Boeing suppliers bracing for temporary halt in 737 MAX output

Boeing Co suppliers, customers and financiers braced on Monday for a possible freeze in Boeing 737 production for the first time in more than 20 years as the grounding of the best-selling MAX looks set to last well into 2020, Trend reports citing Reuters.

Two suppliers told Reuters that Boeing was likely to halt assembly of the jet, though some suppliers could be asked to keep producing to minimize disruption.

Boeing’s board was due to meet for a second day in Chicago on Monday to assess output decisions, with an announcement expected later in the day.

A person briefed on the matter said on Sunday Boeing was considering whether to cut or halt production of its grounded 737 MAX after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said last week it would not approve the plane’s return to service before 2020.

Boeing’s best-selling plane has been grounded since March after two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people, costing the plane manufacturer more than $9 billion so far.

Analysts say a suspension of MAX production would likely result in significant additional charges for Boeing as well as its main suppliers, who have been shielded from a financial hit as they have continued to sell parts for the jet at a rate of up to 52 units per month, even as the planemaker has cut its own production to 42 per month.

Disruptions to production could also result in layoffs or furloughs of some of the 12,000 workers at Boeing’s 737 factory south of Seattle.

Boeing’s shares were down nearly 4%, while Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc fell roughly 3.2%. Spirit is Boeing’s biggest supplier and makes the MAX fuselage along with other parts such as pylons.

Analysts highlighted Safran SA and Senior Plc as other suppliers that could experience disruption impacts.

The person briefed on the matter told Reuters a temporary shutdown was more likely than another cut.

Boeing said late on Sunday the company “will continue to assess production decisions based on the timing and conditions of return to service, which will be based on regulatory approvals and may vary by jurisdiction.”

Last week, Reuters reported that Boeing was delaying by months its overall plan to speed up production as the U.S. planemaker struggles to win regulatory approval to return the jetliner to commercial service.

Without the 737 MAX, airlines that rushed to buy the plane have had to cancel flights and delay growth plans. Some 387 aircraft were flying before the grounding. Boeing has since produced nearly double that amount but has had to park them while deliveries remain frozen.

Still, U.S. airlines shares were higher on Monday as investors bet that a prolonged 737 MAX delay would limit capacity growth, underpinning higher airfares.

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Man jailed for rape of victim he found lying unconscious on Dublin street

A homeless Algerian national has been jailed for the oral rape of a drunk man he found lying unconscious on the ground after a night out drinking with friends.

Brahim Maddi (36) pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to sexual assault and oral rape at a place in Dublin city centre on a date in May 2019.

A local garda told the court that the victim had been out drinking with his friends in the city centre and was heavily intoxicated. CCTV footage showed him sitting down on the ground and falling face forward onto the ground and he remained lying there.

Maddi went up to the victim and took €5 from his back pocket. He rubbed the man’s buttocks through his clothes, then lay on top of him and began to rub himself on the man.

He began masturbating and then left. He came back a number of times and on the fourth occasion he orally raped the victim.

CCTV shows the the victim lying face down and motionless throughout the sexual assaults. Security staff raised the alarm and gardaí­ arrested Maddi near the scene.

They found the victim lying face down, unresponsive but breathing. He was brought to hospital. The court heard that when he woke up his trousers were down and his behind was sore.

Maddi admitted sexually assaulting the victim and said he was asleep at all times. He told gardaí­ that the victim passed him on the street and he followed him.

Passing sentence on Monday, Mr Justice Michael White said the victim was unable to fend for himself and in a vulnerable situation.

“The defendant cruelly exploited this situation instead of looking out for him,” he said. He noted the impact of the offence on the victim and set a headline sentence of seven years imprisonment.

He reduced this to four years after taking into consideration the mitigating factors, including Maddi’s admissions, his guilty plea, and his “genuine” remorse. He noted that Maddi was himself a vulnerable man who had left Algeria dues to difficulties over his sexual orientation.

He said Maddi also has a history of Schizophrenia.

