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Westlake Legal Group > Press Releases (Page 71)

Raleigh cop, now fighting for his life, was shot multiple times at close range, report says

The suspects involved in last week’s shooting of a North Carolina police officer — who is now fighting for his life — appeared to be breaking into a vehicle before the confrontation, according to a report that Raleigh officials released Wednesday.

Westlake Legal Group ch Raleigh cop, now fighting for his life, was shot multiple times at close range, report says Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/entertainment/genres/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 27f3edc3-f26b-56d9-9b28-63d927f5400e

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Pelosi’s on the right track with State of the Union plan

In the latest move in the government shutdown fight, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now looking to dim one of the brightest spotlights for President Donald Trump: The annual State of the Union address. Pelosi sent a letter to the President suggesting that he wait until the government is open before coming to Congress, or simply deliver the speech in writing.

Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=yIl2AUoC8zA Pelosi's on the right track with State of the Union plan   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=7Q72WNTAKBA Pelosi's on the right track with State of the Union plan   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?i=0ngDs349a9I:JdV3px3j4DI:V_sGLiPBpWU Pelosi's on the right track with State of the Union plan   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=qj6IDK7rITs Pelosi's on the right track with State of the Union plan   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?i=0ngDs349a9I:JdV3px3j4DI:gIN9vFwOqvQ Pelosi's on the right track with State of the Union plan

Westlake Legal Group 0ngDs349a9I Pelosi's on the right track with State of the Union plan

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Opinion: Putin must be smiling as he watches Trump carry out his agenda

Every day, it seems, brings another load of disturbing information about President Donald Trump’s interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A few days ago, we learned that Trump’s behavior was so troubling that the FBI opened a counter-intelligence investigation to find out if Trump was working, “on behalf of Russia against American interests.” The probe merged with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, so we don’t know what Mueller may have concluded.

Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=yIl2AUoC8zA Opinion: Putin must be smiling as he watches Trump carry out his agenda   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=7Q72WNTAKBA Opinion: Putin must be smiling as he watches Trump carry out his agenda   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?i=o0dMf5yoQY4:IxZ17DQ3aVc:V_sGLiPBpWU Opinion: Putin must be smiling as he watches Trump carry out his agenda   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?d=qj6IDK7rITs Opinion: Putin must be smiling as he watches Trump carry out his agenda   Westlake Legal Group cnn_topstories?i=o0dMf5yoQY4:IxZ17DQ3aVc:gIN9vFwOqvQ Opinion: Putin must be smiling as he watches Trump carry out his agenda

Westlake Legal Group o0dMf5yoQY4 Opinion: Putin must be smiling as he watches Trump carry out his agenda

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Stewart Jackson: Don’t be tempted to pivot to a customs union, Prime Minister – the consequences would be dire

Stewart Jackson was MP for Peterborough 2005-17 and Chief of Staff to David Davis 2017-18.

As expected, Jeremy Corbyn’s No Confidence motion tabled yesterday served to unify and focus the Conservative Party on the existential danger, not just to our party but to the whole country, of a red in tooth and claw Labour government. In that sense, it rather backfired.

Perversely, it has ramped up the pressure on Corbyn to enunciate a clearer position in response to the defeat of the Prime Minister’s unlamented Withdrawal Agreement, between the Europhile majority of his party pressing for extension or revocation of Article 50, a Norway model soft Brexit, or a second referendum, and the millions of Labour voters who supported Brexit. I cannot see that Corbyn will move much, because he still commands the trust and support of the Labour membership and influential figures like Len McCluskey and because he believes that the EU is a plutocratic capitalist cartel dedicated to neoliberalism and doing the bidding of rapacious multinationals – a view he’s held since about 1983.

Labour’s introspection has bought the Prime Minister some breathing space. Although as a result of John Bercow’s decision to disregard Commons precedent and rip up the rule book to allow the Remain ultras like Dominic Grieve to circumscribe the Government’s room for manoeuvre in last week’s business motion, she has only four more days to outline what her Plan B might be.

