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Former President Donald Trump on Monday appealed the $454 million judgment that New York Judge Arthur Engoron handed him after his civil fraud trial.

Trump’s attorneys said in a court filing that they are asking the appeals court to determine whether Engoron “committed errors of law and/or fact” and whether he abused his jurisdiction and/or discretion after his Feb. 16 ruling against the former president, per The Associated Press.

Last week, Trump asked Engoron to delay the payment ordered in New York Democratic Attorney General Letitia James’ civil fraud case, but the judge denied the request.

The appeal did not address the requested pause in payments.

Before the trial even began, Engoron had found Trump responsible for inflating his wealth to receive better terms on loans and insurance.

The trial was to determine the penalities against Trump. It resulted in Trump being fined $355 million plus about $100 in interest.

The judge also issued an order banning Trump from serving as an officer of any New York-based business for three years and barring Trump’s two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, from serving as officers for two years.

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Read 32 Comments
  • C. lorrain says:

    If this evil bought judge has a brain in his head (we already know he doesn’t) he would be buying property in south America and hiding there. Lots of nut cases out there that would gladly tar and feather this idiot.

  • Dorothy says:

    What a bunch of sick parasites they are to try and do this to our best President yet. It is disgusting and so unheard of in what these Democrats get away with. When do they ever have enough money. This is strictly election interference and I can not even stand looking at this ugly judge, inside and out moron.

  • guest says:

    Going strictly by looks, Engoron looks like an elderly pervert. Something creepy about him.

  • Rick says:

    Hopefully someone puts a bullet in Engorons head for this someday.

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    Sydney Rocked by Second Stabbing in Days as Priest and Worshippers Targeted at Church

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    A Christian leader and several worshippers have been stabbed multiple times during a church service in Sydney, with the attack broadcast live on YouTube.

    The alleged perpetrator, a 15-year-old, was arrested and taken to an undisclosed location by police as an angry crowd gathered outside the church.

    It comes just two days since a man armed with a knife murdered six people in a Bondi mall.

    The incident at Wakeley’s Assyrian Christ The Good Shepherd Church occurred at 7.10pm last night, according to New South Wales Police.

    The service was being live streamed on the church’s YouTube page.

    Graphic video of the incident showed a man dressed in a black hoodie approaching the Bishop and stabbing him multiple times in the head, neck and back.

    Screams could be heard as other worshippers rush to the bishop’s aid as he fell to the floor. Three worshippers were also stabbed in a resulting confrontation.

    The victim was Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, a prominent Orthodox Christian leader.

    Churchgoers can be seen rushing to the victim’s aid. The video has now been removed from YouTube.

    Daily Mail Australia said Christ The Good Shepherd Church had almost 200,000 subscribers on its channel.

    9News has reported up to four people have been injured in the attack.

    Multiple police and ambulance crews raced to the scene, with NSW Police confirming they responded to reports of a stabbing and one man had been taken into custody.

    ”Officers arrested a male and he is assisting police with inquiries,” a statement said.

    “The injured people suffered non-life threatening injuries and are being treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics.”

    Police urged members of the public to avoid the area.

    There was no indication last night’s event was linked to the Bondi mall attacks, 9News said.

    7News reported NSW Ambulance were treating four patients.

    Two men aged in their 50s and 30s had multiple lacerations.

    A man in his 20s was being treated with a laceration on his hand and a man in his 60s with a laceration on his arm, 7News reported.

    The men suffered non-life threatening injuries.

    A statement posted to social media by the church said the bishop and a second man, Father Isaac Royel, were in a stable condition in hospital.

    “We ask for your prayers at this time. It is the Bishop’s and Father’s wishes that you also pray for the perpetrator.”

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    Trump Criminal Trial Begins: Everything You Need to Know

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    Former President Trump arrived Monday at the Lower Manhattan courthouse for the start of jury selection in his criminal trial.

    Trump, who has denied wrongdoing and repeatedly called the trial a political witch hunt, said during brief remarks to reporters as he entered the courtroom that the trial “is an assault on America.”

    Justice Juan Merchan declined a request from the defense to recuse himself from the case, per a pool report. He said he would not address the matter further.

    Merchan’s interviews with news outlets and a podcast were one of the reasons he was asked to recuse.

    Trump moved part of his campaign operation to New York over the weekend, and a massive security operation has descended around the courthouse for what could be two months or so.

    Here is what you need to know about the case, key witnesses, and what this means for the presidential hopeful.

    What is the hush money case about, and what is Trump accused of?

    The hush money case revolves around allegations that Trump paid off several people during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence their claims that he engaged in extramarital sexual encounters.

    Trump is alleged to have made these payments through lawyer Michael Cohen. The key evidence is a $130,000 payment made to Daniels, who was ready to go public about a sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006, a year after he married Melania Trump.

    He is also accused of facilitating hush money payments of $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal over claims of an affair, and $30,000 to a Trump Tower doorman who claimed to have a story about a child Trump had fathered.

    While the payments themselves are not illegal, Trump is accused of violating federal campaign finance laws by failing to disclose money that was supposed to be used to boost his electoral chances, instead recording it as a “legal expense”.

    Trump now faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records linked to the payments in this New York state criminal trial.

    When is Trump’s trial expected to start and where?

    The trial will start at 9:30am EDT (13:00 GMT) on Monday, April 15The day’s proceedings, which will be held at New York County Criminal Court in New York City, are expected to end at 4:30pm (20:00 GMT).

    Who is the judge presiding over the case?

    Judge Juan Merchan is presiding over the case. A 12-member jury will decide whether Trump is guilty while Merchan will determine any penalties.

    Beginning Monday, the jurors from New York will be shortlisted over at least a week. Potential jurors are randomly selected from voter rolls and other state records and then given a questionnaire. The prosecution and defence each get to disqualify 10 people from the jury pool.

    Experts say it may be a challenging process to find jurors who do not already have an opinion on the businessman-turned-politician.

    Questions in the list approved by Merchan include whether prospective jurors have attended a rally or campaign event for Trump, whether they follow Trump on social media and whether they have feelings about how he has been treated in the hush money case.

    How long is the trial expected to last?

    The trial is expected to last six to eight weeks, although this depends upon how open and candid witnesses are.

    If Trump takes the witness stand, which he is unlikely to, that would also make the case longer rather than shorter.

    Will Trump’s trial be televised?

    No, New York state prohibits nearly all audio and visual coverage during trials.

    Judges may choose to make an exception, but Judge Merchan has not allowed cameras in his courtroom in the past. At most, photos and videos may be taken before or right after the proceedings.

    Trump is expected to be in court on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

    Who are the key witnesses in the case?

