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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 68)

Nile millions of years older than previously thought, study says

Geologists have extensively debated the age of the Nile, with some early figures settling on around 6 million years. They’ve also wondered how the 4,132 mile-long river kept its persistence for so long, continually flowing north, a very unusual direction for river water to take.

Now, researchers believe they may have the answers to these questions.

In a study published Nov. 11, the research team, led by University of Texas professor Claudio Faccenna, looked at the Nile’s connection with the Earth’s deep mantle, which is made up of rock that moves in different directions, similar to currents in an ocean. According to the research, the slanted topography (or the arrangement of physical features of an area) of the Nile is caused by the conveyor belt-like movement of mantle rock running up against the Ethiopian Highlands in the south, pushing the highlands up while at the same time pulling the surface downward up north. This slight downward slope from the start of the river in the south to the Nile’s mouth in the Mediterranean Sea is what causes the river to flow northward.

Up until now, the fact that the Nile has persisted for so long befuddled geologists, as many long-lasting rivers eventually change course at some point. The team’s research revealed that the river would’ve changed course westward many, many years ago if it weren’t for this movement of the deep mantle.

Westlake Legal Group nile-river-1 Nile millions of years older than previously thought, study says Walt Bonner fox-news/science/planet-earth fox news fnc/science fnc d242d9ec-fb8a-5c92-8433-b32f9d3cf914 article

The course of the Nile river begins here, near the Blue Nile Falls,high in the Ethiopian Highlands, and flows northward to the Mediterranean Sea. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a bulge in the surface of the Earth originating in the mantle that has kept the river on this course for 30 million years. (Credit: Flickr)

PREHISTORIC ‘HOBBIT’ MYSTERY MAY HAVE BEEN SOLVED

The researchers utilized a variety of methods for the study.

“We used a combination of geological studies of long-term topography evolution, sedimentological studies tracking where the material has been transported by rivers over time, and geodynamic modeling,” professor Thorsten Becker, a research scientist at UT Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, said in an interview with Fox News.

The team first analyzed ancient volcanic rock in the Ethiopian Highlands along with huge river sediment deposits under the Nile Delta. Their results revealed that after the Ethiopian Highlands rose, they stayed at a consistent height for millions of years thanks to the mantle rock.

They also ran computer models that would simulate up to 40 million years of plate tectonic activity in the area. According to the models, a hot mantle plume caused lava flow resulting in the creation of Ethiopian Highlands, as well as the “conveyor belt” mantle activity. In the computer, this resulted in changes in the landscape almost exactly as the team predicted.

“The geodynamic models predict topography at each timestep, and by tracking how plate tectonics evolved together with deep mantle structure over time, we were able to show that the mantle has sustained an upward push over thirty million years,” Becker added.

Westlake Legal Group nile-river-2 Nile millions of years older than previously thought, study says Walt Bonner fox-news/science/planet-earth fox news fnc/science fnc d242d9ec-fb8a-5c92-8433-b32f9d3cf914 article

The map shows how sediment is transported from the Nile’s source high in the Ethiopian Highlands to the Nile Delta in the Mediterranean Sea. By studying the layers of sediment carried by the river over millions of years, the researchers were able to recreate the story of uplift in the region. (Credit: Claudio Faccenna et al.)

CAN HOBBITS SWIM? ‘MORDOR UNDER THE SEA’ FOUND OFF AUSTRALIA

Becker believes the team’s research shows that the Nile is over 30 million years old, which may settle the debate for good.

But why was the river’s age argued about so much in the first place?

“The evolution of topography over time is a complicated problem that is affected by deep mantle dynamics and climate, and everything in between,” Becker explained. “We think our results are robust and convinced ourselves that the story is probably true because there are a number of lines of evidence pointing toward it, but we’re also sure that this is not the last word on topography within the Mediterranean.”

The study can be found in the journal Natural Geoscience.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group nile-river-1 Nile millions of years older than previously thought, study says Walt Bonner fox-news/science/planet-earth fox news fnc/science fnc d242d9ec-fb8a-5c92-8433-b32f9d3cf914 article   Westlake Legal Group nile-river-1 Nile millions of years older than previously thought, study says Walt Bonner fox-news/science/planet-earth fox news fnc/science fnc d242d9ec-fb8a-5c92-8433-b32f9d3cf914 article

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

Colin Kaepernick does not appear to move needle into his direction after controversy-laden workout

Colin Kaepernick has not thrown a pass in the NFL since the 2016 season and, nearly three years after appearing against the Seattle Seahawks in the final week of the season, his standing in the league and teams’ interest in the quarterback doesn’t appear to have changed even despite his workout Saturday.

Kaepernick, who started a firestorm in the NFL when he decided to kneel during the national anthem to draw awareness to perceived racial and social injustices in the U.S., threw passes for about 40 minutes at an Atlanta high school. While an NFL executive told ESPN his arm talent was “elite” and that he “threw the ball well,” Kaepernick left the field without a team and still out of the NFL.

COLIN KAEPERNICK’S FORMER TEAMMATE BELIEVES ALL 32 TEAMS, INCLUDING HIS, COULD USE QUARTERBACK

Kaepernick’s showcase may have been marred by the controversy surrounding the workout in the hours and minutes leading up to it.

Westlake Legal Group Colin-Kaepernick Colin Kaepernick does not appear to move needle into his direction after controversy-laden workout Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/colin-kaepernick fox news fnc/sports fnc article 52bd8d87-e662-5629-88fb-4851a131a9c7

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick arrives at a workout for NFL football scouts and media, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Riverdale, Ga. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback switched his workout location at the last minute to a high school from the Atlanta Falcons’ training facility. From the 25 teams that were apparently scheduled to be at the training facility for the workout, about six teams were able to make it to the new location. Additionally, Kaepernick reps Ben Meiselas and Jeff Nalley said the change in location to facilitate “a transparent and open process.”

