News and Headlines. 10/21/2019

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

In The News:

Prosecutors can’t play ‘Godfather’ clip in Roger Stone trial, judge rules

Roger Stone (R), the former adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Court House with his wife Nydia Stone (L) on July 16, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Roger Stone (R), the former adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Court House with his wife Nydia Stone (L) on July 16, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

An indictment against Stone alleges that he pressured an associate to “do a Frank Pentangeli” in his testimony, a reference to a character from the 1974 film who backtracked his plans to provide Congress with an incriminating testimony on the Corleone crime family.

Stone had reportedly made the reference while urging radio host Randy Credico to change his testimony to Congress about their dealings with WikiLeaks during the 2016 election, Politico reported.

Prosecutors have suggested playing the “Pentangeli” clip during Stone’s trial. But U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee who is overseeing the case, ruled Monday that doing so could unfairly prejudice jurors.

Manhattan DA, Trump lawyers strike deal that could fast-track Trump taxes fight to SCOTUS

(Photo by Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Trump’s lawyers agreed that if they lose a court battle scheduled for argument at the New York-based 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, they will take no more than 10 days to petition the Supreme Court to hear the case.

Trump’s legal team also agreed that — if Trump appeals to the high court — he will ask the justices to hear the case in its current term.

Typically, the last cases of the term are argued in April and the final decisions come by the end of June.

In exchange for Trump’s agreement to keep the legal fight moving at a brisk pace, lawyers from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office agreed to hold off trying to enforce a grand jury subpoena issued to one of Trump’s accounting firms in August.

Suspect arrested in death of ex-Texas Tech star Andre Emmett

This undated booking photo provided by the Dallas County Jail shows Keith Johnson. (Dallas County Jail via AP)

Investigators say Johnson and a second suspect allegedly shot Emmett during a Sept. 23 robbery attempt.

Police say 37-year-old Emmett was sitting in his vehicle outside his residence when two men approached and he was fatally shot while trying to flee.

Emmett scored 2,256 career points from 2001-04 with the Red Raiders. After college, Emmett played one season each with the Memphis Grizzlies and New Jersey Nets.

Brothers allegedly left grandma to die in fire while they saved meth equipment

Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker told WETM that the men went back into the home to save meth equipment and left Gladys Ann Willow inside while the house burned.

Rather than reporting the blaze to the fire department, Baker told WETM, they left the scene to get cigarettes.

Jarrett and Justin Gause are also facing multiple reckless endangerment charges for the firefighters who responded and evidence tampering charges, WETM reported.

Veteran in Hospice Reunited with Beloved Dog for Final Goodbye

The Albuquerque Animal Welfare shared photos online of the special moment between John Vincent, 69, and his Yorkie, Patch, when the two were reunited for a few moments at the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Thursday.

The animal shelter’s Facebook post said Vincent “has no family in New Mexico so had to surrender his beloved dog, Patch to us.”

The post continued:

Baggage ‘Explodes’ At Midway Airport, No One Hurt: Cops

Police and fire officials were dispatched to a report that a piece of luggage exploded at Midway International Airport in Chicago on Oct. 21, 2019.
Police and fire officials were dispatched to a report that a piece of luggage exploded at Midway International Airport in Chicago on Oct. 21, 2019. (Shutterstock, File)

Shortly before noon, police and fire personnel were dispatched to Gate A2 for a report that a piece of luggage on a baggage belt being loaded onto an outbound plane flight blew up.

There was no flames or visible damage to the aircraft, according to the initial report.

A Level 1 Hazmat situation was declared, with a bomb squad and arson investigators were called in to check the scene, according to fire and police department spokespeople.

About an hour after the call, Chicago police announced the situation had been cleared and that normal airport operations would resume.

Trump says being president has cost him $2 billion to $5 billion

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a congratulatory phone call for the first all-female space walk outside of the International Space Station with astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that being president has cost him between $2 billion and $5 billion that he would have made if he had continued running his business instead of getting into politics.

But, he told reporters, “If I had it to go it again I would do it in an instant, because who cares, if you can afford it, what difference does it make?”

“Whether I lost $2 billion, $5 billion or less, it doesn’t make any difference. I don’t care,” Trump said.

