‘Obstruction of Congress’ is an utterly ridiculous impeachment charge

If one accepts the Democrats’ tendentious narrative of what transpired on the now-infamous July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, their “abuse of power” impeachment article arguably fits within Alexander Hamilton’s description, in Federalist 65, of the Constitution’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” as an “abuse or violation of some public trust.” But their “obstruction of Congress” charge fails.

Worse, it is utterly nonsensical and misunderstands and undermines the entire separation-of-powers framework upon which our constitutional republic was built. To speak of a president “obstructing” Congress is to speak of spotting a unicorn. It is a nonsensical fantasy. And leveling the very allegation, in the first instance, evinces a fundamental constitutional illiteracy.

Our tripartite separation-of-powers edifice was hardly devised for the purpose of ensuring amiability between the legislative, executive and judicial branches. On the contrary, the Framers envisioned a national government in which the three branches existed in a state of continuous, unyielding tension with one another.

In particular, the two political branches — Congress and the executive branch — were meant to be jealous guardians of their own ambits and spheres of influence. Ceaseless tussling between them was to be the norm. “Ambition,” James Madison told us in Federalist 51, “must be made to counteract ambition.”

Accordingly, inter-branch political showdowns are routine. The president can veto legislation. Congress, using its power-of-the-purse prerogative, can defund presidential priorities. And so forth. Each branch has various tools at its disposal to help “counteract [the] ambition” of the other.

That is how our separation of powers is supposed to function — in a state far closer to animosity than to geniality. Which is precisely why House Democrats alleging “obstruction of Congress” as an article of impeachment makes no sense.

If the president disagrees with what Congress is doing, then he should lawfully impede or obstruct its efforts. And the proper way for Congress to push back on a frustrative president is not to resort to the extreme and uniquely anti-democratic remedy of impeachment but to simply defund his legislative priorities or perhaps force a government shutdown.

Fact is, it is wholly improper — and counter to the spirit embodied in our constitutional framework — for Congress to attempt to impeach the president for obstructing its congressional responsibilities. To pout over purported “obstruction of Congress” is to moan that the president is reasserting the truism that he is, in fact, a separate branch of government and capable of pushing back on the other branches.

By attempting to impeach the president because he wields presidential power, House Democrats reveal that it is they themselves who are the ones abusing power.

By contrast, an article of impeachment for “obstruction of justice,” especially if it were to entail the president directly defying a judicial order to heed a congressional subpoena, would carry more heft. Obstruction of justice has historically been cited in articles of impeachment. Not so the utter fabrication that is “obstruction of Congress.”

In resigning themselves to such a farcical impeachment article, especially in lieu of their nixing previously floated articles pertaining to either bribery or the Mueller report, House Democrats have hoisted themselves on their own petard. They have finally laid out their poker hand for the American people to see; turns out they were bluffing all along.

Their ruse, which is already polling heavily underwater in many pivotal swing states, will only go further south from here. Speaker Nancy Pelosi will likely be able to cobble together a bare majority to impeach, but the president’s inevitable acquittal in the Senate will redound to Republicans’ electoral interest next November.

To impeach for “obstruction of Congress” is akin to impeaching James Madison, the father of the Constitution, himself. And as much as modern Democrats loathe constitutional guardrails, surely that is too much for the American people as a whole.

Josh Hammer is editor-at-large of The Daily Wire and of counsel at First Liberty Institute.

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People's Vote campaign is scrapped

People’s Vote campaign is scrapped as organisers accept a second Brexit referendum is not going to happen under Boris Johnson

  • Open Britain, which runs campaign, conceded fresh vote is no longer possible 
  • The group will instead rebrand to hold the government to account over Brexit
  • Comms manager Tom Baldwin said there was no chance of second referendum

The so-called People’s Vote campaign is to be scrapped following Boris Johnson’s overwhelming Brexit mandate. 

Leading Remainers on Thursday watched their hopes of a second EU referendum go up in smoke as the Prime Minister stormed to a decisive 80-seat majority with which he can ram through his withdrawal deal.

Open Britain, which runs the campaign, conceded a fresh vote is no longer a realistic possibility and made the decision to mothball the grassroots movement.  

The group will instead rebrand to an organisation that holds the government to account as it charts a course outside of the EU.

