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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 64)

MIT scientist resigns over Jeffrey Epstein comments he calls ‘misunderstandings and mischaracterizations’

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) computer scientist who said the alleged sex-abuse victims of an associate of deceased convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein were “entirely willing” has resigned.

Richard Stallman, a famed open-source advocate, announced his departure in an email published online Monday.

“I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT,” he wrote. “I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.”

Westlake Legal Group Richard-Stallman MIT scientist resigns over Jeffrey Epstein comments he calls 'misunderstandings and mischaracterizations' Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/us/education/controversies fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc article 0633215d-f4f4-59d9-a881-b2b78aa9826c

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) computer scientist Richard Stallman announced his resignation Monday. (Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images, File)

PHOTOS SEEN IN JEFFREY EPSTEIN MANSION RAID APPARENTLY SHOWED FIDEL CASTRO, POPE JOHN PAUL II

Stallman had argued in a leaked email thread from last week that Marvin Minsky — an artificial-intelligence (AI) pioneer who died in 2016 and was accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre — had not actually assaulted anyone.

He also argued over the definition of “sexual assault” and “rape” and whether the term applied to Minsky and Giuffre.

“The word ‘assaulting’ presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex,” he wrote, referring to an article about Giuffre’s testimony against Minsky. “The most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him an entirely willing.”

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S ECCENTRIC, EXPLICIT TASTE IN ART SEEN IN PALM BEACH MANSION RAID VIDEO

The thread was leaked to VICE by MIT alum Selam Jie Gano. He said Stallman was responding to a female student’s email about an MIT protest related to Epstein’s donations to the elite university.

The student pointed out that Giuffre allegedly was forced to have sex with Minsky in Epstein’s home in the Virgin Islands. Stallman replied, “it is morally absurd to define ‘rape’ in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17.”

The school has come under heavy scrutiny after reports the MIT Media Lab continued to accept donations from Epstein despite listing him as a “disqualified donor.” The gifts allegedly were marked anonymous in an effort to concealing their source, The New Yorker reported.

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The magazine alleged Epstein was credited with at least $7.5 million in donations.

MIT Media Lab director Joichi Ito resigned after the expose was published.

Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Richard-Stallman MIT scientist resigns over Jeffrey Epstein comments he calls 'misunderstandings and mischaracterizations' Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/us/education/controversies fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc article 0633215d-f4f4-59d9-a881-b2b78aa9826c   Westlake Legal Group Richard-Stallman MIT scientist resigns over Jeffrey Epstein comments he calls 'misunderstandings and mischaracterizations' Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/us/education/controversies fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc article 0633215d-f4f4-59d9-a881-b2b78aa9826c

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Joe Biden’s ‘Corn Pop’ gangster story ‘greatest political anecdote ever,’ Mark Steyn jokes

Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Steyn_FOX Joe Biden's 'Corn Pop' gangster story 'greatest political anecdote ever,' Mark Steyn jokes fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/delaware fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 1967fe81-08c3-5ba8-ad66-aadd3143f233

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s claim he confronted a gang leader named “Corn Pop” in the 1960s is the greatest political story in history, according to Mark Steyn.

Steyn poked fun at the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate’s story in an interview Monday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“As I understand this, Joe Biden faced down a gang leader who was threatening to cut him with a razor because Biden had called him ‘Esther Williams’,” he said. Williams was a competitive swimmer and an actress at the time.

“In all of America’s epidemic of gang violence, this has never happened before. You had said this was the greatest political anecdote of the last ten years — it’s the greatest political anecdote ever — it should be in the Smithsonian.”

BIDEN, IN RESURFACED 2017 CLIP, RECOUNTS BIZARRE RAZOR-AND-CHAIN SHOWDOWN WITH ‘BAD DUDE’ GANG LEADER CORN POP

“Dick Morris and James Carville should be teaching this in political campaigning master classes — it’s brilliant,” he added.

In a resurfaced video clip from 2017, Biden spoke at a renaming ceremony held in his honor at the same Wilmington aquatic club:

“And Corn Pop was a bad dude,” he said.

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“And he ran a bunch of bad boys. And back in those days — to show how things have changed — one of the things you had to use, if you used Pomade in your hair, you had to wear a bathing cap. And so he was up on the board and wouldn’t listen to me.

“I said, ‘Hey, Esther, you! Off the board, or I’ll come up and drag you off.’ Well, he came off, and he said, ‘I’ll meet you outside.'”

Of the name “Corn Pop,” the conservative author and commentator added, “It’s not a good name for a gang member.”

Fox News’ Brian Flood and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Steyn_FOX Joe Biden's 'Corn Pop' gangster story 'greatest political anecdote ever,' Mark Steyn jokes fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/delaware fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 1967fe81-08c3-5ba8-ad66-aadd3143f233   Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Steyn_FOX Joe Biden's 'Corn Pop' gangster story 'greatest political anecdote ever,' Mark Steyn jokes fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/delaware fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 1967fe81-08c3-5ba8-ad66-aadd3143f233

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Elizabeth Warren Promises to Take On Corruption at Washington Sq. Park Rally

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts brought her ascendant presidential campaign to New York City on Monday night, unspooling a forceful argument for attacking corruption in government in a defining speech of her White House bid.

