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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 238)

WATCH LIVE: Historic Hearing Underway

Westlake Legal Group 5dd45fb92100006d7134d71e WATCH LIVE: Historic Hearing Underway

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, will testify Wednesday morning. Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, and David Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, will testify Wednesday afternoon.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and the committee’s top Republican, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), will direct the questioning.

Read live updates on the hearings below:

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Matt Lauer, NBC’s ‘toxic culture’ loom over MSNBC’s Democratic debate

Four prominent 2020 Democratic hopefuls have called on Comcast to “prevent future harassment and abuse at NBC and MSNBC” ahead of the ahead of MSNBC’s Democratic debate on Wednesday – but critics don’t think any changes are likely at the disgraced Peacock Network.

Cory BookerKamala HarrisBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren signed a letter on Tuesday urging the Democratic National Committee to hold NBC accountable for its “toxic culture” after a series of sexual harassment scandals related to Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. But the harshly-worded letter didn’t suggest any real consequences if NBC continues to ignore calls for an outside investigation.

NBC MUST CLEAN UP ‘TOXIC CULTURE,’ 2020 DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES DEMAND AHEAD OF MSNBC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

Linda Vester, an ex-NBC correspondent and former Fox News anchor who has emerged as a #MeToo advocate after accusing NBC News legend Tom Brokaw of sexual misconduct (a claim he denies), thinks the candidates could do more if they truly wanted to make an impact.

“The best way these Democratic candidates can stand up for women voters is to tell NBC they will withdraw from tonight’s debate unless the company announces an independent, external investigation of the many allegations of sexual misconduct,” Vester told Fox News.

None of the four candidates who signed the letter responded when asked by Fox News if they were prepared to skip the debate should the requested action not be taken. NBC News did not respond when asked for comment.

Westlake Legal Group harris-sanders-lauer-warren-booker-nbc Matt Lauer, NBC’s ‘toxic culture’ loom over MSNBC’s Democratic debate fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article a7a63da7-c030-5aa3-9201-4f6ce38d7edf

Former anchor Matt Lauer and NBC’s “toxic culture” looms over MSNBC’s Democratic debate.

“The next best option is to bring up the subject during the debate itself, and insist to the moderators that they want to see a proper investigation of NBC,” Vester said.

NBC NEWS REPORTEDLY RENEWS NOAH OPPENHEIM’S CONTRACT, DRAWING OUTRAGE: ‘STATUS QUO HAS BEEN BLESSED’

After the Weinstein and Lauer bombshells were reported in 2017, NBC News chairman Andy Lack, and his top deputy Noah Oppenheim, refused to hire an outside investigator to determine who knew about Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct and whether NBC executives looked the other way. NBC relied on in-house general counsel Kim Harris despite widespread calls for an outside law firm to conduct the review and she declared that management was completely oblivious.

Ronan Farrow’s book, “Catch and Kill,” details why he thinks NBC fused to expose Weinstein – which includes allegations that the disgraced movie mogul leveraged the knowledge of Lauer’s own misconduct. UltraViolet, a leading national women’s organization that has led protests outside NBC’s New York City headquarters as a result of Farrow’s reporting, also helped organize the letter signed by Booker, Harris, Sanders and Warren.

Westlake Legal Group Andrew-Lack-NBC Matt Lauer, NBC’s ‘toxic culture’ loom over MSNBC’s Democratic debate fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article a7a63da7-c030-5aa3-9201-4f6ce38d7edf

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has admitted that NBC News honchos Noah Oppenheim and Andy Lack have caused turmoil inside the building by refusing an outside investigation.

“We, the undersigned candidates, are very concerned about the message it would send to sexual assault survivors if our next debate is sponsored by MSNBC without clear commitments from Comcast, the parent company of NBC and MSNBC, to conduct an independent investigation into the toxic culture that enabled abusers and silenced survivors,” the letter begins.

NBC KILLED MY SEX ASSAULT STORY AFTER FARROW’S WEINSTEIN PIECE, AUTHOR CLAIMS

“There is clearly something wrong with a work environment reluctant to hold management accountable,” the letter said. “That’s what allowed the behavior of powerful abusers inside the company to go unchecked. The troubling reports about management’s role to cover up abuse demonstrate that Comcast should have and needs to do more to shift the work culture and pursue significant structural changes in order to prevent future harassment and abuse at NBC and MSNBC. Until that happens, employees are at risk.”

Author and activist Sil Lai Abrams, who has said NBC shut down rape and sexual assault allegations she made against hip hop mogul Russell Simmons and ‘Extra’ co-host A.J. Calloway, told Fox News that the letter is “a step in the right direction” but will probably fall on deaf ears.

“Unfortunately, NBC Universal has shown that they are uninterested in an independent investigation. My guess is that they already know the answers to the question of how the network has such a long and sustained culture of misogyny. To clean it up would require it to remove Andy Lack and Noah Oppenheim,” Abrams said.

