In the News

News and Headlines. 11/25/2019

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

In The News:

NFL player arrested after police say he punched the pregnant mother of his baby

The Miami Dolphins have released running back Mark Walton after he was arrested repeatedly punching his pregnant girlfriend. Dolphins coach Brian Flores said Wednesday that releasing Walton was a difficult decision.

He also had three arrests prior to this latest one.

He is now charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, which is a second-degree felony that could result in up to 15 years in prison in Florida.

Davie police released the 911 call Wednesday. On the recording, you can hear a woman crying and saying:

Former politician and husband arrested by FBI in money laundering, drug trafficking scheme

The FBI took the couple into custody being charged with running a money laundering operation for what they thought were narcotic traffickers. The pair appeared in the United States District Court in Trenton on Friday last week.

As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer according to court documents, “Tarragó and Va traveled to New Jersey and Florida on several occasions and accepted about $800,000 in cash from the purported drug traffickers.

On multiple occasions, Tarragó offered to assist them with procuring large quantities of cocaine from Paraguay at an inexpensive price.”

During the undercover operation one of the agents reported of a car ride that took place where Tarragó and Va told them of how inexpensive marijuana and cocaine are in Paraguay and how easy it is to obtain the illegal substances.

Court documents also revealed,

The Marijuana Black Market Will Keep Its Throne in California, Thanks to Tax Increases

(Randall Benton/TNS/Newscom)

Marijuana taxes will be increasing in two ways.

The first involved the state’s 15 percent excise tax, which is calculated based on how much marijuana vendors mark up the price of retail sales to cover their costs and make a profit.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) researched average marijuana retail prices across the state, and it determined that sales have been marked up 80 percent from wholesale costs.This is an increase from the previous mark-up calculations of 60 percent.

Earlier in the month, 60 Minutes reported how the absurdly high costs of trying to legally grow weed in marijuana has fostered a black market and ensured that many legal vendors cannot make a profit.

The state’s response, from Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra (both Democrats), has been to launch a new drug war to try to crack down on the black market.

It is not unlike Newsom’s apparent bafflement that increasing gas taxes in California caused the price of gasoline to rise.

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Ex-director of Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America charged

The former head administrator of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has been arrested on charges he embezzled over half a million dollars from the organization.

Authorities say Jerry Dimitriou was charged Monday with wire fraud for allegedly directing subordinates to give him extra salary and charging hundreds of unauthorized personal expenses to the organization’s credit card.

Federal prosecutors said Dimitriou carried out the scheme while serving as the administrator from 2000 until late 2017.

Deepfake Strikes Again: Team of MIT Researchers Recreate Nixon Speech about Moon Disaster

Richard Nixon giving his ‘deepfake’ speech

Deepfake videos have been hitting the headlines recently, sometimes for some silly fun, and other times to highlight the risks deepfakes can present.

Now, a group of MIT researchers has put their heads together to create a deepfake video of former U.S. President Richard Nixon giving a speech about the Apollo 11 astronauts being stranded on the Moon.

This was a speech that Nixon had in fact prepared should the need have arisen at the time.

The goal of the video was to show the power, and sometimes worrying effects, deepfake videos can have. Can they rewrite history?

FULL MEASURE: November 24, 2019 – Terror Lawsuit

In the war on terror.. the enemy isn’t always outside the gate.

Some veterans and their families are claiming that some American pharmaceutical companies, motivated by profit, are inadvertently funding terrorist activities in Iraq.

Those links, could allegedly be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers. Lisa Fletcher examines the case.

Politics:

Mexican President to Urge Pelosi to Move Forward With USMCA

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill on May 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

He made the statement during a regular government news conference alongside other Mexican officials.

Last week, amid the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Pelosi said the USMCA trade deal probably will not pass by the end of 2019.

Days before that, Pelosi said that a breakthrough on the deal “is imminent.”

Canada previously said that it is waiting to move in unison with the United States on the deal.

Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Márquez Colín previously that she was optimistic the deal would get done in the coming weeks, Reuters reported on Nov. 20. Mexico has already approved USMCA.

Bureaucracy bonanza? Warren’s plans would create plethora of new federal offices

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., listens to a question during the question and answer part of her campaign event Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., listens to a question during the question and answer part of her campaign event Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H. (AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter)

Some of these are entirely new; some would replace existing agencies, only on a bigger scale; and some would represent a relaunch of old agencies disbanded years ago.

Taken together, what is proposed is a significant expansion in the size of the federal bureaucracy.

If elected president, Warren vows she’ll oversee the establishment of new offices that would be responsible for educating members of Congress on technology, investigating ethics violations, ensuring the U.S. is trading with green countries and much, much more.

Most of the new offices are explicitly outlined in Warren’s campaign literature. But the total could be higher.

At least one office — the Office of United States Corporations — is prescribed in a Warren bill linked to one of her campaign proposals, though the office is not mentioned on the campaign site.

But Warren’s plans don’t just create offices. She further advocates for a litany of commissions, programs and positions that also would expand the scope of other parts of the federal bureaucracy.

Why Did Horowitz Produce Two Reports?

On Tuesday, Nov. 19, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General released a new report. No, not that one.

It was not the FISA abuse report, also dubbed “The Spygate Report,” that has been anticipated for more than a year.

This was a different report that involved serious issues with the FBI’s uses of what are called “Confidential Human Sources” (CHS) or “informants”.

Journalist John Solomon was the first to reveal earlier this month that there was another IG report dealing with serious abuses of the FBI’s CHS program that would drop shortly before the FISA investigation report.

So when Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz did indeed release that CHS report this past Tuesday, Solomon’s sources were proven to be accurate yet again.

Bloomberg campaign manager on 2020: Trump is winning

“Right now, Donald Trump is winning. He is winning that election,” Sheekey continued.

