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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 103)

Are The U.S. And China Headed For A Cold War?

Westlake Legal Group us-china-cold-war-9-3-19_custom-7f5dc8573a8cab60e766cf092ac3fa7ef34a00b4-s1100-c15 Are The U.S. And China Headed For A Cold War?

Chinese military delegates arrive for the National People’s Congress in Beijing last March. The growing friction between the U.S. and China, combined with the rapid rise of China’s economy and its military, has stirred a debate about whether the U.S. and China are headed toward a Cold War. Ng Han Guan/AP hide caption

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Ng Han Guan/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Are The U.S. And China Headed For A Cold War?

Chinese military delegates arrive for the National People’s Congress in Beijing last March. The growing friction between the U.S. and China, combined with the rapid rise of China’s economy and its military, has stirred a debate about whether the U.S. and China are headed toward a Cold War.

Ng Han Guan/AP

Nearly three decades after the Cold War ended between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, a new debate is stirring: Is the U.S. heading into a new Cold War, this time with China?

“The Chinese military has undergone a substantial program of modernization to the point now where they are a near-peer military in a number of military domains,” Neil Wiley, the director of analysis at the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in an interview with NPR.

Wiley has a top-floor office in Washington, D.C., that’s suited for deep reflection on big questions. He looks out over the Potomac River, at the planes coming and going at Reagan National Airport, and toward the top brass over at the Pentagon.

This year, for the first time, the DIA has put out an unclassified report on China’s military, similar to the ones it issued on the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The report catalogues China’s rise: a military budget second only to the U.S., an aggressive approach to disputed islands in the South China Sea, joint military exercises with Russia, its first foreign military base in Djibouti.

Westlake Legal Group neil-wiley-9-3-19_custom-20a790609fa2986fe1efad651730f0cbab423695-s800-c15 Are The U.S. And China Headed For A Cold War?

Neil Wiley, the director of analysis at the Defense Intelligence Agency, says that after two decades of rapid modernization, the Chinese military is now a “near-peer” to the U.S. in some areas. David Richards/Defense Intelligence Agency hide caption

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David Richards/Defense Intelligence Agency

Westlake Legal Group  Are The U.S. And China Headed For A Cold War?

Neil Wiley, the director of analysis at the Defense Intelligence Agency, says that after two decades of rapid modernization, the Chinese military is now a “near-peer” to the U.S. in some areas.

David Richards/Defense Intelligence Agency

“Chinese leaders characterize China’s long-term military modernization program as essential to achieving great power status,” Army Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr., the director of the DIA, writes in the report. China is “on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapon systems in the world. In some areas, it already leads the world.”

The DIA report doesn’t use the term “Cold War,” and other U.S. government agencies and officials avoid the term as well. But outside government circles, it’s a hot topic. From books to foreign policy journals to national security conferences, there’s a robust discussion on the similarities and differences between the U.S.-Soviet rivalry and the increasingly tense U.S.-China relations.

Historian Walter Russell Mead, a prolific author on U.S. foreign policy, recently wrote a Wall Street Journal column under the headline “Americans Aren’t Ready for Cold War II.” The U.S. has failed to build a consensus on dealing with China, he says, in contrast to the unified American front against the Soviet Union.

He doesn’t think the U.S. and China are destined to have a military showdown. But, he adds, “It’s almost always been the case through human history that when people rationally sum up the costs and benefits of war, it’s very often the smarter thing not to go to war. And yet wars still happen.”

The U.S.-Soviet relationship was almost entirely a political and military rivalry. The U.S.-China relationship is far more complex. Trade between the two countries was more than $700 billion last year. Some 350,000 Chinese students study at American universities. Large numbers of tourists jet between the two countries daily.

All this helps reduce the likelihood of a full-fledged conflict, said Susan Thornton, a senior State Department official for Asian affairs until her retirement last year. She thinks the Cold War analogy is overblown, but she is concerned.

“I do fear that we are headed into an era of unceasing confrontation, where the U.S. is seeking to challenge China on every front, from military to economic to technological to ideological to soft power,” said Thornton, who now teaches at Yale Law School.

She feels the current U.S. approach, typified by the Trump administration’s trade war, is causing a good deal of this friction.

Westlake Legal Group 181024-d-sg895-015-copy_custom-ada4864bc5264e90ecb0c32eb25f90dc67e6a8fb-s1100-c15 Are The U.S. And China Headed For A Cold War?

The museum at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington features scenes from the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, including this exhibit from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. David Richards/Defense Intelligence Agency hide caption

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David Richards/Defense Intelligence Agency

Westlake Legal Group  Are The U.S. And China Headed For A Cold War?

The museum at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington features scenes from the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, including this exhibit from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

David Richards/Defense Intelligence Agency

Roy Kamphausen, a former U.S. Army officer and head of the nonpartisan National Bureau of Asian Research in Washington, D.C., said China has adopted an increasingly negative view of the U.S.

“The Chinese leadership judged that the United States was, is, a wasting great power by virtue of our mismanagement of our financial system which led to the great financial crisis” a decade ago, he said.

And on the military front, “They see our entanglements in wars as diminishing our power for very little strategic gain. And so they sense an opportunity, a sense that their time is now,” Kamphausen added.

The Chinese government recently issued a major military assessment of its own. It says the U.S. has “provoked and intensified competition among major countries.” The report adds that the “U.S. is strengthening its Asia-Pacific military alliances and reinforcing military deployment and intervention, adding complexity to regional security.”

The two countries have employed their militaries in very different ways. U.S. forces circle the globe with hundreds of foreign bases. The U.S. has been at war nonstop since 2001 and has troops deployed in three war zones (Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq) and many other hot spots.

The Chinese military, while growing rapidly, hasn’t fought a war since a one-month border conflict with Vietnam in 1979. Its top security concerns have traditionally been internal, or along its borders. Its lone foreign military base, in Djibouti, was established just two years ago.

