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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 186)

Facebook Refuses To Pull Trump Campaign Ad That Falsely Accuses Biden Of Corruption

Westlake Legal Group 5d9d8cb6200000da064fe53c Facebook Refuses To Pull Trump Campaign Ad That Falsely Accuses Biden Of Corruption

A video ad that falsely accuses Joe Biden of withholding $1 billion in aid to Ukraine to benefit his son has been viewed on Facebook millions of times since its release last month by President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Biden, who’s vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, has urged Facebook to take the ad down, arguing that it spreads “objectively false information” and “poisons the public discourse.”

But Facebook, which has come under scrutiny for its role in spreading misinformation during the 2016 presidential election, has reportedly refused to pull the video, citing its “fundamental belief in free expression” and “respect for the democratic process.”

The New York Times, which first reported Facebook’s denial of Biden’s request, said Tuesday that the social media giant had sent a letter to the former vice president, saying the ad did not violate company policies.

“Our approach is grounded in Facebook’s fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process, and the belief that, in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is,” Katie Harbath, Facebook’s head of global elections policy, said in the letter, per the Times. 

Harbath’s letter echoed a similar sentiment expressed last month by Nick Clegg, former U.K. deputy prime minister turned Facebook vice president, who said in a speech in Washington that it’s not Facebook’s “role to intervene when politicians speak.”

The Biden campaign slammed Facebook’s decision regarding the ad as “unacceptable.” 

The dissemination of “objectively false information to influence public opinion poisons the public discourse and chips away at our democracy,” Biden campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo told CNN in a statement. “Whether it originates from the Kremlin or Trump Tower, these lies and conspiracy theories threaten to undermine the integrity of our elections in America. It is unacceptable for any social media company to knowingly allow deliberately misleading material to corrupt its platform.” 

The Trump ad being contested pushes a conspiracy theory that Biden ― according to a narrator in the clip ― “promised Ukraine $1 billion if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son’s company.” 

While it is true that the elder Biden, then serving as vice president, told Ukrainian leaders in 2016 to fire a top prosecutor if they wanted to get the aid, there’s no evidence that this demand had anything to do with his son, Hunter. 

Other than Facebook, the ad has also run on Twitter and YouTube; both of which told the Times that the ad complied with company policies. 

Biden’s campaign told CNN that it “would not rule out sending similar letters” to other social media sites requesting the ad’s removal from their platforms.

On TV, the ad has run on Fox News, which — like Facebook — denied a Biden campaign request to block the clip. CNN, however, has refused to run the ad.

Explaining that decision, a CNN spokesman said last week that the video “makes assertions that have been proven demonstrably false by various news outlets, including CNN.”

Facebook has come under fire from the Democratic National Committee, as well as other 2020 presidential hopefuls, for their refusal to block false statements or ads from political candidates. 

DNC CEO Seema Nanda told CNN last week that Facebook was allowing President Trump “to mislead the American people on their platform unimpeded.” 

On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) ― who, along with Biden, is considered one of the frontrunners in the race for the Democratic nomination for president ― criticized Facebook’s policies in a series of tweets.

“The public deserves to know how Facebook intends to use their influence in this election,” Warren wrote.

“For instance, Trump and Zuckerberg met at the White House two weeks ago. What did they talk about?” she added in a subsequent tweet. 

Warren suggested that Facebook had tweaked their misinformation policies to exempt politicians from fact-checking after this meeting with Trump. As Reuters noted, Warren has not offered any evidence to support this claim. 

“There’s no indication that Zuckerberg or Facebook executives have come to terms with the role their unpreparedness played” in the spread of misinformation during the 2016 election, Warren wrote. “Nor have they shown that they understand what needs to be done to prevent another attack in the 2020 election.” 

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

GM Suppliers Hurting From Autoworkers Strike, Too

Westlake Legal Group ap_19274481475696-50fd0a27c1f08fbd584a4389f7b2cff5fc92182f-s1100-c15 GM Suppliers Hurting From Autoworkers Strike, Too

Many of the workers for businesses that supply GM are out of work, too, because of the UAW strike. Paul Sancya/AP hide caption

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Paul Sancya/AP

Westlake Legal Group  GM Suppliers Hurting From Autoworkers Strike, Too

Many of the workers for businesses that supply GM are out of work, too, because of the UAW strike.

