In the News

News and Headlines. 3/25/2019


News and Headlines. In The News, Politics/Deep State/Russian Collusion, World news, Commentary/Opinion.

In The News:


Russian aircraft to fly over U.S. as part of Treaty on Open Skies obligations

Russian reconnaissance aircraft
Russian reconnaissance aircraft will fly over parts of the United States this week through Saturday as part of obligations for the Treaty on Open Skies, U.S. officials said. (REUTERS/Dmitry Petrochenko)

“The flight will be conducted with their treaty-certified Tu-154 aircraft equipped with electro-optical cameras, “Johnny Michael, a Pentagon spokesman, said in an email to Fox News.

“The observation flight is expected to be completed and depart the United States around March 30, per Treaty timelines.”

Russian officials said the flights will begin at an Air Force base in Montana, home to nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Russian observation aircraft can fly anywhere in a 3,000-mile radius from Montana under treaty obligations.

“The United States has conducted three treaty missions over Russia so far in 2019,” Michael added.

“Per treaty procedures, the United States will inspect the aircraft and U.S. observers will be on board the Russian aircraft to monitor all phases of the observation flight over U.S. territory, to ensure Treaty compliance.”


Stormy Daniels’ ex-lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested for alleged $20 million extortion scheme against Nike, embezzling client’s money, defrauding bank

Avenatti also is charged in a separate federal case out of Los Angeles, where he is accused of embezzling a client’s money “in order to pay his own expense and debts,” and of “defrauding a bank in Mississippi,” prosecutors said.

Avenatti, 48, was busted in Midtown Manhattan at 12:30 p.m. by FBI agents, about 15 minutes after he tweeted that he would be disclosing a big high school and college basketball scandal “perpetrated by” Nike that he supposedly had uncovered.


HUNDREDS OF DEAD PEOPLE RECEIVED MILLIONS IN SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS

Around 70 million people received more than $1 trillion of economic assistance through Social Security programs in fiscal year 2018. Payments end when the beneficiary dies, however.

The SSA identified 160 individuals who had possibly died, with 57 from Michigan from 1971 through 2010 and 103 from Maryland from 1979 through 2015. Around $16.9 million in payments were issued to 145 individuals who reportedly died in these states. The remaining 15 were alive.

There was an instance where a woman received payments for a person who died in 2000 and used it for personal benefit. She pleaded guilty for theft and was required to pay nearly $170,000 back to SSA.

Another person also received Social Security benefits that was posted under the deceased person’s record since 1997. The beneficiary had died in 1974.

A Texas audit found nearly $25 million in Social Security payments were given to 336 people and 18 representative payees who died in the state prior or during 2016.


Ex-coaches charged in U.S. college admission scandal due in court

Gordon Ernst, Georgetown University’s former head tennis coach facing charges in a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme, arrives at the federal courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The 12 people are expected to plead not guilty in Boston federal court to charges that they took part in a $25 million conspiracy in which wealthy parents paid for help cheating on admissions exams and to bribe coaches who secured spots for their children in elite universities as fake athletic prospects.

The defendants include Gordon Ernst, Georgetown’s former head tennis coach; Jorge Salcedo, the former men’s soccer head coach at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and Donna Heinel, USC’s former associate athletic director.

The hearing came as Yale on Monday said it had rescinded the admission of an unnamed student linked to the scandal.

A former Yale soccer coach, Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, is set to plead guilty on Thursday to participating in the bribe scheme.


German owners of Krispy Kreme, Panera to donate millions after Nazi past uncovered

The Reinmann family has a fortune of at least $37 billion, and controlling interest in JAB Holdings Co., which owns brands that include Krispy Kreme, Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee, Keurig coffee and the United Kingdom-based sandwich shop Pret a Manger.

The family, through a representative, confirmed evidence that Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. were early supporters of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party in Germany in the 1930s and employed Russian civilians and French prisoners of war as forced laborers during World War II.

Peter Harf, a JAB Holdings managing partner, said the Reimann family was shocked by connections to Nazi abuses, which were largely discovered in the archives of the German newspaper Bild.


2 charged in fatal shooting of off-duty Chicago police officer

Jovan Battle, left, and Menelik Jackson, right,
Jovan Battle, left, and Menelik Jackson, right, were charged with first-degree murder in off-duty Officer John P. Rivera’s death. (Chicago Police Department)

Alleged gunman Menelik Jackson, 24, had once applied to be a Chicago cop before he was arrested at the police academy a few years ago in connection with a home invasion.

On Monday, he was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 23-year-old Officer John P. Rivera, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The other man charged, Jovan Battle, is accused of being a “co-conspirator” who was with Jackson at the time of the shooting.

