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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 29)

The Concept Cars Gleam, but Executive Dread Clouds the Frankfurt Auto Show

FRANKFURT — Car executives are paid to be optimists, but behind the pomp and salesmanship at the Frankfurt International Motor Show this week lurked an unmistakable sense of angst.

The talk among industry insiders at the show, one of the auto industry’s biggest events, reflected the existential threats that carmakers face.

The European and global auto markets are in decline. Carmakers are betting their futures on electric vehicles whose marketability is untested. Manufacturers are under intense public and regulatory pressure because of the role that vehicles play in climate change. The global trade war has disrupted supply chains.

Even auto shows are under threat. Many manufacturers scaled back their presence in Frankfurt this year or skipped the show altogether. Companies like Toyota and Fiat Chrysler decided the benefits didn’t justify the millions of euros it takes to put on a display.

“It’s an unprecedented situation we are in,” said Wolf-Henning Scheider, chief executive of ZF Friedrichshafen, a German transmission maker that has an extensive network of factories in the United States, Europe and China.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160607595_7d94f124-21ce-4b9a-93e8-299d119337a0-articleLarge The Concept Cars Gleam, but Executive Dread Clouds the Frankfurt Auto Show Volkswagen AG Renault SA Mercedes-Benz International Trade and World Market Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fuel Efficiency Frankfurt Auto Show Frankfurt (Germany) Engines Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Driverless and Semiautonomous Vehicles Daimler AG Batteries Automobiles

BMW is showing an electric Mini.CreditFelix Schmitt for The New York Times

Volkswagen is producing its ID.3 electric sedan with wind and solar energy.CreditFelix Schmitt for The New York Times

Mr. Scheider noted that carmakers must invest vast sums in electric vehicles and autonomous driving at the same time they are coping with a trade war. “All these at the same time is new,” Mr. Scheider said in an interview.

The Frankfurt show was as good a place as any to find out how auto executives plan to survive the tsunami. Here are some of the main takeaways.

Protests by environmental groups were especially intense this year, as carmakers increasingly take the blame for climate change. Volkswagen alone accounts for more than 1 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, according to the company’s own calculations.

This week Greenpeace activists stood on the roofs of S.U.V.s on display at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds with signs that chided, “Climate Killer.” The militant group Attac planned to blockade streets and bring traffic to a standstill on Saturday, the day the show opens to the public.

Carmakers are desperate to show that they get the message. Ola Källenius, chief executive of Daimler, said in Frankfurt that the company’s Mercedes-Benz factories will be carbon neutral next year.

Volkswagen is producing its ID.3 electric sedan with wind and solar energy, and offsetting any additional emissions by financing a project in the rainforests of Borneo. At an event this week to unveil the ID.3, guests were handed bamboo forks to eat hors d’oeuvres.

“We’re serious,” Herbert Diess, the Volkswagen chief executive, said during a debate with Tina Velo, a leader of Attac, who questioned the company’s commitment to the environment.

But carmakers still make most of their money from fuel-thirsty S.U.V.s. Nicolas Peter, chief financial officer of BMW, said the industry couldn’t solve its image problems with public relations alone.

“We have to do the right thing,” he told a small group of reporters on Tuesday.

Carmakers are operating on the assumption that tensions between China and the United States won’t be resolved soon. They are rethinking their supply chains and moving production closer to customers so that fewer goods have to cross borders and be exposed to tariffs.

That applies to software as well as hardware. Mr. Scheider of ZF said that, for security reasons, autonomous driving technology developed for the United States has to be kept out of China and vice versa. “That is a risk, that these two regions drift apart,” he said.

Forced to choose, many companies would have to pick China. It has become by far the biggest car market, and several executives said they expected it to keep growing despite a recent decline in sales. Mr. Scheider pointed out that rates of car ownership were still low outside the major cities.

“I’m pretty confident the Chinese market will grow continuously,” he said.

A slew of mainstream carmakers unveiled battery-powered cars in Frankfurt that will sell at prices within reach of middle-class households.

The most important new product at the show is easily the ID.3, a four-door hatchback that Volkswagen said would be the first in a line of affordable battery-powered vehicles, including an S.U.V. and a minivan.

Honda unveiled an electric vehicle known simply as the E, and BMW showed an electric version of its popular Mini. Including incentives available in the United States, Germany and other countries, the end price of these vehicles should be 30,000 euros ($33,000) or less. Because electric cars have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance, the cost of ownership may be lower than for a conventional car.

Ola Källenius, chief executive of Daimler. He said the company’s Mercedes-Benz factories would be carbon neutral next year.CreditFelix Schmitt for The New York Times

But no one knows yet whether these vehicles will be popular enough to justify the investment and allow carmakers to meet European Union fuel economy targets that take effect next year. Carmakers that fail to deliver average fuel economy of 57 miles per gallon face draconian fines.

Regret is written on the faces of auto executives’ faces when they say it, but the age of the internal combustion engine is slowly coming to an end.

“One is amazed at what can still be achieved with the internal combustion engine,” said Markus Schäfer, the head of research and development at Daimler. He added, however: “Of course the main focus is on electrification.”