Paul Sancya/AP

With the UAW strike against General Motors in its fourth week, the automaker is losing millions of dollars. So are the businesses that supply GM. Many of their workers have also been out of work for four weeks, but unlike the striking UAW workers, their plight is much less visible.

Lansing, Mich., has nine regional GM suppliers. These are companies that do everything from producing ads to making parts for GM’s cars and trucks. Altogether, that’s more than 6,000 jobs. Supplier jobs in Lansing outnumber GM jobs.

Anderson Economic Group in East Lansing has been putting out weekly estimates not only about how much money GM is losing, but also the strike’s effect on UAW workers and non-union employees working for GM suppliers.

Through last week, Anderson estimates that combined their losses will exceed $412 million. For suppliers across the country, that’s more than $30 million per day in lost wages.

“I mean if you got that many GM workers and suppliers, you’re going to feel it. And, nowhere is the concentration like Michigan,” said Patrick Anderson, the company’s CEO. “And it means white collar, blue collar, new collar — every kind of collar is affected by this and I am very concerned about Michigan going into a one-state recession.”

Feast or famine

In the fourth week of the strike, nearly 11,000 people in Lansing are feeling the economic pinch and being forced to drastically cut back.

Picketers cluster around the corner of Tony M’s, a blue-collar banquet hall and bar outside of the plant that makes Chevy Traverses and Buick Enclaves. Inside of the building, it’s deserted. The afternoon rush is just three guys and the bartender. Many of the regulars work for suppliers and haven’t worked since mid-September.

Tamara Farrell has been on the receiving end of cutbacks. She’s the co-owner of Tony M’s. Farrell says she’s had to stop serving third shift breakfast because all her regulars are out of work.

Farrell is also allowing UAW workers to picket outside on the corner. And, she said that’s helped business a little. But, there’s a hole where business from people who work for suppliers used to be, she said. “That business is gone. My morning breakfast — that was my morning breakfast.”

Michael Grimaldi isn’t surprised that Tony M’s is hurting for business.

He’s a skilled trade worker at Magna Dexsys, a supplier that makes bumpers and fascia for the Camaros, Cadillacs and Buicks made in Lansing. His income was slashed in the first couple weeks of the strike.

The $362 he collected for unemployment was barely 20 percent of his wage at Magna. And, he said, the number on the unemployment check hasn’t gone up much since he was off work at Lear Corp., another supplier in Flint, Mich., during another long strike over a decade ago.

“Being in the auto industry you kind of learn that it’s feast or famine,” Grimaldi said. “And just because things are going really well doesn’t mean that they always go well. So, you try to prepare. But you can never prepare for an unknown end to something.”

Grimaldi just went back to work because he does electrical work and maintenance that can be performed at any time. But he guessed 95 percent of his 500 or more coworkers at the plant are still out of work.

In a statement a spokesman for the company said, “a few of our GM-dedicated plants remain idle.”

Grimaldi said he’s worried about people working for suppliers who are in strike mode even though they didn’t vote to strike.

“And it’s like all the focus is on GM. That’s the spotlight. But, just outside the spotlight I’m watching in the dark, in the shadows, but nobody can see me because the spotlight is only so big. So, it’s tough and I’ve been literally talking about it with my wife, and with my friends. And we have not been mentioned at all. And, I mean, there’s people that are not going to be able to recover for a long time.”

Can they recover?

Kristin Dziczek is vice president of Industry, Labor and Economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.

She said, it’s not only workers who won’t be able to recover. It’s also the businesses employing them. One of Dziczek’s biggest worries is, “Can they make this production up when the strike eventually does end? Is there an opportunity for the workers and for suppliers to make up this hole? And it’s getting to the point where they can’t, at least not in this year.”

Since the strike began officials at Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency estimate that a third of the 15,000 claims made through late September relate to the strike.

And that doesn’t include the nearly 20,000 UAW workers who are not eligible for unemployment. They began receiving $250 in strike pay last week.

For now, in places like Lansing, thousands of people who didn’t go on strike and aren’t represented in the talks remain out of work.

