Fox News 2024-03-14 16:05:28


Schumer calls for new Israeli leader to replace Netanyahu in Senate floor speech

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has called on Israel to elect a new prime minister to replace Benjamin Netanyahu in order to move towards a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians in the form of a two-state solution. 

In what was billed as a major speech on a two-state solution, Schumer said on the Senate floor on Thursday that Netanyahu was one of four obstacles to this solution. 

The majority leader said he believed, “Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way by allowing his political survival to take the precedence over the best interests of Israel.”

Along with Netanyahu, Schumer listed “Hamas, and the Palestinians who support and tolerate their evil ways, radical, right-wing Israelis in government and society, [and] Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas” as the other obstacles. 

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According to Schumer, who is Jewish, Israeli elections are “the only way to allow for a healthy and open decision-making process about the future of Israel.” He added that he believed a majority of Israelis also recognize a need for change in their government. 

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In his reasoning for calling on elections to potentially replace Netanyahu, Schumer explained: “He has put himself in coalition with far-right extremists like Ministers Smotrich and Ben-Gvir, and as a result, he has been too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza, which is pushing support for Israel worldwide to historic lows.”

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Schumer emphasized that Israel will not be able to overcome such a poor public image. “Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah,” he said.

After Schumer’s speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R–Ky., took to the floor and addressed the remarks of his Democratic colleague, but did not call him out by name.

“The Jewish state of Israel deserves an ally that acts like one,” he said, condemning the call for new Israeli elections as “unprecedented.”

“Israel’s unity, government and security cabinet deserve the deference befitting a sovereign democratic country.” 

The Kentucky Republican added that “foreign observers” who aren’t able to recognize these important distinctions should not give their own prescriptions. McConnell additionally claimed the Democratic Party’s issue is not with Netanyahu, but with the state of Israel itself.

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As recently as January, Netanyahu rejected the prospect of two states, claiming, “I will not compromise on full Israeli security control over all the territory west of Jordan – and this is contrary to a Palestinian state.” 

The Palestinian Authority has also reiterated its desire for the territories of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with Jerusalem as the capital. 

Pilot’s last-resort effort saves his family from plane crash after engine loses power

A California couple and their two-year-old daughter survived a crash landing in their small plane last week after losing engine power and deploying the aircraft’s parachute to slow their descent into a mountainous area, authorities said.

The man and woman, both 38, and their toddler walked away with only minor cuts and scratches after the single-engine 2004 Cirrus SR22 crashed in a forested area of Whitethorn around 1:15 p.m. on Friday, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The plane’s engine lost power about five minutes after taking off, according to the sheriff’s office, and as the pilot began to troubleshoot, he noticed that the plane’s altitude was too low for recovery.

He then deployed the aircraft’s Cirrus Airframe Parachute System to slow the plane’s descent, officials said. The parachute carried the aircraft until it crashed among the trees.

CALIFORNIA WOMAN ON HIKE GOES MISSING AFTER BEING SWEPT AWAY BY RIVER

“It sounded like it was a last-resort effort,” Sheriff’s Office Capt. Quincy Cromer told the Press Democrat, a Santa Rosa-based newspaper. 

Shelter Cove Fire Department Chief Nick Pape told the newspaper that their “chances of survival without the parachute were slim.”

Fire officials said in a statement that even with the parachute, the family was lucky to have only suffered minor injuries.

The family was able to exit the plane on their own before first responders arrived, Pape said.

SKIER MISSING NEAR SWITZERLAND’S MATTERHORN AFTER 5 OTHERS FOUND DEAD AMID DETERIORATING CONDITIONS

Photos show the wrecked plane among the trees with its parachute snagged in the branches.

The family resides in Santa Rosa. Their identities were not immediately provided.

It was the second small plane crash that the fire department responded to within a year.

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The previous plane crashed into the ocean in July. The two occupants were rescued after swimming out of the wreckage.

