web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 167)

White House Pressed Agency to Repudiate Weather Forecasters Who Contradicted Trump

Westlake Legal Group 11dc-storm-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 White House Pressed Agency to Repudiate Weather Forecasters Who Contradicted Trump Weather United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Ross, Wilbur L Jr National Weather Service National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Mulvaney, Mick Jacobs, Neil Hurricane Dorian (2019) Commerce Department

WASHINGTON — The White House was directly involved in pressing a federal scientific agency to repudiate the weather forecasters who contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian would probably strike Alabama, according to several people familiar with the events.

Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, to have the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publicly disavow the forecasters’ position that Alabama was not at risk. NOAA, which is part of the Commerce Department, issued an unsigned statement last Friday in response, saying that the Birmingham, Ala., office was wrong to dispute the president’s warning.

In pressing NOAA’s acting administrator to take action, Mr. Ross warned that top employees at the agency could be fired if the situation was not addressed, The New York Times previously reported. Mr. Ross’s spokesman has denied that he threatened to fire anyone, and a senior administration official on Wednesday said Mr. Mulvaney did not tell the commerce secretary to make such a threat.

The release of the NOAA statement provoked complaints that the Trump administration was improperly intervening in the professional weather forecasting system to justify the president’s mistaken assertion. The Commerce Department’s inspector general is investigating how that statement came to be issued, saying it could call into question scientific independence.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which is controlled by Democrats, announced on Wednesday that it too has opened an investigation into Mr. Ross’s actions.

The White House had no immediate comment on Wednesday, but the senior administration official said Mr. Mulvaney was interested in having the record corrected because, in his view, the Birmingham forecasters had gone too far and the president was right to suggest there had been forecasts showing possible impact on Alabama.

Mr. Trump was furious at being contradicted by the forecasters in Alabama. On Sept. 1, the president wrote on Twitter that Alabama “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” A few minutes later, the National Weather Service in Birmingham posted on Twitter that “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane Dorian will be felt across Alabama.”

For nearly a week, Mr. Trump kept insisting he was right, displaying outdated maps, including one that had been apparently altered with a Sharpie pen to make it look like Alabama might be in the path of the storm. He had his homeland security adviser release a statement backing him up.

Mr. Ross called Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, from Greece where the secretary was traveling for meetings, and instructed Dr. Jacobs to fix the agency’s perceived contradiction of the president, according to three people informed about the discussions.

Dr. Jacobs objected to the demand and was told that the political appointees at NOAA would be fired if the situation was not fixed, according to the three individuals, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the episode.

The political staff at an agency typically includes a handful of top officials, such as Dr. Jacobs, and their aides. They are appointed to their jobs by the administration currently in power, as opposed to career government employees, who remain in their jobs as administrations come and go.

The statement NOAA ultimately issued later on Friday called the Birmingham office’s statement “inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.”

Dr. Jacobs has since sought to reassure his work force and the broader scientific community concerned about political interference.

“This administration is committed to the important mission of weather forecasting,” Dr. Jacobs told a weather conference in Huntsville, Ala., on Tuesday. “There is no pressure to change the way you communicate or forecast risk in the future.”

In the speech, Dr. Jacobs praised Mr. Trump, calling him “genuinely interested in improving weather forecasts,” and echoed the president’s position that Dorian initially threatened Alabama. “At one point, Alabama was in the mix, as was the rest of the Southeast.”

He also said he still had faith in the Birmingham office. “The purpose of the NOAA statement was to clarify the technical aspects of the potential impacts of Dorian,” Dr. Jacobs said. “What it did not say, however, is that we understand and fully support the good intent of the Birmingham weather forecast office, which was to calm fears in support of public safety.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Mom who refused to abort baby with medical needs welcomes daughter: ‘I was terrified of losing her’

After suffering several miscarriages, Kiera Meldrum, 20, was delighted to learn she was pregnant again in July 2018. But roughly five months into her pregnancy, the United Kingdom woman was told her unborn daughter was suffering from a serious medical condition that spurred doctors to recommend abortion.

But Meldrum, of York, refused … fourteen times, she claims.

‘PREGNANT’ WOMAN’S ‘BABY BUMP’ WAS ACTUALLY CANCEROUS GROWTH

“I refused to terminate Lillee-Rose every time they told me to, and I’m so happy I listened to my heart instead of the doctors,” Meldrum told SWNS of her now 6-month-old daughter.

Westlake Legal Group mums-bravery-mu-408742 Mom who refused to abort baby with medical needs welcomes daughter: 'I was terrified of losing her' Madeline Farber fox-news/health/reproductive-health/pregnancy fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox news fnc/health fnc article 56658af4-5da7-5696-b9ac-7c148490742d

Kiera Meldrum, 20, was told several times to terminate her pregnancy. (SWNS)

Doctors told Meldrum her child had Grade 3 severe ascites to the bowel, a condition that causes an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen. The mother was told Lillee-Rose was suffering from the condition at her 21-week scan.

“I felt sick when they told me she wasn’t well, but I just knew my little girl was a fighter and that she could make it,” she recalled. “There was no way I was terminating my pregnancy —  I’d waited so long to become a mom and I was determined to do all I could to protect my baby.”

At 28 weeks, the baby’s bowel ruptured— prompting doctors to recommend an abortion once more, the mom said. Amniotic fluid was also building up inside Meldrum, causing her immense pain.

