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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 84)

Iranian female soccer fan ‘blue girl’ dies after setting herself on fire

An Iranian female soccer fan who faced a potentially lengthy sentence for trying to enter a soccer stadium dressed as a man has died after setting herself on fire a week ago outside a court, a semi-official news agency reported Tuesday.

The woman, Sahar Khodayari, died at a Tehran hospital on Monday, the Shafaghna news agency reported.

The 30-year-old set herself on fire last week after reportedly learning she may face between six months to two years in prison.

Khodayari was arrested back in March while trying to enter a soccer match for her favorite Iranian soccer team, Esteghlal. She was pretending to be a man and wore a blue hairpiece and a long overcoat when the police stopped her.

AIRSTRIKES TARGET IRANIAN BASE IN SYRIA, KILLING AT LEAST 21

Khodayari spent three nights in jail before she was released on bail and waited six months for her court case. When she appeared at court, Khodayari found out her trial had been postponed because the judge had a family emergency, and later overheard someone talking about her possible prison sentence, the BBC reported.

Westlake Legal Group IranSoccer1 Iranian female soccer fan 'blue girl' dies after setting herself on fire Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/sports fox news fnc/world fnc article 9809cc69-61eb-5605-9d9f-b887bf11618d

In this Oct. 16, 2018 file photo, Iranian women cheer as they wave their country’s flag after authorities in a rare move allowed a select group of women into Azadi stadium to watch a friendly soccer match between Iran and Bolivia, in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

She then left the courthouse and set herself ablaze in front of the building, and later died at the hospital.

Westlake Legal Group iranbluegirl1 Iranian female soccer fan 'blue girl' dies after setting herself on fire Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/sports fox news fnc/world fnc article 9809cc69-61eb-5605-9d9f-b887bf11618d

Sahar Khodayari, an Iranian female soccer fan known as “Blue Girl” for the colors supporting of the Esteghlal team, died after setting herself on fire after learning she may serve a six-month prison sentence for trying to enter a soccer stadium where women are banned, a semi-official news agency reported Tuesday. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Khodayari, who had graduated in computer sciences, was known as the “Blue Girl” on social media for the colors of her favorite Iranian soccer team. Esteghlal issued a statement, offering condolences to Khodayari’s family.

IRAN’S LATEST NUKE DEAL BREACH IS INSTALLATION OF MORE THAN 30 NEW CENTRIFUGES, IAEA SAYS

The tragic death immediately drew an outcry among some soccer stars and known figures in Iran, where women are banned from soccer stadiums, though they are allowed at some other sports, such as volleyball.

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Ali Karimi — who played 127 matches for Iran and has been a vocal advocate of ending the ban on women — urged Iranians in a tweet to boycott soccer stadiums to protest Khodayari’s death.

Iranian-Armenian soccer player Andranik “Ando” Teymourian, the first Christian to be the captain of Iran’s national squad and also an Esteghlal player, said in a tweet that one of Tehran’s major soccer stadiums will be named after Khodayari, “once, in the future.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Women in Iran have been banned from going into stadiums to watch men’s sporting events since 1981, according to Human Rights Watch. The stadium ban may is not written into law, but is “ruthlessly enforced”, according to the organization.

Last October, authorities in Iran allowed a select group of women into Azadi stadium to watch a friendly soccer match between Iran and Bolivia, in Tehran, Iran. Iran’s government faced an Aug. 31 dead by Fifa to allow women to attend official football matches in order to “pave the way” for female attendees, the BBC previously reported.

