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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 69)

Alaskan glacier seen shrinking over time in incredible new images

The retreat of Alaska’s Columbia glacier over the last 47 years can be seen in a new series of incredible images.

As Science News reports, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey have been capturing images of Earth since 1972, which is a record of images that allows researchers to examine the progression of ice over time.

That progression includes the flow and retreat of glaciers, large chunks of ice calving off and more, University of Alaska glaciologist Mark Fahestock told the outlet.

GREENLAND ICE MELT IS ‘ACCELERATING,’ NEW STUDY REVEALS

Westlake Legal Group alaska-glacier Alaskan glacier seen shrinking over time in incredible new images fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fox news fnc/science fnc fcba64d0-6b07-5cee-af9a-1ef22eb56bc6 Christopher Carbone article

This false-color image of Alaska’s Columbia glacier was taken in July 2014. (NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey)

Fahestock and his colleagues chose Landsat images of several glaciers, including the Columbia glacier, and made them into a short movie.

The resulting video shows that the glacier has retreated by more than 20 kilometers since about 1980.

WORLD’S THICKEST MOUNTAIN GLACIER IS MELTING, NEW NASA IMAGES REVEAL

The images were presented at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

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Westlake Legal Group alaska-glacier Alaskan glacier seen shrinking over time in incredible new images fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fox news fnc/science fnc fcba64d0-6b07-5cee-af9a-1ef22eb56bc6 Christopher Carbone article   Westlake Legal Group alaska-glacier Alaskan glacier seen shrinking over time in incredible new images fox-news/science/planet-earth/climate fox news fnc/science fnc fcba64d0-6b07-5cee-af9a-1ef22eb56bc6 Christopher Carbone article

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On Data Privacy, India Charts Its Own Path

Westlake Legal Group 10indiadata1-facebookJumbo On Data Privacy, India Charts Its Own Path Privacy Politics and Government Law and Legislation India Computers and the Internet

MUMBAI, India — India is poised to pass its first major data protection law, placing new restrictions on how corporations can collect and use information from the country’s 1.3 billion people.

The legislation, which is set to be introduced in Parliament this week after more than a year of discussion, builds on Europe’s recently enacted privacy protections that gave residents there the ability to request and better control their online data. But lawyers said the bill would also move India closer to China, where the internet is tightly overseen by the government.

“It gives a semblance of owning your data, and having the right to know how it is used, to the individual, but at the same time it provides carte blanche to the government,” said Salman Waris, head of the technology practice at TechLegis, a New Delhi law firm.

India’s likely legislation is set to contribute to a balkanization of the internet. From Singapore to California, more and more governments are adopting their own standards on privacy, security, free speech and protection for homegrown companies. That is making it more difficult for multinational internet companies, which had once expanded rapidly in different regions, to operate freely across the world.

“There is genuinely a danger that we are approaching an era of competing regimes,” Bhairav Acharya, a public policy manager for Facebook, said last week at a conference in Bangalore hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “That’s not good for users. That’s not good for industry.”

Like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, India’s bill would force global internet companies like Facebook and Amazon to seek explicit permission for most uses of an individual’s personal data and make it easier for people to demand that their data be erased.

But the proposal would place fewer restrictions on the government’s own use of sensitive data on its residents, which include the fingerprint and iris scans that are part of the Aadhaar national ID system and its detailed surveys of who receives government benefits in every household.

On paper, the data protection rules would apply to government agencies. However, the law would grant the central government broad power to exempt any public entity from the requirements for reasons such as national security or public order.

“This is particularly concerning in India given that the government is the largest collector of data,” said Apar Gupta, executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation, a digital rights group based in New Delhi.

India is also proposing a new entity, the Data Protection Authority, to write specific rules, monitor how corporations are applying them and settle disputes. That agency would have a great deal of power, including deciding whether a data breach must be disclosed to the people affected and setting policies on whether search engines like Google or credit agencies like TransUnion should be exempt from the consent requirements.

Rahul Matthan, a partner at the Indian law firm Trilegal who specializes in tech issues, said that businesses had real concerns as to whether the new data authority would have the capacity to manage all of its responsibilities, especially with little legal precedent to guide it.

“We are expecting this Data Protection Authority to be at the standard of a G.D.P.R. without any experience,” Mr. Matthan said. “That’s a tall ask.”

Still, the data bill has been eagerly awaited by both privacy advocates and the tech industry. India’s Supreme Court established a constitutional right to privacy in 2017, and in its wake, a committee headed by a retired justice of that court, B.N. Srikrishna, wrote a first draft of the bill and made it public more than a year ago.

