web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 52)

Russia Savors U.S. Missteps in Syria, and Seizes Opportunity

Westlake Legal Group 14syria-briefing9-facebookJumbo Russia Savors U.S. Missteps in Syria, and Seizes Opportunity Ukraine Syria Russia Putin, Vladimir V Kurds

MOSCOW — These have been disastrous weeks for American foreign policy, a popular presenter on Russia’s state television told viewers on Sunday night with an I-told-you-so smirk.

The United States essentially turned its back on Ukraine amid the impeachment inquiry, TV host Dmitri Kiselyov said in his marquee weekly show. Then, Washington abandoned the Syrian Kurds.

“The Kurds themselves again picked the wrong patron,” Mr. Kiselyov said. “The United States, of course, is an unreliable partner.”

As the Middle East reels from President Trump’s erratic foreign policy, Russia is savoring a fresh chance to build its status as a resurgent world power and cast itself as a force for stability. The withdrawal of United States troops from northeastern Syria, coupled with Turkey’s incursion, is allowing Russia to play the part of responsible peacemaker and to present a contrast to what many in the region see as unstable leadership from Washington.

It’s too soon to tell whether Russia will be able to manage the new volatility in Syria, just as it’s not clear if the impeachment furor over Ukraine will help the Kremlin’s interests in Eastern Europe. But as Russian President Vladimir V. Putin landed in Saudi Arabia Monday for a state visit to one of America’s most important allies, it appeared clear that Mr. Trump’s moves in recent months were helping him make the case that Moscow, not Washington, was the more dependable actor on the world stage.

Revelations of White House pressure on President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to launch investigations that could help Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign provided new fodder for long-running Kremlin arguments about the dangers of doing business with the United States.

Ukrainian officials who counted on the United States for help have now become pawns both for Republicans who want to damage former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Democrats who want to impeach Mr. Trump, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev said this month.

“I certainly don’t envy Mr. Zelensky,” Mr. Medvedev said in a televised interview. “He’s found himself between the rock of the Democratic Party and the hard place of the Republican Party.”

In Syria, Russia stuck by its ally, President Bashar al-Assad, even as the American strategy shifted. Russia’s often brutal airstrikes against the Assad regime’s foes helped turn the tide in the Syrian war and establish Moscow as a key power player in the Middle East.

As if to drive home the point, Mr. Putin landed in Riyadh on Monday for a rare state visit to Saudi Arabia, one of America’s closest allies in the region. His armored limousine flanked by an honorary Saudi horse guard, Mr. Putin arrived for talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman focusing on regional security, oil prices and business deals.

“Russia is becoming an important player in the region — whether one likes it or not, it is a fact,” Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, said in a public discussion at a London think tank on Monday. “The Russians do to a certain extent understand the East better than the West does.”

The Syrian Kurds, previously allied with the United States in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria, announced a new deal on Sunday with the Russian-backed government of Mr. Assad in Damascus. The agreement came after Mr. Trump abruptly withdrew American troops in the region and Turkey mounted an incursion into Syrian Kurdish territory.

Turkey appears to have coordinated its actions to some extent with the Russians, who are now left to manage any potential clash between Turkey — which considers some of the Syrian Kurdish fighters terrorists — and Mr. Assad’s forces now moving into Kurdish territory.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey spoke with Mr. Putin by phone last week before mounting the invasion, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov said on Monday that lines of communication were open between the Russian and Turkish militaries.

In the short term, Mr. Trump’s withdrawal is a win for Russia because it expands the territory under Mr. Assad’s control. Going forward, the situation presents new tests and potential rewards for Russia’s military and foreign policy apparatus, which critics say is already overextended.

Russia will have to confront the threat posed by Islamic State militants and supporters who had been detained by the Kurds and are now at risk of fleeing. Some relatives of Islamic State fighters have already fled detention.

Mr. Putin said last week that thousands of those fighters originally hail from Russia and other former Soviet republics, presenting a serious security risk because they may seek to return home.

Russia will also have to broker a longer-term agreement between Damascus and the Kurds while working to prevent fighting between Mr. Erdogan’s and Mr. Assad’s forces, said Andrei Kortunov, head of the Russian International Affairs Council, a research group that advises the Kremlin.

“There are a lot of pitfalls here and it’s not totally clear how to realize this, but it would be an achievement,” Mr. Kortunov said. “It would demonstrate a certain superiority of Russian tactics over the American, and this would be noted in the region, and not only in the region.”

To be sure, even if developments in Syria and Ukraine present Mr. Putin with tactical and propaganda victories, his aggressive foreign policy of recent years means that Russia’s image will likely remain tarnished in much of the world for a long time to come.