“It’s very tough for people who don’t live in New York or California to understand that, but that is what’s happening …

Mike was doing everything he could from the sidelines and he finally decided it wasn’t enough to sit on the sidelines and he needed to do what he could to alter that dynamic.”

Bloomberg officially entered the presidential race on Sunday with the release of a one-minute video ad that was posted to social media.

Ilhan Omar’s $1 Trillion Housing Proposal Is an Expensive Joke

(Michael Brochstein/Polaris/Newscom)

Commentary/Opinion: Omar’s Homes for All Act is the latest in a series of far-reaching housing proposals released by such progressives as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.).

“The country does need more housing. This is literally the worst way to accomplish that,” says Salim Furth, a housing policy expert at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

Furth points out that federal public housing projects like the kind Omar is proposing concentrate poverty, often worsening the social problems they’re intended to address.

“You are taking people who most need to be in a strong neighborhood,” he says, “and putting them all in one place.

The worst slums of the 20th century were created by the government using this model.”

The regulations in Omar’s bill ensure that any new housing it does fund will have very high per-unit costs. Higher environmental standards mean higher costs. So will locating near transit hubs, where land is more expensive.

And while Omar bemoans “free market” housing, the fact is that the most regulated cities are also the most expensive.

A dozen document troves that could change the Ukraine scandal if Trump released them

There is still wide swaths of documentation kept under wraps inside government agencies like the State Department that could substantially alter the public’s understanding of what has happened in the U.S.-Ukraine relationships now at the heart of the impeachment probe.

As House Democrats mull whether to pursue impeachment articles and the GOP-led Senate braces for a possible trial,

here are 12 tranches of government documents that could benefit the public if President Trump ordered them released, and the questions these memos might answer.

MSNBC Blasted As ‘Absolutely Shameless’ For Coverage Of Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard

Commentary/Opinion: Ball ended with Yang, noting that the ideas of his campaign — which centers around universal basic income — don’t fall into the “the spectrum of pre-approved, acceptable ideas.”

She also claims Yang’s candidacy “challenges” those within the Democratic Party who want to “maintain control” over the “acceptable pathways and trajectories to power” —

In the conclusion of the segment, Ball suggested that the success of people such as Yang — who is currently ranked sixth in the polls and has bested senators, governors and congressmen throughout his run — expose the Democratic Party as an “impotent” and “hollowed out shell.”

World News:

More Polio Cases Now Caused by Vaccine Than by Wild Virus

A Congolese child is given a polio vaccination at a relief camp near Gisenyi, Rwanda on Jan. 25 , 2002. (Karel Prinsloo/AP Photo)

In a report late last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners noted nine new polio cases caused by the vaccine in Nigeria, Congo, Central African Republic, and Angola. Seven countries elsewhere in Africa have similar outbreaks and cases have been reported in Asia.

Of the two countries where polio remains endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan, vaccine-linked cases have been identified in Pakistan.

In rare cases, the live virus in oral polio vaccine can mutate into a form capable of sparking new outbreaks.

All the current vaccine-derived polio cases have been sparked by a Type 2 virus contained in the vaccine. Type 2 wild virus was eliminated years ago.

To eradicate polio, more than 95 percent of a population needs to be immunized. WHO and partners have long relied on oral polio vaccines because they are cheap and can be easily administered, requiring only two drops per dose.

Western countries use a more expensive injectable polio vaccine that contains an inactivated virus incapable of causing polio.

Record Turnout as Hong Hong Voters Elect Pro-Democracy Candidates in Blow to China

Protesters gather on Victoria Park in Hong Kong Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019.
Protesters gather on Victoria Park in Hong Kong Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. Thousands of people streamed into the park for what organizers hope will be a peaceful demonstration for democracy in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

The protests abated as voters headed to the polls in local elections that suddenly became far more consequential.

Democratic candidates won almost 90 percent of the 452 seats on the district councils, Reuters reported. District council elections are usually quiet affairs.

These local government bodies mainly deal with noise complaints, bus stop locations, and neighborhood beautification projects.

Yet the Democratic Party victories came as a shock, as pro-democracy candidates ousted well-funded pro-China status quo candidates. Some polling places reverberated with shouts of “Liberate Hong Kong!” and “Revolution Now!”

Hong Kong REACTS to the landslide victory for freedom

This morning Hong Kong woke to the news of an “unexpected” landslide election victory for the pro-democracy camp.

FULL MEASURE: November 24, 2019 – An Unusual Union

Now a fascinating trip to a troubled city in what some consider one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe. It’s Malmo, Sweden.

A place where Jews have come under routine attack by Muslims and white supremacists.

We’re about to meet a Rabbi who’s connected with local Muslim leaders to repair the city’s image with an unconventional approach.

Sharyl: Rabbi Moshe David Hacohen leads the one and only Jewish synagogue in the city of Malmo, Sweden.

Dresden museum heist thieves steal $1.1 billion in ‘priceless’ jewels

Police officers work behind caution tape at the Schinkelwache building in Dresden, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. (Sebastian Kahnert/dpa via AP)

The two crooks made off with three “priceless” ensembles of early 18th-century jewelry in diamond, ruby and emerald on display at the Dresden Green Vault, which was closed at the time, Reuters reported.

Police responded after a security camera spotted two men breaking into the museum through a window at 5 a.m., triggering an alarm.

By the time they got there five minutes later, the thieves were gone, according to Reuters, which quoted Bild newspaper as saying the haul was worth up to 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

Commentary/Opinion:

The Dark Art of Framing

Why do intelligent people – sometimes even our friends and family members – continue to fall for the Left’s false narrative?

Jeff Myers, President of Summit Ministries, offers some compelling insight into the ways in which the Left manipulates words and emotions, and what you can do to protect yourself.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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