In the News

News and Headlines. 12/18/2018


News and Headlines. In The News, Tech Watch, Immigration, Politics, World News.

In The News:


CHICAGO MOURNS DEATHS OF OFFICERS HIT BY ONCOMING TRAIN DURING GUNFIRE INVESTIGATION

The Chicago Police Department held a procession Tuesday honoring two fallen officers after a train struck and killed them Monday night.

Their deaths show “just how dangerous this job can be,” Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson said, according to ABC7.

Johnson added 2018 has been an “immensely difficult” year for Chicago police, noting an increase in officer suicides as well as officers killed in the field, ABC7 reported.


Florida dad shoots, kills son to save younger son during violent fight over billiards game, police say

Snyder said Joseph had been acting irrationally in the hours before the deadly shooting. At one point, Joseph attacked a door with a machete while his parents locked themselves in the bedroom. James then intervened and attempted to keep his brother calm and away from their parents, according to police.

The Maloneys told investigators Joseph had been under a great deal of stress due to upcoming court action related to a 2015 DUI manslaughter case.


Woman, friend slashed on bus in New York City after trying to pet another woman’s dog

The woman allegedly slashed two other bus riders when they petted her small dog on Monday in the Bronx. (NYPD)

The incident happened shortly after 2 p.m. aboard the BX2 bus in the Melrose section of the Bronx, after a verbal dispute between the group turned into a physical fight.

One of the victims, a 22-year-old woman, suffered cuts to her face and head, while the second woman, 20, received a cut to her left arm.

Police said the suspect in the attack, who carried a black shoulder purse and a small white dog, also got off the bus and fled the scene in a green SUV taxi.


Missouri infant saved after father attempts to drown her in pond because of ‘bad thoughts,’ cops say

Jonathon Zicarelli, 28,
Jonathon Zicarelli, 28, was charged after he attempted to drown his 6-month-old daughter in a pond, police said. (Jackson County Detention Center)

Jonathon Zicarelli, 28, was charged with first-degree domestic assault after he attempted to kill his 6-month-old daughter by drowning her in a pond in Greenwood, FOX4KC reported. Zicarelli walked into Greenwood police station just after 10 a.m. Monday and told officers he drowned the child in a pond near a soccer field.

Police Chief Greg Hallgrimson and Cpl. Tom Calhoun rushed to the pond and discovered the infant floating face up in the water. The child was barely moving and had mud in her eyes, grass and water in her mouth. Her body temperature was also nearly 11 degrees below normal, FOX4KC reported.


Sex assault case dropped, judge cites drunken prosecutor

Clarke County Attorney Michelle Rivera
This photo provided by the Clarke County Jail in Osceola, Iowa, shows Clarke County Attorney Michelle Rivera(Clarke County Jail via AP)

OSCEOLA, Iowa – An Iowa judge cited the courthouse arrest of a drunken prosecutor in dismissing charges against a man accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy.

A sheriff’s deputy arrested Rivera for being drunk in an Osceola courtroom on Oct. 18, just moments before the man was scheduled to enter a new plea and be sentenced in the case.

The man later sought a dismissal because he hadn’t been tried within a year of his arraignment. He was initially charged with sex assault and telephone dissemination of obscene material to a minor. Investigators say he admitted engaging in sex act with a minor in August 2017.


USDA Warns Consumers Against Eating ‘Cannibal Sandwiches’

Cannibal sandwich is a Wisconsin tradition but it has triggered several outbreaks already. Eight recent instances of people becoming sick from the raw meat have been registered. In the 1994 outbreak alone, more than 150 people were affected. 

The USDA is also advising anyone with questions about preparing a safe alternative to cannibal sandwiches to call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854 or chatting live online at AskKaren.gov from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. 


Homelessness ticks up nationwide, as West Coast still leads the country

In this May 24, 2018, file photo, a man sleeps on the sidewalk as people behind line-up to buy lunch at a Dick’s Drive-In restaurant in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Department of Housing and Urban Development report released Monday said the national rate of homelessness rose by 0.3 percent, with 552,830 people experiencing homelessness during a count on a single night in January 2018.

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia reported decreases in homelessness in the past year, while 19 states reported increases.

The number of homeless referred to as unsheltered — those who live in the streets, encampments or other open places — was more than 194,000 nationwide in 2018. That also was up 2 percent from last year.


