In the News

News and Headlines. 5/16/2019


News and Headlines: In The News, Immigration, Tech Watch/Censorship, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.

In The News:


Image of Jesus shining through the clouds goes viral

A photo of a Jesus Christ-like figure with his hands outstretched beaming down through the cloudy sky has caused a furor in Argentina, where it was taken. (CEN)

Mónica Aramayo, a resident of San Salvador de Jejuy, recently shared what she said is a perfectly-timed image she took on her camera phone to “bless” others online. The image went viral this week.

Users immediately compared it to the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, located less than 3,000 miles away in Brazil.

Others point out the illuminated figure shows the Messiah wearing a crown and with outstretched arms, similar to other depictions of Christ.


Fisherwoman reels in 1,200-lb shark after 90-minute struggle

15-foot shark weighing an estimated 1,200 pounds

The impressive feat was pulled off by 30-year-old Charlene Dillon, who reeled in the beast after a 90-minute struggle.

During the process, which occurred off the coast of Carrigaholt, she had to be strapped into a harness to keep from being pulled off the boat.

The bluntnose sixgill shark, also known as a cow shark, was caught at a depth of around 200 feet.

The catch was actually too big to bring onto the boat, so after it was measured and documented, the shark was released back into the water.


Officials: PG&E Equipment Sparked Deadly California Wildfire

A home burns as the Camp Fire rages through Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 8, 2018. (AP/Noah Berger)

“Investigators determined there were violations of law,” Cal Fire deputy director Mike Mohler said. He said he hadn’t read the report and didn’t know the nature of the violations.

Cal Fire did not release its full investigative report, saying it had been forwarded to the Butte County district attorney’s office, which is considering criminal charges against the utility.

The investigation also identified a second nearby ignition site involving PG&E’s electrical distribution lines that had come into contact with vegetation. The second fire was quickly consumed by the initial fire.

The disclosures came on the same day the utility’s new chief executive was testifying before a legislative committee in Sacramento.

Bill Johnson told the state Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee he had expected the utility would be blamed for the fire.


TEXAS POLICE RAID DALLAS DIOCESAN OFFICES, CLAIM CATHOLIC OFFICIALS WITHHELD INFORMATION

Police raided the diocesan headquarters, a local church’s offices, and a storage location for the diocese in connection with an investigation into the accused predatory priest and fugitive Edmundo Paredes and several new allegations of sexual abuse against other priests.

Detective David Clark, who wrote the search warrant affidavit for the raids, accused Dallas church officials of hiding past allegations, delivering incomplete records to police, and waging a public relations campaign rather than a genuine effort to be publicly transparent, according to Dallas News.


FACT CHECK: DOES THE ALABAMA ABORTION BILL MANDATE JAIL FOR FALSE RAPE ALLEGATIONS?

An image shared on the Facebook page The Pesky Liberals claimed that an abortion bill in Alabama “has an extra tacked on to the end of it wherein, if a woman reports being raped and they find the person she accused not guilty, SHE goes to jail, because it’s declared a false rape accusation.”

“Imagine how it would feel to have the ultimatum for reporting being raped, to become ‘either he winds up in jail, or you do.’

Make the choice before you talk to, uh, I guess, your teacher or parent about this,” the images continues.


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Will Veto Bill to Ban Dismemberment Abortions Tearing Off Babies’ Limbs

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Whitmer, a pro-abortion Democrat, made the statement not long after the state Senate and House passed legislation to ban the brutal abortion practice, Michigan Live reports.

“I think that these are decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor,” the governor said.

“I’ve always supported a woman’s autonomy and freedom to make her own choices, and that should be no surprise to anyone in this town.”

Whitmer firmly stated that she will veto the legislation when it reaches her desk, The Detroit News reports.


Pregnant Chicago woman slain, baby cut from her womb

The newborn was in grave condition and not expected to survive, and three people were taken into custody, including a woman who pretended the baby was hers, police said.

Charges including murder were expected to be filed Thursday afternoon, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

The body of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was found early Wednesday behind the house, more than three weeks after she disappeared.

