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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 110)

$16.8 Million In Campaign Funds Went To Trump Businesses, Latest Records Reveal

Westlake Legal Group 5db78d88210000243bad42d0 $16.8 Million In Campaign Funds Went To Trump Businesses, Latest Records Reveal

Not only have the U.S. and foreign governments spent money at properties owned by Donald Trump, but the president’s own political campaign and affiliated political committees have also spent about $16.8 million at his businesses since he launched his 2016 bid for the presidency, according to an analysis of federal election spending records.

Republican political campaigns and PACs have spent just under $1.8 million at Trump-owned businesses so far this year in the 2020 election cycle, according to the latest examination of spending by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, based on spending reports to the Federal Election Commission.

Most of that has been spent by the Trump campaign ($1.3 million), the Republican National Committee ($123,000) and the Great America political action committee ($104,000), records show, the center reported.

The Washington Post explained in a story in July how such Trump campaign events create a “two-fer” benefiting the president. When he holds a fundraiser at one of his properties, not only do donors contribute to his campaign, his business collects funds from his campaign for space rental and catering, some of which ultimately ends up in his pocket

But 48 Republican members of Congress also spent campaign money at Trump businesses through their campaign and affiliated committees, according to the center. Some of the top spenders for the 2020 cycle included campaigns for former Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin ($21,000), who resigned last month, Vice President Mike Pence’s brother, Indiana Rep. Greg Pence ($14,000), Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio ($12,000) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California ($8,000).

Spending will continue to grow as the election nears. Senate Republicans are hosting a two-day “Save the Senate” retreat at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel early next month, according to The Intercept. Room rates during that time will be nearly triple the average, according to the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The top preferred businesses by spenders were Trump’s Washington hotel, followed by his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago, according to the center. Trump’s Doral golf resort in Miami was in fifth place for the amount of incoming campaign expenditures. Trump had planned to host next year’s Group of Seven summit of world leaders at the Doral until he backed down amid controversy over steering the business to his own property.

ProPublica reported in April 2018 that campaigns and public expenditures at Trump businesses had already reached $16.1 million. It examined not only campaign spending reports to the FEC but also state government spending and federal agency expenditure records. It created an interactive spending graphic through May 2018.

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Grandfather charged in death of toddler who fell on cruise ship in Puerto Rico

Westlake Legal Group dd Grandfather charged in death of toddler who fell on cruise ship in Puerto Rico fox-news/us/us-regions/us-puerto-rico fox-news/travel/general/cruises fox news fnc/us fnc article ad7ec77b-951a-59ac-84ec-79ba75ef16c6

A grandfather who police say dropped his young niece from the 11th floor of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico in July has been accused of negligent homicide.

A judge in Puerto Rico on Monday ordered the arrest of Salvatore Anello after prosecutors submitted evidence and said the 2-year-old girl fell when he raised her up to an open window.

An attorney for the family has said Chloe Wiegand asked her grandfather to lift her up so she could bang on the glass in a children’s play area. He blamed the cruise ship company for leaving the window inexplicably open.

An attorney said in a statement after the charges that the judge’s move is like “pouring salt on the open wounds of this grieving family.”

A prosecutor in Puerto Rico said in a statement obtained by WSBT that Anello, the husband of the maternal grandmother, “negligently exposed the girl “through one of the windows on the 11th floor of the ship” and the girl fell from 115 feet.

The family is from Indiana and was aboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.

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Anello is being held on $80,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group dd Grandfather charged in death of toddler who fell on cruise ship in Puerto Rico fox-news/us/us-regions/us-puerto-rico fox-news/travel/general/cruises fox news fnc/us fnc article ad7ec77b-951a-59ac-84ec-79ba75ef16c6   Westlake Legal Group dd Grandfather charged in death of toddler who fell on cruise ship in Puerto Rico fox-news/us/us-regions/us-puerto-rico fox-news/travel/general/cruises fox news fnc/us fnc article ad7ec77b-951a-59ac-84ec-79ba75ef16c6

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Ingraham reacts to Trump being booed during the World Series

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098623205001_6098625984001-vs Ingraham reacts to Trump being booed during the World Series Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 99506f17-383c-56fc-8e46-f46722f7a64f

Laura Ingraham commented Monday night on President Trump getting booed while attending Game 5 of the World Series this weekend, saying it confirmed to many Americans what they already knew about the nation’s capital.

