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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 89)

Jennifer Garner Talking To Her Sweatpants And Kissing Them Is A Mood

Westlake Legal Group 5d2852102600004a000443b8 Jennifer Garner Talking To Her Sweatpants And Kissing Them Is A Mood

Jennifer Garner likes to keep the lines of communication open with her clothes.

In a charming video she shared on Instagram Thursday, the actress talked to her sweatpants as she prepared for a trip.

“Who gets to come? Who wants to come? Who hasn’t been in a long time and feels like they’re the right choice?” she asked in a post she captioned, “The hardest part about packing.”

See right here which pair she chose and kissed for good measure:

Garner wore track pants to the premiere of her HBO show “Camping” last year, which might help explain why she’s not afraid to profess love for the comfy branch of her wardrobe.

Besides, People noted, her three children like her in casual mode.

“My kids are so relieved to see me take my makeup off and put glasses and sweatpants on,” she told the outlet previously. “I guess that doesn’t really count as feeling beautiful! It is more like feeling wanted and loved for being me, which is even better.”

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

Thousands In Maui Evacuated After Brush Fire Rages In Hawaii

Westlake Legal Group miami_county-f0054b9717e505c25ad8839d4fb6706b3fac1e1b-s1100-c15 Thousands In Maui Evacuated After Brush Fire Rages In Hawaii

A brush fire that erupted over fallow land Thursday morning in Maui caused thousands to be evacuated and temporarily disrupted the island’s primary airport. Courtesy of the County of Maui /The County of Maui hide caption

toggle caption

Courtesy of the County of Maui /The County of Maui

Westlake Legal Group  Thousands In Maui Evacuated After Brush Fire Rages In Hawaii

A brush fire that erupted over fallow land Thursday morning in Maui caused thousands to be evacuated and temporarily disrupted the island’s primary airport.

Courtesy of the County of Maui /The County of Maui

Hawaii emergency officials have ordered thousands of residents in parts of central Maui to evacuate as firefighters battle a blaze that has ripped through parched land, scorching some 3,000 acres.

Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said at a press conference that four helicopters were deployed to put out the fire before nightfall, but as it grew dark, the fire was still raging.

“Once it gets dark, and we haven’t been able to contain this fire, we’re in trouble. We’re in deep trouble,” Victorino said.

County officials in Maui said a brush fire was reported around 10:42 a.m. local time Thursday near the Kuihelani Highway. Fire officials said winds blowing 20 mph and higher fanned flames across fallow fields. The blaze swept through parts of nearby Maui Veterans Highway, leaving it charred, according to The Maui News.

Officials did not say what may have caused the blaze. No deaths, injuries or structure damage was immediately reported.

The evacuation in Maui, the second-largest Hawaiian island with a population around 144,000, has filled up local shelters, some of which are being run by the Red Cross.

Oprah Winfrey, who owns a home in Maui, told a local resident on Twitter that she has given emergency responders access to one of her private homes. “Hoping for the safety of all,” she tweeted.

“A big mahalo to @Oprah for giving @mauicounty access to your private road for use to assist in the #Mauifire,” tweeted Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

According to Hawaii’s Department of Transportation, flights had been diverted from Kahului Airport, which was operating briefly on a power generator a result of the fire, but power has been restored and flights have resumed, transportation officials said.

Still, as the blaze continues, Hawaii tourism officials are advising visitors planning trips to or from the Kahului Airport to contact their airlines to check the status of the flights.

Maui Police Lt. Gregg Okamoto said at a news conference that as fire-related concerns have been growing, the island has been experiencing disruptions with people trying to call 911 to report emergencies.

“I encourage the public, if you need to call 911, keep calling in and you’ll get through eventually,” he said.

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

As Tom Steyer Enters 2020 Race, Climate Activists Shrug: ‘I Really Don’t Get It’

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer announced his candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, promising a populist campaign that harnesses his years of work fighting the fossil fuel industry and advocating for climate action.

Yet his decision to enter the race ― after first announcing he wouldn’t ― has garnered more skepticism than excitement. Even as the climate crisis is expected to play a major role in the presidential contest for arguably the first time, climate activists questioned the theory of his candidacy. 

There’s already a pair of top-tier populists in Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). There’s already Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), an experienced politician running on the most comprehensive climate policy platform ever put forward. Venture capitalist Andrew Yang already plays the part of the wealthy businessman with provocative ideas. Older, straight, white men make up 13 of the 24 candidates. 

“I really don’t get it, man,” said a top climate policy researcher in California who requested anonymity because Steyer “has a lot of money” that is used to support climate work around the country.

Westlake Legal Group 5d2783692400001120935446 As Tom Steyer Enters 2020 Race, Climate Activists Shrug: ‘I Really Don’t Get It’

ASSOCIATED PRESS Tom Steyer’s decision to enter the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination has garnered more skepticism than excitement.