Addressing thousands of supporters in Washington Square Park, some holding up “I’m a Warren Democrat” signs, Ms. Warren pressed her case to bring sweeping change to an economic and political system she views as fundamentally tilted to favor the wealthy and powerful.

She spoke near the site of the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of 1911, which killed 146 garment workers, most of them women. The fire spurred a push to improve workplace safety, which Ms. Warren harnessed as a parallel for the far-reaching change she wants to pursue as president.

And once again, she urged Democrats to embrace her call for fundamental change — not the kind of incremental approach favored most notably by Joseph R. Biden Jr., the former vice president and the primary race’s front-runner.

“There’s a lot at stake in this election, and I know people are scared,” Ms. Warren said from a lectern in front of the park’s marble arch. “But we can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in just because we’re too scared to do anything else. And Democrats can’t win if we’re scared and looking backward.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160923348_4a25e0df-15d9-4ba7-abc3-c46a3bfadedb-articleLarge Elizabeth Warren Promises to Take On Corruption at Washington Sq. Park Rally Washington Square Park (Manhattan, NY) Warren, Elizabeth United States Politics and Government Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (1911) Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 New York City Democratic Party Corruption (Institutional)

People cheered Ms. Warren at the rally.CreditCalla Kessler/The New York Times

Ms. Warren was introduced by Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the Working Families Party, which endorsed Ms. Warren earlier Monday. In her speech, she described President Trump as “corruption in the flesh,” but added that “our problems didn’t start with Donald Trump.”

Throughout her speech, Ms. Warren was repeatedly met with enthusiastic cheers, and the crowd broke into chants of “two cents” when Ms. Warren laid out her case to impose a 2 percent tax on the fortunes of the super rich.

Beyond amplifying her call to confront corruption, a hallmark of her presidential bid, the speech was another chance for Ms. Warren to draw a big crowd on the campaign trail and put on display the enthusiasm she is generating among voters. In August, she drew 15,000 people in Seattle and 12,000 in St. Paul, according to her campaign.

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation said a crowd of 8,000 to 10,000 people was anticipated for Monday’s speech. Ms. Warren’s campaign said the crowd exceeded 20,000, though that estimate could not be independently verified.

Thousands attended the rally, which was held near the site of the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of 1911, which killed 146 garment workers, most of them women.CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

With each big rally, Ms. Warren is solidifying her place in an exclusive club of presidential candidates who have become crowd magnets, exhilarating fans at events that can sometimes feel like rock concerts. In the 2004 election, it was Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, whose enormous crowds offered a visibly striking signal of interest in his candidacy, including a big showing in Bryant Park in Manhattan in August 2003.

Barack Obama drew enormous crowds in the 2008 race, including at a giant rally in Washington Square Park in September 2007. And in the 2016 election, Mr. Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont were both buoyed by the electric crowds they commanded. Mr. Sanders, too, held an enormous event in Washington Square Park, drawing a crowd before the 2016 New York primary that his campaign put at 27,000 people, though he went on to lose that contest to Hillary Clinton. Mr. Sanders has drawn big crowds this year as well.

The recent history of crowd-magnet candidates offers a mixed track record of electoral success. Joe Trippi, who was Mr. Dean’s campaign manager, said Ms. Warren was well positioned to draw big crowds in large cities, given her large email list and many grass-roots donors around the country. That is particularly true in a Democratic stronghold like New York; for example, through the end of June, Ms. Warren had an estimated 1,300 donors in a single ZIP code in Brooklyn that includes most of Park Slope.

But Mr. Trippi cautioned that drawing a large audience in a big city does not necessarily translate to success in the early voting states. “The question is, can you build beyond that core into a more diverse Democratic constituency?” Mr. Trippi asked. “Fifteen thousand people in Seattle does not equal winning South Carolina.”

Asked last week whether she thought crowd size mattered, Ms. Warren replied, “I think it matters getting to talk to lots and lots and lots and lots of people.”

“I believe that we not only have to fight for big ideas in 2020; we’ve got to rebuild our democracy,” she said. “And the way we do that is giving people a reason to get in the fight and coming off the sidelines.”

Ms. Warren is well positioned to draw big crowds in Democratic strongholds like New York because of her extensive email list and grass-roots donors.CreditCalla Kessler/The New York Times

Earlier Monday, Ms. Warren unveiled a sweeping plan to attack corruption in government, a central theme of her campaign. The plan is based on a wide-ranging anticorruption package that she first proposed last year. On the campaign trail, she has referred to it as “the biggest anticorruption plan since Watergate.”

