In the News

News and Headlines. 11/14/2018


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

In The News:

Urn containing grandmother’s ashes survives catastrophic wildfire

An urn containing a loved one's ashes

An urn containing a loved one’s ashes survived the destructive and deadly Camp Fire in Paradise. (Photo courtesy: Bobby O’Reiley)

PARADISE, Calif. – Running from a tower of flames was a terrifying escape for Amber Paton and her family.

Like thousands of others, they ran.

“Family upon family just running down the street. Running,” Paton told KTXL. “Flames on both sides. It was crazy.”

Paton and her family left everything behind.

MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT COULD GO BACK TO US STATES. HERE’S HOW

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The $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot could go back to all the U.S. states that participated in the lottery because the jackpot winner has yet to come forward to claim the cash prize.

“If a jackpot prize is not claimed within the required time limit (which varies by state), each participating state in the Mega Millions game will get back all the money that state contributed to the unclaimed jackpot,” according to the Mega Millions website.

Ohio family charged in Rhoden murders kept low profile in Alaska, neighbor says

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George “Billy” Wagner III, Angela Wagner and sons George Wagner IV and Edward “Jake” Wagner were indicted by a grand jury on Monday, and were each charged with eight counts of aggravated murder, investigators said. (Twitter/Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine)

An Ohio family of four, charged Tuesday in the execution-style slayings of eight people in 2016, relocated to Alaska about a year after the murders, living a quiet life — even as officials continued to eye them as suspects in the slaughter.

“I just might tell you this is just the most bizarre story I’ve ever seen in being involved in law enforcement,” DeWine said.

In June 2017, a little over a year after the April 2016 killings that garnered national attention, the Wagners moved to Kenai, Alaska, about three hours southwest of Anchorage.

‘I could actually hear the bones breaking in my face’ says road rage victim

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DICKSON CITY, Pa. – A Pennsylvania man says he was nearly killed after being punched out at a stoplight in Dickson City by a road rage driver.

Abdalla was driving in Dickson City on October 30th, when he says a man in a white Honda or Hyundai vehicle was driving erratically.

According to the Dickson City police report, Abdalla told the driver, “You’re in the wrong lane.” Moments later, the light turned red at the intersection of Route 6 and Scott Road.

After Abdalla stopped, the man he was arguing with got out of his car and came to the driver’s side window, so Abdalla rolled his window down to see what he had to say.

California: Egyptian immigrant charged with fraud after driving off pier, killing two autistic sons

wireap_61270b1fa1e44e4dac9e2507aa4534a6_12x5_992An Egyptian man was held without bail Tuesday on federal charges of fraudulently collecting insurance payouts after driving his severely autistic children to their deaths when he sped off a pier into the Port of Los Angeles.

Ali Elmezayen plotted for over two years before launching his plan into action April 9, 2015, when he barreled down a commercial fishing dock in San Pedro, turned his Honda abruptly toward a parking space and gunned the engine, federal authorities said.

Federal investigators said they found that Elmezayen spent about a quarter of his reported $24,000 salary to insure himself, his longtime partner and three sons for $6 million.

Elmezayen repeatedly called insurers to confirm they wouldn’t automatically investigate a claim made more than two years after a policy was written, federal prosecutors said.

The deadly plunge occurred two years and 12 days after the final policy took effect, authorities said.

Illinois police: Witnesses say cop told guard to drop gun

Witnesses told investigators that a white suburban Chicago police officer who fatally shot a black security guard outside the bar where the guard worked had repeatedly asked him to drop a gun, Illinois State Police revealed without addressing reports that bar patrons had shouted at the officer that the man was a security guard.

The news release sent late Tuesday night marks the first time that Illinois State Police have addressed in detail what happened early Sunday when officers were dispatched to the bar in response to a shots-fired call. It comes as questions have swirled about whether the shooting was justified and whether race played a role.

Garden City, Missouri Lays Off Entire Police Force; No Explanation Given

It’s not the first time this year that a town’s entire police force was fired or quit. In July, the entire four-person police department of Blandford, Massachusetts, resigned over safety concerns.

Also in July, the entire police department of Southport, North Carolina, was put on leave after its chief and lieutenant were arrested, WECT reported at the time. Chief Gary Smith, 46, and Lt. Michael Christian Simmons, 48, were charged with several crimes, including conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses.