Iran’s minister of information and communications technology, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, described the death of the female soccer fan as a “bitter incident.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group iranbluegirl1 Iranian female soccer fan 'blue girl' dies after setting herself on fire Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/sports fox news fnc/world fnc article 9809cc69-61eb-5605-9d9f-b887bf11618d   Westlake Legal Group iranbluegirl1 Iranian female soccer fan 'blue girl' dies after setting herself on fire Travis Fedschun fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/sports/soccer fox-news/sports fox news fnc/world fnc article 9809cc69-61eb-5605-9d9f-b887bf11618d

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McConnell Said No to Money for Miners, Yes to Russian-Backed Plant

Westlake Legal Group 106Gobr2qqpXtsQ7XVBbIDCq6SmcjaVNv70y7me6B48 McConnell Said No to Money for Miners, Yes to Russian-Backed Plant r/politics

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Big Tech Faces A New Set Of Foes: Nearly All 50 States

Westlake Legal Group 5d7792f2240000d32677ca00 Big Tech Faces A New Set Of Foes: Nearly All 50 States

Big tech companies have long rebuffed attempts by the U.S. federal government to scrutinize or scale back their market power. Now they face a scrappy new coalition as well: prosecutors from nearly all 50 states.

In a rare show of bipartisan force, attorneys general from 48 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are investigating whether Google’s huge online search and advertising business is engaging in monopolistic behavior. The Texas-led antitrust investigation of Google, announced Monday, follows a separate multistate investigation of Facebook’s market dominance that was revealed Friday.

The state moves follow similar sweeping antitrust tech investigations launched by the Federal Trade Commission and the Trump administration’s Department of Justice; the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee is conducting a similar probe. But should federal officials tire of their work, the state-led efforts could keep them on their toes.

States have worked closely together on other matters, such as the fight to curb opioid abuse. But the sheer number participating in this kind of antitrust effort is unprecedented and gives it more weight, said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, a Republican.

“It’s just an accumulation of public frustration, whether it’s from consumers, other players in the market, regulators, lawmakers,” Reyes said in an interview Monday.

Fiona Scott Morton, a Yale economics professor and former antitrust official at the Justice Department under the Obama administration, said it’s important that states are taking the lead because the Trump administration is “not really enforcing antitrust law except against companies the president is upset with.”

She noted the Trump administration’s unsuccessful push to use antitrust law to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, which owns CNN, a frequent target of Trump’s criticism; and Friday’s announcement that federal antitrust enforcers would investigate automakers that worked with California on tougher emissions limits.

“That’s not what consumers want,” she said. “Consumers want to be protected from anticompetitive conduct.”

States haven’t seriously taken up antitrust enforcement — using laws originally crafted to combat railroad and oil barons in the 19th century — since a major antitrust case against Microsoft about two decades ago. Then, state leadership helped propel federal action.

Back in 2016, Reyes and a Democratic counterpart, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, tried unsuccessfully to get the Federal Trade Commission to reopen an earlier investigation into Google for allegedly favoring its own products in search results.

The FTC declined, leaving European regulators to take the lead in similar probes overseas, Reyes said.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and controls so many facets of the internet that it’s almost impossible to surf the web for long without running into at least one of its services. Google’s dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data.

The company — and peers such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple — have long argued that although their businesses are large, they are useful and beneficial to consumers. Influenced by the popularity of the companies’ ubiquitous tech products and their significant lobbying power, most American political leaders didn’t challenge that view.

But the public debate over the tech industry has changed dramatically since Reyes and Racine sent their letter to the FTC at the end of the Obama administration three years ago. Culprits in that shift include Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, in which a political data mining firm affiliated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign improperly accessed the personal data of as many as 87 million users.

On Monday, Reyes and Racine joined forces again — this time flanked by nearly a dozen mostly Republican state attorneys general on the steps of the Supreme Court and dozens more from both parties who signed onto the formal investigation.

“Ignoring 50 AGs is a lot more difficult than ignoring two AGs,” Reyes said. “DC and Utah had raised these issues but didn’t feel we had enough firepower or resources on our own.”

Scott Morton, the Yale professor, said most states have laws that mimic federal antitrust laws, but it can be harder for state attorneys general to enforce those laws because they don’t usually have in-house antitrust experts. They can get around that, she added, by working together with other states and hiring shared experts.

Reyes emphasized that the state-led effort is not “anti-tech,” and argued it is “actually for the benefit of the tech ecosystem to help level the playing field.”

He said there’s nothing wrong with Google being the dominant search player if it’s done fairly, but the investigation will look into whether Google crosses the line “between aggressive business practices and illegal ones.”