Westlake Legal Group mums-bravery-mu-408761 Mom who refused to abort baby with medical needs welcomes daughter: 'I was terrified of losing her' Madeline Farber fox-news/health/reproductive-health/pregnancy fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox news fnc/health fnc article 56658af4-5da7-5696-b9ac-7c148490742d

Kiera Meldrum’s baby Lillee-Rose in the hospital. (SWNS)

“My stomach swelled up enormously, and it felt like I was carrying a giant painful water balloon against my tummy. Doctors said that draining the fluid could hurt my baby, and after being told how poorly she already was, I knew I couldn’t do anything risky,” she told SWNS.

“I was in constant pain, but I had to do everything I could to protect my baby or I’d never forgive myself.”

Westlake Legal Group mums-bravery-mu-408752 Mom who refused to abort baby with medical needs welcomes daughter: 'I was terrified of losing her' Madeline Farber fox-news/health/reproductive-health/pregnancy fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox news fnc/health fnc article 56658af4-5da7-5696-b9ac-7c148490742d

“I refused to terminate Lillee-Rose every time they told me to, and I’m so happy I listened to my heart instead of the doctors,” the mom said. (SWNS)

In February, Meldrum went into labor and gave birth to her daughter at 34 weeks. The little girl, who weighed just over 4 pounds when she was born, required emergency surgery shortly after to repair her ruptured bowel, her mother said.

“I was terrified of losing her and watching them whisk her straight away from me and into surgery broke my heart,” she said.

Lillee-Rose was required to stay in an incubator at Leeds Teaching Hospitals for the first eight weeks of her life. Finally, following a second surgery, she was given permission to go home.

Westlake Legal Group mums-bravery-mu-408751 Mom who refused to abort baby with medical needs welcomes daughter: 'I was terrified of losing her' Madeline Farber fox-news/health/reproductive-health/pregnancy fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox news fnc/health fnc article 56658af4-5da7-5696-b9ac-7c148490742d

“I knew it was the best place for her, but I just wanted to hold my baby girl,” she said. (SWNS)

A doctor at the hospital told SWNS Lillee-Rose suffered from a rare birth defect called jejunal atresia with ascites, “which affects between 1-3 babies in every 10,000 born and requires complex specialist surgery to correct.”

Though the young girl will require check-ups every few months to ensure her bowel is healing and functioning properly, her mother said she’s doing well and getting stronger each day.

Westlake Legal Group mums-bravery-mu-408743 Mom who refused to abort baby with medical needs welcomes daughter: 'I was terrified of losing her' Madeline Farber fox-news/health/reproductive-health/pregnancy fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox news fnc/health fnc article 56658af4-5da7-5696-b9ac-7c148490742d

The baby is generally healthy now. (SWNS)

‘WORLD’S OLDEST MOM’ GIVES BIRTH TO TWINS AT AGE 74 AFTER IVF, HOSPITAL CLAIMS

“Doctors told me every week to terminate my pregnancy, and hearing that advice over and over again was horrific, but something told me Lillee-Rose would make it through,” she said. “My baby girl never stopped fighting and finally having her home with me is a blessing. She’s my little miracle.”

Westlake Legal Group mums-bravery-mu-408742 Mom who refused to abort baby with medical needs welcomes daughter: 'I was terrified of losing her' Madeline Farber fox-news/health/reproductive-health/pregnancy fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox news fnc/health fnc article 56658af4-5da7-5696-b9ac-7c148490742d   Westlake Legal Group mums-bravery-mu-408742 Mom who refused to abort baby with medical needs welcomes daughter: 'I was terrified of losing her' Madeline Farber fox-news/health/reproductive-health/pregnancy fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox news fnc/health fnc article 56658af4-5da7-5696-b9ac-7c148490742d

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

There’s A Continued Uptick In Violent Crime, According To Federal Survey

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1163201826_wide-6544a2e67d4b4926d264ff66412cc230c59d2ed8-s1100-c15 There's A Continued Uptick In Violent Crime, According To Federal Survey
Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag
Westlake Legal Group  There's A Continued Uptick In Violent Crime, According To Federal Survey

Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

An annual survey that asks Americans about crimes they’ve experienced showed that the rate at which those surveyed said they had been raped or sexually assaulted nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018.

The 2018 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), released Tuesday, is managed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Justice Department, and asks people if they’ve been victims of crimes — even if they didn’t report them to police.

“We go to about 150,000 households each year, interviewing about 240,00 people,” says Rachel Morgan, a statistician at BJS. “We have found consistently that about half or less than half of crimes are actually reported to police, so the FBI are getting different numbers than we are.”

The FBI collects crime data directly from police departments, and releases a separate annual crime report, typically in October.

The stand-out result in the 2018 survey is the rate at which respondents said they’d been victims of rape or sexual assault. That number nearly doubled over the previous year, from 1.7 per 1000 to 2.4.

Independent analysts say that jump is the most statistically significant figure in the 2018 report.

Callie Rennison, a professor at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs and an expert in sex crime victimology, used to work on the government’s victimization survey and says it uses a conservative method when counting rape numbers.

“I think the fact that even with that conservative estimate, with the fact that most people aren’t willing to share these incidents that we’re seeing a significant increase from one year to another is something really worth paying attention to,” Rennison said. “It says something important.”