Justice Srikrishna supported tight restrictions on the government’s ability to exempt itself from the law, saying at the Carnegie conference last week that the bill he wrote “is as much applicable to the government as to private citizens.”

The administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which has made no secret of its plans to increase surveillance and adopt technologies such as facial recognition, appears to have rejected his advice when it rewrote the bill.

The judge declined to comment on Tuesday, saying that he was waiting until the bill is formally introduced in Parliament.

Although the Modi government has chosen to whisk many important bills through Parliament in just a few days, legal experts said they expected the data protection bill would move more slowly and may even be open to amendment.

“I’m just glad to have a law that is likely to be tabled — good, bad or ugly,” Mr. Matthan said. “We really need a law of some sort.”

Karan Deep Singh contributed reporting from New Delhi.

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Trump and Barr Criticize F.B.I. Director Over Report on Russia Inquiry

Westlake Legal Group 10DC-FBI-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump and Barr Criticize F.B.I. Director Over Report on Russia Inquiry Wray, Christopher A Trump, Donald J Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Justice Department Federal Bureau of Investigation Comey, James B

WASHINGTON — President Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr took aim at the F.B.I. on Tuesday, reiterating attacks on former bureau officials and contradicting the agency’s director, Christopher A. Wray, a day after an independent watchdog concluded that agents were justified in opening an investigation into Russia’s possible ties with the Trump campaign.

In an early Twitter post, Mr. Trump snapped at Mr. Wray for not agreeing with his interpretation of the watchdog report’s findings.

“I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!”

Mr. Wray had said on Monday that he concurred with the Justice Department inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, who found that political bias did not influence investigative decisions, directly undercutting the president’s yearslong accusations.

Mr. Barr went a step further and called the findings about the origins of the inquiry “flimsy.” He also repeated a longtime refrain of Mr. Trump and his allies, saying the F.B.I. improperly used counterintelligence tools to spy on a presidential campaign.

In an interview with NBC News, Mr. Barr said there were “gross abuses” and “inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the F.B.I.”

In July 2016, the F.B.I. opened the investigation after it learned a Trump campaign aide had bragged that he was told that Russia had information that could damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. At the same time, stolen Democratic emails were being released. This prompted the F.B.I. to open the inquiry, the inspector general found, not the salacious dossier of opposition research on Mr. Trump by a former British intelligence official.

Mr. Horowitz said the bureau was right to open the inquiry, but he recommended additional levels of supervision in the future.

While there was little expectation that the inspector general’s conclusions would settle the partisan debate over the legitimacy of the Russia inquiry, the president’s suggestion that he lacked confidence in Mr. Wray’s ability to “fix” the bureau raised the possibility that he was considering replacing Mr. Wray, which would give him his third F.B.I. director since he took office.

The director position has a 10-year term limit devised specifically to prevent political interference.

Mr. Trump appointed Mr. Wray after he fired the previous director, James B. Comey, in 2017. By the time Mr. Wray became director, a special counsel had been appointed to take over the Russia investigation, and Mr. Trump was regularly lashing out at the F.B.I. During his first two years in office, Mr. Trump attacked the bureau, the Justice Department and intelligence agencies 277 times.

Mr. Trump and some of his allies saw the dense report as proof that their conspiracy theories were in fact true. The president has claimed for years that the Russia investigation was a witch hunt pursued by “deep state” bureaucrats who did not support him politically. And he has been particularly critical of the F.B.I., calling former bureau leaders “losers.”

“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press,” Mr. Barr said on Tuesday.

Mr. Wray has sought to avoid confrontation with Mr. Trump as he navigates the bureau through one of its most turbulent eras. He and his aides had hoped that with the release of the inspector general report, the F.B.I. could finally move past the toxic politics of the last three years.

Standing in disagreement with the president and the attorney general, Mr. Wray will now have to decide how to lead the agency while his bosses promulgate the inaccurate narrative that the F.B.I. plotted to sabotage Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Mr. Barr is overseeing a separate Justice Department criminal investigation into the basis of the Russia inquiry, with broad access from Mr. Trump to a range of sensitive materials, some of which were not part of Mr. Horowitz’s review.

A federal prosecutor, John H. Durham, is leading that investigation and supported the attorney general’s assessment of the report.

“Last month, we advised the inspector general that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the F.B.I. case was opened,” Mr. Durham said.

