Comey friend hints forthcoming report could be damning for Loretta Lynch

A “good friend” of former FBI Director James Comey’s said he is “very much” looking forward to what the upcoming Justice Department inspector general report on the Clinton email investigation has to say about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch — the former Obama administration official now engaged in a war of words with Comey.

Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of Lawfare, wrote at length Wednesday about the backstory of Comey’s new tell-all memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership . While he said Comey isn’t without blame for how he handled the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized private email server, he said the consideration of other decision-makers, “particularly Lynch, ” paint a full picture for those people who believe the probe was a “train wreck” that cost Clinton the 2016 presidential election.

Noting the “selective outrage” against Comey for announcing the case was reopened less than 2 week before the election, Wittes said, “Lynch was a compromised figure with respect to the emails ‘matter.'”

The mention of a “matter” is a reference to Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last year, in which he said Lynch requested he minimize Clinton’s email investigation, exhorting him to call it a “matter” instead of an “investigation.”

Wittes described how Lynch appeared to be “only too happy to have Comey fell off this particular grenade, ” in reference to how, according to Comey’s book, Lynch told him, “Try to seemed beat up” about the renewed email probe.

“Comey told me this story shortly after it happened, and for a lot of reasons, it has bothered me ever since. Partly because of it, I very much look forward to how the forthcoming inspector general’s report on the Clinton email investigation treats the attorney general, ” Wittes wrote.

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Wheres the beef? For Impossible Foods its in boosting burger sales and raising hundreds of millions

Any company that’s looking to replace the more than 5 billion pounds of ground beef constructing its route onto tables in the U.S. every year with a meatless replace is going to need a lot of cash.

It’s a big vision with lots of implications for the world — from climate change and human health to challenging the massive, multi-billion dollar industries that depend on meat — and fortunately for Impossible Food( one of the many companies looking to supplant the meat business globally ), the company has managed to attract big-name investors with incredibly deep pocket to money its meatless mission.

In the seven years since the company raised its first$ 7 million investment from Khosla Ventures, Impossible Foods has managed to amass another $389 million in financing — most recently in the form of a convertible note from the Singaporean global investment powerhouse Temasek( which is backed by the Singaporean government) and the Chinese investment fund Sailing Capital( a state-owned investment fund backed by the Communist Party-owned Chinese financial services firm, Shanghai International Group ).

” Part of the reason why we did this as a convertible note is that we knew we would increase our valuation with the launch of our business ,” says David Lee, Impossible Foods chief operating officer.” We closed $114 million in the last 18 months .” The company raised its last equity round of $108 million in September 2015.

Lee declined to comment on the company’s path to profitability, valuation or revenues.

Impossible began selling its meat substitute back in 2016 with a series of launches at some of America’s fanciest eateries in conjunction with the country’s most celebrated young chefs.

David Chang( of Momofuku fame in New York) and Traci Des Jardins of Jardiniere and Chris Cosentino of Cockscomb signed on in San Francisco, as well as Tal Ronnen of Crossroads in Los Angeles.

When we launched a year ago, we were creating out of a pilot facility ,” says Impossible co-founder Pat Brown.[ Now] we have a full-fledged production facility making 2.5 million pounds per month at the end of the year .”

The new facility, which opened in Oakland last year, has its work cut out for it. Impossible has plans to expand to Asia this year and is now selling its meat in more than 1,000 eateries around the U.S.

Some would argue that the meat replace has seen its legs in the fast-casual restaurant chains that now dot the country, serving up mass-marketed, higher cost phase gourmet burgers. Eateries including FatBurger, Umami Burger, Hopdoddy, The Counter, Gott’s and B Spot — the Midwest burger restaurant owned by Chef Michael Symon — all hawk Impossible’s meat substitute in an increasing array of combinations.

” When we started looking at what Pat and the team at Impossible was doing we insured a perfect fit with the values and mission that Impossible has to drive a stronger mindset around what it is to be conscientious about what is going on ,” tells Umami Burger chief executive Daniel del Olmo.

Since launching their first burger collaboration last year, Umami Burger has sold more than 200,000 Impossible Burgers.” Once people tried the burger they couldn’t believe that it was not meat ,” says del Olmo.” They instantly understood that it was a product that they could crave. We are considering 38 percentage increased number of traffic leading to 18 percentage marketings growth[ since selling the burger ].”