“From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL league office has not provided one,” Meiselas and Nalley wrote. “Most recently, the NFL has demanded that as a precondition to the workout, Mr. Kaepernick sign an unusual liability waiver that addresses employment-related issues and rejected the standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed by Mr. Kaepernick’s representatives.

COLIN KAEPERNICK’S WORKOUT SPARKS WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN STEPHEN A. SMITH, ERIC REID

“Additionally, Mr. Kaepernick requested all media be allowed into the workout to observe and film it and for an independent film crew to be there to ensure transparency,” the statement continued. “The NFL denied this request. Based on the prior conduct by the league office, Mr. Kaepernick simply asks for a transparent and open process which is why a new location has been selected for today. Mr. Kaepernick looks forward to seeing the representatives from the clubs today.”

Westlake Legal Group Colin-Kaepernick2 Colin Kaepernick does not appear to move needle into his direction after controversy-laden workout Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/colin-kaepernick fox news fnc/sports fnc article 52bd8d87-e662-5629-88fb-4851a131a9c7

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick left his workout still unsigned. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

The NFL responded Saturday, saying it was “disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout,” and added that the league was informed at the same time the general public was.

The league went on to claim that it had sent Kaepernick’s reps “a standard liability waiver based on the waiver used by National Invitational Camp at all NFL Combines and by NFL clubs when trying out free agent players” on Wednesday, only for the quarterback’s team to send “a completely rewritten and insufficient waiver” at noon Saturday.

Eric Reid, who is a close friend of Kaepernick’s and one of the first people who knelt during the national anthem to support the quarterback, got into a war of words with ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith over the legitimacy of the workout and whether Kaepernick really wants back in the league.

COLIN KAEPERNICK SWITCHES WORKOUT LOCATION AT LAST MINUTE, REPS HIT NFL OVER ‘PROCESS’

Jay Z, who reportedly persuaded Roger Goodell to have the tryout, was apparently upset over how the workout went. A source told Page Six that the rap star-turned-business mogul was “disappointed.”

“Jay-Z feels disappointed with Colin’s actions, and believes he turned a legitimate workout into a publicity stunt,” the source told Page Six.

NFL GIVING COLIN KAEPERNICK ‘SPECIAL PRIVILEGES,’ RAYMOND ARROYO SAYS

But whether it’s teams passing on so-called “elite arm talent” or the workout was how supporters put it “illegitimate” one thing was clear as Week 11 in the NFL comes to an end Monday night – teams’ interest in Kaepernick doesn’t appear to have changed that much.

An anonymous NFC West executive told Bleacher Report that there were two teams interested in signing Kaepernick and that the quarterback could be signed by the end of the month. Those two teams were not named and it’s unclear how much interest there actually is.

It’s not uncommon for teams to make a quarterback change in the middle of the season to try and put some juice into their offense. However, teams have appeared to be likely to use what they have in their organization rather than sign a free agent in the middle of the season.

Westlake Legal Group Colin-Kaepernick3 Colin Kaepernick does not appear to move needle into his direction after controversy-laden workout Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/colin-kaepernick fox news fnc/sports fnc article 52bd8d87-e662-5629-88fb-4851a131a9c7

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick participates in a workout for NFL football scouts and media, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Riverdale, Ga. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

The Chicago Bears have played Chase Daniel over Mitchell Trubisky, the Cincinnati Bengals went with Ryan Finley over Andy Dalton, the Detroit Lions have gone with Jeff Driskel over Matthew Stafford and the New York Giants have played Daniel Jones over Eli Manning for the majority of the season.

Reid said Sunday that the Panthers could use him along with the 31 other teams in the NFL.

“Wait and see. All 32 teams could benefit from having a quarterback like Colin on their team. So now we wait and see,” Reid told reporters, according to the Charlotte Observer. “I think we could use Colin’s help, I think every team could use Colin’s help. I would definitely be excited if he were here.”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

As of Monday morning, Kaepernick is still a free agent. After his workout, he made sure his message to prospective teams and Roger Goodell was made loud and clear.

“I’ve been ready for three years,” he said. “I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why. I came out here today and showed it in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. We’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running, stop running from the truth, stop running from the people.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Colin-Kaepernick4 Colin Kaepernick does not appear to move needle into his direction after controversy-laden workout Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/colin-kaepernick fox news fnc/sports fnc article 52bd8d87-e662-5629-88fb-4851a131a9c7   Westlake Legal Group Colin-Kaepernick4 Colin Kaepernick does not appear to move needle into his direction after controversy-laden workout Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/colin-kaepernick fox news fnc/sports fnc article 52bd8d87-e662-5629-88fb-4851a131a9c7

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

Nile millions of years older than previously thought, study says

Geologists have extensively debated the age of the Nile, with some early figures settling on around 6 million years. They’ve also wondered how the 4,132 mile-long river kept its persistence for so long, continually flowing north, a very unusual direction for river water to take.

Now, researchers believe they may have the answers to these questions.

In a study published Nov. 11, the research team, led by University of Texas professor Claudio Faccenna, looked at the Nile’s connection with the Earth’s deep mantle, which is made up of rock that moves in different directions, similar to currents in an ocean. According to the research, the slanted topography (or the arrangement of physical features of an area) of the Nile is caused by the conveyor belt-like movement of mantle rock running up against the Ethiopian Highlands in the south, pushing the highlands up while at the same time pulling the surface downward up north. This slight downward slope from the start of the river in the south to the Nile’s mouth in the Mediterranean Sea is what causes the river to flow northward.