The nine-months-pregnant woman was last seen leaving her high school on April 23, the same day paramedics were called to the home several miles away on the Southwest Side about a newborn with problems breathing.


Arkansas woman sentenced for posing as sheriff’s deputy to bust her boyfriend out of jail

Maxine Feldstein, 30, Nicholas Lowe, Washington County Detention Center)

Maxine Feldstein, 30, pleaded guilty on Monday to several charges, including criminal impersonation, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but half her sentence was suspended by the judge, KFSM-TV reported.

Boyfriend Nicholas Lowe reportedly told Feinstein to pose as a deputy from the sheriff’s office, the station reported, citing court documents.

Lowe told his girlfriend she should tell the jail staff that the sheriff’s office was “having issues with overcrowding and all low-priority extraditions have been suspended.”

Two days later, a real Ventura County sheriff’s deputy called the jail to let them know he was on his way to pick up Lowe, which is when jail officials realized what
happened.


POLICE: MAN RAPED WOMAN IN COP STATION BECAUSE IT WAS ‘ADVENTUROUS’

Security footage reportedly shows Gage fondling with the woman and himself, forcing oral sex on the passed out woman and later having sex with her.

An officer had to physically pull the 25-year-old off the woman, police said. The woman said she did not consent to the sexual interactions, according to the complaint.

Police allegedly found an empty bottle of vodka in Gage’s pocket, the News-Miner reported. Gage reportedly told police he was sober, had spent time with the woman all night and did not have any medical or mental problems.

The woman was taken for treatment at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.


Alabama man to be executed for 1997 quadruple homicide over pickup truck dispute

Michael Brandon Samra, 41,
Michael Brandon Samra, 41, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection at the state prison at Atmore. (AP)

Michael Brandon Samra, 41, will receive a lethal injection at the state prison in Atmore for the March 23, 1997 killings of Randy Duke, 39, Dedra Mims Hunt, 29, Chelsea Marie Hunt, 7, and Chelisa Nicole Hunt, 6.

Samra was convicted of capital murder after prosecutors say he and friend Mark Duke planned the killings of Duke’s father and his father’s girlfriend and two young daughters.

Evidence showed that Duke wanted to commit the murders because he was angry that his father wouldn’t let him use his pickup truck.


Chelsea Manning will go back to jail after refusing to testify to grand jury probing Wikileaks

Manning served two months at William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria, Va. for a contempt charge regarding the same issue, but was released on Friday after the grand jury term expired.

This time, a judge ordered Manning to the Alexandria Detention Center, where she can face up to 18 months in prison, the length of the grand jury term, unless she agrees to cooperate with the investigation sooner.

Manning said she’d rather stay in jail “forever” than testify to the grand jury probing Wikileaks, describing the subpoena as “an attempt to place me back in confinement.”


Thomas More Law Center Asks Supreme Court To Decide How Far Schools Can Promote Islam And Disparage Christianity

Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Wood claiming the school had violated the First Amendment Establishment Clause and her right not to be forced to profess faith in another religion.

Both the Federal District Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the High School’s Islamic curriculum.

In response, on Monday of this week, (May 13), TMLC filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari asking the Supreme Court to decide whether any legal basis exists to allow public schools to discriminate against Christianity while at the same time promote Islam.

Richard Thompson, TMLC’s President and Chief Counsel, observed: “Under the guise of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion.

I’m not aware of any school which has forced a Muslim student to write the Lord’s Prayer or John 3:16:

On the other hand, schools have become willing instruments of Islamic indoctrination, and in Caleigh Wood’s case, the weapon of choice was the PowerPoint presentation. Caleigh and her 11th grade classmates were taught:

Immigration:


Obama deal sent Rwandans accused of butchering Americans to Australia amid refugee swap: report

A lengthy Politico report detailed how the administration agreed to transfer the three Rwandan men accused of a gruesome 1999 attack against Western tourists on a gorilla-watching visit to Uganda.

They had been extradited to the U.S. and charged under terrorism laws, but in 2006 a judge ruled that the men’s confessions to the attacks that left two Americans and six other Western tourists dead were extracted through torture by Rwandan officials.

