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Restaurant groups file suit against California foie gras ban

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Days after a foie gras ban came into force in California, a Los Angeles restaurant group and others have filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the bill outlawing the controversial gastronomic delicacy.

Hot’s Restaurant Group, Canada’s Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Quebec and New York-based producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras claim the ban is “unconstitutional, vague and interferes with federal commerce laws.”

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California lawmakers agreed the ban in 2004, but gave the western US state’s only foie gras producer seven and a half years to comply before it came into effect on July 1 this year.

Restaurants serving the gourmet item — made from force-feeding ducks or geese — can be fined up to $1,000.

But the legal challenge claims the 2004 law is unclear in defining what constitutes force-feeding, said attorney Michael Tenenbaum, who filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles this week.

“The Bird Feeding Law does not provide any intelligible measure — such as weight, volume, or caloric value — by which those involved in the feeding of the ducks … may determine at what point a duck has been fed ‘more food’ than the statute allows,” says the lawsuit, cited by the Los Angeles Times.

Tenenbaum said he is seeking a preliminary injunction to halt the law until the lawsuit — which cites California governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris — goes to trial.

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In the run-up to the July 1 ban, some of the Golden State’s top chefs including Thomas Keller, the only US chef with two three Michelin-starred restaurants, redoubled efforts to persuade lawmakers to overturn the ban.

Calling themselves the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards (CHEFS), they have staged a series of foie gras-rich evenings to raise money for the cause.

But John Burton, the former California legislator who drafted the law, dismissed their calls, likening the tradition of foie gras to waterboarding and female genital mutilation.

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“I’d like to sit all 100 of them down and have duck and goose fat — better yet, dry oatmeal — shoved down their throats over and over and over again,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle in April.


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After getting scorched by Pelosi, Sinclair reporter James Rosen suggests she’s lying about her religion

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James Rosen of Sinclair Broadcasting suggested on Thursday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was lying when she said she does not hate people because her Catholic faith teaches her not to.

Rosen caught the Speaker's wrath at her weekly press conference, when he shouted a question about her "hating" President Donald Trump.

Pelosi responded by coming back to the podium and dressing down Rosen. She noted that Catholics are taught not to hate.

Later, the Sinclair reporter showed up at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) weekly press conference.

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Trumpland’s simmering anger at George Conway finally erupts into a bitter public feud

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George Conway, husband of senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, has been a known vocal critic of the Trump administration for a large portion of Donald Trump's presidency, and his anti-Trump Twitter rants were mostly ignored from within the White House. Now, his clear ideological conflict with his wife and her boss seems to finally be boiling over as a Trump official surprised observers by pushing back against his comments.

In a tweet this Wednesday, Trump's 2020 campaign manager took a shot at Conway for promoting an anti-Trump book.

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Mitch McConnell may let Republicans write Senate impeachment rules without Democratic votes

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is plotting to shut out Democrats on impeachment if a bipartisan compromise on rules for the trial can't be reached.

The Kentucky Republican said this week that he hopes to reach an agreement on rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but he's also readying a "backup plan" in case he can't reach an agreement with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, reported Vanity Fair.

“The first thing Sen. Schumer and I will do is see if there’s a possibility of agreement on a procedure,” McConnell said. “That failing, I would probably come back to my own members and say, ‘Okay, can 51 of us agree how we’re going to handle this?’”

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