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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 121)

Nadler Says It Out Loud: ‘This Is Formal Impeachment Proceedings’

Westlake Legal Group PcW9QuPSK2feLf2wMrVWN9uxsPI7zcB1HtLMgjZkKJA Nadler Says It Out Loud: ‘This Is Formal Impeachment Proceedings’ r/politics

the issue is that you could sell clinton’s impeachment to the american public

because we are a bunch of dumbs who get ‘he cheated on his wife’ much, much easier than a long list of civil violations more in the vein of interfacing with moneymen and legislature. one is a moral outrage, the other is some strange confusing thing that scares us

i’m not saying i hope he won’t be impeached or that he won’t be impeached, i dearly hope he does, and – well, i guess we’ll see. i wouldn’t bet on it but if there’s a possibility there’s some decent folks in the senate who will take a gamble on human decency there must be an attempt, at the least. for trump’s presidency to go down in history unchallenged would be a black mark on our heritage about as big as iran-contra.

just to emphasize the distinction between the two

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Anger as grinning Trump gives thumbs-up while Melania holds El Paso orphan

Westlake Legal Group Kuzu1OM-uSgb4StHtYSRvDzkYCT5QqE0aSbFoGRvjv4 Anger as grinning Trump gives thumbs-up while Melania holds El Paso orphan r/politics

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Italy’s Biggest Economic Problem? It’s Still Italy

NAPLES, Italy — Whatever hopes there were that a radically unconventional government might jolt Italy out of its economic torpor have mostly given way to bitter resignation that, in this country, nothing ever seems to change.

More than a year since Italy handed power to a coalition of two fractious partners — the right-wing populist League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement — the economy is suffering the strain of ceaseless political acrimony.

And now the histrionics appear on the verge of producing yet more chaos and uncertainty, as Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, on Thursday declared irreconcilable differences with Five Star and called for snap elections.

Companies are deferring expansions and limiting investment rather than risking cash in a time of uncertainty. The public debt remains monumental, running at more than 2 trillion euros ($2.24 trillion), or more than 130 percent of annual economic output.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158533875_94c1790d-f7bc-42a9-825e-542f43adaac1-articleLarge Italy’s Biggest Economic Problem? It’s Still Italy Unemployment Politics and Government Naples (Italy) League (Italian Political Party) Labor and Jobs Italy Five Star Movement (Italy) Factories and Manufacturing

Paolo Scudieri, a member of the board of Confindustria, Italy’s most powerful business association, and chairman of the Adler Pelzer Group.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

Banks are still stuffed with bad loans — albeit fewer than before — making them reluctant to lend. An economy that has not expanded over the past decade stagnated between April and June, according to recent data, while investment diminished. That kept Italy on track to grow not at all this year while reinforcing its claim on an unwanted title: weakest economy in Europe.

Early this year, the Adler Pelzer Group, a major Italian manufacturer, secured an order worth €2.6 million (nearly $3 million) to make parts for military aircraft. That spelled 250 new jobs at its factory outside Naples, the heart of perpetually troubled southern Italy.

“It was a great opportunity,” said Paolo Scudieri, the company’s chairman and a member of the board of Confindustria, Italy’s most powerful business association.

But the company recently shifted the work to a factory in Poland in reaction to the intensifying political chaos.

“The battle with the E.U. and the conflicts with the world have created problems of credibility for the Italian government,” Mr. Scudieri said. “They have created problems not just for my company but for all Italian companies and, most of all, for Italy itself. Whoever might like to invest in Italy now thinks twice.”

A worker producing rear seat paddings for the Fiat Panda, at Adler Group in Ottaviano.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

Italy last month managed to defuse its most immediate problem, the risk of punishment from the European Union for breaching limits on its public debt. After threatening to impose fines, Brussels held off when some of Italy’s current spending plans proved less expensive than anticipated.

That achievement was celebrated in Rome as evidence that Italy can reduce its debts and avoid conflict with the European bloc.

“It was important to recreate trust in the markets, especially that families and companies believe that public finances are viable,” the Italian finance minister, Giovanni Tria, said during an interview in his cavernous office in Rome, where the stupendous ceiling frescoes could provoke jealousy at the Vatican.

“We have eliminated all possible discussion about our position in Europe,” Mr. Tria added. “We want to change the rules, but we are complying with the current rules.”

Yet more skirmishes with Brussels almost certainly lie ahead this fall as the government begins deliberating over next year’s budget. The League remains intent on adopting a so-called flat tax plan to reduce taxes. Paying for that would force Italy to cut spending or clash anew over European debt limits.

Locals in a line outside the National Institute for Social Security in Naples.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

“We will have to choose,” Mr. Tria said. “If you want to have fiscal reform in the direction of the flat tax, we have to cut expenditures.”

The trouble is that cutting spending deprives the economy of fuel for growth. Successive Italian administrations have emphasized the need for expansion in pleading with Brussels for permission to spend more than budget rules allow.

This has always been a tough sell, given that austerity-minded European officials are prone to view Italy as a mischievous teenager trying to pry loose the family credit card. It is a tougher argument now, with Italy run by a government whose leaders have frequently threatened to break with European orthodoxy.

