Day: January 8, 2020

Case of 2 missing kids grows to include deaths, cult rumours

BOISE, Idaho — Two dead spouses, two missing children and rumours of a cult. Confusion is growing around a series of mysterious deaths and the disappearances of a 7-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl that tie back to a couple who have since vanished themselves.

Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan haven’t been seen since September. Lori Vallow and her husband, Chad Daybell, never reported them missing and disappeared soon after being questioned about the children. What has followed is a twisted tale spanning two states that revealed the deaths of both their previous spouses, the couple’s doomsday beliefs and children who slowly slipped away from relatives who are desperate to find them.

“All I want before I go is just to see those children, and especially — and I’m being greedy — especially my boy JJ. My little man,” grandfather Larry Woodcock said Tuesday at a press conference in Idaho announcing a $20,000 reward for information leading to the kids.

Wife Kay Woodcock’s brother, Charles Vallow, adopted JJ when he was a baby. Charles and his wife, Lori Vallow, also raised Lori’s daughter from a previous relationship at their home in suburban Phoenix.

Lori Vallow was a hairdresser, always keeping JJ’s hair trimmed and styled, Larry Woodcock said. The Woodcocks, who live in Lake Charles, Louisiana, visited their grandson often and shared frequent phone calls and video chats when they couldn’t be there in person.

“I do know that Lori always had the best, the absolute best interest in heart for JJ. She and Charles were the absolute best parents,” he said.

But things began to change a few years ago, Kay Woodcock said. Her brother confided that he feared Lori was cheating on him with Chad Daybell, an author of several religious-themed fiction books about prophecies and the end of the world.

Charles Vallow eventually filed divorce documents in an Arizona court last February claiming that Lori believed she was a “translated being” and “a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020,” The Arizona Republic newspaper reported.

He also accused Lori of threatening to kill him if he got in her way, prompting him to seek a protection order.

“He was highly concerned about it: Her emotional state, her mental state, and the fact that she had made threats about him,” Kay Woodcock said Tuesday. “It all culminated into that cult that she’s in.”

Lori Vallow and Daybell did Preparing A People podcasts run by a small multimedia company that says it’s not a cult or even a group to join and distanced itself from the couple’s beliefs. It advertises its lectures, podcasts and videos as readying people for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Charles and Lori Vallow’s divorce was never completed — Charles was killed in July by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox. Cox told authorities that the shooting was in self-defence after Charles Vallow hit him with a baseball bat, but the case is unsolved. Whatever the findings, Cox won’t stand trial — he died of unknown causes in December. Toxicology results could take weeks.

Kay Woodcock said Lori acted strangely when she told the family about Charles’ death, not mentioning the cause. A relative had to search Charles’ name online to find out he had been shot.

“We knew it was a murder, we knew Charles’ death wasn’t a justifiable homicide,” Kay Woodcock said. “It was like they set him up.”

After the death, Kay and Larry Woodcock said they had a harder time reaching JJ. The once-frequent calls dwindled and grew short. The last one, in August, lasted just 36 seconds and seemed scripted, they said.

That month, Lori moved to Rexburg, Idaho, with the kids. It brought her closer to Chad Daybell’s hometown of Salem, Idaho, where he lived with his wife, Tammy Daybell.

The Daybells ran a publishing company that produced his fiction books about end times and theology around The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as other authors’ works. He also spoke at Preparing A People events, hosted by Color My Media.

“‘Preparing A People’ is part of a media company that films speakers on a variety of topics not affiliated with any specific religion,” Color My Media owners Michael and Nancy James wrote on the company’s website. “It is not a ‘group’ and is not a ‘Cult’ or something people join, but has educational lecture events that can be attended or watched on video.”

They also said they didn’t share any of Daybell or Vallow’s beliefs “if they are contrary to Christian principles of honesty, integrity and truth or if they do not align with the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Church spokesman Eric Hawkins declined to comment, saying the case doesn’t involve the faith.

Two months after Lori Vallow moved to Idaho, Tammy Daybell died at her home. She was just 49, and her obituary said she died of natural causes on Oct. 19. Police would later question that and have her body exhumed for an autopsy, whose results have not been released yet.

Chad Daybell married Lori Vallow just two weeks after Tammy’s death.

In the meantime, relatives were growing more concerned about the children. Larry and Kay Woodcock said they were only able to reach JJ a few times after his father died in July. They have left voice messages, emails and texts since August but haven’t heard back.

Investigators later determined JJ and Tylee had not been seen since September, but Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell never reported them missing.