Ms. Warren kicked off her campaign with a speech in Lawrence, Mass., at the Everett Mills, where textile workers went on strike in 1912. On Monday, Ms. Warren again invoked the setting of her speech, recalling the horrific scene of the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire. Before the fire, she said, factory workers across New York had been “sounding the alarm” about their working conditions, but were no match for wealthy and well-connected factory owners.

“The tragic story of the Triangle factory fire is a story about power,” she said. “A story of what happens when the rich and the powerful take control of government and use it to increase their own profits while they stick it to working people. But what happened in the aftermath of the fire is a different story about power — a story about our power, a story about what’s possible when we fight together as one.”

Ms. Warren told the story of Frances Perkins, citing her efforts after the Triangle factory fire to improve conditions for workers, and, later, her tenure as labor secretary for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Ms. Warren presented Ms. Perkins — “one very persistent woman,” she called her to cheers — as a template of sorts for how a President Warren could bring about change.

“She used the same model that she and her friends had used after the Triangle Fire: She worked the political system relentlessly from the inside while a sustained movement applied pressure from the outside,” Ms. Warren said, citing legacies like Social Security and the minimum wage.Even the lectern from which Ms. Warren delivered those lines had a connection to Ms. Perkins: It was made with reclaimed wood from the Frances Perkins Center in Maine, her campaign said.

As is her custom, Ms. Warren stayed after her speech to take pictures with anyone who wanted one.

The recent history of crowd-magnet candidates offers a mixed track record of electoral success.CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

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Trey Gowdy hammers Democrats for wanting to give Kavanaugh the ‘political death penalty’

Westlake Legal Group Kavanaugh-Gowdy_Getty-FOX Trey Gowdy hammers Democrats for wanting to give Kavanaugh the 'political death penalty' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/confirmation-of-judge-kavanaugh fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 30be7c68-a6bd-59f9-b2ff-104f1242dd94

Former congressman Trey Gowdy ripped Democrats — including the six 2020 presidential candidates who called for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to be impeached — in the wake of The New York Times revising a report that included allegations of sexual assault against the justice.

“They really think we’re gonna have back-alley abortions if certain people are put on the Supreme Court, that your civil rights will be violated. Your kids won’t be able to go to school,” Gowdy said “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Monday, talking about the Democrats’ fears when it comes to the Supreme Court. “They sell that and there’s no accountability.”

He continued, going after Democrats for wanting to give Kavanaugh the equivalent of the political “death penalty” without doing the proper due diligence of investigating the accusations. He compared Kavanaugh to former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe, who could be facing charges.

“I was on your show last week, Martha, I said Andy McCabe’s presumed innocent. It wasn’t popular, it’s just accurate. How many Democrats have said that about Brett Kavanaugh?” Gowdy asked.

NEW YORK TIMES CRITICIZED FROM BOTH SIDES OF AISLE OVER NOW-REVISED KAVANAUGH ALLEGATIONS

“How many of them have said ‘you know what, let’s examine and cross-examine this putative eye witness. Let’s ask him why you didn’t bring it up when Brett was up for the D.C. Court of Appeals.'”

The former congressman then accused Democrats of being unfair and asked for everyone to be fair to people.

“They want to impeach him. They want to give the death penalty. I’d rather say you’re presumed innocent. Let’s be fair to people,” Gowdy said.

The Times made a major correction to an article that resurfaced an allegation of sexual assault by the justice from his youth Sunday.

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2020 Democratic contenders Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker and Julian Castro announced on Sunday that Kavanaugh “must be impeached” in reaction to the original Times report.

Fox News’ Gregg Re and Julia Musto contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Kavanaugh-Gowdy_Getty-FOX Trey Gowdy hammers Democrats for wanting to give Kavanaugh the 'political death penalty' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/confirmation-of-judge-kavanaugh fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 30be7c68-a6bd-59f9-b2ff-104f1242dd94   Westlake Legal Group Kavanaugh-Gowdy_Getty-FOX Trey Gowdy hammers Democrats for wanting to give Kavanaugh the 'political death penalty' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/confirmation-of-judge-kavanaugh fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 30be7c68-a6bd-59f9-b2ff-104f1242dd94

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Omar: An administration ‘that lies about weather maps’ can’t be trusted on Iran

Westlake Legal Group k3tWQGBnZAF4fKvpCzbznHoK8yp7EfOB02xZO_6WETc Omar: An administration 'that lies about weather maps' can't be trusted on Iran r/politics

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With Oil Under Attack, Trump’s Deference to Saudis Returns

WASHINGTON — After oil installations were blown up in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, President Trump declared that the United States was “locked and loaded,” a phrase that seemed to suggest he was ready to strike back. But then he promised to wait for Saudi Arabia to tell him “under what terms we would proceed.”

His message on Twitter offered a remarkable insight into the deference Mr. Trump gives to the Saudi royal family and touched off a torrent of criticism from those who have long accused him of doing Riyadh’s bidding while sweeping Saudi violations of human rights and international norms under the rug.