But it’s hard to pin down what the number really means. Is this a jump in the total number of sexual assaults, or is it a matter of more reporting, a reflection of victims being more willing to talk about those crimes in 2018, at the height of the #metoo phenomenon?

“I think it’s both,” Rennison said. “I think that people are more willing to share this with interviewers and tell about victimizations they’ve experienced, but I also think that a part of it could be, is that there has been, among some people, I don’t know, this idea that grabbing people — which is sexual assault — or raping, isn’t a big deal. And so we might be seeing just actual more offenses, as well.”

The survey shows victimization rates for other violent crimes are up too. The increases are much smaller, but the fact that they’ve increased three years in a row has some people talking “trend.”

That impression is reinforced by the opening line of the BJS’s report on the survey, “The longstanding general trend of declining violent crime in the United States, which began in the 1990s, has reversed direction in recent years.”

Some conservative commentators say it shows a need for more policing. But criminal justice reform advocates are pushing back, saying you have to put the violent crime rate increase in context.

“Has it gone up for the past two years, three years? Yes. Is that something to keep an eye on? Absolutely. Is it still at almost record lows? Yeah, it’s lower than it was in 2012, lower almost about where it was in 2013,” said John Pfaff, a law professor at Fordham University.

Pfaff says when crime rates are historically low, year-to-year increases shouldn’t be that surprising — and just because you start to see an upward trend, it shouldn’t become an argument against the current movement for criminal justice reform.

Jeff Asher, a crime analyst and founder of AH Datalytics, says the information the victimization survey compiles is important, but “you can’t really take NCVS by itself as the thing that tells you the story of crime in America.”

According to Asher, the victimization survey’s numbers have to be combined with the FBI’s Crime in the U.S. Report to get an accurate picture of U.S. crime rates.

“Somebody that says that they’ve been the victim of a crime in the survey may not meet the standards of what the actual crime is when the law enforcement is reporting it,” he said. “It’s helpful to have the police give the numbers, but it’s also helpful to have NCVS, which provides a fuller generalized picture of crime in America.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

New York Jets kicker tryouts sees Utah man go for chance at pros: ‘I am standing out here with my sign’

A Utah man is pleading with the New York Jets for the opportunity to tryout as a kicker after a missed field goal and extra point on Sunday resulted in the team’s devastating 1-point loss in their home opener against the Buffalo Bills.

Josh Henshaw, 30, took a red-eye flight from Salt Lake City on Tuesday morning in hopes the Jets would allow him to take part in “open” kicker tryouts to replace Kaare Vedvik, who was cut following his poor performance in Week 1.

NEW YORK JETS ACQUIRE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WIDE RECEIVER DEMARYIUS THOMAS 

Henshaw, who heard about the tryouts from a friend, called into WFAN’S Boomer and Gio to try and get the attention of someone high up after learning — once he was already outside the Jets training facility — that the tryouts were invitation-only, USA Today reported.

Westlake Legal Group kick2-1 New York Jets kicker tryouts sees Utah man go for chance at pros: 'I am standing out here with my sign' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-jets fox news fnc/sports fnc article 1227466b-45d4-539d-aa0b-ffc4874adea1

Josh Henshaw, 30, took a red-eye flight from Salt Lake City on Tuesday morning in hopes the Jets would allow him to take part in “open” kicker tryouts to replace Kaare Vedvik, who was cut following his poor performance in Week 1. (Daniel Richardson ​​​​​)

“I am at the Jets facility right now trying to join the kickers for the tryout,” he said. “I am standing out here with my sign.”

On the sign, Henshaw included the title of his YouTube channel where head coach Adam Gase could check out his skills. He also describes himself as a semi-pro player with five seasons of experience and who has a 92 percent success rate on field goals.

NEW YORK JETS CUT ROOKIE LINEBACKER AFTER HE RACKED UP MORE THAN $100G IN FINES: REPORT 

WFAN host Boomer Esiason sent a text to Gase about Henshaw — but to no avail.

Henshaw didn’t make it into tryouts Tuesday but he told the New York Post he’s not giving up just yet.

“I really love everything about football,” he said. “I know I have that ability and would just love to one day call my mom and just say you know, ‘Mama we did it! We made it to the top level!’”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Henshaw went to a junior college in Pennsylvania where he was a kicker for several games in the All County Junior Football League, before going to the University of Vermont, where he played club football, the Post reported.

The Jets picked up Sam Ficken, previously with the Green Bay Packers, this week.

Westlake Legal Group kick New York Jets kicker tryouts sees Utah man go for chance at pros: 'I am standing out here with my sign' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-jets fox news fnc/sports fnc article 1227466b-45d4-539d-aa0b-ffc4874adea1   Westlake Legal Group kick New York Jets kicker tryouts sees Utah man go for chance at pros: 'I am standing out here with my sign' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-jets fox news fnc/sports fnc article 1227466b-45d4-539d-aa0b-ffc4874adea1

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Bolton Ouster Underscores a G.O.P. Divided on Foreign Policy

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s abrupt ouster of John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, has reignited concerns among some Republicans in Congress about the White House’s waning interest in projecting American military power around the world, a doctrine that was once the subject of a powerful consensus in their party.

It is the latest sign of the divide among Republican lawmakers on national security, pitting a camp of hawkish conservatives including Representative Liz Cheney, the House’s third-ranking Republican, and Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, against a newer, anti-establishment group aligned with Mr. Trump’s impulses to put an end to the nation’s intractable military conflicts.