In 2013, Steyer founded NextGen America as an environmental advocacy group and political action committee, though the organization broadened its scope in recent years to focus on turning out young voters for progressive causes. The 62-year-old donates generously to Democratic candidates. He poured millions into a high-profile campaign to impeach President Donald Trump. 

The Steyer campaign did not respond to an interview request Thursday. 

“I wish he weren’t doing it,” said a prominent activist, who also asked for anonymity for fear of souring a relationship with one of the movement’s top funders. “There was always that question in the back of everybody’s minds of whether he’s driven by ego and whether he’s all out for him, or whether he’s trying to build a movement. This answers the question clearly.” 

Bill McKibben, the writer and 350.org founder who wooed Steyer to the climate movement nearly a decade ago, didn’t respond to emails and Twitter messages requesting comment. Other 350.org officials declined to comment on Steyer’s candidacy. So did Democratic strategist Henry Waxman, the former California congressman who led the charge on the last major climate bill. 

“It’s hard to make the case for a billionaire running for president in this day and age,” said Julian Brave NoiseCat, the Green New Deal strategist at the left-leaning think tank Data for Progress (and a past HuffPost contributor). “Especially this late in the game, and especially when we were all under the impression he was not running.” 

Steyer said during a January trip to Iowa that he wouldn’t run for president, instead maintaining his focus on his impeachment effort. In private, he feted Warren’s rhetoric on economic inequality and was excited about Inslee’s climate-centered campaign. But, according to The Atlantic, Steyer grew frustrated with Inslee’s failure to take off as the governor’s polling stayed stuck at 1%. 

It’s a sentiment activists echoed, with some expressing disappointment that Inslee didn’t seize the first round of televised primary debates with the sort of righteous clarion call on climate that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) issued on race during her star appearance the second night. 

There was always that question in the back of everybody’s minds of whether he’s driven by ego and whether he’s all out for him, or whether he’s trying to build a movement. A prominent climate activist

“Steyer has a better chance at becoming president than Inslee,” said Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, founder of the climate advocacy group SumOfUs. 

“I love Warren,” she added. “Her heart and head are in the right place on climate policy. But I fear that she won’t prioritize it in her first term, and that is a disaster for the country and the world.” 

At a moment when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is at levels unseen in 800,000 years, metropolises of 8 million people are running out of water and flooding is set to break new records in the United States, it’s impossible to have too many climate candidates, activists said. 

Steyer’s entry into the presidential race is likely to lead to more discussion of climate change in the presidential election,” said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State University. “That can’t be a bad thing.”

“The more attention put on this the better,” said Stephen O’Hanlon, spokesman for Sunrise Movement, the youth-led group that propelled the Green New Deal into mainstream politics with its protests last year. 

Greenpeace USA offered a similar take. “We welcome more discussion about climate change as part of the presidential race,” said senior climate campaigner Jack Shapiro.

Still, some wondered whether the money would be better spent on other races. R.L. Miller, president of the political action committee Climate Hawks Vote, said the “single best thing” Steyer could do is devote himself to working to flip the Senate, which she called a “steeper and narrower” path for Democrats than retaking the White House. 

“He’s trying to set himself up as an outsider, which is true in that he’s never held elected office, but he’s been very much in the center of Democratic Party politics for a long time,” Miller said. That, she said, is a space he could own by trying to replace climate-denying senators with Democrats who will vote for Green New Deal-style policies. “I’d call him an unelected insider.” 

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

Roberto Diaz shoots 62 to take John Deere Classic lead

Roberto Diaz shot a 9-under 62 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the John Deere Classic.

Playing in the final group of the day off the first tee, the 32-year-old Mexican player birdied four of the first five holes, eagled the par-5 10th and birdied three of the last five in the bogey-free round at TPC Deere Run. He took the lead with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th.

“I just feel that everything clicked,” Diaz said. “I’ve been playing pretty solid throughout the year. The driver has been awesome. I’ve been hitting a lot of fairways, and today I hit good numbers all day, and that helps.”

Winless on the PGA Tour, Diaz tied for eighth at the Travelers Championship last month.

Americans Adam Long and Russell Henley were two strokes back. Martin Laird was another stroke back at 65 with Ryan Palmer, Andrew Landry, Vaughn Taylor, Zack Sucher and Ryan Blaum.

Long, who got his first career win earlier this season at the Desert Classic, had eight birdies — four on the front nine and four on the back nine.

Henley has missed the weekend cuts in his last four straight starts. But he highlighted an impressive birdie run by drilling a 55-foot putt on the par-3 7th hole.

“I don’t think I’ve ever lost the belief that I can have a nice tournament,” Henley said. “It’s just a matter of a few bumps here and there.”

Scotland’s Laird, who skipped his national tournament this week in an effort to boost his playoff positioning, followed up a 65 to close out last week’s event in Minnesota with birdies on five par 4s on Thursday.

Palmer, the second-highest ranked player in the FedEx Cup standings in the field at No. 22, returned from a month-long family vacation with a strong round.

