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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 196)

Vegan activist rescues 16 rabbits, leading to death of nearly 100 baby bunnies in Spain, report says

Westlake Legal Group Rabbits_iStock Vegan activist rescues 16 rabbits, leading to death of nearly 100 baby bunnies in Spain, report says Frank Miles fox-news/food-drink/recipes/cuisines/vegan fox news fnc/world fnc article 2fa02293-6cb0-549f-bea6-68470dcb9757

A Barcelona-based vegan activist has harmed more animals than she tried to save thanks to her radical acts, according to a report.

The New York Post reported that her rescue of 16 rabbits from a farm near Osono last Sunday caused the deaths of nearly 100 baby bunnies.

The news outlet said that the activist, who goes by the name “Mythical Mia” on social media, and whose real name is unknown, allegedly stole many rabbits which were said to have been pregnant or lactating.

Their offspring included an estimated 90 bunnies, which had to be euthanized after being abandoned.

She posted about her campaign on Instagram, which since has been disabled.

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“These 16 are the lucky ones,” Mia said about her rescue. “After actions like this we get to go home but for them there is no way out. We only managed to find a home for 16 beforehand, so had to leave thousands of mothers and babies behind. They will be trapped inside those cages for their entire lives, their only escape is when they are shipped off to a slaughterhouse to be murdered for their flesh and fur. Rabbits like these are also abused for animal testing, tortured for a lifetime before eventually getting murdered too. They are also regularly kept as ‘pets’ often in solitary confinement and inappropriate conditions suffering from boredom and multiple other health issues.”

Mia added: “What we do to the animals need to end immediately. This injustice has gone on far too long. We will continue to enter in these facilities to expose these horrors and liberate the beings trapped inside for as long as it takes. We are not going anywhere. Join us in our fight, be vegan, be active and let’s put an end to this once and for all.”

Click for more from The New York Post.

Westlake Legal Group Rabbits_iStock Vegan activist rescues 16 rabbits, leading to death of nearly 100 baby bunnies in Spain, report says Frank Miles fox-news/food-drink/recipes/cuisines/vegan fox news fnc/world fnc article 2fa02293-6cb0-549f-bea6-68470dcb9757   Westlake Legal Group Rabbits_iStock Vegan activist rescues 16 rabbits, leading to death of nearly 100 baby bunnies in Spain, report says Frank Miles fox-news/food-drink/recipes/cuisines/vegan fox news fnc/world fnc article 2fa02293-6cb0-549f-bea6-68470dcb9757

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

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Vaccine Bill Restricting Medical Exemptions

Westlake Legal Group 5d6814522500003200744d08 California Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Vaccine Bill Restricting Medical Exemptions

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a hotly debated vaccine bill on Monday that is expected to significantly tighten vaccine exemptions for children going to school.

Senate Bill 276 requires public health officials to review exemptions at any school found to have an immunization rate of less than 95%. The new law also mandates a public health review of any doctor who grants more than five medical exemptions in a calendar year. The state is now authorized to revoke any exemptions it deems fraudulent or medically inaccurate.

Newsom also signed SB 714, which included revisions to the original bill that the governor requested last week. The changes allow for a delay in the state review of some medical exemptions as well as incorporate Newsom’s proposal that all existing medical exemptions are grandfathered in by Jan. 1, according to the Los Angeles Times.

It also requires that families obtain new medical exemptions upon their child entering kindergarten, seventh grade or changing schools.

SB 276 was first amended after Newsom raised concerns in June about the government interfering with doctor-patient relations. The initial version of the legislation, introduced by Democratic state Sen. Richard Pan, would have required the state health department to review and then either approve or deny all medical exemptions to school immunization requirements.

Children in California must be vaccinated in order to attend public or private schools, though the state permits exemptions if a physician identifies a medical reason for a child to skip some or all vaccines.

California is one of just three states in the country, along with West Virginia and Mississippi, that don’t permit vaccine exemptions for religious or philosophical reasons. West Virginia also authorizes its public health department to vet medical exemptions.

Although immunization rates for children entering kindergarten in California are high ― currently about 95% statewide, according to data from the California Department of Public Health ― the rate of medical exemptions has risen in recent years, and public health officials are on high alert.

The bill’s passage comes amid the worst measles outbreak in the country in decades, with over 1,240 cases of the highly-contagious disease confirmed this year across 30 states, according to the CDC. California has confirmed at least 67 measles cases this year.

The anti-vaccine movement has grown in recent years, often fueled by misconceptions about the safety of immunizations. One popular conspiracy theory about a supposed link between the MMR vaccine and childhood autism stems from a debunked 1998 study and has been exhaustively proven false in numerous medical studies.

The bill generated considerable backlash in the state, with some opponents saying it could violate patient-physician confidentiality and others arguing the government shouldn’t be involved in making medical decisions.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Capitol in Sacramento on Monday in a last-ditch attempt to convince lawmakers to kill the bill.

Several demonstrators were arrested for blocking entry into the government building, including three women who were obstructing a garage entrance used by lawmakers.

Protesters unfurled an upside-down American flag from the state Senate’s public gallery and chanted “My kids, my choice” and “We will not comply,” according to The Associated Press.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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

Retailers Walk Thin Line by Asking, Not Telling, Shoppers Not to Carry Guns

David Amad, a gun rights activist and the vice president of Open Carry Texas, is not especially bothered by Walmart’s recent announcement that it is “respectfully requesting” that customers not openly carry guns into its stores.

