News and Headlines. 12/27/2017

Sections covered in the News and Headlines today, In The News, Government, World News, Check This out, Commentary/Opinion.

Hate crimes and hoaxes: 10 campus stories debunked in 2017

Remember when a black cadet at the Air Force Academy said he found a racist message in his dorm? That prompted Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria to say, in a speech that went viral, “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”

Turns out the episode was a hoax; the cadet had committed the hate crime all by himself.

The biggest Hollywood scandals of 2017

2017 has been one of the most scandal-filled years for Hollywood to date. Mega movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct and the claims spurred a slew of allegations against other top stars. Meanwhile, plenty of other scandals plagued Hollywood throughout the year such as Johnny Depp’s alleged wild behavior and stars’ racy pics leaking online.

Congresswoman who ‘bumped’ passenger from flight plays the race card

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who was accused by a United Airlines passenger of bumping her from a first-class seat, said in a Twitter screed on Tuesday that she believes the incident is all about race.

“Since this was not any fault of mine, the way the individual continued to act appeared to be, upon reflection, because I was an African American woman, seemingly an easy target along with the African American flight attendant who was very, very nice,” the Texas Democrat wrote in a post. “This saddens me, especially at this time of year given all of the things we have to work on to help people.”

“But in the spirit of this season and out of the sincerity of my heart, if it is perceived that I had anything to do with this, I am kind enough to simply say sorry,” Jackson Lee continued. “But as an African American, I know there are too many examples like this all over the nation.”

Child Abuse: Arizona Infant Violently Bent in Half by Dad Has Died

A 6-month-old baby boy died last Thursday after his father aggressively bent him in half to silence his crying.

Robert Anthony Resendiz, 30, was arrested after his infant son arrived at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital on Tuesday, December 19, with severe injuries, reported.

Robert Anthony Resendiz has been accused of bending his 6-month-old infant son in half
Robert Anthony Resendiz has been accused of bending his 6-month-old infant son in half to silence his crying. Police said the child died on December 21. Youtube/12 News

Upon examination of the victim’s body, doctors found a grade 4 liver laceration, a left lateral wrist fracture, a laceration of the pancreas and pattern bruising to the right thigh, according to Maricopa County court documents.

Police: Omaha man wanted in killings of his parents, niece

An Omaha man who served prison time for killing his wife in 1998 is wanted in the deaths of his parents and a niece, police said Wednesday.

A first-degree murder warrant has been issued for John Dalton Jr., 46, who remains at large, police said.

Officers responding Tuesday to a report of shootings found three bodies in a northeast Omaha home. Police identified the victims as John Dalton Sr., 70; Jean Dalton, 65; and 18-year-old Leonna Dalton-Phillip.

Ohio teens now charged with murder for allegedly killing motorist with sandbag dropped from overpass

Four Ohio teens were charged with murder on Tuesday for allegedly throwing a sandbag from a highway overpass as a part of a prank that left one man dead, police said.

The victim, 22-year-old Marquise Byrd of Warren, Michigan, died late last week, succumbing to injuries sustained on Dec. 19 when the teens allegedly dropped a construction sandbag from an overpass onto I-75 in Toledo, Ohio, according to the Toledo Police Department.

Florida man accused of attacking ATM for dispensing too much cash

COCOA, Fla. — A Florida man has been charged with criminal mischief for a November incident in which police say he caused more than $5,000 in damages to an ATM machine.

He apparently attacked the ATM after it dispensed more money than he wanted to withdraw, according to a complaint filed by Cocoa Police Department.

Facing the Prospect of Further Ratings Decline, the NFL Cancels ‘Sunday Night Football’ for Week 17

After an entire season spent battling anthem protests, collapsing ratings, and other political controversy; on the final scheduled primetime game of the year, the NFL has decided to say: No Mas.


Federal Employees Get 8.5 Weeks Off A Year, Costing Taxpayers $22 Billion

Federal employees are given an average of 43 days off per year, costing taxpayers well over $22 billion for that luxury, government watchdog organization OpenTheBooks reported.

Employees of the federal government are given, on average, 13 sick days, 10 federal holidays and 20 vacation days per year, according to the Tuesday OpenTheBooks study. Giving federal employees roughly 8.5 weeks off a year costs taxpayers $22.6 billion annually.

Some 406,960 federal employees made six-figure incomes in 2016, amounting to around 20 percent of all listed federal employees.