Up until now, the fact that the Nile has persisted for so long befuddled geologists, as many long-lasting rivers eventually change course at some point. The team’s research revealed that the river would’ve changed course westward many, many years ago if it weren’t for this movement of the deep mantle.

Westlake Legal Group nile-river-1 Nile millions of years older than previously thought, study says Walt Bonner fox-news/science/planet-earth fox news fnc/science fnc d242d9ec-fb8a-5c92-8433-b32f9d3cf914 article

The course of the Nile river begins here, near the Blue Nile Falls,high in the Ethiopian Highlands, and flows northward to the Mediterranean Sea. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered a bulge in the surface of the Earth originating in the mantle that has kept the river on this course for 30 million years. (Credit: Flickr)

PREHISTORIC ‘HOBBIT’ MYSTERY MAY HAVE BEEN SOLVED

The researchers utilized a variety of methods for the study.

“We used a combination of geological studies of long-term topography evolution, sedimentological studies tracking where the material has been transported by rivers over time, and geodynamic modeling,” professor Thorsten Becker, a research scientist at UT Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, said in an interview with Fox News.

The team first analyzed ancient volcanic rock in the Ethiopian Highlands along with huge river sediment deposits under the Nile Delta. Their results revealed that after the Ethiopian Highlands rose, they stayed at a consistent height for millions of years thanks to the mantle rock.

They also ran computer models that would simulate up to 40 million years of plate tectonic activity in the area. According to the models, a hot mantle plume caused lava flow resulting in the creation of Ethiopian Highlands, as well as the “conveyor belt” mantle activity. In the computer, this resulted in changes in the landscape almost exactly as the team predicted.

“The geodynamic models predict topography at each timestep, and by tracking how plate tectonics evolved together with deep mantle structure over time, we were able to show that the mantle has sustained an upward push over thirty million years,” Becker added.

Westlake Legal Group nile-river-2 Nile millions of years older than previously thought, study says Walt Bonner fox-news/science/planet-earth fox news fnc/science fnc d242d9ec-fb8a-5c92-8433-b32f9d3cf914 article

The map shows how sediment is transported from the Nile’s source high in the Ethiopian Highlands to the Nile Delta in the Mediterranean Sea. By studying the layers of sediment carried by the river over millions of years, the researchers were able to recreate the story of uplift in the region. (Credit: Claudio Faccenna et al.)

CAN HOBBITS SWIM? ‘MORDOR UNDER THE SEA’ FOUND OFF AUSTRALIA

Becker believes the team’s research shows that the Nile is over 30 million years old, which may settle the debate for good.

But why was the river’s age argued about so much in the first place?

“The evolution of topography over time is a complicated problem that is affected by deep mantle dynamics and climate, and everything in between,” Becker explained. “We think our results are robust and convinced ourselves that the story is probably true because there are a number of lines of evidence pointing toward it, but we’re also sure that this is not the last word on topography within the Mediterranean.”

The study can be found in the journal Natural Geoscience.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group nile-river-1 Nile millions of years older than previously thought, study says Walt Bonner fox-news/science/planet-earth fox news fnc/science fnc d242d9ec-fb8a-5c92-8433-b32f9d3cf914 article   Westlake Legal Group nile-river-1 Nile millions of years older than previously thought, study says Walt Bonner fox-news/science/planet-earth fox news fnc/science fnc d242d9ec-fb8a-5c92-8433-b32f9d3cf914 article

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

Week 2 Preview: Who’s Testifying And When

After a whirlwind first week of public hearings in the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, the House Intelligence Committee is preparing to hear from a whopping eight more witnesses this week.

The committee will conduct several televised hearings from Tuesday through Thursday this week. Tuesday and Wednesday will feature two hearings each (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), and Thursday will have one hearing. All of the witnesses called to publicly testify have already spoken to investigators in closed-door depositions.

The busy impeachment week comes after the committee heard last week from Bill Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasian affairs; and Marie Yovanovitch, who was the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine before she was removed from her position earlier this year and replaced with Taylor. David Holmes, the aide that Taylor alleged overheard Trump talking about Ukraine investigations, also testified last week but in a closed-door deposition.

House impeachment investigators are looking into whether Trump abused the power of his office and put personal interests above national security. The president is accused of withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine until the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to publicly commit to investigating Trump’s 2020 political rival and former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as his son Hunter Biden. The impeachment inquiry began in September after an unnamed whistleblower from the intelligence community filed a complaint alleging that Trump and his allies tried to extort Ukraine in order to get himself reelected.

With the chaos that came from just three public witnesses in one week, this week’s eight witnesses are sure to test viewers’ stamina in keeping up with the investigation. Here is a brief look ahead of who is testifying this week and when, and what to keep an eye out on in their testimony:

TUESDAY MORNING:

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

Westlake Legal Group 5dd1ef2a1f00003e07deea8c Week 2 Preview: Who’s Testifying And When

ASSOCIATED PRESS Former National Security Council Director for European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman returns to the Capitol to review transcripts of his testimony in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. 

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is the director for European affairs at the National Security Council, making him the White House’s top Ukraine expert. He’s also the first impeachment witness with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky because he was on the call.

The Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient privately testified to lawmakers in October that he twice reported the call to the NSC’s lead counsel because he felt it was his duty to share his concerns about the alleged attempted extortion. He also said that the White House’s summary of the phone call had key omissions that raise questions about its handling, but do not change the basic contents of the call.

Trump tried to dismiss Vindman’s testimony by calling him a “Never Trumper witness,” and many of the president’s allies questioned his patriotism accusing him of being a double agent. Several Republicans defended Vindman in the face of such criticism.