MADDOW CELEBRATES NYT REPORTERS WHO EXPOSED WEINSTEIN SCANDAL, IGNORES HOW NBC SPIKED SAME STORY

“In my opinion, choosing to host the debate with an all-women group of moderators is another way for the network to deflect attention away from the rampant misogyny and lack of journalistic integrity by senior executives within the organization,” she added, referring to Rachel Maddow, Kristen Welker, Ashley Parker and Andrea Mitchell.

“They are virtue signaling a progressive stance on women, when everyone knows the network is just another toxic all-boys club,” Abrams said. “They’re doing a disservice not only to current and past employees, but also to the survivors of sexual violence they silenced at Lack and Oppenheim’s behest.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Maddow has admitted on air that the lack of action has caused “consternation” both inside and outside of the network and accusations NBC News leadership “may have been complicit in some way” in shielding sexual predators is “very, very hard to stomach.”

But an NBC insider familiar with Maddow’s relationship to MSNBC president Phil Griffin told Fox News it’s “highly unlikely” she would ruffle corporate feathers on the debate stage.

Westlake Legal Group harris-sanders-lauer-warren-booker-nbc Matt Lauer, NBC’s ‘toxic culture’ loom over MSNBC’s Democratic debate fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article a7a63da7-c030-5aa3-9201-4f6ce38d7edf   Westlake Legal Group harris-sanders-lauer-warren-booker-nbc Matt Lauer, NBC’s ‘toxic culture’ loom over MSNBC’s Democratic debate fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article a7a63da7-c030-5aa3-9201-4f6ce38d7edf

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Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For

  • The debate is 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time. It is being held in Atlanta and co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.

  • There will be no opening statements. Candidates will have 75 seconds to answer questions from the moderators: Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell and Kristen Welker of NBC and Ashley Parker of The Washington Post. Each candidate will have 45 seconds for rebuttals or follow-ups, as well as a 75-second closing statement.

  • The New York Times will have extensive debate coverage, including a live analysis throughout the event.

Nov. 20 Lineup

Westlake Legal Group booker Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 MSNBC Maddow, Rachel Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Cory Booker

Westlake Legal Group gabbard Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 MSNBC Maddow, Rachel Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Tulsi Gabbard

Westlake Legal Group klobucha Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 MSNBC Maddow, Rachel Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Amy Klobuchar

Westlake Legal Group buttigieg Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 MSNBC Maddow, Rachel Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Pete Buttigieg

Westlake Legal Group warren Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 MSNBC Maddow, Rachel Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Elizabeth Warren

Westlake Legal Group biden Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 MSNBC Maddow, Rachel Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Westlake Legal Group sanders Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 MSNBC Maddow, Rachel Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Bernie Sanders

Westlake Legal Group harris Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 MSNBC Maddow, Rachel Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Kamala Harris

Westlake Legal Group yang Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 MSNBC Maddow, Rachel Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Andrew Yang

Westlake Legal Group steyer Tonight’s Democratic Debate: When It Is and What to Watch For Yang, Andrew (1975- ) Warren, Elizabeth Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 MSNBC Maddow, Rachel Klobuchar, Amy Harris, Kamala D Gabbard, Tulsi (1981- ) Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Tom Steyer

Candidates will appear in this order on the stage, from left to right.

Ten Democratic presidential candidates will take the debate stage in Atlanta on Wednesday night, but the spotlight is likely to follow two contenders who have risen to the top of polls over the last several months: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

Here is what to watch for as the candidates debate:

Last month in Ohio, Ms. Warren took incoming fire from four different rivals. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Mr. Buttigieg led the attack against her health care proposals, Senator Kamala Harris of California made a disjointed plea for Ms. Warren to sign onto her call for Twitter to ban President Trump and Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii demanded to know how Ms. Warren was qualified to serve as commander-in-chief.

Since then, Ms. Warren has seen her polling position diminish as she has sought to explain how she would finance “Medicare for all” beyond the “I’m with Bernie” line that she offered earlier in the campaign. But the attacks against her haven’t stopped. She remains a useful foil for Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg — along with Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — as they jostle to be the standard-bearer for the party’s moderate wing.

Ms. Warren has shown no indication she’s willing to give ground. During a speech to Iowa Democrats this month she used the word “fight” 21 times in 12 minutes. Her argument that the party will lose to Mr. Trump if it nominates a candidate who fears her bold proposals has become central to her campaign stump speech.

Expect both dynamics to be on full display in Atlanta, though this time Ms. Warren will be prepared to defend Medicare for all in a more detailed fashion than she has demonstrated to date.

At the same time, the volume of opposition research being pitched by rival campaigns about Mr. Buttigieg has increased, focusing on 9-year-old friendly remarks about the Tea Party and his stewardship of the municipal government in South Bend.

