In the News

News and Headlines. 4/2/2019


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

In The News:


NASA, MIT engineers re-imagine airplane wing, unveil futuristic new design

airplane wing design concept
NASA and MIT researchers just released their new airplane wing design concept this week. (Eli Gershenfel/NASA Ames Research Center)

The revamped airplane wing — which is currently sitting at just over 16 feet, similar in size to what you’d find on a single-seater plane — is made up of hundreds of small, cube-like pieces which allow it to “change shape to control the plane’s flight,” MIT explained in a news release.

“A wing that is constantly deformable could provide a much better approximation of the best configuration for each stage,” MIT explains in an online statement, citing Jenett.

“While it would be possible to include motors and cables to produce the forces needed to deform the wings, the team has taken this a step further and designed a system that automatically responds to changes in its aerodynamic loading conditions by shifting its shape — a sort of self-adjusting, passive wing-reconfiguration process.”


Navy to add 30 destroyers in massive warship expansion

Tugboats maneuver the guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) in position for dry-docking in preparation for the ship’s Extended Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA). (U.S. Navy Photo by Hendrick L. Dickson/Released)

Within the next 15 years, the Navy plans to add as many as 30 DDG 51 Destroyers, including 22 new, high-tech DDG 51 Flight III warships and eight state-of-the-art DDG 51 Flight IIA destroyers.

Prioritizing such a large number of these warships offers an interesting analytical window into Navy thinking about the next five decades of ocean war.

In addition to adding 30 new destroyers, the Navy’ also seeks 15 LCS’, 18 of the new Frigates and as many as 32 new attack submarines in the next 15 years.

While many new ships are now under construction, the current number of Navy ships is roughly in the high 280s, a number the Navy hopes to grow to 355 by 2034.


Supreme Court, Gorsuch rule Missouri inmate with disease has no right to ‘painless death,’ can be executed

The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court said Missouri can execute Russell Bucklew because the Constitution does not guarantee a painless death.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court granted Missouri the right to proceed with execution protocol for Bucklew, who was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of Michael Sanders, who was dating Bucklew’s ex-girlfriend.

Bucklew had previously assaulted the couple and stalked his former lover the day of the murder in order to find out where she was living.

After shooting and killing Sanders, Bucklew fired at his former girlfriend’s 6-year-old child — and missed — before kidnapping the woman and raping her several times.

He was eventually arrested after a car chase and police shootout.

The five justices in the majority — Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Gorsuch — rejected Bucklew’s argument and said the inmate failed to show that the alternative method “would significantly reduce his risk of pain.”


North Carolina GOP chairman, others indicted on bribery and fraud charges

FILE – In this June 3, 2017 file photo North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes speaks during the North Carolina Republican Party State Convention at the Wilmington Convention Center in Wilmington, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike Spencer, File)

North Carolina GOP Chairman Robin Hayes and Greg Lindberg, the founder and chairman of Eli Global LLC and the owner of Global Bankers Insurance Group, were among four people charged in federal indictments unsealed Tuesday.

Hayes, Lindberg and his two associates are accused of trying to sway an insurance regulator’s decisions in favor of the donor’s insurance companies.

Federal prosecutors said that the four individuals promised or gave Republican Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey millions of campaign dollars to do things Lindberg wanted, including seeking the removal of a deputy insurance commissioner responsible for oversight of one of Lindberg’s businesses.

Hayes also was charged with three counts of making false statements to the FBI.


Ex-governor candidate guilty in murder-for-hire plot

Joseph Maldonado-Passage
FILE – This file photo provided by the Santa Rose County Jail in Milton, Fla., shows Joseph Maldonado-Passage. (Santa Rosa County Jail via AP, File)

A federal jury has convicted a former Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate and zookeeper in an attempted murder-for-hire plot.

Jurors returned the guilty verdict Tuesday in the trial of 56-year-old Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage. He was accused of trying to arrange the killing of Florida animal sanctuary founder Carole Baskin, who criticized his treatment of animals. Baskin wasn’t harmed.

Maldonado-Passage, known as “Joe Exotic,” was also accused of killing five tigers, and selling and offering to sell tiger cubs. He faces more than 20 years in prison.


