Bloomberg To Release Three Women From NDAs In Response To Warren Torching

After getting crucified by Liz Warren during the Nevada debate over the question of how many NDAs he has given (and why) to various women over the years, Mike Bloomberg - who apparently is far less witty and impressive when he doesn't have an army of consultants whispering the right answer in his ear - has decided that the best way to respond to the scathing attack which he clearly still has not gotten over, is by conceding. In a report published late on Friday by Bloomberg LP/News (the news organization),  "Mini" Michael Bloomberg said that he is now willing to release women from three non-disclosure agreements related to offensive comments they say he made - after refusing to do so at Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate. "Bloomberg LP has identified 3 NDAs signed over the past 30+ years with women to address complaints about comments they said I had made. If any of them want to be released from their NDAs, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release." Inbox: Bloomberg statement on NDA's."I’ve done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days...I recognize that NDAs, particularly when they are used in the context of sexual harassment and sexual assault, promote a culture of silence in the workplace..." pic.twitter.com/GjOFO8h9tX — Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) February 21, 2020 It wasn't clear if the only NDAs Bloomberg was willing to void involved "harsh language", and if there were any other NDAs regarding other aspects of his behavior (one would guess that the answer across decades of encounters with women, is yes). Bloomberg was torched by Elizabeth Warren and other rivals at Wednesday's debate for his refusal to release former employees from non-disclosure agreements that would allow them to publicly discuss their allegations against him. Here is the moment when Liz Warren spoke about the Michael Bloomberg’s NDA’s.She’s taking no prisoners tonight. #DemDebatepic.twitter.com/IgaM3TiMJa — Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) February 20, 2020 Of course, conceding to Warren's demand will only embolden her to ask for all NDAs, not just the cheery-picked three; it will also prompt questions what is in the other NDAs that BLoomberg does not want unsealed. Furthermore, in implicitly conceding that NDAs are something inherently wrong (they are an arms length negotiation in which both parties emerge satisfied with the outcome), the former NY mayor also said he has changed his company’s policy about non-disclosure agreements, suggesting they are indeed wrong. "I’ve done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days and I’ve decided that for as long as I’m running the company, we won’t offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward,” Bloomberg said in a statement posted on his campaign website. "I recognize that NDAs, particularly when they are used in the context of sexual harassment and sexual assault, promote a culture of silence in the workplace and contribute to a culture of women not feeling safe or supported." So just like with 'stop and frisk', Bloomberg now admits that the use of NDAs wes also wrong, years and years after the fact?  One almost has to question the billionaire's judgment. Warren repeatedly asked Bloomberg to release the women from the agreements. He refused, as he had in other campaign settings, saying parties to a legal agreement can’t walk away from it and "they signed these agreements and that’s what we’re going to live with." But after the humiliating torching he received earlier this week, one which sparked a nationwide debate how it is possible that the billionaire is such a poor debater and sent his approval rating sharply lower, it appears the women won't have to live with the NDAs after all, and now that the 2020 election is set for its own "grab them by the pussy" moment, expect all hell to break loose as one woman after another seeks the media spotlight with harrowing tales of what a terrible person Mike Bloomberg was, as Donald Trump can't help but giggle. Warren called on Bloomberg to release women from non-disclosure agreements they signed with his company if they want to speak publicly about allegations of crude remarks in the 1990s and a hostile work environment.

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Weinstein Jury Deadlocked On Predatory Sexual Assault Charge

The jury in Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial ended the week deadlocked over the most serious charge of predatory sexual assault, though they say they've reached a unanimous verdict on charges of rape and committing a criminal sex act, according to the Wall Street Journal. The jury was sent home for the weekend and will resume deliberations on Monday. The jury’s note Friday offered the first glimpse inside disagreements among jurors as they have deliberated in New York City over four days. Predatory sexual assault requires jurors to agree that Mr. Weinstein carried out more than one sex crime and carries a sentence of up to life in prison. The  67-year-old Hollywood producer faces one count of criminal sex act for allegedly forcibly performing oral sex on former film-production assistant Miriam Haley in 2006 and rape charges for allegedly forcing sex on Jessica Mann in 2013, when she was an aspiring actress. -Wall Street Journal If the jury has found Weinstein guilty of the other two acts, he could be convicted of predatory sexual assault. According to the Journal, the jury's verdict sheet requires that they first decide on the predatory sexual assault, and if they decide to acquit him on that count, can consider the other two charges separately on their own.