DOJ scolds Obama administration over reported groping, harassment, office sex

The Justice Department scolded the Obama administration on Wednesday following a report on how sexual harassment of all kinds was improperly handled at the department for years.

The Washington Post reported that the DOJ’s inspector general had found “systemic” problems with how complaints were addressed, with offending officials often being let off the hook or even rewarded. The article cited investigative reports on a lawyer who allegedly groped two female attorneys and a top U.S. Marshals official who had sex with “approximately” nine women in his office.

Though fresh complaints have been filed as recently as August, the IG said some of the worst alleged offenses happened several years ago in the department’s Civil Division.

Fourth Defendant Charged in Ohio Trafficking Scheme Involving Immigrant Minors

A federal court today unsealed charges against a fourth defendant for participating in a labor-trafficking scheme that forced minors to work at egg farms in central Ohio.  The defendant, Pablo Duran Ramirez, was apprehended Saturday by Border Patrol while attempting to cross the border between Mexico and the United States. Three other defendants have previously been convicted for participating in the scheme.

Florida Resident Sentenced to Prison for Stolen Identity Refund Fraud

According to documents and information provided to the court, from approximately 2008 through January 2015, in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, Evens Julien, 53, and others, used stolen IDs, including the personal identifying information of prisoners and deceased individuals, to file over 2,000 tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  These fraudulent returns sought more than $2 million in refunds.  Julien and his co-conspirators recruited others to obtain Electronic Filing Identification Numbers from the IRS in their names and used the EFINs to file the fraudulent returns.  They directed the refunds to debit cards and treasury checks and had them mailed to South Florida addresses.  They then cashed the fraudulently obtained refund checks at check cashing stores and used Western Union and ATMs to withdraw the funds.

Army and Homeland Security prepping teachers for the gunman at the door

The U.S. Army and the Department of Homeland Security have created a computer-based simulator that trains teachers on how best to react in an active-shooter situation.

The $5.6 million program – it’s called the Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment, or EDGE – is similar to those used by the Army, in which a virtual environment helps train soldiers in combat tactics and scenarios.

School Virtual Shooter Program Aimed at Survival

World News:

Explosion at St. Petersburg supermarket injures 4, reports say

Russian news reports say at least four people have been injured by an explosion at a supermarket in St. Petersburg.

Russian news agencies quoted St. Petersburg’s branch of the Emergencies Ministry as saying that a device containing 200 grams of explosives went off on Wednesday at a storage area for customers’ bags.

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion at the market in the city’s northwest Kalininsky district.

Report: Muslim Brotherhood Involved in UK Terror Attacks

Woman confined by her parents for years found frozen to death: cops

TOKYO — Japanese police said Wednesday they have arrested a couple whose 33-year-old daughter froze to death in a tiny room where they had confined her for years because they believed she had a form of mental illness that made her violent.

Western Japan’s Osaka Prefectural Police Department said Airi Kakimoto’s body was found in a state of extreme malnutrition after her parents reported the death Saturday. She was 4.76 feet tall and weighed just 42 pounds.

Check This Out:

Dive In: Norway is Opening the World’s Largest Underwater Restaurant

As restaurants up the ante with evermore extreme dining experiences, it seems they could run out of new and unique avenues to explore. However, the designers of the soon-to-be-unveiled Under took a decidedly different approach altogether with a concept unlike any European restaurant before: they’re going underwater.

The semi-submerged restaurant 15 feet below the waters
The semi-submerged restaurant 15 feet below the waters of the North Sea in southern Norway.

The semi-submerged restaurant will extend more than 15 feet below the waters of the North Sea in southern Norway. Upon entering the futuristic, tunnel-like structure, visitors will pass a…

First Underwater Art Museum in the U.S. to Debut in Florida in 2018

Ocean lovers are always in search of the next big thing, whether that means skating the water’s surface on a hydrofoil bicycle, dining at the world’s largest underwater restaurant, or diving without oxygen tanks just for the thrill of it. Now, Florida is planning a different kind of marine destination worth exploring: the first permanent underwater art museum in the United States.

Commentary / Opinion:

Did the FBI Conspire to Stop Trump?

The original question the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign was to answer was a simple one: Did he do it?

Did Trump, or officials with his knowledge, collude with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to hack the emails of John Podesta and the DNC, and leak the contents to damage Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump?