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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 49)

Live Updates From Final Day Of Democrats’ Opening Arguments In Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 5e2b2b4f220000d0053eb9ae Live Updates From Final Day Of Democrats’ Opening Arguments In Impeachment Trial

Buckle in for the third and final day of opening arguments in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is leading the team of impeachment managers in making a case before the Senate, will likely focus most of his remarks on charges that Trump engaged in obstruction of Congress.

Throughout the first two days of opening arguments, Schiff largely made arguments around another charge that Trump abused his powers by pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival.

He also lambasted rules laid out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), blocking him from calling witnesses or subpoenaing documents. 

Follow along with live updates below.

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

Final Day Of Democrats’ Opening Arguments In Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 5e2b2b4f220000d0053eb9ae Final Day Of Democrats’ Opening Arguments In Impeachment Trial

Buckle in for the third and final day of opening arguments in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is leading the team of impeachment managers in making a case before the Senate, will likely focus most of his remarks on charges that Trump engaged in obstruction of Congress.

Throughout the first two days of opening arguments, Schiff largely made arguments around another charge that Trump abused his powers by pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival.

He also lambasted rules laid out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), blocking him from calling witnesses or subpoenaing documents. 

Follow along with live updates below.

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

Schiff’s closing argument resonates on Twitter.

Westlake Legal Group 24vid-schiff-facebookJumbo Schiff’s closing argument resonates on Twitter. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Republican Party impeachment Democratic Party
Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, gave an impassioned speech urging senators to convict and remove President Trump.Image by Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the former federal prosecutor who has steered the House impeachment investigation into President Trump, secured his place as a liberal rock star — and villain to conservatives — with the fiery closing argument he delivered Thursday night, imploring senators to convict and remove Mr. Trump because “you know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country.”

By Friday morning, the phrase #RightMatters — from the last line of Mr. Schiff’s speech — was trending as a hashtag on Twitter, which was lighting up with reaction from across the philosophical spectrum. “I am in tears,” wrote Debra Messing, the “Will & Grace” actress and outspoken Trump critic. “Thank you Chairman Schiff for fighting for our country.”

Even some Republicans are giving Mr. Schiff, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, grudging respect for delivering a masterful performance. But they also view him as nothing more than a shrewd political operator, and say that his words made clear that for Democrats, impeachment is about undoing the results of the 2016 election — and preventing the president from winning in 2020.

“Adam Schiff is already disputing the results of the 2020 election. Impeachment 2.0?” wrote Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee.

Mr. Schiff is known on Capitol Hill for his serious demeanor and dry laconic wit. But on Thursday, he was filled with passion, his voice rising and his face reddening as he made a late-night appeal to a tired and bitterly divided audience of senators, which he was promoting with a video clip on his own Twitter feed on Friday.

“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 said, adding, “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.”

Image

Democrats want to call Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, as a witness.Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

Friday is the moment of truth for House managers in the Senate impeachment trial as they seek to convince a handful of Republican lawmakers to support their demand for additional witnesses and documentary evidence. So far, there is little apparent evidence that they will succeed.

On Thursday, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the top Senate Democrat, declined to say he was optimistic but said he still had “hope.”

Democrats have accused Republicans of abetting a cover-up by Mr. Trump by refusing to subpoena documents that the Trump administration did not hand over during their inquiry and by refusing to demand testimony from additional witnesses like John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff.

In their third day presenting their case, the managers will focus on the second article of impeachment, in which they accuse Mr. Trump of obstructing Congress by blocking witnesses and documents from being provided to the House impeachment inquiry.

For Democrats, that argument — which is expected to once again take the Senate trial late into the evening — could be the ideal backdrop to pressure potentially wavering Republicans who might be willing to break from their party to support the Democratic demands for witnesses.

But the potential targets, a handful of Republican senators, are staying quiet for now. They include Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump’s White House lawyers will take over for up to three days as they present their defense. Both sides will get an additional two hours to sum up their argument on the issue of witnesses and documents sometime next week. But for the House managers, Friday’s presentation may be their last, best hope.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan will deliver the Democrats’ response to the State of the Union.Credit…Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Democrats, looking ahead to President Trump’s State of the Union address, announced on Friday that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan will deliver the Democrats’ response to the president’s speech, scheduled for Feb. 4 — even though his impeachment trial may still be underway.

Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas, who made history as one of the first two Latinas from that state to serve in Congress, will deliver the Spanish-language response to the speech, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, who issued a joint statement about the selections.

The two praised Governor Whitmer, a lawyer, educator and former prosecutor, as a get-things-done type of leader, “whether it’s pledging to ‘Fix the Damn Roads’ or investing in climate solutions,” as Mr. Schumer said.

