California

Premiere of Disney's Aladdin in Los Angeles
Cast members Naomi Scott and Will Smith attend the premiere of “Aladdin” at El Capitan theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S. May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

May 26, 2019

By Dave McNary

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” is flying high with an estimated $105 million in North America during the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend.

It’s the sixth-highest Memorial Day weekend total ever, topping the 2011 mark of $103.4 million for “The Hangover Part II.” The top total came in 2007, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” took in $139 million in its first four days. “Aladdin” is also dominating moviegoing internationally with $121 million in 56 markets.

“Aladdin” has outperformed Disney’s pre-opening domestic projections, which were in the $75 million to $85 million range, taking in $86.1 million in its first three days. The reboot of the original 1992 animated movie — which generated $502 million in worldwide box office — stars Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Will Smith as the Genie, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. Guy Ritchie directed “Aladdin,” produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich.

Comscore’s PostTrak general audience survey found that 67% of patrons said they would “definitely recommend” the film to their friends. Notably, 39% said their affection for the original was their primary reason for seeing the film, a high percentage that reflects moviegoers’ love for the “Aladdin” brand and the characters in the film.

“A very strong 22% said they would see the film again in theatres — much higher than the norm of 14%,” noted Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst.

Comscore estimated that total domestic business for the four-day weekend was $226 million. That was about $1.8 million shy of the total for the same frame last year, when “Solo: A Star Wars Story” launched with $103 million. The top Memorial Day weekend took place in 2013 when “Fast and Furious 6” launched and North American moviegoing totaled $314 million for the four days.

“A very solid Memorial Day weekend was led by the bigger-than-expected performance of Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ conjured up huge numbers of moviegoers looking for the perfect family-friendly treat over the extended holiday weekend,” he said.

Sony’s launch of horror-thriller “Brightburn” should pull in about $9 million for the holiday weekend to finish fifth and United Artists-Annapurna’s teen comedy “Booksmart” will open in sixth at around $8 million. Both were positioned as counter-programmers to “Aladdin” and finished slightly below forecasts.

Lionsgate’s second session of “John Wick: Chapter 3” should be runner-up with $30.5 million following its surprisingly strong opening of $56.8 million. The actioner will wind up the holiday weekend with $107 million domestically.

Disney’s fifth frame of “Avengers: Endgame” will finish third in the $22 million range, increasing its haul to about $803 million domestically by the end of Memorial Day. “Endgame” trails only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in domestic gross, with the space saga having grossed $936 million.

Warner Bros.’ third weekend of “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” will follow in fourth with about $17 million. The family adventure will finish the weekend at the $120 million mark in North America.

Overall moviegoing for 2019 has hit $4.34 billion as of Sunday, down 10% from the same point last year. The lag is due to a dismal performance during the first two months of this year.

“Aladdin” is the third biggest launch of 2019, following the record-setting $357 million for “Avengers: Endgame” and $153 million for “Captain Marvel.”

Source: OANN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s job is “very much at risk” if she decides to go along with the wishes of her Democratic caucus and pursue the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham said the California Democrat “is riding a bucking wild bronco,” noting “70% of the Democratic base throughout America wants President Trump impeached.”

“She knows that impeachment would be political suicide because there’s no reason to impeach the president, so she’s trying to keep the party intact,” he said. “If she goes down the impeachment road, Republicans take back the House, we keep the Senate, President Trump gets re-elected, but her job is very much at risk . . . She’s going to be driven toward impeachment. If she goes down that road, it will be suicide for the Democratic Party.”

Graham also praised Trump for being the only U.S. president who has gotten “Kim Jong Un’s attention,” though he believes North Korean is trying “run out the clock on President Trump.”

“I’m glad the president is engaging him,” he said. “All those before President Trump failed on their watch and President Trump has finally got Kim Jong Un’s attention.”

“But I’m not naive about this. I think they’re trying to run out the clock on President Trump. The only way Kim will give up his nuclear weapons if he believes he’s better off without them . . . What we do in Venezuela and what we do in Iran will make a difference as to how Kim reacts to us in North Korea.”

