In the News

News and Headlines.5/14/2020

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

In The News:

Lawmakers warn of ‘attacks’ on military members’ religious rights

“Despite these Federal mandates and guidance from the Army Chaplain Corps, commands have taken action that restrict the religious freedoms of military chaplains and service members,” the letter says.

“This pattern of behavior must be addressed.”

Collins said the MRFF is “anti-religious group with a reputation for preying on military chaplains,” and told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview that the organization has “actively exploited the current pandemic to attack our nation’s service members” in recent weeks.

“These attacks are deeply concerning and threaten the very freedoms our service members fight to protect,” Collins said.

“I’m calling on the Department of Defense to take action to ensure our military is protecting the religious liberty of its members.”

Public health versus public safety: Confusion looms as sex offenders are released from incarceration across the country

“It is utterly appalling that any government would categorize sex offenders as nonviolent in an attempt to argue they should be released to avoid their exposure to coronavirus,” Francey Hakes, a former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) official and the first national coordinator for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, told Fox News.

“Jailing business owners who violate lockdown orders, that might actually be unconstitutional in the first place, while pushing to release those who prey on people and communities makes a complete mockery of the justice system.”

Moreover in New York, local police decried that state officials had freed inmates, including eight registered sex offenders, some who were at the highest level three for their violations, from the Monroe County Jail without prior warning.

Nine of the newly let out were moved to a Holiday Inn Express in Greece, including four of the sex offenders.

The sudden onslaught of the pandemic has also brought about a number of changes in the way that states register and deal with sex offenders.

Florida’s Miami-Dade, Broward counties to begin limited reopening Monday

Hollywood, Fla., police officers monitor activity along the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
Hollywood, Fla., police officers monitor activity along the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Broward County beaches will remain closed despite the county entering phase one of reopening Monday, May 18, 2020. Lynne Sladky

“Today, we take another important step for a very important part of the state of Florida,” DeSantis said during a press conference in Doral, flanked by local mayors and county commissioners.

“Today, I have signed an executive order for both Miami-Dade and Broward to move into a limited phase one. We think that is the best way to build confidence.”

Miami-Dade and Broward counties combined represent about 20 percent of the state’s population, but account for nearly half of the state’s COVID-19 cases and 40 percent of the state’s deaths attributed to the disease.

President Trump Delivers Remarks Upon Departure

Video/Pics: USS Florida returns to Kings Bay after 800+ days deployed

The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) returns to its homeport, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, May 9, 2020.
The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) returns to its homeport, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, May 9, 2020. after deployed for more than 800 days.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ashley Berumen)

The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) returned to its homeport of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, May 9, after operating forward deployed for more than two years supporting the U.S. Africa, Central and European Combatant Commands.

For over 800 days, Florida provided unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities, bringing mission flexibility and unparalleled stealth to the fighting force.

“For the past 30 months, USS Florida has been forward deployed, providing our combatant commanders with not only one of the most versatile and clandestine platforms the United States Navy has to offer, but also one capable of delivering an absolutely devastating punch at our timing and tempo,” said Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle, Commander, Naval Submarine Forces.

Report: NYC Health chief to NYPD on masks: ‘I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops’

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan asked Barbot for 500,000 surgical masks, but she would only provide 50,000 and a disparaging remark, according to unnamed sources who were party to the discussion.

“I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops,” Barbot is said to have told Monahan. “I need them for others.”

The NYPD mask request came as the department saw growing numbers of officers calling out sick days before its first officer died from coronavirus-related health problems.

To date, the NYPD has recorded 5,490 cases of coronavirus among its sworn officers and civilian workers and 41 deaths.

BLOOD-SOAKED WET MARKETS STILL OPEN… New Video From Asia

It’s not just an issue in Asia … as we’ve reported, wet markets also exist here in New York, California and Texas.

PETA is using this shocking new footage to call upon the World Health Organization to urge the shutdown of live-animal markets across the globe, including those still operating here in the States.

The animal rights org says the next deadly pandemic is inevitable, as long as live-animal markets are still operating … and PETA says the conditions are a Petri dish for pandemics.

Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders protested outside Michigan Captiol as scuffle breaks out

Despite driving rain and a heavy police presence, hundreds of protestors once again descended on the steps of the Michigan Capitol Thursday morning to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

People held signs declaring “Every worker is essential,” “Make Michigan work again” and “Reopen schools,” along with others like “Free Flynn, Free MI,” “Let Me Go To Doggy Daycare,” “Open The Damn Salons,” and some arguing the use of face masks weakens the immune system.

Numerous protestors were carrying assault weapons as well as anti-abortion signs and “Don’t Tread on Me Flags.”

California gave $139 million ventilator contract to medical supply firm once raided by FBI

In March 2013, FBI agents raided Heriberto Diaz’s medical supply company in Bakersfield, searching for evidence of Medicare fraud.

Seven years later, Diaz’s company, Ashli Healthcare Inc., holds a $139 million contract to supply ventilators and other equipment to the state — one of the biggest contracts the Newsom administration has signed without going through the usual competitive bidding process as it scrambled to gear up for the coronavirus pandemic.

The FBI’s raid on Ashli’s one-story gray stucco warehouse and offices coincided with searches at two medical offices in Bakersfield. An FBI agent wrote in an affidavit that the three businesses were suspected of cooperating on a scheme to bilk the taxpayers out of millions by billing Medicare for devices for patients who didn’t need them — including at least 125 who had already died.

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Trouble for Gavin Newsom’s $1 billion mask deal: Feds reject safety certification

Gov. Gavin Newsom at an April 14 news conference at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova ,
Gov. Gavin Newsom at an April 14 news conference at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova (Sacramento County).
Photo: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom’s assertion that shipments of medical masks the state bought from a Chinese manufacturer had simply been delayed because of federal safety certification issues was thrown into doubt Wednesday when regulators said they had actually rejected the masks.

Many of the N95 particulate-filtering respirators California planned to buy from supplier BYD in a $1 billion deal are now in limbo while the company tries to secure safety certification.

Katie Shahan, a spokeswoman for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, said the agency had denied safety certification of the masks “based on a number of factors.”

Texas paralegal in US Attorney’s Office helped tip off Mexican drug cartel associates of investigation: FBI

Jennifer Loya is accused of using her access to sensitive information at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas to tip-off members of a Mexican drug cartel about investigations.
Jennifer Loya is accused of using her access to sensitive information at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas to tip-off members of a Mexican drug cartel about investigations. (Guadalupe County Jail)

Jennifer Loya worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio since March 2017.

According to federal court records, Loya’s sister, Kimberly, is married to Roland Gustamante, an associate to the leader of the Cartel del Noreste.

Loyo is accused of using her access to electronic surveillance information through her job to tip-off Gustamante, her sister, and their associates of various DEA investigations into drug cartel operations in San Antonio.

Wisconsin bars flooded with patrons hours after state Supreme Court strikes down coronavirus stay-at-home order

Richard Craniums bar in Green Bay briefly reopened Wednesday after the state Supreme Court ruled against the stay-at-home order. Employees wore masks and gloves while serving drinks.
Richard Craniums bar in Green Bay briefly reopened Wednesday after the state Supreme Court ruled against the stay-at-home order. Employees wore masks and gloves while serving drinks. The bar was forced to close again just hours later after Brown County reinstated local orders to keep people home. (Fox 11)

Several bars across Wisconsin were flooded with patrons just hours after the state Supreme Court issued a ruling striking down an extension of Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order that had been in effect since mid-March to limit the effect of the coronavirus.

The 4-to-3 ruling essentially reopened the state, lifting caps on the size of gatherings, allowing people to travel as they please and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants.

Nick’s Bar in Platteville, Wis., shared a photo on Twitter with the caption: “45 minutes after the bars open in Wisconsin” showing the establishment packed with mostly young people, none of whom were wearing masks or observing social distancing.

‘A colossal mistake’: Former NY Times reporter urges walk back from coronavirus ‘lockdown’ strategy

“The virus appears to be less dangerous than we thought it was a month ago,” said Berenson in the new Fox Nation series “Fox Nation 101: COVID Contrarian.”

