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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 3)

Meghan Markle’s dad: ‘I lied’ to make her, Prince Harry’s image look ‘a little bit better’

Meghan Markle‘s father is claiming he once lied in an interview about his daughter and Prince Harry to help their image.

In a 90-minute documentary aired by the U.K.’s CBS Channel 5 on Wednesday, Thomas Markle, 75, detailed Meghan’s childhood in Los Angeles, Calif., her rise to fame in the acting industry and the role Prince Harry has really played on their estrangement. He also confessed he once lied about her and Prince Harry to “Good Morning Britain” host Piers Morgan when he was interviewed after he missed their royal wedding.

MEGHAN MARKLE WON’T BE SEEN IN THE UK ‘FOR A LONG TIME,’ ROYAL EXPERT CLAIMS: ‘WHY WOULD SHE COME BACK NOW?’

Westlake Legal Group royals-scotland-95864 Meghan Markle's dad: 'I lied' to make her, Prince Harry's image look 'a little bit better' Melissa Roberto fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ffdd9be8-983f-5475-801b-c4ee63bec3ba article

Meghan Markle’s father is telling all in a sit-down interview with Channel 5 in the U.K. about her childhood and relationship to Prince Harry.  (Andrew Milligan/Pool Photo via AP)

“I said [that] they called me back and they were really concerned about me and I said, ‘Go on your honeymoon, don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. And that was all a lie,” Thomas, a former lighting director, told the interviewer.

“So I made their image appear a little bit better,” the outspoken father added.

Thomas remarkably came under fire in 2017 ahead of Meghan’s lavish royal wedding ceremony to Prince Harry in a staged paparazzi photo shoot in Mexico. He admitted he regretted the “stupid and hammy” shots, which Meghan’s estranged half-sister Samantha Markle later admitted to orchestrating.

MEGHAN MARKLE’S DAD ADMITS HE WAS ‘JEALOUS’ PRINCE CHARLES WALKED HER DOWN THE AISLE AT ROYAL WEDDING

Westlake Legal Group desmond-tutu-prince-harry-meghan-markle-archie-5 Meghan Markle's dad: 'I lied' to make her, Prince Harry's image look 'a little bit better' Melissa Roberto fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ffdd9be8-983f-5475-801b-c4ee63bec3ba article

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa. (Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

He was scheduled to walk his daughter down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, but days before the wedding he reportedly suffered a heart attack and underwent heart surgery.

Thomas also told Channel 5 he lied to Prince Harry about his regrettable photo shoot.

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY WOULDN’T BE THE FIRST ROYALS TO BANK ON THEIR ROYAL TITLES, EXPERTS SAY

Westlake Legal Group MeghanMarkleCourtneyAfricaAfricaNewsAgencyviaAp2 Meghan Markle's dad: 'I lied' to make her, Prince Harry's image look 'a little bit better' Melissa Roberto fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ffdd9be8-983f-5475-801b-c4ee63bec3ba article

Meghan Markle’s father said he has not met Prince Harry or the couple’s son, Archie. (Courtney Africa / Africa News Agency via AP)

“I denied it,” he revealed. “All Harry asked me was did I pose for measurements for a suit, and I said, ‘No, I wasn’t posing for a measurement for a suit, I was being measured for a new hoodie.’ That’s what I told them.”

He added: “Of course that was a lie. I lied to him. I’m not proud of that, but I did.”

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Thomas sat down with Channel 5 over a span of six days back in October, just three months ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan’s announcement that they would be “stepping back” as senior members of the royal family.

Earlier this month, Meghan’s father said he was “disappointed” by the couple’s plan.

Westlake Legal Group thomas-markle-meghan-markle-prince-harry Meghan Markle's dad: 'I lied' to make her, Prince Harry's image look 'a little bit better' Melissa Roberto fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ffdd9be8-983f-5475-801b-c4ee63bec3ba article   Westlake Legal Group thomas-markle-meghan-markle-prince-harry Meghan Markle's dad: 'I lied' to make her, Prince Harry's image look 'a little bit better' Melissa Roberto fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ffdd9be8-983f-5475-801b-c4ee63bec3ba article

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‘No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slams billionaires for exploiting workers

Westlake Legal Group 68cW8JxygIrA8hR7vkFu2FvtyrpKnqmOAV820X0rPNU 'No one ever makes a billion dollars. You take a billion dollars': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slams billionaires for exploiting workers r/politics

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The week in pictures, Jan. 18 – Jan. 24

Westlake Legal Group 01_EO1JHVNXkAQrBVK The week in pictures, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24 fox-news/world fox-news/us fox news fnc/world fnc cd31b98e-f8d6-5f9c-ad7e-6e5a5e94599b article

https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/01/918/516/02_AP20021473992718.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

Andrew Longino, of Canada, competes in the men’s freestyle skiing halfpipe final at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Leysin, Switzerland, Jan. 21, 2020. 

