News and Headlines. 7/3/2019

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

In The News:

‘Salute to America’ 4th of July event to feature tanks, ‘greatest ever fireworks’

President Trump is getting ready for his ‘Salute to America’ celebration.

He recently took to Twitter to thank two firework companies for donating to the event, which is expected to draw thousands of spectators.

The president will speak at the event, which will also feature large tanks and other military vehicles.

One America’s Meghann Dyke takes a look at what the nation can expect this 4th of July.

Navy SEAL Who Shot Bin Laden Fires off Message to Liberals Trashing Trump’s July 4th Parade

Many people seemed to take particular issue with the fact that the parade was set to include tanks.

But Robert O’Neill, who was part of the team dispatched to eliminate bin Laden, offered a bit of perspective on the tanks.

“Dear triggered Americans,” he tweeted, “These tanks are on your side.”

O’Neill was not the only former member of the military to see things this way.

In a piece for National Review, Iraq War veteran David French noted that “tanks have had their own very benign role in Washington parades for a very long time.”

Police on alert as protesters descend on DC for Trump’s military-themed July 4th

Anti-war Code Pink members began arriving at the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday, saying in a press release they intend “to protest the militarization of July 4” and hold an “anti-imperialist festival” Thursday on the National Mall.

They are looking to float a “Baby Trump” balloon — versions of which have been flown at protests in London — blocks away from the national celebration.

But other left-wing activists organized by All Out D.C. are set to mobilize on Saturday in response to a planned rally by self-described “Western chauvinist” group the Proud Boys. U.S. Park Police, which covers the National Mall, is on alert, according to the Washington Post.

California Town Declares Itself Second Amendment Sanctuary City

Needles’ city council voted unanimously to make the declaration, but its reported that this will have “no immediate practical impact on how guns are treated in the city.”

Instead, attorneys are drafting legislation to allow those with out-of-state concealed weapons permits to be able to carry in the city, according to the Associated Press.

“While we recognize that all lawful gun owners are responsible for ensuring they are compliant with state and federal gun laws, we also recognize that the State of California cannot adopt laws that impair the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment,” Mayor Jeff Williams told the outlet.

VA to allow religious symbols amid controversy over Bibles on POW memorial tables

The policy change came amid a series of lawsuits over religious displays on POW/MIA memorial tables.

According to the VA, the new policies would allow the agency to accept donations of religious materials as well as patients and their guests to request religious items — like literature, symbols, and sacred texts — during visits to VA chapels.

“We want to make sure that all of our Veterans and their families feel welcome at VA, no matter their religious beliefs.

Protecting religious liberty is a key part of how we accomplish that goal,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a press release on Wednesday.

California Gov. Newsom reminds Nike his state is ‘open for business’ after Arizona pulled incentives over flag

“Hey, @Nike — we’re just a quick jaunt over the border,” Newsom, a Democrat, tweeted along with a screenshot of Ducey’s tweet urging the Arizona Commerce Authority to pull the incentives.

“Thank you for doing the right thing. CA is open for business and welcomes those that represent the best of our American values.”

Dan Lipinski Stands Against Nike After It Pulls Patriotic Sneakers

Congressman Dan Lipinski (D, Ill.) speaks at the March for Life in Chicago.
Congressman Dan Lipinski (D, Ill.) speaks at the March for Life in Chicago.
(March for Life via YouTube)

Democratic Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski expressed his opposition to Nike’s decision to recall an American flag-themed sneaker by wearing one of the shoemaker’s largest competitors.

“I’m sitting here working. Notice I’m not wearing Nikes, nor will I anytime soon,” Lipinski tweeted Tuesday along with a picture of the New Balance sneakers he was wearing.

Lipinski is a member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition and has one of the most conservative voting records in the Democratic Party.

As one of the last remaining pro-life Democrats in Congress, he has been a target of the more progressive wing.

Portland police seek others taking part in violent Antifa assaults, as more details of attacks revealed

Images of three suspects wanted for robbery and assault in connection to the violent protests in Portland on Saturday.
Images of three suspects wanted for robbery and assault in connection to the violent protests in Portland on Saturday. (Portland Police Bureau)

Three people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence, during which members of Antifa and other leftist groups were seen on video beating, berating and hurling objects at members of the rightwing Proud Boys group and other conservatives protesters Saturday in downtown Portland.

A total of eight people were treated by medics, including three police officers, and three people were hospitalized, officials said.

On Tuesday, the Portland Police Bureau released more images of people believed to have been involved in the violence.