Police are still seeking a third person of interest, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Monday morning.


Prosecutor: Pastor urged ministers to have sex with teen

The child sex trafficking trial for Anthony Haynes began Monday in Toledo. He could face up to life in prison if he’s convicted.

The two other Toledo-area pastors charged in the investigation have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors say Haynes had promised the girl’s mother he’d take care of her, but he instead began having sex with her at his church and a motel until she was 17.


Man Assaulted Teen Who Allegedly Molested 5-Year-Old, Arrested

“I kinda blacked out,” Adams told Fox8. “I saw a 17-year-old molesting a five-year-old. I wanted to help the young boy and that was all I was thinking about was getting it stopped.”

He immediately pushed the teen off the child and proceeded to assault him, while calling for someone in the house to call 911.

He then logged into his Facebook account and posted a video of the alleged molester covered in blood and being angrily asked to reveal what he was doing. The video has since been removed from the social media platform.

“I do regret posting it on Facebook but my intent was to show people that if you touch or hurt a child this could happen to you,” Adams said, adding that he did what anyone in that situation would have done.


Pilot crashes stolen plane into building in Africa, killing self in reported murder attempt on wife

Pilot Charl Viljoen
Pilot Charl Viljoen died after deliberating crashing a plane into a building hosting a private event on Saturday, according to local reports. (Facebook)

The witnesses watched as the plane made “a number of low-level fly pasts from different directions,” according to the group.

Video posted to Twitter showed one of the low-level passes near the airport.

The pilot, identified by South Africa’s Eyewitness News and The Citizen as Charl Viljoen, allegedly had a physical altercation with his wife at a baby shower held at the airstrip earlier and was asked to leave the event.


Missouri man who toppled more than 100 headstones at Jewish cemetery gets probation

Alzado Harris, 35, of Northwoods was also ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution after admitting to police he was drunk, on drugs and angry at a friend when he knocked over about 120 headstones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, about 9 miles west of St. Louis.

Vice President Pence visited the cemetery shortly after the crime, which happened during a time when Jewish organizations around the country were receiving bomb threats, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

Prosecutors said Thursday there was no evidence suggesting Harris’ actions were anti-Semitic in nature.

Statistics released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) indicted a nearly 60 percent rise in anti-Semitism in the United States in 2017.


NAKED MAN TRIES TO BOARD AIRPLANE, CLAIMS BEING UNDRESSED MAKES HIM MORE ‘AERODYNAMIC’

The man was identified as a Moscow-area resident born in 1981, according to Fox News.

He reportedly made his way through security properly clothed, stripping naked sometime before reaching the boarding gate area where he was seen waiting in line completely naked.

He was attempting to board a Ural Airlines flight to Crimea.

According to a witness, the man shouted that he was naked because he was concerned about aerodynamics.

Campaign Goes To Harlem. Here’s What Residents Had To Say About The Democratic Party

Walkaway founder Brandon Straka went to Harlem New York to talk to residents about politics.

Some of the residents who told Straka they are Democrats say they feel like their politicians aren’t delivering on their promises.

Politics/Deep State/Russian Collusion:


Dem Sen. Tom Udall announces he won’t seek re-election in 2020

Udall says he will not seek re-election in 2020 in a move that opens up a securely Democratic seat to competition. Udall announced the end of a 20-year career on Capitol Hill on Monday, March 25, 2019, in a statement. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Udall, 70, a member of one of the American West’s most prominent political families and cousin of former Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, said in a statement that he plans to use his final years in the Senate to tackle the “three real crises’ facing the country.

It is unclear who will run to fill the seat being vacated by Udall, but the race is seen as a likely easy pick-up for the Democrats.


Rep. Jose Serrano to retire at term’s end, cites Parkinson’s

Serrano, a 16-term Democrat from the South Bronx, says he has Parkinson’s Disease and will retire at the end of his term. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

The 75-year-old Serrano is a fixture in Bronx politics and is among Congress’ foremost defenders of Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory where he was born.

He’s chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the departments of Justice and Commerce, and he’s pledging to use that post to — in his words — “fight for climate change research, a fairer justice system, and an accurate 2020 census count.”

Serrano’s announcement came shortly after a New York City councilman, Ritchie Torres, announced he’d run for the congressional seat in the strongly Democratic district.


Bret Baier: Both sides should agree, no Russia collusion ‘is a good day for America

“No matter what your ideology is and where you sit, this is a good day for America,” Baier told “Fox & Friends” Monday morning.

“The special counsel did not find an American tied to the Trump campaign or the president, who colluded, conspired, or cooperated with Russia. That is good. Period. The end.”