Boebert makes decision on potential run in Colorado special election

Populist firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., will not run in the special election for Colorado GOP Rep. Ken Buck’s seat, she declared Wednesday.

Buck stunned Republicans Tuesday by announcing he will leave Congress on March 22, a move that triggers a special election on June 25 to temporarily fill the vacancy in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. His early retirement will reduce the House GOP majority even further. 

Boebert, who currently represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, earlier this year announced she would run to succeed Buck in the 3rd. But on Wednesday, the congresswoman clarified she will not run in the special election to fill Buck’s vacancy, as doing so would require her to vacate her own seat. 

In a post on X, Boebert called Buck’s announcement “a gift to the uniparty” and claimed establishment Republicans were attempting to “rig” an election “I’m winning by 25 points.” 

GOP COLORADO REP KEN BUCK TO RESIGN FROM CONGRESS BY END OF NEXT WEEK

“Forcing an unnecessary Special Election on the same day as the Primary Election will confuse voters, result in a lameduck Congressman on day one, and leave the 4th District with no representation for more than three months. The 4th District deserves better,” Boebert said.

“I will not further imperil the already very slim House Republican majority by resigning my current seat and will continue to deliver on my constituents’ priorities while also working hard to earn the votes of the people of Colorado’s 4th District who have made clear they are hungry for a real conservative,” she continued.

“I am the only Trump-endorsed, America First candidate in this race and will win the 4th District’s Primary Election on June 25th and General Election on November 5th.” 

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Buck will leave Congress after serving in the House of Representatives since 2014. He is currently assigned to the House Judiciary Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee. 

Though he holds a conservative voting record, Buck has demonstrated an independent steak that has at times put him at odds with other Republicans.

Buck was one of three House Republicans who opposed the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

LAUREN BOEBERT SWITCHES DISTRICTS, ANNOUNCING RUN FOR COLORADO SEAT BEING VACATED BY KEN BUCK

After his resignation, the breakdown of Congress will be 431 members with 218 Republicans and 213 Democrats. The GOP will only be able to lose two votes of their own on any given issue. 

The next special election is for the seat occupied by former Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., on April 30. 

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If that seat stays in Democratic hands, the new breakdown is 432 members with 218 Republicans and 214 Democrats. That would mean the margin would effectively be one seat for the GOP.

Should the GOP lose just two votes there is a tie, and by rule, the vote will fail in the House. 

Fox News Digital’s Stepheny Price and Chad Pergram contributed to this update. 

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub

Suspected serial killer’s wife makes bold declaration after visiting him in jail

Asa Ellerup, the estranged wife of the architect turned suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann, revealed in a statement Wednesday night that she doesn’t think her husband is “capable” of the allegations against him.

“I will listen to all of the evidence and withhold judgment until the end of trial,” she said through her attorneys, Bob Macedonio and George Duncan. “I have given him the benefit of the doubt, as we all deserve.”

Heuermann is facing counts of first- and second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of four women whose remains were found in the brush alongside Ocean Parkway, about 50 miles east of New York City. The victims were Melissa Barthelemy, 24; Megan Waterman, 22; Amber Costello, 27; and Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 25. 

SUSPECTED SERIAL KILLER REX HEUERMANN’S LAWYER DEFENDS ‘SADISTIC’ INTERNET SEARCHES IN GILGO BEACH CASE

“Ms. Ellerup visits Mr. Heuermann weekly and still maintains that Rex is not capable of the crimes he is accused of,” her lawyers said in the statement.

Ellerup, who filed for divorce from Heuermann after his arrest in July, has begun visiting him regularly at the Suffolk County Jail.

A spokeswoman for the county sheriff said visitation logs show Ellerup first visited him in November, and she has stopped by a total of seven times. In her statement, she claimed to be going every week.

Her lawyer said she began visiting more frequently after her husband’s indictment in Brainard-Barnes’ death in January – months after prosecutors filed charges in the other three cases.

