SRN - Political News

RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan challenges his parole denial

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Sirhan Sirhan, who assassinated presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, is asking a judge on Wednesday to free him from prison by reversing California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s denial of his parole earlier this year.

Sirhan shot Kennedy moments after the U.S. senator from New York claimed victory in California’s pivotal Democratic presidential primary. He wounded five others during the shooting at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Newsom said in January that Sirhan remains a threat to the public and hasn’t taken responsibility for a crime that changed American history.

But his attorney, Angela Berry, says there is no evidence her now 78-year-old client remains dangerous.

She is filing what’s known as a writ of habeas corpus asking a judge to rule that Newsom violated state law, which holds that inmates should be paroled unless they pose a current unreasonable public safety risk. Recent California laws also required the parole panel to consider that Sirhan committed the offense at a young age, when he was 24, and that he is now an elderly prisoner.

Berry said she is challenging the governor’s reversal as an “abuse of discretion,” a denial of Sirhan’s constitutional right to due process and as a violation of California law. It also alleges that Newsom misstated the facts in his decision.

Berry said the governor “acted with personal bias, incorporated the wrong law, ignored mitigation evidence, and did not afford Sirhan the same rights as others eligible for parole.”

Newsom overruled two parole commissioners who had found that Sirhan no longer was a risk. Among other factors, Newsom said the Christian Palestinian who immigrated from Jordan has failed to disclaim violence committed in his name, adding to the risk that he could incite political violence.

The ruling split the iconic Kennedy family, with two of RFK’s sons — Douglas Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — supporting his release. But RFK’s wife, Ethel Kennedy, and six of Kennedy’s nine surviving children opposed his parole.

Newsom has cited RFK as his political hero and keeps RFK photos in both his official and home offices, including one of Kennedy with his late father. Berry accused him of politicizing the parole process.

Berry accused Newsom of putting his “political goals and agenda above that of the Constitution.”

Newsom’s office did not respond to a request for comment. Newsom, a Democrat, has in recent months sought more national recognition in calling out Republicans particularly the governors of Florida and Texas. Newsom is running for reelection in November but he also has sparked speculation that he has presidential ambitions, something that he has repeatedly denied.

It’s unclear how quickly a judge might rule on Berry’s petition, and either side could appeal an adverse decision. but Sirhan is set for a new parole hearing on March 1.

Sirhan originally was sentenced to death, but that sentence was commuted to life when the California Supreme Court briefly outlawed capital punishment in 1972.


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Kansas race tests which matters more: Economy or abortion?

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Republicans redrew Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids ‘ suburban Kansas City, Kansas-area district this year to make a third term harder for her to win, adding rural areas where former President Donald Trump did well and removing urban areas that Davids had carried handily.

But the dynamic changed in June, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Kansas voters responded in August by overwhelmingly rejecting a ballot measure expected to lead to more restrictions or a ban on abortion.

The magnitude of that vote has left Davids and other Democrats optimistic. That’s why she is spending the final stretch of the campaign focused on abortion, attempting to keep the same abortion-rights supporters who turned out to vote in August energized to do so again in November.

It’s a delicate task, asking voters who may fault Democrats for rising housing and grocery prices to nonetheless support Davids for Congress.

“I think this has more to do with control and limiting people’s rights,” said swing voter Tanner Klingzell, a 42-year-old from the suburb of Prairie Village who says he is fiscally conservative but socially progressive. He supports abortion rights and says, “I just don’t feel comfortable voting for Republicans.”

The Supreme Court’s abortion ruling has rewritten the script in districts around the country, and both Davids and Republican challenger Amanda Adkins must win over independents and GOP moderates to win the one swing congressional district in an otherwise red state.

Davids became the first lesbian Native American in Congress when she rode suburban anti-Trump sentiment to office in the 2018 election. Her background as a mixed martial arts fighter drew national interest, and Republicans initially tried to group her with “The Squad” of new liberal House members. Those efforts fell flat as she focused on such non-divisive issues as road projects, prescription drug prices and high-speed internet for rural areas.