Tom Baldwin, communications director of the People’s Vote campaign, said he ‘(didn’t) think there is much chance’ of the public having a final say.

The so-called People’s Vote campaign is to be scrapped following Boris Johnson’s overwhelming Brexit mandate (rally in London in October)

Leading Remainers on Thursday watched their hopes of a second EU referendum go up in smoke as the Prime Minister (celebrating outside CCHQ) stormed to a decisive 80-seat majority with which he can ram through his withdrawal deal 

In a statement, Open Britain said: ‘The People’s Vote will now refocus its campaign to concentrate on vital social issues that this Government must urgently prioritise in its Brexit.

‘We urge the Government to avoid a hard Brexit that will be a disaster for our country and instead work with our European partners to get the fair deal that British people deserve.

‘The poorest and most vulnerable will be further marginalised if Boris Johnson’s Government crashes us out of the EU with no deal.

‘Early next year, the People’s Vote campaign will rebrand and reorganise to campaign for a fair deal for Britain.’

Open Britain formed out of the ashes of Britain Stronger In Europe, the official 2016 Remain campaign, and looked to convince the electorate that the public should be given a final say on any Brexit deal.

In October, just as a December election was looking on the cards, the outfit was wracked by division as infighting broke out at the top of its ranks.

Roland Rudd, the now former chairman of Open Britain, looked to oust director James McGrory and Mr Baldwin in a bid to re-shape the messaging.

PR guru Mr Rudd – brother to ex-Home Secretary Amber Rudd – would go on to quit the organisation after failing in his bid to bring in new leadership.

Tom Baldwin (right), communications director of the People’s Vote campaign, said he ‘(didn’t) think there is much chance’ of the public having a final say. In October, just as a December election was looking on the cards, the outfit was wracked by division as in-fighting broke out at the top of its ranks when Roland Rudd (right) made a power grab

Reflecting on the election result, Mr Baldwin laid the blame for the lack of ‘people’s vote’ campaign impact at Mr Rudd’s door, citing how 52 per cent of the electorate had voted for parties supporting a second referendum.

‘Sadly, I don’t think there is much chance of a Peoples Vote now, even though you can argue a majority voted for parties backing it yesterday,’ tweeted the ex-political spin doctor for former Labour leader Ed Miliband.

‘@RolandRudd really did for the campaign a few weeks back.’

In a post on Twitter, Mr McGrory – an adviser to Nick Clegg during his time as deputy prime minister in the coalition government – said: ‘When my niece, nephew and godson ask me about these times, I’ll only be able to say: I tried.

‘I gave it everything I had but I failed you. And I am so sorry. But I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you by fighting for the progressive values needed now more than ever.’ 

The People’s Vote campaign spearheaded a huge London rally this October, where it claimed close to a million supporters took to the streets.

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A High School Senior's Heartbreaking Film Demonstrates the Impact of Gun Violence on Gen Z

In a time where news of the nation’s most recent mass shootings is becoming more and more recurrent, teenagers are speaking out more than ever before about the impact of of growing up in a world where the fear of being shot could become a reality at any moment. In order to address this impact, Molly Smith, a high-school senior and aspiring filmmaker from Florida, directed the heartbreaking short film Dear America: A Film by Generation Z, a message to our country from the generation filled with anger and fear.

The film is set to a spoken word poem inspired by tragedies like the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in 2016, the Parkland shooting in 2018, and the Walmart shooting in El Paso, TX, on Aug. 3. “America, why do you think that thoughts and prayers are enough to save us from being another news story?” one student asks. “How many final texts will students have to send to their parents from under a desk to be safe again?” asks another.

As younger and younger children begin to worry about gun violence, Smith’s film sends an important message that everyone should hear: this needs to stop now. Watch the full video here.

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Outgoing governor shockingly pardoned child rapist just 18 months into 23-year sentence – The Sun

THE former Kentucky governor pardoned a convicted child rapist just 18 months into a 23-year sentence before he left office and legal experts are furious.

Matt Bevin remains defiant after pardoning Micah Schoettle, 41 – who was imprisoned for raping a nine-year-old girl – during his final days in office.

9 WCPO reports that Bevin pardoned, or commuted the sentences of, 428 people in his last week, to the horror of the victims and lawyers alike.

Schoettle was convicted of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of the child last year and sent to Green River Correctional Center.