Julie Rowe, a self-described “visionary” and “energy worker” who says she has long been friends with Daybell, uploaded a video on her website defending him and claiming his innocence in the children’s disappearances and the death of his previous wife. She said Daybell repeatedly told her he had a vision of Tammy’s death. Rowe claimed to have the same vision.

“My angels tell me that Chad Daybell is being falsely accused of the suspicious death of his wife,” she said in the video. “I have talked to Tammy’s spirit.”

Two days before Thanksgiving, officers visited Lori and Chad to check on the children after getting calls from worried family members.

Investigators said the couple claimed JJ and Tylee were visiting relatives in Arizona. After discovering the lie, investigators returned to the home the next day — only to find Lori and Chad had left town.

Local, regional and state authorities are still searching for the couple and the children, with help from the FBI. Chad and Lori have been named persons of interest in the children’s disappearances.

Sheriff’s deputies searched Daybell’s home last week, removing 43 items including computers, cellphones, medication and journals.

An attorney for the couple didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Rebecca Boone, The Associated Press

@repost What Are Equalization Payments

Via Family Divorce

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/01/08/case-of-2-missing-kids-grows-to-include-deaths-cult-rumours/

By The Wall of Law January 8, 2020 Off

Case of 2 missing kids grows to include deaths, cult rumours

BOISE, Idaho — Two dead spouses, two missing children and rumours of a cult. Confusion is growing around a series of mysterious deaths and the disappearances of a 7-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl that tie back to a couple who have since vanished themselves.

Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan haven’t been seen since September. Lori Vallow and her husband, Chad Daybell, never reported them missing and disappeared soon after being questioned about the children. What has followed is a twisted tale spanning two states that revealed the deaths of both their previous spouses, the couple’s doomsday beliefs and children who slowly slipped away from relatives who are desperate to find them.

“All I want before I go is just to see those children, and especially — and I’m being greedy — especially my boy JJ. My little man,” grandfather Larry Woodcock said Tuesday at a press conference in Idaho announcing a $20,000 reward for information leading to the kids.

Wife Kay Woodcock’s brother, Charles Vallow, adopted JJ when he was a baby. Charles and his wife, Lori Vallow, also raised Lori’s daughter from a previous relationship at their home in suburban Phoenix.

Lori Vallow was a hairdresser, always keeping JJ’s hair trimmed and styled, Larry Woodcock said. The Woodcocks, who live in Lake Charles, Louisiana, visited their grandson often and shared frequent phone calls and video chats when they couldn’t be there in person.

“I do know that Lori always had the best, the absolute best interest in heart for JJ. She and Charles were the absolute best parents,” he said.

But things began to change a few years ago, Kay Woodcock said. Her brother confided that he feared Lori was cheating on him with Chad Daybell, an author of several religious-themed fiction books about prophecies and the end of the world.

Charles Vallow eventually filed divorce documents in an Arizona court last February claiming that Lori believed she was a “translated being” and “a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ’s second coming in July 2020,” The Arizona Republic newspaper reported.

He also accused Lori of threatening to kill him if he got in her way, prompting him to seek a protection order.

“He was highly concerned about it: Her emotional state, her mental state, and the fact that she had made threats about him,” Kay Woodcock said Tuesday. “It all culminated into that cult that she’s in.”

Lori Vallow and Daybell did Preparing A People podcasts run by a small multimedia company that says it’s not a cult or even a group to join and distanced itself from the couple’s beliefs. It advertises its lectures, podcasts and videos as readying people for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Charles and Lori Vallow’s divorce was never completed — Charles was killed in July by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox. Cox told authorities that the shooting was in self-defence after Charles Vallow hit him with a baseball bat, but the case is unsolved. Whatever the findings, Cox won’t stand trial — he died of unknown causes in December. Toxicology results could take weeks.

Kay Woodcock said Lori acted strangely when she told the family about Charles’ death, not mentioning the cause. A relative had to search Charles’ name online to find out he had been shot.

“We knew it was a murder, we knew Charles’ death wasn’t a justifiable homicide,” Kay Woodcock said. “It was like they set him up.”

After the death, Kay and Larry Woodcock said they had a harder time reaching JJ. The once-frequent calls dwindled and grew short. The last one, in August, lasted just 36 seconds and seemed scripted, they said.

That month, Lori moved to Rexburg, Idaho, with the kids. It brought her closer to Chad Daybell’s hometown of Salem, Idaho, where he lived with his wife, Tammy Daybell.

The Daybells ran a publishing company that produced his fiction books about end times and theology around The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as other authors’ works. He also spoke at Preparing A People events, hosted by Color My Media.