Adkins, a former corporate executive and Kansas GOP chair, is hitting Davids hard on pocketbook issues, a tactic Republicans nationally expect to carry them back to a House majority. She’s also started highlighting crime and border security. She held a news conference on those issues Monday, days after House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy released Republicans’ “Commitment to America” agenda, which promises to fight inflation but also to “protect the lives of unborn children.”

The two have faced off before. Davids defeated Adkins in 2020 by 10 percentage points, but that was before redistricting after the 2020 census. While Democrat Joe Biden would have prevailed in the new district in 2020, his margin would have been roughly half the 10 percentage points he racked up in the old district — and that’s likely true for Davids as well. If Adkins’ percentage of the vote in the suburbs is a few points higher this year than in 2020, she can win.

In suburban Overland Park, Andrea Calvo, a 33-year-old freight-company accounts manager, is hoping Republicans emerge a little stronger from the November election because, in her view, “they have proven to be able to handle the economy better.”

While Calvo, a Republican, doesn’t see herself as a moderate, she voted in August against the proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution. She sees Adkins’ support for it as “definitely a problem.” But it’s not a deal-breaker.

“It’s all about the economy at the end of the day for me,” she said.

The two campaigns, the parties and political groups are now on track to spend about $8 million on television ads.

Davids’ ads attack Adkins for her long association with former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, whose nationally notorious 2012-13 experiment in cutting taxes was followed by huge, persistent state budget shortfalls. Davids on Saturday launched an ad attacking Adkins on abortion that follows up on multiple Kansas Democratic Party mailings, including to Republicans.

Davids and her backers are painting Adkins as an extremist for supporting the proposed amendment that voters rejected in August. It would have removed protections for abortion from the state Constitution, which would have allowed the state Legislature, dominated by abortion opponents, to greatly restrict or ban abortion.

Davids’ strong, public opposition to the Kansas anti-abortion measure contrasts with three decades of Democratic candidates soft-pedaling their support for abortion rights in most areas of the state. Abortion has been a dominant issue in Kansas politics since the 1991 anti-abortion “Summer of Mercy” protests outside Dr. George Tiller’s clinic in Wichita. Tiller was among the few doctors known to perform abortions late in pregnancy and was shot to death in 2009 by an anti-abortion zealot. Anti-abortion groups have been powerful forces in state politics.

Even with the 3rd District’s new, more Republican leanings, 67.5% of its voters opposed the Kansas anti-abortion measure in the August abortion referendum.

“They were very engaged and sent a strong message about us not wanting to have politicians making our decisions for us,” Davids said.

Adkins describes herself as a Catholic who has “always been pro-life” and “100% committed to protecting life at every stage.” But Adkins said she respects the August vote and opposes federal laws on abortion, saying the issue should be decided at the state level.

“It should not be a federal issue, and Sharice Davids still is focusing on it as a federal issue,” Adkins said after a recent suburban meet-and-greet. Davids voted last year for a Democratic measure to guarantee abortion rights across the U.S. and override state restrictions.

Adkins has not been specific about how far she thinks abortion law should go in Kansas, which bans most abortions at the 22nd week, but said Monday that she would favor any new, incremental state measures that would reduce the number of abortions.

In the new, rural parts of the 3rd District, Democrats say the abortion ruling means volunteers are energized. But Republican state Rep. Samantha Poetter Parshall said that Davids is an “extremely hard sell,” especially with conservative farmers. Even Democrats tend to take more conservative positions on issues such as gun rights, she said.

“Also, taxes — people are extremely upset with how high their taxes are right now,” she said.

But about 85% of the district’s voters still live in the suburbs, where centrist and conservative Republicans have feuded for decades, and voters have been electing more Democrats in recent years.

Former U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, the four-term GOP incumbent ousted by Davids in 2018, praised Adkins as a candidate, but he pointed to the dominance of those suburbs in the district as the reason the race remains challenging for the GOP.

“It’s still a Biden district,” he said.

_____

Hollingsworth reported from multiple cities in Johnson County, Kansas.

___

Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna


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Progressive Democrats frustrated with 2022 primary losses

NEW YORK (AP) — With less than two months until the midterm elections, progressive Democrats are facing a test of their power.