“I’m doing this for the country. I’m doing it for the people.”

US takes step to require DNA samples from asylum-seekers

The Justice Department on Monday issued amended regulations that would mandate DNA collection for almost all migrants who cross between official entry points and are held even temporarily.

The official said the rules would not apply to legal permanent residents or anyone entering the U.S. legally, and children under 14 are exempt, but it’s unclear whether asylum-seekers who come through official crossings will be exempt.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity before the regulations were published.

Distinctive accent on torture video leads police to suspect

FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2019 file photo, Brian Steven Smith attends his arraignment on a charge of first-degree murder in Anchorage, Alaska. Losing a digital memory card that contained photos and videos of a horrendous killing may have been careless, but what led police to charge Smith was something he had no control over whatsoever: His South African accent.
FILE – In this Oct. 9, 2019 file photo, Brian Steven Smith attends his arraignment on a charge of first-degree murder in Anchorage, Alaska.
(Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)

When a woman found the memory card on the street and turned it over to police, what detectives saw was horrific.

At one point, the suspect complained to the victim, whose face was swollen and bloodied: ”“My hand’s getting tired.” He then stomped her throat with his right foot.

Amid the footage, a clue:

The killer spoke in an “English sounding accent,” and detectives recalled Brian Steven Smith, a 48-year-old South African, from another investigation, the details of which they have not disclosed.

Tornado slams Dallas; 4 killed in Arkansas, Oklahoma

Women stand outside a house damaged by a tornado in the Preston Hollow section of Dallas, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019
Women stand outside a house damaged by a tornado in the Preston Hollow section of Dallas, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Radar confirmed the tornado struck near Dallas Love Field Airport around 9 p.m. Sunday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Godwin.

There were no reports of fatalities or serious injuries in Texas on Monday, but Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says three people were hospitalized for evaluation of injuries that were not life-threatening.

Tens of thousands of people were without electricity. Dallas Love Field spokesman Chris Perry said the airport was not damaged in the storm.

San Francisco puts 22 states on blacklist for restrictive abortion laws

The states being blacklisted by San Francisco for their “severe anti-choice policies” are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Nine states – Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas – were already on the city’s list because of their LGBTQ laws and policies.

The ban will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

FULL MEASURE: October 20, 2019 – Chemical Weapons

The U.S. was among the other nations that used chemical weapons in World War One. Most of the world agreed to ban their use in 1993.

Today, we’re on the short list of countries that still have stockpiles– But not for long.

The military is finally destroying the last of these deadly chemical agents.

Scott Thuman takes us on a fascinating inside look at the risky process.

West Point cadet goes missing in New York along with his rifle, sparking massive search

A cadet from the Class of 2021 was reported missing from West Point in New York. The cadet’s M4 rifle was also reported missing. (iStock)

The cadet was scheduled to participate in a military skills competition over the weekend but never showed up.

Fellow cadets then began to “immediately search” for their missing teammate before military police were notified, triggering a probe of the military installation at 1 a.m. Saturday.

The military academy is operating under normal conditions with an “increased force protection status.”

“We have increased Military Police patrols at sporting events and across the academy as a precautionary measure and to assist in safely locating the missing cadet,” the military said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the West Point Military Police at 845-938-3333.

California city returns island taken from native tribe in 1860 massacre

Wiyot land in Eureka, California. Photograph: Ben Margot/AP

The tribe was decimated in 1860, when scores of elders, women and children were wiped out during a raid by settlers while the tribe’s men were away gathering supplies.

Since then, the now 600-member tribe has been making small strides toward regaining the land it lost.

On Monday, the city will sign over the deed to the largest chunk – more than 200 acres in what was the historic village of Etpidolh. No money was exchanged.

“For our city, it’s the right thing to do, and that’s why we’re doing it,” said Kim Bergel, a councilwoman who was born and raised in the county. “Certainly, it’s been far too long.”

Target Employees Won The ‘Fight For $15’ but Weren’t Ready for the Trade-Offs


But the bottom line is that wage increases do not exist in a vacuum.

And that’s not just true at Target. Minimum wage increases are “not a net good, and zero-sum at best,” according to a recent analysis from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a free market think tank.

