President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that his administration is revoking California's authority to set auto mileage standards stricter than those issued by federal regulators, a move critics said would result in less fuel-efficient cars that create more planet-warming pollution. In a tweet, Trump said his action would result in less expensive, safer cars. "Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business," Trump tweeted.
Thanks to smart endorsements, engagements and business ventures, Joe Biden and his wife have amassed quite the fortune.
Abdelhamid Al-Madioum, a naturalized US citizen, told CBS News his story from a prison in Syria, run by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
The Royal Navy would become what Tony Radakin, the new first sea lord, called “a proper, carrier task group navy.”
End support for the war in Yemen, change the relationship with Saudi Arabia, and talk to Iran – the answers for the US are clear ‘While there is growing support to completely change America’s Middle East policy US policy remains stuck in a rut.’ Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/ReutersThe fact that the United States is up in arms over an attack with no reported casualties on an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia – while at the same time supporting Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen that has killed tens of thousands – tells us everything we need to know about how messed up US priorities in the Middle East are.If anything, the latest round of tensions between the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia – and the debate over whether or not to retaliate militarily against Iran – illustrates the many ways US policy in the region is bankrupt, and how Trump crafts US policy based on the interests of other countries, not America.The years-long struggle for regional influence between Iran and Saudi Arabia and their partners plays out in proxy wars that rip the region apart, such as the current humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. The US has taken Saudi Arabia’s side in this regional conflict, in which there is no “good side”, and in the process only exacerbated the tensions and violence.Iran is a bad actor, and the United States already takes serious steps to curb its support for terrorism, and to defend Israel. But Trump is making the threat worse by ending the Iran nuclear deal and provoking Iran. We now find ourselves in yet another edition of Trump’s deadly reality show: will he or won’t he strike?! Will he or won’t he risk the lives of American soldiers in an unnecessary war?! Or will he try to manufacture another photo-op summit that does nothing but mask the real problems?! Tune into Twitter to find out! Like everything he touches, Trump has turned America’s Iran policy into a farce, while increasing the likelihood of tragedy.Saudi Arabia, America’s longtime supposed partner, is also a bad actor. For too long America has stomached Saudi Arabia’s support for extremist ideologies, destabilizing policies, and repression at home. But Trump takes it to an extreme by seemingly outsourcing US policy to Riyadh. After the recent attacks, Trump literally said: “We are waiting to hear from the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed.”Jared Kushner must have done a facepalm – it’s supposed to be secret when Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, sends his orders over WhatsApp! Trump summed up why he always sides with Riyadh, even after the Saudi leader ordered the murder of the US journalist Jamal Khashoggi: “Saudi Arabia pays cash.”One of the most devastating results of US policy has been the humanitarian disaster in Yemen. Because Saudi Arabia entered the war on one side, while Iran supports the other, the United States has blindly followed Saudi Arabia in fueling this conflict that is starving children and killing innocent civilians. The conflict has taken the lives of at least tens of thousands of people, and a United Nations panel recently said that all sides might be committing war crimes.Israel – and Trump’s relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu – is at the center of this as well. Israel is a close and important ally, but Trump and Netanyahu have personalized, politicized and radicalized the US-Israeli relationship. While Trump attempts to use the relationship as a political wedge by falsely painting his opponents as enemies of Israel, Netanyahu pushes for conflict with Iran and takes steps that make peace with Palestinians all but impossible – steps that Trump openly supports. The two feed off each other and support one another’s agendas, which are bad for the relationship and bad for the region.Since the end of the cold war, US policy in the region has been driven by numerous considerations: countering Iran, fighting terrorism, supporting stability, protecting oil markets and defending Israel. While aspects of these policies were faulty long before this administration, today things are very different. Fossil