Their party is heading into the final stretch of the campaign with a robust set of legislative accomplishments that include long-term progressive priorities on issues ranging from prescription drug prices to climate change. But the left has also faced a series of disappointments as Democratic voters from Ohio to Illinois to Texas rejected high-profile progressive challengers to moderates or incumbent members of Congress during the primary season.

The frustration is particularly acute in New York, where Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated one of the highest-ranking congressional Democrats four years ago, injecting fresh energy among the party’s most liberal voters. This year, however, New York City Democrats chose Dan Goldman, a former federal prosecutor who is more of a centrist, over several progressive rivals, including freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones. About 30 miles north in the Hudson River Valley, a powerful establishment candidate, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, defeated a state lawmaker running to his left and backed by Ocasio-Cortez.

Those setbacks have raised fresh questions about the progressive movement’s standing among Democrats. Progressive leaders urge against reading too much into those losses, particularly in New York, where repeated elections this summer after a redistricting battle left some voters disoriented or disengaged.

“New York was just a mess,” said Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “It was like the timing of the redistricting maps. I mean, that’s not a situation that’s going to get repeated a lot.”

Progressives have notched notable victories this year. In Oregon, Jamie McLeod-Skinner ousted moderate Rep. Kurt Schrader. Activist Maxwell Alejandro Frost topped a crowded field of Democrats in Florida and is poised to become the youngest member of Congress. And labor organizer Summer Lee edged out an establishment-backed candidate in Pennsylvania.

But those wins risk becoming the exception rather than the rule as moderates have repeatedly asserted their strength in recent years. President Joe Biden won his party’s nomination in 2020 after overcoming challenges from more liberal contenders including Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

In New York City, Eric Adams defeated several rivals from the left for the party’s mayoral nomination last year with an explicit critique of progressives, including Ocasio-Cortez. And New York Gov. Kathy Hochul easily dispatched a more liberal rival during this summer’s primary.

“Progressive” has long been a squishy label for Democrats. It generally refers to the party’s left flank but has been embraced by rank-and-file liberals as well as those much further left on the spectrum, including self-described democratic socialists like Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders.

The term “progressive” was even the subject of the first 2016 Democratic presidential debate between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with Sanders suggesting Clinton was not sufficiently progressive and Clinton disputing that and calling him the “self-proclaimed gatekeeper for progressivism.”

Some candidates championed by progressives have grappled with the label this year.

“No, I’m just a Democrat,” left-leaning Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman said in a May interview with NBC when he was asked if he is a progressive. He said his positions were considered progressive six years ago but “now there isn’t a single Democrat in this race or any race that I’m aware of that’s running on anything different. So that’s not really progressive. That’s just where the party is.”

Texas Rep. Jasmine Crockett, who won a Democratic congressional primary in May and was endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told Politico that she’d been labeled a progressive but knows most of the Democratic voters in the Dallas-area seat where she’s running identify as moderates or conservatives.

Crockett said that means she won’t align with members of the further-left subset of progressives in the House known as the “Squad,” which includes Ocasio-Cortez and has been known for challenging the party’s establishment.

“I’ve got to be very cognizant. Honestly, I love so many members of the ‘Squad’ and I think that they do right by their districts,” Crockett said. “I think in my district, while they don’t self-identify as progressive, they love a lot of the things that I stand for.”

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the chair of the House Democratic caucus and a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said “there’s a difference between the socialist machine and mainstream progressives.”

Jeffries, speaking to reporters in a roundtable interview a few days before New York’s August primaries, said Democrats whose legislative records are “deeply progressive” still face criticism from “online virtue signalers” because they are not further left.

“There are some forces on the left that want to define ‘progressive’ as ‘You bend the knee and we tell you what to do, and if you fail to fall in line, you’re a machine Democrat or a corporate sellout.’ That’s a joke,” he said.

Jeffries said the left had some success taking out more traditional Democrats in 2018 and 2020 as Democratic frustrations with President Donald Trump translated into energy for insurgent campaigns. But Jeffries said that once Biden won the White House and his Democratic-controlled Congress began passing legislation, Democratic voters were no longer looking for insurgency.

