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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 221)

Trump Continues To Defend Doral Choice Even After Giving In

Westlake Legal Group 5dadf9122100006b21ad373e Trump Continues To Defend Doral Choice Even After Giving In

President Donald Trump on Monday continued to defend his administration’s initial decision to host the 2020 Group of Seven summit at his golf resort in Miami, despite canceling the plan over the weekend in response to backlash.

“It would have been great, but the Democrats went crazy,” the president told reporters during a meeting with Cabinet members. 

He said the decision to host the summit at the Trump National Doral was “simple” given the resort’s location, size and a number of other factors. 

“I was willing to do this for free and it would have been the greatest G-7 ever,” Trump said.

The president’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday that the administration had looked at 12 potential sites before settling on the Doral. “This was by far and away the best choice,” he said.

The announcement came in spite of concerns that Trump could personally profit from hosting the meeting at a property he owns, thus violating at least one and possibly both of the Constitution’s emoluments clauses. Mulvaney dismissed those concerns. Over the weekend and into Monday, Trump continued to deny there would have been any personal profit. 

“You people with this phony emoluments clause,” he said during the Cabinet meeting.

Trump blamed Democrats and the news media when he said Saturday that he would not host the summit at his Florida property after all. 

But the reversal was reportedly due to the fact that Republicans had told Trump there wasn’t enough support for his decision within the party. According to reports from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times on Sunday, GOP lawmakers told Trump they couldn’t defend his plan to host the gathering of global leaders at the Doral, especially in the midst of other ongoing controversies. The president is facing a House impeachment investigation over his communications with Ukraine, as well as backlash on both sides of the aisle over his decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria.

Trump said Monday the administration will “look at other locations” for the G-7 summit.

“I don’t think it’ll be as exciting. I don’t think it’ll be as good,” he said.

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A Tornado Struck Overnight. Now Dallas Is Assessing The Damage

Westlake Legal Group ap_19294605267457_custom-829b3751eb47de81f7a69ff048550b6ce5ade962-s1100-c15 A Tornado Struck Overnight. Now Dallas Is Assessing The Damage

Women stand outside a house damaged by a tornado in the Preston Hollow section of Dallas. The city was still cleaning up after the tornado on Monday. LM Otero/AP hide caption

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LM Otero/AP

Westlake Legal Group  A Tornado Struck Overnight. Now Dallas Is Assessing The Damage

Women stand outside a house damaged by a tornado in the Preston Hollow section of Dallas. The city was still cleaning up after the tornado on Monday.

LM Otero/AP

Local officials and emergency response personnel in Dallas, Texas, are gauging the extent of damage inflicted by a powerful tornado that touched down in the city on Sunday night. While extensive structural damage was apparent by Monday morning, no fatalities or injuries have been reported.

“Considering the path the storm took — it went across a pretty densely populated part of our city — we should consider ourselves very fortunate we didn’t lose any lives, no fatalities, and no serious injuries,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said at a press conference Monday.

The twister touched down near Love Field Airport at approximately 9 p.m. local time on Sunday and moved east, with a tornado watch continuing until 4:52 a.m.

Bianca Garcia, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, told NPR’s Wade Goodwyn, that several supercells developed west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with “at least one” producing a tornado, according to photos and videos. She said the NWS is working to confirm whether other tornadoes touched down in the area.

“These storms develop ahead of a strong cold front, and the environment was favorable for them to produce damaging winds, hail, and even a tornado too,” Garcia said.

Severe storms moved through the region into early Monday morning, causing additional damage in Arkansas and Tennessee. Officials in Arkansas confirmed one fatality and several injuries as a result of the storm, with one person killed after a tree fell on a home and at least two others injured when a gas station was destroyed. One person was killed in Oklahoma when trees fell on a mobile home. Memphis Light, Gas and Water reported up to 35,000 customers without power on Monday morning.

Flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport have been canceled and delayed. Most of the roughly two dozen people who sought shelter in Dallas overnight did so due to interrupted flights, according to Rocky Vaz, director of the City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management.

Vaz said the city’s outdoor warning sirens were activated at 9:02 p.m. local time on Sunday night, just one minute after the National Weather Service sent out a tornado warning alert. The city opened Bachman Recreation Center as a shelter at 2 a.m., though only 23 people stayed there overnight, according to Vaz. He added that fewer than a dozen people remained there Monday morning.

Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Dominique Artis said at the press conference that firefighters and police officers from Dallas and surrounding cities spent roughly six hours searching to make sure no one was trapped as a result of the storm, with efforts continuing into Monday morning. He said the department had received approximately 50 calls for downed utility wires and over 40 for gas leaks.

Oncor Electric Delivery said early Monday morning that nearly 112,000 Dallas-area customers were affected by power outages. By the time of the press conference, that number had dropped to 55,000. Vaz said approximately 100 traffic lights in the area were without power.

Emergency officials asked residents to be alert at intersections, and to stay away from structures that might be dangerous. Johnson warned people to be mindful of “not obvious damage,” such as structural integrity issues or gas leaks that might not be immediately visible.

“We’ve dealt with property damage in this city before, we’ll deal with it this time,” Johnson said. “But our top priority has been making sure that everyone in our city is safe.”

The Office of Emergency Management will continue to assess structural and property damage before exploring whether the state is eligible for disaster declaration and subsequent FEMA funding, Vaz said.

W. Nim Kidd, the chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, said at the press conference that 800 uninsured homes statewide would need to be destroyed or significantly damaged in order to meet the federal threshold for a disaster declaration.

Rachel Treisman is an intern on NPR’s National Desk.

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Watch: County music star John Rich does perfect impersonation of President Trump

Westlake Legal Group Rich-Trump_Getty-Ap Watch: County music star John Rich does perfect impersonation of President Trump Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 766bb98f-4ef0-573c-8c18-132289aafce3

Country music star John Rich, of Big & Rich, revealed his impersonation of President Donald Trump on Fox Nation’s “Nuff Said with Tyrus.”

JOHN RICH DONATES PROCEEDS FROM HIT SONG TO VET’S CHARITY FOLDS OF HONOR

Rich described filming an episode of the reality TV show “Celebrity Apprentice,” hosted by the future president.

“I remember the first time I sat down in the boardroom and they are getting the lights adjusted… and the camera guy goes ‘John, would you mind just tilting your hat back?’ and I said ‘No, I’ll just look up… when he talks to me,'” Rich told Fox Nation.

The crew insisted that he tip his hat back so that the brim would not cast a shadow over his face, he recalled, then Trump intervened.

DEMARIO DAVIS ‘MAN OF GOD’ HEADBAND SALES EXPLODE AFTER NFL FINE, HE’S GIVING IT ALL TO CHARITY

“Donald Trump is sitting there — looking around and he goes ‘I think the guy pretty much knows how to wear his hat at this point,'” said Rich in his best Trump voice.

“You should not do impersonations unless you can do them correctly,” Tyrus warned before saying, “It’s solid. The mannerisms.  I’ll give it to you — it’s solid.”

Rich and Tyrus also discussed serious topics, like the lessons that Rich learned growing up poor.

“I watched my dad do whatever it takes,” said Rich.

Tyrus asked him: “Was there a point in your life where you’re like ‘It’s got to get better than this?’ Was there food always on the table?”

Rich said he never felt deprived, and that his father made sure to provide enough for his family.

“My dad is a preacher… There was no money in preaching. He preached because that is what he was called to do and that’s what his passion was,” recalled Rich. “But just because you live in a double-wide trailer doesn’t mean that you don’t cut your grass and wash and wax your cars… You take pride in what you do have.”

JOHN RICH DEBUTS NEW SONG ‘SHUT UP ABOUT POLITICS’ ON ‘THE FIVE,’ TRACK IMMEDIATELY SOARS UP THE CHARTS

“We didn’t miss meals because was a [bank] nightwatchman… he sold cars at the Nissan dealership, he mowed people’s grass, he gave guitar lessons every Friday and Saturday night. He did anything and everything he had to do to make sure nobody missed a meal, and we got to go to school–and you might have used shoes, but they ain’t that used, and they’re cool.”

To watch all our Tyrus’ interview with John Rich 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 available 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, Greg Gutfeld, Judge Andrew Napolitano and many more of your favorite Fox News personalities.

Westlake Legal Group Rich-Trump_Getty-Ap Watch: County music star John Rich does perfect impersonation of President Trump Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 766bb98f-4ef0-573c-8c18-132289aafce3   Westlake Legal Group Rich-Trump_Getty-Ap Watch: County music star John Rich does perfect impersonation of President Trump Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 766bb98f-4ef0-573c-8c18-132289aafce3

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‘Trump is thinking outside the box’: Graham now ‘impressed’ with White House handling of Syria

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close 'Trump is thinking outside the box': Graham now 'impressed' with White House handling of Syria

President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, is drawing criticism from Sen. Lindsey Graham. (Oct. 16) AP Domestic

Until recently, Sen. Lindsey Graham had been one the most outspoken critics of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria ahead of Turkish military action across the border into Kurdish territory. 

