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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 18)

Saudi Arabia Says Iranian Weapons Were Used in Strikes on Oil Facilities

Saudi Arabia said Monday that Iranian weapons were used in aerial strikes over the weekend that interrupted much of the kingdom’s oil production, and that the attacks were not launched from Yemen, home of the Houthi rebel faction that has claimed responsibility for the them.

The claims, made without supporting evidence, appeared to move the Saudis closer to directly blaming Iran, a chief ally of the Houthis, for the attacks on Saturday, which have heightened tensions between Iran and the United States, raising fears of a wider armed conflict.

United States officials have said that Iran was responsible for the attacks on Saturday, the most audacious and damaging blow to Saudi Arabia in the four and a half years of Yemen’s civil war, and have also cast doubt on whether they were launched from Houthi territory in Yemen. Iran has denied any involvement.

The Americans offered no evidence of Iranian involvement beyond satellite photos of the damage, whose meaning was unclear, and they did not say who was directly involved in carrying out the strikes or from where they were launched.

The Trump administration has previously blamed Iran for the actions of the Houthis, and United Nations experts say that Iran has supplied the group with drones and missiles that have greatly expanded its offensive capacity.

President Trump on Monday took to Twitter to suggest that Tehran could not be believed, reminding his followers of Iran’s downing of a United States surveillance drone in June. Iran’s version of events “was a very big lie,” he wrote. “Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see?”

The Saudi claims came from Colonel Turki al-Malki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houghis in Yemen, at a news conference in Riyadh. He did not provide any specifics, according to Saudi media and news service reports.

“The investigation is continuing, and all indications are that weapons used in both attacks came from Iran,” he said. The Saudis, he added, were seeking to determine “where they were fired from.”

Mr. Trump, who has made American policy toward Iran markedly more hostile, tweeted on Sunday night that Washington was seeking Saudi input before a potential military response.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 14saudi-1-videoSixteenByNine3000 Saudi Arabia Says Iranian Weapons Were Used in Strikes on Oil Facilities Yemen United States International Relations Saudi Arabia Iran Houthis Embargoes and Sanctions Drones (Pilotless Planes)

Drone strikes set fire to a Saudi Aramco plant in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, early Saturday. The location was one of two Saudi Aramco facilities targeted, and Yemen’s Houthi rebel faction has claimed responsibility for the strikes.CreditCreditHamad I Mohammed/Reuters

“There is reason to believe that we know the culprit,” he wrote, adding that the military was “locked and loaded depending on verification.”

But no clear public message had yet emerged about the preferred Saudi response. Prominent supporters of the monarchy have portrayed the strikes as an assault on the world and its energy markets, not just Saudi Arabia, or have even talked of revenge.

“What is required is nothing more than the destruction of Iran’s oil installations, and if there is a capacity, nuclear facilities and military bases as well,” argued Turki al-Hamad, a prominent Saudi political analyst and novelist.

But other social media accounts known for pro-government propaganda argued for patience, saying that wisdom favors choosing the right time and means to respond.

Mohammed Alyahya, editor in chief of the English website of the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news channel, emphasized that the rulers of the kingdom were deliberating carefully. The attacks show that Iranians are feeling the pain of the Trump administration’s sweeping sanctions, and “they are more likely to take risks like the one they took recently,” he said.

“A conventional military response must only be embarked upon with the utmost care in terms of the legality and consequences, after looking at all the other alternatives,” he added. “If there is a military conflict, Iran will inevitably be the biggest loser but the reality is that everybody will lose. A conventional war will take its toll on everyone.”

The Houthis insisted on Monday that they had carried out the strikes using drones, while threatening more, although they made no reference to whether Iranian equipment or training played a role.

A spokesman for the Houthi military, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sare’e, “warned companies and foreigners not to be present in the factories that were hit by our strikes because we may target them again at any moment,” Almasirah, the Houthi news organization, reported on Monday.

The Houthis can strike at will anywhere in Saudi Arabia, he said, and their actions against the kingdom “will expand and be more painful.”