“At a certain point in time, voters want results, particularly when Democrats have been entrusted with majorities,” he said. “And that is what we have been delivering.”

Bill Neidhardt, a progressive Democratic strategist who worked for liberal former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, said that while there have been noted losses in recent contests, the Democratic Party’s left flank has seen bright spots.

“It’s not a perfect record, but it never is in elections. I would challenge anyone to show me one of those,” Neidhardt said.

Neidhardt said progressives in Congress can point to growing political power, such as Biden’s recent student loan debt forgiveness plan or Democrats’ new law, the Inflation Reduction Act, tackling climate change and capping prescription drug costs.

“That’s got the progressives’ fingerprints all over it,” he said.

Though Fetterman has shrugged off the progressive label, Neidhardt said the Pennsylvanian opposing Republican Mehmet Oz might help progressives see one of their biggest coups yet. Fetterman and Wisconsin Senate candidate Mandela Barnes are running in two hotly contested U.S. Senate seats that Democrats hope to flip while hanging onto their thin majority in that chamber.

“Who’s going to defeat Ron Johnson? Who’s going to defeat Dr. Oz? It’s going to be progressives,” he said.

___

Associated Press writer Farnoush Amiri in Washington contributed to this report.


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U.S. lawmakers want Biden order boosting oversight of outbound investment in China

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday called on President Joe Biden to issue an executive order to boost oversight of investments by U.S. companies and individuals in China and other countries.

The lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator John Cornyn urged Biden to issue an order to “safeguard our national security and supply chain resiliency on outbound investments to foreign adversaries.”

Congress has been considering legislation that would give the U.S. government sweeping new powers to block billions in U.S. outbound investments into China. The proposal was removed from bipartisan legislation to subsidize U.S. semiconductor chips manufacturing and research in a bill approved in August.

The lawmakers, including Democrats Bill Pascrell, House Appropriations chair Rosa DeLauro, Senator Bob Casey and Republicans Brian Fitzpatrick and Victoria Spartz, said in a letter to Biden that as negotiations continue, “our national security cannot afford to wait.”

They urged the president “to safeguard our national security and supply chain resiliency on outbound investments to foreign adversaries.”

The White House did not comment.

In Washington, Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy, said, “The allegation that China is hurting the interests of American workers is completely wrong.”

The United States “should maintain the stability of the global industrial and supply chains rather than pick on China from time to time,” the official added.

White House national security official Peter Harrell said this month that the Biden administration has not made a final decision on a potential outbound investment mechanism regulating U.S. investments in China.

Harrell stressed that any measure targeting such investments should be narrowly tailored to address gaps in existing U.S. authorities and specific national security risks.

“When we cede our manufacturing power and technological know-how to foreign adversaries, we are hurting our economy, our global competitiveness, American workers, industry and national security. Government action on this front is long overdue to address the scope and magnitude of these serious risks we face as a country,” the lawmakers wrote.

The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday will hold a hearing on outbound investment that will feature testimony from Cornyn, Casey and several former government officials among them Information Technology Industry Council Executive Vice President Robert Strayer.

The proposed legislation is intended to give the government greater visibility into U.S. investments. It would be mandatory to notify the government of investments that may fall under the new regulations, and the United States could use existing authorities to stop investments, or mitigate risk. If no action is taken, the investment can move forward.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Mark Porter and David Gregorio)


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U.S. justice Alito says he is mindful of ‘real world’ impact of Supreme Court

By Jacqueline Thomsen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, author of a blockbuster ruling that revoked nationwide abortion rights, said on Tuesday that his Catholic faith requires him to consider the real-world implications of his decisions on the nation’s highest court.

Speaking to a sympathetic audience shortly before the court begins its next term, the conservative justice did not discuss the abortion ruling or other landmark decisions on guns and federal power issued earlier this year.

Asked how his personal faith affects his work, Alito said that judges can impact people “indirectly but sometimes very powerfully” through their decisions.

“It’s important to keep in mind that these decisions are not abstract discussions – they have real impact on the world,” he said at the Catholic University of America in Washington.

Alito said his faith also “affects the way you treat all the people that you work with, when you’re serving as a judge.”

Alito has emerged as a leading voice of the court’s emboldened 6-3 conservative majority, which issued a string of blockbuster decisions last year that pushed U.S. law to the right.

The majority’s assertiveness could continue in a number of major cases in the next term, which begins in October.

Alito authored the landmark ruling that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a nationwide right to abortion. Since then, several states have banned the procedure outright or limited it sharply.

Alito spoke at an inaugural lecture for a new program at Catholic University of America’s law school, called the Project on Constitutional Originalism and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. The school said earlier this year that Alito will be the honorary chair for the program’s advisory board.

Alito focused his remarks on Catholic intellectual tradition and the law, steering clear of the barbed comments that have marked some of his other public appearances.

In July, he mocked foreign leaders who objected to the court’s abortion decision, while in 2020 he said religious liberty was becoming a “disfavored right”.

Opinion polls have shown a drop in public approval of the court in the wake of that abortion ruling.

(Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen; Writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Stephen Coates)


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U.S. Senate votes to move forward with stopgap funding bill, after energy proposal dropped

By Richard Cowan, Moira Warburton and David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday night to move forward with a stopgap funding bill that would avoid a government shutdown on Saturday, after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer cut a controversial energy-permitting provision from the critical spending bill.

The bill has several more legislative steps before it passes, but Tuesday’s 72-23 vote is an indicator it has the bipartisan support needed to become law.

The vote occurred after Schumer, a Democrat, pulled a measure from the bill that would have made significant changes to energy project permitting, at the request of its author, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who accused Republicans in a statement of “allowing politics to put the energy security of our nation at risk.”

The change, made just a half an hour before the scheduled vote, meant the bill had enough support in the Democratic-controlled Senate to go ahead with a procedural vote to begin limited debate.

That move puts it one step closer to avoiding a partial government shutdown, a potential embarrassment for Democrats just six weeks before the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when control of Congress will be at stake.

“Senate Republicans have made very clear they will block legislation to fund the government, if it includes bipartisan permitting reform, because they’ve chosen to obstruct instead of work in a bipartisan way,” Schumer said.

The bill, a continuing resolution known as a “CR” which would extend overall government funding through Dec. 16, had faced days of resistance over Manchin’s energy permitting reform measure.

Earlier on Tuesday, the chamber’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell had called on his fellow Republicans to reject the measure if it came to a vote with Manchin’s proposal to reform energy permitting, calling it a “partisan poison pill.”

Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic climate hawk who also opposed the proposal, applauded the lack of permitting reform in the spending bill.

“In the midst of the horrific climate crisis that we face, the last thing we need is a side deal which would build more pipelines and fossil fuel projects that would have substantially increased carbon emissions,” he said in a statement after the vote.

The spending provisions that remain in the stopgap bill include $12.3 billion in new money to help Ukraine turn back Russia’s invasion, House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat, said in a statement.

This includes military and economic assistance. In addition, it authorizes President Joe Biden to direct the drawdown of up to $3.7 billion for the transfer to Ukraine of excess weapons from U.S. stocks.

Amid reports of Russian forces threatening the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants and Russian President Vladimir Putin hinting he might use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, the legislation would appropriate $35 million “to prepare for and respond to potential nuclear and radiological incidents in Ukraine,” according to a bill summary.

Congress has resorted to this kind of last-minute temporary spending bill in 43 out of the past 46 years due to its failure to approve full-year appropriations in time for the Oct. 1 start of a federal fiscal year, according to a government study.

MANCHIN’S PERMITTING BILL

Manchin’s proposal would have sped up approvals of fossil fuel projects like natural gas pipelines but also for electricity transmission lines needed to bring power from wind and solar farms to cities.

“A failed vote on something as critical as comprehensive permitting reform only serves to embolden leaders like Putin who wish to see America fail,” Manchin said in a statement.

His legislation included permitting reform provisions and directs $250 million from the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act to “improve and accelerate reviews for designated projects,” including the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Manchin’s home state of West Virginia.

But lawmakers from both parties opposed it.

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia said he had not been included in Manchin’s negotiations on legislation speeding up government consideration of Equitrans Midstream Corp’s Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which would pass through his state.

