In the News

News and Headlines. 2/7/2019

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

In The News:

Trump speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast

President Trump delivers remarks at the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast. Vice President Pence and the Second Lady attend.

Carfentanil, opioid that can be lethal to the touch, becoming a growing problem in US

In 2016, there were more than 420 deaths associated with carfentanil. In 2017, that number more than doubled, to 815, according to the latest figures from the CDC.

Law enforcement officials are concerned that as its popularity grows, so will the death toll.

“It’s a dangerous drug. You’re playing a dangerous game with your body and your life,” said Darin Thimmesch, special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Veterinarian Who Smuggled Liquid Heroin Implanted Inside Puppies Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

This 2005 photo provided by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials shows puppies rescued from a farm in Colombia destined for use by a veterinarian working for a Colombian drug trafficking ring. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration/AP

Andres Lopez Elorez, 39, nervously fiddled with the back of his light olive green jumpsuit in federal court in Brooklyn as he asked U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson for leniency for the crimes he said he did during a “dark chapter” in his life.

Prosecutors said Lopez Elorez smuggled at least one kilogram of heroin from Colombia to the U.S. through the puppies that he raised on a secret farm, between 2004 and 2005, while he was studying to be a veterinarian.

The drugs were surgically removed from the puppies once they arrived. Several of the animals died after the surgeries.

Texas school district groundskeeper arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting child

Jose Armando Lopez Solorio,
Jose Armando Lopez Solorio, 50 was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old child.

Jose Armando Lopez Solorio, 60, was charged with “super” aggravated sexual assault of a child – which means the victim is either under six years of age or the accused has been previously convicted of a violent sexual assault of a victim under the age of 14.

Lopez was arrested at a family member’s home in Houston, where police said he was babysitting small children.

During the booking process, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents contacted the sheriff’s office and advised them Lopez’s immigration status would likely be reviewed since he committed the alleged crimes while in the United States prior to receiving his residency status.

Florida caregiver arrested for impregnating woman with disabilities, police say

Willie Fred Shorter, 58, was arrested for allegedly impregnating a woman with disabilities in 2015, when he worked in a group home. (Brevard County Sheriff’s Office)

Willie Fred Shorter, 58, was arrested on a charge of committing lewd and lascivious battery on a disabled person, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said.

Shorter was working in a group home run by the Bridges foundation when he allegedly impregnated a woman who has “the mental capacity of a small child” and is unable to give consent, Florida Today reported.

The staff discovered the woman, who was not identified, was pregnant in January 2015 and contacted police.

New York woman, 24, ID’d as dead female bound and stuffed into red suitcase found in wealthy Connecticut town

Valerie Reyes, 24,
Valerie Reyes, 24, of New Rochelle, was identified as the body found in a suitcase in Greenwich, Conn., police said. (NYPD)

Highway workers on Tuesday had stumbled upon Reyes’ remains after discovering the suitcase sitting about 10-15 feet from Glenville Road in Greenwich, the town’s police said. Reyes was described as being clothed but reportedly had her hands and feet bound.

Additionally, an unidentified highway worker was being investigated after allegedly snapping unauthorized photos of Reyes’ body, according to The Hartford Courant and ABC7 New York.

Florida woman gets life in prison for plotting with husband’s best friend to kill him, blame an alligator

Denise Williams, 48, was sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday, about two decades after she and her lover carried out an almost-perfect plot to kill her husband, convince cops an alligator did it and then collect $2 million in life insurance benefits.

Williams was convicted in December of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of her 31-year-old husband, Mike Williams.

The judge also sentenced Williams to an additional 30 years in prison for plotting to kill her husband with Brian Winchester, who was Mike’s best friend and her lover.

Girl, 9, has scalp reattached after her hair got caught in tractor in freak farm accident

Kushpreet Kaur, aged nine,
Kushpreet Kaur, aged nine, had her entire scalp and forehead sheared off when her hair got caught in a tractor’s crop spraying mechanism in rural India in November last year. (SWNS)

Kushpreet Kaur, aged nine, had her entire scalp and forehead sheared off when her hair got caught in a tractor’s crop spraying mechanism in rural India in November last year.

The shock incident happened on November 10 when the young girl was riding on top of her uncle’s tractor in Dharampura village in Punjab.

‘The View’ silent on Joy Behar’s resurfaced blackface photo wearing ‘beautiful African woman’ costume

“I can’t really get too bothered at this blackface-lite costume because it was 1971 and people didn’t even know what microaggressions were. I’m more flabbergasted by her willingness to pull this photo out and proudly show the world as if it’s totally cool in the year 2016,” Jezebel’s Kara Brown wrote after the 2016 segment.

