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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 265)

If Hunter Biden Is Fair Game, So Are Trump’s Kids

Westlake Legal Group ltmannovx6P-l8NmLNDj3hJMHiwqis_hXzV3zD7QspA If Hunter Biden Is Fair Game, So Are Trump’s Kids r/politics

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Hong Kong Police Shoot Protester, as National Day Demonstrations Turn Violent

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161894097_4bebeb04-0e51-41c5-9e14-19f7f49f4da3-articleLarge Hong Kong Police Shoot Protester, as National Day Demonstrations Turn Violent Tiananmen Square (Beijing) Hong Kong Protests (2019) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Communist Party of China China

Protesters near Wong Tai Sin in Hong Kong on Tuesday.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

A Hong Kong police officer on Tuesday shot a teenage demonstrator, the first time in months of protests that a live round was fired at a protester. The shooting capped an evening of violent protests, escalating the territory’s political crisis on the same day that the central government staged a huge military parade in Beijing to celebrate 70 years of Communist control.

The protesters in Hong Kong hoped to upstage Beijing’s celebrations by holding their own unauthorized marches. Violence quickly broke out, as demonstrators in districts across the city engaged in some of the bloodiest and most sustained clashes since protesters began taking to the streets in early June.

The protester was shot in the Tsuen Wan district of northern Hong Kong. Tsuen Wan is a working-class area near Hong Kong’s border with the Chinese mainland, miles from the city’s gleaming financial district.

Yolanda Yu, a spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Police Force, said in a video posted on the force’s Facebook page that the protester was an 18-year-old who had been shot in the left shoulder. She said the protester was conscious as he was taken to the hospital.

Local news media reported that the young man was a high school student.

Ms. Yu said the officer who shot the protester had been under attack by violent “rioters” who were threatening officers’ lives. “In order to save himself and his colleagues, he fired one shot at the attacker,” she said.

In the video, the protester who was shot is first seen joining a black-clad mob of people who chase a riot officer and tackle him to the ground. They kick him and beat him with what appear to be metal pipes.

At one point, the protester approaches a second police officer who is standing nearby with a handgun drawn. Just after the protester hits the officer with the pipe, the officer fires at the man at point-blank range.

Police officers detained a protester in the district of Wong Tai Sin on Tuesday.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Hong Kong was transformed into a tear gas-engulfed battlefield on Tuesday as protesters clashed with riot police in nine districts across the territory, building bonfires and barricades and hurling firebombs and other objects in a direct challenge to Beijing’s rule.

The sirens of ambulances and fire trucks rang out as the police chased after and tried to pin down protesters dressed in black — who in many cases far outnumbered the officers at the scene.

Westlake Legal Group Sequence-06-articleLarge Hong Kong Police Shoot Protester, as National Day Demonstrations Turn Violent Tiananmen Square (Beijing) Hong Kong Protests (2019) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Communist Party of China China

115 Days of Hong Kong Protests. How Did We Get Here?

The protests started as peaceful marches and rallies against an unpopular bill. Then came dozens of rounds of tear gas and a government that refused to back down.

Traffic was snarled on some major thoroughfares, subway stations were shut down and the clashes looked set to continue deep into the evening.

The police created a cordon and used a water-cannon truck to keep protesters away from the office of the central government’s liaison to the territory. Elsewhere, they fired live rounds as warning shots, and chased after protesters, pinning some of them down. The Hong Kong Police Force said on Twitter that “rioters” in one district had injured multiple officers and reporters with “corrosive fluid.” It did not elaborate.

The demonstrations began in earnest when tens of thousands of people joined an early afternoon march on Hong Kong’s main island from the Causeway Bay shopping district toward the heart of the city’s financial district. Some protesters sprinkled fake money — a traditional Chinese funerary custom — as a way of “mourning” China’s National Day. Others cursed and taunted those riot police who were stationed nearby, and who retreated into the shadows of a nearby footbridge.

The Hong Kong island march was largely peaceful. But others across the territory turned into violent clashes.

Hundreds of protesters fought with riot police officers outside a shuttered town hall in Tuen Mun, close to Hong Kong’s border with the Chinese mainland. The police also fired multiple rounds of tear gas at demonstrators in the Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan and Wong Tai Sin neighborhoods. And as protesters squared off with police at either side of an avenue in the working-class neighborhood of Sham Shui Po, some built makeshift roadblocks with trash cans and bamboo sticks, and others built bonfires.

In the Jordan neighborhood on the Kowloon Peninsula, seven masked men used a Molotov cocktail to burn posters of Xi Jinping outside a Chinese Army barracks. They left after setting the blaze, and soldiers inside the gates did not emerge to confront them.

In Wong Tai Sin, where the police had fired tear gas at one point near a retirement home, dozens of residents without masks or protest gear shouted at police to retreat.

“I want to cry. I come downstairs and feel that I have walked into a war zone,” Vincey Wu, a 53-year-old accountant, said. “Carrie Lam has gone off to celebrate National Day. But has she thought about her people who are breathing in tear gas?”

China’s leaders watching the military parade. Mr. Xi referred to Mao Zedong in his speech.CreditGreg Baker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

To the report of a 70-gun salute, 15,000 soldiers goose-stepped along Chang An Avenue — the Street of Eternal Peace — as an enormous military parade kicked off in Beijing.

