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Talking to a Man Named Mr. Cotton About Slavery and Confederate Monuments

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In this week’s Race/Related newsletter: A writer explores the nation’s divide over its Civil War past. He finds that some Confederate monuments cannot be moved.

John Eligon

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A bust of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader, at the Old Live Oak Cemetery in Selma, Ala. Many figures of the Confederacy are buried there.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

VICKSBURG, Miss. — Slavery, Gordon Cotton explains, “did some good for some people.”

A white retired journalist, Mr. Cotton is propped on a stool in his cluttered kitchen, holding court before me and another black reporter. We showed up unannounced at his home just off a dirt road in a heavily wooded area on the outskirts of this city in the Deep South.

His great-great-grandmother owned about 30 slaves and “she provided nice little homes for them,” he says. “She provided clothing and food and medical care. She had one who made baskets, and she always bought his baskets.”

However society feels about slavery now, Mr. Cotton says, he won’t let it diminish his admiration for ancestors like his great-great-grandmother or spiritual forebears like Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president whom Mr. Cotton, 82, calls his hero.

“Looking back 150, 200 years ago, it was a way of life,” he says. “It may not have been right, but it was the way of life at the time.”

Gordon Cotton in his home in Vicksburg, Miss.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

That personal connection to, and quick empathy for, the Old South has shaped Mr. Cotton’s view that Confederate monuments belong in the public square; that the Davises and Robert E. Lees of the world deserve to be honored, not shamed.

That belief, of course, is the source of a fierce debate, one that reached a violent climax a year ago when white supremacists, rallying against a proposal to remove a statue of General Lee from a public park in Charlottesville, Va., clashed with counterdemonstrators. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd.

The ugly episode aggravated the country’s frayed racial dynamic — even more so after President Trump equated the counterprotesters with the white supremacists by blaming “many sides” for the violence.

A year later, public debate over Confederate iconography has quieted down. But have feelings really evolved? Are we any closer as a country to coming to terms with how to confront our shameful history, or are we quietly hurtling toward another eruption of violence?

A slave auction block in Fredericksburg, Va.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

I recently traveled through the South with Trymaine Lee, an NBC correspondent. Our trip took us through Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama.

We found that the legacy of the Confederacy has become so embedded in daily life that it will take more than the removal of a statue here, or a plaque there, to address it. That it has become too easy to look past the atrocities that occurred on the serene plantations where you take prom pictures, or walks with your family amid stone sculptures and bright flowers.

What’s left is a complicated calculus when it comes to finding common ground on the monument debate.

In some cases, the structures are simply too massive to remove — take the 351-foot obelisk honoring Jefferson Davis in his birthplace of Fairview, Ky. In others, as in Alabama, a law has been established to prohibit the removal of Confederate monuments.

The Jefferson Davis monument in Fairview, Ky.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times
The view from atop the Jefferson Davis monument.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

But in many instances, Confederate memorials are not physical. They are better understood as emotional, spiritual and familial connections.

Mr. Cotton is a historian whose ancestors owned slaves and fought for the Confederacy. His house is decorated like a shrine to the rebellion. He has Confederate flags and Treasury notes alongside portraits of Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader. He also has racist iconography amid the clutter: a book of sheet music titled “Pickaninny Rag” with a caricature of a black boy on the cover; a CD of a white comedian who performs in blackface.

As we sit down for the interview, we ask him to spell his name. “C-O-T-T-O-N,” he says, then adds, matter-of-factly, “Cotton, just like you pick.”

Mr. Cotton lives near Brierfield, Jefferson Davis’s former estate. He also went to a school named for the Confederacy’s only president. Like many pro-Confederates in the South, Mr. Cotton plays down the role of slavery in the Civil War. He believes it had more to do with the North trying to control, and eventually invade, the South than anything else.

“He’s one of my heroes, and nobody will ever take that away from me,” he says of Davis. “You can take his statues down if you want to. They can destroy what they can, but they’ll never destroy the legend of the man.”

Jeff Stokes of Elkton, Ky. shows a photo his family on the Confederate side at a Civil War re-enactment.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

For Mr. Cotton and other Davis supporters, much of that legend was built on what Davis did before he became the president of the Confederacy. They see him as a heroic West Point graduate who served in the Mexican-American War, and as a United States senator representing Mississippi.

What they don’t highlight are his beliefs about slavery. Davis thought that the institution should be expanded and that black people were an inferior race. These white supremacist beliefs continued to shape American society long after the Civil War was over and efforts to integrate freed slaves gave way to an era of racially motivated killings.

That violence touched a generation of Southerners for whom the legacy of the Confederacy is also poignant, only for reasons very different from pro-Confederates like Mr. Cotton.

As Susie Jones browses an exhibit at the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Ala., she stops in her tracks when she comes across a name etched onto a gray wall: Milton Russell.

“This is my daddy’s cousin,” she says.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which commemorates the victims of lynching, in Montgomery, Ala.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

Mr. Russell was one of several dozen people who died from racially motivated violence to be honored in the exhibit, put together by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was killed on Jan. 21, 1956, in an arson attack at his home in Belzoni, Miss.

The exhibit featured another person from Belzoni who was killed: the Rev. George Lee, murdered on May 7, 1955, for registering black voters.

“Reverend Lee used to be my neighbor,” Ms. Jones, who is black, adds.

He lived across the street and owned a store and “kind of took care of all of the black people in the area.”

Ms. Jones, 66, now lives in Jacksonville, Fla. She is in Montgomery on a trip through the South with her granddaughters, ages 12 and 9. Her goal is to teach them about their African-American heritage, plenty of which can be found in Montgomery: from the bus stop where Rosa Parks boarded for her fateful ride, to the church where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher.

A sculpture at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

But it also is a place steeped in Confederate lore.

The State Capitol features a gold star on its steps marking where Jefferson Davis took his oath of office and a tall column celebrating Confederate soldiers. There is a statue of Davis nearby, next to one of James Marion Sims, the “father of modern gynecology” who experimented on enslaved women without using anesthesia.

“It’s a reminder of hatred and all the wrongdoings that’s been done against African-Americans,” Ms. Jones says of Confederate symbols. “I do believe they have a right to their history, but not at the sake of ours. If you’re going to write part of the story, write the whole story. Tell what you did.”

Trymaine Lee, left, a correspondent for MSNBC, and John Eligon, a correspondent for The Times, in Fredericksburg, Va. They recently traveled through the South to explore the roots of the nation’s divide over its Civil War past.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

For many black people, Confederate symbols often read like Do Not Enter signs. We felt this in the pits of our stomachs as we rolled up to Mr. Cotton’s home and were greeted by two cars with Confederate flags on the bumpers. The angst quickly subsided when Mr. Cotton, referred to us by a local resident, appeared from behind a green door and welcomed us into his home.

Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, if you live in the South, Confederate symbols come with the territory. You can barely walk without stubbing your toe on one.