Mr. Schäfer told a small group of reporters that Mercedes did not plan to develop any more internal combustion engines after it finished the rollout of a new four-cylinder motor, which is underway. “That is the last,” he said.

But battery-powered cars are likely to be less profitable for carmakers, which tend to operate on thin margins to begin with. Most make their own gasoline or diesel motors. They must buy batteries from suppliers like LG Chem of South Korea, Panasonic of Japan or CATL of China, which will keep a big chunk of the profits.

Batteries for electric cars have made rapid progress in the last decade, dropping in price and delivering more juice per pound than even a few years ago. The latest generation of the Renault Zoe can travel 395 kilometers, or 245 miles, on a charge, more than double the range of the first generation, which went on sale in 2012.

“In less than a decade, we already have done huge progress,” Gilles Normand, senior vice president for electric vehicles at Renault, said in an interview. “You can easily imagine what’s going to come in the next 10 years.”

The BMW Vision iNext luxury electric automobile, left, and a Vision M Next concept car.CreditFelix Schmitt for The New York Times

Thierry Bolloré, the chief executive of Renault, said that the company was working on a €10,000 ($12,000) electric car. “We have a clear estimate that this is reachable, absolutely, and still make money,” Mr. Bolloré said during a news conference Tuesday.

Others are more pessimistic. The prevailing lithium-ion technology will probably reach its limits in five years, Mr. Schäfer of Daimler said. Further progress will rest on new technologies such as solid state batteries, which will weigh less and be easier to cool but are not yet ready for mass production. “We need a quantum leap in the technology,” Mr. Schäfer said.

Some companies will adapt to new technologies, but some won’t be able to invest enough to stay competitive.

Mergers would be a way out for weaker companies, but those have proved difficult. Mr. Bolloré of Renault said in Frankfurt that there was no effort to revive the aborted deal with Fiat Chrysler.

“We are not talking to each other,” he told reporters. “The offer was on the table. It’s no longer on the table. That’s it.” Mr. Bolloré added that he regretted the merger hadn’t worked out.

The coming shakeout may be most brutal among suppliers, particularly smaller companies far down the industry food chain that supply specialized parts for combustion engines.

“Every downturn, there is a consolidation that takes place,” said Derek Jenkins, a former Mazda and Volkswagen executive who is senior vice president of design at Lucid, a California company that plans to begin producing a luxury electric car at the end of 2020. Lucid, backed by Saudi investors, is an example of the start-ups challenging the established carmakers.

“Brands disappear,” Mr. Jenkins said in an interview. “That will happen in the next downturn cycle.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Chick-fil-A meets goal of antibiotic-free chicken at all restaurants

Chick-fil-A announced this week that it has made good on a goal it set in 2014 – to no longer serve meat that has been raised with antibiotics.

The No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) initiative was started in 2014 with the fast-food chain aiming to offer only antibiotic-free chickens in all of its roughly 2,400 restaurants by the end of 2019.

CHICK-FIL-A VP ON ‘SECRET SAUCE’ OF EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE: ‘JESUS HAD IT RIGHT’

Though the restaurant stated in its blog, The Chicken Wire, the brand has been serving only NAE chicken at Chick-fil-A restaurants since May, the packaging will not reflect the change until the beginning of October.

According to the restaurant, serving NAE chicken means the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ensures no antibiotics are administered to the chicken beginning with the egg.

Westlake Legal Group Chick-fil-a-restaurant Chick-fil-A meets goal of antibiotic-free chicken at all restaurants fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 645a914d-22a5-5315-86c2-0a9c616c31e3

The fast-food chain announced the goal in 2014, with a completion date of 2019. Chick-fil-A has met the goal early, the restaurant announced. (iStock)

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“We know consumers care about how their food is made and where it comes from, including the use of antibiotics. Because it was important to our customers, it was important to us,” said Matt Abercrombie, director of menu and packaging. “Chick-fil-A has always been committed to serving customers delicious food made with high-quality ingredients and offering No Antibiotics Ever chicken was the next step. Our goal was to pursue the highest standard and partner with the USDA to verify it.”

Chick-fil-A claims it is the largest fast-food restaurant franchise to achieve such a feat.

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Most recently, Chick-fil-A found itself embroiled in a viral “chicken war” with Popeyes after the Louisiana-style fried chicken chain launched its new chicken sandwich to stellar reviews.

However, despite the mass success of Popeyes’ sandwich, Chick-fil-A has still been rated America’s favorite fast-food chain for at least three years in a row. The brand is also on track to become the third-largest fast-food chain in the country.