“‘Preparing A People’ is part of a media company that films speakers on a variety of topics not affiliated with any specific religion,” Color My Media owners Michael and Nancy James wrote on the company’s website. “It is not a ‘group’ and is not a ‘Cult’ or something people join, but has educational lecture events that can be attended or watched on video.”

They also said they didn’t share any of Daybell or Vallow’s beliefs “if they are contrary to Christian principles of honesty, integrity and truth or if they do not align with the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Church spokesman Eric Hawkins declined to comment, saying the case doesn’t involve the faith.

Two months after Lori Vallow moved to Idaho, Tammy Daybell died at her home. She was just 49, and her obituary said she died of natural causes on Oct. 19. Police would later question that and have her body exhumed for an autopsy, whose results have not been released yet.

Chad Daybell married Lori Vallow just two weeks after Tammy’s death.

In the meantime, relatives were growing more concerned about the children. Larry and Kay Woodcock said they were only able to reach JJ a few times after his father died in July. They have left voice messages, emails and texts since August but haven’t heard back.

Investigators later determined JJ and Tylee had not been seen since September, but Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell never reported them missing.

Julie Rowe, a self-described “visionary” and “energy worker” who says she has long been friends with Daybell, uploaded a video on her website defending him and claiming his innocence in the children’s disappearances and the death of his previous wife. She said Daybell repeatedly told her he had a vision of Tammy’s death. Rowe claimed to have the same vision.

“My angels tell me that Chad Daybell is being falsely accused of the suspicious death of his wife,” she said in the video. “I have talked to Tammy’s spirit.”

Two days before Thanksgiving, officers visited Lori and Chad to check on the children after getting calls from worried family members.

Investigators said the couple claimed JJ and Tylee were visiting relatives in Arizona. After discovering the lie, investigators returned to the home the next day — only to find Lori and Chad had left town.

Local, regional and state authorities are still searching for the couple and the children, with help from the FBI. Chad and Lori have been named persons of interest in the children’s disappearances.

Sheriff’s deputies searched Daybell’s home last week, removing 43 items including computers, cellphones, medication and journals.

An attorney for the couple didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Rebecca Boone, The Associated Press

@repost Separation Advice

Via Property Settlement Before Divorce

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/01/08/case-of-2-missing-kids-grows-to-include-deaths-cult-rumours/

By The Wall of Law January 8, 2020 Off

Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moving to Canada?

Was Prince Harry and Meghan’s six-week stay at a luxury estate in North Saanich, near Victoria on Vancouver Island, a test run for creating a royal base in the Queen’s northern realm? On Wednesday morning, Dan Wootton of the Sun tabloid in London, reported that “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are looking to move to Canada for a significant portion of this year as they actively consider their future role in the royal family”

Then, late afternoon, London time, came an announcement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex:

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. 

It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. 

We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. 

This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.  

We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”

The announcement comes on the heels of their raw, personal comments during a documentary of their tour of southern Africa, when Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, talked of the pressures of being at the centre of an intense social media and tabloid spotlight, saying, “It’s not enough to just survive something…You have to thrive, to be happy.” Her husband was just as unhappy, revealing his grief for his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, is a “wound that festers” and his loathing of the media, in particular, that he can’t get over how the paparazzi and tabloids treated her, saying that “every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back. So in that respect, it’s the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best.”

READ: What happens if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ditch royal life

Rumours that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were thinking of spending chunks of time outside Britain have been swirling for some time. Last year, the Times reported that the couple was thinking of spending an extended time in Africa. Speculation was resurrected during the headline-making documentary of their tour of southern Africa when Harry said that Cape Town “would be an amazing place for us to be able to base ourselves.” He also acknowledged that it would be “a very hard place to live.”

Now Canada is top of the list. Wootton wrote that Canada is “the number one option for the couple to make their semi-permanent base outside of the U.K.” As well, the statement from the royal couple deliberately named “North America,” not Meghan’s home nation of the United States. In addition, they mentionedcontinuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages,” which strongly implies Canada.

If they intend to spend time in Canada, that raises some interesting pros and cons about having the most popular couple in the world here for more than a standard royal visit (and yes, there are also persistent rumours that Harry and Meghan’s next big tour will be in Canada).

If they come for vacations 

Choosing Canada as a base for extended private getaways makes sense for the bi-national couple. There are lots and lots of spectacular locales where the Sussexes, their friends and family could gather, well away from the pressures of royal life. Picking a new place each time would be a way to slowly explore the nation. Just think of the Kawarthas for a cottage summer, Banff in the winter, Newfoundland for icebergs and hiking. Or they can settle on one place to return again and again. In 1919, the future King Edward VIII bought a 41-hectare ranch in Alberta, building a house there. Though he only visited a few times, he kept it until 1962.

