News and Headlines. 9/26/2018

News and Headlines. In The News, Tech Watch, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.


The Veterans Affairs’ National Suicide Data Report shows a continued increase in suicide rates for veterans ages 18 to 34, according to an early copy obtained by The Wall Street Journal ahead of the report’s Wednesday publication.

The suicide rate for younger veterans “jumped” from 40.4 suicide deaths per 100,000 in 2015 to 45 per 100,000 in 2016, according to the report cited by WSJ. The suicide rate among veterans ages 18 to 34 has been on the rise over the last decade, according to WSJ.

The report also found that the 2016 suicide rate was “1.8 times higher among female Veterans compared with non-Veteran adult women, after adjusting for age.”

Even though veterans comprise 8 percent of the U.S. population, veteran suicides represented 14 percent of the national suicide rate in 2016, according to the report.

Immigrants could be required to show credit scores if they want to stay in the U.S.

Under a U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposal, intended to determine who is considered “admissible” to the country, immigrants would have to provide evidence of their financial status.

This includes applications for public benefits in the U.S., proof of private health insurance to cover certain medical conditions, and their credit histories and credit scores.

The purpose of the proposed rule, which the DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed on Friday, is to stop immigrants becoming legal residents who may become a “public charge,” meaning someone who is primarily dependent on government assistance.

The proposal, which now faces public commentary, would also apply to immigrants seeking an extension of stay or change of status.

Trump Rule Rejects Migrants Who Cannot Speak English

People with the lowest English speaking ability tend to have the lowest employment rate, lowest rate of full-time employment, and lowest median earnings. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, people who spoke a language other than English at home were less likely to be employed, and less likely to find full-time work when employed.

In a 2005 study, “on average, workers who spoke only English earned $5,600 more than people who spoke another language.”

People who cannot speak English are also more likely to rely on welfare, the draft says:

data indicate that the rate of coverage of non-cash benefits among those who spoke English either well or very well (about 15 to 20 percent) was significantly lower than the rate among those who either spoke English poorly or not at all (about 25 to 30 percent)

Suspect in deadly California attacks was deported 6 times

LOS ANGELES – A Texas man suspected of killing three people and seriously injuring four in a string of attacks on sleeping Southern California men — most of them homeless — had a long criminal history and had been deported from the United States six times, immigration officials said Tuesday night.

Ramon Escobar, 47, who was believed homeless himself, likely targeted victims to rob them, Los Angeles police Capt. William Hayes told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.


Escobar could be charged Wednesday with murder and attempted murder in connection with a weekslong string of attacks.

Meanwhile, authorities in Houston investigated him for the disappearance of his aunt and uncle.

WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO: Footage captures bodybuilder pummeling girlfriend in ‘roid rage’ attack

A disturbing and graphic video appearing to show a hulking bodybuilder pummel his girlfriend surfaced Wednesday as the man remains jailed in Michigan after what attorneys are calling a “roid rage” attack.

Paul Bashi
Paul Bashi is accused of attacking his girlfriend inside his rental home in Washington Township in July. If convicted of attempted murder, he could face life in prison, media reports say. (Fox2Detroit)

The footage, obtained by Fox2Detroit, shows 35-year-old Paul Bashi punching, kicking and throwing lit candles at 22-year-old Kristina Perry inside his rental home in Washington Township in late July. At one point in the video, his arm is covered in blood as he heaves a canister at Perry, who is pressed up against a wall and a couch.

“Time and time and time again this defendant beat her as she lay motionless on the ground,”

South Carolina man linked to 2 kidnappings, 1 sex assault, police say

A South Carolina man who allegedly kidnapped two women and committed sexual assault on one, was arrested Tuesday night, police said.

Columbia police said suspect Gregory Bernard Roberts Jr., 28, faces charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree kidnapping, assault and battery, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, Columbia’s the State reported.

Gregory Bernard Roberts Jr., 28,
Gregory Bernard Roberts Jr., 28, was arrested Tuesday evening on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. (Columbia Police Department)

According to police, Roberts forced a woman into his home at gunpoint in early September before assaulting her. He then threatened to hurt the woman and a relative of hers if she left, according to the report.

Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra adviser arrested on child pornography charges

The artistic adviser for the Boston Philharmonic and Youth Orchestra faces up to 20 years in prison after allegedly downloading thousands of child pornography files and taking steps to cover his tracks, state prosecutors said Wednesday.

David St. George, 71 of Arlington, was charged Tuesday with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

“A search warrant executed at St. George’s residence today revealed thousands of files of child pornography, including the sexual assaults of children between six-and-eight years old,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement.

Video: Police Shoot ‘Frenzied’ Man Armed With Box Cutter

Police in Asheville, North Carolina, released body camera footage of an officer-involved shooting of a man who allegedly attacked him with a box cutter.

