawal, at least if Mr. Johnson fails in his categorical pledge to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31.

They also know that there is a mood of discontent inside the ruling Conservative Party because Mr. Johnson last week expelled 21 lawmakers from his party — including some of its best-known figures — when they rebelled and supported legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Since then, Mr. Johnson has suffered the resignation from the government both of his brother, Jo Johnson, and of Amber Rudd, the high-profile former work and pensions secretary who quit over the weekend partly in protest of the party cull, and of Mr. Johnson’s broader Brexit strategy.

As the last hours of the parliamentary session ticked down on Monday night, Mr. Johnson had still yet to win a vote as prime minister.

Lawmakers voted against the government to demand the release of private messages sent by close advisers to Mr. Johnson about the decision to suspend Parliament, and of documents about the possible impact of leaving the European Union without a deal.

Then Mr. Johnson was defeated on a motion brought by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, reaffirming the obligation of government ministers to uphold the rule of law. Mr. Johnson allowed the motion to pass without opposition.

The Houses of Parliament on Monday.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

Mr. Corbyn introduced the motion in light of reports in recent days that Mr. Johnson was planning to flout the law blocking a no-deal Brexit by refusing to ask Brussels to delay the current deadline of Oct. 31. Mr. Corbyn called that an “assault on the rule of law.”

Ministers insist the prime minister will not break the law, but still suggest the government is looking for loopholes to avoid Mr. Johnson having to ask Brussels for an extension. They did not explain how that circle can be squared.

One possibility is that Mr. Johnson may strike a new deal with the European Union, but the odds against that are long.

A meeting Monday with the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, in Dublin, yielded nothing new on the biggest sticking point, the so-called Irish backstop plan to keep open the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Johnson could try to circumvent the new law, perhaps by sabotaging the prospects of a Brexit extension from the European Union by making it clear that he will be an obstructive force in Brussels.

But anything too blatant might land him in court, so another course of action might be to call a vote of confidence in his own government, or simply to resign and leave another politician to request the delay, gambling that an election would follow soon.

Relinquishing power might, however, be a tough call for a politician who has spent so much time and energy, and provoked such much turmoil, in his successful bid to reach the top job in British politics.

Even the day’s only silver lining for Mr. Johnson came with a poison pill.

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons — and a thorn in the side of the government throughout the Brexit debate — announced his plans to step down. But he timed it so that the current Parliament, which is packed with opponents of the prime minister, would choose his successor.

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Citing 'incompatibility,' Sarah Palin's husband wants divorce, according to reports

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Citing 'incompatibility,' Sarah Palin's husband wants divorce, according to reports

The court documents use their initials instead of full names: T.M.P against S.L.P, the AP reported. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — It appears Todd Palin, the husband of former Alaska Gov. and 2008 Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin, is filing for divorce, the Associated Press and the Anchorage Daily News reported Monday. 

The court documents appear to show that Todd Palin asked to dissolve the 31-year-marriage, citing “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife,” according to the Anchorage Daily News. 

The documents use their initials instead of full names: T.M.P against S.L.P, respectively, as Todd’s middle name is Mitchell and Sarah’s is Louise, the AP reported.

The documents accurately cite the Palins’ marriage date as August 29, 1988, and the birthdates for the couple correspond as well, the AP also reported.

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The documents also list a child under initials T.P.V.P born April 18, 2008, also according to the AP. The youngest Palin child, Trig Paxson Van Palin, was born that day. 

The rest of the couple’s children are over the age of 18.

