In the News

News and Headlines. 3/11/2019

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

In The News:

Disabled former UK Royal Marine breaks Atlantic rowing record

Lee Spencer celebrates after arriving in Cayenne, French Guiana early Monday. (Photo by Anthony Upton/ Rowing Marine via Getty Images)

Lee Spencer, 49, arrived in Cayenne, French Guiana 60 days after setting off from Portimao, Portugal — beating the able-bodied record for an east-to-west crossing by a whopping 36 days.

“It’s just beginning to sink in that I’ve got the record,” Spencer told Sky News after his epic journey. ” … The thing that kept me going has been proving that no one should be defined by disability and no one should be defined by something they’re not good at.”

Diver survives after being scooped up in whale’s mouth off South Africa

Rainer Schimpf can be seen in the mouth of the Bryde's Whale

Rainer Schimpf, 51, was snorkeling off the coast of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, when he ended up in the path of a Bryde’s whale, which opened his jaws and engulfed him headfirst.

“We were very astonished that out of nowhere this whale came up,” he told Sky News.

“I was busy concentrating on the sharks because you want to know if the shark is in front of you or behind you, left or right, so we were very focused on the sharks and their behavior — then suddenly it got dark.”

Body of girl, 9, found near Los Angeles hiking trail ID’d, 2 ‘persons of interest’ detained

Trinity Love Jones
Trinity Love Jones was identified by her family and police on Sunday as the victim who was found dead near a hiking trail in Southern California on Tuesday. (L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept.)

Trinity Love Jones, 9, was the girl who county maintenance workers found partially inside a duffel bag near a hiking trail in Hacienda Heights on Tuesday, her father Antonio Jones told KTLA earlier Sunday.

By Sunday evening the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released a statement confirming the girl’s identity.

The statement said that investigators have detained “two persons of interest in the case” and that an investigation is ongoing.

Show up drunk: Indictments spotlight prison rehab scams

Federal prosecutors have long suspected abuses in the program, which has enrolled a deep list of high-profile convicts.

Recently, a grand jury in Connecticut indicted three people accused of coaching ineligible convicts on how to get into the Residential Drug Abuse Program, or RDAP, by telling them to show up to prison intoxicated and fake withdrawal symptoms.

The charges are among the first filed against prison consultants involving the program.

Experts: NYC Could Go Bankrupt for First Time in 40 Years

Financial experts predict that there are already signs the city is headed for financial disaster, as many individuals and businesses are leaving the city for lower tax areas and city government spending is at an all-time high.

The last time the city came close to filing for bankruptcy was in 1975 when former President Gerald Ford refused to give the city a bailout package to settle its debt.

Foreign Workers Outpace Native-Born Americans in Job Growth for Six Months

In terms of unemployment, native-born Americans have an edge over foreign-born workers. Compared to this time last year, native-born Americans’ unemployment rate has decreased nearly nine percent. Meanwhile, foreign-born workers’ unemployment rate has dropped 7.5 percent.

The latest BLS data reveals a half-year trend where foreign-born workers have continuously enjoyed substantially higher levels of job growth over native-born Americans.

Since at least September 2018, foreign-born workers have outpaced native-born Americans in job growth, sometimes seeing four times or more the job growth that Americans are experiencing in the economy.

In January 2019, for instance, foreign-born workers had four times the job growth and four times the civilian labor force growth of native-born American workers.

Trump Taps Seven of Thomas’ Former Clerks for Fed Appeals Courts

Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Donald Trump has nominated seven of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s former clerks for federal appeals courts — all of whom have been confirmed, with an eighth likely to follow, the Daily Caller reported.

“At this point, Justice Thomas is clearly the leading intellectual force on the conservative side of the bench,” said Carrie Severino, a former Thomas clerk who leads the Judicial Crisis Network, an advocacy group supporting Trump’s push to recast the judicial branch.

Registered Gun Owners Double in California Since 2012, Despite Ever Stricter Gun Laws

Deputies handle some of approximately 3,500 confiscated guns to be melted down at Gerdau Steel Mill in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., on July 19, 2018. (David McNew/Getty Images)

California has one of the strictest gun laws in the country with waiting periods, background checks for private sales, magazine capacity limits, open carry restrictions, and mandatory firearm registration.

California has more than 2.5 million gun owners registered as of Jan. 1, 2019, according to the state’s Justice Department.

That is about double the number in 2012. The number has been increasing by about 6-15 percent a year despite the state’s ever expanding regulation of gun ownership.

The number is not quite an accurate depiction of gun ownership, as there are many undocumented gun owners in the state too.

It does, however, provide a solid measure of legal gun ownership.

