In the News

News and Headlines. 12/6/2018


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

In The News:


Utah couple narrowly escape gang of machete-wielding bandits in Kenya

Shocking footage shows a group of machete-wielding bandits chasing an American couple on a dusty road in Kenya.

Bryant Swenson and his wife Lauren, from Utah, were driving near Mai Mahiu on November 30 when three masked men attacked their car.


Drug Dealer Released from Prison Carjacks Woman in Jail Parking Lot, Ends Up Right Back Where He Started

Thomas Lee Williams, 36
Thomas Lee Williams, 36 Westmoreland County Prison

Thomas Lee Williams, 36, was released from jail on the evening of December 4 after serving time for a 2016 drug conviction, but he immediately attacked a woman in the prison parking lot and jacked her SUV.

The suspect reportedly punched the 65-year-old woman in the face several times before dragging her out of the vehicle, police said.Williams then drove off with the woman’s 1-year-old grandson still sitting in the back seat, according to TribLive.


Real estate seller found slain in suburban model home

Authorities say the battered body of 33-year-old Steven Bernard Wilson, a sales and marketing representative for builder Ryan Homes, was found Wednesday evening in the model home he was working out of in Hanover, Maryland.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department said officers were dispatched to the home following a 911 call but could not confirm whether Wilson made the call himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“There was very clear upper body trauma. We can’t say yet if it was a gunshot wound, a knife wound or something like that because the autopsy hasn’t been completed yet,” said police spokeswoman Sgt. Jacklyn Davis.


Deli customer throws fit over bagel order, assaults worker: ‘Make my s— right now!’

(NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information)

The man, who has not been arrested, was filmed screaming at the deli worker in the early hours of the morning on Nov. 25, demanding that the employee begin making his breakfast sandwich “right f—ing now.”

“Make my cinnamon toasted raisin bagel with bacon, egg and cheese!” the man screamed at the deli worker, according to footage released by police. “Right now! Right f—ing now!”

The unidentified suspect was also filmed pounding his fists on a display case and throwing merchandise at the worker while continuing to berate him for “f—ing up.”


Southwest Airlines flight rolls off runway at California airport

According to reports, the plane initiated its emergency stop system once it rolled off the runway. (Robert K/ Twitter @Robb138)

According to reports, the plane initiated its emergency stop system once it rolled off the runway at Bob Hope Airport, also known as Hollywood Burbank Airport. There were 117 people onboard.

The FAA confirmed the incident on Twitter, saying the plane came to rest in the Engineered Material Arresting System, a bed to quickly stop aircrafts, at the end of the runway.


US CENSUS: WEALTHIEST COUNTIES ALL SURROUND WASHINGTON, DC

The five counties with the highest median income are all suburbs of the nation’s capital, according to numbers released by the United States Census Bureau Thursday.

According to the study’s findings, the Washington, D.C., area seems to promote some of the healthiest counties in the country. The Census Bureau found that Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Howard County, Falls Church City, and Arlington County are the top five counties with the wealthiest households, as measured by median income.


Congress passes bill to keep government open for two weeks

WASHINGTON—Congress passed a two-week spending patch on Thursday, all but ensuring the government will avoid a partial shutdown this weekend.

Shortly after the House vote, the Senate passed the measure on a voice vote extending the government’s funding through Dec. 21. President Trump has said he would sign the short-term extension.

Seven spending bills are currently set to expire at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, as lawmakers face an impasse over whether to increase funding for border security. Trump has demanded $5 billion to build a wall along the border with Mexico, but Democrats have balked.


Stocks plunge again as Huawei arrest renews China tensions

U.S. stocks tumbled again Thursday, knocking 300 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average as the arrest of a senior Chinese technology executive threatened to cause another flare-up in tensions between Washington and Beijing.

China criticized the arrest but also expressed confidence that it can reach a trade agreement with the U.S. The long-smoldering dispute has deepened investors’ worries that the prospects for global economic and corporate earnings growth could be dimming.


Federal Court Blocks Lawsuit Trying To Take Down Confederate Flag

the state flag of Mississippi flies
In this June 23, 2015, file photo, the state flag of Mississippi flies at the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson, Miss. (Rogelio V. Solis / AP Photo)

A federal appeals court is not reviving a lawsuit that tried to block a Mississippi city from flying the state flag that includes the Confederate battle emblem.

“That is not a ‘discriminatory housing practice’ as required by the FHA, and plaintiffs are therefore not ‘aggrieved persons’ under the statute.”

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed a district judge’s decision that dismissed the lawsuit against Ocean Springs.