Palmer was somewhat inconsistent on his front nine before rallying for three birdies in a five-hole stretch.

“Stress-free today, it felt like. Being off for four weeks, traveling the world a little bit was fun. But I just came into the week just wanting to get my game back going for next week obviously,” Palmer said.

Twenty-year-old rookie Matthew Wolff, who picked up his first career win at the 3M Open last week, opened with a 67. Wolff, the youngest winner on the tour since Jordan Spieth won at Deere Run six years ago, hit 15 greens in regulation and played bogey-free.

“Having that PGA Tour card locked up is a lot of weight off of my shoulders,” Wolff said. “Everything in my game feels really good right now.”

Defending champion Michael Kim, who set the tournament record at Deere Run a year ago by winning by eight shots, had a 73. Kim has made just five of 28 cuts since winning in the Quad Cities.

Local favorite and past tournament champion Zach Johnson saw a streak of 40 consecutive rounds of even par or better at Deere Run come to an end after a 1-over 72. Johnson, who last shot over par there in 2008, missed a long birdie putt that would’ve kept the streak alive by inches.

“Frustrating. I mean, the good shots that I hit I didn’t get anything out of it and the bad ones were, I’m scrambling a little bit,” Johnson said.

Westlake Legal Group GOLF-Roberto-Diaz Roberto Diaz shoots 62 to take John Deere Classic lead fox-news/sports/golf fnc/sports fnc fcebfca1-1eed-54fd-beac-f234874288cc Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group GOLF-Roberto-Diaz Roberto Diaz shoots 62 to take John Deere Classic lead fox-news/sports/golf fnc/sports fnc fcebfca1-1eed-54fd-beac-f234874288cc Associated Press article

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

Donkey’s July 4 death may prompt new laws on loud noises

The noise was probably too much for Sammy the Donkey, a Georgia farmer says.

John Bogino of Seven Gables Farm north of Atlanta says Sammy (short for Sambuca) probably couldn’t take the explosions from nearby Fourth of July fireworks.

“The sounds were really loud, and I suspect he got scared out there and probably died of fright or heart attack,” Bogino told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

COURAGEOUS DOG CHASES BEAR FROM NEW JERSEY BACKYARD IN WILD VIDEO

Bogino says he wishes people would think about animals before they organize such holiday celebrations – especially in farming areas.

Just two years ago, the mayor of Milton, Ga., asked the city’s equestrian committee to work with state lawmakers on potential solutions to protect livestock and other animals, the newspaper reported.

Westlake Legal Group Texas-vs-Burros-crop Donkey’s July 4 death may prompt new laws on loud noises fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d7b81bfb-1018-5185-afc5-7a923a7c86d5 article /FOX NEWS/LIFESTYLE/OCCASIONS/Holiday

Donkeys and other animals may face harmful effects from loud noises, a Georgia farmer says. (Associated Press)

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Prior to the holiday, the city emailed the following message: “While the sights and sounds are exciting for most of us, fireworks can be less enjoyable for both large and small animals.”

While Sammy couldn’t be saved, Bogino is hoping other animals will be spared next time there’s a loud celebration in town.

Click here for more from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Westlake Legal Group Texas-vs-Burros-crop Donkey’s July 4 death may prompt new laws on loud noises fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d7b81bfb-1018-5185-afc5-7a923a7c86d5 article /FOX NEWS/LIFESTYLE/OCCASIONS/Holiday   Westlake Legal Group Texas-vs-Burros-crop Donkey’s July 4 death may prompt new laws on loud noises fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d7b81bfb-1018-5185-afc5-7a923a7c86d5 article /FOX NEWS/LIFESTYLE/OCCASIONS/Holiday

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Evacuated Maui Residents Return Home After Wildfire Scorches 10,000 Acres

Westlake Legal Group miami_county-c9dba901acae4917ae92d82cb02a2631eaeed50b-s1100-c15 Evacuated Maui Residents Return Home After Wildfire Scorches 10,000 Acres

A brush fire that erupted over fallow land Thursday morning in Maui caused thousands to be evacuated and temporarily disrupted the island’s primary airport. Courtesy of the County of Maui hide caption

toggle caption

Courtesy of the County of Maui

Westlake Legal Group  Evacuated Maui Residents Return Home After Wildfire Scorches 10,000 Acres

A brush fire that erupted over fallow land Thursday morning in Maui caused thousands to be evacuated and temporarily disrupted the island’s primary airport.

Courtesy of the County of Maui

Updated at 7:35 a.m. ET Friday

Thousands of people who were evacuated from parts of central Maui on Thursday after a large fire broke out over parched land are returning to their homes following the blaze, which scorched 10,000 acres of land. The fire fed on large swaths of fallow, former sugar cane fields and dry brush, Hawaii officials told NPR.

Yet the fire is still burning on the island, according to Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino.

“This fire is still an active threat to our community and residents are urged to remain vigilant of changing conditions,” Victorino said.