Saudi Arabia is leading the coalition that is fighting the Houthis in Yemen, waging a bombing campaign that has killed thousands, many of them civilians. The war there is considered the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis of recent years, displacing millions of people and leaving millions more at risk of starvation.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160847475_b46b1514-31d5-4185-8e52-54a74ab571a7-articleLarge Saudi Arabia Says Iranian Weapons Were Used in Strikes on Oil Facilities Yemen United States International Relations Saudi Arabia Iran Houthis Embargoes and Sanctions Drones (Pilotless Planes)

A satellite image provided by the United States government of damage at the Abqaiq oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.CreditU.S. Government/DigitalGlobe, via Associated Press

The Houthis claimed to have used 10 drones in the Saturday attack; American officials said that there were 17 points of impact. The rebel group has launched missile and drone attacks into Saudi territory before, but never anything on that scale, or against such vital targets, or so deep into the kingdom, some 500 miles from Yemeni territory.

The attacks on Saturday forced the shutdown of facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais, which ordinarily process most of the crude oil produced by Saudi Arabia, which supplies about a tenth of the worldwide total. A Saudi official said Monday that the kingdom had shut down about half of its production because of the attacks, but expected its output to return to normal soon.

Saudi Arabia and other exporters keep large oil stockpiles. Experts say it is unclear whether the Saudi equipment will be out of commission long enough to affect global oil supplies, but prices rose sharply in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

The Iraqi government said Monday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had told Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Sunday night that the information reviewed by the United States showed that the attacks had not come from Iraqi territory.

That would mean the United States does not suspect that Shiite militias in Iraq with ties to Iran are responsible for the attacks. Some of those militias are under the umbrella of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, which fought against the Islamic State and whose salaries are paid by Baghdad.

“The prime minister stressed that Iraq’s task is to maintain its own security and stability and avoid any step of escalation and to prevent the use of its territory against any neighboring or brotherly or friendly country,” the Iraqi statement said.

The State Department declined to comment on Mr. Pompeo’s call or the official Iraqi statement. The department did not provide its own summary of the call.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have increased sharply since last year, when Mr. Trump withdrew from the 2015 deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program and reimposed economic sanctions against Iran. This spring, he imposed new sanctions, and Iran, which had continued to abide by the 2015 accord after the United States withdrawal, began stepping back from some of their obligations.

In May and June, several tankers were damaged in or near the Strait of Hormuz, in what American officials said were Iranian attacks. Iran has also seized several foreign ships.

On Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that a British-flagged tanker, Stena Impero, which Iran impounded while it sailed near its coast in July, will be released within days. Iran took the ship after British and Gibraltar forces seized an Iranian tanker, which was released last month after more than six weeks’ detention.

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New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley cheers up young fan who was snubbed when he asked for autograph

New York Giants star Saquon Barkley lifted the spirits of a young fan who was denied an autograph from Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman DeMarcus Lawrence.

Barkley gave Kamil Bautista, 11, tickets to a game between the Giants and the New York Jets later in the season after the boy was denied an autograph. The snub happened after the Giants lost to the Cowboys during the first week of the season.

DALLAS COWBOYS’ DEMARCUS LAWRENCE RESPONDS TO BACKLASH OVER SNUBBING YOUNG NEW YORK GIANTS FAN

The running back invited the fan and will fly him and his family out for a meet-and-greet, TMZ Sports reported Saturday. The game takes place Nov. 10.

Kamil was waiting outside AT&T Stadium last week and asked Lawrence for an autograph when the Cowboys star was walking to his vehicle. The short interaction was caught on video and went viral on social media.

Lawrence can be heard telling the unidentified kid, “Get the right jersey, son!” Kamil was wearing a Barkley jersey in the clip.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS’ RUSSELL WILSON TAKES HUGE HIT TO HELMET DURING GAME

Lawrence received significant backlash for his actions. The Cowboys player responded in his own words in a tweet.

“It’s crazy how you fans want to attack me for not signing for a kid. It’s more than one kid that come to the game with Cowboys jerseys and never get to meet any player. So if I’m honest with my own kids I will never treat your kid better than mine so suck it up. #SorryNotSorry”

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Saquon-Barkley3 New York Giants' Saquon Barkley cheers up young fan who was snubbed when he asked for autograph Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-jets fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-giants fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6d8c67a1-c52c-537b-9afe-320b2ebe9de0

New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Lawrence later apologized in an interview with the Dallas Morning-News.

“It hurt. That ain’t me. If I need to be me 24/7 to have my persona on the field and off the field, trust me, I would love to take it all back,” Lawrence said. “I can’t have my persona on the field and off the field. … Sometimes, I can’t click it off fast enough. I ain’t even get one hit on Saquon Barkley in the game, so seeing that jersey, I kinda wanted to give him a little tackle.”