My first two hotels were on thoroughfares named for Davis. Trymaine and I stayed at Anchuca, a bed-and-breakfast in Vicksburg, where Davis’s older brother Joseph once lived. Jefferson Davis State Park, at the obelisk site in Fairview, is one of the nicest places to have a cookout in the area, and indeed black people visit regularly.

Kitty Calhoun, who is white and a partner at a restaurant in Hopkinsville, Ky., says that she appreciates monuments like the obelisk for their artistic beauty, not their negative symbolism.

Kitty Calhoun, a descendant of the seventh vice president, John C. Calhoun, at her restaurant in Hopkinsville, Ky.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

“I don’t try to think about the representation,” says Ms. Calhoun, 68. Rather, she adds, it is “the history that’s behind it, as far as it being there, how long it’s been there, is more what I’m into.”

But ignoring the misdeeds of Confederate leaders — seeing Jefferson Davis the statesman without seeing Jefferson Davis the slave owner — is not a luxury available to black people.

At the same time, the pride that descendants of the Confederacy have in their ancestors is very real and isn’t going to go away any time soon.

“We have to understand him from a very broad perspective,” Bertram Hayes-Davis says of his great-great-grandfather, Jefferson Davis.

A book containing the United States Constitution, signed by Jefferson Davis, in his home in Vicksburg, Miss.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times
Bertram Hayes-Davis, a descendant of Jefferson Davis, and the president of the Jefferson Davis Foundation.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

Mr. Hayes-Davis, 69, is a living, breathing monument to his great-great-grandfather. When I met him at his home in Vicksburg, he was loose and inviting. He sometimes nestles into a chair once owned by Davis while channeling his great-great-grandfather’s thoughts on uniting the country after the war. He keeps a well-worn book of the United States Constitution signed by Davis in a glass-encased bookshelf and a letter written by Davis over the fireplace mantel.

Mr. Hayes-Davis, who grew up in Colorado, knows full well the admiration that his name draws among certain communities in the South. But in a strange way, he may also be the conduit that we need to bridge the divide on Confederate monuments.

Mr. Hayes-Davis’s life’s mission is to prevent people — whether pro- or anti-Confederate — from reducing his great-great-grandfather’s legacy to his time as president of the Confederacy. He believes that racists have hijacked Confederate symbols in an effort to deepen the country’s racial divide.

The Vicksburg National Military Park, which preserves the site of the Battle of Vicksburg.CreditToya Sarno Jordan for The New York Times

While he says that people who support the removal of monuments are often misguided, Mr. Hayes-Davis also agrees that, if a statue offends someone, it should be moved to a private area where it could be used for teaching.

He is unafraid to point out Davis’s flaws — “Was he a white supremacist? Yes he was,” Mr. Hayes-Davis says, always adding that he was so much more.

Mr. Hayes-Davis’s moderated stance has put him at odds with staunch Confederate groups. Some of them, he says, cling to the past so tightly that they are willing to deny certain realities about the Confederacy and the war.

“They’re holding on to that one small piece of history,” he says. “Their ancestor’s legacy as a soldier in the Confederate States of America.”

Susan Beachy contributed research.

John Eligon covers race for The Times. He speaks three languages fluently: English, German and Trinidadian slang. Watch the video of his journey through the South below and follow him on Twitter: @jeligon.



It has happened over and over again this summer: White people calling the police on black people who are doing nothing wrong. But what happens when white people intervene to try to stop such discriminatory behavior?

Watch our live chat with Michelle Snider, the white woman behind the viral #BBQBecky video, and Debbie Irving, the author of “Waking Up White.” And be sure to join our live conversations every week at 9 p.m. Eastern on Wednesdays as we examine topics related to race and culture on The Times’s Facebook page.

If you have experienced, witnessed or read about a hate crime or incident of bias or harassment, you can use this form to send information about the incident to Race/Related and other partners in the Documenting Hate project.

With New Urgency, Museums Cultivate Curators of Color

Hoping to reflect a broader range of visitors, museums are diversifying their staffs, welcoming a more inclusive generation of future leaders.

Is It Southern Food, or Soul Food?

Two Southern cooks chew on questions of culture, identity and cuisine.

Black, Gay and Becoming Visible

In Darnell L. Moore’s memoir, “No Ashes in the Fire,” he describes a brutal childhood in Camden, N.J., and the struggle to fully accept his identity.

Revealing the Lives of Black Fathers

Robyn Price Pierre looked to her family, classmates and friends to create personal photos exploring black fatherhood.


For more coverage of race, see our archive and sign up here to have our Race/Related newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.

Correction: 

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article and an earlier version of a picture caption misidentified the book kept by Bertram Hayes-Davis. The book was of the United States Constitution, not the Confederate Constitution.

John Eligon is a Kansas City-based national correspondent covering race. He previously worked as a reporter in Sports and Metro, and his work has taken him to Nelson Mandela’s funeral in South Africa and the Winter Olympics in Turin.

  @jeligon

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A12 of the New York edition with the headline: Touring the Deep South, Where the Confederacy Is Set in Stone. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe





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Lifestyle

15 FAQ’s About Las Vegas Vacations

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las vegas strip

People travelling to Las Vegas for the first time, or return visitors, can be a bit overwhelmed with all that Las Vegas and its surrounding areas have to offer. So many questions arise as to where to get cheap hotels in Vegas, what age are you allowed to drink, what’s the weather like in Vegas, what should I pack, what hotels accept pets, how can I see Vegas on a budget, how much does a limousine cost from the airport.

Unfortunately it can be difficult to find all the answers to these questions in one place.

Q. How much does it cost to rent a limousine from McCarran airport?

A. Las Vegas Limousines have some great rates for travellers who want to experience a limousine for a very cheap rate. They can be contacted at (702) 7361419. Their current rates are $4.50 each person one way to Strip hotels and $6.00 for each person travelling downtown one way.

Q. What is the average temperature in Las Vegas?

A. Las Vegas has 320 days, on average, sunshine, every single year and an incredibly low 4.19 inches or rainfall. The temperature in January ranges from 56F(13C) to 33F(1C) and in July between 75F(24C) and 105F(41C).

Q. Is there a number I can call to find out Nevada road conditions?

A. There is a toll free number to call – 18776876237. You can also go to the website. To check California road conditions call 1-800-427-7623 or 916-445-7623.

Q. How old must you be to gamble?

A. 21 years of age.

Q. Can I use my cell phone when I am gambling?

A. Cell phones are not permitted when you are live gambling – like roulette, craps, blackjack, etc. There are no exceptions to this rule and you will be told quite firmly by casino staff to turn off your phone.

Q. How can I find out if my hotel offers a shuttle service from the airport?

A. Visit Here. Where can I find out information about Hoover Dam?

A. You can get maps and driving instructions at this website.

Q. Obviously I want to do a bit of gambling while I’m in Vegas and hopefully not lose all my money. Is there anywhere I can go to to learn some gambling strategies before I go?