Mr. Amad said many of his group’s 38,000 members had carried their guns openly into Walmart stores since the retailer made the policy public last Tuesday. None have been asked to leave.

“They are ducking the issue,” Mr. Amad said of Walmart. “They are trying to get the gun haters to leave them alone, while at the same time leave us alone when we carry in their stores.”

Walmart’s announcement followed the shooting that killed 22 people at its store in El Paso last month, and it sparked similar actions by Kroger, CVS, Walgreens and the Wegmans grocery chain.

Gun control groups applauded the retailers’ moves, which one prominent advocacy group described in a news release last week as “open-carry prohibitions,” a view that was widely shared.

But none of the retailers have banned guns in their stores outright, even though legal experts say that is something they could do.

“It’s a private property,” said Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. “A retailer can refuse service to anyone so long as it is not on the basis of race, religion or another protected group. That does not apply to gun owners.”

In some places, where gun rights are paramount, retailers said they might have a hard time enforcing a ban because local officials might believe that open-carry rights superseded store policies.

Some of the retailers said their new policies were meant to strike a balance between signaling that guns make many employees and customers feel unsafe, while not angering gun rights supporters. The new policies appear to be achieving something that have been elusive in the nation’s long-running gun debate: some form of middle ground.

Gun control advocates praise the moves as progress in making open carry socially unacceptable. Gun rights advocates say they the retailers are doing nothing to restrict their ability to carry their firearms.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_138292404_dbcec087-5fd4-4783-9a89-7e2d66762974-articleLarge Retailers Walk Thin Line by Asking, Not Telling, Shoppers Not to Carry Guns Walmart Stores Inc Shopping and Retail Open Carry Texas gun control El Paso, Tex, Shooting (2019)

An armed waitress at Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colo., one of more than 40 states that allow open carry in some form.CreditEmily Kask/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Walmart employees are instructed not to obstruct peaceful shoppers from openly carrying guns in the stores. In some stores, a Walmart spokesman said, employees are used to seeing some customers with guns during hunting season. But if an employee or customer feels unsafe, the store workers should call law enforcement.

The spokesman, Lorenzo Lopez, said he was unaware of any increase in customers’ openly carrying guns into stores or in confrontations with employees since the policy was made public. As part of that announcement, Walmart said it would no longer sell ammunition for military style rifles and handguns. It also called on Congress and the Trump administration to expand background checks and revive the debate over an assault rifle ban.

Representatives of CVS and Wegmans declined to discuss why the retailers had chosen not to ban open carry outright. Walgreens did not respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, Kroger said of its policy, “We believe this strikes the right balance between creating a friendly, caring and welcoming environment for associates and customers in our stores and respecting law-abiding citizens.”

More than 40 states allow open carry in some form, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, including in parts of the country, like the Northeast, not known as gun rights strongholds. Some states require special permits or that the weapon not be loaded, or restrict open-carry policies in dense urban areas.

As the nation’s largest retailer, with more than 4,000 stores serving a vast cross section of Americans, Walmart said it was advising workers to take a “nonconfrontational” approach with customers who wanted to carry their guns into its stores.

But the reality is that many Walmart stores have been the scene of violent crime, sometimes involving firearms. That could put store employees in the difficult position of trying to distinguish between troublemakers and law-abiding citizens with guns.

“No one, other than the police, should be able to carry guns in any Walmart store. Period,” Gabriela Navarette, a Walmart employee in Texas and a member of the labor group United for Respect, said in a statement.

The right to openly carry firearms has become contentious in recent years, notably when some activists made a point of taking guns with them into Starbucks and gun control advocates staged regular boycotts of the company.

In 2013, Starbucks became one of the first national chains to state a preference that its customers not openly carry their firearms into its stores.

“We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement — not by Starbucks and our store partners,” Howard Schultz, who was the company’s chairman and chief executive, wrote in a public letter at the time. He also chided both gun control and gun rights activists for fueling tensions at Starbucks stores to prove their point.

In 2013, Starbucks became one of the first national chains to state a preference that its customers not openly carry firearms in its stores.CreditLisa Wiltse for The New York Times

Starbucks does not appear eager to revisit the issue. When asked how the open-carry policy has worked out, a company spokesman said, “We don’t have anything to share beyond the letter,” which was released six years ago.

A spokeswoman for Target, which asked that its customers not carry guns in its stores in 2014, also declined to comment on whether shoppers have abided by the request.

Some states have tried to make it difficult for retailers to restrict open-carry rights. In Texas, for example, retailers must post large signs in both English and Spanish, spelling out open-carry policies.

Several states prevent businesses from banning the possession of firearms in vehicles in store parking lots. Walmart said it had been researching state laws as it begins to enact its new open-carry policy, which in some stores will involve posting signs.

Gun control experts say the open-carry discouragements are not empty gestures. Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, said several retailers had resisted her advocacy group’s previous requests to discourage open carry. That several major companies announced new policies at the same time is “an important cultural signal,” she said.

Not long ago, businesses were reluctant to say anything publicly that might be perceived as taking a side in the gun debate.

Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University’s school of public health who focuses on gun violence, compared the retailers’ discouragement of open carry to the choice by restaurants to prohibit smoking.

“It begins to make guns seem less socially acceptable,” Dr. Siegel said. “And it starts to change the public’s perception that the gun industry is too powerful to challenge. People used to say the same thing about Big Tobacco.”