“Now, he wasn’t the first president to be booed at a major sporting event. He probably won’t be the last. But for millions of Americans happily living outside of the Beltway, the 15 or so seconds of disrespect merely confirmed what they already thought about this town,” Ingraham said on “The Ingraham Angle.” “It’s a place teeming with lawyers, with lobbyists, consultants and journalists. And it was never going to treat Trump fairly.”

TRUMP AT GAME, FANS CHANT ‘LOCK HIM UP’

The Washington crowd was not pleased when President Trump was shown on the ballpark’s video screen prompting a crescendo of boos in the third inning of the ballgame between the hometown Nationals and the Houston Astros.

Ingraham pointed out that “the left” doesn’t realize that many Aercian’s took the booing personally.

“The left is so caught up in their own seething hatred of the president that they don’t even realize that millions of Americans it felt like they were booing them and they relished it,” Ingraham said.

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The host then hypothesized what she would tell her son if they attend game 5, Ingraham and her son attended Game 4.

“You know, when your little brother doesn’t get his way or you beat him in a swim race,” Ingraham said as if she was speaking to her son. “Well, they’re just mad because they can’t beat Trump.”

Fox News’ Jack Durschlag contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098623205001_6098625984001-vs Ingraham reacts to Trump being booed during the World Series Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 99506f17-383c-56fc-8e46-f46722f7a64f   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098623205001_6098625984001-vs Ingraham reacts to Trump being booed during the World Series Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 99506f17-383c-56fc-8e46-f46722f7a64f

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Dishes On Doing A Movie With Son-In-Law Chris Pratt

Westlake Legal Group 5db797842100003c3534b4dd Arnold Schwarzenegger Dishes On Doing A Movie With Son-In-Law Chris Pratt

Good news for Chris Pratt: His father-in-law, “Terminator” actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has given him his seal of approval.

In an interview Sunday with “Entertainment Tonight,” the 72-year-old opened up about his feelings on Pratt, who wed the veteran action hero’s daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger in June after dating for a year.

When quizzed on the possibility of starring alongside the “Jurassic Park” actor in a future project, Schwarzenegger was very open to the idea.

“Maybe. We haven’t talked about it. But I respect him very much,” Schwarzenegger told “ET.”

“I think he’s a very dedicated actor, and he trains really hard, he’s in good shape physically and he’s talented.”

Most important, he said, Pratt is “great with my daughter.” 

“He’s just a nice man. It’s always great when someone is successful and someone has a vision and someone is driven and knows where to go in their life.”

Schwarzenegger is promoting his “Terminator: Dark Fate” film, the latest reboot in the long-running “Terminator” franchise, alongside co-star Linda Hamilton. He revealed he’d had reservations about shooting the “T2” sequel after a 28-year hiatus, before discovering his former co-star would be joining him.

“It’s been 28 years, and I’m like, ‘Are you putting me in a wheelchair or what?’ Because it was just so far-fetched to come back all these years later,” he admitted.

However, he revealed that the inclusion of Hamilton was a major contributing factor to his decision to go for it ― the 63-year-old actor, who is married to James Cameron (director of the first two “Terminator” films), returns in the latest installment as her classic kick-ass character from the original films, Sarah Connor. 

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Prince Andrew’s friends claim photos with Epstein were fake: report

Prince Andrew‘s inner circle enlisted a forensic team to analyze whether two photographs linking the British royal to disgraced financier and alleged human trafficker Jeffrey Epstein were doctored as part of an elaborate “stitch-up” scheme, according to a report published Sunday.

EPSTEIN ACCUSER STEPS UP EFFORTS TO GET HIS MILLIONS AS NEW ALLEGED CO-CONSPIRATORS NAMED

Unidentified friends of the Duke of York told London’s The Sunday Times that they hired specialists to determine if one photo—showing Prince Andrew with his hand around the waist of then-17-year-old Virginia Roberts Giuffre, as Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell stands behind them—was faked.