fuels are destroying life in earth. Actions taken in the name of countering Iran often feed instability. Trump has warped our partnership with Israel into blind support for a self-destructive Israeli government.In partnering with autocrats to fight terrorism the United States has sacrificed other priorities. The Arab spring, the war in Syria, and myriad other calamities have illustrated how tyranny in the region is undermining – not supporting – stability. And now, ties between Saudi officials and businesses and the Trump family raise serious questions about whether Trump’s Middle East policies are being driven in part by efforts to line his own pockets.Whatever happens in response to this latest flare-up, the answers for the United States are clear: end support for the war in Yemen. Fundamentally change the relationship with Saudi Arabia. Talk to Iran about the entire range of concerns. Bring the sparring sides together to reduce regional tensions. Stop giving Netanyahu a blank check and return support for Israel to the principles of supporting democracy and a two-state solution. And stop supporting autocrats and start supporting the people.While there is growing support to completely change America’s Middle East policy – evidenced by the bills ending US support for the Yemen war that passed Congress – US policy remains stuck in a rut: Trump vetoed these congressional attempts to end support for the Yemen war and every time tensions spike, too many voices on both sides of the aisle respond with the kneejerk reaction of considering military action against Iran.If America is going to make big changes to shore up the capacity of US leadership to tackle the biggest challenges it faces, one of the first orders of business will be to fix America’s bankrupt Middle East policy. Now would be a good time to start. * Michael H Fuchs is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and a former deputy assistant secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs
Smith Collection/Gado/GettyWhen Houston immigration activist Roland Gramajo Reyes invited U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to a public meeting for people worried about being arrested due to their immigration status, he didn’t think he’d end up behind bars.He was wrong. Gramajo’s longtime advocacy on behalf of Houston’s immigrant and Latino communities, family, attorney, and allies said, make them seriously doubt that the timing of his apprehension was an accident.Now, Gramajo, 40, is caught in a tug-of-war between law enforcement agencies seeking to either deport him after 25 cumulative years in the United States, or to first incarcerate him for improper entry into the United States, a charge that could land him in prison.Handout“His bond was denied Monday by a federal judge, so he will remain in detention while his illegal reentry charges are resolved,” Raed Gonzalez, Gramajo’s attorney, told The Daily Beast. “We are trying to reopen his immigration case… Many hurdles await us, but we are trying our best.”Gramajo, a father of five and grandfather of two, was born in Retalhuleu, Guatemala in 1979, and first moved to Houston at age 15. Since then, he has made the improvement of the Guatemalan community and his adopted hometown his life’s mission.He founded the Centro Organizativo Guatemalteco, which raises funds for humanitarian causes in Guatemala, as well as the Southwest American Systems Chamber of Commerce, which helps minority children participate in sports and beauty pageants. After Hurricane Harvey devastated the city in 2017, he took weeks off work to organize community efforts in helping those affected by the storm’s flooding that caused an estimated $125 billion in damage. For his work, Gramajo has received commendations from a host of state and local organizations, including the Alief Independent School District, Houston Community College, the Golden Eagle Society, and the Houston City Council.Only days before his apprehension by ICE, Gramajo had organized a “know your rights” seminar for undocumented immigrants and their families in the city—the seminar to which he had invited immigration agents to participate. That invitation, Gramajo’s defenders believe, may have unintentionally goaded ICE into looking into Gramajo’s immigration status, a charge ICE has called “baseless.”“To be abundantly clear, ICE personnel did not attend this Immigration Forum in any capacity—official or unofficial,” the agency released in a statement last week, saying that Gramajo became a target after ICE received an anonymous tip about his status. “To portray him in one-sided media reports… as a victim of some ‘covert’ law enforcement operation is an insulting affront to public safety.”