Mr. Amad, the open-carry advocate in Texas, said that if he was ever asked to leave a Walmart while carrying his gun he would abide by the request. “We are not going to make a scene,” he said, adding that he, like many gun rights advocates, respects the rights of private property owners.

Instead, Mr. Amad said, he would plan on staging a protest on a public street near the store, but would probably never go so far as to boycott the retailer.

“I will never say I won’t go back to Walmart, because in some places out in the country Walmart is the only place to shop,” he said.

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

Stores Could Just Ban Guns, but Open-Carry Foes Back Requests as a Step

David Amad, a gun rights activist and the vice president of Open Carry Texas, is not especially bothered by Walmart’s recent announcement that it is “respectfully requesting” that customers not openly carry guns into its stores.

Mr. Amad said many of his group’s 38,000 members had carried their guns openly into Walmart stores since the retailer made the policy public last Tuesday. None have been asked to leave.

“They are ducking the issue,” Mr. Amad said of Walmart. “They are trying to get the gun haters to leave them alone, while at the same time leave us alone when we carry in their stores.”

Walmart’s announcement followed the shooting that killed 22 people at its store in El Paso last month, and it sparked similar actions by Kroger, CVS, Walgreens and the Wegmans grocery chain.

Gun control groups applauded the retailers’ moves, which one prominent advocacy group described in a news release last week as “open-carry prohibitions,” a view that was widely shared.

But none of the retailers have banned guns in their stores outright, even though legal experts say that is something they could do.

“It’s a private property,” said Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. “A retailer can refuse service to anyone so long as it is not on the basis of race, religion or another protected group. That does not apply to gun owners.”

In some places, where gun rights are paramount, retailers said they might have a hard time enforcing a ban because local officials might believe that open-carry rights superseded store policies.

Some of the retailers said their new policies were meant to strike a balance between signaling that guns make many employees and customers feel unsafe, while not angering gun rights supporters. The new policies appear to be achieving something that have been elusive in the nation’s long-running gun debate: some form of middle ground.

Gun control advocates praise the moves as progress in making open carry socially unacceptable. Gun rights advocates say they the retailers are doing nothing to restrict their ability to carry their firearms.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_138292404_dbcec087-5fd4-4783-9a89-7e2d66762974-articleLarge Stores Could Just Ban Guns, but Open-Carry Foes Back Requests as a Step Walmart Stores Inc Shopping and Retail Open Carry Texas gun control El Paso, Tex, Shooting (2019)

An armed waitress at Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colo., one of more than 40 states that allow open carry in some form.CreditEmily Kask/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Walmart employees are instructed not to obstruct peaceful shoppers from openly carrying guns in the stores. In some stores, a Walmart spokesman said, employees are used to seeing some customers with guns during hunting season. But if an employee or customer feels unsafe, the store workers should call law enforcement.

The spokesman, Lorenzo Lopez, said he was unaware of any increase in customers’ openly carrying guns into stores or in confrontations with employees since the policy was made public. As part of that announcement, Walmart said it would no longer sell ammunition for military style rifles and handguns. It also called on Congress and the Trump administration to expand background checks and revive the debate over an assault rifle ban.

Representatives of CVS and Wegmans declined to discuss why the retailers had chosen not to ban open carry outright. Walgreens did not respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, Kroger said of its policy, “We believe this strikes the right balance between creating a friendly, caring and welcoming environment for associates and customers in our stores and respecting law-abiding citizens.”

More than 40 states allow open carry in some form, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, including in parts of the country, like the Northeast, not known as gun rights strongholds. Some states require special permits or that the weapon not be loaded, or restrict open-carry policies in dense urban areas.

As the nation’s largest retailer, with more than 4,000 stores serving a vast cross section of Americans, Walmart said it was advising workers to take a “nonconfrontational” approach with customers who wanted to carry their guns into its stores.

But the reality is that many Walmart stores have been the scene of violent crime, sometimes involving firearms. That could put store employees in the difficult position of trying to distinguish between troublemakers and law-abiding citizens with guns.

“No one, other than the police, should be able to carry guns in any Walmart store. Period,” Gabriela Navarette, a Walmart employee in Texas and a member of the labor group United for Respect, said in a statement.

The right to openly carry firearms has become contentious in recent years, notably when some activists made a point of taking guns with them into Starbucks and gun control advocates staged regular boycotts of the company.

In 2013, Starbucks became one of the first national chains to state a preference that its customers not openly carry their firearms into its stores.

“We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement — not by Starbucks and our store partners,” Howard Schultz, who was the company’s chairman and chief executive, wrote in a public letter at the time. He also chided both gun control and gun rights activists for fueling tensions at Starbucks stores to prove their point.

In 2013, Starbucks became one of the first national chains to state a preference that its customers not openly carry firearms in its stores.CreditLisa Wiltse for The New York Times

Starbucks does not appear eager to revisit the issue. When asked how the open-carry policy has worked out, a company spokesman said, “We don’t have anything to share beyond the letter,” which was released six years ago.

A spokeswoman for Target, which asked that its customers not carry guns in its stores in 2014, also declined to comment on whether shoppers have abided by the request.

Some states have tried to make it difficult for retailers to restrict open-carry rights. In Texas, for example, retailers must post large signs in both English and Spanish, spelling out open-carry policies.