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On Data Privacy, India Charts Its Own Path

Westlake Legal Group 10indiadata1-facebookJumbo On Data Privacy, India Charts Its Own Path Privacy Politics and Government Law and Legislation India Computers and the Internet

MUMBAI, India — India is poised to pass its first major data protection law, placing new restrictions on how corporations can collect and use information from the country’s 1.3 billion people.

The legislation, which is set to be introduced in Parliament this week after more than a year of discussion, builds on Europe’s recently enacted privacy protections that gave residents there the ability to request and better control their online data. But lawyers said the bill would also move India closer to China, where the internet is tightly overseen by the government.

“It gives a semblance of owning your data, and having the right to know how it is used, to the individual, but at the same time it provides carte blanche to the government,” said Salman Waris, head of the technology practice at TechLegis, a New Delhi law firm.

India’s likely legislation is set to contribute to a balkanization of the internet. From Singapore to California, more and more governments are adopting their own standards on privacy, security, free speech and protection for homegrown companies. That is making it more difficult for multinational internet companies, which had once expanded rapidly in different regions, to operate freely across the world.

“There is genuinely a danger that we are approaching an era of competing regimes,” Bhairav Acharya, a public policy manager for Facebook, said last week at a conference in Bangalore hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “That’s not good for users. That’s not good for industry.”

Like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, India’s bill would force global internet companies like Facebook and Amazon to seek explicit permission for most uses of an individual’s personal data and make it easier for people to demand that their data be erased.

But the proposal would place fewer restrictions on the government’s own use of sensitive data on its residents, which include the fingerprint and iris scans that are part of the Aadhaar national ID system and its detailed surveys of who receives government benefits in every household.

On paper, the data protection rules would apply to government agencies. However, the law would grant the central government broad power to exempt any public entity from the requirements for reasons such as national security or public order.

“This is particularly concerning in India given that the government is the largest collector of data,” said Apar Gupta, executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation, a digital rights group based in New Delhi.

India is also proposing a new entity, the Data Protection Authority, to write specific rules, monitor how corporations are applying them and settle disputes. That agency would have a great deal of power, including deciding whether a data breach must be disclosed to the people affected and setting policies on whether search engines like Google or credit agencies like TransUnion should be exempt from the consent requirements.

Rahul Matthan, a partner at the Indian law firm Trilegal who specializes in tech issues, said that businesses had real concerns as to whether the new data authority would have the capacity to manage all of its responsibilities, especially with little legal precedent to guide it.

“We are expecting this Data Protection Authority to be at the standard of a G.D.P.R. without any experience,” Mr. Matthan said. “That’s a tall ask.”

Still, the data bill has been eagerly awaited by both privacy advocates and the tech industry. India’s Supreme Court established a constitutional right to privacy in 2017, and in its wake, a committee headed by a retired justice of that court, B.N. Srikrishna, wrote a first draft of the bill and made it public more than a year ago.

Justice Srikrishna supported tight restrictions on the government’s ability to exempt itself from the law, saying at the Carnegie conference last week that the bill he wrote “is as much applicable to the government as to private citizens.”

The administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which has made no secret of its plans to increase surveillance and adopt technologies such as facial recognition, appears to have rejected his advice when it rewrote the bill.

The judge declined to comment on Tuesday, saying that he was waiting until the bill is formally introduced in Parliament.

Although the Modi government has chosen to whisk many important bills through Parliament in just a few days, legal experts said they expected the data protection bill would move more slowly and may even be open to amendment.

“I’m just glad to have a law that is likely to be tabled — good, bad or ugly,” Mr. Matthan said. “We really need a law of some sort.”

Karan Deep Singh contributed reporting from New Delhi.

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Lisa Page sues FBI and DOJ, citing ‘cost of therapy’ after Trump mocked her salacious text messages

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6111266532001_6111267432001-vs Lisa Page sues FBI and DOJ, citing 'cost of therapy' after Trump mocked her salacious text messages Gregg Re fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc d5da913d-b948-52f6-9390-9ca09ef1032a article

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page is suing the FBI and Department of Justice, alleging that the government’s publication of her salacious text messages with anti-Trump ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok constituted a breach of the Federal Privacy Act.

In the complaint filed Tuesday, the 39-year-old Page said she suffered numerous damages, including a “permanent loss of earning capacity due to reputational damage” and “the cost of therapy to cope with unwanted national media exposure and harassment” caused by the disclosure.

Page’s complaint also sought reimbursement for “the cost of childcare during and transportation to multiple investigative reviews and appearances before Congress,” the “cost of paying a data-privacy service to protect her personal information,” and attorney’s fees.