The divorce proceedings remain ongoing, Macedonio told Fox News Digital, and the couple had issues even before Heuermann’s arrest. Prosecutors have alleged that Heuermann continued to patronize sex workers regularly up until his arrest, and women in the industry have described encounters with him in places as far apart as Atlantic City, Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Her lawyers said she wanted to send her “heartfelt sympathies” to the victims and their families.

“Nobody deserves to die in that manner,” she said.

GILGO BEACH SERIAL KILLER: WHY DNA FROM SUSPECT REX HEUERMANN’S DAUGHTER MATTERS

Now that she’s overcome the initial shock of learning her husband has been accused of committing the community’s most infamous cold case murders, however, she’s decided to let due process unfold while remaining skeptical of the allegations, Macedonio added.

Heuermann is accused of killing a group of women known as the Gilgo Four, whose remains were all found in close proximity during the search for Shannan Gilbert, who went missing after a panicked 911 call in 2010. More than a decade later, Suffolk County police said they believed Gilbert’s death had been an accident.

GILGO BEACH SERIAL KILLER SUSPECT CHARGED WITH 4TH MURDER

However, the search uncovered the remains of the Gilgo Four and six other victims found further east down Ocean Parkway.

The investigation into the remaining deaths is ongoing.

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Heuermann faces three counts of first-degree murder and four counts of second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail and due back in court April 17.

He was born and raised in Massapequa Park, New York. He bought his childhood home from his mother in the 1990s and moved his family there.

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Neighbors described him as a quiet businessman who carried a briefcase to the nearby train station, wearing a three-piece suit to head into his Manhattan office five days a week.

What the NCAA’s eye-opening confession says about the future of women’s sports

Two years after University of Pennsylvania trans athlete Lia Thomas won a national title in women’s swimming, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) continues to brazenly throw females athletes to the curb to make way for trans-identifying males to take their place on the podium, not to mention their scholarships and their opportunities. Champion swimmers like Riley Gaines who had to step aside for Thomas to appear on the winners podium or Kylee Alons who had to dress in a storage closet to protect her privacy and dignity from a biological male in the locker room have never received a hearing by NCAA executives about what they went through or what other female athletes face going forward.

At a time when the NCAA faces backlash for suppressing women’s achievements, NCAA President Charlie Baker made a blockbuster admission buried on page 18 of a recent letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee: “The NCAA has never studied the harm of its policy allowing males identifying as women to participate and compete on women’s teams.” Not ever.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) posed the question among a series in follow up to Baker’s appearance at a hearing entitled Name, Image, Likeness and the Future of College Sports:

Sen. Mike Lee: Has the NCAA assessed the physical, emotional, psychological harm of its transgender inclusion policy on female athletes? If so, what are the findings? If not, why not?
Pres. Baker: The NCAA has not conducted any research related to the current transgender policy.  

That’s a bombshell. The NCAA’s “Transgender Student-Athlete Participation Policy” which sent male Lia Thomas into the women’s locker room and continues to promote males for national titles in women’s sports has never been researched for its (now evident) harm to female athletes. 

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In many federal courts of law, this fact alone would be grounds for a nationwide injunction. 

And it’s a serious admission in black and white, especially as the NCAA faces the heat of its misogynistic history as Caitlin Clark continues her impressive record-breaking run in women’s basketball. The University of Iowa standout just shattered the NCAA Division I career scoring record, but achievements of previous record holders, most notably Lynette Woodard of the University of Kansas (1978-81) were never recorded because the NCAA erased female athletes in the annals of college women’s sports

As Sally Jenkins, writing for The Washington Post, observes, “To sum up, the NCAA doesn’t regard women’s basketball records as records, because before 1982, the NCAA didn’t want women in their organization.”

DOREEN DENNY: FOR NCAA WOMEN, CHARLIE BAKER’S LEGACY IS BEING WRITTEN

Today, the NCAA doesn’t care if competitors in women’s sports are even women. It’s fully willing to allow trans-identifying men to break records in women’s sports, along with risking their safety, stealing their trophies, suppressing their athletic achievements, and even taking their scholarships.

