In the News

News and Headlines. 3/27/2019


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

In The News:


Army staff sergeant’s family to accept posthumous Medal of Honor on Wednesday for his dive onto ‘living grenade’

From the turret of his Humvee, Aijo watched as Atkins, who earned respect through his actions and attention to detail, methodically moved his body directly between the pinned-down man and that of Aijo and two other American soldiers.

Then came the explosion.

“He saved my life and the life of several others,” Aijo said Tuesday at the Pentagon, recalling Atkins’ act nearly 12 years ago. “I would not be here today without him.”

Atkins, 31, will be awarded the Medal of Honor on Wednesday afternoon for trading his life for that of his fellow soldiers on June 1, 2007 on the dangerous Route Caprice near the village of Abu Samak.

His son Trevor Oliver, now 22 years old, will accept the nation’s highest military honor on behalf of his fallen father from President Donald Trump in a White House ceremony.

Pres. Trump awards Staff Sgt.Travis Atkins the Medal of Honor posthumously | ABC News


Marine From Longmont Shot, Killed While on Duty At Camp Pendleton

Schultz’s body will be flown this week to Colorado for services scheduled at Loveland’s Immanuel Lutheran Church for April 6. A Camp Pendleton memorial service is planned for April 3.

Schultz-McCoy has created a scholarship fund in her son’s name on Facebook, the details of which will be announced later Wednesday.

Schultz-McCoy recounted the information she was given by Marine Corps representatives when they informed her of her son’s death.

“They found him near some vehicles where he wasn’t supposed to be,” she told the Orange County Register.

“They said he was dead and had been shot in the head.”


US efforts to cut trade deficit show biggest win in almost a year

The decline of 14.6 percent represented the sharpest drop since March 2018 and comes amid continued efforts by the Trump administration to level the playing field with China and other global partners.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will begin additional negotiations with Chinese officials Thursday.

The White House in 2018 slapped tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports from China, which retaliated with levies on $110 billion worth of American products.

In addition to the shift on China, the balance with Canada went from a deficit of $700 million to a surplus of $1.4 billion, though the shortfall with South Korea increased to $2.4 billion from $1.7 billion.


Trump to address Fannie, Freddie overhaul

Fannie and Freddie have been operating within the government since being bailed out for nearly $200 billion at the height of the financial crisis.

The two government-sponsored enterprises do not originate loans – instead they purchase and guarantee them on the secondary market.

Privatizing the entities has been a longtime goal of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who told FOX Business in November 2016 that the administration had to “get them out of government control.”

“It makes no sense that these are owned by the government and have been controlled by the government for as long as they have,” he said, promising at the time to execute the separation “reasonably fast.”


Pentagon: Missile Defense Test Succeeds in Shootdown

The lead ground-based Interceptor is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in a “salvo” engagement test of an unarmed missile target, on March 25, 2019. (Missile Defense Agency via AP)

Both interceptors zeroed in on the target — a re-entry vehicle that had been launched 4,000 miles away atop an intercontintental-range missile, the Pentagon said.

The first interceptor hit and destroyed the re-entry vehicle, which in an actual attack would contain a warhead.

The second interceptor hit a secondary object, as expected, according to a statement by the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency.

The interceptors were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The target missile was launched from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands.

“The system worked exactly as it was designed to do,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves, director of the Missile Defense Agency.

He said the test result “demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat.”


Chicago police union wants a federal investigation into Smollett case

Graham, who spoke to reporters after prosecutors announced they were dropping charges against Smollett, said he originally made the request to the US Department of Justice last week.

He also has asked federal investigators to look into a letter sent to Smollett days before he alleged he was attacked on a Chicago street.

“We’re doubling down on that. We want to make sure that the Justice Department takes a very hard look with that case and what went on today,” he said.

Text messages obtained by CNN through an open records request show Smollett family friend Tina Tchen — a former chief of staff for first lady Michelle Obama and a lawyer — reached out to Foxx on February 1. Tchen wrote the family had “concerns about the investigation.”


Weather Channel sued for $125M over deaths of Texas man killed in ‘horrific’ crash with storm chasers

Karen Di Piazza filed the wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday against the Weather Channel over the death of her son, Corbin Lee Jaeger, who died on March 28, 2017 when Kelley Williamson and Randy Yarnall’s vehicle slammed into his Jeep near Spur, Texas.

Williamson and Yarnell — popular storm chasers for the Weather Channel and stars of the show “Storm Wranglers” — were speeding down the highway in their Chevy Suburban at 70 mph when they ran a stop sign and smashed in Jaeger’s vehicle, the lawsuit stated.

The duo was looking for any signs of a tornado and live streaming the drive on the Weather Channel’s Facebook page when the video stopped.


Kate Steinle’s parents can’t sue ‘sanctuary city

On Monday, a panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s 2017 dismissal of the family’s claims.

