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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 59)

CBS and Viacom to Reunite in Victory for Shari Redstone

Shari Redstone got her wish.

After more than a decade apart, CBS and Viacom, both under her control, agreed to merge on Tuesday in a deal that will reunite a roster of once-mighty media businesses. Viacom’s Paramount film studio and MTV and Nickelodeon cable networks will be added to the broadcast giant CBS and the book publisher Simon & Schuster.

The combination of CBS and Viacom is a victory for Ms. Redstone, the leader of a family business that has led the two media giants for two decades. Their reunification (the two companies were once a single entity, called Viacom, until they were split up in 2006) was seen as necessary at a time when television audiences have eroded. Tech platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Netflix have chipped away at big media, eating into the once-fat profits that companies like CBS and Viacom reaped.

Ms. Redstone had pushed for a deal for at least three years but faced fierce opposition from CBS’s board, including its former chief executive, Leslie Moonves. Mr. Moonves was pushed out last September after several women accused him of sexual assault. He has denied the charges. Ms. Redstone will be chairwoman of the combined company.

“I am really excited to see these two great companies come together so that they can realize the incredible power of their combined assets,” she said in a statement. “We will establish a world-class, multiplatform media organization that is well-positioned for growth in a rapidly transforming industry.”

Viacom’s chief executive, Robert M. Bakish, will lead the combined company, which will be called ViacomCBS, and Joseph Ianniello, the CBS acting chief executive, will remain as head of a newly designated CBS unit, the boards of both businesses said in a statement.

When the two companies split in 2006, Viacom’s cable networks were seen as the faster-growing business and CBS the aging, out-of-step broadcaster. Fortunes reversed in the last decade as CBS became the most-watched television network and Viacom’s youth-centered channels were eviscerated by the internet.

The deal also represents the last in the current wave of mega media mergers. Two major transactions totaling more than $150 billion closed just last year. AT&T buttoned up its $80 billion acquisition of Time Warner. Shortly thereafter, the Walt Disney Company beat out its rival Comcast to win the majority of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox business for $71.3 billion.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_145156410_81d1a24d-df7b-4ef4-96d3-ce013730d68c-articleLarge CBS and Viacom to Reunite in Victory for Shari Redstone Viacom Inc Television Redstone, Shari Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures Media CBS Corporation Cable Television

The offices of CBS in New York. Its reunification with Viacom was seen as necessary at a time when audiences across television have eroded.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

But the combination of CBS and Viacom is a fraction of those deals, underscoring the need for such a merger. Even Disney and AT&T may not be large enough to take on Netflix and YouTube.

The merger is what is known as a stock swap, and values Viacom at about $11 billion as of Monday’s closing market price. Under the swap, an investor with 1,000 shares of Viacom would receive 596.25 shares of CBS. CBS shareholders will in effect own about 60 percent of the combined business. The deal does not include any cash, making it a tax-free transaction. The ratio of shares is fixed for all Viacom investors, including those who own its voting stock.

The media industry’s decades-long success had been contingent on people continuing to pay for cable television, and customers have been cutting the cord for years. The inexorable shift toward digital entertainment has profoundly reshaped the industry’s economics. Netflix, for example, has a significant lead with more than 151 million subscribers around the world.

Still, it’s better late than never. “Like all good things, it was worth the wait,” Mr. Bakish said in a brief interview. “We’re really creating a global premium powerhouse,” he added, citing the benefit of combining Viacom’s ad-supported streaming service, known as Pluto, with CBS’s digital subscription product, All Access.

He listed a three-part strategy that includes selling more subscriptions, elevating digital advertising sales and creating original shows for other streaming platforms, including Netflix.

“Together, Viacom and CBS will become a significant player,” he said.

The deal is an important moment for Ms. Redstone, who has long waited in the shadow of her father, Sumner Redstone, the combative, cantankerous entrepreneur who over decades forged a media empire through a series of mergers bankrolled by big loans. He built a corporate empire only to dangle succession in front of his daughter, creating a caustic relationship that led to one of the most bitter family disputes in corporate America.

Ms. Redstone, who has been vacationing in Greece with her family, was not present during the negotiations, but her ascent in the business is sure to portend further deals for the company. She has started to weigh the possibility of snapping up other media businesses after the merger, several people familiar with her thinking have said. She has considered the few media companies remaining, including the cable network Starz, which has a budding international business, and Sony Entertainment, which has a large television production business.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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These 3 Cities Are Destinations for Democrats. They’re Not in Iowa.

