In the News

News and Headlines.5/18/2020

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

In The News:

California city declared a ‘sanctuary’ from stay-home order

Some people wear face masks while walking on a pier during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco, Saturday, May 16, 2020.
Some people wear face masks while walking on a pier during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco, Saturday, May 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Officials in Atwater, a city of 30,000 in central California, unanimously agreed Friday not to enforce the nearly 2-month-old order intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus, meaning local authorities won’t interfere with any business or church that decides to reopen ahead of state restrictions.

The declaration was a symbolic gesture of defiance against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order.

The city’s mayor cautioned that businesses were taking their own risks by reopening.

California relaxes some criteria for reopening

Gov. Gavin Newsom announces new criteria related to coronavirus ,
Gov. Gavin Newsom announces new criteria related to coronavirus hospitalizations and testing that could allow counties to open faster than the state, during a news conference at Mustards Grill in Napa, Calif., Monday May 18, 2020.
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)

“Bottom line is: People can go at their own pace, and we are empowering our local health directors and county officials that understand their local communities and conditions,” Newsom said.

The new criteria he outlined applies to counties that want to reopen faster than the state.

While retail may open for curbside pickup statewide, restrictions on dining in at restaurants and other services are still in place statewide.

Counties can move faster if they win state approval.

Massachusetts Governor: State Can Begin Reopening Process Monday

Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

“Starting today, based on current public health data and trends, Massachusetts will begin Phase 1 of a cautious reopening, and workplaces that are permitted to open are required to follow new safety protocols and guidance,” a release announcing the decision reads:

The plan, titled “Reopening Massachusetts,” details a four-phase approach to reopening the state. Massachusetts can begin entering the first phase today, allowing manufacturing facilities and construction sites to reopen with “applicable guidelines.”

Places of worship will also be allowed to open “with guidelines that require social distancing and encourage services to be held outdoors,” according to the plan.

Saudi pilot who killed US Navy sailors on FL base was Al Qaeda terrorist and spent years planning

Mohammed Alshamrani, the Saudi gunman who opened fire on Dec. 6, 2019 ,
Mohammed Alshamrani, the Saudi gunman who opened fire on Dec. 6, 2019 inside a classroom at Naval Air Station Pensacola on before one of the deputies killed him. (FBI/Released) | The main gate at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Navy Boulevard in Pensacola, Fla. (U.S. Navy photo by Patrick Nichols)

During a Monday morning press conference, Attorney General Bill Barr said Mohammed Alshamrani’s phones “contained information previously unknown to us that definitively establishes Alshamrani’s significant ties to Al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula not only before the attack, but before he even arrived in the United States.”

Alshamrani’s two iPhones were recently unlocked by federal technicians after months of attempts and refusals from Apple to assist in the process.

Barr said that the recently obtained information from Alshamrani’s phones has led to counterterrorism operations against one of Alshamrani’s overseas associates in Yemen, and revealed significant information about the terrorist himself.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said the Navy base attack was a “brutal culmination of years of planning and preparation.”

Salon owner already facing lockdown fine now says state is targeting her children

Gov. Kate Brown, D-Oregon
Gov. Kate Brown, D-Oregon

The Daily Mail said Lindsey Graham, owner of Glamour Salon, reopened on May 5, and the state said that violated an order from Gov. Kate Brown that businesses close down.

She’s already been hit with a $14,000 fine from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for “operating a hazardous facility” for employees, but she’s fighting that because she explains her coworkers are contractors, not employees.

But now Graham says the state is ramping up its attack on her by dispatching child protective services agents, government employees who like the governor have not had their salaries cut, to investigate her care for her three children.

The Western Journal reported a family that includes seven children was targeted when members moved from New York to Kentucky, and tried to open a bank account.

‘Not the time to introduce fear into our society’: Illinois sheriff hits back at governor’s stay-at-home order

The sheriff of the second-most densely populated county in Illinois said he feels the governor has “trampled” on his First Amendment rights and will not “victimize” citizens “trying to put food on their children’s table.”

DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick posted on his Facebook account Sunday night that his county is ready to reopen and that he supports his fellow residents who “have offered no trouble or no resistance” to the state’s stay-at-home order meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“I feel that my own 1st amendment constitutional right to free speech has been completely trampled on by a governor who has threatened my Offices’ reimbursement and grant funds as a tool to force me not to speak,” he began his post.

Crowd Cheers As NJ Cop Allows Gym To Reopen Despite Notifying Owner Of Lockdown Violation

Screenshot Twitter Fox29
Screenshot Twitter Fox29

A local officer told the owner they were in violation of Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s shutdown order, but he did not enforce it. Instead, the officer told residents to “be safe” and “have a great day.”

“We are and only were here for everybody’s safety today,” a cop can be seen saying in a video posted to Twitter and according to Fox29 Philadelphia.

“We planned for the worst and hoped for the best, and it seems like that’s what we have out here today.”

“Formally, you are all in violation of the executive order. On that note, have a good day, everybody be safe.”

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Soldier Memorial | Full Measure

May 25 is Memorial Day and we’ll honor our military heroes who died defending our freedom.

Many died in foreign lands.. and are still there.

One such place is in North Africa where Americans first faced the German army in World War Two. Scott Thuman takes us there.

Unemployment | Full Measure

A record 20.5 million jobs were lost in April and unemployment rate jumped to 14.7%.

But as bad as those official government numbers are, they don’t don’t take into account people who are laid off or had their hours reduced, a much higher figure.

Gallup has been working to capture that number.

Johnathan Rothwell, principal economist at Gallup, tells what they’re finding.

Politics:

Hydroxychloroquine

If you’ve watched the news lately, you might be under the impression that a medicine President Trump touted as a possible game changer against coronavirus — has been debunked and discredited.

Two divergent views of the drug, hydroxychloroquine, have emerged: the negative one widely reported in the press and another side you’ve probably heard less about.

Never has a discussion about choices of medicine been so laced with political overtones.

Today, how politics, money and medicine intersect with coronavirus.

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President Trump Participates in a Roundtable with Restaurant Executives

President Trump Participates in a Roundtable with Restaurant Executives and Industry Leaders. Starts about the 1:03.29 mark.

Dem Congressman Admits to Decade-Long Affair with Former Intern

Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Nevada congressman is the second Democrat of the 116th Congress to be accused of sexual impropriety while in office.

Former congresswoman Katie Hill of California’s 25th district resigned from Congress in October after revelations about her “throuple” relationship with her husband and a campaign staffer. She denied a separate report she had a sexual relationship with her legislative director.

“Mistress for Congress,” the self-described “audio memoir” podcast that detailed Horsford’s affair with its host, aired in April. It referred to Horsford as “Bob” for its first two episodes.

William Barr: Probably Won’t Be a Criminal Investigation of Obama, Biden

“Whatever their level of involvement based on the level of information I have today, I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Barr said in a press conference Monday, referring to U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is leading the inquiry into the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the previous election.

“Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.”

Later in his remarks, Barr criticized the general use of criminal investigations as “a political weapon.”

World News:

US airstrike takes out 2 Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Somalia

An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft performs aerial maneuvers over Creech Air Force Base, NV., June 25, 2015.
An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft performs aerial maneuvers over Creech Air Force Base, NV., June 25, 2015. (Senior Airman Cory D. Payne/U.S. Air Force)

“U.S. Africa Command affords our partners over-watch and added precision capabilities,” said Col. Christopher Karns, the director of public affairs for AFRICOM. “This enemy has no regard for the lives of innocent Somalis and the group presents a threat to the Somali people, the U.S., and interests abroad.”

The U.S. has provided air support throughout past operations in Somalia, supporting Somali National Army troops and local security forces fighting against the Al Shabaab insurgency.

“The U.S. support to our Somali partners is and will remain strong,” U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, the director of operations for AFRICOM said in a statement following the strike.