“As the main opinion properly acknowledges, the events underlying this case are tragic,” the court filing states.

“And some of Plaintiffs’ claims remain to be litigated in the district court. We hold only that, under California law, the state officials are immune from suit.”

In a wrongful death lawsuit, Steinle’s parents had argued that San Francisco and its former sheriff were partly to blame for their daughter’s death, because officials failed to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement when Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was released from jail.

Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant and repeat felon from Mexico who’d been deported five times prior to the shooting, was released from custody in April 2015.


Illegal alien — ordered deported in 2017 — accused of killing Alabama schoolteacher in head-on crash

Authorities say Sonya Jones, 49, was driving to work the morning of March 18 when she was hit by Domingo Marcos, who was later caught while trying to flee the scene.

Jones did not survive the crash, and Marcos was taken to USA Women’s and Children’s Hospital to be treated for his injuries.

Prosecutors say the suspect is an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, who was previously arrested in Arizona in 2017 where he requested asylum.

In Arizona, Marcos was given a court date and released, but he never showed up for his scheduled hearing.

A final deportation order was issued for the teen, but he was on the lam until his collision with Jones.


Man pleads guilty to kidnapping Jayme Closs, killing parents

FILE – In this Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, file photo, Jake Patterson appears for his preliminary hearing at Barron County Circuit Court in Barron, Wis. Patterson, (T’xer Zhon Kha/The Post-Crescent via AP, Pool, File)

Jake Patterson, 21, sniffled and his voice caught as he pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped a count of armed burglary.

Patterson faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced May 24; Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.

Patterson had said he would plead guilty in a letter sent this month to a Minneapolis TV station, saying he didn’t want the Closs family “to worry about a trial.”


Charlottesville car attacker pleads guilty to 29 hate crime counts in plea agreement

James Alex Fields,
James Alex Fields, who was convicted by a Virginia jury of driving into a crowd during a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, has a change-of-plea hearing in his federal hate crime case.

Fields originally pleaded not guilty to federal hate crimes charges, including an alleged act resulting in the death of 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer.

He also faces 28 counts of hate crime acts causing bodily injury and involving an attempt to kill and one count of racially motivated violent interference with a federally protected activity.

CBS 6 reported that Fields’ guilty plea is part of a plea agreement that removes the death penalty as a possible punishment, as the maximum penalty for the federal charges is death.


Florida inmate punches public defender in head during court hearing, shocking video shows

Assistant public defender Julie Chase was standing next to a female when William Green — who was in court for one count of touch or strike battery — walked up to the attorney from behind and punched her in the head, WSVN reported.

A video showed Chase falling to the floor next to the courtroom podium after Green swung his left fist. Courtroom bailiffs rushed in and appeared to tackle the inmate to the ground as Chase got up and walked away from the scene.


Amherst College’s ‘Common Language Guide’ sparks outcries of educators trying to stifle free speech

The 40-page glossary issued to students at Amherst College, which champions itself as a private liberal arts institution “committed to inclusivity and ensuring that all students feel they belong”, was yanked off its website last week following an apparent deluge of angry emails sent to the school’s president and an outcry from its College Republicans club.

“It was sent out to the entire campus without appropriate vetting and without approval to be circulated, creating the impression that it was a formal college document calling for shared language about very complicated issues,” she continued.

“Our chief diversity and inclusion officer, Norm Jones, and I quickly made it clear that the document is not an official college guide.

We removed it from the college website in order to underscore that fact.”

Shocking moment woman is pushed into path of a bus

Astonishing footage shows the woman, who was with a small child, shove the victim forward, catching her completely off-guard while she was waiting at a pedestrian crossing in Pimlico, London.

The bus driver was able to slam on the brakes to avoid running her over, but the victim crashed into the vehicle’s doors, while the woman fled the scene while holding the hand of a small boy.

Witnesses rushed to aid the stunned victim, who was left sitting on the edge of the pavement precariously close to the road while nursing a head wound.


Jordan Peele Openly Discriminates Against Whites, Says He Won’t Cast Whites in Lead Roles

He told the crowd of nearly 200, “I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie,” adding, “Not that I don’t like white dudes, but I’ve seen that movie.”

Peele also noted that his job at Universal appears to be casting black actors in all roles, regardless of the content of the movie, telling the students that he “can say to Universal, ‘I want to make a $20 million horror movie with a black family.’ And they say yes.”

Peele said this drive for social justice first happened when “Saturday Night Live” attempted to hire him to do an impersonation of President Barack Obama during the 2008 election, and “MADtv” refused to let him out of his contract.

He told students that he locked himself in a room, smoking marijuana, and eventually came to the conclusion that he wants to become a producer.


