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Airline outrage: Passenger reportedly tells mom in first class she shouldn’t be there with a child

After an airline passenger allegedly accosted a woman because she had her toddler in the plane's first-class section, the anonymous mom took to Reddit to ask others if it was wrong of her to book first-class plane tickets for her young child — and people chimed in.

The Reddit user, One-Criticism5777, turned to the "Am I the A******" subreddit on Saturday, Nov. 26. She said a male passenger accused her of sitting in the wrong boarding class on purpose — and that he went on to call her a derogatory term.

The mother said she and her husband had "decided to splurge" on their cross-country flight for Thanksgiving. They booked a first-class ticket for their nearly three-year-old daughter, who was traveling with them.

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"We boarded early since my husband is disabled and when another 1st class passenger saw us he started glaring," One-Criticism5777 wrote. 

"Shortly after he sat down, a flight attendant came up and asked to see our boarding passes to make sure we were seated correctly. We showed her our boarding passes and she was like, ‘Cool, y’all are good.’"

A second flight attendant reportedly checked the family’s boarding passes before takeoff — and determined they were in their correct seats.

Yet shortly after takeoff, One-Criticism5777 said the man who glared at her family tapped her on the shoulder and claimed that children weren't allowed to be seated in first class.

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He reportedly said the family should move to their "real seats," according to One-Criticism5777’s recollection on Reddit.

One-Criticism5777 wrote that when the confrontation happened, her husband was asleep and her daughter was "in the middle of coloring." 

"I realized he was probably the person that complained before takeoff that we were in the wrong seats and decided before I got upset I wanted the flight attendants to deal with this," One-Criticism5777 wrote.

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"I told him that I did not feel comfortable talking with him and that I was calling a flight attendant to come handle this," she continued. 

"He got flustered but ultimately stood awkwardly next to me in the aisle until a flight attendant came to clear things up."

The issue was seemingly resolved when a flight attendant told the male passenger that the seating arrangement was correct and he was told to not bother the family again, according to One-Criticism5777.

Yet the woman on Reddit claimed that when it came time to deplane, the male passenger whispered a derogatory term in her ear and then said that "he pays too much money for first class to be surrounded by children."

FLIGHT ATTENDANT REVEALS HOW PASSENGERS HAVE SCORED FREE, FIRST-CLASS SEATS

One-Criticism5777 said she was confused by the man’s aggression because her daughter didn’t cry or cause a disruption on the plane.

"She stayed seated and quietly [played] throughout the flight, only getting up when she had to go potty," One-Criticism5777 wrote.

The anonymous mom noted that her daughter is well-behaved on flights because the parents give her baby acetaminophen (a pediatric pain reliever) and gripe water (a sodium bicarbonate liquid supplement) to diminish discomfort during the flight, according to a pediatrician’s recommendation.

One-Criticism5777 said she initially thought she was in the right because her daughter "didn’t misbehave or even cry" while they were in first class; but after speaking with other people over the holiday weekend, she said she was left with doubts.

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"After talking to family at Thanksgiving many of them told me that we should book economy next time because people pay extra to relax in 1st class," One-Criticism5777 wrote. "Are we really a******* for flying 1st class with our toddler?"

Fox News Digital reached out to One-Criticism5777 for comment.

Many Reddit users appeared to agree that One-Criticism5777 was not in the wrong for booking a first-class ticket for her daughter, according to the thread.

The post went viral — receiving more than 8,000 upvotes and generating more than 1,600 comments, as of Monday, Dec. 5.

"Even if your child did cry, it wouldn't have mattered because you paid and are entitled to the seats you paid for," the post’s top commenter wrote. 

"If they don't want to be around children/other people that bad — they should fly private."

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"Can we also throw in the misogyny?" another commenter said. "He approached [the original poster (OP)] when husband was conveniently sleeping and then made a point to use a sexist slur again only to OP."

If some passengers wish for adult-only flights in the hope of avoiding crying babies or children in general, there are no child-free commercial airlines.

Daniel Levine, director at Avant Guide Institute (AGI), a New York-based business and consumer trend consulting firm, told Fox News Digital that he doesn’t know of a single airline that "explicitly forbids children in premium classes."

The only airline seating policy he could think of that comes close is Japan Airlines, which reportedly deployed a booking tool that allows passengers to know where infants will be seated if travel arrangements have been booked. 

"Their seat map uses a special baby emoji to show where the little offenders are located, so you can choose to be as far away as possible," Levine said. 

"Or close, if you really like babies," he added. 

He said that most airlines try to reserve front-of-plane bulkhead rows for babies in bassinets, while families ticketed with economy seats are usually placed to the rear.

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"Look, the fact is, babies cry. That's what they do," Levine said. 

"Nobody loves sitting next to crying babies, but there are some tips and techniques you can use to minimize your chances of screaming in your ear, or worse." 

He said, "In all classes, experienced flyers plug their ears or travel with a good pair of noise-canceling headphones."

Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton invoke Princess Diana in battle for spotlight, royal experts say

When it comes to making a statement in the public eye, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle both rely on their late mother-in-law for guidance.

We are just days from the premiere of the long-awaited Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan," and the trailer makes many direct comparisons to Princess Diana. There are images of her, magazine covers, and Prince Harry even says, "I didn't want history to repeat itself," referencing his mother's tragic death after being stalked by the paparazzi.