The political turmoil has intensified in recent weeks in the wake of a report from BuzzFeed that advisers for the League met secretly with Russian officials seeking to improve the party’s prospects in this year’s European Union elections. Mr. Salvini has denied the report, while his Five Star counterpart, Luigi Di Maio, urged him to address Parliament. The latest trigger for hostility was Five Star’s opposition to a high-speed rail connecting northern Italy to France.

With the collapse of the government now a looming possibility, Europe’s fourth-largest economy remains stuck in a familiar quagmire.

Ten years ago, in the midst of the global financial crisis, Antonio Pastore lost the job he had held for two decades.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

“It’s serial stagnation,” said Nicola Borri, a finance professor at Luiss, a university in Rome. “The economy doesn’t contract, it doesn’t grow. Italy is a country that is weak, that is old, where there is no investment in new ideas.”

Some business leaders argue that gloomy talk is masking strength, especially in industrial areas in the north of the country.

“The real economy in the country is so strong,” said Carlo Messina, chief executive officer of Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s second-largest bank by assets. “We will continue to be a very resilient country in any scenario.”

He dismissed the political drama as a sideshow. “Believe me,” he said, “in Italy, we are used to a political situation like this.”

The current government is in many ways the product of public dismay over Italy’s dismal economic performance. Five Star gained favor with promises for so-called basic income payments — cash grants for low-income people. They were especially appealing in the south of Italy, where joblessness forms the backdrop to everything. The League, now the dominant political force, captured votes with vows to halt the influx of migrants and to cut taxes.

Unemployed workers gathered at the Sgarrupato, an abandoned church in Montesanto, a working-class neighborhood in Naples.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

But the results have proved disappointing, a sentiment especially palpable in Naples, a glorious yet fading city on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Hauntingly beautiful, its streets are pockmarked by deterioration. Teeming with ancient palaces, Naples is now colored with abandonment, as young people move north in pursuit of jobs. Mount Vesuvius — the volcano whose eruption buried Pompeii — towers over the landscape, a reminder that unseen pressures can explode.

On a recent morning, three dozen health care workers congregated outside a regional government building. They wore red hats emblazoned with the letters of their union, the CGIL, the largest in Italy. They blew shrill whistles. One wielded a bullhorn and tilted it skyward, shouting angrily at officials in offices above.

The workers were protesting the loss of 5,000 jobs in regional hospitals over the past decade, leading to shortages of doctors and nurses. The new government in Rome is uninterested, they said.

“Everyone sees that they fight every day among themselves and with the E.U.,” said the head of the local union branch, Marco D’Acunto. “But what we care about is what they do for the country and the region. And that is nothing.”

Members of the Movimento 7 Novembre community organization rallying against unemployment and undeclared work.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

In the working-class neighborhood of Montesanto — a warren of cramped apartments threaded by narrow, litter-strewn streets — unemployed workers gathered in an abandoned church seized by a makeshift community organization. They shared strategies for navigating the bewildering government benefits system.

Nationally, the unemployment rate sits near 10 percent — lower than a year ago, but roughly the same level as in 2012, in the aftermath of a brutal economic crisis. Many here say the crisis never ended.

“What was wrong before has just become wrong in a more stable way,” said Mimi Ercolano, a labor activist. “There are huge numbers of people who are working off the books, in the shadows of the economy. It’s a social cancer.”

Ten years ago, in the midst of the global financial crisis, Antonio Pastore lost the job he had held for two decades, restoring marble statues. He had earned about €1,200 ($1,349) per month. As orders disappeared, his employer pressured him to agree to work off the books, he said, enabling the company to avoid paying taxes. He refused, and was fired. That was the last time he has held a real job.

Mr. Pastore took temporary construction stints, working under the table for €20 per day. He moved back in with his parents.

Sabino Basso has halted plans to hire 30 more people at the olive oil bottling plant started by his great-grandfather.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

Now 45, he winced when asked if he has children.

“It’s not possible to have a family when you don’t have work,” he said.

Has anything changed since the populist government took over? Mr. Pastore scoffed. “It’s gotten worse,” he said. “It’s gotten harder to find a job, because so many companies are closing.”

Outside Naples, at a factory that made fruit baskets, the ax fell in March, ending paychecks for 117 permanent workers and 200 contractors. Some applied in vain for jobs at a nearby Fiat automobile plant, where the work force has declined to fewer than 5,000, from 15,000 in the 1970s.

Most jobless people do not qualify for basic income payments, because the rules bar grants for those drawing financial support from relatives. Five Star once pledged that some nine million people would benefit, but only 674,000 had qualified as of early June, according to the National Social Welfare Institute.

Thirty-five miles east of Naples, in the town of Avellino, Sabino Basso has halted plans to hire 30 more people at the olive oil bottling plant started by his great-grandfather.

The Basso olive oil bottling company in Avellino.CreditGianni Cipriano for The New York Times

Mr. Basso’s company buys olive oil from growers in Italy, Spain and Greece, exporting 80 percent of its wares to countries around the globe — especially the United States, where Walmart is a major customer. He had planned to increase marketing and online sales.

But then Five Star tightened legal requirements for companies that hire workers on temporary contracts, effectively limiting stints to one year. The change was aimed at forcing businesses to hire permanent workers.

Mr. Basso was aghast. All but five of his 100 workers are permanent, he said. The others are apprentices, a status that has allowed him to hire using temporary contracts.

“In order to understand if I want to keep people their whole lives, I have to test them,” he said. The new rules did not allow him sufficient time. “I just stopped hiring.”

