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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 94)

Florida deputy keeps ‘adventure’ alive after finding man’s ashes, family’s heartwarming notes, in bottle

In a serendipitous moment, a Florida sheriff’s deputy came across a bottle discovered on a Walton County beach with a special note inside.

“This bottle contains the ashes of my son, Brian, who suddenly and unexpectedly passed on March 9, 2019. I’m sending him on one last adventure,” the note read.

9/11 WIDOW DESPERATELY SEARCHING FOR STOLEN WEDDING RINGS: ‘I’VE BEEN PRAYING TO GOD’

Westlake Legal Group deputy-note Florida deputy keeps 'adventure' alive after finding man's ashes, family's heartwarming notes, in bottle fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc d867e34e-0575-5a61-8488-38b1025dcdb4 article Alexandra Deabler

Sgt. Paula Pendleton was on duty when someone reported the glass bottle to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office as found property. (Walton County Sheriff’s Office)

Sgt. Paula Pendleton was on duty when someone reported finding the glass bottle to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. The bottle, which was cast into the waters on Aug. 1 from Destin, Fla., held notes, a small bag containing human ashes and four $1 bills, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office shared on Facebook.

Pendleton, who lost her husband suddenly in April 2018 at age 50, was touched by the unexpected find.

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“Who would have known when it washed up on our shores it would have gotten to me?” Pendleton said in the Facebook post.

Westlake Legal Group deputy-note3 Florida deputy keeps 'adventure' alive after finding man's ashes, family's heartwarming notes, in bottle fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc d867e34e-0575-5a61-8488-38b1025dcdb4 article Alexandra Deabler

The bottle, which was cast into the waters on Aug. 1 from Destin, Fla., held notes, a small bag containing human ashes and four $1 bills. (Walton County Sheriff’s Office)

In another note found in the bottle, a girl identifying herself as Brian’s daughter shared the heartbreak her family went through, and why they decided to include some of his ashes.

“Hi, my name is Peyton,” the note read. “I am Brian’s daughter. When my father passed, I was 14 years old. It has struck our whole family pretty hard and, so far, it has been a very hard road. But, like my granny said, he loved to be free. So, that’s exactly what we are doing.”

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In addition to the messages, there was a list of email addresses and phone numbers for the finder of the bottle to use in order to contact to let the family know where Brian’s journey had taken him.

“If you find it, please call or text me and let me know, then kindly set him free once again,” the note read.

Westlake Legal Group deputy-note2 Florida deputy keeps 'adventure' alive after finding man's ashes, family's heartwarming notes, in bottle fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc d867e34e-0575-5a61-8488-38b1025dcdb4 article Alexandra Deabler

The bottle was filled with notes from the deceased man’s family, and $4 to pay for the receiver of the bottle to call the family and inform them where the man’s ashes ended up. (Walton County Sheriff’s Office)

Pendleton reached out via text to let the family know she had the bottle and was making arrangements to return it to the sea.

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“I am putting the note back into the bottle with Brian’s ashes and delivering it to a friend who is a charter boat captain,” she wrote. “He has offered to bring Brian way out into the Gulf so he can continue his adventure. But, before that, I want you to know he got to do a ride-along with a deputy before drifting out once again.”

Westlake Legal Group deputy-note Florida deputy keeps 'adventure' alive after finding man's ashes, family's heartwarming notes, in bottle fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc d867e34e-0575-5a61-8488-38b1025dcdb4 article Alexandra Deabler   Westlake Legal Group deputy-note Florida deputy keeps 'adventure' alive after finding man's ashes, family's heartwarming notes, in bottle fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc d867e34e-0575-5a61-8488-38b1025dcdb4 article Alexandra Deabler

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Fire destroys historic Minnesota synagogue; cause under investigation

An overnight fire Monday destroyed an historic 117-year-old synagogue in Duluth, Minn., officials said.

A firefighter was struck by falling debris and had to be rescued from the balcony of the Adas Israel Congregation synagogue in the city’s downtown, the Duluth Star Tribune reported. He was not seriously injured.

The fire at Duluth’s oldest-surviving Modern Orthodox Jewish synagogue was reported at 2:23 a.m. Monday, the paper reported.