Westlake Legal Group us-china-cold-war-ii-9-3-19_custom-38d58204622feca2532d444de4eedd3e5aa91521-s1100-c15 Are The U.S. And China Headed For A Cold War?

China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe (left), and then-U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis review an honor guard in Beijing in June 2018. Despite the increasing rivalry between the two countries, they still have top-level military contacts. Mark Schiefelbein/AP hide caption

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Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Are The U.S. And China Headed For A Cold War?

China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe (left), and then-U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis review an honor guard in Beijing in June 2018. Despite the increasing rivalry between the two countries, they still have top-level military contacts.

Mark Schiefelbein/AP

So where’s all this heading? The experts cite three key areas to watch.

The first is Taiwan, says Wiley.

“The primary driver for two decades of Chinese military modernization has been the clear and consistent desire on the part of China to have a military option for the reunification of Taiwan,” he said.

Kamphausen adds a caveat: “It’s a military that’s terribly risk-averse,” he said. “The Chinese want to intimidate, coerce, influence Taiwan in directions that support their own objectives — below the threshold of getting the U.S. involved militarily.”

A second big issue, says Mead, is China’s vulnerability at sea, should there be a major clash.

“The strongest tool America has is its ability to stop ocean commerce going in and out of China,” he said, noting China’s huge dependence on global trade that goes through ports along its eastern coast. “All the raw materials, including oil and gas, that China imports from abroad would stop coming in. You’d have a massive economic seize-up inside China.”

A third big concern is the ongoing cyber battle. The U.S. accuses China’s military of waging nonstop cyber attacks on government and military targets, as well as on high-tech companies and universities.

“We don’t know what China’s cyber capacities are. They don’t know what ours are. And in any case, both countries’ capacities and the field of engagement are dramatically changing from year to year,” said Mead.

Add all this up, the analysts say, and you get two countries that will be locked in constant competition for decades. The challenge, they warn, is keeping competition from turning into confrontation.

Greg Myre is a national security correspondent. Follow him @gregmye1.

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Sen. Ed Markey’s Reelection Bid Gets Key Backing From Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna

Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat with strong ties to the party’s progressive base, endorsed the reelection next year of Sen. Ed Markey, fortifying the Massachusetts Democrat as he seeks to thwart what could be a tough primary race.

Boston lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan already has launched a challenge to Markey’s renomination from the left. And Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy, may take on the senator, which would ensure a national spotlight on the intra-party battle.

Khanna, who represents much of the Silicon Valley technology corridor, stressed Markey’s commitment to an aggressive approach in dealing with climate change as he detailed his endorsement for HuffPost. 

“No one matters more on climate change in the entire Congress than Ed Markey,” Khanna said. “He has the expertise on understanding what we need to do to implement a Green New Deal and the legislative skill to be able to build a coalition for legislation that can pass the Senate. When we have a Democratic president, we’re going to need Ed Markey to lead on climate change. So if someone cares about climate change, they need Ed Markey.” 

Khanna, who first won his House seat in 2016 by defeating a Democratic incumbent, recently invited Markey to speak at a gathering of tech company leaders in his district. At the event and in his endorsement of Markey to HuffPost, Khanna cited Markey’s work during decades he spent in the House shepherding complex and controversial legislation that helped usher in the modern internet and telecommunications infrastructure.

Markey, who first won his Senate seat in a 2013 special election, also has led the fight to reinstate net neutrality rules barring internet service providers from treating different kinds of web traffic unequally, Khanna noted.

“He is one of the most critical leaders when it comes to technology,” Khanna said.

Westlake Legal Group 5d72d9e5240000c62177c5db Sen. Ed Markey’s Reelection Bid Gets Key Backing From Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna

SAUL LOEB/Getty Images Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has become the first House member to endorse Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey’s reelection in what may evolve into one of 2020’s showcase primary battles.

The Massachusetts primary is just about a year away ― it will be held next Sept. 15 ― and Khanna is the first House member to endorse Markey’s reelection. Earlier this year he became the first House member to back a 2020 primary bid by Marie Newman, the manager of a progressive nonprofit, against Rep. Dan Lipinski, a conservative Democrat from Illinois.

In 2018, Khanna was the only member of Congress to offer support to the then-unknown Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s Democratic primary. He initially backed Rep. Joe Crowley, the powerful incumbent Ocasio-Cortez unseated in a startling upset, but made it a dual endorsement after a backlash from left-leaning activists.

Markey, who arrived in Washington as a House member in 1977, already is stressing his long commitment to progressive causes and policies as he gears up to rebuff the challenge from Liss-Riordan. And should Kennedy enter the race, his record as a House member since 2013 will make the contrast easier for Markey to draw. Although Kennedy is officially a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he held off on supporting marijuana legalization until November and did not join the co-sponsors of a single-payer health care bill in the House until February.

Westlake Legal Group 5d72db99240000c82177c5dc Sen. Ed Markey’s Reelection Bid Gets Key Backing From Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna

Brian Snyder / Reuters Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) speaks at a really against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in October.

In the fight for progressive support, Markey should benefit from having been an early alarm-sounder on climate change, which young activists have propelled to the fore of the national debate in the past two years.

He was a lead author of a cap-and-trade carbon regulation bill that passed the House in 2010 but then died in the Senate. And he is a co-sponsor, with Ocasio-Cortez, of a resolution calling for the Green New Deal ― a plan for massive economic mobilization that aims to shift the U.S. entirely to renewable energy in the coming decades.

Markey also developed a strong relationship with the Sunrise Movement, a group of young climate activists who have engaged in civil disobedience to push for the Green New Deal. The group endorsed him in August.

And Elizabeth Warren, his Massachusetts colleague in the Senate whose bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination Markey endorsed in July, returned the favor with a video endorsement of him last month.