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Lawrence added he regretted the whole interaction.

“How the fans are attacking me, their situation,” he said “I mean, I could have worded it differently. I really didn’t see the kid to be honest with you, but once I did, I’m like, ‘Oh man, yeah, you’ve got to get yourself a new jersey.’ Not everybody understands my sense of humor or who I am as a man. It will be all right.”

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Saquon-Barkley3 New York Giants' Saquon Barkley cheers up young fan who was snubbed when he asked for autograph Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-jets fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-giants fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6d8c67a1-c52c-537b-9afe-320b2ebe9de0   Westlake Legal Group NFL-Saquon-Barkley3 New York Giants' Saquon Barkley cheers up young fan who was snubbed when he asked for autograph Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-jets fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-giants fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6d8c67a1-c52c-537b-9afe-320b2ebe9de0

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Working Families Party Endorses Elizabeth Warren

The Working Families Party, the labor-aligned progressive group whose electoral influence has grown since the 2016 election, has endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts for the Democratic presidential nomination, a boon to her candidacy as she attempts to position herself as the main challenger to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The party endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the last presidential cycle, at which time he described Working Families as “the closest thing” to “my vision of democratic socialism.” The group’s endorsement of Ms. Warren on Monday, one of the few by a prominent progressive organization this early in the primary, could turn heads among left-leaning Democrats desperate to defeat Mr. Biden, the more moderate front-runner, in a primary election where their party’s ideological future is at stake.

“If our focus is on victory, we can’t be delusional about it,” said Maurice Mitchell, the Working Families Party’s national director. “You don’t defeat the moderate wing of Democrats through thought pieces or pithy tweets, you defeat their politics through organizing.”

Mr. Mitchell brushed off the possibility that the group’s endorsement would be seen as a sign of a splintering of the progressive left. The vote among “tens of thousands” of party members resulted in a commanding majority for Ms. Warren, a party spokesman said; she received more than 60 percent of the votes on the first ballot.

“Choosing not to make a decision because of risk or fear of backlash is an abdication of our responsibility, and I’m not willing to do that,” Mr. Mitchell said.

Ms. Warren is coming off a debate performance last week that was generally well received, and she is preparing for a rally in New York on Monday that could be among the largest gatherings for any candidate this year. Mr. Sanders’s campaign shook up its New Hampshire staff over the weekend as Ms. Warren continues to make inroads among progressives.

Also on Monday, Ms. Warren unveiled a plan to combat corruption in government, a core theme of her campaign. The plan is based on a wide-ranging anticorruption bill that she first proposed last year and is a cornerstone of her stump speech on the campaign trail.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 15workingfamilies1-articleLarge Working Families Party Endorses Elizabeth Warren Working Families Party Warren, Elizabeth Presidential Election of 2020 Endorsements

Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, at its convention in New York last year.CreditHolly Pickett for The New York Times

Mr. Mitchell and other leaders from the Working Families Party said in interviews that their endorsement came with a message to other progressive organizations. Rather than passively observe the primary, they said, these groups should choose a side and flex their organizing muscle during the early stages to help knock Mr. Biden off his perch.

“Senator Warren knows how to kick Wall Street kleptocrats where it hurts, and she’s got some truly visionary plans to make this country work for the many,” Mr. Mitchell said. “We need a mass movement to make her plans a reality, and we’re going to be a part of that work.”

Traditional bellwether endorsements from labor unions like American Federation of Teachers and the Service Employees International Union have not yet materialized, though Mr. Sanders picked up an endorsement from the United Electrical workers in August. With less than five months to go before the Iowa caucuses formally begin the presidential nominating contest, many organizations are still wrestling with a sprawling Democratic field.

Mr. Sanders finished second in the Working Families Party’s ranked-choice voting system between five candidates — Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren, the former housing secretary Julián Castro, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, who held in-person question-and-answer sessions with party members. Senator Kamala Harris of California was dropped from consideration after she canceled her session in August.

Most national polls of the Democratic primary show an increasingly clear top tier of three candidates — Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders — though Mr. Biden has remained the front-runner.

“There will be a point when progressive voters have to make a choice between the candidates running — for some that’s today, and for others that will be on caucus or Primary Day next year,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America, another progressive group that endorsed Mr. Sanders four years ago. Ms. Simpson said her group did not plan to endorse a candidate before December.

“There are some great arguments for progressives rallying around a single candidate as soon as possible and others for taking the time to see how the contest develops,” she said.