“We’re not gonna be able to comment any further on the anonymous tip” that led to Gramajo’s apprehension, ICE spokesperson Tim Oberle told The Daily Beast when asked about the timing of the tip that lead to his arrest, “because it’s anonymous, obviously.”At the heart of ICE’s deportation case is Gramajo’s 1998 guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of burglary of a vehicle, for which he was sentenced to 20 days in prison. Gramajo’s family told reporters in Houston that the charge was the result of a practical joke that he had played on a friend, the vehicle’s owner.After his plea, immigration authorities commenced deportation proceedings against Gramajo, culminating in his deportation to Guatemala in summer 2004. Gramajo returned months later to be with his family in Houston—including his wife and children—and has remained ever since.It’s that 2004 illegal entry for which Gramajo will stand trial. If he is found guilty, he could face a six-month prison sentence before his potential deportation.“My sons, they are texting me asking how is their father, and that’s what hurts the most,” Magaly Quicano, Gramajo’s wife, told reporters in Houston last week. “I’ve been praying, praying praying that he will win this immigration battle.”Gramajo’s defenders, who count members of Houston’s political establishment among their members, told The Daily Beast that the potential deportation of the father of five is disgraceful.“The prospect of deporting Mr. Gramajo is outrageous,” Mayor pro tem Ellen Cohen, a member of the Houston City Council, told The Daily Beast. Last year, the city council commended Gramajo as “dedicated to serving and inspiring the community,” and whose “qualities represent a true leader with an exceptional drive to improve the quality of life” throughout the city.“His so-called ‘crime’ of coming back to this country—his country—after his 2004 deportation is a result of unjust laws. If I were in his shoes, I would have tried to find a way back to my spouse and children too,” Cohen added, noting that she has called upon ICE to immediately release him. “He is an asset to Houston and there is no legitimate public safety-related reason to deport him again. If ICE’s concern is public safety, they should be focusing their limited resources on those who are bringing violence, drugs, and human trafficking in to our communities.”Houston City Council member Steve Le, who brought forth a successful proposal last year to name May 17, 2018 as “Roland Omar Gramajo Reyes Day” in the city, called Gramajo “a good person and community leader” whose presence in the city makes it a better place to live. “Our office appreciates everything he has done for the community and recognized him with a Mayoral Proclamation for his achievements,” Le told The Daily Beast. “We were surprised by his arrest and hope the court will take into account all the great contributions he has made when determining his sentencing. We look forward to a favorable outcome for his family and our community.”But after a judge denied his bond in a hearing on Monday, Gramajo will remain in federal detention until trial. Even if he wins his criminal case, his presence in the United States is far from assured—if deported, Gramajo will be barred from entering the United States for 20 years.“I don’t know what the verdict will be, but I leave everything in the hands of God and wait,” Quicano said tearfully. “No more.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Four Amish siblings were in the buggy traveling home from school about 3:20 p.m. when a vehicle struck them from behind, officials said.
Russian border guards have detained two North Korean boats in Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan after one of them attacked a Russian patrol, local media cited the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying on Tuesday. A Russian border patrol discovered two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats fishing illegally off its far eastern coast and detained the first vessel, prompting the second one to open fire, the FSB was quoted as saying. Three Russian border guards were wounded in the incident.
The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 16 companies linked to Colombian businessman Alex Nain Saab Moran, an associate of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The move is the latest US escalation of sanctions targeting the inner circle of Maduro, who is grappling with a political and economic crisis that the United Nations says has left a quarter of Venezuela's 30 million people in need of humanitarian aid.
This is a sad excuse for real discussion on climate change and international conflict, two very separate issues.
Cash-starved Air India is putting its crew on a diet, changing their inflight menu to special low-fat meals. Dhananjay Kumar, the state-run airline's spokesman, said Wednesday that the objective is to provide healthy and cost-effective meals to crews on domestic and international flights. Kumar declined comment on media reports that the cost per meal, mostly vegetarian, will fall to one-third of the current 500-800 rupees (up to $11) per meal.
The storm system soaking the greater Houston area has now officially strengthened to become Tropical Storm Imelda.
A war with Iran would likely be disastrous and further destabilize a region that's been consumed by conflict for years.