Several states prevent businesses from banning the possession of firearms in vehicles in store parking lots. Walmart said it had been researching state laws as it begins to enact its new open-carry policy, which in some stores will involve posting signs.

Gun control experts say the open-carry discouragements are not empty gestures. Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, said several retailers had resisted her advocacy group’s previous requests to discourage open carry. That several major companies announced new policies at the same time is “an important cultural signal,” she said.

Not long ago, businesses were reluctant to say anything publicly that might be perceived as taking a side in the gun debate.

Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University’s school of public health who focuses on gun violence, compared the retailers’ discouragement of open carry to the choice by restaurants to prohibit smoking.

“It begins to make guns seem less socially acceptable,” Dr. Siegel said. “And it starts to change the public’s perception that the gun industry is too powerful to challenge. People used to say the same thing about Big Tobacco.”

Mr. Amad, the open-carry advocate in Texas, said that if he was ever asked to leave a Walmart while carrying his gun he would abide by the request. “We are not going to make a scene,” he said, adding that he, like many gun rights advocates, respects the rights of private property owners.

Instead, Mr. Amad said, he would plan on staging a protest on a public street near the store, but would probably never go so far as to boycott the retailer.

“I will never say I won’t go back to Walmart, because in some places out in the country Walmart is the only place to shop,” he said.

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

Trump Had Deal With Scotland Airport That Sent Flight Crews to His Resort

Westlake Legal Group 09dc-hotel-facebookJumbo Trump Had Deal With Scotland Airport That Sent Flight Crews to His Resort United States Politics and Government United States Air Force Turnberry (Scotland Golf Resort) Trump, Donald J Scotland Pence, Mike ireland Hotels and Travel Lodgings Conflicts of Interest

WASHINGTON — Back in 2014, soon after acquiring a golf resort in Scotland, Donald J. Trump entered a partnership with a struggling local airport there to increase air traffic and boost tourism in the region.

The next year, as Mr. Trump began running for president, the Pentagon decided to ramp up its use of that same airport to refuel Air Force flights and gave the local airport authority the job of helping to find accommodations for flight crews who had to remain overnight.

Those two separate arrangements have now intersected in ways that provide the latest evidence of how Mr. Trump’s continued ownership of his business produces regular ethical questions.

On Monday, President Trump sought to tamp down a growing controversy over a stay at the resort by United States military personnel who were traveling through the airport in Scotland in March. First on Twitter and later speaking to reporters at the White House, he said he was not involved in any decision to put an Air Force flight crew at the resort, known as Trump Turnberry.

“I know nothing about an Air Force plane landing at an airport (which I do not own and have nothing to do with) near Turnberry Resort (which I do own) in Scotland, and filling up with fuel, with the crew staying overnight at Turnberry (they have good taste!),” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.”

But documents obtained from Scottish government agencies show that the Trump Organization, and Mr. Trump himself, played a direct role in setting up an arrangement between the Turnberry resort and officials at Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

The government records, released through Scottish Freedom of Information law, show that the Trump organization, starting in 2014, entered a partnership with the airport to try to increase private and commercial air traffic to the region.

As part of that arrangement, the Trump Organization worked to get Trump Turnberry added to a list of hotels that the airport would routinely send aircrews to, even though the Turnberry resort is 20 miles from the airport, farther away than many other hotels, and has higher advertised prices.

Trump Organization executives held a series of meetings with the airport officials to negotiate terms that would lead to more referrals, the documents show.

“As a list of hotels that we use for our business, being honest, Turnberry was always last on the list, based on price,” Jules Matteoni, a manager at Glasgow Prestwick, wrote in June 2015 to executives at Trump Turnberry. “Yesterday’s proposal places Turnberry in a favorable position and gives us food for thought in our placement of crews moving forward.”

Mr. Trump visited Glasgow Prestwick in 2014 and promised to help increase traffic at the airport, although at the time he was largely referring to plans to drive corporate jets there and attract other commercial traffic perhaps carrying golfers on the way to his resort.

“Forging a new partnership between the airport and the Trump Organization will undoubtedly be mutually beneficial,” Iain Cochrane, then the chief executive of the airport, said at the time of Mr. Trump’s visit.

Both the Defense Department and executives at the airport confirmed on Monday that the airport also has a separate arrangement with the United States Air Force. Under that arrangement, the Scottish airport not only refuels American military planes but also helps arrange hotel accommodations for arriving crews, as it does for some civilian and commercial aircraft.

“We provide a full handling service for customers and routinely arrange overnight accommodation for visiting aircrew when requested,” the Prestwick airport said in a statement on Monday. “We use over a dozen local hotels, including Trump Turnberry, which accounts for a small percentage of the total hotel bookings we make.”

It was through the arrangement with the Pentagon that a seven-person United States Air Force crew ended up staying at the Trump Turnberry in March. An Air Force C-17 military transport plane was on its way from Alaska to Kuwait when it stopped at Prestwick overnight to refuel and give the crew a break.

The crew, which consisted of active duty and national guard members from Alaska, was charged $136 per room, which was less expensive than a Marriott property’s rate of $161. And both were under the per diem rate of $166.

“A local agent on contract with the U.S. government assisted with the reservations and indicated that there wasn’t a room available closer to Prestwick airport,” the Air Force said in a statement. A Defense Department official added on Monday that “yes — the Air Force relies on a contracted representative at the Prestwick airport to support our aircrew needs.”