MIKE HUCKABEE BELIEVES ONE PERSON ESCAPED BLAME FOR RUSSIA FIASCO

Who was in charge of the government when all these things happened? Who was running the government?” Huckabee asked on “Fox & Friends,” Monday.

“Prior to the election, it was not Donald Trump. It was not Corey Lewandowski. It was not Paul Manafort. It was none of these people. It was Barack Obama.”

“[It was] Susan Rice. It was James clapper, John Brennan. It was Jim Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr.

They were the ones in government,” he said. “Donald Trump had zero power.

Why aren’t we hearing the fact that when everything happened, the supposed Russia collusion, these were the people who were supposed to be protecting America and they were asleep at the switch.

And if it happened, it happened because they let it happen. And they weren’t competent enough to stop it.”

Graham calls for Clinton Investigation

Mueller Report leads the focus back to the Clintons.


Hume on Media’s Two-Year Russia Collusion Narrative: ‘Worst Journalistic Debacle of My Lifetime’

Hume agreed with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who said moments earlier that Congress must look into how the investigation started in 2016.

“It is the worst journalistic debacle of my lifetime and I’ve been in this business about 50 years. I’ve never seen anything quite this bad last last this long. It was a terrible thing and it needs to be investigated,” Hume said.

Hume said leading members of the media must do some “soul-searching,” but so far he is not seeing that type of “introspection” from many since the conclusion of the Mueller probe.


TOP RANKING DEMOCRAT SLAMS ILHAN OMAR DURING AIPAC SPEECH: ‘I STAND WITH ISRAEL, PROUDLY AND UNAPOLOGETICALLY’

“I am an American who believes passionately in the idea of Israel, in the State of Israel, and in the essential right of Jews to have a place of sanctuary in their homeland after millennia of hatred, prejudice, exclusion, dehumanization, and attempted annihilation,” Hoyer said during a speech at American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) 2019 conference.

“The State of Israel, founded upon that profound and transcendent premise, must never be allowed to fail.”

“I stand with Israel, proudly and unapologetically. So, when someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: accuse me,” the Maryland representative continued.

“I am part of a large, bipartisan coalition in Congress supporting Israel.

I tell Israel’s detractors: accuse us. And millions of Americans, regardless of race or faith or partisan label, stand with Israel because they understand why our relationship with Israel is so important. Accuse us all!”


Rep. Ilhan Omar encourages Muslims to ‘raise hell, make people uncomfortable’ — then she targets Trump

Omar’s comments came during a fundraising event for the Los Angeles chapter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations.

She was one of several keynote speakers.

Omar’s comments are significant because she has repeatedly and unapologetically engaged in anti-Semitism in the public square, even questioning the allegiance of fellow pro-Israel Democratic lawmakers.

World News:

Netanyahu skipping AIPAC to return to Israel after rocket attack

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is cutting his Washington trip short after rocket fire from Gaza injures 7 in Israel; Kevin Corke reports from the White House.


Israel hits targets across Gaza after rocket attack

Israel opened public bomb shelters in most major cities and civil defense authorities canceled sports events and public transportation in southern Israel. As Israeli aircraft pounded Gaza, Hamas’ leadership went into hiding.

“Israel will not tolerate this. I will not tolerate this,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared during a White House meeting with President Donald Trump.

“Israel is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression,” he said. “We will do whatever we must do to defend our people and defend our state.”


7 arrested in Pakistan over abduction, religious conversion and forced marriage of Hindu minors

The two teenagers, Raveena, 13, and Reena 15, were allegedly taken by a group of “influential” men from their home in Ghotki district in the Sindh province, on the eve of Holi – a Hindu spring festival.

After being kidnapped, the girls were forced to convert to Islam and wed against their will. Soon after the kidnapping, a video in which a cleric was purportedly shown marrying off the underage sisters went viral, triggering a national outrage.


Russian military planes land in Venezuela

“The continued insertion of Russian military personnel to support the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela risks prolonging the suffering of the Venezuelan people who overwhelmingly support interim President Juan Guaido,” Pompeo had told Lavrov, according to the report.

Spain’s El Pais said the arrival occurred just hours after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had said he needed to reinforce his personal security.

El Nacional had said a day earlier that Javier Mayorca, a Venezuelan journalist, had tweeted about the arrival of the 99 Russian military personnel headed by Maj. Gen. Vasilly Tonkoshkurov. No other details on the personnel or on the equipment was provided.

“Immediately after, at 2 p.m. local time, a Russian cargo plane landed with 35 metric tons of materials that belonged to the group that had just arrived,” EL Nacional reported, citing the journalist’s second tweet.