MILWAUKEE — An energized crowd of 500 packed into a mixed-use space here on a summer Sunday afternoon to hear a rousing stump speech from Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who was making the final stop in a 12-day campaign blitz in a state that won’t hold its primary until April.

“A Democratic victory flows through cities like this,” Mr. Booker said afterward, noting that if voter turnout in Milwaukee, a heavily Democratic city where 40 percent of residents are black, had been as high in 2016 as it was for former President Barack Obama’s two elections, Wisconsin would have remained blue.

Seeking fresh energy for a presidential campaign that has lagged in the polls despite well-received performances in the debates, Mr. Booker was the latest candidate to detour from the conventional quartet of early-voting states to hold rallies in Detroit, Philadelphia and now Milwaukee, three cities where outsize turnout will be key to Democrats winning back Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin next November.

Mr. Booker’s plea to voters here was both personal and immediate, a primary pitch that he is the best candidate to re-energize the fractured Obama coalition and restore the black vote in key states Hillary Clinton lost by focusing on big cities that saw a drop in turnout. He argues that the path to defeating President Trump must involve black voters in these cities, and that Democrats cannot simply focus on disaffected white voters elsewhere.

“I’m the only candidate in this race who lives in a low-income, black and brown community,” Mr. Booker told the crowd here, a response he regularly gives when asked what sets him apart in the vast field of two dozen candidates.

On Gun Control, 2020 Democrats Agree: No Reason to Hold Back

Aug 12, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_159117324_e3dfd2c8-41f0-4006-b805-a7cd8107eda6-threeByTwoSmallAt2X These 3 Cities Are Destinations for Democrats. They’re Not in Iowa. Presidential Election of 2020 Philadelphia (Pa) Milwaukee (Wis) Detroit (Mich) Democratic Party democratic national committee Booker, Cory A

“I see our country right now with so many places like Newark, like Milwaukee, like Chicago, like Baltimore,” he said. “There is something going on in our country right now where we are failing to have the necessary courageous empathy, where we see each other.”

The repeated and direct attention to swing-state cities at this early stage in the primary reflects a growing urgency to address the failures of the 2016 Democratic campaign, as well as the belief that Mr. Trump could win again if the party focuses on appealing to white, blue-collar swing voters in the Rust Belt, and makes less frequent overtures to core constituencies like people of color and young people.

“Three years ago, we didn’t show up to vote,” said Mandela Barnes, the lieutenant governor of Wisconsin and a Milwaukee native, as he introduced Mr. Booker on Sunday. “And it’s not that Donald Trump was some super-popular candidate. He got 6,000 fewer votes than Mitt Romney. We just have to show up.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159175860_2998d49a-f65f-47f3-af31-cac42d3b1a4c-articleLarge These 3 Cities Are Destinations for Democrats. They’re Not in Iowa. Presidential Election of 2020 Philadelphia (Pa) Milwaukee (Wis) Detroit (Mich) Democratic Party democratic national committee Booker, Cory A

Mr. Booker makes the pitch that he is the best candidate to re-energize the fractured Obama coalition of voters.CreditLauren Justice for The New York Times

Evidence of the growing and focused effort on increasing turnout in cities like Milwaukee is abundant.

Priorities USA, a major Democratic super PAC, has launched an aggressive digital ad campaign in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida, attacking the economic policies of the Trump administration. The group plans to spend $250,000 to $400,000 per week by late August.

The group is also spending $4 million to mobilize voters for the 2019 off-year elections. Though the group hasn’t detailed how that money will be distributed, many cities, including Philadelphia, are holding mayoral elections this year.

And for the past eight weeks, the Democratic National Committee has been training a group of college juniors, mostly from communities of color, to eventually work on the 2020 campaign, work-shopping best practices for door-knocking, phone-banking and recruiting.

In Michigan, the program, known as Organizing Corps 2020, had 45 organizers on the ground in the Detroit area this summer. They focused on proactive outreach, informing residents of recent changes to voting procedures, like the start of same-day voter registration and expanded access to absentee voting.

Here in Wisconsin, Jadah Cunningham, a rising senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, was one of 30 Organizing Corps members who canvassed every ward in Milwaukee, knocking on more than 20,000 doors, with a mandate to “bridge-build” while learning the ropes of the grunt work of field organizing.

“I think that that’s part of why Organizing Corps in Milwaukee exists in the first place,” Ms. Cunningham said. “The margins that we can win or lose by in 2020 are field margins, or margins that we, the 30 of us this summer, could potentially make up.”

Though the 2020 election may still feel far off, the goal of the Organizing Corps is to build an early bench of young people of color who are prepared to work in their own communities as organizers and field staff.