And Meghan knows the country, which has a similar North American culture to her native California. Not only did she live in Toronto while filming seven seasons of Suits, renting a small two-bedroom house in the fashionable Seaton Village area but she’s got lots of friends in Canada.

Importantly, Canada also has a reputation for respecting the privacy of the famous. Canada doesn’t have the tabloid culture so prevalent in Britain and the United States, which means NHL stars can send their kids to local schools, business leaders hop on the subway in Toronto and premiers jog solo in local parks. No photos of the Sussexes have emerged to date from their time on the West Coast, though the images could command huge fees on the international media market. In one case, Meghan and Harry even interrupted a hike at a park on Vancouver Island to help a couple trying to take selfies at a scenic vista. “We really appreciated that she stopped to take a photo for us. We would not have recognized them had they not approached us,” Asymina Kantorowicz told CTV News. “I was in shock and I didn’t want to make it a big deal.”

While Harry and Meghan will no doubt boost Canada’s tourism industry, the costs won’t be insignificant for Canada. They are senior royals, so any stay in Canada means a significant security operation.

If they come to work

If Harry and Meghan decide to make Canada a base for their work lives, things could get awkward.

But first the positives: Canada is a senior Commonwealth nation, important to Harry and Meghan, who have senior roles promoting the organization. Those connections could be enhanced.

And while it has never been done before, why shouldn’t royals spend chunks of time outside Britain? After all, Harry’s grandmother is Queen of Canada. And, in time, his father and brother will also be monarchs in Canada. Right now, we only see or read about royals when they visit, at large royal events or during big royal scandals. Don’t we deserve a chance to see the day-to-day work of royals? For monarchists, it could tighten the Crown-Canada relationship even while they still live in Britain for most of the year, continuing their royal duties and obligations there.

Perhaps Harry and Meghan could use Canada as a testing ground, spending a considerable chunk of time here, then doing something similar in other Commonwealth nations.

Now the problems: What would their roles be? The occupants of Crown offices in Canada may not appreciate being reduced to second fiddles as invitations that would normally go to the Governor General and lieutenants-governor could instead be offered to the royals.

Which brings up a basic question: They’d need legal status here, because royals aren’t automatically Canadians. As Crown expert Philippe Lagassé stated on Twitter, “The Queen has no citizenship, either of Canada or the U.K. She personifies the state, hence the authority that bestows citizenship and thus doesn’t require it herself. The other royals are British subjects.” While it’s hard to image that the federal government wouldn’t grant them work permits or something similar, there are bound to be questions raised in the House of Commons, perhaps from Quebec separatists.

As well, spending such large amounts of time outside Britain would complicate Meghan’s application for British citizenship as it, like every nation, has specific residency requirements.

Then there is the political minefield that is Canada itself. The regional differences are huge, as are the rivalries. Having royals in residence would certainly be a coup for one premier, and spark envy in the others. Also, royal photo ops will be addictive for politician craving the attention such events will draw.

Then there is the choice of public duties that the Sussexes will undertake. Royals are usually scrupulously neutral when it comes to involvement in anything impinging on politics. So, while visiting troops, or promoting youth mental health wouldn’t raise an eyebrow, Harry and Meghan’s woke talk could provoke political consternation among some politicians. When the royal couple offered thoughts and prayers for Australians enduring horrific wildfires, their Instagram post then related that environmental damage to fires in other areas of the world, concluding with “This global environmental crisis has now been described as Ecocide.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may welcome such a frank statement but its hard to imagine that Jason Kenney in energy powerhouse Alberta or Ontario’s Doug Ford, who has rolled back climate change programs of the previous government, will remain silent as the royals are perceived to be dissing their policies.

Also, there is the cost of having royals live in Canada, including paying for staff, accommodation, travel and the security needed to keep them safe while giving them the privacy they crave. There is no chance of picking a small two-bedroom house in Toronto, like they did while dating. As well, transportation in this vast nation is both expensive and time-consuming.

In their statement, Harry and Meghan wrote, “We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course.” Now, Canada is waiting to see whether it will host the most famous couple in the world.

MORE ABOUT ROYALTY:

@repost What Are Equalization Payments

Via Full Custody

source https://www.macleans.ca/news/are-harry-and-meghan-moving-to-canada/

By The Wall of Law January 8, 2020 Off

AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EST

Iran strikes back at US with missile attack at bases in Iraq

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran struck back at the United States early Wednesday for killing a top Revolutionary Guards commander, firing a series of ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops in a major escalation between the two longtime foes.

