In the News

News and Headlines. 5/23/2019

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

In The News:

SLIDESHOW: Deadly tornado leaves devastation in Missouri’s capital

A destroyed sign for a car wash is seen in tornado-hit Jefferson City, Mo., Thursday. The heavily damaged gas station is at the background. (AP Photo/David A. Lieb

A tornado has caused heavy damage in Missouri’s capital city as severe weather swept across the state overnight, causing three deaths and trapping dozens of people in the wreckage of their homes.

Trump administration announces $16 billion farm-aid program

The administration has moved to shore up American agriculture after a breakdown in talks earlier this month between Washington and Beijing.

Amid expectations that American farmers will be hindered selling crops to China’s 1.4 billion-person market, commodity prices sank to their lowest level in more than 10 years.

President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create the program “because he knew farmers would bear the brunt of this lack of trade deal with China once again,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“Farmers themselves will tell you they’d rather have trade than aid,” he said, but in the absence of a deal “they’ll need some support.”

Trump pays respect to military dead at Arlington ahead of Memorial Day

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump pay respects to fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery

Trump quietly made his way across the Potomac River from the White House to pay his respects at the hallowed burial ground.

Presidents typically lay a wreath and deliver remarks at the cemetery on the holiday, but Trump will be in Japan on Monday, which is Memorial Day.

While the president did not speak to the press or make any remarks during his visit, he and the first lady were seen speaking with the soldiers accompanying them and shaking hands before heading back to the White House in their motorcade.

Assange indicted on 18 counts, accused of coordinating with Manning to leak classified national-security docs

FILE – In this Wednesday May 1, 2019 file photo, buildings are reflected in the window as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is taken from court, where he appeared on charges of jumping British bail seven years ago, in London. Swedish prosecutors plan to decide whether they will reopen a rape case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The indictment alleged Assange coordinated with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak classified documents related to U.S. war and diplomacy efforts around the world.

U.S. officials claimed Assange worked in tandem with Manning to break into a classified government computer.

Ben Brandon, a lawyer representing the U.S. government, said in court earlier this month that American investigators had acquired details of communications between Manning and Assange in 2010.

The two had allegedly “engaged in real time discussions regarding Chelsea Manning’s dissemination of confidential records to Mr. Assange.”

Bank CEO charged with trying to trade loans for Trump post

In this June 28, 2012 photo, Stephen M. Calk, Chairman and Chief Financial Official of The Federal Savings Bank speaks as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel listens during an announcement about job growth and economic development and a corporate headquarters relocation by the Federal Savings Bank to Chicago. (Al Podgorski/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

According to trial evidence, Manafort passed along Calk’s resume to Kushner in a Nov. 30, 2016, email, along with two other names of people he said “should be a part of the Trump administration.”

Kushner responded, “On it!”

Calk was formally interviewed for the position of under secretary of the Army in early January 2017 at the Presidential Transition Team’s Trump Tower offices, prosecutors noted.

But Calk never got an administration post, though he did approve Manafort’s loans.

Manafort received a $9.5 million cash-out refinance from Calk’s bank on November 2016 and an additional $6.5 million construction loan on a Manafort property in New York in January 2017.

Press Call: Real Price Transparency in Health Care

Washington, DC — There will be no real choices or affordability in health care until patients, doctors, and employers see real price discovery, not the system of deliberate price obscurity which presently exists and benefits middlemen while hurting everyone else.

In advance of further pledged actions from the White House to boost price transparency in health care and protect Americans from exorbitant medical costs,Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) to address meaningful measures that will bring real price transparency to consumers and create a real healthcare marketplace.

New York Times op-ed calls out ‘unlivable’ conditions in Democratic-led cities

Homeless people sleeping on the pews in a church in San Francisco.CreditCreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

In the op-ed, titled “America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals,” author Farhad Manjoo wrote of the “developing-world nightmare” unfolding in his home state.

“To live in California at this time is to experience every day the cryptic phrase that George W. Bush once used to describe the invasion of Iraq: “Catastrophic success.”

The economy here is booming, but no one feels especially good about it.