In his victim impact statement, which was read out in court by his father, the victim said that in the days following the crime he was suicidal. He said he wanted the pain to go away and the easiest way was jumping out a window.

He said he felt guilty for putting his family through it. He said that anything he had or would achieve had been cheapened.

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Olly Murs debuts new look at The Voice launch

Olly Murs sports a new hair-do with pale frosted tips instead of his usual brown locks (Ian West/PA)
Olly Murs sports a new hair-do with pale frosted tips instead of his usual brown locks (Ian West/PA)

Olly Murs debuted a new look as he stepped out in London for the launch of the new series of The Voice.

The singer, one of the coaches on the ITV show, was sporting a new hair-do with pale frosted tips instead of his usual brown locks.

Murs was joined by his fellow returning coaches Sir Tom Jones and and newcomer Meghan Trainor, who is taking over from Jennifer Hudson.

Olly Murs, Sir Tom Jones, Meghan Trainor and (Ian West/PA)

The show’s host Emma Willis and backstage presenter AJ Odudu were also at the launch in Soho.

The singing show is returning for its ninth series in 2020.

Olly Murs, Sir Tom Jones, AJ Odudu, Emma Willis, Meghan Trainor and (Ian West/PA)

Hudson announced earlier this year that she was stepping down from the panel, and American star Trainor was revealed to be her replacement.

The All About That Bass singer said at the time: “It’s a dream come true and I can’t wait to sit in the chair with my own button and listen to some incredible new talent!”

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WATCH John Bercow humiliate himself on Italian TV as ‘show pony’ shouts Order for crowd | UK | News

John Bercow was asked to shout ‘Order!’ in Italian as the audience applauded him on Italy’s popular talk show Che Tempo Che Fa. But the former Speaker has since been labelled a “show pony” for appearing on program as others said it was “embarrassing”. Local admirers said it was “Fantastico” and “esilarante”.

One wrote on Twitter: “Once Speaker of the House of Commons, now show pony on Italian chat shows. Life after politics isn’t as glamorous as people say.”

Another added: “Life after serving the public in the House can be even more fascinating and personally satisfying if you focus on the needs of others. Egocentricity brings madness as this sad little video shows; an intelligent former MP degrades himself for what?? Italian laughter???”

A third person said: “What the hell did I just watch.”

And Simon Clarke MP simply penned: “It’s a good Monday.”

The clip has emerged just days after Mr Bercow joined Sky News for its election coverage last week.

READ MORE: John Bercow EXPOSED: Damning pro-Brexit statement in election leaflet

The ex-Speaker was paid up to £60,000 for his election coverage despite just 46,000 people tuning in to watch the broadcaster’s results programme.

A source at Sky said: “His huge payment is the talk of Sky News. Nobody could believe it.

“That said, he was on through the night and, of course, has tremendous insight.”

After stepping down as Speaker in October, Mr Bercow signed up to after-dinner speaking agency JLA.

He is now giving paid talks about his experiences inside 10 Downing Street and recently charged £120,000 for a one-hour long talk, The Daily Mail reports.

Mr Cameron reportedly gave a talk to Blackstone Properties in New York and discussed the fallout from his failed bid for a Remain vote in the Brexit referendum.

After leaving Number 10, many former Prime Ministers turn to the after-dinner talks circuit for income. Mr Cameron’s former coalition partner Nick Clegg has reportedly signed with an agency to charge a £35,000 booking fee for appearances.

On the night of the election Mr Bercow was left looking physically sick as the exit poll was released just after polling stations closed at 10pm on Thursday.

Former Conservative deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft tweeted: “John Bercow doesn’t look a happy bunny on Sky News.”

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Eating two apples daily for eight weeks can lower ‘bad’ cholesterol, study finds

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but two might be better, a study suggests. 

Eating two apples a day may reduce people’s risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, experts found. 

When 40 people with slightly high cholesterol ate two large apples a day for eight weeks, it lowered their levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol by almost four per cent.

