web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 100)

NBA Commissioner Says Free Speech Remains Vital After Rift With China

TOKYO (AP) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league is not apologizing for Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s since-deleted tweet showing support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, even after China’s state broadcaster canceled plans to show a pair of preseason games in that country later this week.

Silver, speaking Tuesday at a news conference in Tokyo before a preseason game between the Rockets and NBA champion Toronto Raptors, went as far as to say that he and the league are “apologetic” that so many Chinese officials and fans were upset by Morey’s tweet and comments that followed — but insisted that Morey has the right to freedom of expression.

“Daryl Morey, as general manager of the Houston Rockets, enjoys that right as one of our employees,” Silver said. “What I also tried to suggest is that I understand there are consequences from his freedom of speech and we will have to live with those consequences.”

Among those consequences: CCTV said it would not show the games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, who will play Thursday in Shanghai and Saturday in Shenzhen. Basketball is wildly popular in China and those two teams — largely because of LeBron James starring for the Lakers and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s co-founder Joe Tsai now owning the Nets — almost certainly would have been a huge television draw.

“We’re strongly dissatisfied and oppose Adam Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right to freedom of expression,” CCTV said in a statement. “We believe that any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability are not within the scope of freedom of speech.”

The broadcaster is also reviewing all its cooperation and exchanges involving the NBA, said the statement posted to CCTV Sports’ official social media account.

Westlake Legal Group 5d9cea1f210000f407ac6ed4 NBA Commissioner Says Free Speech Remains Vital After Rift With China

VCG via Getty Images SHANGHAI, CHINA – JULY 20: (CHINA OUT) Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey attends Yao Ming’s press conference announcing his retirement from basketball on July 20, 2011 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images)

The NBA is not the first major corporation to deal with criticism from China over political differences. Mercedes-Benz, Delta Air Lines, hotel operator Marriott, fashion brand Zara and others also have found themselves in conflicts with China in recent years.

Silver is going to Shanghai on Wednesday and said he hopes to meet with officials and some of the league’s business partners there in an effort to find some sort of common ground. He said he hopes Chinese officials and fans look at the totality of the impact of the three-decade-plus relationship between the league and their country, and urged them to see his response while acknowledging there are political differences between the countries.

“I’m sympathetic to our interests here and our partners that are upset,” Silver said. “I don’t think it’s inconsistent on one hand to be sympathetic to them and at the same time stand by our principles.”

Silver said the NBA did not expect CCTV to cancel plans to show the Lakers-Nets games. “But if those are the consequences of us adhering to our values, I still feel it’s very, very important to adhere to those values,” Silver said.

The rift between China and the NBA started late last week when Morey tweeted a now-deleted image that read: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” in reference to months of pro-democracy demonstrations in the semiautonomous Chinese territory that has been mired in escalating violence between protesters and law enforcement.

Efforts were quickly made to defuse the impact; Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said Morey does not speak for the Rockets, and Morey returned to Twitter on Monday in an effort to clarify his meaning. But damage was clearly done: At least one Chinese sporting goods company said it was no longer cooperating with the Rockets, NBA streaming partner Tencent ― which has a $1.5 billion contract with the league over the next five seasons ― said it would not show Rockets games and a sports news website in China said it was no longer covering the team.

Further complicating the matter is this: China’s best-known basketball player is Hall of Famer Yao Ming, who spent his NBA career with the Rockets. Yao is now the president of the Chinese Basketball Association, which has said it is suspending its relationship with the Rockets as part of the response to Morey’s tweet. The CBA also canceled plans to have the G League affiliates from Houston and Dallas play preseason games in China later this month.

“I’m hoping that together Yao Ming and I can find an accommodation,” Silver said. “But he is extremely hot at the moment, and I understand it.”

A ceremonial NBA Cares event for an educational center in Shanghai with the Nets was canceled Tuesday, though the Nets participated in other events as scheduled. The Lakers were arriving there Tuesday. Silver said NBA Cares would still honor its bigger mission surrounding that event, including providing a gift of new computers.

“How can it be possible to carry out exchanges and cooperation with China without knowing China’s public opinion?” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday. “NBA’s cooperation with China has been going on for quite a long time, so for what should be said and what should be done, they know best.”