The schoolgirl first accused Schoettle in 2016, telling Florence cops that he had been sexually assaulting her since she was 9 years old.

The Kenton County resident walked free on Wednesday and he didn't have to sign the sex offenders register, thanks to Bevin.

Schoettle can now apply to have the conviction completely wiped from his record after being pardoned by the Kentucky official.

The little girl's mother told WCPO that Bevin's decision and Schoettle's release felt like a "slap in the face" for their family.

She said: "It feels like we're going through it all over again .. We just got to the point where we felt safe leaving the house.

"It figures. They always get away with it," she added. "[Bevin has] met my daughter, and now he's saying that my daughter is a liar.

"Shame on him," she added. Bevin said prosecutors relied on testimony rather than physical evidence in the pardon, according to The Associated Press.

But Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders described his decision as "offensive, mind-boggling … [and] irresponsible."

Sanders told WCPO: "Prosecutors all across Kentucky today are disgusted with Matt Bevin, offended by Matt Bevin and rightfully so."

Another commonwealth attorney Jackie Steele agreed, telling Achorage Daily News the slew of pardens was an "absolute atrocity of justice."

The then-governor also commuted the sentence of Dayton Jones, who was convicted of sodomy, wanton endangerment and distributing child sex abuse imagery.

He was sentenced to 15 years for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old who was sodomized with a sex toy during a party.

Jones, Colton Cavanaugh, and Tyler Perry all pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the teenager in 2014, reports Kentucky New Era.

The Secretary of State’s website states that Bevin granted “an unconditional pardon to Dayton Ross Jones" on Dec. 9.

USA TODAY revealed a convicted killer Patrick Brian Baker whose brother reportedly hosted a campaign fundraiser for Bevin was also pardoned.

Baker served just two years of a 19-year sentence for reckless homicide, robbery, impersonating a peace officer and evidence tampering.

Prosecutors all across Kentucky today are disgusted with Matt Bevin, offended by Matt Bevin and rightfully so.

Bevin wrote in the pardon that the was “sketchy at best" and he wasn't convinced that drug addicted Baker was a murderer.

He also allowed convicted baby-killer Kurt Smith to walk free saying he had been duly punished for killing his infant son.

Baby Blake's injuries were reportedly so severe,  it was as if the tiny baby had been thrown from a four-story building.

His mom Jessica Rudenis told LEX18 that she was horrified and distressed by Bevin's decision to parden Smith.

"He might be letting one family celebrate that a son got to go home today, but I'll be mourning the loss of my son for 18 years,"

Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn said freeing Smith had serious implications for victims and the legal system.

"With the stroke of a pen, his sentence has been erased," Red Corn told WYKT. "The fact that he [allegedly] killed a child has been erased."

Bevin also reportedly pardoned another man who had murdered his parents at age 16 and a woman who threw her newborn in the trash.

His pardoning spree comes after Andy Beshear was sworn into office on Tuesday following victory over Bevin back in November.

The former Republican politician lost out by 5,136 votes to the democratic candidate, despite Donald Trump's backing.

Bevin tried to fight the outcome of the Nov. 5 election, claiming there was voting fraud afoot and describing it as a "dirty election."

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Man notices Co-op Christmas wreath has a funny smell – and finds SNAKE inside – The Sun

A BAFFLED dad noticed some scaly bulges in his Christmas wreath and was horrified to discover it contained a dead snake.

Karl Gaskell, 43, and his wife Nicki, 40, bought the natural decoration – made from branches and tightly bound straw – from a supermarket to hang on their front door.

When dad-of-two Karl noticed a funny smell he cut open the £12 Co-op Christmas decoration and made the horrifying discovery.

Industrial chemist Karl, from Castletown on the Isle of Man, said: "The smell was so bad. The smell lingered for days.

"I don't know what compelled me to put my nose up to the wreath after I spotted these strange grey scales, but I did.

"You could tell it was some kind of dead animal – a reptile, not a mammal.

"And for a moment, I panicked because I thought – 'what if it was from China?'.

"I suddenly thought if it had come from Asia somehow, poisonous snakes remain poisonous long after they've died.

"So I had it checked out by the Natural History Museum, who got straight back to me.

"We were just super unlucky I think, because it was the first wreath we'd bought ever.

"It's really put us off getting one again this Christmas."

