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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 118)

Opinion: Antonio Brown will learn there is no enabling by Bill Belichick in New England

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Opinion: Antonio Brown will learn there is no enabling by Bill Belichick in New England

SportsPulse: Despite all the drama the past month, days, and hours, Antonio Brown wins big and is likely closer to a championship than he’s ever been before says USA TODAY’s Mike Jones. USA TODAY

In today’s episode of The Adventures of Antonio Brown, our protagonist has a change of heart less than 24 hours after issuing a tearful apology to the members of his football family for the embarrassment he caused them.   

Suddenly, he finds his situation undesirable, and his bosses disloyal. Angered by the punishments they dole out for his antics (acts of injustice in our friend’s mind), Brown plots an escape. 

Utilizing his favorite weapon — his social media platforms — Brown makes a series of calculated moves, forces his way out of yet another tough scrape. 

And then, with the odds for a happy ending stacked against him, he emerges victorious yet again. 

Yes, he lands in an even better situation — an opportunity with elite of elites, the most enviable franchise in the league. 

Taking to social media yet again, Brown triumphantly shares a picture of himself in that New England Patriots white, blue and red, grinning ear to ear. His hashtag, #GodsPlan.

Now THAT, boys and girls, is how you do it. 

We don’t know how things will play out for Brown and the New England Patriots. 

But we do know that financially, he’s quite all right having signed a one-year deal worth $15 million, including a $9 million signing bonus to cap off a wild Saturday. 

And having now joined the defending Super Bowl champions, who are coached by one of the greatest coaches of all time, and quarterbacked by one of the best to ever do it, Brown couldn’t ask for a better opportunity. 

This of course is both a marvel and not surprising at all. Well before the Raiders announced on Friday that they would let AB slide and that they planned to let him play on Monday, NFL fans had already come up with hilarious memes of Bill Belichick gearing up for an acquisition of Brown. 

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None of us could blow off assignments from our supervisor, cuss another boss out and then tell them we’re not coming to work again and instantly upgrade our employment situation. 

But that’s because we’re not Antonio Brown. We don’t live in even the same galaxy. 

And we don’t have world-class talent that makes it easy for people to excuse our behavior that some deem transgressions. The majority of Brown’s NFL peers don’t even possess this second- and third-chance-earning kind of clout. Just ask Colin Kaepernick. 

But, if there were any franchise that would take a chance on such a volatile player, it’s the Patriots. That’s what they do. 

Belichick embraces the cast-offs. He capitalizes on their hurts and feelings of rejection. He helps them turn those pains into chips on their shoulders and gets them to conform to his standards. He promises redemption and revenge in the form of a very real shot at a Lombardi Trophy, or two, or six. 

Embracing the Patriots Way, those second-chance players often do succeed in rewriting their narratives, and they shine on the new stage New England provides. 

It’ll be interesting to see the language in Brown’s new contract, but he likely understands that this opportunity does come with a short leash. 

He’ll likely fly straight because of the chance to face his former team, the Steelers, who traditionally frequently face the Patriots in the postseason with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. (Coincidentally, the Patriots open against the Steelers on Sunday night, but because he just joined the team Saturday, he is not eligible to play.) Meanwhile, he’ll relish this new setting because he’ll no longer have to deal with the headaches of rebuilding as he would have in Oakland. 

The Patriots pride themselves on accountability and strong locker room leaders. 

Interestingly enough though, accountability isn’t exactly something Brown seems to understand. 

People looked the other way or swept his transgressions under the rug for a decade in Pittsburgh. And the Raiders were prepared to make exceptions for him as well, to a certain extent. 

He’ll have to learn quickly, however. Because there will be no enabling in New England. If Brown does anything to embarrass this franchise, Belichick will bring swift punishment, and likely end the experiment. 

If he’s smart, Brown keeps all of this in mind and once again commits to carrying himself like one of the best wide receivers in the game. And if he does, he’ll wind up with the last laugh, despite having ruined many relationships with people who cared about him and having soiled his reputation in the eyes of many NFL players, coaches and fans. 

But that’s OK, in Brown’s book. His happiness and fulfillment are top priority. If he comes out on top, how he gets there doesn’t matter as much. 

He’ll draw criticism for that. And many NFL fans will gnash their teeth, jealous that the rules they must adhere to daily don’t apply to Brown. 

But that doesn’t bother Brown. 