Campaign records showed Markey had over $4 million in cash on hand as of the end of June ― slightly less than Kennedy’s $4.2 million. Liss-Riordan, who lent her campaign $1 million, had just under that amount left in the bank

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Trump labelled ‘p**** a** b****’ by Chrissy Teigen after he refers to her as John Legend’s ‘filthy mouthed wife’

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Mary Anne Marsh: Thursday’s debate could be Elizabeth Warren’s moment to become the Democratic nominee

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6077379355001_6077386464001-vs Mary Anne Marsh: Thursday's debate could be Elizabeth Warren's moment to become the Democratic nominee Mary Anne Marsh fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc e3eb339f-1529-5ba3-998c-94cef9f9b554 article

Ten Democrats will debate Thursday night. It‘s the first, and likely only, time before the Iowa caucuses that all the top tier candidates will be on the same stage at the same time. Voters will get their first opportunity to compare and contrast the candidates and then decide who is the best bet against President Donald Trump. That means this debate could either secure Joe Biden’s front-runner status or catapult Elizabeth Warren to first place.

For Biden, a bad summer seems to be leading to a bad September, too. After a series of fumbles and bumbles the Biden campaign is already lowering expectations about their prospects in Iowa, New Hampshire, and even Nevada. It is hard to be the front-runner if you lose the first two, let alone three, contests. Going 0-3 doesn’t scream electability. Remember, in Biden’s two previous runs for president he never made it past Iowa. If he falters or fails early, his campaign will end just like his last two runs.

Thursday night Biden will be center stage as the front-runner and a target.  Most of the nine other candidates will make the former vice president the centerpiece of their debate strategy, hoping to make gains at his expense. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker will try to reprise their best previous debate performances using Biden as their foil. Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Julian Castro may try as well.

JUSTIN HASKINS: DE BLASIO’S ‘ROBOT TAX’ SOUNDS LIKE A JOKE – BUT HOPELESS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IS SERIOUS

Try as they might, it will likely be to no avail. None of the five has budged in the polls in weeks. Harris has dropped steadily since her first debate performance. And all of them, except Buttigieg, are starting to run low on campaign funds.

That leaves Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Elections are won in June, July and August. Warren has won all three. She is the only candidate running for president who is hitting on all cylinders. 

Let’s start with Sanders. His poll numbers have steadily slipped, too, and he seems to have settled into a ceiling in the high teens. While Sanders has plenty of money and will be able to stay in this race as long as he wants, it won’t translate into wins. Much like Trump, Sanders has a hard-core base of support that will stay with him no matter what but it won’t grow.

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Sanders, like Biden, faces the risk of losing the first two or three contests and he is even more likely to lose the fourth, South Carolina. But the real blow for Sanders would be losing the primary in New Hampshire, the state he won by 22 points in 2016. That’s why Sanders will likely take a few shots at Biden Thursday night, as he has started to do on the campaign trail. However, even if Sanders lands some hard hits on Biden in the debate, polls suggest that it is unlikely voters will shift their support to him.

That leaves Warren.

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Elections are won in June, July and August. Warren has won all three. She is the only candidate running for president who is hitting on all cylinders. Warren continues to climb in the polls, picking up momentum and support. She was the most well-received candidate before the New Hampshire Democratic Convention Saturday after a string of big crowds and big rallies across the country leading up to it.

Thursday night could set the stage for Warren to become the front-runner. She will draw sharp contrasts with Biden without the sharp elbows. As she stands next to him during the debate Warren will use her policies and plans to show voters that it is she, not Biden or anyone else on that stage, who can not only beat Trump but also undo all the damage he has inflicted on the country in the past three years and change the fundamental unfairness the majority of people in this country face economically.

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Warren will come across as more ambitious in her plans for the country, with a specific, solution-oriented approach, and confident demeanor. And that is exactly what voters are looking for to beat Trump.

When voters see the side-by-side comparison between Biden and Warren they will start to move to the Massachusetts senator. The post-debate polls will show Warren gaining more support, which will likely accelerate. If so, as fall gives way to winter, we will look back at this debate in September as the event that launched Warren into the lead and on her way to the Democratic nomination.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MARY ANNE MARSH

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6077379355001_6077386464001-vs Mary Anne Marsh: Thursday's debate could be Elizabeth Warren's moment to become the Democratic nominee Mary Anne Marsh fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc e3eb339f-1529-5ba3-998c-94cef9f9b554 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6077379355001_6077386464001-vs Mary Anne Marsh: Thursday's debate could be Elizabeth Warren's moment to become the Democratic nominee Mary Anne Marsh fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc e3eb339f-1529-5ba3-998c-94cef9f9b554 article

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It's been a month. Here's what Congress is set to do when they come back to D.C.

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close It's been a month. Here's what Congress is set to do when they come back to D.C.

In the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump is reportedly in talks with leaders on both sides of the issue of expanding background checks for gun purchases. Buzz60

WASHINGTON – Members of Congress have had a long six weeks away from the nation’s capital but they’re coming back on Monday and there’s a lot on their collective plate.

Quite a lot has happened over the month of August, which has changed the legislative priorities in Washington. When senators and representatives were were in recess, numerous mass shootings heightened the stakes for tackling gun violence. And still, the clock ticks on lingering priorities, such as a vote on a new North American trade deal and keeping the government from another shutdown.

Here are some of the issues you can expect to hear about as Congress comes back to D.C.

Guns 

There have been four high-profile mass shootings since the House left for recess and three since the Senate left.

The most recent, a shooting spree in the area of Midland-Odessa area of Texas, left at least seven dead on Aug. 31. That shooting followed back-to-back-to-back massacres in Gilroy, Calif., El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The four shootings left a total of 43 people dead and many more injured. 

The Democratic-led House is expected to focus on the issue, holding news conferences, a forum and floor speeches in an attempt to pressure the Senate to take up gun-control measures that have already passed the House. House leaders have been most vocal about a bill on background checks that passed the Democratic-controlled House earlier this year. 

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close It's been a month. Here's what Congress is set to do when they come back to D.C.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday once again backed tighter background checks for gun purchases, but said he wants to be careful that closing what he calls “loopholes” doesn’t clear the way for more gun control. (Aug. 21) AP, AP

The House Judiciary Committee has a hearing scheduled later this month on assault weapons. The panel is also expected to hold a meeting this week on a trio of measures. One would prevent those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from being eligible to purchase firearms, another entices states to create “red flag” programs and a third bans high-capacity magazines. The bills could come up for a vote in the coming weeks. 