Karl, Nicki, and their daughters Aemilia, 11, and Claudia, eight, have vowed never to get another Christmas wreath again.

Karl's email to the Natural History Museum, dated December 12, says: "The specimen in your photos is a dead grass snake, Natrix natrix.

"They do hibernate in straw piles and I see fresh cereal straw in your photo.

"You may find sources calling the British grass snakes Natrix helvetica, after a recent split (2017)."

He complained to the Co-op and they apologised via email.


The reply said: "We take any complaints like this very seriously and will be talking to our supplier to find out how this has happened.

"I can only imagine how upset you must have felt and I really am sorry.

"We want our products to be the best they can be and for you to find what you did is not good enough.

"We will refer this to our suppliers and also make our technical team aware.

"However can I ask if you still have any packaging the receipt for this item. We need some product details.

"Once again, I am so sorry for what happened, in the meantime, if I can do anything else to help, please let me know."

A spokesperson for Co-op said: "We would like to offer our apologies to our customer who, like ourselves, will have been shocked.

We go to great lengths to ensure the quality and safety of our products, and this is not something we have previously experienced.

"We are keen for our customer to get in touch so that we can say sorry, and fully investigate this with our supplier."

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Israel hails Corbyn's defeat as 'milestone in fight against hatred'

Israel hails Jeremy Corbyn’s crushing defeat as ‘a milestone in the fight against hatred… and the spectre of anti-Semitism’

  • Foreign Minister Israel Katz congratulated Boris Johnson for his victory Friday
  • Katz said: ‘Spectre of anti-Semitism loomed large over this campaign’ 
  • In his analysis the British public had ‘overwhelmingly voted against it’ 

Israel today hailed Jeremy Corbyn’s crushing defeat as a ‘milestone in the fight against hatred … and the spectre of anti-Semitism.’

Boris Johnson’s Conservative party wiped Labour off the map on Thursday night after a campaign dominated by accusations of anti-Semitism within Corbyn’s party.

‘I congratulate British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK Conservative Party on a decisive victory,’ Foreign Minister Israel Katz said.

‘This is not just a political victory, it is first and foremost a victory of values.

Boris Johnson’s Conservative party wiped Labour off the map on Thursday night, leaving Corbyn to preside over the Labour party’s worst showing since 1935 (pictured: Corbyn at his constituency’s count last night)

‘I congratulate British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK Conservative Party on a decisive victory,’ Foreign Minister Israel Katz said

‘The spectre of anti-Semitism loomed large over this campaign, and the British public overwhelmingly voted against it, in what is, in our opinion, a testament to British history and values.

‘It serves as an important milestone in the fight against hatred.’

A veteran left-winger, first elected to parliament in 1983, Corbyn has been plagued by allegations of anti-Semitism and they featured prominently in the campaign.

In one damning interview with the BBC, the Labour leader had refused to apologise and instead talked in generalities about disavowing all forms of racism.

Last month the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis had warned that a Corbyn victory threatened ‘the very soul of our nation.’ 

The party was riven by the issue and high profile Jewish members quit over its failure to root out the problem.

With almost all results declared from Thursday’s election, Johnson’s Conservative party had secured 362 of the 650 seats in parliament – its biggest majority since the heyday of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s (pictured: arriving at Downing Street early on Friday morning)

Corbyn supporters countered that the 70-year-old is a lifelong opponent of racism in all its forms and was targeted because of his longstanding support for the Palestinian cause.

With almost all results declared from Thursday’s election, Johnson’s Conservative party had secured 362 of the 650 seats in parliament – its biggest majority since the heyday of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

Labour lost 59 seats to leave it with 203, prompting Corbyn to announce plans for his departure. 

Timeline of anti-Semitic scandals which have erupted under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) has been accused of failing to tackle the racism among his supporters 

The anti-Semitism scandal has dogged Labour since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader  in 2015.

Here is a timeline of the controversies: 

April 2016:

Labour MP Naz Shah is suspended for anti-Semitic posts – including one in which she appeared to endorse calls for Israelis to be deported to the US. 

She apologised and was given a formal warning.  

Ken Livingstone goes on the radio to defend Ms Shah – but sparks fresh controversy by claiming that Hitler supported Zionism. 

He is suspended by Labour but refuses to apologise and has repeated the claim many times.

