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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 85)

Justin Bieber says he can beat Tom Cruise in a fight, calls himself ‘the Conor McGregor of entertainment’

Westlake Legal Group Justin-Bieber Justin Bieber says he can beat Tom Cruise in a fight, calls himself 'the Conor McGregor of entertainment' Nate Day fox-news/person/justin-bieber fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ba737e1c-4f0f-5c86-96b0-332fe220e47b article

Justin Bieber is ready for a showdown.

In June of 2019, the “Yummy” singer took to Twitter to challenge Tom Cruise to a “fight in the octagon,” saying the movie star “will never live it down” should he not engage.

Just days later, Bieber, now 25, admitted that his challenge was in jest.

JUSTIN BIEBER TALKS MANAGING MENTAL HEALTH, FAMOUS CRYING PAPARAZZI PHOTO

“It was just a random tweet. I do that stuff sometimes,” Bieber told TMZ at the time. “I think he would probably whoop my a– in a fight. He’s got that dad strength.”

However, during a recent appearance on James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment of “The Late Late Show,” the singer walked back his previous statements, claiming he could beat the 57-year-old actor in a fight.

JUSTIN BIEBER SAYS HE OVERCAME ‘BAD EXAMPLES OF CHRISTIANS’ BEFORE STARTING TO FOLLOW JESUS

When Corden told Bieber he’d bet that Cruise would win in a fight, Bieber said that “there’s absolutely no way” that would be the case.

“He’s not the guy you see in movies,” the singer explained. “That’s a character. [Being in] phenomenal shape doesn’t mean you’re a good fighter.”

When Corden insisted that Cruise would be victorious, Bieber clapped back.

JUSTIN BIEBER ADMITS HE COULDN’T BE ‘FAITHFUL’ TO WIFE HAILEY BIEBER AT START OF RELATIONSHIP

“You’re mesmerized by the characters that he’s playing,” Bieber said. “I’m telling you … I’m dangerous. My agility is crazy. My agility is insane.”

He added: “I’m the Conor McGregor of entertainment.”

After Bieber’s initial challenge, McGregor, a professional mixed martial artist, offered to host the fight.

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“If Tom Cruise is man enough to accept this challenge, McGregor Sports and Entertainment will host the bout,” tweeted the 31-year-old athlete. “Does Cruise have the sprouts to fight, like he does in the movies? Stay tuned to find out!”

Westlake Legal Group Justin-Bieber Justin Bieber says he can beat Tom Cruise in a fight, calls himself 'the Conor McGregor of entertainment' Nate Day fox-news/person/justin-bieber fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ba737e1c-4f0f-5c86-96b0-332fe220e47b article   Westlake Legal Group Justin-Bieber Justin Bieber says he can beat Tom Cruise in a fight, calls himself 'the Conor McGregor of entertainment' Nate Day fox-news/person/justin-bieber fox-news/entertainment/events/feud fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc ba737e1c-4f0f-5c86-96b0-332fe220e47b article

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Missouri man charged with murdering wife who vanished in October, no body found

A Missouri man suspected in the disappearance of his wife and of abusing his 1-year-old daughter was charged Wednesday in her presumed death despite the fact that her body hasn’t been found.

Joseph Elledge, of Columbia, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of 28-year-old Mengqi Ji, according to court records. He was already charged with endangering the welfare of a child and one count of child abuse based on evidence discovered during an investigation into his wife’s disappearance.

He reported Ji missing on Oct. 10 and said he had not seen her since late in the evening on Oct. 8, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported. Authorities have extensively searched a section of the Lamine River in Cooper County for her, KMIZ-TV reported.

Westlake Legal Group AP20050855998326 Missouri man charged with murdering wife who vanished in October, no body found Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5411ec13-7ea5-5a0d-b17c-a154174b3c74

This undated file photo provided by Boone County Sheriff’s Department in Columbia, Mo., shows Joseph Elledge. Prosecutors have charged Elledge, the American husband of a Chinese woman who has been missing since October, 2019, with first-degree murder in her death, even though her body hasn’t been found.  (Boone County Sheriff’s Department via AP, File)

Authorities said Elledge took a drive through unfamiliar remote areas in central Missouri before reporting Ji missing, according to a probable cause statement. They said he also deflected conversations about his missing wife and chose to play video games instead.

During a November hearing, Boone County prosecutors described Elledge as “a jealous, controlling, manipulative psychopath.”

In an audio recording played during the hearing, Elledge was heard telling Ji, “I don’t like being with you,”  “I’m going to end it” and “I’m going to bury the earth under you.” Ji is heard arguing back.