Central to the training effort this summer was combating voter suppression in cities. In his stump speech, Mr. Booker frequently references the 2018 governor’s race in Georgia, where Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee, was narrowly defeated amid accusations of voter suppression, particularly in black communities.

Though Mr. Booker boasted during the July debate that he was the only candidate talking about the suppression of black voters, the broader Democratic coalition is currently fighting to expand the electorate on both legal and organizing grounds.

The Priorities USA Foundation, a nonprofit group that is separate from the super PAC, is currently involved in voting rights litigation in Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire and Florida.

The D.N.C. has already created a voter suppression hotline and an online resource guide, and the Organizing Corps has been reaching out in communities that were inundated with misinformation during the last presidential campaign.

Here in Milwaukee, that means focusing heavily on areas like the 53206 ZIP code, in which 95 percent of residents are black and the majority of men have been incarcerated.

“In the rest of the country, there’s a Democratic primary going on,” said Ben Wikler, the chairman of the state Democratic Party. “In Wisconsin, we’re already starting the general election.”

The state party in Michigan has created a dedicated, full-time position of voting rights director whose sole job will be taking a proactive approach to protecting voting rights in the state, such as tracking any purges of voter rolls.

Ask any expert whether Democrats can rely solely on these cities, however, and the answer is often a resounding “no.”

Priorities USA gamed out two general-election scenarios last month. In one, if the overall turnout from people of color drops two percentage points from current national poll numbers, the Democratic nominee will most likely lose the election. In the other, if support for the Democrat among white working-class voters drops one percentage point below current polling averages, the Democrat will also probably lose.

“It really is trying to find the sweet spot,” said Patrick Murray, the director of polling at Monmouth University. “The debate so far has been really focused on winning back that white, blue-collar, working-class vote. But it’s right to get your urban vote excited about you as well.”

Mr. Booker argues that the path to defeating President Trump isn’t uniquely defined by a laser-focus on disaffected white voters, but also black voters in cities like Detroit.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Many of the Democratic candidates are making similar deviations from the state fairs, county dinners and fish fries of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — the four states that are first to vote.

Senator Bernie Sanders dipped into a coffee shop meet-and-greet in Milwaukee, and Senator Elizabeth Warren campaigned there after unveiling her immigration platform. Senator Kamala Harris has made multiple trips to Detroit. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. anchored his campaign in Philadelphia.

And national Democrats continue to telegraph the importance of these cities with major events: The July debates were held in Detroit; next summer’s convention will be in Milwaukee.

At the Booker rally, voters were relieved to see the growing attention paid to these cities amid a primary in which the four early-voting states always carry outsize import.

In Milwaukee, “it’s the same problem with what’s going on in the U.S.A. right now,” said Steve Morehead, 42, a lifelong resident. He said he believed cities like his hometown were being left behind.

Mr. Booker was the first candidate Mr. Morehead had seen in person this cycle, but he said he hadn’t yet decided whom to support.

Set against the national debate over gun control following the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Mr. Booker spoke at length about the scourge of gun violence and its outsize impact on places like Milwaukee, drawing on similar themes as he did in a speech last week in Charleston, S.C.

“We pledge to be a nation of liberty and justice for all, but where is the justice when children are being killed every single day in our nation by gun violence?” he said.

He held his event in Sherman Park, the northern Milwaukee neighborhood where three years ago, a police officer shot and killed Sylville K. Smith, a young black man. The killing set off three days of unrest, with multiple arrests and injuries.

As he closed, Mr. Booker returned to his lofty and familiar themes of unity. The political and racial divisions stoked by the Trump administration, and often by the president himself, have left the country in need of more than just new leadership, Mr. Booker said. It needs to heal.

“I’m with you on beating him,” Mr. Booker told the crowd here. “But dear God, can’t we have bigger ambitions than that?”

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Texas newspaper that endorsed Beto O’Rourke for Senate implores him to end White House bid

Westlake Legal Group AP19220656494642 Texas newspaper that endorsed Beto O'Rourke for Senate implores him to end White House bid Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 43cce5f4-813b-5223-8305-92797cc4430b

A Houston newspaper that endorsed former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke during his failed run to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz last year has implored him to pull out of the race for the White House.

In an editorial published over the weekend, the Houston Chronicle said O’Rourke should shift gears and “come home.”

“Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator,” the piece said. “The chances of winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you.”

TRUMP TRASHES BETO O’ROURKE, TELLS HIM TO ‘BE QUIET’ AHEAD OF EL PASO VISIT

The board said it would rather see him challenge Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who is seeking a fourth term.