“The economic devastation and the societal devastation of the lockdowns appear to be greater than even the worst projections were a month ago.”

Berenson is calling on U.S. policymakers to reverse aspects of the lockdown strategy, as he argues that it has become more clear that the response to COVID-19 is potentially more damaging than the virus itself.

Politics:

Senate passes FISA renewal bill, sends it back to the House

The FISA renewal bill includes new privacy protections that Attorney General William Barr had helped negotiate and would impose new requirements on the FISA court system.
The FISA renewal bill includes new privacy protections that Attorney General William Barr had helped negotiate and would impose new requirements on the FISA court system. | Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo

The USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020 passed 80-16 more than two months after the House approved it by a wide, bipartisan margin.

Senate privacy hawks successfully amended the bill to expand legal protections for certain groups of individuals who are targeted by federal surveillance.

The FISA renewal bill includes new privacy protections that Attorney General William Barr had helped negotiate and would impose new requirements on the FISA court system.

Those were inspired in part by President Donald Trump’s allegations that federal agencies improperly used the spying tools to wiretap his former campaign adviser Carter Page during the initial probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Obama Judge Blocks Trump Water Plan due to Normal Trout Drought

California farming. (Photo: CA Dept. of Conservation)
California farming. (Photo: CA Dept. of Conservation)

On Monday May 11, an Obama-appointed federal judge issued a temporary injunction requested by the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) and California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA) to block Pres. Trump’s policy of sending more seasonal spring water to Central Valley farmers.

The two California agencies contend that the new rules for allocating water were intended to support Trump’s campaign promise to provide more water for farmers in dry years to the detriment of wildlife.

The injunction issued by Judge Dale Drozd of the Eastern District federal court stops the Bureau of Reclamation from increasing water deliveries to the Central Valley.

Burr steps aside as Senate intelligence chair amid FBI probe

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., listens to testimony before the Senate Committee for Health,
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., listens to testimony before the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing, Tuesday, May 12, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the move, saying he and Burr had agreed that it was in the committee’s best interests.

FBI officials showed up at Burr’s home with the warrant on Wednesday, two people familiar with the investigation said Thursday, marking a significant escalation into the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Burr broke the law with a well-timed sale of stocks before the coronavirus caused markets to plummet.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Florida Gov. DeSantis calls out other governors for ‘draconian’ lockdowns: ‘You’re not a dictator’

“I don’t think any governor has the authority to restrict anyone unless there’s a direct relationship to combating this virus,” DeSantis said in response, cautioning governors against acting like a “dictator.”

“If you look around the country, clearly there have been examples of really draconian, arbitrary restrictions that have nothing to do with public health, like you can’t plant a seed in your front yard in your garden, you can’t walk around the neighborhood with your daughter or something like that.”

“So some of this stuff I think has devolved into social control,” DeSantis continued. “I think absolutely it’s gotten out of hand.”

He went on to note that in Florida “we did not do that.”

“We were reasonable,” DeSantis said. “We trusted the people to act appropriately and we’ve had better results than some of the states that you’ve seen.”

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Dershowitz rips judge’s unusual move in Flynn case: He has become ‘the most partisan’

“The great tragedy is that the American public does not know who to trust.

They don’t know who is using politics and misusing national security,” the author of “Guilty By Accusation” told “The Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday.

“Everybody seems to be weaponizing national security and other issues for political advantage.

“Now, enter Judge [Emmet] Sullivan, who has become the most partisan, the most political in this effort to try to resurrect the prosecution against Flynn.”

John Solomon: ‘Everything about the Schiff-show is falling apart’

Documents show Amb. Yovanovitch’s impeachment testimony left out mention of Burisma meetings, letters;

insight from Fox News contributor John Solomon and Rep. Lee Zeldin, Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

‘Unnerving’: Impeachment Witness Jonathan Turley Says Flynn Judge Could Be ‘Committing Reversible Errors’

REUTERS/Mike Segar
REUTERS/Mike Segar

Turley, who recently appeared before Congress as an expert witness in President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings, voiced his concerns on Twitter.

