News and Headlines. 8/19/2019

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

In The News:

Dog Goods USA recalls pig-ear treats in 33-state outbreak of salmonella

Recalled product DOG GOODS USA

Dog Goods USA is recalling Chef Toby Pig Ears Treats sold nationwide as federal health officials seek to stem a 33-state outbreak of salmonella.

So far, the outbreak has sickened at least 127 people, including 26 hospitalizations.

Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania-based Dog Goods initiated the recall after being contacted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which tested pig ears from the company’s Brazilian supplier and found that one sample tested positive for salmonella, the company said in a recall notice posted by the FDA on Friday.

Over 36,000 Christian students help serve disaster victims at youth conference

Over 36,000 attended the North American Youth Congress in St. Louis, Mo.
Over 36,000 attended the North American Youth Congress in St. Louis, Mo. participating in worship, preaching, networking, and community service.
(United Pentecostal Church International)

Over 36,000 attended the North American Youth Congress from July 31 to Aug. 2, at The Dome at America’s Center.

The three-day conference, hosted by the Youth Ministries division of the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI), was filled with worship, preaching, networking, and community service.

This year’s theme was “Kingdom Come” and last Friday students had a chance to walk it out on “Serve Day” by volunteering.

Students filled two semi-trailers with 1,500 buckets with relief supplies for communities struck by natural disasters, including the floods that recently hit the Midwest.

Barr removes US prisons chief following Epstein’s death in jail

Dr. Kathleen Hawk Sawyer is set to take over as director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a position she previously served in for 11 years beginning in 1992, a Department of Justice news release said.

The BOP’s Former Acting Director, Hugh J. Hurwitz, who was appointed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in May 2018, was reassigned to a role as a deputy in charge of the bureau’s re-entry programs, where he will work with Barr on putting in place the First Step Act, a criminal justice overhaul.

Barr also tapped Dr. Thomas R. Kane to serve as the agency’s new deputy director.

Planned Parenthood rejects abortion “gag order,” exits Title X program

A change to the program last year requires beneficiaries to comply with a so-called “gag order” on abortion services, something that Planned Parenthood said it isn’t willing to do. The clinic’s exit will result in a loss of millions of federal dollars.

In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Planned Parenthood’s new leader, Alexis McGill Johnson, announced that all the healthcare clinic’s affiliates would be sending letters to the Department of Health and Human Services Monday, formally announcing their resignation from Title X. 

Planned Parenthood whistleblower gets $3M from Arizona court after wrongful termination

Mayra Rodriguez, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director in Arizona, was awarded $3 million in damages for wrongful termination.
Mayra Rodriguez, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director in Arizona, was awarded $3 million in damages for wrongful termination.
(Courtesy of Mayra Rodriguez)

Mayra Rodriguez sued the controversial organization – which provides abortions among other services – in October 2017, alleging she got terminated after repeatedly reporting the “high complication rates” of one doctor.

She accused the doctor of falsification of affidavits and patient records, performing incomplete abortions and failure to report a minor who had an adult partner.

Rodriguez, who is an illegal immigrant, said the company tried to use her immigration status against her after the termination.

‘The Hunt’ director breaks silence, says controversial movie’s ‘ambition was to poke at both sides’

The Hunt’ director stands by the film and hopes it will be released someday.
(Universal Pictures)

Shortly after pausing marketing efforts for the violent film in the wake of the tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio and Gilroy, Calif., Universal Pictures told Fox News in a statement that the movie’s release had been canceled altogether.

Speaking to Variety, director Craig Zobel says that he hopes the film will see the light of day at some point in the future, noting that he never set out to make a movie that would become synonymous with political violence.

“If I believed this film could incite violence, I wouldn’t have made it,” he told the outlet.

“Our ambition was to poke at both sides of the aisle equally,” he continued.

“We seek to entertain and unify, not enrage and divide. It is up to the viewers to decide what their takeaway will be.”


Comedian Bill Maher speaks during ceremonies unveiling his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood. (photo credit: FRED PROUSER/REUTERS)

Comedian and Real Time host Bill Maher criticized the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on his show on Friday, calling it a “bulls**t purity test.”

Maher, who has openly endorsed Democrat Bernie Sanders since the 2016 US elections, asked his panel if BDS was a fair organization to support in light of the cancellation Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar’s visit to east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

He soon enough took the matter into his own hands, however, and said he would answer the question himself.

“It’s a bullst purity test,” said Maher, who has said in the past that he is “more on the side of the Israelis” in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “BDS is a bullst purity test by people who want to appear ‘woke’ but actually slept through history class.

