News and Headlines. 1/14/2019

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

In The News:

California lawmakers traveled to Hawaii with utility executives as wildfires raged

The lawmakers all previously voted for legislation that would help utility companies fined for wildfires and have received more than $630,000 in campaign contributions from utilities, according to Consumer Watchdog.

“We were shocked to learn that while many wildfire victims fled for their lives in Paradise and Malibu this November, utility executives and lobbyists for California’s big utilities were wining and dining 12 influential state legislators in a different paradise – Wailea, Maui,” Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court said in an open letter to California leaders.

2 female victims unharmed after UPS hostage situation

People watch as officials respond to reports of an active shooter at a UPS facility Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 in Logan Township, N.J. (Joe Lamberti/Camden Courier-Post via AP)

The women escaped without serious injuries while the gunman’s condition remained unknown after the standoff in Logan Township, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Philadelphia, Gloucester County Prosecutor Charles Fiore said.

The gunman wasn’t identified by authorities. Officials believe he had a prior relationship with one of the hostages, according to Fiore, who did not elaborate.

Police: Utah mall shooting that wounded 2 was gang dispute

People evacuate with their hands aloft after a shooting at the Fashion Place mall in Murray, Utah, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

Two 19-year-old men were arrested on suspicion of attempted aggravated murder, but investigators are not yet sure if either of them fired the shots that hit the victims, who were also involved in the brawl, said Kenny Bass, a police spokesman in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray.

Compounding the pandemonium, a fire alarm at the Fashion Place mall that had been malfunctioning for days went off inside the mall, sending people running for exits, Bass said.

Todd Starnes: UC Davis students protest photo of slain police officer holding Blue Lives Matter flag

Davis police officer Natalie Corona
Davis police officer Natalie Corona

On Jan. 11, Davis police officer Natalie Corona was gunned down while responding to a car crash. She was 22 years old, described as a rising star in the police department.

And many people across the nation have embraced the photograph of Corona holding the Thin Blue Line flag as a way to honor and memorialize the fallen officer.

However, a group of students at the University of California, Davis contend the photograph is racist and they are demanding that people cease and desist circulating the image.

Mom whose search for bone marrow donor went viral while pregnant gets transplant

The 36-year-old found her match a few weeks before giving birth and said that it was “everything.”

This weekend, Rabaca’s mother, Yvetee Beilema, posted a photo of the mother of five gearing up for her transplant from an anonymous donor. According to Beilema’s post, the family believes Rabaca’s donor is from Brazil.

Jayme Closs kidnapping suspect decided to take teen after seeing her get on a school bus, complaint says

Jake Thomas Patterson, 21,
Jake Thomas Patterson, 21,

Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, told authorities he spotted Closs for the first time after he stopped behind a school bus on Highway 8 while he was driving to work at the Saputo Cheese Factory, where he worked for only two days.

He didn’t provide a specific reason why the 13-year-old was his selected target and the complaint doesn’t provide a date for the chance encounter. Soon after, however, Patterson says he purchased a mask to use in the abduction.

Patterson was charged Monday with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, kidnapping and armed burglary after police captured the 21-year-old following Jayme’s escape from the Gordon, Wisconsin house.

Amid partial government shutdown, restaurants and breweries aid federal workers, send beer to lawmakers

Celebrity chef José Andrés promised free food “to the poor men and women of the federal government” – no matter their political affiliation – at his restaurants for lunch as the shutdown persists. He’s opening a temporary kitchen in his ThinkFoodLab space in Washington, D.C., to feed the employees.

Harpoon Brewery is also getting involved with the government shutdown – by attempting to get lawmakers to talk to one another.

The major brewery is sending lawmakers in Washington, D.C., as well as Vermont and Massachusetts – where the company is based – beer and “inviting them to share one with a colleague from across the aisle, talk over a beer or two, and hopefully find common ground to help end the shutdown,” it said in a news release.

Judge blocks Trump birth control coverage rules in 13 states

Judge Haywood Gilliam on Sunday granted a request for a preliminary injunction, but limited his order to California, New York and the other plaintiffs before him. They sought to prevent the rules from taking effect Monday while a lawsuit against them moved forward.

The states had shown that the rules would result in the loss of employer-covered birth control coverage for thousands of women, forcing them to turn for contraceptives to state-funded programs or bear the costs themselves, Gilliam said.

Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to Whitaker’s appointment as AG

Trump appointed Whitaker, who was chief of staff to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in November. In making the appointment, Trump passed over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Opponents of the move argued Whitaker was unqualified for the position, and not confirmed by the Senate.

The refusal of the court to rule indicates there will be no future court challenge of any of his rulings as acting attorney general.

Most Americans Think Mueller Probe Launched to Delegitimize Trump’s Win

Special Counsel Robert Mueller leaves after a meeting with the US Senate Judiciary Committee at the US Capitol in Washington, on June 21, 2017. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The poll conducted by IBD/TIPP, a collaboration between Investor’s Business Daily and TechnoMetrica, found that 51 percent of Americans agreed the “president’s opponents are using the ongoing special counsel investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion as a way to delegitimize the 2016 election [result].”

Of those who agreed, 52 percent were independents, while the majority were Republicans at 70 percent. The poll also found almost a third of Democrats, 31 percent, concurred. Meanwhile, about 44 percent disagreed with the statement.


Trump facing ‘coup,’ FBI brass was in cahoots, Dowd tells Fox’s Kilmeade

President Donald Trump’s former attorney John Dowd

“Little did I know that it appears that they were all in it together,” Dowd said. “I mean Rosenstein, Comey, Mueller, McCabe, the whole crowd and they were out to get this president no matter what. I don’t think they sincerely believed anything about Russia.”

“This is our worst nightmare that someone with that kind of power would then decide to go after the President.

I mean it’s a coup,” Dowd said. “That’s what it is an attempted coup by Comey and his crowd. And the evidence is all over there. I take the New York Times article as an admission of their bad behavior.”

Bernie Sanders to introduce bill to raise federal minimum wage to $15

Raising the minimum wage sparks a range of opinions on Capitol Hill – from whether it should be raised at all to whose job it should be to do so. Such a bill is unlikely to make significant headway because, even though Democrats took control of the House of Representatives during the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans maintain control in the Senate.

During an interview with FOX Business in November Opens a New Window. , White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow argued against having the federal government set the national minimum wage since conditions vary meaningfully among states.

Bernie Sanders to meet with women who alleged mistreatment on 2016 presidential campaign: report

More than two dozen former staffers recently sent a letter to Sanders and his aides, seeking a meeting regarding the “sexual violence and harassment on the 2016 campaign” ahead of potentially another bid for the presidency. Sanders has agreed to meet with the women on Wednesday, BuzzFeed News reported.

Two facilitators from Working IDEAL, a consulting group focused on workplace diversity, will run the meeting, according to BuzzFeed.

Tulsi Gabbard under fire for past anti-gay remarks amid 2020 bid, says she has since ‘evolved’

Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard barely finished announcing she is running for president in 2020 when the spotlight quickly shifted to anti-gay comments and actions from her past.

Gabbard, a 37-year-old Democratic lawmaker from Hawaii, is known for being politically unpredictable, something she has publicly said she takes pride in.

But some of her most fiery remarks against same-sex marriage in years past, as well as her active campaign to promote “traditional marriage” legislation, have drawn closer scrutiny since her announcement Friday.

Stacey Abrams: ‘I Wouldn’t Oppose’ Non-Citizens Voting in Local Elections

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Stacey Abrams said she would not oppose the extension of voting rights to non-citizens in local elections, offering her remarks in a Friday-aired interview on PBS’s Firing Line with Margaret Hoover.

Abrams predicted demographic change would benefit the Democrat Party. Hoover did not ask Abrams to which demographic changes the latter was referring.



The rancher, Jim Chilton, is the owner of a large Arizona ranch that shares miles of unguarded border with Mexico. Trump brought Chilton onstage to talk about border security. The cowboy-hat-wearing rancher then directed his message to Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“Mr. President, we need a wall,” Chilton said to cheers from the audience. “I would say we need a wall all around all the length of the border.”

As Chilton continued, he criticized Pelosi for recent comments about a border wall being “immoral.”