Sarah Palin rose overnight to national prominence when John McCain tapped her to run as his VP in 2008 on the GOP ticket against Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

The divorce filing was first reported by Anchorage blogger Craig Medred and the Anchorage Daily News.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/09/09/documents-appear-show-sarah-palins-husband-wants-divorce/2268107001/

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Liz Cheney: Trump canceling Camp David meeting with Taliban shows he won’t repeat Obama’s mistakes

Westlake Legal Group Cheney-Trump_FOX-AP Liz Cheney: Trump canceling Camp David meeting with Taliban shows he won't repeat Obama's mistakes fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/wyoming fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 9447e215-9fa5-56ec-bab2-c92c8e7ab7ea

President Trump canceled a planned Camp David meeting with Taliban representatives in a move that proved he is different than former President Barack Obama, according to Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

“I think that the important thing is to look at what actually transpired,” she said. “What has transpired now is the president has done exactly the right thing. This president has shown that he is willing consistently to walk away from bad deals.”

To that extent, the Wyoming lawmaker pointed to Trump pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.

TRUMP SAYS TALKS WITH TALIBAN ARE ‘DEAD,’ AFTER CANCELING SECRET CAMP DAVID SUMMIT

“This is a president who has demonstrated his willingness and his ability and his determination not to let the United States be taken advantage of,” the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney said.

“The president demonstrated that he fully understands that the Taliban cannot be a partner for peace and that the United States should not be in a position where we’re putting our security in their hands,” she added.

In that regard, Bret Baier noted Cheney criticized Trump’s decision to even consider holding talks with the Taliban at the presidential mountain retreat.

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Cheney doubled down on her position the Taliban, “should not be at Camp David, ever,” — but added the president is showing he is uninterested in taking the easy route in the Middle East.

“That’s right — I would not have them at Camp David, I would not have them in the United States,” she said.

“He’s not going to repeat the mistakes we saw Barack Obama make. He’s not going to withdraw in a situation where we leave a vacuum where America’s enemies can rise again. The Taliban has not ever separated itself from Al Qaeda. You can’t trust the Taliban.”

In calling off the meeting, Trump pointed specifically to the group’s role in a deadly bombing in Kabul last week that resulted in one U.S. soldier’s death.

“They thought they had to kill people in order to put them in a little better negotiating position,” he said earlier Monday.

Westlake Legal Group Cheney-Trump_FOX-AP Liz Cheney: Trump canceling Camp David meeting with Taliban shows he won't repeat Obama's mistakes fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/wyoming fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 9447e215-9fa5-56ec-bab2-c92c8e7ab7ea   Westlake Legal Group Cheney-Trump_FOX-AP Liz Cheney: Trump canceling Camp David meeting with Taliban shows he won't repeat Obama's mistakes fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/wyoming fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 9447e215-9fa5-56ec-bab2-c92c8e7ab7ea

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Americans love snacks. What does that mean for bad health, rise in obesity?

Americans are addicted to snacks, and food experts are paying closer attention to what that might mean for health and obesity.

Eating habits in the U.S. have changed significantly in recent decades, and packaged bars, chips and sweets have spread into every corner of life. In the late 1970s, about 40 percent of American adults said they didn’t have any snacks during the day. By 2007, that figure was just 10 percent.

To get a better handle on the implications of differing eating patterns, U.S. health officials are reviewing scientific research on how eating frequency affects health, including weight gain and obesity. The analysis is intended to gauge the broader spectrum of possibilities, including fasting. But snacking, grazing and “mini meals” are likely to be among the factors considered, given how they have upended the three-meals-a-day model.

STORM AREA 51 EVENTS GET FINAL APPROVAL FROM NEVADA COUNTY

Findings could potentially be reflected in the government’s updated dietary guidelines next year, though any definitive recommendations are unlikely.

For public health officials, part of the challenge is that snacking is a broad term that can mean a 100-calorie apple or a 500-calorie Frappuccino. How people adjust what they eat the rest of the day also varies. Snacks may help reduce hunger and overeating at meals, but they can also just push up the total calories someone consumes.

While there’s nothing wrong with snacks per se, they have become much more accessible. It also has become more socially acceptable to snack more places: at work meetings and while walking, driving or shopping for clothes.

Westlake Legal Group Snacks Americans love snacks. What does that mean for bad health, rise in obesity? Frank Miles fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox news fnc/health fnc article 93c19a22-93c4-50a1-ad03-99cffa0c7645

This Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 photo shows items in a vending machine in New York. Americans are addicted to snacks, and food experts are paying closer attention to what that might mean for health and obesity. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

“We live in a 24/7 food culture now,” said Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center.

