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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 201)

US Embassy in Spain warns sexual assault cases against Americans are on the rise

The U.S. Embassy in Spain has issued a new security alert warning Americans about the “steady increase” in the number of sexual assaults in the country over the past five years.

The figures, based on information provided by the Spanish Ministry of Interior, “includes a rise in sexual assault against young U.S. citizen visitors and students throughout Spain,” the embassy says.

“U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault in Spain can find it very difficult to navigate the local criminal justice system, which differs significantly from the U.S. system,” the message states.

Westlake Legal Group RT-Spain-protest US Embassy in Spain warns sexual assault cases against Americans are on the rise Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox news fnc/world fnc article 16c7a281-082e-5864-9718-c60fab793b82 /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Crime

A protester with her mouth covered with tape holds a placard during a demonstration against a Spanish court which sentenced five of six men accused of gang-raping a 14-year-old girl to 10 to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing the minor, but acquitted them of rape, outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, in November 2019. (Reuters)

American officials are advising citizens to drink responsibly and travel with friends or family members.

SPANISH PROTESTERS DEMAND CHANGE AFTER MEN ACQUITTED OF RAPING UNCONSCIOUS TEEN 

Last month, three U.S. women in the city of Murcia alleged that they were sexually assaulted at a New Year’s Eve party, the BBC reported, citing the El Pais newspaper.

In November, the streets of Spain were filled with protesters – mostly women of all ages – as they demanded the country’s laws be changed after five men were acquitted of raping an unconscious 14-year-old girl.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The court found that because the victim had drunk alcohol and smoked marijuana before the attack, she “could not accept or reject the sexual relations.” The men, it said, were therefore able to have sex with her without using violence or intimidation – an element required under Spanish law for a crime to be a sexual assault or rape.

The assault took place in 2016 in Manresa, a town in northeastern Spain, at an abandoned factory where a group of young people had been drinking and using drugs.

Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group RT-Spain-protest US Embassy in Spain warns sexual assault cases against Americans are on the rise Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox news fnc/world fnc article 16c7a281-082e-5864-9718-c60fab793b82 /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Crime   Westlake Legal Group RT-Spain-protest US Embassy in Spain warns sexual assault cases against Americans are on the rise Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox news fnc/world fnc article 16c7a281-082e-5864-9718-c60fab793b82 /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Crime

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U.S. Trade Deficit Shrinks, but Not Because Factories Are Returning

Westlake Legal Group 05DC-trade-deficit-facebookJumbo U.S. Trade Deficit Shrinks, but Not Because Factories Are Returning United States Economy International Trade and World Market Imports Factories and Manufacturing exports Customs (Tariff) China

WASHINGTON — The overall United States trade deficit shrank last year for the first time in six years as the American economy cooled, domestic oil production soared and President Trump waged an aggressive global trade war to rewrite America’s trading terms.

The trade deficit for both goods and services fell to $616.8 billion in 2019, down $10.9 billion from the previous year, according to data released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

Both imports and exports fell as American factory activity slowed and businesses and consumers felt the impact of tariffs imposed on China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and other nations. Total American exports dropped $1.5 billion to roughly $2.5 trillion, while imports fell $12.5 billion to $3.1 trillion.

Soaring domestic oil production was a major factor in the shrinking trade deficit, cutting into imports of foreign crude oil by $30.3 billion last year. Exports of civilian aircraft also fell $12.6 billion last year, reflecting the fallout from the deadly crashes of Boeing’s 737 Max airplane.

But the most dramatic changes in global trade flows occurred with China, the target of Mr. Trump’s biggest economic offensive.

The trade deficit in goods with China shrank $73.9 billion to $345.6 billion in 2019. It was the first drop on an annual basis since 2016, as both the United States and China placed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each others’ products.

In particular, American imports from China fell sharply in the final two months of the year, as companies worked to avoid tariffs that Mr. Trump has placed on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods and the potential that he could tax nearly everything from China.