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Source: NewsMax Politics

President Donald Trump pledged to make an expedited appeal of a ruling by a federal judge in California that blocks him from building sections of his long-sought border wall with money secured under his declaration of a national emergency.

Trump, who is visiting Japan, tweeted Saturday: “Another activist Obama appointed judge has just ruled against us on a section of the Southern Wall that is already under construction. This is a ruling against Border Security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking. We are asking for an expedited appeal!”

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. on Friday immediately halted the administration’s efforts to redirect military-designated funds to build sections of wall on the Mexican border. His order applies to two planned projects to add 51 miles of fence in two areas.

Gilliam issued the ruling after hearing arguments last week in two cases. California and 19 other states brought one lawsuit; the Sierra Club and a coalition of communities along the border brought the other.

At stake is billions of dollars that would allow Trump to make progress on a signature campaign promise heading into his campaign for a second term.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Workers replace a section of the border fence between U.S. and Mexico, as seen from Tijuana
FILE PHOTO: Workers replace a section of the border fence between U.S. and Mexico, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

May 25, 2019

The Trump administration must temporarily halt the use of some Defense Department funds for a border wall with Mexico, a judge ruled on Friday, because the money was not specifically authorized by Congress for construction of the barrier.

The order blocks the use of $1 billion from the Department of Defense in Arizona and Texas, out of $6.7 billion that Trump administration said it planned to direct toward building the wall.

“The position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with the fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic,” Haywood Gilliam Jr, a U.S. judge in California, wrote in the order.

Separately, Gilliam denied a preliminary injunction against the border wall sought by a coalition of sixteen states, but said they could move forward with their case.

Spokespeople for the Department of Homeland Security, Pentagon and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump has said the wall is needed to address a crisis of drugs and crime flowing across the border into the United States.

The ruling adds to Trump’s frustrations with federal court orders blocking his initiatives for cutting illegal immigration, a policy area he will focus on in his 2020 re-election bid.

In February, after a protracted political battle and a government shutdown, Congress approved $1.38 billion for construction of “primary pedestrian fencing” along the border in southeastern Texas, well short of Trump’s demands.

To obtain the additional money, Trump declared a national emergency and his administration said it planned to divert $601 million from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion earmarked for Department of Defense counternarcotics programs and $3.6 billion from military construction projects.

The House of Representatives, more than a dozen states and two advocacy groups asked U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam in Oakland, California to block the transfer of funds to prevent the wall construction.

They argue the administration cannot use funds Congress has specifically denied and cannot construct a barrier that was not authorized, nor can the administration work outside the geographic area identified by Congress.

“This is a win for our system of checks and balances, the rule of law, and border communities,” the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted.

The wall funding faces another court challenge on Friday, in a case brought by the House of Representatives in a federal court in the District of Columbia. The lawmakers have said the diversion of $6.1 billion in Defense Department funds violates the separation of powers doctrine laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Additional reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Grant McCool)

Source: OANN

Workers replace a section of the border fence between U.S. and Mexico, as seen from Tijuana
FILE PHOTO: Workers replace a section of the border fence between U.S. and Mexico, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

May 25, 2019

The Trump administration must temporarily halt the use of some Defense Department funds for a border wall with Mexico, a judge ruled on Friday, because the money was not specifically authorized by Congress for construction of the barrier.

The order blocks the use of $1 billion from the Department of Defense in Arizona and Texas, out of $6.7 billion that Trump administration said it planned to direct toward building the wall.

“The position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with the fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic,” Haywood Gilliam Jr, a U.S. judge in California, wrote in the order.

Separately, Gilliam denied a preliminary injunction against the border wall sought by a coalition of sixteen states, but said they could move forward with their case.

Spokespeople for the Department of Homeland Security, Pentagon and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump has said the wall is needed to address a crisis of drugs and crime flowing across the border into the United States.

The ruling adds to Trump’s frustrations with federal court orders blocking his initiatives for cutting illegal immigration, a policy area he will focus on in his 2020 re-election bid.

In February, after a protracted political battle and a government shutdown, Congress approved $1.38 billion for construction of “primary pedestrian fencing” along the border in southeastern Texas, well short of Trump’s demands.

