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Trucking Giant Yellow Declares Immediate Shutdown, Leaving 30,000 Jobless
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Trucking giant Yellow collapsed on Sunday, ceasing operations immediately and leaving some 30,000 workers without jobs.

The closure is the biggest in terms of jobs and revenue in the U.S. trucking industry, according to The Wall Street Journal – which first reported its shutdown.

The company, which received $700 million in federal COVID relief funds in 2020, is preparing to file for bankruptcy and is in talks to sell off all or parts of the business.

The nearly 100-year-old firm is known for its competitive pricing and has more than 12,000 trucks shipping freight across the US for brands including Walmart and Home Depot.

But in recent years it has struggled under the weight of debt and had a highly contentious relationship with the Teamsters union: on Sunday, each side blamed the other.

Hundreds of non-union Yellow employees were laid off Friday from the Nashville, Tennessee, company, and about 22,000 Teamster members were told their jobs hung in the balance.

On Sunday morning, the company sent out notices to customers and employees saying it was ceasing all operations at midday.

Since 2021, the struggling brand has implemented a cost-cutting plan that executives hoped would put the business back on track.

The company’s circumstances have become all the more dire as shipping demand across the freight sector declined substantially this year.

Last week, Yellow, which had $5.2 billion in revenue last year, narrowly avoided a driver strike by Teamster union members after failing to make a $50 million payment for employee benefits. The company had a 30-day period to catch up on pension and benefits payments.

The Teamsters blamed the executives for poor management.

‘Teamsters have kept this company afloat for more than a decade through billions of dollars in wage, pension and work-rule concessions,’ a union spokesman said.

‘Yellow couldn’t manage itself, and it wasn’t up to Teamsters to do it for them.’

Stan Koniszewski, a union leader for Teamsters Local 294, said it was ‘a sad day in the freight industry.’

He said the union ‘will be there with whatever support we can give’, helping them file unemployment claims and trying to find them new jobs.

‘Whatever we do, we will do together as a family – a strong 294 family,’ he said.

In a memo sent out on Friday, Teamsters told local unions that ‘likelihood that Yellow will survive is increasingly bleak.’

They urged employees to gather their personal things and prepare for the worst.

In Friday’s memo to staff, Yellow wrote: ‘The company is shutting down its regular operations on July 28, 2023, closing and/or laying off employees at all of its locations, including yours.’

On Sunday, Yellow blamed the union for its intransience.

A spokeswoman for Yellow said it had not asked the union for concessions in its recent restructuring.

‘Yellow offered to pay its employees more,’ she said. The union ‘refused to negotiate for nine months.’

Last week, a company official told the New York Times that the company was preparing for ‘a range of contingencies.’ By Friday, a company spokesperson would not tell the Times anything more.

Yellow is saddled with some $1.5 billion in debt as of late March, including $729.2 million owed to the federal government for a controversial pandemic-era loan the Treasury Department extended on national security grounds in 2020.

A June 2023 congressional report concluded the Treasury Department dodged its own policies to issue the loan and the previous administration had made a mistake in doing so.

In May, Yellow reported a loss of $54.6 million, a decline of $1.06 per share, for its first quarter of 2023. Operating revenue was about $1.16 billion in the period.

An investors note from financial service firm Stephens last week estimated that Yellow could be burning between $9 million and $10 million each day.

Using a liquidity disclosure from earlier this month, Yellow had roughly $100 million in cash at the end of June, the note added – estimating that the company has been burning through increasing amounts of money through July.

‘It is reasonable to believe that the company could breach its $35 mil. liquidity requirement at any moment,’ Stephens analyst Jack Atkins and associate Grant Smith wrote.

The reports of bankruptcy preparations arrive just days after a strike from the Teamsters, which represents Yellow’s 22,000 unionized workers, was averted.

A series of heated exchanges have built up between the Teamsters and Yellow, who sued the union in June after alleging it was ‘unjustifiably blocking’ restructuring plans needed for the company’s survival.

The Teamsters called the litigation ‘baseless’ – with general president Sean O’Brien pointing to Yellow’s ‘decades of gross mismanagement,’ which included exhausting the $700 million federal loan.

On July 23, a pension fund agreed to extend health benefits for workers at two Yellow Corp. operating companies, averting a strike – and giving Yellow ’30 days to pay its bills,’ notably $50 million that Yellow failed to pay the Central States Health and Welfare Fund on July 15, the union stated.

While the strike didn’t occur, talks of a walkout may have caused some Yellow customers to pull back, Chan said.

If Yellow files for bankruptcy and customers continue to take their shipments to other carriers, like FedEx or ABF Freight, prices will go up.

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Julian Assange Is Free: WikiLeaks Founder Strikes Plea Deal with US

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was released from a British prison and on his way to a remote Pacific island on Tuesday where he will plead guilty to a conspiracy charge as part of a plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department, according to court documents.

The agreement will free Assange and end the yearslong legal battle over the publication of a trove of classified documents.

Assange was charged by criminal information — which typically signifies a plea deal — with conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information, the court documents said.

Wikileaks posted footage to X of Assange boarding a plane at Stanstead Airport near London at 5 p.m. (12 p.m. ET) on Monday.

A letter from Justice Department official Matthew McKenzie said Assange would appear in court in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S.-controlled territory north of Guam, at 9 a.m. local time Wednesday (7 p.m. ET Tuesday) to plead guilty.

A plane believed to be carrying Assange landed early Tuesday in the Thai capital Bangkok to refuel. He will later arrive for what could be a final court hearing after spending five years in a British jail.

The islands are 3,400 miles north of Australia, Assange’s country of citizenship, where the Justice Department expects he will return following the proceedings.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that “the case has dragged on for too long, there is nothing to be gained by his continued incarceration and we want him brought home to Australia.”

Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, said in a statement widely reported by Australian media: “I am grateful that my son’s ordeal is finally coming to an end. This shows the importance and power of quiet diplomacy.”

His wife, Stella Assange, is currently in Australia with the couple’s two children, aged 5 and 7, waiting for his arrival, she told BBC Radio 4. “He will be a free man once it is signed off by a judge,” she said, adding that she wasn’t sure the deal would happen until the last 24 hours.

She said she was “elated.”

U.S. charges against Assange stem from one of the largest publications of classified information in American history, which took place during President Barack Obama’s first term.

Starting in late 2009, according to the government, Assange conspired with Chelsea Manning, a military intelligence analyst, to use his WikiLeaks website to disclose tens of thousands of activity reports about the war in Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of reports about the war in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of State Department cables and assessment briefs of detainees at the U.S. detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Court documents revealing Assange’s plea deal were filed Monday evening in U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. Assange was expected to appear in that court and to be sentenced to 62 months, with credit for time served in British prison, meaning he would be free to return to Australia, where he was born.

“This was an independent decision made by the Department of Justice and there was no White House involvement in the plea deal decision,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement Monday evening.

Assange has been held in the high-security Belmarsh Prison in east London for five years, and he previously spent seven years in self-exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London — where he reportedly fathered two children — until his asylum was withdrawn and he was forcibly carried out of the embassy and arrested in April 2019. A superseding indictment was returned more than five years ago, in May 2019, and a second superseding indictment was returned in June 2020.