Mr. Bolton’s exit, announced by Mr. Trump on Twitter on Tuesday, following Mr. Trump’s revelation that he had scheduled — and then scrapped — plans to meet with the Taliban for peace talks at Camp David, dramatized the rift.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, praised Mr. Bolton’s leadership on Wednesday in comments that appeared to be directed at the White House.

“He knows there are many threats to American interests and that those threats will not recede if we retreat,” Mr. McConnell said from the Senate floor. “He understands that American leadership is essential to keeping these threats and enemies at bay, and that our partners and allies rarely act without us.”

Mr. Romney called Mr. Bolton’s departure “an extraordinary loss for our nation and the White House,” expressing deep concern about how Mr. Trump would move forward in Afghanistan following his departure.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160518498_13917e1f-2d33-4607-b27e-2dfa024aa2eb-articleLarge Bolton Ouster Underscores a G.O.P. Divided on Foreign Policy United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Republican Party Defense and Military Forces Bolton, John R Afghanistan War (2001- )

“I’ve talked to him dozens of times and I do believe the president wants to end the war in Afghanistan,” Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, said.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

“We have to regroup and decide how we’re going to proceed, but it’s certainly essential that Afghanistan not be allowed to return as a base for terrorist activity,” said Mr. Romney, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee. “And that will mean an ongoing American presence there unless we see a very different response from the Taliban.”

Ms. Cheney, an ally of the president, had expressed alarm about Mr. Trump’s apparent willingness to host the Taliban at the presidential retreat.

“Camp David is where America’s leaders met to plan our response after Al Qaeda, supported by the Taliban, killed 3,000 Americans,” Ms. Cheney, wrote on Twitter. “No member of the Taliban should set foot there. Ever. The Taliban still harbors Al Qaeda. The President is right to end the talks.”

But in the Senate, Rand Paul of Kentucky, a libertarian-minded Republican who has made disengaging from foreign military conflict a calling card, hastily scheduled a conference call with reporters to congratulate Mr. Trump for jettisoning Mr. Bolton.

During a separate interview, on the heels of the president’s decision to abandon negotiations with the Taliban, Mr. Paul again made the case for a withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan.

“I think they will fight until the end of time,” Mr. Paul said, noting that he has several family members and friends in the military. “I have a tough time sending them to potentially lose their lives in Afghanistan when I can’t delineate what their mission is, the reason we’re there any more.”

Mr. Trump’s allies argued that Mr. Bolton’s departure signaled that Mr. Trump was reasserting his own stamp on foreign policy.

“There are several areas where there’s been this sincere philosophical conflict and this is certainly one of them,” said Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

“The president is very hawkish when it comes to dealing with the economic realm, but when it comes to war fighting, he’s got that more populist, even libertarian strain to him,” said Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota, who is an ally of the president and sits on the Armed Services Committee. “The Bolton dismissal is an outcome of that push and pull,” Mr. Cramer continued, adding that Mr. Bolton “pushed maybe too hard.”

It is not the first time the president’s foreign policy has left Republican lawmakers crosswise with the White House, provoking their dissent in a way that perhaps no other issue has. In June, when Mr. Trump abruptly reversed his decision to launch a military strike against Iran after an American spy plane was shot down, national security hawks in his party, including Ms. Cheney, publicly lamented the decision. Mr. McConnell led Senate Republicans in January — as well as a group of Democrats — in delivering a pointed rebuke of the president’s announced withdrawal of United States military forces from Syria and Afghanistan.

Those who have frequently found themselves in lock step with Mr. Bolton, a cadre of hawkish lawmakers, many of whom have defense and military backgrounds, are now without a key ally in the White House. But they walked away early this week with a victory, praising Mr. Trump’s decision to cancel the negotiations to end the war with the Taliban. Those lawmakers have argued that Mr. Trump must not withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan based on a political timetable, and that any deal with the Taliban should be viewed with the utmost skepticism.

“We can’t just wish the war away because it’s been long, hard and difficult,” said Representative Michael Waltz, Republican of Florida, who is a former Army Special Forces officer who served in Afghanistan. “Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. And in my view, we need to stay on offense, we need to keep our foot on their neck, we need them worrying about where they can sleep at night.”

The president’s frequent changes of heart on national security issues have also taught Republicans to hope that on crucial decisions, he will oscillate toward their preferred approach. He routinely voices frustration with the worldview that suggests the United States bears responsibility for patrolling the globe, and on Monday groused that soldiers in Afghanistan were serving, to a large extent, as policemen. Those comments have stoked hope among noninterventionists like Mr. Paul that the president will follow his instincts and make good on his campaign pledge.

“I’ve talked to him dozens of times, and I do believe the president wants to end the war in Afghanistan,” Mr. Paul said. “But he’s surrounded by people telling him all kinds of reasons why he can’t.”

Intent on ensuring Mr. Trump delivers on his campaign promise to end the forever wars, organizations like FreedomWorks, a libertarian advocacy group associated with the Tea Party, and Concerned Veterans for America, one of the arms of the Koch network, have mounted lobbying campaigns on Capitol Hill in an effort to provide political cover for Republicans who back ending military engagement in Afghanistan. They have found support from strident conservatives in the House, like Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida and Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona.