(Bloomberg) -- Israel’s election do-over looked set to produce a dramatic deadlock between legally embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political opponents, with no clear sign who will form the country’s next government.The lack of a decisive victory would be a setback for Israel’s longest-serving leader, who gambled on a revote to strengthen his political hand -- and possibly keep himself out of jail -- after a disappointing result in April. It would also thrust Israel into further political turmoil and drag out policy paralysis at a time when diplomatic and regional security challenges are mounting.Netanyahu’s nationalist Likud and former military chief Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White are running neck and neck, the exit polls indicated. But each would need to bring in governing partners, and neither has the support of 61 of parliament’s 120 lawmakers, the polls showed. The political horsetrading will be hot and heavy in coming days as Netanyahu, who is battling corruption charges, and Gantz each try to line up the most support. There’s also pressure to yoke their parties in a national unity government, a move that might require Netanyahu to step aside -- or be forced out.While the exit surveys suggest Netanyahu, popularly known as Bibi, may lose his grip on power, it’s too early to eulogize him. Netanyahu is known as “the magician” for his deft political maneuvering, and he’s likely to try to peel away some supporters of the center-left camp.“The results here are less good for him than in April; and in April he didn’t make a government,” Simon Davies, a pollster and political consultant for Number 10 Strategies, said of Netanyahu. “Whichever way you look at it -- if the exit polls are right -- Bibi is not in a great position. Bibi is a consummate politician, though, and you’d never put it past him to get out of any situation.”To follow our Live Blog, click hereBy 5:35 a.m., only 26% of the votes had been counted, showing Likud with a narrow lead over Blue & White. After a near-final tally is released Thursday, President Reuven Rivlin will consult with the various parties to see whom they recommend he tap to form a government.The exit polls position former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, an on-again, off-again Netanyahu ally, to become this election’s kingmaker. Liberman’s objection to military draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men led to the collapse of coalition talks after the April 9 election, propelling Netanyahu to engineer a revote rather than let a rival try to put together a government.In other worrisome news for Netanyahu, the Joint List of Arab parties is poised to become parliament’s third-largest faction, increasing its representation and eating into the bloc allied with the prime minister, the exit polls showed. It hasn’t ruled out recommending to Rivlin that Gantz form the government, a Joint List spokesman said. Throughout Israel’s 71-year history, Arab parties -- which reject Israel’s identity as the Jewish state -- have never sat in government, though some Arab lawmakers have served in Knesset on behalf of Zionist parties.Gamble BackfiredA defiant Netanyahu told cheering supporters at Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv that he would enter into negotiations with prospective coalition partners “to form a strong Zionist government” and block a coalition that would rely on the support of the Joint List, which represents Arabs who constitute about 20% of Israel’s population. The crowd chanted, “Bibi, king of Israel,” and, “We don’t want unity!”Political newcomer Gantz ran a clean-hands campaign that, while lackluster, resonated with voters desperate for an alternative to Netanyahu, who has won four successive terms since 2009. Netanyahu was unseated after his first term in 1999 by another former military chief, Ehud Barak.Gantz stopped short of declaring victory but told a cheering crowd that “tonight, no matter how it evolves, begins the journey to repair Israeli society.”“Polarization and divisions are behind us, and unity and reconciliation are before us,” he said, vowing to work to set up a national unity government. He’s repeatedly said he would not team up with Netanyahu while he faces corruption allegations.With his political survival at stake, Netanyahu appealed to his nationalist base with pledges dear to their hearts, such as vowing to annex West Bank territory claimed by Palestinians, and painting the liberal left and Israeli Arab leaders as bogeymen. That continued on voting day, when he convened what was billed as an emergency party meeting amid reports of high turnout in Arab and liberal areas of the country.“Voters of the right, have you lost your minds?” Netanyahu said on Twitter. “Go out now and vote Likud in order to stop a left-wing government with the Arab parties.”Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List, said Netanyahu’s anti-Arab message helped to get out the Arab vote, which had been thin in the April election.The prime minister entered the race badly weakened by what he says are baseless graft allegations cooked up by left-wing opponents. Before coalition talks collapsed in May, he was promoting new legislation that would grant him immunity from prosecution as long as he’s in office. If Netanyahu loses the election, that option will become a dead letter and he’ll become more legally vulnerable.In early October, the prime minister is scheduled to plead his case before Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit, who will then decide whether to go ahead with bribery and fraud charges. Netanyahu is accused of accepting about $200,000 in gifts from wealthy friends and trying to win sympathetic press coverage by shaping rules to benefit media moguls.The political uncertainty dovetails with renewed confrontations with Iran and its proxies in Syria, Lebanon and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, and serious questions over the fate of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan. Israel’s political paralysis has already held up the presentation of the plan, which is facing an uphill struggle five years after Israeli-Palestinian peace talks stalled.U.S. President Donald Trump has been one of Netanyahu’s most fervent allies, presenting him with political gifts such as the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and withholding funds from the Palestinians. Ahead of the April election, Trump boosted Netanyahu by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over a section of the war-won Golan Heights. That still wasn’t enough to help Netanyahu over the top this time.Exit polls show a surge in support for Liberman, whose tough stand against sweeping military draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men resonated among voters on both left and right in a country where conscription is compulsory and many resent the concession. Liberman on Tuesday repeated his call for a national unity government that would include his party, Blue and White and Likud, while freezing out the ultra-Orthodox.Blue and White has said it won’t join a coalition with Netanyahu, so such a secular, broad-based coalition plan might not come to pass unless Likud pushes the prime minister out.“Assuming the numbers are correct, we are witnessing quite a dramatic outcome for the first time after a decade. There is a very high likelihood that Mr. Netanyahu will not serve as prime minister of Israel,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute research center.“It looks like Mr. Netanyahu’s path to 61 is blocked, while Mr. Gantz has greater options,” Plesner said. “We might also see change within the Likud, where a new chairman of the Likud might be able to form a new unity government with Blue and White.”Netanyahu has led Israel for a total of 13 years in which he scored unprecedented diplomatic achievements for his country, including the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, while seeing prospects for peacemaking with the Palestinians retreat.He also dismantled much of the socialist legacy of the country’s founders, with the broad economy and trade links flourishing even as a large income inequality gap makes it difficult for many to make ends meet.(Updates vote count in sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Yaacov Benmeleh and Michael S. Arnold.To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Teibel in Jerusalem at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at firstname.lastname@example.org, Amy Teibel, Benjamin HarveyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The fatal shooting of three teens by a Georgia homeowner this week could be a 'stand your ground' case, the Rockdale County Sheriff says.
The sinking of the Card was a stunning victory for the Viet Cong, yet little remembered today. It illustrated how vulnerable naval vessels can be even when faced with a low-tech enemy … and how difficult maintaining port security can be in a war with no real front.
Charley Gallay/Getty for International Innovators of Justice/American Justice AllianceHours after the world learned that journalist Cokie Roberts had passed away following complications from breast cancer, right-wing provocateur Michelle Malkin took a swipe at the reporter’s legacy by calling her “one of the first guilty culprits of fake news.”Taking part in a panel at the Paley Center on Tuesday, Malkin joined an array of liberal and conservative commentators and media figures to discuss whether the media is biased.At one point in the discussion, Malkin—who has recently been making the media rounds hawking her latest anti-immigrant book—took aim at Roberts.“Cokie Roberts, of course, passed away today and God bless her for an incredible career that she had but I distinctly remember that she was one of the first guilty culprits of fake news,” she declared.“We’re doing this today?” CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, who was also on the panel, interjected.“Yes, yes we are,” Malkin confirmed.“You’re attacking her today,” Stelter continued. “I just want to be clear: The body isn’t even cold yet.”Malkin, meanwhile, said her remark was “pertinent” to the issue of “fake news,” bringing up an instance in 1994 when Roberts stood in front of a projection of the Capitol to do an ABC News report from the State of the Union address.“This was a deliberate attempt to deceive the viewing public into thinking she was actually there live covering it,” Malkin added. “Fake news has existed far longer than before President Trump even had the idea of running for office.”Malkin’s remarks, predictably, were not well received by the attendees, with many in the audience shouting at her to leave and go home. Tuesday was far from the first time that Malkin has kicked dirt on a prominent figure after he or she has passed away. During this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Malkin slammed the “ghost of John McCain” for what she described as his weak immigration policies.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Emma Lim, an 18-year-old student at McGill University in Montreal, recently launched a climate-change movement called "NoFutureNoChildren."