The parade, commemorating 70 years of Communist Party rule in China, is one of the largest in modern Chinese history. It included 100,000 performers and was the capstone of a week of events meant to celebrate the country’s rapid emergence as a global power.

In his opening speech before the parade, Mr. Xi quickly hit on the theme of Hong Kong, the semiautonomous territory that has been roiled by anti-government protests for months.

“No force can shake the status of our great motherland, no force can obstruct the advance of the Chinese people and Chinese nation,” Mr. Xi said speaking from Tiananmen, or the Gate of Heavenly Peace, which overlooks the square.

National Day:

Mr. Xi said that China would “maintain the lasting prosperity and stability” of Hong Kong and Macau. He made no mention of the months of strife in Hong Kong, but his words left no mistake that Hong Kong is on the mind of Chinese leaders today.

Mr. Xi also used the occasion to emphasize his narrative of national unity and rejuvenation under party rule. “No power can stop the progress of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation,” he said.

In the tradition of past parades, Mr. Xi, wearing a Mao-style suit, stood in the open sunroof of a Chinese-made Red Flag limousine as he reviewed the troops. He called out “Greetings, Comrades,” and “Comrades, you are working hard!” The troops responded in unison: “Greetings, Chairman” and “Serve the people!”

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, on Tuesday.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times

Many tens of thousands of other people marched through a busy Hong Kong shopping district on Tuesday afternoon.

The large crowd defied a government ban on assembly and marched through an empty thoroughfare in the Causeway Bay district on Hong Kong’s main island. Chants of “Hong Kongers, add oil!” and “Reclaim Hong Kong; revolution of our times” echoed off a canyon of skyscrapers and shuttered shopping malls.

“We are scared now,” said Ricky Hong, 49, a marketing executive who joined the march with his wife and young daughter. “Everyone is afraid of being arrested for just exercising our right to assembly and free speech.”

Promises Made:

“This is not the Hong Kong we know,” he added. “Please tell the world.”

In the late afternoon, thousands of other protesters broke off from the main march and headed to a harbor-side complex of government offices. The mood remained festive, but grew more tense as the sun dipped lower in the hazy sky.

As protesters collected bricks in a trash can — weapons in the battle ahead — the authorities issued an evacuation order for the Hong Kong legislature. And before dusk fell, the police began firing tear gas and blue-dyed water from cannons mounted on trucks.

The police fired a continued fusillade of tear gas to clear the boulevard, but the protesters divided up into smaller pods; some made bonfires on the side streets with cardboard while others collected bricks. A saxophonist at the rear played the Star Spangled Banner.

The DF-41, an intercontinental ballistic missile, made its first public appearance.CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press

The display of high-powered weaponry is always a highlight of the parade, but its usefulness for assessing China’s military has diminished over the years with ever-advancing satellite technology able to scour the country’s bases, airfields and ports.

China shocked the world when it showed off intercontinental ballistic missiles for the first time in 1984 during the 35th National Day parade. But this year, experts at the Foundation for Strategic Research in France were able to spot the latest addition to its arsenal weeks ago from afar.

In Pictures:

That missile — which is known as the DF-41 and can carry 10 nuclear warheads and strike anywhere in the United States — made its first public appearance on Tuesday but has been known to American officials for years.

Other new weapons included a supersonic reconnaissance drone, the WZ-8, and a wing-shaped stealthy drone called Sharp Sword. Both are intended to support naval operations. China has been racing to catch up with the American Navy, shifting the balance of power in the South China Sea and farther out in the Pacific. Two submarine drones were also put on display.

The parade included 15,000 soldiers and sailors, 160 aircraft, and 580 tanks and other mobile weapons, according to military commanders, who emphasized that all of the weapons were made in China and already operational.

Mr. Xi, who is commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army, has overseen a sweeping military reorganization that has created a smaller but more modern and capable military force.

A float at the parade in Beijing reads, “Long Live the Motherland.”CreditAndy Wong/Associated Press

Another float showed off the country’s technological accomplishments, including models of its C919 jetliner, a Long March space rocket and its Jade Rabbit moon rover, all riding atop a sleek high-speed rail car.

Still another float celebrated China’s entrepreneurs. The rainbow-colored float, with a charging bull at the prow, was called “The Rolling Spring Tide,” a metaphor often used when discussing China’s process of reform. Lei Jun, the founder of smartphone maker Xiaomi; Liu Yonghao, who controls the New Hope food conglomerate; and Liang Wengen, the founder of Sany Group, a heavy equipment maker, were among those waving to the crowd.

“I deeply feel today’s happy life is hard to come by,” said Mr. Lei in a post on the Weibo social media platform. “We are still on the road. The more we struggle, the happier we are!”

The images of progress evoke the Communist Party’s unspoken pact with its people: Your quality of life will improve as long as you leave the politics to us. That idea forms part of what Mr. Xi calls the China Dream, a broad vision of the country’s emergence as an economic and political force to be reckoned with for decades to come.

But for many, the China Dream may seem harder to reach than before. China’s economic growth is slowing. The trade war with the United States shows no signs of ending. Various indicators point to job losses, sluggish wage growth and fewer opportunities for college graduates.

The cost of living is rising, too. Both tariffs and a weaker currency have made imported goods more expensive.

Still, huge numbers of those watching the parade still remember a destitute China still struggling with the consequences of the devastating policies of the Mao Zedong era. The National Day holiday, which kicks off a weeklong holiday for many, will offer still more reminders as millions go back to their often modest roots to visit their families.