CALIFORNIA DIVE BOAT FIRE INVESTIGATORS EXECUTE SEARCH WARRANTS, SEIZE RECORDS

“It’s not a good day,” a leading member told the paper, declining to comment further.

Firefighters rescued the Torah scrolls from the basement, the paper reported.

All that was left among the charred remains were the remnants of some structural walls.

NOTRE DAME FIRE: NEW IMAGES SHOW SCALE OF DESTRUCTION AS EXPERTS EYE ICONIC BUILDING’S FUTURE

Duluth Assistant Fire Chief Brent Consie said the structure was “pretty much a total loss.”

Officials haven’t said what caused the blaze.

Construction of the synagogue was completed in 1902.

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The congregation dates back to the late 1800s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Minnesota-Synagoge Fire destroys historic Minnesota synagogue; cause under investigation Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc b21e3372-3f2f-588a-bc42-5fab8726fba3 article   Westlake Legal Group Minnesota-Synagoge Fire destroys historic Minnesota synagogue; cause under investigation Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/minnesota fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc b21e3372-3f2f-588a-bc42-5fab8726fba3 article

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Trump says Bahamas full of ‘very bad gang members’ as he doubles down on not letting hurricane refugees in to US

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Trump calls for end to GOP committee chair term limits

Westlake Legal Group AP19252683535418 Trump calls for end to GOP committee chair term limits Louis Casiano fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc f8701e0c-3bf0-513a-ba34-5f8979f53ef1 article

President Trump called for an end to term limits for congressional Republican committee chairs on Monday, a move possibly prompted by a wave of GOP retirements.

“House Republicans should allow Chairs of Committees to remain for longer than 6 years. It forces great people, and real leaders, to leave after serving,” Trump tweeted. “The Dems have unlimited terms. While that has its own problems, it is a better way to go. Fewer people, in the end, will leave!”

More than a dozen Republican lawmakers have announced intentions not to seek reelection next year, opening up a slew of races that Democrats hope to capitalize on to extend their majority in the House.

The six-year limit for GOP committee chairs was created in 1994 as a way to bring in fresh leadership into the party’s top ranks, USA Today reported.

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Former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas., and former House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah., —  now ranking members in their respective committees — announced in July they would not seek reelection.

The paper reported Trump has supported electoral term limits. In 2018, he tweeted that he was giving lawmakers “my full support and endorsement” on the matter.

Westlake Legal Group AP19252683535418 Trump calls for end to GOP committee chair term limits Louis Casiano fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc f8701e0c-3bf0-513a-ba34-5f8979f53ef1 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19252683535418 Trump calls for end to GOP committee chair term limits Louis Casiano fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc f8701e0c-3bf0-513a-ba34-5f8979f53ef1 article

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John Bercow, Loathed and Lionized, to Step Down as Britain’s House Speaker

LONDON — With his roaring cries of “Order! Order,” his antiquarian language and his constant needling of the government, John Bercow, the speaker of Britain’s House of Commons, became a celebrity of the Brexit era.

True to form, his announcement on Monday that he would leave his post and his seat in Parliament came wrapped with one final rebuke for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hard-line government. By timing his departure for the end of October, Mr. Bercow ensured that the current Parliament, packed with Johnson-averse lawmakers, would choose his successor.

That starved a future Parliament — perhaps one controlled by Mr. Johnson and purged of the Conservative rebels who defied him last week — from installing a more acquiescent speaker, one who would clear the government’s path to an abrupt Brexit. But it also left Mr. Bercow in place for long enough to preside over the electric run-up to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.

It was a fitting send-off for a speaker who galvanized so-called backbench members of Parliament, lawmakers who are usually consigned to following the orders of party leaders but, with Mr. Bercow’s help, have taken the reins at pivotal moments of the Brexit crisis.