Florida woman shot boyfriend because he snored too loudly: police

Lorie Morin, 47, has been charged with attempted murder and attempted battery. Police say she shot her boyfriend during an argument about the volume of his snoring. (Brevard County Sheriff’s Office)

Authorities in Florida say a woman shot her boyfriend during an argument about his loud snoring.

Court documents show that the boyfriend had shown up at Morin’s home that night with nasal strips which he had hoped would quiet his nocturnal noises.

Two people dead in Texas after pickup truck collides head-on with school charter bus, police say

Tyler police inspect the site of a fatal bus crash in Tyler, Texas. (Tyler Police via AP

The driver of the pickup truck, Jeffrey Dalton Aynesworth, 22, of Rusk, and passenger Payton Joseph Raymond, 24, of Flint, both died at the scene of the wreck on Loop 49 near the U.S. Highway 69 exit just after 4 a.m., Tyler police said.

Five people on the bus — including the driver, two adults and two students from Brook Hill School — were taken to UT Health Tyler for treatment for minor injuries, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

The remaining 27 occupants were unharmed, and parents arrived at the crash site to pick up the students.

Police: Fake Uber driver had pictures of unconscious women

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Police say an Alabama man is charged with kidnapping, accused of pretending to be an Uber driver to pick up a university student found unconscious in the back seat of his car.

Tuscaloosa police Capt. Gary Hood said investigators then found multiple images of at least one other college-aged female who appeared unconscious in the vehicle.

Suspect in death of woman found in trunk will stay in jail

FILE – This file booking photo provided by the Delaware Department of Justice shows Louis D. Coleman III.

Louis Coleman, of Providence, appeared Monday in Boston’s federal court to face a charge of kidnapping resulting in death. His public defender says Coleman has agreed to remain held without bail and waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Coleman is charged in the death of 23-year-old Jassy Correia. She disappeared after celebrating her birthday at a Boston club Feb. 24.

Her body was found four days later in the trunk of the car Coleman was driving during a police stop in Delaware.

Police shootout with suspect in Oregon after car chase captured in dramatic video

The suspect got into a shootout with police after driving onto a ranch property and getting stuck in a field. (Julie McCartt)

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post the incident began around 6 p.m. when deputies received a report of a possible stolen vehicle at a Love’s Travel Stop along Interstate 5 in Roseburg.

The vehicle had been reported stolen on March 7, and reportedly had multiple weapons, including a semi-automatic rifle, and ammunition inside.

Officers initially tried to stop the vehicle, but that only triggered a pursuit that ended on a nearby ranch’s property, where the stolen car became stuck in a field.


Border officials gearing up for record number of migrants traveling as families try to enter US

That revelation comes on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report that cites an internal Customs and Border Protection document as saying that 178,000 people traveling as families are expected to enter the U.S. in some capacity between March and May – compared to less than 46,000 during that same period last year.

The senior official told Fox News an estimated 51,000 to 58,000 people traveling as family units are projected to enter the U.S. this month, with that figure rising as high as 70,000 in May.

And more are expected to follow.

Just a few weeks ago, Mexican Secretary of the Interior Olga Sanchez Cordero told the Migration Policy Institute in Washington that she believes as many as 700,000 people from a group of Central American countries known as the Northern Triangle will pass through Mexico’s southern border, with many continuing on to try and reach the U.S.

Border Patrol diverted $45M in operations budget to cover migrant healthcare costs

The U.S. Border Patrol has diverted $9 million in operational funding in fiscal year 2019, as it has done in each of the four previous years, to instead cover medical screenings and related services for thousands of immigrants.

Border Patrol began transferring the money at the beginning of fiscal year 2015, just as record-high numbers of unaccompanied minors were arriving at the southern border.

The Border Patrol, part of Customs and Border Protection, entered into a Medical Services Blanket Purchase Agreement with a contract medical provider in fiscal 2015.

The millions of dollars transferred in 2019 went toward appointments for more than 4,800 immigrants — one-third of whom were part of a family unit — who were sent to a hospital or medical facility for care between Dec. 22, 2018, and Feb. 24.

Vet founder of crowdfunding campaign to build border wall insists construction will begin within months

Brian Kolfage on a visit to the Arizona-Mexico border last month.

“So many people don’t know we are moving ahead with this project. When we start breaking ground soon, it is going to go gangbusters again,” Kolfage told Fox News.

“We don’t feel President Trump is going to get what he wants, and we are going to be the only option for people to have border security and border protection.”

But after falling short of the $1 billion goal, Kolfage came under fire over concerns about the GoFundMe rules and regulations.

However, he claims that he was advised by supporters of the cause not to just give up and return the donated funds – but to carve out another path focusing on going forward with private construction, which has involved officially establishing a 501(c)4 nonprofit entitled “We Build the Wall, Inc.”