    While the prosecutors have not released their official list of witnesses, key expected figures include Daniels, McDougal, and Trump’s former lawyer, Cohen.

    Cohen, who pleaded guilty last year and served federal prison time, is now a prosecution witness.

    Another key witness expected in the case is David Pecker, who was CEO of American Media, the parent company of the tabloid National Enquirer, up until 2020. He is said to have been Trump’s eyes and ears for any damaging stories in the lead-up to the presidential election.

    American Media paid McDougal and the Trump Tower doorman in exchange for exclusive rights to their stories, which gave the company the authority to quash them. American Media escaped any prosecution in return for its cooperation in the campaign finance investigation that led to Cohen’s guilty plea and prison sentence.

    What can we expect from the defence?

    Trump denies ever having an affair with Daniels and claims the payment was made to protect his family from false allegations, not to sway the election.

    The defence may also continue with its strategy from previous trials, which is to paint such cases as politically motivated.

    What happens if Trump is convicted?

    If convicted, each charge carries a maximum of four years in prison, although just a fine or probation are also possibilities. If there are multiple prison sentences, the judge would decide whether those would run concurrently or consecutively.

    Even in the event of prison time, however, there is a customary gap between a conviction and sentencing. Trump’s legal team would almost certainly appeal any decisions around the two, thereby delaying the prospect of him spending time behind bars.

    Follow live updates.

    This article was updated.

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    Israel: No Choice But to Retaliate Against Iran

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    Israel’s response to Iran’s weekend missile attack could come as soon as today as the nation’s war cabinet convened to hammer out the timing and scope of the impending counterstrike, according to a report.

    On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned his US counterpart, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, that the Jewish state has “no choice” but to retaliate against the rogue Islamic Republic after it launched hundreds of missiles and suicide drones into Israeli airspace Saturday night, according to Axios correspondent Barak Ravid.

    World leaders, including President Biden, have urged Israel to be measured in its response, expressing fears of escalating the conflict even further.

    Iran’s aerial assault was in retaliation for an Israeli airstrike in Damascus on April 1 in which a top Iranian general was killed.

    Israel — working with a coalition of unlikely allies, including the US, the UK, France, Jordan and Saudi Arabia — was able to stop 99% of the 350 weapons launched by Iran. None of the drones or cruise missiles struck Israel, and only a few of the ballistic missiles made it through, according to the Jerusalem Post.

    War cabinet member Benny Gantz has called for a swift response, CNN reports, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has held off on giving the green light as international pressure mounts.

    Biden reportedly told Netanyahu that the US will not provide support for a counterattack against Iran.

    “You got a win. Take the win,” the president reportedly said.

    However, all options remain on the table as the war cabinet debated the nation’s next move, running the gamut from diplomatic to military, including precision strikes against key Iranian oil infrastructure or even a cyberattack campaign, the Wall Street Journal writes.

    According to the Washington Post, Netanyahu has requested the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) draw up a battle plan highlighting potential retaliatory strike targets that would “send a message” without causing mass casualties, intended to reduce the risk of the conflict mushrooming out of control.

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    The debate over how and when to strike back at Iran prompted Israel to delay a long-anticipated military incursion in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, the Times of Israel reported Monday.

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    Meet NPR’s New CEO Katherine Maher

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    A series of social media posts by NPR CEO Katherine Maher are resurfacing as the organization continues to defend itself against accusations of bias in its reporting.

    NPR business desk senior editor Uri Berliner last week wrote a scathing editorial accusing the organization of “telling listeners how to think” through an “absence of viewpoint diversity.” Edith Chaplin, NPR’s chief news executive, addressed the comments in a memo to staff, saying Berliner’s comments only reflect a broadening of priorities in a turbulent media landscape.

    CEO Katherine Maher then chimed in Friday with a lengthy memo to staff calling Berliner’s accusations “deeply simplistic” and attributed his complaints to “an audience skewing further away in age from the general population, and significant changes in political affiliations.”

    Social media users then began to delve into Maher’s history and are now crying foul over the number of perceived partisan posts previously made by her.

    In response to journalist Chris Rufo pointing this out, Elon Musk replied that she’s a “crazy racist!”

    Maher also says that “America is addicted to white supremacy,” which is the “real issue.”

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    NPR was established in 1967 by Congress as a means of creating a nonprofit radio entity with complete control of its programming, according to Middle Tennessee State University. Since then, the organization has faced criticism of being politically biased from both liberals and conservatives.

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    FBI Opens Criminal Investigation Into Baltimore Bridge Collapse

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    The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into the deadly collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge that is focused on the circumstances leading up to it and whether all federal laws were followed, according to someone familiar with the matter.

    The person was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.

    The FBI was aboard the cargo ship Dali conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity, the agency said in a statement Monday. It didn’t elaborate and said it wouldn’t comment further on the investigation, which was first reported by The Washington Post.

    Meanwhile, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott on Monday announced a partnership with two law firms to “launch legal action to hold the wrongdoers responsible” and mitigate harm to city residents.

    The massive Dali left Baltimore’s port in the early hours of March 26, laden with cargo and headed for Sri Lanka, when it struck one of the bridge’s supporting columns, causing the span to collapse into the Patapsco River and sending six members of a roadwork crew plunging to their deaths.

    Divers have recovered three of the six bodies from the wreckage.

    National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said last week that investigators were focusing on the ship’s electrical power system. The ship experienced power issues moments before the crash, as is evident in videos that show its lights going out and coming back on.

    Homendy said information gleaned from the vessel’s voyage data recorder is relatively basic, “so that information in the engine room will help us tremendously.”

    In his statement announcing the partnership with law firms, Scott said the city “will take decisive action to hold responsible all entities accountable for the Key Bridge tragedy, including the owner, charterer, manager/operator, and the manufacturer of the M/V Dali, as well as any other potentially liable third parties.”

    He said with the ship’s owner already seeking to limit the company’s liability, the city needs to act quickly to protect its own interests.

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    The Supreme Court May Throw Out Hundreds of Jan. 6 Convictions

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    More than 1,265 defendants have been charged by the Department of Justice under President Joe Biden in relation to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Hundreds of them may have been wrongly charged with a felony.

    The Supreme Court is preparing to weigh oral arguments on Tuesday in Fischer v. United States, a dispute that could drastically alter the indictments against possibly hundreds of defendants, including former President Donald Trump. The namesake of the case is Joseph Fischer, a former Pennsylvania police officer who was charged for his alleged participation in violence on the day of the riot.

    Fischer was arrested on Feb. 19, 2021, and charged with assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct within the Capitol, and obstruction of a congressional proceeding, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2), which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and makes it a crime to “otherwise obstruct[], influence[], or impede[] any official proceeding.” The Justice Department used the obstruction of an official proceeding charge in hundreds of other cases, but Fischer’s lawyers will argue to the Supreme Court this week that the statute has no relevance to the riot.