Jonathan Alan Bedrosian was convicted after pleading guilty to an assault charge earlier this month, WLOS-TV reported on Sept. 19.asheville-police-video-bodycam

He is accused of attacking Lt. Michael Lamb with a box cutter, and police said Lamb shot the suspect three times during the incident. Bedrosian survived the May 11 incident.

The Citizen-Times reported that Bedrosian stabbed and slashed Lamb with the box cutter.

NFL heiress accused of attacking lawyer with glass purse during anti-Semitic rant may be headed to trial

The NFL heiress who allegedly hit a lawyer with her glass purse while spewing anti-Semitic comments on New Year’s Eve may be heading to trial.

Jacqueline Kent Cooke, the 29-year-old daughter of late Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday where a judge adjourned the case to Oct. 23, the New York Daily News reported.

Attorney Matthew Haberkorn alleges that socalite Jacqueline Kent Cooke called his mother a
Attorney Matthew Haberkorn alleges that socalite Jacqueline Kent Cooke called his mother a “Jew” and attacked him with a glass purse. (Matthew Haberkorn/Instagram)

Matthew Haberkorn previously told the New York Daily News the NFL heiress became irate last New Year’s Eve when she was waiting behind his 77-year-old mother in a coat-check line.

A woman hid her mother’s body so she could watch it go through ‘the stages of death,’ police say

A North Carolina woman is accused of keeping her 93-year-old mother’s dead body so she could watch it decompose.

Authorities said Tuesday Donna Sue Hudgins, 69, hid her mother’s body in their home in Enfield, not far from Raleigh, for several months before she told family members, friends or the funeral home her mother had died.

Donna Sue Hudgins (Enfield Police Department)
Donna Sue Hudgins (Enfield Police Department)

Hudgins told police the reason she did not tell anyone was because “she was curious and wanted to see the stages of death,” according to a statement from the Enfield Police Department.

Man who lost hand in sausage-making ordeal cut off own arm

A 69-year-old Vietnam vet who lost a hand after it got stuck in a meat mixer while he was making sausage at his North Dakota home says he had to slice off his left arm above the wrist with a butcher knife or risk bleeding to death.

In his first public comments since the Aug. 17 accident, Myron Schlafman said he credits two police officers with saving his life by quickly applying a tourniquet before ambulance crews took him to the hospital.

In his first public comments since the Aug. 17 accident, (AP)

Schlafman said he was taking a chunk of meat out of the mixer in the garage of his Jamestown home when he accidentally stepped on a pedal to activate the machine.

Florida teacher claims she lost job after refusing to give half-credit to students who didn’t turn in work

Diane Tirado, 52, said West Gate K-8 School in Port St. Lucie had a “no zero” policy, requiring teachers to give students no less than a 50-percent grade on assignments.

Tirado posted a photo on her Facebook of a note left on a whiteboard to her students saying she was fired. The photo went viral and was shared more than 1,600 times as of Wednesday morning.

Tirado told WPTV she has been a teacher for 17 years and was hired by the school in August. She said she was terminated on Sept. 14, but no specific cause was given in her termination letter from the principal at the school, since Tirado was still on probation having been recently hired.

She told the station she assigned her students a notebook project and gave them two weeks to complete the work. She said a few students didn’t bring in the assignment, and that’s when she learned about the school’s “no zero” policy.

College seeks paid social justice activist

The University of California, Santa Cruz is seeking to pay a social justice activist from outside of the UCSC community to have “dialogue” with faculty and students.

The person chosen to fill the new “Activist-in-Residence” position will receive part-time independent contractor status, work 9-10 hours per week, and receive a $4,000 stipend for the academic quarter. He or she will also be eligible to obtain up to $1,000 to fund research, according to the program description.

“I’m just confused at the point of this being a paid position.”    

UCSC’s Research Center for the Americas (RCA) is launching the program with the objective of offering access to university research resources to students and faculty in order to facilitate “social justice oriented work” that aligns with the mission of the center.

Russian law student fed up with ‘manspreading’ allegedly dumps bleach on passengers in viral video

A Russian activist has taken a stand against “manspreading” on public trains by pouring a bleach solution onto the crotches of offending male passengers.

Law student Anna Dovgalyuk
Law student Anna Dovgalyuk set of a firestorm of frenzy with a video she posted to YouTube. (Anna Dovgalyuk/east2west news)

On September 25, law student Anna Dovgalyuk posted a video to YouTube of a woman walking through a St. Petersburg-area train car and pouring the chemical solution from a water bottle onto the “manspreading” men’s laps, The Sun reports.

It remains unclear at this time if the woman in question is Dovgalyuk herself, though the outlet identifies her as so. (Anna Dovgalyuk/east2west news)

It remains unclear at this time if the woman in question is Dovgalyuk herself, though the outlet identifies her as so. There is also some question as to the legitimacy of the clip — the Russian outlet Rosbalt dismissed it as fake — but Dovgalyuk insists it is “absolutely real,” according to The Sun.