His sales in Italy have dipped 4 percent this year, a trend he blames on the noisy reality show that is Italian politics.

“When the television says the government is fighting with the European Union, and Salvini is fighting with Di Maio, it hits consumers,” he said. “Companies are looking for stability.”

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The Racial Roots Behind The Term ‘Nappy’

Westlake Legal Group maily_degnan_dresscodefinal_3000pixelsw_wide-e09e96bf98c64032dd330dfee744d919bacdf82a-s1100-c15 The Racial Roots Behind The Term 'Nappy'
Mai Ly Degnan for NPR
Westlake Legal Group  The Racial Roots Behind The Term 'Nappy'

Mai Ly Degnan for NPR

A black man walks into my barber shop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and removes his hat, revealing hair that is thick and tightly coiled. There’s usually a hum of hair clippers buzzing through the loud bachata music in the shop, but the moment the man walks through the heavy glass door, a silence seems to befall the place.

Este muchacho tiene pelo malo,” one of the barbers says to the others, shaking his head. But in English, the barber doesn’t tell the man his hair is bad.

Instead, he says, “Your hair… it’s… ehm… nappy, yes?”

The translation of English words into other languages often unveils some interesting layers of meaning. The translation the barber chose for nappy was malo; the two terms were synonymously used to describe the hair texture of millions of people of African descent.

So some questions rose in my head: Where does the term nappy come from and why does it have such negative connotations? Is it possible to reclaim a word that has been used as a slur for so long?

Turns out, the origins of the term are complex. Nappy’s history is tangled up in the arrival of the first slave ships on the coastlines of the Americas in the 17th century. The likely origin of the term is the word nap, which was used to describe the frizzled threads raising from a piece of fabric. There is a lot of speculation that nap was redefined as a disparaging phrase for the coils and kinks in the hair of the African enslaved, in connection with the fields of cotton that drove the colonial economy.

(There’s also a largely discredited theory out there that the term comes from the British use of nappy to describe a diaper, or someone dirty or unruly.)

Hair texture was one of the many rationalizations of the perceived sub-human status of the African, according to Silvio Torres-Saillant, a professor of humanities at Syracuse University. He says the focus on hair began as Europeans tried to rationalize their dominance and superiority.

“[The argument] was based on the phenotype,” said Torres-Saillant. “And that included the skin color, their build, their height, and it especially included their hair.”

Those negative associations have endured for centuries.

In 1998, white NYC school teacher Ruth Sherman received tremendous backlash after assigning Nappy Hair, a book by Carolivia Herron focused on cultivating positive feelings about nappy hair in young children. One of the parents was not pleased, according to an investigation launched by New York City’s Department of Education, because of the belief that the phrase “nappy hair” was a racial slur. The debate resulted in a firestorm of calls to have Sherman fired.

“[Sherman] had what she considered to be viable death threats against her,” says Noliwe Rooks, author of Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture and the African American Woman. “All because she was trying to teach little kids, many of which were of African descent, that ‘nappy’ could be seen as positive.”

Rooks said that when she first heard about the controversy, she was sure that it was centered around the misconception that Sherman, a white woman, was being racially insensitive. But Rooks says the parents weren’t accusing Sherman of discrimination. Rather, they confronted her for framing nappy hair as a positive.

“You start to hear that [the parents] were like, ‘Why would you be trying to tell my child that her nappy hair is a good thing?'” Rooks said. “I found that fascinating.”

Nearly a decade later, nappy was once again thrown into the national spotlight after radio host Don Imus used the term “nappy-headed hoes” in reference to the Rutgers women’s basketball team. The backlash was immediate. Calls for Imus to be taken off the air began to flood in.

Days later, Imus appeared as a guest on Al Sharpton’s show, in an attempt to address the criticism. Imus said that he had used the phrase without an understanding that nappy was a racial slur. (Whether he saw “hoes” as offensive is another story.)

Sharpton wasn’t buying it.

“Nappy,” Sharpton said, “is racial.”

A week after the original comment, CBS Radio canceled Imus In The Morning indefinitely, calling Imus’ use of the phrase racially damaging.

I wanted to know if there could ever be more to ‘nappy’ than the racist rant of a talk show host, so I called up Zine Magubane, who is a sociology professor at Boston College. I asked her if there was a context where the term nappy could be used in a non-offensive manner.

Her response was blunt: “No.”

“Certain social movements have changed the meaning of what any word is supposed to describe,” Magubane said. “So slut, [for example,] — we have had enough of a female revolution so that the idea that a woman must be chaste is mostly gone.”

But she says neither the culture, nor the context has undergone a change significant enough for nappy to get the same treatment.

“[Nappy] will only cease to be offensive when the racism in a society that makes certain physical characteristics to be set aside for ridicule goes away,” she said. “The context in which the word is deployed does not suggest that a similar reclaiming is on the horizon.”

Still, it felt like in some spaces, a reclamation was already taking place. I called up Trisha R. Thomas, author of the book Nappily Ever After, which inspired the Netflix hit of the same name.

“I wrote Nappily with the goal of putting the term in a new light,” Thomas explained. “I can’t tell you how many letters and emails I’ve gotten from people in different countries all around the world about how Nappily‘s changed their lives.”

But she said the feedback wasn’t all positive.

“I remember when Nappy Hair came out and the controversy and the anger that was felt, and it was frightening,” Thomas said. “I wasn’t even going to call my book Nappily Ever After, I had about five other titles ready to go — it was that bad.”