Vindman’s firsthand account is expected to throw off Republicans’ current argument that House Democrats are not conducting a credible investigation because every witness called to testify so far has not been a direct witness to wrongdoing by the president. 

Jennifer Williams

Westlake Legal Group 5dd1eea7210000406834d367 Week 2 Preview: Who’s Testifying And When

ASSOCIATED PRESS Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for Europe and Russia who is a career foreign service officer, departs after a closed-door interview in the impeachment inquiry on President Donald Trump’s efforts to press Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. 

Jennifer Williams is a top special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for Europe and Russia affairs, and a career foreign service officer at the State Department. She was also on Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky, making Tuesday morning’s public impeachment hearing one where lawmakers will hear from two witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the incident.

In her Nov. 7 closed-door deposition, Williams testified that Trump’s insistence that Ukraine conduct politically sensitive investigations “struck me as unusual and inappropriate.” She also said she heard Zelensky on the call mention Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that Hunter Biden used to serve on the board of until earlier this year. The White House’s summary of the call did not include Zelensky’s mentioning Burisma, which Trump accused Joe Biden of inappropriately favoring while he was vice president.

Pence was originally supposed to attend Zelensky’s inauguration earlier this year but was ordered to skip it. Williams told lawmakers that she believed that order to have come directly from Trump.

On Sunday, Trump lashed out at Williams on Twitter, accusing her of participating in a “presidential attack” and calling her a “Never Trumper.” He also insinuated that he does not know who she is, despite being a high-level State Department official working under his vice president.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON:

Kurt Volker

Westlake Legal Group 5dd1ee852500000f0ed2d5a8 Week 2 Preview: Who’s Testifying And When

ASSOCIATED PRESS Kurt Volker, President Donald Trump’s former special envoy to Ukraine, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. 

Kurt Volker was the State Department’s special envoy to Ukraine until he handed in his resignation Sept. 27 in response to his name being mentioned in the whistleblower complaint. 

Volker was the first witness called to privately testify in the impeachment investigation, in which he said he was not “fully in the loop” of Trump’s call with Zelensky. But text messages between him, Taylor and U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordan Sondland that Volker gave to Congress contradict that narrative, as the texts showed clear concern over the president’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine.

The former State Department official also testified that Ukrainian officials “asked to be connected” to Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani as a direct backdoor channel to Trump. The whistleblower complaint alleged that Volker set up the meeting between Giuliani and top Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak, and tried to advise Ukrainian officials on how to collaborate with Trump and his personal attorney.

Volker also personally told Giuliani that Yuriy Lutsenko, whose conspiracy theories were largely responsible for Yovanovitch’s ouster, was “not credible.”

Tim Morrison

Westlake Legal Group 5dd1ee56210000a76d34d366 Week 2 Preview: Who’s Testifying And When

ASSOCIATED PRESS Tim Morrison, the top Russia official on President Trump’s National Security Council, gets off of an elevator as he returns to Capitol Hill in Washington, to review his testimony before the House impeachment inquiry last week. 

Morrison was one of the top Russia experts for the National Security Council until he resigned Oct. 30, a day before his closed-door deposition with impeachment investigators.

The former NSC official testified that he contacted then-national security adviser John Bolton, as well as the NSC’s legal office, about Trump’s July 25 call out of concern regarding potential leaks to the public. Morrison also said he first alerted Taylor to concerns over the call by telling him Trump did not want to provide any security assistance at all to Ukraine.

Morrison said he first heard of the call from Gordon Sondland, which he alleged gave him a “sinking feeling.” According to his deposition, Morrison said Sondland informed Ukrainian officials that a White House meeting and military aid were contingent on Zelensky publicly committing to an investigation into the Bidens. He also said Sondland was acting on Trump’s direct orders.

WEDNESDAY MORNING:

Gordon Sondland

Westlake Legal Group 5dd1ee2c2500008f08d2d5a7 Week 2 Preview: Who’s Testifying And When

ASSOCIATED PRESS U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, center, arrives to the Capitol in Washington. 

Sondland is a Republican donor-turned-U.S. ambassador to the European Union who quickly became one of the most important key players in the impeachment investigation after several other witnesses cited his involvement in Trump’s backchannel to Ukraine relations.

Sondland initially testified in his closed-door deposition that he didn’t recall having any discussions about the Bidens, or taking part in encouraging an investigation into them. But after Taylor and Vindman contradicted Sondland’s testimony, he significantly amended his narrative Nov. 5 to say he told Zelensky’s aide Yermak that military funding was contingent on Ukraine publicly announcing an investigation into the Bidens, and that he knew it was illegal.

Holmes, the political counsel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, privately testified Friday that he was meeting with Sondland at a restaurant in Kyiv when the ambassador took a phone call from Trump on July 26 ― a day after the president’s now-infamous call with Zelensky. Holmes said he heard Trump asking if Ukraine agreed to investigate the Bidens, and Sondland responding that Zelensky will do “anything you ask him to.” Sondland reportedly told Holmes after the call that Trump “doesn’t give a shit about Ukraine.” The Associated Press later learned that a second U.S. Embassy staff member in Ukraine overheard Sondland’s call: Suriya Jayanti, a foreign service officer based in Kyiv.

Holmes’ testimony appeared to also contradict Sondland’s deposition, as the ambassador never mentioned his July 26 call with Trump in his sworn testimony.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that emails reviewed by the newspaper showed Sondland kept several Trump officials ― like acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Energy Secretary Rick Perry ― informed of his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON:

Laura Cooper

Westlake Legal Group 5dd1edf62500000f0ed2d5a6 Week 2 Preview: Who’s Testifying And When

ASSOCIATED PRESS Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, returns to the Capitol to review her testimony and documents from an appearance last week in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. 