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“The Human Race Could Go Extinct”: JPMorgan Fearmongers Climate Change Impact In Leaked Report

A new explosive report from JP Morgan was leaked out this week titled "Risky business: the climate and the macroeconomy" warns climate change poses a significant macroeconomic risk to the world economy and could result in a "catastrophic" event.  "The response to climate change should be motivated not only by central estimates of outcomes but also by the likelihood of extreme events (from the tails of the probability distribution). We cannot rule out catastrophic outcomes where human life as we know it is threatened," the report advised its top clients.  JPM's David Mackie and Jessica Murray, the authors of the report, said: "climate change would not only impact GDP and welfare directly but would also have indirect effects via morbidity, mortality, famine, water stress, conflict, and migration." They said the impact of climate had been underestimated by governments, adding: "Something will have to change at some point if the human race is going to survive." A "global carbon tax should be introduced immediately" to curb climate change and prevent an epic meltdown of the global economy, the economists warned.  JPM has so far been reserved in their language about climate change. Still, the new report offers some insight into fearmongering by the investment bank of how global warming could crash the economy, and how a carte blanch approach is needed to solve the crisis.  The so-called climate crisis is a guise for the introduction of green bonds, unlimited fiscal deficits, and MMT, a move that would be orchestrated by central banks, governments, and financial elites to fire up the printing presses once more. Financial elites have already crafted a narrative for the average bloke, that governments need to fight climate change immediately through spending vast amounts of money for a green transformation of the economy, or risk economic implosion and loss of life. So the illusionary emergency of climate change is nothing more than fearmongering by financial elites who understand that after decades of money printing via central banks risks a global reset in financial assets, and the only way to solve this upcoming crisis is to create another crisis, called the climate change crisis, to trick everyone into believing more money printing is needed to save the world from rising temperatures (but really more money printing shore up financial assets in hopes the everything bubble doesn’t implode in the next recession). The reason for this elaborate scheme is that after the 2008 financial crisis, where financial elites were bailed out and the middle class was left to rot, convincing the average person that money printing is needed once more would be a difficult task.   So again, financial elites created a fake climate change crisis to offer a policy prescription of money printing to protect their asset bubbles, but simultaneously, make everyone believe that it’s to transform the global economy into a much greener trajectory to save the planet. And if you care to read JPM's leaked report, here it is: 