A couple have decided to keep their baby’s sex a secret from close relatives in a bid to avoid gender bias. Hobbit Humphrey, 38, and Jake England-Johns, 35, refer to their 17-month-old child, Anoush, with the pronoun, "they", and dress them in both girls' and boys' clothing. The married couple, who are members of the climate action group, Extinction Rebellion, have been accused of “virtue signalling”. However, they are keen to let their child, Anoush, choose their own gender identity when they are old enough, because they wish for them to “grow into their own person”. Close family members have not been told the child’s sex and grandmother, Camille, only found out when she changed a nappy. The couple, who live on a houseboat in Keynsham, Somerset, discussed the ways in which they could challenge gender bias after discovering Ms Humphrey was pregnant. Mr England-Johns told the BBC’s Inside Out: “The neutral in gender neutral refers to us trying to behave neutrally towards our child rather than trying to make them neutral.” “Eventually, we decided that we wouldn’t tell people whether they were a boy or a girl … in order to create this little bubble for our baby to be who they are,” Ms Humphrey said. However their decision has sparked some controversy. Rosa Freedman, Professor of law conflict and global development at the University of Reading, said: “While this is an individual case the worry would be that in the unlikely event many parents took up this way of parenting, that the NHS, government, and service providers would not know what to plan for in the future as they would not know how many boys or girls exist.” “Parents concerned about gendered social construct would do better to fight patriarchy, homophobia and transphobia rather and try to virtue signal to their friends and communities so they can get praise.” The couple have said that the reaction to their decision has been mixed. However Mr England-Johns said: “But over a year in, it’s clear that we are serious and gradually people have got used to it. “Although, that still doesn’t stop some pretty confused looks from old ladies in the park when they come up to us and ask if they’re a boy or a girl. It can take a bit of explaining. “We are quite good now at holding space for people’s discomfort in us going, ‘Oh well, actually we don’t tell anyone, we’re not telling anyone for now.”
Coastguard sailors who opened fire on a Taiwanese fisherman in Philippine waters were convicted Wednesday of his 2013 killing, which strained ties between the historically friendly neighbours. The eight Filipino crewmen said they had shot in self-defence after the fisherman's vessel sailed directly at them in the seas just north of the main Philippine island of Luzon. "We are filing a notice of appeal so that what we perceived as errors of the trial court will be thrashed out," Paul Jomar Alcudia, one of the lawyers of the officers, told AFP.
In 2005, a wave of lawsuits threatened to bankrupt the gun industry. These suits were based on — pick your adjective — “creative," "novel," "inventive," and “imaginative” legal theories that rarely held up in court, and they did their damage primarily by forcing gun companies to incur the costs of defending against them. Congress, seeing the problem, stepped in to put a stop to it — or at least tried to — by passing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).A decade and a half later, anti-gun activists have responded with yet more new legal theories, and the Connecticut courts have bought one of them. Some families victimized by the Newtown massacre are being allowed to pursue a wrongful-death claim against Remington, which owns Bushmaster, the company that made the rifle used in the attack.The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to take the case and reverse the Connecticut supreme court’s decision. It should, as numerous briefs from gun-rights supporters have argued this month.The problem here traces back to a flurry of legal activity in the 1980s and 1990s. Anti-gun activists faced a conundrum: It’s easy enough to file a wrongful-death suit against someone who committed murder with a gun, or to sue a company that sold a defective gun, or to go after a gun store that knowingly sold a gun to a criminal. But the activists didn’t just want to punish those who broke the existing rules; they thought the rules were too lax, and they’d had little success getting legislatures to change them.So they sued gun companies for following the rules, spinning elaborate theories about why different, stricter rules should apply instead. Those companies were creating a “public nuisance.” They were “oversupplying” guns to high-crime neighborhoods, or continuing to send guns to stores that had had too many crimes traced back to them, or making products that appealed to the wrong sorts of people. Never mind how bizarre it is to hold a company liable for the criminal misuse of its legal products; never mind that state and federal governments had already written detailed laws about which guns were legal to sell and how gun sales were to take place; never mind that the targeted companies were following the prescribed process of dealer licenses and background checks; never mind that the alleged “bad apple” gun stores were licensed