In previous debates, Mr. Buttigieg has easily parried attacks from his rivals — that task will become tougher as scrutiny on him increases.

Join us for live analysis on debate night. Subscribe to “On Politics,” and we’ll send you a link.

While Ms. Warren laid out a plan last week to pass a full Medicare for all system by her third year in the White House, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said he’d get it done right away.

“I will engage that struggle on day one of my administration,” Mr. Sanders said Friday in California. “Not put it off for several years.”

Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, long ideological partners, have mostly avoided direct conflict on the campaign trail. But the Medicare for all issue affords each of them an opportunity to create political distance. Mr. Sanders can once again brand himself as the purest advocate for his political revolution. Ms. Warren, meanwhile, will have to navigate between appealing to the party’s most progressive voters and not frightening away moderate Democrats by tying herself too closely to Mr. Sanders.

The Democratic differences on how to fix America’s health care system have consumed much of the airtime in debate after debate, and the coming clash in Atlanta is expected to be more of the same.

In the last debate, Ms. Warren was hammered for lacking her own Medicare for all plan. She has since rolled out a comprehensive package that more moderate Democrats, like Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg, have said is unrealistic and unworkable. Mr. Biden has used health care to raise other questions about Ms. Warren, calling her an elitist with a “my way or the highway” approach to governance.

Mr. Buttigieg has been advertising in Iowa to promote his “Medicare for all who want it” approach, which Ms. Warren has said will not fundamentally fix the system. The recent Des Moines Register/CNN poll showed how divided the party is on the topic, with 36 percent favoring a Medicare for all plan that eliminates private insurance, 34 percent wanting a “public option” and 20 percent saying they preferred restoring provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

Midway through the second week of impeachment gobbling the entire Washington news cycle, the presidential candidates would still rather talk about almost anything else.

Yet it seems implausible — if not impossible — for Wednesday night’s debate moderators to avoid asking the White House hopefuls about the House inquiry unfolding daily on live television.

But what can the candidates say at this point? They’re all for impeaching Mr. Trump. But while they know that wanting the president removed from office is the cost of entry for the Democratic primary, voters would much rather see a discussion about the sort of issues that are central to their daily lives: health care, climate change and the economy.

Even Tom Steyer, the California billionaire who spent years on a campaign calling for Mr. Trump’s impeachment, is talking about other issues on the trail.

So expect to see the moderators quiz the candidates about the latest developments from Washington, as they then pivot to something else.

Things are not going well for the California senator. Since the last debate, she has shuttered her New Hampshire offices. She has laid off staff and shifted resources from her Baltimore headquarters to Iowa. And she has continued a slide in the polls, which now show her closer to the bottom tier than to the top.

The challenge is that Ms. Harris has already delivered one of the most memorable debate moments of the primary — her takedown of Mr. Biden on busing — but the bump she received quickly faded.

She has since turned her focus on Mr. Trump in one debate, and challenged Ms. Warren to call for kicking the president off Twitter in another. She does not have a signature policy focus — she has called to cut middle-class taxes as a top priority — that seems ripe to pop. It is not clear what tack she will take on Wednesday evening (she could be among the many ready to pile onto Mr. Buttigieg), but the pressure to perform is strong.

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Ex-New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski makes Los Angeles Lakers debut at halftime show

Former New England Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski may have hung up his jersey in March, but the three-time Super Bowl champion took center court at the Staples Center Tuesday night to try his hand at something new.

Dressed in a bright yellow uniform with gold trim, the 6’6” 265-pound former pro danced alongside the Laker Girls during the half of the Los Angeles LakersOklahoma City Thunder matchup.

GRONKOWSKI WILL BE IN MIAMI FOR SUPER BOWL AS PARTY HOST 

An enthusiastic Gronk appeared to hit (almost) every move.

He was also joined by tennis pro Venus Williams and comedian James Corden.

Westlake Legal Group Rob-Gronkowski-Venus-williams-Reuters Ex-New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski makes Los Angeles Lakers debut at halftime show Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/new-england-patriots fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/sports/nba/oklahoma-city-thunder fox-news/sports/nba/los-angeles-lakers fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/person/rob-gronkowski fox news fnc/sports fnc article 1f25d9f1-44ad-593a-be8b-3c9920477c3c

Venus Williams and Rob Gronkowski laugh after participating with the Los Angeles Lakers girls during halftime of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on Nov. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Gronkowski’s appearance at the Staples Center came hours after he announced that, despite retiring from the NFL in March, he will be hosting a Super Bowl party in Miami.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

“I may not be playing the game this year, but I will still be going to Miami and I’m going to be debuting my very own music festival and its Gronk Beach,” he said. “I mean, you can’t ask for any other situation that better than that.”

The Lakers went on to beat the Thunder 112-107.