The response to the State of the Union is generally reserved for rising stars in the opposition party, offering a chance for the minority to lay out its own agenda, in contrast to the president.

With the impeachment trial set to begin at 1 p.m., senators are attending a bipartisan briefing on coronavirus, with Senator Dan Sullivan, Republican of Alaska, telling reporters he hoped to learn about preventive measures being taken. The virus is spreading and has sickened hundreds, mostly in Asia.

But senators were also stopping to weigh in on impeachment, as reporters, cordoned off behind velvet ropes, shouted questions about witnesses and the length of the Saturday session of the trial.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image

Senator Mitt Romeny, Republican of Utah, on his way out of the Capitol on Thursday night via its subway.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Republican moderates are in the spotlight on Friday as House managers conclude their oral arguments and senators turn to the question of whether to call witnesses and seek new documents in the impeachment trial. All four of the senators opposed Democratic motions for witnesses and documents at the beginning of the trial, but have said they might be open to switching their stances after opening arguments have been completed.

So far, however, none have committed to do so.

Here are the Republican senators to watch:

Mitt Romney of Utah has not said much since the trial started. But earlier, he indicated he would be open to new witnesses, and said he wants to hear from John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser.

Susan Collins of Maine is usually a swing vote in the Senate. Facing re-election this year, she is facing brutal blowback in her state for voting to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh for his seat on the Supreme Court. She has strongly suggested that she will ultimately vote to call witnesses. Doing so could help her mend fences with moderate voters she needs to keep her seat.

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is an independent voice in the Senate. She was the only Republican to oppose Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation and has indicated she could be open to having the Senate examine additional evidence in the impeachment case.

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is retiring after a long career in the Senate. He has not given clear answers to whether he might support additional witnesses and is extremely close with Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader. But Democrats hope his institutionalist impulses might prompt him to be the fourth vote they need.

There has been additional focus on a fifth senator, Cory Gardner of Colorado. Mr. Gardner is a first-term senator who is facing a tough re-election race this year in a politically competitive state. He will need support from independent voters and even some Democrats to win, but Mr. Garnder has so far been mum on the question of witnesses, and has criticized the impeachment inquiry as a politically motivated exercise.

Image

People preparing for the March for Life on Friday.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Even as the Senate geared up for the third day hearing from prosecutors in the impeachment trial, a different kind of political clash was gathering outside the Capitol.

People attending the annual March for Life — and counterprotesters who support abortion rights — were already arriving Friday morning for an event that is expected to feature an address by President Trump, the first time a sitting president has attended.

People wearing “March for Life” sweatshirts crossed the Capitol grounds on the way to the march, along with others sporting red “TRUMP2020” baseball caps. Nearby, a separate group of counter protesters wearing sweatshirts that said “Literally, no one asked you” chanted “We love abortion, abortion is cool!”

The annual event protesting abortion started after the 1973 Rove v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

Other Republican presidents have addressed the gathering by video, but none has attended. Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday: “See you on “See you on Friday … Big Crowd!” Friday…Big Crowd!”

10:14 a.m. Jan. 24, 2020

By

The cameras in the Senate are government controlled by the Senate staff, and photographs are not allowed — limiting what viewers can see as lawmakers consider the case against President Trump. To get a more complete picture of the proceedings, here are two alternatives.

A Sketch Artist’s View of the Impeachment Trial

Drawings of the proceedings from inside the Senate chamber, where no photos are allowed.

Jan. 16, 2020

The Senate chamber may be familiar to viewers of C-SPAN, but the room has undergone some significant changes to accommodate the proceedings.

A 3-D Tour of How the Senate Was Transformed for the Impeachment Trial

An immersive diagram of the storied chamber where President Trump’s trial is taking place — including what you won’t see in photos.

Jan. 23, 2020

ADVERTISEMENT

President Trump complained Friday that his lawyers would begin his defense on Saturday, a day the president said in the world of television was “called Death Valley,” as he unleashed dozens of tweets and retweets attacking the Senate trial.

The president began his social media assault just after 6 a.m. by retweeting Greg Jarrett, a conservative Fox News analyst, who was attacking the Democrats’ case. In one post, Mr. Jarrett accused Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead House manager, of lying about the evidence.

Over the next several hours, he retweeted articles by breitbart.com; Lou Dobbs, the Fox Business Network host; Ben Ferguson, a conservative commentator; Dan Bongino, the host of a conservative radio talk show; and several Republican lawmakers, including Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader in the House.

Later in the morning, Mr. Trump started tweeting his own attacks on the impeachment trial. In addition to complaining about the expected weekend start for his lawyers, Mr. Trump said he had “to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud and deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer and their crew.”

