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Et Tu Rod? Why The Deputy Attorney General Must Resign – Lawfare (blog)

Posted: May 12, 2017 at 2:52 pm

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He madehe made a recommendation, Donald Trump said yesterday of his Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein in an interview with NBC News. Hes highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy. The Democrats like him; the Republicans like him. He made a recommendation, but regardless of the recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.

There it is, directly from the presidential mouth: Trump happily traded the reputation of Rosenstein, who began the week as a well-respected career prosecutor, for barely 24 hours of laughably transparent talking points in the news cycle. The White House sent out person after personincluding the Vice Presidentto insist that Rosensteins memo constituted the basis for the Presidents action against the FBI director. The White House described a bottoms-up dissatisfaction with Comeys leadership, which Rosensteins memo encapsulated and to which the President acceded. And then, just as casually as Trump and his people set Rosenstein up as the bad guy for what was obviously a presidential decision into whose service Rosenstein had been enlisted, Trump revealed that Rosenstein was, after all, nothing more than a set piece.

Heres the entire exchange between Trump and NBC:

LESTER HOLT: Monday you met with the deputy attorney general, Rod RosenRosenstein


LESTER HOLT: Did you ask for a recommendation?

DONALD TRUMP: Uh what I did is I was going to fire Comeymy decision, it was not [OVER TALK]

LESTER HOLT: You had made the decision before they came in the room?

DONALD TRUMP: II was going to fire Comey. Uh Ithere's no good time to do it by the way. Uh theythey were [OVER TALK]

LESTER HOLT: Because you letter you said II, I accepted their recommendation, so you had already made the decision.

DONALD TRUMP: Oh I was gonna fire regardless of recommendation.


DONALD TRUMP: He madehe made a recommendation, he's highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy, uh the Democrats like him, the Republicans like him, uh he made a recommendation but regardless of recommendation I was going to fire Comey knowing, there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.

Note that Trump did not merely reveal Rosenstein as a set piece here; he revealed him as a set piece in Trump's own effort to frustrate the Russia investigation. The story as told by the president to NBC now is that Trump decided to fire Comey in connection with saying to himself that the Russia investigation was a made up story, and that it was in that context that he got Rosenstein to write a pretextual memo.

Rosenstein appears to know he has been used. The Washington Post reports that he threatened to resign, as the Post puts it, after the narrative emerging from the White House on Tuesday evening cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey and that the president acted only on his recommendation. Rosenstein yesterday denied that he had threatened to resign, and the Wall Street Journal offers a slightly more modest version, in which Rosenstein pressed White House counsel Don McGahn to correct what he felt was an inaccurate White House depiction of the events surrounding Comeys firing. He left the impression he couldnt work in an environment where facts werent accurately portrayed.

And Rosenstein got what he wanted: The White House, and Trump himself, have come clean.The firing of Comey had nothing to do with Rosensteins memo. As the White House has now made clear, in a timeline released Wednesday, there were other reasons. As the Journal reports:

The timeline didnt mention Mr. Rosensteins letter until the fourth bullet point, and said Mr Trump had been strongly inclined to remove Mr. Comey after watching his testimony in front of a Senate panel last week.

Subsequently, administration officials said Mr. Trump had been growing increasingly frustrated by the former directors demonstrative performance in a series of congressional hearings, combined with his refusal to clear Mr. Trumps campaign of any wrongdoing, put the president over the edge.

The trouble is that while Rosenstein got what he wanted, Trumps idea of correcting the record was to say publicly exactly the thing about a law enforcement officer that makes his continued service in office impossible: That Trump had used his deputy attorney general as window dressing on a pre-cooked political decision to shut down an investigation involving himself, a decision for which he needed the patina of a high-minded rationale.

Once the President has said this about youa law enforcement officer who works for him and who promised the Senate in confirmation hearings you would show independenceyou have nothing left. These are the costs of working for Trump, and it took Rosenstein only two weeks to pay them.

The only decent course now is to name a special prosecutor and then resign.

I say this with not a trace of joy. Comeys firing has shaken me very deeply, and no aspect of it has shaken me more than the apparent corruption of Rosenstein, on whom I was counting to be a support base for the career men and women of the Justice Department in their efforts to continue honorable service in difficult times.

When Trump nominated Rosenstein as deputy attorney general, I was delighted. I have known Rosenstein for a long time. I have always thought well of him. I've admired his ability to serve at senior levels in administrations of both parties and impress both sides with apolitical service. I considered it a positive sign that Trump had installed a career professional as deputy attorney general under Jeff Sessions, who is a polarizing figure to many. And I quietly told many people anxious about Sessions that I was not worried that anything too terrible would happen at the department with Rosenstein and Rachel Brandwho has not yet been confirmed as associate attorney general and of whom I think extremely highlyin the deputy's and associate's offices respectively.

I was profoundly wrong about Rosenstein.

Rosenstein's memo in support of Comeys firing is a shocking document. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. I have tried six ways from Sunday to put an honorable construction on it. But in the end, I just cannot find one. The memo is a press release to justify an unsavory use of presidential power. It is also a profoundly unfair document. And it's gutless too. Because at the end of the day, the memo greases the wheels for Comey's removal without ever explicitly urging itthus allowing its author to claim that he did something less than recommend the firing, while in fact providing the fig leaf for it.