It was Iran’s most direct assault on America since the 1979 seizing of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, and Iranian state TV said it was in revenge for the U.S. killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, whose death last week in an American drone strike near Baghdad prompted angry calls to avenge his slaying. A U.S. and Iraqi officials said there were no immediate reports of casualties, though buildings were still being searched.

The strikes, which came as Iran buried Soleimani, raised fears that the two longtime foes were closer to war. But there were some indications that there would not be further retaliation on either side, at least in the short term.

‘All is well!’ President Donald Trump tweeted shortly after the missile attacks, adding, ‘So far, so good’ regarding casualties. Moments earlier, Iran’s foreign minister tweeted that Tehran had taken “& concluded proportionate measures in self-defence,” adding that Tehran did “not seek escalation” but would defend itself against further aggression.

The killing of Soleimani — a national hero to many in Iran — and strikes by Tehran came as tensions have been rising steadily across the Mideast after Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. They also marked the first time in recent years that Washington and Tehran have attacked each other directly rather than through proxies in the region. It raised the chances of open conflict erupting between the two enemies, who have been at odds since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U.S. Embassy takeover and hostage crisis.

___

The Latest: Japan calls for easing of Middle East tensions

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The latest on U.S.-Iran tensions in the wake of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iran’s top general (all times local):

7:40 a.m.

Japan says it will urge governments to do their utmost to help ease tensions following an Iranian missile strike at bases in Iraq used by U.S. forces.

The strike came in retaliation for the killing of an Iranian general.

Japanese Chief Cabinet spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that his “government will co-ordinate with the related governments to collect intelligence while we ensure the safety of Japanese citizens in the region.”

___

Iran state TV says Ukrainian airplane crashes near Tehran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A Ukrainian airplane carrying at least 170 people crashed Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s main airport, state TV reported. There was no immediate word on casualties.

The plane had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport. The crash is suspected to have been caused by mechanical issues, TV reported, without elaborating.

An investigation team was at the site of the crash in southwestern outskirts of Tehran, civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said.

“After taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, it crashed between Parand and Shahriar,” Jafarzadeh said. “An investigation team from the national aviation department was dispatched to the location after the news was announced.”

State TV earlier said there were 180 passengers and crew aboard. The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled.

___

Trump campaign seizes on Soleimani killing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump once warned Barack Obama not to “play the Iran card” to boost his political prospects by starting a war. Eight years later, Trump is showing no reluctance to capitalize politically on his order to kill a top Iranian general, drawing accusations that he is weaponizing foreign policy for his campaign’s own gain.

Trump’s campaign has used the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, as a cudgel against the president’s Democratic political rivals and to divert attention from his impending impeachment trial in the Senate.

“Americans want to see their President acting decisively and defending the nation’s interests and that’s exactly what President Trump did,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.

“Republicans are good at killing terrorists and this is a reminder of that,” added Michael Ahrens, communications director of the Republican National Committee.

The president was expected to amplify those messages on Thursday in Toledo, Ohio, during his first campaign rally since the drone strike last week. Trump’s campaign purchased ads on Facebook highlighting the Soleimani killing.

___

Trump insists ‘All is well!’ after Iran missile attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump insisted “All is well!” on Tuesday after Iran fired surface-to-surface missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. He promised to make a statement to the nation Wednesday morning about the increasingly precarious situation with Iran.

Trump offered no immediate indication of whether he would retaliate, and stayed out of sight Tuesday night as news of the missile strikes emerged.

But he tweeted that an assessment of casualties and damages was under way. The initial outlook, he said, was “So far, so good!”

The Iranian missiles came in retaliation for an American drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Trump and his advisers are under pressure to disclose more details about the intelligence that led to the U.S. strike.

Trump said Tuesday that his decision saved American lives and that members of Congress will get a briefing on the reasons for the U.S. attack.

___

Pelosi’s next move on impeachment unclear as Senate waits

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he has the votes to start President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as soon as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi releases the documents, winning support from GOP senators to postpone a decision on calling witnesses.

The announcement is significant, enabling McConnell to bypass for now Democratic demands for new testimony as he launches the third impeachment trial in the nation’s history. It could begin this week if Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

But Pelosi gave little indication Tuesday of her next move. She cut short an impeachment discussion with her leadership team late at the Capitol when an aide handed her a note about the crisis unfolding in the Middle East. She asked Democrats to “pray,” according to a lawmaker at the closed-door session.