Bob Martin for OIS via AP

https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2020/01/918/516/02_AP20021473992718.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

Westlake Legal Group 01_EO1JHVNXkAQrBVK The week in pictures, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24 fox-news/world fox-news/us fox news fnc/world fnc cd31b98e-f8d6-5f9c-ad7e-6e5a5e94599b article   Westlake Legal Group 01_EO1JHVNXkAQrBVK The week in pictures, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24 fox-news/world fox-news/us fox news fnc/world fnc cd31b98e-f8d6-5f9c-ad7e-6e5a5e94599b article

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Victor Davis Hanson: Trump, Netanyahu have transformed their nations — It’s better to be respected than liked

Westlake Legal Group israel-flag1 Victor Davis Hanson: Trump, Netanyahu have transformed their nations -- It's better to be respected than liked Victor Davis Hanson Tribune Media Services fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fnc/opinion fnc eb556a12-8b40-51cb-8abe-19eb29ebdc0c article

Whether by accident or by deliberate osmosis, Israel and the U.S. have adopted similar solutions to their existential problems.

Before 2002, during the various Palestinian intifadas, Israel suffered hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries from suicide bombers freely crossing from the West Bank and Gaza into Israel.

In response, Israel planned a vast border barrier. The international community was outraged. The Israeli left called the idea nothing short of “apartheid.”

ELIZABETH WARREN TOUTS SUPPORT FROM ANTI-ISRAEL COMIC WHO ONCE CALLED HER A ‘WEASEL’

However, after the completion of the 440-mile border barrier — part concrete well, part wire fencing — suicide bombings and terrorist incursions into Israel declined to almost nil.

The wall was not entirely responsible for enhanced Israeli security. But it freed up border manpower to patrol more vigorously. The barrier also was integrated with electronic surveillance and tougher laws against illegal immigration.

More from Opinion

The wall also brought strategic and political clarity. Those who damned Israel but freely crossed its borders sounded incoherent when they became furious that the barrier prevented access to the hated Zionist entity.

The Trump administration is currently seeking funds to create new border walls and replace old, porous fencing in order to stem illegal immigration on the southern border.

The strategy seems similar: The wall will free up manpower for better border policing. It likewise provides a certain political clarity. The United States is often criticized by Mexico and other Latin American countries. It is now being taken to task for the effort to make it more difficult to illegally enter such a supposedly unwelcome and hostile landscape.

Instead of cajoling allies to join us in expeditionary wars abroad, the U.S. increasingly appears reluctant to intervene, especially in the Middle East. As a result, former critics are now becoming suppliants requesting U.S. assistance. 

For years, Israel’s great weakness was its dependence on imported energy, while its neighboring enemies grew rich exporting oil and natural gas. Yet in the last decade, Israel has ramped up production to take advantage of its vast natural gas reserves — to the point that it is not just self-sufficient in fossil fuels but soon will become a major exporter.

Now, Israel cannot be threatened economically by either Iran or various Persian Gulf monarchies. Its economy is stronger than ever. Europeans suddenly are more accommodating, given that Israel may well become a natural gas exporter to a fuel-hungry Europe.

Like Israel, but unlike Europe, the U.S. was eager to frack and horizontally drill to tap vast new fossil fuel reserves. The change in U.S. strategic energy independence is similarly astounding.

America is now the largest producer of natural gas and oil in the world. Its output has increased world supply, dropped prices and hurt America’s oil-exporting enemies.

The relative power of Russia and Middle Eastern nations, such as Iran, over U.S. decision-making, has radically diminished — along with the need to station huge numbers of American troops in the volatile Middle East.

As in Israel, opponents either argued that more drilling would ruin the environment or that it would not work. They seem to be wrong on both counts.

Israel’s foreign policy could be called Jacksonian. Israel allies with friends, neutrals and former enemies whenever they share particular strategic goals.

In the topsy-turvy Middle East, Israel is now sometimes a strategic partner with formerly hostile regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies. They all share greater fears of theocratic Iran and its terrorist appendages in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

Apparently, much of the Arab world is no longer as interested in the Palestinian desire to destroy Israel. Many Palestinian groups are allied with a despised Iran, while many Arabs believe that Israel’s strength can sometimes be strategically useful.

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Current American realism is similar. The U.S. is neither isolationist nor an interventionist nation-builder. Its foreign-policy goals are to enhance its military, expand its already powerful economy, limit its strategic exposure, and bank its resulting hard and soft power to use only as a deterrent force against those who kill Americans or endanger U.S. interests.

Instead of cajoling allies to join us in expeditionary wars abroad, the U.S. increasingly appears reluctant to intervene, especially in the Middle East. As a result, former critics are now becoming suppliants requesting U.S. assistance.

As with Israel, the U.S. is less eager to apply political litmus tests to its occasional allies. It also seeks to avoid quagmires where its overwhelming conventional firepower can be neutralized by terrorists and urban guerrillas.

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The promoters of these unconventional policies, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and America’s President Trump, are both despised by their respective establishments and under constant threat of removal by their livid political opponents.

Yet they both have transformed their respective countries. Their policies remind us that it is sometimes preferable to be respected rather than just be liked — and that when a nation is strong and does not beg for help, it often finds more than it needs.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

Westlake Legal Group israel-flag1 Victor Davis Hanson: Trump, Netanyahu have transformed their nations -- It's better to be respected than liked Victor Davis Hanson Tribune Media Services fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fnc/opinion fnc eb556a12-8b40-51cb-8abe-19eb29ebdc0c article   Westlake Legal Group israel-flag1 Victor Davis Hanson: Trump, Netanyahu have transformed their nations -- It's better to be respected than liked Victor Davis Hanson Tribune Media Services fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fnc/opinion fnc eb556a12-8b40-51cb-8abe-19eb29ebdc0c article

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Shanghai Disneyland, part of Great Wall of China temporarily closed due to coronavirus concerns

Shanghai Disneyland announced on Friday that the park will be temporarily closing amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak “to ensure the health and safety of our guests and cast.”