Supreme Court’s double-jeopardy case holds Mueller probe implications; Kavanaugh vote key

A Supreme Court case concerning double-jeopardy rules is receiving outsized attention due to its potential implications for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

At issue in the case heard Thursday is whether and when being tried in state and federal courts for the same crimes is permissible. Under a current constitutional exception, it has been allowed for years.

The justices raised tough questions Thursday about being tried twice for the same crime in different jurisdictions – “a double whammy,” as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put it – yet a majority seemed inclined to preserve what the Trump administration calls 170 years of precedent allowing an exception to the double jeopardy provision.


ABC News under fire for their mocking fantasy of President Donald Trump’s future funeral

While covering Bush’s funeral, some of the ABC hosts couldn’t resist taking a few swings at Trump, and began to imagine what the current president imagined his own future funeral would look like.

ABC News correspondent Devin Dwyer then began discussing Trump allegedly thinking about his own funeral proceedings.

Moran responded that there will “probably [be] a different tone in that funeral.”

“First he’s going to choreograph it,” Moran explained. “So, there might be more trumpets and fanfare.”


Principal banned candy canes because ‘J’ shape stands ‘for Jesus.’ But that was just for starters.

Liberty Counsel — a law firm focused on religious freedom — caught wind of a Nebraska elementary school principal who banned a long list of Christmas-related items.

What kinds of items, you ask? Liberty Counsel provided a memo from principal Jennifer Sinclair that spelled out in detail all the verboten paraphernalia at Manchester Elementary School in Omaha:

Sinclair — who’s in her first year as Manchester’s principal — noted in the memo that she “come[s] from a place that Christmas and the like are not allowed in schools” and that “as a public school” Manchester Elementary will be seek to be “inclusive and culturally sensitive to all of our students.”


Satanic Temple statue joins holiday display in Illinois Capitol

The Satanic Temple was allowed to place a statue in the Illinois Capitol building. (AP)

Just in time for the Christmas season, a local chapter of the Satanic Temple has been granted permission to place a statue in the Illinois Capitol — alongside holiday displays of a Nativity scene and a menorah.

The Satanic Temple-Chicago applied to display the sculpture. The local chapter calls itself a nontheistic organization that aims to “encourage benevolence and empathy among all people.”

The group also says it rejects tyrannical authority and advocates for common sense and justice, according to the application.


Google Censors John Stossel’s YouTube Video on Socialism

In an article published in TownHall.com, Fox Business pundit John Stossel discusses his experience attempting to publish videos critical of socialism via YouTube and what he learned from the documentary The Creepy Line about how tech giants view privacy matters.

In his article, Stossel outlines his experience when attempting to publish a video about the effects of socialism on the country of Venezuela, which was subsequently removed from YouTube:


Australia Passes Bill Allowing Government to Bypass Messaging Encryption

According to Fortune, the Assistance and Access Bill will force technology companies “to help the country’s security agencies bypass the encryption in private messaging apps.”

The bill will also “allow the police to tell the likes of WhatsApp and Signal that they must build in so-called backdoors, to give investigators access to the contents of messages—but only if the backdoors don’t constitute ‘systemic weaknesses’ in the service’s security.”

Immigration:


Honduran woman, 19, in migrant caravan scales border wall to give birth in US after 2,000-mile trip

Calling the birth in the U.S. a “big reward” for her family’s journey, Serrano-Hernandez told Univision, which documented parts of their journey: “With the faith in God, I always said my son will be born there (in America).” (Univision)

After somehow climbing the border wall, Serrano-Hernandez and her family were met by three border patrol agents who demanded they return to Tijuana. The family refused and asked for asylum. They were taken to the Imperial Beach Station in San Diego County for processing.

Border Patrol did tell Fox News that the family was “placed into immigration proceedings and released on their own recognizance on December 2.”

They are now being housed by a family and hope to move on to Columbus, Ohio, where they have family and will continue their asylum application process.


Massachusetts governor calls for judge be removed over what she did to illegal immigrant

A federal grand jury is investigating Newton District Judge Shelley Joseph over charges that she helped Jose Medina-Perez elude federal immigration authorities who were waiting to detain him outside her court.

According to reports, Medina-Perez was aided by court officials who allowed him to escape out a back entrance to the court. He then scaled a fence to avoid being detained by ICE officials.


MS-13 member sentenced for machete murder in which victim had 144 lacerations

Walter Antonio Argueta Amaya, 21,
Walter Antonio Argueta Amaya, 21, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for role in the gang-related slaying of a Virginia man who was hacked to death with a machete. (Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office)

A 21-year-old MS-13 member from El Salvador was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday for his role in the gang-related slaying of a Virginia man who was hacked to death with a machete last year.