When the cost of living is taken into account, billionaire-brimming California ranks as the most poverty-stricken state, with a fifth of the population struggling to get by. Since 2010, migration out of California has surged,” he

Checkers in Florida shuttered after photos showing filthy kitchen surface online

Checkers of Palm Bay : since day one it’s been infestation after infestation, first the roaches, then the rats, down to the maggots and roaches in the shake machine. JaiLynn Lawson

Images showing what appear to be filthy conditions in the Palm Bay restaurant’s kitchen were recently uploaded to Facebook, picturing roaches and dead rats littered across the kitchen, and other dirty conditions.

The images went viral on social media, prompting several people to file complaints with local health officials, WESH 2 reports.

After an inspection, the establishment was closed down due to “rodent activity.”

According to a statement from Checkers, the location will reopen once the Health Department gives it “a clean bill of health.”

New York City teen arrested in assault on off-duty FDNY firefighter defending elderly couple, police say

Police released this image of the suspects described as three males and three females between the ages of 15 and 17. (NYPD)

Damir Johnson, 17, was charged with one count of second-degree assault after police identified him as a member of the group that assaulted the firefighter, leaving that man with several broken teeth and a concussion.

Cops released an image on Wednesday of the six suspects, but they didn’t immediately identify which of the teens in the picture was Johnson.

Cops arrested Johnson after a tip came through the Crime Stoppers hotline which led investigators to question the teen’s family, the New York Daily News reported. Johnson was subsequently arrested at his home in Harlem.

Inmate acquitted of guard’s slaying in Delaware prison riot

Roman Shankaras.
FILE – This undated photo provided by the Delaware Department of Justice shows Roman Shankaras.(Delaware Department of Justice via AP, File)

Jurors deliberated over two days before acquitting 32-year-old Roman Shankaras in the death of Steven Floyd.

Shankaras recently completed a seven-year sentence for unrelated riot and robbery charges. The verdict paves the way for his release.

Shankaras is one of 18 inmates indicted after the 2017 riot, 16 of whom were charged with murder in Floyd’s death.

Two guards were released by inmates after being beaten and tormented.

A female counselor was held hostage for nearly 20 hours before tactical teams burst in and rescued her.

Police search for driver suspected in Utah highway killing

Jonathan Llana.
This undated booking photo provided by the Idaho State Police shows Jonathan Llana.(Idaho State Police via AP)

Jonathan Llana, 45, of Los Angeles was being sought near Burley after crashing his car during a chase by authorities, Idaho State Police said, describing him as armed and dangerous.

Officials said they didn’t know a motive for the shooting Wednesday night on a stretch of Interstate 84 called Rattlesnake Pass in northern Utah.

Llana was described as 5 feet 10 inches (1.8 meters) tall, weighing about 150 pounds (68 kilograms), with black hair and brown eyes.

Another motorist — an emergency medical technician — stopped to help and confirmed the driver had died. The injured passenger was taken to a hospital.

Tech Watch:

Facebook took down more than 3 billion fake accounts

That’s a record amount of fake account takedowns by the social media company, which estimates that about 5% of its monthly active users are fake.

About 2.38 billion people worldwide log into the social network every month.

For the first time, the company also released data about how much content was appealed and restored along with information about the amount of posts the company took action on for attempting to sell products that aren’t allowed on the platform such as drugs and firearms.

FEC chief urges Congress to set standards for online platforms during elections

Faith in the electoral process “cannot be restored by Silicon Valley,” FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub told the national security subcommittee of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday.

“[It’s] not something that we can leave in the hands the tech companies, the companies now being used by our foreign rivals to attack our democracy.”

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., said his relationship with the tech companies “has soured” and asked one of the witnesses, Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin: “How do we hold them accountable?”

The chairman of the Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., asked the companies to provide the committee with a plan to increase their transparency and accountability around elections.

Now it’s easy to order food in Google Assistant, Search and Maps

On Maps and Search, you’ll see an Order Online button for participating restaurants.

Once you click it, you can select a delivery service, place your order and check out using Google Pay.

You can also start an order from a restaurant using Assistant on iOS and Android, where you’ll have the option to reorder a meal you previously had. Assistant can pull up your previous orders from that restaurant, and you’ll be able to select one of your favorite combos quickly.



Central American migrants are detained by US Customs and Border Patrol agents. (HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The McAllen Central Processing Center, located in southern Texas, reopened Wednesday after a major flu outbreak among detainees caused the facility to temporarily shut down.

At least 32 migrants tested positive for influenza, forcing officials to suspend intake of more people.