    Prosecutors say Fischer sent text messages before the Jan. 6 riot, including a text that said his former police chief may need “to post my bail” because the protest “might get violent.” At one point amid the riot, the former officer called on those around him to “hold the line” as he was part of a crowd that pushed against U.S. Capitol Police officers, according to his criminal affidavit.

    The former police officer, who contends he was only inside the Capitol for a few minutes after he was pushed into the police line by the crowd, is asking the justices to throw out the obstruction charge but not the two other charges he faces. The core of his argument is that the law was only intended to apply to evidence tampering and that applying it to protesters who went into the Capitol was an unfair interpretation of the statute.

    More than 300 other defendants from that day of protest and rioting have been charged with violating the obstruction law, which was enacted in 2002 as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the wake of the Enron scandal. The provision was intended to punish the destruction of documents in the scandal surrounding Enron after auditor Arthur Andersen was accused of destroying possibly incriminating records. The federal law is also at the center of two chargea brought in special counsel Jack Smith’s 2020 election subversion indictment against Trump, for which the justices will hear argument on April 25 regarding Trump’s claims of presidential immunity.

    The eventual rulings in both Supreme Court cases, expected by the end of June, will shape the future for hundreds of Jan. 6 defendants as well as Trump’s federal criminal cases.

    Back in February, the group America First Legal filed a brief at the Supreme Court on behalf of Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and 21 other members of Congress in support of Fischer, saying the defendant was subjected to a “weaponized criminal prosecution” while accusing the Biden administration of a double standard when the DOJ handed down no indictment against Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), who was caught on video pulling a fire alarm on Sept. 30 during a vote on the House floor.

    Frederick Ulrich, a federal public defender who represented Fischer after the government appealed the lower court decision to toss the obstruction charge, told the Washington Examiner he was convinced the Supreme Court would seek to reexamine the breadth of the obstruction statute after a federal appeals court issued a “fractured” decision on his client’s case.

    “Because it affected so many of these prosecutions and because the application of the statute in that context was unusual and unprecedented, we thought it had a shot of being [granted for review] regardless of the fact that later on, the Justice Department charged a former president with similar offenses,” Ulrich said.

    Here is what you need to know as the justices prepare to hear the case.

    How did this case arrive before the Supreme Court?

    U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, an appointee of Trump, dismissed the obstruction charge against Fischer on March 15, 2022. Nichols found that the previous subsection, § 1512(c)(1), which prohibits tampering with evidence “with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding,” limits § 1512(c)(2) to cases involving evidence tampering that obstructs an official proceeding.

    The government appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The appeals court reversed the decision in an opinion by a three-judge panel written by Judge Florence Pan, an appointee of President Joe Biden who succeeded Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson after she was elevated to the Supreme Court by Biden.

    Pan agreed with the defendant’s viewpoint that “outside of the January 6 cases brought in this jurisdiction, there is no precedent for using” § 1512(c)(2) “to prosecute the type of conduct at issue in this case.” But she clarified that the meaning of the statute is “unambiguous,” stating that it clearly “applies to all forms of corrupt obstruction of an official proceeding.”

    Pan contended that Supreme Court precedent states that even if a statute can be applied in situations not clearly anticipated by Congress, it does not demonstrate ambiguity but rather “demonstrates breadth.”

    Judge Gregory Katsas, a Trump appointee on the panel with Pan, argued in a dissent to Pan’s majority decision that the DOJ’s interpretation of the law was likely “improbably broad and unconstitutional in many of its applications.”

    After losing at the District of Columbia Circuit, Fischer appealed to the highest court, and the justices agreed to hear the case.

    How will justices rule in the case of Fischer?

    Ulrich said the Supreme Court’s options for deciding the Fischer case are based on the range of divergent viewpoints that have been expressed by judges so far in lower court proceedings.

    “It could adopt Judge Nichols’s very narrow view of the statute, which confined it pretty much to document destruction or something akin to it, or it could be closer to Judge Katsas’s view that it reaches beyond documents … like involving testimony … or they could adopt Pan’s view that it reaches anything from an official proceeding,” Ulrich said.

    Bill Shipley, a defense attorney who has represented more than 50 clients involved in the Jan. 6 protest, told the Washington Examiner he believes the justices’ agreement to consider the breadth of the obstruction statute may signal their belief that the DOJ has gone overboard by using it against defendants.

    “There was no reason for the court to take this case if it thought that the outcomes were appropriate. It generally only takes criminal cases for the purposes of reversal,” Shipley said.

    The Supreme Court’s prior case examining the Sarbanes-Oxley Act also supports the idea of a more limited application of the obstruction statute, according to Fischer. He contends that the listing of specific acts of tampering in the language of § 1512(c)(1) — altering, destroying, mutilating, or concealing — limits the scope of § 1512(c)(2) on obstruction because the use of the word “otherwise” in § 1512(c)(2) suggests the acts that fall under the second subsection of the law must be related to those in the first.

    Shipley explained the dichotomy the justices will be analyzing: Does “otherwise” mean “other actions of the same type of kind, or does [it] mean anything that corruptly” impedes an official proceeding?

    Justice Department Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar contends that § 1512(c)(2) is not limited to conduct involving the availability of evidence but is instead a “catchall offense designed to ensure complete coverage of all forms of corrupt obstruction of an official proceeding,” according to a brief filed at the high court.

    In Prelogar’s understanding of the obstruction statute, words such as “impede” or “obstruct” are intentionally broad terms that can cover a wide range of conduct that hinders official proceedings.

    And while the DOJ has acknowledged that § 1512(c) was enacted in direct response to the Enron scandal, it contends Congress created § 1512(c)(1) to preclude legal gaps exposed by the scandal and further argues that § 1512(c)(2) was written to address the risk that “corrupt obstruction could occur in unanticipated ways not prohibited by statutes targeted at specific forms of obstruction.”

    What are the implications for Trump and other defendants?

    More than 327 defendants have been charged with violating the obstruction statute, and more than 50 have pleaded guilty to the count, according to a Washington Examiner review of court records.

    Trump has been charged with two counts under the same law, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and obstruction of an official proceeding, in Smith’s 2020 election subversion case. He has pleaded not guilty to both of these counts, along with two others that arose from his actions in the weeks following the 2020 election.

    Ulrich said he believes that if the justices find the obstruction law was overly broad as applied to Fischer, the court will likely remand the case back to the trial court with an accompanying opinion outlining the breadth of § 1512(c)(2).

    Notably, the federal public defender said he thinks the more than 50 defendants who have already pleaded guilty to the obstruction count could be “out of luck.”

