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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 26)

2020 Chevrolet Corvette sold out, GM executive says

It looks like Chevrolet’s bet on turning the Corvette into a mid-engine sports car is going to pay off.

General Motors North America President Barry Engle told Motor Trend this week that the radically redesigned Corvette is completely sold out for 2020, even though Chevy hasn’t started building it yet.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-25078479886c49988ccc26984af4e993 2020 Chevrolet Corvette sold out, GM executive says Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/chevrolet fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox news fnc/auto fnc article 2ee6ec8a-10cc-504d-beac-1df53c12e1fb

(Chevrolet)

The eighth-generation Corvette’s debut was delayed by the recent UAW strike, which required the start of production to be shifted from the end of 2019 to next February, but that hasn’t stopped dealers from racking up orders for it in the meantime.

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According to Motor Trend, Chevrolet can build approximately 40,000 Corvettes at its Bowling Green, Ken., factory in 2020, which would make it the model’s best year since 50,000 were sold in 1984.

The Corvette starts at $59,995, but can be optioned up to over $100,000. Coupe and convertible versions will be available.

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Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-25078479886c49988ccc26984af4e993 2020 Chevrolet Corvette sold out, GM executive says Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/chevrolet fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox news fnc/auto fnc article 2ee6ec8a-10cc-504d-beac-1df53c12e1fb   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-25078479886c49988ccc26984af4e993 2020 Chevrolet Corvette sold out, GM executive says Gary Gastelu fox-news/auto/make/chevrolet fox-news/auto/attributes/performance fox news fnc/auto fnc article 2ee6ec8a-10cc-504d-beac-1df53c12e1fb

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New York Giants’ Janoris Jenkins tweets derogatory message to fan while sitting out of practice

New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins sat out of practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury but still found time to tweet a derogatory message to a fan.

Jenkins, who originally started to tweet about his own statistics, responded to the fan who had asked him why the numbers he was citing were not contributing to Giants wins. New York is 2-11 this season and is one of the worst teams in the NFL, according to ESPN.

ANTONIO BROWN’S LATEST TIRADE TARGETS ‘RACIST’ NFL, ‘LOSER’ BEN ROETHLISBERGER

“I can only do my job.. retard,” he tweeted back.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS’ TYRANN MATHIEU SHUTS HIMSELF INSIDE FREEZER TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR PET SAFETY

The cornerback tweeted an apology hours after sending the original tweet.

“My apology for the word I used earlier, really didn’t mean no ‘HARM,’” he wrote.

NFL HAS ‘MOVED ON’ FROM KAEPERNICK, ROGER GOODELL SAYS

Giants coach Pat Shurmur said he was made aware of the tweet while he was going through the injury report and lamented that the cornerback would be tweeting during practice.

Jenkins is in his fourth season with the Giants and has played in all 13 games this season. He has tied a career-high with four interceptions this season and has 54 combined tackles.

However, the Giants’ defense is among the worst in the NFL. The team is 28th in points allowed and 27th in yards allowed.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

New York is set to play the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Westlake Legal Group Janoris20Jenkins New York Giants' Janoris Jenkins tweets derogatory message to fan while sitting out of practice Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-giants fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 4b20321d-68d0-55a3-a75d-ced3d1ed0df1   Westlake Legal Group Janoris20Jenkins New York Giants' Janoris Jenkins tweets derogatory message to fan while sitting out of practice Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/new-york-giants fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 4b20321d-68d0-55a3-a75d-ced3d1ed0df1

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Taylor Swift says she would have paid ‘so much’ to own her masters

Westlake Legal Group swift-amas Taylor Swift says she would have paid 'so much' to own her masters Nate Day fox-news/person/taylor-swift fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/pop fox-news/entertainment/genres/country fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc bc7e8d99-b01a-534e-82b0-acc811d659d3 article

Pop star Taylor Swift is opening up about her struggle to obtain the ownership of her songs’ masters, after making headlines this summer for her feud with music executives Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta.

“We need to think about how we handle master recordings because this isn’t it,” Swift and in a recent interview with Billboard. “I spent 10 years of my life trying rigorously to purchase my masters outright and was then denied that opportunity, and I just don’t want that to happen to another artist if I can help it.”

TAYLOR SWIFT ANNOUNCES CHRISTMAS TRACK DROPPING AFTER WRITING NEW SONG OVER THE WEEKEND

Nearly a month ago, Swift took to social media claiming that Braun and Borchetta had blocked her from performing her older music on the American Music Awards – where she intended to celebrate her Artist of the Decade with a medley of oldies – and in an upcoming Netflix documentary chronicling her career.

Braun, 38, would later take to Instagram to plead with Swift to work together to find a “resolution.”

“God, I would have paid so much for them!” Swift told Billboard in regard to her masters. “Anything to own my work that was an actual sale option, but it wasn’t given to me.”

Swift has announced plans to re-record and re-release all of her old music in 2020, once she’s contractually allowed to and given the rights to her own music.