In other words, Rosensteins actual role was even less honorable than the one he reportedly objected to the White House's tagging him with. If the original story that Rosensteins recommendation drove the train had been true, after all, that at least would involve his giving his independent judgment. But the truth that Trump told is far worse than the lie Rosenstein insisted the White House correct. Rosenstein was taskedto provide a pretext, and he did just that.

Lets give Rosenstein the benefit of the doubt and assume he believes every word of the memo he wroteand I do assume as much. A lot of people, including a lot of people with institutionalist Justice Department views, share the belief that Comey screwed up, as the President would say, big league. Even I, who have defended the good faith of Comeys actions and believe he was in an impossible situation, do not agree with every one of his decisions during the 2016 election period. So Im perfectly willing to believe that Rosenstein felt able to take on the assignment to write this memo because he, in fact, believes the things he said in it.

Lets go a step further and assume that everything Rosenstein says in the memo about Comeys conduct is actually truein other words, not merely that Rosenstein believes it all, but that hes right. (This I do not believe, but I dont want to relitigate the question of Comeys handling of the Clinton emails matters.)

For that matter, let's set aside the fact that the memo criticizes Comey for actions taken many months ago that the current president never criticized and that the previous administration did not think amounted to a firing offense.

Even with these assumptions, the memo is indefensible. Paul Rosenzweig has ably detailed its deficiencies; Bob Bauer has described how the document, which was produced in the less-than-two-weeks that Rosenstein has been in office, does not indicate whom Rosenstein consulted with and on what factual record his conclusions depended. Daphna Renan and David Pozen make a similar point, arguing that the process by which Comey was fired appears to raise a version of the same professional concerns that the firing supposedly responds to: a breach of Justice Department norms developed to protect integrity and independence.

I wont rehash their many points in detail here but I wish to add a few, all around one general theme: Rosensteins memo wasnt honorable, and it debasesthe office of the deputy attorney general for the occupant of that office to issue such a memo.

First off, the document, even if a recitation of Rosensteins actual views, wasas Trumps comments yesterday made so very clearnot a good faith exercise in advising the attorney general or the President. Trump, after all, had already made his decision, and Rosenstein clearly knew that. He met with the President on Monday, after all, along with Sessions. What happened at that meeting? The president asked that they put their concerns and recommendations in writing, which is the letter that you all had received, said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders a little too candidly,the Washington Post reports. So Rosenstein was simply memorializing his concerns about Comeys handling of months-old matters in a document he knew would be used for political ends. In this context, the deployment of the obviously pretextual rationale that Democrats had previously embraced is not the conduct of a deputy attorney general but, well, something you might expect from Sarah Huckabee Sanders or Sean Spicer. Did Rosenstein think he would fool anyone? How does a person of honor write such a weak document at the Presidents request in support of a decision already made?

Second, Rosensteins memo wasnt decent. If youre going to recommend that someone be fired, you should have the decency to pick up the phone and give him a chance to address the substantive matters that form the basis of your recommendation. You should particularly do that if you know that the document youve written is likely to become public. And you should even more particularly do it if youre making your recommendation knowing that youre short-circuiting an inspector general investigation of the subjects handling of precisely the matters that form the basis of your memo. (So you dont think Im being hypocritical here, I emailed Rosenstein before publishing this article, offering to share to the draft with him and to discuss the matters at issue.)

The memo was also cowardly. Rosenstein doesn't even take responsibility for the recommendation he was plainly making. He has, quite bizarrely in my view, gotten credit for this in some quarters, with some observers suggesting that perhaps he stopped short of explicitly recommending the firing because he, in fact, had no intention of precipitating that event when he wrote the memo.


Rosenstein has been around the block in this town too many time not to know exactly what he was doing when he wrote this.

His omission actually cuts in the opposite direction. If he did not want Comey to be fired, he should have written a memo explaining how Comey had erred and why those errors did not in his view amount to a firing offense. Conversely, if he believed that Comey needed to go, he should have had the courage to make that view explicit. Except, of course, that as Trump has now told us, Rosenstein wasnt actually giving advice at all. He was filling in some blanks on a preprinted form. The decision had already been made. The recommendation, such as it was, was retroactive.

Nor is it quite true that Rosenstein did not recommend Comeys firing, except in the very limited sense that he did not write the words, I recommend that you fire Jim Comey. Heres what he did write: The FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions. Stopping just short of explicitness in order to retain some marginally plausible deniability was not an honorable course. It was an excercise in Washington CYA, and it compounds the indecency of the episode.

In the end, Trump was able to make set piece out of Rosenstein, because Rosenstein let himself be used as a set piece. And theres an important lesson in that for the many honorable men and women with pending appointments and nominations to serve in senior levels of the Justice Departmentor who are considering accepting such appointments. It took Donald Trump only two weeks to put Rosenstein, a figure of sterling reputation, in the position of choosing between continued service and behaving honorablyand it took only two days after that for the President to announce that Rosensteins memo, after all, was nothing more than a Potemkin village designed as a facade on Trumps predecided outcome.