In a statement posted to the theme park’s website, Shanghai Disneyland confirmed the shutdown would begin on Jan. 25, the date of China’s Lunar New Year.

CHINESE THEME PARK SPARKS BACKLASH AFTER FORCING PIG TO BUNGEE JUMP

“In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and Cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown including Walt Disney Grand Theatre and Wishing Star Park, starting January 25, 2020,” the message reads.

“We will continue to carefully monitor the situation and be in close contact with the local government, and we will announce the reopening date upon confirmation.”

Westlake Legal Group ShanghaiDisneylandIstock Shanghai Disneyland, part of Great Wall of China temporarily closed due to coronavirus concerns Michael Bartiromo fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/travel/general/theme-parks fox-news/travel/general/disney fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/travel fnc article aa38ad42-4f3a-5efb-8256-84c584be347b

“In response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak and in order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and Cast, Shanghai Disney Resort is temporarily closing Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown including Walt Disney Grand Theatre and Wishing Star Park, starting January 25, 2020,” the theme park announced Friday.

Guests who purchased tickets for the park or its hotels will be refunded “through the original ticket purchase channel,” the Shanghai Disney Resort added.

“We wish our guests a healthy and happy Spring Festival!” the message ended.

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In addition to Shanghai Disneyland, Chinese authorities have also temporarily closed part of the Great Wall of China, as well as the Forbidden City in Beijing, Reuters reports. It’s currently unclear when either of the historic sites, both popular tourist attractions, will reopen.

Westlake Legal Group ShanghaiDisneylandIstock Shanghai Disneyland, part of Great Wall of China temporarily closed due to coronavirus concerns Michael Bartiromo fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/travel/general/theme-parks fox-news/travel/general/disney fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/travel fnc article aa38ad42-4f3a-5efb-8256-84c584be347b   Westlake Legal Group ShanghaiDisneylandIstock Shanghai Disneyland, part of Great Wall of China temporarily closed due to coronavirus concerns Michael Bartiromo fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/travel/general/theme-parks fox-news/travel/general/disney fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/travel fnc article aa38ad42-4f3a-5efb-8256-84c584be347b

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Tucker Carlson: Schiff got Trump-Russia collusion all wrong, never got punished. Instead, he’s being rewarded

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126069488001_6126070611001-vs Tucker Carlson: Schiff got Trump-Russia collusion all wrong, never got punished. Instead, he's being rewarded Tucker Carlson fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight/transcript/tuckers-monologue fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 5fbb37c2-a036-549d-ab0d-67e71c83b65a

Here’s where we are. Tens of thousands of Americans continue to die in their prime from drug ODs. The middle class is still shrinking. Housing prices in our cities are crushing an entire generation of ambitious young people. China’s economy is about to overtake ours.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN MOCKS SCHIFF AS ‘SCHIFF T. COYOTE’ IN LOONEY TUNES-STYLE CARTOON

So that’s all the bad news right there. But have no fear. Here’s the good news: Washington is on it. Your representatives in the capital city — this city, Washington, D.C. — just spent their third day in a row yelling at each other about a phone call Donald Trump once made to some guy in Ukraine.

In other words, the impeachment trial of President Trump rolls on and if nothing else, that means that amateur thespian and full-time congressman, Adam Schiff, gets to try out new parts for the camera.

On Wednesday, you’ll remember, Schiff played the role of wartime general rallying the country in the face of an imminent military invasion. “The Russians are coming!” he squeaked. “The Russians are coming!”

Rep Adam Schiff, D-Calif, Trump impeachment manager: As one witness put it during our impeachment Inquiry, the United States aid Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. We could soon fight the Russians here in St. Johnsbury, not St. Petersburg. Stock up on milk.

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Well, on Thursday, in a reprise of that performance, Schiff revived the character you just saw, but with a theological dimension: wartime general plus Old Testament prophet. George Patton meets Jeremiah. Suddenly, Adam Schiff, that hero to secular America, was dropping references to God like the two were old friends.

Schiff: Thank God, Putin said. Thank God nobody is accusing us anymore of interfering in U.S. elections. Now, they’re accusing Ukraine. Thank God, Putin says.

I don’t think we really want Vladimir Putin, our adversary to be thanking God for the president of the United States because they don’t wish us well.

We do not want them thanking God for our president and what he is pushing out. We don’t want them thanking God for withholding money from our ally.

Now, say what you will, but as a piece of theatre, it had literally everything. There was dastardly old Vladimir Putin rubbing his hands together in diabolical glee somewhere deep beneath the Kremlin. “Those foolish Americans! Little do they know, my troops will be in Phoenix by nightfall!”

On the other side, God Himself in heaven, looking down in sadness, hoping this lost nation will finally heed St. Adam’s prophetic warnings and obey.

It was the age-old battle of good versus evil playing out right there on the Senate floor on C-SPAN. Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, though, was not impressed. He fell dead asleep the other day, and he probably wasn’t the only one to do it.

If it weren’t for the fact that most senators can nap with their eyes open, it would be clear that the whole chamber has been unconscious since Monday, and can you blame them for that? It’s interminable.

And yet, on cable news, it’s like Christmas. America’s newsrooms are maybe the last place in the English-speaking world where Adam Schiff is still considered impressive. To an average news anchor, Adam Schiff is not a bug- eyed hysteric. He is a statesman, Alexander Hamilton reborn. Get that man a musical.

Schiff seems happy, and why wouldn’t he be? He got it all completely wrong, but he wasn’t punished. Just the opposite. He was rewarded. That’s how Washington really works.

Wolf Blitzer, CNN anchor: A very, very powerful and forceful speech, almost two and a half hours by Adam Schiff. A very, very strong case.

Claire McCaskill, MSNBC political analyst and former U.S. senator: He is a really good lawyer. Period. End of discussion.

 John Avlon, CNN senior political analyst: And also, I thought, Schiff did an exceptionally good job connecting his case to the Founding Fathers.

Andrew Weissmann, MSNBC legal analyst: This is a speech really aimed at the better angels.

Mika Brzezinski, MSNBC host: By most accounts, it was a virtuoso performance that drew praise from all sides yesterday. It was a stunning recitation of the facts.

Blitzer: What did you think of the presentation by the lead House manager, Adam Schiff?

Jeffrey Toobin, CNN legal analyst: I thought it was dazzling.

“Dazzling, stunning, brilliant, powerful, forceful, masterful virtuoso” — whatever that means. Those are the words the press uses to describe a man who has just called for a hot war against a nuclear-armed nation.

Do the talking heads on CNN believe what Schiff is saying? Do they actually think Russia is on the cusp of invading the United States? Maybe they do, or likely they’re not really listening to him.

If the internal thoughts of your average news anchor were broadcast on the screen — and they should be — you’d see they revolve mostly around hair and makeup. “Do my ears look big?” These are not policy people. They don’t care about details. They just know for certain that Schiff is on their team, and that’s enough for them.

That’s something they had spent the last few years on, studiously pretending that Adam Schiff is a serious person and not a wild-eyed conspiracy nut. Now, to keep pretending that, they’ve had to ignore a lot of his actual claims, the things he is saying. Very much including these things:

Schiff: You can see evidence in plain sight on the issue of collusion, pretty compelling evidence.

And there is significant evidence of collusion.

There is ample evidence and indeed there is — of collusion of people in the Trump campaign with the Russians.

I think there’s plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy.

All of this is evidence of collusion.

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To Schiff, collusion was everywhere — on Facebook, on television, inside the box of Honey Bunches of Oats sitting in the breakfast nook in his airless Capitol Hill apartment. At one point, he even began to suspect his cats — his many cats.

Schiff spent the entirety of 2017 and 2018 talking just like that. By the end, he had accused 16 million Americans of colluding with Vladimir Putin simply by the act of voting for Donald Trump.

It was a conspiracy that profound. Except it wasn’t, and that’s the remarkable part. Schiff was wrong. None of this ever happened. And we now know that conclusively.

So is Schiff punished for this? Driven from polite society for falsely impugning the integrity of millions of Americans with lies, which he did? No, he wasn’t.

He just got more famous and more revered on MSNBC. You can find him most weekdays now having lunch in the best restaurants in the city right across from the guys who planned the Iraq War and got rich from securitizing subprime mortgages.

Schiff seems happy, and why wouldn’t he be? He got it all completely wrong, but he wasn’t punished. Just the opposite. He was rewarded.

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That’s how Washington really works. Keep that in mind as you watch Adam Schiff strut around the Senate this week, playing whatever character he’s chosen that day.

This is the guy making the big decisions. This is the guy they admire.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson’s monologue from “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Jan. 23, 2020.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126069488001_6126070611001-vs Tucker Carlson: Schiff got Trump-Russia collusion all wrong, never got punished. Instead, he's being rewarded Tucker Carlson fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight/transcript/tuckers-monologue fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 5fbb37c2-a036-549d-ab0d-67e71c83b65a   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126069488001_6126070611001-vs Tucker Carlson: Schiff got Trump-Russia collusion all wrong, never got punished. Instead, he's being rewarded Tucker Carlson fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight/transcript/tuckers-monologue fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 5fbb37c2-a036-549d-ab0d-67e71c83b65a

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Democrats Seek to Pre-empt Trump’s Defense in Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON — House Democrats sought on Thursday to pre-emptively dismantle President Trump’s core defenses in his impeachment trial, invoking his own words to argue that his pressure campaign on Ukraine was an abuse of power that warranted his removal.

On the second day of arguments in the third presidential impeachment trial in American history, Democrats sought to make the case that Mr. Trump’s actions were an affront to the Constitution. And they worked to disprove his lawyers’ claims that he was acting only in the nation’s interests when he sought to enlist Ukraine to investigate political rivals.

In doing so, they took a calculated risk in talking at length about Mr. Trump’s targets — former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden — and underscored the political backdrop of a trial that is unfolding only 10 months before the election and is likely to reverberate long after the verdict.

“You know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country — you can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, said in an impassioned appeal as the clock ticked past 10 p.m. “This is why if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Right matters and the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.”