Firefighting helicopters, which worked most of Thursday, will be returning to the site of the fire on Friday in hopes of fully quelling the burn.

Officials said thousands of residents were evacuated, with more than 600 heading to shelters, but all have been told conditions are safe enough now to return to their homes. Shelters, though, will remain on standby in case the blaze fares up again on Friday.

County officials in Maui first responded to the brush fire around 10:42 a.m. local time Thursday near the Kuihelani Highway. Fire officials said winds blowing 20 mph and higher fanned flames across fallow fields. The blaze swept through parts of nearby Maui Veterans Highway, leaving it charred.

Officials did not say what may have caused the blaze. No deaths, injuries or structure damage was immediately reported.

“The fire came very close to some structures in South Maui, including the Maalaea Power Plant, but firefighters were able to prevent damages,” Victorino said.

The Maui Humane Society was also evacuated. Officials and volunteers moved animals in crates and kennels to shelter.

The fire in Maui, the second-largest Hawaiian island with a population around 144,000, prompted fire engines, tankers and battalion chiefs to the scene.

Oprah Winfrey, who owns a home in Maui, told a local resident on Twitter that she has given emergency responders access to one of her private homes. “Hoping for the safety of all,” she tweeted.

“A big mahalo to @Oprah for giving @mauicounty access to your private road for use to assist in the #Mauifire,” tweeted Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

According to Hawaii’s Department of Transportation, flights had been diverted from Kahului Airport, which was operating briefly on a power generator a result of the fire, but power has been restored and flights have resumed, transportation officials said.

Still, as the blaze continues, Hawaii tourism officials are advising visitors planning trips to or from the Kahului Airport to contact their airlines to check the status of the flights.

Maui Police Lt. Gregg Okamoto said at a news conference that as fire-related concerns have been growing, the island has been experiencing disruptions with people trying to call 911 to report emergencies.

“I encourage the public, if you need to call 911, keep calling in and you’ll get through eventually,” he said.

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

Thousands In Maui Evacuated After Brush Fire Rages In Hawaii

Westlake Legal Group miami_county-f0054b9717e505c25ad8839d4fb6706b3fac1e1b-s1100-c15 Thousands In Maui Evacuated After Brush Fire Rages In Hawaii

A brush fire that erupted over fallow land Thursday morning in Maui caused thousands to be evacuated and temporarily disrupted the island’s primary airport. Courtesy of the County of Maui /The County of Maui hide caption

toggle caption

Courtesy of the County of Maui /The County of Maui

Westlake Legal Group  Thousands In Maui Evacuated After Brush Fire Rages In Hawaii

A brush fire that erupted over fallow land Thursday morning in Maui caused thousands to be evacuated and temporarily disrupted the island’s primary airport.

Courtesy of the County of Maui /The County of Maui

Hawaii emergency officials have ordered thousands of residents in parts of central Maui to evacuate as firefighters battle a blaze that has ripped through parched land, scorching some 3,000 acres.

Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said at a press conference that four helicopters were deployed to put out the fire before nightfall, but as it grew dark, the fire was still raging.

“Once it gets dark, and we haven’t been able to contain this fire, we’re in trouble. We’re in deep trouble,” Victorino said.

County officials in Maui said a brush fire was reported around 10:42 a.m. local time Thursday near the Kuihelani Highway. Fire officials said winds blowing 20 mph and higher fanned flames across fallow fields. The blaze swept through parts of nearby Maui Veterans Highway, leaving it charred, according to The Maui News.

Officials did not say what may have caused the blaze. No deaths, injuries or structure damage was immediately reported.

The evacuation in Maui, the second-largest Hawaiian island with a population around 144,000, has filled up local shelters, some of which are being run by the Red Cross.

Oprah Winfrey, who owns a home in Maui, told a local resident on Twitter that she has given emergency responders access to one of her private homes. “Hoping for the safety of all,” she tweeted.

“A big mahalo to @Oprah for giving @mauicounty access to your private road for use to assist in the #Mauifire,” tweeted Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

According to Hawaii’s Department of Transportation, flights had been diverted from Kahului Airport, which was operating briefly on a power generator a result of the fire, but power has been restored and flights have resumed, transportation officials said.

Still, as the blaze continues, Hawaii tourism officials are advising visitors planning trips to or from the Kahului Airport to contact their airlines to check the status of the flights.

Maui Police Lt. Gregg Okamoto said at a news conference that as fire-related concerns have been growing, the island has been experiencing disruptions with people trying to call 911 to report emergencies.

“I encourage the public, if you need to call 911, keep calling in and you’ll get through eventually,” he said.

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

Mike Pence heads to border to defend migrant facilities as Democrats decry 'unconscionable' conditions

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Mike Pence heads to border to defend migrant facilities as Democrats decry 'unconscionable' conditions

Members of congress vowed to shut down a Homestead, Florida facility being used to hold migrant minors separated from their families (July 2). AP, AP

WASHINGTON – Two events today more than 1,700 miles apart will put on display the deep divisions over the worsening migrant crisis at the southern U.S. border. 