TAYLOR SWIFT ON CROSSING OVER TO THE ‘DIFFERENT WORLD’ OF POP: ‘COUNTRY MUSIC IS A REAL COMMUNITY’

“The reason I’m re-recording my music next year is because I do want my music to live on. I do want it to be in movies, I do want it to be in commercials,” Swift said, “but I only want that if I own it.”

“It’ll feel like regaining a freedom and taking back what’s mine,” she continued. “When I created (these songs), I didn’t know what they would grow up to be. Going back in and knowing that it meant something to people is actually a really beautiful way to celebrate what the fans have done for my music.”

As to whether she’d ever start her own record label, Swift said, “I do think about it every once in a while, but if I was going to do it, I would need to do it with all of my energy. I know how important that is when you’ve got someone else’s career in your hands, and I know how it feels when someone isn’t generous.”

Swift explained there’s a reason for her speaking out beyond just wanting to own her masters.

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“New artists and producers and writers need work, and they need to be likable and get booked in sessions, and they can’t make noise — but if I can, then I’m going to,” she said. “I know that it seems like I’m very loud about this, but it’s because someone has to be.”

On Monday, Swift was nominated for a Golden Globe along with Andrew Lloyd Webber for Best Original Song for the tune “Beautiful Ghosts,” which will be featured in the upcoming movie musical “Cats,” starring Swift.

Westlake Legal Group swift-amas Taylor Swift says she would have paid 'so much' to own her masters Nate Day fox-news/person/taylor-swift fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/pop fox-news/entertainment/genres/country fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc bc7e8d99-b01a-534e-82b0-acc811d659d3 article   Westlake Legal Group swift-amas Taylor Swift says she would have paid 'so much' to own her masters Nate Day fox-news/person/taylor-swift fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/pop fox-news/entertainment/genres/country fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc bc7e8d99-b01a-534e-82b0-acc811d659d3 article

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Impeachment Updates: Judiciary Committee to Debate Articles Against Trump

Here’s what you need to know:

Who: The 41 members of the House Judiciary Committee will debate two articles of impeachment against President Trump.

What: The committee members will consider any amendments to the two draft articles that House Democrats unveiled Tuesday. The panel will then vote on whether to recommend that the full House approve the articles.

When and Where: 9 a.m. Thursday in the Ways and Means Committee Room near the Capitol.

How to Watch: The New York Times will stream the committee debate live, and a team of reporters in Washington will provide real-time context and analysis of the events on Capitol Hill. Follow along at nytimes.com, starting just before 9.

For only the third time in modern history, lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee will formally consider articles of impeachment against a sitting president. The debate will underscore the deep divisions between Democrats and Mr. Trump’s Republican allies.

The process began on Wednesday night, with lawmakers delivering statements for or against impeaching the president.

On Thursday, Democrats will put the last touches on articles accusing Mr. Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, finalizing charges stemming from their two-and-a-half-month inquiry into the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals.

For Republicans, the meeting — called a “markup” because it gives members the opportunity to offer amendments and edits to the articles — is their last chance to try to derail the impeachment before the articles are expected to come to the House floor early next week.

That is unlikely to happen in the committee, which is firmly under the control of Democrats and led by Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York. Both sides expect the committee to vote along party lines by Thursday afternoon to send the articles to the full House.

But the committee debate is certain to be intense as Democrats make their case that Mr. Trump “ignored and injured the interests of the nation” and Republicans angrily accuse the president’s adversaries of waging an unfair assault on the presidency based on insufficient evidence.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate people and issues of political concern to Mr. Trump, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

  • A C.I.A. officer who was once detailed to the White House filed a whistle-blower complaint on Mr. Trump’s interactions with Mr. Zelensky. Read the complaint.

Video

transcript

Who Are the Main Characters in the Whistle-Blower’s Complaint?

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.

Congressman: “Sir, let me repeat my question: Did you ever speak to the president about this complaint?” Congress is investigating allegations that President Trump pushed a foreign government to dig up dirt on his Democratic rivals. “It’s just a Democrat witch hunt. Here we go again.” At the heart of an impeachment inquiry is a nine-page whistle-blower complaint that names over two dozen people. Not counting the president himself, these are the people that appear the most: First, Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani. According to documents and interviews, Giuliani has been involved in shadowy diplomacy on behalf of the president’s interests. He encouraged Ukrainian officials to investigate the Biden family’s activities in the country, plus other avenues that could benefit Trump like whether the Ukrainians intentionally helped the Democrats during the 2016 election. It was an agenda he also pushed on TV. “So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.” “Of course I did!” A person Giuliani worked with, Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s former prosecutor general. He pushed for investigations that would also benefit Giuliani and Trump. Lutsenko also discussed conspiracy theories about the Bidens in the U.S. media. But he later walked back his allegations, saying there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. This is where Hunter Biden comes in, the former vice president’s son. He served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company run by this guy, who’s had some issues with the law. While Biden was in office, he along with others, called for the dismissal of Lutsenko’s predecessor, a prosecutor named Viktor Shokin, whose office was overseeing investigations into the company that Hunter Biden was involved with. Shokin was later voted out by the Ukrainian government. Lutsenko replaced him, but was widely criticized for corruption himself. When a new president took office in May, Volodymyr Zelensky, Zelensky said that he’d replace Lutsenko. Giuliani and Trump? Not happy. They viewed Lutsenko as their ally. During a July 25 call between Trump and the new Ukrainian president, Trump defended him, saying, “I heard you had a prosecutor who is very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair.” In that phone call, Trump also allegedly asked his counterpart to continue the investigation into Joe Biden, who is his main rival in the 2020 election. Zelensky has publicly denied feeling pressured by Trump. “In other words, no pressure.” And then finally, Attorney General William Barr, who also came up in the July 25 call. In the reconstructed transcript, Trump repeatedly suggested that Zelensky’s administration could work with Barr and Giuliani to investigate the Bidens and other matters of political interest to Trump. Since the whistle-blower complaint was made public, Democrats have criticized Barr for dismissing allegations that Trump had violated campaign finance laws during his call with Zelensky and not passing along the complaint to Congress. House Democrats have now subpoenaed several people mentioned in the complaint, as an impeachment inquiry into the president’s conduct continues.