The flu outbreak put an additional strain on a facility that is already working well beyond its limitations.

The total capacity for immigration processing centers in the Rio Grande Valley Sector is slightly over 3,600, but Border Patrol officials have taken in as many as 8,000 undocumented migrants in recent time.

“It’s not what we’re designed for. We’re not designed for the amount of people that we have in custody,” said Chris Cabrera, Vice-President of the National Border Patrol Council, speaking to CBS 4 Valley.

“There needs to be a fix because it’s just a matter of time before something bad happens.”

Far from border, US cities feel effect of migrant releases

FILE – This March 2, 2019 photo shows a Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the US side of a razor-wire-covered border wall along the Mexico east of Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

U.S. immigration officials have eyed spots in states like Florida, Michigan and New York, to help process the migrants before they move on to their destination, which could be anywhere in the U.S.

And in border states, cities that are several hours’ drive from Mexico are already seeing sometimes hundreds of migrants a day.

The issue erupted in political intrigue last week when Democratic strongholds in Florida balked at plans to send migrants to their counties, conjuring images of homeless migrants on the streets.

But elsewhere, cities and states are quietly making arrangements. New Mexico and Colorado reached agreement to drop off some migrants in Denver. A remote desert town in California has helped hundreds reach shelters for short-term stays.


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Courtesy Bryan Cox/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via REUTERS

“ICE maintains that cooperation by local law enforcement is an indispensable component of promoting public safety.

It’s unfortunate that current local and state laws and policies tie the hands of local law enforcement agencies that want and need to work with ICE to promote public safety by holding criminals accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims,” the agency said Thursday in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Washington became the latest state to offer safe haven to illegal immigrants after Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed a “sanctuary” bill into law on Tuesday.

“Sanctuary policies not only provide a refuge for illegal aliens, but they also shield criminal aliens who prey on people in their own and other communities,” ICE stated.

“When ICE officers and agents have to go out into the community to proactively locate these aliens, it puts personnel and potentially innocent bystanders at risk.”

Tucker: America’s border control system is collapsing

Migrants being dropped off at California bus stations because detention facilities are full.


Republican launches fresh push to defund sanctuary cities after courts block Trump

The bill, introduced by House freshman Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, seeks to cut off federal law enforcement grants to states that do not comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests.

Gooden, speaking to Fox News, said the cuts are focused and designed to sting scofflaw states without harming key enforcement priorities.

Gooden says his bill pairs with the immigration proposal announced last week by President Trump.

Trump unveiled overhauls that primarily deal with legal immigration, but this bill focuses on the fight against illegal immigration and efforts to stall immigration enforcement.

A unique part of the bill is a provision that protects law enforcement officers who comply with ICE detainers against liability and gives them immunity in any lawsuit filed by detained illegal immigrants.

It also makes it illegal for a jurisdiction to fire or discriminate against a law enforcement officer for complying with an ICE detainer.

Trump Signs Order Cracking Down on Welfare-Dependent Legal Immigration

The order signed by Trump will enforce existing 1996 laws known as the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act” and “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act” which were signed by then-President Bill Clinton.

The order ensures that federal agencies will enforce the existing 1996 laws which seek to save American taxpayers by having their public welfare funding benefits reimbursed when they are used by a legal immigrant.

The first function of the order mandates that a family member or business sponsor of a legal immigrant looking to permanently resettle in the U.S. is responsible for paying back the welfare costs previously used by that immigrant.

President Trump: Once Democrats Finish Fake Investigations, We Can Start Real Work

In a series of tweets Thursday, the president said he was extremely calm during a meeting Wednesday with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer.

He said when congressional Democrats finish their “fake work” on the Mueller report’s findings, they will finally have time to get actual work done.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded Thursday, saying Democrats are incapable of doing anything except focus on rehashing the Mueller report:

California Advances Bill to Review and Reject Vaccine Exemptions

Sen. Dr. Richard Pan
Sen. Dr. Richard Pan introduced the bill that would allow California’s public health department to review doctors’ medical exemptions and potentially reject them.(AP PHOTO/RICH PEDRONCELLI)

Although California has some of the strictest school vaccination rules, children can be exempted from mandatory vaccinations if a doctor says there is a medical reason the child should not receive a shot.