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

In Montana, A Liberian Refugee Mounts U.S. Senate Challenge

Westlake Legal Group wilmot-collins_custom-645370a51e5fc54e9bf1377fbbcb35f806facf1f-s1100-c15 In Montana, A Liberian Refugee Mounts U.S. Senate Challenge

Wilmot Collins stands in the Helena City Commission chambers before a meeting. He moved to Montana in the early 1990s. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Kirk Siegler/NPR

Westlake Legal Group  In Montana, A Liberian Refugee Mounts U.S. Senate Challenge

Wilmot Collins stands in the Helena City Commission chambers before a meeting. He moved to Montana in the early 1990s.

Kirk Siegler/NPR

In the early 1990s, Wilmot Collins and his wife Maddie, escaped the Liberian Civil War. Broke and starving, they ended up in Helena, Mont.

“Why do you think we fled?” Collins asked. “We fled because we wanted a second chance.”

Soon after moving to their first home, a neighbor knocked on their door and alerted Collins to hateful graffiti outside his house.

“On my wall was ‘KKK, Go back to Africa,’ ” Collins said.

This wasn’t the first racist threat he’s received since his resettlement in the U.S. and Montana. But ironically this moment, nearly 25 years ago, was when he knew Montana would be his home. That’s because that same morning, a brigade of neighbors showed up to help them clean the graffiti.

“People always say, ‘Oh man, you know you’re in Montana, do you experience racism down there?’ ” Collins said. “I say, ‘Yeah, but how your community reacts to what happens will determine whether you belong or not.’ “

Instead of moving, he and Maddie stayed and built themselves a new life. Collins started working as a janitor at a school, then became a substitute teacher, and eventually a social worker. On the side, he coached soccer and served on the United Way and other local boards. His wife is a nurse at the local VA hospital. They raised two kids in Helena.

His son, who went on to study political science at the University of Montana, urged him to consider entering politics not long after President Trump took office in 2017.

Collins’ rise was fast. Later that year, he narrowly defeated Helena’s entrenched mayor (the race is technically nonpartisan, but both men are Democrats), making history by becoming the capital city’s first black mayor since its incorporation. Now he has his eyes on a higher position: a U.S. Senate seat that Democrats lost in 2014, and had previously held for nearly a century.

Between his job, his family and mayoral duties, Collins squeezes in every minute he can to campaign.

For Collins, the strategy is to meet as many people as possible and make connections on common issues such as trade and student loan debt. His scope isn’t just Democratic-leaning towns like Helena, but also rural, conservative-leaning farming towns.

“The last thing I want to dwell on is race. It’s divisive, and I don’t want to deal with that,” Collins said.

But he’s had to. When Trump tweeted that four Democratic lawmakers of color should “go back to the countries they came from,” Collins’ possible opponent, Republican Sen. Steve Daines heartily backed the racist tweet with a pledge of support on his Twitter account.

Collins says the men showed their true colors.

“He’s trying to say because they’re black and brown, they need to go back to Africa, where I’m from,” Collins said. “But that’s wrong. I’m an American. I’ve served this country honorably.”

Staff for Daines did not make the senator available for an interview. In a statement, a spokesperson said Daines “looks forward to having a thoughtful discussion with Montanans on how to best protect our Montana way of life.”

While Wilmot Collins is considered a long shot, his campaign is not going unnoticed in an overwhelmingly white state that Trump won by more than 20 points.

Professor Tobin Miller Shearer runs the African American Studies program at the University of Montana, which boasts the third oldest such program at a public university in the country. Montana is also the least black state in the country, according to recent census figures.

“As a historian, I’m absolutely delighted, because this opens up a whole conversation about the history of race in Montana,” Shearer said.

Westlake Legal Group prof-tobin-miller_custom-f7f27b3c0de42017417a11ba12aeb03248de5a17-s1100-c15 In Montana, A Liberian Refugee Mounts U.S. Senate Challenge

Professor Tobin Miller Shearer stands at the decorated door of his office. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Kirk Siegler/NPR

Westlake Legal Group  In Montana, A Liberian Refugee Mounts U.S. Senate Challenge

Professor Tobin Miller Shearer stands at the decorated door of his office.

Kirk Siegler/NPR

He believes Collins’ run will force Montanans to confront — and discuss — what’s been a long and violent history of racism and KKK activity in the Northwest.