But, the Senate isn’t expected to take up any of these measures and has instead been discussing alternatives, including legislation addressing mental health, video games and a proposal that would provide grants to states that create “red-flag” programs. Politico reported Thursday that a variety of proposals were being considered by the White House, including the death penalty for mass shooters, allowing more records for background checks and tougher penalties for so-called straw purchasers, those who buy weapons for people who aren’t legally allowed to have a gun. 

At the forefront of the discussions are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and President Donald Trump, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urges them both to pass the House-passed measures.

McConnell has maintained a noncommittal stance on the future of any gun-control legislation, explaining that he is looking to President Donald Trump, who appeared to support expanding checks but has since gone back and forth on the issue, on what sort of legislation the administration could support.

Trade 

It has been 10 months since the top leaders of U.S., Mexico and Canada signed off on a new North American trade deal, and Republicans — along with even some Democrats — are growing restlessto ratify the deal.  

Supporters on Capitol Hill are hopeful the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, known as USMCA, could come up for a vote in the fall but House Democrats are still working with the administration on a number of concerns, including enforcement mechanisms and labor standards.

The clock is ticking and the chances of the deal passing Congress in 2020, a sensitive election year, will drop significantly. There’s also the possibility of Trump withdrawing from NAFTA without a new deal in place — something he has threatened as a way to get Congress to move on the agreement. 

The deal, which would replace the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has been a priority for Trump and would fulfill one of his campaign promises. But it’s still up in the air whether Congress will ratify it. 

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close It's been a month. Here's what Congress is set to do when they come back to D.C.

President Donald Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada are touting a new trade agreement they’re calling USMCA that would benefit workers across North America. USA TODAY

The governments of Mexico, Canada and the U.S. must ratify the agreement in order for it to take effect. So far Mexico has done so and Canada has started the process but has yet to ratify the deal. 

Some House Democrats, including freshmen who flipped districts in the 2018 election, are hoping to OK the agreement before having to defend their seats in the upcoming cycle. 

Keeping the government open 

The clock is ticking and another government shutdown could be on the horizon if Congress doesn’t pass its 12 annual spending bills by the end of September. 

While the House has approved a majority of the bills, the Senate plans to start examining them this upcoming week — leaving little time for both chambers to come to agreements before the new fiscal year starts in October. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced in a letter Thursday to fellow Democrats that the House would take up a stopgap spending bill, which would continue current levels of funding without adjustments for a short period of time and prevent a government shutdown. 

But it’s unclear whether the Republican-held Senate and the president will be receptive of the stopgap measure and — should it pass – what will happen once the measure expires, which would likely happen in November or December. 

Earlier this year, the major sticking point that led to a 35-day government shutdown, the longest on record, was over funding for Trump’s border wall — something that will certainly be an issue going into these spending negotiations.  The Trump administration’s reprogramming of money to help border enforcement and the construction of a barrier along the southern U.S. border is likely to be a factor in budget discussions this time around.

The administration announced Tuesday that it took $3.6 billion from military construction projects to fund the effort, drawing criticism from both sides of the aisle. Over the year, the administration has also reprogrammed funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which Congress also did not approve.

Some on Capitol Hill say Democrats could examine measures to combat this, though it’s unclear what options they will have. 

Impeachment 

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close It's been a month. Here's what Congress is set to do when they come back to D.C.

The majority of Americans do not want President Trump impeached and removed from office, according to a new Monmouth University poll. USA TODAY

The drumbeat continues to intensify in the House to impeach Trump, but it’s not clear yet whether the entire chamber will march to that tune.

A majority of House Democrats have now called for a formal impeachment inquiry, a list that grew over the summer recess. But leadership has continued to resist such calls and instead point to the ongoing investigations in multiple congressional committees and the series of lawsuits that aim to uncover new information, as both a check on the president and possibly damaging to him politically. 

But after months resisting the launch of an impeachment inquiry, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler told CNN in August the House was already in the midst of “formal impeachment proceedings.” 

Congress would likely have to take the matter up by the end of the year, before the 2020 election cycle really starts to heat up. 

The Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing in September with Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former White House aides. At any time, federal courts could also order the release of secret grand-jury evidence from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Prescription drugs

Drug pricing is something both Republicans and Democrats appear to see eye-to-eye on and both sides are racing to come up with solutions that could pass both chambers before the end of the year – and the start of the real 2020 election season. 

Pelosi has been working on legislation, which has yet to be finalized, that aims to appeal to both moderates, eager to accomplish a key campaign promise in the 2018 midterms, and progressives, who are pushing for more sweeping change to hold companies accountable and significantly lower prices. 

Broadly, a main point of contention is over allowing a third party to help in setting prices and negotiating with pharmaceutical companies. Pelosi has floated allowing the Government Accountability Office to decide prices of certain drugs if an agreement can’t be reached with Health and Human Services, Politico reports.  Whereas another proposal, which is supported by progressives, would allow other companies to produce the medication as a generic product if a company doesn’t negotiate in good faith. 

There also is legislation addressing drug pricing moving through the Senate but it’s unclear if House Democrats will be able to find a compromise to appease both Senate Republicans and the progressive faction of the House to get a measure passed. 

Contributing: Bart Jansen 

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Red Sox part ways with baseball boss Dave Dombrowski after loss to Yankees

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6054308374001_6054301549001-vs Red Sox part ways with baseball boss Dave Dombrowski after loss to Yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 43e4f229-00d1-56d3-8e29-603aabb95589

The Boston Red Sox have parted ways with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski less than a year after winning the World Series.

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Red Sox spokesman Kevin Gregg made the announcement Sunday night following a 10-5 loss to the New York Yankees that dropped the defending champions 17 1/2 games behind their longtime AL East rivals. Boston, which had won three straight AL East titles, would be eliminated from the division race with a loss in the series finale on Monday night.

