News and Headlines. 8/20/2019

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

In The News:

Left Behind: Homeless Crisis in San Francisco

In the summer of 2019, Fox News embarked on an ambitious project to chronicle the toll progressive policies has had on the homeless crisis in four west coast cities:

Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore.

In each city, we saw a lack of safety, sanitation, and civility. Residents, the homeless and advocates say they’ve lost faith in their elected officials’ ability to solve the issue.

Most of the cities have thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at the problem only to watch it get worse.

This is what we saw in San Francisco.

California to build largest wildlife crossing in world

This undated artist’s rendering provided by the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains shows a planned wildlife crossing over U.S. Highway 101 in Agoura Hills, Calif. Hoping to fend off the extinction of mountain lions and other species that require room to roam, transportation officials and conservationists will build a mostly privately funded wildlife crossing over the freeway. (Clark Stevens, Architect/Raymond Garcia, Illustration/RCD of the Santa Monica Mountains via AP)

Hoping to fend off the extinction of mountain lions and other species that require room to roam, transportation officials and conservationists will build a mostly privately funded wildlife crossing over a major Southern California highway.

It will give big cats, coyotes, deer, lizards, snakes and other creatures a safe route to open space and better access to food and potential mates.

The span along U.S. 101 will only be the second animal overpass in a state where tunnels are more common.

Officials say it will be the first of its kind near a major metropolis and the largest in the world, stretching 200 feet (61 meters) above 10 lanes of busy highway and a feeder road just 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of downtown LA.

Gov. Newsom signs bill limiting police use of deadly force

AB 392, co-written by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, will hold law enforcement officers liable for homicide if an investigation finds the use of deadly force on a civilian was necessitated by the officer’s own actions.

Law enforcement will still be able to use deadly force as self- defense, but only when “necessary.”

Weber co-authored the legislation, dubbed the California Act to Save Lives, with Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento. Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, introduced the bill in the state Senate.

At one time, AB 392 appeared stalled again amid unresolved tensions between state legislators and law enforcement officials.

That tension dissolved when the two sides struck a deal in May to amend the bill by changing “reasonable” to “necessary” and removing language mandating officers to use lethal force only after using non-lethal alternatives.

America’s first restaurant to serve legal marijuana to open in California

The website describes the restaurant as “a welcoming space for those who are cannabis connoisseurs and those who are canna-curious.” (Lowell Cafe)

The Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood confirmed to Fox News that they will become America’s first “full-service restaurant and lounge to offer farm-to-table cannabis and cuisine.”

To that end, diners over the age of 21 will reportedly be able to enjoy a menu designed to “enhance the cannabis experience.”

According to their website, Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe was one of eight establishments granted a cannabis consumption license in West Hollywood.

There were reportedly over 300 applicants, and Lowell Café states that they were granted the first license.

Pharmaceutical company settles with counties in opioid suit

The settlement came one day after the Summit County council passed a resolution to OK settlements with any companies with less than 10% of the opioid market share in the county.

Matthew Maletta, an Endo executive vice president, said it would have cost the company just $10 million in legal expenses just to go to trial.

The company admitted no wrongdoing, fault or liability related to the U.S. opioid epidemic that has led to more than 2,000 lawsuits by state, local and tribal governments, and hospitals seeking damages.

Why Medicaid Enrollment And Fraud Has Exploded Under Obamacare

Last fall, Louisiana made big headlines regarding Medicaid expansion, but for the wrong reason:

The state’s legislative auditor found that a large subset of enrollees had incomes far in excess of the thresholds to qualify for Medicaid expansion.

The state eventually admitted that at least 1,672 individuals with six-figure incomes had received Medicaid benefits. (No, that’s not a typo.)

The study caused a political firestorm in Louisiana.

Eventually, the state dropped approximately 30,000 individuals from the Medicaid expansion rolls.

Ironically enough, the Medicaid program came in approximately $400 million under budget in the fiscal year ended June 30—due in large part to the enrollment purge.

To put it another way, Louisiana taxpayers had spent $400 million in the prior fiscal year on ineligible Medicaid enrollees.

A study released this month provides new evidence that the phenomenon of ineligible enrollees may go far beyond Louisiana.

The study examined Census data in states that expanded Medicaid when Obamacare’s expansion took effect in 2014 and compared it to states that have not expanded.

Upon analyzing the data by income, the authors found that,

Uber to create 3,000 new jobs with Dallas hub

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in the same statement that Dallas was the first city in Texas where the Uber ride-sharing app became available in 2012.