    “Not unless they pled conditionally,” Ulrich said of whether those defendants could benefit from the Supreme Court’s decision.

    For defendants who have already been “tried, convicted and sentenced or pled and did not raise this issue,” Ulrich said they may find it difficult to have their sentences retroactively altered. But he noted for defendants who do have guilty pleas on the record, there is a so-called collateral challenge mechanism they could use if the high court narrows the breadth of § 1512(c)(2).

    Meanwhile, Smith has sought to pour cold water on the notion that Trump could shake off two charges against him in his Washington, D.C., federal criminal case, one of two indictments the special counsel has levied against him as he fights two other state-level indictments amid the 2024 presidential campaign.

    In his latest Supreme Court filing arguing against Trump’s claim that he can avoid a trial entirely by invoking “presidential immunity,” Smith argued that even if the justices narrowed the breadth of the obstruction statute in Fischer, the statute as applied to Trump would remain “valid.”

    “Whether the Court interprets [that provision] consistently with a natural reading of its text or adopts the evidence-impairment gloss urged by the petitioner in Fischer, the Section 1512 charges in this case are valid,” Smith wrote.

    Even if Trump managed to shake off two charges he faces in the indictment, he would still be on the hook for the other two charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy against rights to have votes properly counted.

    Trump more broadly has sought to delay his federal criminal trials at every turn, as he could call on the DOJ to end its prosecution of him if he defeats Biden in the election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all 88 felony counts he faces across four separate indictments.

    Nearly one week after the arguments in the Fischer case, the nine justices will reconvene on April 25 to weigh whether Trump enjoys broad immunity that shields him from Smith’s indictment, another case that will determine the potency of Smith’s case against the former president.

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    Tesla Lays Off More Than 10% of Workforce: Read the Elon Musk Memo

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    Tesla will lay off more than 10% of its global workforce, according to a memo sent to employees by CEO Elon Musk.

    The company’s shares were down 3% on Monday morning.

    “As we prepare the company for our next phase of growth, it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity,” Musk said in the memo obtained by CNBC.

    “As part of this effort, we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally,” the memo said.

    The memo was first reported by Electrek.

    Tesla had 140,473 employees as of December 2023.

    Tesla shares have taken a bruising in recent months, falling 31% year to date. While electric vehicle sales are still gaining popularity worldwide, their sales growth rate has slowed especially for Tesla. The company now faces more competition than ever.

    To end 2023, China’s BYD temporarily dethroned Tesla as the world’s top EV maker. Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi in March said it would sell its first electric car for far less than Tesla’s Model 3.

    Musk has previously recognized that China, home to a large Tesla factory, may also house the company’s strongest competition. “There’s a lot of people who are out there who think that the top 10 car companies are going to be Tesla followed by nine Chinese car companies. I think they might not be wrong,” Musk said in November.

    Some would-be Tesla customers are now skipping the brand owing to Musk’s incendiary rhetoric

    Earlier this month, Tesla reported its first annual decline in vehicle deliveries since 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted production extraneous of demand — first-quarter deliveries fell by 8.5% on the year to 386,810 in the first quarter, with output down 1.7% from a year earlier and 12.5% sequentially despite discounts and incentives offered to customers throughout the quarter.

    More recently, Tesla trimmed the subscription price of its premium driver assistance system, marketed as its Full Self-Driving or FSD option, for U.S. customers. The move was sharply at odds with Musk’s previous pledges that the FSD fee would only bulk up as Tesla added features and functionality to the system. Despite the brand name, the system does not make Tesla vehicles self-driving and requires a driver attentive to the road, ready to steer or brake at any time.

    But the squeeze on the company’s operating margin — which came in at 8.2% in the fourth quarter, down from 16% a year earlier — remains, and Tesla has warned investors to brace that vehicle volume growth this year “may be notably lower” than the rate logged in 2023, saying it is “currently between two major growth waves.”

    Logistical challenges exacerbated Tesla’s problems this year. The company’s component supply was a casualty of disruptions caused by Yemeni Houthi maritime attacks in the Red Sea, while the automaker’s gigafactory near Berlin was forced to briefly suspend production due to suspected arson at a nearby electricity substation.

    Tesla is scheduled to report first-quarter financial results on April 23.

    Here’s the full memo from Musk (transcribed by CNBC):

    Over the years, we have grown rapidly with multiple factories scaling around the globe. With this rapid growth there has been duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas. As we prepare the company for our next phase of growth, it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity.

    As part of this effort, we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally. There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done. This will enable us to be lean, innovative and hungry for the next growth phase cycle.

    I would like to thank everyone who is departing Tesla for their hard work over the years. I’m deeply grateful for your many contributions to our mission and we wish you well in your future opportunities. It is very difficult to say goodbye.

    For those remaining, I would like to thank you in advance for the difficult job that remains ahead. We are developing some of the most revolutionary technologies in auto, energy and artificial intelligence. As we prepare the company for the next phase of growth, your resolve will make a huge difference in getting us there.

    Thanks,
    Elon

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    Gun Supervisor for “Rust” Movie Gets 18 Months in Prison

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    A movie weapons supervisor was sentenced to 18 months in prison in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by Alec Baldwin on the set of the Western film “Rust,” at a sentencing hearing Monday in a New Mexico state court.

    Movie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was convicted in March by a jury on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and has been held for more than a month at a county jail on the outskirts of Santa Fe.

    Baldwin, the lead actor and co-producer for “Rust,” was pointing a gun at Hutchins when the revolver went off, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

    Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins. He is scheduled for trial in July at a courthouse in Santa Fe.

    The sentence against Gutierrez-Reed was delivered by New Mexico Judge Mary Marlowe Summer who is overseeing proceedings against Baldwin.

    Prosecutors blamed Gutierrez-Reed for unwittingly bringing live ammunition onto the set of “Rust” where it was expressly prohibited and for failing to follow basic gun safety protocols. After a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for about three hours in reaching its verdict.

    Gutierrez-Reed teared up Monday as Hutchins’ agent, Craig Mizrahi, spoke about the cinematographer’s creativity and described her as a rising star in Hollywood. He said it was a chain of events that led to Hutchins’ death and that had the armorer been doing her job, that chain would have been broken.

    Friends and family, including Souza, told the court they were seeking justice for what had happened to the cinematographer. They said she was “a bright beam of light,” describing her as courageous, tenacious and compassionate.

    Los Angeles-based attorney Gloria Allred read a statement by Hutchins’ mother, Olga Solovey, who said her life had been split in two and that time didn’t heal, rather it only prolonged her pain and suffering. A video of a tearful Solovey, who lives in Ukraine, also was played for the court.