Loathed by Brexit supporters and lionized by Remainers for allowing lawmakers to try to stop the country from leaving the European Union without a deal, he received a standing ovation from opposition lawmakers on Monday, while on the government benches there was mostly studious silence.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_67558568_5a1e377a-6cd4-49a0-9a2f-0a555c189a51-articleLarge John Bercow, Loathed and Lionized, to Step Down as Britain’s House Speaker Legislatures and Parliaments Johnson, Boris House of Commons (Great Britain) Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Gove, Michael Andrew Corbyn, Jeremy (1949- ) Conservative Party (Great Britain) Bercow, John

Mr. Bercow in 2013. He was known for his booming cries of “Order, order!” and his hyperarticulate, theatrical style.CreditLynsey Addario for The New York Times

Mr. Bercow, at ten years the longest-serving speaker since the 1940s, said he had promised his wife and children in 2017 that he would not run in another election. But he was also facing a fresh challenge to his seat in Parliament. The speaker traditionally is allowed to run for re-election unopposed, but the Conservative Party, angry about his perceived anti-Brexit leanings, said in recent days it would put up a candidate against him.

Among the leading candidates for speaker are Harriet Harman, a Labour lawmaker known for trying to modernize the House of Commons, and Lindsay Hoyle, a deputy speaker.

In a sometimes teary address, Mr. Bercow pointedly warned of the way successive Conservative governments have tried to push through Brexit plans against lawmakers’ wishes. He suggested that the government’s view — that lawmakers should put aside their own ideas and carry out the 2016 Brexit referendum, no questions asked — was not in accord with the role of Parliament.

“This is a wonderful place filled overwhelmingly by people who are motivated by their notion of the national interest, by their perception of the public good and by their duty — not as delegates but as representatives — to do what they believe is right for our country,” he said. “We degrade this Parliament at our peril.”

What in another era might have been an anodyne salute to parliamentary democracy became, on Monday, a seething admonishment to Mr. Johnson’s government.

With his wife in the rafters, Mr. Bercow announced his departure on the last day Parliament was sitting before a premature dismissal, imposed when Mr. Johnson pulled a surprise parliamentary maneuver to suspend the body for five weeks. That move limited lawmakers’ time to pass a law averting a no-deal Brexit, but lawmakers moved quickly and got the law approved before being sent home.

The speaker of the House of Commons is a nonpartisan and normally low-profile figure who referees parliamentary debates. Elected as a Conservative, Mr. Bercow had to drop his party affiliation when he became speaker in 2009, and since then made a career of foiling his Conservative colleagues.

Mr. Bercow in 2009. He came to be loathed by Brexit supporters and lionized by those who wanted Britain to remain in the European Union.CreditAlastair Grant/Associated Press

The constant haggling over Brexit, and the weakness of recent British governments, gave Mr. Bercow a platform to intervene on behalf of lawmakers who wanted to stand in the way of a no-deal Brexit. The government usually keeps a tight grip on what happens and when in Parliament, but Mr. Bercow occasionally let lawmakers wrest control from the prime minister at crucial points in the Brexit debate.

His detractors accused him of politicizing what was supposed to be a neutral role. But his supporters said that not since 1642, when King Charles walked into the House of Commons and demanded that five lawmakers be arrested for treason, had it been so important for a speaker to resist an overzealous government.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, said on Monday that Mr. Bercow acted in the spirit of the speaker at the time of King Charles, William Lenthall, who refused the king’s orders.

“In your role as speaker you’ve totally changed the way the job has been done,” Mr. Corbyn said, describing how Mr. Bercow tried to break the barrier between Parliament and the public by visiting schools and factories. “This Parliament is the stronger for your being speaker, our democracy is the stronger for your being the speaker.”

Michael Gove, a prominent minister in Mr. Johnson’s government who tangled with Mr. Bercow as recently as last week, thanked the speaker, too.

“You’ve always sought to ensure the executive answers for its actions,” Mr. Gove said.

Mr. Bercow, known for his booming voice and his hyperarticulate, theatrical style, squeezed in a typically polysyllabic farewell as he gave way to a deluge of congratulatory speeches, referring only glancingly to the political chaos that may await.

“I love this place, you love this place,” Mr. Bercow said, “and we look forward to the future with interest, anticipation and enthusiasm.”

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Donald Trump denies overruling Pence and other advisers on Camp David meeting with Taliban

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Donald Trump denies overruling Pence and other advisers on Camp David meeting with Taliban

The top U.S. military officer says it’s too early to talk about a full American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, as peace talks with the Taliban appear to be near a final agreement. (Aug. 28) AP, AP

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump pushed back Monday on news reports that he overruled objections from Vice President Mike Pence and other advisers on a possible secret meeting with Taliban leaders at Camp David.