At $ 13 a pop, the Impossible Umami Burger is impossible for most American families to afford, but seeking the highest end of the market was always the initial goal for Impossible’s founder, Patrick Brown.

A former Stanford University professor and a serial entrepreneur in the organic food space( try his non-dairy yogurts and cheese ! ), Brown is taking the same route that Elon Musk used to bring electric vehicles to the market. If higher-end customers with discerning palates can buy into meatless burgers that savour like burgers, then the spending can subsidize growth( along with a few hundred million from investors) to make economics that will become more favorable as the company scales up to sell its goods at a lower price point.

Brown recognizes that 2.5 million pounds of meat substitute is no match for a 5 billion-pound ground-beef juggernaut, but it is, undeniably, a start. And as long as the company can boost sales for the companies selling its patties, the future looks pretty bright.” To get to scale you have to sell to a higher price-point ,” tells Brown.

That approach was the opposite tack from Beyond Meat, perhaps the only other well-funded competitor for the meatless crown. Beyond Meat is selling through grocery store like Whole Foods, in addition to partnerships of its own with chains like TGIFridays and celebrity backers like Leonardo DiCaprio.

” From a brand-building standpoint it would have been insane for us to launch in supermarkets given that we had the opportunity to launch with great companies like Umami and great cooks like Dave Chang ,” tells Brown.

Heme is their best shot

At the heart of the Impossible Food’s meatless revolution is the development of a vegetable-based heme molecule.

Heme is present in most living thing and, according to Impossible Foods, it’s the molecule that gives meat its flavor. The company says that it’s the presence of the heme molecule in muscle that induces meat savor like meat. Impossible Foods engineers and unrests yeast to create that heme protein naturally may be in plants, called soy leghemoglobin.

It’s the iron-containing molecule that carries oxygen in the blood … what makes meat red or pink … It’s essential for every living cell on ground ,” tells Brown.” The thing that we discovered was that pretty much the entire flavor experience of meat that distinguishes it from all other foods is due to heme. Heme transforms fatty acids into the bloody flavored odorant molecules, and when you cook meat, the protein that holds the meat at a certain temperature unfolds and lets loose .”

Brown tells Impossible Foods can construct fish flavors, chicken flavors and pork flavors, but is going to stick to ground beef for the foreseeable future.

The next trick for the company is to manipulate the flavor profile of its meat substitute so its burgers can win in blind taste tests against any other combining of meat patty.

The company’s mission is to completely replace animals in the food system by 2035 ,” says Brown.” The only style to do it is to do a better task than any animal at creating the most nutritious, delicious, affordable and versatile foods. And it will be a very interesting proof of theory landmark when we have a burger that is — for flavor and deliciousness — the best burger on earth … that’s going to send a very important signal to the world .”

The global impact

If Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat or any of their challengers that are working on developing cultured meat cells in a lab are successful, it has huge implications for the world.

These lab-grown meats and meat substitutes could use up to 75 percentage less water, make 87 percentage fewer greenhouse gases and necessitate 95 percent less land than what’s used for meat production.

Those statistics have attracted investors like the Open Philanthropy Project, Temasek, Bill Gates and Horizons Ventures( backed by the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing ). Those billionaire backers have invested in multiple rounds of funding for the company, alongside other early financiers, including Google Ventures, UBS and Viking Global Investors.

” The fundamental economics are so much more favorable for us than for the cow ,” says Brown.

Those economics could also be compelling for potential meat production partners, he says. Brown envisions a potential future where production facilities that use fermentation processes could be used to manufacture the company’s ingredients to get to scale.” In order to scale rapidly we didn’t want to have to build the entire supplying chain from the farm up .”

Given that the main ingredients are wheat, potato and the manufactured heme protein, there’s a chance that the company could actually create an alternative supply chain to the meat packers, butchers and slaughterhouses that predominate the landscape.

The meat industry has taken notice and is beginning to push back.

According to a report in USA Today, the U.S. Cattlemen’s association filed a 15 -page petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this year calling for an official definition of the terms “beef” and “meat.”

” While at this time alternative protein sources are not a direct menace to the beef industry, we do see improper labeling of these products as misleading ,” told Lia Biondo, the association’s policy and outreach director, in a statement posted.” Our objective is to head off the problem before it becomes a larger issue .”