Meanwhile, Kate Middleton has her own way of invoking the princess, usually through her wardrobe.

Princess Diana, once called "Shy Di" for her quiet demeanor, transformed herself into a style icon during the ‘80s and ‘90s. Before her tragic death in 1997 at age 36, the "People’s Princess" made her mark with couture, which consisted of Chanel suits, Versace evening gowns and Dior handbags. As the most-photographed woman in the world, the royal proved to be influential in both her humanitarian work and personal style.

"Diana was a breath of fresh air for the royal family, shaking things up during their rather staid early 1980s and setting the new standard for charity work, going where no royal had dared go before, but she will always be remembered most for her fashion," Miranda Holder, royal fashion expert and celebrity stylist, told Fox News Digital. "The Princess brought a healthy dose of flair and drama to the royal wardrobe, placing the Monarchy firmly back on the style map for her fashion forward, often daring ensembles that had the world transfixed."

Diana wouldn’t live to meet Kate and Meghan, the new Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex, respectively, the women who married her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. The princess, 40, and the duchess, 41, have their own personal styles with one preferring classic British looks while the other has a more modern approach that evokes Hollywood glamour. However, there’s no denying that the royals have looked back at Diana for inspiration, winning the public over with memories of the beloved royal.

Holder explained it's quite possible Diana's "well documented unhappiness in her marriage to Prince Charles" led her to learn how to "'weaponize' fashion, using clothing as a means to communicate at the times when sharing her thoughts or feelings was forbidden." She says these "boundary-breaking reasons," have made Diana's fashion iconic making it "only natural that it has since been replicated by both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle."

"Kate has been compared a lot to Diana, and especially in her earlier years wore similar outfits. Some of the references have been subtle, others very overt, but there is no doubt that both women are admired by fashionistas all over the world," Holder said. "On a visit to South Korea in 1992 Diana looked striking in a cobalt blue double-breasted blazer and matching pleated skirt. In 2021, Kate visited a violence reduction [center] in an almost identical outfit."

"Another of Diana’s looks which Kate has carefully emulated is from her visit to a hospital in Pakistan - Diana wore a pale blue tunic with a white chiffon headscarf covering her hair. Kate looked almost exactly the same in her tunic and headscarf whilst on a visit to the Assyakirin Mosque in Malaysia," Holder said. "Admittedly, the requirement of covering their hair was necessary, but Kate could have chosen from a wealth of colors to dress in, but instead chose one again to imitate her late mother-in-law."

"If there was one aspect of Royal life that Diana always got right, it was her style, so it’s natural that both Kate and Meghan look to her for inspiration," Holder said.

All eyes will be on the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex this week as Netflix drops the bombshell docuseries "Harry & Meghan" on Thursday. The series will feature Prince Harry discussing his late mother’s struggles within the royal family.

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"When Catherine, the Princess of Wales, honors Diana with her style, I think it's both a wink to William and his mother," Kinsey Schofield, royal expert and host of the "To Di For Daily" podcast, told Fox News Digital. "She knows how deep their bond was, and it is a way for her to honor that love. Like a sweet secret between the two of them."

Schofield wrote a book that was published on Nov. 15 titled, "R is for Revenge Dress: A Princess Diana-Inspired Alphabet Book for Grown-Ups," which explores how Diana influenced the fashion world. She noted how the Princess of Wales is "much more subtle" when it comes to her fashion tributes.

"We primarily saw Princess Diana dressed as a working royal, so Kate's choices are much more Diana," she shared. "Meghan was only a working royal for a brief period, so whenever we see her pull out the fascinator it looks contrived. I think Meghan is very eager to be seen as Princess Diana 2.0, so there is that intention behind her wardrobe. However, I believe Catherine's is a tribute to the mother and friend her husband lost."

"What Princess Diana and Catherine have in common is an effortless feel to their style," Schofield continued. "We knew when Catherine stepped out of the vehicle in her green dress at the Earthshot Awards that she wasn't hiding behind three pairs of Spanx and a spray tan. She just looks so comfortable and confident in her own skin, which is something we saw from Diana towards the end of her life, and it's truly how we remember her."

Markle's style is also similar to Diana's, as she has also tried to honor her late mother-in-law.

"Meghan has also been inspired by Diana’s style, but to a lesser degree. Her signature ‘casual jeans and a crisp white shirt’ look that she wore to the Invictus games in 2017 was very reminiscent of Diana’s jeans and shirt combo whilst visiting Bosnia in 1997," Holder said. "The effortlessly cool, California chic vibe looked great on them both."

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Meanwhile, Schofield also noted how Diana's "style was so important at the beginning of her relationship with the media and public because she whispered things to us through her wardrobe."

" How can you forget the black sheep sweater? You can't. It was Diana's way of telling us, 'I'm not sure I belong here.' Diana knew 'never complain, never explain' was her only option, so she told us who she was and what she was dealing with through her clothing," Schofield explained. 

"She went through a fierce 'ugly sweater' phase and that is when she was consumed in motherhood. She was this silly, happy beacon to her children. Her wild sweaters told us that she was cuddly and affectionate behind closed doors. The further Diana got away from Charles, the sexier she started to present herself. She switched from giant Peter Pan collars to tailored suits in fun colors. I see some of this in Kate's recent wardrobe. However, she usually goes for slacks instead of skirts."

