In the News

News and Headlines. 3/6/2020

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

In The News:

2nd girl accuses former Miami Gardens teacher of molestation

Thirty-eight-year-old Brian Holt appeared in bond court Friday morning after the alleged victim claimed he molested her as she walked to class last October.

Officials said Holt came into contact with the children while working at Brentwood Elementary School late last year.

This is the second 4-year-old to accuse the suspect of sexual assault.

He was arrested back in November after another student said he touched and caressed her inappropriately during class.

Deltona man arrested in beating death of 3-month-old son

Emmanuelle Vazquez was arrested Wednesday and faces charges of first-degree felony murder and aggravated child abuse.
Emmanuelle Vazquez was arrested Wednesday and faces charges of first-degree felony murder and aggravated child abuse. (Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)

Emmanuelle Vazquez was arrested Wednesday by a United States Marshals Service fugitive task force and the Orange County fugitive unit, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Vazquez was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday and faces charges of first-degree felony murder and aggravated child abuse.

An autopsy revealed severe internal injuries to the head and upper torso, revealing J.J’s death was homicide by blunt force, VCSO said.

Vazquez initially denied the accusation, but later said he accidentally dropped J.J. in the back yard. Evidence over a long investigation contradicted Vazquez’s statements, authorities said.

Woman accused of handcuffing son, whipping him with extension cord

Amanda Guevara.Bexar County Sheriff's Office
Amanda Guevara.Bexar County Sheriff’s Office

The boy’s mother, Amanda Guevara, 33, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and bodily injury on a family member, according to an arrest warrant filed in Bexar County.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office received a call Tuesday about a boy running around the neighborhood wearing black shorts, black socks and handcuffs.

The mother told deputies her son would take away a belt when she used it to spank him, which is why she decided to handcuff him.

She admitted to using an extension cord Tuesday to hit her son.

At least 7 virus cases linked to cruise ship off California

In this photo provided by Michele Smith, a cruise ship worker cleans a railing on the Grand Princess Thursday, March 5, 2020, off the California coast.
In this photo provided by Michele Smith, a cruise ship worker cleans a railing on the Grand Princess Thursday, March 5, 2020, off the California coast.(Michele Smith via AP)

Health officials trying to establish whether the virus is circulating on the Grand Princess undertook the testing after reporting that a passenger on a previous voyage of the ship, in February, died of the disease.

In the past few days, health authorities disclosed that least six other people who were on the same excursion were also found to be infected.

And some passengers from that trip stayed aboard for the current voyage.

Meanwhile, the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 14, with all but one victim in Washington state, while the number of infections swelled to over 200, scattered across at least 18 states. Pennsylvania and Indiana reported their first cases

Elite NJ High School Facing Federal Lawsuit Over Harrowing Antisemitic Harassment of Jewish Student

A student from New Jersey’s MAST Academy lying on Sandy Hook Beach alongside an antisemitic epithet aimed at a Jewish classmate.
A student from New Jersey’s MAST Academy lying on Sandy Hook Beach alongside an antisemitic epithet aimed at a Jewish classmate.
Photo: Court document evidence photos.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on Thursday that there was probable cause to establish that the Middleton-based Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) failed to properly respond to the harassment.

On numerous occasions during lunch, she saw students “drawing images of swastikas in their notebooks and on school lunch tables.” School officials did not act, according to the suit.

During her junior year in 2018, the student participated in a school field trip to Sandy Hook Beach. Along with 17 other students, she received a text message from a classmate who attached a photograph of another MAST student lying on the beach, smiling, next to the words “I h8 Jews” scrawled in the sand.

Trump visits tornado-ravaged town in Tennessee, promises help

Marine One, with President Donald Trump aboard, left, flies over damage after a recent tornado, Friday, March 6, 2020,
Marine One, with President Donald Trump aboard, left, flies over damage after a recent tornado, Friday, March 6, 2020, taken on the plane in flight over Cookeville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In Cookeville, Mr. Trump stood amid the rubble of homes and sheared-off trees on a street where eight people were killed.

“I love them very much, that’s why I’m here,” Mr. Trump said. “I was going to [visit] yesterday, but they asked me for one more day because they were looking for bodies, believe it or not, up until now.

He spoke of an 8-year-old boy who was sucked out of his home by the twister and landed, alive, more than two blocks away. The rest of his family died.

Later, Mr. Trump prayed at the Church of Christ Cookeville with family members and first responders.