It was hard to imagine him allowing NATO, or a European ally, such latitude to determine how the United States should respond. But for Mr. Trump, the Saudis have always been a special case, their economic import having often overwhelmed other considerations in his mind.

Whether, and how, to commit forces is one of the most critical decisions any American president can make, but Mr. Trump’s comment gave the impression that he was outsourcing the decision.

The fact that the other country was Saudi Arabia — a difficult ally that came under intense criticism for the killing and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident and Washington Post columnist — reinforced the longstanding criticism that the energy-rich kingdom buys American support.

“What struck me about that tweet was not just that it’s obviously wrong to allow Saudi Arabia to dictate our foreign policy, but that the president doesn’t seem to be aware of how submissive it makes him look to say that,” said Representative Tom Malinowski, Democrat of New Jersey and a former assistant secretary of state.

“It is a big deal to attack oil fields,” Mr. Malinowski added. “It does affect more than just Saudi Arabia’s interests. But whatever we do, we have to do what’s best for us and we have to recognize that the Saudis have a profound bias.”

Mr. Trump told reporters on Monday that he had not “promised” to protect the Saudis and that he would “sit down with the Saudis and work something out.” But he expressed caution, suggesting that for all of his bellicose language, he was not rushing toward a military conflict.

Asked whether Iran was behind the attack, Mr. Trump said, “It is looking that way.” But he stopped short of definitive confirmation. “That is being checked out right now,” he added.

Mr. Trump warned that the United States had fearsome military abilities and was prepared for war if necessary.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160902594_d4b298b2-a01e-4e33-88b7-880ddeb56f9d-articleLarge With Oil Under Attack, Trump’s Deference to Saudis Returns United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Saudi Arabia Rouhani, Hassan Pompeo, Mike Khashoggi, Jamal Iran Human Rights and Human Rights Violations

A satellite image showing damage to oil and gas infrastructure after an attack in Abqaig, Saudi Arabia.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

“But with all that being said, we would certainly like to avoid it,” he added. “I know they would like to make a deal,” he said of the Iranians, whom he has been trying to draw into talks over their nuclear program. “At some point, it will work out.”

There is no evidence it will work out soon. The Iranian Foreign Ministry dismissed the notion on Monday that President Hassan Rouhani would meet Mr. Trump in New York next week when both are scheduled to attend the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. While Mr. Trump said in June that a meeting could happen without preconditions, and his own aides, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, repeated it last week, Mr. Trump called that “fake news” over the weekend and falsely blamed the news media for making it up.

The notion of the United States doing the bidding of the Saudis has a long, bristling history. Critics complained that Saudi Arabia effectively hired out the American military to protect itself from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and reverse his invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

The Saudi government even forked over $16 billion to reimburse the United States for about a quarter of the cost of the war that followed in 1991 — along with Kuwait, the most of any country.

The resentment felt over the years by American officials crossed the ideological spectrum, summed up pithily in a leaked 2010 cable by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The Saudis, Mr. Gates told the French foreign minister at the time, always want to “fight the Iranians to the last American.”

Among those who seemed to share the sentiment in the past was a New York businessman and television entertainer named Donald J. Trump.

“Saudi Arabia should fight their own wars, which they won’t, or pay us an absolute fortune to protect them and their great wealth-$ trillion!” he tweeted in 2014.

Since taking office, Mr. Trump has made Saudi Arabia his closest ally in the Middle East other than Israel, and has strongly supported its multifront struggle with Iran for dominance in the region. He has also left little doubt about the primacy of money in the relationship, openly citing the value of arms contracts in explaining why he would not criticize the Saudi government for Mr. Khashoggi’s killing.

When two Saudi oil processing centers were hit by an aerial assault over the weekend, Mr. Trump spoke out quickly, much as any president might given the effect on world oil supplies.

“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”

Mr. Trump meeting with Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, during the Group of 20 summit in June in Osaka, Japan.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

The statement was strange for many reasons. Mr. Pompeo had already named the Iranians as the culprits; Mr. Trump did not. But the seeming abdication of fact-finding and decision-making to the Saudis gave Democrats a moment to argue that the president was willing to let the Saudi monarchy make decisions for the United States.

“If the President wants to use military force, he needs Congress, not the Saudi royal family, to authorize it,” Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, the chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, wrote on Twitter.

Heather Hurlburt, a national security official under President Bill Clinton who is now at New America, a Washington-based research organization, said it would be perfectly normal for a president to consult an ally before taking action in such a circumstance.

“It’s not remotely normal for a president to talk publicly about that, to use language that sounds as if we aren’t making our own decisions about whether to use force — or trusting our own intelligence,” she said. “And it’s completely unprecedented with a country that is not a treaty ally.”

The White House declined to comment on Monday beyond Mr. Trump’s remarks, but some national security conservatives were willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt.