by the federal government to continue selling guns. If legislatures wouldn’t draw the lines the way the activists wanted, maybe judges and juries would instead.Practically speaking, the problem with these suits was not that they had much chance of succeeding on the merits. The plaintiffs almost never won. Rather, the suits threatened to drown the industry in a sea of legal costs. Late in the Clinton administration, Andrew Cuomo, who was organizing lawsuits by federally funded housing authorities as the secretary of housing and urban development, told gunmakers they’d suffer “death by a thousand cuts” if they didn’t give in to the gun-control lobby’s demands. Some gunmakers did in fact go bankrupt.So Congress decided to nip these suits in the bud. Under the PLCAA, there would be no more lengthy court proceedings: Whenever a court was asked to find a gun company liable simply because someone else had misused its products, the lawsuit would be unceremoniously tossed out. Contrary to some of the lies about the law spread in the media, it didn’t touch legitimate lawsuits. You can still sue gun companies if they sell defective products or break the law. Indeed, gun-rights supporters often cheer such lawsuits.Eventually, though, activists came up with creative theories as to why the law against creative theories didn’t apply.The case against Remington alleges that the marketing of the gun used in the Newtown massacre violated the Connecticut Uniform Trade Protection Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.” This is relevant because the PLCAA allows lawsuits when a gun company “knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product” and the violation was a “proximate cause” of the harm at issue.There are several layers of problems here.For one thing, it’s not clear that a generic law like Connecticut’s is “applicable” to guns in the relevant sense. (The word can mean “capable of being applied” or “specifically applied.”) As 22 members of the House note in their brief, two different appeals courts have interpreted the word narrowly, and Congress clearly meant to bar lawsuits based on “remote theories” tying marketing to criminal acts.Nor is it easy to see how Bushmaster violated the statute at all, much less knowingly violated it. Some of Bushmaster’s ads were cringeworthy; the “CONSIDER YOUR MAN CARD REISSUED” one is the most famous example. But it’s a hell of a stretch to say that to run such an ad is to knowingly engage in an “unfair or deceptive act or practice.” And as a group of Second Amendment scholars explain in another brief, the advertising themes decried in the lawsuit — military imagery, defense against adversaries — “have necessarily been common in American arms culture.”Yet as the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) notes, the Connecticut supreme court found that “the plaintiffs could survive a motion to dismiss by simply alleging that the defendant[s] . . . had marketed their products in a manner that encouraged their use for offensive assault missions.”The idea that the gun’s marketing directly contributed to the massacre is absurd as well. There is no evidence the shooter ever saw any Bushmaster ads, and he did not even buy the gun himself; he stole it from his mother. This, too, should protect Remington under the PLCAA.Put simply, if a dubious allegation that a company violated a generic statute is enough to punch through the protections of the PLCAA, the PLCAA won’t mean much at all. As the NSSF argues, an attorney “can easily craft an allegation of ‘unfair’ conduct sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss under modern pleading standards. And nearly all states have statutes that prohibit ‘unfair’ trade practices in language as broad and as vague as the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.”If the PLCAA doesn’t mean much, the Second Amendment itself won’t mean much, either. Just as they did last time around, anti-gun activists will be free to flood the courts with lawsuits that have little chance of success but are guaranteed to rack up massive legal fees capable of bankrupting gun companies. And the people can’t keep and bear arms if businesses can’t make and sell them.The Supreme Court needs to take this case — and then nuke it into oblivion.
When President Trump arrived in California Tuesday, Democrats saw his arrival as a platform for protest, but there's another reason his visit should concern them.
The Belgian Air Force intercepted two Russian Tu-160 supersonic, nuclear-capable bombers at close range in Baltic airspace.
Democrats appear to have their best shot at capturing the state since Bill Clinton won it more than two decades ago.
A North Carolina sheriff was indicted for obstruction of justice for allegedly plotting to kill one of his deputies.
A probable cause hearing was held Tuesday at the King County Courthouse for a 20-year-old suspected of shooting three people at a Seattle light rail station.
Three hunters were badly hurt in two separate grizzly bear attacks in Montana on the same day, state officials have said.All three suffered “moderate to severe” injuries after being mauled by a lone bear in the Gravelley Mountains on Monday, according to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency.