Silver also released a statement before his news conference, saying “those who question our motivation” should know that the NBA’s stance is about more than business. Many U.S. lawmakers have called for the league to take action — some even suggesting the games in China should be canceled by the NBA.

“We are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression,” Silver said. “I regret — again, having communicated directly with many friends in China — that so many people are upset, including millions and millions of our fans. At the end of the day, we come with basketball as an opportunity to sell dreams, sell hopes … that we are causing disruption in people’s lives and that we are causing disharmony, that’s something I regret.”

Reynolds reported from Miami. Associated Press writer Yanan Wang and AP researcher Yu Bing in Beijing contributed to this report.

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

Trump’s Ukraine Call Was ‘Crazy’ and ‘Frightening,’ Official Told Whistle-Blower

Westlake Legal Group 08dc-memo-facebookJumbo Trump’s Ukraine Call Was ‘Crazy’ and ‘Frightening,’ Official Told Whistle-Blower Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Ethics and Official Misconduct

WASHINGTON — A White House official who listened to President Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s leader described it as “crazy,” “frightening,” and “completely lacking in substance related to national security,” according to a memo written by the whistle-blower at the center of the Ukraine scandal, a C.I.A. officer who spoke to the White House official.

The White House official was “visibly shaken by what had transpired,” the C.I.A. officer wrote in his memo, one day after Mr. Trump pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in a July 25 phone call to open investigations that would benefit him politically.

A palpable sense of concern had already taken hold among at least some in the White House that the call had veered well outside the bounds of traditional diplomacy, the officer wrote.

“The official stated that there was already a conversation underway with White House lawyers about how to handle the discussion because, in the official’s view, the president had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own re-election bid in 2020,” the C.I.A. officer wrote.

The document provides a rare glimpse into at least one of the communications with a White House official that helped prompt the whistle-blower’s formal complaint to the intelligence community’s inspector general detailing a broad pressure campaign on Ukraine. The complaint and a reconstructed transcript released by the White House formed the basis of the House impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump.

The inspector general, Michael Atkinson, handed the two-page memo over to Congress last week. A person familiar with its contents described it to The New York Times. Fox News first reported details from it. Neither a lawyer for the whistle-blower nor a spokeswoman for Mr. Atkinson immediately responded to requests for comment.

The whistle-blower, who had no firsthand knowledge of the events he described, wrote in his complaint that he spoke to “multiple U.S. government officials” who said that Mr. Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

It was not clear whether the White House official he spoke to on July 26 was the second whistle-blower, who has also provided information to Mr. Atkinson, or a different person. Neither whistle-blower’s name has been made public.

Little, if any, of the whistle-blower’s complaint has been disproved, though Mr. Trump has sought to discredit him because his account was secondhand. The White House transcript largely affirmed his account of the call, and Mr. Atkinson deemed his complaint credible, saying he interviewed others who corroborated it.

The White House official “seemed keen to inform a trusted colleague within the national security apparatus about the call,” the C.I.A. officer wrote in his July 26 memo.

Much of the whistle-blower’s memo also comports with the existing public record of the call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky. The C.I.A. officer noted that he spoke to the White House official for only a few minutes, “and as a result, I only received highlights.”

The memo detailed key aspects of the conversation, including Mr. Trump’s request for investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter, and a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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

Syrian Refugees Profiled In New York Times Close Restaurant Over Death Threats

Westlake Legal Group 5d9cd1f220000027064f9633 Syrian Refugees Profiled In New York Times Close Restaurant Over Death Threats

A popular Syrian restaurant in Toronto once featured in The New York Times is closing its doors following a wave of “hate messages” and death threats, the owners announced Tuesday.

The Al-Soufi family, who opened Soufi’s in 2017 after immigrating as refugees to Canada a few years earlier, said in a statement that the decision to shutter the eatery was made “with a heavy heart.”

“As a result of numerous hate messages & death threats we’ve received over the past week, we’ve decided to permanently close our shop,” the family wrote in the statement posted to the restaurant’s Instagram account. “Our decision is made with a heavy heart in [an] effort to maintain our family and staff’s safety.”

Soufi’s made local headlines last week when the owners apologized on Facebook for their son Alaa’s participation in a protest of a Maxime Bernier fundraiser. Bernier, a former top Conservative Party politician, last year founded the right-wing, anti-immigration People’s Party of Canada. 

The protest drew scrutiny when a video surfaced showing some attendees verbally harassing and blocking an elderly woman from entering the fundraiser. The Al-Soufi family wrote that their son was indeed at the protest but was not part of the group that interacted with the woman.

“Alaa regrets that he did not step aside and/ or stand up against the act of verbal abuse that occurred against her, and would love the opportunity to personally extend his apologies to her,” the family wrote.

“Our family and business do not condone acts of hate, violence or harassment in any shape or form, and advocate for peace, equality and free speech for all human beings,” their statement continued. “We are extremely lucky and grateful to be here and are in awe of the kindness and warmth of the Canadian people.”

A few days later, the family announced Soufi’s permanent closure.

“Since we opened … we have been met with nothing but curiosity, respect, acceptance and love from the people of Toronto, and for that we are eternally grateful,” they wrote in their statement Tuesday. “We will cherish the countless memories of us sharing stories, food, music and laughter.”

The Al-Soufi family did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. 

David Sax, who wrote about Soufi’s in a New York Times story on Toronto’s blossoming Syrian food scene, tweeted that he was “shocked and saddened” to hear of the restaurant’s sudden closure.

“They deserved far better,” he wrote. 

Restaurant patrons and community members also expressed support for the family on Twitter:

Nick Robins-Early contributed reporting.

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

DOJ: If Watergate Happened Today, We’d Block Evidence from Congress

Westlake Legal Group P7oPhSaErWAue6ejCMHP_VoENdqVFB4zNaM4uQ2qPiM DOJ: If Watergate Happened Today, We’d Block Evidence from Congress r/politics

As a reminder, this subreddit is for civil discussion.

In general, be courteous to others. Debate/discuss/argue the merits of ideas, don’t attack people. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, any advocating or wishing death/physical harm, and other rule violations can result in a permanent ban.

If you see comments in violation of our rules, please report them.


I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

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

Vanessa Hudgens to be bridesmaid in Sarah Hyland’s wedding

Westlake Legal Group Hudgens-HylandGettyImages-631290596 Vanessa Hudgens to be bridesmaid in Sarah Hyland’s wedding New York Post Jaclyn Hendrick fox-news/person/sarah-hyland fox-news/entertainment/style fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fnc/entertainment fnc fdad32e4-8668-5c96-921b-eddc9b518e9b article

Sarah Hyland is in wedding planning mode.

The “Modern Family” actress, who got engaged to “Bachelor in Paradise” star Wells Adams over the summer, asked pal Vanessa Hudgens to be a bridesmaid this past weekend.

Hudgens, 30, tagged Hyland, 29, in a photo on her Instagram Story, which featured a personalized wooden box decorated with gold leaves and a white bow, according to People. The former Disney star is also said to have posted a “bridesmaid” sticker.

‘MODERN FAMILY’ STAR SARAH HYLAND RESPONDS TO INSTAGRAM TROLL WHO CRITICIZED ENGAGEMENT RING VIDEOS 

In July, Adams, 35, proposed to Hyland while the pair vacationed in Fiji.

“That can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, world series kind of stuff  @wellsadams,” Hyland captioned a photo of the engagement on Instagram, quoting Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s 1995 film, “It Takes Two.”

SARAH HYLAND SAW FIANCE WELLS ADAMS ‘FOR THE MAN HE REALLY WAS’ DURING ‘HEALTH ISSUES’: SOURCE

Hyland revealed in September that she told husband-to-be Adams what kind of ring she wanted.

SARAH HYLAND AND WELLS ADAMS ARE ENGAGED

The couple has been together since 2017.