He says, “Texas has been a hub of innovation for our platform.”

The jobs created by the regional hub will result in a $400 million annual payroll, officials said.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, the county’s top administrator, said the move “will provide a huge boost to our urban core with a positive wave that will spread across our entire county and region.”

Appliance delivery man douses 75-year-old woman with chemical, beats her to death with mallet: Police

Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo is accused of beating an elderly woman in Boca Raton, Florida.

Police and fire crews responded to Evelyn Smith Udell’s Boca Raton home on Monday morning where they found her unconscious on her laundry room floor with head injuries and severe burns to her body, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Suspect Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo, 21, and another delivery man, David Gonzalez, installed the new equipment at Udell’s house that morning, where she was the only person home, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Gonzalez told police he heard screams and went back inside to find blood on the floor, authorities said. Gonzalez called 911 and Lachazo allegedly fled in the delivery truck, documents said.

After Lachazo was apprehended, he allegedly told investigators that he used a mallet to hit the 75-year-old on the side of her head, knocking her unconscious, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Texas man allegedly tied boy, 6, to garage door using dog leash, hit him in the legs with hammer handle: police

Ronnie Shane Winans, 25, was arrested on suspicion of injuring a child with intent to commit bodily injury.
Ronnie Shane Winans, 25, was arrested on suspicion of injuring a child with intent to commit bodily injury. (Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office)

Ronnie Shane Winans, 25, was arrested on suspicion of injuring a child with intent to commit bodily injury last week after a days-long investigation by the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office found that he repeatedly abused a family relative over an undetermined period of time, the San Angelo Standard-Times reported.

According to an affidavit obtained by the paper, police went to a residence on August 8 after receiving a report about child abuse in the home.

A woman claimed that she noticed her son had visible bruises on both legs but the boy wouldn’t say how he got them.

New York man, accused of raping woman, 74, removed from court after flipping table: report

Shamik King, 30, is accused of raping an elderly woman on Aug. 19, 2018 at the Skyline Apartments.
Shamik King, 30, is accused of raping an elderly woman on Aug. 19, 2018 at the Skyline Apartments. (Onondaga County Sheriffs Office ​​​​​​)

King, who’s accused of raping an elderly woman on Aug. 19, 2018 at the Skyline Apartments, is charged with rape, burglary and assault and was in court as part of jury selection in the case.

According to The Post-Standard, King had several outbursts during the proceedings and was warned several times by County Court Judge Stephen Dougherty that, if he continued, he would be removed from court and that the trial would continue without him.

And that’s exactly what happened after Monday’s incident.

King was removed from court, the damaged tables were placed back in their respective areas, and the jury selection process resumed.


US troops deployed to Mexico border eligible for medal

The Armed Forces Service Medal is awarded to troops involved in “significant” military activity and “encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent threat of hostile action,” according to the Defense Department.
(U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

The Pentagon authorized the award for troops who have assisted Customs and Border Protection since April 7, 2018, a Marine Corps administrative message said last week.

Eligible troops must have operated on U.S. territory within 115 miles of the Mexico border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California.

Troops in San Antonio, Texas, and those serving in U.S. waters within 24 nautical miles of the coast are also eligible.

It was established by former President Bill Clinton under an executive order in 1996 and was previously given to troops deployed to the border under former President George W. Bush, according to

The award also has been given to service members fulfilling humanitarian missions overseas.

ICE places hold on Texas man accused of letting daughter, 12, drive in crash that killed man, dog

Tomas Mejia Tol is accused of letting her young daughter drive his SUV, which led to the death of a man and his dog. (Houston Police Department)

The hold was placed on Tomas Mejia Tol, 42, for an immigration violation, court documents cited by Fox 26 read.

Tol was charged with negligent homicide and endangering a child in the death of 46-year-old Enrique Vazquez.

Prosecutors said Tol let his daughter drive his Ford Explorer in an apartment complex parking lot on Aug. 17 at the same time Vazquez was walking his dogs in the area.

There was also a 2-year-old in the back seat, investigators said. The girl hit the accelerator and struck Vazquez, one of his dogs and a tree.

Vazquez was pronounced dead at the scene; the dog died later.

Illegal immigrant rape suspect released from Maryland jail, violating detainer policy, ICE says

Rodrigo Castro-Montejo, 25, was released on Aug. 13 on day after ICE issued a detainer
Rodrigo Castro-Montejo, 25, was released on Aug. 13 on day after ICE issued a detainer with the Montgomery County Detention Center in Maryland.
(Montgomery County Police Department)

Rodrigo Castro-Montejo, a Salvadoran national in the country illegally, was arrested Aug. 10 on charges of second-degree rape and second-degree assault.