On Dec. 12, 2017, Page said in the complaint, “DOJ and/or FBI officials disclosed” her sensitive text messages “directly to a select group of reporters to ensure they would become public.” Page alleged that after discovery, she would be able to prove that senior officials knew they were violating the law, and that their conduct was “willful and intentional.”

Among those texts was a July 2016 message in which Page wrote to Strzok, “She [Hillary Clinton] just has to win now. I’m not going to lie, I got a flash of nervousness yesterday about Trump.” Within days, the FBI began investigating then-candidate Trump’s alleged connections to Russia.

And, after Trump made a joke at a presidential debate concerning his hand size, Page wrote, “This man cannot be president.” Strzok, meanwhile, called Trump a “douche,” mocked Trump supporters, and said he was “scared.”

Page’s lawsuit lamented that Trump’s tweets about Page’s texts “have been retweeted and favorited millions of times.” Trump, Page went on, has “targeted” her “by name in more than 40 tweets and dozens of interviews, press conferences, and statements from the White House, fueling unwanted media attention that has radically altered her day-to-day life.”

She argued that federal law prevents agencies from disclosing personal records about individuals “unless an exception applies or the individual who is the subject of the record consents in writing to the disclosure.”

Page’s lawsuit claimed that there was no public-interest justification for the government’s leak, given that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was already reviewing the texts and later found “no evidence of bias affecting investigative decisions it reviewed, including matters in which Ms. Page was involved.” Page asserted that the government leakers were trying to gain favor with Trump.

STRZOK’S WIFE FOUND EVIDENCE OF HIS AFFAIR WITH LISA PAGE … AND ‘PARANOID’ NEW YORK AGENT FOUND STRZOK WAS APPARENTLY SLOW-WALKING WEINER LAPTOP REVIEW, FILING SAYS

However, Horowitz noted in an initial report last year that Strzok and Page’s anti-Trump texts were “not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.” He did not conclude definitively that Page and Strzok’s actions were free from bias — only that he did not have evidence to tie bias to specific investigative actions.

In a separate bombshell report issued Monday, Horowitz extensively faulted the FBI’s secretive efforts to surveil a former Trump aide, which involved both Page and Strzok.

Earlier this month, as part of its effort to reject Strzok’s request for reinstatement at the FBI, the DOJ outlined evidence that Strzok’s wife had obtained his phone, and discovered he and Page were having an extramarital affair. The DOJ argued that the information was relevant because Strzok had conducted FBI business on iMessage on his personal electronic devices, but insisted his phone was secure and that he had “double deleted” sensitive materials on his phone.

“[My wife] has my phone. Read an angry note I wrote but didn’t send you. That is her calling from my phone. She says she wants to talk to [you]. Said we were close friends nothing more,” one of Strzok’s text to Page read, according to the DOJ’s filing.

“Your wife left me a vm [voicemail],” Page wrote back to Strzok. “Am I supposed to respond? She thinks we’re having an affair. Should I call and correct her understanding? Leave this to you to address?”

Strzok then wrote, “I don’t know. I said we were […] close friends and nothing more. She knows I sent you flowers, I said you were having a tough week.”

Strzok’s wife also found photographs and a hotel reservation “ostensibly” used for a “romantic encounter,” the government said.

Page’s suit will likely face an immediate challenge from the government. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that suits against the government under the Privacy Act for mental and emotional distress are not immune from the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which limits the right of individuals to sue the federal government.

LISA PAGE BREAKS SILENCE, ACCUSES TRUMP OF MIMICKING HER ORGASM

Her lawsuit does not contain an apology for her conduct, and she has long maintained that her anti-Trump views — which she shared with Strzok using FBI phones even as the two played key roles in the Hillary Clinton and Russia probes — did not affect her official duties.

However, as the FBI was preparing to interview Clinton at her home at the close of the email probe, Page sent Strzok a text message that suggested she was concerned about the political impact of the investigation.

“One more thing: She might be our next president,” Page wrote to Strzok on Feb. 24, 2016. “The last thing you need us going in there loaded for bear. You think she’s going to remember or care that it was more [DOJ] than [FBI]?”

“Agreed…,” Strzok responded.

Earlier this month, Page spoke exclusively to The Daily Beast in a highly sympathetic profile authored by Molly Jong-Fast, who called Strzok “hawt” in a tweet last year. In the interview, Page said Trump’s open mockery of her conduct had forced her to confront the president publicly.

WATCH REP. GOHMERT UNLOAD ON ‘SMIRKING’ STRZOK: ‘HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU LOOK SO INNOCENT INTO YOUR WIFE’S EYES AND LIE TO HER?’