This is just how it is. As he said in Friday night’s YouTube video, this is his life. 

This is his world. 

The Patriots are the latest characters introduced in this chapter of the saga. 

The rest of us? We’re just members of the AB show’s live audience. 

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Millennials freak out over nationwide shortage of White Claw

Westlake Legal Group whiteclaw Millennials freak out over nationwide shortage of White Claw Vandana Rambaran fox-news/food-drink/drinks fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 7162e5ff-06be-55de-b52c-4a189ff6eb61

The nation has been “declawed” and millenials are panicking after White Claw, a brand of hard seltzer with lower calories and less sugar, confirmed a nationwide shortage Friday.

Droves of people logged on to social media to express their angst over the popular beverage being sold out at stores across the country.

POLICE REMIND HARD SELTZER DRINKERS THAT ‘LAWS STILL DO APPLY’

One Twitter user said “I’m gonna lose my god damn mind. Please tell me you have someone working on this?!?! @WhiteClaw

White Claw’s official account tried to be reassuring, responding: “We have the best team in the business working on this.”

Sanjiv Gajiwala, the senior vice president of marketing at White Claw, told Business Insider in a statement: “We are working around the clock to increase supply given the rapid growth in consumer demand.

“In the meantime, we have been allocating product to our distributor partners to keep all markets in stock the best we can and will continue to do so until we get back to our normal safety stock position.”

Another Twitter user joked that “If you’re having a Popeyes chicken sandwich with a White Claw this weekend, you have won the lottery.”

Popeyes also faced a similar plight as White Claw last week when it ran out of its newly released chicken sandwich, which was meant to compete with Chick-fil-A.

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Nielsen data shows that White Claw, sold as a chicer and relatively healthier alternative to beer or hard cider, accounted for nearly 55 percent of all hard seltzer sales for the week of July 4, a 200 percent increase over its Fourth of July sales in 2018, Fox 13 reported.

Drink sales leaped 283 percent to $327.7 million in July of this year compared to the same period in 2018.

Westlake Legal Group whiteclaw Millennials freak out over nationwide shortage of White Claw Vandana Rambaran fox-news/food-drink/drinks fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 7162e5ff-06be-55de-b52c-4a189ff6eb61   Westlake Legal Group whiteclaw Millennials freak out over nationwide shortage of White Claw Vandana Rambaran fox-news/food-drink/drinks fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 7162e5ff-06be-55de-b52c-4a189ff6eb61

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US Navy boat missing since last year found floating off Ireland coast

A U.S. Navy boat that was last seen a year ago was discovered by a ferry crew off the coast of Ireland this week.

A crew from the Doolin Ferry Co. spotted something floating in the water Monday while en route to Inis Oirr, an island in Galway Bay in the North Atlantic Ocean, the company said.

Westlake Legal Group 69396597_2571128322918625_2406219053505970176_o US Navy boat missing since last year found floating off Ireland coast Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/ireland fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 40569914-8f9f-5f81-abbb-3a45e940582b

The Doolin Ferry Co. found a U.S. Navy vessel off the coast of Ireland. (Doolin Ferry Co.)

“Later we sent one of our crews and ferry to tow the boat [with the help of a local fishing boat] to the beach at Inis Oirr. Lots of islanders helped to bring it to the beach and we began to wonder where it had come from,” Doolin Ferry said.

It turns out the boat is a U.S. Navy High Speed Maneuverable Surface Target (HSMST) whose former home was about 3,300 miles away in Norfolk, Va.

IRISH PRIEST BLASTS CHURCHGOERS FOR BRINGING CIGARETTES, BEER AS FUNERAL GIFTS

“This boat was built in 2015 and it’s likely that it was lost during a training exercise, and it remained in the water drifting until it ended up in the water close to Inis Oirr and was discovered by the crew of the Doolin Express,” the company said.

Westlake Legal Group 70341067_2571128512918606_1625200442097008640_o US Navy boat missing since last year found floating off Ireland coast Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/ireland fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 40569914-8f9f-5f81-abbb-3a45e940582b

The Doolin Ferry Co. found a U.S. Navy vessel off the coast of Ireland. (Doolin Ferry Co.)

Photos of the mystery boat quickly went viral after they were posted online by the Doolin Ferry Co. Their post had nearly 3,000 reactions and was shared 1,500 times as of Saturday evening. Many people commented wanting to know the origins of the vessel.