Tennessee store clerk found guilty of fatally shooting black teen over stolen beer

Anwar Ghazali was found guilty last week of fatally shooting Dorian Harris, 17, in March 2018 after Harris left a corner store without paying for at least one beer, according to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.

The district attorney’s office said Ghazali had pulled out a handgun after Harris left the Top Stop Shop in Memphis. Ghazali chased Harris before firing several shots in his direction, according to authorities.

Upon returning to the store, Ghazali said to a witness, “I think I shot him,” according to the DA’s office said. Ghazali never called the police, the DA’s office said.

Harris’s body was found two days later, with a gunshot wound in the back of his left thigh, in a backyard near the store, the DA said.

North Carolina man charged with strangling 15-year-old daughter, slitting her throat

Mugshot for Joshua Burgess, 32, charged with killing 15-year-old daughter in North Carolina Sunday. (Union County Sheriff’s Office )

Joshua Burgess, 32, of Wesley Chapel, was charged with first-degree murder in the girl’s death Sunday in Union County, WSOC-TV reported.

The station reported that prosecutors didn’t elaborate on what led to the horrific crime.

The girl was visiting Burgess when she was killed, according to WSOC-TV.

“The investigation began at approximately 9:24 am [Sunday] after Burgess walked into the Sheriff’s Office lobby and informed a dispatcher he was there to turn himself in,” the Union County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Twitter removes nearly 1,000 accounts tied to China’s campaign against Hong Kong protesters

Protesters in London demonstrate in solidarity with Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.
Protesters in London demonstrate in solidarity with Hong Kong pro-democracy activists. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/AFP/Getty Images

Twitter disclosed a “significant state-backed information operation” originating from within the People’s Republic of China (PRC) targeting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

It removed 936 accounts and suspended approximately 200,000 accounts its investigation found were illegitimate.

“Covert, manipulative behaviors have no place on our service – they violate the fundamental principles on which our company is built,” Twitter said in a statement.

The company released an archive of offending tweets and accounts, many of which accused protesters of violence and being sponsored by western governments.

“We don’t want you radical people in Hong Kong,” one deleted tweet said.

The company also announced it would not accept money from any “state-controlled news media entities” in the future, including organizations such as China Daily.

The new advertising rules do not apply to tax-funded state media organizations like BBC, PBS, NPR, or CBC.

Gmail is super busted right now (it’s not just you)

Gmail just gave you the perfect Monday gift: a legitimate excuse to ignore all of your boss’s emails.

According to Google, some users of the company’s email service are unable to log into their accounts.

The problems were first acknowledged by Google just before 12 p.m. PT today and while access for some people has since been restored, the issue is ongoing for others.

“The affected users are unable to access Gmail,” reads the latest status update (at the time of this writing) from Google.

“Users may experience issues signing into all Google services via OAuth or Chrome devices.”


(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a complaint with the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of the Rhode Island Supreme Court against U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who is a member of the Rhode Island bar, for filing an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of four clients while maintaining inactive status as a lawyer.

In addition, Judicial Watch argues: “the brief Senator Whitehouse filed was unbecoming of the legal profession as it is nothing more than an attack on the federal judiciary and an open threat to the U.S. Supreme Court.” The complaint contains a copy of the Whitehouse brief.


(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper ordered the FBI to conduct a search within 60 days for records of communications with former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele post-dating Steele’s service as an FBI confidential source. In ordering the supplemental search for records, Judge Cooper held:

[T]he potential for illuminating the FBI’s activities is not too difficult to discern. Communications post-dating Steele’s time as an informant might reveal a great deal about why the FBI developed him as a CHS [confidential human source], his performance as a CHS, and why the FBI opted to terminate its relationship with him. Those records might either bolster or weaken Steele’s credibility as a source. That information, in turn, could provide a basis on which to evaluate the FBI’s performance of its law-enforcement duties, including its judgment in selecting and relying on confidential sources, especially in connection with such a politically sensitive subject. Of course, the records Judicial Watch speculates about might not even exist—and even if they do, they may not reveal anything significant about the FBI’s operations. But that they might do so makes them a matter of potential public interest.


White House fires back as House Dems mull retaliation over Israel nixing Omar, Tlaib visit

David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel (left), and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington (right). (Getty).
Senior Democrats in Congress are considering legislative action against David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel (left), and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington (right). (Getty).

