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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 250)

A Push To Have Cars Say ‘No’ To Drunk Drivers

Westlake Legal Group dadss-page_wide-77128a2896fb8089e128bff88fd5836c3f0ac4cf-s1100-c15 A Push To Have Cars Say 'No' To Drunk Drivers

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program, funded largely by the federal government, seeks to develop devices that will automatically detect when a driver is intoxicated with a blood-alcohol concentration over the legal limit. Courtesy of Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program hide caption

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Courtesy of Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program

Westlake Legal Group  A Push To Have Cars Say 'No' To Drunk Drivers

The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program, funded largely by the federal government, seeks to develop devices that will automatically detect when a driver is intoxicated with a blood-alcohol concentration over the legal limit.

Courtesy of Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program

As cars become smarter and safer, some members of Congress want to require them to be built to prevent drunk driving.

Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., introduced legislation last week that would make it mandatory for all new cars and trucks to come loaded with passive, virtually unnoticeable, alcohol detection systems by 2024.

The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019, called the RIDE Act, would also allocate $10 million to continue government-funded research into new breath and touch-based sensors designed to monitor a driver’s blood alcohol level in real-time, without having the driver do anything. The measure would set aside another $25 million to install and test the technology in government-owned fleets.

The bill follows a similar effort in the House by Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan.

Udall said he’s been haunted by the pain and havoc drunk driving accidents wreak on families for decades. “When you meet with families, and when you see the devastation that this causes, it’s something that really moves you,” he said in an interview.

During the 1990s, when Udall was New Mexico’s attorney general, he agonized over how to reduce the state’s drunk driving related crashes, which at the time were the highest in the country per capita.

“We kept trying to wonder, how do we get out of this?” he recalled.

The answer, at least in part, was technology. New Mexico became one of the first states to require convicted drunk drivers to use a breathalyzer to start a car.

But in a world where driverless cars are being tested, Udall said he’s become exasperated by the lack of innovation and buy-in from the auto industry. He is urging auto manufacturers to partner and fellow lawmakers to commit to a five-year plan to develop less cumbersome and more consumer friendly devices.

Helen Witty, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also noted the auto industry’s reluctance to mandated safety improvements.

“I don’t think the industry wanted to put in airbags or seat belts,” Witty said. “Think about how those … were a fight to get through.”

But now, she said, several companies have cameras that warn drivers if they appear impaired or have taken their eyes off the road. Those types of advances have given Witty hope that automakers will be persuaded by consumers, who want more safety features.

But she is impatient for that to happen. In 2000, Witty’s 16-year-old daughter was killed by another teen who’d had too many tequila shots and was driving 65 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone. According to Witty, the young driver, who was drunk and high on marijuana, “lost control of her car and spun off the road onto the bike path” where her daughter was rollerblading.

“And so my daughter, Helen Marie, looked up and saw the car coming toward her and there was nothing she could do at all but die,” Witty said.

It’s a tragic story that Witty has been telling for years to educate the public. She’s hopes the message will help spare other families the pain of her own.

“Not only did her life end, the life that we had as a family ended. … We had to figure out how to live again,” she added.

Drunk driving fatalities have declined significantly since the 1980s. But according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration they still account for about a third of all traffic deaths. In 2017, more than 10,800 people were killed in drunk driving incidents.

Since 2008, the federal government has spent $50 million on a project between NHTSA and an automaker group called Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety to develop the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety.

The endeavor is overseen by Robert Strassburger, who represents the automakers. He expects a breathalyzer-type product to be ready for licensing by next year. While the ultimate goal of the project is aimed at creating something that detects alcohol without the driver doing anything, Strassburger said, they’re not there yet. After more than a decade of work, researchers have managed to develop a more streamlined version of a breathalyzer — a small device built into the driver-side door that the driver blows into.

However, the device is can’t detect a precise blood alcohol level yet. Instead, it can only determine the presence of alcohol, Strassburger said.

So it can’t tell the difference between someone who’s had one glass of wine and someone who’s had four shots of whiskey. Still, Strassburger said, there’s already a market for the device, including trucking companies with a zero-tolerance policy for their drivers or parents with underage children.

Strassburger says there’s plenty of momentum to make vehicles with technology that keeps dangerous drivers off the road.

The question is how that will happen and when.

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Trump’s Elaborate Scheme To Get Around His Emoluments Problem Proves He Has One

WASHINGTON ― As President Donald Trump’s staff cooked up an elaborate scheme to let him award his own golf resort a multimillion-dollar contract despite his “emoluments” problem, in doing so they have admitted that he actually has a problem ― something they have refused to concede since he took office.