Westlake Legal Group Rob-Gronkowski-GettyImages-1188813298 Ex-New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski makes Los Angeles Lakers debut at halftime show Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/new-england-patriots fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/sports/nba/oklahoma-city-thunder fox-news/sports/nba/los-angeles-lakers fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/person/rob-gronkowski fox news fnc/sports fnc article 1f25d9f1-44ad-593a-be8b-3c9920477c3c   Westlake Legal Group Rob-Gronkowski-GettyImages-1188813298 Ex-New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski makes Los Angeles Lakers debut at halftime show Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/new-england-patriots fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/sports/nba/oklahoma-city-thunder fox-news/sports/nba/los-angeles-lakers fox-news/sports/nba fox-news/person/rob-gronkowski fox news fnc/sports fnc article 1f25d9f1-44ad-593a-be8b-3c9920477c3c

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NASA finds ‘extraterrestrial sugar’ on meteorites, which may have ‘led to the origin of life’

It’s common for asteroids in the Solar System to carry water, one of the essential building blocks for life. But now, NASA researchers have found sugar molecules on two different meteorites, adding credence to the idea that asteroids play a crucial role in supporting life.

The researchers said they discovered ribose and “other bio-essential sugars including arabinose and xylose,” adding that ribose is crucial for RNA (ribonucleic acid), which copies genetic codes from DNA and delivers them to ribosomes used to build proteins essential for life.

“Other important building blocks of life have been found in meteorites previously, including amino acids (components of proteins) and nucleobases (components of DNA and RNA), but sugars have been a missing piece among the major building blocks of life,” said the study’s lead author, Yoshihiro Furukawa, in a statement.

Westlake Legal Group meteorites-hitting-earth NASA finds 'extraterrestrial sugar' on meteorites, which may have 'led to the origin of life' fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc d72b7103-2330-56c3-a3e5-8a47bfff459e Chris Ciaccia article

Artist’s concept of meteors impacting ancient Earth. Some scientists think such impacts may have delivered water and other molecules useful to emerging life on Earth. (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab)

COMETS AND ASTEROIDS COULD BE FLINGING LIFE ALL OVER THE GALAXY, STUDY FINDS

“The research provides the first direct evidence of ribose in space and the delivery of the sugar to Earth,” Furukawa added. “The extraterrestrial sugar might have contributed to the formation of RNA on the prebiotic Earth which possibly led to the origin of life.”

“It is remarkable that a molecule as fragile as ribose could be detected in such ancient material,” Jason Dworkin, one of the study’s co-authors, pointed out. “These results will help guide our analyses of pristine samples from primitive asteroids Ryugu and Bennu, to be returned by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa2 and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.”

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which is on its way back to Earth, fired a “bullet” into the asteroid Ryugu in February to collect material from the space rock. OSIRIS-REx, which is orbiting the asteroid Bennu, has made several incredible discoveries on the space rock, including the presence of water.

Westlake Legal Group nasa-bennu NASA finds 'extraterrestrial sugar' on meteorites, which may have 'led to the origin of life' fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc d72b7103-2330-56c3-a3e5-8a47bfff459e Chris Ciaccia article

This is a mosaic image of asteroid Bennu, from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. The discovery of sugars in meteorites supports the hypothesis that chemical reactions in asteroids – the parent bodies of many meteorites – can make some of life’s ingredients. (Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

SECOND INTERSTELLAR VISITOR MAY BE CARRYING WATER FROM BEYOND OUR SOLAR SYSTEM, SHOCKING STUDY SUGGESTS

Although the sugar in DNA was not detected in any of the meteorites, the researchers noted the presence of the “extraterrestrial sugar” that makes up RNA is important, nonetheless, with many researchers thinking it came first, only to be replaced by DNA.

“The sugar in DNA (2-deoxyribose) was not detected in any of the meteorites analyzed in this study,” said Danny Glavin, a co-author of the study, added. “This is important since there could have been a delivery bias of extraterrestrial ribose to the early Earth which is consistent with the hypothesis that RNA evolved first.”

Researchers ruled out the possibility of terrestrial sugars when they analyzed it, noting that the carbon in the sugars from the meteorites were “significantly enriched in the heavy 13C, beyond the amount seen in terrestrial biology.”

The research has been published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

WATER DETECTED ON POTENTIALLY ‘HABITABLE’ EXOPLANET FOR FIRST TIME, SCIENTISTS SAY

A study published in October 2018 suggested that cometlike objects, such as the mysterious Oumuamua, could be “ferrying” microbial life across thousands of light-years, increasing the idea that panspermia, the hypothesis that life on Earth originated from microorganisms in outer space, is accurate.