They claim Prince Andrew’s hands in the photo aren’t “chubby” enough. They also pointed out that the photo shows Andrew and Giuffre around the same height, when in reality the prince is about nine inches taller than Giuffre.

“Prince Andrew does not recognize the photo. And the more you look at it, the odder it gets,” an unnamed source told The Times. “The Duke is 6ft. Virginia Roberts Giuffre is 5ft 3in. There are certainly not nine inches between them. There is something decidedly wrong about it.”

Westlake Legal Group Andrew-Accuser Prince Andrew's friends claim photos with Epstein were fake: report fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/world fnc Danielle Wallace article 17b31124-695d-5869-9106-25faabddc7be

Photo from 2001 that was included in court files released last week shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)

Giuffre, now 35, claimed in her first televised interview on “Dateline NBC” in September that she had sex with Prince Andrew in 2001 when she was 17 at Maxwell’s London townhouse. She said Maxwell, who recruited her as Epstein’s “sex slave,” also propositioned her to the prince despite the royal knowing her age.  Prince Andrew has vehemently denied the allegations.

The source said an analyst already claimed it was strange that Giuffre in the photo with Prince Andrew is wearing the “exact same outfit” she was when photographed two months later at a party in Saint-Tropez with supermodel Naomi Campbell.

The second photo in question shows Prince Andrew walking with Epstein in New York City’s Central Park in 2010. The members of his inner circle said Andrew traveled to New York in 2010 to break off his friendship with Epstein when he was first accused of sexually abusing underage women. They claim Epstein orchestrated the photo to incriminate the prince.

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“When they went for that walk, it was a random act,” the source told The Times. “The protection team never saw a photo being taken. The only way that it could have been taken is from a height. It is taken from an apartment looking down on the park. They were waiting.”

“It was pre-planned. Only Epstein knew where they were going to walk. The duke had no idea where he was going,” the source said.

Westlake Legal Group Andrew-Accuser Prince Andrew's friends claim photos with Epstein were fake: report fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/world fnc Danielle Wallace article 17b31124-695d-5869-9106-25faabddc7be   Westlake Legal Group Andrew-Accuser Prince Andrew's friends claim photos with Epstein were fake: report fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/world fnc Danielle Wallace article 17b31124-695d-5869-9106-25faabddc7be

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Sanders Takes Stage To Deliver Impassioned Remarks About His Sympathy For Palestinians

WASHINGTON ― Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) showed just how far successors to President Donald Trump may go to reshape the U.S. relationship with Israel and the Palestinians, taking the stage at a Jewish American group’s conference on Monday to deliver impassioned remarks about his sympathy for Palestinians and issue a proposal that would have once been considered political suicide.

″$3.8 billion is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche,” Sanders said, referring to the amount of military aid Washington provides Israel each year. “If you want military aid, you’re going to have to fundamentally change your relationship to the people of Gaza… I think it is fair to say that some of that $3.8 billion should go right now into humanitarian aid.”

Until recently, U.S. politicians of all stripes mostly avoided proposing policy changes to respond to Israel’s decade-plus-long “collective punishment” blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip for fear of being painted as sympathetic to the militant group.

Sanders’ remarks, delivered at the annual confab for J Street, which advocates for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, represent a top presidential candidate’s boldest departure yet from that norm. But they’re only the latest step in an evolutionary process for the Democratic Party. In the past nine months, Democratic 2020 contenders have one by one warmed to putting conditions on American security assistance in order to push Israeli officials to negotiate with the Palestinians. They’ve mulled blocking aid from being used in violations of international law, such as annexing Palestinian land. And they’ve clearly committed themselves to using new tactics to resurrect the decades-old push for two independent states, Israel and Palestine. 

So perhaps it should be no surprise that Sanders’ proposal was greeted by cheers ― and that it was largely treated as just one more in a range of options for dealing with a human rights crisis. J Street officials didn’t feel the need to run damage control. Neither did Sanders’ campaign. And so far, his rivals for the Democratic nomination haven’t attacked him for his comments. At the end of former President Barack Obama’s time in office, Democrats regularly boasted about the massive new annual aid package he had secured for Israel. This is where they are now.