A United States-China meeting at the G20 summit in Japan in June. President Trump has had a complicated relationship with President Xi Jinping, both flattering and lauding his counterpart, while escalating a trade war with Beijing.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

President Trump on Tuesday tweeted a message of congratulations to Mr. Xi hours after violent protests broke out across Hong Kong and the police shot a young demonstrator.

“Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!” Mr. Trump tweeted from the White House early Tuesday morning, after National Day celebrations in Beijing included a large military parade.

Critics of Mr. Trump and the Chinese government were quick to seize on the president’s comment, retweeting video of the Hong Kong shooting and suggesting the American president was “lauding communism.”

Mr. Trump has had a complicated relationship with the Chinese leader. He both flatters and lauds Mr. Xi, while attacking China and escalating a trade war with the country.

Last week, officials said the president was considering blocking Chinese companies from listing shares on American stock exchanges, the latest push to try to sever economic ties between the two countries.

Tuesday’s protests were different than weeks past in part because of the widespread vandalism that demonstrators inflicted on shop fronts, restaurants and other private property across the city.

But much of what looked like indiscriminate destruction of property was in fact part of a coordinated pressure campaign: For months, the protesters have been targeting mainland Chinese businesses, as well as those that they perceive to be sympathetic to the central government.

Protesters in Causeway Bay set fire outside a Bank of China branch. And in Tsuen Wan — the district where the police shot a protester with a live bullet — they smashed a Bank of China branch and a business called China Travel Service.

Not all of the vandalism appeared to have a specific target, however. On the wall of a business complex in Tuen Mun, for example, protesters spray painted the phrase “The heavens will destroy the Communist Party.” The link to mainland Chinese businesses was not immediately clear.

Lau Chak-kei, a Hong Kong police sergeant carrying a shotgun during a July protest.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times Mr. Lau with pro-China supporters in Hong Kong on Sunday.CreditJorge Silva/Reuters

One of the guests of honor at the National Day parade in Beijing was Lau Chak-kei, a Hong Kong police sergeant who was photographed over the summer carrying a shotgun during a July protest.

Sergeant Lau is among the more polarizing figures in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.

In Hong Kong, he is reviled by the pro-democracy movement as a symbol of what they see as a corrupt police force prone to brutality.

But on the Chinese mainland, he is widely seen as a hero who is gallantly battling rogue subversives. He is known affectionately there as “Bald Lau Sir,” and an account that he created recently on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, has more than 600,000 followers. (An account his wife created, “My super badass husband,” also has about 125,000 followers.)

In recent days, China’s state-controlled media has breathlessly documented Sergeant Lau’s activities in the capital, such as climbing the Great Wall and buying Peking duck. The newspaper China Daily praised him as one of many Hong Kong officers who are “combating violence” and helping to protect their city.

On Tuesday, Sergeant Lau was photographed in the parade gallery wearing a white shirt and striped tie. One user on Weibo thanked him for his service in Hong Kong; another asked him to “shout encouragement for our motherland.”

A float displays a giant portrait of Mr. Xi, whose power is often compared to that of Mao Zedong.  CreditGreg Baker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Communist Party leaders have established a kind of liturgy for how to celebrate the anniversary, including the role of the military.

But President Xi Jinping has also created new ways to put himself and his message of patriotic obedience to the fore this year. Mr. Xi featured prominently on Monday in a recently established ritual: a ceremony in Tiananmen Square to mark Martyr’s Day, a holiday established in 2014 to honor those who have given their lives to the Communist Party’s cause. He also paid his respects at Mao Zedong’s mausoleum.

In his speech on Tuesday, Mr. Xi referred to Mao Zedong but did not mention his predecessors as Chinese leaders — even as two previous presidents, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, stood nearby listening to the address. Instead, Mr. Xi’s focus was on the theme of “national rejuvenation” that he has made his own since taking office in 2012.

“On this day 70 years ago on this spot, Comrade Mao Zedong announced to the world the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chinese people henceforth had stood up,” Mr. Xi said. “This great event utterly transformed the tragic face of China for over a century of modern history when it was poor, weak and bullied.”

(In fact, Mao did not make his famous remark about the Chinese people standing up in his speech at Tiananmen on Oct. 1. He used a similar phrase in a speech not long before.)

“The Chinese nation advanced along the grand road toward achieving its great rejuvenation,” Mr. Xi said.

Students at a wreath laying ceremony in Tiananmen Square, on Monday.CreditPool photo by Thomas Peter

The Communist Party controls many things in China but one thing that it could not rein in today was the pollution.

Beijing woke on Tuesday to a pall of smog and dust ahead of the parade — despite the usual government diktats that have ensured blue skies on important holidays in the past.

Industries north of the Yellow River were shut down, including a glass tempering factory in Shijiazhuang, south of Beijing, which confirmed that it had closed for the holidays five days ago and will remain shut until Friday. Construction sites in Beijing also went idle. Trucks were barred from the city center.

To no avail. The air quality index reached 154, a level that is considered unhealthy. Outdoor activity is not recommended, which has been the case for several days now.

Tiananmen Square was packed with dignitaries, party members and foreign journalists. Access was tightly controlled. Many Chinese attendees were from government offices, top universities and state-owned enterprises.