A tech trade association that has supported some antitrust measures expressed wariness about how states are proceeding.

“We hope the investigations will be law and evidence-based and will restrain from overly politicizing these inquiries, and that both companies and authorities will work together in good faith,” said Ed Black, president and CEO of the Communications Computer and Communications Industry Association.

Associated Press writers Rachel Lerman in San Francisco and Marcy Gordon in Washington contributed to this report.

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Meghan McCain defends Chrissy Teigen from Trump’s ‘filthy mouth’ attack

Meghan McCain stood up for Chrissy Teigen after President Trump slammed the model for having a “filthy mouth.”

“Since when is there something wrong with being a filthy mouthed wife? #teamchrissy,” she tweeted Monday.

CHRISSY TEIGEN SLAMS DONALD TRUMP ON HIS BIRTHDAY

The View” co-host has long feuded with Trump over his repeated insults targeted at her late father, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Her support for Teigen came after Trump called out singer John Legend and Teigen, to whom Trump referred to as Legend’s “filthy mouthed wife.”

Trump wasn’t happy that Legend and Teigen were “talking now about how great” crime reform is but allegedly didn’t act on the reforms when Trump claims that it mattered. Trump signed the First Step Act into law last year, reducing mandatory minimum sentences in certain instances and giving judges more discretion in individual cases. More than 3,100 inmates will be released under the act, which has been praised by both Republicans and Democrats.

Westlake Legal Group meghan-mccain-donald-trump-chrissy-teigen Meghan McCain defends Chrissy Teigen from Trump's 'filthy mouth' attack Jessica Sager fox-news/person/meghan-mccain fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chrissy-teigen fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fcdd0e03-5846-58b0-a1f6-7c05b1ff4ff6 article

Meghan McCain defended Chrissy Teigen after President Trump said the model had a “filthy mouth.” “The View” co-host has had bad blood with Trump for years following his feud with the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). (Getty)

TRUMP BLOCKS CHRISSY TEIGEN ON TWITTER

Trump talked about criminal justice reform and how President “Obama couldn’t come close” to passing meaningful law. The president said he is tired of “boring musician John Legend” and his wife for touting the bill, which Legend discussed in a CNN special.

“They only talk about the minor players, or people that had nothing to do with it…And the people that so desperately sought my help when everyone else had failed, all they talk about now is Impeaching President Trump,” Trump lamented.

JOHN LEGEND SAYS DONALD TRUMP NEEDS TO APOLOGIZE FOR ‘DEMONIZING’ MUSLIMS

Legend responded to Trump’s tweet by appealing to first lady Melania Trump.

“Imagine being president of a whole country and spending your Sunday night hate-watching MSNBC hoping somebody—ANYBODY—will praise you. Melania, please praise this man.  He needs you,” he tweeted. A minute later he tweeted, “Your country needs you, Melania.”

CHRISSY TEIGEN, JOHN LEGEND HEADLINE HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS

MEGHAN MCCAIN CONCERNED THAT TRUMP’S ‘RACE BAITING’ WILL HURT REPUBLICAN PARTY

Teigen mocked the president, calling him a “p—y a— b—h” for tagging “everyone” but her in his tweet. Legend sarcastically requested that followers not retweet Teigen’s insult as a hashtag.

The couple has been fiercely critical of the president for years. The Grammy winner called Trump a “piece of s—t” and a “canker sore on the country” after the president’s criticism of Baltimore.

GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In an interview with USA Today, Teigen quipped, “I’ve actually been a big Donald Trump hater [for a long time]. I’ve been trolling him for about five to seven years now,” she said. “I’ve been doing this forever, and I take pride in that.”

Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group meghan-mccain-donald-trump-chrissy-teigen Meghan McCain defends Chrissy Teigen from Trump's 'filthy mouth' attack Jessica Sager fox-news/person/meghan-mccain fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chrissy-teigen fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fcdd0e03-5846-58b0-a1f6-7c05b1ff4ff6 article   Westlake Legal Group meghan-mccain-donald-trump-chrissy-teigen Meghan McCain defends Chrissy Teigen from Trump's 'filthy mouth' attack Jessica Sager fox-news/person/meghan-mccain fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chrissy-teigen fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fcdd0e03-5846-58b0-a1f6-7c05b1ff4ff6 article

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‘Impeccable integrity’: Clapper intervened to lavish McCabe with praise in bid to save him at FBI

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5778504883001_5778506040001-vs 'Impeccable integrity': Clapper intervened to lavish McCabe with praise in bid to save him at FBI Washington Examiner Jerry Dunleavy fox-news/politics/justice-department fnc/politics fnc article 01d13916-a132-5d3a-8012-361ddffb75d5

James Clapper, formerly the Director of National Intelligence, penned a glowing testimonial to FBI Director Christopher Wray in 2018 in an strenuous effort to save Andrew McCabe’s job, calling the fired FBI deputy director a man of “self-effacing humility” and “impeccable integrity.”

The lengthy and apparently heartfelt handwritten letter by Clapper appeared amid hundreds of pages of newly released FBI documents made public through Freedom of Information Act litigation carried out by the left-leaning watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The note from Clapper to Wray, dated Feb. 25, 2018, came the same month that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz completed his investigation concluding that McCabe improperly disclosed investigative information on the Clinton Foundation to the media and misled investigators about it. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on March 16, 2018, just before his retirement was to begin, citing Horowitz’s conclusions.

Clapper, now a strident Trump critic and who served as DNI from 2010 through 2017, was effusive in its praise of McCabe, calling him “steady, straightforward, candid, forthright, and honest” and claiming that the “biased scrutiny” and the “firestorm of criticism” against the embattled bureau deputy “completely unjustified and profoundly unfair.”

“I would hope you will consider my observations, which I know are shared uniformly by virtually everyone who knows Andy, and will use your influential voice to ensure he is able to complete his career and retire after his 21 years of distinguished service to the bureau and this nation,” Clapper wrote to Wray.

Click here for more from Washington Examiner. 

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5778504883001_5778506040001-vs 'Impeccable integrity': Clapper intervened to lavish McCabe with praise in bid to save him at FBI Washington Examiner Jerry Dunleavy fox-news/politics/justice-department fnc/politics fnc article 01d13916-a132-5d3a-8012-361ddffb75d5   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5778504883001_5778506040001-vs 'Impeccable integrity': Clapper intervened to lavish McCabe with praise in bid to save him at FBI Washington Examiner Jerry Dunleavy fox-news/politics/justice-department fnc/politics fnc article 01d13916-a132-5d3a-8012-361ddffb75d5

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

Big Tech Faces A New Set Of Foes: Nearly All 50 States

Westlake Legal Group 5d7792f2240000d32677ca00 Big Tech Faces A New Set Of Foes: Nearly All 50 States

Big tech companies have long rebuffed attempts by the U.S. federal government to scrutinize or scale back their market power. Now they face a scrappy new coalition as well: prosecutors from nearly all 50 states.

In a rare show of bipartisan force, attorneys general from 48 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are investigating whether Google’s huge online search and advertising business is engaging in monopolistic behavior. The Texas-led antitrust investigation of Google, announced Monday, follows a separate multistate investigation of Facebook’s market dominance that was revealed Friday.

The state moves follow similar sweeping antitrust tech investigations launched by the Federal Trade Commission and the Trump administration’s Department of Justice; the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee is conducting a similar probe. But should federal officials tire of their work, the state-led efforts could keep them on their toes.

States have worked closely together on other matters, such as the fight to curb opioid abuse. But the sheer number participating in this kind of antitrust effort is unprecedented and gives it more weight, said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, a Republican.

“It’s just an accumulation of public frustration, whether it’s from consumers, other players in the market, regulators, lawmakers,” Reyes said in an interview Monday.

Fiona Scott Morton, a Yale economics professor and former antitrust official at the Justice Department under the Obama administration, said it’s important that states are taking the lead because the Trump administration is “not really enforcing antitrust law except against companies the president is upset with.”