A. Look at these websites:

http://www.blackjack-strategies.biz

http://www.casino-rules.biz

http://www.online-gambling-tips.biz

http://www.www.blackjack.md

http://www.texas-hold-em-tips.biz

http://www.texas-hold-em-poker-rules.biz

http://www.best-online-poker.us

Q. Is there a way of finding out what my taxi rate should be from the McCarran airport?

A. There should is. Visit http://taxi.state.nv.us/FaresFees.htmQ. Where can I get the best rewards on my slot card?

A. One way is by going to Harrahs and registering for their player card as their slot card is good there and also Flamingo, Ballys, Paris, Rio, Caesars and other casinos outside of Nevada. Another way is by going to MGM/Mirage and joining their players club as their slot card is good also at Luxor, Excalibur, New York New York, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, Mirage, TIArticle Search, Circus Circus and also other ones in Nevada.

Q. Are there any interactive maps of Las Vegas?

A. Yes. Visit here to see interactive maps.

Q. Where can I find the current temperatures in Vegas in real time?

A. Visit here to find temperatures in Vegas. Where can I find out what is happening in Las Vegas this week?

A. Go here

Q. Where can I find some pictures of the Las Vegas Strip all in one place?

A. Visit Here

Q. How can I find out what shows and headliners are going to be in Las Vegas when I’m there?

A. Visit Here

Also Read: 5 ATTRACTIONS YOU MUST SEE IN LAS VEGAS

Also Read: Must See Attractions On The Las Vegas Strip

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Lifestyle

Things Caregivers Need To Know About Seniors With Dementia

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Seniors With Dementia

People living with dementia are the only ones who really understand what it’s like to live with their form of the disease, whether it’s Alzheimer’s or another type such as frontotemporal (FTD) or Lewy body (LBD).

Sadly, the ability to communicate becomes compromised by dementia. That being said, care partners can, if we take the time to search out the meaning behind their words or actions, continue to improve the care provided. Here are some tips that can help you.

Senior Caregivers Near Me

alzheimer's

I can read your body language and tone of voice

I may not always understand the meaning of your words, but I know what you are saying. I can read your jerky body language, the impatient tone of your voice, and your irritated facial expressions. Although you may tell me nice things, your words are hard to believe when your body and voice indicate that you are annoyed, angry, or resentful.

I think you’re stealing

I can’t find something that I’m sure I placed in a certain spot. I may have moved it myself, but I don’t remember. All I know is that I can’t find what I want, so my mind tells me someone must have taken it. That someone is probably the person who is with me the most. I accuse you of stealing because I don’t understand why whatever I want is not where I think it will be. I need you to understand that this is the disease, not me, so please forgive me for causing you so much pain.

Don’t talk too fast but don’t treat me like a child

If you can slow down your speech and use simpler sentences I’ll be better able to understand what you are telling me. I’m asking you to not overdo this, though, by talking to me like I’m a child. That’s worse than having you talk too fast. Just slow down a little bit and try to simplify sentence structure so that I don’t need to keep more than one thought in mind at a time. I still won’t understand all of your words but this will help me a lot.

Your tone of voice upsets me

You’ve been arguing with your sister about politics, so I think that you’re mad. If you’re mad, you might be mad at me and that scares me because I depend on you. I know that this back and forth is something that you’ve always enjoyed, and I used to jump right in, but now the tone of voice sounds angry and I become afraid. Please remember that if I’m sitting with you I need to keep things a bit more relaxed. Voices that sound angry or even impatient, whether or not they are, can upset me.

I hurt but can’t tell you where or why so I act out

If I’m upset, or what they call aggressive, remember how bad my arthritis was even 10 years ago. Just because I can’t tell you where I hurt, or even why doesn’t mean that my pain has stopped. Sometimes the only thing I can do is what they call “act out,” which is a term I hate, by the way. I’m trying to tell you in the only way that I can that I hurt. Please try to help by ignoring my bad behavior while you try to determine how to address my pain.

My fingers need to do something because that calms me down

I’m not trying to be difficult when I take the tissue box and pull out all the tissues. When I sit and tear up those tissues I’m doing what I need to do. It’s something that I can’t help. Some people call this fidgeting, but I think that I’m trying to use my tools, or maybe I just need to get rid of energy. If they need to label this as a “behavior,” well, I don’t like that but I can live with it. However if you can just give me something to keep my fingers busy I won’t be so destructive.

I’m frightened because nothing is familiar

I might even be in the same home where nothing has changed for decades because you are so wonderful that you keep things the same for me. Still, nothing seems familiar. Then, I might even ask you to take me home. I might seem upset for no reason and lash out at you when you try to help. I might cry. Please be patient. As with other difficult “behaviors,” which, again, is another term I really don’t like, I can’t help it. I’m trying. Really, I am. Please help me feel safe and then I can calm down.

You won’t understand my world but you can try

My world is my truth. If you try to understand the feelings behind my words and actions both of us will have an easier time. This is called validation. Why wouldn’t I want people to validate my feelings? Don’t you want that, too? I’m really not so different from you. It’s just that I can’t explain things clearly anymore. If you really listen to me, and watch my own body language, you’ll be better able to help me. Helping me helps us both have a better day.

You are wonderful and I love you

Please understand that I know that you are trying your best. Taking care of someone like me is very hard. Even if I can’t remember your name or that you are my wife or brother or friend, I still love you to the end of the earth. I know that I’m so fortunate to have you and I appreciate what you have done and what you are doing now. I give you a hard time because I can’t help it. Again, it’s the disease, not me. You are my world and I love you even if the word I say is hate.

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Building an Inexpensive And (Probably) Effective AR-15

Tom Brown

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Bing! A text message came through on my phone. “Dude, is this a good deal?”

I looked at the incoming photo – it was a screenshot from a local armory’s sales mailing list. It was one I knew well; the mailer also shows up in my inbox on a frequent basis. This particular photo showed a bargain that would have been inconceivable a year and a half ago. A complete flat top M4-pattern AR-15, sans lower receiver, rear sight, and magazine(s) for $299.99 – with free shipping. The kit included:

  • a completely assembled upper receiver (with 16” M4-pattern 1/7 twist barrel, fixed tower front sight with bayonet lug)
  • charging handle
  • full-auto bolt carrier group
  • complete lower parts kit
  • buffer tube
  • collapsible stock

For three hundred bucks.

To his door.

Heck yeah, it was a good deal for a first-time AR guy.

Before we get started: for those of you looking for high-quality AR15 kits and 80% lowers at great prices, make sure to visit Thunder Tactical today and check out their amazing range of parts, kits, and accessories.

A Closer Look

Before long, my research turned up a local dealer who had stripped lower receivers for $48 each. I had a spare flip-up rear sight I loaned him until he could find a suitable replacement. All added up, my buddy had a brand-new M4 for a shade over $350.00, with added sales tax. Factor in the $50 for a flip-up rear sight, and he’ll have a perfectly serviceable AR-15 for roughly $400.