A veteran baseball executive who built a World Series champion in Miami and helped the Tigers win two AL pennants, Dombrowski was brought in to steady the Red Sox front office in 2015 with the team in the middle of back-to-back last-place finishes.

The Red Sox followed with three straight AL East titles — a first time in franchise history, winning a club-record 108 games last season and their fourth World Series since 2004.

But this year’s team — with largely the same roster as last year’s — has gone 76-67, losing five of their first six games and never really getting back into contention in the division. While Dombrowski stood pat at the trade deadline, with a wild-card berth still in reach, the ballclub reeled off an eight-game losing streak.

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Gregg said Boston’s assistant general managers would share Dombrowski’s duties for the final few weeks of the season.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6054308374001_6054301549001-vs Red Sox part ways with baseball boss Dave Dombrowski after loss to Yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 43e4f229-00d1-56d3-8e29-603aabb95589   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6054308374001_6054301549001-vs Red Sox part ways with baseball boss Dave Dombrowski after loss to Yankees fox-news/sports/mlb/boston-red-sox fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 43e4f229-00d1-56d3-8e29-603aabb95589

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Trump Describes Dealing With Taliban As The World’s Worst Idea — For Obama

Westlake Legal Group 5d75e23b230000e903512833 Trump Describes Dealing With Taliban As The World’s Worst Idea — For Obama

President Donald Trump apparently thought he was going to pull off some kind of “Art of the Deal” for Afghanistan by secretly meeting with the Taliban three days before the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

But he called it off after the Taliban claimed responsibility for a bombing near the U.S. embassy in Kabul that killed 12 people, including a U.S. soldier.

In the past, Trump has repeated described negotiating with the Taliban a dreadful idea — for Barack Obama:

Trump even had a tweet for Joe Biden:

Critics were appalled by Trump’s Camp David invitation to the Taliban and even gave the president a new nickname:

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The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer.

When Jean Harrow got a ticket in 2016 for unauthorized renovations to her Queens home, she thought it was a misunderstanding. Yes, she had put a powder room in her basement without realizing she needed a permit. But surely, she said, she wasn’t responsible for the washer and dryer a previous owner had installed downstairs — illegally, according to the $1,600 citation. She would simply explain that at her hearing.

As she waited to do just that, Ms. Harrow got a second ticket — for “failure to comply” with the first. In the 14 months after the original citation, she received five others for the same issue: $15,600 in additional fines. Each meant another hearing, and although she never missed a court date, the tickets kept coming.

Thousands of small property owners in New York City have been hit with a similar pileup of fines, an unintended result of a decade-long crackdown set off by fatal construction accidents. In recent years, the city’s Buildings Department has hired hundreds of new inspectors and doled out harsher penalties for violators. But rules introduced as a safeguard have become a costly trap for ordinary people, The New York Times found.

A review of public and internal records, and interviews with current and former city employees, reveal that some of the toughest punishments have had less to do with property owners’ flouting safety rules than with their confusion over how to respond to that first ticket. Any delay or misstep can lead to a series of fines that will snowball until the owner certifies that the violation has been set right. But the path to certification takes time — and money.

Before filing a certification, homeowners must have the condition fixed, which often begins with paying for a permit. But before they can get the permit, they must pay additional civil penalties, incurred alongside the fines for construction issues. Until the civil penalties are paid, owners will receive one fine after another for failing to comply.

“You have to use your mortgage money to pay them; you have to use your light-bill money, your gas money,” said Ms. Harrow, 72, a retired bank clerk. “It’s like they want you to be homeless.”

The agency has increasingly issued tickets for failing to comply — tens of millions of dollars in fines each year, records show. Enforcement has been a priority for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who as a Democratic presidential candidate has played up his record on housing. The number of these successive tickets shot up in the 2018 fiscal year to over 16,000 from about 9,700 the year before. In 2014, when Mr. de Blasio took office, the number was close to 5,200.

For nearly a decade, a majority of those fines have been imposed not on mega-landlords caught harassing tenants with construction, or developers whose inattention contributes to worker deaths, but owners of one- to four-family homes who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of the building code — people like Ms. Harrow.

In small print, amid references to sections of the administrative code, tickets instruct owners to “timely correct” violations, without explaining what would be considered timely, or specifying that the city can issue failure-to-comply tickets every 60 days in the meantime. And although hundreds of languages are spoken in New York, the instructions appear only in English.

The Buildings Department defended the noncompliance citations, saying that illegal work could be dangerous, even fatal, for owners, tenants and neighbors.

“We promised New Yorkers that we’d take aggressive action against those who put themselves and others at risk, and that is exactly what we’re doing,” said a department spokesman, Joseph Soldevere. He acknowledged that failure-to-comply tickets could be burdensome, but said the agency was forced to issue them, describing the matter as an unintended consequence of local and state law.

But some current and former lawyers said the agency’s aggressive approach was also to blame. They said more and more violations were being written as Class 1, the severest designation, putting respondents at risk of noncompliance tickets. And opportunities to educate property owners about the process have been squandered, they said.

Ten current and former Buildings Department lawyers and inspectors, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation by department officials, expressed concern about the agency’s practices. Nearly a dozen lawyers have left over the past two years amid union turmoil; some who spoke to The Times cited the agency’s enforcement policies as among their reasons for quitting. Indeed, the turnover has been so extensive that only two hearing lawyers have been with the unit longer than 24 months.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_153295719_4031343f-3516-4f35-ae5c-6ccf4dba102a-articleLarge The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

Vivian Currie, former supervising lawyer for the Buildings Department, said he left the job for ethical reasons.CreditDemetrius Freeman for The New York Times

Lawyers for the department also denounced its approach in an internal memo in July of last year, a copy of which was obtained by The Times. They wrote that the policies were being applied in “confiscatory” ways, focusing on minor offenses and diverting resources from more serious ones.

Westlake Legal Group bytype-Artboard_1 The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

Since 2013, most failure-to-comply violations

have cited small residential buildings.