Battling to shape public perceptions of the worsening migrant crisis at the southern U.S. border, Vice President Mike Pence and a group of Republican senators will head to the border to tour a migrant detention center while Democrats host a high-profile hearing about the centers featuring testimony from government watchdog officials and some of their most outspoken members, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

The dueling events will put all eyes — and TV cameras – on conditions at the facilities, which have drawn intense scrutiny due to reports chronicling severe overcrowding and inadequate care for migrant families. All of this comes against the backdrop of the deaths of at least six migrant children who have died in federal custody and nationwide raids expected this weekend by Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would leave even more undocumented migrants in federal custody.  

Pence says TV welcome: VP defends conditions at border centers, says he’ll bring cameras on tour

‘They tore out a piece of my heart’: Migrant mother describes toddler’s illness, death

Pence, senators tour detention center

Democrats have expressed outrage over what they say is inhumane treatment of migrant families. 

But Pence and Republican senators want to push back on those criticisms. They contend that the border facilities have become overwhelmed because Democrats have refused to work with them on policies that would stem the flow of migrants across the border. Pence has criticized lawmakers such as Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who have compared the detention facilities to concentration camps.

“It is really contemptible that some in Congress have referred to U.S. detention facilities as concentration camps,” Pence told reporters Wednesday during a trip to California. “That’s an outrage. The Nazis killed people. Our Customs and Border Protection personnel save lives every day.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., said he visited a detention facility in McAllen, Texas — the same Pence will tour with a handful of senators today, and said that the crisis along the border “was worse than I’ve ever seen it,” noting that the packed cells he saw were built for 300 people but housing about 1,100. 

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“The crisis has gotten materially worse in significant part because congressional Democrats keep galloping to the left on immigration so that as a policy matter, they essentially support open borders,” Cruz said. “Until we close the loopholes, a lot more children will be victimized.” 

While Cruz highlighted the worsening conditions in such centers, Pence vowed to bring along TV cameras as he toured the facility in McAllen, Texas and said Thursday the aim of the visit with Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee was to show people a facility and level of care that would “make the American people proud.” 

“What people are going to see is not the situation many Democrats have described but actually a situation where our CBP agents are providing humanitarian care, health care, shelter, food, sustenance in a way that would make the American people proud,” Pence said Thursday. 

More: Mike Pence visiting border to counter ‘absurd’ claims about treatment of migrants, aide says

Pence noted Wednesday that the detention centers are “overwhelmed” because “our system was simply never designed to deal with this” and said, “we’re going to lean into this crisis.” 

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., agreed and criticized planned House testimony from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, a freshmen Democrat from New York who has become a progressive star on social media. 

“Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s opinion counts, just not to me. She can’t be objective on this issue,” he said. “I think her mind is made up and I don’t think any amount of testimony would change her mind. I don’t think she understands the problem and I question her judgment. I think she’s more famous than wise.”

Democrats highlight Ocasio-Cortez in hearing about migrant centers

While Republicans are touring, Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee will put the spotlight on the Trump administration and discuss the treatment of migrants.

Despite Republican attacks on Ocasio-Cortez, House Democrats will make her one of the stars of Friday’s hearing on the conditions of the centers.

She, along with Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, will testify before the committee about their visit to the border earlier this month, where they toured a detention facility in Clint, Texas and met with families who said they had been separated. The congresswomen bashed the facility after the tour, telling a large swath of reporters that the conditions of the center were horrid. 

More: AOC criticizes CBP after report of secret Facebook group as agency opens investigation

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Mike Pence heads to border to defend migrant facilities as Democrats decry 'unconscionable' conditions

A young girl described her treatment while locked in a Texas border station where hundreds of other migrant children have been detained this year. (July 1) AP, AP

Ocasio-Cortez called it “unconscionable,” saying, “no woman should ever be locked up in a pen when they have done no harm to another human being.”

Detained women who spoke with the lawmakers during the visit “all began sobbing,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter, “out of fear of being punished, out of sickness, out of desperation, lack of sleep, trauma, despair.”

The Border Patrol facility in Clint made headlines after a group of lawyers who had spent time there went public with their findings, detailing children sleeping on floors and being held without access to medical care, clean water or toothbrushes. It has become the epicenter of the migrant crisis in large part because assessing conditions border facilities is difficult due to limited access to sites.

The congressional committee will hear from activists and the Department of Homeland Security’s acting Inspector General, Jennifer Costello, who issued the scathing watchdog reports chronicling unsafe conditions inside detention facilities. 

“The American people are deeply concerned about the inhumane detention centers at the border and the number of children separated from their families,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the committee. “We look forward to hearing about the steps necessary to correct this crisis manufactured by the Trump Administration.”