In Ukraine, for all the discomfort with Mr. Trump’s actions, Russia is still largely viewed as a hostile, occupying power. In Western Europe and the United States, Russian election interference and assassination campaigns shocked many voters. And people around the world were horrified by Russia’s air campaign in Syria, which included the deliberate bombing of hospitals.

But Mr. Putin appears to be betting that he can boost Russia’s global standing by playing to other countries’ individual interests in a world in which the Trump administration’s moves have left many traditional American allies in dismay.

“Russia will never be friends with one country against another,” Mr. Putin said in an interview with two Arab news networks and the Kremlin-controlled channel RT Arabic that aired on Sunday. “We build bilateral relations that rely on positive trends generated by our contacts; we do not build alliances against anyone.”

David Kirkpatrick contributed reporting from London.

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

Hong Kong Protesters Are Targeting Starbucks. McDonalds Could Be Next.

Westlake Legal Group 15hk-boycott-1-facebookJumbo Hong Kong Protesters Are Targeting Starbucks. McDonalds Could Be Next. Starbucks Corporation Politics and Government McDonald's Corporation Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Cathay Pacific Airways Boycotts Beijing (China) Activision Blizzard Inc

HONG KONG — One company is the world’s largest coffee chain. Another runs a Japanese restaurant empire. A third makes some of the most popular online games on the planet.

The global businesses — Starbucks, Yoshinoya and Activision Blizzard — would seem far removed from the political discontent in Hong Kong. But to some of the pro-democracy protesters there, and a growing number of their global allies, the companies are seen, rightly or wrongly, as sympathizers with the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, and as legitimate targets for boycotts or even vandalism.

Protesters are documenting what they see as the companies’ ties to China, then circulating the information on mobile apps and websites — sometimes based on mere rumor, or on comments made by executives or their family members. Starbucks and Yoshinoya have been repeatedly targeted because of the owner of their Hong Kong franchises, while Activision Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, has been subject to boycotts for attempting to censor a pro-democracy player in Hong Kong.

The monthslong protests and their fraught politics are rippling overseas, ensnaring an ever wider range of corporations and executives, no matter their nationality. All have spent years cultivating their brands, but now find their reputations in jeopardy over any suggestion that they don’t support the protesters.

Some companies are in the awkward position of trying to dodge questions about the issue, to avoid offending either China, with its vast market, or Hong Kong activists, who have fervent support among Westerners and Taiwanese. After a single recent tweet, the N.B.A. found itself caught between both sides.

“All corporations here are walking on eggshells when it comes to what they say, whether it’s about Hong Kong or about the mainland,” said David Webb, a shareholder activist in Hong Kong.

The companies’ vulnerabilities are growing, as activists turn increasingly to vandalism and to boycotts. And Hong Kong’s reputation as a hub of freewheeling capitalism, with one of the world’s most business-friendly environments, is already suffering. These days, workers regularly sweep up glass from shops with broken windows, as shuttered storefronts with graffiti sit in the shadows of gleaming skyscrapers.

Last weekend, protesters called for rallies in shopping malls and a boycott of allegedly pro-China restaurants and stores — with a small, hard-core contingent encouraging the “renovating” (smashing) or “decorating” (spray-painting graffiti) of those locations.

At a Starbucks branch in the Tseung Kwan O district, a few protesters used hammers and a fire extinguisher to smash glass shelves, while others threw plates and trays on the ground. “The heavens will destroy the Communist Party” was spray-painted on a counter.

Some protesters attacked subway stations, including with Molotov cocktails. Many believe the MTR Corporation, the company that operates the subway, has been working with local officials to undermine protests by shutting down some stations, ending service early and, once, closing the entire system.

“The outbreak of vandalism or violence in an operating station will endanger the safety of other passengers and MTR staff,” the company said in explaining the closures.

“When I see people destroying public facilities and stores, I feel pained because you still need money to repair it,” said Michelle Tang, a 40-year-old sales worker. “I want it to be peaceful and free again,” she said of Hong Kong. “Now I wouldn’t dare say anything if people were smashing glass around me.”

As the movement settles into a prolonged campaign, activists are systematically pushing for broader boycotts.

One group developed an app, WhatsGap, that tells residents which restaurants to patronize and which ones to avoid. The ones considered friendly to the protests appear on a map of Hong Kong marked in yellow, while those considered hostile have a black marker. The developers plan to add shops.

“For a lot of people not on the front line, these are things they can do,” said Alison Yung, 36, an events planner, who backs the protests. “They can support the movement this way.”

At universities, students are handing out cards with lists of businesses to boycott and staging sit-ins at establishments on campus. Twice last month, people occupied the cafeteria of S.H. Ho College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The cafeteria’s caterer is Maxim’s Group, which is also the franchise owner of Starbucks in Hong Kong. Maxim’s has drawn the ire of activists because the founder’s daughter, Annie Wu Suk-ching, said last month in a speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council that the protesters were “rioters” who did not represent Hong Kong.