Smaller residential buildings

Three- or

four-family

building

One-family

house

Larger residential and

nonresidential buildings

Two-family building

17,430 violations

Building type

not available

The number of buildings with numerous violations has increased.

Buildings that averaged more than one violation per month, by year

Smaller residential buildings

Other buildings

131

buildings

2019

through April

Westlake Legal Group bytype-Artboard_1_copy The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

Since 2013, most failure-to-comply violations

have cited small residential buildings.

Smaller residential

buildings

Three-

or four-

family

building

One-

family

house

Larger residential

and nonresidential

buildings

Two-family

building

17,430

violations

Building type

not available

The number of buildings with numerous

violations has increased.

Buildings that averaged more than one

violation per month, by year

Smaller residential buildings

Other buildings

131

buildings

2019

through

April

Westlake Legal Group bytype-Artboard_1_copy_2 The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

Since 2013, most failure-to-comply violations have cited small residential buildings.

Smaller residential buildings

Three- or

four-family

building

One-family

house

Larger residential and

nonresidential buildings

Two-family building

17,430 violations

Building type

not available

The number of buildings with numerous violations has increased.

Buildings that averaged more than one violation per month, by year

Smaller residential buildings

Other buildings

131

buildings

2019

through April

Note: Data from Jan. 2013 to April 2019

Sources: New York City Department of Buildings and New York City Department of Finance

By Denise Lu

The people receiving tickets are usually not blameless. Inspections showed, for instance, that Joe Corsini built a pigeon coop on his roof in Maspeth, Queens, without a permit, and that Emilene Petrus violated city orders to stop renovating and vacate her home in Queens Village.

But the additional fines — ranging from $800 to $25,000 apiece — can quickly overshadow the cost of the original citation. Mr. Corsini got two tickets for the coop, then four more for failing to comply while he was trying to legalize the structure. Ms. Petrus has received more than 50 failure-to-comply tickets since 2009 and owes the city roughly $1 million, records show.

Mr. Soldevere, the spokesman, acknowledged that small property owners received a majority of noncompliance citations, but said it was because developers had more incentives and resources to fix violations immediately. “Our mission is to promote safety in each of the city’s 1.1 million buildings,” he said, “single-family homes and skyscrapers alike.”

The process is typically set in motion when the city receives a complaint about a property, often from a neighbor, and sends an inspector who will issue a ticket if anything is amiss. Tickets list a hearing date and instruct owners to fix the violation and certify the correction in a timely manner. But, lawyers for the agency said, owners often misunderstand “timely” to mean after the decision at the hearing — by which point, in many cases, it is already too late. Owners may wait months for their cases to be resolved; all the while, the agency can keep issuing new tickets.

The city is required to reinspect “immediately hazardous” conditions within 60 days, a mandate of a law passed in 2009 after two fatal crane collapses. The law was described as “a major economic incentive for construction companies to correct violations.” But two years later, a state audit found that the 60-day deadline was rarely met. The agency picked up the pace, issuing thousands of tickets and penalties, many of which went to small property owners.

Under Mr. De Blasio, New York has poured tens of millions of dollars into the Buildings Department: upgrading technology, hiring more inspectors, emphasizing enforcement metrics. The number of failure-to-comply tickets issued to owners of one- to four-family homes doubled between 2014 and 2018, while the manpower devoted to prosecuting cases stayed roughly the same. In April, records show, as many as 800 hearings a day were scheduled for just 11 legal representatives. Since then, the department said, the unit has more than doubled, with 27 lawyers on staff.

As early as 2016, agency lawyers reported that homeowners were being snared by a system that made no distinction between big and small, with serious consequences. The city ignored their warnings, they said.

“For years they knew about the trends,” said Vivian Currie, former supervising lawyer for the department. “It looks good on paper.”

In the 2018 memo, lawyers said the deluge of minor cases “prevents the department from the proper targeting of repeat and serious offenders.” Arguing that scrutiny fell disproportionately on small property owners, the lawyers pointed to Olanrewaju Olufemi, an accountant who said he was living in another state and renting out his Queens home when an inspector arrived in 2010.

Olanrewaju Olufemi said he was renting out his home when tickets began to arrive there. By the time he found out, he owed about $200,000.CreditRaymond McCrea Jones for The New York Times

A renovated garage and bathroom, which Mr. Olufemi and his wife said they considered a “bonus” when they bought the home, lacked the proper permits, an inspector said. By the time Mr. Olufemi learned of the violation, in 2014, he had been issued three tickets for the renovations — and two dozen more for failing to comply. The bill at the time was about $200,000.

“I just could not believe my eyes,” Mr. Olufemi said.

To stop getting tickets, Mr. Olufemi needed a permit that would make the renovations legal. But first he needed to pay thousands of dollars in civil penalties. When he couldn’t, the tickets kept coming. Today he owes $495,800, records show — close to the value of his home.

“Clearly, a small building owner such as Mr. Olufemi should not be dumped into the category of serious public offenders,” the memo said.

Six weeks later, the lawyers got a response from the deputy commissioner, Alexandra Fisher: The agency was merely enforcing the laws as written.

How Three Violations Spawned $495,800 in Fines

Olanrewaju Olufemi was issued three tickets for illegal renovations. To correct them, he needed a permit. To get a permit, he had to pay thousands of dollars in civil penalties. But he couldn’t pay. So the tickets kept coming.

Westlake Legal Group renovations-600 The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

Last ticket

July 19, 2016

Westlake Legal Group renovations-300 The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

First ticket: March 16, 2010

Last ticket: July 19, 2016

Westlake Legal Group renovations-460 The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

First ticket: March 16, 2010

Last ticket: July 19, 2016

Source: New York City Department of Buildings

Before the unit was expanded, high turnover among lawyers left the city struggling to prosecute violations as inspectors’ ranks ballooned. Because there weren’t enough lawyers to attend every hearing, some proceedings moved forward without them. This could be a boon to respondents who had representation, but hurt those who didn’t: The few minutes a homeowner spent facing a Buildings Department lawyer was a rare opportunity to ask questions about the charges.