The number of such stops by Air Force planes at Prestwick rose from 180 in 2017 to 257 last year and 259 so far this year. The 259 stops this year included 220 overnight stays. Since October 2017, records show 917 payments for expenses including fuel at the airport worth a total of $17.2 million.

Air Force officials could not say on Monday how many times military crews had been sent to Trump Turnberry, but added that they are now going through vouchers to come up with such a count.

Lt. Gen. Jon T. Thomas, the deputy commander of the Air Force Air Mobility Command, said in an interview on Monday that the rising number of military stopovers at Prestwick was entirely based on operational demands, as the airport is in a convenient location, has 24-hour operations and offers ample aircraft parking, among other advantages. He added that the Air Force has been using Prestwick for stopovers since at least the late 1990s.

But he agreed that the decision to place Air Force crew members at a hotel owned by Mr. Trump’s family had created questions that the Defense Department needed to address. As a result, the Air Force is now reviewing policies on where crews are put up in hotels during international trips.

“Let’s make sure we are considering potential for misperception that could be created by where we billet the aircrews,” he said. “It is a reasonable ask for us to make sure we are being sensitive to misperceptions that could be formed by the American people or Congress or anyone else.”

Mr. Trump disputed that there were any legitimate questions about the stay by the Air Force crew, suggesting that he was so wealthy that the business was inconsequential to him.

“I don’t need to have somebody take a room overnight at a hotel,” Mr. Trump said.

He also dismissed suggestions that he was profiting when Vice President Mike Pence recently spent two nights at the Trump family’s golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland.

“So what is happening is the following: Every time you find a person landing in an airplane within 500 miles of something I own, Mike Pence, as an example, his family lives in Doonbeg, Ireland,” Mr. Trump said, rejecting these questions as unfounded.

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

For Boris Johnson, Another Day, Another Defeat in Parliament

LONDON — For Britain’s bare-knuckled new prime minister, Monday marked the end of what is surely one of the most abysmal starts any British leader has ever endured.

As a new law went into effect blocking a “no deal” Brexit, lawmakers also handed Prime Minister Boris Johnson yet another defeat — rebuffing his bid for a snap election.

By Monday’s end, it had become clear that if Mr. Johnson had thought he could outfox Parliament by suspending it, sidelining lawmakers at a critical moment in the Brexit debate, he was the one who had been outmaneuvered.

Now, the man who promised to deliver Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union “do or die,” formal withdrawal agreement or not, is suddenly flailing for a new strategy, more than three years after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum.

Even the day’s only silver lining for Mr. Johnson came with a poison pill.

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons — and a thorn in the side of the government throughout the Brexit debate — announced his plans to step down. But he timed it so that the current Parliament, which is packed with opponents of the prime minister, would choose his successor.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160492431_bd797b61-82d4-4469-b036-b9a18c801064-articleLarge For Boris Johnson, Another Day, Another Defeat in Parliament Politics and Government Johnson, Boris House of Commons (Great Britain) Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) elections Conservative Party (Great Britain) Bercow, John

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Dublin, on Monday.CreditPhil Noble/Reuters

“Johnson is a toothless prime minister who desperately needs a snap election to give some credibility to his Brexit strategy,” wrote Kallum Pickering, a senior economist with Berenberg Bank. But, he said: “For the opposition parties, it makes little sense to give Johnson the election on his terms. That would return the initiative to him.”

Mr. Johnson needed more than 430 votes for an election to proceed. He got 293.

The motion to suspend Parliament on Monday, or “prorogue” it, and send lawmakers away for five weeks came after eight days of head-snapping moves and countermoves in Parliament.

The suspension, announced in principle less than two weeks ago, was denounced by critics as a transparent, anti-democratic effort to sideline Parliament while the government forced through a no-deal Brexit.

But the government’s move to suspend Parliament backfired, serving to unite the disparate opposition, incite a revolt within Mr. Johnson’s own party and produce the bill that now blocks a no-deal Brexit. On Monday, that bill became law when it completed the final stage of passage, a formality known as royal assent.

The turbulent week has left Mr. Johnson in a tight corner. He has promised to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 — without an agreement if necessary — and said last week that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than request another delay to a process that has already been put off twice.

Digging his way out of that promise could be tough because a majority of lawmakers think that a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous. The new law is intended to force Mr. Johnson to request another extension if he cannot secure a withdrawal agreement with European Union officials before the Oct. 31 deadline.

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, was applauded by opposition lawmakers on Monday after he announced that he was stepping down.CreditJessica Taylor/UK Parliament

As recently as a few weeks ago, Mr. Johnson said the chances of leaving the European Union without a deal were a million to one against; he now puts the prospects as “touch and go.”

But many of his critics believe the prime minister’s real agenda is political. They believe he plans to fight for re-election as the candidate for Brexit at any cost, rallying right-wing voters behind him and crushing the threat from the hard-line Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage.

From Mr. Johnson’s perspective, the suspension of Parliament at least provides some relief by removing the possibility of further embarrassments and defeats at the hands of lawmakers after a week of tumultuous setbacks.

But it also means that prospects of a general election before the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline have slipped away.

Mr. Jonson had hoped to use a big win in an election before that date to empower his government to push through withdrawal from the European Union, with or without a deal. Lawmakers, however, need to approve an early election, and with the suspension of Parliament lawmakers cannot do so for at least five weeks. It would then take several weeks to organize an election.

With so much riding on an election that most expect toward the end of the year, the rival parties are trying to ensure that the timing best suits them.