Trump announced late Saturday that, because of criticism from Democrats and the news media, he had decided not to hold the next Group of Seven summit at Trump National Doral near Miami’s airport. An alternative location has not yet been announced.

And though “emoluments” ― an 18th century word meaning “payments,” as used by the framers of the Constitution ― are no longer an issue for Trump for the next G-7 summit, the issue remains alive and well in lawsuits against him and as possible grounds for impeachment.

“It has never been OK,” said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which is pursuing one of those lawsuits. “He’s clearly been violating that on a lot of occasions since the start of his presidency.”

Each time that government workers ― Secret Service agents or officials from the State Department or the Pentagon ― stay at a Trump property, government money flows to Trump personally in apparent violation of one of two emoluments clauses in the U.S. Constitution.

Since taking office, Trump has made 24 trips to his club in Palm Beach, Florida; 19 to Bedminster, New Jersey; and one each to Turnberry, Scotland; Doonbeg, Ireland; and Doral. Government employees who have stayed with him on-site at those locations have put hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, and possibly millions, into Trump’s cash registers, so far.

White House officials did not respond to HuffPost queries about whether the previous payments to Trump by the government have violated the Constitution.

Trump himself, meanwhile, continued to disparage those restrictions on his ability to profit from his family business while he is president.

“You people with this phony emoluments clause,” he told reporters Monday at the start of a Cabinet meeting at the White House.

Neither emoluments clause, though, is phony. Both were written into the nation’s founding document in 1787.

One prohibits any federal officer from receiving payments from a foreign entity: “No person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”

The other prohibits the president from getting payment outside of his salary from either the federal government or any state government: “The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.”

Westlake Legal Group 5dae267c210000ad1e34a9da Trump’s Elaborate Scheme To Get Around His Emoluments Problem Proves He Has One

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump at a Cabinet meeting Monday at the White House.  on the right is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

From the time Trump took office in January 2017, his position has been to deny that payments to his hotels could be considered “emoluments” and to claim instead that they should be seen as ordinary commercial transactions.

But the White House shifted gears in defending Trump’s insistence on holding the G-7 summit at his own property. They decided to acknowledge the emoluments clauses and came up with a plan they believed would let Trump give his own family business the contract to hold next year’s G-7 conference for the leaders of the world’s largest democratic economies.

The White House thought it could avoid the foreign payments problem by having U.S. taxpayers pick up the Doral lodging costs for the delegations from the six other countries. And it would avoid the domestic payment problem by creating a “host committee” ― similar to what is used to pay for the presidential inauguration ― to solicit private donations to pay for the U.S. delegation’s rooms.

In both cases, the money would continue to flow directly to Doral and, therefore, Trump’s own pocket.

Bookbinder said he cannot understand how having the U.S. government pick up the costs for the foreign delegations does not instead create a domestic emoluments issue for Trump. And soliciting donors to pay for the U.S. delegation brings a whole new set of “pay-to-play” problems, Bookbinder said.

“Lord knows that having a committee of wealthy donors creates its own massive conflict-of-interest risk,” Bookbinder said.

Trump on Monday made new statements that belie his January 2017 promise that he would separate himself from his family business, the Trump Organization, which operates the resorts and hotels that he continues to own through a trust he created after winning the 2016 election.

“I was going to do it at no cost or give it for free,” he said at the Cabinet meeting, echoing his Saturday night statement on Twitter that “I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA.”

Trump later on in the Cabinet meeting, though, backtracked, claiming that he would have asked his family to reduce the prices to be charged the government “because I don’t run the business, because they run my business now.”

How much of a price break Trump actually would have given is unclear. During a 2017 visit to his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, the resort charged the maximum rate the government would pay ($546 a night) for rooms as well as nearly $20 per shot of liquor when White House staff ran up a $1,000, taxpayer-paid bar tab, according to a ProPublica report.

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Despite Vow to End ‘Endless Wars,’ Here’s Where About 200,000 Troops Remain

Westlake Legal Group 21dc-military-facebookJumbo Despite Vow to End ‘Endless Wars,’ Here’s Where About 200,000 Troops Remain United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Syrian Democratic Forces Syria South Korea North Atlantic Treaty Organization Miller, Austin Scott (1961- ) Middle East Japan Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Iraq Europe Africa Afghanistan

President Trump has repeatedly promised to end what he calls America’s “endless wars,” fulfilling a promise he made during the campaign.

No wars have ended, though, and more troops have deployed to the Middle East in recent months than have come home. Mr. Trump is not so much ending wars, as he is moving troops from one conflict to another.

Tens of thousands of American troops remain deployed all over the world, some in war zones such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and — even still — Syria. And the United States maintains even more troops overseas in large legacy missions far from the wars following the Sept. 11 attacks, in such allied lands as Germany, South Korea and Japan.

