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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 95)

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. 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/09/09/federal-court-reinstates-block-trump-administrations-asylum-ban/2265386001/

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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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Rosario Dawson Says ‘Of Course’ She Endorses Cory Booker

Westlake Legal Group 5d768c933b00002b88d0c3aa Rosario Dawson Says ‘Of Course’ She Endorses Cory Booker

Rosario Dawson on Monday shut down speculation that she isn’t endorsing Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) for president, tweeting that “of course” she supports the senator ― whom she is dating.

“Anyone writing otherwise clearly hasn’t been paying attention,” she wrote. “My focus this election is on voter registration and the census.”

This weekend, a number of news outlets, including conservative publications like The Daily Caller and the Washington Examiner, seized on a remark Dawson made at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Regardless of Cory, I wasn’t going to be behind any particular candidate this election,” she’d told Variety. “I really just want to be behind the electorate.”

But on Monday, the “Zombieland: Double Tap” star clarified that she meant her focus remains with organizations like Voto Latino, a nonprofit encouraging Latino voters to become more politically involved. She’s been with the group for 15 years, she noted.

Dawson also shared at the festival that she’s frustrated with expectations that she would set aside her own career to follow Booker on the campaign trail.

“I’ve been getting all this press like ‘Why aren’t you at your man’s side?’ when I’ve made it really clear that it’s OK to be a working mom,” she said.

The pair first confirmed their relationship in March.

“I am just grateful to be with someone that I respect and love and admire so much who is so brilliant and kind and caring and loving,” Dawson told TMZ then.

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McDonald’s brings back divisive Shamrock Shake, but only for certain fans

In one of the most unexpected turns of events for all of 2019, some McDonald’s are selling Shamrock Shakes in September.

The divisive item is usually reserved for the St. Patrick’s Day season, but customers in Philadelphia were shocked to see the green drink pop back up in September. Apparently, the Shamrock Shake is being used to celebrate the start of the Philadelphia Eagles’ season.

Of course, since McDonald’s is notorious for its malfunctioning ice cream makers, some fans are reportedly having trouble finding locations that are actually selling them.

Many Eagles fans were excited simply to see the drink make an unexpected return, with one Twitter user excitedly posting, “Hey Philly, we got Shamrock Shakes in September!”

SUBWAY CUSTOMER ROASTED FOR UNUSUAL SANDWICH ORDER: ‘THAT’S ACTUALLY SO WRONG’

Another fan joined in, posting, “Philly brought back the shamrock shake for the eagles. Am I gonna have to say go birds to get one? Because I’m not above stooping that low.”

Of course, not everyone was able to find one. One Twitter user posted a screenshot of a promotional poster for the drink, but captioned it, “Why is it that Philly area McDonald’s are advertising Shamrock Shakes (Philadelphia Eagles) yet no place is selling them?”

Westlake Legal Group Shamrock-shake McDonald's brings back divisive Shamrock Shake, but only for certain fans Michael Hollan fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/philadelphia fox-news/sports/nfl/philadelphia-eagles fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 2864d677-f375-55e2-9246-faff3d045693

The Shamrock Shake is back for a limited time at select Philadelphia locations to celebrate the start to the Philadelphia Eagles’ season.  (McDonald’s)

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Apparently, other users were also having trouble locating the drink, with one user posting, “Can confirm McDonald’s on Columbus Blvd not selling Shamrock Shakes” with the hashtag “disappointed.”

One user, however, pointed out, “Y’all are the type to get mad at a McDonald’s employee because they aren’t serving ‘shamrock shakes’ in September.”

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It’s unclear how long the green shakes will be available, although the posters do say that it is a “limited time” offer.

Fox News reached out to McDonald’s, but they did not immediately respond.