The 25-year-old allegedly assaulted a female friend after a night of heavy drinking, according to court documents obtained by FOX5.

During the investigation, police said they monitored the woman while she was at a local hospital.

At one point she conversed with Castro-Montejo via text message and he allegedly admitted to the assault.

On Aug. 12, ICE said it filed a detainer with the Montgomery County Detention Center to hold the 25-year-old for up to 48 hours so immigration officers could travel to the lockup and take him into custody.

But federal officials said the jail declined to honor the detainer, and let Castro-Montejo walk out of jail Aug. 13 after he posted bond.

DOJ to Supreme Court: Trump decision to end DACA was lawful

In a late-night filing ahead of a case scheduled for oral arguments in November, Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued the Trump administration had the legal authority to rescind DACA in 2017.

“At best, DACA is legally questionable; at worst, it is illegal,” wrote Francisco.

The case under review by the Supreme Court is about the legality of the president’s order to end DACA, not the legality of the Obama-era program that allows hundreds of thousands of so-called Dreamers — undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as minors — to temporarily live and work in the United States without risk of deportation.

The court is likely to issue its decision in the case in June or July, just months ahead of the presidential election.

The final ruling could have profound implications for the 2020 race and thrust immigration back into the spotlight as a central campaign issue.

Tech Watch:

U.S. DoJ antitrust chief says working with states on Big Tech probe

Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice,
FILE PHOTO: Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, speaks at the 2019 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

On July 23, the Justice Department said it was opening a broad investigation into whether major digital technology firms engaged in anticompetitive practices, including concerns raised about “search, social media, and some retail services online.”

That was an apparent reference to Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google, Inc (AMZN.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O), and potentially Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

More than a dozen states are expected to announce in the coming weeks they are launching a formal probe, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters.

In July, eight state attorneys general met with U.S. Attorney General William Barr to discuss the effect of big tech companies on competition, and various
antitrust actions.

U.S. conservatives say Facebook needs ‘significant work’ to address concerns: former senator

The report by former Senator Jon Kyl, commissioned by Facebook and released on Tuesday, found in interviews with about 133 political conservatives that many opposed Facebook policies they believed undermined free speech by conservatives, such as bans on “hate speech.”

It is the latest effort by Facebook to address rising anger among Republicans over alleged conservative bias as some lawmakers call for legislation that would revoke the liability shield big tech companies have for content posted by users.

They also pointed to anecdotal examples of what they call unfair treatment of conservative viewpoints, such as unjustified removal of language from the Bible, which they suggest are examples of broader problems with enforcement of policies.


Trump addresses China, transgender rights, the Squad in fiery remarks

President Trump and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis participate in a bilateral meeting.

Facebook pulls Trump campaign ad violating platform’s policy

Getty Images

Popular Info reported in its newsletter Monday that Facebook pulled the Trump ad because it violated a policy that prohibits ads targeting “personal attributes.”

The ad in question featured a crowd of women with the caption, “The Women for Trump Coalition needs the support of strong women like you!”

Facebook’s ad policy prohibits “content that asserts or implies personal attributes,” including, among other things, “direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s… gender identity.”

Facebook reportedly pulled the ad following an inquiry from Popular Info.

Nigel Farage on Hong Kong: Trump is the First Global Leader To Call Out China [CPAC Australia]

Commentary/Opinion: In Nigel Farage’s view, why is the suppression of conservative viewpoints so dangerous to the functioning of a civilized democracy?

And how does President Trump differ from other world leaders in his stance on China?

In this special episode of American Thought Leaders 🇺🇸 at CPAC Australia, the head of the Chinese edition of The Australian Epoch Times, John Xiao, hosts an interview with Nigel Farage, the Leader of the UK Brexit Party.

We discuss the China threat, the Hong Kong protests, suppression of free speech, Trump 2020, and the Labor party’s attempt to ban Raheem Kassam from entering Australia

Sen. Tim Scott: Democratic presidential candidates trying to dupe African-American voters

On “The Story,” he said that Trump’s record on employment and criminal justice reform has made liberals unsure how to beat him.

“It’s an opportunity to dupe… You talk about empty promises because there is nothing left.”

South Carolina is the first primary state with a sizable black population.

Black voters have driven the outcome of the past two competitive Democratic nominating fights.

But Barack Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 built their early delegate leads largely on the strength of older black voters in Southern states with significant African-American populations.