DOJ asks Supreme Court to preserve ‘Remain in Mexico’ border policy

A migrant climbs the fence at the border crossing between Guatemala and Mexico in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020.
A migrant climbs the fence at the border crossing between Guatemala and Mexico in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

Known formally as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), and more commonly called “Remain in Mexico,” the policy allows the U.S. to push migrants who entered from Mexico back across the border to wait for their immigration court dates.

About 60,000 migrants had been subjected to MPP.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling last week that MPP was illegal, but stayed the order. On Wednesday, the court gave the Justice Department a week to appeal to the Supreme Court or else the injunction against MPP would take effect.

In its petition to the Supreme Court on Friday the Justice Department said “chaos” erupted after the original 9th Circuit ruling, with large groups of migrants storming border ports of entry demanding immediate entry.

Flynn’s lawyer says deal with feds will help retired general withdraw guilty plea

Retired General Mike Flynn
(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Retired General Mike Flynn
(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

In late-January, Flynn’s legal team filed a motion to withdraw the retired general’s guilty plea on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Powell argued that Covington Burling was “laboring under a severe conflict of interest” when it advised its client to plead guilty.

The firm was, at the time, facing government scrutiny over a Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filing that it had submitted on Flynn’s behalf.

Manager who locked Trump supporters out of Bojangles’ restaurant after president’s rally is fired

Donald Trump had given a speech to over 10,000 of his supporters at a venue that is less than a ten-minute walk from the restaurant, according to The Charlotte Observer.

“Bojangles locked the doors to the Trump rally last night and denied service,” Furick wrote. “Ironic because the rally was at Bojangles arena. @bojangles this is pretty distasteful. I walk up to the door and people are gathered around and stated they would not serve Trump supporters.”

Photos that Furick posted show an employee making a “stop” gesture with his hand, and Trump supporters standing outside with their pro-Trump signs.

Trump campaign sues CNN over ‘false and defamatory’ statements, seeks millions in damages

Fox News obtained the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia where CNN is located.

It states in part that CNN claimed Trump’s campaign “assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia’s help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table.”

The complaint said that CNN was well aware the statements were false “because there was an extensive record of statements from the Campaign and the administration expressly disavowing any intention to seek Russian assistance” but promoted the claim anyway.

The complaint said that Trump’s legal team sent CNN a request to retract and apologize last month but CNN executives refused. The Trump campaign now seeks “millions of dollars” through litigation.

Economy defied early coronavirus fears in February with 273,000 new jobs, unemployment ticked down to 3.5%

Employment growth in February beat expectations, as 273,000 workers were added to payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

The unemployment rate was 3.5%, versus 3.6% in January.

Forecasters had expected about 175,000 jobs.

The job growth numbers for December and January were also revised up, by a combined 85,000.

Yet not all the news from Friday’s report was as encouraging. Labor participation was flat.

Wages increased by 3% from the previous year, in line with previous months’ readings and not as high as might be expected at this stage of the economic expansion.

Trump administration finalizes plan to collect DNA from illegal immigrants in federal custody

The Justice Department on Friday published a final rule that will allow it to mandate the Department of Homeland Security to comply fully with the bipartisan DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005.

The change gives Attorney General William Barr the authority to require that Customs and Border Protection begin fingerprinting noncitizens in its custody.

Noncitizens have been exempt since the 2010 request of Obama-era DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The FBI’s national database, the Combined DNA Index System, can be accessed electronically by local, state, and federal forensic laboratories for the investigation of crimes nationwide.

Teens beat up 15-year-old girl and steal her Air Jordans in Brooklyn

Police said they are investigating a 15-year-old girl's vicious mugging that was caught on video.  (NYPD)
Police said they are investigating a 15-year-old girl’s vicious mugging that was caught on video. (NYPD)

The teenager was walking on Utica Avenue near Sterling Place in Crown Heights at 4:10 p.m. Thursday when she was spotted by the dozen youths, cops said.

When she reached the corner, the gang lunged at her and punched and kicked her repeatedly, the video shows.

The clip begins with the victim already on the ground, one of the boys kicking her in the chest and face.

The appalling 20-second beatdown ends with one kid yanking the victim’s black and white Air Jordan 1s from her feet and leaving her limp on the ground, the footage shows.

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Loaded gun found in jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself

The Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. (AP)
The Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. (AP)

The handgun was located by Bureau of Prisons officers inside a housing unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, prison officials said in a statement to the AP.

It marked a massive breach of protocol and raised serious questions about the security practices in place at the Bureau of Prisons, which is responsible for more than 175,000 federal inmates, and specifically at the jail, which had been billed as one of the most secure in America.

Officials have not said where specifically the gun had been found, or how it had been smuggled inside the jail.