Tech Watch:

Free Speech Platform Gab Flies ‘Investigate Twitter’ Banner over Company’s HQ, the free-speech social media platform and a direct competitor to the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe, flew a banner over Twitter HQ in San Francisco recently. The banner read, “Trump: Investigate Twitter! Join,” a photo of the plane flying the banner can be seen below.Gab-Banner-640x480

A video of the plane flying above Twitter HQ has also been shared many times across Twitter:

Exclusive — Jim Jordan on Tech Giants’ Censorship: We Need to ‘Look at This Monopoly Situation’

Rep. Jordan said Congress needs to investigate the social media giants and that their rampant censorship has gotten to the point where Congress also needs to look at potentially regulating solutions and addressing Facebook, Google, and Twitter’s monopoly status on the Internet.

“We would love to have these folks in front of us. I think we’re getting to the point where something has to change,” Jordan told Breitbart News.

“If you’re not truly a social media platform, then you’re going to have to function under the laws that a newspaper has to deal with, and/or we’re going to have to look at this monopoly situation and some way to deal with that as well.”

Air Force maps plan for hew high-tech ICBM

The U.S. Air Force is taking specific steps to expedite a measured, steady developmental plan for its new, next-generation Intercontinental Ballistic Missile in order to align with the more aggressive U.S. nuclear weapons strategy outlined in the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review.

The service is already making initial technological progress on design work and “systems engineering” for a new arsenal of ICBMs to serve well into the 2070s – called Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD.

File photo - An unarmed U.S. Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches
File photo – An unarmed U.S. Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at 1:23 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time Monday, May 14, 2018, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Aubree Milks)

The most recent Nuclear Posture Review, released earlier this year, calls for an increase in nuclear weapons applications as part of a broader deterrence strategy. The NPR calls for new low-yield, nuclear armed submarine launched ballistic missiles, among other things.


Ryan breaks with Freedom Caucus over Rosenstein’s fate

Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday said he would leave embattled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s fate to President Donald Trump, arguing that House Republicans should stay out their dispute between the two men for now — and angering conservatives in the

Trump’s allies in the House want to question Rosenstein this week about allegations that he discussed secretly recording Trump and using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, both of which Rosenstein denies.

Some conservatives are threatening to defy Ryan and force a vote impeaching Rosenstein this week if he refuses to testify, or if leaders refuse to call him to do so.

But Ryan said Republicans “shouldn’t get in the way” of Trump and Rosenstein.


U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley criticized former Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday for participating in ongoing talks with Iran behind the Trump administration’s back.Opera

“What Secretary Kerry did was not only disrespectful, it was hurtful to America,” Haley said on “Fox and Friends.”

“When we are sitting there trying to get Iran to come to the table in a way that they understand the ballistic missile testing has to stop, the support of terrorism has to stop, they have to quit selling arms to the Houthis … to have another American say ‘don’t worry about it’, that absolutely is anti-American,” Haley continued. “It was hurtful to the American people.”

These Emails Show Kavanaugh Accuser’s Attorney Lied To Anderson Cooper About Senate Republicans’ ‘Game-Playing’

Mike Davis, the chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee, immediately reached out to Ramirez’s attorney, asking for information and to learn if she were willing to provide investigators a statement.

But instead of providing a statement to the committee or answering Davis’ simple question, Ramirez’s attorney, John Clune, started issuing demands for an FBI investigation. Davis calmly repeated his request for information six times over 48 hours, while Ramirez’s lawyer instead made it clear their sole intent was to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

This time the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee was having none of it: Rather than wait for Ramirez to decide whether to speak to committee investigators, Grassley announced that he would not delay, based on Ramirez’s media-reported claims,

LAPD cracks down on voter fraud on Skid Row

“This is where they do most of the voter registration fraud,” he said, pointing to the sidewalk in front of the Midnight Mission. “It’s been going on for years.”

Joseph says it’s pretty common for people hired by lobbyists to set up tables outside the missions and illegally pay people for fake signatures used for various ballot measures from all across California.


“They say, ‘Hey, you wanna make a quick buck?” Joseph explained. “They can get a quarter, a dollar, a cigarette and sometimes food. But in the last few cases it’s been money.”

W. Virginia’s Decision to Allow Smartphone Voting for Midterms Raises Serious Security Concerns

For the first time in our nation’s history, voters in 24 counties in W. Virginia will be able to vote using their mobile phones. While some are hailing the decision because it will make voting easier for members of the military deployed overseas, experts are warning of possible security breaches.