The team of seven Democratic impeachment managers repeatedly attacked the idea that when the president withheld military aid from Ukraine and sought to secure a promise to investigate Joseph Biden, he was merely making a foreign policy decision to root out corruption in Ukraine.

Mr. Trump has consistently suggested, without any evidence, that Mr. Biden pushed to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company with a long history of corruption that employed Hunter Biden on its board. Representative Sylvia R. Garcia, Democrat of Texas, spent nearly an hour debunking the claim, and said that, in fact, the opposite was true.

The prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was “widely perceived as corrupt,” she said, and Mr. Biden was acting in accordance with official American policy, as well as the policy of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and other international organizations in calling for his removal.

Moreover, Mr. Shokin had already let the Burisma investigation “go dormant,” Ms. Garcia said, so his ouster “would only increase the chance that Burisma would be investigated for possible corruption.” She asserted that neither the elder Mr. Biden nor his son had done anything wrong, and that American officials — and Mr. Trump — knew it.

“Every single witness who was asked about the allegations again said that Biden had nothing to do with it and it was false; they testified that he acted properly,” Ms. Garcia said, adding, “There is simply no evidence, nothing, nada in the record to support this baseless allegation.”

It was, in effect, a defense of one of the Democrats’ leading 2020 presidential candidates and a potential challenger to the president. Mr. Schiff later volunteered that neither he nor his colleagues had a position on the Democratic presidential primary.

Mr. Schiff also brought Mr. Trump into the chamber — at least on video — to use the president’s own words against him, with a clip in which the president called both Bidens “corrupt” and called for Ukraine to start a “major investigation” into them.

“The president has confirmed what he wanted in his own words,” Mr. Schiff said. “He has made it clear he didn’t care about corruption, he cared only about himself. Now it is up to us to do something about it, to make sure that a president, that this president, cannot pursue an objective that places himself above our country.”

But in focusing on the Bidens, Democrats took a strategic risk. Some Republicans have already threatened to call the Bidens as witnesses, even suggesting that they would insist on hearing from them as a condition of agreeing to subpoena John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser.

Democrats have refused to consider the idea, and Mr. Biden has said he would not take part in any such swap. And on Thursday, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said he would not “give in to that pressure” from some of his colleagues to do so.

But Mr. Trump’s legal team said the Bidens were now fair game in the trial.

“They have opened the door,” said Jay Sekulow. “It’s now relevant.”

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, said the Democrats’ arguments had made testimony from the Bidens vital.

“If we’re going to call witnesses,” he said, “it’s now clear we absolutely must call Hunter Biden, and we probably need to call Joe Biden.”

Mr. Trump seemed to be paying attention. At a Republican National Committee event on Thursday evening at the president’s club in Doral, Fla., he told 400 people that the proceedings were “impeachment lite” compared with the trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999 and the case against President Richard M. Nixon in the 1970s.

In laying out their case against Mr. Trump, the Democrats focused tightly on the first of two charges against him: that he abused his power by trying to compel a foreign power to help him win re-election in 2020 and withheld two official acts — the provision of $391 million in military aid and a White House meeting with Ukraine’s president — in an effort to advance his illicit scheme.

Video

transcript

House Impeachment Managers Press Case to Convict Trump

“If you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed”: Representative Adam Schiff and the other House managers continued making their opening arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial, as his lawyers prepared their defense.

“He has made it clear: He didn’t care about corruption. He cared only about himself.” “If he is willing to listen to his personal lawyer over his own intelligence agencies, his own advisers, then you can imagine what a danger that presents to this country.” “There is evidence of President Trump himself demanding that Ukraine conduct the investigations. But President Trump also delegated his authority to his political agent Rudy Giuliani to oversee and direct this scheme.” “The Constitution is not a suicide pact. It does not leave us stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy. Abuse, betrayal, corruption. Here are each of the core offenses the framers feared most. The president’s abuse of power, his betrayal of the national interest and his corruption of our elections plainly qualify as great and dangerous offenses.” “Common sense would tell us that this allegation against Joe Biden is false and that there was no legitimate basis for any investigation. But there are several other reasons you know that the only reason President Trump wanted Ukraine to announce the investigation into Biden that was solely for his very own personal benefit.” “No Constitution can protect us if right doesn’t matter anymore. And you know — you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country. You can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump. He’ll do it now. He’s done it before. He’ll do it for the next several months. He’ll do it in the election, if he’s allowed to. This is why, if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Because right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.” “I will assure you this. We will be putting on a vigorous defense of both fact and rebutting what they’ve said. Our job here is to defend both the president, the office of the presidency, and the Constitution. We’re going to do that. I see nothing that has changed.”

Westlake Legal Group 23dc-liveblog-managers-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Democrats Seek to Pre-empt Trump’s Defense in Impeachment Trial United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Schiff, Adam B Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 House of Representatives Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

“If you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed”: Representative Adam Schiff and the other House managers continued making their opening arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial, as his lawyers prepared their defense.

“President Trump exploited our ally, Ukraine, for his own political benefit to the detriment of American national security,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York. “Is that conduct impeachable? The answer is categorically yes. The Senate must hold this president accountable for his abuse-of-power crimes against our Constitution.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said: “Impeachment is not punishment for a crime. Impeachment exists to address threats to the political system.”