Harry Reid rips Dems over ‘Medicare-for-all,’ border policies: ‘Of course’ it will hurt us in 2020

Reid, during a newly published interview with Vice, specifically took aim at “Medicare-for-all” and calls by many candidates to decriminalize illegal border crossings.

The blunt-talking former Nevada senator suggested any Democratic nominee running on these issues could face trouble.

“People want a fair immigration system. They don’t want an open-door invitation for everybody to come at once,” Reid said in the interview with Vice.

When asked if supporting decriminalization could be bad for Democrats in 2020, Reid said, “Of course it is.”

Reid accused Democrats of not having their priorities in order going into the election.

Dianne Feinstein Falsely Claims ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Lowered Crime

Mark Wilson/Getty

On February 19, 2018, Breitbart News reported the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) report showing the federal “assault weapons” ban could not be credited with any reduction in crime.

The NIJ report was authored by University of Pennsylvania professor Christopher Koper.

And the Washington Times quoted Koper saying, “We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.

And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”

It’s Time for Stefan Halper’s Lies to Be Fully Exposed

Commentary/Opinion: Shortly after Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn joined the presidential campaign of Donald Trump in February of 2016, someone began contacting reporters spinning a tale about having seen General Flynn being courted by a female Russian spy.

This person alleged to several media reporters that he suspected Flynn had been successfully compromised by the Putin government.

Sveltana Lokhova is a lecturer and author at Cambridge who specializes in Soviet intelligence studies who ended up being dragged against her will into the center of one of the biggest political scandals of all time.


(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that a hearing was ordered to be held in federal court Wednesday, August 21, 2019, in a case regarding records about top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie Ohr’s involvement in the Trump dossier authored by Christopher Steele (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00490)).

Through this investigation, Judicial Watch has uncovered that Ohr was corruptly used by the FBI as a conduit for the Clinton-funded dossier by the Clinton-DNC spy ring at Fusion GPS.

His wife Nellie, who was employed by Fusion GPS, passed dossier information to the FBI through him and later deleted emails received from him.

In April 2019, Judicial Watch uncovered documents showing that Bruce Ohr knew he had “possible ethics concerns,” in his January 2018 preparation to testify to the Senate and House intelligence committees.

He emailed his attorney and forwarded that information to his wife.

Tlaib, Omar hint at cutting aid to Israel

Commentary/Opinion: Washington Examiner commentary writer Tiana Lowe and Democratic strategist Kevin Chavous join the debate.

Tucker: Joe Biden is running a zombie campaign

Commentary/Opinion: When people actually see Biden, they realize the former vice president isn’t a distinguished elder statesman, he’s a fading one.

World News:

Trump advises India, Pakistan to reduce tensions in call with leaders

“Spoke to my two good friends Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi of India, and Prime Minister [Imran] Khan of Pakistan, regarding trade, strategic partnerships and, most importantly, for India and Pakistan to work towards reducing tensions in Kashmir. A tough situation, but good conversations!”

Trump tweeted on August 19.

Pakistan wants a UN observer mission “dispatched forthwith” to Indian-administered Kashmir and for a curfew there to be canceled “immediately,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in Islamabad.

Trump’s phone calls to the leaders came amid reports that Indian troops on August 18 fired across the Line of Control in Kashmir, killing two civilians and wounding one.

Russia refuses to share data on blast that caused radiation spike

Gamma radiation levels spiked by 16 times the normal level after the explosion in Severodvinsk Photograph: Sergei Bobylev/TASS

Two Russian-operated monitoring stations for the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty ceased transmitting data two days after the 8 August blast, when a projected radioactive plume from the deadly accident would be expected to reach them.

The data could have given additional information on the amount and kind of nuclear materials being used in the Russian military tests, indicating the level of danger to local residents and the nature of the Russian testing, including whether a small nuclear reactor was involved.

The treaty’s mandate “does not cover development of any types of weapons”, said the deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, on Tuesday when asked about why the stations had suddenly gone silent.

The decision to transmit data is “strictly voluntary”, he added.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported another two monitoring stations had also suddenly gone offline, bringing the total to four.

Brazil police sniper kills armed man holding dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro

The armed man was neutralized after a four-hour standoff with police. (Reuters)

The hostage situation began around 5:30 a.m. local time Tuesday on a busy bridge linking Niteroi to downtown Rio de Janeiro.

Police shut down traffic to the bridge – leaving hundreds of vehicles lined up in both directions – and placed a sniper on a nearby perch.

Federal Highway Police said the armed man, who was threatening to set the bus on fire, had been holding 37 people hostage. Negotiations were underway before the standoff ended.