Pelosi appears in no rush to transmit the articles of impeachment as Democrats push to hear from more witnesses but McConnell focuses Republicans on a strategy for speedy acquittal. The Senate can’t start the proceedings until the charges against Trump are sent.

“We have the votes,” McConnell told reporters about his proposal that would set the rules for a trial and would be modeled after President Bill Clinton’s impeachment 20 years ago. He said the question of new witnesses and documents will be addressed later “and not before the trial begins.”

___

Australian family’s fortress no match for rapacious fires

BALMORAL, Australia (AP) — With flames climbing as high as a 15-story building and menacing his supposedly fireproof home on three sides, Justin Kam ran to the laundry room and opened the door. Inside was fire.

That’s not supposed to happen, he thought.

It was clear his family’s fortress had been breached and they were in mortal danger and needed to get out.

“Once the fire had penetrated the structure, that was the signal: Time to get out. You can’t save it,” he said. “Staying in any longer and we really would’ve been a statistic.”

They escaped — just barely — but found themselves among 2,000 homeowners whose houses have burned down during what has been been a catastrophic fire season Down Under, full of apocalyptic images that have focused the world’s attention on climate change.

___

Jury selection in Weinstein case could prove to be drawn-out

NEW YORK (AP) — On Sunday, Harvey Weinstein was a punchline at the Golden Globes. On Monday, he was hit with new sex-crimes charges in Los Angeles. And on Tuesday, he and his lawyers walked into court in New York to begin picking the jury that will decide the fate of the man widely seen as the biggest monster of the #MeToo movement.

Selecting the jury for the Hollywood mogul’s rape and sexual assault trial is likely to be a painstaking, weekslong process, made complicated by the high stakes, heavy publicity and public revulsion toward him.

In fact, one-third of the first 120 prospective jurors summoned for the case were promptly sent home after the judge asked if there was anyone who could not be impartial and about 40 hands went up.

Weinstein’s lawyers unsuccessfully tried to delay jury selection in light of the new case filed in Los Angeles, asking for a “cooling-off period” to allow the publicity to subside.

“For a prosecutor, this is Christmas morning — the morning of jury selection to have him smeared everywhere,” Weinstein lawyer Arthur Aidala said.

___

Official quits amid charges he paid women to give up babies

PHOENIX (AP) — An elected official in metro Phoenix resigned Tuesday, months after being charged with running a human smuggling operation that paid pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to give up their babies in the U.S.

The resignation of Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen came after leaders in the one of the nation’s most populous counties suspended and pressured him to resign after his arrest nearly three months ago. The county’s governing board voted in late December to start the process of removing Petersen, who also works as an adoption attorney.

He is accused of illegally paying women from the Pacific island nation to come to the United States to give up their babies in at least 70 adoption cases in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas over three years. Citizens of the Marshall Islands have been prohibited from travelling to the U.S. for adoption purposes since 2003.

In a statement released by his attorneys, Petersen proclaimed his innocence and said he never neglected his duties as assessor, responsible for determining the property values in the county. The Republican said county officials and news organizations presumed he was guilty.

“My focus now turns to defending the allegations against me,” Petersen said.

___

‘Prozac Nation’ author Elizabeth Wurtzel dies at age 52

NEW YORK (AP) — Elizabeth Wurtzel, whose blunt and painful confessions of her struggles with addiction and depression in the bestselling “Prozac Nation” made her a voice and a target for an anxious generation, died Tuesday at age 52.

Wurtzel’s husband, Jim Freed, told The Associated Press that she died at a Manhattan hospital after a long battle with cancer.

“Prozac Nation” was published in 1994 when Wurtzel was in her mid-20s and set off a debate that lasted for much of her life. Critics praised her for her candour and accused her of self-pity and self-indulgence, vices she fully acknowledged. Wurtzel wrote of growing up in a home torn by divorce, of cutting herself when she was in her early teens, and of spending her adolescence in a storm of tears, drugs, bad love affairs and family fights.

“I don’t mean to sound like a spoiled brat,” she wrote. “I know that into every sunny life a little rain must fall and all that, but in my case the crisis-level hysteria is an all-too-recurring theme.”

Wurtzel became a celebrity, a symbol and, for some, a punchline. Newsweek called her ”the famously depressed Elizabeth Wurtzel.” She was widely ridiculed after a 2002 interview with the The Toronto Globe and Mail in which she spoke dismissively of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from the year before.

The Associated Press

@repost Divorce Settlement Agreement

Via Marriage Lawyer near Me

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/01/08/ap-news-in-brief-at-1204-a-m-est-140/

By The Wall of Law January 8, 2020 Off

AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EST

Iran strikes back at US with missile attack at bases in Iraq

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran struck back at the United States early Wednesday for killing a top Revolutionary Guards commander, firing a series of ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops in a major escalation between the two longtime foes.