But, after speaking with Trump on Saturday, he said he had changed his mind. 

When he first learned of the move, Graham said it was “short-sighted and irresponsible” and warned that abandoning the Kurds, who had allied with America against the Islamic State, would leave “a stain on America’s honor.” 

On Wednesday, he said that Trump “appears to be hell-bent on making the same mistakes in Syria as President Obama made in Iraq” and on Thursday said Turkey’s “invasion of northeastern Syria has created the conditions for the reemergence of ISIS and the destruction of our allies.” 

But on Sunday, Graham told Fox News’ Mario Bartiromo that he planned to “withhold judgment” on Syria “until it’s all in.”

He added that he blames Turkish President Recep Erdogan “for the invasion, not Trump” and that he is “increasingly optimistic that we can have some historic solutions in Syria that have eluded us for years, if we play our cards right.”

Graham said the situation could lead to “historic security” for the Kurds and the Turks while also keeping the oil fields in northeast Syria out of Iranian hands. He said that “we’re on the verge” of a deal that could give the oil revenue to the Kurds. 

Graham’s comments came a day before Trump said a “small” number of U.S. troops will remain in Syria, in an apparent reversal.

On Monday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said some troops would stay to guard the oil fields and prevent a resurgent Islamic State from taking them, The Associated Press reported. 

Citing an anonymous White House official, AP reported that leaving U.S. forces to protect the oil fields had been Graham’s idea and that Trump had agreed. 

Lindsey Graham to President Trump: ‘I will hold you accountable’ on Turkey’s actions in Syria

‘A stain on America’s honor’: Lindsey Graham says Trump’s Syria pullout abandons Kurds, helps ISIS

“The big thing for me is the oil fields,” he said. “President Trump is thinking outside the box. I was so impressed with his thinking about the oil.” 

Graham hoped the arrangement “could generate revenue to pay for our commitment in Syria.” 

“A plan to keep ISIS down and out forever, and a chance to keep the oil fields in the hands of our allies, not our enemies, would be a hell of an outcome, and I think that’s now possible,” he said. 

Bartiromo pointed out that his comments to her were “completely different” from the sharp criticism Graham has had for Trump on Syria. 

“Yes,” Graham said. 

“So, you have changed your mind based on what you have heard from the president last night?” she asked. 

“Yes,” he replied. 

“I still believe that, if we abandon the Kurds, nobody helps you in the future,” he added. 

‘A reckless gamble’: Four reasons critics decry Trump’s ‘impulsive’ Syria withdrawal

In addition to appearing assuaged about the fate of the Kurds, Graham – who had predicted Turkey’s invasion could free Islamic State fighters the Kurds had detained – was now confident that the ISIS fighters would not be allowed to escape. 

“A small contingent of Americans providing airpower and capability will keep ISIS at bay and keep the jails locked up and the Kurds,” he said. “The ISIS fighters won’t break out.”

Graham’s criticism of the administration began to soften with the announcement Thursday of a cease-fire between the Turkish forces and the Kurds, though on Friday he still said he feared Turkey would engage in “ethnic cleansing.” 

After speaking with Vice President Mike Pence on Friday night, Graham said the administration was “trying to create a win-win in Syria.” 

“We have a chance to do historic and positive things for our NATO ally, our Kurdish allies, and the people of the region. There is an opening – I hope people will take it,” he tweeted. 

‘The Kurds are being slaughtered’: House votes to condemn President Trump’s troop pullout from Syria

Trump downplays ties to Kurds: ‘They didn’t help us in the Second World War’

The situation in Syria does not represent the first time Graham has done a dramatic about-face when it comes to Trump. 

During the 2016 Republican primary campaign, Graham said Trump was a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” but he has since become one of his most ardent defenders on Capitol Hill. 

When asked about that shift by Axios in an interview that aired Sunday, Graham explained he “didn’t know him” then and didn’t like how Trump ran his campaign. But he decided to help Trump. 

“I’ve gotten to know him, and I find him to be a handful. I find him to be an equal-opportunity-abuser of people,” Graham said. “But, at the end of the day, he can be very charming and be very gracious. And I am judging him by his conduct. If I spent all day analyzing every tweet he issued, I’d go nuts.”