Baker’s astonishing admission should be grounds for the NCAA to cease and desist from its trans participation policy immediately. How can the NCAA continue to double down on a policy dictating inclusion of trans-identifying males in women’s college sports if that 14-year policy has never been evaluated for its harm to female student-athletes and obligations under Title IX?  

How can the NCAA’s Chief Medical Officer proudly prioritizing mental health, and its committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport (CSMAS) responsible for NCAA transgender policy, defend this trans-inclusion framework without ever researching its harm? They can’t. We know from experience the policy has directly and disproportionately impacted women athletes – physically, emotionally, and psychologically.  

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To make matters worse, while Baker was testifying in Congress last fall the CSMAS was appointing a new “independent” member, Dr. Jack Turban, to its committee. Turban is well known as a medical activist in trans-policy circles who will surely impose his “expert” biased opinions about trans inclusion in women’s sports on the NCAA. Turban’s 2021 article in Scientific American, Trans Girls Belong on Girls Sports Teams, claims “there is no scientific case for excluding them.”   Based on what research?

Baker’s admission is a direct indictment of the CSMAS and its dubious “scientific” procedures, now that we learn the committee has never cared about assessing the policy’s harm to women since its adoption in 2010.    

For organizations representing women across generations like Concerned Women for America, the fact Charlie Baker isn’t catching any heat for his admission, by any ruling political party, is tragic.

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Top SEC football coach delivers reality check about NIL’s impact on recruits

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart sounded the alarm on incoming recruits in the era of name, image and likeness and college athletes getting paid.

Smart, who was at Georgia’s Pro Day to support the former Bulldogs stars who entered the NFL Draft and worked out in front of scouts to increase their stock, told reporters that the incoming crop of talent is looking to cash in on the opportunity of playing sports.

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“It’s a great sell to the kids that will listen to it,” Smart said, via On3 Sports. “There is a lot of them that want to ask about NIL. They don’t want to ask about what your NFL players have done. I think it’s much more important how you develop players than how much NIL you can give them.”

Smart’s remarks came as former Alabama football coach Nick Saban assailed the importance of NIL over the last year. He revealed to ESPN earlier this month that it was a part of the reason why he retired. He said players were asking for “assurances” they were definitely going to play and “How much are you going to pay me?” Saban said the program was intended to build for the players’ futures and possible NFL careers.

“So I’m saying to myself, ‘Maybe this doesn’t work anymore, that the goals and aspirations are just different and that it’s all about how much money can I make as a college player,’” Saban added.

“I’m not saying that’s bad. I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying that’s never been what we were all about, and it’s not why we had success through the years.”

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Saban then talked about NIL in a roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill earlier this week.

“All the things I’ve believed in for all these years – 50 years of coaching – no longer exist in college athletics,” Saban said when asked by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, if the “current chaos” in college sports led to his retirement. “It always was about developing players, always been about helping people be more successful in life.

“My wife even said to me – we have all the recruits over on Sunday with their parents for breakfast. She would always meet with the mothers and talk about how she was going to help impact their sons and how they would be well taken care of. She came to me right before I retired and said, ‘Why are we doing this?’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, ‘All they care about is how much you’re going to pay them. They don’t care about how you’re going to develop them, which is what we’ve always done. So why are you doing this?’

“To me, that was sort of a red alert that we really are creating a circumstance here that is not beneficial to the young people, which is why I always did what I did. My dad did it, I did it. So that’s the reason I always like college athletics more than the NFL because you had the opportunity to develop young people.”

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Saban also lamented the lack of competitive balance in the sport.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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Hunter Biden’s former business partner pitches perfect idea to see who is telling the truth

Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, has criticized the president’s son for “running away” from the American people after he declined to appear for a congressional hearing next week.