In the years since President Trump’s election, candidates backed by the Working Families Party have won congressional, state and local races across the country, expanding the group’s power base from the Acela corridor to the West Coast.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in Las Vegas on Saturday.CreditBridget Bennett for The New York Times

Mr. Mitchell took over as national director for the party in 2018, after he rose in prominence during the Black Lives Matter movement born out of protests in Ferguson, Mo.

The group’s leaders stressed that, even with their endorsement, their intention was not to divide the progressive left between Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders. The senators are longtime friends and have painted themselves as publicly supportive of each other’s candidacies.

“I’m with Bernie,” Ms. Warren said at a Democratic debate over the summer, indicating she supported Mr. Sanders’s single-payer health care plan and signaling their closeness at a time when political observers were craving an intraparty fight.

Still, some more moderate Democrats have continued to sound alarms about progressives’ ability to beat Mr. Trump, and Ms. Warren’s chances in particular. And many Republicans see the embrace of a single-payer, “Medicare for all” health care system and ambitious climate proposals like the Green New Deal as general-election liabilities waiting to be exploited.

Surrogates for other candidates — like Mr. Biden, Ms. Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. — have tried to paint Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders as candidates of the elite, who talk about lofty ideologies instead of pragmatic solutions.

“My concern about the vision from the Sanders-Warren approach is that it can polarize Americans, when we have other ways to deliver bold solutions without dividing the American people further,” Mr. Buttigieg said Sunday on CNN.

But Mr. Mitchell said he believed the Working Families Party could convert Democrats skeptical of wide-reaching progressive policies.

“I’m not worried about converting people who are already committed to a structural change agenda,” Mr. Mitchell said. “I’m worried about the people who are still trying to figure out where they land.”

Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting.

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Kavanaugh’s confirmation hinged on an FBI investigation that increasingly looks incomplete

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Artie Lange: ‘God spared me’ from dying from drug addiction

Comedian Artie Lange isn’t entirely sure how he survived his 30-year battle with drug addiction,but says he wears his deformed nose as a badge of honor for making it this far.

“Obviously my nose is still a mess, but it’s funny — I like that as a reminder,” Lange, 51, told TMZ. “Every time I look in the mirror, it reminds me of the insane life I led. A lot of bad decisions I made — I mean, 30 years of drug abuse, snorting heroin and cocaine, [and] I accidentally snorted glass once, which is a long story.”

COMEDIAN ARTIE LANGE OUT OF REHAB, 7 MONTHS SOBER

(A brief version of Lange’s “long story” about snorting glass: A former fling of Lange’s used a glass salt shaker in a hotel room to crush OxyContin for him to snort, inadvertently shattering the glass shaker. Pieces of glass mixed in with the crushed OxyContin, which Lange didn’t notice until after he’d snorted the exceedingly dangerous mixture, leading him to weeks of chronic nosebleeds thereafter.)

“I got punched in the face once by a guy collecting money for a bookie. This nose should be a reminder to young people — I hope it is: If you can make money, have some success, you can still live like a straight-up scumbag.”

ARTIE LANGE ARRESTED FOR VIOLATING PAROLE

Westlake Legal Group artie-lange Artie Lange: 'God spared me' from dying from drug addiction Jessica Sager fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox-news/health/mental-health/addiction fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8e351c60-500f-5a4f-9b41-a20e4134e5bf

Artie Lange announced in early September 2019 that he’s been sober for 7 months. The comedian has openly struggled with drug addiction for 30 years. (Twitter)

COMEDIAN ARTIE LANGE ‘DOING REALLY WELL’ WITH COMMUNITY SERVICE

Lange, who revealed last week that he’s seven months sober, admitted that at the lowest points of his addiction, he was reminded of friends Mitch Hedberg and Greg Giraldo, who suffered untimely deaths due to their own battles with substance abuse.

“I said to myself, ‘I’m gonna just be found dead in a hotel room. I’m not gonna make it,'” he recalled. “God spared me. For some reason I’m still here.”

LEGENDARY COMEDIAN ARTIE LANGE OPENS UP ABOUT DRUG ADDICTION, LEGAL TROUBLES AND LOVE FOR HIS DEVOTED FANS

He was quick to explain, however, that his character remains relatively unscathed despite his “scumbag” struggles.

“I’ve never been a bad person but I’ve done some bad things because I was addicted to drugs and still am,” he said. “But I’m in recovery now, so I’m happy to see people responding well to me looking better.”