Can our friends trust the US as an ally?: Most Americans say Trump’s Syria move has hurt

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CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin regrets covering ‘no big deal’ Clinton email scandal

CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin apologized on Monday for covering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server after a probe revealed dozens of people were responsible for hundreds of security violations, which Toobin described as “no big deal.”

State Department report obtained by Fox News on Friday summarized a review of the handling of classified information relating to Clinton’s private email server. The report reflected only approximately 30,000 emails that the State Department was able to physically review and found 38 individuals were responsible for 91 violations. CNN’s top legal pundit is sorry he ever bothered covering the story.

“Note the mostly buried news that State Dept closed @HillaryClinton email probe with this verdict: no big deal. As a journalist, I regret my role in blowing this story out of proportion,” Toobin wrote on Monday to caption a New York Times report on the findings.

STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT ON CLINTON EMAILS FINDS HUNDREDS OF VIOLATIONS, DOZENS OF INDIVIDUALS AT FAULT

Westlake Legal Group jefrey-toobin CNN's Jeffrey Toobin regrets covering 'no big deal' Clinton email scandal fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 20b72ab7-06b7-5394-a0ea-1893b970c9b6

HILLARY CLINTON FLOATS CONSPIRACY THAT TULSI GABBARD IS BEING ‘GROOMED’ BY RUSSIANS

In response, conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News that Toobin shouldn’t regret doing what CNN pays him for.

“What Toobin means here is that he is sorry he did his job because it was politically damaging for Democrats. A truly independent and objective media should report the facts without regard for their political implications,” Barron said.

Another 497 violations were also found in the probe of Clinton’s emails, although the report was not able to assign responsibility in those cases, in part because many of those involved had already left the department during the time it took to receive the emails and review them.

NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck thinks Toobin’s tweet proves “CNN will go to the ends of the earth to prove its loyalty and assert dominance as the network for the Resistance.”

Westlake Legal Group Hillary-Clinton-split CNN's Jeffrey Toobin regrets covering 'no big deal' Clinton email scandal fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 20b72ab7-06b7-5394-a0ea-1893b970c9b6

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin regrets covering the scandal regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server because it was “no big deal.”

“This hand-wringing is shameless and totally out-of-touch. Deleting tens of thousands of e-mails that you weren’t supposed to and using personal email to share classified information would still get most anyone fired,” Houck said.

“For Hillary Clinton, its acceptance and pity as they not only circle the wagons on this issue but also refusing to eviscerate her baseless claims about Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. No snark there, either.”

CNN STAFFERS BASH NETWORK’S LIBERAL BIAS, JEFF ZUCKER GOES AFTER TRUMP IN SECRET RECORDINGS

Clinton recently floated a theory that the Russians are “grooming” Gabbard and many observers have pointed out that the media would pounce on President Trump if he made a similar claim without evidence.

Toobin has proven to be a CNN loyalist and recently defended his “colleague and friend,” former FBI deputy and acting director-turned-CNN pundit Andrew McCabe amid an on-going criminal probe related to his 2018 dismissal for a “lack of candor” toward investigators.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Andy McCabe is a CNN contributor. He’s a colleague and a friend to many of us who work here,” Toobin said last month when the Department of Justice rejected McCabe’s appeal of a probe exploring whether he misled investigators concerning a media leak about the Clinton Foundation just before the 2016 election.

Toobin went on to describe McCabe’s actions as “complicated as hell,” and said that it’s “really difficult to understand even what the lie is here.” Toobin then tweaked his own comment, saying “alleged lie.”

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Alex Shaw contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group clinton-cnn CNN's Jeffrey Toobin regrets covering 'no big deal' Clinton email scandal fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 20b72ab7-06b7-5394-a0ea-1893b970c9b6   Westlake Legal Group clinton-cnn CNN's Jeffrey Toobin regrets covering 'no big deal' Clinton email scandal fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 20b72ab7-06b7-5394-a0ea-1893b970c9b6

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Warren’s Education Plan Promises Billions for Low-Income Schools and Desegregation

Westlake Legal Group 21warrenedu-01-facebookJumbo Warren’s Education Plan Promises Billions for Low-Income Schools and Desegregation Warren, Elizabeth United States Politics and Government Teachers and School Employees Presidential Election of 2020 Education (K-12) Charter Schools

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts had released dozens of policy plans before tackling K-12 education, making her the last leading Democratic primary contender to do so.

But on Monday, the candidate who speaks frequently about her time as a public-school teacher offered her long-awaited proposal: a characteristically dense white paper that promises to quadruple federal funding for schools that serve low-income students, and to pump tens of billions of new dollars per year into desegregation, special education, bilingual programs and mental health support, while increasing federal oversight of racial and gender discrimination in schools.