Although deployment numbers fluctuate daily, based on the needs of commanders, shifting missions and the military’s ability to shift large numbers of personnel by transport planes and warships, a rough estimate is that 200,000 troops are deployed overseas today.

At the height of the war, in 2010 and 2011, there were more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. When Mr. Trump took office, that number was hovering around 10,000. A new strategy, announced in August 2017, added thousands more.

Mr. Trump has long bemoaned the length of the 18-year conflict, with Pentagon officials worried that, at a moment’s notice, one tweet could end the mission.

The current commander, Gen. Austin S. Miller, has slowly dropped troop numbers to between 12,000 and 13,000 over the past year.

American and Afghan officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the plan, said the eventual American force size could drop to 8,600 — roughly the initial reduction envisioned in a draft agreement with the Taliban before Mr. Trump halted peace talks last month. Rather than a formal withdrawal order, they are reducing the force through a gradual process of not replacing troops as they cycle out.

What started as 50 Special Operations soldiers in late 2015 ballooned to more than 2,000 in 2017 when American troops and Kurdish and Arabic local fighters, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, were battling the Islamic State in Raqqa, its de facto capital.

In December 2018, before the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate collapsed, Mr. Trump issued his first of several orders to pull all American troops from the country. In turn, the Pentagon tried to shore up a plan to withdraw roughly 1,000 troops while keeping the rest spread out across the country’s northeastern corner.

In recent weeks, Mr. Trump ordered those remaining troops out, leaving a small detachment of around 200 in southern Syria — at a small outpost on the Jordanian border. Mr. Trump is also said to be in favor of leaving about 200 Special Operation forces in eastern Syria to help combat Islamic State guerrilla fighters and to block Syrian government forces and their Russian advisers from seizing several coveted oil fields in the east.

The other troops who left northern Syria in the past several days did not return to the United States, as Mr. Trump said they would. They are now based in western Iraq.

The war that began as Operation Iraqi Freedom and lasted from 2003 to 2011 peaked at about 150,000 troops. Only a small detachment remained when American troops left altogether in 2011. In 2014, the Islamic State poured over the Syria-Iraq border and routed the Iraqi Army from Mosul, once the country’s second-largest city, and pressed south to the outskirts of Baghdad, the capital, before being repelled.

With ISIS fighters closing on Erbil, President Barack Obama started his campaign against the terrorist group, which would come to be known as Operation Inherent Resolve. The small contingent of ground troops, helping hunt terrorist targets and advise the morale-stricken Iraqi Army, grew to around 5,000 in 2016.

That number has only increased, to roughly 6,000, as American troops move from northern Syria to western Iraq.

In response to Iranian attacks and provocations since May, the Pentagon has deployed about 14,000 additional troops to the Persian Gulf region, including roughly 3,500 to Saudi Arabia in recent weeks. Those forces include airborne early warning aircraft, maritime patrol planes, Patriot air and missile defense batteries, B-52 bombers, a carrier strike group, armed Reaper drones and other engineering and support personnel.

But, at any given time, between 45,000 and 65,000 American troops are in the region, spread out between Jordan and Oman, assigned to operate airfields, run key headquarters, sail warships and fly warplanes, and stage for deployments to places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The numbers change substantially depending on the presence of an aircraft carrier strike group or two in the region, and whether a large group of Marines is afloat in those waters.

There are between 6,000 and 7,000 American troops spread across Africa, with the largest numbers concentrated in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. In Somalia, there are about 500 Special Operations troops, fighting the Qaeda-linked terrorist group, the Shabab, from small outposts alongside local troops.

In the Sahel, in countries like Niger, Chad and Mali, there are several hundred. The Air Force recently built a large drone base, known as Air Base 201, near the city of Agadez, Niger. Last year, Jim Mattis, the defense secretary at the time, ordered the military command that oversees troops on the continent, known as Africom, to shrink its forces by several hundred Special Operations troops as part of the Pentagon’s strategy to focus more on threats from Russian and China around the world.

The current commander of Africom, Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, is completing a sweeping review that will probably mean the reduction of more troops.

Since the end of World War II and the Korean War, the United States has maintained a large military presence in Asia. More than 28,000 United States troops are stationed in South Korea, many living with their families. The United States and South Korea have suspended major training exercises over the past year as a concession to North Korea, but the two militaries continue to carry out smaller drills.

In Japan, the Pentagon maintains about 50,000 troops at roughly two dozen bases across the country. About 25,000 of those troops are stationed on Okinawa. Violence committed by American service members or related personnel on the island has long caused friction between Washington and Tokyo.

The Cold War put as many as 300,000 American troops across Europe to defend against the Soviet Union. That presence eventually plummeted to about 30,000 soldiers after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.