“Impeachment is the Constitution’s final answer to a president who mistakes himself for a king,” he added.

Democrats expect to wrap up their case on Friday with presentations aimed at proving the second charge: that Mr. Trump obstructed Congress by withholding documents and witnesses and otherwise working to conceal his behavior. On Saturday, Mr. Trump’s defense team is expected to lay out its case.

On Thursday, Mr. Nadler drew on quotes from Alexander Hamilton; from George Washington’s farewell address; and from a 1792 letter to Thomas Jefferson from John Adams that warned of “foreign intrigue and influence” in arguing that Mr. Trump warranted impeachment and removal from office — regardless of whether he committed a crime.

“No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections,” Mr. Nadler said, adding, “It puts even President Nixon to shame.”

Mr. Nadler also turned to Trump allies — including Alan M. Dershowitz, the Harvard Law professor who is assisting in the president’s defense, and Mr. Graham — to make his case, using video clips of their comments from the Clinton impeachment trial to undercut Mr. Trump’s defense.

In one clip, Mr. Graham, an impeachment manager during the Clinton trial, explained why a “high crime” — one of the criteria the Constitution sets forth for the impeachment and removal of a president — does not necessarily require breaking a law.

“When you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime,” Mr. Graham said.

Even before Thursday’s session got underway, it was clear that Mr. Schiff, Mr. Nadler and the other managers had not changed the minds of many Republicans. Senate Democrats were privately expressing concern that they may not get the four Republican votes they would need to bring witnesses and documents into the trial.

If they do not, the case could be over by the end of next week. Publicly, though, Democrats were putting on a good face.

“I am more hopeful than ever that four conscientious, brave Republicans will come forward and tell Mitch McConnell you can’t shut this down without witnesses, you can’t shut this down without documents,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, referring to his Republican counterpart.

The rules of the trial require senators to “keep silent, on pain of imprisonment,” and after two lengthy days of first voting on motions on Tuesday and hearing oral arguments on Wednesday, Republicans were growing weary.

Some complained that Democrats were simply reciting the same facts time and time again, more for the television viewing audience than for the audience in the chamber. Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, handed out fidget spinner toys to his colleagues, ostensibly to ease the boredom — and to deliver a not-too-subtle dig at Democrats.

“They spent a lot of time, they’re well prepared — I just don’t think they have much to work with,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. “They’ve got about a one-hour presentation that they gave six hours on Tuesday and eight hours yesterday.”

But Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said the Democrats had good reason to be repetitive: Many senators — not to mention the public — did not pay close attention to the House inquiry. One Republican, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, told reporters as much on Wednesday.

“Senators didn’t know the case,” he said. “They really didn’t. We didn’t stay glued to the television. We haven’t read the transcripts.”

Reporting was contributed by Michael D. Shear, Emily Cochrane, Nicholas Fandos, Peter Baker and Catie Edmondson from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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

Democrats Seek to Pre-empt Trump’s Defense in Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON — House Democrats sought on Thursday to pre-emptively dismantle President Trump’s core defenses in his impeachment trial, invoking his own words to argue that his pressure campaign on Ukraine was an abuse of power that warranted his removal.

On the second day of arguments in the third presidential impeachment trial in American history, Democrats sought to make the case that Mr. Trump’s actions were an affront to the Constitution. And they worked to disprove his lawyers’ claims that he was acting only in the nation’s interests when he sought to enlist Ukraine to investigate political rivals.

In doing so, they took a calculated risk in talking at length about Mr. Trump’s targets — former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden — and underscored the political backdrop of a trial that is unfolding only 10 months before the election and is likely to reverberate long after the verdict.

“You know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country — you can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, said in an impassioned appeal as the clock ticked past 10 p.m. “This is why if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Right matters and the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.”

The team of seven Democratic impeachment managers repeatedly attacked the idea that when the president withheld military aid from Ukraine and sought to secure a promise to investigate Joseph Biden, he was merely making a foreign policy decision to root out corruption in Ukraine.

Mr. Trump has consistently suggested, without any evidence, that Mr. Biden pushed to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company with a long history of corruption that employed Hunter Biden on its board. Representative Sylvia R. Garcia, Democrat of Texas, spent nearly an hour debunking the claim, and said that, in fact, the opposite was true.

The prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was “widely perceived as corrupt,” she said, and Mr. Biden was acting in accordance with official American policy, as well as the policy of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and other international organizations in calling for his removal.

Moreover, Mr. Shokin had already let the Burisma investigation “go dormant,” Ms. Garcia said, so his ouster “would only increase the chance that Burisma would be investigated for possible corruption.” She asserted that neither the elder Mr. Biden nor his son had done anything wrong, and that American officials — and Mr. Trump — knew it.

“Every single witness who was asked about the allegations again said that Biden had nothing to do with it and it was false; they testified that he acted properly,” Ms. Garcia said, adding, “There is simply no evidence, nothing, nada in the record to support this baseless allegation.”

It was, in effect, a defense of one of the Democrats’ leading 2020 presidential candidates and a potential challenger to the president. Mr. Schiff later volunteered that neither he nor his colleagues had a position on the Democratic presidential primary.