Assange has been fighting extradition for more than a decade: first in connection with a sex crimes case in Sweden, then in connection with the case against him in the United States.

In March, the High Court in London gave him permission for a full hearing on his appeal as he sought assurances that he could rely upon the First Amendment at a trial in the U.S. In May, two judges on the High Court said he could have a full hearing on whether he would be discriminated against in the U.S. because he is a foreign national. A hearing on the issue of Assange’s free speech rights had been scheduled for July 9-10.

WikiLeaks also published hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee that upended the 2016 presidential race. Russian intelligence officers were subsequently indicted in connection with the hacking in 2018 in a case brought by then-special counsel Robert Mueller.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison, but Obama commuted her sentence in the final days of his presidency in 2017. Manning was subsequently held in contempt of court for nearly a year after she refused to answer questions for a grand jury; she was then released after an attempted suicide.

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Takeaways from Monday’s Hearings in the Trump Documents Case

During a long day of hearings in Fort Pierce, Florida, Judge Aileen Cannon challenged prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s team to show how former President Donald Trump’s repeated comments about the FBI translated into a threat against law enforcement officers.

The special counsel’s office says that a gag order is needed because Trump has repeatedly, and misleadingly, alleged that the agents who searched his Mar-a-Lago estate in 2022 were authorized to murder him.

Cannon did not seem inclined to approve the limitations on Trump’s speech but did not immediately issue a ruling.

The judge also heard arguments on Trump’s long-shot motion alleging that the special counsel’s office is being improperly funded. She did not rule on that motion either.

Here’s what to know from Monday’s hearings:

Cannon is skeptical of a gag order

Cannon showed some skepticism toward prosecutors’ arguments, asking where they saw a call to violence in Trump’s comments and saying that they had needed to show some connecting facts between what the former president has said and the threats they are warning about.

Cannon said that the statute prosecutors are citing for the gag order “still requires a finding” related to the potential risks to others, noting that prosecutors don’t need a direct cause.

“There still needs to be a factual connection between A and B,” Cannon said of the bridge between Trump’s comments and potential threats.

Prosecutor David Harbach responded that other posts and comments by Trump “ultimately result in all types of terrible things,” including threats or harassment of law enforcement.

He said that while Trump is welcome to campaign, there should be certain limits when it comes to the safety of FBI agents on the case.

Judge dresses down prosecutor

Cannon repeatedly sparred with Harbach, who she said was being snippy during his arguments.

First, Cannon dressed down the prosecutor for his lack of “decorum” while addressing her.

Harbach had seemingly become irritated at Cannon’s detailed questions.

Cannon quickly stopped Harbach, telling him, “I don’t appreciate your tone.” She added that she would “appreciate decorum at all times” and said, “If you aren’t able to do that, I’m sure one of your colleagues can take up arguing this motion.”

“Yes, your honor,” Harbach replied.

The judge also slammed Harbach for not providing evidence of other court rulings on gag orders against Trump, despite referring to those orders in their arguments.

Harbach later apologized to Cannon, saying, “I didn’t mean to be unprofessional. I’m sorry about that.”

Trump accuses Smith of trying to punish him for others’ actions

Trump’s defense attorney Todd Blanche said Monday that there were no threats to FBI agents in Trump’s email or social media posts cited by the government, and argued the Justice Department was trying to punish Trump for other people’s comments.

“The attacks, very clearly, are against President Biden,” Blanche said of Trump’s communications at issue.

Blanche acknowledged that the DOJ’s “deadly force” policy in place for the Mar-a-Lago search was standard for the execution of such search warrants but said that “It doesn’t mean that it was right” for agents to have been armed during the search (as they normally are).

The defense attorney also said that prosecutors were trying to set a “dangerous precedent” by changing the former president’s conditions of release. He said that prosecutors are too vaguely defining what a threat is, making any potential new rules difficult to follow and potentially making him liable for other peoples’ comments.

“Steve Bannon making a comment is potentially the kind of thing that could send President Trump to jail,” Blanche said.

Cannon has tough questions on how special counsel’s office is funded

In the morning session, though the judge was careful to say her questions shouldn’t imply she was leaning one way, Cannon pushed Justice Department attorney James Pearce to explain how much money the department has used for its work in the Trump criminal cases.

The judge noted that even if the office discloses its spending publicly every six months, a financial disclosure that would encompass last fall through this March was overdue.

She also sought from prosecutors guidance on explaining the laws and regulations that governed past special prosecutors, at one point bringing up Watergate and the era of Janet Reno as attorney general.

Cannon’s questions were so pointed toward Pearce that at one point the prosecutor mentioned how other courts have been overturned if they invalidated a government function in the way Cannon was probing, and said he hoped the Justice Department could provide additional written argument to the court if invalidating Smith was a serious possibility.

Should Congress be more involved?

Trump is also aiming to bring Congress into the conversation. Trump attorney Emil Bove advocated at Monday’s hearing that Cannon should insist on more congressional oversight of the special counsel’s office’s work, or decide that the way the office is funded is unlawful because, he says, the money is being used in a way Congress hadn’t authorized.

The argument is in line with other arguments the Trump team has made to the judge in recent days alleging Smith is too independent from Justice Department leadership. Bove also told the judge more congressional oversight would curb what he called “extraordinary things” that were happening in the documents case.​

Justice Department attorneys have responded in court that the special counsel operates in line with established policies, in place over several decades and administrations, and that the DOJ is committed to continuing to fund this prosecution of Trump under the attorney general’s authorization. Republicans on Capitol Hill have also tried to buckle down on the DOJ’s use of the special counsel’s office and its funding.

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Two Federal Judges Block Part of Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

President Biden’s latest iteration of his student-loan “forgiveness” plan has been temporarily blocked, as two federal judges sided with multiple Republican states in ruling that only Congress holds the authority to erase student debt.

Both preliminary injunctions were filed Monday, prohibiting the Biden administration from canceling student loans under the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment program.

It was set to take effect July 1. The pair of orders are a victory for Kansas and Missouri, both of which led multistate lawsuits against implementation of the SAVE plan this spring.

SAVE would have canceled at least $156 billion in student-loan debt, transferring it to taxpayers, according to Kansas’s lawsuit. Missouri’s lawsuit estimated that the “forgiveness” plan would have cost American taxpayers $475 billion over the next decade.

Attorney General Kris Kobach of Kansas led his multistate coalition in suing Biden, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, and the Department of Education for attempting to bypass Congress and approve the cancellation of student debt for a second time.

The SAVE program was created after the Supreme Court last June struck down a similar “forgiveness” plan, one that would have transferred to taxpayers up to $430 billion in student debt.

Kobach’s lawsuit argued that the Department of Education doesn’t have the authority to cancel billions in student debt. It also contended that the SAVE program is violating the Supereme Court’s ruling and that Congress is the only government body that can authorize student-loan “forgiveness,” since it would require the spending of taxpayer money.

Kansas and Missouri were two of the six states that successfully challenged the Biden administration’s Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act last year.

In Biden v. Nebraska, the Supreme Court ruled 6–3 that Cardona does not have authority under the HEROES Act to cancel roughly $430 billion in student debt. The Court held that this move would have affected nearly all borrowers.

“Kansas’s victory today is a victory for the entire country,” Kobach said in a statement.