“We should pass a continuing resolution that is free of the unprecedented and dangerous MVP deal,” Kaine said.

Some Democrats and environmentalists also had opposed, fearing it would spark more development of fossil fuel projects at a time when the effects of climate change from carbon emissions are accelerating.

While Republicans normally favor quicker government reviews of fossil fuel projects, they have been angry at Manchin since he helped Democrats pass a bill this summer addressing climate change and lowering some healthcare costs.

Still included in the stopgap bill is a five-year renewal of Food and Drug Administration user fees being collected from drug and medical device companies to review their products and determine whether they are safe and effective, the bill summary showed.

The law authorizing the collection of fees expires on Friday.

The last time Congress allowed funding to lapse was in December 2018, when Democrats balked at paying for then-President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall, leading to a record 35-day impasse and a partial government shutdown.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan, David Morgan and Moira Warburton; Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, Katharine Jackson and Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Scott Malone, Mary Milliken, Sandra Maler and Chris Reese)


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Judge green lights defamation lawsuit against Fox, Lou Dobbs

NEW YORK (AP) — A defamation lawsuit against Fox Corp., Fox News Network and Lou Dobbs can proceed toward trial, a judge ruled Monday after concluding that a Venezuelan businessman had made sufficient claims of being unfairly accused of trying to corrupt the 2020 U.S. presidential election to be permitted to gather more evidence.

The lawsuit filed last year alleged that businessman Majed Khalil was defamed by Dobbs on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” and in tweets.

It said the former Fox personality joined with attorney Sidney Powell on a December 2020 show to claim that Khalil and three others designed and developed programs and machines to corrupt the presidential election.

Lawyers for Fox and Dobbs had tried to convince U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton in Manhattan to toss out the lawsuit before evidence such as depositions and emails could be reviewed, but the judge said Khalil had sufficiently claimed that his reputation was harmed by false accusations.

The judge said Khalil may be able to argue to a jury that actual malice occurred because the defendants “repeatedly maintained their claims about Khalil long after Powell’s election fraud theories were challenged.”

He wrote that numerous reports declaring the falsity of claims against voting machine manufacturers Smartmatic Corp. and Dominion Voting Systems and rejecting Powell as a source of accurate information gave the defendants “reasons to doubt Powell’s veracity and the accuracy of her reports.”

Stanton said Khalil had sufficiently alleged that “the defendants purposefully avoided the truth, given the amount of public information regarding the lack of fraud in the election.”

He rejected arguments by lawyers for Fox that it cannot be held liable for statements made by Dobbs and Powell.

The judge noted that Fox controlled Twitter accounts from which many of the statements were first made.

He said the network’s executives were also on notice that allegations regarding election rigging by Dominion and Smartmatic were false because they had received several emails from the companies and had conversations with Dominion.

Messages seeking comment were sent to lawyers in the case and Fox.


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U.S. justice Alito says he is mindful of ‘real world’ impact of Supreme Court

By Jacqueline Thomsen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, author of a blockbuster ruling that revoked nationwide abortion rights, said on Tuesday that his Catholic faith requires him to consider the real-world implications of his decisions on the nation’s highest court.

Speaking to a sympathetic audience shortly before the court begins its next term, the conservative justice did not discuss the abortion ruling or other landmark decisions on guns and federal power issued earlier this year.

Asked how his personal faith affects his work, Alito said that judges can impact people “indirectly but sometimes very powerfully” through their decisions.

“It’s important to keep in mind that these decisions are not abstract discussions – they have real impact on the world,” he said at the Catholic University of America in Washington.

Alito said his faith also “affects the way you treat all the people that you work with, when you’re serving as a judge.”

Alito has emerged as a leading voice of the court’s emboldened 6-3 conservative majority, which issued a string of blockbuster decisions last year that pushed U.S. law to the right.

The majority’s assertiveness could continue in a number of major cases in the next term, which begins in October.

Alito authored the landmark ruling that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a nationwide right to abortion. Since then, several states have banned the procedure outright or limited it sharply.

Alito spoke at an inaugural lecture for a new program at Catholic University of America’s law school, called the Project on Constitutional Originalism and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. The school said earlier this year that Alito will be the honorary chair for the program’s advisory board.