Royal commentator Hilary Fordwich pointed out that the princes inherited personal pieces that belonged to their mother. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Middleton and Markle would incorporate Diana’s jewelry into their looks. Middleton’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring, in particular, is the same one King Charles III gave to his first wife.

"It's my mother's engagement ring, so I thought it was quite nice because obviously she's not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all — this was my way of keeping her sort of close to it all," William said at the time of his engagement.

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"Royal jewels are treasured precious physical pieces representing monarchial history passed down through generations of kings and queens," Fordwich shared. "It was with this in mind, no doubt, that with great elegance the current Princess of Wales wore the classic green choker her late mother-in-law, Diana, [previously wore] to the Earthshot Awards."

Added Holder: "Over the years, Kate has been more successful at recreating Diana’s style partly because their figures are very similar; what looked good on Diana’s tall, athletic frame naturally looks good on Kate, and also because both ladies held similar status in the family as wife to the heir to the throne - their looks both needed to have a certain status. Meghan by comparison is more California - favoring minimalist tailored separates and cleaner lines over the pretty feminine dresses which have suited both Diana and Kate so well."

Fordwich said that over the years Diana used fashion to make bold statements about her life – something that Middleton and Markle have done as royal wives.

"Who can forget the ‘revenge’ black dress Diana stepped out in and all those sleekly tailored custom Dior evening dresses she made pointed statements in?" said Fordwich. She added that those looks successfully "crushed" Charles’ spotlight as their marriage collapsed.

"For the serious work in Boston … Catherine’s slim silhouette stayed well away from anything daring or designer oriented, given the looming winter of discontent, that would have been a domestic disaster," said Fordwich. "Instead, she sensibly rallied in a rental dress, most sensible given the raucous nature of impending U.K. rail strikes."

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Schofield noted that there’s a reason why Middleton and Markle will continue to channel their mother-in-law as they attempt to carve out their own identities in the public eye.

"I think Princess Diana's fashion is so important to us because there is still so much mystery surrounding her," she said. "Diana's style gives us clues to who she truly was. Diana was different from other members of the royal family and rejected the stuffiness of it all. There was a clear evolution in her wardrobe, and it was also an evolution in her attitude. She was going to own it, and she was going to be herself — and we saw that reflected in her style."

"I think a lot of our obsession with Diana's wardrobe is related to our admiration for Diana in general," Schofield said.

Holder echoed Schofield's sentiment, stating: "By recreating Diana’s looks, both women have demonstrated their commitment to their husbands. Getting dressed up as your mother-in-law -- even if she was a style icon -- is a pretty big ask for any loved up new wife, royal or not, but both Kate and Meghan were prepared to put their own identity to one side (Kate more so) in order to pay the ultimate homage."

BEIJING BACKS DOWN: Chinese citizens 'empowered' after COVID protests, China researcher says

Chinese citizens feel empowered after protests against "draconian COVID-19 restrictions" led Chinese authorities to ease regulations, a human rights researcher told Fox News.

"People are fed up with the restrictions," said Yaqiu Wang, a senior china researcher for Human Rights Watch. "There's so much pent-up anger and frustration because there have been massive human rights violations as a result of the restrictions, not because of COVID itself."

Demonstrations erupted across several cities in China in the final days of November as residents took to the streets to protest the nation's "zero-COVID" policies. In some cities like Wuhan, protests turned violent as police and residents clashed.

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"We often say protest in China is useless because the government is too powerful," said Wang. "But this is an example that if you actually go out and demand for what you want, you get it, or at least you get some of it."

Chinese officials loosened COVID-19 restrictions after Chinese citizens across several cities protested against the country's strict "zero-COVID" policy that has led to city-wide lockdowns, mandatory COVID-19 testing and mass quarantine. Beijing changed course on the strict policies to help quell protests because the "zero-COVID" approach is taking a toll on residents, according to a Tiananmen Square protester

"This has to be understood in the context of three years of draconian COVID restrictions," Wang said. To enter a hospital, a grocery store or a company office, Chinese residents "have to show a negative result."

"Some people had medical emergencies, but they couldn't get to the hospital because they could not leave their apartment, and some of those people died," Wang continued.

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When asked whether the Biden administration supports the rights of Chinese citizens to protest, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, "Of course we do."

"We support the right of people everywhere, whether it's in China, whether it's Iran, whether it's anyplace else, to protest peacefully, to make known their views, to vent their frustrations," Blinken said.

Despite Chinese authorities easing restrictions, the surveillance of and crackdown on protesters has been harsh, according to Wang. 

"I heard of sources telling me that they went into the protest scenes, and they thought they were anonymous," she said. "But later they were visited by the police."

"They went to the protest scene yesterday, and they got visited by the police today," Wang continued. "The police were operating in a pretty efficient manner."

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Wang said she believes her sources were tracked by police using surveillance footage or through the location services in their phones.

Regardless of the police enforcement, residents feel authorities easing restrictions is a win, Wang said.

"People feel very empowered because living in this very repressive country, you feel you have no say in how you are governed," she said. "You're depressed because you cannot control your own destiny."

"People take great risks to protest in China," Wang said. "In a way, the government is responding to it."

"It's an empowering feeling," she continued.

To watch the full interview with Yaqiu Wang, click here.