Complicating matters, snack options are also continuing to broaden beyond the standard chips and cookies.

“Manufacturers have tried to tap into Americans’ concern for health,” said Paula Johnson, curator of food history at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Beyond nutrition, health officials should also consider what emotional or mental health benefits might be lost when people move away from meals, said Sophie Egan, who writes about American food culture. Meals can be a time for socially connectivity, she said, while snacks are usually eaten alone. She also noted the growth in snacking may be fueled by the stress of busier lives.

“Who knows how much food is a Band-Aid for those issues,” Egan said.

For their part, food companies have moved to capitalize on Americans’ love of snacks and stretched the definition of the word. Dunkin Donuts’ former CEO has said the chain’s sandwiches should be considered snacks, not lunch. When Hershey bought a meat jerky company, the candy company said it wanted to expand its offerings across the ”snacking continuum” to include more nutritious options.

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Health experts’ recommendations on snacking vary. Children may need more snacks and to eat more frequently. For adults, many dietitians saying what works for one person might not for another.

Hunnes, the UCLA dietitian, recommends sticking to minimally processed options like fruit or nuts when snacking. But she acknowledged the advice could sound like it’s coming from an ivory tower, given the prevalence of packaged snacks.

“They’re just there, and they have a great shelf life,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Snacks Americans love snacks. What does that mean for bad health, rise in obesity? Frank Miles fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox news fnc/health fnc article 93c19a22-93c4-50a1-ad03-99cffa0c7645   Westlake Legal Group Snacks Americans love snacks. What does that mean for bad health, rise in obesity? Frank Miles fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox news fnc/health fnc article 93c19a22-93c4-50a1-ad03-99cffa0c7645

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For Boris Johnson, Another Bad Day and Another Big Defeat in Parliament

LONDON — British lawmakers, capping what may be one of the most abysmal starts any British leader has ever endured, on Monday rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bid to hold a new national election.

For Britain’s bare-knuckled new prime minister, it was a day of defeat. Parliament’s rejection of a snap election came as a new law went into effect on Monday blocking Mr. Johnson from pursuing a “no deal” withdrawal from the European Union.

Parliament is now suspended until mid-October, the result of earlier political maneuvering by the prime minister. But by Monday’s end, it seemed clear that if Mr. Johnson had thought he could outfox Parliament by suspending it, sidelining lawmakers at a critical moment in the Brexit debate, he was the one who had been outmaneuvered.

Now, the man who promised to deliver Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union “do or die,” formal withdrawal agreement or not, is suddenly flailing for a new strategy.

Mr. Johnson needed more than 430 votes for a snap election to proceed. He got 293.

Brexit supporters and opponents alike may want an election — but only one timed to most benefit them politically.

“Johnson is a toothless prime minister who desperately needs a snap election to give some credibility to his Brexit strategy,” wrote Kallum Pickering, a senior economist with Berenberg Bank. But, he added: “For the opposition parties, it makes little sense to give Johnson the election on his terms. That would return the initiative to him.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160492431_bd797b61-82d4-4469-b036-b9a18c801064-articleLarge For Boris Johnson, Another Bad Day and Another Big Defeat in Parliament Politics and Government Johnson, Boris House of Commons (Great Britain) Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) Bercow, John

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Dublin, on Monday.CreditPhil Noble/Reuters

It was just another day in the new Britain, which has been bitterly divided since voters narrowly voted in favor of parting company with the European Union in a 2016 referendum. The issue did in the two prime ministers before Mr. Johnson, and while he was able to ride the ensuing tumult to power, it has severely damaged him, too.

On Monday, the motion to suspend Parliament, or “prorogue” it, and send lawmakers away for five weeks, came after eight days of head-snapping moves and countermoves in Parliament.