“Honestly, his demeaning fake orgasm was really the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Page told The Daily Beast.

In a rally, Trump had passionately read from Strzok and Page’s text messages — even screaming out, “I love you, Lisa! I love you so much! Lisa, she’s going to win one-hundred-million-to-nothing. But just in case she doesn’t win, we’ve got an insurance policy!” Conservative commentators have disputed that Trump was mimicking an orgasm.

Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence agent who led FBI investigations into Clinton’s use of a private email server and ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team after his anti-Trump texts with Page came to light. He was fired from the FBI last August.

Page left the FBI in May 2018.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6111266532001_6111267432001-vs Lisa Page sues FBI and DOJ, citing 'cost of therapy' after Trump mocked her salacious text messages Gregg Re fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc d5da913d-b948-52f6-9390-9ca09ef1032a article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6111266532001_6111267432001-vs Lisa Page sues FBI and DOJ, citing 'cost of therapy' after Trump mocked her salacious text messages Gregg Re fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc d5da913d-b948-52f6-9390-9ca09ef1032a article

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Atheist group targets Alabama sheriff for ‘using tragedy to promote’ prayer

There’s a new sheriff in town, and he isn’t backing down.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is targeting an Alabama sheriff’s office for calling on “citizens to pray during times of tragedy,” but they’re not in the least bit worried.

GROUP CONDEMNS ‘SOLDIER SANTA’ HOLDING ‘GOD BLESS AMERICA’ SIGN AT ARMY BASE

The Wisconsin-based group — a self-described “nonprophet nonprofit” watchdog for “atheism, agnosticism [and] skepticism” — went after Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith for pleas to pray in the wake of two recent tragedies: the shooting death of Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams, and another referencing a tragedy involving a young boy and a sheriff’s deputy, according to WBRC.

Westlake Legal Group WalkerCountySheriffs5 Atheist group targets Alabama sheriff for 'using tragedy to promote' prayer fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/elections/local fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/us fnc Caleb Parke article a167197f-708d-5190-9a8d-b6e2f9cc6c76

After getting a complaint letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation asking the Walker County Sheriff’s Office to stop making religious references, the sheriffs are pushing back, saying, “No.” (Courtesy of T.J. Armstrong)

“The issue here is that the sheriff’s office has a pattern of using tragedy to promote the idea of prayer and our letter reminds the sheriff, not everyone in Walker County prayers or believes in the same religion,” FFRF associate counsel Sam Grover wrote in a letter accusing the sheriff of disregarding the Constitution.

But T.J. Armstrong, a public information officer with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, told Fox News that they were “shocked” to receive the complaint because they haven’t violated any Constitutional laws, state or local.

DELAWARE TOWN BANS NATIVITY SCENE OVER SAFETY CONCERNS

“Our response is going to be to continue to do the best we can,” Armstrong said. “We have never once received a single complaint.”

When asked if they would change anything because of the FFRF letter, he responded: “It’s a very implicit, no.”

Westlake Legal Group sheriffsmith Atheist group targets Alabama sheriff for 'using tragedy to promote' prayer fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/elections/local fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/us fnc Caleb Parke article a167197f-708d-5190-9a8d-b6e2f9cc6c76

Walker County Sheriffs T.J. Armstrong and Nick Smith. Armstrong is the public information officer and Smith is the officer who received a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation about asking the community to pray in the wake of tragedies. (Courtesy of T.J. Armstrong)

“We’re not looking for a fight,” Armstrong added. “However, we will not cower down, especially when it comes to our individual faith.”

Since the complaint, the sheriff’s office has received messages of support from the county and across the country.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“We stand behind [Sheriff Smith],” the sheriff said. “We have far bigger things to do… So we’re going to pray for them and continue to serve and protect the people of Walker County, Alabama, and that’s what Sheriff Smith was elected to do.”

Westlake Legal Group sheriffsmith Atheist group targets Alabama sheriff for 'using tragedy to promote' prayer fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/elections/local fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/us fnc Caleb Parke article a167197f-708d-5190-9a8d-b6e2f9cc6c76   Westlake Legal Group sheriffsmith Atheist group targets Alabama sheriff for 'using tragedy to promote' prayer fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/politics/elections/local fox-news/faith-values/faith fox news fnc/us fnc Caleb Parke article a167197f-708d-5190-9a8d-b6e2f9cc6c76

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Trump Coughs Up $2 Million To Settle Charges Over His Scammy Foundation

Westlake Legal Group 7Bz49jf5VilIIFfGtAPYWGQOXRS6WvZqBvquFnEFlvI Trump Coughs Up $2 Million To Settle Charges Over His Scammy Foundation r/politics

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Dallas Stars’ head coach Jim Montgomery mysteriously fired over ‘unprofessional conduct’

Westlake Legal Group jim-montgomery-Reuters Dallas Stars' head coach Jim Montgomery mysteriously fired over 'unprofessional conduct' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nhl/dallas-stars fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9ebdc78c-14ae-5f20-a9d8-954330d5b0b7

Dallas Stars’ head coach Jim Montgomery was fired Tuesday in a shocking move by General Manager Jim Nill, who accused the coach of “unprofessional conduct.”