Image

Representative Val B. Demings of Florida and the other House impeachment managers will conclude their oral arguments on Friday.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The House managers prosecuting the case against President Trump will wrap up their arguments on Friday with a focus on the second article of impeachment: the accusation that the president obstructed Congress by blocking witnesses and documents in an attempt to cover up his misconduct.

It will be their last opportunity to appeal to a handful of moderate Republican senators on the question of seeking additional witnesses and documents before the president’s lawyers take center stage. Debate on that vital question is expected to happen early next week, after the conclusion of the arguments and a period of questions about the case from senators.

In the meantime, the Senate trial has tested the patience of senators, who have sat restlessly in their seats for more than 16 hours over two long days. Despite being admonished that they must remain silent and at attention “upon pain of imprisonment,” some have doodled, traded notes, whispered with their neighbors, or even nodded off.

Mr. Trump’s legal defense team is scheduled to begin their presentation on Saturday, angering the president, who complained on Twitter on Friday morning that “my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.”

There have been discussions in the Capitol that senators could start the Saturday session earlier than the usual 1 p.m., which could give them the chance to leave earlier, especially if the White House lawyers decide to reserve more of their presentation for Monday.

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

Schiff’s closing argument resonates on Twitter.

Westlake Legal Group 24vid-schiff-facebookJumbo Schiff’s closing argument resonates on Twitter. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Republican Party impeachment Democratic Party
Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, gave an impassioned speech urging senators to convict and remove President Trump.Image by Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the former federal prosecutor who has steered the House impeachment investigation into President Trump, secured his place as a liberal rock star — and villain to conservatives — with the fiery closing argument he delivered Thursday night, imploring senators to convict and remove Mr. Trump because “you know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country.”

By Friday morning, the phrase #RightMatters — from the last line of Mr. Schiff’s speech — was trending as a hashtag on Twitter, which was lighting up with reaction from across the philosophical spectrum. “I am in tears,” wrote Debra Messing, the “Will & Grace” actress and outspoken Trump critic. “Thank you Chairman Schiff for fighting for our country.”

Even some Republicans are giving Mr. Schiff, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, grudging respect for delivering a masterful performance. But they also view him as nothing more than a shrewd political operator, and say that his words made clear that for Democrats, impeachment is about undoing the results of the 2016 election — and preventing the president from winning in 2020.

“Adam Schiff is already disputing the results of the 2020 election. Impeachment 2.0?” wrote Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee.

Mr. Schiff is known on Capitol Hill for his serious demeanor and dry laconic wit. But on Thursday, he was filled with passion, his voice rising and his face reddening as he made a late-night appeal to a tired and bitterly divided audience of senators, which he was promoting with a video clip on his own Twitter feed on Friday.

“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 said, adding, “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.”

Image

Democrats want to call Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, as a witness.Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

Friday is the moment of truth for House managers in the Senate impeachment trial as they seek to convince a handful of Republican lawmakers to support their demand for additional witnesses and documentary evidence. So far, there is little apparent evidence that they will succeed.

On Thursday, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the top Senate Democrat, declined to say he was optimistic but said he still had “hope.”

Democrats have accused Republicans of abetting a cover-up by Mr. Trump by refusing to subpoena documents that the Trump administration did not hand over during their inquiry and by refusing to demand testimony from additional witnesses like John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff.

In their third day presenting their case, the managers will focus on the second article of impeachment, in which they accuse Mr. Trump of obstructing Congress by blocking witnesses and documents from being provided to the House impeachment inquiry.

For Democrats, that argument — which is expected to once again take the Senate trial late into the evening — could be the ideal backdrop to pressure potentially wavering Republicans who might be willing to break from their party to support the Democratic demands for witnesses.

But the potential targets, a handful of Republican senators, are staying quiet for now. They include Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump’s White House lawyers will take over for up to three days as they present their defense. Both sides will get an additional two hours to sum up their argument on the issue of witnesses and documents sometime next week. But for the House managers, Friday’s presentation may be their last, best hope.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan will deliver the Democrats’ response to the State of the Union.Credit…Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Democrats, looking ahead to President Trump’s State of the Union address, announced on Friday that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan will deliver the Democrats’ response to the president’s speech, scheduled for Feb. 4 — even though his impeachment trial may still be underway.

Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas, who made history as one of the first two Latinas from that state to serve in Congress, will deliver the Spanish-language response to the speech, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, who issued a joint statement about the selections.

The two praised Governor Whitmer, a lawyer, educator and former prosecutor, as a get-things-done type of leader, “whether it’s pledging to ‘Fix the Damn Roads’ or investing in climate solutions,” as Mr. Schumer said.