Now, said buddy falls firmly into the “just wanted an AR to have one” category. Granted, he may shoot some coyotes with it, but mostly, this particular rifle will probably mostly be a range toy; something to dig out and show buddies, maybe blow off rounds at the sandpit. For these reasons, I felt 100% comfortable green-lighting the project for him; it was perfect for what he wanted to do. The suppliers are also often maligned by AR snobs looking down their noses. But these budget offerings are perfect for what my buddy will realistically end up doing with his AR.

My question was: how would an AR-15, pieced together at absolutely-rock-bottom-AR-market-glut prices stand up in the accuracy, reliability, and usefulness departments?

The “Peak AR” Phenomenon

“Peak AR” is a play on words referring to the concept of Peak Oil, in which the oil production capacity of the global community reaches its maximum production capacity, at which time demand and consequent production drop (or almost stop) due to maximum supply and minimal demand. It applies well to the AR gun community.

As of right now, we have got to be close to Peak AR. After the tragic 2012 Newtown school shooting, many feared high-capacity firearms were soon to be outlawed. The gun world, needless to say, started snapping up anything AR related. I remember being in the middle of an AR-15 build at that time, and suddenly all the parts I’d planned and budgeted for simply vanished, or had prices gouged out of proportion. Everyone wanted some, and manufacturers who would never have considered building an AR jumped on board the train and started cranking out AR-platform rifles to meet the onrush of demand and cash in on the phenomenon.

It didn’t help when it looked like Hillary Clinton would become president in 2016. Again, everyone feared outright gun bans, so people who already had one or two ARs bought some more, possibly to bury or plan to sell at a profit later. AR output was cranked up even more. Fast forward to mid-2018. Trump is in office, there is no severe danger of another firearms ban in the next year. Nobody is really buying ARs, since everyone who could already has two or three.

On The Question Of Demand

Demand has crashed. Anyone who makes AR-15s is trying to get rid of overstock. Prices have fallen on almost everything AR-related. It’s a magical time, and we’re at or close to Peak AR. Even after a couple of “scares”, there will probably be no better time to build an AR platform rifle than right now, if you’ve ever wanted to.

As Cheap As It Gets?

When the rifle kit arrived on his door, my buddy wasted no time getting the lower and hoofing the parts to my door for assembly. We brought the kit down to my man-cave, put on some tunes, and I proceeded to school him on the ways of the AR lower assembly.

Yes, he launched some detents – I fortunately had spares. I got to show him the workings of the AR, describe differences between entry-level kit parts and higher-end parts I had on a couple of my rifles, and discuss which upgrades were useful and not over-the top-outright wastes of money. I had an STR stock and single-point sling adapter kicking around, and we threw them on while we were there. We had a great time, and he was positively thrilled with the end product and total experience. His words, “I never thought it would be so easy!”

And really, building AR-15 lowers is extremely easy if you have the right tools and pay attention to detail. These lower parts kits are a great way for the beginner to get started in the AR-15 build world for not much money. They can also use the rifle as a baseline to figure out what improvements to make.

That Whole “Reliability” Thing

But will a less expensive gun fail before a more expensive gun? Aye, there’s the rub. It’s nothing you can answer definitively “yes” or “no” based on a sum of a gun’s parts. You have to remember that (let’s be honest here) almost nobody running one of these guns in any scenario will: A) have it on a full-auto lower with a giant pile of pre-loaded mags kicking around, and B) run through those magazines as fast as you can on rock ‘n’ roll, using it like a belt-fed squad-level machine gun. The vast majority of people purchasing a kit may perform crowd-pleasing semi-auto mag dumps or even play with a bumpfire stock at a sandpit – but on a whole, these guns will usually be serving up semi-rapid, occasionally aimed fire then (hopefully) cleaned and maintained. Under these conditions, a PSA AR-15 will last much, much longer than just 440 rounds – you should easily see many thousands of rounds through a carbine before you need to start replacing or upgrading stuff.

Even hypothetically using an AR-15 to defend a hypothetical bug-out location in a hypothetical post-apocalyptic event where one may indeed have a bunch of hypothetical mags ready to go for defending against a hypothetical threat: if you shoot so rapidly and so often that your gun cooks itself to death, you better have a priest behind you handing you a spare rifle along with your last rites, because something definitely went wrong with the plan somewhere. Even Rick Grimes didn’t rip through 440 rounds attacking a Saviors outpost, so you’re probably theoretically in good shape regarding your inexpensive AR’s round count lifespan.

Putting ‘em Where They Count

Non-mechanical disaster struck when my buddy brought his new AR to the range. Being along in years far enough that his eyes have decided to stage focus mutinies, my buddy found that his shiny new AR’s iron sights were just a big blurry mess. He ran a few rounds through it, then went home after ensuring it functioned. We started chatting about solutions the next day.

He obviously needed an optic. Fortunately, he had a spare 3x-9x hunting scope kicking around, so he wanted to install that on the rifle. He was starting to consider hunting with the rifle, so he was pretty enthusiastic about the scope idea. We looked at mounting options – he was on a very tight budget – and finally decided on the Nikon P-series two-piece scope rings. He was looking at one-piece bases, but we discerned that the two-piece ring system would offer us more flexibility in mounting this and any other scopes he might want to run in the future. He ordered up the rings next paycheck, and I mounted it all up for him one evening after work. Easy upgrade, made easier by the M4’s flattop railed upper receiver.

Everything was going well until he found a kid selling an AR-oriented el cheapo Chinese fixed 4x scope with an illuminated reticle for $40. The tacti-cool 4x went on as quickly as the previous model could come off, and my buddy admitted he thought it looked cooler…and the glowing reticle helped his failing eyes.

What About The Next Time?

The next time, he was able to slap the trigger and group green-tip ammo into about 4” at 50 yards. He was pretty happy, knowing he wasn’t a great shot and that it was essentially military surplus ammo. I told him the 1/7 rate of twist barrel might not be doing him any favors with the light bullets, either – but the gun performed exactly as he expected at his skill level.

Since I put the rifle together with him, he has had a neighbor of his (who had a surplus of cast-off, no longer used AR-15 parts) upgrade the upper for free to a stainless 1/8 twist chambered barrel with a free-floating rail. He loves it, since it “looks all badass” and it still shoots, well, 4” groups at 50 yards with him behind the trigger. Guess sometimes it ain’t the arrow, it’s the Indian. I was able to get behind the wheel and get groups of about 4” at 100 yards from the bench, gritty trigger and all. Not great for a tuned high-dollar AR-15, but not bad for 350 bucks.

However, after several hundred rounds through the gun, my friend with his current rifle setup has happily reported zero malfunctions with the gun. The inexpensive package has performed well for its cost level, demonstrating itself as a notable starter point for upgrades down the road.

Greater Than the Sum Of Its Parts?

But is sourcing pre-made entry-level AR-15 parts kits worth it? Do they perform to a level reasonably high enough to justify not going out and sourcing high-dollar alternatives? Well…that’s the real question, isn’t it?