The suspension, which the Johnson government announced in principle less than two weeks ago, was denounced by critics as a transparent, anti-democratic effort to sideline Parliament while the government forced through a no-deal Brexit.

But the government’s move to suspend Parliament backfired, serving to unite the disparate opposition, incite a revolt within Mr. Johnson’s own party and produce the bill that now blocks a no-deal Brexit. On Monday, that bill became law when it completed the final stage of passage, a formality known as royal assent.

The turbulent week has left Mr. Johnson in a tight corner. He has promised to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 — without an agreement if necessary — and said last week that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than request another delay to a process that has already been put off twice.

Digging his way out of that promise could be tough, because a majority of lawmakers think that a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous for the country’s economy. The new law is intended to force Mr. Johnson to request another extension if he cannot secure a withdrawal agreement with European Union officials before the Oct. 31 deadline.

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, was applauded by opposition lawmakers on Monday after he announced that he was stepping down.CreditJessica Taylor/UK Parliament

As recently as a few weeks ago, Mr. Johnson said the chances of leaving the European Union without a deal were a million to one against; he now puts the prospects as “touch and go.”

But many of his critics believe the prime minister’s real agenda is political. They believe he plans to fight for re-election as the candidate for Brexit at any cost, rallying right-wing voters behind him and crushing the threat from the hard-line Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage.

From Mr. Johnson’s perspective, the suspension of Parliament at least provides some relief by removing the possibility of further embarrassments and defeats at the hands of lawmakers after a week of tumultuous setbacks.

But it also means that prospects of a general election before the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline have slipped away.

Mr. Johnson had hoped to use a big win in an election before that date to empower his government to push through withdrawal from the European Union, with or without a deal. Lawmakers, however, need to approve an early election, and with the suspension of Parliament lawmakers cannot do so for at least five weeks. It would then take several weeks to organize an election.

With so much riding on an election that most expect toward the end of the year, the rival parties are trying to ensure that the timing best suits them.

Tensions were high in a week of tumultuous developments. Outside Parliament on Monday, a fight broke up between a Leave supporter and a Remain supporter.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

Mr. Johnson’s opponents rejected his call for a vote in October because they believe that their interests would be better served by a vote that comes after the deadline for withdrawal, at least if Mr. Johnson fails in his categorical pledge to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31.

They also know that there is a mood of discontent inside the ruling Conservative Party because Mr. Johnson last week expelled 21 lawmakers from his party — including some of its best-known figures — when they rebelled and supported legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Since then, Mr. Johnson has suffered the resignation from the government both of his brother, Jo Johnson, and of Amber Rudd, the high-profile former work and pensions secretary who quit over the weekend partly in protest of the party cull, and of Mr. Johnson’s broader Brexit strategy.

As the last hours of the parliamentary session ticked down on Monday night, Mr. Johnson had still yet to win a vote as prime minister.

Lawmakers voted against the government to demand the release of private messages sent by close advisers to Mr. Johnson about the decision to suspend Parliament, and of documents about the possible impact of leaving the European Union without a deal.

Then Mr. Johnson was defeated on a motion brought by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, reaffirming the obligation of government ministers to uphold the rule of law. Mr. Johnson allowed the motion to pass without opposition.

The Houses of Parliament on Monday.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

Mr. Corbyn introduced the motion in light of reports in recent days that Mr. Johnson was planning to flout the law blocking a no-deal Brexit by refusing to ask Brussels to delay the current deadline of Oct. 31. Mr. Corbyn called that an “assault on the rule of law.”

Ministers insist the prime minister will not break the law, but still suggest the government is looking for loopholes to avoid Mr. Johnson having to ask Brussels for an extension. They did not explain how that circle can be squared.

One possibility is that Mr. Johnson may strike a new deal with the European Union, but the odds against that are long.

A meeting Monday with the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, in Dublin, yielded nothing new on the biggest sticking point, the so-called Irish backstop plan to keep open the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Johnson could try to circumvent the new law, perhaps by sabotaging the prospects of a Brexit extension from the European Union by making it clear that he will be an obstructive force in Brussels.