Arizona police officers forcibly removed 2-year-old boy with fever from home, video shows

On Feb. 25, the mother of a 2-year-old child, who is not vaccinated, took the child to a naturopathic doctor with a fever of 105 degrees, ABC Phoenix station KNXV reported.

The doctor instructed the mother to take the toddler to the emergency room as soon as possible, but since the child’s fever later broke, she took him back to their home in Chandler, about 25 miles southeast of Phoenix, instead, according to a statement from the Chandler Police Department.

When the doctor learned from the Cardon Children’s Hospital that they parents never showed up with the child, she called Arizona DCS, who then contacted the Chandler Police Department for assistance, an incident report shows.


85-YEAR-OLD MAN VICIOUSLY ASSAULTED OUTSIDE SAN FRANCISCO PLANNED PARENTHOOD

The victim, who Life News referred to as Ron, is a 40 Days for Life leader who frequently prayed outside abortion clinics and has led the 40 Days for Life group in San Francisco for “years.”

Life News referred to him as “one of the most loving and dedicated long-time 40 Days for Life leaders.”

On Tuesday, March 19, the assailant approached Ron and threw his pro-life sign, pamphlets and table into the street. The assailant also knocked Ron and another man to the ground.

Again on Thursday, March 21, the assailant returned and tried to ride away with Ron’s pro-life banner.

When Ron chased after him to retrieve it, the assailant viciously and repeatedly kicked Ron, saying, “Old man, stay on the ground. Stay on the ground old man, unless you want to get hurt.”

Politics:


Muslim PA state rep calls prayer to Jesus Christ in legislature ‘highly offensive,’ demands apology

Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell said that she and her family were greatly offended at the prayer that had overt worship of Jesus Christ.

John-Harrell is quoted as calling the prayer, “highly offensive to me, my guests, and other members of the House.”

She had dozens of friends and family members in attendance because she was being sworn in that day.

The prayer was made by Rep. Stephanie Borowicz who refused to apologize after being told that Johnson-Harrell was offended.

“That’s how I pray everyday,” she said to a reporter and added, “Oh no, I don’t apologize ever for praying.”

The Pennsylvania state Democratic party called the prayer an “Islamophobic message,” and Pennsylvania House Democratic Party Whip Jordan Harris excoriated Borowicz in a scathing statement.


McConnell video mocks Dem senators for voting ‘present’ on Green New Deal

McConnell, R-Ky., held a vote on the Green New Deal Tuesday, forcing Democrats to go on the record with their support, or opposition, to the non-binding resolution.

The Senate failed to reach the 60 votes necessary to begin debate on the proposal, with 42 Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., voting “present.”

Democrats held back in protest of McConnell’s decision to bring the measure to the floor, which they regarded as a stunt.

But Republicans are already mocking Democrats for doing so.

The McConnell video includes ample footage of Democratic senators praising the proposal, which Republicans like McConnell have called a “radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.”


The Hill: U.S. Embassy Pressured Ukraine Not To Investigate Liberal “Mega-Donor”

Ukrainian law enforcement was probing a group that was co-funded by the Obama administration, as well as billionaire donor George Soros.

Further, according to Solomon the group was allegedly collaborating with the FBI agents investigating then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s business activities in Ukraine.

The prosecutors soon would learn the resistance they faced was blowing directly from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, where the Obama administration took the rare step of trying to press the Ukrainian government to back off its investigation of both the U.S. aid and the group.


Mueller report: These key officials must be questioned, Rep. Jim Jordan says

Rep. Jordan said there are key people at the FBI who have all been fired, demoted or left the FBI, including Jim Comey, Andrew McCabe, James Baker, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, John Brennen and most importantly Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson that need to be questioned.

“[Simpon] took the fifth in front of the Judiciary Committee last Congress,” he said.

“Glenn Simpson is the guy who was paid by the Clinton Campaign through a law firm Perkins Coie who went and hired the foreigner Christopher Steele who put this dossier together and he has not answered our questions.”


Judicial Watch Sues for Details of an Intelligence Office Meeting with FBI Regarding Security Threats Caused by Hillary Clinton’s Illicit Email System

Judicial Watch announced today that it is suing the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for details of a meeting with the FBI regarding national security threats associated with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “private” email system.

Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the meeting between Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) official Frank Rucker, ICIG attorney Jeanette Macmillian, former Federal Bureau of Investigation Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, and other[s] regarding security threats associated with the private e-mail server utilized by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Our lawsuit could further expose how anti-Trump activists like disgraced FBI official Peter Strzok bent over backwards to protect Hillary Clinton from having to answer for her national security crimes,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

“The scandal of the illicit Trump spying is directly tied to the Deep State protection of Hillary Clinton.”


MACCALLUM GRILLS SWALWELL FOR STANDING BY DEBUNKED DOSSIER

MacCallum began by questioning old statements Swalwell made, in which he claimed to have seen evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

“So it doesn’t bother you that the Clinton campaign paid for a dossier to be put together by someone who had all kinds of ties to intelligence and put together something that turned out to be not necessarily factual,” MacCallum asked.

