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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 72)

Supreme Court to Consider Limits on Contraception Coverage

Westlake Legal Group 17dc-scotus-contraception-facebookJumbo Supreme Court to Consider Limits on Contraception Coverage Women and Girls United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Supreme Court (US) Obama, Barack Freedom of Religion Birth Control and Family Planning Alito, Samuel A Jr

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether the Trump administration may allow employers to limit women’s access to free birth control under the Affordable Care Act.

The case returns the court to a key battleground in the culture wars, but one in which successive administrations have switched sides.

In the Obama years, the court heard two cases on whether religious groups could refuse to comply with regulations requiring contraceptive coverage. The new case presents the opposite question: Can the Trump administration allow all sorts of employers with religious or moral objections to contraception to opt out of the coverage requirement?

President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in March 2010. One section of the law requires coverage of preventive health services and screenings for women. In August 2011, the Obama administration required employers and insurers to provide women with coverage at no cost for all methods of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

But the Trump administration has said that requiring contraception coverage can impose a “substantial burden” on the exercise of religion by some employers. The regulations it has promulgated made good on a campaign pledge by President Trump, who has said that employers should not be “bullied by the federal government because of their religious beliefs,” and it added an exception for employers who said they had moral objections to certain forms of birth control.

The states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey challenged the rules, saying, they would have to shoulder much of the cost of providing contraceptives to women who lost coverage under the Trump administration’s rules.

In May, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, blocked the regulations, issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction.

That requirement that employers and insurers provide women with coverage of contraception at no cost has had a large practical effect, Judge Patty Shwartz wrote for the Third Circuit. “Cost is a significant barrier to contraceptive use and access,” she wrote. “The most effective forms of contraceptives are the most expensive. After the A.C.A. removed cost barriers, women switched to the more effective and expensive methods of contraception.”

Judge Shwartz added that expanding the Trump administration’s exceptions would have predictable consequences.

“Because the rules allow employers to opt out of providing coverage for contraceptive services,” she wrote, “some women may no longer have insurance to help offset the cost for these and other contraceptives.”

The coverage requirement, sometimes called the contraceptive mandate, has been the subject of much litigation, reaching the Supreme Court twice.

In 2014, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, the court ruled that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception violated a federal law protecting religious liberty. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the majority, said there was a better alternative, one that the government had offered to nonprofit groups with religious objections.

That accommodation allowed the groups not to pay for coverage and to avoid fines if they informed their insurers, plan administrators or the government that they wanted an exemption. Insurance companies or the government would then pay for the coverage.

Many religious groups around the nation challenged the accommodation, saying that objecting and providing the required information would make them complicit in conduct that violated their faith. An eight-member court considered that objection in 2016 in Zubik v. Burwell but was unable to reach a definitive ruling and instead returned the case to the lower courts, instructing them to consider whether a compromise could be reached.

In urging the Supreme Court to hear its appeal, Trump v. Pennsylvania, 19-454, the administration said the new exceptions were authorized by the health care law and required by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Lawyers for Pennsylvania and New Jersey responded that the administration lacked statutory authority to issue the regulations and had not followed proper administrative procedures.

The court agreed to also hear a second appeal, from an order of nuns who had intervened in the case, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, No. 19-431. The two cases will be consolidated for a single hour of argument and will probably be heard in April.

The second case presents the separate issue of whether the nuns have standing to appeal. The Third Circuit ruled that they did not because a separate court order allowed them to decline to provide contraception coverage to their workers.

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Iran says it’s been banned from hosting international soccer matches

Iran has been banned from hosting international soccer matches, the country’s soccer federation told Iranian media.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Football Federation said the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced the decision in a letter, the Mehr News Agency reported.

The AFC did not say if the move was related to Tehran’s downing of a Ukrainian commercial passenger plane last week, which killed all 176 people on board, or continued heightened tensions with the United States.

Iranian soccer officials pushed back on the move.

FOUR FORMER IRANIAN HOSTAGES: PRESIDENT TRUMP, THANK YOU FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND YOUR STRENGTH

Westlake Legal Group Iran-Soccer-Fans-Getty Iran says it's been banned from hosting international soccer matches Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/newsedge/sports fox news fnc/world fnc article 49c2488d-7439-5264-a254-1df03b562911

Iranian fans support their national football team during 2022 FIFA World Cup Asia qualifications Group C soccer match between Iran and Cambodia at Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran.  The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has banned the country from hosting international matches. (Photo by Stringer /Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“Iran is fully ready to host various teams as it has repeatedly proven during the past several years,” Amirmahdi Alavi, a spokesman for the Iranian federation, told the news outlet.