Tensions were high in a week of tumultuous developments. Outside Parliament on Monday, a fight broke up between a Leave supporter and a Remain supporter.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

Mr. Johnson’s opponents rejected his call for a vote in October because they believe that their interests would be better served by a vote that comes after the deadline for withdrawal, at least if Mr. Johnson fails in his categorical pledge to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31.

They also know that there is a mood of discontent inside the ruling Conservative Party because Mr. Johnson last week expelled 21 lawmakers from his party — including some of its best-known figures — when they rebelled and supported legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Since then, Mr. Johnson has suffered the resignation from the government both of his brother, Jo Johnson, and of Amber Rudd, the high-profile former work and pensions secretary who quit over the weekend partly in protest of the party cull, and of Mr. Johnson’s broader Brexit strategy.

As the last hours of the parliamentary session ticked down on Monday night, Mr. Johnson had still yet to win a vote as prime minister.

Lawmakers voted against the government to demand the release of private messages sent by close advisers to Mr. Johnson about the decision to suspend Parliament, and of documents about the possible impact of a leaving the European Union without a deal.

Then Mr. Johnson was defeated on a motion brought by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, reaffirming the obligation of government ministers to uphold the rule of law. Mr. Johnson allowed the motion to pass without opposition.

The Houses of Parliament on Monday.CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

Mr. Corbyn introduced the motion in light of reports in recent days that Mr. Johnson was planning to flout the law blocking a no-deal Brexit by refusing to ask Brussels to delay the current deadline of Oct. 31. Mr. Corbyn called that an “assault on the rule of law.”

Ministers insist the prime minister will not break the law, but still suggest the government is looking for loopholes to avoid Mr. Johnson having to ask Brussels for an extension. They did not explain how that circle can be squared.

One possibility is that Mr. Johnson may strike a new deal with the European Union, but the odds against that are long.

A meeting Monday with the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, in Dublin, yielded nothing new on the biggest sticking point, the so-called Irish backstop plan to keep open the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Johnson could try to circumvent the new law, perhaps by sabotaging the prospects of a Brexit extension from the European Union by making it clear that he will be an obstructive force in Brussels.

But anything too blatant might land him in court, so another course of action might be to call a vote of confidence in his own government, or simply to resign and leave another politician to request the delay, gambling that an election would follow soon.

Relinquishing power might, however, be a tough call for a politician who has spent so much time and energy, and provoked such much turmoil, in his successful bid to reach the top job in British politics.

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C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades

WASHINGTON — Decades ago, the C.I.A. recruited and carefully cultivated a midlevel Russian official who began rapidly advancing through the governmental ranks. Eventually, American spies struck gold: The longtime source landed an influential position that came with access to the highest level of the Kremlin.

As American officials began to realize that Russia was trying to sabotage the 2016 presidential election, the informant became one of the C.I.A.’s most important — and highly protected — assets. But when intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia’s election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.’s Kremlin sources.

C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. The situation grew more tense when the informant at first refused, citing family concerns — prompting consternation at C.I.A. headquarters and sowing doubts among some American counterintelligence officials about the informant’s trustworthiness. But the C.I.A. pressed again months later after more media inquiries. This time, the informant agreed.

The move brought to an end the career of one of the C.I.A.’s most important sources. It also effectively blinded American intelligence officials to the view from inside Russia as they sought clues about Kremlin interference in the 2018 midterm elections and next year’s presidential contest.

CNN first reported the 2017 extraction on Monday. Other details — including the source’s history with the agency, the initial 2016 exfiltration offer and the cascade of doubts set off by the informant’s subsequent refusal — have not been previously reported. This article is based on interviews in recent months with current and former officials who spoke on the condition that their names not be used discussing classified information.

Officials did not disclose the informant’s identity or new location, both closely held secrets. The person’s life remains in danger, current and former officials said, pointing to Moscow’s attempts last year to assassinate Sergei V. Skripal, a former Russian intelligence official who moved to Britain as part of a high-profile spy exchange in 2010.

The Moscow informant was instrumental to the C.I.A.’s most explosive conclusion about Russia’s interference campaign: that President Vladimir V. Putin ordered and orchestrated it himself. As the American government’s best insight into the thinking of and orders from Mr. Putin, the source was also key to the C.I.A.’s assessment that he affirmatively favored Donald J. Trump’s election and personally ordered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

The informant, according to people familiar with the matter, was outside of Mr. Putin’s inner circle, but saw him regularly and had access to high-level Kremlin decision-making — easily making the source one of the agency’s most valuable assets.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158391375_76303c50-b51e-4492-b7d5-13cea86097d4-articleLarge C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Russia Putin, Vladimir V Presidential Election of 2016 News and News Media Informers Espionage and Intelligence Services Cyberwarfare and Defense Classified Information and State Secrets central intelligence agency

The C.I.A. has long sought to get an informant close to Mr. Putin.CreditPool photo by Mikhail Klimentyev

Handling and running a Moscow-based informant is extremely difficult because of Mr. Putin’s counterintelligence defenses. The Russians are known to make life miserable for foreign spies, following them constantly and at times even roughing them up. Former C.I.A. employees describe the entanglements as “Moscow rules.”

The informant’s information was so delicate, and the need to protect the source’s identity so important, that the C.I.A. director at the time, John O. Brennan, kept information from the operative out of President Barack Obama’s daily brief in 2016. Instead, Mr. Brennan sent separate intelligence reports, many based on the source’s information, in special sealed envelopes to the Oval Office.