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Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group meteorites-hitting-earth NASA finds 'extraterrestrial sugar' on meteorites, which may have 'led to the origin of life' fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc d72b7103-2330-56c3-a3e5-8a47bfff459e Chris Ciaccia article   Westlake Legal Group meteorites-hitting-earth NASA finds 'extraterrestrial sugar' on meteorites, which may have 'led to the origin of life' fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc d72b7103-2330-56c3-a3e5-8a47bfff459e Chris Ciaccia article

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Discussion Thread: Day Four of House Public Impeachment Hearings – Morning Session – 11/20/2019 | Gordon Sondland – Live 9am EST

Westlake Legal Group sHbMGREiO2fauTYHCYaWgb0eiZevhzgsGhCjk5JB_TE Discussion Thread: Day Four of House Public Impeachment Hearings – Morning Session - 11/20/2019 | Gordon Sondland – Live 9am EST r/politics

This morning the House Intelligence Committee will hold their fifth round of public hearings in preparation for possible Impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. Testifying today is Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:00am EST. You can watch live online on CSPAN or PBS. Most major networks will also air live coverage.)

You can listen online via C-Span or download the C-Span Radio App

For a great overview of the Impeachment Process, check out PBS News Hour’s Guide to the Impeachment Hearings


Today’s hearing is expected to follow the format for Impeachment Hearings as laid out in H.R. 660

  • Opening statements by Chairman Adam Schiff, Ranking Member Devin Nunes, and Gordon Sondland, followed by:

  • Two continuous 45 minutes sessions of questioning, largely led by staff counsel, followed by:

  • Committee Members each allowed 5 minutes of time for questions and statements, alternating from Dem to Rep, followed by:

  • Closing statements by Ranking Member Devin Nunes and Chairman Adam Schiff


Day One archives – William Taylor and George Kent:

Day Two archives – Marie Yovanovitch:

Day Three archives – Morning Session – Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams:

Day Three archives – Afternoon Session Kurt Vokler and Tim Morrison


Upcoming Hearings

  • Wednesday, 11/20/2019, 2:30pm EST – Laura Cooper and David Hale

  • Thursday, 11/21/2019, 9:00am EST – Fiona Hill and David Holmes

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Impeachment Hearing Updates: Gordon Sondland Heads to Capitol Hill

Here’s what you need to know:

Who: Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, will appear by himself in the morning session. Laura K. Cooper, a deputy assistant defense secretary, and David Hale, the under secretary of state for political affairs, will testify together in the afternoon session.

What: The House Intelligence Committee, led by its chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, will continue to examine the case for impeaching President Trump. The Republican minority, led by Representative Devin Nunes of California, will again work to poke holes in testimony implicating the president.

When and Where: The morning proceedings start at 9 a.m. Eastern in the vaulted, columned chambers of the House Ways and Means Committee, and could last until the early afternoon. The second set of hearings is scheduled to start around 2:30 p.m., depending on when the morning session is finished.

How to Watch: The New York Times will stream the testimony live, and a team of reporters in Washington will provide real-time context and analysis of the events on Capitol Hill. Follow along at nytimes.com, starting a few minutes before 9.

Mr. Sondland, the diplomat at the center of the House impeachment inquiry who is to testify on Wednesday, kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apprised of his efforts to pressure Ukraine’s leaders to commit publicly to investigations Mr. Trump wanted, two people briefed on the matter said.

Mr. Sondland informed Mr. Pompeo in mid-August about a draft statement that Mr. Sondland and another American diplomat had worked on with the Ukrainians that they hoped would persuade Mr. Trump to grant Ukraine’s new president the one-on-one meeting he was seeking, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were intended to be private.

Later that month, Mr. Sondland discussed with Mr. Pompeo the possibility of arranging a face-to-face meeting in which President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine would promise Mr. Trump that he would pursue investigations Mr. Trump sought.

Mr. Pompeo approved of the plan, which was meant to break a logjam in relations between the two countries, the people said, but the meeting between the two leaders never happened.

The disclosures tie Mr. Pompeo more directly than was previously known to the Trump administration’s pressure campaign on Ukraine.

Mr. Sondland is expected to face tough questions on Wednesday about gaps and misleading statements in his initial closed-door interview with impeachment investigators on Oct. 17, an account that he has already been forced to revise once in response to other witness testimony.

After initially testifying that he “never” thought there was any precondition on $391 million in American security aid to Ukraine frozen by Mr. Trump, Mr. Sondland later submitted a three-page declaration saying “I do now recall” telling a senior Ukrainian official that “resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

The “anticorruption statement” would commit Ukraine to investigating Mr. Biden and the 2016 conspiracy theory involving Democrats, a statement that Ukrainian officials had resisted making.

In the statement, Mr. Sondland said that he did not know why Mr. Trump suspended the aid and that he “presumed” the connection after weeks went by without the money being released. Democrats will certainly press him about whether the president himself ever linked the aid to the investigations the way Mr. Sondland did in his Sept. 1 conversation with the Ukrainian official.

