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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 170)

Is growing ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’ movement dangerous or patriotic?

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-8470ee0d7b1f416f9e51493409efa4ea Is growing 'Second Amendment sanctuary' movement dangerous or patriotic? Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc cec38831-127a-576b-9ea1-428edf28ea30 article

The Virginia Beach City Council voted Monday to add the city to a growing list of nearly 100 cities and counties that have joined the “Second Amendment sanctuary” movement in the commonwealth of Virginia, but some critics are decrying the trend as lawless.

The city council resolution declared a “continued commitment to support all provisions of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

Measures passed in other cities and counties differ, but all share a common purpose: opposition to anticipated new gun control laws coming out of the now Democratically controlled state government in Richmond.

“People — in rural counties especially — they get a little upset when all of a sudden something that they could do one day … then the next day it’s illegal, that kind of strikes a chord,” said Shenandoah County Sheriff and Virginia Sheriffs Association president Tim Carter on Fox Nation’s “Deep Dive” on Tuesday.

“Is the United States Constitution not the law? Isn’t that the supreme law of the land?” he continued, arguing that proposed legislation in Richmond may infringe of his constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

“The Constitution — we all have a duty to uphold it,” said criminal defense attorney and civil rights attorney Ken Belkin.  “I’m sure the sheriff swore an oath to it. I know I swore an oath to it. But the reality is there was an election. Elections have consequences. And unfortunately, with all due respect to the sheriff, he doesn’t get to decide. … He doesn’t get to decide which laws he enforces.”

“I think the proper thing to do would be for any gun-owning Virginian that’s going to be affected by this law,” Belkin continued. “that would have standing to challenge this law, to bring it into court, challenge the law, and maybe ask for an injunction on the law taking effect.”

A recent opinion piece in the Washington Post called the called referred to the “Second Amendment sanctuary” movement as “ugly” and “disturbing.” Seth Lipsky, founding editor of The New York Sun, argued that is, in fact, the opposite.

“I would start with just how basic and important the Second Amendment right is,” said Lipsky. “This is a really basic right and predates the Constitution.”

“I think it’s very significant that Sheriff Carter and every other sheriff in the United States must — must it’s required by our Constitution — swear to support the Constitution,” he continued. “So if a sheriff is confronted with a law that he thinks is conflicting with the constitution he’s sworn to support” they must be taken seriously

Lipsky concluded by saying that that U.S. Supreme Court must do more to settle disputes over the Second Amendment, because the debate is coming to a head in Virginia and around the country.

“What the sheriffs are doing in Virginia — they’re not alone,” said Lipsky. “There are others in the state of Washington — some of these western states. This has been a movement already. … This is a serious question. And the Supreme Court has moved by inches or microns, and it’s really shocking.”

To watch all of “Deep Dive” go to Fox Nation and sign up today.

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Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-8470ee0d7b1f416f9e51493409efa4ea Is growing 'Second Amendment sanctuary' movement dangerous or patriotic? Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc cec38831-127a-576b-9ea1-428edf28ea30 article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-8470ee0d7b1f416f9e51493409efa4ea Is growing 'Second Amendment sanctuary' movement dangerous or patriotic? Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc cec38831-127a-576b-9ea1-428edf28ea30 article

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Defense Secretary Says Iran Was Within Days of Attacking U.S. Interests: Live Updates

Here are the latest developments:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166799313_fc11a71a-d128-42d3-9a9e-b44afefc71b0-articleLarge Defense Secretary Says Iran Was Within Days of Attacking U.S. Interests: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

A vigil for General Suleimani in Tehran on Tuesday evening.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Tuesday that Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was planning attacks to occur within days, laying out the administration’s legal justification for killing the Iranian commander in a drone strike.

Americans officials have been pressed over their claims that they targeted General Suleimani to forestall imminent attacks against U.S. interests.

At a Pentagon news conference Tuesday, Mr. Esper was asked whether attacks had been expected in days or weeks. “I think it’s more fair to say days,” the defense secretary said.

He declined to offer more details, nor to describe the intelligence underpinning that assessment.

Mr. Esper said General Suleimani, who was killed Friday in Iraq, “was in Baghdad to coordinate additional attacks.”

“He’s been conducting terrorist activities against us and our coalition partners for over 20 years,” Mr. Esper said. “He has the blood of hundreds of Americans, soldiers, on his hands and wounded thousands more. And then we could talk about all of the mayhem he’s caused against the Syrian people, the people of Lebanon. Even his own people in Iran.”

He added: “To somehow suggest that he wasn’t a legitimate target, I think, is fanciful. He was clearly on the battlefield.”

Mr. Esper also said that despite to an unsigned draft letter from the American military command in Baghdad on troop withdrawal and a unanimous vote by the Iraqi Parliament, the United States does not plan to pull its troops out of Iraq right now.

The Pentagon has made preparations in anticipation of Iranian retaliation, Mr. Esper said, and American troops in the Middle East are on a heightened state of alert.