It was Iran’s most direct assault on America since the 1979 seizing of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, and Iranian state TV said it was in revenge for the U.S. killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, whose death last week in an American drone strike near Baghdad prompted angry calls to avenge his slaying. A U.S. and Iraqi officials said there were no immediate reports of casualties, though buildings were still being searched.

The strikes, which came as Iran buried Soleimani, raised fears that the two longtime foes were closer to war. But there were some indications that there would not be further retaliation on either side, at least in the short term.

‘All is well!’ President Donald Trump tweeted shortly after the missile attacks, adding, ‘So far, so good’ regarding casualties. Moments earlier, Iran’s foreign minister tweeted that Tehran had taken “& concluded proportionate measures in self-defence,” adding that Tehran did “not seek escalation” but would defend itself against further aggression.

The killing of Soleimani — a national hero to many in Iran — and strikes by Tehran came as tensions have been rising steadily across the Mideast after Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. They also marked the first time in recent years that Washington and Tehran have attacked each other directly rather than through proxies in the region. It raised the chances of open conflict erupting between the two enemies, who have been at odds since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U.S. Embassy takeover and hostage crisis.

___

The Latest: Japan calls for easing of Middle East tensions

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The latest on U.S.-Iran tensions in the wake of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iran’s top general (all times local):

7:40 a.m.

Japan says it will urge governments to do their utmost to help ease tensions following an Iranian missile strike at bases in Iraq used by U.S. forces.

The strike came in retaliation for the killing of an Iranian general.

Japanese Chief Cabinet spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that his “government will co-ordinate with the related governments to collect intelligence while we ensure the safety of Japanese citizens in the region.”

___

Iran state TV says Ukrainian airplane crashes near Tehran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A Ukrainian airplane carrying at least 170 people crashed Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s main airport, state TV reported. There was no immediate word on casualties.

The plane had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport. The crash is suspected to have been caused by mechanical issues, TV reported, without elaborating.

An investigation team was at the site of the crash in southwestern outskirts of Tehran, civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said.

“After taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, it crashed between Parand and Shahriar,” Jafarzadeh said. “An investigation team from the national aviation department was dispatched to the location after the news was announced.”

State TV earlier said there were 180 passengers and crew aboard. The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled.

___

Trump campaign seizes on Soleimani killing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump once warned Barack Obama not to “play the Iran card” to boost his political prospects by starting a war. Eight years later, Trump is showing no reluctance to capitalize politically on his order to kill a top Iranian general, drawing accusations that he is weaponizing foreign policy for his campaign’s own gain.

Trump’s campaign has used the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, as a cudgel against the president’s Democratic political rivals and to divert attention from his impending impeachment trial in the Senate.

“Americans want to see their President acting decisively and defending the nation’s interests and that’s exactly what President Trump did,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.

“Republicans are good at killing terrorists and this is a reminder of that,” added Michael Ahrens, communications director of the Republican National Committee.

The president was expected to amplify those messages on Thursday in Toledo, Ohio, during his first campaign rally since the drone strike last week. Trump’s campaign purchased ads on Facebook highlighting the Soleimani killing.

___

Trump insists ‘All is well!’ after Iran missile attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump insisted “All is well!” on Tuesday after Iran fired surface-to-surface missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. He promised to make a statement to the nation Wednesday morning about the increasingly precarious situation with Iran.

Trump offered no immediate indication of whether he would retaliate, and stayed out of sight Tuesday night as news of the missile strikes emerged.

But he tweeted that an assessment of casualties and damages was under way. The initial outlook, he said, was “So far, so good!”

The Iranian missiles came in retaliation for an American drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Trump and his advisers are under pressure to disclose more details about the intelligence that led to the U.S. strike.

Trump said Tuesday that his decision saved American lives and that members of Congress will get a briefing on the reasons for the U.S. attack.

___

Pelosi’s next move on impeachment unclear as Senate waits

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he has the votes to start President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as soon as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi releases the documents, winning support from GOP senators to postpone a decision on calling witnesses.

The announcement is significant, enabling McConnell to bypass for now Democratic demands for new testimony as he launches the third impeachment trial in the nation’s history. It could begin this week if Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

But Pelosi gave little indication Tuesday of her next move. She cut short an impeachment discussion with her leadership team late at the Capitol when an aide handed her a note about the crisis unfolding in the Middle East. She asked Democrats to “pray,” according to a lawmaker at the closed-door session.