Canadian manhunt killers recorded ‘last will and testament’ on phone before killing themselves

The bodies Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were found on Aug. 7, according to officials. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, led authorities on a manhunt that spanned across three provinces and involved the Canadian military before their bodies were found Aug. 7 near Gillam, Manitoba — more than 2,000 miles from the scene of the killings in northern British Columbia.

They took their own lives.

Last week, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said the bodies discovered were confirmed by a medical examiner to be the two men, who reportedly appeared to die by suicide.

Officials said at the time the two were dead for “a number of days” before they were discovered.

“There are strong indications that they had been alive for a few days since last seen in July and during the extensive search efforts in the Gillam area,” RCMP said at the time.

Indian father ordered hitman to kill son-in-law for belonging to ‘untouchable’ caste: courts docs

Amrutha Varshini’s husband Pranay Perumalla was killed just less than a month after their wedding in 2018 after a supposed assassin hacked him on the head and neck with a large butcher knife. (Getty)

Pranay Perumalla, the husband of Amrutha Varshini, was killed less than a month after their wedding in 2018 after an apparent assassin hacked him on the head and neck with a large butcher knife.

The bride’s family’s fiercely protested the marriage, specifically because of the country’s caste system, a traditionalist social order based on an identity determined at birth that despite India’s modernization has remained pervasive to this day.

Perumalla was considered to be part of the lower Dalit caste, which was previously known as “untouchables” that few from higher castes dared to interact with, let alone marry, according to the Washington Post.

One dead, over 100 sickened in Spain’s pork listeria outbreak

The outbreak was first reported on Aug. 15, triggering a nationwide alert about products manufactured by the company, Magrudis.

An investigation into food safety controls has been launched and officials are continuing to monitor the situation, the Associated Press reported.

“We are monitoring this, the alerts have been sent out and we’ve ordered all the products (that have come) from this factory since May to be pulled from the shelves,” Maria Luisa Carcedo, Spain’s acting health minister, said, according to Reuters.

Furious Albanian restaurant owner PUNCHES through customers’ windscreen and clings on for TWO MILES as he tries to attack the tourists after they criticised the service

Shocking footage showed the restaurateur spread across the car bonnet as he punched the smashed windshield repeatedly while the stunned Spanish tourists continued to drive

Footage shows Mihal Kokedhima clinging to the bonnet of the vehicle in Porto Palermo, southern Albania, and hammering at the windscreen as a group of Spanish tourists try to drive away.

The 51-year-old held on for two miles and can be seen trying to rip out the glass in his attempt to stop the men, who he later accused of trying to leave without paying.

The violence was so heinous it has been condemned by Albanian Prime Minster Edi Rama. He described Kokedhima as a ‘barbarian’ who ‘violated the sacred code of Albanian hospitality’ and ‘shamed us all’.

Throughout the clip, the passengers kicked the restaurant owner away, but he managed to stay atop the car.


The Ghost Of John C. Calhoun Haunts Today’s American Left

The gist of the project, named for the year the first Africans were brought to North America to be sold as slaves, is that everything about America, from our capitalist economy to our politics to the food we eat, can be explained by slavery and race.

In other words, America was conceived in sin, born of evil intent, and all its lofty ideals about equality and liberty are nothing but a sham—the hypocritical stylings of slavers and white supremacists bent on the subjugation of their fellow man.

Everything that made America exceptional, every aspect of American life, all of it the legacy of slavery.

The Times’ entire purpose here, by its own admission, is to “reframe the country’s history” by placing slavery “at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

It should come as no surprise that, in this telling, we are an irredeemably wicked people, and always have been.

There are sound historical reasons why 1619 isn’t a helpful jumping-off point to understand slavery in America, but we need not dig into that particular debate to see the manifestly political nature of the Times’ project, and how the Times plays fast and loose with the historical record.

For example,

Babbling O’Crazio says Trump supporters are racist, some just don’t know it

Alexandria O’Crazio Cortez told an interviewer on Pod Save America that people have to stop calling Trump supporters racists and talk about their racism instead. She imagines herself to be a modern-day philosopher and political genius.

She said it’s a trap to ask if Trump voters are racist because of the reactions it stirs up.

Some of the Trump supporters legitimately don’t think they’re racists because they’re not educated, says the arrogant little woman.

She obviously thinks all Trump supporters are racists or wants everyone to think that, but she wants critics to say it indirectly.

Trump built a coalition of racists and people susceptible to racism, says O’Crazio..