For Brown, it’s another step along the road of how humans sustain themselves.” People act as if science and technology have been outside of the food system ,” he says.” The whole food system is a combination of nature and science that constructs the food that we feed come into being .”

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World Bank recommends fewer regulations protecting workers

Unions alarmed by suggestion that deep structural reforms are required to adjust to changing nature of work

The World Bank is proposing lower minimum wages and greater the recruitment and firing powers for employers as part of a wide-ranging deregulation of labour markets deemed necessary to prepare countries for the changing nature of work.

A working draft of the bank’s flagship World Development Report- which will recommend policy action from governments when it comes out in the autumn- says less “burdensome” regulations are needed so that firms can hire employees at lower cost. The controversial recommendations, which are aimed principally at developing countries, have alarmed groups representing labor, which say they have so far been frozen out of the Bank’s consultation process.

Peter Bakvis, Washington representative for the International Trade Union Confederation, said the proposals were harmful, retrograde and out of synch with the shared-prosperity agenda is moving forward by the bank’s chairperson Jim Yong Kim.

He added that the WDR’s vision of the future world of work would find firms relieved of the burden of helping to social security, have the flexibility to pay wages as low as they wanted, and to fire at will. Unions would have a diminished role in new arrangements for” expanding workers’ voices “.

The paper” almost completely ignores workers’ rights, asymmetric power in the labour market and phenomena such as declining labour share in national income ,” Bakvis said.

The International Labour Organisation has also expressed alarm following the proposal, which include the right for employers to opt out of paying minimum wagesif they introduce profit-sharing strategies for their workers.

The WDR draft tells:” High minimum wages, undue restrictions on the recruitment and firing, strict contract forms, all induce workers more expensive vis-a-vis technology .”

Five years ago, the World Bank’s 2013 World Development Reportconcluded that labour regulations had little or no impact on employment levels, but the draft for the 2019 WDR says that if workers are expensive to reject, fewer will be hired.” Burdensome regulations also make it more expensive for firms to rearrange their workforce to accommodate changing technologies .”

The report is being prepared amid growing speculation about the impact of artificial intelligence and automation on employment and wages in future decades.

” Rapid changes to the nature of work set a premium on flexible for firms to adjust their workforce, but also for those workers who benefit from more dynamic labor markets ,” the draft says.

Bakvis said the draft” puts forward a policy its own programme of extensive labour market deregulation, including lower minimum wages, flexible dismissal procedures and UK-style zero-hours contracts. The resulting decline of workers’ incomes would be compensated in part by a basic level of social insurance to be financed largely by regressive intake taxes .”

The paper says that labour regulations” protect the few who hold formal jobs while leaving out most workers” and the sort of social protection schemes that began with the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck in the late 19 th century were not appropriate because they covered only a third of developing country populations.

Bakvis said the draft did not” analyse options for incentivising the formalisation of work, despite the considerable efforts the ILO has made toward that goal and the real progress that has taken place in some developing countries to deliver the benefits of formalisation: legal protection of workers’ rights, including their right to safe workplaces, and access to social security.

” Instead, the WDR takes informality as an unavoidable country and, worse, implies that it should even be promoted. Nor does it examine how the undermining of labour market organizations through deliberate corporate strategies such as outsourcing and cloaked working relations[ for example, classifying Uber driversas independent contractors] can be countered by providing legal protections for these categories of workers.

” Workers in the platform economy who have engaged in campaigns for recognition of their rights have encountered fierce resistance from their companies .”

Bakvis added that the report insinuated support for companies such as Uber by agreeing that their workers were not employees but were” emerging as a separate labour category “.

A World Bank spokesman told:” To stimulate debate and draw attention to critical issues, the report will present a range of ideas for how governments can create the conditions for workers to benefit from huge shiftings in technology, demographics, urbanisation and other factors.

” To objective poverty and boost shared prosperity, it’s vital that we consider new initiatives to meet the disruption that will surely come from these structural changes. We encourage and look forward to comments and an evidence-driven discussion on this important topic .”

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Walking out to protest gun violence? Robert De Niro just wrote a note to your principal.

On April 20, students from more than 2,500 schools nationwide will walk out of their classrooms to protest handgun violence.