He cited Iran’s hosting of the 2018 AFC Champions League in  Azadi Stadium in Tehran as a success. The remarks come after a Saudi Arabian television host said AFC officials cited security issues for the announcement, Mehr News reported. No specifics were offered.

The AFC did not respond to messages from Fox News on Friday.

Saudi teams did not travel to Iran last season because of severed diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern regional powers in 2016. Games were relocated to the United Arab Emirates.

Iran has four teams in the AFC Champions League. The Iranian federation said it would meet with the AFC to discuss its opposition to the decision.

The move comes as tensions between Washington and Tehran have reached a fever pitch following the Jan. 3 killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike. Iran retaliated with a strike of its own on Iraqi military bases where American troops were housed.

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Iran is also dealing with the fallout from the shooting of the Ukrainian jetliner, saying it accidentally fired on the plane after initially denying any involvement.

Iran came under scrutiny last year for its prohibition on women attending live games. Tehran reversed course in October, when it lifted the draconian ban and began to allow women to attend international soccer matches on Iranian soil.

Westlake Legal Group Iran-Soccer-Fans-Getty Iran says it's been banned from hosting international soccer matches Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/newsedge/sports fox news fnc/world fnc article 49c2488d-7439-5264-a254-1df03b562911   Westlake Legal Group Iran-Soccer-Fans-Getty Iran says it's been banned from hosting international soccer matches Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/newsedge/sports fox news fnc/world fnc article 49c2488d-7439-5264-a254-1df03b562911

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6 Suspected Neo-Nazis Arrested In Lead-Up To Virginia Gun Rally

Six neo-Nazis have been arrested just days before a gun rally in Virginia is expected to draw thousands, including far-right extremists.

Three Georgia men were arrested Friday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and participating in a criminal street gang as members of The Base, a white supremacist group that seeks to start a race war. The suspects are Luke Austin, Michael Helterbrand and Jacob Kaderli, The Associated Press reported.

The men are accused of seeking out antifascists to kill, and were planning to “overthrow the government and murder a Bartow County couple,” the Floyd County Police Department said in a statement.

Westlake Legal Group 5e22244b22000031003f7b04 6 Suspected Neo-Nazis Arrested In Lead-Up To Virginia Gun Rally

Floyd County Police Department Left to right: Luke Austin Lane, Jacob Kaderli and Michael Helterbrand are all suspected neo-Nazis who allegedly planned to target and kill antifascists.

Atlanta Antifascists, a group that works to confront and expose fascists throughout Georgia, told HuffPost the news of the arrests “underscores that organized white supremacists remain a threat to our communities.”

“Targeting people as members of our group has become a favorite pastime of violent white supremacists,” Atlanta Antifascists said. “Many of these people are not even connected to organized antifascism at all — they simply have become caught in the crosshairs. This is part of a concerted attempt by fascists to create a general attitude of terror and paranoia. We extend our solidarity to all members of the community targeted by white supremacy and fascism and encourage everyone to watch out for each other and keep each other safe.”

The arrests came a day after three other suspected neo-Nazis affiliated with The Base were arrested in Maryland. One of the men, Patrik Mathews, fled Canada earlier last year after his white supremacy ties were discovered. A former reservist in the Canadian Army, Mathews trained as a combat engineer and is an explosives expert.

Westlake Legal Group 5e2098e72200003200472e1c 6 Suspected Neo-Nazis Arrested In Lead-Up To Virginia Gun Rally

RCMP Patrik Mathews fled Canada after his white supremacy ties were discovered.

Authorities said Mathews is a top recruiter for the terrorist group and was allegedly planning to start violence at Monday’s gun rally in Virginia along with accomplices Brian Lemley and William Bilbrough IV. Police found guns and more than 1,500 rounds of ammunition during the arrests.

Monday’s rally in Richmond is expected to draw thousands of people who oppose recent gun control bills introduced in the state legislature, including one that would require universal background checks for firearm purchase and another that would limit people from buying more than one handgun per month. 