“As the court correctly held, whether to forgive billions of dollars of student debt is a major question that only Congress can answer. Biden’s administration is attempting to usurp Congress’s authority. This is not only unconstitutional, it’s unfair. Blue-collar Kansas workers who didn’t go to college shouldn’t have to pay off the student loans of New Yorkers with gender studies degrees.”

Attorney General Andrew Bailey of Missouri likewise praised the injunction order related to his lawsuit, calling it a “huge win for the Constitution.”

With both lawsuits, more than a dozen states have sued Biden, the Department of Education, and its leader over this student-debt issue.

Kansas was joined by Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah in its litigation. In Missouri’s lawsuit, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio, and Oklahoma were listed as additional plaintiffs.

So far, since Biden took office, 4.75 million borrowers have had $167 billion in student debt canceled, with the bill transferred to taxpayers.

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Catherine Herridge Reports on COVID Vaccine Injuries in the US Military

The U.S. Army and National Guard acknowledged a soldier’s “debilitating heart condition” is connected to the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new report by former CBS reporter Catherine Herridge.

Army National Guard Specialist Karoline Stancik, 24, has reportedly racked up over $70,000 in medical debt after being hospitalized for heart complications.

She suffered her first heart attack after receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

An Army memo about Stancik’s situation acquired by Herridge shows she had been diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or “POTS.” Stancik described having intense adverse reactions to her vaccinations, including high heart rate, neuropathic pain and difficulty breathing.

She was released from active duty in 2022, costing her medical benefits and a salary.

Watch:

The effects she experienced were so detrimental to her health, Stancik said, that she considered suicide. She now requires a pacemaker and heart surgery.

It’s not what I expected for myself,” she said. “I though it was going to be doing marathons.”

Stancik is now being represented by USJAG, an advocacy organization for soldiers injured in the lie of duty. Veterans Advocate Jeremy Sorenson told The National Desk (TND) the case represents a larger trend of removing benefits from injured troops as a cost-saving measure within the Department of Defense.

They have the money,” Sorenson said. “They choose to spend the money on other things. The Department of Defense chooses to spend its money not on its people, not on injured servicemembers, they have other priorities.”

“Our country has a responsibility to take care of our injured service members,” he added. “[Branches of the military] ignore the Department of Defense instructions, they ignore federal law and they make policies and they make determinations that are wholesale illegal.”

An Army spokesperson reportedly told Herridge that Stancik could have remained on active duty while receiving treatment. She denied having ever been counseled about this option.

Neither the Pentagon nor Moderna responded to a request for comment from TND Monday.

The GOP side of the House Judiciary Committee applauded Herridge’s return to journalism in a post on X Monday afternoon, claiming the “Left tried to silence” her. Herridge was laid off from CBS News in February.

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VIDEO: Minnesota Dam on Verge of Failure as Residents Remain on High Alert

The Rapidan Dam in Blue Earth County, Minnesota, is in imminent failure condition, putting residents nearby on high alert as water levels continue to rise.

Blue Earth County Emergency Management officials posted on Facebook that anyone in imminent danger of rushing waters was notified of the situation.

“The Dam is currently intact and there is not an evacuation order in place for Blue Earth County residents,” officials said. “The situation is being monitored closely by BEC Public Works, Emergency Management, and the Sheriff’s Office.”

FOX 9 in Minneapolis reported that the alert notification from BEC stated they did not know if the dam would totally fail or remain in place, though officials determined it was necessary to issue the notification to let residents downstream of the dam know about the situation.

Mankato Police and Fire posted on Facebook Monday afternoon that the water level at the dam was 28 feet. The levee system is built to withstand a river capacity up to 39.5 feet.

“According to Blue Earth County officials, if Rapidan Dam becomes compromised, they estimate that there would be up to a 2 ft. surge in the river level,” the post read.

“This remains a developing situation and the City of Mankato is confident the levee system will hold and there are no areas currently in the City of Mankato that are under evacuation orders.”

The post also noted that there was an increased amount of activity by Xcel Energy around Sibley Park, as 170 employees from Xcel and about 400 pieces of equipment are being maneuvered to protect a nearby substation.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and state emergency response officials provided an update on the situation Monday morning.

“We are continuing to monitor the status of the dam with local officials,” Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Kristi Rollwagen said.

“We were made aware of the situation about 4 a.m. this morning. We’re also looking at the communication cell towers in the area and working to get resources down there to support cellular communications. Right now, the integrity of the dam is intact, but we will continue to monitor it and be aware of what’s going on.”

Walz said the structural integrity of the dam has been a question for a long time.

Making matters worse, the National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning for the county until 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

The station reported that all the exit and entrance ramps on Highway 169 at Lookout Drive in Mankato and North Mankato have been closed as officials construct an earthen dike, or a temporary berm or ridge of compacted soil used to divert runoff to a desired location.

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Top Secret Undersea Drone Scrubbed from Internet After Showing Up on Google Maps

A Top secret US weapon has baffled online users after being captured on Google Maps – but has since been scrubbed completely from the internet.

The prototype was caught docked at the Californian Port Hueneme naval base but has since been deleted and replaced with what social media users believe are “edited” boats.

The drone, dubbed Manta Ray with its diamond-shaped bodies and wing-like fins, has cutting-edge sensors for underwater threat detection and hazard classification.

Until recently, engineers at defence company Northrop Grumman Corporation have kept their pioneering design top secret.

But the uncrewed underwater vehicle was unleashed into the waters for testing last month.

The aerospace firm describe the sub drone as an “extra-large glider that will operate long-duration, long-range and payload-capable undersea missions without need for on-site human logistics.”

Its development is considered a major advancement for underwater drone technology.

The Manta Ray shows an extended range, long-term deployment and a diverse payload capacity.

Due to its modular design, it can be dismantled and transported in standard shipping containers – removing the need for dedicated port facilities.

It also has energy-saving functionalities, and is able to anchor onto the seabed and enter a hibernation mode when not involved in missions.

If there were an urgent threat, the Manta Ray would be deployable quicker traditional subs.

It’s reported that Google Maps only updates its images every one to three years, suggesting the subs rapid disappearance was deliberate.

Users were left dumbfounded by the bizarre spotting and disappearance of the sub, with one comment reading: “it’s gone. They replaced it.”

Another said: “nothing there but it looks like the boats have the front under water … looks edited.”

One user slammed other comments, claiming the subs brief appearance was not an accident: “you honestly believe that the gov’t wouldn’t vet what satellite imagery is being used by US commercial interests like Google?

“They were surveilling all local domestic telephony before the internet was even around.

“If it’s there, it’s meant to be there.”

In light of the Manta Ray being out, rumours are swirling that the death drone is to be put to use, potentially in the Black Sea to help Ukraine’s defence.

It comes after embarrassing footage shows Putin’s only remaining missile in the Black Sea being destroyed in what is part of Ukraine’s ongoing campaign targeting the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

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Hooters Shuts 40 Locations as Restaurant Crisis Deepens

Hooters – known for its scantily-clad waitresses – is the latest restaurant chain to abruptly shutters locations.

Like other struggling chains such as Red Lobster, Hooters is blaming the rising cost of rent and food.