KIDDIE ROLLER COASTER WITH ALLIGATOR TRAIN CARS STOLEN FROM OHIO FAIRGROUNDS, POLICE SAY

“Fascinating how it washed up in Ireland. Would love to know its story,” one person said.

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division spokesman Timothy Boulay told The Virginian-Pilot this week that the vessel was lost at sea in September 2018 during a missile test and evaluation exercise approximately 75 miles off the coast of Norfolk, home to Norfolk Naval Station. The Atlantic Target and Maritime Operations team searched the HSMST for five hours to no avail and later notified the Coast Guard of the potential navigation hazard, Boulay said.

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Boulay said it wasn’t surprising the boat made it across the Atlantic, since the vessel is filled with foam so that it won’t sink.

“Our people are not surprised it made it to Ireland,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group 69396597_2571128322918625_2406219053505970176_o US Navy boat missing since last year found floating off Ireland coast Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/ireland fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 40569914-8f9f-5f81-abbb-3a45e940582b   Westlake Legal Group 69396597_2571128322918625_2406219053505970176_o US Navy boat missing since last year found floating off Ireland coast Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/ireland fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 40569914-8f9f-5f81-abbb-3a45e940582b

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Warren says Democrats ‘can’t chose a candidate we don’t believe in because we’re scared,’ in possible slap at Biden

Sen. Elizabeth Warren appeared to take some indirect jabs at Democratic presidential campaign rival and front-runner Joe Biden on Saturday.

Addressing the crowd at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual convention in Manchester – which attracted 19 of the party’s White House contenders – Warren noted the urgency of defeating President Trump in 2020, saying “there is a lot at stake and people are scared.

BIDEN MAKES ‘FREUDIAN SLIP’ AS HE CALLS THE PRESIDENT ‘DONALD HUMP’

But the top-tier candidate from neighboring Massachusetts emphasized that “we can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in because we’re scared.”

That seemed to be a shot at the former vice president, who has made electability a key part of his White House bid as he and his campaign have repeatedly stated that Biden’s the best candidate to defeat the incumbent in next year’s general election.

Westlake Legal Group ElizabethWarren-NHDP Warren says Democrats 'can’t chose a candidate we don’t believe in because we’re scared,’ in possible slap at Biden Peter Doocy Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7244e536-66c0-5800-a7c4-03906d23eaed

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s state convention, on Saturday Sept. 7 in Manchester, NH

Warren also seemed to criticize Biden by highlighting her grassroots-powered fundraising, saying “you know the kind of campaign I’m running. I don’t go behind closed doors to fancy fundraisers with corporate CEOs and millionaires.”

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Biden has held numerous fundraisers with leaders from the corporate world. But he has made all of his meetings with donors open to the press.

Many of the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination packed the Southern New Hampshire University Arena with legions of their supporters and all of them enjoyed very warm welcomes and loud cheers at they walked to the stage to give their addresses. But Warren appeared to enjoy the loudest and longest welcome – with her supporters banging clappers together for roughly two minutes as she took to the stage.

Asked later by Fox News why she enjoyed a long and louder welcome than Biden received, Warren passed on criticizing the former vice president.

“All I can do is stand up and talk about why I’m running,” she answered. “I’m not here to criticize any other Democrat or anyone else’s campaign. I’m here to talk about what I’m running for as President.”

WARREN SANDERS AVOID DIRECT ATTACKS DURING DUELING EVENTS IN ‘MUST WIN’ NEW HAMPSHIRE

Six days earlier, during her previous stop in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state, Warren passed on criticizing Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Most polls show the two progressive standard-bearers in the Democratic field in a virtual tie for second place behind Biden.

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Asked by reporters on Labor Day if she’d soon highlight her differences with Sanders, Warren said: “Bernie and I have been friends for many, many years, long before I ever got into politics, and I don’t see any reason that that should change.”

Westlake Legal Group ElizabethWarren-NHDP Warren says Democrats 'can’t chose a candidate we don’t believe in because we’re scared,’ in possible slap at Biden Peter Doocy Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7244e536-66c0-5800-a7c4-03906d23eaed   Westlake Legal Group ElizabethWarren-NHDP Warren says Democrats 'can’t chose a candidate we don’t believe in because we’re scared,’ in possible slap at Biden Peter Doocy Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7244e536-66c0-5800-a7c4-03906d23eaed

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Vintage plane helps carry aid to devastated Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Vintage plane helps carry aid to devastated Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian

Brevard volunteers prepare to fly supplies to Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian Timothy Walters, FLORIDA TODAY

SANDY POINT, Bahamas – It looks like a scene out of an apocalyptic movie.