The response to the State of the Union is generally reserved for rising stars in the opposition party, offering a chance for the minority to lay out its own agenda, in contrast to the president.

With the impeachment trial set to begin at 1 p.m., senators are attending a bipartisan briefing on coronavirus, with Senator Dan Sullivan, Republican of Alaska, telling reporters he hoped to learn about preventive measures being taken. The virus is spreading and has sickened hundreds, mostly in Asia.

But senators were also stopping to weigh in on impeachment, as reporters, cordoned off behind velvet ropes, shouted questions about witnesses and the length of the Saturday session of the trial.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image

Senator Mitt Romeny, Republican of Utah, on his way out of the Capitol on Thursday night via its subway.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Republican moderates are in the spotlight on Friday as House managers conclude their oral arguments and senators turn to the question of whether to call witnesses and seek new documents in the impeachment trial. All four of the senators opposed Democratic motions for witnesses and documents at the beginning of the trial, but have said they might be open to switching their stances after opening arguments have been completed.

So far, however, none have committed to do so.

Here are the Republican senators to watch:

Mitt Romney of Utah has not said much since the trial started. But earlier, he indicated he would be open to new witnesses, and said he wants to hear from John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser.

Susan Collins of Maine is usually a swing vote in the Senate. Facing re-election this year, she is facing brutal blowback in her state for voting to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh for his seat on the Supreme Court. She has strongly suggested that she will ultimately vote to call witnesses. Doing so could help her mend fences with moderate voters she needs to keep her seat.

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is an independent voice in the Senate. She was the only Republican to oppose Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation and has indicated she could be open to having the Senate examine additional evidence in the impeachment case.

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is retiring after a long career in the Senate. He has not given clear answers to whether he might support additional witnesses and is extremely close with Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader. But Democrats hope his institutionalist impulses might prompt him to be the fourth vote they need.

There has been additional focus on a fifth senator, Cory Gardner of Colorado. Mr. Gardner is a first-term senator who is facing a tough re-election race this year in a politically competitive state. He will need support from independent voters and even some Democrats to win, but Mr. Garnder has so far been mum on the question of witnesses, and has criticized the impeachment inquiry as a politically motivated exercise.

Image

People preparing for the March for Life on Friday.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Even as the Senate geared up for the third day hearing from prosecutors in the impeachment trial, a different kind of political clash was gathering outside the Capitol.

People attending the annual March for Life — and counterprotesters who support abortion rights — were already arriving Friday morning for an event that is expected to feature an address by President Trump, the first time a sitting president has attended.

People wearing “March for Life” sweatshirts crossed the Capitol grounds on the way to the march, along with others sporting red “TRUMP2020” baseball caps. Nearby, a separate group of counter protesters wearing sweatshirts that said “Literally, no one asked you” chanted “We love abortion, abortion is cool!”

The annual event protesting abortion started after the 1973 Rove v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

Other Republican presidents have addressed the gathering by video, but none has attended. Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday: “See you on “See you on Friday … Big Crowd!” Friday…Big Crowd!”

10:14 a.m. Jan. 24, 2020

By

The cameras in the Senate are government controlled by the Senate staff, and photographs are not allowed — limiting what viewers can see as lawmakers consider the case against President Trump. To get a more complete picture of the proceedings, here are two alternatives.

A Sketch Artist’s View of the Impeachment Trial

Drawings of the proceedings from inside the Senate chamber, where no photos are allowed.

Jan. 16, 2020

The Senate chamber may be familiar to viewers of C-SPAN, but the room has undergone some significant changes to accommodate the proceedings.

A 3-D Tour of How the Senate Was Transformed for the Impeachment Trial

An immersive diagram of the storied chamber where President Trump’s trial is taking place — including what you won’t see in photos.

Jan. 23, 2020

ADVERTISEMENT

President Trump complained Friday that his lawyers would begin his defense on Saturday, a day the president said in the world of television was “called Death Valley,” as he unleashed dozens of tweets and retweets attacking the Senate trial.

The president began his social media assault just after 6 a.m. by retweeting Greg Jarrett, a conservative Fox News analyst, who was attacking the Democrats’ case. In one post, Mr. Jarrett accused Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead House manager, of lying about the evidence.

Over the next several hours, he retweeted articles by breitbart.com; Lou Dobbs, the Fox Business Network host; Ben Ferguson, a conservative commentator; Dan Bongino, the host of a conservative radio talk show; and several Republican lawmakers, including Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader in the House.

Later in the morning, Mr. Trump started tweeting his own attacks on the impeachment trial. In addition to complaining about the expected weekend start for his lawyers, Mr. Trump said he had “to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud and deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer and their crew.”