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Impeachment Updates: Judiciary Committee to Debate Articles Against Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.CreditCredit…Illustration by The New York Times

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‘Survivor’ Removes Contestant Accused Of Unwanted Touching

Westlake Legal Group 5df21e35250000b861d2feb2 ‘Survivor’ Removes Contestant Accused Of Unwanted Touching

The “Survivor” reality show permanently removed contestant Dan Spilo during Wednesday’s episode due to what CBS said was “another incident” that occurred off-camera “and did not involve a player.”

Spilo, a Hollywood talent manager, had been accused of inappropriately touching female contestants previously, but was permitted to remain in the reality TV game until now.

On Wednesday, as seen in the clip above, host Jeff Probst told the remaining players that he had news to share, which immediately sparked someone to say, “Where’s Dan?”

“So I just spoke privately with Dan and I want to update you guys,” Probst said.  “A decision has been made and Dan will not be returning to the game. He won’t be coming back to camp. He won’t be on the jury. He’s gone.”

CBS’s explanation for Spilo’s departure came in the form of a title card, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player,” the message read.

At one point earlier in the show’s 39th season (and 19th year), Spilo told fellow players he was “terribly sorry” for making anyone uncomfortable and was allowed to continue playing, The New York Times noted.

But, Kellee Kim, a former contestant who told Spilo on-air that his touching made her uncomfortable, said Wednesday that his behavior shouldn’t have been allowed to go on for so long.

Spilo denied any wrongdoing.

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Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels agree to seven-year deal: reports

Westlake Legal Group Anthony-Rendon Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels agree to seven-year deal: reports Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-angels fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/anthony-rendon fox news fnc/sports fnc article 63ddd9e9-73a1-535c-aae9-f3d440cef46c

The Los Angeles Angels and Anthony Rendon reportedly agreed to a seven-year deal Wednesday.

The star third baseman deal with the Angels is reportedly worth $245 million, according to multiple reports. MLB Network was the first to report the deal between the two sides was done.

YANKEES HARPOON COLE, CASHMAN’S `WHITE WHALE,’ ON 3RD TRY

The 2019 World Series champion will get a $4 million signing bonus payable by Dec. 31 and salaries of $25.5 million next season, $27.5 million in 2021, $36 million in 2022 and $38 million each year from 2023-26, according to the Associated Press.

The former Washington Nationals third baseman will also receive a $250,000 bonus for winning another World Series MVP, $150,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $125,000 for making an All-Star Game as a starter and $100,000 for selection as a reserve.

“With our flexibility, if we miss a big player, there’s still very talented players that are accessible in the free agent and trade market right now,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said earlier Wednesday.

GERRIT COLE, STEPHEN STRASBURG CAN THANK ONE MAN FOR HISTORIC FREE-AGENT CONTRACTS

Los Angeles brings in another high-priced player onto the team. The Angels will be paying Mike Trout $36 million and Albert Pujols $29 million next season. The team also owes Justin Upton $21 million in 2020.

“We’re within some structure of a budget and a payroll forecast that you relatively want to be near and then we just take those opportunities to [team owner Arte Moreno] and see if he’ll grant us the permission to do those things,” Eppler said.

The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t make an offer to Rendon because the team felt like he wanted to play in Orange County more than Los Angeles, sources told the Los Angeles Times.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Rendon had a career year last season. He finished third in National League MVP Award voting. He hit .319 with a 1.010 OPS, 34 home runs and league-leading 126 RBI.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Anthony-Rendon Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels agree to seven-year deal: reports Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-angels fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/anthony-rendon fox news fnc/sports fnc article 63ddd9e9-73a1-535c-aae9-f3d440cef46c   Westlake Legal Group Anthony-Rendon Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels agree to seven-year deal: reports Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-angels fox-news/sports/mlb fox-news/person/anthony-rendon fox news fnc/sports fnc article 63ddd9e9-73a1-535c-aae9-f3d440cef46c

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UK’s Johnson, Corbyn cast votes as nation decides which party will resolve Brexit impasse

LONDON — U.K. voters were deciding Thursday who they want to resolve the stalemate over Brexit in a parliamentary election seen as one of the most important since the end of World War II.