Later this month, the committee will hear testimony from Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the centers and the separation of families. 

Opinion: Trump plan to incarcerate migrant children at Fort Sill again shows worst of America

Friday’s hearing follows an inspector general’s report released by Costello this month that described the conditions at detention facilities in the Rio Grande Valley as “a ticking time bomb.” The report included photos showing migrants crowded behind chain-link fences, huddling under blankets on the floor and some holding up their hands and signs.

Contributing: Maureen Groppe and Alan Gomez

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/12/mike-pence-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-star-events-migrant-crisis/1704086001/

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9 Meat Myths Nutritionists Wish You’d Stop Believing

Westlake Legal Group 5d1b69472400003500faa350 9 Meat Myths Nutritionists Wish You’d Stop Believing

These days, there’s no shortage of confusing information about eating meat, its effects on our health, and what to look for when buying it. The labels on most meat products make the buying process even more complicated, as you spend (what feels like) hours trying to decipher what’s sneaky marketing lingo versus legit nutritional information.

“Many people are afraid of meat products because of the fear-based marketing that’s commonly used,” Michigan-based registered dietician Kelsey Lorencz told HuffPost. “They don’t know what to do, since they can’t afford the organic, free-range, antibiotic-free items, but are afraid of what’s in the conventional products.”

To help you make better meat-related decisions, both in the store and the kitchen, here’s the truth behind nine common meat myths so you can finally breathe easier.

Myth 1: All red meat is bad for you.

Processed and unprocessed meats (organic, grass-fed, grain-fed) get lumped together as being the same, but not all red meat is created equal. “Red processed meats, like deli meats and cured meats (salami, hot dogs), should be avoided due to their potential carcinogen activity,” said L.J. Amaral, clinical and research dietitian at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. But when it comes to the effects of unprocessed meat, there are no conclusive studies on risk for disease in our bodies.

The American Institute for Cancer Research supports people eating up to three portions of red meat per week. “The right cuts in small quantities are a rich source of bioavailable (heme) iron, vitamin B12, zinc, and selenium, among other nutrients,” said Edwina Clark, a California-based registered dietitian and head of nutrition at online vitamin seller made for_. She suggests choosing grass-fed, USDA-certified organic beef, with minimal visible fat, and keeping portions to roughly 4 ounces (or the size of the palm of your hand).

Myth 2: White meat is healthier than red meat.

White meat is known for having a health halo over red meat, but a recent study found that both raise cholesterol— and with it, the risk for cardiovascular disease. “Because white meat, like chicken and pork, is typically given a heart-friendly green light, this can lead to these types of meat being overconsumed,” said Los Angeles-based registered dietitian Megan Casper. Moderating meat intake while increasing non-meat protein consumption (veggies, dairy and legumes), show the best cholesterol benefit, say researchers.

Myth 3: What the cows eat doesn’t make a difference.

Swapping grain-fed for grass-fed beef does make a difference in nutrient profiles and health effects, Amaral said. Grass-fed cattle generally eat only grass and other foraged foods. (A seal from the American Grassfed Association on the label means the animals were fed a 100% forage diet and were never treated with hormones or antibiotics.)

How does this change the nutrient profile of the beef? Besides being an excellent source of protein, heme iron (the type of iron that’s super-easy for the body to absorb) and vitamin B12, grass-fed beef contains more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, a higher concentration of conjugated linoleic acid (a type of fat that can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer), as well as higher levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin E.

Myth 4: It doesn’t matter how you cook the meat.

“If you grill your meats, especially fatter meats, those meats come with an increased risk of cancer and decreases the health benefits of the meat,” Amaral said. That’s because grilling usually means cooking at a higher temperature. “The fat drippings can go into the fire, and increase the amount of flame the meat’s exposed to,” she explained. “This creates harmful compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and heterocyclic amines (HCA), and these compounds can damage your cells.”

Because of how tricky it can be to nail down the exact level of PAH or HCA exposure a person gets from cooked meats, studies so far haven’t been able to establish a definitive link between these compounds and cancer in humans. However, “there is evidence of plausible mechanisms operating in humans,” according to a 2018 report by the American Institute for Cancer Research. Bottom line: Why chance it?

Myth 5: Cooking at high heat is only a risk for red meat, not poultry and fish.

The phenomenon of PAH and HCAs forming from high-heat cooking isn’t limited to red meat. The same is true for poultry and fish, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. “The premise is based on the heme iron found in animal products,” Amaral said. “When the heme compounds in meat, poultry or fish are heated over a fire at high temperatures, it changes the cell and makes it more reactive in the body.” The best way to consume meat of any kind is to use less hot cooking methods, such as sautéing or using the oven, a crockpot or an instant pot.

Myth 6: If you don’t eat meat, you won’t get enough protein.

We don’t need as much meat as we think we do to meet daily protein needs. A 2016 report by the World Resources Institute found that the average person’s protein consumption actually exceeded dietary requirements by one-third.