The plan would be paid for by Ms. Warren’s signature wealth tax on net worth over $50 million. To encourage states to spend more on low-income students, those that fund poor and rich schools more equally would be awarded new federal dollars. And it proposes a mix of housing and educational strategies to racially integrate schools, such as inclusive zoning to make it easier to build affordable housing in areas with quality schools, and magnet schools to draw students outside their neighborhoods.

Many of these policies enjoy wide support among Democrats. But the Warren campaign also chose a clear side in the party’s long-running education war by vowing to end “high-stakes testing” and federal funding for opening new charter schools, and to ban for-profit charters, which make up about 15 percent of the sector.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont issued a similar proposal on charters in May. Charter schools are publicly funded but privately managed, and most are not unionized.

Like Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren offers little to the bipartisan group of school reformers who fought, under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, to support the charter school movement and to hold schools and teachers accountable for student test scores.

Those policies have become less popular in recent years, as a coalition of parent activists and restive teachers protested, saying they drew tax dollars away from traditional schools and put pressure on educators to spend too much time preparing students for exams.

In his own education plan, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. did not mention charter schools or testing, a sign, perhaps, of the sensitivity of those subjects among Democrats. Mr. Biden proposed tripling federal funding for low-income schools and, like Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, supported bringing health services into schools.

Democrats for Education Reform, a group that supports charters and tougher accountability for teachers and schools, has met with most of the leading candidates. Charles Barone, the group’s chief policy officer, said that while he welcomed big new investments in education, including in teacher pay, he was disappointed that the primary contenders had not tackled specific problems such as weaknesses in how educators are trained to teach children to read.

“There is a political tension between spreading the money around and trying to make strategic investments in certain areas,” he said. “There’s a lot of meat and potatoes, but not a lot of spinach-eating getting proposed.”

Before she entered politics, Ms. Warren suggested a program allowing parents to choose any public school for their children, regardless of where the family lived.

That vision aligned with many in the charter school movement, who see their schools as lifelines for families who cannot afford private school tuition or a home in a coveted school zone.

But in 2016, Ms. Warren, then in her first term as a senator from Massachusetts, spoke out against a ballot referendum that would have raised the cap on the number of charters that could open each year in her home state. She acknowledged that many Massachusetts charter schools were high-performing, but said that opening too many additional charters could reduce funding for traditional public schools.

Ms. Warren and her Democratic rivals are vying for endorsements from teachers’ unions, which generally oppose the expansion of the charter sector. “The focus is on making sure every single neighborhood public school is a great school,” said Bharat Ramamurti, an economic policy adviser to Ms. Warren.

The unions have experienced a burst of energy and public support over the past two years, as teachers in a string of states and cities mounted walkouts in favor of higher pay and more school funding, and against competition from charters.

Teachers in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest school district, are now on strike, and Ms. Warren has offered her support. She has proposed policies that would make it easier for unions to organize teachers and other workers, and easier for employees to strike.

On teacher pay, Ms. Warren’s plan promises new federal funding but does not offer as much detail as a proposal by Senator Kamala Harris of California, which supports an average teacher raise of $13,500 per year, with more money for teachers in low-income schools.

“We have to get a little edgier than just, ‘Pay teachers more,’” said Paul Reville, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a former Massachusetts secretary of education. He suggested that in addition to a broad anti-poverty agenda, candidates should support a longer school day and year, with afternoon and summer enrichment activities that could help children from low-income families keep up with more affluent peers.

“We have millions of children who are being grossly underprepared for the 21st-century labor market, to say nothing of citizenship in a complex democracy,” he said.

Ms. Warren has steadily gained momentum in the Democratic primary contest, and she now stands as a front-runner alongside Mr. Biden. Last week’s debate, in which she was the target of a barrage of attacks from other candidates, was indicative of her perceived strength in the race.

On the campaign trail, Ms. Warren often tells crowds that she had dreamed of becoming a public-school teacher ever since the second grade, recounting how she lost her job after her first year as a special needs teacher because she became pregnant. She has said she would appoint a former public-school teacher as education secretary and, six months ago, Ms. Warren released a higher education plan that calls for canceling student loan debt and eliminating tuition at public colleges. She has also proposed expanding access to free preschool and capping child care expenses at 7 percent of parents’ income, with free child care for low-income families.