“I think we should expect that they will retaliate in some way, shape or form,” Mr. Esper told a news conference at the Pentagon. “We’re prepared for any contingency and then we’ll respond appropriately to whatever they do.”

President Trump on Tuesday told reporters he would avoid targeting cultural sites in military attacks, walking back a threat he made against Iran days earlier.

Following a bipartisan and international uproar, Mr. Trump conceded that striking such sites would amount to a war crime. “If that’s what the law is, I like to obey the law,” he said in the Oval Office as he hosted the visiting prime minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

His remarks to reporters came a day after Mark T. Esper, the secretary of defense, said striking Iranian cultural sites with no military value would be a war crime. That appeared to put him at odds with his boss.

“We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” the defense secretary said at a news briefing at the Pentagon on Monday when asked if cultural sites would be targeted.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump declared that the United States had identified 52 potential targets in Iran, some “important to Iran & the Iranian culture.”

None of them qualified as cultural sites, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified.

But the president’s threats and his initial refusal to back down in the face of criticism generated condemnation at home and abroad while deeply discomfiting American military leaders.

Reports reached Washington on Tuesday that an Iraqi military base where American troops are deployed was rocketed by Iran or its proxy forces.

But officials subsequently said the early report of an attack appeared to be false.

Bases in Iraq are routinely hit by rockets and mortar fire.

NATO is removing some of the trainers who have been working with Iraqi soldiers battling the Islamic State, in the wake of the American killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

On Monday, the NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, announced that training had been temporarily suspended.

Describing security of NATO personnel, the organization said in a statement that it would be taking precautions — including “the temporary repositioning of some personnel to different locations both inside and outside Iraq.’’

NATO “maintains a presence in Iraq’’ and remains committed “to fighting international terrorism,” an official said, but refused to provide “operational details’’ about troop movements.

NATO has had roughly 500 soldiers doing the training.

Some NATO countries, like Canada, Germany and Croatia, have announced that they are moving troops out of Iraq altogether, at least temporarily, because of security concerns.

Canada is temporarily moving to Kuwait some of its 500 military personnel based in Iraq, the country’s top military official, Gen. Jonathan Vance said in a letter posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

Thirty of the 120 German soldiers in Iraq will be sent to Jordan and Kuwait, while others will remain positioned in the less volatile Kurdistan region, the German defense and foreign ministries said in a joint letter to the German parliament, the Bundestag.

“When the training is able to resume, the military personnel can be reinstated,” the letter said.

Croatia has also moved its small contingent of soldiers — 14 — from Iraq, with seven bound for Kuwait and the rest headed home, the Croatian Defense Ministry said. Slovakia has also removed its seven soldiers.

Some NATO troops began leaving Baghdad’s Green Zone in helicopters Monday night. The NATO training mission began in 2018 at Iraq’s request.

The killing of General Suleimani initially jolted oil markets, but the surge in prices has eased. On Tuesday afternoon, the Brent crude oil benchmark was down about 1.5 percent, to about $67.87 a barrel.

Analysts attribute the modesty of the increase to market skepticism that Iran will seek to hobble oil trading by, for example, closing the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow channel that many oil tankers have to pass through when they leave the Persian Gulf.

Oil flows have not been disrupted, so far, and the markets are “pricing in just a low probability of something happening,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil market research at Rystad Energy, a research firm.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 07iran-briefing5-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Defense Secretary Says Iran Was Within Days of Attacking U.S. Interests: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

As Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani’s body was taken home for burial, a crush is believed to have killed dozens of mourners who crowded the streets of Kerman, Iran.CreditCredit…Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iranian state-run news outlets reported a deadly stampede during the funeral procession for General Suleimani in his hometown, Kerman, in southeastern Iran, on Tuesday.

Millions were reported to have flooded the town’s streets to witness the procession for the general, who was killed in an American drone strike in Baghdad last week. His death has fanned smoldering tensions between the United States and Iran, and fueled fears of a broader conflict.

The crowding and subsequent stampede in Kerman led to General Suleimani’s burial being postponed, state news media reported. It is still unclear when he will be buried.

Photographs of the procession showed an elaborately decorated truck carrying General Suleimani’s coffin through streets packed densely with mourners, many wearing black and carrying pictures of the dead commander.

“Unfortunately, as a result of a stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions,” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of the Iranian emergency medical services, told the news agency IRIB.

Fifty-six people died and 213 were injured, the broadcaster IRIB reported on its website.

Images and videos posted on social media showed the aftermath of the crush, with emergency workers and bystanders attempting to resuscitate people lying on the ground. The lifeless bodies of other victims, jackets covering their faces, could be seen nearby.

The general’s body had been flown to Kerman after a funeral in Tehran on Monday that had brought even bigger crowds into the streets of the Iranian capital.

In a fiery speech made in General Suleimani’s hometown on Tuesday, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps vowed to “set ablaze” places where Americans and their allies live.

“We will take revenge — a revenge that will be tough, strong, decisive and finishing and will make them regret,” the corps’s leader, Hossein Salami, said on Tuesday in a front of a crowd of mourners. “We will set ablaze the place they like, and they know where it is.”