Experts believe a type of fibre found in apples fuels important gut bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids which may lower the liver's production of cholesterol [File photo]

Experts believe a type of fibre found in apples fuels important gut bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids which may lower the liver’s production of cholesterol [File photo]

That could help to reduce their risk of a stroke or heart attack, which can be caused by cholesterol hardening the arteries.

Two large apples, costing less than £1 a day, contain about a quarter of someone’s recommended daily fibre, and a type of fibre that fuels bacteria in the gut which may reduce cholesterol.

This could explain the traditional advice that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.

Researchers also found people had healthier, more relaxed blood vessels after eating apples daily, which is similar to an effect seen in other foods containing natural compounds called polyphenols, such as red wine and tea.

Professor Julie Lovegrove, senior author of the study from the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition at the University of Reading, said: ‘It seems the old adage of an apple day was nearly right.

When 40 people with slightly high cholesterol ate two large apples a day for eight weeks, it lowered their levels of 'bad' cholesterol by almost four per cent [File photo]

When 40 people with slightly high cholesterol ate two large apples a day for eight weeks, it lowered their levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol by almost four per cent [File photo]

‘People who ate daily two large apples high in polyphenols had lower LDL cholesterol, also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol, and no reduction in good cholesterol compared to people having an apple-based drink.

‘We believe the fibre and polyphenols in apples are important, and apples are a popular fruit among all ages, which are easy to eat and make great snack foods.’ The study asked people aged 20 to 69 to eat two apples a day for two months, taking blood tests before and afterwards.

The results were compared to the same people drinking two glasses a day of an apple-based drink containing the same amount of calories over the same period.

After eating the apples, people’s ‘bad’ cholesterol was an average of 3.6 per cent lower than following the apple drink regime.

While this falls far short of the effect from taking statins, the drugs which typically reduce cholesterol by 30 to 55 per cent, this small dietary change may still help to reduce people’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

Experts believe a type of fibre found in apples fuels important gut bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids which may lower the liver’s production of cholesterol.

These gut bugs may also change the form of bile salts, which contain cholesterol, so that higher amounts of it are passed out of the body.

This is important because high cholesterol in the blood can block and harden arteries, raising the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Two large apples, costing less than £1 a day, contain about a quarter of someone's recommended daily fibre, and a type of fibre that fuels bacteria in the gut which may reduce cholesterol [File photo]

Two large apples, costing less than £1 a day, contain about a quarter of someone’s recommended daily fibre, and a type of fibre that fuels bacteria in the gut which may reduce cholesterol [File photo]

The variety of green apples given to people in the study, called Renetta Canada apples, are especially high in polyphenols, which are compounds found in many fruits and vegetables, but researchers believe effects could be seen from other apples.

The polyphenols may explain why after eating two large apples a day, people had slightly but significantly more relaxed blood vessels under their skin.

This is believed to show their blood vessels are less stiff and prone to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of cardiovascular events like a heart attack or stroke.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that women may benefit more than men from two apples a day when it comes to cholesterol, although more studies are needed to confirm this.

Tim Chico, professor of cardiovascular medicine at University of Sheffield, said: ‘This study did show that eating two apples a day led to a slight reduction in cholesterol compared with an apple drink.

‘The effect on cholesterol was very small compared with drug therapy with statins, and so it is not clear whether this effect would lead to a decrease in heart disease or stroke.

‘However, the study was over a short period and any benefits are likely to accumulate over a lifetime of a healthy diet.’ 

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British man shot dead in robbery outside hotel in Buenos Aires

View of the facade of the Faena Hotel, in Puerto Madero neighbourhood, Buenos AiresImage copyright

Image caption

The suspected robbery happened outside this hotel in the exclusive Puerto Madero area

A British man has been killed and his stepson wounded after being shot during a suspected robbery outside a five-star hotel in Buenos Aires, officials say.

The victims are believed to be Matthew Gibbard, 50, a businessman from Northamptonshire, and Stefan Zone, 28.

