News and Headlines. 8/13/2019

News and Headlines: In the News, Immigration, Politics, World news, Commentary/Opinion.

In The News:

Stunning image of rare volcanic lightning captured by German photographer: ‘It was a scary moment’

The moment the volcanic lightning occurred.
The moment the volcanic lightning occurred. (Martin Reitze/ SWNS)

Photographer Martin Reitze, 55, recently captured stunning images of volcanic lightning at the Ebeko volcano in Russia.

He told SWNS he was standing a little less than a mile away from the volcano as it erupted, resulting in the rare but naturally occurring phenomenon that froze the ash cloud forming over the volcano.

“It was strong enough to illuminate the whole sky with its bluish lighting,” he told the news outlet.

“In a whole even when you are an avid volcano observer it can take a decade to witness such a lightning event. It is an unusually strong and rare volcanic lightning bolt generated by the eruption of the volcano,” Reitze continued.

“It was a scary moment, unexpectedly the whole landscape was bright and when the lightning struck, it irritated my eyes.”

Shots fired into San Antonio ICE office in latest attack on the agency

Local law enforcement responded around 3 a.m. CT Tuesday to shots fired at the ICE field office located north of Interstate 410 near Brookhaven Drive.

Police told News 4 the man is believed to have fired the shots from across the highway into the windows of the building.

The building does not have bulletproof windows, and at least one shot penetrated a window.

“They have a 24/7 command center in there so there were people in the building,” a former senior ICE official who spoke with an official based at the office told the Washington Examiner.

CHP officer dies after Riverside gun battle, 2 others hurt and suspect killed

Slain CHP officer Andre Moye is transported to a hearse as his family follows from the Riverside University Health Systems Medical Center after he was shot and killed while two fellow officers were wounded during a traffic stop on the Eastridge Avenue overpass over the 215 Freeway around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug 12, 2019.
Slain CHP officer Andre Moye is transported to a hearse as his family follows from the Riverside University Health Systems Medical Center after he was shot and killed while two fellow officers were wounded during a traffic stop on the Eastridge Avenue overpass over the 215 Freeway around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug 12, 2019.
(Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Officials are investigating a “horrific” gun battle that left three California Highway Patrol officers injured — one fatally — in Riverside on Monday, Aug. 12.

The officer who died was Andre Moye.

CHP Assistant Chief Scott Parker said an officer who pulled over a white pickup near a freeway was filling out impound paperwork when the driver pulled a rifle from the truck and began shooting.

Moye was fatally wounded but managed to call for help. CHP officers, Riverside police and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrived and continued trading gunfire.

‘Heartbreaking’: NYPD suffers eighth officer suicide of the year

The 35-year-old officer died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Tuesday.

He was a seven-year veteran of the police force and was temporarily assigned to work a detail surrounding Yankee Stadium at the time of his death.

Since the deaths, the NYPD has been working on a suicide prevention plan.

About 800 members of the New York Police Department staff will retrain this month with mental health experts with the end goal of training the entire department.

Staffers also visited Los Angeles to learn about that department’s peer support system.

Police officials have urged officers who are troubled to ask for help.

The NYPD averages about four or five suicides per year, a number that was already surpassed by June.

South Bend cops warn city becoming ‘Wild West’ amid spate of shootings, rift with Buttigieg

“It’s crazy, it’s like the Wild West out there,” South Bend Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Harvey Mills told Fox News in an interview Tuesday, suggesting criminals are taking advantage of a demoralized and short-staffed police department.

Three people were shot early Sunday on the west side of the city, in what was described as a “very large crime scene.”

Police said more than 67 shots were fired by multiple shooters.

That shooting was one of a slew of such incidents. Between late Saturday and early Sunday, there were nine other reports of shots being fired, with more than 119 shots fired that night alone.

On Tuesday, WNDU reported two additional shootings overnight – with one person shot at an apartment block.