Image

Representative Val B. Demings of Florida and the other House impeachment managers will conclude their oral arguments on Friday.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The House managers prosecuting the case against President Trump will wrap up their arguments on Friday with a focus on the second article of impeachment: the accusation that the president obstructed Congress by blocking witnesses and documents in an attempt to cover up his misconduct.

It will be their last opportunity to appeal to a handful of moderate Republican senators on the question of seeking additional witnesses and documents before the president’s lawyers take center stage. Debate on that vital question is expected to happen early next week, after the conclusion of the arguments and a period of questions about the case from senators.

In the meantime, the Senate trial has tested the patience of senators, who have sat restlessly in their seats for more than 16 hours over two long days. Despite being admonished that they must remain silent and at attention “upon pain of imprisonment,” some have doodled, traded notes, whispered with their neighbors, or even nodded off.

Mr. Trump’s legal defense team is scheduled to begin their presentation on Saturday, angering the president, who complained on Twitter on Friday morning that “my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.”

There have been discussions in the Capitol that senators could start the Saturday session earlier than the usual 1 p.m., which could give them the chance to leave earlier, especially if the White House lawyers decide to reserve more of their presentation for Monday.

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

London Police Are Taking Surveillance to a Whole New Level

Westlake Legal Group merlin_164586807_ce9d6b5f-ebc8-4e9a-85f4-1a9c9ac578f1-facebookJumbo London Police Are Taking Surveillance to a Whole New Level Surveillance of Citizens by Government Scotland Yard (Metropolitan Police Service) Privacy London (England) facial recognition software Decisions and Verdicts Big Brother Watch

LONDON — London’s police department said on Friday that it would begin using facial recognition technology in the city to identify people off the street in real time with video cameras, adopting a level of surveillance that is rare outside of China.

The decision is a major development in the use of a technology that has set off a worldwide debate about the balance between security and privacy. Police departments contend that the software gives them a technological edge to catch criminals that may otherwise avoid detection. Critics say the technology is an invasion of privacy and is being rolled out without adequate public discussion.

Britain has been at the forefront of the debate. In a country where CCTV cameras line the streets, police surveillance has traditionally been more accepted than in other Western countries.

The technology London plans to deploy goes beyond many of the facial recognition systems used elsewhere, which match a photo against a database to identify a person. The new systems, created by the company NEC, attempt to identify people on a police watch list in real time with security cameras, giving officers a chance to stop them in the specific location.

Under pressure to address rising crime, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement that the technology would help quickly identify and apprehend suspects and help “tackle serious crime, including serious violence, gun and knife crime, child sexual exploitation and help protect the vulnerable.”

“Every day, our police officers are briefed about suspects they should look out for,” Nick Ephgrave, assistant commissioner of the police department, said in the statement. Live facial recognition, he said, “improves the effectiveness of this tact.”

“As a modern police force, I believe that we have a duty to use new technologies to keep people safe in London,” he added.

Already widespread in China, facial recognition is gaining traction in Western countries. An investigation by The New York Times this month found that more than 600 law enforcement agencies are using a facial recognition system by the company Clearview AI. According to researchers at Georgetown University, cities including New York, Chicago, Detroit and Washington have at least piloted the use of the real-time systems.

Use of the facial recognition technology has generated a backlash. San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley in California, along with Somerville and Brookline in Massachusetts, have banned its use.

Privacy groups immediately criticized London’s decision and vowed to take legal action to try to stop its deployment.

“This decision represents an enormous expansion of the surveillance state and a serious threat to civil liberties in the U.K.,” said Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, a London-based group that has been fighting the use of facial recognition. “This is a breathtaking assault on our rights and we will challenge it.”

Last year, a British judge said that police departments could use the technology without violating privacy or human rights, a case that is under appeal. The government’s top privacy regulator has raised concerns about the use of the technology, as did an independent report of a trial use by the Metropolitan Police.

The Metropolitan Police said it would be transparent about deploying the technology. Officers will post signs and hand out leaflets when the cameras are in use.

Researchers have found problems with many facial recognition systems, including trouble accurately identifying people who are not white men. Civil liberties groups point to flaws in the technology as a reason it should not be deployed, arguing it will lead to constant surveillance and hinder free movement.

In Britain, an independent review last year found many problems with a police trial of facial recognition, including its accuracy. Of 42 identifications made by the system in one trial, only eight were correct.

“It was incredibly inaccurate,” said Daragh Murray, a senior lecturer at the University of Essex who conducted the report. “Most times they didn’t actually find the people they were looking for. From just a technological perspective, you have to question the utility.”