Inspectors tasked with re-examining immediately hazardous violations — a category that includes the reckless handling of heavy machinery, as well as Mr. Olufemi’s bathroom, Mr. Corsini’s pigeon coop and Ms. Harrow’s washing machine — issue failure-to-comply tickets based on computer-generated reports of properties whose owners haven’t yet certified that the problems are fixed.

Although the law requires the city to reinspect underlying hazardous conditions, the city acknowledged that inspectors did not always wait to gain access to properties before issuing failure-to-comply tickets. They simply posted new tickets on the door if owners weren’t home.

Westlake Legal Group map-Artboard_1 The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

Small residential buildings in Queens and Brooklyn

have been frequently fined in the last two years.

Buildings with the most failure-to-comply violations from January 2018 through April 2019

Small residential building

Other building

51 violations

Retail

104 violations

One-family house

91 violations

One-family house

62 violations

One-family house

56 violations

Hotel

STATEN

ISLAND

Westlake Legal Group map-Artboard_1_copy The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

Small residential buildings in Queens and Brooklyn have been frequently fined in the last two years.

Buildings with the most failure-to-comply violations from January 2018 through April 2019

Small residential building

Other building

51 violations

Retail

104 violations

One-family house

91 violations

One-family house

62 violations

One-family house

56 violations

Hotel

STATEN

ISLAND

Westlake Legal Group map-Artboard_1_copy_2 The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

Small residential buildings in Queens and Brooklyn have been frequently fined in the last two years.

Buildings with the most failure-to-comply violations from Jan. 2018 through April 2019

Small residential building

Other building

104 violations

One-family house

51 violations

Retail

91 violations

One-family house

62 violations

One-family house

56 violations

Hotel

STATEN

ISLAND

Westlake Legal Group map-Artboard_1_copy_3 The Law Was Aimed at Deadly Machinery. It Hit Her Washer. New York City Home Repairs and Improvements Fines (Penalties) Buildings Department (NYC) Building (Construction) Accidents and Safety

Small residential buildings in Queens and Brooklyn have been frequently fined.

Buildings with the most failure-to-comply violations from January 2018 through April 2019

Small residential building

Other building

104 violations

One-family

house

51 violations

Retail

91 violations

One-family

house

STATEN

ISLAND

56 violations

Hotel

Note: Only buildings that had more than 16 violations from January 2018 through April 2019 are shown.

Sources: New York City Department of Buildings; New York City Department of Finance; New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications

By Denise Lu

But not reinspecting means the city won’t know if a hazardous condition has worsened. It also means property owners miss out on a face-to-face interaction that could help them understand how to resolve the issue quickly and avoid debt.

Another result, some agency lawyers said, is that the unit spends less time on construction companies, as the law intended. Take T. G. Nickel & Associates, a firm recently acquired by Consigli, whose portfolio included luxury condominiums and skyscrapers worth hundreds of millions of dollars. City documents provided to The Times show that between October 2017 and October 2018, T. G. Nickel received 100 tickets for immediately hazardous work-site issues — more than any other contractor in New York for that period. Many tickets were for repeat violations. But just two were for failing to comply; other big developers among the city’s worst offenders had similarly low numbers.

One explanation, the Buildings Department said, is that hazardous construction sites are more likely to lead to stop-work orders than noncompliance fines. When they do, contractors generally respond quickly to avoid additional penalties. Construction professionals are also more likely to hire lawyers, which can make their cases more complicated and expensive for the city to pursue.

“It seems like they just pick the easy, low-hanging fruit,” Petr Benimovich, a former Buildings Department lawyer, said of the agency.

Mr. Soldevere, the department spokesman, disagreed, saying the fines were meant to deter dangerous behavior. The safety law “compels us to enforce in this way,” he said. “The city does not have discretion.”

Mr. Olufemi now owes nearly a half-million dollars — close to the value of his home.CreditDave Sanders for The New York Times

At the same time, disputes between the lawyers’ union and leaders within the agency have created more turbulence. Some of the lawyers who left cited a hostile work environment and understaffing; others complained that managers refused to hear their concerns.

Mr. Currie, 44, who resigned last year as the unit’s supervising lawyer after working for the city for 15 years, said he left for ethical reasons.

The agency’s practices, he said, were devised to give the impression that the city was “holding the bad actors or violators to account.” He added, “On its face, this whole thing of aggressively penalizing average people is shameful.”

Ms. Harrow admits she made a mistake: She should have sought a permit to install the toilet and sink that piggybacked on plumbing already in her laundry room. But, she said she told the inspector, “I didn’t run those pipes — I bought it like this.”

To correct the violation, Ms. Harrow needed to have the unauthorized plumbing removed. Before she could get the permit, however, she had to pay a $1,500 civil penalty.

Pulling the money together took months. The receipt for the payment was lost, then found. Her permit request was rejected several times, because of errors a plumber had made on the application. She received another fine during this period.

At Ms. Harrow’s final hearing, the agency lawyer reduced two fines imposed after the permit came through. But Ms. Harrow was on the hook for the rest. Besides losing the bathroom, she would be out $13,100 in fines plus interest, as well as permit costs, plumbers’ fees, two taxi fares, and a washer and dryer. A different permit would have allowed her to keep the laundry room, but the process would have been even more expensive.

“Now I have to be pushing a cart to go to the wash,” she said. “I have rheumatoid arthritis.”

Ms. Harrow said she tried to put $50 a month toward the fines. “But sometimes, to tell you the truth, I can’t make it.”

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Rescue crews search for crew members aboard overturned cargo ship, concerns about stability

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6084474862001_6084476318001-vs Rescue crews search for crew members aboard overturned cargo ship, concerns about stability fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 5c180127-4432-591d-a132-26ffb9292f07

Rescuers scoured the Georgia coast on Sunday for four missing crew members of a cargo ship that overturned and caught fire, but the efforts ran into trouble amid the flames and instability of the ship, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Golden Ray cargo ship’s problems began early Sunday morning when it listed heavily and rolled on its side in St. Simons Sound near the Port of Brunswick with 23 crew members and one pilot on board.