Mr. Trump and his advisers have pointed to trends in trade flows as evidence that his trade policies are helping to revive factories and construction sites around the nation.

“This is a blue collar boom,” Mr. Trump said in the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.

But economists have been skeptical, saying that the country’s factory activity weakened last year, and that the trade flows largely reflect a cooling American and global economy.

Economists say the hefty tariffs Mr. Trump has placed on China have encouraged American consumers to purchase goods from other countries and have not led to an American manufacturing renaissance.

“Tariffs to date have clearly had a significant impact on imports from China,” said Brad Setser, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “They equally clearly have not led to a stronger U.S. manufacturing sector.”

Rather than bringing manufacturing back to the United States, the clash with China has caused American companies and consumers to shift purchases to other countries, like Mexico, Vietnam and South Korea, said Mary E. Lovely, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Data released Wednesday morning showed the trade deficit in goods with Mexico increased $21.1 billion last year to a record $101.8 billion, as the United States brought in more goods from its southern neighbor. The trade deficit in goods with Canada grew by $8 billion, while the gap with Taiwan increased by $7.8 billion.

“You’re going to see this rearrangement of the deck chairs,” Ms. Lovely said.

The trade deficit in goods with the European Union also expanded to a record $177.9 billion in 2019, presaging Mr. Trump’s next conflict. In recent weeks, Mr. Trump has said that his attention was shifting to Europe now that he has signed trade deals with China, Japan, Canada and Mexico.

Mr. Trump has criticized Europe for selling more to the United States than it buys and has accused its central bank of pushing down the value of the euro to make it easier for European companies to compete against American rivals. His administration is already imposing tariffs on Europe over airplane subsidies, and is threatening further levies in response to its digital taxes and on its cars.

Many economists have predicted that Mr. Trump’s trade deal with China would give businesses more certainty about trading conditions and cause imports from China to rebound, at least in part, in the coming months.

But the spread of a deadly coronavirus has thrown those predictions into question. China has shuttered factories, canceled flights and placed entire cities on lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, weighing heavily on trade. And China may delay some of its planned purchases of American goods as a result.

Mr. Trump has long pointed to the United States trade deficit — the gap between what America exports and what it imports — as proof that America is at a competitive disadvantage because of unfair practices by China and other countries.

In the president’s view, American businesses would be making more at home and consumers would be buying more domestic goods if countries like China weren’t subsidizing their industries and manipulating their currencies to make their products cheaper.

But economists argue that the trade deficit is a poor metric for measuring the health of the economy or America’s trading relationships. While a falling trade deficit can be a sign of a growing economy, the measure can fall for a variety of other reasons, many of them unrelated to trade and not all of them positive.

Mr. Setser said that a falling trade deficit can sometimes be a sign of the kind of manufacturing boom that the Trump administration has been trying to engineer. In that case, American factory production would be rising, displacing foreign products from the American market and causing imports to fall and exports to rise.

But that is not the situation the United States finds itself in, he said. Instead, factory activity has been weak, and both American imports and exports have contracted, he said.

In addition, tariffs and trade uncertainty appear to have cut into business investment, slowing economic growth.

Speaking at an event at George Washington University on Tuesday, Janet L. Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, said that the bilateral trade deficit between the United States and China was “not the proper focus.”

Ms. Yellen said that Mr. Trump and some of his advisers see the trade gap “as a symptom of relationships being unfair.” But for many economists, a country’s overall trade deficit with the rest of the world just means that country is spending more than the output it can produce itself, she said.

“Most economists think that a country’s savings and investment are decisions that aren’t affected by trade policy,” she said.

Economists point to another major reason focusing on the trade deficit can be misleading: The gap with China is exaggerated because of how the data is calculated. United States trade data counts the entire value of a good as coming from the country it was assembled in.

China is still a global center for assembling products like smartphones and laptops, but many of the components and the technology that goes into these goods are made elsewhere.