Over the past year, the United States and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization completed positioning about 4,500 additional soldiers in the three Baltic States and Poland, and they have stationed several thousand other armored troops mostly in Eastern Europe as a deterrent to Russian aggression.

Despite recent tensions with Turkey over its offensive into northern Syria, the United States flies combat and support aircraft from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. The Pentagon also stores about 50 tactical nuclear weapons at Incirlik.

The Pentagon has deployed troops to other locations around the world. There are about 250 troops, mostly Special Forces, in the Philippines in part to help with counterterrorism operations. In the past six years, about 2,000 Marines have regularly deployed to northern Australia to act as a response force for the Pacific region.

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ISIS using TikTok to spread propaganda, emojis and all, report says

The Islamic State has been using the social media video platform TikTok as a recruitment tool, according to a bombshell report.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the terrorist group placed videos of Islamic State anthems and footage of corpses and ISIS fighters to the carefree app popular with teenagers and known for videos of dancing high-school students, harmless pranks and lip-synching with special effects.

One terror video earned 68 likes, and some ISIS-related accounts had around 1,000 followers.

MICHAEL MOORE ENDORSES BERNIE SANDERS: ‘HE ISN’T AFRAID TO SAY CAPITALISM IS THE REAL PROBLEM’

The videos seemed designed to attract a young audience.

Westlake Legal Group IS-tiktok ISIS using TikTok to spread propaganda, emojis and all, report says Frank Miles fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox news fnc/tech fnc article 7cbe0726-c906-5cab-bd46-5bafec03d1b6

The Islamic State has been using the social media video platform TikTok as a propaganda tool, according to a bombshell report.  (File)

“The rhyme, beat, evocative lyrics and punchy delivery are especially appealing to youth,” Elisabeth Kendall, an Oxford University expert on extremism, told the newspaper. “This catchy sing-along method for propagating ISIS ideology means it spreads quickly and sticks in the collective memory. It tends to be far more effective than sermons or theological debate and treatises.”

Social-media intelligence company Storyful identified around two dozen ISIS-related accounts, all of which have been removed.

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“This is an industry-wide challenge complicated by bad actors who actively seek to circumvent protective measures, but we have a team dedicated to aggressively protecting against malicious behavior on TikTok,” a spokeswoman for TikTok told the Journal.

Click for more from The Wall Street Journal.

Westlake Legal Group IS-tiktok ISIS using TikTok to spread propaganda, emojis and all, report says Frank Miles fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox news fnc/tech fnc article 7cbe0726-c906-5cab-bd46-5bafec03d1b6   Westlake Legal Group IS-tiktok ISIS using TikTok to spread propaganda, emojis and all, report says Frank Miles fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox news fnc/tech fnc article 7cbe0726-c906-5cab-bd46-5bafec03d1b6

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Watch: Elizabeth Warren dodges question on how she would fund ‘Medicare-for-all’

Westlake Legal Group AP19294670506241 Watch: Elizabeth Warren dodges question on how she would fund 'Medicare-for-all' Liam Quinn fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 0977153c-110f-54a9-8b23-df2a2c98ef4d

Elizabeth Warren boasts she has a “plan for that” — but it turns out she doesn’t always have an answer for questions at the core of her White House bid.

Warren, one of the leading Democrats seeking to unseat President Trump in 2020, spoke to reporters Monday after an event at Roosevelt High school in Des Moines, Iowa, when the topic of “Medicare-for-all” was raised.

During the media gaggle, Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Warren: “How should caucus-goers be confident it is possible to pay for ‘Medicare-for-all’ at all if the leading Democratic candidate still needs a few more weeks to tell them how it is going to get paid for?”

In response, Warren replied: “Well, why don’t you ask me that when the plan is out.”

POLL: VOTERS OPPOSE ‘MEDICARE-FOR-ALL’ SYSTEM THAT ELIMINATES PRIVATE INSURANCE

She did not give any further details.

Warren has been criticized in recent weeks for not explaining exactly how she would cover the costs for her ambitious plan, with two fellow 2020 contenders taking issue with her during last week’s debate.

After being asked by the moderators early at the fourth-round debate in Ohio last Tuesday whether middle-class taxes would rise under her health0care proposal, the progressive senator didn’t specifically answer, instead pledging, “I will not sign a bill into law that does not cut costs for middle-class families.”

Moments later, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg took aim at Warren, who’s soared in polling in recent months and has been considered a frontrunner for the party’s presidential nomination alongside former Vice President Joe Biden.