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Facebook Finds New Disinformation Campaigns and Braces for 2020 Torrent

Westlake Legal Group 00facebook-facebookJumbo Facebook Finds New Disinformation Campaigns and Braces for 2020 Torrent Social Media Rumors and Misinformation Presidential Election of 2020 News and News Media Facebook Inc Computers and the Internet

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook on Monday said it had found and taken down four state-backed disinformation campaigns, the latest of dozens the company has identified and removed this year.

Three of the campaigns originated in Iran, and one in Russia, Facebook said, with state-backed actors disguised as genuine users. Their posts targeted people in North Africa, Latin America and the United States, the company said.

At the same time, the social network unveiled several new initiatives to reduce the spread of false information across its services, including an effort to clearly label some inaccurate posts that appear on the site.

The moves suggest that while Facebook is amping up its protections ahead of the 2020 United States presidential election, malicious actors wanting to shape public discourse show no signs of going away.

“Elections have changed significantly since 2016, but Facebook has changed too,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said in a conference call. “We face increasingly sophisticated attacks from nation-states like Russia, Iran and China, but I’m confident we’re more prepared.”

Facebook, by far the world’s largest social network, faces a near-daily torrent of criticism from American presidential candidates, the public, the press and regulators around the world, many of whom argue that the company is unable to properly corral its outsize power.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, recently accused Facebook of being a “disinformation-for-profit machine.” The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department are conducting investigations into Facebook’s market power and history of technology acquisitions.

Facebook generally takes a hands-off approach toward users sharing false or inaccurate information on the site. Last week, Mr. Zuckerberg delivered a robust defense of the company’s policies, including users and politicians’ ability to publish inaccurate posts. He said that Facebook had been founded to give people a voice.

Yet even as Facebook has advocated free speech, it has been unable to stem the disinformation that people post on its site. On Monday, the company said the disinformation campaigns it removed included content that touched on conflict in the Middle East, racial strife and posts involving Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congresswoman from New York. The posts crossed categories and ideological lines, seemingly with no specific intent other than to foment discord among citizens in multiple countries.

Mr. Zuckerberg said that over the past three years, Facebook has become better able to seek out and remove foreign influence networks, relying on a team of former intelligence officials, digital forensics experts and investigative journalists. Facebook has more than 35,000 people working on its security initiatives, with an annual budget well into the billions of dollars.

But as Facebook has honed its skills, so have its adversaries, he said. He added that there has been an escalation of sophisticated attacks coming from Iran and China — beyond the initial disinformation campaigns from Russia in 2016 — suggesting that the practice has only grown more popular over the past few years. A cottage industry of companies has also sprung up, he said, selling disinformation services targeted to Facebook to governments and other bad actors.

While the company does not want to be an arbiter of what speech is allowed on its site, Facebook said it wanted to be more transparent about where the speech is coming from. To that end, it will now apply labels to pages considered state-sponsored media — including outlets like Russia Today — to inform people whether the outlets are wholly or partially under the editorial control of their country’s government. The company will also apply the labels to the outlet’s Facebook Page, as well as make the label visible inside of the social network’s advertising library.

“We will hold these Pages to a higher standard of transparency because they combine the opinion-making influence of a media organization with the strategic backing of a state,” Facebook said in a blog post.

The company said it developed its definition of state-sponsored media with input from more than 40 outside global organizations, including Reporters Without Borders, the European Journalism Center, Unesco and the Center for Media, Data and Society.

The company will also more prominently label posts on Facebook and on its Instagram app that have been deemed partly or wholly false by outside fact-checking organizations. Facebook said the change was meant to help people better determine what they should read, trust and share. The label will be displayed prominently on top of photos and videos that appear in the news feed, as well as across Instagram stories.

It may be difficult to determine how much of a difference the new, more aggressive labels will make. Home to more than 2.7 billion regular users, Facebook and Instagram see billions of pieces of content shared to their respective networks daily. Fact-checked news and posts represent a fraction of that content. A wealth of information is also spread privately across Facebook’s messaging services like WhatsApp and Messenger, two conduits that have been identified as prime channels for spreading misinformation.

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Facebook Finds New Disinformation Campaigns and Braces for 2020 Torrent

Westlake Legal Group 00facebook-facebookJumbo Facebook Finds New Disinformation Campaigns and Braces for 2020 Torrent Social Media Rumors and Misinformation Presidential Election of 2020 News and News Media Facebook Inc Computers and the Internet

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook on Monday said it had found and taken down four state-backed disinformation campaigns, the latest of dozens the company has identified and removed this year.