“This Story is False!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets.

Trump, who announced over the weekend that he had canceled the meeting, said he always thinks “it is good to meet and talk, but in this case I decided not to.”

Trump said Saturday that he had canceled the meeting with Taliban leaders and was suspending Afghanistan peace negotiations after the group claimed responsibility for a car bomb last week that killed an American and 11 others.

The president said that Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani were preparing to travel to the United States last weekend, presumably to finalize an agreement that has been in the works for months to reduce U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Instead, Trump said he abruptly canceled the meeting following the Taliban attack. 

On Sunday, NBC News reported that Pence and National Security Adviser John Bolton both objected to the Camp David meeting while State Department officials argued it could move parties closer to a peace deal to end the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.

More: Donald Trump’s secretary of state says Afghanistan talks are dead ‘for now’

Speaking to reporters from the White House South Lawn, Trump insisted on Monday it was his idea to cancel the meeting.

“I didn’t discuss it with anyone else,” he said before departing for a political rally in North Carolina.

Trump also defended the choice of Camp David as a meeting location, saying the presidential retreat has had many meetings with people not considered politically correct.

An alternative location for the meeting would have been the White House, he said, but, “I said I don’t like concept of having it at White House.”

On Twitter, Trump dismissed reports that he had overruled Pence and Bolton on the meeting as “fake news” perpetuated by “dishonest media” to create “the look of turmoil in the White House, of which there is none.”

“I view much of the media as simply an arm of the Democrat Party,” he wrote. “They are corrupt, and they are extremely upset at how well our Country is doing under MY Leadership, including the Economy, where there is NO Recession, much to the regret of the LameStream Media!”

Pence, who generally avoids weighing in on Trump’s criticism of the media, quickly echoed the president’s point.  

“That’s Absolutely Right Mr. President. More Fake News!” Pence posted on Twitter. “The Dishonest Media never contacted our office before running with this story and if they had, we would have told them I FULLY support your decision.”

In a separate tweet, Trump said the U.S. has been serving “as policemen in Afghanistan, and that was not meant to be the job of our Great Soldiers, the finest on earth. Over the last four days, we have been hitting our Enemy harder than at any time in the last ten years!

Trump has faced considerable backlash for planning to meet with the Taliban at Camp David.

Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress blasted him for planning to bring members of the Taliban to the U.S., specifically to Camp David, a presidential retreat for presidents used for administrations. They also criticized the timing of the meeting, which was to take place just days before the 18th anniversary terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

More: The Taliban hardly deserve Camp David talks with a president. What was Trump thinking?

More: Women ‘absolutely terrified’ of Donald Trump giving Afghanistan deal to the Taliban

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/09/09/trump-denies-reports-he-overruled-pence-others-taliban-meeting/2264941001/

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Marie Osmond recalls the ‘ripple effect’ son Michael’s suicide left on family nearly 10 years later

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1130412640 Marie Osmond recalls the ‘ripple effect’ son Michael’s suicide left on family nearly 10 years later New York Post Francesca Bacardi fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fnc/entertainment fnc cf55ebe3-b3ba-5c7f-b1cd-ee4f1a6a0b8f article

Marie Osmond is reflecting on the aftermath of her son’s suicide nearly 10 years after his death.

“You know, I don’t think you’re ever through it,” she told “CBS Sunday Morning.” “I think God gives you respites, and then all of a sudden it’ll hit you like the day it did.

MARIE OSMOND ASKS FANS FOR PRAYERS, REVEALS HER NEWBORN GRANDDAUGHTER WAS TAKEN TO THE ICU

“The ripple effect is so huge, what you leave behind.”

Osmond’s son Michael Blosil was 18 when he jumped from his apartment building in 2010. He was one of eight children Osmond, 59, shares with husband Brian Bolsil. The couple adopted five of the eight, including Michael.

“My family and I are devastated and in deep shock by the tragic loss of our dear Michael and ask that everyone respect our privacy during this difficult time,” she said in a statement at the time of his death.

MARIE OSMOND TO REPLACE SARA GILBERT AS HOST ON ‘THE TALK’

“The Talk” co-host later revealed to Oprah Winfrey that Michael had been suffering from depression. He had entered rehab in 2007 for undisclosed reasons.

