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Explosion Rocks Paris: More Than 20 Injured After Blast
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At least 29 people were injured – including four critically – with two others missing following a massive gas explosion in a building housing an American fashion academy in Paris today.

It happened in the 5th arrondissement of the French capital at around 5pm on Wednesday, resulting in numerous buildings catching fire.

‘It’s an absolute disaster – we smelt gas, and then there was a huge explosion,’ said an eye witness.

‘Window caved in, and then there was dust and rubble everywhere. It is extremely frightening.’

Laure Beccuau, the Paris prosecutor said at the scene: ‘Camera footage suggests the main blast was in a building which hosts the Paris American Academy.

She said the rubble was still being searched, but the initial toll was four people in a ‘critical condition’ and ‘16 others badly injured’.

The academy is on the Rue St Jacques and describes itself as ‘Paris’s number one bilingual design school situated in the heart of the Latin Quarter.’

The Paris American Academy offers courses in fashion, interior design, and the arts.

Alexandra, a local pharmacist, said: ‘We heard an incredible, very loud explosion at around 5pm, we felt the force of it.

‘We thought this isn’t a storm, this is serious. We heard the fire services. I went out to see if I could help, but the whole area is now shut down.

‘There are large numbers of fire services and emergency services. It’s appalling.’

Paris prosecutors confirmed that the initial ‘privileged theory’ for the cause of the fire is ‘a gas explosion’.

The gas network in Paris has been described as a ‘ticking time bomb’ because it is in such a poor state of repair.

Following explosions in recent years, city councillor Alexandre Vesperini said the whole system was ‘rundown and poorly’ managed.

‘I don’t blame gas fitters, but I have to point out that the network, set up at the start of the 20th century, is a veritable ticking time bomb,’ said Mr Vesperini 2019, following a gas leak at a bakers that led to disaster.

‘Paris City Council finds itself in a very difficult situation as these types of accidents could happen in a great number of places across the capital.’

‘This is chaos,’ said Christopher Gaglione, who said he witnessed the scene with others who stood around in the immediate aftermath.

Florence Berthout, mayor of the arrondissement, said those who were critial were in ‘absolute emergency’ condition.

‘The explosion was extremely violent,’ she said, describing pieces of glass still falling from buildings.

The neighborhood was cordoned off and scores of emergency workers filled the area.

Paris police spokeswoman Loubna Atta said it was too early to determine the source of the fire and could not confirm reports it was a caused by a gas explosion.

Paris firefighters are currently battling the blaze which is sending smoke soaring over the sky as debris littered the streets below.

The Paris police department said they were making checks on the incident as they also warned people to avoid the area.

Firefighters fought the blaze on Paris’ Left Bank as smoke soared over the domed Pantheon monument and prompted evacuation of buildings in the neighborhood, police said.

Local media cited witnesses describing a large explosion preceding the fire, and saying that part of a building collapsed.

Flames and smoke were seen tumbling into the air with footage and images from the scene showing buildings on fire.

Several social media clips showed blackened and destroyed buildings.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said a fire was underway on Rue Saint-Jacques in Paris’ fifth arrondissement, close to the Jardin Du Luxembourg and Sorbonne University.

The road where the building is situated leads from the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral to the Sorbonne University and the Val de Grace military hospital and is a few blocks from the popular Jardin du Luxembourg.

The area is usually packed with tourists and foreign students in the early summer.

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Trump’s Odds of Winning 2024 Election Skyrocket After Attempted Assassination

Donald Trump’s chances of winning the presidential election in November soared following the horrifying assassination attempt.

The former president, 78, survived the attempt on his life when the bullet missed him by less than an inch on Saturday afternoon, at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania.

A bloodied Trump pumped his fist after being shot in the ear creating a powerful image that saw his odds of winning the election skyrocket.

An hour before the shooting, Trump’s odds was 59 cents on the dollar to win the presidency on PredictIt, a New Zealand based online prediction market.

Shortly after the attack his chances jumped to 66 cents to the dollar and have remained there while Biden’s sunk to 22 cents.

‘From memory, Reagan went up 22 points in the polls after his assassination attempt. The election is likely to be a landslide. This probably reduces uncertainty,’ Nick Ferres, chief investment officer at Vantage Point Asset Management told Reuters.

On Polymarket, a platform that allows users to make cryptocurrency bets, Trump’s odds of winning increased to 70 percent.

While the price of bitcoin rose to nearly $60,000 per bitcoin on Saturday, according to Fortune.

Biden’s odds are at just 16 percent of winning on Polymarket.

The 78-year-old was dragged off stage by Secret Service with blood covering his face and then pumped his fist and shouted ‘fight, fight, fight’ after the gunfire rang out in front of thousands of MAGA fans.

The gunman and a member of the crowd were killed and two others were taken to hospital in a critical condition after the shooting.

The suspect fired at least eight shots from the roof where his body and an AR-style rifle were later recovered.

Trump confirmed he was hit in a statement from hospital hours after the terrifying scene unfolded.

Images of a defiant Trump have rallied the GOP base and lead to major endorsements from Elon Musk and Bill Ackman.

‘I fully endorse President Trump and hope for his rapid recovery,’ Musk said on X.

‘Last time America had a candidate this tough was Theodore Roosevelt.’

‘I am going to formally endorse Donald Trump,’ Ackman said. ‘I assure you that I have made this decision carefully, rationally, and by relying on as much empirical data as possible.’

‘I believe the upcoming presidential election is one of the most consequential elections in my lifetime.’

Dave Portnoy insisted ‘bad a**’ Donald Trump will coast to victory in this year’s presidential election after he survived the assassination attempt.

The Barstool Sports chief posted on X: ‘I just landed and missed an assignation (sic) attempt. Holy s***. What a bad a** reaction from Trump. The election is over. He’s the next president. The Dems should give up. They can’t beat him now.

‘Also can we quit with the hate on both sides. This country is ripping apart. Let the voters decide. Just cause you vote on 1 side or the other doesn’t make you satan.’

Portnoy also posted a picture of Trump on his feet with his fist in the air just moments after the shooting. He wrote: ‘The election is over.’

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FBI Identifies Trump Rally Shooter as 20-Year-Old Thomas Matthew Crooks

The gunman who attempted to assassinate former President Donald Trump Saturday was identified as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, sources told The Post.

Crooks, of Bethel Park, Pa., squeezed off at least five to seven shots — one of which grazed Trump in the ear — at an outdoor rally in Butler, just outside Pittsburgh, according to law enforcement sources.

Sources said Crooks crawled on the roof of a manufacturing plant more than 130 yards away from the stage at Butler Farm Show grounds.

He was killed by Secret Service snipers.

Authorities recovered an AR-style semi-automatic rifle from the scene. He was also wearing a shirt for a popular gun YouTube channel called Demolition Ranch.

The rifle Crooks used in the attempted assassination was purchased by his father, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Investigators later found explosive devices in Crooks’ car, which was parked not far from the grounds where the rally took place.

As of Sunday afternoon, the authorities had not shared a possible motive for the attack.

Crooks’ father, Matthew Crooks, declined to speak to CNN on Saturday night and said he needed to figure out “what the hell is going on.”

Bethel Park is a village 40 miles south of where the Butler rally was held.

According to state voter status records, Crooks was a registered Republican.

The shooter made one singular $15 donation to the liberal ActBlue political action committee on January 20, 2021 — Biden’s Inauguration Day, the Intercept reported.

At the time of the donation, Crooks was 17-years-old. He registered to vote upon turning 18 in September of that same year as a member of the GOP, records show.

Crooks was a member of the 2022 graduating class at Bethel Park High School, the school district confirmed Sunday morning.

Video shows him walking across a stage to accept his diploma.

He also received a $500 National Math and Science Initative Star Award during his graduating year, TribLive reported.

Why Crooks fired on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is unclear.

Early Sunday the FBI officially confirmed the Post’s reporting, calling Crooks the “subject involved” in the attack on Trump.

The streets around Crooks’ house were blocked off by police.

A neighbor told The Post he saw an Allegheny County bomb squad preparing to enter the home shortly after 1 a.m.

“I saw a post of his name and that he lived in Bethel Park, so I looked him up and he lives .3 miles away,” Dan Maloney, 30, said regarding shooter Thomas Crooks.

“I went down there and spoke to the county bomb squad at 1:06 a.m. He said he was about to go into the house.

I didn’t know the guy. No one in this neighborhood really talks to each other.

“It’s a tragedy. One person died, another is in the hospital. He went after a former president and likely the next president.”

This article was updated.

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Trump Supporter Killed in Shooting Identified as Married Ex-Fire Chief Who Shielded His Family from Bullets

The member of the crowd killed in the assassination attempt on Donald Trump at his Pennsylvania rally has been identified.

Corey Comperatore, the retired fire chief of Buffalo Township, was sitting behind the former president shot and killed by gunman 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks.

The 50-year-old died a hero as his family revealed he was shielding his young daughter and wife from the gunfire when he was killed.

Members of the audience frantically tried to save the father’s life in the bleachers in Butler after Crooks opened fire from a rooftop 130 yards away.

Family members paid tribute Comperatore who was well-known in the community.

His sister wrote on Facebook: ‘The PA Trump Rally claimed the life of my brother, Corey Comperatore.

‘The hatred for one man took the life of the one man we loved the most. He was a hero who shielded his daughters.

‘His wife and girls just lived through the unthinkable and unimaginable. My baby brother just turned 50 and had so much life left to experience.

‘Hatred has no limits and love has no bounds. Pray for my sister-in-law, nieces, my mother, sister, me and his nieces and nephews as this feels like a terrible nightmare but we know it is our painful reality.’

His daughter Allyson wrote on social media: ‘He died a real-life super hero.’

‘They are not going to tell you how quickly he threw my mom and I to the ground. They are not going to tell you that he shielded my body from the bullet that came at us.’

‘He loved his family. He truly loved us enough to take a bullet for us,’ she continued in the emotional tribute.

An emergency room doctor at Donald Trump’s rally revealed how he performed CPR on Comperatore, after he was hit by a bullet intended for the former president.