Las Vegas police officer who ‘froze’ during 2017 massacre fired by department

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Cordell Hendrex, left, was fired in March for his response to the October mass shooting that left 58 people dead.
(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

Hendrex acknowledged in a police report that he was “terrified with fear” as gunman Stephen Paddock — a floor above him — killed 58 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

“I froze right there in the middle of the hall for how long I can’t say,” he wrote in the report.

In video footage released by police, Hendrex could be seen leading a police trainee and three Mandalay Bay security guards to the sounds of gunfire coming from the hotel’s 32nd floor, where Paddock set up his sniper post, but not confronting the shooter.

In body cam videos, Hendrex is seen directing the group, with their handguns drawn, on the 31st floor.

“Holy s—. That’s rapid fire,” Hendrex is heard saying amid the sounds of Paddock unloading his rifle. “Oh my God,” he later says, before letting out an exasperated sigh.

Ohio firework company receives multiple bomb threats after Trump tweets out praise

Phantom Fireworks headquarters on Belmont Ave.
The Youngstown Police Department received a 911 call from the Phantom Fireworks headquarters on Belmont Ave. after the office received two calls threatening that “there was a bomb in the building.” (Google)

The Youngstown Police Department received a 911 call from the Phantom Fireworks headquarters on Belmont Ave. after the office received two calls threatening that “there was a bomb in the building.”

Officer Brad Ditullio with the Youngstown Bomb Squad told Fox News on Wednesday the first threat was called in at 8:30 p.m. by a man claiming there was a bomb in the building and everyone “needed to get out.”

He hung up, but three minutes later another call came in, with the voice saying “Tik-tok, tik-tok” before hanging up again.

North Carolina man charged over Twitter lynching threat against Democratic candidate

In this March 23, 2019 image provided by the campaign of Qasim Rashid, state Senate candidate Qasim Rashid poses at the Stafford County Courthouse in Stafford, Va.
In this March 23, 2019 image provided by the campaign of Qasim Rashid, state Senate candidate Qasim Rashid poses at the Stafford County Courthouse in Stafford, Va.(Marion Meakem Photography/Quasim Rashid Campaign via AP)

An arrest warrant was issued for Joseph Cecil Vandevere, 52, after he was indicted for issuing a threat via interstate commerce against Qasim Rashid, an activist and author now running for political office.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years behind bars.

The tweet in question has since been deleted and Vandevere’s account has been suspended, but Rashid captured an image of the threat in order to report him to Twitter’s content moderators and the FBI.

Appearing before court on Wednesday, Vandevere was also accused of harassing a synagogue using a Facebook account with the name ‘Bob Smith.’

The FBI was able to link Vandevere’s telephone number to both the Twitter and Facebook accounts, despite his attempts to conceal his identity.

He has not yet been charged in posts to the synagogue’s Facebook page, which one rabbi referred to as “disturbing.”

Fire at Jim Beam Kentucky warehouse continues to burn as 45,000 barrel of bourbon are destroyed: reports

Firefighters were able to put out the flames in the second structure but, as of Wednesday morning, the blaze continued to burn in the first warehouse that held around 45,000 barrels of bourbon.

“We operate 126 barrel warehouses in Kentucky that hold approximately 3.3 million barrels for our brands, and the warehouse that was destroyed contained 45,000 barrels of relatively young whiskey from the Jim Beam mash bill,”’ the statement said.

“Given the age of the lost whiskey, this fire will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for consumers.”

Officials at Chicago airport seize 32 pounds of rat meat from passenger

The incoming passenger declared the meat, a spokesperson with the CBP confirmed. (iStock)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport have confirmed the seizure of 32 pounds of rat meat, taken from a passenger arriving in Chicago from the Ivory Coast late last month.

The CBP said the passenger himself alerted officials to the rat meat after arriving on his June 26 flight.

The main concerns with imported meats, according to Bansbach, is the possibility of introducing African Swine Fever (ASF), or other contagious diseases, into the United States.

Mother Of Child Drag Queen Complains About Pedophile Sexualizing Her Son

Tom O’Carroll, convicted in the UK in 2006 for distributing child pornography, and former chairman of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) referred to Desmond in a blog post written last month as a “pretty young boy” and “sexy kid.”

She then went on to criticize conservative media saying, “The Conservative press is currently accusing us of purposely attracting pedophiles & accusing the LGBTQ community of supporting this.”

In a photo posted on the same Instagram page back in June, Desmond appears next to an adult individual wearing a shirt that says, “Angels Have No Gender But Lots Of Sex.”