“When I heard him say to me, ‘I have no friends,’ it brought back when I went through depression because you really feel so alone,” she explained. “I’m not a depressed person, but I understand that place, that darkness … I told him, I said, ‘Mike, I’m gonna be there Monday and it’s gonna be OK.’

DONNY AND MARIE OSMOND EXPLAIN HWY THEY ARE ENDING THEIR LAS VEGAS RESIDENCY

“But depression doesn’t wait ‘til Monday.”

This article originally appeared in Page Six.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1130412640 Marie Osmond recalls the ‘ripple effect’ son Michael’s suicide left on family nearly 10 years later New York Post Francesca Bacardi fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fnc/entertainment fnc cf55ebe3-b3ba-5c7f-b1cd-ee4f1a6a0b8f article   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-1130412640 Marie Osmond recalls the ‘ripple effect’ son Michael’s suicide left on family nearly 10 years later New York Post Francesca Bacardi fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fnc/entertainment fnc cf55ebe3-b3ba-5c7f-b1cd-ee4f1a6a0b8f article

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Afghans Glad Trump Stopped Taliban Talks, Even if They Doubt His Explanation

KABUL, Afghanistan — For several days after Abdul Sami was sent tumbling and knocked unconscious by a powerful Taliban car bombing last week, he had no idea that an American soldier was among the 12 people killed.

Perched on a hospital bed on Monday, his legs and abdomen wrapped in bandages, Mr. Sami just shrugged when told that the soldier’s death had been cited by President Trump as the basis for his decision to abort peace talks with the Taliban.

“Tell Mr. Trump I’m very, very tired and I don’t feel like keeping up with these peace talks anyway,” said Mr. Sami, 23, a travel agency employee. “There is no point in trying for peace when the Taliban does such terrible things to innocent people.”

For many Afghans, the abrupt suspension of talks after 10 months of negotiations was not entirely unexpected. What jarred them was the notion that a single attack, and the death of one American, could really have upended the talks when the deaths of thousands of Afghans this year — not to mention at least 15 other American soldiers — had not.

That was the question on the mind of Ghulam Mohammad, 35, a laborer wounded in the bombing that killed the American, Army Sgt. First Class Elis Barreto Ortiz. His wiry body was bent in pain Monday from a hole ripped in his stomach by shrapnel.

“It’s always the poor people who are stepped on and killed,” Mr. Mohammad said. “Nobody cares about us — not Trump, not our own government.”

The doctor who treated him also was skeptical.

“This is all a political game. Why talk for ten months and then suddenly stop — and just because an American soldier was killed?” asked the doctor, who was not authorized to speak with reporters.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160493811_0d337d79-dd81-4365-a748-0e8dd8469922-articleLarge Afghans Glad Trump Stopped Taliban Talks, Even if They Doubt His Explanation Trump, Donald J Terrorism Taliban Afghanistan War (2001- ) Afghanistan

“It was never in the interests of the Afghan people,” Shahla Farid, a law professor at Kabul University. said of the American talks with the Taliban.CreditKiana Hayeri for The New York Times

“I’d like to ask Mr. Trump why he didn’t stop the peace talks after all those attacks when the Taliban killed so many civilians,” the doctor said.

There had been deep skepticism in Afghanistan that the Taliban would ever agree to share power, cut ties with terrorist groups or stop killing civilians — especially after the group ramped up suicide attacks in urban centers during the talks.

In the countryside, Afghan forces supported by American advisers and air power also have intensified operations since last fall. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that more than a thousand Taliban fighters had been killed over the previous 10 days.

Since negotiations between the United States and the Taliban began last fall, many Afghans had lived in a state of suspended animation, between hope and dread. There was hope that decades of war might finally come to a close, but dread that under a peace deal the Taliban would return to power and reimpose their brutal repression.

Many Afghans also have expressed concern that the United States, eager to end nearly 18 years of war in Afghanistan, would withdraw its 14,000 troops abruptly. Some fear such a move would precipitate the kind of mayhem that nearly destroyed the country and brought the Taliban to power in 1996.

