In the News

News and Headlines. 10/9/2019


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

In The News:

Northern California cities, water districts urge conservation as PG&E blackout continues

Crews work to connect generators in effort to keep the Caldecott Tunnel open to traffic during a possible power outage at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. Pacific Gas & Electric has cut power to more than half a million customers in Northern California hoping to prevent wildfires during dry, windy weather throughout the region. BEN MARGOT AP PHOTO

Cities, counties and regional water districts throughout the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area are urging users to cut down on water use during Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s public safety power shutoff, which has blacked out hundreds of thousands of customers since the early morning hours of Wednesday.

Fairfield authorities are urging residents to conserve water use after the city experienced a treatment plant issue that it is attributing to the PG&E shutoff.

Nearby Vacaville set up a web page dedicated to information regarding the shutoff and its impact. The city urged water conservation, but noted that its water supply and treatment facilities are not expected to experience issues.

The El Dorado Irrigation District has asked customers across El Dorado County to conserve water Wednesday.

Arizona county assessor charged in human smuggling case

This undated photo provided by the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office shows Assessor Paul Petersen. Petersen has been indicted in an adoption fraud case, accused of arranging for dozens of pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to come to the U.S. to give their children up for adoption. Utah also has charged him on multiple felony counts, including human smuggling, sale of a child and communications fraud. (Maricopa County Assessor’s Office via AP)

“Petersen’s illegal adoption scheme exploited highly vulnerable groups in two countries — the birth mothers and families in the Marshall Islands and the adoptive parents here in Utah,” Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes said in a statement.

The charges span about three years and involve nearly 70 adoptions in Utah and Arizona of babies. Additional adoptions are under investigation in Arkansas, authorities said.

Petersen would pay for the women to travel to the U.S. days or months before giving birth and live in a home that he owned until delivering the baby, according to the records.

The babies were then adopted by U.S. parents who paid about $35,000, authorities said.

The women would then be flown back to the Marshall Islands or to another U.S. state, most commonly Arkansas, which has one the largest concentrations of Marshallese immigrants in the U.S., according to authorities in that state.

Activision Blizzard Sided With Chinese Communists Against a 21-Year-Old Star Player

(Screenshot via Twitter)

While everyone was busy dunking on the NBA and the Houston Rockets for kowtowing to China, gaming company Activision Blizzard stood up and declared hold my beer.

Blizzard owns Hearthstone, a popular online card game and e-sport. During a recent tournament, 21-year-old Chung Ng Wai—who goes by Blitzchung—was interviewed after winning a match.

Chung is a Hong Kong native, and took the opportunity to declare, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time,” with reference to the territory’s ongoing struggle for political freedom from China.

In response, Blizzard killed the interview midstream.

Then the company suspended Chung for a year. It also said he would no longer receive his prize money, which was about $10,000, according to Chung.

He told the officer he needed to go to the hospital. Then he went for his gun. 

(Photo – Off-shift.com/Adobe Stock)

NBC 10 reported that Jerell Nealy, 38, was arrested on weapons and drugs charges on Thursday afternoon.

After the arrest, he complained of pain… so they brought him to Rochester Regional Hospital to get checked out.

But Nealy’s ulterior motive became more clear when the officers went to go adjust his handcuffs.

California man sentenced after former roommate found dead, bludgeoned inside wall

Randolph Garbutt, 47, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the death of Raven Campbell. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office)

Randolph Garbutt, 47, pleaded guilty last month to voluntary manslaughter after the remains of Raven Campbell — who had been missing since 2009 — was discovered and “excavated from behind a wall at a residence” in Lomita, a city roughly 25 miles south of Los Angeles.

Campbell died of blunt force trauma, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Garbutt, officials claimed, used a hammer to kill her.

Florida couple arrested after ‘ghost mask’ crime spree that spanned 3 counties, officials say

The suspects in the two bank robberies wore “ghost masks,” according to police. (Orange County Sheriff’s Office)

John Armstrong Jr., 30, and Tanya Legg, 43, were taken into custody at a gas station in North Fort Myers on Monday night, FOX4 reported.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said in a news release that Armstrong, an unidentified associate, and Legg allegedly robbed a BB&T Bank in Altamonte Springs on Sept. 26 wearing masks.

Legg was allegedly the getaway driver for the two men and bought items used in the robbery, according to federal officials.

Texas police chase, capture man accused of raping woman, stuffing her in trunk, bodycam video shows

Skinner had warrants out for parole violation and theft at the time of his arrest on Saturday.
Skinner had warrants out for parole violation and theft at the time of his arrest on Saturday. (Lufkin Police Department)

The Lufkin Police Department released body camera video of the two-minute pursuit that ended in the arrest of 30-year-old Zataymon Skinner on Saturday afternoon.