A raft of closures happened over the weekend, while others were in recent weeks. They include locations in Florida, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.

The company is not thought to be in as dire financial situation as Red Lobster, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In fact, bosses said the 41-year-old brand ‘remains highly resilient and relevant,’ and highlighted a new range of Hooters frozen food which is being sold in supermarkets across America.

‘Like many restaurants under pressure from current market conditions, Hooters has made the difficult decision to close a select number of underperforming stores,’ a spokesperson told DailyMail.com.

‘We look forward to continuing to serve our guests at home, on the go and at our restaurants here in the US and around the globe.’

Hooters will have about 300 restaurants globally after the closures. That is down from 333 in 2018, according to Techonomic.

Rivals Dave & Buster’s, Miller’s Ale House and Twin Peaks all have more restaurants.

Restaurants have been putting up prices over the past two years – as they pass on higher costs to customers. But these price hikes have led to a fall in visitors.

Bigger chains like Applebee’s, TGI Fridays and Boston Market have have all recently shuttered restaurants, as have smaller chains like BurgerFi.

Chains have been worst hit in California where the minimum wage for fast food restaurants jumped to $20-an-hour from April 1. Mexican chain Rubio’s shut 48 locations in the state.

Hooters, as well as being known for scantily clad waitresses, also calls itself ‘the original American wing joint’, and celebrated its 40th birthday in 2023.

Only last May, it was opening restaurants – three in Las Vegas and three in Florida.

The first Hooters opened in Clearwater, Florida in 1983.

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California Hiker Missing in Mountains for 10 Days Drank a Gallon of Water Out of Boot Daily to Survive

A California hiker who was lost for 10 days while exploring the Santa Cruz Mountains drank a gallon of water out of his boot a day before he was finally rescued last week, according to reports.

Lukas McClish, 34, didn’t even put on a shirt when he began his hike on June 11 that was supposed to last only three hours before he lost his way, and was reported missing six days later when he didn’t show up for a Father’s Day dinner, ABC 7 Los Angeles reported.

“I left with just a pair of pants, and my pair of hiking shoes, and a hat. I had a flashlight, and a pair of folding scissors, like a Leatherman tool. And that was about it,” the Boulder Creek resident told the station on Friday.

He drank water he found from natural sources to keep going.

“I just make sure I drank a gallon of water every day, but then after, getting close to the end of it, my body needed food and some kind of sustenance,” he said, per ABC 7 LA.

“I go up a canyon, down a canyon to the next waterfall and sit down by the waterfall and drink water out of my boot,” McClish also said, according to KSBW.

The lost hiker, who also reportedly ate wild berries, said he would sleep on wet leaves as he screamed for help.

“Just ‘Help, help. I’m over here,’” he told the station. “Or ‘Is anybody out there? I want a burrito and a taco bowl,’ that’s what I thought about every day when after the first five days, when I started to kind of realize that I might be in over my head.”

McClish told ABC 7 LA he struggled to navigate because certain landmarks were wiped out by recent wildfires in Northern California.

Multiple agencies scoured the area before he was finally located in Big Basin State Parks on Thursday afternoon.

“There were multiple reports of witnesses hearing someone yelling for help, but the location of that person was hard to establish,” the Cal Fire San Mateo – Santa Cruz department said in a social media post.

McClish said he was a little sore and lost his voice, but otherwise didn’t suffer any injuries.

He told ABC 7 LA he was grateful when he saw all the bootprints and pawprints on the ground of first responders looking for him.

“It was just really humbling and I don’t know, it was an awesome experience,” McClish said.

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CNN Cuts Off Trump Spox as Debate Preview Goes Off the Rails

CNN abruptly cut Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt from the air Monday morning — just days before the network is set to host the first 2024 presidential debate between her boss and President Biden.

Anchor Kasie Hunt pulled the plug just minutes after the interview got underway after asking Leavitt what the former president’s strategy was for when he takes to the stage in Atlanta, Ga., on Thursday.

“President Trump is well prepared ahead of Thursday’s debates. Unlike Joe Biden, he doesn’t have to hide away and have his advisers tell him what to say. President Trump knows what he wants to say,” Leavitt started.

The spokeswoman then noted the debate stage would likely be a “hostile environment” for her boss — and accused CNN’s debate moderators, co-hosts Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, of biased coverage of him in the past.

“That’s why President Trump is knowingly going into a hostile environment on this very network on CNN with debate moderators who have made their opinions about him very well known over the past eight years in their biased coverage of him,” she said.

Hunt immediately fired back that her colleagues were “professionals” before playing a slew of prepared clips showing the former president’s past comments about what he’s expecting to face from moderators.

When Leavitt tried to speak up and note that she was “stating facts that your colleagues have said in the past,” Hunt repeatedly drowned her out.

“Ma’am, we’re going to stop right there if you’re going to keep attacking my colleagues,” Hunt said. “I would like to talk about Joe Biden and Donald Trump, who you work for.”

“I’m sorry, guys … Karoline, thank you very much for your time. You’re welcome to come back at any time,” Hunt suddenly declared.

“She is welcome to come back and speak about Donald Trump. Donald Trump will have equal time to Joe Biden when they both join us … later this week in Atlanta for this debate.”

Hunt later defended the move, writing on X, “You come on my show, you respect my colleagues. Period. I don’t care what side of the aisle you stand on, as my track record clearly shows.”

In a statement provided to The Post Monday, Leavitt said the on-air snub proves that the presumptive GOP nominee “will not be treated fairly” in the upcoming debate.

“CNN cutting off my microphone for bringing up a debate moderator’s history of anti-Trump lies just proves our point that President Trump will not be treated fairly in Thursday’s debate,” Leavitt said.

“Yet President Trump is still willing to go into this 3-1 fight to bring his winning message to the American people, and he will win.”

The saga unfolded ahead of Thursday’s CNN-hosted debate between Biden and Trump.

The 90-minute showdown — a rematch from the 2020 president election — will be moderated by Tapper and Bash.

CNN defended both Tapper and Bash on Monday, saying in a statement that the duo were “well respected veteran journalists who have covered politics for more than five decades combined.”

“They have extensive experience moderating major political debates, including CNN’s Republican Presidential Primary Debate this cycle,” a rep for the network said.

“There are no two people better equipped to co-moderate a substantial and fact-based discussion and we look forward to the debate on June 27 in Atlanta.”

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Alex Jones’ Infowars to Be Shut Down, Assets Liquidated: Bankruptcy Trustee

A US bankruptcy court trustee is planning to shut down Alex Jones’ Infowars media platform and liquidate its assets to help pay the $1.5 billion in lawsuit judgments Jones owes for repeatedly calling the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting a hoax.

In an “emergency” motion filed Sunday in Houston, trustee Christopher Murray indicated publicly for the first time that he intends to “conduct an orderly wind-down” of the operations of Infowars’ parent company and “liquidate its inventory.”

Murray, who was appointed by a federal judge to oversee the assets in Jones’ personal bankruptcy case, did not give a timetable for the liquidation.

Jones has been saying on his web and radio shows that he expects Infowars to operate for a few more months before it is shut down because of the bankruptcy.

But he has vowed to continue his bombastic broadcasts in some other fashion, possibly on social media. He also had talked about someone else buying the company and allowing him to continue his shows as an employee.