Mr. Sondland only offered this new account after William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, and Timothy Morrison, then the top Europe adviser at the National Security Council, told House investigators about it.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured Mr. Zelensky and his aides to investigate people and issues of political concern to Mr. Trump, including the former vice president. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

  • A C.I.A. officer who was once detailed to the White House filed a whistle-blower complaint on Mr. Trump’s interactions with Mr. Zelensky. Read the complaint.

Video

transcript

Who Are the Main Characters in the Whistle-Blower’s Complaint?

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.

Congressman: “Sir, let me repeat my question: Did you ever speak to the president about this complaint?” Congress is investigating allegations that President Trump pushed a foreign government to dig up dirt on his Democratic rivals. “It’s just a Democrat witch hunt. Here we go again.” At the heart of an impeachment inquiry is a nine-page whistle-blower complaint that names over two dozen people. Not counting the president himself, these are the people that appear the most: First, Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani. According to documents and interviews, Giuliani has been involved in shadowy diplomacy on behalf of the president’s interests. He encouraged Ukrainian officials to investigate the Biden family’s activities in the country, plus other avenues that could benefit Trump like whether the Ukrainians intentionally helped the Democrats during the 2016 election. It was an agenda he also pushed on TV. “So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.” “Of course I did!” A person Giuliani worked with, Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s former prosecutor general. He pushed for investigations that would also benefit Giuliani and Trump. Lutsenko also discussed conspiracy theories about the Bidens in the U.S. media. But he later walked back his allegations, saying there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. This is where Hunter Biden comes in, the former vice president’s son. He served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company run by this guy, who’s had some issues with the law. While Biden was in office, he along with others, called for the dismissal of Lutsenko’s predecessor, a prosecutor named Viktor Shokin, whose office was overseeing investigations into the company that Hunter Biden was involved with. Shokin was later voted out by the Ukrainian government. Lutsenko replaced him, but was widely criticized for corruption himself. When a new president took office in May, Volodymyr Zelensky, Zelensky said that he’d replace Lutsenko. Giuliani and Trump? Not happy. They viewed Lutsenko as their ally. During a July 25 call between Trump and the new Ukrainian president, Trump defended him, saying, “I heard you had a prosecutor who is very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair.” In that phone call, Trump also allegedly asked his counterpart to continue the investigation into Joe Biden, who is his main rival in the 2020 election. Zelensky has publicly denied feeling pressured by Trump. “In other words, no pressure.” And then finally, Attorney General William Barr, who also came up in the July 25 call. In the reconstructed transcript, Trump repeatedly suggested that Zelensky’s administration could work with Barr and Giuliani to investigate the Bidens and other matters of political interest to Trump. Since the whistle-blower complaint was made public, Democrats have criticized Barr for dismissing allegations that Trump had violated campaign finance laws during his call with Zelensky and not passing along the complaint to Congress. House Democrats have now subpoenaed several people mentioned in the complaint, as an impeachment inquiry into the president’s conduct continues.

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President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.CreditCredit…Illustration by The New York Times

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L.A. Auto Show: The 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime is a powerful plug-in hybrid

The Toyota Rav4 is plugging-in and powering up.

Westlake Legal Group rav3 L.A. Auto Show: The 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime is a powerful plug-in hybrid Gary Gastelu fox-news/news-events/los-angeles-auto-show fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/make/toyota fox-news/auto/attributes/hybrids fox news fnc/auto fnc d5c850d5-d13b-5ea2-a04c-33dcbdc0b0b1 article

The country’s best-selling vehicle that’s not a pickup is getting a plug-in hybrid model called the Prime that provides 302 hp and an all-electric range of 39 miles between charges.

Westlake Legal Group rav4 L.A. Auto Show: The 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime is a powerful plug-in hybrid Gary Gastelu fox-news/news-events/los-angeles-auto-show fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/make/toyota fox-news/auto/attributes/hybrids fox news fnc/auto fnc d5c850d5-d13b-5ea2-a04c-33dcbdc0b0b1 article

The Rav4 Prime uses an all-wheel-drive system similar to the one in the existing Rav4 Hybrid that features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor combination driving the front wheels and a separate electric motor at the rear. The Rav4 Prime swaps in more powerful motors and adds a larger battery pack with plug-in capability.

Westlake Legal Group rav1 L.A. Auto Show: The 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime is a powerful plug-in hybrid Gary Gastelu fox-news/news-events/los-angeles-auto-show fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/make/toyota fox-news/auto/attributes/hybrids fox news fnc/auto fnc d5c850d5-d13b-5ea2-a04c-33dcbdc0b0b1 article

Toyota estimates the combined fuel economy to be 90 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent), which assumes the battery is recharged every day. It’s efficiency after the battery is depleted hasn’t been announced, but the conventional Rav4 Hybrid is rated at 40 mpg.