Hunter Biden revelations in Twitter Files prompts media reckoning for insiders, critics: 'Sorry episode'

Twitter owner Elon Musk’s Friday night revelations on the company's suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story has prompted another reckoning for outlets who dismissed the story at the time.

Media watchdogs don’t think liberal journalists have learned their lesson about the episode, though.

Musk outsourced his findings about what led the tech giant to suppress the Hunter Biden story in the final weeks of the 2020 presidential election to journalist Matt Taibbi, who published a lengthy thread about what had transpired behind the scenes at Twitter. Taibbi put a spotlight on the behind-the-scenes events that resulted in Twitter kiboshing the New York Post story that first revealed scandalous contents of Hunter Biden's laptop. The "Twitter Files," revealed that then-candidate Joe Biden’s team allegedly asked Twitter to remove unflattering links about his son, which here promptly "handled" by the social media platform. 

Some mainstream journalists have continued to defend the initial handling of the story in 2020.

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A Washington Post insider pointed to Rudy Giuliani, the president's attorney at the time, as a pusher of the story for a reason to initially handle with extreme care.

"CIA types were saying it looked like Russian disinformation—which after 2016 sounded like a plausible concern. So, egg on our faces? No," they told Fox News Digital. "Solid reasons to be very, very wary and skeptical. Were we wrong? Possibly-- but we couldn't know that at the time."

The Washington Post eventually authenticated thousands of emails from the laptop last March, roughly 16 months after Twitter censored the New York Post’s report – but it first published multiple opinion pieces urging readers to dismiss the controversy altogether. Its fact-checker, in a piece that was later updated, referred to the laptop as "alleged." The paper's editorial board wrote in April though that the story's developments, following its own authentication of the laptop, represented a "reckoning" for the media.

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Much like the Washington Post, network news outlets largely dismissed or downplayed the story at the outset. Over an 18-month period, ABC, CBS, and NBC spent only 25 minutes discussing the story, and when they were, they often called it Russian "misinformation." 

A network news insider also noted the timing of the initial story as a reason to be cautious but acknowledged politics may have come into play, guessing that similar revelations from a laptop belonging to Donald Trump Jr. would prompt a far different response.

"I tend to think that right before an election, especially, you need to be really cautious with late breaking revelations, October surprise type stuff," they told Fox News Digital. "Obviously, I think it was a mistake for Twitter to suppress the New York Post story… And their reason obviously turned out to be entirely wrong."

"I think that news organizations and reporters were obviously in hindsight too quick to believe that the laptop was a product of Russian misinformation, disinformation," they added. "That was kind of an assumption that was taken by a hell of a lot of reporters and news organizations... If it had been Don Jr's laptop, it's not too much of a stretch to think it would have been handled differently."

Another network insider dismissed the Hunter Biden saga as "bizarre" and a sideshow fetish of conservatives, saying it paled in comparison to other media scandals like the mass acceptance of the error-ridden Christopher Steele dossier, or what they described as overplaying by right-leaning media of the Russia probe revelations of the John Durham investigation.

"I don't know what network should be feeling bad, not covering this story we don't really understand and sounded suspicious even when it came out," they said, blaming Twitter for putting its thumb on the scale.

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While the original New York Post story was censored by Twitter, journalists rushed to social media to dismiss or condemn Musk and Taibbi’s Friday night revelations. 

Many criticized Taibbi for even reporting on the story, and the Washington Post framed the news as Musk igniting divisions and failing to bend "the will" of Democrats. 

The New York Times ignored the story for over 24 hours until a single article headlined, "Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, and a Very Modern Media Maelstrom," was published Sunday night. The article didn’t lead with the news, but instead put a spotlight on the atypical fashion the news was delivered. 

MSNBC devoted only three minutes of coverage and CNN covered it for 10 minutes over the weekend. CNN’s online coverage was criticized by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who said it "reads like the rantings of any #Resistance maniac."

The major Sunday shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN devoted a total of seven seconds to the story, prompting Musk himself to sound off on the overwhelming silence. 

"I think those people should be looking in the mirror and wondering why they were deceptive. Why did they deceive the American public?," Musk asked. "And instead of trying to redirect blame to Matt Taibbi, they should be accepting some responsibility themselves for not being truthful to the American public."

DePauw University journalism professor Jeffrey McCall believes the lack of interest, and limited news coverage, exhibited by the establishment media in response to Musk's Twitter revelations is "disappointing, but hardly surprising." 

"This muted response is yet another indication that the mainstream media are not genuinely interested in the flow of actual news, but instead are interested in the political shaping of the public sphere," McCall told Fox News Digital. 

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McCall feels the aftermath of Musk’s bombshell revelations would be an "appropriate time for big media to do some soul-searching" and publicly acknowledge the "clumsy way" it handled the laptop story from the beginning.

"To do such, however, would require some honest self-assessment, which big media just can't bring itself to do," McCall said, adding that many media outlets would rather "accept cratering public trust" than admit fault. 

"Mainstream outlets surely don't even now believe they actually bungled the laptop story, because stifling that story ultimately served their political agenda. Activist media surely have no regrets in this matter, and they aren't going to acknowledge that this journalism of omission did a disservice to the citizenry," McCall said. "This sorry incident again shows that the noble mission of journalism has been bastardized by the establishment media." 