But after some thought, Thomas decided to push forward.

“I told my editor that the term was hitting the core of what this story is about: reclaiming who we are and not being afraid,” Thomas said. “I knew it may be causing a little stir, but I knew I had to resist the fear and do what I thought was right.”

A little stir turned out to be an understatement.

“There was so much resistance, I mean I had someone throw copies of my book at me,” Thomas said. “They threw Nappily Ever After, my own book, and told me I had no right to use that word.”

I asked Thomas — in an age where many groups are proudly reclaiming the terms used to pin them down — did she think that her attempt to reclaim nappy had been successful? Was there any hope for the word moving forward?

“If you would have asked me this when I wrote the book in 2000, I would have told you ‘yes, there is hope.'” Thomas said. “But I just don’t think so anymore. There’s a group damaged by the word’s hurtful connotation whose pain will never go away. I saw the depths of their hurt, and it was painful to even witness.”

“At this point, I’ve accepted that it’s always going to be a triggering word.” Thomas said. “Always.”

So readers, what do you think? What does the future hold for nappy, and what is your own personal experience, positive or negative, with the term? We want to know! And as always, if you have a racial question of your own, email us at CodeSwitch@npr.org.

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Dan Bongino: Newly released FBI documents on Steele dossier, FISA applications are ‘devastating’

Westlake Legal Group steele-bongino-ohr-AP-FOX Dan Bongino: Newly released FBI documents on Steele dossier, FISA applications are 'devastating' fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 11f33302-4cfd-58b8-a007-189fbce33718

Fox News contributor and “Spygate” author Dan Bongino said newly released FBI documents are “devastating” for those who initiated the Trump-Russia investigation in 2016, claiming an “information laundering operation” is being uncovered.

“There was an effort to target the Trump team with information that was factually inaccurate, that he was colluding with the Russians,” he said on “Fox & Friends” Friday, alleging that Christopher Steele‘s dossier was a “front” so that the false information could be used to obtain a surveillance warrant.

The FBI formally documented the apparent anti-Trump bias of Steele, a British ex-spy, shortly after the November 2016 presidential election — yet despite the red flags, continued to use his unverified dossier in multiple Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant application renewals, according to records obtained by Fox News. While much of the information confirmed by the release had previously been reported by Fox News, the FBI documents nonetheless paint a damning picture, Bongino said.

FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: INTERNAL FBI TEXTS SHOW CLASH WITH DOJ OVER ‘BIAS’ IN FISA SOURCE

The partially redacted documents, first obtained by Judicial Watch, also revealed that top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr maintained contact with Steele for at least six months after Steele was fired by the FBI for unauthorized media contacts in November 2016. The records further confirmed that Ohr knew of Steele’s anti-Trump bias before the 2016 election.

FBI AGENTS WENT TO COMEY’S HOUSE TO OBTAIN ORIGINAL COPIES OF HIS SECRET MEMOS — AND SOME ARE MISSING

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News’ “Hannity” Thursday evening. “I know personally there’s a lot more out there.”

The summaries of FBI interviews with Ohr, known as 302s, indicated that Ohr knew by September 2016 — a month before the initial FISA application to surveil the Trump campaign — that an individual with links to the dossier was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”

Bongino questioned Steele’s actual participation with the dossier, arguing his name may have been used because he’d previously provided credible information for the FIFA soccer corruption probe.

“Why was his name slapped on it? The answer is very simple: because Steele had been a credible source for the FBI in the past. … In other words, in front of a judge, they could present Steele as a legitimate front for false information.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Bongino pointed out that Nellie Ohr, the wife of Bruce Ohr who worked for Fusion GPS, had previously written a dossier on then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

“It begs the obvious question: if Steele’s name is on the dossier because he was credible because he’d worked with the FBI in the past, did he even write it? And if he didn’t, is the lie that much worse that you slapped his name on political information to make it seem legitimate? Devastating,” Bongino said.

Fox News’ Gregg Re and Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group steele-bongino-ohr-AP-FOX Dan Bongino: Newly released FBI documents on Steele dossier, FISA applications are 'devastating' fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 11f33302-4cfd-58b8-a007-189fbce33718   Westlake Legal Group steele-bongino-ohr-AP-FOX Dan Bongino: Newly released FBI documents on Steele dossier, FISA applications are 'devastating' fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 11f33302-4cfd-58b8-a007-189fbce33718

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‘Vandal’ bear wrecks car after getting locked inside

Who’s been sitting in my car?

A bear in Colorado has devastated the interior of a car after getting locked inside, according to local police.

DEER COVERED IN TUMORS CAUGHT ON CAMERA

Westlake Legal Group BearCar 'Vandal' bear wrecks car after getting locked inside James Rogers fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc article 494253de-76b9-5882-82f4-456897f47d59

The bear wrecked the car’s interior after getting locked inside. (Snowmass Village Police Department)

Snowmass Village Police Department posted images of the wrecked car to Facebook on Monday.

“Have you ever wondered what happens when a bear breaks into a car? Here you go …. lock your doors, secure your windows,” officers wrote. “This bear got in through an unlocked door, then the door closed behind him/her. Insurance doesn’t usually cover this.”