Elledge raised his voice several times during the recording and, at one point, told her, “I know you want me to hit you,” and “This, it’s not abusive.”

Westlake Legal Group 7db8ad43-Capture Missouri man charged with murdering wife who vanished in October, no body found Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5411ec13-7ea5-5a0d-b17c-a154174b3c74

Mengqi Ji was last seen in October. Her husband, Joseph Elledge, has been charged in her presumed death and for allegedly abusing the couple’s 1-year-old daughter.  (Missing Persons Cases Network )

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Ji received a master’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Missouri in December 2014. She previously attended the East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai.

Elledge was attending the school when he was arrested last year. He remains in police custody.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP20050855998326 Missouri man charged with murdering wife who vanished in October, no body found Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5411ec13-7ea5-5a0d-b17c-a154174b3c74   Westlake Legal Group AP20050855998326 Missouri man charged with murdering wife who vanished in October, no body found Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5411ec13-7ea5-5a0d-b17c-a154174b3c74

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Musician Plays Her Violin During Brain Surgery

Westlake Legal Group violinist_wide-f0170d7eb6514069fabce76ed58ddb98ea5f89c1-s1100-c15 Musician Plays Her Violin During Brain Surgery
Westlake Legal Group  Musician Plays Her Violin During Brain Surgery

As doctors in London performed surgery on Dagmar Turner’s brain, the sound of a violin filled the operating room.

The music came from the patient on the operating table. In a video from the surgery, the violinist moves her bow up and down as surgeons behind a plastic sheet work to remove her brain tumor.

The King’s College Hospital surgeons woke her up in the middle of the operation in order to ensure they did not compromise parts of the brain necessary for playing the violin, such as parts that control precise hand movements and coordination.

“We knew how important the violin is to Dagmar, so it was vital that we preserved function in the delicate areas of her brain that allowed her to play,” Keyoumars Ashkan, a neurosurgeon at King’s College Hospital, said in a press release.

Turner, 53, learned that she had a slow-growing tumor in 2013. Late last year, doctors found that it had become more aggressive and the violinist decided to have surgery to remove it.

[embedded content]

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust YouTube

In an interview with ITV News, Turner recalled doctors telling her, “Your tumor is on the right-hand side, so it will not affect your right-hand side, it will affect your left-hand side.”

“And I’m just like, ‘Oh, hang on, this is my most important part. My job these days is playing the violin,’ ” she said, making a motion of pushing down violin strings with her left hand.

Ashkan, an accomplished pianist, and his colleagues came up with a plan to keep the hand’s functions intact.

“Prior to Dagmar’s operation they spent two hours carefully mapping her brain to identify areas that were active when she played the violin and those responsible for controlling language and movement,” the hospital statement said. Waking her up during surgery then allowed doctors to monitor whether those parts were sustaining damage.

“The violin is my passion; I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old,” Turner said in the hospital press release. “The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking but, being a musician himself, Prof. Ashkan understood my concerns.”

The surgery was a success, Ashkan said: “We managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumour, including all areas suspicious of aggressive activity, while retaining full function of her left hand.”

While it’s rare for a patient to play their instrument during brain surgery, there have been other cases. For example, in July 2016 a team of scientists removed a tumor from a music teacher’s brain as he played the saxophone.

Brad Mahon, a cognitive neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University, was one of the scientists who mapped the music teacher’s brain. Mahon said that surgery was particularly intense because it was in an area of the brain that “can actually lead to loss of the knowledge of how to conduct music, how to understand music.” Ultimately, that surgery was successful too.

Mahon said the basic features of an “awake craniotomy” — the type of brain surgery where patients are awake in order to avoid damage to critical brain areas — have remained largely unchanged for decades. For example, doctors have long used simple tests such as asking a patient to name what they’re seeing in pictures to make sure language ability is preserved.

But he said that doctors are now able to map the patient’s brain activity in great detail before the surgery using an imaging technique called functional MRI. That means surgeons are coming into the operating room with far more information about a specific patient’s brain.

That kind of information helps doctors tailor tests to a patient’s particular needs. According to Mahon, an accountant once completed math problems during his surgery to make sure those abilities remained intact.

Brain mapping also can help determine what kinds of functions are at risk during a brain surgery. Having a “personalized brain map,” Mahon said, matters a lot when surgeons are making “millimeter by millimeter decisions” that could determine whether a person can even communicate after an operation, let alone follow their passions.