Westlake Legal Group Shamrock-shake McDonald's brings back divisive Shamrock Shake, but only for certain fans Michael Hollan fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/philadelphia fox-news/sports/nfl/philadelphia-eagles fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 2864d677-f375-55e2-9246-faff3d045693   Westlake Legal Group Shamrock-shake McDonald's brings back divisive Shamrock Shake, but only for certain fans Michael Hollan fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/philadelphia fox-news/sports/nfl/philadelphia-eagles fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 2864d677-f375-55e2-9246-faff3d045693

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Bernie Sanders Went to Canada, and a Dream of ‘Medicare for All’ Flourished

BURLINGTON, Vt. — In July 1987, Bernie Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington, Vt., arrived in Ottawa convinced he was about to see the future of health care.

Years earlier, as his mother’s health declined, and his family struggled to pay for medical treatment, he was spending more time attending to her than in classes at Brooklyn College, suffering through what his brother called “a wrecked year’’ leading to her death. Over time, he had come to believe that the American health care system was flawed and inherently unfair. In Canada, he wanted to observe firsthand the government-backed, universal model that he strongly suspected was better.

Amid tours of community centers and meetings with health care providers, Mr. Sanders, then 45, more than liked what he saw.

“He was thrilled,” recalled Beth Mintz, a professor of sociology at the University of Vermont and a member of a task force that accompanied Mr. Sanders. “It gave him much more confidence in the possibility of the single-payer system as a solution.”

Decades before “Medicare for all” would propel his presidential campaigns, Mr. Sanders’s expedition to Ottawa helped forge his determination to transform the American health care system. His views burst onto the national political scene during his 2016 presidential run, when he championed a single-payer program alongside many of his other liberal policy ideas. Now, as he seeks the Democratic presidential nomination for a second time, he has made “Medicare for all” the single most important issue of his campaign and in turn set the agenda for the ideological discussion in the Democratic primary.

Health care dominated the first two Democratic debates this summer and will most likely be a prominent issue again during the third debate on Thursday in Houston. Other candidates support “Medicare for all,” but it is Mr. Sanders who has become singularly identified with it — “I wrote the damn bill!’’ he proclaimed in July’s debate.

A review of hundreds of pages of documents from the first chapters of his political career — including speeches, correspondences and newspaper clippings — as well as interviews with those who have known him throughout his life, show that while his democratic socialist worldview underpins his “Medicare for all” pitch, he was also guided by other factors. Chief among them were his mother’s illness and death, which instilled in him a deeply personal urge to ensure everyone had access to medical care, and the adjacency of Vermont to Canada, which afforded him a blueprint to enact the kind of universal health care system he had envisioned for years.

Together, they help explain why he has staked not only his campaign, but also much of his political legacy, on promoting “Medicare for all.’’

“You can’t overstate the impact that Vermont’s proximity to Canada had on Bernie’s thinking about how to approach reforming the American health care system,” said Jeff Weaver, who has worked with Mr. Sanders since the 1980s and remains one of his closest advisers. The pull of Canada remains strong: In July, Mr. Sanders took a bus trip from Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, with diabetes patients to highlight lower drug prices in Canada.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_150943836_d722bb5c-483c-448a-ab26-7e8059252e1e-articleLarge Bernie Sanders Went to Canada, and a Dream of ‘Medicare for All’ Flourished Vermont United States Politics and Government Senate Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Politics and Government Medicare Health Insurance and Managed Care Democratic Party Debates (Political) Canada

Mr. Sanders discussed his “Medicare for All” bill during a news conference before a throng of supporters at the Capitol in September 2017.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Sanders vividly described how seeing the Canadian system up close significantly shaped his own views on health care.

“It was kind of mind blowing to realize that the country 50 miles away from where I live — that people could go to the doctor whenever they wanted and not have to take out their wallet,” he said.

“That was just a profound lesson that I learned,” he said.

He also criticized the American system as “barbaric.” And he vowed — as he often does in his stump speeches — “to take on the greed and the corruption of the health care industry.”

“This is a fight I will not shy away from,” he said.