The southern tip of Sandy Point on Grand Abaco in the Bahamas was hit by a tornado during Hurricane Dorian, leaving homes destroyed, boats overturned and trees torn down.

However, most on Sandy Point know they were spared Dorian’s wrath. People about 50 miles to the north in Marsh Harbor weren’t so lucky.

“The affected areas look like a nuclear bomb was dropped on the place,” said Sandy Point resident Vaughn Rolle, whose house was only slightly damaged. “We drove up (to Marsh Harbor) day before yesterday, 10 minutes in I had to get away. I couldn’t take it anymore. It’s unbelievable. I never imagined a hurricane can do that type of damage.”

The island of Great Abaco has no power and a fuel shortage has slowed relief and recovery efforts.

However, aid continues to pour in Saturday and the attitude of residents continues to be positive.

“Everybody is trying to help everyone else,” said Sandy Point resident Gerard Lightbourn. “That’s all we can do. To see people reaching out touches your heart. We appreciate it.”

‘Paradise has been turned to hell’: Residents, aid workers in Bahamas deal with Dorian devastation

A small paved runway near Sandy Point is the busiest place on the island. Private jets continually fly in, drop off aid and fly out.

One such group came Saturday from Florida, delivering more than 5,000 pounds of supplies collected from residents eager to help. Roughly 75 volunteers converged on Orlando Melbourne International Airport prior to the flights to sort the supplies that were loaded onto five planes.

“One of our troop mothers made a direct call to the prime minister’s office to get an idea of what they need,” said Bart LaGrone of Scout Troop 323. “We sorted all the items so the most critical things get to the island first. That’s mostly medical supplies, water and food.”

State Rep Randy Fine was on one of two planes from Melbourne that flew into Sandy Point.

“The response has been nothing short of remarkable,” Fine said. “We have collected over 100,000 pounds of supplies. It’s amazing and it says a lot about our community.”

Hurricane Dorian has wreaked havoc: Here’s how you can help.

Florida Tech provided a Piper Navajo and pilots that carried Fine and two members of the media to the Bahamas. The other plane that went to Sandy Point was the Tico Belle, a World War II Douglas C-47 Skytrain that dropped Allied paratroopers over France on D-Day.

The vintage plane, supplied by the Valiant Air Command in Titusville, carried 3,500 pounds of aid.

The airstrip on Grand Abaco has a small clearing where supplies are offloaded. Roughly 40 cars line a parking area nearby. Locals say the cars are abandoned. People drive to the air strip, board a plane to depart and leave their cars. Remaining fuel has been siphoned from those vehicles.

Those who are lucky enough get out while others wait.

Shivalo Roberts, who moved to West Palm Beach about 18 months ago, is a Grand Abaco native whose shipping business in Marsh Harbor, R.S.P. Services, was destroyed.

“I have no more business here,” he said. “I arrived Thursday and we’re waiting to get out. The business is totaled.”

While access to the island was limited, nature’s force could be seen in one beachside house in Sandy Point where rooms were exposed to the ocean. The roof was gone and everything inside ruined. Its residents were still in the house, grateful to be alive.

Outside the house a boat was flipped on top of a car. Other boats were smashed into the shore. Large palm trees had been uprooted and dumped on their side.

And this was the part of the island that didn’t get hit as bad.

Once the TiCo Belle and the Navajo were offloaded, the group headed back to Florida to reload to take back more supplies.

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Rep. Tim Ryan won’t back off comment that Biden is ‘declining’

Westlake Legal Group AP19233741129183 Rep. Tim Ryan won't back off comment that Biden is 'declining' Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/tim-ryan fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc e438aa2f-214a-5b9a-b50f-cc3f2e866e60 article

Long-shot Democratic presidential contender Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio declined to elaborate Saturday on his claim earlier this week that former Vice President Joe Biden “is declining.”

“I have some concerns with a lot of the candidates,” Ryan told reporters, adding “I really don’t want to get too much into that because I love the vice president.”

BIDEN MAKES ‘FREUDIAN SLIP’ AS HE TARGETS ‘DONALD HUMP’

But Ryan said, “it’s unclear sometimes when he’s (Biden) articulating positions and I’ll leave it at that.”