Hunter Biden declined an invite from Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., to attend the House Oversight Committee hearing on March 20, when committee members of both parties will get a chance to ask about alleged influence peddling and the Biden family’s business dealings, his lawyer said in a letter Wednesday.

“One week from today – on Wednesday, March 20 – I will testify publicly before the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability,” Bobulinski responded in a statement to Fox News Digital. “I was disappointed to see the news today that Hunter is running away from his chance to tell the American people the truth. He’s been adamant in wanting to go before the American people, and Oversight is now giving him that opportunity.”

Bobulinski added: “Now is the time to step up, Hunter, as you have said you want to do. Don’t cower in the face of accountability and in this fight for truth and democracy!”

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Bobulinski previously testified that President Biden “enabled” Hunter to sell access to America’s “most dangerous adversaries,” including China and Russia. 

In his statement, Biden’s former business partner called for “truth and transparency” to prevail.

“Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, along with countless members of Congress, keep claiming that they are ‘fighting for our Democracy.’ Why don’t we as a nation agree to fight for the truth!” Bobulinski said. “Nearly three-quarters of the American people believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and I can’t blame them. Truth and transparency would help expose the rot at the center of our political system and begin to fix what ails us.”

“I am excited and happy to have the opportunity to once again share the facts with the American people. I am deeply committed to getting the full truth before the nation,” he said, calling for the witnesses in the hearing, including himself, to be subject to a polygraph with “real time results to be viewed by the American people.”

HUNTER BIDEN REFUSES TO ATTEND HOUSE HEARING WITH FORMER BUSINESS ASSOCIATES

“What better way to ensure that the truth is being told by every witness, including Joe, Hunter and Jim Biden in any future potential hearings?” he asked.

Bobulinski also openly offered to appear before the committee for an additional hearing whenever it is convenient for Hunter Biden.

“If by chance March 20th really doesn’t work due to your multiple criminal indictments, please name the date and time and I will be happy to join you at a second hearing for the American people,” he wrote. 

In addition to Hunter Biden and Bobulinski, the House Oversight Committee invited Devon Archer and Jason Galanis to testify at the 10 a.m. hearing on March 20.

On Wednesday, Biden attorney Abbe Lowell criticized the hearing as a “carnival side show.” 

“To begin, even if that hearing was a legitimate exercise of congressional authority, neither Mr. Biden nor I can attend because of a court hearing the very next day in California,” Lowell said in a letter sent to Comer. “The scheduling conflict is the least of the issues, however.”

“Your blatant planned-for-media event is not a proper proceeding but an obvious attempt to throw a Hail Mary pass after the game has ended,” Lowell wrote. 

“Mr. Biden declines your invitation to this carnival side show,” the attorney concluded.

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Comer responded Wednesday, saying his committee has “called Hunter Biden’s bluff.” 

“Hunter Biden for months stated he wanted a public hearing, but now that one has been offered alongside his business associates that he worked with for years, he is refusing to come,” Comer said.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Parents break silence after 7-year-old daughter dies in sand hole collapse on beach

Sloan Mattingly, the 7-year-old Indiana girl who died on a South Florida beach last month after a sand hole caved in on her and her brother, was remembered as a “beam of light” by her parents, who discussed the “chaos and horror” that unfolded on the family vacation during a Thursday interview.

Jason and Therese Mattingly appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to warn families of the potential dangers of digging deep holes in the sand, describing the tragedy as a “blur.”

“In my mind, I had her in my hands, but the weight of the sand was too much,” Jason said, adding that it all “happened so fast.”

“It didn’t matter that we were literally right there,” Therese said. “It was just a hole and then there’s nothing. And then it just became chaos and horror.”

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Sloan was digging a 5- to 6-feet deep hole with her 9-year-old brother, Maddox, in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, while on vacation with their family, when the sand hole suddenly caved in. Sloan was buried alive in the sand while Maddox was covered nearly up to his neck.