Sanders has driven a lot of that change. The independent Vermont senator, who in his 2016 primary run demonstrated the potential for mainstream Democratic realignment on Israel with frequent commentary on respecting Palestinians and tough words for the traditionally dominant pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, seemed omnipresent at the J Street conference. Of the four politicians who spoke Monday, he drew the loudest cheers. Even when he wasn’t in the room, like at a side panel on Palestinian organizing, his name came up: Rawan Odeh of the group New Story Leadership spoke of him as a model for listening to the community’s concerns in a way powerful Americans usually haven’t.

The fact that even Sanders rivals, such as centrist fellow speaker Pete Buttigieg, have urged big changes to Obama’s aid policy shows how much of the Democratic Party now believes a major reboot to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is essential. It suggests they don’t see the issue as a political loser. And it indicates that many politically savvy Democrats aren’t ready to be cowed by Trump’s bid to paint them as anti-Semitic for questioning Israel’s actions.

“I am very proud to be Jewish and look forward to being the first Jewish president,” Sanders said Monday, using an approach far more personal than his usual stump speech. “If there is any people on earth who understands the danger of racism and white nationalism, it is certainly the Jewish people, and if there is any people on Earth who should do everything to fight against Trump’s efforts to divide us… it is the Jewish people.”

Westlake Legal Group 5db7a3ca20000041325070d3 Sanders Takes Stage To Deliver Impassioned Remarks About His Sympathy For Palestinians

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images Sen. Bernie Sanders at the J Street National Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

There’s no inconsistency between supporting Israel as a strategic partner important to the Jewish community in the U.S. (which is overwhelmingly Democratic) and around the world and criticizing some of its policies and hard-line politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sanders and other candidates argued. Simultaneously, almost all highlighted the human rights of the Palestinians, who as recently as 2016 were rarely mentioned by Democrats on the campaign trail. 

A poll of likely Democratic primary voters conducted earlier this year by J Street, the Jewish American pro-peace group that organized the Monday event, suggests the candidates are in line with their base: 75% said they would be most likely to support a candidate who supported both Israel and the Palestinians, and 74% said the U.S. should be an impartial broker in talks between the two sides.

Trump and the GOP claim that because the Democratic Party now includes the first-ever Muslim-American congresswomen, Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), whose family is Palestinian, it can no longer be trusted on Israel. Rooted in popular and hateful assumptions about Muslims and buoyed by rhetorical missteps by Omar, that narrative has caused alarm in traditional Democratic circles. Buttigieg attacked it head-on, calling it evidence of “upsetting cynicism” given how Trump has promoted a political narrative of conspiracy theories and racism that echoes anti-Semites in the U.S. and abroad. “The American people and the American Jewish community are a lot smarter than that,” the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said.

And Sanders, who has been endorsed by Omar and Tlaib, noted, “It will be hard for anybody to call me, whose father’s family was wiped out by Hitler, an anti-Semite.”

Sanders, Buttigieg, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro all spoke at the two-day summit. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and author Marianne Williamson sent in video messages to the attendees. 

The 2020 contenders softened the blow of tough new suggestions for Israeli policy by tying them to proposals of a more ethical approach to a range of concerns about universal rights and freedoms, from China’s crackdown on Hong Kong and its Muslim minority citizens to America’s systemic failure to provide citizens with decent health care. Castro spoke of defending the constitutional right to boycott Israel, braving a mention of a contentious movement called boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, that few Democrats endorse but almost all say needs to be protected against Republican-led suppression.

It’s clear some in the party are still conscious of old guardrails around the issue. It’s good that there is no longer “one voice” dominating political discussions of U.S.-Israel relations, Castro said, saying people should know who he was referring to. Ben Rhodes, the former Obama administration official interviewing him, made a similarly oblique reference in response. Neither said the word “AIPAC.”

Klobuchar, one of the more conservative candidates, thanked AIPAC during her Sunday night remarks, drawing the ire of some J Street backers. And Biden, arguably still the front-runner in the race, shied away from talk of conditions on aid or real criticism of Israel in his video, being vague when speaking about who was to blame for the failure to achieve peace except when criticizing the Palestinians.