The suspension of talks between the United States and the Taliban appeared to open the way for proceeding with a presidential election Sept. 28. The election had been in doubt because of concerns that it would interfere with talks between the Afghan government an the Taliban, which had been expected to begin as early as this month as part of the proposed agreement scuttled by Mr. Trump.

President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, who had fumed while his government was excluded from the Taliban talks with the United States, is running for a second five-year term. The Taliban, which fiercely opposes elections, has attacked polling stations in previous campaigns.

Violence continued unabated Monday. The Taliban besieged parts of three northern provinces, with civilians killed in the fighting along with government security forces and Taliban fighters.

Afghan security forces were seen in large numbers on the streets of Kabul on Monday.CreditJim Huylebroek for The New York Times

In Kabul, gunmen in trucks raced through the streets, firing in the air to commemorate the anniversary of Al Qaeda’s assassination of a famous politician and military commander, the Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Masood, two days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Some clashed with security forces.

The police said one security force member and a civilian bystander were killed. A roadside bomb wounded three Masood supporters.

Speaking at a ceremony honoring the slain commander, Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s chief executive, said, “Today, we are as far from peace as we were years ago,” an Afghan news channel reported.

In a video posted on Facebook, several pro-Masood gunmen were shown firing pistols at a billboard of Mr. Ghani, a political foe of many followers of Mr. Masood from the northern province of Panjshir.

For many Afghans, such scenes only deepened a sense of futility and despair born of exhaustion from the violence that intensified on both sides during the 10 months of talks between the Americans and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar.

“It was never in the interests of the Afghan people,” Shahla Farid, a law professor at Kabul University and a women’s rights activist, said of the proposed deal for an American withdrawal. “The Afghan people who are the main victims of this war were kept in the dark.”

For many Afghan women, who were confined to their homes by the Taliban and forced to cover themselves in public, the halt to negotiations was a blessing. Women interviewed in recent months have said the rights and freedoms won since the American-led invasion toppled the Taliban in 2001 would be threatened by any deal that returned the Taliban to power.

Ms. Farid was so disillusioned by the proposed deal, she said, that she had planned to take nearly 500 burqas to the United States for women to wear in protest if the agreement were consummated.

Momin Rasooli, 18,suffered a chest wound suffered in a Taliban suicide bombing. Relatives visited him in the hospital.CreditKiana Hayeri for The New York Times

She said she believed Mr. Trump had seized on the American soldier’s death as a pretext to halt the proposed agreement, in part, over Taliban intransigence and concern that the group would not honor its commitments once American troops withdrew.

If not for public complaints about the proposed deal from women and other skeptics, a flawed agreement might have been finalized, said Mary Akrami, head of the Afghan Women’s Network, a coalition of rights groups. She said the deal would have legitimized the Taliban.

Ms. Akrami said she doubted Mr. Trump’s contention that he called off negotiations over the death of a single American soldier. If that explanation were true, she said, “it would be a disrespect to all Afghans, to all the victims who lost their lives.”

On social media Monday, many Afghans mocked the American special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, who said last week that a peace agreement had been reached “in principle,” pending approval by Mr. Trump.

“Khalilzad had a miscarriage in the ninth month,” one Facebook post read.

In the north, several civilians cut off by Taliban assaults but reached by telephone expressed relief that the talks were off.

When they heard the news, “people were happy, but still worried that this was another plot to hand us over to the Taliban,” said Malalai Saad, 46, a women’s rights activist in Kunduz.

Najmuddin Akrami, 65, a carpenter in Kunduz, said that regardless of any peace deal, the Taliban were getting stronger while “America is trying to play any game or trick to find a way to leave Afghanistan.”

At the hospital in Kabul, Momin Rasooli, 18, sat shirtless with a bandage covering a chest wound suffered in a Taliban suicide bombing on Sept. 2. His brother, Jawad Jawed, 25, tried to console him.

Mr. Jawed said he never believed the American talks with the Taliban would produce a real peace.

“As long as there is an Afghanistan, there will always be fighting and death,” he said. “It’s all I’ve known all my life.”

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Federal court reinstates nationwide injunction on Trump administration's asylum ban

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Federal court reinstates nationwide injunction on Trump administration's asylum ban

Immigration experts say successfully achieving asylum in the U.S. is incredibly difficult, especially for those coming here from Central America. USA TODAY, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – On Monday, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled to reinstate a nationwide injunction on a Trump administration policy that would have blocked most asylum applications for migrants transiting through other countries on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border. 