Mormon man, 19, is charged with extorting young girls on social media by ‘threatening to Photoshop their faces onto explicit photos and send rapists to their homes if they didn’t send him nude pics’

Gabe Ryan Gilbert, 19, of South Jordan, Utah is charged with sexual exploitation and sexual extortion of minors for allegedly threatening young girls online in the hopes of obtaining nude photos from them

The investigation into Gabe Ryan Gilbert of South Jordan, Utah began in August of 2018 when a 15-year-old girl reported to Snapchat that he had used an account under the name ‘Ethan Parker’ and ‘threatened to Photoshop images of her face onto nude photos unless she sent real nude pictures of herself.’

The girl declined to send him photos and Gilbert then allegedly threatened to ‘expose’ her using the fake nudes.

That report led to an investigation by Special Agent Sarah Lundquist with the Utah Attorney General’s Office, who said results of a search warrant showed an account owned by Gilbert had been used to message similar things to more than 50 minor girls, with some messages sent at age 17 and others after he became an adult.

Some of the girls complied and sent photos and/or videos while others did not.

The most awe-inspiring photos from South America’s total solar eclipse

Chileans watch the sky with binoculars prior to a total solar eclipse on July 2, 2019 in Paiguano, Chile.

Some regions in South America saw a partial solar eclipse, including other areas in Chile and Argentina, as well as Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

This is the first total solar eclipse since 2017, when the “Great American Eclipse” plunged parts of the United States into darkness.

The next one won’t take place until December 2020.

Some lucky South Americans got to experience the eclipse firsthand, but for the rest of the world, plenty of photos have surfaced that show the total and partial eclipse. Here are the most awe-inspiring ones.

Orange fireball lighting Florida sky was Chinese space junk

The American Meteor Society reported two dozen sightings from Jacksonville to Key West after midnight and tweeted there’s “no real explanation yet.”

Even the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office joined in on the fun after receiving reports about the mysterious lights, posting on social media that “we were not invaded last night by Martians, but we appreciate the level of confidence you have of us to stop intergalactic invaders.”

Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell at the Center for Astrophysics has a more logical explanation for the unusual flashes of light, with a not-so blockbuster finale:

He said they were just pieces of a Chinese rocket as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere.


The Next Influx: The Entire World’s Poor and Dispossessed

Like the proverbial “bulge in the belly of the snake,” unusually high numbers of non-Latino migrants, obviously not from Central America, are now reportedly passing from Colombia through Panama on their way to the U.S. southern border.

Their numbers range to the tens of thousands, whose vanguards we have already seen at the U.S. Southwest Border in recent months: Cameroonians, Ghanaians, Congolese, Haitians, Cubans, and some from the Middle East.

Word of their successful entries into the United States this year clearly reached home countries because now a swell numbering as many as 35,000 is on an infamous migrant passage through which migrants have long funneled from South America to North America: the Darien Gap.

2-Year-Old Girl Goes Missing While Crossing The Rio Grande With Mother

The girl was separated from her mother, a Haitian national, on their way across a section of the Rio Grande outside of Del Rio, Texas, late Monday, the girl’s mother told Border Patrol, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Agents from the Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) unit and Mexican authorities searched for the girl through Monday night and into Tuesday, Border Patrol said.

BORSTAR is an elite Border Patrol unit, tasked with saving migrants stranded in the harsh terrain along the border.

PHOTO: Heroic Border Patrol Agent Saving Drowning Migrant Child

In the trending image, a CBP agent can be seen saving the life of a drowning migrant child in the Rio Grande river.

The 7-year old boy, who crossed with a group of Honduran migrants who were using inflatable children’s pools, was in serious danger of drowning in the water.

Customs and Border Patrol operations ultimately prove to be essential in saving of the lives of many illegal migrants, who face treacherous and dangerous paths in their efforts to illegally come to the United States.

Many migrants are deceived by drug cartel-affiliated human smugglers, who lead them into dangerous situations with no regard for the lives.

Just last month, Border Patrol agents saved the lives of five migrants in California’s Otay Mountains who ran out of food and water and were at risk of perishing from dehydration.

New Salvadoran President, Refusing to Blame the United States, Calls on His People to Help Build a Better Country

For decades that bloody historical background has been invoked to argue that the United States should do more to finance the repair of Salvadoran civil and institutions and the economy.

But in a recent BBC broadcast, El Salvador’s new President Nayib Bukele put the onus on his countrymen. He effectively challenged them to help him fulfill his campaign promise to make El Salvador a safer and better place to live and work.

Bukele, a former mayor of El Salvador who became president on June 1, said it was up to Salvadorans to improve the conditions that continue to drive Salvadorans to migrate to the United States.

While many come legally, sponsored by relatives who departed years ago, many others come illegally. And many are now filing petitions for asylum.


