In the News

News and Headlines. 5/24/2019

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

In The News:

Video: Ronald Reagan’s Moving Memorial Day Tribute

Memorial Day 2019
Memorial Day 2019

Memorial Day is a time to remember the fallen heroes throughout our nation’s history “who gave the last full measure of devotion” to their country.

Mere words cannot capture the enormity of their sacrifice or the anguish of loved ones they left behind. Yet, the words of that “great communicator,” Ronald Reagan, comes pretty close.

I invite you view President Ronald Reagan’s moving tribute to our fallen heroes as well as a second video dramatically depicting the enduring loss of the those left behind.

California dad shares meningitis B warning after infection kills teen daughter ‘within 36 hours’

Sara was a funny, happy, smart, loving and thoughtful girl, her father said. (Greg Stelzer)

“We thought it was the flu — we told her to rest and go to the student health center. She was more concerned with missing classes than how bad she felt,” Sara’s father, Greg Stelzer, 63, told Fox News.

But Sara then developed a blotchy, purple rash — what her parents would later learn was a sign of meningitis B.

Sara was in the emergency room by Tuesday morning, a friend of Sara’s informed Greg and his wife Laurie via text message.

By the time they drove to the hospital from the Los Angeles area later that afternoon, Sara was in an induced coma.

Though Sara’s doctors, after determining she contracted bacterial meningitis, started the teen on antibiotics, it was too late: the virus had spread to her brain and spinal cord. By the time her parents reached her, she was brain dead.

“We had no idea that these flu-like symptoms could develop and kill her within 36 hours,” Laurie, 51, told Yahoo Lifestyle.

Dr. Drew Pinsky warns Los Angeles could be at risk of a deadly epidemic this summer

Dr. Drew Pinsky Brian Kilmeade
Dr. Drew Pinsky Brian Kilmeade

“I live in the great state of California, the utopia that is California, which is a nightmare,” Pinsky said.

“I want to give you a prediction here. There will be a major infectious disease epidemic this summer in Los Angeles.”

Pinsky described to Kilmeade what he believes to be the almost medieval conditions in the City of Angels and compared local politicians to Nero, the infamous Roman Emperor who allegedly fiddled while his nation burned.

Navy: Sailor pleads guilty to espionage, intended to defect to Russia

In this March 5, 2018, file photo, a Vietnamese passenger boat sails past U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson
In this March 5, 2018, file photo, a Vietnamese passenger boat sails past U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson as it docks in Danang bay, Vietnam.(AP Photo/Hau Dinh, File)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Kellogg III pleaded guilty to two counts of espionage earlier this month and admitted to contacting Sevmash, a Russian shipbuilding enterprise. In an email to the ship maker, he wrote:

“I am willing,” the FBI said in a statement.

The 26-year-old also admitted to authorities that releasing the classified information could degrade the ability of nuclear-powered warships and cause injury to the United States, Jeff Houston of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in an email to The Associated Press.

As a nuclear electrician’s mate, Kellogg had access to information related to the capabilities, operations and maintenance of nuclear propulsion systems.

Had the information became public, potential U.S. adversaries could have learned the capabilities and limitations of the United States’ nuclear-powered warships, a pre-trial statement said.

Alabama abortion law challenged in Planned Parenthood lawsuit

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of abortion providers, said the new law “directly conflicts” with the Roe v. Wade decision and “more than four decades of Supreme Court precedent affirming its central holding” on abortion rights.

The Alabama law would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for the abortion provider.

The only exception would be when the woman’s health is at serious risk.

The law is set to take effect in November unless blocked by a judge. The suit, filed in federal court in Alabama, asks the court to block the law and declare it unconstitutional.

U.S. Supreme Court blocks redrawing of Ohio, Michigan electoral maps

The decisions in Michigan and Ohio that were put on hold by the justices were the latest rulings by federal courts determining that electoral maps designed by a state’s majority party unconstitutionally undermined the rights of voters who tend to support the other party.

Two other gerrymandering challenges are already pending at the Supreme Court, with rulings due by the end of June. In one case, Republican legislators in North Carolina are accused of rigging congressional maps to boost their party’s chances in that state.

In the other case, Democratic lawmakers in Maryland face similar allegations over one U.S. House district.

Trump administration to reportedly let allow federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples

Administration officials, according to Axios Friday, debated to decide between two different provisions — a religious-based exemption and striking down the previous administration’s rule altogether — to accomplish their goal without facing defeat in the courts.

The policy change would likely come in July and through the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Civil Rights, a group that has been at the forefront of angering progressives with rules advancing Trump’s religious freedom agenda.

Roger Severino, director of that office, reportedly refused to comment directly on the issue.

News of the administration’s decision came on the same day that HHS faced blowback over a rule excluding “gender identity” from sex discrimination protections for health care.