Dramatic video posted online showed several beachgoers frantically trying to dig through the sand and reach Sloan. They were trying to hold on to the walls of the hole, so it would not collapse further. The fire department said it used support boards to keep more sand from collapsing in as they used shovels to dig the children out.

The family told the news outlet that it took about 20 minutes to fully dig the children out of the hole.

Sloan was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital, while Maddox survived the ordeal. 

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The Mattinglys said they want Sloan to be remembered as a “beam of light, joy” who “just lived life.”

“She would come out in the morning and fist pump right out of bed,” Jason said. “She’d always be just so happy.”

Experts say that deep sand holes are dangerous because if they cave in, the sand becomes compact, trapping anyone caught in the collapse under a tremendous weight that can deprive them of oxygen.

The Mattinglys said that they do not blame anyone for the tragedy, thanking the witnesses who raced to help dig out the children, the first responders and the hospital. Therese also wanted to apologize to those who witnessed what she described as the “pure horror” of that day.

The family now hopes that Sloan’s story can help save other families from similar tragedies.

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“If we can do anything to save another family from going through this,” Jason told the outlet, “whether that’s signage, beach patrol, and strangers, if you see something that’s dangerous, take the courage and say something.”

Fox News’ Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.

Attorney warns what could be the result of judge pulling DA Willis from Trump case

Federal criminal defense attorney Caroline Polisi said on Wednesday Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis’ prosecution of former President Trump could be the “death knell” if she is removed from the case.

While speaking to MSNBC anchor Ana Cabrera, the attorney acknowledged that the case would still be ongoing if Willis was disqualified from it by Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee because of her alleged affair with Nathan Wade, a prosecutor she hired for the case. However, she predicted that it could lose all momentum once it was reassigned to another governing body.

Polisi made the claim as Willis’ Georgia election interference case was hit by another string of setbacks, with McAfee throwing out six counts against Trump

McAfee said in an order Wednesday that the state failed to allege sufficient detail for six counts of “solicitation of violation of oath by public officer.”

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Cabrera prompted Polisi, wondering if this news would have any influence or connection to McAfee’s potential decision barring Willis from the case for the inappropriate relationship she had allegedly had with Wade.

The host stated, “I just wonder if [McAfee] would go there. If he would dismiss charges if he’s planning to throw out the case or remove it from Fani Willis altogether as we await that decision over the question about whether there was misconduct with her relationship with Nathan Wade.”

Polisi replied by clarifying that both the judge tossing the charges and Willis’ alleged misconduct are completely separate and will be dealt with accordingly. She also noted that the case wouldn’t be kaput just because it was reassigned from Willis.

“It shouldn’t have anything to do with it,” the attorney told Cabrera, adding, “These are completely distinct legal issues, and certainly his decision on the disqualification, as we all know, does not kill the case in and of itself. He wouldn’t dismiss the indictment. It would just be reassigned to sort of a governing body in Georgia to then be reassigned.”

However, she noted this transfer could derail the case against Trump altogether, saying, “I myself feel, and many other people feel that that would, in effect, essentially be the death knell for this case because, uh, you know, another time when Fani Willis was, um, removed from a case for ­– in this very case – for a conflict of interest, that case is still languishing at that body.”

NATHAN WADE’S PHONE DATA SHOWS HE MADE MIDNIGHT TRIPS TO FANI WILLIS’ CONDO BEFORE HE WAS HIRED: ATTORNEY

As NBC News reported at the time, Willis was disqualified in 2022 from prosecuting a Republican state senator who was running for lieutenant governor for conspiring to flip the 2020 election results as a “fake elector” because she had hosted a fundraiser for his Democratic opponent.

Polisi told Cabrera that that case “hasn’t been reassigned yet.” Citing that as an example of what could happen with Willis’ case against Trump, she added, “I don’t know that there are many other prosecutors in the state of Georgia that would want to take on this case, that have the resources, the expertise.” 

She added, “And so, this, you know, could be sort of death by a thousand cuts for this case.”

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