In a report released earlier this month, CEI found that mandated wage increases include a wide number of trade-offs, including reduced non-wage compensation, fewer job openings, reduced hours, increased automation, higher insurance co-pays, less vacation and personal time, and reduced employee discounts.

“The negative economic trade-offs for minimum wage workers, unfortunately, cancel out most of the paycheck gains,” says Ryan Young, CEI senior fellow and author of the report.

That sounds like exactly what’s happened at Target.


FULL MEASURE: October 20, 2019 – Media Mistakes

Commentary/Opinion: ABC News aired video they claimed showed attacks by Turkish troops on Kurdish civilians, telling of slaughter and ‘horrific reports of atrocities’.

But ABC removed the video and apologized on Monday after online viewers seemed to find the video wasn’t shot recently and wasn’t even from the Mideast… but from a gun show demonstration in Kentucky in 2017.

The network did not explain -how- such a mistake could have happened. President Trump tweeted: A big scandal at @ABC News.

They got caught using really gruesome FAKE footage of the Turks bombing in Syria. The war between the media and Donald Trump sometimes looks like one of mutually assured destruction.

And sometimes, truth is a casualty.

We talk about that with Fox News media critic Howie Kurtz, author of: Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press and the War Over the Truth.

Trump defends Gabbard after Clinton claims she’s a Russian asset

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – OCTOBER 05: Democratic presidential candidate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) addresses the crowd at the Blue Jamboree on October 5, 2019 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Six of the 2020 Democratic candidates were scheduled to attend the event. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Monday defended Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard against Hillary Clinton’s accusation that the Democratic congresswoman’s presidential campaign is being bolstered by the Russian government.

“She’s accusing everyone of being a Russian agent,” Trump told reporters of his 2016 general election opponent.

“These people are sick. There’s something wrong with them,” he said, arguing that Clinton’s controversial comments would aid Gabbard’s White House bid.

“So now Crooked Hillary is at it again! She is calling Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard ‘a Russian favorite,’ and Jill Stein ‘a Russian asset,’” he tweeted Saturday.

“As you may have heard, I was called a big Russia lover also (actually, I do like Russian people. I like all people!). Hillary’s gone Crazy!”

Beto: ‘This Country Is Still Racist’

Beto O’Rourke says ‘this country is still racist at its core’ to a crowd at the Alabama Democratic Conference.

Former Fox Host Greta Van Susteren Calls Out Chris Wallace for Trump ‘Smear’

Chris Wallace takes part in an interview with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on "FOX News Sunday" at the FOX News D.C. Bureau on July 27, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Chris Wallace takes part in an interview with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on “FOX News Sunday” at the FOX News D.C. Bureau on July 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

On Monday, Van Susteren wrote on Twitter that Wallace “should know better than to use” anonymous sources and questioned what “well-connected” even meant.

“He should name names or not say this at all as without the identity (what is a ‘well connected??’) its purpose is merely to smear and cause trouble – name names or don’t say this at all,” she wrote.

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was on Wallace’s show on Sunday when he made the “20 percent” statement.

He replied to Wallace: “Oh, that’s just absurd. But let’s deal with the issue of Syria … This comment about a 20 percent chance, the person clearly doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”

2020 presidential hopeful says Elizabeth Warren is lying about her health care plan: ‘It’s a soundbite’

“I think she’s not being honest about her plan,” Bennet said on “CNN Newsroom.” “I think her plan, which costs $33 trillion, is the equivalent of 70 percent of all the taxes that the federal government will collect over the next 10 years.

“I mean, it is a massive increase in taxes to this country and it hasn’t been explained to the American people,” he continued.

“It’s a soundbite. And more than that… it’s not based on common sense.”

Steve: Impeachment is partisan politics dressed up as principle

Commentary/Opinion: Steve says that impeachment is about partisan politics for the Democrats and defeating populism for the ruling class.

National police unions refuse to enforce Beto’s gun confiscation plan if elected

Beto O’Rourke campaign stop at Natty Greene’s in Greensboro, North Carolina on April 15, 2019. (Anthony Crider, Wikimedia commons/Released)

Several law enforcement officials reportedly called the gun control plan “ridiculous” and “asinine” and raised questions about its constitutionality.