But there was a clear sense that even as Rhodes and fellow Obama White House aide Tommy Vietor led discussions with the candidates ― except with Sanders, who commandeered the stage and the conversation to their visible alarm ― the next Democratic president isn’t likely to try to turn back the clock to the era that ended in January 2017. Between Trump’s reversals of traditional American policy to benefit Netanyahu, the country’s slide toward undemocratic behavior, like policies seen as denying full equality to its Arab citizens, and rising stateside awareness of Palestinians’ struggles, too much has happened.

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Colbert Trolls Trump With A Savage New Ballpark Anthem After World Series Boos

Westlake Legal Group 5db7aa67210000283bad42ea Colbert Trolls Trump With A Savage New Ballpark Anthem After World Series Boos

They revamped the ballpark anthem “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with a tune the president’s supporters won’t be singing along with:

Trump on Sunday attended Game 5 of the World Series in Washington, watching as the Houston Astros defeated the Nationals to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

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NSC official to testify that he was ‘concerned’ after listening to Ukraine phone call, alerted counsel

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098623156001_6098620502001-vs NSC official to testify that he was 'concerned' after listening to Ukraine phone call, alerted counsel Frank Miles fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc article 16156f32-c4da-53fb-935e-189ac9575392

As part of the House’s impeachment inquiry, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a director of national security affairs at the National Security Council, is expected to testify Tuesday that he listened to the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Situation Room, and reported his concerns to the NSC’s lead counsel.

In prepared remarks obtained by Fox News, Vindman wrote: “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.”

He added, “Following the call, I… reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel,” a reference to top NSC lawyer John A. Eisenberg.

MORE QUESTIONS EMERGE ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN’S BUSINESS DEALINGS, EVEN AS TRUMP IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY INTENSIFIES

The Democrats’ inquiry was opened after a whistleblower complaint alleged that Trump, during the July phone call, pushed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter as military aid to the country was being withheld.

A whistleblower’s complaint about the contents of Trump’s phone call to the intelligence community inspector general in August has since led to a parade of witnesses testifying behind closed doors about the president’s effort to pressure Ukraine, including allegations that he held back military aid as leverage.

The White House and the president’s allies have maintained there was no such quid pro quo.

“We had a very good conversation with the Ukrainian president. The conversation was — was perfect. They don’t ever talk about the conversation. It started with a whistleblower. Now they don’t want the whistleblower. Then they had a second whistleblower. Now they don’t want the second whistleblower,” Trump said Monday to media about the allegations.

Vindman also is expected to say that Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, made political demands of the Ukrainians during a July 10 visit to Washington,“Following the debriefing meeting, I reported my concerns to the NSC’s lead counsel. Dr. Hill also reported the incident to the NSC’s lead counsel.”

Sondland, whose name surfaced in the whistleblower complaint in August, testified that Trump told him there was no quid pro quo when it came to Trump’s call with Zelensky.

Sondland  testified on October 17.

Also expected to testify this week are Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Kathryn Wheelbarger on Wednesday and the National Security Council’s current Russia and Europe director, Tim Morrison on Wednesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday the House will vote this week on a resolution to formalize — and establish the parameters — of the Trump impeachment inquiry. In a letter sent to Democratic House lawmakers, Pelosi, D-Calif., said the resolution “affirms the ongoing, existing investigation” and “establishes the procedure” for future investigative steps.

Pelosi on Sept. 24 announced the formalization of the Trump impeachment inquiry, saying at the time that “the president must be held accountable” for his “betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and the betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”

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Vindman also is expected to tell lawmakers at his Tuesday morning closed-door deposition about his background and ideology: “I am a patriot, and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend our country, irrespective of party or politics.”

His remarks continued: “For over 20 years as an active-duty United States military officer and diplomat, I have served this country in a nonpartisan manner, and have done so with the utmost respect and professionalism for both Republican and Democratic administrations.”