She noted the Trump administration’s unsuccessful push to use antitrust law to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, which owns CNN, a frequent target of Trump’s criticism; and Friday’s announcement that federal antitrust enforcers would investigate automakers that worked with California on tougher emissions limits.

“That’s not what consumers want,” she said. “Consumers want to be protected from anticompetitive conduct.”

States haven’t seriously taken up antitrust enforcement — using laws originally crafted to combat railroad and oil barons in the 19th century — since a major antitrust case against Microsoft about two decades ago. Then, state leadership helped propel federal action.

Back in 2016, Reyes and a Democratic counterpart, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, tried unsuccessfully to get the Federal Trade Commission to reopen an earlier investigation into Google for allegedly favoring its own products in search results.

The FTC declined, leaving European regulators to take the lead in similar probes overseas, Reyes said.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and controls so many facets of the internet that it’s almost impossible to surf the web for long without running into at least one of its services. Google’s dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data.

The company — and peers such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple — have long argued that although their businesses are large, they are useful and beneficial to consumers. Influenced by the popularity of the companies’ ubiquitous tech products and their significant lobbying power, most American political leaders didn’t challenge that view.

But the public debate over the tech industry has changed dramatically since Reyes and Racine sent their letter to the FTC at the end of the Obama administration three years ago. Culprits in that shift include Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, in which a political data mining firm affiliated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign improperly accessed the personal data of as many as 87 million users.

On Monday, Reyes and Racine joined forces again — this time flanked by nearly a dozen mostly Republican state attorneys general on the steps of the Supreme Court and dozens more from both parties who signed onto the formal investigation.

“Ignoring 50 AGs is a lot more difficult than ignoring two AGs,” Reyes said. “DC and Utah had raised these issues but didn’t feel we had enough firepower or resources on our own.”

Scott Morton, the Yale professor, said most states have laws that mimic federal antitrust laws, but it can be harder for state attorneys general to enforce those laws because they don’t usually have in-house antitrust experts. They can get around that, she added, by working together with other states and hiring shared experts.

Reyes emphasized that the state-led effort is not “anti-tech,” and argued it is “actually for the benefit of the tech ecosystem to help level the playing field.”

He said there’s nothing wrong with Google being the dominant search player if it’s done fairly, but the investigation will look into whether Google crosses the line “between aggressive business practices and illegal ones.”

A tech trade association that has supported some antitrust measures expressed wariness about how states are proceeding.

“We hope the investigations will be law and evidence-based and will restrain from overly politicizing these inquiries, and that both companies and authorities will work together in good faith,” said Ed Black, president and CEO of the Communications Computer and Communications Industry Association.

Associated Press writers Rachel Lerman in San Francisco and Marcy Gordon in Washington contributed to this report.

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CBS News poll: Warren overtakes Biden

Westlake Legal Group PoXAqIGdJdsJ-T0z23kPuFAowpavL0qQZdVqv0Es044 CBS News poll: Warren overtakes Biden r/politics

It’s not a single poll though. Go ahead and look at the trends over the past six months. You’ll find that, while Biden commanded a significant lead right out of the gate, his polling numbers trend downwards, at a pretty significant rate too.

Warren started out with very little support, but since she announced has been steadily rising in the polls at a pretty consistent pace.

Now, I think it would be more accurate to say that Biden, Bernie, and Warren are tied for first, rather than declare that Warren is winning, but given the way the polls are trending, I fully expect Warren to take a significant lead come Iowa.

But, we’ll see, things may change between then and now. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Biden’s numbers after the next debate. It seems like whenever he speaks on a national stage he loses supporters. No doubt he has noticed this, and will seek to rectify that problem, it’ll be interesting to see what his solution is and if it works.

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Big Tech Faces A New Set Of Foes: Nearly All 50 States

Westlake Legal Group 5d7792f2240000d32677ca00 Big Tech Faces A New Set Of Foes: Nearly All 50 States

Big tech companies have long rebuffed attempts by the U.S. federal government to scrutinize or scale back their market power. Now they face a scrappy new coalition as well: prosecutors from nearly all 50 states.