Voting was underway across the country in a contest that pits Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says he will take Britain out of the European Union by Jan. 31, against opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who promises another referendum on Brexit.

Johnson voted at Methodist Central Hall in London, accompanied by his dog, Dilyn.

BORIS JOHNSON RETREATS INTO FRIDGE TO DODGE TV INTERVIEW AFTER HIS STAFF MEMBER DROPS F-BOMB

With so much at stake, political parties have pushed the boundaries of truth, transparency and reality during five weeks of campaigning.

Johnson’s Conservative Party was criticized for using misleading tactics on social media, while Corbyn’s Labour Party sought to win votes by promising to tax the rich, boost government spending and nationalize industries such as railroads and water companies. One of the focal points of the ugly campaign was the National Health Service, a deeply respected institution that has struggled to meet rising demand after nine years of austerity under Conservative-led governments.

Jill Rutter, program director for the Institute for Government, said one of the things that stood out during the campaign was the shamelessness of the politicians. She cited Johnson’s claim that the Conservatives would build 40 hospitals. In fact that number includes many existing facilities that will be renovated.

“Normally, if you point out to people that something doesn’t stand up, it’s actually sort of fiction, you slightly expect them to start … replacing that with a different new fact,” Rutter said. “But here, actually, you’ve seen this from No. 10 under Johnson that they’re prepared to run a deeply manipulative operation.’’

All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the election, which is being held more than two years ahead of schedule.

BORIS JOHNSON SMASHES THROUGH ‘GRIDLOCK’ WALL IN PUSH TO ‘GET BREXIT DONE’

The prime minister called early elections in hopes of breaking a logjam in Parliament that stalled approval of his Brexit agreement in October. Johnson didn’t have a majority in the last Parliament and was stymied once he lost the support of the Democratic Unionist Party because of concerns about how Northern Ireland would be treated under his deal with the EU.

Opinion polls have consistently showed Johnson’s Conservative Party in the lead, but recent surveys suggest the margin may have narrowed in the final days of campaigning. While Corbyn’s Labour is unlikely to win an outright majority, smaller opposition parties hope to win enough seats so they can team with Labour to block Johnson’s Brexit plans.

All of the parties are nervous about the verdict of voters who are more willing to abandon long-held party loyalties after three years of wrangling over Brexit.

The Conservatives have focused much of their energy on trying to win in a “red wall” of working-class towns in central and northern England that have elected Labour lawmakers for decades, but also voted strongly in 2016 to leave the EU. Polls suggest that plan may be working, and the Conservatives have also been helped by the Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage, which decided at the last minute not to contest 317 Conservative-held seats to avoid splitting the pro-Brexit vote.

Labour, which is largely but ambiguously pro-EU, faces competition for anti-Brexit voters from the centrist Liberal Democrats, Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties, and the Greens.

One of the campaign’s defining images was a photo of a sick 4-year-old boy sleeping on a hospital floor because no beds were available. Johnson’s initial failure to even look at the photo in an on-camera interview put the prime minister on the defensive because he was seen as being insensitive to the child’s plight.

The photo, initially published by the Yorkshire Evening Post, swept across social media like a firestorm, injecting an explosive jolt into the political war of information in the final days of the election.

Social media platforms were a critical battleground during the campaign, with political mudslingers waging cyberwar with few legal constraints after the government failed to act on calls for a new law to protect democracy in the internet age. Just two years after Britain found itself at the epicenter of a global scandal over the misuse of Facebook data by political campaigns, the parties bombarded voters with social media messages — many of which were misleading.

The Conservative Party circulated a doctored video that made it look as if an opposition leader had been stumped when asked about his position on Brexit. Then during a television debate the party re-branded its press office Twitter account as a fact-checking service. The Labour Party also sought to co-opt the roll of independent fact-checker, rolling out a website called The Insider, which called on voters to “trust the facts.”

Westlake Legal Group uk-elex UK's Johnson, Corbyn cast votes as nation decides which party will resolve Brexit impasse JILL LAWLESS fox-news/world/world-regions/europe/brexit fox-news/world/uk-politics fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/boris-johnson fnc/world fnc DANICA KIRKA Associated Press article 79451ef2-a5fa-5678-800b-74b50607590b

Thursday’s UK election will decide which leader, Boris Johnson, left, or Jeremy Corbyn, right, will lead the country into Brexit. (Associated Press photos)

The Conservative Party, with a dynamic online campaign, found itself in the crosshairs of many media critics. Some, such as Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, wondered why Johnson, who has been in the lead, would feel compelled to be at the forefront of pushing the edge of accepted norms.

“This is a governing party. It’s a mainstream party. It’s a career politician. This is not an outlier. You don’t get more establishment than the British Conservative Party,” Nielsen said. “If that is what they see as fit and proper, we must confront the fact that this is the new normal.”