Westlake Legal Group rav2 L.A. Auto Show: The 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime is a powerful plug-in hybrid Gary Gastelu fox-news/news-events/los-angeles-auto-show fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/make/toyota fox-news/auto/attributes/hybrids fox news fnc/auto fnc d5c850d5-d13b-5ea2-a04c-33dcbdc0b0b1 article

Toyota says the Rav4 Prime isn’t just the most-powerful Rav4 ever, but that it will be the second-quickest model in the lineup behind the Toyota Supra sports car, and can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

MORE FROM THE L.A. AUTO SHOW

Pricing for the 2021 Rav4 Prime will be announced closer to its on sale date next summer, and it will initially be offered only in SE and XSE trims. The Rav4 Hybrid XSE currently starts at $35,170, so expect the Rav4 Prime to come in a couple of thousand dollars more than that and to qualify for some federal and state electric car tax credits.

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Westlake Legal Group rav3 L.A. Auto Show: The 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime is a powerful plug-in hybrid Gary Gastelu fox-news/news-events/los-angeles-auto-show fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/make/toyota fox-news/auto/attributes/hybrids fox news fnc/auto fnc d5c850d5-d13b-5ea2-a04c-33dcbdc0b0b1 article   Westlake Legal Group rav3 L.A. Auto Show: The 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime is a powerful plug-in hybrid Gary Gastelu fox-news/news-events/los-angeles-auto-show fox-news/auto/style/suv fox-news/auto/make/toyota fox-news/auto/attributes/hybrids fox news fnc/auto fnc d5c850d5-d13b-5ea2-a04c-33dcbdc0b0b1 article

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

Drama and intrigue took a one-week break in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, which featured little variation inside the top 20 and no change at all to the top seven.  

Maybe there was a little controversy. After losing to No. 17 Iowa, Minnesota fell two spots to No. 10, behind No. 8 Penn State and No. 9 Oklahoma. There’s reason to ask why the Golden Gophers are behind Penn State despite owning the head-to-head tiebreaker. 

In the Big Ten, at least, all should be resolved by Sunday. This weekend pits the Nittany Lions against No. 2 Ohio State, with the winner taking firm control of the East Division and very likely meeting one of Minnesota or Wisconsin — though Illinois has a road to the top of the West, somehow — to decide the conference championship.

More:Alabama stays at No. 5 in latest College Football Playoff rankings as top 4 remains same

Bowl projections:New Year’s Six sees changes as unbeatens fall

Three rankings down, three more to go. Here are the winners and losers from the latest release:

WINNERS

LSU

LSU was able to hold onto the top spot despite the tempting option to swap the Tigers and Ohio State. That’s because of LSU’s terrible performance on defense in last weekend’s 58-37 win against Ole Miss, which saw the Tigers continue to excel offensively — 714 yards on 8.9 yards per play — but allow the Rebels to rack up 614 yards, 402 of them on the ground. Maybe it was understandable: LSU was just coming off a ripple-causing win at Alabama, so a letdown might’ve been predicted in advance.

Still, the Tigers have a clear rival for No. 1 in Ohio State. The Buckeyes have been dominant on a historic level: After ripping past Rutgers, OSU joined Nebraska in 1971 as the only teams in the past century to beat each of its first 10 opponents by 24 or more points. What LSU has is a stronger overall schedule and, in beating the Crimson Tide, a marquee moment. But the Buckeyes might add a moment of their own against the Nittany Lions.

And why does it matter who gets the No. 1 seed? Well, it’s good for recruiting. It’s a nice achievement for the program. Most of all, however, is this: No. 2 faces No. 3 in the national semifinals, and no one should want to face Clemson anywhere but in the championship game.

Memphis

The committee rightfully promoted No. 18 Memphis past No. 19 Cincinnati and into the front seat in the Group of Five chase for a New Year’s Six bowl. While only a temporary recognition — the two teams are scheduled to meet in December to decide the American, with the winner the odds-on pick to gain the access-bowl bid — the shuffle fairly represents the Bearcats’ recent struggles and the Tigers’ impressive play since an earlier loss to Temple.

Cincinnati has struggled in its past two road games, with an easy win against Connecticut coming between a shootout win against East Carolina and Saturday’s escape against South Florida. Meanwhile, Memphis has scored at least 40 points in its last four games and touts strong wins against Navy, Tulane and SMU.

LOSERS

Oklahoma

As it turns out, Saturday’s comeback win at No. 14 Baylor did little to move the needle for Jalen Hurts and the Sooners. Part of the reason is the logjam of one-loss Power Five teams angling for position behind the top three. Another reason is the perception that Oklahoma is unbalanced toward its offense, even if the defense has made enormous strides since last season and effectively put the clamps on Baylor’s offense for the final two-plus quarters on Saturday night.