Do you really want this to be you? Do you really think Trump will not leave your reputation as so much roadkill on the highway after enlisting you in sliming someone else a week or two after you take office?

The lesson here is that these are not honorable people, and they will do their best to drag you down to their level. They will often succeed.

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Et Tu Rod? Why The Deputy Attorney General Must Resign - Lawfare (blog)

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May 12th, 2017 at 2:52 pm

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Early morning dance party lands in Austin – KVUE

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An early morning dance party created in New York, now in Austin provides an alternative to the nightlife scene.

Jay Wallis, KVUE 7:27 AM. CDT May 12, 2017

Americans have been considered to be some of the most overworked people in the entire world -- giving up certain relaxation time -- to get work done. However, there is a new outlet that just arrived in Austin that can help people kickstart their work day in a weird way.

Radha Magrawal lives in New York and started to get tired of the nightlife scene through time as well as the negative qualities that are associated with it.

"We were sort of overcome by how nightlife had gotten overrun by drugs and alcohol and everyone on their cell phones," Magrawal said. "We wanted to create something that was clean. Something that was community driven."

So Magrawal and a friend created Daybreaker in 2013. This is an early morning dance party that provides the same energy, music and dancing as a club -- but starting at 6 a.m.

"It's really pure fun," Magrawal said. "We've become so segmented, and our goal is to really bring back the intergenerational communities."

These dance parties are alcohol-free and also are supported by local artists and musicians from wherever Daybreaker takes its services. Eli Clark-Davis works for Daybreaker with Magrawal in New York City, and he said this also provides a safer atmosphere for those people who like to dance.

"People are really embracing it around the country," Clark-Davis said. "This all just came from the frustration of nightlife. There are a lot of people that don't feel confident going out there. There is going to be a lot of creepy things going on, as well as just unsafe. We've created a space where people can fully express themselves and get completey into it.

Clark-Davis also brings up the fact that Magrawal and her team looked into the science behind starting your day in a positive way. They call it the "Daybreaker Dose." They say your body releases your brain's natural "happy chemicals" through this early morning dancing, which consists of dopamine (getting up early), oxytocin (receiving hugs), serotonin (upbeat music) and endorphins (excercise from dancing).

"People end up dancing harder here than they do on a Saturday night," Clark-Davis said.

For Magrawal, as her company continues to expand well beyond New York City, she hopes to see the makeup of people at these parties continue to be diverse.

"Let's stop calling ourselves Millennials, Generation X, Generation Z or Generation Y," Magrawal said. "We are all the same thing here."

Magrawal plans to schedule a Daybreaker party once a month in Austin, as it debuted Wednesday, May 10. To learn more about the next Daybreaker event, you can visit

2017 KVUE-TV

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Early morning dance party lands in Austin - KVUE

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May 12th, 2017 at 2:52 pm

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Astronauts have lower physical fitness, excercise capacity in spaceflight: Study – Daily News & Analysis

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Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) or in deep space missions have lower physical fitness and exercise capacity as their heart and blood vessels become less effective at transporting oxygen to muscles, a new study has found.

Researchers set out to find why astronauts' exercise capacity decreases between 30 and 50% in long-duration spaceflight.

"It is a dramatic decrease," said Carl Ade, assistant professor at Kansas State University in the US.

"When your cardiovascular function decreases, your aerobic exercise capacity goes down. You can't perform physically challenging activities anymore," said Ade.

"While earlier studies suggest that this happens because of changes in heart function, our data suggests that there are some things happening at the level of the heart, but also at the level of the microcirculation within capillaries," he said.

In addition to improving astronaut health and providing valuable information for future long-duration spaceflights, the research also can help Earth-bound clinical patients with heart failure, Ade said.

While in outer space or on the ISS, astronauts have to perform many physically demanding tasks, from the simpler task of opening a capsule door to potentially more intense future planetary tasks such as helping a fallen crew member.

Just as important is making sure astronauts can perform life-saving tasks when they return to gravity - tasks that could include an emergency landing on Earth or performing extravehicular activities on the surface of Mars, Ade said.

For the study, researchers used data from NASA's Johnson Space Centre on nine astronauts who spent about six months aboard the ISS. The data included exercise measurements before and after their time in outer space.

The astronauts performed a stationary bike exercise test several months before they launched to the ISS.

The researchers established the astronauts' exercise capacity through measurements - such as oxygen uptake, cardiac output, haemoglobin concentration and arterial saturation - that illustrate how effectively the body transports oxygen to the muscle mitochondria.

Within a couple of days of returning to earth, the astronauts performed the same stationary bike exercise test to determine changes in aerobic exercise capacity. By comparing the two sets of data, the researchers saw a 30 to 50% decrease in maximal oxygen uptake.

Maximal oxygen uptake is the maximum rate of oxygen that is consumed during exercise and shows the cardio-respiratory health of a person.

The researchers attribute this decrease to the way that microgravity changes the interaction between blood vessel capillaries and red blood cells, but say that more research is needed to understand what is happening in the capillaries.