Murray also asked US Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez to put an immediate hold on the Sandy Hook families’ efforts to collect the massive amount Jones owes them. Murray said those efforts would interfere with his plans to close the parent company, Free Speech Systems in Austin, Texas, and sell off its assets — with much of the proceeds going to the families.

On Friday, lawyers for the parents of one of the 20 children killed in the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, asked a state judge in Texas to order Free Speech Systems, or FSS, to turn over to the families certain assets, including money in bank accounts, and garnish its accounts. Judge Maya Guerra Gamble approved the request, court records show, prompting Murray’s emergency motion.

The parents, Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, was killed in the shooting, won a $50 million verdict in Texas over Jones’ lies about the shooting being a hoax staged by crisis actors with the goal of increasing gun control. In a separate Connecticut lawsuit, Jones was ordered to pay other Sandy Hook families more than $1.4 billion for defamation and emotional distress.

Referring to the families’ collection efforts, Murray said in the Sunday court filing that “The specter of a pell-mell seizure of FSS’s assets, including its cash, threatens to throw the business into chaos, potentially stopping it in its tracks, to the detriment” of his duties in Jones’ personal bankruptcy case.

“The Trustee seeks this Court’s intervention to prevent a value-destructive money grab and allow an orderly process to take its course,” Murray said.

Murray also asked the judge to clarify his authority over Jones’ bank accounts. As part of Jones’ personal bankruptcy case, his ownership rights of FSS were turned over to Murray. Jones has been continuing his daily broadcasts in the meantime.

It was not immediately clear when the bankruptcy judge would address Murray’s motion.

Bankruptcy lawyers for Jones, Heslin and Lewis did not immediately return messages seeking comment Monday.

Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families in the Connecticut lawsuit, said they supported the trustee’s new motion. He also said the families were disappointed with the motion filed Friday in the Texas court by Heslin and Lewis, which he said would “undercut” an equitable distribution of Jones’ assets to all the families.

“This is precisely the unfortunate situation that the Connecticut (lawsuit) families hoped to avoid,” Mattei said.

The families in both lawsuits, who have not received anything from Jones yet, appear likely to get only a fraction of what Jones owes them.

Jones has about $9 million in personal assets, according to the most recent financial filings in court. Free Speech Systems has about $6 million in cash on hand and about $1.2 million worth of inventory, according to recent court testimony.

On June 14, Lopez, the bankruptcy judge, approved converting Jones’ personal bankruptcy case from a reorganization to a liquidation, which Jones requested. Lopez also dismissed the reorganization bankruptcy case of FSS, after lawyers for Jones and the Sandy Hook families could not agree on a final bankruptcy plan.

The bankruptcy cases had put an automatic hold on the families’ efforts to collect any of the $1.5 billion, under federal law. The dismissal of the FSS bankruptcy meant the families would have to shift those efforts from the bankruptcy court to the state courts in Texas and Connecticut where they won the legal judgments.

Jones and Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy protection in 2022, the same year that relatives of many victims of the school shooting that killed 20 first graders and six educators won their lawsuits.

The relatives said they were traumatized by Jones’ hoax conspiracies and his followers’ actions. They testified about being harassed and threatened by Jones’ believers, some of whom confronted the grieving families in person saying the shooting never happened and their children never existed. One parent said someone threatened to dig up his dead son’s grave.

Jones is appealing the judgments in the state courts. He has said that he now believes the shooting did happen, but free speech rights allowed him to say it didn’t.

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Rep. Anna Paulina to Force Vote on Obscure Maneuver Forcing Sergeant-at-Arms to Detain Garland

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) will move within days to force a vote on having the House sergeant-at-arms forcibly bring Attorney General Merrick Garland before the House by holding him in “inherent contempt” over his refusal to turn over audio of President Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur.

Luna sent a letter to her colleagues Monday saying she will call up her inherent contempt resolution “in the next few days.” When she raises the question of privilege, leaders will have to schedule action on the resolution within two legislative days.

Her move follows House Republicans holding Garland in contempt of Congress earlier this month over his refusal to provide audio recordings from Biden’s October interview with Hur about his handling of classified documents, which Republicans had subpoenaed. The Justice Department provided a written transcript of the conversation, and Biden has claimed executive privilege over the tapes.

“Under inherent contempt, the individual is brought before the bar of the House by the Sergeant at Arms, tried by the body, and can then be detained either in the Capitol or in D.C.,” Luna wrote in the letter, obtained by The Hill. “This process demonstrates the seriousness with which Congress views non-compliance and the potential consequences for those who refuse to cooperate.”

The Justice Department declined to comment on Luna’s plans.

Inherent contempt hasn’t been used in nearly 100 years, and doing so would raise a number of questions. There are no guidelines or House rules for next steps for the sergeant-at-arms or the House, nor is there a protocol for an arrest of a Cabinet official protected by an FBI detail.

House rules state that “the recalcitrant witness may be arrested and brought to trial before the bar of the House, with the offender facing possible incarceration,” but do not go into additional detail. A 2019 Congressional Research Service report described inherent contempt as a potentially powerful threat, but also a “cumbersome, inefficient” tool.

Luna had long forecast her plans to force the vote. She filed her inherent contempt resolution in early May and promised to force a vote on it within 10 days of the other contempt resolution passing out of committee if the Justice Department did not act to produce the Biden-Hur audio.

“The only option to ensure compliance with our subpoena is to use our constitutional authority of inherent contempt. In the next few days, I will call up my resolution holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and I look forward to each of you voting in favor of it,” Luna said in her letter. “The urgency of this situation cannot be overstated. Our ability to legislate effectively and fulfill our constitutional duties is at stake. We must act now to protect the integrity and independence of the legislative branch.”

All but one Republican voted earlier this month to hold Garland in contempt, a resolution that acts as a referral to the Department of Justice, which then weighs whether any criminal charges are warranted.

The department announced just days after the vote that it would not pursue any contempt charges for Garland, noting precedent across administrations of both parties not to bring charges against officials when a president has claimed executive privilege over the materials.

Garland earlier this month was critical of the House after it voted to approve the contempt resolution, accusing Republicans of using contempt as a “partisan weapon.”

“It is deeply disappointing that this House of Representatives has turned a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon. Today’s vote disregards the constitutional separation of powers, the Justice Department’s need to protect its investigations, and the substantial amount of information we have provided to the Committees,” Garland said in a statement after the vote.

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Ransomware Group Claims to Have Hacked Federal Reserve

The ransomware group known as LockBit claimed to have hacked the Federal Reserve Bank and says it will release 33 terabytes of sensitive data on Tuesday, Daily Dot reported.

In a post to the dark web this week, the criminal organization alleged that it had been in talks with the bank in order to secure a ransom in exchange for keeping the data private.

“33 terabytes of juicy banking information containing Americans’ banking secrets,” the group wrote. “You better hire another negotiator within 48 hours, and fire this clinical idiot who values Americans’ bank secrecy at $50,000.”

LockBit rose to prominence in 2019 by bringing in millions of dollars in ransom payments. And although the group’s online infrastructure was shuttered by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in February, LockBit has managed to reemerge and continue its operations.