This largely white region has been a hotbed for extremism for more than a century. Hate group monitors such as the Montana Human Rights Network are reporting a recent spike in white nationalist sentiment and recruitment, particularly in rural areas since 2016.

The group’s co-director Rachel Carroll-Rivas says that Wilmot Collins’ candidacy is being met with excitement and anxiety.

“I think there’s a reason to be concerned for the safety of people of color, including immigrants right now in Montana, in the Pacific Northwest and across the U.S., because of the vitriolic scapegoating of immigrants and brown folks by activists and elected officials,” Carroll-Rivas said.

She believes that Collins is doing precisely what he should to respond to hate: being out in the open, surrounded by friends.

At least in Helena, that’s easy. Collins appears to know just about everyone.

“I think it’s time that somebody steps up to the plate to bring some civility back. I think it’s time that somebody who wants to represent the whole of Montana steps up,” Collins said.

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

Chance The Rapper’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Is One Big Name-Drop

Westlake Legal Group 5d9d992a210000c307342b50 Chance The Rapper’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Is One Big Name-Drop

In “The Late Late Show” bit that aired Tuesday night, the Grammy-winning musician spilled the beans to host James Corden on his friendships with former President Barack Obama and fellow rap stars Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Chance revealed how Obama and Jay-Z are a little hard to get hold of on the phone. He does have a direct line to West, however, but admitting to facing a “spiritual battle” when deciding to follow one of his whims.

Corden also served up Chance (who revealed he hates vegetables) a platter of veggies ― while Chance broke down the totally non-confrontational way he deals with receiving an unsatisfactory verse from a collaborator on a song.

Check out the segment here:

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

Federal trade commission temporarily halts ‘misleading’ real-estate seminar endorsed by HGTV personalities

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5804491665001_5804490439001-vs Federal trade commission temporarily halts 'misleading' real-estate seminar endorsed by HGTV personalities New York Post Lindsey Kupfer fnc/real-estate fnc article 2ac32a20-0a2a-51e3-8456-137b53df4e8e /FOX NEWS/LIFESTYLE/REAL ESTATE

The Federal Trade Commission is attempting to shut down a Utah-based company that runs a real estate seminar — which has been endorsed by HGTV stars, including “Flip or Flop’s” Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead — that the group says is “misleading” and “bogus.”

On Friday, a federal court agreed to put a temporary restraining order against Zurixx, LLC, which, according to the FTC, “used deceptive promises of big profits to lure consumers into real estate seminars costing thousands of dollars.”

SEE THEM: MICHIGAN REAL ESTATE AGENT ADDS TERRIFYING TOUCH TO LISTING PHOTOS

The complaint, which was filed by the FTC and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, says Zurixx would hold free events that were endorsed by the “Flip or Flop” stars, as well as Hilary Farr from HGTV’s “Love It or List It” and Peter Souhleris and Dave Seymour from A&E’s “Flipping Boston.” Once at the event, the presenters would then pitch the group’s three-day workshop that cost $1,997 and promised to teach customers how to “make substantial income from real estate.” At the pricey workshops, presenters encouraged attendees to open new credit cards and increase card limits, and also peddled products and services that could cost up to $41,297, according to the FTC.

“From start to finish, these defendants used the promise of easy money and in-depth information to lure consumers down a path that could cost them thousands of dollars and put them in serious debt,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “When a company tells consumers they have the secret to get rich with little work, we encourage consumers to take a hard look at what’s really being offered.”

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The FTC alleges consumers could only get a refund from the company if they signed an agreement prohibiting them from “speaking with the FTC, state attorneys general, and other regulators; submitting complaints to the Better Business Bureau; or posting negative reviews about Zurixx.”

Zurixx told the Associated Press in a statement that the organization anticipates “a positive outcome as we work directly and openly with the agencies involved.” HGTV did not immediately respond to AP’s request for comment.