But anything too blatant might land him in court, so another course of action might be to call a vote of confidence in his own government, or simply to resign and leave another politician to request the delay, gambling that an election would follow soon.

Relinquishing power might, however, be a tough call for a politician who has spent so much time and energy, and provoked such much turmoil, in his successful bid to reach the top job in British politics.

Even the day’s only silver lining for Mr. Johnson came with a poison pill.

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons — and a thorn in the side of the government throughout the Brexit debate — announced his plans to step down. But he timed it so that the current Parliament, which is packed with opponents of the prime minister, would choose his successor.

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NOAA's acting chief scientist reportedly to investigate effort to bolster Trump

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close NOAA's acting chief scientist reportedly to investigate effort to bolster Trump

President Donald Trump was questioned by reporters Wednesday about an altered Hurricane Dorian map he displayed in the Oval Office. The map showed what looked to be a hand-drawn half-circle suggesting Alabama was in the path of the storm. (Sept. 4) AP, AP

WASHINGTON — The acting chief scientist at NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is conducting an investigation after a week that ended with the scientific agency issuing a statement that sought to bolster President Donald Trump’s erroneous claim that a recent hurricane posed a threat to the state of Alabama.

The development was reported Monday by both the Washington Post and the New York Times

The Commerce Department, which oversees NOAA, also denied reporting from the New York Times Monday that Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened to fire NOAA’s political appointees over a tweet from the Birmingham, Ala., station of the National Weather Service that contradicted Trump’s initial tweet on Sunday, Sept. 1.    

As Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas and threatened parts of the United States, Trump held firm on his Sept. 1 claim that the storm would threaten Alabama, despite being contradicted by the National Weather Service on Sunday soon after his original tweet. Trump used an altered NOAA map of Hurricane Dorian’s path as a visual aid while speaking reporters in the Oval Office last week.

Then, an unsigned statement released by NOAA late Friday disavowed the Sept. 1 tweet by the Birmingham station of the National Weather Service that had sought to correct Trump’s claim.

“From Wednesday, August 28, through Monday, September 2, the information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama,” NOAA wrote in a statement Friday, that also pointed to a number of its advisories during that period. 

“The Birmingham National Weather Service’s Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time,” NOAA also said in the statement.

More: Trump and Joe Walsh both fundraise off of #SharpieGate as NOAA issues statement

“The NWS Forecaster(s) corrected any public misunderstanding in an expert and timely way, as they should,” NOAA’s Craig McLean wrote in an email to his agency colleagues Sunday, according to the Washington Post.“There followed, last Friday, an unsigned news release from ‘NOAA’ that inappropriately and incorrectly contradicted the NWS forecaster. My understanding is that this intervention to contradict the forecaster was not based on science but on external factors including reputation and appearance, or simply put, political.”

After pointing out how the episode raises questions about trust in the agency’s information, possible danger to the public as a result and the agency’s scientific integrity policy, he continued: “I have a responsibility to pursue these truths,” NOAA’s acting chief scientist also wrote. “I will.”

The New York Times also reported Monday that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross threatened to fire top employees at NOAA after the NWS’s Birmingham station contradicted President Trump’s claim about Hurricane Dorian’s path and Alabama.

According to the Times, Ross confronted acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs by phone, demanding the agency fix the contradiction of Trump. Jacobs refused the request and was told by Ross that top NOAA political appointees would be fired if difference with Trump’s claim was not rectified.

A Commerce Department spokesperson has denied the Times report in a statement provided to CNN.

“The New York Times story is false,” the spokesperson said. “Secretary Ross did not threaten to fire any NOAA staff over forecasting and public statements about Hurricane Dorian.”

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California Labor Bill, Near Passage, Is Blow to Uber and Lyft

SACRAMENTO — A pack of Teamsters fanned out through California’s Capitol building last week, marching into legislators’ offices and pressing them to pass a bill that would force Uber and Lyft to treat their drivers as employees. The measure, Assembly Bill 5, would entitle gig workers to protections like a minimum wage and unemployment benefits. “Yes on A.B. 5! Yes on A.B. 5!” they chorused.