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“I’m gonna get it fixed eventually,” he said, noting that he’s interested in speaking with “Botched” plastic surgeons. “It looks a little better, but I don’t think it could look much worse.”

Westlake Legal Group artie-lange Artie Lange: 'God spared me' from dying from drug addiction Jessica Sager fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox-news/health/mental-health/addiction fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8e351c60-500f-5a4f-9b41-a20e4134e5bf   Westlake Legal Group artie-lange Artie Lange: 'God spared me' from dying from drug addiction Jessica Sager fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox-news/health/mental-health/addiction fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8e351c60-500f-5a4f-9b41-a20e4134e5bf

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Rep. Collins on House Dems’ impeachment move: ‘The reality is they’re not legislating’

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-11.01.17-AM Rep. Collins on House Dems' impeachment move: 'The reality is they're not legislating' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 5f34d021-add1-5d2b-b452-0b3a19fb95b1

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said on Monday that the House Democrats’ move on President Trump’s impeachment last week is nothing more than an effort to “satisfy a base who really do not like this president.”

Collins went on to say, “The reality here is, last week, we took rules that were already in place. We packaged them up, we made it look different, we wanted to think people something is going on,” the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee told “America’s Newsroom.”

“The reality is that they’re not legislating,” Collins said.

HOUSE DEMS MOVE ON TRUMP IMPEACHMENT, AS REPUBLICANS MOCK ‘GIANT INSTAGRAM FILTER’ HIDING DISARRAY

House Judiciary Democrats on Thursday took a big step in their Trump impeachment push as they set the ground rules for a formal committee inquiry. However, Republicans laughed it off as a “giant Instagram filter” to hide how divided Democrats truly are on the question.

The committee voted 24-17 to define the rules for future committee impeachment hearings. The committee is not writing articles of impeachment, and nothing is going to the floor of the House right now, but the session still holds political consequences for both sides of the aisle.

DOJ USES DEMOCRATS’ IMPEACHMENT CONFUSION AGAINST THEM IN COURT

“The resolution before us represents the necessary next step in our investigation of corruption, obstruction, and abuse of power,” committee chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said in his opening statement.

The vote allows members to show the impeachment-eager base they are moving forward, but the push has also rattled some Democrats from more moderate districts.

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To clear up confusion around the advancement of impeachment, Nadler said the panel is “engaged in an investigation as to whether to launch an impeachment investigation into President Trump.”

Collins stressed that bills need bipartisan support in order to get passed. He also said that the House is not passing bills that “people worry about” such as “jobs, the economy, and immigration.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-11.01.17-AM Rep. Collins on House Dems' impeachment move: 'The reality is they're not legislating' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 5f34d021-add1-5d2b-b452-0b3a19fb95b1   Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-09-16-at-11.01.17-AM Rep. Collins on House Dems' impeachment move: 'The reality is they're not legislating' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 5f34d021-add1-5d2b-b452-0b3a19fb95b1

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Massive Strike Hits General Motors As 46,000 Workers Walk Off

General Motors workers across the country walked out of plants at midnight Monday as the largest U.S. auto strike in more than a decade got underway.

The United Auto Workers called for the work stoppage after the union failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement covering some 46,000 workers at dozens of facilities. GM and the union remained far apart in negotiations on Sunday, when UAW leaders converged on Detroit and decided overwhelmingly to strike after their contract expired over the weekend.

There’s no telling how long the impasse could last. Shutting down plants is extremely costly for GM and within weeks could lead to slimming choices for buyers on dealer lots. But workers could start to feel pain, too, as they try to eke by on union strike pay of just $250 per week, a fraction of what the typical employee earns. 

The massive strike wasn’t hard to see coming. As HuffPost reported in July, GM has been enormously profitable ― though profits have recently been falling ― and workers who sacrificed during the auto industry’s crisis in 2007 are expecting a bigger share of the gains. 

At the same time, GM is intent on keeping its labor costs down as the company braces for a sales slowdown and pumps money into electric and autonomous vehicles.

Westlake Legal Group 5d7f9242240000c92b7bb9b8 Massive Strike Hits General Motors As 46,000 Workers Walk Off

Rebecca Cook / Reuters General Motors assembly worker Scott Gribson pickets outside the General Motors Powertrain Flint Engine plant during the national strike in Flint, Michigan, Sept. 16, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Meanwhile, the company’s announcement last year that it would idle five plants in the U.S. and Canada has left many workers bitter. Those affected have either lost their jobs or had to pick up and move their families in order to maintain GM work at another facility. The union has made a top priority of securing new production at some of the idled plants through the contract talks.