ELIZABETH WARREN APPARENTLY SCRUBS DNA-TEST ROLLOUT FROM CAMPAIGN SITE, TWITTER

Accusing Warren of being evasive, Buttigieg argued, “Your signature, senator, is to have a plan for everything— except for this. No plan has been laid out to explain how a multitrillion-dollar hole in this ‘Medicare-for-all’ plan that Senator Warren is putting forward is supposed to get filled in.”

Warren, firing back at Buttigieg, said: “Let’s be clear, whenever someone hears the term ‘Medicare for all who want it,’ understand what that means: It’s ‘Medicare for all who can afford it,’ and that’s the problem we’ve got. ‘Medicare-for-all’ is the gold standard.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar then joined Buttigieg in calling out Warren.

The Minnesota Democrat said, “At least [Bernie Sanders is] being honest here in saying how he’s going to pay for this and that taxes will go up, and I’m sorry, Elizabeth, but you have not said that and I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where we’re going to send the invoice.”

Suggesting that Warren would never be able to pass her ‘Medicare-for-all’ plan through Congress, Klobuchar said: “The difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something that you can actually get done.”

Biden also chimed in, jabbing at Warren without naming her, accusing her of not being straightforward.

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“On the single most important thing facing the American public, I think it’s awfully important to be straightforward with them,” Biden noted. “The plan is going to cost at least $30 trillion over 10 years. That is more on a yearly basis than the entire federal budget.”

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19294670506241 Watch: Elizabeth Warren dodges question on how she would fund 'Medicare-for-all' Liam Quinn fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 0977153c-110f-54a9-8b23-df2a2c98ef4d   Westlake Legal Group AP19294670506241 Watch: Elizabeth Warren dodges question on how she would fund 'Medicare-for-all' Liam Quinn fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 0977153c-110f-54a9-8b23-df2a2c98ef4d

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AOC endorsing Bernie Sanders is ‘not a game-changer,’ Juan Williams says

Westlake Legal Group AOC-Bernie AOC endorsing Bernie Sanders is 'not a game-changer,' Juan Williams says fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 8cf6b964-8385-59b2-a828-2c3bd171fedb

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, D-N.Y., endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Democratic presidential bid is not necessarily a game-changer, according to Juan Williams.

While Ocasio-Cortez is seen by many younger, more liberal voters as the leader of a political “movement,” her endorsement is not the same as if the backing was coming from other Democratic Party figures, Williams claimed Monday on “The Five.”

“She is the personification of a movement for a lot of young people on the left, but I don’t know that it’s actually going to mean a bump in support,” he said.

AOC BACKS SANDERS AT NEW YORK RALLY

“I think Obama, when he endorses — I think you could see it as ‘passing the torch’ to the next generation, but I’m not sure that her endorsement is necessarily a game-changer.”

At a Saturday rally in New York, Ocasio-Cortez praised Sanders by claiming he is responsible for “one of the best Democratic presidential primary fields in a generation.”

However, one of the Republicans vying to face-off with Ocasio-Cortez in 2020 recently ripped the lawmaker for holding the rally near what would have been the site of an Amazon complex she helped rebuff.

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“They did this with 25,000 people, we heard, but omitted the fact that they killed 25,000 jobs by killing the Amazon deal right there in that part of town,” Scherie Murray said on “Fox & Friends,” adding that “good-paying jobs” were lost for the people of Queens and The Bronx.

On “The Five,” host Greg Gutfeld noted Williams’ point about the power of former President Barack Obama’s endorsement, noting the Democrat recently voiced his support for a Canadian politician before his own running mate.

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Gutfeld said it was “kind of sad” to see Obama endorse Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for reelection while remaining silent as former Vice President Joe Biden vies with Sanders and others for the Democratic nomination stateside.

Westlake Legal Group AOC-Bernie AOC endorsing Bernie Sanders is 'not a game-changer,' Juan Williams says fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 8cf6b964-8385-59b2-a828-2c3bd171fedb   Westlake Legal Group AOC-Bernie AOC endorsing Bernie Sanders is 'not a game-changer,' Juan Williams says fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 8cf6b964-8385-59b2-a828-2c3bd171fedb

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WeWork Considers Rescue Plans From SoftBank and JPMorgan

Westlake Legal Group 14WEWORK-HFO-facebookJumbo WeWork Considers Rescue Plans From SoftBank and JPMorgan WeWork Companies Inc SoftBank Capital Real Estate (Commercial) Neumann, Adam JPMorgan Chase&Company Initial Public Offerings Co-Working Boards of Directors

The board of WeWork, the cash-starved purveyor of shared office space, is weighing competing financial rescue packages from SoftBank and a financial consortium led by JPMorgan Chase, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

SoftBank, a Japanese technology giant that is already the largest outside shareholder in WeWork, is offering to take a controlling stake in the company by accelerating a $1.5 billion investment it had planned to make next year and by buying up to $3 billion in shares held by other investors, the people said. SoftBank is also offering to put together loans totaling $5 billion from a consortium of financial institutions, including SoftBank.