Pennsylvania fire chief says day care where blaze killed five children lacked enough working smoke detectors

State officials who inspect home day care centers do not check for smoke detectors, Fire Chief Guy Santone told a news conference Tuesday.

But city authorities and state legislators are working on legislation that would make home day care centers register with the city, so it can deploy inspectors.

Santone said there was one detector in the attic of the day care center in the lakeside city of Erie.

Fire officials suspect the blaze that broke out Sunday morning at Harris Family Daycare was accidental, according to Santone.

They are investigating whether it was an electrical fire.

McDonald’s employee fired for insulting cop: ‘I don’t like y’all’

On Monday Andalusia Police Chief Paul Hudson met with Eddie Byrd, director of marketing and community outreach for Murphy Family Restaurants; Ken Greene, area supervisor; and Amber Eagan, general manager of the local McDonald’s.

According to a Facebook post that appears to have been deleted, a manager at the McDonald’s in Andalusia made rude comments to the officer while he was paying for his food.

The city of Andalusia posted about the incident on their Facebook page. According to the post, the chief of police met with higher-ups at the restaurant and its parent company, Murphy Family Restaurants, to discuss the incident.

“The McDonald’s representatives have apologized to the officer and to the department, and terminated the employee,” the post states.

Epstein Island Raided

FBI agents raid Epstein’s Little St. James Island plus AG Barr says Epstein case will continue and ‘co-conspirators should not rest easy’.

DOJ reassigns warden after Epstein’s apparent suicide

Two staff members assigned to Epstein’s unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MMC) in lower Manhattan have also been placed on administrative leave, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Tuesday, noting additional actions may be taken if warranted.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) disclosed the developments Tuesday afternoon, one day after Barr expressed outrage that Epstein was left unsecured and spoke of “serious irregularities” at the federal prison in New York.

Kupec said Tuesday that the MCC warden would be reassigned to the Bureau’s Northeast Regional Office while the FBI and Justice Department inspector general investigate the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death.

James Petrucci has been named acting warden of the MCC, the Justice Department added.

Jury selection to start over in case of ex-Obama White House counsel Greg Craig

Jury selection, which began Monday, had appeared to be wrapping up in the case. But U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered a change in response to constitutional concerns over the process.

The prosecution raised the issue of how the selection process — which had mainly been conducted behind closed doors — may have violated constitutional requirements.

As a result, Jackson suggested a new jury pool would be brought in Wednesday morning for a public selection.

A new jury pool of about 100 people will be called to the District Court for the District of Columbia’s ceremonial courtroom, she said.

“Jury selection may take one day, or it may take two… Possible opening [arguments] on Thursday, but likely Friday,” Jackson said of the schedule.

Muslim scholar says Trump ‘more committed’ to protecting religious freedom abroad than Obama, Bush

Dr. Qanta Ahmed, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, noted on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday that President Trump has been “extremely aggressive” in his commitment to protecting religious freedom around the world, especially for Christians, who are the most persecuted group.

Ahmed added: “The United States and President Trump have particularly empowered those Christians to prosecute the genociders, the ISIS perpetrators, and pursue them until kingdom come, which is excellent. But we need to do more; but I think the president is capable of that.”

The Muslim scholar’s comments came on the heels of the Trump administration’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C., which gathered persecuted believers from all over the world, the largest gathering of its kind.

Trump Calls Chris Cuomo An ‘Out Of Control Animal’ For ‘Fredo’ Confrontation

Cuomo exploded on a Trump supporter after the man called him “Fredo,” the black sheep of the Corleone family, in a video shared on Twitter late Monday.

The CNN anchor threatened to push the man down the stairs in an expletive-laced tirade.

The president initially responded to the incident on Twitter, asserting that Cuomo “totally lost it” and that the “truth hurts.”

He reacted more thoroughly during a press gaggle in Morristown, New Jersey.

“I think that what Chris Cuomo did was horrible… he looked like a total out of control animal,” Trump said, according to the White House print pool. “I don’t know who is defending him… maybe they didn’t see it.”