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We Calculated How Much We Pay Trump to Play Golf. It Turns Out, He’s America’s 10th Highest Paid Athlete

Westlake Legal Group vQ9rdrYAPIGCE0TVid1xlb73KmH_PSVDD8jai9WArqM We Calculated How Much We Pay Trump to Play Golf. It Turns Out, He's America's 10th Highest Paid Athlete r/politics

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Starbucks worker exposes drive-thru secret by surprising customers by singing

Apparently some people aren’t aware that drive-thru workers can see them when they’re ordering.

A TikTok video of two customers being surprised by a Starbucks employee greeting them in a song has gone viral – but not for what you’d expect.

STARBUCKS BARISTA CLAIMS SHE WAS FIRED FOR MAKING CRUDE REMARK ABOUT CHAIN’S COFFEE ON YOUTUBE CHANNEL

In the video, which was published on Feb. 14 and also shared on Twitter, the male and female customers react in shock when the worker belts out, “Welcome to Starrrbuckkks.”

Westlake Legal Group Starbucks-GETTY Starbucks worker exposes drive-thru secret by surprising customers by singing Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle/fast-food fox-news/food-drink/food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 12329e0c-82ca-5348-8b4f-0a7ae7c3cc76

A TikTok video of two customers being surprised by a Starbucks employee greeting them in a song has gone viral – but not for what you’d expect. (Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

WENDY’S MOCKS BURGER KING’S NEW FRENCH FRY SANDWICH ON TWITTER

“What can I get for you?” the employee added.

The short clip appears to be a recording of a surveillance monitor at the undisclosed Starbucks location.

While it’s not clear what the pair were thinking or saying in the video, they were visibly shocked by the greeting.

TikTok users, however, were more hung up on the fact they were completely unaware that workers seeing you onscreen at a drive-thru is a thing.

“Apparently the drive thru workers can see you when you order???? idk how to explain it but i feel violated,” captioned a Twitter user who re-posted the TikTok video.

“This explains so much,” another tweeted.

“I loved when I worked drive thru,” tweeted a former drive-thru worker. “That camera was so funny sometimes.”

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Some Twitter users expressed fears that they may have possibly done lewd and embarrassing things while unknowingly on camera.

“I can not tell you how many times I made stupid faces at the drive thru,” one person said.

Others couldn’t believe how many people weren’t aware of the fact that there are cameras at drive-thru windows.

“How did you think they knew when you drove up?” one Twitter user commented, to which someone replied, “Because there’s a sensor and it beeps in the headset when a car drives up.”

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The Starbucks employee who recorded and posted the video, Brittney, said she’s been singing to her customers long before her now-viral video.

“When I originally started singing to my customers in the drive-thru I was trying to make them smile. … I usually work nights so I get them at the end of their day and I just hope to make their day a little bit better,” she told Delish.

“I wanted to reach even more people and make their days a little better and make them smile too so I started posting them and I was blown away by how many people love it.

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“I do get other customers that sing their orders back to me as well but I haven’t been able to catch any on camera yet unfortunately!” she added.

Brittney’s unique spin customer service is now paying off online. She now has over 68,000 TikTok followers.

Westlake Legal Group Starbucks-GETTY Starbucks worker exposes drive-thru secret by surprising customers by singing Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle/fast-food fox-news/food-drink/food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 12329e0c-82ca-5348-8b4f-0a7ae7c3cc76   Westlake Legal Group Starbucks-GETTY Starbucks worker exposes drive-thru secret by surprising customers by singing Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle/fast-food fox-news/food-drink/food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 12329e0c-82ca-5348-8b4f-0a7ae7c3cc76

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Democrats Swap Pre-Debate Barbs As Mike Bloomberg Faces First Test

Westlake Legal Group 5e4dc39f2300003103ddcad1 Democrats Swap Pre-Debate Barbs As Mike Bloomberg Faces First Test

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hours before taking the stage, Mike Bloomberg came under attack from his Democratic rivals in a likely preview of his Wednesday night debate debut when the billionaire businessman meets his rivals onstage for the first time.

Both Bernie Sanders’ and Joe Biden’s campaigns took aim at the 78-year-old former Republican, the former raising questions about Bloomberg’s health and the latter pointing out reversals on key issues.

The attacks underscore how seriously Democrats are taking the former New York mayor’s campaign, now that he’s rocketed to double-digit support in national polls and qualified to appear in debates. Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat before winning the New York mayor’s race as a Republican in 2002. He later switched to independent and formally registered as a Democrat last year.