"If we can understand why maximal oxygen uptake is going down, that allows us to come up with targeted interventions, whether that be exercise or pharmacological interventions," Ade said.

"This important new information can help these astronauts and prevent any adverse performance changes in their job," he said.

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Astronauts have lower physical fitness, excercise capacity in spaceflight: Study - Daily News & Analysis

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May 12th, 2017 at 1:46 am

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Can’t moral police politicians: HC on Navjot Singh Sidhu’s TV show case – Economic Times

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CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court today observed that it cannot issue any direction against Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu's participation in a television show due to absence of any statutory provisions.

"People emulate these things.... No doubt those in public life should excercise restraint, but how far can we go? We can't start moral policing of politicians," a bench of Justices S S Saron and Darshan Singh observed.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Chandigarh-based advocate H C Arora against Sidhu's continuation with 'the Kapil Sharma show' after becoming a minister in the Amarinder Singh Government.

The court, however, did not accept the plea of the advocate general, who had questioned the "maintainability' of the PIL, and asked him to respond to various issues raised in the petition.

Earlier, the state Advocate General, Atul Nanda, argued that in the absence of provisions, the court of law cannot interfere.

He contended that there is no convention, "but even if it is assumed that it existed, the court can't issue a direction for enforcement of convention in the absence of any law".

Asked by the bench whether a convention can be enforced, Nanda cited the judgements of the Supreme Court. He submitted a 600-page compilation of precedents where the courts have categorically stated that they will not enforce conventions.

The bench heard the arguments of the parties for about two hours.

"Lakhs of people follow the example set by ministers, and public conduct of ministers is being watched.

"In such a situation, can a minister resort to a conduct which is not in consonance with the dignity and status of a Cabinet Minister?" the bench asked the advocate general.

Nanda maintained that Sidhu has not violated the code of conduct for ministers.

On the other hand, the petitioner argued that the Cabinet Minister is not only participating in the comedy show, but is also appearing in an advertisement, and promoting a "magic machine" for learning spoken English.

Such conduct of a minister must be interfered with, the petitioner submitted.

Arora quoted a 2004 judgement of the Supreme Court in Jayalalitha's case, wherein referring to enforceability of Code of Conduct, the apex court had observed that "morally speaking, can there be one law for small officials of the government and another law for the chief minister...?"

The petitioner argued saying, "a stage has come, when the high court should come forward to interfere in the matter of code of conduct, as a Cabinet Minister promoting 'magic English speaking machines' is something unheard of in the past."

The advocate general, however, interjected and told the HC that this advertisement was shot by Sidhu several years ago.

On being asked by the petitioner, he could not disclose as to when the contract for this advertisement is expiring.

The advocate general argued that the code of conduct for ministers is not enforceable through courts.

At this stage, the bench repeatedly asked him, "Assuming that the code of conduct is not enforceable through courts, then the question would arise - whether it is worth the paper on which it is written?"

"We may feel that Sidhu while working as a minister and a television actor may be ethically wrong, but this is no violation of law. We can only stop him from working if he is violating a law and not on the basis of moral or conduct grounds.

"Participating in a television show is an engagement of an artiste and not a business or employment. The petitioner should prove that it was a propriety or conflict of interest issue," the bench observed.

The next hearing will be on August 2.

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Can't moral police politicians: HC on Navjot Singh Sidhu's TV show case - Economic Times

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May 12th, 2017 at 1:46 am

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Niia Lets Her Guard Down on Jazz-Pop Debut – Out Magazine

Posted: May 5, 2017 at 8:47 pm

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Niia's debut album, I, is an excercise in control, both maintaining and relinquishing it altogether.

Born in Boston to an English major father and pianist mother, the 28-year-old singer/songwriter was raised in private education, diligently honing her craft as a musician and eventually studying in the New School's competitive jazz conservatoryamong the country's most demanding, intimate programs.

Related |Women in Power-Pop: 50 Musicians Taking Over

Like most industrious perfectionists, Niia continued on to a practical career in music, crooning jingles for commercialsa job that paid the bills in NYC's Lower East Side, but failed to foster Niia's underexplored artist. After being discovered by Wyclef Jean, who was recording in the same studio as her one day, Niia's voice became part of his viral 2009 single, "Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)," and ultimately pushed her head first onto the path of becoming a star.

Photography: Jimmy Fontaine

But before Niia could fully enter the spotlight as a solo musician, she needed to learn to be vulnerable with her worka process of renouncing the control and privacy that defined her life growing up. Her 2014 breakout EP, Generation Blue, saw Niia defining her signature modern-classic sound, but hiding behind guarded lyrics about everyone but herself. Now on Ian appropriate album titlethe rising artist finds strength in vulnerability, reflecting on her own experiences with loveboth pained and empowered.

On the album's lead single, "Hurt You First," Niia reflects on the anxiety of a freshly developing relationship, as she warns a lover she'll "be the one to make him cry." Here, Niia's brutally honest, but her innate desire for control is still apparent, with flawless, fine-tuned vocals and a lyrical power-trip. "Sideline" is when the artist fully lets her guard down, delivering a chorus that edges closer to crying than singing: "I'm sick of all this trying, while I watch you drift further away," she wails, ultimately admitting defeat.