They were taken to hospital after the attack in the Puerto Madero area of the Argentine capital.

The Foreign Office said it was supporting the family of two British men after an incident in Buenos Aires.

Four people have been arrested, local media has reported.

Security camera footage shows the two men getting out of a white van outside the Faena Art Hotel in Puerto Madero, an exclusive waterfront district popular with tourists.

At about 11:00 local time (14:00 GMT) on Saturday, they were approached by at least two men on a motorbike, apparently accompanied by another vehicle.

The images show the two British nationals resisting the attempt to steal their baggage, and a fight goes on for some 40 seconds. The suspects left the scene and police are still searching for them.

Police are trying to establish whether the men were victims of a random attack or followed by the robbers from the airport, Clarín newspaper reports (in Spanish). According to the newspaper, the 50-year-old’s mother and wife as well as the 28-year-old’s wife and his brother were with them.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We are supporting the family of two British men following an incident in Buenos Aires, and are in contact with the local authorities there.”

Image copyright

Image caption

The hotel is located in an exclusive neighbourhood of Buenos Aires

Argentina’s newly elected president, Alberto Fernandez, who lives near the hotel in Puerto Madero, has responded to the robbery.

“We must be tough,” he said. “We can’t put up with this. We need to find the people responsible for this and make them pay with the full force of the law.”

“It was an atrocious incident, like many that happen in Argentina, because criminality hasn’t gone down, despite what the official figures say.

“I urge everyone to stand up to it and be uncompromising when facing crime.”

Attacks by robbers on motorbikes, known as motochorros, are not uncommon in Buenos Aires. The city is generally safe, but other foreigners have been targeted in the past.

Travel expert Simon Calder told the BBC that crime in parts of Latin America is “opportunist”.

“This is an awful tragedy,” he said. “I’m afraid crime, particularly aimed at well-to-do tourists, is all too common, not just in Buenos Aires but in the big South American cities.

“Argentina is a superb a destination, very safe, and a welcoming country.

“Unfortunately, like elsewhere in Latin America, there are criminals who will use violence if they need too.

“My advice is to run away if you can or hand over what they want.”

More than 111,000 British nationals visited Argentina in 2018, according to the Foreign Office, which said most visits are “trouble-free”.

Tourists are warned to be alert to street crime, including armed robberies, and advised to hand over cash and valuables without resistance.

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Five aides to party-switching House lawmaker resign

Five aides to a House Democrat who plans to switch and become a Republican say they are resigning

Five aides to a House Democrat who plans to become a Republican are resigning, saying his party switch “does not align with the values we brought to this job when we joined his office.”

The staffers wrote the letter on Sunday, a day after a Republican official said GOP House leaders had been informed that New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew was planning the switch. Van Drew, a freshman, has said he will vote “no” this week when the House decides whether to impeach President Donald Trump, a decision that puts him at odds with nearly every other Democrat.

“Over the past year, Trump Republicans have sided with special interests over the needs of working people,” the five wrote to Van Drew’s chief of staff, Allison Murphy. “Worse, they continue to aid and abet Trump as he shreds the Constitution and tears the country apart. They have refused to grapple with how the President of the United States has jeopardized our national security for this own political advantage.”

The staffers said they respect Van Drew but “are deeply saddened and disappointed by his decision. As such, we can no longer in good conscience continue our service in the Congressman’s employ.”

It is unusual for members of Congress to switch parties, especially to move from the majority to the minority party, which has vastly less power in the House. And while it is not uncommon for aides to quit if a lawmaker switches parties, the staffers’ decision underscores the deep rifts between Democrats and Republicans over Trump and his conduct in office.

Van Drew represents a southern New Jersey district that he won by 8 percentage points last year but that Trump carried by 5 percentage points in the 2016 election. Van Drew was expected to face a difficult reelection next year, and polling showed he would also be vulnerable in a Democratic primary for the nomination for his seat.