He has faced relatively little national scrutiny in his surprisingly swift rise from nonpartisan megadonor to top-tier presidential contender.

But Wednesday night’s debate in Las Vegas, where Bloomberg faces five hungry opponents in the first major unscripted moment of his 2020 campaign, poses the greatest test yet of his unorthodox campaign.

“He is going to have a giant target on his back from all sides,” said Democratic strategist Brian Brokaw. “It’ll either all come together brilliantly or could fall apart very quickly.”

The attacks began before the debate’s 9 p.m. EST start.

On CNN Wednesday morning, Sanders’ national press secretary Briahna Joy Gray tried to rebut questions surrounding the Vermont senator’s health by pointing to Bloomberg, who she said had also “suffered heart attacks in the past.” Sanders suffered a heart attack last fall and released letters from doctors attesting to his health. But Bloomberg has never suffered a heart attack; he released a doctors’ letter last year that said he did undergo coronary stent surgery in 2000.

Gray later walked back her statement, saying on Twitter that she “misspoke” about Bloomberg’s health.

Separately, the Biden campaign took on Bloomberg over ads the former mayor is running that feature shots of him working closely with former President Barack Obama. The Biden campaign posted a video to Twitter highlighting past comments Bloomberg made criticizing Obama on health care and climate change and accusing him of failing to address racism during his term. The video also includes a clip of Bloomberg declaring “I’m a friend of Donald Trump’s, he’s a New York icon.”

Bloomberg had until recently largely escaped scrutiny from the media and attacks from his opponents by avoiding the early primary states and focusing instead on campaigning in the 14 states that vote in the March 3 Super Tuesday primaries. And his massive campaign — with over 2,000 staffers nationwide and over $400 million spent on ads already — has given him enough of a boost to win high-profile endorsements and double-digit support in the polls.

With much of the attention on Bloomberg, there is increasing fear from establishment-minded Democrats about Sanders’ strength in the race. After he finished at the top in Iowa and New Hampshire, polls suggest the self-described democratic socialist is poised for another strong showing in Nevada’s caucuses on Saturday.

After more than a year of campaigning, there is little clarity in the Democrats’ urgent search for a nominee to run against President Trump in November.

Longtime establishment favorite Biden, the former Obama vice president, is fighting to breathe new life into his flailing campaign, which enters the night at the bottom of a moderate muddle behind former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Sanders, a Vermont senator, has emerged as the progressive wing’s preference after two contests as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren struggles to regain energy for her campaign.

Some Democrats fear that conditions are ripe for a bare-knuckles brawl on national television that could carve new scars into a divided party that must ultimately come together this fall if it hopes to deny the Republican president a second term.

Bloomberg’s rivals have already indicated they will lean into his explosive comments on race and gender in addition to their charge that he’s using a fortune earned from a career on Wall Street in an effort to buy the presidency. Bloomberg’s rise in national polls has been fueled almost exclusively by an unprecedented national advertising campaign, carefully controlled campaign events and a sprawling national organization that has likely already cost him more than half a billion dollars.

Alexandra Rojas, executive director of the Sanders-allied Justice Democrats, called Wednesday Bloomberg’s first “public moment of accountability.”

“It’s going to be a chance to finally bring scrutiny to Bloomberg’s record as a Republican plutocrat,” she said.

Bloomberg’s team was working to lower expectations ahead of his performance, suggesting his debate skills are rusty after more than a decade since his last election.

Bloomberg hasn’t been on a debate stage since 2009. His team notes he never faced more than one rival at a time over three elections for New York City mayor.

Despite the challenges, senior adviser Tim O’Brien signaled that Bloomberg welcomed a fight against Sanders, whom the campaign perceives to be the race’s clear front-runner.

“I think you’re going to see us go toe-to-toe with Bernie Sanders on important issues,” O’Brien said in an interview, raising questions about Sanders’ personal wealth, record on criminal justice and gun control.

Bloomberg’s campaign released a list of more than a dozen debate guests, featuring survivors of gun violence from several states. They include one man present at the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and hundreds more injured.

Sanders welcomed a fight.

The Vermont senator railed against Bloomberg and “a system that allows billionaires to buy elections,” while campaigning in Nevada on the eve of the debate.

“Here is the message: Anyone here worth $60 billion, you can run for president, and you can buy the airwaves. My friends, that is called oligarchy, not democracy.”

Senior Biden campaign aides on Wednesday offered a forecast of an aggressive candidate who would try to draw sharp contrasts with Bloomberg and Sanders.