Students raised a banner reading “Hello Xiaoping” on October 1, 1984.CreditVisual China Group, via Getty Images

For those of us who have been in China for a long time, the parades reflect China’s changing times and fortunes. In 1984, when I was a 22-year-old student at Peking University, we were told late in September that we would be going to Tiananmen Square to help celebrate the 35th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.

This was the first big celebration after the end of the Cultural Revolution — although Deng Xiaoping had taken power in 1978, the affair the next year had been relatively low key. But now, with economic reforms having kicked in, Deng’s government was eager to show off its accomplishments.

I remember a very real sense of excitement in the air. We mainly milled around on the square and walked right up to the parade as it went past, clapping and waving.

There was little security, and people joined in — most famously when some university students began to yell out “Xiaoping, ni hao!” (“Hello Xiaoping!”) to the elderly leader. For the first time since the 1950s, China had a stable government that had put economic development ahead of politics, and people appreciated it.

I ended up attending the next big parade, too. This was 1999, and it was the first to have a military element since the 1984 parade — the army’s crushing of the Tiananmen uprising in 1989 had made that year’s events a sober affair.

But by 1999, China was taking off economically and leaders were eager to show their country’s newfound wealth and might. This has been the overall trend since then — ever more mighty and technically impressive parades, but perhaps without the naïve enthusiasm of the 1980s. Or perhaps this is just nostalgia on my part.

— Ian Johnson

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, center, in Beijing, on Tuesday.CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press

One of the guests of honor at today’s parade will be Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s beleaguered chief executive.

Because Mrs. Lam had sent out invitations to a flag-raising ceremony and reception in Hong Kong on Tuesday, her decision to travel to Beijing appeared to have been made at the last minute. It was unclear why her plans had changed.

The 200-plus-person delegation that accompanied Mrs. Lam did not include any legislators from the city’s pro-democracy legislative minority.

The first and only time my father saw Mao Zedong in person was in the October 1 parade of 1950, on the first anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic

In the fall of 1950, there were not many students in Beijing, and the call to attend the parade went out to all the universities. My father had started classes a month earlier at Beijing Agricultural University. He wore a long-sleeve white shirt and blue pants and held a simple red flag in one hand.

Those assembled for the parade were grouped by work affiliations: there were farmers and factory workers, and in front of them all stood the soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army. My father was far back with the students.

“Everybody was excited,” my father said. “You could imagine it! It was our first time seeing Mao.”

The students marched in rows of ten. My father was at the left end of his row and walked next to Tiananmen Square, which meant he was far from Mao, who stood atop the gate to the Forbidden City. My father could not see Mao clearly, but could make out the chairman raising his right hand and waving. “Greetings, comrades!” Mao said.

The marchers shouted slogans. “Long live Chairman Mao!” and “Long live the Communist Party!” My father could also hear music, but it is the shouting that he remembers most clearly seven decades later.

Edward Wong

Reporting was contributed by Russell Goldman, Gillian Wong, Keith Bradsher, Mike Ives, Andrew Jacobs, Ezra Cheung, Li Yuan, Elsie Chen, Tiffany May and Elaine Yu in Hong Kong, and Christopher Buckley, Steven Lee Myers, Alexandra Stevenson, Edward Wong and Ian Johnson in Beijing. Claire Fu and Albee Zhang contributed research in Beijing.

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Pub’s ‘Nigel Night’ pulls more than 400 Nigels to ‘celebrate Nigelness’

That’s a whole lot of Nigels.

More than 400 people named Nigel gathered at the Fleece Inn pub in Worcestershire, U.K., on Sept. 28 to celebrate all things “Nigel.”

The bar’s event, which was appropriately titled “Nigel Night,” was put on by owner Nigel Smith, 56, and attended by 433 people with the same name, including one who flew over from Denver, Colo., and a 7-month-old Nigel brought by his parents, The Guardian reported.

Westlake Legal Group only-making-pla-416575 Pub's 'Nigel Night' pulls more than 400 Nigels to 'celebrate Nigelness' fox-news/food-drink/drinks/bars fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 99b0c20a-9257-5217-afda-759c0017681d

Nigel Parker and Nigel Hallett. Nigel Smith aged 56, owner of The Fleece Inn, Bretforton, Worcester, tries for a world record for the largest ever gathering of Nigels in one place with a total number of 432. (SWNS)

VEGAN CLAIMS SAUSAGE ROLL ‘TRAUMATIZED’ HER ‘FOR LIFE’

“I’ve always felt that the name’s much maligned — people would say to me when I was young: ‘Nigel, that’s got to be a joke name, hasn’t it?’

“So it was really just [wanting] to get a few Nigels together in the same room, to share Nigel stories and celebrate our Nigelness — that was the original intention,” Smith told The Guardian.

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Westlake Legal Group only-making-pla-416590 Pub's 'Nigel Night' pulls more than 400 Nigels to 'celebrate Nigelness' fox-news/food-drink/drinks/bars fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 99b0c20a-9257-5217-afda-759c0017681d

More than 400 Nigels from all over the world got together at the Fleece Inn, Bretforton, Worcs., for an evening of Nigel-themed music, drinks and entertainment. (SWNS)

Smith posted the event on the bar’s website and on Facebook, where it quickly went viral and attracted not only 400-plus Nigels, but about 1,000 people who came out “along for a laugh.” The pub owner came up with the idea after learning no newborns were named Nigel in 2016.

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All Nigels were required to prove their Nigelness with either a license or passport, and were rewarded with a free pint and Nigel badge to wear.