The case was dropped and the men were left in limbo until the Obama-era deal.

The agreement to send them to Australia reportedly was made amid a seemingly related deal, struck during the final days of the Obama administration, for the U.S. to take as many as 1,250 migrants whom Australia was holding in offshore refugee centers — which had come under international 
scrutiny for alleged mistreatment of migrants.


DHS Issues Waivers to Expedite Tucson, El Centro Border Wall Projects

[Photo courtesy CBP]

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims the “construction of border infrastructure within these project areas will support DHS’s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations.”

The waivers are expected to “ensure expeditious construction of new bollard wall within the U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson and El Centro Sectors in Arizona and California, respectively.

The projects covered by the waivers include up to approximately 78 miles of new bollard wall in place of dilapidated and outdated designs, in addition to road construction and improvement and lighting installation.”

Tech Watch/Censorship:


10 charged in alleged malware conspiracy to steal $100 million

The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania presented the charges, along with officials from Germany, Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Georgia, and the European Union law enforcement and justice agencies Europol and Eurojust.

The charges include conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The malware, known as GozNym, automated the process of stealing people’s online banking credentials.

It infected 41,000 computers around the world using so-called phishing emails that were disguised as legitimate messages or invoices, officials said.

Once opened, the emails allowed hackers operating from Europe to record the keystrokes from victims’ computers, steal banking log-in credentials and siphon money from accounts.


Facebook tweaks News Feed to focus on close friends and relevant links

(Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

“This doesn’t mean News Feed will be limited to posts from only certain people and it doesn’t mean you will necessarily see more friend content.

Rather, you will likely see posts from those you have close relationships with higher up in your News Feed,” wrote Facebook in a post about the change.

Facebook has also changed the kind of links you’ll see on your feed, based on the results of surveys it launched back in April.

Michelle Malkin on being censored by Facebook

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin discusses Facebook infringing upon free speech rights.


Trump ramps up war against ‘political bias’ with new social media reporting tool

President Donald Trump speaks at the Cameron LNG Export Facility, May 14, 2019, in Hackberry, Louisiana.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

“SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH,” according to the form, which the White House’s official Twitter account posted on Wednesday. “Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear ‘violations’ of user policies.”

The administration called the form an example of how it’s “fighting for free speech online.”

The tool will allow members of the public to report possible political censorship on Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube, platforms that the president has often accused of silencing right-wing voices.

No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump.


Trump Signs Order to Protect US Telecom Networks, Paving Way for Huawei Ban

Workers prepare the venue for a Huawei summit in Shenzhen, China, on April 16, 2019. (Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images)

The order, which does not name any company, declared a national emergency to protect U.S. computer networks from “foreign adversaries.”

Reuters reported on May 14 that Trump was expected to take action on the long-awaited proposal this week.

The executive order invokes the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which gives the president the authority to regulate commerce in response to a national emergency that threatens the United States.

The order directs the Commerce Department, working with other government agencies, to draw up a plan for enforcement.

Washington believes equipment made by Huawei, the world’s largest maker of network communications gear, could be used by the Chinese regime to spy.

Politics:


SENATE CONFIRMS JEFFREY ROSEN TO REPLACE ROD ROSENSTEIN AT DOJ

JEFFREY ROSEN
JEFFREY ROSEN

Rosen, who previously served as deputy Transportation secretary under Trump, was confirmed in the Senate with a 52-45 vote.

Rosen also served as general counsel at the Department of Transportation and at the Office of Management and Budget under former President George W. Bush.

Barr endorsed Rosen for the position in February, citing his “more than 35 years’ experience litigating complex matters in state and federal courts across the country.”

On March 26, Trump officially nominated Rosen after months of speculation.


Trump to provide rare look of finances in disclosure report

The report, which is filed with the Office of Government Ethics and set for release Thursday, will be closely studied for changes in revenue at key properties in 2018, including his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, his Washington, D.C., hotel and his Doral golf resort in Miami.