Mr. Schiff also brought Mr. Trump into the chamber — at least on video — to use the president’s own words against him, with a clip in which the president called both Bidens “corrupt” and called for Ukraine to start a “major investigation” into them.

“The president has confirmed what he wanted in his own words,” Mr. Schiff said. “He has made it clear he didn’t care about corruption, he cared only about himself. Now it is up to us to do something about it, to make sure that a president, that this president, cannot pursue an objective that places himself above our country.”

But in focusing on the Bidens, Democrats took a strategic risk. Some Republicans have already threatened to call the Bidens as witnesses, even suggesting that they would insist on hearing from them as a condition of agreeing to subpoena John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser.

Democrats have refused to consider the idea, and Mr. Biden has said he would not take part in any such swap. And on Thursday, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said he would not “give in to that pressure” from some of his colleagues to do so.

But Mr. Trump’s legal team said the Bidens were now fair game in the trial.

“They have opened the door,” said Jay Sekulow. “It’s now relevant.”

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, said the Democrats’ arguments had made testimony from the Bidens vital.

“If we’re going to call witnesses,” he said, “it’s now clear we absolutely must call Hunter Biden, and we probably need to call Joe Biden.”

Mr. Trump seemed to be paying attention. At a Republican National Committee event on Thursday evening at the president’s club in Doral, Fla., he told 400 people that the proceedings were “impeachment lite” compared with the trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999 and the case against President Richard M. Nixon in the 1970s.

In laying out their case against Mr. Trump, the Democrats focused tightly on the first of two charges against him: that he abused his power by trying to compel a foreign power to help him win re-election in 2020 and withheld two official acts — the provision of $391 million in military aid and a White House meeting with Ukraine’s president — in an effort to advance his illicit scheme.

Video

transcript

House Impeachment Managers Press Case to Convict Trump

“If you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed”: Representative Adam Schiff and the other House managers continued making their opening arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial, as his lawyers prepared their defense.

“He has made it clear: He didn’t care about corruption. He cared only about himself.” “If he is willing to listen to his personal lawyer over his own intelligence agencies, his own advisers, then you can imagine what a danger that presents to this country.” “There is evidence of President Trump himself demanding that Ukraine conduct the investigations. But President Trump also delegated his authority to his political agent Rudy Giuliani to oversee and direct this scheme.” “The Constitution is not a suicide pact. It does not leave us stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy. Abuse, betrayal, corruption. Here are each of the core offenses the framers feared most. The president’s abuse of power, his betrayal of the national interest and his corruption of our elections plainly qualify as great and dangerous offenses.” “Common sense would tell us that this allegation against Joe Biden is false and that there was no legitimate basis for any investigation. But there are several other reasons you know that the only reason President Trump wanted Ukraine to announce the investigation into Biden that was solely for his very own personal benefit.” “No Constitution can protect us if right doesn’t matter anymore. And you know — you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country. You can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump. He’ll do it now. He’s done it before. He’ll do it for the next several months. He’ll do it in the election, if he’s allowed to. This is why, if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Because right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.” “I will assure you this. We will be putting on a vigorous defense of both fact and rebutting what they’ve said. Our job here is to defend both the president, the office of the presidency, and the Constitution. We’re going to do that. I see nothing that has changed.”

Westlake Legal Group 23dc-liveblog-managers-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Democrats Seek to Pre-empt Trump’s Defense in Impeachment Trial United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Schiff, Adam B Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 House of Representatives Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

“If you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed”: Representative Adam Schiff and the other House managers continued making their opening arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial, as his lawyers prepared their defense.

“President Trump exploited our ally, Ukraine, for his own political benefit to the detriment of American national security,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York. “Is that conduct impeachable? The answer is categorically yes. The Senate must hold this president accountable for his abuse-of-power crimes against our Constitution.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said: “Impeachment is not punishment for a crime. Impeachment exists to address threats to the political system.”

“Impeachment is the Constitution’s final answer to a president who mistakes himself for a king,” he added.

Democrats expect to wrap up their case on Friday with presentations aimed at proving the second charge: that Mr. Trump obstructed Congress by withholding documents and witnesses and otherwise working to conceal his behavior. On Saturday, Mr. Trump’s defense team is expected to lay out its case.

On Thursday, Mr. Nadler drew on quotes from Alexander Hamilton; from George Washington’s farewell address; and from a 1792 letter to Thomas Jefferson from John Adams that warned of “foreign intrigue and influence” in arguing that Mr. Trump warranted impeachment and removal from office — regardless of whether he committed a crime.

“No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections,” Mr. Nadler said, adding, “It puts even President Nixon to shame.”

Mr. Nadler also turned to Trump allies — including Alan M. Dershowitz, the Harvard Law professor who is assisting in the president’s defense, and Mr. Graham — to make his case, using video clips of their comments from the Clinton impeachment trial to undercut Mr. Trump’s defense.

In one clip, Mr. Graham, an impeachment manager during the Clinton trial, explained why a “high crime” — one of the criteria the Constitution sets forth for the impeachment and removal of a president — does not necessarily require breaking a law.

“When you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime,” Mr. Graham said.

Even before Thursday’s session got underway, it was clear that Mr. Schiff, Mr. Nadler and the other managers had not changed the minds of many Republicans. Senate Democrats were privately expressing concern that they may not get the four Republican votes they would need to bring witnesses and documents into the trial.