He eventually quits Labour two years later, saying his suspension has become a distraction.

June 2016: 

A two-month inquiry by civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti finds that Labour is not overrun by anti-Semitism. 

But the launch is overshadowed when Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth flees it in tears after being accused by Corbyn supporter Marc Wadsworth of colluding with the press.

Critics accuse the report of being a whitewash and Ms Chakrabarti is widely criticised for accepting a peerage from Jeremy Corbyn shortly afterwards.

October 2016: 

The Home Affairs Select Committee says Labour is guilty of incompetence over its handling of anti-Semitism and of creating a safe space for people with ‘vile attitudes towards Jewish people’.

March 2018: 

It is revealed that Jeremy Corbyn defended an artist who painted an anti-Semitic mural and said the offensive art should be removed.

He apologises saying he did not properly look at the picture before he made the post.

Jewish leaders take the unprecedented step of holding a demonstration outside Parliament protesting Mr Corbyn’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism.

Several Labour MPs address the crowds.

April 2018:

Marc Wadsworth is expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism. 

Meanwhile, Labour Jewish MPs tell of the anti-Semitic abuse they have suffered in a powerful parliamentary debate – and round on their leader for failing to tackle it. 

July 2018:

The Labour leadership sparks fresh anger by failing to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism

Peter Willsman, a strong ally of Jeremy Corbyn, is secretly taped ranting that Jewish ‘Trump fanatics’ invented the anti-Semitism storm engulfing Labour. 

In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour’s ruling executive committee, he said he was ‘amazed’ there was evidence party members hated Jews.

He claimed ‘some of these people in the Jewish community support Trump – they are Trump fanatics’ before shouting: ‘So I am not going to be lectured to by Trump fanatics making up duff information without any evidence at all.’

August 2018:

Jeremy Corbyn issues a video insisting he is committed to tackling the racism – but it is panned by Jewish leaders.

Corbynistas mount a social media campaign to get deputy Labour leader Tom Watson to quit after he criticises the party’s handling of anti-Semitism. 

The Daily Mail exclusively publishes photos of Jeremy Corbyn holding a wreath at a ceremony where a terrorist linked to the Munich massacre was honoured.

The Labour leader insists he was there to honour others killed – but faces fresh calls to quit over the scandal. 

February 2019: 

Nine MPs including Luciana Berger, Joan Ryan and Ian Austin are among those who quit the Labour Party with broadsides at inaction over anti-Semitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Berger, the Jewish Liverpool Wavertree MP, had faced a barrage of attacks from members of her own local party as well as wider abuse, said Labour had become ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’.

Enfield MP Joan Ryan was attacked because she was the chairwoman of Labour friends of Israel. And Dudley’s Ian Austen, who adoptive father was Jewish, said he had become ‘ashamed’ of what the party had become under Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

November 2019: 

MP Chris Williamson, a close ally of Mr Corbyn, quits the party after being blocked from restanding in his Derby North seat at the general election. He had been suspended after saying that Labour had been ‘too apologetic’ about anti-Semitism.

Mr Corbyn later faced an anti-Semitism row of his own after a major intervention by the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. He accused the left-winger of allowing the ‘poison’ of anti-Semitism to take root in Labour. His comments were later backed up by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Mr Corbyn declined repeatedly to apologise to British Jews in a searing interview by the BBC’s Andrew Neil and said that Mr Mirvis was ‘wrong’. 

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Coyote Ugly ordered to pay £70,000 after two barmaids fall off wet bar

Welsh Coyote Ugly nightclub is ordered to pay £70,000 after two barmaids fell off a wet bar top while dancing on it

  • The popular club chain was hit by health and safety laws after the bar-top falls
  • Brittany Askew, 23, Karina Sparks, 25, seriously injured after slipping in Cardiff
  • Miss Askew fractured her spine, Miss Sparks was cuts after landing on a glass
  • Coyote Ugly Saloon in Cardiff investigated over health and safety after accidents
  • District Judge Khan fined the company £66,000 and ordered them to pay £3,315

A Coyote Ugly nightclub was ordered to pay £70,000 after two barmaids fell over while dancing on a bar.

The chain, famed for staff dancing on the bar like in the 2000 movie, were hit by health and safety laws after the incidents.