To obtain the additional money, Trump declared a national emergency and his administration said it planned to divert $601 million from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion earmarked for Department of Defense counternarcotics programs and $3.6 billion from military construction projects.

The House of Representatives, more than a dozen states and two advocacy groups asked U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam in Oakland, California to block the transfer of funds to prevent the wall construction.

They argue the administration cannot use funds Congress has specifically denied and cannot construct a barrier that was not authorized, nor can the administration work outside the geographic area identified by Congress.

“This is a win for our system of checks and balances, the rule of law, and border communities,” the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted.

The wall funding faces another court challenge on Friday, in a case brought by the House of Representatives in a federal court in the District of Columbia. The lawmakers have said the diversion of $6.1 billion in Defense Department funds violates the separation of powers doctrine laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Additional reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Grant McCool)

Source: OANN

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When Politico Playbook reported Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s recent dinner with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the California lawmaker’s office declared the meeting was “arranged in consultation with the State Department.

But a State Department official told the newsletter that’s not true.

Feinstein’s office had said it “was in touch with State in advance of the meeting to let them know it was happening and to get an update on U.S.-Iran activity.”

Politico Playbook noted the United States and Iran “are in the middle of a high-wire diplomatic and military staring contest.”

The United States, which has moved additional military resources into the region, says it has intelligence that the Iranians were preparing to attack American interests in the region.

Politico observed it’s “a bit unusual that Feinstein, the former chair and vice chair of the Intelligence Committee and a member of the Senate minority, is dining with the foreign minister of an adversary.”
Read more at https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/state-department-we-didnt-ok-feinsteins-meeting-with-iranian-minister/#Y8byu4LEVEtIgEKi.99

Read more: https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/state-department-we-didnt-ok-feinsteins-meeting-with-iranian-minister/#Y8byu4LEVEtIgEKi.99

Image Credit: Getty

Los Angeles is on the verge of a significant disease outbreak in the coming months, according to prominent physician and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky.

Pinsky issued the ominous warning during an appearance on the The Brian Kilmeade Show, citing the city’s stunning homeless crisis, growing rodent and insect infestation, and deplorable sanitation conditions.

“I live in the great state of California, the utopia that is California, which is a nightmare,” Pinsky said. “I want to give you a prediction here: There will be a major infectious disease epidemic this summer in Los Angeles.”

“We have tens and tens of thousands of people living in tents. Horrible conditions. Sanitation. Rats have taken over the city. We’re the only city in the country, Los Angeles, without a rodent control program. We have multiple rodent-borne, flea-borne illnesses, plague, typhus.”

“We’re going to have louse-borne illness,” Pinsky continued. “If measles breaks into that population, we have tuberculosis exploding. Literally, our politicians are like Nero. It’s worse than Nero.”

Earlier this year, officials began planning to remove all carpets from L.A. City Hall amid concerns about a typhus outbreak brought on by a rat infestation in the building.

“It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Pinsky said. “I feel like I’m on a train track waving at the train and the train is going to go off the bridge. The bridge is out.”

“Here’s what I want to do, I want to take away qualified immunity from the politicians so we can go after them for reckless negligence.”

Longtime Los Angeles business owner Karen Hix recently appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to shed light on the conditions in her city, sharing disturbing photographs of homeless encampments and garbage piles lining the streets of downtown.

“Some of these pictures are almost too disgusting to put on the screen, but we have a number of them, of RVs – people are living those full-time?” Carlson asked.

“Yes, people are living in them full-time,” Hix confirmed. “You’ll notice there is raw sewage that is coming out. This raw sewage ends up in one place – in our gutters, which go down to our ocean. It’s more than an environmental crisis, it’s a health crisis down in this area.”


Tucker Carlson interviewed Los Angeles resident Karen Hix the trash and raw sewage lining the streets of LA.

Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst


Source: InfoWars

FILE PHOTO - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly news conference with Capitol Hill reporters in Washington
FILE PHOTO – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly news conference with Capitol Hill reporters in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2019. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

May 24, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump, engaged in personal attacks on House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, retweeted a heavily edited video that falsely claimed the Democratic leader had difficulty speaking to reporters.