On Thursday, Ryan told Bloomberg News that he didn’t think the 76-year old Biden “has the energy” to be president.

“You see it almost daily,” Ryan said. “And I love the guy.”

Ryan later claimed that he didn’t realize he was speaking with a reporter.

Taking questions from reporters after his speech Saturday at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual convention in Manchester, Ryan said of his comments from Thursday that “that’s the perception that people are getting from the vice president, the declining and the issues.”

Asked if he meant declining in health or declining in the polls, the longtime congressman from northeast Ohio answered: “I don’t really want to get into that too much.”

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

He insisted that wasn’t “backtracking” from his earlier comments, emphasizing “I don’t need to bang everyone over the head with it.”

But, Ryan said, “we have got to have a very crisp, sharp, articulate message for the people going into the fall with Donald Trump. We have got to energize our base. And we’ve got a pull Trump voters in. And I believe I’m the best person to do that. That’s why I got into this race and I believe that I’m better equipped to do that than Joe Biden is. And that’s what I’m saying.”

Fox News reached out to Biden’s presidential campaign, but they declined to respond.

Biden’s campaign has spelled trouble for Ryan ever since the former vice president jumped into the race in late April.

Ryan’s a center-left candidate who touts his heartland heritage and his ability to connect with the white working-class voters in the Rust Belt who helped elect Trump in 2016  by giving him crucial states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

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But Biden also highlights his working-class roots and his ability to connect with blue-collar voters.

While Biden remains the clear front-runner in the 2020 Democratic race, Ryan has struggled to gain traction since declaring his candidacy, failing to qualify to make the stage at next week’s third Democratic primary debate in Houston.

Westlake Legal Group AP19233741129183 Rep. Tim Ryan won't back off comment that Biden is 'declining' Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/tim-ryan fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc e438aa2f-214a-5b9a-b50f-cc3f2e866e60 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19233741129183 Rep. Tim Ryan won't back off comment that Biden is 'declining' Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/tim-ryan fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc e438aa2f-214a-5b9a-b50f-cc3f2e866e60 article

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Trump suspends Afghanistan peace talks after attack, cancels secret Camp David meeting

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Trump suspends Afghanistan peace talks after attack, cancels secret Camp David meeting

President Donald Trump insisted he had “no involvement” in Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to stay for two nights at Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland. Trump said people use his hotels “because they’re the best.” (Sept. 4) AP, AP

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Saturday he canceled a secret Camp David meeting with Taliban leaders and is suspending Afghanistan peace negotiationsafter the group claimed responsibility for a car bomb this week that killed an American and 11others. 

The president said that Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani were preparing to travel to the United States this weekend, presumably to finalize an agreement that has been in the works for months to reduce U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Instead, Trump said he abruptly canceled the meeting following the Taliban attack.  

“I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations,” Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday.“What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?” 

Trump disclosed that he had planned to meet with Taliban and Afghan officials on Sunday at Camp David, near the 18-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.Trump instead accused Taliban officials of trying to “build false leverage” ahead ofthose talks with the bombing.

Trump has said he wants to pull thousands of U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. His administration has been negotiating with the Taliban to reduce the roughly 14,000 troops now in Afghanistan. A U.S. envoy said on Mondaythat an initial agreement had been reachedto achieve that goal,but Trump remained noncommittal about his support.

More than 2,400 American soldiers have been killed in the war, according to the most recent figures from the Pentagon. 

As recently as Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. had “delivered” on its promises in Afghanistan and seemed to defend the emerging agreement.

“If you go back and look at the days following 9/11, the objectives set out were pretty clear: to go defeat al-Qaida, the group that had launched the attack on the United States of America from Afghanistan,” Pompeo said in an interview with a conservative website. “And today, al-Qaida … doesn’t even amount to a shadow of its former self in Afghanistan … We have delivered.”

The State Department referred questions about Trump’s announcement to the White House.

Trump’s desire to reduce America’s military presence in Afghanistan has been fraught with political and military peril. Critics – including some of Trump’s strongest supporters – fear a U.S. withdrawal will open the door for a resurgence of al-Qaida, as well as other terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, such as the Islamic State.

The president is also under pressure to avoid a hasty agreement in order to achieve his campaign promise to reduce troop levels. That pressure has come from Afghan leaders, some Republican members of Congress and also hawks within his White House. 