Matthew Goodwin, a visiting senior fellow at the Chatham House think tank, said the Conservative Party’s tactics were partly motivated by alarm over the potential for a Corbyn-led government.

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“We have to remember this is probably the most consequential election we’ve had in the post-war period,” he said, citing Brexit and other implications of the vote.

“For the Conservatives, the reason they have become so direct and so personal is, I think, they view this as paving the way for a Marxist project, a radical left-wing project that is more of a threat to this country, to the union, to Britain’s economy, to its place on the international stage — a greater threat than anything the country has faced before,” Goodwin said.

Westlake Legal Group uk-elex UK's Johnson, Corbyn cast votes as nation decides which party will resolve Brexit impasse JILL LAWLESS fox-news/world/world-regions/europe/brexit fox-news/world/uk-politics fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/boris-johnson fnc/world fnc DANICA KIRKA Associated Press article 79451ef2-a5fa-5678-800b-74b50607590b   Westlake Legal Group uk-elex UK's Johnson, Corbyn cast votes as nation decides which party will resolve Brexit impasse JILL LAWLESS fox-news/world/world-regions/europe/brexit fox-news/world/uk-politics fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/boris-johnson fnc/world fnc DANICA KIRKA Associated Press article 79451ef2-a5fa-5678-800b-74b50607590b

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UK’s Johnson, Corbyn cast votes as nation decides which party will resolve Brexit impasse

LONDON — U.K. voters were deciding Thursday who they want to resolve the stalemate over Brexit in a parliamentary election seen as one of the most important since the end of World War II.

Voting was underway across the country in a contest that pits Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says he will take Britain out of the European Union by Jan. 31, against opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who promises another referendum on Brexit.

Johnson voted at Methodist Central Hall in London, accompanied by his dog, Dilyn.

BORIS JOHNSON RETREATS INTO FRIDGE TO DODGE TV INTERVIEW AFTER HIS STAFF MEMBER DROPS F-BOMB

With so much at stake, political parties have pushed the boundaries of truth, transparency and reality during five weeks of campaigning.

Johnson’s Conservative Party was criticized for using misleading tactics on social media, while Corbyn’s Labour Party sought to win votes by promising to tax the rich, boost government spending and nationalize industries such as railroads and water companies. One of the focal points of the ugly campaign was the National Health Service, a deeply respected institution that has struggled to meet rising demand after nine years of austerity under Conservative-led governments.

Jill Rutter, program director for the Institute for Government, said one of the things that stood out during the campaign was the shamelessness of the politicians. She cited Johnson’s claim that the Conservatives would build 40 hospitals. In fact that number includes many existing facilities that will be renovated.

“Normally, if you point out to people that something doesn’t stand up, it’s actually sort of fiction, you slightly expect them to start … replacing that with a different new fact,” Rutter said. “But here, actually, you’ve seen this from No. 10 under Johnson that they’re prepared to run a deeply manipulative operation.’’

All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the election, which is being held more than two years ahead of schedule.

BORIS JOHNSON SMASHES THROUGH ‘GRIDLOCK’ WALL IN PUSH TO ‘GET BREXIT DONE’

The prime minister called early elections in hopes of breaking a logjam in Parliament that stalled approval of his Brexit agreement in October. Johnson didn’t have a majority in the last Parliament and was stymied once he lost the support of the Democratic Unionist Party because of concerns about how Northern Ireland would be treated under his deal with the EU.

Opinion polls have consistently showed Johnson’s Conservative Party in the lead, but recent surveys suggest the margin may have narrowed in the final days of campaigning. While Corbyn’s Labour is unlikely to win an outright majority, smaller opposition parties hope to win enough seats so they can team with Labour to block Johnson’s Brexit plans.

All of the parties are nervous about the verdict of voters who are more willing to abandon long-held party loyalties after three years of wrangling over Brexit.

The Conservatives have focused much of their energy on trying to win in a “red wall” of working-class towns in central and northern England that have elected Labour lawmakers for decades, but also voted strongly in 2016 to leave the EU. Polls suggest that plan may be working, and the Conservatives have also been helped by the Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage, which decided at the last minute not to contest 317 Conservative-held seats to avoid splitting the pro-Brexit vote.

Labour, which is largely but ambiguously pro-EU, faces competition for anti-Brexit voters from the centrist Liberal Democrats, Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties, and the Greens.

One of the campaign’s defining images was a photo of a sick 4-year-old boy sleeping on a hospital floor because no beds were available. Johnson’s initial failure to even look at the photo in an on-camera interview put the prime minister on the defensive because he was seen as being insensitive to the child’s plight.

The photo, initially published by the Yorkshire Evening Post, swept across social media like a firestorm, injecting an explosive jolt into the political war of information in the final days of the election.

Social media platforms were a critical battleground during the campaign, with political mudslingers waging cyberwar with few legal constraints after the government failed to act on calls for a new law to protect democracy in the internet age. Just two years after Britain found itself at the epicenter of a global scandal over the misuse of Facebook data by political campaigns, the parties bombarded voters with social media messages — many of which were misleading.