“We basically registered all the Nigels into the building so we knew how many were there so we could claim at least an unofficial record if nothing else,” he told the outlet.

Despite the name’s waning numbers, Smith feels the group has done a lot to help bolster the future of Nigel – there have been about 20 babies named Nigel since 2016 – and Smith is also hopeful for more Nigellas, as well.

Westlake Legal Group only-making-pla-416552 Pub's 'Nigel Night' pulls more than 400 Nigels to 'celebrate Nigelness' fox-news/food-drink/drinks/bars fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 99b0c20a-9257-5217-afda-759c0017681d

All Nigels were required to prove their name was Nigel, and register in the pub’s book. (SWNS)

“And we’ve just taken away a little bit of that stigma and reaffirmed what a fantastic name Nigel is — once you’ve grown into it. It takes a little while.”

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The night also offered more than just a “Nigel-based playlist” and plenty of pints, for anyone wondering: The unique event raised money for the British Heart Foundation, as well.

Westlake Legal Group only-making-pla-416575 Pub's 'Nigel Night' pulls more than 400 Nigels to 'celebrate Nigelness' fox-news/food-drink/drinks/bars fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 99b0c20a-9257-5217-afda-759c0017681d   Westlake Legal Group only-making-pla-416575 Pub's 'Nigel Night' pulls more than 400 Nigels to 'celebrate Nigelness' fox-news/food-drink/drinks/bars fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 99b0c20a-9257-5217-afda-759c0017681d

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Mark Zuckerberg Says What He Thinks About Elizabeth Warren In Leaked Audio

Westlake Legal Group 5d93544f21000031005110c1 Mark Zuckerberg Says What He Thinks About Elizabeth Warren In Leaked Audio

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees he’s ready to “go to the mat and … fight” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other politicians who have called for big tech companies to be broken up, and predicted the social media giant will prevail even if Warren wins the presidency in 2020.

“There might be a political movement where people are angry at the tech companies or are worried about concentration or worried about different issues and worried that they’re not being handled well,” Zuckerberg told Facebook employees in Q&A sessions in July, according to leaked audio recordings published by The Verge on Tuesday. “That doesn’t mean that, even if there’s anger and that you have someone like Elizabeth Warren who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies. I mean, if she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge.”  

He continued:

Does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. I mean, that’s not the position that you want to be in … It’s like, we care about our country and want to work with our government and do good things. But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight.

Warren responded to the disclosure by reiterating her plan to break up tech giants, tweeting Tuesday: “What would really ‘suck’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”

Facebook has repeatedly come under fire for privacy concerns, potential antitrust violations, its role in election interference and the dissemination of hate speech, online abuse and disinformation.

Warren has called for big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon to be broken up, warning of their threats to competition, privacy and free speech. 

“Today’s big tech companies have too much power  ―  too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else,” Warren wrote in March. “We need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”

Several other Democratic candidates have taken similar positions, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has said she would “seriously take a look at” breaking up Facebook, calling it “essentially a utility that has gone unregulated.”

Part of Warren’s plan would involve more regulation of “anti-competitive mergers,” like Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram.

“Unwinding these mergers will promote healthy competition in the market ― which will put pressure on big tech companies to be more responsive to user concerns, including about privacy,” Warren said in March.

According to the leaked audio, Zuckerberg reassured employees that “the rule of law” is on Facebook’s side. He said “the case is not particularly strong” against the company, arguing that election interference and the spread of hate speech could be “more likely” if social media giants were “more fragmented.”

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UPDATE: Warren Fires Back After Zuckerberg Audio Leaks

Westlake Legal Group 5d93544f21000031005110c1 UPDATE: Warren Fires Back After Zuckerberg Audio Leaks

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees he’s ready to “go to the mat and … fight” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other politicians who have called for big tech companies to be broken up, and predicted the social media giant will prevail even if Warren wins the presidency in 2020.

“There might be a political movement where people are angry at the tech companies or are worried about concentration or worried about different issues and worried that they’re not being handled well,” Zuckerberg told Facebook employees in Q&A sessions in July, according to leaked audio recordings published by The Verge on Tuesday. “That doesn’t mean that, even if there’s anger and that you have someone like Elizabeth Warren who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies. I mean, if she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge.”  

He continued:

Does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. I mean, that’s not the position that you want to be in … It’s like, we care about our country and want to work with our government and do good things. But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight.

Warren responded to the disclosure by reiterating her plan to break up tech giants, tweeting Tuesday: “What would really ‘suck’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”

Facebook has repeatedly come under fire for privacy concerns, potential antitrust violations, its role in election interference and the dissemination of hate speech, online abuse and disinformation.

Warren has called for big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon to be broken up, warning of their threats to competition, privacy and free speech. 

“Today’s big tech companies have too much power  ―  too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else,” Warren wrote in March. “We need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”

Several other Democratic candidates have taken similar positions, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has said she would “seriously take a look at” breaking up Facebook, calling it “essentially a utility that has gone unregulated.”

Part of Warren’s plan would involve more regulation of “anti-competitive mergers,” like Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram.

“Unwinding these mergers will promote healthy competition in the market ― which will put pressure on big tech companies to be more responsive to user concerns, including about privacy,” Warren said in March.

According to the leaked audio, Zuckerberg reassured employees that “the rule of law” is on Facebook’s side. He said “the case is not particularly strong” against the company, arguing that election interference and the spread of hate speech could be “more likely” if social media giants were “more fragmented.”