Laura Cooper is the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. Since the summer, Cooper pressured the Pentagon to get the military aid to Ukraine released and argued that withholding it was not in the U.S.’s national security interests.

The Pentagon also reportedly told the White House that the agency would not be able to spend all the military aid by Sept. 30 ― the end of the fiscal year ― if it was not released by Aug. 6, putting the Defense Department at risk of violating the Impoundment Control Act. It was reported Sept. 12 that the freeze on the aid was lifted.

In her closed-door deposition, Cooper said Volker led her to make a “very strong inference” that Ukrainian officials knew the U.S. was withholding military aid long before that was public information, and that Ukrainian leaders would not have committed to making a public statement on investigations unless they were doing so in exchange for “something valuable.”

“There were two specific things that the Government of Ukraine wanted during this time frame,” Cooper told lawmakers. “One was … a hosted visit at the White House. And the other was Ukraine security assistance.”

David Hale

Westlake Legal Group 5dd1edd2210000906434d365 Week 2 Preview: Who’s Testifying And When

ASSOCIATED PRESS U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale 

David Hale is the undersecretary of state for political affairs, making him the third-ranking official at the State Department.

In Hale’s closed-door deposition, the senior official told lawmakers that the State Department believed that publicly defending Yovanovitch when she was being disparaged and eventually recalled as ambassador to Ukraine would have hurt efforts to lift the freeze on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. He also said that senior officials were concerned about Giuliani’s potential reaction to the State Department coming to Yovanovitch’s defense amid Trump’s smearing of the career diplomat.

Yovanovitch publicly testified about how Trump, Giuliani and conservative media launched a smear campaign on her reputation as a U.S. diplomat. She stressed that her ouster “had a chilling effect” on current department officials because it showed how diplomats and U.S. policy are vulnerable to foreign and private influence, and that the State Department “is being hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage.”

The former ambassador previously testified that when she went to senior State Department officials to seek a reaffirming public statement of support in response to the smear campaign, the department told her there was “caution about any kind of statement, because it could be undermined” by a Trump tweet.

THURSDAY:

Fiona Hill

Westlake Legal Group 5dd1eda21f0000550cdeea8a Week 2 Preview: Who’s Testifying And When

ASSOCIATED PRESS Former White House adviser on Russia, Fiona Hill arrives for a closed door meeting as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019.

Fiona Hill was the former top policy adviser on Russia for the National Security Council for about two years until she resigned in July. She was reportedly told as early as May that there was a pressure campaign by Sondland and Giuliani on Ukraine’s government, according to NBC News.

The former NSC official told lawmakers in her closed-door deposition that she considered Sondland to be a national security risk because of his inexperience as the Trump-appointed EU ambassador. She also said that Sondland had talked in front of her about how he had an agreement with Mulvaney for a meeting with Ukrainian officials.

Hill testified that Sondland had told her he was “in charge of Ukraine.” When she asked him who authorized such a change, she said Sondland told her: “the president.”

After learning about Sondland and Giuliani’s shadow diplomacy, Hill reportedly briefed Bolton, her boss at the time. Bolton later described what Hill told him as a kind of “drug deal.” Both Hill and Bolton were reportedly so alarmed by the shadow diplomacy that she alerted White House lawyers.

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

Myles Garrett’s indefinite suspension was an ‘easy decision,’ NFL official says

Westlake Legal Group Myles-Garrett Myles Garrett's indefinite suspension was an 'easy decision,' NFL official says Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/cleveland-browns fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/myles-garrett fox-news/person/mason-rudolph fox news fnc/sports fnc article 05bbae3f-7379-5e3f-be7e-49c155286a86

The indefinite suspension levied on Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was an “easy decision,” the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said Sunday.

Vincent told CBS Sports he spent Thursday night and a majority of Friday morning focusing on Garrett, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and Browns defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi.

CLEVELAND BROWNS’ MYLES GARRETT TO APPEAL INDEFINITE SUSPENSION THIS WEEK: REPORTS

“That’s not us,” Vincent told CBS Sports of the fight which saw Garrett strike Rudolph with his own helmet. “That’s not who we are. There is no place for that in our game. We all know that. That, frankly, is an easy decision to suspend the player for the duration of the season … Imagine if he hit him with the crown of the helmet? We cannot have that on a football field.”

Vincent said Rudolph will be fined but he and his staff determined that Rudolph’s actions didn’t rise to the level of a suspension. Rudolph was seen grasping at Garrett’s helmet on the ground before their melee escalated.

CLEVELAND BROWNS’ MYLES GARRETT SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY AFTER BRAWL WITH STEELERS, TEAMS FINED $250G EACH

“The grabbing of the facemask, that is a fine,” Vincent said. “We’ll continue to sort through that next week, but yes, there could be multiple fines coming to him if we find another action that constitutes unsportsmanlike conduct.”

Vincent added that Ogunjobi received a suspension because he “went out of his way to escalate the situation,” while Pouncey got three games because he “made multiple attempts to strike at and potentially injure another player.”

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All three players are reportedly expected to have their appeals heard this week.

Vincent said another wave of fines is expected to come.