“At the end of the day, we didn’t end up in an endless war in Syria or Iran, and I think that is more reflective of the president’s view than his staff’s,” said Mr. Gaetz, a close ally of Mr. Trump. “I think the president has been pretty consistent in his desire to not start a new forever war, and I think the country can even be more heartened in that ideology with Mr. Bolton’s departure.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jeb Bush shames ‘irate passengers’ complaining about airport security on 9/11

Westlake Legal Group 7a5dd4105fb60acb2d8e206337d9d12cw-c0xd-w640_h480_q80 Jeb Bush shames ‘irate passengers’ complaining about airport security on 9/11 fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/terror/september-11 fox-news/us/terror/al-qaeda fox-news/us/terror fox-news/travel fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 0f7f6fe9-463b-5f86-8a13-cfa4d8c4db46

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush expressed disbelief Wednesday after witnessing two incidents of travelers getting angry about security measures at an airport — on the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

“I am flying today and have seen two incidences where irate passengers are challenging basic security measures,” Bush tweeted. “On September 11. Amazing. I appreciate the patience and professionalism of American Airlines personnel.”

Bush – who made a White House run in 2016 – is the younger brother of George W. Bush, who was president during 9/11 when Al Qaeda terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people after hijacking three airplanes and flying them into the World Trade Center complex in New York City and the Pentagon, outside of Washington, D.C. Another plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was also hijacked but crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers thwarted the terrorists’ attempts to steer the plane to Washington.

RUDY GIULIANI REVEALS WHAT HE SAID ABOUT BIN LADEN TO GEORGE W. BUSH AFTER 9/11

Since the 9/11 attacks, security at airports across the nation has remained heightened and a number of additional measures were implemented.

One of the biggest changes post-9/11 was the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, which came into being when Congress passed a law creating the security organization only a few months after the attack. Before 9/11, airport security was generally handled by private security companies.

One of the main tasks of TSA agents is to inspect travelers and their luggage for weapons, explosive devices and any other banned substances before they head to their gate. This is why – unless a person has TSA PreCheck – travelers have to take off jackets, hats, shoes and belts, and empty their pockets before passing through body-scanning devices.

Along with the routine screening measures, some travelers, especially those on watchlists or who fit a certain profile, are selected for additional screening measures by TSA officials.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The agency also regulates what travelers can carry on planes with items like knives, box cutters, darts, baseball bats and scissors now banned. The TSA further limits the amount of liquid travelers can take through security.

The 9/11 attacks saw changes inside the airplane too, with cockpits being sealed and locked to prevent passengers from entering and an increase of air marshals on flights.

While all the extra security has forced travelers to arrive at airports much earlier than before the attacks – with it being recommended that travelers show up three hours before their flight when traveling international – it has also been credited with preventing a similar type of attack to the one witnessed 18 years ago.

Westlake Legal Group 7a5dd4105fb60acb2d8e206337d9d12cw-c0xd-w640_h480_q80 Jeb Bush shames ‘irate passengers’ complaining about airport security on 9/11 fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/terror/september-11 fox-news/us/terror/al-qaeda fox-news/us/terror fox-news/travel fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 0f7f6fe9-463b-5f86-8a13-cfa4d8c4db46   Westlake Legal Group 7a5dd4105fb60acb2d8e206337d9d12cw-c0xd-w640_h480_q80 Jeb Bush shames ‘irate passengers’ complaining about airport security on 9/11 fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/terror/september-11 fox-news/us/terror/al-qaeda fox-news/us/terror fox-news/travel fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 0f7f6fe9-463b-5f86-8a13-cfa4d8c4db46

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jerry Falwell asks FBI to investigate alleged ‘criminal conspiracy’ against him by former Liberty U officials

Liberty University President  Jerry Falwell Jr. said he’s asked the FBI to investigate a “criminal conspiracy” against him that he alleges has been orchestrated by disgruntled former board members and employees of the evangelical Christian college.

Falwell said Tuesday he has evidence the former members shared emails belonging to the Lynchburg, Va.university with reporters in an attempt to damage his reputation.

“Our attorneys have determined that this small group of former board members and employees, they’re involved in a criminal conspiracy, are working together to steal Liberty property in the form of emails and provided them to reporters,” Falwell told The Hill.

JERRY FALWELL JR. DENIES REPORT OF MICHAEL COHEN’S HELP SOUGHT IN ALLEGED ‘RACY PHOTO’ MATTER

The accusations come after Politico published a story Monday, citing unnamed sources only described as current or former officials or associates of Falwell, alleging the university president “presides over a culture of self-dealing” that has inappropriately benefited him and his family.

Westlake Legal Group Jerry-Falwell-Jr-AP Jerry Falwell asks FBI to investigate alleged 'criminal conspiracy' against him by former Liberty U officials Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/religion/evangelical fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/education fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox news fnc/us fnc article 273ecc91-1020-5022-9d05-d833c26c1598

Jerry Falwell Jr., pictured here in November 2016, said Tuesday he has asked the FBI to investigate what he called a “criminal” smear campaign against him by former Liberty University board members and employees. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Falwell, one of President Trump’s earliest and staunchest supporters, has also come under increased scrutiny recently over his personal life and business investments, including his involvement in a Miami hostel.

Falwell claimed the emails were leaked as part of an “attempted coup” to oust him as school president, in part because of his support for Trump and the school’s financial stress following the death of his father — Rev. Jerry Falwell, the evangelist who founded Liberty and served as Moral Majority leader before dying in 2007 — as “leverage to take over.”