In a conference call with reporters, the aides took particular aim at Bloomberg, calling him a “Republican billionaire” who is running “patently dishonest ads” suggesting that he has the backing of Obama. Biden aides said the former vice president would note Bloomberg’s criticism of Obama’s policies, including the 2010 health insurance overhaul, while noting that Bloomberg did not support Obama’s election in 2008 and only offered a tepid endorsement very late in the 2012 campaign.

Bloomberg is not actually competing in Nevada’s Saturday caucuses or any of the four primary contests scheduled for this month, preferring to invest his time and resources in the delegate-rich states that begin voting in March. In the modern era, such a strategy has never worked. Yet it’s never been attempted by someone as wealthy as Bloomberg, who has already invested more than $400 million into a national advertising campaign and hired more than 2,000 campaign staffers.

The focus on Bloomberg on the debate stage means there will be less oxygen for others at a critical moment.

Buttigieg allies in particular see Sanders as the real threat and are frustrated by the fixation on Bloomberg. Buttigieg has begun drawing sharp contrasts with Sanders and is expected to continue doing so on the debate stage, letting the rest of the field pile on Bloomberg.

Steve Peoples and Alexandra Jaffe reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, California, contributed to this report.

Catch up on the 2020 election campaign with AP experts on our weekly politics podcast, “Ground Game.”

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Jesse Watters: Trump should approach law and order agenda with ‘compassion’ to contrast ‘do-nothing Dems’

Westlake Legal Group image Jesse Watters: Trump should approach law and order agenda with 'compassion' to contrast 'do-nothing Dems' Yael Halon fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc ccdc3055-e9b6-5c4f-9685-166ad2cfeb52 article

“The Five” host Jesse Watters urged President Trump to approach his law and order agenda, which rejects policies pushed by liberal cities, with “compassion” after the president railed against California’s ongoing homelessness crisis Tuesday during a briefing on preparations for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Trump said if Los Angeles doesn’t “clean it up fast,” he will intervene.

“The president should come at this from a compassionate approach, and that puts Democrats on the offensive,” Watters said, “because they look like do-nothing politicians and they look like they do not care about the environment if their backyards are like sewers.”

TRUMP WARNS NEWSOM: IF CA HOMELESS CRISIS PERSISTS, FEDS WILL GET INVOLVED

The Golden State has led the nation in the number of homeless people with an estimated total of over 129,972 in January 2018, according to a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report. Just over 68 percent of the homeless population in California, the most populous U.S. state, is also categorized as unsheltered.

Watters credited former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Chief of the LA Police Department Bill Bratton for enforcing what is known as “broken windows policing,” which reprimands all types of crime including minor infractions and called for a reinforcement of the law.

“You do not let small infractions slide and it improves the quality of life,” Watters said.

“But, if you have pandering liberal politicians and civil rights litigation that allows people to smoke meth on the streets, to live on the streets, to prostitute themselves in open daylight, to relieve themselves in open daylight, that destroys the quality of life.”

NEW YORK MAN ARRESTED 3 TIMES IN 1 DAY, POLICE SAY BAIL REFORM LAWS TO BLAME

Rejecting California’s liberal policies isn’t the only thing at the top of Trump’s law and order agenda. New York’s controversial new bail-reform law also received harsh criticism from the president, after criminals released without bail were arrested multiple times for reoffending.

“Right now, we are talking about New York and California,” co-host Greg Gutfeld said. “These are signs of the things that will come to America if you elect someone like [Vermont Senator] Bernie [Sanders] or [Massachusets Senator] Liz [Warren]. “

Gutfeld added that any effort to solve the homelessness crisis or criminal justice reform in the liberal vein will be “be portrayed as intolerant or punishing.”

Straying from his co-host, Gutfeld called for a “tough love” approach to combat the issues and after clashing with guest host Geraldo Rivera over the correct implementation, the two came to a compromise.

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“For tough love to work you have to have a majority,” Rivera said, “and I think Trump has an opportunity here to rally the majority so that the era of tough love that happened here can happen everywhere.”