“The question now before the court is whether those harms can be addressed by any relief short of a nationwide injunction. The answer is that they cannot,” wrote District Judge Jon Tigar in his order in East Bay v. Barr granting a nationwide injunction on the policy. 

Tigar noted the need for “uniform immigration policy” and potential administration issues if the injunction were only limited to a part of the country, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in August. 

The joint Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice policy, which had been published in mid-July, would have banned most Central American migrants from applying for asylum in the United States if they did not apply for asylum first in Mexico or another third country.

Several immigrant service groups filed a lawsuit against the federal government shortly after and were granted a preliminary injunction on the rule by Judge Tigar. 

Asylum change: Trump immigration change would all but end asylum requests for Central American migrants

Flu vaccines not given to migrants: ‘Immoral and irresponsible’: Lawmakers slam Trump admin’s decision not to give flu vaccines to migrant families

Baher Azmy, an ACLU attorney who had argued the case, said in a statement, “The court recognized there is grave danger facing asylum-seekers along the entire stretch of the southern border.”

“Every single time this administration comes up with what we believe is a legal rule or policy that ends up getting legally enjoined, it’s very frustrating,” said acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan at a White House briefing later Monday. “We keep having to go outside the box to come up with new policy, new regulations because this Congress won’t do their job.”

The Trump administration has attempted to clamp down on asylum applications as part of a broader crackdown on immigration, though the administration’s policy changes have been met with fierce legal challenges by immigrant advocacy groups. 

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A Hedge Fund Becomes a Very Noisy Stakeholder in AT&T

Westlake Legal Group 09att-facebookJumbo A Hedge Fund Becomes a Very Noisy Stakeholder in AT&T Telephones and Telecommunications Hedge Funds Elliott Management Corp AT&T Inc

With its $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner last year, AT&T announced to the world that it was becoming a new kind of corporate behemoth, one that would be a force in media and entertainment while also maintaining its dominant position in the telecommunications industry.

On Monday, one of Wall Street’s biggest hedge funds expressed doubts about AT&T’s decision to go Hollywood, saying in a sharply worded letter to the AT&T board that the company had “transformed itself into a sprawling collection of businesses battling well-funded competitors.”

Elliott Management, a hedge fund with $38 billion under management, made the letter public as part of an announcement that it had taken a $3.2 billion stake in the Dallas-based AT&T.

Although its holdings represent just over 1 percent of AT&T’s $271 billion market capitalization, Elliott Management — led by the billionaire businessman and Republican donor Paul E. Singer — made a splashy entry into the ranks of company stakeholders with its 24-page letter, telling AT&T that it needed to change to bolster its share price.

Activist funds like Elliott Management often take small positions in companies with the idea of rallying other investors to their way of thinking. The Monday letter questioned whether AT&T had strayed from its mission when it acquired Time Warner, the company behind CNN, the Warner Bros. movie studio and HBO, among other properties.

While praising Time Warner, now called WarnerMedia, Elliott Management criticized AT&T’s early moves into the streaming business, saying that “more than three years after the deal was announced, there is still confusion over strategy and a growing sense that AT&T doesn’t have a plan.”

In July, AT&T announced that its streaming service would be called HBO Max. Scheduled to make its debut next spring, it will offer more than 10,000 hours of content, including HBO hits like “Succession,” “Game of Thrones,” “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos,” not to mention exclusive access to the sitcom “Friends.” HBO Max will compete in a crowded field of well-funded newcomers like Disney Plus and AppleTV, as well as pioneering streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon.

The hedge fund’s letter got the attention of President Trump, who used it as fuel for his longstanding grudge against the cable news network. “Great news that an activist investor is now involved with AT&T,” Mr. Trump posted on Twitter. “As the owner of VERY LOW RATINGS @CNN, perhaps they will now put a stop to all of the Fake News emanating from its non-credible ‘anchors.’” He added: “I hear that, because of its bad ratings, it is losing a fortune.”

In fact, CNN has been a consistently profitable machine and continues to generate money for its new parent company. In the first half of this year, the division under which CNN operates made more than $2.4 billion.