“We have received credible intelligence from our law enforcement agencies of threats of violence surrounding the demonstration planned for Monday, January 20,” Northam said in a tweet. “This includes extremist rhetoric similar to what has been seen before major incidents, such as Charlottesville in 2017.” 

Organizers of the rally, anti-gun control group Virginia Citizens Defense League, falsely accused Democratic leaders of inviting violent groups to the rally following the temporary ban on guns.

“[Democrats] would love for it to degenerate to ‘violence, rioting, and insurrection’ in order to smear gun owners,” the group said in a statement. “Has the Democrat leadership actually invited violent groups to attend for the purpose of disrupting our peaceful assembly?” 

Hours after the statement, three of the suspected neo-Nazis were arrested. The VCDL did not respond to a request for comment. 

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Joe Biden’s Poll Numbers Are Steady, but Are They Immovable?

Westlake Legal Group 17pollwatch-facebookJumbo Joe Biden’s Poll Numbers Are Steady, but Are They Immovable? Trump, Donald J Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

Welcome to Poll Watch, our weekly look at polling data and survey research on the candidates, voters and issues that will shape the 2020 election.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign has been defined by what it’s not as much as by what it is. He hasn’t made waves with big-ticket policy proposals, and he has mostly avoided skirmishing with his Democratic rivals.

And so, nine months into his campaign, Mr. Biden is in a remarkably similar position to where he was when he began: He’s the presumptive front-runner, despite a lack of agenda-setting plans or breathless enthusiasm from supporters.

Poll results can help us understand why. For one thing, Democratic voters appear to want a candidate who they think has a good chance of beating President Trump more than one whose policy views sync up perfectly with their own.

In a Monmouth University poll last month, this question was put to likely Democratic primary voters nationwide: Would you prefer a strong nominee who could defeat Mr. Trump, even if you disagree with that candidate on most issues — or a candidate with whom you see eye to eye, but who would have difficulty overcoming the president?

Almost twice as many respondents chose the candidate with a better chance of winning.

Polls suggest that Mr. Biden’s support is built largely on these very voters, who are seeking an experienced leader to reverse the Trump administration’s policies.

In a CNN poll last month, 40 percent of likely Democratic voters who responded said they thought Mr. Biden would be the strongest candidate against Mr. Trump. Only 16 percent pointed to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mr. Biden’s closest rival.

Democrats across demographics tend to agree that beating Mr. Trump is the main priority. As a result, Mr. Biden has built a remarkably broad coalition of voters, with support cutting across race, gender and educational background.

But a degree of insecurity still lingers. The former vice president has faced strikingly few challenges from his rivals or from debate moderators in recent months — a boon to his candidacy that could evaporate if his opponents’ tactics change.

“A core part of his support has never been driven by enthusiasm for him — it’s driven by a sense that he’s the safe choice,” said Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

“Unlike Sanders, whose core support is very much gung-ho for him and knows what they signed up for, Biden’s supporters are looking for the strongest candidate,” Mr. Murray added. “He has so far survived that examination, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change over the next few weeks.”

Indeed, Mr. Biden’s support dipped for weeks in the fall amid a surge from Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who was seen as possibly more capable of uniting the moderate and left wings of the Democratic Party. But her polling numbers began to waver after her support for “Medicare for all” drew criticism, and much of Mr. Biden’s support appeared to stabilize.

Democratic voters have grown more liberal over the past two decades, but moderates now feel more alienated from an increasingly ideological Republican Party than they did a generation ago. As a result, moderate voters still tend to lean Democratic, and they make up a big enough share of the party to play a decisive role in choosing its nominee.

“You have a lot of Democrats who are not beholden to an ideological position but feel comfortable with him,” Mr. Murray said of Mr. Biden. “They’re coming from all walks of life.”

About as many women support Mr. Biden as do men, and he is the most popular candidate among black Democratic voters — a key constituency, particularly in the primaries. (Mr. Sanders has encroached on that lead, however, and now trails by less than 10 points among African-American voters and other nonwhite voters, according to some national polls.)

Just as crucially, Mr. Biden’s numbers are as strong among white voters without college degrees as they are among those with a higher education. That puts him at a distinct advantage over Ms. Warren and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., two of his strongest opponents.

And while Mr. Biden’s supporters tend to be slightly more moderate than other candidates’ backers, they are generally paying attention to the same issues. They are most likely to list health care as their main policy concern, with climate change second, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this week. Those results are consistent with the party’s voters at large.