Take a smartphone, for example. A touch screen might be made in Taiwan, or a microprocessor in South Korea. The chips may come from American companies like Qualcomm or Texas Instruments, and the product may have been developed and marketed in the United States.

All of those companies and their employees will receive a share of the final profits. But if all of those components are assembled in China before being shipped to the United States, trade statistics will record the entire value of the phone as being generated in China.

Economists say this method of measurement may exaggerate the trade deficit with China, perhaps by as much as one-third.

Some analysts do see a victory for the United States in the falling trade deficit with China: those in Washington who see China as an increasing national security threat.

China’s profits from what it sells to the United States and other nations helps fund its efforts to expand its influence around the globe, like its Belt and Road infrastructure building project, activities that do not benefit the United States, said Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

“I’d rather put the hard currency in the hands of the South Koreans, the Vietnamese. And normal economists just don’t think that way,” he said.

“Economists will say, ‘Oh great, the president has had success on a meaningless indicator he made up for political reasons,’” Mr. Scissors added. “I agree with that. But I want to trade more with my friends” and less with dictators, he said.

Jeanna Smialek contributed reporting from Washington.

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US Embassy in Spain warns sexual assault cases against Americans are on the rise

The U.S. Embassy in Spain has issued a new security alert warning Americans about the “steady increase” in the number of sexual assaults in the country over the past five years.

The figures, based on information provided by the Spanish Ministry of Interior, “includes a rise in sexual assault against young U.S. citizen visitors and students throughout Spain,” the embassy says.

“U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault in Spain can find it very difficult to navigate the local criminal justice system, which differs significantly from the U.S. system,” the message states.

Westlake Legal Group RT-Spain-protest US Embassy in Spain warns sexual assault cases against Americans are on the rise Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox news fnc/world fnc article 16c7a281-082e-5864-9718-c60fab793b82 /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Crime

A protester with her mouth covered with tape holds a placard during a demonstration against a Spanish court which sentenced five of six men accused of gang-raping a 14-year-old girl to 10 to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing the minor, but acquitted them of rape, outside the Justice Ministry in Madrid, Spain, in November 2019. (Reuters)

American officials are advising citizens to drink responsibly and travel with friends or family members.

SPANISH PROTESTERS DEMAND CHANGE AFTER MEN ACQUITTED OF RAPING UNCONSCIOUS TEEN 

Last month, three U.S. women in the city of Murcia alleged that they were sexually assaulted at a New Year’s Eve party, the BBC reported, citing the El Pais newspaper.

In November, the streets of Spain were filled with protesters – mostly women of all ages – as they demanded the country’s laws be changed after five men were acquitted of raping an unconscious 14-year-old girl.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The court found that because the victim had drunk alcohol and smoked marijuana before the attack, she “could not accept or reject the sexual relations.” The men, it said, were therefore able to have sex with her without using violence or intimidation – an element required under Spanish law for a crime to be a sexual assault or rape.

The assault took place in 2016 in Manresa, a town in northeastern Spain, at an abandoned factory where a group of young people had been drinking and using drugs.

Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group RT-Spain-protest US Embassy in Spain warns sexual assault cases against Americans are on the rise Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox news fnc/world fnc article 16c7a281-082e-5864-9718-c60fab793b82 /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Crime   Westlake Legal Group RT-Spain-protest US Embassy in Spain warns sexual assault cases against Americans are on the rise Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/spain fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox news fnc/world fnc article 16c7a281-082e-5864-9718-c60fab793b82 /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Crime

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Kansas City police arrest 2 at Chiefs’ champions parade after car drives through barricades ‘headed for crowd’

Westlake Legal Group chiefs Kansas City police arrest 2 at Chiefs' champions parade after car drives through barricades 'headed for crowd' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox-news/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs fox news fnc/sports fnc article a7cbbc72-43b2-5b4c-83c9-5953725ce742

Two suspects were arrested in downtown Kansas City early Wednesday morning after police said they drove through the barricades of the Chiefs Kingdom Champions Parade and were “headed for the crowd.”