    “It’s the hardest thing to lose a child. There’s no words to describe,” Solovey said in her native language.

    Defense attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed requested leniency in sentencing — including a possible conditional discharge that would avoid further jail time and leave an adjudication of guilt off her record if certain conditions are met.

    Gutierrez-Reed was acquitted at trial of allegations she tampered with evidence in the “Rust” investigation. She also has pleaded not guilty to a separate felony charge that she allegedly carried a gun into a bar in Santa Fe where firearms are prohibited.

    Defense attorneys have highlighted Gutierrez-Reed’s relatively young age “and the devastating effect a felony will have on her life going forward.”

    They say the 26-year-old will forever be affected negatively by intense publicity associated with her prosecution in parallel with an A-list actor, and has suffered from anxiety, fear and depression as a result.

    Special prosecutor Kari Morrissey urged the judge to impose the maximum prison sentence and designate Gutierrez-Reed as a “serious violent offender” to limit her eligibility for a sentence reduction later, describing the defendant’s behavior on the set of “Rust” as exceptionally reckless.

    Morrissey told the judge Monday that she reviewed nearly 200 phone calls that Gutierrez-Reed had made from jail over the last month. She said she was hoping there would be a moment when the defendant would take responsibility for what happened or express genuine remorse.

    “That moment has never come,” Morrissey said. “Ms. Gutierrez continues to refuse to accept responsibility for her role in the death of Halyna Hutchins.”

    “Rust” assistant director and safety coordinator Dave Halls last year pleaded no contest to negligent handling of a firearm and completed a sentence of six months unsupervised probation. “Rust” props master Sarah Zachry, who shared some responsibilities over firearms on the set of “Rust,” signed an agreement with prosecutors to avoid prosecution in return with her cooperation.

    Written testimonials in favor of leniency included letters from Gutierrez-Reed’s childhood friend and romantic partner Sean Kridelbaugh, who said Gutierrez-Reed cries constantly out of remorse in the shooting and that further incarceration would interfere with efforts to care for a relative with cancer. Other friends and former colleagues urged the judge to emphasize rehabilitation over punishment in the sentencing.

    The pending firearms charge against Gutierrez-Reed stems from an incident at a bar in downtown Santa Fe, days before she was hired to work as the armorer on “Rust.” Prosecutors says investigations into the fatal shooting led to discovery of a selfie video in which Gutierrez-Reed filmed herself carrying a firearm into the bar, while defense attorneys allege vindictive prosecution.

    This article was updated.

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    Reuters: Biden Conveyed to Iran That It’s Attack on Israel Had to Be “Within Certain Limits”

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    Iran informed Turkey in advance of its planned operation against Israel, a Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters on Sunday, adding that Washington had conveyed to Tehran via Ankara that any action it took had to be “within certain limits.”

    Turkey, which has denounced Israel for its campaign on Gaza, said earlier on Sunday that it did not want a further escalation of tensions in the region.

    The Turkish source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan had spoken to both his US and Iranian counterparts in the past week to discuss the planned Iranian operation, adding Ankara had been made aware of possible developments.

    Middle East de-escalation efforts

    Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Fidan to make clear that escalation in the Middle East was not in anyone’s interest.

    “Iran informed us in advance of what would happen. Possible developments also came up during the meeting with Blinken, and they (the US) conveyed to Iran through us that this reaction must be within certain limits,” the source said.

    “In response, Iran said the reaction would be a response to Israel’s attack on its embassy in Damascus and that it would not go beyond this.”

    Iran, which neighbours Turkey, had vowed retaliation for what it called an alleged Israeli strike on its Damascus consulate on April 1 that killed seven officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    Turkey’s foreign ministry later confirmed the contacts in a statement, saying Ankara had called for restraint and warned of a regional war if tensions escalated further.

    It said Ankara would continue efforts to prevent further conflict and escalation in the region.

    A Turkish security source said CIA chief William Burns had spoken to Ibrahim Kalin, head of Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency, over the Eid al-Fitr holidays and asked him to act as a “mediator” in the Israel-Iran tensions.

    The two discussed ceasefire efforts in Gaza as well, the source said, without elaborating.

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    Police Seize Illegal Handgun from E. Jean Carroll

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    Police in New York took possession of a gun belonging to writer E. Jean Carroll in February after she said during testimony in her defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump that she had an unlicensed firearm at home, according to a police report obtained by NBC News.

    The chief of police in Warwick, New York, visited Carroll at her home on Feb. 15 “to discuss some open issues,” the report states, including Carroll’s disclosure of the handgun while she was on the witness stand Jan. 17.

    During the second day of the civil trial, Carroll had told the federal court in lower Manhattan that she kept a “high standard revolver, nine chambers” at home with ammunition. “By my bed,” she said.

    “I still do not have a license,” Carroll added.

    John Rader, the reporting officer, said in his report that he “offered to secure the weapon at the police station’s property for safekeeping.”

    Carroll and a member of her security team surrendered the gun a day after Rader visited, and the firearm was being held until Carroll receives a New York pistol license, the report said.

    Under New York state law, a person can be found guilty of criminal possession if they possess a firearm, such as a pistol, that has not been registered. The felony carries a maximum sentence of four years.

    It was unclear why police waited almost a month to inquire in person about the unregistered gun Carroll said she had at her house or whether police are still in possession of it.

    Carroll’s gun became a contentious topic under cross-examination in the January hearing, as Trump attorney Alina Habba pressed Carroll on her gun ownership and whether she knew she needed a license for it.

    The judge presiding over the case, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, appeared outwardly frustrated over the line of questioning by Habba.

    “Don’t even start,” told her when she began asking Carroll about the firearm.

    The jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll $83.3 million in damages for repeatedly defaming her. The award included $11 million for damage to Carroll’s reputation, $7.3 million for emotional harm and other damages, and $65 million in punitive damages.

    Kaplan later rejected arguments by Trump’s attorneys that the case should be thrown out because Carroll deleted threatening messages, including death threats. The judge said that while Carroll admitted she deleted some of the purported death threats, the details of the deletions remain unclear.

    Trump had already been found liable for defaming Carroll while he was in the White House, with the jury tasked only with determining how much she should receive in damages.

    Trump has denied the rape and defamation claims against him, and posted a $91.6 million bond to secure the judgment while he appeals the verdict.

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    Trans High School Runner Finishes 2nd Among Girls, Would Have Finished Near the Bottom of Boys Division

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    An Oregon high school came under fire on Saturday as a transgender athlete was able to compete against girls at a meet.

    Aayden Gallagher, a 10th-grader at McDaniel High School, competed in the Sherwood Need For Speed Classic in Sherwood, Oregon.

    Gallagher was seen in one clip blowing away the competition in a heat for the 200-meter.