In a rare show of bipartisan force, attorneys general from 48 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are investigating whether Google’s huge online search and advertising business is engaging in monopolistic behavior. The Texas-led antitrust investigation of Google, announced Monday, follows a separate multistate investigation of Facebook’s market dominance that was revealed Friday.

The state moves follow similar sweeping antitrust tech investigations launched by the Federal Trade Commission and the Trump administration’s Department of Justice; the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee is conducting a similar probe. But should federal officials tire of their work, the state-led efforts could keep them on their toes.

States have worked closely together on other matters, such as the fight to curb opioid abuse. But the sheer number participating in this kind of antitrust effort is unprecedented and gives it more weight, said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, a Republican.

“It’s just an accumulation of public frustration, whether it’s from consumers, other players in the market, regulators, lawmakers,” Reyes said in an interview Monday.

Fiona Scott Morton, a Yale economics professor and former antitrust official at the Justice Department under the Obama administration, said it’s important that states are taking the lead because the Trump administration is “not really enforcing antitrust law except against companies the president is upset with.”

She noted the Trump administration’s unsuccessful push to use antitrust law to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, which owns CNN, a frequent target of Trump’s criticism; and Friday’s announcement that federal antitrust enforcers would investigate automakers that worked with California on tougher emissions limits.

“That’s not what consumers want,” she said. “Consumers want to be protected from anticompetitive conduct.”

States haven’t seriously taken up antitrust enforcement — using laws originally crafted to combat railroad and oil barons in the 19th century — since a major antitrust case against Microsoft about two decades ago. Then, state leadership helped propel federal action.

Back in 2016, Reyes and a Democratic counterpart, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, tried unsuccessfully to get the Federal Trade Commission to reopen an earlier investigation into Google for allegedly favoring its own products in search results.

The FTC declined, leaving European regulators to take the lead in similar probes overseas, Reyes said.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and controls so many facets of the internet that it’s almost impossible to surf the web for long without running into at least one of its services. Google’s dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data.

The company — and peers such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple — have long argued that although their businesses are large, they are useful and beneficial to consumers. Influenced by the popularity of the companies’ ubiquitous tech products and their significant lobbying power, most American political leaders didn’t challenge that view.

But the public debate over the tech industry has changed dramatically since Reyes and Racine sent their letter to the FTC at the end of the Obama administration three years ago. Culprits in that shift include Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, in which a political data mining firm affiliated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign improperly accessed the personal data of as many as 87 million users.

On Monday, Reyes and Racine joined forces again — this time flanked by nearly a dozen mostly Republican state attorneys general on the steps of the Supreme Court and dozens more from both parties who signed onto the formal investigation.

“Ignoring 50 AGs is a lot more difficult than ignoring two AGs,” Reyes said. “DC and Utah had raised these issues but didn’t feel we had enough firepower or resources on our own.”

Scott Morton, the Yale professor, said most states have laws that mimic federal antitrust laws, but it can be harder for state attorneys general to enforce those laws because they don’t usually have in-house antitrust experts. They can get around that, she added, by working together with other states and hiring shared experts.

Reyes emphasized that the state-led effort is not “anti-tech,” and argued it is “actually for the benefit of the tech ecosystem to help level the playing field.”

He said there’s nothing wrong with Google being the dominant search player if it’s done fairly, but the investigation will look into whether Google crosses the line “between aggressive business practices and illegal ones.”

A tech trade association that has supported some antitrust measures expressed wariness about how states are proceeding.

“We hope the investigations will be law and evidence-based and will restrain from overly politicizing these inquiries, and that both companies and authorities will work together in good faith,” said Ed Black, president and CEO of the Communications Computer and Communications Industry Association.

Associated Press writers Rachel Lerman in San Francisco and Marcy Gordon in Washington contributed to this report.