“I would not have wanted to see a weapon in his hand,” he added, referencing an earlier tweet about Red Flag laws.

Chris Cuomo once referred to himself as ‘Fredo’ in radio interview

“Who am I, then, Fredo?” Cuomo asked in response.

“Yes, exactly,” Sliwa said. “So you better be careful that your brother Andrew doesn’t kiss you on both cheeks and then all of a sudden they take you out on the middle of the lake and where’s Chris?”

“He kisses me plenty because he’s a great big brother,” Cuomo said.

A video that went primetime Monday on Twitter shows Cuomo in a heated shouting match with a man who called him “Fredo,” with the CNN newsman telling him it was an insult to Italians the same way the N-word is for African Americans.

CNN Declares ‘Fredo’ An ‘Ethnic Slur’; Here Are The Times It Was Used On CNN

In the video, Cuomo — the younger brother of Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo — claims that people use the name Fredo “as an Italian aspersion,” declaring, “It’s like the ‘N word’ for us.”

In response, CNN came to Cuomo’s defense and officially agreed that Fredo is an “ethnic slur,” prompting a slew of posts online reminding CNN of the times the “ethnic slur” has been used on the network without rebuke.

CNN’s top public relations official tweeted in response that the network “completely” supports Cuomo and agreed that he was called an “ethnic slur.”

“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup,” wrote CNN’s Matt Dornic. “We completely support him.”

Fox News host Sean Hannity, in rare split from Trump, defends CNN’s Chris Cuomo

Getty Images

While Donald Trump and his oldest son were busy piling on Cuomo after a video of him threatening to throw some heckler down the stairs went viral, Hannity offered up this Twitter defense of his media rival:

The rare divide left legions of Trump-loving Fox News fans torn:

Chris Cuomo ‘Fredo’ debate: Is the term considered an Italian slur?

Chris Cuomo and his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Chris Cuomo and his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.DIA DIPASUPIL/GETTY IMAGES

Anthony Tamburri, dean of the John D Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College City University of New York, said that he and his colleagues spoke about the incident, and do not find Fredo personally offensive, but recognise the potential malice behind the term.

“The use of the word Fredo as an ethnic slur… is a regionalism,” said Mr Tamburri, who is a third-generation Italian American.

“It’s definitely something more local than it is national.”

In some parts of the US, Italian Americans would see the term as neutral, he added.

Mr Tamburri suggested that Cuomo’s outrage may be rooted in the notion that he is the weak link of his family, similar to Fredo of the fictionalised Corleones.

CNN political commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas invoked Fredo in this manner on Cuomo’s show in January, when she compared US President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, to Fredo.


California counties sue to block Trump’s controversial “public charge” immigration rule

The lawsuit, filed by Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties in U.S. District Court, is the first of numerous court challenges advocacy groups and Democratic-led jurisdictions have vowed to mount against the so-called “public charge” regulation, which they believe will penalize low-income immigrants and their U.S. citizen children.

The final version of the regulation — a key item on the administration’s hard-line immigration agenda — was revealed on Monday and is slated to go into effect in mid October.

In the suit, the affluent and diverse counties contend that the rule conflicts with the statutory definition of the “public charge” term — first codified in U.S. immigration law in the 1880s — by expanding the type and amount of benefits used by immigrants that will count against them as they seek to stay or move to the U.S.

The plaintiffs also believe the proposal violates the Administrative Procedure Act because they believe the government has not sufficiently justified the seismic change to the legal immigration system.

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Four California Car Reconditioning Companies

The Department’s independent investigation concluded that, from at least October 2015 through at least August 2018, the Companies requested that lawful permanent residents produce unnecessary and specific immigration documents to prove their work authorization, even when they had provided other legally acceptable documents.

The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on the employees’ citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.

All work-authorized individuals, regardless of citizenship status, have the right to choose which legally acceptable documents to present to demonstrate their ability to work in the United States.

Under the settlement, the Companies will pay $159,000 in civil penalties to the United States and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.