‘I heard the shots. I thought it was firecrackers begin with. Somebody over there was screaming ‘he’s been shot he’s been shot,” said the man who had blood splattered all over his white USA shirt. ‘So I made my way over. I said I’m an emergency department physician. Let me help you.’

‘The guy had spun around was jammed between the benches and a head shot here,’ he told CBS News.

‘So I got him together so I got people there really helpful. I did CPR chest compressions as well.’

Trump was shot in the right ear by a Thomas Matthew Crooks, 20, from a roof 130 yards from the MAGA event in Butler, Pennsylvania.

He briefly bent down, then stood up, pumped his fist and chanted ‘fight, fight, fight’ as Secret Service rushed him off stage and into a motorcade.

Crooks is a registered Republican who also donated money to President Biden in 2023. He graduated from high school in 2022.

He opened fire at the former president with an AR-style rifle from a roof 130 yards from the rally stage in Butler, Pennsylvania, on Saturday at 6.15 pm.

Images of Crooks wearing glasses, braces, and an American flag t-shirt in a yearbook headshots emerged on Sunday morning, hours after he tried to take out the presumptive Republican nominee and killed a member of the rally crowd.

Crooks’ uncle Mark Crooks told DailyMail.com he hadn’t seen the gunman or his parents in years, and described them as ‘very private.’

‘I haven’t seen that part of my family in years,’ he said. ‘Honestly it’s been so long I don’t think much about them.;

‘It’s a shame. The kid is like a stranger to me. They’re private and they don’t reach out to anybody any time.’

Bethel Park School District – where Crooks was a student until two years ago – verified his graduation and vowed full cooperation with investigators.

Records show he donated to a group who backed President Joe Biden on the day of the inauguration in 2020.

A resident near to where Crooks lived, who wanted to remain anonymous, confirmed the identity of the gunman to DailyMail.com.

Members of the community where Crooks is believed to have lived with his parents were swarmed by police and Secret Service on Sunday morning.

Those who spoke to DailyMail.com said the family were quiet and kept to themselves.

Trump put out a statement on Truth Social Saturday night confirming he was struck by a bullet, while thanking the Secret Service and law enforcement for their ‘rapid response on the shooting that just took place in Butler, Pennsylvania.’

The former president also confirmed that one rally-goer was killed and another was ‘badly injured.’

‘Most importantly, I want to extend my condolences to the family of the person at the Rally who was killed, and also to the family of another person that was badly injured.’

‘It is incredible that such an act can take place in our Country. Nothing is known at this time about the shooter, who is now dead. I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear,’ said the former president.

‘I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening. GOD BLESS AMERICA!’

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News

House Launches ‘Full Investigation’ Into Trump Rally Shooting

House Republican leaders said Saturday they will hold a hearing with the U.S. Secret Service and other federal law enforcement officials after former President Trump was shot in the ear at a rally in Pennsylvania.

The Secret Service said the shooter and one rally attendee are dead, with two more spectators critically injured, Axios’ Sophia Cai and Erin Doherty reported.

“US Secret Service quickly responded with protective measures and the former president is safe and being evaluated,” the agency said in a statement shortly after the shooting.

“There are many questions and Americans demand answers,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chair of the Oversight Committee, said in a statement.

“I have already contacted the Secret Service for a briefing and am also calling on Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle to appear for a hearing. The Oversight Committee will send a formal invitation soon,” he said.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said in a post on X that the House will “conduct a full investigation” into the shooting.

Comer sent Cheatle a letter requesting she appear at a hearing on July 22.

Johnson said in his post that “other appropriate officials from DHS and the FBI” will be asked to appear before Congress as well.

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Melania Trump Breaks Silence on Donald’s Attempted Assassination

Melania Trump has broken her silence on the shooting of her husband Donald Trump by a would-be assassin and the horror when she realized her and son Barron’s life were on the brink of ‘devastating change’.

The former first lady called the gunman a ‘monster’ and described the moment she watched the bullet strike her husband’s ear at a Pennsylvania rally in front of thousands of his adoring fans.

‘A monster who recognized my husband as an inhuman political machine attempted to ring out Donald’s passion – his laughter, ingenuity, love of music, and inspiration,’ Melania said in an emotional statement on X on Sunday morning.

‘When I watched that violent bullet strike my husband, Donald, I realized my life, and Barron’s life, were on the brink of devastating change. I am grateful to the brave secret service agents and law enforcement officials who risked their own lives to protect my husband.’

The former first lady called for people to ‘reunite’ and said she is thinking of her fellow Americans.

‘This morning, ascend above the hate, the vitriol, and the simple-minded ideas that ignite violence,’ her statement continued.

‘The winds of change have arrived. For those of you who cry in support, I thank you. I commend those of you who have reached out beyond the political divide – thank you for remembering that every single politician is a man or a woman with a loving family.’

The former first lady has stayed off the campaign trail so far as her husband mounts his bid for a second term in the White House, but she is set to attend the Republican National Convention this week in Milwaukee, WI.

The couple share an 18-year-old son Barron. He made his debut at a Trump rally earlier in the week in Doral, FL.

The Trump family has received an outpouring of support and prayers from officials across the political spectrum and public officials around the world following the shooting.

Thomas Matthew Crooks, the 20-year-old gunman, has been pictured for the first time on Sunday morning – time just hours after he was shot and killed by Secret Service.

The registered Republican and 2022 high school graduate opened fire at the former president with an AR-style rifle from a roof 130 yards from the rally stage in Butler, Pennsylvania, on Saturday at 6.15pm.

Images of Crooks wearing glasses, braces, and an American flag t-shirt in a yearbook headshots emerged on Sunday morning, hours after he tried to take out the presumptive Republican nominee and killed a member of the rally crowd.

In unprecedented scenes of terror, Trump suddenly grabbed his ear and dropped to the ground as gunshots rang out and send the crowd into a frenzy.

Moments later, he got up and raised his fist and shouted ‘fight, fight, fight’ as the Secret Service escorted him to a motorcade and then to hospital.

Last night a bomb squad and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at an address registered to Crooks as cops stood guard in front of yellow police caution tape.

A member of the crowd was killed in the deadly shooting, while two others who were wounded are in a critical condition. All three are males, according to law enforcement officials.

Trump was left bloodied and hurt during the assassination attempt as he was seen to suddenly grab hold of his ear as loud bangs rang out and whizzed by before he ducked to the floor.

The Secret Service swarmed around the 45th US President as piercing screams were heard from the MAGA crowd.

He then got to his feet with blood pouring down his cheek and raised his fist in the air and defiantly shouted ‘fight’ while the audience shouted ‘USA’ as he was dragged off stage and bundled into a vehicle.

Mr Rojek said they had not identified a motive for what he a called ‘an assassination attempt on our former president’.

According to Pennsylvania’s public court records, Crooks had no criminal history and officials claimed they are still working towards identifying a motive behind the shooting.

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Rep. Ronny Jackson: My Nephew Was Shot During Trump Rally Assassination Attempt

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) said Saturday evening that his nephew was injured during the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump earlier in the day at a political rally in Pennsylvania.

Jackson, who made the remarks during a Fox News interview, said: “My nephew was at the event tonight, and they were in the friends and family pen, and they heard the shots and everybody dropped to the ground.”

“He was grazed in the neck, a bullet crossed his neck, cut his neck, and he was bleeding,” he said.

“This is my nephew, they were there, I’d set them up, they went to the rally.”

He said that they were seated to the president’s “right, down a little bit lower, on left on the screen, but to the president’s right, in the line of fire.”

Watch:

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News

Stephen King’s Trump Shooting Comment Sparks Outrage

Author Stephen King has sparked outrage after posting a comment about the Donald Trump shooting on Saturday.

A gunman opened fire on a Trump rally near Butler, in Pennsylvania, on Saturday, injuring the former president and killing one attendee and leaving two others seriously wounded, according to a Secret Service spokesperson.

Alluding to the weapon used in the incident, King posted: “An AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle was used in the Butler shooting. These are the guns the Republican Party—and Trump—want to protect.”

One user commented: “For a fiction writer, Stephen King knows little about this subject. Stay your fictional lane.”

The post has already had more than 780,000 views.

The bestselling writer, known for his horror novels and outspoken political views, has previously shared his thoughts on Trump’s influence on American politics.

He has been vocal about his disapproval of decisions made by the Supreme Court relating to the former president, and called out several justices for allegedly considering Trump to be “above the law”.

“Trump’s cronies are planning what amounts to a fascist state, and the Supreme Court is clearing the way for them. This should concern conservatives as well as liberals,” King posted on X earlier in July.

King has been a vocal critic of Trump for some time. In 2016, he was one of 450 writers to sign an open letter slamming the Republican’s candidacy, and he has regularly criticized the politician on X. However, the renowned author’s latest comment regarding the gun used in the Trump alleged assassination attempt at a Pennsylvania rally on Saturday has led to strong reactions on social media.

“You and the hateful rhetoric you spread every day contributed to what happened yesterday. You are part of the problem in this country,” blasted one user underneath King’s comment.

Another responded to King’s post saying: “The ignorance contained in this post disqualifies you from further participation in public discourse on this matter. The right of free speech enables you to continue. And the ignorance of your audience empowers you. God help us all.”

Another X user commented: “Guns themselves don’t kill. People with guns do. And crossbows, knives, stones, candle holders, even books.”

While another said simply: “Sit this one out, Mr. King. You’re out of your element here.”

AnthonyScudier4 posted: “Four people Shot… One Dead, two in critical condition, and Stephen’s humanity sees this and thinks, ‘I can make this into a great political point on X and it should get a Lot of Impressions.’ That’s a VERY Dark, Dark soul…!”

Another user commented: “What is wrong with you? Your first post about the shooting it to…. blame TRUMP and the Republican Party!!”

Former Right Side Broadcasting Network writer Ashley Muñoz @RedLady2024 commented below the author’s post, saying: “A RIFLE DIDN’T SHOOT TRUMP, A HUMAN DID. Let’s focus on the criminal, not their device. Typical liberal idiocy shines brightly, from you.”

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News

TRUMP SURVIVES ASSASSINATION

THE NEWS

Former President Donald Trump was injured but survived an assassination attempt Saturday in which a gunman was shot dead and a Trump supporter was killed, at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. Two other rally attendees were critically injured.