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This article originally appeared in the New York Post.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5804491665001_5804490439001-vs Federal trade commission temporarily halts 'misleading' real-estate seminar endorsed by HGTV personalities New York Post Lindsey Kupfer fnc/real-estate fnc article 2ac32a20-0a2a-51e3-8456-137b53df4e8e /FOX NEWS/LIFESTYLE/REAL ESTATE   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5804491665001_5804490439001-vs Federal trade commission temporarily halts 'misleading' real-estate seminar endorsed by HGTV personalities New York Post Lindsey Kupfer fnc/real-estate fnc article 2ac32a20-0a2a-51e3-8456-137b53df4e8e /FOX NEWS/LIFESTYLE/REAL ESTATE

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

Chance The Rapper’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Is One Big Name-Drop

Westlake Legal Group 5d9d992a210000c307342b50 Chance The Rapper’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Is One Big Name-Drop

In “The Late Late Show” bit that aired Tuesday night, the Grammy-winning musician spilled the beans to host James Corden on his friendships with former President Barack Obama and fellow rap stars Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Chance revealed how Obama and Jay-Z are a little hard to get hold of on the phone. He does have a direct line to West, however, but admitting to facing a “spiritual battle” when deciding to follow one of his whims.

Corden also served up Chance (who revealed he hates vegetables) a platter of veggies ― while Chance broke down the totally non-confrontational way he deals with receiving an unsatisfactory verse from a collaborator on a song.

Check out the segment here:

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

This Day in History: Oct. 9

On this day, Oct. 9 …

2018: Brett Kavanaugh takes the bench for the first time as a Supreme Court associate justice after weeks of rancor surrounding his confirmation.

Also on this day:

  • 1776: A group of Spanish missionaries settles in present-day San Francisco.
  • 1930: Laura Ingalls becomes the first woman to fly across the United States as she completes a nine-stop journey from Roosevelt Field, N.Y., to Glendale, Calif.
  • 1936: The first generator at Boulder (later Hoover) Dam begins transmitting electricity to Los Angeles.
  • 1958: Pope Pius XII dies at age 82, ending a 19-year papacy. (He would be succeeded by Pope John XXIII.)
  • 1967: Marxist revolutionary guerrilla leader Che Guevara, 39, is executed by the Bolivian army a day after his capture.
  • 1974: Businessman Oskar Schindler, credited with saving about 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, dies in Frankfurt, West Germany (at his request, he is buried in Jerusalem).
  • 1985: The hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise liner surrender two days after seizing the vessel in the Mediterranean. (Passenger Leon Klinghoffer, an American who used a wheelchair, was killed by the hijackers during the standoff.)
  • 2006: Google Inc. announces it is snapping up YouTube Inc. for $1.65 billion in a stock deal.
  • 2009: President Barack Obama wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for what the Norwegian Nobel Committee calls “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
Westlake Legal Group JerrySandusky720 This Day in History: Oct. 9 fox-news/us/this-day-in-history fox news fnc/us fnc f0d9514f-93b9-5e6f-b318-e0d1a04c8351 article

FILE – Jerry Sandusky. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

  • 2012: Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison following his conviction on 45 counts of sexual abuse of boys.
Westlake Legal Group Kavanaugh This Day in History: Oct. 9 fox-news/us/this-day-in-history fox news fnc/us fnc f0d9514f-93b9-5e6f-b318-e0d1a04c8351 article   Westlake Legal Group Kavanaugh This Day in History: Oct. 9 fox-news/us/this-day-in-history fox news fnc/us fnc f0d9514f-93b9-5e6f-b318-e0d1a04c8351 article

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

Chance The Rapper’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Is One Big Name-Drop

Westlake Legal Group 5d9d992a210000c307342b50 Chance The Rapper’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Is One Big Name-Drop

In “The Late Late Show” bit that aired Tuesday night, the Grammy-winning musician spilled the beans to host James Corden on his friendships with former President Barack Obama and fellow rap stars Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Chance revealed how Obama and Jay-Z are a little hard to get hold of on the phone. He does have a direct line to West, however, but admitting to facing a “spiritual battle” when deciding to follow one of his whims.

Corden also served up Chance (who revealed he hates vegetables) a platter of veggies ― while Chance broke down the totally non-confrontational way he deals with receiving an unsatisfactory verse from a collaborator on a song.