HHS, along with the Education Department, took the controversial step of interpreting Title IX — a sex discrimination statute — as only applying to biological attributes rather than self-described identity.

Former Michigan priest charged with 6 counts of sex crimes

The Detroit News and The Flint Journal report that prosecutors have charged 80-year-old Vincent DeLorenzo on Thursday with three counts each of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The Diocese of Lansing says eight people have accused DeLorenzo of sexual abuse and that he’s being defrocked.

This story has been corrected to reflect that DeLorenzo has been charged with three counts each of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct, not six counts of each charge.


A vehicle ended up in a body of water after two men tried to jump a drawbridge unsuccessfully. Screenshot/Louisiana State Police

Alejandro Cazares, 23, and Roberto Alejandro Moreno, 32, died at the scene, Louisiana State Police said in a statement Friday.

Black Bayou Bridge in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, was closed off to traffic to let a boat sail by, but the passenger left the car and “pushed the gate arm up,” according to a witness.

The other person allegedly drove the vehicle under the gate, picked up the passenger and went toward the ramp at the end of the bridge.

“After stopping briefly, the driver placed the vehicle in reverse then accelerated forward in an attempt to ‘jump’ the ramp of the bridge,” the statement said.

“The vehicle became airborne, landed in the waterway, and sank to the bottom.”

Tech Watch:

Anti-Trump Krassenstein Twins Banned from Twitter for ‘Multiple Fake Accounts’

The Hill reports that Brian and Ed Krassenstein have become popular on social media as part of the “resistance” movement against President Trump, regularly being the first to reply to the President’s tweets and receiving a large number of likes and retweets as a result.

Now, the twin brothers have been removed from Twitter over allegations of using multiple fake accounts.

Ed Krassenstein had built a following of 900,000 users on Twitter while his brother Brian had 700,000 before their accounts were shut down.

A Twitter spokesperson told the Hill: “The Twitter Rules apply to everyone. Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions are strictly prohibited. Engaging in these behaviors will result in permanent suspension from the service.”

CrossFit Boycotts Facebook, Instagram, Lists Litany of Complaints

A man doing CrossFit workout at Ross Valley CrossFit in San Anselmo, Calif., on March 13, 2014. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“CrossFit, Inc. has placed Facebook and its associated properties under review and will no longer support or use Facebook’s services until further notice,” the company said in a May 23 release.

The company has a significant presence on both platforms.

Its Facebook page has 3.1 million followers, its Instagram 2.9 million. Its CrossFit Games pages have 2.7 million followers on Facebook and 2.4 million on Instagram, according to the CrossFit newsletter, Morning Chalk Up.

CrossFit is now encouraging people to follow it on its websites as well as on Twitter and YouTube.

CrossFit lists eight objections to Facebook, including that the company shares users’ information with government authorities both in the United States and overseas, participates in mass government surveillance, sells users’ information, has weak intellectual property protections, and poor security that has led to data breaches.

It further argues that “Facebook censors and removes user accounts based on unknown criteria and at the request of third parties including government and foreign government agencies” and that “Facebook’s news feeds are censored and crafted to reflect the political leanings of Facebook’s utopian socialists while remaining vulnerable to misinformation campaigns designed to stir up violence and prejudice.”

The Trump administration has recently set up a website where people can file a report if they believe their social media accounts have been banned, suspended, or otherwise affected because of political bias.

Facebook’s FTC settlement delayed by political infighting, report says

A story in the Wall Street Journal published Friday said the FTC is split over the settlement deal, delaying its decision.

While the story doesn’t have many details, nor does it speak to the debates on Capitol Hill about whether Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg should personally be named in the settlement, the story does indicate the FTC’s Republican Chairman Joseph Simons is struggling to win support among the commission’s Democrats.

The FTC’s potential fine is the first meaningful response from DC since the scandal began. If it happens, Facebook’s multibillion dollar fine will be the largest ever paid by a tech firm. The largest FTC fine before that was $22.5 million the agency imposed on Google in 2012.


Trump vows to uncover Russia probe roots with declassification call: ‘We’re exposing everything’

Before departing the White House for a trip to Japan, the president defended his decision in the face of Democratic accusations that he had overridden “longstanding rules” on classified material.

“We want to be very transparent, so as you know, I declassified everything,” Trump told reporters. “We are exposing everything.”

The president said his decision will ensure that investigators looking into the origins of the probe have everything they need, “so they’ll be able to see how and why this whole hoax started.”

He reiterated his charge that the probe was an “attempted takedown of the president of the United States.”

He added: “You’re gonna learn a lot. I hope it’s going to be nice, but perhaps it won’t be.”

Trump speaks to press after granting Barr broad power in spying probe

Ahead of a state visit to Japan, President Trump comments on escalating hostilities with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as sounding off on British Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation and the sweeping authority he assigned to Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate allegations of spying in the 2016 election.