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Support for Trump’s impeachment over Ukraine jumps 8 points in one week, Reuters polls finds

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Support for Trump's impeachment over Ukraine jumps 8 points in one week, Reuters polls finds

In a series of tweets, President Trump attacked accusers in the whistleblower allegations and touted a pastor’s “civil war” prediction if he is impeached. USA TODAY

The number of Americans who think President Donald Trump should be impeached rose by eight percentage points in one week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll

Last week, Democrats opened an impeachment inquiry to look into allegations that Trump leveraged military aid to Ukraine to pressure that country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, the president’s chief political rival heading into the 2020 election. 

A previous Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sept. 24 found that 37% of all Americans thought Trump should be impeached and that 45% said he should not. A week later, the number saying he should be impeached rose to 45%, while the number saying he should not be removed from office dropped to 41%. 

Support for impeachment was clearly divided between registered Republicans and Democrats, with 13% of GOP voters saying the president should be impeached and 81% saying he should not. Among Democrats, 75% favored impeachment and 14% said they were opposed. And 38% of registered independent voters said Trump should be impeached while 39% said he should not. 

Timeline: The events that led up to Trump’s fateful phone call

Sixty-four percent of Americans said they heard “a great deal” or “some” about the Ukraine story while another 21% said they had heard about it but knew little of the details. Another 10% said they hadn’t heard anything and 6% said they didn’t know about the controversy. 

Overall, the poll found Trump’s job approval rating at 39%, down from 43% the previous week, and his disapproval rating at 56%, up from 54%. It also found him losing to the three leading contenders in the Democratic primary if the general election were held today. Biden bested Trump 39-34% in such a hypothetical matchup, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont won 40-34% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts topped him 38-34%.  

The poll was conducted Sept. 26-30 and included 2,234 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4%. 

Trump and his supporters have said the president is concerned about corruption in Ukraine and have alleged Biden improperly used his influence as vice president to secure a job for his son Hunter Biden with a Ukrainian energy company.

When asked their take on the story, 43% of Americans told the Reuters/Ipsos pollsters that Trump is trying to smear Biden ahead of the election. Twenty-six percent said Biden is trying to cover up a scandal that could hurt him in 2020, and 31% said they weren’t sure which version of events was true. Notably, 42% of independents thought Trump was trying to smear Biden while only 17% thought it was Biden trying to bury a scandal and 41% said they weren’t sure. 

Americans did not seem to think it was unusual for an elected official to use the power of their office to smear a rival – with 74% saying they thought many officials already did so. But that did not mean they are OK with it: A majority (65%) agreed that officials who use their office to smear their rivals should be removed. And 66% of the respondents said officials who work with a foreign government to attack their rivals should be removed from office. 

Registered Republicans were less certain, with 44% agreeing that a politician who uses their office to go after their opponents should be removed from office, while 41% disagreed. Similarly, 46% of Republicans agreed that an official who works with a foreign government to go after a rival should be removed while 33% did not. 

University of Michigan political scientist Nicholas Valentino told Reuters that he did not expect to see much more fluctuation in the numbers unless Republican leaders begin to break ranks and support Trump’s impeachment. 

“People aren’t constitutional scholars,” Valentino told Reuters. “They trust their elected officials from their party to know the rules of politics. And when members of their own party say that someone has broken the rules, that’s when public opinion will really begin to change.”

A poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University found that voters were split 47-47% on whether Trump should be impeached and removed from office. That represented a major swing from the week before when 37% said Trump should impeached and 57% said he should not. And 52% said they approved of the House of Representatives opening a formal impeachment inquiry, while 45% disapproved. 

Poll: Americans approve of impeachment probe by slim margin, split on removal from office

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Andrew Yang proposes that your digital data be considered personal property

Westlake Legal Group ATkz5oNRC5MXPjiSfV2WYbRS1pwMOEI91Qy5uIc-AO8 Andrew Yang proposes that your digital data be considered personal property r/politics

Funny enough, you know who might actually go for this idea? Neil Gorsuch. My memory is a little fuzzy on this, but I believe last year, he wrote a concurrence in which he attacked the idea that you have no expectation of privacy in your digital data when you give it to Google. The majority felt that by giving your data to Google (or some other provider), you knew Google could proceed to sell the data.

Gorsuch rejected this idea. He analogized it to lending something to your neighbor. Just because you gave something to the neighbor doesn’t mean you expect that now everyone can access it. Accordingly, he would find a broader right to privacy than the majority.

Not that this makes up for Gorsuch’s ideology, but at least there’s support for Yang’s smart idea

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CBP commissioner says Chicago’s ‘reckless’ sanctuary city policy will create more American ‘victims’

Westlake Legal Group mark-moran CBP commissioner says Chicago's 'reckless' sanctuary city policy will create more American 'victims' Nick Givas fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5282dc6e-d135-5db1-a29c-cb6d6c8124df

Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan took on Chicago‘s new sanctuary city policy on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday and claimed it will increase violence, and create more American “victims”

Morgan, who also served in the Obama administration, was addressing the city’s new policy which states municipal officers are not to assist federal immigration authorities with regard to illegal immigrants.

Instead of assisting Homeland Security, officers are instructed to wait for their supervisor to arrive, the citywide memo said. Once the supervisor arrives, “if the request is to assist with an immigration arrest or detention, [Chicago Police Department] personnel will leave the scene as directed by the CPD supervisor.”

