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News and Headlines. 12/21/2018


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

In The News:


Michigan ‘miracle lady’ starts breathing moments after plug is pulled on life support

Michaele DeLeeuw, a Sterling Heights, Michigan resident, was awarded the SHFD Survival Coin alongside her husband, Karl. (Sterling Heights/Twitter)

Moments after a Sterling Heights, Mich., man made the final, heart-wrenching decision to take his near brain-dead wife off life support, she started breathing. Nearly four months later and against all odds, she is home making a full recovery.

Karl DeLeeuw believes his wife, Michele, is a living miracle.


South Dakota confirms first case of ‘polio-like’ illness that can cause paralysis

In conjunction with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the South Dakota Department of Health confirmed the case this week. The health department did not reveal the person’s name, age or where he or she lives in the state.

“The case is an adult who experienced a mild respiratory illness with fever prior to developing muscle weakness, for which they were hospitalized,” the health department said, adding no other cases of AFM in South Dakota are under investigation at this time.


Boy, 2, ‘castrated’ after surgeons operate on wrong testicle

The boy was admitted to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children earlier in the week to treat an undescended testicle.

He had one healthy testicle and one that did not function. His father said surgeons operated on the wrong one by mistake and have “castrated him”.

The family said they were told it was “just a minimal operation” with “minimal risk” and it would be over in around 30 minutes.


Florida boy earns money to pay off lunch debts for others

Arman Shah on Wednesday received a visit from Nike representatives and officials from the Orange County Public Schools at Avalon Elementary School in Orlando. They came to recognize his generous act and present him with some custom-made Nike shoes. The visit Ms. Jackson’s classroom came as a complete surprise to Shah.

“I thought they were gonna celebrate Ms. Jackson, not me!” a modest Shah said with a laugh.


KS – Man Gets $1.1 M After Spending 17 Years in Jail For A Crime His Doppelganger Committed

Richard Anthony Jones
Richard Anthony Jones

Richard Anthony Jones was tried in 1999 for an aggravated robbery case. He wasn’t anywhere near the crime scene, unfortunately for him, someone who looked nearly identical to him tried to snatch the woman’s purse outside a Walmart store in Roeland Park, Kansas.

Several eyewitnesses gave their accounts of the incident and described the suspect as a “light-skinned Hispanic or African-American man” named Rick who sported a “long hair pulled back.”

The descriptions matched Jones’ look and features. But in truth, he was at his girlfriend’s birthday party at the time of the crime.


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has cancerous growths removed from lung

The release said Ginsburg underwent a pulmonary lobectomy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center after two nodules in the lower lobe of her left lung were discovered. The discovery came incidentally during tests after she fractured several ribs during a fall in November.

Ginsburg, 85, has survived a series of health scares. She also broke two ribs in a fall in 2012, has had two prior bouts with cancer and had a stent implanted to open a blocked artery in 2014. Despite the issues, Ginsburg has yet to miss a single day of oral arguments during her tenure, The Washington Post reported.


TRUMP ADMIN WORKS AROUND CONGRESS TO RAISE WORK REQUIREMENTS ON FOOD STAMPS

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is pushing the reform to cut down on abuse within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). With the U.S. unemployment rate at a near five-decade low, some exemptions and waivers are not longer needed.

“Long-term reliance on government assistance has never been part of the American dream,” Perdue said in a statement. “As we make benefits available to those who truly need them, we must also encourage participants to take proactive steps toward self-sufficiency. Moving people to work is common-sense policy, particularly at a time when the unemployment rate is at a generational low.”


Military contractor KBR files motion with Supreme Court in attempt to nix burn pit review

Thousands of U.S. military personnel who served on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan were exposed to the dense black smoke from burn pits where everything from IEDs to human waste was incinerated. (Public Domain)

In a brief filed last week, officials for KBR and its former subsidiary Halliburton urged the court not to restore dozens of the lawsuits filed against the companies, who handled daily operations for many of the bases starting in 2001. They claim that the lawsuits were already dismissed properly because the courts have no jurisdiction over military strategy.

“The separation-of-powers principles underlying the political question doctrine preclude courts from second-guessing professional military judgments that are within the exclusive province of the political branches,” reads a line from the filing obtained by Fox News.


Kelsey Berreth disappearance: Fiance of Colorado mother missing since Thanksgiving charged with murder

Kelsey Berreth, 29,
Kelsey Berreth, 29, was last seen at a supermarket in Woodland, Colorado on Thanksgiving Day. (Woodland Park Police Department)

Berreth, a licensed pilot and flight instructor, was last seen shopping at a supermarket with her one-year-daughter and police released surveillance video showing her entering the Woodland Park supermarket.

Teller County sheriff’s Cmdr. Greg Couch confirmed Patrick Frazee was arrested Friday morning in Woodland Park, Colorado.


San Francisco police officer who may lose job for racist texts is charged with robbing bank

Rain Daugherty, 44,
Rain Daugherty, 44, was arrested and charged Wednesday. (San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office)

Rain Daugherty, 44, allegedly entered the East West Bank in San Francisco on Nov. 29 and handed the teller a note demanding money, federal prosecutors said. The teller said the robber said something like: “calm down, just do it,” according to court documents.