The JPMorgan proposal consists of several parts, including new bonds, some of which would carry high interest rates, according to people with knowledge of its plans.

The potential cash infusion comes at a critical time for WeWork, which scrapped an initial public offering and ousted its charismatic chief executive last month after Wall Street balked at its huge losses and unconventional corporate governance structure.

WeWork, once considered one of the world’s most celebrated start-ups, was valued by SoftBank at $47 billion in January but had considered selling shares in its initial public offering at a valuation as low as $15 billion. SoftBank’s latest offer to the company values it at a little less than $8 billion.

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Netanyahu Fails to Form a Government, Leaving Israel as Divided as Ever

Westlake Legal Group 21israel-copy-facebookJumbo-v2 Netanyahu Fails to Form a Government, Leaving Israel as Divided as Ever Rivlin, Reuven Politics and Government Netanyahu, Benjamin Likud Party (Israel) Israel Gantz, Benny Blue and White (Israeli Political Party)

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel abandoned his latest attempt to form a government on Monday, clearing the way for his chief rival to take a shot but leaving a divided country no closer to knowing who its next leader would be.

It remained to be seen whether the move was the beginning of the end for Mr. Netanyahu, Israel’s longest serving prime minister, or just another twist in a political standoff that has paralyzed the government for six months.

President Reuven Rivlin said he would give Benny Gantz, the former army chief whose party won one more parliamentary seat than Mr. Netanyahu’s in last month’s election, the mandate to try to become the country’s next leader.

But Mr. Gantz, a political newcomer who has capitalized on pending corruption cases against Mr. Netanyahu, has no clear path to assembling the required 61-seat majority in Israel’s Parliament.

He has 28 days to try. If he fails, Israel could be forced into an unprecedented third election, a prospect few Israelis would relish.

Two days before his 28-day deadline was up, Mr. Netanyahu, 70, who has been prime minister since 2009, told Mr. Rivlin that he had been unable to put together a parliamentary majority.

Mr. Rivlin said he would give the mandate to Mr. Gantz, 60, “as soon as possible.”

“The time of spin is over, and it is now time for action,” Mr. Gantz’s Blue and White party said in a statement. “Blue and White is determined to form the liberal unity government, led by Benny Gantz, that the people of Israel voted for a month ago.”

Mr. Gantz had resisted entreaties from Mr. Netanyahu to join him in a unity government, saying that he would not serve under a prime minister facing indictment. That left open the possibility that Mr. Netanyahu might prevail upon a few centrist lawmakers to give him a majority.

They did not, and Mr. Gantz’s gamble has paid off, so far.

Now, he will get his chance to try to assemble a majority. Arguing that 80 percent of Israelis agree on 80 percent of the issues, he has promised to seek a broad government with conservative partners by working “from the center out.”

But achieving what Mr. Netanyahu could not would be quite a feat. Mr. Gantz would need to recruit defectors from the political right, perhaps from within Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party, or persuade Avigdor Liberman, leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, to do what so far appears unthinkable: collaborate with Arab politicians.

Mr. Netanyahu, who remains prime minister until a new government is formed, is counting on Mr. Gantz to fail, forcing a new election.

In a video posted to his Twitter account on Monday, shortly after the end of the Sukkot holiday in Israel, Mr. Netanyahu said he had “worked relentlessly, in the open but also in secret, in an effort to form a broad national unity government” with Mr. Gantz.

“This is what the people want,” Mr. Netanyahu wrote. “This is also what Israel needs in the face of security challenges that are growing by the day, by the hour.”

He said he had made “every effort” to negotiate a unity government with Mr. Gantz, but “to my regret, time and time again, he simply refused.”

For Mr. Netanyahu, who in July surpassed Israel’s founding leader, David Ben-Gurion, to become its longest-serving prime minister, his failure to assemble a majority was a humbling and potentially career-ending blow.

The last time an Israeli politician beside him had the chance to form a government was in 2009, when Tzipi Livni, then the foreign minister, narrowly edged Mr. Netanyahu in an election. But she failed to muster a majority and Mr. Netanyahu succeeded, completing a comeback after having served a previous term as prime minister in the late 1990s.

Mr. Gantz, a career soldier making his first run for office, tied with Mr. Netanyahu in their first contest in April, but Mr. Netanyahu had more supporters in Parliament and was given the chance to form a government. He appeared well on his way to a fourth consecutive term only to be thwarted by a surprise defection by Mr. Liberman.