Mr. Biden has also benefited from the fact that Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to be looking for a leader with solid political experience, according to a multilevel analysis of voter preferences published this month by Monmouth. Mr. Biden, who was first elected to the Senate 48 years ago, is by far the most popular candidate among Democrats who prioritize experience in a nominee: Forty-four percent of such voters back him, the Monmouth analysis found.

Finding an experienced leader matters particularly to voters of color, especially women of color, the study found.

Mr. Biden’s one major vulnerability is among young people. Polls of Iowa, New Hampshire and the nation at large consistently find him polling below 20 percent among voters under 50.

And if he does not rack up decisive victories in the earliest-voting states over the coming two months, he could be vulnerable to the growing challenge of Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, who entered the race in late November and is not competing in the earliest states.

Polls show that Mr. Bloomberg is strongest among older voters, black people and moderate or conservative Democrats — all crucial elements of Mr. Biden’s coalition.

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Supreme Court Takes Up Birth-Control Conscience Case

Westlake Legal Group ap_19277530333136-b777c3d346e17643fa49d75698af0959e4798058-s800-c15 Supreme Court Takes Up Birth-Control Conscience Case
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Westlake Legal Group  Supreme Court Takes Up Birth-Control Conscience Case

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider whether employers should be allowed to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage to their workers because of moral or religious objections.

At issue are Trump administration regulations allowing employers to claim such exemptions to the contraceptive insurance coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which requires most employer-provided plans to include birth control coverage without a co-pay. Churches and other religious organizations already can opt out of the requirement, but the Trump administration has sought to expand that exemption to include a wider array of businesses and organizations.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey challenged the Trump administration regulation and won a nationwide injunction temporarily blocking the rules.

Brigitte Amiri, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, called the Trump administration rules “an attempt to rob people of their contraception coverage.” The ACLU filed an amicus brief in the case opposing the Trump rule.

It’s not the first time the Supreme Court has considered the issue. In 2014, the court sided with the conservative Christian owners of the national craft chain Hobby Lobby in a case challenging the contraceptive mandate on religious grounds.

Amiri said this case goes further, and it’s hard to predict how many employees could be affected if the court sides with the administration.

“What we’re talking about is very concrete and fundamental to people’s daily lives,” Amiri said. “…Nobody should be at risk of losing their contraceptive coverage because of where they work or where they go to school.”

Kristen Waggoner, an attorney with the religious liberty group the Alliance Defending Freedom, said the case could have far-reaching implications for other businesses and organizations who oppose providing contraception through their health plans.

“They’re not interfering [with employees’ choices],” Waggoner said. “This is about whether a person can run their business in a way that’s consistent with their beliefs.”

Waggoner’s group is representing the anti-abortion group the March for Life in a related case that is also working its way through the legal system.

“It’s about the right of all religious organizations and people of faith, and those who believe that life begins at conception, not to believe that they believe is the taking of human life,” Waggoner said.

In a statement, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, “Two federal courts have blocked the Trump Administration’s rules because they would allow virtually any employer to deny women access to contraception for any reason—including the belief that women should not be in the workforce,” and expressed hope that the Supreme Court would ultimately strike down the rules.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment on pending litigation.

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House Freedom Caucus Board: Impeachment — A closing argument

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122504953001_6122521626001-vs House Freedom Caucus Board: Impeachment -- A closing argument fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3d8d02ee-2688-54c2-a8ab-9dbd52c92dcc

There is a fissure running through the Democrats’ case for impeachment. Representatives ought to govern with justice, fairness, and by doing what they said they would do. This impeachment twice falls short of that standard.

The fact-finding wasn’t impartial and just and hearings weren’t balanced and fair. But for many Democrats, impeachment delivered on the third score—it was exactly what they said they would do.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected, Democrats have been focused on unseating him and reversing their 2016 loss at the ballot box. But in September, with voters a mere matter of months from heading to the polls in 2020, Democrats decided waiting was no longer an option—so they launched a half-baked impeachment inquiry, flaunted their own rules and abandoned precedents established to protect justice and fairness.

TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT TRIAL TEAM: WHO ARE THE LAWYERS DEFENDING THE PRESIDENT?

With a flimsy accusation, they spent long weeks in secret basement rooms and tried to build a case.

Their lead architect was Representative Adam Schiff, who is now better known for falsely portraying a memo released to the public by President Trump than he is for finding any evidence of wrongdoing.