Brittany Askew, 23, and Karina Sparks, 25, were seriously injured when they slipped on the wet bar during their shifts.

Brittany Askew, 23, and Karina Sparks (pictured), 25, were seriously injured when they slipped on the wet bar during their shifts in Cardiff

A court heard the women were employed as ‘Coyotes’ whose jobs were to serve drinks and dance on the bar in skimpy outfits and cowboy boots. Pictured: Miss Askew

The brand has bars based across the world from Las Vegas to Tokyo including venues in Cardiff, Swansea (pictured), Birmingham and Manchester

And a court heard the women were employed as ‘Coyotes’ whose jobs were to serve drinks and dance on the bar in skimpy outfits and cowboy boots.

But Miss Askew fractured her spine and Miss Sparks needed treatment to cuts across her body after landing on a wine glass when they fell in separate accidents.

Prosecutor Clive Pursey said Miss Askew was forced to wear a spinal brace for 12 weeks and was off work for four months after her tumble.

She told investigators staff were allowed to drink alcohol while working and would take turns dancing on the bar.

Mr Pursey said staff would spray each other with water while dancing ‘having little regard to the risk of slips and falls’.

Miss Askew fractured her spine and Miss Sparks (pictured) needed treatment to cuts across her body after landing on a wine glass when they fell in separate accidents

The Coyote Ugly Saloon in Cardiff was investigated over its health and safety record after the accidents which happened in 2017 were discovered.

Cardiff Magistrates Court heard a health and safety officer carried out a surprise inspection and found the risk assessment over the dancers was not ‘suitable and sufficient’.

Bar manager Christopher Young told investigators women workers were supposed to wear rubber soled cowboy boots but the rule wasn’t officially documented.

The court heard there was an ‘informal rule’ of no more than 12 people on the bar at once and that customers were not allowed on the bar if they were drunk or wearing stiletto heels.

The Coyote Ugly Saloon in Cardiff was investigated over its health and safety record after the accidents which happened in 2017 were discovered. Pictured: Miss Sparks

The company, Swansea Audio Limited, admitted three charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and failing to make proper risk assessment.

Oliver Powell, defending, said the company had now brought in health and safety consultants.

He said: ‘There should have been a specific risk assessment that was much more robust.’

District Judge Shomon Khan said the bar’s ‘unique selling point’ was that revellers and workers could dance on the bar.

He said: ‘I do not wish to sound like the fun police but health and safety has to be at the forefront of the mind of any business.

‘There was a culture of fun and health and safety got put to one side. To put it simply, the customer experience was placed far above the need for safety of staff.

‘Overall I accept that lessons have been learnt by the company.’

District Judge Khan fined the company £66,000 and ordered them to pay £3,315 within three month.

Coyote Ugly – which describes itself ‘the most famous bar on the planet’ – is famed for its bar-top dancing women known as ‘Coyotes’.

The brand has bars based across the world from Las Vegas to Tokyo including venues in Cardiff, Swansea, Birmingham and Manchester.

Coyote Ugly – which describes itself ‘the most famous bar on the planet’ – is famed for its bar-top dancing women known as ‘Coyotes’ (pictured, the Swansea club)

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Iranian aggression calls for US 'pushback,' top Republican on armed services panel says

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 13

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 13 are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews.com

The U.S. needs to take action against Iranian aggression to prevent further attacks against Western targets, such as that against a U.S. drone in June, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday.

“I do think it’s important to have a response,” Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, told C-Span for the show “Newsmakers,” according to Stars and Stripes. He said Iran is “going to have to have some sort of pushback or they will continue to be more aggressive.”

Thornberry said he expects “Iran will take further provocative actions in the coming weeks” after a month of protests in which hundreds of demonstrators have been killed and thousands have been arrested.

Iran's government will likely “lash out and try to find an external enemy," he added.

This year, Iran has shot down a U.S. drone and attacked two commercial ships near the Strait of Hormuz. U.S. officials also believe Iran attacked Iraqi bases that were hosting U.S. troops this week and was behind an attack on a Saudi oil facility.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told the armed services Committee at a hearing Wednesday that “Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region have increased in recent months,” Stars and Stripes reported.

Thornberry also advocated for a continued U.S. troop presence in Syria and said the terrorist threat in Afghanistan remained “significant.”