Kansas City Police received reports around 8:15 a.m. local time that a car broke through the barrier on the north side of the route somewhere near its start on Sixth Street and Grand Boulevard.

ANTONIO BROWN CALLS HIMSELF ‘CANCER’ OF THE LEAGUE: ‘I THINK I OWE THE WHOLE NFL AN APOLOGY’ 

Officers from multiple agencies responded, engaging in a brief car chase.

Several videos posted on social media showed the car heading south on the route at a high rate of speed before it turned on Pershing Road, where police say it was “headed for the crowd.”

The car eventually was stopped by several police vehicles ramming it.

Two suspects were taken into custody, but police said there were no weapons or “indications of terrorist activity” in the car.

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KCPD suspects the driver may have been impaired.

Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to flood downtown Kansas City just before noon to celebrate the triumphant Chiefs bringing home a Super Bowl trophy for the first time in 50 years.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6129786025001_6129789154001-vs Kansas City police arrest 2 at Chiefs' champions parade after car drives through barricades 'headed for crowd' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox-news/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs fox news fnc/sports fnc article a7cbbc72-43b2-5b4c-83c9-5953725ce742   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6129786025001_6129789154001-vs Kansas City police arrest 2 at Chiefs' champions parade after car drives through barricades 'headed for crowd' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox-news/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs fox news fnc/sports fnc article a7cbbc72-43b2-5b4c-83c9-5953725ce742

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Tomi Lahren on ‘beautiful moment’ Rush Limbaugh received Medal of Freedom: ‘He charted a path’

Westlake Legal Group lahren-limbaugh-FOX-AP Tomi Lahren on 'beautiful moment' Rush Limbaugh received Medal of Freedom: 'He charted a path' Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 0ee8e693-512f-543f-9c54-dc4c7ff92d90

In one of the most emotional moments of President Donald Trump’s third State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, the president made the surprise announcement that he was awarding special guest and conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom.

On Fox Nation’s live coverage of President Trump’s 2020 State of the Union, host Tomi Lahren described the significance of that moment to her.

“For many of us growing up with Rush Limbaugh and counting Rush Limbaugh as one of the great conservative voices really of our time, having Rush there… it was such a special moment for him.. it was so beautiful,” she said.

“Here tonight is a special man, beloved by millions of Americans who just received a Stage 4 advanced cancer diagnosis,” said the president in his address. “This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet. Rush Limbaugh, thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country.”

Limbaugh, who announced on Monday that he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, acknowledged the cheers of the audience, smiled and choked back tears, as first lady Melania Trump secured the medal around his neck.

“I had an opportunity to speak with Rush,” Lahren recalled. “And it was such an honor to me because I grew up listening to Rush, and of course my whole family, and he’s so genuine and so kind and to me such a mentor.”

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board member Bill McGurn echoed that sentiment, saying that Limbaugh was clearly deeply moved by the honor.

“The beauty of the moment is that when the medal is put on him you know that to him — he’s a famous man, he’s a wealthy man — but that means something to him,” said McGurn. “Probably more than everything else, people can see that.  This means something to him because he loves America with all his heart.

“There’s some similarities between the president and Rush Limbaugh, Rush has taken a lot of heat for his stand,” McGurn continued. “A lot of names, people writing books about him.”

However, despite all that, McGurn argued, Limbaugh has made a historic contribution to American society.

SHOCKED: PANEL REACTS LIVE TO PELOSI TEARING TRUMP’S STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH: ‘THAT WAS HER POWER MOVE?”

“No one has done more to teach the American people about free markets, freedom than Rush Limbaugh,” he said. “One of the things that makes his show work, I think, is he doesn’t look down on his people. He treats them with respect and he engages them. And that’s why people love him.”