Lone GOP rep blocks disaster aid bill in surprise move

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.)
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) in Washington. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“If I do not object, Congress will have passed a bill with $19 billion without being here to vote on it,” Roy said.

Railing against the “swamp,” Roy objected to speeding the measure through a nearly-empty chamber, complained it wasn’t paid for and challenged a decision not to include President Trump’s $4.5 billion request for dealing with the migrant crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Under House rules, it only took one opposing member to derail the vote. The package likely will now be delayed at least until early June.

Democrats cancel fundraiser for their own congressman because of his anti-abortion views

Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski. Lipinski
Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski. Lipinski

Rep. Sheri Bustos, chairwoman of the DCCC, canceled a $1,000-per-person fundraiser for fellow Illinois Rep. Daniel Lipinski. Lipinski, who opposes abortion, is facing a primary challenge from a progressive pro-abortion Democrat.

Despite the cancellation, Bustos claimed that her party has a “big tent Democratic caucus” and said that “every dollar spent trying to defeat one of our Democratic incumbents is a dollar that we cannot spend defeating Republicans.”

Stacey Abrams pushes back on criticism of identity politics: That’s how ‘we won’

“I would argue that identity politics is exactly who we are, and it’s exactly how we won,” she told an audience at event held by the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.

She pointed to efforts in Florida and Georgia where, she indicated, Democrats attracted new voters.

Her comments came as the party wrestled with how moderate it should appear before the general election in 2020.

Conservatives have criticized identity politics as a way of fragmenting the electorate according to their skin color and other attributes.

But according to Abrams, identity politics helped her party connect with voters.

Obama-Appointed Judge Who Upheld Committee’s Subpoena of Trump Donated to Democrats on Committee

Judge Edgardo Ramos, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
Judge Edgardo Ramos, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. (Federal Bar Council)

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, said in his ruling on May 22 that the subpoenas, which seek records about Trump, his three oldest children, and their spouses, have “a legitimate legislative purpose.”

Ramos, who like all judges had an opportunity to recuse himself if there was an appearance of bias, has donated to Democratic officials, including two that sit on the committees seeking information about Trump.

Ramos donated $500 in 2010 to the re-election campaign for Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.). He had also donated $250 to her 2005 campaign. Velazquez currently sits on the Financial Services Committee.

Ramos also donated $4,025 to Obama’s first campaign for president in addition to donating $1,000 to the 2007 campaign of Hillary Clinton, who was running against Obama at the time. Trump beat Clinton in 2016.

His other donations include $1,000 to the Senate campaign of Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a $500 donation to Friends of Chris Dodd, a former Democratic Senator, and additional money to Obama’s campaign for re-election.

Ramos halted donations after being appointed by Obama to the federal court in 2011.


SB55, which passed by a vote of 26-10, would revoke a gun owner’s permit for 10 years if he or she is convicted of over two or three misdemeanors, depending on the offense, involving drinking within a three-year period, including DUI, disorderly conduct and public intoxication, according to the measure.

Gun Owners of California, a gun rights group, has opposed the bill since its introduction in December 2018, comparing its effect to the movie “Minority Report” because they say the law would punish people who haven’t committed gun-related crimes, but who have instead been convicted of crimes determined by researchers to predict gun violence.

The ACLU also criticized the measure, raising concerns of racially disproportionate consequences.

“Those who are convicted of the offenses included in SB 55 already face significant jail time and fines for the offense itself,” it said in comments submitted for the bill’s March 26 committee hearing.

“The criminal justice consequences of this bill that could follow them for a decade will not only worsen our state’s over-incarceration problem but will also have a disproportionate impact on communities of color.”

Senate Republicans permanently ban earmarks

Sen. Ben Sasse,
Sen. Ben Sasse, who pushed for the Senate GOP ban on Thursday, boasted that the move stops a looming “earmark binge.” | Alex Brandon/AP Photo

A moratorium on earmarks from 2011 expired in January and Democratic leaders, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, spent weeks earlier this year working with Republicans in both chambers to reach a deal to usher them back, though that deal never materialized.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who pushed for the Senate GOP ban on Thursday, boasted that the move stops a looming “earmark binge.”

His office said the 28-12 vote followed a “heated” 45-minute debate.

“It’s pretty simple: Earmarks are a crummy way to govern and they have no business in Congress,” Sasse said in a statement.

“Backroom deals, kickbacks, and earmarks feed a culture of constant incumbency and that’s poisonous to healthy self-government.

This is an important fight and I’m glad that my Republican colleagues agreed with my rules change to make the earmark ban permanent.”

Nevada Passes Bill Joining Movement To Upend The Electoral College

UK Intel Agencies Frame ‘Spygate’ Involvement Ahead of Trump’s Declassification

The intelligence agencies from the UK are framing their Spygate involvement ahead of Trump’s declassification.