“It wouldn’t be easy,” it said. “You’d have to fight for it, and do better than you did against Cruz. But a lot has changed since 2018 — you had a lot to do with that — and Trump is no longer rock-solid in Texas. Neither are the Republicans who support him.”

The paper cited O’Rourke’s comments — what the piece called a “human moment” — following the Aug. 3 mass shooting in El Paso,  where 22 people were killed by a gunman targeting Mexicans inside a Walmart. He was asked by a reporter whether he felt President Trump could do anything to bring down the atmosphere of hate toward immigrants.

BOOKER AND BETO BLAST TRUMP FOR RETWEETING CONSPIRACY THEORY LINKING EPSTEIN’S DEATH TO CLINTONS

“Um, what do you think?” O’Rourke responded. “You know the s— he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know. … Like, members of the press — what the f—? It’s these questions that you know the answers to …”

“Is that language presidential? Not normally,” the Chronicle editorial board wrote. “It certainly isn’t the normal fare for an editorial page in the Sunday paper, either, with or without the asterisks. But it struck us as so unscripted, so unexpected that its offense was somehow washed away.”

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In its 2018 endorsement of O’Rourke, the Chronicle said the former West Texas congressman’s “command of issues that matter to this state, his unaffected eloquence and his eagerness to reach out to all Texans make him one of the most impressive candidates this editorial board has encountered in many years.”

O’Rourke’s momentum since entering the crowded Democratic field has slipped in recent months. The Real Clear Politics national primary poll average has him at 2 percent, tied for sixth with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Westlake Legal Group AP19220656494642 Texas newspaper that endorsed Beto O'Rourke for Senate implores him to end White House bid Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 43cce5f4-813b-5223-8305-92797cc4430b   Westlake Legal Group AP19220656494642 Texas newspaper that endorsed Beto O'Rourke for Senate implores him to end White House bid Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 43cce5f4-813b-5223-8305-92797cc4430b

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Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old climate activist, says meeting with Trump would be a “waste”; “Why should I waste time talking to him when he, of course, is not going to listen to me?”

Westlake Legal Group YHhGzdxFoSIeU0bQWhorvPAjqvSr-GUpUGPIqtZNjTM Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old climate activist, says meeting with Trump would be a "waste"; "Why should I waste time talking to him when he, of course, is not going to listen to me?" r/politics

“My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 15 years old. I am from Sweden.

I speak on behalf of Climate Justice Now.

Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn’t matter what we do.

But I’ve learned you are never too small to make a difference.

And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to. But to do that, we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be.

You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake.

You are not mature enough to tell it like is. Even that burden you leave to us children. But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet.

Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money.

Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.

The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act.

You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.

Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis.

We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground, and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should change the system itself.

We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again.

We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time.

We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.

Thank you.”

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Conspiracy theories swamp Jeffrey Epstein case from fringe and mainstream

Maybe Jeffrey Epstein, 66, isn’t dead at all. Perhaps it was a body double left hanging by a bedsheet in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) early Saturday, while the real Epstein headed back to his private “Pedophile Island.”

Or perhaps a former U.S. president and his wife – who once sought the top job herself – sought to silence potentially explosive testimony by ordering a hit.

Wait a minute, it was William Barr’s Department of Justice that took him off suicide watch, therefore President Trump must have had a hand in the death.

Are you crazy? It was the Russians!

Oh no, the reason he was able to evade justice for so long was that he was an FBI informant.

Wrong, so wrong. Epstein was a foreign intelligence agent. The Mossad.

The death of the disgraced multimillionaire in a New York federal prison has spawned a dizzying array of conspiracy theories.

“The case does have striking analogies to an episode on ‘Homeland,’ but the extent of the apparent irregularities here regarding his time in custody is, simply put, troubling,” Melissa Jampol, a former sex crimes assistant at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, told Fox News. “This case touches on many of the #MeToo themes that we have seen over the past few years, but also because it involves so many people with wealth and power, [that] makes it ripe for conspiracy theorists.”

GHISLAINE MAXWELL, JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S ALLEGED ‘RECRUITER,’ NOW UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

Since Epstein’s apparent suicide early Saturday, the hashtags #Arkanicide to #TrumpBodyCount and #EpsteinMurder have exploded across social media.

But such conspiracies aren’t just the province of fringe groups; the theories have been tweeted and retweeted — chewed over and spit out — by everyone from high-profile media personalities and Hollywood celebrities to top-tier politicians and even the U.S. president himself.