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Pope Francis The Taxman

Authored by Antonius Aquinas via AnotoniusAquinas.com, On the heels of calling for a Marxist economic conference this coming March (“Economy of Francesco”), Jorge Bergoglio (a.k.a. “Pope Francis”) has once again opined on financial matters.  The purported head of the Catholic Church has now designated “tax cuts” as sinful behavior on a par, apparently, with stealing, lying, and adultery: Today’s structures of sin include repeated tax cuts for the richest people, often justified in the name of investment and development. Bergoglio did not mention what category of sin advocacy for tax cuts falls under – venial or mortal.  Maybe the details of how such a policy ranks in offending Divine Justice will be hammered out at the upcoming Economy of Francesco Commie confab! In Bergoglio’s collectivist mind, those who try and keep their wealth from the ravenous demands of the State are somehow denying the poor their just due: Every year hundreds of billions of dollars, which should be paid in taxes to fund health care and education, accumulate in tax haven accounts, thus impeding the possibility of the dignified and sustained development of all social agents. What Bergoglio and his fellow socialists do not understand is that tax cuts lead to economic growth, whether they are for higher or lower income groups.  The less wealth that the State confiscates, the more is available to be used for saving and investment – two keys to economic growth.  The rich do not horde their money but expand and create businesses which leads to more and better paying jobs for lower income groups who supposedly Bergoglio wants to help. The poor will only be uplifted by greater production where more goods and services are available at lower prices.  Redistribution of income via taxation does not create new wealth, but simply transfers existing wealth from the productive class.  Moreover, taxation has the deleterious effect of making individuals produce less since their efforts are siphoned off at the point of a gun.  More taxation means less production and, thus, less and more expensive goods for the poor. Of course, this is basic economic theory that any sane person can understand unless one has matriculated to a Western university or college or pays attention to economic ignoramuses like Jorge Bergoglio! Bergoglio’s constant attention to the plight of the poor along with other social issues (“climate change,” the environment, immigration) does not align with the vision that the Entity, which created the office that Bergoglio currently holds, had in mind.  On at least two occasions, He counseled His followers to focus their attention on spreading the “good news” instead of earthly concerns: For the poor you have always with you:  but me you have not always.  [Mt. 26:11] Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou, and preach the kingdom of God.  [Lk. 9: 60] While the Church has always sought to protect and help the poor, widows, orphans, and the downtrodden, its primary mission is to preach the Gospel.  Since the time of the Second Vatican Anti-Council, 1962-65, and especially during the “reign” of Pope Francis, evangelization has been condemned and, like tax cuts, is now considered sinful activity. Bergoglio’s criticism of tax reduction is, no doubt, aimed at the Trump Administration’s plan for an additional round of tax cuts.  Tax reduction, however, without cuts in government spending will further explode budget deficits which are now even beyond sustainable. Without corresponding spending reduction, tax cuts will mean that the Federal Reserve will have to make up for the short fall with further money printing.  One cannot have Big Government and tax cuts simultaneously.  The inevitable monetary crisis will, unfortunately, be blamed on tax cuts and will play into the hands of Bergoglio and his fellow travelers. That Bergoglio spends most of his time as a social justice warrior instead of the supposed “vicar of Christ” on earth shows the state of the modern Church.  Worse, when he does speak on matters of faith, his words and actions are riddled with heresy. For all those concerned, it is best that “Pope Francis” should be ignored not only for the falsehoods he spreads about Christianity, but also as a social theorist.  His pronouncements on the latter will only lead to further impoverishment of the poor and the rest of society while inciting class conflict between those who seek to keep their wealth and those who want to confiscate more of it.

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Watch Mexican Army Raid Cartel Bunker Found Near US Border City 

The number of murders continues to rise under the Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) government. More than 36,000 people lost their lives in 2019 amid a deepening of Mexico's drug war.  We have routinely shared deteriorating conditions of Mexico in the last half-decade, and the warzones that have developed on many border towns.  Last month, the US consulate in Mexico's border city of Nuevo Laredo issued a warning as intense gunfire broke out across the city. Here's the audio from the epic gun battle that unfolded (audio is from US side):  This is horrible #NuevoLaredo pic.twitter.com/fd4REo9wmT — Kαяø⁷ IS SEEING BTS (@cypherlarry_) January 2, 2020 Now it appears the Mexican Army has stumbled across a large bunker used by cartels.  Breitbart said the "bunker was previously discovered in 2018 and was only used to store damaged vehicles."  Here's a video of Mexico's Army entering the structure only to find a charred SUV and bullet casings.  #OJO #Reynosa #TamaulipasElementos de la @SEDENAmx durante reconocimientos realizados el 12/02/2020 localizaron un búnker con aprox 70 Mts. Longitud por 6 Mts. De ancho y 2.5 Mts. De altura a inmediaciones de la col. Vista Hermosa del mpio de Reynosa, Tamps.Vídeo 1 pic.twitter.com/j2B9qcFrfc — La Voz Del Pueblo (Oficial) (@LPueblo2) February 16, 2020 The bunker is located in Vista Hermosa neighborhood of Reynosa, was previously discovered by the Mexican Army in 2018 during a raid that was littered with Claymore mines and had a treasure trove of weapons.  Breitbart notes that the bunker was used to store weapons, armored vehicles, and other combat materials for cartels. #OJO #Reynosa #TamaulipasEn el citado Búnker se localizaron evidencias de disparos de arma de fuego, diversos cartuchos y cascos regados en el piso así como un vehículo incendiado mismo que se encontraba en el interior de referido Búnker.Imágenes pic.twitter.com/jWxE5ukMxl — La Voz Del Pueblo (Oficial) (@LPueblo2) February 16, 2020 Why is this concerning? Well, the bunker is just miles away from Texas. The border region is a hotspot for cartel violence that is at risk of spilling over onto US soil and could engender Americans.  Some of the most recent gun battles on the border have seen cartel members using machine guns, armored vehicles, explosives, .50 caliber rifles, and other devices that would generally be found in a warzone.  All of the above suggests AMLO has lost control of his own country, as his policies are failing to curb violence and arrest cartel gun battles that are routinely occurring on the border.  AMLO's recent deployment of an elite marine force to fight drug cartels on the border was most likely due to pressure by the Trump administration, who cited the total Mexican murder count in 2019 exceeded the 2018 record of 36,685.  Trump began increasing pressure on Mexico in November following the murders of three mothers and six of their children in a fundamentalist Mormon compound in the northern state of Sonora. Cartel gunman reportedly ambushed the families while fighting for control of the area where the victims lived. It's only a matter of time before Trump sends in the military to clear out cartels on the border. 