‘Fox & Friends’ looks back on Dems’ claims of ‘manufactured’ border crisis: ‘How quickly they’ve changed their tune’

The hosts of “Fox & Friends” Griff Jenkins, Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade

The talking point was often repeated by Democrats throughout the year, particularly when Trump sought funding for a border wall in an address to the nation from the Oval Office in January.

In their joint response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., both accused Trump of trying to “manufacture” a crisis.

“Fox & Friends” showed numerous clips of other Democrats, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; and Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, making similar arguments.

The accusation was repeated by many in the mainstream media, including CNN’s Don Lemon, who said Trump was “determined to convince you there is a crisis at the border.”

The DHS secretary under Barack Obama, meanwhile, is pushing back on Democrats’ drive to decriminalize border crossings, saying such a move would be tantamount to “open borders” policy and will lead to hundreds of thousands more people flooding into the U.S. every month.

Frederica Wilson: We Must Prosecute Anyone Who ‘Makes Fun’ Of Members Of Congress Online

Source: AP Photo/Alan Diaz

“Those people who are online, making fun of members of Congress, are a disgrace and there is no need for anyone to think that is unacceptable,” Wilson said.

“We’re going to shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted.”

“You can not intimidate members of Congress, threaten members of Congress.

It is against the law in this United States of America,” she said.

President Trump: Admin. Is ‘Moving Forward’ With Adding Citizenship Question To Census

In a tweet Wednesday, he called reports about the Department of Commerce dropping it’s bid to add the question “fake news.”

He also said the administration must move forward with adding it because of its dire importance.

This comes after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Tuesday that the Census Bureau was in the process of printing the questionnaires without the citizenship question.

World News:

Airstrike in Libya flattens migrant detention center, killing at least 44

Footage circulating online following the attack in Tajoura – which also left more than 130 wounded, according to the U.N. — showed blood and body parts mixed with rubble and migrants’ belongings.

No one yet has claimed responsibility for the airstrike, which comes as Libya is split between two warring governments, each backed by militias that control different cities and towns.

The north African country has become a major crossing point for migrants to Europe following the overthrow of former ruler Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

Pakistan says explosion in Kashmir kills 5 soldiers

Wednesday’s statement said the cause of the explosion isn’t known but being investigated.

It said, however, that the “incident” pointed to a violation by India of the ceasefire agreement along the so-called Line of Control.

The latest incident comes months after tensions flared following a Feb. 14 suicide attack that killed 40 Indian soldiers in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

U.S. calls Chinese missile tests in South China Sea ‘disturbing’

Satellite photo of Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea taken on January 1, 2018.
Satellite photo of Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea taken on January 1, 2018. Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/Center for Strategic and International Studies

Over the weekend, China carried out an anti-ship ballistic missile test and fired at least one missile into the South China Sea, which contains several hundred tiny islands claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam and other countries.

Among them are the Spratly Islands, where a buildup of Chinese military installations has been seen. Observers said the missile may have been a DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile, known as a “carrier killer” and capable of crippling an aircraft carrier.

China previously moved land-based anti-ship cruise missiles to it’s military stations in the region, a crucial shipping route where $3.4 trillion in goods travel each year.

Google, Amazon and Microsoft look to move production from China, reports says

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping may have agreed to a trade war truce at the G20 Summit in Japan, but tech companies are still worried.China News Service/Getty Images

Amazon, Google, HP, Dell, Sony, Nintendo, Asus, Lenovo and Microsoft are some of the companies planning to move production of their products away from China, according to a report Wednesday from Nikkei Asian Review.

The tech companies already have, or will, begin producing some of their respective electronics in other Asian countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, according to the report.

Facebook Slapped With $2.3M Fine For Violating German Online Hate Speech Law

Under German law, social media platforms must take down posts Germany considers hate speech or fake news within 24-hours of being notified by users who complain.

According to reports, Facebook received over 1,700 hate speech complaints between January and June of 2018, and over 1,000 complaints in the second half of that year.

The German law reportedly was made in response to an explosion of “hate speech” after the 2015 migrant crisis when chancellor Angela Merkel decided to allow over one million refugees into Germany.

WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram DOWN: Apps crash for users across the UK

According to DownDetector, the issues started at around 14:49 BST, and are affecting users across the UK and parts of the US.

The reason for the outage remains unclear, although 82% of those who reported problems with Instagram said the issue was with the News Feed, 11% with the website, and 6% with log-in.

Meanwhile over on Facebook, the main problem seems to lie in displaying photos, with many users seeing code in place of pictures.

