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News and Headlines. 2/19/2020

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

In The News:

Neighbor killed Faye Swetlik, killed himself days later, police say

The Cayce Department of Public Safety, Coroner Margaret Fisher, and other officials held a news conference Tuesday afternoon about the death of Swetlik, the South Carolina girl who vanished in front of her home last week.

Snellgrove said based on their investigation, the little girl was taken by 30-year-old Coty Taylor, a man who lived just around the corner from Faye’s home.

As that discovery was being made, officers went to Taylor’s home, where they found him bleeding on the back patio. He was declared dead.

IRS sending more agents to visit wealthier Americans who owe taxes

The IRS said some in-person visits will be scheduled, and some will be unannounced. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
The IRS said some in-person visits will be scheduled, and some will be unannounced. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Feb. 19 (UPI) — The Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday it will step up efforts to collect back taxes from wealthier Americans who haven’t filed returns for years.

The IRS said the new effort will start with in-person visits to high-income earners who didn’t file a return for 2018. It said the goal is to bring delinquent taxpayers current and inform them of their options.

Some visits will be scheduled and others will be unannounced, the IRS noted, and agents will verify their presence with two forms of identification.

Appeals court: Ex-felons shouldn’t have to pay fines to vote in Florida

A full trial on the lawsuit is scheduled to take place in April. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI
A full trial on the lawsuit is scheduled to take place in April.
File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI

Feb. 19 (UPI) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s temporary injunction against a Florida law preventing former felons from voting if they are unable to pay court-ordered fines and fees.

The three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said that while the state can request former felons to pay their fines, they can’t bar anyone from voting if they’re unable to pay.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which supported the plaintiffs in the case, said the ruling affirmed that a person’s right to vote shouldn’t be conditioned on wealth.

Trump clemency recipient says woman who got mercy helped her

Judith Negron is interviewed at her home in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.
Judith Negron is interviewed at her home in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. Negron was serving 35 years at a Florida prison for health care fraud, conspiracy and money laundering when she was released Tuesday after President Donald Trump commuted her sentence. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Johnson was serving life without parole for drug offenses when Trump granted her clemency in June 2018.

She had been convicted in 1996 on eight criminal accounts related to a Memphis based cocaine trafficking operation.

Johnson was featured in one of Trump’s campaign ads during this year’s Super Bowl. She told the AP that the president had been looking specifically for female candidates, and had asked her for a list of other women who deserved clemency.

Negron, who turns 50 next week, was among the 11 federal inmates around the nation who received clemency actions thanks to the president. The Hispanic woman was convicted as a first-time offender in 2011 in a case that made national headlines.

Trump Admin Deploying Border Patrol to 10 Sanctuary Cities to Assist ICE

The BORTAC agents are expected to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents with deportation operations between February and May in an effort to increase arrests of criminal illegal aliens by 35 percent, according to emails read to the Times.

The added BORTAC agents aiding ICE with arrests of criminal illegal aliens comes as federal immigration officials reportedly requested more help in the sanctuary cities that shield fugitives from deportation.

Most recently, the Trump administration has released a full-fledged federal campaign to take on sanctuary jurisdictions.

At the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr has filed lawsuits against the sanctuary state of New Jersey and the sanctuary county of King County, Washington for their obstruction of national immigration law. Barr said this week:

Kansas crossing guard, 88, struck, killed by car after saving 2 schoolkids: reports

Bob Nill, 88, who children at Christ the King Catholic School called “Mr. Bob,” was managing traffic for two boys, ages 7 and 11, when he told them to stop for a speeding vehicle, the school’s principal said.

Eyewitness reports said he was struck after pushing the two boys out of the vehicle’s path, according to Nill’s employer, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.

“He was always so worried about kids’ safety,” Fithian said, according to KCUR-TV. “When there was ice on the sidewalk, he’d come up and tell us in the school so we could come up and make sure the kids wouldn’t fall.

He always thought about the kids more than himself.”

Florida police investigate after ‘several’ tongues preserved in jars found in crawl space: reports

Police were dispatched to a home near NW 16th Avenue after receiving a 911 call that human remains, dating back to the 1960s, had been found in the crawl space of a home belonging to the ex-wife of Dr. Ronald A. Baughman, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Baughman’s ex-wife now owns the home and forgot the jars were beneath the house.

“I don’t know what the policies and laws would have been like 50 years ago or whenever it was, but I can tell you that today that’s not something that would be permitted,” University of Florida spokesperson Steve Orlando told WCJB.