“Today, the seeds of hatred for the U.S. have been sown in the hearts of Muslims,” he added, according to Fars, an Iranian news agency associated with the Revolutionary Guards.

The pledge to seek vengeance echoed the rhetoric of many of the country’s leaders since General Suleimani’s killing on Friday. “Death to Israel,” the crowd chanted back, according to news reports. Israel, a close ally of the United States, has long been an enemy of Iran.

Thousands of mourners, dressed in black and carrying photos of General Suleimani, crowded the central square of Kerman, where the general’s body was taken for burial after a funeral procession on Monday in Tehran, the capital.

Before arriving in Kerman, the general’s remains were taken to the holy city of Qom, where thousands of residents came out, hoping for a chance to touch the coffin of a man the state has declared a martyr.

On Monday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept and offered prayers over General Suleimani’s coffin at the enormous state funeral. The ayatollah, Iran’s supreme leader, had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the country’s second-most powerful man.

General Suleimani’s successor swore revenge during Monday’s ceremony.

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger,” said Esmail Ghaani, the Iranian general who will succeed General Suleimani as head of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of the Revolutionary Guards. “Certainly, actions will be taken,” he added.

With the American role in the Middle East in flux, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia flew to Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday for a victory lap of sorts.

Highlighting Russia’s newfound influence in the region, Mr. Putin met with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the strongman whose rule was largely rescued by Russian military intervention in Syria’s civil war.

Mr. Putin told Mr. al-Assad that “one can now confidently state that huge strides have been made in restoring Syrian statehood and the territorial integrity of the country,” a Kremlin statement said.

The Kremlin made no mention of Iran in its description of Mr. Putin’s visit, which had not been announced ahead of time. But Tehran was a crucial partner of Moscow in propping up Mr. al-Assad against Syrian rebels, including those backed by the United States.

Russia has called the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran illegal and expressed condolences to Tehran. On Wednesday, Mr. Putin is scheduled to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in Istanbul, with Syria and Libya on the agenda, according to the Kremlin.

President Emmanuel Macron of France spoke with the president of Iran, Hassan Rohani, by phone on Tuesday afternoon to plead for calm and de-escalation.

Mr. Macron called on Iran to “refrain from any step that might aggravate the escalation already underway,” according to a statement from the Élysée Palace, the seat of the French presidency.

France has tried to play the role of mediator between the Iranians and Americans for months, but in vain.

The French president also called on Iran to respect the 2015 nuclear accord, and to release two French academics, Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, who are being held there, a major source of tension between the two countries.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said on Tuesday that he had been rejected for a visa to attend a Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, confirming reports from American news outlets that he would be barred.

Mr. Zarif, in an interview with the Iranian news outlet Press TV, said that his office had requested a visa weeks ago to participate in the meeting on Thursday, rejecting claims by American officials that they had not had time to process the application.

“The Americans are trying to create the impression that our request to attend the meeting was put forth following the assassination of General Suleimani,” Mr. Zarif said, according to the news outlet, adding, “The question everyone needs to be asking this lawbreaking administration is: What are they so scared of?”

Mr. Zarif later posted on Twitter about the situation, taking aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump.

During a Tuesday morning news conference, Mr. Pompeo was asked about the visa but said he would not comment specifically on visa matters. He added that the United States would “comply with our obligations” under United Nations rules.

Robert C. O’Brien, the American national security adviser, was asked on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning about the visa.

“I don’t think Secretary Pompeo thought that this was the right time for Mr. Zarif to come to the United States, and whenever he comes to New York, he spreads propaganda,” Mr. O’Brien said.

In August, the United States announced sanctions on Mr. Zarif, a seasoned diplomat who helped negotiate the 2015 nuclear deal.

Across the Middle East and the world, United States embassies warned Americans of potential attacks from Iran, as Iranian generals vowed to avenge the senior commander killed in an American drone strike.

In Jerusalem, the embassy told Americans on Monday to watch out for “mortars and rocket fire.” A day earlier, the United States Mission in Saudi Arabia had warned citizens to be prepared for “missile and drone attacks.”

The security alerts follow the targeted killing on Friday of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leading figure in Iran’s foreign-facing intelligence and military operations.

At General Suleimani’s funeral in Tehran on Monday, military commanders promised vengeance. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told advisers that any retaliation against the United States should be direct, proportional and carried out openly by Iran.

That is a startling departure for the Iranian leadership, which has typically cloaked its attacks behind the actions of proxies it has cultivated around the region. But in the fury generated by the killing of General Suleimani, a close ally and personal friend of the supreme leader, the ayatollah was apparently willing to cast aside those traditional cautions.

Warnings to United State citizens were sent by American diplomats not only in the Middle East but also in Asia.

The American Embassy in Beijing, citing “heightened tension in the Middle East,” advised American citizens on Tuesday to keep a low profile, be aware of their surroundings, stay alert in tourist locations, review personal security plans and ensure that their travel documents were updated and accessible. American citizens in South Korea said they had received similar warnings.