My own view is that her tenure is strictly time limited, but my instinct is that she probably has one more pivotal Commons vote left before the pressure from the 1922 Committee and the Cabinet for her to step aside and let another leader take over will become insurmountable.

She’s been lucky, too, this week with her Remain opponents. Remain true believers are as fractious and impatient as anyone else – witness the spat between Nick Boles and Grieve over which (wrecking) Bill to present in the Commons – Boles’s quirky EU Referendum (No2) Bill or Grieve’s second referendum Bill? It’s a microcosm of the fight between the Norway crowd and the ‘Peoples’ Vote’ (sic) supporters. Neither has or likely will have a majority in the House of Commons, and Boles’s effort seems to have blown up on the tarmac via a big raspberry from the Liaison Committee. Nevertheless, the aim of most of their advocates is to delay and then kill Brexit.

For all that, Theresa May would be wise to avoid jumping out of the frying pan of a calamitous Commons defeat into the fire of a full-blown Tory civil war. The lack of a clear policy position after Tuesday’s vote appears to have emboldened some of the Cabinet to disregard even further collective responsibility. They now argue – both in code (“reaching out to other parties”) and explicitly – for a deal with Labour, involving reneging on our explicit 2017 General Election manifesto commitment to leave the Customs Union. Indeed, to the contrary, some ministers are wholeheartedly embracing the idea of one. This was always the position of people like Greg Clark and Philip Hammond, but they now feel they have license to sell this unappetising prospect in plain sight.

‘Pivoting’ to a customs union would be a very bad idea for a number of reasons. Labour have no coherent Brexit policy and the customs union demand is only the least worst part of an incredible smorgasbord of opportunistic waffle. The Opposition really isn’t interested in anything but precipitating division and open warfare in our party, and certainly not in developing a coherent and pluralistic policy which can pass the Commons. Secondly, a customs union as a discrete policy is a terrible idea, as consistently and eloquently argued by Greg Hands – primarily because it would undermine a key rationale by Leave voters for supporting Brexit, the aim of allowing the UK to strike new, lucrative global trade deals after our exit from the EU.

Most acutely, Conservative MPs should understand the peril of shredding a policy which the Prime Minister has publicly endorsed over 30 times, when faced with a Party membership and wider electorate warming to No Deal/WTO and still irked by the debacle of Chequers and the Withdrawal Agreement. A Party faithful willing to believe that we can still strike a Canada Plus style deal with the EU. And why wouldn’t they? This week David Davis, Dominic Raab, Arlene Foster and Peter Lilley launched A Better Deal, which offers a reasonable alternative strategy for the Prime Minister when she returns to Brussels in a few days’ time. Together with enhanced No Deal planning, it is at least as good as any other course of action, not least because it was the basis of the Prime Minister’s policy outlined at Lancaster House, Florence and Mansion House and at last year’s General Election.

Signing up to a Customs Union would be such an egregious capitulation that it would endanger our local government candidates in May, and were we foolish enough to extend Article 50 to necessitate by Treaty obligation participation in the EU Parliament elections (as Boles’s bill demands), it would invite a populist upsurge of unprecedented severity.

Conservative Associations are much less deferential, more activist, and frankly more Eurosceptic now, and they’d scarcely wear such a retreat from our solemn promises. MPs who supported it would struggle to justify their decision. Remember, recent polling shows that people’s attachment to getting Brexit comfortably outstrips their attachment to even the best and most diligent local MP, and to political parties generally.

Finally, it’s as well to consider Scotland as a terrifying morality tale. In 2010, Labour polled 42 per cent there and took 41 seats – most of them won very handily. Just five years later, motivated by bitter disappointment in the wake of a fractious and unpleasant referendum campaign and a feeling that “the Establishment” had cheated them of their dreams of self-government and independence, a significant bulk of their hitherto most loyal voters turned on their own party, leaving that party with just one seat and less than a quarter of the votes.

Couldn’t happen again? Don’t bet on it.