Trump releases budget seeking billions for border wall, work requirements for welfare programs

“In the last two years, President Trump and his Administration have prioritized reining in reckless Washington spending.

The Budget that we have presented to Congress and the American people…embodies fiscal responsibility and takes aim at Washington’s waste, fraud, and abuse,” Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russ Vought said in a statement.

According to the administration, the work requirement would apply to federal programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and federal housing, but would come with a hardship exemption.

Last year, the administration opened the door for states to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients. This part of the budget proposal would bring those work requirements to the federal level.

Trump budget calls for more scrutiny for unions

The proposed budget would, the White House says, “restore the Office of Labor-Management Standards’ investigative workforce, which has fallen by more than 40 percent during the past 10 years.

The Budget would strengthen protections for union members by supporting more audits and investigations to uncover flawed officer elections, fraud, and embezzlement.”

The OLMS’ annual budget was $48 million in 2007 near the end of the Bush administration.

It fell to a low of $39 million during former President Barack Obama’s administration, which rolled back financial disclosure regulations for union leaders.

Omar thanks Fox News for rebuke of Jeanine Pirro

A few years ago, some genius politicians, spurred on by some equally genius “climate scientists” told the citizens of California that we were now in a “permanent drought” situation. Of course, the NYT bought this drivel, and made it a headline.

Pirro on Saturday questioned Omar’s support for the Constitution because of her Islamic faith and her wearing a hijab.

Former Gillibrand aide resigned in protest over handling of sex harassment claims

Abbas Malik, pictured in an Army uniform, was an aide to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand from 2011 until last week, serving as her driver and military adviser. He was accused of sexual harassment by a former Gillibrand staffer. | Staten Island Advance/

In July, the female staffer alleged one of Gillibrand’s closest aides — who was a decade her senior and married — repeatedly made unwelcome advances after the senator had told him he would be promoted to a supervisory role over her.

She also said the male aide regularly made crude, misogynistic remarks in the office about his female colleagues and potential female hires.

Less than three weeks after reporting the alleged harassment and subsequently claiming that the man retaliated against her for doing so, the woman told chief of staff Jess Fassler that she was resigning because of the office’s handling of the matter.

She did not have another job lined up.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Socialist: From Chavez to Castro, leaders who lived the high life

From left to right: Mao Zedong, Hugo Chavez, Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro.
From left to right: Mao Zedong, Hugo Chavez, Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro.

American democratic socialists have faced scrutiny for their own indulgences under the capitalist system — for instance, Sen. Bernie Sanders has three homes and a proclivity for private jet travel.

But American socialists’ luxuries pale in comparison to those of history’s most infamous socialist and communist leaders around the world.

Majority of Americans Don’t Want to Live in a Socialist Country

Almost 63 percent of adults and more than 50 percent of young Americans disagreed when asked if they “prefer living in a socialist country.”

The results of the poll are significant because the 2020 election is shaping up to be a referendum on socialism.

The leading Democratic candidates have largely embraced the socialist policies long advocated by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump and Republicans are slamming socialism as a failed and destructive ideology.

World News:

Pakistani, Indian troops trade fire in Kashmir, killing 1

Pakistani Kashmiris look at a house that was damaged by Indian artillery shelling near the Line of Control between Pakistani and Indian-controlled Kashmir, in Mara Bakot, near Muzafarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir, Monday, March 11, 2019.

Local police chief Arshad Naqvi said on Monday that the man was visiting his daughter the previous day in an attempt to try and take her to a safer area when he was killed.

An Indian army spokesman, Col. Rajesh Kalia, blamed Pakistani troops for initiating fire on Sunday, saying four villagers in Indian-controlled Kashmir were wounded.

Iran court rules on U.S. Navy vet Michael White’s “security-related” charges

White, 47, has been held in a prison in the northeastern city of Mashhad since he disappeared in July.

He has reportedly been on a hunger strike since last Thursday.

Jonathan Franks, a representative for the family, said last week that White had not been able to contact them, and they were not aware of any charges against him.

Sadeqi, the Mashhad prosecutor, said White’s case involved both a public and private plaintiff or plaintiffs, as well as “security-related” charges.

Those remarks appeared to contradict a February statement by Iran’s Foreign Ministry that said White was not facing any security- or espionage-related charges. The reason for the discrepancy was unclear.

Ethiopian airline crash updates: Boeing 737 Max planes grounded; black box found

China and Indonesia on Monday grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8 planes following the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that killed all 157 people aboard.

Cayman Airways also parked the planes and Ethiopian Airlines already had grounded its Max 8s after Nairobi-bound Flight 302 nosedived to the ground Sunday minutes after takeoff from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

“Although we don’t yet know the cause of the accident, we decided to ground this particular fleet as an extra safety precaution,” the Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement.