The Conservative Party circulated a doctored video that made it look as if an opposition leader had been stumped when asked about his position on Brexit. Then during a television debate the party re-branded its press office Twitter account as a fact-checking service. The Labour Party also sought to co-opt the roll of independent fact-checker, rolling out a website called The Insider, which called on voters to “trust the facts.”

Westlake Legal Group uk-elex UK's Johnson, Corbyn cast votes as nation decides which party will resolve Brexit impasse JILL LAWLESS fox-news/world/world-regions/europe/brexit fox-news/world/uk-politics fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/boris-johnson fnc/world fnc DANICA KIRKA Associated Press article 79451ef2-a5fa-5678-800b-74b50607590b

Thursday’s UK election will decide which leader, Boris Johnson, left, or Jeremy Corbyn, right, will lead the country into Brexit. (Associated Press photos)

The Conservative Party, with a dynamic online campaign, found itself in the crosshairs of many media critics. Some, such as Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, wondered why Johnson, who has been in the lead, would feel compelled to be at the forefront of pushing the edge of accepted norms.

“This is a governing party. It’s a mainstream party. It’s a career politician. This is not an outlier. You don’t get more establishment than the British Conservative Party,” Nielsen said. “If that is what they see as fit and proper, we must confront the fact that this is the new normal.”

Matthew Goodwin, a visiting senior fellow at the Chatham House think tank, said the Conservative Party’s tactics were partly motivated by alarm over the potential for a Corbyn-led government.

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“We have to remember this is probably the most consequential election we’ve had in the post-war period,” he said, citing Brexit and other implications of the vote.

“For the Conservatives, the reason they have become so direct and so personal is, I think, they view this as paving the way for a Marxist project, a radical left-wing project that is more of a threat to this country, to the union, to Britain’s economy, to its place on the international stage — a greater threat than anything the country has faced before,” Goodwin said.

Westlake Legal Group uk-elex UK's Johnson, Corbyn cast votes as nation decides which party will resolve Brexit impasse JILL LAWLESS fox-news/world/world-regions/europe/brexit fox-news/world/uk-politics fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/boris-johnson fnc/world fnc DANICA KIRKA Associated Press article 79451ef2-a5fa-5678-800b-74b50607590b   Westlake Legal Group uk-elex UK's Johnson, Corbyn cast votes as nation decides which party will resolve Brexit impasse JILL LAWLESS fox-news/world/world-regions/europe/brexit fox-news/world/uk-politics fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/boris-johnson fnc/world fnc DANICA KIRKA Associated Press article 79451ef2-a5fa-5678-800b-74b50607590b

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Saeed Ghasseminejad: Trump’s Iran strategy is working. Here’s grim evidence

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113416525001_6113412940001-vs Saeed Ghasseminejad: Trump’s Iran strategy is working. Here’s grim evidence Saeed Ghasseminejad fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1be93f75-fa05-5ed9-9a42-9294434ac6e1

President Trump’s “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran is working, despite warnings of a backlash against the U.S. for the economic sanctions he has imposed on the Islamic Republic.

As protests continue in Iran, security forces may have killed over 1,000 people who are calling for an end to the country’s dictatorship, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook told reporters recently.

The continuing protests show that the Iranian people are directing their anger at Tehran’s corrupt and oppressive regime, even though American sanctions helped push Iran into a deep recession.

IRANIAN FORCES MAY HAVE KILLED MORE THAN 1,000 IN RECENT PROTESTS, OFFICIAL SAYS

The Trump administration’s withdrawal in May 2018 from President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran marked the beginning of the U.S. turn to maximum pressure.

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Within days, a pair of Stanford University political scientists were saying the Trump strategy was destined to fail. Abbas Milani and Michael McFaul (who was Obama’s ambassador to Russia) said: “Patriotic Iranians, including those opposed to the autocratic regime, are now likely to rally around the flag.”

At first, the pressure on Iran increased gradually. Most sanctions did not return until November 2018, six months after President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Another six months passed before the Trump administration got serious about cutting off Iran’s oil exports – the key to its economy. But now it’s clear that the Iranian economy is in dire straits.

Last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: “Iran is experiencing one of its hardest years since the 1979 Islamic revolution. We have never had so many problems in selling oil. We never had so many problems in keeping our oil tanker fleet sailing. Without money, we cannot run the affairs of the state.”

A few days later, in search of revenue, Rouhani made the mistake that ignited the current protests – he decided to ration gasoline and increase prices by as much as 200 percent.

An unprecedented wave of protests swept across 719 locations across the country. Not only did the regime murder protesters – it sought to cover up its violence by stealing corpses from the morgue and abducting injured demonstrators from hospitals. Thousands of others wound up in prison.

Predictions aside, maximum pressure is doing fine; the Iranian regime is not.

One important cause of poverty for Iran’s 80 million people is the corruption and incompetence of their rulers. Yet thanks to Obama’s nuclear deal and the relief it provided, the regime was able to get by.