If May takes the path of least resistance by adopting a Customs Union post-Brexit to get any deal through the Commons, she risks not just a terrible party schism but electoral Armageddon.

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Garvan Walshe: The defeat of May’s deal was a consequence of half a decade of negotiation failure

Garvan Walshe is a former National and International Security Policy Adviser to the British Conservative Party. He runs TRD Policy.

Dominic Cummings imagines politics to be a branch of physics. There’s one respect in which he’s right, which goes by the unpleasant jargon-word entropy.

The word is ugly and so are its consequences. Entropy is a deeply depressing concept. It’s like a transaction tax applied by the universe on every conversion of energy. It’s why your car gets hot and your fridge makes noise. All that energy from petrol or electric power is dissipated into heat and sound waves. Once it has been so dissipated, it can’t be marshalled back into a useful form. It’s been spent.

The battle over Brexit has been a giant exercise in the production of entropy, the conversion of political energy and ideas into a disorganised and ineffective stalemate.

It is the result of a gross miscalculation of the amount of power available to the British Government. Unable to admit to itself the scarcity of available means, no leader or faction has been able to apply them to achieve any useful result. The result was a defeat for the Prime Minister’s deal so heavy that had it been a cricket score her team would have been forced to follow on.

From David Cameron’s Bloomberg speech in 2013 to the Prime Minister’s inept selling of her Brexit withdrawal agreement, through the ERG’s misfiring leadership plot, and Jeremy Corbyn’s failed attempt to bring the Government down, nothing – least of all May’s disastrous 2017 election – has worked. Political energy has been wasted. Political capital squandered.

Cameron imagined that British membership of the organisation was so important to the rest of the EU that they would grant an exemption from freedom of movement to keep the UK in. Instead they saw it as one opt-out too far. What he was offering was tantamount, from their perspective, to leaving the EU; this rendered Cameron’s threat to leave if he didn’t get what he want moot. If you don’t let me leave, I’ll go isn’t a strong negotiating position.

The Brexit negotiations themselves suffered what might be politely called a clash of negotiating cultures — a flexible British (and Irish) style, where everything is pinned down at the last minute; and a systematic Germanic one, where you work things through issue by issue.

In this May, at least, understood some limits. Ending free movement entailed leaving the Single Market. Remaining in good standing in international law meant continuing to pay bills already agreed. She failed only on the border in Ireland, where the EU acted to defend the interest of its member, the Republic of Ireland, at the expense of the country that was leaving.

British commentators usually considered informed (most recently Mujtaba Rahman of the Eurasia Group), have continually misunderstood the EU’s position. They simply haven’t adjusted to what it means to be outside the European tent. Considered on its own, it might indeed be in the economic interests of some powerful member states to push Ireland around. But considered as part of the EU system itself it would be very dangerous. The EU is not an intergovernmental organisation of sovereign states. It was created in order to restrain the rivalry of the big countries which had destroyed Europe twice in the early 20th century. Brexiteers find that a reason to leave, which is fair enough. What’s not reasonable is to pretend the organisation they want to leave for those reasons doesn’t behave as if it’s motivated by them.

This does not mean that big member states don’t have more power: they do. But they have less than size would suggest, and in exchange for giving it up they gain stability. In practical terms it means the small states gang together, and the Commission sets itself up as their protector. Were Ireland’s interests to be overridden today, what about Latvia’s tomorrow, or Portugal’s in five year’s time?

Faced with this, the confidence and supply deal with the Democratic Unionist Party was a huge mistake. Embedded in the DUP’s soul is fear that Britain will sell them out. The normal tricks of parliamentary management available to soothe the egos of Tory MPs (the Rt Hon Sir Edward Leigh, anyone?) — knighthoods, special envoy positions, the prospect of ministerial promotion — don’t work. A convoluted diplomatic text, produced by urbane Whitehall officials and their equally urbane counterparts at Dublin’s Iveagh House, is not seen by the DUP as an elegant compromise, but a plot at their expense. It is perhaps tragic that they attach themselves to an Albion they know is perfidious, as though an abusive relationship with Great Britain is the only one they know; and because leaving the UK cannot, by definition, be an option. Thus their tradition of obduracy is well justified, because it’s all they have.