NY Times Casually Promotes Holocaust Denial Book: ‘A Curious Person’s Dream Come True’

The New York Times published over the weekend a long-form Q&A with poet and activist Alice Walker in which she was asked to list a few influential reads. Capping her list was “And The Truth Shall Set You Free” by renowned British conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier David Icke.

Walker elaborated her appreciation for Icke’s work, ​noting that in it “there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about. A curious person’s dream come true.”

But what both Walker and her interviewer (and all of the piece’s editors) failed to disclose — and has since been pointed out by multiple journalists online — was that the praised work is overflowing with anti-Semitic tropes.


President Trump and Melania, Pence family, unveil official Christmas portraits

The official Christmas portraits for President Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Pence and second lady Karen Pence have been released.

The first lady unveiled on Tuesday the photograph that was taken in the White House’s Cross Hall on Saturday during the Congressional Ball.


‘It Has Nothing to Do With’ #MeToo: KY Radio Station Plays ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ on Repeat

The programming director of a Kentucky radio station is standing by the decision to play “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on repeat during a two-hour marathon on Sunday.

The 1944 song, written by Frank Loesser, has come under fire in recent years, with some complaining that it sends the wrong message about consent in the age of the #MeToo movement.


Planned Parenthood Director Who Flipped Pro-Life After Seeing An Abortion Gets Her Own Film

Eight years after first walking in to help women, Johnson abruptly resigned her position at Planned Parenthood after witnessing an ultrasound-guided abortion. Several mainstream media outlets have regarded her with disdain ever since, seeking out any inconsistencies as if the mother of seven were an archenemy.

Attacks grew louder when her memoir released in 2010. Over the past four years, the best-selling book has been developed as a motion picture.

Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, known for the Pure Flix-produced “God’s Not Dead” franchise, adapted her book for the screen and helmed the project. The film stars Ashley Bratcher (“War Room”) as Johnson, along with Robia Scott, Brooks Ryan, Tina Toner, and Emma Elle Roberts.

Tech Watch:


Facebook blasted by dozens of civil rights groups for ‘generating bigotry’

The open letter – signed by 31 different groups, including Muslim Advocates, MoveOn, CREDO, MomsRising, the National LGBTQ Task Force, United We Dream, and Million Hoodies Movement for Justice – hits the tech giant for failing to heed repeated warnings about hate speech and groups that harness the ubiquitous social network to stoke religious, racial or political resentment.

The letter demands a series of major changes at the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company, including that Zuckerberg and Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg both step down from the board of directors as long as they retain their current titles; that the company expand its board by at least three members to “reflect the diversity” of its 2.2 billion active monthly users; and that the board appoint an independent and permanent civil rights ombudsman, who would also serve as a board member, to “conduct consistent and ongoing reviews of the civil rights implications of Facebook’s policies and practices.”


Facebook shares progress on civil rights audit: ‘We need to do more’

The social network unveiled on Tuesday the results of the first six months of the audit (PDF), which it launched in May in response to demands from civil rights organizations.

Laura Murphy, a civil liberties leader and longtime ACLU director, led the audit. After meeting with civil rights leaders and experts, Murphy said in the progress report, Facebook decided to focus the first phase of its audit on preventing voter intimidation and suppression ahead of the US 2018 midterm elections.


Another apology from Facebook, as Sheryl Sandberg says it must do more to protect users

WASHINGTON — Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Tuesday the company needs to do more to protect its users from disinformation efforts, after researchers found Russian trolls attempted to suppress African-American voter turnout during the 2016 election.

The mea culpa is the latest from Facebook executives who have spent the past year under a relentless barrage of criticism from lawmakers, investors and users accusing the world’s largest social-media company of reacting slowly and doing far too little to address concerns about foreign interference and other matters over the past two years.


WATCH: Jordan Peterson Unveils Plan to Defeat ‘Arbitrary Censorship’ of the Right Before Christmas

Peterson, a Canadian psychology professor, joined conservative comedian and pundit Dave Rubin in a YouTube video announcing that they were launching an alternative crowdfunding website “hopefully before Christmas.”

Last week, Patreon ​banned right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos after he attempted to use the platform to fund a “magnificent 2019 comeback” tour. Patreon said the decision was based on Yiannopoulos’ association with the Proud Boys, which it classifies as a hate group.