The five resigning aides are deputy staff chiefs Edward Kaczmarski and Justin M. O’Leary, legislative director Javier Gamboa, spokeswoman MacKenzie Lucas and legislative assistant Caroline Wood.

Despite Van Drew’s planned defection, Democrats will retain their House majority.

The chamber seems certain to impeach Trump this week, probably Wednesday, in a near party-line vote over charges that he pressured Ukraine to help him in next year’s election by investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, who is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination. Unanimous GOP opposition to impeachment is considered likely.

The GOP-led Senate seems certain to find Trump not guilty and keep him in office.

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Ilhan Omar Says Trump Has A ‘Serious Obsession’ With Her

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., isn’t running for president, but she’s still a hot topic on the campaign trail, at least for President Trump.

In October, Trump, who has called for Omar’s resignation, blasted her as a “disgrace” and an “America-hating socialist” at one of his rallies in her home state. Trump also suggested Minnesota’s Somali immigrant community, which Omar is part of, has had a negative impact on the state. 

It was not the first time Trump focused on Omar. The president has previously tweeted that she and the other progressive congresswomen of color, known as “the Squad,” should go back to their countries of origin. That remark sparked a House resolution condemning Trump for “racist comments,” a characterization he vehemently disputed. 

In a wide-ranging interview with Yahoo News on Friday, Omar said she believes Trump has an unhealthy fixation on her. 

“It seems like a serious obsession, and for all the things he should seek help for, that should be one,” Omar said of Trump’s focus on her.

At the same time, Omar, who was in New Hampshire campaigning for presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said she is not surprised to have Trump’s attention.

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., at a campaign event in Manchester, N.H. (Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., at a campaign event in Manchester, N.H. (Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters)

“This has been a president that has used his energy in the most xenophobic, racist ways to mobilize a base that is understandably frightened about the kind of America they might have if we continue to build the kind of connected communities we’re all excited about,” she said.

The level of presidential attention she has received is highly unusual for a 37-year-old freshman lawmaker. But then again, many things are unusual about Omar. 

In addition to  her youth and position as one of the more progressive members of the House, Omar is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress. Omar, who emigrated to the U.S. as a child after her family fled the civil war in her country and spent time in a refugee camp, is also the first Somali-American and the first naturalized citizen from Africa to serve in Congress. But along with being a pioneering presence on Capitol Hill, Omar has also become a polarizing one, and has been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism, which she fiercely denies.

But Omar is willing to be branded a political “radical,” and she made that the theme of her speech in support of Sanders at Southern New Hampshire University on Friday. “The media and many political pundits have labels they place on Sen. Bernie and myself, and sometimes we get the same titles, and one that they like to use is ‘radical,’” Omar said. 

Omar rattled off a series of policy positions that she and Sanders share, including support for Medicare for All, free public education, elimination of student debt, the opinion that climate change is “an existential threat to humanity,” and the view that it is a “moral outrage” for the fossil fuel industry to receive “corporate welfare.” 

“If that belief is radical, then I am so proud to be radical,” Omar said after each point and the crowd applauded. 

“The truth is, the only radicalism we are motivated by is radical love,” Omar continued. “Bernie Sanders has been motivated by radical love his whole life, and he has never wavered. This is the same agenda that motivated Dr. Martin Luther King.” 

Omar suggested Sanders shares Dr. King’s desire to focus on “three evils facing America;” racism, poverty, and war. She framed this as the “only way we can defeat the dark cloud of hate hanging over America.”

Sanders’s staunch progressivism has drawn predictable fire from conservatives, but it’s also sparked fear from Democrats who worry he could alienate moderate and independent voters in a pivotal election year. Omar dismissed the idea that Sanders is too far left to win the election. As evidence, she pointed to the fact Sanders lost the Democratic primary in 2016 to a more centrist candidate, Hillary Clinton, who was then defeated. 