Rather than let Mr. Gantz be given a chance, Mr. Netanyahu orchestrated a second election, held on Sept. 17.

Mr. Gantz narrowly edged Mr. Netanyahu in that election, but Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition of right-wing and ultrareligious parties again came away with a larger bloc in Parliament than Mr. Gantz’s alliance of center-left parties. Once more, Mr. Netanyahu was handed the first attempt at forming a government.

Mr. Netanyahu may still have another path back to the premiership: If Mr. Gantz cannot form a government within his allotted time, the president can hand the task to Parliament, giving lawmakers an additional 21 days to come up with a candidate who can command a majority. Mr. Netanyahu may be hoping, at that point, that the public and political pressure to avoid a third election will persuade the half-dozen additional lawmakers whose support he needs to come to his side.

Analysts have also speculated that Mr. Netanyahu may prefer a third election, perhaps believing that the attorney general would ultimately drop the bribery indictment, the heaviest of three charges he is facing. Under such an outcome, Mr. Netanyahu could claim a degree of vindication and campaign while facing lesser charges of fraud and breach of trust, and insisting that they, too, would come to naught in court.

The gamesmanship between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Gantz since the election last month has resembled a chess match in which Mr. Netanyahu’s position was weaker than after the April election but the conclusion was hardly foregone.

With neither man finding a politically palatable way of achieving a 61-seat majority, a unity government of one sort or another appeared unavoidable, and Mr. Rivlin urged both men to agree on one.

One major stumbling block, if they agreed to rotate the premiership, was the question of who would serve first and at what point Mr. Netanyahu would step aside if charged.

Mr. Netanyahu accepted a proposal suggested by Mr. Rivlin under which Mr. Netanyahu would serve as prime minister first, but if charged, would declare himself incapacitated while he sorted out his legal troubles. Mr. Gantz would then serve as acting prime minister with full powers.

Such an arrangement left many questions, including at what point Mr. Netanyahu would step aside, and would have required legal changes that could be challenged in court.

Moreover, Mr. Netanyahu has insisted that any unity government include his longstanding allies in the right-wing and religious parties. Mr. Gantz has demanded that Likud negotiate a unity government without its allied parties.

Mr. Netanyahu repeatedly and publicly chastised Mr. Gantz for refusing to negotiate with him on terms for building a grand coalition including both their parties. Mr. Gantz said the terms proposed by Mr. Netanyahu were impossible to accept.

Most recently, Mr. Netanyahu asserted that Mr. Gantz’s plan all along was to thwart any efforts to form a unity government and instead set up a minority government with the backing of Arab parties — an unlikely move that would be deeply unpopular with many Blue and White voters, as well as with many of the party’s lawmakers.

The rise of such a minority government would only be possible with the tacit cooperation of Avigdor Liberman, which Mr. Liberman has all but ruled out.

Critics said Mr. Netanyahu had been showing signs of panic. He pressed his right-wing and religious allies to sign multiple loyalty oaths. And he proposed a Likud party primary, but then abruptly canceled the idea after a popular younger rival, Gideon Saar, declared himself ready to challenge Mr. Netanyahu for the party leadership.

Mr. Gantz, meanwhile, has been calmly seeking to strengthen his leadership credentials, issuing prime ministerial-like statements in response to local and world events. He hosted the German ambassador to Israel, Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer, in his sukkah, the temporary hut or tabernacle that Jews construct for the Sukkot holiday, and said they discussed anti-Semitism and Germany’s decision to cease weapons sales to Turkey, for which he expressed gratitude.

Last week, Mr. Gantz requested, and was granted, a meeting with the military chief of staff to update himself on security developments in the region. That meeting was held with the approval of Mr. Netanyahu.

Still, Mr. Netanyahu has far from given up.

On Monday night he posted a photo of himself and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, thanked Mr. Putin for telephoning him with birthday greetings and said they had discussed the situation in Syria, among other things.

“It is still not too late,” he declared in his video. It would still be possible to form a unity government, he said, “if Gantz comes to his senses.”

“This has always been the solution, and this remains the solution,” he said.

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Booker, in thinly veiled Warren dig, touts there’s ‘no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me’

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. – Sen. Elizabeth Warren is known as the candidate with the plans, but Senate colleague and presidential nomination rival Sen. Cory Booker begs to differ.

“There’s no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me. Anybody who knows me in the Senate, that’s my forte,” Booker, D-N.J., highlighted Monday in an interview with Fox News and NHTalkRadio.com.

Booker, who was interviewed aboard his campaign’s New Hampshire RV, emphasized that “there’s been 170-180 plans put out by every candidate. We’re all putting out plans. I love mine. I think in so many cases my plans are better. Heck, we are the only people to put out a plan on child poverty. How can that be?”