We recently sat down with Niia in NYC to discuss her debut album, I, out today. Listen to the full LP and learn more about the singer/songwriter's jazz-pop breakout, below.

OUT: Youre originally an East Coaster. Howd you decide to move to Los Angeles?

Niia: The industry is out in LA, and there were a lot of writers and producers I wanted to work with, so I put all my shit in storage and I was like, Oh Ill go for five months. Then I went and never came back. Ive lived there for four years, which is crazy. I think I was a little done with New York, needed a change and wanted to take my career to the next level.

How has California influenced your music?

I was a little hesitant about being in California because Im such an East Coaster and its such a whole new experienceyoure writing with palm trees outside and pomegranate trees. Theres a whole change of being an artist in completely different environments, and on top of that, I fell in love so hard and so fast that everything was hitting me at once. I wanted my album to be this really bad ass strong feminist thing and it ended up being about me being a crazy girlfriend and dealing with all my issues. Ironically, I think I did achieve being this strong female voice, but in a way I wasnt expecting. Being so transparent wasnt what I thought would happen.

I'd argue your music finds strength in being so transparent...

I was sick of the sad girl and wanted to be a positive influence to young girls, like, yeah, it sucks when you fall in love and they cheat on you, but you have to have some self-irony. Talking about it is important. Honestly, it just all came out. Im not a very public personI dont like talking about myself. I usually hide being my lyrics, so its funny that Im talking about myself and whats going on with me.

How doesIcompare to your breakout EP,Generation Blue?

Sonically, its still similar because I worked with the same producer, Robin Hannibal, for both. I love his production because he has this nostalgic old sensibility, but also these modern elements that make it feel fresh and timeless. Content-wise and vocally, I wanted to take a couple risksI get compared to Sade a lot, and I love her and love her voice, but I also grew up singing torch songs, like Shirley BasseysBondthemes. I wanted to showcase my voice a bit more and my range.

Generation Blue is the whole irony of sad girl problemswere all depressed, but we dont have any real reason to be. I explored that, but I think my outlook is sarcastic and not glass half-empty. Im a very pensive person, so I was like, I fell in love and it hit me on the head. It definitely took on a more personal narrative, whereas on Generation Blue, I was talking about what everyone else in my world was going through. This new album is like, Oh, Im being a little selfish here.

"Hurt You First" was the lead single off I. Why was this a proper first introduction?

Hurt You First is kind of like chapter one before a relationship, where its like, "This going really well, what the fucks your deal? Something is going to go wrong, so Im going to sabotage it first." This is the first thing I felt when I fell in love, like this is too good to be true. I have to blow it up.

You released "Sideline" next...

Sideline kept going with the same narrative as Hurt You First, where she thinks shes doing the right shit to protect herself, but shes totally not. Sideline is me getting a lit more like, Dude whats the deal? Im not going to wait around and I'm pissed off. sometimes when I hear that song, I cant believe I wrote it. Its a bratty little diva moment. I wrote the chorus with Mikky Ekko and wanted it to be a modern-day jazz standard.

Related |Premiere: Niia Performs 'Sideline' Live on Mulholland Drive

What was the process like for developing your sound?

Its still evolving, but love old music. I come from jazz, classical and soul music. Its hard to find ways to pay tribute to that or write that way when thats not really whats going on in todays music. Even singer/songwriter musicjust piano and voicethe way you write a song is so different than how people used to do it. So its a challenge of finding that balance, where it wont just feel just retro. I think its important to hybrid genresa combination of influences and references. I love cinematic movies and scores, so I think strings and giving it this overwhelming score-like feeling in some moments was really important to me. It was challenging to the find the production that matches my vocal style, because my voice doesn't really sound like its from now.

Like your music, your visuals are also very cinematic.

My moms from Italy, so I grew up watching really inappropriate Italian movies way too young, and Italian directors man they go to the jugular with visualsso extreme, so dramatic and so violent. I think it really shaped how important visuals are to me. My visual is a bit more stark, severe and modern, but I think that helps the overall music feel more fresh. I love clean lines, sci-fi films and old romance novelskind of this weird hybrid of the future meets the past.

I didnt want to be in any visuals at first. Im a very shy person, but all my favorite female artists,Annie Lennox, Sade, Fiona Apple, Carly Simonyou can see them when you think of them. This is my coming out of my shell to be honest with my fans and talk more about who I am and what Im going through. Im sharing who I am, because I didnt want to nor did I think anyone really cared.

Have you always been shy?

When I was younger, I was really shy and have horrible stage fright, so Id sing with my back to my family and hide what was inside. I went to a really rigid private school that had arts, but it wasnt the focus. My family is all musiciansthey come from the craft side, not the showmanship side. They were like, Work on your craft. Get better on skill and technique. Its not about performance.

I remember coming to New York and going to the New School and kids had green hair and were smoking in front of their moms I was like, Whoa, where am I? I was like, This is so cool. I can be my weird art nerd self. I went to New School to the jazz conservatory, but I got placed in the Parsons dorms, so all my best friends are fashion snobs.