The Telegraph has published two separate articles detailing their version of when the heads of UK intelligence were briefed about a dossier of claims about President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.

Jordan: Democrats are nervous about the real investigation

House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan on Democrats’ growing calls for President Trump’s impeachment.

World News:

U.S. deploys 1,500 troops to Middle East, blames Iran for tanker attacks

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks to U.S. troops in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq December 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. President Donald Trump publicly announced the 1,500 figure, which had been previously reported by Reuters, and described it as a defensive measure.

The troops include personnel manning missile defense systems, aerial surveillance to spot threats and engineers to fortify defenses.

“We want to have protection in the Middle East. We’re going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective,” Trump said as he left the White House for a trip to Japan.

The deployment marks a reversal of sorts for Trump, who only on Thursday said he thought more troops were unnecessary.

Trump has sought to detangle the U.S. military from open-ended conflicts in places like Syria and Afghanistan.

Suspected package bomb wounds at least 8 in France’s Lyon: police

Police said the explosion took place at the corner of Victor Hugo Street and Sala Street, which is in the heart of Lyon, and a security perimeter has been set up. Police asked residents to avoid the area.

The package contained “screws or bolts” and was placed in front of a bakery on the corner of the two popular streets, police sources told AFP.

“Ramadan rage” leaves 364 dead and 404 injured in two weeks

Islamic terrorists have carried out an estimated 76 attacks in nearly 15 countries since the beginning of Ramadan this month, killing at least 364 people and injuring 404 others in the first two weeks of the holiest month for Muslims, a Breitbart News tally shows.

That means, on average, jihadis killed at least 25 people and injured about another 30 each day since Ramadan began at sunset on May 5. This year, the holy period is expected to last through sundown on June 4.

Breitbart News’ count this week covers the 14 days of May 6 through May 19.


May said she would continue in her role until a new prime minister was selected, though she will step down as the Conservative Party leader on June 7.

The new prime minister won’t be selected by general election but by members of May’s party in the coming weeks.

The field of replacements for May could be wide. Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a staunch Brexiteer, said May 17 that he would run for leader of the Conservative Party if May vacated, reported Sky News.

Steve Hilton on departure of ‘accidental prime minister’ Theresa May: ‘Disaster from start to finish’

Hilton said it’s likely that former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who led the Brexit campaign and believes in it, will succeed May and “finally” deliver on what voters chose.

“Anyone who believes in democracy, who believes in honoring that vote to leave the EU … they’ll be celebrating today, because she’s basically been a disaster from start to finish,” said Hilton, accusing May of working to “water down” Brexit and “not deliver the result.”

The host of “The Next Revolution” on Fox News Channel said he believes Johnson embodies the idea of “positive populism” and can help push forward “real polices” instead of “railing against immigrants or the elite.”

Hilton said the Brexit vote occurred three years ago, but “nothing has happened” in terms of policies to help the working class in the country.

Kenya upholds law criminalising gay sex

Several gay Kenyans have been prosecuted in the past few years.AFP

The judges rejected claims that the colonial-era law violated the new constitution, which guarantees equality, dignity and privacy.

The penal code criminalises “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” – widely understood to refer to anal intercourse between men.

Gay sex is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Iran lacking cash to fund terror groups, domestic cyber agency short of funds, declassified intel shows

This comes amid a tough sanctions regime introduced by the U.S., which sent the country into a recession, with inflation topping 50 percent.

Due to lack of funding from Iran, Hamas had to introduce “austerity plans” while other Shia militia groups were told by Iran that they need to find other sources of revenue as Iran is no longer in a position to provide them the funds.

This coincided with Lebanon-based Hezbollah’s calls on social media to donate to piggy banks. The group apparently used even children to attract contributions.

Ex-U.S. Marine held by Russia on spying charge complains of threats

Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan,
Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who was detained on suspicion of spying, is escorted inside a court building before a hearing regarding the extension of his detention, in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Paul Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained in a Moscow hotel room on Dec. 28 and accused of espionage, a charge he denies. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in jail.

Whelan, whose detention was extended until the end of August at a hearing on Friday in Moscow, told reporters he believed the case against him was politically motivated revenge for U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia.

“I have been threatened. My personal safety has been threatened,” he said from inside a cage in the courtroom. “There are abuses and harassment that I am constantly subjected to.”


Interview: Jordan Peterson and Dennis Prager at the 2019 PragerU summit

Dennis Prager interviews Jordan Peterson at the 2019 PragerU summit.

Tucker: Are sanctuary cities protecting MS-13 murderers?

Deaths of victims killed by MS-13 could have easily been prevented.

Ingraham: The great Pelosi crack-up

Nancy Pelosi spends her days obsessing over President Trump.