Maxim’s released a statement saying that Ms. Wu had no position at the company, and that it hoped “all parties” in the ongoing political conflict “will resolve their differences.”

Starbucks did not answer an email request for comment.

Yoshinoya also got the attention of activists when its Hong Kong executives fired an advertising agency that created a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page mocking the police. Hop Hing Group, which operates Yoshinoya in Hong Kong, did not return a call seeking comment.

The chief executive of Best Mart 360, a local convenience store chain, was accused having ties to gangs from Fujian Province in mainland China that have clashed with protesters. (Best Mart 360 has denied any such ties.)

McDonald’s presents a dilemma for the movement. The chain is ubiquitous in Hong Kong (and open 24 hours), and some people have shown their support for the protesters by buying them McDonald’s coupons, to keep them going through the long demonstrations. But some activists have pointed out that McDonald’s sold an 80 percent stake in its China and Hong Kong business in 2017 to a private equity group comprised of Citic, a Chinese state-owned conglomerate, and the Carlyle Group, based in New York.

International support for the protests has made the issue harder for companies to navigate.

Last week, the Chinese government punished the N.B.A. after Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, posted a tweet in support of the protests. After the league distanced itself from Mr. Morey, some Americans began showing up at games with “Free Hong Kong” posters and banners, and members of Congress chastised the N.B.A.

Activision Blizzard faced a similar backlash after it suspended an e-sports player in Hong Kong, Chung Ng Wai, for voicing support for the movement during a live broadcast. It forced the player, who goes by the name Blitzchung, to forfeit a reported $10,000 in prize money. Many gamers called for a boycott of the company; dozens of Blizzard employees staged a walkout in protest at the company’s California headquarters; and members of Congress spoke up, too.

Blizzard said last Friday it would restore the prize money to Mr. Chung and reduce his suspension to six months, while asserting that the company’s relationship with China had not played a role in the original decision.

Whether the backlash against global brands will deliver a financial hit remains to be seen. Some actions being contemplated by the protesters are not likely to have much effect.

Whether the backlash against global brands will result in financial damage is unclear. Some actions taken by the protesters may not have much effect by themselves.

For example, protesters have been calling for a boycott of Cathay Pacific because the airline, under pressure from Beijing, has fired or punished employees who are part of the movement. But for anyone who wants to fly directly from Hong Kong to a Chinese city, it is impossible in most cases to avoid taking either Cathay or a Chinese state-owned airline. Flights between Hong Kong and mainland China are emptier than usual these days not because of a boycott, but because many Chinese want to avoid the protests.

Some activists have made mistakes in choosing which businesses to target. That was the case with Shanghai Commercial Bank. Activists vandalized at least one branch, apparently thinking the chain was based in mainland China.

But the bank is based in Hong Kong. Its motto is “serving the community.”

Tiffany May contributed reporting.

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

Chevy will give Ford Mustang owners $3,000 to buy a Camaro

Your Ford Mustang just got $500 more valuable.

Westlake Legal Group camaro2 Chevy will give Ford Mustang owners $3,000 to buy a Camaro Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/chevrolet fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox news fnc/auto fnc b9552b53-989d-5d5e-9cd3-5d9fa69fa0f0 article

(Chevrolet)

Chevrolet is offering Mustang owners a $3,000 cash allowance if they buy a 2019 model year Camaro before the end of October, as first reported by GM Authority.

REPORT SAYS CHEVY IS DISCONTINUING THE CAMARO … AGAIN

It follows a similar incentive program Chevy ran in August that gave defectors $2,500 and applies to anyone who has owned or leased their Mustang for at least 30 days.

Westlake Legal Group ffd52686-camaro Chevy will give Ford Mustang owners $3,000 to buy a Camaro Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/chevrolet fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox news fnc/auto fnc b9552b53-989d-5d5e-9cd3-5d9fa69fa0f0 article

(Chevrolet)

But has Chevy targeted the right competitor? The Camaro currently stands third in American muscle/pony car sales, not just behind the Mustang, but also the Dodge Challenger, which came in first of the trio in sales last quarter with the help of a “Power Dollars” promotion worth $10 for every horsepower under the hood.

That was worth $2,920 to $7,970 for anyone who bought a Challenger, regardless of what they were trading in.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group ffd52686-camaro Chevy will give Ford Mustang owners $3,000 to buy a Camaro Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/chevrolet fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox news fnc/auto fnc b9552b53-989d-5d5e-9cd3-5d9fa69fa0f0 article   Westlake Legal Group ffd52686-camaro Chevy will give Ford Mustang owners $3,000 to buy a Camaro Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/chevrolet fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox news fnc/auto fnc b9552b53-989d-5d5e-9cd3-5d9fa69fa0f0 article

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

Hunter Biden Admits to ‘Poor Judgment’ but Denies ‘Ethical Lapse’ in Work Overseas

Westlake Legal Group 15hunterbiden-abc-facebookJumbo Hunter Biden Admits to ‘Poor Judgment’ but Denies ‘Ethical Lapse’ in Work Overseas Presidential Election of 2020 Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son, said in an interview released on Tuesday that he probably would not have been named to the board of a foreign company if his last name weren’t Biden and acknowledged “poor judgment,” but he rejected suggestions by President Trump that he and his father had engaged in wrongdoing.