The Stars put out a statement announcing the dismissal of Montgomery, 50, as head coach “effective immediately” because of alleged conduct that went against the organization’s “core values,” Nill said.

NEW YORK JETS’ LE’VEON BELL SEEN AT BOWLING ALLEY WITH ALCOHOL NIGHT BEFORE MISSING GAME BECAUSE OF FLU: REPORT 

“The Dallas Stars expect all of our employees to act with integrity and exhibit professional behavior while working for and representing our organization,” his statement read. “This decision was made due to unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League.”

Nill did not elaborate why he was fired but said during a news conference Tuesday that he received a phone call on Sunday regarding “material act of unprofessionalism,” the New York Post reported.

A source told TSN that it was not “abuse related.”

The mysterious firing comes a day after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced a four-point plan to curb any incidents of inappropriate behavior by club personnel. He also said that NHL personnel will be required to attend mandatory counseling regarding racism and anti-bullying.

But sources alleged that the league was aware of the Montgomery situation before Bettman’s news conference.

Rick Bowness, who came on as an assistant coach with Montgomery, was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season, starting with Tuesday night’s home game against the New Jersey Devils.

In all, four NHL coaches have lost their jobs already this season — three of them amid allegations of misbehavior.

Calgary coach Bill Peters resigned last month following accusations by former NHL player Akim Aliu that Peters had directed racist slurs toward him while the two were in the minors a decade ago. Peters was also accused of physical abuse while coaching the Carolina Hurricanes.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

Coach Mike Babcock was accused of verbal abuse after he was fired by the underperforming Toronto Maple Leafs, and Chicago assistant Marc Crawford is being investigated for alleged physical abuse of players.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Trump’s Strongest Allies In Congress Don’t Care How History Will Remember Them

WASHINGTON ― With President Donald Trump headed for a partisan impeachment in the House and a largely automatic acquittal in the Senate, liberals like to console themselves that history will be unkind to Trump’s staunchest defenders in Congress ― that the Republican members turning a blind eye or offering bad-faith excuses for the president will rightfully be recorded as enemies of truth.

But if Trump’s biggest fans in Congress are concerned about their place in history, they’re not showing it.

“I don’t care how I’m remembered,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told HuffPost. “I care that the American people elected this guy president, he’s doing a great job, and [the Democrats] have zero facts on their side to remove this guy from office.”

Jordan said he was worried about Democrats never accepting the 2016 election outcome, as well as the “arrogance” of people like Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan, who testified before the Judiciary Committee last week that Trump should be impeached. 

“The arrogance that lady had for hillbillies like Jim Jordan from Ohio, or Mark Meadows from the mountains of North Carolina, or anyone across the heartland who voted for this president,” said Jordan, a seven-term congressman, “the disdain that she had for us, you know, regular folk.”

And if you think Jordan insisting he doesn’t care is just some defense mechanism because he knows it will turn out badly, Jordan will tell you that actually, he hasn’t given any of that “a second’s thought.”

“The first time that even entered my mind was 20 seconds ago when you asked me,” he said.

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Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images From left, Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) speak to the media after Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, was blocked by the State Department from appearing for a deposition about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine on Oct. 8, 2019. 

Meadows also reported that he doesn’t worry about his place in history. 

“Most of the historical commentary will be about the process more than the individuals,” Meadows said.

And he claimed that history hadn’t really remembered specific members of Congress in past impeachment cases. “If you can find one member of Congress who can name more than 10 people who voted one way or another, I’ll treat you to a steak dinner,” he said.

Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, was similarly untroubled.

“History writes itself,” Collins said, adding that he was only concerned with doing what feels right. 

“The person who decides what history is gonna say about him is a fool,” he said.

It makes sense that Republicans aren’t thinking about their place in yet-to-be-written textbooks; defending Trump on the Ukraine scandal almost requires a blithe ignorance of history’s judgment. 