Rapper Pop Smoke dead at 20 in home invasion shooting: reports

Pop Smoke attends Trey Songz ; 50 Cent Host The Big Game Weekend 2020 at Cameo on February 1 in Miami, Fla.
Pop Smoke attends Trey Songz ; 50 Cent Host The Big Game Weekend 2020 at Cameo on February 1 in Miami, Fla. (Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Police are still searching for suspects and it is unclear if the young rapper knew the perpetrators. According to the gossip website, one man whose name has not been released was arrested and freed after authorities found he had no link to the crimes.

Law enforcement sources told TMZ some sort of gathering took place at the rapper’s house prior to the shooting.

Texas man, 24, drove for beer with ‘mangled’ corpse, body parts after allegedly striking pedestrian: report

24-year-old Paul Joseph Garcia,
24-year-old Paul Joseph Garcia,

Witnesses said Garcia, who was barefoot, walked “calmly” from the car into the South Austin Beer Garden “in a manner that caught the attention of the other patrons,” according to an affidavit quoted by the Austin American-Statesman.

Garcia had blood and other debris on him, the Statesman reported, which later matched “the blood and body tissue found coated in the interior of the vehicle,” as per the affidavit.

The victim was pushing a shopping cart and when Garcia allegedly hit him. Citing the affidavit, the Statesman reported that the pedestrian had “extreme, traumatic injuries to their head” and some body parts had been detached.

Oklahoma catch-and-release law forces angler to let go of monstrous 157-pound paddlefish

Justin Hamlin of Kerryville, Okla., caught a whopping 157-lb. paddlefish on Valentine's Day while fishing at Keystone Lake.
Justin Hamlin of Kerryville, Okla., caught a whopping 157-lb. paddlefish on Valentine’s Day while fishing at Keystone Lake. State law forced him to return the fish to the water because Mondays and Fridays are catch-and-release days.
(Oklahoma Department of Wildlife)

His Valentine’s Day monster catch was likely the biggest paddlefish ever caught, but will likely never appear in the record books because it was caught on a Friday, one of two days that the state’s catch-and-release law applies, the newspaper reported.

Hamlin said in his Valentine’s outing with his wife — in which they caught five other fish — he was excited by the catch as the paddlefish fought him three times before he brought it in.

“It would come up to where you could see it and it would take off again,” he said.

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George Zimmerman sues Warren, Buttigieg for $265M, accuses them of attempting to garner black votes by defaming him

The lawsuit argued Warren and Buttigieg falsely tied Martin’s death to “gun violence,” a term that more appropriately describes the “reckless and indiscriminate use of illegally owned firearms.”

It also claims the tweets defamed Zimmerman by implying he acted out of racism or white supremacy when he shot Martin.

The complaint also points out that Zimmerman led a community-wide effort to seek justice for Sherman Ware, a homeless black man who was attacked by the son of a white police officer, and was acting as a mentor in a program for African-American teens whose parents were in prison at the time of the shooting.

“It is high time that the cheap and harmful use of the race card by politicians of all stripes be made to cease and desist,” Zimmerman’s attorney and founder of conservative legal rights group Judicial Watch, Larry Klayman, said in a statement, according to Newsweek.

Politics:

GOP Senators Launch Plan to Pursue Big Banks Refusing Services to ICE

The legislation, titled the Financial Defense of Industrial Contractors (FDIC) Act, would take on six big banks for their efforts in retaliating against federal contractors working with ICE. Executives for Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Barclays, and SunTrust have said they will no longer provide depository services to federal contractors with ICE for no other reason than their opposition to national immigration law.

These six banks alone control over $7 trillion in combined assets.

Under Rubio’s legislation — which Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Kevi Cramer (R-ND) are co-sponsoring — big banks with assets over $50 billion would have their Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance removed if they refuse to provide services to federal contractors.

Mayor Garcetti: “We Are Not Coordinating With ICE”

Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti publicly announced that the LAPD will not coordinate with ICE.

Warren Calls On Trump Admin To ‘Reverse’ Decision To Deploy Border Patrol Tactical Units To Sanctuary Cities

Warren and Markey delivered a joint letter addressed to the chiefs of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Saturday, deriding a decision by the administration to deploy CBP officers to sanctuary cities across the country.

The two lawmakers also openly hypothesized in the letter that the operation was being conducted at a specific time in order to suppress immigrant and minority participation in the U.S. Census Bureau.