TIMELINE

The shooting took place shortly after Trump had taken the stage in Butler, a city roughly 30 miles north of PIttsburgh. Here’s a timeline of what took place:

6:03 p.m. EDT Trump takes stage

  • Trump took to the stage to “God Bless the USA,” the Lee Greenwood track that plays at the beginning of each of his campaign events.
  • The former president stood on stage waving to the crowd until the song concluded at 6:05 p.m.

6:11 p.m. Shots ring out

  • Trump was speaking about the rise in border crossings under Biden’s watch when several gun shots rang out.
  • Trump was gesturing to a graphic on a video board showing a spike in border crossings in recent years, saying, “That chart’s a couple of months old. If you want to really see something that’s sad, take a look at what happened–.” At that point, shots rang out and Trump grabbed at his ear and neck area before dropping below the lectern.
  • Secret Service agents stormed the stage as more gunfire could be heard. Agents could be heard saying, “get down, get down, get down,” as attendees screamed.

6:12 p.m.: Trump escorted off stage

  • Law enforcement on stage could be heard through the microphone at the lectern giving instructions. “Hold, hold,” one officer said. “On you. Ready, move! Go,” another said.
  • Moments later, officers helped Trump to his feet and escorted him off stage. The former president was surrounded by agents. He had a bloody ear and blood smeared on his face and fist pumped to the crowd as agents took him away.

6:14 p.m. Trump motorcade departs

  • Trump’s motorcade departed the rally venue within minutes of shots ringing out.

6:42 p.m.: Secret Service and Trump campaign say Trump is safe

  • A spokesperson for the U.S. Secret Service issued a statement confirming “an incident” took place at the rally and that the former president “is safe.” Within minutes, the Trump campaign issued a statement of its own saying Trump “is fine and is being checked out at a local medical facility.”

7:24 p.m. Law enforcement confirms fatalities

  • The Butler County District Attorney told The Associated Press that the suspected shooter was dead and one rally attendee had been killed in the gunfire.

TRUMP STATEMENT

Donald Trump: ‘I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear. I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening,’ the former president wrote on his Truth Social account.

THE SHOOTER

The gunman who attempted to assassinate former President Donald Trump Saturday was identified as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, sources told The Post.

The shooter who fired at least eight shots at Donald Trump and injured him is dead, with a rallygoer also killed in Saturday’s appalling bloodbath.

Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger confirmed the two deaths after the atrocity at a Trump rally at Butler Farm Show Grounds in Butler, Pennsylvania.

The Secret Service’s counter sniper team took out the shooter. They said the male shooter began firing from an elevated position outside the rally grounds before being killed. Two other people were critically-injured by the gunfire.

Images on social media show the dead gunman laying on top of a beige building about 300 feet north of the stage where Trump was standing when he was shot.

The gunman opened fire from AGR International, a plastic container manufacturing facility.

Unverified video circulating on social media showed a body – that appeared to be clad in camo gear – lying on top of a beige-colored building outside the farm grounds.

Trump was mid-sentence, saying ‘Take a look at what happened’ when the shots began to ring out shortly before 6pm ET, with terrified screams filling the air as he and onlookers dived to the ground.

EYEWITNESS

Witnesses desperately tried to warn police that a rifle-toting sniper was crawling on a roof moments before gunfire erupted at the Trump rally Saturday.

“You could clearly see him with a rifle,” the man, wearing a MAGA 2020 hat, told BBC News.

“We’re pointing at him. The police are down there running around on the ground.

“We’re like, ‘Hey, man, this guy on the roof with a rifle.’ And the police were like, ‘Huh?’ They didn’t know what was going on.”

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

  • Joe Biden: I have been briefed on the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania.  I’m grateful to hear that he’s safe and doing well. I’m praying for him and his family and for all those who were at the rally, as we await further information. Jill and I are grateful to the Secret Service for getting him to safety. There’s no place for this kind of violence in America. We must unite as one nation to condemn it.
  • Barack Obama: There is absolutely no place for political violence in our democracy. Although we don’t yet know exactly what happened, we should all be relieved that former President Trump wasn’t seriously hurt, and use this moment to recommit ourselves to civility and respect in our politics. Michelle and I are wishing him a quick recovery.
  • Bill Clinton: Violence has no place in America, especially in our political process. Hillary and I are thankful that President Trump is safe, heartbroken for all those affected by the attack at today’s rally in Pennsylvania, and grateful for the swift action of the U.S. Secret Service.
  • Elon Musk: I fully endorse President Trump and hope for his rapid recovery

MEDIA REACTION

Liberal media downplayed the assassination attempt against Trump.

  • CNN: Secret Service rushes Trump off stage after he falls at rally
  • CNN Analyst: “Donald Trump and the people around him perceive themselves to be under threat…and that is not legitimate”
  • Washington Post: Trump escorted away after loud noises at Pa. rally
  • New York Times: Trump Rushed Off Stage After Chaos at Rally
  • MSNBC: Secret Service: Donald Trump safe after popping sounds heard at rally

This story will be updated.

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News

Israeli Strike on Gaza Targets, Likely Kills, Hamas Leader Mohammad Deif

A massive Israeli airstrike in Gaza Saturday targeted the Hamas commander considered the mastermind of the horrific Oct. 7 attacks that left 1,200 Israelis dead and triggered the war.

Israel Defense Forces dropped five 2,000-pound bombs on a fenced-off compound where Muhammad Deif, the commander of Hamas’s military wing, and Rafa’a Salameh, the commander of Hamas’s Khan Younis Brigade, were holed up, according to multiple reports.

The military was still waiting for intelligence to confirm whether Deif, leader of the group’s notorious Qassam Brigades, and Salameh were killed in the strike. While some reports said that Deif was seriously injured and Salameh was killed, the Jerusalem Post, citing Israeli state broadcaster KAN, said there was a “high likelihood” that Deif was killed, but that confirmation was still “forthcoming.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to hold a press conference Saturday night in Jerusalem.

Deif is widely viewed as Hamas’ second-in-command in Gaza behind the supreme terror boss Yahya Sinwar. Long sought by the Israeli military, his death could derail cease-fire talks, but would also be seen as a major victory for Israel.

Witnesses said the strike landed inside the al-Mawasi refugee camp, an Israeli-designated safe zone located west of Khan Younis. Palestinians have been told to flee there to escape fighting in other parts of the war-torn enclave.

The huge bombs left an enormous crater filled with little but dust where the compound once stood, images on social media showed.

The IDF acknowledged the targeted compound was in a civilian area, but said it was not part of a camp for displaced Palestinians. The IDF, which released before-and-after images of the site that showed a fenced-off area, said no Israeli hostages were held at the location.

“The area that was struck is an open and forested area, with several buildings and sheds,” the military said.

In a statement, Hamas denied that Deif had been targeted in the strike and that it was an excuse to justify “the extent of the horrific massacre.”

Unverified reports from the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said at least 71 Palestinians were killed and 289 injured in the strike. Hamas figures do not distinguish between civilian and terrorist casualties and the group is known to hide high value targets in densely populated areas.

“Israel targeted October 7 mastermind Muhammed Deif, head of the Hamas military wing,” said Eylon Levy, a former Israeli government spokesman, on X Saturday. “If he was hiding among civilians in a makeshift camp, that shows how determined Hamas is to use civilians as human shields and sacrifices.”

Videos circulating on X showed Israelis breaking into celebration when news of the strike was announced.

Long before the current war, Deif was wanted by the Israeli military and became infamous for his ability to elude capture or assassination. In December, Israel placed a $100,000 bounty on his head, the Times of Israel reported.

In recent days, Israel received intelligence that there was the possibility it could take out Deif, but the opportunity to strike only emerged in real-time, one official told The Wall Street Journal.

The Saudi Al-Hadath news channel, citing unnamed sources, reported that Hamas is now investigating a “major internal breach” following Saturday’s attack, according to The Times of Israel.

Deif and Salameh relocated several times in recent weeks to avoid Israeli strikes, the sources said. Israel received intel for the strike from informants who knew about the locations of the terror group’s leaders, along with “second or third tier” Hamas officials who had been arrested and interrogated.

In May, the International Criminal Court said it was seeking arrest warrants for Deif along with Sinwar and other senior Hamas leaders, on war crimes charges committed during the Oct. 7 attacks.

The strike comes as U.S., Egyptian and Qatari mediators continue to work to narrow the distance between Israel and Hamas over a proposed deal for a three-phase cease-fire and hostage release plan in Gaza.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry condemned Saturday’s strike and demanded that Israel “cease its attack on civilians,” TOI reported.

Family members of the Israeli hostages kidnapped on Oct. 7 fretted whether the strike on Hamas’ military leaders would kill the latest round of ceasefire talks.

“We’re all for settling the score with the Hamas murders, but not at the cost of our loved ones’ lives and our chances to get them home,” Einav Zangauker, whose son, Matan, is still in Hamas’ clutches, reportedly told Israel’s Channel 12.

“If [Hamas military wing commander] Muhammad Deif was eliminated with a hostage deal on the table, and Netanyahu doesn’t get up now and say he’s willing to take the deal, even at the price of ending the war, that means he’s given up on my Matan, and on the rest of the hostages.”

On Saturday, Netanyahu’s office said that there had been a standing order since the start of the war to kill Hamas’ senior leadership, although it did not mention Deif’s name, according to The Journal.

An Israeli official told the outlet that Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant had spoken with security officials to discuss the potential ramifications of the strike on the ceasefire talks before signing off on the attack.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Republican National Convention

The 2024 Republican National Convention starts its celebratory programming Monday as Republicans officially nominate President Trump for the third time and will spend four nights in Milwaukee, Wisconsin rallying support ahead of November’s election.

Where the action will take place

The main action for the quadrennial event will be held from July 15-18 at the Fiserv Forum, an arena that is the home of the Milwaukee Bucks professional basketball team. More than 50,000 people, including hundreds of journalists from around the world, are expected to attend.

There will be the usual convention tasks throughout the four days. Delegates, almost 2,400 of them, must approve a platform and formally designate the presidential ticket: Trump and his yet-to-be-named running mate. They’ll hear from both national candidates and a slew of others rallying support for Trump and taking aim at Democrats.