Human Trafficking, Sexual Assaults Key Aspects of Crisis on Southern Border

Rep. Crenshaw and a Texas sheriff explain the challenges their state faces from an unsecured border, and why a wall is needed.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said the sheer number of people crossing the southwest border illegally—most of whom are families and children hoping to seek asylum—constitute a humanitarian crisis. In fiscal 2018, almost 400,000 people were apprehended by Border Patrol after illegally crossing the border.

“So it [asylum] has created a draw. And so when that happens, you have dead bodies all throughout the southern border. It’s really sad to see this. Not only that, but you have a third of the women being sexually assaulted,” Crenshaw told The Epoch Times.

World News:

Russian, US diplomats to meet on endangered missile treaty

Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying he would sit down with Undersecretary of State Andrea Thompson in Geneva.

The meeting concerns the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The 1987 pact between the United States and the Soviet Union bans production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range between 500 and 5500 kilometers (310-3410 miles).

Chinese court sentences Canadian to death as diplomatic row deepens

The ruling, and Trudeau’s reaction, could aggravate already sour relations between Beijing and Ottawa following the arrest of a senior Chinese executive in Canada and China’s subsequent detention of two Canadians.

The Dalian Intermediate People’s Court in China’s northeast province of Liaoning re-tried Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, who had appealed his original 15-year prison sentence, and decided on execution, the court said in a statement.

Khan’s London: Gang Members Sentenced for Shooting and Knifing ‘Innocent Bystander’ to Death

Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police

Bilkan Bilkaner, 20, and Duke Quainoo, 21, both of Enfield, were found guilty of murder, GBH with intent, and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life for the March 16th slaying of 23-year-old Russell Jordan Jones, an official police statement reports.

“On a freezing cold night last March, Bilkaner and Quainoo armed themselves with a sawn off shotgun and knives before setting out in search of opposing gang members,” recalled Detective Inspector Simon Stancombe, from the Metropolitan Police Force’s Homicide and Major Crime Command.

Venezuela’s opposition is gambling it all on a young and untested activist named Juan Guaidó

Following May elections internationally derided as a fraudulent power grab, Maduro was sworn in for a new six-year term Thursday.

Juan Guaidó, head of the Venezuelan National Assembly and lawmaker of the opposition party Popular Will, gestures as he arrives at a gathering in La Guaira on Jan. 13, 2019. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

One day later, Guaidó — the new head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly — took a step Venezuelan critics had long considered too dangerous: invoking articles in the constitution that allow the head of the assembly to assume national leadership if a “usurper” takes office.

In a socialist country buckling under the weight of corruption, mismanagement and hyperinflation that has left food and medicine scarce, Guaidó stopped short of declaring himself Venezuela’s interim president.

The Latest: Poland mayor mourned as critic of anti-Semitism

In a statement issued in New York on Monday, Ronald Lauder called Adamowicz “a true friend of the Jewish community, speaking loudly and clearly against anti-Semitism in Poland.”

The 53-yaer-old mayor was attacked at a charity event on Sunday by a man who shouted he was taking revenge against Poland’s Civil Platform party. Adamowicz was a party member until 2015.

Lauder described Adamowicz as “a leading voice of opposition against far-right extremism and a proponent of equal rights and security for all citizens of Poland.”

South Korea to receive first two F-35A stealth jets in March

F-35A Lightning II
A pilot assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing’s 34th Fighter Squadron drops a GBU-39 bomb from an F-35A Lightning II on Nov. 7.

The aircraft will arrive in the end of March and be deployed by May, The Korean Times and the South China Morning Post reported Sunday.

The F-35A, which features conventional takeoff and landing, is one of three variants of the single-seat, single-engine fighters.

In all, 10 fight planes will be delivered by the end of the year. Before arriving in Korea, they will stop in Hawaii and Guam, as well as being refueled by U.S. tankers.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the voice of an ignorant generation

The seed of Millennial miseducation, which grew into the Tree of the Lack of Knowledge as activist educators substituted ideology for scholarship, is finally bearing its rotten fruit.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ignorance of economics and foreign affairs typifies her generation.

Despite holding expensive degrees in both Economics and International Relations from Boston University, Ocasio-Cortez threw up her hands in exasperation during an interview on Margaret Hoover’s “Firing Line” program, laughing, “I’m not the expert on geopolitics.”

Fortunately for her, in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king; and among a blithely ignorant generation, the lightly educated activist is congresswoman.