Warren, for her part, called for a complete overhaul of the U.S. immigration system, including the decriminalization of illegal immigration, a moratorium on deportations of illegal aliens, and even expressed a willingness to spend taxpayer money on tearing down parts of newly constructed wall along the southern border.

Mark Krikorian Discusses Biden Policy Transition

Commentary/Opinion:
Mark Krikorian, the Center’s Executive Director, discusses the change in Joe Biden’s immigration policy stance, as well as that of the Democratic party in general.

Common Sense Ep. 8 | Inside the Prosecutor’s File and Bombshell Documents

Commentary/Opinion:Today on Common Sense, we take a look inside the Prosecutor’s file and release a new bombshell document.

Angel mom running for Congress in California calls out state’s sanctuary laws ahead of Trump visit

“After my son’s murderer was released early in November of last year and I finally got him deported, I felt very strong and very empowered to fight for Americans — to fight for my country that I love and respect,” she said.

Gibboney’s son Ronald Da Silva was murdered by an illegal immigrant in California in 2002. Da Silva’s killer was released from custody in November of last year.

Gibboney is running for California’s 31st Congressional District in the heart of San Bernardino — a district neighboring the city of Los Angeles.

The City of Angels’ Mayor Eric Garcetti and his police chief recently came under fire after posting a video on Twitter assuring their community they were not working for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Peter Schweizer: How Bernie Sanders has used his public service to enrich his family

According to Schweizer’s investigations, Sanders’ wife Jane Driscoll Sanders was appointed to several positions of influence when he was mayor of Burlington, Vt. After the pair were married in 1988, she received a big pay increase — ignoring objections from the city council.

Delving further into Sanders’ history, Schweizer told Doocy that his stock portfolio shows investments that aren’t “socially responsible.”

“He’s not buying solar company stock or buying into an organic cattle farm. He is buying Fortune 500 companies.

So, he attacks Wall Street, he attacks big pharma, he attacks big oil…He is invested in those companies; that’s where he is actually putting his assets,” he stated.

Mollie Hemingway: Democrats’ ‘hypocrisy on display’ after senator’s secret meeting with Iran

Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway, who broke the story of Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., meeting with a top Iranian official, pointed out the “hypocrisy” of Democrats who have previously railed against the Trump administration for talks with the Russians.

“A few years ago, when [former National Security Adviser] Mike Flynn, as an incoming member in the Trump administration, had a conversation with his Russian counterpart, Chris Murphy thought that this was treasonous, illegal — that Mike Flynn needed to have his life ruined,” Hemingway told “Fox & Friends.”

Hemingway pushed back that U.S. diplomacy can be harmed when other countries receive “mixed messages” from U.S. lawmakers. She said Murphy only released a statement after news of the secret meeting leaked out.

World News:

UN: Thousands fleeing Syrian offensive, kids dying in cold

Civilians flee from Idlib toward the north to find safety inside Syria near the border with Turkey, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020.
Civilians flee from Idlib toward the north to find safety inside Syria near the border with Turkey, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. Syrian troops are waging an offensive in the last rebel stronghold. (AP Photo)

Mark Lowcock told the U.N. Security Council that “the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe” in northwest Idlib province, which is the last major rebel stronghold, has “overwhelmed” efforts to provide aid.

Lowock, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said almost 50,000 people have taken shelter under trees and in open spaces. “I am getting daily reports of babies and other young children dying in the cold,” he added.

The United States, United Kingdom, Germany and others stressed that three-way talks with Syria supporters Russia and Iran and opposition backer Turkey, which led to a de-escalation zone in Idlib, aren’t working.

Gordon Chang: On Coronavirus in China, Its Impact on the Economy, and Chinese Influence Operations

Commentary/Opinion:
What does the coronavirus outbreak reveal about the priorities of the Chinese communist regime?

How are US companies in China being impacted?

And how does all this intersect with the Chinese regime’s extensive influence operations in the US?

In this episode, we’ll sit down with political commentator and China analyst Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China.”

Turkey’s Syria-offensive imminent as talks with Russia fail – TV7 Israel News 19.02.20

1) Syrian regime forces, backed by Iranian-proxies and Russian air support, continue to make gains in the war-torn country’s northwestern Idlib region – triggering Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare that a counteroffensive is imminent.

2) The IDF Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, also known by its acronym COGAT, alleviated humanitarian restrictions that were previously imposed on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, in response to an apparent cessation of terror related incidents from the Palestinian enclave in recent days.