Cybersecurity experts, however, are skeptical of claims regarding the Federal Reserve and note that LockBit has not released any sample data. In remarks on X, the malware sample hosting service vx_undeground expressed doubt that the cybercrime group had managed such a feat.

“If Lockbit ransomware group actually ransomed the United States Federal Reserve it would be DEFCON 2 and the administrators would need to worry about a drone strike,” the group jokingly wrote. “Unless Lockbit ransomware group ransomed something small in the Federal Reserve, like maybe Lockbit took down their coffee machine and they can’t watch anime or something (we don’t know what the staff at the Federal Reserve actually do).”

Cybersecurity analyst and security researcher Dominic Alvieri, who regularly reports on ransomware groups, similarly expressed skepticism in regards to LockBit’s allegations.

“No proof so prolly just blowing off steam,” Alvieri said.

Brett Callow, a threat analyst at the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, told the Daily Dot that he believed LockBit was merely attempting to garner attention.

“LockBit’s claim is likely complete and utter bollo… erm, nonsense, and a tactic designed to get its ailing RaaS [Ransomware-as-a-Service) back into the limelight.”

Given that LockBit claims the data will be published on Tuesday, assuming the Federal Reserve doesn’t pay the alleged ransom, it won’t be long until everyone’s questions are answered.

Just last month, the U.K.’s National Crime Agency revealed the alleged identity of LockBit’s leader. The man, Russian national Dmitry Khoroshev, has since been sanctioned by the U.S., U.K., and Australia.

The U.S. government is offering $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Khoroshev.

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Illegal Migrants Lured Jocelyn Nungaray, 12, Under Bridge, Raped Her for 2 Hours Before Killing Her

The illegal Venezuelan migrants accused of murdering Jocelyn Nungaray in Houston lured the 12-year-old girl under a bridge, where they stripped her naked to the waist and assaulted her for two hours, disturbing new court documents allege.

Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, and Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, allegedly bound Jocelyn’s hands behind her back during the brutal assault, then strangled her and dumped her body in a bayou, a Harris County court heard Monday.

Her feet were also bound and her back was covered in cuts, the court heard, according to KPRC.

Pena Ramos also allegedly asked his employer at a construction site for money so he could skip town after the murder, prosecutors said, according to Fox 26 Houston.

Both men are charged with capital murder for Jocelyn’s death. Though the current charges do not carry the possibility of the death penalty, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said prosecutors have not ruled out pursuing it.

Ramos appeared during the Monday hearing, where the judge ruled him a flight risk and set his bond at $10 million – double what prosecutors requested, and ten times the sum sought by the defense.

“Our immigration system is broken and if there was ever a case that reflected that, it’s this one,” DA Ogg said during a press conference following the hearing.

Pena Ramos crossed the southern border illegally at El Paso, Texas, on May 28, The Post first reported last week, telling agents he was going to live with his cousin in Houston.

He was fitted with an ankle monitor that was set to track his location for 21 days – which he cut off two days after Jocelyn’s body was found.

Rangel Martinez entered the country at El Paso on March 14 and was also given an ankle monitor, but had it removed in May after it was determined he had no known criminal history.

Both suspects were seen on surveillance footage entering a 7/11 with Jocelyn on the night of her murder, and then walk down to the bridge where her body was later found half naked and strangled to death.

Jocelyn’s family said she sneaked out of her home the night of her disappearance and at some point met up with the suspects.

Her mother, Alexis Nungaray, spoke alongside DA Ogg Monday, saying her daughter had amazing opportunities in her future that her killers ripped from her.

“She was amazing, I still see her face in the back of my head everyday, all day. I keep getting little signs about her throughout the days and it’s been a very, very hard time for me and my family,” Nungaray said.

“She had such a bright future ahead of her and I knew she was gonna go very far and these monsters took that opportunity from her, from our family.”

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Bidens Refinanced $350,000 Home 20 Times Since Buying, Taking $4.2M in Loans: Report

Joe Biden and First Lady Jill have been using their homes as an ATM, taking out multiple mortgages and refinancing their Delaware properties an astonishing 35 times, a DailyMail.com investigation has revealed.

The president has lived in two houses in his home state since 1975, when he bought his first property in Wilmington that he later sold in the late 1990s.

But records obtained by DailyMail.com show the couple have had a habit of negotiating a new mortgage or credit deal on both homes every 17 months.

Over the decades the Bidens have borrowed a total of $6million on both properties – and there’s still an outstanding $541,000 mortgage on their current three-bed, 4.5-bath Wilmington mansion nearly three decades after they bought it.

The constant refinancing raises the question of why the Bidens, who have a reported net worth of $10million, needed a constant flow of extra cash.

‘It doesn’t make a lot of sense unless they were desperate for cash,’ a finance expert told DailyMail.com.

The revelation comes as questions grow about the president’s involvement in his son Hunter’s shady business dealings with Chinese oil giant CEFC and other foreign entities.

According to the mortgage documents, the president and first lady purchased their current four-acre lot for $350,000 in March 1996 but have since saddled it with 20 different home credit agreements and mortgages totaling $4.23million.

Their previous five-bed, 2.5-bath home in the same town was purchased for $185,000 in 1975 – and sold controversially for $1.2million in 1996.

Records show the property had a total of 15 mortgages and lines of credit attached to it.

The Bidens also own a summer home in Rehoboth Beach, which they scooped up in in June 2017 for $2,744,001, according to Sussex County public records.

That property, however, has no mortgages attached to it and was revealed last year to have been a cash purchase.

The property data suggests that the 46th president and his wife, 73, have needed money fast – and have used their homes’ equity as the main source of credit over the years.

However, Biden, a career politician, and Jill, a college professor, are estimated to be worth around $10million, and additional financial records show the couple pulled in an income of $620,000 in 2023.

The first couple released their tax returns in April and revealed their combined income was $619,976 last year and they paid $146,629 in federal taxes.

Biden and his wife earned four-fifths of their income from their jobs as president and teacher at Northern Virginia Community College, respectively.

Additional money came from interest on investments, pensions and a pass-through entity that collects book royalties.

But according to other financial forms from Joe, the president has had no royalties from his two books: ‘Promises to Keep’ and ‘Promise Me, Dad’ this year.

Financial records from the Office of Government Ethics last month revealed most of the couple’s debt is the mortgage on their Delaware home and an equity loan on that property.

Additionally their debt consists of a term loan of about $15,000 and a loan against a mutual fund for about $50,000.

In total, the Bidens reported assets between roughly $1million and $2.6million and liabilities between roughly $350,000 and $850,000, according to the documents.

Commenting on the couple’s money lifeline, LA realtor Tony Mariotti – the founder of luxury real estate company RubyHomes.com – claimed the Bidens are making a mistake by using their home as an ATM.

‘I don’t understand why anyone would view their home as an ATM. Constantly pulling money out of your home,’ he told DailyMail.com.

‘I understand to some that equity can feel like dead money that’s sitting there doing nothing, but over time, mortgage fees really add up.

‘I’ve always preferred the view that paying off a mortgage over time is a forced savings account that bears modest interest.’

Taking their current home first, a year after buying it in 1996, they took out two construction home loans in 1997 totaling $899,900 to build the property from scratch, records show.