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Discussion Thread: North Carolina Special Congressional Elections (Tuesday, September 10, 2019)

Introduction

​ Today, voters in two Congressional Districts in North Carolina head to the polls in special elections to fill seats in North Carolina’s 3rd and 9th districts. The 3rd district was left vacant following the death of the late Congressman Walter Jones in February of this year, while the North Carolina State Board of Elections had unanimously refused to certify the results of last year’s election in the 9th district and ordered a new election, following an investigation suggesting that then-winner Mark Harris had employed an independent contractor to commit election fraud to alter the outcome of the election. ​ If you’re a North Carolinian in that neck of the woods and haven’t yet done so, please take the time to vote! North Carolina also has same day voter registration if you aren’t yet registered. Polls are open from 6:30AM to 7:30PM. ​

Elections

North Carolina 3rd District: ​ NC-03 has a Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of R+12. President Trump carried this district by a 61-37 margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

North Carolina 9th District: ​ NC-09 has a PVI of R+8. President Trump carried this district by a 54-43 margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Results

​* North Carolina State Bureau of Elections

Note from the Moderators

This is a test of Reddit’s new chat discussion view. This works on the redesign (“New Reddit”) and the official Reddit App. Users of other apps and “Old Reddit” will still be able to view and participate in this discussion via the standard comment view. Please give us feedback (via modmail) about how you like this new feature.

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Presidential Power Must Be Curbed After Trump, 2020 Candidates Say

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidates broadly agree that President Trump has shaken the presidency loose from its constitutional limits and say that the White House needs major new legal curbs, foreshadowing a potential era of reform akin to the post-Watergate period if any of them wins next year’s election.

In responses to a New York Times survey about executive power, the Democrats — along with two Republicans mounting primary challenges to Mr. Trump — envisioned a rebuke of his term by enshrining into law previous norms of presidential self-restraint.

Many called for new laws that would require presidents to disclose their tax returns and to divest from significant assets; bar them from appointing close relatives to White House positions; and constrain their abilities to award security clearances and to fire special prosecutors investigating their administration, among other potential reforms.

The survey is the first and most detailed collection of the candidates’ views on a set of issues that they are rarely asked about, yet often prove crucial to the outcome of political fights: the scope and limits of a president’s power to act unilaterally or even in defiance of statutes.

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Executive Power Survey

The Times sent a survey to the presidential candidates about their understanding of the scope and limits of the presidential authority they would wield if elected.

The survey — which elicited answers from 15 Democrats, including all in the top polling tier and eight of the 10 in Thursday’s debate — also focused on recurring constitutional disputes that have arisen under recent presidents of both parties on matters including secrecy and war.

“The American people should fully know how candidates will use the power of the presidency,” Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote, echoing other candidates who agreed that voters should know their views before deciding whom to entrust with the power of the White House.

Presidents have “a responsibility to make sure excess power is not used to start endless wars, attack the privacy of Americans, or undermine the democratic values of our country,” she added.

But though the candidates “seem committed to reforming the presidency,” they might have second thoughts from the vantage point of the Oval Office, said Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor and former senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration who reviewed their responses.

“The next Democratic president will happily accept new rules on tax releases, but will have a harder time accepting constraints on security clearances and emergency or war powers,” he said. “Institutional prerogative often defeats prior reformist pledges.”

Indeed, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. expressed a more expansive view of presidential war powers after eight years in the Obama White House than he did in 2007 during an earlier run for president.



The 2020 candidates agreed on some issues, including that Mr. Bush was wrong to claim after the Sept. 11 attacks that he could override surveillance and anti-torture laws because he was the commander in chief.

But they diverged about others, like whether President Barack Obama’s invocation of the same power was legitimate. Mr. Obama used similar reasoning to disregard a requirement that he give Congress 30 days’ notice before transferring Guantánamo Bay detainees as part of the 2014 Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap.

Senator Kamala Harris, for example, wrote that while a president can lawfully override or bypass statutes that are clearly unconstitutional, she thought the detainee transfer law — along with the surveillance and anti-torture laws — was a constitutional limit that presidents must obey.