Westlake Legal Group Myles-Garrett Myles Garrett's indefinite suspension was an 'easy decision,' NFL official says Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/cleveland-browns fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/myles-garrett fox-news/person/mason-rudolph fox news fnc/sports fnc article 05bbae3f-7379-5e3f-be7e-49c155286a86   Westlake Legal Group Myles-Garrett Myles Garrett's indefinite suspension was an 'easy decision,' NFL official says Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers fox-news/sports/nfl/cleveland-browns fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/myles-garrett fox-news/person/mason-rudolph fox news fnc/sports fnc article 05bbae3f-7379-5e3f-be7e-49c155286a86

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Possible pay-to-play scheme for ambassador role in Trump administration uncovered by CBS News

Westlake Legal Group 5nWZsgO65tTjnkmU6qyORMYrnd4iFP3Woit9dMEZvZU Possible pay-to-play scheme for ambassador role in Trump administration uncovered by CBS News r/politics

I would like to caution. Although it is completely obvious at this point the entire GOP is corrupt does not mean the Democratic Party is not. First let me state, vote blue no matter what. Second once we take back the government we need to still active to ensure that corruption measures are put in place to prevent any party or politician from doing any of this in the future. No one person should be able to shut down the voice of the people, no one should be able to do this much damage and instill this much control over the government for generations. We need to win the senate and then start by taking money of politics. At the same time ensuring that everyone can vote, is encouraged to vote, and that their vote counts. Real lasting change only comes after that. We can’t have Medicare for all, social welfare systems that work, fair chance for all without fixing these inherent problems first.

Remember vote blue, but don’t stop calling and emailing and protesting if we manage to get these crooks out of office. This is why impeachment is so important, it says “No we are not ok with this!” Even if the senate doesn’t vote, it just helps us fix the senate when we can get to that point to!

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Sara Lee responds to Harry Styles’ inappropriate ‘SNL’ sketch about the brand

Westlake Legal Group SNLSTYLES1 Sara Lee responds to Harry Styles' inappropriate 'SNL' sketch about the brand New York Post fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Eric Hegedus article 8b29ce11-b395-58fe-9c49-233051a84b33

Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee — except maybe during a threesome.

A sexually charged sketch in the latest “Saturday Night Live” episode has resulted in Instagram trolls flooding the official Sara Lee Bread account with some saucy comments. But when contacted by The Post, the baking company seemed less than battered by it all.

Guest host Harry Styles, 25, played a Sara Lee social media moderator named Dylan whose personal sexual exploits inadvertently collided with his work duties.

MICHAEL AVENATTI FINDS ‘NOTHING FUNNY’ ABOUT PETE DAVIDSON’S ‘SNL’ IMPRESSION IN TONGUE-IN-CHEEK TWEET

Dylan is called into a meeting with his bosses, played by Cecily Strong and Bowen Yang, after accidentally using the Sara Lee account — instead of his personal one — to comment “Wreck me daddy” and “Destroy me king” on a photo of Nick Jonas on the singer’s Instagram account.

And Dylan’s situation just got worse from there.

On a different photo of what Strong called a “random fashion twink,” Dylan commented with a string of suggestive emojis —  — which Styles’ character translated to mean “getting railed to death.”

Saying Dylan’s social media faux pas were “really bad for the brand,” his bosses also mentioned inappropriate captioning of photos on the company’s Instagram feed itself, including one about Sara Lee’s Texas toast, which read, “Feeling really depressed after threesome. What was supposed to be a fantasy ended up more rejection. Must get rid of toxic in community.” In a post about Sara Lee cheesecake, Dylan said he was feeling “A little moody after being used. Why do guys freak out when I ask them to spit in mouth.”

After receiving his first warning from his bosses, Dylan admitted he also direct-messaged singer Shawn Mendes to offer him a “special holiday promotion,” which was “a picture of my open throat.”

SETH MEYERS’ NETFLIX SPECIAL LETS VIEWERS SKIP PAST POLITICAL JOKES

But it seems the saucy sketch had an after effect, as images on the real Sara Lee account received the same comments from real-life posters.

Some folks took note of the bombardment on the bakery’s account and even felt sympathy for the moderator who had to deal with the onslaught.

The hashtag #SaraLee also trended on Twitter, as viewers reacted to the sketch in a number of ways, including sharing a sudden fondness for the company’s products.

When contacted for comment by The Post, Bimbo Bakeries USA — the company which owns Sara Lee — seemed less than stirred up. “We didn’t participate in creating the skit and its content doesn’t align with Sara Lee Bread’s brand. But, we all know SNL pushes the envelope for laughs and we are taking it in stride.”

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The Post also reached out to “Saturday Night Live” for comment but didn’t hear back.

This article originally appeared in The New York Post.

Westlake Legal Group SNLSTYLES1 Sara Lee responds to Harry Styles' inappropriate 'SNL' sketch about the brand New York Post fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Eric Hegedus article 8b29ce11-b395-58fe-9c49-233051a84b33   Westlake Legal Group SNLSTYLES1 Sara Lee responds to Harry Styles' inappropriate 'SNL' sketch about the brand New York Post fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Eric Hegedus article 8b29ce11-b395-58fe-9c49-233051a84b33

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SoftBank and Line Corp. Seek to Create a Japanese Internet Giant

Westlake Legal Group 18softbank-1-facebookJumbo SoftBank and Line Corp. Seek to Create a Japanese Internet Giant Wireless Communications Son, Masayoshi SOFTBANK Corporation Naver.com Mobile Applications Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures Line Corp Japan Computers and the Internet

TOKYO — Two weeks ago, SoftBank Group of Japan announced it had lost billions on soured investments in some of the world’s biggest tech start-ups. On Monday, it said it was ready to roll the dice again.

The company announced an agreement to merge its subsidiary, Yahoo Japan, with Line, a dominant messaging app company, to create a Japanese internet goliath that would be able to compete against bigger and better-financed tech firms in the United States and China.

SoftBank and Naver, the South Korean company that owns a majority stake in Line, said Monday they had reached a memorandum of understanding to take the messaging company private as the first step in a complex financial arrangement that would result in Yahoo Japan and Line being held by Z Holdings, the publicly listed company that currently operates Yahoo Japan.