American diplomats in the Middle East began sending advisories earlier in the week.

American embassies across the region have been on heightened alert since Dec. 31, when militants, backed by the Iranian government, stormed the embassy in Baghdad. President Trump said the assault was organized by General Suleimani.

Last week, embassies in Baghdad and in Beirut, Lebanon, issued security alerts. Some airlines have halted flights to the Iraqi capital, including EgyptAir, which on Tuesday announced that its flights in and out of the city would stop from Wednesday through Friday.

The Iranian Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill declaring the American military’s top leadership to be “terrorists,” subject to Iranian sanctions, according to news reports in state media.

The bill aimed at the Pentagon’s top brass mirrored a Trump administration policy implemented in April that imposed economic and travel sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as organizations, companies and individuals with ties to it.

That policy represented the first time an arm of a sovereign government had been designated a terrorist organization.

The Defense Department said the killing of General Suleimani was justified in part because of the corps’s terrorist designation. General Suleimani led the Quds Force, a unit of the Revolutionary Guards that conducted intelligence-gathering and attacks outside Iran’s borders.

An official letter from the Defense Department informing Iraq that American troops were “repositioning forces” for “movement out of Iraq” produced headlines around the world saying that an American withdrawal had begun.

But the letter, drafted by the United States military command in Baghdad, was sent out by mistake. The furor it caused prompted Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, to call an urgent news conference to deny the reports.

“It was an honest mistake,” General Milley told reporters at the Pentagon. “That letter is a draft, it was a mistake, it was unsigned, it should not have been released.”

Reporting was contributed by Megan Specia, Russell Goldman, Farnaz Fassihi, David D. Kirkpatrick, Melissa Eddy, Edward Wong, Lara Jakes, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Mark Landler, Helene Cooper, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Adam Nossiter and Anton Troianovski.

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In Reversal, Boeing Recommends 737 Max Simulator Training for Pilots

Westlake Legal Group 07boeing1-facebookJumbo In Reversal, Boeing Recommends 737 Max Simulator Training for Pilots Federal Aviation Administration Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters Airlines and Airplanes

From its inception, Boeing’s 737 Max was designed to save airlines the expense of training their pilots on flight simulators. During the initial approval of the plane and after two crashes killed 346 people last year, Boeing argued in conversations with the Federal Aviation Administration that simulator training was not necessary.

Now, after a worldwide grounding has cost the company billions of dollars over nearly 10 months and caused it to temporarily halt the production of the Max, Boeing has reversed course. On Tuesday, the company said it would recommend that pilots train in flight simulators before flying the Max.

The decision stems from Boeing’s analysis of recent flight simulator tests that were part of the work necessary to return the Max to service, which showed that pilots were not using the right procedures to handle emergencies. Those tests are the latest hurdle for Boeing, which has encountered setback after setback as it tries to fix problems with the Max and persuade regulators that the plane is ready to fly.

The Max has been grounded since March, and Boeing has been working for months on changes to the software that contributed to both accidents. Boeing, the largest aerospace manufacturer in the world and one of the most important companies in the United States, has been roiled by the Max grounding, which still has no end in sight. Last month, the company’s board ousted its chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, who had presided over a deteriorating relationship with the F.A.A. and key airline customers.

His successor is now grappling with a company in crisis, as Boeing shares have declined by 20 percent and it continues to uncover potential flaws with the Max, its most important jet. Boeing said it would temporarily shut down the Max factory this month, and new problems with the Max unrelated to the software have been identified, raising the prospect of further delays.

The training requirement may further complicate efforts to return the plane to service. The final decision on whether to mandate simulator training will be made by the F.A.A., which is likely to follow the company’s advice. The agency still has to complete testing of the plane.

The F.A.A. said it would consider Boeing’s recommendation, adding in a statement that it was “following a thorough process, not a set timeline, to ensure that any design modifications to the 737 Max are integrated with appropriate training and procedures.”

At least one airline, United, has considered requiring its pilots to undergo simulator training whether or not the F.A.A. mandates it, recognizing that it may make the public more comfortable flying on the plane, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Simulator training will add another issue for many airlines, which have struggled with mounting losses throughout the Max crisis. It could delay the return of the Max even after regulatory approval. It will make it more difficult for airlines to schedule pilots and planes. And they may need to buy new, multimillion-dollar simulators to train pilots who are not already flying the 737 NG, the predecessor to the Max.

“This erodes one of the key selling points of the Max in the first place,” Jonathan Raviv, an analyst for Citi, said in a research note.

The Max is the latest update to Boeing’s 737, which has been flying since the 1960s. By making the plane similar to the 737 NG, Boeing was able to persuade regulators that pilots did not need to train on simulators. That was important for Boeing, which faced stiff competition from its chief European rival, Airbus, and was under pressure to produce a plane that could be easily integrated into airlines’ fleets.