Trump Admin Pressures UN To Stop Using COVID To Promote Global Abortion Access

The UN’s priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, Barsa argued, should be to ensure global health care focused on saving lives, and not “to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a justification to pressure governments to change their laws.”

“To achieve global unity toward this goal, it is essential that the UN’s response to the pandemic avoid creating controversy,” Barsa explained.

“Therefore, I ask that you remove references to ‘sexual and reproductive health,’ and its derivatives from the Global HRP, and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN’s priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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US Navy sends subs to sea as message to China

USS Alexandria (MC1 Jason J. Perry/U.S. Navy)
USS Alexandria (MC1 Jason J. Perry/U.S. Navy)

The Navy recently has maintained a flotilla of warships in the Western Pacific as a show of force and proof that COVID-19 hasn’t significantly degraded its capabilities, with the United States and China long trading barbs over military activities in the South China Sea and increasingly so over each other’s pandemic response.

When the Navy advertises the presence of its usually unseen submarines, it’s often to make a point with an adversary. The Navy released a photo of the Los Angeles-class sub Alexandria transiting Apra Harbor in Guam on May 5.

As the U.S. military addresses COVID-19 at home, “we remain focused on our national security missions around the world,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the same day.

Hong Kong: Lawmakers carried out during parliament mayhem

China wants a controversial bill that would criminalise abuse of China’s national anthem to get passed as soon as possible.

But the house committee – responsible for scrutinising controversial bills, including the national anthem one – has failed to select a chairperson for months.

What happened inside the chamber is another sign that China continues to tighten its grip on Hong Kong.

It is very similar to what happened last year – when the pan-democrats failed to stop the controversial extradition bill in the LegCo, which sparked months of mass protests.

Italians Return To Cafes, Salons As Country Reopens

A general view shows people having lunch at tables partitioned with plexiglas at the Goga Cafe on May 18, 2020 in central Milan.
A general view shows people having lunch at tables partitioned with plexiglas at the Goga Cafe on May 18, 2020 in central Milan.
(Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

Italians can now travel without limit in individual regions and are also able to attend church masses again while wearing mandatory face masks.

Churches will also not be able to have choirs, the sign of the peace or full holy water fonts in order to maintain social distancing and sanitation protocols.

Italian cafes and restaurants have lost at least $27 billion (€25 billion) in sales because of the nationwide shutdowns, amounting to 28% of annual sales, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Italy was the first European country to impose nationwide orders, which were later relaxed May 4, allowing 4.5 million Italians to return to work when factories and parks reopened.

Israeli Government Sworn-in; Iranian militia bombed in Syria – TV7 Israel News 18.05.20

1) After 507 days of political limbo, Israel’s 35th government in Jerusalem has officially formed.

2) Unidentified aircraft reportedly struck an Iranian-proxy base in the rural Deir Ezzor governorate near the border with Iraq.

3) China’s ambassador to Israel Du Wei has been found dead in his official residence in Tel Aviv.

Commentary/Opinion:

OBAMAGATE IS NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY

Democrats and their allies, who like to pretend that President Obama’s only scandalous act was wearing a tan suit, are going spend the next few months gaslighting the public by focusing on the most feverish accusations against Obama.

But the fact is that we already have more compelling evidence that the Obama administration engaged in misconduct than we ever did for opening the Russian-collusion investigation.

It is not conspiracy-mongering to note that the investigation into Trump was predicated on an opposition-research document filled with fabulism and, most likely, Russian disinformation.

We know the DOJ withheld contradictory evidence when it began spying on those in Trump’s orbit. We have proof that many of the relevant FISA-warrant applications — almost every one of them, actually — were based on “fabricated” evidence or riddled with errors.

We know that members of the Obama administration, who had no genuine role in counterintelligence operations, repeatedly unmasked Trump’s allies.

And we now know that, despite a dearth of evidence, the FBI railroaded Michael Flynn into a guilty plea so it could keep the investigation going.

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