Speaking to the Associated Press, Falwell said he’s “not going to dignify the lies that were reported yesterday with a response, but I am going to the authorities and I am going to civil court.” He referred to the reporter who wrote the story as a “little boy.”

Falwell added Liberty University has hired “the meanest lawyer in New York,” whom he declined to identify, to pursue civil cases. Falwell also declined to identify the people he said were spreading the emails.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Liberty owns every single one of those emails. It’s our property. They were working for us when they used our server,” he told the AP. “Our policies make it clear every email sent on our server is owned by Liberty and if anybody shares it with anybody outside Liberty, it is theft. And so that’s the underlying crime.”

Liberty was founded in 1971 with just 154 students, but now boasts an enrollment of more than 100,000, including those in its massive online education program. It has become an influential hub of conservative politics, frequented by candidates courting evangelical voters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Jerry-Falwell-Jr-AP Jerry Falwell asks FBI to investigate alleged 'criminal conspiracy' against him by former Liberty U officials Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/religion/evangelical fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/education fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox news fnc/us fnc article 273ecc91-1020-5022-9d05-d833c26c1598   Westlake Legal Group Jerry-Falwell-Jr-AP Jerry Falwell asks FBI to investigate alleged 'criminal conspiracy' against him by former Liberty U officials Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/religion/evangelical fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/education fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox news fnc/us fnc article 273ecc91-1020-5022-9d05-d833c26c1598

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Sen. Cruz urges Trump administration to block China’s next UN power play

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085069975001_6085057578001-vs Sen. Cruz urges Trump administration to block China’s next UN power play fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox news fnc/politics fnc Ben Evansky article 9c29e70d-9eb7-59d1-820c-f5a7d8d5231b

Sen. Ted Cruz is calling on the Trump administration to block China from installing a controversial former head of the Hong Kong police force at the helm of a United Nations office meant to fight drug trafficking, organized crime and corruption.

China’s candidate Andy Tsang-Wai-hung was nominated by Beijing earlier this summer to be the next executive director of the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). His candidacy, critics warn, marks yet another sign of China’s growing influence at the world body.

The annual budget of the organization for the year is around a quarter-billion dollars. Texas Republican Sen. Cruz — who has sponsored legislation to halt Chinese infiltration on U.S. campuses and research institutions — told Fox News in a statement that such Chinese efforts need to be stymied.

HONG KONG’S CARRIE LAM FORMALLY WITHDRAWS EXTRADITION BILL

“The Chinese Communist Party has systematically pursued a policy of joining and exploiting international organizations to advance their agenda. The pattern is the same across issues as varied as the WTO, Internet governance, Interpol, and human rights bodies,” he said.

The Texas senator who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called on the administration to make sure Beijing is halted in its ambitions.

“The UN has no business putting yet another Communist Party cutout in a leadership position, especially one with a direct history of advancing China’s abuses in Hong Kong. The Trump administration should use its voice and vote to block this appointment.”

As Hong Kong police chief in 2014, Tsang was credited with putting down pro-democracy protesters who demanded democratic elections for chief executive. More recently he served as China’s deputy director for its narcotics control commission.

Gordon Chang, a China expert, told Fox News that Tsang was “known to be a hardliner” when he ran the Hong Kong police.

“[He] headed the police in 2014 when the police used tear gas during the Occupy protests,” Chang said. “The use of tear gas reignited the protests as ordinary citizens immediately turned off their televisions and took to the streets to show their indignation. Tsang, whether he made the decision to use tear gas or merely followed the orders of Chief Executive C. Y. Leung, was held responsible for one of the worst moves during that time.”

HONG KONG POLICE ARREST AT LEAST 3 PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS

Chang also noted Tsang’s current position. “Any candidate proposed for a drug enforcement post by a one-party state behind some of the world’s most dangerous drug networks should be rejected out of hand.” He said Tsang did not stop China’s fentanyl rings “even though he had all the tools of a semi-totalitarian state at his disposal.”

He asked: “Is he really going to be more effective because he would move to Vienna? This would be a hideous appointment.”

But Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said over the summer that Tsang’s candidacy demonstrated, “China’s concrete action in support of multilateralism and work of the UN. We will devote more efforts to fighting transnational organized crime and strengthening international counter-narcotic cooperation.”

China in recent years has become the second-largest contributor to the U.N. after the U.S., and has sought to widen its sphere of influence. It now runs four out of 15 U.N. specialized agencies.

A State Department official recently stated to Fox News that the U.S. was not retreating from the U.N. and said the administration was well aware of China’s ambitions.

“China’s concerted push has more to do with advancing its self-serving interests and authoritarian model than demonstrating genuine leadership consistent with the principles and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the U.N Charter,” the official said.

And while some diplomats at the U.N. feel Tsang’s candidacy is unlikely to result in another win for China, the government’s U.N. engagement is on full display all the same.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

A Heritage Foundation report titled, “How the U.S. Should Address Rising Influences at the United Nations,” authored by senior research fellow Brett Schaefer a senior research fellow, noted China’s rise at the U.N. is “not a recent phenomenon.” The claim runs against news reports that assert China’s ascension is due to the Trump administration’s pullback from the world body.