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Westlake Legal Group Chick-fil-a-restaurant Chick-fil-A meets goal of antibiotic-free chicken at all restaurants fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 645a914d-22a5-5315-86c2-0a9c616c31e3   Westlake Legal Group Chick-fil-a-restaurant Chick-fil-A meets goal of antibiotic-free chicken at all restaurants fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article Alexandra Deabler 645a914d-22a5-5315-86c2-0a9c616c31e3

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DOJ watchdog submits draft report on alleged FISA abuses to Barr

Westlake Legal Group Michael-horowitz DOJ watchdog submits draft report on alleged FISA abuses to Barr Jake Gibson fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Catherine Herridge article Alex Pappas 04031bb3-9426-54c9-a80d-56559e9c4954

The Justice Department’s inspector general told lawmakers Friday his team is nearing completion of its long-awaited review of alleged surveillance abuses by the DOJ and FBI in the course of the Russia investigation, saying they have submitted a draft report to the attorney general and are “finalizing” the report ahead of its public release.

“We have now begun the process of finalizing our report by providing a draft of our factual findings to the department and the FBI for classification determination and marking,” Michael Horowitz wrote in a Friday letter to several House and Senate committees. “This step is consistent with our process for reports such as this one that involve classified material.”

MCCABE TEAM PRESSURES DOJ TO SHOW CARDS AMID GRAND JURY SPECULATION

Attorney General Bill Barr has received the draft report from Horowitz and will begin the process of reviewing it, according to a source familiar with the situation. The inspector general said his team has “reviewed over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews, including several of witnesses who only recently agreed to be interviewed.”

Horowitz and his investigators have probed how the infamous, anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele was used to secure the original surveillance warrant for former Trump aide Carter Page in October 2016, as well as for three renewals. Horowitz’s team has questioned why the FBI considered Steele a credible source, and why the bureau seemed to use news reports to bolster Steele’s credibility.

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Horowitz indicated that once the Justice Department and the FBI send back a marked document relating to classified material, his team will “proceed with our usual process for preparing final draft public and classified reports, and ensuring that appropriate reviews occur for accuracy and comment purposes.”

The review is believed to have focused, in part, on the salacious and unverified anti-Trump dossier authored by Steele — especially since its more sensational claims were not substantiated by Mueller’s team.

Meanwhile, a key FBI player during the time frame, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, is facing the prospect of federal charges related to Horowitz’s findings against him in a separate inquiry regarding misleading statements concerning a Hillary Clinton-related investigation.

US ATTORNEY RECOMMENDS PROCEEDING WITH CHARGES AGAINST MCCABE, AS DOJ REJECTS LAST-DITCH APPEAL

As Fox News reported Thursday, U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu has recommended moving forward with charges against McCabe, a CNN contributor, though no indictment has been handed down.

It also comes amid other similar inquiries related to the 2016 election:

Attorney General Bill Barr has assigned John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to conduct an inquiry into alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

And U.S. Attorney John Huber was appointed by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to review not only alleged surveillance abuses by the Justice Department and the FBI, but also their handling of the investigation into the Clinton Foundation and other matters.

Westlake Legal Group Michael-horowitz DOJ watchdog submits draft report on alleged FISA abuses to Barr Jake Gibson fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Catherine Herridge article Alex Pappas 04031bb3-9426-54c9-a80d-56559e9c4954   Westlake Legal Group Michael-horowitz DOJ watchdog submits draft report on alleged FISA abuses to Barr Jake Gibson fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Catherine Herridge article Alex Pappas 04031bb3-9426-54c9-a80d-56559e9c4954

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Taliban negotiators arrive in Moscow days after Trump declares Afghan peace talks ‘dead’

A Taliban negotiating team arrived in Russia on Friday, less than a week after President Trump announced that peace talks with the Islamic militant group in Afghanistan were essentially “dead.”

The trip, led by Mullah Sher Mohammad Stanikzai, was the Taliban’s first international visit following the collapse of talks with Washington.

ELUSIVE AL-QAEDA LEADER ZAWAHRI MARKS 9/11 ANNIVERSARY BY CALLING FOR JIHADISTS TO ATTACK US, ISRAEL 

The Russian state news agency Tass, citing the Taliban’s Qatari-based spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, reported that the delegation had met with Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to Afghanistan. A Taliban official confirmed the visit to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Westlake Legal Group AP19234555300525 Taliban negotiators arrive in Moscow days after Trump declares Afghan peace talks 'dead' Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox news fnc/world fnc f0bc53eb-1e38-5410-9c97-61d87b2bf239 article

A Taliban delegation arrives for talks in Moscow earlier this year. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

Russia has been accused of aiding the Taliban as a safeguard against a burgeoning affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS) that has close ties to the Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, a militant group in Central Asia. Russia has stepped up its defenses in Central Asia and has claimed thousands of ISIS fighters were in northern Afghanistan

Moscow has twice this year hosted meetings between the Taliban and prominent Afghan personalities.

MARK LEVIN: 9/11 ANNIVERSARY IS REMINDER WHY US SHOULD NEVER INVITE TALIBAN HERE 

On Saturday, Trump announced he had called off secret meetings with Afghan government leaders and Taliban officials that were to take place at Camp David. The president noted that the Taliban had claimed responsibility for a recent attack in Kabul that left 12 dead, including an American soldier.”

“What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?” Trump asked in a statement on Twitter, before adding that if the Taliban cannot agree to a cease-fire, “then they probably don’t have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway.”