About 10 hours earlier, Skinner kidnapped the woman as she was leaving her job, telling her to “get in (the car) or I’ll kill you,” police said.

He allegedly drove the woman’s car to a dead end around 12:30 a.m. and raped her before locking her in the trunk.

As he began driving, the woman was able to use the emergency lever to escape from the trunk and call for help, police said.

California man kidnapped girl, 17, who worked with pals to nab him in their own unofficial operation: cops

Richard Dreyfus, 32, was contacted by a group of girls on social media and planned to meet up at a location in Vista.

When at the spot on Sunday, Dreyfus convinced the 17-year-old girl, whom he allegedly kidnapped, to get into his vehicle to talk. Then he immediately drove away, officials said.

Investigators said they “strongly” discourage members of the public to try to catch criminals.

“These types of situations can be extremely dangerous and should be handled by your local law enforcement agency,” officials said.

Defense Intelligence Agency analyst charged with leaking to journalists

Department of Justice. | Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

Henry Kyle Frese, a 30-year-old counterterrorism analyst for DIA, was arrested Wednesday morning as he arrived to work, and has been charged with two counts of willful transmission of national defense information.

According to the indictment unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia, Frese was in a romantic relationship with one of the journalists he leaked to, and used his top secret security clearance to access information unrelated to his job with the intelligence agency.

“Frese was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain,” said John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, in a press release announcing the charges.

Politics:

California set to end private prisons and immigrant detention camps

California Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign legislation this week designed to effectively ban private, for-profit corporations from running prisons or immigration detention facilities.

Sponsors of the measure say it will end a brief but hapless experiment in privately outsourced incarceration begun as a means to ease overcrowding – an endeavor Newsom branded an outrage when he took office in January.

Inmate advocacy groups say the legislation does not go far enough, pointing to what they call significant loopholes, including an exemption for facilities that provide “educational, vocational, medical or other ancillary services” to inmates.

AOC compares jail time to slavery, calls for America to shut down prisons

Ocasio-Cortez says that America has a prison problem. Her solution? Shut ’em down. (AOC Facebook)

In a series of tweets this week, the freshman rep compared our system of so-called ‘mass incarceration’ to that of slavery, calling for an end to locking people up.

Ocasio-Cortez said that many prisons are currently being used for individuals who belong in “mental hospitals, homeless shelters, & detox centers,” and that federal funding for the facilities could be directed elsewhere for alternate methods of rehabilitation.

She inferred that taking people out of the cage would greatly decrease criminal activity.

She went on to say that no matter the reason, America needed to find a new way to handle crime, because many people in the system “don’t belong there at all.”

Trump Calls on Supreme Court to Rule in His Favor on DACA, Says Bipartisan Deal Could Be Reached

The Supreme Court of the United States in Washington on Dec. 4, 2018.
(Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

The president again pointed out that President Barack Obama had previously admitted that he did not have the right to sign DACA but proceeded anyway.

“President Obama said that he did not have the right to sign DACA, that it will never hold up in court. He signed it anyway!” Trump said.

Prior to signing the executive order to implement the program in 2012, Obama acknowledged that he lacked the constitutional and legal authority to create the immigration program.

Supreme court justices returned to the bench for a new term on Monday, where they are poised to hear several high profile cases on major issues.

Over the past week, law academics, universities, lawyers, and other supporters of the DACA program have filed amicus briefs to urge the Supreme Court to support DACA recipients.

Trump Reins in Federal Bureaucracy With Two Executive Orders

President Donald Trump speaks during a signing of a US-Japanese trade agreement in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on Oct. 7, 2019.
(Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

President Donald Trump has long criticized the murky federal bureaucracy’s abuse of small businesses and American families, and on Oct. 9, signed two executive orders meant to reign in bureaucracy and hold government agencies accountable to citizens.

The two executive orders, titled “Bringing Guidance out of Darkness” and “Transparency and Fairness” are the latest moves by the Trump administration to cut red tape and make it easier for Americans to navigate the labyrinthine federal bureaucracy.

“Today, we take bold new action to protect Americans from out of control bureaucracy and stop regulators from imposing secret rules and hidden penalties on the American people,” Trump said at the White House on Oct. 9.

Tea Party Patriots Hold National Action Day Opposing Impeachment

The Capitol Building in Washington on Feb. 26, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

“After failing to convince Americans of Russian collusion or that he was guilty of ‘obstruction of justice,’ impeachment is the next step in their attempt to delegitimize his Presidency leading up to the 2020 election.

In response to this politically-motivated charade from Democrats, Tea Party Patriots Action has called for Thursday, Oct. 10 to be a ‘national day of action’ to stop the impeachment witch-hunt,” Martin said.

“Conservative patriots from across the nation are encouraged to visit the offices of their member of Congress and remind them to defend President Trump against these baseless claims,” Martin said.