It’s not that the public doesn’t know the facts, or that there are legitimate defenses of Trump. The president clearly sought to use his office to pressure a foreign country to announce an investigation into one of his chief political rivals. And he was willing to withhold roughly $400 million in congressionally appropriated security aid to accomplish his goals. 

In a rational world ― one unpoisoned by partisan excuses and conspiracies ― this impeachment would be unanimous. The facts are so damning, so overwhelming; and yet not a single House Republican cares. 

Not a single Republican will stand up for the rights of Congress to subpoena White House officials and have them answer questions. Not a single Republican in the House will hold the president accountable.

In a rational world ― one unpoisoned by partisan excuses and conspiracies ― this impeachment would be unanimous.

And while history should remember Trump’s strongest allies ― the ones who unflinchingly and reflexively defend the president no matter the situation ― history ought to also remember the Republicans who could have broken from the president, the Republicans who were unnatural allies, the Brian Fitzpatricks and Will Hurds and Francis Rooneys.

Because the truth is, Jordan is very much a natural ally. Meadows is a natural ally. So, too, are Devin Nunes and Matt Gaetz and Doug Collins. (The Partisan Voting Index scores for their districts, respectively, are R+14, R+14, R+8, R+22 and R+31, and Trump won their districts by 34, 17, 10, 40 and 58 points.)

Republican voters stand strongly behind Trump. And in many ways, the continued support of elected Republicans is best explained by their voters.

Trump’s popularity among congressional Republicans is partly a function of his support from the GOP electorate. When HuffPost asked Meadows last week what made him and the Freedom Caucus go all-in on Trump, Meadows presented the lawmakers’ support as a result of the will of the voters.

“The American people,” Meadows answered. “I mean, he tapped into a group of people that had been largely ignored.”

Meadows recounted that someone came up to him during the 2016 GOP convention in Cleveland and said, ‘Look what you’ve started.’

“‘Nah,’” Meadows recalled saying, ‘I just recognized it before anybody else.’”

What Meadows claims to have recognized is a frustration with business as usual in Washington. And in his cheerful view of Trump, the president is just a wrecking ball for the norms of Washington, much the same way the Freedom Caucus was a wrecking ball.

Jordan offered a similar take, that Trump was a guy who “was going to come here, and change this place, and get things done, and take on this town.”

But those tired lines gloss over the worst aspects of Trump ― policies that have separated families, undermined health care, hurt the environment or personally enriched the president — dismissing them like Trump’s quirks, such as his penchant for tweeting or going off the teleprompter at a rally.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP Immigrant children described hunger, cold and fear in a voluminous court filing about the U.S. detention facilities where they were held after crossing the border. 

When we pointed out to Meadows that he’s been willing to ignore a lot of things about Trump ― whether it be policy (resulting in a trillion-dollar deficit), personal (Trump made it a sport to attack the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, Meadows’ friend), or religious (the thrice-married president is accused of cheating on his pregnant wife with a porn star) ― Meadows said he chooses to “give grace publicly, and privately, perhaps, express my opinion in a more direct manner.”

“Oftentimes, we expect perfection from our leaders, and the minute I find a perfect leader, I will let you know,” he said.

Meadows also said he recognizes that voters largely don’t care about policy. “I don’t think that most Americans are policy-driven,” Meadows said. “It’s why many members of Congress make a huge mistake by getting up and giving stump speeches on what bills they’ve done.”

In that view, partisanship, not ideology or accomplishments, is what is most important to the Republican Party. Partisanship has become the core ideology. It perhaps explains why Rep. Justin Amash ― one of the most conservative members in Congress ― left the party and now, as an independent, is an enemy of the GOP. Or why one of Amash’s closest ideological allies, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), has gone all-in on Trump. Massie recognized that he can almost always vote whichever way he wants, as long as his constituents know he’s ultimately with the president.

For the record, Amash doesn’t believe every Republican thinks Trump is innocent. He breaks the GOP down into three groups: the Republicans who truly believe Trump did nothing wrong, the Republicans who know better, and the other Republicans who basically don’t care and take their cues from the loudest voices in the party.

“I think some of them genuinely believe what they’re saying,” Amash said. “There’s no doubt about that. I’ve had conversations with them. They believe it. There are other people who know they’re lying.”

But the GOP has thoroughly disincentivized speaking out. There’s really no place for a Republican who breaks with Trump on something so fundamental as impeachment ― as Amash knows well.

The most interesting thing about asking Republicans how they think history will remember them when it comes to Trump’s impeachment is that no one really claims history will mark them down as heroes.