“Did I make a mistake? Well maybe in the grand scheme of things, yeah,” Mr. Biden said in an interview with ABC News. “But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not.”

“I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden,” he said.

The interview comes two days after Hunter Biden pledged that he would not work for foreign-owned companies if his father became president, and just hours before the CNN/New York Times Democratic debate held here in central Ohio, an appearance that is critical to his father’s presidential hopes.

Hunter Biden’s sudden public comments signal the level of concern among Biden allies that the overseas dealings of the younger Mr. Biden had become a potentially damaging liability to his father’s campaign, and are the latest in a flurry of actions pro-Biden forces have taken to mitigate the issue this week ahead of the debate.

Mr. Trump has seized on the younger Mr. Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China to initiate a series of unfounded attacks against the former vice president, a leading Democratic presidential candidate, over the past month. Mr. Trump also asked the government of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, helping to trigger an impeachment inquiry that Mr. Trump now faces in the House.

There is no evidence that the elder Mr. Biden, while serving as vice president, improperly intervened to aid his son, but that has not stopped Mr. Trump and other Republicans from raising questions about possible conflicts of interest even as Mr. Biden has fiercely defended his son’s integrity, and his own, over the last week.

Hunter Biden, who recently said he would resign from the board of a Chinese investment company, acknowledged his work abroad has become a “distraction, because I have to sit here and answer these questions. And so that’s why I have committed that I won’t serve on any boards or I won’t work directly for any foreign entities when my dad becomes president.”

Mr. Biden, 49, said he had exercised “poor judgment” by getting involved in a situation that he compared to a “swamp.” But he blamed his father’s opponents, including Mr. Trump, for spreading a “ridiculous conspiracy idea” involving his work, and repeatedly insisted that he did not discuss his business decisions with his father.

“I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father,” he said. “That’s where I made the mistake. So I take full responsibility for that. Did I do anything improper? No, not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever.”

Many Democratic strategists and officials have warned that the scrutiny on the Biden family has become a significant distraction for the former vice president, and poses perhaps the greatest threat yet to a candidacy that until recent weeks was well ahead in the polls. That makes it all the more urgent for Mr. Biden to land the kind of consistently fluent, forceful debate performance that has so far eluded him at a moment when Senator Elizabeth Warren has now surpassed him in some polls, Democratic operatives and activists said.

“I’m never a distraction to my dad, but as it relates to actually going and being onstage with him — this is not a family business,” Hunter Biden said Tuesday in the ABC interview, which aired on “Good Morning America’’ and was also excerpted online by the network. “Everybody kind of thinks that somehow, whether it’s a compliment that we’re like the Kennedys or whether it’s a, you know, backhanded compliment like you’re the Trumps, my dad has a, a job, but that does not mean that I have had any plans to go do rallies and, you know and, you know, talk about Donald Trump’s kids and I never will, you know, that’s not what Bidens do.”

At a news conference on Sunday, however, his father did appear to take some oblique swipes at the ethical practices of members of the Trump family, some of whom who have conducted their own overseas business dealings. And Hunter Biden seemed to be dismissive of Donald Trump Jr., who along with his father and brother have been highly critical of the Bidens.

“Donald Prince Humperdinck, um, Trump, Jr., is not somebody I really care about,” he said, an apparent reference to a character in the movie “The Princess Bride.”

In the interview, Hunter Biden signaled that by backing away from foreign dealings, he hoped to eliminate the controversy as a campaign issue for his father.

“I’m taking it off the table,” he said. “I’m making that commitment. Let’s see if anybody else makes that commitment. But that’s the commitment that I’m making.”

A lawyer for Hunter Biden said Sunday in a statement that he planned to leave the board of the Chinese private equity company by the end of October, and that if the elder Mr. Biden were elected president, Hunter Biden would “agree not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign-owned companies.” Hunter Biden had previously served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings, including during a time when his father was running American policy in that country, but he stepped down in April, the same month that the elder Mr. Biden announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.

While the elder Mr. Biden said he learned of the Sunday statement from his son’s lawyers, his campaign is taking steps to address the potential damage from Mr. Trump’s unfounded claims of corruption by the Bidens. On Monday morning, Mr. Biden’s campaign released a plan centered on promoting ethics in government. His campaign and his allies have said that Mr. Biden would both push back forcefully against Mr. Trump and continue to discuss policy matters, like health care, on the debate stage and on the campaign trail.