From what I’ve seen, I’m going to take a deep breath, clamp my eyes shut, and say…yes. Throw rocks, but for someone just starting out in the AR-15 world, inexpensive kits are a great place to start. And, to do it without going into serious debt. Our subject rifle met all the goals set before it, at a reasonable price. It also continues to perform to its owner’s satisfaction. Staying inside this envelope, kits and those of its ilk are really a pretty good way to go if you’re not expecting a match gun or long-term survival gun. So if you’re just starting out or can only afford to part ways with $400 or less, shrug off what the snobby high-end AR guys will tell you and try a cheaper kit from a reliable supplier. Look for reviews, ask around, and find what works for you. It’s a great way to learn the workings of an AR-15 platform, and they can be upgraded easily.

 

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Four Secret Disney Tips For Your Next Vacation

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There is no more popular vacation destination on earth than Walt Disney World, Florida. Since 1971, the Magic Kingdom has been the foremost tourist attraction, both in America and the world, and with its rides, attractions, characters and events, it’s easy to see why.

But even with all of this popularity, there are things a lot of people don’t know about the park. Secret events, tricks and backdoors into the park to make your experience all the better.

Join us today, as we bring you four Disney World tips to help you make the best of your upcoming vacation.

disney world tips

Discover three pro Disney World tips ahead of your next big vacation.

Disney World Vacation Packages

The Train Station Welcome Show

The Magic Kingdom rewards its citizens for their promptness in one extremely fun way: the early morning Train Station Welcome Show. Introduced in 2017, the park’s daily welcoming ceremony is a great way to set the mood for the fun and magic of the day ahead.

Arrive fifteen minutes ahead of the park’s opening for a cavalcade of all the park’s most treasured characters, welcoming you for the day. There’s singing, dancing, and a beautiful fireworks display. It’s the perfect way to put an official seal on your day, kicking off the magic and getting you in tune with the Disney spirit. Believe us, when you do Disney World, it pays to do it right.

The Kiss Goodnight

Park goers who can’t make the early morning welcome can opt to stay thirty minutes after the park’s closing for the magical Kiss Goodnight. Taking place at the Cinderella Castle, this is an enchanting, thirty minute light display that is a joy to watch. Delight in the changing, choreographed light display, set to When You Wish Upon a Star. This is another one of those must-see attractions that really completes the entire Disney World experience. Remember: this is the Magic Kingdom, and any excuse for more magic is a bonus!  

Free Photos

Disney’s PhotoPass cast members take snapshots with paying park visitors to help them capture the memories. That being said, however, they will also gladly take photos for free with your camera or phone, if you approach them. This is “the happiest place on earth”, after all, so it makes sense.

Simply ask to take a photo with your favourite camera, remember to adjust the settings on your phone or camera, and get ready to make some memories. And while we’re on the topic of photo ops…

Less Crowded Photos

Disney World is a great excuse to take some gorgeous vacation snapshots. And the most popular by far is usually taken in front of Cinderella Castle. But keep in mind that there are many areas of the park that are equally whimsical to take photos at, including the back of Cinderella Castle. Remember to case the campus for good photo opportunities ahead of time and, when faced with the dilemma of waiting twenty minutes for a photo or going exploring, just explore.

And there you have it: four closely guarded Disney World tips to make your next vacation to the Magic Kingdom even more special. For some of the best holiday deals to Disney and other top holiday destinations, visit Rooms101 today and get ready for some serious fun.

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Casas Vacacionales en Orlando, FL Cerca a Disney

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Las casas vacacionales en Orlando son propiedades que les brindan a los huéspedes mayor libertad, independencia y un ambiente más cálido que el que se puede percibir en un hotel. Orlando es una gran ciudad, centro turístico de muchas familias en los Estados Unidos y en el mundo entero ya que dispone de gran variedad de parques temáticos de diversas franquicias, siendo la más famosa el parque temático de la mundialmente famosa franquicia Walt Disney.

Casas Vacacionales en Orlando, FL, un lugar cómodo para una gran aventura

          Orlando, FL, es un destino vacacional al que suelen ir grupos familiares, desde núcleos familiares de 4 a 6 personas, hasta incluso 10, acudiendo padres, hijos, abuelos, etc.… con la mira de disfrutar de sus asombrosos parques temáticos juntos, en especial el parque temático de Disney World, por lo que el tema del alojamiento cobra vital importancia, sobre todo, si este se encuentra cerca dicho parque. Al viajar las familias toman una serie de decisiones importantes, y en los últimos años, las casas vacacionales de Orlando han tomado mucho auge ya que estas brindan mayor comodidad y privacidad, además permiten a quienes las alquilan poder sentirse como en casa, lo que ayuda a reponer las energías y prepararse para el próximo día, un día lleno de acción y diversión en los parques temáticos de Orlando, FL.

           Muchas casas vacacionales en Orlando suelen quedar algo alejadas de los parques temáticos, sin embargo, existen algunas que se encuentran ubicadas estratégicamente a minutos del parque temático de Disney World, el más visitado de todos los de Orlando, FL, de forma que aquellos que logren alquilar o comprar una casa en Orlando, definitivamente debe ser una cerca de Disney.

Visit: Compra De Casas En Orlando

Casas vacacionales en Orlando, FL… ¿Rentable?

        Este tipo de instalaciones para hospedarse durante un viaje a Orlando suelen ser muy cotizadas, en especial si se tratan de viajes de más de una semana ya que así funciona el alquiler de este tipo de propiedades, las mismas realizan alquileres semanales y no diarios como podría hacerse al hospedarse en un hotel, por lo que visto al inicio puede parecer mucho menos rentable, sin embargo, además de los beneficios ya mencionados, cabe destacar que en realidad alquilar una de esas casas suele salir económicamente hablando, mucho mejor a un mediano-largo plazo, ya que al encontrarse en una casa aunque no se dispone del beneficio de desayuno a la habitación, pueden hacerse compras en el mercado y preparar una buena comida casera, que en definitiva, sale mucho más económico.

        Al decidir alquilar una de estas casas para un viaje a Orlando, FL, es importante buscar con mucha antelación cual alquilar y por cuanto tiempo, ya que suelen ser muy cotizadas, al punto que las mismas pueden no estar disponibles para alquilarlas en un año entero.

     Las casas vacacionales en Orlando son sin duda una excelente opción a tomar en cuenta ya que para un viaje largo, entretenido, y agotador, no hay nada mejor que al dormir, la familia pueda sentirse como en casa.

Also Read: Cinco lugares para visitar en Orlando, FL

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Exercise and Bone Health: A Closer Look

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Bone health

Why Is Exercise Important for Bone Health?

Bone health follows the old adage “Use it or lose it”.  Stressing bone through activity and exercise encourages it to increase its calcium content and grow stronger and more dense. A sedentary lifestyle has the opposite effect on bones.  Inactivity causes the bone to lose calcium and get weaker.

What Exercises Are Best for Good Bone Health?

Any exercise is good because all exercise causes the muscles to contract against the bones, which stresses, or stimulates, them.  So-called weightbearing exercises are the best for bone because both muscles and gravity stress the bones.

