In the News

News and Headlines. 4/8/2019


News and Headlines. In The News, Tech Watch, Politics, World News.

In The News:


African Rhino Poacher Trampled by Elephant, Then Eaten by Lion

Getty Images

Four fellow poachers reportedly fled the scene as the man was being trampled and reported the death to the man’s family. The family then contacted park officials and a search party for the remains was organized.

“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise, it holds many dangers, and this incident is evidence of that,” Kruger National Park Managing Executive Glenn Phillips said.

“It is very sad to see the daughters of the deceased mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.”


Allison Mack pleads guilty to racketeering charges in NXIVM cult case

Mack entered her plea to racketeering charges shortly before federal jury selection was scheduled to start in Brooklyn federal court.

The trial is expected to detail sensational allegations that the group recruited sex slaves for its spiritual leader, Keith Raniere.

Authorities say the women were branded by a surgical tool with a symbol that resembled Raniere’s initials.

Mack has said in an interview that the group emphasized self-discipline and self-empowerment and she likened the branding to getting a tattoo, but cooler.


Florida man with tattoo-covered face arrested in 2001 cold case murde

Randy Petersilge, 51
Randy Petersilge, 51, was arrested in the 2001 murder of Simon Clark. (New Port Richey Police Department)

Randy Petersilge, 51, was arrested the same day he was released from federal prison, where he was serving a sentence for being a felon in possession a firearm, WPTV reported.

In January, a grand jury indicted Petersilge on one count of first-degree murder in the beating death of Simon Clark after investigators reopened the 2001 cold case and said they found enough evidence to link the convicted felon to the murder.


Students demand pres. start packing over Israel study abroad stance

The resolution, if passed, would enact “no confidence in the President of the College,” and will “call for his [Oliver’s] immediate resignation or removal from office.” 

The resolution—which has gained a multitude of authors and sponsors—claims that after the Pitzer College Council, a governing body of faculty and student senators, voted to suspend Pitzer’s study abroad program in Israel, Oliver violated “the democratic spirit of shared governance of this College” after vetoing the vote, effectively keeping Pitzer’s study abroad program in Israel.

Oliver previously stated that suspending the study abroad program in Israel would “foolishly alienate Jewish and non-Jewish constituents.”

The resolution also criticized how the college’s administration overturned a 2017 Student Senate amendment enacting Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) regulations to Student Senate spending. 

Tech Watch:


‘Spaceplane’ that flies 25 times faster than the speed of sound passes crucial test

(Credit: Reaction Engines)

The hypersonic plane is so fast it could jet from London to New York in less than 60 minutes and transport you from the UK to Australia in four hours.

Oxford-based Reaction Engines has been working with the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency, along with BAE Systems, to make the powerful aircraft.


See spacewalking ISS astronauts bathe in a blazing-fast sunset

NASA TV broadcast an excellent view of the sun setting on two astronauts on a spacewalk. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques are out on a Monday spacewalk to continue work on a project to upgrade the station’s power systems.

A camera on the ISS caught some stunning footage of the pair working during a sunset. It highlights just how fast the sun dips when you’re in orbit.

A NASA staffer back on Earth announces the oncoming sunset.

The astronauts go from being brightly lit to being bathed in an orange-red glow before dipping into darkness. The whole process takes less than a minute. The station was passing over Afghanistan at the time.


EU Lawmakers Back Fines For Internet Firms That Fail To Remove Extremist Content

FILE PHOTO: Facebook, Google and Twitter logos are seen in this combination photo from Reuters files. REUTERS/File Photos/File Photo

The measures have been brought into sharper focus after the live streaming on one of Facebook’s platforms of shootings by a lone gunman, killing 50 people at two New Zealand mosques in March.

The EU’s draft law, including fines of up to 4 percent of annual global turnover, was endorsed by member states last year.

However, concerns that the measures would hurt smaller online platforms or encroach on civil rights had stalled Monday’s vote.

The EU assembly’s justice and home affairs committee voted 35 to 1, with 8 absentions, in favor of the proposal, which now requires approval in a plenary vote next week and negotiations among the EU’s three lawmaking bodies.


Facebook Says Has Made Headway Against Abuses Ahead Of India Election

During a media tour of the company’s election operations center at its Menlo Park headquarters in California on Friday, company officials touted new fact-checking efforts for suppressing misinformation and technological advances such as the ability to detect when videos had been doctored.