Mr. Sanders’s health care proposal has attracted legions of supporters who are fed up with the rising costs of the current system, and it sets him apart from more centrist candidates like Joseph R. Biden Jr. But his uncompromising position also threatens to alienate voters who are pleased with the Affordable Care Act, or who do not want to give up their private insurance. His own state of Vermont so far does not have a single-payer program.

Despite skepticism about his views, however, Mr. Sanders has consistently resolved to reform the health care system, even before being elected to public office. In 1972, when he was running for Senate as a candidate from Vermont’s left-wing Liberty Union Party, The Bennington Banner, a local newspaper, reported him taking an uncompromising stance: “There is absolutely no rational reason, in the United States of America today, we could not have full and total free medical care for all.”

The first seeds of Mr. Sanders’s concern were sown in Brooklyn.

A high-school track and cross country star with an emerging political streak, Mr. Sanders had wanted to go to Harvard, friends said. But by his senior year, his mother, Dorothy Sanders, had become sick, her heart damaged from having rheumatic fever as a child.

As her health declined, her illness consumed him. He stopped going to track practice. To be closer to her, he began his freshman year at Brooklyn College.

Mr. Sanders describes his family as lower middle class. His father, an immigrant from Poland, was a paint salesman. He has said his parents frequently argued about money.

Mr. Sanders, second from left, with his parents, Dorothy and Eli, and brother, Larry.CreditBernie Sanders campaign, via Associated Press

When his mother fell ill, his family moved her into a charity hospital in New Jersey. After a failed heart surgery, she died in March 1960, when she was in her mid-40s. “Bernard actually spent much more time with her than he did in class,’’ his brother, Larry, recalled in an interview in February. “It was really a kind of wrecked year and a very unhappy year.”

Then, as now, Mr. Sanders avoided speaking of his mother’s death. On Sunday, he declined to discuss his personal life, but said that his family had “struggled economically, and that’s it.”

In a 2006 interview with Vermont PBS, he offered a rare glimpse into how her illness shaped his thinking.

“When you talk about money and family, how do you get the money for the medical treatment that my mother needed?” he said. “I won’t go into the whole long song and dance of it. But trust me, it was something that I also have not forgotten about — the right of people to have health care, which was a little bit difficult in our family situation.”

It would still be some years, though, before health care became his political hallmark.

Mr. Sanders transferred to the University of Chicago, where he spent hours in the library reading progressive publications that would influence his political views and turned his energy toward civil rights.

“We didn’t talk about health care,” said one of his roommates, Ivan Light. “It was not on the political agenda at that time. Civil rights was on the agenda.”

After moving to Vermont, he became active in politics. A perennial candidate with the Liberty Union Party in the 1970s, he focused on issues like the tax structure.

But he also began to study health care seriously. Included in a collection of papers from those days are pamphlets, articles and other material related to medical care. One publication he saved from March 1972 was titled, “Health Rights News;” its slogan was “Health care is a human right.”

That research soon began to take hold: In October 1976, when he was the Liberty Union candidate for governor, he told The Burlington Free Press that the delivery of medical care was “basically a national problem” and that he supported “public ownership of the drug companies and placing doctors on salaries.”

“I believe in socialized medicine,” he said.

As mayor of Burlington, Mr. Sanders became somewhat fixated on Canada’s health care system.CreditIrene Fertik/Burlington Free Press-USA Today Network

John Bloch, who has known Mr. Sanders since the 1970s, said he thought Mr. Sanders’s views were influenced in part by the people he lived near in the rural town of Stannard, Vt., many of whom were in desperate need of health care.

“He didn’t just come to this as Johnny-come-lately,” Mr. Bloch said.

In the interview Sunday, Mr. Sanders said he was particularly affected at the time by a young boy who lived across the road whose teeth, he said, were rotting in his mouth.

Deb Richter, a Vermont physician and longtime advocate for single-payer health care, who has worked with Mr. Sanders on the issue for 20 years, said Mr. Sanders had always felt that health care should be a human right.