In marketing material detailing the “737 Max advantage,” Boeing emphasized that the plane was similar enough to its predecessor that experienced pilots would not need to be taught in simulators. In negotiations with Southwest Airlines while the plane was being developed, Boeing agreed that if the Max required such training, it would give Southwest a discount of $1 million per plane.

But Boeing did make fundamental changes to the plane, including the addition of software known as MCAS, which played a role in both crashes. Initially, pilots were not made aware that the software existed and were not trained on how to react if it was erroneously activated.

Southwest made its first Max order in 2011 based on Boeing’s promise that the airline wouldn’t have to educate its pilots on simulators, which can cost tens of millions of dollars to operate over the life of an aircraft. Instead, airline pilots who were certified to fly the 737 NG took a short course on an iPad to become familiar with the Max.

“You’re out there trying to buy an airplane and negotiate a price and produce your schedule based on a PowerPoint, and you just need to have some guarantees,” Mike Van de Ven, Southwest’s chief operating officer, said in an interview last month.

Representative Peter A. DeFazio, who has been investigating the crashes as the head of the House transportation committee, said in a statement that he supported the decision but was baffled that it had taken so long.

“It’s remarkable that it took two deadly crashes, numerous investigations and untold public pressure before Boeing arrived at this decision,” said Mr. DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat.

Boeing’s decision stems from its analysis of flight simulator tests of the Max it conducted with airline pilots from United, Aeromexico, American Airlines and Southwest last month, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In the tests, which were part of the work involved in evaluating the software update, many of the pilots did not use the correct procedures to handle emergencies, instead relying on their flying skills. Those results raised questions about whether simply informing pilots of which procedures to use would be sufficient to prepare them to fly the plane.

“Safety is Boeing’s top priority,” Greg Smith, the company’s interim chief executive, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Public, customer and stakeholder confidence in the 737 Max is critically important to us, and with that focus Boeing has decided to recommend Max simulator training combined with computer-based training for all pilots prior to returning the Max safely to service.”

Pilots who are certified to fly both the 737 NG and the 737 Max may have to undergo recurrent training for both models. If a 737 NG has a maintenance problem, it will no longer be easy to swap it out for a Max. And if a pilot certified to fly the Max misses a flight, airlines will have to make sure the replacement is certified on the Max, not just the NG.

There are currently 34 certified Max flight simulators worldwide, according to a person familiar with the matter. Airlines may also be able to use the more than 200 737 NG simulators to conduct the training, though it isn’t clear yet whether that is possible.

“We have not been a part of Boeing’s recent discussions regarding their recommendation on pilot training for returning the Max to service,” Southwest said in a statement. “Teams within Southwest have been modeling scenarios for both simulator and computer-based training programs to ensure we’re ready to comply with final recommendations and guidance from the federal regulators. Cost and timing estimates are premature to share ahead of that specific guidance.”

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Federal Judge Invites Scammed Students to Propose Additional Punishments for Betsy DeVos

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Scientists just discovered giant 790,000-year-old meteor crater

A meteor that struck Earth about 790,000 years ago covered 10 percent of the planet with black lumps of debris.

Although scientists know the melted terrestrial rock blanketed eastern Antarctica, the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific for more than 100 years, they were unable to find evidence of the meteor’s impact.

Researchers probed some potential crater sites in southern China and northern Cambodia but ultimately ruled them out.

NASA CAPTURES IMPLODING STAR IN GORGEOUS 3D

Westlake Legal Group asteroid-hitting-earth Scientists just discovered giant 790,000-year-old meteor crater fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone b5671c63-b0ae-542d-8ce0-3aec5e7d65b1 article

Scientists located a crater that resulted from a meteor impact about 790,000 years ago. (Fox News)

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According to a new study, the ancient impact was under a field of cooled volcanic lava that spans almost 2,000 sqare miles in southern Laos on the Bolaven Plateau.

The force of the impact is believed to have created a rim measuring more than 300 feet tall, scientists report in the study.

The scientists found a site in southern Laos where fields of volcanic lava could have hidden signs of an older meteor impact. As Live Science reports, most of the lava flows in this area were also in the right age range: between 51,000 and 780,000 years old.

The findings were published online Dec. 30 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Westlake Legal Group asteroid-hitting-earth Scientists just discovered giant 790,000-year-old meteor crater fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone b5671c63-b0ae-542d-8ce0-3aec5e7d65b1 article   Westlake Legal Group asteroid-hitting-earth Scientists just discovered giant 790,000-year-old meteor crater fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone b5671c63-b0ae-542d-8ce0-3aec5e7d65b1 article

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Hawaii woman bites into sandwich and finds parasite-infested slug

What started out as a gross lunch could turn into a serious medical problem.

A woman claims she bit into a slug that was inside a sandwich she purchased from a deli in Hawaii.

Westlake Legal Group slug-sandwich Hawaii woman bites into sandwich and finds parasite-infested slug Michael Hollan fox-news/health fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 7e49180c-456b-5c6b-b5dc-0348c37dbf75

Chaunda Rodrigues confirmed to Fox News that the slug was turned into a lab for testing. The resulted indicated that it was positive for rat lungworm, a parasite that can infect humans if ingested. (Chaunda Rodrigues)

Chaunda Rodrigues bought two sandwiches from Island Naturals in Hilo last week, Hawaii News Now reported. She says she bit into the slug, unaware that it was in the sandwich.