Excoriated for failing to stop Russian manipulation in the 2016 U.S. presidential vote, Facebook has ramped up efforts to prevent abuses in subsequent elections, including the 2018 American midterms and the recent Brazilian and Mexican contests. Governments in many countries, including India and the UK, are contemplating strict new regulations for social media companies.

India, where Facebook has more users than in any other country, is shaping up as a major test. On April 1, the company said it had removed more than 500 accounts and 138 pages linked to India’s opposition Congress party for “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” Facebook’s term for the use of fake accounts and other deceptive methods to promote a message.


Politics:


Kirstjen Nielsen makes first public comments after resignation as DHS boss

Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

From outside her home in Alexandria, Va., on Monday, Nielsen thanked the president for allowing her to serve in his administration.

The president announced Nielsen’s would “be leaving her position” after 16 months on the job on Sunday evening.

Trump also announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan would replace Nielsen as acting secretary, tweeting: “I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!”


Rep. Bobby Rush calls Chicago police union the ‘sworn enemy of black people’

Illinois Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush

During a press conference on Saturday, Rush, D-Ill., tore into Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police after members of the union participated in protests demanding Cook County State’s Attorney Foxx resign from her post.

“The FOP is the sworn enemy of black people, the sworn enemy of black people,” Rush said Saturday.

“The FOP has always taken the position that black people can be shot down in the street by members of the Chicago Police Department, and suffer no consequences.”


Baltimore City Council calls on embattled Mayor Catherine Pugh resign immediately

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh,
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh,

“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore for you to continue to serve as Mayor,” the council members wrote to Pugh.

“We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”

Pugh is under fire after she reportedly received $500,000 from the University of Maryland Medical System for her self-authored “Healthy Holly,” a children’s book series.

The state prosecutor opened an investigation earlier this month into the books’ sales, the Baltimore Sun reported.

World News:


Trump designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a ‘foreign terrorist organization

The announcement, which officials said would put the military organization on the same level as terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, is the latest administration step to increase pressure on Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing the IRGC’s ties to terror plots, said the designation recognizes a “basic reality.”

“This designation is a direct response to an outlaw regime and should surprise no one,” he said. “The IRGC masquerades as a legitimate military organization, but none of us should be fooled.”


Battle Rages For Libya’s Capital, Airport Bombed

A Member of Misrata forces, under the protection of Tripoli’s forces, prepares himself to go to the front line in Tripoli, Libya April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Hani Amara

Casualties were mounting in fighting that also threatens to disrupt oil supplies, fuel migration to Europe and wreck U.N. plans for an election to end rivalries between parallel administrations in the country’s east and west.

Witnesses said on Monday afternoon that the LNA had lost control of the old airport and withdrawn from positions on the airport road.

Forces allied to the Tripoli administration were seen inside the airport, while clashes with the eastern forces were raging south of the airport, a Reuters reporter at the scene and residents said.


How a survivor of a South African ‘farm murder’ is fighting back

Mariandra Heunis,
Mariandra Heunis, a mother of four and survivor of a South African farm attack that killed her husband, turns to Washington to draw awareness. (Mariandra Heunis)

It was late in the night of October 1, 2016, when the then-32-year-old mother of three, who was expecting her fourth child any day, carried her two youngest to bed in their remote South African farmhouse.

The cocking of a shotgun echoed through the house and when she turned around, two intruders were standing right in front of her – and she was staring down the barrel of the gun.

“They started shouting aggressively, my husband woke up.

They demanded money, to which we, in turn, responded that we don’t have money and do not have money in the house, but they could take whatever they want if they just leave us unharmed,” Heunis recalled to Fox News.

“But he just started shooting. I was terrified. I couldn’t stop the bullets.”


Tourists could face the death penalty for taking photos on beach near airport

According to the Bangkok Post, authorities have become more concerned as the beach has grown in popularity and is developing a new safety zone near the runway that will ban people from entering. Authorities fear the influx of people on the beach could pose as a distraction for pilots.

Airport chief Wichit Kaeothaithiam told the Bangkok Post that stricter regulations must be applied as required by the International Civil Aviation Organization and violators must be subject to punishments under the Air Navigation Act.

Violators allegedly will face harsh punishments, such as a fine of 40,000 baht ($1,253) or a jail sentence of up to 20 years, The Sun reported.

Commentary/Opinion:

Why Has the West Been So Successful?

The Western world has produced some of the most prosperous and most free civilizations on earth.

What makes the West exceptional?

Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire and author of “The Right Side of History,” explains that the twin pillars of revelation and reason — emanating from ancient Jerusalem and Athens — form the bedrock for Western civilization’s unprecedented success.

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