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MSNBC Contributor Says ‘Racist, Liberal Whites’ And ‘Misfit Black Girls’ Support Bernie Sanders 

MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson walked into a buzzsaw Friday after referring to black women who support Bernie Sanders to be “misfit black girls,” and many of his white backers to be racist. Johnson, who appears frequently on MSNBC to analyze the state of the 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, made the comments in an interview on Sirius XM. “Racist, liberal whites seem to love them some Bernie Sanders. He cares nothing for intersectionality. I don’t care how many people from the island of misfit Black girls you throw out there to defend you.”@DrJasonJohnson on Bernie’s staff & supporters. MSNBC should sever ties. pic.twitter.com/abxZKsFhaA — Samuel D. Finkelstein II (@CANCEL_SAM) February 21, 2020 Johnson was widely condemned over the remarks, including on his own network. Benjamin Dixon, the editor of The Progressive Army and a supporter of Sanders, called out Johnson during an interview on MSNBC. “There is a large coalition of people who believe in what he’s trying to do for the working class, because quite frankly there is a lot of black people who are working class and not just misfits, according to Dr. Jason Johnson of your network,” said Dixon. (RELATED: Jason Johnson: Trump Is ‘Hostile’ To Expression From Women And/Or African-Americans) “Shots fired, as they say,” host Ari Melber replied. Better quality video of @BenjaminPDixon dropping a dagger on @DrJasonJohnson pic.twitter.com/PWzh3V2G6V — Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) February 22, 2020 Nina Turner, a top Sanders surrogate, also blasted Johnson, with who she has battled on MSNBC’s airwaves. “Wow, really?” she tweeted. “Please the next time you talk smack about us, have the decency to put some respect on our names!” Wow, really? ????????. Please the next time you talk smack about us, have the decency to put some respect on our names! — Nina Turner (@ninaturner) February 21, 2020 Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir also weighed in. “I don’t get outraged easily, but this is outrageous and ridiculous,” he said of Johnson’s remarks. “I hope we can have political disputes without engaging in open racism and sexism. This misogynoir [sic] is disappointing, but not surprising from @DrJasonJohnson,” wrote Sanders campaign press secretary Briahna Joy Gay.  Johnson is no stranger to making inflammatory political remarks on MSNBC. During an March 13, 2018, interview he predicted that President Trump would some day say the “n-word” at a rally. On Dec. 13, 2017, he said on an MSNBC show that “eight out of 10 skinheads” support Trump.” MSNBC’s media relations team did not respond to a request for comment. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected]

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Yes, America needs a National Women’s History Museum

With a solidly bipartisan vote of 374-37, the US House of Representatives this month passed a bill to establish a National Women’s History Museum. Here’s hoping the Senate follows suit. After all, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s right to vote — a constitutional change that was the culmination of decades of work by the suffragist movement, which famously dates to the 1848 women’s rights convention in New York’s own Seneca Falls. Credit New York’s own Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens/Manhattan) with making this happen — just the latest example of her success in getting legislation passed no matter which party controls the House. “For too long, women’s history has been left out of the telling of our nation’s history,” she and her fellow lead co-sponsors note. “Representation matters. Let’s make sure that every child can see themselves in their heroes and role models.” The bill would establish a council to make recommendations to the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Museum, tasking it with designating a site for the museum on or near the National Mall. Getting anything passed into law in a bitter election year is tricky. Let’s hope the same bipartisan spirit will move the Senate to get this done. Share this:

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Red-hot Rangers rip Hurricanes as Igor Shesterkin shines again