Chernobyl’s $1.7B nuclear confinement shelter revealed after taking 9 years to complete

This June 1, 2019, file photo shows a view of the New Safe Confinement (NSC) movable enclosure at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine. A new structure built to confine the Chernobyl
This June 1, 2019, file photo shows a view of the New Safe Confinement (NSC) movable enclosure at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine. A new structure built to confine the Chernobyl nuclear reactor at the center of the world’s worst nuclear disaster has been previewed for the media. (Sergei Supinsky/Pool Photo via AP, File)

The complex construction effort to secure the molten reactor’s core and 200 tons of highly radioactive material has taken 9 years to complete under the auspices of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

It was built to cover the temporary concrete and steel Shelter Structure, which was built immediately after the disaster, but which had begun to deteriorate in the 1990s.

The shelter is the largest moveable land-based structure ever built, with a span of 843 feet and a total weight of over 36,000 tonnes.

Flag-waving Grandma Wong gives Hong Kong protesters lesson in endurance

Alexandra Wong, 63, who has smaller Union Jack flags pinned to her clothes and bags, has been on the front lines of mass protests in the former British colony and sometimes in tense standoffs between police and student activists.

“I bought them in Shenzhen,” a smiling Wong, known affectionately as grandma, told Reuters of the flags, referring to the southern Chinese city across the border where she now lives.

Wong has joined millions in recent weeks who have taken to the streets to demonstrate against an extradition bill that would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent for trial in mainland China, where human rights are not guaranteed.

Volcano erupts on Sicily’s Stromboli island; 1 person killed

Smoke billows from the volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli, Wednesday, July 3, 2019.
Smoke billows from the volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli, Wednesday, July 3, 2019. The news agency ANSA says that some 30 tourists jumped into the sea out of fear after a series of volcano erupted on the Sicilian island of Stromboli. Civil protection authorities said a hiker was confirmed killed by the eruptions Wednesday.
(ANSA VIA AP) (Associated Press)

Civil protection authorities said a hiker was killed during the eruptions on Wednesday. Molten material from the volcano ignited a series of fires.

Witness Gianluca Giuffre described to ANSA “a very violent explosion followed by a shower of glowing lapilli and lava material.”

He says people in the town of Ginostra barricaded themselves in houses or threw themselves into the sea.


Should Antifa Be Designated a Domestic Terror Group?

Andy Ngo, a Portland, Oregon-based editor and photojournalist for the magazine Quillette, was assaulted and hospitalized by masked and hooded far-left Antifa extremists on June 29.

Ngo, who has extensively documented violence by Antifa, had written on Twitter a day earlier that he was nervous about the coming rally, noting that Antifa members had been “promising ‘physical confrontation’ & have singled me out to be assaulted.”

Onthe #WalkAway Campaig, President Trump, the First Step Act, and Reparations—Isaiah Washington

Just why did actor and producer Isaiah Washington decide to join the #WalkAway movement?

What, through his eyes, is the significance of the First Step Act, and its role in the process of prison reform in America?

And how does political correctness fit into all of this?

Today we sit down Isaiah Washington, an actor and producer who started his career in Hollywood in a number of Spike Lee films.

He is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Preston Burke in television show Grey’s Anatomy. More recently, he starred in the science fiction TV series The 100.

We discuss his career, criminal justice reform, identity politics, victim mentality, and Washington’s unique take on the issue of reparations.

Don’t let unpatriotic ingrates mar your Fourth of July

Yes, I know, “contempt” goes beyond ordinary bounds of journalistic perspective.

Even an opinion journalist is supposed to remain somewhat dispassionate.

But I’ve had it with the malcontents. I’ve had it with their ignorance. I’ve had it with their lack of gratitude. I’ve had it with their whining and moral purblindness. And I’ve especially had more than enough of their warped values.

Item one: The New York Times is out with a video that appears to be an official, institutional editorial position whose whole point is that the idea the U.S. is “the greatest nation on Earth” is “myth,” because America is really “just okay.”

Full essays could be written refuting the video’s tendentious cherry-picking of data, its irrelevancies, and its weirdly snarky sense of glee in letting all of us rubes know that our patriotism is both rube-ish and rubbish.

For now, let’s be nice and just say the video woefully misses the vast and verdant rain forest not just for the trees but for the shrubs.

The same holds true for the majority in a Gallup poll released this week who do not rate themselves as “extremely proud” to be American, or the 30% who rate themselves “only moderately proud” or worse.

This is especially so for the 49% of those aged 18-29 who answered that way, showing again that the most coddled generation in history is also the most likely to be ungrateful for what it has received.

They may not value their own freedom, the freedom they enjoy because America is America, but they would be the first to squeal if it were taken away.