In a Twitter posting late on Thursday, the Republican president wrote, “PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE.” Accompanying the tweet was a heavily edited Fox Business Network clip of Pelosi’s 23-minute news conference earlier in the day.

At the bottom of the Fox Business screen is the headline, “Pelosi Urges Trump ‘Intervention”; Stammers Through News Conference.” The one-minute-and-47-second segment included critical commentary about Pelosi.

During her news conference on Thursday, Pelosi suggested that Trump aides or family members hold an “intervention” with him to address his anger over House investigations of the president and his business dealings.

In recent days, as Trump ramped up his attacks on Pelosi, some heavily edited videos have circulated on the internet that alter the cadence of her words by slowing them down, making her speech seem slurred when in fact it is not.

A Reuters review of Pelosi’s news conference on Thursday shows her covering a wide range of topics and speaking in a mostly animated way, jousting with reporters at times and at other times reading from a statement.

Like many politicians, she occasionally stumbled over a word before correcting herself.

Without reading from a statement, Pelosi discussed infrastructure investments throughout U.S. history. She recounted actions taken during President Thomas Jefferson’s administration during the early 1800s and moved effortlessly through the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt 100 years later and Dwight Eisenhower in the middle of the 20th century.

Nonetheless, the Fox Business video depicted Pelosi stumbling over words and replayed four times in rapid succession the speaker holding up two fingers when talking about “three things” related to House investigations of Trump.

In the actual video of the news conference, she mistakenly held up two fingers when talking about those three elements, but then corrected herself by holding up three fingers.

At the White House on Friday, before departing on a trip to Japan, Trump was asked by a reporter about altered videos of Pelosi.

He responded that he did not know anything about the videos, and echoed an assertion he made on Thursday that the speaker, who is 79, has “lost it.”

“Look, you think Nancy is the same as she was? She’s not. Maybe we can all say that,” Trump, 72, said on Friday.

He blamed Pelosi for starting the fight. “She said terrible things. So I just responded in kind.”

The White House did not respond to further requests for comment.

A spokesman for Pelosi, asked about Trump retweeting the Fox Business video, said Republican attacks on the California congresswoman actually helped Democrats win control of the House in last November’s elections when a record number of women and minorities were elected to Congress.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in next year’s elections, said in an interview on CNN, “It is unbelievable to me that the president would be involved in this kind of disinformation campaign.”

She said such incidents highlight the need for legislation to bring transparency to online political ads, as well as new privacy protections.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Roberta Rampton and Doina Chiacu; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Source: OANN

Catholic League President Bill Donohue blasted passage a bill by the California State Senate, which he says will “require” priests “to violate the seal of confessional.”

State senators voted 30-4 to approve the bill requiring Catholic priests to report to civil authorities when a penitent confesses to sexual abuse of a minor.

Donohue, in an emailed statement, called the bill “a frontal assault on religious freedom.”

This bill is absolutely unenforceable,” he said. “No priest is going to respect it and violate the sanctity of the confessional. Moreover, Catholics are not required to respect unjust laws—and this is a clear example of such a law.”

The bill now goes before the State Assembly.

“It is all smoke and mirrors,” Donohue said. “It will do nothing to help protect minors from the scourge of sexual abuse. “ 

Source: NewsMax Politics

Catholic League President Bill Donohue blasted passage a bill by the California State Senate, which he says will “require” priests “to violate the seal of confessional.”

State senators voted 30-4 to approve the bill requiring Catholic priests to report to civil authorities when a penitent confesses to sexual abuse of a minor.

Donohue, in an emailed statement, called the bill “a frontal assault on religious freedom.”

This bill is absolutely unenforceable,” he said. “No priest is going to respect it and violate the sanctity of the confessional. Moreover, Catholics are not required to respect unjust laws—and this is a clear example of such a law.”

The bill now goes before the State Assembly.

“It is all smoke and mirrors,” Donohue said. “It will do nothing to help protect minors from the scourge of sexual abuse. “ 

Source: NewsMax Politics


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