In 2016, the town of Bunker Hill, Indiana, saw its entire police force quit because the city’s leaders were engaged in “illegal, unethical, and immoral things,” NBC reported at the time. “This was our last effort to make a statement,” former Marshal Michael Thomison told the network.

School Punishes Male Teacher For Refusing To Watch A Naked Girl In The Boys’ Locker Room

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With a “gag order,” school administrators forbade teachers from talking about the change, and ordered a male P.E. teacher to supervise the potentially undressed girl in the Chasco Middle School locker room, the letter says. When he refused to “knowingly place himself in a position to observe a minor female in the nude or otherwise in a state of undress,” administrators told him “he will be transferred to another school as discipline for ‘not doing your job in the locker room.’”

In an email, an administrator initially threatened to put the male coach on administrative leave, telling him that refusing to supervise a potentially naked female student would “not be tolerated,”said Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast. The school’s other P.E. teacher, who is female, also objected and was ignored.

Wisconsin Glassware Company Gifts Employees With Handguns for Christmas

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A company in Wisconsin that produces glassware will be gifting all of its employees with handguns for Christmas to promote safety.

According to the Appleton Post-Crescent, shot glass-maker BenShot decided on the ironic gift to promote team building as well.

Co-owner Ben Wolfgram told the outlet that most of his employees were “excited” to receive their firearm.

“I’ve never been a part of anything like this,” employee Chelsea Priest said.

Migrants from caravan begin climbing border fence in Tijuana

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The first wave of migrants from the Central American caravan began climbing border fences on Tuesday after arriving at the U.S. border.

Many on the Mexican side of the border climbed the fence and sat or walked on top of it, while others jumped and crawled through openings in the fence, only to run back to the Mexico side when U.S. Border Patrol agents approached, Fox 5 San Diego reported.

New video shows migrant caravan is ‘organized, well-funded’

Filmmaker Ami Horowitz traveled to Mexico for a firsthand look at the migrant caravan from Central America. Horowitz shares what he saw on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

Mattis defends use of military on US-Mexico border

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday defended the use of active duty troops on the U.S.-Mexican border, saying that in some ways it provides good training for war. He argued that it’s analogous to a 1916 deployment to counter the Mexican revolutionary Gen. Francisco “Pancho” Villa.

Asked whether he believes there is a security threat at the border that justifies the use of the active duty military, Mattis said he defers to the judgment of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who joined him at the border Wednesday.

“The eyes of the world right now — certainly all of the Americans — are on you,” Mattis told the soldiers, adding that they are part of a “non-traditional” mission. “We’re here because of the number of illegals who say they are going to illegally try to cross into our country,” he said, apparently referring to the several thousand migrants moving north through Mexico.

One soldier asked Mattis what are the short- and long-term plans for the military mission.

Facebook morale takes a tumble along with stock price

Facebook Inc.’s difficult year is taking a toll on employee morale, with several key measures of internal sentiment taking a sharp turn for the worse over the past year, according to people familiar with the matter and messages reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Amid a plunge in the stock price, ongoing leadership turmoil and critical media coverage, just over half of employees said they were optimistic about Facebook’s future, down 32 percentage points from the year earlier, according to the survey, which was taken by nearly 29,000 employees. Fifty-three percent said Facebook was making the world better, down 19 percentage points from a year ago.

Federal prosecutors reviewing altered election documents tied to Florida Democrats

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of State last week asked federal prosecutors to investigate dates that were changed on official state election documents, the first voting “irregularities” it has flagged in the wake of the 2018 elections.

The concerns, which the department says can be tied to the Florida Democratic Party, center around date changes on forms used to fix vote-by-mail ballots sent with incorrect or missing information.

Audio of a Florida Democratic Party caller leaving a voicemail message asking a Palm Beach County voter to fix their vote by mail ballot after Election Day, which is not allowed, was also sent to POLITICO separately. It was not part of the information turned over to federal prosecutors.

DOJ says Matthew Whitaker can serve as acting attorney general

The Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion Wednesday supporting President Trump’s appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general, despite criticism from Democrats who have questioned his qualifications to oversee the Russia investigation.

In its opinion, the Office of Legal Counsel said that the president’s appointment of Whitaker to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was consistent with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (VRA) of 1998.

Kevin McCarthy chosen to lead House Republicans in next Congress

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California

House Republicans chose Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California to be minority leader in the next Congress.