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Schiff could never disprove these four facts: First, the released call transcript between Presidents Trump and Zelensky show no link between aid dollars and political investigations. Second, both Presidents Trump and Zelenksy say there was no pressure. Third, Ukraine didn’t know the aid was held at the time of the call. And, four, Ukraine never launched any action to get the aid released.

Despite the lack of proof of an impeachable offense, Democrats rushed through their unilateral process, hastily pushed a vote, and even denied Republican calls for a promised hearing—all in the name of urgency.

At the end of the day, this sham process failed to convince even all Democrats, with one member voting against impeachment, one voting present, and another fleeing the party altogether.

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Somehow after this divisive, harmful process for our country, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hypocrisy about the urgency of impeachment made things even worse. Instead of immediately sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate, Pelosi waged a misguided campaign claiming that while the Democrat case was so weighty that it had to be rushed through the House, it was also so insubstantial that the Senate needed to add more evidence, more documents, more witnesses.

Common sense says it can’t be both. But brute force partisan politics says it can.

Speaker Pelosi’s maneuver revealed Democrats’ true aim in impeachment—to overturn the 2016 election of President Trump.

His ‘crime’ wasn’t a quid pro quo, bribery, extortion, or any other poll-tested accusation. No, Donald Trump’s crime was beating Hillary Clinton, challenging the swamp, and having the audacity to love his country and working to see it prosper.

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This baseless case is finally Senate bound. We trust the Senate will do what the House did not—conduct itself in accordance with the basic tenets of justice and fairness.

It might be too late for Speaker Pelosi’s House to learn, but that is what our citizens expect and deserve.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122504953001_6122521626001-vs House Freedom Caucus Board: Impeachment -- A closing argument fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3d8d02ee-2688-54c2-a8ab-9dbd52c92dcc   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122504953001_6122521626001-vs House Freedom Caucus Board: Impeachment -- A closing argument fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3d8d02ee-2688-54c2-a8ab-9dbd52c92dcc

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Panicking About Your Kids’ Phones? New Research Says Don’t

Westlake Legal Group 17screentime1-facebookJumbo Panicking About Your Kids’ Phones? New Research Says Don’t Social Media Smartphones Research Mental Health and Disorders Children and Childhood

SAN FRANCISCO — It has become common wisdom that too much time spent on smartphones and social media is responsible for a recent spike in anxiety, depression and other mental health problems, especially among teenagers.

But a growing number of academic researchers have produced studies that suggest the common wisdom is wrong.

The latest research, published on Friday by two psychology professors, combs through about 40 studies that have examined the link between social media use and both depression and anxiety among adolescents. That link, according to the professors, is small and inconsistent.

“There doesn’t seem to be an evidence base that would explain the level of panic and consternation around these issues,” said Candice L. Odgers, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, and the lead author of the paper, which was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

The debate over the harm we — and especially our children — are doing to ourselves by staring into phones is generally predicated on the assumption that the machines we carry in our pockets pose a significant risk to our mental health.

Worries about smartphones have led Congress to pass legislation to examine the impact of heavy smartphone use and pushed investors to pressure big tech companies to change the way they approach young customers.

The World Health Organization said last year that infants under a year old should not be exposed to electronic screens and that children between the ages of 2 and 4 should not have more than an hour of “sedentary screen time” each day.

Even in Silicon Valley, technology executives have made a point of keeping the devices and the software they develop away from their own children.

But some researchers question whether those fears are justified. They are not arguing that intensive use of phones does not matter. Children who are on their phones too much can miss out on other valuable activities, like exercise. And research has shown that excessive phone use can exacerbate the problems of certain vulnerable groups, like children with mental health issues.

They are, however, challenging the widespread belief that screens are responsible for broad societal problems like the rising rates of anxiety and sleep deprivation among teenagers. In most cases, they say, the phone is just a mirror that reveals the problems a child would have even without the phone.

The researchers worry that the focus on keeping children away from screens is making it hard to have more productive conversations about topics like how to make phones more useful for low-income people, who tend to use them more, or how to protect the privacy of teenagers who share their lives online.

“Many of the people who are terrifying kids about screens, they have hit a vein of attention from society and they are going to ride that. But that is super bad for society,” said Andrew Przybylski, the director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute, who has published several studies on the topic.