Rodrigues confirmed to Fox News that the slug was turned in to the Jarvi lab, at the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy in Hawaii, for testing. The results indicated that it was positive for rat lungworm, a parasite that can infect humans if ingested.

RESIDENTS ANNOYED AFTER MCDONALD’S BLASTS BAGPIPE MUSIC TO DETER HOMELESS PEOPLE

“I just want everyone to be aware of the seriousness of rat lungworm and hope the state department of health does more to prevent more people — locals and tourists — from being infected by the parasite,” Rodrigues told Fox News. “There is no recommended prophylactic treatment. I only went to the ER and insisted they treat me because of the local community telling me to take it now before the parasites get to my brain.”

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms for rat lungworm can include nausea, headache, vomiting, a low fever and painful skin sensations.

“The ER doctor told me over the phone there is nothing I could do to prevent myself from getting rat lungworm,” Rodrigues said, “and I need to wait until I experience symptoms before they do a spinal tap to confirm I have the parasite. Then I could be treated.”

“I didn’t want to wait to be infected or wait for my husband or infant to be infected,” she said. “So multiple doctors prescribed us albendazole, and we still don’t have the full amount needed for treatment.”

Rodrigues had shared an avocado from the sandwich with her husband and son before she bit into it.

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Rodrigues claims she isn’t the first person to complain about slugs in the food at Island Naturals in Hilo and that “an inspector went to the establishment and gave them two citations but allowed the kitchen to remain open without any notice to the public.”

Westlake Legal Group slug-sandwich Hawaii woman bites into sandwich and finds parasite-infested slug Michael Hollan fox-news/health fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 7e49180c-456b-5c6b-b5dc-0348c37dbf75   Westlake Legal Group slug-sandwich Hawaii woman bites into sandwich and finds parasite-infested slug Michael Hollan fox-news/health fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 7e49180c-456b-5c6b-b5dc-0348c37dbf75

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Soleimani supporter arrested in Kosovo, allegedly incited terror acts

Westlake Legal Group 83a22288-AP20003060462384 Soleimani supporter arrested in Kosovo, allegedly incited terror acts Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/food-drink/recipes/cuisines/eastern-europe fox news fnc/world fnc article 27601cb8-67c3-54f0-8a66-0fe9b3a5fe54

A woman who criticized the United States on social media for the killing of a top Iranian general was arrested Tuesday in Kosovo.

Ikballe Berisha Huduti will remain in detention for 48 hours pending a court decision for incitement to commit a terrorist offense, Reuters reported.

Prosecutors said Huduti, the founder of a now-defunct pro-Islamic group, posted comments on Facebook that were critical of the Jan. 3 killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, in a drone strike in Iraq last week.

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“By killing the master of the house you have killed all members of the family, then revenge is obligatory but it has no border,” Huduti wrote. In one post, Huduti described Solemani as a “great man,” Radio Free Europe reported.

She said she deleted the posts and that her words were taken out of context. Huduti said she previously praised American democracy and U.S. support for Kosovo in 1999, during the conflict between ethnic Serbs and Albanians in the former Yugoslavia.

U.S. officials said Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops and was planning attacks just before his death. Many leaders in Kosovo have expressed support for the U.S. airstrike.

“I strongly support #US reaction against Iran’s activities in the Middle East that have caused terror, instability and global concern,” Kosovo’s president, Hashim Thaci, tweeted last week. “We stand together in protecting our values and our way of life and in search of peace and security.”

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“Kosovo remains unwavering in support of the US in the right to self-defense. The latest self-defense actions against General Soleiman are defense, not only for the United States but for freedom and democracy everywhere,” Kosovo’s outgoing prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, posted to Facebook.

Westlake Legal Group 83a22288-AP20003060462384 Soleimani supporter arrested in Kosovo, allegedly incited terror acts Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/food-drink/recipes/cuisines/eastern-europe fox news fnc/world fnc article 27601cb8-67c3-54f0-8a66-0fe9b3a5fe54   Westlake Legal Group 83a22288-AP20003060462384 Soleimani supporter arrested in Kosovo, allegedly incited terror acts Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/food-drink/recipes/cuisines/eastern-europe fox news fnc/world fnc article 27601cb8-67c3-54f0-8a66-0fe9b3a5fe54

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Waffle maker from Amazon is delivered with old, crusty waffle inside

Westlake Legal Group Waffle-Maker-iStock Waffle maker from Amazon is delivered with old, crusty waffle inside Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox-news/lifestyle/shopping fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/food-drink fnc e4def449-d4d4-53f7-9443-1bd44a0d0dbf article

A California family that received a waffle maker from Amazon was stunned when they found an old, crusty waffle already inside of it.

Brian McCarthy, a Los Angeles-based photographer, posted a photo of the shocking discovery on Twitter the day after Christmas.

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“Wow, my mom sent my daughter a new waffle maker from @amazon and they sent us a used one with the FOOD STILL IN IT. Disgusting!” he tweeted Dec. 26.

“I guess @khadeeja_safdar, @deniseduana & @shaneshifflett of @WSJ are right. @amazon has no quality control,” he added, referring to a Wall Street Journal article warning of the potential horrors of ordering items from Amazon.

Soon after McCarthy’s tweet, a representative from Amazon’s Help Team reached out on Twitter to apologize for the error.

“We’re sorry to see the condition this item arrived in. It’s certainly not the experience we strive for!” tweeted @AmazonHelp. “So a member of our team to take a closer look at this, please ask you (sic) mom to sign in and provide all the order details here.”

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On Monday, the company that sells the waffle maker, Select Brands, also reached out to McCarthy to issue an apology.

“Mr. McCarthy, We are so sorry that you had this experience with one of our products. Select Brands maintains strong quality control processes,” the company tweeted. “We only ship firsthand goods and do not restock or resell returned or used goods.”

“We are aware that some retailers resell returned merchandise and also allow our products to be distributed through confusing third party marketplaces,” the company continued. “Once again, we extend our apologies and if there is anything we can do to assist in this matter, please do not hesitate to reach out.”

“@SelectBrands I do not believe you have any responsibility in this matter,” McCarthy replied. “This is clearly an issue with how @Amazon markets used products on their website as coming from ‘Amazon Services, Inc.,’ which appears to most shoppers as indistinguishable from ‘Amazon.’”

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McCarthy returned the waffle maker to Amazon and said he plans to buy the same item, but said this time he would purchase it from a brick-and-mortar store.

“My gripe is with what I believe is deceptive marketing from @Amazon and poor quality controls,” he added.

Westlake Legal Group Waffle-Maker-iStock Waffle maker from Amazon is delivered with old, crusty waffle inside Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox-news/lifestyle/shopping fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/food-drink fnc e4def449-d4d4-53f7-9443-1bd44a0d0dbf article   Westlake Legal Group Waffle-Maker-iStock Waffle maker from Amazon is delivered with old, crusty waffle inside Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox-news/lifestyle/shopping fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/food-drink fnc e4def449-d4d4-53f7-9443-1bd44a0d0dbf article

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FBI asks Apple to help unlock alleged Pensacola shooter’s iPhones

The FBI needs Apple’s help to unlock two iPhones thought to be owned by Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the alleged shooter in the deadly attack last month at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, which claimed the lives of three people and injured eight more.

A letter sent from the FBI to Apple’s general counsel on Monday laid out the challenge the agency faces.

In the letter, signed by FBI General Counsel Dana Boente, the FBI said it has court permission to probe the phones, but that both are password-protected.

The letter said: “Investigators are actively engaging in efforts to ‘guess’ the relevant passcodes but so far have been unsuccessful.”

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The letter asks for a response from Apple by Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement to Fox News, Apple said: “We have the greatest respect for law enforcement and have always worked cooperatively to help in their investigations. When the FBI requested information from us relating to this case a month ago we gave them all of the data in our possession and we will continue to support them with the data we have available.”

Westlake Legal Group Mohammed-Saeed-Alshamrani-REUTERS FBI asks Apple to help unlock alleged Pensacola shooter's iPhones Jake Gibson Frank Miles fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 81cd4245-dbd5-54bd-9459-0f96f4e3f7c3

The FBI needs Apple’s help to unlock two iPhones thought to be owned by Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the alleged shooter in the deadly attack last month at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, which claimed the lives of three people and injured eight more. (FBI/Handout via REUTERS)

The attack on Dec. 6 has prompted questions with regard to the security vetting process, igniting a mixed response as to its effectiveness.

Alshamrani was a 21-year-old member of the Saudi Arabian air force training in the U.S., and was killed by law enforcement during the attack.

The 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, who was also a student naval flight officer at the time of his death, first started training with the U.S. military in August 2017.

He was set to graduate next August, and returned to Saudi Arabia during breaks. However, when he came back to the U.S. in February, friends and classmates noticed he had turned more religious, according to The New York Times.

Little is known about his whereabouts and movements during much of this year, other than his filing of a formal complaint in April after an instructor referred to him as “Porn Stash.” He also visited New York City with other foreigners, according to The New York Times.

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Pentagon officials said that Alshamrani returned to Saudi Arabia on breaks and last returned to the U.S. in February 2019. Yet he checked into his new training unit at the Pensacola base only a few days prior to the attack, raising questions over the monitoring procedures and how his months in the United States were spent.

Westlake Legal Group Mohammed-Saeed-Alshamrani-REUTERS FBI asks Apple to help unlock alleged Pensacola shooter's iPhones Jake Gibson Frank Miles fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 81cd4245-dbd5-54bd-9459-0f96f4e3f7c3   Westlake Legal Group Mohammed-Saeed-Alshamrani-REUTERS FBI asks Apple to help unlock alleged Pensacola shooter's iPhones Jake Gibson Frank Miles fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 81cd4245-dbd5-54bd-9459-0f96f4e3f7c3

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That Viral ‘Star Wars’ Conspiracy Theory Gets The Kiss Of Death

Westlake Legal Group 5e14cf81250000a9269900d0 That Viral ‘Star Wars’ Conspiracy Theory Gets The Kiss Of Death

Beware! Spoilers for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” below.