RALEIGH, N.C. — Maybe it doesn’t matter all that much if Henrik Lundqvist is on the bench or up in the stands as he watches the Rangers play. But it was jarring as the Blueshirts’ legendary goaltender was in street clothes as his team played their biggest game in probably two years. The start went to Igor Shesterkin, Alexandar Georgiev backed up, and the Rangers continued their ascension up the standings with a 5-2 victory over the Hurricanes on Friday night. The Rangers (32-24-4) came in with a faint, but legitimate hope at the playoffs, and now have won six of their past seven, nine of 12, and 13 of 19. Since Shesterkin was called up on Jan. 6, he has won eight of his first nine NHL starts. Lundqvist has started just three games since Shesterkin’s call-up, but before Friday, he had backed up every one he didn’t play. The Hurricanes (34-22-4) came into the game holding a six-point edge over the Rangers for the second wild-card spot, with the Islanders, Blue Jackets, Panthers, and Maple Leafs all in the mix. By the time the third period started, Shesterkin had been terrific and the Rangers held a 3-1 lead. Artemi Panarin got a power-play goal at 1:10 of the third for his 31st of the season — and his 81st point — to make it 4-1. But that was matched by a power-play goal from the Hurricanes, the first power-play goal the Rangers had allowed in seven games and 19 chances, when Sebastian Aho nudged one over the line at 5:12 to make it 4-2. Rookie Igor Shesterkin had another strong game for the Rangers in their 5-2 win over the Hurricanes.AP But with Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek on the bench for the extra attacker, Ryan Strome ended things into the empty net to make it 5-2. Shesterkin had been tested early, making a couple of big saves on a first-period Carolina power play, including two in rapid succession in close from captain Justin Williams. He also made a great reactionary glove save on Nino Niederreiter to keep it a scoreless tie. That lasted until Mika Zibanejad blocked a shot and got himself a breakaway, lifting a backhand past Mrazek at 16:41 of the first for a 1-0 lead. The Hurricanes were able to tie it up when the Blueshirts were slow to get back immediately after their power play had ended, enabling Brock McGinn to walk through the slot and rip a shot over Shesterkin’s glove at 3:25 of the second, making it 1-1. Panarin then made a great defensive play to create an odd-man situation in close that ended with Jesper Fast’s centering feed going in off the skate of defenseman Brett Pesce at 9:48, giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Before the second period ended, the Blueshirts got another good bounce, as Brady Skjei went around the Carolina net and threw one to the front, where it hit off Jake Gardiner’s skate and went in, allowing the Rangers to take a 3-1 lead into the third. Share this:

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Husband of Katie Hill staffer busted by feds for cyberattack on her opponent

The husband of a woman who worked on the campaign of former Congresswoman Katie Hill was arrested by the FBI for allegedly hacking one of her 2018 primary challengers, a report said. Arthur Jan Dam is accused of launching cyberattacks that paralyzed the website of the political opponent, who wasn’t named in the criminal complaint, but identified himself to Politico as Bryan Caforio. Caforio, who said he’s been cooperating with federal authorities, said his campaign spent tens of thousands of dollars to repair the site that was hacked just before a debate. There is no evidence that Hill or Jan Dam’s wife — a former campaign staffer for the congresswoman — were involved in the scheme, prosecutors said. The ex-California lawmaker told Politico in a statement that she was “surprised and disturbed to see the news of this criminal complaint.” Hill said she had “no information or knowledge about any of the conduct alleged.” Caforio lost in the 2018 primary by roughly 1,500 votes to Hill, who went on to unseat former Rep. Steve Knight, a Republican. Hill resigned from Congress last year after a series of lewd photos of her were leaked to the media, exposing a “throuple” she had with a former female campaign staffer and her estranged husband. The freshman lawmaker was also the target of a House Ethics Committee probe over allegations she was romantically involved with her old legislative director, which she’s repeatedly denied. Share this:

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Knicks’ furious comeback try falls short in loss to Pacers