Earlier this month, Pentagon sources told Fox News that U.S. military leaders were considering sending as many as 7,000 additional forces to the Middle East out of concern for Iran's recent actions, but Esper has reportedly "not made a decision."

Thornberry announced his retirement in September, planning to step down next year after 25 years representing his district.

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Dunkin’ Donuts worker admits spitting in cop’s coffee forcing HIV test – but insists it wasn’t because he’s a policeman – The Sun

A DUNKIN' Donuts worker has admitted to spitting in a policeman’s coffee, prompting him to get a HIV test.

Despite admitting guilt, the employee has since insisted that he didn't commit the act because the customer is a cop.

Detective Andrew Martin visited a Dunkin’ Donuts in Wisconsin in December 2017 when the alleged incident took place.

After placing and receiving his order, he then went outside and took a sip, only to feel there was something off about his coffee.

Martin’s lawyer Ryan Ogren said: “It was a lugie. It was balled-up spit.”


In a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the coffee chain, Martin’s lawyers argue that their client was targeted because of his profession, even though he was in plain clothes during the visit.

He claims he suffered concerns for his health afterwards, even undergoing testing for HIV and other diseases.

It was a lugie. It was balled-up spit

The employee, identified as Brian Colon, had reportedly admitted to spitting into Martin’s coffee when he returned to the shop to complain, but he said it wasn’t because Martin was an officer.

Colon alleges that Martin had been mean to his pregnant fiancee, who works with him at the Dunkin’, after she accidentally gave Martin the wrong order.

Colon claimed: "She's crying a lot, and I asked what's wrong? She tells me this guy keeps calling me the B-word."

He added that he only learned of Martin’s profession when he came back to the Dunkin’ following the incident, and did not target him because he was a police officer.

The Dunkin' worker subsequently quit his job, and later served four days in jail for disorderly conduct.

Now, Martin is suing Dunkin’ to recoup the cost of his medical expenses, and for damages following his claims of pain and suffering.

Martin's other lawyer Victor Harding said: "Something like this just shouldn't happen to (Martin). Whether he called (Colon’s fiancée) a b***h or not, doesn't make any difference.”

In a statement, Dunkin' Donuts said: "While we are unable to comment on pending litigation, Dunkin' is committed to treating all guests with dignity and respect.

"All Dunkin' restaurants are independently owned and operated by individual franchisees, who are independent business owners and are solely responsible for their own employees and the day-to-day operation of their restaurants.”

A version of this story originally appeared on Fox News.

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Tom Bradby has viewers in stitches after hours of election coverage

‘What an iconic ending’: Tom Bradby has viewers in stitches as he breathes a huge sigh of relief and slumps in his chair after eight hours of election coverage – without realising the cameras are still rolling

  • Viewers were divided over coverage with some accusing broadcasters of bias 
  • Tom Bradby provided moment of light relief today after overnight coverage
  • Breathed a deep sigh of relief and slumped in his chair while camera was rolling 

As millions of Britons headed to the polls yesterday, TV presenters and pundits were on hand throughout the night to provide coverage of the election.  

For many broadcasters, it was a long night of rolling commentary as they kept viewers up to date on results across the UK.

And Tom Bradby – who had been presenting throughout the night – provided a moment of light relief this morning when he handed over to Piers Morgan and Susana Reid on GMB – only for the cameras to continue rolling as he breathed a deep sigh of relief and slumped in his chair. 

Tom Bradby breathed a deep sigh of relief and slumped in his chair while camera was rolling

Viewers took to social media to share their views on the election coverage 

One viewer wrote online this morning: ‘Oh my god Tom Bradby thought their show had finished when it hadn’t. what an iconic ending.

‘Eight hours of non-stop presenting on election night without a break. total respect.’ 

The clip was shown on ITV’s live stream of the election.  

Most coverage started at 9.55pm as voting ended across the country, running through the night with presenters still going at 6am this morning.   

But viewers were divided over coverage, with some accusing the broadcasters of bias towards certain political parties. 

Many criticised the BBC for coverage which they say was weighted in favour of the Tories. 

Huw Edwards served as lead presenter of BBC Election 2019, taking over from David Dimbleby, with Reeta Chakrabarti, Andrew Neil and Tina Daheley.

Jeremy Vine measured electoral shifts with the ‘swingometer’.