Fourth Watch editor Steve Krakauer, author of the upcoming book "Uncovered" that will aim to highlight problems with modern media, feels Musk is "overselling it a bit," but the reaction from "anti-speech activists in the press" was absurd. He called out journalists who claimed Taibbi was doing public relations for Musk, scolded "CNN’s media hack" Oliver Darcy for saying an article dismissing the Twitter Files were "spot on" and blasted left-wing NBC News reporter Ben Collins, who spent much of Friday night fuming on Twitter over Taibbi's thread, as "perhaps the most introspection-free" of all the pundits. 

"The Acela Media in New York and D.C. is more detached than ever to the people of this country. And Twitter is a little bubble that puts that detachment on full display. We get to see the active disinterest in correcting the record when it comes to major missteps like the Hunter Biden laptop story. And we get to see the coziness with power among the press and other elite consensus narrative crafters," Krakauer wrote. 

"In another era, this would be the kind of story that would excite the entire journalism world," Krakauer continued. "Now they're part of the elite censorship collusion racket themselves, along with government forces, the intel agencies, and tech companies."

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Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson believes the mainstream media did learn a lesson from the "unjustified shutdown of the Biden family influence peddling scheme" exposed through the laptop. 

"Unfortunately, in all likelihood the wrong lesson was learned, which is that concerted action by mainstream platforms and media outlets to help a Democrat candidate can work," Jacobson told Fox News Digital. "I doubt there are any regrets or that future such action will be deterred."

Fox News’ Amy Nelson and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report. 

China, Russia emboldened following Biden's disastrous leadership on Afghanistan withdrawal

In its annual report to Congress last week on military and security developments in the People’s Republic of China, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) admitted China capitalized on the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 to undermine U.S. foreign policy and erode the confidence of America’s allies. 

"In 2021, the [People’s Republic of China] employed multiple diplomatic tools in an attempt to erode U.S. and partner influence, such as highlighting the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and criticizing U.S.-backed security partnerships..." the report states. 

That shouldn’t be a shocking revelation. The need to bring U.S. troops home after two decades of war was a topic worthy of consideration. But it is difficult to envision a more calamitous manner in which to have accomplished it. Though incredibly, President Biden declared the Afghanistan withdrawal an "extraordinary success," it was obvious to anyone willing to see past the spin that the consequences of such a shocking American retreat would embolden bad actors across the globe.

BIDEN'S FUMBLED AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL WAS A PROPAGANDA GIFT TO CHINA, DEFENSE DEPARTMENT FINDS

One can easily argue that the botched Afghan withdrawal was a major calculation in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine only five months later, in a major escalation of the war that had been ongoing for eight years. General Tod Wolters, then head of the U.S. European Command, acknowledged in April that the Russian invasion was likely an attempt to "take advantage of the fissures that could have appeared in NATO as a result of the post-Afghanistan environment." 

Now, the DoD’s annual report to Congress only confirms what was obvious: the U.S. Afghan withdrawal weakened American national security and emboldened China, a rival which the report states "presents the most consequential and systemic challenge to U.S. national security and the free and open international system." 

Sadly, it seems the Afghan withdrawal was driven not by necessity or tactical military objectives but by political expediency. On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Biden administration saw a public relations opportunity to announce the war was over and that American troops were home. 

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So, they pushed the military into an accelerated timeline with tragic consequences. Beyond this attempt for a poetic finish, bad actors across the world watched with satisfaction and maneuvered to take advantage. It may be decades before we fully understand the strategic impact of this decision.

In leadership, many desire a great victory story to share with the world. As a leadership consultant, we often see this common mistake when leaders focus on the narrative rather than the mission and strategic victory.

Good leadership requires strategic vision and honest, realistic assessment. Leaders must strive, not for short-term gain, but for the long-term good of the team and the mission. 

In Afghanistan, the narrative took precedent over the goal – a safer more stable world and eliminating a haven for terrorists who threaten the United States and the security of our people. 

History books will tell the story of the withdrawal from Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history, but the negative repercussions of that misplaced leadership decision will continue to reverberate on U.S. foreign policy and world stability for years to come. 

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High stakes in Herschel Walker-Raphael Warnock Senate battle in Georgia's runoff showdown

The Senate majority has already been decided, but whether the Democrats grab some breathing room in their razor-thin control of the chamber is on the line Tuesday in the last ballot box showdown of the 2022 midterm elections.

For a second straight cycle, the final fight is taking place in the crucial southeastern battleground state of Georgia, where Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is facing off with Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a Senate runoff election.

In the final hours before Election Day, both campaigns were trying to energize their base voters in a race where turnout will be the deciding factor in what public opinion polling indicates is a close contest.

"Everyone who hasn’t voted, get out on Dec. 6 and vote," Walker urged in an interview on the Fox News Channel on Sunday. "If you want a change, go out and vote and vote your opinion because this race is very, very, important."

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Warnock, speaking to supporters Monday in Atlanta, emphasized that, "we cannot let our foot off the gas. We got to press all the way through the finish line. We got to run through the tape. So, if you haven't already voted, tomorrow is the last opportunity to vote."

On the final day of campaigning, it was all about location, with Walker making several stops in the mostly conservative northern part of Georgia, while Warnock stayed in the heavily Democratic Atlanta area.