“In 2016, we made the same argument, we ended up choosing a candidate, and we still got Trump,” said Omar. “It is really about finding candidates that resonate with folks, and I don’t know anyone better than Bernie who does that.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MInn., delivers a speech at a Bernie Sanders campaign rally. (Photo: Hunter Walker/Yahoo News)
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MInn., delivers a speech at a Bernie Sanders campaign rally. (Photo: Hunter Walker/Yahoo News)

After the introduction from Omar in Manchester, Sanders delivered his stump speech. But first, he offered praise for the congresswoman. 

“You’re looking at one of the extraordinary people in American politics,” Sanders said of Omar.

Much of the anger directed toward Omar has stemmed from her criticism of American support for the Israeli government in light of its treatment of Palestinians. 

Opponents have accused Omar of using anti-Semitic rhetoric in some of her comments, including a 2012 tweet in which she said Israel had “hypnotized” the world and statements she has made since entering Congress. In February, Omar offered an “unequivocal” apology after a tweet she that characterized congressional support for Israel as being “all about the Benjamins,” which many critics saw as a clear allusion to stereotypes of conspiratorial Jewish financial control over public life.

In her apology, Omar said she meant to highlight the “problematic role of lobbyists” including pro-Israel groups. Omar further said “allies and colleagues” were “educating” her on the “painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.” 

The debate continued as Omar campaigned for Sanders in New Hampshire. Ahead of her events on Friday, Judy Aron, a Jewish Republican legislator in the state, wrote a note on Facebook criticizing Democrats for “bringing noted anti-Semite and opponent of Israel Rep. Ilhan Omar to New Hampshire.” Aron’s statement was subsequently circulated by the state Republican Party. 

Yet, in supporting Sanders, Omar is pushing for the election of a man who would be the first Jewish president. Asked whether she saw the moment as a milestone given the history of tension between the Jewish and Muslim communities, Omar pointed to data showing the two groups are actually particularly close allies in the United States. 

“There’s a public narrative that gets manipulated and exploited, and then there’s the reality of our lived experiences,” Omar said. “For me, Bernie has always been someone who has reached out and connected on a multitude of things, who’s been serious about building a relationship more so than anyone else outside of, you know, obviously, my Squad sisters.”

Omar said Sanders’s efforts to work with her led to a unique bond between them.

“That is the kind of stuff that transcends, you know, religious differences and differences in upbringing, country of origin, and all of that,” said Omar, adding, “I feel connected to him in ways that I don’t feel connected to a lot of people I serve with.” 

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., at a campaign event. (Photo: Hunter Walker/Yahoo News)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., at a campaign event. (Photo: Hunter Walker/Yahoo News)

When asked about her past comments that were seen as allusions to anti-Semitic stereotypes, Omar framed it as a case of needing to increase her awareness as someone who grew up outside of American culture. 

“That’s, I think, just exposure,” Omar said.

As an example, Omar noted that Somalis do not use last names in the same way as English speakers do. She described having to learn how to address people in this way and educating herself on which names indicate different ethnicities.

“There are many times where people will say that’s an Irish last name, that’s a Jewish last name,” Omar explained. “And that’s not something I’m familiar with. I didn’t grow up in a culture where last names are a thing.”

Omar’s appearances for Sanders in New Hampshire were part of a push to drum up youth support in the key early primary state. New Hampshire also is home to some Somali refugees, and a Sanders campaign source said Omar met with members of the community during her visit.

In addition to her speech in Manchester, Omar knocked on doors of local residents, appeared with the senator at an awards ceremony hosted by the New Hampshire Young Democrats, and made remarks at a campaign rally for him in Nashua. 

A group of five young women who came to the rally from a nearby high school said they were still undecided about whom to support, but they added that Omar’s endorsement made them more drawn to Sanders. One of the girls, Ruthie Zolla, said she appreciated Omar for being “unafraid” to tackle serious issues and “corruption.” 

“I like that she’s fearless in everything she believes in,” said Zolla. 

Three of the young women, who identified themselves as Jewish, said the accusations of anti-Semitism against Omar are unfair. One of them, Ella Weintraub, attributed the allegations to “fear of change and Islamophobia.”