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While Washington has been seeking an exit to its longest war, the Taliban are at their strongest since their ouster in 2001 and hold sway over more than half the country, staging near-daily, deadly attacks across Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, the U.S. released a statement — signed by the U.S., China and Russia — supporting the efforts of peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. It called for an agreement on troop withdrawal, Taliban antiterrorism guarantees, and a promise of intra-Afghan talks on the nation’s fate and cease-fire terms.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19234555300525 Taliban negotiators arrive in Moscow days after Trump declares Afghan peace talks 'dead' Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox news fnc/world fnc f0bc53eb-1e38-5410-9c97-61d87b2bf239 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19234555300525 Taliban negotiators arrive in Moscow days after Trump declares Afghan peace talks 'dead' Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox news fnc/world fnc f0bc53eb-1e38-5410-9c97-61d87b2bf239 article

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Former Bengals DB Terrell Roberts shot, killed at grandmother's home in California

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Former Bengals DB Terrell Roberts shot, killed at grandmother's home in California
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A former defensive back for the Cincinnati Bengals was shot and killed on Wednesday at his grandmother’s house in Richmond, California, according to multiple reports

Terrell Roberts, who played college football at Oregon State University, was with the Bengals in 2003 and 2004. During his Cincinnati career, Roberts appeared in 23 games. He racked up 29 combined tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.

Roberts also returned seven kicks and averaged 18.3 yards per return. 

While at Oregon State, Roberts had a punt return for a touchdown and five interceptions. 

The Enquirer will update this story when more information is available.

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Felicity Huffman Sentenced to 14 Days Behind Bars in College Admissions Scandal

BOSTON — The actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for paying a college consultant $15,000 to inflate her daughter’s SAT score, becoming the first parent given a punishment in a sweeping scheme in which nearly three dozen wealthy parents are accused of using lies and bribes to smooth their children’s way into prestigious colleges.

Ms. Huffman’s sentence, which included a $30,000 fine, supervised release for a year and 250 hours of community service, was being closely watched as an indication of how harshly parents in this case would be punished. And it suggested that the judge, Indira Talwani, agreed with prosecutors that a term of imprisonment — even a short one — was necessary to send a message that wealthy parents would not get away with trying to steal admissions slots from more deserving students.

Ms. Huffman’s lawyers had argued for a sentence of probation. They said that prison was not needed as a deterrent in Ms. Huffman’s case because she had already suffered enough — being publicly shamed, seeing her acting career crater, and incurring the anger of her family.

Even before the sentencing, questions were being raised about fairness and whether Ms. Huffman and the other defendants would receive lighter punishments than poor and nonwhite defendants convicted of similar crimes.

[Dozens of wealthy parents, according to court documents, paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure the admission of their children into elite universities.]

Ms. Huffman’s sentence was unlikely to silence those questions. Some observers had already dismissed one month of incarceration that prosecutors had requested as too short for what they viewed as a crime driven by greed and entitlement.

At the same time, lawyers for some black defendants who were given prison sentences for crimes involving educational fraud said that the solution to disparities in the justice system was not to send Ms. Huffman to prison for longer, but to send fewer black defendants there.

Beyond Ms. Huffman’s case, the scheme included cheating on college entrance exams and bribing college coaches to designate students as recruits in sports that in most cases they did not play.

In a letter Ms. Huffman submitted to the court ahead of her sentencing, she described being motivated to take part in the cheating scheme by a mix of maternal devotion and fear. She wrote that her insecurity as a parent, which she said was amplified by having a daughter with learning disabilities, made her trust the college counselor she had hired and rely on his advice against her better judgment. The counselor, William Singer, whom prosecutors have described as the mastermind of the admissions scheme, has pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges; he has not yet been sentenced.

After he had counseled Ms. Huffman’s daughter for nearly a year, Mr. Singer told Ms. Huffman that, unless her daughter’s SAT math score rose sharply, the performing arts schools she was aiming for would not even consider her, Ms. Huffman told the judge.

[The Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin became the public faces of a sprawling college admissions bribery scheme.]

“I honestly didn’t and don’t care about my daughter going to a prestigious college,” Ms. Huffman wrote. “I just wanted to give her a shot at being considered for a program where her acting talent would be the deciding factor. This sounds hollow now, but, in my mind, I knew that her success or failure in theater or film wouldn’t depend on her math skills. I didn’t want my daughter to be prevented from getting a shot at auditioning and doing what she loves because she can’t do math.”

Video

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1130087118-videoSixteenByNine3000 Felicity Huffman Sentenced to 14 Days Behind Bars in College Admissions Scandal Sentences (Criminal) Huffman, Felicity College Admissions Scandal (2019) cheating

Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman were among the wealthy parents accused of cheating or paying bribes to get their children into elite universities.

Prosecutors had argued that the parents involved needed to serve at least some time in prison, to show that wealthy people would not get away with corrupting the admissions system. At one point the prosecutors had indicated they would ask that Ms. Huffman face four months behind bars, but they lowered their request last week.