“Obviously, it’s difficult to know for sure what’s going through the president’s mind,” said John P. Hannah, a senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington and a former national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

But he said that his guess was that Mr. Trump “wants the country most affected and threatened by the attack to step up publicly, pin responsibility squarely on Iran and put some real skin into the game by formally requesting that the U.S. and international community come to the defense of Saudi Arabia and the global economy.”

That could help mobilize international opinion and perhaps forge a coalition against Iran, “rather than an excuse to do nothing,” Mr. Hannah added.

In his comments to reporters on Monday, Mr. Trump seemed intent on avoiding the perception that he was taking direction from the Saudis. If there is any response to the strikes on the oil facilities, he said, then the Saudis would play a part themselves — if nothing else, by financing it.

Which, of course, made it sound as if the United States was willing to be, in effect, a mercenary force for the Saudis.

“The fact is the Saudis are going to have a lot of involvement in this if we decide to do something,” he said. “They’ll be very much involved. And that includes payment. And they understand that fully.”

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CDC activating Emergency Operations Center to aid vaping crisis investigations

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085821669001_6085821359001-vs CDC activating Emergency Operations Center to aid vaping crisis investigations Frank Miles fox-news/health/respiratory-health/stop-smoking fox news fnc/health fnc article 0c414a3b-8ea5-557e-9f27-9aa9e301c03e

As U.S. health officials look into what might be causing hundreds of serious breathing illnesses in people who use e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to aid the investigations.

“CDC has made it a priority to find out what is causing this outbreak of e-cigarette- or vaping-related injuries and deaths,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield. “Activation of CDC’s Emergency Operations Center allows us to enhance operations and provide additional support to CDC staff working to protect our nation from this serious health threat.”

Reuters reported that the Emergency Operations Center offers a central command post where teams of trained experts, including staff of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), track public health emergencies, share information and coordinate the responses.

NICOLE SAPHIER: OUR KIDS ARE IN THE MIDST OF A VAPING CRISIS — ARE WE DOING ENOUGH?

Authorities have identified 380 confirmed and probable cases in 36 states and one territory, including six deaths.

Researchers have found cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigarette vapor, such as formaldehyde. However, it’s not yet clear whether those chemicals are present in high-enough amounts to cause harm.

E-cigarette vapor contains tiny particles that carry flavorings. Some early-stage laboratory and animal studies suggest these flavor particles can damage the lungs, airways and blood vessels, but more research is needed to better understand how human bodies react to them.

Last week the White House said federal regulators will develop guidelines to remove from the market all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco.

The ban is aimed at the growing popularity of flavored nicotine vape formulas among teens. Health officials said Wednesday that preliminary data shows more than one in four high school students reported vaping this year, compared with one in five in 2018.

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Health officials are urging people to stop vaping and get medical care if they have trouble breathing or experience chest pain.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085821669001_6085821359001-vs CDC activating Emergency Operations Center to aid vaping crisis investigations Frank Miles fox-news/health/respiratory-health/stop-smoking fox news fnc/health fnc article 0c414a3b-8ea5-557e-9f27-9aa9e301c03e   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085821669001_6085821359001-vs CDC activating Emergency Operations Center to aid vaping crisis investigations Frank Miles fox-news/health/respiratory-health/stop-smoking fox news fnc/health fnc article 0c414a3b-8ea5-557e-9f27-9aa9e301c03e

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G.M. Workers Say They Sacrificed, and Now They Want Their Due

DETROIT — A decade ago, when General Motors was on the brink of collapse and was ushered into bankruptcy by the federal government, the company’s unionized workers bore a significant portion of the pain to bring the automaker back to financial health.

The United Auto Workers agreed to allow General Motors to hire significant numbers of new workers at roughly half the hourly wage of those already on the payroll and with reduced retirement benefits. In the following years, G.M. was also able to bring in temporary workers with even slimmer wage-and-benefit packages and little job security.

The bitter medicine helped reinvigorate the automaker, and for the last several years it has been reaping record profits. Along the way, it has pared its United States payrolls, closed several plants and moved more work to Mexico.

Now nearly 50,000 workers have walked off the job at more than 50 G.M. plants and other locations across the Midwest and South, striking to get what they see as their fair share of the company’s hefty returns and block further erosion of their ranks.

“We have given away so many concessions over the last eight-plus years, and this company has been ridiculously profitable over that time,” said Chaz Akers, 24, an assembler at G.M.’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which is set to close in January unless the labor talks can win a reprieve. “That’s why we’re here. We’re fighting to get everything that we lost back.”

The across-the-board strike, the first by the U.A.W. since 2007, began at midnight Sunday, a day after the G.M. contract expired. Industry analysts said the walkout could cost the company tens of millions of dollars a day.