“You would be challenged to sell this story in Hollywood had it not happened. Everything about Jeffrey Epstein and his ability to manipulate successful businessmen, his ability to exercise long-term friends and slowly transfer wealth to his personal gain, shows that we have someone that has extreme narcissism,” Dr. Lisa Strohman, clinical psychologist and founder of the Digital Citizen Academy, told Fox News. “This is an individual that was caught and convicted of sexually abusing young children and yet was allowed to continue to live his lifestyle among the rich and famous with no restrictions. He skillfully associated with the leaders to create a safety net to protect his continued behaviors.”

Westlake Legal Group Ghislaine-Maxwell-GettyImages-590696434 Conspiracy theories swamp Jeffrey Epstein case from fringe and mainstream Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 80687464-c687-53e2-9db8-53cbb1a632ec

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at a New York charity event in 2005. (Photo by Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The Epstein conspiracy theories came in a torrent after his shocking death, though elements of the elaborate stories were hardly new. Well before his arrest in July, questions swirled about how he made his fortune, what big names were mixed in among his clients and associates, who took part in his debauched island adventures, and how exactly he was able to secure a sweetheart plea deal a decade ago.

“Epstein’s circle of high friends in high places crisscrossed the political spectrum, which is why for the first time in a while we seem to have bipartisan consensus as to one issue: something, in a ‘House of Cards’ sense, just doesn’t feel right,” said one criminal defense attorney, Phillip Hamilton. “The moral of the story is that in theory, no one should be above the law. But in practice too often, we as a society allow people like Epstein to elevate well above it.”

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S FINAL DAYS – AND THE LEGAL CASES THAT WON’T DIE WITH HIM

Epstein, a native of Coney Island, Brooklyn, and a college dropout, curated a life that saw him become a millionaire many times. He routinely rubbed shoulders with royalty, presidents, models and business big shots for decades.

True, he suffered a setback in 2008 following an FBI investigation in Florida that led to a single charge of soliciting sex from a minor. Nonetheless, his bank account and sway ensured he received a jaw-dropping plea deal that allowed him to check in and out of prison and protect other “co-conspirators” from future prosecution.

As is now common knowledge, though, his jet-setting existence came crashing down when his private plane touched down in New York in early July, and FBI agents arrested him on charges of operating a sex trafficking ring that had exploited dozens of minors. He allegedly tried to harm himself a couple of weeks ago, was taken off suicide watch, and, at the time of his death was reportedly not closely being monitored as he occupied a cell without a cellmate – another protocol violation.

And then?

Then he was dead.

“Conspiracy theorists will love this story. But in my opinion, Epstein felt there was no other option or way out of the situation,” asserted Doug Richard, a former federal prosecutor and civil litigator. “He believed suicide was the only way to control the outcome.”

Said Dan Gainor, the vice president for TechWatch, business and culture at the Media Research Center, Epstein’s “movie villain” persona and the house of horrors he continued to operate even after being convicted are the stuff of more than any routine Hollywood thriller.

“Super-rich, powerful, well-connected and evil,” Gainor said.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-b0ddf88087754b47846543db7a7ee40f Conspiracy theories swamp Jeffrey Epstein case from fringe and mainstream Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 80687464-c687-53e2-9db8-53cbb1a632ec

In this courtroom sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, second from right, listens along with defense attorneys at a court hearing last month. (Aggie Kenny via AP)

Gainor also pointed to the notion that the abundant conspiracies percolating around Epstein have a “real-world impact” when it comes to investigating such cases and possible co-conspirators.

“Look at the fear of vaccines – that is the danger of conspiracy coverage. But it’s impossible not to consider the idea of something odd in this case,” Gainor said. “The media and prosecutors need to be more curious following leads when powerful people are rumored to be doing truly hideous things.”

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Others have a different view, saying the Epstein saga are just the latest illustration of what money can do.

“It exposed the abuses of power that those with money and influence are allowed to get away with. It shocked people because of the fact that someone could have been allowed to do all these horrible things and still be welcome in high-society is unbelievable to the average person,” said Ronn Torossian, crisis communications expert and CEO of New York-based 5WPR. “Though Jeffrey Epstein’s life has come to a tragic end, those who were tied to him during his life will have to do some serious damage control to untangle their reputations.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072286152001_6072284041001-vs Conspiracy theories swamp Jeffrey Epstein case from fringe and mainstream Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 80687464-c687-53e2-9db8-53cbb1a632ec   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6072286152001_6072284041001-vs Conspiracy theories swamp Jeffrey Epstein case from fringe and mainstream Hollie McKay fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 80687464-c687-53e2-9db8-53cbb1a632ec

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Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe

The top investigators who worked alongside former Special Counsel Robert Mueller have certainly landed on their feet since the shuttering of the two-year Russia probe, securing big jobs at prominent law firms and universities — and even a book deal.