Westlake Legal Group  COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

But to say the committee doesn’t respect the Big 12 would be inaccurate. There are four Big 12 teams in this week’s rankings, with the Sooners and Bears joined by No. 21 Oklahoma State and No. 22 Iowa State. Baylor only fell one spot from last week’s rankings, meaning Saturday’s loss seemed to validate the Bears’ postseason standing in the eyes of the committee. It may just be as simple as the committee not feeling overly positive about Oklahoma.

Minnesota

Admittedly, Minnesota’s slate of wins didn’t look great until that victory at home against Penn State. On the other hand, the Nittany Lions own wins against Iowa, No. 13 Michigan and Indiana. Nonetheless, head-to-head tiebreakers are supposed to mean something, especially when comparing teams from within the same conference with identical records. The Golden Gophers have a gripe over being two spots behind Penn State.

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Gordon Sondland Faces Tough Questions About Trump, Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group 5dd531901f0000330edeef2c Gordon Sondland Faces Tough Questions About Trump, Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ambassador Gordon Sondland, the most anticipated witness in the impeachment inquiry, will confront questions Wednesday about his evolving accounts of the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine and a newly revealed summertime phone call with President Donald Trump.

Sondland, a wealthy hotelier Trump tapped as his ambassador to the European Union, is more directly entangled than any witness yet in the Republican president’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and Democrats in the 2016 election. Yet Sondland has already amended his testimony once — “I now do recall,” he said, talking to Ukraine about investigations.

Sondland’s appearance at Wednesday morning’s hearing, and his closeness to Trump, is of particular concern to the White House as the historic impeachment inquiry reaches closer to the president, pushing through an intense week with nine witnesses testifying over three days in back-to-back sessions.

Trump has recently tried to suggest that he barely knows his hand-picked ambassador, but Sondland has said he has spoken several times with the president and was acting on his direction.

The envoy is likely to face tough questions from lawmakers of both parties about Trump’s July 25 call when he asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the political investigations at the same time as U.S. military aid for the ally was being stalled.

Sondland routinely bragged about his proximity to Trump and drew alarm from the foreign service and national security apparatus as part of an irregular channel of diplomacy led by the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Last week State Department official David Holmes revealed one of those interactions to impeachment investigators, saying he recalled it “vividly.”

The political counselor was having lunch with Sondland in Kyiv when the ambassador dialed up the president on his cellphone and Holmes could hear Trump’s voice.

“I then heard President Trump ask, quote, ‘So he’s going to do the investigation?’” Holmes testified. “Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘He’s going to do it,’ adding that President Zelensky will, quote, ‘do anything you ask him to.’”

Sondland was known for telling others “he was in charge of Ukraine” despite being the U.S. envoy in Brussels, said another witness in the impeachment probe, former White House Russia adviser Fiona Hill.

“And I asked, well, on whose authority?” said Hill, who will testify Thursday. “And he said, the President.”

Sondland’s appearance follows the testimony Tuesday of four national security and diplomatic officials, including a career Army officer who described Trump’s call with Zelenskiy as “improper.”

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman told lawmakers it was his “duty” to report his concerns about the call, as he deflected Republican attacks, including from the White House on his loyalty and career in public service.

It wasn’t the first time Vindman had registered his concerns over Ukraine policy. He testified about a July 10 meeting at the White House when Sondland told visiting Ukraine officials they would need to “deliver” before the administration would agree to a meeting Zelenskiy wanted with Trump.

“Ambassador Sondland referred to investigations into the Bidens and Burisma in 2016,” Vindman testified, referring to the gas company on whose board Hunter Biden had a seat.

At the White House, Trump said he had watched part of the day’s testimony and slammed the ongoing impeachment hearings as a “disgrace.” Over the weekend, Trump assailed Williams as part of the “Never Trumpers” who oppose his presidency, though there is no indication she has shown any partisanship.

Former National Security Council official Timothy Morrison told investigators that he witnessed a key September conversation in Warsaw between Sondland and a top aide to Zelenskiy. Afterward, Sondland said he had relayed to the Ukrainian that U.S. aid might be freed if the country would announce the investigations, Morrison testified.

Another diplomat, former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, shifted his own account of the July 10 meeting to say Sondland did, in fact, discuss investigations with the visiting Ukrainians.

“I think all of us thought it was inappropriate; the conversation did not continue and the meeting concluded,” Volker said.

A series of text messages Volker provided to lawmakers showed conversations between him, Sondland and other leaders in which they discussed a need for Ukraine to launch investigations, including into Burisma.

Volker said meeting with Giuliani was just part of the dialogue, and he had one in-person meeting with him, in which Giuliani “raised, and I rejected, the conspiracy theory that Vice President Biden would have been influenced in his duties as vice president by money paid to his son.”

Associated Press writers Alan Fram, Zeke Miller, Laurie Kellman, Colleen Long, Eric Tucker, Lolita Baldor and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

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