The report also found that the gap between the average American’s daily protein needs and the amount they’re already scoring from plant sources is less than the equivalent of 4 ounces of chicken breast (which contains half or more of your daily needs, said Casper). The average recommended daily intake of protein is 46 grams for adult women and 56 grams for adult men. This handy calculator can help you determine how much is best for you.

Myth 7: Meat labeled ‘all-natural’ means it’s healthier.

Beef, pork or poultry labeled as being “all-natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for you. “‘Natural’ simply means that the product doesn’t contain artificial ingredients or added colors and is minimally processed,” Clark said. However, it doesn’t refer to the methods used to produce the meat. U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic animal products, on the other hand, are free from antibiotics and hormones, have been given access to the outdoors, and have been reared on organic feed.

Myth 8: It’s best to buy chicken and pork that’s labeled hormone-free.

“Labels such as ‘hormone-free’ on chicken are misleading, as added hormones aren’t found in any chicken sold in the U.S.,” Lorencz said. (As of 1960, the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of hormones in poultry production.) Hormones aren’t allowed in raising hogs, either, so labels aren’t allowed to say “no hormones added” unless they also state that “federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones,” according to the USDA.

Hormones may be used to promote growth in cattle, however. Beef products can only say “no hormones administered” on the label if proper documentation has been provided to the USDA proving no hormones were used while raising the animals. Buying USDA certified organic beef can help to ensure that the meat you’re purchasing hasn’t been given growth hormones.

Myth 9: Meats advertised as having no added nitrites or nitrates are better for you.

Not necessarily. Sodium nitrite ― used alone or in addition to sodium nitrate ― is used as a preservative in cured meats, such as bacon and hot dogs. When exposed to high heat during cooking (say, via frying or barbecuing), these preservatives combine with the natural breakdown of proteins (amines) to form compounds called nitrosamines, most of which are known carcinogens, according to the USDA.

The obvious solution is to buy meats that are nitrite- and nitrate-free, but these meats might contain celery salt as a preservative instead, which is deceptive. “Celery is a magnificent source of nitrates, and when added to a processed meat that will be cooked at high heat, has exactly the same effect as if it was added artificially,” Lorencz said. Your best bet, she advised, is to buy meats with no nitrites, nitrates or celery salt, or to cook these foods at lower temperatures for a longer amount of time.

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The 2008 Crash Made This Madrid Suburb a Ghost Town. Now It’s Coming Alive.

In Valdeluz, a town outside Madrid that was envisioned as a commuter’s paradise when it was created 15 years ago, there was always supposed to be a school. And a private one, for kindergartners to high schoolers, opened in September 2007 — just a year before the global financial crisis burst Spain’s property bubble.

Soon enough, Valdeluz turned into one of Spain’s infamous “cuidades fantasma,” or ghost towns, filled with unwanted property and unfinished construction. Homeowners defaulted on mortgages, real estate promoters went bankrupt, and houses were repossessed. The school, half-built and meant to accommodate 1,500 students, shut down in 2013, making Valdeluz the largest municipality in Spain without an academic center.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 00ghosttown-3-articleLarge The 2008 Crash Made This Madrid Suburb a Ghost Town. Now It’s Coming Alive. Valdeluz, Spain Spain European Sovereign Debt Crisis (2010- )

Along one of the many residential blocks in Valdeluz that can at times still feel desolate.

Valdeluz is rebounding from a lost decade, alongside a national economy that emerged from recession in late 2013. But the town’s recovery is occurring at a pace and on a scale that have little to do with the pipe dreams that fueled the project’s launch before the financial crisis, when Valdeluz was billed as the first town built from scratch in Spain. Developers expected upscale buyers to arrive en masse; today, Valdeluz is happy to see renters with families, engaged and eager to form a fresh community.

Two years ago, the school reopened as a smaller, public institution.

Inside the primary school.

Enrollment has grown quickly, to 303 in primary grades. But instead of a secondary school, there is an abandoned construction site next door. Frustrated parents, who have to transport their older children to schools in towns miles away, have hoisted a large banner on the unfinished walls: “When is the school coming?”

The secondary school, next to the primary school, remains unfinished. Parents of older students have to transport them to schools in other towns.

“A town without a school is a place without life,” said Santiago Nova Grafión, the school’s director. “We’re now in a better economic situation and getting more and more pupils. But this has little to do with the completely unrealistic ambitions that some people here once had.”

Valdeluz now covers just one-quarter of the land planned in 2004, when construction started. In that more compact space, apartments are selling and rents are climbing. Some tenants have even started to move to neighboring villages because Valdeluz is becoming too pricey.

Inevitably, the swings of Spain’s economy has meant that one buyer’s misery became another’s opportunity. At the peak of the housing crisis, some younger buyers moved in, lured by the affordability of a brand-new home they could buy from banks that had repossessed more than half the apartments in Valdeluz.