In negotiations that resumed Monday morning and continued into the evening, the company has offered to invest $7 billion in United States plants and add 5,400 jobs. It also said it was willing to increase pay and benefits, without offering details.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 16gmexplainer2-articleLarge G.M. Workers Say They Sacrificed, and Now They Want Their Due Wages and Salaries United Automobile Workers Trump, Donald J Strikes Organized Labor Labor and Jobs Hamtramck (Mich) General Motors Detroit (Mich) Bankruptcies Automobiles

Chaz Akers, 24, walking the picket line at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant. He said General Motors workers needed to recoup past concessions.CreditSteve Koss for The New York Times

That’s not enough for Wiley Turnage, president of U.A.W. Local 22, who represents the 700 workers at the Hamtramck plant. “I don’t like where we’re at,” he said at the plant’s main gate Monday, a picket sign reading “U.A.W. on Strike” propped on his shoulder. “We need job security. Our plant doesn’t have production beyond January. We have a lot of young, growing families and we need work for them.”

Focusing on a single company is standard practice in the talks between the U.A.W. and the Detroit automakers every four years. And although G.M. has a smaller domestic work force than its American rivals, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler, it presented an inviting target.

The automaker has earned solid profits — it made $35 billion in North America over the last three years — while closing plants in the United States. Ford, in contrast, canceled plans to build a plant in Mexico, and Fiat Chrysler has announced plans for a new factory in Detroit.

“The U.A.W. is making a significant move here and sending a strong signal that what G.M. has been offering is not acceptable,” said Peter Berg, a labor-relations professor at Michigan State University.

Among autoworkers, there is a strong sense that G.M. is not only making enough profit to increase wages but should be obligated to do so because the federal government rescued the company in 2009.

“We literally gave up a lot during the bankruptcy and the American taxpayer gave up a lot,” said Ashley Scales, 32, a G.M. worker walking the picket line outside the Hamtramck plant’s main gate. “We gave up twice because we pay taxes and we gave up in the contractual agreement. And now the corporation is making more profit than ever and they still want to play games.”

It also does not sit well with workers that G.M. has chosen to make certain vehicles in Mexico rather than in American plants. For example, the new Chevrolet Blazer, a sport utility vehicle that years ago was made in the United States, was assigned to a Mexican plant when it was reintroduced last year.

President Trump, who even before taking office castigated G.M. for shifting production to Mexico, returned to the theme on Monday in comments at the White House. While he said he was “sad to see the strike” and hoped it would be short, he emphasized his relationship with autoworkers, and added: “I don’t want General Motors to be building plants outside of this country. You know they built many plants in China and Mexico, and I don’t like that at all.”

Under the contract just ended, workers have gotten a share of G.M.’s profits averaging $11,000 a year over the last three years. But some contend that the U.A.W. failed to push hard enough as G.M. and the other automakers bounced back over the last decade, including the union’s efforts in the last contract talks four years ago.

“The leadership is feeling some pressure from below to deliver something better than what we got in 2015,” Martha Grevatt, a U.A.W. member who retired from a Fiat Chrysler plant in Michigan earlier this year, said in an interview in August.

After making G.M. its target, the U.A.W. extended its contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler. The G.M. outcome is meant to set a pattern for the other companies.

But G.M. is looking to cut costs, or at least avoid cost increases, in a difficult business environment. Auto sales are slowing in the United States and China, the world’s largest and most lucrative markets, and the company is spending billions of dollars to develop electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

It still has room to get leaner. At the end of last year, G.M. had the capacity to make one million more vehicles that it was selling, said Kristin Dziczek, vice president for industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.

To trim capacity, it has closed a small-car plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and components plants in Baltimore and Warren, Mich. The Hamtramck plant makes the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac CT6, two slow-selling sedans that would need to be retained or replaced to keep the factory running.

Linda Crooks picketing at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant on Monday. She has worked for General Motors for 35 years, and her father, her brother and her father-in-law were all autoworkers.CreditEmily Rose Bennett for The New York Times

“We presented a strong offer that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive ways, and it is disappointing that the U.A.W. leadership has chosen to strike,” the company said on Sunday.

Aside from keeping the Hamtramck plant open, the biggest issue for strikers is the tiered wage system, which leaves some workers making significantly less than others for comparable work.

Workers hired before 2007 make about $31 an hour, and can retire with a lifelong pension. Those hired after them (now more than a third of the work force) start at about $17 an hour and can work their way up to about $29 an hour over eight years. They also have to rely on 401(k) retirement accounts instead of pensions.

In addition, G.M. uses temporary workers (about 7 percent of the staff) who earn about $15 an hour, and do not have vision or dental benefits. The system has helped G.M. compete with Toyota, Honda and other foreign automakers operating nonunion plants in Southern states where hourly wages tend to range from $15 to $18 an hour.

But Hamtramck workers said the disparity in compensation under one roof created tension and resentment on the assembly line. “It’s a matter of fairness if someone next to you is making double for the same work,” said Stephanie Brown, 35, a Head Start teacher for 10 years until she took a temp position at G.M. three months ago.