The information itself was so important and potentially controversial in 2016 that top C.I.A. officials ordered a full review of the informant’s record, according to people briefed on the matter. Officials reviewed information the source had provided years earlier to ensure that it had proved accurate.

Even though the review passed muster, the source’s rejection of the C.I.A.’s initial offer of exfiltration prompted doubts among some counterintelligence officials. They wondered whether the informant had been turned and had become a double agent, secretly betraying his American handlers. That would almost certainly mean that some of the information the informant provided about the Russian interference campaign or Mr. Putin’s intentions would have been inaccurate.

Some operatives had other reasons to suspect the source could be a double agent, according to two former officials, but they declined to explain further.

Other current and former officials who acknowledged the doubts said they were put to rest when the source agreed to be extracted after the C.I.A. asked a second time.

Leaving behind one’s native country is a weighty decision, said Joseph Augustyn, a former senior C.I.A. officer who once ran the agency’s defector resettlement center. Often, informants have kept their spy work secret from their families.

“It’s a very difficult decision to make, but it is their decision to make,” Mr. Augustyn said. “There have been times when people have not come out when we strongly suggested that they should.”

The decision to extract the informant was driven “in part” because of concerns that Mr. Trump and his administration had mishandled delicate intelligence, CNN reported. But former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency’s sources alone was the impetus for the extraction.

The source’s information was integral to the report from American intelligence agencies on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.CreditChet Strange for The New York Times

Mr. Trump was first briefed on the intelligence about Russian interference, including material from the prized informant, two weeks before his inauguration. A C.I.A. spokeswoman responding to the CNN report called the assertion that Mr. Trump’s handling of intelligence drove the reported extraction “misguided speculation.”

Some former intelligence officials said the president’s closed-door meetings with Mr. Putin and other Russian officials, along with Twitter posts about delicate intelligence matters, have sown concern among overseas sources.

“We have a president who, unlike any other president in modern history, is willing to use sensitive, classified intelligence however he sees fit,” said Steven L. Hall, a former C.I.A. official who led the agency’s Russia operations. “He does it in front of our adversaries. He does it by tweet. We are in uncharted waters.”

But the government had indicated that the source existed long before Mr. Trump took office, first in formally accusing Russia of interference in October 2016 and then when intelligence officials declassified parts of their assessment about the interference campaign for public release in January 2017. News agencies, including NBC, began reporting around that time that Mr. Putin’s involvement in the election sabotage and on the C.I.A.’s possible sources for the assessment.

The following month, The Washington Post reported that the C.I.A.’s conclusions relied on “sourcing deep inside the Russian government.” And The New York Times later published articles disclosing details about the source.

The news reporting in the spring and summer of 2017 convinced United States government officials that they had to update and revive their extraction plan, according to people familiar the matter.

The extraction ensured the informant was in a safer position and rewarded for a long career in service to the United States. But it came at a great cost: It left the C.I.A. struggling to understand what was going on inside the highest ranks of the Kremlin.

The agency has long struggled to recruit sources close to Mr. Putin, a former intelligence officer himself wary of C.I.A. operations. He confides in only a small group of people and has rigorous operational security, eschewing electronic communications.

James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence who left office at the end of the Obama administration, said he had no knowledge of the decision to conduct an extraction. But, he said, there was little doubt that revelations about the extraction “is going to make recruiting assets in Russia even more difficult than it already is.”

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New York Times apologizes for sharing previous obituary referring to China’s Mao as ‘one of history’s great revolutionary figures’

Westlake Legal Group NYT-Mao_iStock-Getty New York Times apologizes for sharing previous obituary referring to China's Mao as 'one of history's great revolutionary figures' Liam Quinn fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 113999b8-1877-5c82-ad39-d6b414cda5ae

The New York Times has apologized after referring to former Chinese leader Mao Zedong as “one of history’s great revolutionary figures.”

The Times’ shared its obituary to Mao — who died on Sept. 9, 1976 — to mark the anniversary of the People’s Republic of China founder’s death.

“Mao Zedong died on this day in 1976. The Times said he ‘began as an obscure peasant’ and ‘died one of history’s great revolutionary figures,’ a tweet sent with the obituary read.

The 1976 obituary stated: “After establishing the Chinese People’s republic, Mao launched a series of sweeping, sometimes convulsive campaigns to transform a semi-feudal, largely illiterate and predominantly agricultural country encompassing almost four million square miles into a modern, industrialized socialist state.”

PROFESSOR COMPARES ‘DESTRUCTIVE’ TRUMP TO ‘HITLER, STALIN, AND MAO’ DURING CNN INTERVIEW

A short time later, the outlet posted another tweet apologizing for the remark, which read: “We’ve deleted a previous tweet about Mao Zedong that lacked critical historical context.”

Mao founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and ran it virtually uncontested until his death on Sept. 9, 1976.

His reputation was deeply tarnished by the chaos and destruction of the ultra-radical 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Some estimates state Mao is responsible for the deaths of at least 45 million people.

Author Frank Dikötter wrote for History Today in 2016 that Mao is “one of the greatest mass murderers in history, responsible for the deaths of at least 45 million people between 1958 and 1962.”

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“It is not merely the extent of the catastrophe that dwarfs earlier estimates, but also the manner in which many people died: between two and three million victims were tortured to death or summarily killed, often for the slightest infraction,” the piece read.