Who are the speakers?

The RNC has not yet released the full detailed schedule for the event, but several speakers have already been announced including Donald Trump Jr. who reportedly will occupy the speaking slot directly in front of his father.

Also speaking at the convention, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, former First Lady Melania Trump, Teamsters President Sean O’Brien, UFC President Dana White, model Amber Rose, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, and Indiana Congressman Jim Banks.

There will also be several everyday Americans impacted by President Biden’s disastrous economic and border policies, in addition to skyrocketing crime, slated to speak.

Michael Morin, the brother of Rachel Morin, the Maryland mother of 5 who was brutally murdered by an illegal immigrant, will be speaking. Fraternity brothers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who went viral for saving the American flag at an anti-Israel protest are also expected to speak, among others.

Trump is expected to accept the nomination with a speech on July 18, the final night of the convention, and his vice presidential pick is expected to be announced by July 15. Trump’s VP will then address the convention on July 17.

How to watch

Fox News Media will present special live coverage of the 2024 Republican National Convention beginning Sunday, July 14th through Thursday, July 18th.

“Originating from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the network’s convention coverage will be available across all of FOX News Media’s platforms, including FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX Business Network (FBN), FOX News Audio, FOX News Digital and FOX Nation,” a press release said.

What are the themes?

“Make America Wealthy Again” is the theme for Monday’s program, which will focus on how “President Trump’s America First economic policies slashed cumbersome regulations, cut tax rates, and reworked trade deals to create a fairer playing field for American industry and workers.”

Tuesday’s theme will be “Make America Safe Once Again” where the focus will be on skyrocketing crime in many cities causing them to become what the campaign calls “hollowed out, dystopian nightmares thanks to Joe Biden and Democrats’ woke soft-on-crime and open border policies.

“Make America Strong Once Again” will highlight Trump’s foreign policy accomplishments and agenda as the theme for Wednesday.

On Thursday, the final day, the theme will be, “Make America Great Once Again.”

“President Donald J. Trump will usher in a new golden age for America. At home and abroad, America’s standing will be restored,” the campaign says.

“American families will once again experience prosperity, safety, and strength. Our decaying and decrepit cities and communities will experience a resurgence. Americans will once again have reason to harbor hope and optimism for the future of our country. President Trump will Make America Great Once Again!”

What’s happening with the party platform?

The Republican Party’s platform, a formal statement of policy positions, was approved by its platform committee and released on Monday. It is expected to be approved on the first day of the national convention next week.

The 16-page platform embraces Trump’s position that the issue of abortion is to be determined by individual U.S. states. It makes no mention of a federal ban or protecting a fetus as a person under the U.S. Constitution – tenets that have been included in past platforms and were demanded by a cadre of influential evangelicals.

The platform, which is not binding, also pledges that Trump and Republicans will build a missile defense shield over the United States, carry out “the largest deportation in American history” of people in the country illegally, make permanent Trump’s signature tax cuts and pass “large tax cuts for workers.” It says they will demolish foreign drug cartels, protect Medicare and Social Security benefits, and support public funds being used for private school tuition.

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LIST: Dems Who Could Replace Biden on the Ticket

Speculation is swirling around President Biden’s political fate — and over who might replace him on the Democratic ticket this fall should he decide to drop out of the race.

Biden has insisted he’s in it to win it, and Vice President Harris would have the inside track on becoming the party’s standard-bearer, but Democratic concerns are growing that his candidacy could cost them the White House and House majority this fall.

Though a highly anticipated Thursday evening press conference after the NATO summit in Washington, D.C., was seen as a better performance for Biden than in recent weeks, the president still stumbled at several points with multiple notable gaffes.

The number of sitting lawmakers calling on the president to withdraw has grown since, and scrutiny is rising on the Democrats who could replace him on the ticket.

Here’s a look at the leading contenders:

Vice President Harris

Harris is widely seen as the heir apparent should Biden decide to step down, given she’s naturally next in line for the presidency.

Harris’s candidacy would be history-making as the first Black woman or South Asian woman to be chosen as a major party’s presidential nominee.

Her experience offers Harris several major assets in making the case to Democrats why she could be the right choice.

She’s currently the vice president and is already familiar with handling key issues within the administration. She was tasked with tackling the U.S. southern border early on, and she’s been one of the most vocal voices on abortion access.

Harris sought the nomination in 2020 as a senator, and her experience as California attorney general could be useful in countering GOP attacks on crime, though she notably took hits on her record on criminal justice during the 2020 Democratic primary.

From a campaign finance perspective, she would be able to more easily access funds leftover from the Biden-Harris campaign compared to another candidate, a major structural advantage.

At the same time, Harris’s association with the Biden administration also means she would be the subject of Republican attacks on issues including inflation and the border.

The vice president has also been plagued with high rates of staff turnover, and polling thus far has not shown her with a significant edge over former President Trump in a hypothetical matchup.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Whitmer has been widely speculated to have 2028 aspirations, but a potential presidential move could come sooner depending on what Biden decides.

She flipped the governors’ mansion in the critical battleground state of Michigan in 2018. Even more impressive, Democrats were able to flip both chambers of the state legislature in 2022, delivering the party their first trifecta there in nearly four decades.

Democrats tasked her to give the Democratic response to Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address, a responsibility usually slotted to rising party stars. Having a woman who hails from an important swing state, particularly in the Midwest, would be a boon for Democrats at the presidential level.

While Whitmer has brushed off talking of replacing Biden, she’s notably been on a high-profile tour promoting her book “True Gretch: What I’ve Learned About Life, Leadership, and Everything in Between.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Even before questions around Biden’s fate began swirling, Newsom was already widely seen as angling for the presidency.

He traded barbs with former GOP presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, when DeSantis was still running a primary challenge against Trump and aired ads in the Sunshine State that suggested Floridians move to California.

He also agreed to a presidential-style televised debate against DeSantis that was hosted by Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

While Newsom has vocally been one of Biden’s most ardent supporters, including acting as a surrogate for him with his recent appearances in places including Michigan and New Hampshire, it’s also fueled even more speculation about his own presidential ambitions.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker

While Pritzker helms what’s been a reliably blue state in presidential years, he flipped the governors’ mansion back into Democratic hands with his defeat of Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) in 2018.

Pritzker, who has leaned into hot-button issues that resonate strongly with liberals, has also been seen as another loyal Biden surrogate, but one of his biggest assets that makes him appealing to Democrats is the fact that he’d be able to easily self-fund his own campaign with an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion.

Helming a state from the Midwest is also appealing for Democrats, though Illinois is a blue bastion compared to its neighbors.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear

Democrats have a habit of flirting with presidential candidates from purple and red states, only to cast them off for contenders in more solidly blue ones.

But Beshear is one to watch given he’s twice been elected governor of Kentucky, a state that Trump won in 2020 by 26 points.

He won praise from members on both sides for his handling of several natural disasters in his state during his first term and effectively used the issue of abortion during his reelection campaign against Republican nominee Daniel Cameron.

His gubernatorial campaigns could offer a roadmap to Democrats on how to draw in moderate and disaffected Republicans in addition to independents all the while hailing from a southern state.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore

Another name that has continued to pop up amid talk of a potential Biden replacement is Moore’s.

Though just months into his first term, the Army veteran is popular on television and was already floated as a 2028 hopeful before the president’s campaign hit rough waters.

Having a younger, charismatic Black man on the presidential ticket would also speak to the party’s base.

Moore, a 45-year-old Rhodes Scholar, previously helmed a top anti-poverty nonprofit and is the first Black governor of Maryland.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro

Though Shapiro’s name may not come up as frequently as others’, he is another top Democrat to keep in mind.

Shapiro rose to early stardom as Pennsylvania attorney general when he fought the Trump administration over contraceptive insurance coverage, and over his helming a wide-reaching probe regarding sex abuse by the Catholic clergy.

Picking a Democrat from a battleground state would be highly appealing to the party.

If he won, he’d be the first Jewish American to be president.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg impressed Democrats in 2020 when the once little-known mayor of South Bend, Ind., leaped into the spotlight of the presidential contest and performed competitively against much more established figures including Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Having experience in Biden’s Cabinet could make him an attractive alternative to the party. Buttigieg performs well in committee hearings and has been a popular TV defender of the Biden White House.

He’d be the first openly gay man to be selected as the Democratic nominee.

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Peter Navarro to Depart Prison, Address RNC: Report

Jailed Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro will leave prison Wednesday to address the Republican National Convention (RNC), according to The Associated Press.

Navarro, who was a leading trade adviser for then-President Donald Trump, will leave a federal prison in Miami and speak to the convention being held from Monday to Thursday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sources familiar with the RNC’s schedule told the AP on Friday. Navarro and his allies have criticized his conviction for defying a Jan. 6 Committee subpoena, calling it political imprisonment and a “death sentence.”

Navarro will be released on Wednesday, which will give him just enough time to board a flight to Milwaukee and address the RNC before the event concludes on Thursday. The time slot in which he is expected to speak is not yet known, according to the AP.

“Lawfare is real. Lawfare is wrong … We’re not supposed to act like Communist China or a Banana Republic. But that’s the growing perception of our justice system,” Navarro previously told the Daily Caller. “I’m in prison not for any crime but rather as a matter of honor and duty for defending the constitutional separation of powers.”

The charges stemmed from his failure to comply with a Jan. 6 Committee subpoena, where he invoked executive privilege to decline to testify and turn over documents to the committee.

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon was also convicted after defying a subpoena related to the Jan. 6 investigation; he was sentenced to four months in prison, time which he is currently serving.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) had argued that Navarro should face more time, recommending six months in jail and paying a $200,000 fine as opposed to the four months and $9,500 fine of his final sentence.

Prosecutors said Navarro “exacerbated” the “assault” on the rule of law by refusing to comply with the subpoena, saying his “defiance and contempt deserves severe punishment,” according to court filings.

Navarro was arrested by FBI agents in June 2022 at Ronald Reagan National Airport and charged in the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C.

Navarro told the Daily Caller that his time in prison has not been like the “Club Fed” that many are describing it to be.