WALKER SAYS EARLY VOTING RECORD TURNOUT ‘LOOKS GOOD’ FOR ME

Nearly two million Georgians cast ballots in early voting that concluded Friday, according to state officials. Democrats aggressively pushed for their supporters to get to the polls to give Warnock a head start ahead of Election Day. Democrats point to early voting data that indicates high turnout in blue counties and congressional districts. 

"I'm heartened by the turnout we've seen. But we remain focused. We need people to show up tomorrow," Warnock said on Monday.

Part of Warnock’s full court press included a large rally late last week in Atlanta with former President Obama, who returned to Georgia for the second time in five weeks to give the senator a boost.

With the Democrats secured in their control of the Senate and the chamber's majority no longer on the line in the runoff election - unlike two years ago when the Democrats sweep of the twin Georgia Senate runoffs gave them the majority - there is a concern that Democratic voters will not feel the urgency to head to the polls. However, the former president pointed out that a Warnock victory would allow the party to control committees and advance legislation and nominations more easily to the Senate floor.

"What's the difference between 50 and 51? The answer is a lot," Obama highlighted. "Let me break it down for you. An extra senator gives Democrats more breathing room on important bills. It prevents one person from holding out everything."

OBAMA TAKES AIM AT WALKER AS HE RALLIES WITH WARNOCK IN GEORGIA RUNOFF

"It also puts us in a better position a couple of years from now when you've got another election. But then the Senate map is going to be tilted in favor of Republicans and it'll help prevent them from getting a filibuster-proof majority," Obama added.

There are also concerns among Republicans that with the Senate majority out of their grasp, their base voters will be deflated.

"By putting me in the Senate, all the committees would be even," Walker emphasized in an interview with Fox News. 

In a fundraising email to supporters, the former college and professional football star spotlighted that "the outcome of the Senate runoff in Georgia will – just like last election cycle – have critical national implications."

Two years ago, Warnock, the minister at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached, and now-Sen. Jon Ossoff swept Georgia’s twin Senate runoff elections, handing the Senate majority to the Democrats.

This year’s runoff was necessitated after Warnock led Walker by roughly 37,000 votes out of nearly 4 million cast in November’s general election. However, since neither candidate topped 50% of the vote required by Georgia law to secure victory, the race headed to a runoff.

KEMP FOCUSED ON RUNOFF AND STEERING GEORGIA BUT DOESN'T RULE OUT POTENTIAL 2026 SENATE RUN

Ralph Reed, the founder of the evangelical Christian Faith and Freedom Coalition and a past chair of the Georgia GOP who has been campaigning with Walker the past week, noted that "we've been able to explain to voters and the activists the difference between a 50-50 Senate and a 51-49 Senate."

Additionally, Reed stressed that Republican voters are fired up. "These people are mad and they want to hit somebody," he said.

Walker - a former college football legend who won a Heisman trophy and steered the University of Georgia to a national championship four decades ago - launched his Senate campaign in the summer of last year, after months of encouragement to run by former President Trump, his longtime friend.

Thanks to his legendary status and immense and favorable name recognition in the Peach State, Walker instantly became the overwhelming front-runner for the GOP Senate nomination and basically ignored a field of lesser-known primary rivals as he easily captured the GOP nomination in May. 

However, Walker quickly came under fire as the general election got underway.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST FOX NEWS REPORTING, OPINION, ON THE GEORGIA SENATE RUNOFF

Walker was heavily criticized both on the campaign trail and in ads over what Democrats call his numerous "bizarre or false statements," and also took fire over numerous reports that he overinflated the success of his businesses and academic record. 

Even before he faced bombshell allegations in September and October that he had persuaded and paid for past girlfriends to have abortions — which Walker, who is a vocal opponent of legalized abortion, repeatedly denied — the candidate was forced to play defense regarding a number of other personal controversies, from the accusations of past abuse and threats against his first wife to acknowledging children he fathered out of wedlock whom he had not previously publicly mentioned, despite having criticized absent fathers for decades.

Democrats once dominated elections in Georgia, but the Peach State was reliably red the past two decades, until President Biden narrowly captured the state in the 2020 election, followed by Ossoff and Warnock's razor-thin victories two months later in the Senate runoffs.

However, Republicans swept this year's statewide elections in Georgia, led by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp's comfortable victory over Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams in a rematch of their 2018 showdown.

Biden not scheduled for first border visit despite being just 100 miles away

President Joe Biden is not scheduled to visit the southern border during his trip to Arizona on Tuesday — a decision criticized by both conservative and progressive immigration experts.

The White House schedule states that Biden will visit Phoenix to tout his economic initiatives, but there is no mention of a stop at the border, which is just over 100 miles away.

Biden has not gone to the border as president, despite soaring illegal immigration, gruesome human trafficking and massive quantities of fentanyl illegally entering the U.S.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last month that "he’s been there," but she may have been referring to trips Biden made to the border before becoming president.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on why Biden is not going to the border Tuesday. Officials also did not respond to a request on when Biden supposedly visited the border.

BIDEN URGED BY SOME DEMS TO TAKE STRONGER ACTION AT BORDER

Former President Donald Trump visited the border on five occasions as president. Tom Homan, the director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Trump and a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said Biden’s refusal to visit the border is a betrayal to agents who put their lives at risk to enforce his policies.