This article originally appeared in Page Six

Westlake Legal Group Hudgens-HylandGettyImages-631290596 Vanessa Hudgens to be bridesmaid in Sarah Hyland’s wedding New York Post Jaclyn Hendrick fox-news/person/sarah-hyland fox-news/entertainment/style fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fnc/entertainment fnc fdad32e4-8668-5c96-921b-eddc9b518e9b article   Westlake Legal Group Hudgens-HylandGettyImages-631290596 Vanessa Hudgens to be bridesmaid in Sarah Hyland’s wedding New York Post Jaclyn Hendrick fox-news/person/sarah-hyland fox-news/entertainment/style fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fnc/entertainment fnc fdad32e4-8668-5c96-921b-eddc9b518e9b article

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

Illinois child, 9, to face 5 murder charges in deadly fire

Westlake Legal Group iStock-Police-Tape Illinois child, 9, to face 5 murder charges in deadly fire Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc d0e676b5-2ec7-5051-b5d5-423bdcbccf70 article

A 9-year-old Illinois child has been charged with setting an April fire in a mobile home that killed three small children and two adults, according to reports Tuesday.

The unidentified juvenile has been charged with five counts of murder, two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson, Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger told the Peoria Journal Star.

The April 6 fire near Goodfield, southeast of Peoria, killed Kathryn Murray, 69; Jason Wall, 34; Rose Alwood, 2; Daemeon Wall, 2; and Ariel Wall, 1.

MICHIGAN BOY, 12, BURNED IN ‘FIRE CHALLENGE’ GAME, MOM SAYS

The fire began at around 11 p.m. on a Saturday night, the paper reported. By the time firefighters arrived a few minutes later, the trailer was engulfed in flames.

Autopsies revealed they all died of smoke inhalation, the paper reported.

Katrina Alwood, 27, and her juvenile son survived.

She and Jason Wall were engaged to be married, the paper reported.

They were the parents of Ariel and Daemeon. Rose was a niece. Muray was Katrina Alwood’s grandmother.

Minger said he decided to charge the boy after reading through various authoritative reports about the fire numerous times, the Journal Star reported.

DULUTH SYNAGOGUE FIRE WAS ACT OF ARSON BY 1 PERSON, APPARENTLY NOT HATE CRIME: POLICE

“It was a heavy decision,” he said. “It’s a tragedy, but at the end of the day it’s charging a very young person with one of the most serious crimes we have.

“But, I just think it needs to be done at this point, for finality.”

Minger said the boy will be subject to a bench trial, before a judge and without a jury.

The child would face five years’ probation if convicted and any probationary period would not go beyond the age of 21.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Imprisonment is not an option.

“Probation, given the age, is about the only outcome that could happen here,” the prosecutor told the paper.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-Police-Tape Illinois child, 9, to face 5 murder charges in deadly fire Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc d0e676b5-2ec7-5051-b5d5-423bdcbccf70 article   Westlake Legal Group iStock-Police-Tape Illinois child, 9, to face 5 murder charges in deadly fire Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc d0e676b5-2ec7-5051-b5d5-423bdcbccf70 article

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

James Carafano: Is Trump serious about Syria? Here’s what you must always remember

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093148884001_6093150160001-vs James Carafano: Is Trump serious about Syria? Here's what you must always remember James Jay Carafano fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c93671c3-3ea0-5629-8da5-d16afae5a6ee article

Can anything President Trump touches not become an occasion for beating our breasts and rending our garments? Voices in Washington on the right and left are hyperventilating over the president allegedly giving a green light to military operations in Syria. Maybe they should catch their breath first.

It is always a bad idea to measure U.S. foreign policy based on Trump’s tweets, on speculative reporting, or on imaginative interpretation of what the president meant. For starters, why not start with the actual policy?

As a Department of Defense statement clarified, “The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey — as did the President — that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria. The U.S. Armed Forces will not support, or be involved in any such operation.” So, for starters, let’s be clear about the fact that the United States didn’t do anything.

JUDITH MILLER: TRUMP’S SYRIA MOVE ALL WRONG – IT JEOPARDIZES COSTLY VICTORY OVER ISIS, BETRAYS THE KURDS

Should the U.S. have done something? That’s a different question.

When it comes to arguing what Washington should do on foreign policy matters, the first thing to do is ask: What are the U.S. interests that need to be furthered or safeguarded? In the case of Syria, there are really three priorities the administration needs to protect.

1. We don’t need another Caliphate. The U.S. has learned painful lessons of what happens when we leave transnational Islamist terrorist sanctuaries unmolested. Administration policies should work to forestall the resurgence of terrorist Disneylands in the Middle East.