Prosecutors have charged 51 people in the expansive admissions case, including coaches and employees of Mr. Singer, and 15 of the 34 parents charged have pleaded guilty. In the cases of some other parents who have pleaded guilty in the case, prosecutors are seeking as much as 15 months of incarceration. They asked for a comparatively lighter sentence for Ms. Huffman in part, they said, because she paid less than many of the other parents and because she chose not to include her younger daughter in the scheme.

Other parents are scheduled to be sentenced in the coming weeks, many of them by Judge Talwani. The likelihood that other defendants will get short sentences or probation increased slightly on Friday when Judge Talwani said, in a memorandum filed before Ms. Huffman’s sentencing, that the victims of the fraud — testing companies and the universities where coaches were bribed — had not suffered any financial harm that should affect the defendants’ sentencing guidelines. That means that all the parents before Judge Talwani will likely be facing sentencing guidelines of zero to six months, though she noted in her memorandum that she can issue a sentence outside the guidelines.

In arguing for at least a brief period of incarceration, prosecutors had pointed to examples of educational fraud that had been punished with prison terms — in some cases, long ones. In court papers, they cited a case in which Atlanta public schoolteachers, principals and administrators were convicted in a conspiracy to cheat on state tests, and some were sentenced to as much as three years in prison; all of the defendants were black. In another case, an African-American mother in Ohio, Kelley Williams-Bolar, was sentenced to five years in prison — a sentence later suspended to 10 days in jail, three years of probation and community service — for using her father’s address to get her children into a nearby suburban school district.

[Read how students of color responded to accusations that they were admitted solely because of racial preferences.]

In light of examples like these, the prosecutors suggested, sentencing parents in this case to probation would invite accusations of unfairness and racial bias.

But some defense lawyers involved in those cases rejected suggestions that their clients’ cases should be used to argue that Ms. Huffman should be sent to prison.

David Singleton, the executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, who represented Ms. Williams-Bolar in successfully seeking clemency in her case, said that there were indeed disparities in the justice system.

“When you are rich — and particularly if you’re rich and white in this country — there’s a different justice system,” he said. But, he added, “Sending Felicity Huffman to jail is not going to solve that problem.”

Similarly, lawyers who represented educators charged in the Atlanta test cheating scandal said that the sentences given to some of the defendants in that case were excessive.

[U.S.C. has fought to attract low-income students. Now, the campus has become a vivid microcosm of the economic disparities in Los Angeles.]

“Our educators in our cheating scandal in Atlanta were way over-prosecuted and way over-punished,” said Bob Rubin, who represents Dana Evans, a former principal, who was convicted of a racketeering charge and of making a false statement to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent. Ms. Evans was sentenced to one year in prison; her case is currently on appeal.

“My answer is not to give Felicity Huffman more, but to give our clients less,” Mr. Rubin said.

In fact, many of the 35 defendants charged in the Atlanta case pleaded guilty and received sentences of probation.

Sandy Wallack, who represented Dessa Curb, a special-education teacher who was found not guilty at trial, said Ms. Huffman’s case seemed more akin to the Atlanta defendants who had received probation, since Ms. Huffman pleaded guilty and expressed contrition. He said that probation was probably an appropriate sentence.

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The Daily Spike: A Canine Companion is born

Today is incredibly bittersweet. It’s my last day working at Fox News Channel in New York City. I’m moving to Berkeley, Calif., to live with my boyfriend, Chris, which is new and exciting. But I will dearly miss all my friends, who have become more like my family in my 20-plus years at Fox News.

A year and a half ago, some of my colleagues encouraged me to write this blog, and the response to it has been amazing. So first, thank you for reading. But it won’t be ending — I will continue to share updates on Spike, so please keep reading.

THE DAILY SPIKE: SPIKE GETS HIS FIRST REPORT CARD

But there’s more: This blog will start to follow a new Canine Companions for Independence service-dog-in-training!

My show’s anchor, Dana Perino, has been incredibly supportive of Spike and Canine Companions for Independence. As a token of their appreciation, Canine Companions gave her the honor of naming a  puppy. Did she pick Jasper? Or Perino? Or W? Or Greg Gutfeld? Nope.

She picked Tyrus, after our favorite Friday guest.

Westlake Legal Group IMG_2657 The Daily Spike: A Canine Companion is born Jennifer Williams fox-news/shows/the-daily-spike fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 8ee8d525-3776-5e94-bf6e-5dabd93f298d

As a token of their appreciation, Canine Companions gave Dana Perino the honor of naming a new service dog. (Canine Companions for Independence)

Tyrus is one of Spike’s biggest fans, and has done great work with Canine Companions, raising both awareness and money. Tyrus was there for me at the ceremony on the day Spike and I said goodbye, and I could not have had a better shoulder to cry on.

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And puppy Tyrus was born on Wednesday, Sept. 11. He’s a healthy lab puppy weighing about one pound. He also has three brothers and three sisters, and they are all beautiful. The puppies’ mom, Oceana, has been lovingly caring for her pups since delivery.

I will have the honor of raising puppy Tyrus for Canine Companions. Raising Spike in New York City had a lot of challenges: crowds, weather, subways, elevators, loud noises. Raising Tyrus in Berkeley will certainly have its own set of challenges.  But it won’t have 3 a.m. potty runs in the snow.