The state of W. Virginia admits that there are “substantial” security concerns, but explained that Voatz will be utilizing “federal standards for software development, regular maintenance and security upgrades, in-depth penetration testing, source code auditing and audits of the system’s cloud infrastructure. After surpassing those requirements, the pilot moved forward.”

Dem Rep Brings Convicted Money Launderer onto Full-Time Staff

Democratic representative Alcee Hastings (Fla.) has officially brought a convicted money launderer onto his full-time staff after paying the individual for “part-time” work over the past several years.Opera

Dona Nichols Jones, who has received compensation from Hastings since April 2014 for what was listed as “part-time” employment as an aide and community liaison out of his Palm Beach County office, is now listed as a “staff assistant” in his office, Legistorm filings show. 

Dona Nichols Jones is married to Mikel Jones, who worked for Rep. Hastings from 1993 to 2011 as a district administrator. The couple was convicted of money laundering, conspiracy, and fraud in 2011 after they had used hundreds of thousands of dollars from a business loan for personal use.

World News:

UK health care worker contracts rare monkeypox virus in third case

A health worker in northern England has become the third person in Britain to contract a rare illness caused by a monkeypox virus after caring for a patient infected with the disease following travel to Nigeria, health officials said on Wednesday.

The latest patient had been involved in caring for another case at Blackpool Victoria Hospital before monkeypox was diagnosed, Public Health England said in a statement.


Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not usually spread easily from person to person. The virus is similar to human smallpox, which was eradicated in 1980. Although monkeypox is much milder than smallpox, with most infected people recovering within a few weeks, it can in rare cases be fatal.


Mexican military forces took over and disarmed the Acapulco city police force Tuesday, claiming drug cartels had heavily infiltrated levels of the city’s law enforcement, CNN reported.

The Guerrero Coordination Group undertook the operation using personnel from the National Secretary of Defense, the Marines, federal police, the State Prosecutors Office and state police, spokesman Roberto Álvarez Heredia told CNN.Opera

The beach resort turned drug haven now boasts two police commanders charged with murder and an entire police force 700 strong stripped of its equipment and sent in for background checks, according to The Independent.

Trump says he’s willing to meet Maduro to ‘save lives’ of Venezuelans

Donald Trump has said he is willing to meet Nicolás Maduro if it would help ease suffering in Venezuela.Opera

Trump’s remarks as he arrived for meetings at the United Nations came as speculation mounted that Maduro decided to travel at the last minute to New York to deliver his speech to the general assembly. He had earlier threatened to skip the summit.

“I’m willing to meet with anybody anytime I can [to] save lives, help people,” Trump said as he was asked whether the US would ever intervene military to remove Maduro.

Trump at U.N. accuses China of meddling in U.S. elections

“Regrettably we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election coming up in November against my administration,” the president said at a U.N. Security Council gathering he was chairing on stopping the spread of nuclear and chemical weapons.

The reason for the meddling, according to the president, is Beijing’s response to the $200 billion tariffs on Chinese goods Trump recently implemented.

The president has said China is intentionally going after U.S. farmers in the trade war through their agricultural export tariffs.

“They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade.

US top diplomat to visit N.Korea next month to set up summit

UNITED NATIONS — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to North Korea next month to prepare for a second summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump meant to jump-start stalled efforts to rid the North of its nuclear bombs, the State Department said Wednesday.

Pompeo was invited by Kim to Pyongyang, the North’s capital, “to make further progress on the implementation” of agreements made during a June summit in Singapore between Kim and Trump and to set up another leaders’ meeting, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

She released a statement after Pompeo met Wednesday with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho at the U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York.

Turkmenistan ends free utilities after a quarter century

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — Turkmenistan’s president has ordered a complete end to free natural gas, electricity and water, which residents of the Central Asian nation have enjoyed for a quarter century.

Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said Wednesday the move taking effect next year would help Turkmenistan more rationally use natural resources and develop a free market economy.

In recent years, Turkmenistan has reduced the amounts of free gas, electricity and water for consumers and required payments for extras. The gas-rich ex-Soviet nation has faced economic troubles as energy prices fell.


Why Trump’s Tariffs Won’t Cost Consumers a Nickel

Past administrations have called out China for violating the internationally agreed-upon rules of trade for decades.

After countless high-level talks, admonitions and appeals, China did nothing to change its cheating ways.

President Trump has dispensed with the talk and taken action, slapping tariffs on billions of dollars of goods China exports to the United States at artificially low prices.

Naysayers predicted the president’s tariffs would tank the stock market and drag down the economy. But the Dow is posting record gains, unemployment is at a 49-year low and the economy remains strong.

First, the basics:

Tariffs aren’t imposed on the final retail price the way a sales tax is. They are also not imposed on the wholesale price. They are not even imposed on what the importer pays at the dock when the goods enter the U.S.  The duties are imposed on an even lower price than that – and that’s a scandal in itself.