In the News

News and Headlines. 3/14/2019


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

In The News:


Single Ranger battalion deployment leads to 1,900 terrorists killed or captured, several valor awards

Rangers received awards for battle and combat actions in a recent ceremony following their 2018 Afghanistan deployment. (Army)

Maj. Gen. Mark Schwartz, deputy commanding general of U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, presented the awards at a ceremony earlier this month at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, according to an Army release.

“It is truly an honor to serve with men like you,” Schwartz told them.

The First Ranger Battalion has deployed 22 times in support of the Global War on Terrorism, Schwartz said.

During the deployment, the battalion took part in 198 combat operations in which 1,900 terrorists were killed or captured.


Toyota Announces a $13 Billion Investment in the U.S.

The funding will lead to greater production of hybrid versions of the RAV4 and Lexus ES, with the production of the latter beginning in May at Toyota’s Kentucky manufacturing plant.

Over the next five years, Toyota said it will increase production capacity at existing manufacturing plants in Huntsville, Alabama; Buffalo, West Virginia; Troy, Missouri; and Jackson, Tennessee, creating nearly 600 new jobs, said Toyota.

The announcement comes just over a month after Toyota and Panasonic announced a joint venture to produce electric car batteries—a move that’s expected to employ 3,500 American workers by 2020.


Eastman Chemical, Conduit Global cutting jobs in Tennessee

Job cuts also have been disclosed in the Memphis area, across the state from Kingston. Call center operator Conduit Global plans to lay off 112 employees next month at its facility in the Memphis suburb of Cordova.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development sent a letter to state officials and members of Congress on March 4 informing them that Conduit plans to make the layoffs effective April 30.

No reason for the cuts was provided in the letter.

A Memphis workforce development board will help get necessary services to the employees, who did not have a collective bargaining agreement, the letter said.


Men sought in boy’s kidnapping arrested on icy Lake Superior

The Chippewa County sheriff’s office says 53-year-old George Cunningham and 68-year-old Jon Stygler were caught early Thursday about two miles out from Whitefish Point and about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the Canadian mainland.

Officers tracked them with snowmobiles after two adults and several children were bound at knifepoint before the boy was taken from a home in Whitefish Township.


Florida officer shoots man armed with knife

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Chief Chris Butler said at a news conference that a veteran officer shot 38-year-old Jerry Marrero on Thursday.

Officials say a gas station employee called 911 reporting an aggressive man with a knife. Butler says Officer R.C. Santoro arrived, found the armed man behind a counter and repeatedly told him to get on the ground.


NY appeals court rules that former ‘Apprentice’ contestant’s defamation suit against Trump can proceed

Summer Zervos, who appeared on the NBC reality show in 2006, filed a lawsuit against Trump alleging that he defamed her during the presidential campaign after slamming her sexual harassment complaints as “fabricated and made-up.” (Reuters)

A panel of New York appellate judges issued its ruling Thursday in a case brought by Summer Zervos in which Trump accused her – and numerous other women – of being liars for alleging that he sexually harassed them. Zervos sued for defamation.

“Despite the suggestion in his brief that he is the “embodi[ment of] the Executive Branch and though he is tasked with significant responsibilities, the President is still a person, and he is not above the law,” the appeals court panel wrote.

The judges cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Clinton v. Jones, which ruled that presidents can still be sued while in office for unofficial acts.


Civil rights organization announces dismissal of founder

The law center is best known for tracking groups it considers hate organizations and is a frequent target of conservative and far-right critics.

In a statement about Dees ouster, the SPLC said it was “deeply committed to having a workplace that reflects the values it espouses – truth, justice, equity and inclusion, and we believe the steps we have taken today reaffirm that commitment.”

“As a civil rights organization, the SPLC is committed to ensuring that the conduct of our staff reflects the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world. When one of our own fails to meet those standards, no matter his or her role in the organization, we take it seriously and must take appropriate action,” it said.