According to a weekend report in McClatchy, senior Democrats in Congress are considering legislative action against Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, and David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, in response to the decision not to let Tlaib, D-Mich., and Omar, D-Minn., enter Israel.

That could include a possible vote on a statement of no confidence in Dermer, as well as calls for the opening of an inspector general investigation into Friedman.

“Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have a well-documented history of anti-Semitic comments, anti-Semitic social media posts and anti-Semitic relationships,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.

“Israel has the right to prevent people who want to destroy it from entering the country – and Democrats’ pointless congressional inquiries here in America cannot change the laws Israel has passed to protect itself.”

Marianne Williamson vows to remove Andrew Jackson painting from Oval Office

“We can atone. We can make amends. And if and when I’m president of the United States, we will,” Marianne Williamson said. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

“I want people of the United States to come to understand that what occurred on this planet was one of the great evils of history, but that I believe in redemption for nations as well for individuals,” Williamson said, referring to the federal government’s historic mistreatment of America’s original inhabitants.

“We can atone. We can make amends.

And if and when I’m president of the United States, we will,” she continued.

“We will begin by taking that picture of Andrew Jackson off the wall of the Oval Office, I assure you.”

Democratic Rep. calls Antifa members ‘peaceful protesters’ during CNN interview

During a Saturday interview with CNN, Haaland responded to a tweet from President Trump about declaring Antifa a domestic terrorist organization, and accused him of siding with white supremacists.

“Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely.

Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!” Trump tweeted on Saturday.

“This is on par with what the president does.

He sides with the white supremacists, he sides with the white nationalists, with the domestic terrorists in our country… he’s incited violence against people of color,” she said.

Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said at a press conference that the 13 individuals who were arrested were charged with disorderly conduct, interfering with police, resisting arrest, possession of a weapon in a park and unlawful use of a weapon.

World News:

US Tests First Ground-Launched Cruise Missile After INF Treaty Exit

In this file photo, two THAAD interceptors and a Standard-Missile 3 Block IA missile were launched resulting in the intercept of two near-simultaneous medium-range ballistic missile targets during designated Flight Test Operational-01 (FTO-01) on September 10, 2013 in the vicinity of the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll/ Reagan Test Site and surrounding areas in the western Pacific. Photo by DoD via Sipa USA
(Sipa via AP Images)

The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 pact with Russia on Aug. 2 after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.

In a statement, the Pentagon said the test took place on Sunday at San Nicolas Island, California, and the missile hit its target after more than 500 km of flight.

The test would have been prohibited by the INF treaty, had the United States had not left it.

U.S. officials had said for a number of months that they planned to carry out the test in August. The United States plans to test an intermediate-range ballistic missile in November.

Israeli military kills 3 Palestinians near Gaza fence after firing toward ‘armed suspects,’ officials say

In a tweet on Sunday, Israel Defense Forces said Israeli soldiers monitoring Israel’s security fence with Gaza identified a “terrorist squad armed with rifles attempting to infiltrate into Israel” on Saturday night. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops also severely wounded a fourth person near the perimeter fence, the Gaza Health Ministry said Sunday.

In a tweet on Sunday, which included a 30-second video, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) wrote, “Last night, our soldiers monitoring Israel’s security fence with #Gaza identified this terrorist squad armed with rifles attempting to infiltrate into #Israel.”

The tweet continued, “In the time it takes to watch this video, our troops had already arrived at the scene in order to stop the terrorists.”

The IDF said the video showed three “terrorists” near the security fence with at least one carrying a rifle.

Palestinian Authority bans LGBTQ activities in West Bank, reports say

This Monday, June 29, 2015 photo provided by Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar shows his painting of a rainbow flag on six slabs of the West Bank security barrier in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Khaled Jarrar via AP)

The ban Monday comes after the Palestinian Authority learned that Al-Qaws, a Palestinian group that supports sexual and gender diversity, was planning an event for its members in Nablus, a city in the northern West Bank, the Jerusalem Post reported.

PA Police spokesman Luay Zreikat told the paper that such activities are “harmful to the higher values and ideals of Palestinian society” and completely “unrelated to religions and Palestinian traditions and customs, especially in the city of Nablus.”

Zreikat then charged that “dubious parties” were working to “create discord and harm civic peace in Palestinian society.”

He warned that members of the group will be sought, arrested and put on trial, asking the Palestinian community for help in locating people connected to the group, the Post reported.

India loosens clampdown in Kashmir, but leaders remain detained

A worker looks through the gate of a closed school in Srinagar on Monday. (Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images)

Residents of Srinagar, the Kashmiri capital, confirmed that the authorities had reconnected some landlines, although many were still unreachable.