He left with more than $9,000 in cash. Daugherty was recognized by surveillance video, fellow police officers and a bank teller.


Filipina immigrant who became hotshot Chicago judge sentenced to jail for $1.4m mortgage fraud

Jessica Arong O’Brien, 51,
Jessica Arong O’Brien, 51, (Facebook)

Jessica Arong O’Brien, 51, broke down into tears after the judge sent her to prison following her February conviction of two counts alleging that she took part in a scheme in which several lenders were scammed, the Chicago Tribune reported.

O’Brien reportedly made money by selling the two homes in 2007 after paying kickbacks to a straw purchaser. Personally, she made a profit of at least $325,000 from the sales, prosecutors said.

The lenders, meanwhile, lost money as the straw purchaser defaulted on payments and properties were foreclosed.


ACLU sues Louisiana library over Drag Queen Story Hour ban

The ACLU of Louisiana filed suit Friday against a public library to end its ban on any program in which men in drag read to children.

The claim that letting men in drag read storybooks amounts to endorsing religion is “totally nonsensical factual and legal theory,” Schwartzmann said in a telephone interview Friday.

That lawsuit should be dismissed as frivolous, library director Teresa Elberson said in legal papers filed Oct. 30. It was brought to delay and harass the library, court, judges, “and any person who does not believe in what Plaintiffs claim to be the ‘truth,'” the document said.


OK – Pharmacy Store Clerk Fatally Shoots Armed Robber-Suspect With His Concealed Firearm

The incident happened at a Tulsa Walgreens store in Oklahoma City when an altercation occurred after an armed man took photographs from the store, and the store clerk first tried to verify if he was the rightful owner of the photos. The photographs had been left in the store for a year already.

Things became tense when the man pulled out a handgun, and jumped over the counter and brazenly grabbed the photos from the clerk without explaining if he truly owns the photographs. The other employees were then trying to desperately call the police to contain the situation.


CHINESE STUDENT POISONED ROOMMATE IN SERIES OF RACIST ATTACKS, POLICE SAY

Authorities charged Yukai Yang with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment for his alleged attempts to kill his roommate, Juwan Royal, at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said Yang attempted to poison Royal over a period of time from February through March by adding thallium to food and drinks in their refrigerator.

Authorities also believe Yang ransacked Royal’s room and left graffiti on Royal’s desk that read “N* get out of here,” according to Morganelli.

Immigration:


Indictment: Three Illegal Aliens Murdered American for Reporting Illegal Hiring Scheme

Montoya was found shot dead in his home in August 2017. Four months before his murder, Montoya had notified the tree service company’s executives of the illegal hiring scheme.

According to an unsealed indictment out of Savannah, Georgia, illegal alien brothers 49-year-old Pablo Rangel-Rubio and 42-year-old Juan Rangel-Rubio, along with 49-year-old illegal alien Higinio Perez-Bravo have been charged with the murder of 41-year-old Eliud Montoya — a naturalized U.S. citizen — after he reported illegal hiring practices.


Here’s what $5 billion in border wall funding would buy

What that system would include is a matter of debate.

But DHS officials say it could cover the replacement of “dilapidated” fencing, new wall sections and secondary wall structures, as well as roads and lights for Border Patrol agents.

The “wall system” also includes sensor technology that would enable agents to detect movement coming toward the wall, “starting the clock” for officials to respond before anyone starts to try to scale it.


GoFundMe for Trump’s border wall raises more than $11 million

The founder of the fundraising effort is Brian Kolfage, a triple amputee and Purple Heart recipient. He said the money will be turned over to the Trump administration for the wall’s construction.

Kolfage appeared on Fox News with host Laura Ingraham on Thursday night and said that critics who believe the money won’t make a difference are “full of crap.”


Supreme Court rejects Trump bid to enforce asylum crackdown

The court, in a brief written order, denied a bid to begin enforcing an asylum ban for any immigrants who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

The decision leaves in place lower-court rulings that blocked the administration from automatically denying asylum to people who do not go through official border crossings. An open-ended nationwide injunction on enforcement issued by a San Francisco-based federal judge this week prompted the Justice Department to seek immediate relief from the Supreme Court.

Politics:


NORTH CAROLINA STATE HOUSE AND SENATE PASS VOTER ID BILL OVER GOVERNOR VETO

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper had vetoed the bill, which was approved by 55 percent of the states’s voters on the November ballot, but both legislative chambers voted to override the veto and pass the bill.

Democrats had hoped to delay any vote on the law until next year, when Republicans will no longer have veto-proof majorities, but Republicans pressed on. State Rep. Jimmy Dixon was particularly critical of Gov. Cooper.


Senate scrambles to take up border wall funding, as shutdown clock ticks

The House on Thursday approved $5.7 billion for a border wall as part of a measure to fund the government through early February. But the Senate on Friday afternoon was struggling to overcome a procedural hurdle to even set up a vote on the bill, amid Democrats’ refusal to give in on a border wall.