Two weeks after the release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” comes the rise of the “JJ Cut.”

Recently, #ReleaseTheJJCut began trending on Twitter seemingly in response to a viral Reddit post claiming there is another version of the movie. This phantom film, dubbed the “J.J. Cut” after director J.J. Abrams, is the answer to every “Star Wars” fan who was dissatisfied with the theatrical cut. But it’s also a version Disney doesn’t want you to see.

In the viral post from the subreddit r/saltierthancrait — which describes itself as “a community for those who are critical of the recent new Star Wars revival from Disney” — a Reddit user claims to have corresponded with an anonymous source from “The Rise of Skywalker” production. This “source” — who offers no proof — tells the Reddit user a number of huge revelations: Abrams didn’t approve of the final cut of the movie, he was against the Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) kissing scene and he wanted to have Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) be together. Also, there was supposed to be a scene with Force ghosts surrounding Rey and another with Finn telling Rey that he’s Force-sensitive.

So why would Disney deliberately keep fans from seeing this magical, mythical version of “Rise of Skywalker”? To ruin Abrams, of course!

The “source” claims Warner Bros. wants Abrams to jumpstart its DC superhero movies — a potential threat to Disney-owned Marvel’s dominance in the realm. Therefore, to sour Warner Bros. on the director and “make JJ look bad to potential investors/shareholders,” Disney seemingly sabotaged its own movie like a gosh darn Sith supervillain.

This level of calculated corporate self-destruction is thrilling — and also “fan fiction,” according to a number of established entertainment journalists with insider knowledge.

Unlike the Snyder Cut, an alternate, likely unfinished edit of the 2017 film “Justice League” that fans and even actors from the movie have driven into internet-legend status, it doesn’t look like the J.J. Cut actually exists.

Reporters such as /Film editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta and Collider editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub poopooed the existence of the J.J. Cut, and our own interview with “Rise of Skywalker” editor Maryann Brandon seems to back them up.

One of the points that stands out from the viral Reddit post is Abrams’ supposed contempt for the Kylo and Rey kiss from the end of the film:

JJ was against the Reylo kiss (or Reylo in general). This was Disney’s attempt to please both sides of the fandom.

It’s apparently such a big point that the author of the post wrote a follow-up to back it up even more:

JJ didn’t like the kiss but had to include something along those lines. They settled for what to show, but that doesn’t mean he liked it. He absolutely did not. 

However, despite how much the post claims Abrams didn’t like it, when we talked with Brandon days after the premiere, it kind of sounded like he did.

The editor went into detail about why the kiss was included, saying there were many versions of “should they/shouldn’t they” but that Abrams was supportive of the scene.

“I always said, ‘The movie will tell us whether they should kiss or not. We will know by the time we get to the end of our process, if it should happen.’” Brandon said. “And I felt it should, and [Abrams] agreed with me, and other people who saw the film agreed.”

Another point in the viral post stated Abrams wanted to have Finn and Poe together as a couple, which is something the fandom has been talking about since “The Force Awakens” in 2015. “JJ fought to make this happen,” the post read.

But again, when we asked Brandon about FinnPoe, the longtime Abrams collaborator said she’d never even heard about that possibility. To her, the characters were always just friends.

“I think, again, they’re best of friends,” she said. “There is a kind of brotherhood there where they understand each other, and they’ve got each other’s back.”

Finally, the Reddit post claimed the J.J. Cut has Finn specifically telling Rey he’s Force-sensitive and includes a scene showing Finn using the Force.

If that’s true, Brandon didn’t appear to be aware of it. When we asked the editor what Finn tried to tell Rey — which is a joke that goes throughout the movie — she said she thought it was supposed to be left up to interpretation and didn’t seem to know herself.

“It’s one of those things I think is cool in the movie that’s up to interpretation, and I think that’s exactly what was meant by it,” she said. “I think what you want it to be is what it is. One person said, ‘Oh, he’s gonna tell her he’s in love with her,’ and I thought maybe he was, or, ‘He’s gonna tell her he understands the Force now and he believes in it.’ Maybe it’s that. I’ve never asked J.J. or [writer Chris Terrio]. I just always took it as one of those humorous … because it’s a joke, that keeps going through the film.”

There’s little doubt that Disney and Lucasfilm had a say in the story and that there were alternate scenes and a longer version of the film before it was edited down to the theatrical cut. But that’s no revelation. That’s just how movies are made.

Perhaps instead of there being a secret version of the film hidden away, there’s a simpler answer to why some fans are unhappy. As Brandon told us, some “things that certain people love, other people hated. And that’s the phenomenon of ‘Star Wars.’”

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