“The executive branch is not above the law,” she wrote, adding, “As president, I would respect these laws.”

By contrast, Mr. Biden defended the decision by Mr. Obama — then his boss — to immediately carry out the exchange after the deal was struck instead of waiting 30 days. Obama administration officials argued that a delay would have endangered the captive soldier’s life.

“The transfer of detainees from Guantánamo was an exchange of prisoners in a conflict, and therefore a valid exercise of the commander-in-chief power,” Mr. Biden wrote.

He participated in an earlier iteration of the survey as a senator seeking the 2008 presidential nomination, and his new answers reflected the understanding of executive authority that he gained from watching close up as Mr. Obama wielded it.

In late 2007, for example, Mr. Biden offered a restrictive view of when presidents may unilaterally direct the military to attack other countries, writing: “The Constitution is clear: Except in response to an attack or the imminent threat of attack, only Congress may authorize war and the use of force.”

But in the new survey, Mr. Biden called it “well established” that presidents may launch limited strikes “without prior congressional approval when those operations serve important U.S. interests.”

That legal rationale for ordering limited attacks without congressional approval echoed the Obama administration’s stance during the NATO intervention in Libya in 2011. But the bombing campaign violated a limit on executive war-making powers that both Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden had said they would respect in the 2007 candidate survey.

Importantly, however, Mr. Biden said both then and now that any bombing of Iranian nuclear sites — a prospect in which the scope of unilateral presidential war-making authority has repeatedly come up — would require prior authorization from Congress because it would carry too much risk of escalation into a major war.

Still, several of Mr. Biden’s rivals took a more constrained view, suggesting that a rationale of serving American “interests” is not enough to justify even limited strikes without Congress.

“In situations where the use of force is necessary, absent an imminent threat to our national security, I will take that case to Congress and the American people to seek authorization,” former Representative Beto O’Rourke wrote.

Most candidates left the door open to using presidential signing statements, when approving bills, to claim a right to bypass provisions they see as unconstitutionally infringing on executive powers. But the answers submitted by the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders — which were written in third person — pledged he would never use them.

“Signing statements circumvent the will of Congress and have no constitutional or legal legitimacy,” the response said. “As president, Bernie would not issue signing statements.”

The survey revealed broader disagreements about the wisdom of several other potential reforms raised by Mr. Trump’s record. Significant numbers of candidates stood on both sides of ideas like curtailing future presidents’ latitude to invoke emergency powers and to choose acting agency heads when temporarily filling vacancies.

But the candidates were largely united in rejecting the view of Mr. Trump’s legal team, including Attorney General William P. Barr, that obstruction of justice laws do not apply to presidents who abuse their official powers to interfere with investigations for corrupt reasons.

Many also expressed skepticism of the Justice Department’s view that sitting presidents are immune from indictment, which bound the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as he weighed Mr. Trump’s attempts to obstruct the Russia investigation. Most said they would sign a law pausing the statute of limitations for offenses by presidents, ensuring that they can still be prosecuted after leaving office.

But they split over what else to do about it. Several said they would direct the department’s Office of Legal Counsel to rescind its opinion, while others sidestepped that question. Mayor Pete Buttigieg argued that it would interfere with Justice Department independence for a president to simply direct the office, commonly called O.L.C., to change its legal interpretation.

“Because the integrity of the Justice Department is critical to the rule of law, I do not think it would be appropriate for any president to dictate the legal conclusions that O.L.C. may issue or retract,” Mr. Buttigieg wrote.

After The Times began the survey, Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan group of former officials seeking to prevent a decline “into a more authoritarian form of government,” lobbied the candidates to participate. Justin Florence, a former Obama White House lawyer and the group’s co-founder, praised those who answered the questions.

“With democracy in retreat and autocratic politics on the rise here and around the world, this survey provides critical insights into how each candidate understands the limits on the immense powers they’re seeking,” Mr. Florence said.

Several prominent Democratic candidates have not answered the questions. They include Mayor Bill de Blasio; Julian Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development secretary; former Representative John Delaney; and the businessmen Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang.

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