Even the most self-aggrandizing answers were offered as conditionals. Conservative Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said it was a stretch to think they’d be remembered at all, but if they were, their role would depend on the final outcome. According to Perry, Republicans could be remembered as “complete rubes” or as “unbelievable patriots.”

“We’re far from the final chapters of this whole thing,” Perry said.

One of the darkest answers came from Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), a former history teacher himself. Bishop said the idea that history would remember what Republicans do assumes “that we’re going to survive in this country long enough to have a history.”

(When Bishop got a little more serious, he said he believed in doing what was right “and everything else will take care of itself.”)

The most interesting thing about asking Republicans how they think history will remember them when it comes to Trump’s impeachment is that no one really claims history will mark them down as heroes.

Not to discount Amash’s three categories, but the vast majority of Republicans really do seem to believe they’re doing what’s right ― or they’ve convinced themselves that it’s right enough.

Republicans have found so many ways to get behind Trump. Jordan reported that he liked Trump more and more every day, partly because the president is unafraid of doing things that so many politicians promise but fail to accomplish. His case in point was moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

But another reason the Freedom Caucus is so devoted to Trump is that he’s the empty policy vessel in which they can place their own ideas. Meadows and Jordan were two key architects of the GOP tax cuts, and they tout a number of other quieter wins.

Just last week, the administration formalized a new work requirements rule for food stamps that will result in roughly 700,000 people losing benefits. That policy was practically written by the Freedom Caucus.

Jordan also points to Trump’s transformation of the Republican Party from a country club “wine and cheese” base to a home for “beer and blue jeans” voters. “We’re a populist party rooted in conservative principles,” Jordan said.

And if you challenge Jordan that cutting food stamps for 700,000 low-income people doesn’t sound very populist, Jordan will respond that it’s “totally populism.”

“You go talk to the union workers in Wisconsin, ask them if they think there should be a work requirement for able-bodied adults on welfare,” Jordan said, “I bet it’s 100%.”

Whether Jordan realizes it or not, the explanation reveals another truth: For the modern GOP, perception is more important than reality. 

It doesn’t really matter what Trump did; it matters what voters think he did, and if Republicans can throw enough dirt in the air, if they can convince enough of their voters that this is really about Hunter Biden, or about rooting out Ukrainian corruption, or that this is just another partisan witch hunt, the facts take a back seat.

At least at this moment. Maybe all Americans will one day recognize what’s painfully clear to anyone open-mindedly watching this spectacle. That’s the hope of many liberals, who don’t want to believe that Trump’s biggest defenders will get away with this.

As HuffPost left Jordan’s office on Friday, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) just happened to be standing in the hallway, alone, checking his phone. We approached Schiff and told him Jordan said the facts were on Trump’s side.

Schiff, in his own sort of disbelief that even Jim Jordan could believe Jim Jordan’s defenses, said the facts were “uncontested and overwhelming.”

“They apparently belong to the Kellyanne Conway School of Communications that believes they’re entitled to their own alternative facts,” Schiff said.

And he didn’t mince words on how he thought history would remember Trump’s most stalwart allies.

“History will not be kind to those that refuse to do their duty in the face of this unethical president,” he said.

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William Barr Rejects Inspector General Report’s Findings On FBI’s Trump Probe

Westlake Legal Group 5defe1352100002d0734f93c William Barr Rejects Inspector General Report’s Findings On FBI’s Trump Probe

Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department’s inspector general report, saying he didn’t buy its finding that the FBI had no political bias in opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia in 2016.

Barr told NBC News the day after the report came out that he thought there was a “possibility that there was bad faith” in the probe. 

“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press,” Barr said. “I think there were gross abuses … and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI.”

He laid blame on Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who released the report after reviewing a million documents and interviewing 100 people.

“All he said was, people gave me an explanation and I didn’t find anything to contradict it. … He hasn’t decided the issue of improper motive,” Barr said. “I think we have to wait until the full investigation is done.”

The attorney general’s remarks renew questions about his allegiance to President Donald Trump. Barr, who replaced Jeff Sessions in February, has been a steadfast defender of the president. Last month, he faced calls for his own impeachment after attacking Democrats for declaring a “war of resistance” against Trump and claiming “scorched earth, no-holds-barred” challenges to the president’s power amount to a “systematic shredding of [constitutional] norms and undermining the rule of law.”

Barr also promoted conspiracies in his NBC News interview.

“It was clearly spied upon,” he said of the FBI using confidential informants to record conversations with Trump campaign officials. “That’s what electronic surveillance is … going through people’s emails, wiring people up.”

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