Negotiators in the quadrennial contract talks are typically tight-lipped, but GM took the rare step on Sunday of publicly releasing the outlines of its offer to the union that was rejected. It included $7 billion in investments and “solutions for unallocated assembly plants in Michigan and Ohio” ― that is, some form of work going to two plants scheduled for idling. GM said it had plans for a production line for electric trucks and a site for battery manufacturing.

The company did not specify the wages or health care coverage offered, except to say it put raises on the table and promised to “retain nationally-leading health care benefits,” a formulation that could easily mean higher out-of-pocket expenses for workers. GM workers generally have very good health coverage ― a necessity, they maintain, for the taxing work ― and the company has been eager to pare costs.

Scenes from Michigan, Kentucky and elsewhere showed workers hitting the picket lines right at midnight. Workers assigned to the morning shifts showed up to picket instead of reporting for work. 

The broad brushes of GM’s deal didn’t address two obvious sticking points in the talks: the time it takes workers to earn top pay, and the company’s use of temporary workers. In 2007, the union agreed to a two-tiered wage system that put newer hires on a lower pay scale than more senior workers. While their 2015 agreement created a pathway for those workers to earn the top rate of around $30 per hour, it now takes eight years for them to get there ― a system known as “in-progression.” 

Many workers demand that runway be shortened. They also want to see GM using fewer temps ― the company says around 7% of its production workforce is temporary ― and converting them to traditional positions.

Sean Crawford, a materials handler at GM’s Flint, Michigan, truck assembly plant, epitomizes many of the thorny issues at the bargaining table. As a post-2007 hire, he needed to work eight years before topping out. And, as someone who was working at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant slated to be idled, he had to move back to Flint in order to keep his job.

Crawford told HuffPost ahead of the strike that he was more than willing to walk out, if that’s what it took.

“It’s one of those built-in, divide-and-conquer strategies that benefits the company,” Crawford said of temps and the in-progression system. “It’s a very real division and it needs to be addressed.”

This year the UAW is negotiating new contracts with all of the Big Three automakers ― GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. It chose to talk with GM first, and the contract it ultimately reaches with the company generally sets the framework for talks with the other two companies to follow, a system known as “pattern bargaining.” The union extended its earlier agreements with Ford and Fiat Chrysler as it bargained with GM, meaning there is no immediate likelihood of a strike at those companies.

At the same time it is trying to reach crucial new contracts, the UAW is facing a widening corruption probe in Detroit ― a dynamic that puts even more pressure on union leadership to score wins at the bargaining table. Last week a high-ranking union official was charged with embezzlement and money laundering. The indictment included embarrassing details that play into stereotypes of union corruption, like $60,000 spent on cigars.

The Detroit News reported that UAW President Gary Jones is directly implicated in the probe, as an unnamed union official in court papers. Jones’ house was searched in August.

The potential misuse of member dues has made plenty of UAW members pessimistic about leadership. As Crawford told HuffPost, winning a good contract is “probably the only thing” that could restore confidence for many members.

The union and GM were expected to resume talks on Monday.

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Brian Turk, of ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ fame, dead at 49

Actor Brian Turk has died following a long battle with cancer. He was 49.

The actor was best known for his role on “Beverley Hills, 902010” and also starred in HBO’s “Carnivale” and “Boy Meets World.”

Brian passed away following complications due to cancer on Friday. He had first been diagnosed with brain cancer in early 2018.

THEN/NOW: SEE THE ‘BH90210’ CAST OVER THE YEARS

A Go Fund Me named “In Support of the Brian Turk Family” was set up in July as he battled the disease.

It read: “Just over a year ago our dear friend, Brian Turk, was diagnosed with cancer.

Westlake Legal Group brian-turk-getty Brian Turk, of 'Beverly Hills, 90210' fame, dead at 49 The Sun Nola Ojomu fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fnc/entertainment fnc article 4b0908a6-4f9a-53d4-b5ec-5645c63e5dfa

Actor Brian Turk attends the premiere party by the TV Academy Costume Design & Supervision Peer Group on Aug. 5, 2004 at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in Hollywood, California. (Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

“Being the selfless and private person that he is, Brian kept this quiet so as not to concern his family and friends.