House Republicans on Wednesday chose Rep. Kevin McCarthy for their top leadership spot in the next session of Congress, putting a close ally of President Donald Trump at the helm as the party returns to the minority in the lower chamber of Congress.

McCarthy, a 53-year-old Californian, fended off a challenge from Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan in a secret-ballot election for minority leader. Jordan is a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus and was expected to win some support from fellow conservatives.

House Republicans also chose Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise as their minority whip, or head vote-counter, and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming to be chairwoman of the House Republican conference. In that role the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney will be in charge of messaging.

Lindsey Graham ‘totally’ ready to seek answers on Clinton emails inquiry as Judiciary chairman

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he would further investigate the Hillary Clinton email controversy should he become chairman of the Judiciary Committee next year.

Asked by CNN about whether he would pursue answers on the FBI-run emails inquiry as well as another FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Graham said “totally.”

Cuomo, De Blasio blasted by Democrats and NYC residents over incentive-laden deal to bring Amazon to Big Apple

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio shake hands during a news conference Tuesday announcing the Amazon deal.(AP)

New York’s top politicians Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have been accused of an “immoral waste of taxpayer’s money” and being out of touch with their constituents as the chorus of complaints grows louder over the incentive-laden package put together by the Democrats to lure Amazon to the Big Apple.

The comments come as residents and politicians from within their party voice their displeasure with what they perceive as is too sweet of a deal for Amazon to set up shop in Long Island City, a Queens neighborhood they say has long been in need of improvements in affordable housing, education and infrastructure.

Schumer to Trump: Stay out of budget talks

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Senate Democrats also want to ensure that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker doesn’t interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion. | AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that budget negotiations are set to move forward so long as President Donald Trump doesn’t interfere with them.

The battle over funding the government is expected to raise several controversial issues, including funding for Trump’s border wall and language protecting special counsel Robert Mueller’s job.

Trump and his Republican allies want the spending bill to include a substantial funding increase for border security, with Senate Republicans asking for $5 billion. Democrats oppose the proposal without a deal on immigration.

Democrat Infighting Over House Power Positions Gets ‘Racially-Charged’

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The power struggle among House Democrats has gotten ugly quick, with one leading candidate for the third-ranking role accusing his detractors of using racially charged criticisms to thwart his bid for majority whip.

“Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina on Tuesday accused detractors of using racially-charged ‘dog whistles’ to undermine his bid for the No. 3 slot in House Democratic leadership,” McClatchy’s Emma Dumain reports.

“Clyburn, the current assistant Democratic leader and highest ranking black lawmaker in Congress, told McClatchy race was being injected into the competition for House majority whip.”

Russian military jammed GPS signals during NATO war games, Norway says

Russian military units in the Arctic jammed GPS signals being used during largescale NATO exercises in Norway that ended last week, the Norwegian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

Norway’s Foreign Ministry “was aware that jamming has been recorded between Oct. 16 and Nov. 7 from the Russian forces” on the Arctic Kola peninsula, it said in an email to the Associated Press. Norwegian officials had earlier raised the issue with Russian authorities.

Pence: “All-Out Cold War” Coming If China Doesn’t Change Course; “We Won’t Back Down”

Pence head to Asia, via USA Today

Pence head to Asia, via USA Today

Threat of initiating a “cold war” with China is one thing when analysts and op-ed pages have thrown the term into the public square of late; however, its quite another, constituting dramatically escalatory rhetoric, when the vice president of the United States says it. It represents a dangerous crescendo after months of rapid downward spiraling Washington-Beijing relations, and at a time when Russia is demonstrating its increasingly cooperative stance of solidarity with China.

The words also come weeks before Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping are expected to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on November 30. Given the timing, we could also be witnessing the administration laying the groundwork for Trump’s classic “arguing from the extremes” to pressure foreign leaders to give up more during negotiations.

Pence reportedly said the White House is prepared to undertake take dramatic policy changes regarding China if Beijing does not capitulate to its demands as the trade war continues. In addition to the issue of tariffs, pressing security issues include the US demanding Chinese cessation of what’s reported to be widespread intellectual property theft and refusal to recognized America freedom of navigation through and above the South China Sea.