Javier Guzmán Jiménez, the president of the local branch of the conservative Popular Party, bought his home in 2010. He recalled that he was the last person to buy a house from Reyal Urbis, the real estate company that started the Valdeluz project and eventually filed for bankruptcy. Reyal Urbis was liquidated in 2017, having amassed a debt of more than 3.5 billion euros, or about $4 billion.

In 2010, Mr. Guzmán Jiménez paid €270,000 for his home, in a block where residents share a swimming pool, a playground and a paddle tennis court, a popular sport in Spain. His next-door neighbor waited one more year and got a better deal: €200,000. A neighbor who bought early, before Spain’s construction bubble burst, paid €470,000 for an identical house.

Outside Javier Guzmán Jiménez’s home. Mr. Guzmán Jiménez.

“At first, living here felt pretty sad, sometimes even a bit frightening,” said Mr. Guzmán Jiménez, now 50, as he recalled the empty streets of Valdeluz during the crisis. “We felt a bit like the first settlers, knowing that we just had to stick it out and pray for better times.”

Valdeluz was envisioned as a community of 30,000 residents that was a short train ride away from Madrid.

Valdeluz is about 40 miles by car from Madrid, next to the much larger town of Guadalajara. What persuaded promoters to build it was the development of Spain’s high-speed train network and the government’s decision to put a station here on the route linking Madrid and Barcelona. The station opened in 2003, in an empty patch of farmland.

The train station is decorated with black-and-white photographs of historic bridges and stations that were the backbone of Spain’s early railway system. The station feels as if it, too, belonged to a bygone era.

The only security guard working on a weekday morning said the ticket office had closed about 18 months ago, after its employee retired. A handful of cars were parked in a lot designed for dozens of commuters.

The train station’s ticket office closed about 18 months ago. The high-speed rail line connects Madrid and Barcelona.

“Valdeluz exists because of the promise that it would take 18 minutes to travel from here to Atocha,” one of Madrid’s main train stations, said Alicia Avila Milan, a politician from the center-right Ciudadanos party. “We got the tracks, but we never got all the trains that were meant to stop here.”

Valdeluz is now a curious mix of the shiny and the derelict. At one end of the main street, a ramp leads into an abandoned building site covered with graffiti. That was meant to be the town’s main supermarket until the retailer went bankrupt during the crisis. A nearby apartment building has a shimmering outdoor pool and looks to be in prime condition — except an open field remains where a wing was planned. The town’s only church is nearly finished but still surrounded by a wire fence.

The nearly completed Parroquia San Jerónimo church.

A few residents remember when squatters took over some of empty property during the crisis, dashing any hope of a modern but quiet life in Madrid’s countryside.

“When the house prices collapsed, we got some very undesirable people coming here, but they’ve thankfully now gone,” said Dr. Bárbara Marquís, a dentist who moved to Valdeluz from Madrid in 2009 and opened a clinic in 2013. “It’s been about having patience.”

Valdeluz may never grow as once planned, but it has a young and growing population that contrasts with the rest of Spain’s heartland, which is aging. More businesses are opening, and some infrastructure is being improved.

A gas tank near the town’s golf course. Dr. Bárbara Marquís.

During a visit two months ago, subcontractors for Orange, a telecommunications operator, were laying the town’s first fiber-optic cable. A few meters away, Adrian Romanillos, a chef and an entrepreneur, was supervising the painting and interior renovations of his new tapas bar.

Mr. Romanillos said he had checked some basic demographics before taking a risk on Valdeluz: The average age is 32, and about 800 children under 16 live in the area. The young could pressure their parents to take them out for tapas, he figured.

“I have here the right combination of strong demand and very limited competition,” he said.

The road that leads to Valdeluz’s golf club is lined with oaks, some over 500 years old. The privately owned club opened in 2007 and survived the crisis, finding profitability last year. Now it is about to start a new development phase, adding a hotel, a horse-riding center and dozens of houses on the edge of the golf course.

On a green at the private golf club. Borja Ochoa, the club’s sports director.

“The truth is that almost all the golf courses of Spain were built not just for golf but with one common goal: to build and sell nice houses around them, with views onto the greens,” said Borja Ochoa, the club’s sports director. “We’re finally out of a crisis that forced everybody to shelve their projects. Everybody can now go back to their original plans.”

Empty tree-lined boulevards often lead to nowhere.

As Valdeluz continues to recover, some residents are worried about a round of frenzied building activity. Many apartments face empty lots, now covered with poppies. Having bulldozers and construction cranes rumble through does not appeal to everybody.

“If this place doesn’t grow any further, that is just fine by me,” said Vanessa Garrido Nuero, who rents an apartment with her husband and 3-year-old daughter. “We moved here not to be in a crowded and noisy place but because we planned on having children and wanted them to grow up in a secure, green and quiet place.”

Empty lots beside a Valdeluz neighborhood. Vanessa Garrido Nuero.
An unused bridge crossing over train tracks.

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