The Biden family has faced significant tragedy over the decades: Mr. Biden’s first wife and a baby daughter were killed in a car crash in 1972 that injured Hunter Biden and his brother, Beau. In 2015, Beau Biden died from brain cancer, influencing his father’s decision not to seek the presidency that year. Hunter Biden has also struggled with addiction.

Asked if he was concerned that the “noise” associated with Mr. Trump’s attacks could affect his sobriety, he replied, “of course.”

“Look, you don’t want to live in the worry of it,” he added. “Because then you’re feeding the beast. I have no answer other than this: You’ve got to live in the connections that you have to healthy things. And I have so many of them. And I’ve got to live there instead of living in fear like, ‘Oh my God, the stress is going to make me drink, or the stress is going to make me use.’”

He also grew emotional when discussing the presidency.

“I take no pleasure in this, watching, watching, this, this death spiral of this, this administration, this president, and the people that surround him,” he said. “I hope that, that the history isn’t fully written yet.”

Katie Glueck reported from Westerville, Ohio, and Stephanie Saul from New York.

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

Steelers fans pack Chargers home stadium as players express disappointment with music choice

Since the Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, fans at Dignity Health Sports Park have mostly been supporting the away team or have been non-existent.

The Chargers took on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Sunday night primetime matchup and the team was greeted by mostly fans east of the Mississippi River. When the Steelers’ anthem – “Renegade” by the Styx – blared in the stadium’s speakers, Los Angeles was not happy.

TENNESSEE TITANS’ DELANIE WALKER JABS TEAM’S TWITTER ACCOUNT FOR TWEET OVER QUARTERBACK DILEMMA

“It was crazy,” Chargers star running back Melvin Gordon told the Los Angeles Times. “They started playing their theme music. I don’t know what we were doing — that little soundtrack, what they do on their home games. I don’t know why we played that.”

He added: “I don’t know what that was. Don’t do that at our own stadium … It already felt like it was their stadium … I don’t understand that.”

Chargers offensive lineman Forrest Lamp also didn’t appreciate the music.

DETROIT LIONS PLAYERS, HALL OF FAMER CRITICIZE OFFICIATING AFTER CLOSE LOSS TO GREEN BAY PACKERS

“We’re used to not having any fans here,” he told the L.A. Times. “It does suck, though, when they’re playing their music in the fourth quarter. We’re the ones at home. I don’t know who’s in charge of that but they probably should be fired.”

Apparently, playing “Renegade” at their home field in front of thousands of Steelers fans was the Chargers’ way of trying to “Rick Roll” the fans. The team cut off “Renegade” and played Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

But because “Renegade” was played while the Chargers were still down by a few scores, 24-10, it didn’t help boost morale.

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Steelers-fans-LAC Steelers fans pack Chargers home stadium as players express disappointment with music choice Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/los-angeles-chargers fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc f39308c5-1247-5169-8f5a-533dcc6ee322 article

Fans stand in front of a remote controlled cooler prior to an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

The Chargers have already had a tough start to the season. Los Angeles is 2-4 to start the year, having dropped Sunday’s game to the Steelers 24-17.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Los Angeles has two games on the road coming up, one against the Tennessee Titans and the other against the Chicago Bears. The team returns home Nov. 3 against the Green Bay Packers.

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Steelers-fans-LAC Steelers fans pack Chargers home stadium as players express disappointment with music choice Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/los-angeles-chargers fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc f39308c5-1247-5169-8f5a-533dcc6ee322 article   Westlake Legal Group NFL-Steelers-fans-LAC Steelers fans pack Chargers home stadium as players express disappointment with music choice Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/los-angeles-chargers fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc f39308c5-1247-5169-8f5a-533dcc6ee322 article

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

Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Drops Among North Carolina Voters As Republicans Walk Away Over Ukraine, Impeachment

Westlake Legal Group 6qTosrB31fT4MRAObjTBeuyKXOcHibu3x15WDQ_mcxg Donald Trump's Approval Rating Drops Among North Carolina Voters As Republicans Walk Away Over Ukraine, Impeachment r/politics

As a reminder, this subreddit is for civil discussion.

In general, be courteous to others. Debate/discuss/argue the merits of ideas, don’t attack people. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, any advocating or wishing death/physical harm, and other rule violations can result in a permanent ban.

If you see comments in violation of our rules, please report them.


I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

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

Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup

Jeep has forged an unlikely alliance to build a new war machine.

Westlake Legal Group war1 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336

The Gladiator XMT features a combination of consumer and custom military parts. (Jeep/AM General)

The automaker has teamed up with AM General to create a military-spec version of the new Jeep Gladiator pickup called the Gladiator XMT (Extreme Military-Grade Truck.)