However, experts say medical professionals are being too broad in giving medical exemptions, including conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

Introduced by Democratic Sen. Richard Pan, a pediatric physician, the bill would allow California’s public health department to review doctors’ exemptions and potentially reject them.

The controversial Senate Bill 276 passed the Senate Wednesday 24-10 with four abstentions.

All Senate Republicans voted No for the bill, and it is now headed to the state Assembly.

GOP Reps. Recruiting Military Vets to Run for Congress

Rep. Dan Crenshaw
Rep. Dan Crenshaw is one of 96 veterans serving in the House and Senate according to Roll Call. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Reps. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Michael Waltz, R-Fla., who all were in the military, said the War Veterans Fund PAC will recruit Republican veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to run and assist in funding campaigns.

Waltz said veterans often lack the resources to fund a campaign.

“Veterans tend to want to be ultra-prepared,” Crenshaw said. “They want to know everything they possibly can before running for Congress.

That’s great … but don’t undersell yourself. You can do this.”

Durham investigating Brennan, Comey use of dossier in Intel assessment

The attorney general’s investigation is getting underway with special prosecutor John Durham taking a look at the origins of the Russia probe.

One America’s Jack Posobiec has more.

Ukraine whistleblower exposes alleged DNC collusion

While much has been said about the story of alleged, and never-proven, collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, there’s another side to the story that hasn’t been given as much attention.

In early 2017 Politico ran a story regarding the government of Ukraine allegedly colluding with Hillary Clinton. That story was largely forgotten.

One America’s Jack Posobiec sat down with the UIkrainian whistleblower who brought the story to light.

Tucker: Democrats go from pro-choice to pro-abortion

Democrats back abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

World News:

Sending thousands more troops to Middle East amid Iran threat would be offensive and defensive: Gen. Jack Keane

Keane, a Fox News senior strategic analyst, said Thursday on “America’s Newsroom” that the “initial build-up of our forces” in the region, including a carrier strike group, Patriot missiles, additional forces and bombers, was all about deterrence.

But the potential plan to send between 5,000 and 10,000 more American troops to the region to beef up the existing forces is now all “about a response if [the Iranians] do” attack the U.S.

“I think what we’re probably looking at is increased offensive missile capability to be able to conduct cruise missiles from submarines and surface ships and also likely some additional missile defense capability to protect our facilities,” Keane said.

Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting, to some anger

FILE – In this March 3, 2013 file photo elephants drink water in the Chobe National Park in Botswana. Botswana’s government says it has lifted its ban on elephant hunting, a decision that is likely to bring protests from wildlife protection groups. (AP Photo/Charmaine Noronha, File)

The southern African nation is home to an estimated 130,000 elephants. The lifting of the ban raised concerns about a possible increase in illegal poaching of elephants for their tusks to supply the ivory trade.

Botswana has long been a refuge for elephants on a continent where tens of thousands have been killed over the years for their ivory, and the animals long have been a tourist draw. Some had warned of tourism boycotts if the ban was lifted, and even American talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres joined the protest.

“President Masisi, for every person who wants to kill elephants, there are millions who want them protected. We’re watching,” she tweeted after Botswana’s decision was announced.

Britain’s May delays Brexit bill but resists calls to resign

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip arrive at a polling station to vote in the European Elections in Sonning, England, Thursday, May 23, 2019.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

With her authority draining away by the hour, May delayed plans to publish the EU withdrawal bill — her fourth and likely final attempt to secure Parliament’s backing for her Brexit blueprint.

Conservative lawmakers increasingly see May as an obstacle to Britain’s EU exit, although her replacement will face the same dilemma: a Parliament deeply divided over whether to leave the EU, and how close a relationship to seek with the bloc after it does.

Conservative legislators scheduled a Friday meeting, where they want May to announce her departure date.

Towns across central Israel evacuated as fires spread

Kibbutz Harel, located west of Jerusalem and about four-and-a-half miles north of Beit Shemesh, was completely evacuated Thursday afternoon after a large fire broke out in the area, threatening homes inside the kibbutz.

Fires also raged in the Ben Shemen forest near the town of Mevo Modim off of Route 443, prompting authorities to evacuate residents from Mevo Modim and the nearby towns of Gimzo and Kfar Daniel.

Police have closed Route 443 to traffic in both directions near Gimzo.

Firefighters are operating in the area to contain the blaze, and are using air units to aid in their efforts.


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