Obama and his top advisers even predicted that new sanctions would not have much effect on Iran. That turned out to be wrong as well.

Iranian oil exports have dropped from 2.8 million barrels per day before the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal to somewhere between 250,000 and 600,000 barrels per day over the past few months. China and Syria, the main importers of Iranian oil, may not even be paying in hard currency.

Unable to sell oil for dollars or euros, Iran’s currency reserves are diminishing fast. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates Iran’s reserves will drop from $101.1 billion last year to $85.5 billion at the end of this year and $68.8 billion next year.

To make things worse, Tehran does not have full access to all its reserves, which may be in escrow accounts held by China and others. The U.S. government estimates that only 10 percent of Iran’s reserves are fully accessible.

What all this adds up to is an awful combination of deep recession and high inflation, or stagflation. In October, the IMF said Iran’s gross domestic product will shrink by 9.5 percent this year, a number on par with failed states like Libya and Venezuela.

The World Bank estimate was just slightly better: a drop of 8.7 percent.

Both the IMF and the World Bank put the inflation rate in Iran in the upper 30 percent range – the fifth-highest in the world this year. They predict inflation will stabilize at a lower level in coming years and the Iranian economy will gradually recover – but don’t bet on it.

While the short-term effect of raising gasoline prices has been mass protests, the long-term effect may be even higher inflation.

The IMF and the World Bank also have a track record of underestimating the impact of sanctions. So unless the U.S. lifts sanctions on Iran, economic growth is highly unlikely.

Without hard currency, Iran won’t be able to import intermediate and capital goods, nor will be it be able to invest infrastructure. Plus, American pressure is still far from its potential maximum, despite the name of Trump’s strategy.

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For now, Iran’s non-oil exports remain relatively healthy – official statistics (which may be unreliable) say they have only fallen about 11 percent in value.

The U.S. has sanctions in place on key exports like metals and petrochemicals, which make up half of this sector, but Washington is not enforcing them aggressively. The U.S. could also sanction intermediate and capital goods, so that Iran can’t buy them even if it comes up with the money.

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Since Trump’s inauguration, Iran has seen the two most widespread waves of protest since the birth of the Islamic Republic.

Despite the consensus among Beltway insiders that maximum pressure would fail or even make things worse, the Trump administration’s unilateral sanctions have been immensely successful and have put the Iranian regime on edge. Now it needs a final push back into the abyss of hatred, bigotry and evil that it rose from.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113416525001_6113412940001-vs Saeed Ghasseminejad: Trump’s Iran strategy is working. Here’s grim evidence Saeed Ghasseminejad fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1be93f75-fa05-5ed9-9a42-9294434ac6e1   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113416525001_6113412940001-vs Saeed Ghasseminejad: Trump’s Iran strategy is working. Here’s grim evidence Saeed Ghasseminejad fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 1be93f75-fa05-5ed9-9a42-9294434ac6e1

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Britain’s General Election Is Heavy On Brexit And Disinformation

LONDON — British voters will battle the wind, rain and dark on Thursday for yet another general election, the third in just four years. It is the first December election since 1923 and comes at the end of a campaign dominated by Brexit, disinformation and accusations of racism.

Boris Johnson, the incumbent Conservative prime minister, can be quietly confident of securing the parliamentary majority he currently lacks. But Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition Labour Party leader, has steadily closed the gap in the polls and another hung parliament — where no party has control — remains a distinct possibility. 

Is The Election Just About Brexit?

Johnson would like it to be. The prime minister has run a tightly scripted campaign around the deceptively simple message of “get Brexit done.” The relentless focus on that slogan peaked — or troughed — when he drove a digger featuring the phrase through a fake wall to show that he can smash the “gridlock” in Parliament.

The Conservative Party has calculated that British voters, whether they backed Leave or Remain in the 2016 referendum, are sick to death of the whole saga and want to move on. Johnson has pledged to pass the Brexit deal agreed with the European Union within the first 100 days of a new Conservative majority government. Following that, there is the matter of negotiating a new trade agreement with the EU. Johnson has claimed — to much derision from opposition MPs — he can achieve this before the end of 2020.

The Labour Party has meanwhile tried to run on domestic issues and reversing Conservative cuts to public services — notably health care. Corbyn has repeatedly warned voters that Johnson will “sell off” the publicly owned National Health Service to U.S. companies in any trade deal he signs with U.S. President Donald Trump. In the final days of the campaign, there were signs this message was breaking through, after Johnson refused during a TV interview to look at a photo of a 4-year-old boy who had to sleep on the floor of a hospital because it did not have enough beds.

Labour, which has a pro-Remain membership base, is promising to hold a second Brexit referendum should it win power. But some in the party are worried about losing the support of Leave voters in traditional Labour strongholds in northern England if it appears to be ignoring the result of the 2016 referendum. Party Chairman Ian Lavery told HuffPost UK that he was unhappy with Remainers who “sneer” at Brexit voters. After much public agonizing, Corbyn has said he would remain neutral if he becomes prime minister. 