Check out the segment here:

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

Second NBA Cares event canceled in China during Lakers-Nets preseason visit: report

Westlake Legal Group lebron-james Second NBA Cares event canceled in China during Lakers-Nets preseason visit: report fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/sports/nba/los-angeles-lakers fox-news/sports/nba/houston-rockets fox-news/sports/nba/brooklyn-nets fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/politics fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 61cad9a8-6cd7-5591-89a8-6a6960f13e37

An NBA Cares event scheduled for Wednesday in Shanghai that was supposed to feature players from the Los Angeles Lakers has been canceled, according to reports.

The cancellation comes one day after a similar event featuring the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets was canceled.

The teams remain scheduled to play a pair of preseason games in China, planned for Thursday morning and Saturday morning, Eastern U.S. time, amid speculation that Chinese officials or possibly the NBA might postpone those events as well. At least one U.S. lawmaker, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has called on the league to pull out.

NBA-CHINA CONTROVERSY EXPOSED HOW DEPENDENT AMERICAN BASKETBALL IS ON BEIJING, FS1’S JASON WHITLOCK SAYS

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was heading to Shanghai on Wednesday in an effort to repair the league’s relationship with China, according to the Associated Press. He said he did not expect the Lakers-Nets games to be canceled.

“But if those are the consequences of us adhering to our values, I still feel it’s very, very important to adhere to those values,” Silver said.

Photos posted on social media showed Lakers stars — including LeBron James and Anthony Davis — outside a facility where the team held a practice that was off-limits to the media, according to reports.

NBA Cares is the charity arm of the 30-team league that supports numerous causes, such as education and disaster relief.

But the two teams’ goodwill visit to the country has been overshadowed by a controversy sparked by a now-deleted Twitter message posted by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who expressed support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong who have been opposing what they view as Chinese interference in the island territory’s autonomy.

The tweet was especially offensive in China because the Rockets were the team of Yao Ming, a Shanghai native who played in the NBA from 2002 to 2011 and is considered the sport’s greatest ambassador in his home country. Several Chinese companies immediately cut ties with the Rockets.

Team star James Harden, who was with the Rockets in Japan, in a separate trip from the Lakers-Nets visit in China, apologized Monday on behalf of the organization.

“We apologize. You know, we love China. We love playing there,” Harden said, according to ESPN. “For both of us individually, we go there once or twice a year. They show us the most important love.”

Hong Kong has been a special administrative region of China since 1997, when Britain relinquished control.

Morey’s tweet also placed the NBA in the position of having to choose between supporting the free-speech values of the United States and pursuing business in China, a communist nation that ranks as the world’s No. 2 economy.

Not long after the tweet appeared, Silver said at a news conference that the league was “apologetic” over the fallout, but was “not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of speech.” Silver added that he “regrets” how so many Chinese people and NBA fans were upset by Morey’s message.

“Daryl Morey, as general manager of the Houston Rockets, enjoys that right as one of our employees,” Silver said, according to the Associated Press. “What I also tried to suggest is that I understand there are consequences from his freedom of speech and we will have to live with those consequences.”

Nevertheless, the league faced bipartisan criticism for its initial response.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., blasted the league as “hypocrites,” saying its players “have no problem speaking out on politics & social issues in America. But they apologize to #China for a pro democracy tweet from an NBA team executive.”

“We’re better than this,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wrote. “Human rights shouldn’t be for sale & the NBA shouldn’t be assisting Chinese communist censorhip.

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On Monday, presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wrote:

“China is trying to use its market power to silence free speech and criticism of its conduct. In response, the NBA chose its pocketbook over its principles – and our values. We should all be speaking out in support of those protesting for their rights.”

Other critics noted that normally outspoken figures in the NBA – such as Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, and star Lakers player LeBron James, have been largely silent on the controversy.

The NBA regular season is scheduled to begin Oct. 22

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Westlake Legal Group lebron-james Second NBA Cares event canceled in China during Lakers-Nets preseason visit: report fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/sports/nba/los-angeles-lakers fox-news/sports/nba/houston-rockets fox-news/sports/nba/brooklyn-nets fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/politics fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 61cad9a8-6cd7-5591-89a8-6a6960f13e37   Westlake Legal Group lebron-james Second NBA Cares event canceled in China during Lakers-Nets preseason visit: report fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/sports/nba/los-angeles-lakers fox-news/sports/nba/houston-rockets fox-news/sports/nba/brooklyn-nets fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/politics fox news fnc/sports fnc Dom Calicchio article 61cad9a8-6cd7-5591-89a8-6a6960f13e37