Fox News contributor and the host of “Reality Check,” David Webb, suggested that Limbaugh has been a trailblazer for conservatives in the media.

“Rush went in there when nobody really did this and he opened those doors,” said Webb.

“He charted a path,” added Tomi.

McGurn agreed, saying “He was an entrepreneur, in addition to everything else.”

In fact, Lahren attributed her career to the effort of people like Limbaugh.

“A lot of people who are too afraid to talk about their own values and their own conservatism, or whatever beliefs they hold, listen to Rush and they live through him… and I think we’re all sitting here on Fox Nation because of people like Rush. For him to be recognized tonight was a beautiful moment.,” she concluded.

To watch all of President Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address and the panel’s commentary go to Fox Nation and sign up today.

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Fox Nation programs are viewable on-demand and from your mobile device app, but only for Fox Nation subscribers. Go to Fox Nation to start a free trial and watch the extensive library from Tomi Lahren, Pete Hegseth, Abby Hornacek, Laura Ingraham, Ainsley Earhardt, Greg Gutfeld, Judge Andrew Napolitano and many more Fox News personalities.

Westlake Legal Group lahren-limbaugh-FOX-AP Tomi Lahren on 'beautiful moment' Rush Limbaugh received Medal of Freedom: 'He charted a path' Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 0ee8e693-512f-543f-9c54-dc4c7ff92d90   Westlake Legal Group lahren-limbaugh-FOX-AP Tomi Lahren on 'beautiful moment' Rush Limbaugh received Medal of Freedom: 'He charted a path' Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 0ee8e693-512f-543f-9c54-dc4c7ff92d90

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Rep. Jerry Nadler Says House Will Likely Subpoena John Bolton

Westlake Legal Group ap_19273516805549_wide-e88fe3dd1c01b59752d664ec09ed533418fb3735-s1100-c15 Rep. Jerry Nadler Says House Will Likely Subpoena John Bolton

Former national security adviser John Bolton will “likely” be called to testify before thee House. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Rep. Jerry Nadler Says House Will Likely Subpoena John Bolton

Former national security adviser John Bolton will “likely” be called to testify before thee House.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., says the House expects to continue its investigations into President Trump’s conduct even after Wednesday’s expected acquittal of Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.

Speaking with reporters, Nadler says the House “will likely” subpoena former national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton had said he would comply with a Senate subpoena during the impeachment trial, but the Senate voted against calling witnesses. According to published reports, Bolton, in a book manuscript, describes being told by the president that he was withholding aid to Ukraine until the Ukrainian government began an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s activities there.

Nadler did not have a timeline for when Bolton would be subpoenaed, but noted that a subpoena could come from the Judiciary or other investigative committees.

Bolton was ousted as national security adviser last fall after clashing with the president on a number of foreign-policy issues.

Nadler, asked if he was concerned about possible political repercussions of a continuing investigation, said: “First of all I think when you have a lawless president, you have to bring that to the fore and you have to spotlight that.”

NPR’s Krishnadev Calamur contributed to this report

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Trump’s Middle East peace plan ‘will die’ before president, Iran’s top leader says

Iran’s top leader is predicting that President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, meant to solve the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict, “will die” in Trump’s lifetime, state media reported Wednesday.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the bold calculation in his first remarks since the proposal, which has been opposed by the Palestinians, was unveiled last week.

WHAT’S IN TRUMP’S MIDDLE EAST PEACE PLAN?

“This plan will die before the death of Trump,” he said. “Hence, the coming and going and expenditures for it, and unveiling it, is a stupid move.”

He also said Iran will continue to support Palestinian armed groups as much as possible, believing those organizations “will resist” the plan.

Westlake Legal Group ali-khamenei Trump’s Middle East peace plan ‘will die’ before president, Iran’s top leader says Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 8b35a80a-cb01-5bfa-b153-d6815fafb7ad

Khamenei said Wednesday that Trump’s Mideast peace plan will not outlive the president. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Meanwhile, Trump has touted the deal as the “most detailed proposal ever put forward” toward a lasting peace in the region, calling it “a win-win opportunity for both sides.”