“It’s a dangerous place health-wise. The low-protein, high-carb, no-fresh-vegetable diet exacerbates problems like diabetes, colon cancer, and heart disease. I’m fortunate I don’t take any medicines, because prescription drugs are in short supply at the daily “pill line,” and a lot of inmates needlessly suffer from symptoms that their prescription drugs would otherwise ameliorate. I’m among about 200 inmates in close dorm quarters — a new strain of COVID hit a few weeks ago and spread like wildfire,” Navarro said.

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Eight States with Abortion on the Ballot This November

As Democrats look to abortion to provide up and down-the-ballot support for their candidates, reproductive rights activists are shoring up grassroots support for the issue.

In Arizona, a petition to get an abortion rights amendment on the ballot received more than 800,000 signatures, which accounts for one-fifth of registered voters in the state and the largest amount of signatures gathered in state history. As of July, seven other states will have referendums on the ballot to expand abortion access.

Since the fall of Roe v. Wade in 2022, many swing and red states have rejected complete abortion bans and voted in favor of protecting access to abortion in some way. Voters in Kansas, Michigan, and Ohio voted to protect abortion rights in their states. In Kentucky, voters blocked an amendment to their state’s constitution that would have denied any constitutional protections for an abortion.

Here are eight states with abortion on the ballot this November.

Arizona

In Arizona, organizers with Arizona for Abortion Access turned in more than 823,685 signatures, which exceeded the required 383,923 signatures needed to get the referendum on the ballot.

The ballot measure would enshrine the right to an abortion and “that the state of Arizona may not interfere with before the point of fetal viability.” The point of fetal viability is believed to be around 23-24 weeks of pregnancy.

Arizona currently has a 15-week ban on abortion with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest, which was signed by then-Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) and went into effect after the fall of Roe.

Earlier this year, abortion access in the state was put in limbo after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that an 1864 near-total ban on abortion was enforceable. Gov. Katie Hobbs (D-AZ) signed legislation that prevented that ban from taking place.

“Here in Arizona, politicians have been playing games with reproductive health care,” Andrew Carroll, a family physician in Chandler, said. “It’s on us to stop this dangerous interference. It’s on us to vote yes on the Arizona Abortion Access Act to ensure that medical decisions are made by patients, their loved ones and their trusted health care providers.”

Colorado

While Colorado currently has no restrictions on abortion after a certain point in a pregnancy, the Right to an Abortion initiative looks to enshrine that into the state’s construction.

On the ballot, voters will decide on Initiative 89, which would create a right to abortion in the state constitution and allow public funds to be used for abortions.

The measure is backed by the group Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom, which is a coalition of abortion advocates, including Cobalt and the ACLU of Colorado. The group cites uncertainty regarding abortion access after the fall of Roe as one of the reasons for the initiative.

“In this time of uncertainty, we need to secure abortion rights and access in the Colorado Constitution, beyond the reach of politics and politicians. This initiative will secure that right for present and future generations,” Karen Middleton, president of Cobalt and co-chair of the coalition, said in a statement.

“A right isn’t a right if you can’t exercise it because you can’t afford it. We have to ensure that insurance coverage for every Coloradan, whether the source of it is public or private, includes abortion care. Colorado voters have made it clear over and over again that they support abortion rights, and we are confident they will again in November,” the statement continued.

Florida

In Florida, voters will be given the opportunity to establish the right to an abortion up to the point of fetal viability in their state constitution. Abortion is currently banned in the Sunshine State after six weeks, with exceptions for exceptions for rape, incest, and if the pregnancy endangers the health of the mother.

There is, however, a 60% threshold required for any measure to pass in Florida, which could complicate the measure’s chances. Democrats are hoping abortion could give the once-swing state turned Republican stronghold some glimmer of hope of a blue future.

A June Fox News poll indicates that 69% of Florida voters support the initiative.

Maryland

Voters in Maryland will also be given the opportunity to enshrine the right to an abortion in the state’s constitution.

If successful, the measure will add an article to the Maryland Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, effectively establishing a right to reproductive freedom, defined to include “the ability to make and effectuate decisions to prevent, continue, or end one’s own pregnancy.”

“I’ve been very clear from the beginning that as long as I am the Governor of Maryland, our state will be a safe haven for abortion access. This constitutional amendment will make sure it remains that way, no matter who is in office,” Gov. Wes Moore (D-MD) said in his endorsement.

Nebraska

The group behind the Nebraska Right to Abortion Initiative has collected enough signatures to make it on the ballot. Protect Our Rights, the group leading the ballot effort, said it the 207,000 registered voters in Nebraska had been collected, exceeding the 123,000 the measure needed.

The measure would enshrine the right to an abortion up to the point of fetal viability in Nebraska’s constitution.

“As mothers, doctors, families, concerned citizens and people navigating pregnancy, we were united in the belief that patients and providers should have the freedom to make their own health care decisions, not politicians,” Ashlei Spivey, a member of Protect Our Rights’ executive committee,

Abortion is currently legal in Nebraska up to the 12th week of pregnancy, with exceptions for rape, incest, and if the mother’s life is in danger.

New York

A measure to protect abortion rights and “gender identity” will appear on New York’s ballot this year. The ​​Democratic-controlled state legislature was behind the “Equal Rights Amendment.”

If successful, the measure will codify abortion rights in the New York Constitution while also expanding protections against discrimination based on one’s race, religion, and gender.

While the New York state constitution currently bans discrimination based on race, color, or religion, the measure will ask voters if people cannot be discriminated against based on their “ethnicity, national origin, age, and disability” or sex, including “sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy.”

“The anti-abortion minority’s cynical attempt to block this popular amendment from appearing on our ballots has once again been rejected, as expected,” Sasha Ahuja, the group’s campaign director, said in a statement. “Now more than ever, we need to make sure our fundamental rights and reproductive freedoms — including abortion — are protected from changing political tides.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) pushed for the amendment, citing the Supreme Court’s “extreme” decision in overturning Roe.

Nevada

In Nevada, the Right to an Abortion initiative enshrines in the state’s constitution that abortions can be performed until the point of fetal viability, or when to “protect the life or health of the pregnant patient.” Abortion is currently legal in Nevada until this point, but this measure would ensure future state laws could not take away the right down the road.

“At every turn, anti-abortion activists have attempted to prevent Nevadans from making their voices heard with pointless lawsuits and misinformation,” Lindsey Harmon, the president of the Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom, said in a statement.

The measure would have to be voted on again in 2026, however, as Nevada law requires constitutional amendments to be voted upon twice by the statewide electorate.

South Dakota

A South Dakota ballot question would give South Dakotans the right to an abortion in the state’s constitution. If approved by voters, there would be a trimester style framework for how abortion could be regulated by the state.

During the first trimester, the state would be prohibited from any regulation on someone’s decision to get an abortion.

In the second trimester, which is between weeks 13-27 of a pregnancy, the state can regulate abortion, but “only in ways that are reasonably related to the physical health of the pregnant woman.”

In the third and final trimester, South Dakota could regulate or prohibit abortion except in cases when “when abortion is necessary, in the medical judgment of the woman’s physician, to preserve the life and health of the pregnant woman.”

Abortion is currently completely banned in the state except in cases to “preserve the life of the pregnant female,” under “reasonable medical judgment.”

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Bill Maher Predicts the Exact Date Biden Will Step Down

Bill Maher predicted the exact date that he believes Joe Biden will step aside in the presidential race as he issued an optimistic look at who could replace him.

The comedian, 68, rattled through possible replacements including Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris and Gretchen Whitmer, as he insisted that ‘Biden is toast.’

He joked that ‘when’ the 81-year-old bows out, he will pick August 9 as the date – the same day that Richard Nixon became the only president to resign in 1974.

Maher scathed Biden for holding Democrats back ahead of the election as he listed a number of alternates who he felt could win in November, mainly because they ‘are moderates, are under 100-years-old, and have a D next to their name.’

The talk show host was joined by former congressman Bakari Sellers and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, as he joked that Biden will be doomed by a ‘mean girls’ mindset from the American media.

‘When they smell blood in the water, the lust to finish off a vulnerable person, they’ll never be denied,’ Maher said.

He argued that for Biden, the ‘issue isn’t if, but who’ will replace him, as he satirically predicted that the president would want to step down on the same day as Nixon.

‘Yes replacing a president as his party’s candidate this late will seem like a big deal – for about three days,’ he continued. ‘And then we’ll all be over it.’

The comedian jokingly compared the move to when an office coworker ‘gets her t*ts done’, saying that while ‘at first, it’s oh my god – a week later, they’re just her t*ts.’

‘America is going to do this, we’re going to get new t*ts,’ he concluded.

Maher then listed several possible replacements for Biden if he chose to step aside, offering an optimistic outlook for a number of them that he believed could defeat Donald Trump in November.

Maher began his list of pros and cons with Harris, who he noted would mark a number of firsts if she made it to the White House, including first female, first black woman, and first Asian to become president.

‘(She) will get all of Biden’s campaign money, and on the issue of abortion she’s a walking reminder to women that Republican’s are coming for the abortion pill,’ he said.

‘She won’t just protect Plan B, she is Plan B.’

He also cited her history as a prosecutor in California, remarking that ‘Kamala was putting criminals in jail before liberals decided that was a bad thing.’

However, Maher noted that for ‘whatever reason, Harris has never been popular’, as he cited her poor performance in the 2020 presidential election primaries as evidence.

‘You can count the number of delegates she won… on one hand, as long as that hand has no fingers.’

Maher then moved onto two other contenders who could leapfrog Harris at the top of the ticket, namely California Governor Gavin Newsom and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

For Newsom, Maher pointed to his perceived good looks as he said he was ‘the only governor, with the possible exception of Kristi Noem, who looks like they could do porn.’

‘And at 6’3 and 215lbs, he’s actually the height and weight that Trump claims to be.’

Maher said Newsom’s biggest drawback appears to be that he is ‘too slick’, but felt this was not such a negative trait, because ‘slick is something no one has been accusing Biden of lately.’

The comedian also put a positive spin on Whitmer’s hypothetical candidacy, saying she is a ‘very attractive choice.’

He pointed out that she is a popular governor in the must-win state of Michigan, and has a number of policy achievements to fall back on including raising wages, protecting abortion rights and legalizing marijuana.