Police found Guevara’s mutilated body in Moore’s Creek near the Woolen Mills neighborhood in Scottsville in July 2017.

Amaya, who is in the country illegally, is one of the MS-13 gang members who pleaded guilty to brutally killing Guevara. He will be eligible for deportation upon release from prison.


US Border Agent Confessed to Killing 4 Texan Sex Workers

U.S. Border Patrol agent Juan David Ortiz
U.S. Border Patrol agent Juan David Ortiz. (Webb County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said he will seek the death penalty for the September slayings and that evidence presented to the grand jury showed Juan David Ortiz killed the women “in a cold, callous, and calculating way.”

Alaniz said Ortiz, 35, believed law enforcement didn’t do enough to curb prostitution, so he was “doing a service” by killing the women.

The Border Patrol intel supervisor and Navy veteran seemed to be living a typical suburban life with his wife and two children when the killings occurred. He was only arrested after one victim was able to escape him and asked a state trooper for help.

Politics:

New bill: Social media check to get gun license

New York State Senator Kevin Parker supports bill that would require police to check social media activity of gun license applicants.


New S. Dakota GOP Governor Says Constitutional Carry Could Be Coming Soon

While the war on the Second Amendment has taken a more covert path in the sense that anti-gun activists are focusing on state-level initiatives that don’t get nearly as much attention, South Dakota could be a bright spot for those who support our Bill of Rights.

The anti-gun movement has clinched some wins, but South Dakota could be the next state to adopt a constitutional carry. Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem won the state’s gubernatorial race this year and said that concealed carry without permits could be on the table.


House Democrats could revoke rule allowing lawmakers to have guns on Capitol grounds

Rep. Jared Huffman
Rep. Jared Huffman said he’s concerned about what would happen if someone nefarious got their hands on a gun that was legally in the U.S. Capitol. (Official photo)

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., has long wanted the rule changed, but now he said he has the support of potential House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he told The Washington Post.

“I don’t think we can just keep looking the other way or sweep this issue under the rug,” Huffman told the publication. “Our political climate is too volatile and there are too many warning signs that we need to address things like this.”

“I hesitate to even put in print some of the scenarios that I worry the most about, because the truth is, the House chamber is a place where we occasionally have all of the most powerful government officials in the country gathered in one place,” he said.


Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats Will Try to Make Americans Fund Abortions

Pro-abortion Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to be the next speaker of the House, told RollCall this week that “women’s reproductive health” – including abortion – will be a priority next session.

Among their goals is to reverse the Mexico City policy, a pro-life measure that President Donald Trump re-instituted to prohibit taxpayer funding to international groups that promote or provide abortions, according to the report.

The policy stopped millions of tax dollars from going to the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, which are among largest abortion chains in the world.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez eyes powerful House committee in charge of taxation laws

Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has not yet been sworn into Congress, but she’s already eyeing a seat at one of the most powerful House committees in charge of taxation laws.

The Democratic Socialist’s spokesperson confirmed to Vice News that she will seek a seat on the House Ways and Means committee, which is traditionally packed with seasoned legislators with experience in writing tax code.

The effort to get on the committee indicates the progressive Democrats’ growing ambition to bring forward actual progressive bills to the vote, as the committee is instrumental in making that happen.

ICYMI: DOJ Indicted Democratic Mega Donor For Defrauding the Military to Win $8 Billion Defense Contract

Abul Huda Farouki, 75; his brother Mazen Farouki, 73; and Salah Maarouf, 71, were each charged in an indictment filed in the District of Columbia with two counts of major fraud, one count of conspiracy to violate the restrictions on doing business with Iran, four counts of substantive violations of those restrictions, and one count of conspiracy to commit international money laundering.

Abul Huda Farouki was the chief executive officer of Anham and a major Democratic donor. He had previously donated to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He was also a former member of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Farouki’s company was awarded contracts when President Obama was in office and Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State.


FBI email chain may provide most damning evidence of FISA abuses yet

By John Solomon
Opinion Contributor

Just before Thanksgiving, House Republicans amended the list of documents they’d like President Trump to declassify in the Russia investigation. With little fanfare or explanation, the lawmakers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), added a string of emails between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to their wish list.

Sources tell me the targeted documents may provide the most damning evidence to date of potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), evidence that has been kept from the majority of members of Congress for more than two years.