Additionally, certain employees will be required to attend training on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.

14-mile border wall project complete in San Diego

14 miles of old border fencing from the 1990s has been replaced in San Diego, California with another 14 miles of secondary fencing being added; William La Jeunesse reports from the border.


Trump campaign’s small-dollar donations surge, marking major shift for GOP

Sixty-one percent of money raised directly by the Trump campaign this election cycle came from small donors (donations under $200), according to Federal Election Commission figures.

That is similar to the proportion Trump raised during the 2016 election cycle, when 65 percent of donations were under $200.

And this is dramatically higher than previous Republican nominees. Mitt Romney raised 26 percent of his direct contributions from small donations in 2012, and John McCain raised 25 percent from small donations in 2008.

Campaign finance analysts say the data indicates grassroots enthusiasm for Trump’s populist message.

CA Governor ‘Willing to Undermine Election System’ over New Tax Return Disclosure Law | Tom Fitton

Commentary/Opinion: Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton appeared on “The Daily Ledger” on OAN to discuss California’s new law requiring primary candidates to disclose tax returns.

Bernie Sanders Echoes Trump’s Criticism Of The Washington Post: ‘Owned By Jeff Bezos’

Presidential candidate and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders echoed President Donald Trump’s longtime skepticism of The Washington Post since Jeff Bezos owns it, causing the newspaper’s executive editor to accuse Sanders of peddling a “conspiracy theory.”

Sanders insinuated that WaPo gave him unfavorable coverage because he is a longtime critic of Amazon, which Bezos founded, at a town hall in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Monday.

“Anybody here know how much Amazon paid in taxes last year?” Sanders asked according to USA Today.

“Nothing,” responded the audience.

“I talk about that all of the time, and then I wonder why The Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon, doesn’t write particularly good articles about me.

I don’t know why, but I guess maybe there’s a connection,” Sanders said.

Pew survey: 60% in US hold dim view of China amid trade war

FILE - In this June 29, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan
FILE – In this June 29, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan. Facing another U.S. tariff hike, Xi is getting tougher with Washington instead of backing down. Both sides have incentives to settle a trade war that is battering exporters on either side of the Pacific and threatening to tip the global economy into recession. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

A new Pew Research Center poll finds that 60% say they have an unfavorable view of China — up from 47% last year to the highest proportion since Pew started asking the question 14 years ago.

The survey results being released Tuesday found that 24% of Americans regard China as America’s top threat for the future, the same percentage that said so of Russia.

North Korea (12 was the only other country to draw double-digit concern.

President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods and has said that on Sept. 1, he will tax the $300 billion in Chinese imports that he has so far spared. In retaliation, China has imposed tariffs on $110 billion in U.S. products.

Still, the poll finds that only 41% of Americans believe that China’s growing economy is a bad thing for the United States, compared with 50% who called it a good thing. Respondents were far more worried about China’s rising military power: 81% said it was bad, 11% good.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy challenges AOC: ‘Welcome to thunder dome… debate me’

It’s unclear if Portnoy, who often pokes fun at serious topics, was being sincere or joking for the sake of digital content.

Several Barstool employees have mocked the situation and even posted images defying Portnoy’s threat.

Serious or not, Ocasio-Cortez then chimed in, telling her followers that Portnoy could face legal action.

“If you’re a boss tweeting firing threats to employees trying to unionize, you are likely breaking the law & can be sued, in your words, ‘on the spot,’” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

“ALL workers in the US have the protected freedom to organize for better conditions.”

The fiery Barstool founder then responded that he’d like to debate the progressive freshman congresswomen.

World News:

NATO jet chased off by aircraft escorting Russian defense minister’s plane, Moscow says

© Getty Images

The NATO jet reportedly tried to approach Sergei Shoigu’s plane over international airspace over the Baltic Sea en route to Moscow before two Russian Sukhoi-27 fighters that were escorting the official’s aircraft chased off the F-18.

A NATO official told TASS that jets approached the Russian plane in order to identify it.