A few good examples of weightbearing exercises include walking or hiking, running or jogging, aerobics, household chores and yard work, racquet sports, basketball, baseball, cross country and downhill skiing or a ski machine, skating, and weight training.

What Else Is Necessary to Maintain Good Bone Health?

To be strong, bones also need calcium.  Increased calcium produces increased bone density which increases strength.  Adults need 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium daily.  Sources of calcium include dairy products (the best source), green, leafy vegetables, shellfish, sardines, oysters, hazelnuts, almonds and tofu.  Many foods like orange juice, bread and cereal is fortified with calcium.  Calcium may also be added in pills or liquid supplements.

What Is Estrogen’s Role In Bone Formation?

In women, estrogen helps calcium become absorbed into the bones.  After menopause, as estrogen levels lower, calcium losses can increase dramatically and supplements may be considered.

Is Too Much Exercise Harmful?

Yes.  Young, highly competitive athletes are most commonly guilty of overexercising by doing too much too fast and not giving their bones enough time to rest.  It is important to start to exercise gradually and slowly increase the time and intensity of the workout.

Tips For Beginning An Exercise Program

Before starting an exercise program

  • Check with your doctor to make sure that there are no medical problems that may place restrictions on your exercise program.
  • Check with your orthopaedist to make sure that there are no musculoskeletal  problems that may place restrictions on your exercise program.
  • Select an activity that you like.  Experiment with different equipment and activities until you find one you like and that’s suitable to your lifestyle.  Most people stick with an exercise program that they find enjoyable.

For cardiovascular, or aerobic activities, like walking, biking or swimming

  • Warm up for five minutes before activity.
  • Start the activity slowly for the first five minutes.
  • Increase your workout gradually from 5 to 20 minutes.
  • Slowly increase your intensity so that your heart rate increases to 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate (maximum heart rate equals 220 minus your age).
  •  Gradually try to maintain this level of intensity for the entire 20 minute workout at least three days a week

For strength or resistance training using free weights, machines or elastic tubing

  • Begin each exercise with very low weights and minimal repetitions.
  • Slowly increase weight, never adding more than 10% in a given workout.
  • Do these exercises two to three times a week.  Allow for one day between each workout for your bones to rest and restore themselves.
  • Gradually increase the number of repetitions to several sets of 8 to 10 repetitions with a rest period of 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

If you feel tired or ache the day after exercising, you did too much. Decrease the intensity or decrease the duration of your exercise, or both. By slowly building up your exercise program, you will be more likely to stick with it and keep building stronger bones.

Also Read: Forearm Fracture Symptoms for Adults and Children

Also Read: Under the Microscope: Comminuted Fracture Treatment

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10 Attractions You Can’t Miss In Las Vegas

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Las Vegas

This desert oasis is a city that most people already know a decent amount about.  It is one of the biggest epicentres for gambling in the world.  When you get off a plane in Las Vegas airport you are immediately greeted by slot machines.  As you leave the airport you have amazing views of “The Strip”, which is an incredibly long stretch of mega-casino and resorts lit up by glowing neon lights.  The gambling doesn’t stop there as gas stations and even grocery stores feature slot machines (seriously, people hang out and gamble in grocery stores).

Las Vegas has done an excellent job of adding more than just gambling to its offerings.  It attempts to brand itself as the “entertainment capital of the world”, and frankly they are doing a pretty good job of it.  There are musicians that take up permanent residency in Vegas (yes Britney, Backstreet Boys, and maybe Gaga), an incredible variety of shows (Cirque du Soleil to Blue Man Group), world-class dining options, phenomenal golf courses, mountain hikes, endless shopping (high end to outlet malls), pool parties and nightlife, and even a manmade beach and ski-resort.

As you visit Vegas you will be enthralled by everything “Sin City” has to offer.

This list is in no way inclusive of everything you could plan on a Vegas vacation but is designed to include some of the most iconic Las Vegas attractions that are perfect for the first timer, and things that you may not think to explore.

Also, check out these exclusive Las Vegas Timeshare Deals

Top 10 Must do’s in Vegas

1. Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

Taking a picture at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is a rite of passage for vacationers. Whether you are here for a bachelor party, work convention, or just escaping cold winter temperatures this sign on the South end of The Strip is a perfect way to begin your trip. Click through to read the full post!Taking a picture at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign is a rite of passage for vacationers.  Whether you are here for a bachelor party, work convention, or just escaping cold winter temperatures this sign on the South end of The Strip is a perfect way to begin your trip.

2. Visit Foreign Cities

Visit Foreign Cities in Las Vegas! Click through to read the top 10 things to do in Las Vegas!
Photo: Wikipedia

Okay not really, but lots of the casinos are based on a location or theme from somewhere else in the world.  The Paris features its own Eiffel Tower and really is reminiscent of Paris, the Venetian is based on Venice (discussed more below), the Luxor is based on ancient Egypt, Caesar’s Palace is based off classic Rome, the Imperial Palace shouts out to Imperial Japan, and New York New York is pretty self-explanatory. Visiting a casino is not a substitute for seeing these places, but I recommend exploring more than just the one you stay in as it is fun to see what elements from around the world have implemented in Vegas.

3. Freemont Street (Old Vegas)

Fremont street Las Vegas! Freemont Street is where you will find the old school Vegas casinos like the 4 Queens and Golden Nugget (featuring a water slide through a shark tank). Even though it is old, it is not run down or left behind.

Freemont Street runs straight through most of the big classic casinos, and is a perfect spot to get a drink from an outdoor bar, see some of the most unique street performers in the world, experience free live music, as well as have strippers attempt to pull you in to see their shows (seriously, be careful).

4. Bellagio Fountain and Gardens

Bellagio Fountains and Gardens in Las Vegas! See the top 10 things to do in Las Vegas on avenlylanetravel.com

Even though each resort has fantastic things to see, the water show and botanical gardens at the Bellagio cannot be missed.  The 8-acre man-made lake features a dancing water fountain show choreographed to music.  The show is different every 15 minutes, and the results truly are beautiful.  This is the spot that was glorified in Oceans 11 (Brad Pitt and George Clooney could make anything glorious).

The gardens in the lobby are exquisitely decorated and maintained for each season with some of the unique plants and flowers in the world.  Even as a local I make a point to go down each year to see the gardens decorated with a Christmas theme.

5. Gondola Ride at the Venetian

Gondola ride at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas! The sky in this picture really is painted on, and it does look that amazing in person.

The Venetian is a luxury resort based off of Venice Italy.  My favorite part of the Venetian is that they built canals throughout the ground floor and mall of the casino, and offer motorized gondola rides while you get serenaded by your very own gondolier.

Even though it makes my husband want to barf, I love how romantic these rides are.  Somehow they designed it so that you don’t feel like you are floating through the middle of a casino.

6. Adventure Rides at the Stratosphere

Adventure Rides at the Stratosphere! Read our top 10 list for must see attractions in Las Vegas!