Meanwhile, federal prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into potential misconduct by guards, focusing on the flow of contraband into the lockup uncovered during the search for the gun, three people familiar with the matter told the AP.

First Lady Melania Trump speaks at the DOJ National Opioid Summit

The First Lady is scheduled to deliver keynote remarks at the Justice Department’s National Opioid Summit.

Politics:

Sanders campaign co-chair floats Warren for VP slot

Former Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Former Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The California Democrat told MSNBC he would “absolutely” advise Sanders to name a woman as his vice presidential pick, and singled out the Vermont senator’s colleague from Massachusetts when asked who specifically he would recommend.

The words of praise from the top Sanders campaign official come after Warren declined to immediately endorse another candidate after dropping out of the Democratic primary Thursday — further irking some Sanders supporters who argued that she siphoned progressive voters from Sanders on Super Tuesday.

House Dems file for rehearing after losing effort to force McGahn subpoena

A three-judge panel ruled last week against the committee’s efforts to force McGahn to testify before the committee – saying it didn’t have the authority to do so – dealing a blow to House Democrats in litigation they have been pursuing since shortly after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference was released.

The committee hopes a hearing with all 11 judges on the circuit court will give it a more favorable result.

“The Committee’s petition argues that the panel’s ruling misread binding precedent and – if allowed to stand – would severely undermine the House’s ability to perform its constitutional functions as a check on the Executive Branch,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement Friday.

GOP congressman dares Biden and Beto O’Rourke to ‘come and take’ his AR-15

“I have a message for Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke.

If you want to take everyone’s AR-15 in America, why don’t you swing by my office in Washington, D.C., and start with this one?”

Buck asked before grabbing the gun from its mount on the wall behind him. “Come and take it.”

Proponents submit signatures for a Colorado initiative to ban abortion after 22 weeks gestation

Shutterstock photo
Shutterstock photo

The initiative would prohibit abortions after a fetus reaches 22 weeks gestational age. Colorado is one of seven states (and Washington, D.C.) that do not restrict abortion after a certain point in a pregnancy.

Measure sponsor Erin Behrens of Due Date Too Late said, “We are going to put a very reasonable limit of 22 weeks, which is about five months into pregnancy.

And we think that this reasonable limit will pass overwhelmingly in Colorado, and we will finally be brought into the 21st century.

We will finally be among all the other states that have reasonable limits, and we will finally not be the late-term abortion capitol of the United States.”

AOC blasts Democrats who won’t back a Sanders nomination

The freshman congresswoman from New York made the remarks Thursday night during an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

The comments came amid accusations from many, including President Trump, that Democratic Party leaders were looking to somehow block Sanders from being the party’s standard-bearer in November, despite his early primary wins rivaled only by former Vice President Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday performance.

Perhaps hoping to sway Warren to the Sanders camp, Ocasio-Cortez saluted the U.S. senator from Massachusetts on the Meyers show, praising Warren for running “a historic candidacy.”

Gun-owning feminist slams 2020 Democrats: The Second Amendment ’empowers’ women

Antonia Okafor Cover, spokesperson for Gun Owners Of America, has a message for Democrats
Antonia Okafor Cover, spokesperson for Gun Owners Of America, has a message for Democrats

Commentary/Opinion:
Okafor Cover, the spokesperson for Gun Owners of America, reacted to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pledging to ban so-called “assault weapons” and Joe Biden pledging to close what he called the “gun show loophole” in firearms sales and require universal background checks.

She said that feminist icon Susan B. Anthony called for women to practice self-defense, noting that the feminist movement’s “origin” is actually about rights such as those enshrined in the Second Amendment.

“I just blatantly talk about the fact that feminism and the Republican Party – or even being a Christian – are not mutually exclusive. They are something that actually go together, and have been since the beginning of the women’s movement,” she said, referencing her column in “The Independent.”

Tucker: Sanders warned Warren a woman couldn’t win

Commentary/Opinion:
Elizabeth drops out of 2020 Democratic race, blames sexism.

On Thursday, finally, Warren dropped out, having succeeded only in humiliating herself.

As the Babylon Bee put it, “Warren returns to tribe in shame after failing to take land back from the pale faces.”

You can imagine how disappointed the Cherokees were. So what happened to Elizabeth Warren?

Well, it’s an interesting story, actually, filled with valuable lessons for political candidates as well as for the rest of us.

World News:

Adrian Ismay murder: Christopher Robinson found guilty

Christopher Robinson was linked to the murder by DNA and CCTV evidence.
Christopher Robinson was linked to the murder by DNA and CCTV evidence.PACEMAKER

Christopher Robinson, 49, from Aspen Walk, had denied killing Adrian Ismay.