Graham Tells Pelosi GOP Senators Won’t Remove Trump Over Ukraine Call: ‘She Can Stop Now’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (L), and President Donald Trump. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images & Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Speaking to Fox News, Graham, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he will ask other Senate Republicans to sign a letter to Pelosi that said they “do not believe the transcript of the phone call between the president and Ukraine is an impeachable offense.”

“They’re about to destroy the nation for no good reason,” Graham said.

“And I want Nancy Pelosi to know that Republican senators are not going to impeach this president based on this transcript, so she can stop now before she destroys the country.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also slammed the Democrats for their attempt.

“Overturning the results of an American election requires the highest level of fairness and due process, as it strikes at the core of our democratic process,” McConnell wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

“So far, the House has fallen far short by failing to follow the same basic procedures that it has followed for every other President in our history.”

Elizabeth Warren Touts Plan to Address ‘Environmental Racism’

JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty

Warren argues that “justice” plays a massive role in properly addressing the climate change “crisis,” citing studies that suggest that black and Hispanic families are disproportionately affected by air pollution caused by white people:

Warren calls this phenomenon “environmental racism” and concludes that “environmental injustice is the result of decades of discrimination and environmental racism compounding in communities that have been overlooked for too long.”

She previewed her plan in a video clip featuring far-left “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

Jon Voight declares Democrats don’t ‘represent America anymore,’ Trump will win 2020 election

Jon Voight freely talked politics while attending the World Premiere of Disney's "Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil" at El Capitan Theatre on September 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Jon Voight freely talked politics while attending the World Premiere of Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil” at El Capitan Theatre on September 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/WireImage)

The 80-year-old actor, who has previously made it clear that he’s a Trump-supporting Republican, gave an interview to The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere of daughter Angelina Jolie’s film, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.”

He not only sounded off on his support for the president but noted that the Democrats have lost their way in modern politics.

“I’m a big supporter of our president, and I feel that what has happened with the Democratic party is something that I’d never thought I’d see happen.

This is not the Democratic party of John Kennedy, who I was in support of,” Voight told the outlet. “They had many heroes in the Democratic party.

They have no heroes today. There’s a lot of slander and name-calling and lying that’s going on and passing itself off as news.

This is my opinion.

That’s where I stand and I don’t like it. Somebody has to stand up and say that and punch back at that nonsense.

This is not America. The Democratic Party doesn’t represent America anymore.”

Meghan McCain clashes with Susan Rice over Obama’s Syria legacy: ‘How can you criticize’ Trump?

She pointed to Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq and his refusal to act after Syria crossed his “red line” of using chemical weapons.

Their discussion came amid controversy surrounding Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of the war-torn Middle Eastern nation ahead of an incursion by Turkish forces.

Although Rice praised Trump’s decision to use military strikes against Syria in response to chemical weapons attacks, she defended the Obama administration’s relatively tepid response during his second term.

Critics, however, have argued that Obama’s decision led to the chemical weapons attacks that Trump faced under his administration.

Hillary Clinton says ‘I can beat him,’ hints at 2020 presidential rematch with Trump

Her latest comments alluding to another run came about Tuesday night, during an interview on PBS News Hour.

She said “Maybe there does need to be a rematch. I mean, obviously I can beat him again.”

News Hour host Judy Woodruff began the segment by mentioning a recent twitter exchange between the one-time presidential rivals, wherein Trump taunted Clinton to run again on the condition that she explain why she deleted 33,000 emails that were under congressional subpoena.

The Real Motive for Class-Warfare Taxation

Commentary/Opinion: All told, his article is a devastating take-down of the left-of-center economists who have tried to justify extortionary tax rates. Simply stated, high tax rates hinder the economy, create deadweight loss, and don’t produce revenue windfalls.

That being said, I wonder whether his article will have any impact. As Kevin Williamson points out is a column for National Review, the left isn’t primarily
motivated by a desire for more tax money.

So what leads our friends on the left to pursue such misguided policies? What drives their support for punitive taxation?

Is is that they’re overflowing with compassion and concern for the poor?

Hardly.

Writing for the Federalist, Emily Ekins shares some in-depth polling data that discovers that envy is the real motive.

World News:

Shooting in Germany was anti-Semitic attack – interior minister

A police tank patrols at a crime scene near a Synagogue.
A police tank patrols at a crime scene near a Synagogue.7/10 SLIDES © Filip Singer/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Two people were killed in shooting attacks on a synagogue and a nearby kebab shop in the eastern German city of Halle on Wednesday.

The violence occurred on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the calendar in Judaism when Jews fast, seeking atonement.

The two suspects on the loose headed out on a motorway that leads to Munich in the country’s south, according to the mayor of the town of Landsberg, adjacent to Halle. Gunfire was also heard in Landsberg, Focus Online reported.