"If Biden does not visit the border while in Arizona and talk to the men and women who risk their lives every day during a historic border security crisis, then he will show he has truly abandoned the agency that works 24/7 to keep this country safe," Homan told Fox News Digital. "What kind of commander-in-chief abandons those on the front line because of politics? The fact is, Joe Biden won’t visit the border because he doesn’t want to be confronted with the reality of the destruction his policies have caused."

This criticism of Biden’s lack of focus on the southern border has frustrated progressive groups as well. Alexandra Miller, the director of the Immigration Justice Campaign for the American Immigration Council, said Biden needs to witness the impact of cruel federal immigration policies.

"In coming to Arizona, President Biden has an important opportunity to bear witness to the cruelty that migrants are experiencing at the border and to see the hard work that humanitarian organizations, legal service providers and other good Samaritans are doing at the border every day," Miller told Fox News Digital. "Unfortunately, it looks like this opportunity will be missed."

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION REPORTEDLY WEIGHING TRUMP-LIKE ASYLUM POLICIES AS MIGRANT SURGE CONTINUES

Border encounters between U.S. law enforcement and illegal crossers hit a record yearly high under the Biden administration in 2021 at 1.7 million, and it has already hit a new high this year at 2.3 million. Border agents have been able to turn these migrants away under Title 42 — a pandemic-inspired policy established by the Trump administration that is set to expire this month. Biden administration officials predict that record-high border encounters may double without Title 42 and reportedly may adopt a near-identical policy that allows them to turn away migrants if they are able to gain refuge in a country they passed through to get to the U.S. border.

Gene Hamilton, the vice president of America First Legal and a former senior counselor to the secretary of Homeland Security, said the U.S. is experiencing an unprecedented border crisis that is overlooked by its leader.

"President Biden's absence from the border on this trip shows us he is committed to failure, to open borders and to a post-Westphalian order that leads to a weakened United States," Hamilton told Fox News Digital. "Every nation has the right to protect its borders, and the United States is no different, yet President Biden has presided over a catastrophic collapse of border security unparalleled in modern times."

Vice President Kamala Harris was assigned the mission of addressing the "root cause" of mass migration to the southern border, where she has made a single visit since taking office. She said in September that "the border is secure." Chris Magnus, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), was asked to resign last month and granted the request.

BORDER DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN WARNS OF MIGRANT 'HURRICANE' AT BORDER WHEN TITLE 42 ENDS

Andrew Arthur, a resident fellow in law and policy for the Center for Immigration Studies, said it’s time for Biden to acknowledge the border crisis.

"Perhaps the president is ignorant of the carnage he is inflicting, but due to his failure to travel to the Mexican border and see the consequences of his actions — and inactions — himself, he has only himself and his advisers to blame," Arthur told Fox News Digital.

The morale of CBP officers has become a growing concern. Fourteen officers committed suicide this year — the highest total in more than a decade. Christopher Olivarez, a staff lieutenant for the Texas Highway Patrol, said it is crucial for the Biden administration to see the result of its policies.

"It is imperative that leadership from the federal government visit the southern border," Olivarez told Fox News Digital. "Discussions with border residents, ranchers, law enforcement and public officials are the only way to understand the magnitude of this current border crisis and develop comprehensive strategies that effectively implement a controlled immigration process."

Biden administration gives Maduro regime lifeline as Venezuelans cry foul

As the U.S Treasury department issued a license to Chevron to drill for oil in Venezuela, relaxing 2019 sanctions applied to Venezuela under the Trump administration, Venezuelan dissidents are crying foul, reminding the world that the Maduro regime continues to engage in what are internationally recognized crimes against humanity. 

Officially, the landmark U.S. policy change was a response to the Maduro regime’s dialogue with the opposition regarding spending on a humanitarian budget. Yet the change in policy has left many Venezuelan activists and dissidents disillusioned given the ongoing human rights situation in the country.

Venezuela remains the most egregious abuser of human rights in the Americas, and according to a U.N. report in 2019 is complicit in 7,000 cases of extrajudicial killings since mass protests began against the Maduro government. 

US TREASURY AUTHORIZES CHEVRON TO EXPAND OIL PUMPING IN VENEZUELA

Maduro critics say that political opponents are frequently targets of harassment, intimidation, imprisonment and even torture and murder. 

Retired Col. Igor Marin served in the Venezuelan army from 1965 to 1999. In comments to Fox News Digital, he discussed the case of his son, political prisoner Igbert Marin, who is currently on hunger strike at a Venezuelan military intelligence facility.

"My son, Lt. Col. Igbert Marin, received a seven and a half-year sentence for ‘incitement to rebellion’ based on the false testimony of one witness. During his imprisonment, he has been subject to cruel and degrading treatment, as well as torture. Currently, he is on his 10th day of a hunger strike."

Observers claim the entire Venezuelan state budget is used for one purpose: to maintain the regime's grip on power and force the population into compliance. Food, health care and heavily discounted gasoline are routinely lavished on Maduro supporters and denied to regime opponents.

Alfredo Romero, director of Foro Penal, the nation’s largest organization representing political prisoners, has been on the front lines of defending human rights against the abuses of the Maduro administration.

SENS. CRUZ, RUBIO ACCUSE BIDEN OF ERODING LEGITIMACY OF VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER JUAN GUAIDÓ

"Officially, Venezuela has 277 political prisoners, but since 2014 we have documented 16,000 cases of political prisoners. … People are detained, tortured and killed for political reasons, with systematic use of torture against political prisoners. … Violation of human rights in Venezuela is systematic; and there is no investigation at all," Romero said.