Then they borrowed a further $134,070, $550,000 and $94,450 over the course of six months from November 1997 to May 1998 with two different banks – Beneficial National and Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp.

Before these three were all paid off in August 2003, they took out another $143,600 mortgage and negotiated three credit facility agreements for $30,000, $35,000, and $80,000 – all with Commerce Bank.

They cancelled all of this debt by October 2003. But, by then, they’d just taken out a $649,000 mortgage with Wilmington Savings Fund Society and a separate $99,000 line of credit with the same bank.

Over the course of the next nine years up to July 2012, they had six separate home equity credit agreements with the same bank – $149,000, $10,000, $45,000, $95,000 and $115,000.

Many of these lines of credit deals lasted just a few months, before being paid off, then the Bidens moved onto the next refinance deal.

Their final agreements were two lines of credit with TD Bank for $260,000 and $300,000 in January 2013 and February 2014 respectively, the former only paid off in December 2018.

Yet one more mortgage remains – a $541,150 loan with TD Bank issued on January 28, 2013.

On to their first property, which was sold controversially to the vice chairman of credit card company MBNA, at the time the largest employer in Delaware, who donated a maximum $2,000 to his senate re-election.

DailyMail.com exclusively reported in October last year that it appeared to be for an inflated selling price of $1.2million, as it’s now worth only $1.6million according to realtor site Redfin, 28 years on.

Also that year of 1996, Biden’s son Hunter was hired by MBNA and went on to become a senior vice president.

For that place, they took out 13 different home loans and two credit agreements from June 1978 to May 1994 totaling $1.72M.

They used Artisans’ Bank, Delaware Trust Company, which was acquired by Wells Fargo, and borrowed $50,000 from one individual, George D Herrmann Jr, in December 1986. It’s not known what connection he has with the Bidens.

New Castle County records don’t disclose if any of the mortgages were satisfied, but it’s highly likely, as they purchased a new property.

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Prosecutor Kim Foxx Assaulted Near Home

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was allegedly assaulted near her home in Chicago this weekend, according to court records.

The suspect, 34-year-old William Swetz, is charged with aggravated assault with a motor vehicle and aggravated battery in a public place, according to Fox 32.

Swetz allegedly shouted an insult at Foxx and nearly hit her with his vehicle as he drove by.

Foxx reportedly responded with a hand gesture, at which point Swezt reversed his vehicle and threw a drink at Foxx, striking her in the face.

Swetz was arrested soon after the incident but has since been released. Foxx was not injured in the incident.

The incident comes more than a month after Foxx announced that she does not plan to seek re-election, ending a controversial career in public office.

Foxx became the state’s attorney for Cook County, Illinois, in 2016 and has frequently been under heavy criticism over her lax enforcement policies, including her handling of the Jussie Smollett case.

Foxx entered office with significant support from billionaire George Soros, who contributed $400,000 to her 2016 campaign.

He also donated $2 million to a fund supporting Foxx in the 2020 election.

Soros has backed dozens of far-left prosecutor candidates, with Foxx among the most well-known.

The candidates Soros supports typically favor lax enforcement, oppose cash bail and back so-called “restorative justice” initiatives toward young offenders, which includes shying away from charging minors as adults.

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WATCH: UFC Fighter Proposes to Girlfriend After Defeat — Gets Rejected in Front of 20,000 People

MMA fighter Lukas Bukovaz was left wanting the ground to swallow him up whole after his girlfriend rejected his marriage proposal in front of 20,000 fans and accused him of cheating.

Fresh from suffering defeat at the Clash of the Stars event in his native Czech Republic, Bukovaz got down on one knee and presented a ring to his partner stood beside him.

Bukovaz had been on the losing side in a two-on-one fight against Jan Michalek and, remarkably, that wasn’t the lowest point of his nightmare evening at Prague’s Fortuna Arena.

That moment duly arrived when his partner immediately recoiled and turned away with a look of sheer panic on her face.

‘Based on everything that’s happened, I think probably not,’ she said into the microphone, prompting a chorus boos and jeers from the crowd.

‘I don’t think so.’

Towards the end of the clip, which has spread like wildfire across social media, a man can be seen throwing water in the direction of Bukovaz’s partner from behind the cage.

The individual in question then proceeds to walk away from the octagon as Bukovaz’s girlfriend turns in disgust.

She later went on to explain her reaction, claiming that Bukovaz had cheated behind her back with another woman ahead of the bout – an accusation he has subsequently denied.

‘I did not cheat on her,’ Bukovaz said a number of times in a video posted to his Instagram account.

 

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A post shared by Vilém Cao (@willy.cao)

Bukovaz has since been meet with both sympathy and mockery on social media, with one fan jokingly backing the Czech fighter to bounce back with ‘the greatest redemption arc in history’.

‘Broski about to pull the greatest redemption arc in history after that villain backstory moment. Motivation 999+ activated,’ the message read.

Another fan on X wrote: ‘Talk about taking the double L. Sorry for the guy.

‘2 losses in 2 mins. Rough for broski,’ responded another.

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Supreme Court Has 5 Major Decisions to Make as Deadline Nears

As their own end-of-June decision deadline approaches, the Supreme Court has yet to release 14 opinions likely to make waves.

Some of the most closely watched cases deal with former President Donald Trump‘s immunity, Jan. 6 defendants, the power of executive branch agencies, abortion, and the regulation of social media.

Here are some of the most pressing issues likely to be decided on this week:

Trump immunity

In probably the most anticipated decision of the term, the Supreme Court will decide whether or to what degree presidents have criminal immunity from actions taken while in office.

In Trump v. United States, the justices will rule on whether Trump has immunity from prosecution in a case concerning allegations made in an indictment by special counsel Jack Smith about Trump allegedly attempting to subvert the 2020 election.

Trump’s lawyers argue that all former presidents have immunity for actions taken while in office, and Congress must vote to convict in an impeachment process in order for former presidents to be stripped of immunity.

“Without Presidential Immunity, a President will not be able to properly function, or make decisions, in the best interest of the United States of America. Presidents will always be concerned, and even paralyzed, by the prospect of wrongful prosecution and retaliation, after they leave office. This could actually lead to extortion and blackmail of a President,” Trump posted to Truth Social last week. “A President has to be free to determine what is right for our Country with no undue pressure.”

Lower courts have ruled against Trump’s defense claims, but the appeals process has delayed prosecution thus far, and an outcome that allows the prosecution to move forward would not likely see an end to the case prior to the November election.

January 6 obstruction charges

The Supreme Court is also set to decide whether the Justice Department properly charged over 300 Jan. 6 defendants with obstruction.

Former police officer Joseph Fischer challenged a charge levied against him for going inside the Capitol with other protesters. The charge alleged that he obstructed Congress as they were certifying slates of Electoral College electors for the 2020 election.

Justices will need to decide whether an obstruction law can be applied to disrupting a public meeting rather than being more narrowly applied to the destruction of documents. Roughly 350 of the 1,350 Jan. 6 defendants were charged under the obstruction law, and Trump himself could benefit from an outcome favorable to those charged, as two of the four federal charges against the former president fall under the obstruction law.

Emergency abortions

In a challenge to Idaho’s abortion restrictions enacted after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the Biden administration is arguing that the state law conflicts with federal law requiring hospitals to provide stabilizing care to patients.