The plan envisions a disjointed Palestinian state, with a capital in East Jerusalem, and turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel. It also calls for more than doubling the amount of territory the Palestinians control with a number of land swaps.

TRUMP UNVEILS MAP OF PROPOSED STATE OF PALESTINE

However, it appears to side with Israel on key contentious issues that have bedeviled past peace efforts, including borders and the status of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements.

The plan would require the Palestinians to meet certain benchmarks – rooting out terrorism, stopping “pay to slay,” implementing steps toward free speech and political reforms – to become a state.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the plan as “nonsense” and vowed to resist it. Netanyahu called it a “historic breakthrough” equal in significance to the country’s declaration of independence in 1948.

WHAT SETS TRUMP’S MIDEAST PEACE PLAN APART FROM PREVIOUS PROPOSALS? EXPERTS WEIGH IN

Since 1979, when the Islamic Revolution brought hardline Islamists to power in Iran, Tehran does not recognize Israel and supports anti-Israel militant groups like Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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The Palestinians seek all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem — areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war — for an independent state and the removal of many of the more than 700,000 Israeli settlers from these areas.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group khamenei-trump-split Trump’s Middle East peace plan ‘will die’ before president, Iran’s top leader says Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 8b35a80a-cb01-5bfa-b153-d6815fafb7ad   Westlake Legal Group khamenei-trump-split Trump’s Middle East peace plan ‘will die’ before president, Iran’s top leader says Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 8b35a80a-cb01-5bfa-b153-d6815fafb7ad

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Neanderthal discovery sheds new light on human history

Scientists at Princeton University have made a stunning Neanderthal ancestry discovery that sheds new light on human history.

Neanderthal DNA has typically been associated with modern humans outside of Africa. However, by developing a new method for finding Neanderthal DNA in the human genome, the Princeton researchers have, for the first time, searched for Neanderthal ancestry in African populations, as well as those outside the African continent.

A paper on the research has been published in the journal Cell.

NEANDERTHAL BEACHCOMBERS WENT DIVING FOR SEASHELLS, SCIENTISTS DISCOVER

“When the first Neanderthal genome was sequenced, using DNA collected from ancient bones, it was accompanied by the discovery that modern humans in Asia, Europe and America inherited approximately 2 percent of their DNA from Neanderthals — proving humans and Neanderthals had interbred after humans left Africa,” the scientists explained, in a statement. “A comparable catalogue of Neanderthal ancestry in African populations, however, has remained an acknowledged blind spot for the field due to technical constraints and the assumption that Neanderthals and ancestral African populations were geographically isolated from each other.”

Westlake Legal Group NeanderthalFace Neanderthal discovery sheds new light on human history James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 72fd3382-a0bf-500f-847d-ff186ff0af2e

File photo – Hyperrealistic face of a neanderthal male is displayed in a cave in the new Neanderthal Museum in the northern Croatian town of Krapina Feb. 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Nikola Solic)

The new computational method for detecting Neanderthal ancestry, dubbed IBDmix, has already delivered results.

“This is the first time we can detect the actual signal of Neanderthal ancestry in Africans,” said co-first author Lu Chen, a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton’s Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics (LSI), who is co-first author of the study. “And it surprisingly showed a higher level than we previously thought.”

GRISLY DISCOVERY: BONES REVEAL NEANDERTHAL CHILD WAS EATEN BY LARGE BIRD

Researchers found that Neanderthal ancestry in Africans was not due to an “independent interbreeding event” between Neanderthals and African populations. Instead, they came to the conclusion that migrations of ancient Europeans back into Africa introduced Neanderthal ancestry into populations in the African continent.