“Jets from NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission scrambled to identify the aircraft, which flew close to Allied airspace,” the official said.

“Once identification of the aircraft had taken place, the NATO jets returned to base.”

India monsoon flooding, landslides leave nearly 150 dead, hundreds of thousands evacuated

A flooded area of Malappuram district, Kerala as seen from an Indian Navy helicopter Sunday. (Indian Navy via AP)

The death toll, which is likely to increase as rescue workers sift through debris, reached at least 147 on Sunday, Reuters reported, citing state officials.

On Monday, reports said up to 165 people had been killed, according to SkyNews.

Heavy rain and landslides ravaged the state of Kerala, the worst-hit area, where the death toll rose to at least 57 over the weekend, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

More than 165,000 people in the state left their homes to be relocated in one of the 1,111 relief camps.

Trump says China ‘moving troops’ to Hong Kong border as police clash with protesters

Policemen in riot gear arrest a protester during a demonstration at the airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019.
Policemen in riot gear arrest a protester during a demonstration at the airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. Chaos broke out at Hong Kong’s airport as riot police moved into the terminal to confront protesters who shut down operations at the busy transport hub for two straight days. (AP)

“Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong,” the president tweeted.

“Everyone should be calm and safe!”

For more than two months, Hong Kong has seen mass protests urging democratic reforms and an investigation into police conduct.

The demonstrations, in turn, have raised concerns among U.S. officials about how far China might go to clamp down.

“The United States, and all the freedom-loving nations around the world, must stand ready to swiftly move to defend freedom if China escalates the conflict in Hong Kong,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said in a statement.

Speaking to reporters in New Jersey on Tuesday, Trump said, “The Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation.”

Indian-controlled Kashmir under strict lockdown for 9th day

India's Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol near the India Pakistan border fencing at Garkhal in Akhnoor,
India’s Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol near the India Pakistan border fencing at Garkhal in Akhnoor, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) west of Jammu, India, Tuesday, Aug.13, 2019. Pakistan has denounced India’s actions to change the special status of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir and has downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

India has imposed a near-constant curfew and a communications blackout as it tries to stave off a violent reaction to the government’s decision on Aug. 5 to strip Kashmir of its autonomy.

The reaction in Kashmir to India’s unprecedented move has so far been largely subdued.

But anti-India protests and clashes have occurred daily, mostly as soldiers withdraw from the streets at dusk.

Though the scale of the lockdown is unprecedented, civil resistance to Indian rule is not uncommon in Kashmir, and young men have hurled stones and abuse at police and soldiers.

Predominantly Muslim Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan and is claimed by both in its entirety.

Pakistan has denounced the recent changes as illegal and has downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi, expelled the Indian ambassador and suspended trade and train services.

Jailed Saudi feminist refuses to deny torture to secure release

Loujain al-Hathloul was arrested more than a year ago along with other women’s rights activists
Loujain al-Hathloul was arrested more than a year ago along with other women’s rights activists. Photograph: Loujain al-Hathloul

Hathloul was arrested more than a year ago with at least a dozen other women’s rights activists as Saudi Arabia ended a ban on women driving cars, which many of the detainees had long campaigned for.

Some of the women appeared in court earlier this year to face charges related to human rights work and contacts with foreign journalists and diplomats, but the trial has not convened in months.

The case has drawn global criticism and provoked anger in European capitals and the US Congress after the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last year.

Rights groups say at least three of the women, including Hathloul, were held in solitary confinement for months and subjected to abuse including electric shocks, flogging and sexual assault.


There Is No Such Thing as “Your Truth”

What we know for sure is “speaking your truth” would have to be the same as “speaking THE truth,” …so why not just say that? The truth is the truth. Don’t qualify it.

Can something be true for you and not true for me? Is the truth relative or is the truth fixed?

How you answer this question shapes the way you look at the world. Renowned philosophy professor Paul Copan provides an excellent road map through this tricky and vitally important issue.