“This will make President Ghani happy but will slow down hopes for an early September deal,” said Aaron David Miller, a diplomat who has worked for administrations of both parties. “Bottom line – there are no good withdrawal deals. If Trump wants out, (it’s) likely a choice between bad and worse.”

Two NATO services members, including an American, were among a dozen people killed in the attack in Kabul on Thursday. 

Brett Bruen, a former foreign service officer and global engagement director for President Barack Obama, expressed shock that any American president would invite the Taliban, a militant Islamic group that has targeted American soldiers throughout the war, to the U.S.

“Coming to the United States, let alone to a presidential retreat, is a prize saved for when real concessions have been made,” Bruen told USA TODAY. “As we have seen in North Korea, Trump’s negotiations with our adversaries are marked by their preference for style over strategy. Ultimately it is a recipe for damaging our influence and the prospects for peace.”

Trump’s assertion that the car bombing prompted him to cut off talks seemed odd, given that the Taliban have been engaging in such violent attacks all through the current negotiations. Miller suggested there may have been more at play than Thursday’s attack.

“It’s clear he’s coming under pressure from Pompeo and (National Security Adviser John) Bolton to avoid a hasty agreement that has U.S. making most of the concessions and the Taliban very few,” he said.

Ned Price, a National Security Council spokesman for Obama, said Trump’s actions are likely to undercut the negotiating process.

“What we heard from Trump today was his attempt to subvert and sensationalize the process, taking over for political gain a true diplomatic process that, by all accounts, had made genuine progress,” Price said.

“All of those diplomatic gains may now be in jeopardy,” he added.

Military leaders have resisted Trump’s push for a full, speedy withdrawal. When asked about the potential peace deal last week, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that he’s “not using the withdrawal word.”

There are about 22,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan now, 14,000 of them Americans.

Dunford stressed that an agreement with the Taliban would be “conditions based,” a term favored by commanders who oppose deadlines for the drawdown of troops.

The emerging peace agreement also leaves major questions unresolved, most notably what role the Afghan government, which is backed by the U.S., will play in the future of the country. The Taliban had so far refused to negotiate with Ghani, demanding the complete withdrawal of all foreign military forces first.

It’s not clear if those two parties could come to any power-sharing agreement. The Taliban already controls a large swath of the country, and the Afghan government remains heavily dependent on the U.S. military for its security, according to a recent analysis by Robert Pape, director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats. 

Asked about the emerging agreement on Wednesday, Trump declined to commit.

“We’re talking to the Taliban. We’re talking to the government. We’ll see if we can do something,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We have great soldiers. But they’re not acting as soldiers. They’re acting as policemen and that’s not their job.” 

Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook 

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Former inmates protest brutal beating of Florida woman by prison guards

Several women spoke out Saturday against what they say is a history of physical and sexual abuse and mistreatment at the largest women’s prison in Florida after an inmate was allegedly beaten so badly by four prison guards that she is now paralyzed from the neck down.

Attorneys for Cheryl Weimar filed a criminal complaint Thursday against the Florida Department of Corrections and four unnamed male prison guards. The lawsuit says the guards beat Weimar on Aug. 21 when she told them she was unable to clean a toilet at the Lowell Correctional Institution because of a pre-existing hip condition.

FEMALE INMATE BEATEN ‘WITHIN AN INCH OF DEATH’ BY FLORIDA PRISON GUARDS: LAWSUIT

Westlake Legal Group cheryl-weimar-2 Former inmates protest brutal beating of Florida woman by prison guards Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 44f2fa8d-3578-538a-a8b8-a476cd3dde05

A photo of Cheryl Weimar before her incarceration. Her attorney is now pushing to be allowed to take photos and videos of her injuries. (Courtesy Ryan Andrews)

Since then, other former inmates have come forward to share their own stories of sexual and physical violence that they say has taken place for more than a decade at the second-largest women’s prison America.

Jordyn Cahill, a former Lowell inmate who says she used her time in prison to better herself and eventually became a certified paralegal, said in a message on YouTube that she is “astounded” by the attack on Weimar and detailed her own alleged experiences of sexual assault and harassment during her time there.

Cahill, who served eight years at the facility, ending in 2013, names nearly a dozen male officers in the video, pointedly asking them “do you remember” certain details of unwanted sexual advances towards her.