Coast Guard Capt. John Reed said 20 were safely evacuated from the ship before rescuers determined the situation, as smoke and flames appeared, was too risky to go further inside the vessel. The vessel was just offshore in view of beachgoers on the shoreline.

Reed said rescue teams Sunday were trying to stabilize the 656-foot vehicle carrier to continue their search for the missing crew, but they have been unable to determine if the fire has been extinguished. The Coast Guard tweeted later Sunday afternoon that one of its groups, called the Atlantic Strike Team, was preparing to depart to the site to assess what it called a complex situation.

“Once salvage professionals have determined the vessel to be stable, we will identify the best option to continue our rescue efforts for the four crew remembers who remain on board,” Reed said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.

Search and rescue operations involve federal, state and local agencies. Coast Guard Lt. Lloyd Heflin said rescuers remained on the scene.

“They continue to do what they can. It is a complex situation. We’re looking not just for the safety to be able to rescue the people that are on board, but also to be able to provide safety for our crew. It’s ongoing,” he said.

The Coast Guard said it was notified by a 911 call at about 2 a.m. Sunday of a capsized vessel in the sound.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation. Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Dickinson said it isn’t clear if weather conditions caused the ship to lurch. Hurricane Dorian brushed past the Georgia coast last week before being downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.

The Coast Guard said the overturned ship hasn’t released any pollutants so far, but mitigation responses are ready in case they’re needed. The Golden Ray, which the Coast Guard said was transporting cars, is flagged out of the Marshall Islands and was headed to Baltimore, according to the website vesselfinder.com. The ship’s registered owner is a South Korean company.

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The Port of Brunswick is currently closed to vessel traffic, with an established emergency safety zone in St. Simons Sound. Vessels are not authorized within a half mile of the Golden Ray.

The port is one of the busiest U.S. seaports for shipping automobiles. Nearly 614,000 vehicles and heavy machinery units moved across its docks in the 2019 fiscal year that ended June 30, according to the Georgia Ports Authority.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6084474862001_6084476318001-vs Rescue crews search for crew members aboard overturned cargo ship, concerns about stability fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 5c180127-4432-591d-a132-26ffb9292f07   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6084474862001_6084476318001-vs Rescue crews search for crew members aboard overturned cargo ship, concerns about stability fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 5c180127-4432-591d-a132-26ffb9292f07

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Rafael Nadal Claims His 19th Grand Slam Title With U.S. Open Triumph

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1166897949_wide-6000332fe8b621a1a7a1ad2a3d4d673aba229338-s1100-c15 Rafael Nadal Claims His 19th Grand Slam Title With U.S. Open Triumph

Rafael Nadal brandishes the spoils of his U.S. Open final victory over Russian Daniil Medvedev on Sunday. The Spaniard’s win in New York City — his fourth U.S. Open title — gives him 19 career individual grand slam wins, just one shy of rival Roger Federer’s record. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Rafael Nadal Claims His 19th Grand Slam Title With U.S. Open Triumph

Rafael Nadal brandishes the spoils of his U.S. Open final victory over Russian Daniil Medvedev on Sunday. The Spaniard’s win in New York City — his fourth U.S. Open title — gives him 19 career individual grand slam wins, just one shy of rival Roger Federer’s record.

Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal enjoys a well-earned reputation as tennis’ long-reigning king of clay — but on Sunday, Nadal reminded the world he’s anything but a one-surface wonder. The 33-year-old Spaniard reasserted his mastery of the hard court, as well, claiming his fourth career U.S. Open title over an opponent roughly a decade his junior.

Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev in a five-set humdinger in New York City, 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4. To do it, he had to fend off a furious rally by the 23-year-old Russian, who, after ceding the first two sets to Nadal, stormed back to push his celebrated opponent to the brink — and extend the marathon match’s final running time to nearly five hours.

But Nadal ultimately steadied his course, breaking Medvedev’s serve twice in the final to seal the victory and buttress his position in the record books. The win makes for his second Grand Slam title of the year, after he won the French Openyet again — in June. It also gives him his 19th career Grand Slam, placing him just one title behind arch-rival Roger Federer, who currently owns the men’s singles record.

After the match, Nadal wept as the stadium in Flushing Meadows played a string of highlights from his career. He called it “one of the most emotional nights of my tennis career.”

“The last three hours of the match have been very, very intense, no?” Nadal said. “Very tough mentally and physically, too.”

No kidding.

For all the history Nadal brought to Sunday’s match, and all the edge in experience he had over Medvedev — a newcomer to the U.S. Open final — Nadal’s win did not come easily. Despite clinching the first two sets, the Spaniard saw the next two slip away on broken serves. What looked early on like a possible cruise to triumph ended up taking about 4 hours, 50 minutes, in what became one of the longest matches of Nadal’s considerable career.

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1166897904_wide-94baadbce8656aca12cb80ce55fa6ca140f0ca61-s1100-c15 Rafael Nadal Claims His 19th Grand Slam Title With U.S. Open Triumph

Rafael Nadal splays across the court after fending off a furious comeback attempt by Daniil Medvedev on Sunday. Nadal won the marathon match, but it took him five sets in New York City to do it: 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4. Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Rafael Nadal Claims His 19th Grand Slam Title With U.S. Open Triumph

Rafael Nadal splays across the court after fending off a furious comeback attempt by Daniil Medvedev on Sunday. Nadal won the marathon match, but it took him five sets in New York City to do it: 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

“The way that he was able to fight, to change the rhythm of the match, was just incredible,” Nadal acknowledged afterward.

Medvedev, for his part, made clear that the respect was mutual.

“What you’ve done for tennis in general,” he told Nadal at the trophy ceremony, calling his career Grand Slam total simply “outrageous.” “I mean, I think 100 million kids watching you play want to play tennis, and it’s amazing for our sport.”

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