Mr. Akers said he was paid $18 an hour for installing passenger-side headlights, while the driver’s-side headlights were installed by a temporary worker making $3 less.

“That guy has been a temp for two-and-a-half years,” Mr. Akers said. “Is that temporary to you?”

Depending on its length, the strike could have far-reaching effects, potentially hurting some of the thousands of companies that supply G.M. with parts like seats, motors and brake systems, as well as the components that go into those parts.

Other parts of the labor movement may be an asset to the U.A.W. Bret Caldwell, a Teamsters spokesman, said that his union represented about 1,000 drivers who transport G.M. vehicles to dealerships and that their contracts allowed them to avoid crossing a picket line.

Mr. Caldwell said he expected almost all of the car haulers to be idle throughout the strike. “That’ll be a big impact holding up any remaining inventory G.M. has, anything they try to bring in from out of the country,” he said. “It’s the main area of support we’re able to show.”

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Ilhan Omar rips Trump’s ‘locked and loaded’ tweet, blames president for escalation with Iran

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-2b21eb0892464ee7b7f9809a0a49b63a Ilhan Omar rips Trump's 'locked and loaded' tweet, blames president for escalation with Iran Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc ba9cebf7-c90c-5f18-a2be-e223bbe2ea36 article

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, blasted President Trump over his handling of Iran and suggested that his administration is to blame over the increased tensions between the two nations.

Over the weekend, Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed they launched drone attacks on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field Saturday, sparking huge fires and halting about half of the supplies from the world’s largest exporter of oil.

The attacks marked the latest of many drone assaults on the Kingdom’s oil infrastructure in recent weeks, but easily the most damaging. They raised concerns about the global oil supply and could further escalate tensions across the Persian Gulf amid a growing crisis between the U.S. and Iran over the troubled nuclear deal.

Before Trump said Monday it was “looking like” Iran was responsible for the attack, he tweeted Sunday to warn adversaries that the U.S. is “locked and loaded.”

ILHAN OMAR SAYS  ‘GOOD RIDDANCE’ AFTER BOLTON RESIGNATION, CLAIMS HE MADE WORLD ‘MORE DANGEROUS’

“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Trump wrote.

Appearing on CNN Monday evening, Omar mocked the president’s tweet when asked if she knew what it meant.

ILHAN OMAR SAYS SHE’S CONTROVERSIAL ONLY BECAUSE ‘PEOPLE SEEM TO WANT THE CONTROVERSY’

“I don’t, a lot of people don’t, and I don’t even think Iran really fully cares about that and I don’t think a lot of the world cares about that,” Omar chuckled. “I think what this president and this administration does is that they say a lot of things and they really don’t understand the consequences it has on the world stage.”

“When you think about what has happened in regards to the relationship with Iran. We’ve worked really hard to improve relations, to make sure that we were bringing them to the table and one of the first things this administration did was to take us out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. And none of this would have happened if we didn’t put further sanctions that devastated the middle class in Iran and now has put our two countries in the brink of war.

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When asked about whether a military strike against should be “on the table,” Omar responded by reminding the president that only Congress has the “constitutional right to declare war” and urged for further diplomacy before entering another “endless war.”

The Minnesota lawmaker also expressed skepticism in Saudi Arabia’s trustworthiness in its intelligence, noting that the country is “actively engaged in war” with Yemen and invoked Saudi Arabia’s business relationship with President Trump prior to taking office.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-2b21eb0892464ee7b7f9809a0a49b63a Ilhan Omar rips Trump's 'locked and loaded' tweet, blames president for escalation with Iran Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc ba9cebf7-c90c-5f18-a2be-e223bbe2ea36 article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-2b21eb0892464ee7b7f9809a0a49b63a Ilhan Omar rips Trump's 'locked and loaded' tweet, blames president for escalation with Iran Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc ba9cebf7-c90c-5f18-a2be-e223bbe2ea36 article

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Trump, on offensive, hosts New Mexico rally, aiming to turn the state red

Just hours after New York City prosecutors went on the offensive by subpoenaing his tax returns, President Trump is set to take the stage in Democratic-leaning New Mexico on Monday night for a campaign rally that demonstrates his own aggressive tack going into the 2020 presidential election.

Trump’s rally in suburban Albuquerque is the first stop on a three-day swing that will also take him to California for fundraisers expected to raise more than $15 million. The county where the rally is being held, Rio Rancho, went to Hillary Clintonin 2016, if only by just 1,800 votes.

Trump is looking to find the next Wisconsin or Michigan — states that Democrats generally win in presidential elections but that can surprise under certain conditions, as they did in 2016. Also on the Trump team’s shortlist: Nevada, New Hampshire and Minnesota.

New Mexico has not tilted toward a Republican in the presidential election since 2004. Trump captured just 40 percent of the state vote in 2016.

Hillary Clinton fell short of a majority victory, with 48 percent support in a state she did not visit.