A day later, Patreon barred Carl Benjamin, a YouTuber known as Sargon of Akkad who gained a following for his videos attacking feminism and identity politics. Patreon said Benjamin used “racial and homophobic slurs to degrade another individual.” He accused Patreon of political bias on his YouTube channel, which has more than 867,000 subscribers.


Female journalists and politicians were abused every 30 seconds on Twitter in 2017, new report charges

The study included politicians from across the political spectrum and journalists from a range of publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Sun, Pink News and Breitbart.

It had more than 6,500 volunteers sorting through the tweets — which Amnesty calls the world’s largest crowdsourced dataset about online abuse against women.

The human rights group partnered with a global artificial intelligence software firm called Element AI to survey millions of tweets received by 778 female journalists and politicians from the U.S. and the U.K. in 2017. With the aid of machine learning, the study found that abuse is very widespread and targets black women the most.


More than 700,000 Charter cable subscribers will get payout as part of $174.2 million settlement

The settlement with Charter , which is the state’s largest internet service provider, will include $62.5 million in refunds to current subscribers, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood’s office said in a press release Tuesday.

Ms. Underwood said her office believes Charter’s direct payment to consumers is the biggest of its kind from an internet-service firm in the country’s history.

Charter’s Spectrum service, formerly known as Time Warner Cable, didn’t give customers the reliable and fast internet service it had promised, the New York attorney general’s office said.

Immigration:

Tucker to critics: We are not intimidated

Tucker Carlson responds to leftist backlash to his Dec. 14 monologue on mass immigration: We will not be intimidated and we will keep telling the truth.


18 DEATHS OF ICE DETAINEES ACKNOWLEDGED UNDER OBAMA — BUT NOT INVESTIGATED

In July 2016, Human Rights Watch condemned the Obama administration for 18 migrants who died while in the custody of USCBP, claiming that seven or more of the 18 died as the result of the agency’s “substandard” and “inappropriate” care for migrants at detention centers. The detainees who died then were between 24 and 49 years old.

The death reviews, HRW wrote, which surfaced through a Department of Homeland Security Immigration Customs and Enforcement FOIA request, were from mid-2012 to mid-2015.

Migrant deaths along the U.S. southern border goes back years, and according to a 2014 report by the International Organisation for Migration, Smithsonian Magazine noted that over 6,000 people died at that point attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.


US pledges $5.8B aid for CentAm, $4.8B for southern Mexico

The U.S aid aims to promote better security conditions and job opportunities as part of a regional plan to allow Central Americans to remain in their countries and not have to emigrate.

The plan was announced in a joint U.S.-Mexican statement released by the State Department and read aloud by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in the Mexican capital.


Illegal Alien Who Re-Entered US After Deportation Dies After Criminal Rampage

Gustavo Garcia,
Gustavo Garcia, an illegal alien who had been deported, died in Tulare County, Calif., on Dec. 17, 2018, after a criminal rampage. (Tulare County Sheriff’s Office)

Gustavo Garcia, 36, spent 24 hours conducting a “reign of terror,” police officials said, showing a blatant disregard for human life.

He robbed a store, killed a stranger, shot at his ex-girlfriend, stole a truck, engaged in a gun battle with police, and drove the wrong way down streets and crashed into vehicles, leaving four people injured, one critically, before he was flung from a stolen truck in a collision and died on Dec. 17.


Unfinished ‘illicit’ border tunnel discovered, CBP says

“The entry point was found submerged underwater along the international waterway channel constructed below both cities of Nogales,” CBP said. “The tunnel was adjacent to the Port of Nogales, DeConcini Crossing and came to an abrupt stop underneath a parking lot in Nogales, Arizona.”

Structural shoring and digging tools were found inside the roughly 50 foot long “illicit” passageway, suggesting to authorities that the construction was not yet finished, the news release said.

Politics:


Journalist Who Broke News Of Steele Dossier Admits Much Of It ‘Likely False’

Michael Isikoff, investigative journalist. ((AP/Photo)
Michael Isikoff, investigative journalist. ((AP/Photo)

The journalist who broke the story on the anti-Trump Steel dossier is admitting he has doubts about the allegations made by British spy Christopher Steele.

In an interview over the weekend, investigative reporter Michael Isikoff was asked if the dossier he first detailed in 2016 has been vindicated. To the surprise of many, he said it hasn’t.