The combination would bring together two prominent companies in Japan that have seen better days. Yahoo Japan, formed in 1996 as a joint venture with Yahoo, offers a range of services including online shopping and news, but has struggled to make the move from desktops to mobile phones.

Line offers a dominant chat app in Japan, with 82 million domestic users, but has struggled to expand its user base. It fell into the red last year and has continued to book losses.

Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo on Monday, executives of Z Holdings and Line said the merger would help make Japan more competitive globally in the industries of the future.

The tech world is becoming “winner take all,” said Line’s chief executive, Takeshi Idezawa, who noted that the leading global companies were developing monopolies on everything from human resources to finance.

Competitors’ “strengths are growing even stronger, and the gap between those companies and the rest is widening,” he said. “As every industry becomes increasingly digital, the effect of that on national power and cultural diversity is an important issue.”

The deal requires approval from shareholders and government regulators, who are likely to give close scrutiny to a linkup of two of Japan’s most powerful internet firms. The companies said they plan to complete the merger by next October.

As a first step, Z Holdings and Naver are considering an offer to Line’s minority shareholders of 5,200 yen, or $47.78, per share. At that price, each firm would spend over $1.5 billion on the transaction.

By adding Line to its portfolio, SoftBank would get access to the messaging service’s users in Japan, and tens of millions more elsewhere in Asia, including Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia.

In theory, that would allow the companies to merge their various offerings to create a super app that could serve as a gateway to all of their services. It also sets SoftBank up to cement its control over Japan’s small but growing mobile payment industry by combining its company PayPay, which currently leads the market, with Line’s own service, Line Pay.

The merger would come just as the Japanese government is pushing to move the country away from its stubborn attachment to cash.

Analysts and investors hailed the deal. “There are a lot of synergies,” said Mitsunobu Tsuruo, an analyst at Citigroup Global Markets Japan.

“Line is the strongest messaging company, and Yahoo is a strong domestic media company. There are very few overlapping areas,” he added.

Those synergies will be critical if the companies hope to stay competitive in their domestic market.

Line had one of the biggest public offerings of 2016, with investors flocking to the company based on its high revenue from advertising and sales of digital cartoon stickers that users can send to their friends.

The illustrations, which cost a little over $2, include Disney characters and Line’s own mascots, which have become popular enough that they have their own shop in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku neighborhood.

But since then, the company has lost money as it works to promote its mobile payment service.

SoftBank, too, is facing tough times.

The merger announcement comes just weeks after SoftBank Group posted a $4.6 billion loss from its investment in WeWork, the embattled office space company. WeWork has seen its value crumble after its attempt at a public offering collapsed under scrutiny of the company’s business model and accusations of self-dealing by its founder, Adam Neumann.

SoftBank, which is the world’s largest tech investor, has used its $100 billion Vision Fund to pick winners and losers in the start-up world. But its investment model has come under increasing scrutiny over its large and sometimes quixotic bets on loss-making companies like Uber and the on-demand dog walking company Wag.

At a news conference following the announcement of SoftBank’s financial results, the company’s chief executive, Masayoshi Son, said that he regretted some of his decisions involving WeWork, but that he would not change his company’s underlying strategy of placing big wagers on companies that he believes have the potential to transform entire industries.

Hisako Ueno contributed reporting.

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Hong Kong Protests: Demonstrators Trapped on Campus as Court Overturns Mask Ban

Police officers on Monday cornered hundreds of student protesters who occupied a Hong Kong university, offering the demonstrators one way out: drop your weapons and surrender or be met with a hail of tear gas and rubber bullets.

For days, the protesters have held the police off from entering the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, fortifying their holdout with homemade fire bombs, giant sling shots, bricks and bows and arrows.

At least 38 people were injured in a protracted battle at the university on Sunday, the city’s Hospital Authority said, after a bloody battle in which a police officer was struck by an arrow and demonstrators set a police van on fire.

As other protests raged across the city, Hong Kong’s High Court on Monday struck down a contentious ban on the wearing of face masks in public. The court found that the ban, enacted in October, violated the territory’s mini-constitution, know as the Basic Law.

By The New York Times

Running out of weapons and supplies, protesters at PolyU on Monday sought to flee the campus, only to find all of their routes blocked by a cordon of heavily armed riot police officers and a hailstorm of tear gas and rubber bullets.

The students on Monday afternoon tried unsuccessfully to rush a police cordon only to be pushed back into the campus. Despite running out of options, the students fear that following police instructions to “drop their weapons” and leave through one designated exit will result in their arrest.

The protesters, many of them university and high school students, have occupied the campus for a week. On Sunday night and well into Monday morning they clashed with the police in one of the most violent confrontations in months of conflict.

At least 500 protesters remained on campus by Monday afternoon, after the police tried to enter the campus that morning but were pushed back.

Westlake Legal Group Sequence-06-articleLarge Hong Kong Protests: Demonstrators Trapped on Campus as Court Overturns Mask Ban Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Colleges and Universities

Six Months of Hong Kong Protests. How Did We Get Here?

The protests started as peaceful marches and rallies against an unpopular bill. Then came dozens of rounds of tear gas and a government that refused to back down.

By nightfall, about 100 people staged a sit-in directly in front of the police cordon near the university, including women who appeared to be mothers of trapped protesters sobbing and being comforted by others.

“Most of the people here are parents,” said Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy lawmaker who joined the rally. “They realize once their children get out they will be immediately arrested. They just want to take a look at their kid and see if he or she is O.K.”

Conditions on the campus have grown increasingly desperate with injured protesters unable to receive treatment, Owan Li, a student council member, told reporters. Student leaders said protesters suffered eye injuries and hypothermia after being struck by a stinging dye shot from a police water cannon.