Mobile connections and Internet access remained severed, and hundreds of local politicians were being held incommunicado. Most schools remained closed.

Kashmiris have faced an unprecedented clampdown since Aug. 5, when India announced it would revoke the region’s autonomy, undoing seven decades of policy toward the country’s only Muslim-majority state.

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council convened to discuss India’s move but did not issue a statement on the withdrawal of Kashmir’s special status.

Waiter in France allegedly shot dead for being ‘too slow with sandwich,’ report says

Policemen stand in front of the eatery on Saturday where a waiter was shot dead by a customer allegedly angry at having to wait for a sandwich, in the eastern Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand. (Photo by Tiphaine LE LIBOUX / AFP)

The incident happened at a small restaurant in Noisy-le-Grand, a suburb located in eastern Paris.

A witness told Agence France-Presse the gunman became irate “as his sandwich wasn’t prepared quickly enough,” shot the waiter, and then fled the scene.

The waiter’s colleagues then called police after he was shot in the shoulder. The 28-year-old later died at the scene.

World’s first ‘kosher sex store’ seeks to give intimacy a spiritual revolution

The recently opened Kosher Sex store in Tel Aviv, where owner Chana Boteach hopes to give sex “the revolution it deserves.” (Ruth Eglash/For The Washington Post)

The shop is named for the controversial, best-selling self-help book “Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy” published 20 years ago by American celebrity rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

Kosher Sex — the store — was opened last month by Chana Boteach, the rabbi’s daughter, and sells products meant to induce a healthy dose of sexual intimacy and spirituality between committed couples.

“People are broken and lonelier than ever before,” said Chana Boteach, 29. “We are reclaiming sex and helping to create passion and intimacy between two people.”

According to Boteach, and her father before her, Judaism has a unique approach to sexual intimacy: Sex is not meant only for procreation nor should it serve only as recreation. Instead, the religion embraces anything that encourages a close and loving connection
between two people.

Australian Libraries Promote Transgender Teen Book That Describes A 6-Year-Old ‘Liking’ Oral Sex

“Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out,” which includes the story of a 6-year-old enjoying oral sex, is being promoted in the youth sections of at least 60 Australian libraries, according to Binary Australia, an organization that says it affirms “the fact that gender is binary.”

Kirralie Smith, director of Binary Australia, told the Daily Caller, “The book is in approximately 60 libraries in Australia.

Kirralie Smith, director of Binary Australia, told the Daily Caller, “The book is in approximately 60 libraries in Australia.

Trump ‘Looking at’ Potential Purchase of Greenland, Kudlow Says

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks to the media on the driveway of the White House in Washington on Aug. 6, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Kudlow, who is the director of the National Economic Council, noted that years ago, former President Harry Truman had the same idea.

Denmark owns Greenland, which has a population of just over 56,000, according to the latest data.

“It’s an interesting story,” Kudlow told Fox News. “It’s developing. We’re looking at it.”

“Denmark is an ally. Greenland is a strategic place. They’ve got a lot of valuable minerals,” Kudlow said. “I don’t want to predict it now.

I’m just saying the president, who knows a thing or two about buying real estate, wants to take a look at a potential Greenland purchase.”


The Great Switch: Old Ways Fade and Are Irrecoverable

Military policemen assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, take a knee during a dismounted patrol along a road outside Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 2. The MPs rolled out long before sunrise to patrol roads outside the camp to ensure the safety of 2/82 convoys traveling through the area from Baghdad. The 2nd Brigade is the last brigade in Baghdad and is facilitating the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq.

Conflict is popping up everywhere: A major portion of the Turkish army stands ready to invade parts of Syria (though invasion may have been averted for now);

PM Modi may just have ignited the next round of Kashmir wars with Pakistan with his Hindu ‘nationalist’ putsch to annex Muslim majority Jammu-Kashmir;

Japan has started a mini trade war with South Korea;

Turkey is bracing for a face-off with Greece and Cyprus over energy exploration in the East Mediterranean;

the Yemen war is heating up with the war increasingly being fought inside southern Saudi Arabia;

the US-Iran and the Syria conflicts simmer, and Hong Kong has boiled-over into violence.

What is going on? Is there some unifying thread connecting this sudden outbreak of widespread global tension?

Of course all these conflicts have their separate background contexts. But why so many at the same time?

Well, in a word, it’s all about change — about the recognition that we are at the cusp of major changes.

The world is beginning to pre-position. Take, for example,