The latest hire was revealed this week by Georgetown Law School, which welcomed Michael Dreeben — a former deputy solicitor general and member of the special counsel’s office — as a “Distinguished Lecturer from Government” for the 2019-2020 academic year.

REPUBLICANS CONFRONT MUELLER WITH ALLEGATIONS OF A DOUBLE STANDARD IN RUSSIA PROBE

“I am excited to join Georgetown’s thriving legal community this fall,” Dreeben said in a statement. “The energy of the law school is palpable. I look forward to participating in academic life at Georgetown and being part of its vibrant and collaborative culture.”

Dreeben is among several Mueller alumni moving swiftly to take advantage of the demand in legal and academic circles for those involved in the high-profile case.

While President Trump and his allies continue to pan the whole affair as a “witch hunt,” and Mueller himself was criticized for his faltering congressional testimony last month, most team members have been able to transition out of the office with little drama — save for ex-FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, whose anti-Trump text messages landed them in hot water.

Westlake Legal Group michael-dreeben Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article ad7994d7-2f1b-58c7-8c7f-b35e331dea5b

U.S. Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben departs the U.S. Justice Department in traditional morning coat on his way to argue his one-hundredth case before the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. April 27, 2016.  (REUTERS)

Dreeben previously served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law and a visiting professor at Duke Law School. Dreeben left his post as deputy solicitor general in June 2017 to join Mueller’s legal team to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential coordination between Russia and members of the Trump campaign.

“In his 30 years of extraordinary public service at the U.S. Department of Justice, Michael Dreeben has played a powerful role in helping shape the law as one of the preeminent Supreme Court advocates and as a leading expert in federal criminal law,” Georgetown Law Dean William Treanor said in a statement this week. “We are honored to have him join our faculty for the upcoming school year.”

The special counsel’s office officially closed in May after nearly two years of investigating Russian meddling and potential coordination with members of the Trump campaign. Mueller’s team concluded that the Russians did interfere in the election but there was “not sufficient evidence to charge” Trump associates with conspiracy. Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, though congressional Democrats are now trying to dig deeper into that issue.

Also heading to academia is Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann, who returned to New York University School of Law on May 1 as a distinguished senior fellow with the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law (CACL), where he previously worked.

Weissmann, a longtime and well-known federal prosecutor, also has signed a deal with Random House to write a book, according to a report by The New York Times. It is unclear, at this point, how much his book will focus on his experience during the Russia investigation.

MUELLER REFUSES TO DISCUSS RUSSIA PROBE ORIGINS IN TESTIMONY

Meanwhile, other top members from Mueller’s office have joined prominent law firms. Last month, it was announced that Jeannie Rhee, who left her post as a partner at the law firm WilmerHale to join Mueller’s team, would join Paul, Weiss as a partner in their litigation department.

Westlake Legal Group jeannie20rhee Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article ad7994d7-2f1b-58c7-8c7f-b35e331dea5b

Jeannie Rhee, an investigator on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, formerly represented a top Obama aide and the Clinton Foundation. (WilmerHale)

Attorneys at Paul, Weiss have been involved in prominent corporate investigations—including the internal probe into allegations against the late former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Paul Weiss also was the firm involved in the National Football League “Deflategate” investigation after New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was accused of deflating a football before a game. The firm’s findings led to Brady’s suspension in the 2016-2017 season.

Meanwhile, Mueller team member Andrew Goldstein, a former attorney from the Southern District of New York, joined law firm Cooley as a partner focusing on white-collar and regulatory matters, as well as national security and economic sanctions.

And law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP announced last month that Zainab Ahmad would join as a partner in its New York office. Prior to working in Mueller’s office, Ahmad was a prosecutor at the Justice Department and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York.

And Greg Andres returned to his post as a partner in Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s litigation department in New York, concentrating on white-collar criminal defense. The firm gained national attention again this week after the publicly traded company, L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, reportedly retained it to investigate the company’s ties to the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead Saturday morning in his cell in a New York City federal prison. Authorities are investigating Epstein’s apparent suicide as well as apparent protocol breaches at the prison.