Westlake Legal Group image Jesse Watters: Trump should approach law and order agenda with 'compassion' to contrast 'do-nothing Dems' Yael Halon fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc ccdc3055-e9b6-5c4f-9685-166ad2cfeb52 article   Westlake Legal Group image Jesse Watters: Trump should approach law and order agenda with 'compassion' to contrast 'do-nothing Dems' Yael Halon fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc ccdc3055-e9b6-5c4f-9685-166ad2cfeb52 article

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Washington Post slammed, changes headline after op-ed calls for ‘elites’ to have ‘bigger say in choosing the president’

Westlake Legal Group WP-Dems-Vs-Sanders-1 Washington Post slammed, changes headline after op-ed calls for 'elites' to have 'bigger say in choosing the president' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 9365d0cd-56fb-5bbb-ab54-bf50034f603d

An op-ed published Tuesday in The Washington Post was panned, and its headline later changed, after it called for “elites” to have a “bigger say” in choosing a president.

As part of a series on “how to improve the presidential nominating process,” Marquette University associate professor Julia Azari said the “flawed” 2020 Democratic nominating process has had a “rocky start,” pointing to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., having won the “popular vote” while former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg led the delegate count in the Iowa caucuses.

The headline, which originally read, “It’s time to give the elites a bigger say in choosing the president,” was changed to “It’s time to switch to preference primaries” without any editor’s note after the op-ed was blasted on social media.

In the piece, Azari called for a reassessment in how candidates are chosen.

“Finding an answer means thinking about the purpose of presidential nominations, and about how the existing system falls short,” she wrote. “It will require swimming against the tide of how we’ve thought about nominations for decades — as a contest between everyday voters and elites, or as a smaller version of a general election. A better primary system would empower elites to bargain and make decisions, instructed by voters.”

SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER RIPS MSNBC FOR ‘UNDERMINING’ SENATOR’S CANDIDACY: ‘YOU CAN FEEL THE DISDAIN’ FOR HIS SUPPORTERS

While she said the primary process is “great at testing candidates” on presidential skillsets, Azari also said that “choosing among many candidates” is “not great” and suggested that “elected delegates” who represent constituents should be able to “bargain without being bound to specific candidates,” something she claimed would “produce nominees that better reflect what voters want.”

“Democracy thrives on uncertainty — outcomes that are not known at the beginning of the process. But uncertainty doesn’t help parties strategize for the general election,” Azari wrote. “Elites try to shape the decision early on. Everyone is doing guesswork about what others want. Reforms to the process should try to make that guessing a bit more informed.”

She pointed to the election of President Trump as “proof that nominations shouldn’t be too democratic” because he lacked “conventional qualifications and appreciation for democratic norms” versus previous nominees such as former President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

“The quality of the system can’t be measured solely in terms of the kinds of nominees it produces. Instead, we should think about how it reflects the preference and values of the different components of the party coalition,” Azari explained. “A better approach is to think about how voters and elites could best play their different roles: to make their political parties more representative while ultimately narrowing the nomination choice down to one person. And the best way to do that would be through preference primaries.”

She continued: “Preference primaries could allow voters to rank their choices among candidates, as well as to register opinions about their issue priorities — like an exit poll, but more formal and with all the voters. The results would be public but not binding; a way to inform elites about voter preferences.”

MSNBC’S NICOLLE WALLACE: IF SANDERS WERE A  WOMAN WHO JUST HAD A HEART ATTACK, ‘HE’D BE FINISHED’

The piece’s original headline was slammed on social media.

“The Democrats are losing their minds trying to rig this election. See the [Jeff] Bezos/Amazon Washington Post headline below,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Wednesday, knocking Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos.

“This is real op-Ed in the Washington Post. I don’t know what to say,” journalist Yashar Ali wrote.

“I thought this headline was satire. Wow guys,” GQ political columnist Laura Bassett said.

Many people linked the op-ed to Sanders’ recent surge in the polls, including Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir.

“‘Bernie is doing well, therefore people are stupid and we must save them from themselves.’ Points for honesty and for saying it out loud. It is a prevailing view in too many elite quarters. But change is coming,” Shakir wrote of the op-ed.

“S— people say when Bernie Sanders takes the lead,” The Hill’s Krystal Ball tweeted.

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This isn’t the first time that Sanders’ campaign manager has sounded off on alleged bias against the 2020 front-runner. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Shakir alleged that MSNBC was trying to “undermine” Sanders’ candidacy and how the network is “among the last to acknowledge that Bernie Sanders’ path to the nomination is real.”

“You can feel the disdain they have for Bernie Sanders’ supporters,” Shakir said. “It’s a condescending attitude: ‘Oh, they must not be that intelligent. They’re being deluded. They’re being conned. They’re all crazy Twitter bots.’ My view is that there’s a bit of detachment from MSNBC and the people who this campaign gets support from. It feels like they’re covering progressives from an elitist perspective.”

Shakir told Vanity Fair that Fox News has been “more fair than MSNBC.”