Anti-Abortion Movie ‘Unplanned’ Surpasses Planned Parenthood in Twitter Followers

Ashley Bratcher attends “Unplanned” Red Carpet Premiere in Hollywood, Calif., on March 18, 2019. (Maury Phillips/Getty Images for Unplanned Movie, LLC)

Many users saw the phenomenon as Twitter’s way to intentionally suppress the movie, which the company denied, but the uproar helped to propel the movie to online prominence.

Its account grew from less than 6,000 followers in the early hours of March 29 to more than 320,000 followers in the late morning of April 2. The main account of Planned Parenthood had less than 260,000 followers on April 2.

“So good to see movie theaters across the country showing @UnplannedMovie — a deeply inspiring new pro-life film based on the best-selling book by @AbbyJohnson,” said Vice President Mike Pence, a prominent critic of abortion, in an April 1 tweet. “More & more Americans are embracing the sanctity of life because of powerful stories like this one.”


Isaiah Washington thanks Trump for First Step Act, criticizes Barack Obama for not supporting ‘Black Agenda’

Washington tweeted on Monday his praise for Trump and the passing of the First Step Act, which is dedicated to criminal justice reform and prisoner rehabilitation.

The actor was invited to D.C. to celebrate the legislation and hear calls for more reform, which he says Trump’s predecessor never did.

“I voted for 44 twice.

I even checked my emails in his Senate Office while lobbying for Salone to be given another chance to rebrand,” the former “Grey’s Anatomy” star wrote.

“Not once in 8 years was I given any support regarding Africa or the Black Agenda, but 45 invites me to the WH to celebrate the #FirstStepAct.”


Dozens of women claim they were secretly recorded by hidden cameras at California hospital, suit says

A lawyer representing the women claims as many as 1,800 women may have been filmed without their knowledge at the facility.

The lawsuit, filed last week in a state superior court, alleges Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa installed hidden, motion-sensing cameras in three operating rooms in the hospital’s women’s center, allegedly in a bid to catch anyone stealing medicine.

Between July 2012 and June 2013, the lawsuit charges that women were recorded without their knowledge as they were examined by doctors, undressed for procedures and were put under anesthesia for operations.

The faces of female patients can reportedly be identified on the recordings as the women entered the operating rooms, gave birth or laid unconscious during surgery.


NXIVM Board Member Admits to Enslaving Woman for 2 Years, Threatened Deportation

Nancy Salzman,
Nancy Salzman, exits following a hearing on charges in relation to the Albany-based organization Nxivm at the United States Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn at New York, on July 25, 2018. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

The hearing was not listed on the court calendar and a judge soon sealed the transcript until parts of it could be redacted.

Lauren Salzman, a top-ranking member of the purported self-help organization told Judge Nicholas Garaufis at the Eastern District Court in Brooklyn that she threatened her slave with deportation and kept her imprisoned in a room between March 2010 and April 2012. The high-profile NXIVM case gained infamy over egregious sex-trafficking charges.

A spokesperson for the Eastern District Court told The Epoch Times on April 2 that Salzman pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering. He added that “a redacted transcript of the proceeding has been unsealed by Judge Garaufis.”

Salzman, 42, also admitted in court to being a member of the secret society within NXIVM called DOS, or “The Vow,” that was founded by the group’s leader, Keith Raniere, who is currently being held without bail.


Whataburger customer smashes hands, face through window after heated altercatio

In the video, a tall man wearing a tucked-in shirt is seen being held back by a woman as he yells and physically threatens another unidentified man in the background, who is also yelling.

The man in the back then exits the fast-food restaurant. Once outside, the man begins pounding on the glass before eventually breaking it with his bare hands and head.


Police: North Dakota business owner, 3 employees killed

Gina Kessel, center, comforts her son Mitchell outside of RJR Maintenance and Management, a property management company, Monday, April 1, 2019, Mandan, N.D.(AP Photo/Blake Nicholson)

Police found the bodies Monday morning after a medical call to RJR Maintenance and Management. Ziegler identified the dead as owner Robert Fakler, 52; and employees Adam Fuehrer, 42, Lois Cobb, 45, and William Cobb, 50.

Briann Miller had identified the Cobbs — her mother and stepfather — to The Associated Press as victims of the attack. She said authorities gave her no details on how they died.

“I just know that it was an attack,” Miller said. “I don’t know how it happened, what it happened with. I’m left in the dark still. None of this makes any sense. All I know is my parents are gone.”


North Carolina man stabbed woman at Taco Bell after she turned down date, cops say

Tyvonne Quantaine Upshur, 40,
Tyvonne Quantaine Upshur, 40, was arrested for allegedly stabbing a 19-year-old woman who refused his advances. (Archdale Police Department)

Tyvonne Quantaine Upshur allegedly knew the woman because both attended the same house of worship, however, Upshur’s advances were reportedly rebuffed by the much-younger Lambert.

Authorities said Upshur, angry and obsessed, followed the teen and her family from church to the Taco Bell and tried to run them over but missed — instead crashing into utility poles, FOX8 reported.

Upshur then got out of the car and started stabbing Lambert in the back, authorities said. The teen’s family was reportedly able to intervene and detain Upshur until police arrived.


Michigan boy, 12, fed up with potholes, decides to fix them himself

Monte Scott starting filling potholes last week using a shovel and dirt from his backyard in Muskegon Heights, Mich. (WZZM via NNS)

Monte Scott starting filling potholes last week using a shovel and dirt from his backyard in Muskegon Heights after he grew fed up with the state of neighborhood roads.

“I didn’t want people messing up their cars like my mom did,” he told WZZM-TV. “If somebody were to drive down the street and hit a pothole, and then would have to pay like $600-700 to get their car fixed, they would be mad.”

Since starting out last week, the 12-year-old has filled 15 potholes around his family’s home. His mother said it just shows that her son is a good kid, one of many in the community.

Immigration:


SPIKE: 1.5 Million Illegal Aliens Expected to Enter U.S. in 2019

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Catch and Release program has largely facilitated this uptick in illegal immigration.

Catch and Release allows migrants crossing the border and other illegal aliens to be swiftly released from federal custody into America’s interior.

Breitbart reports that these numbers are based on rough estimates of more than 36,000 border crossers and illegal aliens being released from DHS custody on a monthly basis since the start of 2019.
Princeton Policy Advisors researcher Steven Kopits estimates that there will be up to 500,000 illegal aliens who make it across the border undetected.

These tend to be foreign nationals who slip through the cracks of immigration enforcement.
Additionally, if visa overstay levels maintain the same rate as of Fiscal Year 2017, another 630,00 illegal immigrants could be added to the U.S. stat sheet after overstaying their visas.

According to Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan, experts believe there could be anywhere from 300,000 to 400,000 visa overstays in 2019.

The projected 1.5 million illegal immigrants are stacked on top of the estimated 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living across America.

Illegal immigrants and their “anchor babies” put American taxpayers on the hook to the tune of $17 billion per year.

The annual costs for American taxpayers are roughly $116 billion.


Nielsen Orders ‘Emergency Surge Operations’ on Southwest Border

A U.S. Border Patrol agent talks with detained migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border on March 31, 2019. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen issued the directives in a memorandum to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan on Monday, telling him to initiate “emergency surge operations.”

She instructed CBP to speed up the planned reallocation of up to 750 officers to sectors “affected by the emergency,” and authorized it to exceed that target, reporting back to her if there were plans to reassign more than 2,000 personnel for the task.

Nielsen also directed CBP immediately to expand a policy put in place earlier this year – the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), under which certain unauthorized migrants are returned to Mexico to await the outcome of their immigration proceedings.


NICE PLAY: Kris Kobach Flashes His Plan To Secure The Border

Potential incoming Department of Homeland Security (DHS) chief Kris Kobach flashed his 365-day plan for national security during a meeting in New Hampshire with President Donald Trump.

An Associated Press photographer caught the writing on Kobach’s binder, and it reveals a commonsense approach to the American immigration crisis.

The first section of the partially obscured document highlights his plan to deny potential terrorists entry into the U.S. According to the document, Kobach wants to “[u]pdate and reintroduce” the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, which was in effect from 2002 to 2011 .

“All aliens from high-risk areas are tracked,” his plan says.


Residents Near Texas Border Town Threatened By Human Smugglers

One rancher — identified only as Solia — said she regularly sees armed cartel gunman directing groups of illegal migrants as with as many as 70 people through her property in hopes of bypassing border check points.