“She just has to put up with so much more being a Muslim woman in this position of power,” Weintraub said of Omar. 

The young women all said it was meaningful to them to see Omar and her fellow Squad members, who are all women of color, line up behind Sanders. 

“When I heard that ilhan Omar and [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.] supported Bernie, that was really a big turn-on for me,” said Regan O’Brien, one of the students.

Indeed, the endorsement from the Squad has been a turning point for Sanders, who faced an impression that he could not appeal to women and minorities during his unsuccessful presidential bid in 2016. Since mid-October when Sanders earned the endorsement of Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., he has surged to a second place average in national polls behind former Vice President Joe Biden. 

While Sanders is running behind Biden in national polls, his numbers in key early states look far better. Sanders’s recent surge has brought him to first place in New Hampshire, and he’s in second place in Iowa, where Biden is polling third, behind Sanders and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. His strength in early states has clearly made Sanders one of the three frontrunners in the race, along with Biden and Buttigieg. 

Sanders has also made gains as another progressive candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has seen her numbers dip. Warren has the endorsement of the fourth Squad member, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., who appeared on the senator’s behalf at the Nashua event where Omar campaigned for Sanders. 

The Squad members who have backed Sanders have faced questions about why they didn’t choose to support another woman or person of color. Omar told Yahoo News her decision was based on Sanders’s platform. 

“For me, it’s really never been a particular leader,’ Omar said. “It’s always about the agenda.”

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California governor rejects PG&E bankruptcy reorganization plan

(Reuters) – California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday rejected a bankruptcy reorganization plan submitted by PG&E Corp (PCG.N), the state’s largest investor-owned utility, saying its proposal fails to meet the requirements of a recently enacted wildfire law.

The decision by Newsom, sent to PG&E in a letter, complicates the company’s push to exit bankruptcy and provide billions of dollars to victims of devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018 sparked by the utility’s power lines.

The embattled utility now has until Tuesday to further amend its plan to Newsom’s satisfaction, but his criticism of the reorganization package as it was presented by PG&E a day earlier was sweeping.

Newsom said the plan lacks “major changes in governance” and tougher safety enforcement mechanisms mandated under the state wildfire statute, known as Assembly Bill 1054, which was enacted in July.

The governor also said PG&E’s plan, including a proposed $13.5 billion settlement with victims of wildfires blamed on its power lines, would leave the company with a weakened capital structure and “limited ability to withstand future financial and operational headwinds.”

“In my judgment, the amended plan and the restructuring transactions do not result in a reorganized company positioned to provide safe, reliable and affordable service to its customers, as required by AB 1054,” Newsom wrote.

PG&E, in a statement after release of the governor’s letter, disputed Newsom’s findings that its reorganization plan fails to live up to the criteria of the wildfire law.

“We believe it does and is the best course forward for all stakeholders,” the company said. “We’ve welcomed feedback from all stakeholders throughout these proceedings and will continue to work diligently in the coming days to resolve any issues that may arise.”

State approval of reorganization plan is a necessary step before PG&E can submit the proposal for a vote by creditors and final approval from a bankruptcy judge in San Francisco.

FILE PHOTO: PG&E works on power lines to repair damage caused by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo

PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January citing projected civil liabilities in excess of $30 billion from wind-driven blazes in 2017 and 2018 sparked by its equipment. Those included a wildfire last year that killed 85 people and destroyed the town of Paradise, ranking as California’s deadliest wildfire on record.


In recent months, PG&E resorted to widespread power shut-offs that left hundreds of thousands of its customers without electricity for days at a time during periods of extremely high winds and dry conditions.

But the blackouts enraged consumers, regulators and politicians, including Newsom, who accused PG&E of failing through greed and mismanagement to invest in proper maintenance and upgrades of its power system over the years.

PG&E has denied putting profits ahead of public safety but acknowledged it needed to do a better job of protecting the grid from fire hazards.