The report also said the U.S. should “focus its effort and resources on countering Chinese influence, advancing U.S. policy preferences, and increasing employment of U.S. nationals, particularly in senior positions, in those organizations whose remit affects key U.S. interests.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to announce his pick for the Vienna job in the coming months.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085069975001_6085057578001-vs Sen. Cruz urges Trump administration to block China’s next UN power play fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox news fnc/politics fnc Ben Evansky article 9c29e70d-9eb7-59d1-820c-f5a7d8d5231b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085069975001_6085057578001-vs Sen. Cruz urges Trump administration to block China’s next UN power play fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox news fnc/politics fnc Ben Evansky article 9c29e70d-9eb7-59d1-820c-f5a7d8d5231b

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

‘Big Brother’ in the Sky: Cathay Pacific Workers Feel China’s Pressure

HONG KONG — Mixe Lee’s bosses showed him two Facebook posts. One criticized police for how they handled the antigovernment demonstrations that have rocked the city of Hong Kong since June. Their question for Mr. Lee, a Cathay Pacific Airways flight attendant: Did he write them?

Mr. Lee denied it, though he had. Then on Thursday, a week after the interrogation, he joined the ranks of those fired by Cathay Pacific after expressing political views that could anger the Chinese government.

“I had never thought that the company would pick on my political orientation,” said Mr. Lee, a 30-year-old flight attendant who had worked at the carrier’s Cathay Dragon regional airline for three and a half years.

Cathay Pacific is fighting for its survival, and its employees risk becoming collateral damage. The Hong Kong-based airline is perhaps the most vulnerable of the global businesses caught between the city’s pro-democracy protesters and a Chinese government that has labeled them violent radicals. China wants the business world to take its side, and it is threatening to withhold access to its big and growing market from companies that don’t.

Beijing has threatened to close off Chinese airspace to Cathay unless it contains its employees. But many of Cathay’s 26,000 Hong Kong-based employees sympathize with the protesters.

The result is what many in Cathay call “the white terror,” a name that harkens back to Taiwan’s bloody anti-Communist crackdown in past decades. Nearly two dozen current and former employees described an atmosphere of fear. Many are deactivating their social media accounts, or changing the photos on their profiles so that their managers won’t recognize them.

“You can feel the distance between colleagues,” said Jack Tung, a 32-year-old Cathay Pacific purser who also serves as a first aid provider during Hong Kong’s protests. “I can’t trust those whom I don’t know because I’m not sure whether they would report me to management. It’s like a ‘the Big Brother is watching you’ scenario, especially when you are in the air.”

Those who fly to China say they face even more scrutiny from Chinese air officials, who comb planes after they land for foreign publications that cover the protests and put employees through onerous screening.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_145808184_40f0c2e7-40a0-4c97-9899-f398df355e8b-articleLarge ‘Big Brother’ in the Sky: Cathay Pacific Workers Feel China’s Pressure Swire Pacific Limited Social Media Politics and Government Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Flight Attendants Demonstrations, Protests and Riots China Cathay Pacific Airways Airlines and Airplanes

Cathay Pacific staff at the Hong Kong International Airport.CreditAlex Hofford/Epa-Efe, via Rex

It is not clear how many employees have been fired or suspended. Cathay Pacific did not respond to several requests for comment. In previous statements, it has condemned violent protests, expressed support for Hong Kong’s government and police force, and said it has no choice but to comply with Chinese safety directives.

“We have been Hong Kong’s home carrier for many decades,” a recent statement said. “This is our home. We have grown with this great city and are committed to remaining at the heart of its future growth and success.”

On Wednesday, citing a drop in August traffic, Cathay said it would trim its growth plans. The problems could continue. While city leaders have canceled a bill that would have allowed extraditions of criminal suspects to the mainland, a catalyst for the protests, they have continued over other problems.

Hong Kong’s protests and Beijing’s growing willingness to intercede in the city’s affairs could profoundly change how people work and do business in the Asian financial capital. Cathay, for example, is controlled by Swire Pacific, one of a handful of conglomerates that can trace their history to Hong Kong’s early British colonial era, and have long been dominated by non-Chinese executives. Because it depends so much on business in China, it faces growing pressure to show its loyalty.

“If they want to gain better access to the Chinese market to do business better and easier, foreign companies want to satisfy the nationalistic preferences to the extent they can,” said Zhiwu Chen, a professor of economics at the University of Hong Kong. “Given that background, native Chinese executives are more likely to develop better personal connections on the mainland, either with officials or with other business executives.”

Last month, as Beijing piled pressure on the airline, the company named Augustus Tang, a 60-year-old longtime Cathay and Swire employee, as its new chief executive, replacing Rupert Hogg, the British-born executive who led the company for only two years.

Cathay also sent a strong message to employees that public support for the protests would not be tolerated. Managers recirculated company guidelines that call for workers to blow the whistle on each other. It fired a pilot who had been arrested during a protest and fired two staffers who were accused of leaking the personal travel details of Hong Kong police officers who were traveling to the mainland for a soccer event, a disclosure that angered Chinese media amid doxxing accusations on both sides.

Tensions worsened in recent days after three flights originating in Hong Kong were found to be carrying depleted oxygen bottles, which would be used by cabin crews if a plane were to depressurize, raising questions in local news media over whether sabotage was the cause. Cathay said it had suspended the cabin crews involved and was investigating the incidents.