It is fatal, however, that the only way to obtain a Brexit that meets the DUP’s requirement to avoid economic differentiation between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and the EU’s requirement (and also British government policy) of avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland, is to keep the UK in the Single Market. And while concerns about rule-taking have some weight, it is May’s insistence on ending freedom of movement, words she had inserted into the political declaration, that makes such an arrangement impossible.

There is still hope in Westminster that the EU will come back with some more concessions,or at least more time. What is not appreciated is that the all-UK customs union offered in the Withdrawal Agreement is such a concession. Why should they offer any more to someone who can’t deliver? And more time could even be counterproductive. Britain needs the pressure of a deadline. Given a can on a road, it will not be able to resist the temptation to give it a hefty kick.

Yet if it is a principle of physics that some energy must always be wasted, dissipated into heat and noise, it is a principle of conservatism that decisions and actions have consequences. The decisions — to demand an exemption from free movement; to leave the EU; to have a confidence and supply deal with the DUP; to both require and forbid a hard border in Ireland and to base a negotiation strategy on the hope that the EU would put leaving Britain’s interests ahead of those of its own member state — have been made. It’s now time to take the consequences whatever they turn out to be.

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Gary Porter: Self-build and custom build will become increasingly important to ways to deliver the new homes we need

Lord Porter is the Chairman of the Local Government Association.

Whilst you would be forgiven for thinking that Brexit is currently crowding out everything else, important work in other public policy areas is still taking place.

Housing is one of the Government’s key domestic priorities and a number of important announcements have been made over the past six months, including the scrapping of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), the announcement in the Budget of an extra £500 million for the Housing Infrastructure Fund (taking the total to £5.5 billion to unlock 650,000 new homes) and the publication of the Social Housing Green Paper.

These are all positive announcements and provide the opportunity for central and local government to work together to support new and innovative ways of delivering the different types of housing that the nation so desperately needs.

For their part, councils are committed to delivering housing that is a world away from the monolithic council estates of yesteryear. Whilst there are many different ways of doing so, I want to focus here on two options that are often overlooked: self-build and custom build.

Following the commitment in the 2015 Conservative Party manifesto, the Housing and Planning Act (2016) introduced a ‘Right to Build’ whilst the Housing White Paper reasserts the Government’s commitment to support the self and custom build sectors.

The Government also supported Richard Bacon MP’s Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Bill. Following its Royal Assent in 2016, local planning authorities in England are required to establish local registers of custom builders who wish to acquire suitable land on which people can build their own homes and to have regard to the demand for this on their local register.

In 2016, 12,800 custom or self-build homes were completed – an increase of five per cent on the previous year – accounting for ten per cent of private housing completions. However, this is a much lower rate than other European countries: for example, in Austria they represent 80 per cent of completions whilst in Berlin alone some 190,000 dwellings have been constructed by self-build and custom- build groups.

What is fascinating in Berlin is that the municipality – the local council – actively seeks to help. For example, a group of parents will come together and tell the council that they want to build a block of apartments with a garden in the middle and a school. The parents have a shared interest in developing something that meets their children’s needs and the council responds as positively as it can.

Other countries have clearly maintained their historical commitment to self-build, whilst here in the UK we have lost that capacity for individuals to provide or commission homes individually tailored to their needs. However, these forms of building align with the core Conservative belief that government should provide people with the freedom necessary to allow them to pursue their goals.

Put simply, as we seek to address our nation’s housing crisis through new and innovative ways of building I believe that self-build and custom build will become increasingly important and that it will be Conservative councils across the country who will be leading the way in delivering housing which matches the specific and unique needs of families in their areas.

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Muhammad Ali to have airport in Kentucky hometown renamed in his honor

Muhammad Ali’s Kentucky hometown will rename its airport in honor of the late heavyweight boxing legend, officials said Wednesday.

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