Mr. Murray said that without clear laws about how the technology is used police departments everywhere have wide latitude to put the camera systems in place. Particularly concerning, he said, is the lack of transparency about how police decide when somebody is placed on a watch list.

“Too much leeway is given to the police,” Mr. Murray said. “What is needed is proper safeguards around its use.”

Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office, the country’s top privacy regulator, said it would monitor how the system is deployed. It said the police gave assurances that the department would take steps to reduce privacy and data-protection risks.

“This is an important new technology with potentially significant privacy implications for U.K. citizens,” the privacy regulator said in a statement.

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

London Police Are Taking Surveillance to a Whole New Level

Westlake Legal Group merlin_164586807_ce9d6b5f-ebc8-4e9a-85f4-1a9c9ac578f1-facebookJumbo London Police Are Taking Surveillance to a Whole New Level Surveillance of Citizens by Government Scotland Yard (Metropolitan Police Service) Privacy London (England) facial recognition software Decisions and Verdicts Big Brother Watch

LONDON — London’s police department said on Friday that it would begin using facial recognition technology in the city to identify people off the street in real time with video cameras, adopting a level of surveillance that is rare outside of China.

The decision is a major development in the use of a technology that has set off a worldwide debate about the balance between security and privacy. Police departments contend that the software gives them a technological edge to catch criminals that may otherwise avoid detection. Critics say the technology is an invasion of privacy and is being rolled out without adequate public discussion.

Britain has been at the forefront of the debate. In a country where CCTV cameras line the streets, police surveillance has traditionally been more accepted than in other Western countries.

The technology London plans to deploy goes beyond many of the facial recognition systems used elsewhere, which match a photo against a database to identify a person. The new systems, created by the company NEC, attempt to identify people on a police watch list in real time with security cameras, giving officers a chance to stop them in the specific location.

Under pressure to address rising crime, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement that the technology would help quickly identify and apprehend suspects and help “tackle serious crime, including serious violence, gun and knife crime, child sexual exploitation and help protect the vulnerable.”

“Every day, our police officers are briefed about suspects they should look out for,” Nick Ephgrave, assistant commissioner of the police department, said in the statement. Live facial recognition, he said, “improves the effectiveness of this tact.”

“As a modern police force, I believe that we have a duty to use new technologies to keep people safe in London,” he added.

Already widespread in China, facial recognition is gaining traction in Western countries. An investigation by The New York Times this month found that more than 600 law enforcement agencies are using a facial recognition system by the company Clearview AI. According to researchers at Georgetown University, cities including New York, Chicago, Detroit and Washington have at least piloted the use of the real-time systems.

Use of the facial recognition technology has generated a backlash. San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley in California, along with Somerville and Brookline in Massachusetts, have banned its use.

Privacy groups immediately criticized London’s decision and vowed to take legal action to try to stop its deployment.

“This decision represents an enormous expansion of the surveillance state and a serious threat to civil liberties in the U.K.,” said Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, a London-based group that has been fighting the use of facial recognition. “This is a breathtaking assault on our rights and we will challenge it.”

Last year, a British judge said that police departments could use the technology without violating privacy or human rights, a case that is under appeal. The government’s top privacy regulator has raised concerns about the use of the technology, as did an independent report of a trial use by the Metropolitan Police.

The Metropolitan Police said it would be transparent about deploying the technology. Officers will post signs and hand out leaflets when the cameras are in use.

Researchers have found problems with many facial recognition systems, including trouble accurately identifying people who are not white men. Civil liberties groups point to flaws in the technology as a reason it should not be deployed, arguing it will lead to constant surveillance and hinder free movement.

In Britain, an independent review last year found many problems with a police trial of facial recognition, including its accuracy. Of 42 identifications made by the system in one trial, only eight were correct.

“It was incredibly inaccurate,” said Daragh Murray, a senior lecturer at the University of Essex who conducted the report. “Most times they didn’t actually find the people they were looking for. From just a technological perspective, you have to question the utility.”

Mr. Murray said that without clear laws about how the technology is used police departments everywhere have wide latitude to put the camera systems in place. Particularly concerning, he said, is the lack of transparency about how police decide when somebody is placed on a watch list.

“Too much leeway is given to the police,” Mr. Murray said. “What is needed is proper safeguards around its use.”

Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office, the country’s top privacy regulator, said it would monitor how the system is deployed. It said the police gave assurances that the department would take steps to reduce privacy and data-protection risks.

“This is an important new technology with potentially significant privacy implications for U.K. citizens,” the privacy regulator said in a statement.