A leader of the National Fraternal Order of Police—the nation’s largest police union, representing more than 330,000 sworn law-enforcement officers—said that not only was Beto’s plan unlikely to be constitutional but that Beto himself was unlikely to ever be elected.

“Mr. O’Rourke may not be aware that state and local police officers (who comprise more than 90% of all police in the U.S.) receive their orders from their local jurisdictions – not from the Federal government,” Jim Pasco, executive director of the FOP told the Washington Free Beacon.

“Further, any such legislation, if it passed, would no doubt be vigorously litigated with a view to its apparent inconsistency with the Second Amendment.”

2020 Dems dismiss Hillary Clinton’s attacks, rally to Tulsi Gabbard’s defense over Russia accusation

An increasing number of other 2020 Democratic candidates have positioned themselves in Gabbard’s camp, rejecting Clinton’s claims, defending Gabbard and attempting to shift the conversation to other topics.

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang defended Gabbard, saying she “deserves much more respect and thanks than this.”

Marianne Williamson, the self-help author, told Gabbard to “stay strong” and said she’s the victim of attempted “character assassination.”

“The Democratic establishment has got to stop smearing women it finds inconvenient!” she tweeted.

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, also a veteran, was asked on CNN whether he felt Gabbard was a Russian asset and said: “I don’t know what the basis is for that.”

Durham Obtains Mifsud’s Cell Phones, What’s on Them? | Gina Shakespeare | Declassified

John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut tasked with investigating the origins of the FBI’s probe into the Trump campaign, has obtained two cell phones belonging to Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud.

Mifsud, who disappeared from public view shortly after his name was outed in the media in 2017, has been cited as having played a key role in events that led the FBI to investigate the Trump campaign.

Powell noted that the information on the phones is “material, exculpatory, and relevant to the defense of Mr. Flynn” and claimed that “OCONUS LURES” and “agents of western intelligence” were tasked against Flynn “as early as 2014.”

The term OCONUS lures, shorthand for spies “Outside the Continental United States,” was featured in a Dec. 28, 2015 text from FBI agent Peter Strzok, the lead FBI agent on the Trump investigation, to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, asking, “You get all our oconus lures approved?”

World News:

‘Modern Slavery’: Nigeria Rescues Hundreds of Abducted Boys from ‘Islamic Reform School’


Local police chief Ali Janga, who is helping oversee the operations, described one of the facilities as “a place of horror and modern slavery.”

“The detainees, including children as young as five found in chains, were alleged to have been tortured and sexually abused,” he said.

One of the victims told the Nigerian Tribune that he had been abducted and chained up for three months so that he would “learn about the Koran and Islam.”

Some human rights organizations estimate that around 10 million children could be in the hands of these “boarding schools,” with some of them taken there by their parents in a bid to enforce discipline and promote religious values.

Israeli PM Netanyahu fails to form a government ahead of deadline

His rival Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party will now be invited to attempt to form a government.

Mr Netanyahu’s attempts to bring Mr Gantz’s party into government failed.

Announcing the decision to abandon his efforts, Mr Netanyahu said he had tried repeatedly to form a coalition government but had been rebuffed.

Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, said he would give Mr Gantz weeks to carry out the same negotiations.

Israeli Arab lawmakers pledged their backing, but Mr Gantz – who leads a right-of-centre alliance- remained more than a dozen seats short of the necessary 61 seat majority.

Many Christians in Syria Support Trump’s Decision to Withdraw Troops: Report

Syriac Christians take part in Palm Sunday celebrations at the Syriac Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in the northeastern Syrian Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishli, on April 21, 2019.
Syriac Christians take part in Palm Sunday celebrations at the Syriac Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in the northeastern Syrian Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishli, on April 21, 2019. (DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Messo said that Trump’s decision shows that the United States “chooses peace and jobs at home above wars abroad,” and that “if other countries follow suit, primarily those whose foreign policies largely follow America’s course, and stop arming their proxies, violence will soon end.”

He wrote: “By pursuing their own agenda, the nationalist PYD/YPG Kurds have acted irresponsibly, endangering the lives of their own people and those of Arameans and other minorities.

“YPG Kurds should have used their privileged position to focus on Syria’s unity and strike a peace deal with Syria and/or Turkey.”