Newsom had floated the idea of a state takeover of the utility if it failed to satisfy his demands, and has insisted that whatever entity emerges from bankruptcy must be “completely transformed” and more accountable.

The governor’s finding that PG&E’s reorganization plan must comply with the new law, AB 1054, is a prerequisite for the utility’s proposed civil settlement with wildfire victims.

The law creates a wildfire liability fund that investor-owned utilities can access for wildfire claims, provided the utilities contribute toward the fund and make a combined $5 billion, five-year investment toward improvement in their electrical grids.

To participate in the fund, PG&E must exit bankruptcy by June 30, putting intense pressure on the utility to resolve its complicated Chapter 11 quickly.

FILE PHOTO: California governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference in San Diego, California, U.S. October 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Mike Blake

Prior to its $13.5 billion deal with victims, the company recently reached an $11 billion settlement with insurance companies and a $1 billion settlement with local governments for fire losses.

Bondholders led by Elliott Management opposed the reorganization plan championed by PG&E. However, the $13.5 billion compensation package agreed to by the utility – more generous than expected – makes it much more difficult for bondholders to upend PG&E’s plans.

Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware, and Steve Gorman in Culver City, Calif.; Editing by David Gregorio, Bill Tarrant and Sandra Maler

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NYC To Pay $625,000 To Mom Whose Baby Was Ripped Away By Police

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City will pay $625,000 to resolve a lawsuit filed by a mother whose toddler was yanked from her arms by police in a widely seen online video, the city’s Law Department said.

Jazmine Headley sued the city in August alleging trauma and humiliation and seeking unspecified damages over the December 2018 incident at a Brooklyn benefits office.

In February, she testified before the city council, which offered her a public apology and passed legislation aimed at improving how people are treated at benefits offices and making the system more transparent.

On Friday, the Law Department said the city will pay to resolve the lawsuit.

“Through her intelligence, bravery, and grace, Jazmine Headley turned the worst ordeal of her life — and of any parent’s — into an opportunity for change for the entire city,” Headley’s lawyers, Katherine Rosenfeld and Emma Freeman said in a statement.

On the video, police officers are seen pulling Headley’s 18-month-old son away from her as they responded to a call about a dispute with a security guard.

Headley, 24, was arrested and spent four days in jail before Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez dropped charges of obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child and trespassing.

Officers ripped away Jazmine Headley's 18-month-old son following a call about a dispute with a security guard. She was arres

Officers ripped away Jazmine Headley’s 18-month-old son following a call about a dispute with a security guard. She was arrested for obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child and trespassing.

Gonzalez said he was “horrified by the violence depicted in the video” and said the situation should have been handled differently.

Headley’s lawsuit alleged that her child suffered physical, mental and other injuries and that Headley’s name and image would forever be associated with that “traumatic and violent experience.”

The video, posted to social media by an onlooker, caused a furor, spurring outrage from those who say it’s indicative of how social service recipients are treated.

It showed Headley ending up lying face-up on the floor, and a police officer at another point pulling her stun gun out and aiming it at the upset crowd.

Jazmine Headley, center, joins attorney Brian Neary and her mother, Jacqueline Jenkins, outside a courthouse in Trenton, N.J.

Jazmine Headley, center, joins attorney Brian Neary and her mother, Jacqueline Jenkins, outside a courthouse in Trenton, N.J., on Dec. 12, 2018. 

Headley’s lawyers said she insisted “this incident was not just about her, but about the dignity of every young woman of color raising her family with immense love and hard work, in a difficult world.”

“We hope Ms. Headley’s moral leadership inspires the City to make good on its promises of reform,” they said.

The two guards who initially confronted Headley were suspended for 30 days without pay. Their union said they were “scapegoats in a public relationship ploy.”

Headley had a warrant at the time in a New Jersey case, but that matter moved toward a resolution days after the Brooklyn incident.

The judge in that matter pledged to drop credit card fraud charges if she successfully completed an intervention program.

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