The Stratosphere is hotel and casino that towers overall on the North end of The Strip.  The Stratosphere is most famous for its views of The Strip and hair-raising rides.

It is by far the tallest building in Vegas, and the rides up top are NOT for someone who is afraid of heights. My favorite is the Big Shot, which shoots your seat straight up the top of the tower and into the sky.  It is the tallest thrill ride in the world.  If that isn’t gutsy enough for you, you can jump off the top via controlled cables to the bottom.

7. The High Roller 

This gigantic observation/Ferris wheel is brand new to Las Vegas. It is like the London Eye, but bigger. Surprisingly it really is a fun ride as pods are big enough to feature whole groups of friends, and even your own bar and bartender. Click through to read the top 10 things to do in Las Vegas!

This gigantic observation/Ferris wheel is brand new to Las Vegas.  It is like the London Eye, but bigger.  Surprisingly it really is a fun ride as pods are big enough to feature whole groups of friends, and even your own bar and bartender.

Also Read: More Things To Do In Las Vegas 

8. Hoover Dam

Not all the attractions in Vegas feature neon lights. The Hoover Dam is a testament to modern engineering. I found the tour showing how the dam generates power for Las Vegas fascinating. Also, the lake made by the dam (Lake Mead) is great for boating. Click through to read the top 10 things to do in Las Vegas!
Photo: Airwolfhound / Flickr

Not all the attractions in Vegas feature neon lights.  The Hoover Dam is a testament to modern engineering.  I found the tour showing how the dam generates power for Las Vegas fascinating.  Also, the lake made by the dam (Lake Mead) is great for boating.

9. Las Vegas Ski Resort

Las Vegas Ski Resort!

Yes, in the mountains just 45 minutes away from The Strip developers built a ski-resort.  It is not huge, and does not feature the world’s best snow, but the novelty of being able to ski within 45 minutes of the scorching desert heat is unreal.

10. The Mob Museum

Mob Museum in Las Vegas!
Photo: Wikipedia

Part of the reason that Las Vegas is built the way it is today is that of the involvement of organized crime.  The mob used casinos to launder their money.  Supposedly organized crime is out of Vegas now, but a fascinating history remains.  The Mob Museum doesn’t just explore Vegas’ criminal history, but the characters that made this possible from around the country.  The museum does have some creepy elements as it allows visitors to hold a tommy gun, explore crime scene photos, and even see the bloody walls left from massacres.

 

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Some Fun Things to do in Williamsburg, Virginia

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Whether you’re visiting Williamsburg for the first time or live in the area, there is an abundance of activities and places to see. The city is bursting history, fun and excitement. Below are a few of my family’s favorite things to do in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Things to Do in Williamsburg, Virginia:

1.  Colonial Williamsburg – Visit the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg to learn about life in the 18th century. Step back in time to see what life was like for the colonist through tours and reenactments.

2.  Jamestown Settlement – The settlement of Jamestown is a fantastic place to visit. Immerse yourself in the 17th-century culture with a Powhatan Indian Village, colonial forts and see the 3 ships that bought settlers to Virginia.

3.  Yorktown Battlefield – See the site where the British surrendered and our Independence was won in 1781.

4.  Busch Gardens – What would a visit to Williamsburg be without a day at the amusement park? Take a tour through Europe with roller coasters, food, live shows and a stop at Sesame Street Forest of Fun for the little ones. Make sure to ride one of the newer coasters, Griffon, while you’re there. Save money by purchasing tickets online with these Busch Gardens discount coupons!

5.  Water country USA – Cool off with a visit to the water park. There are water slides of all kinds, 3 kiddie areas, plus a lazy river to beat the heat. If you’re planning to visit both Busch Gardens and Water Country, a 2-park pass will help you save some cash.

6.  Williamsburg Premium Outlet Mall – Get your shopping fix at the outlets. You’ll find stores from Coach to Ann Taylor and even Stride Rite. You are sure to find something to buy at one of the 135 stores!

7.  Williamsburg Pottery – Looking for pottery or custom silk flower arraignments?  Head to the Williamsburg Pottery for a unique shopping experience.

8.  Great Wolf Lodge – Spend the night in one of the neat hotel rooms and experience an indoor waterpark. This is a great time for all seasons of year. There are quite a few activities for kids but be sure to look for specials as it can be rather pricey.

9.  Eco Discovery Park – Want to rent bikes or a kayak? Eco Discovery Park has a full service Marina and a nice long bike trail. It’s a serene area with lots of native birds such as osprey and herons.

10.  Freedom Park – Another place for bike rides is Freedom Park with trails for everyone from beginners to advanced riders.

11. Yankee Candle Store – If you like candles, there is a huge Yankee Candle Flagship store in Williamsburg.  You are sure to find every scent of candle and Yankee Candle product imaginable.  I also find it just plain neat to see all the different sections that each have their own decor.

12.  Sno To Go – Looking for a tasty treat?  Try these Hawaiian style snowballs of shaved ice and syrup ( located right across from the Yankee Candle Store).  By the way, these are not sno cones.  Try them “stuffed” with soft served ice cream inside!

13.  Merchant Square – Merchant Square is located within walking distance of Colonial Williamsburg and William and Mary College.  You’ll find unique shops and delicious restaurants.  This is also the area where the Farmers Market is held on Saturdays.

To save money, look for Williamsburg Discount Vacation Packages. If you know that you are going to visit multiple amusement parks, such as Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, in a single visit, you will pay less by purchasing tickets together versus each attraction separately.

 

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Michael Cohen, Trump’s Former Fixer, Reaches Plea Deal Over Payments to Women

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Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, agreed on Tuesday to plead guilty to campaign finance charges, making the extraordinary admission that he paid a pornographic film actress to secure her silence about an affair she said she had with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen is also expected to plead guilty to multiple counts of bank and tax fraud. For months, prosecutors in New York have been investigating him in connection with those crimes and focusing on his role in helping to arrange financial deals with women connected to Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen surrendered to the F.B.I. at the bureau’s Lower Manhattan offices at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday. He was expected to appear in United States District Court in Manhattan before Judge William H. Pauley III later in the afternoon.

His lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The plea agreement does not call for Mr. Cohen to cooperate with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but it does not preclude him from providing information to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining the Trump campaign’s possible involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.

If Mr. Cohen were to substantially assist the special counsel’s investigation, Mr. Mueller could recommend a reduction in his sentence.

The guilty plea could represent a pivotal moment in the investigation into the president: a once-loyal aide acknowledging that he made payments to at least one woman who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump, in violation of federal campaign finance law.

Mr. Cohen had been the president’s longtime fixer, handling his most sensitive business and personal matters. He once said he would take a bullet for Mr. Trump.

The investigation of Mr. Cohen has focused in part on his role helping to arrange financial deals to secure the silence of women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump, including Stephanie Clifford, an adult film actress better known as Stormy Daniels.