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You’ll be hearing a lot more about puppy Tyrus in the coming days. Stay tuned!

To learn more about Canine Companions for Independence, visit CCI.org.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086082640001_6086082816001-vs The Daily Spike: A Canine Companion is born Jennifer Williams fox-news/shows/the-daily-spike fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 8ee8d525-3776-5e94-bf6e-5dabd93f298d   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086082640001_6086082816001-vs The Daily Spike: A Canine Companion is born Jennifer Williams fox-news/shows/the-daily-spike fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 8ee8d525-3776-5e94-bf6e-5dabd93f298d

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Trump’s Acting National Security Adviser Said Nuclear War With USSR Was Winnable

Westlake Legal Group 5d7ba4e0230000e90352cc82 Trump’s Acting National Security Adviser Said Nuclear War With USSR Was Winnable

President Donald Trump’s acting national security adviser, former Reagan administration official Charles Kupperman, made an extraordinary and controversial claim in the early 1980s: nuclear conflict with the USSR was winnable and that “nuclear war is a destructive thing but still in large part a physics problem.”

Kupperman’s suggestion that the U.S. could triumph in a nuclear war went against dominant theories of mutually assured destruction and ignored the long-term destabilizing effects that such hostilities would have on the planet’s health and global politics.

Kupperman, appointed to his new post on Tuesday after Trump fired his John Bolton from the job, argued it was possible to win a nuclear war “in the classical sense,” and that the notion of total destruction stemming from such a superpower conflict was inaccurate. He said that in a scenario in which 20 million people died in the U.S. as opposed to 150 million, the nation could then emerge as the stronger side and prevail in its objectives.

His argument was that with enough planning and civil defense measures, such as “a certain layer of dirt and some reinforced construction materials,” the effects of a nuclear war could be limited and that U.S. would be able to fairly quickly rebuild itself after an all-out conflict with the then-Soviet Union.

“It may take 15 years, but geez, look how long it took Europe to recover after the Second World War,” Kupperman said. Referring to the Japanese city on which the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb in 1945, he also claimed that “Hiroshima, after it was bombed, was back and operating three days later.” 

At the time, Kupperman was executive director of President Ronald Reagan’s General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament. He made the comments during an interview with Robert Scheer for the journalist’s 1982 book, “With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush, and Nuclear War.”

The National Security Council did not immediately respond to questions on whether Kupperman, 68, still holds the same views of nuclear conflict as he did in the early 1980s. Kupperman’s seemingly cavalier attitude toward the potential death of millions of people was criticized at the time both by Democratic politicians and arms control experts.

“It seems reasonable to suggest the crazies are in charge of the nukes,” Jeremy Stone, president of the Federation of American Scientists, wrote about Kupperman and his colleagues in 1984.

Contemporary nuclear experts similarly criticize Kupperman’s beliefs as wrongheaded and dangerous.

“Kupperman’s comments might as well have come straight from the script of (the film) ‘Dr. Strangelove.’ He was part of a group of defense analysts at the time who weren’t shy about sharing such views,” said Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Washington-based Arms Control Association, who first noted Kupperman’s views in a Twitter post in January when Kupperman was hired as the deputy national security adviser.

“The simple fact is that a nuclear war can’t be won and must never be fought,” Reif said.

“Kupperman’s comments might as well have come straight from the script of ‘Dr. Strangelove.'”

But rather than being sidelined as a relic of Cold War hubris, Kupperman now holds one of the most powerful positions in the White House. Although his role is temporary, civil rights groups have also already called on him resign over his extensive ties to the Center for Security Policy, an anti-Muslim think tank founded by conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney. 

Gaffney is a prominent anti-Muslim activist who repeatedly promoted the conspiracy theories that members of President Barack Obama’s administration were working to enforce Islamic law in the U.S., that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated top levels of government and that Obama was secretly Muslim himself. Kupperman served on the board of directors for Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy between 2001-2010.

“CSP has continuously promoted Islamophobic conspiracy theories, and anyone, like Mr. Kupperman, who has so closely associated with them for so long is ― at the very least ― complicit in their brand of anti-Muslim bigotry and should not be entrusted with one of the highest-ranking security roles in the United States,” Council on American-Islamic Relations Executive Director Nihad Awad said Tuesday. 

Before joining the NSA, Kupperman served as an informal adviser to Bolton and worked as a defense industry executive at Boeing and Lockheed Martin. He was a critic of the Iranian nuclear deal and in 2017 co-signed a letter to Trump backing Bolton’s plan to withdraw from the agreement. 

Here are excerpts of Kupperman’s comments from his interview with Scheer:

On what kind of life we could visualize after a nuclear attack:

It means that, you know, it would be tough. It would be a struggle to reconstitute the society that we have. It certainly wouldn’t be the same society [as] prior to an exchange, there is no question about that. But in terms of having an organized nation, and having enough means left after the war to reconstitute itself, I think that is entirely possible. It may take 15 years, but geez, look how long it took Europe to recover after the Second World War.