The 52-year-old was injured in the explosion close to his home at Hillsborough Drive in east Belfast and died in hospital.

The judge at Belfast Crown Court said Robinson was “intimately and inextricably involved” in the murder.

Robinson was also found guilty of possessing an improvised explosive device.

Report: Iran Arrests Man for Photographing Piles of Coronavirus Victim Bodies

Screenshot
Screenshot

The Saudi news outlet Al-Arabiya reported the arrest of the unnamed man on Wednesday, citing Iran International TV.

It did not offer any details regarding if the man was indeed arrested in Qom or where Iranian police took him, as Iran admitted to freeing tens of thousands of prisoners this week in an attempt to prevent a pandemic within the prison system.

Similarly, the New York Post reported the arrest of one person in association with the filming of the video but offered no more information on the person.

The Post noted that the online origin of the video appeared to be Iranian journalist Mohamad Ahwaze, who described the whistleblower behind the video as a member of the medical staff attempting to handle the crisis.

Russia-Turkey declare Syria ceasefire: Israel braces for COVID19 Outbreak – TV7 Israel News 06.03.20

1) Jerusalem is ratcheting-up its efforts to diminish the impact of the Coronavirus throughout the Jewish State.

2) Six Israelis that were under quarantine for 29 days in the Israeli Sheba Medical Center, after testing positive for the coronavirus, were finally released – last night – completely healthy.

3) A ceasefire is seemingly holding in the Syria’s northwestern Idlib region, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin reached a joint arrangement for the war-torn country.

Refugees told ‘Europe is closed’ as tensions rise at Greece-Turkey border

Migrants and refugees attempt to scale the border fence from Turkey into Greece. Photograph: Felipe Dana/AP
Migrants and refugees attempt to scale the border fence from Turkey into Greece. Photograph: Felipe Dana/AP

In a blunt message, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said: “Don’t go to the border. The border is not open. If someone tells you that you can go because the border is open … that is not true.

“Avoid the situation in which you could be in danger … Avoid moving to a closed door,” he said. “And please don’t tell people that they can go because it’s not true.”

Borrell was speaking after a hastily convened meeting of EU foreign ministers in Zagreb, where the bloc restated its criticism of “Turkey’s use of migratory pressure for political purposes”.

Thousands of refugees and migrants have since attempted to reach Greece via its land or sea borders.

Greek riot police have been using teargas and water cannon to repel people trying to get into the country, while Turkish police have been firing volleys of teargas towards Greece in return.

US airstrike kills Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist in Somalia

MQ-9 Reaper during Exercise Northern Strike 2019. (Arizona Air National Guard/Released)
MQ-9 Reaper during Exercise Northern Strike 2019.
(Arizona Air National Guard/Released)

The airstrike, which did not kill or injure any civilians or others, took place in Qunyo Barrow, Somalia on Thursday.

“Al-Shabaab’s leadership recently reiterated its primary focus of attacking American and Western targets beyond Somalia’s borders.

Al-Shabaab remains fully committed to exporting violence,” U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, AFRICOM’s deputy director of operations, said in a statement to American Military News.

Friday’s strikes are the 16th airstrike operation conducted against al-Shabaab in Somalia so far this year. Five of the strikes took place in January, and nine in February.

Suicide bombers attack near US Embassy in Tunisia

Two suicide bombers explosives across the street from the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia on Friday killing at least one police officer.

The two bombers drove a motorcycle at a parked police patrol vehicle near the embassy around 11 a.m. local time and detonated their explosives, the Tunisian Interior Ministry said in a statement reported by the New York Times.

One officer was killed and four more were reported injured while a civilian in the vicinity was also injured.

The U.S. Embassy in Tunis saw protesters attack and ransack the compound in September, 2012, around the same timeframe as the deadly attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

Commentary/Opinion:

Schumer targeted by gun-confiscation law after threatening SCOTUS justices

In a letter to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Erich Pratt, senior vice president of the pro-Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America, urged the pro-gun control governor to apply New York’s red flag law equitably.

“If you are serious about the law that you signed, and if you believe that it should apply to the ruling class as well as those ruled, then will the nation soon see reports that you will be directing an appropriate official to seek a red flag order against Senator Schumer?” Pratt wrote.

So-called red flag laws, like the one enacted in New York state last year, are meant to serve as a stop-gap against criminals or mentally unstable individuals possessing or purchasing firearms.

In Schumer’s case, only the half about purchasing a firearm doesn’t apply, since he does not own a gun (the mental instability portion speaks for itself).

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