Indiana-based AM General is the company behind the HMMWV — more commonly known as the Humvee — which was the most visible successor to the line of Jeep vehicles that traced their history to World War II and later spawned General Motors’ Hummer brand. However, Jeep and AM General are both descendants of Kaiser Jeep, so the tie-up represents something of a reunion of the two brands.

Westlake Legal Group war4 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336

The WWII-era Willys MB spawned a line of military vehicles that were built into the 1970s. (Jeep)

According to the partners, AM General approached Jeep with the idea to turn the all-new Gladiator into a Light Tactical Vehicle after noting its capabilities, which include a rugged 4×4 drivetrain and very high payload and towing ratings for a midsize pickup.

Westlake Legal Group war2 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336

The Gladiator XMT has been envisioned as a command and control vehicle. (Jeep/AM General)

While their exact specifications have not been detailed, the concept XMTs revealed at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual exposition feature a combination of commercially available parts and custom military equipment, and are primarily aimed at troop transport and communications. Jeep offered a similar military version of the previous-generation Wrangler SUV it called the J8 to foreign militaries starting in 2008, but the XMT could also see duty wearing The Stars and Stripes.

Westlake Legal Group war3 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336

The J8 was offered in several configurations. (Jeep)

“The Gladiator XMT, if pursued, would be offered worldwide but with a clear focus on providing a cost-effective solution to the U.S. military in a number of possible roles,” a Jeep spokesman told Fox News Autos.

“We would expect the Gladiator XMT to be used for logistics and support, command and control, border security and peacekeeping activities. However, its flexibility and exceptional performance will make it suitable for a variety of additional military and governmental roles.”

AM General said it could begin filling orders for the Glaxiator XMT as soon as next year. The civilian version of the Gladiator starts at $35,040.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group war2 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336   Westlake Legal Group war2 Jeep, AM General team up on military-spec Gladiator pickup Gary Gastelu fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox-news/auto/make/jeep fox-news/auto/attributes/off-road fox-news/auto/attributes/custom fox news fnc/auto fnc article 60227f06-181b-5e56-b2f4-579167b8f336

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

Russia Says Its Troops Are Patrolling Between Turkish and Syrian Forces

CEYLANPINAR, Turkey — Russia said on Tuesday that its military units were patrolling territory in northern Syria between Syrian and Turkish forces after the American withdrawal from the area, underscoring the sudden loss of United States influence in the area and illustrating how the power balance in the region has shifted rapidly in the past week.

The announcement that Russian forces were now patrolling an area where the United States had maintained two military bases until Monday appeared to signal that Moscow was moving to fill a security void left by the American withdrawal.

Videos circulating on social media appeared to show a Russian man filming himself walking around a recently evacuated United States military base in northern Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that its military police, which already had established a presence in other parts of Syria, were patrolling “the northwestern borders of Manbij district along the line of contact of the Syrian Arab Republic military and the Turkish military.”

It added that its troops were coordinating “with the Turkish side” and that “the Syrian government army has taken full control of the city of Manbij and nearby populated areas.”

The developments came as the head of the United States-led coalition forces said on Twitter on Tuesday that they had left the formerly Kurdish-held town of Manbij. “Coalition forces are executing a deliberate withdrawal from northeast Syria,” Col Myles B. Caggins wrote. “We are out of Manbij.”

Russia and Turkey will shortly be the only international armies in the area. An international alliance of counterterrorism forces, which includes French and British soldiers, announced they, too, would also depart the region following the American withdrawal, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Turkish and Syrian troops are racing to control large parts of northern Syria that were run by an autonomous Syrian Kurdish regional government until a Turkish-led invasion began last Wednesday, under the protection of American troops stationed in the region.

Syrian government troops were deployed inside the northern city of Manbij, a Syrian state broadcaster said on Tuesday, as Turkish-led forces advanced in the countryside outside the city.

Elsewhere in northern Syria on Tuesday, Kurdish-led fighters attempted to retake the strategic border town of Ras al-Ain from Turkish-led forces, as Kurdish and Syrian government troops sought to repel the Turkish incursion.

Heavy fire from machine guns could be heard to the south and southwest of Ras al-Ain and from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, which is less than a mile from the fighting. Turkish artillery pounded an eastern suburb of the Syrian settlement midmorning, raising clouds of smoke above low farmhouses and pistachio groves.

Where Turkish forces and the Syrian government have moved into Kurdish-held areas

Westlake Legal Group syria-zoom-map-900 Russia Says Its Troops Are Patrolling Between Turkish and Syrian Forces Turkey Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

Turkish army AND

syrian opposition

Towards

Iraq

Ras al Ain

Syrian Army forces

U.S. troops

deployed to a bridge.