Westlake Legal Group NeanderthalPrinceton Neanderthal discovery sheds new light on human history James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 72fd3382-a0bf-500f-847d-ff186ff0af2e

Illustration – Princeton researchers made a fascinating discovery by studying Neanderthal DNA in the human genome. (Matilda Luk, Princeton University Office of Communications)

By comparing data from simulations of human history to data from real people, experts also found that some of the Neanderthal ancestry detected in Africans was the result of human DNA introduced into the Neanderthal genome. “This human-to-Neanderthal gene flow involved an early dispersing group of humans out of Africa, occurring at least 100,000 years ago — before the Out-of-Africa migration responsible for modern human colonization of Europe and Asia and before the interbreeding event that introduced Neanderthal DNA into modern humans,” the scientists said, in the statement.

The study, which was funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, was led by Joshua Akey, a professor at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. The researchers acknowledge that they were able to analyze a limited number of African populations and hope that their findings will inspire further study.

CLIMATE CHANGE DROVE SOME NEANDERTHALS TO CANNIBALISM

Experts have gained fresh insight into Neanderthals in recent years. In 2018, for example, archaeologists in Poland identified the prehistoric bones of a Neanderthal child eaten by a large bird.

Westlake Legal Group getimage_mediaid-1131761 Neanderthal discovery sheds new light on human history James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 72fd3382-a0bf-500f-847d-ff186ff0af2e

File photo – This March 20, 2009 photo shows reconstructions of a Neanderthal man named “N,” left, and woman called “Wilma,” right, at the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

In another study released in 2018, scientists suggested that climate change played a larger part in Neanderthals’ extinction than previously thought.

SOME OF OLDEST NEANDERTHAL BONES HAVE BEEN DNA TESTED SHOWING MORE THAN 70 DIFFERENCES

Last year, researchers in France reported that climate change drove some Neanderthals to cannibalism.

In another study, experts studied seashells fashioned into tools that were discovered in Italy in 1949 to reveal how some Neanderthals had a much closer connection to the sea than was previously thought, according to a statement released by the University of Colorado Boulder.

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The closest human species to homo sapiens, Neanderthals lived in Eurasia for around 350,000 years. Scientists in Poland report that Neanderthals in Europe mostly became extinct 35,000 years ago. However, there are a number of theories on the timing of Neanderthals’ extinction, with experts saying that it could have occurred 40,000, 27,000 or 24,000 years ago.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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AOC says ‘violent racist’ Rush Limbaugh ‘cheapens the value’ of Presidential Medal of Freedom

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., slammed Rush Limbaugh, who was recently was diagnosed with cancer, as a “racist” on social media late Tuesday, saying he “cheapens” the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

AOC didn’t attend President Trump’s State of the Union address, claiming it would have legitimized what she saw as lawless conduct under his administration. But she offered her thoughts on Limbaugh receiving the honor to her 4.2 million Instagram followers with a streaming video.

RUSH LIMBAUGH ANNOUNCES HE HAS ‘ADVANCED LUNG CANCER’

“First of all, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is an extraordinarily sacred award. We’re talking about putting someone on the same level as Rosa Parks, for example, in terms of their contributions to American progress,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Rush Limbaugh is a violent racist.”

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Rush Limbaugh “is a violent racist” and “cheapens” the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Limbaugh stunned his 20-million member audience Monday with the announcement he’s been diagnosed with “advanced lung cancer.” He told listeners that the disease will keep him off the air on certain days when he’ll receive treatment.

Trump responded by inviting the conservative icon to the State of the Union address, where first lady Melania Trump then presented the medal and placed the award on Limbaugh – who was visibly emotional.

Ocasio-Cortez was not moved.

“To do it in the middle of a State of the Union, and not even dignify it with its own ceremony, as it has, there is all sorts of norms that are being violated,” she said. “Not just for people’s humanity but also, it truly just cheapens the value of it.”