The Senate needs a simple majority to simply take up the spending package — after which the measure would need an even more daunting 60-vote majority to pass. But as of Friday afternoon, the procedural vote remained open for more than an hour as Republicans struggled to cobble together support. Things were complicated by outgoing GOP Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake voting against proceeding and other lawmakers traveling for the holidays.


California Dems flex new supermajority, with plans to pursue gun tax and more

One of the pieces of legislation Democrats are looking to quickly pass is Assembly Bill 18, which among other things looks to tax the sale of handguns and semiautomatic weapons in order to generate funding for gun control programs.

One of the pieces of legislation Democrats are looking to quickly pass is Assembly Bill 18, which among other things looks to tax the sale of handguns and semiautomatic weapons in order to generate funding for gun control programs.

California’s Democratic supermajority also could take up the immigration debate anew.

In early December, Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula introduced legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants over the age of 19 to enroll in Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health care program. Around 60 percent of the remaining 3 million uninsured Californians are undocumented, and projections put the price tag for the program at around $3 billion per year.


Senator Graham calls for hearings on troops in Syria, Afghanistan

Graham, who over the past year or so has been a staunch supporter of Trump, has broken with him on the Syria decision.

Graham made clear that he also was worried about a possible U.S. troop reduction in Afghanistan, where 14,000 troops are deployed in what is America’s longest war at 17 years.


Eliot Spitzer sneaked his $5G-a-night Russian escort into his home in suitcase, she claims

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer
Sept. 10, 2013, file photo, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer(AP)

“He used to sneak me into his Fifth Avenue apartment in a black suitcase … when his wife was away,’’ Svetlana Travis Zakharova told The New York Post in an interview published on Thursday.

“My knees would be up by my face. When the doorman would ask if he could help, Eliot would say, ‘No, thanks,’” she added, noting that she was sneaked in this way at least 15 times.


Female Democratic Senator Unloads on Ocasio-Cortez and Feminist Millennials: ‘Shut Up!’

In an interview from the Washington, DC, Capitol Building released Thursday, McCaskill described young feminist activists in her state as disconnected from ordinary Americans and clueless about how ​politics really work.

They “are young women who have not spend any time outside of the group of people who agree with them,” she said. “They probably don’t understand that [President Donald] Trump’s success had a whole lot to do with economic angst.”

Asked by The Times’ national correspondent Sabrina Tavernise what she would like to say to such women, McCaskill didn’t hesitate: “Shut up!” she said.

World News:


Video allegedly showing murder of Scandinavian student is likely authentic, Norway says

Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24,Denmark,Maren Ueland, 28,
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark,Maren Ueland, 28, a Norwegian student,

Officials said they were investigating the footage that appeared to show a woman yelling while a man decapitated her with a knife, Deutsche Welle reported.

Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were murdered while camping in the Atlas mountains.

The women were found in and outside their tent, located about two hours walking distance from the village of Imlil. Deutsche Welle reported the two women were found decapitated by tourists.


Banker jailed for bludgeoning student-turned-sex worker with pestle

Zahid Naseem
Zahid Naseem has been jailed for at least 19 years. (Press Association)

Zahid Naseem, 48, paid Abbotts, a high-end sex worker, more than $4,400 for a one-night rendezvous in May. He claims he “acted in self-defense” when he whacked her in the back of the head with a pestle, killing her, on her 29 birthday. He said he was afraid he was “being strangled to death in a sex game” gone awry, Sky News reported.

A judge told Naseem in court that he had “shown not one jot of genuine remorse.”

“You are full of self-pity but have no understanding of the true nature of what you have done,” the judge said.


Versailles to close Saturday as precaution against protests

demonstrator waves the French flag on a burning barricade
FILE – In this Nov. 24, 2018 file photo, a demonstrator waves the French flag on a burning barricade on the Champs-Elysees avenue with the Arc de Triomphe in background,(AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

PARIS – France is bracing for a sixth straight Saturday of protests during which the palace of Versailles just outside Paris will be shut for the day despite expectations that the numbers taking to the streets will be down sharply.

The famous chateau that was home to succession of French kings until the French Revolution in 1789 and is now a big tourist attraction is to be closed as a precaution. Paris’ other big tourist hotspots such as the Louvre museum and the Eiffel Tower, which had closed a couple of weeks back, are staying open though.


Anglican liaison at Vatican out after sex misconduct charge

A statement from the Anglican Centre in Rome, an ecumenical study center and headquarters for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s envoy to the Holy See, announced the resignation Friday.

Details of the alleged misconduct weren’t released. A brief statement issued by the center said Ntahoturi was suspended last week and that the governors of the center had accepted his resignation.


US aircraft carrier enters Persian Gulf after long absence

The arrival of the USS John C. Stennis comes as Iranian officials have returned to repeatedly threatening to close off the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil traded by sea passes. Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels shadowed the Stennis and its strike group, at one point launching rockets away from it and flying a drone nearby.

“We are trying to be more operationally unpredictable,” said Lt. Chloe Morgan, a spokeswoman for U.S.′ Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. “Now we’re switching it up because our adversaries are watching closely. We want to be operationally unpredictable to our enemies, but strategically predictable to our partners.”

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