On disagreeing with the Physicians for Social Responsibility organization’s view of nuclear war:

Scheer: But in terms of nuclear war, do you factor in what those doctors were saying?

Kupperman: Yes, that is why I want to have a civil defense system, because it can be very effective in reducing casualties. That is my point. If doctors are so concerned about it, the answer isn’t necessarily disarming the United States or cutting our weapons programs. … it might be having a civil defense program. You can make a very good case that is exactly what those doctors ought to be shouting for.

Scheer: But they say that it is impossible to protect the population from nuclear attack.

Kupperman: Yes, but the thing is, nuclear weapons have certain effects and if you take steps to deny those effects, you save a lot of people. And unless you are right in the middle of ground zero, you are not going to have a lot of burn victims if you take those steps. And if you evacuate these people out of the targeted areas, or what you think are targeted areas, they are not going to get burned or destroyed.

On society surviving nuclear war:

Scheer: Is it possible to survive it with your civilization intact?

Kupperman: Well, it is possible to survive it with a certain amount of society intact, it depends on what steps we take to ensure that survivability. It certainly won’t be the same as before the war. But generally societies have been intact ― like Germany and Japan and Western Europe in the Second World War weren’t the same after the war as they were before. But generally societies have been intact. The question really gets down to political credibility in the conduct of your foriegn policy. If you look like you are serious about defending yourself and your allies with real civil defense programs and other measures, I think that has political credibility with the adversary. An adversary isn’t going to take somebody seriously if they don’t take steps to protect themselves. Nuclear war is a destructive thing, but it is still in large part a physics problem.

Scheer: What do you mean?

Kupperman: Well, sheltering yourself against nuclear effects can be done, it just depends on how much effort and money one wants to spend on it, but a certain layer of dirt and some reinforced construction materials can assure the survivability of somebody, assuming they aren’t at ground zero of a detonation. Hiroshima, after it was bombed, was back and operating three days later. So it is certainly a destructive weapon, and nobody wants a nuclear war, but I don’t think the United States in the past has been serious enough about planning for its survival in the event of a nuclear war…

On winning nuclear war “in a classical sense”: 

Kupperman: It depends on what one considers all-out. If the objective in a war is to try to destroy as many Soviet civilians and as many American civilians as is feasible, and the casualty levels approached 150 million on each side, then it’s going to be tough to say you have a surviving nation after that. But depending on how the nuclear war is fought, it could mean the difference between 150 casualties and 20 million casualties. I think that is a significant difference, and if the country loses 20 million people, you may have a chance of surviving after that.

Scheer: Would that mean the other nation would survive as well? You’re not talking about winning a nuclear war, you’re talking about a stalemate of some kind.

Kupperman: It may or may not be a stalemate, depending on who had more surviving national power and military power.

Scheer: So you think it is possible to win?

Kupperman: I think it is possible to win, in the classical sense.

Scheer: What does that mean, “in the classical sense”?

Kupperman: It means that it is clear after the war that one side is stronger than the other side, the weaker side is going to accede to the demands of the stronger side.

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New Jersey Senate president proposes bill to ban all e-cigarette products ‘before we get another generation addicted to a different product’

On Wednesday the Trump administration said they are looking into banning non-tobacco flavored e-cigarette products amid reports of a deadly lung disease linked to vaping.

But one lawmaker wants to take it a step further.

On the same day as the president’s announcement, New Jersey’s highest-ranking lawmaker, Senate President Steve Sweeney D-Gloucester, released his own plan to ban the sale of all electronic smoking devices.

“Vaping is something that we need to stop and get off the market before we addict another generation to a different product,” he told Fox News. “When it came online it was hailed as getting people away from nicotine and smoking and we’re just addicting them in a different way.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal health officials are investigating more than 380 confirmed cases of pulmonary illness in the U.S., including six deaths, that appear related to vaping and e-cigarette products.

TRUMP TAKES AIM AT TEEN VAPING, PROPOSES BAN ON NON-TOBACCO FLAVORED E-CIGARETTES

“The projection is that you need a good 15 years of use for e-cigarettes to see the epidemiological changes of disease processes that are going to pop up,” said Dr. Manny Alvarez, a Fox News medical contributor. “But at the end of the day the only thing that the lungs need is pure air. And you are creating a false narrative if you think that e-cigarettes are not going to lead to some pulmonary problems in some people.”

Proponents of vaping argue that lawmakers should focus on the drug dealers who are tampering with cartridges instead of punishing the vape stores that aim to help people quit smoking.

“I’m not saying every store owner is doing something wrong. But the black market products are in the stores, too, not just on a corner,” Sweeney said.

Westlake Legal Group vaping-store New Jersey Senate president proposes bill to ban all e-cigarette products ‘before we get another generation addicted to a different product’ Lindsay Carlton fox-news/health/respiratory-health fox-news/health fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox news fnc/health fnc article 904f9d48-ad25-5b17-be30-5f9777a0ad03

The American Vaping Association said it’s disappointed in the President’s decision to ban the sale of flavored vaping products.