Mexico mayor tied to truck, dragged through streets amid reported anger over unfulfilled campaign promise

The angry group of farmers was demanding the mayor build a road he promised to construct during his campaign, Mexican news outlet Excelsior reported.

Video taken by bystanders outside the building showed the men pulling the mayor out of the building and forcing him into the back of a truck.

Another surveillance video captured the moment the mayor was dragged along from the back of the struck through the streets of Santa Rita, in Las Margaritas.

US drops most bombs in Afghanistan since 2010 troop surge

Two U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle jets fly in formation June 12, 2009, during a combat mission over Afghanistan.
Two U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle jets fly in formation June 12, 2009, during a combat mission over Afghanistan. (Staff Sgt. Jason Robertson/U.S. Air Force)

On Saturday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters U.S. forces had indeed increased its aerial attacks on Taliban targets.

“We did step up our attacks on the Taliban since the talks broke down. You know, the president spoke about this publicly — we did pick up the pace considerably,” Esper said.

On the Friday prior to Esper’s comments, the Associated Press reported Taliban negotiators had met on Oct. 4 with U.S. Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

The meeting marks the first round of negotiations since Trump called off peace talks in September, but it is not yet clear if the meeting will lead to a new peace agreement.

Trump calls Turkey assault on Syria a ‘bad idea’ as Kurds report civilian deaths

A Turkish Army tank is driven to its new position, on the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Sanliurfa province, on Tuesday. (AP)

“The United States does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House.

“Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place—and we will hold them to this commitment.”

“There are no American soldiers in the area,” he added.

A spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said Turkish warplanes on Wednesday have “started to carry out airstrikes on civilian areas,” causing a “huge panic among people of the region.”

Hong Kong’s leader ‘doesn’t rule out’ asking for China to intervene in protests

Thousands of protesters surround the police headquarter in Hong Kong on June 21, 2019. The protests continue as the demonstrators are demanding that Chief Executive Carrie Lam step down and call for a complete withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill
Thousands of protesters surround the police headquarter in Hong Kong on June 21, 2019. The protests continue as the demonstrators are demanding that Chief Executive Carrie Lam step down and call for a complete withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images/TNS)

“I cannot tell you categorically now under what circumstances that we will do extra things including your inquiry about calling on the central government to help, which of course is provided for under the Basic Law,” Lam told journalists. “At this point in time, I still strongly feel that we should find the solutions ourselves.

That is also the position of the Central Government, that Hong Kong should tackle the problem on her own.”

“But if the situation becomes so bad, then no options could be ruled out,” Lam said.

She responded to questions over the enforceability of the mask ban, which was passed by Lam and her cabinet, the Executive Council (ExCo) last week under emergency powers contained in colonial-era legislation.

Commentary/Opinion:

NYC Will Fine You For Saying ‘Illegal Alien’

You can now be fined up to $250,000 if you call someone an ‘illegal alien’ in New York City.

Will Witt heads to Cal State LA to find out what students think about fining people for offensive speech.

THE MADNESS OF EXTINCTION REBELLION

Photo: saw2th

This is a millenarian movement that might speak of science, but which is driven by sheer irrationalism. By fear, moral exhaustion and misanthropy.

This is the deflated, self-loathing bourgeoisie coming together to project their own psycho-social hang-ups on to society at large. They must be criticised and ridiculed out of existence.

Yesterday’s gathering, like so many other Extinction Rebellion gatherings, was middle-aged and middle-class. The commuters heading in and out of King’s Cross looked upon them with bemusement.

‘Oh, it’s those Extinction freaks’, I heard one young man say.

It had the feel of Hampstead and the Home Counties descending on a busy London spot to proselytise the cult of eco-alarmism to the brainwashed, commuting plebs.

It was a gathering to mark Extinction Rebellion’s week of disruption.

The group is asking people in London and other cities around the world to ‘take two weeks off work’ and join the revolt against the ‘climate and ecological crisis’. You can tell who they’re trying to appeal to.

Working-class people and the poor of New Delhi, Mumbai and Cape Town – some of the cities in which Extinction Rebellion will be causing disruption – of course cannot afford to take two weeks off work.

But then, these protests aren’t for those people. In fact, they’re against those people.

Extinction Rebellion is a reactionary, regressive and elitist movement whose aim is to impose the most disturbing form of austerity imaginable on people across the world.

One of the great ironies of ‘progressive’ politics today is that people of a leftist persuasion will say it is borderline fascism if the Tory government closes down a library in Wolverhampton, but then they will cheer this eco-death cult when it demands a virtual halt to economic growth with not a single thought for the devastating, immiserating and outright lethal impact such a course of action would have on the working and struggling peoples of the world.

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