The new article by Ms. Odgers and Michaeline R. Jensen of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro comes just a few weeks after the publication of an analysis by Amy Orben, a researcher at the University of Cambridge, and shortly before the planned publication of similar work from Jeff Hancock, the founder of the Stanford Social Media Lab. Both reached similar conclusions.

“The current dominant discourse around phones and well-being is a lot of hype and a lot of fear,” Mr. Hancock said. “But if you compare the effects of your phone to eating properly or sleeping or smoking, it’s not even close.”

Mr. Hancock’s analysis of about 226 studies on the well-being of phone users concluded that “when you look at all these different kinds of well-being, the net effect size is essentially zero.”

The debate about screen time and mental health goes back to the early days of the iPhone. In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a widely cited paper that warned doctors about “Facebook depression.”

But by 2016, as more research came out, the academy revised that statement, deleting any mention of Facebook depression and emphasizing the conflicting evidence and the potential positive benefits of using social media.

Megan Moreno, one of the lead authors of the revised statement, said the original statement had been a problem “because it created panic without a strong basis of evidence.”

Dr. Moreno, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin, said that in her own medical practice, she tends to be struck by the number of children with mental health problems who are helped by social media because of the resources and connections it provides.

Concern about the connection between smartphones and mental health has also been fed by high-profile works like a 2017 article in The Atlantic — and a related book — by the psychologist Jean Twenge, who argued that a recent rise in suicide and depression among teenagers was linked to the arrival of smartphones.

In her article, “Have Smartphones Ruined a Generation?,” Ms. Twenge attributed the sudden rise in reports of anxiety, depression and suicide from teens after 2012 to the spread of smartphones and social media.

Ms. Twenge’s critics argue that her work found a correlation between the appearance of smartphones and a real rise in reports of mental health issues, but that it did not establish that phones were the cause.

It could, researchers argue, just as easily be that the rise in depression led teenagers to excessive phone use at a time when there were many other potential explanations for depression and anxiety. What’s more, anxiety and suicide rates appear not to have risen in large parts of Europe, where phones have also become more prevalent.

“Why else might American kids be anxious other than telephones?” Mr. Hancock said. “How about climate change? How about income inequality? How about more student debt? There are so many big giant structural issues that have a huge impact on us but are invisible and that we aren’t looking at.”

Ms. Twenge remains committed to her position, and she points to several more recent studies by other academics who have found a specific link between social media use and poor mental health. One paper found that when a group of college students gave up social media for three weeks, their sense of loneliness and depression declined.

Ms. Odgers, Mr. Hancock and Mr. Przybylski said they had not taken any funding from the tech industry, and all have been outspoken critics of the industry on issues other than mental health, such as privacy and the companies’ lack of transparency.

Ms. Odgers added that she was not surprised that people had a hard time accepting her findings. Her own mother questioned her research after one of her grandsons stopped talking to her during the long drives she used to enjoy. But children tuning out their elders when they become teenagers is hardly a new trend, she said.

She also reminded her mother that their conversation was taking place during a video chat with Ms. Odgers’s son — the kind of intergenerational connection that was impossible before smartphones.

Ms. Odgers acknowledged that she was reluctant to give her two children more time on their iPads. But she recently tried playing the video game Fortnite with her son and found it an unexpectedly positive experience.

“It’s hard work because it’s not the environment we were raised in,” she said. “It can be a little scary at times. I have those moments, too.”

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Disney Drops Fox From 20th Century and Searchlight Studio Names

Westlake Legal Group 17disneyfox-1-facebookJumbo Disney Drops Fox From 20th Century and Searchlight Studio Names Walt Disney Company Twentieth Century Fox Movies

LOS ANGELES — Sound the trumpets: 20th Century Fox, a name and klieg-lit logo that stretches back 85 years in Hollywood, is dropping the word Fox, a move that may prevent consumers mistakenly thinking the movie studio has anything to do with Rupert Murdoch’s polarizing Fox News media empire.

The Walt Disney Company bought most of Mr. Murdoch’s entertainment assets last year in a $71.3 billion deal. That included the 20th Century Fox studio and its art-house sibling, Fox Searchlight. On Friday, employees at the main movie studio arrived to a new email format (@20thcenturystudios) without the Fox. A Disney spokesman confirmed that both labels, now officially known as 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures, would drop Fox from their logos. Disney had no further comment.