Your first big break was through a song with Wyclef Jean, calledSweetest Girl (Dollar Bill).Whats the story behind that collaboration?

I moonlighted as a jingle singer, singing silly songs for commercials. Right place, right time, I was in the same studio as Wyclef Jean and the guy who was supposed to do my session blew me off. Wyclef finally came out and was like, What are you here for? This is my studio. Why dont you come check out my session? It was the first time I had been in a real beautiful huge mainstream studio. I played him a little song on the piano and sang and he explained to me, You could do this for your jobyou can make your own songs and be a star.

The whole concept of being a star didnt make any sense to me, so I was really lucky he let me sing a little piece on one of his big songs. I got to tour with him and see what being a star is like without it having to be about me. I was like, I want to try and do this. Its taken me a long time to jump in because it was a little overwhelming being on a big song so quickly and having all these labels be like, Whos this big girl on the radio? What is she about? I didnt know what I was about yet and had to take time to get stoned with my friends and start living. It took a long time.

When you listen to I in full,what do you hope it sounds like?

I want it to be like, youre a little tipsy on the beach at night and theres a warm breeze and the sun sets and it gets a little darker, stranger, and weirder, but still very romantic. Theres some bitchy moments on the album, which is cool, but youre still at the party and nothing has taken the turn for the worse, reallyyoure just starting to notice whos in the crowd.

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Niia Lets Her Guard Down on Jazz-Pop Debut - Out Magazine

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May 5th, 2017 at 8:47 pm

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Like mother, like daughter – 225 Baton Rouge

Posted: May 3, 2017 at 3:46 pm

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LSU gymnastics standouts McKenna Kelley and Ashleigh Gnat share what they learned from their Olympian mothers

It was Los Angeles in 1984, and fate seemed unkind to Team USA.

Right before the summer Olympic games began, Team USAs great womens gymnastics hope had suffered a knee injury. And there was stiff competition from the rest of the gymnastics world to snatch the gold.

But Mary Lou Retton wasnt going to let something like an injury stop her. She was a 16-year-old powerhouse, after all. Retton, with her tiny frame and bob haircut, was about to take U.S. womens gymnastics to a level it had never been before.

She earned perfect 10s on both her floor exercise and vault, becoming the first American woman to win the all-around gold. The fame that accompanied it was immediate: Retton was named Sports Illustrateds Sportswoman of the Year and became the first spokeswoman for Wheaties.

But for McKenna Kelley, the legendary Retton is just mom. The Olympic gold medals at the familys house in Houston are an added bonus, of course, considering that Kelley is an LSU gymnast and part of the universitys standout last two gymnastics seasons.

Growing up, I dont think I ever fully grasped what it even meant for her to be an Olympic champion, Kelley says. I had heard that so much, but she was just mom to me.

Gymnastics is not like baseball or basketball, sports that are easily passed down to your children through afternoons spent on the court or playing catch. Its rigor and dedication to training can be a more solitary endeavor. Even still, theres no guarantee of success.

Yet, for LSUs squad, success seems all but hereditary. The team is home to two exceptional athletes whose mothers were Olympic gymnasts: Kelley and her All-American teammate, Ashleigh Gnat.

While Gnats dad, Ray, was a collegiate gymnast at LSU, her mom, Joan, did a bit of history-making herselfwinning 10 national championships and competing in the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

Theres footage of her floor excercise on YouTube, and she floats and flutters like a butterfly. Ashleigh loves to watch her.

I watch the videos a lot, actually, Ashleigh says. Shes so beautiful to watch.

That sentiment is mutual for her mother.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed, Joan says. Not only at her gymnastics performance, but just the person shes become. She has a great heart. Shes beautiful inside and out, and I get so filled with pride every time I watch her.

Joan says Ashleigh was practically born in the gym. Joan and Ray Gnat opened up their own gymnastics facility as coaches in Florida and would take Ashleigh to work with them every day. They first brought her to the gym two days after she was born.

As she started walking, she started doing forward rolls and then cartwheels and then handstands, and I think it just grew from there, Joan says.

While raising Ashleigh, Joan says she never forced her daughter to keep up with gymnastics, but Ashleigh fell head over heels for the sport anyway. Now, Ashleigh confides in her mom and dad about all things gymnastics.

Kelleys road to the sport mirrors Ashleighs. Retton put Kelley in gymnastics when she was 2 years old, along with her three sisters.

Gymnastics was what she knew, and she wanted her kids to try it out, Kelley says, smiling at the memory. I mean, what kid doesnt love to run around and jump on a trampoline? Its easy to put them to sleep after that.

Like Joan, Retton never pressured her children to continue gymnastics, leaving it up to them to decide. Kelleys passion was born out of true love for the sportthough she did inherit her mothers dedication.

I would miss birthday parties, playdates and sleepovers because I wanted to be at the gym, Kelley says. Even when I was little, I always looked forward to practice.