The Knicks reconvened following the All-Star break with clear heads and rested bodies, albeit with largely the same basketball team that had lost more than twice as many games as it won during the first two-thirds of the season. A late comeback bid fronted by recent first-round picks RJ Barrett and Frank Ntilikina fell short Friday night, as the final 27-game stretch of another wasted year began with a loss to a playoff-bound opponent, with the Knicks falling, 106-98, to Indiana at the Garden. “Everybody needed the break,” Knicks interim coach Mike Miller said before the game. “It was healthy. It was at a good time for everybody, mentally, physically, to have a chance to get away a little bit. You come back, you’ve got to jump back into it. There’s no way to just kind of ease your way into it. We need to go at it full force. We need to be ready and start building.” Two-time All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, making just his eighth appearance of the season after suffering a torn quad in Jan. 2019, scored eight points in 25 minutes for the Pacers (33-23). T.J. Warren led Indy with 27 points, while Domantas Sabonis finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Bobby Portis scored 19 points off the bench, while Barrett — coming off his game-high 27 points in the Rising Stars game during All-Star weekend — netted 17 for the Knicks (17-39). T.J. Warren, who scored a game-high 27 points, shoots a floater over Frank Ntilikina during the Knicks’ 106-98 loss.Corey Sipkin “I think it was great, I think on all sides,” Miller said before the game about the 19-year-old Barrett’s first taste of the league’s midseason showcase event. “It was great that he was able to go and do that. I think it came at a good time for him as he was getting healthy and feeling good, having a chance to play. “I think it was, for the young guys like that, particularly RJ, as young as he is and as mature as he’s been, it helps him keep his career on the path, and as a player, where he wants it to go. So I thought it was really positive and I’m happy for him.” Ntilikina had logged more than 14 minutes just twice in his previous nine appearances, but the disappointing 2017 lottery pick received another chance at extended playing time with Elfrid Payton sidelined by an ankle injury. Ntilikina was moved back into the starting lineup, and the 21-year-old point guard scored 14 points (5-for-11) with two assists in 32 minutes. He is one of several young players the Knicks need to evaluate over their remaining slate to determine their place in the organization’s future. The Knicks’ defense held the visitors to just 15 points on 6-for-23 shooting (26.1 percent) and led 20-15 through the first quarter. But Warren and former Knick Doug McDermott (14 points) scored seven points apiece in the second, with the Pacers improving to 13-for-20 from the floor in the session to carry a 51-44 lead into intermission. A 3-pointer by another ex-Knick, Justin Holiday, and a free throw by Oladipo completed a 23-point Indiana surge to open the third quarter, extending their lead to a game-high 22 points. The Knicks scratched back to trail 80-65 entering the final quarter, and Ntilikina’s 3-pointer drew them within a dozen points early in the fourth. McDermott completed a four-point play with 7:40 remaining to push the Indiana lead to 13 points, but Barrett’s two buckets sandwiched around Ntilikina’s corner three made it a six-point game with 6:49 to go. Damyean Dotson’s 3-pointer with 23.6 seconds left cut the deficit to 98-94, but Malcolm Brogdon sank two free throws to essentially seal the Knicks’ third straight loss bridging the All-Star break. Share this:

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North Dakota approves extension to controversial Dakota Access Pipeline

The oil pipeline that sparked months of protests and mass arrests in 2016 has been approved for an extension by regulators in North Dakota. The three-member North Dakota Public Service Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners’ planned expansion to nearly double the number of barrels of crude oil pumped through the Dakota Access Pipeline per day. The extension would include adding a new $40 million pump station in the city of Linton to increase output from “its current maximum capacity of 600,000 barrels per day to up to 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day,” a press release from the commission reads. South Dakota has already approved the expansion to the 1,172-mile underground pipeline, which pumps the oil from North Dakota to Illinois. But Iowa and Illinois would still need to approve it before the additions could be made, KFYR-TV reported. The North Dakota regulators said that they received more than 26,000 comments and petition signatures about the expansion. The commission also heard more than 15 hours of testimony from Energy Transfer Partners and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe — which led the efforts to protest the pipeline that passes near its land. Workers put in the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe lands after a camp was cleared by law enforcement in 2016.Adam Schrader “While some won’t agree with the decision, it’s imperative that any regulatory body stays within the boundaries of their jurisdictional authority,” wrote Commission Chairman Brian Kroshus. “Doing so otherwise creates regulatory uncertainty and inhibits orderly development.” The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, however, released a statement slamming the “disappointing” approval of the expansion. “As citizens of the State of North Dakota, we hoped that the Agency charged with examining the safety of the proposed DAPL expansion and its impacts, would do exactly that,” the release reads. “Unfortunately, today’s decision demonstrates little or no consideration of these impacts. Today the Public Service Commission failed to do its job for the people of North Dakota.” Share this:

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Gangbanger sentenced to 15 years for wild Long Island IHOP shooting

An alleged Bloods gang member was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday for shooting up a Long Island IHOP in a wild, caught-on-video melee last year. Deontrae Green, 20, had pleaded guilty to attempted murder, criminal use of a firearm and numerous other charges, News12 Long Island reported. The bustling IHOP in Ronkonkoma descended into chaos back in March, when Green opened fire on a rival as he sat in a booth, video from the restaurant shows. Diners could be seen scrambling from their tables as Green whipped out his .40-caliber Glock handgun, firing at least four rounds at point-blank range at the man who approached his table. The victim, Tyriek Corbin, 20, was injured with a non-life threatening gunshot wound. Green will also serve five years supervision after he is released, the news station reported. Share this:

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James Dolan looking into buying SNY as Mets sale rumors swirl

Relax, Mets fans — James Dolan probably isn’t going to buy your team. He just wants the TV network. As the Wilpon family cranks up a sale of its MLB franchise, rumors swirled this week that Dolan — who, as owner of the Knicks and the Rangers may be even less popular with Big Apple sports fans than the Wilpons — was interested in buying the Mets. Sources confirmed it’s likely that the billionaire boss of Madison Square Garden will take a look alongside other prospective bidders. In addition to New York industry titans, those could include a bloc formed by ex-Yankee Alex Rodriguez, sources say. Nevertheless, insiders said it’s not the team Dolan is likely interested in, but rather the Wilpons’ ownership stake in the SNY cable-TV network. The idea would be to merge it with the MSG Network to create a New York sports-broadcasting colossus, sources said. “Jim Dolan buying the Mets sounds crazy at first,” said one banker familiar with Dolan and the Mets sale. “But he has always wanted to merge [the MSG Network] with another local sports channel. He needs baseball, and that might require taking a shot at the Mets.” Asked on Friday about Dolan’s possible interest in the Mets and SNY, an MSG spokeswoman said, “We do not comment on rumor or speculation.” On Wednesday, The Post reported that SNY could now be up for grabs after talks to sell 80 percent of the team for $2.6 billion to hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen fizzled last month. The network could be worth as much as $900 million in an auction scenario, according to one banking insider. Multiple sources told The Post that Dolan has attempted in the past to strike a deal for the Yankees’ YES Network, which would have given his MSG Network rights to baseball games and summertime TV revenues that insiders say Dolan believes would make MSG a more appealing acquisition target. Still, insiders cautioned that Dolan’s net worth is estimated at $1.5 billion — not nearly enough to buy the team, and likely forcing him to partner with another billionaire interested in owning the Mets. In that scenario, said one banker, Dolan could merge SNY with his networks and then sell his stake in the team. Such a deal could be frowned upon by Major League Baseball, as would the fact that Dolan’s family already owns a team. His uncle, Larry Dolan, bought the Cleveland Indians in 2000. In 1999 Cablevision was in serious negotiations to buy the Mets outright from the Wilpons and their late co-owner, Nelson Doubleday. That deal was reportedly scuttled by “structural and control issues” — a phrase that sounds eerily similar to what killed the Mets deal with Cohen in recent weeks. At the time, after the bid to buy the Mets fell through, the Dolans struck a deal to air some Mets games on MSG between 2002 and 2005. Since SNY launched in 2006, MSG has not aired a big-league baseball game. “There’s a network with its own baseball team out there,” said the banker. “[Dolan] would be remiss if he didn’t take a look.” Share this:

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US: Taliban's 'Reduction of Violence' Deal to Start Tonight