<img src="https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2019/09/640/320/f905feec-AP19254778627867.jpg?ve=1&tl=1" alt="Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking at a campaign event in Albuquerque, N.M., in 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
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Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking at a campaign event in Albuquerque, N.M., in 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)<br>

Recent indicators have not been favorable fo the GOP. Last year, Republicans lost a House seat and the governor’s mansion. Last week, a congressional candidate went viral by taunting the president by name in an ad.

Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who is running in an open Senate primary to replace retiring Democrat Tom Udall, greeted news of Trump’s rally in New Mexico at first with mocking disbelief, and then with a tweeted string of stern warnings.

“Rio Rancho is in my district, and anyone who undermines the safety, security, or way of life of our communities, isn’t welcome here,” he wrote.

Still, campaign officials say a Trump rally in nearby El Paso, Texas, last February was well attended by female and Hispanic voters and travelers from New Mexico, suggesting that New Mexico is in play.

PEOPLE TRAVEL FROM CALIFORNIA TO ATTEND TRUMP RALLY

Hundreds of people showed up early Monday to claim a place in line ahead of the evening event in Rio Rancho. Protesters, for their part, vowed to step up acts of civil disobedience and demonstrations.

Trump’s first visit to New Mexico as president drew visitors from Colorado, California and all parts of New Mexico, according to local media reports.

“This is New Mexico. A lot of people in New Mexico really like Trump because he’s fighting for them,” an attendee told local station KRQE-13.

Some observers, however, have their doubts.

“Bush had much higher favorable opinions by Hispanics,” said Lonna Atkeson, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico, who noted Bush defeated Sen. John Kerry 15 years ago by winning over large rural swaths of the state. “He was from Texas, not New York, and so he had more regional ties. … Trump paints a very different portrait.”

Among those waiting for the president in New Mexico is former CIA operative Valerie Plame, the top contender in a crowded Democratic primary race for New Mexico’s northern congressional district, which Luján currently represents. Plame noted she has a “few scores to settle” with the president in a swaggering new video that shows her speeding across the desert in a muscle car — in reverse — before spinning forward in a swirl of dust. The campaign advertisement’s accuracy was questioned.

The Trump campaign said that the situation on the ground in the state has changed significantly since 2016. In August, Vice President Pence declared New Mexico was back “in play” politically in a visit to the Permian Basin, a booming petroleum production zone overlapping portions of southern New Mexico and western Texas.

“We have the opportunity because of our fundraising and infrastructure to not only defend the states we carried in 2016, but to extend the map in 2020,” said Rick Gorka, a spokesman for a fundraising committee for Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said he believes the president’s standing has improved since 2016. He credited the economy, including the fact that Latino unemployment is at an all-time low, as well as the president’s stance on immigration enforcement.

“The most valuable commodity that we have as a campaign is the president’s time. And he will not travel all the way to New Mexico for a head fake,” Murtaugh said.

Gorka said New Mexico is a big part of that strategy, as are Minnesota, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Westlake Legal Group AP19259753100878 Trump, on offensive, hosts New Mexico rally, aiming to turn the state red Gregg Re fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/new-mexico fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9082a820-7ab7-57b1-8ec3-3d119afc8d86

President Trump boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base for his trip to Albuquerque on Monday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump’s efforts in New Mexico will provide a test of how well his often-harsh rhetoric about immigrants will play with Hispanic voters, who comprise nearly 40 percent of New Mexico’s electorate.

Trump is likely to cite his efforts to boost oil and gas production in his bid to win over voters. New Mexico is in the midst of an oil-production boom that has boosted employment and spurred a state government spending spree from first-year Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on public education, roadway projects and tax rebates for film productions.

Lujan Grisham took aim at Trump ahead of his visit, describing the president as being demeaning to Hispanics and immigrants since being elected. She also said Trump’s policies had resulted in increased taxes for some New Mexicans.

Specifically, she has pilloried Trump’s border wall while withdrawing most National Guard troops from the border and suing the U.S. Homeland Security Department to recoup spending by local governments to shelter and feed asylum-seeking migrants released into southern New Mexico towns such as Las Cruces and Deming.

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Trump will stay in Albuquerque on Monday night, then follow up his rally by flying to the San Francisco Bay area on Tuesday for a luncheon fundraiser. He’ll then attend a fundraising dinner that evening in Beverly Hills at the home of real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer. He has two more fundraisers planned in Los Angeles and San Diego on Wednesday.

The fundraisers will benefit Trump Victory, the joint entity that funds Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group f905feec-AP19254778627867 Trump, on offensive, hosts New Mexico rally, aiming to turn the state red Gregg Re fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/new-mexico fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9082a820-7ab7-57b1-8ec3-3d119afc8d86   Westlake Legal Group f905feec-AP19254778627867 Trump, on offensive, hosts New Mexico rally, aiming to turn the state red Gregg Re fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/new-mexico fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9082a820-7ab7-57b1-8ec3-3d119afc8d86

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