Having an accomplished Olympic mother does come with a certain amount of pressure, and Kelley isnt totally immune. There are those who criticize her, saying shes benefited from nepotism and has only come this far because of who her mother is. But doubters and critics come with the territory, and it helps that her mother has always been there to help her find her own path, she says.

Now that shes old enough to understand the scope of her mothers accomplishments, she, too, cant get enough of watching old footage of her mom.

Ill watch interviews of her after the Olympics and Im like, oh my God. She was so cute with her little voice and her hair, Kelley says.

While the girls forge their own paths, gymnastics will always bring them and their mothers together. The sport is the backbone of both the Kelley and Gnat families, a bond that despite time and age cannot be broken.

But Kelley still laughs at all the talk of having an Olympian mother.

Its so funny when people ask about her, because I still just see it the same, Kelley says. Like I dont get it. Shes just my mom.

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Like mother, like daughter - 225 Baton Rouge

Written by simmons

May 3rd, 2017 at 3:46 pm

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VIDEO: Royal Navy’s HMS Enterprise crew excercise freedom of Tiverton with parade through town – Devon Live

Posted: May 1, 2017 at 2:45 am

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Hundreds braved the rain to see the crew of the HMS Enterprise exercise the freedom of Tiverton this weekend.

The Royal Navy vessel returned home to Plymouth after three years at sea on Tuesday, April 18, and her crew of more than 50 were joined by the Royal Marine Corps of Drums and members of Tiverton Sea Cadets in a parade through the town centre on Sunday, April 30.

Starting at Tiverton Pannier Market, the crew paraded with the Queen's Colour in full ceremonial uniform with swords and rifles fitted with bayonets. The Mayor of Tiverton, Councillor Steve Flaws also gave an inspection of the crew.

HMS Enterprise has been affiliated with Tiverton for her whole life in service, beginning when she was commissioned in October 2003. A part of this affiliation was the granting of the freedom of the city by the town council.

Cllr Flaws said: "What a great honour it is for me as mayor of Tiverton to welcome to our town the members of our adopted ship and the Royal Marine Band.

"A couple of weeks ago, I actually had the pleasure of visiting the ship in Plymouth and sailing down to Falmouth. It was a fabulous day out and one that I will always remember. During this trip I learnt about the important work the Royal Navy does to protect our shores and its humanitarian work across the globe. Specifically, I discovered that over the last few years, HMS Enterprise has rescued many thousands of refugees and has probably saved many of those people from drowning.

"I believe that we should all be proud of the work done by HMS Enterprise and I trust we will all continue to develop stronger links between the town and the ship. These wonderful events do not happen very often so I feel highly privileged that this has happened during my year as mayor."

Commanding Officer of the HMS Enterprise Philip Harper, who joined HMS Enterprise in November 2016 and has spent more than 25 years in the Royal Navy added: "I am humbled and honoured by the reception we have been given in Tiverton. My ship's company have homes all over the UK and indeed as far afield as New Zealand and the US, but for the ship herself, Tiverton represents home a home more fondly remembered for being visited so rarely.

"We owe a great debt of gratitude to the citizens of our great country, who keep the home fires burning and allow us to protect the nation's interests abroad, at range. And this beautiful county of Devon does more than its fair share it is home to half of the Royal Navy and most of the Royal Marines.For hundreds of years, Devon has supplied the best sailors in the world including Drake and Raleigh, and good a good many serving today in Enterprise.

"For today we thank the Mayor and the Town Council, and all those who have worked so hard to prepare. Most particularly we thank the people of Tiverton for their warm welcome and ongoing support. I'd also like to pay tribute to the Sea cadet Corps, led by Chief Petty Officer Mikki Chubb for all their good work with the young people of the town.

"Thank you Tiverton, and please go on making this town, county and country a place well worth coming home to."

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VIDEO: Royal Navy's HMS Enterprise crew excercise freedom of Tiverton with parade through town - Devon Live

Written by grays

May 1st, 2017 at 2:45 am

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3 biggest games of Ryan Anderson’s Alabama career – CSN Mid-Atlantic (press release) (blog)

Posted: April 29, 2017 at 6:45 am

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Ryan Anderson played four seasons for the Alabama Crimson Tide, though his career did not take off until his junior and senior seasons. In those two years, Anderson combined for 14.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss.

Looking back at his biggest games is a fun excercise to see the 6-foot-2, 253 lbs., linebacker at his best.

No. 3

No. 2

No. 1

Bonus: Anderson scored one touchdown in his career. It came in the College Football Playoff game against Washington. He grabbed an interception and rumbled 26 yards for the TD. Notice a trend? In big games, Anderson delivers.


Want more Redskins? Check out@JPFinlayCSNfor live updates orclick here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Alabama dominates college football in a way few teams ever have. In the last two seasons, the Crimson Tide has lost just twogames, winning one national title and narrowly missing a second.

The strength of 'Bama, year after year, is their defense. Nick Saban coaches it, Nick Saban knows it, and Nick Saban demands the best from his players.

Oddly, however, a few recent Alabama defenders drafted to the NFL have not produced. Or at least their production did not match their draft status.