The torture employed against Venezuelans according to rights groups includes waterboarding, electric shock and sexual assault. 

The Maduro regime is widely regarded as an international pariah that has lost all vestiges of democratic legitimacy, with neither the United States nor the European Union currently recognizing Maduro as the head of state. Nonetheless, the Venezuelan opposition and the Maduro regime recently resumed talks in Mexico City aimed at discussing a framework for the 2024 Venezuelan presidential election and approving a humanitarian budget for much-needed social spending on the Venezuelan people — a budget that includes education, health and food, among other things.

CHARLES PAYNE: BIDEN TURNS TO VENEZUELA AS EUROPE COMMITS ECONOMIC 'SUICIDE BY GENUFLECTING TO GREEN UTOPIA'

The situation also remains perilous for the free press in Venezuela. Journalist Angel de Leon noted, "Censorship has always existed. It is the easiest way for the regime to take away from the Venezuelan the right to free thought." 

De Leon continued, "Fewer and fewer media outlets exist due to the persecutions of regulatory bodies such as Conatel. So far this year, there are more than 70 closed radio stations in the country. The critical press ceased to exist. The few media outlets that exist are either in the hands of the Maduro regime or are self-censoring for fear of being shut down permanently."

Romero added that "Institutions are made for political persecution. The judicial system is a weapon for political persecution." 

Observers say apart from the political oppression, Venezuelan daily life continues to be hellish for its citizens. De Leon warned"There is no investment in education … people continue to die from malnutrition, the hospital system does not have any type of investment, maintenance, and much less funding. No infrastructure of any kind has been created in recent years. Problems with basic services continue. Fuel is a sacrifice for Venezuelans because of the cost. The insecurity has not stopped."

At the time of the announcement of the deal, the Treasury Department said, "The announcements by the Unitary Platform and the Maduro regime are important steps in the right direction to restore democracy in the country." It went onto say that "The United States welcomes and supports the reopening of negotiations between the Unitary Platform and the Maduro regime, as part of our longstanding policy to support the peaceful restoration of democracy, free and fair elections, and respect for the rights and freedoms of Venezuelans."

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A spokesman for Chevron told Fox News Digital, "We reiterate our commitment to conducting our business in compliance with the framework provided. OFAC’s decision brings added transparency to the Venezuelan oil sector." The spokesman added, "We are determined to remain a constructive presence in the country and to continue supporting social investment programs aimed at providing humanitarian relief."

Fox News' Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.

Illinois police say evidence points to murder-suicide after 5 family members found dead in home

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Police in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, believe a husband and father of two is responsible for killing four family members, and then himself, inside their home last week.

Buffalo Grove Police Chief Brian Budds gave the update after all five family members were found dead with "sharp force injuries" in what police had described as a "domestic-related incident."

In the latest update, police said evidence at the scene, information from investigators and the Lake County Corner's examination showed that 39-year-old Andrei Kisliak killed his family.

ILLINOIS POLICE RELEASE NAMES OF 5 FAMILY MEMBERS FOUND DEAD IN HOME, INCLUDES TWO YOUNG CHILDREN

They say he killed his 4-year-old and 6-year-old daughters, Amilia and Vivian Kisliak, as well as his wife, 36-year-old Vera Kisliak, and mother, 67-year-old Lilia Kisliak.

Police said an animal was also found dead inside the home.

Vera Kisliak had sought protection orders in August and September and filed for divorce in July, Fox Chicago reported.

TWO CHILDREN, 3 ADULTS FOUND DEAD IN AFFLUENT CHICAGO SUBURB HOME

A co-worker of Vera Kisliak called the police on Wednesday, Budds said, which led to the discovery of all five family members.

Budds declined to comment on reports from neighbors that the police had been to the Kisliak home in the past month. 

A local resident told the Chicago-Sun-Times she called the police in August over concerns about how Andrei Kisliak treated the children. 

Police said the investigation into the case is still ongoing.

Fox News' Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

LAURA INGRAHAM: Democrats are trying to ram through massive spending bills before the new Congress

Fox News host Laura Ingraham said Democrats will be taking advantage of the last few weeks they have in power Monday on "The Ingraham Angle." 

LAURA INGRAHAM: Given that Republicans are going to take control of the house in, what, a month or so? It’s obscene to think that Congress is planning to make major legislative changes before Pelosi has to give up the gavel. But as we warned you last week Democrats are going to try to take advantage of the few weeks remaining to ram through as much sweeping change as possible. 

LAURA INGRAHAM: REPUBLICANS NEED TO BEAT DEMOCRATS AT THEIR OWN GAME

In one of the most cynical swampy manners possible, official Washington wants to sneak legislation through under the cover of the holiday rush and trumped-up government shutdown fears. For weeks, the Pentagon has been sending not-so-subtle messages to Congress that failure to act on the National Defense Authorization Act and the omnibus spending bill ‘puts us at a strategic disadvantage.' ‘If the current budget extends beyond December we may be forced to reduce our accessions…impairing our ability to meet our mission and our ability to recruit personnel.’ Were there any policies until the Biden Administration that could have led to a recruiting crisis in our military?