2. We don’t need more mass genocides and masses of refugees. It is in U.S. interests to keep the problems in Syria from spilling over and destabilizing the region or see them pour into Western Europe.

3. Keep Iran at bay. Iran would like to use Syria as a superhighway for resupplying Hezbollah and a platform for threatening Israel. Israel is America’s most important ally in the Middle East. U.S. policy should contribute to making Israel more safe — not less.

So the question is, does the Turkish operation, if conducted in the manner in which the Turkish government claims, threaten any of the U.S. interests in Syria?

Arguably not.

The U.S. maintains a footprint in Syria for specific purposes—the three reasons outlined above. If the Turkish military messed with that, there might be a reason for the administration to panic. Right now, this doesn’t look to be the case.

As a Pentagon spokesman pointed out, “In conversations between the Department and the Turkish military, we have consistently stressed that coordination and cooperation were the best path toward security in the area.” In this respect, it is good that the Turks told us what they were doing to minimize the possibility of putting U.S. forces or assets at risk. Beyond that, what the administration has done has make clear to the Turks that they’re responsible for their actions.

More from Opinion

It is not surprising that Turkey would want to undertake a limited incursion to further stabilize an uncontrolled border with Syria. Turkey has a responsibility to ensure that the region is not a platform for terrorist attacks. It also makes sense to open spaces for refugees, which Turkey has hosted, to safely return to their homeland and begin the process of rebuilding.

The Turks know the risks and responsibilities that go with that. For one, there are thousands of ISIS fighters being held in this territory. The Turks will either be taking custody of them, or they could well find them breaking out and running around loss. Either way, the Turks will have to be responsible that they don’t become a threat and provide the seed corn of the next Caliphate.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER

There are also many civilians in this area. They need to be humanely treated and respected as innocents on the battlefield.

The Turkish government has to be held accountable for their actions. But, in turn, it makes no sense for the U.S. to get into criticizing the Turks for something they haven’t done.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

There could be a role for the U.S. in helping bring more stability to this part of Syria. That, in turn, could help promote American interests and, at the same time, potentially further reduce requirements for a U.S. footprint on the ground in Syria. The U.S. should try to narrow the differences between Turkey and Syrian Kurds by brokering a durable understanding between them, just as it brokered better relations between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds.

Further, where and when possible, the U.S. should consider extraditing high-value ISIS members to the United States for trial. If they are a threat to us, and we can try them and take them over the Turks’ hands, that makes sense for both countries.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JAMES CARAFANO

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093148884001_6093150160001-vs James Carafano: Is Trump serious about Syria? Here's what you must always remember James Jay Carafano fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c93671c3-3ea0-5629-8da5-d16afae5a6ee article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093148884001_6093150160001-vs James Carafano: Is Trump serious about Syria? Here's what you must always remember James Jay Carafano fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c93671c3-3ea0-5629-8da5-d16afae5a6ee article

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

Electric pole fires leaves thousands without power

Westlake Legal Group 18021767_G Electric pole fires leaves thousands without power

Spokeswoman Bonita Billingsley Harris says the recent bout of dry weather and winds carrying salt from the ocean causes salt and dirt to stick to the poles, leading to salt contamination. She says light rain mixed with the salt buildup forced electricity in the poles to find alternate conductive paths, leading to sparks and occasional fires.

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

G.O.P.-Led Senate Panel Affirms Russia Attacked Election, and Urges Action

Westlake Legal Group 08dc-socialmedia-facebookJumbo G.O.P.-Led Senate Panel Affirms Russia Attacked Election, and Urges Action Warner, Mark R United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Social Media Senate Committee on Intelligence Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Russia elections Cyberwarfare and Defense Computers and the Internet Burr, Richard M

WASHINGTON — As President Trump amplifies unsubstantiated claims of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee reaffirmed on Tuesday that Russian operatives engaged in a widespread social media campaign to improve his chances in the race.

In a report, the committee backed up the conclusions of the intelligence community, the special counsel and researchers that Russia mounted a broad campaign to interfere in the election. A Russian troll farm central to the election campaign supported “Donald Trump at the direction of the Kremlin,” the committee said.

The panel said Congress should consider new disclosure requirements for political ads online, which unlike television or radio ads do not need to carry information about who paid for them. A bill introduced in 2017 by the top Democrat on the committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, to put into effect new rules for online ads has failed to gain much momentum.