“Brian has impacted so many of us in a positive way whether it be on the football field, at Mater Dei or USC, on stage or in our personal lives. He has always been there for us in our times of need and celebration.”

RIC OCASEK, LEAD SINGER OF NEW WAVE BAND THE CARS, FOUND DEAD IN NYC APARTMENT, POLICE SAY

Brian Turk was born in May 1970 and lived in Colorado. He began his acting career in 1993 with early roles in shows such as “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” “Panther” and “Beach House.” He later starred as Tiny in “Beverly Hills, 90210” in 1995.

Turk also had many film credits to his name, including “American Pie 2,” “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles,” and “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.”

Brian leaves behind his wife, Emily Wu, and his eight-year-old son.

This article originally appeared in The Sun.

Westlake Legal Group brian-turk-1280 Brian Turk, of 'Beverly Hills, 90210' fame, dead at 49 The Sun Nola Ojomu fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fnc/entertainment fnc article 4b0908a6-4f9a-53d4-b5ec-5645c63e5dfa   Westlake Legal Group brian-turk-1280 Brian Turk, of 'Beverly Hills, 90210' fame, dead at 49 The Sun Nola Ojomu fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fnc/entertainment fnc article 4b0908a6-4f9a-53d4-b5ec-5645c63e5dfa

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Trump Urges ‘Big’ Rate Cut as Fed Faces Challenges

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is poised to cut interest rates for the second time this year on Wednesday as policymakers try to get ahead of economic risks emanating from a global slowdown, President Trump’s trade war and uncertainty about the road ahead.

The central bank’s leadership is under immense political pressure from Mr. Trump, who denounces its reluctance to slash rates more aggressively on Twitter almost daily.

“Will Fed ever get into the game? Dollar strongest EVER!” Mr. Trump said in a tweet on Monday. “Big Interest Rate Drop, Stimulus!”

The Fed, which operates independently of the White House, is expected to cut rates just slightly this week, to a range between 1.75 and 2 percent, in a bid to insulate economic growth as threats to the outlook mount. That remains far above Mr. Trump’s previously stated desire for zero or negative interest rates.

Yet even a modest cut could prove contentious as Fed officials wrestle with mixed economic signals and try to gauge whether Mr. Trump’s sometimes-hot, sometimes-cold trade war is creating economic uncertainty that can and should be offset by central bank action.

Two members of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee voted against the Fed’s July rate cut — its first cut in more than a decade — and may dissent against any further reduction at this meeting, given that the economy is growing and unemployment remains near a 50-year low. Another committee member has voiced support for a larger-than-expected move in the face of global risks.

That discord could make it more difficult for Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, to clearly communicate what comes next at a time when the economic outlook itself is particularly hazy.

Although many investors expect another cut in October and will hang on Mr. Powell’s every word for any hint at timing, Mr. Powell will probably try to keep the Fed’s options open. He has so far avoided committing the Fed to movement, saying only that it will do what is needed to sustain the economic expansion.

The big question facing the Fed is whether the expansion will need additional support from the central bank.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 16dc-fedpreview2-articleLarge Trump Urges ‘Big’ Rate Cut as Fed Faces Challenges United States Politics and Government United States Economy Recession and Depression Interest Rates Inflation (Economics) Federal Reserve System Federal Open Market Committee

Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, is under immense political pressure from President Trump, even though the Fed operates independently of the White House.CreditArnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Inflation has shown signs of moving back toward the Fed’s 2 percent goal, and consumer spending, the job market and overall growth have remained resilient so far. But Mr. Trump’s trade war is denting business investment and exacerbating a manufacturing slowdown, and it is unclear how — or whether — it will be resolved. The United States and China are expected to meet again next month, and both sides have taken steps before that meeting to ease their trade fight. But a deal is not guaranteed, and Mr. Trump plans to impose tariffs on nearly all Chinese imports by the end of the year if one is not reached.

Adding to the mixed economic picture: Household confidence is wobbling, and the global economic picture is tenuous. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is on the brink of recession, and Britain is grappling with its contentious exit from the European Union.

“The consumer is doing well, but there are other parts of the economy that aren’t doing well: manufacturing being the obvious one, but business investment is weak, and foreign demand is weak,” said Michael Feroli, the chief United States economist at J. P. Morgan, who expects policymakers to cut rates one more time this year. “I don’t necessarily think they have a plan to go again, but I think the economy will continue to look a little soft.”