ISLAMABAD — The countdown to the signing of a peace agreement between the Taliban and the United States to end the 18 years of war in Afghanistan will begin on Friday night, when the seven-day “reduction of violence" promised by the Taliban will go into effect, a senior U.S. State Department official said. The deal will be signed on Feb. 29. The official did not specify the exact hour when the reduction of violence will commence. He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal and its details. After the seven-day reduction of violence, the long sought-after peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban will be signed on Feb. 29 in Doha, Qatar, paving the way for a withdrawal of U.S. troops and intra- Afghan negotiations, the official told The Associated Press. The Taliban had set up and maintained a political office in Doha in recent years, following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled their regime, which had harbored al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the peace agreement will also lead to an eventual permanent cease-fire. The deal also envisions guarantees from the Taliban that Afghanistan will not be used to attack the U.S. or its allies. It provides for the phased withdrawal of American and other foreign forces from the country over 18 months. “We are preparing for the signing to take place on February 29," Pompeo said in a statement issued Friday. “Intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon thereafter, and will build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political road map for Afghanistan. ‘’ Related: Taliban No. 2 Backs Afghan Peace Deal In Controversial NY Times Op-Ed But the road ahead is fraught with difficulties. “The only way to achieve a sustainable peace in Afghanistan is for Afghans to come together and agree on the way forward," said Pompeo in his statement. It's still not clear who will represent Kabul at the negotiation table for the intra-Afghan talks, considered a key pillar in finding a lasting peace in the war-torn country. The Afghan election commission earlier this week declared President Ashraf Ghani the winner of the presidential elections held in September but his rivals quickly denounced his win. The Taliban have refused to talk to Ghani's government and also denounced the election results, saying they will talk to government representatives but only as ordinary Afghans. Pompeo's statement did not say who would represent Kabul but only that “'intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon” after the signing in Doha “and will build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent cease-fire and the future political road map for Afghanistan." Germany and Norway have both offered to host the intra-Afghan talks but no venue has yet been set. There was also no immediate comment from President Ghani. The Taliban issued their own statement Friday on the reduction of violence deal. “Both parties will now create a suitable security situation in advance of agreement signing date, extend invitations to senior representatives of numerous countries and organizations to participate in the signing ceremony, make arrangements for the release of prisoners, structure a path for intra-Afghan negotiations with various political parties of the country and finally lay the groundwork for peace across the country with the withdrawal of all foreign forces," the Taliban statement said. The Taliban added that they will not allow “the land of Afghanistan to be used against security of others so that our people can live a peaceful and prosperous life under the shade of an Islamic system." Under the terms of the ‘’reduction in violence" — which covers all of Afghanistan and also applies to Afghan forces — all sides have committed to end attacks for a seven-day period. For the Taliban, that includes roadside bombings, suicide attacks and rocket strikes. U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has led the negotiations with the Taliban since September 2018, has been instrumental in the latest developments. The peace deal also calls for the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, most of whom are being held in jails run by the Afghan government. Although the U.S. has already discussed the prisoner release with government representatives, there has been no public announcement about it from Ghani's government. If the peace deal is signed, President Donald Trump can claim to have taken a first step toward meeting his 2016 campaign pledge to withdraw American troops. But if it fails, Trump could be painted by his Democrat adversaries as being naive and willing to sacrifice the security of U.S. soldiers and interests for the sake of political expediency. The Pentagon has declined to say whether the U.S. had agreed to cut its troop levels in Afghanistan to zero. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said if the seven-day truce is successful and the Afghan peace talks begins, the U.S. would reduce its troop contingent “over time” to about 8,600. There currently are about 12,000 U.S. troops in the country. During any withdrawal, the U.S. would retain the right to continue counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan, which have been focused mainly on an Islamic State group's affiliate and al-Qaida, according to Pentagon officials. Yet the spokesman for the Taliban's political office in Doha, Suhail Shaheen tweeted that the Taliban expect a complete withdrawal. In a Pashto language tweet, he said, "based on the agreement with the U.S., all international forces will leave Afghanistan and the invasion will end and no one will be allowed to use Afghan soil against others.” In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the developments. The U.S.-led military alliance has some 16,000 troops in Afghanistan helping to train the country’s security forces, but it could draw down on its operation to accommodate any firm peace agreement. “This is a critical test of the Taliban’s willingness and ability to reduce violence, and contribute to peace in good faith,” Stoltenberg said in a statement. “This could pave the way for negotiations among Afghans, sustainable peace, and ensuring the country is never again a safe haven for terrorists.” ___ Lee reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Lorne Cook in Brussels and Lolita Baldor and Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report This article was from The Canadian Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected] Read more: Midshipman Dies After Being Found Unresponsive at Naval Academy Show Full Article© Copyright 2020 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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