“Downhill,” a comedic drama starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, will be the first movie to bear the Searchlight Pictures name. It arrives in theaters on Feb. 14. “The Call of the Wild,” set for release on Feb. 21 and starring Harrison Ford, will carry the 20th Century logo. The trumpet fanfare (composed by Alfred Newman in 1933), klieg lights and familiar monolith logo will remain.

It is not surprising that Disney would rename the movie operations. In October, 20th Century Fox Television, a small-screen studio that Disney bought as part of the deal, became part of a new entity, Disney Television Studios.

Mr. Murdoch still owns the Fox broadcast network, Fox News and a chain of 28 local Fox television stations, among other media assets. His new company is called Fox Corporation, and one of his sons, Lachlan Murdoch, is chief executive. (The old company was called 21st Century Fox.)

The Fox brand became synonymous with Mr. Murdoch starting in the mid-1980s, when he bought a stake in the 20th Century Fox movie studio and founded the Fox broadcast network to compete with ABC, CBS and NBC. He eventually took full control of the movie studio. Fox News arrived on the cable scene in 1996 as an alternative to CNN and grew into a behemoth that dwarfed the film company as a moneymaker.

Fox News remains a media superpower, but its brand has become a polarizing one. The network’s founding chairman, Roger Ailes, and one of its most popular on-air personalities, Bill O’Reilly, became the focus of sexual harassment scandals in recent years. Its prime-time opinion hosts are vocal supporters of President Trump.

Hollywood figures have grown more vocal in their criticism of Fox News. In 2018, for instance, Steve Levitan, the creator of “Modern Family,” which airs on ABC but is produced by the Fox studio that Disney now owns, wrote on Twitter that he was “disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with @FoxNews.” His comments came amid the 24-hour news channel’s coverage of the Trump administration’s border security policy.

Movies have been branded with the Fox name for more than a century. The name dates to 1915, when William Fox, a Hungarian immigrant, left the fur and garment industry to start a motion picture company. The 1929 stock market crash, among other misfortunes, forced the Fox Film Corporation to merge with a competitor, Twentieth Century Pictures, to form 20th Century Fox in 1935. The combined company made such Hollywood classics as “The Sound of Music,” “All About Eve,” “Alien” and “Die Hard.”

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Meghan McCain sends ‘thoughts and prayers’ to NY Times for having to ‘suffer’ through her ‘problematic opinions’

Westlake Legal Group Meghan-McCain-NYT-HQ-Getty-iStock Meghan McCain sends 'thoughts and prayers' to NY Times for having to 'suffer' through her 'problematic opinions' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/meghan-mccain fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 67b6a3d9-37eb-5656-80e0-d4fe6acc40ec

“The View” co-host Meghan McCain sent her “thoughts and prayers” to The New York Times on Friday after the paper published an op-ed complaining about her dominating presence on the ABC daytime talk show.

“Going home to the promised land of Sedona…. I’ll be back @TheView next week as usual,” McCain told her Twitter followers. “Thoughts and prayers to the @nytimes opinion for having to suffer through a conservative woman with a big platform’s problematic opinions.”

Times cultural writer Shamira Ibrahim wrote a scathing piece on Thursday slamming the outspoken conservative host of the “The View,” but began by dismissing the need for “civility.”

MSNBC’S JOE SCARBOROUGH DEFENDS MEGHAN MCCAIN, TRASHES NYT OVER ‘EMBARRASSING’ OP-ED

“The daytime co-hosts’ heated bipartisan debates are played down as disagreement among friends. But the strain for ‘civility’ is tiring.” Ibrahim wrote. “Since Ms. McCain joined as a co-host on ‘The View’ in October of 2017, she’s become its most polarizing and predictable figure, the common denominator in the show’s most contentious round tables as of late. In the early days of her arrival, the conservative commentator’s on-air spats made for fun TV. Now, it’s just exhausting.”

She further complained, “For some viewers, Ms. McCain is the privileged product of conservative nepotism, capitalism and the American military-industrial complex. That coalescence naturally renders her a villain to progressives, who envision her as the cathartic personification of a punching bag on social media. Conversely, each pile-on reinforces her base with a narrative of the long-suffering victim of censorship.”

Ibrahim closed her piece by echoing “View” veteran Barbara Walters, who would always end the show by telling her audience to “take a little time to enjoy the view.”

“The problem is, with Ms. McCain still on the show, there’s not much to enjoy,” Ibrahim said.