Facebook, YouTube sued over New Zealand attack video by French Muslim group

The French Council of the Muslim Faith, a governmental body that represents millions of Muslims in France, said it is suing the tech companies for “broadcasting a message with violent content abetting terrorism or of a nature likely to seriously violate human dignity and liable to be seen by a minor.”

In France, these types of offenses can be punished by three years imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros, The Guardian reported.

Google-owned YouTube has said that its artificial intelligence software didn’t work as well as it had hoped.

Facebook, which said it removed 1.5 million videos in the first 24 hours after the attack (1.2 million before they were seen by users), also struggled to address the spread of the New Zealand video.


IMF chief joins calls for big tech firms to pay more tax

In a speech in Washington, Christine Lagarde said governments must react to growing concerns that digital companies pay little tax in most countries where they operate, which denyies exchequers vital funds for public services and welfare.

Last year, Philip Hammond, the UK chancellor, accused the international community of making painfully slow progress on developing globally recognised digital taxes.

He said the UK would go it alone with a 2% surcharge on larger digital businesses.

This month, the French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, outlined plans to raise about €500m from a 5% tax on 30 tech firms, including Google, Apple and Facebook.

Lagarde said a rethink was needed after several reports, including one by the IMF this month, found corporate tax systems failed to reflect changes in the global economy.


Montreal’s City Hall crucifix is coming down

The building will close for a three-year renovation in April, and the 20-inch crucifix will not return to the legislative chambers.

The action comes as Canada’s heavily Catholic Quebec province works to balance its religious past and secular present, and as Canada debates the issue of displays of religious faith, such as wearing a Muslim hijab while employed in government business.

The crucifix, a sculpture depicting Jesus hanging on a cross, was purchased in 1937 for $25 and installed in the council chambers at the behest of city Alderman Joseph-Emile Dubreil as a reminder to legislators of their allegiance to God, specifically a Christian being.

Commentary/Opinion:

Attorney general: The Mueller report clears Trump campaign of collusion with Russia

The Next Revolution’ talks with Ari Fleischer, Gregg Jarrett, Sara Carter, and Kayleigh McEnany to break down everything you need to know about the Mueller report.

Hilton: Who undermined our faith in democratic norms and America’s institutions? It wasn’t Trump

We now know that the entire basis of the Democratic Party’s political agenda, the establishment media’s news agenda and the permanent bureaucracy’s subversion agenda over the last few years was a lie.


Apologies to President Trump

In this context, it matters not whether one is a supporter or a critic of President Trump.

Whatever his supposed flaws, the rampant accusations and speculation that shrouded Trump’s presidency, even before it began, ultimately have proven unfounded. Just as Trump said all along.

We in the media allowed unproven charges and false accusations to dominate the news landscape for more than two years, in a way that was wildly unbalanced and disproportionate to the evidence.

We did a poor job of tracking down leaks of false information. We failed to reasonably weigh the motives of anonymous sources and those claiming to have secret, special evidence of Trump’s “treason.”

As such, we reported a tremendous amount of false information, always to Trump’s detriment.

As such, we reported a tremendous amount of false information, always to Trump’s detriment.

And when we corrected our mistakes, we often doubled down more than we apologized. We may have been technically wrong on that tiny point, we would acknowledge.

But, in the same breath, we would insist that Trump was so obviously guilty of being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet that the technical details hardly mattered.


Former FBI Assistant Director: Mueller report is in — Now it’s time to focus on the intelligence community

It is critical for this country to know if a small cadre of Justice Department and FBI executives abused and violated U.S. laws and guidelines on the conduct of investigations when former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe rushed to open an investigation into a sitting president for obstruction of justice.

McCabe was angry and reacting to the president’s firing of his boss, former FBI Director James Comey, for insubordination and violating well-established DOJ procedures and possibly U.S. laws in exonerating Hillary Clinton in a grandstanding press conference in July 2016.

The OIG is also looking at the role played by a seedy “dossier” containing opposition research that was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

That unsubstantiated document found its way into an FBI FISA warrant application to spy on the Trump campaign, which was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.


Dan Bongino: These are the people who started phony Russia probe – and must answer for it

There are no figures in the Trump campaign who colluded with Russia – but there were at least five in the Obama administration who helped push the bogus narratives of collusion and obstruction, and they have plenty of questions to answer.

In July 2016, the FBI opened a secretive counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. In violation of protocol, the FBI did not inform Congress until March 2017.

Inexplicably, FBI Director James Comey said it was because the investigation was “too sensitive,” but this is precisely why law enforcement informs Congress of new investigations.

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