Fox News’ Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098623156001_6098620502001-vs NSC official to testify that he was 'concerned' after listening to Ukraine phone call, alerted counsel Frank Miles fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc article 16156f32-c4da-53fb-935e-189ac9575392   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098623156001_6098620502001-vs NSC official to testify that he was 'concerned' after listening to Ukraine phone call, alerted counsel Frank Miles fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc article 16156f32-c4da-53fb-935e-189ac9575392

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Trump Administration To Shutter Controversial Child Migrant Detention Facility In Florida

Westlake Legal Group 5db7a87920000015325070d9 Trump Administration To Shutter Controversial Child Migrant Detention Facility In Florida

MIAMI (AP) — The Trump administration announced Monday that it is shutting down one of the largest U.S. facilities for child migrants, which had come under intense criticism because of its regimented conditions and the contractor’s ties to a freshly departed White House official.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement that it has reduced bed capacity from 1,200 to zero and the contract with Comprehensive Health Services Inc. is set to end on Nov. 30. About 2,000 workers will be let go in the coming days.

The Homestead, Florida, facility emptied out in August but had remained operational in case there was no room at shelters for teen migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border and end up in government custody.

Health and Human Services said the decision to eliminate beds was to “ensure fiscal prudence.” Last month, Jonathan Hayes, director of the department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, said the facility was costing $720,000 a day to run even when no children were left there.

In a letter to Congress, the administration informed lawmakers that the facility was transitioning to “warm status” with no beds but would retain access to the site in case the number of child migrants rises.

A court filing earlier this year alleged the government was holding migrant children in “prison-like conditions” for months, allowing limited phone calls and ordering them to follow strict rules or face prolonged detention.

Democratic presidential hopefuls turned the Miami-area facility into a campaign stop this summer, when about 2,500 teens were held there. They attacked the administration for holding children in a cramped detention center run by a private company tied to former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

The Homestead facility, a former Labor Department Job Corps site, also was used during the Obama administration to hold up to 800 migrants from June 2016 to April 2017.

It reopened in March 2018, but the contractor was then backed by a private equity company Kelly had advised as a board member in the months before joining the Trump administration. The facility held as many as 140 children who were separated from their parents last year as part of a “zero-tolerance” policy that separated thousands of families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

As Homeland Security secretary, Kelly first revealed the U.S. government was considering separating families who were migrating to deter others considering traveling north.

This year, the facility underwent a massive expansion from 1,350 to 2,350 beds. In April, federal officials announced the capacity was growing to hold 3,200 children because of a surge of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Three months after leaving the Trump administration in January, Kelly was spotted by protesters touring the facility east of the Everglades in a golf cart. Authorities confirmed he had visited the site on April 4, on behalf of Caliburn International Corp., which owns the contractor Comprehensive Health Services. Five days later, that company was awarded a no-bid contract for $341 million citing an immediate need to increase bed capacity.

The company later publicly announced Kelly had joined the board.

Caliburn has in its executive suite a high-ranking military officer who advised President Donald Trump in his first months in office and a former Department of Defense principal deputy inspector general.

The company did not respond to a request for comment Monday and referred questions to Health and Human Services officials.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, the Democratic lawmaker who represents the district encompassing the site, invited the field of 2020 Democratic candidates to visit the facility. Along with other lawmakers, Mucarsel-Powell has pressed a government watchdog agency to investigate Kelly’s role in the contracting negotiations.

“Caliburn will no longer receive millions of dollars to operate an empty facility,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “Given Caliburn’s poor record of child abuse and neglect, as well as the sheer number of former administration officials now serving on Caliburn’s board, this is a good first step towards ending one of many corrupt practices this Administration has executed.”

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‘Dynamic’ Getty Fire in Los Angeles drives more evacuations in California; Kincade Fire continues assault

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close 'Dynamic' Getty Fire in Los Angeles drives more evacuations in California; Kincade Fire continues assault

A Brentwood Heights resident in Los Angeles, Calif. reacts to the Getty Fire evacuation. Several neighbors lost their homes in the wildfire. Harrison Hill, USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — Tens of thousands of Los Angeles residents were ordered out of their homes Monday, joining almost 200,000 Northern Californians previously forced to flee sprawling wildfires fueled by high winds and drought conditions.

“We want people to now enact predetermined plans, grab their belongings, their medications, take care of their pets and be able to get out of that area in a safe and calm manner,” Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Erik Scott said. “This is a very dynamic fire and all residents … need to be vigilant and stay informed.”

As Santa Ana winds eased, more than 1,100 firefighters slowed the spread of the Getty Fire that consumed 618 acres along hills on the western part of the city. The blaze destroyed or damaged more than 13 structures, and the majority of evacuation orders remained in place Monday evening.