Experts say the Trump business has taken a hit from the president’s divisive policies and rhetoric, though the Trump Organization says much of the business is fine.

While Trump has not released his tax records, he has been filing financial disclosure reports since he ran for president.

The latest report, listing 2018 figures, will allow for the first time a 12-month comparison with a previous year. Trump’s report released two years ago stated estimates for revenue over 16 months.


Stacey Abrams hints she could still enter 2020 race

She told MSNBC host Hallie Jackson that the 2020 Democratic field was “robust” but she would continue watching to see if she should jump into the race.

When asked about a senate bid, she said it wasn’t her “calling.”

“I’m going to help make certain a Democratic senator is elected in the state of Georgia but I do not believe that you run for office simply because the office is there — even one as crucial as the U.S. Senate,” she said.

Her comments came as fellow Democrats defended Abrams, indicating that she unfairly lost her gubernatorial bid against Brian Kemp in 2018.

Abrams refused to concede and indicated that the results weren’t “right and true and proper.”


Nellie Ohr deleted emails sent from husband’s DOJ account

Nellie Ohr
Nellie Ohr

The revelation comes as both Ohrs remain under intense scrutiny for their ties to Fusion GPS and British ex-spy Christopher Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier that was used to obtain warrants to wiretap a member of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained a series of April 2016 emails from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department that show a correspondence between the Ohrs, an aide to Bruce Ohr named Lisa Holtyn, and Stefan Bress, a first secretary at the German Embassy.

Emails previously released by Judicial Watch show Bruce Ohr acting as an unofficial back channel between the FBI and Steele.

He was demoted when it was revealed he met with Steele and Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned Steele’s work.

Ohr also told lawmakers his wife shared a thumb drive with him to hand over to the FBI.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that Nellie Ohr informing her husband about deleting the emails indicates a pattern of covering up a plot against Trump.

“This email is disturbing and suggests documents relevant to the improper targeting of President Trump were destroyed,” Fitton said in a statement.

Tucker investigates: Seattle’s tent cities

‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ investigates the nation’s homeless crisis and the decay of American cities.

World News:


Federal agents arrest four protesters occupying Venezuelan Embassy in Maduro-Guaido standoff

The embassy, a red-brick building in Georgetown, has been the site of a standoff between supporters of President Nicolas Maduro and backers of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

The Guaidó supporters spent weeks standing outside the embassy, wanting the Maduro backers inside to leave the building.

The U.S. Secret Service confirmed officers aided agents from State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service execute arrest warrants against people inside the embassy.

A State Department spokeswoman said the government of Guaidó, who the United States recognizes as the leader of Venezuela, asked for U.S. assistance in removing the protesters from the embassy, Reuters reported.


Canada, Cuba hold talks on Venezuela crisis

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland
Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland (Mandel Ngan/Pool Photo via AP)

The Canadian statement says: “It is of critical importance that our two countries meet to discuss the economic, political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and the work we can undertake together to address it.”

Meanwhile, Cuba’s first vice minister of foreign relations was in Norway Tuesday and Wednesday as part of what his office called a tour of Scandinavian countries.

Venezuelan opposition figures said Tuesday that government and opposition figures are holding talks in Norway on a possible way to end the country’s power struggle.


May agrees to set her exit date after Brexit bill vote

Theresa May smiles as she leaves parliament on Thursday. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers, said she would agree a timetable for the election of a new leader after the Brexit legislation returned to parliament for a final attempt in the week of 3 June.

Another member of the 1922 Committee told the Guardian May would have to name a quick date for her departure if the withdrawal bill was voted down, and the executive would expect there to be a leadership contest before the summer.

The MP said some Brexit supporters on the committee were disappointed that the prime minister was not forced to announce her departure immediately but this represented a “fair compromise”.

Commentary/Opinion:

Trump Must Start Treating Illegal Immigration as the CRISIS It Is

President Trump unveiled a new plan to reform our immigration system.

Fixing legal immigration is extremely important, but we have a bigger problem: the deluge of illegal immigrants that could irrevocably destroy the country.

Stopping the flood of migrants pouring over the border should be the bigger priority for the president.

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