A strike on a Saudi Arabian oil facility over the weekend could further complicate the picture. It will at least temporarily disrupt oil supplies and affect prices, though many experts say a severe shock to consumers is unlikely. Still, it opens the door to intensified geopolitical tension.

Heightening Mr. Powell’s communications challenge, the Fed will release new economic projections after the meeting for the first time since June. That means the Fed chair will have to knit his 16 colleagues’ interest rate projections into one comprehensive narrative.

While the Fed is closely monitoring short-term risks, its long-term challenges may be even more daunting. Interest rates will stand below 2 percent if the central bank lowers them this week, leaving policymakers with limited room to cut come the next recession. For context, they lowered rates by more than five percentage points in reaction to the 2007 to 2009 downturn.

“The Fed simply doesn’t have enough firefighting capability at its disposal to fight even an average next recession, let alone a financial crisis — anything that history would later label a Great Recession,” said David Wilcox, who directed research and statistics at the Fed until last year and is now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “We run the risk that the next recession will therefore be that much deeper, that much more prolonged — because the Fed won’t be in a good position to arrest downward momentum once it begins.”

Fed officials often say that they have tools left to bolster the economy. Still, they plan to discuss options for conducting monetary policy amid lower interest rates at their upcoming meetings. The conversations so far seems to center on keeping inflation from getting stuck in low gear.

The Fed aims for 2 percent annual price increases, but has not hit that target sustainably since formally adopting it in 2012. That matters in part because inflation gives the central bank headroom to cut interest rates, which do not strip out price gains. Lower inflation makes for even less room to maneuver.

One short-term fix, supported in a recent editorial by Neel Kashkari, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, is to promise to keep rates low until inflation moves back to, or even just above, the central bank’s 2 percent goal. In theory, such a commitment would prove the Fed’s seriousness and help to keep consumers’ and investors’ inflation expectations, which have been slipping, from sinking lower. It could provide extra stimulus by making investors expect low rates for longer.

President Mario Draghi, right, of the European Central Bank said Europe’s central bankers are unanimous on one point: Elected officials who make tax and spending decisions need to do better.CreditMartti Kainulainen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

President Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank, which is also facing stubbornly low inflation, made a softened version of that commitment last week.

At the Fed, other ideas up for discussion include aiming for 2 percent inflation on average over a period of time or targeting a price level, rather than a rate of change. Either plan would probably leave interest rates lower for longer after recessions as officials tried to make up for inflation shortfalls.

Some central bank watchers worry that tweaks to the framework could prove inadequate to restock the monetary arsenal, especially because Mr. Powell and his vice chair, Richard H. Clarida, often characterize the rethinking as “evolution, not revolution.”

“I hope that the Fed leadership will not feel constrained from adopting a new inflation control framework, merely because they have said that they’ll be evolutionary,” said Mr. Wilcox, who favors a higher inflation target. He said he also hoped for “an acknowledgment” that “there is a serious risk that our tools will not be adequate for fighting the next recession.”

“They need to give Congress the opportunity to pre-position a fiscal response to the next recession,” Mr. Wilcox said, indicating that the Fed should be transparent about its lack of monetary policy options so lawmakers can start to think of solutions.

The Fed does have more wiggle room than its counterparts in Europe, Japan and the United Kingdom, which have very low or even negative interest rates.

If the global economy tips into outright recession, “the Fed has monetary policy room to address all of that,” Mark Carney, the head of the Bank of England, said in New York last week. “The Bank of England, with various tools, is close, but not all the way there, and the E.C.B. is farther away.”

Mr. Draghi said Europe’s central bankers are unanimous on one point: Fiscal policymakers, the elected officials who make tax and spending decisions, need to step up their game.

But the Fed’s comparatively better position is hardly a bright side, because the American economy could feel the fallout if major global trading partners struggle to combat domestic slowdowns.

“We are carefully watching developments as we assess their implications for the U.S. outlook and the path of monetary policy,” Mr. Powell said last month, noting that “further evidence of a global slowdown” ranked among those risks.

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Probably Not Good Idea for Brett Kavanaugh to Sue for Libel over Sex Assault Allegations

Westlake Legal Group JMkSSyKyGV0f-2hwE8a6I3PweJV2ArpgL8_6kx0ixLQ Probably Not Good Idea for Brett Kavanaugh to Sue for Libel over Sex Assault Allegations r/politics

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