WARREN SAYS SHE’LL UNVEIL HOW SHE’LL PAY FOR HER MEDICARE-FOR-ALL PLAN

And, he indirectly took aim at Warren, D-Mass., who’s soared in recent months to a tie with former Vice President Joe Biden for the top spot in the 2020 primary race.

“I stand with Elizabeth Warren. I think ‘Medicare-for-all’ is the best way to do it. But, I also actually believe that it’s going to be a process to get there,” Booker noted. “We can’t be in a situation where we’re just talking away insurance from folks.”

Warren has been a major supporter of the “Medicare-for-all” plan introduced in the Senate by 2020 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders. The government-run plan, if enacted, would eliminate private insurance.

Booker, spotlighting his pragmatism, added, “I will not be one of those folks on the stage that’s so rigid to say, ‘It’s my way or the highway and I’m going to sacrifice progress for purity. I’m going to let perfect be the enemy of the good,’ when every American needs more good.”

Asked if some of his nomination rivals were too rigid, Booker answered, “that’s what voters are going to have to decide.”

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Warren came under repeated attack at last week’s fourth-round primary debate over her refusal to discuss whether taxes would go up for middle-class Americans to implement her proposal for a government-run “Medicare-for-all” plan. She announced Sunday that she would soon reveal how the country would pay for it if she were president.

Booker has built up a formidable team in New Hampshire and Iowa, the first two states to vote in the caucus and primary calendar. Analysts have called him a skilled retail campaigner and arguably the best orator in the record-setting field of presidential contenders. But, he’s yet to pop in the polls or have many viral moments.

Westlake Legal Group aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaBOOKER-RV Booker, in thinly veiled Warren dig, touts there's 'no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me' Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc article 06c0d77f-d891-56b7-872c-63bbfa353087

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey speaking with Fox News and NHTalkRadio.com aboard his campaign RV on the road from Peterborough to Keene, N.H., on Monday. (Fox News)

However, with three and a half months to go until the voting begins, that’s fine with Booker.

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“The people that usually win are the people who peak in January, February, not people who are winning in the summer or winning in the fall. We’ve just got to continue doing the work,” he noted.

And, pointing to one-time longshots who ended up winning the nomination and eventually the White House, he said, “the more people who hear my message, the more [success] and momentum we’re getting and I’m hoping that continues to rise. And, by the time we’re in next year, I hope we’ll do what Bill Clinton, the comeback kid, or Jimmy Carter – who won New Hampshire – I’ll follow in their footsteps.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095157124001_6095156624001-vs Booker, in thinly veiled Warren dig, touts there's 'no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me' Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc article 06c0d77f-d891-56b7-872c-63bbfa353087   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095157124001_6095156624001-vs Booker, in thinly veiled Warren dig, touts there's 'no bigger policy wonk nerd in this race than me' Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc article 06c0d77f-d891-56b7-872c-63bbfa353087

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Dennis Quaid, 65, is engaged to 26-year-old Laura Savoie; his ‘Parent Trap’ fiancée reacts

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Dennis Quaid, 65, is engaged to 26-year-old Laura Savoie; his 'Parent Trap' fiancée reacts

She said yes!

Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie got engaged after a rather overwhelming proposal, the actor shared with Extra shortly after the sunset ask. 

“It happened on the very northernmost point of Oahu, at Turtle Bay,” Quaid said. “It was kind of spontaneous. It was very much a surprise.”

Equipped with the the ring in his pocket, Quaid said he wanted the moment “to be private,” noting his proposal was “kind of a month-and-a-half plan.” 

And Savoie, who is 26 and working on her Ph.D. at the University of Texas, according to Extra and People, was apparently stunned. According to the outlets, the pair has been together for months.

“She was actually taking a selfie of us, and I put the ring in front and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ – and then she fell down,” Quaid, 65, recalled to Extra.

His proposal even got a quip from actress Elaine Hendrix, Quaid’s onscreen fiancée from the classic 1998 romantic comedy “The Parent Trap.” 

Hendrix played Meredith Blake, a 26-year-old gold-digging publicist engaged to Quaid’s Nick Parker (but not for long, thanks to his meddling twin daughters).

“Watch out for those twins,” she tweeted, referring to identical long-lost sisters Hallie Parker and Annie James, who were both played by Lindsay Lohan.

This will be the fourth marriage for Quaid, who was previously married to Kimberly Quaid (2004-2018), Meg Ryan (1991-2001) and P.J. Soles (1978-1983).

USA TODAY has reached out to a rep for Quaid for further comment.

See our full coverage of entertainment news

Meet Jack Quaid, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid’s son, who will steal your heart this summer

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