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Discussion Thread: Senate Impeachment Trial – Day 5: Opening Arguments Continue | 01/24/2020 – Live, 1pm EST

Today the Senate Impeachment trial of President Donald Trump continues with Session 3 of the Democratic House Managers’ opening arguments. This will be their final session for opening arguments. Today’s Senate session is scheduled to begin at 1pm EST

Prosecuting the House’s case will be a team of seven Democratic House Managers, named last week by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff of California. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, are expected to take the lead in arguing the President’s case. Kenneth Star and Alan Dershowitz are expected to fill supporting roles.

The Senate Impeachment Trial is following the Rules Resolution that was voted on, and passed, on Monday. It provides the guideline for how the trial is handled. All proposed amendments from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were voted down.

The adopted Resolution will:

  • Give the House Impeachment Managers 24 hours, over a 3 day period, to present opening arguments.

  • Give President Trump’s legal team 24 hours, over a 3 day period, to present opening arguments.

  • Allow a period of 16 hours for Senator questions, to be addressed through Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

  • Allow for a vote on a motion to consider the subpoena of witnesses or documents once opening arguments and questions are complete.


The Articles of Impeachment brought against President Donald Trump are:


You can watch or listen to the proceedings live, via the links below:

You can also listen online via:


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Do surgical masks protect against coronavirus?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126279612001_6126279771001-vs Do surgical masks protect against coronavirus? Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health/infectious-disease fox news fnc/health fnc article 4fe45b0c-5abb-5bee-a773-b355dd830c6a

Amid the deadly outbreak of coronavirus in China that’s killed at least 26 people and sickened hundreds of others, officials in the country are encouraging the public to wear surgical masks to prevent the spread of disease. Demands for the masks have skyrocketed, with many retailers unable to keep up.

But the question remains: Do surgical masks really work?

CHINA CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK SENDS COUNTRY SCRAMBLING TO BUILD HOSPITAL 

“Surgical masks will not prevent your acquiring diseases,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, and the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, to Fox News.

Rather, he explained, surgical masks are typically used by surgeons to protect their patients from their mouth-borne germs —  but “those masks don’t work to prevent inhaling diseases,” said Schaffner.

The masks, which cover the nose and mouth, are often made from a flimsy material and aren’t fitted to the face. In other words, spaces and gaps can form around the cheeks and edges of the mouth, making it easy for air to move in and out.

US AIRPORTS DISPLAYING CDC WARNING POSTERS AMID CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

“When coughing, you can feel the puffs of air coming out of the mask,” he said.

That said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently recommending anyone infected with the novel coronavirus or being tested for it to wear a surgical mask when in public. And one infectious disease physician told The New York Times the masks could block “large respiratory droplets” from entering your body when an infected person sneezes or coughs. These large droplets are largely behind the spread of coronaviruses, the physician said.

A more protective mask, known as an N-95 respirator, may be more effective, said Schaffner.  But, he noted, a non-medical professional using this mask is likely not using it correctly, doing little to prevent the spread of illness or inhaling a disease.

“The chance of the average person going into a pharmacy, wearing them correctly and for long periods of time is unlikely,” he said.

DR. MARC SIEGEL: ‘I WOULD REALLY URGE PEOPLE NOT TO TRAVEL TO CHINA RIGHT NOW’

As for more preventative measures, Schaffner recommends “abundant hand-washing.” Other ways to stay safe can be found here. 

In Southeast Asia — namely in countries such as China, Taiwan and Japan, among others — surgical masks are not only worn by sick people hoping to prevent the spread of illness but also for air-quality reasons, according to a 2014 report on the history of surgical mask usage in Asia. 

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126279612001_6126279771001-vs Do surgical masks protect against coronavirus? Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health/infectious-disease fox news fnc/health fnc article 4fe45b0c-5abb-5bee-a773-b355dd830c6a   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126279612001_6126279771001-vs Do surgical masks protect against coronavirus? Madeline Farber fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/health/infectious-disease/outbreaks fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox-news/health/infectious-disease fox news fnc/health fnc article 4fe45b0c-5abb-5bee-a773-b355dd830c6a

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At Least 2 People Killed In Massive Industrial Explosion In Houston

Westlake Legal Group rts2zpnw-b25a6c7ff7b24c47ae9fb07cd4cb6ec87e6d86cd-s1100-c15 At Least 2 People Killed In Massive Industrial Explosion In Houston

Emergency personnel work the scene of the early morning explosion that Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said caused significant damage to nearby homes and even knocked some off their foundations. Collin Eaton/Reuters hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  At Least 2 People Killed In Massive Industrial Explosion In Houston

Emergency personnel work the scene of the early morning explosion that Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said caused significant damage to nearby homes and even knocked some off their foundations.