Area of

detail

Syrian Army forces

KURDISH

Control

Government

Control

Westlake Legal Group syria-zoom-map-600 Russia Says Its Troops Are Patrolling Between Turkish and Syrian Forces Turkey Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

Turkish army AND

syrian opposition

Towards

Iraq

Ras al Ain

Syrian Army forces

U.S. troops

deployed to a bridge.

Area of

detail

Syrian Army forces

KURDISH

Control

Government

Control

Westlake Legal Group syria-zoom-map-335 Russia Says Its Troops Are Patrolling Between Turkish and Syrian Forces Turkey Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

Turkish army AND

syrian opposition

Ras al Ain

Towards

Iraq

U.S.

troops

deployed to a bridge.

Syrian Army forces

Syrian Army forces

KURDISH

Control

Area of

detail

Government

Control

Sources: Times reporting; Control areas as of Oct. 14th via Conflict Monitor by IHS Markit | By Sarah Almukhtar, Allison McCann and Anjali Singhvi

As of Tuesday, fighting in Ras al-Ain and other areas in northern Syria has forced at least 160,000 people from their homes, according to United Nations estimates. The Kurdish authorities put the figure at 270,000.

The battle highlighted the fluctuating nature of the Turkish incursion, which began last Wednesday after President Trump ordered the evacuation of American troops from the Turkish-Syrian border, opening the door for Turkish troops and their Syrian Arab proxies to enter Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria.

Westlake Legal Group syria-turkey-promo-1571094797315-articleLarge-v3 Russia Says Its Troops Are Patrolling Between Turkish and Syrian Forces Turkey Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

4 Big Questions About Syria’s Future

The surprise American withdrawal from parts of northern Syria reshuffled old alliances and touched off a new stage of the eight-year war.

Since the Kurdish authorities asked the government of President Bashar al-Assad for assistance, thousands of Syrian Army troops have flooded into northern Syria for the first time since the government lost control of the region several years ago.

But Syrian government troops have stayed clear of the border region near Ras al-Ain, where Kurdish troops fight on alone. Instead, government forces have deployed to other strategic positions, such as the western cities of Manbij, to help alleviate pressure on Kurdish fighters on the front line.

The last-minute alliance comes at great cost to the Kurdish authorities, who are effectively giving up self-rule.

Syrian Kurdish militias established a system of self-rule in northern Syria in 2012, when the chaos of the Syrian civil war gave them the chance to create a sliver of autonomous territory free of central government influence.

The fighters greatly expanded their territory after they partnered with an international military coalition, led by the United States, to push the Islamic State from the area.

After the Kurdish-led fighters captured ISIS territory, they assumed responsibility for its governance, eventually controlling roughly a quarter of the Syrian landmass. They have also been guarding thousands of ISIS fighters and their families, hundreds of whom fled a detention camp in Ras al-Ain after Turkish-led forces bombed the surrounding area.

The Kurds’ control of the land in Syria enraged Turkey, since the militia is an offshoot of a guerrilla group that has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state. Turkey has long pressed the United States to abandon its alliance with Kurdish fighters so Turkish troops could enter Syria and force the Kurds from territory close to the border.

Washington rebuffed Turkey’s requests for several years, maintaining a de facto peacekeeping presence along the border near Ras al-Ain, the town at the center of the fighting on Friday. But that changed last week, when Mr. Trump made a sudden decision to withdraw troops — first from that particular area, and later from all of northern Syria.

In Britain, meanwhile, a day after foreign ministers from all 28 European Union member states agreed unanimously to stop selling arms to Turkey — the first time the bloc has reached such a decision about a NATO ally — Britain announced a pause in such ties with Turkey.

Dominic Raab, Britain’s foreign secretary, told the House of Commons on Tuesday that “no further export licenses to Turkey for items which might be used in military operations in Syria will be granted” until the government had conducted a review.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has made clear he will not bow to pressure to halt the offensive. “We will soon secure the region from Manbij to the border with Iraq,” he said on Tuesday, during a visit to Azerbaijan, referring to the 230-mile expanse of territory.

Carlotta Gall reported from Ceylanpinar, and Patrick Kingsley from Istanbul. Anton Troianovski contributed reporting from Moscow, and Iliana Magra from London.

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

John Bolton decried Giuliani effort to pressure Ukraine as ‘drug deal,’ ex-aide Fiona Hill testifies, reports say

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close John Bolton decried Giuliani effort to pressure Ukraine as 'drug deal,' ex-aide Fiona Hill testifies, reports say

Public opinion polling has shown noticeable shifts in attitudes towards impeachment, though every single poll has asked about impeachment differently. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Former national security adviser John Bolton wanted no part of what he derided as the White House’s “drug deal” to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, a former White House official told congressional investigators on Monday, according to reports of her testimony from The New York Times and NBC News.

Fiona Hill, who served as the National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia, spent more than 10 hours fielding questions from three House panels behind closed doors.