If they do not, the case could be over by the end of next week. Publicly, though, Democrats were putting on a good face.

“I am more hopeful than ever that four conscientious, brave Republicans will come forward and tell Mitch McConnell you can’t shut this down without witnesses, you can’t shut this down without documents,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, referring to his Republican counterpart.

The rules of the trial require senators to “keep silent, on pain of imprisonment,” and after two lengthy days of first voting on motions on Tuesday and hearing oral arguments on Wednesday, Republicans were growing weary.

Some complained that Democrats were simply reciting the same facts time and time again, more for the television viewing audience than for the audience in the chamber. Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, handed out fidget spinner toys to his colleagues, ostensibly to ease the boredom — and to deliver a not-too-subtle dig at Democrats.

“They spent a lot of time, they’re well prepared — I just don’t think they have much to work with,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. “They’ve got about a one-hour presentation that they gave six hours on Tuesday and eight hours yesterday.”

But Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said the Democrats had good reason to be repetitive: Many senators — not to mention the public — did not pay close attention to the House inquiry. One Republican, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, told reporters as much on Wednesday.

“Senators didn’t know the case,” he said. “They really didn’t. We didn’t stay glued to the television. We haven’t read the transcripts.”

Reporting was contributed by Michael D. Shear, Emily Cochrane, Nicholas Fandos, Peter Baker and Catie Edmondson from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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

Fire in New York City’s Chinatown threatens museum archive in historic building — just before Lunar New Year

Westlake Legal Group chinatown-fire Fire in New York City's Chinatown threatens museum archive in historic building -- just before Lunar New Year fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 0a8fac0d-68e5-5228-a487-ab80f33ba49c

At least one person and two firefighters were reportedly hurt Thursday evening in a fire that damaged a historic building in New York City’s Chinatown just before the Lunar New Year, potentially taking archival material from the Museum of Chinese in America with it.

The building, at 70 Mulberry Street, was constructed in 1900 and serves as a senior center and houses several nonprofits, FOX 5 in New York reported.

FIREFIGHTERS SAVE ‘BEAKER’ THE DACHSHUND FROM LOUISIANA HOUSE FIRE USING K9 OXYGEN MASK

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the building a “pillar” to the Chinatown community.

“I know the neighborhood is in shock tonight. We’re going to help the community get through this,” De Blasio tweeted.

Nearly 150 firefighters worked for hours to put out the blaze that mainly affected the fourth and fifth floors of the building, according to FOX 5.

“This building is very important. It’s so unfortunate to have a fire. It’s very sad,” Chen Dance Center owner HT Chen told New York’s WNBC-TV. He said his business has been in the building for more than 40 years.

Manhattan community board member Karlin Chan told WNBC the Museum of Chinese in America’s archives are housed there.

“So all the historical documents from this area, all the exhibits are actually stored in there, so hopefully the water damage doesn’t destroy it,” she said.

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None of the victims’ injuries were life-threatening, WNBC reported.

Westlake Legal Group chinatown-fire Fire in New York City's Chinatown threatens museum archive in historic building -- just before Lunar New Year fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 0a8fac0d-68e5-5228-a487-ab80f33ba49c   Westlake Legal Group chinatown-fire Fire in New York City's Chinatown threatens museum archive in historic building -- just before Lunar New Year fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 0a8fac0d-68e5-5228-a487-ab80f33ba49c

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Gruesome photo shows needlefish impaled in teen’s neck: report

Westlake Legal Group Needlefish-final Gruesome photo shows needlefish impaled in teen's neck: report fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc David Aaro article 168b19a2-5616-5946-807e-c2e436e5e992

A teenager was impaled in the neck by a fish while he was fishing with family in Southern Indonesia, according to multiple reports.

Muhammad Idul, 16, said the impact of the needlefish threw him from his fishing boat, according to reports. He swam to shore with the fish thrashing in his neck.

“A needlefish suddenly jumped out of the water and stabbed my neck,” Idul told the BBC. “I asked Sardi [Idul’s friend from school] to help – he stopped me from trying to remove the fish to prevent bleeding.”

SCIENTISTS UNLOCK SECRETS ABOUT MYSTERIOUS GIANT SQUID

He was taken to a hospital and transferred to a hospital in Makassar for emergency surgery, the BBC reported. A team of three surgeons and two anesthesiologists took two hours to remove the fish.

GHENT ALTARPIECE LAMB OF GOD’S ‘ALARMINGLY HUMANOID’ FACE STUNS ART WORLD

Anesthesiologist Syafri K Arif said the teenager is in stable condition and will remain at the hospital for three to four days to prevent infections, according to the New York Post. The impaled fish head likely helped to stop the bleeding.

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“We’re monitoring his condition. He might be discharged in a few days but he can’t go back to his village yet because he needs more check-ups,” Saleh told the BBC.

Westlake Legal Group Needlefish-final Gruesome photo shows needlefish impaled in teen's neck: report fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc David Aaro article 168b19a2-5616-5946-807e-c2e436e5e992   Westlake Legal Group Needlefish-final Gruesome photo shows needlefish impaled in teen's neck: report fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc David Aaro article 168b19a2-5616-5946-807e-c2e436e5e992

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