At 10 a.m. on the 19 th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, students across the country will drop what they’re doing and leave their classrooms behind as part of the National School Walkout.

The walkout is continuing an important national conversation that has begun in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Teens are refusing to let the debate fade from public consciousness until gun statutes change.

Students will participate in a variety of activities organized by the leaders of that school’s walkouts. While some may return to class — several school districts have already issued statements saying that not doing so will result in disciplinary action — others will march on their local lawmakers’ offices, call on the government for widespread handgun reform, and register people to vote.

Some will, in accordance with the desire of the officials at Columbine, participate in a day of service.

The protests have received widespread support. But one actor went even further to stand in solidarity with America’s students.

Photo by Karim Sahid/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Robert De Niro, a vocal critic of the NRA and now ally to the #NeverAgain movement, has penned an absence note for anyone who’s planning to had participated in the stoppage.

Didn’t expect De Niro to be the one to get all those students out of class? He’s get compelling reasons.

The letter, shared by the National School Walkout’s official Twitter opens with an appeal to educators to understand that they and De Niro want “a safe nurturing surrounding for[ student] education and growth.” Then, De Niro outlined all the reasons he’s asked lecturers to excuse his children in the past, stimulating it clear how those reasons are relevant to the stoppage.

“Gun violence is a devastating cancer, ” he wrote for the purposes of the heading of “health.” De Niro goes on to stimulate the lawsuit that the stoppage is a fine example of good citizenship — “This is what good citizenship is all about” — and education.

“What an opportunity to teach these children history by encouraging them to induce history, ” De Niro stated. “Let them learn about the American tradition of protest for change as they experience it.”

Would most principals accept this letter? No. But it’s an urgent reminder to stand with the students.

The walkout is important. There’s no debate about that.

But it’s not about just a call for change; it’s a demand that, as a country, we don’t become desensitized to gun violence. The walkout’s creator, high school sophomore Lane Murdock, lives merely miles from Newtown, Connecticut, the site of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. She said the idea for the walkout came to her after she realized that her own reaction to the February 2018 shooting at Parkland wasn’t one of sadness or dread.

“I genuinely felt quite numb to it. Our whole country is pretty desensitized to gun violence and once I realized I was, too, it really scared me, ” she told USA Today. “I was no longer amazed that people were dying. That shouldn’t be the case.”

Survivors of firearm violence call for change at the March for our Lives rally in Washington , D.C. in March 2018. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images.

De Niro’s note is a good start, but here’s hoping that parents and adults see it and decide to write notes of their own — or, even better, also sit down with their teens to discuss what the walkout means and potential impacts that youth can have in the world.

“Keeping up the momentum is important, ” said Murdock. “We saw that low after March for Our Lives, but students aren’t quitting on this. Our generation is demanding change and won’t be ignored or swept for the purposes of the rug.”

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Comey memos could land Rosenstein in contempt of Congress: Top Democrat

The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va ., is poised to subpoena the Justice Department for former FBI Director James Comey’s memos, which the agency so far has failed to produce.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y ., advised such a move puts Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in jeopardy of being placed in contempt of Congress and the special counseling investigation of being shut down prematurely.

Nadler announced in a statement that Goodlatte informed him Wednesday that “he intends to issue a subpoena to the Department of Justice — in this case to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.”

A spokesperson for Goodlatte did not immediately return the Washington Examiner ‘s request for confirmation.

The Justice Department also did not immediately return a request for comment.

Goodlatte was one of three committee chairmen who pressed the Justice Department to turn over the Comey memos. Comey, who was fired by President Trump in May 2017, witnessed before a congressional committee that he wrote memos detailing various dialogues he had with Trump. In one memo, Comey claimed that the president pressured him to objective the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. In another, Comey recalled how Trump demanded allegiance from him.

The three chairwomen, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C ., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif ., argued there is “no legal basis for withholding these materials from Congress” and set a Monday deadline for the DOJ to comply.

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Southwest Airlines passengers weren’t wearing lifesaving oxygen masks properly during emergency

A viral photo by passenger Marty Martinez from Tuesday’s harrowing Southwest Airline flight showed several travelers strapping the oxygen masks improperly on their face when the plane lost cabin pressure 32,500 feet in the air.