    Gallagher clocked in with a 25.49 mark and ended up finishing in second place in that event as well as the 400 meter and in seventh place in the 4×100 replay and eighth place in the 4×400 relay.

    But Gallagher’s ability to compete in the event sparked outrage on social media.

    “Championing boys in girls sports is blatant misogyny,” the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) wrote on X.

    Gallagher clocked in with a 25.49 mark and ended up finishing in second place in that event as well as the 400 meter and in seventh place in the 4×100 replay and eighth place in the 4×400 relay.

    But Gallagher’s ability to compete in the event sparked outrage on social media.

    “Championing boys in girls sports is blatant misogyny,” the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) wrote on X.

    Watch:

     

    “Abuse of girls…by the gov’t,” Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton wrote.

    “Another proud moment for ‘women’s’ sports!” OutKick founder Claty Travis wrote.

    Libs of TikTok added: “These high school girls just had their dream stolen from them because the school is catering the delusions of a boy who pretends to be a girl. . . . He is a cheater.”

    The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) has a policy for transgender participation in high school sports.

    “The OSAA endeavors to allow students to participate for the athletic or activity program of their consistently asserted gender identity while providing a fair and safe environment for all students,” the policy stated.

    “As with Rule 8.2 regarding Duration of Eligibility / Graduation, rules such as this one promote harmony and fair competition among member schools by maintaining equality of eligibility and increase the number of students who will have an opportunity to participate in interscholastic activities.”

    Additionally, the OSAA rules state that “once a transgender student has notified the student’s school of their gender identity, the student shall be consistently treated as that gender for purposes of eligibility for athletics and activities, provided that if the student has tried out or participated in an activity, the student may not participate during that same season on a team of the other gender.”

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    John Bolton: Israel Should Annihilate the Iranian Nuclear Program

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    In a candid Sunday interview with CNN, former US National Security Advisor John Bolton expressed strong views on how Israel should respond to Iran’s threats.

    He urged Israel to consider the current geopolitical tension as a crucial moment to target and dismantle Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

    “I think Israel has a wide range of potential targets starting by flattening Iran’s air defense capabilities,” Bolton asserted, emphasizing the existential threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions to Israel’s national security.

    Bolton articulated that the primary focus for Israel should be crippling Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

    “Most importantly, I think Israel should be looking at this as an opportunity to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which is the existential threat that Israel faces,” he explained.

    The former advisor’s stance sheds light on the increasing skepticism about the effectiveness of ongoing diplomatic negotiations with Iran.

    Bolton’s call for a decisive military strategy highlights a critical division in international policy circles regarding the best approach to ensure stability and security in the Middle East.

    Opportunity in light of Iranian retaliation

    Iran launched a significant missile and drone attack against Israel on Sunday, with hundreds of drones and missiles reportedly originating from Iran and other regional sources.

    Despite the extensive attack, the Iron Dome and other Israeli defense systems effectively intercepted most threats, with limited damage reported. A young girl was seriously injured in one of the attacks, underscoring the human impact amidst the strategic defenses.

    John Bolton, an American attorney and diplomat, served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006 and as National Security Advisor from 2018 to 2019 under President Donald Trump, advocating strongly against the Iran nuclear deal.

    Known for his hawkish foreign policy views, Bolton has supported military action and regime change in several countries and has held various significant roles in the US government, including positions under Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and as a commentator for Fox News.

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    Caitlin Clark Roasts Woke Comedian on “SNL” During Surprise Appearance

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    Iowa Hawkeyes great Caitlin Clark made a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend as she got ready to hear her name called that the WNBA Draft.

    Clark appeared on the “Weekend Update” segment and chided Michael Che over his jokes about women’s sports and the WNBA. In the skit, Clark told Che she “wrote some jokes” for him and asked him to read them aloud.

    “The Indiana Fever have the first pick in this Monday’s draft,” he started.

    “A reminder that Indiana Fever is a WNBA team and not what Michael Che gave to dozens of women at Purdue University.”

    Clark smiled and said, “Now that’s a good joke about women’s sports.”

    Watch:

    One of Clark’s “jokes” poked fun at Che’s Netflix special and urged him to be funnier.

    “This year, Caitlin Clark broke the record for three-pointers in a single season, and I have three pointers for Michael Che. 1 – Be, 2 – Funnier, 3 – Dumba–.”

    Once the jokes were over, Clark said she was looking forward to the start of her WNBA career and thanked legends like Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Cooper, Dawn Staley and Maya Moore for helping pave the path for her to get to professional basketball.

    She ended the segment by giving Che an apron she signed.

    The Fever were expected to take Clark with the No. 1 pick in the draft. Clark set the all-time NCAA Division 1 basketball scoring record this year. Iowa fell short in the national championship to Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks.

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    81-Year-Old Veteran Sucker-Punched and Carjacked While Delivering Pizzas in Chicago

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    An elderly man who has delivered pizza in Chicago for 40 years was punched in the face and robbed before having his car stolen in a brazen carjacking on the city’s Northwest Side.

    Ernie Aimone, 81, explained how the sudden attack came after he had made a delivery in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.

    A man approached from behind before striking Aimone in the head, causing him to fall to the ground.

    The assailant demanded his car keys and then punched Aimone in the face, leaving him fearing for his life.

    Aimone, a retired Army vet Sergeant who fought in Vietnam, chose not to put up a fight and instead remained on the ground as the attackers fled in his car.

    ‘They said, ‘gimme the keys, gimme the keys,” Aimone said to ABC7 ‘And they sucker punched me from behind, hit me in the face. I was afraid for my life.’

    Chicago Police confirmed the incident occurred around 9pm on Wednesday on North Ludlam Avenue.

    State police later found his car, a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe, but it had sustained significant damage after being involved in a crash.

    One teenage suspect has been apprehended, while the others remain at large.

    Aimone has been a dedicated pizza delivery driver for Joe’s on Higgins for four decades and is said to be loved by both his coworkers and customers.

    ‘He’s like family to us,’ said Frank Demonte with Joe’s. ‘He’s seen me grow up from very young. He worked for my Dad.’

    ‘Ernie’s very special to us. Always has been,’ added Frank’s wife Gina.

    Despite the traumatic event, Aimone vows to return to work making deliveries as soon as he is able to obtain another car.

    ‘I got a daughter and a son,’ Ernie said. ‘I gotta live for them.’

    His insurance company is refusing to pay for a new car as he was carjacked while working

    A GoFundMe set up in response to the incident by the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce has so far raised almost $27,000 towards the purchase of a new vehicle, including a $1,000 donation from the pizza joint itself.

    ‘He’s like a local legend,’ said Dan Ciolino with the Chamber. ‘He’s been loyal to Joe’s for 40 years. He served our country. He deserves our support in his time of need.’

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    Man Randomly Sucker Punches 9-Year-Old Girl in NYC Grand Central Terminal

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    A nine-year-old girl became the victim of an unprovoked attack in the heart of New York City’s Grand Central Terminal.

    The assailant, identified as 30-year-old Jose Carlos Zarzuela, was apprehended following the attack that occurred in the terminal’s bustling dining area.

    According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Police Department, Zarzuela, a recently released offender with a history of similar violent behavior, approached the young girl as she was standing near her mother and punched her in the face without any warning, amNY reported.

    The impact of the assault caused the girl to suffer from pain and dizziness, necessitating her transportation to NYU Langone-Tisch Hospital. Thankfully, she is expected to recover fully from her injuries.

    MTA Communications Director Tim Minton expressed outrage over the incident to amNY, questioning the recent release of Zarzuela, who had been charged with another random attack that resulted in a broken nose for the victim.

    “It doesn’t make any sense that this guy — who recently was released after being charged with randomly punching someone else and breaking that victim’s nose — should be back in a public space where he can attack others, especially children,” Minton said.

    “The people responsible for the criminal justice system need to learn from this episode before more innocent people become victims.”

    After assaulting the girl, Zarzuela fled the scene but was later located and arrested in the evening. Surveillance footage from the terminal captured Zarzuela meandering near a Shake Shack before running onto the street post-attack.

    Zarzuela has been charged with an array of offenses, including aggravated assault of a victim under 11, second-degree assault, third-degree assault, and attempted assault. His history with the law extends to eight other arrests, as indicated by sources close to the investigation.

    WATCH:

    This latest incident follows an assault by Zarzuela on April 4, where he attacked a 54-year-old woman at Grand Central Terminal, resulting in a broken nose. Despite being initially charged with second-degree felony assault, his charge was reduced to third-degree misdemeanor assault, and after initially setting bail at 10,000, which was reduced to 2,500, Judge Laurie Peterson ordered his release without bail days later.

    More from amNY:

    In that incident, MTA Police sources said, Zarzuela allegedly punched the victim in the face without provocation or warning, breaking her nose. MTA Police officers arrested him on the spot and booked him on a second-degree felony assault charge.

    But that charge was downgraded to a third-degree misdemeanor assault count when Zarzuela appeared in New York County Criminal Court for arraignment later that day, according to court records. Prosecutors had requested that he remain behind bars on $10,000 bail; sources said that bail had been reduced to $2,500, which Zarzuela could not make.

    However, five days later at a follow-up hearing, Judge Laurie Peterson ordered Zarzuela released from custody without bail, court records noted.

    Peterson, who had ordered former Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg to serve a five-month sentence for perjury last week in connection with the former president’s civil fraud trial, gained notoriety in 2020 when she set free an individual accused of a bloody attack on a police officer amid the George Floyd protests that summer.

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    Hollywood Actor Alan Ritchson Attacks Christians Who Support “Rapist” and “Con Man” Trump

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    Alan Ritchson, known for his role as the lead character in Amazon Prime Video’s action-thriller series “Reacher,” has unleashed a barrage of criticisms against President Donald Trump.

    In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor delivered a scathing critique against President Trump, calling him “a rapist” and “a con man.”

    The actor, a self-proclaimed Christian, expressed his bewilderment at the Christian church’s embrace of Trump, whom he views as fundamentally antithetical to Christian teachings.

    “Trump is a rapist and a con man, and yet the entire Christian church seems to treat him like he’s their poster child and it’s unreal. I don’t understand it,” Ritchson said.

    “I’m a Christian quite simply because of what Jesus calls us to do. Love other people until death. It doesn’t mean we’re all to be hung on a cross, but how can I suffer for you? That is a beautiful thing.”

    “Christians today have become the most vitriolic tribe. It is so antithetical to what Jesus was calling us to be and to do,” he added.

    “It’s worth saying that the atrocities that are happening in the church that are being actively covered up, even to this day with people not being held accountable, is repulsive,” he said, adding, “I can’t for one second support the Catholic Church while there are still cardinals, bishops and priests being passed around with known pedophilic tendencies.”

    The interview turned to a 2020 Instagram post, showing the cop-hating liberal actor wearing a t-shirt with the message “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.”

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Alan Ritchson (@alanritchson)

    Viewers of his series are now calling for a boycott.

    Former Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka blasted “meathead” Ritchson.

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    Iran Threatens to Hit US Bases If Washington Backs Israeli Counterattack

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    Top Iranian commanders warned Israel on Sunday that the country would face a bigger attack if it retaliates against overnight drone and missile strikes, adding that Washington has been told not to back any military action from its ally.

    “Our response will be much larger than tonight’s military action if Israel retaliates against Iran,” Iran’s armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri told state TV, adding that Tehran warned Washington that any backing of Israeli retaliation would result in US bases being targeted.

    “If the Zionist regime (Israel) or its supporters demonstrate reckless behavior, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response,” Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi said in a statement.

    The commander of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, also warned that Tehran would retaliate against any Israeli attack on its interests, officials or citizens. He said Tehran had created a “new equation” in which any Israeli attack on its interests, assets, officials or citizens would be reciprocated from its own territory. Salami also said the operation was a success “beyond expectations.”

    Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Tehran on Sunday that his country had informed the US that its attacks against Israel will be “limited” and for self-defense.

    Meanwhile, the Hamas terror group, one of Iran’s proxies in the region, jumped to Tehran’s defense after the attack.

    “We in Hamas regard the military operation conducted by the Islamic Republic of Iran a natural right and a deserved response on the crime of targeting the Iranian consulate in Damascus and the assassination of several leaders of the Revolutionary Guards,” the Palestinian group said in a statement. Israel is engaged in a war, now in its seventh month, with Hamas after the Gazan terror group killed nearly 1,200 people and abducted 253 in a shock onslaught on October 7.

    Israel reported modest damage and reopened its airspace after Iran launched a large wave of around 300 attack drones and missiles in the first-ever direct attack on the Jewish state by the Islamic republic, while the United States said it would discuss a diplomatic response with major powers on Sunday.

    Tehran’s attacks late on Saturday — launched after a alleged Israeli airstrike on its embassy compound in Damascus on April 1 that killed officers of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a US-designated terror group — raised the threat of a wider regional conflict.

    Iran had previously relied on its proxies across the region to attack Israeli and US targets in a show of support for Hamas in the ongoing war in Gaza, which shows no sign of easing despite numerous mediation efforts.

    “We intercepted, we repelled, together we shall win,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on X, formerly Twitter, after the Iranian attack.