The charges against Mr. Cohen were not a surprise, but he had signaled recently he might be willing to cooperate with investigators who for months have been conducting an extensive investigation of his personal business dealings. But any bid to negotiate a plea deal under which he would provide information to federal prosecutors in Manhattan in the hopes of a lesser sentence appears to have broken down.

Mr. Cohen’s plea agreement comes slightly more than a month after he gave an interview to George Stephanopoulos on ABC News and said he would put “his family and country first” if prosecutors offered him leniency in exchange for incriminating information on Mr. Trump.

In July, in what appeared to another public break with Mr. Trump, one of Mr. Cohen’s lawyers, Lanny J. Davis, released a secret audio recording that Mr. Cohen had made of the president in which it seems that Mr. Trump admits knowledge of a payment made to Karen McDougal, a model who said she had an affair with him.

As part of their investigation, prosecutors had been looking into whether Mr. Cohen violated any campaign-finance laws by making the $130,000 payment to Ms. Clifford in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Cohen’s plea culminates a long-running inquiry that became publicly known in April when F.B.I. agents armed with search warrants raided his office, apartment and hotel room, hauling away reams of documents, including pieces of paper salvaged from a shredder, and millions of electronic files contained on a series of cellphones, iPads and computers.

Lawyers for Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump spent the next four months working with a court-appointed special master to review the documents and data files to determine whether any of the materials were subject to attorney-client privilege and should not be made available to the government.

The special master, Barbara S. Jones, who completed her review last week, issued a series of reports in recent months, finding that only a fraction of the materials were privileged and the rest could be provided to prosecutors for their investigation.

On Monday, the judge overseeing the review, Kimba M. Wood of Federal District Court in Manhattan, issued an order adopting Ms. Jones’s findings and ending the review process.

It was unclear on Tuesday what role the materials that Ms. Jones reviewed, which were made available to prosecutors on a rolling basis during her review, may have had in the charges against Mr. Cohen.

One collateral effect of Mr. Cohen’s plea agreement is that it may allow Michael Avenatti, Ms. Clifford’s lawyer, to proceed with a deposition of Mr. Trump in a lawsuit that Ms. Clifford filed accusing the president of breaking a nondisclosure agreement concerning their affair.

The lawsuit had been stayed by a judge pending the resolution of Mr. Cohen’s criminal case. Mr. Avenatti wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that he would now seek to force Mr. Trump to testify “under oath about what he knew, when he knew it and what he did about it.”

Benjamin Weiser and Alan Feuer contributed reporting.



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California Today: A New York Staple Is Coming to Los Angeles

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Good morning.

(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)

Flip on your cable box and go straight to a news channel in the style of NY1, New York’s popular local station?

It’s coming to Los Angeles.

Charter Communications has announced that a NY1-style local news channel will go live this November for all Spectrum — formerly known as Time Warner Cable — subscribers in the Los Angeles area.

NY1, which is also owned by Charter, is adored by a slice of New Yorkers who are charmed by its homespun feel and its roster of longtime anchors and correspondents like Pat Kiernan, Roger Clark and Roma Torre.

The channel’s laser focus on New York-only stories, especially in politics, often pays off. NY1 was the only news station that had a camera at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign event to chronicle her Democratic congressional primary upset in June.

Whether the 24-hour Los Angeles network becomes as popular as NY1 remains to be seen. Los Angeles is not exactly hurting for local television coverage, but Spectrum insists it is carving out a different space from local news networks like KTLA or KNBC.

“We’re not going to try to compete chasing in a helicopter with the same type of scenes they would,” said Mike Bair, executive vice president of Spectrum Networks who will oversee the new network.

Mr. Bair said that 125 people would be hired for the newsroom and that they were already more than halfway through staffing up the network. The new channel — he would not reveal its name — will be headquartered in El Segundo, near the Los Angeles International Airport and The Los Angeles Times’s new headquarters.

Spectrum has several local news stations around the country, including in Florida (Orlando and Tampa) and Texas (San Antonio and Austin). Mr. Bair said that the local news stations are very popular and “create a higher level of retention” for the cable service.

In November, around 1.5 million Los Angeles Spectrum homes will get the new channel.

“We don’t have to worry about two-minute sound bites,” Mr. Bair said. “If an interview takes three or four minutes, we stick with it. We’re more likely to cover much smaller stories, neighborhood-based stories than you’d see in other markets.”

Mr. Kiernan, the longtime NY1 anchor, said New Yorkers who have moved to Los Angeles constantly ask why there isn’t a version of the station in the city.

“They’ll do stories about the 405 with the same intensity that we do stories about the 6 train,” he said of the new Los Angeles channel. “But a lot of the hallmarks of NY1 reporting will be key parts of their reporting: politics, education, jobs. Those are stories that often get squeezed out of local newscasts by an endless rundown of crime reporting.”

California Online

(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)

• The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says it is looking into allegations that Asia Argento sexually assaulted a young actor in a hotel room when he was 17. [The New York Times]

• Ms. Argento was one of Harvey Weinstein’s early accusers. Will the allegations against her discredit the #MeToo movement? [The New York Times]

• A landmark bill that would end money bail in California passed out of the State Assembly. [The Los Angeles Times]

• The University of California, Berkeley has suspended a prominent architecture professor for three years without pay for sexually harassing a graduate student. [The Associated Press]

• The California Senate is investigating an altercation that broke out between Senator Joel Anderson and a female lobbyist during a fund-raiser near the Capitol. [The Sacramento Bee]

• F.B.I. agents are trying to return a Santa Ana man to his family after he was kidnapped from a shopping center and held for $2 million ransom. [The Los Angeles Daily News]

BART is looking at a new way to stop fare evasion: replacing the system’s orange, pie-wedge gates. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

• A Sacramento developer plans to build a high-rise apartment and hotel project that will feature one floor with dormlike housing units. [The Sacramento Bee]

• The F.B.I. is probing a cyber attack on a congressional campaign in California. [Reuters]

• Decades ago, federal home loan agencies would shade Fresno neighborhoods with large minority populations red; it was a way to label them as undesirable. Eighty years later, the gulf between white, black and brown residents remains embedded in the city’s geography. [The Atlantic]

• Maxine McCormick, of San Francisco, began fly casting when she was 9. At 14, she has back-to-back world titles. [The New York Times]

• Last June, Vans moved its headquarters to a new building off the 405 freeway. Commuters have noted the building with its famous checkerboard pattern. We peek inside. [The New York Times]

And Finally …

California already has a state animal (the bear), a state flower (the golden poppy) and a state tree (the California redwood).

Now it has a state sport, too. And could it really have been anything other than surfing?

On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown made it official, signing Assembly Bill 1782, which nods to surfing’s Polynesian roots and notes that the sport was imported to California from Hawaii. Since then, the bill says, it “has been embraced by the state” whose residents have “made important contributions to the sport as we know it today.”

Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, a Democrat of Torrance, is a member of the unofficial Legislative Surfers Caucus, according to his website.

His reaction to the bill being signed? “I am stoked.”

California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.



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