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“I’ve been doing law enforcement for a few decades and I can tell you, I’m a lot more than concerned about this politically-driven policy,” Morgan said. “What the citizens of Chicago need to understand is, this policy is going to create more victims in their city.

“[Immigration and Customs Enforcement] priorities [are to] go after criminal aliens,” he continued. “Criminal aliens that are here illegally and have committed additional crimes against the city of Chicago… Just last week ICE arrested and apprehended a Mexican national that had been deported twice for sexual abuse. This kind of policy would make that harder for ICE to do. That’s outrageous, it’s reckless and lives will be in danger because of this.”

Morgan also praised his officers for risking their lives to rescue over 4,400 illegal immigrants from the dangers of the southern border this year and called them “heroes” for showing compassion.

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“They’re risking their lives, while the cartels and the smugglers — they don’t care about these individuals that are illegally in our country. But the border patrol agents and the officers do,” he said earlier in the interview.

“They’re risking their lives every single day… They don’t ask what their nationality is. They don’t ask them if they’re illegally entering the country. They see a human being [in] need and left at the hands of the smugglers and they’re risking their lives to save them — with humanity and compassion. That’s why the men and women of CBP are my heroes.”

Fox News’ Matt Finn contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group mark-moran CBP commissioner says Chicago's 'reckless' sanctuary city policy will create more American 'victims' Nick Givas fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5282dc6e-d135-5db1-a29c-cb6d6c8124df   Westlake Legal Group mark-moran CBP commissioner says Chicago's 'reckless' sanctuary city policy will create more American 'victims' Nick Givas fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5282dc6e-d135-5db1-a29c-cb6d6c8124df

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Global Trade Is Deteriorating Fast, Sapping the World’s Economy

Westlake Legal Group 01WORLDTRADE-facebookJumbo Global Trade Is Deteriorating Fast, Sapping the World’s Economy World Trade Organization United States International Trade and World Market European Union Economic Conditions and Trends

LONDON — A weakening world economy, President Trump’s trade war with China and fears of a potentially tumultuous Brexit have combined to produce a dramatic slowdown in global commerce, the World Trade Organization said Tuesday.

The Geneva-based organization slashed its forecast for trade growth for this year and 2020, a troubling indicator as economists warn of continued weakness in the global economy.

World trade in merchandise is now expected to expand by only 1.2 percent during 2019, less than half the 2.6 pace of growth anticipated in April, the W.T.O. said in a statement. World trade is forecast to reach 2.7 percent next year, below the 3 percent previously foreseen.

“Risks to the forecast are heavily weighted to the downside and dominated by trade policy,” the organization said.

The pronounced deterioration of trade reflects risks that have been building around the globe in recent months, diminishing fortunes in major economies.

“China has been slowing noticeably,” said Per Hammarlund, chief emerging markets strategist at SEB Group, a global investment bank based in Stockholm. “India is slowing. The United States is slowing as well, and Europe in particular is slowing quite sharply. That’s the main reason behind the slowdown in world trade.”

But if the slowdown in trade is still largely an outgrowth of broader economic weakness, concerns are building that less trade could itself spur retrenchment going forward.

Germany has become a prominent source of concern in Europe as its factory orders plunge, a trend that deepened in September, according to a survey released on Tuesday. German manufacturing troubles stem in part from the fact that Chinese companies facing tariffs on exports to the United States are shrinking their purchases of German-made machinery. German companies are also reluctant to invest amid perpetual uncertainty over Brexit.

As German companies produce and export less, some are cutting jobs. That is likely to dampen German consumer spending, contributing to weakness in other European economies like Spain and Italy.

These strains are only intensifying as President Trump ratchets up his trade war with China. In April, when the W.T.O. released its last forecast, sentiments were influenced by hopes that Washington and Beijing were nearing a deal to resolve their trade disputes. That now seems like a long time ago.

In September, Mr. Trump increased tariffs on $112 billion worth of Chinese imports, threatening American consumers with higher costs for shoes, apparel and electronics. As China slapped retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion of American imports, Mr. Trump threatened to extend tariffs to $550 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The president last month delayed by two weeks a planned increase in tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, briefly rekindling hopes for a deal. But many experts are skeptical that, with both sides dug in, an agreement will be struck.

The United States and China are the world’s two largest economies, collectively comprising 40 percent of the world’s annual output. As they are locked in conflict, every other trading nation is vulnerable to the effects.

Singapore’s economy is now contracting, and Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have suffered diminished prospects as their exports to China slow.

“The policy uncertainty about the future and the real enforcement of trade restrictions is starting to be felt in other places,” said Meredith Crowley, an international trade expert at the University of Cambridge in England.

The W.T.O., which promotes global trade and adjudicates disputes, warned that intensifying trade conflicts pose a direct threat to jobs and livelihoods, while discouraging companies from expanding and innovating.

The organization issued its forecast on the assumption that global economic growth would register a disappointing pace of 2.3 percent this year and in 2020.

“Trade conflicts heighten uncertainty, which is leading some businesses to delay the productivity-enhancing investments that are essential to raising living standards,” the organization’s director-general, Roberto Azevêdo, said in a statement. “Job creation may also be hampered as firms employ fewer workers to produce goods and services for export.”

The organization singled out as an especially potent risk the threat that Britain could crash out of the European Union without a deal governing future trade.