“A ban will remove life-changing options from the market that have been used by several million American adults to quit smoking.” Gregory Conley, president of the association, said in a statement. “In the history of the United States, prohibition has never worked. It didn’t work with alcohol. It hasn’t worked with marijuana. It won’t work with e-cigarettes.”

E-CIGARETTES DAMAGE BLOOD VESSELS EVEN IF DEVICES DON’T CONTAIN NICOTINE, STUDY FINDS

Any e-cigarette legislation Sweeney proposes will need to pass the Senate and Assembly and then win approval from Gov. Phil Murphy.

“The governor’s formed a task force and within 21 days he’s going to come back with recommendations. I’ve been drafting legislation with members of my house,” Sweeney said. “So we’re putting the bill together we have you know what happens if you defy the law. What are the penalties? So the bill’s being drafted and hopefully, within 30 days we’re going to have a bill that I can put in my house and pass and hopefully pass in the other house.”

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If Sweeney’s vaping bill goes through, it will make New Jersey the first state in the country to ban the sale of all vaping products.

“There’s nothing good about vaping. It’s dangerous. And when people say ‘well it’s got me off the smoking,’ it’s not got you off the smoking, you’re vaping. It’s just a different way of smoking,” Sweeney said.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085821669001_6085821359001-vs New Jersey Senate president proposes bill to ban all e-cigarette products ‘before we get another generation addicted to a different product’ Lindsay Carlton fox-news/health/respiratory-health fox-news/health fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox news fnc/health fnc article 904f9d48-ad25-5b17-be30-5f9777a0ad03   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085821669001_6085821359001-vs New Jersey Senate president proposes bill to ban all e-cigarette products ‘before we get another generation addicted to a different product’ Lindsay Carlton fox-news/health/respiratory-health fox-news/health fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox news fnc/health fnc article 904f9d48-ad25-5b17-be30-5f9777a0ad03

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Felicity Huffman Gets Jail Time For College Admissions Bribery Scam

Actor Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison on Friday for her involvement in the notorious elite college admissions bribery scandal. 

“I am deeply ashamed of what I have done,” Huffman said in tears in court ahead of her sentencing by U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani. “I take full responsibility for my actions … I am prepared to accept whatever sentence you deem fit.” 

As part of her sentence, Huffman will also have to pay a $30,000 fine, have supervised release for one year and do 250 hours of community service. 

Huffman was the first parent to be sentenced in the college admissions scam, and had husband and actor William H. Macy with her in court. 

Prosecutors had previously recommended a one-month jail sentence for Huffman, plus a $20,000 fine and one year’s probation.

In May, the “Desperate Housewives” actor pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, after being accused of paying $15,000 to cheat on her daughter’s SAT exam.    

Huffman was one of dozens of wealthy parents who were charged earlier this year in a nationwide college admissions scam, for allegedly paying bribes to get their kids into elite universities, including Yale; Stanford; the University of California, Los Angeles and more. 

“The outrage in this case is a system that is already so distorted by money and privilege in the first place,” the judge said in handing down Huffman’s sentence in court Friday. “In a system in that context, that you took the step of having one more advantage to put your child ahead.” 

As part of the bribery scheme, known as Operation Varsity Blues, wealthy parents allegedly paid to falsely boost their children’s exam scores or to have their children apply as student-athletes even if they had no skills in the relevant sport. “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin and her designer husband Mossimo Giannulli were also charged in the scam and both pleaded not guilty.

Huffman recently wrote in a letter to the judge that she was just trying to give her kid a “fair shot.” 

“In my desperation to be a good mother, I talked myself into believing that all I was doing was giving my daughter a fair shot,” she wrote. “I see the irony in that statement now because what I have done is the opposite of fair.”

In a memo filed last week, prosecutors wrote: “All parents want to help their kids get ahead, yet most manage to steer clear of conspiracy, bribery and fraud.” 

On Friday, the judge said: “Trying to be a good mother doesn’t excuse this.” 

Westlake Legal Group 5d76bf4d2300009f0351297f Felicity Huffman Gets Jail Time For College Admissions Bribery Scam

ASSOCIATED PRESS Felicity Huffman departs federal court in Boston, where she pleaded guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.

After news of the college admissions scandal broke, many pointed out that higher education admissions are already rigged to favor wealthy and white students ― even before reaching the point of criminality ― whether in the form of donations to schools or extra tutors, essay coaches and interview prep professionals who help the elite get their kids into Ivy League schools. Legacy status, in particular, tips the scales heavily in an applicant’s favor ― and disproportionately benefits white students. 

Earlier this year, California lawmakers proposed a series of bills that aimed to reform college admissions in the state. The first of the bills to reach the governor’s desk would require colleges to disclose whether they give preferential treatment to applicants related to donors or alumni (the bill is still awaiting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) possible signature before it would become law). 

Before delivering Huffman’s sentence on Friday, the judge said she didn’t believe the elite college admissions scheme Huffman was part of had undermined the entire college admissions system more broadly. She noted that the system already “has cracks in it,” pointing to legacy preferences and other advantages often accrued to the wealthy. 

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