“When you actually get into the details of the Steele dossier, the specific allegations, we have not seen the evidence to support them, and, in fact, there’s good grounds to think that some of the more sensational allegations will never be proven and are likely false,” he stated.


Rep. Martha McSally appointed by Arizona governor to Senate seat held by John McCain

Republican Rep. Martha McSally, just weeks after losing one of the midterms’ tightest and most contentious Senate races, was appointed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday to fill the state’s other U.S. Senate seat.

“With her experience and long record of service, Martha is uniquely qualified to step up and fight for Arizona’s interests in the U.S. Senate,” Ducey said in a statement.

Sarah Sanders reacts to Flynn sentencing, Comey’s attacks

Press secretary Sarah Sanders blasts the FBI’s ‘clear political bias’ ahead of the sentencing of President Trump’s former national security adviser on ‘America’s Newsroom.


SENTENCING DELAYED IN MICHAEL FLYNN CASE AFTER JUDGE BLASTS EX-NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER

The delay comes as a surprise since Flynn’s team appeared poised to go through with sentencing at the beginning of Tuesday’s hearing.

The special counsel’s office had recommended that Flynn be sentenced to the low-end of a zero to six month sentencing guideline because of his “substantial cooperation” with prosecutors.

But those plans seemingly went awry after Sullivan lambasted Flynn for lying to the FBI and for working as an unregistered foreign agent of Turkey.

World News:


Nikki Haley slams ‘hopelessly biased’ UN, in parting shot at anti-Israel sentiment

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley

Haley spoke at the Security Council’s meeting on the Middle East, where the Israel-Palestinian conflict has frequently been the main topic of discussion — a discussion often critical of Israel.

Haley, who leaves her post in January, has made a point of using her remarks to talk about other issues, particularly Iranian aggression in the region. But in her final address to the monthly meeting, she broke with that tradition and ripped into the body’s anti-Israel bias, mentioning in particular the General Assembly vote this month where the body failed to adopt a U.S. resolution condemning Hamas.


RTE Ireland Investigates Church Of Scientology

For many years Scientology struggled to find a foothold in the UK with no luck. For years. The courts at one point ruled Scientology’s doctrine as “pernicious nonsense” but in 2013 after a 5-year legal battle, a Scientologist couple won the right to be married in a Church of Scientology and ruled to be an official religion. 

That said, compared to the stronghold in certain parts of the US (primarily Clearwater, Florida and Hollywood) the UK is still resistant to COS. 


Neo-Nazi couple who named baby after Hitler sentenced to prison for being part of terrorist group

Adam Thomas, 22, Claudia Patatas, 38,
During the trial, jurors were shown photos of Thomas holding his baby son — who was given the middle name Adolf — while wearing the white robes of the Ku Klux Klan. (West Midland Police)

Thomas and Patatas were found guilty for being members of National Action, a far-right neo-Nazi organization in the United Kingdom that was banned in 2016. Judge Melbourne Inman QC, who handed down the sentence, said the group had “horrific aims.”

“Its aims and objectives are the overthrow of democracy in this country by serious violence and murder, and the imposition of a Nazi-style state which would eradicate whole sections of society by such violence and mass murder,” the judge said.


French govt offers 300-euro bonus to protest-weary police

Demonstrators wearing yellow vests face riot police officers
Demonstrators wearing yellow vests face riot police officers amid tear gas during a visit by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Biarritz, southwestern France, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018.

PARIS – Seeking to soothe police forces demanding improved working conditions, the French government on Tuesday proposed giving 300-euro ($340) bonuses to officers deployed to the aggressive and disruptive protests that started last month.

French President Emmanuel Macron committed to the idea of protest duty pay earlier this month. The government’s offer came a day after two police unions announced work slowdowns to protest staffing and other budget issues.


Israeli firms to launch first private lunar lander with flag, Bible

Beresheet
The privately funded Beresheet is ready for launch next year. Photo by Abir Sultan/EPA-EFE

Dec. 18 (UPI) — The world’s first privately funded lunar lander is ready for its mission to the moon in early 2019.
The Israeli company SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries loaded the payload — the prayer of “Tefilat Haderech,” the Bible, the Israeli flag, the national anthem and pictures drawn by children — in a special ceremony Monday.
Now, the spacecraft, dubbed Beresheet (genesis in Hebrew) will travel to Cape Canaveral, Fla., where it will be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in mid-February.

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