Three of the campaigns originated in Iran, and one in Russia, Facebook said, with state-backed actors disguised as genuine users. Their posts targeted people in North Africa, Latin America and the United States, the company said.

At the same time, the social network unveiled several new initiatives to reduce the spread of false information across its services, including an effort to clearly label some inaccurate posts that appear on the site.

The moves suggest that while Facebook is amping up its protections ahead of the 2020 United States presidential election, malicious actors wanting to shape public discourse show no signs of going away.

“Elections have changed significantly since 2016, but Facebook has changed too,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said in a conference call. “We face increasingly sophisticated attacks from nation-states like Russia, Iran and China, but I’m confident we’re more prepared.”

Facebook, by far the world’s largest social network, faces a near-daily torrent of criticism from American presidential candidates, the public, the press and regulators around the world, many of whom argue that the company is unable to properly corral its outsize power.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, recently accused Facebook of being a “disinformation-for-profit machine.” The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department are conducting investigations into Facebook’s market power and history of technology acquisitions.

Facebook generally takes a hands-off approach toward users sharing false or inaccurate information on the site. Last week, Mr. Zuckerberg delivered a robust defense of the company’s policies, including users and politicians’ ability to publish inaccurate posts. He said that Facebook had been founded to give people a voice.

Yet even as Facebook has advocated free speech, it has been unable to stem the disinformation that people post on its site. On Monday, the company said the disinformation campaigns it removed included content that touched on conflict in the Middle East, racial strife and posts involving Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congresswoman from New York. The posts crossed categories and ideological lines, seemingly with no specific intent other than to foment discord among citizens in multiple countries.

Mr. Zuckerberg said that over the past three years, Facebook has become better able to seek out and remove foreign influence networks, relying on a team of former intelligence officials, digital forensics experts and investigative journalists. Facebook has more than 35,000 people working on its security initiatives, with an annual budget well into the billions of dollars.

But as Facebook has honed its skills, so have its adversaries, he said. He added that there has been an escalation of sophisticated attacks coming from Iran and China — beyond the initial disinformation campaigns from Russia in 2016 — suggesting that the practice has only grown more popular over the past few years. A cottage industry of companies has also sprung up, he said, selling disinformation services targeted to Facebook to governments and other bad actors.

While the company does not want to be an arbiter of what speech is allowed on its site, Facebook said it wanted to be more transparent about where the speech is coming from. To that end, it will now apply labels to pages considered state-sponsored media — including outlets like Russia Today — to inform people whether the outlets are wholly or partially under the editorial control of their country’s government. The company will also apply the labels to the outlet’s Facebook Page, as well as make the label visible inside of the social network’s advertising library.

“We will hold these Pages to a higher standard of transparency because they combine the opinion-making influence of a media organization with the strategic backing of a state,” Facebook said in a blog post.

The company said it developed its definition of state-sponsored media with input from more than 40 outside global organizations, including Reporters Without Borders, the European Journalism Center, Unesco and the Center for Media, Data and Society.

The company will also more prominently label posts on Facebook and on its Instagram app that have been deemed partly or wholly false by outside fact-checking organizations. Facebook said the change was meant to help people better determine what they should read, trust and share. The label will be displayed prominently on top of photos and videos that appear in the news feed, as well as across Instagram stories.

It may be difficult to determine how much of a difference the new, more aggressive labels will make. Home to more than 2.7 billion regular users, Facebook and Instagram see billions of pieces of content shared to their respective networks daily. Fact-checked news and posts represent a fraction of that content. A wealth of information is also spread privately across Facebook’s messaging services like WhatsApp and Messenger, two conduits that have been identified as prime channels for spreading misinformation.

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In Rare Appeal, Federal Judge Begs Senate To Fill Vacancies On His Court

Westlake Legal Group 5daddde6210000911d34a978 In Rare Appeal, Federal Judge Begs Senate To Fill Vacancies On His Court

WASHINGTON ― It’s not often that a federal judge pleads with the White House and senators to fill vacancies on his or her court. But in the case of U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill, his court’s workload has become so unmanageable that it’s come to begging for help.

“I write this letter out of concern for some 8.5 million people who live in the Eastern District of California, with my intention to prevent an impending, acute, and judicial catastrophe,” O’Neill wrote in a letter Friday to White House counsel Pat Cipollone and California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris. “The statement sounds serious and ominous. It is both. It may also sound like an exaggeration. It is not.”