Westlake Legal Group NYT-Mao_iStock-Getty New York Times apologizes for sharing previous obituary referring to China's Mao as 'one of history's great revolutionary figures' Liam Quinn fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 113999b8-1877-5c82-ad39-d6b414cda5ae   Westlake Legal Group NYT-Mao_iStock-Getty New York Times apologizes for sharing previous obituary referring to China's Mao as 'one of history's great revolutionary figures' Liam Quinn fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 113999b8-1877-5c82-ad39-d6b414cda5ae

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Trump calls GOP challengers ‘laughingstock’ publicity seekers

President Trump on Monday brushed off attempts by a trio of longshot primary challengers vying for the Republican Party presidential nomination as a “laughingstock” and a “publicity stunt.”

Former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford became the third Republican to announce his intention to unseat Trump. Other challengers include former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois and William Meld, the former governor of Massachusetts.

“The three people are a total joke,”  Trump told reporters outside the White House. “They’re a joke. They’re a laughingstock.”

FLASHBACK: SANFORD, MULLING GOP PRIMARY BID IN 2020, CONFESSES: ‘I DON’T THINK ANYBODY’S GOING TO BEAT DONALD TRUMP’

Westlake Legal Group AP19251491403498 Trump calls GOP challengers 'laughingstock' publicity seekers Louis Casiano fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3ef1633f-12c8-501c-aa6a-2063861b2325

In this July 21, 2018, file photo, Republican politician Mark Sanford speaks at OZY Fest in Central Park in New York. Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and congressman, has decided to launch a longshot Republican challenge to President Donald Trump. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

He went on to mock their polling numbers before saying they had no credibility, Politico reported.

“I guess it’s a publicity stunt,” Trump said. “To be honest, I’m not looking to give them any credibility. They have no credibility.”

The three challengers already face an uphill battle. Over the weekend, Republicans in at least four states — Nevada, South Carolina, Kansas and Arizona — decided to abandon their presidential nomination contests.

“With no legitimate primary challenger and President Trump’s record of results, the decision was made to save South Carolina taxpayers over $1.2 million and forgo an unnecessary primary,” South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick said in a news release.

In a tweet last week, Weld blasted Trump amid reports the states were going to scrap its primaries and caucuses, saying Trump would rather be “crowned president than elected.”

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Trump denied playing a part in the decision by GOP officials.

“The four states that canceled it don’t want to waste their money. If there was a race, they would certainly want to do that, but they are considered to be a laughingstock,” Trump said on Monday, according to Politico.

Westlake Legal Group AP19252812373145 Trump calls GOP challengers 'laughingstock' publicity seekers Louis Casiano fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3ef1633f-12c8-501c-aa6a-2063861b2325   Westlake Legal Group AP19252812373145 Trump calls GOP challengers 'laughingstock' publicity seekers Louis Casiano fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 3ef1633f-12c8-501c-aa6a-2063861b2325

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Trump asserted without evidence that drug dealers and gangs could be trying to enter the U.S.

Westlake Legal Group 5d743713240000082477c6a8 Trump asserted without evidence that drug dealers and gangs could be trying to enter the U.S.

President Donald Trump on Monday urged caution in admitting people into the U.S. from the Bahamas, claiming ― with no apparent basis in fact ― that “very bad people” could be hidden among the hordes of Hurricane Dorian survivors attempting to flee the devastated archipelago.

“We have to be very careful,” he told reporters outside the White House before heading to a North Carolina campaign rally. “Everyone needs totally proper documentation because the Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas who weren’t supposed to be there.”

The president went on to assert, without evidence, that the people leaving the islands could include criminals.

“I don’t want to allow people who weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very very bad drug dealers,” he said.

Dozens of people were killed in the Bahamas as a result of the Category 5 storm, and some 70,000 people there have reportedly been left homeless.

Trump spoke just hours after Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, announced that the U.S. is fast-tracking its immigration procedures to help process new arrivals from the Bahamas.

However, he also advocated for attention to security matters.

“That doesn’t mean we do this with a blind eye,” Morgan said, according to Reuters. “We still have to balance the humanitarian need and assistance of those that need it versus the safety of this country. So we still go through that process but we’re expediting this process.”

On Sunday, more than 100 Bahamians without visas were reportedly told to leave a ferry from Freeport, Bahamas, to Florida. 

Brian Entin, a journalist for Miami’s Fox-affiliated WSVN-TV, shared footage of the scene on Twitter.

“This is not normal,” he wrote, adding that people from the Bahamas can usually enter the U.S. with a passport and a copy of their police record.

According to the CBP website, that rule is true for those traveling to the U.S. by air ― but for people traveling by ship, a visa is required.

CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan later explained that the incident was the result of confusion in the aftermath of Dorian, WSVN reported.

In a statement released Monday, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) also attributed the episode to “confusion,” urging CBP officials to “work with the Bahamian government to clarify the current visa rules & set up a temporary site at ports of entry.”

In a statement of his own, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) disputed that people without visas were ordered off the ship.

“Claim that hurricane survivors were kicked off ship due to U.S. ‘visa demands’ appears false,” he wrote. “Bahamians with a valid passport & clean record can enter U.S. without a visa. This shipping company apparently didn’t coordinate this in advance & then they didn’t want to wait.”

According to WSVN, the Bahamians who were removed from the ship, including “mothers with young children,” are still on their home island.

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