In January, when it decided to hear the case, the Supreme Court allowed the abortion restrictions to continue to be enforced as the appeals process continued. This will be the first time the high court has ruled on abortion-related matters since Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which handed the regulation of abortion back to states.

The case could serve as a way for the Supreme Court to reaffirm that decision, legitimizing the legislative action that state lawmakers made in enacting the law. It will also have major implications in an election year where Democrats are attempting to make abortion a major issue on the campaign trail.

Executive agency regulatory power

One of the most potentially impactful cases before the high court is the power of federal agencies, being run by unelected bureaucrats, to regulate major aspects of American life.

Supreme Court precedent for the past 40 years has given “deference” to agencies to regulate. Known as Chevron deference, courts are required to accept the conclusions made by federal agencies in their interpretation of the law when statutes are ambiguous.

The deference has been invoked by presidents ever since to grant legitimacy to a wide range of regulations imposed by federal agencies.

The current court has shown increasing skepticism of executive power, and many anticipate it will either weaken or overturn entirely the Chevron precedent.

Biden’s alleged social media coercion

The Supreme Court will decide whether the Biden administration violated the First Amendment when it pressured social media platforms to remove posts about the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 election they claim to be false information.

Two Republican attorneys general filed suit against the Biden administration for coercing social media companies, but the Justice Department is defending the pressure, saying the federal government should have the ability to communicate with the companies on matters of public concern and national security.

According to some observers, the justices appeared to lean in favor of the federal government in oral arguments.

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Germany: Woman Convicted of ‘Hate Comments’ Against Migrant Rapists Receives Longer Prison Sentence Than the Rapists

A 20-year-old woman from Hamburg has been sentenced to prison: a court sentenced her for hate messages on WhatsApp. The reason for this is the woman’s comments to a rapist who was involved in a brutal gang rape.

In 2020, a 14-year-old girl was repeatedly raped for hours by “groups of men” in a Hamburg district – traces of semen were found from nine men.

The crime made national headlines. According to media reports, five of the ten defendants had German citizenship (none were of German heritage), and the rest include a Syrian, a Montenegrin, a Kuwaiti, an Afghan and an Armenian.

Rapist involved get probation – the woman has to go to prison

The case caused outrage – not only because of the brutal gang rape, but also because of the verdict. Eight of the nine perpetrators did not even have to go to prison: they received suspended sentences. Only one rapist was sent to youth prison for two years.

The young woman, however, who insulted one of the rapists, was sentenced to prison: the 20-year-old was sent to a youth prison for a weekend.

According to the public prosecutor’s office, the young woman contacted one of the perpetrators after his personal information ended up on the Internet.

She called him a “dishonorable rapist pig” and a “disgusting freak”. According to the prosecution, the woman also threatened the man that he would not be able to go anywhere “without getting a punch in the face”.

“Aren’t you ashamed when you look in the mirror?” and “Let’s hope you’re just locked up,” she also wrote. For this she has to go to prison – while the vast majority of the city park rapists were allowed to remain at large.

According to the Hamburger Abendblatt , the now convicted woman said she was horrified and shocked when she heard that a 14-year-old had been the victim of a gang rape. She had no personal connection to either the victim or the suspects. The suspect’s cell phone number was circulating on the social network Snapchat – she wanted to express her outrage out of a reflex, she explains. “Without thinking twice,” she vented her anger – she was sorry for what she had done. “It doesn’t make anyone better.”

The rapists, however, showed no remorse during the trial – but they remained at large. It is a judicial farce that shakes confidence in the rule of law.

Police investigate hundreds of people who insulted rapists

As the Hamburger Abendblatt further reports, the case of the young woman is not the only such investigation: The authorities in Hamburg are investigating 140 cases of insults, threats or other statements to the detriment of the Stadtpark rapists.

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UPDATE: More Than 15 Killed in Russia, Terror Attack at Synagogue, Church

More than 15 police officers and several civilians, including an Orthodox priest, were killed by muslim terrorist in Russia’s southern republic of Dagestan on Sunday, its governor Sergei Melikov said in a video statement early Monday.

The gunmen opened fire on two Orthodox churches, a synagogue and a police post in two cities, according to the authorities.

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee described the attacks in the predominantly Muslim region with a history of armed insurgency as terrorist acts.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were declared days of mourning in the region.

Dagestan’s Interior Ministry said a group of armed men shot at a synagogue and a church in the city of Derbent, located on the Caspian Sea. Both the church and the synagogue caught fire, according to state media. Almost simultaneously, reports appeared about an attack on a church and a traffic police post in the Dagestan capital, Makhachkala.

Authorities announced a counter-terrorist operation in the region. The Anti-Terrorist Committee said five gunmen were “eliminated.” The governor said six “bandits” had been “liquidated.” The conflicting numbers couldn’t be immediately reconciled and it wasn’t clear how many militants were involved in the attacks.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. The authorities launched a criminal investigation on the charge of a terrorist act.

Russian state news agency Tass cited law enforcement sources as saying that a Dagestani official was detained over his sons’ involvement in the attacks.

Melikov said in the video statement that the situation in the region was under control of the law enforcement and local authorities, and vowed that the investigation of the attacks will continue until “all the sleeping cells” of the militants are uncovered.

He claimed that the attacks might have been prepared from abroad, and referenced what the Kremlin calls “the special military operation” in Ukraine in an apparent attempt to link the attacks to it.

In March, gunmen opened fire on a crowd at a concert hall in suburban Moscow, killing 145 people. An affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. Kyiv has vehemently denied any involvement.

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Trump Proposes to UFC President Dana White Having Separate Migrant League

Former President Donald Trump suggested in two speeches Saturday that migrants coming to the U.S. should have their own fighting league, remarking that they’re “nasty, mean” and “tough people” who could beat the country’s top fighters.

Speaking first to a crowd of conservative Christians at a Faith & Freedom Coalition gathering in Washington, D.C., Trump said he shared the idea with Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“I said, ‘Dana I have an idea. Why don’t you set up a migrant league of fighters and have your regular league fighters,” Trump said, “and then you have the champion of your league — these are the greatest fighters in the world — fight the champion of the migrants.’” The suggestion drew laughter and applause from the crowd, a response that continued as he spoke more about the concept.

“I think the migrant guy might win,” Trump said, adding that White “didn’t like that idea too much.”

“But actually, it’s not the worst idea I’ve ever had,” he continued.

Trump later repeated the idea during a rally Saturday evening in Philadelphia.

“Remember this, these migrants are tough. They’re tough. They come from prisons and many other places, rough places,” Trump said. “They’re just getting used to a country. They’re just settling in.”

During his Faith & Freedom Coalition speech, he reiterated his plans to, if reelected, “begin the largest deportation operation in American history.” Earlier this week, Trump shared on a podcast his plan to provide green cards to any student who graduates from a U.S. college.

After Trump’s address, his supporters in the crowd largely brushed off his suggestion.

“He likes to tell jokes,” said Kevin McPherson. “This is expressing how some of these illegal immigrants coming [into] this country are hardened criminals. And he’s trying to show that yes, there are criminals here.”

Another conference attendee, Bobbi Newman, said she didn’t hear Trump make the remark but would support the idea if Trump believed in it.

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