BALD EAGLE FIGHTS FOX IN INCREDIBLE MIDAIR TUSSLE

The post sparked plenty of debate about whether the damage would actually be covered by insurance. “Full coverage insurance is required to cover this, it’s the same type of damage from your local neighborhood vandals,” wrote one commenter.

Westlake Legal Group BearCar2 'Vandal' bear wrecks car after getting locked inside James Rogers fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc article 494253de-76b9-5882-82f4-456897f47d59

The bear got into the car through an unlocked door, according to local police.

“It’s happened many times here in Steamboat,” wrote another commenter.

ANIMALS ATTACK! NATURE’S FIGHT CLUB

“And you can never get the smell out!” one person added.

Westlake Legal Group BearCar3 'Vandal' bear wrecks car after getting locked inside James Rogers fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc article 494253de-76b9-5882-82f4-456897f47d59

Police say that the bear somehow closed the car’s door behind them. (Snowmass Village Police Department)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

A Colorado resident recently shot and killed a mother bear accompanied by her three cubs out of fear that the sow was attempting to enter the woman’s home.

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Westlake Legal Group BearCar2 'Vandal' bear wrecks car after getting locked inside James Rogers fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc article 494253de-76b9-5882-82f4-456897f47d59   Westlake Legal Group BearCar2 'Vandal' bear wrecks car after getting locked inside James Rogers fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox news fnc/science fnc article 494253de-76b9-5882-82f4-456897f47d59

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Pelosi Urges Trump To Bring Senate Back From Vacation To Pass Gun Reforms

Westlake Legal Group 5d4d62de240000a945937cd6 Pelosi Urges Trump To Bring Senate Back From Vacation To Pass Gun Reforms

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday urged President Donald Trump to use his constitutional powers to cut short the Senate’s August recess, in response to the recent string of mass shootings. 

“I am writing in good faith to request that you call the United States Senate back into session immediately,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Trump, referring to a provision in the Constitution that permits presidents to order congressional lawmakers back to Washington “on extraordinary occasions.”

“This extraordinary moment in our history requires all of us to take extraordinary action to save lives,” she added.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has rejected calls from Democrats to bring senators back from vacation in order to consider two bills, which the House passed in February, that would expand background checks.

On Thursday, McConnell reiterated that he does not plan to call the Senate into session before September, claiming that it would result only in partisan fighting rather than legislation. 

“I don’t want to just engage in finger-pointing or making a point,” he told a radio station based in Louisville, Kentucky, according to NPR. “What’s happened after every one of these shootings is that there’s been a temptation to just engage in political discourse rather than actually passing something.”

However, McConnell said he was open to considering background checks as well as red flag laws, which allow law enforcement officials to keep guns away from people deemed to be a risk to themselves or others.

“Those are two items that for sure will be front and center as we see what we can come together on and pass,” McConnell said.

After Pelosi sent her letter, she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said they spoke to Trump. 

“The President gave us his assurances that he would review the bipartisan House-passed legislation and understood our interest in moving as quickly as possible to help save lives,” they said in a joint statement.

In tweets Friday morning, Trump suggested an openness to passing “meaningful Background Checks,” as well as preventing guns from getting “in the hands of mentally ill or deranged people,” seeming to refer to red flag laws.

But he also said that he has spoken to leaders at the National Rifle Association, which has generally opposed both measures, though in recent years the group has warmed to the idea of red flag laws.

Trump has frequently used vague terms in discussing gun legislation. He said on Wednesday, for example, that “we can bring up background checks like we’ve never had before” — without specifying how.

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First bullfight in 2 years to take place in Majorca after Spanish court overturns ban

The island of Majorca will host its first bullfight in two years on Friday night after Spain’s top court overturned a partial ban on the sport.

The island’s Coliseo Balear ring will host the first fight since a regional parliament in 2017 outlawed killing the bulls during fights, the BBC reported Friday.

Westlake Legal Group 84671ba5-Running-of-the-bulls-32 First bullfight in 2 years to take place in Majorca after Spanish court overturns ban Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/sports fox news fnc/world fnc ed3faf5f-0706-5f61-a8b6-b24016b784ce article

Mexican novillero bullfighter Sergio Flores performs with a bull during a bullfight on the eve of the 2011 San Fermin festival in Pamplona, on Tuesday, July 5, 2011 in Pamplona, Spain. (AP)

POPULAR MAJORCA BEACH EVACUATED AFTER SHARK SPOTTED SWIMMING NEAR PANICKED TOURISTS

Spain’s Constitutional Court in December had overturned the ban, saying it’s an essential part of the sport, the Majorca Daily Bulletin reported in July.

The sport is protected under Spain’s constitution as part of the country’s “natural heritage,” but animal rights activists oppose the sport and say it’s “horrific”.

FAMOUS ONE-EYED MATADOR SCALPED BY BULL IN GORY VIDEO

Westlake Legal Group Spain-Bullfighters First bullfight in 2 years to take place in Majorca after Spanish court overturns ban Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/sports fox news fnc/world fnc ed3faf5f-0706-5f61-a8b6-b24016b784ce article

Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla performs during a bullfight at the southwestern Spanish town of Olivenza, Sunday, March 4, 2012.  (AP)

“We’re convinced that the end of bullfighting is already here and this is the last gasps of a dying spectacle,” Francisco Vasquez Neria told the BBC. Neria is a member of the Anima Naturalis group, a nonprofit animal rights organization.