The push was one of several door-knocking campaigns coordinated by labor groups that can now taste success after battling the ride-hailing companies for years.

The bill is intended to codify and extend a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling that put forth a new test for classifying workers. Under that test, workers are far more likely to be deemed employees if they perform a function central to a company’s business.

Legislators are expected to pass the bill before their session ends this week, presenting the strongest challenge yet to Uber and Lyft’s business model, which relies on a corps of drivers who can be enlisted and deployed essentially as freelancers.

The measure could affect millions of Californians beyond ride-hail drivers, including janitors, nail salon workers and cable-television installers. And it would give momentum to an emerging consensus on the center-left that workers are entitled to a basic level of economic security that many Americans now live without. Several candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have endorsed the bill, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.

“It’s hugely important because California is the birthplace and the center of app-based work, and because California has traditionally been a bellwether for the country around a lot of different progressive policies,” said Rebecca Smith, an expert on worker misclassification at the National Employment Law Project, which is part of a coalition seeking to enact a similar law in New York.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159848181_139e17ea-b4d8-4e29-bbbf-d66734171863-articleLarge California Labor Bill, Near Passage, Is Blow to Uber and Lyft Wages and Salaries Uber Technologies Inc Organized Labor Lyft Inc Law and Legislation Labor and Jobs Freelancing, Self-Employment and Independent Contracting Car Services and Livery Cabs California

Banners showing support for Assembly Bill 5, which would expand the ranks of workers considered company employees rather than contractors. In addition to drivers for ride-hailing services, the bill could affect janitors, nail salon workers, cable-television installers and others.CreditRich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

Industry officials have estimated that on-demand companies like Uber and the delivery service DoorDash see their costs rise 20 to 30 percent when they rely on employees rather than contractors, and Uber and Lyft have said in statements to prospective investors that being forced to make drivers employees could significantly affect their financial outlook. Since the prospect of a deal started to fade in late July, the stock prices of both Uber and Lyft have declined about 30 percent.

Analysts said the stock decline was due in part to concerns about A.B. 5, among other worries about the businesses. “Probably the No. 1 question we get from investors right now is about the risks here, qualitatively and quantitatively,” said Lloyd Walmsley, an equity research analyst at Deutsche Bank. “There’s obviously the risk that California is just the beginning, that other states could follow suit.”

Ride-hailing companies contend that A.B. 5 would force them to set rigid schedules, depriving drivers of flexibility, and raise fares to cover the cost of employment benefits. The companies say that about 90 percent of their drivers nationwide do not work a full-time schedule.

But Tyler Sandness, a Lyft driver who is an organizer for a group called Rideshare Drivers United in Los Angeles, said the bill was needed because “things have gone from bad to worse” for drivers. As independent contractors, drivers must cover the costs of vehicle ownership and payroll taxes, and lack much of the safety net afforded to employees, including workers’ compensation and paid sick leave.

That California has come to the brink of fundamentally threatening such marquee companies is the culmination of miscalculations by Uber and Lyft, a strong show of force from organized labor, and legislators’ resistance to the intervention of the new governor, Gavin Newsom.

The ride-hailing companies sought an amendment to the bill that would create a special category for their drivers, between contractor and employee. Mr. Newsom’s office would not comment for this article, but three people familiar with the discussions said the governor gave the companies clear advice: Get labor to bless such an arrangement, or face insurmountable opposition in Sacramento.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is reported to have offered tactical advice to Uber and Lyft as they sought an exemption from the bill’s potential impact: Get organized labor’s blessing for the maneuver or face insurmountable opposition in the Legislature.CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

The companies turned their attention away from lobbying against the bill in the Legislature in favor of laying the groundwork for a deal. They conferred frequently with the governor’s staff, according to legislative aides. And they met more than half a dozen times during the first half of the year with representatives from a few large unions, including the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters, two people familiar with the discussions said. Some labor leaders felt that a deal could leave drivers for ride-hailing services with many of the employment protections under A.B. 5 while allowing them to join a labor organization, potentially expanding the unions’ ranks by tens of thousands.