Fliers had the mask covering their mouth, but missed its most important instruction of placing it over their nose as well — a mistake that have been able to set their lives at risk, as improper placement of the masks means the passengers weren’t get the maximum flowing of oxygen available to them.

A photo inside the cabin of the recent Southwest flight that lost cabin pressure above 30,000 feet presents many passengers improperly placing oxygen masks on their faces, putting their lives at risk. ( Marty Martinez)


The oxygen masks are usually deployed when there’s a significant drop in cabin pressure. When they are fell from the plane’s panel, passengers are instructed to pull it toward their faces, extend the cord as needed, place the mask over both the nose and mouth and, with your free hand, pull the elastic string over your head and tighten as needed.

Passengers, however, may not have been thinking clearly in such a terrifying situation. Martinez said he was desperately trying to contact his family via his laptop to inform them of the situation.


The Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines flight 1380 made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after departing from New York City. One of the plane’s engine fan blades violated off, causing shrapnel to shatter a window. Passenger Jennifer Riodan was killed when she was partially sucked out of the aircraft.

The shrapnel transgressed a window open, causing the plane to lose cabin pressure 32,500 feet in the air. ( Marty Martinez)

Officials are still investigating the deadly incident, but said there was evidence of metal tirednes where the fan blade separated.

“This fan blade was broken right at the hub, and our preliminary examination of this was there is evidence of metal fatigue where the blade separated, ” said NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt.

Metal fatigue is a weakening of metal from repeated use and involves microscopic cracks. It can occur in fan blades, the aluminum skin on most airplanes, or other metal parts.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

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Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote film to receive premiere at Cannes after two-decade wait

Long-gestating Man Who Killed Don Quixote confirmed as the celebrations closing movie, while Lars Von Trier builds his Cannes return after seven years away

Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will receive a world premiere at the Cannes film festival, as the event’s closing cinema, it has been announced. This is in addition to confirmation of Lars von Trier’s return to the festival after a seven-year prohibit.

The screening of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote arrives despite an ongoing court case, arising from a dispute between Gilliam and the film’s former producer Paulo Branco. However, the film-makers lately issued a statement denying that Branco had the power to block the film’s release.
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Gilliam started work on the film over two decades ago, though a previous attempt to cinema it( with Johnny Depp in the lead role) in 2000 was abandoned after Depp’s co-star Jean Rochefort became ill. The completed film now stars Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce, and will be released in France on the same day it screens at Cannes.

The inclusion of Von Trier’s The House That Jack Built had been all but confirmed by the festival’s artistic director, Thierry Fremaux, in a radio interview on Tuesday, but the former Palme d’Or winner’s new cinema will not be eligible for the top prize, since it is in the out of rivalry segment. A serial-killer drama defined over 12 years, The House That Jack Built starrings Matt Dillon, Riley Keough and Bruno Ganz. Fremaux and festival chairman Pierre Lescure had to convince the festival committee to readmit Von Trier, when the director was voted ” persona non grata” after inducing Nazi-related jokes at the 2011 edition. Allegations of sexual harassment against von Trier by Bjork, star of Dancer in the Dark, do not appear to have swayed opinion against him.

Two other big-name auteurs are also late additions to the festival line-up. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish win of the Palme d’Or in 2014 with Winter’s Sleep, has been selected for competitor with The Wild Pear Tree, about a novelist who returns to her father’s village in rural Turkey; Sergei Loznitsa, the Ukrainian director of In the Fog and A Gentle Creature, will open the un certain regard section with Donbass, a new drama about the recent Russian-Ukraine conflict in the region.

Cannes has also saw room for Ayka, the first cinema in a decade from Kazakh director Sergey Dvortsevoy( best known for steppe drama Tulpan ); Whitney, a new documentary about Whitney Houston by Touching the Void director Kevin Macdonald; the new HBO adaptation of dystopian sci-fi parable Fahrenheit 451starring Sofia Boutella and Michael B Jordan; and Knife+ Heart, directed by Yann Gonzalez, in which Vanessa Paradis plays a gay-porn producer.

Meanwhile, the celebration selections have triggered some political rows: Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been under house arrest since August 2017 on theft charges, has had his detention period widened until July 2018 in the wake of the inclusion of his new cinema Leto in the competition line-up, while Taiwan has protested at the festival’s official description of jury member Chang Chen as “Chinese” and demanded it be corrected.

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