Raging fires, high winds and blackouts:Is California living a disaster movie?

In Northern California’s Sonoma County, residents stressed by unrelenting evacuations and power outages were rocked by another slap from Mother Nature when a magnitude 3.3 earthquake rattled the area.

No damage or injuries have been reported from the temblor that struck at 1:10 a.m., centered a few miles from the roaring Kincade Fire. Firefighters reached 15% containment as the blaze chewed through more than 74,000 acres and destroyed or damaged 143 buildings.

An additional 90,000 homes, businesses and other buildings were threatened by the fire. Pacific Gas & Electric said it cut off power to almost 1 million customers to prevent high winds from sparking wildfires. Another 100,000 customers lost power because of the wild weather, and more bad news was on the horizon.

Severe winds forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday prompted the utility to announce shutoffs for 605,000 customers in 29 counties across Northern and Central California. 

PG&E said it will make every effort to restore power to as many customers as possible before the next round of preemptive outages, known as Public Safety Power Shutoffs, or PSPS. By Monday evening, crews restored power for about a third of the 970,000 customers left in the dark over the weekend. 

“However, due to the dynamic and changing weather conditions, and high fire risk, some customers who are currently out of power may remain out throughout the duration of the next potential PSPS event,” PG&E said.

The utility has filed for bankruptcy because of liability from several deadly fires in the last two years, and it has raised the ire of customers and politicians alike with its handling of the preventive outages, which haven’t been entirely effective. 

PG&E acknowledged Monday that its power lines may have started two smaller fires over the weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area in locations that didn’t have the electricity cut off because they were not considered at high risk of fires. 

The company has also said its transmission lines may have been responsible for the Sonoma County fire.

At a noon news conference, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state’s Public Utilities Commission has launched a “major investigation” into PG&E’s protocols in implementing the power shut-offs.

“It already was opened up and now it’s being pursued in earnest,” said Newsom, adding that he’s not willing to accept repeated power outages as the new normal for the state.

The issues were not limited to northern and central California, PG&E’s service areas. The Getty Fire, which ignited early Monday morning near the J. Paul Getty Museum in western Los Angeles, forced the evacuation of 10,000 homes and businesses.

Officials later lifted some evacuation orders but thousands of people were still being told to stay away.

About 20 of the city’s public elementary and secondary schools were closed Monday because of the fire. UCLA also canceled classes for its 45,000 students. The school said the campus was not threatened by the fire, but “we know members of our campus community live in evacuation areas or may be impacted by road closures.”

In the Mandeville Canyon section of Los Angeles, Joyce McDaniel evacuated out of her home and into her silver 1990 Volvo. Living more than two miles up the canyon, she thought it was prudent to escape anyway. 

She got out with only some important papers, a toothbrush and her two cats, Danny Boy and Dora the Explorer. She had a litter box for them and was feeding them food from a can.

“It was calm,“ McDaniel, 83, said. “There was no (visible) fire.”

Marilyn Levin, 87, lives in Crestwood Hills and not far from the location of several of the homes that were destroyed. She packed just a few items, just a change of underwear and dog food for her corgi, Lady Beth, and left for safer ground.

“I woke up and heard sirens and smelled smoke,” Levin said. “I went outside and there was ashes all over my car.”

As a young mother, she had also lived through one of the city’s most infamous conflagrations, the Bel Air Fire of 1961. On that one, she packed up her young son and daughter and got out as well.

‘Don’t screw around’: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ryan Phillippe forced to evacuate as California fires rage

Celebrities were not immune. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James shared details on social media about how he and his family had sought a hotel after being forced to leave their house.

“Finally found a place to accommodate us!” James tweeted. “Crazy night man!”

And later: “My best wishes as well to the first responders right now doing what they do best!”

Southern California Edison, which services the Los Angeles area, had planned a PSPS to cut power to more than 15,000 homes and businesses and warned that up to 350,000 could see their power shut off in coming days.

“Red Flag Warnings in effect for much of LA/Ventura counties,” the National Weather Service in Los Angeles warned. “Fire Weather Watches now posted for the second and potentially stronger Santa Ana wind event late Tuesday night to Thursday.”

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