The negotiations appeared to make progress. Two weeks after the bill passed the state’s lower house in late May, Uber’s chief executive and Lyft’s co-founders wrote a commentary for The San Francisco Chronicle laying out the terms of a possible agreement along these lines. Uber and Lyft executives believed that a deal was near and some discussed how to sell it to the Legislature, according to two industry officials.

But opposition that had been simmering for months within the labor movement soon began boiling over, prompting the service employees’ union and the Teamsters to first delay and then pull out of a meeting planned for July.

Labor officials used a four-week recess beginning in mid-July to consolidate opposition to any agreement watering down A.B. 5 for gig workers. The state’s building trades council, which represents construction workers, worried that exempting Uber and Lyft would pave the way for exemptions in other industries, including their own. The council sent a letter to the governor stating its opposition and urged other unions to join it. Within a few weeks, several other unions followed suit.

The governor’s office persisted. Mr. Newsom’s chief of staff, Ann O’Leary, a former top adviser to Hillary Clinton, had lunch with John Zimmer, the president of Lyft, and Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, to keep the discussions alive, according to people associated with all the parties.

Aides to the governor also began calling legislators like Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the A.B. 5 sponsor, to gauge her openness to a deal. “He absolutely wanted a compromise,” Ms. Gonzalez said of the governor. “I was very clear at that moment that I wasn’t looking to sell out workers.”

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the bill’s sponsor, at a ride-hailing pickup location at San Diego International Airport. “I wasn’t looking to sell out workers,” she said of compromise efforts.CreditJohn Francis Peters for The New York Times

After the Legislature returned in mid-August, there appeared to be one last chance for a breakthrough — not by carving Uber and Lyft out of the legislation, but by enacting a separate bill that would override portions of A.B. 5. A top state labor official circulated to colleagues an updated “rough concept draft” that could leave drivers short of full employee status, but give them a union that would bargain industrywide with the companies over wages and benefits and even allow them to strike.

The last week in August, a proposal from Uber with many of the same features was relayed to the State Senate’s bill writers. Lyft had put forth similar ideas.

To nudge forward unions that might be reluctant to endorse a deal they privately favored, Uber and Lyft announced that they would each kick in $30 million for a state ballot initiative next year to try to exempt their drivers from employment status if legislators didn’t do it first.

The governor appeared to pressure labor as well. The head of the state building trades labor council, Robbie Hunter, said he was left off a high-profile commission to study the future of work after receiving an invitation from the governor’s office. Mr. Hunter attributed the snub to his insistence on full employment status for gig workers.

“I was stunned,” Mr. Hunter said. “I do believe they thought I was going to change.”

He did not. On Labor Day, Mr. Newsom appeared to concede that the bill would pass without significant alterations for gig workers, and he endorsed A.B. 5 for the first time. But he urged the companies and labor officials to continue discussing ways “to build paths for workers in our state who want to join a union.”

An Uber spokesman, Matt Kallman, said on Monday: “We’ve engaged in good faith with the Legislature, the Newsom administration and labor leaders for nearly a year on this issue, and we believe California is missing a real opportunity to lead the nation.”

In some ways, the fight may have only begun, with Uber and Lyft likely to keep pushing for a separate measure scaling back some of A.B. 5’s impact in exchange for granting drivers the right to bargain with the companies. Anthony Foxx, Lyft’s chief policy officer, said, “We remain hopeful of reaching a solution that is good for drivers and builds a strong bridge with labor.” Such a bill could emerge from the Legislature next year.

“A.B. 5 is going to pass,” said State Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco, Uber and Lyft’s hometown, who supports the bill. “But I’m confident this issue will be active in the Legislature for years to come.”

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