Her testimony was part of an impeachment inquiry into allegations President Donald Trump used military aid as leverage to get the Ukrainians to dig into an energy company that included the former vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, on its board. Ukrainian officials have said they uncovered no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Bidens.

Hill testified that Bolton told her to inform National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg of the push for a fresh investigation by acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, the reports said.

Mulvaney, Giuliani and Sondland also wanted Ukrainian officials to explore the possibility of a Ukrainian role in 2016 election interference. 

This week in the impeachment inquiry: A deadline for Rudy Giuliani, more Capitol Hill meetings

Hill said Bolton advised her to contact Eisenberg after a July 10 meeting with senior Ukrainian officials in which Sondland brought up the issue of investigations, The Wall Street Journal reported

Bolton told her he wasn’t part of “whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” unnamed sources who witnessed Hill’s testimony told the Times. He also reportedly referred to Giuliani as “a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.” 

“I always liked and respected John,” Giuliani said of Bolton in response to Hill’s testimony, according to NBC News. “I’m very disappointed that his bitterness drives him to attack a friend falsely and in a very personal way. It’s really ironic that John Bolton is calling anyone else a hand grenade. When John is described by many as an atomic bomb.”

Fiona Hill: Former Trump Russia adviser Fiona Hill testifies for 10 hours in impeachment probe

Hill told lawmakers that Giuliani’s role circumvented the normal national security processes and procedures for forming foreign policy. 

The Times reported that she confronted Sondland about what she considered the rogue foreign policy he was instituting in Ukraine, which is not part of the EU and therefore not normally under the ambassador to the EU’s purview. 

Sondland told her that he was in charge of Ukraine. When she asked who had given him that authority, he replied that the president had, according to the Times. 

Sondland is expected to testify on Thursday. 

Contributing: Christal Hayes and Bart Jansen 

Trump’s conspiracy theories thrive: A young democracy battles corruption and distrust

More: Ex-Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch tells lawmakers Trump ‘pressured’ State Department to remove her

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/15/john-bolton-decried-ukraine-drug-deal/3983310002/

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

Venus was made of lava and was not ‘Earth-like’ after all, stunning study says

Last month, new hope arrived in the form of a study that Venus may have been habitable and was home to “liquid water” for 2 to 3 billion years.

Now, that hope has seemingly been dashed, with the water replaced by lava, according to a new study.

The new research, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, suggests that the second planet in the solar system was filled with lava. This comes after they re-examined Venus’ Ovda Regio highlands plateau, which they believe was made up of basaltic lava.

“We know so little about Venus’ surface,” said the study’s co-author, Allan Treiman, in a statement. “If the Ovda Regio highlands are made of basaltic rock as is most of Venus, they were likely squeezed up to their current heights by internal forces, possibly like mountains which result from plate tectonics on Earth.”

Westlake Legal Group venus Venus was made of lava and was not 'Earth-like' after all, stunning study says fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 4d79f116-9344-5439-bec9-244af47c191e

Venus has been called Earth’s “evil twin.” (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

VENUS WAS LIKELY HABITABLE FOR 3B YEARS. THEN SOMETHING MYSTERIOUS HAPPENED.

The team found that the flow seen in the Ovda Regio highlands plateau was “not granitic as was expected from its location,” heightening the chances it was made up of basalt rock.

“The high‐altitude region of Ovda Fluctus is continuous with the lower‐elevation portions: the change in radar properties does not represent different flows,” the study’s abstract states. “Outlines of Ovda Fluctus flow lobes have fractal dimensions consistent with basaltic pahoehoe lavas. The margin of Ovda Fluctus is at significantly higher elevation than its center, a characteristic seen in basalt flows on Earth, but not on more silica‐rich flows.”

Skipping to the present day, Venus, which has been called “Earth’s evil twin,” has an extremely harsh climate, with a  surface temperature of 864 degrees Fahrenheit.

The new study from Treiman and the other researchers follows one that was presented at the European Planetary Science Congress last month. This study indicated Venus may have had “liquid water” for 2 to 3 billion years until a “dramatic transformation” started happening more than 700 million years ago that completely reshaped the planet and resurfaced approximately 80 percent of it.

Westlake Legal Group venus-water Venus was made of lava and was not 'Earth-like' after all, stunning study says fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 4d79f116-9344-5439-bec9-244af47c191e

Artist’s representation of Venus with water. Credit: NASA

The dramatic transformation led to a mass explosion of carbon dioxide on the planet between 700 million and 750 million years ago, an event researchers say may be linked to the volcanic activity on the planet.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group venus Venus was made of lava and was not 'Earth-like' after all, stunning study says fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 4d79f116-9344-5439-bec9-244af47c191e   Westlake Legal Group venus Venus was made of lava and was not 'Earth-like' after all, stunning study says fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 4d79f116-9344-5439-bec9-244af47c191e

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