If not those leading three contenders, Maher argued that the Democratic Party is quietly filled with a number of viable candidates – if only Biden would step out of the way.

Among the candidates hiding in the Democratic Party’s ranks that Maher felt could step up included Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Maryland Governor Wes Moore, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, and Pennsylvania’s Josh Shapiro.

‘No one knows who these people are, and that’s good,’ he continued.

‘We need some new characters on this sitcom we call a country. Americans like new. These guys, all you need to know is they’re moderates, they’re under 100 years old, and they have a ‘D’ next to their names.’

Maher concluded that with the looming possibility of a second Trump term in November, America is currently ‘at the airport, and we just need to be sure we get last rental car.’

‘Something reasonably safe, relatively clean and not Trump. If there isn’t a dead Girl Scout in the trunk, we’re good to go,’ he concluded.

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Sex Guru Dr. Ruth Dies at 96

Ruth Westheimer, the superstar sex therapist known to millions as “Dr. Ruth”, has died aged 96.

Westheimer died Friday at her home in Manhattan, her publicist Pierre Lehu confirmed. No cause of death was announced.

The sex therapist, who was born in Germany in 1928, survived the Holocaust before relocating to the United States in 1956.

She spent decades working in academia before coming to public prominence in 1980, with the segment “Sexually Speaking” on New York’s WYNY radio network.

The pint-sized star — who was already aged in 50s — quickly became famed for her frank advice on intimacy, helping to de-stigmatize sex for generations of Americans.

Westheimer’s tips were always delivered with cheer and respect, and her cheeky catchphrase “Get some!” became beloved by listeners.

The unabashedly sex-positive doc dished advice on orgasms, masturbation and fantasies, famously promoting the use of contraception and education about sexually transmitted diseases.

Once, when asked about how to perform oral sex on a man, Westheimer memorably responded: “Make believe it’s an ice cream cone!”

Amid her radio success, Westheimer turned to television, hosting “The Dr. Ruth Show,” which began in 1983.

In the ensuing decades, she hosted a slew of other TV programs and penned more than 45 books, a number of which were best-sellers.

Just last year, she was appointed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul as the state’s honorary ambassador to loneliness.

She is survived by her two children and four grandchildren.

Born Karola Ruth Siegel, Westheimer spent her early life in Germany as the only child of middle-class Jews.

At the age of 10, she witnessed her father being taken by Nazis to the Dachau concentration camp. Her terrified mother subsequently sent Westheimer to Switzerland on the Kindertransport — a rescue train transporting Jewish children out of the country.

Both of Westheimer’s parents perished in the Holocaust, and she spent years in a Swiss orphanage. She immigrated to British-controlled Mandatory Palestine (now Israel) at the end of World War II.

Westheimer joined the Haganah Jewish Zionist paramilitary organization, later known as the Israel Defense Force. On her 20th birthday, she was seriously wounded by an exploding shell during a mortar fire attack on Jerusalem.

After months recuperating in hospital, Westheimer moved to Paris where she studied psychology at the Sorbonne.

Then, at the age of 28, she immigrated to New York City, where she obtained a master’s degree at The New School, working as a maid to pay tuition. She later earned a doctorate from Columbia University.

After years as a teacher and working as a sex therapist at a private practice, Westheimer began her media career at the age of 51.

Her age proved an advantage, with her conservative appearance a contrast to the often racy advice she dolled out to her fans.

In addition to her radio show, she hosted several TV programs on Lifetime, including “Good Sex! With Dr. Ruth Westheimer.” She ended each show urging her viewers to “have good sex.”

“Dr. Ruth” had became a household name by the mid-1980s, with appearances on late-night TV shows hosted by Johnny Carson, Joan Rivers and David Letterman.

She made the cover of TV Guide in 1988.

Westheimer continued to be a media fixture into the 1990s and 2000s, releasing dozens of books, including “First Love: A Young People’s Guide to Sexual Information.”

She additionally hosted a series of instructional videos for Playboy, entitled “Making Love,” and appeared in TV commercials for sodas, cars and mouthwash.

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Let Me Meet My Grandpa: Biden’s Secret Grandchild Makes Heartfelt Plea

Five-year-old Navy Joan Roberts grins as she charges out of her bedroom while proudly cradling a postcard of Joe Biden.

When she visited Washington DC last month, her mother told her she could choose anything she wanted from the White House gift shop.

But rather than picking out a board game, puzzle or soft toy of the president’s dog, Navy chose a headshot of the smiling US president to keep in a birdhouse in her bedroom.

It might seem an unusual choice, but Mr Biden, 81, is more to this little blue-eyed girl with soft blonde curls from rural Arkansas than just the head of state – he is her grandfather.

The president is a relative Navy “wholeheartedly yearns” to meet, according to her mother.

“She wants a connection with him so bad”, Lunden Roberts, 33, says from their home in Batesville, while Navy plays with her Barbies in her bedroom.

For years the Bidens refused to acknowledge Navy, who was conceived in the midst of her father Hunter Biden’s crack cocaine addiction.

It stings when Ms Roberts sees the other grandchildren gathered on Air Force One, or when they were embraced by Mr Biden during his inauguration.

“Those are things that children don’t get to do in their lifetime, and she’s of the bloodline and still doesn’t get that chance”, Ms Roberts says, looking down to fiddle with her rings.

“You’re a president that runs on a campaign that talks about embracing people for who they are… well this little girl is Biden blood and you’ve not embraced her, but you can embrace everybody else in the country, and that’s not fair.”

The daughter of Rob Roberts, a gun manufacturer who has gone hunting with Donald Trump Jr, Ms Roberts had an upbringing that could not be further from Hunter’s.

While he was the son of a then rising star of the Democrats in leafy Delaware, she grew up deep in the Republican Bible Belt shooting turkeys and alligators with a hot pink rifle.

After falling in love with the east coast on a school trip, Ms Roberts moved to Washington DC to study crime scene investigation after abandoning her basketball career.

She met Hunter in late 2016 when she and a friend were invited to an after party at his Rosemont Seneca office in the Swedish Embassy.

The former vice president’s son was smoking crack in a pair of boxers covered in parrots. The pair embarked on a yearlong entanglement during which Ms Roberts claims they both professed their love to one another, although she says now he may not have meant it.

In her memoir, Out of the Shadows, which will be released next month, Ms Roberts, 33, details everything from watching Hunter dance on a pole in the gentlemen’s club where she worked, to whisking her off to his father’s Virginia home with his sister-in-law turned girlfriend Hallie Biden – and then there was the time he scarred her by dropping a crack pipe on her chest.

Ms Roberts, who says she has been described as the Meghan Markle of the Bidens, describes her time with the first son as an “adventure” peppered with “scary” moments such as when he nearly overdosed in her arms in a suite in the Rosewood Hotel.

“When you were with him you were proud”, she said. “He didn’t come across like one of the junkies on the street … he was brilliant.”

After meeting Hunter, Ms Roberts shed her ruby red GOP sympathies and became what she describes as a “mainstream Arkansas Democrat”.

The only time she saw Joe Biden in the flesh was through a window at Beau Biden’s former Delaware home during the time of her affair with Hunter.

Hunter had taken an intoxicated Ms Roberts, who had turned up at his home after a night out, to his late brother’s home on the eve of the anniversary of the car crash that killed his mother Neilia and sister Naomi. Hunter and Beau had also been in the car but survived with multiple broken bones.

At around 10am on the day of the memorial service, Ms Roberts heard someone knocking on the door. She watched through a window as Mr Biden, dressed in a polo shirt and jeans, looked crestfallen as he spoke to his drug-addicted son.

Recalling that moment, she tells The Telegraph: “I see the look on Joe’s face and this pain and this heartbreak, you know, because he sees his son suffering from addiction, and there’s nothing he can do.”

When Ms Roberts told Hunter she was pregnant, she claims he promised to support her, but he shortly stopped returning her phone calls and cut her out of his company’s insurance.

He fiercely denied he was Navy’s father until he was forced to take a 2019 paternity test. It showed he was an even closer DNA match to Navy than her mother.

In his memoir Beautiful Things he described Ms Roberts as “hardly the dating type” and claimed he had “no recollection” of their encounter.

For years the parents were lodged in a bitter legal battle over child support, which was set at $20,000-a-month in 2020.

They reached a settlement last year to reduce the fees to $5,000-a-month on the condition Hunter start building a relationship with his daughter.

Meanwhile, the US president continued to insist he only had six grandchildren and was vilified by even the Left-wing media for failing to embrace his granddaughter.

Last year he finally acknowledged his seventh grandchild, but he has stopped short of communicating with her.

Since September, Navy has frequently spoken to her father during Zoom calls in which she picks out which of his paintings she wants (also part of the settlement) and the pair do arts and crafts together.

“I love my daddy”, she says, beaming in her floral dress.

Asked what her grandfather does, Navy becomes shy.

“He’s the president but I don’t know what he does, he just sits in the White House”, she says while climbing on top of her mother.

While the Bidens frequently talk about the importance of family, Ms Roberts has been devastated by how they have excluded their own flesh and blood.

Moments that have stung included seeing Christmas stockings hung in the White House for each grandchild – and even the dog – but not Navy.

Another blow came when Jill Biden dedicated her children’s book Joey to all her grandchildren – naming each one apart from Navy.

“It’s classless, it’s just tasteless, distasteful. It’s hard to understand the reasoning behind that, because what is the excuse?”, Ms Roberts says.

“As the matriarch of the family, what’s so hard [in] including one child?”

Ms Roberts adds that there is a passage in a book by Hunter’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle where Mrs Biden asks everyone to get out of a photograph who isn’t “Biden blood”.

“If you’re so big on Biden blood, what’s wrong with this one?”, Ms Roberts says, shifting in her seat.

“She’s from the same lineage, and quite frankly, Jill isn’t Biden blood but she is.”

If Mr Biden is re-elected in November, Ms Roberts says she won’t push for her child to be involved in the inauguration, but added she also won’t watch it either because it would be too painful.

Security concerns

Another thing that concerns Ms Roberts about the way her daughter has been treated is her lack of security. She is the only first grandchild without secret service protection.