The region of Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, banned bullfighting in 2010, and the last fight took place in 2011.

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Bullfighting has deep roots in Spain’s history, having developed into the format many are familiar with – a man or woman donning an ornate costume and brandishing a cape – during the 18th century. A fight always ends with a matador killing the bull with a sword before it is then taken to a slaughterhouse.

The Coliseo Balear ring, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary, is expected to host the fight on Friday evening local time.

Westlake Legal Group Spain-Bullfighters First bullfight in 2 years to take place in Majorca after Spanish court overturns ban Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/sports fox news fnc/world fnc ed3faf5f-0706-5f61-a8b6-b24016b784ce article   Westlake Legal Group Spain-Bullfighters First bullfight in 2 years to take place in Majorca after Spanish court overturns ban Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/sports fox news fnc/world fnc ed3faf5f-0706-5f61-a8b6-b24016b784ce article

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‘Multiple’ Minnesota counties affected by hep A outbreak; officials say drug users, homeless hit hardest

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5581165512001_5581154881001-vs 'Multiple' Minnesota counties affected by hep A outbreak; officials say drug users, homeless hit hardest Madeline Farber fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox news fnc/health fnc edaf3beb-8eef-51e7-b6e8-26b3f2276763 article

At least nine counties in Minnesota are experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak, state health officials announced this week.

In a statement Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) said it has declared an outbreak in “multiple counties among people who use street drugs (injection or non-injection), are experiencing homelessness or unstable housing, or have been recently incarcerated.”

So far, there have been 23 cases of hepatitis A across the nine counties — Pine, Hennepin, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, St. Louis, Washington, Chisago, Dakota and Kandiyohi — involved.

MEASLES EXPOSURE AT UNION STATION IN LOS ANGELES CONFIRMED: HEALTH OFFICIALS

“Thirteen cases have been hospitalized and all have been discharged,” health officials said.

“While initial cases were clustered in east-central Minnesota and had links to each other, more recent cases occurred in counties in other parts of the state. The infection source is not known for some cases, suggesting some community transmission among those in high-risk groups,” they added.

The “highly contagious” liver infection is caused by the hepatitis A virus, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus typically spreads when a person eats or drinks something “contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person,” the health agency said.

Those who contract hepatitis A — not to be confused with hepatitis B or C, which are caused by different viruses — may be sick for “several weeks” and usually fully recover, according to the CDC. It is rare to die from the illness, though hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death, typically in those who are 50 years of age or older.

“Declaring an outbreak is a significant step because it allows us to access additional resources to fight the outbreak.”

— Kris Ehresmann

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, dark urine, vomiting, joint pain, and jaundice, among other signs.

While hepatitis A infections do happen in the U.S., it is more common in developing countries where sanitation and hygiene are poor, the CDC says.

The disease is preventable with a vaccine.

BREAST CANCER RISK REDUCED BY SWAPPING RED MEAT FOR POULTRY, STUDY FINDS

“We have been working with our public health partners to respond to individual cases and prevent future cases,” Kris Ehresmann, infectious disease director for MDH, said in a statement. “Declaring an outbreak is a significant step because it allows us to access additional resources to fight the outbreak.”

The state health department announced the outbreak after it began seeing an increase in hepatitis A cases beginning in May.

“These cases had similar risk factors to national outbreaks of hepatitis A that have been occurring since 2016. Nationally, there have been more than 23,600 cases in 29 states. MDH has been monitoring the national outbreaks and conducting enhanced surveillance of hepatitis A since mid-2018 to help quickly identify cases,” state health officials added.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5581165512001_5581154881001-vs 'Multiple' Minnesota counties affected by hep A outbreak; officials say drug users, homeless hit hardest Madeline Farber fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox news fnc/health fnc edaf3beb-8eef-51e7-b6e8-26b3f2276763 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5581165512001_5581154881001-vs 'Multiple' Minnesota counties affected by hep A outbreak; officials say drug users, homeless hit hardest Madeline Farber fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/topic/homeless-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox news fnc/health fnc edaf3beb-8eef-51e7-b6e8-26b3f2276763 article

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‘Jaws’ Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

Westlake Legal Group 190722b_064_slide-a5d9a89ffc96402fe70e3307956cc7188ad3ebc0-s1100-c15 'Jaws' Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

The Jaws shark “Bruce” is ready for his closeup. Troy Harvey/Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hide caption

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Troy Harvey/Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Westlake Legal Group  'Jaws' Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

The Jaws shark “Bruce” is ready for his closeup.

Troy Harvey/Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The first time I stuck my head into the mouth of a great white shark, I did not flinch. In fairness to the shark, named Bruce, he was old. And made of fiberglass, with chipped wooden teeth. That was nine years ago.

I found him in a Sun Valley, Calif., junk yard.

A few weeks ago, I did it all again. Same shark. Only this time, I broke a sweat and closed my eyes. Bruce had gotten a makeover. He now has row after row of razor-sharp teeth and a hauntingly deep, fleshy gullet.

Westlake Legal Group 190722b_145_slide-9bcae1171354f4ffc61d9ad1349660e65c1e8937-s1100-c15 'Jaws' Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

They’re fake, right? Troy Harvey/Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hide caption

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Troy Harvey/Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Westlake Legal Group  'Jaws' Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

They’re fake, right?