Areas near the university had the feel of a battle zone, with streets engulfed by tear gas and fires.

Scores were arrested by the police on Monday morning near the university. A large group of people were seen seated outside a hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon, their hands zip-tied behind their backs.

It was unclear if the bulk of the arrestees were protesters trying to flee the campus or allies responding to calls for help evacuating protesters.

The police said that they arranged for Red Cross volunteers to enter the campus in the afternoon and provide first aid to the injured, and that the force would assist those who needed to go to the hospital “before further investigation,” implying that arrests would wait until after their treatments.

Fernando Cheung, a pro-democracy lawmaker who was in touch with social workers, said that some of the young people trapped inside were “close to breaking down.”

The police said 154 people were arrested over the weekend, bringing the total number of arrests to 4,491 since the protests started in June.

The city’s High Court on Monday struck down a ban on wearing face masks in public, issuing a blow to the local government’s ability to characterize the ongoing protests as a situation that requires the invocation of emergency powers.

The ban, which was enacted in October, quickly inflamed tensions in the city and set off a series of violent clashes. The city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, imposed the ban without seeking legislative approval by invoking powers granted under the rarely used Emergency Regulations Ordinance, or E.R.O.

In its ruling, the court said the ban violated the city’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law, because it was too vague and endangered the ability of the Legislative Council, or LegCo, to make the territory’s laws.

“The E.R.O. is so wide in its scope, the conferment of powers so complete, its conditions for invocation so uncertain and subjective, the regulations made thereunder invested with such primacy, and the control by the LegCo so precarious, that we believe it is not compatible with the constitutional order laid down by the Basic Law,” the court said in its ruling.

Masks have been worn by protesters since the early days of the movement, as a way for protesters to conceal their identities and protect themselves from the pepper spray and tear gas routinely deployed by the police. Many protesters saw the law a pretext that would allow officers to arrest nonviolent demonstrators in order to discourage people from joining the street actions.

“The judgment affirms the importance of separation of powers and fundamental freedoms under our constitutional order,” said Simon Young, a professor at the University of Hong Kong Law School.

Austin Ramzy and Tiffany May contributed reporting.

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Leaked Iran Cables: Key Findings From Secret Documents

Westlake Legal Group xxpistachio-pics-11-facebookJumbo Leaked Iran Cables: Key Findings From Secret Documents United States Defense and Military Forces Suleimani, Qassim Quds Force Iraq War (2003-11) Iraq Iran Defense and Military Forces Abadi, Haider al-

Details from a trove of secret Iranian intelligence cables were published simultaneously by The Intercept and The New York Times on Monday. The leak exposed Iran’s vast influence in Iraq, detailing the painstaking efforts of Iranian spies to co-opt Iraqi leaders and infiltrate every aspect of political life.

The trove consists of roughly 700 pages of reports and cables written mainly in 2014 and 2015 by officers in Iran’s version of the C.I.A. who were based in Iraq. The documents were sent anonymously to The Intercept, which shared them with The Times.

The Intercept and The Times verified the authenticity of the documents but do not know who leaked them. In encrypted messages, the anonymous source said that he or she wanted to “let the world know what Iran is doing in my country Iraq.”

Here are the key takeaways.

The country has been roiled by deadly antigovernment protests in Baghdad and the Shiite-dominated south for nearly two months. Protesters have called for an end to Iranian influence and corruption. At least 300 people have been killed.

At the same time, tensions are high between the United States and Iran. President Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions last year. The White House has blamed Iran for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, reviewed war plans and rushed ships to the Persian Gulf.

The Trump administration also said it had intelligence showing that Iran was preparing attacks on American targets in Iraq. Iraqi officials are increasingly worried that a provocation on either side could set off a war between the powerful countries vying for dominance in their homeland.

Many of Iraq’s leading political, military and security officials have had secret “special relationships” with Iran, including Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi. The Iranians have long been known to influence Iraqi leaders, many of whom became allied with Iran as exiles battling the regime of Saddam Hussein, but the character of their relationships has rarely been revealed in such detail. The revelations could increase pressure on those officials as protests continue.

Many of the files show that as senior American diplomats met behind closed doors with their Iraqi counterparts in Baghdad and Kurdistan, their conversations were routinely reported back to the Iranians. A top political aide to a former speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, for example, was identified as an Iranian intelligence asset.

Iranian officials also cultivated networks of informants who had once worked for the Americans. After the American withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, many of those informants were jobless and fearful that their work as spies would be revealed.

One former C.I.A. asset, known by the nickname “Donnie Brasco,” offered to sell Iran the locations of agency safe houses, details of weapons and surveillance training, and the names of other Iraqis who had spied for the Americans.

The notion that the Americans essentially handed control of the country to Iran now enjoys broad support, even within the American military.

The cables show how Iran began amassing power in the chaotic aftermath of the 2003 American invasion. Iran quickly moved its best intelligence agents to Iraq, seeking to counter what it saw as Washington’s aggression.

The invasion, of course, became an occupation. The army was dismantled and officials linked to Mr. Hussein’s regime were stripped of their posts, fueling grievances in Sunni communities. As the country descended into sectarian conflict, Shiite communities looked to Iran as a protector.

The cables show how tensions arose between Iranian intelligence units as Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the commander of the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, recruited and mobilized Iraqi militias to defend its interests.

At one point, agents from the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the Iranian version of the C.I.A., feared that Iran’s gains in Iraq were being squandered because Iraqis resented the militias. Above all, they blamed General Suleimani, criticizing him for posting photos on social media publicizing his role in the military campaign against the Islamic State.

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