3) With 12 days remaining before Israelis will flood the polling stations throughout the Jewish State, in a third attempt to break the persisting political deadlock in Jerusalem; The Israeli Justice Ministry announced the date for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial.

UK man, 77, ‘bravely’ fights off ATM mugger in boxing match caught on video

Trevor appeared to yell at the suspect, who kept backing off as the 77-year-old landed blow after blow.
Trevor appeared to yell at the suspect, who kept backing off as the 77-year-old landed blow after blow. (South Wales Police)

The senior, identified as Trevor, had just withdrawn money from an ATM in Cardiff, Wales, early on Feb. 5 when an unknown white male approached and demanded his cash and bank card, South Wales police said.

The suspect appeared to wield at least one sharp object and attempted to jab the man with it several times.

The suspect, however, remained no match for Trevor and was forced to slowly back off until he goes out of the camera shot.

Exclusive: Chinese Regime Deploys 1,600 Online Trolls to Suppress Information on Coronavirus

A Chinese security guard wears a protective mask as he stands on a commercial street in Beijing, China, on Feb. 18, 2020.
A Chinese security guard wears a protective mask as he stands on a commercial street in Beijing, China, on Feb. 18, 2020. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

The internal report, dated Feb. 15, detailed the agency’s efforts to ramp up censorship measures.

It was drafted after a speech given by Chinese leader Xi Jinping via video link on Feb. 10 to “frontline responders” of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, where the virus first broke out.

The trolls, through technological and manual screening, had identified as many as 606,800 posts online with “sensitive or harmful information,” it said.

Their approach, it said, was to “timely dispel the online rumors” and “strike powerful blows offline.”

As of Feb. 14, the online censors had deleted as many as 54,000 such “rumors,” and had social media influencers write nearly 400 commentary articles to shape the narrative.

US Imposes New Rules on State-Owned Chinese Media Over Propaganda Concerns

A China Daily newspaper box in Midtown Manhattan of New York on Dec. 6, 2017.
A China Daily newspaper box in Midtown Manhattan of New York on Dec. 6, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration said on Feb. 18 it will begin treating five major Chinese state-run media entities with U.S. operations the same as foreign embassies, requiring them to register their employees and U.S. properties with the State Department.

Two senior State Department officials said the decision was made because the Chinese regime has been tightening state control over its media, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping has made more aggressive use of them to spread pro-Beijing propaganda.

“The control over both the content and editorial control have only strengthened over the course of Xi Jinping’s term in power,” said one official. “These guys are in fact arms of the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party’s) propaganda apparatus.”

Beijing wasn’t informed in advance of the decision and was to be notified on Feb. 18, one official said.

Commentary/Opinion:

Ep. 1184 New Rules, No Mercy – The Dan Bongino Show®

In this episode, I address the explosive legal finding dropped by General Mike Flynn’s legal team which exposes the whole Spygate scheme.

I also address the astonishing hypocrisy of the Democrats and how to fight back.

The ‘New Way Forward Act’: A Roadmap for Immigration under Democratic Control

In its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) report for FY 2019, ICE revealed that at the end of the fiscal year, there were 595,430 fugitive aliens in the United States; that is, aliens who have “failed to leave the United States based upon a final order of removal, deportation or exclusion, or who have failed to report to ICE after receiving notice to do so” — up more than 50,000 cases from just two years before.

Not that this should be a surprise. Aliens who enter the United States illegally, or who overstay their visas, do so to live and (generally) work in the United States, (generally) indefinitely. They literally have no incentive to leave the United States if they are not detained and are ordered removed.

As a bipartisan panel of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) found in an April 2019 report: “Even if the asylum hearing and appeals ultimately go against the migrant, he or she still has the practical option of simply remaining in the U.S. illegally, where the odds of being caught and removed remain very low.”

5 If you are an alien on ICE’s docket, your odds of being detained are just less than one in 63.

H.R. 5383 is not a serious proposal — not yet, at least. Few members of Congress or senators facing reelection would want to run the inevitable risk that a criminal protected (or worse, returned at government expense) thereunder would commit a crime so heinous and shocking to the conscience that even a media otherwise ignorant, docile, and uninterested as it relates to alien crime could ignore it.

That said, however, the bill pulls the curtain back on where Democrats want to go on immigration, if they get the power to do so. Why do I say that?

The first cosponsor is Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the vice-chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship at the House Judiciary Committee (the subcommittee to which that bill has been referred).

She is no backbencher who has no idea of what this bill would do. She is leadership on that powerful committee.