Pelosi appears in no rush to transmit the articles of impeachment as Democrats push to hear from more witnesses but McConnell focuses Republicans on a strategy for speedy acquittal. The Senate can’t start the proceedings until the charges against Trump are sent.

“We have the votes,” McConnell told reporters about his proposal that would set the rules for a trial and would be modeled after President Bill Clinton’s impeachment 20 years ago. He said the question of new witnesses and documents will be addressed later “and not before the trial begins.”

___

Australian family’s fortress no match for rapacious fires

BALMORAL, Australia (AP) — With flames climbing as high as a 15-story building and menacing his supposedly fireproof home on three sides, Justin Kam ran to the laundry room and opened the door. Inside was fire.

That’s not supposed to happen, he thought.

It was clear his family’s fortress had been breached and they were in mortal danger and needed to get out.

“Once the fire had penetrated the structure, that was the signal: Time to get out. You can’t save it,” he said. “Staying in any longer and we really would’ve been a statistic.”

They escaped — just barely — but found themselves among 2,000 homeowners whose houses have burned down during what has been been a catastrophic fire season Down Under, full of apocalyptic images that have focused the world’s attention on climate change.

___

Jury selection in Weinstein case could prove to be drawn-out

NEW YORK (AP) — On Sunday, Harvey Weinstein was a punchline at the Golden Globes. On Monday, he was hit with new sex-crimes charges in Los Angeles. And on Tuesday, he and his lawyers walked into court in New York to begin picking the jury that will decide the fate of the man widely seen as the biggest monster of the #MeToo movement.

Selecting the jury for the Hollywood mogul’s rape and sexual assault trial is likely to be a painstaking, weekslong process, made complicated by the high stakes, heavy publicity and public revulsion toward him.

In fact, one-third of the first 120 prospective jurors summoned for the case were promptly sent home after the judge asked if there was anyone who could not be impartial and about 40 hands went up.

Weinstein’s lawyers unsuccessfully tried to delay jury selection in light of the new case filed in Los Angeles, asking for a “cooling-off period” to allow the publicity to subside.

“For a prosecutor, this is Christmas morning — the morning of jury selection to have him smeared everywhere,” Weinstein lawyer Arthur Aidala said.

___

Official quits amid charges he paid women to give up babies

PHOENIX (AP) — An elected official in metro Phoenix resigned Tuesday, months after being charged with running a human smuggling operation that paid pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to give up their babies in the U.S.

The resignation of Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen came after leaders in the one of the nation’s most populous counties suspended and pressured him to resign after his arrest nearly three months ago. The county’s governing board voted in late December to start the process of removing Petersen, who also works as an adoption attorney.

He is accused of illegally paying women from the Pacific island nation to come to the United States to give up their babies in at least 70 adoption cases in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas over three years. Citizens of the Marshall Islands have been prohibited from travelling to the U.S. for adoption purposes since 2003.

In a statement released by his attorneys, Petersen proclaimed his innocence and said he never neglected his duties as assessor, responsible for determining the property values in the county. The Republican said county officials and news organizations presumed he was guilty.

“My focus now turns to defending the allegations against me,” Petersen said.

___

‘Prozac Nation’ author Elizabeth Wurtzel dies at age 52

NEW YORK (AP) — Elizabeth Wurtzel, whose blunt and painful confessions of her struggles with addiction and depression in the bestselling “Prozac Nation” made her a voice and a target for an anxious generation, died Tuesday at age 52.

Wurtzel’s husband, Jim Freed, told The Associated Press that she died at a Manhattan hospital after a long battle with cancer.

“Prozac Nation” was published in 1994 when Wurtzel was in her mid-20s and set off a debate that lasted for much of her life. Critics praised her for her candour and accused her of self-pity and self-indulgence, vices she fully acknowledged. Wurtzel wrote of growing up in a home torn by divorce, of cutting herself when she was in her early teens, and of spending her adolescence in a storm of tears, drugs, bad love affairs and family fights.

“I don’t mean to sound like a spoiled brat,” she wrote. “I know that into every sunny life a little rain must fall and all that, but in my case the crisis-level hysteria is an all-too-recurring theme.”

Wurtzel became a celebrity, a symbol and, for some, a punchline. Newsweek called her ”the famously depressed Elizabeth Wurtzel.” She was widely ridiculed after a 2002 interview with the The Toronto Globe and Mail in which she spoke dismissively of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from the year before.

The Associated Press

@repost Legal Advice Family Law

Via How Does Alimony Work In

source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/01/08/ap-news-in-brief-at-1204-a-m-est-140/

By The Wall of Law January 8, 2020 Off