Collin Eaton/Reuters

A massive industrial explosion in northwest Houston early Friday killed two people, left a business in ruins, knocked homes off their foundations and sent debris flying for about half a mile.

The pre-dawn blast at a building belonging to Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, which provides industrial services such as thermal spray coatings, could be felt more than 30 miles away, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference.

Acevedo said it’s not clear whether the victims were employees. He said police have opened a criminal investigation into the incident, though they currently have no reason to think that the explosion was intentional.

Friday’s incident is just the latest in a string of industrial explosions in Texas’ Gulf Coast region, which houses numerous chemical facilities.

It’s not yet clear what caused the explosion, which jolted the area at about 4:30 a.m. local time.

“[The explosion] knocked us all out of our bed, it was so strong,” resident Mark Brady told Click2Houston. “It busted out every window in our house. It busted everybody’s garage door in around here … and closer toward the explosion over here, it busted people’s roofs in and walls in and we don’t know what it is. … It’s a warzone over here.”

One resident told the local news station that her roof of her home collapsed. “The whole house is ruined,” she said. “The whole ceiling crashed down on all of us. We were all trapped in there and a nice family came and helped up out. … It’s just trashed.”

The moment of the explosion was caught on video by a doorbell surveillance camera, which shows a bright ball of fire light up the sky.

Authorities were initially concerned because valves on propylene tanks at the site were releasing gas into the air, but Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said the leak has since been contained. A small, contained area at the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing site was still on fire, he said, adding that fire officials have decided to let it burn out on its own.

“This is going to be a long-term incident. We’re going to be out here for several days,” Peña said. He encouraged residents who find debris in their yards or on their roofs to call authorities.

Hazmat teams are doing air quality assessments, though Peña stated that “we have no reports of accumulation or hazards to the air quality.”

Houston authorities were setting up an evacuation center for residents who need to leave their homes because of damage. Fire and police officials had initially recommended that families leave the area, though they later urged residents to shelter in place.

A local school district, Cypress-Fairbanks, said it was closing two schools near the blast site on Friday. Several school districts have said they plan to keep students indoors for the day. Nearby roads were being closed, and Acevedo said that would last into Saturday.

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Ancient rock carvings show procession of gods riding mythical animals

Archaeologists in Iraq have unearthed stunning rock carvings showing an Assyrian king paying tribute to his gods with a procession of mythical creatures.

The carvings, which are almost 3,000 years old, were publicly unearthed in the Faida district, north of Baghdad, after being hidden for several years to protect them from being damaged by the Islamic State militant group.

With the exception of carvings at the archaeological site of Khinnis, discovered near the city of Mosul in 1845, “there is no other Assyrian rock art complex that can be compared with Faida,” archaeologist Daniele Morandi Bonacossi of the University of Udine told Live Science.

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

Westlake Legal Group ancient-rock-carvings-image Ancient rock carvings show procession of gods riding mythical animals fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 08ab1268-26e7-5a57-ad2c-38b6cc284628

The unearthed panels show a procession of the seven main Assyrian gods and goddesses, standing or seated on mythical animals, and the Assyrian king Sargon II. (Alberto Savioli/Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project/University of Udine)

ANCIENT SCUPLTURE LOOTED FROM AFGHANISTAN RETURNED AFTER BEING FOUND ON AUCTIONEER’S WEBSITE

The Faida reliefs depict a procession of seven Assyrian deities shown in profile standing on dragons, horned lions, bulls or horses, the researchers note.

Researchers said the carvings were first seen in the 1970s and site surveys began in 2012 — but the excavation work had to be halted when ISIS took over a significant chunk of territory in the region in 2014.

The carvings were found in bedrock above what was once an ancient canal built by Assyrian king Sargon for local irrigation.

Westlake Legal Group assyrian-relief Ancient rock carvings show procession of gods riding mythical animals fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 08ab1268-26e7-5a57-ad2c-38b6cc284628

Each of the Assyrian gods and goddesses are seen standing or seated on a mythical creature. (Alberto Savioli/Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project/University of Udine)

“It is highly probable that more reliefs and perhaps also monumental celebratory cuneiform inscriptions are still buried under the soil debris that filled the Faida canal,” Morandi Bonacossi, who leads the excavations at Faida, told Live Science.

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Westlake Legal Group ancient-rock-carvings-image Ancient rock carvings show procession of gods riding mythical animals fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 08ab1268-26e7-5a57-ad2c-38b6cc284628   Westlake Legal Group ancient-rock-carvings-image Ancient rock carvings show procession of gods riding mythical animals fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 08ab1268-26e7-5a57-ad2c-38b6cc284628

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