World News:

ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER RESIGNS, ACCUSES NETANYAHU OF SURRENDERING TO HAMAS

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Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned Wednesday in protest over a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, according to The Associated Press.

The Tuesday ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas was agreed to after Hamas launched 460 rockets into Israel and Israel responded by striking 160 Hamas targets, according to the BBC.

Lieberman wanted a firmer response to the attacks. He accused Netanyahu of perusing a policy that was “surrender to terrorism,” according to The AP.

The West Must Offer Immediate Asylum to Asia Bibi

Asia Bibi’s case looks as if it is coming from “another, medieval world.”

one of Asia Bibi's daughters,

Pictured: Eisham Masih, one of Asia Bibi’s daughters, is greeted by Pope Francis in 2015. (Image source: HazteOir/Wikimedia Commons)

Her “guilt,” as an “unclean” Christian, was for drinking water from a communal well, used by Muslim neighbors. Two Muslim women alleged that because she, a Christian, had touched the water from the well, the entire well was now haram(forbidden by Islamic law). Bibi responded by saying “I think Jesus would see it differently from Mohammed,” that Jesus had “died on the cross for the sins of mankind,” and asked, “What did your Prophet Muhammad ever do to save mankind?” She was accused of insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad and put on trial for “blasphemy.” She was told to convert to Islam or die.

Bibi spent more than eight years in a Pakistani prison, in solitary confinement, much of that time on death row. On October 3, 2018, Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted her. Then, for a whole week, her fate remained unclear. After violent protests by “hard-line Islamists call[ing] for her execution” that “paralyzed large parts of the country for two days,” the government made “concessions” to the Islamists, and capitulated to their demands. The government pledged not to oppose adding Bibi to a “no-fly list,” which would prevent her from leaving the country.

So, after being found not guilty and freed from prison, Bibi is still being held against her will in Pakistan — ostensibly for her own “safety,” but in reality, it seems the purpose is to allow a mob to murder her more easily.

UK leader May says Cabinet backs Brexit deal amid Conservative opposition

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday that her Cabinet supported a draft agreement laying out the terms of Great Britain’s divorce from the European Union, setting the stage for a battle royale within her Conservative Party and the House of Commons.

“This is a decisive step which allows us to move on and finalize the deal in the days ahead,” said May, who spoke in front of 10 Downing Street following a five-hour Cabinet meeting. “I firmly believe, with my head and my heart that this is a decision which is in the best interests of the United Kingdom,” she said.

Commentary/Opinion:

Ilhan Omar’s Election Shows Democrats Aren’t Interested In Confronting Anti-Semitism

Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar, one of the first of two Muslim women to be elected to Congress, is a new kind of politician. She’s telegenic. Ideologically progressive. Widely celebrated by a media that’s obsessed with identity politics. She’s the kind of politician who can openly side with Hamas against Israel or spread “Protocols of Zion”-style conspiracies on Twitter, claiming that Jews possess the supernatural ability to hypnotize the world as they unfurl their “evil.”

It’s no mistake that Omar insists Israel is an “apartheid regime,” an ugly, simplistic, misleading, and irresponsible accusation. It’s not only the propellant for anti-Semitism on campuses across the country, it’s the foundational accusation of the BDS movement, which is attempting to recreate the campaign against racist South African apartheid in the 1980s.

Israel’s laws, of course, make absolutely no distinctions based on a person’s race. Every person in Israel has the ability to participate in the democratic process, and all have equal standing under the law.

Laura Ingraham: The Freshman Insurrection

The Democrats’ new congressional class is already turning out to be more than Nancy Pelosi bargained for.

Eco Radicals Not Climate Change Responsible For California Fires

It is exactly the Global Warming ~ Climate Change Eco Radicals who have increased the severity of California forest fires. First of all by diverting water from forest lands to flow out to the Pacific ocean in order to protect the Delta Smelt fish they increased the effects of drought conditions.

We used to manage our forests. That included allowing selective logging on federal forest lands. It also meant thinning, cleaning, cutting, clearing and removal of dead trees and underbrush and controlled burns to prevent unstoppable fires. When timber density becomes acute forests are a time bomb in waiting.

It is Eco Radicals and Environmental Wackos who are responsible for federal forests becoming tinderboxes. They not only think that thinning of forests, removal of underbrush and selective logging are “unatural” and against mother earth, they turn around and blame those of us who think Global Warming is an unproven theory.

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