He began by suggesting that the “threat of a judicial charge” alone could have serious implications going forward.

Turley then suggested that Sullivan’s motives could be personal, given the fact that he had spoken about his own feelings with regard to Flynn in the past.

Trump calls on Graham to demand Obama testify amid unmasking controversy: ‘Just do it’

“If I were a Senator or Congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “He knew EVERYTHING.”

“Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it,” he continued. “No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!”

World News:

Over 200 Protesters Arrested by Police in Hong Kong |CCP Virus |COVID-19 |Coronavirus |Epoch News

Firing pepper pellets and clearing out protesters—Hong Kong authorities arrested more than 200 people during pro-democracy protests after a sing-along demonstration at a shopping mall.

Hundreds of riot police were deployed to disperse protesters across the city last Sunday, as protesters chanted for freedom and held up banners calling for a revolution.

It’s one of the first signs of civil unrest returning to Hong Kong which has largely been put on hold since January under social distancing restrictions.

Chinese State Media Warn Country Will Interfere in U.S. Election

Getty Images
Getty Images

The Communist Party “won’t just strike back symbolically, but will impose countermeasures that will make them feel pain,” according to the Global Times, an outlet controlled by the regime.

The threats come as outrage grows over China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the country and the subsequent global spread of the virus.

China also is threatening to sanction several leading Republican senators, including Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.), for their efforts to hold the country responsible.

Islamist rams vehicle into IDF force; Israeli coalition formation postponed -TV7 Israel News 14.5.20

1)The swearing-in ceremony of the Israeli government has been delayed at a last minute, forcing an extension to Jerusalem’s 18 months of political deadlock.

2) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo highlight’s Jerusalem’s freedom of action on the matter of annexation.

3) A Palestinian ramming-attack leaves one IDF soldier wounded near a Jewish West Bank, southeast of the city of Hebron.

Ukrainian police investigating senior official’s request for list of Jews in city after cries of anti-Semitism

Kolomyya is a city in western Ukraine. (Google Maps)
Kolomyya is a city in western Ukraine. (Google Maps)

“Ukraine’s National Police department demanded from the Jewish community of Kolomiya to provide police the list of all Jews with addresses and mobile phones and Jewish students in universities with addresses and phones,” Eduard Dolinsky, head of Kyiv’s Jewish Committee, tweeted Sunday along with a photo of the letter, which is written in Ukrainian.

“It is explained as fight against transnational criminal gangs,” Dolinsky wrote.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) translated a portion of the letter, which reads: “Please provide us the following information regarding the Orthodox Jewish religious community of Kolomyya, namely:

The organization’s charter; list of members of the Jewish religious community, with indication of data, mobile phones and their places of residence.”

Commentary/Opinion:

The Hidden Danger Of Calling Workers Non-Essential (Pt. 2) | Mike Rowe | LIFESTYLE | Rubin Report

Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Mike Rowe (star of “Dirty Jobs” and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,”) about risk assessment and the effects of the lockdowns.

Mike discusses why he originally did Dirty Jobs as a tribute to essential workers that were often overlooked.

Mike also discusses the damage done by the government putting us into categories of essential and non-essential workers.

He criticizes politicians and others who devalue work and see it as just something we do for a paycheck.

Mike thinks this demeaning of how people make a living overlooks the sense of purpose we get through our jobs.

Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy lets loose with profane monologue against coronavirus lockdowns

Barstool founder Dave Portnoy, known by fans as “El Presidente,” went viral Wednesday on Twitter with a profane rant fighting back against coronavirus lockdowns.

Entitled “Emergency Press Conference – When Did Flattening The Curve Turn Into Finding The Cure,” Portnoy emotionally warned about the plight of Americans confused over whether to stay home or go back out in the world to make a living.

“I would rather die of corona… or take my chances… I don’t want to start over,” he yelled. “There are no great options but you can’t just decimate the entire economy.”

“Are we just done as humans? … You have to take risks! We’re Americans!” Portney stressed.