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Marc Thiessen: Joe Biden is a hypocrite on Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093235542001_6093237749001-vs Marc Thiessen: Joe Biden is a hypocrite on Ukraine the washington post Marc Thiessen fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/barack-obama fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc article 0d62019b-3661-5113-a697-616d252cd746

Former Vice President Joe Biden has said that in holding up vital military assistance to Ukraine, President Trump “used the power and resources of the United States to pressure a sovereign nation, a partner that is still under direct assault from Russia … to subvert the rule of law in the express hope of extracting a political favor.”

That’s rich. The aid in question is lethal military assistance that the Obama-Biden administration refused to give Ukraine.

In 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea and began arming separatists in eastern Ukraine with tanks, armored vehicles and rocket launchers, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko came to Washington to plead for weapons to defend his country. In an impassioned address to a joint session of Congress — with Biden sitting directly behind him — Poroshenko said his country appreciated the nonlethal assistance he was getting, but declared “one cannot win a war with blankets.”

PETER SCHWEIZER: BIDEN UKRAINE DEALINGS — 7 ESSENTIAL FACTS

The Obama-Biden administration was unmoved. The Wall Street Journal reported at the time that “President Barack Obama stuck to his refusal to provide weapons or other lethal military gear to Ukraine, despite a passionate appeal Thursday for help in fighting pro-Russian rebels by Ukraine’s president.” Why? The administration feared that lethal aid would provoke Moscow.

So what did the administration give him? Instead of RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades), we provided MREs (meals ready to eat) — food rations. As one frustrated former Pentagon official put it at the time, “What kind of message does that send anyway? We are sending MREs while they are being invaded by an aggressor.”

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Answer: a message of weakness.

When Trump took office, he delivered a message of strength. In December 2017, the new administration announced that the United States would send the lethal aid to Ukraine that Poroshenko requested and Obama and Biden refused — the sale of $47 million worth of Javelin antitank missiles. In May 2018, after Ukraine tested its new Javelin missiles, Poroshenko exulted on Twitter, “Finally this day has come!” and personally thanked Trump “for supporting Ukraine and adopting a decision to provide Javelin antitank missile systems.”

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For Biden to now attack Trump for a temporary delay in a new round of lethal military aid reeks of hypocrisy. It was on Biden’s watch that the United States refused to deliver military aid at all. Yet the same vice president who sat there impassively while Ukraine’s president begged for weapons now dares to cite the Russian threat to Ukraine in castigating Trump? Talk about chutzpah.

And since Biden raised the Russian threat, let’s recall that the Obama-Biden administration bears much responsibility for the annexation of Crimea that necessitated the delivery of lethal aid to Ukraine in the first place. Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine came in the aftermath of the Obama-Biden administration’s failure to enforce its red line against Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons by Syria. In March 2013, Biden declared, “Because we recognize the great danger Assad’s chemical and biological arsenals pose to Israel and the United States, to the whole world, we’ve set a clear red line against the use or the transfer of those weapons.”

Assad responded by using chemical weapons on innocent civilians not once, but 16 times. And yet Obama and Biden did nothing, failing to carry out even “unbelievably small” military strikes — a decision Biden publicly defended. “We can easily say we should have bombed and gone in and taken out their air defense system,” Biden said, “Well, you know, big nations can’t bluff.”

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Bluff is what Obama and Biden did — and Assad called their bluff. Not only that, they turned to Russia for a face-saving way out, letting Russian President Vladimir Putin broker a phony deal to have Syria disarm. It was one of the most embarrassing foreign policy debacles of the post-Cold War era. So it should come as no surprise that, when Obama threatened to impose costs on Putin if he invaded Ukraine, the Kremlin called his bluff, too. Putin knew Obama and Biden did not have the will to stand up to him in Ukraine. And he was proved right when they refused to give Ukraine lethal aid for fear of further provoking him.

None of this excuses Trump’s delaying a new round of lethal military aid to Ukraine. But if this military assistance was as vital to countering the Russian threat as Biden says, then it’s fair to ask: Why didn’t the United States provide it when Biden was the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine?

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