O’Neill, who is the chief judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, said his court is about to lose the equivalent of one-third of its district judges to retirement in the next three months. Each of the court’s six district judges handles roughly 900 cases at any given time. That’s more than double the national average caseload for district judges, which is 425 cases.

The court hasn’t expanded its number of seats since 1978, either.

Unless the White House and Senate move quickly to fill two impending vacancies on the court, O’Neill says there is a high probability that some civil jury trials will “cease to exist” in the district and some criminal cases will have to be dismissed altogether because it is taking too long for them to go to trial.

“This result will be abhorrent to everything the judges of our District believe in, including equal justice, due process, and access to the courts,” he adds.

Here’s a copy of O’Neill’s letter:

O’Neill is one of the two judges retiring in the coming months. He is taking senior status on Feb. 2, 2020, along with Judge Morrison England Jr., who is taking senior status on Dec. 17, 2019. Senior status is when a judge has worked long enough to take a reduced caseload or retire completely while still receiving a full salary. Neither O’Neill nor England plan to continue working. Both gave more than a year’s notice of their retirement.

The White House, which routinely announces its intent to nominate people to various federal court seats, has not indicated plans to nominate anyone to this court. Typically, the White House works with both of a state’s U.S. senators to pick judicial nominees. President Donald Trump has ignored that tradition with appeals court nominees but mostly stuck to it with district court picks.

Aides to Feinstein, Harris and the White House did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on whether they are moving quickly to nominate people to O’Neill’s court.

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Jonathan Scott and Zooey Deschanel make relationship Instagram official with scary Halloween snap

Zooey Deschanel and Jonathan Scott made their relationship Instagram official over the weekend with the help of some scary ghouls.

On Sunday, the couple shared the same photo on their respective Instagram accounts, showing them on a double date with Scott’s twin brother, Drew, and his wife, Linda Phan. The group posed alongside several masked people holding chainsaws while attending Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights.

‘PROPERTY BROTHERS’ WANT TO RENOVATE ‘THE GOLDEN GIRLS’ HOUSE

“Still processing how scared I was of these people dressed in spooky masks. @unistudios @horrornights#UniversalHHN,” the New Girl star wrote alongside the image of her being held in Jonathan’s arms.

“So much fun last night. That high pitched scream totally wasn’t me! 😳 @UniStudios@HorrorNights #UniversalHHN,” the “Property Brothers” star captioned the same snap. “Also happy to report….nobody got punched!”

Deschanel and Scott were first romantically linked when they were spotted walking hand-in-hand in Silver Lake, Calif. Soon after, they were seen smooching on the Sept. 30 episode of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” The new couple was seen sitting behind the ABC competition series’ host, Tom Bergeron.

Westlake Legal Group People-Zooey-Deschane_Admi Jonathan Scott and Zooey Deschanel make relationship Instagram official with scary Halloween snap Tyler McCarthy fox-news/shows/the-property-brothers fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4658137d-9f51-5a30-8f70-0725a22cc86f

Zooey Deschanel and ex-husband Jacob Pechenik announced their separation before she made things Instagram official with Jonathan Scott (not pictured). (AP)

‘PROPERTY BROTHERS’ STAR JONATHAN SCOTT, ZOOEY DESCHANEL’S ESTRANGED HUSBAND SPEAK OUT ON ROMANCE

The HGTV star, 41, donned a blue jacket and collared shirt while the “500 Days of Summer” actress, 39, sported a floral button-up blouse and styled her hair in a half-up/half-down look.

The surprising pairing came just weeks after she announced her separation from husband of four years, Jacob Pechenik.

“After much discussion and a long period of contemplation we have decided we are better off as friends, business partners and co-parents rather than life partners,” the couple said in a joint statement to Page Six at the time. “We remain committed to our business, our values and most of all our children. Thank you for respecting our privacy at this time.”

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The now-separated couple share two children together, Elise, 4, and Charlie Wolf, 2.

Fox News’ Viktoria Ristanovic contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Zooey-Deschanel-Jonathan-Scott-Getty-Picture-Group Jonathan Scott and Zooey Deschanel make relationship Instagram official with scary Halloween snap Tyler McCarthy fox-news/shows/the-property-brothers fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4658137d-9f51-5a30-8f70-0725a22cc86f   Westlake Legal Group Zooey-Deschanel-Jonathan-Scott-Getty-Picture-Group Jonathan Scott and Zooey Deschanel make relationship Instagram official with scary Halloween snap Tyler McCarthy fox-news/shows/the-property-brothers fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 4658137d-9f51-5a30-8f70-0725a22cc86f

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