US says aviation experts expected on Tuesday

Rescuers work at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash near Bishoftu, or Debre Zeit, south of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, March 11, 2019.

Ethiopia’s state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate cites the United States ambassador as saying a six-member team of U.S. aviation experts are on their way to the site of Sunday’s crash.

Ambassador Michael Raynor visited the crash site on Monday. He told the broadcaster that the experts from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive at the site on Tuesday.

Surge in prosecutions of British jihadists ‘may never happen’ – DPP

Max Hill QC, who was formerly the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said the expectation that there could be hundreds of cases going through UK courts after the collapse of the Islamic State “caliphate” had not been realised.

Hill, who has been in charge of the Crown Prosecution Service since last November, said: “Two years ago the language was all about an influx of returnees, with reports that some 850 people had travelled [to join Isis] but that has not translated into a significant influx. That may change.

“We appear to be looking at low numbers but we are ready for whatever comes. Thus far there has not been a large influx and the last two or three years have taken a toll on potential numbers.”

Israeli court sentences soldiers for abusing Palestinians

JERUSALEM – Three Israeli soldiers charged with abusing Palestinian detainees have been sentenced to six and a half months in prison under a plea deal with a military court.

The court approved the plea bargain late Sunday after the soldiers confessed to severely abusing two Palestinian suspects.

The agreement, which avoided more serious assault charges, calls for the soldiers to serve 190 days in prison followed by probation, and demotes the soldiers in rank.

The defense welcomed the plea deal, saying it would likely not show up on the soldiers’ permanent records.

Tech Watch:

10 prosthetic limbs so cool they’re better than the real thing

Konami’s drone-equipped prosthetic arm
Konami’s drone-equipped prosthetic arm,Phantom Limb Project

These days, we’re amazed at what people are coming up with. We’ve seen prosthetics with built-in drones, ones that will make you feel (and look) like a superhero, and even one that allowed an artist to tattoo with it.

You might become a bit jealous, but there are a few on our list that are just as useful for those of us blessed to have all our arms and legs.

Check out some of the favorites that we’ve covered over the years on Digital Trends.

Y2K-like ‘bug’ could zap GPS systems, experts say

Cyber-security expert Bill Malik told the tech publication Tom’s Guide he’d be afraid to fly April 6, the day a computer calendar “roll-over” to zero is triggered, according to Britain’s Sun newspaper.

A similar Y2K disaster was forecast for New Year’s Day 2000, but never happened.

Abrams tank set for ‘lethality’ upgrade

 M1A2 Abrams tank
File photo – FORT HOOD, Tx–A Sabot round is fired from an M1A2 Abrams tank during 3rd Armored Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division gunnery qualification. (Photo by Capt. Scott Kuhn/U.S. Army)

The Army’s most pressing priority, senior leaders explain, is to be ready for war “now” — “today” — and in the immediate future.

“One of our biggest challenges is to continue to upgrade our current platforms for anything we may go to war with today at the same time making sure we put the proper investments into our future abilities – so we are ready for the fight after next,” Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, Program Executive Officer, Ground Combat Systems, told Warrior Maven in an interview a few months ago.

The thinking is characterized by two intertwined, yet distinct trajectories; future planning is dominated by a need for lighter-weight, expeditionary armored vehicles protected by long-range sensors, advanced fires and Active Protection Systems; the Army has already integrated an APS system called Trophy onto its Abrams vehicles.

In this mix of technologies, survivability rests upon the prospect of lightweight armor composites, APS, long-range fires, sensors and air defenses.


NO JOKE: 2020 Dem Candidate Apologizes for Being A Straight White Male [Video]

Inslee’s biggest problem may be that he’s a straight white male – and he’s so very sorry about that!

Washington governor and 2020 candidate Jay Inslee (D.) said on Sunday he thinks he has humility about being a straight white male, saying he recognizes the advantages he’s received as a result of that identity.

“Our new CNN/Des Moines Register poll shows only 38 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa say they would be satisfied with a straight white male nominee,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper said.

“So why are you as a straight white male the right person to lead the Democratic party if there’s so much skepticism from Democrats in Iowa?”

Venezuelan Expat Shreds Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Over Socialist Policies

“Socialism is what destroyed Venezuela. There’s nothing for free in the world.

Somebody is going to have to pay for it. The people who will have to pay for it will end up being us — young people, millennials,” said Martino.

Martino was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He moved to the United States in 2016 and is studying economics at Indiana University and Purdue University Indianapolis.

Sex Matters

Are the differences between men and women biological or socially constructed? What do women want from a relationship?

What do men want? Are they the same? Or are they much different?

Sean McDowell, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Biola University sorts it all out in this eye-opening video.

Black People Dismantle “White Privilege”

A short compilation of intelligent black community leaders dismantling white privilege, systemic racism, and black victimhood.