Reached by telephone, Dees said the matter involved a personnel issue. He said the Southern Poverty Law Center is a wonderful organization, and he wishes it luck.


Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to lying about attack

Empire actor Jussie Smollett,
Empire actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court Building for his hearing on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Chicago.

Lawyer Tina Glandian entered the plea on behalf of the 36-year-old actor during a hearing in Cook County Circuit Court after Judge Steven Watkins was assigned to oversee the case, including the trial.

Watkins granted Smollett’s request to be allowed to meet with lawyers in New York and California, but said the actor must give the court at least 48 hours’ prior notice. He scheduled the next hearing for April 17.

Smollett, who left the courthouse without speaking to reporters, is charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct.


Court rules gun maker can be sued over Newtown shooting

FILE – In this Jan. 28, 2013, file photo, firearms training unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson, of the Connecticut State Police, holds a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model used by Adam Lanza in the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting, during a hearing at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

Gun control advocates touted the ruling as providing a possible roadmap for victims of other mass shootings to circumvent a long-criticized federal law that shields gun manufacturers from liability in most cases when their products are used in crimes.

Gun rights supporters bashed the decision as judicial activism and overreach.

In a 4-3 decision, justices reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit against Remington and overturned the ruling of a lower court judge, who said the entire lawsuit was prohibited by the 2005 federal law.

The majority said that while most of the lawsuit’s claims were barred by the federal law, Remington could still be sued for alleged wrongful marketing under Connecticut law.


Video Surfaces of Actress Snared in College Bribery Scandal Lecturing About ‘Educational Inequality’

A brief video emerged on Twitter showing Huffman, who starred in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” sporting a “Cool Mom” top posing with the number 10,400,650.

“The number represents just one of the 130 million girls who don’t have access to an education.

“No girl should be denied the opportunity to learn and it’s on us to make the change,” she said. “Let’s get that number down to zero.”

“Unqualified students found their way into the admissions rolls of highly selective universities, while those students who played by the rules and did not have college-bribing parents were denied admission.”


Students file lawsuit against colleges in bribery scandal

Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods say they were denied a fair opportunity to apply to Yale and USC.

They say the alleged scheme allowed “unqualified students” to be admitted to “highly selective universities.”

The lawsuit also named the University of California, Los Angeles, Wake Forest, Georgetown University and others.


New Mexico compound suspects face new conspiracy charges


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal authorities say five former residents of a New Mexico compound have been indicted on charges of conspiring on a plan to attack U.S. law enforcement officers and employees.

The charges in a superseding indictment Wednesday accuse the two men in the group — Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Lucas Morton — of constructing a firing range at the Taos County compound to train others for attacks that never occurred.

The men and three women living at the site were arrested following an August raid that led to the discovery of 11 hungry children living in filth.


5 bloody mob-related killings in America

The killing of Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali in New York City this week has shed light on past mob-related in hits in America.

Here are summaries of his death and four other gruesome organized-crime killings that have made headlines over the years:


Horror Over Muslim Congresswomen Turns Heads to Muslim Reform Women

US Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) and US Representative from Michigan Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), dressed in white in tribute to the women’s suffrage movement, arrive for the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 5, 2019. (Photo: SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images)

The ongoing horror over the rhetoric of America’s first Muslim congresswomen has people turning to Muslim reform women.

Meet six outspoken and courageous Muslim reformers who also happen to be women.

In the last week, each of these Muslim reform women have taken on the Muslim congresswomen, with laser-like focus on Ilhan Omar’s hateful rhetoric.

Politics:


PELOSI SAYS SHE PERSONALLY SUPPORTS LOWERING THE VOTING AGE TO 16

“I myself, personally, not speaking for my caucus, I myself have always been for lowering the voting age to 16,” Pelosi said when asked by The Daily Caller about her thoughts on the issue.

“I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school when they’re interested in all of this and learning about government to be able to vote.”

The issue of lowering the voting age came up for debate in the House as an amendment last week on the “For The People Act,” a Democratic pushed bill (H.R. 1) that would overhaul U.S. election and campaign finance laws.

Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduced the amendment, but it failed 126-305.

H.R. 1, however, did pass the House through its Democratic majority, despite opposition from the ACLU.


A DEMOCRAT IS BACKING TENNESSEE HEARTBEAT ABORTION BAN. HERE’S WHY

DeBerry voted in favor of the bill so that women “don’t feel that their bodies are just a vessel for somebody to play with,” he said, according to The Tennessean. “I think that’s what’s being lost.

Personal responsibility, pride, self-esteem, it makes a person walk away from those situations that get them in this position,” DeBerry also said.

A heartbeat typically becomes detectable between six and nine weeks of gestation. Many women do not know they are pregnant at six weeks.

“This was the first chance in 25 years that I had to go on record and say I disagree with abortion,” DeBerry also said, according to the Tennessean.

Two other Tennessee Democrats, Rep. John Mark Windle and Rep. Joe Towns also voted in favor of the bill, the Tennessean reported.


Sen. Mitt Romney to vote against President Trump’s emergency declaration

Romney joins Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and five other GOP senators who will vote for H.J.Res.46, the Emergency Declaration resolution of disapproval.

Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. said the resolution would likely pass and be vetoed by the president.


Senate rejects Trump border emergency as Republicans defect

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine,
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, arrives in the Senate where she has said she will vote for a resolution to annul President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Senate voted 59-41 to cancel Trump’s February proclamation of a border emergency, which he invoked to spend $3.6 billion more for border barriers than Congress had approved.

Twelve Republicans joined Democrats in defying Trump in a showdown many GOP senators had hoped to avoid…

With the Democratic-controlled House’s approval of the same resolution last month, Senate passage sends it to Trump.

He has shown no reluctance to casting his first veto to advance his campaign exhortation to “Build the Wall,” and it seems certain Congress will lack the two-thirds majorities that would be needed to override him.


Mnuchin says his tax rate went up in wake of GOP tax law

Under questioning by lawmakers, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he didn’t know if his federal tax rate alone declined in the wake of the tax rewrite. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

“I can tell you I did not personally benefit” from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Mnuchin told the House Ways and Means committee.

“I personally pay taxes in New York and California and my tax rate did go up because I no longer have the SALT deduction,” he said.

Mnuchin later clarified that he was referring to his combined federal and state tax rates.


Cory Booker: US Constitution Promotes Bigotry And Racism

Shockingly, Democratic presidential hopeful Cory Booker criticized the “shortcomings” of America’s Founding Fathers in an interview with National Public Radio.

As demonstrably untrue as this statement is,….

The U.S. Constitution gives us the right to free speech, the right to assembly, the right to bear arms, and the right to remain silent.

The Constitution is the only thing giving Booker the right to criticize it in the first place. However, having the right to make false claims and actually making them are two different things.

Of course, the senator did not give us any examples of those “bigotries” in the NPR interview, which was published Thursday.


House votes to release Robert Mueller’s Russia report

The House passed the largely symbolic resolution Thursday morning as pressure mounts on the Justice Department to release Mueller’s full report in a 420-0 vote. Four members of Congress voted present — Republicans Justin Amash of Michigan, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Paul Gosar of Arizona and Thomas Massie of Kentucky. 

Before Thursday’s vote, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, told lawmakers that the report should be made available to the public and Congress, emphasizing that “transparency is fundamental to the special counsel’s process.” 


Defiant Strzok defends affair, denies it created security risk: testimony transcript

The details emerged in a lengthy transcript released Thursday by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. Strzok attorney Aitan Goelman welcomed the publication in a written statement,

During Strzok’s public congressional testimony last July before the judiciary and oversight committees, the affair itself was not a major focus of the committee’s questioning — until Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, blasted Strzok in deeply personal terms.

“The disgrace is what this man has done to our justice system,” Gohmert said during the hearing on July 12, 2017. “I can’t help but wonder, when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page?”

Democrats erupted with objections, saying Gohmert’s comments amounted to “intolerable harassment of the witness.”


Trump Flips Federal Appeals Court to Republican Majority With Matey Confirmation

President Donald Trump makes an announcement in the White House Rose Garden in Washington on Jan. 25, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Paul Matey was confirmed by the Senate in a 54–45 vote, which now gives the court a 7–6 majority of Republican appointees, with one more pending vacancy.

The switch in the 3rd Circuit—previously dominated by nominees appointed by Democrat presidents—comes amid a Republican effort to reclaim the federal judiciary after President Barack Obama tipped the scales in Democrats’ favor in 2013.

Matey’s confirmation marks the 35th appeals court nominee who has been confirmed under Trump—a historic number at this point in the presidency.

In the Senate vote, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was the only Democrat who crossed the aisle to vote with the Republicans for Matey.


Trump Donated His 2018 Third-Quarter Salary to an Organization That Funds Alcoholism Research

Trump pledged to refuse the $400,000 salary that comes with being the U.S. president shortly after winning the election.

Since then he’s held to his promise, with each quarterly pay going to a different organization.

Now, Trump has donated his third-quarter check from 2018 to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The president himself never drinks alcohol, but his older brother, Fred Jr., died in 1981 after struggling with alcoholism. Trump said his brother always told him, “don’t drink,” and despite their sometimes rocky relationship, he heeded those words.


MINNESOTA DEMOCRATS WANT TO TOPPLE ILHAN OMAR AND NOMINATE NEW CANDIDATE

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference to call on Congress to cut funding for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. Feb. 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Those who want Omar replaced are looking for someone to contest her nomination and have been meeting to discuss that objective, The Hill reported Thursday.

“There’s definitely some buzz going around about it, but it’s more a buzz of is anyone talking about finding someone to run against her than it is anyone saying they’re going to run against her or contemplate it,”

Democratic state Sen. Ron Latz, whose district overlaps Omar’s federal constituency, told The Hill.

“There’s definitely talk about people wanting someone to run against her.”

World News:


US ambassador urges Germany to bar entry of convicted Palestinian terrorist

Richard Grenell (left)Rasmea Odeh (right)
Richard Grenell (left) has called on authorities to ban Rasmea Odeh (right) from entering Germany on March 15, when she is slated to deliver a talk in Berlin. (Getty/AP)

Rasmea Odeh is set to deliver a speech in Berlin on Friday about “Palestinian women in the liberation struggle.”

The event is organized by a reportedly “anti-Semitic alliance of BDS.” BDS is an abbreviation for the Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment campaign targeting the Jewish state.

As a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an E.U. and U.S.-classified terrorist organization, Odeh was responsible for a 1969 bombing that killed two students – Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe – in a Jerusalem supermarket.

Ambassador Richard Grenell told Fox News Thursday: “The rise of anti-Semitism around the world is very troubling. Some people plant the seeds of anti-Semitism while others water it and help it grow.


Rockets Fired From Gaza at Tel Aviv Area, Israel TV Says

One was intercepted by a missile defense system, Channel 11 TV said. There were no reports of injuries.

The Islamic Jihad militant group claimed responsibility, TV reported. The attack took place following a surge of violence along the Gaza-Israel border.


More than 3,000 ISIS members surrender to US-backed forces in Syria

“Number of Daesh members surrendered to us since yesterday evening has risen to 3000. 3 Yazidi women and 4 children were rescued, too,” Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted Tuesday.

The ISIS fighters and family members were part of the last holdout group that the Kurdish-led SDF had been flushing out in attacks in the region over the past three days, the Washington Examiner reported.

“The objective of our advance is to terrorise IS fighters so they surrender, and for the civilians to come out,” SDF Unit Commander Ali Cheir said before the terrorists surrendered Tuesday, according to the report.


Iran Appointed to U.N. Women’s Rights Committee

An announcement by the U.N. on Wednesday said that Iran and Nigeria, another country that is no stranger to human rights abuses, would be promoted to the international organization’s Committee on the Status of Women, which oversees abuses committed by oppressive states, such as Iran and Nigeria.