Alito focused his remarks on Catholic intellectual tradition and the law, steering clear of the barbed comments that have marked some of his other public appearances.

In July, he mocked foreign leaders who objected to the court’s abortion decision, while in 2020 he said religious liberty was becoming a “disfavored right”.

Opinion polls have shown a drop in public approval of the court in the wake of that abortion ruling.

(Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen; Writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Stephen Coates)


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U.S. lawmakers want Biden order boosting oversight of outbound investments in China

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday called on President Joe Biden to issue an executive order to boost oversight of investments by U.S. companies and individuals in China and other countries.

The lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator John Cornyn urged Biden to issue an order to “safeguard our national security and supply chain resiliency on outbound investments to foreign adversaries.”

Congress has been considering legislation that would give the U.S. government sweeping new powers to block billions in U.S. outbound investments into China. The proposal was removed from bipartisan legislation to subsidize U.S. semiconductor chips manufacturing and research in a bill approved in August.

The lawmakers, including Democrats Bill Pascrell, House Appropriations chair Rosa DeLauro, Senator Bob Casey and Republicans Brian Fitzpatrick and Victoria Spartz, said in a letter to Biden that as negotiations continue, “our national security cannot afford to wait.” They urged the president “to safeguard our national security and supply chain resiliency on outbound investments to foreign adversaries.”

The White House and Chinese Embassy did not immediately comment.

White House national security official Peter Harrell earlier this month said that the Biden administration has not yet made a final decision on a potential outbound investment mechanism regulating U.S. investments in China.

Harrell stressed that any measure targeting such investments should be narrowly tailored to address gaps in existing U.S. authorities and specific national security risks.

“When we cede our manufacturing power and technological know-how to foreign adversaries, we are hurting our economy, our global competitiveness, American workers, industry and national security. Government action on this front is long overdue to address the scope and magnitude of these serious risks we face as a country,” the lawmakers wrote.

The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday will hold a hearing on outbound investment that will feature testimony from Cornyn, Casey and several former government officials among them Information Technology Industry Council Executive Vice President Robert Strayer.

The proposed legislation is intended to give the government greater visibility into U.S. investments. It would be mandatory to notify the government of investments that may fall under the new regulations, and the United States could use existing authorities to stop investments, or mitigate risk. If no action is taken, the investment can move forward.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Mark Porter and David Gregorio)


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FEMA warns Florida against complacency as Hurricane Ian nears

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. federal emergency agency warned Florida residents not to be complacent about Hurricane Ian, while President Joe Biden has called mayors in three Florida cities in the storm’s path to offer support.

It has been over 100 years since Tampa, where Ian is forecast to make landfall, has taken a direct hit from a hurricane.

Ian slammed into Cuba on Tuesday, forcing evacuations, cutting power to nearly 1 million people and tearing roofs off homes.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswell said the agency is especially concerned about storm surges.

“Floridians are going to experience the impacts from this storm for a very long time,” she said, because the storm is expected to slow to 5 miles per hour (8 km per hour) as it hits land. Storm surges could reach 10 feet (3 meters), she said, and some isolated parts of Florida could see 25 inches (64 cm) of rain.

Some residents may not be concerned enough about the impacts, she said.

“I do have concerns about complacency,” Criswell said. “We’re talking about impacts in a part of Florida that hasn’t seen a major direct impact in nearly 100 years. There’s also parts of Florida where there’s a lot of new residents.”

The U.S. government has in place 128,000 gallons of fuel, 300 Army Corp of Engineer personnel, 3.7 million meals and over 3 million gallons of water, 29 Red Cross shelters, 200 ambulances and four medical teams, Criswell said.

Biden has yet to speak directly to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, she said, but that had “zero” impact on FEMA’s storm preparedness.

“We are going to support whatever Governor DeSantis asks of us. We signed his emergency declaration within hours of him sending it in,” she said.

Read more:

U.S. offshore oil producers keep eye on Hurricane Ian’s track

The worst hurricanes in Florida’s history as Ian takes aim

How climate change is fueling hurricanes

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Shumaker)


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