The former inmate said one officer who had a foot fetish refused to give her toilet paper until she showed him her toes. Another allegedly groped her and “forced your tongue down my throat and pushed all 300 pounds of your body against me.”

Cahill says yet another officer forced his hands down the back of her pants and groped her as she was leaving a room.

The Florida Department of Corrections did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the latest allegations.

“For Cheryl, and for any other incarcerated woman who has been physically abused or sexually abused by any officer, or any male inmate who has been sexually or physically abused by any officer, I am going to tell my story, I’m going to promote others to tell their story and I’m going to share the f— out of it,’’ Cahill said, adding that she is confident she would pass a lie detector test detailing her experiences.

Another formerly incarcerated woman posted on Instagram that she was sharing a photo of herself in a “And so I kept living,” t-shirt as “symbols of solidarity for our sisters who can’t speak for themselves. We will not be silenced.”

Change is Now, a prison activist group, posted a video on Facebook, that included photos of women who have died at Lowell due to abuse or medical neglect, the Miami Herald reported.

“Lowell Correctional family, friends and formerly incarcerated have sat silent long enough while our daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers and other women incarcerated in Lowell Correctional Institution have been harmed in one way or another,’’ the group said in a statement announcing a planned protest Saturday.

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“We will stand together united in silence as we scream for help for the women who remain incarcerated inside of Lowell Correctional Institution.’’

Weimar, 51, remains hospitalized and has to breathe and be fed through tubes as a result of her injuries, the lawsuit says.

The Florida Department of Corrections told Fox News it couldn’t comment on the lawsuit, but the guards alleged to have been involved in the incident have been reassigned to positions where they have no contact with inmates, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Westlake Legal Group cheryl-weimar-4 Former inmates protest brutal beating of Florida woman by prison guards Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 44f2fa8d-3578-538a-a8b8-a476cd3dde05   Westlake Legal Group cheryl-weimar-4 Former inmates protest brutal beating of Florida woman by prison guards Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 44f2fa8d-3578-538a-a8b8-a476cd3dde05

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Illinois man left seriously injured after vicious bowling ball attack

Police in Illinois are on the hunt for a suspect who was caught on video smashing another man’s head with a bowling ball Wednesday night, an attack that briefly left the victim in a medically induced coma.

Damante Williams, 28, was involved in a fight at Town Hall Bowl in Cicero when another man picked up a bowling ball and threw it at him, striking Williams in the head, according to CBS Chicago

Investigators say the suspect fled the scene in a 2018 Range Rover with Wisconsin license plate AFS3400.

Westlake Legal Group Damante-Williams-suspect-Cicero-Police-Dept Illinois man left seriously injured after vicious bowling ball attack fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article a4784aeb-2505-5d7a-b9c5-734a32a0f722

Police are on the hunt for this suspect reportedly captured on video smashing another man in the head with a bowling ball at an event in the Chicago area on Wednesday night, resulting in the victim being placed in a coma. (Cicero Police Dept)

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Williams was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood where he was placed in a medically-induced coma.

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Tamekio Williams, the victim’s mother, told CBS Chicago that her son came out of his coma around 8:00 a.m. on Friday and his status is improving, although slowly.

“He knew who I was, but he’s still not all the way where I would like him to be, but I know in time he’ll get there,” she said.

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Tamekio Williams told the station the incident occurred after Damante allegedly bumped into someone he didn’t know that night, although she still doesn’t know what could have motivated her son’s attacker.

“To my understanding, he didn’t even know these people, so why would you hit somebody with a bowling ball in the head?” Williams said. “ … Someone came up from behind him when the security guard was holding him and threw a bowling ball and hit his head. Just bring this person to justice.”

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Police say no one called them to report the incident, but another patron at the bowling alley ran outside and flagged down an officer. The owner of Town Hall Bowl said the fight was isolated that night and security had been in place.

Police said anyone who recognizes the man who threw the bowling ball should call Cicero PD at 708-652-2130.

Westlake Legal Group Damante-Williams-suspect-Cicero-Police-Dept Illinois man left seriously injured after vicious bowling ball attack fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article a4784aeb-2505-5d7a-b9c5-734a32a0f722   Westlake Legal Group Damante-Williams-suspect-Cicero-Police-Dept Illinois man left seriously injured after vicious bowling ball attack fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article a4784aeb-2505-5d7a-b9c5-734a32a0f722

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