Foreign policy observers on Twitter were quick to condemn the decision and bemoaning the U.S. taxpayer dollars that are used to fund such committees.


British Parliament votes in favor of Brexit delay, unclear if EU leaders will accept

Lawmakers voted 412-202 in favor of the motion, which urges Prime Minister’s Theresa May’s government to go to Europe and request an extension past the March 29 deadline.

It comes as the culmination of a week of furious votes in Parliament, in which May’s withdrawal agreement was overwhelmingly voted down for the second time on Tuesday, On Wednesday, lawmakers voted to reject a “no deal” Brexit.

Tech Watch:


Google’s Work in China Benefiting China’s Military: U.S. General

FILE PHOTO: A Google sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

“The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military,” Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” he said. “Frankly, ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is, it is more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

Last year Google said it was no longer vying for a $10 billion cloud computing contract with the U.S. Defense Department, in part because the company’s new ethical guidelines do not align with the project.


Facebook Says Server Change Caused Widespread Outage

“As a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services,” Facebook said in a tweet. “We’ve now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering.”

From about noon New York time Wednesday, global users encountered only partially loaded pages or no content at all on Facebook’s main social network and its related services, including photo-sharing site Instagram and messaging tools Messenger and WhatsApp.

Several brand marketers tweeted that Facebook’s ad-buying system was down as well. The company said it was considering refunds for advertisers. Ad sales are the company’s central revenue source.


Facebook Loses Top Executives, Including Chris Cox

The departures follow two years of scandals for Facebook around data privacy and disinformation. The issues have buffeted the Silicon Valley company, causing internal turmoil and a redirection in strategy.

The two executives leaving Facebook are Chris Cox, the chief product officer and one of the social network’s highest-ranking executives, and Chris Daniels, the head of WhatsApp.

Commentary/Opinion:


Trump’s budget tells us that the president’s priority isn’t to protect the most vulnerable among us

While there is little doubt that Trump will be hammered by attacks that he has abandoned his campaign promises, I care less about the political impact and more about the impact some of the proposals could have on Americans who need our help the most,

I acknowledge that any legislative proposal – and budgets in particular – are complicated and nuanced. As a former state senator, I have a decade of experience dealing with state budgeting as well as how state and federal funding interface.

So I’m not just criticizing Trump’s budget as a Democrat with a partisan ax to grind. Rather, I’m looking at the proposal through a practical policy lens.

I focused my analysis on three main issues: Medicare provider cuts, Medicaid block grants, and uniform work requirements for Medicaid and SNAP.


The Dumbing Down of America’s Children – Socialism On The Rise In American Universities

The most prestigious were the German Universities, filled with secular liberalism and radical enlightenment thought, they had a two hundred year head start of imbedded liberalism with the likes of Darwin, Marx, Rousseau, Hegel, Spinoza, D.F. Strauss, Comte, Spencer, and other radicals who believed that in order to be fully educated–it meant to become revolutionized as liberal.

These fresh graduate Professors and Educators became the first generation of liberal indoctrinators to teach at American Universities as well as their spawn, so there was no taking over existing graduate programs–through time, these Americans who were indoctrinated at European Universities became the first faculty of ALL our American graduate programs, they were the intellectual elite, and they redefined what it meant to be educated with very little resistance.

Reinforcing these foreign concepts with a positive bias, seldom if at all do these educators discuss the negative side of facts as they ingrain the thought seeds into the fresh minds infecting and affecting America’s children on all levels of their senses, while reserving apathy as their last defensive tactic of the indoctrination process.

These educators are destroying our children as Americans.

They’re turning them into intellectual zombies embracing communism, while castrating American values and traditions.

The definition of indoctrination is to teach a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.

Progressives always knew the schools and colleges were a breeding ground to grow fresh minds to their liberal ways of thinking, trying to take God out of

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