(Bloomberg) -- About 600 allegedly illegal Chinese workers have been arrested in the Philippines in less than a week after Beijing’s call for a crackdown on online gambling.Some 324 undocumented Chinese nationals will be deported after being apprehended on Monday in the western Palawan province for alleged cybercrimes, the Philippines’ immigration bureau said in a statement Tuesday.The agency also said in an earlier statement it had arrested 277 Chinese nationals last Wednesday for allegedly conducting illegal online operations in Pasig City in the Philippine capital, Manila. Those arrested are wanted for fraud and investments scams in China, the immigration bureau added, citing information from Chinese authorities.Last month, China urged the Philippines to crack down on online casino operations catering mostly to Chinese nationals. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he will not ban the billion-peso industry despite Beijing’s opposition, as it benefits the Southeast Asian nation.To contact the reporter on this story: Andreo Calonzo in Manila at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at firstname.lastname@example.org, Ruth Pollard, Ditas LopezFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
During his unlikely rise, Yang has taken heat for playing up Asian stereotypes
Emergency sirens accidentally went off on Oahu and Maui Wednesday, rattling nerves as Hawaii residents recalled surviving a false missile alarm.
Johnson's negotiators have so far only presented the EU with a draft of the withdrawal agreement with the backstop scrubbed out.
Does the U.S. have a super-secret spy plane?
South Korean police said Thursday that they have found a suspect thought to be an infamous serial killer wanted for the slaying of nine women some 30 years ago. Senior police officer Ban Gi-soo said police have continued their investigation into the 1986-1991 slayings even after the statute of limitations expired 13 years ago in order to find the truth. Ban said the technological improvement of DNA analysis allowed authorities to extract DNA samples from evidence that wasn't possible at the time of the cases.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces an uncertain future and as the official count started coming in, no side emerged with a clear path to government
(Bloomberg) -- Moldova requested assistance from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to bring to justice participants in a $1 billion fraud that led to a bailout of three of the nation’s banks.Interior Minister Andrei Nastase said he met with senior FBI officials and handed over a letter seeking assistance.The letter “put on the FBI’s agenda the theft of the billion, the laundromat of the international mafia and all the other schemes that have ruined the financial and banking system and have deprived our country of much needed resources,” he said Wednesday in a post on Facebook. The FBI gave assurances they would help, he said.The former Soviet republic of 3.5 million people was rocked by the 2014 theft that forced the government to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund. A new government led by Prime Minister Maia Sandu took power in June, and the banking sector has been overhauled and sold to foreign investors.\--With assistance from Olga Tanas.To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Eglitis in Riga at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at firstname.lastname@example.org, Michael Winfrey, Andrew LangleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
'Who is the real racist, the person warning about illegal immigrants or the person saying that’s racist?' When that’s the debate, Donald Trump wins.
Federal agencies are prepping for the alien-themed music festival Alienstock in the Nevada desert near the U.S. Air Force Base Area 51 this weekend. The event was spawned by the viral Facebook event "Storm Area 51," and while you can Naruto-run there, you sure can't fly there now.The Federal Aviation Administration announced two "temporary flight restrictions for special security reasons," effectively banning air traffic ahead of the festival from early Wednesday to late Sunday, CNET reports. The airspace will be closed to news helicopters, drones, private pilots, and any other aircrafts above Rachel, Nevada, U.S. Air Force's Nevada Test and Training Range, and Area 51 itself.SEE ALSO: People are already getting arrested at Area 51, and of course they're YouTubersWhile the original meme event "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All Of Us" was meant in jest, it garnered 2 million RSVPs worldwide and a pretty sick music video for one of Lil Nas X's many "Old Town Road" remixes. Eventually the Air Force had to step in to squash the tin foil hat dreams. Amidst reports that even the neighboring town couldn't hold the influx of tourists, a music festival was planned to either deter or distract alien-lovers from actually trespassing on government property. But Matty Roberts, the original poster of the page, has since severed his ties with Alienstock, calling it "a possible humanitarian disaster" and "FYREFEST 2.0." He cited the "lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000+ AlienStock attendees."Due to this risk, the original organizers moved away from the festival in Rachel and now encourages planned attendees to head to an alternative free Area 51 Celebration in the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. News outlets reported that Alienstock was dead. But, as you can probably guess by now, that's not stopping some folks from "seeing them aliens." Various organizers are claiming the festival in Rachel is still going ahead, with 2,600 camping spots booked. Additionally, YouTubers are already getting arrested for jumping the fence into the Area 51 base. So even if thousands of people do end up attending the event from the sheer force of meme power alone, the heavens above will be clear of any aircrafts, both unidentified and otherwise.
Undocumented immigrants helped build poultry into Mississippi's richest agricultural commodity.