“Which part of it hasn’t been proven factual?” Swalwell responded, to which the show host answered, “Are you serious?”


House Democrats Block Bill to Stop Infanticide For 21st Time, Refuse Care for Aborted Babies Born Alive

Late Monday, House Democrats refused a vote on the bill for the 21th time — reading the same statement they have read the previous 19 occasions that claims there is no bipartisan agreement to bring the bill up for a vote.

Despite the claim, Republican leaders have repeatedly asked Pelosi and top Democrats to reach an agreement for the bill to receive a vote.

This is the 23rd time in total that Congressional Democrats thwarted an attempt by Republicans to vote on a bill that would provide medical care and treatment for babies who provide survived failed abortions — 21 times in the House and twice in the Senate.

World News:


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “We Will Not Subsidize the Killing of Unborn Babies”

During his first week in office, President Donald Trump issued an executive order known as the Mexico City Policy or the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Act that revoked taxpayer funding to the International Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Pompeo announced that the U.S. State Department will refuse to work with any foreign non-governmental organization (NGO) engaged in the abortion business. The State Department will also refuse to fund foreign NGOs that give money to other foreign NGOs engaged in the international abortion industry.

Here are Pompeo’s full remarks:


Syria asks UN to condemn US accepting Israel’s Golan control

The ministry’s statement Wednesday said Trump’s decision this week is a “blatant aggression” against Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as a violation of the U.N. charter and international law.

It called on U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to publicly say Trump’s decision endangers the rights of Syrians living in the occupied Golan.

Thousands of Syrians have held rallies in cities controlled by President Bashar Assad’s government against Trump’s announcement.

In the coastal city Tartus, hundreds gathered Wednesday outside the governor’s office in protest.


Trump: Russian Troops Have to ‘Get Out’ of Venezuela

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Fabiana Rosales,
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Fabiana Rosales, wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, on March 27, 2019. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

“Russia has to get out,” Trump told reporters in the White House’s Oval Office.

There, he was meeting with Fabiana Rosales, the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

“All options” are on the table if Russia doesn’t move the military forces, he said, Reuters reported.

When asked how the United States will force Russia out of the socialist Latin American country, Trump replied, “We’ll see.”

“The United States views Russia’s arrival of military planes this weekend as an unwelcome provocation,” Pence told reporters on March 27.


French ex-spy suspected of Congo-Brazzaville plot shot dead in Alps

Daniel Forestier was discovered in a pool of blood in a parking area off a little-used road in Haute-Savoie near Lake Léman.

Police said the killing was a “professional job”, and a postmortem revealed he had been shot five times.

The killing of Forestier, 57, author of several spy novels, came six months after he had been officially put under investigation for his suspected role in a plot to kill an opponent of the regime of Congo-Brazzaville’s president Denis Sassou-Nguesso.

Police said Forestier had previously served for 14 years as a member of France’s counter-espionage agency, the DGSE, the French equivalent of MI6, but did not give dates when he was an operative.

He was reported to have been a member of a special military unit tasked with top-secret “sensitive operations”.

Commentary/Opinion:

Venezuela IS Socialism

“Blaming socialism for Venezuela’s riches to rags story is grossly misleading,” an Al Jazeera reporter claims.

John Oliver claims: “If you follow conservative media at all you might have seen it frequently painted as the inevitable dire consequences of a socialist government.”

Oliver blames it instead on “epic mismanagement.”

But John Stossel says: “Mismanagement is what happens under socialist governments.

It always happens because no group of central planners is wise enough to manage an entire economy.

Even if they have good intentions, the socialists eventually run out of other people’s money.”

In Venezuela, when their socialist government ran out of money, they just printed more. When business owners raised prices to keep up with inflation, the government often took away their businesses.

The End of the Collusion Delusion

When it was announced on the afternoon of March 22 that Attorney General William Barr had sent a letter to Congress revealing that he had received the special counsel’s final report, shockwaves reverberated throughout Washington and Brian Cates offers his commentary.


Why We Don’t Trust Our Institutions?

Why have key institutions betrayed their initial mission? Mission creep.

The job of the media is to objectively cover stories, not to drive narratives.

The job of the intelligence community is to diligently follow evidence, not to follow its cognitive bias.

The job of the state’s attorney is to prosecute crime, not to play politics.

Without defined roles, our institutions crumble.

Treating institutions as mere tools to be wielded in pursuit of some higher goal leads to the destruction of those institutions; they become little more than weapons, aimed by those in power.

That’s dangerous stuff. We should be able to trust our press.

If we can’t, then we can no longer base our republican decision-making on a common set of facts.

We should be able to trust our intelligence community and our prosecutors. If we can’t, then we can’t support granting them the power they require to protect us.

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