Troy Harvey/Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

This isn’t just any fake shark. Bruce is a star: the last of his kind from the 1975 classic, Jaws, with a devoted fanbase and a Facebook page. And, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opens its much-anticipated movie museum in Los Angeles next year, Bruce will hang in a place of honor.

Just when you thought it was safe to go near a museum.

The story of this fearsome 25-foot shark, his restoration, and how he made his way from movie royalty to a junkyard and, finally, to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is quite a fish tale. Only it’s all true.

‘I hope it works’

When Jaws opened in the summer of 1975, audiences weren’t just terrified by its star shark. They were fascinated. Because the shark was, in reality, a remarkable feat of human engineering. A mechanical, man-made man-eater.

With Bruce’s help, the movie chewed through box office records. It became the highest-grossing film of all time and created the tentpole template — releasing big, high-concept films in hundreds of theaters during the summer — that studios use to this day. Jaws was also a critical hit, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture and winning Oscars for its score, editing and sound. It’s difficult to overstate the movie’s stamp on 1975 America.

Greg Nicotero, now a movie effects and make-up icon, remembers seeing Jaws as a 12-year-old, with his mother.

“My mom tried to cover my eyes,” he says of the climactic scene when the shark devours the shark-hunter Quint, played by Robert Shaw. “She didn’t want me to see it because she was afraid it would traumatize me, and it did. In a good way.”

Westlake Legal Group undefined_custom-128321a7075a9b88c01e0c046e33c8aa5ca712a1-s800-c15 'Jaws' Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

A 13-year-old Greg Nicotero, second from right, completes his pilgrimage to Universal Studios to see the last surviving Bruce. Courtesy of Greg Nicotero hide caption

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Courtesy of Greg Nicotero

For young Nicotero, Jaws was a revelation.

“[It] was the movie that made me want to do special effects, because I was fascinated that there was a bunch of dudes hanging out that built this.”

“This” wasn’t just one shark but three, collectively nicknamed Bruce, after director Steven Spielberg’s lawyer, Bruce Ramer. And these “dudes” were a small crew of special effects craftsmen that began with production designer Joe Alves.

Spielberg and Alves had agreed: To shock audiences, the movie needed a full-size, monster shark that could swim, eat (people, of course) and survive filming in the saltwater off Martha’s Vineyard. But how to build it?

Remember, there were no digital effects in 1975. Scares didn’t come from a computer; they were built in a warehouse, out of rubber, plastic and wood. And, it turns out, lots of pneumatic hoses. Alves first took the job to Universal’s in-house effects team. But, he remembers, “when we talked to the effects people, they said, ‘We can’t do that. It’ll take a year, year-and-a-half.’ “

Alves didn’t have that kind of time and turned to a special effects legend: the man behind the giant squid from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Bob Mattey. Alves and Mattey had no time to waste. When Jaws, the novel, became a best-seller, the studio rushed the film into production.

“When we went to Martha’s Vineyard, it was like, ‘I hope it works,’ ” remembers Roy Arbogast, who worked on the shark team and developed the sharks’ skin.

The film’s trio of man-made sharks worked well enough to terrify generations and break box office records. But they also broke down so often that the film spiraled over schedule and over budget. Studio executives were furious and feared the movie would flop.

“We were in deep trouble,” Alves told me. “The studio was reluctant to make the movie; they had no confidence in it.”

And so, when filming finally ended, with no sign of the film’s future success, the Bruces were abandoned, Alves said. “When we came back, they just dumped the sharks in the back lot, and they just rotted away.”

The last Bruce

As a boy, Greg Nicotero was one of many fans who clamored to see the Jaws sharks. But, even by the film’s release, the three original Bruces were beyond repair.

The studio had not, however, thrown away the mold that Alves, Mattey and their effects team had used to create the Bruces. So the studio quickly made an identical fourth shark, out of fiberglass, and hung him by his tail for visitors to see at Universal Studios. The next year, 1976, Nicotero was one of countless tourists who posed for a photo next to this last Bruce. Little did he know their paths would cross again.

Bruce hung there at Universal Studios for 15 years, until he, like the film franchise he started, had begun to show his age. Around 1990, just a few years after Universal released the fourth installment, the forgettable Jaws: The Revenge, the studio cut Bruce down, bundled him with a pile of wrecked stunt cars, and shipped him off to a nearby junkyard.

Junkyard owner, Sam Adlen, did not consider the shark junk. He knew immediately what he had, and mounted Bruce onto two tall, metal poles, in the middle of a small clutch of palm trees. And there Bruce would stay, for more than two decades, menacing a sea of scrap metal. One man’s private shark.

Like Greg Nicotero, I too was enthralled with the Jaws sharks as a kid. I spent summers in the library, looking for old newspaper and magazine clippings about the Bruces. As a journalist, in 2010, I set out to find them, or what was left.

I went straight to director Steven Spielberg.

“The original Bruce — or Bruces — were all destroyed,” Spielberg’s spokesman, Marvin Levy, told me back then. “So there is no Bruce existing anywhere, nor any parts thereof.”

He didn’t hesitate. The Bruces, all of them, were gone.

It turns out, hardly anyone, including Spielberg, knew the story of Sam Adlen and that one last, fiberglass Bruce. But word had spread among the film’s most devoted fans, that a fourth shark was out there, somewhere.

In a junkyard, legend had it.