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Meanwhile, some former prosecutors on Mueller’s team have returned to public service—like Brandon Van Grack, who is now leading the effort at the Justice Department to enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

It is unclear, at this point, whether Mueller will return to his post at WilmerHale in Washington D.C.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6064095803001_6064081171001-vs Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article ad7994d7-2f1b-58c7-8c7f-b35e331dea5b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6064095803001_6064081171001-vs Mueller alumni landing cushy jobs at law firms, universities – even a book deal – after Russia probe fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article ad7994d7-2f1b-58c7-8c7f-b35e331dea5b

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Newark’s Drinking Water Problem: Lead And Unreliable Filters

Westlake Legal Group ap_192248444095421_wide-86e0a007f664bc13511c0915382c23e1d3ef33a4-s1100-c15 Newark's Drinking Water Problem: Lead And Unreliable Filters

A Newark resident carries a case of bottled water distributed Monday at a recreation center in Newark, N.J. The Environmental Protection Agency said residents shouldn’t rely on water filters the city gave out to address lead contamination. Kathy Willens/AP hide caption

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Kathy Willens/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Newark's Drinking Water Problem: Lead And Unreliable Filters

A Newark resident carries a case of bottled water distributed Monday at a recreation center in Newark, N.J. The Environmental Protection Agency said residents shouldn’t rely on water filters the city gave out to address lead contamination.

Kathy Willens/AP

Lead contamination in Newark, N.J.’s, drinking water is not new a problem, but the city’s fleeting solution has become newly problematic.

Officials in Newark, the state’s largest city, which supplies water to some 280,000 people, began to hand out bottled water Monday.

That’s because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has questioned water filters that the city distributed to residents.

Last fall, Newark gave out more than 40,000 water filters, even going door-to-door to reach families with lead service lines. The toxin is believed to have leached into drinking water through the old pipes between water treatment plants and people’s homes. Free filters and cartridges would remove “99%” of lead, the city of Newark said.

But recent test results introduced an element of doubt about that claim. A regional administrator at the EPA sent a letter Friday to city officials, saying tests on two homes suggested the filters “may not be reliably effective.” Samples showed the filtered drinking water had lead levels exceeding 15 parts per billion, which is the federal and state standard, EPA regional administrator Peter Lopez said.

City leaders acknowledged the problem in the days that followed.

Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor Ras Baraka, both Democrats, said in a joint statement that they were prepared to do “everything the City needs,” including doling out free water bottles.

They added that the city and state will need assistance from the federal government to provide and distribute the bottles.

In January, Baraka urged President Trump to help protect Newark’s fraught water infrastructure systems instead of funding a wall at the U.S. southern border to deter migrants. “It will cost an estimated $70 million to replace the lead service lines in Newark,” Baraka said in in a letter.

A spokesperson for Sen. Cory Booker, a former mayor of Newark and presidential candidate, told NPR that the senator had made efforts to address New Jersey’s water problem. “We’ll be sending a letter to the [EPA]” later on Tuesday with other federal lawmakers in New Jersey, “urging the EPA to help the city and state with distributing bottled water to its residents,” spokesperson Kristin Lynch said.

Booker also introduced the Water Infrastructure Funding Transfer Bill in May. He said the measure would give states flexibility to fund infrastructure projects. That bill’s passage was blocked in Congress, Lynch said.

Emmett Coleman, a senior citizen who lives in Newark, told USA Today he spent an hour on Monday waiting for two cases of bottled water. “In the senior building it’s bad,” he said. “All of us are sick or have problems, and we can’t drink the water. And the filters aren’t working.”

The distribution scene would have looked familiar to residents in Flint, Mich., who suffered from years of contaminated drinking water and subsisted on bottled water. And like Flint, Newark has a high poverty rate — about 28%, compared with the national rate of 12.3% in 2017, according to the Census Bureau.

Approximately 15,000 homes in Newark had lead service lines that brought contaminated water to their residences, the city said in a statement. It advised residents to take precautions, including getting children’s blood tested for lead exposure.

The city will continue to test both the filters and filtered water.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and Newark Education Workers Caucus sued Newark and New Jersey state officials last year, accusing them of violating the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. “If it takes filing a lawsuit to end violations of federal drinking water law, we’ll do it,” Claire Woods, an attorney with NRDC, said at the time. That lawsuit is pending.

Authorities say there is no safe level of lead exposure. Pregnant women and children are the most vulnerable groups, with dangers that include fertility problems, damage to organs and cognitive dysfunction.

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2 Guards Assigned To Watch Jeffrey Epstein Placed On Leave, DOJ Says

Westlake Legal Group 5d530ae52200003100f53c22 2 Guards Assigned To Watch Jeffrey Epstein Placed On Leave, DOJ Says

The Justice Department says two guards assigned to watch Jeffrey Epstein when he killed himself in jail have been placed on administrative leave.