She also said the groups frequently threaten residents to stay quiet.

“They just put a finger to their lips and it’s like… ‘you better not say anything’…they know what we drive, they know where we live,” explained the Texas rancher. “They were trying to get in towards the house.”


Key Republicans Join Democrats in Opposing Trump’s Central American Funding Freeze

“If we cut all this funding, and a lot of it, quite honestly, is seriously law enforcement that we’re doing down there…

I think it’s going to make things tragically worse, not better,” McCaul contended, echoing the criticism made by Democrat leaders such as House Foreign Affairs chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and ranking Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democrat Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

McCaul made a trip to the Northern Triangle last weekend with Engel. Upon his return, McCaul said he and Engel agreed even more funding was needed for the programs President Trump wishes to freeze:

Politics:


Howard Schultz: Republicans and Democrats too busy fighting to solve country’s problems

That’s according to former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who appeared on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning to discuss his economic policies, the immigration crisis and a possible presidential run as an independent candidate.

Schultz will be featured on a Town Hall airing on Fox News Thursday at 6:30 PM ET hosted by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum where he will discuss his story, his vision for America and why he’s considering running for the nation’s highest office.

Schultz criticized both Democrats and Republicans for “weaponizing” the immigration issue and not finding a solution.


Summit Starring 2020 Democrats Opens With Chant From the Words of a Marxist and Murderer

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 01: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during the “We the People” summit featuring 2020 presidential candidates, at the Warner Theatre on April 1, 2019 in Washington, DC. The summit is hosted by The Center for Popular Democracy Action, Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club and the Communications Workers of America. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

While it is unclear if any of the 2020 Democratic hopefuls recited the Shakur’s words, several candidates spoke at the summit, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

All Democrats polling above 1 percent are running on platforms composed of largely socialist policies like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

Communist Party USA and Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist group in the United States, are fervently backing both the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Sanders is the only candidate who openly identifies as a socialist.

A number of prominent Democrats have long embraced Shakur, despite her murder conviction, flight from prison, association with a communist regime, and Marxist ideology.

In 1998, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) wrote to then-President Fidel Castro to apologize for voting for a resolution, which called on the communist leader to extradite Shakur and other fugitives.


Exclusive: Tom Cotton Pushes IRS to Investigate Southern Poverty Law Center’s Tax-Exempt Status

“I am writing to urge you to investigate whether the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) should retain its classification as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,” Cotton wrote in the Tuesday letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

“Recent news reports have confirmed the long-established fact that the SPLC regularly engages in defamation of its political opponents. In fact, the SPLC’s defining characteristic is to fundraise off of defamation.”

Cotton noted in the letter to the IRS commissioner, citing SPLC financial documents, that the leftist organization has made lots of money by targeting conservative groups with allegations that they are hate groups–regardless of the veracity of such allegations.


FACT CHECK: HAVE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS LOST HEALTH INSURANCE UNDER TRUMP?

Ultimately, a wide range of estimates makes it difficult to say how many people have lost health insurance over the last two years.

“It looks like the number of uninsured is rising again, but the size of the increase is still not as clear as we might hope,” Professor Leighton Ku, director of the Center for Health Policy Research at George Washington University, told the Caller in an email.

While the Gallup survey provides another data point, experts generally consider Census data to be more authoritative. “The problem is that the Gallup survey is not considered the most definitive survey of information about the uninsured, but is the fastest,” said Ku.

Elizabeth Lower-Basch of the Center for Law and Social Policy offered a number of possibilities as to why health coverage may be down in an email to the Caller, including “confusion about whether the ACA was continuing due to the very public fight over it” and “increased cost of insurance due to uncertainty about the cost sharing reductions.”

Latest on Clinton Emails, Comey Memos and Trump 2020

On today’s episode of Declassified we have the latest on the Clinton email investigation, the Comey memos and Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.

Tom Fitton: Rep. Adam Schiff Should Step Down–CANNOT Be Trusted to Handle Classified Info


Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton discusses how House Democrats are planning to vote on whether to authorize subpoenas for special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe report.