“That’s saying something,” he added. “Fox is often yelling about Bernie Sanders’ socialism, but they’re still giving our campaign the opportunity to make our case in a fair manner, unlike MSNBC, which has credibility with the left and is constantly undermining the Bernie Sanders campaign.”

Westlake Legal Group WP-Dems-Vs-Sanders-1 Washington Post slammed, changes headline after op-ed calls for 'elites' to have 'bigger say in choosing the president' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 9365d0cd-56fb-5bbb-ab54-bf50034f603d   Westlake Legal Group WP-Dems-Vs-Sanders-1 Washington Post slammed, changes headline after op-ed calls for 'elites' to have 'bigger say in choosing the president' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 9365d0cd-56fb-5bbb-ab54-bf50034f603d

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Wisconsin school district sued by parents over policy allowing children to use new gender pronouns, names

Westlake Legal Group library_661 Wisconsin school district sued by parents over policy allowing children to use new gender pronouns, names Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/south-dakota fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/us/education fox news fnc/us fnc article 7d9937f1-f5be-5ad6-a020-66f31e3726e1

A group of Wisconsin parents is suing the Madison School District, claiming it violated their due process rights by sidestepping them in supporting the students’ decision to change names and gender pronouns if they want to.

The policy allows school employees to use alternative names and pronouns for children without parental notice or consent. The policy states that the district is committed to affirming each student’s self-designated gender identity, and that the district will strive to “disrupt the gender binary” with books and lessons stating that everyone has the right to choose their gender.

“Madison schools have adopted policies that violate constitutionally recognized parental rights. A public school district should not, and cannot, make decisions reserved for parents,” said Rick Esenberg, president of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), which is representing the parents.

Filed on Tuesday, the lawsuit came after WILL demanded in December that the school district update its policies. The group claims that on Jan. 31, the district said there wouldn’t be any update.

SOUTH DAKOTA LEGISLATORS FACING BACKLASH OVER BILL CRIMINALIZING UNDERAGE GENDER TREATMENTS

The lawsuit alleges that the policy directs teachers and staff to deceive parents in that it prohibits them from revealing new names and pronouns to parents and guardians. District spokesman Tim LeMonds said Tuesday that the district had not been served with the lawsuit and could not comment until it has a chance to review it.

Even though the district requires parental consent before students can change their name and gender in official district records, the policy allows students to pick new names and pronouns they can use at school regardless of whether they have a parent’s permission.

In New Jersey, the Education Department previously issued guidance allowing students to change the gender on their official records without parental consent.

Tuesday’s lawsuit contends that keeping parents in the dark about their child’s sexuality interferes with their right to guide their children through life-altering decisions and provide professional help their children may urgently need.

“There is no compelling government interest in keeping secret from parents that their child is dealing with gender dysphoria,” the lawsuit states.

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Tuesday’s lawsuit was just the latest concern surrounding children and gender. For example, South Dakota’s legislature just killed a bill that would have outlawed performing certain gender treatments on minors.

The battle has unfolded across a long list of states, however, as issues surrounding gender raise a variety of questions for public services. In 2018, a federal judge ruled that Wisconsin had to allow Medicaid funding of surgeries for individuals who identified as transgender. A similar controversy erupted in Iowa last summer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group library_661 Wisconsin school district sued by parents over policy allowing children to use new gender pronouns, names Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/south-dakota fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/us/education fox news fnc/us fnc article 7d9937f1-f5be-5ad6-a020-66f31e3726e1   Westlake Legal Group library_661 Wisconsin school district sued by parents over policy allowing children to use new gender pronouns, names Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/wisconsin fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/south-dakota fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/us/education fox news fnc/us fnc article 7d9937f1-f5be-5ad6-a020-66f31e3726e1

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Trump Expected to Name Richard Grenell as Acting Head of Intelligence

Westlake Legal Group 19dc-dni-facebookJumbo Trump Expected to Name Richard Grenell as Acting Head of Intelligence United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Presidential Election of 2020 Office of the Director of National Intelligence Maguire, Joseph (1952- ) Grenell, Richard Espionage and Intelligence Services Coats, Dan Appointments and Executive Changes

WASHINGTON — President Trump was expected to name Richard Grenell, the American ambassador to Germany, to be the acting director of national intelligence, three people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Mr. Grenell, whose outspokenness throughout his career as a political operative and then as ambassador has prompted criticism, is a vocal Trump loyalist who will lead a group of national security agencies often viewed skeptically by the White House.