Naga Munchetty and Andrew Marr were among the presenters on the ground in key locations, and analysis came from reporters, including political editor Laura Kuenssberg, and polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice.

Tom Bradby on ITV was joined by political editor Robert Peston and national editor Allegra Stratton. 

And just like in 2017, George Osborne and Ed Balls were in the studio to comment on proceedings – aided this time by Ruth Davidson and Alan Johnson. Robert Peston and Allegra Stratton will also be in the studio.   

On Sky News, Dermot Murnaghan was joined by former Commons speaker John Bercow for Sky News’ election night coverage.

Mr Bercow recently stepped down after 10 years, having been a controversial figure in the chair.

But broadcasters including the BBC and Channel 4 are likely to face consequences for the way they have behaved towards politicians during the election campaign, experts have warned.

Last night one senior industry figure predicted there would be changes in broadcasting rules if the Conservatives win a majority, following a string of rows about TV coverage during the campaign.

There are concerns that broadcasters have put their own impartiality at risk with a series of tactics including calling out politicians who will not be interviewed and ’empty-chairing’ individuals that decide not to attend debates.

Critics have claimed that during the campaign the BBC and Channel 4 gave the impression that they regard themselves as ‘more important than politicians’.

Among the high-profile incidents in recent weeks was Andrew Neil’s public challenge to Boris Johnson to do an interview with him.

In a video that was widely shared, BBC presenter Mr Neil laid down the gauntlet to the Prime Minister and said it was ‘surely not expecting too much that he spend half an hour’ doing the interview.

The BBC had also initially blocked Mr Johnson from going on The Andrew Marr Show unless he agreed to be quizzed by Mr Neil, a decision which was later reversed.

The Conservative Party also complained to media regulator Ofcom about the way Channel 4 empty-chaired the Tory party during its climate change debate when Mr Johnson declined to attend.

There was anger at the way the broadcaster replaced him with a melting ice sculpture. Ofcom rejected the party’s complaint.

But Channel 4 News was also forced to apologise after wrongly suggesting Johnson had described immigrants as ‘people of colour’ when he had actually said ‘people of talent’.

It comes as Mr Johnson hinted earlier this week that the BBC licence fee could be axed.

He said he was looking at whether it made long-term sense to impose a £154.50 annual levy on all homes with TV sets.

His chief adviser Dominic Cummings is leading a review of the BBC’s funding.

As an initial step, the licence fee could be decriminalised, ending the corporation’s power to prosecute non-payers, sources said.

The practice of ’empty-chairing’ MPs, where a seat with no-one in it is used to represent an absent politician in a debate, could face tougher rules, according to experts.

Insiders also pointed out the practice of ‘calling-out’ politicians who declined to be interviewed on certain shows had risked breaking impartiality rules.

Former Channel 5 chief executive David Elstein said: ‘I think Channel 4 has more to worry about because it has been more overtly hostile and taken more risks.’

He said even though Ofcom had cleared the ice sculpture incident he thought it was likely that if the Tories were re-elected they ‘will want to re-examine the whole situation as to what constitutes fair dealing’.

Discussing Channel 4, he added: ‘To have your head of current affairs calling the Prime Minister a liar, to repeatedly empty chair and to treat yourself as being entitled to demand that any politician turn up at your studio that you require is well beyond what they should be doing.’

He added: ‘Broadcasters have got it into their heads that they are more important than politicians. Well, sorry, broadcasters serve the audience, politicians serve the electorate. Different things.’

Mr Elstein added that incidents like Andrew Neil’s challenge to Johnson might leave the BBC ‘pretty vulnerable’ and could result in ‘consequences’.

Former director of communications for David Cameron, Craig Oliver said: ‘I was struck by how Channel 4 seemed to relish the row and do things like sticking a melting ice sculpture in a studio as a way of shaming the PM. Personally I don’t think it is ever particularly wise to behave that way.’

On the potential for Government to hit back at BBC after election, he said: ‘I think they might rattle sabres but I don’t think they will really go for it…In reality taking on the BBC is a spectacularly difficult thing.’

One senior BBC source admitted that whether Labour or the Tories win the broadcaster was unlikely to enjoy good relations.

They said: ‘There is a sense that whoever wins will not be friends of the BBC.’

The BBC has been hit with many thousands of complaints during the campaign, from all sides, amid accusations of political bias. 

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