The report is nonetheless the latest call for lawmakers to reconsider the lax system of regulations that governs Silicon Valley, as Americans have learned more about the way platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can be used to make money off users’ personal information and to spread disinformation.

“Issues such as privacy rules, identity validation, transparency in how data is collected and used, and monitoring for inauthentic or malign content, among others, deserve continued examination,” the committee said.

But lawmakers have little time to advance legislation meant to stem election interference on social media — or to check Silicon Valley more broadly — before the 2020 election. Capitol Hill has been seized in recent weeks by an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump, making the normally difficult task of forging bipartisan consensus on other issues even more challenging.

The lawmakers also called for the Trump administration to take steps to respond to the threat, including setting up a task force of federal agencies to monitor attempts by foreign governments to interfere with democratic processes on social media.

“The committee recommends that the executive branch should, in the run-up to the 2020 election, reinforce with the public the danger of attempted foreign interference in the 2020 election,” the panel said.

But Mr. Trump has long tried to play down or deny Russia’s role in the 2016 election. On a call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine that is at the core of the impeachment inquiry, Mr. Trump suggested that Ukraine might have played a part in efforts to sway the race.

That conspiracy theory runs counter to the conclusion published Tuesday by the Intelligence Committee: Operatives at the Russian troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, used a wide range of online platforms to share content they felt could drive a wedge through the American electorate to influence the presidential election.

“The bipartisan work that this committee has done to uncover and detail the extent of that effort has significantly advanced the public’s understanding of how, in 2016, Russia took advantage of our openness and innovation, exploiting American-bred social media platforms to spread disinformation, divide the public and undermine our democracy,” Mr. Warner said in a statement.

Russian operatives running the campaign used a wide variety of platforms, from giants like Facebook and Instagram to smaller players like LiveJournal, a once-popular American blogging service now owned by a Russian firm.

The committee’s report backed the conclusion of outside researchers that African-Americans had been a significant target of Russia’s persuasion efforts. Its report said the “committee found that no single group of Americans was targeted by I.R.A. information operatives more than African-Americans.”

It also highlighted that Russian activity had actually increased after Election Day 2016. Internet Research Agency activity went up 59 percent on Facebook, 238 percent on its subsidiary Instagram, 84 percent on YouTube and 52 percent on Twitter after the election, it said.

“Russia is waging an information warfare campaign against the U.S. that didn’t start and didn’t end with the 2016 election,” said Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the committee.

Tech companies have taken additional steps since 2016 to weed out attempts at foreign interference using illicit accounts. Their dragnet has spread far beyond Russia: Facebook and Twitter recently took down accounts originating in China that had pushed messages meant to discredit protesters in Hong Kong.

The committee said major tech companies should work together and with government officials to share information crucial to combating disinformation.

“We’re working closely with governments, outside experts and other companies to identify threats and share information,” Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, said in a statement. “We have also invested in technology and people to block and remove fake accounts; find and remove coordinated manipulation campaigns; and bring unprecedented transparency to political advertising.”

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

Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton: Run for president again! Clinton to Trump: Do your job!

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton: Run for president again! Clinton to Trump: Do your job!

US President Donald Trump says the impeachment inquiry is a “scam” that is driving his poll numbers higher and he says he sort of thrives on it, but admits it “makes it harder to do my job.” (Oct. 7) AP, AP

WASHINGTON – Engaging in a favorite pastime, President Donald Trump taunted Hillary Clinton and the 2020 Democratic candidates on Tuesday by saying she should run for the White House again – only to have Clinton taunt back.

“Don’t tempt me,” she tweeted at Trump. “Do your job.”

She was responding to an earlier post in which Trump said: “I think that Crooked Hillary Clinton should enter the race to try and steal it away from Uber Left Elizabeth Warren.”

He also listed one “condition” of her renewed candidacy, saying Clinton should disclose the reason she deleted emails from her time as secretary of State for President Barack Obama.

Clinton responded a few hours later with her own taunting tweet.

Trump’s hit came as he as under impeachment investigation for asking Ukraine’s president to investigate another Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/08/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-run-again-she-replies-do-your-job/3907084002/

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