While the 2016 segment didn’t spark much outrage, NBC famously cut ties with Megyn Kelly last year for pondering aloud whether dressing in blackface for Halloween could be acceptable. Media watchdogs quickly hit Twitter to compare Behar’s situation to what ended Kelly’s time at the Peacock Network.

Twitter sees monthly users plunge, will stop reporting the number

The San Francisco-based firm’s monthly active users during the quarter were 321 million, compared to 330 million in the prior year’s quarter. Monthly users also fell 5 million from the firm’s fiscal third quarter.

After the fiscal first quarter of 2019, Twitter will stop reporting its number of monthly active users in its quarterly results.

Instead, Twitter will use monetizable daily active users (mDAU) as its “audience and engagement metric,” the company explained, in a statement.


U.S. border security talks progressing: negotiators

Speaking to reporters, Tester said it was “entirely possible we could have a deal in a timely manner, which could be tomorrow but certainly by the weekend.”

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, who met earlier on Thursday at the White House with Trump, told reporters the 17 Senate and House of Representatives negotiators were on “a positive trajectory”.

Trump spoke to reporters in the White House Oval Office and when asked about a potential compromise, said, “There could be.”

South Carolina Senator Reintroduces Bill That Would Ban Abortion

A similar bill was introduced last year but failed after Democrats filibustered it.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster supports Cash’s bill and at a rally on Wednesday requested lawmakers to vote for it.

“You send me that clear, concise perfect, Personhood bill and I will sign it into law,” he told lawmakers at the rally, reported WIS.

In Ohio, lawmakers have been trying to pass a “heartbeat” bill that would prohibit abortions after a fetus has a detectable heartbeat. The new Ohio Gov., Mike DeWine, said in January that he would sign such a bill if the Legislature passed it, after former Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed the bill in December 2018 before leaving office.

New Mexico abortion bill called ‘most extreme in the nation’

Supporters of Planned Parenthood rally outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. February 11, 2017. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook – RC15C2B406B0

Rep. Joanne Ferrary, a Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill, said it “simply removes an antiquated law that criminalizes health care.”

But opponents of the bill argue that beyond making abortion legal all nine months of pregnancy, it also forces medical professionals to perform abortions against their will.


“If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr told CBS News.

“If I can finish tomorrow, I would finish tomorrow,” said Burr, adding, “We know we’re getting to the bottom of the barrel because there’re not new questions that we’re searching for answers to.”

Mueller hauled before secret FISA court to address FBI abuses in 2002, Congress told

Robert Mueller, the former FBI director and current special prosecutor in the Russia case, once was hauled before the nation’s secret intelligence court to address a large number of instances in which the FBI cheated on sensitive surveillance warrants, according to evidence gathered by congressional investigators.

World News:

Chinese Blood Plasma Feared Contaminated With HIV Tests Negative, Investigators Say

The result appears to have headed off the possibility of yet another scandal involving medical products in the country. Incidents include the falsifying of production records for rabies vaccines that prompted a nationwide crackdown on the industry and the injecting of other faulty vaccines.

The products involved have been sealed and medical institutions nationwide have been asked to stop using them while investigations continue, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

US blocks Security Council criticism over Israel’s decision to remove observers from Biblical city of Hebron

The initiative, known as a press statement, expressed regret over Israel’s decision to suspend a mandate of international observers stationed in the Biblical city of Hebron to protect Palestinians there.

The Temporary International Presence in Hebron, or TIPH, has been in the West Bank city since 1997 and has long faced criticism it is biased against Israel.

A Security Council diplomat confirmed to Fox News that, “the U.S. did not think a press statement was appropriate.” A Security Council press statement needs the consensus of all 15 members, and while not legally binding it does show council unity on any given subject.

Anti-Brexit protester jumps in front of Theresa May’s motorcade on her way to EU talks

The man, identified as Mark Johnston, a known pro-E.U. activist, can be seen in footage holding a sign “don’t crash out” – in reference to a potential no-deal Brexit – and then jumping in the front of the motorcade.

Security promptly removed the activist from the street. No injuries were caused as a result of the stunt.

German ruling could impede Facebook’s data-combo moves

Thursday’s ruling, though aimed at current practices, hints at potential troubles ahead if Facebook follows through with plans to integrate the messaging functions of WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger as early as next year.

German antitrust authorities ruled Thursday that Facebook was exploiting its dominance in social media in forcing users to also allow the company to collect data from other Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as third-party websites through the “Like” and “Share” buttons.


Tucker: The never-ending car crash of intersectionality

Taking a look at liberal hypocrisy from allegations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh versus those of Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.

John Stossel: San Francisco has become the slum by the bay — Bad laws cause city’s homeless crisis

Parts of San Francisco resemble the poorest slums in the world — even though the city is one of the richest in America.