After scouring the San Fernando Valley, that’s where I finally found him. With the help of Sam’s son, Nathan, I climbed a ladder and first stuck my head inside Bruce’s mouth. He was in terrible shape after 35 years in the California sun. His gills were chipped, his skin cracked, his wooden teeth rotting.

But he was still, undoubtedly, Bruce. The massive dorsal. The tail as tall as a person.

When I reported all of this in the summer of 2010, some Jaws fans began making pilgrimages to the junkyard, hoping to catch a glimpse of the shark. Then, in 2016, when Nathan Adlen decided to close the business, he donated his father’s shark to the forthcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

There was just one problem: Bruce was in desperate need of repair.

Bruce, meet Greg Nicotero

Westlake Legal Group img_8972_custom-604511e6b520f7792d2fe3e85b35613b2c3c95f6-s1100-c15 'Jaws' Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

Greg Nicotero risks his safety to sculpt a new mouth for the museum-bound Bruce. Notice the army of zombie heads on the floor to Nicotero’s left, awaiting use for an episode of The Walking Dead. Courtesy of Greg Nicotero hide caption

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Courtesy of Greg Nicotero

In the years since Greg Nicotero’s mother covered his eyes during the terrifying climax of Jaws, her son has become one of Hollywood’s go-to special effects and make-up artists and co-founded the award-winning KNB EFX Group. He is perhaps best known for his work breathing life into the dead on the hit television show, The Walking Dead.

When Nicotero heard that the last Bruce was being donated, he eagerly reached out to the Academy Museum and volunteered to restore the shark.

“I think I was kind of born to do this,” Nicotero says of the restoration.

Bruce was driven on a flat-bed to Nicotero’s sprawling workshop in Chatsworth, Calif. For six months, Nicotero and his team worked tirelessly.

While hanging at Universal, Bruce had been painted repeatedly. “So we peeled all that [paint] off,” Nicotero says. “But then there were a billion little stress fractures in the whole thing. So we had to Dremel all the stress fractures out and then patch everything. It was a mess.”

To recreate Bruce’s spine-tingling jaws, Nicotero and his team taped huge photos of the original sharks to the workshop’s walls and used them for reference. Nicotero sculpted new gums and a gullet while studying a blown-up still of the originals. New teeth were created using the original molds. Even their placement is faithful to the earlier sharks.

“I mocked up where all the teeth went using all the reference photos,” Nicotero says. “How the teeth are angled — it’s very specific in terms of the ones that are laying back, the ones that are pointing straight up, the ones that are out.”

And, day by day, he says, “it would get closer and closer to looking like the shark that I remember.”

Westlake Legal Group nicotero-img_0135-b0c94106ea4629d70e8280fa979ba774b8ee6841-s1100-c15 'Jaws' Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

The last Bruce is 25 feet long and living in captivity in Nicotero’s Chatsworth, Calif., studio until he makes his debut at the Academy Museum. Courtesy of Greg Nicotero hide caption

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Courtesy of Greg Nicotero

Westlake Legal Group  'Jaws' Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

The last Bruce is 25 feet long and living in captivity in Nicotero’s Chatsworth, Calif., studio until he makes his debut at the Academy Museum.

Courtesy of Greg Nicotero

Once finished, Greg Nicotero and the Academy Museum invited me to the workshop for a look, before Bruce heads to the museum. Joining us were some of Bruce’s oldest friends, Joe Alves, the film’s production designer, and Roy Arbogast, the now-retired effects artist who created the original sharks’ skin.

“I got goosebumps. I’m not kidding,” Arbogast says after going eye-to-eye with the newly restored Bruce.

“Where’s Roger? Did he hear that?” Nicotero says, practically giddy. He cranes his head, looking for the leader of his restoration team, Roger Baena. “Roy Arbogast has goosebumps!”

This project, Nicotero admits, was “a labor of love.”

Before I peer into Bruce’s mouth, and close my eyes, Arbogast and I study the old photos on the wall. In one, I point to a young man who appears to be using a heater on the shark’s gums. They’re wet with glue. Or saltwater. Or both.

“Is that you?” I ask.

“That’s me,” Arbogast says, shaking his head. “I’ll be darned. That’s me. I was such a young, handsome guy then.” He laughs.

Westlake Legal Group 190722b_056_slide-8e4d44afd423e820b2d2482279fc63ab5c72503d-s1100-c15 'Jaws' Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

Jeffrey Kramer, Greg Nicotero, Bruce the Shark, Roger Baena, author Dennis Prince, Joe Alves and Roy Arbogast. Troy Harvey/Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  'Jaws' Shark Gets His Bite Back: A Love Story

Jeffrey Kramer, Greg Nicotero, Bruce the Shark, Roger Baena, author Dennis Prince, Joe Alves and Roy Arbogast.

Troy Harvey/Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Actor Jeffrey Kramer also drops by. He played the deputy to Roy Scheider’s police chief in Jaws and Jaws 2. Kramer remembers production began with him discovering the remains of the shark’s first victim on the beach.

“I was so nervous I could have thrown up on the beach,” Kramer says. “But what an experience. I mean, who knew, Joe?”

Kramer looks at Alves, then Arbogast. They all stare quietly at the shark that, after more than four decades, suddenly — once again — looks like those sharks of 1974, when these men were all much younger, their careers still ahead of them.

Before production fell behind schedule and the budget doubled.

Before the famous music.

Before the blockbuster.

“Who knew?” Kramer says, wistfully. “Who knew?”

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