The department says in a statement Tuesday that the warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center has also been temporarily reassigned to an office post pending the outcome of two investigations. Both the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general are investigating Epstein’s death.

Attorney General William Barr has expressed outrage that Epstein was able to take his own life Saturday while under the care of the federal Bureau of Prisons while the inmate was facing sex trafficking charges.

The Justice Department says the warden of another facility in upstate New York has been named the acting warden at MCC. The Department says it will take additional personnel action as warranted.

Amid revelations about Epstein’s death, authorities have intensified inquiries into what went wrong at the jail and who could still face charges in his case.

A person familiar with the matter says Epstein was supposed to have been checked on by a guard about every 30 minutes. But investigators have learned those checks weren’t done for several hours before Epstein was found Saturday.

That person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Additionally, Serene Gregg, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3148, told The Washington Post that one of the guards assigned to Epstein’s unit wasn’t a correctional officer, but a fill-in who had been pressed into service.

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2 Guards Assigned To Watch Jeffrey Epstein Placed On Leave, DOJ Says

Westlake Legal Group 5d530ae52200003100f53c22 2 Guards Assigned To Watch Jeffrey Epstein Placed On Leave, DOJ Says

The Justice Department says two guards assigned to watch Jeffrey Epstein when he killed himself in jail have been placed on administrative leave.

The department says in a statement Tuesday that the warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center has also been temporarily reassigned to an office post pending the outcome of two investigations. Both the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general are investigating Epstein’s death.

Attorney General William Barr has expressed outrage that Epstein was able to take his own life Saturday while under the care of the federal Bureau of Prisons while the inmate was facing sex trafficking charges.

The Justice Department says the warden of another facility in upstate New York has been named the acting warden at MCC. The Department says it will take additional personnel action as warranted.

Amid revelations about Epstein’s death, authorities have intensified inquiries into what went wrong at the jail and who could still face charges in his case.

A person familiar with the matter says Epstein was supposed to have been checked on by a guard about every 30 minutes. But investigators have learned those checks weren’t done for several hours before Epstein was found Saturday.

That person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Additionally, Serene Gregg, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3148, told The Washington Post that one of the guards assigned to Epstein’s unit wasn’t a correctional officer, but a fill-in who had been pressed into service.

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

Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ Co-Star Accuses Her Of Sexual Misconduct

Westlake Legal Group 5d5308dd3b00004d00db3c99 Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ Co-Star Accuses Her Of Sexual Misconduct

Katy Perry’s co-star in the steamy video for her 2010 hit “Teenage Dream” is accusing her of sexual misconduct.

In a candid Instagram post published Monday, model and actor Josh Kloss says that Perry exposed his penis to her friends at a party.

Kloss wrote:

So I saw Katy a couple times after her break up with Russel. This one time I brought a friend who was dying to meet her. It was Johny Wujek’s birthday party at moonlight roller way. And when I saw her, we hugged and she was still my crush. But as I turned to introduce my friend, she pulled my Adidas sweats and underwear out as far as she could to show a couple of her guy friends and the crowd around us, my penis.

Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed I felt?

Kloss said that Perry’s team “lorded over” him about his interactions with the pop star and that he wasn’t allowed to discuss anything about her publicly.

“And a couple interviews they edited and answered for me,” he wrote.

In a follow-up post, Kloss posted a slideshow with alleged emails from Perry’s publicist. In the images, the publicist highlights how Kloss should answer questions regarding Perry and “Teenage Dream.” 

“I’m not helping her bs image another second,” Kloss wrote in his initial post. He follows up his reasoning for coming forward in his second post, in which he says the experience of being “treated like a prostitute” completely shocked him, especially since his initial impression of Perry was that she was “cool and kind.”

“You block it out, because you watch the face of children being uplifted by positive music she sang,” he wrote. “And your mind is stuck trying to do your job and protect her bs image or be honest and help the global dialogue about power and abuse.”

HuffPost reached out to Perry and Kloss. Kloss’ reps declined to comment while Perry’s did not immediately respond.

This isn’t the first time Perry has come under fire for what some saw as inappropriate behavior.

While acting as a judge on “American Idol” in 2017, Perry kissed then 19-year-old contestant Benjamin Glaze smack on the lips right before his audition.

Glaze said the move made him uncomfortable since it was his first kiss.

“I wanted to save it for my first relationship,” he told The New York Times. “I wanted it to be special.”

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