Mr. Trump also has connections to Mr. Singer, the founder of Elliott Management. He was once a staunch never-Trumper who raised money during the 2016 for Mr. Trump’s political rivals. Soon after the election, Mr. Singer got on board, contributing $1 million to the inauguration. In a February 2017 press briefing, President Trump said that he had just met with Mr. Singer at the White House, adding that the billionaire “has given us his total support.”

Elliott Management’s letter included data and insights from a wide variety of sources. As part of its due diligence, the hedge fund said it had commissioned a consulting firm to survey “the wireless, pay TV, and broadband preferences of more than 35,000 consumers to understand evolving consumer trends” and “more than 200 former AT&T and industry executives to accurately evaluate the current situation.”

Elliott Management went on to ask the company to stop striking new acquisitions, increase dividends and share buybacks and improve its efficiency. The fund also said it was seeking seats on AT&T’s board. Shares in AT&T were up more than 2 percent in midday trading on Monday.

While it has battled its main telecommunications rival Verizon in a bitter price war that has made each customer less profitable, AT&T, led by the chairman and chief executive Randall Stephenson, has acted decisively when it has come to WarnerMedia.

It put a veteran AT&T executive, John Stankey, in charge of the new division. Eight months into his tenure, the longtime HBO chief executive Richard Plepler, a gregarious figure who was known for having a way with Hollywood talent, stepped down. People familiar with Mr. Plepler’s thinking said at the time that he found that he had less autonomy as an AT&T employee. HBO had won 160 Emmys on Mr. Plepler’s watch.

A month after that departure, Mr. Stankey named Robert Greenblatt, the former head of entertainment at NBC and Showtime, as the new chairman at WarnerMedia, a job that gave him oversight of properties like HBO, TBS and TNT.

Mr. Stankey has trimmed costs and is looking to increase its profits through new business lines. In addition to unlocking higher returns on advertising, he has also spent considerable time and money to create a new streaming service to compete with Netflix, Hulu and others, based largely on the brand clout of HBO. The service would also help AT&T offer special discounts to its customers, potentially keeping them from defecting to other services.

Last week, in a vote of confidence, AT&T elevated Mr. Stankey to president and chief operating officer of AT&T, putting him in line to succeed Mr. Stephenson as chief executive. He continues serving as the chief executive of WarnerMedia.

Elliott Management seemed not so bullish on the loss of Mr. Plepler and the recent promotion of Mr. Stankey, citing “alarming executive turnover” at WarnerMedia in its Monday letter. In addition to Mr. Plepler’s exit, the company also lost David Levy, the former president of Turner Broadcasting, the division that includes TBS and TNT, who resigned; and Kevin Tsujihara, who ran the Warner Bros. studio group, stepped down in March after accusations that he had tried to get television and film roles for a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship.

The letter from the hedge fund said the executive-suite changes at WarnerMedia made for “a particularly troubling pattern given the very different nature of its businesses compared to those in which AT&T has historically operated.”

Concerning the promotion of Mr. Stankey, whom the letter referred to as “the recently installed CEO of WarnerMedia,” Elliott Management noted with disapproval that he “would now also be responsible for an additional $145 billion of revenue as the President and COO of the entire Company.”

AT&T has more than $149 billion in net debt and has been steadily losing television customers at another of its businesses, DirecTV. In the 12 months through March, it lost more than 1.5 million subscribers, leaving it with about 23 million. AT&T acquired the satellite TV service in 2015 for almost $50 billion. Elliott Management advised that AT&T should consider selling DirectTV, among other businesses.

With so much criticism, why did Mr. Singer’s hedge fund decide to involve itself in AT&T at all? The answer seems to come down to the possibilities of the fifth-generation cellular networks known as 5G, which brings faster-than-broadband speeds through the air. President Trump has argued that 5G is critical to national security, citing its importance in his administration’s crackdown on the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. The transition to the new technology, the letter said, “presents AT&T with a renewed opportunity to reset the wireless narrative and reclaim market leadership.”

In an emailed statement on Monday, AT&T said: “Our management team and board of directors maintain a regular and open dialogue with shareholders and will review Elliott Management’s perspectives in the context of the company’s business strategy.”

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