“You ask Vermonters, ‘How long has Bernie been talking about single-payer health care for all?’ and nobody can remember a time he wasn’t talking about it,’’ she said.

After Mr. Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington in 1981, he largely emphasized local issues, like property taxes and affordable housing. He also aimed to execute his own foreign policy, going further than many Democrats in supporting socialist leaders.

“I was the mayor of a city of 40,000 people,” Mr. Sanders said in the interview. “Talking about national health care is not exactly what you talk to the board of aldermen about.”

By then, he had also become somewhat fixated on Canada, just 50 miles from his office in city hall. In September 1981, he invited the director of the Quebec Insurance Board to deliver a presentation on the province’s health insurance plan. Later, he demanded more accountability from the state’s health insurance company and encouraged a review of hospital budgets.

Mr. Sanders returned to Canada in July with a group seeking to purchase insulin at a pharmacy in Windsor, Ontario.CreditBrittany Greeson for The New York Times

But as he pondered broader electoral ambitions, his priorities began to shift.

Even before he announced his 1986 campaign for governor, he said he planned to run in part on controlling the cost of health care, according to an article in the Vermont newspaper The Times Argus.

He lost that race but gathered valuable information in the process: During his campaign, his team had polled Vermont residents on issues. “To my surprise,” Mr. Sanders said in 1987, “the issue that Vermonters felt most strongly about was the rapidly rising costs of health care.”

That finding served to galvanize his actions on health care. He quickly set up a task force and charged it with studying how to make the system more affordable.

Soon Mr. Sanders and the task force — which included an expert on the Cuban health care system, professors and a minister — were traveling to Ottawa, which had implemented a government-supported, single-payer system.

Jed Lowy, who went on the trip, recalled touring a public hospital, visiting a neighborhood community health center and speaking with physicians.

“It was interesting to see another way that health care was provided,” Mr. Lowy said.

Other Coverage of Health Care in the Democratic Primary
Democrat vs. Democrat: How Health Care Is Dividing the Party

June 28, 2019

Bernie Sanders on Medicare for All

June 27, 2019

On the Doorstep With a Plea: Will You Support Medicare for All?

June 15, 2019

Democratic Debate Turns Ferocious Over Health Care

July 30, 2019

That trip, and a later one to Montreal, reinforced Mr. Sanders’s idea that Vermont’s northern neighbor had effectively put into practice the kind of accessible, affordable health care system he had long sought.

At a news conference after the Ottawa visit, the task force suggested Burlington could model its health care system after Canada’s. And in unequivocal tones, Mr. Sanders said it would be “absolutely negligent” not to examine at least some aspects of the Canadian health system.

In March 1988, the task force released a report recommending the creation of a national health care system.

Mr. Sanders’s focus on health care policy met some resistance at home, from city employees reluctant to give up benefits they had earned, and from people critical of the fact that he appointed mostly supporters of his administration to the task force.

Mr. Sanders forcefully rebutted the criticism.

“You may regard this as ‘propaganda’,” he wrote tersely in response to a letter from an angry constituent in December 1982. “I expect that you may not have talked to citizens who are taking their food money to pay for medical care.”

Mr. Sanders has helped set the agenda for the Democratic primary with his focus on “Medicare for all.”CreditSarah Rice for The New York Times

By the time Mr. Sanders was mounting his 1988 congressional run, he was speaking about health care in the kind of dogmatic terms he uses today, and he was broadening his vision beyond Vermont. He praised the National League of Cities for adopting a resolution to establish a national health system.

Soon after formally announcing his congressional campaign, he set forth his premier agenda item, one that he had imagined since his mother’s death some three decades earlier.

“I want to make it emphatically clear,” he said in April 1988, “that I will make health care reform a top priority as a United States congressman from the state of Vermont.”

Alexander Burns contributed reporting. Kitty Bennett and Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

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48 States Investigating Whether Google’s Dominance Hurts Competition

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The state attorneys general, led by Texas Republican Ken Paxton, are announcing a major investigation into Google. Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  48 States Investigating Whether Google's Dominance Hurts Competition

The state attorneys general, led by Texas Republican Ken Paxton, are announcing a major investigation into Google.

Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images

State attorneys general of 48 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia announced a major probe Monday into Google’s dominance in search and advertising for practices that harm competition as well as consumers. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the bipartisan pack.

The investigation includes all the states, except for California and Alabama.

Google, which dominates search, has the power to put a user on page 1 or 100. European regulators have charged Google with abusing that power and, following years-long investigations, they issued multi-billion-dollar fines.

The tech giant, along with Facebook, controls nearly 60% of all digital advertising, according to eMarketer. A wide range of businesses that must publicize their services — be it a hair stylist, a hospital or a Fortune 500 company — must abide by the terms and prices set by two companies. But, as eMarketer notes, the duopoly’s control is diminishing as Amazon grows.

In June, Paxton, a Tea Party Republican, expressed concern in a press release that even when no money changes hands, consumers are paying for services with their data and that “technology platforms often lack the incentive to provide strong privacy protections for consumers.” He and 42 other attorneys general asked the Federal Trade Commission to work closely with them, to look at anti-competitive practices and predatory conduct.

Last week, Google agreed to pay $170 million to settle allegations that it violated the privacy rights of children by tracking them, without parental consent, as they watch cartoons and other youth-directed content on YouTube.

Last week Google disclosed that, in addition to state-level government action, the Justice Department has asked the company to hand over documents. Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, defended the company in a blog post, saying: “Things that were science fiction a few years ago are now free for everyone—translating any language instantaneously, learning about objects by pointing your phone, getting an answer to pretty much any question you might have.”

Led by New York, attorneys general from eight states and the District of Columbia announced a probe into Facebook as well.

Editor’s note: Google and Facebook are among NPR’s financial supporters.

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McDonald’s employee filmed choking, punching customer over alleged complaint about cold fries

Westlake Legal Group McDonaldsFriesIstock McDonald's employee filmed choking, punching customer over alleged complaint about cold fries Michael Bartiromo fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 1861da53-a471-50b4-84f2-a0096d66911b

A McDonald’s employee has been terminated for getting fired up over some fries.

The worker, who was employed at a location in New Orleans, was recently filmed choking and punching a customer who was allegedly trying to complain about his french fries being cold, and requesting a new order.

WOMAN FINDS HEARTWARMING NOTE ON MCDONALD’S RECEIPT

“The behavior seen in this video is not what I expect from my employees,” said Chris Bardell, the owner and operator of the location, in a statement McDonald’s gave to Fox News. “The crew member involved in this incident is no longer employed by my organization.”

Footage of the incident, taken Saturday, shows the worker telling the customer to “get out” before another employee leads him away from the confrontation. The customer, however, is seen following behind, presumably to continue complaining about his order, at which point the worker turns around, places his hands around the man’s neck, and punches him in the head.

The customer, who was visiting New Orleans with his wife at the time of the incident, admitted that he did have an “attitude” when he complained, but he didn’t feel it warranted violence, WWL-TV reported.

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“The customer is always right, even if he’s wrong,” the unidentified man told the outlet. He added that he didn’t fight back even though he knew he would be able to take out his attacker, because he “didn’t want to leave my wife alone in New Orleans if I went to jail.”

Following the incident, officers arrived on the scene, but no charges were filed, according to NOLA.com.

The customer, meanwhile, claims he still wants to see the employee “in jail.”

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The New Orleans police are said to be investigating the incident.

Westlake Legal Group McDonaldsFriesIstock McDonald's employee filmed choking, punching customer over alleged complaint about cold fries Michael Bartiromo fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 1861da53-a471-50b4-84f2-a0096d66911b   Westlake Legal Group McDonaldsFriesIstock McDonald's employee filmed choking, punching customer over alleged complaint about cold fries Michael Bartiromo fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 1861da53-a471-50b4-84f2-a0096d66911b

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