Flight attendants demanding a pay raise protested at the departure hall of the Hong Kong Airport in 2011.CreditBobby Yip/Reuters

Cathay has not always had smooth relations with its employees. In 2012 and 2015 it narrowly avoided strikes by flight attendants over pay, and just last year it said it would abandon a widely loathed skirts-only policy for female cabin crew members.

But current and former employees describe what had once been a more open and collegial workplace. Employees were encouraged to admit mistakes with minimal fear of retribution so they could discuss ways to improve their performance. Flight crews openly discussed politics and other sensitive issues.

“The company used to teach us about teamwork,” said Katherine Sin, a 36-year-old flight attendant for nine years. “Our motto was ‘People. They make an airline.’ But now everyone is stabbing other people in the back.”

Ms. Sin said Cathay managers called her into their offices at Cathay City, the company’s glassy complex near Hong Kong’s airport, two weeks after Mr. Hogg’s resignation. They showed her screenshots of her Facebook and Instagram accounts criticizing the police, including one that said, “If at this point you still support the government and the police, I don’t think you can call yourself a human.” All the posts were made before Mr. Hogg resigned, she said.

Ms. Sin denied the accounts were hers, though they were. She believed that she would be immediately fired if she admitted to them, she said, and that she had not violated company policy. She was fired on Thursday.

“I dedicated myself to the company,” Ms. Sin said. “I loved my company. I used to say proudly to other people that I was a stewardess from Cathay Pacific. But now I can’t say that anymore. I’m too heartbroken.”

Employees have also been questioned about what they wrote more privately.

Joi Lam, a 36-year-old flight purser at Cathay Pacific for 12 years, said she was summoned to an urgent management meeting on Aug. 30. Managers showed her two screenshots from a private WhatsApp group she had created for colleagues who were also mothers, in which she suggested buying helmets, face masks, food and other supplies for the protesters.

Like the other employees interviewed by The New York Times, she initially denied the posts were hers. She was later fired.

“I feel I was just an employee reference number to the company,” said Ms. Lam, who believes another employee in the WhatsApp group showed her posts to management. “They can delete whoever they want from the system without hesitation.”

Flight crews who travel to China face even more scrutiny from local regulators, said several employees, though they noted that the attention had eased in recent days. Some workers described longer-than-normal flight delays at Chinese airports and regulators searching cabins for periodicals that cover the protests. Others have had to go through searches by security officials, even for those who had to fly out again.

Several Cathay employees asked for anonymity for fear of reprisal. Many employees said they would have a difficult time finding similar jobs elsewhere. Departing workers would have to take their chances with a foreign airline, a regional airline or one of China’s state-run carriers.

Mr. Tung, the purser, did not ask for anonymity. He said he expects to be fired for talking publicly about Cathay’s problems. The risk, he said, is worth it.

“I hope that by making public what’s happening to the company, I can protect my colleagues,” Mr. Tung said. “If I don’t have the right to talk freely, then what use is this job?”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Former CIA station chief Hoffman on disputed CNN story about Russian spy: Leakers committed ‘grave transgression’

Westlake Legal Group Daniel-Hoffman-CNN-FOX-AP Former CIA station chief Hoffman on disputed CNN story about Russian spy: Leakers committed 'grave transgression' fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 7c25ebb6-6afe-5331-b511-3f3081ea9f17

Former CIA station chief Daniel Hoffman said Wednesday that government leakers have “committed a grave transgression against our national security” following a disputed CNN story that claimed the CIA had to extract a spy from Russia partly based on fears around President Trump’s handling of classified information.

Hoffman, a Fox News contributor who served in Moscow, Pakistan and Iraq, said on “The Brian Kilmeade Show” that he takes particular issue with unnamed officials who spoke anonymously to the media about the spy extraction.

The CNN report cited “multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge” of the matter.

“I don’t know how these people, who gave up this information; frankly, they should be more than just ashamed. They’ve really committed a grave transgression against our national security,” Hoffman said.

The CIA on Monday evening slammed what it called CNN’s “misguided” and “simply false” reporting, after the cable channel’s chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, authored a hole-filled piece claiming that the CIA had pulled a high-level spy out of Russia because Trump had “repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.”

The extraordinary CIA rebuke came as The New York Times published a bombshell piece late in the evening, which largely contradicted CNN’s reporting. According to the Times, CIA officials “made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia” — weeks before Trump even took office.

Concerns about media reporting on Russian election interference drove the decision, according to the Times, which described the source as “the American government’s best insight into the thinking of and orders” from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Hoffman noted the grave danger faced by CIA assets around the world, especially those “behind enemy lines” in places like Russia. He stressed that Putin has been “ruthless” about targeting suspected spies, noting the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom.

“Putin doesn’t want his own people to think that if they spy on Russia, that they could be resettled comfortably in the U.K. — as we’ve seen with the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal — or in the United States,” he said.

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Daniel-Hoffman-CNN-FOX-AP Former CIA station chief Hoffman on disputed CNN story about Russian spy: Leakers committed 'grave transgression' fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 7c25ebb6-6afe-5331-b511-3f3081ea9f17   Westlake Legal Group Daniel-Hoffman-CNN-FOX-AP Former CIA station chief Hoffman on disputed CNN story about Russian spy: Leakers committed 'grave transgression' fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 7c25ebb6-6afe-5331-b511-3f3081ea9f17

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com