Ms Roberts’ new build home on a quiet cul-de-sac is decorated with cow hides, photographs of her with her daughter and canvases displaying uplifting quotes such as “find the joy in the journey”.

But among the Aztec-inspired décor, a serious arsenal has been hidden to ensure Ms Roberts is never far from a gun.

During the run up to last year’s election Ms Roberts said she had to call her father, “Rambo Pappy”, for help after she came home to find someone in her home on multiple occasions.

“I doubt every single mother is having to board their house up at night to barricade themselves in a room with 12 guns just to go to sleep”, she says.

“They don’t offer security, they don’t protect her in any way”, she says of the Bidens.

Even when we drive to a nearby pond for photographs, Ms Roberts shoves a handgun loosely in her waistband. She claims it is to shoot cottonmouth snakes in case they try to attack us.

Her armoury includes two shotguns behind the headboard, a rifle behind the door, a glock in each nightstand and a third under the mattress.

Ms Roberts says she is considering getting private security to protect her daughter, fearing she is an easy target if someone wanted to attack Mr Biden either ahead of the election or because of his stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

When we get closer to the election they will likely relocate to a “secluded location” that is inaccessible by car.

Being a mother to a first grandchild has also caused a wedge in her romantic life. She has dated two men, one of whom she has a restraining order against while the other said Navy’s father was a “piece of s—”.

Ms Roberts says she is the “black sheep of the family” when it comes to politics. She voted for Mr Biden in the 2020 election, but she’s not sure what she will do this year.

“I’m not a Trump supporter but voting for Joe at this point is also like endorsing my child’s unacknowledgement”, she says.

The next time she will come face-to-face with Hunter will be during his California tax trial, for which she has been subpoenaed.

She’s “nervous”, she says, and thinks they will ask her about the tax returns he sent as part of the child support suit.

During their trip to Washington DC in June, Navy asked to go to the White House.

“She said ‘we need to stop by and see my grandpa, can we stop by and see my grandpa?’”, Ms Roberts says, laughing but also clearly saddened by the memory.

“I was like, ‘Oh, honey, he’s not here, he’s in Atlanta.’”

A disheartened Navy replied: “Maybe next time we come he’ll be in town.”

For the sake of the little girl who disappears to her room clutching a picture of her estranged grandfather, we can only hope at some point he invites her in.

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NYT: Dem Donors Freeze $90 Million Cash, Demanding Biden to Step Down from Race

A number of donors have told the largest super PAC supporting President Biden that they are keeping their wallets and checkbooks closed while the 81-year-old remains the presumptive Democratic nominee.

The frozen pledges to Future Forward are worth approximately $90 million — and include multiple contributions of $10 million or more, the New York Times reported Friday, citing two sources familiar with the situation.

One donor told the outlet that he had rebuffed approaches by Future Forward for contributions multiple times since Biden shocked the world with his disastrous performance in his June 27 debate with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The report is another indication that Democratic bundlers have soured on Biden since the debate and have been agitating for the party to replace the president with another candidate — likely Vice President Kamala Harris.

As of Friday afternoon, 20 congressional Democrats had called on Biden to bow out of the 2024 race, with many saying they felt he could not beat Trump, 78.

The identities of the rebel donors were kept private, while an associate of another bundler, billionaire LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, ripped the move as a mistake.

“A funding freeze is a problematic strategy at this point in the election cycle,” said the associate, Rae Steward, who called on donors to give instead to progressive “issue groups” who are “agnostic about who is at the top of the ticket.”

On Wednesday, actor George Clooney, who co-hosted a $30 million fundraiser for Biden last month, called on the incumbent to leave the race, saying Democrats “are not going to win in November with this president.”

Since the debate, opinions about Biden’s political future have been split — with donors and back-bench lawmakers calling on him to get out and House and Senate leadership largely standing by the president.

“I think everyone will be talking over Friday, Saturday and by Sunday you should have some idea of what’s going on,” Sen. Joe Manchin (I-WV) told reporters Thursday.

Hours later, Biden gave an hour-long press conference to cap the NATO summit in Washington that was studded with errors, including when he referred to Harris as “Vice President Trump” while the audience gasped and groaned.

“The president was able to answer questions that Donald Trump couldn’t even begin to understand,” a Democratic source told The Post Friday when asked for the state of play inside the party, “but, regrettably, those aren’t the questions the American people are asking or worried over right now.”

Biden has repeatedly insisted he will remain in the campaign to the end, arguing that he is the only Democrat proven to have defeated Trump at the ballot box.

“I’m determined on running but I think it’s important that I allay fears by letting them see me out there,” Biden said Thursday during the news conference. “There is so much we can do still and I’m determined to get it done.”

“There are other people who could beat Trump too, but it’s awful hard to start from scratch.”

Biden also insisted that he is fit to serve another four years, and only needed to “pace myself a little more” to avoid a performance like the one he gave at the debate.

However, the president’s campaign has already begun poll-testing Harris head-to-head against Trump, while OpenLabs, a progressive polling non-profit associated with Future Forward, has also surveyed voters on their feelings toward Harris and other potential Democrat picks.

In one OpenLabs poll taken in the aftermath of the debate, the president fared the worst compared to his Democrat counterparts. Adjusted for name recognition, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg came out on top with 301 expected electoral votes, followed by Michigan.Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with 290.

Biden got only 223 electoral votes, while Harris came in at 240 and California Gov. Gavin Newsom got 235.

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Alec Baldwin’s Rust Manslaughter Case Dismissed

In a dramatic turn of events, Alec Baldwin‘s involuntary manslaughter trial for the fatal 2021 shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was dismissed Friday over “critical evidence” that a New Mexico judge ruled had been concealed.

“The state has repeatedly made representations to defense and to the court that they were compliant with all their discovery obligations,” New Mexico Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said in her ruling from the bench just now. “Despite their repeated representations, they have continued to fail to disclose critical evidence to the defendant.”

“The state is highly culpable for its failure to provide discovery to the defendant,” Sommer added in a measured tone. “Dismissal with prejudice is warranted,” she concluded.

The ruling ends any hope of the state recharging Baldwin again.

Breaking down in tears at the defense table, the multi-Emmy-winning actor was in the courtroom when Sommer announced her ruling on the defense motion to dismiss based on concealed evidence that Baldwin’s lawyer filed late Thursday, relating to ammunition brought to police by an ex-cop.

The decision by Sommer on Friday, at the end of an evidentiary hearing over a defense motion to dismiss over bullets dropped off to Santa Fe police in recent weeks by ex-Arizona cop Troy Teske, could also mean the release of incarcerated Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed from New Mexico state prison.

With the constant chorus of local police missteps, blatant professional incompetence, DA stumbles and eccentrics that has been center stage in this matter since that terrible day almost three years ago, the dismissal of the case was simultaneously shocking and not that unexpected.

Hutchins was fatally shot, and Rust director Joel Souza was injured, on October 21, 2021 after the Colt .45 Baldwin was pointing at the cinematographer fired off a live round during a rehearsal at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe where the indie Western was filming. Facing up to 18 months in state prison if found guilty, Baldwin has always insisted that while he cocked the hammer, he did not pull the trigger and the gun somehow went off on its own. The FBI, an independent analysis and, yesterday in court the man who actual made the gun all disagreed with Baldwin’s contention — which we will likely never know definitively now.

After nervous Rust ammunition supplier Seth Kenney and a series of Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office members gave testimony Friday, including bodycam footage of Teske bringing the ammunition to the cop shop, an exasperated special prosecutor Kari Morrissey decided to roll the dice and take the stand herself.

Although Rust armorer Gutierrez-Reed was sentenced to 18 months in a state prison after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, no full explanation has ever been given for how a live round got on the Rust set.

Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers plan to file a motion for her release ASAP, I hear; Sommer was also the judge in the armorer’s trial. Gutierrez-Reed had been brought to Santa Fe earlier this week from prison, where she is serving her sentence, in the assumption she would be a witness in Baldwin’s trial as soon as today.

Just three days into what was supposed to be a nearly two-week trial, Erlinda Johnson, one of the special prosecutors in the case, resigned. The sudden move came because Johnson, who only joined the case a couple of months ago, didn’t agree with there being a public hearing on the move by Baldwin’s Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to see the matter tossed to the legal curb.

“I could see it was not at all similar to the live rounds on the set of Rust so I made the decision not to collect the rounds since they had never left Arizona,” Morrissey told the court on the record, as she and police officials had stated before of the ammunition brought in by Teske.

A close friend of Thell Reed, the iconic Hollywood gun coach and father of Gutierrez-Reed, Teske was never called as a witness in the armorer’s trial this spring and the defendant’s own lawyer Jason Bowles said he didn’t want them, according to Morrissey Not long afterwards, Teske took the ammunition to the police – something the defense claims it was just informed of despite requiring all the evidence in the case.

Over the months since Baldwin was recharged earlier this year, the defense had quibbled over and over about evidence, discovery and tactics with what has sometimes seen like a battle of locals versus city slickers. In that context, New York City-based defense lawyer Alex Spiro today accused Morrissey of not liking Baldwin personally. Almost spitting out the words, Spiro claimed Morrissey has called Baldwin “an arrogant prick” and a “c*cksucker” in the past.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Morrissey replied, insisting that she likes a number of Baldwin’s movies, SNL appearances and “his politics.” The special prosecutor also tried to state on the record that she offered Baldwin, a longtime Democrat, a plea deal early this year.

Before Morrissey could get far down that route, she was shut down by both Spiro and Sommer. “I never said to witnesses that I would teach him a lesson,” Morrissey added to further claims by Spiro. “Absolutely not.”

There was talk about a new possible plea deal today, sources tell me, but that never came together. On the other hand, with a TLC reality show in the works likely to pay some of those sizable legal bills and a couple of documentaries on the Rust calamity in production, Baldwin’s freedom from criminal prosecution could see the well-respected actor back on the big and small screen in scripted roles as a big draw for the first time in years.

A career resurrection that might begin with Rust itself.