Ever since Britain set Brexit in motion through a referendum in June 2016, Europe has faced uncertainty over the rules that will govern trade across the English Channel. With weeks to go before the deadline, the situation is especially bewildering.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the Europe Union on Oct. 31, regardless of whether he can secure a deal with authorities in Brussels, and despite widespread assumptions that a no-deal Brexit would entangle trade in bureaucratic and logistical chaos.

He has demanded a scrapping of a provision negotiated by his predecessor, Theresa May, to prevent the reimposition of a hard border separating Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, from the independent Republic of Ireland to the south. The Europeans have held firm, while Mr. Johnson has proposed no formal alternative.

But the British Parliament, alarmed by the possibility of an unruly no-deal Brexit, last month adopted emergency legislation that would force Mr. Johnson to seek an extension of the deadline if he fails to strike a deal. Speculation persists that he might opt to ignore that directive, setting up a constitutional crisis. He is also dealing with allegations that, while he was mayor of London, he directed government funds to a woman with whom he was having an affair.

That an election will soon transpire is accepted as a given, but no one knows when.

None of this enhances the motivation of companies to invest in Britain. The British economy contracted between April and June. Across Europe, the spectacle of Britain at once getting poorer and stuck in the Brexit quagmire is not good for business.

“The British situation is much more uncertain today,” said Ms. Crowley, the Cambridge trade expert. “That is feeding into the weakness of trade growth for other European countries.”

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San Francisco Whole Foods protest ends with 37 arrested

Thirty-seven protesters with Direct Action Everywhere were reportedly arrested amid a protest outside — and on top of — a Whole Foods market in San Francisco on Monday.

The protest, which was staged by animal-rights activists with Direct Action Everywhere, was demonstrating against what the group alleges to be “criminal animal abuse” by farms that supply Amazon, the parent company of Whole Foods. According to a press release shared by Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), the protest was also attempting to raise awareness and support for Rose’s Law, a proposed animal bill of rights supported by animal-rights organizations.

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In a statement shared with Fox News on Monday, Whole Foods reiterated its “commitment to animal welfare,” but warned that DxE had potentially created a safety hazard amid the protest.

During DxE’s demonstration, activists chained themselves together in front of the store’s Noe Valley location, with some even “supergluing” themselves to each other, according to DxE. Social media posts from outside the store also show the group had erected a large image of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ head on the roof of the store, with a sign over it reading, “I profit from criminal animal abuse.”

Westlake Legal Group WholeFoodsDxE1 San Francisco Whole Foods protest ends with 37 arrested Michael Hollan Michael Bartiromo fox-news/food-drink/food/food-trends fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 53079ddd-ff67-50a3-8dbe-da671ac034af

Activists erected a large image of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ head on the roof of the store, with a sign over its head reading, “I profit from criminal animal abuse.” (Direct Action Everywhere)

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A live stream of the incident was broadcast on the group’s Facebook page, captioned with the message, “Activists are chaining their necks to the doors of Whole Foods and locking down Amazon, asking Jeff Bezos to support the #RightToRescue animals from factory farms.”

A source from Whole Foods confirmed the store had closed amid the protest, and that all customers and workers were able to safely exit the store. A tweet from someone claiming to be the sister of an employee had previously claimed “a store full of customers and other employees” had been held “hostage” at the location.

In a statement to Fox News, a spokesperson for Whole Foods said the store “respect[s] everyone’s right to voice their opinion,” but felt DxE’s “repeated targeting” of the chain was putting its customers and staff at risk.

“Direct Action Everywhere’s repeated targeting of Whole Foods Market stores jeopardizes the safety of our customers and Team Members, including today at our Noe Valley store,” the statement said. “Whole Foods Market caters to customers with a wide variety of diets, and we’re proud to provide transparency in animal welfare and growing practices through third-party certifiers like Global Animal Partnership. Our high-quality standards, including a commitment to animal welfare, have established us as an industry leader for nearly forty years. We respect everyone’s right to voice their opinion, but our responsibility is to provide a safe environment for our customers and our Team Members.”

Westlake Legal Group WholeFoodsDxE3 San Francisco Whole Foods protest ends with 37 arrested Michael Hollan Michael Bartiromo fox-news/food-drink/food/food-trends fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 53079ddd-ff67-50a3-8dbe-da671ac034af

Thirty-seven protestors were arrested amid Monday’s demonstration. (Direct Action Everywhere)

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DxE’s protests came after the group claims to have uncovered alleged instances of “cruel conditions” at farms that supply to Amazon and Whole Foods.

In its press release, issued Monday afternoon, DxE also urged Jeff Bezos to “disavow the prosecution of six peaceful activists” who were previously arrested on felony charges for trying to break animals out of some of the farms.

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Simultaneously, during Monday’s protests, activists with the group were also said to have handcuffed themselves together at Amazon’s offices in San Francisco.

Westlake Legal Group WholeFoodsDxE1 San Francisco Whole Foods protest ends with 37 arrested Michael Hollan Michael Bartiromo fox-news/food-drink/food/food-trends fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 53079ddd-ff67-50a3-8dbe-da671ac034af   Westlake Legal Group WholeFoodsDxE1 San Francisco Whole Foods protest ends with 37 arrested Michael Hollan Michael Bartiromo fox-news/food-drink/food/food-trends fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 53079ddd-ff67-50a3-8dbe-da671ac034af

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