Messo continued: “Whether in Southeast Turkey or Northeast Syria, the PKK/PYD/YPG Kurds hold the key in their hands to peace, security and prosperity for their own people and for other peoples in the lands which we need to be sharing today.”

His words came shortly before Trump on Oct. 12 released $50 million in aid to protect persecuted ethnic and religious minorities and advance human rights in Syria.

US Troops Welcomed by Civilians in Iraq After Syria Withdrawal

A convoy of U.S. vehicles is seen after withdrawing from northern Syria, on the outskirts of Dohuk, Iraq on Oct. 21, 2019.
A convoy of U.S. vehicles is seen after withdrawing from northern Syria, on the outskirts of Dohuk, Iraq on Oct. 21, 2019. (Ari Jalal/Reuters)

Reuters video images showed armored vehicles carrying troops into Iraq, part of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.

A Reuters cameraman saw more than 100 vehicles crossing.

Video filmed by Rudaw TV shows civilians smiling as they welcomed a U.S troop by the side of the road and children waving as armoured U.S vehicles passed through the Sahela border crossing into Iraq’s northern province of Dohuk.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that all of the nearly 1,000 troops withdrawing from northern Syria are expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against the ISIS terrorist group and “to help defend Iraq.”

Canada election: Justin Trudeau on shaky ground as voters head to polls

Oct. 10, 2019: Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer take part in the Federal leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Quebec. Polls show that Scheer has a chance to defeat Trudeau’s Liberal party in national elections on Monday, Oct. 21. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

If Trudeau is sent packing, it would mark the first time in 84 years that a first-term Canadian prime minister with a parliamentary majority wasn’t re-elected.

As Election Day approached pollsters weren’t expecting either Liberals or Conservatives to capture an absolute majority when all the votes are counted.

Trudeau’s popularity in Canada has plunged due to accusations he pressured his attorney general to drop a bribery probe of a Quebec company and after the publication of old photos of him in blackface, a revelation that prompted Trudeau to apologize.

Brexit stumbles — again — as Boris Johnson’s bid for new vote rejected by UK speaker

Johnson on Thursday struck a deal with the 27 other countries in the EU that he described as a “great new deal that takes back control.”

But lawmakers, who’ve largely frustrated Brexit efforts by Johnson and former Prime Minister Theresa May, voted on Saturday to delay their backing for the new agreement until the legislation needed to implement it has been passed.

The government plans to introduce its key Brexit bill later in the day Monday, with lawmakers holding a first round of debates and votes on Tuesday.

Johnson still hopes to get the bill approved by Parliament before Oct. 31, the date he promised Britain would leave the EU.

Brexit – What’s the deal?

Commentary/Opinion: Realistically, the EU is never going to give us what we want, it’s not in their interests. Every scenario, including no deal, will mean making further arrangements down the line.

I believe we’re better served making those arrangements, and disentangling ourselves, while not being members of the EU. This was never going to be easy.

We need no deal, but even that will come with making tough arrangements down the line, as the EU will continue to protect its interests.

I’m the only who has consistently said it, and I’ll say it again, the only way for the EU to have no influence, is to get rid of the EU altogether.

In the meantime, I believe it to be in the best short-term interest of this country to significantly change our status with regard to the EU, and to take remain effectively off the table.


Evolution: Bacteria to Beethoven

For a century Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution has been as unquestioned as Newton’s theory of gravity.

But science never stops asking questions. Or at least it’s not supposed to.

Stephen Meyer, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, takes up the challenge in this video.

Are there questions about the origins of life that Darwinism can’t answer?

Antifa protesters EXPOSED as absolute cowards

Over the past couple of months, I’ve covered most rallies in Melbourne for TR news and have noticed a few things about Antifa here.

Antifa in Melbourne are a tiny group of extremists who attend every rally, no matter the issue. No one can possibly be passionate enough to hit the streets about such broad topics as Hong Kong, Socialism, Abortion, Veganism and Climate Change.

They’re being paid to protest.

Antifa are total cowards.

First, there’s the soy boy who told me he’s all for violence when necessary. I guarantee you; he wasn’t so pro the idea that one of the Proud Boys there would punch him in the face.