‘THE VIEW’ IS ‘A BIG MESS’ AND ABC NEWS ‘THE MOST VICIOUS SWAMP IN THE BUSINESS,’ SOURCES SAY

McCain fired back at the Times piece, accusing the paper of “despising” conservative women.

“@nytimes – everyone already knows how much you despise red state, pro life, [sic] pro #2A conservative women, and wish we would all just go away,” McCain tweeted. “If the @nytimes wants to understand the country, maybe they should try having one woman in the room who doesn’t accept their groupthink on guns, abortion, and religion. Apparently that’s too much for them.”

While McCain received support from many on social media, her biggest defender was actually MSNBC star Joe Scarborough.

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“What an embarrassing example of how the Left is becoming even more insular by the day. That is saying a lot,” Scarborough began. “The Left owns most of American popular culture. And yet the existence of one moderately conservative woman poses a threat to civil discourse. Good Lord. What a joke.”

The “Morning Joe” co-host then invoked McCain’s father, the late-Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who in his final years was glorified by the media for his outspoken criticism of President Trump.

“The Left kissed up to John McCain every time he spoke truth to Trump but can’t handle his daughter speaking her own mind when it doesn’t fit neatly into a progressive world view? Open your mind,” Scarborough added.

Westlake Legal Group Meghan-McCain-NYT-HQ-Getty-iStock Meghan McCain sends 'thoughts and prayers' to NY Times for having to 'suffer' through her 'problematic opinions' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/meghan-mccain fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 67b6a3d9-37eb-5656-80e0-d4fe6acc40ec   Westlake Legal Group Meghan-McCain-NYT-HQ-Getty-iStock Meghan McCain sends 'thoughts and prayers' to NY Times for having to 'suffer' through her 'problematic opinions' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/meghan-mccain fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 67b6a3d9-37eb-5656-80e0-d4fe6acc40ec

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Celine Dion’s mom, Thérèse, dead at 92: ‘We love you so much’

Celine Dion‘s mother, Thérèse Tanguay Dion, has died. She was 92.

Thérèse, who was widely known in Canada as “Mama Dion,” died on Thursday after battling serious health issues for months, according to a statement obtained by Entertainment Tonight.

“It is with deep sadness that Feeling Productions announces the death of Mrs. Thérèse Tanguay Dion,” the statement said. “Mrs. Dion died peacefully at home last night, surrounded by her family.”

CELINE DION POSTS TRIBUTE TO LATE HUSBAND RENE ANGELIL ON FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH 

The statement continued: “The family and loved ones thank you in advance for respecting their privacy during these difficult times. Details related to the funeral will be communicated later.”

Westlake Legal Group b2e3668c-GettyImages-96770532 Celine Dion's mom, Thérèse, dead at 92: 'We love you so much' Mariah Haas fox-news/person/celine-dion fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 0b1cb4fe-8976-58d4-8dfc-b13e3fa4c03f

Celine Dion and Therese Tanguay Dion attend the premiere of Celine: Through The Eyes of The World presented by Piaget at Regal South Beach Cinema on February 16, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Sony)

Per the outlet, Thérèse was mom to 14 children, including Celine, with husband Adhémar-Charles Dion, who died in 2003 at the age of 80.

On Friday, the 51-year-old singer honored her late mother by sharing a black-and-white Instagram photo with the caption: “Maman, we love you so much…We dedicate tonight’s show to you and I’ll sing to you with all my heart. Love, Céline xx…”

CELINE DION ADMITS SHE DIDN’T WANT TO RECORD ONE OF HER BIGGEST HITS

The tragic news comes days after the four-year anniversary of Celine’s husband René Angélil’s death. Angélil died on Jan. 14, 2016 at the age of 73 after a lengthy battle with throat cancer.

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Dion took to Instagram on Tuesday to pen a sweet tribute to her late spouse.

A rep for Celine Dion did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group b2e3668c-GettyImages-96770532 Celine Dion's mom, Thérèse, dead at 92: 'We love you so much' Mariah Haas fox-news/person/celine-dion fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 0b1cb4fe-8976-58d4-8dfc-b13e3fa4c03f   Westlake Legal Group b2e3668c-GettyImages-96770532 Celine Dion's mom, Thérèse, dead at 92: 'We love you so much' Mariah Haas fox-news/person/celine-dion fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 0b1cb4fe-8976-58d4-8dfc-b13e3fa4c03f

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