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Ocasio-Cortez then mocked Limbaugh for “pretending to be surprised,” calling his reaction to receiving the prestigious honor “such a joke.” The White House had announced Limbaugh as a guest of the president earlier Tuesday.

“He had to like, pretend that this was some kind of Oprah moment, was so disingenuous, and to do that, and to give it to Rush Limbaugh when there were plenty of people in that audience that have contributed positively to the fabric of American society, much more, frankly, than he has, it’s red meat to his base,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Trump knows what he’s doing… he wants to assert that Rush Limbaugh is somehow on the same level as Rosa Parks, and it’s truly nauseating.”

Fox News’ Sam Dorman and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

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U.S. Trade Deficit Shrinks Amid Trump Trade War

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-trade-facebookJumbo-v2 U.S. Trade Deficit Shrinks Amid Trump Trade War United States Economy International Trade and World Market Imports Factories and Manufacturing exports Customs (Tariff) China

WASHINGTON — The overall United States trade deficit shrank last year as the American economy cooled and President Trump waged an aggressive global trade war to rewrite America’s trading terms.

The trade deficit for both goods and services fell to to $616.8 billion in 2019, down $10.9 billion from the previous year, according to data released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

Both imports and exports fell as American factory activity slowed and businesses and consumers felt the impact of tariffs imposed on China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and elsewhere. Total American exports dropped $1.5 billion to roughly $2.5 trillion, while imports fell $12.5 billion to $3.1 trillion.

The most dramatic changes in trade last year occurred with China, the target of Mr. Trump’s biggest economic offensive.

The trade deficit in goods with China shrank $73.9 billion to $345.6 billion in 2019. It was the first drop on an annual basis since 2016, as both the United States and China placed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each others’ products.

American imports from China fell sharply in the final two months of the year, as companies worked to avoid tariffs that Mr. Trump has placed on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Rather than bringing manufacturing back to the United States, the clash with China has caused American companies and consumers to shift purchases to other countries, like Mexico, Vietnam and South Korea instead, said Mary E. Lovely, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Data released Wednesday morning showed the trade deficit with Mexico increased $21.1 billion last year to $101.8 billion as the United States brought in more goods from its southern neighbor.

“You’re going to see this rearrangement of the deck chairs,” Ms. Lovely said.

Mr. Trump has long pointed to the United States trade deficit — the gap between what America exports and what it imports — as proof that America is at a competitive disadvantage because of unfair practices by China and other countries. In Mr. Trump’s view, American businesses would be making more at home and consumers would be buying more domestic goods if countries like China weren’t subsidizing their industries and manipulating their currencies.

But economists have argued that the figure is a poor metric for measuring the health of the economy or America’s trading relationships. While a falling trade deficit can be a sign of a growing economy, the measure can fall for a variety of other reasons, many of them unrelated to trade and not all of them positive.

Speaking at an event at George Washington University on Tuesday, Janet L. Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, said that the bilateral trade deficit between the United States and China was “not the proper focus.”

Ms. Yellen said that Mr. Trump and some of his advisers see the trade gap “as a symptom of relationships being unfair.” But for many economists, a country’s overall trade deficit with the rest of the world just means that the country is spending more than the output it can produce itself, she said.

“Most economists think that a country’s savings and investment are decisions that aren’t affected by trade policy,” she said.

Brad Setser, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that a falling trade deficit can sometimes be a sign of the kind of manufacturing boom that the Trump administration has been trying to engineer. In that case, American factory production would be rising, displacing foreign products from the American market and causing imports to fall.

But that is not the situation the United States finds itself in, he said. Instead, factory activity has been weak, and both American imports and exports have contracted, he said.

In addition, tariffs and trade uncertainty appear to have cut into business investment, slowing economic growth.

“Tariffs to date have clearly had a significant impact on imports from China,” Mr. Setser said. “They equally clearly have not led to a stronger U.S. manufacturing sector.”

Jeanna Smialek contributed reporting from Washington.

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