He would take over from Joseph Maguire, who has served as the acting director of national intelligence since the resignation last summer of Dan Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana. Mr. Grenell, who has pushed to advance gay rights in his current post, would apparently also be the first openly gay cabinet member.

Mr. Grenell did not respond to a request for comment, nor did a White House spokesman. The people familiar with the move cautioned that the president had a history of changing his mind on personnel decisions after they were revealed in the news media.

Under American law, Mr. Maguire had to give up his temporary role before March 12. He could return to his old job as director of the National Counterterrorism Center, but he might choose to step down from government.

Mr. Trump can choose any Senate-confirmed official to replace Mr. Maguire as the acting head of the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies.

Mr. Maguire, a retired admiral, became the acting director in August just as a whistle-blower inside the C.I.A. filed a complaint about Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

Since the acquittal of Mr. Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, the White House has been pushing to remove officials seen as disloyal or holding views contrary to the White House, looking for replacements who are more likely to follow the president’s wishes. While it has never been clear how Mr. Trump viewed Mr. Maguire, there is little doubt that the president would like a partisan fighter in the post before any public testimony before Congress.

Mr. Grenell has long been a strong voice on Twitter, posting about the dangers of Huawei, the Chinese company building next-generation telecommunications networks around the globe; the failure of European allies to spend enough on their military and other issues. He is one of the administration’s loudest critics of Huawei, pressuring Germany not to do business with the firm. Mr. Grenell has long been ambitious and has been anxious for a promotion from his diplomatic post. He was in contention to be national security adviser, a post that ultimately went to Robert C. O’Brien.

But Mr. Grenell is also a polarizing figure and his confirmation by the Senate is not assured, one reason the president intents to name him acting director, rather than formally nominating him for the job. A number of Republican senators have privately pushed the administration to nominate a national security professional or politician who is seen as a less divisive figure.

Since the beginning of his administration, Mr. Trump has viewed the intelligence agencies skeptically.

He has at times disparaged American intelligence agencies because he did not agree with their findings, such as the conclusion that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election in an effort to help Mr. Trump win. He told his intelligence chiefs to “go back to school” after they offered assessments on Iran and North Korea at odds with his policy initiatives.

Anxious to avoid a repeat of that hearing, Mr. Maguire’s aides initially pushed for this year’s public hearing to be canceled, a request that lawmakers have rejected.

Tensions between the White House and intelligence agencies only grew during the impeachment inquiry. Mr. Maguire initially blocked the whistle-blower complaint from being forwarded to Congress, following the guidance of administration lawyers. But he eventually helped broker the agreement to provide the complaint to Congress’s intelligence committees, allowing the impeachment inquiry to gain steam.

Mr. Coats announced his resignation in July, effective Aug. 15. Including acting directors, nine people have served as head of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence since the job was created in late 2004 to improve the nation’s ability to fight terrorism. That law made the director of national intelligence the top intelligence adviser to the president.

When Mr. Coats announced his resignation, Mr. Trump initially nominated one of his loyalists, Representative John Ratcliffe, Republican of Texas, to be the next top intelligence chief, a job considered to be among the most nonpartisan in Washington. But Mr. Trump quickly dropped those plans after pushback from Democrats and some key Republicans who worried Mr. Ratcliffe’s loyalty to the president and lack of intelligence experience would make him nearly impossible to confirm. There were also concerns that Mr. Ratcliffe exaggerated some of what he included on his résumé.

During his tenure, Mr. Coats was unafraid to defend his employees and push back against some of the president’s claims that contradicted the intelligence agencies. He told intelligence officers in a speech that it was their duty to seek the truth about the world, “and when we find that truth, to speak the truth.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was created after the Sept. 11 attacks to oversee the government’s vast network of 17 spy agencies and to ensure critical national security information was being shared across the government.

At the beginning of the Trump administration, Mike Pompeo, then the C.I.A. director, was the most prominent voice on intelligence matters. When Mr. Pompeo moved to the State Department, his successor, Gina Haspel, took a much less prominent role.

Ms. Haspel’s reluctance to speak publicly thrust Mr. Coats into the public spotlight. His criticism of the Mr. Trump and warnings about Russian interference in the election, drew the ire of the White House.

After Mr. Ratcliffe was dropped from consideration, Mr. Trump promised to announce a new nominee soon. But the list of people with the requisite experience who have not been critical of the president is slim.

The administration considered, and discarded, a number of potential nominees including Pete Hoekstra, the American ambassador to the Netherlands and a former Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Representative Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican on the committee.

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