World News:


Theresa May to request further ‘short’ Brexit extension

British Prime Minister Theresa May gives a press conference outside Downing Street on April 2, 2019 | Jack Taylor via Getty Images

In a Downing Street statement following a seven-hour meeting with her Cabinet, May said she would take action to “break the logjam” on Brexit and ruled out seeking to take the U.K. out of the EU without a deal next week on April 12, the current legal exit date.

May invited opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn for a meeting to agree “a plan we would both stick to, to ensure that we leave the EU and that we do so with a deal.”

If this effort succeeded, May said she would have a deal that she and Corbyn “could put to the house for approval and which I could then take to next week’s European Council.”


Mexican cartel gunmen kidnap and beat 11 police officers

The officers were traveling in two police trucks when their attackers surrounded them, ordering them to get out and forcing them to kneel, reported Mexican news outlets.

The gunmen, who had been in three SUVs, took the officers’ weapons and cell phones and beat them, according to the reports.

The officers had finished responding to a call about an attempted theft of gasoline from an oil refinery.

The area where the police were kidnapped is a high-risk one for kidnapping and other crimes, reported the Mexico News Daily.

Roughly 1,200 people were kidnapped in Mexico in 2017, which has been a problem in the country since criminal organizations began carrying them out in 2006 to get ransoms to finance their illicit activities, said the website Vox.


Migrants Riot, Burn Mattress in Tijuana Immigration Facility

Mexican police and military personnel guard the outside of an old factory where around 1,800 Central American migrants are being held in Piedras Negras, Mexico, on Feb. 8, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Fifty-one people were evacuated and six—including two children 2 and 4 years old—had to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to reports.

Two young men from Guatemala, another two from Cuba, and one from India, allegedly burned the mattress and sheets in the bathroom, damaging the inside of the immigration facility where the migrants were being held, the director of the Tijuana Fire Department, José Luis Jiménez, told Mexican newspaper Milenio.

Jiménez said the suspects were arrested and have been turned over to the federal police and immigration authorities and are expected to be deported to their home countries.


India shot a missile at a satellite and now the debris might hit the International Space Station

In a new test of its growing space might, India decided to launch a missile to shoot down one of its own satellites.

The country’s thinking was that the demonstration would be a message to the world that India is now “a major space power.” In reality the test created hundreds of pieces of space debris that now threaten the safety of future missions, and might even pose a danger to astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

NASA and other space groups were quick to track the debris created by the missile and subsequent destruction of the satellite.

The satellite itself was in low orbit, but the blast pushed many pieces of debris into and above the orbit of the ISS.

“What we are tracking right now, objects big enough to track — we’re talking about 10 centimeters (six inches) or bigger — about 60 pieces have been tracked,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement to NASA staff.

“That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station.

That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight.”

Commentary/Opinion:


Twitter’s ‘Unplanned’ censor ‘error’ a sign of immoral times

Photo by: Michael Kubeisy “Unplanned” endured a potential hit earlier this year, when it received an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America ratings board. The film has no nudity, violence or mature language, but the board insisted that several abortion scenes warranted the rating. (unplannedfilm.com)

A true-life movie of a former Planned Parenthood executive who changed her views of abortion and jumped into the pro-life camp was just released to both box office fanfare and Twitter shunning.

So when “Unplanned” made its debut at 1,059 theaters around the nation and pulled in about $6 million or so in opening ticket sales, yet fans, for a time, couldn’t go to Twitter and follow the movie’s page, because of a site “error,” according to company higher-ups — well then, it’s natural to smell a rat.

It’s easy to look at what happened with “Unplanned” as just one more example of social media free speech failure, or as one more instance of liberal-conservative bickering over politics.

But the larger theme is this: America’s drift of moral compass has been ongoing for decades, and traditionalists are losing.

Leftist Students Support Segregation

This is unbelievable. Leftist students (and white supremacists) think segregation is just great.

Meanwhile, in the decent and civilized world, the rest of us know it isn’t. Thanks for enlightening us, Ami Horowitz.

Who Exactly IS Pete Buttigieg?

2020 contender Pete Buttigieg is trying to market himself as a reasonable young Democrat.

In reality, he’s an extremist who embraces all of the far-left positions, and his own words make it clear his views are nothing short of radical.

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