As the march towards this trial and that of Gutierrez-Reed moved slowly forward, the one time Jensen Ackles co-starring film was brought back last year without the young armorer or the Supernatural actor. Rust 2.0 completed production in Montana in early 2023 with Souza was as director, and Baldwin as star and producer. The now-finished Rust hasn’t secured a buyer nor distributor. Some sources have said that was always the plan until Baldwin’s legal woes were over. Others have told Deadline that the film has been actively shopped at film markets to no success. That might change in short order now that Baldwin’s criminal trial is old news.

Having left the courtroom and likely Santa Fe in a hurry Friday after Sommer’s ruling, Baldwin hasn’t quite left his Rust legal troubles in the dust. The actor is up against several civil cases in California and New Mexico courts related to the film he conjured up with Souza and the terrible shooting on the movie’s set.

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Judge Dismisses Giuliani Bankruptcy, Allowing Creditors to Try to Seize His Assets

Rudy Giuliani is no longer entitled to bankruptcy protection, a judge decided Friday, making it possible for creditors to immediately pursue his assets within days.

The former mayor of New York sought bankruptcy protection after a jury awarded two Georgia election workers $148 million because Giuliani defamed them after the 2020 election. The judge’s decision Friday, to end his bankruptcy, paves the way for Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, as well as other creditors, who are trying to collect on the more than $150 million Giuliani owes.

Judge Sean Lane of the federal bankruptcy court in New York made the decision partly because of Giuliani’s lack of transparency after he filed for bankruptcy more than six months ago.

Lane highlighted in his 22-page opinion that Giuliani hadn’t provided any insight whatsoever into the books of companies he solely owns, and that have taken in thousands of dollars in wire transfers in recent weeks. The judge also said Giuliani hasn’t been fully transparent with his creditors – such as by not fully explaining on time an upcoming book contract he has, or keeping his personal earnings from a radio show and podcast coming into one of the corporate accounts.

“Mr. Giuliani has failed to provide an accurate and complete picture of his financial affairs in the six months that this case has been pending,” Lane wrote in his decision Friday. “The lack of financial transparency is particularly troubling given concerns that Mr. Giuliani has engaged in self-dealing and that he has potential conflicts of interest that would hamper the administration of his bankruptcy case.”

Giuliani – once Time magazine’s Person of the Year and a fixture in New York society – says he is now worth about $10.6 million, with nearly all of that wealth in the value of two apartments he owns, in New York City and in Palm Beach, Florida.

Moss and Freeman plan to seek liens on those properties in the coming days, according to their lawyers.

In a statement provided by a spokesman, Giuliani cast himself Friday as a man being punished for his role in politics in recent years.

“We will continue to pursue justice and we are confident that—in the long run—our system of justice will be restored and the mayor will be totally vindicated,” Giuliani’s spokesman Ted Goodman said in the statement.

Giuliani’s attorneys have indicated he plans to appeal the defamation jury verdict in favor of Moss and Freeman and that he may fight them in state court on any liens they seek.

In addition to the $6 million, three-bedroom co-op apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the $3.5 million condo on the Intracoastal Waterway in Florida, Giuliani’s creditors will also be able to try to seize his bank accounts, a Mercedes-Benz sports car, his collection of 26 luxury watches, three World Series championship rings for the New York Yankees, and other baseball memorabilia, like a signed Joe DiMaggio shirt he claims to own.

The worth of those other assets is unclear, as creditors accuse Giuliani of downplaying or not disclosing complete estimates of the value of what he owns. The creditors believe one World Series ring alone would sell for nearly $30,000, according to court filings in his bankruptcy case.

Giuliani also says in bankruptcy filings that the state of California owes him more than $10,000 related to overpaid taxes from his appearance on the TV singing game show “The Masked Singer,” according to bankruptcy filings.

Giuliani also said in filings in recent weeks that he expects to be paid tens of thousands of dollars from various ventures: coffee beans being marketed with his name and image, and a documentary that’s been in the works for years.

The court decision on Friday, announced by Lane in White Plains, New York, marks a long, slow decline for Giuliani, largely related to his work as a lawyer for former President Donald Trump after the 2020 election.

Giuliani lost his law license in New York last week because he had pushed false information in court challenging the election results on behalf of Trump. He is also fighting criminal charges in Arizona and Georgia related to Trump’s efforts to undermine his electoral loss. Giuliani has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Giuliani agreed to end his bankruptcy proceedings, after Freeman and Moss suggested that approach earlier this week. They and other creditors had become furious with the lack of transparency he provided into his assets.

The creditors argued to the judge in recent days that Giuliani was exploiting the bankruptcy system to avoid having to pay his debts, and was acting in bad faith. That accusation prompted outbursts from Giuliani in court, claiming he was the one being defamed.

In addition to Moss and Freeman, Giuliani owes more $1 million in taxes, tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid phone bills, and more than $1 million to a law firm where a close friend represented him through past investigations.

Several other companies and people, such as a former assistant and the voting machine companies Smartmatic and Dominion, are suing him too.

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Axios: Obama, Pelosi, Carville, Hillary and Bill Clinton Are Working Behind the Scenes to Get Rid of Biden

President Biden beat back the initial public campaign by Democrats to oust him from the party’s presidential ticket, swiftly and decisively. But very-connected Democrats, mostly veterans of the Obama and Clinton administrations, are plotting hourly to get him to withdraw quickly.

They’re commissioning polls, lobbying former presidents, back-channeling Democratic leaders, organizing donors and taking the fight to Biden in a very public way.

They’re the unofficial Committee to Unelect the President. The mission: Push Biden out of the presidential race — the sooner, the better.

This loose anti-Biden network is growing by the day — and is circulating polls showing Democrats would shoot from sure losers to big winners with a new ticket. Some donors are talking of a massive financial commitment to any non-Biden presidential ticket.

These Democrats see the race in stark, black-and-white terms: Just three states matter — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. That’s the Blue Wall, all of which Biden won in 2020.

And they see an obvious solution: Forget the niceties of backing Biden or even Vice President Harris. Be ruthless about finding the two people most likely to win those three states.

The anti-Biden Democrats are trading texts, emails and polling, fighting fellow Democrats on TV and X, and circulating stories and arguments by sympathetic journalists and columnists, including Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias.

Members of this notional committee tell us there’s no hidden hand — no command and control. Instead, these are all people who’ve worked together on past campaigns.

“No one is more than one person away from everyone else,” a central player told us. And almost all are one step away from former presidents Obama or Clinton.

James Carville, who helped propel Bill Clinton into the Oval Office, told us Clinton and Obama are sending a clear message by vanishing after they tweeted support for Biden the day after the debate.

“Silence is a very loud form of speech,” Carville said. “No one is saying ‘come hell or high water.'”

Obama has spoken privately with former Speaker Pelosi over their “concerns” about Biden’s viability, CNN reports.

No one’s sure the pressure campaign is working. It all depends on Biden, who controls the party’s delegates and cannot be defeated for the nomination if he stays in — no matter how bleak the outlook for November.

“You need a psychiatrist more than a spin doctor,” a veteran operative told me.

A “fatalism” and “sense of resignation” grip the party from coast to coast. “The Clinton diaspora is freaking the hell out,” said one alumnus of Clinton’s White House. “But all these people going on the record aren’t helping. All it seems to have done is cause the Bidens to dig in deeper.”

In what one operative called a “donor strike,” top party benefactors — who don’t want to be named, because they know a donor-led revolt would backfire — are moving money away from Biden, and into House and Senate campaigns as a hedge against a victory by former President Trump.

The committee includes:

Former Obama aides: The strained relationship between Obama and Biden extends to their former aides, including David Axelrod (Obama’s ruthlessly pragmatic chief strategist) and the influential “Pod Save America” guys. Biden has reportedly called Axelrod a “prick,” and threw shade at him — “Oh! You’re kidding” — during Monday’s call-in on “Morning Joe.” The pod guys — Obama alumni Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Tommy Vietor and Dan Pfeiffer — have irritated Biden’s camp by arguing for a new candidate. Lovett writes that it’s “hard to deny that in the two weeks since the debate, it’s the arrogant and small Joe Biden we’ve seen most.”

Former Clinton advisers: Carville, appearing all over the cable dial, says unsparingly that a new candidate is inevitable, whether the president admits it or not. Keeping him would be “an idiotic choice for the future of this country,” Carville told Anderson Cooper on CNN.

Elected Dems: Massive pressure is building from rank-and-file members of the Democratic caucus. One Democratic senator (Peter Welch of Vermont) and 17 House Democrats have publicly called for Biden to drop out. Scores more are furious at the White House for pushing them to support a president they view as unelectable.

Swing-seat Dems: This is the group that really matters. Vulnerable Democrats have a clear-eyed view of the president’s prospects. These Dems will abandon him — some already have — if they sense their seats are in jeopardy.

The donor class: George Clooney, who headlined the largest fundraiser in Democratic Party history last month, is the leading voice of a growing number of Hollywood types who want Biden to end his candidacy. The group includes Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel (Rahm’s brother).

Late-night liberals: Stephen Colbert — who moderated a major Biden fundraiser at Radio City in March — strongly suggested the president should step aside: “I think that Biden debated as well as Abraham Lincoln, if you dug him up right now.” Jon Stewart has escalated pleas for the nominee to be someone else. He hosted Favreau and Vietor on his podcast yesterday.

N.Y. Times Opinion: Debate-night columns by Tom Friedman and Nick Kristoff gave way to full-throated editorials — all saying Biden must go.

Biden aides busily leaking: “Some longtime aides and advisers to President Biden,” the N.Y. Times reports, “have become increasingly convinced that he will have to step aside from the campaign, and in recent days they have been trying to come up with ways to persuade him that he should.”

Two prominent ex-Biden aides — former White House communications director Kate Bedingfield and press secretary Jen Psaki — have suggested Harris as a promising alternative.

Neither specifically called for Biden to step aside. But both have softly criticized the campaign’s strategy and said he needs to put forward a coherent path to victory.

Axelrod — who’s making the case for Biden’s withdrawal two or three times a day as CNN’s senior political commentator — told us he aims to be “both realistic and respectful.”

“President Biden is a historic figure, and a lot of that is gonna be tainted if he persists and loses this race,” Axelrod told us. “The people around him have [a collective] hundreds of years of campaign experience. They know how to interpret data. They know how to read the moment. It’s just a question of whether their affection for him clouds that.”

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