The email exchanges included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division, and they occurred in early to mid-October, before the FBI successfully secured a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.


New Democratic governors show shift on US charter schools

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was not on the ballot in the Michigan governor’s race, but her legacy loomed over the campaign in her home state, which has the country’s highest concentration of for-profit charter schools.

Republican Bill Schuette, a DeVos ally and the state’s attorney general, ultimately lost to Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat and former state lawmaker who pledged on the campaign trail to “put an end to the DeVos agenda.” She has promised to stop new for-profit schools from opening and to demand more accountability from charter schools.

World News:


Haley set for UN showdown over historic vote to condemn Hamas

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley is calling on the General Assembly to condemn Hamas. (AP)

UNITED NATIONS – U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley was set for a showdown Thursday over a historic U.S.-led bid to have the world body formally condemn Hamas for its terrorist activities against Israel — a fight that, if successful, would go down as a signature achievement for the departing ambassador.

The U.S. has been prodding the United Nations to name and condemn Hamas for months, even as the U.N. passes resolution after resolution criticizing and condemning alleged crimes and international law breaches by Israel. Hamas has been in control of Gaza, where roughly 2 million Palestinians live, since 2007 and has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel in recent months.


U.S. carries out “extraordinary” flight over Ukraine, citing Russian attack

The U.S. carried out an “extraordinary” flight over Ukraine Thursday days after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships off Crimea. Citing the Open Skies Treaty, the Pentagon said the U.S. and allies conducted the flight “to reaffirm U.S. commitment to Ukraine and other partner nations.‎”

“Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait is a dangerous escalation in a pattern of increasingly provocative and threatening activity,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

“The United States seeks a better relationship with Russia, but this cannot happen while its unlawful and destabilizing actions continue in Ukraine and elsewhere.”


Prisoner swap deal bolsters hopes of progress in Yemen talks

RIMBO, Sweden (AP) — Yemen’s warring sides agreed to a broad prisoner swap Thursday, sitting down in the same room together for the first time in years at U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Sweden aimed at halting a catastrophic war that has brought the country to the brink of famine.

Hopes were high that the talks wouldn’t deteriorate into further violence as in the past, and that the prisoner exchange would be an important first step toward building confidence between highly distrustful adversaries.


Palestinian court extends detention of Palestinian-American

JERICHO, West Bank – A Palestinian court on Thursday extended the detention of a hunger-striking Palestinian-American activist who claims she was tortured in captivity.

Suha Jbara, 31, a U.S. citizen born in Panama, shuffled into the Jericho courtroom with her head down, appearing ashen and weak. Her father and son reached out to embrace her but were restrained by Palestinian authorities.

The court ordered that Jbara remain in custody 15 more days on suspicions she funded “illegal organizations” and “worked with the enemy.” Palestinian authorities refused to elaborate on the accusations. Jbara insists the only organizations she supports are Islamic charities advocating for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.


France scraps fuel tax, weighs wealth tax in response to massive protests

As French President Emmanuel Macron faces the biggest crisis of his presidency — in the form of massive, and frequently violent, widespread protests — his government is frantically backtracking on a controversial gas tax detested by demonstrators and considering shifting the tax burden to the rich.

Macron had said the increases were necessary to reduce France’s reliance on fossil fuels and to tackle climate change.

But with protesters choosing pocket change over climate change and giving a resounding “non” to the move, and with Macron’s popularity plunging into the low 20s, the French government relented and announced a suspension of the tax for six months. Then, on Wednesday, France announced it was scrapping the tax altogether.


Most of the Philippines is Catholic — and Duterte said Catholic bishops should be killed

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. (Mick Tsikas/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

The Philippines is an overwhelmingly Catholic country, with about 90 percent of the population identifying as Catholics.

But that hasn’t stopped President Rodrigo Duterte from repeatedly taking aim at the Catholic Church. On Wednesday, local news reports quoted Duterte — who is known for his incendiary remarks — as saying: “These bishops that you guys have, kill them. They are useless fools. All they do is criticize.”

Duterte has previously used a crude term to describe Pope Francis, and he angered Catholics in the Philippines this summer when he called God “stupid” in a televised address. He also pushed back on the concept of “original sin,” saying: “What kind of religion is that? I can’t accept it.”

Commentary/Opinion:

Ingraham: Democrats defining intelligence down

Now, despite the big gains in the House and the midterms, Democrats still may not get it. They have a new line.

They’ve been testing it out. All right, ready for this? They are now the smartest people in the room who have all the answers, even if you are too stupid to understand it.

Here’s how Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono explains it:

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