The 2019 campaign has also been characterized by accusations of racism. Corbyn has repeatedly had to deny claims that he has allowed anti-Semitism to flourish within Labour on his watch. Meanwhile, Johnson has been accused of ignoring Islamophobia in the Conservative Party and has been attacked for his own previous comments about black people and other ethnic minorities. Multiple candidates from various parties have been found to have made racist or sexist comments on Twitter and Facebook in the past.

Westlake Legal Group 5df10e1d240000810a5a2faa Britain’s General Election Is Heavy On Brexit And Disinformation

ASSOCIATED PRESS Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, left, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during a debate at the BBC TV studios in Maidstone, England, on Dec. 6, 2019.

Another thing this campaign will be remembered for is disinformation. The Conservative Party renamed its Twitter account “FactcheckUK” during the first TV debate between Johnson and Corbyn. Johnson’s party also selectively edited a video of Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer to make it look like he had been unable to explain his party’s position. Government documents released by Labour appear to have been leaked by a Russian interference operation. The smaller pro-Remain Liberal Democrat party was accused of misleading voters by delivering leaflets disguised as newspapers and producing polling charts that overstate the party’s chances of winning certain seats.

What Do The Polls Say?

Johnson went into the final full day of campaigning looking to win “every vote” after a new poll suggested that a hung parliament could still be in the cards.

YouGov’s constituency-by-constituency poll released on Tuesday evening predicted the Conservatives are on course for a 28 seat majority — but the margin of error and unknown impact of tactical voting means the party could fall short.

The pollsters, who have analyzed more than 100,000 voter interviews over the past week, predicted the Conservatives will win 339 seats and Labour 231. A 28-seat majority would be the best Conservative result since Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1987 — but it is down from the sizable 68-seat victory that the same YouGov-style poll had been predicting only two weeks ago.

While predictions have improved for Corbyn’s Labour Party, 231 seats would mean a loss of 31 seats compared to 2017’s outcome — its worst result since the 1980s.

What Happened To Nigel Farage?

In reality, as leaders of the two main parties, only Johnson or Corbyn have a chance of becoming prime minister.

But there are several other, smaller parties involved in the election, including the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Liberal Democrats. If the result is close, these two pro-EU parties could hold the balance of power in the Commons.

Westlake Legal Group 5df10ea1240000890a5a2fab Britain’s General Election Is Heavy On Brexit And Disinformation

ASSOCIATED PRESS Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage sips a hot drink whilst on the General Election campaign trail in Hartlepool, England, in November.

Yet it is Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party, which was only launched in April, that could have the most decisive impact. Farage, who has played a huge role in pushing the Leave cause, had threatened to ruin Johnson’s chances of securing a majority by running candidates against the Conservatives up and down the country. But in a climbdown, he decided to withdraw from over 300 of the 650 constituencies, which has been credited with uniting the Leave vote behind the Conservatives, significantly boosting Johnson’s chances of victory.

Jo Swinson, the head of the Lib Dems, admitted to HuffPost UK that Farage’s retreat had a “pretty big impact” on the contest. She has downgraded her hopes of exploiting the division and picking up “hundreds” of seats to simply attempting to prevent Johnson winning a majority.

When Will We Know The Result?

Voting beings at 7 a.m. local time on Thursday morning. The first key moment of the election night will be the exit poll released by broadcasters when voting ends at 10 p.m.

Exit polls have been used in British elections for decades, with varying levels of success. In 2010, the poll accurately predicted the Conservatives would be 19 MPs short of a majority. In 2015, it said the Conservatives would fall short by 10 MPs, but in the end, the party won an unexpected majority.

Results from individual constituencies will start to be announced at 11:30 p.m., with Sunderland or Newcastle usually the first to declare. The bigger than expected Leave vote in Sunderland in the 2016 Brexit referendum was the first sign that things had gone badly for the Remain campaign.

Results will really start to flood in around 1 a.m. on Friday, and most seats will be declared by 6 a.m. However, some will be announced throughout Friday morning until lunchtime. If the election is tight, there is always the chance of a last minute twist.

Analysis From HuffPost UK’s Political Editor Paul Waugh

The U.K. has historically welcomed American imports, from Hollywood movies and TV shows to the rise of trick or treating and high school proms. But this British general election has included two additional U.S. habits that have unnerved many: Trump-like “fake news” and presidential-style campaigns that focus on leaders more than parties.

The Conservatives have deployed fake Facebook, Google and YouTube ads that doctor opponents’ and journalists’ words, while Twitter has become a place where their lies spread swiftly. Labour once thought the online battle would help it reach beyond reactionary British newspapers, but instead it’s finding that the unregulated space of the internet can be just as hostile.

Most importantly, Johnson is a formidable presidential-style candidate, targeting working class men in particular with his claims that Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn is a “terrorist sympathizer.” Crucially, Johnson claims Corbyn is also blocking the Brexit that many post-industrial towns voted for three years ago.

The most telling and repeated comments in the election have come from Labour voters saying, “I’m voting for Boris and Brexit, not the Tories.” If he wins — as the polls predict — that will be why.

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