It's not too hard to pick names that fit that perception. Rolando McClain. Terrance Cody. Dre Kirkpatrick. And at running back, Trent Richardson didn't help.

Still, the Redskins invested heavily in the Tide during the 2017 draft. Their top two picks played for Saban's defense last year, and Washington coach Jay Gruden does not buy any part of the perception that 'Bama products regress in the NFL.

"I dont see any negative whatsoever with them going to Alabama," Gruden said late Friday night.

The 'Skins selected Jonathan Allen in the first round and Ryan Anderson in the second. Both guys started on the Tide's front seven, and both players dominated.

"They come there and they are well coached. Anytime you watch college football, and you watch other defenses, no disrespect, and then you flip on an Alabama game, its different," Gruden said."The speed is different. They are well-coached, they are in their gaps, they play hard, they play physical, and thats from Week 1 until the end. That has to appeal to you as a coach. They are using their hands, they are physical, they are chasing the ball, they are running to the ball."

The perception, right or wrong, has two main positions. The first is that the Alabama defense looks so good because it is full of five-star recruits. When everyone is good, or great, on the college level, it's hard to truly judge any singular player's game tape. The second is that Saban is so exhausting, so demanding of his players, they arrive to the NFL with too many reps.

For those around the NFL, both theories are laughable. Pro scouts know game tape. How else can they judge a future first rounder when he matches up against a walk-on? And for every alleged 'Bama bust, think about Haha Clinton-Dox or Landon Collins or C.J. Mosley or Dont'a Hightower.

Might some Tide players get overdrafted because of their success and high profile? That's a different conversation. What's certain is the Redskins are quite confident in both of their Alabama draft picks.

"We know they are both highly intelligent guys. They understand football, understand Xs and Os and they both play very hard with a high motor and they are well-coached."


Want more Redskins? Check out@JPFinlayCSNfor live updates orclick here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Coming into the offseason, there was plenty of talk coming from the Redskins organization that the team needed to upgrade the defense. Those who have been following the team for a while have heard this for many years now. However, usually the talk is just that, with more draft capital and free agency money going to the offense year in and year out.

But this year things are different.

The lions share of free agent spending went to the defense. They added linemen Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, linebacker Zach Brown, and safety D.J. Swearinger. Now they have started off their draft with a laser focus in the defensive side of the ball.

RELATED: Redskins add cornerback with first round talent, but injuries pushed him to the third round

In the first round, they were delighted to take Jonathan Allen, the top-rated defensive lineman on their board. In the second round they went with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson, a teammate of Allens at Alabama. Then in the third round the pick was cornerback Fabian Moreau out of UCLA.

Its been 20 years since the Redskins have gone so heavy with defensive picks at the top of the draft. Not since 1997 have they taken defensive players in the first three rounds of the draft. That year they took DE Kenard Lang, LB Greg Jones, and LB Derek Smith in rounds one, two, and three, respectively.

We will see how much impact the three draft picks have on the defense and, as Redskins fans have learned over the years, an influx of free agents on defense doesnt guarantee improvement on that side of the ball.

But at least the Redskins organization is putting its money, and its draft picks, where its mouth is and that has be considered a positive development.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins make it two Alabama defenders in the 2017 draft class so far

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook follow him on Twitter@Rich_TandlerCSN.

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3 biggest games of Ryan Anderson's Alabama career - CSN Mid-Atlantic (press release) (blog)

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April 29th, 2017 at 6:45 am

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Tesla Semi: Elon Musk releases first teaser image of Tesla’s all-electric truck and it looks sick – Electrek

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Tesla Semi: Elon Musk releases first teaser image of Tesla's all-electric truck and it looks sick
The only case I've seen there is in an analyst's note and that was a hypothetical excercise. It wasn't based on info from Tesla that battery swap was the approach. In fact, I'd suggest that Musk's comments about working on a 350+ kW supercharger is a ...

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Tesla Semi: Elon Musk releases first teaser image of Tesla's all-electric truck and it looks sick - Electrek

Written by grays

April 29th, 2017 at 6:45 am

Posted in Excercise

Allotment Of 1020000 Equity Shares Pursuant Excercise Of Vested Esops – Hindu Business Line

Posted: April 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm

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April 26, 2017:

Dear Sir/Madam, SUB: RESOLUTION OF COMMITTEE OF DIRECTORS FOR SECURITIES ALLOTMENT Pursuant to the provisions of the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, we wish to inform you that the Committee of Directors in its meeting held on April 26, 2017 have allotted 10,20,000 Equity Shares on exercise of vested Employee Stock Options by certain employees as per details given below : - 7,70,000 equity shares of the Company of face value of Rs. 2/- each at a Price of Rs. 2/- per equity share under third grant of ESOP 2005; - 2,50,000 equity shares of the Company of face value of Rs. 2/- each at a price of Rs. 2/- per equity share under seventh grant of ESOP 2006 The above is for your information and record.

Pdf Link: Allotment Of 1020000 Equity Shares Pursuant Excercise Of Vested Esops

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Allotment Of 1020000 Equity Shares Pursuant Excercise Of Vested Esops - Hindu Business Line

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April 27th, 2017 at 12:41 pm

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