News and Headlines. 7/20/2017

Thought Of The Day:” When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kind of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.” – Robert M. Pirsig. RefDesk

Scroll down for the News and Headlines.

In The News:

ATLANTA (AP) — “Everyone was asleep when Isabel Martinez began stabbing her children and then fatally stabbed her husband as he tried seek help, her daughter told a child welfare caseworker.


FILE – In a Friday, July 7, 2017 file photo, Isabel Martinez gestures towards news cameras during her first court appearance, in Lawrenceville , Ga. Martinez is charged with killing four of her children and their father. A report from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services says Diana Romero, the 9-year-old girl who was the lone survivor when her siblings and father were stabbed to death said she saw her mother stab the others and that her mother asked for forgiveness before stabbing her.(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Diana Romero, 9, said her mother told her she loved her and asked for forgiveness before cutting her. Martinez told the girl she was “going to the sky to see Jesus,” and the girl cried and told her mother she didn’t want to go see Jesus.” More here.> Girl says her mom asked for forgiveness before stabbing her

“Justine Damond’s family say they want to bring her home to Australia for a farewell among family and friends, as they try to come to terms with her killing by a police officer in the US.

In a statement, Ms Damond’s family, based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, thanked the public and the media for their interest in the “story of our beloved Justine, whom we lost so tragically last weekend”. More here.> Justine Damond: Hometown farewell in Australia sought by family after fatal US shooting

“Police body camera footage has emerged showing a Minneapolis officer shooting two dogs in a woman’s backyard and then apologizing to the sobbing owner.

The two Staffordshire terriers named Ciroc and Rocko were seriously wounded in the police-involved shooting that occurred on July 8 while the officer was responding to a false break-in alarm.

A week after the dog shooting, another Minneapolis police officer shot and killed local yoga instructor Justine Ruszczyk after she called 911 to report a possible rape taking place near her home.” More here.> Minneapolis cop shooting two emotional support dogs then apologizing to their sobbing teenage owner

“Donald Trump’s Treasury Department announced $2 million in penalties against ExxonMobil for violating sanctions related to Russia in May of 2014. Exxon’s U.S. subsidiaries “dealt in services of an individual whose property and interests in property were blocked,” Treasury said in a press release announcing the fines.

Exxon signed eight legal documents related to oil and gas projects in Russia with Rosneft, a company that U.S. interests are allowed to do business with. But because the documents were signed on the Russian end by Igor Sechin, an individual who is sanctioned by the U.S. government in his personal capacity, the Trump administration retroactively decided the actions were in violation of sanctions imposed against Russians for their actions taken in Ukraine.” More here.> Trump Treasury Dept. Fines Exxon For Russian Deals Okayed By Obama Administration In 2014

“The consumer group Campaign for Accountability (CFA) asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Wednesday to investigate rooftop solar companies for misleading sales practices targeting senior citizens and other vulnerable populations in the same manner sub-prime lenders did before the 2008 financial crisis.

CFA sent a letter to the FTC after reviewing consumer complaints about companies that install rooftop solar panels. The letter states that solar companies have engaged in false and misleading behavior to market and sell panels and asks the FTC to investigate.” More here.> Solar Companies Using ‘2008 Sub-Prime Lender’ Tactics To Sell Panels

Albuquerque Tea Party granted tax-exempt status after 8 years

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington dead at 41

California winner of $447.8million Powerball comes forward and takes lump sum payment of $279.1million

Detroit — “The grand jury investigation into female genital mutilation has spread to at least three more states as federal agents have identified new targets in the case, according to federal court records.

The targets live in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, according to federal court records and interviews with people close to an investigation that, until now, was focused on conduct involving girls from Michigan and Minnesota.” More here.> Muslim female genital mutilation case spreads to LA, Chicago and New York


Senate narrowly confirms Trump appeals court nominee

Kamala Harris, Rand Paul introduce bipartisan bail reform legislation

Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions

The White House said Trump ‘clearly’ has confidence in Sessions

FBI turns over 7,000 documents from Weiner laptop in Clinton-tied case

Trump talked Sessions, Mueller, Comey and Putin in a wide-ranging interview

A Virginia McDonald’s has taken action after an employee refused service to an officer

2 of the 6 Burundi teens missing after the DC robotics challenge were seen entering Canada

July 20 (UPI) — “A Pennsylvania judge Thursday sentenced a couple to up to seven years in prison for “gifting” their daughters to a man who then sexually abused the girls.

Bucks County Judge Jeffrey Finley sentenced Daniel Stoltzfus and Savilla Stoltzfus each to seven years in prison after they pleaded guilty to child endangerment charges.


A Pennsylvania judge sentenced Savilla Stoltzfus and her husband, Daniel Stoltzfus each to seven years in prison for gifting their daughters to Lee Kaplan after the man helped them financially. Photo courtesy Lower Southampton Police Department

Daniel Stoltzfus, 44, is eligible for parole after serving three and 1/2 years in prison, and Savilla Stoltzfus, 43, must serve at least three years. Each will be credited for time served.” More here.> Pennsylvania parents get 7 years each for ‘gifting’ daughters


Confusion reigns in Senate on healthcare

Senate Republicans complain of disarray in healthcare effort


U.S. economy poised for faster growth? Leading indicators say yes

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)—”The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits sank in mid-July and hovered near a 44-year low, reflecting the healthiest jobs market in more than a decade.


Companies have hired so many people since 2010 that they are running out of suitable job applicants, keeping layoffs near a 44-year low.

More here.> Jobless claims plummet 15,000 to 233,000

“The White House said Thursday it had withdrawn or removed from active consideration more than 800 proposed regulations that were never finalized during the Obama administration as it works to shrink the federal government’s regulatory footprint.

In a report, the Trump administration said it had withdrawn 469 planned regulatory actions that had been part of the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda published last fall. Officials also reconsidered 391 active regulatory proceedings actions by reclassifying them as long-term or inactive “allowing for further careful review,” the White House said.

The administration’s move to eliminate regulations makes good on a much-repeated Trump campaign promise to promote business-friendly policies. Investors have also anticipated the action, helping to push share prices higher on hopes fewer regulations will unfetter business growth and lead to higher corporate profits.” More here.> White House deregulation push clears out hundreds of proposed rules

Commentary / Opinion:

“If you don’t believe political correctness is a threat to free speech, you haven’t been paying attention.”

“Ads that perpetuate gender stereotypes will be banned in UK, but not in the good ol’ USA!” reads a recent headline at the Web site Jezebel. Yay to the good ol’ USA for continuing to value the fundamental right of free expression, you might say. Or maybe not.

Why would a feminist — or anyone, for that matter — celebrate the idea of empowering bureaucrats to decide how we talk about “gender stereotypes”? Because these days, foundational values mean increasingly little to those who believe hearing something disagreeable is the worst thing that could happen to them.

Sometimes you need a censor, this Jezebel writer points out, because nefarious conglomerates like “Big Yogurt” have been “targeting women for decades.” She, and the British, apparently, don’t believe that women have the capacity to make consumer choices or the inner strength to ignore ads peddling probiotic yogurts.” More here.> Be Very Worried About The Future Of Free Expression