    The Israel Defense Forces said more than 99 percent of the Iranian drones and missiles had been shot down by its air force and by allied countries, and it was discussing follow-up options.

    Channel 12 TV cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying there would be a “significant response” to the attack.

    The war in Gaza has ratcheted up tensions in the region, spreading to fronts with Lebanon and Syria and drawing long-range fire at Israeli targets from as far away as Yemen and Iraq.

    Iran’s most powerful ally in the region, the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah — which has been exchanging fire with Israel since October 8 — said early on Sunday it had fired dozens of rockets at an IDF base in the north.

    Drones were also reportedly launched against Israel by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, which has attacked shipping lanes in and around the Red Sea to show solidarity with Hamas, British maritime security company Ambrey said in a statement.

    Those clashes now threaten to devolve into a direct open conflict pitting Iran and its regional allies against Israel and its main supporter, the United States. Regional power Egypt urged “utmost restraint.”

    IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari called Iran’s actions “very grave,” saying during a televised briefing that they “push the region toward escalation.”

    The Iranian salvo caused light damage to an Israel Air Force base in the south, Hagari said.

    Iran had vowed retaliation for what it called the Israeli strike on its embassy compound that killed seven IRGC officers, including two senior commanders. Tehran said its strike was punishment for “Israeli crimes.” Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the consulate attack.

    “Should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe,” the Iranian mission to the United Nations said, warning the US to “stay away.” However, it also said Iran now “deemed the matter concluded.”

    US President Joe Biden, who spoke by phone with Netanyahu after the Iranian attack, said he would convene a meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven major economies on Sunday to coordinate a diplomatic response to what he called Tehran’s “brazen” attack.

    US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said America did not seek conflict with Iran but would not hesitate to act to protect US forces and support the defense of Israel.

    The UN Security Council was set to meet at 4 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) on Sunday after Israel requested it condemn Iran’s attack and designate the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization.

    Iran’s Fars news agency quoted a source as saying Tehran was closely watching Jordan, which might become the next target in case of any moves in support of Israel.

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    Biden: US Won’t Support an Israeli Counterattack on Iran

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    President Biden told Israeli Prime Minister that nothing of “value” was hit in Iran’s airborne attack Saturday and asserted American forces will not be participating in any offensive against Iran, according to a report.

    The president called Israel’s defense during the attacks a win — telling Netanyahu Israel’s ability to intercept nearly all of the hundreds of missiles and drones showed its military superiority, a US official told CNN.

    Biden also made it very clear that the US would not be engaging in any military offensive against the Islamic Republic, the senior official told the channel.

    Israeli Defense Forces said it had shot down the “vast majority” of projectiles outside of Israel’s borders. It was assisted by the US military.

    “At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,” Biden said in a statement Saturday night after his phone call with the Israeli leader, according to readout of the call released by the White House.

    “Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles,” he added.

    “At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,” Biden said in a statement Saturday night after his phone call with the Israeli leader, according to readout of the call released by the White House.

    “Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles,” he added.

    A handful of missiles made it through, with one striking an Israeli base, but damages were minor and no injuries were reported, according to IDF officials.

    A senior US official told CNN that the US forces intercepted more than 70 drones and at least three ballistic missiles. The missiles were shot down by two guided missile destroyers deployed in the eastern Mediterranean.

    US fighter jets also helped defend Israel from the barrage, another official told the outlet.

    Biden said he will meet with G7 leaders on Sunday “to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack.”

    “While we have not seen attacks on our forces or facilities today, we will remain vigilant to all threats and will not hesitate to take all necessary action to protect our people,” the president said.

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    Chicago Mass Shooting: 8-Year-Old Girl Killed, 10 Wounded Including Small Children

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    Eleven people standing outside a family gathering Saturday night were shot including a young girl who was killed in what Chicago police believe was gang-related violence on the city’s South Side.

    Four victims were children, police said Sunday. An 8-year-old girl was fatally shot, while a 1-year-old boy and a 8-year-old boy were each shot multiple times and listed in critical condition. A 9-year-old boy was also injured with a graze wound to his finger and hospitalized.

    The department’s Sunday statement updated the number of shooting victims to 11 from 8 and gave new ages for the victims compared with a news conference late Saturday.

    No one was in custody Sunday.

    Department Deputy Chief Don Jerome told reporters Saturday that the shooting happened when shots were fired at a crowd standing outside a family gathering around 9 p.m.

    “This was not a random act of violence. It was likely gang-related,” Jerome said.

    “The offenders’ actions, make no mistake, are horrific and unacceptable in our city.”

    Police responding to a gunfire alert applied tourniquets and chest seals to victims, who also included adults between the ages of 19 and 40, Jerome said.

    A 36-year-old man who was shot in the arms and and back was listed in critical condition.

    The other adults were listed in good condition, police said Sunday.

    The investigation was still in the preliminary stages but witnesses told police that a black sedan approached and someone fired shots into the crowd before fleeing, police said Sunday. Jerome also told reporters Saturday that witness accounts described two possible shooters on foot.

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    Trump Slams Biden and Dems Amid Iranian Drone Attack on Israel

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    Former President Donald Trump started his rally in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, with remarks that the Iranian attack on Israel on Saturday would not be occurring if he were still president.

    “I want to say God bless the people of Israel — they’re under attack right now,” he said as he began his rally, taking place ahead of Pennsylvania’s primary on April 23.

    “That’s because we show great weakness — this would not happen. The great weakness that we’ve shown is unbelievable, and it would not have happened if we were in office. You know that, they know that, everybody knows that.”

    “But America prays for Israel. We send our absolute support to everyone in harm’s way. This is an attack that would not have happened,” he added. “I will revive American strength abroad, and we will restore American strength at home.”

    “ISRAEL IS UNDER ATTACK!” Trump had posted earlier in the day on his Truth Social platform. “This should never have been allowed to happen – This would NEVER have happened if I were President!”

    Trump and Biden have each become the presumptive nominees of their respective parties and are headed for a rematch in November.

    Biden had returned to Washington, D.C., from Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, on Saturday earlier than expected to meet in the White House Situation Room with national security advisers that afternoon.

    “President Biden is being regularly updated on the situation by his national security team and will meet with them this afternoon at the White House,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement. “His team is in constant communication with Israeli officials as well as other partners and allies.”

    The first drones were expected to reach Israel around 2 a.m. local time, or 7 p.m. Eastern time.

    “This attack is likely to unfold over a number of hours,” Watson added. “President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel’s security is ironclad. The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran.”

    On Friday, the president told reporters his “expectation is sooner than later” that Iran would attack Israel, but he did not provide specifics.

    “We are devoted to the defense of Israel,” Biden added Friday afternoon. “We will support Israel and help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed.”

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝
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